Tag Archives: Wikileaks

Wikileaks and Assange – complicated but compulsory reading

I’ve let my thinking about Julian Assange and Wikileaks swing one way and then the other in the last 10 days – and make no apologies for what you might call being quick to change position but I’d rather say is being open minded. The work done by Wikileaks and its founder is so important that it bears time and attention to work out what’s going on as best we can.

Assange’s publisher Colin Robinson added some excellent perspective today in the Guardian, following on from what was a lengthy but revealing and insightful recent piece by would-be Assange ghost writer Andrew O’Hagan. It prompted me to write the following comment in response to the Guardian piece.

Great to have this counter point to O’Hagan’s piece – this is valuable material.

I disagree with you on this bit, the second sentence:

O’Hagan’s LRB piece is no part of an organised dirty tricks campaign. But by focusing as it does on Assange’s character defects, it ends up serving much the same purpose.

O’Hagan’s piece is essential to understanding where all the confusion arises from in all things Assange.

I read it as a huge admirer of what Assange has achieved. I concluded it thinking that Wikileaks and/or its founder were done – too difficult to work with to the point of taking themselves out of the equation on these issues.

Your piece has re-opened my thoughts on this – so I’m grateful for that.

Must get my copy of Cypherpunks.

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Greenwald on Snowden, self and conventional media

Guardian journalist Glen Greenwald, who brought NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden to the public eye, speaks at length on the last few momentous weeks. His speech follows a series of scoops revealing the massive extent of US government surveillance and storage of digital communications worldwide.

The talk, which starts at 10 minutes in, features Greenwald’s reflections on how the Snowden story evolved over recent months. It’s funny but also hugely revealing about the sorry state of conventional journalism generally, just the point I try to make in Fraudcast News.

The talk gives additional insight into the extraordinary character that is Edward Snowden, how he deliberately chose the dangerous course he is now on rather than just closing his mouth in the face of mounting evidence of executive agencies having gone feral.

He talks of the bravery Snowden has demonstrated, an example from which he personally draws strength and urges others to do the same.

“Courage is contagious,” says Greenwald.

He rips into conventional journalism as done by the New York Times versus the work of Wikileaks – the difference coming down to whether or not the respective organisations are pleasing or displeasing the people in power.

Greenwald is introduced by Jeremy Scahill – whose talk starts from 3 minutes in – the  journalist behind Dirty Wars: The World is a Battlefield.  He’s also well worth a listen.

“We are living in a moment when real journalism is under attack,” Scahill says, highlighting the Obama administration’s criminalisation of investigative journalism, its escalation of covert drone strikes and attacks against whistleblowers.

“All of us have a moral obligation to stand in opposition to those declarations and those policies whether it’s a Democrat in office or a Republican in office,” Scahill urges.

He also condemned attempts to smear Greenwald’s name and reputation in the wake of his Guardian stories.

“This is what they do when someone stands up and tells the truth,” Scahill said.

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