Editorials
2014-02-18
  NSA and GCHQ spying on WikiLeaks
2013-12-09
  Second release of secret Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement documents
2013-11-29
  WikiLeaks consultant Gottfrid Svartholm Warg extradited from Sweden after alleged access to NSA contractor CSC
2013-11-29
  WikiLeaks Calls for US to Drop Grand Jury
2013-11-15
  Hammond Support Letter from World Media
2013-11-15
  US, Australia isolated in TPP negotiations
2013-11-07
  Announcing Australian Preview Release of Mediastan - WikiLeaks’ Fifth Estate Challenger
2013-11-06
  Statement by Sarah Harrison
2013-11-03
  Video: Snowden meets with German MP regarding being witness in NSA spying investigation
2013-11-01
  Press Release: German Release of Mediastan - WikiLeaks’ Fifth Estate Challenger
2013-10-25
  El Ingeniero: Communicado de Prensa
2013-10-24
  Announcing preview of "The Engineer"
2013-10-23
  Comunicado de Prensa: WikiLeaks estrena el desafía "El Quinto Poder": Mediastan - Un 'Road Movie' de WikiLeaks
2013-10-17
  Press Release: US Release of Mediastan - WikiLeaks’ Fifth Estate Challenger
2013-10-12
  Video: Edward Snowden wins Sam Adams award
2013-10-11
  Watch MEDIASTAN
2013-10-11
  Press Release: WikiLeaks Releases Fifth Estate Challenger: Mediastan - A WikiLeaks Road Movie
2013-10-09
  RELEASE: Julian Assange Correspondence with The Fifth Estate Star Benedict Cumberbatch
2013-10-09
  First Letter from Julian Assange to Benedict Cumberbatch Over The Fifth Estate
2013-09-30
  The Fifth Estate
2013-09-16
  Editorial: Release Barrett Brown
2013-09-06
  Swedish Police Open Investigation into Seizure of War Crime Evidence
2013-09-03
  WikiLeaks Files Second Criminal Complaint in Germany
2013-09-03
  Swedish Police Opens Criminal Complaint File ahead of Wednesday’s Obama Visit to Sweden
2013-09-02
  Press Release: WikiLeaks Launches Criminal Investigation ahead of Wednesday’s Obama Visit to Sweden
2013-08-27
  Op-ed: Google and the NSA: Who’s holding the ‘shit-bag’ now?
2013-08-27
  Op-ed: The Banality of ‘Don’t Be Evil’
2013-08-21
  Statement by Julian Assange on today’s sentencing of Bradley Manning
2013-08-15
  Response to Today’s Bradley Manning Statement
2013-08-01
  Statement on Snowden’s Successful Russian Asylum Bid
2013-07-30
  Statement by Julian Assange on Verdict in Bradley Manning Court-Martial
2013-07-12
  Statement by Edward Snowden to human rights groups at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport
2013-07-03
  MasterCard breaks ranks in WikiLeaks blockade
2013-07-02
  Edward Snowden submits asylum applications
2013-07-01
  Statement from Edward Snowden in Moscow
2013-06-26
  Further Statement From Baltasar Garzón
2013-06-26
  Transcript of WikiLeaks Press Conference on Edward Snowden’s Exit From Hong Kong
2013-06-24
  Statement From Baltasar Garzón
2013-06-23
  WikiLeaks Statement On Edward Snowden’s Exit From Hong Kong - UPDATED
2013-06-23
  Profile: Sarah Harrison
2013-06-23
  WikiLeaks Statement On Edward Snowden’s Exit From Hong Kong
2013-06-22
  Statement by Julian Assange after One Year in Ecuadorian Embassy
2013-06-04
  Assange Statement on the First Day of Manning Trial
2013-06-03
  Bradley Manning Trial FAQ
2013-05-24
  WikiLeaks Leaks the Annotated Transcript of Universal’s WikiLeaks Documentary Ahead of Opening Tomorrow Night
2013-05-11
  For the next 49 days you can donate to WikiLeaks
2013-04-22
  Transcript of secret meeting between Julian Assange and Google CEO Eric Schmidt
2013-02-07
  Eight FBI agents conduct interrogation in Iceland in relation to ongoing U.S. investigation of WikiLeaks
2012-12-20
  Statement by Julian Assange after Six Months in Ecuadorian Embassy
2012-12-16
  WikiLeaks declares war on banking blockade
2012-12-05
  Julian Assange Presentation to EU Parliament on Corruption Revealed in Cablegate
2012-11-29
  Assange statement regarding CNN’s Erinn Burnett show comment on Ecuador
2012-11-27
  European Commission enabling blockade of WikiLeaks by U.S. hard-right Lieberman/King, contrary to European Parliament’s wishes
2012-11-26
  WikiLeaks donations now tax deductible EU wide
2012-11-20
  European Parliament votes to protect WikiLeaks
2012-10-10
  WikiLeaks GI Files Presidential Campaign Release
2012-10-03
  Press Statement: In this election, vote with your wallet, Vote WikiLeaks
2012-09-27
  Transcript of Julian Assange Address to the UN
2012-09-26
  US Military Refers to Julian Assange and WikiLeaks as the "enemy" with the "victims" being "society"
2012-09-26
  Background for UN Talk - Ongoing Investigation into WikiLeaks
2012-09-11
  Inside the secrets and lies behind ’Secrets and Lies’
2012-09-10
  The public relations state: full details of WikiLeaks & Assange Ofcom complaint over "WikiLeaks: Secrets & Lies"
2012-08-23
  Statement on U.K. intentions and pressures prior to Ecuadorian embassy siege
2012-08-19
  Official Statement by Julian Assange from the Ecuadorian Embassy
2012-08-16
  Statement on UK threat to storm Ecuadorian embassy and arrest Julian Assange
2012-07-18
  Press Release: WikiLeaks opens path through banking siege. Donations open.
2012-06-29
  Press Statement: By Julian Assange Defense Fund Outside the Ecuadorian Embassy
2012-06-28
  Press Release - WikiLeaks: Beat the Blockade CD
2012-06-21
  Wikileaks has launched a case against Valitor hf. (formerly VISA Iceland)
2012-06-19
  Effective Declaration of Abandonment from Australian Government
2012-04-18
  Smear and Enjoy
2012-04-17
  Press Release - 500 Days of the WikiLeaks Banking Blockade
2012-04-05
  Assange Submissions to the Leveson Inquiry
2012-03-06
  Kristinn Hrafnsson: The Great WikiLeaks War on Sweden?
2012-03-06
  Press release: WikiLeaks on Recent Fabricated Stories in the Swedish Press
2012-02-15
  WikiLeaks denounces UNESCO after WikiLeaks banned from UNESCO conference on WikiLeaks
2012-01-23
  New Assange TV Series
2011-12-16
  Statement on Bradley Manning Case
2011-11-30
  Guardian’s "WikiLeaks: Secrets and Lies" Documentary:
2011-10-23
  WikiLeaks Press Statement: WikiLeaks vs the Banks
2011-09-22
  Julian Assange: Statement on the Unauthorised, Secret Publishing of the Julian Assange "autobiography" by Canongate
2011-09-19
  WikiLeaks Launches the First of Four Fundraising Auctions
2011-08-24
  US espionage investigation against WikiLeaks: PATRIOT Act order unsealed
2011-06-15
  In Conversation with Julian Assange Part II
2011-05-24
  "WikiSecrets" Julian Assange Full Interview Footage
2011-05-23
  In Conversation with Julian Assange Part I
(on 2013-10-09)

