Whistle blower Hero Julian Assange
Julian Paul Assange is an Australian editor, publisher, and activist who founded WikiLeaks in 2006. WikiLeaks came to international attention in 2010 when it published a series of leaks provided by U.S. Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning.
How WikiLeaks works
WikiLeaks is a transparency organization and online publisher founded in 2006 by Julian Assange. It reveals censored and restricted materials, specializing in large data sets and has published over 10 million documents with a perfect record of authenticity.
The documents released by WikiLeaks have shown the inner workings of governments, corporations, trade deals, wars, and much more.
Julian Assange founded WikiLeaks to:
“bring important news and information to the public… One of our most important activities is to publish original source material alongside our news stories so readers and historians alike can see evidence of the truth.”
Key points about WikiLeaks:
- WikiLeaks documents have been cited in tens of thousands of articles and academic papers.
- WikiLeaks releases have been used in numerous court cases promoting human rights and human rights defenders.
- WikiLeaks has contractual relationships and secure communications paths to more than 100 major media organizations from around the world. This gives WikiLeaks sources negotiating power, impact and technical protections that would otherwise be difficult or impossible to achieve.
More about DEFEND WIKILEAKS
US Army manual for Guantanamo prison camp
LEAK: Assange Releases a 238-page Army manual from 2003 on “standard operating procedures” for the Camp Delta prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
TRUTH: The manual showed the Army had a policy of keeping some prisoners from Red Cross inspectors and holding new prisoners in isolation for two weeks to make them more compliant for interrogators.
570,000 messages sent on 9/11
LEAK: Julian Assange’s WikiLeaks published more than half a million pager messages sent within a 24-hour period around the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks that killed nearly 3,000 people.
TRUTH: The messages included exchanges from “Pentagon, FBI, FEMA and New York Police Department” officials. “We hope that its entrance into the historical record will lead to a nuanced understanding of how this event led to death, opportunism and war,” WikiLeaks said of the release.
Video of US helicopter fire killing civilians in Iraq
LEAK: Julian Assange’s WikiLeaks published video footage from a 2007 U.S. Apache helicopter attack in Baghdad, Iraq, that killed at least nine men, including a Reuters news photographer and his driver.
TRUTH: Army soldier Bradley Manning, a transgender woman who later became known as Chelsea Manning, was later arrested for the release of the video and other classified material about the conduct of the war and civilian deaths.
WikiLeaks video: ‘Collateral murder’ in Iraq
Iraq and Afghanistan war documents
July and October 2010
LEAK: Julian Assange’s WikiLeaks published a trove of classified documents about U.S. military action. It released more than 90,000 documents related to Afghanistan and later published more than 400,000 documents from the war in Iraq.
TRUTH: The documents included information about civilian deaths, the hunt for al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden and Iran’s backing of militants in Iraq.
State Department cables
November 2010 to September 2011
LEAK: Julian Assange’s WikiLeaks released more than 250,000 unredacted U.S. diplomatic cables dating from December 1966 to February 2010 in what was referred to as “Cablegate.”
TRUTH: Then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called the release “an attack on the international community.” The documents included verification that the U.S. had conducted secret drone strikes in Yemen, details of U.S. efforts to get information on United Nations representatives, a push by Saudi Arabia’s royal family to have the U.S. strike Iran and a description of Russia under Vladimir Putin as a “virtual mafia state.”
1. The Saudi King pressed for a U.S. attack on Iran
King Abdullah, the aging ruler of Saudi Arabia, has repeatedly urged the U.S. to attack Iran—”cut off the head of the snake”—and destroy its nuclear facilities. It’s not just Saudi Arabia, though. According to the cables, leaders in Israel, Jordan, and Bahrain have also called for military action against Iran.
2. Iran may have North Korean missiles
The Islamic nation reportedly obtained missiles from North Korea capable of attacking Russia and Western Europe. Iran is said to have 19 North Korean BM-25 missiles, and officials warn the rockets might give Tehran “the building blocks” to build larger, long-range missiles on its own.
