Wikileaks Just Lost a Bunch of Great Secrets Forever

The hits have not kept coming for Wikileaks. Since its massive diplomatic cables dump, the secret-sharing site has kept whatever secrets it's come across to itself. Now it appears a disgruntled former Wikileaks insider deleted them all.

In an interview with Der Speigel, former Wikileaks spokesman Daniel Domscheit-Berg revealed that he had deleted 3,500 unpublished Wikileaks files. According to a few tweets from Wikileaks, the documents gone forever include the mythical Bank of America leak—which Assange previously boasted "could take down a bank or two"—and the complete U.S. no-fly list. Assange is steamed, resorting to his go-to tactic when someone has pissed him off: Intuiting that DDB is working with U.S. authorities.

"I have received a warning from a current Western intelligence officer that DDB has been in contact with the FBI on more than one occasion, and that the information from this contact was 'helpful'," he wrote in a statement posted to Wikileaks' Twitter account.

Domscheit-Berg quit in a huff to launch his own Wikileaks competitor, OpenLeaks, says he deleted the files to "ensure that the sources are not compromised." He says Assange is a technical nincompoop who can't protect sources or secure his servers—a charge that's supported by the fact that DDB could "steal" and delete such sensitive documents; Wikileaks doesn't use backups?

The lost secrets could be a fatal blow to Wikileaks, which is still coasting along on the diplomatic cables. Its submission system remains down, and its ability to solicit donations severely hampered by PayPal cutting it off. Julian Assange remains under house arrest for his Swedish sex case. Instead of making history, Wikileaks has been sitting on the sidelines crassly trying to capitalizing on it: When news broke that Libyan rebels had taken Tripoli, Wikileaks tweeted: "If Gadhaffi really wanted to go down fighting, he'd give all state secrets to #wikileaks."

[The Age, image via Getty]