Requiem for the Fourth Estate

The arrest of Julian Assange adds to the steady erosion of the rights we once took for granted, says Ray McGovern.

By Ray McGovern

It is a very sad day for the rule of law.

Today’s broad-daylight manhandling and kidnapping of Julian Assange from political asylum in the Ecuadorian embassy in London demonstrates in bas-relief that in today’s Anglo-America, the Magna Carta and the Bill of Rights are now “quaint and obsolete,” to use the words of pseudo-lawyer, Alberto Gonzales.

White House attorney Gonzales was referring in January 2002 to other basic principles of international law, the Geneva Conventions, from which he decided he could grant Bush an exemption so he could authorize torture — which he did on February 7, 2002. (We have that memo.)

This no secret; we also have the Gonzales’s memo to Bush. For services performed, Gonzales was nominated and confirmed as Attorney General, the chief U.S. law enforcer.

When WikiLeaks revealed U.S. war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Sam Adams Associates for Integrity chose Julian Assange for its annual integrity award.  The award’s “Oscar,” a corner-brightener candlestick holder for shining light into dark places, was presented to Mr. Assange by UK Ambassador Craig Murray and Daniel Ellsberg after a major press conference in London on October 23, 2010.  Julian Assange became the eighth in what has become an distinguished line of sixteen truthtellers — awardees of the Sam Adams Associates.

The citation reads as follows:

Sam Adams Associates for Integrity

Julian Assange

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!

Presented this 23rd day of October 2010 in London, England by admirers of the example set by former CIA analyst, Sam Adams.

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52 comments for “Requiem for the Fourth Estate

  1. Naclador
    April 15, 2019 at 03:35

    Thing is, UK cannot extradite Assange to the US without breaking a guarantee it gave to the Ecuadorian embassy:

    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-ecuador-assange-president/uk-pledges-it-wont-send-assange-to-country-with-death-penalty-ecuador-idUSKCN1RN135

    • Arioch
      April 15, 2019 at 19:53

      They will just use proxy, will extradite the assange to some 3rd state, whic hwould forward the delivery to USA.

      For example, to Sweden, where rape charges are never going to cout, but instead are solved by secret meeting by two politicians and one lawyer.

      Remeber Stalin’s “extraordinary trios” ?
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NKVD_troika

      Except, that Stalin’s trios were two lawyers and one politician. But Sweden is more modern the state.

  2. dean 1000
    April 14, 2019 at 00:44

    If your browser has a popup indicating this link http://defendwikileaks.org may not be safe, try the link below. I used it with the EPIC privacy browser and didn’t get any warnings.

    https://www.gofundme.com/f/julian-assange-and-wikileaks-public-defence-fund

    • Arioch
      April 15, 2019 at 19:56

      And it most probably IS not safe

      The correct link is “defend section of wikileaks site” – http://defend.wikileaks.org
      Notice the dot before and after “wikileaks” there.

      You link defendwikileaks.org – has n-o-t-h-i-n-g to do with wikileaks, it is definitely looks as typical cyber fraud

  3. Tom
    April 13, 2019 at 23:36

    Now that he’s in UK custody, many Assange supporters say forget the skipping bail charge. That’s totally bogus. Well actually no it’s not. That charge is May and the Home Secretary’s current justification for putting him in a UK prison.

    With his army of lawyers, it could be several years before a extradition decision is made. One minute May puts out soundbites about the UK honors human rights and so on. We don’t have the death penalty. Now, she has to decide. Does she stick to that and deny US extradition? Or, give in as a hypocrite and let Assange be locked away.

    Can he get a fair US trial? Realistically no. Corporate media and many politicians scream he’s a “terrorist”. But he hasn’t been tried or convicted. Doesn’t matter. Fry him. Or, lock him away forever in a black site under Sec. 1021 of the Patriot Act for the “duration of hostilities against enemy combatants”.

    If May and the Home Secretary agree to an extradition, the other parties (Labour, the Lib Dems, the Greens, the SNP and others) could try for a no confidence vote. But May can’t face another one for at least one year. End of that.

