First they came for Assange…
George Washington, the first President of the United States once said:
“If the freedom of speech be taken away, then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.”
First they came for Assange… is a unique global event which will take place on June 19th, 2016 simultaneously in Berlin, Paris, Madrid and other cities. The event “wants to stress that we live in dangerous time in which everyone opposed to the political and financial powers might soon become a target.”
We already live through a somehow mild but ever worsening version of a dystopian nightmare, under the constant surveillance around the clock. It’s the tyranny that controls us, the tyranny that does not know boundaries and respects no laws and no freedoms. If you think you’re safe because you “have nothing to hide,” live in a “civilized Western world” without wars and concentration camps, and are far removed from the people like Julian Assange, or Chelsea Manning, or Edward Snowden, think again.
Pastor Martin Niemöller, a prominent Protestant pastor who emerged as an outspoken public foe of Adolf Hitler and spent the last seven years of Nazi rule in concentration camps, left his famous poem, that inspired the June 19th event’s name, “First they came…” as an ominous warning to all of us:
First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out —
Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out —
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out —
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me — and there was no one left to speak for me.
June 19th will be the 4th anniversary of Julian Assange’s political asylum at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London. But why, why did they “came for him,” with such force? Why all this hatred of an Empire? Why such hostility toward a journalist and publisher who has not even been charged with any crime? To better understand the plight of Julian Assange, and what it means for our own freedoms, we must go back in time.
Julian Assange WikiLeaks and the “Terror” of Truth
The United States of America hosted UNESCO’s World Press Freedom Day in Washington, D.C. in May of 2011.
“We are concerned about the determination of some governments to censor and silence individuals and to restrict the free flow of information,” Philip J. Crowley Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Public Affairs, U.S. Department of State wrote in a press release, adding: “We mark events such as World Press Freedom Day in the context of our enduring commitment to support and expand press freedom and the free flow of information in this digital age.”
One would think they can’t get more cynical than that. Alas, one would be wrong.
Enters the Cynic-in-Chief, Barack Obama. The American Empire’s “love for free information flow” sounds even better when its president speaks about it with his trademark soaring rhetoric devoid of any intentions to follow up his words with actions:
“The more freely information flows, the stronger the society becomes, because then citizens of countries around the world can hold their own governments accountable. They can begin to think for themselves,” he pronounced as he was talking in China on November 15, 2010.
“Freedom of Press”
But than, on Sunday 28th November 2010, WikiLeaks came from the cold to pop up yet another American curiosity — its delusion of freedom(s) — and began publishing 251,287 leaked United States embassy cables, the largest set of confidential documents to that time to be released into the public domain. The documents gave people around the world an unprecedented insight into the US Government’s foreign activities.
By doing that, the WikiLeaks, “a non-profit media organization dedicated to bringing important information to the public” has immediately became the Public Enemy number one of the American Empire. Information flow is free but only when they say it is free and only when it serves their own purpose. Public’s purpose, at the other hand, is to consume and obey, and is not allowed even to glimpse at the powers to be modus operandi so the exposed Empire went berserk.
Hatred of an Empire
U.S. Senator Joe Lieberman zealously rushed to suggest The New York Times could be investigated for publishing the leaks and, in his appearance on the Fox News he stated how he “doesn’t understand why The Department of Justice hasn’t charged Assange with treason”.
For one, Lieberman should have known, Julian Assange isn’t an American. The doctrine of treason within U.S. law applies to people who have allegiance to the U.S. government, meaning U.S. citizens — but in a morally deranged mind of the Empire’s sycophant, everyone has to succumb to its tyranny or else.
Illustrious “independent” Senator from Connecticut was not a lone loony spewing hatred towards Julian Assange; no, he had quite a nice company. For one, Kathleen Troia “KT” McFarland, a distinguished Adviser to the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies (sic!) who was also the deputy assistant secretary of defense for public affairs at The Pentagon called for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to face terror charges, claiming: “He’s waging cyber-war on the United States and the global world order. Mr. Assange and his fellow hackers are terrorists and should be prosecuted as such.”
