Julian Assange remains cut off from the world in Ecuador’s London embassy, shut off from friends, relatives and thousands of supporters, leaving him unable to do his crucial work, as John Pilger discusses with Dennis J. Bernstein.
By Dennis J Bernstein
In a recent communication between Randy Credico, an Assange supporter, comic and radio producer, and Adam Schiff, the ranking member on the House Judiciary Committee, Assange’s fear of arrest and extradition to the US was confirmed by the leader of the Russia-gate frenzy.
Credico received the following response from Schiff after meeting the the Congressman’s staff, in which Credico was trying to connect Assange with Schiff: “Our committee would be willing to interview Assange when he is in U.S. Custody and not before.”
Dennis Bernstein spoke with John Pilger, a close friend and supporter of Assange on May 29. The interview began with the statement Bernstein delivered for Pilger at the Left Forum last weekend in New York on a panel devoted to Assange entitled, “Russia-gate and WikiLeaks”.
“There is a silence among many who call themselves left. The silence is Julian Assange. As every false accusation has fallen away, every bogus smear shown to be the work of political enemies, Julian stands vindicated as one who has exposed a system that threatens humanity. The Collateral Damage video, the war logs of Afghanistan and Iraq, the Cablegate revelations, the Venezuela revelations, the Podesta email revelations … these are just a few of the storms of raw truth that have blown through the capitals of rapacious power. The fakery of Russia-gate, the collusion of a corrupt media and the shame of a legal system that pursues truth-tellers have not been able to hold back the raw truth of WikiLeaks revelations. They have not won, not yet, and they have not destroyed the man. Only the silence of good people will allow them to win. Julian Assange has never been more isolated. He needs your support and your voice. Now more than ever is the time to demand justice and free speech for Julian. Thank you.”
Dennis Bernstein: We continue our discussion of the case of Julian Assange, now in the Ecuadorian embassy in Great Britain. John Pilger, it is great to talk to you again. But it is a profound tragedy, John, the way they are treating Julian Assange, this prolific journalist and publisher who so many other journalists have depended on in the past. He has been totally left out in the cold to fend for himself.
John Pilger: I have never known anything like it. There is a kind of eerie silence around the Julian Assange case. Julian has been vindicated in every possible way and yet he is isolated as few people are these days. He is cut off from the very tools of his trade, visitors aren’t allowed. I was in London recently and I couldn’t see him, although I spoke to people who had seen him. Rafael Correa, the former president of Ecuador, said recently that he regarded what they are doing to Julian now as torture. It was Correa’s government that gave Julian political refuge, which has been betrayed now by his successor, the government led by Lenin Moreno, which is back to sucking up to the United States in the time-honored way, with Julian as the pawn and victim.
Should be a ‘Constitutional Hero’
But really it comes down to the British government. Although he is still in a foreign embassy and actually has Ecuadorian nationality, his right of passage out of that embassy should be guaranteed by the British government. The United Nations Working Party on Unlawful Detentions has made that clear. Britain took part in an investigation which determined that Julian was a political refugee and that a great miscarriage of justice had been imposed on him. It is very good that you are doing this, Dennis, because even in the media outside the mainstream, there is this silence about Julian. The streets outside the embassy are virtually empty, whereas they should be full of people saying that we are with you. The principles involved in this case are absolutely clear-cut. Number one is justice. The injustice done to this man is legion, both in terms of the bogus Swedish case and now the fact that he must remain in the embassy and can’t leave without being arrested, extradited to the United States and ending up in a hell hole. But it is also about freedom of speech, about our right to know, which is enshrined in the United States Constitution. If the Constitution were taken literally, Julian would be a constitutional hero, actually. Instead, I understand the indictment they are trying to concoct reads like a charge of espionage! It’s so ridiculous.That is the situation as I see it, Dennis. It is not a happy one but it is one that people should rally to quickly.
DB: His journalistic brethren are sounding like his prosecutors. They want to get behind Russia-gate freaks like Congressman Adam Schiff and Mike Pompeo, who would like to see Assange in jail forever or even executed. How do you respond to journalists acting like prosecutors, some of whom used his material to do stories? This is a terrible time for journalism.
JP:You are absolutely right: It is a terrible time for journalism. I have never known anything quite like it in my career. That said, it is not new. There has always been a so-called mainstream which really comes down to great power in media. It has always existed, particularly in the United States. The Pulitzer Prize this year was awarded to The New York Times andThe Washington Post for witch-hunting around Russia-gate! They were praised for “how deeply sourced their investigations were.” Their investigations turned up not a shred of real evidence to suggest any serious Russian intervention in the 2016 election.
