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Opinion from a Libertarian ViewPoint

Posts Tagged ‘Espionage Act’

Advancing Propaganda For Evil Agendas Is The Same As Perpetrating Them Yourself – Caitlin Johnstone

Posted by M. C. on November 23, 2019

https://caitlinjohnstone.com/2019/11/22/advancing-propaganda-for-evil-agendas-is-the-same-as-perpetrating-them-yourself/

The Guardian has published an editorial titled “The Guardian view on extraditing Julian Assange: don’t do it”, subtitled “The US case against the WikiLeaks founder is an assault on press freedom and the public’s right to know”. The publication’s editorial board argues that since the Swedish investigation has once again been dropped, the time is now to oppose US extradition for the WikiLeaks founder.

“Sweden’s decision to drop an investigation into a rape allegation against Julian Assange has both illuminated the situation of the WikiLeaks founder and made it more pressing,” the editorial board writes.

Oh okay, now the issue is illuminated and pressing. Not two months ago, when Assange’s ridiculous bail sentence ended and he was still kept in prison explicitly and exclusively because of the US extradition request. Not six months ago, when the US government slammed Assange with 17 charges under the Espionage Act for publishing the Chelsea Manning leaks. Not seven months ago, when Assange was forcibly pried from the Ecuadorian embassy and slapped with the US extradition request. Not any time between his April arrest and his taking political asylum seven years ago, which the Ecuadorian government explicitly granted him because it believed there was a credible threat of US extradition. Not nine years ago when WikiLeaks was warning that the US government was scheming to extradite Assange and prosecute him under the Espionage Act.

Nope, no, any of those times would have been far too early for The Guardian to begin opposing US extradition for Assange with any degree of lucidity. They had to wait until Assange was already locked up in Belmarsh Prison and limping into extradition hearings supervised by looming US government officials. They had to wait until years and years of virulent mass media smear campaigns had killed off public support for Assange so he could be extradited with little or no grassroots backlash. And they had to wait until they themselves had finished participating in those smear campaigns.

This is after all the same Guardian which published the transparently ridiculous and completely invalidated report that Trump lackey Paul Manafort had met secretly with Assange at the embassy, not once but multiple times. Not one shred of evidence has ever been produced to substantiate this claim despite the embassy being one of the most heavily surveilled buildings on the planet at the time, and the Robert Mueller investigation, whose expansive scope would obviously have included such meetings, reported absolutely nothing to corroborate it. It was a bogus story which all accused parties have forcefully denied.

This is the same Guardian which ran an article last year titled “The only barrier to Julian Assange leaving Ecuador’s embassy is pride”, arguing that Assange looked ridiculous for remaining in the embassy because “The WikiLeaks founder is unlikely to face prosecution in the US”. The article was authored by the odious James Ball, who deleted a tweet not long ago complaining about the existence of UN special rapporteurs after one of them concluded that Assange is a victim of psychological torture. Ball’s article begins, “According to Debrett’s, the arbiters of etiquette since 1769: ‘Visitors, like fish, stink in three days.’ Given this, it’s difficult to imagine what Ecuador’s London embassy smells like, more than five-and-a-half years after Julian Assange moved himself into the confines of the small flat in Knightsbridge, just across the road from Harrods.”

This is the same Guardian which published an article titled “Definition of paranoia: supporters of Julian Assange”, arguing that Assange defenders are crazy conspiracy theorists for believing the US would try to extradite Assange because “Britain has a notoriously lax extradition treaty with the United States”, because “why would they bother to imprison him when he is making such a good job of discrediting himself?”, and “because there is no extradition request.”

This is the same Guardian which published a ludicrous report about Assange potentially receiving documents as part of a strange Nigel Farage/Donald Trump/Russia conspiracy, a claim based primarily on vague analysis by a single anonymous source described as a “highly placed contact with links to US intelligence”. The same Guardian which just flushed standard journalistic protocol down the toilet by reporting on Assange’s “ties to the Kremlin” (not a thing) without even bothering to use the word “alleged”, not once, but twice. The same Guardian which has been advancing many more virulent smears as documented in this article by The Canary titled “Guilty by innuendo: the Guardian campaign against Julian Assange that breaks all the rules”.

You can see, then, how ridiculous it is for an outlet like The Guardian to now attempt to wash its hands of Assange’s plight with a self-righteous denunciation of the Trump administration’s extradition request from its editorial board. This outlet has actively and forcefully paved the road to the situation in which Assange now finds himself by manufacturing consent for an agenda which the public would otherwise have found appalling and ferociously objectionable. Guardian editors don’t get to pretend that they are in some way separate from what’s being done to Assange. They created what’s being done to Assange.

