Why Julian Assange’s War is Our War Too


Paul Mansfield
21st Century Wire

The sickening sight of Julian Assange being dragged out of the Ecuadorian embassy was an affront to human decency, a shameful contempt for democracy and total disdain for long honored refugee rights.

The new troika of tyranny; the sell-out regime of Lenin Moreno, the long gone empire that still maintains illusions of grandeur in the guise of the May regime, and the thundering Trump regime that terrifies any state that gets in its way, together conspiring to drag a sick and ailing man out of his sanctuary of the last 7 years, blinded by one of his few glimpses of light from the outside world since he entered the Ecuadorian embassy back in 2012.

The Abuse of Assange by Moreno

Lenin Moreno was anointed the successor to Rafael Correa as President of Ecuador on 24 May 2017, with the promise of carrying on the policies of Correa, not least the resistance to US dominance in the western hemisphere.

How quickly those hopes were dashed, Correa branding Moreno as “The greatest traitor in Ecuadorian and Latin American history,” after shamefully and illegally stripping Assange of his citizenship and revoking his asylum.

Rafael Correa Retweeted Barnaby Nerberka:

“The greatest traitor in Ecuadorian and Latin American history, Lenin Moreno, allowed the British police to enter our embassy in London to arrest Assange. Moreno is a corrupt man, but what he has done is a crime that humanity will never forget.”

The US indictment on the federal charge of conspiracy to commit computer intrusion for agreeing to break a password (not successfully broken from all appearances) to a classified U.S. government computer against Assange was filed on 6 March 2018, around the same time Assange had his internet access cut off for allegedly interfering in the affairs of friendly states such as Spain and the US. This move alerted all that something was afoot. Was this when the dirty deal was done between Ecuador the UK and the US to deliver Assange into the hands of tyranny, tormented by hell on earth for the rest of his life?

The train was set in motion with these events. Like a bolt from the blue, it was a surprise to many to see such a harsh measures by Ecuador. It was a portent of things to come, the screws gradually tightened to justify Assange’s eventual expulsion from the embassy, which may have been agreed to in March 2018, when the Trump administration rehashed the investigation that Obama refused to indict on. Trump’s regime, infested with fanatical war hawks and law breakers like Mike Pompeo and John Bolton, decided to go ahead with an indictment on investigative journalism, parading it as conspiracy to commit computer intrusion, or as the Department Of Justice misleadingly titled it in their press release, “Computer Hacking Conspiracy”.


Mike Pompeo continues to struggle with the US Constitution (Image Source: Dept of State)

“We have to recognize that we can no longer allow … free speech values against us. To give them the space to crush us … is a perversion of what our great Constitution stands for. It ends now.”

That quote really says it all. Free speech is great, unless you criticize the United States.

Like much abuse by rogue nations, goals are set first, and “reality” is invented to justify pre-ordained actions. Moreno adopted the motto, by ‘any means necessary,’ as Assange was subjected to intense surveillance, harassment and a relentless campaign of demonization.

How low will those who fear truth go in order to defame a man with a flawless record in truth-telling and revealing government corruption, dishonesty and, not least of all, war crimes?

The final straw, at least according to the story spun by Moreno was after Wikileaks reported on the INA Papers scandal, a scandal linking a Panamanian investment company with Moreno and his family. It is important to emphasize WikiLeaks reported on the scandal, it did not publish material, and its reporting came after news of the scandal had already broken. At a Poroshenko-level approval rating of 17%, Moreno desperately needed to prop-up his ailing regime. He will be acutely aware of the corruption scandals, real and concocted that have bought down more than one Latin American leader, to the point of imprisonment in the case of former Brazilian president Lula.

Moreno saw his opportunity and accused WikiLeaks and Assange of trying to harm the reputation of Ecuador, Foreign Minister Jose Valencia saying it was “an absurd lie to harm the dignity of our country.”

An ominous threat hung over Assange’s continued asylum, the government distorting WikiLeaks reporting to make it appear it was publishing material, and actively seeking to damage the government and tarnish its reputation in countering corruption. US debt relief and an IMF loan were at stake, and the stench of corruption could railroad Moreno’s plans to simultaneously sell-out his country, and betray Assange.

For example, on April 2nd, President Moreno claimed that Assange “violated the ‘conditions’ of his asylum” and that he will “take a decision” “in the short term.” He said, “In WikiLeaks there is proof of espionage, of hacking, of the fact that phones have been intercepted and private conversations, there are even pictures of my bedroom.” Ecuador’s Vice President Otto Sonnenholzner echoed this misconception in an interview the previous week, stating, “What WikiLeaks and other political actors have done, to publish private photos of the President of the Republic, of his family, is a despicable, repugnant, and odious act.”

At this stage, the specter of the dodgy Moreno ‘Daily Protocol‘ hung over Assange like the sword of Damocles. The protocol came with “explicit threats to revoke Mr. Assange’s asylum if Mr. Assange, or any of his guests, breached or were perceived to have breached, any of the 28 “rules” in the protocol.”

