The shocking arrest of Assange carries a warning for all who, as Oscar Wilde wrote, “sew the seeds of discontent [without which] there would be no advance towards civilisation”. The warning is explicit towards journalists. What happened to the founder and editor of WikiLeaks can happen to you on a newspaper, you in a TV studio, you on radio, you running a podcast.
ABOVE: Flattering image of Julian Assange in London in 2010, taken by Andrew Testa, and printed —of all places—by the New York Times on its 12 April 2019 edition, while covering the Assange arrest in London the day before. Ironically, the paper has provided—perhaps unwittingly—eloquent proof of the severe personal cost already paid by Assange after almost a decade of mostly sunless indoors confinement in London’s Ecuadorian embassy trying to escape the empire’s revenge for his work as a truthteller. After Lenin Moreno’s betrayal, inviting the British police thugs to remove Assange from the embassy, the London cell of the global plutocratic mafia must be gloating over their newest achievement in demolishing the last vestiges of authentic democracy and central pillars, transparency and free speech. So what is prompting the New York Times’ subtle change in tone? Why this non-hostile picture of Assange? Is it a premonition that after helping to release the imperial fascist tiger it is not so safe to ride it after all?