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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 4/10/18

On the Silencing of Julian Assange

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The same was true of the WikiLeaks revelations of collateral murder that Chelsea Manning leaked. The power of that single video informed people all over the world of how wars are conducted by their own governments. It changed or reinforced the perceptions of millions of people. A war has been declared on that kind of journalism.

RC: You can see that clip in John Pilger's classic documentary The War You Don't See.

JP: That film, which I made in 2013, was basically interviews with quite distinguished mainstream journalists on both sides of the Atlantic. Their collective message was that, had the media not colluded with governments in the run-up to the invasion of Iraq, had they not amplified and echoed the deceptions and lies of governments, there is a great possibility that that war would never have happened, all those people would be alive today, ISIS would not exist today and there might even be the beginnings of some kind of hope in the Middle East.

We shouldn't forget this when we are thinking about the present situation, as Western governments provoke Russia and China. We have 400 military bases ringing China but you hear almost nothing of these in the press. Russia is in effect encircled. Unless people learn of these incredibly important truths, nothing will be done.

DB: This is exactly where we need the sort of structural reporting that Julian Assange does. And this is exactly why they want him out of the way.

Christine Assange

This interview with Assange's mother, Christine Assange, was part of an original WBAI Radio series produced by Randy Credico's Live on the Fly. Flashpoints on Pacifica Radio has joined forces with Live on the Fly, to continue the work and the fight to free our brother journalist, information freedom fighter, Julian Assange.

The interview with Christine Assange by Credico and Bernstein was broadcast over Pacifica National Radio on April 5th.

Dennis Bernstein: Randy and I were hoping that this would be the occasion where we would be celebrating and have Julian on the other line. Unfortunately, that is not happening. Meanwhile, could you bring us up to speed on how things stand?

Christine Assange: John Pilger mentioned that we are at a rather critical stage with Russia, because of the apparent propaganda around this [Sergei Skripal] poisoning in the UK. It has been found not to be conclusively related to Russia.

Julian's doubts have since proven justified, with the lab in Porton Down now stating categorically that there is no evidence to connect Russia with the attack. At the same time, Julian was invited to give evidence on Cambridge Analytica and Facebook, so there were also these powerful interests interested in keeping him quiet.

I would say that we are also at a critical stage regarding Julian's safety and freedom. The two situations are related. For example, the day before Julian's communications with the outside world were cut off, one of the members in the UK parliament asked, "Isn't it about time we took some action against the Ecuadorian embassy?" He wasn't happy about Julian tweeting about the government response to the attack in Salisbury.

Meanwhile, the US military was moving into Ecuador with plans to increase the pressure to hand Julian over to the US. We know this because it has been revealed by former ambassador Craig Murray that the US spent some $87 million to bring down the presidency of Rafael Correa, who gave Julian political asylum from US threats against his life and liberty.

Now there is pressure on the new president [Lenin Moreno]. By April of 2017, the US was firmly in the position of wanting to go after Julian. They were all on board. [Mike] Pompeo, who has now been promoted to Secretary of State, wants to arrest Julian once and for all. John Bolton has just been appointed National Security Advisor and has suggested that the US government should wage a cyber war against WikiLeaks for revealing Clinton emails and the CIA hacking scandal. In 2010, Trump commented that those responsible for the WikiLeaks expose's should get the death penalty.

DB: It is no surprise that every move would be made to shut down Julian Assange in the context of this Salisbury scandal. The Clinton machine has been fanning this Russiagate flame all along and now they appear willing to risk World War III to prove that Hillary didn't lose the campaign because she was a horrifying candidate.

CA: Julian was also reporting honestly on what was going on in Catalonia [Spain], which was absolutely disgraceful. You don't have to support either side to be against the brutal crackdown against democratic rights. The reason Ecuador gave for cutting all of Julian's communications was a single tweet about the elected president of Catalonia who has now been imprisoned. The response of the Spanish government can only be described as fascist and everyone who supports democracy should be standing up in opposition.

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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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