What’s wrong? The US mainstream media always seems to do the bidding of the US government. That is why they rushed to confirm Washington’s claim that the Assange indictment was not in any way about journalism. It was only about hacking government computers!
As the New York Times said in an editorial, sounding like a mouthpiece of the US government, Julian Assange committed “an indisputable crime.” But was it? As actual journalist Glenn Greenwald wrote last week, what Julian Assange did in 2010, for which he is facing extradition to the US, is no different from what New York Times and other journalists do every day! He attempted to help Chelsea Manning shield his identity as he blew the whistle on US government crimes to a publisher. 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?
The difference is that what Assange and Manning did embarrassed the US government, which was lying to us that it was “liberating” Iraq and Afghanistan when it was actually doing the opposite. Mainstream journalists publish “leaks” that help bolster the neocon or other vested narratives of the different factions of the US government. That’s why the US media wants to see Assange in prison, or worse: he upset their apple cart.
The lesson is clear: when you bolster the government’s narrative you are a “brave journalist.” When you expose corruption in government you are a criminal. Do we really want to live in a country where it is illegal to learn that our government is engaged in criminal acts? I thought we had an obligation as an engaged citizenry to hold our government accountable!
As long as Julian Assange is in prison, we are all in prison. When the government has the power to tell us what we we allowed to see, hear, and know, we no longer live in a free society. Julian Assange will be extradited to the US and he will have dozens of charges piled on. They want him to disappear so that the next Assange will think twice before informing us of our government’s crimes. Are we going to let them steal our freedom?
Fifteen years ago I thought my life was falling apart. It was. But as the years progressed I saw much of the wider world following the same path. Of course, I have to consider the subjective nature of associating the patterns of behaviour perceived at different scales. Was I just interpreting events in the world at large as ‘like’ my own life? This phenomenon is a regular expressed experience of many people. But for me, there is a discernible difference worth considering. I am meticulous in tearing things apart, re-examining them, considering various perspectives, and, most importantly, digging beneath the surface of my own conscious cognition.
There is a bigger perspective. Humanity is in its death throes. There are still many lines of sight that can see the light through the mayhem, the joy of living in a beautiful world, the hope and potential that things have not yet been decided and there is always the chance they may improve. I will venture this is like watching a volcano exploding and being in awe of the power, the drama, and the visual magnificence. It is true that our experience is full of incredible patterns, colours, emotions, and experiences but it is also true that humanity is changing at such a rate that it is almost explosive.
I have watched this Brexit fiasco from my own perspective. It is the same dynamic as a traumatised child having to decide which of their dysfunctional parents they should side with for the best chance of survival. Most people tending to favour leaving the EU are so transfixed by the abuses of the EU that they wish to run away. What most are unaware of is the darker shadow into which they will run. They imagine that being free of the confines of the oppressive control of a super-state in formation will avail them of some idealised freedom and self-determination. Of course, if that were possible they would have already achieved it.
Most who want to remain in the EU are looking towards making love with this larger community and, by being positive in the relationship, see harmonious and productive outcomes. A bit like an abused person making excuses for the bestial behaviour of their partner. In the comparison with parents, the mother may be the EU and the father is a less tangible, less easily perceived, the shadow of a figure which manifests in the US and Israel. What one might reasonably loosely refer to as Western culture. If the UK did this magic trick of leaving the EU there would be nowhere to go other than into that alliance. The UK is already an integral part of it and ideas of becoming somehow independent are simply unrealistic. The imagined alternative of ‘running away from home’ is also unrealistic. A bit like a turkey I once saw making a bid for freedom from a cage on a lorry at the abattoir. It got to run around a bit, and my heart went out for it, but it was still securely confined within the compound.
All of this is happening within the context of a rapidly expanding, all-pervasive, ubiquitous digital infrastructure of control. I saw a tweet just the other day that Microsoft were closing their e-book store. It is irrelevant whether the details are correct or what arrangements are in place because the dynamic is a feasible one. Buying e-books is not the same as buying paper books. They are effectively rented to you; you purchase the right to read the stored copy. But when the store closes the book vanishes. They used to have to burn books but now they can spirit them away. The same is true of music, and all the information on the internet. This is the same problem as underlies digital money and digital identities; they can be spirited away. The electronic digital representation of each individual is held as a reference to an interpretation of an entity with an ID which is nominally vectored to one biological blob on the surface of planet Earth. We are being altercast as something akin to Buzz Lightyear; a virtual plastic toy representing an imagined superhero rendered in the digital world to look like something exists.
