“Wiki-Gate”: Julian Assange was framed by the people who supported him

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“Wiki-Gate”: Julian Assange was framed by the people who supported him


“Wiki-Gate”: Julian Assange was framed by the people who supported him

 By Prof Michel Chossudovsky

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Author’s Note and Update

We must act decisively in support and in solidarity with Julian Assange. 

In this regard, we must understand the history: On how Assange was betrayed and misled by those who allegedly supported him. 

In October 2021, the U.S. government began a legal challenge to extradite Julian Assange from the U.K. “to face charges of violating the Espionage Act”.

The U.K.  Supreme Court turned down Assange’s appeal to “prevent his extradition to the United States”.

On April 20, 2022, a U.K magistrates court formally approved the extradition of Julian Assange to the US “on espionage charges”.

According to Paul C. Roberts: 

The most extraordinary thing about Julian Assange is that he is being treated as if he were an American citizen. “Treason” was the original cry, now converted to “espionage.”

There was no espionage. Wikileaks published, and made available to the New York Times, The Guardian, and other media organizations leaked information. The media organizations published the information, just as did Wikileaks, but they are not charged.”

In recent developments,

…  it will be revealed whether Julian Assange’s appeal in the British courts against being extradited to the US succeeds or not during a two-day hearing, which is scheduled to take place in London on Tuesday and Wednesday [February 20, 21, 2024], The Guardian reported.

In a meeting organized by the Foreign Press Association, his wife, Stella, warned that he could be put on a plane to the US within days if the appeal fails, fearing his death if he is extradited. This is the final chance for Assange to challenge then-former Home Secretary Priti Patel’s decision in June 2022 for an extradition.” (Al Mayadeen)

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) have confirmed that “the prosecution of Assange represents a global threat to media freedom.”

“The ongoing prosecution of Julian Assange jeopardizes media freedom everywhere in the world,” the IFJ and EFJ said in a joint statement.

 

Video 

Julian Assange’s Relation with the Mainstream Media

Julian Assange was initially lauded and supported by the mainstream media. In 2008  The Economist, which is partly owned by the Rothschild family granted Assange The New Media Award.  

Was this a genuine endorsement of  Assange’s commitment to “freedom of the press”? Or was it a public relations ploy? 

Assange was  framed by those who supported him:

The Guardian, The New York Times, The Economist, Vaughan Smith, George Soros, the Rothschilds, the Council on Foreign Relations, et al.

Assange has been accused by the same corporate media which praised his achievements.

In retrospect, it was a carefully planned operation. The Wiki “Leaks” were selectively “overseen”.  

Here are details regarding some of the key players :

Henry Vaughan Lockhart Smith

Vaughn Smith is a former British Grenadier Guards captain came to his rescue.  Assange was provided refuge at his house in Norfolk. They had a close friendship. 

Vaughn Lockhart Smith was the founder of the London based Frontline Club (which is supported by George Soros’ Open Society Institute).

In 2010, the Frontline Club served as the de facto U.K “headquarters” for Julian Assange. 

Vaughan Smith is not an “independent journalist”, He actively collaborated with NATO, as an embedded reporter and cameraman in several US-NATO war theaters including Iraq, Afghanistan, Bosnia, Chechnya, and Kosovo 

 In 1998 –prior to the onslaught of NATO’s war on Yugoslavia– he worked as a video journalist in Kosovo in a production entitled The Valley, which consisted in “documenting” alleged Serbian atrocities against Kosovar Albanians on behalf of US-NATO which invaded Yugoslavia on March 24, 1999. 

The video production was carried out with the support of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), whose leader Hashim Thaci became president of Kosovo. In 1998, Thaci was on the Interpol list. Twenty-two years later, Thaci was indicted by the ICTY Hague Tribunal for crimes against humanity including “murder, enforced disappearances, persecution and torture”.

David E. Sanger, New York Times

The New York Times was complicit: David E Sanger, Chief Washington correspondent of the NYT was involved in the redacting of Wikileaks in consultation with the US State Department:

“[W]e went through [the cables] so carefully to try to redact material that we thought could be damaging to individuals or undercut ongoing operations. And we even took the very unusual step of showing the 100 cables or so that we were writing from to the U.S. government and asking them if they had additional redactions to suggest.” (See PBS Interview; The Redacting and Selection of Wikileaks documents by the Corporate Media, PBS interview on “Fresh Air” with Terry Gross: December 8, 2010, emphasis added).

David  E. Sanger is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR)  and the Aspen Group. The NYT also has links with  U.S. intelligence.

It is worth noting that several American journalists, members of the Council on Foreign Relations had interviewed Wikileaks, including Time Magazine’s Richard Stengel (November 30, 2010) and The New Yorker’s Raffi Khatchadurian. (WikiLeaks and Julian Paul Assange : The New Yorker, June 11, 2007)

The Insidious Role of the U.S. State Department 

In a February 20, 2024 report: 

“The United States’ bid to prosecute Julian Assange is “state retaliation”, the High Court has heard in his final bid to escape extradition.

The Wikileaks founder faces extradition to the US over an alleged conspiracy to obtain and disclose national defence information following the publication of hundreds of thousands of leaked documents relating to the Afghanistan and Iraq wars.

In a January 2021 ruling, then-district judge Vanessa Baraitser said that Assange should not be sent to the US, citing a real and “oppressive” risk of suicide, while ruling against him on all other issues.”

The New York Times redaction of classified material was carried out in close consultation with the U.S. State Department (See David Sanger’s statement above).

