Glenn Greenwald Media

Julian Assange’s Imprisonment Exposes U.S. Myths About Freedom

The real measure of how free is a society is not how its mainstream, well-behaved ruling class servants are treated, but the fate of its actual dissidents.
[Assemblea Nacional Catalana / CC BY-NC 2.0]

By Glenn Greenwald / SubStack

Editor’s note: ScheerPost will shortly be running columnist Chris Hedges’ response to the most recent news regarding Julian Assange’s case.

Persecution is not typically doled out to those who recite mainstream pieties, or refrain from posing meaningful threats to those who wield institutional power, or obediently stay within the lines of permissible speech and activism imposed by the ruling class.

Those who render themselves acquiescent and harmless that way will — in every society, including the most repressive — usually be free of reprisals. They will not be censored or jailed. They will be permitted to live their lives largely unmolested by authorities, while many will be well-rewarded for this servitude. Such individuals will see themselves as free because, in a sense, they are: they are free to submit, conform and acquiesce. And if they do so, they will not even realize, or at least not care, and may even regard as justifiable, that those who refuse this Orwellian bargain they have embraced (“freedom” in exchange for submission) are crushed with unlimited force.

Those who do not seek to meaningfully dissent or subvert power will usually deny — because they do not perceive — that such dissent and subversion are, in fact, rigorously prohibited. They will continue to believe blissfully that the society in which they live guarantees core civic freedoms — of speech, of press, of assembly, of due process — because they have rendered their own speech and activism, if it exists at all, so innocuous that nobody with the capacity to do so would bother to try to curtail it. The observation apocryphally attributed to socialist activist Rosa Luxemburg, imprisoned for her opposition to German involvement in World War I and then summarily executed by the state, expresses it best: “Those who do not move, do not notice their chains.”

The metric to determine whether a society is free is not how its orthodoxy-spouting, well-behaved, deferential-to-authority citizens are treated. Such people are treated well, or at least usually left alone, by every sovereign and every power center in every era, all over the world.

You will not feel the sting of Silicon Valley or other institutional censorship as long as you affirm the latest COVID pronouncements of the World Health Organization and Dr. Anthony Fauci (even as those decrees contradict the ones they issued only a few months earlier), but you will if you question, refute or deviate from them. You will not have your Facebook page deleted if you defend Israeli occupation of Palestine but will be banished from that platform if you live in the West Bank and Gaza and urge resistance to Israeli occupying troops. If you call Trump an orange fascist clown, you can stay on YouTube for eternity, but not if you defend his most controversial policies and claims. You can vocally insist that the 2000, 2004 and 2016 U.S. presidential elections were all stolen without the slightest concern of being banned, but the same claims about the 2020 election will result in the summary denial of your ability to use online tech monopolies to be heard.

Censorship, like most repression, is reserved for those who dissent from majoritarian orthodoxies, not for those who express views comfortably within the mainstream. Establishment Democrats and Republicans — adherents to the prevailing neoliberal order — have no need for free speech protections since nobody with power would care enough to silence them. It is only the disaffected, those who reside on the fringes and the margins, who need those rights. And those are precisely the people who, by definition, are most often denied them.

Similarly: powerful officials in Washington can illegally leak the most sensitive government secrets and will suffer no punishment, or will get the lightest tap on the wrist, provided their aim is to advance mainstream narratives. But low-level leakers whose aim is to expose wrongdoing by the powerful or reveal their systemic lying will have the full weight of the criminal justice system and the intelligence community come crashing down on them, to destroy them with vengeance and also to put their heads on a pike to terrorize future dissidents out of similarly stepping forward.

Journalists like Bob Woodward, who spend decades spilling the most sensitive secrets at the behest of the ruling class D.C. elites, will be lavished with awards and immense wealth. But those like Julian Assange who publish similar secrets but against the will of those elites, with the goal and outcome of exposing (rather than obscuring) ruling class lies and impeding (rather than advancing) their agenda, will suffer the opposite fate as Woodward: they will endure every imaginable punishment, including indefinite imprisonment in maximum-security cells. That is because Woodward is a servant of power while Assange is a dissident against it.

