by Michel Chossudovsky
Julian Assange's arrest (after almost seven years in the
Ecuadorian Embassy) constitutes a hideous and illegal act.
He is imprisoned in
Belmarsh maximum security prison,
pending his extradition to the United States.
Statements by U.S. prosecutors suggest that Assange would not be
charged under the 1917 Espionage Act.
What is contemplated are
accusations of conspiring,
"to commit unlawful
computer intrusion based on his alleged agreement to try to help
Ms. Manning break an encoded portion of passcode that would have
permitted her to log on to a classified military network under
another user's identity."
(NYT, April 11, 2019)
The charges can of course
be changed and shifted around.
Bolton-Pompeo will no
doubt play a role.
In a 2017 statement when he was CIA Director
WikiLeaks as a 'non-state hostile intelligence service,' which
needed to be eradicated."
Assange is relentlessly
the corporate media of treason, acting on
behalf of the
An indictment invoking
the 1917 Espionage Act remains a distinct possibility with a view to
overriding The First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution which
guarantees Freedom of Expression.
Assange constitutes a new Russia-Gate media narrative? His arrest
coincides with the release of the redacted version of
Prepare for Wiki-Gate:
a long and drawn-out
legal procedure which will be the object of extensive media
coverage with a view to ultimately misleading the public.
The unspoken objective of
Assange's indictment is to create a legal precedent which will
enable Washington and its allies to arrest independent and anti-war
What is at stake - revealed by Wikileaks - is that politicians in
high office are the architects of war crimes.
To protect them and
sustain their legitimacy, they require the suppression of freedom of
expression, which in turn requires,
Ironically, from the very
outset (over a period of more than 12 years) there has never been a
concerted effort on the part of Washington (and its national
security intelligence apparatus) to suppress the release of
classified U.S. government information or to close down the
In fact, quite the
Because the carefully
selected and redacted Wikileaks quotes by the mainstream media
have been used to provide legitimacy to U.S. "foreign policy" as
well as obfuscate (through omission) many of the crimes
committed by U.S. intelligence and the Pentagon.
the Mainstream Media
It is important to note that
Julian Assange from the outset
supported by the mainstream media, which was involved in releasing
selected and redacted versions of the leaks.
And despite Assange's
arrest and imprisonment, Wikileaks continues to release compromising
U.S. diplomatic cables, the latest of which (reported
by McClatchy, April 17, 2019) pertains to,
"evidence that U.S.
troops executed at least 10 Iraqi civilians" including a 5 month
At the outset of the
Wikileaks project, the mainstream media including,
The New York
...'praised' Julian Assange.
The British elites
supported him. Assange became a personality. It was a vast Public
Relations campaign. It was a money-making undertaking for the
In 2008 The Economist (which is partly owned by
the Rothschild family) granted
Assange The New Media Award.
Shift in the Mainstream Media Narrative
Today, ironically these same corporate media which praised Assange
are now accusing him (without a shred of evidence) of being involved
in acts of conspiracy on behalf of the Kremlin.
"The Guardian has
since published a series of falsehoods about Assange, not least
a discredited claim that a group of Russians and Trump's man,
Paul Manafort, had visited Assange in the [Ecuadorian] embassy.
The meetings never
happened; it was fake."
Assange has been the
object of an all out smear campaign by
those who supported him.
According to Pilger:
"A plan to destroy
both WikiLeaks and Assange was laid out in a top secret document
dated 8 March, 2008 [by] the Cyber Counter-intelligence
Assessments Branch of the U.S. Defence Department…
Their main weapon
would be personal smear. Their shock troops would be enlisted in
which granted Assange the New Media Award in 2008 now
intimates that he is an enemy agent responsible for,
culminating in the destabilization of American democracy".
Others think it a
long-overdue reckoning with justice for a man who had unleashed
information anarchy upon the West, culminating in the
destabilization of American democracy.
Is Mr Assange a
heroic journalist, reckless activist or even an enemy agent?
The smear operation is
Screenshot Economist headline,
Starting in early 2017, coinciding with RussiaGate, Assange
is depicted as a "Putin Stooge" working for the Kremlin...
In 2016, some of Mr.
Assange's former American sympathizers turned sharply against
him after he made WikiLeaks into an enthusiastic instrument of
Russia's intervention in the American presidential election,
doling out hacked Democratic emails to maximize their political
effect, campaigning against
Hillary Clinton on Twitter and
promoting a false cover story about the source of the leaks.
And then The Guardian,
(April 20) with which Assange actively collaborated goes into a
high-gear smear operation and character assassination:
"cheap journalism" by
the Guardian (read excerpt below):
Assange Framed by the People Who Supported Him?
The latest from the New York Times April 15, 2019, which previously
collaborated with Assange, describes him as a threat to National
Security, working on behalf of the Russians.
