Monday, December 6, 2010

"WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange 'will release poison pill of damaging secrets if killed or arrested'"

"The founder of WikiLeaks has warned that his supporters are primed to publish a 'deluge' of leaked government documents should his activities be curtailed by any country.

Julian Assange has distributed to fellow hackers an encrypted 'poison pill' of damaging secrets, thought to include details on BP and Guantanamo Bay.

He believes the file is his 'insurance' in case he is killed, arrested or the whistleblowing website is removed permanently from the internet.

Mr Assange - understood to be lying low in Britain - could be arrested by Scotland Yard officers as early as tomorrow."

"Mr Assange's British lawyer, Mark Stephens, warned today that WikiLeaks was holding further secret material which he dubbed a 'thermo-nuclear device' to be released if the organisation needed to protect itself."

"This is what they believe to be a thermo-nuclear device in the information age.

'It's interesting to note people as high up the American tree as Sarah Palin have called for him to be hunted down by American special forces and assassinated.

'We've seen a number of suggestions that he should be assassinated, again from credible sources around the world.

'This is all about a man who is a journalist. He received, unbidden, an electronic brown envelope that journalists receive.

'This particular journalist has put it out. What they are doing is criminalising him, criminalising journalistic activity.'"

"The 'doomsday files' which have been downloaded from the WikiLeaks website by tens of thousands of supporters are understood to include information on Guantanamo Bay, and aerial video of a U.S. airstrike in Afghanistan that killed civilians, BP reports and Bank of America documents."

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange 'will release poison pill of damaging secrets if killed or arrested'

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"What they are doing is criminalising him, criminalising journalistic activity."


I think this is the most important line in the entire post.

You will all be familiar with the term "liable chill". That is when journalists and newspapers become reticent to publish articles damaging to the rich and powerful because they will get sued - whether successfully or not - and the cost of the defense becomes a factor in the choice of whether to publish or not.

Assassination threats are the ultimate form of liable chill...

I will quote in entirety a piece (I assume it is a letter to the editor) on the Calgary Herald's website (do a click through so they get an ad view, please):

"Re: "Professor won't face discipline for remarks," Dec. 3.

The citizens of our liberal democracy should be alarmed at the reaction against WikiLeaks and its founder, Julian Assange.

From condemnation to suggestions of assassination of Assange, we have prominent political leaders to University of Calgary professors, openly calling for this man's termination.

What we are witnessing is the beginnings of Stalinist silencing. No matter how inflammatory Assange's reporting may be, it is still newsworthy and carries the right to be published in any society that market's itself to be, quote unquote, a free entity.

Let us ask ourselves the chilling question of when will people's legitimate political expression and opposition be silenced in the way that some are suggesting Assange be silenced? [bold mine - James]

Frank Koeksal,

Calgary"

1 comment:

  1. My thoughts exactly. The Goverments are for the people. We have a right to know what's gong on.

    ReplyDelete