So what hope is there for what we imagine humanity to be? Once this superstructure of digital processing with superior intelligence and all the capability of self-replication begins to formulate into a coherent mass it will have no need for the source material of biological blobs from whence it was spawned. We are left at this moment in time wondering what meaning or significance to place on our previously assumed sense of existence. There is all the potential for life, experience, and consciousness to thrive and develop and there is all the potential for it to be destroyed in this volcanic eruption to rearrange the landscape of the universe for some unknown, unimaginable, and immaterial future.
And now, today, 11 April 2019, Julian Assange has been deliberately publically ignominiously hauled out of the Ecuadorian embassy by the British Police. He will be extradited to the US who will abuse his body and soul for whatever political and material leverage they can gain. Behind all of this is the question of what is going wrong and what on Earth we can do about it. At the heart of the problem is the false illusion of our material existence. I say ‘false’ and ‘illusion’ because they are cultural cognitive interpretations of the meaning of our lives. We create an imagined interpretation of what we are in order to survive. Whilst we continue to indulge in deceiving ourselves in order to fix in space and time some identifiable cognitive model of who we are, we will continue to build institutions and political hierarchies to maintain that deception. It has to be clear to anyone watching a little more of the detail than that offered by the mental fast-food media that this is a profoundly disturbing turn of events.
When you uncover a part of your subconscious you discover something about you that was hidden and driving your choices. In general, it is better to understand yourself better. It allows you to improve, not only your own experience of living but generally to improve the interaction between you and the outside world which, in turn, enhances the outside world too. Attempting to maintain your naivety because it gets you what you want now is actually a failure to adapt and learn and inevitably leads to failure. It is a dangerous form of pathological delusion which leads to conflict, violence, and destruction. Julian Assange did nothing worse than expose a few truths that the US are desperate to keep secret. They are so desperate to maintain the deception that they will go to extremes to make an example of Assange to set precedents of control and to terrorise anyone daring to even think of exposing their malicious behaviour and intentions.
All of us have to review and enhance our own integrity and act on it.
APRIL 12, 2019
The glimpse of Julian Assange being dragged from the Ecuadorean embassy in London is an emblem of the times. Might against right. Muscle against the law. Indecency against courage. Six policemen manhandled a sick journalist, his eyes wincing against his first natural light in almost seven years.
That this outrage happened in the heart of London, in the land of Magna Carta, ought to shame and anger all who fear for “democratic” societies. Assange is a political refugee protected by international law, the recipient of asylum under a strict covenant to which Britain is a signatory. The United Nations made this clear in the legal ruling of its Working Party on Arbitrary Detention.
But to hell with that. Let the thugs go in. Directed by the quasi fascists in Trump’s Washington, in league with Ecuador’s Lenin Moreno, a Latin American Judas and liar seeking to disguise his rancid regime, the British elite abandoned its last imperial myth: that of fairness and justice.
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.
The shocking arrest of Assange carries a warning for all who, as Oscar Wilde wrote, “sew the seeds of discontent [without which] there would be no advance towards civilisation”. The warning is explicit towards journalists. What happened to the founder and editor of WikiLeaks can happen to you on a newspaper, you in a TV studio, you on radio, you running a podcast.
Assange’s principal media tormentor, the Guardian, a collaborator with the secret state, displayed its nervousness this week with an editorial that scaled new weasel heights. 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. The book’s authors, Luke Harding and David Leigh, turned on their source, abused him and disclosed the secret password Assange had given the paper in confidence, which was designed to protect a digital file containing leaked US embassy cables.
With Assange now trapped in the Ecuadorean embassy, Harding joined the police outside and gloated on his blog that “Scotland Yard may get the last laugh”. The Guardian has since published a series of falsehoods about Assange, not least a discredited claim that a group of Russians and Trump’s man, Paul Manafort, had visited Assange in the embassy. The meetings never happened; it was fake.
But the tone has now changed. “The Assange case is a morally tangled web,” the paper opined. “He (Assange) believes in publishing things that should not be published …. But he has always shone a light on things that should never have been hidden.
These “things” are the truth about the homicidal way America conducts its colonial wars, the lies of the British Foreign Office in its denial of rights to vulnerable people, such as the Chagos Islanders, the expose of Hillary Clinton as a backer and beneficiary of jihadism in the Middle East, the detailed description of American ambassadors of how the governments in Syria and Venezuela might be overthrown, and much more. It all available on the WikiLeaks site.
The Guardian is understandably nervous. Secret policemen have already visited the newspaper and demanded and got the ritual destruction of a hard drive. On this, the paper has form. In 1983, a Foreign Office clerk, Sarah Tisdall, leaked British Government documents showing when American cruise nuclear weapons would arrive in Europe. The Guardian was showered with praise.
