I don’t know ’bout you, but I’m not really sleeping. Restless and upset about this Assange railroading. Call me old fashioned, I still believe in freedom, autonomy, sovereignty, legit democracy, free speech, and a free press-and REAL ROCKNROLL. I don’t know if you know, or noticed, or can even bring yourself to believe it, but since the perverse Citizen United shady supreme court ruling that made it legal for corporations to outright, straightup just buy politicians saying bribery money is free speech, the bad guy billionaires have bought up all the institutions and media and regulatory agencies and social safety nets that were supposed to protect us and weaponzized ’em against us. Even misusing the traditional lexicon of real people’s movements, hijacking that shit for profit. CIA people posing as journalists. Journalists kidnapped and killed. The whole shebang is fucked up and we are ruled by shadow tyrants we never really voted for. Stiv sang, “they take their pills and they never question why”. Today’s red carpet rockstars help The Man gaslight the people when they actively promote creepy elite abusive reset agendas, and act as propagandists brazenly promoting bullshit wars, police state spying, journalists in torture gulags, and official narratives, alla showbiz has been weaponized. If you want a job in the fields of media or entertainment now, you gotta be on board with the one world government sleaze-police. All the comedians, whistleblowers, truth tellers, even medical professionals and intelligence experts who deviate at all from strict top down narrative control are being relentlessly censored, deplatformed, smeared and demonetized. In the words of Lee Camp who’s been kicked off multiple platforms for his anti imperialist views, and advocating for Assange, “This is the most disgusting morally bankrupt decision in recent years. The UK Home Secretary just now signed off on extraditing Julian Assange to the US to be tortured for the rest of his life for the crime of journalism.” Never forget the champagne swilling fake punks and soldout cowardly politicians who never fought for Julian Assange. THANKS to Vivien Westwood, Banksy, Pamela Anderson and Susan Sarandon for championing a genuine free press that holds the powerful to account.
Here’s a cool cat who never gets enough credit, the good brother BOOTSEY. He was a “Pusherman Of Love”. It’s funny ya know I met that dude through a weird series of events like twenty some years ago and did not “get” him at first. I remember looking at like, his low budget artwork and hearing all his machinegun speed raps and faster than light velocity and kung fu moves and James Brown kneedrops and elaborate high five handshakes and shit, and it took me awhile for it to set in, what a righteous rocknroll motherfucker he was. One of a kind. He’d drummed for a famous Detroit punk band called The Mutants and lobbied actively for the drumstool in one of my shortlived garage gangs, offered to put me and my old lady up when we were homeless. His apartment burntdown back in the day with all the rare records and shit and I told Brother Wayne and him n Margaret sent Bootsy a check to help out-how cool and right the fuck is that? Man, so yeah. If you like crazy goodtimes Motor City Motorbooty Motherfuckery, here’s some BOOTSY X & THE LOVEMASTERS for ya. I miss the brother, he was good people. (RIP)
Also really missing the midwestern legend “Cowboy” BOBBY CLOYD who played in summa my smalltown post punk and new wave bands back in the 80’s.
“Juneteenth’s only value is if it becomes a day of serious study and political education. That process can start with learning why “Jim Crow Joe” Biden received 90% of the Black vote or why the 2020 rebellions after George Floyd’s murder created a need for the state to placate Black people, if only symbolically. The Civil War is a perfect starting point for this practice. If there is a day off it should be used wisely and well. In the future, all people’s holidays should stay that way. Perhaps they should be kept secret so that commemorations aren’t used to give legitimacy to bad actors. It is too late for Juneteenth, but the hard lesson can be the beginning of something far more valuable.”
