The security state would like to make an example of Assange, as it has done to Manning and others. In fact, the Obama administration has prosecuted more whistleblowers than all previous presidents combined. And the persecution of whistleblowers is often accompanied by ruthless character assassination to discredit them.
While countless media reports highlight the allegations against Assange, most people have never heard that an official UN report has declared the case against Assange to be unfounded. Three investigations have been dropped without charges ever having been filed. And the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention has stated that Assange has been unlawfully detained and should be released. In light of these facts, it appears the allegations against Assange were a false pretext used by those who want to give him the Chelsea Manning treatment — or worse.
As the Presidential candidate of a party that has maintained principled criticism of powerful political, military and corporate institutions, I’ve gotten a first—hand look at how the establishment attacks people who challenge the status quo. These attacks are intended to brand their targets as pariahs and stigmatize anyone who dares to challenge this narrative. The truth is a frequent casualty to political vendettas.
On that note, one of the strangest developments this year has been seeing journalists attack WikiLeaks for doing what journalists are supposed to do: reveal the unvarnished truth to the public. WikiLeaks has done us an invaluable service by shining a light into the dark corners of power where corruption and wrongdoing fester.
The economic and political elite have targeted Assange not because his hands are dirty, but because he’s given us a glimpse of how dirty their own hands are. WikiLeaks’ revelations are inspiring countless people to mobilize against corruption and wrongdoing at the highest levels, and for that, Julian Assange is a hero in my book.
Similar to petulant children who do not get their own way, there is an increasingly choir of war hawks in the US who are pushing for a major escalation in the Syrian war. In response to the fading power of Washington in the world, and the success of the Syrian Army, Russia, Iran and Hezbollah, in fighting terrorism in Syria, the war hawks in Washington are calling for blood.
The fact that the government of Bashar al-Assad is still standing after the West has spent the last five years trying to overthrow it is too much for many in the US to accept. Furthermore, with a growing number of major powers forming strategic relationships outside of Washington’s control, US imperialists are increasingly terrified of how the geopolitical landscape is shaping up.
The most recent bellicose comments coming from the US were made by the former Acting Director of the CIA and Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) member, Michael Morell. In an interview with Charlie Rose that aired on the 8th of August, Morell called for acts of aggression against a troika of powers – namely Syria, Iran and Russia:
Morell: “We need to make the Iranians pay a price in Syria. We need to make the Russians pay a price.”
Rose: “We make them pay the price by killing Russians and killing Iranians?”
Morell: “Yes, covertly… Here’s the other thing I want to do: I want to go after those things that Assad sees as his personal power base; I want to scare Assad.”
The former CIA boss made his comments a week after a Russian helicopter – which was on a humanitarian aid mission – was shot down over territory controlled by Jabhat Al-Nusra (now Jabhat Fatah al-Sham) in Syria, killing the five personnel onboard. This is at least the second Russian helicopter shot down in Syria this year, after two Russians were killed in July when their Mi-25 was downed.
Morell, who has endorsed Hillary Clinton for President, is not a lone voice in his belligerent comments however. There have been numerous politicians, strategists and generals, who have advocated aggressive actions against Russia, not only in Syria, but also in Ukraine.
In October of last year, US Senator John McCain said in an interview with Fox News that if he was President he might arm the Syrian rebels so they could shoot down Russian planes. Also in October, 2015, the former National Security Adviser to Jimmy Carter and one of the top geostrategists in the US, Zbigniew Brzezinski, called for US retaliation against the Russian campaign in Syria, potentially using military force.
But the most belligerent rhetoric award in relation to ‘punishing’ Russia must go to the former US general, Robert Scales, who called for the US to “start killing Russians” in Ukraine in a March, 2015 interview on Fox News:
“The only way the US can have any effect in this region and turn the tide is to start killing Russians. Killing so many Russians that even Putin’s media can’t hide the fact that Russians are returning to the Motherland in body bags.”
With the West’s strategy in the Middle East in disarray, there is a growing amount of war hawks in the US who are pushing for a significant escalation in the Syrian war. Morell’s call for killing Russians and Iranians is nothing short of lunacy, with the US perhaps having a hand in the recent downing of a Russian helicopter that tragically killed five Russian personnel.
- Maggie Gundersen, Fairewinds Energy Education founder and CEO: He’s working with some other scientists who are studying — both Japanese scientists, the samples that they took, and the US scientists who are evaluating the samples — and they’re finding astronomical amounts of radiation, even in downtown Tokyo outside of METI’s door. METI is the regulatory agency over nuclear power… When he and others were downtown in Tokyo, they took samples right there in a garden right outside the door and on the front doormat, and these are really, really high samples. Frightening, because people walking in Tokyo will then be inhaling that dust. What was the film we saw from Japan that had the mothers who were in an area where kids play and run from middle school?
- Caroline Phillips, Fairewinds Energy Education: It’s a fantastic video… it’s a mothers organization, they live in the Fukushima Prefecture and they’re actually using Geiger counters that have been issued by the government. They’re walking along the river [in Fukushima City.]
- Maggie Gundersen: What’s so tragic about it – kids are running along dirt paths doing gym class and track and things like that and the mothers are right down in areas that are not posted and the kids can go after school and play, and people do nature hikes and stuff. Andthe radiation readings are horrific.
Gendai Business Online (article in Japanese here), Jun 14, 2016: [J]ust before the 5th anniversary of the triple meltdown at Fukushima Daiichi, a group of young girls in the city of Minami-Soma rode their bikes to school past a shocked and saddened pedestrian. That upset observer was Arnie Gundersen, nuclear reactor expert…
“What surprised me at this visit to Japan… is that the decontaminated area is contaminated again,” Mr. Gundersen said while explaining why it was such as sad shock to witness the girls on their bicycles. “This was not what I had expected. I had thought that we would not find such high doses of radiation in the decontaminated area. But, sadly, our results prove otherwise.”…
Gundersen collected samples of dust [though] the official data cannot be released before the publication of formal scientific papers, it is evident that high doses of radiation, usually found in nuclear waste, was detected from these samples. “This means that highly radioactive dust is flying around the city. In other words, the decontaminated land is contaminated again. Little girls are affected by the radiation 20 times as much as adult men.
The Japanese government’s standard of 20 mSv is based on exposure assessments for adult men. The girls on their bicycles are actually being affected by a radiation dose equivalent to as much as 400 mSv.” Mr. Gundersen also pointed out that human lungs are heavily affected by internal exposures to radiation. “At this visit, I wore a radiation proof mask that can filter out 99.98% of radiation for six hours. I sent my filter to the lab, and they found a high dose of Cesium. But, unfortunately, the Japanese government only cares about the number on a Geiger counter and does not consider the internal exposure. This has resulted in a hazardous downplay of this kind of data and human lungs are affected by the serious internal exposure.”… [T]he radiation from the mountains are coming back to the city by way of wind and rain. Mr. Gundersen noted the extreme radioactive contamination of the mountains…
Why politics matters: There can be no health freedom, food freedom and medical freedom without POLITICAL freedom