From the moment Julian Assange sought asylum, the mainstream media’s coverage has been wall-to-wall lies and half-truths, and they profess no concern about the case’s obvious implications for what remains of freedom of the press. From Jonathan Cook at antiwar.com:
For seven years, from the moment Julian Assange first sought refuge in the Ecuadorean embassy in London, they have been telling us we were wrong, that we were paranoid conspiracy theorists. We were told there was no real threat of Assange’s extradition to the United States, that it was all in our fevered imaginations.
For seven years, we have had to listen to a chorus of journalists, politicians and “experts” telling us that Assange was nothing more than a fugitive from justice, and that the British and Swedish legal systems could be relied on to handle his case in full accordance with the law. Barely a “mainstream” voice was raised in his defense in all that time.
From the moment he sought asylum, Assange was cast as an outlaw. His work as the founder of WikiLeaks– a digital platform that for the first time in history gave ordinary people a glimpse into the darkest recesses of the most secure vaults in the deepest of Deep States – was erased from the record.
Assange was reduced from one of the few towering figures of our time – a man who will have a central place in history books, if we as a species live long enough to write those books – to nothing more than a sex pest, and a scruffy bail-skipper.
Donald Trump is willing to do something Obama wouldn’t, and it isn’t repealing Obamacare. Trump is using an indictment the Obama crew wouldn’t touch against Julian Assange. From Cailtin Johnstone at caityjohnstone.com:
Julian Assange sits in a jail cell today after being betrayed by the Ecuadorian government and his home country of Australia. A British judge named Michael Snow has found the WikiLeaks founder guilty of violating bail conditions, inserting himself into the annals of history by labeling Assange “a narcissist who cannot get beyond his own selfish interest.” So that tells you how much of a fair and impartial legal proceeding we can expect to see from the British judicial process on this matter.
America is putting the nail in freedom of the press and America itself as the government goes after Julian Assange. From Raúl Ilargi Meijer at theautomaticearth.com:
47 years ago in American Pie, Don McLean talked about The Day The Music Died. Or of course the music didn’t really die, but at the same time it did. “The three mean I admired most, the father, son and the holy ghost, they caught the last train for the coast, the day the music died.”
Back then you could still have claimed the country merely lost its innocence. And you could have said the same in 1861 or 1914 or 1941. Today, not to take anything away from music, or the song, something much bigger died. America itself died, not just its music or innocence. America didn’t just lose its innocence, it pled guilty.
No doubt most of you would proclaim that’s a gross exaggeration, and an insane hyperbole, but you would all be wrong, sorry. There’s no way back this time.
America, the United States, with all its initial prejudice and lethal screw-ups, was founded as a place where people could direct their own lives without having to fear any other party, let alone a government, that would stand in their way while they did it. And a big part of not having to fear one’s government is not having to fear that government purposely lying to its citizens. The Founding Fathers, for all their faults, got that right. And today erases all of that in one fell swoop.
If the US extradites, tries, and imprisons Julian Assange, the First Amendment as we knew it will be dead. From Nozomi Hayase at antiwar.com:
On Thursday, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was arrested by the UK police inside the Ecuadorian embassy in London, where he was granted political asylum in 2012. This termination of asylum by Ecuador in violation of international law comes a week after WikiLeaks warned the public it had received information from two high level Ecuadorian government sources about a US-backed plan for the Ecuadorian government to expel Assange from its embassy.
Assange’s lawyer confirmed he has been arrested under a US extradition warrant for conspiracy to publish classified information with whistleblower Chelsea Manning revealing government war crimes in 2010. Specifically, this relates to WikiLeaks’ publication of the collateral murder video, documents concerning the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and the US Diplomatic Cables.
In making a statement outside Westminster Magistrate’s Court in London, the editor-in-chief of WikiLeaks Kristinn Hrafnsson told reporters that Assange’s arrest marks a “dark day for journalism”. This prosecution of Assange is recognized by experts on free speech rights as an attack on freedom of the media everywhere.
President Trump will be shooting himself in the foot if his administration prosecutes Julian Assange. From Raúl Ilargi Meijer at theautomaticearth.com:
President Donald J. Trump
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, DC 20500.
I write to you because I’m seeing something unfold that concerns you, and I have no way of knowing if you’re aware of it, nor have I seen anyone else mention it. That is, sir, you are being set up, a trap is being set for you, and unless you are aware of it, you may well walk into that trap eyes wide open.
It may not be in your briefing this morning, but the WikiLeaks organization has reported that high-ranking Ecuadorean state officials have told them Julian Assange will be expelled from their London embassy in a matter of “hours to days”. Now, I don’t know what your personal opinion is of Mr. Assange, maybe you think he deserves punishment for leaking secret files to the public.
Your personal opinion of Mr. Assange, however, is not the most important issue here, no offense. What’s most important to your own situation, as well as that of Mr. Assange, is that the people who are after him are the very same people who have been after you for 3 years, and who will double their efforts after suffering a huge loss due to Robert Mueller’s No Collusion report.
For a man who has no criminal charges against him outstanding, Julian Assange is being treated worse than many convicted felons. From Elizabeth Los at consortiumnews.com:
On this date in 2018, the Wikileaks publisher was cut off from the work of journalism, reports Elizabeth Vos.
One year ago Thursday, Ecuador’s government under President Lenin Moreno silenced Julian Assange.
WikiLeaks wrote on Twitter Wednesday: “… March 28, marks one year that WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange has been illegally gagged from doing journalism—any writing that expresses a ‘political opinion’? even on his own treatment, after pressure from the U.S. on Ecuador.”
