The case of Julian Assange is complex, involving the legal systems of four countries, murky politics and allegations of sexual misconduct. But through all this smoke and noise, it's important to remember why everyone knows the name of Julian Assange.
The organisation he founded, Wikileaks, has exposed dark practices and abuses that governments have gone to a lot of trouble to keep quiet. In the main these are democratic governments, answerable to the voter and the tax-payer which should be operating in a transparent and open way.
There is a link below to a video which was obtained and made public by Wikileaks. You may not want to watch as it shows the murder of around a dozen unarmed men in Iraq. In which case, here is a short summary as posted on YouTube.com
"It shows Reuters journalist Namir Noor-Eldeen, driver Saeed Chmagh, and several others as the Apache shoots and kills them in a public square in Eastern Baghdad. They are apparently assumed to be insurgents. After the initial shooting, an unarmed group of adults and children in a minivan arrives on the scene and attempts to transport the wounded. They are fired upon as well. The official statement on this incident initially listed all adults as insurgents and claimed the US military did not know how the deaths ocurred."
The journalists were carrying cameras which the Apache crew identified as AK-47s and RPG launchers. Judge for yourself from video whether that was a reasonable decision.
When the minivan arrives to assist the wounded, occupants are clearly visible in the front seat. Without knowing who they were, the Apache crews opened fire. The occupants were in fact two children.
Maybe the Apache crews can be excused for making poor choices when in action, although they were never threatened or fired upon during this episode. However their commanders cannot be excused for lying to cover up this incident. This is the sort of cynicism and disrespect that Wikileaks challenges.
Warning - this is footage from the helicopter camera and shows the actual shooting and killing of a number of people.