The Assange Arrest: You Have the Right to Remain Silent

The arrest of Julian Assange was an act of revenge by the U.S. government that strikes at the heart of journalism, writes Pepe Escobar.

By Pepe Escobar
Asia Times
The date – April 11, 2019 – will live in infamy in the annals of Western “values” and “freedom of expression.” The image is stark. A handcuffed journalist and publisher dragged out by force from the inside of an embassy, clutching a Gore Vidal book, the “History of the U.S. National Security State.”

The mechanism is brutal. WikiLeaks co-founder Julian Assange was arrested because the United States demanded this from the Tory British government, which for its part meekly claimed it did not pressure Ecuador to revoke Assange’s asylum.

The U.S. magically erases Ecuador’s financial troubles, ordering the IMF to release a providential $4.2-billion loan. Immediately after, Ecuadorian diplomats “invite” the London Metropolitan Police to come inside their embassy to arrest their long-term guest.

Let’s cut to the chase. Julian Assange is not a U.S. citizen, he’s an Australian. WikiLeaks is not a U.S.-based media organization. If the US government gets Assange extradited, prosecuted and incarcerated, it will legitimize its right to go after anyone, anyhow, anywhere, anytime.

Call it The Killing of Journalism.

Get Me That Password?

The book Assange was clutching soared to No. 35 on Amazon’s List.

The case by the U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ) against Assange is flimsy at best. Everything has to do essentially with the release of classified info in 2010 – 90,000 military files on Afghanistan, 400,000 files on Iraq and 250,000 diplomatic cables spanning most of the planet.

Assange is allegedly guilty of helping Chelsea Manning, the former U.S. Army intel analyst, to get these documents. But it gets trickier. He’s also allegedly guilty of “encouraging” Manning to collect more information.

There’s no other way to interpret that. This amounts, no holds barred, to all-out criminalization of journalistic practice.

For the moment, Assange is charged with “conspiracy to commit computer intrusion.” The indictment argues that Assange helped Manning to crack a password stored on Pentagon computers linked to the Secret Internet Protocol Network (SIPRNet). [Though a closer look at the indictment shows the alleged help was to obscure Manning’s identity and not intrude into a DOD computer.]

In March 2010 chat logs obtained by the U.S. government, Manning talks to someone alternatively named “Ox” and “press association.” The DoJ is convinced this interlocutor is Assange. But they must conclusively prove it.

Manning and this person, allegedly Assange, engaged in “discussions.” “During an exchange, Manning told Assange that ‘after this upload, that’s all I really have got left.’ To which Assange replied: ‘Curious eyes never run dry in my experience.’”

None of this holds up. U.S. corporate media routinely publishes illegal leaks of classified information. Manning offered the documents he had already downloaded to both The New York Times and The Washington Post– and he was rejected. Only then did he approach WikiLeaks.

The allegation that Assange tried to help crack a computer password has been doing the rounds since 2010. The DoJ under Obama refused to go for it, aware of what it would mean in terms of potentially outlawing investigative journalism.

No wonder U.S. corporate media, deprived of a major scoop, subsequently started to dismiss WikiLeaks as a Russian agent.

The Nuclear Option

The great Daniel “Pentagon Papers” Ellsberg had already warned back in 2017:

Obama having opened the legal campaign against the press by going after the roots of investigative reporting on national security – the sources – Trump is going to go after the gatherers/gardeners themselves (and their bosses, publishers). To switch the metaphor, an indictment of Assange is a ‘first use’ of ‘the nuclear option’ against the First Amendment protection of a free press.”

The current DoJ charges – basically stealing a computer password – are just the tip of the avalanche. At least for now, publishing is not a crime. Yet if extradited, Assange may be additionally charged with extra conspiracies and even violation of the 1917 Espionage Act.

Even if they must still seek consent from London to bring further charges, there’s no shortage of DoJ lawyers able to apply sophistry to conjure a crime out of thin air.

Jennifer Robinson, Assange’s very able lawyer, has correctly stressed his arrest is “a free speech issue” because it “is all about the ways in which journalists can communicate with their sources.” The invaluable Ray McGovern, who knows one or two things about the U.S. intel community, has evoked a requiem of the fourth estate.

