We’re All Julian Assange

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We’re All Julian Assange

by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.orgHome – Stephen Lendman)

Forcefully dragged from Ecuador’s London embassy by UK police and imprisoned at the behest of Trump regime hardliners, Julian Assange is being slowly killed for the “crime” of truth-telling journalism.

Ruling authorities of both nations want it suppressed, operating in cahoots with each other, virtually all Western states going the same way.

They’re fantasy democracies, not the real thing they pretend to be, serving privileged interests exclusively, exploiting most others, partnering in endless wars on humanity at home and abroad.

Assange faces multiple phony US charges. The Trump regime formally requested his extradition to the US. Will he ever arrive?

Isolated in London’s Belmarsh prison under harsh conditions, his health deteriorating, a slow-motion Jeffrey Epstein fate may await him.

US dark forces wanted Epstein silenced to hide his connection to high-level US and international figures involved in sex with and trafficking of young girls below the age of consent — a public trial naming names avoided.

Do they want embarrassing kangaroo court US v. Assange proceedings avoided for similar reasons? Likely so.

It held, proceedings will amount to speech and media freedoms v. dark forces claiming the extrajudicial right to suppress them for phony national security reasons.

Assange may perish before going on trial in the US. UK authorities are slowly killing him by neglect.

His arrest, imprisonment and mistreatment constitute a mortal blow to what just societies hold dear, fundamental rights abandoned in the West, tyranny replacing them.

What’s happening to Assange puts everyone publicly expressing views that differ from the official narrative at risk.

We’re all Julian Assange. His fate is ours. Who’s next on the US/UK hit list to silence? 

Will both countries and other Western ones formally abandon speech, media and academic freedoms on the phony pretext of protecting national security?

Censorship in the West already is the new normal, especially in the US. 

Social media, Google, and other tech giants are complicit with US  ruling authorities to control the message, wanting content differing from the official narrative suppressed — notably online.

Is digital democracy, the last frontier of free and open expression, the only reliable independent space for real news, information and analysis, letting anyone freely express views on any topics, targeted for elimination?

A planned Trump executive order reportedly intends to censor the Internet for phony national security reasons.

What’s going on is the hallmark of totalitarian rule. When truth-telling and dissent are considered existential threats, free and open societies no longer exist — the slippery slope where the US and other Western states are heading.

Defend WikiLeaks.org urges universal support for Assange, saying the following:

He’s “an Australian journalist who founded WikiLeaks in 2006. Julian was the editor of WikiLeaks until September 2018: six months of his effective incommunicado detention in the Ecuadorian embassy in London then prompted Julian to appoint Kristin Hrafnsson as WikiLeaks editor-in-chief. Julian remains WikiLeaks’ publisher.”

“Wikileaks’ publications have had enormous impact. They have changed many peoples’ views of governments, enabling them to see their secrets.” 

“They have changed journalism as a practice, as debates have raged over the ethics of secrecy, transparency and reporting on stolen documents.” 

“WikiLeaks has gained the admiration of people and organizations all over the world, as evidenced in the numerous awards it has won.”

“For these contributions to public accountability and the historical record, Assange has been arrested in the United Kingdom and indicted in the United States.” 

“The US requests Assange’s extradition and has charged him with 17 counts under the Espionage Act of 1917 for the publication of truthful material in the public interest.” 

“Assange is the first journalist in history the US has charged with Espionage for publishing.” 

“He also faces one count of conspiracy to commit computer crime based on his alleged reporter-source communications with whistleblower Chelsea Manning.” 

“This charge would criminalize basic journalistic activity, as the indictment details alleged attempts to help Manning protect her anonymity as a journalistic source.”

“An extradition hearing has been scheduled for February 2020. If extradited, Assange faces the prospect of life imprisonment in the United States. He is currently imprisoned in HMP Belmarsh, in London.”

He’s languishing in harsh solitary confinement, torture by other means, slow-motion mind and body destruction, the toll on his physical and mental health clear to those who’ve seen him.

