Naked Power and Julian Assange

Julian Assange before he was locked away for his truth-telling

W.J. Astore

The worst crime you can commit, in the eyes of the powerful, is to embarrass them and to reveal their crimes. That is what Julian Assange did, most notably about U.S. war crimes in Iraq, and that is why he is being hounded and punished. Assange is being made to suffer, and suffer greatly he is, because he spoke truth about the powerful to the powerless. That is arguably the number one job of a real journalist, to hold powerful people accountable, to reveal the truth when so many conspire to keep it hidden. But most journalists are not profiles in courage, just as most people aren’t. The courageous are few, and counted among their number is Assange.

If you’re a journalist looking to make a difference, to shed light in dark corners, do you dare to take on the U.S. government and national security state given its persecution of Assange? Do you want to spend years in a maximum security prison, almost in total isolation, facing extradition to the U.S. for a bogus and nonsensical charge? The U.S. government’s persecution of Assange, though it’s meant to punish him and silence him, is really about intimidating and silencing other journalists. Who now dares to follow Assange’s example?

Power operates most freely, meaning most tyrannically, when it’s unconstrained by accountability. The more Assange suffers, the more America slips into authoritarianism. Joining America in its drift toward tyranny is Great Britain and Australia, with Britain imprisoning Assange and approving his extradition and Australia doing nothing to stop the persecution of one of its own citizens. Such is the corrupting influence of power.

As usual, George Orwell explained all this in “1984” when he described the nature of power:

“The Party seeks power entirely for its own sake. We are not interested in the good of others; we are interested solely in power. Not wealth or luxury or long life or happiness; only power, pure power … [No] one ever seizes power with the intention of relinquishing it. Power is not a means, it is an end … The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?”

Assange, like the character of Winston Smith in “1984,” now has a full understanding of the nature of power. It’s come at an enormous price to him. Yet Assange has also revealed the nature of our government to the rest of us, the way it brutally uses power to keep its monopoly on power.

The question is: Are we going to do anything about it? Or is it already too late? And if we do choose to resist, like Winston Smith (and Julian Assange), will we be taken to our own versions of Room 101, after which we too will profess our love for Big Brother?

Addendum: A comment by Dan White stimulated this reply by me. I think it’s worth adding here.

If not obliteration [of people like Assange], then marginalization, incarceration, diminishment, denouncement, and so on. Chelsea Manning. Daniel Hale. Daniel Ellsberg. And many more. Put them in prison and/or accuse them of treason. Seize their assets. Destroy their lives.

Most of all, intimidate those who are wavering, who are thinking, but who perhaps don’t have quite the nerve, or perhaps too much to lose.

The best way to silence whistle blowers is to make them choose to throw their whistle away before it even reaches their mouth.

108 thoughts on “Naked Power and Julian Assange

  1. Are We, the American People, going to do anything about Assange?

    Given the fact that We did nothing over the course of twenty years about The Forever War, and are doing nothing about our eight year War with Russia in Ukraine, it is highly unlikely.

    We are all well on our way to our own individual and collective Room 101s, Colonel; and use our internet and social media thru our Smart Phones to make sure that we stay headed in the right direction.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Yeah, things look like they are coming to an end for the Julian Assange story. Likely to come to an end fore old Julian himself shortly, too. You can see a “suicide by inmate due to custodial errors” heading his way not long after the Limeys ship him off to USG incarceration.

    That’s going to happen literally any day now. The story of how the British Foreign Office is about to help do that with its imminent deportation of Assange doesn’t seem to have gotten any attention here Stateside. And Assange’s murder in prison by the US authorities won’t get any much attention either, except for the usual editorial clucking about how ‘he really didn’t deserve it but he had it coming’ they’ll print. Damned cowardly swine.

