MCViewPoint

Opinion from a Libertarian ViewPoint

Posts Tagged ‘Ecuador’

Washington Has Disassociated America from Good and Deprived Her of Moral Basis – PaulCraigRoberts.org

Posted by M. C. on November 13, 2019

That some Americans are unable to comprehend the difference between endorsing Trump and endorsing accountable government is frightening. How can our country survive in accordance with our Constitution if Americans are incapable of rational thought, if they cannot understand their clearly written native language, if they cannot understand that a coup is a coup against democracy?

https://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2019/11/12/washington-has-disassociated-america-from-good-and-deprived-her-of-moral-basis/

Paul Craig Roberts

Not long ago I read that a US Assistant Secretary of State, or perhaps it was a member of the National Security Council, said that now that Washington had reestablished control over Ecuador, it would not be long before the governments of Bolivia, Venezuela, and Cuba would be overthrown.

Venezuela is proving to be hard for Washington to crack. Washington was banking on its NGO forces paid to stage protests, together with monetary bribes to the Venezuelan military, to chase Maduro out of office. But so far the Venezuelan military has refused to desert their country for Washington. Washington can, of course, raise the offer to the generals. Perhaps the generals are awaiting larger bribes.

However, the Bolivian military took the money and on the basis of protests organized by US-financed NGOs and the National Endowment for Overthrowing Democracy forced Evo Morales out of office. This is a huge loss for Bolivia.

Morales is the first president since the founding of Bolivia to come from the indigenous population. His seventy-nine predecessors were all members of the Spanish colonial elite allied with Washington. Together they plundered the country.

Washington considers Morales “leftist” because he focused on using Bolivian resources to reduce Bolivian poverty and to create a better life for Bolivians instead of for the profits of US corporations and banks and the Spanish elites who ruled Bolivia for Washington.

Self-determination in the southern hemisphere is simply not permitted by Washington or by its overthrow agent, the misnamed US “National Endowment for Democracy,” which is a well-financed organization for overthrowing real democracy.

Now that Bolivia is back in Washington’s hands, you can count on Wikipedia to rewrite Morales biography and cast him as a corrupt politician who was oppressing the Bolivian people.

Indeed, president Trump has already disposed of Morales as a man of the people. The hapless American president has praised the corrupt Bolivian military, which accepted Washington’s money to force out of office a president who represented Bolivia instead of Washington, as an agent of freedom and democracy.

The coup engineered by Washington used an election disputed only by Washington and its NGO protesters to charcterize Morales as an illegitimate president who tried to “overtride the Bolivian constitution and the will of the people.”

Trump actually described America’s overthrow of the democratic governemnt in Bolivia as “bringing the world one step closer to a completely democratic, prosperous, and free Western Hemisphere.”

Trump went on to describe the American overthrow of democratic government in Bolivia as a warning to the “illegitimate regimes in Venezuela and Nicaragua that democracy and the will of the people will always prevail.” What Trump means by “democracy and the will of the people” is the interests of the New York Banks and American corporations known for their exploitation of Latin America. A “free Western Hemisphere” means free for exploitation by US business interests. An “illegitimate government” is one elected by the people instead of one put in office by Washington.

The former Ecuadoran president, Rafael Correa, who gave Julian Assange asylum and has been forced to seek safety abroad from Lenin Moreno, the corrupt tyrant Washington has imposed on Ecuador, said that the elected president of Bolivia was forced out in a Washington coup and that the Organization of American States is an instrument of US domination. He is correct. Moreno himself is proof of it. Moreno, a Washingon imposition unacceptable to the people of Ecuador, has been driven out of the capital by protesters.
https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2019/10/08/ecuador-protestors-move-into-captial-president-leaves-quito/3914546002/ Nevertheless, Washington still claims that Lenin Moreno, who sold Julian Assange to Washington for a $4.3 billion IMF loan, brought freedom back to Ecuador.

The Venezuela government sees the situation the same as Rafael Correa. https://morningstaronline.co.uk/article/statement-bolivarian-republic-venezuela-coup-bolivia

Trump has presided over a major crime against humanity. This would be a valid reason to impeach him.

