Hazel Press

Email correspondence between Cryptome and the film maker Alex Gibney regarding possibility of participating in 'We Steal Secrets-The Story of WikiLeaks'. The emails were first published by Cryptome 21st January 2013.

 

 

Jigsaw Productions is first showing its documentary "We Steal Secrets-The Story of WikiLeaks" by Alex Gibney at Sundance today at 5:15PM (Utah time).

 

Cryptome provided emailed material to Jigsaw over several months beginning in May 2011 but declined to appear on camera, and after reading about Jigsaw's biased treatment of targets in previous documentaries, broke off relations at a final meeting with producer Alexis Bloom at Zuccotti Park in September 2011 which was taped in part by the Jigsaw videographer.

 

In the five months before then we met once with Alexis Bloom and then had email exchanges primarily with her and a few with Alex Gibney, head of Jigsaw from May 19, 2011 to December 20, 2012:

 

 

June 24, 2011

 

Your telling about us would be most welcome, an important filter to avoid the snarling, obsessed demands for comments about WL and JA. Perhaps not totally avoidable but might be transformed into more informative accounts, as you aspire with your project.

 

Before the WL furor we were not so cranky about interviews. Indeed, considered them to be in accord with Cryptome's public outreach.

 

Happy to participate and perform to music and song.

 

Regards,

 

Deborah and John

 

 

August 4, 2011

 

Dear Alexis,

 

From the Jigsaw title the "Unnamed Wikileaks Project," the project appears to have retreated into a narrow-focussed commercial theme, perhaps unavoidable in buzzy-headline Media World.

 

The Jigsaw project title is revolting trite-brand marketing.

 

What has come of our discussion about the many substantial contributors to breaking down of the information control hegemon obscured by the hyperbolic Wikileaks promotional frenzy?

 

Repulsed,

 

John and Deborah

 

 

Subject: Re: August 23rd / Jigsaw

From: Alexis Bloom <alexisbloom[at]gmail.com>

Date: Mon, 8 Aug 2011 10:49:05 -0400

Cc: dn[at]pipeline.com

To: John Young <jya[at]pipeline.com>

 

John and Deborah,

 

The title "Unnamed WikiLeaks Project" is simply a placeholder. It's like calling the project "Unnamed Computer Project" or "Information Project," (which it's also sometimes called in the office.) It's a blank title. Basically, the film has no title yet, so it gets given a placeholder that means pretty much nothing at all -- I presume you saw it on the website. (The Lance Armstrong film was called "Bike Film," and every other documentary gets given a generic placeholder like that until somewhere near the end of the editing process, where the actual work of choosing a title begins.)

 

Our discussions remain the same, and we're not retreating into a narrow focussed commercial theme. In fact, I'm going to DC on Thursday to interview Thomas Drake, who's case is particularly interesting to us. His prosecution reveals government policy in a very unsettling way.

 

As I said to you, WL is indeed part of our film - there's no point in saying we're not going to discuss it. But we certainly do not intend to contribute to a hyperbolic WikiLeaks promotional frenzy - quite the opposite. I think we share similar views as far as all of that goes. There's been a lot of incredibly bad (hyped, slathering, incorrect) reporting about WL. Maybe it's not such a bad thing if we correct that. And once a more accurate story is told, we take it further to look at the big picture -- secrecy, transparency, the battle over information, and civil rights in America today. Those are our big themes.

 

If you'd like to talk over the phone, I'd be happy to. But the title on the website is in lieu of putting "Blank Project Because We Haven't Decided What to Call the Project Yet."

 

best, Alexis

 

 

Subject: Re: August 23rd / Jigsaw

From: Alexis Bloom <alexisbloom[at]gmail.com>

Date: Tue, 9 Aug 2011 14:24:31 -0400

Cc: dn[at]pipeline.com

To: John Young <jya[at]pipeline.com>

 

Did you get my last email? Hope so. Am happy to meet / talk again if you want to clarify that we haven't totally lost our way...I don't think we have!

 

best, Alexis

 

 

From: Alex Gibney <pag[at]jigsawprods.com>

Date: Tue, 23 Aug 2011 18:10:16 -0400

Subject: Fwd: August 23rd / Jigsaw

To: jya[at]pipeline.com, dn[at]pipeline.com

 

Dear John:

 

Please say it ain't so.

 

I just returned from a vacation in Maine where I staged-managed my daughter's wedding on an island without electricity.  Having been really off the grid, I didn't catch up to this until now.

 

I don't really know what to say.