(-Margaret Kimberley) “Hard to express how much better US political discourse — and policy — would be if the left had an actual anti-establishment dissident-leader like
@JLMelenchon. But alas, it only has Dem Party loyalists like Bernie and AOC who play-act, then faithfully snap into line.” (-Glenn Greenwald)
“Even though I have some issues with Melenchon, this is a left position. Unlike the pro-U.S. imperialist collaborators & left opportunists we have in the U.S. You know, the ones who believed Russiagate, condemned Assange & get misty eyed when they hear Zelensky.” (-Ajamu Baraka)
“Venezuelan fake president Juan Guaido was attacked the other day, having his clothes ripped off. Only the US could create & continue to support such a clown. Only the US has the hubris to think we can announce a random hack as the president of another country.” (-Lee Camp)
“What a coward Anthony Albanese is. Julian #Assange‘s approved extradition has stirred not a peep from the new PM of Julian’s homeland, where Labor’s doe-eyed believe ‘Albo’ is different in Washington-sucking Canberra. No, he’s not. The killing of #Assange is our final surrender.” (-John Pilger)
“So Marjorie Taylor Greene is standing up for Julian Assange and press freedom while
and the squad remain silent. If this doesn’t wake you up to how phony and fake these so-called progressives are then nothing will. #FraudSquad” (-Ryan Knight)
“If I’m Prime Minister on Monday, Julian will be naturalized a French citizen and we will ask for him to be sent to us. Mr. Assange should be decorated for his services to the French people.” (- Jean-Luc Mélenchon, leader of France’s left coalition NUPES)
“Compare this statement to the complete and absolute silence from
on Julian Assange. This is what a proper, outspoken left sounds like, not that garbage they give you from the Democratic party.” (-Richard Medhurst)
FREE ASSANGE! RESIST THE HONKY DEATH MACHINE! FIGHT THE POWER!
Man, the empire could care less about freedom, democracy, human rights, the emperor is naked and none of the people I grew up with can even like THINK anymore, they just do and say whatever the tv tells them to, it’s REALLY “Twilight Zone”. They never even freed Leonard Peltier, and it seems these insanely sociopathic ruling class evil oligarchs are hellbent on crucifying Assange, it is sickening to me, that people are still insisting they live in any kind of democracy, when obviously, everything is being done now exclusively to benefit weaponmaker profits, Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos, Harari and Schwab’s preferences, they own the media, the government, the regulatory agencies, the whole system is corrupt. It’s all a sham, man. The UK media even convinced the public that Corbyn was racist, same way Snaky Liz Warren smeared Sanders as a sexist. Now I don’t think Corbyn is racist and I think Bernie’s a sellout, not a sexist, but tv is a powerful drug, man, it just baffles the sheep into a helpless hypnospell. Black Rock and Vanguard are these obscene monopolies, buying up everything. EVERYTHING. Most people I know have never heard of either company. Like George Carlin said, THE OWNERS want to keep us stupid and have spent the past 25 years dumbing us down. I told myself and my imaginary constituents I was gonna step away from online content generating for awhile, but man, I’m so upset about poor saintly JULIAN ASSANGE, it affects my whole mood. I have to fight for whistleblowers while there is a breath left in my body. I think everybody with any kind of platform should do at least one thing for Assange everyday. He’s sacrificed everything for US Dumb motherfuckers who are fed a nonstop stream of pro war and police state propaganda, because they still impulsively watch legacy media, think they can be LEFTIST and not support ASSANGE, because their soldout, cowardly centrist shitlib politicians refuse to fight for him, and the tv people have slandered him so mercilessly. Hillary said she wanted to drone him-she said that IN PUBLIC and people I know are still peachy keen on her. Not me, man. I’m seeing people on THE RIGHT stepping up to defend ASSANGE, but not your pants suit mimosa brunching heroines of the squad, or fakeass, Biden endorsing, Sanders. BATSHIT! THAT IS BATSHIT! People I used to know are STILL making excuses for BIDEN and blaming TRUMP for everything fuckedup BIDEN does. Sheer madness! Lyn Cheney is a diabolical fascist, she is not your friend-her family privatized endless war by hiring all those proxy armies to topple other people’s governments, they built torture gulags and spy on your phonecalls and grope your granny in the airports but mf’s still think she is their special friend cause Trump said sexist shit to Billy Bush. No shitlibs stopped to ask themselves, why are BUSH relatives embedded in the legacy media. This country is hopeless. One of my activist comrades who was a powerful advocate for houseless people in the Pacific Northwest moved to FRANCE and says Murkkkans would SHIT themselves if they found out how much groovier and free it is there. I hope the Klaus Schwab puppet Macron loses his election, but fear the globalists in charge of the voting software will have it fixed. Nobody in my country besides the banking elites, military industrial complex and big pharma ever wanted Biden, and I’ll never believe he beat Bernie on Super Tuesday in Michigan, but here he is, the “nothing will change” guy, sniffing your daughter’s hair, playing chicken with nukes and allowing corporations to hammer us everyday people senseless with their ruthless price gouging under cover of Covid and their fucking played out “Russiagate!” narratives and Capitol Hill bullshit. Sanders tax the rich platform filled stadiums but he tragically got in line when the higher ups told him to. Won’t even stand up for Assange. PATHETIC! SAD! FRIGHTENING, really. I guess he really was just a sheepdog for the DNC, looks like it’s up to you and me, now.
