WikiLeaks turns 10: Biggest secrets exposed by whistleblowing project
On Tuesday, WikiLeaks celebrates its 10th anniversary. The project aimed at exposing government and corporate secrets has evolved from an obscure citizen journalism site to a global phenomenon headed by an embassy-harbored fugitive.
RT takes a look at some of the highest-profile leaks that WikiLeaks was involved in over the decade.
US hardware lists
Among the earlier WikiLeaks releases were documents detailing American military equipment deployed in Afghanistan and Iraq. Those included hardware ranging from Humvee armored cars to exotic kit such as portable mobile chemical and biological stations – similar to those that the US falsely claimed Saddam Hussein had.
Another early target for WikiLeaks was the Church of Scientology, which the organization branded as a for-profit cult. After its operating documents were published, the Church threatened an injunction.
In 2007 WikiLeaks released classified standard operation procedures for treating terror suspects at the Guantanamo Bay detention facility. It was revealed that some of the prisoners were designated off-limits for the International Committee of the Red Cross. Further documents about how Gitmo works were published over the years.
In 2010 WikiLeaks had is publicity breakthrough after publishing classified footage showing US troops shooting from Apaches helicopters at targets on the ground in Baghdad, most of them civilians.
The materials were leaked by Chelsea Manning along with other materials, landing the Army analyst in jail for 35 years.
Other documents leaked by Manning included hundreds of thousands of US diplomatic cables, which WikiLeaks released in 2010 and 2011. The organization worked with leading media outlets to redact the cables to prevent any harm to sources mentioned by American diplomats and similarly vulnerable individuals.
LEAK: US Embassy Cables http://cablegate.wikileaks.org #cablegate— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) 28 November 2010
‘Shadow CIA’ leak
In 2012 and 2013 WikiLeaks published documents stolen from Startfor, a security consultant firm dubbed a “shadow CIA” for its connections in the intelligence community. The leak touched on a number of issues, from domestic surveillance in US to secret operations in Syria.
Shady trade deals
On several occasions WikiLeaks published classified draft texts of big international free trade agreements like the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership agreement and others. Negotiated in secrecy, the deals were encroaching on civil freedoms, the organization said.
While government secrets are apparently a priority for WikiLeaks, big corporations from Bank Julius Baer to commodity giant Trafigura to entertainment conglomerate Sony came into its crosshairs as well. The latter was allegedly hacked by North Korea in November 2014. WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of stolen documents and emails in April 2015, saying it was exposing Sony’s ties to political circles.
DNC email leak
This year WikiLeaks got involved in the US presidential election when it released hacked emails from the Democratic Party and exposed its leadership as biased against Bernie Sanders in favor of Hillary Clinton. The Clinton campaign accused the Russian government of the deed without any proof. WikiLeaks also published Clinton’s own emails from the time she served as Secretary of State.