You can quote several words to match them as a full term:
"some text to search"
otherwise, the single words will be understood as distinct search terms.
ANY of the entered words would match

Decision Day: “In Democracies This is Called Journalism” – A Major Piece by former Assange Associate Holger Stark.

Decision Day: “In Democracies This is Called Journalism” – A Major Piece by former Assange Associate Holger Stark.

Back in January what has been call a “major German piece” on Assange was written by one of his former associates, Holger Stark who was with SPIEGEL magazine back in the 2000s and was involved in the publication of WikiLeaks. “The essence of a democracy is to allow criticism, even when it hurts. If the American prosecutors, assisted by the British judiciary, succeed in their plan to de facto bury Assange alive, this would, in addition to the personal tragedy, be a massive curtailment of press freedom.” Holger Stark writes.

We will soon see if they do succeed to “bury Assange alive” as at 10:30 this morning UK time the High Court will announce the verdict in the Julian Assange case where it will be decided if he will be able to appeal his extradition to America where they want to see him jailed for 175 years. Just as most human rights groups assert the charges against Julian are an attack on human rights and journalistic activities which are essential to our democracy. The charges should be dropped and he should be freed immediately,

The worst-case outcome of today is that Julian will be put straight on a CIA Plane with a hood over his head, demarking the death of British Justice and Democracy.But I believe British Justice will prevent that. Then it will be up to us all to raise the noise to get him out of that hellish London Prison, before his health completely collapses and any semblance of U.S. and U.K. freedom dies along with him.“says Matt OBranain

We can only hope that the British justice system does not let us down.

First A Reminder….

A reminder of why Julian Assange remains in prison in the UK, Wikileaks under Assange released the Collateral Murder video. The footage shows Reuters journalists, Saeed Chmagh and Namir Noor-Eldeen being gunned down by a US Apache helicopter. Several others were killed while the US pilots laughed.

In Demokratien nennt man das Journalismus

In Democracies This is Called Journalism

By Holger Stark

the original German source:

The decision about Julian Assange’s future will soon be made. With him, our author published secret US documents in 2010. And explains here why the WikiLeaks boss is a political prisoner.

Updated January 5, 2024

In a few weeks a decision will be made that will say a lot about the state of democracies in the USA and Great Britain. The British High Court, England’s highest court, has scheduled a final hearing in Julian Assange’s case for February 20th and 21st. Negotiations are underway as to whether the WikiLeaks founder can be extradited to the United States. Assange has appealed a previous decision. If the judges reject his appeal, Assange may be loaded onto a plane to America from the maximum security prison in Belmarsh near London. There he is charged under the Espionage Act, a law that has been forgotten for decades and was once enacted against traitors and spies during the First World War and has now been brought out again. It would be the sad culmination of more than a decade of persecution that is unprecedented in the modern history of Western democracies.

Where does this desire to destroy come from? And where is the public outcry that would be appropriate given the brutal persecution?

Assange suspected early on what could happen, back in the summer of 2010, when we sat together in London and were in the process of evaluating three of the most spectacular leaks in history: several hundred thousand secret US Army documents from the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, as well as one Quarter million confidential US State Department cables.

Chelsea Manning, a young American army analyst, had sent the documents to WikiLeaks, and Assange had shared them with us journalists from the New York Times, the Guardian and Spiegel, and later with Le Monde and El País. On a July day in 2010, the WikiLeaks boss sat together in London with my then Spiegel colleagues Marcel Rosenbach and John Goetz and pondered what the publications would trigger. Assange said that day that he believed the US was trying to prosecute him as a co-conspirator under the Espionage Act. That’s why he avoids America. Too risky.

The forecast was prophetic. The multiply expanded indictment from June 2020 accuses him of 18 offenses, including conspiracy to break into computers. The core of the indictment is that Assange received and published confidential information from the US Army. In democracies this is called journalism, no matter how painful the exposure of wrongdoing may be for a government. And it was about grievances, be it the suppressed numbers of civilian deaths in Iraq, US espionage against the United Nations or corruption in Turkey. Many editorial teams around the world have reported extensively on this; To this day, the published documents are a treasure for reporters and historians.
So why is Assange being thrown in prison for something that journalists are given awards for?

When WikiLeaks was founded in Melbourne in late 2006 by a group of young Australian online activists, it was initially less about journalism and more about political influence. “We have decided to create a global movement of mass leaking, which we believe is the most efficient form of political intervention,” Assange wrote in December 2006 to Daniel Ellsberg, the American whistleblower who leaked the Pentagon Papers to the New York Times in 1971 and was one of Assange’s great role models.

A few weeks later, Assange proclaimed: “Leaking will bring down many governments that obscure reality – including the US government.” And WikiLeaks’ founding statement from 2007 said: “WikiLeaks can become the most powerful secret service in the world, a secret service of the people.” Assange has never lacked hubris.
WikiLeaks raised the question of power back then. And the most powerful nation in the world heard them. However, it took a few years for the US to understand how serious Assange was.

What began as a subversive political mission with the then new, revolutionary technology of an anonymous digital submission system turned more and more into a journalistic enterprise in the following years. At the top: Assange, who tracked down and published a report on corruption in Kenya as well as insider documents from a Swiss bank or the right-wing extremist British National Party. Since then, Assange has been a bit of everything: a former hacker, an activist who temporarily founded his own party, the WikiLeaks Party – but also a publicist and journalist.

