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Julian Assange: The Unauthorised Autobiography

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Paperback: 339 pages / Publisher: Canongate Books Ltd / Published: 22 Sep 2011

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      01.05.2013 12:20
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      An example of a publisher bowing under the pressure

      Publishing House: Canongate
      Duration: 339 pages
      Chapters: 14
      2011

      - * - - * -

      Neither am I jumping the gun, or firing 'WikiLeak' ammunition when I state - 'Canongate the publishers have been walking on an Assange minefield to get this unauthorised autobiography published.' The importance of understatement without hyperbole made the reader detached from the content emotive - in its place a 'machine orientated download'. I failed to be emotionally perplexed at the 'ship-em-in -ship-em-out,' the so-called choppy childhood Julian Assange endured - you treated it the same as the leaked Iraq War files, which read like a punchy military demand or a computer prompt - Subject: - released classified data log, underlined and dated. Don't expect Assange to feed you empathy of his plight, why, there is no need. He's living a military life-styled mission and unlike Jon Ronson he epitomises the locked-in bunker scenario - in contrast Ronson is walking around living in his dream, on wild-goat chases, having discourses with weird people who collect plastic figurines and carry a cocked-gun. Assange makes Ronson a plausible character from 'Red Dwarf.' What Assange does unleash is a slice of reality, an acidic fragrance of what lies at the mindset of the WikiLeak founder - who has perfected the art of solitude. To the tiresomeness of O'Hagan whose quest was to inform us of Leaks from the Wiki prose - the brief came apparent when writer Andrew O'Hagan collaborated with Julian Assange in a plethora of fifteen minute intervals (as stated by Canongate). Julian imitated a contemptuous youth, mildly belligerently as if infinitely grounded - defied a freedom, an outlet - indeed he is a prisoner, no wonder Assange appears unhinged - O'Hagan's pen singed. Assange's personal ennui on the autobiography is coherent. 'A memoir is prostitution' he burst out to publishing house Canongate - hardly a walk in the park or solitary bunker. Evidently, one of many bothers.

      Julian Assange's trust is wilting, but not for the fight or for the truth but for the egalitarians that fished on the WikiLeak lakes and dropped them as soon the climate got toxic - a cruel world, bolstered up with capitalistic values / ethics rather than the truth; the likes of Canongate is rotten from within - where control, influence and power erode democracy, the freedom of speech. You're allowed to play the game only on their terms - 'their,' meaning the Feds and superior hierarchies - Bank of America, Visa, MasterCard, PayPal, and Western Union folded to US pressure by arbitrarily and unlawfully cutting WikiLeaks off of its financial lifeline. Only such bodies are allowed to change the rules, cut-off the cash-flow to a viable organisation / a democracy available for all, in search of the 'truth,' without reprisals. The authoritarian snake figure with a python grip, tightening, squeezing the jugular - WikiLeak is in a cul-de-sac of no return - avidly, seeking out a pathway - this is where Assange is at present: the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, where he has been granted political asylum since June 2012 - his digs since his house arrest in 2010. The unauthorised version of Assange's ideology is nevertheless yet another blot on his activist landscape of distrust - systematic blots, only those self inflicted blots which only activists wear as a war wound.

      I can confirm Assange did not automatically receive a final draft of the alleged 100,000 word memoir or how he words it 'manifesto.' It hit the printing press as an unauthorised draft written by O'Hagan but with the creative copyright of Assange - herewith, O'Hagan has removed himself of responsibility in regards to the Canongate publication so leaving Assange having to purchase his own copy of his unauthorised autobiography - this poses to be normality to Assange - one of a myriad negatives of being infinitely grounded - but as Canongate breached their terms with the WikiLeak Founder - you cannot rule out 'tic for tat' corporate espionage had taken place directly from the Feds, in response to the infamous leaked Afghan / Iraq War classified documents that supposedly would've put every service-person at risk from insurgents and Taliban fighters. I may suggest the premature publication was brought on by the cyber attacks that swarmed the WikiLeak nerve centre at astonishing levels of traffic was a bid to bring down the whistle-blowing site, knowing full well the 'manifesto' was to secure income derived via legal fees - I'm not clutching at straws when I state that the unauthorised book doesn't appear to be purely from the mouth of an activist, at first I was unsure considering the initial sincere sounding 'note from the publisher,' now, I've interpreted it as an attempt to sabotage future Assange biographies - knowing the first book was the potential big seller. It was out of O'Hagan's hands even though he wrote it. Canongate lost their publishing partner Knopf over the premature first-draft publication - I therefore, cannot claim the book is worthy of a positive review, let alone for it to be valid. Yes, I expect Assange is an unnerving character but this isn't unique; yea, I believe he could turn a room sour faster than most via a glare or a myopic one-line stance - usually because he is on the money and politically astute and that makes individuals' feel uncomfortable - this isn't a unique character trait - which this book is attempting to imply. Julian Assange doesn't require a profound hyperbole approach either, his name alone carries enough mustard for a Colonel to get hot under the collar about - nevertheless, the spiced-up first draft dossier apparently helps sells books, not unlike the trash which is in emergency thick red text at the back of the book: 'We knew that we would be the most secure platform for whistleblowers the world had ever known. We had gumption. We had philosophy. Game on.' Please note the word: 'had' - Activists / Freedom fighters do not talk in the past tense while at war - intentional bellicose language for a non conventional attack from the authoritarians - notably dirigisme, next, trepidation.

      Better to be a whistleblower than bow at the whistle

      'Vanity in a newspaper man is like perfume on a whore: they fend off a dark whiff of themselves;' from 'All The Editor's Men,' chapter. Peculiar language for a modern 41 year old dissident to use especially for an autobiography - it was lifted from a Assange quote from 'The Economist' in regards to his alleged sexual assault - taken out of context and with no reference to the origins of the quote. Canongate would argue it is a valid comment, a credible opinion - personally, I believe they were bulking up copy. Assange has stated a good journalist is one who is able to create provocation, make the authorities think and Wikileaks is designed for exactly that quest. The truth protects whistleblowers - better to be a whistleblower than bow at the whistle. I'll leave you with a Julian Assange comment concerning Canongate the publisher.

      "The events surrounding its unauthorised publication by Canongate are not about freedom of information -- they are about old-fashioned opportunism and duplicity--screwing people over to make a buck".

      Er, not recommended.

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