Real journalism is being criminalized by thugs in plain sight, says John Pilger. Dissent has become an indulgence. And the British elite has abandoned its last imperial myth: that of fairness and justice.
By John Pilger
The glimpse of Julian Assange being dragged from the Ecuadorean embassy in London is an emblem of the times. Might against right. Muscle against the law. Indecency against courage. Six policemen manhandled a sick journalist, his eyes wincing against his first natural light in almost seven years.
That this outrage happened in the heart of London, in the land of Magna Carta, ought to shame and anger all who fear for “democratic” societies. Assange is a political refugee protected by international law, the recipient of asylum under a strict covenant to which Britain is a signatory. The United Nations made this clear in the legal ruling of its Working Party on Arbitrary Detention.
But to hell with that. Let the thugs go in. Directed by the quasi fascists in Trump’s Washington, in league with Ecuador’s Lenin Moreno, a Latin American Judas and liar seeking to disguise his rancid regime, the British elite abandoned its last imperial myth: that of fairness and justice.
Imagine Tony Blair dragged from his multi-million pound Georgian home in Connaught Square, London, in handcuffs, for onward dispatch to the dock in The Hague. By the standard of Nuremberg, Blair’s “paramount crime” is the deaths of a million Iraqis. Assange’s crime is journalism: holding the rapacious to account, exposing their lies and empowering people all over the world with truth.
The shocking arrest of Assange carries a warning for all who, as Oscar Wilde wrote, “sow the seeds of discontent [without which] there would be no advance towards civilization.” The warning is explicit towards journalists. What happened to the founder and editor of WikiLeaks can happen to you on a newspaper, you in a TV studio, you on radio, you running a podcast.
Assange’s principal media tormentor, The Guardian, a collaborator with the secret state, displayed its nervousness this week with an editorial that scaled new weasel heights. The Guardian has exploited the work of Assange and WikiLeaks in what its previous editor called “the greatest scoop of the last 30 years.” The paper creamed off WikiLeaks’ revelations and claimed the accolades and riches that came with them.
With not a penny going to Julian Assange or to WikiLeaks, a hyped Guardian book led to a lucrative Hollywood movie. The book’s authors, Luke Harding and David Leigh, turned on their source, abused him and disclosed the secret password Assange had given the paper in confidence, which was designed to protect a digital file containing leaked US embassy cables.
Revealing Homicidal Colonial Wars
When Assange was still trapped in the Ecuadorian embassy, Harding joined police outside and gloated on his blog that “Scotland Yard may get the last laugh.” The Guardian then published a series of falsehoods about Assange, not least a discredited claim that a group of Russians and Trump’s man, Paul Manafort, had visited Assange in the embassy. The meetings never happened; it was fake.
But the tone has now changed. “The Assange case is a morally tangled web,” the paper opined. “He (Assange) believes in publishing things that should not be published …. But he has always shone a light on things that should never have been hidden.”
These “things” are the truth about the homicidal way America conducts its colonial wars, the lies of the British Foreign Office in its denial of rights to vulnerable people, such as the Chagos Islanders, the exposé of Hillary Clinton as a backer and beneficiary of jihadism in the Middle East, the detailed description of American ambassadors of how the governments in Syria and Venezuela might be overthrown, and much more. It is all available on the WikiLeaks site.
The Guardian is understandably nervous. Secret policemen have already visited the newspaper and demanded and got the ritual destruction of a hard drive. On this, the paper has form. In 1983, a Foreign Office clerk, Sarah Tisdall, leaked British Government documents showing when American cruise nuclear weapons would arrive in Europe. The Guardian was showered with praise.
When a court order demanded to know the source, instead of the editor going to prison on a fundamental principle of protecting a source, Tisdall was betrayed, prosecuted and served six months.
If Assange is extradited to America for publishing what The Guardian calls truthful “things,” what is to stop the current editor, Katherine Viner, following him, or the previous editor, Alan Rusbridger, or the prolific propagandist Luke Harding?
What is to stop the editors of The New York Times and The Washington Post, who also published morsels of the truth that originated with WikiLeaks, and the editor of El Pais in Spain, and Der Spiegel in Germany and The Sydney Morning Herald in Australia. The list is long.
David McCraw, lead lawyer of The New York Times, wrote: “I think the prosecution [of Assange] would be a very, very bad precedent for publishers … from everything I know, he’s sort of in a classic publisher’s position and the law would have a very hard time distinguishing between The New York Times and WikiLeaks.”
Even if journalists who published WikiLeaks’ leaks are not summoned by an American grand jury, the intimidation of Julian Assange and Chelsea Manning will be enough. Real journalism is being criminalized by thugs in plain sight. Dissent has become an indulgence.
In Australia, the current America-besotted government is prosecuting two whistle-blowers who revealed that Canberra’s spooks bugged the cabinet meetings of the new government of East Timor for the express purpose of cheating the tiny, impoverished nation out of its proper share of the oil and gas resources in the Timor Sea. Their trial will be held in secret. The Australian prime minister, Scott Morrison, is infamous for his part in setting up concentration camps for refugees on the Pacific islands of Nauru and Manus, where children self harm and suicide. In 2014, Morrison proposed mass detention camps for 30,000 people.
Journalism: a Major Threat
Real journalism is the enemy of these disgraces. A decade ago, the Ministry of Defense in London produced a secret document which described the “principal threats” to public order as threefold: terrorists, Russian spies and investigative journalists. The latter was designated the major threat.
The document was duly leaked to WikiLeaks, which published it. “We had no choice,” Assange told me. “It’s very simple. People have a right to know and a right to question and challenge power. That’s true democracy.”
What if Assange and Manning and others in their wake — if there are others — are silenced and “the right to know and question and challenge” is taken away?
