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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 4/10/18

On the Silencing of Julian Assange

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JP: That's quite correct. I have been a journalist for a long time and I always regarded journalism as involving a certain duty to find a way of telling the truth. Finding the facts out and giving them to the public. This was long before people were called investigative journalists, because all journalism should be investigative, with the object of finding out the truth.

Julian Assange is being mistreated in this way because he is doing what a true journalist should do. He is finding the truth about those who seek to manipulate and control our lives, and by telling that truth, calling them to account. For that, he is being subjected to a form of torture. Being denied all contact is a form of torture. Julian needs our support more urgently than ever.

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Randy Credico: Between us, we have done 20 programs on Julian Assange. John, you kicked it off April 1 of last year. I was so optimistic then that he would be out of this jam. A few months later Sweden dropped these bogus charges against him. Where do you see things going from here?

JP: What is happening to Julian is part of a very aggressive campaign against democracy, against dissent. At the moment, that campaign is at a critical stage.

We are witnessing a massive provocation of Russia. We have the biggest military build-up since World War II on the western borders of Russia. At the same time we have the biggest military build-up since World War II in the Pacific. The issue here is that the dominance of the United States is being challenged. That is intolerable.

That campaign to provoke the two powers of Russia and China is reaching a kind of critical mass. It is very dangerous. There is a great deal of talk about a trade war. What we should be talking about is the prospect of a shooting war. Provocations of Russia now are so extreme.

This Skripal episode in Britain has been exposed in the last couple days as a series of fabrications. Laboratory results have pulled the rug out from under the entire British security establishment in saying there is no verifiable evidence that Russia is the cause of this attack. The whole thing is an appalling fabrication. But why?

It is part of an almost inexorable campaign to reach a point with Russia where they have to respond militarily. Wars begin in this way. I think that it is more dangerous now than at any time during the first Cold War.

What we are seeing is the latest in a long campaign against WikiLeaks that seeks to criminalize journalism. A document which WikiLeaks published from 2008 made it clear that an organization within the Pentagon laid down what the plan would be as far as WikiLeaks was concerned. The strategy was to destroy trust in WikiLeaks and destroy its editor. That was the plan 10 years ago and that plan is basically being carried out.

This document makes very clear that the threat was truth. WikiLeaks emerged five years after the invasion of Iraq, which was started when governments lied about weapons of mass destruction. That was the justification for the invasion of Iraq, which killed about a million people and caused the flight of some four million others from the country.

This poisoning case in Salisbury appears to be a lie of a similar nature. But we're not talking about a war this time with a Middle Eastern country. We are talking about a war with the second most powerful nuclear-armed state.

DB: Is this another Gulf of Tonkin incident?

JP: The Gulf of Tonkin sounds pretty mild compared with some of the fabrications that have led to wars since then. I am afraid that this will serve as justification not for an invasion but for a kind of war of constant intimidation.

But as Putin has made clear, the Russians have no intention of accepting this. All of this borders on collective insanity. This can only end in the most horrific war that would devastate both sides, particularly exposed countries like Great Britain. Those who stand against all of this have to be swept aside, the most prominent being Julian Assange and WikiLeaks.

When you think back to 2016 and the leaked emails of John Podesta that revealed the direct connection between the Clinton Foundation and organized jihadism in the Middle East, that revelation tells more about the machinations of great power than anything else that has been published in years.

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Dennis J Bernstein is the host and executive producer of Flashpoints, a daily news magazine broadcast on Pacifica Radio. He is an award-winning investigative reporter, essayist and poet. His articles and essays have appeared in The New York Times, The Boston Globe, The Nation, and (more...)

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