Guilty Until Proven Guilty — A new American Legal Paradigm
Universal Declaration of Human Right (UDHR) of 10 December 1948 Article 11.1 states
“Everyone charged with a penal offense has the right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law in a public trial at which he has had all the guarantees necessary for his defense.”
United States of America is a part of the UDHR
Hatred of a Troll
The Empire had had many a troll joining the witch-hunt. Esteemed professor of political science at the University of Calgary, Tom Flanagan, a former adviser to Stephen Harper, the Canadian prime minister, was one of these as he was cheerfully and “manly” joined a chorus with a fresh solution to the international diplomatic crisis — assassinating Mr. Assange. Speaking on the TV he said “Assange should be assassinated (and than, he merrily laughs). “I think Obama should put out a contract on him,” the good professor recommended, and got away with it.
So the bloodthirsty mentality of the Empire’s media serfs is alive and well. And such barbarians prevail in the American society; this is the American new norm.
The U.S. vice-president, Joe Biden, also joined the ghoulish chorus and likened the WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange, to a “hi-tech terrorist” ( NBC’s Meet the Press, December 19, 2010), thus expressing the strongest criticism of the Assange coming from the Obama administration.
When the second-in-charge of the United States of America executive branch calls Julian Assange a “terrorist”, we ought to examine how the U.S. defines a “terrorist” in their own law (before it is changed), namely, IMMIGRATION AND NATIONALITY ACT (INA): ACT 212:
(iii) TERRORIST ACTIVITY DEFINED.- As used in this Act, the term “terrorist activity” means any activity which is unlawful under the laws of the place where it is committed (or which, if 4/ it had been committed in the United States, would be unlawful under the laws of the United States or any State) and which involves any of the following:
(I) The hijacking or sabotage of any conveyance (including an aircraft, vessel, or vehicle).
(II) The seizing or detaining, and threatening to kill, injure, or continue to detain, another individual in order to compel a third person (including a governmental organization) to do or abstain from doing any act as an explicit or implicit condition for the release of the individual seized or detained.
(III) A violent attack upon an internationally protected person (as defined in section 1116(b)(4) of title 18, United States Code) or upon the liberty of such a person.
(IV) An assassination.
(V) The use of any-
(aa) biological agent, chemical agent, or nuclear weapon or device, or
(bb) explosive, 4/ firearm, or other weapon or dangerous device (other than for mere personal monetary gain), with intent to endanger, directly or indirectly, the safety of one or more individuals or to cause substantial damage to property.
(VI) A threat, attempt, or conspiracy to do any of the foregoing.
“Illegally Shoot the SOB”
Does Joe Biden, a Syracuse Law School graduate and a Chairman or Ranking Member of the Senate Judiciary Committee for 17 years really thinks publishing U.S. Embassy cables is the same as hijacking of an airplane or an assassination?
Aren’t those like Mike Huckabee or FOX’s Bob Beckel calling for Assange to be assassinated (“illegally shot the soon of a bitch”) i.e. inducting someone to commit murder in fact themselves “terrorists” as described in the INA Act 212? Calling for use a drone in order to “assassinate Assange” is, in fact, a terrorist inducement to commit murder addressed to no one but to the President of the United States of America. Do they think the U.S. President is a terrorist or that he should act as such?
However, the U.S. Department of state does not list WikiLeaks as the Foreign Terrorist Organization nor does the FBI lists Julian Assange among the “Most Wanted Terrorists”. Why didn’t they put Assange and WikiLeaks at the official terrorists list even after the Vice-president calls him such?
Perhaps the Assange’s actions would not fall under any “terrorist activities” after all, at least the Law cited here seems says so? Perhaps all the noise around WikiLeaks and Assange serve to further brainwash the nation into believing they have yet another “enemy” they need to be “protected” from?
“So the U.S. government spies on it’s citizens’: phone calls, emails, grocery bills, and YouTube comments. Someone exposes that the U.S. government: plans and covers up war crimes, plans and covers up crimes against humanity, conspires with American monopolies, and just generally hates democracy. You tell me where the real crime lies. The Nuremberg trials give us a good indication of who should actually be shot or not.”
(“bbolen” via YouTube comment)
What is Julian Assange’s Real Crime?
