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Support For Julian Assange As He Fights Extradition To The US

Above photo: Julian Assange in a police vehicle on his arrival at court in London.

BAR Executive Editor Margaret Kimberley recorded this statement of support for Julian Assange as he began his fight against extradition to the U.S.

Greetings. My name is Margaret Kimberley. I’m Executive Editor of Black Agenda And I’m very proud to have been a contributor to this book, In Defense of Julian Assange . I have always been a strong supporter of WikiLeaks, and the work of Assange and his colleagues.

This is a very critical moment, as we await a decision from the British court, deciding whether he should be extradited to the United States. Anyone who is a supporter of press freedom, anyone who is a supporter of free speech, ought to be a supporter of Assange, and say that he should not be extradited. Not only should he not be extradited, but he should not be incarcerated in Britain at all. How did he end up there?

The United States, under the Trump administration, interfered in the internal politics of Ecuador, the country which had given him sanctuary in its London embassy. Interfered in their electoral politics, in order to get their hands on him. But Assange should never have been in danger from the US. It’s the Obama administration, which began prosecuting whistleblowers. They decided not to touch Assange, but they wouldn’t give him his freedom, either, and assure him that he would not end up in U.S. custody.

What is his crime? His crime is telling the world what powerful people and states do not want us to know. And that’s reason enough to be an Assange supporter. So many things that had been said about him are untrue. It’s not true that he was ever charged with rape. He was not. It is not true that he worked with Russia or any foreign government to obtain the Democratic National Committee emails. There’s ample evidence that those emails were leaked to him by someone at the DNC. But he exposed the dark underbelly of the US, that our electoral politics are rigged, that the Hillary Clinton campaign rigged the nomination process against Bernie Sanders. He revealed that she, Hillary Clinton, and her colleagues were afraid that news of her involvement with a uranium deal with Russia, which ended with her husband, former President Bill Clinton, being paid half a million dollars to give a speech in Moscow, that that would harm her electoral prospects. And thus, she had to demonize Russia to cover her own tracks.

But it’s a longer story that goes beyond that 2016 election, that WikiLeaks exposed what US diplomats, other US allies didn’t want people to know what corporations didn’t want people to know. And that is why Julian Assange had a target on his back. He faces more than 170 years in jail, should he be found guilty of all the charges against him. He cannot get a fair trial. The Eastern District of Virginia is what is known as a hanging court. Everyone is convicted who enters into that travesty of injustice.

We know that the Biden administration has followed the Trump administration in insisting on prosecuting him. It’s very interesting, we’re told that Trump poses the greatest danger to democracy. And yet in this instance, as in others, the Biden administration has followed Trump policy regarding Julian Assange.

It is not true that anybody was harmed or killed because of his revelations. It is true that people are around the world are in need of real journalism are in need of people like Assange, who tell us the truth, the truth that is hidden by states, the truth that’s hidden by corporate media, who by the way when it suited them worked with Assange and WikiLeaks, but who have now turned against him, in order to defend their contacts, protect their contacts with corporate media, who work hand in hand with the state.

There is no benefit to the people for Julian Assange to be extradited or to be charged, none whatsoever. He should be free, he should never have been forced into the Ecuadorian embassy. And by the way, he always made it clear that he would go to Sweden and face those charges against him if he was guaranteed not to be turned over to the U.S. And his fears were well founded, as we now see. He exposed corruption, political corruption, financial corruption, and that is what makes him an enemy of powerful people, and a friend to people around the world. So I support Julian Assange. And I am most definitely opposed to any further prosecution, to his being extradited to the U.S. And I say that anyone who cares about humanity, who cares about real journalism, who cares about the truth ought to be in favor of Julian Assange being freed. Thank you so much.

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