Julian Assange is an investigative journalist/whistleblower, publishing material supplied by sources believed to be credible, unidentified for their protection.
WikiLeaks is not an intelligence operation. Nor is it connected to Russia or any other country. Claims otherwise are fabricated.
Assange earlier explained that WikiLeaks has the right “to publish newsworthy content. Consistent with the US Constitution, we publish material that we can confirm to be true…”
Notably since the Bush/Cheney regime, the US has been at war with individuals revealing dirty secrets about the imperial state.
Obama prosecuted more whistleblowers doing their job honorably than all his predecessors combined.
Trump considers leaking vital information everyone has a right to know a threat to national security.
He had senior White House staff members sign lifetime nondisclosure agreements, barring them from ever revealing so-called confidential information about their government service – violating their fundamental First Amendment rights, especially when it comes to revealing state-sponsored wrongdoing.
Since the 1970s, Congress repeatedly affirmed the right of civil servants to report what they believe are abuses of power, government corruption, rule of law violations, dangers to public health and safety, as well as other wrongdoing.
Journalism the way it should be is protected by the First Amendment. It’s the most important freedom. Without it all others are threatened.
Truth-telling in America today is endangered. Exposing government wrongdoing is courageous and essential. Obama waged war on press freedom and whistleblowing. Trump continues his outrageous practices.
When governments consider truth-telling independent journalists and whistleblowers threats to national security, tyranny replaces freedom.
In 2012, the Obama regime declared Julian Assange an enemy of the state, forcing him to take refuge in Ecuador’s London embassy to avoid unjust arrest, extradition to America, prosecution, and imprisonment to silence him – for the crime of truth-telling.
At the same time, a secret grand jury reportedly convened. A sealed indictment followed, allegedly accusing Assange of spying under the long ago outdated 1917 Espionage Act, enacted shortly after America’s entry into WW I.
It prohibited anyone from interfering with US military operations, supporting the nation’s enemies, promoting insubordination in the ranks, or obstructing military recruitment.
It remains the law of the land, used to charge, prosecute, convict and imprison Chelsea Manning unjustly, along with other unjust charges against her.
Assange faces the same fate if extradited to America. Anyone exposing US high crimes and/or other dirty secrets Washington wants suppressed is vulnerable.
Before elected president, Trump called Assange’s WikiLeaks “disgraceful,” saying the “death penalty” would be OK against its actions.
President-elect Trump said information published by WikiLeaks “had absolutely no effect on the outcome of the election.”
John Bolton once said Edward Snowden “should swing from a tall oak tree.” He urged waging cyberwar on WikiLeaks.
Mike Pompeo earlier blasted Assange, calling WikiLeaks “a non-state hostile intelligence service often abetted by state actors like Russia,” adding:
“We have to recognize that we can no longer allow Assange and his colleagues the latitude to use free speech values against us” – a flagrant constitutional violation against anyone if enforced.
Trump’s Justice Department reportedly updated charges against Assange early last year. At the time, WikiLeaks tweeted the
“US admits it has charges to arrest Assange according to CNN.”
On Friday, US media reported that a sealed indictment charged Assange with undisclosed criminal offenses – even though no evidence suggests he committed any.
Assistant US Justice Department Attorney Kellen S. Dwyer revealed the indictment, saying it’s sealed “due to the sophistication of the defendant and the publicity surrounding the case,” adding:
“No other procedure is likely to keep confidential the fact that Assange has been charged.” The indictment “need(s) to remain sealed until Assange is arrested.”
US Attorney’s office in Eastern District of Virginia spokesman Joshua Stueve said
“(t)he court filing was made in error. That was not the intended name for this filing.”
FBI and special council Mueller spokespersons declined to comment on the issue. Precise charges are unknown, most likely similar to some against Chelsea Manning, including violations of the outdated 1917 Espionage Act, possibly aiding the enemy, a charge Manning avoided.
According to the Wall Street Journal, the Trump regime may intend using charges to get Ecuador to expel Assange from its London embassy.
His lawyer Carlos Poveda believes a deal may have been struck between Ecuadorian President Lenin Moreno and the Trump and Theresa May regimes to extradite Assange to the US, saying:
“There has been a rapprochement between the United Kingdom, the United States and Ecuador,” adding:
“I believe that (the US and UK) have reached some agreement, and that is exactly why the special protocol (on home rules) was introduced, which is to justify Julian’s withdrawal (from the Ecuadorian embassy) to accelerate the process of ending his asylum and hand him over to the UK authorities” – for extradition to America.
Major unjust charges await him, Poveda saying “(i)t will not be a death penalty, but he may get a life sentence” – maybe without the possibility of parole.
Horrific US mistreatment of Chelsea Manning, other whistleblowers, and countless others wrongfully charged in America show the imperial state wants everyone in its crosshairs denied constitutionally and international law protected due process and equal protection.
Due process is constitutionally guaranteed by the Fifth Amendment, stating: “No person shall…be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.”
Equal protection applies to government at all levels, as required by the Fifth Amendment due process guarantee.
The protection applies to everyone within the borders of America. Presidents, Congress, state and local authorities cannot legally deny these rights to anyone.
Yet breaches of fundamental US and international law happen with disturbing regularity.
Assange committed no crimes. Yet he may end up another victim of egregious US injustice – the way all totalitarian states operate.
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Award-winning author Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at [email protected]. He is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG)
His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.