by Elizabeth Vos, Disobedient Media:
Update: Disobedient Media mistakenly included a picture of Christine Assange and Rafael Correa. This image has been removed.
Wikileaks has a long history of battling against misrepresentation in the public eye, in terms of incorrect statements in regards to its publications, as well as personal attacks against its founder and supporters. The viciousness with which allies, associates and independent media have been targeted after gaining public traction in support of Wikileaks indicates the degree to which establishment interests appear threatened by the publisher. Systemic smears against Wikileaks supporters appear intended to discredit Wikileaks by association, and has a number of significant secondary effects.
It is especially disastrous because, insidiously, the type of attacks used against these individuals do not effectively undermine the content of their work. Instead, they are rendered socially radioactive without evidence.
Character assassination aimed at Wikileaks’ supporters have two major effects. First, it denies Wikileaks a public voice, as those who provide Assange a platform are silenced. It also cuts Assange off from people, compounding the isolation of his ongoing, long term detention in the Ecuadorian embassy. On a practical level it prevents functionality when those working with Wikileaks are targeted.
Disobedient Media has previously reported on the ongoing censorship of independent media from across the political spectrum. We’ve also reported on WBAI radio’s ongoing battle with the Empire State Realty Trust. The recent suspension of Randy Credico’s ‘Live on the Fly’ from WBAI radio serves as the latest example of Wikileaks supporters who appear to have been systemically targeted for reprisal shortly after showing public support for Wikileaks and its arbitrarily detained founder.
Just days before Credico’s radio spot ‘Live on the Fly’ was suspended indefinitely, he spoke with Julian Assange’s mother. Christine Assange told Credico that: “Anyone who is against the establishment will cop a smear, it’s almost like a badge of honor when you’re smeared badly without any evidence, it means you’re doing a good job.”
It is sadly ironic that barely two days after making these statements, Credico was suspended from WBAI. It appears to this author that in the current political environment, providing any variety of a fair platform for Julian Assange – especially in the US – is a significant danger to one’s career.
Credico told Disobedient Media that trouble had appeared to start in response to his 15-part series on Julian Assange and Wikileaks. He has previously spoke with many other anti-establishment voices during the course of his radio segment, including Craig Murray, Ray McGovern, Bill Binney, John Kiriakou, and many others.
Independent journalist Caitlin Johnstone was labeled a racist, shortly after Assange tweeted her work a number of times. Johnstone published a number of articlesexpressing strong support for Assange, including a piece titled: “Can Australia Please Stop Being Washington’s Bitch And Help Assange Now?” This instance appears to constitute an attempt to prevent voices supporting Wikileaks from gaining traction and credibility.
The controversy surrounding the hacker and Tor developer Jacob Appelbaum has also been called a character assassination. Appelbaum worked with Wikileaks, and was an anti-establishment figure in his own right. The Guardian reported that Appelbaum began to receive harassment from authorities after his association with Wikileaks, writing: “…The association with WikiLeaks – which has released classified documents that triggered several major global news stories – led to him being held at US airports, his apartment being searched and his mother subjected to arbitrary questioning, and in June 2013 he chose to exile himself in Berlin.”
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