Putting a journalist in jail for practicing journalism tells you all you need to know about a government. From Caitlin Johnstone at caitlinjohnstone.com:
Consortium News has launched a new series titled “The Revelations of WikiLeaks”, geared toward helping readers come to a full appreciation of just how much useful information the outlet has made available to the world with its publications. Which is good, because there’s a whole lot of it. Understanding everything that WikiLeaks has done to shine light in areas that powerful people wish to keep dark makes it abundantly clear why powerful people would want to dedicate immense amounts of energy toward sabotaging it.
What’s even more interesting to me right now, though, is that if you think about it, the completely fraudulent arrest and imprisonment of Julian Assange arguably exposes more malfeasance by government and media powers than than what has been revealed in all WikiLeaks publications combined since its inception. And we can use that as a weapon in waking the world up to the dystopian manipulations of the powerful, in the same way we can use WikiLeaks publications.
Really, think about it. Thanks to WikiLeaks we know about a military cultural environment in the Iraq war that was toxic enough to give rise to US servicemen merrily gunning down civilians, including two Reuters war correspondents, while whooping and exchanging verbal high-fives. We know that the CIA cultivated a massive cyber-arsenal which enables them to spy through smartphones and smart TVs, remotely hijack vehicles, and forge digital fingerprints on cyber-intrusions to make it look to forensic investigators as though hackers from another nation was responsible, and that they lost control of this arsenal. We know about the DNC’s agenda to undermine Bernie Sanders during the primary in violation of its charter, that Hillary Clinton told a group of Goldman Sachs executives that she understood the need to have “a public position and a private position”, and that Obama’s cabinet was basically selected for him by a Citigroup executive. We know that and a whole lot more, information which mainstream and alternative media reports use to this very day when constructing analyses of what’s going on in the world.
This is the most optimistic scenario we’ve seen sketched about Julian Assange’s arrest. From Robert Bridge at strategic-culture.org:
Don’t believe that Russiagate has concluded. Indeed, it may have only just begun, Robert Bridge writes.
Coming just days after the release of the anticlimactic Mueller Report, Julian Assange was deprived of asylum and arrested at the Ecuadorian embassy in London, where he now faces extradition to the United States. Was the timing of this dramatic move a mere coincidence, or is something else going on?
The WikiLeaks founder and editor was dragged into the blinding light of London just 30 days after the IMF approved a $4.2-billion loan for cash-strapped Ecuador, and 18 days after the conclusion of the two-year Robert Mueller investigation, which failed to unearth any trace of Russian collusion. Hang on, that’s not all. One day before Assange lost his asylum, Attorney General William Barr told US lawmakers that he believed the Trump presidential campaign was spied on during the 2016 election.
“I am reviewing the conduct of the investigation and trying to get my arms around all the aspects of the counterintelligence investigation that was conducted during the summer of 2016,” Barr told a House panel on April 10, one day before Assange’s apprehension.
Vanity Fair wondered aloud in a headline, “Will Trump get his Grand Inquisition?”
Last but not least, Chelsea Manning, the former US Army intelligence officer who leaked some 750,000 documents, videos, diplomatic cables, was sent back to prison for refusing to testify before a grand jury against WikiLeaks and its founder Julian Assange.
Julian Assange is being persecuted now to quell any and all future efforts to expose governments’ many wrongdoings. From Caitlin Johnstone at caitlinjohnstone.com:
Julian Assange’s mother reported yesterday that the WikiLeaks founder has not been permitted any visitors during his detention in Belmarsh Prison, including from doctors and his lawyers. Doctors who visited Assange in the Ecuadorian Embassy have attested that he urgently needs medical care. Belmarsh is a maximum security prison sometimes referred to as “the UK’s Guantanamo Bay“.
And yet we’re asked to believe that this has something to do with an alleged bail violation and a US extradition request for alleged computer crimes carrying a maximum sentence of five years. If you zoom out and listen to the less-informed chatter of the overt propagandists and the brainwashed rank-and-file western mass media consumers, you will also see that people believe this has something to do with Russia and rape allegations as well.
