Thursday, April 11, 2019

Wikileaks/Assange Newsletter #11, May 25, 2018



Compiled by Dick Bennett for a Culture of Peace

(#9 July 21, 2011; #10, Jan. 30, 2012).

See OMNI Manning Newsletters.


Contents  Wikileaks/Assange Newsletter #11  (Newsletters 1-10, 714pp.)
Books by Assange:
The Wikileaks Files: the World According to U.S. Empire.
    Freedom and the Future of the Internet.
Film About Assange:
Ales Gibney, We Steal Secrets: The Story of Wikileaks.

Catching Up with Assange 2017-2018
Roots Action 5-18, Petitioning Equador Not to Cave to US Pressure

Catching Up with Assange 2016   Amy Goodman:  UN Panel Says Assange Being Arbitrarily Detained.  What Will
      Happen Now?  Jan. 2016

Wikileaks/Assange Google Search Feb. 4, 2016

Strong ACLU Protest against 6 Years of Arbitrary Detention  Feb. 6, 2016

Veterans for Peace:  Give Assange his Freedom, Feb. 12

New Paperback Edition of The Wikileaks Files: The World According to US Empire.  Verso, 2016. 



Assange 2012-2015

Assange, Google is Privatized NSA

Assange, Cypherpunks

Gibney, Film about Assange

Greenberg, Wikileaks vs. Secrecy

Hayase, Assange and the Tilted Scale of Justice

Moon, et al., Saving the Internet


OMNI Newsletters

Wikileaks/Assange Newsletters Nos. 9 and 10



Urge Ecuador to Protect WikiLeaks from Persecution by Team Trump
RootsAction Team via 
10:16 AM (3 hours ago)
to James

GRAPHIC: Sign here button
Over the years, WikiLeaks has published thousands of documents revealing misdeeds of corporate and political elites, including war crimes and foreign policy abuses committed by the U.S. government. As a result of its publishing activities, WikiLeaks was threatened and harassed by Washington; some political and media figures called for the murder of its founding editor.

In 2012, the government of Ecuador stood up bravely for freedom of press by granting asylum to WikiLeaks’ founder Julian Assange. For nearly six years, he has resided in Ecuador’s embassy in London, England. But the Trump administration has turned up the heat on WikiLeaks; they want to see him in a U.S. prison.

Please click here to urge Ecuador to remain steadfast in its asylum decision protecting the WikiLeaks editor.

Last year, Attorney General Jeff Sessions said it was his “priority” to try Assange, a publisher, for espionage. Then-CIA director Mike Pompeo, now the U.S. Secretary of State, declared WikiLeaks to be a “non-state hostile intelligence service.” One need not support every decision of WikiLeaks to stand up for its freedom to publish without fear of prosecution by Team Trump.

Unfortunately, there is now evidence that Ecuador may be succumbing to pressure and may consider surrendering Mr. Assange.

Please let Ecuador’s leaders know that you 
support their courageous stand in protecting press freedomas well as their right to grant political asylum and resist United States/United Kingdom intimidation.

Here is the letter that you’re invited to sign:

President Lenin Moreno
CC: Foreign Minister Maria Fernanda Espinosa

In 2012, the government of Ecuador bravely stood up for freedom of the press and against threats from the United States and United Kingdom by granting political asylum to WikiLeaks editor Julian Assange. In response to his publishing activities that revealed U.S. war crimes and imperial misconduct, Assange was threatened with prosecution in the United State for espionage, while some U.S. political leaders called for his assassination. With an even more aggressively militaristic regime in power in Washington D.C. today, we encourage you to stand firm and not renege on Mr. Assange’s political asylum status.

After signing the petitionplease use the tools on the next webpage to share it with your friends.

This work is only possible with your financial support. Please chip in $3 now.

-- The Team

P.S. RootsAction is an independent online force endorsed by Jim Hightower, Barbara Ehrenreich, Cornel West, Daniel Ellsberg, Glenn Greenwald, Naomi Klein, Bill Fletcher Jr., Laura Flanders, former U.S. Senator James Abourezk, Frances Fox Piven, Lila Garrett, Phil Donahue, Sonali Kolhatkar, and many others.

