HomeArticleUK Foreign Secretary Defends Torturing Journalists, Then Says We Must Protect Journalists

UK Foreign Secretary Defends Torturing Journalists, Then Says We Must Protect Journalists

British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt has just given a speech extolling the virtues of a free media, praising the journalists who’ve been brave enough to expose the truth about wicked governments in the face of tyrannical oppression. While he was preparing to give this speech, without any indication of any self-reflection at all, he defended the torture of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

After news broke that UN Special Rapporteur on torture Nils Melzer had found that Julian Assange has been the victim of psychological torture for years, Hunt, who is gunning to become the UK’s next Prime Minister, accused him of interfering in British affairs and making “inflammatory statements”.

“This is wrong,” Hunt tweeted. “Assange chose to hide in the embassy and was always free to leave and face justice. The UN Special Rapporteur should allow British courts to make their judgements without his interference or inflammatory accusations.”

“With all due respect, Sir: Mr Assange was about as ‘free to leave’ as a someone sitting on a rubber boat in a shark pool,” Melzer replied. “As detailed in my formal letter to you, so far, UK courts have not shown the impartiality and objectivity required by the rule of law.”

Hours after his defense of the torture of a journalist who exposed the truth about the malfeasance of a powerful government, Hunt was giving a speech at the World News Media Congress in Glasgow, praising journalists who expose the truth about the malfeasance of powerful governments.

If you want to stare aghast at some of the most appallingly cartoonish hypocrisy from a western politician you’ll ever see, I highly recommend clicking this hyperlink and reading through the transcript of Hunt’s speech in the context of what he just said about Assange.

Hunt decried the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, ignoring the inconvenient fact that his own government had just been found guilty of participating in the brutal torture of a far more impactful journalist spanning many years. Hunt sang the praises of two Reuters journalists who’d recently been released from prison in Burma after exposing a massacre of 10 Rohingya Muslims, right after defending the torture of the journalist who released the Collateral Murder video showing the massacre of 18 civilians, the fatalities from which included two Reuters journalists.

“The latest World Press Freedom Index describes how the ‘number of countries regarded as safe, where journalists can work in complete security, continues to decline’,” Hunt said. “And yet despite all the pressure, the risk – from physical threats, from insidious self-censorship – journalists in many countries press on with holding the powerful to account, exposing wrongdoing, deterring corruption, and strengthening democracy and openness.”

Other choice excerpts:

“We cannot physically stop journalists from being locked up for doing their jobs. But we can alert global public opinion and make sure the diplomatic price is too high.”

“Authoritarian states might launch sudden ‘crackdowns’ against corruption – which mysteriously target political opponents while leaving others untouched – but the risk of exposure by a free media is far more effective than any theatrical campaign.”

“But in the end, we must promote a free media not solely for practical reasons but because it’s what we stand for. Democracy and freedom of expression mean nothing unless independent journalists are able to scrutinise the powerful – and discover the stubborn facts – however inconvenient this might sometimes be for the politicians on the receiving end.”

“A free media is not an optional extra, still less a ‘Western’ value: it forms one pillar of a thriving society, benefiting people in every corner of the world.”

Hunt’s tweet defending Assange’s torture and his sanctimonious, self-congratulatory tweet about the speech he’d just given were about 29 hours apart. Twenty-nine hours.

Hunt, who has been leading the charge in smearing Assange since his arrest and imprisonment, is scheduled to co-host a London summit next month on media freedom.

We criticize this kind of hypocrisy in prominent figures not because self-contradiction is necessarily an indication of weakness in character or policy, but because it illustrates the phony and self-serving nature of their positions. Jeremy Hunt does not care about press freedoms. Jeremy Hunt does not care about the abuse of journalists. He does not care about the things he claims to care about. When it comes to the western empire of which Hunt is a loyal guardian, the policy is “Press freedoms for me but not for thee.”

The “liberal democratic values” that these self-righteous windbags pretend to promote at their conferences and their summits are neither liberal nor democratic. We are led by smiling sociopaths who are selling us Nice Guy Fascism. A jackboot wearing a “Coexist” button. A smiley-faced mask covering a hateful, blood-spattered grimace.


