Julian Assange, 2010’s Person Of The Year

Julian Assange Is The Person of the Year

He said he wouldn’t mind prison. Julian Assange sort of looked forward to it, even. He’d read a nice, long book in peace. And he’d get to sleep in the same bed for the first time in years.

Assange got his wish when he surrendered to British authorities Tuesday. He is charged with allegedly sexually assaulting two women during a lecture stop in Stockholm this August. The first court appearance was predictably messy. He refused to be photographed, finger-printed, or DNA swabbed. And that was before the judge asked Assange for his current address. He gave some post office at first. Then some place in Australia he hadn’t visited in four years.

To be fair, you can’t really ask Julian Assange where he lives. He moved 34 times by the age of 14. A quarter century later, he is even more nomadic. The most connected man in the world lives a rootless existence. He says he resides in airports and has virtually no material possessions, save for his Australian passport and a laptop.

He doesn’t have a red button but an all-powerful Touchpad. Since 2006, Assange has orbited the globe with the power to sink politicians, companies or wars with a key-stroke. He has released more confidential documents than the rest of the world press combined. He is an information “terrorist” who deals in government memos and cables, setting their own words back on them for all the world to see. Even behind bars now, Assange warns he has a “poison pill” that is impossible to stop. It’s filled not with cyanide but venomous cables about Guantanamo Bay and the BP oil leak.

Julian Assange

Julian Assange is the purported founder of WikiLeaks.org, the website that released more than 250,000 State Department cables. He gave us the seedy underbelly of American foreign policy. We saw beyond the glossy press releases and photo-ops and peered into how the American Empire works behind closed doors. The cables exposed our diplomats’ raw, unfiltered feelings about the rest of the world.

A few of the revelations are disturbing: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton ordered the State Department to spy on the UN; Washington tried to bargain off Guantanamo Bay prisoners to Belgium like poker chips; Saudi Arabia wanted the U.S. to bomb Iran.

But nothing is veritable Abu Ghraib bomb-shell material. The cables are more embarrassing then they are enlightening. They are the juicy tidbits of diplomats’ water cooler talk: Qaddahafi always travels with a “voluptuous blonde” nurse; German chancellor Angela Merkel is boring and “rarely creative”; and, unsurprisingly, Italy’s Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi is “vain” and should not be Italy’s Prime Minister.

French President Sarkozy Italian President Berlusconi and Russian PM Medvedev Drunk In Public

Russia’s blustery Prime Minister Vladimir Putin is steamed our diplomats see him as the “Batman” to Russian President Dmitry Medvedev’s “Robin”. But Putin is an exception, not an example. Most foreign leaders and diplomats have brushed aside the cables. We knew already why they shrugged: we’ve called each other worse.

Hillary Clinton has stoically maintained the State Department will “get through this”. But deep down she knows it will never be the same. She will never be able to look French President Nicholas Sarkozy in the eye the same way again after he knows the State Department thinks he’s thin-skinned.

Sarah Palin wants Assange hunted down like Osama Bin Laden. And to many, Assange is a terrorist. He deals not in car bombs but information dumps. Assange similarly hopes to open Western governments. But he seeks to implode them from within. As they tell it, WikiLeaks will force governments to clamp down and centralize to keep their secrets within. But the governments will ultimately topple under their own Orwellian Big Brother weight and “more open forms of governance” will emerge

The debate about Julian Assange is a debate about have we reached a point of too much information? Yes, WikiLeaks will clean up American embassies. Heads will roll. His alleged “terrorism”? Truth. He’s simply releasing the real story of tales the government doesn’t want you to know. He’s the savior for the X-Files Truth is Out There information hounds.

Kenya Violence and Riots After Election

But there’s the other side. The peril of a world with no secrets. Assange admits a Kenyan memo he leaked “flipped the [nation’s 2007] election” that triggered a massacre that killed over 1300. Hillary Clinton argues he put American soldiers’ lives at stake by releasing the cables. The Pentagon points out Afghan families are mentioned in the cables. The Taliban knows who and where they are, and they will hunt them down. The cables will inevitably serve as an anti-American recruiting tool for al Qaeda and splinter cells across the globe.

WikiLeaks has next set its sights on a major U.S. bank in early 2011 (probably Bank of America). Assange has already warned the event will unleash an investigation of Enron-esque proportions.

Governments and companies have never had to reckon with a force like Julian Assange before. He is a rogue committed to truth and transparency who can reach billions with a click of a button. And even if Assange never sees the light of day again, he’s already won. Julian Assange will not be the end. The next wave of younger and better hackers will take his place. Nations and corporations must accept a new, more transparent world order. A world order where anything they say can and will be used against them.

For striking fear into the heart of every crooked politician and banker and for showing us the gift—and the curse—of too much information, Julian Assange is 2010’s Person of the Year.