It’s a bombshell: The State Department was collaborating with the NYT in facilitating the release of classified documents. This in itself raises  legal issues.

In a February 21, 2024 report: 

“The United States’ bid to prosecute Julian Assange is “state retaliation”, the High Court has heard in his final bid to escape extradition.

The Wikileaks founder faces extradition to the US over an alleged conspiracy to obtain and disclose national defence information following the publication of hundreds of thousands of leaked documents relating to the Afghanistan and Iraq wars.

In a January 2021 ruling, then-district judge Vanessa Baraitser said that Assange should not be sent to the US, citing a real and “oppressive” risk of suicide, while ruling against him on all other issues.”

From a legal standpoint, it is not “State Retaliation”, quite the opposite, it’s “State Collusion”:

The U.S. State Department is on record: It provided a green light to the NYT for the release of redacted classified documents.

And now the US government is intent on extraditing Julian Assange from the U.K. “to face charges of violating the Espionage Act”.

Is there not a conflict of interest somewhere? From a legal standpoint, the U.S. State Department is in violation of the Espionage Act. 

The Open Letter by the NYT, Guardian, Der Spiegel, Le Monde, El Pais 

The five major news media which were instrumental in the release and “redacting” of the WikiLeaks   documents issued in 2019 a somewhat contradictory joint statement (Open letter) requesting the release of Julian Assange.

They accuse Assange for releasing classified documents on corruption and US government fraud, while acknowledging their role in releasing redacted texts of classified documents. Are they not also in violation of the Espionage Act.

Below is the text of the letter.

An open letter from editors and publishers: Publishing is not a Crime

Twelve years ago, on 28 November 2010, our five international media outlets – The New York Times, the Guardian, Le Monde, El País and DER SPIEGEL – published a series of revelations in cooperation with Wikileaks that made the headlines around the globe.

“Cable gate”, a set of 251,000 confidential cables from the US State Department disclosed corruption, diplomatic scandals and spy affairs on an international scale.

In the words of The New York Times, the documents told “the unvarnished story of how the government makes its biggest decisions, the decisions that cost the country most heavily in lives and money”. Even now in 2022, journalists and historians continue to publish new revelations, using the unique trove of documents.

For Julian Assange, publisher of Wikileaks, the publication of “Cable gate” and several other related leaks had the most severe consequences. On 11 April 2019, Assange was arrested in London on a US arrest warrant, and has now been held for three and a half years in a high security British prison usually used for terrorists and members of organised crime groups. He faces extradition to the US and a sentence of up to 175 years in an American maximum security prison.

This group of editors and publishers, all of whom had worked with Assange, felt the need to publicly criticise his conduct in 2011 when unredacted copies of the cables were released, and some of us are concerned about the allegations in the indictment that he attempted to aid in computer intrusion of a classified database. But we come together now to express our grave concerns about the continued prosecution of Julian Assange for obtaining and publishing classified materials.

The Obama-Biden Administration, in office during the Wikileaks publication in 2010, refrained from indicting Assange, explaining that they would have had to indict journalists from major news outlets too. Their position placed a premium on press freedom, despite its uncomfortable consequences. Under Donald Trump however, the position changed. The DOJ relied on an old law, the Espionage Act of 1917 (designed to prosecute potential spies during World War 1), which has never been used to prosecute a publisher or broadcaster.

This indictment sets a dangerous precedent, and threatens to undermine America’s First Amendment and the freedom of the press.

Holding governments accountable is part of the core mission of a free press in a democracy.

Obtaining and disclosing sensitive information when necessary in the public interest is a core part of the daily work of journalists. If that work is criminalised, our public discourse and our democracies are made significantly weaker.

Twelve years after the publication of “Cable gate”, it is time for the U.S. government to end its prosecution of Julian Assange for publishing secrets.

Publishing is not a crime.

The editors and publishers of: 

The Guardian, The New York Times, Le Monde, DER SPIEGEL, El País

Who are the criminals?

Those who leak secret  government documents which provide irrefutable evidence of extensive crimes against humanity or the politicians in high office who order the killings and atrocities?

What is unfolding is not only “the criminalization of the State”, the judicial system is also criminalized with  a view to upholding the legitimacy of the war criminals in high office.

And the corporate media through omission, half truths and outright lies upholds war as a peace-making endeavor.

When the lie becomes the truth there is no moving backwards

We stand in solidarity with Julian Assange.

For the rest of this article please go to source link below.



By Prof. Michel Chossudovsky

Michel Chossudovsky is an award-winning author, Professor of Economics (emeritus) at the University of Ottawa, Founder and Director of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG), Montreal, Editor of Global Research.

He has undertaken field research in Latin America, Asia, the Middle East, sub-Saharan Africa and the Pacific and has written extensively on the economies of developing countries with a focus on poverty and social inequality. He has also undertaken research in Health Economics (UN Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC),  UNFPA, CIDA, WHO, Government of Venezuela, John Hopkins International Journal of Health Services (1979, 1983)

He is the author of twelve books including The Globalization of Poverty and The New World Order (2003), America’s “War on Terrorism” (2005),  The Globalization of War, America’s Long War against Humanity (2015).

He is a contributor to the Encyclopaedia Britannica.  His writings have been published in more than twenty languages. In 2014, he was awarded the Gold Medal for Merit of the Republic of Serbia for his writings on NATO’s war of aggression against Yugoslavia. He can be reached at [email protected]

See Michel Chossudovsky, Biographical Note

Michel Chossudovsky’s Articles on Global Research

(Source: globalresearch.ca; March 31, 2024; https://youtu.be/Z_yuCl9IeYs)