The espionage charges against Assange bear out what he’s been saying and should open ears to what he’s also said about the non-Russian source of the DNC emails, says Caitlin Johnstone.
By Caitlin Johnstone
And there it is. WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has been charged by the Trump administration’s Justice Department with 17 counts of violating the Espionage Act, carrying a maximum sentence of 175 years in prison. Exactly as Assange and his defenders have been warning would happen for nearly a decade.
The indictment, like the one that preceded it last month with Assange’s arrest, is completely fraudulent, as it charges Assange with “crimes” that are indistinguishable from conventional journalistic practices. The charges are based on the same exact evidence that was available to the Obama administration, which, as journalist Glenn Greenwald noted last year, declined to prosecute Assange citing fear of destroying press freedoms.
Hanna Bloch-Wehba, an associate professor at Drexel University’s Thomas R. Kline School of Law, has called the indictment “a worst-case, nightmare, mayday scenario for First Amendment enthusiasts.” Bloch-Wehba explains that the indictment’s “theories for liability rest heavily on Assange’s relationship with Manning and his tendency to encourage Manning to continue to bring WikiLeaks material” in a way that “is not readily distinguishable from many reporter-source relationships cultivated over a period of time.”
One of the versions of The New York Times‘ report on the new Assange indictment, which has since been edited out but has been preserved here in a quote by Slate, said that “officials would not engage with questions about how the actions they said were felonies by Mr. Assange differed from ordinary investigative journalism. Notably, The New York Times, among many other news organizations, obtained precisely the same archives of documents from WikiLeaks, without authorization from the government.”
This is the issue, in three sentences. https://t.co/VCt9zAzK7s pic.twitter.com/7AjIDW2Avl
— Jameel Jaffer (@JameelJaffer) May 23, 2019
Press freedom organizations have been condemning these new espionage charges in stark and unequivocal language.
“Put simply, these unprecedented charges against Julian Assange and WikiLeaks are the most significant and terrifying threat to the First Amendment in the 21st century,” reads a statement by Freedom of the Press Foundation Executive Director Trevor Timm. “The Trump administration is moving to explicitly criminalize national security journalism, and if this prosecution proceeds, dozens of reporters at the New York Times, Washington Post and elsewhere would also be in danger. The ability of the press to publish facts the government would prefer remain secret is both critical to an informed public and a fundamental right. This decision by the Justice Department is a massive and unprecedented escalation in Trump’s war on journalism, and it’s no exaggeration to say the First Amendment itself is at risk. Anyone who cares about press freedom should immediately and wholeheartedly condemn these charges.”
Attack on First Amendment
“The indictment of Julian Assange under the Espionage Act for publishing classified information is an attack on the First Amendment and a threat to all journalists everywhere who publish information that governments would like to keep secret,” reads a statement by Committee to Protect Journalists Executive Director Joel Simon. “Press freedom in the United States and around the world is imperiled by this prosecution.”
“For the first time in the history of our country, the government has brought criminal charges under the Espionage Act against a publisher for the publication of truthful information,” reads a statement by the ACLU. “This is a direct assault on the First Amendment. These charges are an extraordinary escalation of the Trump administration’s attacks on journalism, establishing a dangerous precedent that can be used to target all news organizations that hold the government accountable by publishing its secrets. The charges against Assange are equally dangerous for US journalists who uncover the secrets of other nations. If the US can prosecute a foreign publisher for violating our secrecy laws, there’s nothing preventing China, or Russia, from doing the same.”
BREAKING: For the first time in the history of our country, the government has brought criminal charges under the Espionage Act against a publisher for the publication of truthful information. This is a direct assault on the First Amendment. https://t.co/RJxjFPfkHe
— ACLU (@ACLU) May 23, 2019
Also opposing the new indictment, far too late, have been popular pundits from mainstream liberal news outlets.
“The Espionage indictment of Assange for publishing is an extremely dangerous, frontal attack on the free press. Bad, bad, bad,” tweeted MSNBC’s Chris Hayes.
“Today the Trump DOJ becomes the first administration to ever charge a publisher with *espionage* — an assertive, unprecedented legal crackdown on the traditional rights and protections for publishers,” tweeted MSNBC’s Ari Melber. “That is a legal fact, regardless of one’s views of Julian Assange. The new Trump DOJ indictment treats activities most top newspapers engage in — gathering and publishing classified material — as criminal plotting, claiming Assange ‘conspired’ with and ‘aided and abetted’ his source in the pursuit of classified material.”
