The War on Assange Is a War on Truth
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It is dangerous to reveal the truth about the illegal and immoral things our government does with our money and in our name, and the war on journalists who dare reveal such truths is very much a bipartisan affair. Just ask Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, who was relentlessly pursued first by the Obama Administration and now by the Trump Administration for the âcrimeâ of reporting on the crimes perpetrated by the United States government.
Assange is now literally fighting for his life, as he tries to avoid being extradited to the United States where he faces 175 years in prison for violating the âEspionage Act.â While it makes no sense to be prosecuted as a traitor to a country of which you are not a citizen, the idea that journalists who do their job and expose criminality in high places are treated like traitors is deeply dangerous in a free society.
To get around the First Amendmentâs guarantee of freedom of the press, Assangeâs tormentors simply claim that he is not a journalist. Then-CIA director Mike Pompeo declared that Wikileaks was a âhostile intelligence serviceâ aided by Russia. Ironically, thatâs pretty much what the Democrats say about Assange.
Earlier this month, a US Federal appeals court judge ruled that the NSAâs bulk collection of Americansâ telephone records was illegal. That bulk collection program, born out of the anti-American PATRIOT Act, was first revealed to us by whistleblower Edward Snowden just over seven years ago.
That is why whistleblowers and those who publish their information are so important. Were it not for Snowden and Assange, we would never know about this government criminality. And if we never know about government malfeasance it can neve be found to be criminal in the first place. That is convenient for governments, but it is also a recipe for tyranny.