Uncovered: Wikileaks — Secrets and Lies
Friday, 9.30pm, BBC Knowledge Like him or loathe him, Julian Assange is a fascinating study. This meaty documentary pulls together the main players and events that saw WikiLeaks burst on to the international scene in 2006. Interviews with Assange and the editors of The Guardian, The New York Times and Der Spiegel trace how the work of this eccentric Australian uncovered lies, betrayal and material capable of disrupting US relations with 100 countries. It’s also the story of how Assange turned triumph into disaster. At first he charmed the newspaper contacts who initially found him captivating and charismatic. The Guardian’s Nick Davies was the first journalist to see the potential in the story; he thought Assange ‘‘ bright, fun, brave and likable’’. Along with his colleague David Leigh, he was appalled by the ‘‘ horror stories’’ hidden in spreadsheets Assange produced containing more than 93,000 lines of incomprehensible military jargon relating to the Afghanistan war. But they began to realise they were ‘‘ dealing with someone not quite on the same planet’’. When they refused to publish material that named informants, Assange’s reply was: ‘‘ They’re American informants, they deserve to die.’’ Cocky, self-assured, he remains as defiant as ever today.