The Real Problem with Julian Assange

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The government defines malinformation as “based on fact but used out of context to mislead, harm, or manipulate.”

In other words, inconvenient truths.

Now, while this nation used to celebrate the revelation of inconvenient truths, one of the 21st century’s biggest spreaders of inconvenient truths, Julian Assange, may be headed to prison for the rest of his life.

Extradition hearings for the WikiLeaks founder wrapped up on February 21, though a decision by British judges is not expected till mid-March.  If extradition is granted, this Australian publisher and journalist will be taken to the United States, where he will stand trial on espionage charges.

How does an Australian journalist, who has scarcely spent any time on American soil, get charged under American espionage laws?  How does someone, whose only criminal conviction so far has been bail-jumping, spend nearly five years in “Britain’s Guantanamo” on top of seven years in near-isolation in an embassy?

What did Julian Assange do?

Julian Assange founded WikiLeaks in 2006.  WikiLeaks was designed to facilitate whistleblowing by providing an anonymous platform for whistleblowers to post material.  In 2010, WikiLeaks published almost half a million documents from US intelligence analyst Bradley/Chelsea Manning.  Despite the fact that most of this information was already in the public domain, then-President Obama condemned Assange as a national security threat, and Manning was sentenced to 35 years in prison, though the sentence was later commuted

Citizens older than 40 may remember Obama campaigning on creating the most transparent administration ever, in his desire to distance himself from the Bush administration and its War on Terror.   However, Obama went on to charge more people under the Espionage Act than any other president in history.

None of this stopped Assange. Later, in 2010, WikiLeaks published about 250,000 American diplomatic cables. At the end of the year, while Assange was living in Britain, two Swedish women made sexual assault allegations against him.

Assange did not want to go to Sweden to face trial; he believed the Swedes would turn him over to the American government.   So, in 2012, he sought refuge in the Ecuadoran embassy.  The Ecuadorans granted him asylum after the Swedish government would not guarantee keeping him out of American custody.

Seven years later, in 2019, the Ecuadorians turned him over to the British police after complaining about his increasingly bizarre behavior and violating their conditions of hosting him.

Since Assange sought asylum in the Ecuadoran embassy rather than go to court, the British government charged him with bail-jumping and granted him the maximum sentence for this, fifty weeks.  When the fifty weeks were up, the US charged him with espionage.  As lawyer-turned-journalist Glenn Greenwald noted at the end of 2020, espionage charges are so complex that this guaranteed Assange would spend years in prison as British courts deliberated.

Indeed, Assange has been in Belmarsh for more than four years now, where he suffered a minor stroke in 2021, at the age of 50. Again, this is all without being convicted of any crimes more serious than bail-jumping.

How are authorities defending this?

In his data dumps, Assange revealed the names of collaborators within Iraq and Afghanistan.  American lawmakers say that revealing these names, as well as the actions of American soldiers in those wars, puts American lives at risk.  They believe, therefore, that Assange does not deserve any of the protections journalists would normally enjoy.

There would be a logic to this, if it could be proven true that Assange cost American lives.  However, it cannot.  No soldiers have ever been proven to have died as a result of Julian Assange’s actions.  And as far as the welfare of our foreign collaborators, where was our concern for them when we fled from Afghanistan, handing over more than $80 billion worth of weaponry to the Taliban?

Furthermore, what about the more recent dump of classified information regarding American intervention in Ukraine?

The double standard is nauseating.

Assange’s persecution has far less to do with concern for American soldiers, or their overseas friends, than it does with the fact that Julian Assange embarrassed the Washington establishment in general, and Hillary Clinton in particular.

Documents posted on WikiLeaks showed that the 2016 Democratic primaries were rigged in favor of Hillary Clinton.   Naturally, Hillary’s team did not find this flattering, and so her campaign blamed WikiLeaks in part for her 2016 loss.

Hillary does not have a reputation for letting offenses slide.  In 2016, she said, “Can’t we just drone this guy?” regarding Assange  After being confronted about this, like a good politician, she said she doesn’t remember saying that, but if she did, it was just a joke.

Though Trump seemed generally sympathetic toward Assange, his appointees hated him, particularly CIA director Mike Pompeo.  In 2017, CIA officials were so mad about Vault 7 leaks they discussed assassinating Assange.

The Vault 7 leaks revealed vulnerabilities within different operating systems.  While federal agencies were upset about the information itself being leaked, what was even worse was that no one at the agencies noticed the data was missing until WikiLeaks posted it.

