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Why Assange’s Detention Matters | William Thomas Online | William Thomas

Why Assange’s Detention Matters


“It's very simple. People have a right to know and a right to question and challenge power. That's true democracy.” -Julian Assange




WHY ASSANGE’S DETENTION MATTERS


Short Quotes from Published Commentaries


Edited by William Thomas

 

(Click on quotes for full article)


Assange, the world’s number 1 political prisoner. -Mike Head

 


TIME for Wikileaks -eTeknix

TIME for Wikileaks -eTeknix




ASSANGE WINS ANOTHER JOURNALISM AWARD

Julian Assange Wins 2019 EU Journalism Award for "uncovering the truth and exposing it to the public" and to honor those "intimidated and/or persecuted" for such actions. Assange has earned more than 15 international recognitions for his work – including the Economist’s 2008 New Media Award, 2010 Time Person of the Year (Reader’s Choice), 2009 Amnesty International UK Media Award.


Assange is an Ecuadorian

Assange is an Ecuadorian


Ecuadorian Police Repress Mass March Demanding Assange’s Freedom

Chanting, “Moreno, hypocrite and traitor, the people reject you!” as many as 20,000 protesters disputed Moreno claims of overwhelming popular support for his betrayal of Ecuadorian citizen, Julian Assange.

Inscribed on the banners carried on the march were slogans denouncing Moreno as a “traitor” and “world disgrace.” The protest also expressed “collective indignation over the attack on basic rights” as well as “mass layoffs” and “neo-liberal policies” of the Moreno government.

Several people were wounded in the police attack, including two news photographers, and at least six were arrested.

As part of a deal signed with the International Monetary Fund for $4.5 billion in credits, Moreno is implementing a series of “structural adjustment” measures that have included the gutting of labor laws, layoffs of over 10,000 public employees, attacks on pensions and sharp cuts to government services. -Bill Van Auken (edited report)


 Quito citizens give voice for all who feel disgust and outrage over the jailing of Julian Assange -wsws.org


WIKILEAKS

“WikiLeaks has an impeccable record of accuracy and authenticity which no newspaper, no TV channel, no radio station, no BBC, no New York Times, no Washington Post, no Guardian can equal. Indeed, it shames them.” -John Pilger 


“In 2016, WikiLeaks revealed a direct connection between Clinton and organised jihadism in the Middle East: terrorists… One email disclosed that when Clinton was US Secretary of State, she knew that Saudi Arabia and Qatar were funding Islamic State, yet she accepted huge donations for her foundation from both governments. She then approved the world's biggest ever arms sale to her Saudi benefactors: arms that are currently being used against the stricken people of Yemen.” -John Pilger 

 

“With a pristine record of accuracy in its publications, the whistleblowing site brought a way for citizens around the world to transform this hollow democracy that has devoured ideals that once inspired the hearts of ordinary people.” -Nozomi Hayase, PHD

 

“WikiLeaks has also revealed how the United States spies on its allies; how the CIA can watch you through your I-phone; how Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton took vast sums of money from Wall Street for secret speeches that reassured the bankers that if she was elected, she would be their friend.” -John Pilger 


"Requesting more documents from a source, using an encrypted chat messenger, or trying to keep a source's identity anonymous are not crimes; they are vital to the journalistic process." -Trevor Timm, executive director of the Freedom of the Press Foundation


“I know nothing about WikiLeaks. It’s not my thing." -Trump April 11, 2019

 

“Oh, we love WikiLeaks.” -Trump at a 2016 campaign rally after WikiLeaks released the bounty of hacked Democratic emails. He mentioned it 141 times in the last month of the campaign alone as he sought to use the hacked emails to cast Hillary Clinton’s campaign in an unflattering light. 


“WikiLeaks is unbelievable.” -Trump at campaign rally.


6 Biggest Wikileaks Document Dumps 


Naughty, naughty -telesurtv.net

-telesurtv.net 


CHARGES AGAINST ASSANGE 

So far, a single charge had been levied against Assange: conspiracy to hack a government computer. Not that he hacked it. He didn’t/couldn’t, according to the official narrative)..“Conspiracy” is the catch-all term. 