Andy Greenberg, Wired: “The U.S. Charging Julian Assange Could Put Press Freedom on Trial”




Democracy Now! Daily Digest
A Daily Independent Global News Hour with Amy Goodman & Juan González
Thursday, February 4, 2016
The BBC reports the United Nations panel investigating the case of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has ruled he has been "arbitrarily detained." The U.N. says it will not confirm ...Read More →


Friday, February 12, 2016
VFP Calls on U.S. Government to End Persecution of Julian Assange and WikiLeaks
julian assange photo courtesy of pando.comWikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has been wrongly subjected to arbitrary detention for five and a half years, according to a ruling by the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention.  The UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention says that Assange should be able to leave the embassy without facing arrest or extradition.  VFP agrees with the UN panel.
<Full Statement>


Wikileaks/Assange Google Search, Feb. 4, 2016

Recent News and Articles Not Yet Appearing in This Newsletter
Wikipedia  Julian Paul Assange (born 3 July 1971) is an Australian computer programmer, publisher and journalist. He is editor-in-chief of WikiLeaks, an organisation ...Chelsea Manning - ‎WikiLeaks - ‎Sarah Harrison - ‎Embassy of Ecuador, London

Julian Assange is in arbitrary detention, UN panel finds
The Guardian - 13 hours ago  Julian Assange argued he was illegally confined to the embassy because he risked arrest if ...
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.@JohnPilger: Freeing Julian #Assange - The Last Chapter… #WikiLeaks #UNWGAD More:
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A profile of Julian Assange, founder of the whistle-blowing website Wikileaks.
The Guardian
Julian Assange's embassy showdown: what it means and what happens next. Published: ... Julian Assange to be questioned by Swedish prosecutors in London.
The controversial website WikiLeaks collects and posts highly classified documents and video. Founder Julian ... › News › World News › Wikileaks
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17 hours ago - More than three years ago WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange fled into the embassy of Ecuador in London. But why is he there, and will he ever ...
Journalist John Pilger's article 'Julian Assange: The Untold Story Of An Epic Struggle For Justice' is to date one of the best accounts of the miscarriages against ...
For his WikiLeaks bombshells to land with maximum force, Julian Assange needed the mainstream media. Sarah Ellison reports on the Faustian pact between ...
Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, oversees a populist intelligence network. Credit Digitally altered photograph by Phillip Toledano.
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Searches related to Wikileaks, Assange

The WikiLeaks Files:  THE WORLD ACCORDING TO US EMPIRE By WIKILEAKS.   Introduction by Julian Assange.  Verso, 2016.      

What Cablegate tells us about the reach and ambitions of US Empire. Published in collaboration with WikiLeaks.

WikiLeaks came to prominence in 2010 with the release of 251,287 top-secret State Department cables, which revealed to the world what the US government really thinks about national leaders, friendly dictators, and supposed allies. It brought to the surface the dark truths of crimes committed in our name: human rights violations, covert operations, and cover-ups.

The WikiLeaks Files exposes the machinations of the United States as it imposes a new form of imperialism on the world, one founded on tactics from torture to military action, to trade deals and “soft power,” in the perpetual pursuit of expanding influence. The book also includes an introduction by Julian Assange examining the ongoing debates about freedom of information, international surveillance, and justice.

An introduction by Julian Assange—writing on the subject for the first time—exposes the ongoing debates about freedom of information, international surveillance, and justice.

With contributions by Dan Beeton, Phyllis Bennis, Michael Busch, Peter Certo, Conn Hallinan, Sarah Harrison, Richard Heydarian, Dahr Jamail, Jake Johnston, Alexander Main, Robert Naiman, Francis Njubi Nesbitt, Linda Pearson, Gareth Porter, Tim Shorrock, Russ Wellen, and Stephen Zunes.


“Long after the debate over the publication of these cables has been forgotten, the documents themselves will remain a valuable archive for scholars and students of US foreign policy. The essays that make up The WikiLeaks Files shed critical light on a once secret history. ”
—Edward J. Snowden, July 2015

“A deep dive into what the cables reveal about America’s dealings with a variety of states. It will be left to other books to argue whether WikiLeaks is right or wrong in their mission and approach. This one gives solid context to the cables themselves, explaining what they mean to the wider world.”
—Kirkus Reviews

“Takes on a huge amount of data and delivers a thorough introduction to the narratives of US policy that the cables reveal [and] … makes the information in the cables accessible to a wide audience of readers who may not otherwise have the time or background knowledge to search through the data themselves.”
—Publishers Weekly

“Provides accessible insight into nearly every major news topic of today.”
—Portland Press Herald

“From government to big business, if you have a dirty secret, WikiLeaks is your nightmare.”

