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Julian Assange is Free, Big Brother is Exposed, the Battle Now is Joined

Julian Assange escaped London alive while the U.S. Supreme Court dodged dismantling the ugly Leviathan at the center of his case.
Julian Assange is Free, Big Brother is Exposed, the Battle Now is Joined
Julian Assange, founder of Wikileaks, with his future wife, Stella Moris, leaving Royal Court of Justice on July 13th, 2011. Photo: acidpolly / flickr / CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

This week will go down in history as the first time an alleged American president unveiled his full senility before the world.  But it was also the week in which Julian Assange escaped the UK alive, despite active efforts over twelve years by the oligarchy and their security state lackeys to kill him. His crime? Revealing to the public the crimes of these security state apparatchiks through secrets handed to him and his organization, Wikileaks, from whistleblowers embedded in the oligarchy’s intelligence, military, and political institutions. He has now returned to his wife and children in Australia to rest and to heal after entering a plea to charges in Saipan and being sentenced to time already served in London’s horrendous Belmarsh maximum security prison.

The fact that Assange lives is a victory to be celebrated despite the wounds taken in the fight. Thousands of citizens throughout the world and in the United States stood vigil, in rain, snow, and heat on behalf of Assange and his cause. Many prominent people of all political persuasions joined them, until finally, the government of Assange’s homeland, Australia, intervened forcefully on his behalf. The light cast as the result of this long campaign on the insane arguments and actions of the United States, caused, finally, two London High Court justices to find a way to grant Assange the right of a final appeal which U.S. and London prosecutors determined might end up in Assange’s vindication. Following this High Court decision in May, serious efforts to resolve the case finally began.

This same week saw the U.S. Supreme Court’s cowardly refusal to dismantle the regime of censorship built between the intelligence community and social media platforms in the case of Murphy v. Missouri. The court’s majority opinion did not reach the merits of this critical First Amendment case. Instead, Justice Amy Barrett asserted that the plaintiffs in the case had not proven that they would suffer a future concrete injury capable of being redressed by injunctive relief and, thus, lacked standing to sue.

In his dissent, Justice Samuel Alito spent 34 pages documenting the pressure campaign, directly from the White House and the intelligence community, to deplatform, shadow ban, and otherwise censor speech about COVID and other topics on Facebook and other platforms. Medical doctors and specialists, including the nation’s foremost epidemiologists, who differed from the health establishment’s COVID mask, social distancing, and vaccine mandates, were among the victims. Alito alluded to the fact that this stifling of critical medical debate led to unnecessary deaths and human suffering. He concluded his review of the abuses found in the underlying litigation by writing, “For months, high-ranking Government officials placed unrelenting pressure on Facebook to suppress Americans’ free speech. Because the Court unjustifiably refuses to address this serious threat to the First Amendment, I respectfully dissent.”

Ironically, if those impacted had sued for monetary damages rather than injunctive relief, the majority opined, the results might have been different. The FBI’s pre-bunking and censorship of the Hunter Biden laptop story published by the New York Post was among the spectacular violations of the First Amendment revealed by Murphy v. Missouri and the related investigations involved in the Twitter files. That act of censorship, backed by the lying declaration of 51 current and former intelligence community officials, that Hunter Biden’s laptop was a Russian disinformation operation, played a significant role in rigging the 2020 U.S. presidential election. As Matt Taibbi points out, despite the cowardice of the Supreme Court, significant sunshine has been shown on Big Brother, and Big Brother is in retreat. Missouri’s Attorney General, Andrew Bailey noted that this battle had just begun.

The Supreme Court Punts on Censorship
Standing and the related “traceability” issue doom Murthy v. Missouri, as the Supreme Court votes 6-3 to kick the Internet censorship can down the road

Assange’s freedom required him to plead guilty to one count of conspiracy to violate the deliberately and unconstitutionally vague Espionage Act, the same law now being used against Donald Trump by the rogue USA Department of Justice in the Mar-a-Lago documents case. As Assange said, the Espionage Act’s collision with the First Amendment to the United States Constitution and the DOJ’s love of the former and newfound hatred for the most basic freedom found in that preeminent Constitutional amendment, resulted in his Saipan Alford plea. An Alford plea is a denial of guilt while admitting that under the circumstances the government could prove all the elements of the crime. The plea agreement specified that Assange’s exchanges of files with Chelsea Manning detailing U.S. war crimes in Afghanistan and Iraq did not directly endanger any U.S. personnel despite years of smears against Assange in the corporate media to the contrary.

