Julian Assange is reported to very thin, very sick and being treated at this point, as little more than a “lab rat” by his state doctors and interrogators at Belmarsh. Word is that his encryption key ring (with his private keys that unlock his various public keys) has already been extracted, under physical duress, cold, light and noise torture, food deprivation, BZ variants, some experimental, and now that he is very physically weak, PCP. The arrests have started and they won’t stop until the injured parties –mainly the US government – have satisfied their bloodlust.
If the hundreds, perhaps thousands, of donors of information to Wilikeaks around the world haven’t begun to already, they need to rapidly take cover – legal, physical, operational and otherwise.
The US, its allies and understudies, its lackeys and satraps, both of the state and corporate type, want to know where the leaks are. And they will find them.
Was Julian Assange the publisher (like Google and Facebook)? Was he some kind of fake whistleblower (like the CIA guy on loan to the White House)? Might he be considered an actual whistleblower like Chelsea Manning or Ed Snowden and Bill Binney and many, many more driven by a sense of real patriotism and justice to share with the people what is being done in their name?
Let’s walk it out. If Assange is a publisher, as any newspaper that conducts investigates and uses protected sources, utilizing Wikileaks, as much as a “bulletin board” as is Google and Facebook – then under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act (which “immunizes online platforms for their users’ defamatory, fraudulent, or otherwise unlawful content”), we as a people or the US State have no legal issues with Wikileaks. Julian Assange should not be held indefinitely, tortured, and chemically interrogated. Donors or contributors to Wikileaks, if lawbreakers, are subject a different kind of investigation, conducted in their own countries by their own courts. Nothing released on Wikileaks has subsequently been found to be untrue or libelous (which was part of the publisher protection provided by Section 230). Confirming by omission that Assange is a publisher, the USG case filed against Assange is playing a different game, one that simply required Assange’s private key ring, not his physical presence or testimony in the US District Court of Eastern Virginia, not in 2020, not ever.
Maybe Assange can be considered a partisan friendly hack whistleblower as in the case of the CIA agent who heard about things, consulted with a lawyer, shared his lawyerized second-hand information (possible gained through CIA spy activities against a sitting president) with Congressman Adam Schiff and others, and then filed it with the ICIG, in order to create a comfortable nest of righteous urgency. That this “whistle” blew shortly after Bolton, his key staffers, and a cadre of contractors he had brought into the National Security Council from JINSA and other neoconservative hangouts should not go unnoticed. Trump’s many enemies have been insulted, degraded, and have temporarily been deprived of power and influence… this will not stand!
Assange clearly doesn’t trust big corporations and big government to always do the right things or have the interests of their employees, customers or citizens at heart. He values transparency. If transparency in government is a partisan position, it certainly isn’t one held by any of the major parties in the US, the UK, Germany, Israel, Saudi Arabia, China or Russia or Iran or India and the list goes on. Contrasting with the kid-glove treatment and moral elevation gracing the introduction of our new CIA whistleblower, we see American Chelsea Manning re-imprisoned, and under new interrogation now that she has been moved from Alexandria to Leavenworth, based on information pried and squeezed out of Julian Assange at Belmarsh.
The (deep as well as overt) state reactions to Assange and the soon-to-be-named CIA White House “whistleblower” have been so markedly different that we must conclude that one of the two are not whistleblowers at all. In fact, neither are whistleblowers. Assange is a publisher and the current belle of the DC ball is a political tool, one worthy of study, as he could be part and parcel of a larger inter-agency coup.
Our third category, an actual whistleblower who sacrifices everything most people hold dear, in the name of justice or truthfulness, transparency or righteousness, or simply pure patriotism, is generally treated by the US government with contempt and charges. In the case of the Australian who created Wikileaks, the USG charges under the Espionage Act of 1917 that Assange hacked into US government classified systems to get the data that was later published on Wikileaks. The case against Assange is mainly about finding out the who, where, when and how of a whole host of leaks from US and US allied interests. Hence the need for his private keys, his torture, and his physical and mental demise long before any extradition hearings.
Assange must not be tried in a court of law, even the dubious law of the Eastern District Court, because his “crimes” if any, will be found invalid, or invalidated. He himself is not a whistleblower, and the charges in the US case against him thus relate to hacking and “encouraging” an existing whistleblower. Decisions were made at the highest levels of both US and UK governments that Assange will be sacrificed in the name of the higher goal of tamping out current leaks, punishing past leakers, and discouraging future leakers, as well as improving information and technical security at NSA and other parts of the USG. Part of this project is recent. Coming arrests and trials of people who may have violated their employment agreements in sharing classified information with Wikileaks, will, even if it must use parallel reconstruction as Judge Napolitano explains, will be enough for a trial. Even kangaroo courts have their standards.
As Caitlyn Johnstone explains in the current US case, what we are witnessing is beyond a double standard and indicates CIA readiness to take on a president inclined to restrict it. Perhaps, hope of hope, Trump was planning to fire its budget hungry and war-inflamed Director Pompeo? Meanwhile, Trump fails to rein in his IC, and fails to protect Assange, a man he once admired, if one can believe his tweeting. Another man who once praised Wikileaks, and now leads England, was just this week praising Egypt for its freedom, and silent on Assange. This summer’s first ever Media Freedom Conference was held in London not far from Belmarsh, with a several day, 14 page agenda studded with famous people. Illustrating the very “deep fake” conundrum they did talk about at the conference, the agenda contained not a single mention of Wikileaks or Julian Assange.
This world is not for freedom lovers, or truth tellers. Run!