I will receive emails from some readers wanting to know how I can attack Trump and still endorse him. Such letters show the failure of American education. I have never endorsed Trump. I endorsed the goals that got him elected—normalization of relations with Russia and bringing the offshored American middle class jobs home. I predicted accurately that Trump knew nothing of Washington and would be unable to appoint anyone capable of serving his agenda. Trump undertook to drain the swamp while staffing himself with the proprietors of the swamp.

In my recent columns—https://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2019/11/07/a-successful-coup-against-trump-will-murder-american-democracy/ and https://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2019/11/08/only-donald-trump-can-save-american-democracy-and-only-with-our-support/ — I do not endorse Trump. I endorse American Democracy and truth. If an elected American president can be removed in an orchestrated coup as Morales was, the American people will have lost all control over their government. Both political parties seem to desire this result. Those Democrats and progressives who just want Trump out of the White House and those Republicans who won’t defend him from false charges do not comprehend the price to democracy of removing an elected president via orchestrated coup.

That some Americans are unable to comprehend the difference between endorsing Trump and endorsing accountable government is frightening. How can our country survive in accordance with our Constitution if Americans are incapable of rational thought, if they cannot understand their clearly written native language, if they cannot understand that a coup is a coup against democracy?

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The Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity : Hey Trump: Remember Wikileaks?

Posted by M. C. on June 4, 2019

Let’s hope President Trump recovers from his amnesia – on the campaign trail he praised Wikileaks more than 100 times but now claims to know nothing about them – and orders his Attorney General to stand down. Assange deserves our gratitude, not a lifetime in prison.

http://ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2019/june/03/hey-trump-remember-wikileaks/

Written by Ron Paul

Last week in an episode of my daily Ron Paul Liberty Report we discussed whether the US and British government were actually trying to kill jailed Wikileaks publisher Julian Assange. More than seven years ago Assange was granted asylum from the government of Ecuador over fears that espionage charges were being prepared against him by Washington. He spent those years in a small room in the Ecuadorian embassy in London without sunlight. Without fresh air. Without exercise. Without medical treatment.

Assange’s critics mocked him for entering the embassy, saying his fear that the US government would indict him was paranoia. Then the US-controlled International Monetary Fund dangled a four billion dollar loan in front of Ecuadorian president Lenin Moreno (elected in 2017, replacing the president who granted him asylum), and Moreno eagerly handed Assange over to British authorities who the same day hauled him before the court to answer for skipping bail. No medical examination after what was seven years of house arrest. Straight to court. He was sentenced to 50 weeks – the maximum sentence.

And what happened while he was serving time in the notorious Belmarsh prison? The Trump Administration decided to go where the Obama Administration before him did not dare to tread: he was indicted on 17 counts under the US Espionage Act and now faces 170 years in prison – or worse – once the formality of his extradition hearing is over. He faces life in prison for acting as a journalist – publishing information about the US government that is clearly in the public interest.

But do they really want to put him up on trial? Read the rest of this entry »

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Assange Indictments Hide the Context of War – Antiwar.com Original

Posted by M. C. on May 31, 2019

https://original.antiwar.com/robert-koehler/2019/05/30/assange-indictments-hide-the-context-of-war/

The U.S. government protects itself, not democracy. That’s what is most apparent about its 18-count indictment of Julian Assange, not to mention the ongoing imprisonment of Chelsea Manning, for the leaking and release of State Department and military documents and videos a decade ago.

The current reporting on the indictment is mostly about Assange himself: his expulsion from the Ecuadoran embassy in London after he’d been holed up there for seven years; the sexual assault charges against him in Sweden; and, of course, his role as a “tool” of the Russians, along with his flip-flopping appeal to both the political left and right (depending on the nature of the controversy WikiLeaks is stirring up). What a story!

Almost entirely missing is anything about the leaks themselves, except vague references to them, such as this comment by John Demers, assistant attorney general for national security: “This release made our adversaries stronger and more knowledgeable, and the United States less secure.”

These words are remarkable bullshit and have resonance only to the extent that the actual leaked data is missing from the discussion, such as the infamous Apache helicopter video of 11 unarmed men (in US military parlance, “insurgents”) – including a Reuters photographer and his driver – being shot and killed from above on a street in Baghdad, and two children being injured.

