During their addresses to the UN General Assembly, both Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and Honduran President Xiomara Castro called for Assange to be freed. Lula stated, “It is essential to preserve the freedom of the press. A journalist like Julian Assange cannot be punished for informing society in a transparent and legitimate way.” Castro struck a similar chord, calling Assange a “faithful defender of free expression.” Both Lula and Castro are left-wing leaders who were elected as part of what’s been dubbed in Latin America as a second or resurgent “Pink Tide." Lula had previously served as Brazil’s president during the original Pink Tide.
The New York Times, CNN, and many other national outlets reported on NewsNation journalist Evan Lambert’s arrest at a news conference in Ohio earlier this year. Same when Phoenix police detained Wall Street Journal reporter Dion Rabouin outside a bank. We’re glad those arrests made headlines — if anything, they should have gotten more coverage. The publicity prompted Phoenix’s mayor to apologize to Rabouin for his detainment and Ohio’s governor to denounce Lambert’s arrest while authorities dropped the charges. Without the backlash, who knows — his case might have proceeded to trial.
As Julian Assange’s options to appeal the decision to extradite him to the United States are being exhausted, he could be extradited as early as the beginning of October. We must be prepared to support him and fight for his release in the United States. It is time to start planning in your organization or community for emergency actions as soon as we become aware that he is being extradited (if there is a warning) or as soon as he is on his way (if it happens without warning). If there is a warning, all focus will be on the British Embassy to protest their extradition. You can join the rally in Washington DC or hold an action locally in a highly visible place.
Information control in the United States is growing stronger as journalists face more restrictions on their ability to speak with people who work for the public good in agencies and institutions from the local to federal levels and are being targeted through illegal raids and confiscation of their equipment. Clearing the FOG speaks with Kathryn Foxhall, a journalist who works on freedom of information, about another journalist, Brittany Hailer, who is suing over restrictions on her ability to interview employees at a local jail where an unprecedented number of deaths are occurring. Foxhall explains why these restrictions are human rights abuses. Clearing the FOG also speaks with Seth Stern of the Freedom of Information Foundation and Bobby Block of the Florida First Amendment Foundation about journalists' legal rights and their new Know Your Rights Guild for journalists.
In Mr. Associated Press, Gene Allen investigates the Associated Press (AP) and its trajectory from a pony express news agency founded in 1846 to the international stage, by way of the person most responsible for that transformation, Kent Cooper (1880-1965). As exceptional as every era believes itself to be, the history chronicled in these pages reveals that many of the problems currently facing the media and the public’s relationship to it are reiterations of the past. Some one hundred years on, Allen—a professor emeritus of journalism at Toronto Metropolitan University—analyzes Cooper’s time in the news industry and spotlights evergreen issues, including the politicization, polarization, and corporatization of the news.
Six members of the Australian parliament landed in Washington D.C. on Tuesday armed with a bi-partisan agenda and the backing of an entire nation as they try to convince Congressmen and State and Justice Department officials that the American pursuit of Australian publisher Julian Assange is wrong and must be stopped. The cross-party delegation is spending two days in the U.S. capital arguing Assange’s case ahead of Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese’s state visit to the White House at the end of October, where it is expected that Assange will be brought up (as well as Australia being used to test U.S. hypersonic missiles).
More than 60 Australian politicians have called on the United States government to drop the prosecution of Julian Assange, warning of “a sharp and sustained outcry in Australia” if the WikiLeaks founder is extradited. The letter comes ahead of announcements that a contingent of parliamentarians are coming to Washington D.C. this week in hopes of securing Assange’s freedom. In the letter, the 63 MPs and senators said they were “resolutely of the view that the prosecution and incarceration of the Australian citizen Julian Assange must end”. The letter will be taken to Washington D.C. where it will be presented to US Congresspeople and others as part of the cross-party delegation made up of Senators Alex Antic, David Shoebridge and Peter Whish-Wilson, Barnaby Joyce MP, Monique Ryan MP and Tony Zappia MP.
