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  • What does it take to change the world?

  • A big army? A cure to a pandemic? A revolution?

  • All of these take either a lot of people thousands of hours or massive amounts of space.

  • But for Julian Assange, all he needed was a small room an

  • internet connection, and the world listened.

  • After almost seven years of self-imposed captivity Assange finally wore out his welcome

  • as a guest at the Ecuadorian embassy.

  • He is now being detained at Her Majesty's Prison Belmarsh in east London

  • where it's safe to assume he doesn't have a laptop.

  • But during his long stay at the Ecuadorian embassy he posted government secrets,

  • classified documents and leaked emails of some of the world's most powerful people.

  • And in doing so has been labelled a hero a villain a nihilist and everything in between.

  • I think the first taste of what would come later is the hacking that he did as a young programmer

  • and that really sort of foreshadowed a healthy skepticism of the use and abuse

  • of technology by governments.

  • That's Vernon Silver.

  • I'm a reporter for Bloomberg's investigations team.

  • Assange's youth as a hacker laid the foundation for him to start Wikileaks in 2006.

  • In 2010 one of his sources named Bradley Manning now known as Chelsea Manning

  • provided Assange and WikiLeaks with hundreds of thousands of leaked government documents.

  • WikiLeaks quietly began releasing the documents in February of 2010

  • then made big headlines in April by posting what is now known as the collateral murder video.

  • It was a vivid graphic video.

  • It changed the debate on the Iraq war and importantly it put WikiLeaks on the map.

  • When they put it online and they couldn't be ignored at that point

  • and those leaks were just the beginning.

  • They went on to post more than 90000 leaked documents known as the Afghan war logs.

  • Three hundred and ninety thousand documents known as the Iraq war logs

  • and a quarter of a million private messages between diplomats called cables,

  • in what is now known as Cable Gate.

  • These leaks were met with very real ethical questions.

  • The problem with publishing those cables was that a number of confidential

  • sources for U.S. diplomats who face real danger when their names were exposed.

  • Then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton drove the point home that every

  • country including the United States must be able to have

  • candid conversations about the people and nations with whom they deal.

  • Shortly after Cable Gate the Swedish government issued an arrest warrant for Assange

  • on allegations of rape and molestation.

  • He claimed the allegations were fabricated to get him extradited to the United States,

  • a claim the U.S. government denied.

  • Assange's next move was to seek refuge in the Ecuadorian embassy.

  • He essentially ran WikiLeaks from their leaking files about

  • Guantanamo Bay prisoners Syrian political refugees and the draft to the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

  • And then came the 2016 U.S. election.

  • Thousands of leaked emails show Democratic Party officials possibly plotting against Bernie Sanders in his race against Hillary Clinton.

  • Over the course of 68 days WikiLeaks released 20,000 confidential Democratic National Committee emails.

  • In terms of the presidential race, if you look right here

  • when Assange released the first batch of emails Trump actually takes his first lead against Clinton.

  • I think we've had enough of the Clintons.

  • And once WikiLeaks started exposing secrets of the Democratic Party

  • Julian Assange became a hero to many on the right. Public opinion kind of flip flopped.

  • WikiLeaks!

  • When the Muller report was released it did confirm

  • that Donald Trump Junior was in direct Twitter contact with WikiLeaks

  • in which they alerted the Trump campaign of the release have been pending hacked e-mails.

  • I know nothing about WikiLeaks. It's not my thing.

  • From those emails we learn that Hillary Clinton's campaign manager makes risotto

  • and also how the DNC squashed Bernie Sanders campaign.

  • While a U.S. indictment says Russian agents stole the emails,

  • Assange has always insisted that WikiLeaks did not get them from Russia.

  • Our source is not the Russian government and it is not state party.

  • After almost seven years in captivity with his cat,

  • reports of disturbing behavior resulted in his expulsion.

  • He was dragged out by British police arrested and charged with

  • breaching the bail act on May 1st 2019.

  • He was sentenced to 50 weeks in prison.

  • And with Swedish prosecutors reopening their investigation into rape allegations

  • it looks like the age of Assange could be coming to a swift end.

  • But for better or for worse his work lives on with or without Assange.

  • WikiLeaks remains active and governments the world over remain wary of its wrath.

What does it take to change the world?


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ジュリアン・アサンジの刑務所への長い道のり (Julian Assange's Long Road to Prison)

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    林宜悉 に公開 2021 年 01 月 14 日