“One of the charges is that he encouraged Chelsea Manning and Bradley Manning to give him documents, more documents, after she had already given him hundreds of thousands of files. Well, if that’s a crime, then journalism is a crime.” -Daniel Ellsberg, source: The Pentagon Papers


“The official charges so far against Julian Assange include skipping bail in the UK and supposedly attempting to assist the US soldier then known as Bradley Manning to find a password for entering certain US government computer data bases. The UK bail matter revolved around Assange’s extradition to Sweden on a bullshit rape charge that was subsequently dropped as having no merit by Swedish authorities.” -James Howard Kunstler


The Embassy Cat is watching you. ©  AFP : Daniel Leal-Olivas

The Embassy cat is watching you. - Daniel Leal-Olivas/AFP


Ecuadorian officials claimed Assange’s cat was possibly spying on them! 

-"Journalists Willing Participants In Ecuador’s Attempt At Assange Character Assassination”


WikiLeaks editor Kristinn Hrafnsson and Assange lawyer Jennifer Robinson -Hannah McKay:Reuters

Assange lawyer Jennifer Robinson & WikiLeaks editor Kristinn Hrafnsson -Hanah McKay/Reuters


IMPLICATIONS OF THIS ARREST 

“When exposing a crime is treated as committing a crime, you are being ruled by criminals. -John Whitehead


“Real journalism is being criminalised by thugs in plain sight.” -John Pilger


“The First Amendment is dead.” -Paul Craig Roberts


“The arrest of Julian Assange was an act of revenge by the US government that strikes at the heart of journalism.” -Pepe Escobar


“Assange's critics may cheer, but this is a dark moment for press freedom.” -Edward Snowden


“The attack on Julian Assange is the arrow aimed at the heart of the ability to publish the truth.”  -Paul Craig Roberts


“What we’re seeing right now is criminalization of journalism; the criminalization of publishing. [But the] supine mainstream media isn’t protesting what’s going on.” -analyst Patrick Henningsen


“It’s a fairly unprecedented case; in fact, totally unprecedented when we’re talking about extraditing him for committing journalism. -Daniel Ellsberg


“A charge against Assange for ‘conspiring’ with a source is the most dangerous charge that I can think of with respect to the First Amendment in almost all my years representing media organizations.” -James Goodale, First Amendment lawyer and former general counsel of the New York Times


“There are parts of the indictment that are clearly designed to criminalize things journalists routinely do… It’s clearly a threat to the First Amendment, because it criminalizes core journalistic functions.” -Glenn Greenwald


"This is a precedent… that effectively means that any journalist or media organization anywhere in the world can be extradited and prosecuted for having published truthful info about the United States…” -Assange lawyer Jennifer Robinson


"Any prosecution of Mr Assange for WikiLeaks' publishing operations would be unprecedented and unconstitutional, and would open the door to criminal investigations of other news organizations." -US lawyer and civil liberties advocate Ben Wizner at the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)

 

Punishing them for doing their job – uncovering uncomfortable truths that those in power would like to keep away from the public – means removing one of the most important checks on executive political power.” -Croatian philosopher, Srecko Horvat

 

"There can be no liberty for a community which lacks the means by which to detect lies." - Walter Lippmann, father of modern journalism who coined the phrase "manufacturing consent”.


“Last week’s arrest of Wikileaks publisher Julian Assange by the British government on a US extradition order is an attack on all of us. It is an attack on the US Constitution. It is an attack on the free press. It is an attack on free speech. It is an attack on our right to know what our government is doing with our money in our name. Julian Assange is every bit as much a political prisoner as was Cardinal Mindszenty in Hungary or Nelson Mandela in South Africa.” -Ron Paul


“A conviction would also cause collateral damage to American media freedoms. It is difficult to distinguish Assange or WikiLeaks from the Washington Post.”  -from a 2011 Washington Post editorial, “Why the U.S. Shouldn’t Try Julian Assange.” 


“There’s no way back this time… America is no more. Or it is no longer what they tell you it stands for.” -Raul Ilargi Meijer


“What is it that the critics of Wikileaks are holding against Mr. Assange? That the snitches and the agents of the Western empire got ‘exposed’? Is the world expected to feel pity for them? Are tens of millions of victims supposed to be forgotten just so that the members of the Western intelligence services and their lackeys could feel safe and protected?” –Philosopher, novelist, filmmaker, investigative journalist, Andre Vltchek has covered wars and conflicts in dozens of countries.


