WATCH: Stella Assange — ‘Julian Is a Deterrent’

Stella Assange told a packed house at Westminster Central Hall in London Thursday night that her imprisoned husband has become a “deterrent” to stop other journalists from publishing secrets. 

Stella Assange spoke at the end of an event with Russell Brand, Matt Taibbi and Michael Shellenberger, discussing the Twitter Files. Transcript below.(Video of Stella Assange by Cathy Vogan. Brand did not permit video recording of the discussion of the Twitter Files.)


Russell Brand

Please. Ladies and gentlemen, how about a round of applause for Stella Assange.

Stella Assange

Thanks guys, for making me nervous. Yeah, I guess I speak all the time, but for some reason… you guys are on stage… I’m really nervous to speak there.

Russell Brand

Can we ask you, would you more comfortable coming up here?

Stella Assange

Most of you are probably aware that my husband Julian is in a very precarious position right now. The High Court, England, has made the completely inexplicable decision to not even allow him to appeal to the High Court. He made an application to appeal in September of last year, and it took a single judge 10 months to issue a three page decision, which, without engaging in any of the arguments, said that he is not allowed to appeal.

He still has one final opportunity to go to two different High Court judges. But the situation is now critical. And you might say, well, this is different to the censorship industrial complex, but it is not. These are two sides of the same coin. Whereas all of you have experienced and seen the censorship that occurs on social media as time goes on, seeing this kind of change, you get paranoid. Is it really happening?

We now know, thanks to you guys, that we have the evidence that it was happening and it is happening; how it’s happening. But in Julian’s case, this is the overt side of censorship. This is a publisher, someone who received information from a source. Chelsea Manning was a U.S. soldier in Iraq. Posted in Iraq, an intelligence analyst who witnessed, who was reading reports showing information about civilian killings in the tens of thousands; of civilian killings in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Evidence of war crimes, including a video that was released as Collateral Murder in 2010, showing how a helicopter gunship mowed down civilians, literally picking them off, including two journalists, and critically injured two children and mowed down the rescue vehicle who came to try to bring one of the dying journalists to a hospital, and killed them all as well, except the two children survived because their father threw his body on top of them. They were severely injured, but they survived.

Collateral Murder, it’s age restricted on YouTube because it might hurt your sensibilities to witness a war crime. Well, Julian and WikiLeaks put that into the public domain and the records of tens of thousands of civilian killings in Iraq and Afghanistan and evidence of torture and evidence of how the U.S. government was using its embassies to inhibit and derail the investigations in Germany and Spain and Italy; of C.I.A. renditions; to stop the people who are responsible for being brought to trial, from having their day in court, because it is an enforcement of impunity.

And the case against Julian is of impunity against accountability. And the fact is that Julian is in prison because he published the truth, because he exposed the criminality of the country that is trying to extradite him. And that country also plotted to assassinate him when Pompeo was head of the C.I.A. How can this country, the U.K., possibly extradite him to the United States, the country that plotted his assassination, the country that he exposed committing war crimes, for whom no one has been held accountable?

There has been a campaign of smearing Julian for years in order to pave the way to his incarceration. Julian is a symbol. He’s a deterrent. He’s a a message to every journalist to not publish the truth. Do not publish the truth as it angers sufficiently powerful people, because they’ll come after you. That is the message. But that’s also a message to all of you.

That’s the general message that is being sent out. And we have to push back. We have to regain our rights. It’s not something about going back to, you know, like hoping for a pre-COVID war or a pre war on terror existence. We have to fight back. We have to organize because the other side is organized and they’re abusing legislation. They’re abusing the complacency of the public in order to get their way.

Please follow Julian’s case. Like, get engaged. It’s critical. Now we’re at the endgame. He could be extradited. He’s facing 175 years in the U.S. under the Espionage Act. There’s no public interest defense. He can’t say why he published what he published. He can’t say that it was war crimes, that the U.S. government was responsible, etc.. He has no defense. The last defense is decent people around the world here in the United States defending the truth.

On Saturday there’s a concrete thing you can do, which is to come here at 1pm. There’s going to be a statue here in Parliament Square [London], somewhere, of Edward Snowden, Chelsea Manning and Julian, and there’s an empty chair next to them. They’re standing on chairs, the statues. There’s an empty chair. It’s called Anything to Say? You can stand up and say whatever you need to say. We all need to speak out. You need to use our speech, because our speech is the only thing that can shape the world we live in.

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9 comments for “WATCH: Stella Assange — ‘Julian Is a Deterrent’

  1. CaseyG
    June 23, 2023 at 22:28

    Joe Biden:

    Apparently you don’t believe in Truth Telling—-how sad and how wrong you are. Will the human race ever come to a point of “Good Will towards ALL men and women ?