The full context of Assange’s arrest comes to light when examined as sequential to Chelsea Manning spending a month in solitary confinement in a Virginia jail for refusing to denounce Assange in front of a grand jury. There’s no doubt the DoJ tactic is to break Manning by any means available.

Here’s Manning’s legal team:

The indictment against Julian Assange unsealed today was obtained a year to the day before Chelsea appeared before the grand jury and refused to give testimony. The fact that this indictment has existed for over a year underscores what Chelsea’s legal team and Chelsea herself have been saying since she was first issued a subpoena to appear in front of a Federal Grand Jury in the Eastern District of Virginia – that compelling Chelsea to testify would have been duplicative of evidence already in the possession of the grand jury, and was not needed in order for U.S. Attorneys to obtain an indictment of Mr Assange.”

The Deep State Attacks 

Chelsea Manning. (Fredrik Lundhag/Flickr)

The ball is now in a UK court. Assange will most certainly linger in prison for a few months for skipping bail while the extradition to the U.S. dossier proceeds. The DoJ arguably has discussed with London how a “correct” judge may deliver the desired outcome.

Assange is a publisher. He leaked absolutely nothing. The New York Times, as well as The Guardian, also published what Manning uncovered. Collateral Murder, among tens of thousands of pieces of evidence, should always be at the forefront of the whole discussion – this is about war crimes committed in Afghanistan and Iraq.

So it’s no wonder the U.S. Deep State will never forgive Manning and Assange, even as The New York Times, in another glaring instance of double standards, may get a pass. The drama will eventually need closure at the Eastern District of Virginia because the national security and intel apparatus has been working on this screenplay, full-time, for years.

As CIA director, Mike Pompeo did cut to the chase: “It is time to call out WikiLeaks for what it really is: a non-state hostile intelligence service often abetted by state actors like Russia.”

What amounts to a de facto declaration of war underlines how dangerous WikiLeaks actually is, just because it practiced investigative journalism.

The current DoJ charges have absolutely nothing to do with the debunked Russia-gate. But expect the subsequent political football to be bombastic.

The Trump camp at the moment is divided. Assange is either a pop hero fighting the Deep State swamp or a lowly Kremlin stooge. At the same time, Joe Manchin, a southerner Democrat Senator, rejoices, on the record, as an ersatz 19th-century plantation owner, that Assange is now “our property.” The Democrat strategy will be to use Assange to get to Trump.

And then there’s the EU, of which Britain may eventually not be part of, later rather than sooner. The EU will be very vigilant on Assange being extradited to “Trump’s America,” as the Deep State makes sure that journalists everywhere actually do have a right, to always remain silent.

Pepe Escobar, a veteran Brazilian journalist, is the correspondent-at-large for Hong Kong-based Asia Times. His latest book is “2030.” Follow him on Facebook.

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47 comments for “The Assange Arrest: You Have the Right to Remain Silent

  1. bob
    April 16, 2019 at 04:52

    The pathetic uk regime is trying to get Assange dealt with by Sweden first – after all, fair is fair. 70 MPs, mainly of the labour variety, have sent a letter to the Home Office part of the regime to make the case for Sweden. These imbeciles, paid for by the public to represent them, are yet again showing just how stupid and cretinous they are. Meanwhile the parliament is still celebrating Assange’s illegal arrest. Both the usa and uk regimes are good at illegal.

  2. Anonymot
    April 15, 2019 at 17:38

    Yes, this was an “act of revenge by the United States government”, but far beyond that generality is the poisoned spear that drove it, Hillary Clinton’s egomania. She had been embarrassed by Assange and Chelsea Manning. There was no way they could escape her claws as long as she maintained her power in Deep State. So Voila! The only thing she’s done successfully except getting rich.

  3. Tchouki Miner
    April 15, 2019 at 16:41

    I hope the distinguished writer is wrong. Isn’t it possible that if Assaunge is in the U.S. he will reveal an avalanche of info regarding Trump’s campaign. Not to his advantage!