    What you aren’t mentioning, Bill, is that the obliteration of truth by the authorities requires the obliteration of people in its way too. Our government, our nation, destroying, then murdering, Assange. Story for you from my readings on war, war by the French, in their colonies post WWII. Have read of French officers in France’s wars, Vietnam and Algeria both, former Resistants sometimes, who were appalled by the French military’s wholesale use of torture and summary execution of prisoners. They said: “Nous et les boches–nous sommes le meme chose”.*

    Military officers have to obey orders or resign their commissions**. What is the excuse for us here, free citizens of a free republic? Est-il le meme chose pour nous?

    *Trans: “We and the hun-bastards (boche is a rather derogatory French term for Germans, and I think Patton’s phrase for the Germans hits it)–we are the same thing.

    **And quite likely be court-marshalled prior to their resignation as well.

    Time to get back to work, fight the heat some more.

    Best–

    Dan White

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes, Dan. If not obliteration, then marginalization, incarceration, diminishment, denouncement, and so on. Chelsea Manning. Daniel Hale. Daniel Ellsberg. And many more. Put them in prison and/or accuse them of treason. Seize their assets. Destroy their lives.

      Most of all, intimidate those who are wavering, who are thinking, but who perhaps don’t have quite the nerve, or perhaps too much to lose.

      The best way to silence whistle blowers is to make them choose to throw their whistle away before it even reaches their mouth.

      Liked by 4 people

  3. The lack of support given Julian Assange is one of the more troubling aspects of this whole issue. But it shouldn’t have been surprising.

    Much has been made of the 50th anniversary this month of the Watergate break-in and subsequent unraveling of the Nixon administration due to the efforts of the Woodward/Bernstein and the Washington Post. That high point of journalism has been compared to the recent episode of Felicia Somnez and the attention given her due to her umbrage at a retweet of a joke by another Washington Post journalist. The suggestion is this is how far the WaPo has descended in terms of its journalism.

    But a lesser known fact of the Watergate period is that Katherine Graham (the publisher at the time of Watergate) had said that if she knew Nixon would have been forced out of office she would never have allowed the reporting to go forward.

    The “press” or “media” or whatever they’re called have always been willing supporters of those in power.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Makes sense, They are screened, hired, and directed by those in power. And if they stray too far, they’re demoted or fired by those in power.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Yes Lt. Col, I agree that that the Americans and Britons have been tyrants in this sordid affair.

    But to me the biggest tyrants have been the gutless Australian politicians licking the boots of their US masters. It is beyond appalling that the Australian Prime Minister has not got on a plane to London and demanded that Boris Johnson release Julian Assange, an Australian citizen who has broken no laws, from his indefinite imprisonment without charge, and fly him back to his country of birth to freedom.

    And the Australian people I hold in equal contempt. There has been nary a whisper of protest in Australia in the way of protest. Gutless bastads. John Pilger has been the only Australian who has consistently stood up for Assanges’s cause.

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      1. Yes Roger, but where was Ms Johnstone for all these years whenJulian was standing his ground and fighting then? This is the first article by this Aussie gal I’ve seen – and written yesterday!
        I trust she was not just another apathetic Aussie while John Pilger was fighting for Julian’s cause for over a decade a now.
        I’m sorry Roger, but I’m not feeling to magnanimous towards our friends across the ditch right now.

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        1. Caitlyn Johnstone has actually been writing about this travesty for quite some time. If you go to the link to her article, you can Search her site for “Assange”…

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        2. This is one of the only 11 (out of 226) Aussie Federal politicians I know of that have spoken out for Julian Assange. I think this correct.

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          1. “the Liberal-National Coalition government, supported completely by Labor, has been to stand by while the British courts rubberstamp his extradition on behalf of US imperialism.

            In response to questions from the Australian Associated Press (AAP) , Finance Minister Simon Birmingham stated: “The Australian government will not make any representations to the British home secretary.”

            Instead Birmingham declared: “We trust the independence and integrity of the UK justice system.” This is the same “justice system” that has detained Assange in Belmarsh Prison, dubbed Britain’s Guantanamo Bay, for two years without charge, while trampling on his legal rights and facilitating the framed-up US extradition request.

