WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange leaves a police station in London, the UK, April 11 2019. Picture: REUTERS/PETER NICHOLLS
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange leaves a police station in London, the UK, April 11 2019. Picture: REUTERS/PETER NICHOLLS

It is disheartening and hard to fathom the apathetic attitude of journalism towards the fate of WikiLeaks activist Julian Assange. Apart from some alternative news outlets, the general lack of outrage, support and coverage of his cruel ordeal at the hands of the vengeful US is truly alarming.

To be hounded and persecuted for doing your job should give more than pause to any journalist. After all, this was about exposing dirty secrets and the gratuitous murder of Iraqi civilians together with two Reuters reporters.

The pathetic reason for wanting him incarcerated in the US is that he had somehow compromised its state security. Of course this was not the real reason. What truly upset the US was that it was caught in the act and exposed to the world as a war criminal.

While US war crimes are well documented, what made this different was that it was caught on film. So it was shown to the world over and over again on prime time television news. How infuriating for the “indispensable nation”.

What Assange did was no different to what Daniel Ellsberg did 50 years ago when he passed secret documents (The Pentagon Papers) about the Vietnam War on to The Times and Washington Post. However, what is different is that those newspapers fought a restraining order through the courts and won, unlike today's complicit mainline media, which has nothing to say. What is also different is that the worst Ellsberg suffered was attempts to discredit him by the powers that be.

Brian van der Vijver
Cape Town

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