Afscme Local 444, retired
When accusations of rape were made about Julian Assange those of us writing on this blog were not convinced that the accusations were valid. The Capitalist class were after him for revealing the atrocities carried out by US imperialism in Iraq and throughout the world. Bradley, now Chelsea Manning was found to be the source of the leak and was arrested and tortured. Bradley Manning is serving decades in prison and another heroic figure, Edward Snowden who revealed to American citizens and the world the extent of the US spying program directed at its own citizens sought foreign exile and is presently in Russia.
Assange was given sanctuary by at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London where he has remained for some 5 years. At the time, there were some that supported his extradition to Sweden where his alleged crimes took place. Assange always argued that he was willing to answer questions about the case but would not return to Sweden as the Swedes might pass him on to the US government. In the US there was a barrage of abuse leveled at Assange with some politicians calling "Mullah" like for his execution. Yes, some US politicians issued a Fatwah against Assange.
We had a serious discussion about our position as some groups were calling for Assange to face the music. Some felt he should have been extradited to Sweden or the US. It was the position of this blog that under no circumstances should Assange been turned over to any capitalist court or capitalist tribunal as there was no doubt in our mind that the US bourgeois would have executed him if they could. Here is what we said with regards to this back in December 2010.
The latest cables that Wikileaks have published reveal that the US has been spying on at least the last three French presidents including listening to their phone conversations. The revelation wasn't mentioned on the front page of the Wall Street Journal and instead tucked away in a small 4 by 2 column at the bottom of page 6. This is why Assange, Manning and Edward Snowden are being persecuted and vilified by the mouthpieces of capitalism and why the rest of us must defend them. If you haven't seen the video that Manning and Assange enabled the rest of us to see you can watch it here.
Many people say that the news that the US has been spying on its so-called friends (In a capitalist world system there is no such thing as friendships between nations) is nothing new. This might be true in the abstract, although I'm not so sure the extent of the spying on its own citizens didn't come as a surprise to most people, but when it is revealed in writing to be true, and against the wishes of the culprits, that is a bit of a different matter-----it become a social fact. Besides the Wall Street Journal, my local paper, the San Francisco Chronicle doesn't mention the episode at all in its main section. The French government, a major US ally apparently, has been called in to a special session to discuss the American government spying on major government figures and it's not mentioned in a mass US paper.
We've got important stuff to think about here in the Bay Area.
We should demand a pardon and an apology for Edward Snowden and the immediate the same for Chelsea Manning as well as her immediate release. Perhaps they could receive the Medal of Honor. Julian Assange should be free to leave the Ecuadorian Embassy in the UK immediately.
Here are some other blog posts concerning Wikileaks and Assange.