‘People have an instinct for Justice’ – Julian Assange is still speaking out!

A few days before the start of the appeal hearing, scheduled for October 27 and 28 at London’s High Court, Julian Assange returns to speak and does so through the many writings, statements and press conferences he has issued over the years when, despite being threatened or in exile, he had the freedom to speak.
Here, we intend to report some of his most powerful words so that people all over the world can understand the massive injustice he is suffering as well as the enormous threat to the Freedom of Press it represents for the entirety of humankind.
Julian is being persecuted and prosecuted by three states (Sweden, The United Kingdom and the United States of America) for publishing US government documents that exposed war crimes and human rights abuses. The charges represent an unprecedented attack on press freedom and the public’s right to know, seeking to criminalize basic journalistic activity.
If extradited and convicted Julian Assange faces a sentence of 175 years, likely to be spent in extreme isolation in the worst US prison. In fact, currently, he is already being held in the British high-security prison of Belmarsh, London.
Here are his words, and here they will always be…
Louder than ever.

The United States has at least 2,386 “non-lethal” chemical weapons deployed in Iraq. The items appear in a spectacular 2,000 page leak obtained by government transparency group Wikileaks. The items are labeled under the military’s own NATO supply classification Chemical weapons and equipment. The use of chemical weapons such as tear gas for military operations is illegal. The Chemical Weapons Convention of 1997, drafted by the United Kingdom and ratified by the United States, declares “Each State Party undertakes not to use riot control agents as a method of warfare”. Permissible uses are restricted to “law enforcement including domestic riot control.”
Julian Assange – November 8, 2007

In 1789 Thomas Paine, American pamphleteer, philosopher and revolutionary, compared the sun to the truth: “Such is the irresistible nature of truth,” Paine declared, “that all it asks, and all it wants, is the liberty of appearing.”
Thomas Paine, author of Common Sense and The Rights of Man was wrong. Paine gave away his copyright to Common Sense—allowing printers to pocket the author’s fee. Printers, happy with this state of affairs, preferenced its production over other popular, but less profitable works. Thomas Paine had discovered the essential economic underpinning of the modern press release. Paine’s truth appeared not only because of its coherence but because Paine subsidized its production above competing ideas.
Print media, including internet media, should not be looked at as a content production industry, but rather, as a lobby-selection industry, which balances production subsidies with reader interest. In this manner, it is analogous to the legislative economy which balances subsidies from political lobbies with electoral credulity.
What does it mean when only those facts about the world with economic powers behind them can be heard, when the truth lays naked before the world and no one will be the first to speak without payment or subsidy? Wikileaks’ unreported material is only the most visible wave on a black ocean of truth in draws of the fourth estate, waiting for a lobby to subsidize its revelation into a profitable endeavor.
The sun of truth is the only guiding beacon civilization has at its disposal. If we are to flourish in reality we must ultimately use it to chart our course. To do otherwise is to drift aimlessly in the dark, decoupled from the real world and hearkening to every imagined wave.
But I leave you with a quote from Paine: “We have it in our power to begin the world over again.”
And we will.
Julian Assange – The Hidden Curse of Thomas Paine – Guernica –  April 29, 2008

Documents released today by Wikileaks reveal that a US defense contractor may have sold millions of dollars worth of telephone tapping and other surveillance equipment to the Venezuelan government of Hugo Chavez. The multi-million dollar quotation addressed to the Venezuelan Director General of Military Intelligence has been verified with military sources. The shipment includes bulk mobile telephone interceptors, satellite telephone interception stations, direction-finding trucks, micro-sized video spy cameras, and hundreds of other billable items including training for Venezuelan intelligence officers at the defense contractor’s compound in Miami.
Julian Assange – July 9, 2008

Documents released today by Wikileaks reveal that a US defense contractor may have sold millions of dollars worth of telephone tapping and other surveillance equipment to the Venezuelan government of Hugo Chavez. The multi-million dollar quotation addressed to the Venezuelan Director General of Military Intelligence has been verified with military sources. The shipment includes bulk mobile telephone interceptors, satellite telephone interception stations, direction-finding trucks, micro-sized video spy cameras, and hundreds of other billable items including training for Venezuelan intelligence officers at the defense contractor’s compound in Miami.
Julian Assange – July 9, 2008

