"Roman Candle" turns 20: Secrets of Elliott Smith's accidental masterpiece (slideshow)
Elliott and the friends with whom he recorded in middle school in Texas (photo courtesy of Dan Pickering)
When it comes to making news, WikiLeaks is going it alone — and in a crowd.
Last week, the whistle-blowing organization dropped 120,000 more diplomatic cables, apparently drawn from the cache of 250,000 first tapped last November. But whereas the group previously collaborated with newspapers such as the New York Times and the Guardian — and redacted potentially sensitive information — the new batch of documents is unredacted. Government sources worry that personal information might jeopardize the safety of diplomatic sources. Human rights activists worry that applicants for political asylum may face reprisals.
Instead of partnering with senior editors in London and Washington, WikiLeaks is now engaging in social media crowd-sourcing — asking for recommendations of interesting cables at #wlfinds on Twitter. While the editorial process is slow, the new documents are yielding news stories such as:
WikiLeaks is also crowd-sourcing the redaction issue, by polling its Twitter followers on whether they favor releasing the remaining cables from its cache without any redaction. Respondent have “favored disclosure at a ratio of of 100 to one,” according to the Guardian.
The unexpected info dump was apparently triggered after WikiLeaks discovered that an encrypted file has been floating around the Internet for months containing the entire database of U.S. diplomatic cables. The password necessary to unlock the files was apparently the same one mentioned by the Guardian in a book published about WikiLeaks in February. (The Guardian has a more complete explanation of the snafu here.)
Peter Finocchiaro is a senior editor at Salon. Follow him on Twitter @PLFino.More Peter Finocchiaro.
Heatmiser publicity shot (L-R: Tony Lash, Brandt Peterson, Neil Gust, Elliott Smith) (photo courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)
Elliott and JJ Gonson (photo courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)
"Stray" 7-inch, Cavity Search Records (photo courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)
Elliott's Hampshire College ID photo, 1987
Elliott with "Le Domino," the guitar he used on "Roman Candle" (courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)
Full "Roman Candle" record cover (courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)
Elliott goofing off in Portland (courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)
Heatmiser (L-R: Elliott Smith, Neil Gust, Tony Lash, Brandt Peterson)(courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)
The Greenhouse Sleeve -- Cassette sleeve from Murder of Crows release, 1988, with first appearance of Condor Avenue (photo courtesy of Glynnis Fawkes)