When the Journalists Ganged Up on Assange They Ganged Up on Themselves
Paul Craig Roberts
Journalists did not appreciate the implications for themselves of the contrived and false indictment of Julian Assange by a corrupt US government. It was obvious to a few of us that the indictment by the US government, a government constrained by the First Amendment, of a foreign national for publishing leaked material, an action never before regarded as espionage or a crime, was the beginning of the end of any Western government ever again being held accountable by a free press.
Not that the Western World has a free press. It has a collection of presstitutes that serve as a Ministry of Propaganda for the ruling oligarchies.
Still, in principle it was possible that governments could be held accountable. But that possibility ended with Assange’s false indictment.
First of all, no honest government would have spent years trying to invent a way to indict a journalist for practicing journalism.
Second, no intelligent grand jurors with an ounce of integrity would have been putty in the hands of a corrupt US prosecutor and enable a prosecution that ensures the destruction of accountable government.
Third, it was obvious that once America led the way in shutting down the principle of a free press, governments of other “Western democracies” would follow as soon as they could.
And follow they did. Assange’s indictment led to raids by the Australian Gestapo on the home of News Corp Australia journalist Annika Smethurst and on the headquarters of the Australian Broadcasting Corp. https://caitlinjohnstone.com/2019/06/05/more-police-raids-as-war-on-journalism-escalates-worldwide/ The Australian government is angry about an investigative report about war crimes committed in Afghanistan by Australian participants in Washington’s war against the Taliban. What Australian troops are doing in Afghanistan remains an unexplained mystery. How much is the Australian government being paid by Washington for Australian mercenaries to die for the American Empire?
The Gestapo raids soon spread to other Australian journalists, including one whose sin was to report on “asylum seekers.”
Assange’s contrived and false indictment has also encouraged the French police to arrest journalists covering the ongoing “Yellow Vest” protests. The French government is desperate to blank out the protest against the American puppet government in Paris.