Assange 2

Julian Assange, a standard-bearer of freedom, has effectively nullified the “freedom” imperialist media propagates round the clock. Today, the imperialist “freedom” is on the dock.

Voices across continents are calling to defend the freedom Assange stands for – the freedom to information, the freedom to know facts related to thousands of innocent civilian lives in countries, the freedom to present info to a broader audience to secure civilian lives. It’s an almost unparallel act today.

Assange stands for the freedom journalists should be entrusted with for serving people; and it’s to people, not the employing capital, journalists are committed to serve. Voices concerned with gradually shrinking space for journalists’ freedom stand for Assange. He tried to tread that space forcefully. That freedom-spirit is his “sin”.

Assange’s major “crime” is not only standing for freedom people in all lands require. Another act of the lancer trailing truth is almost unparallel, Snowden is another example, today also: Exposing imperialist state – the way the state machine decides questions of life and death of people of lands; and the way the state deals/plans to deal with its friends and foes.

For political scientists engaged with studying modern, but decadent imperialist state, for political activists working to organize people to get rid of imperialist clutches, products of Assange’s exposure – the cables the WikiLeaks presented to the world audience – are first-hand info to study.

With this act, the imperialist state stood bare – not a single piece of thread to cover its conspiracies against its friends and foes, not a small piece of cloth to conceal the crude cruelty the machine practices against peoples in lands far, far away.

The leaks corroborate Marxist interpretation of state machine. With such work, can imperialist order spare Assange? Never can it. Rome didn’t tolerate any opposition, any rebellion. Assange, therefore, has not been spared because he served people.

Assange has exposed the face of that “democracy” that imperialism propagates. It was his act animo et fide – by courage and faith. He is being punished, therefore. The imperialist order, thus, has nothing to do, but to engage with falsi crimen – the crime of falsification.

According to John Pilger, a world-famous investigative journalist, and Julian Assange’s friend, the ruling on Assange extradition to the US has done no less but blew apart one of the cornerstones of a civilised society – which is justice. The main threat is to justice. It is a threat to journalism. But the main threat here is a travesty of a miscarriage of justice.

Pilger, in an article, “A Judicial Kidnapping”, writes:

“Sartre’s words should echo in all our minds following the grotesque decision of Britain’s High Court to extradite Julian Assange to the United States where he faces ‘a living death’. This is his punishment for the crime of authentic, accurate, courageous, vital journalism.

“Miscarriage of justice is an inadequate term in these circumstances. It took the bewigged courtiers of Britain’s ancien regime just nine minutes on Friday to uphold an American appeal against a District Court judge’s acceptance in January of a cataract of evidence that hell on earth awaited Assange across the Atlantic: a hell in which, it was expertly predicted, he would find a way to take his own life.”

On the UK court ruling on Assange, Amnesty International said: The so-called assurances upon which the US government relies “leave Mr Assange at risk of ill-treatment,” are “inherently unreliable” and “should be rejected.”

Amnesty said: The charges against Mr Assange are “politically motivated” and must be dropped.

The claim “politically motivated” is serious. It turns dangerous when the claim is raised against any state.

After the court ruling, Stella Moris, Assange’s fiancée, said:

“Julian is the most important journalist of the past 50 years and this court wants to hand him over to the CIA, who we know plotted to kill him.

“He represents press freedom — we must keep up the fight to free him.”

Trevor Timm of the Freedom of the Press Foundation wrote: “These proceedings, and today’s ruling, are a black mark on the history of press freedom. That United States prosecutors continued to push for this outcome is a betrayal of the journalistic principles the Biden administration has taken credit for celebrating.

Robert Mahoney, deputy executive director of the Committee to Protect Journalists, said in a statement: “The US Justice Department’s dogged pursuit of the WikiLeaks founder has set a harmful legal precedent for prosecuting reporters simply for interacting with their sources. The Biden administration pledged at its Summit for Democracy this week to support journalism. It could start by removing the threat of prosecution under the Espionage Act now hanging over the heads of investigative journalists everywhere.”

Michelle Stanistreet, general secretary of the National Union of Journalists, UK, said:

“For Julian Assange to be extradited to answer charges for cultivating a source and encouraging the revelation of criminality would be a hammer-blow to free expression.

“Any journalist who thought they might upset a US administration will reasonably fear that they too could be targeted by a judicial snatch squad.

“When the freedom of our judiciary is under threat, it is disappointing that senior judges should buckle in the face of such unconvincing US blandishments.”

Christophe Deloire, Secretary-General of Reporters Without Borders, condemned the UK court, saying, the ruling “will prove historic for all the wrong reasons. We fully believe that Julian Assange has been targeted for his contributions to journalism, and we defend the case because of its dangerous implication for the future of journalism and press freedom around the world.”

The Assange-incident itself is an exposure – an exposure of the brand of democracy, freedom, journalism, justice and truth imperialism preaches, and tries to impose on all. It’s an exposure of the limit imperialist state can go. It’s an exposure of imperialist state’s intolerance. It’s a warning message to all: Don’t expose whatever misdeed is done, whatever blood is spilled for imperialist purpose; and don’t expose the way imperialist state machine conducts its business with friends and foes.

Farooque Chowdhury writes from Dhaka, Bangladesh.


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