  4. Robert
    April 15, 2019 at 12:37

    “The Trump camp is divided”. I disagree with this. Based on the comments section of Breitbart News to the arrest, Trump supporters overwhelmingly support Julian Assange for publishing the truth, and many recommend he be given an award. Conversely, US Democrats overwhelming support the arrest of Assange for being the messenger of the truth. Consistent in the Democrat message are the warmonger-fabricated links to Russia – Trump collusion with Russia; Assange collusion with Russia to elect Trump. An unbiased investigation might reveal that the fabricators are the same deep state groups. Frankly, Trump supporters (remember the so-called “uneducated, deplorable, racists” who voted for Trump) have more respect for press freedom and journalistic integrity than Democrats who are out to censor “fake news”, i.e., news which contradicts the scripted media lines of warmongers.

    • Robert
      April 15, 2019 at 12:50

      Adding to my comment, CNN, which is widely accepted outside the US as a reliable US news source, has blacklisted constitutional lawyer Alan Dershowitz, a Democrat, from appearing on CNN because his unbiased views no longer agree with the scripted media line of CNN.

    • rosemerry
      April 15, 2019 at 13:40

      Notice that Trump himself pretended to have no interest in the whole issue, just now since this happened!

      • Skip Scott
        April 15, 2019 at 13:57

        He knows he screwed up with his “overlords” when he said “I love Wikileaks” during the campaign. Now he doesn’t know what to do because his base remembers him loving Wikileaks as they do, but now he knows that’s not allowed.

  5. neysha sima
    April 15, 2019 at 11:56

    “Assange was always willing to be questioned by Swedish prosecutors in London, as had occurred in dozens of other cases involving extradition proceedings to Sweden. It was almost as if Swedish officials did not want to test the evidence they claimed to have in their possession.”

    “The media and political courtiers endlessly emphasised Assange’s bail violation in the UK, ignoring the fact that asylum seekers fleeing legal and political persecution don’t usually honour bail conditions imposed by the very state authorites from which they are seeking asylum.”

    “It was a freedom of information request by an ally of Assange, not a media outlet, that unearthed documents showing that Swedish investigators had, in fact, wanted to drop the case against Assange back in 2013. The UK, however, insisted that they carry on with the charade so that Assange could remain locked up. A British official emailed the Swedes: “Don’t you dare get cold feet!!!””

    “It was about making sure there would never again be a leak like that of Collateral Murder, the military video released by Wikileaks in 2007 that showed US soldiers celebrating as they murdered Iraqi civilians. It was about making sure there would never again be a dump of US diplomatic cables, like those released in 2010 that revealed the secret machinations of the US empire to dominate the planet whatever the cost in human rights violations.”

    source: CounterPunch
    by Jonathan Cook
    April 12, 2019

  6. A World Of Truth Please
    April 14, 2019 at 21:13

    Thank you for your work!
    A side comment, if I may.

    It is obvious that the LGBTQ issues have been hijacked for political ends. They are totally harmless issues for the establishment (not touching anything relating to power or finance structures that keep the elite on top of the world), but are very powerful weapons for political battles as they have a huge emotional impact on the progressive population.

    Due to this politicisation, especially the transgender phenomenon has gotten a lot of sensationalist attention. This has created a situation in which most people have an opinion about something they know nothing about (that’s rather the general case about anything in our disinformation society of course).

    If I may do so, I would like to help eradicate the basic misconception about gender dysphoria. Very often statements and comments are made revealing that the speaker somehow thinks that transgenders woke up one morning with the thought “I’m bored stiff of this life. What can I do to spice it up? Hey, wait, I could change my gender! Wouldn’t that be neat? I’ve lived now for so many years as a male/female, let’s see what life looks like for the other sex!”
    You may find this a comical or caricaturist portrayal, but it seriously seems to be what many people have been made to think. Many many comments and mentions in articles reveal that kind of thinking, because with a true understanding of the very painful and complex problem that gender dysphoria is, the wording of those comments would be totally different.

