HomeArticleTwenty-One Thoughts On The Persecution Of Julian Assange

Twenty-One Thoughts On The Persecution Of Julian Assange

1. I write a lot about the plight of Julian Assange for the same reason I write a lot about the Iraq invasion: his persecution, when sincerely examined, exposes undeniable proof that we are ruled by a transnational power establishment which is immoral and dishonest to its core.

2. Assange started a leak outlet on the premise that corrupt and unaccountable power is a problem in our world, and that the problem can be fought with the light of truth. Corrupt and unaccountable power has responded by detaining, silencing and smearing him. The persecution of Assange has proved his thesis about the world absolutely correct.

3. Anyone who offends the US-centralized empire will find themselves subject to a trial by media, and the media are owned by the same plutocratic class which owns the empire. To believe what mass media news outlets tell you about those who stand up to imperial power is to ignore reality.

4. Corrupt and unaccountable power uses its political and media influence to smear Assange because, as far as the interests of corrupt and unaccountable power are concerned, killing his reputation is as good as killing him. If everyone can be paced into viewing him with hatred and revulsion, they’ll be far less likely to take WikiLeaks publications seriously, and they’ll be far more likely to consent to Assange’s silencing and imprisonment. Someone can be speaking 100 percent truth to you, but if you’re suspicious of him you won’t believe anything he’s saying. If they can manufacture that suspicion with total or near-total credence, then as far as our rulers are concerned it’s as good as putting a bullet in his head.

5. The fact that the mass media can keep saying day after day “Hey, you know that bloke at the embassy who shares embarrassing truths about very powerful people? He’s a stinky Nazi rapist Russian spy who mistreats his cat” without raising suspicion shows you how propagandized the public already is. A normal worldview unmolested by corrupt narrative control would see someone who circulates inconvenient facts about the powerful being called pretty much all the worst things in the world and know immediately that that person is being lied about by those in power.

6. Relentless smear campaigns against Assange have given the unelected power establishment the ability to publicly make an example of a journalist who published uncomfortable truths without provoking the wrath of the masses. It’s a town square flogging that the crowd has been manipulated into cheering for. Narrative control has enabled them to have their cake and eat it too: they get to act like medieval lords and inflict draconian punishment against a speaker of undeniable facts and leave his head on a spike in the town square as a warning to other would-be truth tellers, and have the public believe that such a bizarre violation of modern human rights is perfectly fine and acceptable.

7. There are people who worked really hard to get journalism degrees, toiled long hours to earn the esteemed privilege of appearing on the front pages of a major publication, only to find themselves writing articles with headlines like “Julian Assange is a stinky, stinky stink man.”

8. Ordinary citizens often find themselves eager to believe the smear campaigns against Assange because it is easier than believing that their government would participate in the deliberate silencing and imprisoning of a journalist for publishing facts.

9. And yes, Julian Assange is most certainly a journalist. Publishing important information about what’s going on in the world so the public can inform themselves is precisely the thing that journalism is. There is no conventional definition of journalism which differs from this. Anyone who says Assange is not a journalist is telling a lie that they may or may not actually believe in order to justify his persecution and their support for it.

10. Another reason people can find themselves eager to believe smears about Assange is that the raw facts revealed by WikiLeaks publications punch giant holes in the stories about the kind of world, nation and society that most people have been taught to believe they live in since school age. These kinds of beliefs are interwoven with people’s entire egoic structures, with their sense of self and who they are as a person, so narratives which threaten to tear them apart can feel the same as a personal attack. This is why you’ll hear ordinary citizens talking about Assange as though he attacked them personally; all he did was publish facts about the powerful, but since those facts conflict with tightly held identity constructs, the cognitive dissonance that was caused to them can be interpreted as feeling like he’d slapped them in the face.

11. We live in a reality where unfathomably powerful world-dominating government agencies are scrutinized and criticized far, far less than a guy trapped in an embassy who published inconvenient facts about those agencies.

12. Assange disrupts establishment narratives even in his persecution. Liberal establishment loyalists in America still haven’t found a rational answer to criticisms that in supporting Assange’s criminal prosecution they are supporting a Trump administration agenda. You now have the same people who’ve been screaming that Trump is Hitler and that he’s attacking the free press cheering for the possibility of that same administration imprisoning a journalist for publishing facts.

13. The precedent that would be set by the US prosecuting a foreign journalist for merely publishing factual information would constitute a greater leap in the direction of Orwellian dystopia than the Patriot Act, for America and for the entire world.

