Julian Assange tells Rolling Stone’s Michael Hastings that Daniel Ellsberg, leaker of the Pentagon Papers, has been one of his strongest supporters. He doesn’t have kind words for Bill Keller, former executive editor of The New York Times, which collaborated with WikiLeaks (for a time) to report on “The War Logs.” Keller described WikiLeaks as a source, not a collaborator, in a lengthy New York Times Magazine piece last year.
Keller was trying to save his own skin from the espionage investigation in two ways. First, on a legal technicality, by claiming that there was no collaboration, only a passive relationship between journalist and source. And second, by distancing themselves from us by attacking me personally, using all the standard tabloid character-assassination attacks. Many journalists at the Times have approached me to say how embarrassed they were at the lowering of the tone by doing that.