Following the US government’s appeal of the UK courts’ January ruling not to extradite Julian Assange to a US prison, where he could be incarcerated for decades, UK judges must now confirm their decision.
If they do, Assange will not be extradited — unless, that is, the US issues another arrest warrant. The Australian whistleblower, who, with Wikileaks, provided citizens with a rich trove of information on government crimes, has been persecuted and pursued by several states for ten years, including the most powerful of all. The CIA has even made a plan to kill him. And yet, the Western press, instead of supporting Assange, as it would if he were opposing the Russian or Chinese state, continues to be prejudiced against him.
The western media treat Julian Assange and Alexey Navalny very differently: they prefer their heroes to take on authoritarians, not targets close to home.
In March 2017 Julian Assange was nearing the end of his fifth year holed up in the Ecuadorian embassy in London. WikiLeaks had just released details of what it said were CIA hacking tools, which made the CIA more determined than ever to capture him. A recent article by Yahoo News journalists, based on conversations with more than 30 former US officials, reveals how they planned to do it.
First they considered kidnapping, but breaching the inviolability of the Ecuadorian embassy to abduct an Australian citizen in the heart of London would have been diplomatically tricky. Then they thought Assange was preparing to flee to Russia with Ecuadorian and Kremlin collusion, and started to consider even more fantastic schemes.
These included ‘potential gun battles with Kremlin operatives on the streets of London, crashing a car into a Russian diplomatic vehicle transporting Assange and then grabbing him, and shooting out the tires of a Russian plane carrying Assange before it could take off for Moscow... One report said Assange might try to escape the embassy hidden in a laundry cart.’ Some senior officials inside the CIA and the Trump administration even discussed killing Assange, going so far as to ‘request “sketches” or “options” for how to assassinate him’. But the White House vetoed this.
CIA director Mike Pompeo was open about his intentions in a speech on 13 April 2017: ‘WikiLeaks walks like a hostile intelligence service and talks like a hostile intelligence service and has encouraged its followers to find jobs at the CIA in order to obtain intelligence... It’s time to call out WikiLeaks for what it really is: a non-state hostile intelligence service often abetted by state actors like Russia.’ He added, ‘We can no longer allow Assange and his colleagues the latitude to... crush us with misappropriated secrets.’ Later, he said, ‘We’re going to become a much more vicious agency in ensuring that we are delivering [our strategy]. We are going to go (...)
/Wikileaks.kr=Le Monde diplomatique