Wordcarpenter Books
The Leaking Hourgalss

Chapter Seventeen

The Day My World Changed

The day The Guardian published their 14 pages of stories was the day I became famous. I think back to that day and analyze my thoughts throughout the day to see if I can find a precise moment when I knew my life would never be the same. I hadn't slept the night before because I drank coffee and read files and prepared my press release and what I was going to say to the reporters waiting for me that morning. My head was clear but I remember feeling very uptight because it felt that I had left a backdoor open. I tried to find the door I had forgotten to lock but couldn't find it. It took time before I realized that the problem was not an open door but that I needed help. I needed a legal team behind me advising me on things not to say, and I needed secretaries who would step up to the plate to take care of importance communication and telephone calls that I didn't have time to manage. I also needed a home base of operations where I could have all the information handy, and where I would be safe to conduct business. None of this did I had in place that day. In effect I went to the lion's den without any defense strategy or body armor.

After that day a friend of mine said: "So you're dealing in information - the intelligence agencies are threatened by you. They can only try to take you down." Over time he said the chances of being apprehended are strong. "They will take you down somehow and they'll keep you down."

When I had sought refuge in the Ecuadorian embassy, he came by and said: "You've really done it. You must be on every powerful government's black list. It's amazing you're still alive. You're probably better off in here." The harsh reality of it is that I am safe in here. and each day that goes by is a blessing. I have roused the eagle from its perch. Thor's hammer still murmurs from the whacking down of barriers. 

Many people have made a point of letting me know they thought I knew what I was doing when I went to the Press Club in Washington DC in April, 2010. A number of people have said to me that that was the moment everything changed, that that was the moment it all began. Ironically it was the time it all started to end for me because as soon as the power structure saw the leader of the movement come out of the shadows, there was no way this small man could take on the power structure and win. Many in the audience witnessing the unveiling of secrets and who followed us closely during the first years of our existence watched with fascination, fully expecting me to make a mistake and end up in jail. I made sure I didn't make any mistakes at all yet they were able to engineer things so that I ended up silenced.

One of the strange things I got to experience during this time was the eerie feeling that our work was having such an enormous effect on governments around the world. We all witnessed how the power structure started to squirm. With respect to the Collateral Murder video, I simply did not expect the war leaders of the US military to state that the helicopter gunship was merely following protocol. It made me nervous to see how they sweat behind their unconvincing words. That was when I sensed that something was afoot behind the scenes and that they were working on a plan to capture me. I kept my eyes open so when I did have an intimate encounter with my friend in Sweden I remember asking myself if it was all okay and mutually consensual. I didn't worry because I hadn't erred but then a few days later, when I was lured in by some serious female charm, I became aware that there had been a breech in my own security against any type of intrusion by those now hunting me. I felt exposed and it didn't take long for Sweden to come after me.

Some might call me paranoid, but after the sexual assault charges emerged from Sweden I became more careful wherever I went. There were some instances where I was sure men were following me from some American agency. At times I feared for my life, and I was well aware at the time that something was going to befall me, and that it was just a question of time.

In retrospect I can honestly say that it was hubris that brought me down. I had been told that I would become a target but I just didn't see it coming at the time. The sexual misconduct charges were an inconvenience from the beginning, an unwanted distraction from my focus. And perhaps the things I said and the things I did were not as wise as I could have been at the beginning of all this. I dismissed it but at the same time I knew it could blossom into something significant and ugly.

Once ones concentration is split, one enters into a dangerous realm of vulnerability. I became hyper-aware of the people around me taking action to destroy me when all I wanted to do was to deal with the information I had been given via the submission platform. My situation had become confusing and dangerous. If I had had my wits about me I would have found a professional bodyguard to take care of my new security worries to free me up to concentrate on the files and the website. The numerous black hats in Washington that wanted me in jail were aware of this "fracturing" in my person and thus sought to exploit it, but since the whole world was watching they had to proceed invisibly. And I must say they did do a good job. How they were able to convince the women to pursue the court case is really beyond me.

I remember warning my co-workers about their safety but they never took my warnings seriously. To be fair they were likely right not to fear ‘The Man' because they weren't the figureheads of the movement. I was. And it was me the media kept singling out, not the organization. This was because if they had focused on the organization and not me, then they would have to focus on The Guardian and The New York Times too as "information outlets." So the state department focused on me rather than the group, which was their first move in their efforts to stop the transparency movement.

 


 

Chapter Eighteen

The Current State of Play

Has the movement waned in recent years? Yes. We have essentially been shut down and splintered. However what we showed the world is being copied around the world. People have realized that information is not just data but can be used as a weapon to protect those being trampled.

In a way, perhaps the movement led by our website was doomed from the beginning. Lawsuits started hitting us after the Afghanistan logs were published. We spent most of our time fighting these lawsuits and of course trying to raise money to pay our lawyers.

The legal mess is like a spider web - I can't move because my limbs are caught in the web. This legal universe governs my actions until rulings can be made that will define future cases like this. Let my case stand for that decision and let justice be done!

But beyond the morass of papers and court dates is the real effect of the published papers. Some have speculated that by sharing this information I weakened the power of America's global stature, and that its credibility took a hit. There were a lot of countries and cities and companies that were rocked to some degree from the cables. It was as if the information produced an earthquake with tremors that went on for a few weeks. The system coughed. There was a bright flash of light that echoed through the corridors of the Internet, and these aftershocks brought inspiration and outrage to millions. It was a Twitter-generated revolution. Twitter was the sparkplug that ignited the run to the website. Stories went viral and linked to my homepage. It was an avalanche of interested readers looking for untainted raw data to consume. This cyber food fed the cyber hippies who smoke and read and daydream all day in their mancaves, each connected to Twitter and Facebook. Organizing the new food on a menu was a task that has kept me busy for most of my time I've spent here in my room at the embassy. Each day I absorb more of the primary sources published on the site. Now I can say that I have read all the material that appears online. It is a lot of data.

Another effect from our hard work was this new feeling of distrust for the American government, not only by their citizens but by allies across the world. No longer were the stats and data coming from American sources trusted as it had before. Now all the information coming from the press secretary and the military sources were now doubted, debated and dissected before being accepted as truth. Where there was once respect and unquestioned acceptance, there was now skepticism. It might sound like a small change but it wasn't. The mighty American machine was now experiencing questions about its honesty and integrity. It was now seen as perhaps a monster with dark secrets, where not all soldiers were honorable, and where military action did not always follow the Geneva code. More and more stories of torture and prison abuse were printed in newspapers around the world, which only served to undermine American forces' efforts.

 

 

Table of Contents

  1. Fair Play in Death  
  2. The Beginning   
  3. I am a Conduit
  4. White Hair
  5. Puppies with Machine Guns
  6. The Leaking Business
  7. Organization of One
  8. The Life of Neo
  9. The Productive Fifth
  10. Unauthorized Biography
  11. The Cold Brick of Jail
  12. Cyber Vikings
  13. Berlin
  14. Censorship
  15. Legal
  16. The Thing in Sweden
  17. The Day My World Changed
  18. The Current State of Play
  19. Addressing World Leaders
  20. Nothing More To Say

 
 

 

 


 

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