The Emperor’s New Clothes by Hans Christian Andersen is a beautiful tale about two weavers who promise an Emperor a new suit of clothes that are invisible to those unfit for their positions, stupid, or incompetent. When the Emperor parades before his subjects in his new clothes, a child cries out, “But he isn’t wearing anything at all!”
What is terrifying for the establishment in this tale is what comes next: “And the people began to whisper to one another what the child had said.” He hasn’t got anything on.” “There’s a little child saying he hasn’t got anything on.” Till everyone was saying, “But he hasn’t got anything on.”
This is Julian Assange’s inexcusable crime — like that child he is guilty of innocence — he believes that justice could be achieved through collective actions, he believes in individual responsibility and he believes that such individuality could then produce a god governance, “from the people for the people” as envisioned in the Abraham Lincoln’s famous Gettysburg Address.
What Do “They” Really Dread?
On December 9, 2010 “their royal highnesses” Prince Charles and his wife Camilla were attacked. Protesters who had been running amok and smashing shop windows kicked and threw paint at the car, which sped off. Furious student protesters attacked a car as a controversial hike in university fees triggered political protests. A group of up to 20 struck it with fists, sticks and bottles, breaking a window and splattering the gleaming black vehicle with paint.
“Off with their heads! Off with their heads,” Their royal highnesses were startled by disobedient crowd’s chanting.
As the video shows, in the frenzy, some chanted “off with their heads!”, “off with their heads!” and that was the closest the establishment figures came to the people’s rage in decades. And that’s precisely what they dread! Tar and feathers are still fresh in Americans collective memories as the guillotine is in the French and they might end up, the establishment figures that is, with their heads chopped off only if the people knew what kind, and how many, atrocities they committed in their name.
But Americans or Britons haven’t seen millions Iraqis slaughtered by their military; American TV sets are fine-tuned machines of mass deception, hypnotic tools filled with the mindless fun, slick corporate advertisement and skillful political propaganda; on the American mass media stupefying screens Americans are never going to see an Iraqi girl mutilated by the bomb made in the Lockheed Martin facility or an Afghan boy blinded by a grenade made by Ruag in the peace-loving Swiss or a pregnant mother torn apart by the American “smart bomb” that kills only terrorists but spares innocents as they want us to believe.
All the Americans could see and hear is deafening emptiness of corporate mass media messages. There’s no investigative journalism left in the States, not in the main-stream media. So when Julian Assange’s face appears on the TV screen and a righteous voice-over comes from that ubiquitous millennium mass-altar: a sixty inch HDTV — and proclaims “This is the terrorist who wants you dead!” — they believe it. Do they have any other choice? After all, an average American watches approximately 218 hours of TV every month at home, states the quarterly analysis from Nielsen’s Anywhere Anytime Media Measurement initiative and during that time he or she is constantly bombarded by the propaganda.
But imagine if Americans could, like that child from Andersen’s tale see the truth? And imagine if they’d start talking to each other:
— We’ve killed million innocent civilians;
— Our country slaughters women and children;
— They kill in our name so they can become even richer;
— Murderous sociopaths govern our country…
… and imagine such whisper coming from one person to another and another and another to merge into a roaring pandemonium of damnation: It is their fault. They lie to us, they steal from us and, they kill in our name!
And imagine if all these voices, in millions, start demanding: “Off with their heads! Off with their heads!”
Back to the Present Time
False “terrorist” accusations were so idiotic and unfounded that were replaced by the false sexual misconduct allegations (never a charge) against Julian Assange.
Even though the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention recently released the finding that Julian Assange is arbitrarily detained, and despite the fact that more than 500 human rights organizations, law professors, former UN office holders and Nobel Prize winners signed a letter urging governments of Sweden and UK to respect UN’s decision to free Assange, he is still virtually imprisoned in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London.
The Empire behind prosecution of Julian Assange does not give a damn about his human rights, justice, laws, the United Nations or anything human. Do not kid yourself, they do not give a damn about you either.
I hope, and urge the participants of First they came for Assange… event and all the people all over the world to demand that:
— the charges against Julian Assange should be dropped and his virtual imprisonment ended at once;
— Chelsea Manning should be exonerated and freed immediately;
— Edward Snowden should be given the Presidential Medal of Freedom.