Julian Assange and the Mindszenty Case

Courageous publishers like Julian Assange and principled churchmen like Cardinal Jozsef Mindszenty are a rarity: Neither would be silenced; and both had to seek asylum; but the similarity ends there, explains Ray McGovern.

By Ray McGovern Special to Consortium News

During World War II Cardinal Jozsef Mindszenty was a huge critic of fascism and wound up in prison. In Oct. 1945 he became head of the Church in Hungary and spoke out just as strongly against Communist oppression. He wound up back in prison for eight more years, including long periods of solitary confinement and endured other forms of torture. In 1949 he was sentenced to life in a show trial that generated worldwide condemnation.

Two weeks after the trial began in early 1949, Pope Pius XII (having failed to speak out forcefully against the Third Reich) did summon the courage to condemn what was happening to Mindszenty. Pius excommunicated everyone involved in the Mindszenty trial. Then, addressing a huge crowd on St. Peter’s Square, he asked, “Do you want a Church that remains silent when she should speak … a Church that does not condemn the suppression of conscience and does not stand up for the just liberty of the peoplea Church that locks herself up within the four walls of her temple in unseemly sycophancy …?”

When the Hungarian revolution broke out in 1956, Mindszenty was freed, but only for four days.  When Soviet tanks rolled back into Budapest, he fled to the U.S. embassy and was given immediate asylum by President Eisenhower.

Mindszenty: Stuck in US embassy for 15 years.

There the Cardinal stayed cooped up for the next 15 years.  Mindszenty’s mother was permitted to visit him four times a year, and the communist authorities stationed secret police outside the embassy ready to arrest him should he try to leave.  Sound familiar?

Where is the voice of conscience to condemn what is happening to Julian Assange, whose only “crime” is publishing documents exposing the criminal activities and corruption of governments and other Establishment elites? Decades ago, the U.S. and “civilized world” had nothing but high praise for the courageous Mindszenty. He became a candidate for sainthood.

And Assange?  He has been confined in the Ecuadorian embassy in London for six years —from June 19, 2012—the victim of a scurrilous slander campaign and British threats to arrest him, should he ever step outside. The U.S. government has been putting extraordinary pressure on Ecuador to end his asylum and top U.S. officials have made it clear that, as soon as they get their hands on him, they will manufacture a reason to put him on trial and put him in prison. All for spreading unwelcome truth around.

A Suppression of Conscience

One might ask, is “unseemly sycophancy” at work among the media? The silence of what used to be the noble profession of journalism is deafening. John Pilger — one of the few journalists to speak out on Julian Assange’s behalf, labels journalists who fail to stand in solidarity with Assange in exposing the behavior of the Establishment, “Vichy journalists — after the Vichy government that served ad enabled the German occupation of France.”

Pilger adds

No investigative journalism in my lifetime can equal the importance of what WikiLeaks has done in calling rapacious power to account. It is as if a one-way moral screen has been pushed back to expose the imperialism of liberal democracies: the commitment to endless warfare … When Harold Pinter accepted the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2005, he referred to ‘a vast tapestry of lies up on which we feed.’ He asked why ‘the systematic brutality, the widespread atrocities, the ruthless suppression of independent thought’ of the Soviet Union were well known in the West while America’s imperial crimes “never happened … even while [they] were happening, they never happened.'”

WikiLeaks and 9/11: What if?

In an op-ed published several years ago by The Los Angeles Timestwo members of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity, Coleen Rowley and Bogdan Dzakovic, pointed out that — If WikiLeaks had been up and running before 9/11 — frustrated FBI investigators might have chosen to leak information that their superiors bottled up, perhaps averting the terrorism attacks.

There were a lot of us in the run-up to Sept. 11 who had seen warning signs that something devastating might be in the planning stages. But we worked for ossified bureaucracies incapable of acting quickly and decisively. Lately, the two of us have been wondering how things might have been different if there had been a quick, confidential way to get information out.”

Fourth Estate on Life Support

Assange: No way out?

In 2010, while he was still a free man, the Sam Adams Associates for Integrity gave its annual award to Assange. The citation read:

It seems altogether fitting and proper that this year’s award be presented in London, where Edmund Burke coined the expression “Fourth Estate.” Comparing the function of the press to that of the three Houses then in Parliament, Burke said: “…but in the Reporters Gallery yonder, there sits a Fourth Estate more important far then they all.”

The year was 1787—the year the U.S. Constitution was adopted. The First Amendment, approved four years later, aimed at ensuring that the press would be free of government interference. That was then.

With the Fourth Estate now on life support, there is a high premium on the fledgling Fifth Estate, which uses the ether and is not susceptible of government or corporation control. Small wonder that governments with lots to hide feel very threatened.

It has been said: “You shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free.” WikiLeaks is helping make that possible by publishing documents that do not lie.

Last spring, when we chose WikiLeaks and Julian Assange for this award, Julian said he would accept only “on behalf or our sources, without which WikiLeaks’ contributions are of no significance.”

