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Thu May 31, 2012, 04:37 PM

Amy Goodman: Julian Assange and America's vendetta against WikiLeaks


Julian Assange and America's vendetta against WikiLeaks
As the contrast with the extradition case of Augusto Pinochet shows, it's one law for whistleblowers, another for war criminals

Amy Goodman
guardian.co.uk, Thursday 31 May 2012


WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange's protracted effort to fight extradition to Sweden suffered a body blow this week. Britain's supreme court upheld the arrest warrant, issued in December 2010.

After the court announced its split 5-2 decision, the justices surprised many legal observers by granting Assange's lawyers an opportunity to challenge their decision – the first such reconsideration since the high-profile British extradition case from more than a decade ago against former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet. The decision came almost two years to the day after Private Bradley Manning was arrested in Iraq for allegedly leaking hundreds of thousands of classified US government documents to WikiLeaks.

The cases remind us that all too often whistleblowers suffer, while war criminals walk.

Assange has not been charged with any crime, yet he has been under house arrest in England for close to two years, ever since a European arrest warrant was issued by Sweden (importantly, by a prosecutor, not by a judge). Hoping to question Assange, the prosecutor issued the warrant for suspicion of rape, unlawful coercion and sexual molestation. Assange offered to meet the Swedish authorities in their embassy in London, or in Scotland Yard, but was refused. .................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/may/31/americas-vendetta-against-wikileaks-julian-assange



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Reply Amy Goodman: Julian Assange and America's vendetta against WikiLeaks (Original post)
marmar May 2012 OP
Luminous Animal May 2012 #1
ananda May 2012 #5
Luminous Animal May 2012 #2
Octafish May 2012 #3
xiamiam May 2012 #4
Odin2005 May 2012 #6

Response to marmar (Original post)

Thu May 31, 2012, 04:44 PM

1. And from Greenwald:

When, many years ago, I first read about the Nixon administration’s infamous break-in to the office of Daniel Ellberg’s psychiatrist as a means to discredit the Pentagon Papers leak, I was baffled by the motivation. The Pentagon Papers revealed systematic lying on the part of the U.S. Government to the American public about the Vietnam War. Why, I wondered with a not insubstantial amount of naïveté, would public revelations about Ellsberg’s personality and psyche have any impact on how those leaks were perceived?

But the answer to that is obvious, as Nixon well knew: by demonizing Ellsberg personally, even those inclined to defend the leak would be reluctant to be associated with him. If Ellsberg became associated in the public mind not with his noble exposure of government lies but rather with “strange” psychological drives or bizarre sexual fantasies — the sort of thing one is supposed to reveal to one’s psychoanalyst — then he would become a figure of derision, an embarrassment, and nobody would want anything to do with him for fear of having his foibles reflect negatively on them. You smear the messenger, and the message is smeared along with him — or, just as good, the message is forgotten and the messenger is abandoned to whatever punishments are doled out.

This has been exactly the strategy used to ward off support for Julian Assange, WikiLeaks, and Bradley Manning, with one difference: leaving aside Joe Biden, who denounced Assange as a “high-tech terrorist,” this time the role of Nixonian henchmen is played by establishment-defending or Obama-loyal media figures rather than the administration itself. The New York Times — led by John Burns and Bill Keller — has continuously obsessed on Assange’s alleged personality flaws while all but ignoring the vital disclosures about the U.S. Government for which he is partially responsible (Keller, the son of a Chevron CEO, wrote an article infamously complaining that Assange’s socks were “filthy” and that he “smelled”).

.....

A coalition of leading journalists and media outlets in Australia have explained: WikiLeaks “is doing what the media have always done: bringing to light material that governments would prefer to keep secret” and prosecuting them “would be unprecedented in the US, breaching the First Amendment protecting a free press“; they added: “To aggressively attempt to shut WikiLeaks down, to threaten to prosecute those who publish official leaks . . . is a serious threat to democracy.” The Committee to Protect Journalists sent a letter to Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder expressing “deep concern” over “reports about a potential WikiLeaks prosecution,” which “would threaten grave damage to the First Amendment’s protections of free speech and the press.” Although American journalists were reluctant at first to speak out, even they have come around to recognizing what a profound threat an Assange indictment would be to press freedoms, with The Washington Post Editorial Page denouncing any indictment on the ground that it “would criminalize the exchange of information and put at risk responsible media organizations,” and even editors of the Guardian and Keller himself — with whom Assange has feuded — are now vowing to defend Assange if he were to be prosecuted.


http://www.salon.com/2012/05/31/a_reminder_about_wikileaks/singleton/

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Response to Luminous Animal (Reply #1)

Thu May 31, 2012, 07:36 PM

5. IMNSVHO

Assange and Manning are heroes!

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Thu May 31, 2012, 06:53 PM

2. Kick.

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Thu May 31, 2012, 06:55 PM

3. Assange is in trouble for telling the truth.

Bush and the rest of the BFEE walk free because the nation is living a lie.

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Response to Octafish (Reply #3)

Thu May 31, 2012, 07:29 PM

4. and we look forward and dont prosecute war criminals or wall street criminals

this is obama...and now he could just kill him with a drone if he decided he wanted to

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Thu May 31, 2012, 09:14 PM

6. The attack on Assange is proof that the US is an imperial single-party police state.

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