14. The billionaire media has invalidated itself with its refusal to defend Assange. They know the precedent set by his prosecution for WikiLeaks publications would kill the ability of the press to hold power to account, but they don’t care because they know they never do that. For all their crying about Jamal Khashoggi and Jim Acosta’s hurt feelings, they do not actually care about journalism or “the free press” in any meaningful way.

15. Whenever I see a blue checkmark account on Twitter bashing Assange I mentally translate whatever they’re saying into “There is nothing I won’t do to advance my career in corporate media. If you’re in a position to promote me I will literally get down on my knees right this very second and let you do whatever you want to my body.”

16. I sometimes feel like I respect professional propagandists who smear Assange more than I respect ordinary citizens who go around smearing him for free. What do these people think they’ll get as a reward for their work as pro bono CIA propagandists? A gold star from Big Brother? They’re like slaves who beat and betray other slaves that fall out of line in order to win favor with the master, except they’re not even achieving that. The professional manipulators are at least cheering for their own class to continue to have its leadership’s interests advanced; ordinary people who do it are cheering for their own oppression.

17. Even lower in my view are the self-proclaimed leftists and anarchists who view themselves as oppositional to the establishment but still help advance this smear campaign. It is impossible to attack Assange without supporting the Orwellian empire which is persecuting him. I don’t care what mental gymnastics you’re doing to justify your pathetic cronyism; what you are doing benefits the most powerful and depraved people on this planet.

18. Anyone who participates in the ongoing smear campaign against Assange and Wikileaks is basically just saying “Extremely powerful people should be able to lie to us without any difficulty or opposition at all.”

19. Everyone should always be extremely suspicious of anyone who defends the powerful from the less powerful. It’s amazing that this isn’t more obvious to more people.

20. Contrary to the narratives promoted by establishment smear merchants, Julian Assange is not hiding from justice in the Ecuadorian embassy. He is hiding from injustice. Everyone who knows anything about the US government’s prosecution of leakers and whistleblowers knows he has no shot at a fair trial, and would face brutal mistreatment at the hands of the same regime which tortured Chelsea Manning.

21. The persecution of Assange is essentially a question that mankind is asking itself: do we want to (A) continue down the path of omnicidal, ecocidal Orwellian dystopia, or do we want to (B) pull up and away from that trajectory and shrug off the oppressive power establishment which is driving us toward either total extinction or total enslavement? So far, A is the answer we’ve been giving ourselves to that question. But, as long as we switch before it’s too late, we can always change our answer.

_____________________

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Latest comments

  • Yes, exactly. Thank you Caitlin. And thank those with the vision on how we should act to escort him to “freedom”…such as to the Russian embassy. How ironic, yet true that has become, no?

  • “18. Anyone who participates in the ongoing smear campaign against Assange and Wikileaks is basically just saying “Extremely powerful people should be able to lie to us without any difficulty or opposition at all.” The problem is that too many in the U.S. can’t be bothered to do real and accurate research. They’d rather watch cable TV, drink bottled water, or sleep. to hell with knowledge.

  • Perfect description, Caitlin. Thank You.

  • Stop voting for these psychopaths.

    • Yes….Ive been saying that for years …most people seem not to understand or care about this social problem ..Psychopaths and sociopaths are massively contributing to destroying out world ..They need to be identified and called out ….Keep away from them Do not let them have power in any way ..as all decisions they make are based on the benefit of themselves only.

  • Are there still Russian, Chinese or Iranian embassies in London? If so, which is closest to the Ecuadorian embassy?
    ..
    Let’s imagine that say 100,000 people show up in front of the Ecuadorian embassy and start telling Assange to take up Ecuador’s offer for Assange to just walk out of their embassy, a free man (is it still OK to use the word “man”?), right into the welcoming arms of the thousands of supporters………………. who will then move him into the center of the crowd and, en masse, walk him right over to one of the aforementioned embassies– whichever might have a nice helicopter landing pad on the roof. Assange could then be whisked away to whatever country has the gonads to offer him asylum or political refugee status. Maybe Snowden and Assange could live in the same apartment building. I doubt if London’s police will fire on the crowd of thousands, but you never can tell.

    • Lee Harvey Oswald vs. Jack Ruby. Sirhan Sirhan vs Bobby Kennedy. You get my point I assume.

  • My solution. They cannot rule without our vote.
    They certainly can.

    If enough people chose that solution – he would be free yesterday.
    No, he would have been dead yesterday.

    This is not a solution, but the greatest problem. Passivity is exactly what “they” want. The omnicidal maniacs will rule and deserve to rule as long as people “oppose” them by doing exactly what they want – nothing.