The Julian Assange case reminds me of the Gary Webb case. Bob Parry was one of Gary Webb’s few supporters in the media. Webb’s “Dark Alliance” series contained evidence that cocaine trafficking was going on with the connivance of the CIA. Later Webb was hounded by fellow journalists and, unable to find work, he eventually committed suicide. The CIA Inspector General subsequently vindicated him. Now, Julian Assange is a long way from taking his own life. His resilience is remarkable. But he is still a human being and he has taken such a battering.
Probably the hardest thing for him to take is the utter hypocrisy of news organizations—like The New York Times, which published the WikiLeaks “War Logs” and “Cablegate,” The Washington Post and The Guardian, which has taken a vindictive delight in tormenting Julian. The Guardian a few years ago got a Pulitzer Prize writing about Snowden. But their coverage of Snowden left him in Hong Kong. It was WikiLeaks that got Snowden out of Hong Kong and to safety.
Professionally, I find this one of the most unsavory and immoral things I have seen in my career. The persecution of this man by huge media organizations which have drawn great benefit from WikiLeaks. One of Assange’s great tormentors, The Guardian‘s Luke Harding, made a great deal of money with a Hollywood version of a book that he and David Lee wrote in which they basically attacked their source. I suppose you have to be a psychiatrist to understand all of this. My understanding is that so many of these journalists are shamed. They realize that WikiLeaks has done what they should have done a long time ago, and that is to tell us how governments lie.
DB:One thing that disturbs me greatly is the way in which the Western corporate press speculate about Russian involvement in the U.S. 2016 election, that it was a hack through Julian Assange. Any serious investigator would want to know who would be motivated. And yet the possibility that it might be the dozen or so pissed-off people who went to work for the Clinton machine and learned from the inside that the DNC was all about getting rid of Bernie Sanders…this is not a part of the story!
Eight Hundred Thousand Disclosures on Russia
JP:What happened to Sanders and the way that he was rolled by the Clinton organization, everybody knows that this is the story. And now we have the DNC suing WikiLeaks! There’s a kind of farcical element to this. I mean, none of this came from the Russians. That WikiLeaks is somehow in bed with the Russians is ludicrous. WikiLeaks published about 800,000 major disclosures about Russia, some of them extremely critical of the Russian government. If you are a government and you are doing something untoward or you are lying to your people and WikiLeaks gets the documents to show it, they will publish no matter who you are, be they the United States or Russia.
DB:Randy Credico, because of his work and his decision to devote a very high-profile series to the persecution of Julian Assange, recently found himself under attack. He went to the White House Press Roast and, after having a nice discussion with Congressman Schiff, he yelled out “What about Julian Assange?” The room was packed full of reporters but Randy was attacked and dragged out. It was if everyone there was embarrassed to recognize that one of their brethren was being brutalized.
JP:Randy shouted some truth. It is very similar to what happened to Ray McGovern. Ray is a former member of the CIA but extremely principled. I might suggest he is a renegade now.
DB:It was hysterical to watch these four armed guards who kept shouting “Stop resisting, stop resisting!” and they are beating the hell out of him!
JP:I thought the image of Ray being hauled off was particularly telling. These four overweight, obviously ill-trained young men manhandling Ray, who is 78 years old. There was something highly emblematic about that for me. He stood up to challenge the fact that the CIA was about to hand over leadership to a person who had been in charge of torture. It is both shocking and surreal, which of course the Julian Assange case is as well. But real journalism should be able to get through the shocking and the surreal and get to the truth. There is so much collusion now, with all these dark and menacing developments. It is almost as if the word “journalism” is becoming blighted.
DB:There has certainly been a lot of collusion when it comes to Israel. Then the word “collusion” is quite appropriate.
JP:That’s the ultimate collusion. But that’s collusion with silence. Never has there been a collusion like the one between the U.S. and Israel. It suggests another word and that is “immunity.” It has a moral immunity, a cultural immunity, a geopolitical immunity, a legal immunity, and certainly a media immunity. We see the gunning down of over 60 people on the day of the inauguration of the new U.S. embassy in Jerusalem. Israel has some of the most wickedly experimental munitions in the world and they fired them at people who were protesting the occupation of their homeland and trying to remind people of the Nakba and the right of return. In the media these were described as “clashes.” Although they did become so bad that The New York Times in a later edition changed its front page headline to say that Israel was actually killing people. A rare moment, indeed, when the immunity, the collusion was interrupted. All the talk of Iran and nuclear weapons is without any reference to the biggest nuclear power in the Middle East.
DB:What would you say have been the contributions that Julian Assange has made in this age of censorship and cowardice in journalism? Where does he come into the picture?