Debunking All The Assange Smears – Caitlin Johnstone
FACE IT DEBBIE HARRY
I just finished Debbie Harry‘s autobiography that I got for Father’s Day and man it is so good-what a life she had! Did acid with Alan Watts and Timothy Leary. Living on Saint Mark’s Place in the sixties, going to the Dom to see the Velvets, hangin’ out with the Dolls, friends with Basquiat and Burroughs, muse of Warhol, brushing with Ali and Dahli, she waited on Miles at Max’s! Acted in “HAIRSPRAY”, John Waters best movie! Made her own clothes, lived by her own rules, did drugs, had sex, explored every kind of underground culture, helped invent punk rock and new wave. Took Duran on tour. Sacrificed her career to care for her loved one, something that she shrugs off as no big deal, just because she is a thoroughly decent and sincere, loving human being in a time when most people only give a fuck about their own money, property, fame or prestige. She basically did everything they torture and punish people for in the flyover states-she was a true trailblazing, hell raising, punk bohemian from way back! I love her! BLONDIE are still so great! Clem is probably my fave drummer. She’s so groovy, such a dream. Overcame all kinds of harrowing horrors and horrific experiences, and still shines bright from the inside out. Chris Stein did some production work for legendary Canadian rock star, Chris Barry from 39 Steps. None of these awful fucking McDonna mockingbird media mk ultra beta kitten techno hookers forced on us against our will nowadays can even hold a candle to her, man. She’s like 76 or something and she is still utterly fucking ATOMIC!
FLESH FOR LULU
It’s crazy listening to all the old music in these dark times cause even eighties bands we considered poppy lightweight fluff back in the day had so much better content than the toxic phony bullshit they hurl towards us nowadays. Can you imagine a rock group saying this kinda stuff getting ANY airplay now? Forget about it!
Me n Nick were Myspace pals and correspondents for years when I’d become primary caregiver of my two middle children and brought my older teenager into the house, but was still trying to get a little record deal on an indie label, and he even offered to let my tiny little, nobody band open for some dates when he and Rocco had scheduled like I dunno-a dozen reunion shows here in the states. A former bandmate put the ixnay on the opportunity, cause he was in several other bands already and kinda just probably spread himself too thin, already, which was always very sad to me cause I always looked up to Nick and Rocco, and had been a devoted fan of theirs from a young age. He’s another one of those blinding bright comets that you just always wish was still here with us “in the flesh”. I keep his wife and daughters in my prayers. We miss ya, Nick. I encouraged him to blow the cobwebs offa this old deep track and he brought it outta mothballs and started playing it again. (RIP) NICK
KARL ROVE BRAGGED ABOUT IT BACK IN THE 9/11 ERA-HOW THEY ARE AN EMPIRE NOW AND CAN ENFORCE ANY FALSE REALITY THEY WANT….
In October 2004, journalist Ron Suskind wrote a first-person article for The New York Times about the presidency of 43rd U.S. President George W. Bush, in which he included a grandiose quote from someone described only as a “senior adviser to Bush.”
