There’s a lot of commotion going on about the potential for faked WikiLeaks transcripts, and almost everyone is getting all of the details wrong or confusing it with a separate issue. So, to clarify:
- WikiLeaks did not publish any fake documents or transcripts
- Hillary Clinton herself went so far as to confirm them
- Someone did (we’ll get to who)
- This issue is separate from whether or not the hackers behind the leak are Russian
- People on both sides keep conflating the two issues
- Other forgeries, not published by WikiLeaks, have surfaced and been attributed to these hackers
First, nothing WikiLeaks has published has been shown to be faked. Several releases have been validated, and Hillary Clinton herself confirmed the authenticity of some of the documents from the latest set of releases.
Second, the transcript was faked and originally posted by “Real True News” several days before it was edited and falsely attributed to WikiLeaks. Anyone examining the full transcript would have seen that it was an obvious fake. How obvious? Well…
It and the presentation were obvious parodies. However, things began to go off the rails when The Impious Digest reposted part of the transcript, removing the part that made it an obvious parody, and falsely attributed it to WikiLeaks. From there, it was picked up by the American Mirror, InfoWars and other fringe outlets. As a result, many in the media began to warn people about such forgeries.
After that, Impious Digest deleted their tweet and edited their post. They didn’t post a retraction or explain what had happened – they simply changed the article to one that used a real transcript and discussed other issues. The URL, however, remained the same – apparently to not let any incoming links to go to waste.
This fake transcript that was then deliberately and falsely attributed to WikiLeaks by The Impious Digest is what people were referring to when they said that there were inaccuracies and forgeries in the WikiLeaks release. They simply believed the attribution. However, other pundits on the pro-WikiLeaks side of things have seized on this (while overlooking all the details) as proof of a media agenda against WikiLeaks – which is a problem because the false information and attribution emerged from someone who appears to be in the PRO-WikiLeaks camp. There’s a sad irony in the fact that this misattribution created an opportunity that’s now being seized by other pro-WikiLeaks groups and individuals.
In other words, everyone is seizing on this story to try to bolster their camps claims – regardless of the facts. Some will try to use this to increase skepticism of WikiLeaks releases while others will try to use it to dissolve the skepticism. In reality, WikiLeaks’ record remains unchanged in this regard.