In response, Mike Pompeo designated WikiLeaks a “non-state hostile intelligence service.”  Intelligence officials tried to find leaks between WikiLeaks and the Russian government, though they were never able to do so. Even a former national security official under Trump admitted that the actions taken toward Assange were out of embarrassment, not in response to any kind of tangible threat.

The real problem with Julian Assange is that he destroys narratives.

I don’t know the man personally; I don’t know if he does what he does out of a sincere, disinterested love of truth or if he simply hates the US and wants to humiliate us on the world stage.  Maybe he’s just a provocateur who wants to take down the biggest guy in the room.

Either way, our political class can’t tolerate it.  They believe that the narrative is more important than the truth and that without a uniting narrative, the American public will collapse.

Who remembers 1984, when Winston gets a copy of The Book?  He reads about the Inner Party, about how those most fanatical about the war effort are precisely those who are most aware of how cynically war is used to keep the standard of living low.

This is a real phenomenon, and it’s how Julian Assange described the war in Afghanistan back in 2011, “. . . because the goal is not to completely subjugate Afghanistan.  The goal is to use Afghanistan to wash money out of the tax bases of the United States, out of the tax bases of European countries, through Afghanistan, back into the hands of the transnational security elite. . . The goal is to have an endless war, not a successful war.”

Assange made this prediction ten years before our humiliating retreat from Afghanistan, and several years after the Americans could have won the war, had they not gotten distracted in Iraq.  All introspection regarding Iraq and Afghanistan proves his points.

Assange continually called bullsh*t on a political elite that thinks Americans are too stupid to keep track of our own overseas interventions.

The US was never supposed to be an unaccountable political establishment.

This country was created with a system of checks and balances, precisely to keep the branches of the government restrained by each other, and the entire apparatus accountable to the people.

A free press facilitates this.  Yes, it’s ugly sometimes.  I had friends in Iraq. I was furious when the Abu Ghraib photos leaked.  But, after years of ruminating on situations like these, I believe it is better for the American public to know what war consists of.  I think the press should make it clear that our adversaries in various entanglements are not particularly humane, either.  War is ugly.  People do horrible things to each other.  And that is why it is so important to have a diplomatic class that sees war as an option of last resort.

What happened to Assange should scare everyone who loves freedom.

Assange isn’t killing people.  He just reveals information in times and places that the political class dislikes.  The Washington establishment wants to push the same narrative that’s been pushed since WWII, that of the Americans being the permanent good guy, no matter what.  Assange hasn’t been lying. He’s spreading malinformation, the information that is technically true but inconvenient to the prevailing narrative.

The Legacy Media loved Assange fifteen years ago when the liberal establishment was in favor of anything making George W. look bad.  Today, as Assange’s revelations continue to drive the public’s general distrust of the political elite, they want him to disappear.  If extradition is granted, they may get their wish.

Julian Assange is guilty of malinformation.  That’s it.  His decades-long harassment should concern anyone who truly believes in the First Amendment, a free press, and the United States as the Founding Fathers envisioned it.

What do you think?

Do you think that Assange has been unfairly persecuted? Do you think his leaks were important information or stuff that should’ve remained secret? Do you think he’ll be extradited to the United States? What then?

Let’s discuss it in the comments section.

About Marie Hawthorne

A lover of novels and cultivator of superb apple pie recipes, Marie spends her free time writing about the world around her.

Marie Hawthorne

Marie Hawthorne

A lover of novels and cultivator of superb apple pie recipes, Marie spends her free time writing about the world around her.

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  • He should be set free, with a new identity anywhere he wants to go, hopefully with protection, and let him do what he does best. Protects us from the lies. Same persecution as those poor innocents from 1.6

  • I think the general public is more against him being extradited to the US now then they used to be because the general public has woken up much more to what the government is doing to people with the “ misinformation” and “malinformation” narrative. This is a free speech issue, affects journalists and every American. What they can do to someone else, they can do to you. We all should be concerned about this.

    • Since when did the so-called ‘government’ care what the general public, ‘The People’, think?

      • I didn’t say the government cared. If you read what I said. People are waking up with the issue of what the government is doing.

  • Julian Assange is one of the greatest heroes of our age. If we even survive, it will be in part because he woke us up in time.