  4. historicus
    April 13, 2019 at 07:07

    You know, the Founders were a pretty cynical lot when it came to assessing the flaws of human nature. I’ll bet they were laughing in their sleeves when they thought up the “free press” line, knowing that the ability to publish your opinion would always belong solely to men (of their class, hey, what a surprise) who had the wealth to buy a printing press, ink, paper, and type; or the social status to get a loan to get these things; and most importantly, who would be most likely to curry favor from government and business in order to make their venture a financial success.

    Let us not forget that journalism is first and foremost a business. Newspapers were founded to turn a profit for their owners, through subscription fees and advertising revenues. Ben Franklin, for example, made his fortune as the official printer to the royal government of the Pennsylvania Colony. You’d be hard pressed to find any criticism of said government in his Pennsylvania Gazette newspaper. And as soon as the federal government began in 1789, it rewarded only those newspapers which reported favorably on its activities with the lucrative contracts to publish the latest Acts of Congress, which guaranteed their financial success. The Adams administration violated the supposed spirit of the Bill of Rights before its ink was barely dry with the 1798 Sedition Act, which criminalized criticism of the Federalist regime, and even the alleged apostle of the free press, Thomas Jefferson, attempted as President to legally muzzle opposing Federalist editors such as Harry Croswell and Joseph Dennie.

    The story behind the First Amendment is told in Pulitzer Prize-winning author Leonard Levy’s book “Emergence of a Free Press” (Ivan Dee, 1985). The author documents how the concepts of freedom of speech and of the press evolved in England and in the colonies. He convincingly demonstrates that the Founders never intended to overthrow the common law of seditious libel that was the traditional means of stifling dissent.

    • OlyaPola
      April 13, 2019 at 07:49

      “I’ll bet they were laughing in their sleeves when they thought up the “free press” line”

      Some would suggest that the line “We the people hold these truths to be self-evident….” likely raised more laughter and had/has more utility.

  5. Larry
    April 12, 2019 at 16:02

    American libertarians are really busy defending goldman sachs, google, facebook and all the rest of their beloved corporations.

  6. James Holland
    April 12, 2019 at 13:19

    is mr. binney available for consultation

    veritas

    james

  7. F. G. Sanford
    April 12, 2019 at 12:04

    It may be worthwhile to review the opinions of two notable Supreme Court Justices:

    “When a legislature undertakes to proscribe the exercise of a citizen’s constitutional right to free speech, it acts lawlessly; and the citizen can take matters into his own hands and proceed on the basis that such a law is no law at all.” William O. Douglas

    “With the law books filled with a great assortment of crimes, a prosecutor stands a fair chance of finding at least a technical violation of some act on the part of almost anyone. In such a case, it is not a question of discovering the commission of a crime and then looking for the man who has committed it, it is a question of picking the man and then searching the law books, or putting investigators to work, to pin some offense on him.” Robert H. Jackson

    Langley, we’ve got a problem. The charges as stated (violation of CFAA) may have legal merit if proven true. But Hillary just made a public appearance in which she stated, “Now he’ll have to answer for what he’s done”. What is he supposed to have done? Well, he is supposed to have aided in the transfer of information from a SIPRnet account to a NIPRnet account.

    Uh…that’s exactly what Hillary did to get her State Department emails onto the bathroom closet home-brew private server. It is entirely illegal to transfer anything from SIPRnet to NIPRnet. So…where are the indictments to which Hillary is equally entitled? Are we going to search the law books to “pin some offense” on her as well?

    • Sam F
      April 12, 2019 at 20:54

      Interesting point. What is IPR? Presumably S=secret, N=nonsecret.

    • April 13, 2019 at 13:17

      The judge in England told Jullian Assange ” No one is above the law”. I thought that was the best joke so far in 2019. In has own country I think back to a couple of years ago when the pedofile case involving the Metropolitan Police and members of the government right up to the prime minister. I would like to ask that judge, where are those prosecutions? Who went to jail? No one, the whole thing was swept under the carpet. So obviously those peole were and are above the law. Where are the investigations, charges and convictions with regards the Clintons? They are above the law. Goldman Sachs and the rest of the Robber Barons of Wall Street are certainly above the law. The Attorney General of the USA even said they were too big to charge and jail.

      It is obvious by now that freedom of speech is not now and never has been a right, it is a privelige which the government can withdraw at will. The same with freedom of the press, it does not now and never has existed. Like the constitution of the old Soviet Union, it all sounds good but in actual fact it is all just smoke and mirrors. Just empty propaganda.