On this date in 2018 Moreno imposed on Assange what Human Rights Watch’s legal counsel Dinah Pokempner described as looking “more and more like solitary confinement.” Moreno cut off Assange’s online access and restricted visitors to the Ecuador embassy in London where Assange has had legal political asylum since 2012.
Moreno cited Assange’s critical social media remarks about Ecuador’s allies, the U.S. and Spain. Assange’s near-total isolation, with the exception of visits from legal counsel during week days, has been augmented by the Ecuadorian government’s imposition of a complex “protocol,” which, although eased slightly in recent months in respect of visits allowed, has not improved Assange’s overall status over the last 12 months. In some respects, it seems to have worsened.
Truck in D.C.,March 28, 2019. (Pamela Drew, Twitter)
Tulsi Gabbard is the only Democratic presidential candidate with any balls/ovaries. From Cassandra Fairbanks at thegatewaypundit.com:
Democratic presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard, who has already taken a lot of heat from her party for being outspoken against senseless war and regime change, has released a strong statement in support of WikiLeaks.
Gabbard, who is also a veteran, took to Twitter to talk about the dangers of designating the award-winning news organization a “hostile intelligence agency.
“If the government can change the designation Wikileaks from being a news organization (Obama Admin’s designation of Wikileaks) to a hostile intelligence agency (Trump Admin’s designation), then any entity – online and offline – is in danger of being designated a ‘hostile intelligence service’ if they carry out investigative reporting that the US government or a particular administration considers to be hostile to itself,” Gabbard wrote in a series of tweets on Saturday. “This will have a chilling effect on investigative reporting of powerful government agencies or officials, including the president, intel agencies, etc. This is a serious breach of our constitutional freedoms and every American – Democrat, Republican or Independent – must stand up against it.”
Chelsea Manning has refused to testify before a grand jury about matters pertaining to Wikileaks. From Kevin Gosztola at shadowproof.com:
Chelsea Manning. Photo by Media Convention Berlin on Flickr.
A federal judge sent Chelsea Manning to jail for refusing to testify before a grand jury that is investigating WikiLeaks.
“I will not comply with this, or any other grand jury,” Manning declared in a statement. “Imprisoning me for my refusal to answer questions only subjects me to additional punishment for my repeatedly-stated ethical objections to the grand jury system.”
“The grand jury’s questions pertained to disclosures from nine years ago and took place six years after an in-depth computer forensics case, in which I testified for almost a full day about these events. I stand by my previous public testimony.”
“I will not participate in a secret process that I morally object to, particularly one that has been historically used to entrap and persecute activists for protected political speech,” Manning added.
On March 6, Manning appeared before the grand jury after she was granted a minor form of immunity for her testimony.
“All of the substantive questions pertained to my disclosures of information to the public in 2010—answers I provided in extensive testimony during my court-martial in 2013,” Manning stated afterward. “I responded to each question with the following statement: ‘I object to the question and refuse to answer on the grounds that the question is in violation of my First, Fourth, and Sixth Amendment, and other statutory rights.’”
Judge Claude Hilton had Manning jailed on a civil charge of contempt. She will be jailed as long as she refuses to testify or as long as the grand jury is empaneled in Alexandria, Virginia.
Once again Rachel Maddow is caught in a whopper. From Caitlin Johnstone at medium.com:
When it was first revealed in November that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is under secret charges by the Trump administration, I spent the next few days being told by Russiagaters that this was proof that I have been wrong about their demented cold war cult all along, because #MuellerTime is fast approaching. At long last, they vehemently assured me, Assange was going to prison for working with Russia to deprive Queen Hillary of her rightful throne.
None of those people have come back to apologize or admit that they were wrong when subsequent evidence disproved their claims. None of them ever do.
As it turns out, whistleblower Chelsea Manning has been subpoenaed to testify before a grand jury in a secret case investigating Assange for his 2010 role in the WikiLeaks publication of military war logs and diplomatic cables. Manning served seven years in prison for leaking those documents to the transparency advocacy outlet before her sentence was commuted by President Obama, meaning, obviously, that this sealed case has nothing to do with the 2016 leaks Russiagaters have been fiendishly obsessing over. Indeed, the Washington Post reported yesterday that “U.S. officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity because of grand jury secrecy, say the case is based on [Assange’s] pre-2016 conduct, not the election hacks that drew the attention of special counsel Robert S. Mueller III.”
In the third of her special investigative series on Julian Assange, clinical psychologist Dr Lissa Johnson sheds a little more light on the ways the world’s most consistently dishonest state has co-opted so many otherwise intelligent people into shooting the messenger.
Tomorrow, March 3rd, a rally calling on the Australian Government to protect its citizen, Julian Assange, from US extradition and prosecution will be held in Sydney, at the Martin Place Amphitheatre from 2pm. Acclaimed journalist and film-maker John Pilger will speak at the rally, along with respected human rights advocate Professor Stuart Rees.
The following Sunday, March 10th, a second rally will be held in Melbourne on the steps of the State Library at 1pm.
Julian Assange is in his ninth year of UN-declared arbitrary detention, now under effective solitary confinement, with his health failing. He faces extradition to the United States and prosecution for journalism should he step outside the Ecuadorian embassy in London.
Rally organiser James Cogan has described Assange’s persecution as the “spearhead of a global offensive against freedom of speech and… censorship of oppositional voices on the internet.” Consistent with this, when he was CIA director Mike Pompeo pledged to pursue, with “great vigour”, “small” media outlets in Wikileaks’ wake.
The rallies in Sydney and Melbourne will demand that the silence and collaboration of the Australian government in Assange’s persecution must end. Terry Hicks said of the rallies, “the fight to gain Julian’s freedom depends on ordinary people speaking out.”
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