Julian Assange’s Sydney Peace Medal speech

Julian Assange was recently awarded the Sydney Peace Foundation (SPF)’s peace medal, presented to him in London. The  event was organised at the Frontline Club. Assange’s acceptance address follows introductions by the SPF’s Stuart Rees and Mary Kostikidis.

A write up of a Q&A section with Assange, which followed the speeches, can be found here (part I) and here (part II).

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Breaking Australia’s silence: WikiLeaks and freedom

‘Breaking Australia’s silence: WikiLeaks and freedom’ was a public forum held on 16 March 2011 at the Sydney Town Hall. The event was staged by the Sydney Peace Foundation, Amnesty, Stop the War Coalition, and supported by the City of Sydney.

Chaired by Mary Kostakidis, it featured speeches by John Pilger, Andrew Wilkie MP (the only serving Western intelligence officer to expose the truth about the Iraq invasion) and Julian Burnside QC, defender of universal human rights under the law.

New York Times slimes on Julian Assange

Bill Keller of the New York Times accuses Wikileaks of engaging in ‘anti-war propaganda’. Of course that is something that the august ‘paper of record’ would never do. It only engages in pro-war propaganda. Check out the kind of things Keller was writing in the lead up to the Iraq war.

Phenomenons otherwise known as Julian Assange and WikiLeaks have – no doubt – turned world politics and journalism, upside-down. Maybe that’s why the New York Times was among the first US Media outlets to begin working with Assange last year, securing scoops on classified US Government documents obtained by WikiLeaks. Six months later, the relationship has soured and the Times is looking to profit from it by publishing a critical tell-all book about the source that they once relied on.

David Bromwich on Obama, the Establishment President

David Bromwich is the Sterling Professor of English at Yale, and easily the most astute observer of Barack Obama’s performance and character. He has written some of the most insightful articles on the Obama presidency in which he subjects Obama’s oratory and style to close textual and formal analysis, and highlights the various traits that are symptomatic of his approach to politics. In this wide ranging discussion with Christopher Lydon of the excellent Radio Open Source (based at Brown University’s Watson Institute) Bromwich brings his formidable analytical skills to bear on Obama’s langauge, the difference between his improptu and scripted speech, his attempts at humour, and what it reveals about the man. He also makes an interesting comparison between Obama’s style and that of former presidents such as Lincoln, Reagan and Kennedy.

The Persecution of Bradley Manning

From Dylan Rattigan’s excellent show on MSNBC, an interview with one of Bradley Manning’s friends who describes the conditions under which he is being held.

By comparison, following is Al Jazeera’s Patty Culhane, a second rate journalist who generally recycles the consensus view of the Washington punditocracy with little in the way of scepticism or original thought. You can tell from the report below that she even manages to render critical reports in the language of the beltway hack.

Greenwald discusses Wikileaks on FAIR’s Counterspin

On this week’s Counterspin Glenn Greenwald of Salon discusses new developments in the Wikileaks saga.

(I think Al Jazeera is head and shoulders above competitors in the mainstream as a media institution. But I can’t say I am a fan of its media watch show The Listening Post. The show lacks political edge, and the media analysis is trite. One wishes they would follow the hard hitting style of FAIR‘s excellent Counterspin.)

This week on CounterSpin: The journalism organization WikiLeaks is under massive attack by U.S. government officials, corporations, and journalists. Many are calling for the group and its spokesperson Julian Assange to be prosecuted; some have even called for Assange’s execution or assassination. Transnational companies like Visa, MasterCard and Paypal have cut off services, and even liberal US pundits are attacking the group with inaccurate smears. WikiLeaks crime? Making leaked U.S. diplomatic cables available to the world both directly and through its mainstream media partners. In this special extended CounterSpin interview, we’ll talk to Salon.com’s Glenn Greenwald about the assault on WikiLeaks and Assange, and what it means for journalism.