    • Skip Scott
      April 13, 2019 at 17:56

      Excellent point F.G.!! Hillary could be charged with the same violation. Let’s see if “no one is above the law”!

  8. Abe
    April 12, 2019 at 11:58
  9. dean 1000
    April 12, 2019 at 11:47

    We knew this was going to happen. The US government told the public what it was going to do and has now done it.
    What Assange needs most at the moment is visits from family members and people he knows and trusts. Please phone, email or text the British embassies that Kim Louth posted. scroll down to comment 27 ( Kim Louth April 29, 2019 at 12:21)
    https://consortiumnews.com/2019/04/11/breaking-moreno-withdraws-asylum-as-assange-is-arrested/

    Tell the Brits to let Assange have visits from family, friends and anyone he wants to see. And tell em as politely as possible that the truth is not a crime.

    Assange is really being charged for the dastardly crime of telling the truth. The truth was on trial in 1735 when John Peter Zinger, publisher of the New York Weekly Journal, was on trial for Seditious Libel. http://www.encyclopedia.com/topic/New_York.aspx

    The truth was not a defense to seditious libel as politicians and courts at that time held that the ‘greater the truth the greater the libel’ as the greater the truth the more a government official’s wrong doings were exposed to the public. Zinger’s lawyers argued that the truth was a defense. The jury agreed. Zinger walked free.
    Assange’s attorneys have a much more difficult task as the U.S. state is much more powerful in its home courts than George the 3rd was in a colonial court 3000 miles away with a well informed jury that was more than willing to tell George and his governor to get lost. So Please contribute to the Assange defense fund. https://defendwikileaks.org

    One needn’t be a lawyer or a supreme court justice to know that the purpose of juries is to take punishment (guilt or innocence) out of the hands of the state. But U.S. juries are so co-opted by the law, prosecutors, and judges they are often unable to render justice, especially in political trials. The US establishment usually claims there are no political trials in the US. Don’t tell that to the whistleblowers.

    The prosecutors will not talk about the truths Assange published. They will talk about how Assange diminished or injured U.S. national security. I don’t think the security of the U.S. is any less than it was before Julian Assange and Wikileaks came on the scene. If so, it is only because U.S. government(s) are guilty of conduct unbecoming a democratic country. The prime, but not the only, example is Washington’s nuclear first strike policy. If the current government of the U.S. wants enhance the security of the U.S. it will leave truth tellers alone and negotiate with Russia and other nuclear countries to build down and finally an end to these damnable nuclear weapons.

  10. Abe
    April 12, 2019 at 11:39

    “possibly most egregiously of all, most of the media refused to acknowledge that Assange was a journalist and publisher, even though by failing to do so they exposed themselves to the future use of the same draconian sanctions should they or their publications ever need to be silenced. They signed off on the right of the US authorities to seize any foreign journalist, anywhere in the world, and lock him or her out of sight. They opened the door to a new, special form of rendition for journalists. […]

    “the charges the US authorities have concocted relate to Wikileaks’ earliest work exposing the US military’s war crimes in Iraq – the stuff that we all once agreed was in the public interest, that British and US media clamoured to publish themselves.

    “Still the media and political class is turning a blind eye. Where is the outrage at the lies we have been served up for these past seven years? Where is the contrition at having been gulled for so long? Where is the fury at the most basic press freedom – the right to publish – being trashed to silence Assange? Where is the willingness finally to speak up in Assange’s defence?

    “It’s not there. There will be no indignation at the BBC, or the Guardian, or CNN. Just curious, impassive – even gently mocking – reporting of Assange’s fate.

    “And that is because these journalists, politicians and experts never really believed anything they said. They knew all along that the US wanted to silence Assange and to crush Wikileaks. They knew that all along and they didn’t care. In fact, they happily conspired in paving the way for today’s kidnapping of Assange.

    “They did so because they are not there to represent the truth, or to stand up for ordinary people, or to protect a free press, or even to enforce the rule of law. They don’t care about any of that. They are there to protect their careers, and the system that rewards them with money and influence. They don’t want an upstart like Assange kicking over their applecart.

