WikiLeaks and the information war

Updated
File Photo: Wikileaks founder Julian Assange at the window of the Ecuadorian embassy in Knightsbridge, west London on December 20, 2012.
File Photo: Wikileaks founder Julian Assange at the window of the Ecuadorian embassy in Knightsbridge, west London on December 20, 2012.
Leon Neal/AFP/Getty Images, File

On Wednesday’s NOW with Alex Wagner, acclaimed documentary filmmaker Alex Gibney will join the panel to discuss his latest film, “We Steal Secrets: The Story of WikiLeaks.”

The film tells the story of two men–WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and Bradley Manning, a U.S. soldier arrested in May 2010 on suspicion of having leaked classified material to WikiLeaks.

Assange, an Australian teen hacking prodigy and free speech advocate, shot to international fame when his organization publicly released thousands of secret U.S. documents that came into his possession in 2010. The film tracks his rise from teen hacker  (codename: Mendax or “Noble Liar’) to media frontman in a campaign against censorship. His subsequent downfall–he was accused, but not charged with sexually assaulting two women in Sweden–has led to the Ecuadorean Embassy in London, where he lives in order to avoid extradition to that country.

The film also tells the story of Manning, a social outcast stationed at a Forward Operating Base in Iraq, who, shocked by some of the things he saw, believed people across the world needed to see the darker sides of the war. His isolation, gender identity issues and increasing emotional instability are examined at length.

A third figure in the plot is Adrian Lamo, dubbed the “homeless hacker,” who finds himself in a no-win situation when Manning confides in him.

On Wednesday’s show, Gibney and the panel will discuss the central figures in the story as well as the daily information war waged between governments and journalists, free speech advocates, and hackers.

Some of Gibney’s other films include: Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room (2005), Taxi to the Dark Side (2007) and Client 9: The Rise and fall of Eliot Spitzer (2011).

WikiLeaks and the information war

Updated