Julian Assange

Julian Assange was imprisoned for what he published. Not for stealing, not for killing, not for committing violent acts, much less terrorist. They didn’t even put him in jail for what he thinks. It was for publishing at any price but not anything. He did not publish gossip or intimacies. It published very strong leaks from Russia and China, as well as the United States. Revelations from his native Australia, Kenya, Indonesia and Peru. He crossed a boundary when he published hundreds of thousands of US embassy cables, exposing the crimes those cables detail. And he paid the price. Due to his technological defense of the Catalan independence movement, he had burned his last bridges with the powers of the European Union. That’s why they put him in prison: for publishing until he was alone.

Latest cartridges

I saw him spend his last cartridges at the Ecuadorian embassy when he was preparing Vault Seven, the biggest leak in CIA history. Had to Donald trump eating from his hand after conquering him with the publication of the mails of Hillary clinton, a decisive fact in the electoral triumph of the North American magnate. With Trump’s support, Assange had earned his freedom, his prosperity and the end of the ordeal of years of confinement in three-quarters of the embassy. I just had to not post. But published. None other than Vault Seven, top-secret documents that show how the CIA spies on cell phones and smart TVs. That’s when Trump’s CIA spies got together and wondered how they were going to kill him. It became known a month ago thanks to an investigation by Yahoo! News that the CIA director himself at the time, Mike Pompeo confirmed saying that the anonymous source who gave the information should be criminalized.

That’s the problem. While these days the fate of Assange is decided in an extraordinary extradition trial in Britain at the request of the United States, it is important to say that they put him in prison and want to kill him for publishing. And that is why they want to portray him as a kind of lonely terrorist with an intellectual air, a kind of Unabomber who threatens American security. But Unabomber, in addition to having written an anti-capitalist manifesto, used explosives that killed people. In Assange’s case, the bombs are his truths. Never, not even in Sweden, has he even been accused of exercising violence in any of its forms. Neither he nor any member of WikiLeaks, past or present. Furthermore, no one has been able to prove that anyone died as a result of the WikiLeaks revelations. But the site published very heavy truths. So much so that their editor was imprisoned and wanted to kill him.

Pigeons and hawks

Or, to be more precise, the type pigeons Joe biden, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama they want him prisoner. Like many English, Swedish and Ecuadorians, just to mention those directly involved in this story. Instead the Pompeos, Trump’s friends and British and American spies prefer to see him dead. And if they can’t kill him with a drone because they only apply that kind of summary punishment to people with Arabic features who live in distant countries, and since they can’t fry it in an electric chair because no court will sentence you to death in the United States, they will try to make him rot in a jail. Or go crazy, which is the same for that matter.

They already had him seven years locked up in a little piece of embassy around Scotland Yard. They wouldn’t let him breathe. During the day he did not go near the windows for fear of being shot. At night he would hide behind the curtains and take photos of the policemen and spies who were watching him. Poor thing, he thought all the time that they were going to kill him.

Threats of death

He kept his death threats neatly in a folder that he always kept on hand to show his friends and reporters who came to see him. He already knew that they wanted to kill him but he still enjoyed two freedoms that for him were everything, or almost: “I have access to the Internet and unlimited visits,” he confided to me more than once, while the Ecuadorian government Rafael Correa He sheltered him with a bed, food, asylum and citizenship. Then came Lenin Moreno and first he took out a room, the meeting room, practically a third of his precious territory. Then he cut his visits, then he took out the computer and in the end he threw it at the English dogs that entered the embassy to lead him by the hair to the worst cell they could find. All that and more in exchange for a credit from International Monetary Fund. Assange ended up in the Belmarsh maximum security jail among serial killers and heavy hitters, isolated, ill, almost always away from his family and lawyers by disposition of anonymous officials hiding behind the pandemic bureaucracy, and by inaction of His Honor Vanessa Baraister, the judge of the case. Above in the hearings of his trial he is exhibited in a prison uniform, locked in a glass cage, as if he were the blonde reincarnation of Abimael guzman.

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That is why Baraister’s ruling in favor of Assange contains a couple of, let’s say, lies, which should not be mentioned out loud because in the end it is a ruling in favor of Assange that very few expected, that the United States appealed and in a few days more that appeal is decided. The ruling says, in essence, that the United States is right that Assange is a dangerous terrorist who got a lot of information. However, the judge adds, they cannot extradite him because he is very depressed, US prisons are very rigorous and it is likely that in such conditions Assange will find a way to commit suicide. The judge’s lies are not in accepting that Assange is a dangerous terrorist who spilled information. OK, he didn’t share information, they passed it on, and he didn’t attack anyone. But in any case that is what the extradition request says. The judge’s lies are, first, to imply that she is not sending him to the United States because supposedly the prisons in that country would be much worse than the English ones. The second lie is to imply that the judge cares about Assange’s mental health when there is so much she could have done to improve it.

How long have you been in prison and in isolation? Two years? Three? Three plus seven at the embassy? In Assange’s life, hours, days, months and years follow each other in a continuous trance, he once told me, like a movie that never ends. We must not criticize the judge’s ruling because it is in favor and we have to wait quietly for the appeal to be decided, but one cannot help but think that the ruling came after those who want to see him dead lost the elections with those who want see him prisoner. And those who want to see him imprisoned prefer that he rot in a jail far from the United States: they do not want a trial that would be a bummer in a country with a First amendment constitutional law that defends freedom of expression. Then the judge rules in favor of Assange but leaves him locked up so that he can die little by little. Stretching the process despite the fact that Assange has no pending account with the British justice. In a maximum security prison even though he never killed a fly.

It could be said, from our chauvinism, that the judge applied to Assange the Irurzun doctrine. But it would be more fair to say that Irurzun applied the Assange doctrine in Argentina: preventive punishment so as not to depend on the outcome of a trial.

The cost of publishing

The issue is that they put him in prison and want to kill him for what he published. And it’s not because they hate it. Or it’s not just because of that. The reasons of state They go beyond. They want to silence him and they want to see him suffer because he published truths that should never come to light again. And so that that does not happen again, no one else should dare to publish them without feeling the risk of ending up insane or dead or rotting in some maximum security jail. Then we better shut up or post nonsense. That is why their immediate release is so important for the profession, for freedom of expression and for democracy. That’s why thousands of people around the world We demand that they release him and leave him alone. Hopefully many more will join.

“Getting information is easy, the difficult thing is to publish,” told me once. So difficult that they put him in prison and want to kill him. To be published.

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