  • I wonder if #10 also explains the emotional and illogical reactions to skeptics of Russiagate. (Why do you love Putin??) Which is frighteningly similar to the reactions about 15 years ago to anyone who suggested there wasn’t solid proof that Sadam had weapons of mass destruction (Why do you love Sadam?? Why do you hate America??) I desperately want to de-program my loved ones, but everything I say seems to make it worse. No matter how nice and patient I am, they get emotional and they won’t listen. I’ve come to the conclusion I should shut up and let them listen to CNN as it gets sillier every day, and just hope eventually they’ll see it for themselves.

  • What Julian has started will be continued by others. In the future he will be honored for his resistance to the US Empire like Russia today honors Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn for his resistance to the USSR Empire.

    The US Empire will fall. It will increase its internal repression like the USSR but it will only hasten its end. The human spirit (psyche) in its unconscious will fight back. The US Empire is essentially at war with itself and ultimately will self-destruct.

  • Thank You for keeping this Hero of the Free Press Alive in Reality and Print. I truly believe in Julian Assaunge, and I feel that he will be free again and vindicated.

  • I just sent this letter to The Guardian’s global readership editor Paul Chadwick. I think you’ll get a kick out of it Caitlin.

    Dear Paul Chadwick and The Guardian/Observer

    I wrote near the end of November to complain about the newspaper’s blatantly false and propagandist articles by Luke Harding alleging a series of secret meetings between Wikileaks editor Julian Assange and Trump associate Paul Manafort at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London.

    Can you please advise me whether the paper has or has not printed a retraction or clarification about these articles? Have the editors come to their senses and disavowed them? Or have The Guardian and The Observer become mere stenographers for MI6 and other abusers of power?

    This is a serious matter as it speaks not only to press freedom but also to the attempts by western intelligence agencies to stoke the flames of a very real renewed Cold War with Russia (and China). As reference, I draw your attention to this excellent article by Australian blogger Caitlin Johnstone, offering 21 thoughts on Assange’s plight.

    This is the sort of article your formerly-credible media outlet ought to be publishing, and I invite you to publish this as an op-ed piece, and even to employ Ms. Johnstone as a regular contributor, perhaps in place of Mr. Harding, who is beneath contempt at this point.

    [I INSERTED THE ONLINE ARTICLE LINK HERE]

    Yours truly,

    Guy Crittenden

  • Another great piece – thank you for your honesty and passion.
    I am not an expert on Assange or on US politics but my gut tells me that I need to support Assange as he is clearly terrifying those in power.
    Can you help me reply to this from one of my friends? She is British but lived in the States for years and was a Hillary supporter in the last election. When I mention or share stuff about Assange she becomes one of those people who behave as if he personally slapped her fae (very funny by the way). She says that Wikileaks deliberately leaked damaging stuff about Hillary and nothing about Trump so helped lose her the election.
    No idea how to counter this argument. Any ideas or someone with more knowledge than me?

    I am very happy to share and to discuss with friends but I need more facts!

    • The simplest reply would be to quote this interview from 2 years ago: https://www.foxnews.com/politics/wikileaks-founder-assange-on-hacked-podesta-dnc-emails-our-source-is-not-the-russian-government, in which Assange explains that they were sent three pages of info on the RNC and Trump but as they were verifying the material to get it ready for publication Wikileaks learned that it had already been published elsewhere. Wikileaks only publishes material which has not already been published (unless it’s been deliberately censored in some way) and, of course, Wikileaks is a leaks publisher – it can only publish material that has been sent to them. In Election 2016 a whistleblower gave them the DNC emails but they didn’t get any submissions about the GOP (other than those 3 pages).

  • It looks to me like there’s a critical typo in the dramatic last paragraph:
    “21. The persecution of Assange is essentially a question that mankind is asking itself: do we want to (A) continue down the path of omnicidal, ecocidal Orwellian dystopia, or do we want to (B) pull up and away from that trajectory and shrug off the oppressive power establishment which is driving us toward either total extinction or total enslavement? So far, B is the answer we’ve been giving ourselves to that question. But, as long as we switch before it’s too late, we can always change our answer.

    Shouldn’t this be: “So far, *A* is the answer we’ve been giving ourselves to that question”?

  • “….do we want to (A) continue down the path of omnicidal, ecocidal Orwellian dystopia, or do we want to (B) pull up and away from that trajectory and shrug off the oppressive power establishment which is driving us toward either total extinction or total enslavement? So far, B is the answer we’ve been giving ourselves to that question. But, as long as we switch before it’s too late, we can always change our answer.”