“A population that does not respect and defend free speech, debate, and truth will not long have the liberty that results from free speech, debate, and truth.” -Paul Craig Roberts


“Assange’s secret indictment sets the precedent that truth is harmful to government. This precedent will be extended to include the publication of any information or opinion, classified or not, that the government regards as harmful. The media then officially becomes what it mainly already is in effect – a Ministry of Propaganda for the government and those who control it.” -Paul Craig Roberts

 

“The persecution of Julian Assange is the conquest of us all: of our independence, our self-respect, our intellect, our compassion, our politics, our culture. If Julian can stand up to Big Brother, so can you: so can all of us.” -John Pilger


“It’s over. And I think our republic is in its last days, because unauthorized disclosures of this kind are the lifeblood of a republic.” -Daniel Ellsberg


 

El origen pastuso de Lenin Moreno, el nuevo presidente -las2orillas.co
                                                    El origen pastuso de Lenin Moreno, el nuevo presidente -as2orillas.co


ECUADOR’S STRONG MAN MAKES A DEAL

“We, of course, know that Lenin Moreno in Ecuador is willing to sacrifice Julian Assange for debt relief, that was reported by the New York Times in early December.” -WikiLeaks’ new Editor-in-Chief Kristinn Hrafnsson


“The US magically erases Ecuador’s financial troubles, ordering the IMF to release a providential $4.2-billion loan.” -Pepe Escobar




Wikileaked 100,000 Secret Hillary Documents To Be Released disclose.tv


MOTIVATIONS BEHIND HIS ARREST

“The single most damaging revelation to all the elaborate lies that make up official narratives is the truth revealed in official emails, documents and conversations. -Charles Hugh Smith 


“The information in question included a video showing US military personnel participating in and cheering the murder of Iraqi civilians. Why is it criminal for us to know this?” -Ron Paul


“A decade ago, the Ministry of Defence in London produced a secret document which described the "principal threats" to public order as threefold: terrorists, Russian spies and investigative journalists. The latter was designated the major threat." -John Pilger


“WikiLeaks was producing things that people ought to know about those in power. People in power don’t like that, so therefore we have to silence it. OK?” -Noam Chomsky


“That’s why they’re going after Assange so hard ten years later. It’s a message, a warning, and a pretty explicit threat. There’s no liberty or self-government going on here. There are rulers and the ruled. Accept it or suffer the consequences.” -Michael Krieger 


“Just as the publication of the Pentagon Papers embarrassed the US government and helped to bring about the end of the senseless Vietnam War, the documents leaked to Wikileaks embarrassed the US government by revealing Washington’s war crimes, lies, and deception of the American people and US allies.” -Paul Craig Roberts


“In 2008, a plan to destroy both Wikileaks and Julian was laid out in a secret document dated 8th of March 2008. The authors were the Cyber Counter-intelligence Assessment Branch of the US Defense Department.” -Dr Lissa Johnson

 

“What are they so afraid of? The more fragile the narrative, the greater the dependence on half-truths and lies, the greater the official urgency to crush all whistleblowers and maintain a Stasi-like vigilance against any murmurs of dissent or doubt. Any doubt is extremely dangerous, as if even a single thread is pulled loose, the entire fabric of ginned-up statistics, false assurances, half-truths and outright lies unravels. Once thePentagon Papers revealed the facts of the war in Vietnam, support for the official narrative collapsed essentially overnight.” -Charles Hugh Smith



NO CASE AGAINST ASSANGE 

“The weakness of the US charge against Assange is shocking.” -NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden

 

“The law would have a very hard time distinguishing between the New York Times and WikiLeaks." -David McCraw, lead lawyer for the New York Times


“The factual allegations against Mr. Assange boil down to encouraging a source to provide him information and taking efforts to protect the identity of that source… Journalists around the world should be deeply troubled by these unprecedented criminal charges.” -Assange lawyer Barry J Pollack

 

Wikileaks Founder Julian Assange Might Win A Seat In 2013 Australian Election -businessinsider.com




Julian Assange Under Illegal Arrest

Julian Assange hauled off to court -Henry Nicholls



CRUEL, BARBARIC, UNLAWFUL TORTURE 

“For eight years Julian Assange has been incarcerated first under British house arrest and then in the Ecuadoran Embassy in London, despite the absence of any charges filed against him. -Paul Craig Roberts

 

“For the past six years the UK government has refused his request to access to basic health needs, fresh air, exercise, sunshine for Vitamin D, and access to proper medical and dental care. As a result, his health has seriously deteriorated.” -mother of WikiLeaks editor Julian Assange, Christine Assange


In February 2016, the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention stated that his detention was unlawful.