 

I was so looking forward to doing the interview with you and Deborah and delighted to think about it in an unconventional way that you had suggested.

 

But I return to discover that you are "repulsed" by the title "Unnamed WikiLeaks Project."  Really?

 

What does it matter?  It's a temporary decal on a mailbox - with absolutely no meaning and absolutely relevance to the final film.  It's a coat on a seat to be occupied at a later date.

 

So many people we have spoken to seem to expect me to know exactly what I want to say before I have said it. "What's your angle?" everyone keeps asking.

 

The fact is: I'm just not that smart that I can imagine what I'm supposed to know before I know it.  Like Columbo, I just bumble forward until I find something interesting.

 

I can guarantee you that I'm not press agenting for anyone nor am I recyling some tired old line.  That isn't what I do.  My past work is the only guarantee I can give about the future.  But I think the record is good.  Hope you do too.

 

Happy to meet to discuss further if you're willing.  I've discovered interesting things.

 

And by the way, I am very interested in the information control hegemon.  Yes, I am.

 

All the best, alex

 

 

Begin forwarded message:From: Alexis Bloom <alexisbloom[at]gmail.com>

Date: August 23, 2011 4:18:07 PM EDT

To: Alex Gibney <pag[at]jigsawprods.com>

Subject: Fwd: August 23rd / Jigsaw

 

Latest response by JY...

 

Begin forwarded message:

 

From: John Young <jya[at]pipeline.com>

Date: August 4, 2011 9:50:44 AM EDT

To: Alexis Bloom <alexisbloom[at]gmail.com>

Cc: dn[at]pipeline.com

Subject: Re: August 23rd / Jigsaw

 

Dear Alexis,

 

From the Jigsaw title the "Unnamed Wikileaks Project," the project appears to have retreated into a narrow-focussed commercial theme, perhaps unavoidable in buzzy-headline Media World.

 

The Jigsaw project title is revolting trite-brand marketing.

 

What has come of our discussion about the many substantial contributors to breaking down of the information control hegemon obscured by the hyperbolic Wikileaks promotional frenzy?

 

Repulsed, John and Deborah

 

 

AND THIS WAS THEIR PREVIOUS EMAIL:

 

 

Hi Alexis,

 

Good to hear you are on the move. Since we last exchanged emails an interview of Deborah and John has been published, one of the few we have done jointly, and which turned out not too badly, we think. It may interest you:

 

http://www.domusweb.it/en/interview/open-source-design-01-the-architects-of-information/

 

That positive experience encourages us to imagine an interview with you would be most fruitful, even beautiful and stylish. Pencil us in for August.

 

Best regards, Deborah and John

 

 

August 24, 2011

 

Dear Alex [Gibney],

 

We're averse to participating further in the Wikileaks exploit. Our suggestions and documents provided to Alexis were intended to provide more substantial sources long involved in disclosures to avoid the narrow focus which has evolved in milking the Wikileaks-centric story. We urge Wikileaks to be seen at best only as a starting point into a much broader investigation of why and how secrecy has corrupted democracy and open societies. WL cannot be the main focus or that will contribute to trivializing a much broader and long-lived effort of thousands of uncelebrated people exploited by a few notables working the disclosure territory -- not least in public interest  documentaries over-dramatizing for appeal in the WL manner.

 

Exploitation of the Wikileaks brand on Jigsaw was unexpected trivialization. A sure sign of what you intend to do. And not what Alexis led us to foolishly believe was possible.

 

Regards, John and Deborah

 

 

August 25, 2011

 

Alex, Alexis,

 

For a scholarly assessment of the open source-secrecy conflict Steven Aftergood of Secrecy News comments on a new book:

 

http://www.fas.org/blog/secrecy/2011/08/institution_osint.html

 

"No More Secrets: Open Source Information and the Reshaping of U.S. Intelligence"

 

by Hamilton Bean

 

Bean sounds like an informative candidate for your research.

 

Regards, John

Cryptome and Gibney’s ‘We Steal Secrets - The Story of WikiLeaks’

From: Alexis Bloom <alexisbloom[at]gmail.com>

Subject: No More Secrets / book

Date: Fri, 26 Aug 2011 07:45:01 -0400

Cc: Alex Gibney <pag[at]jigsawprods.com>

To: jya[at]pipeline.com

 

Dear John,

 

Thanks for this — and we’d noted the book. We’ve interviewed Steven Aftergood, remain in touch with him, and we’re on his mailing list. This looks like an interesting book, and we’re reaching out to Bean.

