On Friday November 16th 2018, the US deep state’s #2 “paper of record”, The New York Times (second only to The Washington Post), announced that the US Department of Justice had secretly filed criminal charges against Julian Assange, founder of the world-famous media organisation Wikileaks, a specialist in publishing ‘leaked’ documents provided unofficially (and often illegally) by whistleblowers in high-profile corporations, organisations and governments.
For the last 6 years, Assange, an Australian citizen, has been locked up in the Ecuadorian embassy in London after he was granted political asylum by Ecuador in 2012. His reason for requesting asylum was to evade extradition to the United States via Sweden, which had attempted to do so based on trumped-up accusations of “rape, sexual molestation and unlawful coercion”, accusations that were eventually downgraded to “consensual sex without a condom” before being dropped completely by the Swedish government. Text messages by the women in questionrevealed they “did not want to file any charges against Assange but that the police were keen on getting a grip on him,” with one writing that “it was the police who made up the charges”. No charges were ever brought by the Swedish police against Assange, who cooperated whole-heartedly with the investigation wherever possible.
Assange had become a political target of the United States government after Wikileaks published, in April and July 2010, a tranche of documents detailing US war crimes in both Iraq and Afghanistan, exposing the US empire’s psychopathic ‘foreign policy’ of expansionist war in pursuit of global hegemony. It is an unofficial but obvious truth that the Swedish investigation was politically motivated, with the vindictive and bitter Swedish prosecutor Marianne Ny acting as puppet of US ‘special interests’, stretching the investigation out as long as possible before she was eventually forced to dismiss it.
Since its origin, Wikileaks’ examination of the crimes of governments has been deep and far-reaching. Some examples of their major publishing efforts include:
- “Collateral Murder” – video evidence of the US military gunning down civilians (including journalists) in Iraq – a war crime.
- The Afghan War Logs – over 75,000 documents containing reports of coalition war crimes in Afghanistan since 2001.
- The Iraq War Logs – documents exposing torture and mass murder by the US military in Iraq.
- “CableGate” – over 3.3 MILLION US diplomatic documents dating from 1966 to 2010.
- The Guantanamo Files – documents detailing abuse and torture at the US naval facility at Guantanamo Bay.
- The Syria Files – over 2 million emails from 680 Syrian government political figures.
- Drafts of the TTP, TTIP and TISA secret trade negotiations.
- Files from the Saudi Foreign Ministry.
- The “NSA World Leaders Targets” – evidence of NSA spying on senior world leaders.
- The DNC leaks – nearly 20,000 emails that detail massive fraud and corruption within the Democratic Party leadership in the US, who conspired to rig the Democratic primary nomination for Hillary Clinton in 2016.
- “Vault 7” – a massive exposé of CIA cyberwarfare and hacking activities and capabilities.
- The Russia Spy Files – over 650,000 documents about the activities of Russian Intel under President Putin.
These are but some examples of the service rendered to journalism and the public good by Wikileaks.
The ‘Swedish affair’ reached a climax in the decision by the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention in February 2016, which concluded in their report on the case that Assange had been subject to arbitrary detention by the UK and Swedish governments since 7 December 2010, and that he was “entitled to his freedom of movement and to compensation.” The UK government pointedly ignored the ruling and, later that year, the explosive saga of the DNC leaks and the US 2016 Presidential elections began, with Assange and Wikileaks playing a critical role in unmasking Hillary Clinton’s pathology and providing the American people with vital information that may well have helped to deliver Trump the Presidency.
With Assange having done him (indirectly) a most extraordinary service, you might think Trump would return the favor, but when Wikileaks released the “Vault 7” revelations in March 2017 that detailed a litany of cybercriminal activities by that nest of vipers, the CIA, Trump’s hands were tied. In response, new CIA director Mike Pompeo renewed his organisation’s vengeful jihad against Wikileaks, designating them a “hostile intelligence service” and – in an astonishing feat of doublespeak – claiming that “we can no longer allow Assange and his colleagues the latitude to use free speech values against us.”
