HomeArticleThe Assange Persecution Is Western Savagery At Its Most Transparent

The Assange Persecution Is Western Savagery At Its Most Transparent

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The first day of the US appeal of the Julian Assange extradition case saw grown adults arguing in a court of law that the US government could guarantee that it would not treat the WikiLeaks founder as cruelly as it treats its other prisoners.

I wish I was kidding.

In their write-up on Wednesday’s proceedings, The Dissenter’s Kevin Gosztola and Mohamed Elmaazi report that the prosecution argued that “the High Court should accept the appeal on the basis that the U.S. government offered ‘assurances’ that Assange won’t be subjected to Special Administrative Measures (SAMs) or incarcerated in ADX Florence, a super-maximum prison in Colorado.”

What this means is that in order to overturn the January extradition ruling which judge Vanessa Baraitser denied on the basis that the notoriously draconian US prison system is too cruel to guarantee Assange’s health and safety, the prosecution has established as one of their grounds for appeal the claim that they can offer “assurances” that they would not inflict some of their most brutal measures upon him. These would include the aforementioned Special Administrative Measures, wherein prisoners are so isolated that they effectively disappear off the face of the earth, or sending him to ADX Florence, where all prisoners are kept in solitary confinement 23 hours a day.

What’s ridiculous about these “assurances”, apart from the obvious, is that within its own legal argument the US government reserves the right to reverse those assurances at any time and impose SAMs or maximum security imprisonment upon Assange if it deems them necessary. As Amnesty International explains:

“They say: we guarantee that he won’t be held in a maximum security facility and he will not be subjected to Special Administrative Measures and he will get healthcare. But if he does something that we don’t like, we reserve the right to not guarantee him, we reserve the right to put him in a maximum security facility, we reserve the right to offer him Special Administrative Measures. Those are not assurances at all. It is not that difficult to look at those assurances and say: these are inherently unreliable, it promises to do something and then reserves the right to break the promise.”

So the prosecution’s legal argument here is essentially “We promise we won’t treat Assange as cruelly as we treat our other prisoners, unless we decide we really want to.”

This is not just a reflection on the weakness of the extradition appeal, it’s a reflection on the savagery of all the so-called free democracies that have involved themselves in this case.

This same prosecution argued that Assange should not be denied US extradition from the UK on humanitarian grounds as in the case of activist Lauri Love because Love suffered from both physical and psychological ailments while Assange’s ailments are only psychological. They stood before the court and made this argument even as Assange was visibly pained and unwell in his video appearance from Belmarsh, which he was only able to attend intermittently due to his frail condition.

“For my newspaper, I have worked as media partner of WikiLeaks since 2009,” tweeted journalist Stefania Maurizi who attended the hearing via video link. “I have seen Julian Assange in all sorts of situations, but I have never ever seen him so unwell and so dangerously thin.”

So they’re just openly brutalizing a journalist for exposing US war crimes, while arguing that they can be trusted to treat him humanely and give him a fair trial if granted extradition. This after it has already been confirmed that the CIA plotted to kidnap and assassinate him during the Trump administration, after we learned that the prosecution relied on false testimony from a convicted child molester and diagnosed sociopath, after it was revealed that the CIA spied on Assange and his lawyers in the Ecuadorian embassy, and after intelligence asset Jeffrey Epstein famously died under highly suspicious circumstances in a US prison cell.

The worst atrocities in history have all been legal. All the worst examples of genocide, slavery, tyranny and bloodshed have been allowed or actively facilitated by the state. The persecution of Assange is geared toward entering the imprisonment of journalists into this category.

The goal is to set a legal precedent which allows journalists who expose the crimes of the powerful to be persecuted not covertly as is normally done in “free democracies”, but right out in the open. To tell journalists “We’ll just throw you in prison if you cross us.”

What makes this precedent uniquely dangerous is that it is not just threatening to imprison American journalists who expose US crimes, but any journalist anywhere in the world. This is an Australian journalist in the process of being extradited from the UK for publishing facts about US war crimes in the nations it has invaded. The aim is to set up a system where anyone in the US-aligned world can be funneled into its prison system for publishing inconvenient facts.

