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Posts Tagged ‘Julian Assange’

‘Freedom for Assange and Journalism Are at Stake’: Belmarsh Tribunal Comes to DC – Antiwar.com Original

Posted by M. C. on January 24, 2023

“As long as the Biden administration continues to deploy tools like the Espionage Act to imprison those who dare to expose war crimes, no publisher and no journalist will be safe,” said one of the tribunal’s co-chairs.

by Brett Wilkins

https://original.antiwar.com/Brett_Wilkins/2023/01/23/freedom-for-assange-and-journalism-are-at-stake-belmarsh-tribunal-comes-to-dc/

As Julian Assange awaits the final appeal of his looming extradition to the United States while languishing behind bars in London’s notorious Belmarsh Prison, leading left luminaries and free press advocates gathered in Washington, D.C. on Friday for the fourth sitting of the Belmarsh Tribunal, where they called on U.S. President Joe Biden to drop all charges against the WikiLeaks publisher.

“From Ankara to Manila to Budapest to right here in the United States, state actors are cracking down on journalists, their sources, and their publishers in a globally coordinated campaign to disrupt the public’s access to information,” co-chair and Democracy Now! host Amy Goodman said during her opening remarks at the National Press Club.

“The Belmarsh Tribunal… pursues justice for journalists who are imprisoned or persecuted [and] publishers and whistleblowers who dare to reveal the crimes of our governments,” she continued.

“Assange’s case is the first time in history that a publisher has been indicted under the Espionage Act,” Goodman added. “Recently, it was revealed that the CIA had been spying illegally on Julian, his lawyers, and some members of this very tribunal. The CIA even plotted his assassination at the Ecuadorean Embassy under [former US President Donald] Trump.”

Assange – who suffers from physical and mental health problems including heart and respiratory issues – could be imprisoned for 175 years if fully convicted of Espionage Act violations. Among the classified materials published by WikiLeaks – many provided by whistleblower Chelsea Manning – are the infamous “Collateral Murder” video showing a US Army helicopter crew killing a group of Iraqi civilians, the Afghan War Diary, and the Iraq War Logs, which revealed American and allied war crimes.

According to the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, Assange has been arbitrarily deprived of his freedom since he was arrested on December 7, 2010. Since then he has been held under house arrest, confined for seven years in the Ecuadorean Embassy in London while he was protected by the administration of former Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa, and jailed in Belmarsh Prison, for which the tribunal is named.

Human rights, journalistic, peace, and other groups have condemned Assange’s impending extradition and the US government’s targeting of a journalist who exposed American war crimes.

See the rest here

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Killing the messenger: Joe Biden’s disturbing hypocrisy on Julian Assange | Salon.com

Posted by M. C. on January 21, 2023

Ben & Jerry’s co-founder: Joe Biden stood up for press freedom as a candidate — but backtracked in the White House

By BEN COHEN

Barack Obama refused to indict Assange because of the “New York Times problem”: If Obama were to indict Assange for publishing truthful information, he’d have to indict the New York Times as well. But Biden has now affirmed Trump’s contention that publishing the truth is a crime.

Has woke Ben woken up?

https://www.salon.com/2023/01/18/the-messenger-joe-bidens-disturbing-hypocrisy-on-julian-assange/

It is time for President Biden to live up to his rhetoric on press freedom.

As a candidate in 2020, Biden released a powerful statement on the importance of press freedom, writing:

Reporters Without Borders tells us that at least 360 people worldwide are currently imprisoned for their work in journalism. We all stand in solidarity with these journalists for, as Thomas Jefferson wrote in 1786, “Our liberty depends on the freedom of the press, and that cannot be limited without being lost.”

Biden left out the fact that one of those imprisoned people is WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange, and that he is languishing in solitary confinement in a maximum-security prison in London because the U.S. government wants to make an example of him.

Assange was indicted by the Trump administration in an aggressive, precedent-shattering move that was widely condemned by journalists and human rights groups. President Biden and Attorney General Merrick Garland have had almost two years to do the right thing and drop this dangerous prosecution.

They have failed to deliver.