“I’ve heard the impact of these releases on our foreign policy described as a meltdown, as a game-changer and so on … Is this embarrassing? Yes. Is it awkward? Yes.”
—Bob Gates, US Secretary of Defense, 2010

“The guy ought to be … and I’m not for the death penalty, so if I’m not for the death penalty, there’s only one way to do it: illegally shoot the son of a bitch.”
—Bob Beckel, Fox News

“The whole weighty book is a missile aimed at breaking the plate glass of US diplomacy and revealing its motivations.”
—Sydney Morning Herald

WIKILEAKS, Google Search, 9-13-16, Inc.The WikiLeaks Files: The World According to US Empire - Kindle edition byWikiLeaks, Julian Assange. Download it once ... By Ignoramus on February 4, 2016.
On March 16, 2016 WikiLeaks launched a searchable archive for 30,322 emails & email attachments sent to and from Hillary Clinton's private email server while ...
Transcribed meeting records of a 19 March 2016 meeting between the top two IMF officials in charge of negotiating the Greek debt crisis - Poul Thomsen, the ...
Jun 19, 2016 - WikiLeaks has released an encrypted "torrent insurance" file for download. ... Torrent WIKILEAKS INSURANCE 2016-06-03 (88 Gb encrypted) ... › Writing › Journalism
 Rating: 3.9 - ‎113 votes
The WikiLeaks Files has 113 ratings and 18 reviews. ... Sep 02, 2015 Blair marked it as unfinished · review of another edition. Shelves: ... Sep 09, 2016.
Sep 20, 2016 | 624 Pages ... The WikiLeaks Files exposes the machinations of the United States as it imposes a new form ... From the Trade Paperback edition.
The Washington Times
Jul 27, 2016 - Wikileaks put up a page containing 29 mp3 files of calls, identified by ... 9, 2016file photo, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump ...
The Wikileaks Files: The World According to US Empire - The Bell House
All ticket-holders will receive a free copy of The WikiLeaks Files with entrance. .... EMCF 2016: Haunting Renditions Live: All-Glaz/ser Edition with Eliot Glazer, ...
Jul 27, 2016 - WikiLeaks has released files of what it said were audio recordings pulled ... releases audio files from stolen DNC emails Thursday, 28 Jul 2016 ...
The Guardian
WikiLeaks posted medical files of rape victims and children, investigation finds ... Edinburgh 2016: Private Manning Goes to Washington review – an urgent, ...

In new window
Respect UN, Drop US Espionage Case Against Julian Assange
Just Foreign Policy via 
5:32 PM (17 hours ago)
to me   2-6-2016
Just Foreign Policy

Dear Dick,
Call on the U.S. government to drop threats of prosecution against Julian Assange and commit to not seek Assange's extradition to the U.S.
The UN working group on arbitrary detention has found that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has been arbitrarily detained in London for more than five years and should be released immediately. [1]
Anthony Romero, executive director of the ACLU, said: “In light of this decision, it’s clear that any criminal charges against Mr. Assange in connection with WikiLeaks’ publishing operations would be unprecedented and unconstitutional. Indeed, even the prolonged criminal investigation of WikiLeaks itself has had a profound chilling effect. The Justice Department should end that investigation and make clear that no publisher will ever be prosecuted for the act of journalism.” [2]

Urge the U.S. government to end all criminal investigations and threats of prosecution against Julian Assange and WikiLeaks for publishing by signing our petition at MoveOn:

Thanks for all you do to help make U.S. foreign policy more just,

Robert Naiman, Avram Reisman, and Sarah Burns
Just Foreign Policy

Help support our work!
If you think our work is important, support us with a $15 donation.

Please support our work. Donate for a Just Foreign Policy


Julian Assange: Google Is the Privatized NSA

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange being interviewed by Sky News. (photo: Sky News)

Sarah Hewson, Sky News, Reader Supported News, Sept. 20, 2014

Excerpt: "Julian Assange described to Sky News how Google is essentially a privatized NSA, and discussed his new hope that he will be able to leave the Ecuadorian Embassy in London soon."





