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IPFS News Link • Whistleblowers

The Real Problem with Julian Assange

•, Marie Hawthorne

In other words, inconvenient truths.

Now, while this nation used to celebrate the revelation of inconvenient truths, one of the 21st century's biggest spreaders of inconvenient truths, Julian Assange, may be headed to prison for the rest of his life.

Extradition hearings for the WikiLeaks founder wrapped up on February 21, though a decision by British judges is not expected till mid-March.  If extradition is granted, this Australian publisher and journalist will be taken to the United States, where he will stand trial on espionage charges.

How does an Australian journalist, who has scarcely spent any time on American soil, get charged under American espionage laws?  How does someone, whose only criminal conviction so far has been bail-jumping, spend nearly five years in "Britain's Guantanamo" on top of seven years in near-isolation in an embassy?

What did Julian Assange do?

Julian Assange founded WikiLeaks in 2006.  WikiLeaks was designed to facilitate whistleblowing by providing an anonymous platform for whistleblowers to post material.  In 2010, WikiLeaks published almost half a million documents from US intelligence analyst Bradley/Chelsea Manning.  Despite the fact that most of this information was already in the public domain, then-President Obama condemned Assange as a national security threat, and Manning was sentenced to 35 years in prison, though the sentence was later commuted