            Birmingham said the government would continue to provide “consular assistance” to Assange.’

            https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2022/04/23/lcpd-a23.html Australian government, Labor wash their hands of Assange amid imminent extradition threat

            Liked by 1 person

            1. And my fellow Kiwi countrymen, and politicians, I’m ashamed to say are just as gutless.

              “Jacinda Ardern has poured cold water on a left-field bid by Julian Assange’s lawyers to find him a new home in New Zealand.
              New Zealand-based lawyer Craig Tuck called on Ms Ardern to make representations to US President Joe Biden or UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson to end the “politically motivated prosecution”.
              Asked directly whether New Zealand had considered or might consider offering asylum to Mr Assange, Ms Ardern responded with a curt “No”.

              https://www.canberratimes.com.au/story/7548395/nz-pm-ardern-unmoved-by-assange-asylum-bid/

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  5. “… to comfort the afflicted, and afflict the comfortable.” – E.K. Hornbeck
    I doubt if the majority of Americans even know who Assange is. And you can’t blame them. They know about Edward Snowden because he’s an American and a docu-drama was made about him. Assange is a foreigner, so who cares? Don’t expect them to be overcome by the magnitude of what’s at stake. And it’s been how many years now? Not even a blip on the radar.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. So much for The United Nations…

    “A United Nations panel of independent experts say Wikileaks founder Julian Assange was being “arbitrarily detained” in the Ecuadorean embassy in London and should be released and compensated.

    The finding has been rejected by Britain and Sweden, which wants Assange’s extradition on an accusation of sexual assault.( Bogus charges.)

    “The Working Group on Arbitrary Detention considers that the various forms of deprivation of liberty to which Julian Assange has been subjected constitute a form of arbitrary detention,” Seong-Phil Hong, the head of the UN panel, said in a statement on February 5.

    The British Foreign Office said the report “changes nothing” and it will “formally contest the working group’s opinion.”

    So the Brits, like the Americans, are no respecters of International Law.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The UN’s “Working Group on Arbitrary Detention” is not a determiner of or arbiter in “International Law,” Dennis.

      But You are correct: Neither the Brits nor the Americans are respecters of that Law. And they both have not been for very, very long times.

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      1. The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad al Hussein claimed that the Assange finding is based on international law.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Of course he did. What else was he going to claim it was based on?

          But again, no sub-organization or committee of the UN is a determiner of or arbiter in international law.

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          1. The International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals (“Mechanism”) was established pursuant to resolution 1966 (2010) of 22 December 2010 by the Security Council and is mandated to continue a number of essential functions previously carried out by the International Criminal

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                1. Heh. That is very true, Dennis. But does that explain why i have to waste my time searching for something online that You claim is important, and justifies Your point of view?

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  7. i’m trying to figure out why Trump didn’t pull the plug on the Deep State’s assault on Assange.

    What a better way to totally and completely piss off Everybody in Swampland, the Media, and in Tinseltown; Left and Right, Demican and Republocrat, eh?

    But then i remember Why he was in office in the first place, and who put him there, and why. And it all makes sense.

    Trump didn’t pardon Assange for the same reason Obama didn’t. His operating instructions deemed otherwise.

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  8. Trump pardon Assange. Big problem – pardon him for what? He has never been charged with a crime!

    The jeopardy the US faces if Assange is tried in America, with a fair jury trial, on TV everyday with a strong defense attorney – ala OJ Simpson, he will be found innocent. And if he is found guilty – the next person in the dock is by necessity the Editor of the New York Times.

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    1. Do You really think that Assange’s trial is going to be televised like OJ’s?

      Just for starters: How will the government discuss all the “Classified Information” he disclosed that he is to be found guilty of, without violating its own rules about safeguarding classified information?

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          1. Glenn Greenwald – yesterday
            The trial you can’t win.

            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
            .
            https://scheerpost.com/2022/06/17/the-uks-decision-to-extradite-assange-shows-why-the-us-uks-freedom-lectures-are-a-farce/

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      1. OK so its a secret trial.
        When the results come out – and he is found guilty. How can this be kept secret?
        Still the next person in the dock is by necessity the Editor of the New York Times.