JP:I think it comes down to information. If you go back to when WikiLeaks started, when Julian was sitting in his hotel room in Paris beginning to put the whole thing together, one of the first things he wrote was that there is a morality in transparency, that we have a right to know what those who wish to control our lives are doing in secret. The right to know what governments are doing in our name—on our behalf or to our detriment—is our moral right. Julian feels very passionately about this. There were times when he could have compromised slightly in order to possibly help his situation. There were times when I said to him, “Why don’t you just suspend that for a while and go along with it?” Of course, I knew beforehand what his answer would be and that was “no.” The enormous amount of information that has come from WikiLeaks, particularly in recent years, has amounted to an extraordinary public service. I was reading just the other day a 2006 WikiLeaks cable from the U.S. embassy in Caracas which was addressed to other agencies in the region. This was four years after the U.S. tried to get rid of Chavez in a coup. It detailed how subversion should work. Of course, they dressed it up as human rights work and so on. I was reading this official document thinking how the information contained in it was worth years of the kind of distorted reporting from Venezuela. It also reminds us that so-called “meddling” by Russia in the U.S. is just nonsense. The word “meddling” doesn’t apply to the kind of action implied in this document. It is intervention in another country’s affairs.
WikiLeaks has done that all over the world. It has given people the information they have a right to have. They had a right to find out from the so-called “War Logs” the criminality of our wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. They had a right to find out about Cablegate. That’s when, on Clinton’s watch, we learned that the NSA was gathering personal information on members of the United Nations Security Council, including their credit card numbers. You can see why Julian made enemies. But he should also have made a huge number of friends. This is critical information because it tells us how power works and we will never learn about it otherwise. I think WikiLeaks has opened a world of transparency and put flesh on the expression “right to know.” This must explain why he is attacked so much, because that is so threatening. The enemy to great power is not the likes of the Taliban, it is us.
DB:And who can forget the release of the “collateral murder” footage by Chelsea Manning?
JP:That kind of thing is not uncommon. Vietnam was meant to be the open war but really it wasn’t. There weren’t the cameras around. It is indeed shocking information but it informs people, and we have Chelsea Manning’s courage to thank for that.
DB:Yes, and the thanks he got was seven years in solitary confinement. They want to prosecute Assange and maybe hang him from the rafters in Congress, but what about Judith Miller and The New York Times lying the West into war? There is no end of horrific examples of what passes for journalism, in contrast to the amazing contribution that Julian Assange has made.
Click here to listen to this interview.
Dennis J. Bernstein is a host of “Flashpoints” on the Pacifica radio network and the author of Special Ed: Voices from a Hidden Classroom. You can access the audio archives at www.flashpoints.net. You can get in touch with the author at [email protected].
There’s a list of June 19 vigils for Assange around the world here: https://classconscious.org/2018/05/31/global-protests-to-demand-freedom-for-julian-assange/
Silence remains because so many fear truth that would force reality into their comfortable lives. Complacent living.
Well said, Rebecca, well said. So true, so true.
There goes a long historic line from the legend of Robin Hood and the Sheriff of Nottingham to the present day reality of Julian Assange and his oppressors in the CIA, NSA, MI5, MI6, Theresa May, Barak Obama, Donald Trump and other low life, sleazy, scum of the human race.
I don’t believe Gary Webb took his own life – why do you perpetuate the lie ? If they lie about 9/11 – what’s the difference between that and Gary’s death ?
Mumia Abu-Jamal, Leonard Peltier, Ana Belen-Montes, Sundiata Acoli, Romain “Chip” Fitzgerald, David Gilbert, Jalil Muntaqim, Kenny Zulu Whitmore, Kamaú Sadiki, The Move 9, Veronza Bowers, Ruchel “Cinque” Magee …
Just search their names and stories. They all were framed by US officials. Some have spoken truth to power, e.g. Mumia Abu-Jamal.
This should really come as no surprise. It has long been known that speaking truth to power in any meaningful way is a capital crime. God help us all, especially Julian Assange.
Robert Mueller was threatening to charge Papadoulos as an Israeli agent. He should have. Mueller is a coward.
There is a demonstration organised in defence of Julian Assange in Sydney on June 17:
And a vigil at the Ecuadorian Embassy on June 19:
Australian government has obligation to protect Julian Assange:
Assange’s brave and principled stand is supported by millions around the world. Yet, as Pilger says, there is silence from the so-called left.
Crushing Assange has become a priority for our oppressors. In this way they seek to demonstrate their absolute power to dominate us, and silence and torture anyone who defies their rule. If we fail to extricate Assange from their clutches, it will be a major defeat for those of us who seek liberation from the tyranny of the rich.
