WikiLeaks` spokesman to step down: Report

A leading spokesman for WikiLeaks, the whistle-blower website, is quitting, citing organisational shortcomings and clashes with the group`s high-profile founder, Julian Assange.

Updated: Sep 28, 2010, 20:51 PM IST

Berlin: A leading spokesman for WikiLeaks,
the whistle-blower website, is quitting, citing organisational
shortcomings and clashes with the group`s high-profile
founder, Julian Assange.

Daniel Domscheit-Berg, who was known as Daniel Schmitt
while acting as spokesman, said WikiLeaks has structural
problems stemming from its rapid growth, the German magazine
Der Spiegel reported.

WikiLeaks was thrust into the international spotlight
earlier this year when it released some 76,000 pages of
classified US military documents related to the war in
Afghanistan.

"Because of the high pressure we have all been under
following the publication of the American military documents,
we have not been able to restructure our organisation
accordingly. This has created a situation in which not all of
the work is being done correctly, and that is overwhelming the
project," Domscheit-Berg said, CNN quoted Der Spiegel as
saying.

"WikiLeaks has a structural problem. I no longer want
to take responsibility for it, and that`s why I am leaving the
project," he said.

Domscheit-Berg is one of a handful of people to have
spoken on behalf of WikiLeaks, as the task typically falls to
the website`s founder, Assange.

Domscheit-Berg said he had clashed with Assange over
what he saw as the founder`s increasing concentration of
resources on fewer and larger leaks, and over whether Assange
should take a more back-seat role following the rape and
molestation allegations made against him in Sweden last month.

"In my opinion it would have been best if he (Assange)
had pulled back a bit so that he could quietly deal with these
problems. It would have been fine if he had continued his
normal work out of the spotlight. But he clearly saw my
internal proposal as an attack on his role," Der Spiegel
reported Domscheit-Berg as saying.

According to the magazine`s account, and a posting on
Wikileaks` Twitter page, Domscheit-Berg was suspended from the
firm about a month ago.

"Julian Assange reacted to any criticism with the
allegation that I was disobedient to him and disloyal to the
project. Four weeks ago, he suspended me -- acting as the
prosecutor, judge and hangman in one person," Domscheit-Berg
told Der Spiegel.

PTI