Major Media on Julian Assange

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Major Media on Julian Assange

by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.orgHome – Stephen Lendman)

Major media cheered his unjustifiable April 11 police state arrest, shifting his loss of freedom in Ecuador’s London embassy to incarceration at Britain’s Gitmo — prelude to handing him over to Trump regime hardliners for unjustifiable crucifixion.

Charged with 18 counts of truth-telling about US high crimes of war, against humanity, and other wrongdoing, potential life imprisonment in America’s gulag awaits him — for the “crime” of truth-telling journalism.

The NYT, neocon/CIA-connected Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, and other US major media called him no free-press hero, slamming him with a broadside of pejoratives, denigrating him like Edward Snowden was vilified.

WaPo said his arrest was “long overdue.” Demanding “accountability,” the Wall Street Journal accused him of targeting “democratic institutions or governments.”

The NYT said “(h)e deserves his fate,” calling him “an odious person,” falsely accusing him of “act(ing) as a conduit for Russian intelligence services…and help(ing) (to) spread the conspiracy theory (sic) that the leaked (Dem) email’s” weren’t hacked. 

Indeed not! Not by Russia, Assange, WikiLeaks, or anyone else, what the Times and other major media continue going all out to claim otherwise.

They maintain a drumbeat of fake news claims about Russian US election meddling to help Trump triumph over Hillary — what the world community, US intelligence, undemocratic Dems, and establishment media know never happened but won’t say.

Times editors continue pushing the myth about “material stolen from the computers of Hillary Clinton’s campaign” by WikiLeaks — despite nothing stolen from anyone, not by Assange, WikiLeaks, Russia, or anyone else.

As CIA director, Mike Pompeo lied calling WikiLeaks “a nonstate hostile intelligence service” — polar opposite reality.

Its mandate is all about investigative journalism the way it should be conducted — beholden to truth-telling on major issues, publishing information the public has a right to know from sources kept anonymous to protect their rights and security.

It mandate and principles are “based are the defense of freedom of speech and media publishing, the improvement of our common historical record, and the support of the rights of all people to create new history” — based on accurate truth-telling.

It publishes information from reliable sources it believes to be credible. It doesn’t solicit material but handles what’s gotten responsibly and securely.

On Friday, Wall Street Journal editors failed to debunk claims by federal authorities, falsely accusing Assange of aiding the theft of government documents, adding:

He “solicited” and “encouraged sources” to provide classified information — a bald-faced Big Lie.

Journal editors accused him of “conduct (that’s) either malicious or singularly reckless,” reciting a litany of prosecutorial Big Lies about his lawful actions.

In its landmark June 30, 1971 6 – 3 ruling on the Pentagon Papers, the US Supreme Court held that “only a free and unrestrained press can effectively expose deception in government,” adding:

“And paramount among the responsibilities of a free press is the duty to prevent any part of the government from deceiving the people and sending them off to distant lands to die of foreign fevers and foreign shot and shell” — Justice Hugo Black for the majority.

Published by the Washington Post and NYT at the time, Daniel Ellsberg explained his landmark revelations as follows, saying:

“I felt that as an American citizen, as a responsible citizen, I could no longer cooperate in concealing this information from the American public. I did this clearly at my own jeopardy, and I am prepared to answer to all the consequences of this decision.”

Accused of stealing and holding secret government documents, he was acquitted of all charges on May 11, 1973.

Chelsea Manning is a modern-day Ellsberg. So is Assange for publishing material she revealed and other information about government wrongdoing, honorable actions by both individuals — deserving high praise, not prosecution.

A Final Comment

From the bowels of London’s Belmarsh prison, Britain’s Gitmo, Assange hand wrote a message to supporters by letter, sent to UK journalist Gordon Dimmack, saying the following:

“I have been isolated from all ability to prepare to defend myself, no laptop, no internet, no computer, no library so far, but even if I do get access it will be just for half an hour with everyone else once a week.” 

“Just two visits a month and it takes weeks to get someone on the call list and the Catch-22 in getting their details to be security screened.” 

“Then all calls except lawyer are recorded and are a maximum 10 minutes and in a limited 30 minutes each day in which all prisoners compete for the phone. And credit? Just a few pounds a week and no one can call in.”

“A superpower that has been preparing for 9 years with hundreds of people and untold millions spent on the case. I am defenseless and am counting on you and others of good character to save my life.”

“I am unbroken albeit literally surrounded by murderers. But the days when I could read and speak and organize to defend myself, my ideals and my people are over until I am free. Everyone else must take my place.”

“The US government or rather those regrettable elements in it that hate truth liberty and justice want to cheat their way into my extradition and death rather than letting the public hear the truth for which I have won the highest awards in journalism and have been nominated seven times for the Nobel Peace Prize.”

“Truth ultimately is all we have.”

Julian’s message hits home hard. For independent journalists like myself, driven to research and report truthfully on major world and national issues at a time I call the most perilous in world history, what’s happening to him, Chelsea Manning, and others like them leaves others like myself vulnerable.

That’s the disturbing reality at a time fundamental speech, media, academic, and other freedoms are eroding in the West and elsewhere — what growing tyrannical rule is all about.

Who’s next to be framed and prosecuted by Police State America and other Western societies for the “crime” of truthfully reporting what ruling authorities want suppressed.

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My newest book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”

Stephen Lendman
Stephen Lendman
Stephen Lendman was born in 1934 in Boston, MA. In 1956, he received a BA from Harvard University. Two years of US Army service followed, then an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in 1960. After working seven years as a marketing research analyst, he joined the Lendman Group family business in 1967. He remained there until retiring at year end 1999. Writing on major world and national issues began in summer 2005. In early 2007, radio hosting followed. Lendman now hosts the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network three times weekly. Distinguished guests are featured. Listen live or archived. Major world and national issues are discussed. Lendman is a 2008 Project Censored winner and 2011 Mexican Journalists Club international journalism award recipient.