It is not possible to extradite Julian Assange to the USA for spying and hacking. Judge Vanessa Baraitser’s decision is a win, but one not achieved on principled grounds, which should form the foundation of opposition to his extradition. “extradition for psychological harm would be repressive.”extradition for psychological harm would be repressive.”recurrent depressive disorder,”recurrent depressive disorder,”finding a way to commit suicide. “finding a way to commit suicide. The fact that a British court found that the U.S. prison system was too barbaric to ensure the welfare of Assange tells its own tale.
But this is about something far greater than Assange: it’s about journalism, about the free press, and most importantly, about the right to expose crimes perpetrated by the world’s last remaining superpower.Assange is not yet free: the U.S. will appeal the decision of our lowest court – he should now be released on bail rather than stay incarcerated at Belmarsh, given his proven mental conditio What remains worrisome is that, unless there are similar mental health reasons, no precedent has been set to shield other whistleblowers, and so the principled argument must be made all the louder. Chelsea Manning bravely downloaded classified information from U.S. military files more than a decade ago and, most infamously, released a 2007 video of a U.S. aircraft laughing after killing 12 innocent civilians, including two employees of Iraqi Reuters. The aircrew had dishonestly claimed to have joined a firefight: it would have gone down in history as such without Manning’s footage. Other files revealed how U.S.-led forces killed hundreds of civilians in Afghanistan – people whose lives most media outlets do not consider worthy of attention. Another cable revealed scandals and corruption in Tunisia’s Western-backed regime and helped fuel a protest movement that toppled Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali, the autocratic strongman.
Initially, Manning had approached U.S. newspapers with the details, but to no avail, so instead he turned to Assange’s organisation, WikiLeaks, which released the content. Julian Assange should not be extradited to the U.S., a British judge rules Continue ReadingThis is why the U.S. is investigating Assange: to offer an example, to inspire others. U.S. officials believe that if Assange is not exposed to their cruel prison system’s worst horrors, it would prevent anyone from revealing U.S. crimes in a similar way. The willingness of the U.S. to unleash aggression against foreign populations depends on the neglect of the effects by domestic populations.
For example, when U.S. people saw videos from the conflict showing crying kids whose clothes were burned by napalm, or heard of the hundreds killed by U.S. forces in the My Lai massacre, support of the Vietnam War started to crumble.
The U.S. government has since become more adept at monitoring media coverage, even through the incorporation of journalists into military units. An undisclosed number of civilians who remained largely unidentified were killed by the use of drone strikes – significantly increased by Barack Obama, who used them ten times more often than his predecessor.
Civilian casualties from air strikes in Afghanistan grew 330 percent in four years under Donald Trump, and he not only increased drone strikes, but also rescinded an order to make public the number of civilians killed by drone strikes outside war zones. The U.S. war machine relies on concealing brutal human realities.
If it is possible to destroy innocent people secretly and without repercussions, so there is nothing else to save the same fate from suffering. It is not necessary to allow the U.S. military to act with impunity: that is what this case really is about.
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