HomeArticleThe Assange Case Explained Simply

The Assange Case Explained Simply

Listen to a reading of this article:

One of the most common reasons I hear from people on their reluctance to wade into the Assange debate is that they don’t understand it. It looks like a complicated issue to them, so they leave it to the experts.

In reality, the complexity of this case is a complete illusion. It’s very, very simple. It only looks complicated because many years of media distortion have made it appear so.

The US government is trying to extradite a journalist and prosecute him under the Espionage Act for exposing its war crimes, with the long-term goal of normalizing this practice.

That’s it. That’s the whole entire thing. So simple you can sum it up in a single sentence. In a single breath. The most powerful government on earth setting a legal precedent which would allow it to extradite any journalist anywhere in the world for exposing its malfeasance would unquestionably have a massive chilling effect on journalism everywhere in precisely the area where press scrutiny is most sorely needed. It’s not any more complex or nuanced than that.

The Assange issue is simple. What makes it seem complicated is the lies people have been fed by the media class whose job is to manipulate the public into consenting to the agendas of the US power alliance and its war machine.

Because of this mass-scale smear campaign, you will be told that Assange is “not a journalist” and should therefore not be defended as such. This is first of all objectively false; providing the public with factual information about the powerful which helps them understand their world better is the thing that journalism is, which is why Assange has received many awards for journalism. More to the point, Assange wouldn’t need to be a journalist for worldwide press freedoms to be gravely threatened by his prosecution for publishing authentic documents about the US government.

You will be told that Assange “helped Trump win” with WikiLeaks publications that harmed the 2016 Hillary Clinton campaign, and should therefore not be supported. But the Assange extradition case has nothing to do with the 2016 WikiLeaks releases; the entire case revolves around the Chelsea Manning leaks from years earlier about the US military’s scandalous abuses in Iraq and Afghanistan. More to the point, only the most infantile of narcissists would believe it’s legitimate to imprison people for hurting your preferred candidate’s political campaign.

You will be told that Assange is being prosecuted for “hacking” and not journalism because the US indictment alleges that Assange tried to help Manning crack a password while taking classified documents. But it does not allege that Assange made any attempt to help Manning gain access to those documents; the indictment says that Manning already “had access to the computers in connection with her duties as an intelligence analyst,” and that Assange’s attempts would only “have made it more difficult for investigators to determine the source of the illegal disclosures.” As explained in 2019 by journalists Glenn Greenwald and Micah Lee (the latter of whom happens to despise Assange), this means Assange was engaged in the standard journalistic practice of source protection. Anyone who says Assange tried to hack into US government servers is either lying or misinformed.

You will be told that Assange is a Russian asset because of still-unproven allegations by the US government that the Kremlin was behind the 2016 releases, but this claim is completely baseless and, again, completely unrelated to the 2010 Manning publications for which Assange is actually being prosecuted. No serious media publication has ever reported that the Assange extradition case has anything to do with the 2016 WikiLeaks publications, but because so many people heard Assange’s name mentioned during the mass media’s discredited Trump-Russia collusion narratives you’ll constantly see people assuming that one is related to the other.

Do you see how that works? Do you see how what’s actually happening with the Assange case is extremely simple and easy to understand, but all the narratives justifying his persecution make it necessary to engage in a bunch of complicated counter-arguments? This obfuscation didn’t happen by accident, which is why I refuted as many such distortions as possible in this long article written after Assange’s imprisonment.

The most powerful government in the world trying to lock up a foreign journalist for telling the truth about it is as insanely tyrannical an abuse as you could possibly come up with. It’s as obvious as it gets. The Assange case is so simple and so common sense it should be one of the most mainstream, normie positions anyone could possibly have, right up there with believing racism is bad and child molesters should be stopped. It’s only because imperial spinmeisters muddy the waters with lies and distortions that this isn’t happening.

Everyone should oppose the agenda to normalize the imprisonment of journalists who embarrass the US empire. This shouldn’t be a job left to fringe bloggers, podcasters and YouTubers, it should be happening in every sector of society, across the entire political spectrum. The fact that a very large sector of the population fails to see this as a priority issue shows you just how brainwashed the empire’s propaganda engine has made us.

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Latest comments

  • You’ve missed one. If you’re British, or maybe Swedish, you’ll also be told, or hinted at – “Isn’t he also a rapist, and under arrest for rape, in Sweden?”

    Caitlin doesn’t mention this, probably because the allegations have been withdrawn, and the people who made them now say that they were pressurised by the Swedish police into making them.But it was those allegations which originally saw him have to take sanctuary in the Ecuadaorian embassy, and those which were being used as the lever to extradite him to Sweden and then to the US where he would be tried for the crimes of journalism discussed above.

