Monday, July 26, 2010

The man behind WikiLeaks - Julian P Assange

Seemingly out of nowhere, Julian Paul Assange, a silver-haired Australian, has emerged as the world's most important newsman. He's done so by hosting a website,, that publishes classified military reports and other secret information.
"Since it went online, three and a half years ago, the site has published an extensive catalogue of secret material, ranging from the Standard Operating Procedures at Camp Delta, in Guantánamo Bay, and the 'Climategate' e-mails from the University of East Anglia, in England, to the contents of Sarah Palin's private Yahoo account," reported The New Yorker's Raffi Khatchadourian in the best profile of Assange to date. "The catalogue is especially remarkable because WikiLeaks is not quite an organization; it is better described as a media insurgency. It has no paid staff, no copiers, no desks, no office. Assange does not even have a home."
WikiLeaks garnered worldwide attention in April when it posted footage taken from a U.S. Apache military helicopter over Iraq in 2007. The footage showed American soldiers killing at least 18 people, including two journalists. On Sunday, in its latest disclosure, the site posted roughly 92,000 classified documents on the American war effort in Afghanistan.
Khatchadourian explains about this man and the idea behind
"He had come to understand the defining human struggle not as left versus right, or faith versus reason, but as individual versus institution. As a student of Kafka, Koestler, and Solzhenitsyn, he believed that truth, creativity, love, and compassion are corrupted by institutional hierarchies, and by 'patronage networks' -- one of his favorite expressions -- that contort the human spirit. He sketched out a manifesto of sorts, titled 'Conspiracy as Governance,' which sought to apply graph theory to politics. Assange wrote that illegitimate governance was by definition conspiratorial -- the product of functionaries in "collaborative secrecy, working to the detriment of a population.' He argued that, when a regime's lines of internal communication are disrupted, the information flow among conspirators must dwindle, and that, as the flow approaches zero, the conspiracy dissolves. Leaks were an instrument of information warfare."
Assange first tested his concept in 2006. Wikileaks' first post was a document allegedly signed by a Somali rebel leader calling for the assassination of Somali government officials.
In the video below he defends releasing tens of thousands of secret files about the war in Afghanistan.

Excerpts from
Video: YouTube 

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