In the 1970s, I met Leni Reifenstahl, close friend of Adolf Hitler, whose films helped cast the Nazi spell over Germany.
She told me that the message in her films, the propaganda, was dependent not on “orders from above” but on what she called the “submissive void” of the public.
“Did this submissive void include the liberal, educated bourgeoisie?” I asked her.
“Of course,” she said, “especially the intelligentsia …. When people no longer ask serious questions, they are submissive and malleable. Anything can happen.”
And did. The rest, she might have added, is history.
John Pilger is an Australian-British journalist and filmmaker based in London. Pilger’s Web site is: www.johnpilger.com. In 2017, the British Library announced a John Pilger Archive of all his written and filmed work. The British Film Institute includes his 1979 film, “Year Zero: the Silent Death of Cambodia,” among the 10 most important documentaries of the 20thcentury. Some of his previous contributions to Consortium News can be found here.
Please honor the legacy of Bob Parry with a donation to our Spring Fund Drive.
Thanks for this.
Dear Mr Pilger,
Thank God for you
Best wishes for and Julian
This Australian family cares about what is happening to Julian Assange. We know what it is like not to be believed. What fake news looks like. We in this family are grateful for anyone who dares to tell our stories.
Truth is always in danger of being silenced. Those who reveal it are considered to be dangerous, enemies of the state. They are an endangered species.
I’d love to see Tony Blair dragged from his mansion after his involvement in the demise of my country, Rhodesia and how it shattered so many lives and families over so many decades and still does.
Theresa May stinks and so does her pathetic cabinet for so gleefully and eagerly seconding May’s announcement when she so proudly told them of Assange’s arrest!
News seems to suggest the French President may be offering Assange asylum? If so that would make him the only head of state in the world who has any guts! Not even Assange’s own country, Australia seems to care and that’s a disgrace. Where are the human rights activists protecting Assange now?
It’s incomprehensible that, as John Pilger so rightly says, “Real journalism is being criminalized by thugs in plain sight.” Is there no one, no body of people or organisation except the helpless masses to stand up to this rampant thuggery, assassinations and false news? What has happened to the real rule of law?
Thank you John Pilger, you are my hero!
This is shocking Goverments getting away with this Its got to be Stopped Nowheartbreaking.
He should be set free.
Assange should be hailed as a hero around the world!
He let us know the truth about our governments’ illegal actions. He must be freed immediately!
Not a single one of my 6.2k followers on Twitter retweeted this, despite my urging them all repeatedly to do so, which shows what a good job the ruling elite, Tory Govt & #MSM in the UK have done in brain-washing the public re. the Assange Arrest story.
It’s beginning to look as if there is something going on with Twitter and other social media. Maybe they are censoring all tweets and attempted retweets relating to Assange’s arrest or at least those which show support or sympathy for Assange?
When the last whistleblower and the last decent investigative journalist has been silenced, imprisoned by a corrupt regime or murdered, and the victory of the Neoliberal ‘New World Order’ is complete, I regret to say we will have no-one but ourselves to blame.
Twitter and other social networks are introducing censorship, it started with the fake fake news and fake Russia gate incidents
Social networks have been bludgeoned into submission by constant mass media attacks, political pressure and who knows maybe also personal pressure on key personnel.
Would not be surprised in any way shape or form if Assange news were filtered out.
The more technically adept social networks will filter by statistics and algorithm so that hardly anybody sees something, which comes with plausible deniability that machines had determined that said post would decrease engagement.
Or Google – anything that’s not on the first page will not be seen by 99.9% of the public. It’s then very easy to downrank items without raising suspicion.
Twitter is likely more crude, they just censor things outright. Medium also.
The separation between the British people and their Government has created two sectors of our society. We can no longer approach the ruling authority anymore as they seem to class us as untouchables. The only value we have to them is to be exploited for money in the guise of tax. Britain has had its human rights stored out of reach and we live under a commercial form of dictatorship. Its the banks that make the decisions of this country and not our so called elected representatives.
Organized crime is sliding into our culture and is taking away our traditional British way of life and treating us as slaves to serve the wealthy.
Julian Assange has proven just how dirty the political world is and now is being persecuted for it.
There was a lot of “submissive void” from all layers of society , during the napalm bombing on defendless villeges in Vietnam.
Even a burned child, running into a camera did not change that.
All for the good cause..
Thank God for whistleblowers and courageous journalists
That was truly astounding. I was a bit ambivalent about Arrange, but now I have been convinced as to his value.
If you are a bit ambivalent about Julian due to the charges in Sweden, I suggest you read this article from Craig Murray.
There is a different perspective.
“In case you’ve forgotten, or have been confused by politicians who failed to mention it, let me remind you why I believe Julian Assange was in the Ecuadorian embassy for seven years before he was ejected and arrested last week. I don’t believe it was for being a journalist or a truth-teller to power, and it wasn’t for releasing evidence of America’s war crimes. He was in the embassy because, in 2010, Sweden issued an international arrest warrant so that he might answer allegations of sexual assault and rape. Assange would not accept extradition, jumped bail in the UK and absconded.”
Please read the above article from Craig Murray that I recommended to Doris.
Telling that the Guardian would resort to such a hit piece. Entirely untrue, but that has never stopped the machine – a lie repeated often enough becomes the truth in the minds of the masses.
These allegations have been retracted by the alleged victim – for anybody following it in detail, they were made up charges right from the get go. This legal ruse had been about one thing only: To get Assange into the Swedish system, from where he’d then be delivered to the USA. The US had kept the arrest warrant against him secret to lure him in.
The whole case is more about how the US secret services and other government departments are basically running wild and doing whatever the hell they want, laws or common decency be damned, let alone the interest of the American public.
