by Prof Michel Chossudovsky, New Eastern Outlook:
Julian Assange’s arrest (after almost seven years in the Ecuadorian Embassy) constitutes a hideous and illegal act. He is imprisoned in Britain’s Belmarsh maximum security prison, pending his extradition to the United States.
Statements by US prosecutors suggest that Assange would not be charged under the 1917 Espionage Act. What is contemplated are accusations of conspiring “to commit unlawful computer intrusion based on his alleged agreement to try to help Ms. Manning break an encoded portion of passcode that would have permitted her to log on to a classified military network under another user’s identity.” (NYT, April 11, 2019).
The charges can of course be changed and shifted around. Bolton-Pompeo will no doubt play a role. In a 2017 statement when he was CIA Director Mike Pompeo “referred to WikiLeaks as a “non-state hostile intelligence service,” which needed to be eradicated.”
Assange is relentlessly accused by the corporate media of treason, acting on behalf of the Kremlin. An indictment invoking the 1917 Espionage Act remains a distinct possibility with a view to overriding The First Amendment of the US Constitution which guarantees Freedom of Expression.
Assange constitutes a new Russia-Gate media narrative? His arrest coincides with the release of the redacted version of the Mueller report.
Prepare for Wiki-Gate: a long and drawn-out legal procedure which will be the object of extensive media coverage with a view to ultimately misleading the public.
The unspoken objective of Assange’s indictment is to create a legal precedent which will enable Washington and its allies to arrest independent and anti-war journalists indiscriminately.
What is at stake, –revealed by Wikileaks– is that politicians in high office are the architects of war crimes. To protect them and sustain their legitimacy, they require the suppression of freedom of expression, which in turn requires “the criminalization of justice”.
Ironically, from the very outset (over a period of more than 12 years) there has never been a concerted effort on the part of Washington (and its national security intelligence apparatus) to suppress the release of classified US government information or to close down the Wikileaks project. In fact, quite the opposite.
Because the carefully selected and redacted Wikileaks quotes by the mainstream media have been used to provide legitimacy to US “foreign policy” as well as obfuscate (through omission) many of the crimes committed by US intelligence and the Pentagon.
Wikileaks and the Mainstream Media
It is important to note that Julian Assange from the outset was supported by the mainstream media, which was involved in releasing selected and redacted versions of the leaks. And despite Assange’s arrest and imprisonment, Wikileaks continues to release compromising US diplomatic cables, the latest of which (reported by McClatchy, April 17, 2019) pertains to “evidence that US troops executed at least 10 Iraqi civilians” including a 5 month old infant.
At the outset of the Wikileaks project, the mainstream media including the New York Times, The Guardian and the Economist praised Julian Assange. The British elites supported him. Assange became a personality. It was a vast Public Relations campaign. It was a money-making undertaking for the corporate media.
In 2008 The Economist (which is partly owned by the Rothschild family) granted Assange The New Media Award.
About-turn? Shift in the Mainstream Media Narrative.
Today, ironically these same corporate media which praised Assange are now accusing him (without a shred of evidence) of being involved in acts of conspiracy on behalf of the Kremlin. According to John Pilger:
“The Guardian has since published a series of falsehoods about Assange, not least a discredited claim that a group of Russians and Trump’s man, Paul Manafort, had visited Assange in the [Ecuadorian] embassy. The meetings never happened; it was fake.”
Assange has been the object of an all out smear campaign by those who supported him.