On Saturday The New York Times published “Julian Assange and the Woeful State of Whistle-Blowers” by Edward Wasserman and a comment by this reporter regarding Mordechai Vanunu and the embattled state of journalism.
By Eileen Fleming
Dr. Edward Wasserman is the dean of the Graduate School of Journalism at the University of California, Berkeley.
Dr. Wasserman’s article, “Julian Assange and the Woeful State of Whistle-Blowers” at The New York Times contends Mr. Assange is:
Plainly not a reporter, since he conveys information unearthed by others, and not a publisher either, since he often works through other news outlets to reach the public. So he isn’t really one of us….
News is in danger, and news isn’t a person, it’s a process, which desperately needs protecting. The element of that process that is most in peril is the source, and for all his sins, real and alleged, Julian Assange has been one of the most extraordinary sources of the new millennium.
WikiLeaks enabled spectacular disclosures of official secrets — from war crimes, torture and atrocities on civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan to corruption in Kenya and Tunisia, the latter a catalyst of the Arab Spring. His jailing is the latest event in the ferocious reprisal against a decade of digital whistle-blowing — which has never, to my knowledge, yielded information that was inaccurate or unimportant — and that has now produced little but misery, banishment or imprisonment for the people who tried to force officialdom to come clean.
So we’re in a chilly time for whistle-blowers. While the digital age is endlessly permissive in propagating falsity and racism, authorities are uncompromisingly harsh when the information is accurate, important and inconvenient… it’s a good time to consider what he has done and been accused of, and what that says about the embattled state of journalism. Let’s recall some facts of importance….
Buried within the 260 [as of this writing] New York Times published comments at Dr. Wasserman’s article is this reporter’s:
Let’s recall some other facts of importance such as Israel’s nuclear weapons, USA’s Symington Amendment, and whistle blower Mordechai Vanunu who after 18 yrs. behind bars was freed under restrictions including he not speak to foreigners – but he did!
In 2005 Vanunu informed this American reporter that JFK tried to get Israel to open the Dimona, that LBJ sent two senators annually to inspect but the Israelis boarded up the stairwells and elevators so they never knew about the 6 floors underground. Nixon stopped the inspections and every president since has ignored Israel’s nuclear program. Please view “30 minutes with Vanunu” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kwdz6dLbfok&t=35s
Vanuu returned to court in March 2019 seeking to end all restrictions so that he can realize Norwegian asylum granted him after his 2015 wedding to an Oslo Professor of the Hebrew Scriptures.
Please learn more at TADN’s Vanunu Archive: https://thearabdailynews.com/?s=vanunu
On April 5 at Instagram, Mordechai Vanunu published the above photo of himself on the left, attorney Avigdor Feldman in the center and next to Vanunu’s wife Kristin Joachimsen with the comment: “Born to Be Free 27/3/2019 in the court”.
Learn More HERE
Mordechai Vanunu maybe as free as he ever will be; and so the small success of The New York Times publishing “information [that] is accurate, important and inconvenient” even if it is only a comment read by the New York Times editor who approved it, after fourteen years of reporting on Vanunu’s human rights struggle and Israel’s WMD, this American reporter is grateful for that crumb received in the “embattled state of journalism.”
Learn More HERE
Eileen Fleming produced: “30 Minutes with Vanunu”
Contact her HERE
- Mordechai Vanunu: Final Annual Update and this Writers Next Steps - June 19, 2021
- US-Israel PTSD Collaboration UPDATE and USS Liberty’s 54 Commemoration - May 28, 2021
- Iran’s Foreign Minister Zarif and Vanunu: Israel’s Nuclear Whistleblower - February 21, 2021