The last two days of Julian Assange’s scandalously opaque and plainly rigged show trial have brought into focus the reality that the WikiLeaks founder’s plight is the exact inverse of what the mainstream partisan narratives assert in the nation that’s working to extradite him.
A new article about the proceedings in The Evening Standard titled “Julian Assange ‘targeted as a political opponent of Trump administration and threatened with the death penalty’” highlights the undeniable fact that this extradition process is only taking place because of a Trump administration agenda which threatens to strike a deadly blow to press freedoms around the world with the precedent it would set.
The Evening Standard reports on the following testimony on Wednesday by Professor Paul Rogers, a lecturer in peace studies at Bradford University:
Assange’s legal team argue that a decision was taken under President Obama not to prosecute the Wikileaks activist, but that move was overturned under Trump.
“During the Obama presidency there was a greater recognition of the problems and less pressure on those presenting conflicting evidence”, said Professor Rogers.
“But since the election of President Trump there has been a vigorous denigration of the Obama era, a return to the outlook of the Bush administration and even more bitter opposition to those perceived as dissenters, especially those involved in communicating unwelcome information such as Mr Assange.”
Julian Assange ‘targeted as a political opponent of Trump administration and threatened with the death penalty’ https://t.co/9szJ9r0b88
— Evening Standard (@EveningStandard) September 9, 2020
Rogers is absolutely correct. The Intercept‘s Glenn Greenwald explained in 2018 that the Obama administration was unable to find an avenue to prosecute Assange for the leaks which began dropping in 2010 without endangering press freedoms, yet the Trump administration worked in concert with London and Quito to drag Assange out of the embassy and slam him with an extradition request (the sole reason for his continued imprisonment) based on the exact same evidence the Obama administration had access to on those exact same leaks.
Greenwald explained in The Washington Post that the Assange indictment was “a blueprint for making journalists into felons”,