    “Now they will spin us a whole new set of deceptions and distractions about Assange to keep us anaesthetised, to keep us from being incensed as our rights are whittled away, and to prevent us from realising that Assange’s rights and our own are indivisible. We stand or fall together.”

    After 7 Years of Deceptions About Assange, the US Readies for Its First Media Rendition
    By Jonathan Cook
    https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/04/12/after-7-years-of-deceptions-about-assange-the-us-readies-for-its-first-media-rendition/

  11. April 12, 2019 at 11:20

    Don’t hide amongst the heard
    Don’t look the other way
    And don’t believe a single word
    of what they have to say
    Their lies have plunged us into war
    in their greedy quest for more
    Bear the mark
    Guard the door
    Where have we heard this before?
    It is time to oppose
    Those upon the throne
    who wish to own the souls
    who stand divided and alone
    it’s time to speak out while you can
    Or face the consequence
    You may never have the chance again
    to stand against The Man.
    Ziegheil Mein Fuhrer
    Hail to The Chief
    This universal apathy
    Just goes beyond belief.

    • JG
      April 13, 2019 at 07:10

      > Ziegheil Mein Fuhrer

      Please get it right: “Sieg heil, mein Führer!”

      – J. Goebbels

      • Andrew Thomas
        April 14, 2019 at 08:51

        Gee whiz. It’s a poem. A little artistic license is allowed.

  12. Eric32
    April 12, 2019 at 10:01

    >With the Fourth Estate now on life support<

    That implies the US news/info media has been largely credible in the past – I don't think so. I've got a list of major failures, but I'll just post here the one about the JFK assassination 55 yrs ago, which I think is a clear guide to viewing the US media, the US governmental authorities, and the cluelessness of the US public about the existence of major conspiracies.

    The failure to inform the US public of the true situation of the JFK assassination.
    Plain unarguable factors knowable early on, strongly indicate a conspiracy, and that the Warren Report was/is a fabrication.

    -the stripping of normal security procedures surrounding the President when traveling, particulary to locations where there have been threats (like the JFK wanted for treason posters in Dallas).

    -the supposed assassin (Oswald) "happened" to have become recently employed in a building overlooking an unannounced motorcade route change that involved a 120 degree turn which made the unarmored, topless limo Kennedy was riding in, slow to a crawl (44 mph is the slowest speed preferred to make an aimed rifle attack difficult or impossible).

    -Dallas Parkland emergency room: the President had an obvious small caliber entry wound in his frontal throat area (i.e. shooter to his front, Oswald was to his rear).

    -Dallas Parkland emergency room: the President had an obvious exit wound lower right back of head (i.e. shooter to his front, Oswald was to his rear).

    -Motorcycle police riding to the rear of the Presidential vehicle were hit with wound debris, one of them with enough force that he thought he himself had been hit by a bullet (i.e. shooter to his front, Oswald was to his rear).

    -Jacqueline, the President's wife, got out of her seat and went back on the trunk of the car to retrieve wound debris from her husband's head (i.e. shooter to his front, Oswald was to his rear).

    -onlookers near the kill zone thought fire was coming from an area to Kennedy's front right.

    -the deeper the investigation, the more problems and contradictions there are. Example: photos were shown to the public of Oswald holding a rifle, wearing a holstered revolver and holding a Communist newspaper; the picture doesn't look quite right to the eye and technical analysis reveals it was likely fabricated with Oswald's head inserted over another person's body (when Oswald was shown that picture, he claimed that it was phony).

    -not knowable early on, Oswald had been and perhaps continued to be a CIA associate employee: James B. Wilcott was a CIA accountant who disbursed CIA station funds in Tokyo, Japan. He was interviewed in executive session under oath by the House Select Committee On Assassinations on March 22,1978. His duties routinely brought him in contact with all station people, and in particular with operational agents. On many occasions he had conversations with CIA personnel concerning Lee Harvey Oswald's employment as a CIA agent (Oswald at the time was an enlisted Marine serving as a radarman with a high security clearance and associated with U2 reconnaissance flights). Under oath, Wilcott stated that money he himself had disbursed was for "Oswald" or for the "Oswald project." He knew several other CIA employees who knew about the "Oswald project" and knew that Lee Harvey Oswald was paid by the CIA. (Oswald was most likely a CIA associate versus a regular CIA officer. Apparently, he was paid about $200/month (about $1600/month adjusted to 2019 dollars)).

