The Julian Assange Media Blackout Must End

Article author: 
Branko Marcetic
Article publisher: 
Jacobin
Article date: 
July 11, 2021
Article category: 
National News
Medium
Article Body: 

Stunning revelations have emerged overseas about the reckless and duplicitous methods used by US law enforcement against Julian Assange. But in the US, the story has been subject to an almost total media blackout.

A couple weeks back, the US government’s attempt to prosecute Julian Assange for publishing classified material was dealt a major blow. You probably didn’t even hear about it.

Two weeks ago, the Icelandic newspaper Stundin published a bombshell report revealing that Sigurdur Thordarson, a former WikiLeaks volunteer from Iceland whose testimony was key to the US case against Assange, admitted to fabricating accusations against Assange. Those accusations had been featured in the US indictment against the organization’s founder, and they were cited by the British judge who narrowly ruled against Assange’s extradition at the start of this year.

The crux of the situation is this: the indictment charges, among other things, that Assange instructed Thordarson “to commit computer intrusions” and secretly record high-ranking Icelandic officials, including members of parliament; that they tried to decrypt a “stolen” file from an Icelandic bank; that Assange tried to use “the unauthorized access given to him by a source” to make use of a government website that tracked police vehicles; and that he had ordered and encouraged Thordarson to set up a relationship with a hacking group, who would hack and illegally obtain documents to pass on to WikiLeaks. All of these claims, Thordarson has now admitted to Stundin, are either highly misleading or outright false, the paper reports.

But it gets much worse. Thordarson is a clinically diagnosed sociopath with a history of criminal activity, including stealing documents and embezzling funds from WikiLeaks itself, which he did shortly before contacting the FBI offering to be an informant on the organization....

It’s abundantly clear, from this report alone, that at no point in this saga did Washington have a genuine and principled opposition to any of the transgressions involved here, from hacking and stealing secrets to general criminality. Rather, it was all about punishing Assange for exposing US war crimes and the backroom dealings of the powerful...

Related

Assange may never recover from ‘torture’ at Belmarsh, suicide becoming more likely the longer he stays in prison – doctor to RT, RT, July 14, 2021.

Assange To Be "Moved Around" Sine Die, by Ray McGovern via AntiWar.com, Zero Hedge, July 11, 2021:

Very bad news for those who still care about freedom of the press and what the fate of Julian Assange means for the artifact-First Amendment added to the US Constitution 240 years ago. The UK High Court just announced it will hear the US appeal of a lower court decision against extraditing Julian Assange...

What also showed up in the Stratfor emails was the unrelenting, Inspector-Javert-type approach taken by one Fred Burton, Stratfor’s Vice-President for Counterterrorism and Corporate Security. (Burton had been Deputy Chief of the Department of State’s counterterrorism division for the Diplomatic Security Service.)

Here’s Javert – I mean Burton:

"Move him [Assange] from country to country to face charges for the next 25 years. But seize everything he and his family own, to include every person linked to Wiki." [my comment: "country to country", or – equally effective – court to court]...

Julian Assange Biography

Julian Assange case: 10 major developments since WikiLeaks publisher’s arrest, Washington Times, June 25, 2021.

UN’s torture expert condemns persecution of Julian Assange as efforts to free journalist ramp up ahead of G7 summit, RT, June 6, 2021.

What happened to Julian Assange, Norman Finkelstein, January 17, 2021.

Videos: Home Run for Julian, Assange Defense Tour.