This is the savagery of the western world at its most transparent. It’s not the greatest evil the US-centralized empire has perpetrated; that distinction would certainly be reserved for  its acts of mass military slaughter that it has been inflicting upon our species with impunity for generations. But it’s the most brazen. The most overt. It’s the most powerful part of the most depraved power structure on earth looking us all right in the eyes and telling us exactly what it is.

And if we can really look at this beast and what it is doing right now, really see it with eyes wide open, it reveals far more about those who rule over us than anything any journalist has ever exposed.

___________________________

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Latest comments

  • It’s long past time for honesty in the US, and for my fellow citizens to realize what the rest of the world has known for years, the US is a full blown fascist state, with no redeemable government qualities left. If there ever was democracy here, there are no lingering democratic values now. The vile wars of aggression and assassinations committed under the banner of promoting or protecting freedom all lead back to the same agency formed in 1947, hiding behind the façade of “intelligence”. Few of my fellow citizens know this is nothing but a “side gig”, and that their main function is to protect US corporate interests around the world. It’s comical how some people use the term “Trumps” CIA, when talking about the agency’s plans to kidnap or assassinate Julian from the embassy. It wouldn’t have mattered which political party was in control, the plans would have been the same.
    I see in some comments above, that there are those who are tired of hearing about Julian’s plight from reporting the truth. MSM has ignored him, or demonized him, but I will always be grateful for you bringing this situation to light Catlin, please keep up the good work.

    • Just as the government was actually under the control of the FBI under J. Edgar Hoover, who had dirt on everybody, so the CIA is now the tail wagging the government dog. Anyone who tries to go against them will be defeated. This is also true of Zionists. No politician dares oppose them.

  • I think the U.S. made a similar guarantee to Russia over Edward Snowden; they promised not to torture him if he was extradited.

  • Just exactly WHAT do people do after they’re all woke up — pick up a gun; guillotine some VIPs; march hand in hand down Penn. Ave. forever and demand, demand, demand that the Elite behave better, or else?
     
    Here’s what you are eventually going to HAVE TO DO because
     
    there. is. no. other. way.
     
    If you do not want More Of The Same that you’ve gotten after every election in the past, do not vote for another R or D, ever, no matter what an R or D promises! Jimmy Dore explains EXACTLY why.

  • Really, it’s easier for them not to have an extradition or trial, because they can avoid making a decision that can be scrutinized. It’s much easier to slow walk the legal process with new charges and procedural appeals until he dies in jail- once that happens they can say “oops, what a shame” having gotten exactly what they wanted all along.

  • …..first they came for the weannies…
    being a vegetarian, i did nothing…
    then they came for the toilet paper…
    having big leaf maples all around…
    i did nothing…..
    then they came for my sneakers…
    but i had flip-flops……
    i did nothing….
    then they came for my organic
    underarm deodorant…..
    but i had a garden hose…
    i did nothing….
    then they came for everything else….
    facing homelessness, i got a tent, and……………………….
    i did nothing…finally…..
    they came for my dignity……
    being a consumer, i suddenly realized that was my most precious
    “commodity”……
    i couldn’t do anything…….

  • Forcefully argued about the most brazen miscarriage of justice of our time. Brilliant!

  • “ADX Florence, where all prisoners are kept in solitary confinement 23 hours a day.”

    Isn’t this how is being kept at Belmarsh?

    • It would be even worse in any US federal prison.

  • Yes, my little story about martyr cults is getting the kind of response I expected. It is more evidence supporting my thesis that most participants in these cults are mentally ill. They can be dangerous to anyone trying to point out the senselessness of their behaviour, shattering their idols.

    This is one of the realities of engaging in public discussion in a time of social breakdown, when “the worst are full of fervour”.

    If my writing gets one sane and capable person to move away from these true believer cults and work seriously toward replacing the present oligarchy with an authentic social democracy, it will have been worth the effort.