    The allegations have by now been withdrawn, but they were crucial in gaining popular support for his sort-of-but-not imprisonment without trial. At the point when they were beginning to collapse, and the Swedish authorities were indicating they may have to abandon their role in this charade, the office of the UK’s Director of Public Prosecutions sent them a letter containing the words, “Don’t you dare get cold feet now”. The UK’s DPP at that time was Keir Starmer, who is now “leader” of the UK’s “Labour” Party, which under his leadership has become a pointless clone of the Conservatives.

    The neoliberal “left” hate Assange as much as the right, especially in the UK where Blair was the Prime Minister involved in the wrongdoing he exposed. The fact that everyone understands that Blair is a war criminal is the result of Assange’s work.

  • Be like Assange. Get vaccinated.

  • Glenn Greenwald does a thorough postmortem dissection on 2 minutes of deliberate outright lies by Joe Scarborough and Claire McCaskill on MSDNC. Four lies repeated multiple times in just two minutes on a typical CIA Regime Media channel. Unlike Julian Assange, these “journalists” are highly paid prostitutes.

    https://www.zerohedge.com/political/greenwald-real-disinformation-agents-watch-nbc-news-tells-four-blatant-lies-two-minutes

    • On this comment, and those by Thorsjackhammer and Ashley below, I don’t know that I can quite go along with Thorsjackhammer about Trump being nothing but a puppet. I guess I think that, although there is some sort of Establishment, maybe even a committee, in charge of the U.S., British and Israeli governments at least, its control isn’t absolute. It still depends on being able to deceive people, and it can’t deceive all the people all the time.
      I expected Trump to pardon Assange after he was elected, but he didn’t. I suggest that this could mean that he was told something by the spy agencies that we don’t know. He may have been lied to: I think that if there is a real Establishment, the spy agencies would have to be part of it, and they would have to be near the top of whatever the system is for controlling the President of the U.S.A. They are supposed to brief him every day, after all.
      Has anyone heard of Executive Support Systems? I learned the phrase during my time at university something over twenty years ago. It struck me as a good way to manage a fellow who thought he was in charge, as long as he was dull enough or subservient enough. Bush II and Obama obviously were dull enough (Bush) and subservient enough (Obama). Trump wasn’t, but that doesn’t mean that he caught every lie.
      As for journalists being highly paid prostitutes, I think that most journalists have always been liars. We have a romantic idea of journalists going out and reporting the truth, but most people who write and talk prefer to do it in safety and to say what is expected of them. I call them Priests, and say that, in association with Soldiers (men who live by force and the threat of force), they make up the essential parts of ALL governments. That isn’t to say that all governments are equally bad or that all journalists are equally dishonest.

  • Isn’t the fact that Trump said he ‘loves’ wikileaks/praised it 141 times, a fairly clear red flag of a controlled opposition? A major political puppet loving Wikileaks, at any time, makes me just a little suspicious at the very least. Or, is that just some elaborate psyop to discredit wikileaks by association with Trump. Perhaps targeting specific truth seekers whom think Trump is just like all the rest of the elected political leaders, from any side of politics, puppets?

    • it could be neither. “the enemy of my enemy is my friend” could very well be trump’s logic. wikileaks went after democrats (who were in power) and made them look bad, trump can capitalize on that without having any involvement. anything that made hillary look bad (and rightfully so) was something he “loved.”

      holding democrats in power to account is not the same as helping trump.

      and regardless, going after assange chills free speech and the free press for everyone.

    • Ashley – “regardless, going after assange chills free speech and the free press for everyone.”

      That’s all I agree with you on. Freedom of the press and freedom of speech that exposes state sanctioned criminal acts being criminalised. Hopefully, we all will be able to continue to, at the very least, be able to theorise about political, economic, industrial and military powers without it being branded as treason, or, criminal. Even plausible ‘theory’ looks in danger of being labelled as a thought crime.

      Trump is a stooge politician like all of them, they don’t get into those positions without being controlled. Controlled ‘leaders’ goes back, at least, to Claudius the 4th Roman emperor in 41AD. It doesn’t matter which ‘president/prime minister/political leader gets in, the same basic plan is still being carried out by the ruling elite. Assange’s 9 plus year mainstream and ‘alternate’ media circus, and, having two kids whilst in this hell circus without clear end asks too much from me anyway. Trump ‘liking’ in a puppet vs puppet presidential contest is just the laughable and absurd icing on the cake.

