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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 8/18/12

Imperialist lawlessness and the witch-hunt against Julian Assange

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Everyone but the willfully blind knows that Assange is the victim of a witch-hunt, yet this has not stopped the nominally liberal media from continuing to back extradition and denounce Assange. The New York Times merely stated that "The Obama administration has refused to say what plan it has, if any, to seek Mr. Assange's extradition to the United States." It then gloated that "WikiLeaks has shrunk substantially in the months that Mr. Assange has been fighting his legal battle," and denounced the organization as "an agency of the political left."

The UK media is worse still. The Guardian issued a de facto lawyer's opinion on behalf of Assange's persecutors, editorialising that he had no "well-founded fear" of political persecution, but was merely seeking to avoid "allegations of sexual assault, which is in anyone's language a serious non-political crime."

The Independent's editorial acknowledged that "both the UK and Sweden have reportedly refused to guarantee that he would not face extradition to the US," before stating blandly that this "may fuel suspicion." But it insisted, "In present circumstances, though, the US is a distraction. If Mr. Assange is to live up to the honesty and integrity he professes, he must defend himself in Sweden, then contest any US extradition on its merits."

Not since the 1930s, with the triumph of fascism in much of Europe and the build-up to a second world war, has imperialism operated on the world stage with such brazen disregard for legality. Once again, the law of the jungle prevails in international relations. This is the external expression of the turn to unmitigated class war within the imperialist countries, driven by a global breakdown of the capitalist system.

The persecution of Assange being orchestrated by the US has united a gang of cutthroats, thieves and professional liars. They are collectively the political representatives of an oligarchy whose fabulous wealth is coined from the blood, sweat and tears of countless millions throughout the world.

The defence of Julian Assange and WikiLeaks requires the independent political mobilization of workers and young people against the offensive being waged by the ruling class and all its political defenders. Such a fight must be based on a socialist perspective, aimed at establishing workers' governments committed to the reorganisation of society on the basis of social equality, freedom and genuine democracy.

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Chris Marsden's work can be found on wsws.org, a website dedicated to global awareness of socialist issues & which serves as the forum for the International Committee of the Fourth International (ICFI).
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