“ If you go to the former URLs of those stories you get a “page not found.” It does not say that it was removed as the result of a legal threat. As far as we can tell, the story not only ceased to exist, but ceased to have ever existed. Parts of our intellectual record are disappearing in such a way that we cannot even tell that they have ever existed.” - Julian Assange, 2011.
This book establishes an accurate historical record of the WikiLeaks publishing organisation, established by Julian Assange in 2006, and the numerous releases of confidential information that they revealed to the public. It also exposes the relentless global campaign to destroy WikiLeaks and Assange by any means possible, including financial bullying, media lies, judicial abuse of due process, intrusive surveillance, CIA assassination plots, and state-sponsored disinformation campaigns.
As online data replaces printed sources of truth, our true histories have become ever more susceptible to malicious revisionism, particularly with regard to WikiLeaks. Opportunists have turned a tidy profit from widely publicised but error-filled books and movies about WikiLeaks. Former media partners have deliberately spread smears and lies. Networks of social media trolls, many with links to political parties or spy agencies, have spread minsinformation via co-ordinated PsyOps (psychological operations) campaigns. The Wikipedia pages for WikiLeaks and its founder Julian Assange have been particularly unreliable for many years, with teams of ideologically motivated editors working full time to shut out those of us who have tried to correct the record.
Furthermore, with money dictating which online information is displayed most prominently, even Internet search engine results are increasingly influenced by corporate and government agendas. Older, more valuable URL addresses from under-funded sources, including failed blogs and "citizen journalism" sites, are rapidly disappearing. The Internet is still young, but our online histories are already being buried and destroyed.
Faced with such a barrage of misinformation, WikiLeaks has carried on publishing and let their work speak for itself. With over 10 million documents published in their first ten years, they have maintained a record for 100% verified information, an achievement no other major media organisation can match. Julian Assange and other WikiLeaks staff and supporters have also published books about Google, the Cypherpunks movement, and other aligned topics. Dozens of books about WikiLeaks have been written by others. But there has never been a concerted effort to document the true history of WikiLeaks itself. This book seeks to fill that gap.
The aborted "unofficial" biography of Julian Assange by Andrew O’Hagan is a good example of what NOT to do. After falling out with Assange, O’Hagan admitted his book had a "voice which was as invented as anything I’d ever produced in fiction." Before canceling the project, Assange told him: "People think you’re helping me write my book, but actually I’m helping you write your novel." Assange said the published version was full of errors. It has not been used as a source for this book and this book doe not pretend to be a biography of Assange. In fact it seeks to avoid his personal life except insofar as it has affected WikiLeaks.
In writing this book, considerable effort has been expended in trying to expose the truth where multiple contradictory versions of events have existed. It is important to understand the reasons behind such conflicting narratives:
Due to the nature of their work, WikiLeaks has frequently needed to operate secretively in order to avoid infiltration, protect sources, verify leaks, and thus be able to publish highly sensitive information with maximum impact.
Due to numerous threats, Julian Assange, his family, colleagues, partners and sources have often been compelled to keep identities, personal information, and locations secret.
Many WikiLeaks critics have their own motivations for spreading lies, whether they be disgruntled former supporters trying to protect their own reputations, corporate media organisations trying to spin a profit from sensationalized headlines, or government agencies trying to spread damaging misinformation.
This book examines the major controversies created by conflicting agendas, but only briefly catalogues the endless stream of lies, smears and conspiracy theories posted daily on social media over many years. It is worth noting that such a widespread and orchestrated campaign of hatred and lies has been sustained for so long: it says a lot about the impact of WikiLeaks releases, and how desperate certain people have been to destroy Assange’s credibility, alienate public support, and shut WikiLeaks down.
For example, the CIA under President Barak Obama spied on Julian Assange (and his lawyers and family and other visitors) with an intrusive 24/7 video surveillance program inside the Ecuadorian embassy in London. Former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton wanted to kill Assange in a drone strike while President Donald Trump’s CIA plotted to assassinate him on the streets of London. A key witness in the US prosecutor’s case against Assange was a convicted fraud and pedophile, who turned to the FBI after stealing funds from WikiLeaks, and later retracted his evidence against Assange. The Crown Prosecution Service in Britain told Swedish prosecutors not to come and question Assange in London, as they would usually have done, and not to "get cold feet" or close their case - then deleted their emails! All these stories were virtually ignored by Western mainstream media, sometimes appearing in a single publication and never being mentioned again.
Hence the need for this book.
The author of this book can be found on Twitter: @Jaraparilla
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