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        1. If he is found guilty by a secret trial, why in the world would the government want to keep his guilt secret?

          If he was found Not Guilty, thol well, that might present some interesting challenges to the Spin Meisters, eh?

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          1. They would want to keep it secret because it sets a legal president to charge every newspaper editor in America.
            Am I getting my logic correct?

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            1. And why would they want to charge every newspaper editor in America?

              Especially when virtually every major newspaper and other mainstream media outlet ~ print, electronic, and digital ~ in America supports whatever the government says is necessary to keep Americans safe and secure from all those Bad Guys out there?

              Especially if it involves a War someplace that most Americans can’t find on a map?

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              1. You are flailing now my man.
                No major newspaper and other mainstream media outlet ~ print, electronic, and digital – would push a story about flagrant American war crimes – if they knew they were going to be prosecuted for it – by a legal system using a guilty Assange trail case as a precedent.

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                1. They don’t publicize stories about American War Crimes now; why would they have to worry about being prosecuted if Assange is convicted?

                  And again: Why would the government want to keep a guilty verdict in a secret trial a secret? So they can catch some naughty journalists, editors, and whistleblowers?

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                2. @JG MOEBUS
                  Where did Seymour Hersh expose the My Lai Massacre brutal event to the public?
                  Did a newspaper publish this?

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                3. Give me a break, Dennis. That was Vietnam and the New York Times in 1969; and this is now. Completely different war and completely different newspaper.

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                4. @JG MOEBUS
                  I found it..
                  On November 12th 1969 the American investigative journalist Seymour Hersh, after interviewing William Calley, broke the story of the killing of civilians at My Lai. The following story appeared in a St Louis daily newspaper……

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    2. Yep, both charges. Nothing more, nothing less.
      To become crimes, that can be pardoned, he has to be found guilty of the charges in a court of Law.
      Also something about – innocent until proven guilty. Is that implicit in the 5th Amendment?

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      1. You’re right that Assange could not have been “pardoned” before he was convicted.

        So, as an alternative, Trump could have ordered that all Charges against Assange be dropped. Just like Biden could now.

        Like Trump probably would have done if James Clapper ~ who committed Perjury while testifying before Congress about warrantless surveillance of Americans back before Snowden blew his cover ~ had ever been charged with anything.

        Which, of course, did not and could and would never happen on Obomber’s watch

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        1. That makes sense – order that all Charges against Assange be dropped.
          Does the Constitution allow the President to overrule the Justice Department?

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            1. From this link Jeff – which by the way is 74-pages long!

              “The hard question, which we leave for another day, ……., in which the
              President, pursuing legitimate foreign policy objectives, directs prosecutors
              to file espionage charges that are weak but supported by probable cause.
              This scenario creates a tension between the President’s enumerated power
              under the Constitution and the Attorney General’s implied authority under
              legislation. Here, some perceive, presidential preeminence is a necessity.
              Perhaps so. But absent such a powerful presidential claim of constitutional
              authority, history and policy suggest that prosecutors must answer to the
              law, not the President”

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              1. i know it’s 74 pages long, Dennis; also having read the Conclusion, which You are quoting.

                i look forward to when they take up in full that “hard question”; and see if they arrive at the same preliminary conclusion.

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  9. The Guardian – “Assange’s lawyers alleged that during a visit to London in August 2017, congressman Dana Rohrabacher told the WikiLeaks founder that “on instructions from the president, he was offering a pardon or some other way out, if Mr Assange … said Russia had nothing to do with the Democratic National Committee leaks.”

    Note the words – “or some other way out”

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    1. i notice that You didn’t include the subsequent paragraph which states: “Rohrabacher denied the claim, saying he had made the proposal on his own initiative, and that the White House had not endorsed it.”

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  10. Never been charged?