All of this illustrates a vital truth. The real measure of how free is a society — from China, Saudi Arabia and Egypt to France, Britain and the U.S. — is not how its mainstream, well-behaved ruling class servants are treated. Royal court vassals always end up fine: rewarded for their subservience and thus, convinced that freedoms abound, they redouble their fealty to prevailing status quo power structures.

Whether a society is truly free is determined by how it treats its dissidents, those who live and speak and think outside of permissible lines, those who effectively subvert ruling class aims. If you want to know whether free speech is genuine or illusory, look not to the treatment of those who loyally serve establishment factions and vocally affirm their most sacred pieties, but to the fate of those who reside outside of those factions and work in opposition to them. If you want to know whether a free press is authentically guaranteed, look at the plight of those who publish secrets designed not to propagandize the population to venerate elites but, instead, those whose publications result in generating mass discontent against them.

That is what makes the ongoing imprisonment of Julian Assange not only a grotesque injustice but also a vital, crystal-clear prism for seeing the fundamental fraud of U.S. narratives about who is free and who is not, about where tyranny reigns and where it does not.

Assange has been imprisoned for almost two years. He was dragged out of the Ecuadorian Embassy in London by British police on April 11, 2019. That was possible only because the U.S., U.K. and Spanish governments coerced Ecuador’s meek President, Lenin Moreno, to withdraw the asylum extended to Assange seven years earlier by his staunch sovereignty-defending predecessor, Rafael Correa.

The U.S. and British governments hate Assange because of his revelations that exposed their lies and crimes, while Spain was enraged by WikiLeaks’ journalistic coverage of and activism against Madrid’s 2018 violent repression of the Catalan independence movement. So they bullied and bribed Moreno to throw Assange to the wolves — i.e., to them. And ever since, Assange has been held in the high-security Belmarsh prison in London, a facility used for terrorist suspects that is so harsh that the BBC asked in 2004 whether it is “Britain’s Guantanamo Bay.”

Assange is not currently imprisoned because he was convicted of a crime. Two weeks after he was dragged out of the embassy, he was found guilty of the minor offense of “skipping bail” and sentenced to 50 weeks in prison, the maximum penalty allowed by law. He fully served that sentence as of April of this year, and was thus scheduled to be released, facing no more charges. But just weeks before his release date, the U.S. Justice Department unveiled an indictment of Assange arising out of WikiLeaks’ 2010 publication of U.S. State Department diplomatic cables and war logs that revealed massive corruption by numerous governments, Bush and Obama officials, and various corporations around the world.

That U.S. indictment and the accompanying request to extradite Assange to the U.S. to stand trial provided, by design, the pretext for the British government to imprison Assange indefinitely. A judge quickly ruled that Assange could not be released on bail pending his extradition hearing, but instead must stay behind bars while the U.K. courts fully adjudicate the Justice Department’s extradition request. No matter what happens, it will takes years for this extradition process to conclude because whichever side (the DOJ or Assange) loses at each stage (and Assange is highly likely to lose the first round when the lower-court decision on the extradition request is issued next week), they will appeal, and Assange will linger in prison while these appeals wind their way very slowly through the U.K. judicial system.

That means that — absent a pardon by Trump or the withdrawal of the charges by what will become the Biden DOJ — Assange will be locked up for years without any need to prove he is guilty of any crime. He will have been just disappeared: silenced by the very governments whose corruption and crimes he denounced and exposed.

Those are the same governments — the U.S. and U.K. — that sanctimoniously condemn their adversaries (but rarely their repressive allies) for violating free speech, free press and due process rights. These are the same governments that succeed — largely due to a limitlessly compliant corporate media that either believes the propaganda or knowingly disseminates it for their own rewards — in convincing large numbers of their citizens that, unlike in the Bad Countries such as Russia and Iran, these civic freedoms are guaranteed and protected in the Good Western Countries.

(The ample evidence showing that the indictment of Assange is the single gravest threat to press freedoms in years, and that the arguments mounted to justify it are fraudulent, has been repeatedly documented by myself and others, so I will not rehash those discussions here. Those interested can see the article and video program I produced on this prosecution along with my op-ed in The Washington Post; Laura Poitras’ New York Times op-ed last week on the indictment; former Brazilian President Lula da Silva’s Guardian op-ed calling for Assange’s immediate release; the editorial from The Guardian and column from The Washington Post’s media reporter Margaret Sullivan condemning this prosecution as abusive; and statements from the Freedom of the Press Foundationthe Committee to Protect JournalistsColumbia Journalism Review, and the ACLU warning of the serious dangers to press freedoms it poses).

