'The enemies of Wikileaks are raking in money' - Kristinn Hrafnsson
This is John Robles I’m speaking with Kristinn Hrafnsson, the official spokesperson and the number two at the Wikileaks Organization.
Robles: Do you think the release of this film was timed to coincide with Julian’s election and the Wikileaks party’s elections to the Australian Senate? Do you think there is any correlation?
Hrafnsson: I don’t see a relation there but it is quite obvious that the film is trying to cash in and capitalize on the talk on Wikileaks and Wikileaks matters, and a big support that Wikileaks has around the world.
Just as the two guys, the individuals who sold the film rights for their book capitalized on Wikileaks, now the Spielberg film company is trying to capitalize on the same good will that Wikileaks has around the world, which of course is ironic.
And I thought it was absolutely hilarious to see that at the party in Toronto two nights ago when the film was officially released, those who were drinking the champagne were standing under a canopy of VISA international, which had obviously sponsored the event in some way, when we had in fact been under a banking blockade by VISA for three years and by other financial companies which has wiped out almost all of our resources. So, that was ironic to say the least.
Robles: So, you have these people that are persecuting Wikileaks, they’ve been badmouthing you, they came out with a movie that is a hit job I think, it sounds like it to me, and they are going to make a lot of money off it and they are sitting around and drinking champagne. It is disgusting really. That sounds beyond the pale.
Hrafnsson: Yes, I was quite stunned to see a photograph of the guests of the premiere of The Fifth Estate drinking champagne under the logo of Visa. I thought that was quite ironic but totally in tune with what we’ve been seeing. The enemies of Wikileaks are raking in money.
Robles: They don’t care about lives, they don’t care about peace, they don’t care about anything – truth or rule of laws, just money and anything they can make money with, they’ll do it, even if it means slaughtering millions of people.
I’d just like to make this point, if I was making a film about Wikileaks, (I began communicating with you because I was interested in the real story), I mean if I was going to make a film, I would certainly have somebody from Wikileaks as an advisor, wouldn’t you? How can you make a film about an organization and not include the organization in the film? That sounds ridiculous.
Hrafnsson: There was an attempt by one of the actors to approach the organization. When the script was leaked to us and actually two copies of the script…
Robles: They didn’t just say: “Here you go, here’s the script. What do you think?” It had to be leaked.
Hrafnsson: It was leaked, yes, and it was obvious that this would not be in any way a positive portrayal or true portrayal of what we had been doing in 2010 and what Wikileaks was all about, so there was no interest on our behalf of giving any indication that we were supporting this film as it would be rather obvious that the outcome would be a very negative one simply by the fact that it is based on two books that are very negative in nature.
Robles: What comment does that make for you? I mean the film is called “The Fifth Estate”. What comment would you like to make on the fourth estate as far as Wikileaks goes, as far as all this war propaganda on Syria that is going on right now that everybody knows is false?
Hrafnsson: The title of the film is quite irritating to me as a journalist for 25 years. The media and the journalists refer to us as the Fourth Estate and Wikileaks is very much a part of that environment.
There are very sick elements in the environment of our contemporary media and in journalism that is a simple fact that everybody knows right now, the most notable failure that journalism has had was 10 years ago when the media around the world was echoing the fabrications and lies about the weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and basically without criticism, without digging underneath the surface, was helping in the drum beating that was running up to the invasion.
That was something that people haven’t forgotten and that is something that of course is affecting public opinion at this moment in the Syrian matter. However, I think there are other things that have come into play here and which explains why David Cameron, the Prime Minister of UK, suffered a historic humiliation in the parliament recently when his own party members would not support his efforts to start bombing Syria. And that of course led to the president Obama to change his position and that should he called to the parliamentarians in the US to secure support for an attack on Syria by the US, it is possible that he won’t get it.
Now this is a positive sign, partly it can be explained by the fact that people haven’t forgotten the fact that they were lied to 10 years ago including through the media as well as through any other means but also I suspect that the Wikileaks revelations three years ago about the reality of Iraq war and Afghan war has come to play as well and the information by Edward Snowden has made people more critical and rightfully so against their leaders.
So, possibly we are seeing an indication of a change that is occurring among people who are finally waking up to the reality that they cannot trust their governments.
Robles: What do you think about the speeches by Kerry, by Obama? First they started, and I heard more today by British officials and stuff that is going on in the UK media and in France.
They started out with: “There was an attack, we suspect it was the regime. Then oh we “allege” it was”.
Now they are just quoting it as fact. Kerry came out, he said “we know” 23 times during his speech but he offered no evidence that an attack had taken place or that it had taken place at the order of the government.,
The United States refuses to wait for that logical intelligent solution, which would be just to wait for UN investigation. They refuse to do that. I see a difference here in the Iraq war. They were presenting all these fabricated evidence, the Yellowcake, the WMDs and all these satellite pictures, the trailers, the chemical weapons trailers. This time they aren’t presenting any evidence. Can you comment on that?
Hrafnsson: That is correct that we have not seen an irrefutable evidence of the attack that it was the Syrian government that was accountable for this, no evidence has been presented that can be seen as the proof of the matter. That is true. But the flavor of the entire thing is quite in line with what happened 10 years ago even though there was fabricated evidence at the time being was presented and I have not forgotten and I think people have not forgotten in general, the performance of Colin Powell in front of the UN Security Council in March in 2003 presenting all this cocked-up evidence.
Now we are seeing and hearing words, that is correct, and the obvious thing of course is to push through UN vigorous investigation to find out the reality of the matter.