The Silence of Julian Assange

[Originally written on October 23rd, 2016. Re-posting after data loss due to server migration.]

 

Julian Assange is the only self-imposed hostage in the world fearing his “rescue” by law enforcement.

In the strictest sense, he is an internet celebrity. His products — glimpses of shadowy truths — are released on the internet, and he communicates with an international audience via Skype, Twitter, and other popular platforms. None of this is by choice. Exiled to the confines of the generous Ecuadorian embassy in Britain, he is evading arrest by any of the countries which want to see him answer for the act of exposing their questionable secret undertakings. The Bush-Blair Memo leak, the Cablegate Incident, embarrassing leak of emails regarding Hillary Clinton’s inner-party dealings, and countless other acts of defiant journalism have concerned governments around the world searching for solutions to the problem named WikiLeaks.

All of this changed when, on Tuesday, October 18th, the Ecuadorian Embassy cut Assange’s internet access.

Social media was animated with rumors of an attempt to “take out” Assange, a notion fueled by the myriad of accusations of Hillary Clinton “silencing” anybody who stands in her way on the path to presidency, often using politics but sometimes bullets. Assange’s removal coincides with his involvement in the leaks pertaining to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, theorists argue. While the Ecuadorian government explained that it simply wished to remain neutral and not “interfere in electoral processes”, WikiLeaks claimed multiple unnamed US sources confirmed that John Kerry pressured the Ecuadorian government to silence Julian Assange, preventing him from releasing Clinton-related documents during the FARC peace negotiations. These are still ongoing despite the dead-heat referendum in Columbia in which the majority voted against a peace deal between the government and FARC, a Marxist-Leninist guerilla force, on October 2nd of this year. The State Department denies these allegations, deeming them baseless. “While our concerns about WikiLeaks are longstanding, any suggestion that Secretary Kerry or the State Department were involved in shutting down WikiLeaks is false. Reports that Secretary Kerry had conversations with Ecuadorian officials about this are simply untrue,” spokesman John Kirby said in an official statement.

Theories ranging from plausible to wild about the safety of Julian have been making the rounds on social media, but one suggests that US intelligence agencies such as the CIA and NSA are agents of Hillary Clinton, that Julian Assange has been dead for days, and that the US government is running the WikiLeaks twitter. The aim of Clinton-friendly government forces infiltrating WikiLeaks? To disseminate fake and factually-incorrect “leaked emails”, allowing Hillary Clinton to “prove” that every single leak, from the hacked DNC communications to the Podesta emails, are undeniably false, created by a third party to influence the US election. Given the mainstream media’s commitment to push the narrative that Russia is committing acts of espionage to influence our general election, the blame would indubitably fall on them.

WikiLeaks announced via twitter that they are releasing a statement about Julian Assange tomorrow, and that he is “safe and still in full command”.

 

assange

 

It may seem as if he, and WikiLeaks in general, is helping Trump by hurting Clinton, but this simply isn’t the case. WikiLeaks has exposed government corruption around the globe regardless of the individual’s, or group’s, affiliation. Even if one may be rooting for Hillary Clinton, it is important that the content of the recent leaks be taken seriously. We cannot ignore the message because we have ideological or political qualms with the messenger.

Julian Assange has kept true to his journalistic roots, refusing to endorse any candidate running for president this year. He did, though, praise the concept of the Third Party, declaring them necessary “to discipline and hold to account and check the abuses of government during the next four years.” This was communicated at the Green Party’s presidential nominating convention, and holding back an endorsement for Jill Stein — the correctly-projected winner of the nomination — explained that personally choosing between Donald J. Trump and Hillary Clinton is like asking if he’d “prefer cholera or gonorrhea”.

 

— J.S. Marino

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