REVIEW: Julian Assange: Persecuted and abused for exposing dirty secrets of the powerful
Review of The Trial of Julian Assange: A Story of Persecution, by Nils Melzer
The Trial of Julian Assange: A Story of Persecution, by Nils Melzer. Brooklyn, NY: Verso. 2022, 368 pages. ISBN 9781839766220
IT IS easy to forget why Julian Assange has been on trial in England for, well, seemingly forever. Didn’t he allegedly sexually assault two women in Sweden? Isn’t that why he holed up for years in the Ecuadorian embassy in London to avoid facing charges? When the bobbies finally dragged him out of the embassy, didn’t his dishevelled appearance confirm all those stories about his lousy personal hygiene? Didn’t he persuade Chelsea (formerly Bradley) Manning to hack into the United States military’s computers to reveal national security matters that endangered the lives of American soldiers and intelligence agents? He says he is a journalist, but hasn’t The New York Times made it clear he is just a ‘source’ and not a publisher entitled to First Amendment protection? If you answered yes to any or all of these questions, you are not alone. But the answers are actually no. At very least, it’s more complicated than that.
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