Julian Assange is a journalist from Australia, the founder and first editor-in-chief of the whistleblower WikiLeaks. He is also widely referred to as transparent activist due to his anti-secrecy publications, amounting to thousands via his website since its commencement of operation in 2006.
Assange used his website to reveal numerous government secrets, which he referred to as dirty conducts. He did not realize early that the leaks would set nations on fire. Until April 2010, when WikiLeaks published a video titled “Collateral Murder”. The video deals with the US military killings of a dozen of people including two Reuter news staffs.
Secrecy is power, once the secrets of governments and organizations are unveiled; they become vulnerable and susceptible to attacks. But in the case of Assange and his nonprofit organization, exposure of big and powerful bureaucracies’ secrets was his goal.
In his words, he expressed that: “The more secretive or unjust an organization is, the more leaks induce fear and paranoia in its leadership and planning coterie…. Since unjust systems, by their nature, induce opponents, and in many places barely have the upper hand, mass leaking leaves them exquisitely vulnerable to those who seek to replace them with more open forms of governance.”
Assange, who is currently in an asylum at London’s Ecuadorean embassy since 2012 to evade extradition over sexual assault allegations is widely criticized by some and praised by others. Some believe that he was doing his job as an investigative journalist, digging the buried of powerful organizations and government but at the expense of the smooth running of the country when all the weaknesses of the country are already exposed, it culminate into serious confrontations and divisions within the country. His supporters believed that he championed freedom of speech through his website and used it a means to make the government accountable to all their deeds but at the expense of the national security.
Others vehemently antagonize him for his leaks and the Members of United States senate voiced out that he violated national security laws through the secret documents he published on his website. Hillary Clinton also condemned his leaks, especially the one that revealed 400 000 classified military information related to the war in Iraq. Officials disclose that he revealed facts about the death in the Middle East during the military campaign with about 122,000 victims.
Exposures like these are dangerous to Americans, extracted from the expression of Hillary Clinton against him. Assange to himself and his loyalists, it is a war against secrecy by the government, big business bodies and religious organizations. But he did not realize that there are information that are better kept as secrets, other than being exposed to tear the country apart.
Some Americans believe that he is a hero of freedom of speech, who haunted for dirty diplomacy and disclosed them after discovery through his nonprofit website. Assange’s antagonists outweigh his supporters probably because he is a perceived threat to global stability.
His leaks include but not limited to 779 secret documents related to inmates detained in the Guantanamo Bay detention camp published in November 2010, Iraq war logs and Afghan War Diary. This vital information had been published by top new networks, like CNN, BBC, Fox News, The New York Times among others can you imagine the kind of coverage they had?
Publications in such magnitude are sensitive and dangerous to national security and international stability. It turns to a national threat when military information and government secrets are revealed.
Julian Assange embracers believe that he is extraordinary and confrontative because of his firebrand ambition to make government accountable to the governed through his anti-transparent moves. But however, I will top it all with the comment of an internet user, who does not his identity to be known “His activity is justifiable if he puts corrupt politicians under lens and his activity must be banned if it puts in danger people’s lives.”