I think most people consider that the Assange case is “a morally tangled web” but it shouldn’t be. One of the problems surrounding the transparency of the Swedish case, is that AA and SW have never felt inclined to speak out publicly (to my knowledge) against or in favour of bringing charges against him. No doubt that the Swedish judicial system has also been complicit in this obfuscation. Consequently there is an constant oblique narrative debating whether or not sexual assault/rape charges will be sought, brought or pursued against him. This has resulted in a seven year persecution of Julian Assange and landed him in a disproportionate prison hell-hole, amongst child murderers, terrorists and the like.
“In keeping silent about evil, in burying it so deep within us that no sign of it appears on the surface, we are implanting it, and it will rise up a thousand fold in the future. When we neither punish nor reproach evildoers, we are not simply protecting their trivial old age, we are thereby ripping the foundations of justice from beneath new generations.”
? Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago 1918–1956
“The simple step of a courageous individual is not to take part in the lie. “One word of truth outweighs the world.”
? Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn
There is nothing “quasi” about them. They are full-on fascists – both the Trumpists, and the establishment Democrats cheering Trump (an authoritarian consolidating his power) as he seeks to imprison a publisher for publishing!
This is the dawning of the new, bipartisan, Corporate/Authoritarian, order.
I’d love to imagine Tony Blair dragged in handcuffs. But I doubt the weather is nearly so apt to brighten up.
We in the States at least, and apparently in England and Australia as well, have lost the 4th estate and also lost the electoral process. Our rulers are too foolish to check to see whether they are killing the canary, and if they have considered how to leave the mines, they have not advertised it.
I doubt we can manage a revolution. I do not think we are adequately organized for mass resistance against professional opposition. I suspect we are left entering an age of direct disobedience, and we shall have to learn to imbue that with principle.
Regardless, it is clearly now our move, friends.
How did we go from Bob Woodward & Carl Bernstein who were touted as heroes for exposing corruption in the Government and Assange be criminalized for doing the same.
So the question now is has he been evicted because of a non substantiated allegation
of rape or to save the blushes of a “leader” eating lobster on a hotel bed while his countrymen go hungry.
I’m no appolagist for rape which should have become a major crime decades ago & suitably dealt with.
Media that reports the facts will now become as scarce as hens teeth.
You forgot to mention Julia Gillard’s and (Labor’s), part in this travesty. Balance please. Labor’s record in this regard is just as bad as Liberal’s. A pox on both their houses.
Assange highlighted the Americans in the bombing of innocent children and others in Iraq, he should be congratulated on revealing the truth, accused of Hilary Clinton email leaks, but DENIED anything to do with this.
Assange will NOT get a fare hearing in Sweden and even Less so in USA.
The UK were accused (and rightly so) of taking part in the rendition of it’s citizens to foreign countries, while British agents did not take part, they were complicit, a number returned to claim substantial’ sums of money in damages, but this cannot replace their ‘broken bodies’.
The UK have more than the ‘blood’ on their hands from the above, but IRISH Individuals imprisoned for years, were finally released ‘NOT GUILTY’
Thank God for people like you John.
It seems almost uncanny that Assange was ‘grabbed’ only days before the Easter week, and finally the Easter Weekend.
If people don’t believe in synchronicitic events, and that in our modern world people are still ‘crucified’ – be that by so-called Western civilized nations, or by other nations embedded in a more archaic past, then what is happening to Julian Assange should be our wake up call.
I’ll see what Amnesty International is doing.
The American public needs to be informed continuously on the hope that we may awaken from our stupor.Free Assange..
Same here. But for a few, the British are also asleep.
Under this present ‘Brexit Bulls-up’ Conservative Government I’d believe anything.
Thank you for your powerful, beautifully written article on Julian Assange. As a journalist vigorously fighting against the oppression of journalists, you need to examine the documents at this website while they’re still accessible … Read the letters first. Thank you again.
great write up. But you are disillisioned – whilst your analysis about how modern movements are handling journalism and the ever present move towards the hideous right is spot on – Assange is PART of that problem. He’s not a “good man”. He’s a nihilist and urban filterist.
Julian Assange’s personalty is irrelevant.
Do show us how one who exposes plutocracy moves government to the right.
Are those descriptions also in the CIA manual? Get a life.
Nihilism takes many forms, none necessarily good or bad. What is an urban filterist? Whatever you might think of Assange, his publishing of Manning’s leaked Iraqi footage should awaken everyone to the abilities of our governments to commit horrendous crimes in our names. Kudos to the whistle-blowers.
Excellent analysis by Australias’ prime investigator, journalist, publisher .
Thank You JOHN PILGER. We the people learn and remember the Journalists who come forward away from their comfort zones to report against silencing the ills of those we have chosen to be our collective voice known as Government.
It is my thought that we should not elect “into power” but into transparency. All in secret societies are deviant from the good of the people.
We should always remember those who don’t stand uP to Truth and transparency as JINO’s, Journalists in name only, as the cowards they are.
There are two mistakes that I see in this piece.
The first is in the sentence ” Six policemen manhandled a sick journalist, his eyes wincing against his first natural light in almost seven years.” There are many photos of Assange speaking from the balcony of the Embassy where he was living.
The second is the statement that the Australian prime minister, Scott Morrison, is infamous for his part in setting up concentration camps for refugees on the Pacific islands of Nauru and Manus … Lord Russell of Liverpool’s book The Scourge of the Swastika describes in great detail what happened in the Nazi Concentration camps.
If detainees in Manus and Nauru wish to return to their native countries, they are given airline tickets, and money for expenses.
Prisoners in Nazi Concentration Camps were either worked to death, died from medical experiments or were killed by poison gas. There is no comparison between the two situations.
