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Free Julian Assange

Published by marco on

Updated by marco on

“In times of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.[1]
George Orwell

The article The Assange Extradition Case is an Unprecedented Attack on Press Freedom, So Why’s the Media Largely Ignoring It? by Patrick Cockburn (CounterPunch) describes what is happening to Julian Assange.

“In an Old Bailey courtroom in London over the past four weeks, lawyers for the US government have sought the extradition of Assange to the US to face 17 charges under the Espionage Act of 1917 and one charge of computer misuse. At the heart of their case is the accusation that in leaking a trove of classified US diplomatic and military cables in 2010, Assange and WikiLeaks endanger the lives of US agents and informants.

One of the many peculiarities in this strange case is that the evidence for any such thing is non-existent. (Emphasis added.)”

The charges are trumped-up (if you’ll pardon the expression). It is a show trial, a star chamber. There is only the barest pretense of observing societal conventions of justice.

Why No Justice?

The West, as embodied by the two powers of Britain and the U.S., is interested only in power, in greedily retaining its grip on the majority of wealth, energy, resources, and technology that it seized centuries ago. The only difference between Britain and the U.S. and the worst dictatorships is that the former have better marketing.

It is not interested in having the truth told. The truth is not flattering. Despite the efforts of Assange and Wikileaks, the scales have fallen from far too few eyes—the propaganda is strong. The West weaves a convincing tale about itself, selling the tale to its fellow travelers with promises of personal wealth and power.

What did Assange actually do? He is the founder and former editor-in-chief of WikiLeaks, an organization dedicated to journalism in a pure form, without commercial support. It is crowd-funded and user-supported. He is a publisher and a journalist of the highest caliber.

“What Assange and WikiLeaks did – obtaining important information about the deeds and misdeeds of the US government and giving that information to the public – is exactly what all journalists ought to do.”

Instead of kowtowing to power like other media, WikiLeaks tells the real stories that they wouldn’t—whether because of incompetence or complicity or both. WikiLeaks tells the truth; nothing they’ve reported has been disproven. They don’t offer “spin”—they just provide information. The data speaks for itself. It speaks volumes. These are the sounds that the West seeks to stifle.

Why the West? Is it not Britain and the U.S. that are at fault here? While they are the primary players, the rest of Europe (for example) is complicit in its silence. Where are France’s threats of sanctions? Where are Germany’s? Why do other large countries not flex their not inconsiderable muscle to defend justice?

Where is the rest of the media? The so-called mainstream media plays handmaiden to power, as usual. The article What if Ignored Covid-19 Warnings Had Been Leaked to WikiLeaks? by Ray McGovern (Antiwar.com) points out that,

“(On the chance you are wondering, The New York Times, Washington Post, and Wall Street Journal – as well as National Public Radio – have paid zero attention to the extradition hearing in recent weeks – much less to Judge Baraitser’s Queen of Hearts-style, “off-with-his-head” behavior.)”

The word you’re looking for is “Torture”

The article The Cost of Resistance by Chris Hedges (Mint Press News) describes what lackey Britain is doing to Julian Assange for its lord and master, the U.S. It has been and continues to torture him in a medieval justice system that does nothing to earn the epithet.

“[…Julian] is taken from his cell in the high security Belmarsh Prison at 5:00 am. He is handcuffed, put in holding cells, stripped naked and X-rayed. He is transported an hour and a half each way to court in a police van that resembles a dog cage on wheels. He is held in a glass box at the back of court during the proceedings, often unable to consult with his lawyers. He has difficulty hearing the proceedings. He is routinely denied access to the documents in his case and is openly taunted in court by the judge.”

It is a show trial, a kangaroo court. There is no due process. The outcome is a foregone conclusion. The torture continues to keep him physically weak, psychologically off-balance, and intellectually diminished. It is a message to—a warning—to others who would transgress against the powerful.

“Julian is already very fragile. His psychological and physical distress include dramatic weight loss, severe respiratory problems, joint problems, dental decay, chronic anxiety, intense, constant stress resulting in an inability to relax or focus, and episodes of mental confusion. These symptoms indicate, as Nils Melzer[2], the United Nations’ special rapporteur on torture who met and examined Julian in prison has stated, that he is suffering from prolonged psychological torture.”

He was a towering intellectual, a quick wit, with unshakeable principles. He could be so again, were he freed. He is an Australian citizen whose government has abandoned him. He is being tried for treason against a foreign government. He is being punished for telling the truth. He should not be on trial—he should win a Nobel Peace Prize had this honor not already long-since been tainted by war-mongering recipients like Kissinger and Obama.