It’s a probe by those in power in order to find out the extent and type of action they have to prepare for after the extradition and possible death sentence.
Let’s not be silent.
Please flood the Ecuadorian Embassy with letters of support to Julian Assange.
c/o Ecuadorian Embassy
Flat 3b, 3 Hans Crescent
London, SW1 OLS, UK
I perceive intuitively in the case Assange publisher and the coalition of persecuting centers for me, powers for others; Assange Persecuting Front is localized centralized in USA but exercise its against Wiki Leaks Attacks, Sabotages, Lootings and more evils all around without find any resistance. The image of huge multiple resources of Assange Persecuting Front cannot be that huge when First, WE Will restrict from “headquarters” the not functional “hot supporters”, to the limited poor approach to Wiki Leaks Body. “hot supporters”, “friends”, ”followers” who not corresponding to Extreme Emergency Wiki Leaks Body many needs we must cut them; (we will meet them later when we will have time for). To my perception “hot supporters” ,activists who rallying for very good cases but not for WIKI LEAKS at the moment to keep the FAIR DISTANCE. For my perception Ms Christine Assange is the brightest, is skillfulness activist, to call and hold anybody to the at the moment emergencies.Mr. Pilger,Mr. Credico..WIKI LEAKS like them to see less expert how we can organized the defences ..
Second is a strong projection “hostility Politic” Mr.Assange[WIKI LEAKS] sexy,Rock Star, DER STAR.. This “hostility Politic” keeps away from Mr. Assange philosophic thought, ideas; many young people, activists, confusing and disorienting them also and they cannot hear clear him and are not hearing the call of emergency.[Have a look how much against JD Morrison of DOORS multiple work and his life, worked and operate against him till today!!]
you must examine it, decide what offended (the computer probably) and change the comment and resubmit. if it is rejected as duplicate, change the first word. good luck.
Both Pilger and Assange are genuine heroes. The British and yankee regimes’ behaviour factually constitutes fascism. They are lying deceitful torturing disgraces.
Edmund Burke wrote that “the only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men (or woman) to do nothing”? Lack of disent by ordinary people ensures & gurantees complicit consent & the evil powers that be, know this & are counting on this fact? Never has Edmund Burke’s quote resonated & proven to be so true, than in the manner that Assange has exposed the wicked, immoral actions of the hegemonic, war crime nation called America & its western allies? Assange consciencely chose to be that “good man” & is paying the price for that courage? He refused to “do nothing” & did something that the corporate MSM wouldn’t do & that was to the expose this evil using Wikileaks as that medium, so that these immoral & corrupt deeds could be brought into the light? This was obviously a massive embarassment for the USA who likes to think of iteslf as this benigh, good, moral, benevolent Country, exceptional above all others? Assange has shown that the US is the exact opposite & is just plain EVIL! And evil cannot be allowed to triumph over good, it must be called out & confronted? Assange has done his part & now we must, as Citizens of the World, rally to his aid & apply Edmund Burkes call to arms?? DISENT NOT CONSENT must be our rallying cry & actions speak louder than words? Harass your representatives by any means possible? If your in London, organise & rally & create a sh*tstorm nuisance for the authorities? If enough people did this the authorites will have to take notice & cede to the people demands that Assange be set free!! LETS DO THIS!
Trumpolino will remain silent about Assange…and will not utter a peep about Tommy Robinson. This lack of comment about these two oppressed men on Trumpolino’s part are ” tells ” that reveal him to be a rather mediocre individual. Trumpolino is fit company for the likes of May..Macron and Trudeau. President Putin is a giant among these ” midgets ” that feed on the tax payers of their countries.
this thursday, and following, will be the real tell. if he is not a fraud, his plate is very full indeed. he has a show businessman’s sense of timing. he is going up against the cia like it has never been opposed before. he needs no distractions or complications; he’s trying not to ingest the polonium.
The news we hear and see is controlled by a Mafia which works for the benefit of the war machine. As a recent example, remember the illegal gun running operation in Las Vegas in which some unidentified group hijacked the operation and killed 58 Americans and wounded hundreds more. This illegal military weapons sale and the resulting murders occurred on October 1, 2017. The news began to increasingly report facts which suggested there was something seriously wrong with the official version of events.
Then on October 5, 2017, the Harvey Weinstein news bomb was dropped and within 3 days the Las Vegas massacre was off the news. Every paper, every news channel, every talking head changed the news at once. The new “big news” was Harvey’s wee wee and famous pretty girls. Talk about a well planned distraction.