Nitpicking smarty : There were over 10 (ten) thugs dragging this honourable now ill looking man out of his asylum refuge. And a concentration camp is a concentration camp, in the US civil war, in the Boeur war, in the Turkish genociding practice against Assyrians, Armenians, Greeks , AustroHungarian starvation camps for Russians before/in WWI, Polish camps in West Russia 192o/1 killing 20 000 Russian POWs, Lenin/Stalin’s ziobolshevik Tsheka/…NKVD work and extermination camps for the religious old orthodox real Christian people, peasants, Church priests, bishops, monks/nuns, aristocrats, Royal Family , citizens, socialists, shamans, … millions, Himmlers work camps for dissenters Gypsies Jews and Slavs/Russians , Japanese fascist depopulating KZ s, Chinese “cultural revolution”, CIA installed king removing fascist Junta in Greece in the 70ies, US Guantanamo on occupied foreigm territory, Jordan Palestinian West Bank and the biggest KZ ever : GAZA which is regularily being bombed by high tech US F-16s , IS artillery, tanks….. Hail MSM !
In the balcony appearances he wasn’t squinting because his eyes had time to adjust to the light.
During his arrest, he was thrust from darkness into light.
this was a inhuman manner to treat anyone, who had only ‘jumped’ bail, he looked ill, and did not show out Country in a ‘good light’
He spoke twice on that balcony in 7 years to which he was normally denied access. Did you think he was sunning himself there? They used the same photos again and again.
Yes of course what Mr. Pilger writes is true and foreboding. Really though what happens next and thereafter is what matters most . When Julian Assange was forced into the Embassy in the first place, this was inevitable. Now how will the USA deal with this can of worms. It is not inconceivable that he will be protected by the Courts from his accusers and persecutors. He has suffered an injustice for doing Journalism, not Espionage. It will be difficult to prove otherwise. . Now like it or not The Emperor will be seem as wearing no clothes. Eventually, I suspect even the NYTs and WP will have to acknowledge the implications of their actions and come around to hedging their bets publicly as Mr. Pilger points out that the Guardian has already done. . This is an embarrassment for the “Screws”. To read of gloating Politicians who are happy about this is not surprising to informed people who would prefer a just and fair government . Point of fact , it is to be expected . Ultimately this could cause Heads to Fall and opinions to shift. This process may promote disgust and provoke real changes? , Unfortunately maybe for the worse. It seems like a page from the Nazi playbook that we were all taught to despise as children. Interesting to bring Leni Reifenstahl into the article. Perception , not reality is key . I wonder what Albert Speer might have had to say about such treatment . I know U2 Rocket designer Wernher von Braun wouldn’t have been treated roughly, he and his boys might not have developed the missiles that flew US rockets to the moon.
John Pilger is a rare, courageous journalist. He is a leader in honest and truthful journalism – a real asset nowadays.
It was Ecuadors pay back for the release of the Panama Papers!
The nightmare is not only in Britain, it is also in Finland. We have full government media censorship in collaboration with US/EU/NATO hybrid war center located in Helsinki. All the media, newspapers government TV, main commercial TV have formed a media pool financed by government security unit, huoltovarmuuskeskus, which is part of government security board where all the highest officials of each ministery are represented, the chancellery of the president of the republic included. This media pool member, the Finnish government TV news chief has decided that one party represented in the parliament has to be excluded from all programs concerning the parliamentary elections due tomorrow. Each party in the parliament has had a full day’s program in order to present its goals and achievements except one party: Seitsemän tähden liike chaired by Paavo Väyrynen. our most experienced politician, who has been the longest time the minister of foreign affairs. What are his sins in order to be excluded. His party is for full non alignment and against the presence of NATO on Finnish soil. His party is also against European Union being designed as a military unit, European pilar. The media pool includes also all main publishing houses, as a matter fact the present chairman of the Mediapool is from Otava.
The mainstream fake media has long been completely controlled and that control has recently been “fully” extended to the censorship wing of social media…as we rush headlong into the murky waters of the “one” narrative….
That’s very interesting and quite shocking; I thought our U.K. mainstream media was bad enough but we have many online alternative media sites to go to. Do you have a Facebook page/Twitter account I can read?
He put himself in there, he should get back to Sweden and face the law, then get dragged to America and face the law there.
Sure, why not face the law of the dictatorship of your rich paymasters.
So you and your masters can subvert democracy and fake patriotism.
That’s where the money is, and you all must believe that money=virtue.
Until you don’t get your share, and wonder why you betrayed humanity.
Thank you John Pilger. I hope, with the help of social media/internet, this will work out far worse for the corrupt establishment’s around this corrupt world. Wishing this so with all my heart. They are bricking it! And a 4.3 million bung has been delivered to the Ecuadorian coffers.
Looks like the Pentagon/Deep State trolls have finally arrived….just how someone like this can live with
his/her “30 pieces of silver” is hard for one with ethics to comprehend…
He already faced the law in Sweden and was given permission to leave after the original prosecutor ruled that there was insufficient evidence to prosecute and it would be impossible to get more evidence. The case was then given to a different prosecutor who engineered the present situation and was well rewarded for doing so. Search it. The situation could have been resolved easily but Sweden’s Prosecutor would not allow Assange to be deposed at the Ecuadorian Embassy . He could never have been convicted for rape stemming from an accusation that he intentionally broke a condom during his second round of consensual intercourse in the morning with the woman who later visited the police requesting an investigation. The entire scheme, which involved another woman who later left for Israel, was an obvious “honey trap” and it is amazing that Assange didn’t see through it even with the eyes in his little head. What you read in the Press about it was politicized for propaganda purposes. Maybe you like it that way. Maybe you don’t want to know the truth . As for the crimes that you suggest he committed in the USA, THERE ARE NONE. Furthermore, he is not an American citizen and everything published on WIKILEAKS was given to them by others. Fave it due, the guy is a Journalist. Whether he’s a dog or a creep and any other negative word EVERYTHING PUBLISHED ON WIKI WAS TRUE. If you believe in this country, Democracy, WE THE PEOPLE and all that , then a a Free Press is necessary and information is invaluable. You should approve of what he did for the Free People of the World by shedding light on some bad things that shouldn’t have been kept in the dark. He did it on the Internet. In Cyberspace. Not in the USA and it wasn’t espionage.