  • While the ostensible reason for the US regime to go after Assange might be that he enabled the publication of yet more US warcrimes and malfeasance, the real reason was that WikiLeaks obtained and released Vault 7, the crown jewels of CIA hacking tools. Vault 7’s publication occurred in March 2017 and enraged the CIA and Pompeo Maximus so much that they decided then to ‘eliminate’ Assange. It is thus very likely a fiction that Obama refrained from going after Assange because of the ‘NYT problem’, because if Vault 7 were released on Obama’s watch he certainly would have gone after Assange too. The CIA would have given him no choice. Instead it all looked like ‘Trump disregarded reason’, but Trump went along with Pompeo and the CIA to begin the judicial murdering of Assange. And Biden followed without hesitation.
    .
    It appears almost guaranteed that if a large corporate media outlet released more damning footage, etc, of US warcrimes that it won’t be gone after. In fact, it’s apparent that the root of the complicity of corporate media in this judicial murder of a journalist is that such assurances have already been given on the quiet. The psychopaths running the US state badly want Assange for Vault 7 and they want to use the warcrimes precedent not to go after NYT et al. for publishing such, but all the powerless little Youtubers and citizen journalists, etc, who, without ‘license’, might be foolhardy enough to do so.

  • Mary Wildfire, I was in South Africa at the end of Apartheid. The White Tribe of Africa, the Afrikaners had been brainwashed from birth by their strict Calvinist religion that their god had placed the welfare of Black Africans in their care. There was no attempt at genocide, their numbers tripled under Apartheid and living conditions were far better than under any comparable colonial power.
    Of course this was intolerable and inhumane and the nation was on the brink of civil war.
    Atrocities were common on all sides, some more justified than others, but everyone had blood on their hands.
    Somehow everyone had to be persuaded to set aside their grievances, lay down their arms, and negotiate.
    How do you sit across from those who butchered your family?
    Who stole your land.
    Who would kill you without the slightest regret.
    Communist, capitalist, homosexual, traditionalist, laborer and farmer.
    Everyone with a legitimate axe to grind.
    But civil war would be worse, create more martyrs on all sides.
    There would be nothing left worth fighting over.
    You have to find common ground all can stand on. Build a coalition of the peace makers who can go back and convince their tribe that this is the best possible outcome. It was beautiful.
    Now we have to build a broad world wide coalition to persuade the Empire to die without taking us all with it. We may detest and fear some of our partners in that coalition, they may fear and detest us.
    But the alternative will always be worse, we can not afford ideological purity, we all have blood on our hands.

  • It would be an easy and clear case of Normalization, if Assange wasn’t playing the theatrical production role himself.

    His role is part of the show, to misdirect away from the war crimes he is “revealing” and to capture focus of public spotlights. He is playing the martyr’s role (one could now say even a bearded false-messiah role) that veils the the main goal of this Project of Normalization, the goal that is two fold:
    firstly, normalization of clampdown on whistle-blowers, dissenters and doubters;
    secondly, normalization of war crimes, that is, normalization of the system itself, as it is.

    And Manning is just another actor/actress.
    Same goes for Snowden.

    They are all long-term actors, playing out roles of Controlled-demolition-of-public-dissent . They are kept on stage to sell the public an emotion that something is being done to stop the maliciousness of the system when in reality nothing is being done to stop the system from doing what it was designed to do in the first place, thus their pacifying agency, a counter-agency or inverted agent-provocateur role, is the simplest explanation for their media-presence longevity. If the system didn’t want them (need them) they would have been ignored and memory-holed as soon as they’d tried to mount the main stage.

    There is not one public figure out there that is not part of the system’s illusion maintenance. They all have roles to play and those roles’ main function is to confuse and pacify the public, to make the masses schizophrenic and to make them finally submit to the unquestionable and unmistakable authority of their rulers, who themselves already transitioned into dystopia and became god-like schizophrenics themselves.

    And to be efficient salesmen the life-long actors have to offer to the public some bone to chew on and – although that bone is an “old news” bone – if the public takes a bite, then they can proceed with a main goal’s dramatic production of mass-psychopathy normalization. Constant normalization of a New-Abnormal culture. And if one of the main actors looses grip over his followers, then the scriptwriters insert a crisis of sex-changing nature or a prison without a verdict insecurity or a home far away from home babushka, a moment of uncertainty inside a tragically scripted persona’s fate.

    And all the main actors are kept far away from public’s view so that their personae wouldn’t crumble by exposure to public scrutiny, while the media scriptwriters do their utmost emotional damage to the servile citizenry classes while their transition into psychotic submissive-slave status is being normalized.

    Yesterday’s “normal” people will soon begin to be diagnosed as having abnormal mental health symptoms thus they will be re-“normalized” by mandatory medication, while Tomorrow’s “normal” people will all be compliant, preventatively medicated, functioning psychopaths.

    • Agree with pretty much all of it. Although, I see “Tomorrows ‘normal’ people” more as a massive brainwashed/programmed cult. 100% indoctrinated, 100% loyal to whatever the current elite’s requirements might be, and reprogrammed as required.

