By Guy Crittenden
As reported on July 30 in an article in The Canary, a US judge has kicked the legs out from under the legal stool of the plan by the United States government to extradite Wikileaks founder Julian Assange from a prison in the United Kingdom to stand trial under espionage rules in the US. The plan is enthusiastically supported by corporate elites, the donor class and the deep state of both countries, who were embarrassed by Wikileaks revelations of US war crimes in Iraq (which fuelled the initial intention of the intelligence community to arrest Assange, which is why he took refuge in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London years ago). The judge addressed the matter of Wikileaks revelations of deep corruption in the DNC that helped prevent Hillary Clinton's presidential election bid from succeeding, and cited that such journalistic practices are protected by the US Constitution.
"If WikiLeaks could be held liable for publishing documents concerning the DNC’s political financial and voter-engagement strategies simply because the DNC labels them ‘secret’ and trade secrets, then so could any newspaper or other media outlet."
Though Assange's trials and tribulations are likely far from over, the judge's decision is a significant development, as it clearly conveyed that the US First Amendment protects exactly the kind of revelations Wikileaks made, just as it did with the famous Panama Papers and also the Pentagon Papers released decades ago by constant-turned-activist Daniel Ellsberg.
Hopefully this decision will help reshape public perceptions that Assange is not actually a journalist — a popular opinion among avocado-toast-and-latte liberals who unjustly hold Assange responsible for Hillary Clinton's humiliating election loss against a reality TV show candidate the media built up as a supposedly easy-to-beat strawman candidate. Trump unexpectedly won the 2016 presidential election because the a huge swath of the public repudiated the establishment candidate and cheerleader for endless war, who ran a lousy campaign, after 40 years of being thrown under the bus via neoconservative and neoliberal policies. Instead of engaging in meaningful reflection on why Clinton lost the election, many Democratic supporters accepted imperial narratives such as the now-discredited Russiagate conspiracy theory, which was invented on the eve of Clinton's election loss by her operatives Robby Mook and John Podesta. The premise (that Russia somehow meaningfully interfered in the 2016 election) was heavily promoted in the media with the support of intelligence agencies like the FBI, NSA and CIA, which for strange reasons the American left and Hollywood liberals embraced as friendly forces.
Chelsea Manning has been imprisoned for refusing to testify against Julian Assange over her release of a helicopter gunship video that
showed US servicemen gunning down innocents, an action the US deep state never forgave either party.
We should read the judge's decision carefully, as well as the content of presentations to the federal court by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). Skeptics should consider that some of the world's finest independent progressive journalists such as Chris Hedges and Australia's John Pilger support Assange and oppose Russiagate and other narratives crafted by the deep state. You can read Pilger's opinion in another article from The Canary here.
As The Canary says, the judge's decision should lead (but likely will not) to the immediate release of both Julian Assange and Chelsea Manning. The latter is currently imprisoned in solitary confinement (a recognized form of torture) and being fined $1,000 per day for refusing to testify against Wikileaks in how she helped the news organization acquire a helicopter gunship video that showed US army personnel murdering civilians in Iraq while joking about it. The victims included journalists and children.
Environment and business journalist and award-winning book author (The Year of Drinking Magic: Twelve Ceremonies with the Vine of Souls, Apocryphile Press) based in Innisfil, Ontario, Canada and Principal of Crittenden Communication. Contact Guy at firstname.lastname@example.org