Summary: The Affair Assange moves into its endgame, as the US government – long working against him in the shadows – strikes. See how so many “journalists” speak against the man who revealed so more than they ever did about the dark deeds of the US government, and how they almost instinctively ally with the government.
“There are always insights for those who want to see them.”
— Paraphrase of saying by Jazz by Henri Matisse (1947).
This has been a big year for America, as we have learned much. Last August, an anonymous member of the Deep State spoke out in the NYT about their activities against Trump. After two years of hysteria in the press, Mueller’s report was a dud. Now the Feds move against Julian Assange of Wikileaks. Assange is guilty – of telling truths to America. There are few worse crimes, in the eyes of our rulers. Here are excerpts from the best analysis I have found about the Affair Assange.
First, see the story
See the scheme explains by Chris Hedges (Pulitzer-prize winning journalist) in “The Martyrdom of Julian Assange” at TruthDig.
“Once the documents and videos provided by Manning to Assange and WikiLeaks were published and disseminated by news organizations such as The New York Times and The Guardian, the press callously, and foolishly, turned on Assange. News organizations that had run WikiLeaks material over several days soon served as conduits in a black propaganda campaign to discredit Assange and WikiLeaks. This coordinated smear campaign was detailed in a leaked Pentagon document prepared by the Cyber Counterintelligence Assessments Branch and dated March 8, 2008. The document called on the U.S. to eradicate the ‘feeling of trust’ that is WikiLeaks’ ‘center of gravity’ and destroy Assange’s reputation.
“Assange, who with the Manning leaks had exposed the war crimes, lies and criminal manipulations of the George W. Bush administration, soon earned the ire of the Democratic Party establishment by publishing 70,000 hacked emails belonging to the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and senior Democratic officials. The emails were copied from the accounts of John Podesta, Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman. The Podesta emails exposed the donation of millions of dollars from Saudi Arabia and Qatar, two of the major funders of Islamic State, to the Clinton Foundation. It exposed the $657,000 that Goldman Sachs paid to Hillary Clinton to give talks, a sum so large it can only be considered a bribe. It exposed Clinton’s repeated mendacity. She was caught in the emails, for example, telling the financial elites that she wanted ‘open trade and open borders’ and believed Wall Street executives were best positioned to manage the economy, a statement that contradicted her campaign statements.
“It exposed the Clinton campaign’s efforts to influence the Republican primaries to ensure that Trump was the Republican nominee. It exposed Clinton’s advance knowledge of questions in a primary debate. It exposed Clinton as the primary architect of the war in Libya, a war she believed would burnish her credentials as a presidential candidate. Journalists can argue that this information, like the war logs, should have remained hidden, but they can’t then call themselves journalists.
The Democratic leadership, intent on blaming Russia for its election loss, charges that the Podesta emails were obtained by Russian government hackers, although James Comey, the former FBI director, has conceded that the emails were probably delivered to WikiLeaks by an intermediary. Assange has said the emails were not provided by ‘state actors.’
“WikiLeaks has done more to expose the abuses of power and crimes of the American Empire than any other news organization. In addition to the war logs and the Podesta emails, it made public the hacking tools used by the CIA and the National Security Agency and their interference in foreign elections, including in the French elections. It disclosed the internal conspiracy against British Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn by Labour members of Parliament. It intervened to save Edward Snowden, who made public the wholesale surveillance of the American public by our intelligence agencies, from extradition to the United States by helping him flee from Hong Kong to Moscow. The Snowden leaks also revealed that Assange was on a U.S. ‘manhunt target list.’”
For a deeper background, see Matt Taibbi’s “Why the Assange Arrest Should Scare Reporters” at Rolling Stone.
Assange’s true crime in the eyes of our rulers
“Julian Assange Is Guilty Only of Revealing the Evil Soul of US Imperialism” by Federico Pieraccini at the Strategic Culture Foundation.
“Assange is ‘guilty’ of two ‘cardinal sins’: revealing US war crimes committed in Iraq and committing the unpardonable sin of publishing the emails of Clinton, Podesta and the Democratic National Committee, thereby revealing such chicanery in US domestic politics as the fraud committed against Bernie Sanders in the 2016 Democratic primaries.
“These revelations among the many (Vault 7, Torture, Diplomatic cablograms), by Assange’s Wikileaks, these transgressions in the eyes of the US ruling elite, struck at the very foundations on which the edifice of “American exceptionalism” is built, namely, the democracy that is meant to be a light unto the world, and the “just wars” that flow from a missionary zeal to make the world safe for democracy. …
“Releasing footage of US military personal laughing as they slaughter dozens of clearly unarmed Iraqis civilians from the distant safety of an Apache helicopter is one of the strongest ways of showing how false, artificial and propagandistic the concept of ‘humanitarian war’ and ‘responsibility to protect’ (R2P) is In today’s communication age, that footage, those images, that laughter, are a very powerful antidote against the lies we are daily fed by our media corporations. …That footage straightforwardly debunked all the thousands of accumulated hours of media propaganda that had been built up to convince us that Washington beneficently bombs countries in order to bring democracy and free the oppressed.
