Posts Tagged ‘attacks against Assange and Wikileaks’
By Mike Head – 12 April 2012
In the lead-up to the impending UK Supreme Court decision on the fate of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, the Australian Labor government has taken several steps that underscore its close involvement in the global operation against him by the Obama administration. Far from protecting any of the basic legal rights of Assange—an Australian citizen—the Gillard government is doing everything it can to help Washington railroad him to jail and silence WikiLeaks.
According to WikiLeaks, Britain’s highest court is expected to hand down its decision next week. Assange has appealed against rulings by lower courts to extradite him to Sweden to be questioned by a prosecutor on concocted and baseless sexual assault charges. Despite not being charged with a single offence, he has now spent nearly 500 days under house arrest.
The UK court is Assange’s last legal avenue of appeal in Britain. If he loses the case he can be removed to Sweden within days, where he could be held in solitary confinement for months. From there, he is set to be extradited to the United States, where he was indicted by a secret Grand Jury in December 2010. Under the reactionary Espionage Act of 1917, Assange could face lengthy imprisonment or the death penalty.
Even if Assange succeeds in his UK appeal, the US authorities are likely to unseal the Grand Jury indictment and seek his extradition direct to the US—assisted by the Australian government. Read the rest of this entry »
Thursday, April 05, 2012
RT: “Assange in final battle against extradition”
By Marcello Ferrada de Noli Read the rest of this entry »
Julian Assange has been a remarkable source for mainstream media. So why has he been so ill-treated in return? There are many accusations levelled at him and his organisation, and whatever their bases, none of them justifies the reactions. And this hurts journalism as a whole.
Over the past several months leading figures of the news industry have lined up at journalism conferences and in the MSM (“mainstream media”) to hammer Julian Assange’s reputation. Astonishingly, the people bashing the founder of Wikileaks are the same people who relentlessly pursued and used him as a source. Protecting the source is what reporters in general and investigative reporters in particular are supposed to do, but a glaring exception is being made for Assange.
It’s been happening at least since October, when David Leigh ↑ and Heather Brooke ↑ , both of The Guardian and authors of recent books about Wikileaks, took the stage at the Global Investigative Journalism Congress in Kiev to denounce Assange’s alleged treachery and lechery. They did the same again in Paris at UNESCO in February. On both occasions no representatives of Assange’s organization were asked to speak; so much for open debate. The details deserve to be outed.
Leigh has repeatedly complained that Assange makes deals, then breaks them. As Leigh and Ian Harding recount in Wikileaks: Inside Julian Assange’s War on Secrecy, Assange first annulled his exclusive deal to publish Wikileaks’ archives with The New York Times, Der Spiegel and The Guardian (he brought in two other dailies) after the Times ran a front-page piece that portrayed him as a megalomaniac. True or not, try to think of another source whom The Times exposed like this, facing the dangers Assange faces. A source needn’t be crazy to wonder whose side such partners are on and start looking for a Plan B. (Which he found, as we’ll see later.)
Leigh has also blamed Assange for the release of hundreds of thousands of raw documents that can put individuals who work with the US government in danger. What happened, according to Leigh in Kiev, is this: Assange gave him a cryptographic key allowing temporary online access to a server where the documents were stored. Leigh assumed that the key had expired when he and Harding wrote their book, and they published it down to the last letter. The server was immediately cracked and the documents spilled out. Leigh claims that Assange had not warned him that the key still worked. Publishing it was still a grave mistake in more ways than one. By blaming Assange, Leigh cannot help but raise the risks for him. According to Wikileaks, the Stratfor emails hacked by Anonymous indicate that a sealed indictment has already been issued on Assange, and that the US might “declassify the death of a source” that could be tagged to Wikileaks. Read the rest of this entry »
But The FBI turned a computer hacker to build its case against a group of people it alleges are responsible for a string of audacious attacks that captured the personal details of more than one million people.