The protocol was like a glorified rental tenancy, but unlike any tenancy, came with gross violation of the privacy of Assange and his visitors, intense scrutiny and surveillance and denied Assange from doing his job as a journalist, even stifling his ability to express an opinion. Cutting off internet access, spying on and denying Assange from practicing his profession, were part of a relentless psychological war against him. Without the ability to set foot into the outside world, the cruel Moreno regime was seeking to make life as uncomfortable and intolerable as possible for Assange. The decision to expel Assange had already been made. Moreno was trying to break Assange, to force reckless and aggressive actions from him, so he could throw his hands up and say, ‘we have no choice, we have to expel this ungrateful and destructive man who is betraying the country who gave him asylum.’  Unfortunately for turncoat Moreno, Assange is an extremely resilient man, and all we were left with was baseless accusations.

On 10 April, Wikileaks Editor-in-chief Kristinn Hrafnsson, along with human rights lawyer and barrister Jennifer Robinson and former Consul of Ecuador to London, Fidel Narvaez, held a press briefing which revealed intensive surveillance of Assange within the Ecuadorian embassy which constituted a violation of his right to privacy. Individuals allegedly from Spain attempted to extort millions of Euros under threat of releasing the footage. The extortionists certainly likely are Spanish speakers, but are they from Spain, or operatives of Ecuador intelligence agencies? Subsequently, footage has been released of Assange on a skateboard in his room, along with some dirty dishes in the kitchen.

Fleet Street rag, The Daily Mail, always excelling in disgracing itself and the field of journalism, did its bit by pushing the fiction of Assange as a dirty, aggressive and ungrateful guest. Bizarrely, it published footage of Assange being spied on by the Ecuadorian embassy, while spinning it as proof that Assange spied on the embassy. The lack of logic and depravity knows no depths among the MI6 loyalists that fester in the UK gutter press.

The footage includes private medical examinations, legal meetings and documents which are a gross violation of privacy, medical records and client lawyer confidentiality. No doubt this intense spying on Assange has been shared with US and UK authorities and will have been vital in developing their plan to forcibly remove him from the embassy and extradite him to the US. But all this was not enough for the Moreno regime, aided and abetted in this dastardly plan by Washington and London. Ecuadorian authorities acted amateurish, trotting out these scurrilous accusations:

  • Late-night skateboarding
  • The physical and verbal harassment of his caretakers
  • The stench from going weeks without a shower and dental problems born of poor hygiene,
  • Left dirty underwear in the lavatory
  • Failed to clean his dishes
  • Left a cooker on
  • Smearing feces on the walls

These claims are so imbecilic and should rightly be ignored and discarded as defamatory talking points made-to-order for tabloid readers. However they serve a purpose; to demonize and humiliate Assange to the point where the public come to despise him and applaud extradition into the hands of the US where he potentially faces torture and years in solitary confinement.

Assange after his arrest in London.

The MI6/CIA loyalist pundits have taken the baton of Assange the “pig” and run with it at full pace. During an RT segment, journalist Max Blumenthal debated an establishment pundit on why Assange had his asylum revoked and was by forcible removal by UK police. Blumenthal gave a cogent response. The establishment pundit demeaned himself by trotting out the Assange as ‘feces smearer’ slander which has become a popular mainstream media talking point in recent days.

The savage attacks on Assange are not confined to an increasingly rabid and duplicitous mainstream media, who act as little more than PR agents for the governments they serve. Moreno called Assange a ‘spoiled brat’ and ‘miserable hacker’. British Judge Michael Snow who found him guilty of breaching bail from 2012, also resorted to personal insults calling him a “narcissist.”

President Donald Trump, who famously said “I love WikiLeaks” over and over on the 2016 campaign trail, now claims he doesn’t know who they are, disingenuously saying last week following Assange’s arrest, “I know nothing about WikiLeaks … It’s not my thing. I know nothing really about it — it’s not my deal in life,” he said.

Will his language degenerate to the level of the miserable rogues determined to see Assange punished for telling the truth about US war crimes? It’s probably far too much to expect a neocon surrounded Trump to honor his pre-election pledge to withdraw the US from wars abroad, thank Assange wholeheartedly for his contribution to the anti-war movement, and wish him good luck in his career as head of WikiLeaks. In a more perfect world, maybe.

How Moreno Tore up the Ecuador Constitution

Lenin Moreno, who great faith was placed in to continue the turn away from the US Empire, has fast become a think skinned autocrat, propped up by the US for persecuting Assange.

Moreno’s dodgy protocol was on shaky foundations, unlike his shredding of the Ecuadorian constitution in revoking Assange’s asylum and citizenship in one fell swoop.