 

With best wishes, Alexis

 

 

August 26, 2011

 

Yes, indeed, I saw that wretched account, one among many.

 

I’m reviewing an even more disturbing new book, “Top Secret America: The Rise of the New American Security State,” by Dana Priest and William Arkin, which is an expansion of their Washington Post series by the same name.

 

This by the far the most comprehensive look at what has happened to override democracy in the US since 9/11 through vast expansion of excessive classification of government operations and denial of public knowledge about it.

 

The Washington Post and the book’s publisher refused to publish much of what Priest and Arkin found but they provide ample evidence to uncover what would not be published.

 

Their series and now the book have not received the attention they deserve, not least because of the high-level opposition to their disclosures, including by the current administration which promised otherwise.

 

And timing, the Post series came out just when Wikileaks unleashed its most celebrated pr campaign. I have repeatedly pointed to the series as being far superior investigation and more deeply informative to what Wikileaks, ahem, leaked.

 

They describe what verges on being a putsch by the military-intelligence-industry complex exploiting the usual fear, uncertainty and doubt initiated by and now sustained by the 9/11 dramatization of terrorism.

 

There are a dozen or more books, films and documentaries coming out in connection with the 9/11 dramatization, with snarling among those who cannot believe they not only escaped accountability by starting two wars and continuing to rob the treasury but can also cash in on vainglorious misrepresentation.

 

John

 

 

Subject: Re: No More Secrets / book

Date: Fri, 26 Aug 2011 19:43:47 -0400

Cc: jya[at]pipeline.com, dn[at]pipeline.com

To: Alexis Bloom <alexisbloom[at]gmail.com>

 

John:

 

I trust you saw the Times article about Ali Soufan’s book.  The CIA managed to classify public hearings before congress.  quite a trick.

 

Alex

 

 

On Aug 26, 2011, at 7:45 AM, Alexis Bloom wrote: Dear John,

 

Thanks for this — and we’d noted the book. We’ve interviewed Steven Aftergood, remain in touch with him, and we’re on his mailing list. This looks like an interesting book, and we’re reaching out to Bean.

 

With best wishes, Alexis

 

 

Alex, Alexis,For a scholarly assessment of the open source-secrecy conflict Steven Aftergood of Secrecy News comments on a new book:

 

http://www.fas.org/blog/secrecy/2011/08/institution_osint.html

<http://www.amazon.com/More-Secrets-Information-Intelligence-International/dp/0313391556>

“No More Secrets: Open Source Information and the Reshaping of U.S. Intelligence” by Hamilton Bean

Bean sounds like an informative candidate for your research.

 

Regards, John

 

 

Subject: Re: No More Secrets / book

From: Alexis Bloom <alexisbloom[at]gmail.com>

Date: Sun, 28 Aug 2011 11:01:39 -0400

To: John Young <jya[at]pipeline.com>

 

There’s a good film coming out in September 6, “Top Secret America,” on Frontline. Co-produced with Dana Priest. It’s a re-run from July 2010 show. So Frontline obviously thinks it was lost in the WL madness too — great that they’re re-running the show as their fall kick-off. (It’s a higher viewership slot.) I think this is going to gather momentum, and I agree, William and Dana did absolutely ground-breaking, amazing work. The photographs the WaPo took as part of the series are insane.

 

A.

 

 

Subject: Re: No More Secrets / book

From: Alex Gibney <pag[at]jigsawprods.com>

Date: Sat, 27 Aug 2011 15:05:05 -0400

Cc: Alexis Bloom <alexisbloom[at]gmail.com>, dn[at]pipeline.com

To: John Young <jya[at]pipeline.com>

 

I’m really looking forward to reading Dana’s book.  (Though I’m sure it will infuriate me.) I’ve only met her once but she’s a pal of my friend Jane Mayer, who put us on to Thomas Drake and others.

 

I’m currently going through a FOIA process on an FBI/DOJ investigation (you can probably guess) and the redactions are astounding.  Unbelievable.

 

CREW is suing the DOJ on my behalf to get more documents on another corrupt act that directly hid malfeasance I discovered on my Abramoff film.

 

What did you think of Bamford’s last book?

 

Alex

 

 

Subject: Re: No More Secrets / book

From: Alex Gibney <pag[at]jigsawprods.com>

Date: Sun, 28 Aug 2011 14:58:46 -0400

Cc: Alexis Bloom <alexisbloom[at]gmail.com>, dn[at]pipeline.com

To: John Young <jya[at]pipeline.com>

 

My friend, Lawrence Wright on the Ali Soufan scuffle with the CIA:

http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/newsdesk/2011/08/the-cia-ali-soufan.html

 

 

In response to phones message:

September 8, 2011

 

[Alexis] You and Jigsaw are in reconsideration.