“If Julian is extradited to the U.S. to face 17 charges under the Espionage Act, each carrying a potential 10 years, which appears likely, he will continue to be psychologically and physically abused to break him.”

Hedges shares the words of another prisoner of Britain: Roger Hallam, the co-founder of Extinction Rebellion (Wikipedia),

““The days of standing up to tyranny have long faded,” Roger writes from prison. “The life-and-death struggle against Hitler and fascism is consigned to the history books. Today’s liberal classes believe only in one thing: maintaining their privilege. Their one priority is power. The number one rule is: preserve our careers, our institutions at all cost. (Emphasis added.)”

It is these people who are beholden to those in power and it is these people who want to punish Assange for daring to make them feel a twinge of conscience for their complicity, for their having profited at the expense of those less fortunate.

Make no mistake: Britain, as the left hand of the United States, is trying to get away with murder. If they don’t directly kill Assange in prison, they will extradite him to a death sentence in the human-rights-disaster that is solitary confinement in a U.S. federal prison. The article Assange Extradition: The Deadly Magistrate by Craig Murray (Antiwar.com) provides detailed evidence and concludes,

“Even before Covid-19 became such a threat, I stated that I had been forced to the conclusion the British Government is seeking Assange’s death in jail. The evidence for that is now overwhelming.”

Pilger and Assange

The article Julian Assange Must be Freed, Not Betrayed by John Pilger (CounterPunch) is just one of many by one of Australia’s greatest journalists about his friend and fellow journalist. Pilger eloquently describes the effects of Assange’s and Wikileaks’s work.

“WikiLeaks has informed us how illegal wars are fabricated, how governments are overthrown and violence is used in our name, how we are spied upon through our phones and screens. The true lies of presidents, ambassadors, political candidates, generals, proxies, political fraudsters have been exposed. One by one, these would-be emperors have realised they have no clothes. It has been an unprecedented public service; above all, it is authentic journalism, whose value can be judged by the degree of apoplexy of the corrupt and their apologists. (Emphasis added.)”

In his long and storied career as a journalist and documentarian, Pilger has seen myriad examples of tyrannical regimes—official enemies worthy of opprobrium. These rulers turn out to be no worse than our own, when we turn an unflinching eye on them. This unflinching eye reveals that our official enemies are downright clumsy and limited in their vision of power when compared to our own governments.

“As a reporter in places of upheaval all over the world, I have learned to compare the evidence I have witnessed with the words and actions of those with power. In this way, it is possible to get a sense of how our world is controlled and divided and manipulated, how language and debate are distorted to produce the propaganda of false consciousness.

“When we speak about dictatorships, we call this brainwashing: the conquest of minds. It is a truth we rarely apply to our own societies, regardless of the trail of blood that leads back to us and which never dries. (Emphasis added.)”

The logical and unavoidable conclusion is,

“[…] if there is any sense of justice left in the land of Magna Carta, the travesty that is the case against this heroic Australian must be thrown out. Or beware, all of us.”

Or, as Ray McGovern[3] poignantly points out,

“As I think of my good friend Julian, what comes to mind are the desperate words of Willy Loman’s wife Linda in Death of a Salesman:”
“He’s a human being, and a terrible thing is happening to him. So attention must be paid. He’s not to be allowed to fall in his grave like an old dog. Attention, attention must finally be paid to such a person.”

Free Julian Assange. Fight for Julian Assange. Spread the word.

[1] The usual caveats about attribution apply. See Quote Investigator to learn that Orwell never really wrote this—and certainly not in 1984—but it really feels like something he should have written. The Internet has spoken.

See the article Nils Melzer Spricht über Wikileaks Gründer Julian Assange by Daniel Ryser (Republik) (or the English translation Nils Melzer discusses Wikileaks Founder Julian Assange by Daniel Ryser, Yves Bachmann (Photos) and Charles Hawley (Translation) (Republik)) for more information about Nils Melzer’s work as United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. His work is well documented at Wikipedia as well.

“Vor unseren Augen kreiert sich ein mörderisches System […] Vier demokratische Staaten schliessen sich zusammen, USA, Ecuador, Schweden und Grossbritannien, um mit ihrer geballten Macht aus einem Mann ein Monster zu machen, damit man ihn nachher auf dem Scheiter­haufen verbrennen kann, ohne dass jemand aufschreit. Der Fall ist ein Riesen­skandal und die Bankrott­erklärung der westlichen Rechts­staatlichkeit. Wenn Julian Assange verurteilt wird, dann ist das ein Todes­urteil für die Pressefreiheit.”
[3] From the article What if Ignored Covid-19 Warnings Had Been Leaked to WikiLeaks? by Ray McGovern (Antiwar.com), cited above.