There can be few more incongruous settings in which to unveil documents itemising the squalid deaths of innocent Iraqi people than against the deep-pile carpets of the Park Plaza Riverbank Hotel in London. But here it was that the WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange, held a press conference yesterday morning.
At about 10.15am, 15 minutes later than planned, he finally entered a room packed with some 200 journalists from around the world. There was silence, the only sound the whirring and clicking of cameras as the 39-year-old was surrounded by a crowd of more than 30 photographers and television crews in what amounted to a paparazzi-style scrum usually afforded to a Hollywood celebrity.
The continued success of WikiLeaks in bringing secret documents into the public domain has seen Mr Assange’s stock rise. He has gone from a little-known computer hacker turned campaigner to a minor celebrity and pin-up boy of conspiracy theorists. Citing the phrase “the first casualty of war is truth”, he pledged: “We hope to correct some of the attack on the truth that occurred before the war, during the war and which has continued on since the war officially concluded.”
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Read More: By Jonathan Owen, UK Telegraph