What would have happened if the US government had taken responsibility for the video ‘Collateral Murder,’ and stated that a full investigation would be forth coming, the order traced up the line to find out who was responsible and they punished for embarrassing the government. And then thanked Assange (and Manning) for exposing this? The chances are that it would have ended there. The investigation would have been announced was underway and everyone would have forgotten about it.
But no, instead the US government chose to avoid the responsibility and attack the exposers and start a cycle of action that has not assisted the US government in any way perception or otherwise. Attacking Wikileaks and Assange but instead emphasised their ‘rightness’ by torturing and incarcerating Manning. This quite likely led to the effort by Assange to protect himself and issue more damaging information by way of demonstration. “Look, if you attack me for doing the right thing, it will not help your cause.” And then, true to his word, issuing more embarrassing material and the ‘war’ between Assange and the US government escalated. This was a big error on the part of the US government as they could easily have gotten away with it scot free.
And now as a result, regardless of what the US government does to Assange, it will never take away the exposure of their crimes against humanity in the world’s memory or the world’s new perception of the US government as an arrogant bully vainly trying to mould the world to their liking. Assange has changed the world’s perception of the US government forever and no amount of vindictive spitefulness is going to change that.
Assange, in fact, did not carry out any espionage activities. He simply reported what he was given and passed it along to various media outlets such as The Guardian, New York Times and Der Spiegel. And the embarrassing material is now freely available on Wikileaks for anyone who cares enough to read it. I doubt very much if The Guardian, New York Times and Der Spiegel will be indicted on the same charges Assange has been, despite being a party to the dissemination of such material and to more people than Assange could possibly have reached.
The presumptuous charges against Assange are blatantly illogical and will do the US Government no favours but, instead, will turn Assange into a martyr. The perception of the USA as a world power and authority is already diminishing and the Chinese and Russian governments are sitting back congratulating themselves watching the US Government shooting itself in the foot.
Just to cap the illogicality of the situation the US, along with its other frustrations now has a President who one moment says Wikileaks is the bees knees and the next says, basically in Manuel* style, “I know nothing.”
The rest of the world views Assange as a courageous journalist who has exemplified the true meaning of honest journalism and this is reflected in the 15 awards he has been granted.
2008, The Economist New Media Award
2009, Amnesty International UK Media Awards
2010, Time Person of the Year, Reader’s Choice
2010, Sam Adams Award
2010, Le Monde Readers’ Choice Award for Person of the Year
2011, Free Dacia Award
2011, Sydney Peace Foundation Gold Medal
2011, Martha Gellhorn Prize for Journalism
2011, Voltaire Award for Free Speech
2012, Big Brother Award Italy 2012 “Hero of Privacy”
2013, Global Exchange Human Rights Award, People’s Choice
2013, Yoko Ono Lennon Courage Award for the Arts
2013, New York Festivals World’s Best TV & Films Silver World Medal
2014, Union of Journalists in Kazakhstan Top Prize
2019, GUE/NGL Galizia prize
It is still possible for the US government to save face. Triumph, being somewhat of a loose cannon, is in a position to grant forgiveness to Assange and remove the vindictiveness currently being displayed. The question is, is he a big enough man to do so?
This would be a great opportunity to work to clean up his house and restore faith in America as a great nation of honesty once again.
*Manuel, from ‘Fawlty Towers.’ The Spanish waiter who professes that he knows nothing but in fact knows an awful lot