Power of Story Send a Tweet        
- Advertisement -

Share on Google Plus 1 Share on Twitter 1 Share on Facebook 1 Share on LinkedIn Share on PInterest Share on Fark! Share on Reddit Share on StumbleUpon Tell A Friend 1 (4 Shares)  

Printer Friendly Page Save As Favorite View Favorites (# of views)   No comments
OpEdNews Op Eds

Julian Assange and the Value of WikiLeaks: Subverting Illusions

By       Message Norman Solomon       (Page 1 of 2 pages)     Permalink

Related Topic(s): ; , Add Tags  Add to My Group(s)

Must Read 2   Well Said 1   Valuable 1  
View Ratings | Rate It

opednews.com

Author 38935
Become a Fan
  (17 fans)


Julian Assange
(Image by rob kall)
  Permission   Details   DMCA
- Advertisement -
br />

Three years after Ecuador's government granted political asylum to Julian Assange in its small ground-floor London embassy, the founder of WikiLeaks is still there -- beyond the reach of the government whose vice president, Joe Biden, has labeled him "a digital terrorist." The Obama administration wants Assange in a U.S. prison, so that the only mouse he might ever see would be scurrying across the floor of a solitary-confinement cell.

Above and beyond Assange's personal freedom, what's at stake includes the impunity of the United States and its allies to relegate transparency to a mythical concept, with democracy more rhetoric than reality. From the Vietnam War era to today -- from aerial bombing and torture to ecological disasters and financial scams moving billions of dollars into private pockets -- the high-up secrecy hiding key realities from the public has done vast damage. No wonder economic and political elites despise WikiLeaks for its disclosures.

- Advertisement -

During the last five years, since the release of the infamous

"Collateral Murder" video, the world has changed in major ways for democratic possibilities, with WikiLeaks as a catalyst. It's sadly appropriate that Assange is so deplored and reviled by so many in the upper reaches of governments, huge corporations and mass media. For such powerful entities, truly informative leaks to the public are plagues that should be eradicated as much as possible.

Notably, in the U.S. mass media, Assange is often grouped together with whistleblowers. He is in fact a journalistic editor and publisher. In acute contrast to so many at the top of the corporate media and governmental food chains, Assange insists that democracy requires the "consent of the governed" to be informed consent. While powerful elites work 24/7 to continually gain the un informed consent of the governed, WikiLeaks has opposite concerns.

Genuine journalistic liberty exists only to the extent that overt or internalized censorship is absent. Especially in a society such as the United States with enduring press freedoms (the First Amendment is bruised and battered but still on its feet), the ultimate propaganda war zone is between people's ears. So much has been surrendered, often unwittingly and unknowingly. Waving the white flag at dominant propaganda onslaughts can only help democracy to expire.

- Advertisement -
Julian Assange has effectively insisted that another media world is possible and the corporate warfare state is unacceptable. Not coincidentally, the U.S. government wants to capture Assange and put him away, incommunicado, in a prison cell.

*****

Last week, in Sweden, most but not all of the sexual-assault allegations against Assange expired. Still, Assange notes, "I haven't even been charged." And Sweden's government -- while claiming that it is strictly concerned about adhering to its laws -- has refused to limit the legal scope to its own judicial process.

- Advertisement -

As the BBC

- Advertisement -
reports
, "Assange sought asylum three years ago to avoid extradition to Sweden, fearing he would then be sent to the U.S. and put on trial for releasing secret American documents." Closely aligned with Washington, the Swedish government refuses to promise that it would not turn Assange over to the U.S. government for extradition.

"Julian Assange has spent more time incarcerated in the small rooms of the embassy, with no access to fresh air or exercise and contrary to international law, than he could ever spend in a Swedish prison on these allegations," says one of his lawyers, Helena Kennedy.

Next Page  1  |  2

 

- Advertisement -

Must Read 2   Well Said 1   Valuable 1  
View Ratings | Rate It

opednews.com

Norman Solomon is the author of "War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death." He is a co-founder of RootsAction.org and the executive director of the Institute for Public Accuracy. This article was first published by (more...)
 

Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon Share Author on Social Media   Go To Commenting

The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.

Writers Guidelines

Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Related Topic(s): ; , Add Tags
- Advertisement -

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

The Growing Campaign to Revoke Obama's Nobel Peace Prize

Clinton's Transition Team: A Corporate Presidency Foretold

Obama's Escalating War on Freedom of the Press

Obama's Speech, Translated into Candor

The Long Road to Impeaching Trump Just Got Shorter

Is MoveOn Less Progressive Than the New York Times Editorial Board?