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Latest comments

  • Another fine exposure of the bullshit being pushed by the US and UK in their disingenuous attempt to legitimize their thoroughly despicable, outrageously cruel, persecution of Julian Assange and Chelsea Manning for the great “crime” of revealing a tiny fraction of the sorry truth about what the US imperialist industry is doing around the world each and every day.

    Please keep up your great and vital work of getting out the truth as a truly independent journalist in this miserable time when whistleblowers, jornalists, and even political editorialists like yourself are increasingly and virulently being harassed, if not directly persecuted, by the vile regnant national security/surveillance state in all of the Anglophone nations under the hegemony of the neocon/neoliberal monsters who have usurped power in the USA!

    Please know as well that, as one of your biggest fans and supporters, I consider you to be the finest and in many ways single most important political editorialist working in the world today.

    Godspeed to you, my friend, and carry on as intrepidly as ever!!
    — Bill Fusfield

  • In the early years of the Iraq/Afghanistan occupations the U.S. murdered Al Jazeera journalists because they were not sufficiently pro-U.S. or pro-Israel. There were two journalists held at Guantanamo. I don’t know if they have been released.

    • letting the world know what happens if you cross that read line is all that is necessary.

    • Al-Jazeera was tamed long ago. It has been the prime conduit for takfiri propaganda during the attack on Syria, as the Qatari tyranny is one of the prime supporters of the salafist butchers. No lie is too outrageous for these vermin, the Arabic service being much worse than the English, but the latter serves as a prime source for jihadist lies and anti-Syrian hate propaganda in the West.

  • The power of the Western elite depends on the fact that most people cannot recognize hypocrisy, or more precisely, go into denial when their “leaders” (including those in mainstream media) — whom they need to trust in order to feel grounded — practice it.

    So, standing up as we do to say “Oh my God! That is complete hypocrisy! And here’s precisely why: …” when faced with its naked demonstrations, does not work for most people the way it does for you and me, even most of those with sufficient intelligence.

    It is this psychological warfare that must be countered — somehow — because “straight man” style protesting hasn’t been cutting it. And for quite a long time now.

    • deep in their guts, most people feel it. why do you suppose less than 50% ever vote? when it comes to local elections, participation is next to nothing. yes, it’s a passive resistance, but resistance to, and rejection of, the abusive deceitful system nonetheless.

      BDS! stop purchasing goods and services from wall street corporates, as long as you can survive. share, conserve, make, grow, recycle, repair!

    • Fifty percent of any population are of below median intelligence, many far below. Mental illness and dementia are running rampant in the West, as is metabolic derangement from junk food diets, morbid obesity and soaking in ubiquitous pollution of every kind imaginable. Drug use is widespread, leading to ever more ‘deaths of despair’. And a brainwashing system of fakestream media, PR, think-tanks and advertising indoctrinates the proles from birth to death. Bullying is rampant, from Assange and the 100,000 held in solitary in US ‘legal’ Gulags, down to the schools, workplaces and ‘foreign policy’ of the Exceptional Reich. And death-squad killings, from the aggressions against Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Gaza etc, through the work of contracted killers in Syria, Lebanon, West Africa, Latin America, Congo etc, down to the killer cops who murder and torture with complete immunity in the US Heimat, are omnipresent and spreading. That is the ‘Free World’ that we so adore.

  • Caitlin or anyone. I’m currently in London. Is there a method of finding out where Julians supports meet to support him. When and where on a daily basis. If you could reply to this comment please. Thanks in advance.

  • Catilin…

    Your capacity to capture and encapsulate the essence of what’s unfolding in ALL your detailed reports, together with your enormous productivity, never ceases to amaze me, which is why I am Patreon.

    In my view, you stand head and shoulders above the normal standard of reporting as a role model for journalistic excellence.

    Thank you for your inciteful and powerful pieces that focus us on what IS important, so we can then share the salient factors of an argument more easily with others.

    Assange’s treatment signifies a pivotal choice point for the future of free speech globally.

    Thank you for speaking truth to power and for focusing our attention on what to share with others.

