| A supporter of Elor Azaria an Israeli soldier charged with manslaughter after he shot a wounded Palestinian as he lay on the ground in Hebron holds a placard during a protest calling for his release in Tel Aviv on April 19 © Baz Ratner ReutersREUTERS | MR Online A supporter of Elor Azaria, an Israeli soldier charged with manslaughter after he shot a wounded Palestinian as he lay on the ground in Hebron, holds a placard during a protest calling for his release in Tel Aviv on April 19. (© Baz Ratner / Reuters/REUTERS)

Enemy of the State

Originally published: God's Spies on February 29, 2024 by Thomas Neuburger (more by God's Spies) (Posted Mar 04, 2024)

An enemy of the state is a person accused of political crimes such as treason. In designating persons as enemies of the state, the government can realize the political repression of political opponents, such as dissidents. A government can justify political repression as protecting the national security of the country and the nation.
— Wikipedia here

It’s time to talk about Julian Assange, again. A decision on his extradition from the torture of his UK imprisonment to the torture of a U.S. imprisonment–where I believe he will be killed–could come any day.

From a legal standpoint, his crimes are none.

Misconception: Julian Assange is a “traitor” who should be brought to trial in the United States. Correction: Assange is not an American citizen, he has never lived in the U.S., and he does not have any significant ties to the U.S. He is an Australian citizen who was living and working in London when the U.S. government opened its case against him. The charges against him are connected to WikiLeaks’ publication of materials in the public interest. Assange’s extradition would set a dangerous precedent that could put other publishers and journalists around the world at risk, regardless of citizenship. Worryingly, the U.S. government has also stated that First Amendment protections will not apply to Assange as a non-citizen.

Misconception: Julian Assange is a whistleblower who leaked classified information. Correction: Assange played a different role to that of whistleblower; he did not leak classified information himself, but he published information that was leaked to him. The leaker, former Army analyst Chelsea Manning, already served more than seven years in prison before President Obama commuted her 35-year sentence, stating it was “very disproportionate relative to what other leakers have received”. If extradited to the U.S., Assange would be the first publisher tried under the Espionage Act, which lacks a public interest defence, meaning anyone accused in this way cannot sufficiently defend themselves. He faces the possibility of a staggering 175-year prison sentence.

But from the standpoint of the State, Assange is an enemy. The most notable of these crimes are listed below. (For others, like the diplomatic cables leaks, see this excellent piece by Lee Fang.)

| Lee Fang | MR Online

1. Many, even self-identified liberals, hate him for publishing leaked information about Hillary Clinton and the DNC during the 2016 election.

Here’s Hillary Clinton in May 2023. Note the phrase “Russian Wikileaks” below.

Clinton said she was confident that she was on track to winning the election until two things reversed her momentum: the release of campaign chairman John Podesta’s emails, which were allegedly stolen by Russian hackers, and Comey’s Oct. 28 letter to Congress that he had reopened the bureau’s investigation into her use of a private email server. “I was on the way to winning until the combination of Jim Comey’s letter on October 28 and Russian WikiLeaks raised doubts in the minds of people who were inclined to vote for me but got scared off[.]

It is a widely held but factually baseless belief, that Russia worked with Wikileaks to hack and publish DNC data. When challenged, the Justice Department declined to present evidence of its truth.

2. Those who run the State hate him for exposing how the U.S. makes war.

Watch the Wikileaks-made film, Collateral Murder, embedded at the top. (If the embed won’t play, click here.)

It’s brutal to watch, but I challenge you to do it anyway. It shows not just murder, but a special kind of murder–murder from the safety of the air, murder by men with machine guns circling their targets like hunters with shotguns who walk the edges of a trout pond, shooting at will, waiting, walking, then shooting again, till all the fish are dead.

The film also shows war crimes, apparently par for the course, that implicate the entire structure of the U.S. military, as everyone involved was acting under orders. They sought permission to fire, waited, then got it before once more blasting away. The publication of this video, plus all the Wikileaks publications that followed, comprise the whole reason everyone in the U.S. who matters, everyone with power, wants Julian Assange dead.

The Heavy Hand of the State

Everyone with power also wants him hated. Generating that hate is the process we’re watching today.

“Everyone” in this case includes every major newspaper that published and received awards for publishing Wikileaks material; all major U.S. televised media outlets; and all “respectable” U.S. politicians—including, of course, Hillary Clinton, who was rumored (though unverifiably) to have said, “Can’t we just drone this guy?”

It was revealed by Michael Isikoff that the CIA and the Trump administration contemplated his murder:

Some senior officials inside the CIA and the Trump administration even discussed killing Assange, going so far as to request “sketches” or “options” for how to assassinate him. Discussions over kidnapping or killing Assange occurred “at the highest levels” of the Trump administration, said a former senior counterintelligence official. “There seemed to be no boundaries.” The conversations were part of an unprecedented CIA campaign directed against WikiLeaks and its founder. The agency’s multipronged plans also included extensive spying on WikiLeaks associates, sowing discord among the group’s members, and stealing their electronic devices.

So please watch the film, though it may break your heart. The footage shows not only murder, but bloodlust and conscienceless brutality, so much of it in fact that this became one of the main reasons Chelsea Manning leaked it in the first place. As she said at her court-martial:

The most alarming aspect of the video for me, was the seemingly delight of bloodlust they [the pilots] appeared to have. They dehumanized the individuals they were engaging with, and seemed to not value human life in referring to them as ‘dead bastards,’ and congratulating each other on the ability to kill in large numbers.

Bodies Pile on Bodies

This is done in our name, to “keep us safe.” This continues to be done every day that we and our allies are at “war” in the Middle East.

Bodies pile on bodies as this continues. The least we can do, literally the least, is to witness and acknowledge their deaths. And prevent the murder of Julian Assange for the crime of exposing these murderers for who they are. It’s still not too late. For the latest as of this writing, please watch this.

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