Julian Assange is a martyr for international peace and will surely be retrospectively vindicated in time. He is a rare example of a public figure actually deserving of laurels and admiration, despite the Washington verdict is that he is a public enemy who ought be expunged from the face of the earth, their concept of him a one dimensional card board cutout villain.
Not above the law, but somehow beneath justice?
It is the gravest miscarriage of justice that Assange dwells in the concrete coffin of Belmarsh prison; a harsh existence in an unyielding and repressive atmosphere that neglects the soul and oppresses even the keenest intellect. That voraciously bloodthirsty war criminals, who have made the Middle East a graveyard of innocents and bombed its civilisation out of existence, walk free – whilst also profiting from doubling down on their reputation – is beyond disgraceful.
This state of affairs is at odds with the notion that the politics of our nations are ‘advanced’.
At least for most of modern history, journalism has not constituted a crime. It has actually been a celebrated institution considered a fundamental check and balance upon power, as governments are perverted and grow corrupt. In a strategic move of pure arrogance and hubris designed to counterbalance and conspire against the revolutionary force Assange unleashed, the Wikileaks grand jury was created. It is attempting to establish a legal precedent making disseminating real, authentic facts illegal.
The grand jury investigation is trying to forge a formal mechanism to grant unlimited prerogative to the state to silence dissent, a development that would be absolutely fatal to libertarian precepts of the US constitution. That is ultimately the basic purpose of the systematised prosecution of whistleblowers: a fragile super-power seeking inoculation against public dissatisfaction by destroying the architecture of democracy which enables the public to assert its own interests.
The prosecution is aimed at suppressing information deemed not politically expedient or flattering to the ruling class, despite being in the public interest to be liberated from the secret, private domain which keeps it under wraps.
The radicalism of cypherpunk activism
Assange forms a vital – but nonetheless singular – manifestation of the renegade cypherpunk movement. He enjoys the company of a legion of ethical coders, some of whom – Aaron Schwartz comes to mind – have paid with their lives for their contributions to the democratisation of computer technology. This is perceived as an existential threat by the security state, whose entire edifice rests upon asymmetry of power over, and access to, nascent web-based technologies.
Accurately described, Assange is a systems engineer who shifted his engineering abilities from computers to broken political systems. However, elites have a vested interest in keeping the system broken, because their schemes would never come to fruition in a free and fair society.
Data activism of the kind galvanised by Assange undermines and destabilises information control systems weaponised against the people by thoroughly unconstitutional agencies, not party to the moderating influence of democratic oversight.
Many people are not conscious of the tyranny which besets us as vassals of capitalist power. The corporate establishment has initiated vast research into consumer psychology throughout its rule and is well versed in how to create effective propaganda, a pioneering force in the use of corporate advertising and public relations to manipulate citizens.
At the same time there is a steadily-developing mass consciousness within civic society, the majority of which seems to stem from the explosion of Wikileaks into the mainstream with its expose of US malfeasance.
Humanitarianism as an engine of progress
Even worse than being detained on the basis of fiction and charade, Assange is also being held indefinitely, in blatant contravention of humanitarian norms.
Human rights norms are mutually agreed upon principles of state conduct supported by the majority of the world – and especially the UN constituency. Global governance institutions monitoring the implementation of these principles are openly, expressly united in opposition to the draconian persecution and illegal extraterritorial punishment of Assange – a political vendetta driven by spite, malice and pure hatred.
One suggests to consult the work of Nils Melzer, UN rapporteur on torture, one of the most important and eloquent voices on the Assange saga, who deftly explains the reasons why the US pursuit of extradition is a paradigmatic example of human rights abuse.
It’s oft said of ‘rogue states’ that their violation and indifference towards human rights is evidence of their corruption – and therefore their liability for regime change. So it begs to be said that this method of tyranny is also characteristic of how the US conducts itself. To paraphrase a quote by Assange himself, the purposeful violation of binding rules by the ruling class is the rubric by which it interprets itself as powerful.
The so-called ‘rules-based order’
Human rights norms form protocols and procedures supposedly underpinning a global ‘rules-based order’, emergent in the aftermath of WWII when the international community united in a conscientious mood and wholesome spirit of coordination. Obviously the Bretton-Woods system of this era and its manipulation of global finance infrastructure to suit the ruling class is a regressive, objectionable, and abhorrent development.
Nonetheless the wider transformation of global civic society away from being characterised by belligerent, aggressive nationalism into a sphere focused on multilateral cooperation is arguably one of the most progressive and hopeful developments in recent history.
The hope of rescuing Assange from the steely grasp of his torturers and ferry him to sanctuary is largely within the remit of the international community. Their persistent and firmly expressed opposition to the whims of tyrannical US power is a cause for positivity; a flare rising above a sea of dubious treachery demanding the attention of every lover of liberty.
In a sombre and serious mood, the post-war world united to establish the humanitarian project, cognisant of the pressing need to create international legislative architecture preventing a repeat of the tragedies initiated by Hitler.
Wikileaks as apostasy
The US national security state at the root of Assange’s legal quagmire is a paradigmatic example of the blatant double standards in international relations, excusing behaviour by some states which in other states are condemned and made a pretext for forcible regime change. The doctrines underpinning US hegemony have a religious quality; anti-imperialists essentially apostates and heretic.
An accurate understanding of the real balance of power demands a total inversion of perceived ‘reality’ spoon-fed to citizens in a grand strategy of perception management. The main goal of empire and the content it puts into public dialogue is to generate passive complicity in the forward march of the Military Industrial Complex, hurtling us towards massacres and civilisational collapse.
The methods, tactics, and praxis of Wikileaks are a significant challenge to the realisation of their rotten schemes.
The imperial network and its resistance
US foreign policy, at the heart of global malaise, yields the staggering power of a network of allies – nations, secret services, and cartel media – which function as vital arteries under the skin of the imperial body politic, supplying its heart with force and vitality. This unholy alliance is at the apex of a global order at once hewn to the senseless unilateral barbarity of neoliberal hawks – whilst simultaneously invading less powerful nations for ruling in a similar fashion.
The pursuit of Assange is the inevitable manifestation of a perverse pathology incepted deep within the Washington machine averse to true freedom. The true course of democracy demands the immediate liberation of Assange and the termination of violently imposed US rule infecting international politics.
In a dystopian era defined by global surveillance totalitarianism, Assange and his virtues are a desperately needed symbol of liberty. In coming times the fate of civilisation will be determined – and it’s imperative we do not let the barbarians sit easy. It’s time to unleash an illustrious riot and storm the Belmarsh bastille.
Featured image via Wikimedia
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