Even Assange’s conviction on “bail jumping” charges, and the way it is portrayed in mainstream media discourse, reveals how deceitful these narratives are, and how illusory are these supposedly protected liberties. Assange’s misdemeanor bail jumping conviction was based on his decision to seek asylum from Ecuador rather than appear for his 2012 extradition hearing in London. That asylum request was granted by Ecuador on the ground that Sweden’s attempt to extradite Assange from the U.K. for a sexual assault investigation could be used as a pretext to ship him to the U.S., which would then imprison him for the “crime” of reporting on its illegal and deceitful acts. Such retaliatory imprisonment, said Ecuador, would amount to classic political persecution, thus necessitating asylum to protect his political rights from attack by the U.S. (the case in Sweden was subsequently closed after prosecutors concluded that Assange’s asylum rendered the investigation futile).

When the U.S. grants asylum to dissidents from adversary countries in order to protect them from persecution, the U.S. media heralds it a noble, benevolent act, one that proves how devoted the U.S. Government is to the rights and freedoms of people all over the world.

Recall the celebratory tone of U.S. media coverage when the Obama administration gave refuge in its Beijing embassy and then permanent asylum to the blind Chinese activist-lawyer Chen Guangcheng, who had faced numerous criminal charges in his home country for his work against various policies he regarded as oppressive and unjust. American liberals depict asylum when granted by the U.S. Government, to protect against persecution in other Latin American countries, as so sacred that the Trump administration’s efforts to limit such asylum invoked their sustained fury (that fury is about to dissipate as Biden does the same, but with the softer and gentler language of reluctance).

But when asylum is granted by other countries to protect someone against persecution at the hands of the U.S. Government, then suddenly asylum is transformed from a noble and benevolent shield against human rights abuses into a dastardly, corrupt crime. That is how U.S. and British journalists routinely malign Ecuador’s decision to shield Assange from the possibility of being shipped to the U.S to be punished for his journalism, or how they still speak of Russia’s grant of asylum to Edward Snowden, which shields him from being shipped to the U.S. to face a likely punishment of life in prison under the repressive Espionage Act of 1917, a law that bars him from even raising a defense of “justification” in court and thus obtaining a fair trial. Under this propagandistic framework, not only the governments that grant asylum against U.S. persecution (such as Ecuador and Russia) but also the individuals who seek asylum from U.S. persecution (such as Assange and Snowden) are cast by the U.S. and British media as villains and even criminals for availing themselves of this internationally guaranteed asylum right.

Indeed, the British judge who doled out the maximum sentence to Assange for bail jumping, Deborah Taylor, sneered at his sentencing hearing that he “used his asylum at the Ecuadoran Embassy to insult the British judiciary.” She added: “It’s difficult to envisage a more serious example of this offense. By entering the embassy, you deliberately put yourself out of reach, whilst remaining in the U.K. You remained there for nearly seven years, exploiting your privileged position to flout the law and advertise internationally your disdain for the law of this country.”

Snowden’s asylum in Russia — the only thing standing between him and decades in a high-security cage in the U.S. for the “crime” of revealing unconstitutional spying by Obama officials — is similarly scorned in elite U.S. media and political circles as something shameful and even treasonous rather than a perfectly legal shield under international asylum conventions against persecution by the vengeful and notoriously repressive U.S. security state.

Here we see the blinding propaganda to which U.S. citizens are endlessly subjected. Asylum is always warranted when extended by the U.S. Government to dissidents or outcasts from inferior countries, but is never warranted when granted by other countries to U.S. dissidents or other other journalists and activists whose punishment the U.S. seeks. This warped formulation is potent because the U.S. media succeeds in peddling the toxic mythology that the U.S. has unique rights and entitlements that lesser countries do not because, unlike them, the U.S. is a freedom-loving democracy that honors basic human rights and steadfastly guarantees fundamental civil liberties of free expression, a free press, and due process to all peoples.