Many have assumed the comment was made by Bush political adviser Karl Rove, though there isn’t any publicly available evidence to that effect. Here is what Suskind wrote:
The aide said that guys like me were “in what we call the reality-based community,” which he defined as people who “believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality.” I nodded and murmured something about enlightenment principles and empiricism. He cut me off. “That’s not the way the world really works anymore,” he continued. “We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you’re studying that reality — judiciously, as you will — we’ll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that’s how things will sort out. We’re history’s actors . . . and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.”
“On this day, it is worth remembering that corporate media outlets played a key role in condemning Julian Assange to his fate.” (-Alan MacLeod)
Media Cheer Assange’s Arrest – FAIR
Survey on Censorship of Spike Lee – Architects & Engineers for 911 Truth (ae911truth.org)
“Democrats spent years blaming their 2016 loss on Jill Stein and Susan Sarandon and then the second they got back in power they made their slogan “Vote for us because we’ll make everything more expensive and do absolutely nothing to help you.” (-Caitlin Johnstone)
WIKILEAKS BREAKING: UK Home Secretary approves extradition of WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange to the US where he would face a 175 year sentence – A dark day for Press freedom and for British democracy The decision will be appealed.
“Hard to believe, but it looks real. Every serious press freedom group in the world has protested this. It is an appalling symbol of how far the British and American governments’ commitment to human rights has declined. How can we condemn authoritarian abuses abroad like this?” (-Edward Snowden)
“Home Secretary Priti Patel has approved the extradition of Julian #Assange to an American hellhole. A new appeal will now challenge the political rottenness of British ‘justice’. Either we raise our voices as never before, or our silence colludes in the death of an heroic man.” (-John Pilger)
“NYC is one of the most expensive places to live on earth. The median rent has risen to $4000 in Manhattan. Homeless services and the education budget was slashed by over $200 million. Meanwhile, NYPD gets over 10.4 billion and Eric Adams is wondering why there’s crime.” (-Olayemi Olurin)
“Assange revealed United States war crimes so he went to prison and not the war criminals.” (-Black In The Empire)
“We’re going to fight this… I’m going to spend every waking hour fighting for Julian until he is free, until justice is served” (-Julian Assange’s wife responding to decision to approve his extradition to the US for publishing, where he faces a 175 year sentence)
“Julian Assange’s case is so important because we’ve lost journalism. We’ve lost the ability now to find the truth.”—
“Extraditing a foreign journalist for exposing your war crimes is as tyrannical an agenda as you could possibly come up with. The US, UK and Australia colluding toward this end shows us that these are member states of a single empire. Assange keeps exposing the true face of power.” (-Caitlyn Johnstone)
“Increases for the pentagon, increases for the domestic army known as the police. It is quite clear that the capitalist rulers are going to fight to the last working class & colonized person to maintain white Western colonial/capitalist dominance.” (-Ajamu Baraka)
“The Home Secretary’s decision to allow Julian Assange’s extradition to the US is utterly wrong and marks a very dark day for press freedom and the justice system. We will continue the fight to free Julian Assange.”
“(It) has really been a war waged via technologies and their masters to dissolve human culture and disempower human beings. It is a war on free thought and free speech — a war against our most fundamental beliefs.” (- Dr Naomi Wolf)
“We know one of the reasons the U.S. backed a coup in Haiti is because they were thinking of raising the minimum wage. And of course, multinational corporations could not have that.” WATCH
call out the U.S.’s crimes against Latin America: https://youtu.be/dCAllpgJeR4
Man, I remember the suckshit nineties when it all started going downhill, ya know for a few years, big record labels just signed so much horrible shit, post Nirvana, I really do feel like they were trying to assassinate real rocknroll systemically. In all the even medium sized cities, all these franchise clone tribute acts killed any kind of genuine music scenes with their high school social jockeying richkid reindeer games and sadly derivative, second hand, trust fund garbage-rawk. One band from that time that was writing standout, standup, REAL HEARTFELT POP music, the likes of which we never seem to hear anymore were Material Issue, who were too good for this world. Of course their genius singer songwriter, JIM ELLISON killed himself over a loveless chick. (RIP)
They don’t write ’em like this no more:
THEY WROTE FROM THE HEART!