    A major aspect of this whole issue is insufficient understanding of the VITAL importance of the free flow of information. We make a big fuss over being a “democracy,” (we’re not supposed to be) or a Republic, if you understand the difference. Neither can exist without a free press and free information.

    The most important book of our time is James Surowiecki’s “The Wisdom of Crowds,” an original source of breakthrough information.

  • Wonderfully clear & prescient. AND – tos lesson applies to all
    Of us. Remember the TENN parents complaining to a school board re the obscene educational materials forced upon their children? FBI showed up R their doorstep, sending a message to all Americans to shut up.

  • The FBI and government officials leak confidential information to the press all the time. Two tiered justice system.

  • There is a long history of murders inside prisons but made to look like suicides that a captive media insists is the case — which means that Assange would be very in danger if moved to a US lockup. The Jeffrey Epstein case in New York comes to mind as does the John McAfee case in a lockup in Barcelona, Spain. But such histories go back a long way.

    After the US Secretary of War was renamed as Secretary of Defense the first office holder under that newly politicized name was James Forrestal. Whatever his disagreements might have been with the establishment … he was incarcerated in 1949 into a federal hospital on alleged grounds of having mental problems. He told his brother that he did not expect to make it out of that hospital alive. A few hours before he was scheduled to be released into his brother’s custody he went out of an upper story window of that hospital on May 22, 1949. A suicide note was “found” in his room but what the media didn’t dare mention in that day was that the note was written in another person’s handwriting.

    This is the best account of the McAfee example I could find:

    https://nypost.com/2021/06/28/john-mcafee-reportedly-had-suicide-note-when-found-dead/

    I think Julian Assange would be very much at risk for similar treatment.

    –Lewis

  • Unfortunately, those inconvenient truths like the U.S. Constitution has never been officially repealed, but through the bureaucratic lens of perception is as much dead letter law as the Ten Commandments. Although “The Law” was literally written in stone centuries ago, the children with their “Coloring Books” have obfuscated and euphemized crimes against humanity, scapegoating the innocent and protecting the guilty by their errant narratives. Having been victimized by those agenda driven special interest groups, and their penchant for folly by inverting reality decimates any effective resistance against their propaganda machinery. In Canada Free Press, an Author named Terry Oxley described my sentiments concerning these forgers of lies and physicians of no value. (Job 13:4) https://canadafreepress.com/article/beware-the-narrative

  • Julian Assange did NOT release any names, that was done by reporters from The Guardian who published the login credentials for an online repository of the documents.

  • Assange is a hero. To some. To others not so much. To me? I think they should leave him alone. Someone said, earlier, that they should give him a new identity and get him to another location. I agree. Our government has turned against the common man. They are the ones that should be imprisoned.
    Blessings,
    OD

  • My initial reaction 14 years ago was that he was an irresponsible provacateur. But since then, there have been so many political and technical developments that demonstrate that he was more correct than not; and he seems almost to have been bypassed by history. I think he should be released.

  • The article mischaracterizes and greatly diminishes Assange’s misdeeds & crimes with the associated risks to US military personnel deployed in combat.

    Specialist and Transsexual Bradley Manning was an active duty U.S. Army Intelligence Analyst providing WikiLeaks with real-time, operational intelligence of US forces on the ground to include future missions, locations and dates. Julian Assange published this information using Wikileaks website, in many cases before events unfolded, placing the US units and their personnel at risk. Julian Assange did this knowing he was publishing classified US intelligence an/or operations plans that he received illegally. He knew he was placing US forces at risk by broadcasting the information.

    These acts greatly diminish any benefits from Wikileaks’ prior and subsequent publication of any “Inconvenient Truths”. Although psychologically unstable, Bradley Manning (a/k/a Chelsea Manning) was venting his frustration with US foreign policy by illegally sharing secrets with WikiLeaks while he road a desk daily in the National Capitol Region. Fulfilling Manning’s anti-government fantasies and hero delusions, Assange kept publishing the stream of classified information.

    Although Assange has already paid a heavy psychological price in his games to avoid US extradition, he will soon be tried in US courts. The US is actually going easy on Assange, since he could become a Guantanamo Bay detainee and tried by a military tribunal as an Enemy Combatant under the Laws of War. Assange engaged in Information Warfare. Based on his knowledge and the need to make a public example of him, I suspect he’ll be tried, convicted, and sentenced to a Supermax prison facility where he won’t be communicating with anyone for years.

    Welcome to America, Julian!

