Come back to the detonation point of the explosive saga of Julian Assange, in the spring of 2010, and look at what Chelsea Manning, who was working as an intelligence analyst at a US base, said about the vast collection of material which she had just leaked to him.”
Everywhere there is a US post, there is a diplomatic scandal revealed,” she wrote. “How the first world exploits the third, in detail… Almost criminal political back dealings… Incredible, awful things that belong in the public domain, not on some server in a dark room in Washington DC…”
Shortly after she wrote that in an online chat, Chelsea Manning was arrested. On behalf of The Guardian, I contacted Assange and together we created an alliance of news organisations which published a stream of stories based on the material she had leaked. I never had a moment’s doubt that we were right to do that.
The best journalism exposes abuse of power, and when the most powerful nation in the world commits war crimes, callously kills civilians, uses murder as a systematic tool and turns a blind eye to the torture being conducted by its allies, it must be right that news organisations defy any attempt to keep that secret.