One need only to look at the outraged “this is a horrible take” comments underneath these tweets to see that these condemnations are coming long after the propaganda they’ve helped advance against WikiLeaks has seeped well into the bloodstream. It’s impossible to tell the same group of people day after day that Assange is an evil Nazi Putin puppet rapist who smells bad and mistreats his cat, and then persuade them to respond to a depraved Trump administration agenda against that same person with an appropriate level of resistance.
I find no satisfaction in saying ‘I told you so’ to those who for 9 years have scorned us for warning this moment would come. I care for journalism. If you share my feeling you take a stand NOW. Either you are a worthless coward or you defend Assange, WikiLeaks and Journalism. https://t.co/NkUfZWYan8
— Kristinn Hrafnsson (@khrafnsson) May 23, 2019
“I find no satisfaction in saying ‘I told you so’ to those who for 9 years have scorned us for warning this moment would come,” tweeted WikiLeaks Editor-in-Chief Kristinn Hrafnsson. “I care for journalism. If you share my feeling you take a stand NOW. Either you are a worthless coward or you defend Assange, WikiLeaks and Journalism.”
Indeed, WikiLeaks staff and their supporters have been warning of this for many years, only to be dismissed as paranoid conspiracy theorists and rape apologists by smearers who insisted Assange was merely avoiding rape charges by taking asylum in the Ecuadorian embassy in London back in 2012. There are many tweets by the WikiLeaks Twitter account warning that the U.S. is trying to charge Assange under the Espionage Act all the way back in 2010, and they’ve been warning about it over and over again ever since, but nobody’s listened.
“The only barrier to Julian Assange leaving Ecuador’s embassy is pride,” blared a Guardian headline last year by the odious James Ball, with the sub-header “The WikiLeaks founder is unlikely to face prosecution in the U.S., charges in Sweden have been dropped – and for the embassy, he’s lost his value as an icon.”
Assange has been warning for years that this was coming. He’s been unequivocal about the fact that he was perfectly willing to participate in the Swedish investigation from the beginning and was only taking asylum with Ecuador due to fear of extradition and political prosecution in the U.S., which Ecuador explicitly stated were its reasons for granting him asylum. He was absolutely correct. He’s been correct the entire time. History has vindicated him. He was right and his critics were wrong.
We are also already seeing Assange vindicated in his warnings of what his prosecution would mean for the free press. He hasn’t even been extradited yet and we’re already seeing a greatly escalated war on journalism being implemented, with new developments in just the last few days like a San Francisco journalist now being charged with conspiracy for receiving internal documents from the San Francisco Police Department, and a prominent French journalist being summoned by police for reporting on corruption in the Macron government.
All this of course begs the question: what else has he been right about? Anyone with an ounce of intellectual honesty who has previously had their doubts about Assange will necessarily begin asking themselves this question now. It’s worth reviewing the things Assange has been saying about Russia not being the source of the 2016 Democratic Party emails that WikiLeaks published, about what really happened in Sweden, and about his general understanding of what’s going on in the world with opaque and unaccountable power structures leading us all down a very dark and dangerous path.
If you open your mind to the possibility that Assange has been right about more than you’ve given him credit for previously, the implications can shatter your world. Give it a try. There’s no longer any legitimate reason not to.
Caitlin Johnstone is a rogue journalist, poet, and utopia prepper who publishes regularly at Medium. Follow her work on Facebook, Twitter, or her website. She has a podcast and a new book “Woke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers.” This article was re-published with permission.
Had Trump directed that no prosecution be brought against Assange, one can only imagine the outrage by many of the same people that defend him today. It’s easy to jump on the bandwagon when there’s nothing to lose and so much to gain by bashing the current administration. But let’s not forget this persecution predates (and is larger than) the current WH occupant. This whole Assange fiasco is meant to reinforce the Russian narrative and warn anyone who may dare expose the Truth again. To see the pillars of journalism beat their chests now seems disingenuous knowing how willing they are to support a fabrication and commit their collective investigative skills to simply publishing talking points.
“How Many Times Must Assange Be Proven Right?”
It takes an almost infinite effort at repetition when dealing with the likes of Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton.
That’s why affairs in general in Washington are so hopeless.
Manning offered the package to two other news outlets BEFORE he went to Wikileaks. How then can they accuse Assange of encouraging, or indeed having ANYTHING to do with Manning’s activities?