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See Also: Cyber War Over Wikileaks, Julian Assange May Have The Files For Every Single Prisoner In Guantanamo, Governments learning about the internet, Assange Could Face Espionage Trial in US, United States wants to put Wikileaks back in the bottle – Good luck with that, Fox News guests agree that murder is best option for WikiLeaks, We Live In An Open-Source World, Silencing Wikileaks is silencing the press, and WikiLeaks and Journalism’s Future.

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  1. […] Julian Assange, 2010's Person Of The Year | Prose Before Hos […]

  2. TomCat says:

    A fair and honest assessment.

    Thanks for the linkage.

  3. Charlie says:

    “A fair and honest assessment.”

    I double down on that. Good article.

  4. Anonymous says:

    I won’t comment on this for fear the Feds will come after me.

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    yeah! this story has entered the popular today section on popurls.com…

  6. An Incredibly interesting man and interesting story. I think the perfect choice for man of the year.
    We have only seen the tip of the iceberg on this story.

  7. Clay says:

    Here here.

  8. Zim9 says:

    I like the truth to keep the powers that be relatively honest, but I just can’t stand this Assange fellow. I know it’s shallow.

  9. […] Read the full story here Categories: WikiLeaks LikeBe the first to like this post. Comments (0) Trackbacks (0) Leave a comment Trackback […]

  10. Conejo says:

    I hope they convict him of espionage.

  11. kitsua says:

    Beautifully and eloquently put. This is history in the making. Wikileaks *is* the news now.

  12. Anonymous says:

    why do you not admit it was 4chan?

    we forced the votes up there. he was not even a nominee. do the fucking math. he is one of 4 people.

  13. Anonymous says:

    I’m afraid you’re using the term that we are all fighting against – “New World Order”. This is what the Bilderberg group, and the combined illuminati are pushing towards. You might not be directly referring to it in that context, but it is a term that should be shunned, not promoted.

  14. Jonas says:

    Great article!

  15. Josh says:

    Very Good Article!

  16. j smith says:

    I have been blogging all week at http://free-julian-assange.com/ about Assange and WikiLeaks. I am pulling articles from all over to the blog and commenting on them. I also have created Free Speech shirts.
    Please check it out and keep up the good work here.

  17. Even if Wikileaks was shut down tomorrow, Assange has demonstrated the potential for the technology. All it takes is one person to leak data and one person to host it long enough for the torrents to spread.

  18. Anonymous says:

    You guys are all idiots. These releases threaten the security of citizens in many countries, not to mention our armed forces. String him up.

    • Sky says:

      Your armed forces….not ours.

      • lecia says:

        everyone’s armed forces are threatened if diplomats can no longer speak to one another because they are angry about something other diplomats said about them in private that got released on the internet. there is a big picture here – a global picture. pretending our governments are faceless and ego-less is a huge mistake.

  19. Nids says:

    I really liked this speech that Assange made at Oslo Freedom Forum 2010. He explains that he who controls today’s internet servers controls the intellectual record of mankind..
    http://www.frequency.com/video/julian-assange/631792?embed=true

  20. […] now will he be brought to the US for trial. There are several different sides to this debate. In an article from PBH Network, Assange is an American Revolutionist bringing much needed […]

  21. NObby Lou says:

    So he gets 1300 people murdered by his OWN admission and you call him a hero? Pathetic.

  22. lecia says:

    a new world order? china suppresses information like mad. sure, wikileaks might create a world where governments operate openly, but more likely we will end up with more totalitarian states.
    while i am all for holding crooked politicians and greedy self serving executives feet to the fire, releasing information, sans context, without any thought to the consequences is irresponsible.
    the article mentions that assange thinks his releasing the kenyan memo may have directly led to 1,300 deaths – how does that not give him pause? embarrassing politicians and outing cia operatives, not to mention naming people who have provided aid at great personal peril, is not noble, it is reckless. this guy may have started out heroic, but his armor is tarnished by his lack of consideration for the innocents who get caught in the crossfire. information does lead to action, and one with the power to affect that action should be more conscientious of how the information is used.

  23. […] artikel gaat dieper in op de vraag of Julian Assange Man van het Jaar 2010 moet worden. Ze zetten zijn […]

  24. Trumpcard says:

    We need more people like Julian Assange. Knowledge is freedom and people need to wake up and see and hear the truth for it will set them free.

  25. […] Salvia video 61. Kanye disrespects Taylor Swift at VMA’s 62. Iphone 4 63. UFC-WEC Merger 64. Julian Assange introduces Wikileaks.org 65. Only the 7th Player to complete a Career Grand Slam, Rafael Nadal wins the US Open 66. San […]

  26. […] Julian Assange, 2010’s Person Of The Year […]

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