Internal Strife at WikiLeaks
German Spokesman Says He Will Leave Website
A dispute has broken out within the leadership of WikiLeaks, the website known for publishing classified documents including the Afghanistan war logs. In an interview with SPIEGEL, WikiLeaks' German spokesman has said he will leave the organization as a result of rows with founder Julian Assange.
In a SPIEGEL interview to be published in the next issue,
Daniel Schmitt, the German spokesman for WikiLeaks discusses the deficiencies within the whistleblower platform, criticizes internal fighting in the organization and announces his resignation.
"We all had an insane amount of stress in recent months," he told SPIEGEL. "A few mistakes happened, which is OK, as long as people learn from them. For that to happen, though, one has to admit them. We have lost the faith that we are all pulling together."
In recent months WikiLeaks landed a string of spectacular coups, including the publication of 77,000 secret United States military logs from the war in Afghanistan. Schmitt criticized the fact that the platform has been too focused on large projects and that, in doing so, it has neglected smaller, national documents.
He also blamed that on WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. "I tried again and again to push for that, but Julian Assange reacted to any criticism with the allegation that I was disobedient to him and unloyal to the project." He said he had come to disagreements with Assange and that other co-workers were also unhappy.
"There is a lot of resentment there and some others, like me, will leave," he told SPIEGEL. Out of fears of attacks, WikiLeaks' German spokesman had called himself Daniel Schmitt up until now. In his SPIEGEL interview, however, he revealed his real name for the first time: Daniel Domscheit-Berg.
Check back on Monday to read the full interview on SPIEGEL ONLINE International.