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Julian Assange – a goldmine and a nightmare

Julian Assange in His Own Words
BEFORE THE TRIAL 27 OCTOBER / The characteristics Karen Sharpe draws from Assange's work are that everything he brought forward should be open and verifiable, scientifically correct and reliable. But for power, Assange is dangerous – because he makes the whistleblowers dangerous.


This is the book you must read if you are only going to read one book about and by Julian Assange. Karen Sharpe #'s collection of quotes by Assange emerges as an 184-page puzzle, page by page, topic by topic, and forms a document that the world has hardly seen before. It creates a depth and a respect for a person who has shaped the media in the last two decades.

The book quotes Edward Snowden, for example, who says that "Julian Assange is one of the most insightful thinkers in today's technology world – far ahead of the rest of the world." Sharpe lets us understand why someone thinks he needs to be taken by surprise.

Sharpe gives us a picture of Assange, his actions – unstoppable, raw and revealing as they are. But also how well-founded and wise they are. For Sharpe's book gives us both a background for Assange's philosophy, but also how the ideas are put into practice. The book is frighteningly simple and understandable.

In front of the courtroom, where Assange will be tried for extradition to the United States on October 27.

Because we've all heard of Julian Assange. Know that he is in prison for almost 4 years. Pursued for over 10 years by British, Swedish and American justice systems. Imprisoned and wanted without trial in these countries – which like to call themselves states of law and democracies. Like once upon a time var rule of law and democracies, as Eva Joly says (MODERN TIMES, Orientering, January 2021).

The Vault 7 revelation by the CIA means that one will never be able to trust the Americans when they claim that "others" are behind leaks, hacking or rumors.

Since he created WikiLeaks in 2006, Assange has been – alternately – a goldmine and a nightmare for the media, politicians and powerful institutions. Whatever they saw fit – whether they could profit from his revelations, or whether they could rather “throw him under the bus” – Donald Trump is something all to himself in that regard.

Sad reaction in Norway

When you have read the book, you will also see how absurd it is that Norwegian PEN on the one hand speaks warmly of Assange and on the other hand praises those who most effectively ridicule him: Norwegian cartoonists (See Halleraker, Morgenbladet 4 Jan 2018): It is also nauseatingly absurd (cynical?) that the Norwegian Nobel Committee in 2021 pays tribute to freedom of speech without bringing in Assange.

But in Norway tops Aftenposten thus this reviewer's list of cynical lies (sometimes this word fits very well) when the newspaper, after publishing reams of WikiLeaks material – probably with great profit and a large staff of journalists – distances itself from Assange and says "we have never used WikiLeaks material" (Trine Eilertsen to Dagsnytt 18, NRK, 23 January 2020).

Worse than Aftenposten, however, is the newspaper The Guardian who accused Assange of having irresponsibly leaked the code that gave access to large amounts of raw material. It was evidently their own journalists, Luke Harding and David Leigh, who printed this code in the book Julian Assange's War on Secrecy (2011) to Assange's desperate protests. (See New Time, Orientering, 1 / 2021)

It is symptomatic that neither Aftenposten nor The Guardian have apologized for these lies – as far as this reviewer has observed.

Assange must, of course, be imprisoned

Sharpe makes us understand that Assange "must" be locked up in the maximum security prison belmarsh with terrorists and murderers. It's only logical. Because he is so much more threatening, to the powerful he exposes, than any of the fellow prisoners in the brutal Belmarsh prison. Or should be menacing – if anyone cared about the monstrosities he uncovers. Sharpe gives us the peaks:

  • The Collateral Murder video showing the grotesque killing of American soldiers. Regular massacre by helicopter of 12 civilians, including two Reuters journalists, in a shopping street in Baghdad, accompanied by laughter from still unpunished American soldiers. (What if the two journalists were from Aftenposten or Morgenbladet?)
  • 90 secret US reports from Afghanistan, often with precise descriptions of cruel executions and war crimes. (What if the executed were Norwegian nurses on bail from Ullevål hospital?)
  • Iraqi war leaks with 400.000 detailed US field descriptions of crimes and civilian casualties. (What if it was Norwegian Church Aid's Norwegian aid workers with food and medicine who were bombed?)
  • Cablegate, 251.000 telegrams revealing scandals and leaks in the US State Department.
  • The documentary Hillary Clintons and the Democratic National Committee's emails that were downloaded onto memory sticks from computers in her office – and spread. Not at all "hacked" by Assange as the rumors tried to explain away. These revelations of political corruption in the election campaign staff led to dismissals.
  • They are called Vault 7# documents are even more frightening: They showed the extensive and advanced hacking that the CIA in collaboration with the British MI5 is carrying out against iPhone and Android-powered phones, including TV sets, which, to mention a small detail, infects TV' your one to think it is turned off, when in reality it has become a microphone. This program is produced in the CIA's department, which is meaningfully called the Embedded Devices Branch, which can well be translated to the Department for Implanted Technology. CIA plants traces (embeds) as "evidence" in promoting computers so that they can falsely blame "the others". These "others" are often Russian or Chinese sources. Skilled IT professionals know how to avoid leaving a trail. As the Swedish peace researcher at PRIO, Ola Tunander says: if you find Chinese or Russian traces, then at least it is not Russians or Chinese who are behind it.

The Vault 7 revelation by the CIA means that one will never be able to trust the American authorities when they claim that "others" are behind leaks, hacking, rumors or slander campaigns. They are themselves the largest and first to make such interventions. They themselves produce malware (destructive software) and know to fear that others are capable of the same thing.

A Robin Hood principle of information: expose the powerful and protect the weak.

In addition, Sharpe lists revealing material from the Guantanamo Bay archives, official US spy archives and other extensive CIA archives.

Assange's good method

It is worth noting that all revealed material is carefully reviewed by WikiLeaks staff before publication so as not to harm innocents. No one has ever been reported injured as a result of these revelations. Author Tariq Ali has documented and supports Assange – and Sharpe – in this in the book In Defense of Julian Assange (2019)

This is one of the characteristics Sharpe draws from Assange's work: Everything he brings forward must be open and verifiable, scientifically correct and reliable. Then Wikileaks has never been revealed in a lie, says journalist icon John Pilger in The Secret World of US Elections (2016)

Another main principle Sharpe draws on Assange's method is to demand openness for the powerful and security for the weak – a Robin Hood principle of information: exposing the powerful and protecting the weak. For it is not the powerful who should be protected with secrecy and encrypted information. It is ordinary writers, readers and listeners who need protection from abuse, deception, abuse and exploitation. For today's abuse does not just happen with weapons or hidden in the dark. Abuse takes place in a wilderness of misinformation, obscure language, withholding of important news – including drowning readers in unnecessary details. Also with diversionary maneuvers and blackening of those who threaten the existing.

Sharpe shows that the publicist Assange is obviously perceived as threatening to a lot of bad journalism – which does not dare, which flows with the flow, because it is so laborious to do honest journalistic work. Threatening journalism does not provide optimal returns, status, lucrative media positions, the opportunity for interviews and invitations to receptions with the powerful. Such journalism may lead you to prison.
The book with all the Assange clips then also devotes an entire chapter to journalism as a theme.

Make the alerts dangerous

Without Assange / Wikileaks – Sharpe shows us – important truths would have been silenced: These have come from brave whistleblowers: as campaign workers in Hillary Clinton's staff, CIA agents and military advisers – who have had enough of lies and war crimes. Therefore, the gag of Assange is also an attempt to gag anyone who thinks of following in his footsteps. It is a war against freedom of expression itself.

Assange is dangerous because he makes the whistleblowers dangerous. Assange is the generator that brings the truth-tellers out to us. He needs the rest of us – especially people who can secure change – who can correct injustice and expose lies. Currently, this generator is stopped behind a grotesque high-security wall. But Sharpe brings his thoughts further, and with her book it will not be easier to ignore him.

John Y. Jones
John Y. Jones
Cand. Philol, freelance journalist affiliated with MODERN TIMES

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