Caitlin Johnstone: Assange is doing his most important work yet
He helped us to understand what the Western leaders claim support for free media is worth.
British Home Secretary Priti Patel has authorized the extradition of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to the United States to be tried under the Espionage Act in a case which seeks to set a legal precedent for the prosecution of any publisher or journalist, anywhere in the world, who reports inconvenient truths about the US empire.
Assange’s legal team will appeal the decision, reportedly with arguments that will include the fact that the CIA spied on him and plotted his assassination.
“It will likely be a few days before the (14-day appeal) deadline and the appeal will include new information that we weren’t able to bring before the courts previously. Information on how Julian lawyers were spied on, and how there were plots to kidnap and kill Julian from within the CIA,” Assange’s brother Gabriel Shipton told Reuters on Friday.
Thank goodness. Assange’s willingness to resist Washington’s extradition attempts benefit us all, from his taking political asylum in the Ecuadorian embassy in 2012 until British police forcibly dragged him out in 2019, to his fighting US prosecutors in the courtroom tooth and claw during his incarceration in Belmarsh Prison.
Assange’s fight against US extradition benefits us not just because the empire’s war against truth harms our entire species and not just because he cannot receive a fair trial under the Espionage Act, but because his refusal to bow down and submit forces the empire to overextend itself into the light and show us all what it’s really made of.
Washington, London and Canberra are colluding to imprison a journalist for telling the truth: the first with its active extradition attempts, the second with its loyal facilitation of those attempts, and the third with its silent complicity in allowing an Australian journalist to be locked up and persecuted for engaging in the practice of journalism. Assange exposed harsh truths that the public was not aware of by refusing to lie and forcing people to pursue him.
The fact that London and Canberra are complying so obsequiously with Washington’s agendas, even while their own mainstream media outlets decry the extradition and even while all major human rights and press freedom watchdog groups in the Western world say Assange must go free, shows that these are not separate sovereign nations but member states of a single globe-spanning empire centralized around the US government. This is because Assange fought for his rights and was able to fight them.
Assange, by standing firm and resisting them, exposed the lies that Western countries are free democracy and support freedom of expression and the protection of human rights. Australia, UK, and USA conspire to extradite Assange for reporting the truth despite their claims to oppose dictatorship and autocracy. They also claim that they support the freedoms of press worldwide, but they decry the risks associated with government-sponsored misinformation.
Assange stood firm and fought the US, so it will never smell of hypocrisy for Joe Biden or other US presidents. say things like, “The free press is not the enemy of the people — far from it. At your best, you’re guardians of the truth.”
Because Assange stood his ground and fought them, people will always know British prime ministers like Boris Johnson are lying when they say things like, “Media organisations should feel free to bring important facts into the public domain.”
Assange fought for his cause and won, so more people will see that the Australian prime ministers such as Anthony Albanese are manipulating them. say things like “We need to protect press freedom in law and ensure every Australian can have their voice heard,” and “Don’t prosecute journalists for just doing their jobs.”
Assange fought for his rights and won. US secretaries like Antony Blinken, on the other hand, will find it much more difficult to sell their state secrets when they are in office. say things like “On World Press Freedom Day, the United States continues to advocate for press freedom, the safety of journalists worldwide, and access to information on and offline. Public access to information is guaranteed by a free and independent media. Knowledge is power.”
Assange did not back down and fight them. UK home secretary Priti Patel will also be revealed for their frauds when they appear in public. say things like “The safety of journalists is fundamental to our democracy.”
Executing foreign journalists for reporting on your war crimes would be the most tyrannical agenda you can come up with. This is the result of Australia, UK, and USA working together to achieve this goal. It shows that they are all part of one empire, whose values are dominance and control. All its talk about human rights and democracy are a facade. Assange exposes the true face to power.
In fact, there is strong evidence to suggest that Assange continues his greatest work even years after the leaks of 2010. As important as his WikiLeaks publications were and are, none of them exposed the depravity of the empire as much as forcing them to look us in the eye and tell us they’ll extradite a journalist for telling the truth.
Assange accomplished this by planting his feet and saying “No,” even when every other possible option would have been easier and more pleasant. Even though it was tough. It was scary, even. Even though it was scary, it didn’t mean he had to be locked up, silenced or smeared.
It is clear that his life reveals all areas in which it is sorely required. This man is our collective debt. It is our duty to do everything we can to make him go free.