 

Regards, John

 

 

A precipitating event is needed to avoid a banal staged interview. Something will turn up with live action potential — for participants behind and in front of the camera. No stunt acting and producing.

 

John

 

 

September 9, 2011

[Alexis]

 

Missing from coverage of Cryptome is the crypt aspect, that is undercover, subterranean, hard to see, not easily available, no profile, back of background, ungrounded, black. This is the work of the architect side of the scholar-architect description of Cryptome which pays the bills.

 

A current architectural project is an example for reconsideration by JigSaw for a somewhat risky video shoot. This is work on a  crypt located in the sur-tony Lower East Side verily adjacent  to the superduper-slick, extremely above ground and flaunting it, The New Museum on Bowery. Bowery, which is under aggressive real estate-cum-art culture marketing as the “next High Line.”

 

Bowery which is under hyper aggressive study by the City of New York for “pedestrianization,” that is clean up the neighborhood of bums for crypto-yuppies wanting a bit of dirt but sanitized dirt, that is redacted of undesirables.

 

Our project is on behalf of those undersirables, to prevent their extreme redaction, erasure, instead to valorize them  as far more valuable than the best of the best art instituions.

 

Our client is the Bowery Mission, a century and a half servant of hungry undesirables. A Old Mission which has been rebuffed by its neighbor New Museum by offensively in chic architectural design and by refusing to exchange ideas of mutual support in fund-raising and serving ostensibly mutual clientele: hungry artists and their indistinguishable cohorts, the hungry unemployed. The New Museum has no use for either detritus while the Old Mission feeds them daily, along with thousands around the United States.

 

We think it might be a pretty good place to do a shoot of Cryptome in architectural crypt action, below the sidewalks of New York where there is a bit of excitement in the dilapidated condition of the Mission’s caverns, now propped from collapse by steel poles and prayers.

 

We think a bit of attention to the Mission being shit on by The New Museum would be a feather in Jigsaw’s cap. We will arrange entry for you as we assay and repair the Mission’s crypts beneath the noses of the assholes who adore high chic of High Line pretentiousness.

 

You risk rodent bite and gagging smells, maybe a tad of  crumbling stone, concrete, unmentionables and indescribables which constitute our architectural palette of cryptology no cryptographer would know what to do with except run for safety online.

 

Take a visit to Bowery Mission on your own, 227-229 Bowery, around lunch time, say hello to our publics, even grab a free lunch. Maybe saunter next door for museum-grade contempt and gaze upon the long list of donors right by the entrance. Some likely yours and Alex’s good buddies who could be persuaded to join the shoot if not contribute to the construction cost of the crypt repair for name recognition inscribed on a less dishonorable tablet.

 

Big donors could get a visit to the crypt project while it is still thrillingly and aesthetically hazardous original art, thus high risk, not yet tamed into cretinism like the High Line’s New High Line. This is not a dig at Wikileaks descent into puerility.

 

John and Deborah

 

 

[Alexis visited Bowery Mission and met with the staff.]

 

 

That’s Step 1 of the crypt-architecture of Cryptome.

 

Step 2.1 is to repeat with your team participating our confrontations at physical sites covered in Cryptome’s Eyeball Series, begun after 9/11 — three of which occurred in the DC area: The National Security Agency HQ, CIA HQ and a CIA-State Dept global communications site near Warrenton, VA.

 

In these instances we gawking citizens were held for background checks and personal data logging before release. In the last case our camera and video memory chips were confiscated with a promise to return them upon request to the CIA, a request to which there was no reponse.

 

Step 2.2 in NYC, to repeat with your team as participants photographing and video taping national security sensitive infrastructure which handles global and financial communications — and those linked by accusations of terrorism, central bank terrorism, governmental debt terrorism, police terrorism and juror terrorism. Easy to visit and see, within walking distance of the downtown Civic Center, aka The Ring of Steel.

 

Step 2.3, in NYC, ditto for the mass transit system upon which I worked as an architectural consultant recently and learned of its appalling insecurity — which has also been superficially reported, honest coverage denied for alleged security concerns, aka security by obscurity.

