Truth changes everything. There is a kind of automatic reaction involved when factual information comes into the public sphere — whether that be the life of a country or an individual. Hidden secrets, the exposure of dirty washing, call it what you will, once we know what is concealed, we feel empowered.
More so when our understanding of situations and complex scenarios is complete. The full story is the only story. It is only when we know that we can even begin to properly assess a situation, in our own lives, or in our world. This article is only a partial insight, adding to a more public narrative which is still incomplete. The media; the Fourth Estate, is powerful. When lies are printed as truth and never corrected, the public record is corrupted.
WikiLeaks, as a tiny borderless publishing organisation, has a goal which is barely written about in the press. From their website:
The broader principles on which our work is based are the defence of freedom of speech and media publishing, the improvement of our common historical record and the support of the rights of all people to create new history.
Every single individual, every community, every nation, has a right to write and create their own history, to tell their truth. This is a dimension of the human right of freedom of expression. It is our right to ferociously correct falsehoods created by others for their own power and advantage. There are great challenges for those in the public eye to counter lies, when so much about them is generated externally. Julian Assange has been betrayed by someone who had continued pretending he was a friend in order to gain social and financial advantage. Andrew O’Hagan, the ghost writer of Assange’s unauthorized biography, has just published a scathing personal account of their relationship, which ultimately is destructive. It deserves considered analysis and response. For it contains lies.
The story has at its core the examination of a wider theme which is woven into the fabric of WikiLeaks — betrayal. The ramifications of this betrayal on the life of Julian Assange only in Australia, let alone internationally, are significant. O’Hagan alleges that Assange’s own political party became his enemy. I was strongly involved in the WikiLeaks Party here in Australia and speak from personal experience and direct knowledge. What actually happened: a factional group left at a crucial time, a small, loud, group amongst thousands of supporters. That’s the nature of political groups.
O’Hagan’s misportrayal of that event, his slur, will now seep into the public record due to his strong media and publishing connections. This is deeply serious. The WikiLeaks Party in Australia will be contesting future elections. The white lies which Andrew O’Hagan justify so glibly in another section of his article are serious, but even more serious are his factual errors and incomplete context. One example; Julian Assange — who is Australian — did not set out to make himself an enemy of the Australian Government. He has enormous popular support here. His own government though, the institution which has an obligation to stand up for the rights and safety its citizens, utterly abandoned him.