First Letter from Julian Assange to Benedict Cumberbatch Over The Fifth Estate

Wednesday 09 October 2013, 15:25 UTC

Today WikiLeaks publishes the first letter from Julian Assange to Benedict Cumberbatch regarding "The Fifth Estate", a Dreamworks movie about WikiLeaks set to open in the UK on Friday 11 Oct, and in the US on Friday 18 Oct. The press release about this letter is here. The letter was sent to Benedict Cumberbatch after he made overtures to contact Julian Assange in January this year, immediately before principal photography commenced.

Date: Tue, 15 Jan 2013
From: Julian Assange
To: Benedict Cumberbatch
Subject: Message from Assange

Dear Benedict,

Thank you for trying to contact me. It is the first approach by anyone from the Dreamworks production to me or WikiLeaks.

My assistants communicated your request to me, and I have given it a lot of thought and examined your previous work, which I am fond of.

I think I would enjoy meeting you.

The bond that develops between an actor and a living subject is significant.

If the film reaches distribution we will forever be correlated in the public imagination. Our paths will be forever entwined. Each of us will be granted standing to comment on the other for many years to come and others will compare our characters and trajectories.

But I must speak directly.

I hope that you will take such directness as a mark of respect, and not as an unkindness.

I believe you are a good person, but I do not believe that this film is a good film.