The video shows the killings as they occur, with helicopter crewmen talking and laughing between bursts of machine gun fire, as though they’re playing a video game:

“Oh yeah, look at those dead bastards.”

“Nice.”

We see a wounded man crawling for cover, only to be taunted from above: “Come on, buddy. All you gotta do is pick up a weapon.”

A van shows up and some men start picking up the bodies. We listen to the crewmen asking for permission to shoot – “engage” – and finally start firing at the van, in which, it turns out, two children are sitting. When that little detail becomes apparent, a crewman comments: “Well, it’s their fault for bringing their kids to a battle.”

And when some Bradley tanks arrive at the scene, a crewman comments, laughing: “I think a tank just drove over a body.”…

“While temporary secrecy, or at least privacy, is sometimes necessary in any endeavor, permanent secrecy – secrecy as entitlement – is nothing but dangerous.”

Assange’s indictment is his red badge of courage. We can’t depend on large institutions to stand up for democracy. The larger the institution, the more absorbed it is likely to be in its own preservation and the success of its agenda. Democracy requires people outside the circle of power, both governmental and corporate, to maintain an adversarial relationship with power and endlessly dig for its secrets. This is called journalism.

Demers, justifying the government’s indictment, paid lip service to the sacredness of journalism, explaining: “The department takes seriously the role of journalists in our democracy, and we thank you for it. It is not and never has been the department’s policy to target them for reporting. But Julian Assange is no journalist.”

There you have it. What better proof could you ask for that he is a journalist, and that the secrets he has ripped out of hiding require serious public scrutiny?

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Assange Is Reportedly Gravely Ill, And Hardly Anyone’s Talking About It – Caitlin Johnstone

Posted by M. C. on May 30, 2019

Did this start while Assange was in the puppet state Ecuadorian embassy? Judging from photos that is likely.

Now after being held for weeks the illness is suddenly discovered. It more likely the puppet state UK government had no choice but to send Assange to hospital after his condition became advertised.

It would be very convenient for all concerned if Julian Assange died before trial.

Maybe he encountered some plutonium reside while in the UK.

https://caitlinjohnstone.com/2019/05/29/assange-is-reportedly-gravely-ill-and-hardly-anyones-talking-about-it/

Assange Is Reportedly Gravely Ill, And Hardly Anyone’s Talking About It

Julian Assange’s Swedish lawyer Per Samuelson has told the press that “Assange’s health situation on Friday was such that it was not possible to conduct a normal conversation with him.”

This jarring revelation has been reported by a small handful of outlets, but only as an aside in relation to Sweden refusing Samuelson’s request for a postponement of a scheduled hearing regarding Assange’s detention en absentia for a preliminary investigation of rape allegations. The fact that the imprisoned WikiLeaks founder is so ill that he can’t converse lucidly is itself far more significant than the postponement refusal, yet headlines mentioning Samuelson’s statement focus on the Swedish case, de-emphasizing the startling news from his lawyer.

As of this writing I’ve been able to find very few news outlets reporting on this at all, the most mainstream being a Reuters article with the very tame headline “Swedish court rejects delay of Assange hearing over ill-health: lawyer“. The Sydney Morning Herald also covered the story without even mentioning illness in headline, instead going with “Swedish court rejects effort to delay Assange hearing“. The much smaller alternative media outlet World Socialist Website has been the only outlet I’ve found so far which reports on Samuelson’s statement in anything resembling its proper scale, publishing a good article titled “Despite Assange’s ill-health, Swedish court rejects delay to hearing” a few hours ago.

This news has been so under-discussed and under-appreciated as of this writing that I didn’t find out about it until hours after the story broke, and I’m very plugged in to both alternative media commentary and WikiLeaks-related news. A report that Julian Assange was so sick he could barely speak all the way back on Friday and we still have no news about how he’s doing now should be hugely significant for everyone who cares about Assange, press freedom, government transparency or peace activism.

Another part of this story which has gone completely uncovered in all English-language media as of this writing is the news that Assange has actually been transferred to the hospital wing of Belmarsh prison. This was reported by the Swedish outlet Upsala Nya Tidning, a newspaper published in the same district court Assange is scheduled to call in to for his hearing. The report was also based on a statement to the press by Per Samuelson.