JULIAN ASSANGE.  OR Books, 2013.
"Cypherpunks is gripping, vital reading, explaining clearly the way in which corporate and government control of the internet poses a fundamental threat to our freedom and democracy".    Oliver Stone
"Cypherpunks: Freedom and the Future of the Internet is an important wake-up call about a possible dystopian future, which is a technological reality now… While messengers of dangerous outcomes are always met at first with hostility and even mockery, history shows that we disregard such warnings as these at our peril." —Naomi Wolf
"Obligatory reading for everyone interested in the reality of our freedoms." —Slavoj Žižek
"The power of this book is that it breaks a silence. It marks an insurrection of subjugated knowledge that is, above all, a warning to all." —John Pilger
Cypherpunks are activists who advocate the widespread use of strong cryptography (writing in code) as a route to progressive change. Julian Assange, the editor-in-chief of and visionary behind WikiLeaks, has been a leading voice in the cypherpunk movement since its inception in the 1980s.
Now, in what is sure to be a wave-making new book, Assange brings together a small group of cutting-edge thinkers and activists from the front line of the battle for cyber-space to discuss whether electronic communications will emancipate or enslave us. Among the topics addressed are: Do Facebook and Google constitute “the greatest surveillance machine that ever existed,” perpetually tracking our location, our contacts and our lives? Far from being victims of that surveillance, are most of us willing collaborators? Are there legitimate forms of surveillance, for instance in relation to the “Four Horsemen of the Infopocalypse” (money laundering, drugs, terrorism and pornography)? And do we have the ability, through conscious action and technological savvy, to resist this tide and secure a world where freedom is something which the Internet helps bring about?
The harassment of WikiLeaks and other Internet activists, together with attempts to introduce anti-file sharing legislation such as SOPA and ACTA, indicate that the politics of the Internet have reached a crossroads. In one direction lies a future that guarantees, in the watchwords of the cypherpunks, “privacy for the weak and transparency for the powerful”; in the other lies an Internet that allows government and large corporations to discover ever more about internet users while hiding their own activities. Assange and his co-discussants unpick the complex issues surrounding this crucial choice with clarity and engaging enthusiasm.
Publication November 2012 • 196 pages
Paperback ISBN 978-1-939293-00-8 • Ebook ISBN 978-1-939293-01-5


Wednesday, 29 May 2013 15:22   Written by  Jami Philbrick
In 2010 Esquire magazine called filmmaker Alex Gibney “the most important documentarian of our time” ….
I recently had the pleasure of sitting down with documentary filmmaker Alex Gibney over lunch at the Four Seasons Hotel in Los Angeles to discuss his work on We Steal Secrets: The Story of WikiLeaks, as well as his upcoming film Lance Armstrong: The Road Back. The Oscar-winning filmmaker discussed his new movie, why he decided to make a documentary about WikiLeaks, how his opinion of Assange changed throughout the course of making the movie, why the WikiLeaks founder refused to be interviewed for the film, Bradley Manning and the New York Times role in the story, what the future holds for Assange, and the current status of his upcoming documentary about disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong

