Julian Assange and his legal team fear that the US are preparing to indict him on unspecificed espionage related charges.
Unfortunately some mainstream media organisations have recently been characterising Assange as a whistleblower, depicting whistleblowers in pejorative terms as often having “inflated egos and hidden agendas“.
This simplistic analysis of whistleblower betrays a level of ignorance of what a whistleblower is. It also perpetuates popularly held but misconceived myths and stereotypes of whistleblowers as villains.
The story of many whistleblowers is not a glamorous one. Their story is our story, and it isn’t a comfortable one. Often the only thing to celebrate is their valour and sacrifice, a sacrifice that more often than not goes unrecognised by society.
More often than not it is whistleblowers who have disclosed public and corporate wrongdoing and protected us from harm which traumatises us as nations, as opposed to the watchdogs we fund extravagantly and put our faith in to protect us.
Journalist sources are valued and protected, and there are many examples of journalists electing to serve jail time rather than to reveal their sources. Julian Assange is, in many ways, not dissimilar to a Journalist.
The possibility of Assange facing indictment in the US has raised questions as to whether it is appropriate for a foreign national to be charged under US law, including the extraterritorial application of US law to a foreign national
First Amendment Rights under the US Constitution have often protected news publishers from being prosecuted for unauthorised leaks of otherwise classified information.
Without media publications leaking information, we may never have found out about Water Gate, the Iran-Contra scandal, the outsourced brand of US state sponsored terror and the reality that the US Government spies on it’s own citizens engaged in peaceful protest.
Many have dismissed remarks that the co-operation between US State Department officials or Ambassadors in London and the Judiciary processing Assange’s Bail Application are little more than conspiracy theories.
However there doesn’t appear to be any credible explanation for the stringent bail conditions Assange has had to satisfy in the UK. Such onerous bail conditions for comparable offences are unprecedented. Whilst Assange has had to meet extraordinary conditions to obtain bail, an accused murderer was granted bail upon the posting of a surety despite fresh evidence being available linking the accused to the alleged murder.