Flashback to 2010:
WikiLeaks published a
series of controversial intelligence leaks including some
400,000 classified Iraq war documents, covering events from 2004
(See Tom Burghardt,
Complicity and Cover-Up of Iraq Torture Exposed - The WikiLeaks
Release - Frago 242 War Logs,
Global Research, October 24, 2010).
These revelations contained in the Wikileaks Iraq War Logs
of the Pentagon's role in the systematic torture of Iraqi
citizens by the U.S.-installed post-Saddam regime."
The Role of
the Frontline Club. Assange's Social Entourage
While Assange was committed (through the release of leaked
government documents) to revealing the "unspoken truth" of
corruption and war crimes, many of the people (and journalists) who
"supported him" are largely "Establishment":
Upon his release from
bail in December 2010 (Swedish extradition order over
allegations of sexual offenses) Henry Vaughan Lockhart Smith, a
friend of Assange, a former British Grenadier Guards captain and
a member of the British aristocracy came to his rescue.
Assange was provided
refuge at Vaughan Smith's Ellingham Manor in Norfolk.
Vaughn Lockhart Smith is the founder of the London based
Frontline Club (which is
George Soros' Open Society
Institute). In 2010, the Frontline Club served as the de
facto U.K "headquarters" for Julian Assange.
Vaughan Smith is a journalist aligned with the mainstream media. He
collaborated with NATO, acted as an
embedded reporter and cameraman in various U.S.-NATO war theaters
including Afghanistan and Kosovo.
In 1998 he worked as a
video journalist in Kosovo in a production entitled The Valley,
which consisted in "documenting" alleged Serbian atrocities against
The video production was
carried out with the support of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA).
Upon Assange's arrest on April 10, 2019 Vaughn Smith, while
acknowledging his disagreements with Assange, nonetheless expressed
his unbending support and concern for Assange:
Smith said that while
he didn't agree that everything Assange released should have
been released, he did think the Wikileaks founder,
discussion about transparency that is incredibly important."
"I support Julian because I think his rights as an
individual reflect on us, his fellow citizens," he told
"I think how we treat somebody who we may not agree with,
that tells us truths that we may not wish to know … is a
great comment on us."
April 10, 2019
The Role of
the Corporate Media - The Central Role of the New York Times
The New York
El Pais (Spain),
...were directly involved
in the editing, redacting and selection of leaked documents.
In the case of the New York Times, coordinated by Washington Bureau
Chief David Sanger, the redacted versions were undertaken in
consultation with the U.S. State Department.
Even before the Wikileaks project got off the ground, the mainstream
media was implicated.
A role was defined and
agreed upon for the corporate media not only in the release, but
also in the selection and editing of the leaks. The "professional
media", to use Julian Assange's words in an interview with The
Economist, had been collaborating with the Wikileaks project from
Moreover, key journalists with links to the U.S. foreign
policy-national security intelligence establishment have worked
closely with Wikileaks, in the distribution and dissemination of the
In a bitter irony, The New York Times, which has consistently
promoted media disinformation was accused in 2010 of conspiracy.
For what? For
revealing the truth? Or for manipulating the truth?
In the words of Senator
Joseph L. Lieberman:
"I certainly believe
that WikiLleaks has violated the Espionage Act, but then what
about the news organizations — including The Times - that
accepted it and distributed it?" Mr. Lieberman said.
"To me, The New York
Times has committed at least an act of bad citizenship, and
whether they have committed a crime, I think that bears a very
intensive inquiry by the Justice Department."
WikiLeaks Prosecution Studied by Justice
December 7, 2010
This "redacting" role of
The New York Times was candidly acknowledged by David E.
Sanger, Chief Washington correspondent of the NYT:
"[W]e went through
[the cables] so carefully to try to redact material that we
thought could be damaging to individuals or undercut ongoing
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."
The Redacting and Selection of Wikileaks
documents by the Corporate Media
interview on "Fresh Air" with Terry Gross
December 8, 2010
Yet Sanger also said
later in the interview:
"It is the
responsibility of American journalism, back to the founding of
this country, to get out and try to grapple with the hardest
issues of the day and to do it independently of the government."
"Do it independently of the government" while at the same time
"asking them [the U.S. government] if they had additional
redactions to suggest"?
David E. Sanger is not a
model independent journalist.
He is member of the
Council on Foreign Relations (CFR)
and the Aspen Institute's Strategy Group which regroups the
...among other prominent
It is worth noting that several American journalists, members of the
Council on Foreign Relations had interviewed Wikileaks,
Historically, The New
York Times has served the interests of
the Rockefeller family in the
context of a longstanding relationship.
In turn, the Rockefellers
have an important stake as shareholders of several U.S. corporate
Who are the criminals?
Those who leak secret government documents which provide irrefutable
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.
the corporate media through
omission, half truths and outright lies upholds war as a