Here is what the acclaimed filmmaker had to say:
IAR: To begin with, can you talk a little bit about how you choose the subjects for your films and what was it about Julian Assange’s story and WikiLeaks that fascinated you and made you want to make this movie?
Alex Gibney: Well, it was actually brought to me. Universal called me up and said, “Would you like to do this movie?” Sometimes I pick up topics and sometimes they pick me. In this case I couldn’t resist. What was interesting to me about this one, at least at the beginning and it had changed during the course of the movie, was I thought it was a classic “David and Goliath” story, about an itinerant guy with a computer who was going around the world holding the powerful to account What a story. Then it was about a machine, it was about this new device, a new leaking machine that was going to change the balance of power. That’s what I thought it was about to begin with and that’s what made me leap in.
Did your opinion of Julian Assange and the story that you wanted to tell change as you were making the film and as you discovered more information about him? 
Gibney: Yes, it changed. With Julian it changes and I think the first half of the film you’re going, “Go for it dude, you’re my man.” Then it does change because I think Julian changed. Frankly, my opinion of Julian also changed. My opinion of it changed about the value of what WikiLeaks was. I think it’s still very important, but he began to become the very thing he was railing against. Secretive, paranoid, and somebody who believed the end could justify the means. He’s supposed to be about truth, but he ended up telling lies about himself and his own operation. In that way I felt it was important to point out because we can’t allow the foibles of people in positions of power, and I would say Julian had power, to blind us to their faults and to put us in the position of having to say, “Oh, because he’s working for a good cause then anything he does is okay.” No. We should be able to pick and choose, and we should be able to have the a la carte menu. The moral a la carte menu where we say, “No man, what you did here was wrong, and it doesn’t have anything to do with what you’re trying to do with WikiLeaks.”
I understand that you tried to contact Julian at several points in order to interview him for the film and he made that very difficult for you to do, correct?
Gibney: He sure did. One of my executive producers had put up some of the money for his bail and she was my initial contact to him, and she was a good contact. As a result, I met him a number of times and I ended up going to his 40th birthday party and toward the end when it seemed like it wasn’t going to happen, we had this big six hour meeting that I recounted in the film. So I had high hopes it was going to work. I tried very hard to make it work, but at the end of the day I didn’t. It’s a little bit bizarre. At one point in the email exchange I joked with Julian that I might have been the only person on the planet that didn’t get an interview with him because he’s given zillions. For whatever reason he decided not to. You know he likes to feel like the puppet master, and that he’s always in control of everybody. I told him in no uncertain terms that I didn’t work for him, but I wanted to hear what he had to say and that wasn’t good enough.
Is it hard to construct a documentary around a subject that won’t talk to you?
Gibney: Sometimes it’s unexpectedly beneficial. It was unexpectedly beneficial on a film I did that was called Client 9: The Rise and Fall of Eliot Spitzer. With Ashley Dupre, I tried for a long time to interview her. I was in touch with her and many of her handlers. It seemed like it was going to work and then it didn’t. She actually asked for final cut of the film. But in a way that was great because she didn’t cooperate and I ended up finding this other woman, Angelina, who’s actually far more important to the story than Ashley was. So it was a blessing. In Julian’s case, I think his refusal to be interviewed made me do two things that were very important. One was to focus more on the Bradley Manning story, which I’m so glad I did. The second thing was to reach out to this filmmaker/journalist Mark Davis who had something special, which was Julian Assange before he became famous. In fact, he had footage of him just at the moment when he became famous, when he walked out the door and crossed the street to the Frontline Club. I had to see that, and I had to integrate that, to know how to present it. I could’ve asked Julian myself, what was it like? But maybe he couldn’t even remember now. So Julian not giving me an interview ended up making the film good in some unexpected ways.
Since you brought up Bradley Manning and his role in the WikiLeaks story, do you believe that Adrian Lamo betrayed him?
Gibney: Yes. Adrian Lamo lied to him. Adrian Lamo said what he was saying off the record. He was not going to betray his trust when in fact what he was doing was he was mining for information. It’s still unclear what Adrian’s motives were.
What do you think Bradley Manning’s motives were?
