BIG BROTHER MAKES HIS MOVE ON JULIAN ASSANGE

14 04 2019

Julian Assange’s arrest this week was not unexpected, but it happened late enough in the week that I have been unable to come up with my own story about it. Plenty of more perceptive, more eloquent, more popular  writers and speakers  than I have, so I’ll leave it to them, at least for now, and, since this is a a Green Party show, I’ll read you the official Green Party press release, which includes the notorious “collateral murder” video,  as an example of what got Assange and Manning in hot water. This “classified document” has been viewed by over sixteen million people.

Anyway, here’s the Green Party statement:

The Green Party of the United States strongly and unequivocally condemns the arrest of Julian Assange and calls for his immediate release. Assange was expelled from the Ecuadorian Embassy in London this morning and is being held in the United Kingdom for extradition to the United States, where he is very likely to face espionage charges. Assange is the publisher of Wikileaks, which published documents exposing US war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan, human rights violations at the Guantanamo Bay prison and State Department cables that showed corporate corruption of US foreign policy.

Members of the Green Party have organized a protest today at 5:00 pm outside of the British Embassy in Washington, DC, located at 3100 Massachusetts Ave., NW at 5 pm. Another action is in New York City at 845 Third Avenue at 4:30 pm.

In April 2010, Wikileaks posted on its site the famous 17-minute video, entitled “Collateral Murder,” of an incident in Baghdad that took place in July 2007, in which the crew of a US Apache helicopter killed two unarmed employees of Reuters and gravely wounded two small children of a man who was merely attempting to assist one of the dying Reuters men. The video, seen to date by over 16 million people on YouTube, revealed to people worldwide the ugly nature of the Iraq War, which the Green Party opposed from the start, not the sanitized version propagated by the U.S. government.

Since that time, Assange has endured smears by the media and fierce condemnation by US politicians, including even calls for the death penalty. In the resulting hysteria, the dire implications of this attempted silencing of an uncompromising publisher have been ignored, even by mainstream media outlets that have the most to lose by ignoring them.

“Freedom of the Press in the 21st Century is under unprecedented attack and the arrest with the prosecution of Julian Assange represents perhaps the most dangerous manifestation of this trend,” said Kevin Zeese, member of the Maryland Green Party coordinating council and advisory board member of the Courage Foundation. “Assange is being persecuted for exposing and embarrassing US government administrations, Republican and Democrat, not, as claimed, for revealing vital secrets necessary to national security.”

Beginning under President Obama and continuing under President Trump, whistleblowers are being arrested and charged with the Espionage Act at ominously increasing levels. From the time the Espionage Act was passed in 1917 until the Obama administration took office, it was used against one person. Eight people were prosecuted by the Obama Department of Justice. The number of investigations of leaked information has tripled under the Trump administration.

Publishing the truth is not a crime. The US and international courts should be prosecuting those who committed the crimes exposed in the documents published by Wikileaks, not the media outlet who exposed such crimes.

Wikileaks has democratized the media by enabling people to expose the crimes of governments and corporations, and by anonymously leaking documents that show their activities. This innovation gives power to the people to be the media. Such power is essential at this time of corporate concentration of media, where only six companies control 90 percent of the news.

 

 


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