According to an activist who spoke to Wired Magazine on condition of anonymity, despite transition procedures laid out before he turned himself in this morning, WikiLeaks is a state of confusion tonight.
Assange left Icelandic television journalist Kristinn Hrafnsson in charge of the group in his absence, the activist said. But now the embattled organization’s secrecy and compartmentalization are apparently hindering its operations.
Specifically, midlevel WikiLeaks staffers have been mostly cut off from communicating with hundreds of volunteers whose contact information was stored in Assange’s private online-messaging accounts, and never shared with others.
“There is an ongoing plan, but that plan was only introduced to a few staffers — key staffers,” explained the source. “We are experiencing chaos.”
WikiLeaks was scrambling to produce a statement in a dozen languages Tuesday to address Assange’s arrest, which was finally released tonight.
“Today, Wikileaks editor-in-chief Julian Assange was refused bail by a UK court. While we are troubled by this bizarre decision, we know Julian is grateful for the support of both his legal team and prominent figures such as Ken Loach, Jemima Khan and John Pilger.
“However, this will not stifle Wikileaks. The release of the US Embassy Cables – the biggest leak in history – will still continue. This evening, the latest batch of cables were released, and our media partners released their next batch of stories.
“We will not be gagged, either by judicial action or corporate censorship. Today Visa joined Mastercard, Paypal, Amazon, EveryDNS and others in cutting off their links.“Wikileaks is still online. The full site is duplicated in more than 500 locations.“
And when Assange’s autocratic leadership style was challenged by some staffers last year, he described his importance to the organization in no uncertain terms. “I am the heart and soul of this organization, its founder, philosopher, spokesperson, original coder, organizer, financier and all the rest.”
His absence, says the Wired source, is being felt acutely. “The organization will most likely start to fall apart now.”
We can only hope.