Americans can be forgiven for believing that WikiLeaks was a complete creation of Julian Assange. In fact, it was not. It was directed, at least, by Assange’s mentor, Gavin MacFadyen, a resident of the Pimlico District of London. Mr. MacFadyen died on Saturday, October 22, 2016 in London. He was 76.
In the hours following his death, multiple tweets from Wikileaks expressed sadness at the man’s passing as well as accolades for his mentoring and journalistic integrity.
The CIJ team also published an address from MacFadyen’s wife and member of Julian Assange’s Defense Fund, Susan Benn, who described her husband as a “larger-than-life person,” with gratitude and respect.
“He was the model of what a journalist should be… He spearheaded the creation of a journalistic landscape which has irrevocably lifted the bar for ethical and hard-hitting reporting. Gavin worked tirelessly to hold power to account.
“His life and how he lived it were completely in sync with the principles that he held dear and practiced as a journalist and educator – to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable,” Benn wrote.
MacFadyen was the producer and director of more than 50 investigative journalism films. He also was banned in his lifetime by the Soviet Union and South Africa’s apartheid.
In his professional career, MacFadyen shed light on topics like child labor, pollution, the torture of political prisoners, neo-Nazis in Britain, UK industrial accidents, Contra murders in Nicaragua, the CIA, maritime piracy, election fraud in South America, South African mines, as well as many others. He worked on investigative television programs for PBS’s Frontline, Granada Television’s World in Action, the BBC’s Fine Cut, Panorama, The Money Programme, and 24 Hours, as well as Channel 4’s Dispatches.
At this writing, MacFadyen’s cause of death is unknown. His wife posted a short-lived tweet saying that he passed away after a short illness. That has been scrubbed from the online world. Other writers have put forth information that better fits the suspicious timing of Mr. MacFadyen’s death.
By the way, Batch #18 of the Podesta emails was released by WikiLeaks today.