      “If the system didn’t want them (need them) they would have been ignored and memory-holed as soon as they’d tried to mount the main stage.”

      That’s my assumption, makes the most sense to me.

      • I can agree with a lot of what Miles Mathis writes about, he’s right with a lot of things, like most Five Eyes ‘truthers’, but the guy is an obvious limited hangout/controlled opposition. Believing nukes are fake is always a major stooge alarm bell, and that didn’t take me long to find on his site. I’ve come to realise that there are very few ‘truthers’ that are not 5EYES stooges. They obviously invest heavily in a wide assortment of fake truthers, that’s what Miles should do his next article on.

        The fake truthers main objective must be to discredit conspiracy facts/plausibilities with ridiculous things like fake nukes and flat earth. Thereby painting the entire truther community with the same discrediting brush.

  • Caitlin, you’ve hit the bullseye once again. Thanks for what you do–you are the best out there, and I’ve read a lot. Peace.

  • Imho omg let’s not hurt anyone’s feelings here. Caitlin called it correctly in her reply to Rackemann’s trolling. This article was about empire”s systemic and lethal stranglehold on the future of journalism in the twenty-first century. While people have the right (for now) to say whatever is on their mind, bigoted and homophobic comments wherever posted do not and will not advance a just society.

    “Every time we witness an injustice and do not act, we train our character to be passive in its presence and thereby eventually lose all ability to defend ourselves and those we love.”…

    ~~Julian Assange

  • I saw it on the net, in Iraq. Reuters staff posing as journalists handing over stealth ammunition to terrorists brandishing invisible stealth weapons. An Apache gunship pilot/gunner, without any thought to his own safety, bravely fired warning shots near the terrorists who then deliberately ran into the oncoming firestorm in an attempt to discredit and vilify the entire US peace machine who were engaged in delivering democracy to the region. Other terrorists arrived by van including several under age terrorists, who also ran into the firestorm.
    Adding yet more ‘been there’ confetti to their uniform chests the pilots were heard to say “Shucks… jus’ doin’ ma job.”

  • Nobody knows about Assange. And if they did they wouldn’t understand. And if they understood, they wouldn’t care. And even if they cared, they wouldn’t do anything about it.

    Kind of the Jesus myth, no? Or is it decadence?

    “Today the tyrant rules not by club or fist, but disguised as a market researcher, he shepherds his flocks in the ways of utility and comfort.”

    Marshall McLuhan

  • How are human beings, born with individual brains, capable of critical thought, rendered gullible? Are we all surreptitiously surgically lobotomized at birth?
    [Gullibility is a failure of an individual’s innate insight, in which the person is easily tricked or manipulated into an ill-advised course of action. It is closely related to credulity, which is the tendency to believe unlikely propositions that are unsupported by evidence.]
    Why is this so, is the more profound question, for it cancels out the acquisition and expansion of the knowledge base as the foundation stone of wisdom.
    Propaganda is so successful, because Rene Descartes’ philosophical statement “I think, therefore, I am; if ever it applied, as translated from the Latin: cogito, ergo sum, is no longer valid.
    In fact, Homo-sapiens, having become conscious of this separation from instinctive behavior, is contradicted by his current reactive behavior whereas, in fact, the opposite, I am, yet, I do not think for myself “ego tamen non puto me” better highlights what is happening. It rings truer!
    Regrettably, it doesn’t say much for the expansion and growth of a more universal consciousness.

    • It’s not so much that people are gullible or credulous. Without a conscious and permanent effort no to do so, they believe what they want to believe and what they want to believe is what suits them in one way or the other or feels comfortable. It stems directly from the survival instinct. Unless trained otherwise (at school and/or at home), you believe what will help you survive best and make you happy. Going along with mainstream propaganda is one of those things that make you feel good because mainstream propaganda is made to make you feel good. Like you’re bombing the hell out of innocent and defenseless people because you want freedom and democracy to triumph etc. All the dictators killed folks (by the thousands or the millions, depending on their ambition) to give their people a better world: Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, Mobutu… They all wanted to rid society from its allegedly bad elements and that’s what propaganda thrives on. Allegedly is the important word here :o)

      • Obliviousness is no longer even remotely related to natural instinct!
        The survival instinct is the “ability to know what to do to stay alive” – innate in all the ‘lower’ than human herd animals; in an untampered with natural environment, no longer identical to that of human behavior; a more critically thoughtful, though barren, dismembered of group compassion, technologically manufactured factory.
        It is only humans who devour their own, and in a time of plenty in the unnatural environment, some among them have monopolistically manufactured. This hording and stripping of resources, for the benefit of the alpha’s sole benefit, to the detriment of the entire herd, does not occur in the ‘lower’ animal species.
        It is in the more conscious, yet totally oblivious to its own antithetical inhuman nature sphere, where individual greed has metastasized, beyond the community survival instinct of the entire herd body.
        And it is this one degenerate specie alone which has developed the capacity, in one fell swoop, to eradicate itself, and everything it had no hand in creating, without the blink of an eye in space-time cosmic consciousness.