The next time someone makes that claim, explicitly or otherwise, tell them to look at the fate of Julian Assange, one of this generation’s most effective journalists and activists in exposing the crimes, deceit and corruption of key U.S power centers, particularly its permanent security state. Assange is not even a U.S. citizen, having spent a week total in his life on U.S. soil and having absolutely no duties — legal, journalistic or ethical — to safeguard U.S. secrets.

But no matter: anyone who effectively challenges U.S. power must and will be crushed. That is because freedom of speech and press and other civic guarantees are granted only to those who refrain from meaningfully challenging the U.S. ruling class: i.e., to those who do not need those rights. Those who do need those rights — those who dissent and are disaffected — are denied them, definitively proving that these rights exist only on parchment, that in reality they are artificial and illusory for those who actually need and deserve them.

Glenn Greenwald
Glenn Greenwald

Glenn Greenwald is a journalist, constitutional lawyer, and author of four New York Times best-selling books on politics and law. His most recent book, “No Place to Hide,” is about the U.S. surveillance state and his experiences reporting on the Snowden documents around the world. Prior to co-founding The Intercept, Glenn’s column was featured in the Guardian and Salon. He was the debut winner, along with Amy Goodman, of the Park Center I.F. Stone Award for Independent Journalism in 2008, and also received the 2010 Online Journalism Award for his investigative work on the abusive detention conditions of Chelsea Manning. For his 2013 NSA reporting, he received the George Polk Award for National Security Reporting; the Gannett Foundation Award for investigative journalism and the Gannett Foundation Watchdog Journalism Award; the Esso Premio for Excellence in Investigative Reporting in Brazil (he was the first non-Brazilian to win), and the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s Pioneer Award. Along with Laura Poitras, Foreign Policy magazine named him one of the top 100 Global Thinkers for 2013. The NSA reporting he led for the Guardian was awarded the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for public service. Greenwald resigned from The Intercept in October 2020.


  1. I can’t understand why the editor does not include Disqus. It supported conversation much better than the present system does. For many of us it was the basis of a kind of community. and Truthdig was much more interesting because of that.

    1. It is on the list, sir, for this volunteer. One problem with the free version of disqus is that it includes ads and thus undermines reader privacy…

  2. This article is brilliant. Please suggest ways in which ordinary people like me can support Assange and other whistle blowers. Thank You.

  3. Newspaper reporters and columnists understand what is happening. If none speak out it’s because their employers don’t want them to. If even the newspapers don’t support the First Amendment we are no longer free, even to the extent that we used to be.

    I see no hope for the Federal government. A revolution would be justified but it doesn’t seem likely. I would suggest changing the tax structure to move power to the city and county governments. If the issues were localized it would be much harder to keep the voters in the dark.

  4. A worthy, broad, and important article by Glen Greenwald, although there could be some caveats in making the argument for no censoring whatever and whenever in our media and publishing. How does one determine truth? Who is the determining body? Who should be? Is there a valid argument that the covid-19 pandemic has been nonexistent? That the virus is not harmful or nonexistent? That the recent presidential election was stolen? What is reality? Is science and its inquiry to be discarded?
    I think Greenwald goes too far in ignoring aspects for establishing truth. On the other hand, his description of the execrable nature of the U.S.’ treatment of whistleblowers and dissidents, most importantly Assange, Snowden, Manning, and others needs to be widely promulgated. It is so essential for a just society.

  5. What about the people who dissent that you never hear about and who are never mentioned by the press? This reveals a myth about the press too.

    The press spent the last year defining how you intensely you should feel, whose fault it all was and more importanly what side you should take. It’s all reported for you in various flavors: masks, flu, not a flu, Trump, censorship, conspiracy, Fauci, CDC, elections, Hunter, civil war and probably Pearl Harbor and Building 7.

    The problem the press has is most people could care less about one or any of these things.

    The ruling class really fears a loss of control if citizens don’t take sides or have feelings about nonsensical claptrap bullshit, and heaven forbid they have better things to pay attention to – because that might lead to some kind of real terrorism.

    The whole world knows who Julian Assange is.
    The show must go on because real resistance isn’t in the script. You won’t know what it is. You’ll be safe. Keep posting on social media.