We do not know if Pvt. Bradley Manning gave WikiLeaks the gun-barrel video of July 12, 2007 called “Collateral Murder.” Whoever did provide that graphic footage, showing the brutality of the celebrated “surge” in Iraq, was certainly far more a patriot than the “mainstream” journalist embedded in that same Army unit. He suppressed what happened in Baghdad that day, dismissed it as simply “one bad day in a surge that was filled with such days,” and then had the temerity to lavish praise on the unit in a book he called “The Good Soldiers.”

Julian is right to emphasize that the world is deeply indebted to patriotic truth-tellers like the sources who provided the gun-barrel footage and the many documents on Afghanistan and Iraq to WikiLeaks. We hope to have a chance to honor them in person in the future.

Today we honor WikiLeaks, and one of its leaders, Julian Assange, for their ingenuity in creating a new highway by which important documentary evidence can make its way, quickly and confidentially, through the ether and into our in-boxes. Long live the Fifth Estate!”

Eventually a compromise was found in 1971 when Pope Paul VI lifted the excommunications and Mindszenty was able to leave the U.S. embassy.  Can such a diplomatic solution be found to free Assange? It is looking more and more unlikely with each passing year. 

Ray McGovern works with Tell the Word, a publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour. He is co-founder of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity and also of Sam Adams Associates for Integrity.  He was a US Army Infantry/Intelligence officer and then a CIA analyst for 30 years.

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69 comments for “Julian Assange and the Mindszenty Case

  1. June 29, 2018 at 11:15 pm

    I want Julian to get out of that embassy, but, not to Ecuador. — Some place better.

  2. Mild - ly Facetious
    June 25, 2018 at 10:04 am

    Assange Is a A Journalist And Should Not Be Prosecuted For Publishing The Truth

    https://countercurrents.org/2018/06/25/assange-is-a-journalist-should-not-be-prosecuted-for-publishing-the-truth/

  3. Rong Cao
    June 24, 2018 at 6:03 pm

    Maybe a decade after the Briexit, government in Britain would come around?

  4. Mild - ly Facetious
    June 22, 2018 at 9:49 pm

    Ray McGovern works with Tell the Word, a publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour.

    – – – – – –

    SO, – Mr. McGovern, how will Church of the Savior align with the Devilish Mr. Trump vis-a-vis the ripping apart of children from their parents as a DETERRENT to desperate asylum seekers?

    How will you differentiate the tactics of the FLAG Loving Mr. Trumps’ assembly of Latino/Latina crime victims unabashedly brought forward to vilify and disgrace the nationality of a people group, solely based upon particular crimes of a narrow few… ?

    What causes this ploy to stand out as diabolically flammable is Trump’s refusal to acknowledge the hideous murders and brutality violently meted out, by the hands of “Public Law Officers”, upon Black and Brown American citizens – up to and including DEATH , with complete and total impunity.? — Those who protest such craven acts of Malevolence and Murder are deemed, by Mr. Trump, “DISRESPECT-ERS OF THE FLAG”.

    How does one weight the balance and/or tip the Scales of Justice where the one group is vilified and disrespected in their cry-for-justice, on the one hand, and the other is, under Trump law, frog-marched unto a Staged Sardonic and Sarcastic extortion of reality – as a cover for his HIDEOUS act of Separating Children From Their Parents !

    Trump is a CON MAN, a Carnival Barker — exhorting you ‘believers’ to “step right up !! hurry / hurry! Come see the SADDEST SHOW IN ALL THE LAND !!!

    WALTER CRONKITE IS TURNING OVER AND OVER IN HIS GRAVE… .

  5. Dutch
    June 22, 2018 at 12:35 pm

    Come on Ray. You worked for the CIA and you know how things work. So I can only assume you’re one of the good guys and this article is cover. Where has Assange been for the months since his sudden disappearance? Obvious to me. But this is where cognitive dissonance kicks in. Where people addicted to computers and cell phones refuse to see them for what they are:. Tracking devices. So cutting Assange off from all such electronic tracking devices was a pretext for extraction. Couldnt be more obvious and there is a lot of chatter about in the Chan boards and elsewhere. Think about it. Assange blew the whistle on America’s biggest crimes and biggest criminals. Why would the MAGA president let him rot in a shitty embassy in a lost country that can’t even detatch itself from the detestable EU? Trump already pardoned the guy who took ‘classified’ pictures of a submarine. You think he wouldn’t lend a hand to Assange, who has been instrumental in the ‘throw the bums out’ movement that started long before Trump, but paved the way to his presidency? And we all know that Assange has the entire Seth Rich story. Trump is a strategist. Assange represents checkmate against his political enemies. Assange is not in that embassy. Sorry EU. Sorry Clinton’s. Sorry corrupt Swedish courts. He’s under Trump’s wing now, he’s probably very happy to have new people to talk to and they’re probably dying to hear all he has to tell them. Can you say OCTOBER SURPRISE?