    Government Accountability Project Statement on the Department of Justice’s Expanded Espionage Act CHARGES Against Julian Assange May 24, 2019

    WASHINGTON – On April 11, 2019, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was arrested in London, CHARGED with conspiring to facilitate whistleblower Chelsea Manning’s acquisition and transmission of classified information in order to make that information public.

    On May 23, 2019, the Department of Justice (DOJ) EXPANDED THE CHARGES IN ITS INDICTMENT TO ADD 17 NEW COUNTS OF VIOLATIONS OF THE ESPIONAGE ACT. [EMPHASIS added.]

    https://whistleblower.org/press/press-release-government-accountability-project-statement-on-the-department-of-justices-expanded-espionage-act-charges-against-julian-assange/

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    1. I’m still trying to figure out how an Australian citizen can be “charged” by a US espionage act that was enacted during World War I to suppress internal dissent.

      Then again, lawyers can be very creative …

      Liked by 2 people

      1. You can charge anybody with anything Bill!
        I could charge you with stealing my washing!
        Whether it holds in a Court of Law is another story.

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  11. Another Damn Fine Question, Colonel, that nobody in Swampland or its Media is even asking, let alone answering.

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    1. How many actual War Crimes do You suspect American forces have committed in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Somalia, Libya, Syria, Yemen, and who knows where else during The Forever War?

      And do You think that our totally and completely “embedded” ~ and thus controlled by the military ~ Media has reported even a fraction of them?

      The White House, Pentagon, and State Department all learned very well the lesson of Vietnam about an uncontrolled media in a War Zone; and started applying them very effectively when it gave CNN exclusive rights to becoming a household name with Desert Storm.

      And have not stopped applying that lesson since..

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Giving it a break for a bit here a bit Jeff..
    We need to let the Lt.Cols other commentors chime in! LOL
    Notice its 58F in Sitka. 50F here. And your sunset at 10:00pm. Lovely long Alaska summer evening.
    ( I was thinking -what’s the chance of Biden dropping all charges on Assange? 5% LOL)

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    1. Great Minds think alike, eh?

      i’ve got errands to run and chores to do. And Yes, the evenings are long and lovely up here this time of year. They certainly help make the Winters a bit more bearable. Have a good one. ~ jeff

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      1. Why do you say that Jeff? Since ‘m sure you would agree that there is something obscenely absurd about the USA attempting to lecture anybody about Freedom of The Press.

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        1. There is something obscenely absurd about ANY government on this Planet today lecturing anybody about Freedom of The Press, Dennis. Especially China, Russia, the UK, or the US; aka Eurasia, Eastasia, and Oceania,

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  13. Mostly stopped reading this blog, just like TomDispatch. Too damn depressing about issues I’m powerless to affect (which is most issues).

    Although I’m in agreement that imprisoning a journalist for revealing inconvenient and embarrassing truths (the new term malinformation applies) is tortuous, murderous, and criminal, add this example to a giant list of things where governments (plural) work in coordination against the will of the people to enact some agenda I can only guess at. If it’s merely about gathering, maintaining, and deploying power in some banal Machiavellian sense, I’d be surprised.

    Lots of people have spoken up to deplore how Assange has been handled. None of the right people, I’d say, but lots. Mostly powerless people like me who do not worry anyone with illegitimate power and purpose.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hello Brutus: thanks for stopping by. Yes, recent events are depressing, especially in the military-political sphere, even as climate change literally heats us up.

      I’ve been thinking of expanding my “bracing” views to subjects that aren’t so damned depressing. Look for this change in the next few weeks.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m not an addict, but I heard it said recently that everyone would benefit from a 12-step program. One of the features, as I understand it, is recognizing one’s powerlessness, specifically with respect to the addiction, and submitting to a higher power/purpose. Maybe if I could shift my mind and sensibilities toward greater spirituality I could submit. But I’ve been unable to escape the strong ego consciousness that emerges from a scientific/materialist worldview. So instead, I trying to enact something along the lines of the Serenity Prayer. Besides, the hubris of thinking that I know what’s best for others then agitating to put it into effect is exactly the sort of will to power I deplore in others.