    The show features Julian Assange. Once with Pam Anderson – that was hot for some of us. Now it’s Les Miserables in granite cell blocks featuring Biggest of all Brothers. We’re powerless but to read about it.

    Notice how what was actually leaked is never really discussed or considered anywhere anymore?

  6. This gross miscarriage of justice also exposes the hypocrisy of the mainstream media who used and profited from Assange’s whistleblowing and release of Wikileaks documents. That they have not come rushing to his defence by keeping his story front and centre in the media, exerting the enormous pressure of a free press on the tyrannical so called liberal democracies reveals who their real masters are, the very governments they permit to get away with these abuses. Regrettably, too the majority of US and western citizens are too asleep in the turbo capitalism of our time, lulled by the bread and circuses of NFL football, NHL hockey, NBA basketball, UFC, American and National League Baseball to even give a damn about true democracy and human rights. Meanwhile, the American Empire engages in endless war (8-9 illegal wars last count) against poor brown and black skinned peoples all over the globe while the planet burns. However, as long as they are okay and their stocks are riding high all seems right with the world!

  7. Truthtelling is truly what the doctor has long been ordering but not in the meager doses of it we’re getting even from people like Julian Assange and Glenn Greenwald.

    It seems like it’s time for a whole new generation of truthtellers who cut to the chase every single chance they get to weigh in on how awfully this human experiment is being botched even as our capacity for processing how badly we’re squandering all our promise as human beings keeps being nothing but diminished in all this discursive racing of each other out into the weeds in fleeing even the least of all the harder and harder truths about what we’ve become as a race or maybe always were.

    Enough new truthtellers along the lines of Chris Hedges could maybe extend the range of our vaunted freedom of thought here in our liberal democracies so it included territory where we ran into the truth that the scope of our disappointment as a race is so great that we’ve made freedom equal the need to feel no abject shame over our chosen systems of coexistence doing nothing but breed more and more of woman’s and man’s inhumanity to woman and man if you don’t count all these systems do to keep from us the freedom to choose different systems.

    1. I am curious about how people think “truth” alone can carry the day, any day. What role does self-interest play in making “my truth” more truthy than “your truth”? Who can pay for the spread of their truth over the other versions? What is the role in this great experiement of the social-emotional brain made for fitting in well and contributing to the sucess of a small troupe of monkeys? Or, below that, our reptilian brain, which makes us so ready to fight, flee or freeze when faced with danger, real or perceived?

      Clearly, we wouldn’t work on such a site if we weren’t truthseekers, but your faith in truth puts mine to shame…

      1. It’s true (as they say) that our existence, if that’s even the right word for it, comes with no end of epistemological issues that call the notion of truth into question. The material world our social world is supposed to be built on is itself more illusion than anything else if you go by what the physicists and others are spreading as scientific truth.

        But some things in our shared experience, whatever the nature of that experience is, seem imbued with a pretty healthy share of the stuff our notion of truth is made of. To say that human beings are killing and maiming and displacing other human beings by the hundreds of thousands in all the wars that seem truly to be raging out there in the material and the social world alike seems more squarely in the ballpark of truth than to say this is not happening. I think it’s also closer to the truth than it isn’t that human truthtelling as it stands right now is making it awfully easy for a lot of us to go about our lives as though it doesn’t really matter much whether that whole ongoing thing about human beings doing all that awful harm to other human beings is on the truth or the untruth end of the continuum. The harmful explosions of inequality our ways of relating to one another never stop touching off also seem pretty hard to write off as something other than what’s truly taken place.

        I have no illusions that any brands or shades of truth will carry the day. I guess I’m saying it would be nice, for novelty’s sake if nothing else, if our race would go big and call ourselves out for so constantly sharing the experience of violating so many of the principles we’ve so well-documentedly gone to all the trouble to tell ourselves we ought to live by.

        Anyway, I hope I’m not being too smart alecky. I appreciate your responding to my comment, and I’m sorry if I’ve been too flip about the institution of truthtelling.