You see this dynamic at play all too often from outlets, organizations and individuals who portray themselves as liberal, progressive, or in some way oppositional to authoritarianism. They happily advance propaganda narratives against governments and individuals targeted by establishment power structures, whether that’s Saddam Hussein, Gaddafi, Assad, Maduro, Morales, Assange or whomever, but when it comes time for that establishment to actually implement the evil agenda it’s been pushing for, they wash their hands of it and decry what’s being done as though they’ve always opposed it.

But they haven’t opposed it. They’ve actively facilitated it. If you help promote smears and propaganda against a target of the empire, then you’re just as culpable for what happens to that target as the empire itself. Because you actively participated in making it happen.

The deployment of a bomb or missile doesn’t begin when a pilot pushes a button, it begins when propaganda narratives used to promote those operations start circulating in public attention. If you help circulate war propaganda, you’re as complicit as the one who pushes the button. The imprisonment of a journalist for exposing US war crimes doesn’t begin when the Trump administration extradites him to America, it begins when propagandistic smear campaigns begin circulating to kill public opposition to his imprisonment. If you helped promote that smear campaign, you’re just as responsible for what happens to him as the goon squad in Trump’s Department of Justice.

Before they launch missiles, they launch narratives. Before they drop bombs, they drop ideas. Before they invade, they propagandize. Before the killing, there is manipulation. Narrative control is the front line of all imperialist agendas, and it is therefore the front line of all anti-imperialist efforts. When you forcefully oppose these agendas, that matters, because you’re keeping the public from being propagandized into consenting to them. When you forcefully facilitate those agendas, that matters, because you’re actively paving the way for them.

Claiming you oppose an imperialist agenda while helping to advance its propaganda and smear campaigns in any way is a nonsensical and contradictory position. You cannot facilitate imperialism and simultaneously claim to oppose it.

They work so hard to manufacture our consent because they need that consent. If they operate without the consent of the governed, the public will quickly lose trust in their institutions, and at that point it’s not long before revolution begins to simmer. So don’t give them your consent. And for God’s sake don’t do anything that helps manufacture it in others.

Words matter. Work with them responsibly.

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Thanks for reading! 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. 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 Twitter, checking out my podcast on either YoutubesoundcloudApple podcasts or Spotify, following me on Steemitthrowing 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. For more info on who I am, where I stand, and what I’m trying to do with this platform, click here. Everyone, racist platforms excluded, has my permission to republish or use any part of this work (or anything else I’ve written) in any way they like free of charge.

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Assange Lawyer Reveals The Pentagon Was Behind Bringing Down WikiLeaks’ Assange – Collective Evolution

Posted by M. C. on June 22, 2019

https://www.collective-evolution.com/2019/06/21/news-assange-lawyer-reveals-pentagon-behind-pursuit-of-wikileaks-publisher/

By

In Brief

  • The Facts:One of Assange’s lawyers has confirmed that it was the Pentagon who was behind the smear and aggression to bring down Julian Assange, not the Obama admin.
  • Reflect On:Why does our government’s work so hard to protect secrets related to wrongdoing that no one supports? Why do we spend more time arguing over if Assange is right or wrong when we already know the actions of our governments are dreadful?

As free and open journalism remains under attack, a lawyer for WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange has confirmed that it’s the Pentagon, and not the White House or any other government agency whose secrets he has leaked, that has been pushing for years to smear and bring down Julian Assange.

Assange lawyer Geoffrey Robertson was granted a meeting with Obama administration insiders and had asked if they “really wanted” the publisher so they could access his whistleblowers and because he warned that “there are dangerous precedents here,” Robertson said they responded simply:

We don’t want him, but the Pentagon does, and the Pentagon may eventually get its way.

Robertson spoke to Obama administration insiders after he learned of a secret grand jury they had convened against Assange in 2010, he explained to Phillip Adams on ABC’s Radio National on Thursday. Robertson reminded them that charging a journalist under national security laws had serious First Amendment implications, but the Obama team was already aware of the kind of precedent it would set. If this goes through, journalists will essentially be silenced from exposing government secrets – not only systemically, but through fear of life in prison.

Interestingly, the Obama administration charged more leakers under the Espionage Act than all previous administrations combined, but it never sought to go after a journalist or publisher. This is something new, and dangerous, all together. It reveals the true nature of how far government agencies will go to protect their secrets.