Manning exposed war crimes by US military personnel.
That all is not well in the US military is being evidenced by the enormous numbers of returned soldiers who are crushed physically and mentally.
Time for the citizens of the Bully on the Block to take a BIG wake-up pill and face up to what they have become.
While in theory the Bill of Rights provides protection against the majority’s tyranny over minorities and dissidents, in practice this is very often just not the case.
If the general good will does not exist to honor rights, they will not be honored.
And if governments, no matter how they are put into power, choose to ignore them, they will be ignored.
That is what America is experiencing .
There is nothing special about democracy itself that preserves rights, but America does not even have that feeble idea of protection since it has never been a democracy.
“………..That country is, of course, Israel.”
– Julian Assange, press conference from the Embassy of Ecuador in London on 12 December 2016
I wish Assange had made the statement you quoted , but he didn’t , and there was no such press conference. The quote is lifted from a 12/6/2016 article by Phil Giraldi in Unz Review and falsely attributed to Assange by the fake news site , awdnews.
Search : “Fake News Versus No News : How Russia is pilloried while real news about Israel goes unreported” by Philip Giraldi
Tnx Caitlin & CN… being Memorial Weekend it’s appropriate2 observe the death of the Constitution of the United States of America
Thank youfor the link
The main reason for the push to put Assange away is Israel.
True, indeed, Abe. But the MSM cannot let Russophobia go – it acts as a real distraction from which countries are in fact creating mayhem, murder, destroying lives (FUKUSIS) around the world, particularly the MENA and LA. And completely distracts from which countries (UKUSIS) do *really* interfere in other nations’ elections, governments, covertly or overtly work to remove leaders and governments.
There is an excellent article on MintPressNews by Whitney Webb about the American electronic voting machines and the deep links among the various US electronic media companies (Microsoft, Amazon, Google etc), the US Deep State and Israel’s electronic corporate/intelligence agencies. Interference? Meddling? Won’t hear about it as coming from these actors – any hint of such would be blamed on – guess who. And a breadcrumb trail created…
As a continuing instance of Russia, Russia – this a.m. on the BBC World Service news there was condemnatory mention – of course – about the Russian government’s refusal to accept the ruling by a Tribunal on the Ukrainian naval vessel business. And in the words of the newsreader: “Russia seized Crimea.” A linguistic return to absolute condemnation where a few weeks ago the BBC used the word “annexed.” Never – in my hearing – has the Beeb ever mentioned the fact that the Crimeans voted overwhelmingly to rejoin Russia – in a referendum which was overseen by international observers who all noted its free and fair nature.
Everyone can cite the First Amendment as often as they wish, until the cows come home, but we saw that it wasn’t solid and dependable about seven years after the Sedition Act was inked, as Howard Zinn notes (page 100) in “A People’s History Of The United States, 1492-2001.”
Oops. The Sedition Act was penned 7 years after the First Amendment. My bad.
The comment about Assange’s behavior toward women is nothing more than hearsay and identity politics in action. These are unprecedented times, what with globalism failing and never-ending proxy wars led by the USA, with supine Western nations following the corrupt USA like leashed poodles. Chelsea Manning must also be focused on, along with Julian Assange, for her courage in standing up to the Deep State as represented by the totally corrupted judicial system.
I agree with you, it is true Julian Assange and Chelsea Manning brought truth to military crimes, brought to light blackwater, and many other crimes. However, this is very uncomfortable, when someone on your team does something icky. So, then , if Julian Assange did nothing wrong in Sweden, he should be able to defend himself. Why do you not believe the two women in Sweden? Assange’s behavior does not negate his accomplishments, just as Harvy Weinstein’s film career does not negate great movies. Jessika, dear, there are men who are very talented and loved, but some of them do abuse their position and power.
It has been reported that the woman who initially accused Assange had a broken condom as evidence. According to Swedish authorities, the sexual assault charge involved was that he used a broken condom intentionally. The problem with the evidence is that the condom introduced as evidence had none of Assange’s DNA on it. No DNA on the condom is an impossibility if it had been used by Assange. Further, the credibility of the accuser has been challenged because she was deported from Cuba for working for the CIA.
Except, Assange had no celebrity status or “power” to abuse when he was in Sweden and attempts to restore charges that were previously dropped is a sign of malicious, politically-motivated prosecution.