My ace best pals and me used to follow CIRCUS OF POWER around as kids, I mean we’d drive fifteen hours to see ’em, no sweat, just loved their music and whole vibe really. They were like our Doors or Stones. They were all really nice to us, too, which was thrilling, cause at least a couple of us were much hated Edward Scissorhands outcasts in the hick town where we grew up. Meant a lot when some cool older rocknroll dudes kinda went outta their way to talk to us and ask us sensitive questions and let us drink backstage with ’em. Then they stroll out on stage and tear the damn place down. FREAK SOCIETY! Now Gary writes songs like a cross between Tom Petty and Paul Westerberg, lives in the midwest, plays intimate gigs at pizza places and bars, sometimes accompanied by his teenage daughter who sings. He guest starred on a recent CIRCUS OF POWER tune called “Magic Gator Boogie”. Ryan sadly passed away, Ricky is still in L.A., I think he sells guitars. No idea whatever happened to Zowie, but if you do, hit me up. You can find Gary on Facebook.
Assange Is Doing His Most Important Work Yet – Caitlin Johnstone
Met Police Invokes “National Security” about Epstein Meeting with US Senators in the UK (unlimitedhangout.com)
They got some comedian insisting cancel culture is relative but some voices are not even allowed near a microphone anymore because they contradict official narratives and that freak out the control crazy neocon deep state establishment. Like Hersh, who said the whole official Bin Ladin story was just fake ass fictitious boogeyman bullshit. Pulitzer prize winning old school journalist Seymour Hersh is shadow banned by big 5 corporations media. But your shitlib friends only watch tv and only care about official television narratives.
Training Terrorists in Nevada: Seymour Hersh on U.S. Aid to Iranian Group Tied to Scientist Killings | Democracy Now!
Our Men in Iran? | The New Yorker
It is perfectly obvious by now, to anyone who cares to look, that mainstream media in America and the other Western powers are not reporting the Ukraine crisis accurately.
Let me try that another way: The government-supervised New York Times and the rest of the corporate-owned media on both sides of the Atlantic lie routinely to their readers and viewers as to why Russia intervened in Ukraine, the progress of its military operation, the conduct of Ukrainian forces, and America’s role in purposely provoking and prolonging this crisis.
So far as I know, this is the first war in modern history with no objective, principled coverage in mainstream media of day-to-day events and their context. None. It is morn-to-night propaganda, disinformation and lies of omission — most of it fashioned by the Nazi-infested Zelensky regime in Kiev and repeated uncritically as fact.
There is one thing worse than this degenerate state of affairs. It is the extent to which the media’s malpractice is perfectly fine to most Americans. Tell us what to think and believe no matter if it is true, they say, and we will think and believe it. Show us some pictures, for images are all.
There are larger implications to consider here. Critical as it is that we understand this conflict, Ukraine is a mirror in which we see ourselves as we have become. For more Americans than I wish were so, reality forms only in images. These Americans are no longer occupants of their own lives. Risking a paradox, what they take to be reality is detached from reality.
This majority — and it is almost certainly a majority — has no thoughts or views except those first verified through the machinery of manufactured images and “facts.” Television screens, the pages of purportedly authoritative newspapers, the air waves of government-funded radio stations — NPR, the BBC — serve to certify realities that do not have to be real, truths that do not have to be true.
This leaves us in a sad and very parlous place.
Sad: Is there some state more pitiful than having no genuine connection to one’s own thoughts, perceptions, experience—altogether to one’s life? If Americans are not a profoundly sad people behind all the smiles we see in advertising, idiotic comedy shows, and on Facebook, then I must be missing something.
Parlous: Over the course of some decades — from the mid–Cold War years, I would say — Americans have been rendered highly vulnerable to the manipulations of those who control the images through which most people have come to live. Anyone who has read a history of the 20th century knows where this can lead.