On April 11, the Ombudsman of Ecuador declared the expulsion of Assange illegal and unconstitutional. Specifically, it sighted the violation of the following articles of the constitution:

With this decision, in the opinion of the Ombudsman’s Office, the rights to nationality (art.6), asylum (Article 41), the principle of non-refoulement (Article 66.14), and guarantees of due process have been limited (Article 77) provided for in the Constitution of the Republic, the Human Mobility Law and in international human rights instruments.

It is necessary to remember that the Ecuadorian State granted a naturalization letter to Julian Assange, which can only be annulled by observing the provisions of art. 81 of the Organic Law of Human Mobility, which provides that: 

“Without prejudice to the corresponding criminal sanction, prior to lesividad action, the human mobility authority will declare void the naturalization of a person when it has been granted on the basis of concealment of relevant facts, false documents or the commission of fraud to the law in the granting procedure. The decision must be motivated; for its declaration, due process must be followed and it will be notified to the corresponding authorities. “In the present case, it has not been clearly determined if this procedure was complied with, and if within it effective due process was guaranteed.

If the Ecuadorian State fails to comply with these guarantees, and Julian Assange has been handed over to the police authorities in the United Kingdom, a de facto extradition would have been committed, which contradicts Article 79 of the Constitution, which prohibits the extradition of Ecuadorian people.

Reflect on the last point for a moment. The constitution of Ecuador prohibits the extradition of Ecuadorian people. Can you imagine the US having such blatant disregard for its constitution, a document long-held as sacrosanct?

The Inter-American Court on Human Rights has determined that any procedure that may have an impact on the rights to nationality or legal personality must observe the guarantees of due process. Moreno failed to abide by due process, showing a complete lack of respect for the principle of non-refoulement in the face of obvious risks to life, liberty or integrity, which justifies Assange’s prolonged stay in the Ecuadorian embassy, and the Ecuadorian state has not proven that such risks have ceased.

While Moreno abandoned due process, the Ombudsman stated Assange continues to face persecution if extradited to the US, thus justifying his prolonged stay at the embassy, not out of choice, but of fear of abuse and facing injustice in the US. The Ombudsman is making objective statements about the actions of sovereign states. They are not tailoring the statement toward the attitude and actions of the US government – probably not appropriate in a legal statement bearing on the constitution. If it did take into account the particular motivations and proclivities of the neocon infested Trump administration, it would no doubt have cast very grave fears for Assange, given the contempt of the US for international law, its brazen actions and hostile attitude toward any international institutions it believes impedes its ability to act on the misguided principle of ‘might makes right’.

The staggering hubris and aggression of the US was most recently seen in the threats to the International Criminal Court over investigations into US war crimes in Afghanistan, blocking the chief prosecutor from even entering the US. If the US makes such an assault on a major international body, it will have no qualms in steamrolling over every right Julian Assange has as an individual and journalist.

Former Ecuadorian Foreign Minister, Guillaume Long also tweeted about how Moreno has violated international law, saying “it is a national disgrace and a historical mistake that will leave a deep footprint in Ecuador for a long time.”

The delivery of Julian Assange, dragged by the British police after entering our diplomatic mission to remove it, is a national disgrace and a historical mistake that will leave a deep footprint in Ecuador for a long time…..Ecuador has just violated the principle of “non-refoulement” …Ecuador has just violated opinion 54/2015 of the Working Group on Arbitrary detention of the United Nations….Ecuador has just violated the Opinion OC-25/2019 of the Inter-American Court of HUMAN RIGHTS and the Resolution MC-54-19 of the IACHR of March 2019 that obliges the Equator to “not deport, to return, expel, extradite or otherwise remove” Assange from our embassy….it will be remembered by the future generations of Ecuadorian and Ecuadorian people as an act of servility, vileness and ethical degradation of political power in our country. 

WikiLeaks made a compelling case for the continued political asylum of Assange on their defend WikiLeaks web page:  “given an extradition to the United States, Mr. Assange would not have a fair trial, he could be judged by a special or military court, and it is not unlikely that he would receive cruel and demeaning treatment and he would be condemned to a life sentence or the death penalty, which would not respect his human rights.”

You can rest assured that Julian Assange will be tortured by the Trump regime if it gets his hands on him. They’ll want sources, methods, passwords, codes, location of servers etc. Mike Pompeo, John Bolton and CIA torturer in Chief, Gina Haspel, will all ensure that happens. Therefore, it must be fought tooth-and-nail to ensure Assange is not extradited to the US.

As another great Australian John Pilger said on RT, Assange exposed the US kill them all mentality, as seen in the Iraq helicopter gunship video. The US deep state is infuriated and seeking blood vengeance.

If men like John Bolton re-imagined the notorious the helicopter massacre known as “Collateral Murder” leaked by Manning and WikiLeaks, there can be no doubt who the intended target would be now. It’s Julian Assange, but more broadly, the whole idea of a free press.

This war on Assange is everyone’s war now.

***

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Source Article from https://21stcenturywire.com/2019/04/21/why-julian-assanges-war-is-our-war-too/

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