On Julian Assange and WikiLeaks

In a reversed world, fake news circulates in freedm and those who reveal the truth are prosecuted and imprisoned. The citizen’s right to information, well thanks!

Cristina Kirchner, former Argentinian President on her Twitter account

A few hours ago the Metropolitan police of London entered the Embassy of Ecuador in order to capture Julian Assange. The footage from the arrest scene was heartbreaking. The man, whom we were used to seeing with his fist wagging on the balcony of the Embassy, was now visibly worn-out with a thick and untidy beard surrounded by several police officers pushing him towards the police car. He is visibly resisting the move, uttering words which are not comprehensible at their best.

There are various figures involved in this arrest; the most notable ones include:

1) Lenín Moreno: The Ecuadorean President who took the office in 2017 through the endoresement of the previous administration but has tried to put an end to Ecuador’s reluctance towards the International Order. Whereas Rafael Correa, the previous President, tended to be sour on the global institutions, Lenín Moreno has always been optimistic about them. Last month, the Moreno adminstration signed a loan of 4.2 bn dollars with IMF. During the recent crisis in Venezuela, Moreno has sided with Guaído and finally today, he revoked Assange’s asylum and asked for a direct intervention inside the Embassy of Ecuador. A few days ago, Wikileaks published a series of documents which demonstrated President Moreno, and his family’s, offshore accounts. Ronny Aleaga, an Ecuadorian MP, has launched an investigation over these reports.

2) Chelsea Manning: The whistleblower and a former intelligence officer who was previously sentenced to 35 years in prison and was granted clemency during the last days of the Obama administration. She has been imprisoned again over the past few days after refusing to testify before a grand jury, claiming to have already provided the court with everything she knows.

3) Donald Trump Administration: Hours after the arrest was conducted, it was stated by Assange’s lawyer that the arrest warrant has been issued following the extradition request made by the United States. The fact that such request was made in harmony with Moreno’s revocation of Assange’s asylum is a point. Another important matter on The Trump administration’s stance over the WikiLeaks issue was Mike Pompeo’s first speech as the Secretary of State where he called WikiLeaks “a hostile intelligence service.” On the other hand, AG William Barr in his testimony over the past few days in the House of Representatives, stated that there has been cases of espionage on Donald Trump’s campaign. Trump, on his own account, over the past few days has totally switched from “presidential harassment” to “spying.” What they probably need at the moment to nourish this rhetoric are those who can provoke the public, through ideas such as patriotism and national security, and make it join the dominant discourse.

Assange has been arrested and his indictment has now been published online. The text, as it was expected, is extremely fragile and the charges stated can easily be generalized to any journalist covering national politics anywhere in the world. As a matter of fact the DOJ under Obama administration had previously hinted that “The problem that the DOJ has always had in investigating Julian Assange is there is no way to prosecute him for publishing information without the same theory being applied to journalists and if you are not going to prosecute journalists for publishing classified information, which the department is not, then there is no way to prosecute Assange.”

What is at stake here is the way certain Democrats are siding with the issue and the efforts made by the United States to extradite Julian Assange. For a big part of the mainstream Democrats, Julian Assange is one of the key players who brought the Dems to ruin in 2016 general election through the way it covered DNC and the party’s favorable conduct towards Hillary Clinton.

This is another example of how Democrats fail in addressing the core issue of their defeat in 2016 elections. Their effort to justify their own shortcomings has taken them, from calling out collusion with Russia in vein for two years, has now led them to side with the President who has finally reached the point of taking steps against the freedom of the press. Whereas previously Trump’s verbal attacks on Jim Acosta and other liberal reporters was being over-emphasized by the mainstream media; an official indictment that can lead to 40 years of imprisonment for a journalist, or reinstatement of a whilstleblower’s sentence, is not receiving the attention it actually deserves. So far, none of the Democratic candidates of the 2020 elections has made a statement over the indictment or the extradition request made against Julian Assange. This is only one, of the many reasons, that Democrats cannot calim to be those who are changing the politics in the United States. When it comes to the matter of Empire and its tutelage, Democrats walk hand in hand with Donald Trump’s GOP.

Update: Tulsi Gabbard seems to be the first Democratic nominee to have commented on this issue on her Twitter account.

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