“He has been kept in the UK from his young family in France for eight years (where he lived before being arbitrarily detained in the UK), has not seen the sun for almost seven years, and has been found by the United Nations to be subjected to ‘cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment’.” -Cassandra Fairbank


“The UN says he has the right of free passage to freedom, but this is denied. He has the right to medical treatment without fear of arrest, but this is denied. He has the right to compensation, but this is denied.” -John Pilger


“It has been stated by the UN that his rights were being infringed. And then you have him being spied on all the time, including conversations with his lawyers which are supposed to be legally privileged, and conversations with his doctors, again supposed to be privileged.” - former MI5 Agent and Whistleblower Annie Machon


“Justice has disappeared in the West. In Justice’s place stands Revenge.” -Paul Craig Roberts


 


COMPLICIT

“When the insouciant American and Western peoples accept their governments’ lies, they accept their own demise and servitude… They don’t want to be free, because freedom has too many responsibilities, and they don’t want the responsibilities. They want… whatever form of amusement that they value far more than they value liberty, or truth, or justice.” -Paul Craig Roberts

 

“When I contemplate this massive injustice to which the peoples of the world reply with silence, I wonder if those trying to save Western Civilization are not misguided.” -Paul Craig Roberts



Truck carrying poster drives away from Ecuadorian embassy, London April 5, 2019 -Peter Nicholls:  Reuters

 Truck carrying poster drives away from Ecuadorian embassy, London April 5, 2019 -Peter Nicholls/  Reuters.jpg



SICKENING HYPOCRISY 

“Imagine Tony Blair dragged from his multi-million pound Georgian home in Connaught Square, London, in handcuffs, for onward dispatch to the dock in The Hague. By the standard of Nuremberg, Blair's "paramount crime" is the deaths of a million Iraqis. Assange's crime is journalism: holding the rapacious to account, exposing their lies and empowering people all over the world with truth.” -John Pilger


“No one in government was punished for the war crimes, lies, and illegal and unconstitutional acts that the publication of the leaked documents revealed. None of Washington’s vassal governments renounced its vassalage on the basis of the information that revealed they were spied on and deceived. The only people punished were those who revealed the truth – Maning, Snowden, and Assange.” -Paul Craig Roberts

 

“Why do we have international law anyway if nobody abides by any of it? You can’t just grant someone asylum, and then a citizenship, and then rescind it when you like…” -Raul Ilargi Meijer 


“A man much smarter and braver and real than any of us is out there paying for our sins, and we have no media left to tell us an honest story about it, and George Orwell is laughing somewhere out there.” -Raul Ilargi Meijer 

 

“The Guardian has exploited the work of Assange and WikiLeaks in what its previous editor called ‘the greatest scoop of the last 30 years’. The paper creamed off WikiLeaks' revelations and claimed the accolades and riches that came with them. With not a penny going to Julian Assange or to WikiLeaks, a hyped Guardian book led to a lucrative Hollywood movie.” -John Pilger

  

"He (Assange) believes in publishing things that should not be published.” -Guardian editors (who published them anyway, then turned on Assange.)



Pentagon Papers -NYT


COWARDLY MEDIA COLLABORATORS DISHONOUR THEIR HERITAGE

“Assange is a citizen of Australia and Ecuador. He is not subject to US law… The silence of the US media demonstrates that the presstitutes don’t mind losing the First Amendment’s protection as they have no intention of telling any truths.” -Paul Craig Roberts


“Anyone who sits idly by while this happens is signing over the sovereign right of every human being on this planet to hold power to account, and anyone calling themselves a journalist who does anything other than unequivocally oppose this move is confessing that they are a state propagandist.” -Matt Taibbi


“For the army of smug liberals, many of them leading columnists in newspapers such as the Guardian in the UK, which exploited Assange when he first came to prominence before ruthlessly turning on and abandoning him, that noise they hear right now is the death rattle of their moral conscience.” -John Wight


“The media hates Donald Trump and thereby hates Assange for publishing the Hillary emails that the media believes cost Hillary the election. The media is much more intent on helping the Deep State deep-six Assange than the media is in defending its First Amendment protections.” -Paul Craig Roberts


