There’s been an awful lot of press in regards to the soap opera surrounding Julian Assange and his organization WikiLeaks. This report from the Australian Broadcasting Corporation is one of the best yet produced on the issues involved with the sexual assault allegations stemming from Assange’s time in Sweden. It provides some detailed insights into what the nature of those allegations stem from, and importantly, the timeline of events surrounding them.
If only the American ABC, or any of the other English-speaking western media could only be half as good in actually detailing the facts of the case as they stand.
This is a must-watch report for anyone remotely interested in understanding this and the important ramifications to it. The report was completed in July of 2012, shortly before Ecuador provided asylum to Assange, not for fleeing the sexual assault accusations (which he is clearly not doing if one understands the facts of the case), but for avoiding what looks very much like an attempt by the United States to extradite him on charges of “conspiracy to commit espionage.” But as US Ambassador to Australia Jeffrey L. Bleich says about the ongoing legal battles surrounding Assange, “The US has nothing to do with the issue here, it’s simply a matter between the UK and Sweden.” Sure. That’s why this is happening.
The program also documents the harassment experienced by Assange’s supporters across the globe - including his Australian lawyer - and the FBI’s attempts to convince some to give evidence against him. For more insight on what this is about, and the role the US and UK are playing in targeting WikiLeaks in an investigation that is “unprecedented both in its scale and its nature” (which Bleich blithely denies is even happening), read Don’t Lose Sight of Why the US Is Out to Get Julian Assange.
Glenn Greenwald weighs in with this excellent piece on the “bizarre, unhealthy, blinding media contempt for Julian Assange” that one finds among the western press and so-called intellectual class.
When it comes to the issue of WikiLeaks, the bulk of the attention in the American media is about the crime of revealing secrets, not the crimes that the secrets reveal.
And for those who don’t believe we need organizations such as WikiLeaks in order to help keep an eye on the unaccountable nature of the surveillance state, there’s This.
“I’m tired of my government harassing me and violating the Constitution,” says [Binney]. He is “among a group of N.S.A. whistle-blowers, including Thomas A. Drake, who have each risked everything - their freedom, livelihoods and personal relationships - to warn Americans about the dangers of N.S.A.’s domestic spying.”