The five weeks that have passed since the Russian intervention on Feb. 24 have been shocking on both these counts. The derelictions of the press and broadcasters are without precedent in my lifetime, and with Vietnam, the Iraq War, and the covert operation in Syria among the wreckage in the rearview mirror, this is saying something.
I will let the American public’s enthusiasm for the sinkhole that is Ukraine, the Azov Battalion, and the ridiculous posturing of President Volodymyr Zelensky, the comedian who is no longer funny, speak for itself.
(-Patrick Lawrence; PATRICK LAWRENCE: The US Bubble of Pretend – Consortium News)
JUKEBOX JURY’S IN DELIBERATION
I dunno how I feel about these guys really, it’s mixed cause obviously they can PLAY and I get why Dweezil Zappa and the Van Halen News Desk love ’em, they share some of the same influences and style as me and my teenage cohorts, but what is it? I can’t quite put my finger on it, just for me, it feels like something’s missing, just hard not to smile when I hear these guys singing about the real nitty gritty with all their slickness and fancy shit. But def. worth mentioning.
The eleven-year persecution of Julian Assangewas extended and escalated on Friday morning.The British Home Secretary, Priti Patel, approved the U.S.’s extradition request to send Julian Assange to Virginia to stand trial on eighteen felony charges under the 1917 Espionage Act and other statutes in connection with the 2010 publication by WikiLeaks of thousands of documents showing widespread corruption, deceit, and war crimes by American and British authorities along with their close dictatorial allies in the Middle East.
This decision is unsurprising — it has been obvious for years that the U.S. and UK are determined to destroy Assange as punishment for his journalism exposing their crimes — yet it nonetheless further highlights the utter sham of American and British sermons about freedom, democracy and a free press. Those performative self-glorifying spectacles are constantly deployed to justify these two countries’ interference in and attacks on other nations, and to allow their citizens to feel a sense of superiority about the nature of their governments. After all, if the U.S. and UK stand for freedom and against tyranny, who could possibly oppose their wars and interventions in the name of advancing such lofty goals and noble values?
Having reported on the Assange case for years, on countless occasions I’ve laid out the detailed background that led Assange and the U.S. to this point. There is thus no need to recount all of that again; those interested can read the granular trajectory of this persecution here or here. Suffice to say, Assange — without having been convicted of any crime other than bail jumping, for which he long ago served out his fifty-week sentence — has been in effective imprisonment for more than a decade.
In 2012, Ecuador granted Assange legal asylum from political persecution. It did so after the Swedish government refused to pledge that it would not exploit the WikiLeaks founder’s travel to Sweden to answer sex assault accusations as a pretext to turn him over to the U.S. Fearing what of course ended up happening — that the U.S. was determined to do everything possible to drag Assange back to U.S. soil despite his not being a U.S. citizen and never having spent more than a few days on U.S. soil, and intending to pressure their long-time-submissive Swedish allies to turn him over once he was on Swedish soil — the government of Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa concluded Assange’s core civic rights were being denied and thus gave him refuge in the tiny Ecuadorian Embassy in London: the classic reason political asylum exists.
When Trump officials led by CIA Director Mike Pompeo bullied Correa’s meek successor, ex-President Lenin Moreno, to withdraw that asylum in 2019, the London Police entered the embassy, arrested Assange, and put him in the high-security Belmarsh prison (which the BBC in 2004 dubbed “the British Guantanamo”), where he has remained ever since.
After the lowest-level British court in early 2021 rejected the U.S. extradition request on the ground that Assange’s physical and mental health could not endure the U.S. prison system, Assange has lost every subsequent appeal. Last year, he was permitted to marry his long-time girlfriend, the British human rights lawyer Stella Morris Assange, who is also the mother of their two young children. An extremely unusual unanimity among press freedom and civil liberties groups was formed in early 2021 to urge the Biden administration to cease its prosecution of Assange, but Biden officials — despite spending the Trump years masquerading as press freedom advocates — ignored them (an interview conducted last week with Stella Assange by my husband, the Brazilian Congressman David Miranda, on Brazil’s Press Freedom Day, regarding the latest developments and toll this has taken on the Assange family, can be seen here).