    • Skip Scott
      June 22, 2018 at 3:26 pm

      Wow. That’s quite the theory, and I hope it’s true. Has there been no sightings of him at the embassy by anyone since he got his comms cut off? I would think once Assange was spirited away to a safe haven, they could find some way to get the word out without being tracked. And I would think Julian would want to get back to work. With all the dark web ways of camouflaging location, I’d think he could set up shop.

      • Lin Cleveland
        June 24, 2018 at 11:16 am

        Skip, i did read a couple of weeks ago that his lawyer met with Julian in the embassy. I do worry about the guy, though.

        • Skip Scott
          June 25, 2018 at 6:02 am

          Yeah, I’m pretty sure that Dutch is guilty of wishful thinking. Some of Trump’s MAGA crowd go through some major contortions to keep their rose colored glasses on regarding their man in the White House.

  6. Hans Maier
    June 21, 2018 at 4:18 am

    I liked this article. Yet, there is one point that I could not disagree more with: your comment on Pius XII. Rabbi Dalin, Sir Martin Gilbert, Primo Levi to name just a few demonstrated the opposite very clearly. It is sad that Stalin´s disinformation keeps being repeated again and again.

  7. June 20, 2018 at 5:59 pm

    I like reading everything McGovern writes, but how do we come to terms with Julian and the democratic documents Is it true Julian did that to cause Hilary to lose, because she was hard right and would have gone after Julian. Did Russia working with Julian, give us Trumpolini?

    • Mild - ly Facetious
      June 21, 2018 at 11:15 am

      Excellent point, spktruth… !

      I also wonder how Mr. McGovern will align Trumps ploy of separating children from parents as a tool against asylum seekers… ?

      While I totally agree with his defense of Assange in this article, I am in total opposition to his support for the dubious Mr. Trump vis-a-vis our “president” and the criminal-ist collusion, and Trump’s knee deep involvement with Russian oligarchs, money laundering, and other NON “Deep State” alignments.

      Trumps authoritarian/narcissist bent has been undeniably unmasked in his North Korea glee over “HOTELS ON NORTH KOREA BEACHES (etc.) — and his cruel and inhumane directive of separating children from parents — with the temerity of blaming the democrats. —– !!! How Mucked Up IS THAT !

      – What sort of deranged mind does these things ? ! ? — {hint — only a Criminal mind.}

    • Dutch
      June 21, 2018 at 12:10 pm

      Are you guys seriously unable to draw any other insight from this article. Or have you been so fully conditioned by the 24/7 bombardment of the “Russian Collusion” that you literally cannot formulate rational thoughts around any other topic.

      Guess what lobbyists for ” Swiss Oligarchs” visited Obama all the time. As did lobbyists for UK “Oligarchs”, French Oligarchs, etc. These particular “oligarchs” were Pharmaceutical companies and their aim was to force every American to buy health insurance and by extension their drugs. To see vaccines mandated. And to assure that US citizens would pay 6-10 times the cost for pharmaceuticals that everyone else in the world paid, just to subsidize their profits and international growth. And what did the red blooded Patriot Obama do? He handed them 1/6th of the US economy for their trouble, adding trillions to the (your) national debt in the process. In the aftermath thousands of companies had to scale back their workforce, move full time employees to part time and revoke benefits. Just to properly gift foreign multinationals for the trouble of having to ask him to. And unlike your Collusion narrative, all of this is thoroughly documented and verifiable. Comparing cases, I’ll simply ask you when or how or even if Trump has similarly promised to hand his Russian Comrades 1/6 of his thriving economy that Obama literally said would require magic to bring about at all, much less in the one year that it took him. So WTF?

      Assuming there even was Collusion, what has been the outcome? Soaring stocks? Maximim employment? The best-ever employment climate for blacks and Hispanics (remember when liberals used to act like they wanted that)? Unification and disarmament on the Korean Peninsula? Tariff protection for US companies and workers? Secure borders? Oh no! Peace and prosperity are breaking out everywhere. Sound the alarms! Seems to me Russian Collusion has been a boon for every American even if it is true. So if you believe it’s true why are you posting this nonsense here instead of writing Putin a thank you letter?

      Oh that’s right, because baby is still really really butt-hurt.

      • Mild - ly Facetious
        June 23, 2018 at 2:23 pm

        Dutch — “Are you guys seriously unable to draw any other insight from this article. Or have you been so fully conditioned by the 24/7 bombardment of the “Russian Collusion” that you literally cannot formulate rational thoughts around any other topic.”

        “Consubstantiality” — In rhetoric, is often associated with Kenneth Burke. It is defined by Burke as “a practice-related concept based on stylistic identifications and symbolic structures, which persuade and produce acceptance: an acting-together within, and defined by, a common context”.

        To be consubstantial with something is to be identified with it, to be associated with it; yet at the same time, to be different from what it is identified with. It can be seen as an extension or in relation to the subject.