This is media control at its finest. Now, who has the power to do such a thing?
As one of the posters has already noted, governments (and particularly the government of the United States) have rarely hesitated to repress dissent. I’m 83, and the only time that popular dissent occurred in the US was during the Vietnam war. The history of those in the twenty-first century is instructive. What happened to OWS, to Chelsea Manning, and now to Assange. Massive protests before and after 2003 did not deter the US and UK from attacking Iraq. London, so I’ve read, is full of overhead cameras to spy on the populace, and there is facial recognition, voice recognition, etc. in the grand panopticon run by the National Security Agency. Perhaps seventy years from now the ordinary people of the west will finally have had enough and be willing to die for their freedom, as the Palestinians have now shown us is the only way left. And as a postscript I would ask if Anthony Bourdain actually committed suicide. The state will stop at nothing to silence free voices.
Thank you Phillip Sawicki. This is a good opportunity for me to mention that it is exactly what you mention about popular dissent that may be the key to much of this. Regulars on this site are aware of General Smedley Butler but America is not. His “story” is telling because as he was encouraging for “the bonus army” to come together in Washington to collect their bonus.
The newly elected President Hoover ordered them removed, and General Douglas MacArthur led a contingent that did exactly that.
General Butler the most decorated U.S. Solder is literally unheard of in this country, yet he had figured this all out years ago. It is just another example of America’s Untold History.
and lest we forget, https://duckduckgo.com/?q=smedley+butler+busts+the+businessmen's+coup+against+fdr&t=osx&ia=web
phillip sawicki: I’m also 83 and a veteran of overseas Army duty, and i fully
agree with your comment. I’ve never seen the U.S. like this; not even close.
Thanks for your response. We are “the few, the happy few” as Shakespeare once put it, but we are far from happy. I spend each day about one level above despair about the human race.
I am frustrated that no letter-writing campaign has been launched to pressure the Ecuadorean Government to respect Assange’s rights and not turn him out onto the streeets. I am loathe to act precipitately without advice or solidarity. A globalletter-writing campaign would alert the government to care for him. Please react to this suggestion. And provide names and addresses in write to.
It’s my hunch, that once the Empire quits spiraling downwards and lands face down in the mud, that one of histories mysteries will be, ‘why didn’t the good people of the Western World take Julian Assange more seriously’. Cause if they had, the citizens of these Western Powers could have reversed their countries disastrous decline, and possibly have saved what was left of their once proud empire. Truth always wins out. Although, we here always feel let down about the observance of truth, never the less in the end a lie will not hold the line. Assange was that relief valve that allowed us citizens to see behind the curtain. Without Julian Assange we citizens will be restricted that much more from hearing the truth, but trust me the truth will always expose the lie.
Read what Paul Craig Roberts has to say about Julian Assange in confinement.
Americans wants to believe that America is like “Rio Bravo” starring John Wayne. Julian Assange reminds them that America is really “Elmer Gantry” starring Burt Lancaster. Great Britain wants to believe it is like “James Bond” starring Sean Connery. Assange reminds them that they are more like “A Fine Madness”, also starring Sean Connery. Central and South American politics predictably oscillates around parameters roughly equivalent to the characters of Fred C. Dobbs, Gold Hat and the Federales as depicted in John Huston’s film, “The Treasure of the Sierra Madre”. That film was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being “culturally, historically or aesthetically significant”. It is interesting to note that John Wayne criticized Sam Pekinpah’s film, “The Wild Bunch”. He said it, “…spoiled the myth of the Old West”. In other words, it somehow told the unspeakable truth. Assange engages in the same genre. Telling the truth is not popular with American audiences. They prefer a Hollywood version. Until “reality” is irrefutably and unceremoniously shoved down their throats, Americans will disavow the Assanges of this world. But sooner or later, Gold Hat or the Federales will catch up with us. I’m thinking we could end up like Fred C. Dobbs. Just sayin’.
One can’t help but wonder if Western power is so intoxicated by it’s own idiocy and propaganda as to think that Julian Assange dead at their hands will be somehow less of a problem for them than Julian alive? Assange has the respect of people around the entire globe and will become a global martyr if they continue to deny him access to medical treatment and humane conditions. When one stands for something as clear and simple as public access to the truth of the machinations of hidden power, one is powerfully aligned with all of humanities quest for justice.
Well said Gary.
