MCViewPoint

Opinion from a Libertarian ViewPoint

Posts Tagged ‘Ecuador’

Will an ‘Apparent Suicide’ – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on April 19, 2019

The American Empire, as with past empires, has become a police state that trusts no citizen, and will use any method possible to stop those who dare to question its policies. The U.S. government of today is watching everyone, monitoring every activity, storing the personal information of every citizen, and aggressively targeting any who refuse to bow down to government authority.

It is only the thinking individual who dares to confront the truth, and spread it without fear.

Sounds like Ayn Rand!

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2019/04/gary-d-barnett/will-an-apparent-suicide-be-the-fate-of-julian-assange/

By

This title is not meant as a prediction, although considering the history of the fate of dissidents against the state, it needs to be considered. The life and story of Julian Assange has all the markings of a pre-determined outcome, but absolutely nothing should be accepted without scrutiny. The destiny of Julian Assange, a true modern hero, is uncertain to be sure, but with his arrest and state incarceration, and an almost assured extradition, his future seems bleak.

Many have called for the death of Julian Assange, including members of Congress. There was always the risk that he would be murdered, but instead he has been in a prison environment for the past seven years in Ecuador’s embassy in London. Now he is being held in what is labeled as Britain’s “Guantanamo Bay,” Belmarsh High Security Prison. His arrest and imprisonment has changed the game so to speak, and those who wanted a quick end to this dilemma by assassination are temporarily out of luck.

I first wrote about the plight of Assange in 2012, and have continually followed his impossible situation. I have great respect for anyone willing to report the truth about the evil and corrupt nature of the U.S. government and its agents of force, and will always support such efforts regardless of public opinion. Read the rest of this entry »

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Watch “US Henchmen Violently Arrest Assange! Show Trial To Follow.” on YouTube

Posted by M. C. on April 12, 2019

Ron and Dan with the lowdown and what is to happen.

What was the offer Ecuador couldn’t refuse?

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Why Your Hatred Of Assange Is Completely Irrelevant – Caitlin Johnstone

Posted by M. C. on April 9, 2019

https://caitlinjohnstone.com/2019/04/06/why-your-hatred-of-assange-is-completely-irrelevant/

By the time I publish this we’ll be at or around the 24-hour mark since WikiLeaks announced that two high level Ecuadorian government insiders had told them that Julian Assange faces eviction from the Ecuadorian embassy within days, which seems to have been further confirmed by the Foreign Minister of Ecuador now tweeting that states have the right to revoke political asylum at any time. Activists are mobilizing everywhere, a round-the-clock presence has been set up outside the Ecuadorian embassy in London, and a #Unity4J emergency broadcast is currently underway full of many respected dissident voices coming together in defense of the legendary leak publisher.

And, as we should all have come to expect by now, the establishment narrative management patrol has been going out of its way to inform us all that this is a good thing and no cause for alarm. Whenever you voice concerns about the persecution of Julian Assange on any public forum, you will with remarkable predictability encounter empire loyalists calling Assange a stinky Nazi rapist Putin puppet Trump supporter who deserves to be in prison forever.

What’s striking about these responses, which by now are as familiar to me as the keyboard I type these words on, is how extremely emotional they always are. If you talk about economic policy or foreign policy, for example, you might get a few angry troglodytes who take internet arguments far too seriously, but you’ll also typically get people calmly explaining why they believe you’re wrong and laying out ostensibly fact-based arguments for why this is so.

This is literally never the case with people who want to see Assange imprisoned, in my extensive experience. There’s never, ever any calm, fact-based rationale for why the benefits of prosecuting and imprisoning him for his publications outweigh the risks and costs of doing so. It’s always vitriolic, hyperbolic, frequently profanity-riddled arguments from pure emotion, usually something to the effect of “He collaborated with Russia/helped Trump win the election, therefore and I want him punished because I hate him.” Which is just another way of saying, “I want Assange imprisoned because of the way my feelings feel.”

Now, aside from the established fact that the US government’s agenda to prosecute Assange has nothing to do with the 2016 election but with the exposure of US war crimes six years earlier, this is also a completely fallacious argument from top to bottom. Claiming that something ought to happen because of how your feelings feel is very obviously a logical fallacy, but this kind of argument comprises the entirety of support for Assange’s imprisonment that Assange defenders encounter on a regular basis.

This happens because the smear campaign that has been used by the western political/media class to manufacture support for Assange’s silencing and imprisonment has its foundation not in fact, but in emotion. Smear campaigns are by their nature emotional at their core, because they are intended to elicit public disgust, disdain and hatred for their target. That’s why you’ll see so many mainstream news media articles claiming that Assange smells bad, for example, despite that having nothing whatsoever to do with the legitimacy or illegitimacy of Assange’s work. The goal is not to present a factual case for why it would be more helpful than harmful to prosecute the WikiLeaks founder, the goal is to make people feel disgust for him, and, by extension, disgust for his work as well.

