WikiLeaks Responds to Charges on Assange Totaling 175 Years in Prison and the Global Attack on Freedom of the Press

in #assange2 years ago (edited)

As many know by now, Julian Assange was indicted on 17 additional Espionage Act charges yesterday that carry a total of 175 years in prison. This was not only an attack on Assange to try to make him pay for publishing U.S. government classified documents and videos, but an attack on free press throughout the globe by the so-called "land of the free".


WikiLeaks has officially responded to the indictments in a news release today, May 24th. WikiLeaks rightly points out that this all about the disclosure of the damning evidence of "war crimes and human rights abuses by the US government". And more people in the mainstream media are waking up to that reality.

Even the hardcore leftist mouthpiece Rachel Maddow has come to defend Assange against the charges, because she realizes how these charges could so easily apply to what journalists everywhere do. Not so long ago however, she and many others sang a different tune and ignored the obvious purpose of going after Assange, and the inevitable charges that would be laid upon him. They denied Assange the rightful status of a publisher or journalist in order to deny him any rights of the free press.

The indictment played the same tune of denying Assange any credibility as a journalist, despite being recognized as a journalist by many in official capacities. WikiLeaks notes:

“Julian Assange is no journalist”, said US Assistant Attorney General John Demers, revealing his unfamiliarity with the First Amendment, whilst also disregarding dozens of journalism prizes awarded to him, including two in the past month, and unaware of UK court rulings and US intelligence reports recognising him as a journalist.

The WikiLeaks response also reiterates the purpose of making journalism which threatens to expose the criminal behavior of the U.S. government illegal, which WikiLeaks co-founder and editor-in-chief Kristinn Hrafnsson said was coming all along:

The US Department of Justice indictment states that "Assange, Manning, and others shared the objective to further the mission of WikiLeaks, as an "intelligence agency of the people,"... in order to disclose that information to the public and inspire others with access to do the same." With this indictment, the Trump Administration seeks to do just the opposite: to cripple the free press and send a message that no journalist deserving of the description is safe from reprisal.

The Department of Justice wants to imprison Assange for crimes allegedly committed outside of the United States. This extraterritorial application of US law is explicit throughout the indictment ("in an offense begun and committed outside of the jurisdiction of any particular state or district of the United States"), thereby classifying any territory in the world as subject to US law.

Hrafnsson has himself responded by saying:

"This is the evil of lawlessness in its purest form. With the indictment, the 'leader of the free world' dismisses the First Amendment -- hailed as a model of press freedom around the world -- and launches a blatant extraterritorial assault outside its borders, attacking basic principles of democracy in Europe and the rest of the world."

That's the reality of these charges and the flagrant power abuses being perpetrated by the legal system of the 'land of the free'. It's so Orwellian it's pathetic how most people don't even see this, nor did many not even care to see it previously when they cheered on the persecution of Assange, as they were blinded with false patriotism and nationalistic fervor.

Assange's attorney, Barry J. Pollack also responded to the indictments saying:

"Today the government charged Julian Assange under the Espionage Act for encouraging sources to provide him truthful information and for publishing that information. The fig leaf that this is merely about alleged computer hacking has been removed. These unprecedented charges demonstrate the gravity of the threat the criminal prosecution of Julian Assange poses to all journalists in their endeavor to inform the public about actions that have been taken by the U.S. government."

This has been the goal all along, and the mainstream media are responsible for letting it come to this point in their shunning of Assange. The ACLU rightly notes that this is about setting "a dangerous precedent that can be used to target all news organizations that hold the government accountable."

If the government gets way with this, the world will enter a new dark ages of tyranny and lawlessness at the hands of the false authorities in power. A sure way to prevent any of this from moving forward is for the UK Home Secretary to protect both Julian Assange and the rights of the free press. They are mutually inclusive. One cannot be protected without the other. One cannot be sacrificed without also sacrificing the other.

The fate of press freedom in the world to expose corrupt and criminal government behavior and the fate of Julian Assange are inextricably linked. Now is the time for the governments that have a shred of authenticity to truly represent the rights of people and of the press to stand against the creeping authoritarianism and tyranny that is knocking on our doors.

Thank you for your time and attention. Peace.

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Posted from KURE


They denied Assange the rightful status of a publisher or journalist in order to deny him any rights of the free press.

"Not a journalist" according to rule of law??? Or merely an acquired label because some of us refuse to pay a needless fee to organisations such as 'Associated Press'...???

Your name suits you well. I'd be angry too!

Properly directed...anger is not a bad thing :>)

Good man! I couldn't agree more ;)

Ah, a softer side of @angryman. ;)

Ah, a softer side of @angryman

Shushhhhhh.......You'll spoil my reputation with compliments like that.... @dexterdumb

DW, your secrets safe w/me! As far as it being permanently recorded on the blockchain....I can't help you w/that! ;)

Pay to play :P Steem hustlers and con jobs know how to bring it here and make it the "norm" as well :P you noticed too...??? Thanks for the reinforcement; I thought I might have been imagining all the cons and con-artists here.

Well said, this is a very dangerous point for journalism and international human rights laws. We must put aside our differences and stand against this assault on journalism and free speech.

Human rights must be upheld! The first amendment and freedom of the press must be preserved.

Thanks, indeed, the progress made for the individual is being eroded on multiple front in recent years, and freedom of speech is a prime target with freedom of the press as a subset.

Are there any links to petition pages or something the get the Donald to pardon Assange yet? Not that it would work, but then congress would know how many are against this. It would make them traitors to their constituents. Not that they would care necessarily but I think it's a good place to start!

I think the only thing that can help is if the talking heads grow some more morals and like "The Network" stand up and say enough is enough.

Posted using Partiko Android

"talking heads" as in the media? Cuz we already know media coverage isn't going to swing that way. Media is heavily state sponsored and the state is not a fan of their dirty laundry being aired. Talking heads will simply be exactly that going forward, mouthpieces for state. Who is the "the network" that you speak of? Just so we're clear.

A good Movie. There have been and there will continue to be whistleblowers coming forward from the media, and considering that they are speaking out against this right now I don't know why you'd write them off as simply Talking Heads.

Posted using Partiko Android was you who brought up "talking heads". I'm confused.

Don't be, it's simple : if more people in the media (talking heads) grow some morals that is about the only chance I see for JA to be freed/win this. The fact that they have started to defend him as a publisher tells me that it's not lipservice but principles.

Posted using Partiko Android

Guess I don't watch enough TV these days. That's super that there are some that are defending him! Still I don't think it should be left up to hope. The media fails again and again....

Too bad the constituents don't care about Assange either :/

They do, but can't go through any traditional channels to assist. I think it's important to just be on the record about where we stand.

Anyone with a smartphone can be a journalist.

Anyone with a mouth and the power of speech is a journalist. Everyone commits the crime of telling the truth, at least from time to time.

This prosecution of Assange is a threat to every person on Earth.

Can they also get their hands on leaked documents?

May be sign of things to come. It may not have to be leaked govt. documents but publishing anything that go against the Establishment's narrative can be cause enough to level "trumped up" charges in order to silence and or imprison critics of any stripe should de-platforming or being made a social outcast isn'r sufficient enough.

$rewarding 50% 12 min

Yes it is :/

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