I do not believe it is going to be positive for me or the people I care about.

I believe that it is going to be overwhelmingly negative for me and the people I care about.

It is based on a deceitful book by someone who has a vendetta against me and my organisation.

In other circumstances this vendetta may have gone away, but our conflict with the United States government and the establishment press has created a patronage and commissioning market – powerful, if unpopular – for works and comments that are harmful to us.

There are dozens of positive books about WikiLeaks, but Dreamworks decided
to base its script only on the most toxic. So toxic is the first book selected by Dreamworks that it is distributed to US military bases as a mechanism to discourage military personnel from communicating with us. Its author is publicly known to be involved in the Dreamworks production in an ongoing capacity.

Dreamworks' second rights purchase is the next most toxic, biased book. Published and written by people we have had a bitter contractual dispute with for years, whose hostility is well known. Neither of these two books were the first to be published and there are many independent authors who have written positive or neutral books, all of whom Dreamworks ignored.

Dreamworks has based its entire production on the two most discredited books on the market.

I know the film intends to depict me and my work in a negative light.

I believe it will distort events and subtract from public understanding.

It does not seek to simplify, clarify or distil the truth, but rather it seeks to bury it.

It will resurrect and amplify defamatory stories which were long ago shown
to be false.

---

My organisation and I are the targets of political adversary from the United States government and its closest allies.

The United States government has engaged almost every instrument of its justice and intelligence system to pursue—in its own words—a ‘whole of government’ investigation of ‘unprecedented scale and nature’ into WikiLeaks under draconian espionage laws. Our alleged sources are facing their entire lives in the US prison system. Two are already in it. Another one is detained in Sweden.

Feature films are the most powerful and insidious shapers of public perception, because they fly under the radar of conscious exclusion.

This film is going to bury good people doing good work, at exactly the time that the state is coming down on their heads.

It is going to smother the truthful version of events, at a time when the truth is most in demand.

As justification it will claim to be fiction, but it is not fiction. It is distorted truth about living people doing battle with titanic opponents.  It is a work of political opportunism, influence, revenge and, above all, cowardice.

It seeks to ride on the back of our work, our reputation and our struggles.

It seeks to cut our strength with weakness. To cut affection with exploitation. To cut diligence with paranoia. To cut loyalty with naivety.  To cut principle with hypocrisy. And above all, to cut the truth with lies.

The film's many distortions buttress what the prosecution will argue. Has argued. Is arguing. In my case, and in that of others. These cases will continue for years.

The studio that is producing the film is not a vulnerable or weak party.

Dreamworks' free speech rights are not in jeopardy – ours are.

Dreamworks is an extremely wealthy organisation, with ties to powerful interests in the US government.

I must therefore question the choices and motives behind it: the opportunism, fears and mundanity; the unwritten rules of film financing and distribution in the United States; the cringe against doing something useful and brave.

I believe that you are a decent person, who would not naturally wish to harm good people in dire situations.

---

You will be used, as a hired gun, to assume the appearance of the truth in order to assassinate it. To present me as someone morally compromised and to place me in a falsified history. To create a work, not of fiction, but of debased truth.

Not because you want to, of course you don't, but because, in the end, you are a jobbing actor who gets paid to follow the script, no matter how debauched.

Your skills play into the hands of people who are out to remove me and WikiLeaks from the world.  

I believe that you should reconsider your involvement in this enterprise.

Consider the consequences of your cooperation with a project that vilifies and marginalises a living political refugee to the benefit of an entrenched, corrupt and dangerous state.

Consider the consequences to people who may fall into harm because of this film.

Many will fight against history being blackwashed in this way. It is a collective history now, involving millions of people, because millions have opened their eyes as a result of our work and the attempts to destroy us.

I believe you are well intentioned but surely you can see why it is a bad idea for me to meet with you.

By meeting with you, I would validate this wretched film, and endorse the talented, but debauched, performance that the script will force you to give.

I cannot permit this film any claim to authenticity or truthfulness. In its current form it has neither, and doing so would only further aid the campaign against me.

It is contrary to my interests, and to those of my organisation, and I thank you for your offer, and what I am sure is your genuine intent, but I must, with inexpressible regret, turn it down.

Julian Assange

READ THE PRESS RELEASE ABOUT THIS LETTER HERE

READ THE WIKILEAKS MEMO HIGHLIGHTING INACCURACIES IN THE FILM HERE.

VIEW AN ADVANCE VERSION OF THE FIFTH ESTATE SCRIPT HERE

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