Why is it okay for any country to prosecute a foreign national for alleged offences committed outside that country’s own shores? If the US can do this to Julien Assange, they can do it to anyone, anywhere, any time.
Including to you, no matter where you are! Whenever they like, for whatever offence they can dream up.
So, Julien Assange has now been indicted under the United States espionage act. 17 new charges against Assange, carrying 175 years in prison, were unsealed 2 days ago. These charges are brought against Assange due to Wikileaks disclosures of human rights abuses and war crimes committed by the US government aided and supported by amongst others, their United Kingdom lapdogs.
These war crimes include the 2007 murder of at least 12 people including Iraqi civilians and two Reuters journalists, as captured in the so-called ‘collateral murder’ video, published by Wikileaks in April 2010.
It should be noted that the 2010-2011 Wikileaks publications referred to in the US indictments, were published in Europe, and Assange was in Europe at the time of publication.
With this action, the United States government intends that its criminal justice system should have an unprecedented global reach.
Whatever you think of Julien Assange, and whether you think he is a journalist or not, he still needs to have the same legal protections we all think we enjoy. At the very least, even if you think he should be extradited, he should receive the rights afforded the citizens of the country he is extradited to. Or the extradition shouldn’t happen. Unfortunately, in the US, even their own citizens have their rights withheld at the whim of their corrupt justice system. Chelsea Manning is still a political prisoner in the US for refusing to testify in a secret grand jury against Assange and Wikileaks.
In April 2017, then CIA director Mike Pompeo said that “Julian Assange has no First Amendment privileges. He is not a U.S. citizen”
One of the main reasons why the US government is determined to take down Julian Assange and Wikileaks is the so-called ‘Vault7’ data dump, which revealed that the CIA has been working on viruses and malware to compromise personal computers, smartphones, televisions, Wi-Fi routers and other devices.
Another quote from Mike Pompeo, he recently told an audience in College Station, Texas: ‘I was CIA director, we lied, we cheated, we stole… like, we had entire training courses.’
I’ll quote something from the Wikileaks Vault 7 webpage, ‘By the end of 2016, the agency’s Centre for Cyber Intelligence (CCI), had over 5000 registered users and had produced more than a thousand hacking systems, trojans, viruses, and other “weaponized” malware. Such is the scale of the CIA’s undertaking that by 2016, its hackers had utilized more code than that used to run Facebook. The CIA had created, in effect, its “own NSA” with even less accountability and without publicly answering the question as to whether such a massive budgetary spend on duplicating the capacities of a rival agency could be justified.’
‘Once a single cyber ‘weapon’ is ‘loose’ it can spread around the world in seconds, to be used by rival states, cyber mafia and teenage hackers alike.’
Moving on, If Assange’s extradition is allowed, this extremely dangerous precedent could ultimately result in US criminal laws being asserted, but US rights being withheld, in Europe and possibly even worldwide.
Further than that, who’s to say other countries won’t follow suit? If the US can prosecute an Australian working in the UK and Europe, for publishing truthful information about US government crimes, why can’t other countries do the same?
This isn’t a fight for press freedom, as mostly the press publishes the establishment narrative anyway. They don’t exercise their freedom ever since the early 1950s and the CIA’s Operation Mockingbird, although, the manipulation of news media for propaganda purposes began long before even that. I’ll let you web search that for yourself if you’re interested. Just use a secure browser as you don’t know who’s watching.
So, it’s a fight for basic human freedoms, as when the so-called free press fails in their responsibility, the rest of us need to stand up and be counted.
This is what Julian Assange did and this is why they want him so badly. And this is also why we need to stop them from getting away with it. If he loses, we all lose. If he goes down, one by one the rest goes down. Even the mainstream media aren’t safe, and those who worked with Wikileaks years ago could find themselves next on the US government’s radar.
This case is specifically about Julian Assange and Wikileaks. But the future implications of a successful US extradition and prosecution of Julien Assange go much deeper.
Charges under the archaic US espionage act against Julien Assange, if successful, open the door to similar charges against anyone publishing truthful information about any government’s illegal activities, journalist or not. Publisher or not. From or in that country or not. No-one will be safe.