Julian Assange on Why Calls for His Death and the McCarthyesque Crackdown on WikiLeaks Are Good Signs
Continued from previous page
At the moment we are severely lacking in the information from the interior of big secretive organizations that have such a role in shaping how civilization evolves and how we all live.
AMY GOODMAN: As we continue with this unusual rare gathering in the East End of London on Saturday of July 4th weekend. A discussion between Slovenian philosopher Slavoj Žižek and WikiLeaks editor in chief Julian Assange.
JULIAN ASSANGE: Getting down in to Iraq, so that was 400 thousand documents. Each one written in military speak, on the other hand, each one having a geographic coordinate down often to 10 meters, a death count of civilians, U.S. military troops, Iraqi troops and suspected insurgents.
So, it was the first, rather the largest, because we also did the Afghan War Logs, the largest history of a war, the most detailed significant history of a war to have ever been published, probably at all, but definitely during the course of a war. And so it provided a picture of the every day squalor of war. From children being killed at road side blocks to over a thousand people being handed over to the Iraqi police for torture, to the reality of close air support and how modern military combat is done—linking up with other information such as this video that we discovered—men surrendering, being attacked.
So, as an archive of human history this is a beautiful and horrifying thing—both at the same time. It is the history of the nation of Iraq and most significant recording during its most significant development in the past 20 years. And while we always see newspaper stories reporting and revealing some individual, if we’re lucky, some individual event or some individual family dying. This provides the broad scope of the entire war and all the individual events. So, the details of over 104 thousand deaths.
And we worked together to statistically analyze this with various groups, around the world, such as Iraq Body Count, who became the specialists in these areas and lawyers here in the U.K. who represented Iraqi refugees—to pull out the stories of 15 thousand Iraqi civilians, labeled as civilians by the U.S. military, who were killed and were never before reported in the Iraqi press, never before reported in the U.S. press, world press even in aggregate—even saying today 1,000 people died. Not reported in any manner whatsoever. And, yeah just think about that—15 thousand people whose deaths were recorded by the U.S. military, but were completely unknown to the rest of the world—that’s a very significant thing.
I mean, compare that to 3,000 deaths on 9/11. Imagine the significance for Iraqis. That is something that we specialize in and that I like to do and that I always do is go from the small to the large, not just by abstraction or analogy, but actually by encompassing all of it together. And then trying to look at it and abstract, through mathematics or statistics. And so to try and sort of push both of these things at the same time, the individual relationship, plus the state relationship, plus the relationship that has to do with civilization as a whole.
AMY GOODMAN: Slavoj Žižek, the importance of WikiLeaks today in the world?
SLAVOJ ŽIŽEK: Wait a minute, to understand properly this question, this question is just, you can withdraw and just give me two hours. No, but we’ll try to condense it. First, let me say also how proud I am to be here and mention something, which maybe most of you don’t know—that, how difficult it was even to organize this event. Like, it had to be moved two times—out and more out from Central London and so on.