It’s the second script in as many weeks for Wikileaks. Last week, the organization dropped what it alleges to be the script of an HBO-funded film on Julian Assange and Bradley Manning, one the leaking organization claims received aid from the governments of the United States and United Kingdom.
Hot off leaking the script to the Benedict Cumberbatch-led Fifth Estate, the Wikileaks account tweeted a link Thursday to a new script, allegedly that of the HBO/BBC project spearheaded by Rowan Joffe, confirmed to have signed on to the project in June.
Leak: HBO/BBC script to yet another laughable US/UK funded anti-WikiLeaks movie http://t.co/kVmLdeE3CU
— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) October 3, 2013
In another tweet, Wikileaks accuses The Guardian of being in cahoots with HBO, BBC, and the two governments as well.
Neither HBO nor BBC have yet to confirm that the script is, in fact, their work. The script, which Wikileaks posted on the bizarre “experienced studio” website ageispolis.net, opens with Bradley Manning watching the video the world would come to know as “Collateral Murder.” It focuses much of its attention on the release and impact of this video, as well as characters within the Wikileaks narrative directly in relation to that video, paramount among them hacker Adrian Lamo.
It also takes its time to develop the character of Julian Assange, and herein one suspects lie most of Wikileaks’ objections to the script. It depicts a Julian Assange that starts his journey a wandering dandy, prone to strokes of arrogance and increasingly alarming those around him with his concern that governments want to take him out.
By the time he starts negotiating with larger media organizations, Assange becomes ruthless. At a celebratory dinner with editors from The Guardian, Assange refuses to redact names from the wires they are working on, insulted at the proposition. “This is typical of the bleeding heart middle class hand wringing I’ve come to expect from the so called liberal press,” he tells them, concluding bluntly, “If an Afghan informer gives information to coalition forces he deserves to die.”
While the script overall does not paint the most favorable picture of the Wikileaks founder, it also does little to inspire sympathy for its own author. The Assange character in particular criminally abuses clichéd one-liners like “you are either with me or against me!” and “nobody’s taking me down,” at one point dropping the line, “I’m not a hacker–I’m a journalist” with the sort of hackneyed aplomb normally reserved for David Caruso.
It certainly appears to be a work in progress, no matter whose work it ends up proving to be–Rowan Joffe’s, the American government’s, or a “leaker” looking to dupe Wikileaks.