Assange could have been smuggled out of UK easy or very easy. It was Corea and now his personally tapped successor who made deal with US, UK to hold him prisoner in Ecuadorian embassy few years back when within months Assange U.K. Police guards were removed, more interactions with him allowed, Ecuadorian national gold was moved to JPM vaults in NYC and execution of multi $billions massive environmental destruction of indigenous areas of Amazon jungle judgment of Ecuadorian court against US oil company (Chevron as I remember correctly) and seizing corporate assets in South America was stopped pending outcome of phony legal proceeding in NYC that Ecuador obviously lost.
Since then Ecuadorian economy and financing was more and more dependent of Wall Street and while Chavinistas in Venezuela were condemned , Corea was making US MSM rounds promoting Ecuadorian exports (bananas) and US investments (in Ecuadorian oil exploration in jungle) showed up on Bloomberg and Charlie Rose show, met with polite attitude as any subordinate US vassal and its puppets were treated.
I think Assange was coerced to stay incommunicado (I can get you message into maximum security prison in 24h for many so they can to Embassy and likely communicate with Assange) as a way of resistance. I believe Assange is under tremendous pressure to reveal details of leakers and his team methods contacts digital technology used and that stress may shorten his life considerably, as he knows that he is worth more for CIA as a snitch which would destroy Wikileaks credibility a main goal of CIA than martyr and hence he may be still alive but de facto tortured as new CIA directive specializes in buying radar of #meetoo political radar.
What is more shocking is relative silence of Assange Australian family as well as leftist and libertarians in his home country as well as Wikileaks itself that could put pressure on Ecuadorian government, or such talks and deals may be negotiated clandestinely at this time with or behind back of Assange.
The proof of tremendous impact of wikileaks and Assange is in vicious pursuit of him as he became a symbol that destroys credibility of the establishment which is the only thing that contains potential mass revolution.
One may ask. Why there is eerie silence about Assange imprisonment in the West?
There is good reason for it, namely systematic eradication of human solidarity and compassion within this oligarchic system of exploitation and slavery, often under pathetic madeup labels of breaking law, or Orwellian human rights where ruling elites systematical break the law to enforce the “law” that anyway is pure construct of political control, a cheap substitute for political violence under guise of establishing social order meaning political order of power.
Most of all, Americans live under commercial totalitarian culture conditioned by American public and private institutions run by ruling elites, which is the culture of modern slaves who have their sensibilities enslaved by liberal ideas of rampant, rugged individualism or rather separation from other human beings and lies that our life pursuits are ours, unique, special, different than any other humans treating people as atomized, bitter, facing hostile others and overwhelming power of rulers alone while allowing for only one acceptable pursuit, pursuit of monetary, dopamine high kind of happiness as long as it creates social conflicts, injustice and misery for others diverting people from naming true culprits of their pain and suffering other than fellow victims of the abhorrent regime and death and exploitation.
Plato’s assertions 2400 years ago echoed by Rousseau ring true as much today that every political system creates, via incentives of advancement and/or disincentives of punishment and alienation, perfect citizens that are shaped by ruling elite like creatures of clay to serve them and to turn against non compliant rest of potential opposition via methods of Identity Politics of division cultivated already in Roman Empire as doctrine of “divide and conquer”.
A parabole could be drawn from Assange story to Literary figure of Jesus Christ who experienced reality of Roman politics of division of religious identity that left Jesus condemned by authorities and abandoned by all the followers and all the beneficiaries of his live and his deeds mainly by committing crimes of revelations or revealing the reality the political system and Jewish ruling elites entangled into imperial Rome betraying Jewish people.
One may have asked back then. Why there was eerie silence about Jesus condemned to death?
Why only few dared to retain their human solidarity and compassion and tried to give him support on the way to Golgotha?
There is good reason for it.
Good examples of those who throughout history have stood against the lies and violence of the rich and powerful. Our unwillingness to see the truth and fight for it ensures our continued slavery.
Those who are trying to silence the truth tellers like Assange, are revealing themselves to be the real enemies of Mankind. If we fail to eliminate these liars and enemies of the truth, then we have become passive accomplices in the destruction of our world.
Obviously, Washington is threatening Ecuador in some significant way (sanctions? political riots? death squads? drug trafficking as per Central America? Or even hints of armed invasion as per Venezuela?) to cause them to deny this man, to whom they supposedly gave safe harbor, of his basic human rights to communicate freely with the outside world. No visitors, no phone calls, no emails, no internet? Even the Skripal’s got more facetime with the public! It’s like solitary confinement in a maximum security prison. There’s not even a prison population with whom he can interact. Do they let him look out the window, or is that verboten?