So naturally, because they are constantly being inundated with establishment propaganda about Assange consisting of nothing other than appeals to emotion, mainstream liberals are going to believe that spewing vitriol about how their feelings feel is a perfectly legitimate response to his name coming up in political discourse. This is all they have had modeled for them in responding to Assange’s plight. It’s been normalized for them.

Yes, the mainstream liberal political conversation really has gotten that crazy and stupid. Their emotions really are that insanely coddled, and facts really have become that marginalized. That is why you can’t defend Assange in public without getting a bunch of brainwashed MSM-swilling liberals falling all over themselves to show you how emotional they feel about the subject at hand.

Another reason the Assange smears focus on emotion rather than facts is because the facts are very contrary to the interests of the smear merchants. The facts are that prosecuting Julian Assange under the Espionage Act for exposing US war crimes, as the Trump administration is attempting to do, would strike a devastating blow to press freedoms around the world. This is because there are no legal distinctions in place separating an outlet like WikiLeaks from outlets like the New York Times, the Washington Post, or the Guardian, meaning that a precedent would be set allowing for the prosecution of those outlets on the same grounds, who also publish anonymous government leaks. Which is why the New York Times, the Washington Post and the Guardian have all warned sternly of this precedent, which has also been recognized by the Obama administration.

These are facts.

These are facts regardless of how your feelings feel about Julian Assange and WikiLeaks.

These are facts regardless of how your feelings feel about Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.

These are facts regardless of how your feelings feel about Russia and Vladimir Putin.

These are facts regardless of how assertively and authoritatively Rachel Maddow speaks.

These are facts regardless of how much of a stinky, stinky stink man the news media claims Assange is.

These are facts regardless of how much your emotions have been coddled by your favorite pundits, your university professors, your political cliques and your echo chamber.

These are facts. It does not matter how your feelings feel. Your feelings are irrelevant to this conversation. Only facts matter here. And the facts say that everyone, regardless of how they feel about Assange, must defend him against the US government’s attempts to prosecute him for publishing inconvenient truths. Not because it’s the right thing to do, not because anyone expects you to behave in a moral way, but out of sheer, garden variety self-interest. We all need the ability to hold power to account, and the prosecution of Assange will necessarily cripple our ability to do that. This is a fact. Regardless of how your feelings feel.

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The West is Failing Julian Assange – Consortiumnews

Posted by M. C. on November 9, 2018

https://consortiumnews.com/2018/11/06/the-west-is-failing-julian-assange/

By Stefania Maurizi

…In these last eight years, I have never heard Julian Assange complain even once: at least in my presence, he has always reacted to the enormous stress he has been under with strength and whenever I have contacted his mother, Christine Assange, she has never wished to discuss the details of her personal feelings and concerns about the conditions of her son.

But for all his strength, this harsh situation is seriously undermining Assange’s physical and mental health. In an op-ed in The Guardian last January , three respected physicians, Sondra S. Crosby, Chris Chisholm and Sean Love, tried to draw attention to this problem, yet nothing has changed. Assange remains buried in the embassy in extremely precarious conditions due to the complete lack of cooperation from the UK authorities which have always refused to offer him safe passage to enjoy his asylum in Ecuador.

This lack of cooperation from the UK authorities – which can be reasonably interpreted as a deliberate effort to make Assange feel helpless, to break him down, so he’ll step out of the embassy and they can arrest him – has helped create this Catch-22 situation, with Ecuador attempting various options to find a solution, like giving Assange diplomatic status so he can leave the embassy protected by diplomatic immunity. But at the end of the day there is very little a small country like Ecuador can do, and with Lenin Moreno in power, Ecuador’s interest in protecting Assange seems to be fading to the extent that Ecuador is considering stripping Assange of his Ecuadorian citizenship, one of the most important shields protecting the WikiLeaks founder from extradition to the U.S… Read the rest of this entry »

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Assange works for the people – now we need to save him — RT Op-ed

Posted by M. C. on April 4, 2018

https://www.rt.com/op-ed/422992-zizek-assange-cambridge-analytica/

Slavoj Žižek

Julian Assange has been silenced again, and the timing is most suspicious. With the Cambridge Analytica story dominating the news, it seems some powerful people have reasons to keep the brave WikiLeaks boss quiet right now.

Ecuador is a small country, and one can only imagine the brutal behind-the-scenes pressure exerted on it by Western powers to increase the isolation of Julian Assange from the public space. Now, his internet access has been cut off and many of his visitors are refused access, thus rendering a slow social death to a person who’s spent almost six years confined to an apartment at the Ecuadorian embassy in London.

This happened before, for a short period around the time of the US elections, but back then it was a reaction to WikiLeaks publishing documents which could have affected the outcome of the Trump/Clinton race, while there is no such excuse now. Because, currently, Assange’s “meddling” in international relations consists only of publishing on the web his opinions about the Catalonia crisis and the Skripal poisoning scandal. So why such brutal action now, and why did it cause so little uproar in the public opinion?