    The ying-yangs will like the blog post I am drafting about Assange even less. I will put that out once this trial is finished.

    The story is still at https://yaxls.wordpress.com/2021/07/20/sacral-man-a-parable-for-whistleblowers/ and will stay there. It is getting plenty of views.

  • “The goal is”: Make an example out of Assange. Make an example out of Donziger. Make an example out of Saab. Make an example out of Wanzhou. Make an example out of Hale. Make an example out of Kiriakou. Make an example out of Manning. Make an example out of Drake. “The goal is” to imprint upon the world that they will make an example out of … anyone … including you. Freedom of the Press? Beware “information brokers.” Freedom within international law? Beware “money launderers.” Freedom within sovereign countries? Beware, there are only a few countries left – and they are being made examples of.
    https://seaclearly.com/2020/11/29/what-is-left-to-be-trusted

    • It’s even WORSE, and fixing to deteriorate exponentially. There’s no place to BLOW a whistle, since all media, regulators, oversight is by, for and directly into the pocket of their tag-team kleptocracy? Since David Brock’s “Correct The Record” K Street troll feeding frenzy, Besos’ ACP, Atlantic Council Prop’RNot neo-McCarthyism, Google’s SEOd journalism down it’s memory hole, Social Networking Advocacy Solutions firms’ intentionally obvious tropes, memes & buzz-phrases ripped and read by Rachel, Anderson, Colbert, Amy… quicker than you can spew horse-paste? CommonDreams heads their comments with a threat against posting contradictory links or harshing old yuppies’ brainwashed buzz.

      https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=4c_V4Ff6M90&feature=emb_title

      • Common Dreams also disappears anyone who somehow gets labeled as contradictory. Suddenly, everything you ever posted on the site is gone. And your IP address is not allowed to contact them to find out why.

        Better to silence a bunch of people over nothing, than let one person say something unpopular.

      • The good news for those of us who have been purged from CD, it seems to be affecting their traffic. Not near as many of posters, nor many enlightening conversations between the ones that are left. That will eventually catch up to them in donations.

        • Good to see yunz jagoffs again! I’d been trying to get moderators or editors, to aggregate articles I’d linked to, as it became clearer that the readership was sadly deluded into believing DNC™ LLC was anything but a criminal cartel, bound to CRUSH anything remotely resembling M4A, GND, BLM, $15/hr, PEACE… most of their posts read like C&L, MoJo, Kos, Alternet or RawStory David Brock tropes ripped & read by white-flight suburbanite doper churls, who’d been wasted through Reagan’s Miracle & had their sublime buzz harshed, upon awakening to US?

  • If the Democrats and Republicans agree that Assange should still be in prison, what tiny little difference is there between them?

    Now that the internet makes the truth possible to know, Americans are cheering the loss of their right to know.

    • They also agreed (Trump & Biden) not to release the CIA’s records of JFK’s assassination

      • Fortunately, the Russians were smart enough to see through that!

  • Can’t blame the USG though… They’re concerned about the Uyghurs and the Taiwanese. Ask Blinkin’! Can’t be on every front… Of course, if Julian Assange had applied for Uyghur citizenship, things would be different… Or Russian for that matter cuz the USG is also concerned about charismatic entomologist Alexei Navalny who, after years of relentless research, has discovered that Muslims are cockroaches. Of course the USG has known for years that Muslims are cockroaches, which is why it’s been dumping a bomb on them every half-hour for as far as Zoomers can remember. That’s also why the USG is committed to fight for Navalny’s human rights. They’ve got the same approach to reality. But Julian Assange… Give him a podium and he’s capable of telling folks that Muslims have a soul! I’m asking you… Even women, children and newborn babies! As if anybody in the USG knew what a soul is anyway… A heart yes! Last time I fell for a US politician, their name was Tulsi Gabbard. Then she endorsed Joe Biden because she said he had “a good heart”. So we do know that “a good heart”, in Beltway vocabulary, means being able to torture a journalist for years, like he were a cockroach and you were a four year old training to become a serial killer like John Wayne Gacy, for telling the truth about crimes that your own justice system (“free” and “democratic”, the stuff they’ve been actively bombing down Muslims’ throats for decades) doesn’t want to hear about. What I’m curious to know now is what Tulsi Gabbard considers “a foul heart”… Or AOC Superstar for that matter. People on the right call her disparagingly a “social justice warrior”. Gotta be kidding! She’ll go as far as agreeing with Warren Buffet that you’ve got to tax the rich but Julian Assange… Freedom of speech, freedom of the press? Get real! We’re trying to get MORE censorship here and ADX Florence for heretics! The only reason why there isn’t a Nobel prize for hypocrisy is that the USG would win it every year…

