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Truth-telling in a ‘Post-Truth’ Age: A tribute to Julian Assange and Wikileaks


A tribute to Julian Assange, founder of WikiLeaks, who faces the prospect of extradition and a jail sentence in the United States for publishing confidential official documents. Here, we present a 2006 essay by Assange outlining his vision, select Wikileaks releases of secret policies related to the environment, and Mediastan, a documentary film on Wikileaks.


ESSAY BY JULIAN ASSANGE (2006)

State and Terrorist Conspiracies (PDF)
Julian Assange
To radically shift regime behavior we must think clearly and boldly for if we have learned anything, it is that regimes do not want to be changed. We must think beyond those who have gone before us, and discover technological changes that embolden us with ways to act in which our forebears could not. Firstly we must understand what aspect of government or neocorporatist behavior we wish to change or remove. Secondly we must develop a way of thinking about this behavior that is strong enough carry us through the mire of politically distorted language, and into a position of clarity. Finally must use these insights to inspire within us and others a course of ennobling, and effective action.


NEW YORKER PROFILE OF JULIAN ASSANGE (2010)

No Secrets: Julian Assange’s mission for total transparency
Raffi Khatchadourian, The New Yorker
He had come to understand the defining human struggle not as left versus right, or faith versus reason, but as individual versus institution. As a student of Kafka, Koestler, and Solzhenitsyn, he believed that truth, creativity, love, and compassion are corrupted by institutional hierarchies, and by “patronage networks”—one of his favorite expressions—that contort the human spirit. He sketched out a manifesto of sorts, titled “Conspiracy as Governance,” which sought to apply graph theory to politics. Assange wrote that illegitimate governance was by definition conspiratorial—the product of functionaries in “collaborative secrecy, working to the detriment of a population.” He argued that, when a regime’s lines of internal communication are disrupted, the information flow among conspirators must dwindle, and that, as the flow approaches zero, the conspiracy dissolves. Leaks were an instrument of information warfare.


WIKILEAKS’ EXPOSES ON THE ENVIRONMENT

WikiLeaks cables reveal how US manipulated climate accord
The Guardian
The US diplomatic cables reveal how the US seeks dirt on nations opposed to its approach to tackling global warming; how financial and other aid is used by countries to gain political backing; how distrust, broken promises and creative accounting dog negotiations; and how the US mounted a secret global diplomatic offensive to overwhelm opposition to the controversial “Copenhagen accord”, the unofficial document that emerged from the ruins of the Copenhagen climate change summit in 2009.

WikiLeaks Exposes What Obama’s Secret Trade Deal Would Do To The Environment
HuffPost
WikiLeaks published a leaked draft of the environment chapter of the Trans-Pacific Partnership on Wednesday, and environmental groups are lining up to take a swing. The draft indicates the pact will include a number of promises on the environment, but will lack strong enforcement tools. “When compared against other TPP chapters, the Environment Chapter is noteworthy for its absence of mandated clauses or meaningful enforcement measures,” wrote WikiLeaks in its release. The chapter is intended to deal with issues like overfishing, trade of wood products, wildlife crime, and illegal logging. But most of the measures in the chapter are voluntary, rather than binding, and do not include penalties or criminal sanctions for violations. Compliance is largely left to the respective countries.

Five things Wikileaks taught us about UN climate talks
Climate Home News
1 – France argued against a legally binding international treaty.
2 – China was angered by an insistence from Europe it should cut its carbon intensity (emissions per unit of economic growth) faster.
3 – China’s government struggled to keep up with negotiation process.
4 – Small island nation the Maldives offered to host US president Barack Obama for a speech on climate change.
5 – Saudi Arabia, a major oil state, was seeking to soften its resistance to action on climate change.

Environmental WikiLeaks
Living on Earth
The classified documents made public by WikiLeaks are revealing closed door discussions on hot-button environmental issues, including whaling, climate change and genetically engineered crops. LOE’s Jeff Young looks at WikiLeaks through a green lens.

WikiLeaks reveals local health and environment rules under threat
Sidney Morning Herald
Australian health, environment and public welfare regulation, including plain tobacco packaging legislation, will be open for challenge from largely US-based corporations, if a new deal that is part of the Trans Pacific Partnership goes through. WikiLeaks has revealed that the Australian government is close to agreement on a wide-ranging trade deal that could allow multinational corporations to challenge these regulations as well as local food safety standards. The new TPP free trade agreement will cover approximately 40 per cent of the world economy.


FROM WIKIPEDIA

List of material published by WikiLeaks

 

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