You cut off the head to kill the snake – the threat to Julian Assange
If there is one journalist I trust above all others, it is John Pilger. If there is one journalist in whom I believe above all others, it is John Pilger. So when he writes:
In recent weeks, the US Justice Department has established a secret grand jury just across the river from Washington in the eastern district of the state of Virginia. The object is to indict Julian Assange under a discredited espionage act used to arrest peace activists during the first world war, or one of the “war on terror” conspiracy statutes that have degraded American justice. Judicial experts describe the jury as a “deliberate set up”, pointing out that this corner of Virginia is home to the employees and families of the Pentagon, CIA, Department of Homeland Security and other pillars of American power.
then I start to get worried. This is not some tabloid guttersnipe journo seeking to gain reputation through sensationalism. This is John Pilger. So believe it. And be worried.
Crushing individuals like Julian Assange and Bradley Manning is not difficult for a great power, however craven. The point is, we should not allow it to happen, which means those of us meant to keep the record straight should not collaborate in any way. Transparency and information, to paraphrase Thomas Jefferson, are the “currency” of democratic freedom. “Every news organisation,” a leading American constitutional lawyer told me, “should recognise that Julian Assange is one of them, and that his prosecution will have a huge and chilling effect on journalism”.
Read the full article and weep for the world we believe in. It doesn’t exist. It probably never existed. But that doesn’t mean we should ever cease fighting for it.