The article reports the following, per machine translation:

“Wikileaks founder Julian Assange’s Swedish lawyer wants the arrest hearing on Monday in Uppsala to be postponed. According to the lawyer, who has now visited his client in British prison, Assange is admitted to the medical department and was unable to make a call.

“Last Friday, Assange’s Swedish defender, lawyer Per E Samuelson, visited his client in prison. In a letter to Uppsala District Court, the lawyer says that they met for just under two hours. According to the lawyer, Assange’s state of health at the meeting was such that ‘a normal conversation with him was not possible’. Julian Assange is said to have been taken to the prison’s ward, but there is no more detailed information about his state of health.”

This story was picked up from Upsala Nya Tidning by Danish new agency Ritzau and published in the outlet Politiken, with the title (per machine translation) “Weakened Assange hospitalized in London prison: ‘Impossible to have a normal conversation with him’”. These news outlets are to my understanding as reputable as any other mainstream western outlet, yet they remain the only publications I’ve been able to find which are reporting that Assange has been hospitalized. This is absolutely bizarre.

I’ve emailed Per Samuelson with a request to confirm the news that Assange has been hospitalized. I’ll update this article if I hear back.

For Assange’s supporters, one of the many frustrating things about his imprisonment has been the way he’s been cut off from the usual means which used to be used to inform the public about his well being. It used to be that news reports could be easily confirmed or refuted by people who had consistent access to Assange in some way by sources like the WikiLeaks Twitter account, but the people who operate that account don’t have ready access to him anymore. Now we’re seeing all sorts of rumors circulating about how Assange is faring in prison, and it gets difficult to sort out fact from fiction. It appears that it would be difficult to find a more reliable source on the state of his health than his own lawyer, however.

It has long been an established fact that Assange was in failing health while trapped in the Ecuadorian embassy in London; doctors who visited him published an article with the Guardian in January 2018 titled “We examined Julian Assange, and he badly needs care – but he can’t get it“. Renata Avila, an activist and author who has worked with and written about WikiLeaks, tweeted in response to the new revelations, “He needed urgent assistance after his expulsion from the Embassy. Instead, he was not allowed to receive adequate medical treatment. In the case of Emin Huseynov (1 y @ Swiss Embassy) it took at least a month of treatment to go back to normal. Imagine after 7 years! Brutal.”

We have been watching the slow-motion assassination of Julian Assange. They have been choking him to death by tactical psyops, siege tactics, and wilful neglect as surely as if they placed a noose tied around his neck, not just in Belmarsh Prison but in the embassy as well. The only difference between his execution and someone on death row is the same as the difference between covert and overt warfare, which makes sense because the intelligence, judicial and military agencies who are carrying out his death sentence operate within the same power structure which carries out war. First came the smears (propaganda), then came the siege (sanctions), and they staged their coup (dragged him out of the embassy) and now they’ve got him in their clutches and they can do what they want behind closed doors. That’s how you kill a nation while still looking like a nice guy, and that’s how they’re killing Assange.

Shout this from the rooftops. Whether this media blackout is self-imposed or perhaps the result of the malicious use of a D-notice, we have to use everything in our power to get this information into the mainstream, and get people asking questions of the press and their local members about what the Dickens is going on in Belmarsh prison right now. Assange’s life may depend on it.

UPDATE: WikiLeaks editor-in-chief Kristinn Hrafnsson has confirmed that Assange has been transferred to the health ward of Belmarsh prison, and that his health has been steadily deteriorating since his imprisonment.

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Everyone has my unconditional permission to republish or use any part of this work (or anything else I’ve written) in any way they like free of charge. My work is entirely reader-supported, so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, liking me on Facebook, following my antics on Twitterthrowing some money into my hat on Patreon or Paypalpurchasing some of my sweet merchandisebuying my new book Rogue Nation: Psychonautical Adventures With Caitlin Johnstone, or my previous book Woke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers. The best way to get around the internet censors and make sure you see the stuff I publish is to subscribe to the mailing list for my website, which will get you an email notification for everything I publish. For more info on who I am, where I stand, and what I’m trying to do with this platform, click here.

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WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange arrested in London ...

