16 C
Byron Shire
May 22, 2022

Neither hagiography nor hatchet job

Latest News

Tibetan anniversary

May 23  marks 71 years since the Chinese Communist Party and the People's Liberation Army invaded and commenced  the...

Other News

SCU to house temporary accommodation for flood-affected residents

Temporary homes will be located at Southern Cross University (SCU) Lismore Campus as part of the NSW government's program to provide 800 temporary housing options for flood-affected people.

Multi-agency search continues for missing man

NSW Police say a search is continuing this morning for a man who went missing in a creek overnight.

‘Dining in the Dark’ at Forest, Byron

To celebrate the North Coast Festival of Flavour, Forest restaurant is turning off the lights so you can turn...

The protest vote

Uncanny that in this federal election, in Richmond as elsewhere, the freedom/protest vote parties just about all preference the...

COVID-19 update: May 16

The Northern NSW Local Health District says that to 4pm yesterday, 15 May, 384 new cases of COVID-19 were confirmed in the District, including 82 positive PCR tests and 302 positive rapid antigen tests.

Radiance Kitchen

Victoria Cosford I can imagine how radiant the smiles were when Dexter Chou and Linda Hung resumed their stall recently...

Film review: We Steal Secrets: The Story Of WikiLeaks


John Campbell

One should declare one’s prejudices before commenting on matters that polarise opinion; I’m not a camp follower of Julian Assange. For mine, he is just another self-righteous showpony who, by accepting succour from a regime that denies journalists in its own country the freedom of speech that he claims to be champion of, has shown himself to be a supreme hypocrite and exploited fool.

Alex Gibney’s doco, which is neither hagiography nor hatchet job, did nothing to dissuade me of my view, but, if anything, it is more balanced than both Assange’s detractors and supporters would prefer. ‘Boys with toys’ is an expression formerly applied to the masters of war and their sophisticated [sic] weaponry – today, power has shifted to those who control information. It is still a bloke’s world, however, and as a supremo computer geek with matching ego, Assange quickly became a player of stunning, unforeseen significance. The phenomenon of WikiLeaks, from the high-minded if simplistic ideals of its inception to its undignified hubris, is charted here with clarity and with the unequivocal testament of all parties involved, on both sides of the fence.

Assange comes across as unnervingly amoral and not immune to the trappings of rock stardom, but the true hero, if we can use that cheapened word, is Bradley Manning, the American soldier who, as whistleblower, provided WikiLeaks with its most explosive data. An outsider obsessed with his sexuality, Manning’s weird story is intensely compelling for its humanity, as is Adrian Lamo’s, the confidant who dobbed him in.

The knee-jerk dismissal and vilification by the mob gathered below the balcony of Equador’s London embassy, like pilgrims at the Vatican, of the Swedish women who accused Assange of sexual assault bring to mind the ‘ditch the witch’ treatment meted out to our first female PM. What we allow to be done in the course of defending our freedom is as much a matter for public scrutiny as it is for personal reflection. This probing film is a welcome rebuttal of the foolish cult of the messiah.

Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Richmond candidates 2022: The Greens, Mandy Nolan

Mandy Nolan needs little introduction to most readers of The Echo, where she has a weekly column. She is a comedian and journalist running as a candidate for The Greens in the federal seat of Richmond.

The protest vote

Uncanny that in this federal election, in Richmond as elsewhere, the freedom/protest vote parties just about all preference the National or Liberal candidate. To...

Inflated Scomo

During his term, Scomo made plenty of decisions that helped lead us to the inflation we face today. When he says we should not...

Our sitting member

The sitting member for Richmond, Labor’s Justine Elliott, is aptly named because, as far as I have seen, that’s all she’s done for the...