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And so are you, if you believe in democracy.

Because there can be no democracy without an informed citizenry, and if there is one thing all sides of the Julian Assange-Wikileaks issue can agree on, it is that through Wikileaks and Assange we have learned details—vital details—about the world we live in that we would not know if he did not exist.


We live in parlous times. Attempting to coerce and intimidate a sovereign nation, Ecuador, by threatening to storm its embassy yesterday was an astounding and dangerous move.

Is the threat to storm the Ecuadorian embassy really based on Great Britain’s desire to bring the full force of justice to bear on a man who is accused—at most—of having sex without a condom?

"Let me be perfectly clear"

Of course not. It is a fig leaf behind which are hiding the forces of brutal coercion.

Officials in Washington are furious that Assange published thousands of confidential US diplomatic cables online. Some Republican politicians have even called for the death penalty if he faces espionage charges in America.

When asked to provide assurance that Assange would not be extradited to the United States, Sweden refused. Assange will be extradited by Sweden to the U.S., where he will receive the same fate awaiting Private Bradley Manning.

There is one—and only one—reason British police ring the Ecuadorian Embassy in London; and one and only one reason the British Foreign Office threatens an act of war if Ecuador does not cave in to its demands.

The diplomatic threats and encircling police around the Ecuadorian Embassy are there to place Julian Assange in a place where the U.S. Government—without a peep of protest, it must be said, from President  Obama—can get their hands on him.

As one of the most anti-democratic US Presidents who ever lived was famous for saying: ‘Let me be perfectly clear”: This is not about trumped up charges, that even if true, will be punished by Swedish justice with a fine of no more than $700.

Information is power. Thomas Friedman is bullshit.

The overarching question posed by the relentless persecution of Julian Assange is: What did he do to merit such acrimony?

The answer is simple, straightforward, and timeless. Information is power. There is information which governments in power do not want 'we the people' to know, not for our benefit, but for theirs.

Politicians have gotten used to no longer being challenged by an inquisitive and fully-functioning free press, and are offended when anyone attempts to assume that role.

If you find the statement “we no longer have a free press” a bit strong, try this thought experiment:

Imagine New York Times-man Thomas Friedman being forced to seek asylum in some foreign embassy for publishing state secrets.

The idea is too ridiculous to even contemplate; it is no longer the sort of thing the press—let alone Thomas Friedman—does. Yet that’s what he’s supposed to be doing, on our behalf, each and every day.

"There's the Masters of the Universe. And there's the rest of us."

The fact that citizens today lack a mechanism for discovery is the problem Julian Assange and Wikileaks have bravely stepped forward to attempt to address.

In my opinion, the world today is ruled by a corrupt and ruthless oligarchic elite, the parasitic rich, so powerful they no longer feel the need to pretend that the motto “Equal justice under law” chiseled above the entrance to the U.S. Supreme Court still applies to them.

Just this morning came news that 26 big U.S. corporations—including AT&T, Boeing and Citigroup—paid their CEO’s more last year than they paid the federal government in taxes. So who among us anymore is naïve enough to believe that what we don’t know won’t hurt us?

Today three Russian girls with a band that is perhaps unfortunately named—Pussy Riot—were sentenced to two years in the New Russian Gulag for “hooliganism.”

Is there anyone outside the walls of the Kremlin who believes these brave young women are going to prison for anything but having the temerity to criticize Russian strongman Vladimir Putin in public?

Lapdogs limping to the rescue

If that much is obvious, then we should also be able to see through transparent attempts like the one in today’s BBC headline: “Papers says Assange must defend self.”

“People who do otherwise commendable work are capable of rape,” writes one fatuous shill in London Independent. “If presented with rape allegations, they must face them like anybody else, however otherwise worthy their past contributions.”

When the fog of sensationalistic headlines over Assange’s presumed Swedish transgressions had faded, it became clear that—headlines to the contrary—no one has accused Assange of the heinous crime of sex by violence, which is what rape is. 

Yet his character has been besmirched with that taint in the most despicable way worldwide by a lap-dog media whose manifest failings are the very reason anyone has ever heard the name “Julian Assange” to begin with.

We can be heroes. Just for one day.

There is a moving but no doubt apocryphal scene in the film Spartacus, where the defeated army of former slaves turned rebels is offered clemency if they will just point out and give up their leader.

A Roman general stands before the captured army and demands they turn over Spartacus, or else all will be executed.  Not wanting his comrades to be executed, Spartacus stands up, and says "I am Spartacus."

However, the loyalty of his friends is so great that each of them then stands in succession, and shouts "I am Spartacus!" until there are thousands of captives raising their voices, each insisting "I am Spartacus!"

Of course, there was only one Spartacus. And there is only one Julian Assange.

But the heroic figure he represents is one to which we can all aspire.

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Daniel Hopsicker

Daniel Hopsicker is an investigative journalist and the author of two books on transnational crime, Welcome to Terrorland and Barry & the Boys.

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9 Responses

  1. Thomas says:

    Nice find… all the uribe info…..   Ahhh………!!! Tthe President is loadin planes..???  Gee I never would have thought it was possible….  Ah well……. except for how theI AIC finances it's black  werk… Sure…!!!  
    Good of you to tribute Jullian assange…   The truth sure has lots of enemies…..   Keep up yer searchin Daniel….  You have unearthed quite a few nuggets of gold so far…….   We all know the holy grail is 119 and you have contributed more than your share of pertenant info…….   Keep pluggin…   TGW on MV…..

  2. ken hamilton says:

    Even a fool knows Assange will be extradited to the US and be subjected to a Kangaroo court same as Viktor Bout. The US wants to get rid of this guy any way they can.

  3. askerseftis says:

    what ever happened to the banking industry documents wikileaks was supposed to release? was it a bluff?

  4. remo says:

    Had China threatened US Embassy recently in similar fashion., what then would UK and USA and European Union said of International LAW?
    I keep thinking of Kevin Ryans posit, that KSM was waterboarded 183 times not to ELICIT information, but to DESTROY information. To so damage by animal force his mind as part of the conspiracy to cover-up 911, that his very memory is dead. Then of ASSANGE, and the odious Swedish positioning in the face of american extradition desire….Then of the dead strewn in the streets of the middle east as direct consequence of empire. And of the FATE designated ASSANGE by those most benifiting the conspiracy and hypocracies that allow  WARS based on lies while the billions laundered by banking cartels find safe haven.
    For UK to ever express this possibility, signifies those responsible as rogue.

  5. Lyle Grosjean says:

    It has been obsrved  that Jesus would love Wikileaks. The proof  is found in the Gospel of Mark (4:22, 23).  ". . . there is nothing hidden, except to be  disclosed; nor is anything secret, except to come to light. Listen in if you have ears for it".

  6. TC says:

    Following up on Lyle Grosjean's comment re: "Jesus would love Wikileaks," we obviously are at a point in history where oligarchical elements persecuting Assange clearly are in a state of panic. Why else would the London Financial Times on July 3, 2012 in its lead editorial strongly endorse reinstatement of a Glass-Steagall standard throughout the trans-Atlantic banking system? A great sum of wealth financing sordid intrigues the world over, the likes of which have been exposed by Wikileaks, is on the verge of being washed away. Not even offshore laundries are safe. Nor even the U.S. Treasury if the current crop of Ivy League failures continue insisting on backstopping the web of crime-linked casinos euphemistically called "banks." Even if Assange falls, someone else will step in and take his place. "I tell you that if these should keep silent, the stones would immediately cry out." (Luke 19: 40) That's where we are, "and I say to you, My friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do." (Luke 12:4)