It was just a matter of time before Ecuador revoke Julian Assange asylum at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, but the question remains. What was the tipping point? why were Assange actions for the last few weeks unsettling to many western countries? what happened in the US 2016 election? why is Chelsea Manning trial pivotal to the extradition of Julian Assange?. There are many questions and controversies here, but it’s important we don’t loose perspective of the larger context and the power dynamics that Assange has helped create since he was granted asylum.
Here’s my take…
The arrest of Julian Assange has been downplayed by international actors such as the mainstream media, the same media who we call pundits, breathlessly devoted airtime to his publications. News stories now cast him as a fugitive, not worthy to be called a journalist, but it’s important to objectify the proceedings by whatever objectivity parameters that are within our reach. Here’s why, we do hear that free press is under attack but let’s take a step back for a moment, is free press really under attack? occupation has its hazards – that’s a fact, but is there a threshold that calls for concern? definitely, there is. An attack on the free press is what happens when the free press becomes so partisan, weaponized, and for many of the investigative reporters, their mouths seem to engage before their brain.
Julian Assange for many, is an icon, a disruptor, and a journalist, while to some, he’s an agent of a foreign government. His arrest has sent a cryptic message to dictators and hostile government to further escalates their crackdown on the press, the escalation further creates a debate that cannot be held because its fundamentals have been so illegitimate, marked by hypocrisy by the supposed champion of press freedom. The debate on whether Assange is a journalist has long been contentious, his role in publishing state secrets reveals the dark activities of government and that has led to increased calls for more transparency and accountability.
Hence, should we call Assange a journalist? – that’s a question I might not be able to answer. The world today is so divided, truth has become so loosed and facts tainted, narratives are created to drive an agenda, we live in a post-truth world where your truth comes back to you like an echo chamber, but is there a correction point? there might have been if the world works much more like the stock markets.
“Whatever you find profitable keep at it.”