As many of us suspected, the minor charges of hacking against Julian Assange were just the tip of the iceberg. The extradition warrant from the US is purely political and many of us fear that the UK will play along. The results of his extradition will be catastrophic for human rights and journalism as we know it . According to WSWS:
“On Wednesday, CNN reported US federal prosecutors confirmed there is an “ongoing criminal investigation” of Julian Assange, the 47-year-old founder of WikiLeaks. Prosecutors also indicated “affiliates” of Assange are under investigation, this according to another newly unsealed document. According to the CNN report, at least one document related to this investigation has been withheld from the public due to “ongoing activity.“
“The report confirms the warnings made by the WSWS and others that the charges related to computer hacking leveled against Assange are merely a pretext for his extradition to the United States, after which additional charges would be brought against him.“
The danger to Assange himself by coming to the US is enormous. Torture is only one of the harms that are likely. Under the NDAA law of 2011 paased by President Obama, Assange could be held indefinitely without trial due to his not being an American citizen. This law would enable the DOJ to imprison him for the rest of his life.
The charges that most likely will be filed against him and Wikileaks staff include espionage, government theft and coercion.
According to John Kitiakou’s aricle seen here:
“The issue here is that it is highly unusual – unprecedented, even – for a foreign national (Assange is Australian) to be charged with espionage when he did not steal the information. He was simply provided the information, which he then made public. Assange says that he was just a journalist doing his job, and no administration has ever charged a journalist with espionage for doing his job.
Second, this inadvertent disclosure confirmed that Assange has been charged in the Eastern District of Virginia – the so-called “Espionage Court.” That is just what many of us have feared. Remember, no national security defendant has ever been found not guilty in the Eastern District of Virginia. The Eastern District is also known as the “rocket docket” for the swiftness with which cases are heard and decided. Not ready to mount a defense? Need more time? Haven’t received all of your discovery? Tough luck. See you in court.
Third, I have long predicted that Assange would face Judge Leonie Brinkema were he to be charged in the Eastern District. Brinkema handled my case, as well as CIA whistleblower Jeffrey Sterling’s. She also has reserved the Ed Snowden case for herself. Brinkema is a hanging judge. She was appointed to the federal bench by Ronald Reagan after serving as a federal prosecutor. She was then elevated from administrative judge to trial judge by Bill Clinton, under the patronage of former Republican senator John Warner.”
Even if Assange is given a trial, it will be a big show with a guilty verdict from this infamous judge. He does not stand a chance. The warrant so far is false in order to mislead the public into believing he will be treated fairly and with due process of law. Justice will not be served and the UK govetnment knows this. The extradition of Assange cannot be allowed without setting a precedent that will utterly destroy our rights to press freedom, free speech and a fair just trial. It will end with a publisher spending his life in prison for simply sharing the truth about US war crimes.