Documents released by Wikileaks reveal that Cuba and Venezuela signed a confidential contract in 2006 to lay an undersea fibre-optic cable that bypasses the United States. The cable is to be completed by 2010.
The contract between the two countries, which has been independently verified, adds weight to Cuban statements that the United States economic embargo of the island has forced it to rely on slow and expensive satellite links for Internet connectivity. Cuba is situated a mere 120 kilometers off the coast of Florida. The proposed 1,500 kilometer cable will connect Cuba, Jamaica, Haiti, and Trinidad to the rest of the world via Venezuela.
The contract parties state that given the diversity of foreign affairs, they wish to build a new international order, multi-polar, based in sustainability, equity, and the common good and that an international cable with maximum security protected by international organizations is crucial.
Julian Assange – July 16, 2008

“The legal basis for the war itself was, and still is, controversial. There is a military need, at least, at the outset of operations to reinforce the legal base for deployment by clear, unequivocal and timely direction and explanation.” So states a leaked UK military report into the Iraq war released by Wikileaks. The sensitive 108 page report, written in late 2006, damns UK and US war planning, which “ran counter to potential Geneva Convention obligations” — and lead directly to the post invasion collapse of Iraqi society:“leaders should not start an operation without thinking…it is not enough just to identify the desired end-state”.
Julian Assange – August 6, 2008

According to a classified UK travel briefing released by Wikileaks, Chinese intelligence activity has become “widespread” with a “voracious appetite for all kinds of information; political, military, commercial, scientific and technical” being fed by bugged hotel rooms and a “mass of ordinary students, businessmen and locally employed staff who are working on the orders of various parts of the State intelligence-gathering apparatus.”
Chinese espionage efforts, designed to clone Western technology have become more sophisticated: “The Chinese have realised that it is not productive to simply steal technology and then try to `reverse engineer it’. Through intelligence activity, they now attempt to acquire an in-depth understanding of production techniques and methodologies.”
Chinese agents are “expert flatterers and are well aware of the `softening’ effect of food and alcohol.”. Under the cover of consultation or lecturing, a visitor may be “given favors, advantageous economic conditions or commercial opportunities.” In return they will be expected to “give information or access to material.
Julian Assange – October 5, 2009

I speak to you today as a free man, because despite having been detained for 659 days without charge, I am free in the most basic and important sense. I am free to speak my mind.
This freedom exists because the nation of Ecuador has granted me political asylum and other nations have rallied to support its decision. And it is because of Article 19 of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights that WikiLeaks is able to “receive and impart information… through any media, and any medium and regardless of frontiers”. And it is because of Article 14.1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which enshrines the right to seek asylum from persecution, and the 1951 Refugee Convention and other conventions produced by the United Nations that I am able to be protected along with others from political persecution.
The US administration is trying to erect a national regime of secrecy. A national regime of obfuscation. A regime where any government employee revealing sensitive information to a media organization can be sentenced to death, life imprisonment or for espionage and journalists from a media organization with them.
We should not underestimate the scale of the investigation which has happened into WikiLeaks. I only wish I could say that Bradley Manning was the only victim of the situation. But the assault on WikiLeaks in relation to that matter and others has produced an investigation that Australian diplomats say is without precedent in its scale and nature.
For all Barack Obama’s fine words yesterday, and there were many of them, fine words, it is his administration that boasts on his campaign website of criminalizing more speech that all previous US presidents combined.
It must come as a surprise to the Egyptian teenagers who washed American teargas out of their eyes that the US administration supported change in Egypt.
It must come as a surprise to those who heard Hillary Clinton insist that Mubarak’s regime was “stable,” and when it was clear to everyone that it was not, that its hated intelligence chief, Sueilman, who we proved the US knew was a torturer, should take the realm.
It must come as a surprise to all those Egyptians who heard Vice President Joseph Biden declare that Hosni Mubarak was a democrat and that Julian Assange was a high tech terrorist.
It is disrespectful to the dead and incarcerated of the Bahrain uprising to claim that the United States “supported the forces of change.”
President Obama spoke out strongly in favor of the freedom of expression.
“Those in power,” he said, “have to resist the temptation to crack down on dissent.”
There are times for words and there are times for action. The time for words has run out.
It is time for the US to cease its persecution of WikiLeaks, to cease its persecution of our people, and to cease its persecution of our alleged sources. It is time for President Obama do the right thing, and join the forces of change, not in fine words but in fine deeds.
Julian Assange – Speech at the United Nations General Assembly – September, 27 2012

