The former number two of Wikileaks is denying claims that he destroyed significant documents when he left the outfit. Daniel Domscheit-Berg says WikiLeaks is publicly exaggerating the contents of the deleted files, in an increasingly ugly dispute playing out over Twitter and in the press.
Domscheit-Berg told the German newsweekly Der Spiegel that he’d deleted more than 3,500 unpublished documents that he and an associate took with them when they left the organization last year. He said he destroyed the documents because Julian Assange could not guarantee safe handling of the files or their sources.
WikiLeaks Twitter feed has been releasing a list of important documents and files it claims are lost to history because of Domscheit-Berg’s actions. These included “videos of a major US atrocity in Afghanistan.” Five gigabytes of data from Bank of America, and a copy of the U.S. No-Fly List.
Domscheit-Berg said that the No-Fly list was deleted because it had already been published and other claims about what the destroyed documents contain are “false and misleading.” Domscheit-Berg said. The Bank of America documents were outside the time period that is outside the scope of when the documents that Domscheit-Berg destroyed. The objects he destroyed were from January 2010 to September 2010 and the Bank of America stuff was earlier.
He told Wired that Assange had claimed repeatedly in the past that he was going to publish the bank data. Then he claimed Domscheit-Berg was blackmailing him over it. Now he claims his number two destroyed it.
However there is the small mater of thevideo of a 2009 U.S. air strike near Garani village in Afghanistan. The local government insisted the air strike killed nearly 100 civilians, most of them children. The Pentagon released a report about the incident in 2009, but backed down from a plan to show video of the attack to reporters. Wikileaks got its paws on it and now claims that Domscheit-Berg wiped it.