    In reality, transgenders struggle during childhood with the gender identity that was given to them at birth due to their body being either male or female. Depending on a million societal factors, maybe influenced by the sexual orientation (which has nothing to do with gender dysphoria as such), the person will have a clearer idea of what their identity is, at an earlier or at a later age. Just like any other aspect of our identity, finding out of who we are is a very personal journey and will be different for each of us.

    Transgenders find themselves (and it is a very shocking discovery mostly) to be the other gender than the one they got at birth. This creates a psychological and societal discomfort that is so extreme and painful that the only solution is a physical adjustment of the gender. Due to all the complications and implications of such a transition, it is a decision that is not taken lightly but pondered and weighed for several years generally.

    So the real explanation of the transgender issue is not that it is some whimsical idea, but that it is some birth defect that creates a mismatch in the physical gender.

    The difficulty with the acceptance of such a defect is fully hindered by the (rather primitive) belief that we are our bodies and nothing else. Deriving from that belief is the notion that if your bodily functions are working alright, you have no problem and should be a happy person.

    Luckily the past decades have brought more insight and adjusted those simplistic beliefs, but since they are old, they are very pervasive and die off very slowly.
    Gender dysphoria can only be accepted when society accepts the notion that we are not our bodies. How else could someone experience to have the wrong gender?
    Luckily, most people do not experience this dichotomy and have an identity matching their body’s gender. This greatly helped the belief that bodies and identities are one and the same. It also seems the main reason for misunderstanding of the transgender issue: “If I’m OK with my body’s gender, then so should you! Stop whining and just take life as it is!”

    If we understand this, then it is clear that Chelsea Manning was never a boy. Even though she physically had a male body and was known during her heroic actions as being ‘Bradley’, she still was female and struggling with the male identity that her body and society had forced upon her. Since the male identity is not the right one, it is rather painful to see it used for her, even in the past. She already was who she is now, a very brave woman who has done humanity an immense service and still pays the price for that today.

  7. April 14, 2019 at 12:50

    IMF loans do not “erase” a nation’s financial troubles; they compound them – literally, with interest. The US uses the IMF and world Bank as instruments of economic aggression. When the loans cannot be repaid “austerity measures” are imposed, plunging the populace – which did not sign the loans or benefit from those funds – into grinding poverty, and enabling oligarchs of The Deep State to take control of the country’s physical assets.

    • KiwiAntz
      April 14, 2019 at 20:20

      Howard your dead right a IMF loan achieves the same result as a Regime change Military operation? Under the benevolent guise of assistance, these US financial organisations lend funds that can never be paid back by the Borrower then the collateralised Oil & resources can be legally stolen as payments for the loans? And the money that is lent is totally worthless US dollars, a fiat currency that has no store of value? So Equador would produce a actual real product such as Oil & get back a worthless toilet paper currency called the US Dollar, in exchange, created out of thin air by the Federal Reserve money counterfeiting bank, with a click of computer keys! There’s a saying that every man has his price? With Judas Iscariot it was 30 pieces of silver & a Heavenly reward as a disciple of Christ? With Moreno, the corrupt Leader of Equador, its a 10 billion dollar loan of worthless US paper!

    • rosemerry
      April 15, 2019 at 13:45

      You are right, and the USA helped to ensure the economic destruction and crash of Russia in the 1990s, among other destructive acts to many nations via the IMF.

    • Anonymot
      April 15, 2019 at 17:55

      It is the exact equivalent of the “company town” with a “company store” and low wages. That was called servitude.

      And go back a bit and it was used to keep slaves in line and still is today by smugglers of immigrants.

      It is the creation of a debt that cannot be repaid except by giving control to the lender. I’ve never understood if it was , for even an eye-blink, true benevolence or whether those who set up the Marshall Plan knew in advanced that they were buying control of Europe’s industries with a mask of generosity.

  8. Anon
    April 14, 2019 at 08:27

    Great writing as usual. The US is exposed for what it really is – a corporate fascist state. What is exceedingly troubling is the jubilation by the political class and the idiots who support them.