  13. April 12, 2019 at 09:39

    What should we do to help Julian Assange?

    • April 12, 2019 at 12:08

      With enough people, any prison can be surrounded and overwhelmed without any weapons other than numbers, a kind of moat. Then your objective is subsumed into the crowd and brought to safety.

  14. AnneR
    April 12, 2019 at 09:16

    On the Beeb this morning, World Service, on World Update, a generally stenographic, Orwellian/Huxleyan program, as was evidenced a little later in Damon’s interview with an Iraqi member of their parliament, Damon spoke with an American lawyer (?) who had previously worked on extraditions in the UK, for the US. She said two things that might, just might, give a glimmer of hope for Assange:

    1. That his lawyer(s) would likely take his case to the European Court – not sure if that of Justice or Human Rights.

    2. That for the extradition to be legal, *all* of the charges against Assange have to be brought before the enactment of extradition.

    And that the whole process could take years to work its way through the various courts.

    This of course assumes that the UK government will act completely openly and above aboard and within the law. And were I Assange I really would not want to bank on their ethics or probity. Not at all. They have none.

  15. C Beth DAVIDSON
    April 12, 2019 at 07:00

    Yet another example of the cancer evading the planet…the unraveling of Democracy throughout the civilized world!

  16. Robert Mayer
    April 12, 2019 at 06:07

    Thanks2 those involved in producing this story… consider the fact CN & contributers have been ahead of this stage in process of what must be admission of a people led off the rails by the vindictiveness of their leaders & abandonment of founding values by the same… juxtipose against the pictures which follow this content: the ghosts of R. Parry & I.F. Stone… Vigil vs Vigilantism!

  17. Edward
    April 12, 2019 at 01:55

    Not cool to deadname Chelsea Manning. Please update your article to reflect her proper name. It’s the respectful thing to do. Thank you.

    • AnneR
      April 12, 2019 at 09:24

      This would be totally ahistorical. It was as Bradley, not Chelsea, that she released the documents and originally was convicted and went to prison. It is now as Chelsea that she is once again standing for truth and transparency in government.

      And surely what is truly wrong – not the historically accurate rendering of her name at the time – about her being held in prison for an indeterminate length of time, is that she should – even by the rule of “law” as it exists (kangaroo style) – not even have been called to give testimony: the decision on the indictment had already been made – one year earlier. Now that is the absolute travesty (among so many in the US legal system).

  18. Frederick Warner
    April 12, 2019 at 00:05

    Yes it finally has come so far that by way of the “International Monetary Funds” a payment of 4.2 Billion, has been used as a means of paying for the handing over Julian Assange, what in other ways not seemed possible. It however will not be the last we hear about this, as for sure thousands, if not millions. of right minded people will come up against this. This is a crisis for democracy, an open conspiracy against what among others Chomsky, Pilger and Nelson Mandela, if he was still alive stood for, “the truth being spoken”.

  19. g wenk
    April 11, 2019 at 22:32

    This morning, I read an article about Assange’s arrest in the New York Times. On occasion, I write comments about Times articles, , and they have always been published. Re today’s article, I asked if the NYT was concerned that their editors may also face arrest, as they published material released by WikiLeaks. Not surprisingly, it was not accepted for publication. The corruption of the mainstream media only deepens.

  20. Michael Keenan
    April 11, 2019 at 21:23

    I found a notice on the Office Of Legal Counsel web site that the memos on torture had been removed from the policy list.

  21. fbutera
    April 11, 2019 at 19:44

    Partisans cry Assange is a spy,
    Exposing crimes of their girl or guy.
    And none likely attest,
    That with his arrest,
    We are watching press freedom die.

    So such is the fate of Julian,
    Branded a Ruskie friendly hooligan.
    Rather than protect him,
    The Press will reject him,
    Acting the State’s useful fools again.