You Want Something Not Done, Get a Proven Lackey To Bungle It
After the failure of their Swedish gambit, the ‘responsibility’ for delivering Assange to the US fell to the British government, which had already obsequiously squandered £11 million pounds of taxpayers’ money with a 24-hr police presence outside the Ecuadorian embassy before they were ostensibly ‘removed’ in 2015 (or, most probably, covertly replaced by MI5). As legal proceedings continued, Westminster affirmed that it would arrest Assange if given the opportunity, in willful ignorance of the UN ruling and despite global calls for his safe passage from the embassy. In December 2017, Assange was granted Ecuadorian citizenship in an attempt to break the deadlock and provide him some form of legal protection against extradition, however further legal challenges on Assange’s behalf to the Crown Prosecution Service failed in February 2018, with the English CPS upholding his arrest warrant for breaching his bail conditions when he sought refuge in the Ecuadorian embassy in 2012.
In March 2017, the Ecuadorian government, irritated by Assange’s vocal support of the Catalonian secession movement the previous year and under pressure from the US government, imposed harsh restrictions on his living conditions, suspending his Internet access and limiting his visitation rights to only his legal team. Since then, close supporters have reported that the Ecuadorian government have repeatedly denied visitor access to Assange, or delayed visitors with bureaucratic technicalities. By late May, media speculation was rife that the Ecuadorian government was planning to evict Assange from the embassy, in breach of its obligations under international law; such was the pressure being brought by the US.
Despite the reports, with a ruling by the Inter-American Court on Human Rights that Ecuador was obliged to provide safe passage from the embassy for Assange, the situation was again resolved, with Ecuadorian president Lenin Moreno stating some weeks later in an interview that he would “eventually” have to leave the embassy, although no indication was made as to how he might accomplish this without risk of arrest.
Since the change of government in Ecuador in 2017, the US government has been making diplomatic overtures in an effort to bring the small nation more fully back into the sphere of the empire’s influence, after relations became increasingly tense during the Presidency of Rafael Correra. Although it is unlikely that the extradition of Assange is the US’ primary goal in this respect, that is being pursued, with reports indicating that Assange’s status was a significant item of discussion at US vice president Mike Pence’s meeting with Moreno in June this year, with Pence no doubt conveying a message that substantial favours would follow if Ecuador cooperated with extraditing Assange to the US.
After several months of restricted living conditions, the message was crude but clear: ‘cooperate with us on the anti-Russia narrative, and we will make a deal for your freedom’. That the Wikileaks legal team even publicly stated soon afterwards that they were considering the offer from that pack of liars is a testament to just how much pressure Assange and his team are under. It also speaks to Assange’s impartiality towards Russia (despite the media narrative claiming otherwise).
It also emphasises that the US deep state considered the pressure exerted on Assange via back-channels through Ecuador sufficient to get him to accept the offer which Assange agreed to on condition that he be interviewed in the embassy in London. That the pressure on Assange in subsequent months reached the point of a presumed abduction attempt from the Embassy itself only highlights the vengeful attitude of those in the shadows desperately searching for a solution to their ‘problem’.
Wishful Thinking Will Get You Every Time
Since the above-mentioned intrusion attempt by persons unknown (*cough MI5*), the situation at the embassy has backfired on the empire once again, with the public solidarity movement #Unity4J going from strength to strength, and now the ‘accidental’ emergence of sealed US charges against Julian – charges which are totally illegal under international law, as they falsely accuse a non-US citizen of violations of US law, an act that transgresses multiple Articles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, to which the US is a signatory and even helped create.
This is a good example of the kind of noxious arrogance for which the US empire is well known; the laws of the United States supposedly supersede international law, apply everywhere, and woe betide every man or woman in the rest of the world that flouts them.
And what of the country of which he is a native citizen – the country that is a birthplace to both myself and Assange? What has the Australian government done to rescue one of their own from what the United Nations has described as “arbitrary detention”, and what his benefactor, former Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa, has denounced as “torture”?
To use a colloquial Australian expression: “Stuff all”, although it’s actually worse than ‘nothing’, as John Pilger details:
Seven years ago, in Sydney, I arranged to meet a prominent Liberal Member of the Federal Parliament, Malcolm Turnbull.