He put himself in there after risking his freedom to publish Chelsea Manning’s leaked footage of US military personnel murdering Iraqi civilians, including journalists, and injuring two children. If you think this is about Sweden, I admire your faith, but I’ll choose to hold on to my scepticism. (Manning was sentenced to 35 years, served 7 after Obama commuted her sentence, but is now back in prison for her refusal to testify against Assange – who are the bad guys here, Assange, Manning or Washington?).
There were no charges in Sweden. The US wants to extradite him for publishing evidence of their wrongdoing.
JOHN PILGER bless your soul.. you are the best mind… thank God you’re here to clarify things.. may you live happy and healthy for ever
The MSM is not afraid, because they have no intention of opposing the powerful. So, I’m sure they feel quite safe.
How can we stand by and watch our country’s government, (US) persecute a person who revealed the truth. The truth that our government is a corrupt cesspool of despicable human beings who are now afraid and threatened and subject to public scrutiny . And hidden in this persecution lies a snake like vermin treading on our freedom of speech and the freedom of the press. Cudos to Julain Assange for paying a price that is rarely seen except on battle fields. We elected Trump to clean up our government and that does not include allowing the continued squashing of true journalism in the name of National Security. Its obvious Trump wants to keep his hands off the goings on in the Justice Department as he stood by and watched a failed attempt to persecute him. But Assange is not the president of the United States, he is a full blown independent unbiased journalist. One of only a few left on this planet. Had it not been for the information made public by Assange and his Wikileaks about the Clinton Cartel, Trump may not have won his election so easily. Has he forgotten those who sacrificed themselves for ‘Truth and the American Way” at any cost? We don’t ask Trump to free Assange, we demand it in the name of justice and we are not talking about the conjured up bullshit justice that comes out of the FBI.
Thank you John Pilger. You have always been a refuge in dark times; your eloquence fueled by your absolute integrity. I am so grateful Julian has you for a friend.
As always very truthful, and to the point, a great shame John Pilger isn’t seen and heard more on MSM… I wonder why…?
Neither is Chomsky.
“What is to stop the editors of The New York Times and The Washington Post, who also published morsels of the truth that originated with WikiLeaks”
In America, that is assuming they (the CNNs, ABC,CBS, NBC, NY Times, Wash. Post, etc) have any inclination with marrying themselves with truth. Especially since the dawn of Trump, they are distancing themselves exponentially with such bias, fraudulent sources, conspiracies, lack of investigative techniques, and bias of omission…. that there perception and trustworthiness (by the public) is so historically low. THEY ARE making themselves irrelevant- that the press haven’t filled the void asking serious questions and much of the public perceives the “mainstream news” has holding little value in today’s society. In America, the democratic stenographers (press) would love to point the press favor-ability a result of Trump’s assaults. However, it’s much more self inflicted.
Sadly I sympathize with the article, in that the public outcry over Assange and much of the Wikileaks gathered intelligence, seems muted and undervalued.
It is also CRITICAL to grasp that the MSM in america is either heavily infiltrated or outright run by the CIA.
We’ll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is
false. – William Casey, CIA Director (from first staff meeting, 1981)
We live in a dirty and dangerous world. There are some things the general public does
not need to know, and shouldn’t. I believe democracy flourishes when the government can
take legitimate steps to keep its secrets and when the press can decide whether to print what it knows.
Katherine Graham, Publisher of the Washington Post, in a speech to CIA recruits, 1988
So now you know where the NYT or Washington Post REALLY stand on this…
Wow, that’s quite a quote by Graham. What’s she doing talking to CIA recruits? She has taken the role of a free press and stood it on its head.
I grew up into adulthood reeding John Pilger in the Daily Mirror (then a newspaper with integrity). A true journalist, unafraid to tell us unpallatable facts.
‘Good on yer’ John.
Me too, in the days of Andy Capp, The Perishers and The Larks (comic strips, for non-Brits). It was a good Socialist newspaper then. Now, you could swap the front page of it with The Sun’s, and not spot the difference.
Also, Mr. Pilger, I would love to see an interview of Julian Assange’s mom by you on CN right now. What are her thoughts on all this?
Great work, as usual, by Mr. Pilger. He goes far beyond the usual blah blah punditry of simply rehashing the story and injecting opinions. Instead he brings his own storied experience to broaden the picture.
I am not very good with words John, but thank you for being such a great journalist and continuing to bring forward the truth time and time again. What they are doing to Julian is an absolute travesty of justice. I do not know how we can beat the agenda of these elite billionaires who run rough shod over all of us but we must. Wikileaks has my utmost respect.
We are in a mysterious world,where by mistress are happening.why should a journalist, who is exposing wrongdoing be arrested for committing a crime,are we support ing criminality,what precedent are we setting,God will judge us all?
Es ist schon so weit das die Welt mit ihren Machthabern und Korrupteure auffliegen und Entlarvt werden.
Danke den Journalisten die dieses ermöglichen und gezielt der Öffentlichkeit die reale korrupte Welt zu präsentiert.
Hut ab vor Assange und Kollegen.
It is already so far that the world with its rulers and corruptors fly open and are unmasked.