On Monday, John Pilger said Assange’s mistreatment is all about silencing dissent.

“Speak up now,” he urged, or face “the silence of a new kind of tyranny.”

After visiting Assange in August, Pilger tweeted: “Do not forget Julian #Assange. Or you will lose him.” 

“I saw him in Belmarsh prison and his health has deteriorated. Treated worse than a murderer, he is isolated, medicated and denied the tools to fight the bogus charges of a US extradition. I now fear for him. Do not forget him.”

Separately, Pilger stressed that “all of us…all journalists…all publishers who do their job…are in danger.”

On Monday, Pilger said he spoke to Assange over the weekend, saying:

“The behavior of the British government towards Julian Assange is a disgrace. A profanity on the very notion of human rights.” 

“It’s no exaggeration to say that the treatment and persecution of Julian Assange is the way that dictatorships treat a political prisoner.”

“When I asked Julian what he would like me to say today, he was adamant. ‘Say it’s not just me. It’s much wider. It’s all of us. It’s all journalists and publishers who do their job who are in danger.’ ”

“(N)o matter who you are or where you are, if you expose the crimes of governments you will be hunted down, kidnapped and sent to the US as a spy” — a truth-telling enemy of the state.

Assange’s mother Christine earlier tweeted the following: “My son Julian Assange is being slowly, cruelly & unlawfully assassinated by the US/UK Govts for multi-award winning journalism revealing war crimes & corruption! I’m tweeting/retweeting #FreeAssangeNOW.”

After visiting him in Belmarsh prison last spring, accompanied by two medical experts on the effects of torture and other forms of abuse, UN special rapporteur on torture Nils Melzer slammed his mistreatment, saying: 

His “health has been seriously affected by the extremely hostile and arbitrary environment he has been exposed to for many years” — compounded by imprisonment at Belmarsh on orders from the Trump regime.

Besides poor physical health needing treatment not adequately gotten, Assange showed “all symptoms typical for prolonged exposure to psychological torture, including extreme stress, chronic anxiety and intense psychological trauma.”

After visiting him last month at Belmarsh prison, Assange’s brother Gabriel Shipton said “I hugged him, and he told me that this place he was in (is) hell.”

On Monday outside the UK Home Office, Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters, a committed Assange supporter, sang “Wish You Were Here” from his hit album.

Speaking to hundreds assembled to hear him, he said “Julian Assange, we are with you. Free Julian Assange.”

Before performing, he said Assange is “locked up” in isolation 23 hours a day.

“How do we put ourselves in the position of a Julian Assange in solitary confinement, or with that kid in Syria or Palestine or Rohingya, being blown to bits by these people in this building here?”

“How do we put ourselves in the position of the parents of that child who will spend the rest of his life on crutches?

“It is called empathy and it is the most valuable thing any human being can possess in their lives.”

Establishment media abandoned Assange. They cheered his unjustifiable April 11 police state arrest.

The NYT, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, and other establishment media consider him no free-press hero — denigrating and vilifying him like whistleblowers Edward Snowden and Chelsea Manning.

She’s indefinitely imprisoned in the US for not abandoning her constitutional right to remain silent, refusing to give potentially harmful to Assange grand jury testimony.

We’re all Julian and Chelsea. Their fate may be ours for speaking truth to power — our fundamental right dark forces want abolished.

Slow-motion tyranny in the US and other Western societies heads toward becoming full-blown.

Post-9/11 in the US, police state laws, presidential executive orders, national security and homeland security presidential directives, and congressionally authorized state terror made the nation unsafe and unfit to live in.

The same goes for Britain and other Western societies — run by increasingly tyrannical regimes.

Resisting tyranny is a universal right. Failure to act may doom us all to a deplorable state with no rights or futures.

VISIT MY NEW WEB SITE: stephenlendman.org (Home – Stephen Lendman). Contact at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net.

 

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

www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

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.