        Burke explains this concept with two entities, A and B. He goes on to explain that “A is not identical with his colleague, B. But insofar as their interests are joined, A is identified with B.
        Or he may identify himself with B even when their interests are not joined, if he assumes they are, or is persuaded to believe so…In being identified with B, A is ‘substantially one’ with a person other than himself. Yet at the same time, he remains unique, an individual locus of motives. Thus he is both joined and separate, at once a distinct substance and consubstantial with another.”

        That Mr. Trump is INTERTWINED with Russian oligarchs and Authoritarian Rulers is lucidly clear – even to high school dropouts. The Vast Right Wing Conspiracy has taken wings and is Soaring into new Capitalist Heights of Deregulation and Dismantling of the New Deal Era Public Policies established by FDR.

        Trump’s new deal is and will be a Very Bad Deal for Joe-six-pack and Every-Day American Families under the Consubstantial Authority of Trump’s Despotic Republicanism, Koch Brothers Edicts, and the Right-Wing Corporate-Favoring SCOTUS Forced and Constrained into place by the Hostile Acts of a Right Wing Controlled Senate which Diabolically / Dictatorially Denied the SITTING POTUS, for a full year, his Predominant Presidential Authority, as POTUS, to Assign/Appoint/Alternate the politically structured (right wing) Character of the SCOTUS.

        This Presidential Authority was Appropriated/Denied/Castrated/Emasculated by a Right Wing Congress that Exposed a Confederacy of Antagonism, Enmity, Hostility and Hatred towards a TWICE (Publicly) ELECTED POTUS ! ! !

        To be consubstantial with something is to be identified with it, to be associated with it; ////// /////

        Right Wing collusion – Trump collusion – Russian collusion are all consubstantial.
        Again, an acting-together within, and defined by, a common context” — in this case, A Hostile Corporate Takeover by tax cheating Elitists which favor low-wage, unorganized workers whom don’t don’t Live in but EXIST in shanty-towns and ghettos and back-hills of Missouri and/or West Virginia, or Southern Indiana/Kentucky – Red State poverty or Rust Belt squalor of RAPIDLY-DEMINISHING “equal/opportunity” for “advancement” out of perennial destitution and indigence/ poor education, wherein, “Only The Strong Survive”.

        THIS IS AMERICA, at it’s lowest point, WHERE THE RICH dominate the lower / and “middle” class

        and some of you suckers Faithfully Believe in Trump’s MAGA.

        Most of you like wise dis-believe in evil animus and/or vapid insincerity as shown in Trump’s banal/corrupt narcissism.

        Shame on you — all , for being so easily embezzled and deceived by the “Consubstantiality”
        of this diversionary, Self-Deceived man/solitary Human Being.

        • Mild - ly Facetious
          June 23, 2018 at 4:50 pm

          Dutch … “Assuming there even was Collusion, what has been the outcome?”

          Of coarse, the Outcome Is To The Benefit of They-Them-Those who Gained Control of the SCOTUS –

          The Corporate Oligarchs, The Dismantlers of the Administrative State, The Lovers of OIL/Fracking, Coal, Chemical and Metallic dispersion of CHEMICALS into Living Waters/Drinking Water for a wide ranging number of devitalized, harshly imagined Americans, tarnished by the poverty that intrudes upon their daily lives while Wall Street bankers / Shot-Callers and Government “officials” Bow Obsequiously and in Menial Subservience to the Controllers that OWN them. in “CONGRESS” — in this every day C-Span exhibition/exposition of Government Rule By ‘The Oligarchy’ – the same Oligarchy that put Socrates on trial and convicted him on TRUMPed up charges. —

          Socrates/ the Gadfly who annoyed the ‘Gov’t Officials’ until they TRUMPed up false charges against him – A Truth Teller – so possessed by rectitude and forthrightness that he fought not against the “judgement” of the Counsel that condemned him to death. —

          Let me remind you, that “counsel” was made up of the same Corporate Oligarchs as today, which love MONEY and the pursuit of it, Well Over & Above the right to LIFE of every day human beings.

          Look at the slaughters and massacres of Human Beings occurring daily in “shit-hole” countries —
          presented to you on daily news stations, by WMD bombs and missiles Made In The USA and/or other Western European Colonizing Nations.

          COLLUSION !?
          Guilt of Collusion? !
          Plunder/Rape/ Beheadings/ Black Site Torture Chambers?

          Killer Cops/ KKK Kops
          — TRUMPS BASE —
          ?? Huge Tax cuts for the wealthy and corporations

          Collusion !!?
          What Yuck/n Collusion?????

  8. June 20, 2018 at 2:48 pm

    Indeed why is the no international outcry against the illtreatment of Julian Asange?