As for the second question, it is not enough to claim that people simply got tired of Assange. Rather, a key role has been played by the long and well-orchestrated slow campaign of character assassination which reached the lowest level imaginable two months ago with the unverified rumors alleging how the Ecuadorians want to get rid of him because of his bad smell and dirty clothes.

In the first stage of attacks on Assange, his ex-friends and collaborators went public with claims that WikiLeaks began well but then it got bogged down with Assange’s political bias (his anti-Hillary obsession, his suspicious ties with Russia, etc.). This was followed by more direct personal defamation: for instance, he is paranoiac and arrogant, obsessed by power and control. But now we have reached the direct bodily level of smells and stains.

Manipulating Motives

They say Assange is paranoid? How could anyone who lives permanently in a flat which is bugged from above and below, a victim of constant surveillance organized by secret services, not be? As for him being a megalomaniac? When the (now ex-) head of the CIA says your arrest is his priority, does this not imply that you are a “big” threat to some, at least? And the trope where Assange behaves like the head of a spy organization? But WikiLeaks IS a spy organization, although one that serves the people, keeping them informed on what goes on behind the scenes.

Yet, they say Assange is a refugee from justice, hiding in the Ecuadorian embassy to escape judgment. But what kind of justice is this which threatens to have him arrested when the case has already been dropped?

So let’s move to the big question: why now? I think one name explains it all: Cambridge Analytica – a name which stands for all Assange is about, for what he fights against; the disclosure of the link between the great private corporations and government agencies.

Remember what a big topic and obsession the Russian meddling in the US elections was – now we know it was not Russian hackers (with Assange) who nudged the people towards Trump, but instead the West’s own data-processing agencies which joined forces with political forces. This doesn’t mean that Russia and its allies are innocent: they probably did try to influence the outcome in the same way that the US does in other countries (only in this case, it is labeled “democracy promotion“). But it means the big bad wolf who distorts our democracy is not in the Kremlin, but walking around the West itself – and this is what Assange was claiming all along.

Covert Rule

But where, exactly, is this big bad wolf? To grasp the whole scope of this control and manipulation, one should move beyond the link between private corporations and political parties (as is the case with Cambridge Analytica), to the interpenetration of data processing companies like Google or Facebook and state security agencies.

We shouldn’t be shocked at China but at ourselves who accept the same regulation while believing that we retain our full freedom and that media just helps us to realize our goals (while in China people are fully aware that they are regulated). The overall image emerging from it, combined with what we also know about the link between the latest developments in biogenetics (wiring the human brain, etc.), provides an adequate and terrifying image of new forms of social control which make the good old 20th century “totalitarianism” seem a rather primitive and clumsy machine of domination.

The biggest achievement of the new cognitive-military complex is that direct and obvious oppression is no longer necessary: individuals are much better controlled and “nudged” in the desired direction when they continue to experience themselves as free and autonomous agents of their own lives. And this is another key lesson of WikiLeaks: our lack of freedom is most dangerous when it is experienced as the very manifestation of our freedom. Because what can be more free than the incessant flow of communications which allows every individual to popularize their opinions and forms virtual communities at the user’s own volition? This is why it is absolutely imperative to keep the digital network out of the control of private capital and state power, i.e., to render it totally accessible to public debate. Assange was right in his strangely ignored key book on Google (When Google Met WikiLeaks, 2014) in his understanding of how our lives are regulated today, and how this regulation is experienced as our freedom. Meaning, we have to focus on the shadowy relation between private corporations which control our commons and secret state agencies.

People Power

Now we can see why Assange has to be silenced at exactly this moment when the topic of Cambridge Analytica is everywhere in our mainstream media. At a time when all the effort of those in power goes into reducing it to a particular “misuse” by some private corporations and political parties – but where is the state itself and the half-invisible apparatuses of the so-called “deep state”?

No wonder that the Guardian, which extensively reports on the Cambridge Analytica “scandal,” recently published a disgusting attack on Assange as a megalomaniac and fugitive from justice. Now, as far they are concerned, write as much as you want about Cambridge Analytica and Steve Bannon, just don’t dwell on what Assange was drawing our attention to: that the state apparatuses which are now expected to investigate the “scandal” are themselves part of the problem.

Assange characterized himself as the spy of and for the people: he is not spying on the people for those in power, he is spying on those in power for the people. This is why the only ones who can really help him now are we, the people. Only our pressure and mobilization can alleviate his predicament.

One often reads how the old Soviet secret service not only punished its traitors even if it took decades to do it, but also fought doggedly to free them when they were caught by the enemy. Assange has no state behind him, just us, the public – so let us do at least what the Soviet secret service was doing, let’s fight for him no matter how long it takes!

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Thank You Ecuador

Posted by M. C. on August 19, 2012

The Julian Assange episode raises a question.  What is in this deal for the UK and Sweden?  Maybe more accurately what do they have to lose by not submitting to the US?  Read the rest of this entry »

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