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Wikileaks: Ecuador is Being Run By “Criminals & Liars.” Assange’s Entire Legal Defense Given To The United States – Collective Evolution

Posted by M. C. on May 22, 2019

All is fair in love and war.

https://www.collective-evolution.com/2019/05/21/wikileaks-ecuador-is-being-run-by-criminals-liars-assanges-entire-legal-defense-given-to-the-united-states/

By

In Brief

  • The Facts:Three weeks before the U.S. deadline to file its final extradition request for Assange, Ecuadorian officials are travelling to London to allow U.S. prosecutors to help themselves to Assange’s belongings.
  • Reflect On:How do the global elite have the right and power to do what they do to people like Julian Assange and Edward Snowden? Do we really live in a democracy when small groups of people in power can basically make decisions that go against the majority?

What’s happening with Julian Assange is heart-breaking. He’s a hero, just like Edward Snowden. Government secrets are kept, not to protect ‘national security’ as commonly claimed, but rather to protect political and corporate interests. After all, the United States is evidently run by a small group of corporations. These corporations have a huge influence when it comes to dictating government policy, and they do not like those who disclose their secrets. For years, Wikileaks has been leaking documents that’ve exposed major corruption within multiple governments, including the United States and basically the entire western military alliance. They’ve exposed that our world operates very differently than how it’s been presented, and they’ve never had to retract a single story. They exposed the invisible government, or “the real menace of Republic,” a term coined by John F. Hylan, former Mayor of New York City. Hylan has said that the “invisible government, which like a giant octopus sprawls its slimy legs over our cities, states and nation.” He exposes the ones “who virtually run the United States government for their own selfish purposes.”  (source)…

What is happening to Assange is extremely unjust, and should serve as a massive ‘wake up’ call for anyone who isn’t already ‘awake.’ Truth and free press threaten the ability of the global elite to continue their cycle of creating problems and then proposing solutions in order to achieve their desired outcome. Some of the biggest leaks WikiLeaks has made were when they revealed the connections between terrorist organizations like Al-Qaeda and ISIS to the western military alliance, and more specifically to the US government. Current presidential candidate and Congresswoman at the time, Tulsi Gabbard, even introduced a bill to stop this from happening.

We saw arms deals and the funding/support of terrorist organizations that the US claimed to be fighting against. This is a great example of how the global elite funds and creates a problem in order to justify a desired outcome (in this case it was heightened national security measures back home to protect people from ‘the war on terror’ and justify their infiltration of another country for ulterior motives)…

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The Re-Opening of the Swedish Assange Case Should Be Welcomed

Posted by M. C. on May 14, 2019

https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/

by

That the Swedish investigation into the rape allegation against Julian Assange is being re-opened is something that ought to be welcomed. The alternative would be for this accusation to hang unresolved over Julian’s head forever. The Swedish prosecutors now need finally, as my father used to say, either to piss or get off the pot. They need to decide whether there is sufficient evidence to charge or not.

There is no reason for delay. The Swedish police have had seven years to investigate this case and all the evidence has been gathered and all statements taken – the last being the interview of Julian Assange in the Ecuadorean Embassy in 2017. Hopefully to review the evidence and decide whether to charge will not now be a lengthy procedure. It is worth noting, contrary to much misreporting, Julian Assange has never been charged with anything in Sweden.

In the event that Sweden does wish to try to extradite, that should take precedence over the US request. There are three good reasons for this. Firstly, rape is by far the more serious alleged offence. Secondly, the Swedes entered the process many years before the Americans. Thirdly, the European Arrest Warrant is a major multilateral arrangement that is much more important than the discredited bilateral extradition treaty with the USA.

Julian only entered Ecuadorean political asylum because he feared onward extradition to the USA, not extradition to Sweden.

None of the above detracts from the many problems with the Swedish prosecution…

That prosecutor, Marianne Ny, herself decided to close the case in 2013, and was instructed not to by the British Crown Prosecution Service, in a series of emails which the CPS attempted to hide and some of which had been destroyed. Ms Ny also admitted to destroying communications from the FBI, and ultimately admitted to having destroyed the entire case file.

That is before you get to the problems with the Swedish judicial system, where rape trials hear all evidence entirely in secret, there is no jury, and two of the three judges are political party appointees.