    Unless I’m missing something , I think you meant to say that (A) is the ( wrong ) answer we’ve been giving ourselves , but we still have a chance to change it to the correct answer , (B).

    An outstanding essay in any event.

  • One issue to acknowledge is that few of the opinionated are likely to have looked up Wikileaks to read for themselves what has been exposed, and how. Ditto regarding Wikileaks superb books which may not be easy to get but are extraordinary and painstakingly balanced. Julian Assange’s book, ‘When Google met Wikileaks’, is a brilliant analysis and expose and demonstration of his intellectual brilliance. That is likely what frightens and probably cowers many journalists who are forced to recognize themselves as mediocre hacks in their chosen profession. They rely on sound bites and hearsay rather than a critical analysis of what and how Wikileaks reveals so many tragic deceptions, hypocrisy, unwarranted violence and destruction in our so-called civilized societies.

  • thx Caitlin … your latest on Julian had me thanking you at every turn … your writing rocks … but this one hits drives every nail in the coffin home. May the stinking maggot infested carcass burn in hell. I keep thinking [hoping] they’ll let the guy out, but I’m getting close to the same capitulation I’ve experienced for the likes of folks like Leaonord Pelltier and oh so many others. Tears won’t do what rational rage will.

    • truth is always the enemy of power. And power the enemy of truth,

    • vagaries of the united states legal system, In the states an indictment{the formal accusation of a crime} which is issued by a grand jury which can meet in secret can be kept secret until an arrest is issued. Although secret warrants don’t exist in the united states ,secret sealed indictments do exist.They {government officials etc.}maybe technically correct when the claim is, no warrant has been issued to arrest julian .Unfortunately what is not mention is whether a secret indictment has been issued against Julian.

  • Why has the Australian government abandoned Assange? Does his abandonment or the recent announcement about our embassy in Israel really reflect the will of the Australian people? Why haven’t either of these topics been discussed properly in parliament?
    Howard, Rudd, Gillard, Abbott, Turnbull and now Morrison are all Globalists. Don’t expect Shorten to be any different. Their rhetoric might differ but their agendas(the globalist agenda) are the same as is evidenced by the direction our country has been continuously heading since Whitlam.
    There are good people in the major parties but they are overruled by their leaders who only serve their international masters. They would do better to leave the major parties and expose them for what they truly are, the bipartisan globalist party.
    Our only hope now lies with the independents who are usually more sensitive to the wishes of the people they represent.

  • Brilliant, Catlin – Thank you for stating what is so completely obvious but perversely hidden from view!

  • it’s a damn shame that

    ‘ ‘ the most powerful and depraved people on this planet . . .
    the oppressive power establishment which is driving us
    toward either total extinction or total enslavement ‘ ‘

    get to run the show, and call the shots.

    I saw the teenager from Sweden, who boycotts her school
    every Friday to sit on the steps of Parliament, to remind
    the MP’s that they are foolish, stupid and deluded for not
    doing something about human caused planet/environment destruction.

    Perhaps some students in the U.K. can do the same at the
    Ecuadorian Embassy for Julian Assange.

    • I used to go to the protest against the torture school at Fort Benning, GA. I was standing listening to one of the people who began that protest tell how it began. Just a few of them, I think the number was 13. Something like that. They began it. They’d all been priests and nuns in Central America so they’d seen it happen, and the small group of them went and sat by the gates in protest.

      When I was going, I was standing in a crowd of 20,000 people. If that small group hadn’t gone out to protest that day, the crowd of 20,000 I was standing in wouldn’t have been there.

  • The best part about having joined a counter-culture in my youth is that I never actually ever trusted the big, broadcast cultures after. So, at most I check a corporate news website at times to see if some idiot has launched the nukes or if the government of either the UK or France has fallen. A quick scan tells me that no, nothing important has happened, and the headlines are about nonsense like what SNL did as a skit or the usual stories about kittens. At this point, I don’t pay for any tv service and solely get my ‘news’ off the internet and even then I stay away from the corporate sites and believe almost nothing.

    You know this has paid off on the days when you realize there’s been some big campaign in the corporate media but you barely scanned a headline about it then moved on safe in the knowledge that WW3 hadn’t started over night. Which means that all of the corporate media efforts to smear Assange have missed me completely because I’ve turned them off.

    I do know that I saw what Assange could do in the world ever since I watched Collateral Murder which is the gun camera film of a US Army helicopter murdering journalists on the streets of Baghdad.

