Bonum Certa Men Certa

Julian Assange: Factual Timeline From an Online Friend

posted by Roy Schestowitz on May 20, 2024,
updated May 20, 2024

Protesters including Julian Assange’s father march outside Central Criminal Court in London. (Hasan Esen / Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

Foreword: I honestly believe I know the person better than the typical corporate/mainstream media hack, who merely parrots what other sites are saying, no matter how selective, irrelevant or inaccurate (shooting the messenger with straw man arguments and distracting from the message or the content of pertinent leaks). This person's family deems me a trusted person, not an opportunistic backstabber.

This is what actually happened. I omit partisan spin and gossip disguised as "news".

1980s: Assange the teenager had spent years traveling between towns and cities with his mother Christine. His childhood since the 1970s involved a lot of moving.

1990s: Assange the young adult leverages his knowledge of computing to engage in activist and hacktivist activities as a young Australian in the age of residential Internet and ISPs.

Assange also gets involved in GNU/Linux development through the Debian Project (where he becomes a Debian Developer), focusing on communications and transmission/encryption technology.

Early 2000s: Assange as a young programmer and occasional student produces code and runs a personal Web site. He establishes himself as a knowledgeable person in the area of the Net with an eye on politics.

Mid 2000s: Assange establishes a wiki that facilitates leaking of information for publication online, exploiting anonymity tools for source protection.

Later 2000s: Wikileaks, the above wiki, transitions away from a wiki format and publishes a number of high-impact troves of leaks, including many from Africa and the West. The focus is the English language, so many of the leaks are sourced from Western nations or colonies (e.g. Kenya).

2010: Wikileaks receives very incriminating material from Brad Manning (now Chelsea Manning), an army intelligence analyst who became disgruntled, seeing war crimes being covered up and downplayed. Chelsea Manning attempts to blow the whistle to US journals of record, notably the New York Times and Washington Post. They don't show interest in what Chelsea Manning has to offer. Chelsea Manning, seeing the impact factor of Wikileaks, decides to publish through Wikileaks and chats with Julian Assange.

Mid-2010: Assange and colleagues in Iceland, Germany and elsewhere look into the content of the leaks and prepare some of them for online publication. An upset insider destroys some of the material (e.g. footage of airstrikes) and tries to demonise Assange over some "cat tales". The material transmitted by Manning is said to have been extracted using GNU WGet and a writable CD-ROM labelled Lady Gaga.

Late 2010: Wikileaks goes live with the material, soon to be facing the challenges of DDOS and deplatforming (first AWS) while Manning is detained as a military person, not a civilian, facing charges. Manning is attempting suicide and is left naked in the cell - a form of humiliation that can traumatise and severely harm the mind.

2011: Assange is subjected to numerous attacks on his freedom, including partial restrictions on his movement. Prior to that he had faced spurious lawsuits filed by people embarrassed by his publications, which had successfully demonstrated corporate crimes or financial felonies of very rich and powerful people.

2012: Assange's state of confinement further deteriorates and venue-shifting escalates to the point where he must hide in an embassy, where he had successfully applied for political asylum. He gets there by motorcycle to lessen chance of detection. He would later be granted not only political asylum but also citizenship, as the Australian leadership gave him a cold shoulder and impeded his attempts to liberate himself (around 2017).

Mid 2010s: Wikileaks proceeds to releasing very high-profile publications that tarnish the image of some politicians and even agencies such as the CIA, which later floats a plan to torture and/or assassinate Assange in the embassy in London, having already degraded his health to the point of chronic problems and much-needed intervention by doctors. London's bigwigs oppose this plan as they do not wish to have an assassination in the middle of Belgrave area - an incident that would repel diplomats and diplomatic missions in a world capital.

Late 2010s: Activists online and offline plead with politicians to rescue Julian Assange and transport him into a safe haven that isn't merely a building. Ecuador's newly-elected national leader is manipulated into expelling Assange, who is grabbed at the corridor of the embassy and dragged into a police van. It later turns out that a lot of manifestly illegal surveillance was conducted inside the embassy, targeting both lawyers and political visitors, then in turn smuggled to the US along with (after the arrest) Julian Assange's digital equipment.

2020+: Assange, now married with children (he had already had children from prior relationships), sees further deterioration in health and even suffers a mild stroke. He is in limbo for a number of years because the US unsealed an espionage charge as soon as he was captured inside the embassy. In years to follow Assange's legal team fights to prevent the extradition, though his health continues to stagnate inside a cell in Belmarsh prison - an imprisonment whose length is difficult to actually rationalise. Throughout those years Wikileaks fails to attract or publish more major leaks - in fact the site is starting to lose some old pages for technical reasons among others.

Today: The court rules in favour of Assange's legal team to the extent that they're permitted to try blocking the extradition (while Assange remains to rot in a cell, unable to practice journalism or be with his family).

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