Gibney: There’s the poignancy of the story. I said to you earlier, I thought it was a film about a machine. Turns out it’s a film about human beings. Bradley Manning now is looking out at the world and he’s seeing collateral damage being posted. Suddenly he’s in this position where he’s done this huge thing, this enormous leak and nobody can know about it. But he’s also going through his own personal torment. He’s tried to make a difference in society and he’s trying to make a difference in his own life, maybe even change his sex. He needs somebody to talk to. He’s alone. We know from his friend that we interviewed that when he was in Iraq he’s feeling very much alone. So he needs to reach out to somebody and he needs somebody to talk to, which is so often the case with sources. He reaches out to Adrian Lama because he’s a hacker and also because he’s bisexual and he feels somewhat kind of kinship. He feels it’s a safe place to reach out to ironically. But he needs to take credit, and he needs to reveal his secret because if it’s always secret, then he never gets any credit. So we’ll never know exactly why, but that’s why you tell the story. Because if you could say exactly why, you could just release it in a PowerPoint presentation and it would be mechanical, but it’s not mechanical. It’s a strange mixture of conflicting human motives.
As a documentary filmmaker, how much of you own opinion about the subject you are documenting plays into your films? Do you try and keep your opinion out of the story to a certain degree, or do you find that your own opinion often helps to drive the narrative of your movies?
Gibney: My opinion helps drive the narrative. I can’t keep my opinion out, but what I do is…well, there was a filmmaker I was a big admirer of named Marcel Ophus and he did a film called The Sorrow and the Pity. He had a great saying. He said, “Every film has a point of view.” I always have a point of view but the key is showing how hard it is to come to that point of view. It’s a way of integrating that opinion with other opinions so that you’re not saying, this is the truth, and everyone else is a liar. It’s a way of saying that this is what I believe where a lot of other people believe something different.                 
You mentioned that your opinion of Julian Assange changed while you were making the film. Did you have to go back and edit or change anything as you gathered new information, and how did you know when the film was finally finished?
Gibney: Early on I wasn’t sure we were even going to deal with Swedish episode. But I became convinced along the way that we had to deal with it because it was not a private matter. It was something Julian made into a public matter. I think, by the way, it’s also what made him famous. He wouldn’t be nearly as famous as he is now if that storyline hadn’t been integrated into the transparency storyline. That’s an example of trying to reckon with a change and then understanding it within the broader complexity of the story. Because I felt in a film that’s about truth and lies, if somebody’s constructing a grand lie, while saying to everybody he’s a truth teller, it’s something that’s worth telling.
It seemed from the movie that most of Julian’s followers are no longer following him, and that he’s still hiding in the Ecuadorian consulate. What do you think the future holds for Julian Assange and those that believe in what he was trying to do with WikiLeaks?
Gibney: I don’t know. He said he’s going to run for the Senate in Australia. He has a lot of devout supporters who believe that he is the transparency Messiah. But I think that his mechanism and his voice are not so powerful anymore. He’s a smart guy and maybe he’ll reinvent himself. But at the moment I don’t find him to be the repository of much moral suasion. I do think his story will always be a powerful example of what’s possible for good and for ill.
You said that when you began making the film, you thought it was about a machine. Do you still believe that?
Gibney: Turns out it was about people. Not only about Bradley Manning and how he meets ultimately Adrian Lamo, thereby confounding the anonymity of the leaking machine, but also as a publisher Julian regarded himself as a transparency radical. You get all this shit, and you publish it all, end of story. But at the end of the day it turns out that judgments aren’t really necessary. You can’t be mechanical about it. Because if you’re being mechanical about it, you’re making a certain kind of judgment whether you like it or not. It’s a moral one and sometimes it’s a moral one saying, lives aren’t so important to me, it’s the principal that’s more important to me than human life. We don’t know anybody that was killed that was a result of unredacted names. I’m just saying Julian allowed himself to put people in danger because of his radical transparency ideology.
Can you talk about the New York Times role in the WikiLeaks scandal? 
Gibney: The New York Times behaved badly! They behaved badly I think, and I don’t know, because they were threatened. They felt threatened that maybe this is a new kind of journalism. A new kind of platform that’s making them look bad and that therefore they were more vicious towards Julian Assange than they might’ve been from another kind of source who might’ve been a mobster. They deal with a lot of sources of questionable origin and I’ve never seen them go after somebody in such a petty fashion as they went after Julian Assange.