    • It’s probably the basic design (fault?) of ‘a tribe’, ‘a family’, ‘a nation’, you have much fewer leaders than followers. We are just like giant bees or ants in many ways, creativity being one major difference.

  • No,you are a racist,you just said so I and many people I know are absolutely NOT

  • Here’s the most important question of all. 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? (or else WHAT?!)
     
    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.
     

    • What about the idea of voting, but intentionally voting invalid (yourself or for whomever you think should get the vote, but his/hers name is not on the ballot)?

      By voting invalid you force the media to report on how many dissenters there are in the country and that number is there for all to see and get the insight into the real numbers of dissatisfied citizenry. And the PTB get a clear message that the lost sheep are impossible to be led to greener pastures any longer with the help of their shepherd dogs (politicians and the media).

      Provided, of course, the machine voting (digital scam) allows for the invalid votes to be cast in the first place. In that regard voting by mail is better option for one’s invalid vote to be counted.

      • Last local area election here, you could only vote by mail with a barcoded form that was mailed to you. The barcode could be used to identify the voter. All you could do to avoid a fine and cast an invalid/protest vote was to vote 1 to 6 in exact order of how the candidates appeared on the form. Suggesting that you didn’t give a damn which stooge got the most votes, as their scripts are already written for them by their handlers.

  • “Extremely simple and easy to understand”: This will set “a legal precedent which would allow [them] to extradite [or, rendition through lawfare] any journalist anywhere in the world.” “Extremely simple and easy to understand”: This would have been done to Snowden had there been a chance. “Extremely simple and easy to understand”: This has been a success of such magnitude that even George Orwell would have been at a loss of words (for a time). “Extremely simple and easy to understand”: This episode is another moment in history “which will live in infamy” – according to the stenography of how it is allowed to be written.
    https://seaclearly.com/2020/11/21/the-times-they-are-a-changin

    • Imagine if Assange had exposed Chinese crimes, not US ones
      https://www.rt.com/op-ed/542848-assange-exposed-chinese-crimes
      “If Julian Assange were a Chinese journalist and publisher, he’d have the Nobel Prize, be the centerpiece of Human Rights Day, and his portrait would’ve been planted atop President Joe Biden’s Democracy Summit.
      If Chinese crimes rather than American crimes had been revealed by Assange, he would now be the poster boy for the Winter Olympics’ boycott campaign. Every news bulletin today [would lead] with his fate, every press still turning would be rolling out the outrage at the crushing of this butterfly on the wheel.”

      Poor Julian, if only he had been born a Chinaman.

  • Rafael Correa, former president of Ecuador said, ““If Assange would have exposed the secrets of China, Russia or left-wing Latin American governments, including my government, he would have been praised by the international press, honored by US Congress and the British parliament. But because his actions were against the interests of the US, the hegemonic country, he was labeled a criminal.”

    Simple.

  • Much of this is repetition–the strongest part, for me, is at the end, when you point out that the US government is deliberately setting a precedent that it can extradite and imprison anyone, anywhere in the world, that reveals its crimes (and if it can, how about other governments?) That this hasn’t gotten the world of journalists in particular but everyone else as well, up in arms is a testament to the power of propaganda. I don’t think many are turned off by the sexuality of Assange’s allies, but those smears about catshit in the embassy, etc., as well as the fake rape charges, from Sweden, had an effect.