Every country that Washington bullies into obedience ends up being less free and more repressive. As the article basically says, America invariably rewards oppression and warmongering and punishes openness, freedom and cooperation between peoples. It has earned its current reputation of being the most feared and hated nation on Earth. Repairing any of this seems to be an impossible task for its people, as the words of its campaigning politicians are just hollow lies and false promises. The betrayal is repeated election after election. Fool me once, shame on me. But fool me like clockwork every two years? And if you call them on their deceits you are cast as a conspiracy nut and a traitor by a compliant media selected entirely for willingness to serve as useful idiots. Sheesh!
He doesnt have any windows in the room he’s locked up in, from what I’ve read. The sad irony is the Ecuadorian embassy has turned into a solitary confinement cell, akin to the USA Supermax cell that he took refuge in the embassy to avoid being extradited to by the UK.
Shame on the UK for doing this to Assange.
Solitary confinement is a form of torture–particularly in the extreme isolation conditions in which Ecuador and the UK are now holding Assange. At the behest of the lawless US Empire.
This is barbaric. An egregious and criminal human rights violation of the first order. Where is the UN?
The “espionage” charges the USA is reported to have cooked up against Assange are bullshit. He deserves due process–and to be at liberty while opposing them. So much for UK or USA as civilized nations that respect the rule of law.
Everybody should do something to help Assange out, in whatever way you can–call your congressman or senator and complain. Send an email to the Ecuadorian US embassy and tell them how much they suck for going back on their word to Assange to grant him safe asylum. Send the editors at the Guardian a reminder note that they are beneath contempt for massively using Assange’s Wikileaks material for their own content then turning around and stabbing him in the back.
Wikileaks and Assange are arguably the best remaining means for leakers to safely report war crimes, deep state cover-ups, torture, coups, malfeasance, etc. This is why the US spooks and government are trying to kill him and shut down Wikileaks. These are very dark times we live in these days, needless to say.
I repeat what I wrote two days ago on another post…….
What is obvious is that no one really cares about Assange nor his well being. People will say they do, will write articles and appear for an interview and say they do……but in reality they then just go back home, or to work, and get on with their important affairs….like ball games, Facebook, twitter, and a nice cold beer at the pub. If people cared they would assemble and mass by the thousands in front of the Embassy in 24 hr protest and vigils…they would do the same in front of 10 Downing Steet……but they do not….because they do not care…because what Assange stands for in not important to the masses who are only interested in bread and circuses…protesting over a long period or time takes persistence, effort, and sacrifice…no one is willing to sacrifice time away from Facebook and tweets to stand up for an honorable man who has tried to awaken the masses from their ignorance…but the masses are too ignorant to actually understand their own ignorance…so Mr Assange will either die in his embassy prison or rot in an American one…
Terrible comment for its negativity, hopelessness and glib over-generalization that ‘nobody cares’ and that ‘he’ll die in his embassy prison’. Your negativity is actually worse than the indifference you criticise. To the contrary there are demonstrations planned next weekend in Australia on Assange’s behalf! There are websites defending him, famous journalists like Pilger, Chomsky, etc backing him up. People obviously do care, regardless of your hopeless, cynical outlook. Loser.
deschutes – Thank you. Okay some of this rings true. But imagine if Assange used Wikileaks against Trump he would be a hero of every body and out of the Ecquador embassy. He could have a chance if says he made a mistake and starts releasing Trumps tax returns and other documents Robert Mueller needs for the inpeacment. Other wise he wont have friends on any isle.
I don’t think there can be much doubt that Assange will suffer the fate of Chelsea Manning. And that’s at best. Even more likely is execution.
Deschutes, Alastair is stating the obvious, no matter how negative & hopeless it sounds to you? The simple fact is you can write & comment all you want, but wishing won’t extract Assange from this terrible situation & his forced incarceration? Australia & its Govt, who have been deathly quiet & ignored Assanges plight is reprehensible! Assange is a dual Aussie & Equcadorian Citizen? Assange should be given diplomatic immunity & be allowed to be repatriated to Australia, or better still, even given asylum in NZ, who would treat him like a human being, not a animal fit for slaughter? Australia has alot to answer for with its “silence is golden attitude” towards Julian?
Really, did you actually go and demonstrate over the last six years, did you take time away from your job and family to hold a sign to free him, chain yourself to the embassy fence, did you go see your congressman or senator and stand up for Julien….what did “you” actually do……my guess not a damn thing except write in comments while sitting in the comfort of your own home. It’s been six years….six long arduous lonely years that he has been locked up…..where are the crowds to gather daily in support of his freedom….if Juliens fate and freedom is so important to you why have you not been there everyday, rain or shine, you know why….because it’s not soooooo important to take you away from your own life and family and job…. And that’s my point….people do not think that it’s more important than their own lives so they just piss in the wind when it blows…and pretend to care. In the 60s people voted with actions…they demonstrated daily and took it seriously…..they did not stop, they fought, and some died for a cause… will you or anyone else DIE for Juliens cause….I think not… you, like me, and everyone else has become fat, dumb, ignorant, and happy because you have been given just enough of a standard of living and security that you will not risk loosing it, no matter the cause. The truth hurts….it’s why you lashed out…..
