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NEVER before have so many states, intelligence agencies and powerful individuals invested such effort into confining, silencing and neutralising a single individual on account of his desire to inform people about the misdeeds of their governments and elites.
In Defence of Julian Assange is an anthology of essays, articles, and commentaries written by journalists, lawyers and supporters among others who discuss Assange’s enduring persecution, his countless successes in exposing those deemed untouchable through the medium of Wikileaks and the terrifying implications that an extradition to the United States would pose not just to Assange but to journalism and democracy as a whole.
Divided into four sections, the book focuses on Assange’s confinement in the Ecuadorian embassy, his expulsion and arrest, the internet and censorship and the legacy of Assange and Wikileaks.
It reveals how Assange, alongside whistleblowers such as Chelsea Manning and Edward Snowden, knowingly took great risks to perform an invaluable service to journalism and the truth by informing the public about war crimes and other wrongdoings committed by those in power.
Despite doing more to expose the actions of the rich and powerful than any other journalist in modern times, Assange’s plight has been ignored by the mainstream media who have either forgotten or turned against him on account of a longstanding and well orchestrated propaganda campaign to demonise a man who poses a grave threat to the established order.
As one of the book’s contributors writes: “His imprisonment is a symbol of a growing fear of those in power.”
In Defence of Julian Assange indicates the lengths that those in power will go to in order to destroy anyone who dares reveal evidence of their crimes and corruption and some of the book’s contributors methodically take apart each and every slur that has been thrown at Assange to demonise him in the eyes of the public and erode his base of support.
Assange chose to face the wrath of the powerful by revealing information that would mostly likely have never come to light via mainstream journalism. In doing so, he sacrificed his liberty in the service of truth.
Arguably, some of Wikileaks’s revelations have even changed the course of history and the exposure of dark secrets has created the possibility that one day the guilty will be brought to account.
In Defence of Julian Assange is published by O/R Books, £19.
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