  9. June 20, 2018 at 9:48 am

    Thank you once again Ray,
    For staking out a claim for the Fifth Estate, since the traditonal Fourth one has hunkered down to keep their jobs, making themselves complicit in “the imperialism of liberal democracies: the committment to endless warfare”(Pilger). Your insight from 30 years as a CIA analyst makes clear the huge difficulty people have in seeing their own wrongs are actually what they accuse others of doing, and then smugly justifying it by “ignoring” it (or, not letting the embarassing truths out into the public sphere). It makes me shudder to think where we’d be without people like The Sam Adams heroes taking such huge chances with their lives just to let ordinary folks what happens in their name.

  10. June 20, 2018 at 9:01 am

    If comparing Assange to Mindszenty works so be it. In the meantime, Assange is a lot more like the courageous George Seldes, another great journalist. There may be criticism of Seldes, but he exposed Mindszenty as a fake.

  11. T
    June 20, 2018 at 8:31 am

    Unfortunately, Ray McGovern has chosen a very poor comparison. I suggest reading the section devoted to Mindszenty (from p. 113) in “The Truth About Hungary”, the 1957 work by the prominent CP-USA historian Herbert Aptheker (who uses mostly Western non-Communist and anti-Communist reporters, politicians, and other observers as sources).

    Apparently, Western correspondents who reported on his treason trial in 1948 even had to issue a joint statement affirming that their reports had not been censored by the Hungarian government, because they contradicted the NATO propaganda line, and indicated that Mindszenty was indeed guilty.

  12. June 19, 2018 at 7:57 pm

    It’s entirely unremarkable that the Catholic Church found the ‘courage’ to speak out against the Communists in Hungary but not the fascists. The church has always had an ambivalent relationship with fascism (see its support for various dictatorships around the world), but has and is rabidly anti-communist – at least at the leadership level. No wonder – the Church, as one of the richest and most powerful organisations on the planet, embraced capitalism with a passion. A passion that in many peoples’ eyes surpasses the principles they supposedly hold dear. Fascism is a creature of capitalism as its history and practice attests.

  13. Mike Lamb
    June 19, 2018 at 7:56 pm

    FINALLY!!!!!

  14. Anonymot
    June 19, 2018 at 5:50 pm

    You must take two things into account. Assange embarrassed Hillary Clinton by exposing her incompetence or her total disrespect of her Secretary position (she was really there to build an image of presidential.) Secondly, you are dealing with a neofascist government that is roughly the equivalent of the Hungarian one that imprisoned Mindszenty.

    Both one and two are vengeful, nasty, and have long claws, but since Clinton is also part of 2, Assange is clearly trapped by she who lost the presidency because of her incompetence and arrogance..

    • Dutch
      June 22, 2018 at 12:40 pm

      Assange has chackmate info against the Clintons and others. He’s probably the most valued political asset in the world. You really think this is lost on Trump, like him or not? There is much more to this story. Nothing is as it seems. Watch and learn how the world works…

  15. PastImperfect
    June 19, 2018 at 5:16 pm

    If you are British, send this article and John Pilger’s to your MP, stating something to the effect that you concur with John Pilger’s article and consider the plight of Julian Assange to be a scandal, a vile stain on your country’s professed values and a vicious assault on free speech.

    A good quote from Pilger is:

    “Julian Assange has committed no crime. He has never been charged with a crime. The Swedish episode was bogus and farcical and he has been vindicated.”

  16. vincent castigliola
    June 19, 2018 at 3:05 pm

    Ray,
    Thanks for another good analysis,
    after so many years of imprisonment, it is past time for Julian Assange to be released.
    He may be confined in London, but the key is in DC.

    Regarding your comment about Pope Pius XII’s failure to speak “more forcefully” regarding the 3rd Reich, I am reminded of a parable I read in one of Tony de Mello’s books:

    “A heckler once interrupted Nikita Khrushchev in the middle of a speech in which he was denouncing the crimes of Stalin. “You were a colleague of Stalin’s,” the heckler yelled, “why didn’t you stop him then?” Khrushschev apparently could not see the heckler and barked out, “Who said that?” No hand went up. No one moved a muscle. After a few seconds of tense silence, Khrushchev finally said in a quiet voice, “Now you know why I didn’t stop him.” Instead of just arguing that anyone facing Stalin was afraid, knowing that the slightest sign of rebellion would mean certain death, he had made them feel what it was like to face Stalin—had made them feel the paranoia, the fear of speaking up, the terror of confronting the leader, in this case Khrushchev. The demonstration was visceral and no more argument was necessary.”

    Discretion may have been the better part of valor considering Pius’ circumstances

    • Randal Marlin
      June 19, 2018 at 5:14 pm

      Great story! Great lesson!

  17. mike k
    June 19, 2018 at 12:41 pm

    Born in 1931, I grew up reading Dick Tracy comics. His slogan was “crime does not pay”. Unfortunately he was wrong about that. It turns out that crime is the most lucrative pursuit that one can engage in. The Mafia that rules our society is composed of the wealthiest among us, and guess how they acquired that wealth? The naive morality of the thirties is drowned out now by the “realism” of today.