The Oxford English dictionary definition of corruption is “dishonest or fraudulent conduct by those in power, typically involving bribery”. We must keep these roots of corruption in our minds in order to see clearly. Corruption involves a knowing betrayal of stated purpose, typically for advantage at the expense of others. From this we can look at corruption in practice, and see that corruption runs all the way from corrupt ticket inspectors to corruption at the geopolitical level, where false claims are made by a state’s leadership in order to justify the invasion and destruction of another state. We’ve published a lot about corruption. Corruption hidden by secrecy and corruption hidden by complexity. According to Google, there are more than 1.5 million web pages on WikiLeaks’ corruption revelations. Cablegate revelations have been used in many court cases from the International Criminal Court (the ICC) to domestic appeals courts.
The most recent has been running since July and involves geopolitical corruption in which the UK government deported the entire native population of the Chagos Islands, turned it into a secret U.S. military base, Diego Garcia, and then conspired with the U.S. to falsely declare it a Marine park to prevent the native population from claiming a right of return.
Many types of corruption in the cables are covered up, under the “our son of a bitch” doctrine, where one type of corruption, institutional corruption, turns into another, geopolitical corruption.
In a September 2009 cable from Bishkek in Kyrgyzstan, the U.S. ambassador had lunch with Maxim Bakiyev, the son of President Bakiyev: “Bakiyev came across as very pro-U.S., well educated, and dedicated to the betterment of his country. Of course, we have information from many other sources suggesting that he is also very dedicated to his own advancement and corrupt financial interests.” The US title of that section of the cable? Smart, Corrupt, and a Good Ally to Have.
Julian Assange – Presentation to EU Parliament on corruption revealed in Cablegate – December 5, 2012

As I type these lines, on June 3, 2013, Private First Class Bradley Edward Manning is being tried in a sequestered room at Fort Meade, Maryland, for the alleged crime of telling the truth. The court martial of the most prominent political prisoner in modern US history has now, finally, begun.
It has been three years. Bradley Manning, then 22 years old, was arrested in Baghdad on May 26, 2010. He was shipped to Kuwait, placed into a cage, and kept in the sweltering heat of Camp Arifjan.
After protests from his lawyers, Bradley Manning was then transferred to a brig at a US Marine Corps Base in Quantico, VA, where – infamously – he was subjected to cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment at the hands of his captors – a formal finding by the UN. Isolated in a tiny cell for twenty-three out of twenty-four hours a day, he was deprived of his glasses, sleep, blankets and clothes, and prevented from exercising.
The United States was, in theory, a nation of laws. But it is no longer a nation of laws for Bradley Manning.
When the abuse of Bradley Manning became a scandal reaching all the way to the President of the United States and Hillary Clinton’s spokesman resigned to register his dissent over Mr. Manning’s treatment, Bradley Manning was transferred to another prison in Kansas.
He has waited in prison for three years for a trial – 986 days longer than the legal maximum – because for three years the prosecution has dragged its feet and obstructed the court, denied the defense access to evidence and abused official secrecy.
Bradley Manning may not give evidence as to his stated intent (exposing war crimes and their context), nor may he present any witness or document that shows that no harm resulted from his actions. Imagine you were put on trial for murder. In Bradley Manning’s court, you would be banned from showing that it was a matter of self-defence, because any argument or evidence as to intent is banned. You would not be able to show that the ‘victim’ is, in fact, still alive, because that would be evidence as to the lack of harm.
Bradley Manning’s conviction is already written into the script. The commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces, Barack Obama, spoiled the plot for all of us when he pronounced Bradley Manning guilty two years ago. “He broke the law,” President Obama stated, when asked on camera at a fundraiser about his position on Mr. Manning. In a civilized society, such a prejudicial statement alone would have resulted in a mistrial.
In the end it is not Bradley Manning who is on trial. His trial ended long ago. The defendent now, and for the next 12 weeks, is the United States. A runaway military, whose misdeeds have been laid bare, and a secretive government at war with the public.
Julian Assange – Statement on the First Day of Manning Trial – June 3, 2013

In these following days, before and during the Appeal of 27 and 28 October at the High Court in London, Julian needs all of our support.
The big media corporations are outrageously ignoring the gravity of all this, but you can inform yourself, listen, read, ask, share.
Telling the world his Injustice is the only Justice he has left with.

Cover photo: Snapperjack – Julian Assange outside the Ecuadorian Embassy – released under Creative Commons BY-SA 2.0 license.

One response to “‘People have an instinct for Justice’ – Julian Assange is still speaking out!”

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