Sputnik News | 15 Aug 2015
Institute for Public Accuracy Executive Director Norman Solomon claims that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has launched a new era of possibility for democracy around the world by his revelations through leaked documents.
WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has launched a new era of possibility for democracy around the world by his revelations through leaked documents, Institute for Public Accuracy Executive Director Norman Solomon told Sputnik.
“The world has changed in major ways for democratic possibilities because of WikiLeaks, and Julian Assange has made WikiLeaks possible,” Solomon, coordinator of ExposeFacts.org and author of “War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death,” said on Friday.
Assange’s innovation, Solomon pointed out, was to break through the barrier of secrecy that self-proclaimed democratic governments had raised up to protect the special interests in their own countries.
“The essential question of transparency — for those of us who want a democratic reality — is routinely evaded and distorted by concentrations of inordinate power in government and private wealthy hands,” Solomon stated.
The noted authority also asserted that no one should be surprised at the criticism and even hatred that Assange had received.
“It is sadly appropriate that Assange is so deplored and reviled by so many in the upper reaches of governments, huge corporations and mass-media elites,” he said. “For such powerful entities, transparency is a plague which must be eradicated as much as possible.”
Solomon explained that Assange was usually mislabelled in the US mass media as a whistleblower or was grouped together with whistleblowers, whereas in reality he functioned as a journalistic editor and a publisher.
“In acute contrast to so many at the top of the corporate media and governmental food chains, Assange not only understands, but insists that democracy requires the ‘consent of the governed’ to be informed consent,” Solomon pointed out.
“While powerful elites work 24/7 to continually gain the uninformed consent of the governed, WikiLeaks has the opposite concerns,” he noted.
Genuine freedom of the press, Solomon continued, exists only to the extent that overt or internalized censorship is absent.
Yet in the United States, “So much has been surrendered, often unwittingly and unknowingly,” he said. “Assange has insisted with keen analysis and sharp edges that waving the white flag to accept the dominant propaganda onslaughts will only cause democracy to expire.”
Democratic forces in the West especially in the United States, had been reduced to surviving virtually on life-support because of the control and manipulation of the mass media, the expert argued.
Instead of accepting that state of affairs, he argued, “Julian Assange has insisted that another media world is possible and that we must build viable institutions to nonviolently resist the repression of authoritarian rule in all its forms.”
“As badly as the US government wants Julian Assange held incommunicado in a prison cell and wants WikiLeaks debilitated, supporters of democracy want him to be free and WikiLeaks to flourish,” Solomon concluded. “This struggle must continue, and it will.”
The statute of limitations on three allegations of sexual assault against Assange is about to expire, although a rape allegation remains in force until 2020.
The 44-year-old Australian national continues to deny the accusations and claims the extradition attempts are aimed at sending him to the United States to face espionage charges for leaking top-secret military documents and diplomatic cables.