When a court order demanded to know the source, instead of the editor going to prison on a fundamental principle of protecting a source, Tisdall was betrayed, prosecuted and served six months.
If Assange is extradited to America for publishing what the Guardian calls truthful “things”, what is to stop the current editor, Katherine Viner, following him, or the previous editor, Alan Rusbridger, or the prolific propagandist Luke Harding?
What is to stop the editors of the New York Times and the Washington Post, who also published morsels of the truth that originated with WikiLeaks, and the editor of El Pais in Spain, and Der Spiegel in Germany and the Sydney Morning Herald in Australia. The list is long.
David McCraw, lead lawyer of the New York Times, wrote: “I think the prosecution [of Assange] would be a very, very bad precedent for publishers … from everything I know, he’s sort of in a classic publisher’s position and the law would have a very hard time distinguishing between the New York Times and WilLeaks.”
Even if journalists who published WikiLeaks’ leaks are not summoned by an American grand jury, the intimidation of Julian Assange and Chelsea Manning will be enough. Real journalism is being criminalised by thugs in plain sight. Dissent has become an indulgence.
In Australia, the current America-besotted government is prosecuting two whistle-blowers who revealed that Canberra’s spooks bugged the cabinet meetings of the new government of East Timor for the express purpose of cheating the tiny, impoverished nation out of its proper share of the oil and gas resources in the Timor Sea. Their trial will be held in secret. The Australian prime minister, Scott Morrison, is infamous for his part in setting up concentration camps for refugees on the Pacific islands of Nauru and Manus, where children self harm and suicide. In 2014, Morrison proposed mass detention camps for 30,000 people.
Real journalism is the enemy of these disgraces. 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.
The document was duly leaked to WikiLeaks, which published it. “We had no choice,” Assange told me. “It’s very simple. People have a right to know and a right to question and challenge power. That’s true democracy.”
What if Assange and Manning and others in their wake — if there are others — are silenced and “the right to know and question and challenge” is taken away?
In the 1970s, I met Leni Reifenstahl, close friend of Adolf Hitler, whose films helped cast the Nazi spell over Germany.
She told me that the message in her films, the propaganda, was dependent not on “orders from above” but on what she called the “submissive void” of the public.
“Did this submissive void include the liberal, educated bourgeoisie?” I asked her.
“Of course,” she said, “especially the intelligentsia …. When people no longer ask serious questions, they are submissive and malleable. Anything can happen.”
The rest, she might have added, is history.
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One should not mistake what is happening to Assange for anything but the persecution of a man, who embarrassed the US by exposing to the public Washington’s brutality in the Middle East, award-winning British journalist John Pilger told RT’s Going Underground program.
“The United States has aroused the ire because what we are in the midst of is the world’s greatest superpower struggling to maintain its dominance. Its information dominance, its technological dominance, its cultural dominance. And WikiLeaks has presented an extreme hurdle to this,” he argued.
If we lose the Assanges – and there aren’t many of them, a handful maybe and certainly no one like him – if we lose the WikiLeaks, then we lose a whole stratum of freedom. We stop questioning.
Assange was arrested by the British authorities on Thursday after Ecuador revoked his political asylum and allowed the police to drag him out of the embassy in London. The US accuses the publisher of conspiring with WikiLeaks source Chelsea Manning in her leaking of classified materials related to US military presence in Iraq and Afghanistan.
WikiLeaks publications based on the Manning leak, especially the so-called “collateral murder” video, dealt a massive blow to US attempts to cover up the “homicidal nature of its colonial wars,” Pilger said.
“Anybody watching that video really has to read very little else of the WikiLeaks revelations about the nature of the American wars, because there it is. There is some kind of consensual belief – I’m trying to figure for a polite term for ‘brainwashing,’ frankly – that we don’t do these kinds of things, we perpetually benign,” he explained.
On ‘our’ side, these things simply do not happen… They are only done by totalitarian states, the rogue states. In fact clearly the biggest rogue state of all is the United States.
Pilger says the attack on WikiLeaks is emblematic for the current state or journalism in the West, which has betrayed its mandate to be the public’s watchdog for the actions of their governments.
“We’ve handed a whole world of abandonment of basic democracy, which is based on dissent, on challenging, on holding power to account, on revelation, on the embarrassment of power. Not trivial embarrassment, the embarrassment of odd celebrity, but real embarrassment. And WikiLeaks provided that public service of journalism,” he said.