Thanks to the journalists who make this possible and specifically presented to the public the real corrupt world.
Hats off to Assange and colleagues.
TPTB are well on their way to “full spectrum dominance”. They will never come after toadies like Luke Harding. He is a useful tool. Next they will figure out a way to silence journalists like John Pilger. They already have us relegated to a “sound proof free speech zone”. Next will come the re-education camps; and for really tough cases, the gallows.
I am so glad we have honest journalists like John Pilger. His passion has never waned. He wrote a lovely letter to me decades ago after I wrote commenting on an article he’d written on poverty. I have used many of his articles and documentaries in my teaching career. I am now retired but hope he never is.
The treatment of Julian is OUTRAGEOUS and people dont seem to give a shit.THIS IS SERIOUS PEOPLE,WHEN OUR OWN GOVERNMENTS WONT TELL US THE TRUTH WE HAVE TO FIND A WAY OF EXPOSING GREED AND CORRUPTION.!!
How right George Orwell was.
The best article to be a written on Assange thank you John Pilger for your integrity and moral fibre from.a different era like Diane Abbott
Excellent. Watch your back
Two of Australia’s finest exports, John Pilger and Julian Assange, the latter being cast into the mouth of a multi fanged beast without any conscience, the other a most loyal chronicler and friend. Let the Empire burn down to the ground, the best of us are worth more than all of it.
I’ve been reading about Julian Assage for the last days and this is, by far, the best, straight to the point article I’ve found. Thank you, John Pilger. Will translate it to my friends here in Brazil.
I agree with John Pilger. what has happened to Julian Assange is deeply deeply sad and worrying because what it means is that the majority of vry right wing or fairly right are making any transparency about what they do, how they govern us, their lies, their making money for personal gain from tax payers money and their ability to imprison anyone who gets intheir way.
The silent majority is making a big mistake, the political world is totally against them and the truth, if you don’t say basta or enough you will leave your grand kids under a Nazi Philosophy World Government.
The thing that made me cringe and want to vomit was all the cheers from the Tory party when war criminal, Mrs May, announced that Assange had been arrested. The grins on their ugly faces was the most sickening thing I have seen in a long time. The really sad thing is this: the British people are basically a stupid people and they will vote for this shower again at the next election.
We only have to look back in history to when the Second World War was being conceived. The rise of the Third Reich. Then, anyone who was different or stood up for what they believed in was incarcerated at least. People who asked questions about what their country’s representatives were covertly doing were questioned. Please do not let history repeat itself.
Outstanding John …truly outstanding ????
Thank You Again Mr. Pilger for making another stand against The Corrupt Governments who want to cover and hide the atrocities they commit and lock up and get rid of the people who expose them and many of them are those so called Democratic Countries.
To see Mr. Assange being dragged out by seven strapping spooks into a London Street in Broad Day Light and being acceptable speaks volumes.
Exposing the true face of the System
Under the velvet glove, the iron hand
That brooks no dissent
Buy the illusion and lies
Or pay the price
Yet preach morality and ethics to rest
Hypocrisy at its best
And nary a squeak
From the parrots and parakeets
Nor the paid piper press
And the Geheim Staats Polizei does its usual best
God Be with you
It was courageous of you to take a stab
But foolhardy because they kill before a nap
You exposed their lies and subterfuge
And brought to light what many feared with proof
Twas Gandhi that answered when asked about Western Civilization,
When, what civilization
For it is not only violence and its ever present threat,
But extreme violence with nuclear weapons able to destroy earth many times over
If that is civilized, then God Help us all.
Tis a sad day but no surprise
Just another day for a heartless system
Marching on bones of shattered human lives and dreams
Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Yemen
Fire, burning flesh, murdered children and the tears of mothers
Moloch their god exacts his price
And from Palestine to Kashmir
And the deadly streets in the US and elsewhere
His peons oblige..
God In Heaven
Please hear the cries of your children
God Help us all
God Be with you Assange
Beautiful written, thank you.
Pilger has, as always, hit the nail firmly on the head. If the government extradite Assange the US or Sweden it will be a breach of his human rights. They will not allow him a fair trial.
Have you ever considered publishing an e-book or guest authoring on other blogs?
I have a blog centered on the same topics you discuss
and would love to have you share some stories/information.
I know my audience would value your work. If you are even remotely interested, feel free to send me an e mail.
I am with you me Pilger your my hero as is Julian
It is appropriate that such a fine journalist that John Pilger is should be reporting the story of Julian Assange on the website founded by another fine journalist—Robert Parry.
I love the way Pilger finished this piece with the “lesson” we should derive from Leni Reifenstahl:
“When people no longer ask serious questions, they are submissive and malleable. Anything can happen.”
Assange will be extradited to the US by an obliging government which has deep ties into the success of western initiatives. These initiatives are globalization and the control of the global economy. They have waited patiently for this opportunity to punish dissent and those who have the ability to expose the strategies and tactics of the geopolitical interests which seek to grab control of every resource on the planet chiefly the energy sector. The Iraq war was war for oil. Venezuela’s current situation is the result of economic strangulation with aims of war for oil if the sanctions fail. Our estrangement with Iran and its radicalization as an enemy shouting “death to America” is a result of the coup that installed the Shah of Iran,who returned the nationalized oil fields to oil corporations and deprived the nation of the wealth of its natural resources.
All over the planet wherever there are untold riches to be had the US and British governments have acted alone or together to grab up those resources by any means.
The history of western domination of foreign nations follow the same path as Cortez’s conquest for Gold. Whether the conquest of foreign lands by the west was for real gold or black gold the means and the methods and the desired ends are the same then as they are today. Invade, kill, conquer and rob the nation(s) of their booty and return it to the crown.
