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Be skeptical of accusations against Julian Assange, WikiLeaks

April 11, 2019 in Economics

By Patrick G. Eddington

Patrick G. Eddington

British police, with the cooperation of the Ecuadorian
government, arrested WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange on Thursday.
He has already been convicted of jumping bail and on that count
alone could face up to a year in prison. That charge is related to
a rape investigation in Sweden, which was closed
because Assange fled that country before he could be questioned in
the matter. And he should be forced to answer those charges.

The Swedish case has been overshadowed by a not-so-secret grand
jury indictment in America regarding WikiLeaks’ publication of
thousands of classified government documents – some of which
detailed the killing of civilians and journalists in Iraq, as well
as acts of torture committed by U.S. forces.

Assange’s defenders claim that United States and United Kingdom
government pressure on Ecuador led to Assange’s previous grant of
asylum being revoked. Those supporters, along with Assange and
WikiLeaks, claim that their acts of “radical transparency” are
legitimate exercises of free speech under international law. Many
U.S. politicians have claimed that Assange and WikiLeaks are
nothing more than either witless tools of foreign intelligence
services (Russia’s specifically) or active collaborators with the
same.

Every news organization
in the free world should be terrified of an Assange prosecution
under U.S. law.

In light of Attorney General William Barr’s letter on special
counsel Robert Mueller’s report, which apparently clears President
Donald Trump of collusion with Russia in the 2016 presidential
election, it would be wise not to take allegations of Assange or
WikiLeaks’ witting collusion with Russian intelligence at face
value. And history tells us to be skeptical about federal
allegations against people like Assange or groups like
WikiLeaks.

In multiple episodes over the past 100
years
, the FBI and Justice Department have asserted that a
range of domestic actors – from the American Civil Liberties Union
to the Quakers – were under the influence of or actively controlled
by Soviet agents or other hostile powers. In fact, the overwhelming
majority of Americans investigated by the FBI or the House
Un-American Activities Committee were
innocent
and loyal. The multiple “Red scare” witch hunts spanning decades
destroyed the reputations of innocent people or organizations,
while government officials who made the allegations were never
punished for bearing false witness against those they accused of
treason.

Assange is not the most sympathetic of characters. If a man
flees a country based on a credible rape allegation, he needs to
answer that charge in a court of law. If a government alleges that
a person or organization has conspired with a foreign power to
undermine that nation’s electoral process, it should …read more

Source: OP-EDS

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