The agenda of the United States government to extradite WikiLeaks editor-in-chief Julian Assange is kind of like Israel’s nuclear arsenal: everyone knows it exists, but government officials refuse to openly confirm it. US Attorney General Jeff Sessions has admitted that Assange’s arrest is a priority, President Trump has said he’d support Sessions in taking that action, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has labeled WikiLeaks a “hostile non-state intelligence service,” and the ranking Democrat in the US House Intelligence Committee Adam Schiff has stated that he plans on questioning Assange “when he is in US custody.” But so far none have come right out and admitted that there is an extradition request for Assange or what the legal basis for it might be.
Unlike Israel’s nukes, however, you’ll still see empire loyalists pretending that they don’t believe there’s an agenda to extradite Assange. You’ll often see social media accounts patrolling all posts about Julian Assange any time he’s in the news, stating in remarkably uniform language that Assange is free to leave the embassy whenever he wants because there is no extradition agenda. To be clear, these people do not believe what they are saying; nobody actually believes that Assange is choosing to remain in effective solitary confinement because it’s his idea of a fun time. But there are individuals with a vested interest in reinforcing the narrative that the US isn’t the sort of government that would try to imprison a journalist for telling the truth.
It is this false narrative manipulation which makes it essential to document such events as ten Democratic Senators writing a letter to Vice President Mike Pence demanding that he confront Ecuadorian President Lenin Moreno about continuing to give political asylum to Assange.
Three full paragraphs of the letter (which was provided as an exclusive to a Spanish-language news publication to really shove the propaganda out into center stage) were dedicated to taking down Assange and WikiLeaks, emphasizing the unproven and plot hole-riddled claim that the GRU used WikiLeaks to release hacked information in order to influence the 2016 US presidential election. Those three paragraphs read as follows:
Despite these advances, we remain extremely concerned about Ecuador providing asylum to WikiLeaks Founder Julian Assange since June 2012. As you are aware, in its declassified January 2017 report, the U.S. Intelligence Community assessed that Russia’s Main Intelligence Directorate (GRU) used WikiLeaks to release hacked information in order to influence from the 2016 U.S. presidential election. We are also deeply troubled by WikiLeaks interventions in the 2017 French presidential election and the 2017 Spanish referendum on Catalan independence.
During his tenure as Director of Central Intelligence, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo characterized WikiLeaks as, “a non-state hostile intelligence service often abetted by state actors like Russia.” For these reasons, we were alarmed that the readout of your June 4, 2018 phone call with President Moreno made no mention of efforts by Julian Assange and WikiLeaks to interfere in the 2016 U.S. electoral process or the elections of some of our closest allies.
As the United States is still seeking clarity about the full extent of Russian intervention in our elections and Russian interference in elections across the world, it is imperative that you raise U.S. concerns with President Moreno about Ecuador’s continued support for Mr. Assange at a time when WikiLeaks continues its efforts to undermine democratic processes globally.
Dem Senators are liars:— #FreeAssange! (tweets by campaign)⌛ (@JulianAssange) June 27, 2018
"WikiLeaks continues to undermine democracy globally." -- by publishing 100% accurate information.
"the French presidential election " -- WL published *after* the French election.
"Catalonia" -- by saying voters shouldn't be beaten
Why would US Senators care that Assange is receiving political asylum if his belief that the US government is trying to extradite him was a paranoid fantasy? The only known existing charge that Assange could be arrested for if he leaves the embassy is a bogus bail violation he was charged with a full 12 days after he applied for political asylum; nobody actually believes ensuring that Assange is prosecuted for that nonsensical charge is an urgent matter, let alone one so urgent it necessitates the full attention of ten sitting US Senators and the Vice President of the United States. Continuing to pretend that we don’t all know that the same government which tortured Chelsea Manning is trying to extradite Assange is a farce, and the correct response to anyone denying it is to laugh in their face.
And according to a statement from a White House official, Vice President Pence marched right along to the fascistic drum beat of Democratic Senators Feinstein, Warner, Menendez, Durbin, Blumenthal, Markey, Bennet, Coons, Manchin, and Shaheen.
“The vice president raised the issue of Mr. Assange,” the statement reads. “It was a constructive conversation. They agreed to remain in close coordination on potential next steps going forward.”
Why would the government granting political asylum to Assange be “in close coordination” about Assange with a government that isn’t interested in Assange? It’s stupid to have to keep pointing this out, but the fact that political discourse about the plight of the WikiLeaks editor-in-chief is so constantly and aggressively inundated with gibberish about his not being truly detained means this needs to be pointed out. He is being detained on threat of extradition and torture. The US-centralized power establishment really is that corrupt and depraved.
The White House released the following statement to reporters about @JulianAssange today after intelligence hawks Senators Diane Feinstein and Mark Warner called for him pressure Ecuador's president @Lenin Moreno over @JulianAssange's asylum. pic.twitter.com/1U0X46GCJr— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) June 28, 2018
The next time you run into an empire loyalist on an online forum who tries to claim that Julian Assange isn’t being detained and can “leave whenever he wants”, show them this article. They really don’t have an argument at this point.
Any sincere thinking person already knows that Assange is most definitely being detained. And, as a UN panel has already stated unequivocally, he should be allowed to walk free of that detention and seek compensation for the wrong that has been done to him. As long as he remains held at gunpoint by the torture machine of the US-centralized empire, the US government is tacitly admitting its true nature. And all those who support it are tacitly admitting theirs.
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