      2. There are always frames for looking at history. One is that — how are we still here, doing such ugly things (ie., Yemen)? Another would use selective facts, such as that much smaller percentages of the overall world populace is engaged in war or suffering starvation than at likely anytime in human history. A third would counter that, regardless, we are literally consuming our planet and will soon be in the post-apocalypse…

        I appreciate your thoughtful commentary, don’t worry about being smart-alecky …

      3. Isn’t truth connected to consequences? Even if I wish otherwise or refuse to look at a situation clearly, as Chris Hedges is asking, I still cannot escape cause and effect, both personal and collective consequences.

        One thing I’ve gathered from many of the journalists you print, is that they struggle with having a good life (friends and family, hearth and home) and putting those attachments at risk by confronting power. Our society can provide access to happiness and Aristotle’s good life, but you are much more free to enjoy that life if as Glenn writes, you are a servant to power. I think this moral problem affects anyone with a conscience: that trying to be moral in the face of power puts any peaceful life at risk.

        Ultimately, not acting with wisdom and decency, especially at the level of a society will cause sickness and decay. I think we’re at a point now, where someone with a good life, but sensitive enough to the world around them, can see where things are headed: it’s understandable the majority can’t or won’t change, when going to work and paying the bills can still provide a pretty good life for people that don’t question things too closely.

        If I may be allowed, I wanted to mention Epictetus, who as a Stoic advised that who we are, are not our animal brains, which we all have to fight at times. Instead, we are moral beings whose only control and the only thing that really matters, is our ability to try to understand the world, and choose our response. I think he said something like, you are your choices and anything outside the circle of choice does not matter (in the sense that God or the gods could only really hold us to account for our choices).

        p.s. I wanted to thank you as the Editor for sometimes joining a conversation. I know you have to use this power carefully, but it can deflect the discussion in a different, possibly better direction and humanizes the Editor. Just wanted to say thank-you.

  8. The only reason Assange is imprisoned now is his choice to hide in the Ecuadorian embassy rather than face his Swedish accusers of rape.

    The Neo Progressive myth of his victim-hood and freedom champion is particularly hollow and cynical considering that at the time he pissed on his British bail conditions (which is the only reason for his abysmal incarceration conditions at the moment) under the pretext that going to Sweden to face his accusers would mean extradition to the US, the US, under Obama’s legal team, rejected the possibility of persecuting Assange precisely for the reasons listed in the article above and elsewhere in the progressive narrative sphere.

    1. The cynicism of the Neo Progressive response to the extradition request, as well as Assange paranoiac and baseless (or even delusional) motivation for trying to skip the British bail terms in the first place, is laid bare now that the UK rejected the US extradition request!!!

    2. nHaramati:

      I prefer to talk about ideas in broad terms, rather than ship labels back and forth that can narrow or mislead discussion. It’s harder to respond when someone slaps you with a label, and easier to do, than discuss ideas in good faith.

      As far as I understand, Assange and Wikileaks are a threat to US power, because of their success in bringing war atrocities and corruption to light. Isn’t the efforts of Wikileaks and Assange what matters, and not the tabloid details of his life? The rape charges were an excuse to arrest Assange and a way to discredit him, and while a fair and open society would not judge the accuser or the accused unfairly, given the political threat Assange represents, I have my doubts about any accusations leveled by the US or UK gov’ts.

      It makes sense the UK would not extradite Assange. They already appear as a lapdog to US interests and extradition would potentially destroy any remaining reputation of the UK.

      1. Cynical Rex:

        The Neo Progressive attempts to paint Assange as a victim of “those who wield institutional power” is a lie. The real reason he is in jail has absolutely nothing to do with his publication activities but rather with the Swedish rape allegations, as well as his attempt to skip the British bail conditions. This is not a “tabloid” story about Assange’s life but rather the precise and only reason for his present incarceration, and it requires mentioning precisely because the attempts to ignore it in almost every Neo Progressive publication on the matter are simply absurd! In addition, the idea hinted at in your text as if his (supposed) achievements in Wikileaks exempt him from being criminally responsible for disregard and disrespect to laws and to other people is problematic, to say the least.

