Julian Assange waxes poetic about his “ordeal” in London, ending with an impassioned demand for…well, everyone to leave him and his website alone:
He also urged the American government and US President Barack Obama to “do the right thing” and for officials to “renounce its witch hunt against Wikileaks”. He also urged them to drop their “war on whistleblowers”.
He added: “The United States must dissolve its FBI investigation. The United States must vow that it will not seek to prosecute our staff, or our supporters.
“The United States must pledge before the world that it will not pursue journalists for shining a light on the secret crimes of the powerful.
“There must be no foolish talk about prosecuting any media organisations. The US administration’s war on whistleblowers must end.
“There is unity in the oppression. There must be absolute unity and determination in the response.”
I actually don’t have much of an opinion about the leaks that got Assange into this situation – the diplomatic traffic that was allegedly leaked to Wikileaks by Private Bradley Manning.
But I don’t give a whole lot of credit to Wikileaks as journalism. Their first real introduction to Minnesotans was their publishing, in 2008, names and credit card information gotten from a hacking attack on Norm Coleman’s campaign site.
While the “journalistic” community painted Assange’s toenails about the attack, this was not “journalism”; it was political bullying and browbeating.
And I hope Assange does, in fact, wind up in jail, if only over that episode.