One of the women was a CIA agent who actually organised the speaking engagement. She was the “torn condom” gal. The condom had NO DNA evidence on it belonging to Assange.
The CIA has been after Assange for a very long time.
This is the same alphabet agency that Kennedy wanted to “smash into a thousand pieces and scatter to the winds” and that got him killed, the same one that subsequently took over the US totally.
Americans should be shouting from the rooftops … but I won’t hold my breath.
Julian Assange may be all you project him to be, but that does not discard his awful behavior towards his girlfriends /women/ groupies.
I said it before , again, I respect Gallileo for his science, but I disrespect him as a human being because he disowned his 3 children. ” I love sex but I hate the outcome.”
What is awful about consensual sex? The accusation against Assange is for allegedly using a torn condom. The condom in question, when examined by the Swedish police, did not contain any DNA from Assange.
One of the women was kicked out of Cuba on suspicion of acting on behalf of the CIA. It is quite possible, that she laid a CIA honey trap for Assange.
Maybe Assange ought to have been more wary and astute when women throw themselves at him as groupies, but he certainly did not ‘rape’ them in any sense of the word in the western world.
Just for the record, I am a Swedish speaker and have followed all the events in Sweden at first hand.
I have never met Assange so I have no opinion on him as a person or his behaviour in other respects. Plus, it has also emerged that the MSM stories of him smearing excrement on the walls of his room in the Ecuadorian Embassy were also lies.
I have tried repeatedly, but have come to the conclusion that Christina is immune to rational argument.
As I’ve noted in past CN comments… The 2 previous Attorneys General of the state of NY were both deposed in connection w/ sexual scandals… Rightly or wrongly… Proving even City Hall “can’t fight city hall!”
Two Swedish prosecutors have previously dismissed the allegations as baseless. This is the third Prosecutor to investigate the claims. One woman simply wished Assange to take an HIV test and the other CIA related honeytrap arranged the lecture, put him in her apartment, came home days early from a business trip and produced a torn condom, tearing the condom was the supposed crime(rape in Sweden), a condom with no DNA.
Christina, do you know where I might find reliable information on Assange’s behavior “towards his girlfriends /women/ groupies?” All I have seen has been highly controversial and of a doubtful nature.
Very good, been with you all the way back. But, why not mention Seth Rich? He the most valid candidate for the Podesta e-mails, right? I think someone who regularly champions true democracy and free speech should not be quiet about the source possibilities. Did you hear about the ‘suicide’ of another Clinton cohort today?..the CIA have had B&H’s back since Barry Seal was landing Contras in AR.
Assange has pointed to Seth Rich, $10,000 reward for his murderer and at least two (one Dutch TV) TV interviews.
Special kudos for pointing out the French crackdown by smug-face Macron.
America’s republic and its much ballyhooed constitution have been dead for multiple generations, only we just didn’t know it until we’ve begun tripping over all the corpses. It’s hard to discern the exact time of death, but it may well have occurred back when the Kennedy’s were expunged or when our dubious leadership saw fit to send 60,000 young conscriptees to their deaths in a military assault on Vietnam that surpassed the violence of WWII in many ways, including the rape of Mother Earth herself. Or maybe it occurred in Korea with the decision to pound the North into dust, simply because we proved incapable of controlling all that country had left–its people. Perhaps our true evil nature, at odds with every platitude in that hallowed constitution, manifested itself with the decision to drop two nuclear bombs on large Japanese cities killing hundreds of thousands both instantly and excruciatingly slowly just to warn the rest of the world of what total badasses we were and that they’d all better get down on their knees whether they were nominally our allies or not. Or just maybe the entire contrivance was still born, just a long con from the get-go. Ask the Native Americans and the African slaves. The noble words in the constitution speak of the rights of all men (and they did mean only males… with wealth) yet none were applied to these poor wretches, considered no-count savages. (The Native Americans were even referred to as such in the Declaration of Independence. You can look it up.)
That the republic and its constitution have been long running shams should have been obvious to the 11 generations of Americans who have lived under the system since the late 18th century. But the so-called free press has always been owned by wealth and privilege which has always distorted reality to its purposes–to keep the people down and its profits up. John Kiriakou, Chelsea Manning, Edward Snowden, Julian Assange and others are just the latest idealists to tilt at the windmills disguising the landscape of American society. Such poor souls always end up being grist for the mill.
