People inadvertently put things on the internet they don't want revealed all the time. But you'd think Julian Assange would avoid such an amateur mistake. Not so: He accidentally uploaded all of his precious State Department cables, unredacted, to the internet.
Assange and Wikileaks have made much of the fact that they worked with media outlets like the Times and the Guardian to responsibly and gradually release the 250,000 State Department cables allegedly leaked to the group by imprisoned Army private Bradley Manning. But if reports are to be believed, that effort was for naught: All of the raw cables are floating around the internet, including names of informants and sources that could put their lives in danger.
According to Der Spiegel:
Since the beginning of the year, an encrypted file has been circulating on the Internet containing the collection of around 251,000 US State Department documents that WikiLeaks obtained in spring 2010 and made public in November 2010.
How this leak occurred is hazy, but has its roots in the conflict between Julian Assange and his former right-hand man, Daniel Domscheit-Berg. In September of last year, Domscheit-Berg got fed up with Julian Assange's dictatorial management style and left, taking a bunch of Wikileaks documents with him, including the cables. But Domscheit-Berg returned the cables at the end of the year. Big mistake. Soon after, Assange accidentally included the file in a cache he gave to supporters to put on the web as part of a public archive of old Wikileaks leaks, according to Der Spiegel. They unknowingly posted the cables online at the end of last year, then someone else published the password to the encrypted file, allowing effectively anyone to see them.
Who accidentally posted the cable cache? Last December Wikileaks supporters launched Wikileaks.info, an archive of old Wikileaks' leaks. "Our goal is… to show the 'old leaks' that happened when Wikileaks was not that popular," the sites' administrator, a woman who called herself "Xenia," told us at the time. She also admitted to a "very loose" connection to Wikileaks staffers. The timeline and mission of Wikileaks.info match with how the cable leak allegedly occurred. (Xenia didn't respond to our email seeking comment.)
Wikileaks' cablegate leak is a lot like Anthony Weiners' dick. Once it's on the internet, we're going to see the whole damn thing, eventually. If anyone has more information about the leak, please email me: Adrian@gawker.com.
[Image via Getty]