 Mon Mar 4, 2013 1:11 pm (PST) . Posted by:

802 Days and Counting

Julian Assange and the Tilted Scales of Justice by
Justice is one of the most important virtues of a healthy society. The basic idea is that when a wrong is committed, there is a system to help right that wrong in a way that is equitably applied. Marcus Tullius Cicero, orator and statesman of Ancient Rome once said, "Justice commands us to have mercy upon all men, to consult the interests of the whole human race, to give to every one his due." Justice is a scale that does not give favor to one side or the other, but stays in balance equally for everyone.
When something is not just, one will always find an oppressive force at work. Acts of injustice are usually carried out in secret or covered up after the fact. Unless a society loses its legitimacy by devolving into a form of blatant tyranny, those in power will always try to appear to act justly. The oppression of a nation or section of a population is typically rationalized with what appears to be sound reasoning couched in political rhetoric. Examples of this are seen in the ever-expanding ‘war on terror’, activating fear with portrayed threats to ‘national security’ from the Middle East and justifying illegal invasion of a country that is no threat to the attacking country. The rationale often put forth is that they are fighting for ‘democracy’ and ‘humanitarian intervention’, as in Libya, Syria, Mali and other resource rich areas.
Oppression produces inequality. Once it is normalized within society, it becomes invisible and is not easily challenged. Large parts of the population remain unconscious of it and then quietly support it. History is rife with examples of inherently unjust states and their systematic normalization. In the development of the US, the system of slavery, colonial genocide for land and resource extraction and oppression of minorities and women have all historically been carried out despite this nation’s great founding ideals of equality and freedom.
This normalization of oppression is spreading around the world: secret dirty wars and drone attacks; police brutality and extreme surveillance. Government secrecy helps veil the violence and inequality. When oppression is covered up, the public is kept in dark about the consequences and effect on their own lives. In this ignorance, the scale of justice is going askew and society is descending into tyranny.
A shift occurred in 2010. With free flow of information and communication on the Internet, it became harder for those in power to control public perception. The rise of the whistleblower site WikiLeaks, built on the new medium of global internet connection, sparked an awakening. With courageous whistleblowers like Bradley Manning, leaked documents have revealed key aspects of worldwide systemic oppression that is carried out through interlocking systems of collusion between governments and transnational corporations. Along with these leaks that shed light to governments wrongdoing, intense attacks on the organization and its founder Julian Assange exposed the invisible hand pushing the scale in this unbalanced direction.
In a way, Assange has become a symbol of the tilted scale of justice, triggering vitriol and vilification by the controllers of the levers of power. The full force of corporate media outlets, governments and individuals worldwide have carried out unprecedented and prolonged attacks on Assange using all the classic tools of character assassination. As of mid February, he has been detained without charge for 802 days, 240 days at the Ecuadorian Embassy, due to England’s unwillingness to offer safe passage. Kevin McCabe in the conversation with his actor friend John Cusack and law school professor Jonathan Turley noted: "… what happens to [Assange] happens to the First Amendment." Assange’s destiny is tied to the oppression of the world in the sense of him being a kind of canary in a coal mine.
Attacks on Assange and journalists and activists like him are best understood within the social and political reality from which they emerge. In his case, Assange happens to be a founder of an organization that has become extremely influential in the world. Wikileaks’s allegiance, not to a particular country or private institution, but to global justice as a primary principle, exposes systematic oppression around the world that has been covered up and normalized.
In a cable originating from Tel Aviv, racist Israeli policies towards black Jews were revealed that has led to decline in population and living standards. It also showed Israeli official’s motives and techniques of their insidious oppression of Gaza; in order to keep Gaza’s economy near collapse, ‘functioning at the lowest level possible.’ The Collateral Murder video exposed the systematically broken rules of engagement within the military industrial complex and the US government’s war crimes. More than 100 classified or otherwise restricted files from the US Department of Defense revealed the standard operating procedure manual for prison facilities such as Guantanamo Bay that has become a symbol of modern human rights abuses. The list goes on: 1,918 secret diplomatic cables from the US Embassy in Haiti revealed US government’s attempts to block a minimum wage increase for Haitian corporate assembly zone workers. WikiLeaks also exposed the Australian and EU role in Iranian sanctions and leaked materials are being used in multiple court cases around the world.
As a result of massive exposure of government wrong-doing, Julian Assange was officially declared an enemy of the State by the US. From financial blockades to the secret grand jury, WikiLeaks has been the focus of intense attacks and legal machinations. As mentioned earlier, Assange has become a target of possibly the most severe character assassinations in history, much of it spearheaded by mainstream news outlets like The Guardian with tactics of cheap smear that writer Simon Wood carefully dissected and debunked in his recent article.
George Orwell once said, "political language… is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind". The official rhetoric and the corporate media discourse now veils the crimes of the powerful and maintains the appearance of legitimacy. When the scale weighs one side over the other with obvious bias time and again, this skews the court of public opinion and the broken scale of justice is normalized. 20 years ago, no President could openly claim the right to assassinate anyone without widespread outrage. Now this is happening and there is hardly a whimper.
In this system, those who challenge the broken scales are punished and eventually society as a whole loses its sense of reality. Secret reinterpretation and subversion of laws and media spin have become global trends. The NDAA destroys any semblance of Constitutional balance of power in the US and has set the western world back 800 years in the evolution of law. The media mostly ignores it or promotes its political justification. Journalism’s professional creed of ‘objectivity’ has been used to shut out and discredit voices of those who challenge those in power by labeling them pariahs, radicals or terrorists. Words are manipulated to conceal the broken scales and to justify the entrenched system. The oppressed are presented as the aggressors, war resisters as unpatriotic and subversive. Whistle-blowers become spies to be persecuted under a draconian Espionage Act, while real war criminals walk free. War Is Peace. It is total Orwellian doublespeak.
Attempts to be neutral in a situation where injustice is entrenched can lead to one becoming complicit in perpetuating the oppression. Along with worn out manipulation of words like ‘terrorist’, now a new label has emerged. Jemima Khan, Associate Editor of the New Statesman, who supported WikiLeaks in the past, has now called Assange supporters cultish. Khan argued in her recent article that WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange has alienated his allies:

"The problem is that WikiLeaks – whose mission statement was ‘to produce . . . a more just society . . . based upon truth’ – has been guilty of the same obfuscation and misinformation as those it sought to expose, while its supporters are expected to follow, unquestioningly, in blinkered, cultish devotion".Toward the end of the article, she associated Assange with L Ron Hubbard, the founder of Scientology.
Khan has every right to criticize Assange, as anyone does in any case, yet her portrayal of WikiLeaks supporters as "cultish" is concerning. It corrals together countless people from all over the world and all walks of life and portrays them as worshipers of a personality.
In the same article, Khan wrote about her concern involving two women in Sweden. The in-depth analysis entitled"Extraditing Assange: Why The New Statesman is wrong about Julian Assange" dispels the common misconceptions that she was parroting. Khan’s one-sided take reinforces the widely distributed disinformation about Assange’s extradition case. Without providing fuller context of his extradition case, her opinion on Assange itself passed for news. Headlines reading, "Assange becoming a ‘cult’" hit the public and added fuel to anti-WikiLeaks drumbeat. Some people even began praising her public stance as courageous.
Journalist Glenn Greenwald responded to those people hailing Khan’s action. He pointed out that Assange, like every other public figures is subject to criticism. Yet, he opined how this is nothing to do with courage and that there is nothing brave about criticizing "easily one of the most hated people by western governments and establishment media outlets". When the larger scale of justice is so out of balance, perception is easily distorted. In light of three years of prolonged character assassination, there is little balance to begin with in mainstream discussions of this situation. This word ‘cult’ being used by a high profile person like Khan spread like a contagion to extend character assassination to all supporters of Assange. It has helped obscure or delegitimize the very real threats to WikiLeaks and Assange by the most powerful political and military force in the world and to marginalize supporters in the eyes of the public. Most of all, it aids the normalization of systemic injustice.
Established media has become a blatant mouthpiece for power with monopolized airwaves and manipulation of content. Now people are stepping up to crowd-source information through social media and have begun to counter the drastically tilted scale so weighted toward entrenched power. One might call it cultish devotion or see it as supporting a move toward a more just society.
Jemima Khan is the executive producer of the recent film about WikiLeaks called "We Steal Secrets". She wrote about a conversation she had with Assange about the film:

"I suggested that he view it not in terms of being pro or anti-him, but rather as a film that would be fair and represents the truth. It would directly address the claims of his critics, which needed to be included so that the film could be seen as balanced and could reach people beyond the WikiLeaks congregation. He allegedly replied: ‘If it’s a fair film, it will be pro-Julian Assange.’"Whether Assange actually said those words is not clear. Yet, put into actual context, this statement is true. When the scale of justice and ‘perception management’ has already tilted so severely anti-Assange, with years of unprecedented character attacks and often outright lies repeated thousands of times, any real attempt to bring balance to the discussion naturally would have to bring verifiable facts that tend to vindicate Assange’s legal and ethical positions. One does not reach this conclusion from blind worship, but can get there through an open-eyed commitment to restoring justice.
Simply using the title, "We Steal Secrets" directly misrepresents what WikiLeaks does. WikiLeaks doesn’t steal secrets, so a film said to portray WikiLeaks in a neutral way starts out with a misrepresentation right in the title itself. No matter how one tries to justify it, this appears to follow the other anti-WikiLeaks scripts.
Rebalancing the scale of justice depends on each person developing a sense for what is right and also what is true. History has shown how, once the scale of justice is broken by vested interests it leads society toward despotism. We have seen this in the decline of the Roman Empire, in Stalinism, Naziism and all varieties of dictatorships and colonialism. We must speak up for those who are oppressed, persecuted or whose personal character is wrongly maligned, as all our freedom is deeply intertwined and justice counts on us.
Nozomi Hayase is a contributing writer to Culture Unplugged, and a global citizen blogger, at Journaling Between Worlds. She can be reached at:




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Contents of #9  Wikileaks/Assange

Timothy Vaslett:   Defense of WikiLeaks, Assange, Manning

Vaslett, Anonymous:  Monkeywrenching to Defend WikiLeaks

Amnesty International Praises WikiLeaks

Assange Wins Gellhorn Prize

WikiLeaks Blog by Greg Mitchell



Contents of #10 Wikileaks/Assange

Help Wikileaks Expose

Petition for Assange

Rolling Stone Interview of Assange

US Persecution from Manning to Assange

Manning Opponent of War Crimes

Assange and Manning for Nobel Peace Prize

Tens of Thousands More

Justice Foreclosed

Films About Assange

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