Julian Assange faces U.S. computer-hacking charge after arrest in London.
In 2011, I was invited to speak at a Rally for Information Freedom in New York City. I was invited by Barrett Brown, who was later sentenced to 63 months in prison for aiding hackers and obstructing authorities (he had faced up to 105 years); the media dubbed him “spokesman” for the hacker collective Anonymous. I spoke in defense of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who helped disseminate secret tapes of atrocities committed by U.S. forces in the Middle East.
When Assange is inevitably portrayed as a 1st Amendment martyr remember he first sought asylum not because of computer fiddling but over rape allegations.
By Virginia Heffernan
Apr 12, 2019 at 7:00 PM
I have felt for years that the last defenders of our freedom would be the cyber-anarchists. We are not at freedom’s end yet, but cameras capture the average Briton 300 times daily. The Lord of Flies even wishes to invade our minds, to determine when we are lying to him.
Punishing Mr. Assange is part of this effort to control us, Oceania-style. President Barack Obama’s attorney general said that he wanted to “hold people accountable” — meaning Mr. Assange. Right-wing politicians and pundits have even called for the execution of the people behind WikiLeaks.
The British government, by arresting Mr. Assange, has disgraced itself and proven to the world it is America’s toady. It is also violating European Union conventions, if it extradites a man to a place (America) where he could be executed.
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange's lawyers are arguing for a second day against his extradition to Sweden where he is accused of rape and molestation.
By RAPHAEL G. SATTER and Associated Press
Jul 13, 2011 at 6:53 AM
In truth, one of the women, after the alleged “crime,” tweeted to the world that she was “with the world’s coolest, smartest people!”, referring to Mr. Assange, whom she was photographed with, smiling, also after the alleged “crime.” It was only after one of the women discovered that Mr. Assange had recently had relations with the other woman that she tried to file charges.
Like so many public rape accusations, this is simply a case of a woman scorned (and one more reason he-said-she-said cases must be summarily dismissed, not summarily believed). The news media continue to broadcast the lie that Assange faces “rape” or “assault” charges, because the real goal is to defame Mr. Assange. It is not enough to kill him, because that makes him a martyr.
We must instead push back against those who seek to kill truth-tellers. In that way, perhaps we will succeed in saving the man who kicked the hornets’ nest, and save what’s left of our freedom along with him.
Jonathan David Farley was named one of Ebony Magazine’s “30 Leaders of the Future” and was the Harvard Foundation’s Scientist of the Year in 2004. Seed Magazine named him one of “15 people who have shaped the global conversation about science in 2005.” He has written for the New York Times, Time Magazine, and the Guardian newspaper. Part of this essay previously appeared in Huffington Post.