        I started my blog 16 years ago as a culture blog, largely for the purpose of developing a (nonacademic) theory of consciousness. (Why have you never commented there? Doesn’t matter; I’m not trying to drive traffic.) It shifted into a doom blog once that specter appeared. But like you suggest, it’s too damned depressing to dwell there permanently and I’ve gone back to blogging more about culture. While the collapse of industrial civilization is never far from my mind, I’ve stopped wringing my hands over it, just as I’ve stopped fussing about the machinations of the military-industrial-corporate complex I can do nothing about. Folks who have captured the reins of power are maniacs whose character to the person has been wildly distorted. Just consider the megalomania of the billionaire set, who all seem to believe it’s their job to save the world. Unlike you or me, they can have significant effects, but I daresay they understand worse than most the proper directions to move.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I think I commented once before? But if I didn’t. I’ve rectified that and signed up to receive future postings from you.

          I know I’ve read your articles in the past, and now I’ll read them more often since I’ll get an alert.

          Liked by 1 person

  14. In Other News:

    THE WAR IN UKRAINE MARKS THE END OF THE AMERICAN CENTURY. “What’s Left is a Steaming Pile of Dollar Denominated Debt” by Mike Whitney

    *** “The ferocity of the confrontation in Ukraine shows that we’re talking about much more than the fate of the regime in Kiev. The architecture of the entire world order is at stake.” Sergei Naryshkin, Director of Russia’s Foreign Intelligence. ***

    Here’s your ‘reserve currency’ thought for the day: EVERY US DOLLAR IS A CHECK WRITTEN ON AN ACCOUNT THAT IS OVERDRAWN BY 30 TRILLION DOLLARS.

    It’s true. The “full faith and credit” of the US Treasury is largely a myth held together by an institutional framework that rests on a foundation of pure sand. In fact, THE USD IS NOT WORTH THE PAPER IT IS PRINTED ON; IT IS AN IOU FLAILING IN AN OCEAN OF RED INK.

    The only thing keeping the USD from vanishing into the ether, is the trust of credulous people who continue to accept it as legal tender.

    But why do people remain confident in the dollar when its flaws are known to all? After all, America’s $30 trillion National Debt is hardly a secret, nor is the additional $9 trillion that’s piled up on the Fed’s balance sheet. That is a stealth debt of which the American people are completely unaware, but they are responsible for all the same.

    In order to answer that question, we need to look at how the system actually works and how the dollar is propped up by the numerous institutions that were created following WW2. These institutions provide an environment for conducting history’s longest and most flagrant swindle, the exchange of high-ticket manufactured goods, raw materials and hard-labor for slips of green paper with dead presidents on them.
    [EMPHASES added.]

    Continued at https://www.globalresearch.ca/war-ukraine-marks-end-american-century/5782901

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    1. Mike Whitney is a journalist who lives in Washington state, USA, interested in politics and economics from a libertarian perspective.

      He has written extensively on the Russiagate and COVID-19 coups.

      He is a contributor to the book Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion

      IMHO he is a journalist every Bracing Views reader should bookmark. Kind of a “poor man’s Chris Hedges” with not quite the horsepower hedges has.

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  15. JULIAN ASSANGE HAS NO PRAYER AGAINST THE ‘EMPIRE OF LIES’: The Wikileaks co-founder is bound for a show trial by politicians desperate for votes by Robert Bridge

    The article concludes:

    It is certainly the greatest coincidence that Julian Assange may be paraded in chains along Pennsylvania Avenue in the midst of a tense election year, and at a time when THE DEMOCRATS DESPERATELY NEED A GOOD DISTRACTION FROM THE ACCUMULATING BAD NEWS, MOSTLY ON THE ECONOMIC FRONT.

