RIP Freedom of the Press
by C.A. Matthews
Is this the final nail in the coffin? Or does it just feel like it?
Either way, the freedom of the press was dealt a severe blow at the reading of the verdict at the Julian Assange extradition hearing in London. Most trial watchers were not shocked that the UK government would give in and hand the Wikileaks publisher over to US government, even after a plot to kill Assange by the Central Intelligence Agency was revealed. I mean, why would the British ever dare cross a fellow nuclear power?
On this day, 15 years ago, the Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet died in exile in the UK, protected from extradition by the authorities.— Denis Rogatyuk (@DenisRogatyuk) December 10, 2021
Today these authorities approved the extradition of Julian Assange to the US.
Let no one speak of “fairness” of the UK justice system again! pic.twitter.com/9Xz42yO80a
Or is that fascist-loving power?
It's been a "you scratch my back and I'll scratch yours" type of arrangement from the start. That the US government's "witness" against Assange turned out to be a convicted pedophile perjurer from Iceland was immaterial. Assange as a publisher enabled whistleblowers like Chelsea Manning to share embarrassing stories about the US, the UK, and dozens of other corrupt governments. He has to be locked away forever as a lesson to others so they don't get the same idea and publish even more embarrassing stories about corrupt governments in the future. He has to be silenced--by death, if necessary, as his recent stroke proves the physical and psychological torture he has been put through since entering Belmarsh prison.
If he is indeed extradited and punished here for the acts of journalism, we all lose. He is not an American citizen and committed no crimes in this country, or any other country. pic.twitter.com/yevyf2br6x— Lauren Wilson #DropTheCharges (@LaurenW3421) December 13, 2021
So, rest in peace freedom of the press. You've led a somewhat checkered life. You've been painted as both savior and Satan. You revealed horrible things that tyrants wanted to keep hidden. You seemed to be forever fighting off fascists who would shut you down and publish their own propaganda, labeling it as "Fair and balanced," or "All the news that's fit to print."
To your credit, you seldom backed down. You stood your ground. And many like Julian Assange have paid a horrible price for your tenacity. Telling the public the truth shouldn't be dangerous, but it is. What goes on behind closed doors at the highest levels--especially their damning emails during a contested presidential primary--is for the powerbrokers' eyes and ears alone. The elites will lie, cheat and steal to maintain their air of superiority. They will kill you when you reveal their murders of innocents in drone bombings.
Whoever thought journalism would become riskier than climbing a greased rock peak without a tether during a massive thunderstorm?
To all those who wish to keep the spirit of a free press alive for another century or two, I offer this advice: Don't ever take it for granted. Journalists who sacrifice their time, health, and their very lives to tell us what's really happening (not what the establishment wants you to think is happening) are rare and precious. The fascists can and will wipe them out without a second thought. We saw that this past week.
Free Assange! Keep our press free!
As Fascism Casts Off Its Disguises (Caitlin Johnstone) https://caitlinjohnstone.substack.com/p/as-fascism-casts-off-its-disguises/comments
The Execution of Julian Assange (Chris Hedges) https://scheerpost.com/2021/12/13/hedges-the-execution-of-julian-assange/
They're Killing Him: Assange's Stroke Reveals the Western Version of the Bone Saw https://caitlinjohnstone.substack.com/p/theyre-killing-him-assanges-stroke
Press Freedoms Threatened as British Court Rules Assange Can Be Extradited to US https://truthout.org/articles/press-freedoms-threatened-as-british-court-rules-assange-can-be-extradited-to-us/
Julian Assange Loses Appeal https://greenwald.substack.com/p/julian-assange-loses-appeal-british
Julian Assange Can Be Extradited to US to Face Espionage Charges https://www.rsn.org/001/julian-assange-can-be-extradited-to-us-to-face-espionage-charges-court-rules.html
Press Freedoms Under 'Grave Threat' https://scheerpost.com/2021/12/10/press-freedoms-under-grave-threat-as-british-court-rules-assange-can-be-extradited-to-u-s-%ef%bf%bc/
Seen on Twitter:
2013: It's "National Whistleblower Day" in the United States. US military judge finds US Army whistleblower Chelsea Manning guilty of charges.— Kevin Gosztola (@kgosztola) December 10, 2021
2021: It's UN Human Rights Day. UK High Court overturns decision that blocked US govt from extraditing Julian Assange (a publisher).
A UK judge just ruled in favor of the Biden administration’s continued persecution and extradition of Assange.— Ryan Knight ☭ (@ProudSocialist) December 10, 2021
I don’t ever want to hear again that @TheDemocrats believe in a free press.
They are targeting and going after a journalist for exposing U.S. war crimes.#FreeAssange
Julian Assange remains the world’s foremost political prisoner.— Is Julian Assange free yet? (@AssangeFreeYet) December 13, 2021
How shameful is it that, on Human Rights Day of all days, we find out the UK courts have moved one step closer to handing over Julian Assange to the United States — a country whose leaders have expressed a desire to assassinate him?
The years long-persecution of Assange, led by White House administrations from both corporate parties, has not only caused Assange immense suffering for his innovative journalism — it endangers press freedom and democracy in three grave ways.
1. The war on Assange is fueled, at least in part, by Assange exposing the Democratic Party's corrupt handling of their 2016 primary. The parties of War and Wall Street shamelessly retaliate against challengers to their cartel.
2. Assange and Wikileaks are attacked for exposing the shameful realities of U.S. empire. Along with troves of documents, they published front line footage of bodies casually being obliterated by machines of war. The threat to Assange is a threat to all who expose the horrors of war in the name of peace.
3. To persecute Assange and Wikileaks for basic journalism is to endanger every working journalist and publisher in this country: from stalwart, independent, anti-corporate reporters to the advertising-dollar-addicted opinion writers and media empires cheering on Assange's prosecution. They are digging their own graves.
Free speech and a free press are the first defenses of the rest of our human rights. Give to the Green Party today so we can end the war on whistleblowers, together. Reality Winner, Edward Snowden, Chelsea Manning and so many more have sacrificed so much for our democracy.
As a Green, I'm proud that I can invite you to watch this video of Julian Assange addressing our 2016 Presidential Nominating Convention. It's a testament to our commitment to Grassroots Democracy. Please give today so we can make Grassroots Democracy a reality.
Green Party of the United States
In a near-future dystopian world, hope blossoms where mutual aid and democracy begins...
Zonta’s world is turned upside down when Jake arrives at the commune to investigate the disappearance of agents of the Authority. Can she persuade him to switch sides before the Protectors (antifascist fighters) take action?
From the Center for Biological Diversity:
Did you know that there’s an important global treaty to conserve biological diversity, and the United States is the only major country that’s not a member?
In the midst of the extinction crisis, that’s unacceptable.
It’s high time for the United States to join the Convention on Biological Diversity.
Created at the Rio Earth Summit in 1992, the convention’s mission is to protect the planet’s rich array of life and ensure sustainable, equitable use. The United States helped develop the treaty, but the Senate never ratified it.
Next year the convention meets to set the global conservation agenda for the coming decade. With more than a million species on track to go extinct, this meeting is critical to saving life on Earth. The United States must participate in the meeting to call for an end to human-induced extinction — but if the Senate doesn’t take action, we’ll be on the outside looking in.Take Action