Julian Assange – the Hero of WikiLeaks

Julian Assange – the Hero of WikiLeaks

Back in 2006, Daniel Ellsberg, the famous whistle-blower of the Vietnam War, received an unsolicited e-mail that had a return address – “WikiLeaks.” Thus, a new era in world politics was ushered in.


Ellsberg was invited to be the public face of a project that would be ‘a new star in the firmament of man’. Wikileaks had not yet made its debut and Ellsberg had not heard of its leader, Julian Assange, at that time a 35-year-old Australian, who was known in his own circles as a teenage hacker turned “cypherpunk” with a vision of technology as a tool for political change.

Ellsberg was spellbound by the audacity of the e-mail; that WikiLeaks aimed at nothing less than the decline and fall of oppression by organized exposure of its secrets. Assange had written: “Governance by conspiracy and fear depends on concealment. We have come to the conclusion that fomenting a world wide movement of mass leaking is the most cost effective political intervention.” So fanciful did the proposal appear that

Ellsberg decided to tell Time Magazine thinking it was either “a little ploy by the CIA or NSA to draw in leaks” or, “a very naive venture to think that they can really get away with it.” Ellsberg did not reply to the Wikileaks email.

A lot is being said about Assange four years later; some will praise him and others will despise him. With contempt for authority Assange hopes that transparency will bring “total annihilation of the current US regime“.


Regardless of whatever else people may say about Assange, no one can say his boasts are empty. At the present time, WikiLeaks has become a revolutionary force, bringing out secrets into the public domain on an unprecedented scale. Assange and co have managed to disrupt state power. Classified information has been scattered around the world, and is affecting US foreign relations as well as the alliances and internal politics of other nations.

WikiLeaks is now a clear competitor of news media and intelligence agencies. By posting entire documents, Wikileaks removes the ‘middle man’ weakening the role of editors and analysts who filter information according to their own agenda.

Assange has revolutionized ‘hacking’ by creating an anonymous digital safe haven that is highly resistant to attack or penetration by intelligence services that spans international borders.

In 2006 it took Ellsberg a year to photocopy the 7,000-page Pentagon papers and most of another year to get excerpts published. Now, Wikileaks permits the universal broadcast of voluminous archives in full, making the flow of information more like a flood, than a leak.

This year’s breach of containment spilled nearly half a million documents, including 76,607 military reports from Afghanistan , and 391,832 from Iraq .

The Obama Administration has responded by acknowledging Wikileaks as a capability, rather than an event, meaning it is possible for anybody who can get material out of a classified system to publish it worldwide in a way that can not be changed or removed,” says Clay Shirky, a New York University Internet scholar. For the US and many other nations around the world the idea of a widely shared but secure secret is over. Today officers and analysts are working around the clock in separate State and Defense Department crisis teams, sending alerts about fresh disclosures in real time. Wikileaks, and Assange have put the world in a spin.