The Deep State preceded the founding of this country, it didn’t just emerge. Whether its all been controlled by a Zionist cabal, as many insist, I personally cannot say: they hide most of the bodies quite effectively. However, I strongly believe that Mark Rich’s body exposes their game and the lengths they will go to to retain their power. Too many analysts have already connected enough dots to establish the most plausible explanation for this whole constellation of leaks, lies and accusations subsuming Mr. Assange, Wikileaks, the Democratic Party, Hillary Clinton and their fall guy, the Russian Federation. Unlike the purported “17” intel agencies, the analysts have proffered hard evidence to support their claims–which is beyond the scope of my essay to itemize here.
The tragic truth of the matter is that Mark Rich leaked the files he downloaded from the DNC server to a flash drive which he then forwarded to Wikileaks through Craig Murray. Read the VIP accounts for the precise technical evidence. The Deep State and their intel agencies put the same facts together, knew what happened and assassinated Mr. Rich, a man of integrity whom they knew would come forward and take responsibility if Julian Assange or others were framed and prosecuted for his actions. Julian Assange might recount the same story, except that he probably gave his word to Mr. Rich that he would never expose him. Maybe he should rethink that, if it would do any good. It probably would not. The prosecutors would just charge him with perjury. So he probably will keep his integrity.
It doesn’t take Columbo to figure this whole vile caper out. I don’t even read or watch crime stories, too boring and contrived. The outcome of this one is that, in the end, everyone will end up KNOWING the real truth but that truth will remain officially obscured by the entire establishment and justice quite decidedly will NOT be done. O’Brien will stand before the cameras holding up four fingers and tell you that they’re really five. The media will chant “Amen,” the viewers will sigh, then shrug, and go about their daily drudgery grateful it didn’t happen to them.
You can look it up:
The Declaration of Independence indicted “the present King of Great Britain” with “a history of repeated injuries and usurpations”.
At the end of its bill of particular “Oppressions”, the Declaration accused the King of having “endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions”.
So much for “all men are created equal”.
The Declaration was rarely mentioned during the debates about the United States Constitution, and its language was not incorporated into that document.
I tend to believe in your post, except when it comes to “VIP accounts for the precise technical evidence” for two reasons.
One is that, if the Deep State knew how the USB drive made its way to Assange, they would have got Mr. Craig Murry just as well and blame it on the Russians.
The other is that the technical justification by VIP does not make much sense. It discounted digital transfer (over the wire) as it is not possible from the US to England/Sweden/etc. The 20MB/s (160Mb/s) USB data transfer rate is really not that much, even less now than it was in 2016. The Apollo North cable between the US and England has a 320Gb/s transfer rate since 2003:
That’s 2,000 times faster, than the USB transfer rate quoted by the VIP. So, don’t tell me that on the Apollo North cable, digital transfer was not possible. We didn’t even talk about the satellite and/or fiber connection between the continents, that even faster and existed in 2016 and earlier.
As for the connection in the US to send the digital transfer from even a home Internet connection, it had been quite possible with most Internet connections’ upload speed in the Tri-State area was between 25- 100 Mb/s in 2016.
The Deep State “only” got Mark Rich, since they traced back the digital transfer to WikiLeaks either to his home or work computer. The latter one probably had higher upload speed than his home system.
Yeah, I really don’t believe VIP technical explanation on the subject and makes me wonder. What are they trying to do and/or proof?
Except that Craig Murray claimed to be in the loop. From his own on-line blog: “I know who leaked them…” “I’ve met the person who leaked them, and they are certainly not Russian and it’s an insider. It’s a leak, not a hack; the two are different things.
He claimed direct involvement in the hand-off of two file sets from two alleged inside leakers to Wikileaks via some unidentified intermediary in a wooded area of Washington. He did not identify Seth Rich (sorry, I got the first name wrong in my original comment) as his contact in that transaction, and his claim that the intermediary “was not the person with legal access” to the files would seem to refute that it could be. Rich’s place in the chain is surmise, since Rich was a DNC insider who ended up dead on the streets of DC with two bullets in his back and none of his possessions lifted. It is possible that Mr. Murray was deceived or is deceiving us, but what would be his motives, especially to trifle with such potentially dangerous adversaries? An outsider like him has no idea what the intel agencies have at their disposal if his game is to embarrass or thwart them with tall tales.
Clearly Julian Assange never sought any assistance from Mr. Murray on these issues, evidenced by the following rebuke: “Craig Murray is not authorized to talk on behalf of WikiLeaks.” Or, maybe he’s just trying to give the man some good advice: Stay clear, like who needs the American Deep State thoroughly up your every orifice?