The Home Secretary’s decision this morning — characteristically subservient and obedient of the British when it comes to the demands of the U.S. — does not mean that Assange’s presence on U.S. soil is imminent. Under British law, Assange has the right to pursue a series of appeals contesting the Home Secretary’s decision, and will likely do so. Given that the British judiciary has more or less announced in advance their determination to follow the orders of their American masters, it is difficult to see how these further proceedings will have any effect other than to delay the inevitable.
But putting oneself in Assange’s position, it is easy to see why he is so eager to avoid extradition to the U.S. for as long as possible. The Espionage Act of 1917 is a nasty and repressive piece of legislation. It was designed by Woodrow Wilson and his band of authoritarian progressives to criminalize dissent against Wilson’s decision to involve the U.S. in World War I. It was used primarily to imprison anti-war leftists such as Eugene Debs, as well as anti-war religious leaders such as Joseph Franklin Rutherford for the crime of publishing a book condemning Wilson’s foreign policy.
One of the most insidious despotic innovations of the Obama administration was to repurpose and revitalize the Wilson-era Espionage Act as an all-purpose weapon to punish whistleblowers who denounced Obama’s policies. The Obama Justice Department under Attorney General Eric Holder prosecuted more whistleblowers under the Espionage Act of 1917 than all previous administrations combined — in fact, three times as many as all prior presidents combined. One whistleblower charged by Obama officials under that law is NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, who in 2013 revealed mass domestic spying of precisely the kind that Obama’s Director of National Intelligence James Clapper (now of CNN) falsely denied conducting when testifying to the Senate, which led to legislative curbs enacted by the U.S. Congress, and which courts have ruled unconstitutional and illegal.
What makes this law so insidious is that, by design, it is almost impossible for the government to lose. As I detailed in a Washington Post op-ed when the indictment was first revealed — arguing why it poses the greatest threat to press freedoms in the West in years — this 1917 law is written as a “strict liability” statute, meaning that the defendant is not only guilty as soon as there is proof that they disclosed classified information without authorization, but they are also barred from raising a “justification” defense — meaning they cannot argue to the jury of their peers that it was not only permissible but morally necessary to disclose that information because of the serious wrongdoing and criminality it revealed on the part of the nation’s most powerful political officials. That 1917 law, in other words, is written to offer only show trials but not fair trials. No person in their right mind would willingly submit to prosecution and life imprisonment in the harshest American penitentiaries under an indictment brought under this fundamentally corrupted law.
Whatever else one might think of Assange, there is simply no question that he is one of the most consequential, pioneering, and accomplished journalists of his time. One could easily make the case that he occupies the top spot by himself. And that, of course, is precisely why he is in prison: because, just like free speech, “free press” guarantees in the U.S. and UK exist only on a piece of parchment and in theory. Citizens are free to do “journalism” as long as it does not disturb or anger or impede real power centers. Employees of The Washington Post and CNN are “free” to say what they want as long as what they are saying is approved and directed by the CIA or the content of their “reporting” advances the interests of the Pentagon’s sprawling war machine.
Real journalists often face threats of prosecution, imprisonment or even murder, and sometimes even mean tweets. Much of the American corporate media class has ignored Assange’s persecution or even cheered it precisely because he shames them, serving as a vivid mirror to show them what real journalism is and how they are completely bereft of it. And the American and British governments have successfully exploited the petty jealousies and insecurities of their failed, vapid and pointless media servants to get away with imposing the single greatest threat to press freedom in the West without much protest at all.
Free speech and press freedoms do not exist in reality in the U.S. or the UK. They are merely rhetorical instruments to propagandize their domestic population and justify and ennoble the various wars and other forms of subversion they constantly wage in other countries in the name of upholding values they themselves do not support. The Julian Assange persecution is a great personal tragedy, a political travesty and a grave danger to basic civic freedoms. But it is also a bright and enduring monument to the fraud and deceit that lies at the heart of these two governments’ depictions of who and what they are. (-GLENN GREENWALD)