New on NewsReal – "WikiLeaks: The Movie(s)," Coming Soon to a Theater Near You

My latest NewsRealBlog post:

The enemies of liberty may be gaining steam in Egypt right now, but Hollywood doesn’t seem to notice. No, to them we’re still our own worst enemy. Mike Fleming at Deadline reports that no less than seven potential film projects based on cyber-anarchist Julian Assange and his whistle-blowing organization WikiLeaks are under consideration:

The Hurt Locker screenwriter Mark Boal and Management 360 have partnered with financier/producer Megan Ellison to option The Boy Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest, an article about WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange in The New York Times Magazine written by the newspaper’s executive editor Bill Keller. Ellison, an exec producer of True Grit, will finance development through her Annapurna Pictures and she, Boal and Management 360 will produce. Boal might write the film, but that will depend on if he has time […]


His is just the latest in a growing number of Julian Assange/WikiLeaks movies that should continue to swell as more books about the controversial figure get published. I’ve heard DreamWorks is circling Inside WikiLeaks, a book that will be released February 15. It is written by Daniel Domscheit-Berg, Assange’s number 2 at WikiLeaks who defected because he wanted WikiLeaks to apply journalistic discretion in the dispersal of secret government documents while Assange wanted to release as many as he could get his hands on.

There is also the $1.5 million memoir by Assange. Movie/TV rights will be handled by CAA for lit agency Peters Fraser & Dunlop, and rumors are that The Bourne Ultimatum director Paul Greengrass might come attached (insiders said that’s not definitive). Among the other Assange movies that have already mobilized, Universal  Pictures will finance and distribute an Alex Gibney-directed documentary on Assange and WikiLeaks that will be produced by Gibney and former Universal Pictures chairman Marc Shmuger, and HBO is in talks with BBC to collaborate on a pic that would be based partly on  Raffi Khatchadourian’s New Yorker article No Secrets: Julian Assange’s Mission for Total Transparency. Another documentary, WikiLeaks: War, Lies and Videotape has been picked up to be distributed by Zodiak. There are two more books available for movies: WME is handling Megaleaks by Andy Greenberg, and there is also WikiLeaks: Inside Julian Assange’s War On Secrecy is coming from David Leigh and Luke Harding, two reporters from UK’s The Guardian who were the first to receive leaks from Assange and then shared them with Der Spiegel and The New York Times.

All of this is to be expected, of course—Hollywood has a track record of presenting the United States government as the bad guy in our conflicts abroad, from Vietnam onward. They pretty consistently bomb at the box office, but Hollywood keeps churning them out anyway, their left-wing ideology drowning out whatever good business sense or understanding of what the audience wants they may have.

Read the rest at NewsRealBlog.

WikiLeaks and the Soul of the Libertarian Movement (UPDATED)

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This week, I’ve devoted several posts to libertarians shilling for Julian Assange, WikiLeaks, and Bradley Manning. But are these examples representative of the libertarian movement as a whole? Let’s take a look around the blogosphere:
So while, there are some voices of reason and conscience within the libertarian movement, there are lots of bad apples. I sympathize with those good-faith believers in individual liberty and limited government who’d genuinely like to see their house get back in order; it’s going to be a tough, messy battle, But it’s a battle they’ve got to undertake if libertarianism as a whole is going to deserve respect. The health & respectability of any movement can be judged by the degree to which it self-polices wrongdoing by its members. Chris Wysocki captures my thoughts perfectly:
Of course it’s all predicated on their belief that the public has a “right” to know everything which the government says or does; coupled with the assertion that no statement is exempt from the free speech protections embodied in the First Amendment. It’s about “trust”, as in the libertarians have absolutely no trust in the elected government.

Welcome to the promise of a world governed by a cross between the pre-imperial Roman Senate and a typical New England town meeting. It’s one step above organized chaos, predicated on the notion that everyone is equally capable of governing himself.

And here I thought that only progressives dreamed of utopia […]

One could say the same about my libertarian interlocutors. They seek to destroy authority, and replace it with, well exactly what I’m not sure. It’s some sort of idealized leave-me-the-hell-alone universe where a subset of the Articles of Confederation are in effect and a never-ending supply of Founding Fathers (or a clone army comprised of Murray Rothbards and Friedrich Hayeks) stands at the ready to prevent deviation from The Path.

That in a nutshell is my beef with strong-form libertarianism. I believe in the Constitution, so much so that I an willing to work within its framework to effect the changes we so desparately need. The power of the ballot box should not be underestimated. In addition America has a long and noble history of peaceful protest, the massing of public opinion in a focused attempt to make our voices heard. We are America, hear us roar!
 UPDATE: The Classic Liberal responds in the comments:
The “prophetic” words were those of Russell Kirk, the undisputed godfather of the conservative movement who said “Perpetual War for Perpetual Peace comes to pass in an era of Righteousness — that is, national or ideological self-righteousness in which the public is persuaded that ‘God is on our side,’ and that those who disagree should be brought here before the bar as war criminals.”

The quote that followed about Assange was not written by Lew Rockwell, but by retired USAF lieutenant colonel Karen Kwiatkowski. 

I apologize for my mistake.