On Mr. Assange and Truth and Security?

“Oh yeah, look at those dead bastards”, and “Ha, ha, I hit them”, said the crew of a US helicopter as they machine-gunned Iraqi civilians, including a child, in Baghdad. (12/07/07)

That is part of what Chelsea Manning exposed and Julian Assange published, for which they are prosecuted and punished, apparently unlike that crew.

There appear to be two types of charge against Mr Assange. One relates to rape and one to accessing information about particular behaviours of a nation’s rulers. They are both to do with security – individual, group national and international.

Security matters to all of us and our descendants, for always.

Can citizens be secure when governments connive at atrocities such as that above, work to hide them, and prosecute the truth tellers?

Security needs equitable law, proportionate and accountable force, a well-educated and informed citizenry and a courageous independent main stream media.

The US Computer Fraud and Abuse Act seems to state that it is illegal to obtain information that has been determined by the US government to require protection against un-authorised disclosure for reasons including defence and foreign relations.

This raises questions. Did Mr Assange directly obtain such information? Is the law under which he is being pursued reasonable? (Canadian law uses three standards of review – correctness, unreasonableness and patent unreasonableness.)

The answer to the first is unclear, but if Mr Assange only published such information he is protected by the US First Amendment.

The answer to the second depends upon the reasonableness of the law in question. What was exposed seems to be accepted as the truth. It does not seem to have imperilled US forces. It makes clear that the Iraq War was fraudulently marketed and wrongly managed.  Wikileaks provided valid data and other information on actual casualty figures and military abuses, even to death, of civilians, including reporters. These truths enable citizens to better influence their governments towards behaviours which increase their security rather than diminish it, home and away. (Remember the Manchester Ariana Grande concert massacre? British Intelligence warned Mr Blair that such attacks would increase if “we” invaded Iraq.)

How can a democracy function efficiently when misled by its leaders and/or its corporate media? Can a government be trusted to provide security for its people without relevant truth dissemination such as that provided by Wikileaks?

How can democracies function efficiently and provide security to their people, if their investigative and judicial systems are not of the highest standards and uncontaminated in any way?

Did Judge Michael Snow show prejudice in the 15 minutes taken to hear the bail case before pronouncing Mr Assange guilty. Mr Assange said, “Not Guilty” twice and asked a one sentence question yet his judge condemned him as “narcissistic”.

Besides being distressing and problematical, the case(s) concerning rape may well have been undermined by “our” interference in Swedish judicial matters. Documents show that Swedish investigators wanted to drop the case against Mr Assange in 2013 but the UK insisted that they carry on, demanding “Don’t you dare get cold feet!!!”

When judicial impartiality is soiled for political advantage, we are all in deadly danger.

Perhaps other important securities are freedom from character assassination, freedom from intimidation and freedom from manipulation? Is the corporate media working to rubbish Mr Assange and turn us against him, despite the light of truth he has shone on the wrongs done by, and in, battle-zones promoted by the UK and US governments, which have also had Ariana Grande consequences?

Might all of this be to manipulate us and intimidate journalists to suppress any investigation that is not wanted by the deeply powerful?

“If we, the people, allow the government to control us through fear, we are no longer free.” Major Tulsi Gabbbard 

* Steve Trevathan is chairperson of Lyme Regis and Marshwood Vale Liberal Democrats.

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3 Comments

  • nigel hunter 17th Apr '19 - 6:42pm

    I note that the Govnt acted on Assange when, shortly, the EU will be passing laws to protect whistleblowers. It was a way of silencing him.

  • Richard Underhill 19th Apr '19 - 4:31pm

    If the Swedes intend to prosecute they had better get on with it.

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