by David Swanson
Writer, Dandelion Salad
Let’s Try Democracy
April 12, 2019
- Governments’ (monstrous and criminal) behavior should not be secret. People should know what their government is doing, and what a powerful foreign government is doing to their own countries. The actual results of the work of WikiLeaks have been hugely beneficial.
- If U.S. courts were to get busy prosecuting the crimes exposed by WikiLeaks, rather than trying to turn the act of revealing them into some sort of crime, they would simply not have time for the latter.
- Prosecutions should not be arbitrary political choices. A Justice Department wrongly under the thumb of Obama decided against prosecuting Assange. A Justice Department wrongly under the thumb of Trump decided to prosecute, based on exactly the same information but different politics. When Trump was celebrating WikiLeaks three years ago it was for acts of journalism he is not prosecuting; instead he is prosecuting just the journalism that he opposes.
- The choice to prosecute these particular acts is driven by the military industrial complex, but also by Russiagate. The U.S. media and top politicians have long sought to depict Julian Assange as something other than a journalist on the fictional grounds that he is in the employ of or collaborating with an enemy government. If Assange had exposed the peccadilloes of the peace movement, or if he had not figured in the Russiagate myth, he would be free. They’d let him be. Breathing air like you and me.
- Nobody on either side of the debate right now has knowledge of or is focused on the details of the allegation that Assange did something unjournalistic by attempting unsuccessfully to hack into a computer in order to protect a source. This trial by media is no more about that than the Monica Lewinsky scandal was about lying under oath. And the trial by jury is likely to resemble the trial by media, if previous trials, such as Jeffrey Sterling’s, in the Virginia court of choice for patriotic railroaders are any guide.
- The details of that unjournalistic allegation are likely very weak, because the indictment throws in various other allegations that are purely journalistic: encouraging a source, protecting a source. To an ignorant, all-white, militarized-community jury impressed by important national figures saying the word “conspiracy” a lot, these other allegations will loom large.
- If the United States charges Assange with violating horribly anti-democratic U.S. secrecy laws, and denounces him on TV as a “traitor,” despite Assange not being a U.S. citizen, other countries may begin to find the nerve to charge U.S. journalists with violating their secrecy laws. The next Washington Post reporter hacked to death by Saudi Arabia may get a trial first.
- If Assange is brought to the United States and not convicted, or is convicted and serves out a sentence, one can expect the U.S. government, legally or otherwise, to further prosecute or simply imprison him indefinitely. In the propaganda that surrounds this drama it is not a legal proceeding, but a war. If Trump gets away with the numerous crimes and outrages he has thus far gotten away with, he or his successor will have little difficulty devising a way to further “protect” us from Assange.
- If Assange is prosecuted, many U.S. journalists will deliver a self-inflicted blow to their institution dwarfing what the U.S. government delivers. They will declare it fit and proper for a single head of a secretive government to sadistically punish disapproved of journalists. They will pledge their loyalty not to truth or public knowledge, but to the Empire.
David Swanson is an author, activist, journalist, and radio host. He is director of WorldBeyondWar.org and campaign coordinator for RootsAction.org. Swanson’s books include Curing Exceptionalism: What’s wrong with how we think about the United States? What can we do about it? (2018) and War Is A Lie. He blogs at DavidSwanson.org and WarIsACrime.org. He hosts Talk Nation Radio. He is a 2015, 2016, 2017 Nobel Peace Prize Nominee. Swanson was awarded the 2018 Peace Prize by the U.S. Peace Memorial Foundation. Support David’s work.
[DS added the video reports.]
Daniel Ellsberg On Assange Arrest: The Beginning of the End For Press Freedom
TheRealNews on Apr 11, 2019
“This is the first indictment of a journalist and editor or publisher… And if it’s successful it will not be the last.”
Assange Arrested for Exposing U.S. War Crimes – Paul Jay
TheRealNews on Apr 12, 2019
Wikileaks released Manning’s leaked documents and exposed multiple crimes committed by the U.S. government and armed forces – Jay says this is getting lost in the corporate media coverage of Assange’s arrest; when he was arrested, Assange carried a copy of TRNN’s book “Gore Vidal on the History of the National Security State” which was based on a series of interviews conducted by Paul Jay between 2005 to 2007; the premise of the book is the American state and its loyal media use patriotism to lie to the American people about U.S. foreign policy and militarism.
Assange arrest shows press freedom does not exist in West: Analyst
PressTV on Apr 11, 2019
The arrest of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange by the UK government shows that there was no respect for the freedom of press in Western countries like Britain and the United States, says an American journalist and political analyst who is based in New York.
What does Assange’s arrest mean for the future of journalism?
RT America on Apr 11, 2019
RT UK’s Afshin Rattansi, host of “Going Underground,” discusses with RT America’s Manila Chan the arrest of Assange, his role in assisting whistleblower Chelsea Manning, and the future of journalism and whistleblowers.
CrossTalk: Assange in Custody
RT on Apr 11, 2019
It has finally happened – WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange was arrested within the Ecuadorian Embassy in London. It is widely expected he will be extradited to the US to stand trial. The expected charges are espionage. This is truly a dark day for journalists and journalism.
CrossTalking with Joe Lauria, Ray McGovern, and Sara Flounders.
Mairead Maguire Requests Permission to Visit Assange
from the archives:
Julian Assange US Extradition Hearing: It Raises Massive Concerns About Free Speech
Avoiding Assange by Jim Kavanagh
Julian Assange Arrested + Wikileaks Claims Discovery of Extensive Spying Operation Against Assange
Chelsea Manning Jailed for Refusing to Cooperate with Wikileaks Grand Jury + Activists Attempt To Visit Chelsea Manning
John Pilger: The Prisoner Says No To Big Brother + Transcript
Daniel Ellsberg: The Doomsday Machine, Parts 1-13
John Pilger: Julian Assange Needs Public Popular Support, interviewed by Joe Lauria
Chris Hedges and Joe Lauria: The Persecution of Julian Assange
John Pilger: The Persecution of Julian Assange Must End + Transcript
If There is No Freedom of Speech for Julian Assange, There is No Freedom of Speech for Any of Us by John Pilger
When a Nuclear War Planner Confesses by David Swanson + Daniel Ellsberg Reveals He was a Nuclear War Planner
Daniel Ellsberg, Mike Gravel and Robert West: How the Pentagon Papers Came to be Published (must-see; 2007)
“Collateral Murder” Video allegedly shows US forces killing two reporters and six others By Daniel Tencer
Gore Vidal on the Cold War + Gore Vidal on “The Emperor” (Parts 1 & 2)
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Pingback: Chris Hedges and Kristinn Hrafnsson: The US Extradition Request for Julian Assange – Dandelion Salad
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Pingback: Chris Hedges and Nils Melzer: The Psychological Torture of Julian Assange – Dandelion Salad
Pingback: Swedish Sex Pistol Aimed at Assange by Jim Kavanagh + John Pilger: US Charges Against Julian Assange Are Ridiculous! – Dandelion Salad
Pingback: Daniel Ellsberg on Julian Assange’s Espionage Charges: It Cuts Out The First Amendment, Essentially! – Dandelion Salad
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Pingback: Avoiding Assange by Jim Kavanagh – Dandelion Salad
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Pingback: John Pilger: This Is An Assault On Journalism and Citizenship + Assange’s Arrest Is A Message To Journalists All Over The World – Dandelion Salad
I’ve examined some of the above material. I’m going to go into it deeper later. Nice collection! Thanks.
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