Julian Assange is not a Saint. He is as imperfect as the rest of us, but what has been done to him over the last decade is just short of the persecution of Christ. I do not presume to equate Assange’s works to that of our great instructor, I would only indulge that the demonization and torture Assange has suffered at the hands of the State is as close to a modern crucifixion as you can get.
In early 2021 a British judge ruled that Assange, after nearly decade of being kept in isolation, should not face extradition to the United States on Espionage charges for his role in releasing classified military and diplomatic cables. U.S. authorities have recently succeeded in convincing two senior British judges to overturn the ruling and now Assange is again facing extradition to the United States.
According to court documents, the US won its appeal to extradite Assange due to “four assurances” sent in a Diplomatic Note dated February 5, 2021. These assurances were that Assange would not be made the subject of “special administrative measures”; nor would he be held at a maximum security prison before or after trial. In addition, the US would “consent” to an application by Assange to be transferred to Australia to serve his sentence, if convicted; and while in custody in the US, Assange would receive “appropriate clinical and psychological treatment.”
The judges ordered that the case should now be returned to Westminster Magistrates’ Court, with a direction that a district judge send the case to the UK Home Secretary, who will decide whether Assange should be extradited to the US. During an appeal hearing in October, Assange suffered a stroke and his family has often spoken out against the extradition, citing the journalists’ declining mental and physical health. So, there is still hope for Assange to remain where he is, but there is little hope for Assange’s condition.
Let’s back up a little. How Assange got to this point is almost more important than what he faces ahead. We will start at the beginning of his plight. In 2010, Wikileaks released video footage and written documentation that was exceptionally damning to the United States Military Industrial Complex. These leaks included the Baghdad airstrike Collateral Murder video, the Afghanistan war logs, the Iraq war logs, and Cablegate. After these leaks, the United States government launched a criminal investigation into WikiLeaks.
After the release of Cablegate, in November 2010, Sweden issued an international arrest warrant for Assange over allegations of sexual misconduct. Assange said the allegations were a pretext for his extradition from Sweden to the United States over his role in the publication of secret American documents. After losing his battle against extradition to Sweden, he breached bail and took refuge in the Embassy of Ecuador in London in June 2012. He was then granted asylum by Ecuador in August 2012 on the grounds of political persecution, with the presumption that if he were extradited to Sweden, he would be eventually extradited to the US. Swedish prosecutors dropped their investigation in 2019, saying their evidence had “weakened considerably due to the long period of time that has elapsed since the events in question.” The truth is, there never was any evidence. It was what Assange or Wikileaks did in 2016, that really pissed off those with secrets they would rather keep in the shadows.
During the 2016 U.S. election campaign, WikiLeaks published a litany of “confidential” Democratic Party emails, showing that the party’s national committee favored Hillary Clinton over her rival Bernie Sanders in the primaries. They also released John Podesta’s personal emails which held several creepy associations and revelations, including Hillary Clinton emailing Podesta that she would be “sacrificing a chicken”, and Podesta’s association with Satanic Representative Marina Abramovic. Hillary would probably blame this, in some part, on her loss in the 2016 Presidential Election to Donald Trump. And we all know what happens to people on that woman’s shit list.
On April 11th 2019, Assange’s asylum was withdrawn after a series of disputes with Ecuadorian authorities. The police were invited into the embassy and he was arrested. He was found guilty of breaching the Bail Act and sentenced to 50 weeks in prison. The United States government unsealed an indictment against Assange, related to the leaks provided by Manning. On 23 May 2019, the United States government further charged Assange with violating the Espionage Act of 1917. Assange has been confined in Belmarsh maximum-security prison in London since April 2019.
The real kicker of his story is Bradley Edward Manning. Manning is a former United States Army soldier who was convicted by court-martial in July 2013 of violations of the Espionage Act and other offenses, after disclosing to WikiLeaks nearly 750,000 classified, or unclassified but sensitive, military and diplomatic documents. It was also in 2013, that Bradley Manning declared he would now be called Chelsea Manning, which is sort of odd timing. Manning was imprisoned from 2010 until 2017 when the 35 year sentence was commuted by Barack Obama. In 2018, Manning ran for Senate in their home state of Maryland and received 5.8% of the vote. From March 8, 2019, to March 12, 2020, Manning was jailed for contempt and fined $256,000 for refusing to testify before a grand jury investigating WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. She now makes a living from “paid speaking engagements”.
I will explain the hypocrisy in case you haven’t grasped it: The person who actually committed the crime, who stole the verboten information, was released four years into a 35 year sentence. They were then allowed to make a living doing speaking engagements, ran for Senate and were only imprisoned again, briefly, after refusing to testify about the journalist who published the information this person illegally obtained. Now she’s labeled a whistleblower by the media. Meanwhile, Julian Assange is being slowly executed.
It’s quite obvious that the United States Government is more interested in setting the pretext to destroy the life of a journalist who published a small glimpse of the evil truth about Iraq, the inner workings of Washington and the Democratic Party, than to punish the person who physically stole their data. This is not only shooting the messenger, this is shooting the First Amendment and humanity’s right to know the truth of this world. If Assange can be crucified for telling the truth, so can we.