Don’t shoot the messenger: WikiLeaks’ Assange

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

BERLIN - WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has struck back at his critics on the opinion pages of The Australian, in an article in Wednesday’s online edition titled “Don’t shoot (the) messenger for revealing uncomfortable truths”.

The article went online just after Assange was refused bail by a London court. He will remain in custody in Britain over sexual assault allegations made in a European arrest warrant issued by Sweden.

“Democratic societies need a strong media and WikiLeaks is part of that media,” the founder of the whistleblower website argued. His article did not address the legal issues in Sweden.

“WikiLeaks is also fearlessly publishing facts that need to be made public,” Assange, an Australian national, wrote.

He listed several cables made public in the last 10 days, including one in which King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia asked the US to attack Iran and another that showed Sweden, which is officially neutral, aided NATO.

“People have said I am anti-war: for the record, I am not,” Assange wrote. “If a war is justified, then tell the truth and the people will decide whether to support it.”

The article was very much focused on garnering Australian public opinion and spoke heavily towards his fellow citizens.

“I grew up in a Queensland country town where people spoke their minds bluntly,” Assange wrote towards the top of his piece.

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