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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 1/15/20

The international witch-hunt of Julian Assange

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He added: "The usual remedy for warrantless surveillance is to exclude any illegally obtained information from the trial, but that remedy is inapplicable here. The government's advantage in surveilling Assange is not the acquisition of tangible evidence but, rather, intangible insights into Assange's legal strategy. There is no way, therefore, to give Assange a fair trial, since his opponents will know every move he will make."

Fifty years after the collapse of the prosecution of Ellsberg, there is no faction of the American or British ruling class capable of defending basic democratic principles.

Three decades of permanent war and financial speculation have transformed the capitalist world into the fiefdom of a global oligarchy, protected by garrison states, in which the imperatives of imperialist plunder demand increased repression and censorship worldwide. Assange and Manning, who exposed US war crimes and helped inspire social opposition internationally, are test cases for dictatorial forms of rule that are to be imposed on millions.

It is a grave danger to the rights of all that the British "justice" system is now moving to place Assange in the hands of the very same officials who plotted for months to carry out the murder of Iran's General Qassem Suleimani.

The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the European Convention on Human Rights and the British Extradition Act of 2003 bar the British government from extraditing any individual to a country where the government assassinates its opponents and is incapable of guaranteeing that the individual will not be killed or tortured.

Suleimani's death underscores that the US is legally incapable of making such a guarantee.

The pseudo-legal process shows that what the British and US governments are attempting to carry out is not an extradition, but an extraordinary rendition, defined by the European Court for Human Rights as detention "outside the normal legal system," which, "by its deliberate circumvention of due process, is anathema to the rule of law and the values protected by the [Geneva] Convention."

This travesty of justice has been ignored by the entire spectrum of what passes for the left wing of the imperialist political establishment, including Jeremy Corbyn, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Bernie Sanders, Ilhan Omar and all those associated with the Labour Party in the UK and the Democratic Socialists of America faction of the Democratic Party in the US.

Their silence is not an oversight, it is a class position. The affluent upper-middle class layers on whose behalf these politicians speak have tossed their decades-old anti-war placards in the garbage and enlisted as cheerleaders for US and British imperialism. Behind their sophistic arguments that "humanitarian" considerations justify US-led wars in Libya and Syria, the real motivations reside in their bulging stock portfolios, amplified by imperialist plunder.

There is only one social force capable of leading the fight to free Julian Assange and Chelsea Manning, defend democratic rights and stop the global drive toward dictatorship and war. The end of 2019 saw the working class, billions strong and more internationally interconnected than ever before, moving into struggle on a scale not seen in decades.

It is the urgent task of socialists to endow this movement with a revolutionary socialist perspective to transform the world on an egalitarian basis, free of war and dictatorship.

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Eric London writes for the World Socialist website,, published by the International Committee of the Fourth International, ICFI)  

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