Book Review – Wikileaks – Inside Julian Assange’s War On Secrecy, David Leigh and Luke Harding
Title: Wikileaks – Inside Julian Assange’s War On Secrecy
Author: David Leigh and Luke Harding (with Ed Pilkington, Robert Booth and Charles Arthur)
Copyright: The Guardian
Blurb Extract: It was the biggest leak in history. Wikileaks infuriated the world’s greatest superpower, embarrassed the British royal family and helped cause a revolution in Africa. The man behind it was Julian Assange…Leigh & Harding reveal the startling inside story of the man and the leak.
Subject: The authors were ‘at the centre of a unique publishing drama that involved the release of some 250 000 secret diplomatic cables and classified files from the Afghan and Iraq wars’
I had more than one reason to pick up this book. I believe in free speech, I am a conspiracy theorist and I don’t believe what I’m told by ‘government TV’ and I own a computer so need to understand cyber security.
The authors are very honest, they are after all journalists who know their subject. This book doesn’t portray Assange as anything other than the odd ball enigma he is. He is a geek, highly intelligent and more than slightly paranoid, justifiably I’d say.
It’s a book full of facts, as a writer I’m very impressed with the research carried out during the whole Wikileaks saga. How they have extracted the right amount of information to include in this book. I felt informed, educated and curious to learn more. At the back of the book, there are numerous papers from the ‘leak’ itself. I glanced through them to be honest but will go back to re-read this book. I’m getting familiar now with the Panama papers too.
Characters: Assange, the journalist, lawyers and various others who were required to keep the secrets secret and the man in one piece.
Assange does not seem like a very nice bloke. In fact he comes across quite the opposite but he is brave in his way and deserves credit for that. He had a very odd upbringing and a psychologist reading this work would no doubt identify some personalty traits as a result. He is also someone who you may want to kick in the n*ts as a misogynist. I think the sexual offences he’s accused or are, as far as I am aware, still up for question.
I was impressed that Assange had 28 character + passwords. If we should take security advice from anyone it’s him. I guess in years to come he’ll not be wanted by the CIA, he’ll be employed by them. It could be a fiction story, I’m sure the movies will make their move once the court cases are all out of the way.
Conclusion: The leak came out in 2010, the book in 2011. The media recently (Aug 2016) advised us that Chelsea (previously Bradley) Manning faces prosecution for a failed suicide attempt. It is a crime apparently. The punishment for this ‘crime’ could be solitary confinement for life. Once you’ve read this you may wonder, as I do, why ‘they’ say we encourage whistle blowers. I firmly support secrets for good reason but those brave enough to speak out about injustice, for the greater good, whether you agree with their actions or timing surely shouldn’t face a harsher sentence than those they expose. She was a military worker with an undoubted mental instability, shouldn’t she be supported as such.
Recommended: Definitely on the ‘must read’ section of my book recommendations. Anyone who has even a slight interest in world powers, politics, social commentary or just owns a computer should enjoy this. The saga continues today, and no doubt will for a while yet.
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