Censorship has become the latest acceptable tool of establishment Democrats and Republicans. Both worship at the altar of the neoliberal order. Facebook’s Zuckerberg or Twitters Dorsey, or CNN, FOX or MSNBC don’t really free speech protections.
It is only the disaffected, those who reside on the fringes and the margins, who need those rights. Of course, these are the people who that are most often denied them.
On the flip side, powerful officials in Washington can illegally leak the most sensitive government secrets and will suffer no punishment, or will get the lightest tap on the wrist, provided their aim is to advance mainstream narratives. But low-level leakers whose aim is to expose wrongdoing by the powerful or reveal their systemic lying will have the full weight of the criminal justice system and the intelligence community coming down on them.
Journalists like Bob Woodward, who spend decades spilling the most sensitive secrets is lavished with awards and immense wealth. But those like Julian Assange who publish similar secrets with the goal and outcome of exposing (rather than obscuring) the elite class’s lies will endure indefinite imprisonment in maximum-security cells. That is because Woodward is a servant of power while Assange is a dissident against it.
Assange has been imprisoned for almost two years. He was dragged out of the Ecuadorian Embassy in London by British police on April 11, 2019. That was possible only because the U.S., U.K., and Spanish governments coerced Ecuador’s meek President, Lenin Moreno, to withdraw the asylum extended to Assange seven years earlier by his staunch sovereignty-defending predecessor, Rafael Correa.
The hate of Assange is typical. WikiLeaks exposed the lies and crimes of the ruling class.
Assange has been held in the high-security Belmarsh prison in London, a facility that is known as “Britain’s Guantanamo Bay.”
Assange has never been convicted of a crime. Two weeks after he was dragged out of the embassy, he was found guilty of the minor offense of “skipping bail” and sentenced to 50 weeks in prison, the maximum penalty allowed by law. He fully served that sentence as of April of this year, and was scheduled to be released, facing no more charges. Then, the U.S. Justice Department unveiled an indictment of Assange.
It stemmed from WikiLeaks’ 2010 publication of U.S. State Department diplomatic cables and war logs. It revealed massive corruption by the Bush and Obama officials, as well as various corporations around the world.
It will take years for this extradition process to conclude, and Assange will stay in prison while his appeals work through the U.K. judicial system.
That means that — absent the withdrawal of the charges by what will become the Biden DOJ — Assange will be locked up for years without any need to prove he is guilty of any crime.
It will be like he never existed, silenced by the very governments whose corruption and crimes he exposed.