In my lifetime, a sea change has occurred in this country with respect to the First Amendment. It used to be that any violation of that Amendment, even if minor, sent judges and their clerks into furious combat with the full power of injunctions and other remedies to right the defilement of what was called the beloved marketplace of ideas, the vital center of debate which leads to new discoveries and the unleashing of human creativity in any culture. Now, the full exercise of that amendment is seen as a pre-eminent threat to the regime. Matt Taibbi, who played a key role in investigating and publishing the Twitter files, noted that since 9/11, any collision between the security state and the Constitution in the courts has always resulted in the courts flinching, as the Supreme Court did in Murphy.

Much has been written about the abstract principles at issue in Assange’s case without appropriate attention paid, in my view, to the murderous intent of those who jailed him and sought to kill him. Hillary Clinton, whose corrupt State Department cables were revealed by WikiLeaks, mused about “droning” Assange, i.e., killing him. At the time, Joe Biden dubbed Assange a “high tech terrorist” and advocated that he be treated as such. WikiLeaks destroyed whatever carefully crafted PR image of Hillary Clinton existed by revealing her connivance with the DNC in rigging the 2016 primary election against Bernie Sanders. In addition, WikiLeaks’ publications of then Clinton Campaign Chairman John Podesta’s emails showed Clinton to be a money-grubbing craven tool of Wall Street.

Clinton and her Obama White House colleagues crafted the fake Russiagate narrative surrounding Donald Trump to overcome the damage done by these publications and other materials feared to have been gleaned from Clinton’s illicit use of a private email server for classified communications. Assange insisted that his source for the DNC and Podesta files was not the Russians. It was a whistleblower, an inside source. That source was widely believed to be Seth Rich, a Sanders supporter and former DNC employee who was subsequently found murdered on a DC street. The investigation of his murder was largely hidden from public view by the FBI.

Following the controversy surrounding the alleged Russian hack of the DNC, later admitted to be deficient in any proof that any materials attributed to Russian intrusions were ever exfiltrated from DNC computers, Assange came into possession of Vault 7, the CIA’s own hacking tools. He sought to negotiate with the government to prevent any damage to U.S. national security by their publication, to tell the government about the security vulnerabilities which led to the Vault 7 leak, as well as to prove that his source for the DNC and Podesta files was not Russian. In return, he sought immunity from prosecution by the United States. The government turned him down, indicted him under seal, and began a campaign of spying and harassment with Mike Pompeo, as director of the CIA and later Secretary of State, declaring Assange to be an appropriate target for assassination.

Kidnapping, assassination and a London shoot-out: Inside the CIA’s secret war plans against WikiLeaks
In 2017, as Julian Assange began his fifth year holed up in Ecuador’s embassy in London, the CIA plotted to kidnap the WikiLeaks founder, spurring heated debate among Trump administration officials over the legality and practicality of such an operation.

From 2012 through 2019, Assange took refuge in the Embassy of Ecuador in London under a grant of asylum. In April of 2019, through the intervention of the United States, Ecuador revoked his asylum and invited the London police to arrest him, which they did, carrying him violently out of the Embassy. Thereafter, he was imprisoned at Belmarsh as he fought extradition to the United States for trial on his indictment here, in the Eastern District of Virginia. His health, both physical and mental, deteriorated as it was clear that officials were seeking his death in custody.

According to Assange’s lawyers and his family, the big breaks in the case occurred after his right for a final desperate appeal in May of this year was finally granted by two Justices of Britain’s High Court. The Department of Justice appears to have hung itself by its own hubris and overly aggressive arguments. Britian’s extradition law bars extradition when the accused may be discriminated against based on his or her citizenship or nationality. DOJ prosecutors told the High Court that they would argue that Assange was not protected by the First Amendment from their Espionage Act prosecution because he was a foreign citizen operating outside the United States. That argument, according to the High Court, indicated that Assange’s foreign status would be used against him in the United States, barring extradition.

Once that High Court decision was made, frantic negotiations for a plea were begun by the DOJ, with prosecutors in both Alexandria, Virginia, and in London telling Main Justice that they were in danger of losing the case. Initially, Main Justice, namely Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco, refused to negotiate, causing both the Alexandria prosecutors and their London counterparts to threaten to resign from the case. The High Court’s decision and the forceful intervention by the Australian government on Assange’s behalf were credited by his defense team in the final victorious drive which secured his freedom.

Thus, a chilling message was sent to journalists who all formerly did what Julian Assange did, seek out confidential sources who can tell you about the deepest and ugliest secrets of your security state, and publish those secrets for the public good. But the transition of journalists from truth seekers to scribes of intelligence community propaganda narratives began long before Assange.  The better message here was sent by those thousands of citizens world-wide who stood by Assange in this long painful fight. They, too, ultimately won. They are the heroes of this day.  This battle also, has only just begun.