“Total disgrace the world media has become can be seen in the fact that nobody was here to film the arrest of Julian Assange, only us. CNN and the Guardian have the gall to call us and ask how it is that we were the only ones to get this footage. It’s obvious: you are just the spineless hypocritical servants of your Establishment and not journalists at all. This is why such a thing happened.” -Margarita Simonian, RT correspondent


“Reporters who bash Julian Assange while he is silenced instead of using their platforms to draw attention to the many, many wicked deeds that are being perpetrated by the powerful in their own country are the lowest of the low. They are scum…” -Caitlin Johnstone 



WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden street graffiti. -Lord Jim/flickr/cc



WORLD RESPONSE

“This is what Julian Assange and Wikileaks are 'guilty' of, exposing the murderous outcome of the US military assault on Iraq. States don't have the right to kill willy-nilly. Whistle blowers do us all a service.” -Labour MP Diane Abbott

 

“Human rights treaty law is binding law, it is not discretionary law. It is not some passing fancy.” -United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention to the UK Government, having previously ruled twice that Assange is being arbitrarily detained in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London


“[Wikileaks had] lifted the veil on US military operations in a variety of theaters, none of which have produced a favourable outcome for the people of those countries.” -Labour MP Diane Abbott


“This is a violation of the right and the institution of asylum.” -Ecuador’s former consul general in London, Fidel Narvaez   


“I'm very shocked...Julian Assange is a friend of mine, more importantly, a friend of truth, a friend of the people. He exposed great, great crimes and now another great crime has been committed against him.” -former UK Labour MP, George Galloway 

 

“At the centre of these accusations are leaked emails proving that the Democratic National Committee sought to undermine the so-called ‘democratic socialist’ Bernie Sanders and ensure that Hillary Clinton became the Democratic Party’s presidential candidate. They also included the texts of speeches Clinton gave to corporate audiences pledging support to Wall Street and boasting of her role in organising the barbaric US-led war on Libya in 2011.” -Labour MP Diane Abbott

 

“I urge the British government to refrain from expelling, returning or extraditing Assange to the United States or any other jurisdiction.” -UN special rapporteur on torture, Nils Melzer

 

“Shame on the Ecuadorian government, shame on the British government and shame on those that let this happen.” -former UK Labour MP, George Galloway



Naughty, naughty -telesurtv.net

-telesurtv.net 



FATE OF JULIAN ASSANGE 

“I don’t think Julian is looking at five years in prison. He is probably looking at 50 years in prison.” -CIA whistleblower John Kiriakou


“I think he has ahead of him, for having taken on the world’s mightiest empire and exposed its criminal secrets, in many cases, having to do with torture and assassination, he’s not going to get any breaks from them. I think he’ll be in one room, possibly in solitary confinement, on the excuse that he has further secrets that he might reveal; just as Ed Snowden would face that, I think, possibly for the rest of his life.” -Daniel Ellsberg 



Supporters of Julian Assange protest against his arrest, near the British embassy in Berlin, Germany April 12, 2019. -Fabrizio Bensch/Reuters



LESSONS

"Before we turn our backs on Assange, we ought to think deeply about what's at stake."   -Washington Post veteran journalist and editor Margaret Sullivan


“Do we really want to live in a country where it is illegal to learn that our government is engaged in criminal acts?” -Ron Paul


“Governments do evil. The most evil is done to those who oppose evil. Truth cannot be told without cost to he who tells the truth.” -Paul Craig Roberts


"The United States should finally seek to come to terms with the war crimes in Iraq that it has committed rather than attack and imprison those who sought to expose the truth of it." -Center for Constitutional Rights


The powerful are not entitled to a private space where they can abuse humans or resources. They don’t get to commit crimes in secret just because they are rich or in government. Journalism is the only way the everyday person has any window into what the powerful are doing to them, doing to their planet, doing with their tax money, and doing in their name. -Caitlin Johnstone    


“The Deep State makes sure that journalists everywhere actually do have a right, to always remain silent.” -Pepe Escobar

 

“These are scary times. But those may also be the most inspiring of times.” -Craig Murray, former British Ambassador to Uzbekistan

 

“At critical times throughout history, leaders have emerged to lead the fight for freedom. They risk their lives and liberty to do so. Most of us don’t have their courage, but we can unite to protect them.” -WikiLeaks founder’s mother, Christine Assange



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See Also:  

THE BOOK ASSANGE CARRIED



A JOURNALIST SPEAKS OUT

 






 

HOME*

 


*Daniel Tapia/Reuters (cropped)



 发件人     William Thomas 2019