  • Wake up Australia. Bombard your MPs with emails, phone calls, letters, call into their offices, let them know that a lot of their constituents want Julian Assange free. So far they’ve got away with leaving one of their citizens to be maligned, vilified, subjected to slow torture and left to rot. Some analysts have argued that Australia’s close relationship (sycophancy) with USUK means that a request for Julian’s freedom would be honoured. Wake up Australia – make a lot of noise. Together we might be able to save Julian’s life.

    • Multiple communications with government and opposition representatives are met with a wall of silence.
      Balinese drug runners are afforded more government assistance and consular support than an Australian journalist going about his work.

      • My multiple communications with government and opposition have also met with zero response. That’s why I suggested lots of people do it, strength in numbers. The bastards probably still won’t reply, but they won’t be able to complacently think that they’re getting away with it. Besides, what else can we do.

        • form a real people’s congress????

  • A man who could become prime minister on the votes of 0.3% of UK citizens

  • Mr. Hunt is a real slimeball many faced politician who fits right in with other slimeball politicians the world over. These people are very disgusting and may cause normal people to vomit.

  • Jeremy Hunt is selling you his special brand of lofty sounding, high principled, virtue signaling bull shit. Are you buying it because it sure looks good on the surface or are you smart enough to detect the underlying rotten smell of hypocrisy?

  • BDS in your everyday decisions!

    stop buying any goods and services from wall street ghouls, as long as it doesn’t kill you.

    BDS any and every individual who supports, participates in, and benefits from the New World Order.

    • No doubt the Talpiot alumni are well screened for the ‘virtues’ of racial supremacism, contempt for the goyim and hatred of Arabs, Moslems and the Palestinians in particular. But all militaries probably have similar programs. Israel’s dominance is most easily explained by money power, particularly in the USA, and their traditional nepotism.

  • What The World’s Top 10 Tech Firms Have In Common

    “The world’s top ten tech companies –Microsoft, Apple, Amazon, Google, Facebook, Alibaba, Intel, Oracle, Samsung and Baidu–increasingly have something in common: they’re doing mission-critical work in Israel that’s core to their businesses back at HQ. Let’s take a look at how this trend is playing out.

    Earlier this year, Microsoft hired a 34-year-old cyber-security prodigy –a hacker essentially–as its new head of R&D in Israel. The young man, a veteran of the country’s elite Unit 8200 (Israel’s version of the NSA), will be responsible for future-proofing Microsoft’s defense of its crown jewels in the cloud. Microsoft is a cloud-first company now, everything is there: Azure, Cortana, Office, even Minecraft. In other words, Microsoft’s cloud has to be an absolutely critical part of the company’s core business going forward, and the Redmond-based company is entrusting its security to a 34-year-old Israeli.”

    • Not handing things over to the Israelis would be ‘antisemitic’.

  • UK’s Jeremy Hunt: Israel Is ‘an Inspiration,’ ‘Beacon of Democracy’

    • Israel IS an inspiration to fascists, racists and xenophobes everywhere. I reckon ‘Rhyming Slang’ qualifies under all three categories, sort of like a gormless and charmless Anders Brievik, that archetypal pro-Israeli.

      • Israel staunchly supported the Apartheid regime of South Africa to the bitter last second.

        Mandela shunned Israel as long as he possibly could.

      • Israel staunchly supported the Apartheid regime of South Africa to the bitter last second.

        Mandela shunned Israel as long as he possibly could.

        the mayor of Seoul, South Korea, recently visited Israel shopping for military-security-surveillance technologies and products.

      • Hmmm

        At least the world is crystal clear on Israel’s view of “Journalists” in general, and Whistle blowers”” in particular: Leave it to the israelis to synthesize pragmatism down to the barest of essentials…

        If they won’t shut up, and/or they are in the wrong place at the wrong time, just kill them……Oh, and be sure to place all the blame for doing so on them as well as anyone that supported them…..

        Israel has held this position on “Journalists” more or less since day 1. America and Briton have never demanded israel stop because of course, they do on occasion, exactly the same thing…….

  • Hunt is simply the absolute worst kind of hypocrite.

    • ‘Rhyming Slang’ is much more than just an hypocrite-all of it loathsome.

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