Federico Pieraccini, SCF 14.04.2019
Julian Assange was bundled away by British police after Lenin Moreno, the president of Ecuador, gave the green light for the expulsion of the Wikileaks publisher from the Ecuadorian embassy in London. Assange’s arrest represents an abuse of power, highlighting not only how true journalism has now been banished in the West, but also how politicians, journalists, news agencies and think-tanks collude with each other to silence people like Julian Assange and his Wikileaks foundation who are a nuisance to US imperialism.
Assange is “guilty” of two “cardinal sins”: revealing US war crimes committed in Iraq and committing the unpardonable sin of publishing the emails of Clinton, Podesta and the Democratic National Committee, thereby revealing such chicanery in US domestic politics as the fraud committed against Bernie Sanders in the 2016 Democratic primaries.
These revelations among the many (Vault 7, Torture, Diplomatic cablograms), by Assange’s Wikileaks, these transgressions in the eyes of the US ruling elite, struck at the very foundations on which the edifice of “American exceptionalism” is built, namely, the democracy that is meant to be a light unto the world, and the “just wars” that flow from a missionary zeal to make the world safe for democracy. The media and politicians accordingly crow about the “beautiful missiles” and other high-tech weaponry that will be employed in the ensuing humanitarian interventions, while omitting to mention that the military-industrial complex that benefits so much from endless wars may be the very donors who fund the warmongering politicians into office, and that the warmongering editorial line of newspapers may be influenced by share portfolios of the editors themselves.
Releasing footage of US military personal laughing as they slaughter dozens of clearly unarmed Iraqis civilians from the distant safety of an Apache helicopter is one of the strongest ways of showing how false, artificial and propagandistic the concept of “humanitarian war” and “responsibility to protect” (R2P) is.
In today’s communication age, that footage, those images, that laughter, are a very powerful antidote against the lies we are daily fed by our media corporations.
The mainstream media will never tell us that the reason why Washington has been at war for half of the last two centuries is because of US imperialism. They will never tell us that the ceaseless interventions are driven by an insatiable greed for resources, or often enough by the simple desire to plunge a country into chaos if its recalcitrant leaders refuse to genuflect appropriately and show due respect.
That footage straightforwardly debunked all the thousands of accumulated hours of media propaganda that had been built up to convince us that Washington beneficently bombs countries in order to bring democracy and free the oppressed.
In the same way, by pulling back the curtain to show how the Democratic primaries were a farce, Wikileaks revealed how the concept of democracy in the United States is worn out and in fact now non-existent. The political parties are fed and controlled by donor money, and the accompanying media coverage can be bought, allowing for tens of millions of Americans to be fed on a steady diet of false news, lies and promises that will never be kept.
It becomes clear, reading the revelations published over the years by Wikileaks, that terms such as democracy and R2P are nothing more than excuses and justifications for the US to bomb whomever it wishes. The moneyed interests ensure the election into office of those who can be relied upon to look after the interests of the 1% at the expense of the 99%, all the while giving moral lectures to the rest of the world while ignoring the inherent double standards.
The mainstream media are tasked by the powers that be with marketing war in order to advance US foreign-policy objectives. Without the moral justification for war, it becomes more difficult to convince Americans and Europeans to send their sons to die thousands of miles away from home. It is straightforward Brainwashing 101: repeat a lie long enough, and people will start to believe it.
The only way the US sees to fix the problem is to silence the source and ignoring the consequences, even when we are talking about a journalist of international fame who has sought asylum in an embassy and has been confined there for seven years.
This Australian has succeeded in simultaneously becoming the number one enemy of the military-industrial complex, the Democrats, and therefore for all American Russophobes. He did his job so well that he managed to become a target of practically all of the Washington establishment, which is determined to lock away the likes of Assange and Snowden (if only they could) and throw away the key.
His destiny seems marked, with a probable extradition to the US, where a secret trial based on false accusations awaits him, without him even being able to examine the evidence with a lawyer. They would have sent him to Guantanamo at an earlier time, but the effect is the same. Of course this is not bad news for everyone, with many rejoicing at the news of his arrest. All the #MeToo crowd and groups related to human rights applaud Lenin Morero’s decision to kick Assange out of the embassy and his arrest by the British police. Those who would be expected to make their voices heard reveal themselves to be agents of imperialism by their shameful silence.
Print and broadcast media outside the US play their role in contributing to a wave of disinformation, omissions and lies in the interests of US propaganda. They may be divided over US presidents and their preference for Democrats or Republicans, but they are firmly united in the belief that that Washington (and Tel Aviv) is always in the right.
In the meantime, we see more and more wars caused by the US, whether directly or indirectly and regardless of who sits in the White House. True, authentic journalism disappears under the waves of censorship. In the West, lies and fake news runs rampant, and the three-year Mueller hoax will be remembered in history as a prime example of how the elite can program the minds of tens of millions of citizens by simply repeating again and again a complete and utter falsehood without any supporting evidence.
Assange’s arrest and those of Meng Wanzhou, chief financial officer of Chinese technology company Huawei, and Marzieh Hashemi, anchorwoman for Iran’s English- language Press TV, leads us to pause for a moment to reflect on the changes taking place and on how the US empire is reacting aggressively to the ongoing transformation from a unipolar to a multipolar world. The loss of prestige, respect, dignity, loyalty and honesty are all consequences that the US now faces, partly as a result of the excellent journalistic work of Wikileaks over the last 15 years.
Arresting a journalist, who is an Australian citizen, in an embassy, then extraditing him to a third country, to be tried in secret, without seeing the evidence (because classified top secret), where he is accused of espionage, is is a new low even for Washington, which should worry anyone who still cares about freedom of information.
The flaccid response of Assange’s journalistic colleagues can best be explained by the words of the late Udo Ulfkotte, a German journalist who revealed that he had published fake material fed to him by the CIA, claiming that this was common amongst mainstream journalists:
“Non-official cover occurs when a journalist is essentially working for the CIA, but it’s not in an official capacity. This allows you to create a partnership between your partner and your partner. The CIA will find young journalists and mentor them. Suddenly doors will open up, rewards will be given, and you know it, you owe your entire career to them. That’s essentially how it works. I was publishing articles under my own name written by agents of the CIA and other intelligence services, especially the German secret service. I was taught to lie, to betray and not to tell the truth to the public.”
Or we could mention the great Robert Parry:
“This perversion of principles – twisting information to fit a desired conclusion — became the modus vivendi of American politics and journalism. And those of us who insisted on defending journalistic principles of skepticism and even-handedness were more shunned by our colleagues, to hostility that first emerged on the right and by neoconservatives but eventually sucked into the progressive world as well… The demonization of Russian President Vladimir Putin and Russia is just the most dangerous feature of this propaganda process — and this is where the neocons and the liberal interventionists most significantly are together. The US media approach to Russia is now virtually 100 percent propaganda.”
Basically, Assange’s major fault lies in having revealed the true face of US imperialism through images, news, emails, cablograms and videos, an imperialism that has for decades brought wars, death and destruction around the world for its own political and economic gain, using illegitimate justifications that are backed up by self-proclaimed experts and amplified and repeated endlessly by the mainstream media.