  • BBC headline:
    (American) Louisiana judge, faces calls to quit over video slurs. In perfect America, even a rather innocuous racist epithet requires the strongest condemnation, especially if they were uttered by a judge.
    Judges statement made in her own defense: “Anyone who knows me and my husband, knows this is contrary to the way we live our lives… (It takes a past traumatic event to prompt the ‘unconscious’ to action; god help us all, for we know not what we might say under duress) The incident… shook me to my core and my mental state was fragile… “admission of guilt, yet I didn’t mean it.
    So, when I’m in full command of my mental faculty, my dark side is better constrained, and my lifetime of inculcated racism remains hidden from myself; and of secondary concern. I continue to see myself “as pure as the driven white snow.”
    There is, however, always the necessity of a cop-out statement; in this particular incident, something like: “I have zero recollection of the (incident) and the disturbing language used during it,” therefore, I am innocent, and cannot be considered by my ‘peers’ as racist.
    This is the constant, underlying fear that lurks in the dark recesses of the American psyche; that in fact I am the personification of the hypocrisy underlying Americans’ self-notion of exceptionalism.
    As long as one does not utter racial epithets one is innocent of racism etc. etc.!
    As well as recollection serves, Judge Baraitser uttered numerous slights against the defendant, Julian Assange, during his show trial, yet all this individual British bigot is being called to answer for is that she misinterpreted the intentions of the higher up powers.
    Most of us, mere mortals, know the definition of racism, when it comes to the racist tendencies of the ‘other’ yet when I am personally accused, as the culprit, I haven’t a clue as to what you are talking about, and come up with mitigating excuses “I am deeply sorry and ask for your (my peers) forgiveness and understanding as my family and I deal with the emotional aftermath of… “the incident and the trauma it inflicted on us.
    Racism, what racism? Me, a racist, are you kidding!?
    Welcome to the American colonial settlement offshoot, the land of lapsed memory.
    Do as I say, not as I do, is never uttered. This is the essence of the cover-up.
    “As you sow, so shall you reap” only this biblical proverb does not apply to me for I live in a state where there is Constitutional separation of church and state. Wink wink!

    • Everyone is a racist to one degree or another. Admit it to yourself and fight against it. Dont judge others because they are racist, instead criticize them for not controlling racist thoughts and actions. Everyone is a racist. Those who deny it are the biggest racists of all.

      • No,you are a racist,you just said so I and many people I know are absolutely NOT

  • If Julian Assange isn’t a journalist, then what title do we assign the scribes that cover the atrocious actions of the US Government?

    I think “Presstitute” would be an apt term.

    It’s all about trying to re-define words that have long been accepted in our vocabulary.

    Now, the US is trying to tell us that a journalist has to be a writer for some pre-approved “press entity” that they think they have the right to license. And that’s a bridge-to-nowhere too far!

    There are too many bad things the US does. I’m referring to the government, not the citizens that make up the nation. And there’s a difference: The government is no longer a part of the people that make up the nation; it has morphed into a separate and distinct class of scum that seems to float above the people, immune from the laws that it forces upon the people.

    For clarification, I distinguish between America, the United States, and the US. America is the way our nation’s founders wrote in the Constitution. The United States is what we got after the War of Northern Aggression. And the US is simply the edifice that protects those that operate under the guise of being the nation’s government of today.

    Currently, there is very little of what the US does that is sanctioned by its populace. But that’s a much longer tale of woe than is needed here.

    But for those who can’t understand the key sentence in the article, then woe unto them and their friends and family.

  • Truer words have never been spoken – with the caveat that same as a so-called “virus” will make some people sick and not others, propaganda cannot exonerate the condemners from personal responsibility. In both cases, it’s the terrain that allows the infection.

  • How can we wake up and save Julian Assange, free press, democracy, and so many important things in serious danger now?
    .
    Michael Jackson – Cry (Official Video)

  • Caitlin, I agree in general with your assessment of this case, but there is one thing niggling at the back of my mind, and I wonder whether something similar isn’t keeping a lot of other people from giving their wholehearted support to the campaign to free Assange.
    What if the whole thing is theatre?
    The idea that someone can carry on a personal life and have two kids with his girlfriend while hiding in an embassy is a bit hard to digest. Then, and you are going to hate me for this, there is the question of two people he is closely associated with, at least in the public mind: Robert (Chelsea) Manning and that journalist who lives in Brazil, is openly homosexual and refers to his lover as his “husband.” (I know because I have read one of his books.)
    All this is a bit hard for people like me to believe, let alone support. It leads me to believe that we are being forced to choose between plain criminal terrorism on the part of the U.S. Government and associating with or lending our support to people who make us cringe.
    I agree that if everything is as it appears to be, we should swallow our “prejudices” and come out wholeheartedly on the side of Assange. I don’t think it is too much to say that we should be prepared to commit assassinations on his behalf, if it comes to that. BUT the whole thing just looks to be a bit too neat. I can just about accept that Robert Manning may have been so stressed out by the position he was in that he decided he wanted to be a girl, in spite of the fact that he could never be a woman who has a male lover and has children in the normal way. And having known a few homosexuals at university, I can just about accept the fact that the other chap may be an honest journalist and a homosexual at the same time. But it is a big ask for me, and I think it would be an even bigger ask for many people from the same background as me who haven’t been to university and haven’t been around the weird end of society. Sorry to offend all your ideas, but I do think this is a factor in keeping the public from seeing the basic principles involved to be as simple as you set them out to be, and as they probably really are. I know I haven’t put this very well.