    No worries – we can now overthrow Venezuela, Iran, Russia, and China. We’ll just print more money to pay for it!

  9. john wilson
    April 14, 2019 at 05:15

    Instead of asking if we have the right to remain silent about Assange and much else, maybe we should be asking the question “do we have the right to remain stupid” because alas, the over whelming majority of the public are just plain stupid and uninformed. A very large proportion of the posts on general forums, like say, Yahoo are from people (UK posters) who call Assange a traitor even though Assange is not British or American.

    • Robert
      April 15, 2019 at 12:10

      Interesting. In the USA it is also the mainstream media and Democrats who call Assange a traitor. On the other hand, upon reading a report on the arrest of Assange by the British government, over 14,000 commenters on Breitbart News overwhelmingly supported Julian Assange, many recommending he receive a medal for his courage and publishing the truth. They are beginning to realize that the same groups who fabricated evidence to investigate and frame Trump with Russia collusion, did the same for Assange. Assange poses a threat to the military industrial complex and Deep State, who need to paint Russia as the enemy to justify increases in military adventurism and spending, and provide a reason for the existence of NATO.

  10. April 14, 2019 at 01:13

    Taking into account the wide range of serious facts, circumstances and world events associated with the long slow crucifixion of Chelsea Manning and Julian Assange for their simple, well-intentioned efforts to increase peace on planet Earth, humanity faces the unavoidable emergence of global spiritual or moral crisis necessitating the highest-quality debate possible – and choosing between love/good and fear/evil.



    • April 15, 2019 at 00:04

      Agree. And bring Snowden home if he wants.

  11. Tom Kath
    April 14, 2019 at 00:40

    Thank you Pepe. I also would like to urge all thinking people to reflect on the fundamentals of freedom and enslavement which are brought into such stark contrast through this arrest. You may be surprised to realise that it is the same fundamentals confronted by Brexit, Yellow Vests, and even Bitcoin if you inspect deeply enough.
    I also suggest we do not lament or sympathise too much with those already VOLUNTARILY in what I call the CAGE.
    Julian is still performing the extremely vital task of informing us what awaits us all if we accept the lie of the easy way out!

  12. Zhu
    April 13, 2019 at 23:46

    Unfortunately, Democrats are as eager to torment & kill Assange & Manning as Republicans. They really are two factions of the same team.

  13. Anarcissie
    April 13, 2019 at 23:14

    The alleged freedom of the press has long been over, not because it was suppressed by violence, but because most of its practitioners submitted to power voluntarily. They are just obedient agents of the state. Something else is afoot with the Assange seizure, probably some kind of further struggle among ruling-class factions. Without inside information or ESP, it will be hard to figure out what for awhile.

  14. KiwiAntz
    April 13, 2019 at 20:52

    Great article Pepe, you really nailed it? This whole Assange affair is part of a much bigger picture which has to do with International Law? America, with its total contempt & adherence to International Laws has destroyed the moral values & fragile set of rules that are supposed to govern decency of human behaviour in every Nation? Diplomacy & dialogue is meant to stop conflicts based on mutual respect & the rule of law? America, acting as Rogue Nation, has destroyed International Laws, as we know it, due to its greed & Imperial ambitions to dominate the World & has now set a dangerous precedent that now means any powerful Nation can do whatever it likes to achieve anything it desires because its no longer bound by rules of International Laws or human decency? When the rule of law fails all you have left is the rule of the jungle? America has now become a modern day version of Nazi Germany? With Assange, you have America’s version of silencing Journalistic dissent just like the Nazi’s book burnings to hide War crimes from the Public in an attempt to stop the TRUTH getting out & to promote via its Worldwide propagandist Joseph Goebels, Ministry of Truth called the Corporate Mainstream Media ? Zieghail to the United, Nazi States of America? Hitler & fascism has been reborn & resurrected in the American Empire, a Empire of Death, chaos & lies just like the former Nazi Germany, its slavishly being modelled on!

