Anytime someone who holds a prominent position within a politically controversial group such as WikiLeaks dies, attention is focused on the event and suspicions regarding the cause of death arise.
This has been highlighted recently with rumors of the death of Julian Assange. Prior to that, it took law enforcement a suspiciously long time to respond to a break-in attempt at the Ecuadorian embassy in London where Assange lives. All of this puts those watching the events surrounding WikiLeaks and Assange on edge.
So we now learn that Gavin MacFadyen has died. To say that he was a controversial individual is to put it mildly. Perhaps best known for his work with WikiLeaks and Julian Assange, MacFadyen had quite a career prior to the current controversy.
Gavin MacFadyen may not be as well known as Julian Assange, but it is doubtful that WikiLeaks would be the force it is today without him. In fact, MacFadyen had quite a career as an activist long before WikiLeaks burst on the international scene. While a cause of death has not been officially released at this time, some speculation is bound to center on whether his death was from “natural” causes, of whether it was “arranged” as a message to others.
Speculation aside, here’s some of what we know about this extraordinary individual.
WikiLeaks director and founder of the Centre for Investigative Journalism Gavin MacFadyen has died at age 76. The cause of death is yet unknown. His ‘fellows in arms’ have flocked online to post their farewells, including WikiLeaks co-founder Julian Assange.
“We are extremely sad to announce the death of Gavin MacFadyen, CIJ’s Founder, Director and its leading light,” the Centre for Investigative Journalism team wrote on its Twitter.
MacFadyen was a pioneering investigative journalist and filmmaker, who back in 2003 founded the Centre for Investigative Journalism (CIJ), an organization that helped break several major stories and has trained a number of prominent journalists.
He was a mentor and friend to famous whistleblower and co-founder of WikiLeaks Julian Assange, as well as the director of the publication.
And he had quite a career, no doubt part of the reason his supporters described the man as “larger than life.”
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.
On the subject of his death, this much as be released so far.
The cause of MacFadyen’s death has not yet been made public. In the original post from his wife Susan, she wrote that he had died from “a short illness,” but that line has now been removed.
That’s a bit strange, and bears watching.
Here’s a summary of an interview with MacFadyen that is especially relevant during the current presidential campaign:
Earlier this year, MacFadyen gave an interview to RT’s Going Underground program to talk about the publication of leaks related to US presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, the most recent of which have been emails from the account of her aid, John Podesta. The barrage of sometimes shocking revelations has proven to be a bit of a thorn in the side for Clinton’s election campaign. In the interview, he said that the documents released so far are merely a drop in the ocean of the information WikiLeaks is receiving, and was hopeful that while “there’s only one known Snowden,” there may be other whistleblowers who will keep shedding light on injustice and other major global pain points.
While nearly every news outlet claimed that the cause of death is unknown, The Centre for Investigative Journalism claims it was lung cancer:
We are extremely sad to announce the death of Gavin MacFadyen, CIJ’s Founder, Director and its leading light. Gavin died of lung cancer surrounded by loved ones in London on Saturday 22nd Oct 2016.
Hopefully, the 76 year-old did pass on due to natural causes. While we may never know the truth, in the spirit of Mr. MacFadyen, it will be interesting to watch for any “leaks” that might shed additional light on the cause of his death.
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