As to any analyses of digital evidence retained by computing devices: “Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent.” I have no expertise in the field whatsoever (I’m just glad this old Dell desktop still boots up and distraught that MS will stop updating Windows7 come the new year), which is why I will allow Bill Binney, the guy who reportedly invented most of the digital tools the NSA uses to spy upon the whole wide world to lead the discussion. He’s put his entire reputation on the line in this debate. Why would he bullshit us?
Realist, thank you for your many additions to a range of subjects on this forum. I am still looking for the answer to a simple question. That is, and it relates to the comment of Ergo Sum above, is simply this: we know from the Snowden docs and Clapper and his ilk the the NSA was not worried about finding the “needle in the Haystack” but rather the intent to collect the entire haystack, consisting of emails, phone messages, texts, IMs etc. Given this admission, with technical backup in the Snowden docs, why would the NSA not produce any ‘hack’ over any wire or undersea fiber tap nor any forensics of the transfer of this information re: the DNC or some other bogus claim? If they have the data and forensics, what is their motivation to keep it secret?
Or is the most reasonable guess, they don’t have it, which caused a DNC worker 3 bullets in the back.
By not releasing any cursory info, or even the bare minimums, I think Ergo Sum is completely wrong by leaving out the NSA and it cursed web of data capture the world over. I’m surprised this is not mentioned more often in these threads.
I believe Binney and his effort in many locations to mimic the speed over the people who deny its accuracy.
ps. Also many people still confuse internet speed in general. There is quirk a difference in down load speed and upload speed. Any reliable speed check on ones one system can confirm this.
Correction below on the reply…… ‘quite a difference’
The transatlantic cable speeds are irrelevant: why even mention that? Those cables are used for tens of thousands of connections, and are not the limiting factor for anyone. 20MB/s would be reasonable over a LAN but not likely over a WAN to another office or a home. People with metered connections could use up their monthly allotment in four minutes! I doubt that many DC-area WAN connections were “25- 100 Mb/s in 2016” and even that is only 1/6 to 1/2 the speed measured.
I thought the answer to arguments involving transfer speeds over the internet was that if the hack came from Europe the NSA would have known about it. So far I believe they have refused to comment.
Trans-Atlantic cables? Groan, what nonsense.
I did look into your Tri-State claim and speeds are definitely on the upswing:
T-Mobile records the fastest median upload speed at 16.7 Mbps .
Download Speeds up to 400 Mbps
Upload speeds up to 40 Mbps
To my knowledge these options were not available in the area where the hacks occurred at that time.
Since our previous visit to Washington, D.C.,
T-Mobile’s median download speed increased from 15.1 Mbps to 21.4 Mbps.
RootScore Award History
1st Half 2016 winner: T-Mobile, Verizon
Obviously Upload speeds would not be higher than that. Regards.
Individuals users do not experience the full bandwidth of any tran-Atlantic sugnal cable or optical fiber. Such trunks are heavily multiplexed and I’m not sure there is any way anyone, not even a national or corporate entity can work around that.
Thank you for one of the best and truest comments I’ve ever seen, period. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I think the name is Seth Rich, rather than Mark Rich.
I think you mean Seth Rich, not Marc Rich, the commodities trader and Israeli asset pardoned by Bill Clinton.
Yep, I committed the same kind of mistake that people commonly make now when they say “Bob Barr” (the former congressman) when they really mean “Bill Barr” (the present attorney general). An established neural pathway (representing a familiar old name) just kicks in and you don’t notice the discrepancy. I corrected my mistake in my response to Ergo Sum.
Well, as to the rights of women, Native Americans, and African slaves, my take on our early history is that any American declaration of human rights was bound to first recognize the equal rights of a broad class (men) of those who felt that Magna Carta in 1215 did not go far enough (equal rights for We the aristocracy), who only later had the luxury of recognizing (when told) that there were real inconsistencies with the declared principle of equality.
Wrong as we can readily see now, it was not really arguable in the 18th century that women would have equal political rights, because their role had since the dawn of history been strictly in the home (where rights were presumed to be protected by men). They were also not seen as potential bearers of muskets in the woods, which likely made it easier to ignore them as a political force that must be reckoned with. Understandable for the mindset of the time, despite being indefensible not so long afterward, this assumption did not imply intentional denial of rights.