Actually, none of these things are true. Assange is being imprisoned under draconian conditions for journalism, and for journalism only. The Obama administration declined to prosecute him after WikiLeaks’ publication of the Manning leaks out of concern that doing so would endanger press freedoms, and the Obama administration didn’t have any more evidence at its disposal than the Trump administration has now. The “crime” Assange is accused of consists of nothing other than standard journalistic practices that investigative journalists engage in all the time, including source protection and encouraging the source to obtain more material. The only thing that has changed is an increased willingness in the White House to prosecute journalists for practicing journalism, and there are an abundance of reasons to believe that he will be hit with far more serious charges once extradited to US soil. They’re not going to all this trouble for a bail violation and a five-year maximum sentence.
But if you zoom out even further, in the grand scheme of things this barely even has anything to do with Assange. Sure, he has of course been a thorn in the side of those who operate the transnational western power alliance, and given the choice they would of course prefer him to be locked up or dead than free and alive. But that’s not what the corrupt influencers who are strangling our world are shooting for here. They are making a grab for something much, much bigger. Assange just happens to be a stepping stone along the way.
This is the definitive and comprehensive source for anyone who wants to defend Julian Assange in an argument and win. From Caitlin Johnstone at theburningplatform.com:
Have you ever noticed how whenever someone inconveniences the dominant western power structure, the entire political/media class rapidly becomes very, very interested in letting us know how evil and disgusting that person is? It’s true of the leader of every nation which refuses to allow itself to be absorbed into the blob of the US-centralized power alliance, it’s true of anti-establishment political candidates, and it’s true of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.
Corrupt and unaccountable power uses its political and media influence to smear Assange because, as far as the interests of corrupt and unaccountable power are concerned, killing his reputation is as good as killing him. If everyone can be paced into viewing him with hatred and revulsion, they’ll be far less likely to take WikiLeaks publications seriously, and they’ll be far more likely to consent to Assange’s imprisonment, thereby establishing a precedent for the future prosecution of leak-publishing journalists around the world. Someone can be speaking 100 percent truth to you, but if you’re suspicious of him you won’t believe anything he’s saying. If they can manufacture that suspicion with total or near-total credence, then as far as our rulers are concerned it’s as good as putting a bullet in his head.
Those of us who value truth and light need to fight this smear campaign in order to keep our fellow man from signing off on a major leap in the direction of Orwellian dystopia, and a big part of that means being able to argue against those smears and disinformation wherever they appear. Unfortunately I haven’t been able to find any kind of centralized source of information which comprehensively debunks all the smears in a thorough and engaging way, so with the help of hundreds of tips from my readers and social media followers I’m going to attempt to make one here. What follows is my attempt at creating a tool kit people can use to fight against Assange smears wherever they encounter them, by refuting the disinformation with truth and solid argumentation.
There are still many decent English people left, and even some decent English celebrities. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:
As the establishment attempts to paint a narrative of Julian Assange in cahoots with every thug and terrorist in the world – and definitely not a journalist – many ‘dissenters’ refuse to allow the whitewashing to go unanswered.
One such voice is legendary Pink Floyd frontman Roger Waters, who told RT, in a wide-ranging interview this week, that he was “ashamed to be an Englishman” after seeing Assange being physically removed from his shelter at the Ecuadorian Embassy.
“To think that the UK has become such a willing accomplice and satellite of the American Empire that it would do such a thing in contravention with all laws, moral, ethical, and actual legal restrictions is absolutely, stunningly appalling and makes me ashamed to be an Englishman.“
UK authorities will soon decide whether to deport Assange to Sweden, where he faces possible rape charges, or to the US, where he is wanted for conspiring with former army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning to break into a classified government computer.
The one count Assange faces in the US is incredibly weak. The case that he colluded with Russia is even weaker. From Andrew McCarthy at nationalreview.com:
Julian Assange on the balcony of the Ecuadorian embassy in London, May 19, 2017 (Peter Nicholls/Reuters)
The government would have a chance to prove in court that Russia was WikiLeaks’ source.
