News Release

WikiLeaks’ Assange Being “Railroaded” for Exposing War Crimes

The U.S. government is seeking to extradite WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange from Britain. This relates to his release of U.S. government material like the “Collateral Murder” video from Iraq, which provided evidence of war crimes. (See from FAIR: “Assange’s ‘Conspiracy’ to Expose War Crimes Has Already Been Punished.”)

Assange’s hearing in London began on Monday and is expected to go on for three weeks. If extradited to the U.S., Assange faces 175 years in prison and is being charged with the Espionage Act, a World War era statue.

As his administration seeks to prosecute Assange for exposing war crimes, President Donald Trump has been claiming that soldiers love him while “the top people in the Pentagon probably” don’t “because they want to do nothing but fight wars.” Meanwhile, Democratic Party nominee Joe Biden, while Vice President, was an outlier in the Obama administration in calling for Assange’s prosecution, claiming the publisher of WikiLeaks was more like a “high-tech terrorist” than a journalist.

On Tuesday, the New York Times reports: “At Least 37 Million People Have Been Displaced by America’s War on Terror.”

KEVIN GOSZTOLA, [currently in London] kevin@shadowproof.com, @kgosztola
Managing editor of Shadowproof, Gosztola is in London covering the trial. His two most recent pieces are: “Judge Railroads Assange As Legal Team Objects To Fresh Extradition Request” and “What To Expect During Three-Week Hearing In Julian Assange’s Extradition Case.”

See his Twitter thread for Tuesday’s proceedings. He noted: “Witnesses likely to testify on Day 2 are Patrick Cockburn, Nicolas Hager, and Daniel Ellsberg.”

Gosztola writes: “The proceedings will focus on the political nature of the prosecution, the misrepresentation of facts, Assange’s political opinions, the risk of denial of justice at a U.S. trial, the risk of cruel and inhuman treatment in U.S. jails and prisons, Assange’s health, and the passage of time since materials were published.

“Assange’s legal team contends President Donald Trump’s administration pursued charges against Assange for ‘ulterior political motives,’ and they were not brought in ‘good faith.’ They indicted Assange under the Espionage Act, which makes the extradition a case involving classic ‘political offenses’ that should not be covered by the treaty between the U.S. and U.K.”

See from Gosztola from earlier this year: “Interview With James Goodale: Stunning How Few in U.S. Care About Threat Posed by Assange’s Case” with the noted First Amendment lawyer who represented the New York Times in the Pentagon Papers case. Goodale told Gosztola that the “United States is going to end up with an Official Secrets Act, by which leaking not only is criminalized but receiving leaks in the capacity of a leakee is also going to be criminalized. And that is really bad because you’re just inviting governments, particularly authoritarian governments, to control their information.”

Gosztola is author of Truth and Consequences, a book about the U.S. government prosecution of Chelsea Manning, who was the alleged source for WikiLeaks, who was subjected to prolonged solitary confinement in the U.S. that the UN said amounted to torture. Many expect Assange will be subjected to similar methods if extradited to the U.S.

See video of “The Media Trial of the Century” from Consortium News.