    • A couple of questions, if you don’t mind?

      1. Are you a U.S. citizen?
      2. Do you care that the government routinely lies to us and selectively prosecutes?

      • I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting for an answer. I’ve been asking those “Authorities” who self-identify as “Government’ questions for years, which they either outright ignore or deflect. They are those who come to steal, kill and destroy as Jesus said in John 10:10. They will ask me lots of personal questions (as far as what serves their interest) but have declined to answer mine. I think you have to be a schizophrenic narcissist to apply for a government position, inasmuch that they are to inept and incompetent to explain their undeclared wars against people who had no problem until they show up with their “State Interventionism”.

    • “The government is good at one thing. It knows how to break your legs, and then hand you a crutch and say, “See if it weren’t for the government, you wouldn’t be able to walk”. Harry Browne

      Thanks for the reminder. I guess…

  • Almost forgot…..Julian, Please do tell us about your future, first-hand experience with Arkancide….should you survive and still have your wits intact.

    Welcome to America Julian! Enjoy Our Hospitality Toward Our Public Enemies:)

  • Assange has become a dual threat like Snowden was.

    He is living proof there is no real journalism in the USSA and hasnt been any since likely the 70’s Not only that, he overwhelmingly proves what I have said for more than decade that the USSA is the worlds leading terrorist state by a wide wide margin.

    Terrorists dont like to be embarassed, its just that simple.

  • Using information (deliberately edited and/or out of context) is apparently ‘malinformation’. This is a brand new word + definition for me.
    It reminds me of a recent conversation where a friend told me someone prominent would no longer do recorded interviews as reporters would change the content around and edit it to change the message. This person will now only do live-to-air interviews.

  • Does anyone remember that East Germany and the old USSR were using Democratic and Republic in their names? We are supposed to be a Representative Republic, not a Democratic Republic. Democracy sounds good but it is the basis of Communism. Every man has the same…..the basis also of a commune. Nothing is really yours as you have to share ownership or have total government ownership to be in possession “equal to everyone else”. Of course, we know that the leaders of Democratic or Communist nations meant all of you, not themselves, with the government owning everything they held so much power over the little guy that it corrupted them and they became rich to obscene degrees while the masses struggled and starved and any hope of it getting better died. So the worker became unproductive, sort of like the worker today who doesn’t see any need or reason to be productive.
    Most Americans don’t seem to understand what DEMOCRATIC really means. It means if I work my tail off trying to get ahead and own anything and live a better life it is a waste of time because if you set on your lazy assets and do nothing, we will both have exactly the same things. There is no opportunity to get more or live a better quality of life. It will be handed freely to those around you and your position won’t improve. Education and hard work mean nothing to you as an individual. Individuality and personal property are erased in the democracy, making everyone equal.
    Yes I know Assange is the subject here, but most of the world seems to be following after, and using the language of, Democracy. Individual freedoms mean nothing under authoritarian governments or democratic governments. So truth-tellers become PUBLIC ENEMY NUMBER ONE. Unless lives were sacrificed and a government brought down by the truth-teller, it was never as truly urgent to get the truth-teller as it was made out to be.
    I don’t want a Democracy. I want to be rewarded for my hard work, for my sacrifices to become educated and to be an educator. I don’t have to get rich but I want to see some rewards for real effort and accomplishments. If the lazy or drug abuser has the same opportunity to eat, dress in their clothing of choice, and have a shelter that meets a socially accepted standard what is the point of being a productive adult? You’re only enriching the collective.
    The truth-teller is the guy in the story of the king who was deceived by invisible, rich clothing, that no one else could see. The king was naked, and the only one willing to say so was an innocent little child. There was no adult willing to risk the king’s wrath and state to obvious truth.
    What is happening today is too few are willing to report the truth. We passed laws to protect “whistleblowers” but we don’t protect truth-tellers, we imprison them. and maybe kill them too. Corrupt leaders and counselors are living lives that rightfully fear truth.

  • Sounds like the Ukraine is the new Afghanistan. “. . . because the goal is not to completely subjugate Afghanistan. The goal is to use Afghanistan to wash money out of the tax bases of the United States, out of the tax bases of European countries, through Afghanistan, back into the hands of the transnational security elite. . . The goal is to have an endless war, not a successful war.”

  • If Assange is extradited to the US, I think the odds are that his plane, whether civilian or military, will mysteriously disappear over the Atlantic, never to be found.

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