In what his lawyers have described as a “brief but significant moment in the case,” a British magistrates’ court has signed to extradite Julian Assange to the United States, bringing the WikiLeaks founder one step closer to a US trial under the Espionage Act, which threatens press freedoms worldwide, writes Caitlin Johnstone.
The extradition case now goes to British Home Secretary Priti Patel for approval, which is likely to come, as Patel is a trustworthy and loyal Director of State. After that, Assange’s legal team will be able to appeal.
This is happening at the same time that the United States and the United Kingdom are clamoring for accountability for alleged war crimes committed by the Russian military in Ukraine, which is interesting because trying to account for war crimes is precisely why Julian Assange is in jail.
“He is a war criminal,” President Biden said of Vladimir Putin following war crimes allegations in But ya, Ukraine earlier this month. “I think it is a war crime. … He must be held accountable.”
And that’s really all I want to say here today. That this discrepancy is very interesting.
I mean, can we take a moment to really appreciate the irony of this? Because it’s so obscene and outrageous that it’s actually hard to comprehend unless you really take it in. The world’s most powerful government, at the center of the most powerful empire that ever existed, is working to extradite a journalist for denouncing his war crimes, while at the same time ripping his clothes over war crimes allegations against another government.
I mean, damn it. You would think that a power structure that was recently caught in the act of committing war crimes and is now in the process of jailing a journalist for exposing those war crimes would at least have the sense not to be too hard for a while. screaming about war crimes. But this is how confident the Empire is of its ability to control the narrative.
Really take it in. Really process it. The more you think about it, the creepier it gets. Not only does the Empire prosecute a journalist for exposing his war crimes while demanding that others be held accountable for war crimes, it also attacks the free press for reporting the truth about the powerful, while at the same time large-scale propaganda operation that claims it is involved in Ukraine to protect freedom and democracy.
I mean, the brutality. The absolute audacity. The balls of this empire, man oh man.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Assange has exposed many ugly realities about the powerful in his work with WikiLeaks, but anything he’s managed to expose since then simply by forcing them to sue him far surpasses the disclosures in those publications.
If the highest form of journalism is exposing the darkest secrets of the most powerful people in the world, then Julian Assange is the highest form of a journalist.