  15. Paul
    April 13, 2019 at 20:22

    Julian has the right to write a Pulitzer Prize for non-fiction winning book that brings your house of cards down. #FreeJulian #FreeAssange #Assange #AbolishTheCIA #WakeUp

  16. April 13, 2019 at 20:12

    All excellent

  17. Sam F
    April 13, 2019 at 19:49

    A couple of legal points that may be useful:

    1. Manning having been put in solitary confinement for refusing to testify certainly constitutes coercion of testimony prohibited by Amendment V, which makes any Manning testimony since 2010 inadmissible as evidence against Assange.

    2. Injury to the US, by means of exposing information, consists in such acts as revealing defensive plans (not plans of aggression), damage to legitimate government programs (not unconstitutional spying upon citizens). If the legitimacy of the secret program is dubious or controversial, and the secrecy amounts to concealment of activities never explicitly approved by the people, then the exposure is journalism or free expression, not an act of subversion or war upon the nation. Mr. Assange and other alternative news sources have not to my knowledge revealed any necessarily secret programs to protect indisputable national interests. Therefore they are journalists.

    The acts of the US government exposed are far greater offenses against democracy:

    1. Conducting secret wars that exceed the federal powers limit of “repelling invasions” and are not authorized by any defensive treaty, in violation of the Constitution. The exposure of such acts by Manning or Assange is the exposure of extreme subversion by those in public office, and such exposure is never subversive;

    2. Allowing private economic powers to completely subvert democracy by monopolizing US mass media and public information. It is they who must be abolished, by amendments to the US Constitution to restrict funding of mass media and elections to limited personal donations or government funding. We cannot get those amendments because those tools of democracy are controlled by the dictatorship of gold. That is the only treason in the Assange affair, because it is the result of economic war by the rich against the United States.

    As to “DoJ lawyers able to apply sophistry” there is indeed no shortage; they are every one crooks and only crooks, with no concern whatsoever for the Constitution, only their job security. Endless documentation available.

    It is significant that DOJ lawyers operate in zionist groups with zionist judges, because the Assange prosecution is zionist policy. Although past US Mideast policy was driven by anti-communism and the desire to steal oil, recent US policy is driven almost entirely by zionist fanatics, most of them non-Jewish opportunists hoping for bribes. The entire Russiagate affair, and likely the Ukraine affair, were efforts to get Russia out of Syria and away from lands Israel craves and subjugates.

    • Zhu
      April 13, 2019 at 23:51

      Bringing up the Zionist scapegoat makes everything you say look like crap.

      • Derrick
        April 14, 2019 at 07:01

        That, Zhu, is a comment on the level of insisting someone is intelligent only if they wear a suit and tie.

      • Sam F
        April 14, 2019 at 07:35

        There is no scapegoating there at all, only hard facts. It is amusing that people continue to fall for zionist propaganda despite the evidence. They never see discrimination against Jews, but opportunistically use the “anti-semitism” gambit. But we know that:

        1. Semites include Arab and Jewish groups, so the term is incorrect;
        2. there is no other group that demands a special word for discrimination against itself, and then pretends that it is a unique phenomenon not susceptible to rational analysis, but only the pronunciations of Jews themselves;
        3. zionists use this unique term to denounce anyone who will not agree to their every demand for special privileges;
        4. there is no racism in denouncing zionists as the racist fascists they truly are.

        Perhaps you will also let us all know why Jews should have an empire in the mideast, when
        1. there are no more living survivors of the Jewish disasters of WWII to gain thereby;
        2. a Jewish homeland was not a sensible way to help Jewish survivors;
        3. Palestine was the worst place in the world to choose for a Jewish homeland, due to their bad record there in the 1930s;
        4. no one deserves an empire, even when their ancestors had one there;
        5. everyone’s ancestors had empires there, as there were doubtless thousands of empires there in the million or so years in which all of our ancestors migrated through N Africa from our common origins in SE Africa;

        We would also like to know why Jews should be accorded special privileges in the US:
        1. to control US foreign policy to dump money on Israel as “aid”;
        2. to control US mass media so that nearly everyone accepts zionist lies about the Mideast and special privileges;
        3. to control nearly every US politician through bribes, like those of all of the top ten donors to Clinton;
        4. to rent the US military for pennies on the dollar to Israel to kill hundreds of thousands of innocents in the Mideast for Israel;
        5. to terminate democracy in the US for the advantage of one of the most racist groups in history.