    There were other comic books that dealt with sinister figures who sought to enslave and rule the world, partly with the help of evil scientists. These stories have become all too true. We live those stories in our world today. Perhaps Carl Jung should have included them in his archetypes.

    • Mary
      June 19, 2018 at 1:39 pm

      I do not understand greed. How much is enough?

      • Tom Welsh
        June 19, 2018 at 3:44 pm

        A very logical question, asked by all sane and decent people. I believe that the money itself is irrelevant. The people who devote their whole lives to heaping up more and more money do not usually spend it. Rather, I think it represents status of a special kind – a status that is freely translated into its equivalent in raw power over other human beings. Jeff Bezos, the richest person in the world, has enough money to give – if he chose – $400 to every American man, woman and child. Or perhaps $1,000 to each of the poorest 40%. But he would never do such a thing. Instead, he actually rejoices in his power to degrade his employees and condemn them to the most squalid, deprived and miserable life possible.

        That is power; and that is what some people live for. Perhaps they need psychiatric treatment; perhaps they need to be hanged. But they certainly shouldn’t be allowed to run the world.

        • rosemerry
          June 19, 2018 at 5:16 pm

          To see in Seattle now the abandonment of a small tax on big business like Amazon, which was to reduce homelessness and allow the huge profits to pay a little to help those in need, because Bezos could not bear to allow such a tax, is heartbreaking for those with some humanity.

        • KiwiAntz
          June 19, 2018 at 6:43 pm

          That power is illusionary & transitory his extreme wealth cannot buy him one more extra day of life on this Earth? That’s the thing that really get’s me with these greedy rich individuals that they spend their whole lives building up fortunes that they won’t be around to spend? DEATH levels the playing field here & all OF Bezo’s striving, scheming & power plays will be bought to nought by the Grim reaper who can’t be paid off or negotiated with by paying out a few dollars!

        • Bill
          June 21, 2018 at 1:38 pm

          Finally!!

          Someone who UNDERSTANDS THE WORLD and the people who live in it.

          If there were only about 100 million more of you, the world MIGHT be a decent place to live in.

          GREAT comment.
          Somehow… you need a larger forum to convey this key insight…

      • mike k
        June 20, 2018 at 9:34 am

        Greed is an addictive disorder in which there is never – “enough”.

      • Dutch
        June 22, 2018 at 12:42 pm

        Power! As absolute as possible. That’s what it’s about.

    • June 19, 2018 at 3:49 pm

      mike k,

      Hello. It’s interesting that upon reading your many insightful comments here on Consortium News in recent months and years we had a mental image of someone who was intellectually and spiritually advanced, likely from an intense devouring of important, widely-varying books, for someone n their 20s or 30s.

      While it’s surprising to learn our preconception was off by some 5-6 decades (funny how as one gets older, one uses “decade” more often than “years” as a time reference! :) ), for a man who’s reached the age of 87 a youthful outlook or spirit persists – an admirable quality younger men and women passing this way might consider emulating.

      While it might be impolite to ask, Mike (or other elders who pass this way) – what is the possibility of sharing your imagined “Open Letter to Theresa May and Donald Trump Regarding Julian Assange” here on Consortium News? Perhaps the only chance for Julian Assange’s rightful freedom rests in overwhelming successful support from wise elders such as yourself, the good Mr. Ray McGovern and Mr. John Pilger, and other wisdom keepers around the Earth.

      Thank you kindly.

      Peace.

      • mike k
        June 20, 2018 at 9:53 am

        Thanks for your kind remarks, Ray. I think questioning everything, and continually seeking the truth has played a big part in keeping me young and mentally active. I think that those trying to silence Assange and other truth tellers are addicted to lying and hence allergic to the truth. The truths that Assange revealed are like kryptonite to the professional liars who rule our world. Like vampires, they understand that if their activities are revealed by the light of day, then they will be destroyed. Darkness and secrecy are the refuges of our secret rulers. Their game is to make the public doubt that they even exist….

        • mike k
          June 20, 2018 at 10:01 am

          OOps. Sorry Jerry. Don’t know why I called you Ray. I could say it was my age catching up to me, but I make a point not to buy into ageism. Or I could go on a Freudian rabbit hunt, but life’s too short for that.

    • LarcoMarco
      June 19, 2018 at 4:23 pm

      “The weed of crime bears bitter fruit! Crime does not pay…The Shadow knows!”

      • mike k
        June 20, 2018 at 10:07 am

        When I was a kid, I used to turn the radio down real low, so my parents would not know that I stayed up late to hear The Shadow. What the Shadow knew was “what evil lurks in the minds of men”. Pretty important knowledge to have these days!