Plainly, as always in cases involving Assange, there are plenty of reasons to be concerned about the impartiality of state justice. The United Nations has already condemned the disproportionate sentence given to Assange for breaking bail conditions and his being held in a maximum security prison. It has gone virtually unremarked by the MSM that the Ecuadorean government has, entirely illegally, handed all of Julian’s possessions over to the USA

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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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How You Can Be Certain That The US Charge Against Assange Is Fraudulent – Caitlin Johnstone

Posted by M. C. on April 13, 2019

https://caitlinjohnstone.com/2019/04/12/how-you-can-be-certain-that-the-us-charge-against-assange-is-fraudulent/

Julian Assange sits in a jail cell today after being betrayed by the Ecuadorian government and his home country of Australia. A British judge named Michael Snow has found the WikiLeaks founder guilty of violating bail conditions, inserting himself into the annals of history by labeling Assange “a narcissist who cannot get beyond his own selfish interest.” So that tells you how much of a fair and impartial legal proceeding we can expect to see from the British judicial process on this matter.

But the real reason that Assange has been surrendered by the Ecuadorian government, imprisoned by the British government, and ignored by the Australian government is not directly related to any of those governments, but to that of the United States of America. An unsealed indictment from the Trump administration’s District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, accompanied by an extradition request, charges Assange with “conspiracy to commit computer intrusion for agreeing to break a password to a classified U.S. government computer” during Chelsea Manning’s 2010 leak of government documents exposing US war crimes.

This charge is premised on a fraudulent and manipulative distortion of reality, and you may be one hundred percent certain of it. Let me explain.

You can be absolutely certain that this charge is bogus because it isn’t based on any new information. The facts of the case have not changed, the information hasn’t changed, only the narrative has changed. In 2010 the United States opened a secret grand jury in Virginia to investigate whether Assange and WikiLeaks could be prosecuted for the publication of the Manning leaks, and then-Attorney General Eric Holder announced that the Obama administration was conducting “an active, ongoing criminal investigation” into the matter. The Trump administration has not turned up any new evidence that the Obama administration was unable to find in this active, ongoing criminal investigation (US government surveillance has surely acquired some new tricks since 2010, but time travel isn’t one of them), and indeed it does not claim to have turned up any new evidence.

“There’s a huge myth being misreported about today’s indictment of Assange,” journalist Glenn Greenwald tweeted today. “The claim that Assange tried to help Manning circumvent a password to cover her tracks isn’t new. The Obama DOJ knew about it since 2011, but chose not to prosecute him. Story on this soon.”

“Holder chose not to prosecute Assange based on the same info Trump DOJ cited,” Greenwald added.

“The weakness of the US charge against Assange is shocking,” tweeted NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden. “The allegation he tried (and failed?) to help crack a password during their world-famous reporting has been public for nearly a decade: it is the count Obama’s DOJ refused to charge, saying it endangered journalism.”

This is all information that the Obama administration had access to (journalist Tim Shorrock observed that the alleged 2010 correspondence between Assange and Manning “looks like it came straight from NSA surveillance” of the two), yet it chose not to do what the Trump administration is currently doing because it would endanger press freedoms. This means that nothing has changed since that time besides (A) the fact that there is now a more overtly tyrannical administration in place, and (B) the fact that the public has been paced into accepting the prosecution of Assange by years of establishment propaganda.

Last year, after it was revealed that the Trump administration was seeking Assange’s arrest, Greenwald wrote the following:

“The Obama DOJ – despite launching notoriously aggressive attacks on press freedoms – recognized this critical principle when it came to WikiLeaks. It spent years exploring whether it could criminally charge Assange and WikiLeaks for publishing classified information. It ultimately decided it would not do so, and could not do so, consistent with the press freedom guarantee of the First Amendment. After all, the Obama DOJ concluded, such a prosecution would pose a severe threat to press freedom because there would be no way to prosecute Assange for publishing classified documents without also prosecuting the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Guardian and others for doing exactly the same thing.”

Nothing has changed since 2010 apart from a more thoroughly propagandized populace and a more depraved US government, which means that this new charge that the Trump administration issued in December 2017 is based on nothing other than a diminished respect for press freedoms and an increased willingness to crush them. This makes it fraudulent and illegitimate, and the precedent that is being set by it should be rejected and opposed by everyone in the world who claims to support the existence of a free press which is capable of holding power to account.