        But why have reasons when you can fool the world by denouncing “anti-semitism”?

      • AnneR
        April 14, 2019 at 09:30

        Are you saying that Zionists – whatever their background (Christian, Jewish) – have no pull in DC? Did I miss something, or didn’t Trump just hand over – completely illegally, of course, but when did a US president give a f— about legality – the Golan Heights to Israel? Where was the outcry in Congress – from either side of the so-called aisle? Where in the MSM? At best a mild tut-tut – and anyway, Assad had no right to it because he’s a tyrant and we were fighting the “good” fight against him and with the “rebels” (also known as ISIS and Al Nusra). And hand Jerusalem to them? And of course there’ll be no outrage, no economic sanctions, no ending of the US taxpayer subsidies to Israel when they annex the West Bank (which they had done, in all but name, in 1967).

        Those evangelical pro-Israel/zionism (therefore anti-Palestinian – but I guess that’s okay for you) do have their own agenda, indeed they do, and it’s not – in their worldview, warped as it is – to the eventual, eternal benefit of Jewish zionists, but to themselves and their like adherents. And no doubt they have other interests, besides the second whatever, in mind, like the maintenance of US world hegemony, particularly that of the real chosen few: the 1%ers, the corporate-capitalist-imperialists who control this country.

        To point out that Israel has serious, very serious clout in the political and military machinations in this country is to indicate the obvious. To decry any suggestion of that smacks of hypocrisy and a denial of fact.

        Were SamF to have suggested the same about Russia – would your response have been the same?

      • Grady
        April 14, 2019 at 12:45

        Sam F is a long time trusted contributor to CN. You, Zhu, are the one who looks like crap.

        If you live in the he USA and can connect dots then you easily understand the zionist owned and controlled government, media, commerce and finance- start with the federal reserve, neither federal nor a reserve, 70% foreign owned and a zionist front. Do some easy math mr. know it all: Russia supports Iran and Syria, Iran and Syria support Hezbollah and all forms of zionist resistance, therefore the head of the snake is Russia which has been on the neocon hit list since the czars and pogroms. They never finished the job and still kick themselves i.e. Ukraine. USA is nothing but an owned and controlled attack dog for the zionist agenda. Our blood and treasure is far less important than the zionists. The mommas boys and girls there can’t be troubled by fighting costly wars they can’t win, that’s our job according to the zionists- Clean Break Strategy, PNAC, Oded Yinon, etc etc.

        Sam F is correct. You are not.

      • April 14, 2019 at 14:50

        @ “Bringing up the Zionist scapegoat makes everything you say look like crap.”

        Crap is in the eye of the beholder. Zionist infiltration and control of Congress is now well beyond any reasonable dispute. Less public attention has been paid to Zionist roles in the U.S. judiciary. For example, Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis for decades ran the Zionist movement in the U.S. from his Supreme Court office. See

        Four of the current 9 justices are Jewish, a widely disproportionate fraction considering that Jews make up only 2 per cent of the U.S. population. It is a safe bet that they and all other judicial appointees were carefully vetted by the Israel Lobby.

        As a case study, the litigation that followed the downing of World Trade Center buildings in New York can accurately be described as a successful conspiracy among a Zionist judge, a Zionist special master, and Zionist lawyers to prevent any allegation of Israeli involvement in the attack from coming to trial.

        The Zionist corruption of the Judiciary should be no more surprising than the Zionist corruption of the Congress and White House. All three are branches of the same corrupt government.

  18. Jeff Harrison
    April 13, 2019 at 18:41

    Great as always Pepé. I have only two comments.

    The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.

    The weed of crime bears bitter fruit. Crime does not pay. The Shadow knows.