  22. KiwiAntz
    April 11, 2019 at 18:39

    The sickening display of Julian Assange being hauled out of that Embassy, against his will, should be a cause of great shame to the English people? The moral bankruptcy of the pathetic UK Govt, the laughingstock of the World over their hopeless, endless Brexit debacle has displayed for all to see, that this Nation is nothing more than a vassal state of the EU & the American Empire? Showing utter contempt for the rule of law by arresting Assange, a Journalist whose only crime was telling the truth & exposing War crimes is truly disgusting & depraved? Assange has shone a light on War crimes against Humanity conducted by the US & the UK Govts? The UK’s complicity in America’s War of Terror, around the Globe, has blown back on both Nations with unforeseen & unintended consequences because of their criminal behaviour of Regime change Warmongering? The Manchester bomber was a MI6 asset trained by the British & sent to Libya to overthrow Gaddafi! After that happened, this man returned to England & committed the Manchester atrocity! That’s a example of the UK’s criminal behaviour, that had a real World, blow back effect on their own people? Assange & WikiLeaks exposed the illegal actions by these Countries such as what happened in Iraq & Syria & Libya which creates the very Terrorism they claim to fight against! There is no Journalism anymore, there is only propaganda? America should tear up that worthless piece of paper they slavishly claim to worship as Law, called the US Constitution! The US doesn’t adhere to its own Constitution which it claims to protect Life, Liberty & the pursuit of happiness & which claims to enshrine free speech & a free press, but its actions against Assange proves that it doesn’t abide by its own laws or any International or UN Humanitarian laws. This contempt for the rule of law, even its own laws reveals that the US has become a Rogue Nation, a Pariah & a Fascist State? Assange will become a martyr & remembered as a hero for truth, long after the demise of this dying, decrepit US Empire, which is crumbling before our eyes, has exited off the World stage! Assange & WikiLeaks ripped the Masks off the US & UK Govts, showing the true, hideous, rotting & decaying face underneath this facade of decency masquerading as Democracy’s! Trump & May are accelerating the Wests decline with both Nations becoming hated & despised by peace loving people & Julian’s arrest is another nail in its coffin!

  23. April 11, 2019 at 17:36

    Rights are just sentences on a piece of parchment stored in a museum case.

    If the general good will does not exist to honor them, they will not be honored.

    And if governments, no matter how they are put into power, choose to ignore them, they will be ignored.

    That is what America is experiencing now.

    There is nothing special about democracy that preserves rights, but America does not even have that feeble idea of protection since it has never been a democracy.

  24. Mike Lamb
    April 11, 2019 at 16:40

    The ACLU relating to Assange being forced from sanctuary and dragged from the Ecuadoran embassy in part states:

    ““Any prosecution by the United States of Mr. Assange for Wikileaks’ publishing operations would be unprecedented and unconstitutional, and would open the door to criminal investigations of other news organizations. Moreover, prosecuting a foreign publisher for violating U.S. secrecy laws would set an especially dangerous precedent for U.S. journalists, who routinely violate foreign secrecy laws to deliver information vital to the public’s interest.”

    Quite important in this IS THE FACT that U.S. journalist violate foreign secrecy laws and now with this Brit / US precedent will be subject to foreign governments seizing them and returning them to the foreign country for prosecution.

    As for me, 10 days before Easter the President of the Catholic Country of Ecuador has violated the concept of sanctuary and as far as I know the Pope has remained silent.

    I wonder whether the Catholic Country of Ecuador and the Vatican have given up the idea of sanctuary for Lent.

    If the Catholic Church has not sold its soul to Donald Trump and the American deep state the Pope needs to excommunicate Ecuador’s President Lenin Moreno for revoking the sanctuary given to Assange.

    • Sam F
      April 11, 2019 at 17:34

      Good idea. Someone who knows the process should look into that, or should have done so.

  25. Kim Louth
    April 11, 2019 at 15:21

    Trying to find other protesters who can go with me to the U.K. Embassy in San Francisco today – please help.

  26. michael crockett
    April 11, 2019 at 15:14

    When laws are bent and twisted to certain point, they become unrecognizable. The charge against Julian Assange is conspiracy to crack a password. So this is the ham sandwich that has been produced by the secret grand jury in Northern Virginia. If convicted Julian could face up to five years in prison. Manning has already been jailed for courageously refusing to cooperate with the grand jury proceedings. Franz Kafka (The Trial) was a hundred years ahead of his time. What a disgrace our legal system has become. What happened to freedom of the press? The ruling class has thrown our Constitution into the mud and now stomps all over it. We can stand by and watch or stand up and fight back. I would be proud to stand with you Ray. I choose option two.

