By Robert Scheer
Source: Read full article at Truthdig
While it is rare that publishers themselves make headlines, reports about WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange now probably outnumber articles based on the information he published. This is the extent to which the man behind some of the most shocking revelations about U.S. war crimes has come under public scrutiny. Despite the profound journalistic importance of the work Assange and whistleblower Chelsea Manning have done, the two have been smeared, persecuted and imprisoned in an effort to “shoot the messenger,” which effectively distracts from their revelations and works to undermine their credibility.
The mass media has played into this character assassination while both Manning and Assange are in jail, and instead of refusing to treat this as one of the most egregious assaults on press freedom, it has largely turned their back on the victims. Now, the media’s reporting has been revealed to have done something even more damaging than destroy Assange’s reputation—it has served to torture him.
That is the conclusion Nils Melzer, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, and two…