    • April 13, 2019 at 20:21

      Loved the Shadow. But i was once a shadow. A white collar crime cop that found that crime does pay. Just ask Vladimir. But where to live now as the US collapses. I prefer a desert. And hate to leave where Cactus Ed is buried, wating and watching for “the last king to be strangled with the entrails of the last priest. “

      • Zhu
        April 13, 2019 at 23:55

        More scapegoating. It’s not our stars or our scapegoats, but ourselves, that we are weaklings.

        • AnneR
          April 14, 2019 at 09:37

          I must apologize, Zhu, for my earlier snarky question and its preceding remarks.

          And yes you are right insofar as it is all too easy to cast the blame for our – those of our politicians who supposedly (ha ha) represent us and our stances – actions, most of them despicable and done more for “our” (only in the narrowest of senses) interests (i.e. that 1% – 10%) than anyone else’s interests. It is all too easy to blame others for our own actions: “they made me do it, sir.”

          Lobbying and PAC power wouldn’t be what it is without the connivance of Congress and the judiciary.

  19. Lee Sterling
    April 13, 2019 at 16:58

    Good essay. But it looks to me like Gore Vidal’s book was photo-shopped into the video of Assange’s arrest. How would he have been allowed to even leave with the book, much less display it in the manner he did?

    We have to keep this argument honest. I’ll accept any correction if I’m wrong.


    • April 13, 2019 at 17:19

      The Italian journalist Stefania Maurizi reported on Twitter that she had presented that book to Assange as a present. The scene of Assange being dragged from the embassy with the book in hand was shown live on Ruptly. There would have been no time to have photoshopped that in.

  20. DW Bartoo
    April 13, 2019 at 16:09

    As always, Pepe Escobar cuts right to the pithy quick of things.

    Much appreciated.

    • Masud
      April 14, 2019 at 11:02

      Protecting a source by legal means is ok but achieving this by trying to enter into government computer systems appears unlawful to me.

      • Sam F
        April 14, 2019 at 20:27

        The problem arises when the government activity exposed is unlawful, unconstitutional, or questionable and never explicitly approved by the people. Then any means to expose it to public criticism is warranted: almost never does that pose a problem for national defense. When it might, most dissident journalists have been cooperative in redacting or permitting redaction of personal names and other details that might compromise valid programs. A legitimate court would delineate the area of valid publication for the unwary, and forgive some accidents.

  21. mike k
    April 13, 2019 at 15:49

    “The freedom of the press is not safe. It’s over. And I think our republic is in its last days, because unauthorized disclosures of this kind are the lifeblood of a republic.” – Daniel Ellsberg

  22. mike k
    April 13, 2019 at 15:45

    In it’s dying stages the American Empire is now becoming openly the brutal fascist state it always has been, since the early days of the raping of the “New World”. Trump is the new Hitler – just like the old one.

    • Zhu
      April 13, 2019 at 23:38

      No, Trump is bad in own way.

  23. mike k
    April 13, 2019 at 15:35

    “The freedom of the press is not safe. It’s over. And I think our republic is in its last days, because unauthorized disclosures of this kind are the lifeblood of a republic.” – Daniel Ellsberg

    (from a beautiful essay by Kenn Orphan)

    • Zhu
      April 13, 2019 at 23:42

      The Republic is over. A disguised autocracy, something like the Roman,is in force. How long the constant warfare can totter along is impossible to say, but probably not very long. Not centuries. Like the Assyrian, we’ve made too many enemies.

      • Tom Kath
        April 14, 2019 at 00:48

        Zhu, I’ve been wondering about your comments here. When you say that “WE”VE made too many enemies”, you reveal yourself.

        • bardamu
          April 14, 2019 at 15:59

          As Zionist or as American? Either would fit, it seems, and surely she or he could make as similar statement as a citizen of the UK right now, despite Jeremy Corbyn’s voice in notable protest.

          But really, there is almost nothing of all the supposedly electoral noise in the States that has responded to this. Tulsi Gabbard has made a statement, the only one among a fleet of Democratic hopefuls pretending to a humanist tradition.

          No, this thing is sliding well off the rails, and the powers that be do not have the sense to check whether they have killed the canary.

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