Instead, the Biden administration continues to lecture the world about press freedom and disinformation. Biden and his allies rightly chastise authoritarian regimes for censoring the press, cracking down on dissent and even criminalizing publishing the truth. Reporters Without Borders condemns violations of press freedom in places like Iran, China and Myanmar. But they also note that press freedom violations are not unique to such regimes. They condemn the persecution of Nobel Peace Prize winner Maria Ressa in the Philippines, and they lead a coalition of 16 journalism advocacy groups calling on the British government to free Assange.

These reports underscore the importance of a free and independent press that can expose wrongdoing, inform the public of uncomfortable realities and push back on government propaganda. In other words, a free press protects our access to the truth when the government deceives us.

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A Plan for Global Tyranny – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on November 28, 2022

What the phrase ‘rules-based order’ actually means is Washington-based order. It means a world order imposed by the US government and its lackey states on pain of devastation and death, which exists solely to keep the US at the head of a unipolar empire. It means do as I say, not as I do. It means rules for thee but not for me. It means we decide what happens based on what suits our interests.

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2022/11/lew-rockwell/a-plan-for-global-tyranny/

By Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr.

In the past few decades, a slogan that threatens to destroy the world has become popular. This is the “rules-based international order.” According to this idea, all nations are supposed to follow peaceful rules for the settlement of disputes between them. This sounds good when you first hear it, but the key point is that this is just a cover for control of the world by pseudo-American global elites. They set the rules that all other nations have to follow. Other countries must take a subordinate place within the American Empire. This situation is what Vladimir Putin is protesting about, and it is efforts to enforce the “rules-based international order” that have led to the Ukraine War and the threat this poses of nuclear destruction.

Caitlin Johnstone explains how the “rules-based international order” works: “The US government has shut down multiple news media websites based in the Middle East, including Iran’s state-owned Press TV, and al-Masirah TV which is owned by the Houthi group Ansarullah in Yemen. The Department of Justice said on Tuesday it had seized 36 Iranian-linked websites, claiming without evidence that they were associated with ‘either disinformation activities or violent organizations’ and were shut down for a violation of US sanctions.

This would be the same US government that is imprisoning Julian Assange for journalism which exposed US war crimes, the same US government which paid for the weapons used to destroy more than 20 Palestinian media outlets in Gaza last month, the same US government whose unipolar domination of the planet is made possible by the journalism-destroying propaganda of the media-owning plutocratic class in alliance with sociopathic government agencies.

This would also be the same US government which constantly pays lip service to the need to protect the freedom of the press, as part of the ‘rules-based international order” it purports to uphold in the world.

The Biden administration has been bleating ‘rules-based order’ so frequently and with such obvious meaninglessness that even The New York Times voiced some criticism of the way that vapid, idiotic phrase is being used instead of the well-defined term ‘international law’. As Medea Benjamin and Nicolas JS Davies wrote for Salon last month:

For Blinken, the concept of a “rules-based order” seems to serve mainly as a cudgel with which to attack China and Russia. At a May 7 UN Security Council meeting, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov suggested that instead of accepting the already existing rules of international law, the United States and its allies are trying to come up with “other rules developed in closed, non-inclusive formats, and then imposed on everyone else.”

Today, far from being a leader of the international rules-based system, the United States is an outlier. It has failed to sign or ratify about 50 important and widely accepted multilateral treaties on everything from children’s rights to arms control. Its unilateral sanctions against Cuba, Iran, Venezuela and other countries are themselves violations of international law, and the new Biden administration has shamefully failed to lift these illegal sanctions, ignoring UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ request to suspend such unilateral coercive measures during the pandemic.

See the rest here

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What’s Behind the Seth Rich Coverup?

Posted by M. C. on October 31, 2022

You forgot, didn’t you!

By Clarice Feldman
American Thinker

https://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2022/10/whats_behind_the_seth_rich_coverup.html

The Epoch Times reports on the continuing efforts by the FBI to hide the contents of Seth Rich’s computer, and while I am not sure why, the reasonable assumption is that to disclose this material would, as a number of experts have long contended, prove that Mueller’s claim that the DNC computer was hacked by Russians was of a piece with the entire nonsensical and disproven claims that Russia conspired to defeat Hillary Clinton in 2016.

