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On Contact: Slow-Motion Execution Of Julian Assange

On the show, Chris Hedges discusses the torture of Julian Assange with his father, John Shipton.

Julian Assange committed the empire’s greatest sin – he exposed it as a criminal enterprise. He documented its lies, callous disregard for human life, rampant corruption, and innumerable war crimes. Republican or Democrat, Conservative or Labour, Trump or Biden – it does not matter. The goons who oversee the empire sing from the same satanic songbook. Empires always kill those who inflict deep and serious wounds.

Assange is in precarious physical and psychological health, and suffered a stroke during court video proceedings on October 27. That he has been condemned to death should not come as a surprise. The 10 years he has been detained – seven in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London and nearly three in high-security Belmarsh Prison – were accompanied by a lack of sunlight and exercise, as well as unrelenting threats, pressure, anxiety and stress. “His eyes were out of sync, his right eyelid would not close, his memory was blurry,” his fiancee Stella Moris said of the stroke.

His steady physical and psychological deterioration has led to hallucinations and depression. He takes antidepressant medication and the antipsychotic quetiapine. He has been observed pacing his cell until he collapses, punching himself in the face and banging his head against the wall. He has spent weeks in the medical wing of Belmarsh. Prison authorities found “half of a razor blade” hidden under his socks. He has repeatedly called the suicide hotline run by The Samaritans because he thought about killing himself “hundreds of times a day.” The executioners have not yet completed their grim work. Toussaint L’Ouverture, who led the Haitian independence movement, the only successful slave revolt in human history, was physically destroyed in the same manner. He was locked by the French in an unheated and cramped prison cell and left to die of exhaustion, malnutrition, apoplexy, pneumonia, and probably tuberculosis. Unless we mobilize to halt this judicial execution, this will be Assange’s fate as well.

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