In late March, Ecuador’s Lenin Moreno disconnected Julian Assange’s internet access. The reasoning behind this decision involved tensions with Spain and the United Kingdom regarding Assange’s social media messages. Spain objected to Assange’s support for the independence campaign in Catalonia. The United Kingdom complained about a factual tweet regarding its expulsion of Russian diplomats.
A United Nations panel has criticized Sweden and the United Kingdom. The panel says Assange has been “arbitrarily detained” and deserves “freedom of movement” and other rights.
Long before this latest example of persecution, Sweden had dropped its case against Assange and never charged him with a crime. Were it not for the United Kingdom’s pressure, Sweden would have dropped its case against Assange in 2013. For the record, the WikiLeaks founder has never been charged with sexual assault and United Kingdom prosecutors admit to destroying evidence regarding communication between Assange and Sweden.
As for the claim WikiLeaks aided Russia in tilting the 2016 presidential election in the United States for Trump, The Hill’s Katie Bo Williams quotes James Clapper’s assessment of this viewpoint in a piece titled Russian hacking of election infrastructure ‘curtailed’ after US statement:
Clapper on Thursday also declined to confirm that the Russian hackers who infiltrated the DNC provided those stolen emails to the anti-secrecy platform WikiLeaks…
“As far as the Wikileaks connection, evidence there is not as strong and we don’t have good insight into the sequencing of the releases or when the data may have been provided,” Clapper said Thursday.
The top U.S. spy under the Obama administration (privy to the intelligence of every agency supervised by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence) stated: “We don’t have good insight” into how WikiLeaks obtained and released the DNC and Podesta emails.
Furthermore, James Clapper told Chuck Todd in 2017 that he never obtained evidence of Trump’s alleged collusion with Russia.
Although Clapper has zero evidence WikiLeaks worked with Russia and Assange has consistently denied the claim, the United States is said to have had a federal grand jury investigating the publisher and its founder. While James Comey deliberately leaked at least one classified memo for purely political reasons, he’s not viewed as a threat by many in Washington, D.C.
James Clapper and John Brennan may have lied under oath regarding spying on Americans and Andrew McCabe may have lied under oath regarding leaks. However ,both the Obama and Trump administrations have been fixated on punishing Julian Assange. Of course, James Comey also may have committed perjury during sworn testimony, stating falsely he exonerated Clinton after her interview.
The sin of publishing classified information pertaining to the U.S. government’s misdeeds is alright in a Steven Spielberg movie about the Pentagon Papers, but not for this generation’s Daniel Ellsberg. Since Democrats have blamed everything from the Electoral College and sexism to Russia and Comey’s letter before election day (regarding Clinton’s classified intelligence on Anthony Weiner’s laptop),
WikiLeaks serves as a scapegoat for Hillary Clinton’s $1.2 billion election loss. Despite the fact WikiLeaks published information damaging to the Bush administration and Trump administration, media has unfairly labeled Julian Assange as a partisan actor working against Clinton and the Democratic Party.
Ultimately, WikiLeaks and Assange aren’t hackers; they’re publishers. The United Kingdom has deemed WikiLeaks a “media organization” and WikiLeaks emails as evidence admissible in court. Yes, even Russia, and countries like Saudi Arabia and France have had their elite politicians and spy agencies exposed by Wikileaks.
I recently had the honor of participating in a 10-hour online vigil for Julian Assange (fifth hour on the YouTube segment), alongside Kim Dotcom, former intelligence officials John Kiriakou and Ray McGovern, New Zealand Internet Party leader Suzie Dawson, and esteemed journalists and activists from around the world. The latest round of persecution involving the denial of Assange’s ability to communicate online and even with visitors at the Ecuadorian embassy in London has galvanized WikiLeaks supporters throughout the globe.
Millions of people view Julian Assange to be the only person capable of preventing journalism from becoming propaganda for intelligence agencies and political parties. Without Assange, the world loses a nonpartisan truth teller. He deserves the ability to leave the Ecuadorian embassy without threat of immediate extradition to the United States. Most importantly, he deserves his freedom and Julian Assange’s only crime is publishing pristine documents exposing corruption.
H.A. Goodman is the author of “But Her Top Secret Emails” and “Debunking The Trump Russia Myth.”
The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of The Daily Caller.