The journalist said Assange was arrested “on a political whim” and his likely prosecution and imprisonment in the US “opens up a whole chapter of diminishing the very principles that came out of the Second World War, upon which the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is base. It shows how fragile they are.”
Watch the entire interview.
April 11, 2019, brought us a new word for Judas: Moreno—the puppet president of Ecuador who sold Julian Assange to Washington for his 30 pieces of silver.
Yesterday’s arrest of Assange inside the Ecuadorian embassy in London is the first stage in Washington’s attempt to criminalize the First Amendment to the US Constitution.
Washington’s man in Quito said he revoked Assange’s political asylum and Ecuadoran citizenship because Assange engaged in free speech.
As race and gender diverse police dragged Assange out of the embassy this morning, I reflected on the utter corruption of three governments—the US, the UK, and Ecuador—and their institutions.
The British police showed no shame as they carted Assange from his embassy prison of the last seven years to a British jail as a way station on the way to an American one. If the British police had any integrity, the entire force would have called in sick.
If the British parliament had any integrity, they would have blocked London’s contribution to Washington’s upcoming show trial.
If the British had a prime minister instead of a Washington agent, Assange would have been released a long time ago, not held in de facto imprisonment until Washington found Moreno’s price.
If the Ecuadoran ambassador in London had any integrity, he would have publicly resigned rather than call in the police to take Assange. Is the ambassador so soulless that he can live with himself as the man who helped Moreno dishonor the reputation of Ecuador?
If the Anglo-American journalists had any integrity, they would be up in arms over the criminalization of their profession.
President Trump has survived a three-year ordeal similar to Assange’s seven-year ordeal. Trump knows how corrupt US intelligence agencies and the US Department of Justice (sic) are. If Trump had any integrity, he would bring the shameful and embarrassing persecution of Assange to an immediate end by issuing a pre-trial pardon. This would also end the illegal re-imprisonment of Manning.
But integrity is not something that thrives in Washington, or in London, or in Quito.
When the Justice (sic) Department does not have a crime with which to charge its intended victim, the department trots out “conspiracy.” Assange is accused of being in a conspiracy with Manning to obtain and publicize secret government data, such as the film, which was already known to a Washington Post reporter who failed his newspaper and his profession by remaining silent, of US soldiers committing extraordinary war crimes without remorse. As a US soldier, it was actually Manning’s duty to report the crimes and the failure of US troops to disobey unlawful orders. Manning was supposed to report the crimes to his superiors, not to the public, but he knew the military had already covered up the massacre of journalists and civilians and did not want another My Lai-type event on its hands.
I don’t believe the charge against Assange. If WikiLeaks cracked the code for Manning, WikiLeaks did not need Manning.
The alleged Grand Jury that allegedly produced the indictment was conducted in secret over many years as Washington searched for something that might be pinned on Assange. If there actually was a grand jury, the jurors were devoid of integrity, but how do we know there was a grand jury? Why should we believe anything Washington says after “Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction,” “Assad’s use of chemical weapons against his own people,” “Iranian nukes,” “Russian invasion of Ukraine,” “Russiagate,” and on and on ad infinitum. Why believe Washington is telling the truth this time?
As the grand jury was secret because of “national security,” will the trial also be secret and the evidence secret? Is what we have here a Star Chamber proceeding in which a person is indicted in secret and convicted in secret on secret evidence? This is the procedure used by tyrannical governments who have no case against the person they intend to destroy.
The governments in Washington, London, and Quito are so shameless that they do not mind demonstrating to the entire world their lawlessness and lack of integrity.
Perhaps the rest of the world is itself so shameless that there will be no adverse consequences for Washington, London, and Quito. On the other hand, perhaps the frameup of Assange, following the Russiagate hoax and the shameless attempt to overthrow democracy in Venezuela and install Washington’s agent as president of that country, will make it clear to all that “the free world” is led by a rogue and lawless government. Washington is speeding up the decline of its empire as Washington makes it clear that Washington is worthy of no respect.
No confidence that justice will be served can be placed in any American trial. In Assange’s trial justice is not possible. With Assange convicted by the media, even a jury convinced of his innocence will convict him rather than face denunciation for freeing a “Russian spy.”
Assange’s conviction will make it impossible for media to report leaked information that is unfavorable to the government. As the precedent expands, future prosecutors will claim the Assange case as a precedent for prosecuting critics of the government who will be charged with intended harm to the government. The age of justice and accountable government is being brought to an end.
Dr. Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan Administration and associate editor of the Wall Street Journal. The article was first published by the author’s website — https://www.paulcraigroberts.org/. Dr. Roberts has granted permission to Press TV website to republish his articles.
(The views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect those of Press TV.)