WikiLeaks and Freedom Forum: John Pilger 2/2


Pilger began his remarks by citing leaked documents from the British Defence Ministry and the Pentagon, in which WikiLeaks was described as a threat due to its exposure of the secret dealings of government. The Pentagon document, dated March 2008, called for a campaign to “destroy WikiLeaks’ centre of gravity, its public trust” through “threats of exposure and criminal prosecution.” Pilger told the audience: “The real threat is not WikiLeaks or Julian Assange, but you. The real threat is you finding out the truth about those who pretend to be democratic, and to act in your interests, and to promote a peaceful world. The real threat is you being able to call your government to account.” Pilger proceeded to call for the broadest political action in defence of Assange and WikiLeaks. “Unless we make our voices heard now,” he said, “Julian Assange is likely to end up in a Kafkaesque judicial system in the US, which is now so corrupted that not a single detainee since 9/11 has been accorded any redress in America’s courts, including innocent people detained for years and tortured.” Pilger announced the presence in the front row of the audience of former GuantĆ”namo Bay detainee David Hicks, provoking lengthy, thunderous applause. David Hicks, who was seized in Afghanistan during the 2001 US invasion, was imprisoned as an “enemy combatant” for six years. He suffered severe abuse and torture, with the full support of the former Howard conservative government in Australia. He only