  • Unfortunately Ms. Johnstone’s observation is all too true. But not just in the case of Mr. Assange and other political prisoners. In the United States, incarceration is not a solution to societal problems but rather a for-profit industry and a means for the Deep State to terrorize the vast majority of us. A tool in its arsenal of international villainy.
    The concept of a debt to society for violating its norms is not lacking in logic but it has corollaries. Among them, that there is a reasonable and logical basis for its imposition and a fair means for paying it and that such means will help to cure or at least to minimize any societal collusion in its creation. And that once paid, it is paid, without continuing stigma. None of those corollaries applies to the United States penal system, more criminal than just in its administration.

  • Almost every Australian politician will become an accessory to murder if Assange does not survive.
    But of course they will deny that because they are sick with Authoritarian Neurosis Disorder

    • What am I saying?
      They ALREADY are accomplices to murder:
      Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, and right here at home with our indigenous peoples.

  • In a country that is run by two opposing political parties acting in common, at the direction of the wealthy and powerful, how could anyone give any credence whatsoever to its government’s assurances. Assange is being persecuted for telling the truth about U.S. criminal behavior, but also that of similar illegal acts by other countries as well. If he is guilty of anything, it is of revealing the truth about the lies, deceit and illegalities by governments all over the globe.
    There’s on thing the super and powerful fear even more than losing their money – it is having its actions, being brought out in the open, while naming names.
    What they are doing to Assange is the biggest crime of all. FREE HIM!

  • Assange’s name live on forever in history as a martyr for Free Press.
    We are witnessing a slow motion cruxifixion.
    To live in such times

  • I am totally sick of hearing about Assange. About every six months they drag him out and exhibit him. The cult around him goes into hysterics.

    The fact points of his life show someone with a serious death wish and martyrdom complex. The most recently acquired point of fact is that the Russian intelligence services offered to mount an operation to get him out of the Ecuadorean embassy when he was here, and he flatly rejected it.

    It seems like he is just about dead now. He wants to die. Let him die.

    People should forget about him and focus efforts on much more worthy candidates, who did not seek attention and martyrdom but are under imperial persecution. A prime candidate would be Steven Donziger, recently jailed for winning a law suit against big oil.

    In general, though, litigating them, reporting on them, is a waste of time. You know what I mean by “them”. The point is to bring them down.

    Time to circulate again my little parable about Assange like people. If it gets a handful of people to think again, it is worthwhile.

    But what the hell, they tell me it is a fun story. Happy Halloween, all.

    https://yaxls.wordpress.com/2021/07/20/sacral-man-a-parable-for-whistleblowers/

    • Why so nasty?
      You clearly dislike Assange but that is no reason to wish him dead. Regardless of what you think about his character, he has helped raise global awareness about the evil behaviour of the USA and its minions, including the UK.

      • You haven’t understood what I wrote. I am not wishing Assange dead; my point is he has wished himself dead. You really can’t do anything for people like that and you are wasting your energy trying.

        Go and read my parable story. Also read the blog post I am revising to republish in the next couple of days.

        Why not stop following martyrdom cults?

        • …why not stop following [apparently] the cult of mammon?…

        • Your SILENCE is golden . . .