The underlying power structure and its objectives, methods, tactics and strategies for obtaining wealth has not changed one bit in thousands of years. One side activity which has always been necessary for all of history has been to silence the dissenters. Heretics were burned alive, resistance was violently crushed. The targeted nations were demonized, their governments labeled corrupt, their peoples described as enslaved and impoverished, the mission to free them described as Holy and ordained by God. In modern terms war is conducted for “humanitarian” reasons to install a government which will “free” the people from their oppressors.
Such high principles are rarely acted on. The end of WWII and the Marshall Act being one exception. More often he conditions of the “freed” population inevitably results in a new government that is a puppet state ruled by a dictator installed by the western governments.
America was one such colony of England which long endured the abuses of the British Crown in its attempt to grab the resources and the wealth of the colonies through a system of laws that tried to keep their new colonies a bunch of share croppers living on the land at the behest of the King and forking over their fruits of labor for peanuts.
We had our enlightenment and revolution and formed a Constitution to prevent the usurpation of power and to guide the nation by a system of laws by and for the citizens of the new nation.
Today by hook and by crook the Constitution now faces a crisis. Wealthy corporations now dominate the course of our government and we are all along for the ride. It has been a good ride and we have experienced great economic prosperity. The crisis however is now on the down slide and the wealthy powers seek to reconstitute their former glory as colonialists and holders of kingly powers with all of the laws and protections for citizens in the Constitution overturned into the of rights of the wealthy. Freedom of speech is now defined as the ability of wealth to control elections and thus the direction of government. The notion of a government consisting of public servants acting in the public interest has morphed into a government of corporate servants only concerned with corporate interests. The rise of a massive permanent military has been enlisted to conduct foreign wars of conquest for resources.
The post WWII war era has seen the rise of an Imperialist nation not unlike England back in the day. Today they join forces to attempt to recreate the days of old when the Sun never set on the British Empire.
Against this tide, small players like Assange who expose the wrongdoings of the Empire in attempt to throw light on the abuses are merely like the former seditionists formerly burned at the stake or hanged by tribunal.
The real thing at stake is that we will all face similar judgement by a nation transformed into an Imperial State that tears up the Constitution in its quest for riches and power. We see it already in the radicalized, polarized structure of our government that has abandoned civil obligations and duties to whip up hatred and play on the prejudices of the citizens of the nation in order to concentrate the wealth and power into the hands of a few.
It is happening. We have a president backed by the wealth of the nation who is obsessed with fantasies of corrupt elections, fake news, coups, foreign invaders and a questionable democracy he would like to end for all our benefit since we are facing national emergencies requiring him to take control of the nation, seal off the borders, end elections (since they can’t be trusted), attack the justice system and install partisan operatives in all levels of the judiciary who will find him infallible and beyond our system of laws.
It is safe to say we are in uncharted territory and that should be concerning. Some of the hallmarks of the collapse of civilizations has root causes in real or perceived dwindling resources, overpopulation and the inequality in the distribution of wealth. Today in this country the concentration of wealth at the top is at an unprecedented level even greater than at any other time.
We may see this as innocuous but history shows that this is a big contributor to the decline of civilizations. We are in fact told that this is innocuous and the situation is rarely discussed to almost never acted upon in a way to redress concerns. In fact the opposite is happening as laws favoring the rich are passed at alarming rates while protections for citizens rights are stripped away likely soon to be the right to vote.
“When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men living together in society, they create for themselves in the course of time, a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that glorifies it.”
Frederic Bastiat – (1801-1850) in Economic Sophisms
People like Julian Assange cannot hope to escape punishment for his attempts to expose the truth.
Outstanding summation, thank you.
If only we could see Tony Blair dragged off and imprisoned. What a wonderful image. Or Bush or Obama or Clinton or Trump.
I’m sorry Matt, but you seem to agree that dragging someone with different opinions off to prison, is great. To me the whole point of true journalism is to promote INFORMED discussion on all subjects.
Turning the tables will never correct wrong behaviour.
Truth is sacrosanct, integrity is everything and it takes courage to deliver on both. The spineless thugs that masquerade as journalists are portrayers of lies and devoid of any decency. They willfully ignore the truth and pretend to be upstanding journalists. They are charlatans and frauds and their actions deserve nothing but scorn. It would be hard to imagine a world without the likes of John Pilger and Julian Assange. They could have followed an easier path through life but instead preferred to be journalists that stood for truth and honesty. They and their likes will always be remembered and recognized for their courage and integrity.
Have some hope – especially in Trump supporters (Clinton’s deplorables). Breitbart News published an article on the arrest of Julian Assange by the British government. There were over 14,000 comments – and overwhelmingly they supported Julian Assange, many advocating that he be awarded a medal for his work. Wikileaks was one of the few media outlets that published the truth, compared with MSM lies. Many are thankful that his work helped Trump win, and many would like to know who really leaked the DNC emails (not the Russians).
The “Russians collaborating with Assange to support Trump” is now being raised by some Democrats and this is the MSM news of the day. Assange, however, has legal support from Alan Dershowitz.
John Pilger & Julian Assange. Two courageous Aussie Journalists who walk in the footsteps of the late, great Robert Parry by holding great power to account! History will remember these courageous people, but no one will remember the cowardly current Leaders in Australia or America? I’m a New Zealander, but I have no idea who their PM is, in that American vassal state called Australia, as they seem to change their Leaders every couple of months. If you want to be bored beyond belief, go to the Australian Sky news channel which has non stop coverage of Australian Politicians & Political system, which is the most tedious watch ever? You’d led to believe that Australia is the centre of the World & everything revolves around them & that their politics are important, when the reality is no one has any interest in this dried out Continent at the bottom of the World or it’s dopey Leaders! Assange’s arrest & Criminal capture sends a message to every person on Earth, as John Pilger highlights, that any Journalist or citizen can be seized by the most corrupt & evil Nation on Earth, called America, for speaking out against their Collateral murder & War crimes? This poisonous, cancerous Country must be stopped, not since Nazi Germany has one Nation proved itself to be such a danger too World peace & its illegal behaviour must be stopped?