    Hey there’s a counter idea? Everyone. when you see someone attacking Julian Assange, go find the youtube video called Collateral Murder and watch it. Maybe some AI will tell the criminals in DC that all of their attacks are just making the video Assange leaked of the US Army killing journalists even more popular!

  • THE AUSTRALIAN PRIME MINISTER HAS BROKEN INTERNATIONAL LAW! AGAIN!!!

    “Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad criticized Australia’s move to recognize West Jerusalem on Sunday, saying that countries have “no rights” to do so.”

    https://sputniknews.com/middleeast/201812171070744018-malaysia-pm-no-right-recignise-jerusalem/

    • Qui bono?
      Why? Why? Why?
      Can anyone tell me why, given the violence which followed the US decision to move its embassy, Scott Morrisson made this announcement?

      • Short termism, he was hoping for a few more votes from the zionists in dover heights at the last by-election. And the increased violence would serve his border protection dog whistling.

        I suspect his pentacostal eschatology supports it too.

      • as long as voters (of any country) vote for those with the most expensive campaign advertising we will get political leaders who owe their allegiance to their rich donors and not to the public.

        we get the politicians we deserve if we continue to elect people who have obviously been bought by the corporations.

        it’s like buying GMO foods or roundup ready produce that give us diseases.
        we are too readily influenced by advertising gimmicks.

        we must divorce ourselves from the matrix.

      • To distract the news cycle from China’s housecleaning of 2 5Eyes spies

  • Good list. #8 is particularly pertinent. Why is it that people complain so much about government incompetence, yet can’t see the lies and corruption right under their noses?

  • I wish I didn’t agree with pretty much everything you write about our world.

  • Brava, Caitlin, for yet another excellent article and for doing what you can for Julian.

    I believe, though, that it’s incorrect to see this as MSM betrayal or hypocrisy with their ‘journalists’ not sticking up for a fellow journalist or the principles of journalism and, even worse, printing bald-faced lies about Julian. Rather, it’s a matter of those in The Club (Deep State, 1%, MSM) vilifying an outsider who has dented the image they need intact in order to keep doing what they’re doing. Remember George Carlin said, ‘It’s a club, and you ain’t in it.’ Julian isn’t in the club.

  • What you are saying Caitlin is that our government is a whore, that there is no truth like the whole truth, and I support you 100%!
    What you are also saying is that our government couldn’t give shit, about our freedom’s, nor our rights, nor our privacy, ALL of them our Global RIGHT, under supposed International Law, which is nothing more than a FACARD for democracy, and in all truth, run by whoring pigs!

    • My government keeps trying to kill me. Litterally. I came into this twilight zone during Vietnam. The war ended just a bit before I reached draft age. So, I watched instead the older brothers and kids in the town get drafted, and wondered what I’d do when my turn came in a few years. But it was quite obvious that my government wanted me dead.

      Now, everytime a Republican opens his mouth, he or she loudly proclaims that they want me to drop dead. They all think its just horrible how the uninsured actually got some medical care and insist that it must end immediately. Again, they clearly want me dead.

      From start to end, my government has constantly said it would be quite happy to see me dead. Ain’t capitalism great?

  • My solution. They cannot rule without our vote. I plan to withhold my vote in all elections until Julian Assange is free. If enough people chose that solution – he would be free yesterday.
    Eighty Plus

    • In America, both of the Koch Brothers would vote, and then they would proudly and loudly proclaim that they won the election.

      • Truth. Dems and R’s hate it. Free Assange

    • I agree that’s a good idea. Withhold your vote, withhold your consent. I still think it’s better to boycott Democrats and Republicans, and vote third party or write-in, because they can’t dismiss it as easily. We can’t prove how many of those who don’t vote are making a principled stand, and how many just tuned out of politics, and how many are lazy as they are all dismissed as lazy.

    • I have another thought – are you still registered to vote? If you plan to boycott all elections, cancel your voter registration. If you think you might vote third party, or vote in local elections, or on state referendums, change your voter registration to any party other than Democrat or Republican (if you haven’t already). Choose a third party if you like one, or choose “no party affiliation”. Being registered as a Democrat or Republican is like voting for them every day, because their support is often counted by number of people registered with their party. And third parties are often denied ballot access based on having too few voter registrations, so it’s a good way to help one if you like one.

    • My solution. They cannot rule without our vote.
      They certainly can.

      If enough people chose that solution – he would be free yesterday.
      No, he would have been dead yesterday.

      This is not a solution, but the greatest problem. Passivity is exactly what “they” want. The omnicidal maniacs will rule and deserve to rule as long as people “oppose” them by doing exactly what they want – nothing.

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