Since it has been several years since focus was on the murder of Seth Rich and the publication by Julian Assange of the efforts inside the DNC to see that Hillary was the party’s presidential candidate, a summary look at the details is warranted.

Seth Rich was a DNC staffer who was mysteriously murdered on July 10, 2016, in Washington, D.C. after having been shot twice in the back. None of the valuable items in his possession seem to have been stolen. That would seem to rule out robbery. He had no known enemies and the murder occurred early in the morning (4:20 a.m.) in a safe neighborhood of the city. No one was ever arrested or prosecuted for the crime. There were no known witnesses to the murder. Nor to my knowledge were any suspects ever named. Local law enforcement nevertheless suggested his murder was part of a botched robbery. Six days after the murder, Wikileaks published over 19,000 emails and 8,000 attachments from the DNC files. In November of that year, they published over 8,000 more emails from the files. The emails showed that party officials favored Clinton over rival Bernie Sanders.

Julian Assange, the founder of Wikileaks, long embroiled in a lengthy effort to avoid extradition to the U.S. from the U.K., has refused steadfastly to name the source of this material but has hinted on Dutch television that it was Seth Rich. He has repeatedly said the Russian government was not the source.

Persons familiar with such things have examined the rate of data transmission, inter alia, and concluded the DNC system was not hacked by outsiders. Instead, they contend that the files were copied to a storage device like a thumb drive and transmitted to Assange’s Wikileaks.

The usual MSM and lefty internet sites dismissed these claims as “fake news” and the claimants as “conspiracy theorists.” Robert Mueller seems to have played along with them by indicting a number of Russian intelligence agents for hacking these files. If this were intended to cover up the truth it would be a convenient way to do it, for it is extremely unlikely any of these agents would appear here to contest the allegations in the indictment. (This was not the first time the Russian Collusion fairytale was fanned by a Mueller stunt like this. Mueller indicted a number of Russian firms and individuals for attempting to influence the 2016 election. Only one showed up to contest the charges, Concord Management and Consulting, and the Department of Justice dropped the charges against it.)

After Rich’s murder, on March 15, 2018, a source provided to the FBI information and material extracted from the computer. The FBI originally claimed it never had possession of Rich’s laptop nor any information from it. Years later (in 2020) after receipt of this material, however, the agency backtracked and admitted it had thousands of files from Rich’s computer. Brian Huddleston sued under the Freedom of Information Act to obtain disclosure of those documents.

Read the Whole Article

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On the Ground at DC’s Pro-Assange Protest

Posted by M. C. on October 11, 2022

by Jim Bovard

https://libertarianinstitute.org/articles/on-the-ground-at-dcs-pro-assange-protest/

On Saturday, protests supporting freedom for Julian Assange erupted around the world. In London, 7,000 protestors linked hands to surround the Parliament building, demanding that the United Kingdom not extradite Assange to the United States for a show trial. Protests also occurred in several American cities, including Denver, Colorado, where Kyle Anzalone, the Libertarian Institute’s news editor, spoke.

A protest also occurred on a corner of the block housing Justice Department headquarters in downtown Washington DC. The event commenced with attendees carrying a long yellow “Free Assange” banner around the Justice Department. Perhaps 150 people came out to support the cause on a windy, overcast, chilly day. Most of the speakers and almost all the attendees were left-leaning, if not full-blooded socialists. Jill Stein, former two-time Green Party presidential nominee, opened the protest with a spiel linking Assange to a litany of other causes. Some speakers were borderline mystifying, including a guy from Haiti whose French accent was so heavy that closed captions were needed to follow his points.

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Scott Ritter, a former Marine Corps officer and U.N. weapons inspector, gave an impassioned speech linking Assange’s situation to the 1971 Pentagon Papers case. Ritter declared that the Supreme Court decision in that case would never allow the government to use secrecy as an excuse to suppress free speech. This is aspirational since the Supreme Court decision did not go nearly that far. But nuances tend to be scarce at protest events.

Matthew Hoh, a Marine Corp officer combat veteran and one of the most eloquent opponents of American warring, spoke passionately about how Julian Assange gave a voice and a name to the innocent people killed in U.S. wars since 9/11 and prevented them from “being lost to history.” The sound system mysteriously died during his presentation so he switched to a megaphone without missing a beat. Hoh concluded, “If they dare bring Julian here to the United States, we will meet him and we will meet them and we will set him free.”