According to award-winning journalist John Pilger, the Pentagon’s campaign enacted the media to destroy Assange’s reputation as “threats of exposure [and] criminal prosecution” were used to rid the public “feeling of trust” towards the core of WikiLeaks’ operations. In many cases, this worked. Look how many mainstream media outlets who long profited off of Assange’s work early on but have now turned on him. Was this at the call of ‘higher powers?’ or are they simply following up with natural responses to a heavy smear and disinformation campaign?…

Regardless, this presents an opportunity for questioning. Why does our government’s work so hard to protect secrets related to wrongdoing that no one supports? Why do we spend more time arguing over if Assange is right or wrong when we already know the actions of our governments are dreadful? Are we not simply being distracted by them? Good ol’ bait and switch?

Be seeing you

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange arrested in London over 7 ...

 

 

 

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Son, It Was Obama We Journalists Had to Fear

Posted by M. C. on May 1, 2019

https://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2019/04/son_it_was_obama_we_journalists_had_to_fear.html

By Jack Cashill

“I was driving my then 11-year-old son somewhere, probably soccer practice, when he burst into tears and asked me, ‘is Donald Trump going to put you in prison?’” So claimed the embarrassingly serious Olivier Knox, the White House Correspondents Association president, at the association’s annual grub fest on Saturday.

What Knox should have said is, “No, son, President Trump is at least open in his hostility. The First Amendment gives him the same rights as it gives us. It was President Obama’s dirty, covert war on the media that had me worried.” At this point, little Knox should have asked, “Did this sneaky, back-door attack prefigure Obama’s subversion of the Trump candidacy?” Now, there is a correspondent’s dinner I would pay to watch.

In May 2010, when Obama signed the Daniel Pearl Press Freedom Law, few of America’s reporters and editors were aware that Obama as president represented the single greatest threat to press freedom in their professional lives. True to his reputation as messiah, Obama would soon make even the willfully blind see. Read the rest of this entry »

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Yes, You Should Fear the Arrest of Julian Assange | The American Conservative

Posted by M. C. on April 12, 2019

Undoubtedly, if the Washington Blob has its way, this will not be a case on which the First Amendment is on trial, but a pasty Aussie lawbreaker and Russian dupe who put U.S. personnel and troops at risk in the field for publishing classified documents. Don’t be surprised if they say people were actually killed because of Assange. Just remember, this was all hashed out in the Manning trial, and the government was forced to admit there was no evidence that anyone was harmed by being named in any of the classified documents.

https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/yes-you-should-fear-the-arrest-of-julian-assange/

By Kelley Beaucar Vlahos

Why we should fear today’s developments, however, is his arrest could ultimately lead to his prosecution in the U.S. under the Espionage Act—a charge that lawmakers and officials on both sides of the aisle have been calling for publicly for years. Remember, then-CIA chief Mike Pompeo called Assange a “non-state hostile intelligence service often abetted by state actors like Russia.” And, if he is convicted under the Espionage Act, it would be the first time for a member of the media, setting a most dangerous precedent for the safety of journalists to pursue government corruption and secrecy, and a mighty blow to the ability of the First Amendment to protect free speech and a free press.

[UPDATE: The Eastern District of Virginia U.S. Federal Court released an unsealed indictment Thursday after Assange was arrested. It accuses Assange of offering to help Manning break a DoD password to help access military data anonymously. It does not say whether they did it or succeeded. This would suggest the government is trying to prove Assange and Wikileaks shifted from mere “publisher” with First Amendment rights to “hacker” or “thief.”

The government tried, and failed, to convict Daniel Ellsberg, for leaking  The Pentagon Papers to the press. Wikileaks has never been accused of stealing classified information. Then-Pfc. Bradley Manning  (now Chelsea) was already charged and convicted with stealing and leaking thousands of military and U.S. government documents to Wikileaks. Documents, by the way, that exposed the “Collateral Murder” video, the Afghanistan war logs, the Iraq war logs, and the Guantanamo files. Without them, we would never know the extent of the secrecy involved in the wars that were being fought in our name—the torture, the civilian deaths, how innocent people were being arrested in the War on Terror and detained en masse at GTMO, and much more.

To think any of this is happening this morning in a vacuum would be folly. As TAC reported earlier this week, Chelsea Manning willingly went back to jail (and a month of solitary confinement) at the beginning of March for refusing to testify in the grand jury. She had already served seven years for her crimes, much of that in solitary confinement. Something was clearly coming to a head.

And Wikileaks reported just yesterday that they were being extorted by a group that has reams of evidence, including documents and videotape, that there was a massive surveillance operation going on against Assange in the embassy, at which he had been a virtual prisoner. Don’t for a minute doubt that the U.S. was putting pressure on the Ecuadorians to make a move. The Ecuadoran government had cut off his internet access last year and had been readying to kick him out, supposedly because he had broken rules; Assange has responded by saying the embassy was violating his rights of asylum. By all reports, his physical and mental health has deteriorated.

