This video is Part One of Four parts.
comments here or on twitter.com/exiledsurfer
Daniel Domscheit-Berg (DDB) agrees that there is an ego- power struggle between him and Julian Assange (JA, but asserts that JA is the cause:
"That's what JA made it about, even before i left. There's not much more in the world that i am less interested in than an ego or a career, or whatever. That's not really what drives me. Some time in 2010, Julian developed some paranoia inside our project. Journalists had written that i was the founder of Wikileaks, without having ever asking me. Reporters don't care about details, they just assume stuff. Julian gave me tons of shit for it. I never said that i was [the founder], but he used this as evidence that i was in a power struggle with him, and trying to steal the project from him."
"He told people that i was a middle-management fucker that was trying to become executive-level."
DDB, appeared much more relaxed discussing this with me than i have seen him previously, for example in the Swedish Documentary "Wiki Rebels", and he agreed that he was hurt by what transpired between them:
" I was [hurt]. I have spent three years of my life struggling for this project. I have given up my job,my private stuff for this. I invested all of the money, all of the blood, sweat and tears that i have ever invested into anything into this. And then some guy just discredits me all the time. There was just no basis for it. For about half a year, around the time we shot Wiki Rebels, I was trying to convince people that this was all rubbish, that none of this has a basis."
Fast forwarding to his book, i asked DDB if he had not added fat to the fire in what he chose to write about:
"That's possible. I could have added way more fat to the fire, if you want it so. I have tried to find a balance that is explicit enough so i don't have to worry that i have left anything out, but that on the other hand is not pure fat to the fire. I could have been much more imbalanced than that. Thre are lots of more personal things that i could have dug out that i haven't."
I alleged that it seemed like a marriage from the outside looking in. DDB agreed, and asserted that it was necessary to expose personal details in his book:
"It was like a marriage in some way. That's what a lot of people who actually met me and JA together actually referred to. We have been very close; we were the two people that were working on this full-time."
"i think it was necessary [to expose certain details] just for the sake of the book being not just another "theoretical piece". This is not a book about a phenomenon, but it's rather my story in it. If you understand where i come from and why i decided to write the book, it was necessary to put it that way."
"When i left WikiLeaks in September 2010, i had given this interview to Der Spiegel, which was very diplomatic. Back then, i felt very bad about expressing any explicit criticism at all. Then, on the other hand, i had a very bad conscience about not telling anyone how it actually went down in the last months before we left."
DDB went on to assert that it was the leak of his and JA's chatlog to wired that was the reason for him being so diplomatic in his interview with Der Spiegel, but went on to say that he was the only one who could blow a whistle:
"I thought people had understood that they should be worried about some things, and this is essentially a lot of power concentration, a lot of irresponsiblebe behavior. Wikileaks is an entity that requires trust in order to operate. I had helped build that trust over three years; so it was part of my responsibility to say openly that i cannot trust that organization anymore. Whoever had said sobeforeme who know what was happening, like Briggita, were being more open about it, were immediately discredited by Julian, that she was not a core member, or whatever. The only person he could not make this claim about was me. That was a conscious decision for me."
DDB asserted that my reading of the chatlogs as him avoiding JA's questions was due to a lack of knowledge about the context:
"Julian was the one avoiding to answer. We had been asking him about what sorts of deals he had been brokering with the news media for DAYS before this happened. Each and every day, again and again. We had multiple chats where he refused to give us any of the information we needed in order to continue working. Or when he just left, and told us we were ungrateful wretches. That chatlog, which was published by Wired was maybe the fifth or sixth discussion on the topic; it's opening up with me asking about the deals on the Iraq material."
I asked him why he never released any previous chatlogs:
"I never released any chatlogs to Wired. If this chatlog had been from me, i would have taken certain things out, because i think that shouldn't have been public."
"When we began to feel that Julian was doing things wrong, we wanted to have some control over that, and to understand what he is doing, so that is not just in his hands to fuck things up. He always avoided talking to us in a group chat where everyone was present. What we found out that what he was telling everyone in one on one chats was different stories. Thats when we started as the core team to talk to each other, when we started to log some of the chats we had."
"I had logged this particular chat about this suspension because i wanted everyone to understand, line by line, what was said; and not to make up a story about how it went down where Julian could have said 'well it was a bit differently'. I wanted it to be documented. That's what i shared with a couple of people that i worked with. And one of them made it to Wired. I have given up on finding out who it was because i actually think it was o.k. It's the same about the few chatexcerpts that i have published in the book; they show the 'tone', the language, and a very authentic view of how this all went down."