      • Caitlin Johnstone, with respect I have great admiration for you and your work, no ifs or buts. You are a hero.
        This comment section is another matter altogether.
        Paul Rachemann could find an echo chamber which reflects back all his deeply held views, as we all could. Instead he came here.
        Ridicule will not change his opinion, as it would not change ours.
        Preaching to a thousand like me achieves nothing, we are the choir.
        Here is a chance for a new convert, his character is irrelevant.
        Can we convince him that his own self interest is best served if he knows more about what his government is up to, regardless of whether he approves of the messenger or not. That that messenger deserves his respect and support.
        Also the way extended debates quickly end up as a single line of words, and those icons trivialize the commenters, sorry.
        You are still my hero, for what it is worth.

        • But the guy IS admitting to bigotry, and saying it’s a reason he can’t support a journalist being imprisoned for life for revealing war crimes.
          As for the icons, I’m always jealous that I don’t get one when I comment, instead I get a photo associated, I guess, with my WordPress account.
          Maybe she could have softened the response, tho.

          • Mary Wildfire, please see my reply at the top of the page.

      • Great response Caitlin! Glenn Greenwald is among a small remaining group of journalists displaying courage and integrity. I have great respect for him. What possible bearing does his sexual preference have upon his journalistic performance.

    • Paul Rackemann, thanks for your post! I must say I hadn’t read something as ridiculous in a long time and I was almost regaining an unreasonable faith in mankind, thinking we’d left your kind of knuckledraggers in the dustbins of history. If I may give you some advice, try to get your facts right when you set on criticizing stuff you’re clueless about, otherwise you lose a credibility already worn down to a thread by your off topic rant: Chelsea Manning’s birth name was not Robert but Bradley.

    • ** “The idea that someone can carry on a personal life and have two kids with his girlfriend while hiding in an embassy is a bit hard to digest.”
      ** Manning’s Wiki-leaks, charges, imprisonment and decade long struggle for gender reassignment surgery. A soap opera in itself.

      It just seems all too unlikely. Public theatre. Better than a Hollywood script. The sociopaths in power absolutely fear leaks, but this particular drama seems more likely a warning to genuine whistle blowers to BEWARE! Or else! You’ll be locked up for years without an end in sight. The sociopaths would also likely think that the mainstream public would associate gender reassignment and ‘leaks’ negatively. Or even, that this is what becomes of whistleblowers. I wouldn’t put anything past the sociopaths. They can personality profile any of us with a couple of days of our internet movements. I believe I’ve read it only takes about 15 (separate topic) internet searches, minimum. Again, this is just my take that’s theatrics, and I’m not arrogant enough to believe I’m always right, although, I generally have an accurate bullshit detector. Having said that, I’m always open to being convinced otherwise, with enough facts. That’s the main reason why I read other peoples blogs and comments. To continuously refine my own conclusions. There are lots of interesting takes on Caitlin’s page, including hers, of course.

      • neither one of you has explained how there is anything unlikely about any of this. or why prosecuting genuine whistleblowers like Manning is just theater to scare so called “real whistleblowers”. they didnt want the apache attack video to be disseminated widely, end of story. doesnt matter who or what Manning is. or any of the other whistleblowers dragged through the mud and prosecuted.

        • Pretzelattack, I read up on Manning and ‘collateral damage’ some more. Manning does now come across as genuine. At least at around the time of the initial leaks and early days of incarceration.

          The killing of the two Reuters reporters is certainly not a leak they would want. The only question I have in my mind currently is, was the post leaks gender reassignment some kind of complex anti-whistleblower psyop? Could it work to curtail whistleblowers on some deep psychological level somehow? Used to discredit? Or, was it plain and simply a genuine need? I know Intel agencies have branches that have the science to cult mind control targets to change their personal principles/ideologies and even realities, so I wouldn’t put anything past them.

          My problem is, ultimately, I have very low trust in intel/military/legal/political/corporate/religious authorities, that keeps me questioning everything they may have a hand in.

        • As for Assange. Trump ‘loves’ wikileaks. That’s a fairly clear red flag. A major political puppet loving wikileaks , at any time, makes me somewhat suspicious at the very least.

    • Paul Rackemann, Brave words, for once I disagree with Caitlin Johnstone. How can we have an honest discussion about anything if people are afraid to express their opinion in public. And you are right to question everything, assume everything could be propaganda. I disagree with your opinion, I have no higher pedestal than that occupied by Assange, Chelsea Manning, Edward Snowdon etc. Who am I to judge their character or sexual preference, or they mine, it is irrelevant.
      I think Julian Assange’s greatest exposure of the Empires secrets is right now. Politicians, journalists, the establishment and the judiciary are exposed for what they are. Their hypocrisy is plain for all to see, now we know.
      They all talk about press freedom, rule of law, etc but who has the integrity to speak out against this injustice, and who is there on false pretenses.
      The Empire is trying to stop people like Assange exposing their dirty little secrets, and instead expose the biggest secret of all, just how pathetic and inept they have become.

