As I mentioned to a good friend a few days ago, Assange scares the living shit out of our gov-corp. I told her they'll track him down to the ends of the earth, and then wondered aloud why they couldn't do the same with Osama bin Laden. Well, as we know, Mr. Assange surrendered to London police last Tuesday as a response to a warrant issued as part of a Swedish sex-crimes investigation, trumped-up and surely as hollow as a dead oak tree. They've got him where they want him; in jail, without the provision of bail, and tied to a short leash. Mr. Assange is being held in solitary confinement in London with restricted access to a phone and only his lawyers.
Amazingly, he is being vilified as someone who is a terrorist for releasing diplomatic cables to the world, and even more astonishingly, he has been accused of treason against America -- even though he is not an American. The U.S. government is investigating whether Mr. Assange can be prosecuted for spying against the U.S. government under the 1917 Espionage Act, or other offenses still being conceived and conjured up, and not surprisingly, to me anyway, several Republicans have even called for his death.
According to Jennifer Robinson, one of Mr. Assange's lawyers, she did not believe the Espionage Act applied to Assange, adding: "In any event he's entitled to first amendment protection as publisher of WikiLeaks and any prosecution under the Espionage Act would in my view be unconstitutional and puts at risk all media organisations in the US."
But I wonder if those embarrassing cables were really what staged undoubtedly one of the largest manhunts in modern history? Or was it something else? (No, I'm not referring to the mockingly insane "having-sex-without-a-condom" sexual assault charge.) Was it something beyond even the previously released "Collateral Murder" video, which must have been so embarrassing to the Pentagon and was published by WikiLeaks earlier this year? Is it the yet-to-be "megaleak", promising to disclose unethical behavior at a major American bank? Early next year, Mr. Assange said, WikiLeaks plans to expose tens of thousands of documents that "could take down a bank or two" and promises to "give a true and representative insight into how banks behave at the executive level in a way that will stimulate investigations and reforms". So is the real barnburner -- the reason Mr. Assange is now considered by many to be the "most dangerous man in the world" (Mr. bin Laden, you've been upstaged), because WikiLeaks is now taking aim at corporate America?
This is the process and underlying treachery indicative of totalitarian regimes, and obviously the tactics shared by government that bows and serves the elite, the wealthy, the corporatocracy. This isn't what Jefferson and Madison, Washington and Franklin, and countless others thought, or laid their lives and fortunes on-the-line for. All these men believed, and their signatures on either the Declaration of Independence or the U.S. Constitution prove it, that first and foremost the unparalleled freedom of a press (i.e., "unrestricted journalism") is paramount to the health and vibrancy of a functioning democracy. As Mr. t is outrageous for any journalist, or respecter of what every American president has claimed is our inalienable, God-given right to a free press, not to join in Assange’s defense." I agree, but I know our corporatist president thinks otherwise.
(In the below embedded video of an interview of Mr. Assange by Stephen Colbert last April, could Mr. Colbert's shenanigan about face pictulating and voice-altering technology be more prophetic? Enjoy.)