Thank you John for your powerful words. I attended a Rally in Melbourne yesterday demanding the release of Julian Assange and Chelsea Manning. It was very short notice, but maybe 200 there (rough estimate) while nearby streets and malls heaved with people loaded down with multiple shopping bags. I feel disgust and anger and sadness all at once – for this rank injustice, the sight of Julian being dragged out of the Embassy, the fact that many in Australia couldn’t give a flying fig, they don’t want to know, they don’t care, as long as they have their creature comforts, and all the ‘stuff’ they covet. Truly sad and depressing. This is what the relentless propaganda and policies of Neoliberalism has done to this country. Leni Riefenstahl would be proud of what has been achieved here. And that certain ‘socialist groups’ have fully boycotted these rallies and havn’t said anything about Julian Assange for over 7 years betrays them for the frauds and charlatans they are. Their narrative on Syria was equally disgusting. What is coming is scary as hell. George Orwell got it so right. This is our future if we don’t collectively stand up, en masse, and resist. And thank you for pointing our the searing hypocrisy regards the vile mass murderer Tony Blair. That says everything about the West’s ‘values’.
Well, 99% of journos are corrupt to the core. They are just mouthpieces for Govcorp and their job is to attack people like Assange as much as possible. Mainstram journos know pretty well that they are never going to be accussed of anything because everything they say is pro state propaganda.
What you posted is correct, and people should stop implying that it’s something new and that standards have fallen – they haven’t, it always been this way.
that’s primarily what mainstream “journalism” is for. It’s all about perception management. There are still great journalists around: Bartlett; Maté; Beeley etc. Read some HL Mencken for some more excellent american journalism. one of America’s last truly great journos. Pilger is in good company, but most of his good compatriots are dead!
Here is what the Canadian CBC “analyst” Matt Kwong produced today…
How the liberal tide turned against Julian Assange and WikiLeaks
Assange ‘proselytized about radical transparency’ but some critics call him a ‘pawn’
The problem with Kwong’s column is that he only writes about those among there “some critics” never anyone else. As is it is not information, it is “analysis” LOL
“Assange, Manning, Snowden, and Others”
Assange, Manning, Snowden, and others
Are today’s prisoners and fearless truth tellers
The establishment and its cabals that run the system
Do not like being exposed for their barbarism
Their dirty secrets are being revealed to the light
And these war criminals in governments preside
They hold their power in positions of authority
These villains and bandits have no integrity
Millions are dead because of this ruling scum
And they are getting away with what they have done
They parrot the words “rule of law” and “betrayal”
They are the criminals that should be in jail
Instead people, who speak the words of truth
Are subjected to vilification and establishment abuse
Propaganda is the modus operandi of the ruling monsters
Their victims are: Assange, Manning, Snowden, and others …
[more info at link below]
I would venture further to speculate that this Assange moment is crucial to developments in the 2020 election. I ask myself which of the current Democratic candidates would pardon Assange? Tulsi Gabbard, I think, at a yes. Bernie I’m at a not sure. Warren, probably not. The others are all I think so centrist as to be at not. This centrist-right collection now gathering and re-issuing the “them Russians” charge has shown a formidable bull-dog tendency to brainwash the public on the false collusion theory. With centrism dominating the Democrats (and please don’t call them “left” or even “liberal” instead of centrist neoliberal) they will be set to lose a personality contest with Trump, that master of sewer politics.
Bernie: no way. he’s too beholden to the elite, who’ve given him his chance again. he’s gonna be the “left-wing” trump
The mind picture of Tony hauled out of his “multi-million pound Georgian home” almost makes me drool. This should never have happened to Julian. He is a saint. He is a saint.
The image from the collateral murder video for this piece, and John Pilger’s comments, indicate the context direly needed for consideration of Assange’s case. Essentially we are again witnessing civil disobedience, in which the rule-breaker defies “laws” or “criminalizing” to reveal the greater crime(s) needing exposure. Against this, currently, we have the same tired tactic of smearing with accusations of “aiding the Russians.” Unfortunately, that the Democrats are weaseling so swiftly into this tactic suggests any flickers of criticizing it, as with Tulsi Gabbard, will push the public further toward brainwashed and stupid. Further discussion of what Assange has revealed, including his and Manning’s acts as honorable civil disobedience, is direly needed.
We will rue this day. A democracy is strong only because its people believe in their government. When the government loses the trust of the people, it is only a matter of time before the government will fall. The US government has to control the narrative in the US because if they don’t, the American people will start to turn on their government (which is how we got the Cheeto-in-chief) because the US government has been an affront to the principles on which this country claims to be founded. But worse, the US doesn’t seem to realize that it needs the other countries of the world to support what it wants to do. That support has been visibly shrinking.
“That support has been visibly shrinking”
That’s good thingy
Yes jo. I’m often surprised that even clear thinking people like Jeff seem to lament that this filthy US “system” is losing support.
Perhaps we might one day celebrate this day ! – When this failing empire so conclusively exposed itself as such a shameful sham.
What has happened is the end of the illusion.
I was awakened by deeply distressing dreams at 3 a.m. yesterday morning. It would have been around 11 a.m. in London. Assange was being manhandled out of the Ecuadorian embassy. I never went back to sleep and in a sense may never sleep again.
No civilization has ever outlived its canon of myths. The “West” has just flatlined.