No 347 Posted by fw, November 28, 2011
“Over the weekend, WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange, accepted the award for the award for the Most Outstanding Contribution to Journalism at the 2011 Walkley Awards. The Australian Walkley Awards are the most prestigious awards for excellence in journalism in Australia. Wikileaks editor-in-chief Julian Assange pre-recorded his acceptance speech, which was played at the award ceremony in Brisbane.” Amy Goodman, Democracy Now
Doubtless, activists around the world will echo Amy Goodman’s words today (Nov 28, 2011) on Democracy Now’s well-deserved tribute to Julian Assange — WikiLeaks Julian Assange Win Major Australian Prize for “Outstanding Contribution to Journalism”. To see a video of Democracy Now’s coverage of this event, including a full transcript, click on the preceding linked title.
We, journalists, are at our best when we share with activists and lawyers the goal of exposing illegality and wrongdoing. When we help to hold others to account. This award is a sign of encouragement to our people and other people who labor under difficult conditions in this task.
Our lives have been threatened. Attempts have been made to censor us. Banks have attempted to shut off our financial lifeline. An unprecedented banking blockade has shown us that Visa, Mastercard, PayPal, the Bank of America, and Western Union are mere instruments of Washington foreign policy. Censorship has in this manner been privatized.
Powerful enemies are testing the waters to see how much they can get away with. Seeing how they can abuse the system that they are integrated with to prevent scrutiny. Well, the answer is, they can get away with too much. I expected the hate speech on Fox News, but not the calls by U.S. senators for the extra-judicial assassination of myself and my staff. Neither did I expect that the United States would aggressively undermine its own constitution to persecute me and my organization.
But I can understand the Washington elite’s reaction. Washington is waging a war against the truth. It was, after all, the truth about Washington and their friends that we revealed.
Glenn Greenwald, constitutional law attorney and political and legal blogger for Salon.com, offered his own words of praise for Assange, as well as his damning condemnation of the U.S. for its persecution of those who dare to shed light on “the political and corporate factions and how they function” —
There’s no question that the award is justifiable and very well deserved. It is without question true that Wikileaks is responsible for producing more generalistic scoops over the last 18 months than every single media outlet in the world combined. You can barely read a story about any import region in the world without making reference to what was revealed by those diplomatic cables. . . . And here you have Wikileaks, which is deservedly so, winning the equivalent of the Pulitzer Prize, and not just a prize, but the top prize for this foundation, which is outstanding contribution to journalism, winning this award for its outstanding journalism and shedding light on the political and corporate factions and how they function. And what is the U.S. doing? Using every extralegal an extra judicial means possible to destroy them. Talking about prosecuting them, putting them in prison, cutting off their funding. I think it shows the true nature of America’s political class in the same way.