We Steal Secrets: The Story of WikiLeaks Is Outlandishly Complicated

The story Alex Gibney tells here, that of WikiLeaks' founder, raconteur, and alleged sexual offender Julian Assange, is outlandishly complicated, peopled not with clear-cut good and bad guys but mostly imperfect individuals who hover in between. There's emotionally fragile Bradley Manning, the Army intelligence analyst who passed sensitive military and diplomatic files along to Assange. And there are the New York Times, the Guardian, and Der Spiegel, three newspapers that banded together to release information purloined by WikiLeaks — and got off scot-free while Manning was imprisoned in abominable conditions. No one should look to documentaries for hard and fast answers, and Gibney offers conclusions more murky than helpful. Though he hints that the information revealed by those newspapers probably didn't endanger any American lives, he takes a less definitive stand on the basic principle that some leaks could endanger lives. Assange states that he doesn't care if innocent people die — getting information to the public is the most important thing. Meanwhile, Manning faces charges that could keep him in prison for 20 years or possibly life.

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