Whatever comes of that, the more critical point here is that the U.S. is likely to take over from here. Given the corporate mainstream media’s sneering contempt for Wikileaks and Assange—so much more acute now that he is under suspicion for working with the Russians to publish the stolen Hillary Clinton/DNC emails (which Assange has vehemently denied—expect the hive to believe and promote any propaganda that the Trump Administration wields to turn the American public opinion over to its side…

Just be prepared for the PR blitz and the accompanying media complicity in making Assange the villain. Don’t be surprised if they throw him in jail and give him the Manning or Maria Butina treatment…

Be seeing you

deep state media

It’s Always About Control

 

 

 

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The Empire Keeps Proving Assange Right About Everything – Caitlin Johnstone

Posted by M. C. on November 19, 2018

https://caitlinjohnstone.com/2018/11/17/the-empire-keeps-proving-assange-right-about-everything/

Insider sources have reportedly confirmed to the Washington Post that Assange has been charged. Because those charges are sealed, it’s impossible to know what they are or how they’re being justified. If you ask #Resistance Twitter, it’s because it’s #MuellerTime and Assange is about to be arrested under some mysterious charges involving WikiLeaks’ publication of non-government, non-classified emails in 2016. If you ask QAnon cultists, it’s because Donald Trump is planning to extradite Assange so as to rescue him and deal a fatal blow to the Deep State. If you ask people who actually know what they’re talking about, however, it’s most likely for WikiLeaks’ Afghanistan and Iraq war logs and/or last year’s CIA leak publications, and most likely using the Espionage Act. This would constitute a deadly blow to press freedoms, and arguably a greater leap in the direction of Orwellian dystopia than the Patriot Act.

It also proves once again that Julian Assange was completely right.

The narrative that Assange couldn’t possibly be hiding from the same government which tortured Chelsea Manning has been aggressively promulgated by mainstream outlets like the The Guardian, as in this article by James Ball from earlier this year titled “The only barrier to Julian Assange leaving Ecuador’s embassy is pride”, claiming that “The WikiLeaks founder is unlikely to face prosecution in the US.”

Ball’s article includes the following galaxy-brained excerpts:

“Visitors, like fish, stink in three days.”

“There is no public criminal case against Assange or WikiLeaks in the US, though Assange frequently says there is evidence of sealed indictments against him and his associates, and there have been publicly disclosed surveillance warrants against WikiLeaks staff, as well as FBI interest in Assange and his current and former co-workers (including me, as I worked with WikiLeaks for a few months in 2010 and 2011). There is no real reason to believe anything has changed with Assange’s situation in the US.” 

“The problem for both sides is that neither wants to lose face: Assange wants to be a symbol of resistance against an overreaching US state, and does not want to admit his asylum was about his personal actions and not those of WikiLeaks. Ecuador does not want to suggest it made a mistake in granting Assange asylum.”

Ball was at best completely wrong, and at worst knowingly lying about the very real possibility of secret US charges. We know that the charges are from the US government, so they’ve got nothing to do with any rape or bail violation allegations. But the narrative that Assange is a stinky, stinky weirdo hiding in a cupboard has been so aggressively promulgated by imperial propagandists like Ball it’s (for me at least) literally impossible to talk about Assange’s plight on social media without some stranger coming up and spewing it all over the conversation…

Be seeing you

images.duckduckgo.com(3).jpg

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26 Reasons Why You Need to Start Paying Attention to Edward Snowden

Posted by M. C. on March 22, 2018

http://theantimedia.org/start-paying-attention-edward-snowden/

Written by 

(ANTIMEDIA) — In June of 2013, Edward Snowden was the most wanted man in the world as the U.S. government and others frantically attempted to arrest him for leaking documents that exposed the breadth of surveillance imposed upon the public. The Portuguese government even forced a plane carrying Bolivia’s president to be grounded because of rumors that Snowden might be on board.

Snowden has since been living in exile in Russia as U.S. government officials have relentlessly tried to bring him home to prosecute him over alleged violations of the Espionage Act. Former CIA director-turned-secretary of state Mike Pompeo and others have shamed him, calling him a traitor. Pompeo has even called for his execution.

But as the political climate in the U.S. continues to devolve, especially in light of President Trump’s decision to appoint CIA director Mike Pompeo as secretary of state and replace Pompeo with a known proponent of torture, Snowden has been on a Twitter rampage. And he’s not just discussing the CIA and torture. Read the rest of this entry »

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