The Goal Is Justice, the Method Is Transparency

by Mark Chmiel

For those who would like to know a little more about  the issues surrounding Julian Assange and Wikileaks, please take two minutes to read and ponder the following passages from Tariq Ali and Margaret Kunstler’s new book, In Defense of Julian Assange (OR Books, 2019).

Providing information to the citizens of this world has become a dangerous act, but it cannot be stopped, as every authoritarian regime understands. The courageous people who provide this information must be protected.  —Tariq Ali and Margaret Kunstler, xxvii 

I posed the question of what the most positive trajectory for the future would look like. Self-knowledge, diversity, and networks of self-determination.  A highly educated global population—I do not mean formal education, but highly educated in their understanding of how human civilization works at the political, industrial, scientific and psychological levels—as a result of the free exchange of communication, also stimulating vibrant new cultures and the maximal diversification of individual thought, increased regional self-determination, and the self-determination of interest groups that are able to network quickly and exchange value rapidly over geographic boundaries. —Julian Assange,  212

[Julian] Assange’s agenda is infinitely more noble and infinitely more reviled by the servants of power: to upset the status quo that demands war, corruption, and oppression in order to exist.—Caitlin Johnstone, 195 

As founder and editor of WikiLeaks, [Assange’s] crime has been to make sense of dark times. WikiLeaks has an impeccable record of accuracy and authenticity which no newspaper, no TV channel, no radio station, no BBC, no New York Times, no Washington Post, no Guardian can equal. Indeed, it shames them. That explains why he is being punished.—John Pilger  151

Assange characterized himself as the spy of and for the people: he is not spying on the people for those in power, he is spying on those in power for the people.  219—Slavoj Zizek

With his unique talents and skills, he created a new form of journalism that uses transparency to return suppressed and distorted information back to the historical record—a new journalism for justice.  —Sally Burch, 237

The organization functions almost like a group of historians of the present. [Wikileaks’] institutional mission is to reveal the secret activities of political leaders and, in the process, show the public how states actually function and what they actually do.  —Geoffroy de Lagasnerie,  247

Wikileaks has also demonstrated its capacity to build power in social movements by assisting, through its publications, in breaking down dominant narratives maintained by the powerful. Information is power—and those in power maintain their position by controlling the narrative.—Geoffrey Robinson, 278-9

[Julian’s] imprisonment is a symbol of a growing fear of those in power. A Western  publisher, a journalist, is gagged in Europe—a symbol of the collapse of the West. Silencing and torturing a journalist—in plain sight— is to cross a limit, and yet no one rioted.  —Renata Avila, 296

It’s a true remarkable time we are living in. What we must remember is that we are in this together. It’s up to all of us to protect the truth tellers. If we do, we will have true democracy someday, in this country and in the world. —Michael Ratner, 355

 Prosecutors at the Justice Department could not prosecute Assange without exposing journalists at the Times of the Washington Post to potential prosecutors for publishing classified information.  —Kevin Gosztola, 30

Large-scale leaks have proven an invaluable tool for social change. Anonymous disclosure is important and any motivation behind the submission of that information is secondary to its public interest value. – Naomi Colvin, 289

How we treat Assange is a harbinger of how we will treat journalists, sources, activists, and dissidents in the future. —Jesselyn Radack, 326

The goal is justice, the method is transparency  —Julian Assange, 277