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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 10/8/20

Daniel Ellsberg on the Assange Extradition and Growing Fascism

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Daniel Ellsberg joins Paul Jay on podcast.

[A full video interview] The leaker of the Pentagon Papers says that if Assange is extradited to the U.S., no journalist in the world is safe from being kidnapped to the United States to face life imprisonment for reporting on information like Chelsea Manning released.

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Paul Jay

Hi, I'm Paul Jay. Welcome to podcast. Don't forget there's a donate button at the top of the Web page, and if you haven't donated, perhaps now would be a good time.

Early Friday morning, President Donald Trump tweeted that he was infected with COVID-19. Of course, this has become almost the only story covered by major American news media, and understandably so is it may change the outcome of the November elections and perhaps even who is president in the coming weeks. And, of course, there's a crazy irony to it all.

Some say poetic justice, but prior to Trump's news, the U.S. media almost completely ignored a story that is not only newsworthy in its own right but is of crucial importance to the American media itself.

And that is the extradition hearing for Julian Assange. If Assange is found guilty of the charges the U.S. government has laid against him. It means that whistleblowing and the publishing of whistleblowers revelations is dead. In fact, much of investigative journalism would be dead. A British judge said on Thursday, October 1st, she would give her decision on January 4th on whether Assange should be extradited to the United States to face charges, including espionage. The U.S. authorities accuse Australian-born Assange of conspiring to hack government computers and the violating espionage law in connection with the release of confidential cables by WikiLeaks in 2010 and 2011.

The week of hearings has heard evidence that exposes the charges against Assange as trumped-up and even ridiculous.

The most important whistleblower in American history, Daniel Ellsberg, submitted an eight-page written statement to the court in London opposing the extradition. And Daniel now joins us from Berkeley, California, to discuss the Assange case and what he considers growing fascism in the United States. Thanks for joining us, Daniel.

Daniel Ellsberg Thank you. Glad to be here.

Paul Jay

So you've been quoted as saying that there hasn't been such a significant attack on the freedom of the press since your case in 1971. Why do you think it holds such important?

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Join "" Mailing ListPaul Jay is a journalist and filmmaker. He's the founder and publisher of and President of Counterspin Films (more...)

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