        Let’s examine the rape allegations. The Neo Progressive (fictional) narrative concerning the rape is a variation of the way you described it (“The rape charges were an excuse to arrest Assange and a way to discredit him”). That story, however, makes no sense. We know that the Obama administration, which was in power at the time of the rapes, rejected the idea of indicting Assange for similar reasons outlined by those who view such indictment as a threat to democratic freedoms. Why, then, would they fabricate charges that they had no intentions to prosecute and that they knew would not hold? As to the idea that it would discredit him, again, why would an administration that have the decency to reject prosecuting a publisher for the right reasons do that?

        As to the idea Assange represents a “political threat”, considering that with the exception of being instrumental in ushering the disastrous and destructive presidency of Trump, Wikileaks list of accomplishment is more or less empty, I’d say that such a (supposed) threat is mostly in the minds of Neo Progressive pundits and followers, and nowhere else.

        Contrary to Neo Progressive propaganda, both Assange’s incarceration and the UK rejecting the US extradition request had happened for legal reasons for the former and humanistic ones for the latter, not political ones.

      2. This comment is so anti-factual it amounts to disinformation.

        The United States is actively seeking his extradition, Obama’s secretary state Clinton stated Assange must “answer for what he has done” as THE PUBLISHER OF US SECRETS ON WIKILEAKS (not for anything he did in Sweden or UK), and Sweden has since dropped the sexual assault charges … and yet you want to say this international battle for custody of this one old guy has nothing to do with Wikileaks?

        And you only see the alleged effect (electing Trump) and not the actual value of transparency, whistleblowing and investigative journalism related to issues of global magnitude? Hillary, is that you?

        There is one thing I can agree on, though: There is no reason to make saints out of humans just becasue they do important, positive things for the world. It is hard to read this description of the Swedish witness statements and not be disturbed:

    1. Editor:

      While the wholesale incrimination without specification is a tried and true Neo Progressive demagogic device, (e.g., “This comment is so anti-factual it amounts to disinformation” ), lets examine the facts in my previous comment.

      On November 18, Glenn Greenwald published an article at the Intercept named “As the Obama DOJ Concluded, Prosecution of Julian Assange for Publishing Documents Poses Grave Threats to Press Freedom”.

      The article you linked in your response gives a detailed account of Assange’s disregard and lack of of respect for the two women he forced himself upon.

      It is amusing to see the likes of you using Hillary Clinton as a reliable source for information. Let me ask you this: on the scale of 1 to 10, how would you grade Clinton as a truth teller? Besides, her statement was made long after she was no longer a Secretary of State, and was accompanied by the statement “‘I think it is clear from the indictment that came out it’s not about punishing journalism’”. So tell me, why is her “Assange must pay” reliable, but “the indictment [is not] about punishing journalism”, stated back to back with the former, is not?

      So who is misinforming?

      1. I’m done with this conversation. I used Hillary Clinton as a source because she was in the Obama administration which are saying was not going to go after Assange. Her quote was to show how the Dems were rabid to get at Assange and would not accept a press freedom defense.

        I don’t know what a “Neo Progressive” is, either. I am sorry I engaged, these are not logical arguments you are making.

  9. To the Editor:

    This is an excerpt from a Greenwald article from 2018 (link bellow).

    “The Obama DOJ – despite launching notoriously aggressive attacks on press freedoms – recognized this critical principle when it came to WikiLeaks. It spent years exploring whether it could criminally charge Assange and WikiLeaks for publishing classified information. It ultimately decided it would not do so, and could not do so, consistent with the press freedom guarantee of the First Amendment. After all, the Obama DOJ concluded, such a prosecution would pose a severe threat to press freedom because there would be no way to prosecute Assange for publishing classified documents without also prosecuting the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Guardian and others for doing exactly the same thing.”

    So why would an administration that “decided it would not do so, and could not do so, consistent with the press freedom guarantee of the First Amendment”, mount an attempt to trap Assange through a rape scheme for an indictment that its DOJ rejected the possibility of?

    Or, in other words, the idea that the rape allegations was a scheme to get Assange to Sweden in order to extradite him to the US (that at the time rejected that possibility) in order to prosecute him “is so anti-factual it amounts to disinformation”.

    1. What was anti-factual was your claim, as I read it, that Britain and the United States are interested in punishing Assange for an impossible to successfully prosecute he said/she said rape case in Sweden.

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