    • revoltingpeasant
      June 20, 2018 at 3:44 am

      Mike K, if you think about those comics you’ll remember that the ones that were allowed to succeed (promoted by publishers) pretty much all presented their protagonist as pro law and order, on the side of ‘good’, and with a healthy respect for government, police and authority in general.
      So the majority of people, growing up reading comics (and absorbing similar propaganda in books, magazines, movies, etc), would naturally believe that ‘authority’, that is, politicians, business leaders, newspapers, etc, were honest and well intentioned. Not only did that keep the people (the comic readers) docile, it allowed the real crooks, then as now, a free hand behind the curtain.

      • mike k
        June 20, 2018 at 10:23 am

        Agreed. But there was also a subversive side to some comics that was the basis for parents frowning on kids reading them. There was often the theme that the traditional authorities were not adequate to uncover and deal with the master criminals, who often concealed their identities by posing to be respectable citizens. As a kid I identified with the heroes who operated independently of the ordinary law enforcers, and tackled problems too big or hidden for them to handle.

        As in Sherlock Holmes tales, the cops were often in awe or jealous of the hero’s abilities to do what they could not. The child I was then dreamed of powers beyond the boring limitations of society’s (and my parents) humdrum rules.

  18. Jeff Harrison
    June 19, 2018 at 11:54 am

    Interestingly, I think that we should listen carefully to what the US government complains other countries, organizations are doing. It will tell you what the US government is doing itself. The one that hit me right between the eyes was the harassment of RT. Propaganda and fake news is it? Only to the extent that it’s not the propaganda and fake news disseminated by the USG and their dutiful scribes in the MSM.

    • June 19, 2018 at 7:56 pm

      @ Jeff Harrison: “I think that we should listen carefully to what the US government complains other countries, organizations are doing. It will tell you what the US government is doing itself.”

      I once began adding to my collection of quotations hypocritical statements by U.S. authorities. I soon abandoned the effort because there were simply too many, often several per day. But one of my favorites:

      “You just don’t in the 21st century behave in 19th century fashion by invading another country on completely trumped up pre-text,” Kerry told the CBS program “Face the Nation.”

      Will Dunham, Kerry condemns Russia’s ‘incredible act of aggression’ in Ukraine, Reuters (2 May 2014), https://www.reuters.com/article/us-ukraine-crisis-usa-kerry/kerry-condemns-russias-incredible-act-of-aggression-in-ukraine-idUSBREA210DG20140302

  19. Mary
    June 19, 2018 at 11:50 am

    To show the truth, to speak the truth, to write the truth, to listen to the truth is not a crime.

    Free the truth revealers, free Julian Assange.
    Free the caged babies. Free the caged.

    Stop the torture.

  20. Jose
    June 19, 2018 at 9:06 am

    This article shows clearly the sheer hipocracy of western media. If they commended reverend Mindszenty for his outspoken denunciations of the communist brutality, by logic they must commend Assange for doing exactly what Mindszenty did. Since western media are attacking relentlessly Assange for denouncing US criminal foreign policy, common sense dictates that there is double standard operating here. This article underscores unambiguously western media hippocracy.

    • Tom Welsh
      June 19, 2018 at 3:48 pm

      It is a mistake, sadly, to talk about journalism as if it were still an honourable and independent profession. Thanks to the inscrutable movements of “the market”, virtually all the Western mainstream media have been bought up by rich and powerful individuals – through their corporations – and now all their employees know very well what to do if they wish to rise in their careers. They also know what to do if they wish to be disciplined, fired, black-balled, rendered unemployable, vilified, and perhaps finally murdered.

    • Ken
      June 24, 2018 at 8:39 pm

      Russiagate has been very useful to tptb not only giving H. an alibi for her defeat, but slandering rogue Russia as enemy no. 1. Assange’s so-called collusion with the “enemy” to “undermine US electoral integrity” gives the cabal in W. Virginia its argument to prosecute him.

  21. Skip Scott
    June 19, 2018 at 8:42 am

    It seems to me that Pope Francis would be a powerful voice if he chose to speak out for Assange. I wonder why he hasn’t? He has taken on the establishment both within the church and the world at large on issues like war, poverty, and human rights. He has a bully pulpit as powerful as anyone’s. I wonder how someone gets to have an audience with the pope? Someone should deliver this article to him.

    • June 19, 2018 at 10:26 am

      excellent observation and suggestion. thanks.

    • Tony Vodvarka
      June 19, 2018 at 12:46 pm

      Given that Pope Francis, when he was Cardinal Bergoglio in Buenos Aires, said nothing about the thirty thousand folks that were disappeared during the “dirty war” during the seventies, many of them his flock, I doubt much could be expected of him today. Libertarians and lefties need not apply.

      • Skip Scott
        June 19, 2018 at 3:48 pm

        I believe that Pope Francis has matured since those days, and is a genuine holy man today. I would hate to be judged as the person I was 40 years ago.

    • Tom Welsh
      June 19, 2018 at 3:50 pm

      I think you are over-optimistic. The people who run the West today are not religious at all – unless you count the worship of money and power.

      They are, surprising as it might seem, far harder and more callous than the leaders of the USSR ever were.

