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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 4/16/19

Julian Assange: Political Prisoner

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From Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity

Julian Assange arrested
Julian Assange arrested
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Last week's arrest of Wikileaks publisher Julian Assange by the British government on a US extradition order is an attack on all of us. It is an attack on the US Constitution. It is an attack on the free press. It is an attack on free speech. It is an attack on our right to know what our government is doing with our money in our name. Julian Assange is every bit as much a political prisoner as was Cardinal Mindszenty in Hungary or Nelson Mandela in South Africa.

They, and so many more, were imprisoned because they told the truth about their governments.

Repressive governments do not want their citizens to know that they are up to so they insist on controlling the media. We are taught, at the same time, that we have a free press whose job it is to uncover the corruption in our system so that we can demand our political leaders make some changes or face unemployment. That, we are told, is what makes us different from the totalitarian.

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The arrest of Assange is a canary in a coal mine to warn us that something is very wrong with our system.

What's wrong? The US mainstream media always seems to do the bidding of the US government. That is why they rushed to confirm Washington's claim that the Assange indictment was not in any way about journalism. It was only about hacking government computers!

As the New York Times said in an editorial, sounding like a mouthpiece of the US government, Julian Assange committed "an indisputable crime." But was it? As actual journalist Glenn Greenwald wrote last week, what Julian Assange did in 2010, for which he is facing extradition to the US, is no different from what New York Times and other journalists do every day! He attempted to help Chelsea Manning shield his identity as he blew the whistle on US government crimes to a publisher. The information in question included a video showing US military personnel participating in and cheering the murder of Iraqi civilians. Why is it criminal for us to know this?

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The difference is that what Assange and Manning did embarrassed the US government, which was lying to us that it was "liberating" Iraq and Afghanistan when it was actually doing the opposite. Mainstream journalists publish "leaks" that help bolster the neocon or other vested narratives of the different factions of the US government. That's why the US media wants to see Assange in prison, or worse: he upset their apple cart.

The lesson is clear: when you bolster the government's narrative you are a "brave journalist." When you expose corruption in government you are a criminal. Do we really want to live in a country where it is illegal to learn that our government is engaged in criminal acts? I thought we had an obligation as an engaged citizenry to hold our government accountable!

As long as Julian Assange is in prison, we are all in prison. When the government has the power to tell us what we we allowed to see, hear, and know, we no longer live in a free society. Julian Assange will be extradited to the US and he will have dozens of charges piled on. They want him to disappear so that the next Assange will think twice before informing us of our government's crimes. Are we going to let them steal our freedom?

 

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Ron Paul is a member of the House of Representatives from Texas and a former presidential candidate, for the GOP and also for the Libertarian parties. His latest book is End The Fed

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4 people are discussing this page, with 5 comments  Post Comment


Michele Goddard

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(Member since Mar 28, 2019), 1 fan, 4 articles, 25 comments
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People should boycott the main stream media. They are all selling false narratives and outright lies like what is happening right now as the try to manufacture consent for regime change in Venezuela. They aren't even arguing that Venezuela is a threat in any way to the US like they alleged about Iraq. The threshold has gotten so low that we are taking actions in countries that are absolutely in no way a threat to us. The military induatrial complex is totally out of control. What about Lybia? How did that work out? Well we don't know because you hear nothing on CNN, Fox or MSNBC about it. What about the war in Yemen. Nope. Nothing on that either. We should just abandon the MSM if they aren't going to make the least bit of effort at real journalism.

Submitted on Tuesday, Apr 16, 2019 at 8:06:57 PM

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lila york

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Reply to Michele Goddard:   New Content

I think most of us here already do. I get my news from RT - now online since time warner removed it from the channel lineup. I phoned all three of my reps today and told them that Tulsi Gabbard had shamed them all and if they did not take a clear stand for Assange and for the Bill of Rights I would never vote for them again. the aides who answer the phones keep tallies of constituent positions. It takes a lot of phone calls to move the needle, but sometimes it does work.

Submitted on Tuesday, Apr 16, 2019 at 9:56:57 PM

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Devil's Advocate

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(Member since Nov 9, 2014), 9 fans, 2481 comments
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Reply to Michele Goddard:   New Content

Many are boycotting the MSM. It's also important that people boycott the "mainstream" social media as well (MSSM?), which has been selling out our information, privacy, security, and empowering a censorship regime that is threatening to rival George Orwell's "1984".

The sooner enough people get out of the Google-Facebook-Twitter "bubble", the sooner we can reclaim our ability to communicate freely.

Submitted on Wednesday, Apr 17, 2019 at 1:54:50 AM

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Ron McElroy

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Reply to Devil's Advocate:   New Content

Yes! Social media is being engineered so that it can shape public opinion for pay. Even Google shapes their search results for pay.


The First Amendment doesn't apply to private companies and the rich are using this exception to buy pubic opinion.

Submitted on Wednesday, Apr 17, 2019 at 1:47:35 PM

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Reply to Ron McElroy:   New Content

The whole "private companies" angle is a farce being used to execute the censorship in the first place.

Government puts on a public show in the Senate, supposedly about these companies' "duty to protect" the public from "bad information". Suddenly, all these government-sponsored "think tanks" are "advising" all the social media platforms on what everyone needs to be "protected" from.

It's still State censorship, as government is just using their own hired proxies to have the very things they want censored. They're still violating the 1st Amendment.

Submitted on Wednesday, Apr 17, 2019 at 4:14:12 PM

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