Antiwar.com’s Dave DeCamp gave the best foreign policy speech of the day, walking listeners through the long road of debacles that have led the world to the brink of a nuclear conflict between the U.S. and Russia. DeCamp observed that foreign policy disasters have occurred “because we don’t have more people like Assange.” He called for more Wikileaks-style dumps of emails from government agencies on U.S. involvement in the Ukraine-Russia conflict.

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Spike Cohen, the 2020 Libertarian Party vice presidential nominee, fired up the crowd with a litany of denunciations of the U.S. government. “Julian wasn’t trying to help dictatorships – he was trying to stop the United States from becoming one and that is why they want him in jail.” He also slammed the media for failing to cover the event, a common theme at the podium.

I spoke for a few minutes early during the protest:

There’s an old saying—if exposing a crime is a crime, then you’re being ruled by criminals.

Except for Joe Biden.

Except for Merrick Garland

Except for Christopher Wray—well, maybe not.

I wanted to make sure those caveats get added to my dossier.

One lady in a wheelchair hollered: “What about Trump?”

Geez, it wasn’t like I was wearing a MAGA hat. I continued:

See the rest here

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Watch “Julian Assange: Free Speech Martyr? Featuring Stella Assange | #293” on YouTube

Posted by M. C. on October 4, 2022

Stella Assange and Dr Jordan B Peterson discuss the freedom of information, the age of journalism on the internet, and the foremost political prisoner in the west: Julian Assange. Stella Assange is a lawyer with a degree in law and politics from the SOAS University in London, an MSC in refugee law from Oxford, and a masters degree in public International law from Madrid. Her husband, Julian Assange, is somewhat infamous not only for founding Wikileaks, but for publishing classified government documents that lead to his unlawful imprisonment. Today, Stella leads the charge for his freedom and for the freedom of information.

https://youtu.be/GRSwDBMiaWQ

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Giant Mobile Billboard Campaign for Julian Assange Goes Viral and Will Keep On Truckin’ Round the Nation’s Capital

Posted by M. C. on September 12, 2022

Yes, I can tell the image is photo shopped.

By Steve Brown

What started as a one-man “shame-on-you” protest against the Justice Department—launched by comedian-activist Randy Credico—has gone viral as “Buy-a-Billboard-for-Julian” Campaign supported by activists worldwide

Co-Founder of Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream, Ben Cohen, pledged: “I’ll Match Each and Every Donation to The Julian Assange Mobile Billboard Campaign”

Two weeks ago CovertAction Magazine reported on the 15-foot-wide satirical billboards mounted on trucks and driven all over the nation’s capital to publicly shame the Justice Department and Democratic Party leaders for their illegal and immoral persecution of Julian Assange.

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Randy Credico addresses Assange Billboard Rally in front of Justice Department, August 17, 2022. [Source: Photo courtesy of Steve Brown]

Randy Credico never dreamed that his personal “poke-in-the-eye” campaign against the Justice Department would catch on the way it has. He had started with just one truck and one driver for a few hours a day—which was all he could afford. But suddenly, after CovertAction Magazine broke the story and posted photos of Credico’s billboards popping up all over Washington D.C., other news organizations started covering the story.

Then activist journalists like John Pilger, Max Blumenthal, John Kiriakou and many others began writing about the billboard campaign, praising it for the hope it inspired in so many who fervently campaigned and prayed for Assange’s release.

John Pilger [Source: alchetron.com]

John Pilger—”When people ask, ‘What can I do?’, my response is to point to the billboard campaign created by the ever-imaginative direct action of one man, Randy Credico.”

Stefania Maurizi—”We need people taking to the streets to protest against the horrific treatment of Julian Assange. The Billboard project does a valuable work.”

Gabriel Shipton (Julian Assange’s brother) [Source: twitter.com]

See the rest here

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Online Event: Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters in Support of WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange

Posted by M. C. on July 30, 2022

by Scott Horton

antiwar.com

On the 8th of August at 3:00 Eastern, Roger Waters will be joined by retired U.S. Army major Todd Pierce in an event to support Wikileaks’ Julian Assange and his resistance to being extradited to the U.S. on bogus espionage charges.