    Why are you sending millions of dollars to Israel when they kill so many of the Palestinians? Aren’t these war crimes? Why are you sending millions of dollars to Ukraine when so many Americans are both jobless and homeless?

    Why is a war criminal like George Bush allowed to declare war on Iraq when America seems to be the provoker of wars? And why are you, Joe Biden so sure that you can control the planet—-because you can’t. To support and promote war when so many places on the planet are losing water—–how insane is that!

    Why does SOS Blinken decide that Julian Assange has no rights, nor does China have rights? Why does the US support Israel in spite of all the Palestinians Israel murders? Murders which began in 1948 and have never stopped?

    So many questions, so many lies—-and it doesn’t take long for a nation to implode upon itself. Will anyone get around to actually creating that, ” more perfect union? ”

    That more perfect union would FREE Julian Assange!

  2. Jack
    June 23, 2023 at 22:06

    If we think that Julian Assange case is a one off special case and for some reason UK justice is failing him while it administers fair justice to others who challenge the system -this is clearly not the case. I have a law degree and practiced for a short time but the clear biased nature of the system when push comes to shove became apparent to me when I studies the lack of evidence as Irishman after Irishman was sentenced to long terms in prison on an almost total lack of evidence long ago. Eventually when the panic had passed many were released. Our system’s justice system serves the powerful

  3. Adam Gorelick
    June 23, 2023 at 20:22

    As Stella Assange says, “they are abusing legislation…they are abusing the complacency of the public.” The latter is almost an understatement. Complacency, yes, but more so ignorance and incuriousness about most everything. I’ve not taken part in a demonstration, but have donated money, sent emails, signed petitions and closely followed the Assange case. But people I’ve met through the years {in the U.S.A.} have not, or barely, been familiar with Julian Assange or the inhuman campaign against him in America. Which is disturbing and maddening. I’m reminded of a cartoon by the late cartoonist B. Kliban. People are sitting in a restaurant courtyard, drinking, laughing and enjoying themselves. Meanwhile a battered and crucified man is hanging over the doorway behind them crying out, “Hey, I’m dying up here!!!”

  4. Mary Lynne Dempsey
    June 23, 2023 at 19:51

    Here in New Zealand the government has forbidden the media to speak of Julian Assange. Four years ago a few Assange supporters were peacefully giving out flyers about Julian in Parliament grounds – along with other people supporting different issues. The Speaker of the House came out and told them that handing out flyers about Julian Assange on Parliaments Grounds was forbidden. There has been no publicity on any media platform ever. New Zealanders are basically ignorant and only hear about his case through social media.

    The international news is basically anti-Russian propaganda. This is the extent of the US hold over sovereign countries such as NZ

  5. June 23, 2023 at 18:26

    Assange certainly deserves justice but in the interest of justice for all we ought to stop using the disgraceful mass murder tolerant language of “war crimes”…war is the crime not the way murderers go about doing it…the notion that it’s okay to slaughter people in uniform but not civillians has been the notion of dumbos since at least the bombings of world war 2 if not before with slaughters in what was called the third world by colonial powers. blowing people’s brains out and reducing them to bloody pulp is a crime, period, and that is what war does. we should not feel better or worse if adults, children, gays, straights, men or women are murdered but be repulsed by the state sactioned slaughter. assange should be free and war makers imprisoned or at least kept institutionalized until they gain sanity.

  6. JonT
    June 23, 2023 at 09:55

    I am a bit confused about Brand not permitting filming of the discussion about the Twitter files. Why? Is this not, you know…censorship? FREE JULIAN ASSANGE.

    • playmobilmeister
      June 25, 2023 at 02:18

      To not embarass Matt Taibi is my guess.

  7. Robert
    June 23, 2023 at 09:46

    I casually followed the Julian Assange case through the years and admit that I mostly bought into our governments talking points about it. But with the Biden Administration in place and knowing how the entire mainstream media simply parrot his administrations line I began looking closer into the Assange case and was quite shocked how clear cut the case for his release is.

    My faith in Washington D.C. began to falter around 2008 when I realized how many people in the Bush Jr. administration lied to us about Iraq’s non existent WMD, and whatever trust I had left at the end of the Trump years has now been depleted with Biden. I would like to ask Trump if he regrets not issuing a pardon in his last days in office.

    Thanks to all the real journalists mentioned here for remaining steadfast in their attempt to get some measure of justice for Julien Assange

    • elizabeth shipley
      June 23, 2023 at 16:15

      My wake up call came during the Vietnam era when I began to understand what lies the government was feeding us, thus, became an antiwar person along with women’s rights, etc. Those were heady days.

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