Julian Assange with his creation of WikiLeaks walked the line between revealing classified information and perhaps causing significant damage while living up to the great Supreme Court quote by Justice Brandeis:
Publicity is justly commended as a remedy for social and industrial diseases.
Sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants; electric light the most efficient policeman.”
The most important political office is that of the private citizen.
With respect to publishing classified information, the burden is on the government to protect our secrets.
If an individual with a security clearance violates their sacred trust they should be held accountable to the maximum extent of the law.
If a publication, independently, gets classified information, the news organization is essentially held harmless as the famous New York Times Pentagon Papers Supreme Court case proved.
Supreme Court Justice Black brought clarity to that important issue in his ruling:
Only a free and unrestrained press can effectively expose deception in government. And paramount among the responsibilities of a free press is the duty to prevent any part of the government from deceiving the people and sending them off to distant lands to die of foreign fevers and foreign shot and shell.
But Assange may have crossed the line. Rather than being a journalist who received information, he allegedly participated in the effort to retrieve classified information.
The charges against Julian Assange, explained
U.S. prosecutors Thursday unsealed conspiracy charges against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, alleging he worked with former Army intelligence analyst-turned whistleblower Chelsea Manning to hack a government computer and carry out one of the largest leaks of U.S. classified information in history.
Now legal action is being taken against Julian Assange.
Without passing any further judgment on US law enforcement legal maneuvering, it is evident that during his run with WikiLeaks, very powerful legal moves were being made to silence reports and stories that individuals had leaked to him, and Assange just did not care.
Assange figured out a new 21st Century way of bringing significant sunlight to stories.
This meant that to some he was a very dangerous man running a very dangerous web publication.
To others with direct involvement in investigating international criminal corruption, Julian Assange provided significant leads or flushed out very dangerous individuals.
I was a beneficiary from this perspective of the work of WikiLeaks.
In my experience, by reading Wiki-Leaks, I was able to keep a spotlight on a man now being sued for $4 Billion Dollars in committing crimes against humanity by providing poison gas to Saddam Hussein so he could kill tens of thousands of innocent Kurds.
In my Iraq 2003 DOD investigation, I found quickly that Nedhmi Auchi, reported to be one of the wealthiest men in England, had the UK Libel Law firm “Carter –Ruck” directly threaten various news outlets.
The WikiLeaks link (below) shows Auchi commissioning Carter-Ruck to silence reporting on the DOD International Technology Security (ITS) office report to the Secretary of Defense.
The report to the IG was delivered to Secretary Rumsfeld in 2004 after and ITS team concluded our IG mission to Iraq during Christmas 2003.
Here are the two links that describe the issue legally;
According to Dr. John A. Shaw, the former head of the U.S. Department of Defense Office of International Technology Security, “Auchi had been Saddam Hussein’s senior arms dealer and had morphed into his principal international financial bagman,” the complaint alleges.
Here is a link to the DOD document:
Carter-Ruck legal letters to publications in England have considerable teeth since UK Libel Laws greatly favor protection of the establishment.
However, in America, it is just the opposite because of the great 1stAmendment.
Consequently, when Auchi’s lawyers crossed the Atlantic to attack personally my official work as Director Technology Assessment ITS, I went right back at them and never heard from them again.
My letter to them is included at the end of this article.
It was important to take Auchi directly on officially.
A lesson in America is that a charge made and not refuted is a charge accepted.
That was not going to happen.
Again the great strength of WikiLeaks is that Assange never backed down against draconian world legal threats.
On the actions of Auchi and his crimes against humanity lawsuit, I personally suspect very few individuals will now be hearing from Carter-Ruck.
Auchi’s lawyers must be very busy defending him against a $4 Billion civil law suit accusing him of crimes against humanity for being part of the illegal WMD team that supplied poison gas for Saddam Hussein to conduct genocide against defenseless Kurdish Villages.
Nadhmi Auchi, the Iraqi-born billionaire, is a defendant in a $4 billion lawsuit filed in Iraq on behalf of survivors of the Saddam Hussein regime’s 1988 chemical weapons attack in Halabja, Iraqi Kurdistan.
The complaint alleges that Auchi is a co-conspirator in the March 16, 1988 chemical attack, also known as the Halabja Massacre or Bloody Friday, that killed over 5,000 civilians and injured more than 10,000 Kurds.
The Halabja Massacre “was and remains the largest poison gas/chemical weapon attack launched against civilians since World War II“ according to the complaint.
The Halabja Massacre was part of a “highly organized, genocidal campaign called Anfal…during which the Saddam Regime murdered as many as 180,000 Kurdish civilians, destroyed approximately 4,000 Kurdish villages, and depopulated areas of the Kurdish Region of Iraq” says the complaint.
Seeking Justice for the Victims:
The victims of Halabja are represented by a multi-national team of lawyers, led by MM~LAW, an American law firm with over 20 years of experience in cases against international financial institutions involved in crimes against humanity and terrorism.
The victims are going beyond just seeking compensation for these past atrocities, they are acting to change the norms that have so far guaranteed impunity to those who perpetrated and encouraged similar crimes.
Like many highly contested events in the matter of law and information being made public the truth is the truth.
Nadhmi Auchi, already a convicted felon in France on another transgression, has shown in hiding behind English Libel laws and his great wealth that he cannot face the truth but neither can he suppress it, in part because of WikiLeaks.Auchi_PepperLetterhead