Story Of The Week

A ‘Dead Letter Office’ for Whistleblowers?

The Rise and Fall of Julian Assange!

 

Claimed to have released nearly 10 million confidential documents in its first ten years, WikiLeaks has been the topic of discussion since its inception. As the name suggests, this international non-profit organization publishes various news leaks and classified media provided by anonymous sources. Founded by Julian Assange in 2006 in Iceland, Wikileaks went on to become one of the biggest threats to the American Politics for spilling out some pretty dirty secrets.

On May 1st, 2019, Assange got arrested by the Metropolitan police of London on an extradition warrant issued by the US Department of Justice. But the question here is, why is an Australian arrested in London on the orders of the American Department of Justice?

Here is a breakdown of all the ongoing legal and diplomatic tensions:

2006:

WikiLeaks was founded by Assange.

2007:

A procedures manual of Camp Delta (The US detention center in Guantanamo Bay) was released on the website, bringing in light the cruelties cast upon the camp prisoners.

2010:

APRIL: WikiLeaks posted a video of US military officials commanding open fire on two journalists and various Iraqi civilians. The military later claimed that targets were believed to be armed insurgents and not innocents.

JULY: Later in that year, WikiLeaks brought about 90,000 classified documents related to the Afghanistan War in public.

AUGUST: A Swedish women referred to as Miss A in media had put allegations on Assange that he had tampered with a condom, forcing her to have unprotected intercourse with him. Later, another woman Miss W claimed that Assange had penetrated her without a condom while she was sleeping.

Swedish prosecutors issued an arrest warrant against Assange. However, seeing outright and widespread skepticism against the two ladies amongst media and left wing thinkers like Michael Moore and Naomi Wolf, Swedish prosecution revoked the arrest warrant.

OCTOBER & NOVEMBER: WikiLeaks published classified documents from the Iraq War and diplomatic cables from US embassies.

2011:

APRIL:   WikiLeaks began releasing confidential documents explaining details of the behavior and condition of the detainees at the US Navy’s detention camp-Guantanamo Bay.

2012:

AUGUST: Meanwhile, prosecutions and investigations pressure had widened its thrust. A civil court in England ruled that he should be extradited to Sweden to face investigation. To avoid legal prosecutions and charges, Assange sought political asylum in London’s Ecuadorian embassy. Eager to cushion its stature as a supporter of free speech, the embassy granted the request!

SEPTEMBER: Julian delivered a speech via a full conference room appealing the United Nations to stop the US Government’s ‘witch hunt’ for him and his website.

2015:

FEBRUARY: Local metropolitan police decided to reduce the security at the embassy as a whopping 10 Million Pounds worth of resources were being spent out for the provision of such securities.

AUGUST: Swedish prosecutors decided to drop allegations involving sexual molestation and coercion as statutes of limitations in the investigation had run out. However, the allegation of suspicion of rape still stood.

2016:

JULY: The Website published nearly 20,000 emails of the ‘Democratic National Committee’ Staff allegedly showing the committee’s favoritism for the Democratic nominee Hilary Clinton over Bernie Sanders.

SEPTEMBER: Wikileaks tweeted that “If Obama granted Manning Clemency, Assange will agree to US prison in exchange despite its clear unlawfulness”. The tweet was referring to Chelsea Manning, former Army Intelligence Analyst who had been imprisoned violating the Espionage Act.

OCTOBER: Hacked E-mails from Clinton’s campaign chairman, John Podesta got published on the website.

2017:

While, on one hand, Swedish prosecutors dropped their allegations of rape charges against Assange following a seven year long impasse, on the other hand, he was granted the natural citizenship of Ecuador.

2018:

  • The Ecuadorian embassy suspended Assange’s internet communication outside, for at least the second time since 2016 for tweeting against the affairs of partner nations of Ecuador.
  • The Guardian reported that former Trump alley Paul Manfort met Assange inside the embassy in 2013, 2015 and 2016. Both Assange and Manfort denied ever meeting each other.

2019:

APRIL: Assange was arrested by the metropolitan police in London on an extradition warrant issued by the US Justice Department, charged for conspiracy involving hacking of a computer in connection to the 2010 release of classified military information, obtained via Manning.

MAY:

  • Assange was sentenced to a serve a 50 weeks time in UK prison after he was found guilty of violating his bail conditions when he entered the Ecuadorian embassy to avoid extradition to Sweden.
  • Swedish prosecutors announced that they have re-opened the 2010 rape investigation against Assange, suspecting of a probable chance of the cause.
  • Chelsea Manning, who spent seven years in military prison for leaking US secrets to WikiLeaks was again sent back to Jail on 16th May 2019 for not testifying against the grand jury.

This article attempted to bring about all the important facts and developments associated with Julian Assange and Wikileaks. Now, it is up to the readers to decide if this story belonged to a hero or a fugitive!

References:

https://edition.cnn.com/2013/01/18/world/julian-assange-fast-facts/index.html

https://news.sky.com/story/years-inside-embassy-timeline-of-julian-assanges-fight-for-freedom-10884280

https://www.theguardian.com/media/julian-assange

https://allthatsinteresting.com/julian-assange-facts

https://www.vox.com/identities/2019/4/12/18306901/julian-assange-arrest-wikileaks-rape-sweden-embassy

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