Bob and Darin were on a panel together discussing
banalities in generalities, as is the usual case. If either had said anything
meaningful on the subject, the moderator would have cut him off.
Bob didn't know Darin. He was introduced as a
former CIA official. Bob had heard back in those days when he was on the
Congressional Budget Committee staff that Darin had once had a limited oversight
position -- budget Bob seemed to remember it was -- over a black-op CIA group.
When the moderator closed the panel, the two looked at one another and raised
Bob took advantage of the eyebrow connection to
suggest that they have a drink. To his surprise Darin agreed.
Darin was remote and distant at first, but found the
conversation to his liking as the two discussed the moderator's skill in
avoiding delicate issues. In an abrupt change of subject, Bob asked Darin if the
US government would assassinate Julian Assange.
"Yes," Darin replied.
Bob followed up quickly with a question, which as he
was asking it, he realized he should not be asking: "Does the CIA have an
in-house assassination group or does the agency contract it out?"
Darin replied, "The CIA doesn't need to physically
assassinate Assange. Washington will use the PATRIOT Act to override the First
Amendment and bring a spy case against him. Currently, the British are going
through their pretense that they have a rule of law, but if in the end law
doesn't require that the Brits extradite Assange to Sweden, whose government
will sell him to Washington, Washington will bring an extradition case based on
charges that are being concocted in a grand jury in Alexandria,
Bob asked, "You mean Assange will be tried and
condemned to death?"
"Possibly," Darin replied, " but Washington might be
content with discrediting him. Washington would try him in Alexandria,
Virginia, which has a high density of military contractors. If Washington
concludes that the jury wouldn't convict Assange, then Assange will be "suicided' in
"Is there anywhere Assange can go to escape the
"There is nowhere he can go. If he were to go to
Cuba, Washington would offer an end to the embargo in exchange for Assange. If
he went to Venezuela, Washington would offer to call off its assault on the
Chavez regime in exchange for Assange. He couldn't go to China or Russia,
because they don't want their own secrets revealed. If he were to go to Iran, it
would be used to confirm the charge that he is a spy."
"Why is Washington so obsessed with
"It is power taking its revenge. Assange has made
government transparency a moral issue and made people aware that classification
and secrecy serve to hide government crimes and deception. This has empowered
"Won't there be other whistleblowers?"
"Not without Wikileaks. Formerly, whistleblowers
would release documents to the media. However, whistleblowers have learned that
the law that was enacted to protect them is not obeyed in the post-9/11
environment, and the media has learned that the First Amendment has lost much of
its authority. It has become too dangerous for whistleblowers to step forward.
Moreover, whistleblowers have learned that even the New York Times first checks
with the government before the paper prints a leak. Remember, the Times sat for
one year on the leak from NSA that the Bush administration was violating the
Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act and spying on Americans without obtaining
warrants from the FISA court. The Times published only after Bush was
reelected. Wikileaks is the only way whistleblowers can get the word
"You mean if the government convicts Assange, it is
the end of Wikileaks?"
"Yes. If Assange is convicted of spying, then ipso-facto a successor would be a spy. The ability of whistleblowers to bring
accountability to government is about to disappear."
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