Prior to the publication of the stolen Democratic-party emails and internal documents, Julian Assange and WikiLeaks exhorted Russian government hackers to send them “new material.”
That is what we are told by Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s indictment of Russian intelligence officers. (I won’t offend anyone by calling them “spies” — after all, they were just doing electronic surveillance authorized by their government, right?) Assange wanted the Russians to rest assured that giving “new material” to WikiLeaks (identified as “Organization 1” in the indictment) would “have a much higher impact than what you are doing” — i.e., hacking and then putting the information out through other channels.
But time was of the essence. It was early 2016. If Hillary Clinton was not stopped right there and then, WikiLeaks warned, proceedings at the imminent Democratic national convention would “solidify bernie supporters behind her.” Of course, “bernie” is Bernie Sanders, the competitor who could still get the nomination. But if Assange and the Russians couldn’t raise Bernie’s prospects, WikiLeaks explained, Mrs. Clinton would be a White House shoo-in: “We think trump has only a 25% chance of winning against hillary . . . so conflict between bernie and hillary is interesting.”
In a nutshell: Knowing that Russia had the capacity to hack the DNC and perhaps Clinton herself, WikiLeaks urged it to come up with new material and vowed to help bring it maximum public attention. By necessity, this desire to hurt Clinton would inure to Sanders’s benefit. And sure enough, WikiLeaks eventually published tens of thousands of the Democratic emails hacked by Russian intelligence.
So . . . I have a few questions.
As usual, Ron Paul gets it right. From Paul at ronpaulinstitute.org:
Last week’s arrest of Wikileaks publisher Julian Assange by the British government on a US extradition order is an attack on all of us. It is an attack on the US Constitution. It is an attack on the free press. It is an attack on free speech. It is an attack on our right to know what our government is doing with our money in our name. Julian Assange is every bit as much a political prisoner as was Cardinal Mindszenty in Hungary or Nelson Mandela in South Africa.
They, and so many more, were imprisoned because they told the truth about their governments.
Repressive governments do not want their citizens to know that they are up to so they insist on controlling the media. We are taught, at the same time, that we have a free press whose job it is to uncover the corruption in our system so that we can demand our political leaders make some changes or face unemployment. That, we are told, is what makes us different from the totalitarian.
The arrest of Assange is a canary in a coal mine to warn us that something is very wrong with our system.
Commentary from the mainstream media reached a new low with the Assange arrest. From James Howard Kunstler at kunstler.com:
Anyone interested in glimpsing the Wokester media mentality in full intellectual-yet-idiot smuggery might check out Slate’s Political Gabfest (i.e. podcast) from this past Saturday, titled “The Wahoo Edition.” The Gabfest’s three regulars, David Plotz, Emily Bazelon, and John Dickerson go after Julian Assange as if they were three college dormitory RAs dissecting the character of an unpopular freshman.
Plotz kicked it off by introducing Mr. Assange as “the eminence greasy of Wikileaks,” a cute twist on the French phrase éminence grise (gray eminence, i.e. an elder statesman, pronounced eminence greez, and he knows it). Bazelon offered her explanation for Ecuador’s eagerness to be rid of Mr. Assange: “He was acting like a big jerk. They were tired of him skateboarding all over the residence and scuffing up the walls and not cleaning his bathroom. He wore out his welcome on hospitality grounds.” Note: Emily Bazelon is a lawyer. No one mentioned the fact that Ecuador was promised debt relief from the US-controlled International Monetary Fund within hours of expelling Mr. Assange.
Plotz quickly added: “He didn’t clean up after his cat, which, as a cat owner, that is grounds for expulsion.”
Dickerson weighed in: “The big problem is he’s not an appealing man… he’s clearly a narcissist. He’s unpleasant. In addition to messing with our election, he’s basically on Team Russia.”
Plotz said of Wikileaks: “It’s acting as an agent for a foreign governments, as it has with Russia.”