First, a message for Jesse Brown, Science and Technology writer for Macleans Magazine (I don’t Twitter or Facebook and my server isn’t supported for commenting on your blog.): You are hardly alone in your evaluation of Julian Assange. My first piece as a member of the staff of LezGetReal was a rant about the way the victims in Sweden were being forgotten in all the whining over poor, poor persecuted Assange. Just a half-hour’s research into the extradition treaties between Great Britain and the United States, and those extradition treaties that Sweden is part of puts a huge hole in Assange’s claim that he would be extradited to Sweden to expedite his transfer to America. Your opinion is also shared by Daniel Domscheit-Berg and the editors of The New York Times and The Guardian.
Several members of Anonymous have joined their hacker-mate CosmoTheGod on my “Santa, they’re nice” list. Earlier this week, they disavowed Julian Assange and WikiLeaks.
The final straw was the pop-up, almost a pay wall that WikiLeaks has erected in association with Assange’s comments on President Obama’s 2008 victory speech. 2008? Gee, that’s just so relevant, isn’t it? The pop-up can be removed by donating to the site or sharing the site’s fundraising campaign through Twitter or Facebook. WikiLeaks claims that it needs the money for defending itself in “military trials” but no one is aware of any military trials that WikiLeaks is involved in. They certainly can’t mean Bradley Manning’s court martial, because Manning has never said that WikiLeaks bribed him, coerced him or tricked him into stealing the documents or opening a portal so they could hack the documents.
WikiLeaks was blocked from receiving donations through Visa, Mastercard and PayPal, but they have always had alternative means to receive donations if they chose to set them up. Anyone ever heard of paper checks, mail orders and snail mail? How about secondary receivers? How about two years of Assange’s legal bills? Anyway, WikiLeaks is begging for donations and their means of doing so has upset so of their supporters.
First, YourAnonNews told WikiLeaks “please die in a fire.”
Then, AnonymousIRC posted this message earlier this week:
“[The WikiLeaks mission] has been pushed more and more into the background, instead we only hear about Julian Assange, like he had dinner last night with Lady Gaga…The conclusion for us is that we cannot support anymore what WikiLeaks has become – the One Man Julian Assange show.”
The coup de gráce was delivered in a post on AnonPaste:
“To this day, not ONE single WikiLeaks staff are charged or incarcerated. However, Anonymous has 14 indicted (facing 15 years) for online protests defending WikiLeaks – and one [Jeremy Hammond] in prison and facing 20 years for allegedly supplying the Stratfor GI Files…Despite that fact, WikiLeaks has chosen to dishonor and insult Anonymous and all information activists by prostituting the Stratfor Files…Anonymous has had enough. No longer will Anonymous risk prison to defend WikiLeaks or Julian Assange from their enemies…Anonymous turns it’s [sic] back on WikiLeaks. We are preparing for the media a detailed dossier of all the un-ethical actions perpetrated by WikiLeaks that we have ignored for so long.”
So, here’s the message for Anonymous (and I know you read me because you pop up and tell me that you are legion)….locate Daniel Domscheit-Berg to compare notes. Pick up a copy of his book, Inside WikiLeaks: My Time with Julian Assange at the World’s Most Dangerous Website (2011). Grab a copy of Bill Keller’s “The Boy Who Kicked a Hornet’s Nest,” the cover story of the January 26, 2011, copy of the New York Times Sunday Magazine. Fascinating reading. There’s a form of magic spell called a “glamour” – creating the illusion of great beauty. Assange has woven a similar spell on too many people, the people who have housed, clothed and fed him since he fled Sweden’s investigators, the people who have bought into his “America is trying to kill me” fantasy. If you really want to publish an exposé of Assange, get together with others who have done the same thing.
You are also in the best position to explain extradition to the masses because of the LulzSec cases and the Gary McKinnon case.
Welcome to reality. You have just learned a very valuable lesson – what it means to be considered expendable collateral damage. Remember this feeling when you choose your targets.
And remember one other thing – keep your exposé short or do it in installments. I’m sure Daniel can explain how books don’t get re-Tweated.