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Hours of top-secret videos and hundreds of thousands of highly classified documents pour from the vaults of the most powerful nation on earth. They expose lies, hypocrisy, cover-ups and high level diplomatic gossip, making headlines around the world. Julian Assange, the Australian editor-in-chief of internet-based whistleblower site Wikileaks, has left the Whitehouse stunned, and severely embarrassed the US military, banks and major corporations. As US intelligence agencies launch a massive investigation into Assange, and the drama of the bizarre Swedish rape allegations unfold, Four Corners journalist Andrew Fowler charts this 39-year old Australian's fateful rise into the most dangerous man in the world. Beginning with the happy days spent with his parents travelling around Australia in a touring theatre company living a Tom Sawyer life, to the months on the run with his mother, escaping a quasi-religious sect, headed up by the torious Anne Hamilton-Byrne and his days as a Melbourne-based hacker. It was these experiences that shaped his opposition to secrecy and developed him as a humanist and truth seeker. This book travels inside the Wikileaks bunker and explains what makes covert sources risk all to get their information out to the public. It tracks a Wikileaks leak, stage by stage, from the moment a military insider decides to dump highly sensitive classified documents onto the Wikileak server through to its release into the public arena.
Andrew Fowler is a contributing reporter for the ABC's Foreign Correspondent program. He has been chief of staff and acting foreign editor of The Australian and a reporter with SBS Dateline and Channel 7 and was a founding member of Lateline in 1990. Andrew has won several awards including the United Nations Peace Prize, the Human Rights Award, and a New York Festival silver medal.