By Danny C. | DCPeriodical | 01/27/20
Two days ago, after a plethora of petitions and official pleas from doctors and lawyers around the planet, political prisoner Julian Assange was finally moved out of solitary confinement in the UK’s Belmarsh Maximum Security Prison — where medical experts have been stating for months that he’s been showing signs of undergoing torture, not to mention being denied access to his legal team.
Finally, after being forced to meet with petitioning prisoners and Assange’s lawyers on Friday — I reiterate, months after urgent pleas from medical experts around the world — and only after being declared close to death, Belmarsh authorities agreed to move the Wikileaks founder to another wing, though little to no access to his lawyers is still a very real fear. At least he will now have other humans around him.
Those actively supporting Assange agree this is a great step forward, but it is nowhere near enough.
Julian Assange, through his website Wikileaks, is famous for releasing private and classified documents, mainly from the United States, that illustrate high crimes of government officials, intelligence networks, and military operations. Most notably, Wikileaks shot to fame in 2010 when they released a massive amount of documents which showed American military war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan. The person who provided most of those secret documents, Chelsea Manning, endured years of torture in US prison as a result, though none of the perpetrators exposed in the documents themselves have ever seen a glimmer of punishment.
Since then Wikileaks has been responsible for exposing US torture programs; mass surveillance programs; the CIA’s role in creating terrorist networks such as ISIS and al Qaeda, and how they were armed through America, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar; how much the Saudis funneled into the Clinton Foundation; how the DNC and Hillary Clinton rigged the 2016 Democratic and Republican Primaries; the crimes of the Obama Administration (under Clinton’s lead) during the Libyan war; how the Russian government uses the mob to handle their domestic “dirty work”; inhuman protocols for treatment of prisoners in Guantanamo Bay; the secret meetings to concoct civil-liberty-encroaching free trade agreements like the TPP and TTIP; Sony’s ties to influential politicians; the documented crimes and corruption within the correspondences between government officials of Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Syria; and most recently, how the OPCW lied about the chemical attacks attributed to the Assad government in Syria — among hundreds of other explosive releases showing the utter corruption behind the curtains of global power.
All of this information has turned out to be 100% true. Nobody disputes the authenticity of any of Assange’s releases. Unfortunately for him, and the free world in general, that is exactly why he is currently in prison. He has shown everybody willing to look solid proof that the world is run by the worst kind of psychopathic criminals they could have ever imagined — and worse.
The United States, known for torturing whistleblowers who expose its terroristic offenses, has had it in for Assange for a decade now. They have actively led a smear campaign against his character in lieu of not being able to attack his credibility. In doing so, they have openly declared a war against freedom of press.
Julian Assange, after all, is a journalist. Nothing more. Nothing less. Though the First Amendment in the United States Constitution decrees that free journalism and free speech must be protected in order to have a free society, the current campaign to have Assange extradited from London to Washington has epitomized the attempt at destroying that most important of rights, and in turn any chance at having any form of a free society from hence forth. This should terrify everyone.
What’s worse, we’ve all seen how the American judicial system treats whistleblowers. They imprison them after trials the defendants’ aren’t even allowed to present to the court the crimes they’ve exposed as their defense. Then they torture them. Assange faces life in prison under these conditions.
But to take it a step further into the realm of ultimate tyranny, Assange isn’t even an American citizen. He is an Australian, and is not subject to US law in the first place. The charges against him, ten years in the inventing, are bogus at best. They claim he assisted Chelsea Manning in hacking into military intelligence computers. There is about as much evidence to support that claim as there were WMDs found in Iraq.
Manning refuses to testify against Assange and is back in prison for that very reason. Medical experts have said she is showing signs of torture, as well.
What’s happening to these two is a nightmare scenario straight out of Orwell’s 1984. Assange exposed Big Brother, and he is steps away from being thrown into the Ministry of Love. Only this isn’t a story. This is real life. Julian Assange is a real person — as is Manning.
But much more is at stake here.
If Assange goes down for doing nothing but speaking truth to power, the precedent set will forever solidify the world’s submission to authoritarianism. Many are catching on to this truth. This is why people are gathering outside of Belmarsh in protest today, like yesterday, all day and night, despite the bitterly cold temperatures:
Campaigners say Assange should not be in prison at all, that he is a publisher and a journalist whose only crime is journalism, that the powers that want him do so because he exposed their outrageous war crimes. And the likelihood of his extradition case being heard in a court adjoining Belmarsh has fueled concerns among them that Mr. Assange may not get a fair hearing.
The absence of the mainstream media channels is instantly evident. The 48-year-old Australian is detained in a country that, according to Reporters without Borders, is one of the worst environments for press freedom in Western Europe.–Albawaba
The cowardice of the Australian government to stand up and demand their citizen be returned within their borders is sickening, as is the UK government’s cowardice in illegally holding a political prisoner on behalf of a foreign nation, and, of course, nothing is more sickening than the American government’s agenda to silence the man who told the world the truth about their unforgivable system of corruption — through three straight administrations. The fact that every corporate Western journalist has either smeared Assange or kept silence about his plight tells you all you need to know about what they are — state propagandists. When a journalist is in the grip of tyrants, they let the journalist, supposedly one of their own, suffer, while they side with the tyrants.
The bottom line is, yes, it’s fantastic that Assange is no longer being tortured in solitary confinement. But it is not nearly enough. Unless he is released, we will all pay the ultimate price.