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Hey Trump: Remember Wikileaks?
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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?

When US citizen Otto Warmbier died in a wretched North Korean prison cell after being denied proper medical treatment, the western world was disgusted by Pyongyang’s disregard for basic human rights. Now we have Julian Assange reportedly too sick to even appear by video at his own court hearings. UN Special Rapporteur on torture Nils Melzer has investigated the treatment of Assange over the past nine years and has determined that the journalist has been the “victim of brutal psychological torture.”

UN investigator Melzer concluded, “In 20 years of work with victims of war, violence and political persecution I have never seen a group of democratic States ganging up to deliberately isolate, demonize, and abuse a single individual for such a long time and with so little regard for human dignity and the rule of law.”

Governments hate it when the truth is told about them. They prefer to kill the messenger than face the message.

Judge Andrew Napolitano wrote last week that, “the whole purpose of the First Amendment…is to promote and provoke open, wide, robust political debate about the policies of the government.”

We need to understand that it is our First Amendment that is on trial right there along with Assange. The Obama Administration – no defenders of civil liberties – wanted to prosecute Assange but determined that his “crime” was the same kind of journalism that the US mainstream media engages in every day.

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.

(Republished from The Ron Paul Institute by permission of author or representative)
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  1. Rational says:


    Thanks, Sir. You are right.

    The case against Assange is weak. As a foreign citizen, the US does not have natural in personam jurisdiction over him, as whatever he did, he did overseas, and the grounds for personal jurisdiction are territorial.

    Second, criminal prosecution requires mens rea, which he lacks, as his intent was nobel, not evil, so he can use that as a defense.

    And ignorance of the law is another point. How is a foreign citizen to know the intricacies of advanced US law which even ordinary American lawyers do not know. Though technically not allowed as a defense, a good defense attorney could still slip that point in, given that he is a foreign citizen.

    He deserves a nobel prize for exposing govt. criminality, not prison. If Trump does not drop the charges, it will be a black mark on Trump’s record.

    • Agree: Achmed E. Newman
  2. He faces life in prison for acting as a journalist – publishing information about the US government that is clearly in the public interest.

    Publication of some of the material was clearly in the public interest.

    Unfortunately, this was not true for all the documents. Some could be used to identify people who had helped US forces in Afghanistan. There were so many documents that Assange and his team could not possibly have read all of them. It is hard to claim a public interest defense for releasing documents that you have not read.

    • Replies: @Half-Jap
  3. Half-Jap says:
    @James N. Kennett

    Some could be used to identify people who had helped US forces in Afghanistan.

    Assange did so only after a couple “journalists” at The Guardian published a book about wikileaks with such information.

  4. Realist says:

    There were so many documents that Assange and his team could not possibly have read all of them.

    Your supposition. You provide no proof.

  5. I realize I’m in a true Bizarro-World at this point when I think of the fact that Mr. Assange may have been better having headed to Russia.* I’ve read quite a bit about the somewhat similar situation with Ed Snowden, to me, a modern American hero. He ended up in Russia and, last I heard, was doing OK there. At any time > 3 decades ago, we’d been celebrating as a hero any Russian who made a harrowing escape out of the USSR for the freedom of the West. Back then an American heading to the USSR for asylum would have been either a Commie nut-case or a guy who really should have been in another kind of asylum. As I wrote, it’s simply Bizarro-World now!

    Per (the same as above link) this Peak Stupidity post, I was sitting next to a woman on a plane talking about politics, as it started out with us in complete agreement about something involving the airline policy. She told me she worked for the Feral Government, but still we agreed on a whole lot of things. Then she mentioned Ed Snowden, and remarked in distain that a lot of the young people loved him. “That’s because he was a hero!”, I exclaimed, and that’s the first thing we disagreed on. When finally pressed, the woman said she worked for the FBI, so I guess she was just supporting the team …

    Of all the things that his defenders say President Trump can’t get ANYTHING done on, due to the courts, his 2-year witch-hunt about the Russian, etc., helping out a defender of liberty like Julian Assange is very obviously something he could do in a minute. Trump has either been compromised or is just a complete imbecile.

    BTW, on Snowden, Peak Stupidity has a 2-part movie review – Part 1 and Part 2. For a Hollywood guy, Oliver Stone has actually got some guts.


    * I do understand about Ecuador and extradition, so perhaps it was Mr. Assange’s best choice at the time.

  6. Anonymous[329] • Disclaimer says:

    Trump will lose in 2020 – unless they re-animate Cankles’ corpse to run against him.

  7. Bad move to leave Sweden for any country controlled by the Five Eyes Deep State.

    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
  8. @Fran Macadam

    Hell, the Swedish Authoritah was already working on charging him for rape, Fran. Sure, it was week-later regret-rape or something like that, but they were going after him already.

    Talk about your Anarcho-Tyranny, the Swedish give the African “refugees” all the breaks in the world and forgive them for real rape, and make a deal out of a white guy (not just Mr. Assange, who they were out to nail) not leaving the toilet seat down or not sending flowers later, and call the latter rape.

    Anyway, that’s why he left Sweden.

  9. Declane says:

    I have so many deep sympathies for Mr. Trump. No matter what he does, it’ll never be enough for those who get paid to write about him.

  10. Hey Ron Paul-
    Chelsea Man-thing stole classified information from a US government server and gave to to Ass-sausage who is (oh shit) NOT authorized to receive said documents. It’s called “espionage”, and for whatever reason he did it, IT’S AN F’ing CRIME. A crime which Chelsea Man-thing went to PRISON for, when he/it SHOULD have been stood up against a pole and SHOT.
    Do you want report crimes and abuses in the military? There’s a channel for that. It’s called- The Chain of Command. And it actually WORKS if it’s not abused. You idiot.

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