By Robert Stevens 10 March 2011 WikiLeaks : Inside Julian Assange’s War on Secrecy, by David Leigh and Luke Harding, published by the Guardian newspaper, is now being paraded as the “official” account of WikiLeaks and its founder Julian Assange. It is in reality a politically-motivated hatchet job aimed at discrediting Assange and facilitating his persecution by the Obama administration and its allies in the UK and Sweden. The Guardian was the first of the five print media partners WikiLeaks worked with to assist in the publication of secret US diplomatic cables, beginning in late November of last year. Within a month of their initial publication, the newspaper had broken off relations with Assange. The new book by Leigh and Harding is in line with the Guardian’s campaign of character assassination against Assange, including its public declaration in favour of his extradition to Sweden.
Right now, Wikileaks whistleblower Bradley Manning is being tortured in a US military prison. Manning is subjected to utter isolation that can drive many people insane, with short periods each day where he is stripped naked and abused by jeering inmates.
Swiss whistle-blower and former banker Rudolf Elmer has given WikiLeaks information about bank accounts of more than 2,000 prominent individuals, potentially exposing tax evasion, the BBC reports.
Anger against ousted Tunisian president Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali was in part fueled by WikiLeaks , which leaked diplomatic cables exposing his regime's corruption. The cables were displayed on a "TuniLeaks" site created by Tunisian activists associated with the independent blog Nawaat.org ( the core , in Arabic).
The case of Private Bradley Manning raises legal issues about his pre-trial detention, freedom of speech and the press, as well as proving his guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Putting aside Manning's guilt or innocence, if Bradley Manning saw the Afghan and Iraq war diaries as well as the diplomatic cables published by WikiLeaks, what should he have done?
It is time for some dispassionate appraisal of what the WikiLeaks affair has taught us. Lessons fall into three categories: foreign policy substance, diplomatic process, and political reaction. Let's take them in reverse order.
<img class="alignright size-full wp-image-16662" title="Brad Manning in uniform" src="http://www.wired.com/images_blogs/threatlevel/2010/06/Brad-Manning-in-uniform.jpg" alt="" width="200" height="311" /> WikiLeaks has finally made good on a months-old pledge to contribute financially to the defense of 23-year-old Bradley Manning, according to a group raising money for the imprisoned Army private suspected of providing WikiLeaks its most important U.S. releases. But the sum, $15,100, is less than half the $50,000 WikiLeaks originally promised.
(updated below – Update II – Update III)
WIKILEAKS from Dec. 2010 till Feb. 2011
If you think prosecuting journalists is the province solely of the sort of authoritarian governments in the developing world and the former communist bloc, think again.