RSVP here.

The event is sponsored by:

Project for the Study of American Militarism,
World BEYOND War
,
Women Against Military Madness,
CODE PINK,
Veterans For Peace,
Andy Worthington,
Mondoweiss,

Just Peace Advocates/Mouvement Pour Une Paix Juste,
Antiwar.com,
RootsAction.org.

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Lady Emma Arbuthnot: Who Is Behind the Chief Judge Who Was Trying Julian Assange?

Posted by M. C. on April 27, 2022

This incisive article by Manlio Dinucci first published by Global Research on September 18, 2020 points “conflict of interest” of chief judge Emma Arbuthnot who conducted the trial for the extradition of Julian Assange.

Judge Lady Arbuthnot is married to Lord James Arbuthnot, a well-known Tory “hawk,” and former Minister for Defense Procurements, with links to the Military-Industrial Complex, British and US intelligence.

https://www.globalresearch.ca/who-behind-judge-trying-julian-assange/5724227

By Manlio Dinucci

Global Research

Was Judge Emma Arbuthnot in conflict of interest? In 2020, she refused recusal. Did Assange’s lawyers issue a request for her recusal?

Emma Arbuthnot is the chief judge who conducted the trial for the extradition of Julian Assange in London to the USA, where a 175 year prison sentence awaits him for “espionage,” that is, for having published evidence of US war crimes, including videos of civilians’ killings in Iraq and Afghanistan, as an investigative journalist. At the trial, assigned to Judge Vanessa Baraitser, every defense request was denied.

 In 2018, after Sweden’s sexual assault charges fell through, Judge Arbuthnot refused to cancel the arrest warrant, so that Assange could not obtain asylum in Ecuador. Arbuthnot rejected the United Nations Working Group’s findings on the arbitrary detention of Assange. The UN Officer’s remarks against torture also went unheard:

Assange is detained in extreme conditions of unjustified isolation, and shows the typical symptoms of prolonged exposure to psychological torture.”

In 2020, while thousands of detainees were transferred to house arrest as an anti-Coronavirus measure, Assange remained in prison, exposed to the infection in compromised physical condition.

 In court, Assange cannot consult with lawyers, but is kept isolated in an armored glass cage, and threatened with expulsion if he opens his mouth. What is behind this persistence?

Being Lord James Arbuthnot’s wife, married to a well-known Tory “hawk,” former Minister for Defense Procurements, linked to the Military-Industrial Complex and to the Secret Services, Judge Arbuthnot has the title of “Lady.” Lord Arbuthnot is, among other things, Chairman of the British Advisory board of Thales, a French multinational specialized in aerospace military systems, and a member of Montrose Associates, specialized in Strategic Intelligence (highly paid positions).

Lord Arbuthnot is also part of the Henry Jackson Society (HJS), an influential transatlantic think-tank linked to the US Government and Intelligence Agency. Last July, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo spoke at a round table of the HJS in London: since he was the CIA Director in 2017, he accused WikiLeaks, founded by Assange, of being “an enemy spy service.”

The Henry Jackson Society led the same campaign accusing Assange of “sowing doubts on the moral position of Western democratic governments, with the support of autocratic regimes.” Ms. Priti Patel, current United Kingdom Secretary of the Interior, who is responsible for the extradition order of Assange was until recently on the political board of the HJS, alongside Lord Arbuthnot.

Lady Arbuthnot is essentially connected to this pressure group that is conducting a pounding campaign for the extradition of Assange, directed by Lord Arbuthnot and other influential characters.

She was appointed by the Queen as chief magistrate in September 2016, after WikiLeaks published the most compromising documents for the USA in March. These documents included emails from Secretary of State Hillary Clinton revealing the true purpose of the NATO war on Libya: to prevent Libya from using its gold reserves to create a pan-African currency alternative to the dollar and the CFA franc, the currency imposed by France on 14 former colonies.

The real “crime” for which Assange is being tried is that of opening cracks in the political-media silence wall that covers the real interests of powerful elites who, operating in the “Deep State,” play the war card. It is this occult power that subjects Julian Assange to a trial, instructed by Lady Arbuthnot, who recalls those of the Holy Inquisition as to how the accused is treated.