“In the same way, by pulling back the curtain to show how the Democratic primaries were a farce, Wikileaks revealed how the concept of democracy in the United States is worn out and in fact now non-existent. The political parties are fed and controlled by donor money, and the accompanying media coverage can be bought, allowing for tens of millions of Americans to be fed on a steady diet of false news, lies and promises that will never be kept.
“It becomes clear, reading the revelations published over the years by Wikileaks, that terms such as democracy and R2P are nothing more than excuses and justifications for the US to bomb whomever it wishes. The moneyed interests ensure the election into office of those who can be relied upon to look after the interests of the 1% at the expense of the 99%, all the while giving moral lectures to the rest of the world while ignoring the inherent double standards. …
“This Australian has succeeded in simultaneously becoming the number one enemy of the military-industrial complex, the Democrats, and therefore for all American Russophobes. He did his job so well that he managed to become a target of practically all of the Washington establishment, which is determined to lock away the likes of Assange and Snowden (if only they could) and throw away the key. …
“Basically, Assange’s major fault lies in having revealed the true face of US imperialism through images, news, emails, cablograms and videos, an imperialism that has for decades brought wars, death and destruction around the world for its own political and economic gain, using illegitimate justifications that are backed up by self-proclaimed experts and amplified and repeated endlessly by the mainstream media.”
The US public’s reaction is typically daft
James Howard Kunstler tells the story with his typical clarity and insight.
“It was interesting to scan the Comments section of The Times’s stories about the Assange arrest: Times readers uniformly presented themselves as a lynch mob out for Mr. Assange’s blood. So much for the spirit of liberalism and The Old Gray Lady who had published The Pentagon Papers purloined by Daniel Ellsberg lo so many years ago. Reading between the lines in that once-venerable newspaper – by which I mean gleaning their slant on the news – one surmises that The Times has actually come out against freedom of the press, a curious attitude, but consistent with the neo-Jacobin zeitgeist in “blue” America these days. …”
“The bloodthirsty hysteria among New York Times readers is a symptom of the mass confusion sown by agencies of the US government itself when its own agents ventured to meddle in the national election of 2016 and then blame it on “the Russians.” As you will learn in the months ahead, it was The Times itself, and other corporate news organizations, who colluded with officers of the FBI, the Department of Justice, the CIA, and the Obama White House to concoct a phony narrative about Mr. Trump being in cahoots with Vladimir Putin, thus depriving Hillary Clinton of her “turn” in the White House; and then to join those agencies, and the grotesquely dishonest two-year investigation of Special Counsel Robert Mueller, in a cover-your-ass operation to hide their nefarious and criminal acts.
“The USA has a lot of sorting to do and, of course, the new Democratic-led congress is already trying as hard as possible to prevent that from happening, the latest being their piling on Attorney General William Barr for testifying under oath that he believed the government ran a spying operation on candidate Donald Trump. The existence of FISA warrants establishes that as a fact, as does the million dollar payment by the CIA and US Defense Department to international man of mystery Stephan Halper, the secret agent man (posing as an Oxford professor) commissioned to entrap Trump campaign associate Carter Page.”
What does it all mean?
For a different perspective see “Julian Assange, Political Prisoner: A Dark Day for Citizenship” by Maximillian Forte (Prof anthropology). See the bibliography at the end.
“A Dark Day for What?
“My first surprise was not in the arrest itself and the abrupt cancellation of Ecuador’s asylum, but the conclusion that first came to many commentators’ minds: this is a dark day for journalism. If that were true, we might even breathe a sigh of relief, given how disreputable and discredited most of the news media have become as publishers of falsehoods, propaganda, and smears. The sadder reality is that today was a dark day for citizenship, for democracy, and for international law. The event should serve as a reminder that we are all being violently confronted with a dead post-liberalism that is reactionary, abusive, and arrogant. In the West at least, all of us live in authoritarian prisons: mass surveillance, mass indoctrination, and increasingly all-inclusive censorship. Journalism would have needed to still be alive, for this to have been a dark day for it.
“Julian Assange has been accused of many crimes over the years, and now his state-level detractors will finally have the unenviable task of actually trying to prove their accusations in court. Assange’s most notorious “crime” is to have better informed us of the reality of global corruption and imperial warfare. Whether the broad public was deserving of his sacrifice is another matter, as is the question about the degree to which the public made use of the knowledge produced by WikiLeaks.”
See some interesting quotes about the significance of the Affair Assange at “The WikiLeaks Case: Democracy Dies in Empire” by Prof Forte.