    And as everyone knows, and no one better than Donald J. Trump, nobody is more enthusiastic about hosting show trials than the Democratic Party. SHOULD ASSANGE’S APPEAL PROCESS FAIL AND HE BE EXTRADITED TO THE US, NOBODY SHOULD BE SURPRISED WHEN THE MAINSTREAM MEDIA, LOYAL TO THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY, FORGETS THAT THE PRISONER BEFORE THEM IS A FELLOW JOURNALIST WITH A DUTY TO CALL OUT GOVERNMENT MALFEASANCE, SEEING HIM RATHER AS THE INDIVIDUAL WHO MAY HAVE COST HILLARY CLINTON THE THRONE IN 2016 AGAINST THE LOATHSOME ORANGE MAN.

    Julian Assange can expect no justice in the US, nor even any sympathy, which is why London should never have agreed to extradite him to the Empire of Lies in the first place. [EMPHASES added.]

    Source: https://www.rt.com/news/557429-assange-extradition-trial-us/

    Liked by 2 people

  16. It is fashionable in the West to bash RT as “Russian Propaganda” Jeff.
    But you will never see coverage with this theme, and excellence on The Guardian for instance, or on the BBC.
    I am confused about RT in America. It’s banned on TV right? But you can still access their articles such as this one on the internet, right? Is it banned on YouTube?
    There is no banning of RT on New Zealand TV.

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    1. RT is still on in the U.S. I don’t know about Canada but I doubt it. I understand it’s banned in the U.K. I don’t know of any website that’s banned in the U.S. It’s the First Amendment that makes the government squeamish about banning websites. That and a long cultural history of freedom of speech, which unfortunately doesn’t prevent administrations/students in universities from freezing out speech they don’t agree with. Like little Stalinist enclaves.

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      1. Alex, I used to see it via DirectTV and it appears it’s still there but are there others? I know that YouTube and YouTubeTV removed it, in the process deleting years of Chris Hedges’ podcasts.

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        1. Just look it up on a search engine and go directly to the site. I try to use direct connections when I can. Why insert the middleman? The internet is quasi-government controlled so it’s so far uncensored. YouTube is owned by Google and they can censor anyone they want to. Some programs like theduran are still on YouTube but they also put a lot of stock in locals.com, but I haven’t explored that.

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  17. RT IS Russian Propaganda. Just like the NYT, WaPo, WSJ, and the rest of the mainstream print, electronic, and digital Media is American Propaganda.

    i understand that RT America has been banned on American tv. Don’t know about YouTube but, yes, it is available unhampered online. At least so far.

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    1. Yes. RT has an agenda. They want to show the dark side of America, which is why they’ll sponsor people like Chris Hedges, Jesse Ventura, and Abby Martin (and I like all three of them).

      Our media don’t want to show the dark side, not from a leftist critique, so they refuse to air Hedges, Ventura, Martin, and other critics, no matter how well informed.

      RT asked me to appear a few times, based on articles I wrote for TomDispatch. I decided against it. But at least RT invited me. I’ve never been invited by a major network in the US, though I once appeared on BBC radio (maybe 13-14 years ago).

      Most of my writing goes out on sites like Alternet, Common Dreams, Consortium News, Counterpunch, Antiwar.com, etc. Occasionally, Libertarians will pick me up. But rare indeed is any interest shown by the MSM. Long ago, a few of my articles appeared at CBS online, but I think that stopped 10 years ago.

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      1. If Jimmy Dore can get invited on FOX Lt. Col (on the Tucker Carlson show) surely there is hope that William Astore can be invited on CNN!

        Like

    2. I confess, I’ve never seen RT in Russia (or elsewhere); only “RT America”, which used to be carried on the cable carrier we used to have, and some of whose programs were available via YouTube. It was for a time one of the few/ only outlets that would allow journos like Greenwald, Hedges, Aaron Maté , Pilger (I think), and Lee Camp and others, to challenge the U.S. imperial framing of ‘news’.
      While I have no doubt that RT America, and the reports and views of anyone who appeared thereon would be called Russian propaganda, it was clear to me that a) those who appeared on its programs were not propagandists for anyone, and b) RT America presented for some the only avenues they had for telling the truth to the American public – and wasn’t controlling what they said.

