For most people, the 4th of January 2021 was an ordinary day. But for the Australian investigative journalist and founder of the whistleblower webpage WikiLeaks, Julian Assange, this day was like a second birthday to him. This is because on this day, a British court decided that the 49-year-old Australian man will not be extradited to the USA, where he is wanted for divulgence of official secrets of national importance and/or security. Together with Bradley Manning, Assange had published various secret reports of the United States military, whose most well-known publishing was the Collateral Murder video.
In this video, one views through the perspective of an American attack helicopter how an American band of soldiers opened fire upon Iraqi civilians, even ridiculing their victims as they carried out said act. Among the victims were two journalists of the press agency Reuters and two children, who were left wounded. The documents leaked by Manning and Assange proved in 2010 that this was not a single case, but rather the actions of what is effectively an American military death squads and carrying out acts of assassinations (so called “targeted killings”). Torture turned everyday life in Afghanistan and Iraq into Hell on Earth.
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The video did not only highlight the brutality during the act, but also presented a “false” representation of the Americans’ intentions in the Middle-East. The published documents revealed that the US leadership knew from the very beginning of the conflict that they could not win it on political terms. Diplomatic concepts of democracy and human Rights are rare among governments in the Middle East. Instead, the US strove for an endless war in order to bring chaos over the Middle-East region in order to impose their economic and geo-strategic interests, all while on the way to global American hegemony. However, contrary to the case of the Pentagon Papers – published in 1971 during the Vietnam War, which revealed similar facts about the American conduct of war in Southeast Asia – no change in US foreign policy followed.
Julian Assange must still fight for his freedom. As it comes from the rejection of an application for extradition by the USA through the British Supreme Court, British justice neither regards the Australian as a victim of political processes inside the US, nor do they view Assange’s revelation of secret service information as guaranteed by freedom of press. Only Assange's own poor health prevented an extradition. Assange has been diagnosed as depressive and suicidal ever since he fell victim to the manhunt that has lasted for more than 10 years. An extradition to the USA would mean his certain death via execution. An application for bail by the WikiLeaks founder was denied due to the danger of absconding. Western democracies are plotting before our very eyes in order to murder a man who brought an unpleasant truth to the daylight. Therefore, it is more important than ever to stand up against the demonization of Julian Assange and demand the decent thing – his immediate release.
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