I wanted to ask him to deliver a letter from Gareth Peirce, Assange’s lawyer, to the government. We talked about his famous victory – in the 1980s when, as a young barrister, he had fought the British Government’s attempts to suppress free speech and prevent the publication of the book Spycatcher – in its way, a WikiLeaks of the time, for it revealed the crimes of state power.
The prime minister of Australia was then Julia Gillard, a Labor Party politician who had declared WikiLeaks “illegal” and wanted to cancel Assange’s passport – until she was told she could not do this: that Assange had committed no crime: that WikiLeaks was a publisher, whose work was protected under Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, to which Australia was one of the original signatories.
In abandoning Assange, an Australian citizen, and colluding in his persecution, Prime Minister Gillard’s outrageous behaviour forced the issue of his recognition, under international law, as a political refugee whose life was at risk. Ecuador invoked the 1951 Convention and granted Assange refuge in its embassy in London.
Gillard has recently been appearing in a gig with Hillary Clinton; they are billed as pioneering feminists.
If there is anything to remember Gillard by, it is a warmongering, sycophantic, embarrassing speech she made to the US Congress soon after she demanded the illegal cancellation of Julian’s passport.
Throughout the course of Wikileaks’ existence, Australian political leaders have actively colluded in a conspiracy to sacrifice one of their own citizens on the altar of subservience to the empire of chaos. In the article quoted above, John Pilger concluded with a plea to then Australian PM, Malcolm Turnbull, to bring Julian Assange home. Turnbull is now gone as prime minister, but what of his successor? Scott Morrison has made an absolute dropkick out of himself after making a smutty crack about celebrity Pamela Anderson’s widely-watched interview on Channel 9’s 60 Minutes, in which she made a heartfelt plea for him to bring Julian Assange home, an idea that the vast majority of Australians agree with.
Following the show, 60 Minutes canvassed the views of Australians online. People responded in the thousands, overwhelmingly – 92 per cent of more than 7,000 – in favour of bringing Assange home.
Here’s a hint, Scott Morrison: There are times when a bit of ‘blokey humour’ is acceptable. In response to a humanitarian plea for the Australian government to assist one of their innocent citizens in escaping torture overseas after 6 years of arbitrary detention is NOT one of those times.
Morrison’s little ‘joke’ was of course quite in keeping with the behaviour of an obnoxious sociopath under whose term as Immigration Minister hundreds of refugee families were arbitrarily detained in Australian government ‘deterrence camps’ on Manus Island and Nauru.
So, with no help from either of his ‘homes’ and barricaded in a building with his cat, surrounded on all sides by hysterical creatures desperate to seize him because they think that it will somehow change the course of their ultimate demise, what options does Assange have at this point? Two, to be precise, and neither are appetizing. He could walk out of the Ecuadorian embassy to certain arrest, extradition, torture and potentially a death sentence in the USA, or endure ‘torture unto death’ in a small room, far from his home, and ensure his legacy as the highest-profile martyr for freedom in recent history.
Even as Ecuador has effectively silenced Assange from speaking out, his presence in the embassy is still teaching the world a valuable lesson, showing us all that the Western mainstream media are nothing but government appendages and that, for them, serving the interests of exceptionalism will always come before the interests of the ordinary people of this world.
The current government of Ecuador underestimates Assange’s moral fortitude and spiritual power. This is a man who took on Hillary Clinton – one of the most evil creatures on this planet, while under conditions of virtual gaol-like confinement – and won. If they think he will psychologically ‘break’, they are mistaken, although it is possible that he might physically break – leaving them with the excruciatingly painful political fallout of having a dead journalist and publisher in their London embassy – one that had come to them for refuge from persecution. And who knows what secrets the Wikileaks founder might reveal from ‘beyond the grave’?
One thing is certain – Julian Assange needs our help NOW. Any journalist who does not stand up for him at this point can be considered a craven sycophant unworthy of their calling. If you cannot help bring pressure to bear on the Ecuadorian government directly, support those who are supporting Julian. The #Unity4J movement is gathering momentum as independent journalists and media outlets the world over realise that what is at stake here is not merely the rights of one man but the principles of freedom of the press and the fundamental right of the public to know what their leaders are doing ‘in their name’.
#FreeAssange #FreeJulian #Unity4J