      • Archeon – “I think Julian Assange’s greatest exposure of the Empires secrets is right now. Politicians, journalists, the establishment and the judiciary are exposed for what they are. Their hypocrisy is plain for all to see, now we know.
        They all talk about press freedom, rule of law, etc but who has the integrity to speak out against this injustice, and who is there on false pretenses.”

        I agree, the Assange saga does expose the network of hypocrisy, to those with enough critical thinking ability at the least. Maybe even to a younger group of critical thinkers. But, if he’s genuine or not, either way, they can use him (or a controlled opposition version of him) to fabricate a ‘national security’ crime, or, ‘high treason’ narrative in the eyes of the gullible majority. Which is likely their primary goal. And also use it to terrify genuine potential whistle blowers. My guess is that the majority will be led to see it as treason. If that’s not already the case. It likely is. And most potential whistle blowers or ‘leak’ outlets will have this 9 year (and continuing) terror show flashing up in their minds if they have an inclination to go public with any state secrets.

    • Even the strongest of Assange supporters would repudiate the following statement, which sticks out like a sore thumb from the rest of your remarks: “I don’t think it is too much to say that we should be prepared to commit assassinations on his behalf, if it comes to that.” What motivates the making of such a crazy, abhorrent statement? Are you trying to suck Caitlin and this blog into criminal incitement to violence, so that her journalism can be shut down like Assange’s?

    • Thanks to those who think I am not beyond redemption. I should warn you though that leftists in the past who have thought that there was hope for me have ended up disappointed. I am pretty confident about my major ideas.
      The “other” journalist I was referring to, as I suppose a lot of people will know, is Glenn Greenwald. I had one of my frequent memory lapses and couldn’t find his name anywhere.
      Thanks for the correction about Bradley Manning’s real name. I don’t think there are many people who have paid a bigger price for doing the right thing than him (her).
      I know that some homosexuals have in the past not gotten proper recognition for good things they have done, because people like me can’t stand to say anything good about them. Similarly, there are some Negroes who confound “stereotypes.” Ben Carson earned my real admiration in the second-last American presidential race. But what do you do?
      I knew I was skating on thin ice with that comment about assassination. There is a quotation I have seen attributed to Thomas Jefferson, along these lines: “The tree of liberty requires to be fertilised (every so often) with the blood of patriots and tyrants.” I won’t take that any further for now. I am someone whose messages sometimes disappear from my Outbox. It’s only highly political messages that disappear. I am not sure exactly which agency is doing it, but I think it’s important for people to know that it is happening. It is probably cheaper and safer than putting me on trial for sedition. People might hear about that.

      • At least, you’re fair play. Concerning the “theatre” conspiracy theory in your post, you just have to read what Craig Murray (who’s now also been jailed in Scotland on flimsy charges at best) has been writing about Assange’s state of mind for months or respected journalist John Pilger or the UN expert who visited him twice. To believe all this is fake is asking a lot. About making two babies in an embassy, I can’t see what’s incongruous in sleeping with your girl-friend in an embassy if you’ve got a private bedroom there? As for Glenn Greenwald, he’s one of the most brilliant and courageous men around. Who cares about his sexuality and what does that have to do with Julian Assange?

  • Journalism and news are such nebulous terms even before the internet. Some consider journalists to be those who work for magazines, newspapers etc. Others feel the person putting out a hometown flyer of local events to be a journalist. This was before the internet. Now it is way more complex and convoluted. The digital age has scrambled meanings and definitions. Whether Assange is a journalist is not the point or crux of his problems. Assange revealed secrets of the state whether good or bad. This is his dilemma. Journalism bows to the state. Jounalism is controlled propaganda. Bob Woodward brought dowm Nixon with the consent of the state. If Nixon kept the US in Vietnam, watergate may have never come to light.

    • i dont think it had anything to do with Nixon keeping the US in Vietnam; for one thing he wanted to stay. whether Assange is a journalist or not is crucial. and no not all journalism is controlled propaganda, witness the numerous prosecutions of journalists.

  • Governments always murder.
    Particularly people that have different views.
    The US and UK hold the Guinness Book records for murderous behavior.
    Particularly murdering innocent people.
    The penalty?
    None!

  • Quite a few words for a ‘simple’ explanation Caitlin.
    A picture is worth a thousand _ _ _
    https://i.redd.it/mtjnehq0gc581.jpg

    Or : Hubris hates Truth

    • Good one :o)

    • That’s great!! thanks for sharing it.

  • This is such a great summary. Sharing! Thanks!

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