10 Reasons Assange Should Walk Free
By David Swanson, Director, World BEYOND War
1. Governments’ (monstrous and criminal) behavior should not be secret. People should know what their government is
doing, and what a powerful foreign government is doing to their own countries. The actual results of the work of
WikiLeaks have been hugely beneficial.
2. If U.S. courts were to get busy prosecuting the crimes exposed by WikiLeaks, rather than trying to turn the act
of revealing them into some sort of crime, they would simply not have time for the latter.
3. Prosecutions should not be arbitrary political choices. A Justice Department wrongly under the thumb of Obama
decided against prosecuting Assange. A Justice Department wrongly under the thumb of Trump decided to prosecute, based
on exactly the same information but different politics. When Trump was celebrating WikiLeaks three years ago it was for
acts of journalism he is not prosecuting; instead he is prosecuting just the journalism that he opposes.
4. The choice to prosecute these particular acts is driven by the military industrial complex, but also by
Russiagate. The U.S. media and top politicians have long sought to depict Julian Assange as something other than a
journalist on the fictional grounds that he is in the employ of or collaborating with an enemy government. If Assange
had exposed the peccadilloes of the peace movement, or if he had not figured in the Russiagate myth, he would be free.
They’d let him be. Breathing air like you and me.
5. Nobody on either side of the debate right now has knowledge of or is focused on the details of the allegation
that Assange did something unjournalistic by attempting unsuccessfully to hack into a computer in order to protect a
source. This trial by media is no more about that than the Monica Lewinsky scandal was about lying under oath. And the
trial by jury is likely to resemble the trial by media, if previous trials, such as Jeffrey Sterling’s, in the Virginia
court of choice for patriotic railroaders are any guide.
6. The details of that unjournalistic allegation are likely very weak, because the indictment throws in various
other allegations that are purely journalistic: encouraging a source, protecting a source. To an ignorant, all-white,
militarized-community jury impressed by important national figures saying the word “conspiracy” a lot, these other
allegations will loom large.
7. If the United States charges Assange with violating horribly anti-democratic U.S. secrecy laws, and denounces
him on TV as a “traitor,” despite Assange not being a U.S. citizen, other countries may begin to find the nerve to
charge U.S. journalists with violating their secrecy laws. The next Washington Post reporter hacked to death by Saudi
Arabia may get a trial first.
8. If Assange is brought to the United States and not convicted, or is convicted and serves out a sentence, one can
expect the U.S. government, legally or otherwise, to further prosecute or simply imprison him indefinitely. In the
propaganda that surrounds this drama it is not a legal proceeding, but a war. If Trump gets away with the numerous
crimes and outrages he has thus far gotten away with, he or his successor will have little difficulty devising a way to
further “protect” us from Assange.
9. If Assange is prosecuted, many U.S. journalists will deliver a self-inflicted blow to their institution dwarfing
what the U.S. government delivers. They will declare it fit and proper for a single head of a secretive government to
sadistically punish disapproved of journalists. They will pledge their loyalty not to truth or public knowledge, but to
David Swanson is an author, activist, journalist, and radio host. He is director of WorldBeyondWar.org
and campaign coordinator for RootsAction.org
. Swanson's books include War Is A Lie
. He blogs at DavidSwanson.org
. He hosts Talk Nation Radio
.He is a 2015, 2016, 2017 Nobel Peace Prize Nominee.
Follow him on Twitter: @davidcnswanson
Help support DavidSwanson.org, WarIsACrime.org, and TalkNationRadio.org by clicking here: http://davidswanson.org/donate