Despite all the furor surrounding the revelations, the Obama administration refrained from prosecuting them, also because otherwise we journalists from the New York Times, the Guardian and the Spiegel, which are the ones in the indictment, would also have had to be prosecuted The allegations formulated apply equally.
However, that changed when Donald Trump moved into the White House as President – the very US politician with whom Julian Assange had temporarily flirted indirectly behind the scenes (among other things, probably in the hope that Trump would ask the Australian government to release him, Assange , to be appointed Australian Ambassador to Washington).

With Mike Pompeo, Trump made a hardliner the head of the CIA, and Pompeo delivered, including in the case of WikiLeaks. A few weeks after taking office, he described WikiLeaks as an “enemy secret service.”

But what Pompeo really thinks is documented in a previously unpublished tape recording from February 2019. Pompeo, who had already been promoted to US Secretary of State at the time, flew to Munich for the security conference and held a closed-door panel discussion about the current greatest challenges for the USA spoken. “We have introduced a system by which we can identify our opponents in other countries,” said Pompeo in a conversational tone in Munich. And that he spends a lot of his time dealing with their efforts – “be it Al-Qaeda or Isis, be it WikiLeaks or Hezbollah.”

WikiLeaks a terrorist organization? Assange a terrorist? That is the worldview with which the Trump administration viewed the case and which runs through the indictment. There is no sign so far that the Biden administration would see things differently.

The exorbitant comparison of WikiLeaks to Al-Qaeda or the Islamic State explains why the CIA hunted Assange in London like, well, a terrorist, including internal simulations to kidnap him from the Ecuadorian embassy. And to this day, Assange remains in Belmarsh, a prison designed for terrorists and serious criminals.

Another, previously unpublished audio recording shows how thoroughly political this process is. On November 26, 2010, two days before the worldwide publication of the US State Department’s diplomatic cables, we at Spiegel asked the US government for an interview. We wanted to know whether there were passages in the documents that were particularly sensitive from the American government’s perspective. We wanted to hear whether publication would endanger human lives.
The US government decides when someone becomes dangerous

A dispatcher made the connection, it took a while, then something clicked and the White House called. A moment later the CIA was also on the line, a moment later the Pentagon, the US intelligence coordinator and finally the US State Department in the person of Hillary Clinton’s confidants Cheryl Mills and Phil Crowley.

Crowley, who spoke, spoke of “stolen documents” that contained the contents of confidential conversations with kings, prime ministers and other members of government around the world and were highly sensitive. He asked us not to mention the names of the US diplomats we spoke to, as this would be dangerous. And then Crowley said a sentence that says a lot about what the US was and is about at its core: “Public naming will lead to limited cooperation.”

The indictment states that Assange “revealed the names of human sources and caused significant and immediate risk to life and limb.” But Phil Crowley’s quoted sentence is probably more honest: The US government feared above all for its reputation and influence in the world. Assange has come too close to the core of power. The “unauthorized disclosure” could endanger “the national security of the United States,” the indictment says. Anyone who attacks the military-intelligence complex of the superpower will be fought with the full force of the machine.

The essence of a democracy is to allow criticism, even when it hurts. If the American prosecutors, assisted by the British judiciary, succeed in their plan to de facto bury Assange alive, this would, in addition to the personal tragedy, be a massive curtailment of press freedom. Good journalism consists precisely in finding access to unauthorized information from within a government, from the Foreign Ministry or even the army. This is the only way to control politics. Journalism that has to rely on authorized information is not journalism, it is PR. No matter how contemptuous Assange has expressed himself about the media in the past (and he has often) – every independent editorial team would have to stand behind him because of this attack on press freedom.

But the message of this indictment goes beyond that. It is that challenging the superpower USA can have existential consequences. Anyone who questions the national security of the United States, even through publication, will face the harshest consequences imaginable. The US government decides when someone becomes dangerous. In this sense, Julian Assange is a political prisoner.

On that summer day in July 2010, when my Spiegel colleagues met Assange in London, he also speculated about what would happen in the event of possible persecution. Does he regret coming to London, given the British government’s close ties to the US? No, Assange replied, “I have too much support here,” and a little “action” would actually be quite useful for him. And added with conviction: Extradition from Great Britain to the USA is “impossible”.

This may be the mistake of his life.

Source Hoger Stark

Pray for Julian Assange.

The Expose Urgently Needs Your Help...

Can you please help power The Expose’s honest, reliable, powerful journalism for the years to come…

Your Government & Big Tech organisations
such as Google, Facebook, Twitter & PayPal
are trying to silence & shut down The Expose.

So we need your help to ensure
we can continue to bring you the
facts the mainstream refuse to…

We’re not funded by the Government
to publish lies & propaganda
on their
behalf like the mainstream media.

Instead, we rely solely on our support. So
please support us in our efforts to bring you
honest, reliable, investigative journalism
today. It’s secure, quick and easy…

Just choose your preferred method
to show your support below support

Read the full article at the original website


Subscribe to The Article Feed

Don’t miss out on the latest articles. Sign up now to get access to the library of members-only articles.