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Extradition of Julian Assange must be opposed. USA govt wants to silence all reports of govt atrocities

I’ve been told that Julian Assange is in favour of nuclear power – with the suggestion that we should not support him. Also that his revelations about Hilary Clinton helped to get the abominable Trump elected.

But does this matter? Assange revealed the truth. And what will happen to the next whistlebower, perhaps one that reveals the corruption in the nuclear industry?

Whatever you think of Julian Assange, his extradition to the US must be opposed, Owen Jones, Guardian, 12 Apr 19, States that commit crimes in foreign lands depend on at least passive acquiescence. This is achieved in a number of ways. One is the “othering” of the victims: the stripping away of their humanity, because if you imagined them to be people like your own children or your neighbours, their suffering and deaths would be intolerable. Another approach is to portray opponents of foreign aggression as traitors, or in league with hostile powers. And another strategy is to cover up the consequences of foreign wars, to ensure that the populace is kept intentionally unaware of the acts committed in their name.

It is Manning who is the true hero of this story: last month, she was arrested for refusing to testify to a grand jury investigating WikiLeaks, placed in solitary confinement for four weeks, and now remains imprisoned. We must demand her freedom.

These leaks revealed some of the horrors of the post-9/11 wars. One showed a US aircrew laughing after slaughtering a dozen innocent people, including two Iraqi employees of Reuters, after dishonestly alleging to have encountered a firefight. Other files revealed how US-led forces killedhundreds of civilians in Afghanistan, their deaths otherwise airbrushed out of existence. Another cable, which exposed corruption and scandals in the court of Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali, the western-backed then-dictator of Tunisia, helped fuel protests, which toppled him……..

Assange must answer the  allegations of sexual assault   in Sweden without the threat of extradition to the US………. That Swedish case must be entirely disentangled from the US extradition attempt. And while opposing Assange’s rightwing libertarian politics is perfectly reasonable, it is utterly irrelevant to the basic issue here of justice……….

Assange’s extradition to the US must be passionately opposed. It is notable that Obama’s administration itself concluded that to prosecute Assange for publishing documents would gravely imperil press freedom. Yes, this is a defence of journalism and media freedom. But it is also about the attempt to intimidate those who expose crimes committed by the world’s last remaining superpower. The US wishes to hide its crimes so it can continue to commit them with impunity: that’s why, last month, Trump signed an executive order to cover up civilian deaths from drones, the use of which has hugely escalated in Afghanistan, Somalia, Yemen and Pakistan.

Silence kills, because a public that is uninformed about the slaughter of innocent people by their own government will not exert pressure to stop the killing. For the sake of stopping crimes yet to be committed, this extradition – and the intentionally chilling precedent it sets – must be defeated. https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/apr/12/julian-assange-extradition-wikileaks-america-crimes

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April 13, 2019 - Posted by | civil liberties, media, USA

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