I think it’s more than ‘no one really cares’ – its also about fear and survival. People know that surveillance is everywhere, that faceless institutional power is the problem, and they are afraid of being marked. In conversation I find they frequently agree but switch off. It’s also about exhaustion and perceived helplessness – we are bombarded by so much horrible stuff people turn off, and lamely think ‘what can we do?’ and go back to the screen or whatever…
Truth is terrifying to criminals, especially government criminals. It is also incredible to those in denial and suffering cognitive dissonance. Those are the reasons why Julian Assange and the real score exposed by WikiLeaks are resented, denied, distorted, and suppressed. But what criminals and deniers hate is healthy for everyone else. So let’s have more of Julian Assange and WikiLeaks. Let Julian Assange go. Set WikiLeaks free.
If Washington set Assange and Wikileaks free, and the people learned the truth, eventually the Bush’s, the Clinton’s, Obama and even Trump and all their complicit warmongering minions would spend the rest of their lives in jail. They served their masters in the aristocracy well and will be protected no matter how many innocent truthtellers have to be sacrificed as a consequence. It will continue to be fixed with media lies and false government narratives. Obvious facts will continue to be distorted or totally ignored. They have the megaphone, the bully pulpit, the power of the press and all that, and we little people have no leverage against them. Their ruthless power will continue to suppress any inconvenient truth that may beg to be revealed in the name of freedom and justice. If they find it necessary, if they stumble in explaining the likes of us away as purveyors of “fake news” and “Russian trolls,” they will take even the internet away from us.
I often wonder what would happen if Trump surprised everyone, grew a spine, and did the right thing.
He could reveal the secret charges against Assange, whose nature Pilger doesn’t even know. He could declassify information on Russiagate, ordering the NSA to disclose the nature of its evidence that the DNC was hacked (but there isn’t any, exonerating both Trump and Assange and putting the matter to rest). He could reveal information on the traitorous machinations of the Pentagon, like when it apparently overrode agreements and the wishes of Obama to de-escalate the Syrian proxy war, attacking Deir Ezzor (sp?). He could even declassify data on the internal hit jobs on JFK, RFK, MLK. He could expose the ongoing degradation of the State Department in favor of the CIA and Pentagon.
Doing this would instantly make Trump a world hero, but I am not naive. It would also place a target on his back. That’s why it would take real courage.
He wouldn’t even get to do it first and then be targeted. There would be a pre-emptive strike.
Trump will surprise no one. He is a rotten human being who really has no problem with the way things are and would no doubt enjoy the torture and execution of Julian Assange.
These War Criminals of the West who are responsible for the deaths of millions & ruined Nations, are deserving of the death penalty, not jail! All of them need to be hauled before the Hague, tried & convicted for War Crimes & given the same fate as lthe Nazi War criminals? A public execution as a warning to other tyrants & enemies of Humanity?
Julian Assange is a rare legitimate hero for humanity in the year 2018. His continued detention and silencing is among the greatest injustices on Earth occurring at this moment. The time has long passed since Julian Assange should have been granted complete freedom through the dropping of all baseless legal pretense for holding him in torturous captivity. To the appropriate legal authorities in the United Kingdom: End the extreme injustice, end the immoral and unethical persecution, give Julian Assange his freedom as all true heroes rightly deserve – and do it now.
I take your point, Jerry, but there are even more injustices going on around the world, even as we speak. For example; did you know that the US drops a bomb on innocent people every 12 minutes of every day of the year, killing and maiming for them for life? Julian’s imprisonment is terrible indeed, but at least he’s still alive, although for how long we don’t know. I’m English and utterly ashamed of my stinking government and judicial system. Skipping bail is a relatively minor offence and could have been dealt with by a fine or suspended sentence, but the judge hearing the case (obviously bought, paid for and told what to do by the government) has left Assange to rot in the embassy.
The global power structure is deathly afraid of the WikiLeaks model of disseminating anonymously leaked information. They know it spells their eventual loss of absolute power. Thus the draconian treatment of Julian Assange.
If ordinary people had a clear understanding of how important Julian’s work is to their lives, they would be demanding his unconditional freedom. Instead, most of them are too propagandized by Establishment charges that he is an enemy of the US and under the influence of the Russian government. Sad.