So what are we left with? We’re left with the US government filing criminal charges against a journalist (and Assange is indisputably a journalist) for protecting his source and encouraging his source to obtain more material, both of which are things that journalists do all the time.

“While the indictment against Julian Assange disclosed today charges a conspiracy to commit computer crimes, the factual allegations against Mr. Assange boil down to encouraging a source to provide him information and taking efforts to protect the identity of that source,” said Assange lawyer Barry J Pollack in a statement today. “Journalists around the world should be deeply troubled by these unprecedented criminal charges.”

“There are parts of the indictment that are clearly designed to criminalize things journalists routinely do,” Greenwald told CNN. “Part of the accusation is that [Assange] encouraged Chelsea Manning to provide him with more documents than the original batch that she gave him, which is something that as a journalist I’ve done many times with my sources, that journalists do every day. They say ‘Oh thanks for this document, maybe you could get me this?’ They also say that he helped her to essentially cover her tracks by giving her advice about how to get this information without being detected. The only thing in the indictment, and it’s very vague, is a suggestion that he tried to help her circumvent a password; it didn’t seem to be successful, but it’s unclear whether that was designed to get documents or to simply help her cover her tracks. But either way it’s clearly a threat to the First Amendment, because it criminalizes core journalistic functions.”

In an article for Rolling Stone titled “Why the Assange Arrest Should Scare Reporters“, journalist Matt Taibbi writes that “The meatier parts of the indictment speak more to normal journalistic practices.”

“Reporters have extremely complicated relationships with sources, especially whistleblower types like Manning, who are often under extreme stress and emotionally vulnerable,” Taibbi writes. “At different times, you might counsel the same person both for and against disclosure. It’s proper to work through all the reasons for action in any direction, including weighing the public’s interest, the effect on the source’s conscience and mental health, and personal and professional consequences. For this reason, placing criminal penalties on a prosecutor’s interpretation of such interactions will likely put a scare into anyone involved with national security reporting going forward.”

The Espionage Act has not at this time been employed to prosecute Assange as many have speculated it might, and the computer crimes he’s been charged with carry a maximum sentence of five years. But this does not mean that further far more serious charges cannot be added once Assange is imprisoned on American soil, especially after his guilt in the Manning leaks has been made official government dogma following the conspiracy conviction.

In my opinion this charging Assange with a lower-level crime (not espionage) is a trick that would allow the UK to extradite him to the US with ‘no threat of capital punishment’ only to have US prosecutors do what they always do: pile on charges,” tweeted Daniel McAdams of the Ron Paul Liberty Report, referring to assurances sought by the UK and Ecuador that Assange would not face the death penalty if extradited to the United States for the conspiracy charge.

Either way, this is a cataclysmic threat to press freedoms, and the time to act is now. The US government’s arbitrarily gifting itself the right to use fraudulent distortions to imprison anyone in the world who publishes facts about it will chill any attempts to do so in the future, and poses a far greater threat to press freedoms than anything we’ve seen in our lives. Anyone who sits idly by while this happens is signing over the sovereign right of every human being on this planet to hold power to account, and anyone calling themselves a journalist who does anything other than unequivocally oppose this move is confessing that they are a state propagandist. This is an intolerable plunge toward Orwellian dystopia, and is an assault on human dignity itself.

It’s time to shake the earth and refuse to let them cross this line. Enough is enough.

Roar, humans. Roar.

___________________________

Everyone has my unconditional permission to republish or use any part of this work (or anything else I’ve written) in any way they like free of charge. My work is entirely reader-supported, so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, liking me on Facebook, following my antics on Twitterthrowing some money into my hat on Patreon or Paypalpurchasing some of my sweet merchandisebuying my new book Rogue Nation: Psychonautical Adventures With Caitlin Johnstone, or my previous book Woke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers. The best way to get around the internet censors and make sure you see the stuff I publish is to subscribe to the mailing list for my website, which will get you an email notification for everything I publish. For more info on who I am, where I stand, and what I’m trying to do with this platform, click here

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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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