Similarly the “Indian Savages” were likely so described in the Declaration to remind readers of the worst risks, rather than to assert that they were inhuman. The extreme clash of European and native cultures was sincerely perceived as unprovoked attacks against the innocent, despite the seizures of their land. Neither the settlers nor their political leaders explicitly sought their destruction, they just ignored the impossible problem of accommodating a different culture regarding land and property. The notions of land rights of settlers, and the attraction of “free” land, became more clearly hypocritical and exploitative in the 19th century, by which time there were plenty of seemingly unprovoked massacres by “Indians.”
We are also too quick to condemn the slaveowners, because we now easily see that their culture exploited the convenient notion that slaves were brought out of savagery into some semblance of civilization. Now we see that this was not an act of charity but of exploitation, that relied upon the tribalistic hubris of “Christianizing” and “civilizing” that was originally very plausible. But as the North rejected the slaveowner rationales, it also failed to provide the South an exit plan to wage labor, which would have required a regulatory institution larger than the army, to tax slave cotton and subsidize wages, which was essential but so inconceivable at the time that it was never debated or even suggested.
I will suggest that none of the modern corruption of federal government was deliberately built in to the Constitution. It was simply incomplete, and was updated in a very haphazard and belated manner. As a result it did not incorporate safeguards against the corruption of elections, mass media, and the judiciary by economic power, and those tools of democracy were taken over and unavailable to implement later reforms. This is the accidental present disaster of our history, that circumstances prevented the “democracy if you can keep it” from being kept.
Of course the corruption process from the Civil War to the present is not at all accidental.
Pequot genocide. Smallpox infected blankets given to Natives as presents by the first Massachusetts Governor.
It was indigenous genocide from the first post Norse colonizer.
@ “… the so-called free press has always been owned by wealth and privilege which has always distorted reality to its purposes–to keep the people down and its profits up.”
But “always” no more. We’re in the midst of a revolutionary change: wealth and privilege are no longer necessary to publish. The Internet is changing all that. While *some* revenue is required to pay for a computer, an internet connection, for access to a server, and for bandwidth, the costs are tiny compared to the previous paradigm.
The full extent of change wrought by this paradigm shift remain to be seen. The eventual extent of Internet censorship and access denial is, in my mind, the major future limiting factor.
The opponents “culture” is saturated with schadenfreude and vindictiveness and hence they continue to engage in practices which demystify their myths including “rule of law” which is properly seen as rule by law, a concept of fiat dependent on others’ beliefs, complicity, and fears whose half-lives are decreasing with increased acceleration.
As some understand the opponents’ efforts at regime change demystify the myths that they have “intelligence services” fit for purpose, and their dances of “intervention” demystify the myths that they have the greatest military power the world has ever seen and can deploy these “assets” world-wide with minimum risk.
As some understand the opponents’ practices demystify the myths that they have “allies” sometimes described as “the international community”, and demystify the myths that their advesaries are restricted to “axes of evil” including “mid-level powers” such as China, Iran, North Korea and Russia.
As some understand the continuation of the opponents’ economy is dependent on others’ beliefs, complicity, and fears whose half-lives are decreasing with increased acceleration.
As some understand the opponents’ myth of last resort is the use of nuclear weapons without nuclear winter which practitioners world-wide have understood as mythical since at least 1984.
As some understand the opponents have rendered themselves “exceptional” since unlike the Emperor they have rendered invisible threads visible with increasing regularity and scope.
As some understand the opponents have rendered themselves “exceptional” given that their continued relations are dependent on the non-continuance of the relations of others.
As some understand the opponents have rendered themselves “exceptional” in being a death cult practicing various techniques of stress.
Likely it is time to set aside such coercive illusions?
“Left” and “Right” are moments in a linear spectrum, a spectrum designed to deflect and preclude systemic transcendence (interactive lateral processes).
When faced with systemic threats “Left” and “Right” move closer within the linear spectrum towards moments of conflation thereby demystifying the spectrum and its purpose, facilitating perception that reform is a process of re-integration, creating opportunities to catalyse systemic transcendence including encouraging resolve to fashion and implement strategies to do so.
Those seeking “reform” are rendered complicit in their own transcendence and the transcendence of the spectrum into which they seek to facilitate re-integration, as was/is the case of Mr. Gorbachev, his associates, and others including present opponents engaged in attempts to deflect and preclude systemic transcendence; sometimes represented as regime change although understood by some to be a process of “apparent” change to remain qualitatively similar through linear modulation, an attempt to remain in/return to some degree, the past. .