 

Step 3: Well, that will be provided to our patriotic email spies when we have established secure communications. Consider use of PGP as a baby step. Until we have reliable means our emails to you and Jigsaw should be seen as peurile bullshit lifted from the media as we understand yours and WL’s. Nothing wrong with that as Comedy Central fluff.

 

John and Deborah

September 16, 2011 [Occupy Wall Street coming tomorrow]

[Alexis]

 

Well, congrats, and god be with and protect you.

 

We have not mentioned you to the Mission, but expect they are quite used to being solicited and likely welcome it in return for their own.

 

We had a meet with the Mission yesterday. Noticed a lot of celebrity photos on their conference room wall of humble Nobodies wearing red aprons pretending to be wait people — Couric, Diane Sawyer, Rudy Guiliani, movie stars, preening preachers, financial poobahs, even a US president, not recent: Taft.

 

Nobody photographed in the crypt — some of which was once used for cadaver processing for a coffin maker above, the inhabitant shortly before the Mission built its outpost to loft cadavers upward.

 

Haven’t met any disciples, but was thrilled at seeing those hanging on the wall.

 

We’re at a tight moment right now with the Mission, designing and developing cost figures due in a couple of weeks. Field meeting with cost estimators this coming Monday. No construction scheduled until next year unles a Sugar Booger is found, so if anything is arranged for you it will be to show existing conditions, which are more visually, rocky horrifying, than fixing things up, bleh.

 

Regards, John and Deborah

 

 

September 24, 2011

[Alexis]

 

It is impressive that you have engaged top officials like Hayden and Leonard, ex-officials never really ex- due to lifetime secrecy vows, unbound after officeholding to doublespeak official shutmouth about spying on meddlers while mushrooming the vast secrets compendium.

 

Nobody who has had access to secrets can be expected to tell the truth about them, lying and dissimulation forever is a condition of access as well as for giving up access. Once in no way out. Thus required in all secrecy agreements.

 

We will never know what they know and they know that and are enslaved to obey the terms of privilege.

 

Is there a way to end this except having the secretkeepers and their irresistable liquor disappear? Likely not.

 

Dispensers of the secrecy liquor are manifold, not least by opportunistic opponents fond of the drink’s persuasive magic.

 

You should video Anthony Haden-Guest, a fellow ex-pat not at all ex-NYC bartender who masterpieces the art of loosening tongues with generous pours of flattery. Then double-crosses.

 

John and Deborah

 

 

September 30, 2012

[Alexis]

 

Let’s do something at OccupyWallStreet. Cryptome has been covering it for two weeks with photos and video and tweets.

 

Over the 9/11 decade Deborah and I have done several graphic and eyeball pieces on Wall Street, WTC, Police Headquarters and its over-hyped “Ring of Steel,” the Federal Courts, Detention Centers, Public Monuments, the NY Federal Reserve Bank, Global Communications Hubs in the area, the whole cartel of gov-priv deals fostered by secrets, terror, finance, law enforcement, fearmongering, intimidation, titillation and bribery of the MSM and fringe media.

 

This is good precipitating event to highlight in situ the range of Cryptome’s interests and will help contextualize (spit) the more theatricalized WL showboating. In the open, no confidential deals and ear licks. Bring in bystanders, ruckus make. Be terrorists.

 

We will be there this afternoon for the march on Police HQ and whatever happily unfolds over the coming months. This could be a big booster to your launching platform

 

John and Deborah

 

 

Penultimately:

 

On September 30, 2011, we met Alexis and a Jigsaw videographer (sorry, don’t remember his name) at Zuccotti Park, stated that we had read accounts in law suits about Gibney’s biased treatment of targets — flattering them to take part in interviews then betraying their trust with attacks of highly selective quotes and clips for maximum drama and entertainment. Based on that we said we wanted nothing more to do with Jigsaw, that Gibney was a double-crossing son of a bitch like most documentarians and journalists. We asked the videographer if he recorded that. He said yes. We went off to video OWS and they followed behind videoing our videoing.

 

Latest:

 

Subject: Re: Review of We Steal Secrets

From: Alex Gibney <pag[at]jigsawprods.com>

Date: Thu, 20 Dec 2012 21:19:24 -0500

To: John Young <jya[at]pipeline.com>

 

Not finished yet, despite the NYT preview. It will premiere at Sundance and debut thereafter. You will certainly have a chance to review.

 

Alex

 

 

On Dec 20, 2012, at 4:23 PM, John Young wrote:

 

I would like to review the film when suitable.

 

John

 

 

Sounds from NYT like a most impressive work. When is it showing NYC?

 

Regards, John Young

 

Cryptome.org