As Julian Assange continues to fight extradition to the United States to face prosecution under the Espionage Act, a growing chorus of voices is rising to demand an end to his persecution. Hounded by US law enforcement and its allies for more than a decade, Assange has been stripped of all personal and civil liberties for the crime of exposing the extent of US atrocities during the War on Terror. In the intervening years, it’s become nakedly apparent that the intent of the US government is not only to silence Assange in particular, but to send a message to whistleblowers and journalists everywhere on the consequences of speaking truth to power.
More than 60 Australian federal politicians have explicitly called on the US to drop the prosecution of Julian Assange, warning of “a sharp and sustained outcry in Australia” if the WikiLeaks founder is extradited. With a small cross-party delegation due to fly to Washington next week, the Guardian can reveal the lobbying trip has won the open support of 63 members of Australia’s House of Representatives and Senate. In a letter, the 63 MPs and senators said they stood in support of the trip to the US and were “resolutely of the view that the prosecution and incarceration of the Australian citizen Julian Assange must end”.
The US government has hounded Julian Assange since WikiLeaks first revealed the extent of US war crimes in 2010. In the process of persecuting Assange, the federal government has used every tool at its disposal and even pushed beyond the boundaries that supposedly restrict state power in defense of civil liberties. One of the most insidious tactics is the use of the Espionage Act, which had not been used for against whistleblowers and journalists for almost a century before Assange’s case. In the first part of a two-part conversation, lawyer and human rights defender Stella Assange, spouse of Julian Assange, joins Chris Hedges for a look at the vast and vicious campaign by the US to silence Julian Assange, and what it all portends for our democracy.
Six members of the Australian parliament will land in Washington D.C. on Sept. 20 armed with a bi-partisan agenda and the backing of an entire nation as they try to convince Congressmen and State and Justice Department officials that the American pursuit of Australian publisher Julian Assange is wrong and must be stopped. The cross-party delegation will spend two days in the U.S. capital arguing Assange’s case ahead of Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese’s state visit to the White House at the end of October, where it is expected that Assange will be brought up (as well as Australia being used to test U.S. hypersonic missiles).
Australia has too often behaved as a doormat to the United States, to the point where Australia is threatening its own security by going along with an aggressive U.S. policy towards China, which poses no threat to Australia. But this time, Blinken got an earful. Prime Minister Anthony Albanese reiterated that he wanted the Assange case to be dropped. Certain members of Parliament brusquely gave it back to Blinken. Assange was “not the villain … and if the US wasn’t obsessed with revenge it would drop the extradition charge as soon as possible,” Independent MP Andrew Wilkie told The Guardian‘s Australian edition. “Antony Blinken’s allegation that Julian Assange risked very serious harm to US national security is patent nonsense,” said Wilkie said.
Recently (29 July 2023), US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, on a visit to Australia, rejected the call by his Australian counterpart to put an end to the U.S.’s judicial persecution of Julian Assange. Blinken justified his refusal by saying that Assange, with his revelations of US/UK war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan, had “risked causing very serious harm to [US] national security.” But notice his choice of words. Blinken did not state that Assange had actually caused harm (as was claimed at the time of the revelations); he is simply alleged to have risked – hypothetically – causing harm, which is a different story.
At every stage of its proceedings against Julian Assange, the US Imperium has shown little by way of tempering its vengeful impulses. The WikiLeaks publisher, in uncovering the sordid, operational details of a global military power, would always have to pay. Given the 18 charges he faces, 17 fashioned from that most repressive of instruments, the US Espionage Act of 1917, any sentence is bound to be hefty. Were he to be extradited from the United Kingdom to the US, Assange will disappear into a carceral, life-ending dystopia. In this saga of relentless mugging and persecution, the country that has featured regularly in commentary, yet done the least, is Australia. Assange may well be an Australian national, but this has generally counted for naught.
Randy Credico attempted a civil disobedience rally/blockade Wednesday of the Department of Justice in Washington DC along along with Kathy Boylan of Dorothy Day Catholic Worker demanding a meeting to request the release of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange. Kathy Boylan, protesting in front of the Robert F. Kennedy Department of Justice Building in DC, was wearing a Kennedy 2024 shirt. She tells News2Share that "when he is elected, Robert Kennedy Jr has promised to free Julian Assange, truth-tellers, and whistleblowers." Ultimately, Credico allowed people past his blockade, and police didn't arrest him, instead waiting it out.