These hypotheses have been tested and continue to be practiced by the opponents with consequences including but not limited to processes described above in OlyaPola May 24, 2019 at 15:31.
“As some understand the opponents’ efforts at regime change demystify the myths that they have “intelligence services” fit for purpose “
Doubling down and facilitating self-transcendence akin to Googling Huawei
in further conflation of quantity and quality.
This article mentions what I have said many times. And that is, where have these commenters hid their heads for many years concerning Julian Assange that they all of a sudden sound like they just caught wind of this travesty now? They COULD have spoken out daily since 2010 regarding the Stratfor threats against him and the news of a secret grand jury sequestered against him and chosen to help and stick up for him. Alas, they were cowards.
I suspect you are correct about the Stratfor threats.
2010 was a bad/hectic year for me, dealing with family illnesses.
Could you provide me with some good resources concerning the issue.
I had understood Stratfor to be a company face of our “supremacy” at the time (actually being quite frank about our geopolitical aims) but I totally missed their Assange connection.
Hello Clark, e.g., a quick punch-in to Wikileaks .org lists over a half a million Stratfor related files to peruse at your leisure. The Jeremy Hammond ones are fresh as a daisy as I recall them. Tweets from Wikileaks and DefendAssange have made mention and reminded us again lately how the Stratfor employees wanted to “move Assange around” from country to country once they get their hands on him. Kinda like what is discussed now….
The great John Pilger recently made the comment: “The target today is #Assange. Tomorrow it will be you on the New York Times, you on the BBC. Modern fascism is breaking cover. ”
I love Pilger, but with this quote he’s slightly off base. The NYTimes’ typists for the ruling class will ONLY become a target if they dare attack the hand that feeds them, if they dare attack the hand of which they’ve internalized all the establishment values. These lapdogs are sitting comfortably perched on the knee of elite power, with their six figure and seven figure salaries.
A dog never realizes he’s on a leash until he truly tests his range.
And, Drew, I would, like Pilger, add the BBC to that of the NYT (and WaPo and NPR and the Guardian). They not only know which side their bread is buttered (and jammed), but also the so-called journos who work for these spokes-media for the corporate-capitalist-imperialist war profiteers and Israel are themselves of the same mind. They wouldn’t be hired by these organizations otherwise. Groupthink, indeed. (Huxleyan.) And, of course, as you point out, they are very nicely and comfortably remunerated for their lickspittling.
I’d argue that the BBC is a direct extension of MI-5, MI-6 and Britain’s Deep State.
It is very definitely a state-funded media, which according to the BBC itself – when speaking about Russian, Iranian or Chinese media (state funded, you understand – always the preceding descriptor) – makes a medium “unreliable.” Not that the Beeb *ever* mentions its own source of funding, its own status.
Excellent points AnneR.
Many Thanks Caitlin Johnstone, I’m so happy to see you published here.
I have to praise Joe Lauria because he has been deeply and correctly concerned about this happening all along. It was Joe’s passion and statements on The Assange Watch videos that convinced me to trust Julian all along. Once again it points out the necessity of honest reporting against the barrage of mainstream obfuscation and disinformation.
“We knew this was coming”. I’m a bit surprised the espionage chargers were disclosed as this might hinder his extradition to the US. Needless to say Assange’s life has now been destroyed by the all powerful US iron boot of US Imperialism. We as a nation are now headed into uncharted waters as the noose is tightening on all our civil rights. Women’s sovereignty, press freedom, speech, protests, etc. The total flip to totalitarianism is only a few steps away from being a fact for all of us Americans and most won’t even know it’s happening until too late to stop it. Peace
“The total flip to totalitarianism is only a few steps away from being a fact for all of us Americans and most won’t even know it’s happening until too late to stop it.”
It is not a sudden flip, but rather a slow inexorable descent into the Police State pushed by our presidents since at least GHW Bush (some say he was the real president while Reagan was in office). Joe Biden brags about writing the Patriot Act in 1995, which took 9/11 to enact into law. Bush/Cheney made “National Security” their unquestionable excuse for all sorts of crackdowns on personal liberties. As Consortium News contributors John Kiriakou and William Binney have noted, and as whistleblowers soon discovered, Obama did more to expand the Police State than any other president. Trump is not a switch, he is just a continuation of a downward death spiral for America.