    • It would be only a bare handful of people who could bother navigating such redundant bloviation. No doubt you felt good writing and publishing it. Be content with that, and perhaps also practise being sick of hearing about Assange within a state of modest silence that better befits your comparative talent range.

    • WTF? Ooh, I wonder why he rejected a Russian intelligence operation? Let me think….

    • “People should forget about him…”

      This is a heinous wish.

      He will always be remembered for the great good his efforts made for.

      Ego formula: Seeing the value of someone else lessens mine.

      Accurate: The more I truly cherish and show the importance of other people, the more important I am.

      • I think you’ve diagnosed a mental disorder so ubiquitous it is not included in the DSM-5, (The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (5th ed)). Perhaps related to ADHD, EASD is Ego Attention-Seeking Disorder. It afflicts most of us, but some so compulsively it qualifies as a mental disorder.

    • You do understand that commenting here proves that nobody cares what you think, right?

      You must understand that trying to benefit off the effort of others is considered pathetic by most competent adults, right?

    • You are one sick individual. And stupid with it. Julian Assange did not “seek” martyrdom. He sought to inform the world about the crimes of the U.S. empire. I also support Steven Donziger. But you, sir, are a giant hairy asshole.

      • Applause . . .

  • Julian Assange did nothing more than Walter Cronkite did in exposing the War Crimes of Vietnam. It shows how far the United States has devolved since the sixties.
    ~
    I really feel for Julian Assange, wish there was something I could do to end his persecution. His pain must be horrendous, and he could be any of us, really.

    • Well, it wasn’t all JUST Seymour Hersh & Hugh Thompson, telling the truth. Walter just told our folks, the gig was up; that they’d kicked our ass?

      Thank you Caitlin, Mohamed and Kevin!

      http://socialistworker.org/2003-2/476/476_05_WarCrimes.php

      • Agreed, but his just telling us THAT seems almost like a miracle in what has become, during my lifetime, a fully CIA-controlled mainstream media. Most of us who were living during the 60s and 70s, and were old enough to know what was going on, would take a time machine back to that troubled and imperfect era in a heartbeat. But you can’t go back. You can only go through.

        • Yeah. Anthony Herbert was at Pitt, as Hunter Thompson’s book was being serialized and Pentagon Papers, Nixon, Patti Hearst… Brain FOG! I’d been dating a sardonic West Philly journalism student, awaiting my draft lottery a couple years later. Never watched Cronkite. We did gigs like edit U-Matic 3/4″ news. Then shot for “The Relative Truth.” As hippies gentrified old Black widows outa streetcar suburbs, they’d been redlined into & bulldozed their businesses. Look up Teenie Harris or W Eugene Smith pix? If a brave chopper pilot tried to protect civilians, now: Neera, Rahm, Kerry, Hills, Albright… Rachel & Anderson would tear them to ribbons, like in a George Romero zombie flixk?

          • God that lottery was a nightmare. I came up with 95 so was headed straight to Nam right out of college. Had an easy way out, though, unlike many others. Always wanted to go to both law school and seminary (to get different toolsets to help change the world we were so certain was changing for the better). So my grad school path was determined by a number: first seminary (with a 4D deferment), then law school. Back then, of course, most forms of higher ed were affordable for working class kids like me, something the PTB soon learned to never let happen again.

            • Yep. Within years, I’d lots of friends BEGGING to join the USAF & USN, while we dumpster-dove, foraged (stole), varmint-hunt, sell dope, bolld or sex during Reagan’s Miracle. My brother’s CMU classmate hacked DARPA & all were 4F. I’d got 364 & my buddy, 4! Sorta dropped out after that?

  • Key witness
    in Assange
    case admits
    to lies in
    indictment
    A maj­or wit­n­ess in the United States’ Depart­ment of Justice ca­se against Ju­li­an Assange has admitted to fabricat­ing key accusati­ons in the indict­ment against the Wiki­leaks found­er.

    26. júní 2021 10:00

  • Julian must be released, he must be freed.

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