      Of course RT America was happy to give voice to those who would (honestly) show the dark side of America – exposing its war crimes, the degree to which corporate cash has supplanted any democracy, etc. ! But is that propaganda? If so, every critic of political corruption, ecological devastation, imperialism and war is a propagandist- and that includes me.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I guess it comes down to words and their meanings. RT America, like any other network, has (had?) agendas and biases. That doesn’t mean it’s all propaganda.

        Informed citizens (like all Americans should be, if we were educated properly) should be able to distinguish facts from opinions from total BS. But education isn’t what it used to be; as Trump said, people like him “love the poorly educated.”

        Liked by 1 person

  18. Perhaps Assange should have taken the Snowden route. If you’re going to publicly embarrass the state in such a fashion it would behoove you to have an escape route planned.

    Like

  19. Glenn Greenwald – yesterday.

    “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”

    https://greenwald.substack.com/p/the-uks-decision-to-extradite-assange

    Liked by 2 people

  20. THOUGHTS ON ASSANGE [And Others]

    If POTUS Maxximmuss XLVI Biden had any Brains, Balls, or Backbone [which he obviously does not, as his 50-year tenure in Swampland and the fact that he is now President clearly and amply demonstrate], he would do the following:

    1. Order his Attorney General to immediately drop all Department of Justice pending, planned, proposed, and/or programmed Charges against Julian Assange within 24 hours.

    2. Inform British Prime Minister Johnson to have Mr Assange at Heathrow Airport within 24 hours for a pickup by Air Force One.

    3. Invite Mr Assange to the White House [once he has recovered from his Release] to receive both the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Congressional Gold Medal, the civilian equivalents of the military’s Congressional Medal of Honor.

    4. At the same time, President Biden ~ had he the intelligence, gonads, and integrity ~ would:

    a. Order his AG to drop all pending, etc, DOJ Charges against Edward Snowden, and invite him ~ at Mr Snowden’s convenience ~ to come to the White House to get the same Medals to be given to Assange.

    b. Order the immediate release from prison of Daniel Hale with the same invitation to get the same Medals.

    c. Invite Chelsea Manning to join Assange, Snowden, and Hale to get her Medals, as well.

    d. Order the AG to begin negotiations with attorneys of all four Medalists as to monetary compensation by the US government for what it did to these three Americans and an Australian, all in the name of….. WHAT?

    And to assist him in presenting all those Medals, Mr Biden would invite Daniel Ellsberg to serve as Master of Ceremonies.

    Liked by 1 person

        1. If I was Julian I would avoid any Yank offer like the plague.
          All I want is a one way ticket, first class, on Qantas to Sydney.
          And to be free to settle down with my wife and kids for the rest of my life.

          Like

    1. Has ANY other American elected official or candidate for election said anywhere close to the same thing? Has Bernie? How about AOC and Her Chums? Or Madam Warren?

      Where is America’s so-called “LEFT” on all this? Where’s Billy Bob and The Hillary? Or Obomber? Or Trump and his Trumpatistas?

      Heh…. stupid questions, eh? We all know exactly where all those folks stand on Assange. And WHY.

      Like

  21. The Guardian view on Julian Assange’s extradition: a bad day for journalism
    Editorial

    Priti Patel could have turned down the American request. By not doing so she dealt a blow to press freedom
    he decision by Priti Patel, the home secretary, to extradite the WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to the US ought to worry anyone who cares about journalism and democracy. Mr Assange, 50, has been charged under the US Espionage Act, including publishing classified material. He faces up to 175 years in jail if found guilty by a US court. This action potentially opens the door for journalists anywhere in the world to be extradited to the US for exposing information deemed classified by Washington………………………………

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2022/jun/17/the-guardian-view-on-julian-assanges-extradition-a-bad-day-for-journalism

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Glad to see it. The Guardian seemed to have turned a cold shoulder to him for a while. I suppose they realized that throwing him under the bus was NOT a good look.

      Liked by 1 person

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