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Julian Assange: Political Prisoner
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Last week’s arrest of Wikileaks publisher Julian Assange by the British government on a US extradition order is an attack on all of us. It is an attack on the US Constitution. It is an attack on the free press. It is an attack on free speech. It is an attack on our right to know what our government is doing with our money in our name. Julian Assange is every bit as much a political prisoner as was Cardinal Mindszenty in Hungary or Nelson Mandela in South Africa.

They, and so many more, were imprisoned because they told the truth about their governments.

Repressive governments do not want their citizens to know that they are up to so they insist on controlling the media. We are taught, at the same time, that we have a free press whose job it is to uncover the corruption in our system so that we can demand our political leaders make some changes or face unemployment. That, we are told, is what makes us different from the totalitarian.

The arrest of Assange is a canary in a coal mine to warn us that something is very wrong with our system.

What’s wrong? The US mainstream media always seems to do the bidding of the US government. That is why they rushed to confirm Washington’s claim that the Assange indictment was not in any way about journalism. It was only about hacking government computers!

As the New York Times said in an editorial, sounding like a mouthpiece of the US government, Julian Assange committed “an indisputable crime.” But was it? As actual journalist Glenn Greenwald wrote last week, what Julian Assange did in 2010, for which he is facing extradition to the US, is no different from what New York Times and other journalists do every day! He attempted to help Chelsea Manning shield his identity as he blew the whistle on US government crimes to a publisher. The information in question included a video showing US military personnel participating in and cheering the murder of Iraqi civilians. Why is it criminal for us to know this?

The difference is that what Assange and Manning did embarrassed the US government, which was lying to us that it was “liberating” Iraq and Afghanistan when it was actually doing the opposite. Mainstream journalists publish “leaks” that help bolster the neocon or other vested narratives of the different factions of the US government. That’s why the US media wants to see Assange in prison, or worse: he upset their apple cart.

The lesson is clear: when you bolster the government’s narrative you are a “brave journalist.” When you expose corruption in government you are a criminal. Do we really want to live in a country where it is illegal to learn that our government is engaged in criminal acts? I thought we had an obligation as an engaged citizenry to hold our government accountable!

As long as Julian Assange is in prison, we are all in prison. When the government has the power to tell us what we we allowed to see, hear, and know, we no longer live in a free society. Julian Assange will be extradited to the US and he will have dozens of charges piled on. They want him to disappear so that the next Assange will think twice before informing us of our government’s crimes. Are we going to let them steal our freedom?

(Republished from The Ron Paul Institute by permission of author or representative)
 
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: American Media, Julian Assange, Wikileaks 
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  1. Thorvid says:

    It appears people are already ‘thinking twice’. The ICC has in the days following J illegal detention have dropped all investigations into US/UK war crimes.

    It seems they are running scared on the back of Bolton’s threats against the ICC and warning of personal sanctions and travel bans, and then the ilegal detention.

    The UK is no longer a democracy, and indeed hasn’t been for some time, it’s a totalitarian oligarchy fashist dictatorship. Those in power believes that they are above the law, its only those that they designate that are are ‘not above the law’.

    • Replies: @Realist
  2. Thanks Ron, truer words never spoken.

    • Agree: Mark G.
  3. Realist says:
    @Thorvid

    It seems they are running scared on the back of Bolton’s threats against the ICC and warning of personal sanctions and travel bans, and then the ilegal detention.

    Yes, the UK is a vassal of the US.

  4. Biff says:

    When the government has the power to tell us what we we allowed to see, hear, and know, we no longer live in a free society.

    And it is blatantly obvious in New Zealand – coming to a country near you.

  5. buckwheat says:

    Assange did pretty much the same thing Woodward and Bernstein did. Their episode got called maybe the single greatest reporting effort of all time. They got accords and adulation. He’s going to get prison. What the fuck is wrong with this picture?

  6. olde reb says:

    “When it is a crime to expose a criminal act of government, we are ruled by criminals.” I just read this but cannot recall the source.

    The Magna Carta was the initial fracture in the totalitarian feudal domination by a king. Today we are quickly returning to that oppression.

  7. R G says:

    What a bunch of children. Wikileaks is a wholely-owned and operated subsidiary of the Russian GRU. Assange is an anarchist who has been made into a tool of a foreign intelligence organization, and wraps himself in our country’s constitution to protect himself while his actions would result in his immediate murder if he were to do it to his own masters. He is no journalist, and helping to hack or steal documents is a crime. A real journalist doesn’t dump diplomatic cables without reading them first or exclusively publishing newsworthy documents. Wikileaks is not a journalist organization, and while that doesn’t mean they don’t have first amendment protections, there is no first amendment defense to theft or cyber crimes.

    Again, this is treating a real international adversary as if they are just another NGO. Grow up and realize that there is nuance in this world, it isn’t all black and white.

  8. Richseeto says: • Website

    It is too facile for RG to play the man of Assange.

    Making wild statements without proof garners no credibility.

    Look at the reason why Julian Assange did what he did.

    He has nothing to gain and his outing the criminal activities of the US who has always declared that it is the Champion of Truth, Honesty, Peace and Justice, is a service to mankind and ensure such criminality cannot be perpetrated without hindrance.

    He also punctured the iron veil of secrecy which the US has touted for so long as a government of transparency.

    Julian is the Hero Martyr for Truth in government in the World in our Time and woe betide the US in the manner in which it is persecuting this Warrior for the Truth and history will forever cite its perfidy and double standards.

  9. Iris says:

    Thanks, Mr Paul, for being a beacon of ethics in such a troubled world.

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