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OUT OF MIND » THE INSANITY OF REALITY » WIKILEAKS & JULIAN ASSANGE » John Pilger on the Urgency to Free Assange

John Pilger on the Urgency to Free Assange

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1John Pilger on the Urgency to Free Assange Empty John Pilger on the Urgency to Free Assange Sat Jul 30, 2022 12:50 am

PurpleSkyz

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John Pilger on the Urgency to Free Assange
July 26, 2022
In an interview, the renowned Australian investigative journalist warns that the U.S. is close to getting its hands on the the courageous WikiLeaks publisher.
John Pilger on the Urgency to Free Assange 6235514350_4115864342_k
Julian Assange at an antiwar rally in London, Oct. 8, 2011. (Haydn, Flickr, CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)
By Oscar Grenfell
World Socialist Web Site
John Pilger on the Urgency to Free Assange WutKwBQf_400x400-100x100
In an interview with the World Socialist Web Site, renowned Australian investigative journalist John Pilger warns that the “U.S. is close to getting its hands on” the courageous WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange.
Last month, British Home Secretary Priti Patel approved Assange’s extradition to the U.S., where he faces 175 years imprisonment under the Espionage Act for publishing true information exposing American war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan.
As Pilger explains, Patel’s order will be the subject of a further appeal, but the British judiciary that will adjudicate has facilitated Assange’s persecution every step of the way. This underscores the urgency of a political fight to free Assange, based on the powerful struggles of the working class that are emerging all around the world.
Pilger began his media career in the late 1950s. His first documentary, The Quiet Mutiny, exposed aspects of the U.S. war in Vietnam in 1970. Since then, Pilger has produced more than 50 documentaries, many of them feature-length and centering on revealing the crimes of the major imperialist powers.
In a 2012 Rolling Stone interview, Assange was asked: “Who has been your most critical public supporter?” He replied: “John Pilger, the Australian journalist, has been the most impressive.”
Pilger has been unwavering in his defence of the WikiLeaks publisher. In 2018 and 2019, he addressed Socialist Equality Party rallies, demanding that the Australian government use its diplomatic and legal powers to free Assange.
Because of his principled defence of Assange and opposition to war, Pilger is hardly ever referenced in Australia’s official media, despite being one of the country’s most well-known and respected journalists.
WSWS: After Patel’s announcement allowing extradition, where is the Assange case? Are the dangers he confronts of a greater urgency than previously?
John Pilger on the Urgency to Free Assange Screen-Shot-2022-07-25-at-3.02.07-PM-1

John Pilger. (WSWS)
John Pilger: It is a dangerous, unpredictable time. Since the home secretary signed the extradition order, a provisional appeal has been filed by Julian’s lawyers. “Provisional” is part of the tortuous process of appeal. The lawyers must submit what are known as “perfected grounds of appeal” in the next few weeks, then the U.S. and the home secretary file their responses. Only after that does it go to a judge (not sitting in a court) to decide whether or not he will accept it. It may sound meticulous but, having observed it, it looks to me like a finely spun blanket of obfuscation over a profoundly biased system.
Until the High Court hearing last year, I believed the country’s senior judges would reject the U.S. appeal and reclaim something of the mythologised notion of British justice if only for the system’s survival, which partly depends on “face” within the arcane reaches of the British establishment. This show of “independence” in support of justice has happened in the past. In Julian’s case, the facts are surely too outrageous — no properly constituted court would even consider it — yet I was wrong. The decision by the lord chief justice of England and Wales last October that the U.S. in effect had the right to fabricate and belatedly introduce “assurances” that had not even been part of previous due process was quite shocking. There was no justice, no process; the guile and ruthlessness of U.S. power was on show. Might is right.
Today, the U.S. knows it is close to getting its hands on Julian. Unlike previous parliaments at Westminster, there is not a single voice speaking up for him. In spite of a tenacious campaign emphasising the threat Julian’s extradition poses to a “free press,” he is barely acknowledged in the media, which remains intensely hostile to him. Journalists have never been as compliant as they are today, and Julian’s case is a reminder — to some — of what they ought to be. He shames them.
John Pilger on the Urgency to Free Assange Screen-Shot-2021-10-28-at-11.42.37-AM


Supporters of Julian Assange block the road opposite the Royal Courts of Justice where the U.S. appeal was being heard, Oct. 28, 2021. (Don’t Extradite Assange Campaign)


CONTINUE HERE: https://consortiumnews.com/2022/07/26/john-pilger-on-the-urgency-to-free-assange/



Thanks to: https://consortiumnews.com



  

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