PEPE ESCOBAR: Julian Assange, Prometheus Bound

He is being punished not for stealing fire – but for exposing power under the light of truth and provoking the god of Exceptionalism. 

Police ejecting Assange from embassy, April 11, 2019. (YouTube)

Police ejecting Julian Assange from Ecuadorian embassy in London, April 11, 2019. (YouTube)

By Pepe Escobar
Special to Consortium News

This is the tale of an Ancient Greek tragedy reenacted in AngloAmerica.

Amid thundering silence and nearly universal indifference, chained, immobile, invisible, a squalid Prometheus was transferred from the gallows for a show trial in a faux Gothic court built on the site of a medieval prison.   

Kratos, impersonating Strength, and Bia, impersonating Violence, had duly chained Prometheus, not to a mountain in the Caucasus, but to solitary confinement in a high-security prison, subject to relentless psychological torture. All along the Western watchtowers, no Hephaestus volunteered to forge in his smithy a degree of reluctance or even a sliver of pity.

Prometheus is being punished not for stealing fire – but for exposing power under the light of truth, thus provoking the unbounded ire of  Zeus The Exceptionalist, who’s only able to stage his crimes under multiple veils of secrecy.

Prometheus pierced the myth of secrecy – which envelops Zeus’s ability to control the human spectrum. And that is anathema.

“Prometheus Being Chained by Vulcan,” 1623 oil painting by Dirck van Baburen. (Vulcan Rijksmuseum, Wikimedia Commons)

For years, debased, hack stenographers worked relentlessly to depict Prometheus as a lowly trickster and inconsequential forger.

Abandoned, smeared, demonized, Prometheus was comforted by only a small chorus of Oceanids – Craig Murray, John Pilger, Daniel Ellsberg, Wiki warriors, Consortium writers. Prometheus was denied even the basic tools to organize a defense that might at least rattle Zeus’s cognitive dissonant narrative.

Oceanus, the Titan father of the Oceanids, could not possibly urge Prometheus to appease Zeus.

Fleetingly, Prometheus might have revealed to the chorus that exposing secrecy was not what best suited his heart’s content. His plight might also, in the long run, revive popular attachment to the civilizing arts. 

One day, Prometheus was visited by Io, a human maiden. He may have forecasted she would engage in no future travels, and she would bear him two offspring. And he may have foreseen that one of their descendants – an unnamed epigone of Heracles – many generations hence, would release him, figuratively, from his torment.

Zeus and his prosecutorial minions don’t have much of a case against Prometheus, apart from possession and dissemination of classified Exceptional information.

Still it was eventually up to Hermes — the messenger of the Gods, and significantly, the conduit of News — to be sent down by Zeus in uncontrollable anger to demand that Prometheus admits he was guilty of trying to overthrow the rules-based order established by the Supreme Exceptional.  

CBC TV covering Assange expulsion. (YouTube)

CBC TV covering Assange expulsion from Ecuadorian embassy in London. (YouTube)

This is what’s being ritualized at the current show trial, which was never about Justice.  

Prometheus won’t be tamed. In his mind, he will be relieving Tennyson’s Ulysses: “to strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.”

So Zeus may finally strike him with the thunderbolt of Exceptionalism, and Prometheus will be hurled into the abyss.

Prometheus’s theft of the secrecy of power, though, is irreversible. His fate will certainly prompt the late entrance of Pandora and her jar of evils – complete with unforeseen consequences.

Whatever the verdict reached in that 17th century court, it’s far from certain that Prometheus will enter History just as a mere object of blame for human folly. 

Because now the heart of the matter is that the mask of Zeus has fallen.   

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.

The views expressed are solely those of the author and may or may not reflect those of Consortium News.


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9 comments for “PEPE ESCOBAR: Julian Assange, Prometheus Bound

  1. roberto
    September 9, 2020 at 06:44

    Great article, Pepe!

  2. John Gilberts
    September 8, 2020 at 22:50

    Thanks CN! Excellent, as Escobar almost always is. And how appropriate the image chosen to represent the Vichy media is that of CBC. Here in Canada you will not find anything good said about Assange, not even by the faux ‘progressive’ columnists. It seems Canadians prefer the imperial fake news view of things and their journalists have always known the national taste for colonial ‘moderation’ and the belief it is best to go along to get along. After all good gigs at the state-run CBC are hard to come by.

  3. Tom Kath
    September 8, 2020 at 20:18

    Those who believe justice is served by revenge, do not deserve any.

  4. Dave B
    September 8, 2020 at 18:54

    WikiLeaks spotlight


  5. DW Bartoo
    September 8, 2020 at 17:06

    The mask has fallen and revealed is death, the dead, empty eye-sockets and the perpetual grin.

    The empire of death.

    All is revealed.

    And yet, many refuse to see as their wealth and position are fully dependent upon the death machine.

    Indifference rules.

    Depraved indifference.

    U$ and Anglo Saxon “law” has become an empty “form” of law, merely a bludgeon to punish and pummel, a weapon of revenge and repression.

    It is more than governments which are revealed as cruel, brutal, and failing, it is also the many who refuse to question or care, the “good people” who believe that Assange deserves whatever he gets, and it is “Journalism”, as well, which has now been forever exposed as sham and pretense, its practitioners revealed as simply sycophantic bootlickers of pathological power in service to obscene wealth and vicious tyranny.

  6. September 8, 2020 at 14:07

    Evil seems to be winning.

  7. Jeff Harrison
    September 8, 2020 at 13:15

    As I’ve said before, Julian Assange is not on trial here. British jurisprudence and the United States are on trial and we are failing badly. After this show “trial” is brought to its predictable end, it will be American jurisprudence that will be on trial. I don’t doubt but it too will fail as badly. As Pepe says, the mask of Zeus has fallen.

    • Tom Kath
      September 8, 2020 at 20:25

      When you say “WE” are failing, you reveal the biggest part of the problem. – THEY are failing, as Pepe suggests, and the mask HAS fallen.

  8. Aaron
    September 8, 2020 at 12:52

    It’s some kind of tragic, sick irony that many are suffering what they are calling deaths of despair from the overwhelming injustice in the world, and that one of the causes is the Promethean torture of liver disease. Will an extraordinarily flawed Heracles(Biden) heroically save us all from Hades? Not quite I’m afraid.

Comments are closed.