The WikiLeaks Files | Julian Assange

Summary of: The WikiLeaks Files: The World According to US Empire
By: Julian Assange

Introduction

Welcome to the summary of ‘The WikiLeaks Files: The World According to US Empire,’ a book by Julian Assange that takes an in-depth look at WikiLeaks and its impact on global affairs. In this book, readers will be introduced to how WikiLeaks has grown since its inception in 2006 and its role in exposing the secretive, corrupt, and sometimes illegal practices of governments, institutions, and corporations. Key highlights include revelations about mass electronic spying carried out by the US National Security Agency (NSA), dubious war tactics, and the covert influence of the US on the world economy.

The Controversial Rise of WikiLeaks

Established in 2006 by Julian Assange, WikiLeaks is a platform for whistleblowers to anonymously upload confidential documents about corruption, illegal practices, and misconduct by governments, institutions, and corporations worldwide. With over 2 million US State Department records published to date, including evidence of propaganda investments and false positivity on harmful policies, WikiLeaks has earned a reputation for disclosing momentous revelations. However, the US government has always vehemently opposed WikiLeaks, with different administrations condemning it and even going as far as censoring it in public and educational institutions. Although the International Studies Association has prohibited its members from using WikiLeaks material, its revelations have been a source of valuable information and insight into US policy-making.

US Military and International Law

Renowned anthropologist Talal Asad deems war as a last resort for those of good character and benign motives, yet the US government has repeatedly shown little respect for international law and has committed war crimes. WikiLeaks has exposed instances such as the execution of Iraqi civilians in 2006 and the assassination of journalists. Despite US claims of righteousness in Guantanamo, the WikiLeaks files revealed that many prisoners were held despite posing no risk. This highlights the George W. Bush administration’s moral adjustment based on an “us versus them” mentality.

The CIA’s Torture Program

The CIA’s torture program during George W. Bush’s presidency is a disturbing revelation that haunts the government and American society. The United States captured and tortured a Saudi national named Abu Zubaydah in Guantanamo, resulting in prolonged interrogation tactics, stress positions, wounding, and psychological torture. The CIA’s actions were justified as “saving lives” and continued to happen with Congressional approval. The government continues to bury accountability, posing structural issues in the country’s image and its actions. The CIA’s torture practices exposed the dark truth of the American government’s actions.

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