3. The U.S. is in a nuclear standoff with Pakistan
The U.S. has been trying to remove highly enriched uranium from a Pakistani research reactor for three years, fearing it could end up being used in a nuclear device. Pakistan has so far refused to grant access, as its officials worry that local media would portray the move “as the United States taking Pakistan’s nuclear weapons.”
4. The U.S. has been secretly bombing Yemen
The U.S. has launched covert missile attacks on terrorist targets in Yemen. But in a meeting with Gen. David Petraeus, Yemeni president Ali Abdullah Saleh says “we’ll continue saying the bombs are ours, not yours.” These air strikes killed several civilians, says Justin Elliott at Salon, and this revelation may yet “spark a backlash against Saleh.”
5. China has been cyber-attacking Google, the Dalai Lama
The cables confirm that Chinese cybe-terrorists were behind an intrusion into Google’s computer systems last year. The attack prompted Google to withdraw from the country in March 2010. Chinese hackers have also broken into the U.S. government, businesses, and even the personal computer of the Dalai Lama, according to the leaked cables.
6. Hillary Clinton has reportedly ‘spied’ on the U.N.
The secretary of state issued a classified directive ordering U.S. diplomats to gather information on the leadership of the United Nations, including credit card numbers, DNA, fingerprints, and iris scans. Officials targeted included U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki Moon and representatives from China, Russia, France, and the U.K. This may violate international treaties, suggests The Guardian.
7. Silvio Berlusconi and Vladimir Putin have a special relationship
The friendship between the Italian and Russian prime ministers goes even deeper than previously thought, reports The Guardian. Cables detail the exchange of “lavish gifts,” deals over lucrative energy contracts, and “the use by Berlusconi of a ‘shadowy’ Russian-speaking Italian go-between.”
8. Afghanistan VP carried $52 million in traveling money
When Ahmed Zia Massoud, Afghanistan’s vice president, made a trip to the United Arab Emirates last year, he was discovered to be in possession of $52 million in cash. In a cable, the American Embassy in Kabul confirmed Massoud was allowed to keep this “significant amount” without explaining why or how he came to be carrying it. Massoud denies carrying the cash.
9. The U.S. bartered with Guantanamo prisoners
The State Department was so desperate to empty Guantanamo Bay that it attempted to barter with various countries to take prisoners. Slovenia was told it might receive a visit from President Barack Obama if it accepted detainees, and the island nation of Kiribati was offered millions of dollars in incentives to accept Chinese Muslim prisoners. American diplomats suggested taking in prisoners would be “a low-cost way for Belgium to attain prominence in Europe.”
10. World leaders aren’t exactly treated with deference
The cables include a number of “diplo-disses,” says Emily Rauhala at Time. Kim Jong Il, North Korea’s dictator, is labeled a “flabby old chap” by one source. Berlusconi is “feckless, vain, and ineffective as a modern European leader.” Zimbabwean leader Robert Mugabe shows “deep ignorance on economic issues,” and the American embassy in Moscow refers to President Dmitry Medvedev playing “Robin to Putin’s Batman.”
Stolen 2016 emails
July and October 2016
LEAK: Julian Assange’s WikiLeaks released nearly 20,000 Democratic National Committee emails and on Oct. 7, 2016, it released another 2,000 emails from Clinton campaign manager John Podesta.
TRUTH: The emails, which U.S. intelligence later determined had been stolen by hackers working for the Russian government, appeared to show that the DNC had favored Clinton over her rival, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders. Among the damaging information in Podesta’s emails was the news that then-acting DNC Chairwoman Donna Brazile had given the Clinton campaign debate questions in advance.
Julian Assange, WikiLeaks founder, arrested in London
According to the indictment, Assange was accused of conspiracy to commit computer intrusion in order to help Chelsea Manning gain access to privileged information which he intended to publish on Wikileaks. This is a less serious charge in comparison to those leveled against Manning, and carries a maximum sentence of five years with a possibility of parole. More
NEWS STORIES ON THE PROSECUTION OF JULIAN ASSANGE
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The Assange Story. WikiLeaks founder’s journey from whistleblowing hero to exile
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