“We Steal Secrets: The Story of WikiLeaks” – Analysing the Transcript

The night before the film’s May 24, 2013 opening, WikiLeaks published an annotated transcript of ‘We Steal Secrets: The Story of WikiLeaks’ – a documentary film commissioned by Universal Studios conveniently timed for public release a mere 10 days prior to the commencement of the trial of Pfc. Bradley (now Chelsea) Manning.

Understandably, the transcript is a lengthy production. The annotations contain fascinating and credible insights into WikiLeaks itself, making it worthy of additional study in surplus to its core purpose of highlighting the many factual discrepancies in the script.

The annotations include contextual information but also links to other associated media, some of which is little-known yet highly edifying.

The transcript of the film itself also contains many hidden gems that seem to have escaped prior notice.

This article mines the gems hidden in plain sight, for your benefit.

(The background to the film and to the publishing of the annotated transcript is thoroughly explained in the introductory note linked at the top of the transcript page.)


– The Collateral Murder video that millions have viewed online was followed by a documentary: “Collateral Murder: Hellfire”, filmed by WikiLeaks journalists in Baghdad. The documentary includes heart-wrenching, emotional interviews with the children and relatives of the innocent civilians slaughtered in the video. The trailer for the documentary can be viewed at this link.

– Before the 2012 movie ‘Underground: The Julian Assange Story‘ there was the 1997 book by Suelette Dreyfus based on “thousands of hours of research (by Julian Assange)” – which was later released for free online, and can be read in full at this link (or downloaded in various formats at this one).

– FBI informant Adrian Lamo entrapped Pfc. Manning by claiming their communications were privileged:


– Pfc. Manning wasn’t the only person Lamo informed on and his real target was Julian Assange and WikiLeaks


– Julian Assange is quoted regarding the true meaning behind his teenage handle ‘Mendax’ giving far greater context than what has been purported by other media:


– The film depicts events which it was soon confirmed in court had not happened:


– A journalist for The Guardian newspaper who is used as a primary source in the film once physically and publically attacked/abused another journalist merely for having defended Julian Assange.


– The targeting of journalists affiliated with WikiLeaks is undeniable. Two Kenyan associates were assassinated in 2009.


– The movie doesn’t just paint WikiLeaks and Julian Assange in an unfavourable light – it actually reverses the chronology of events to paint a skewed picture of the experiences, conduct and motive of the alleged source, Pfc. Manning:


– Pfc. Manning says that while employed by the US military as an analyst, that he gathered open source intelligence (OSINT) from media sources including WikiLeaks:



– General Michael Hayden says:


– Ostensibly Pfc. Manning reveals a culture of lax data security practices (and/or copyright infringement?) in the US military:

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– According to Bill Leonard, the ex-Director of the Information Security Oversight Office (ISOO), helicopter gunship footage was exchanged within the military ranks like baseball trading cards:


– The transcript of the soldiers’ conversation while killing the Reuters’ journalist, and others, had already been published in a book. The information was not classified. Yet Pfc. Manning would be tortured and persecuted for revealing it nonetheless:


– FBI informant Adrian Lamo applied a Star Trek strategic decision-making concept to his entrapment of Pfc. Manning:


al2– Life for US soldiers in Baghdad was a far cry from what most people would expect:


– FBI informant Adrian Lamo’s deliberate pulling of Pfc. Manning’s heartstrings in order to entrap him into further incriminating himself included digital hugs and love hearts:


– The salacious “illegally shoot the [SoB]” threat on Julian Assange’s life is quite famous – as was the claim by Time journalist Michael Grunwald that he would like to write a defense of Julian Assange being killed by a drone. However, it turns out there were much more than just those two instances of psychopathic incitement to murder floating about the mainstream:


– It is widely known that Visa and Mastercard and others stopped processing donations for WikiLeaks. What is not well known however, is that while doing so, they apparently continued to process donations to the Ku Klux Klan:


– Oscar-winning documentary filmmaker Michael Moore called the rape allegations against Julian Assange “a whole bunch of hooey” – the accusations had conveniently emerged less than a month after the publishing of The Afghan War Logs.


– The film uses known mainstream media tactics to ridicule Julian Assange. Playing footage of people dancing but switching out the soundtrack, is a technique often used by corporate news channels to mock protesters, dissidents and other political adversaries:


– According to the filmmaker, Manning spent up to a year in solitary confinement, following two months in a “cage” in Kuwait. The FBI informant who entrapped Pfc. Manning, Adrian Lamo, claimed it was ‘ridiculous’ to suggest Manning would be tortured. Yet, Manning was, according to the U.N.’s torture chief.




This article would not have been possible without the obviously immense amount of work invested by WikiLeaks in annotating the full movie script. They continue to release a constant flow of historically important information, under extremely trying circumstances. Please consider donating to them today.