    • Kathy
      April 11, 2019 at 22:13

      He will almost certainly he charged with more crimes after he is extradicted. By keeping the the charges and sentences small, they make it easier for the UK to extradict without running afoul of their law or stirring up British protests.

    • Skip Edwards
      April 11, 2019 at 23:31

      Thanks, there are many more who will stand with you.

  27. April 11, 2019 at 14:09

    “Curious eyes never run dry in my experience.”

    A quote for eternity! A quote that should be plastered on every journalist’s wall, every student’s dorm room, every free-thinker’s living room, and seared into the consciousness of every citizen of a democracy.

  28. Hester Eisenstein
    April 11, 2019 at 13:47

    It is shocking and saddening to see the UK and the US collaborate, along with the corrupt government of Ecuador, in the conspiracy to criminalize the courageous Julian Assange, whose only sin was to tell the truth about the lethal, violent and illegal Iraq war. It is puzzling to see the Trump regime, which rails against the Deep State, nonetheless carry out a Deep State operation against the very journalist who helped Trump to power by releasing the Clinton and Podesta emails (provided as Ray McGovern and his colleagues have shown by a dissident within the DNC, not the Russians). What kind of a message does this send to other courageous journalists seeking to counter the endless false propaganda from our unprincipled ruling elites?

    • Rob Roy
      April 12, 2019 at 11:39

      Hester E, you will notice the same false flag lies coming from the lips of Pompeo yesterday to stump up another illegal war, this time Iran. The American people will accept this, too, just as they accepted the US deciding to say an unelected thug is now the president of Venezuela. Oh, let’s lie about Cuba, too. And Nicaragua. And Rissia. The business if the US is war. The Pentagon rules the world and will eventually kill us all, if climate change doesn’t get us first.
      Julian Assange is the world’s hero. I notice the opening lines about his arrest in the major newspapers are all slanted. I hat e this country more every day.

  29. Carolyn Goyda
    April 11, 2019 at 13:22

    “The hand of ‘fake democracy’ squeezes the throat of freedom

    This is very important but sadly few Americans care about the Constitution anymore

    Former Ecuadorian president Rafael Correa, who granted Assange asylum in 2012, described his successor as a “great traitor” who had just committed a “crime that humanity will never forget.”

    Where is the outrage from American libertarians? And Constitutionalists ?

    • Rob Roy
      April 12, 2019 at 11:41

      Correa is a hero, steadfast in resisting all the enticements and threats from the USA. I knew as soon as Moreno was president, Julian was doomed.

  30. Charlotte Sheasby-Coleman
    April 11, 2019 at 13:03

    Thanks for your continued insight, Ray and for your ongoing willingness to courageously speak the truth.

  31. Eric32
    April 11, 2019 at 12:59

    I don’t think there’s any chance that Assange will have his legal rights respected by the legal grinder he is now going into. What he did in revealing how things really work in the US poses way too much threat to the “deep state” – he’s going to be made an example of.

    There is some chance that the conditions under which he’s imprisoned might be made decent if enough people express concern to House members, Senators, Trump, AG Barr.

    Maria Butina is a harmless Russian girl who got caught up in the Hillary inspired “Russia” political conspiracy in July, 2018, and has been imprisoned since then, mostly or entirely in solitary confinement with little medical attention.

    CN should get a campaign going for its readers to get active in arguing to political representives for decent conditions for both of these people.

    It’s at least possible, that that might be able to make a difference.

  32. Sam F
    April 11, 2019 at 12:53

    The sad predicament of Mr. Assange has heralded the demise of the fourth estate.
    The saboteurs of our Constitutions and international law are truly “fake lawyers.”
    The corrupt US and UK admins, secret agencies, and judiciary are beyond repair.
    The US, UK, Israel, France, Brazil, Ecuador, and others need regime change.
    They West has abandoned democracy due to the corruption of money.
    It is tragic that we can see the demise of the West, likely to waste a full century.
    A curse upon the opportunist, grifter, faker ruling class of the US and UK.

  33. OlyaPola
    April 11, 2019 at 12:06

    “It is a very sad day for the rule of law.”

    Evaluation is a function of purpose.

    The opponents are increasing the demystification of another of “their assets” facilitating opportunities for others.

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