WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has said he’ll leave the Ecuadorean Embassy in London “soon.” He’s been holed up there for two years, primarily to avoid extradition to Sweden for a sexual misconduct charge, but also to avoid extradition to the U.S., where he fears indictment and possible criminal charges. Concurrently, from his self-exile in Russia, Edward Snowden used a cover story in Wiredto once again defend his release of thousands of classified NSA documents. Meanwhile, WikiLeaks whistleblower Chelsea Manning remains in Fort Leavenworth Prison, where she now charges that the U.S. military is denying her gender reassignment treatment.


Here at Fawkes Rising, we fervently advocate for transparency over secrecy, disclosure over deception—and the people who reveal what others try to conceal are our champions. But it’s worth noting that when faced with the consequences of having acted on this principle, the three individuals under discussion reacted very differently. One took sanctuary; one took flight…


…and one—the one with the most to lose, given the ongoing nature of her gender reassignment, stood her ground and faced her accusers. Maybe it’s due to her military training; but whatever the reason, it marks her out in our eyes as a higher calibre of hero, and her current troubles of more consequence than the much more written-about travails of her two more elusive contemporaries.

Comment (1)

  1. Justin Time

    Only a fool sacrificies their freedom of movement. Mandela was fighting on the run until the CIA ratted him out to the South African police.

    Manning’s a great guy (girl), but she blabbed to an FBI informant and so was arrested without any chance to seek a safter jurisdiction. She thought she was protected by being anonymous and was until she got slack and spilled to Adrian Lamo.

    Assange was never anonymous and faced the US government head on and in the open. He even flew to Washington DC to launch his public attack. He became trapped in the UK, but kept publishing, even under house arrest and even now with the police surrounding that embassy he’s in. Despite multiple ongoing criminal investigations against him, and being surrounded by police, he organized Edward Snowden’s rescue from HongKong, a felony carrying 15 years.

    Snowden “pre-ran-away” (which was wise), flying to Hong Kong. He acted under the cover of anonymity until that started to break and went public for protection while in Hong Kong. He miscalculated about Hong Kong and so had to be rescued by Assange & company.

    These are three very brave people, but Manning and Snowden engaged in just one brave act. Assange and company keeps going.

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