WikiWhoops! Wikileaks claims hundreds of organizations wrongly report that it will release hundreds of thousands of Iraq war documents
Get ready to read hundreds of corrections from news organizations -- if you can find their corrections pages. Wikileaks, in a tweet this afternoon, is denying that it will be releasing hundreds of thousands of fresh documents on the Iraq war Monday, as hundreds of respected newspapers, websites, and networks around the world are reporting.
Even the Pentagon reportedly had workers readying a response.A message on the blog Rixstep says, "Where do all these claims about Wikileaks doing something on Iraq today (Monday) come from? A single tabloid blog at Wired Magazine."
The message was signed by Julian Assange, who also claimed media outlets were duped: "Wikileaks does not speak about upcoming release dates, indeed, with very rare exceptions we do not communicate any specific information about upcoming releases, since that simply provides fodder for abusive organizations to get their spin machines ready."
This morning the Wired website said: "We're still waiting for Wikileaks to make good on its pledge to reveal hundreds of thousands of U.S. military documents on the Iraq War." Wired is a respected publication. It updated its story later this morning to say:
"Measured by size, the database will dwarf the 92,000-entry Afghan war log WikiLeaks partially published last July. 'It will be huge,' says a source familiar with WikiLeaks' operations, who spoke on condition of anonymity. Former WikiLeaks staffers say the document dump was at one time scheduled for Monday, October 18, though the publication date may well have been moved since then. Some large media outlets were provided an embargoed copy of the database in August."
Wired was expected to comment further.
Some websites, including CounterPunch, have reported that some people who are not connected with the organization have falsely portrayed themselves as speaking for it. This followed a leak by Swedish prosecutors that Assange had been charged with rape and sexual molestation.
A spokeswoman for the prosecution, Karin Rosander said late last week that a decision on the case was still pending. Assange has also reportedly been denied a Swedish residency permit. The decision could block Assange from publishing from Sweden, the Swedish website thelocal.se reported.
Gunilla Wikstrom, spokeswoman for the National Migration Board, refused to answer questions about why the decision was made. Wikstrom said no information could be released because "secrecy prevails."
CounterPunch reported Sweden had acted under pressure from U.S. intelligence, which reportedly threatened to stop passing them information about possible terrorism.
Assange had sought to be based in Sweden because of strong laws protecting whistleblowers.
Image: A tweet from Wikileaks' Twitter today