Protest over Assange at Wandsworth, Attacks on Wikileaks, as New Revelations Emerge
Journalist John Pilger has written a letter to the UK Guardian, signed by a number of others as well, protesting the arrest, incarceration and international campaign of suppression against Julian Assange and Wikileaks. This comes as Mr. Assange remains imprisoned at London’s Wandsworth prison, held without bail under dubious sexual assault charges from Sweden.
Meanwhile, new leaks from the State Department cache of cables continue to be released and analyzed. Most amazing recently: how Shell Oil has “inserted staff into all the main ministries of the Nigerian government, giving it access to politicians’ every move in the oil-rich Niger Delta.” This is an incredible example of how modern imperialism operates. On the other hand, information from the cables have to be analyzed carefully. Andy Worthingon is looking at how the cables reflect upon the case Aafia Siddiqui, and explains that diplomatic communications are not always as straight-forward as one would think.
As comic-terror relief from all this, we have U.S. politicians, like Dianne Feinstein, calling for Assange to be charged with violations of the Espionage Act, a crazy law born out of fear of Reds and Anarchists right after the Russian Revolution (and with the U.S. entering the senseless slaughter of World War I). Unfortunately, Feinstein and others aren’t joking. This kind of demagoguery is a serious attack on press freedoms, endangering us all. We are living in very dangerous times. . . .
Kevin Zeese of Voters for Peace writes:
As attorney and writer Scott Horton wrote in “WikiLeaks: The National-Security State Strikes Back,” a highly classified Army Counterintelligence Center 32-page memorandum said that the threat presented by WikiLeaks can only be eliminated by striking WikiLeaks not only in cyber attacks, but against the individuals, particularly Julian Assange, who were critical to the operation of WikiLeaks.
A prosecution of Assange, if the U.S. terror war courts allow the case to come to trial, could be the John Peter Zenger case of the digital age. It will define government transparency and free speech for the initial decades of the 21st Century and therefore is of great import to all Americans and, in particular, to the media.
Mr. Pilger’s letter:
We protest at the attacks on Wikileaks and, in particular, on Julian Assange (Report, 9 December) The leaks have assisted democracy in revealing the real views of our governments over a range of issues which have been kept secret and are now irreversibly in the public domain. All we knew about the mass killing, torture and corruption in Iraq and Afghanistan has been confirmed. The world’s leaders can no longer hide the truth by simply lying to the public. The lies have been exposed. The actions of major corporations such as Amazon, the Swiss banks and the credit card companies in hindering Wikileaks, are shameful, bowing to US government pressure. The US government and its allies, and their friends in the media, have built up a campaign against Assange which now sees him in prison facing extradition on dubious charges, with the presumed eventual aim of ensuring his extradition to the US. We demand his immediate release, the dropping of all charges, and an end to the censorship of Wikileaks.
John Pilger, Lindsey German Stop the War Coalition, Salma Yaqoob, Craig Murray, Alexei Sayle, Mark Thomas, Caryl Churchill, AL Kennedy, Celia Mitchell, Ben Griffin (former soldier), Terry Jones, Sami Ramadani, Roger Lloyd Pack, David Gentleman, Miriam Margolyes, Andy Delatour, Katharine Hamnett, Iain Banks