    • June 19, 2018 at 11:08 pm

      Skip,…good point!

  22. Bob Van Noy
    June 19, 2018 at 8:37 am

    Many thanks Ray McGovern. If one reads Consortiumnews regularly, one can’t help but “feel” the desperation on these pages that the flickering light of journalistic truth may flicker out. We really are that desperate.
    For me, that is part of the reason that I return again and again to President Kennedy, because news was very much a Feature of that era. Not only the insight of regular news via tv, radio, and multiple news papers; but many crusty muckrakers in all media. That’s All gone now and it feels lonesome and repressive out here in the hinterland…
    By the way Ray, it was the image of that helicopter crew shooting civilians that sealed my attitude negatively. And, if I remember correctly the radio transmission said something like, “light em up”, all in all, totally disgusting…

    • Skip Scott
      June 19, 2018 at 8:45 am

      Hi Bob-

      I’m currently reading DiEugenio’s “Destiny Betrayed”. It’s a great read and it’s been recently updated, in case you haven’t checked it out yet.

      • Bob Van Noy
        June 19, 2018 at 9:55 am

        I’ll get it Skip, many thanks…

    • Jose
      June 19, 2018 at 9:12 am

      I concur with your post Mr. Noy. everybody should read Consortiumnews in order to have a much clearer picture of the world. This article penned by Mr. McGovern is a true testament of how much someone’s understanding could be enhanced. This is a very incise comment.

    • Tom Welsh
      June 19, 2018 at 3:54 pm

      President Kennedy made the mistake of laying his cards on the table before he was ready to act. Indeed, he may have been too decent a man, with too many illusions, to have taken the necessary action at all. There were people who had to be tried and imprisoned; there may have been people who simply needed to be liquidated “with extreme prejudice”, to use their own disgusting term.

      When Kennedy’s plans became known, he was killed. It is public knowledge that whenever a new President was inaugurated, J. Edgar Hoover, the charming head of the FBI, would tell him all about the blackmail material the FBI had on him and warn him not to rock the boat or disobey orders. No one since Kennedy has done either.

      • Anonymot
        June 19, 2018 at 6:03 pm

        That is still unchanged except that complete copies have been shipped to the CIA.

  23. Sam F
    June 19, 2018 at 7:58 am

    The US dictatorship of the rich controls mass media, preventing understanding of the issues, and suppresses demonstrations, that would otherwise show Assange to be a public hero rather than a public enemy. These acts of the corrupted US government are unconstitutional and subvert the interests of the People of the United States. UK has its own dictatorship of the rich in accord with that of the US.

    A large assembly in London might enable activists to spirit Assange to another embassy and out of the country.

    • Jose
      June 19, 2018 at 9:17 am

      You are correct. Western media are complicit in the Assange case. They keep working for those in power who want to Assange in jail or dead. Each medium has the responsibility to upheld objective journalistic standards. If the media did not perform ethically, Assange might be doomed.

  24. Babyl-on
    June 19, 2018 at 7:50 am

    There are no gods – there is lust for power. While this particular religious figure may have done honorable things – he is still a primitive believing in spirits which fosters and supports oppression..

    • Sam F
      June 19, 2018 at 8:07 am

      Organizations of moral education are used where possible as fronts for the immoral, but the Catholic church has done well in modern times. It is humans who are primitive and need moral education, preferably nonsectarian.

    • June 19, 2018 at 10:30 am

      beware you are more like the religious fanatics than you may realize. You believe your secularism makes you superior than the “primitives”. This is secular fanaticism and just as obtuse and dangerous as the religious brand.

  25. john wilson
    June 19, 2018 at 4:18 am

    I may be wrong, but I don’t think I have heard any voices from the UK church calling for a bit of humanity in the Assange case and certainly not the current pope in the Vatican. I would have thought there would be at least some voices from the Labour politicians in support of Assange but even here, the silence is deafening. Even the news papers who were keen to publish the wiki leaks revelations have been silent. Therefore, one has to conclude that there is an innate fear of getting involved, but just who are they all afraid of?

    • backwardsevolution
      June 19, 2018 at 7:55 am

      john wilson – how do you engineer complete silence? You pit one group against another group against another group against another group until there is no social cohesion left, no solid voice, no debate. Kind of like the sound before a dam breaks.

      • June 19, 2018 at 8:15 am

        Great article and great comment by backwardsevolution..So much coverage in the news cultivating and exploiting tensions among groups and so little cultivation of community and common interests.

    • Tom Welsh
      June 19, 2018 at 3:56 pm

      Have you ever watched “Yes, Minister” and “Yes, Prime Minister”? If so, you should remember that the Church of England always keeps itself entirely clear of religion and morality.

      • David C. MacMichael
        June 20, 2018 at 3:27 pm

        Thanks Ray and commentators. Just watched Ralph Nader giving a lecture and comments on Link TV. Another voice–like Sy Hersh’s and Bob Parry’s crying out in the wilderness of today’s political world.–Dave

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