If Assange is extradited to the US, he would be subjected to “special administrative measures” much harsher than those in Britain: he would be isolated in a small cell, unable to contact his family or speak, not even through lawyers who would be indicted if they brought forth his message. In other words, he would be sentenced to death.

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Note to readers: please click the share buttons above or below. Forward this article to your email lists. Crosspost on your blog site, internet forums. etc.

This article was originally published in Italian on Il Manifesto.

Manlio Dinucci is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization.

Featured image: Lady Emma and Lord James Arbuthnot of Edrom at Buckingham Palace in May 2017 [Source: Instagram]

The original source of this article is Global Research

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The US Cries About War Crimes While Imprisoning A Journalist For Exposing Its War Crimes

Posted by M. C. on April 21, 2022

https://caitlinjohnstone.substack.com/p/the-us-cries-about-war-crimes-while?s=r

Caitlin Johnstone

In what his lawyers have described as a “brief but significant moment in the case,” a British magistrates’ court has signed off on Julian Assange’s extradition to the United States, bringing the WikiLeaks founder one step closer to a US trial under the Espionage Act which threatens press freedoms worldwide.

The extradition case now goes to UK Home Secretary Priti Patel for approval, which will likely be forthcoming as Patel is a reliably loyal empire manager. After that point, Assange’s legal team will be able to launch an appeal. 

This is happening at the same time the United States and the United Kingdom are loudly demanding accountability for alleged war crimes by the Russian military in Ukraine, which is interesting because attempting to bring accountability for war crimes is precisely why Julian Assange is in prison.

“He is a war criminal,” President Biden said of Vladimir Putin following allegations of war crimes in Bucha, Ukraine earlier this month. “I think it is a war crime. … He should be held accountable.”

The Associated Press @APBREAKING: President Joe Biden calls for war crimes trial against Russian President Vladimir Putin, says he’s seeking more sanctions after reported atrocities in Ukraine. Biden: Putin should face war crimes trial for Bucha killingsWASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden on Monday called for Vladimir Putin to be tried for war crimes and said he’ll seek more sanctions against Russia after what he described as “outrageous” atrocities around Kyiv.apne.wsApril 4th 20221,178 Retweets4,023 Likes

WikiLeaks @wikileaks12 years ago today Julian Assange published the Collateral Murder video detailing the gunning down of civilians, children & 2 @Reuters journalists Assange faces a 175 year sentence if extradited for revealing this and other war crimes

April 5th 20222,993 Retweets4,086 Likes

And that’s all I’d like to say here today, really. That this discrepancy is very interesting.

I mean, can we take a moment to deeply appreciate the irony of this? Because it’s so obscene and outrageous it’s actually hard to take in unless you really let it absorb. The most powerful government in the world, which serves as the hub of the most powerful empire that has ever existed, is working to extradite a journalist for exposing its war crimes while simultaneously rending its garments over war crime allegations against another government.

I mean, damn. You would think a power structure that had recently been caught red-handed committing war crimes and is currently in the process of imprisoning a journalist for exposing those war crimes would at least have the sense not to yell too loudly about war crimes for a little while. But this is how confident the empire is in its ability to control the narrative.

Really take it in. Really digest it. The more you think about it, the freakier it gets. Not only is the empire persecuting a journalist for exposing its war crimes while at the same time demanding that others be held accountable for war crimes, it is also attacking the free press for reporting the truth about the powerful while at the very same time engaging in a massive propaganda operation which holds that it is involved in Ukraine to protect its freedom and democracy.

Caitlin Johnstone ⏳ @caitozAre people not tired of having their intelligence insulted like this? Nikki Haley @NikkiHaleyThis isn’t just a war for Ukraine, this is a war for freedom.April 19th 2022526 Retweets3,177 Likes

I mean, the gall. The absolute temerity. The balls on this empire, man.

I have said it before and I will say it again: Assange exposed many ugly realities about the powerful in his work with WikiLeaks, but everything that he has managed to expose thereafter simply by forcing them to prosecute him far surpasses the revelations in those publications.

If the highest form of journalism is exposing the darkest secrets of the most powerful people in the world, then Julian Assange is the highest form of journalist.

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