Julian Assange Is Released from Prison: What Does it Mean?

Ten Important Takeaways from Empire's Presecution of Assange

Lifesize bronze sculpture featuring (L-R) former National Security Agency (NSA) contractor and whistleblower Edward Snowden, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and former US soldier Chelsea Manning convicted of violations of the Espionage Act, on May 1, 2015 at Alexanderplatz square in Berlin. (AFP Photo / Tobias Schwarz) © AFP

The WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange, will at long last taste freedom again. He should never have been imprisoned. Nevertheless, the release is conditional on his accepting to plead guilty to espionage in the United States — in the far-flung US territory of Saipan. There he is to be sentenced to 62 months of time already served. However, it is much longer that 62 months. Since Sweden ordered an arrest of Assange over rape allegations in 2010, Assange has found himself under some form of incarceration until his current release.

There are some important takeaways from this gross dereliction of justice.

One: The rape allegations, that continue to appear in lazy media, were false, and this was attested to by the two women in the case. The allegations were a political construction between Sweden acting on behalf of the US. The United Kingdom abetted the US’s scheming against Assange. No western nations stepped forward to criticize the treatment. Graciously, president  Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador offered asylum for Assange in Mexico.

Why was Assange being targetted? Because WikiLeaks has released scads of classified US military documents on the US wars in Afghanistan and Iraq,  diplomatic cables, and the devastating video Collateral Murder. When US citizen Daniel Ellsberg released the “Pentagon Papers” for publication, he was charged with theft on top of espionage, but government chicanery caused it to end up in a mistrial. Whereas president Richard Nixon failed miserably against Ellsberg, Donald Trump and Joe Biden persevered and kept Assange under some form of lock-and-key.

Two: Assange is not guilty. He is guilty of journalism, which is not a crime. He did not commit treason against the US. He is an Australian citizen and not a US citizen. He did not commit espionage. Assange is not a spy and neither was he a thief. He is a publisher, and when WikiLeaks published the leaks, Assange was doing what the New York Times did when they published the “Pentagon Papers.”

Nonetheless, Assange is human. He has parents, a wife, and kids. Assange realizes that he was up against the state machinery of the US, UK, Sweden, and the collusion of Ecuador under president Lenin Moreno. Crucial was the unwillingness of pre-Albanese Australian administrations to fight for one of its citizens.

If the Deep State in the US can have its own president assassinated without consequences, then it can easily have a single person put in some form of incarceration for as long as it intends.

After years and years of incarceration — especially in the notorious Belmarsh prison, his health diminishing, missing his family — that Assange would have accepted the release terms of a rogue empire is completely understandable.

Three: Justice is all too often not just. Justice delayed is justice denied goes the legal maxim. Unfortunately, Assange is not an isolated example. Edward Snowden cannot return stateside. Seeing what has happened to Assange reinforces that the US government will mete out injustice to him.

Four: Monopoly media continues to evince that it is an organ of government and corporations. Why so? First, because they are instruments of power. Second, they found themselves all too often scooped by WikiLeaks on major stories.

Five: The bad: this is a blow to freedom of speech and the right of the public to know what their government is doing.

Six: More bad: it is too easy to demonize a hero, to torture a hero, and to do this even though there is a significant (although arguably not numerous enough) global movement in support of a hero.

Seven: Even more bad: people must keep in mind the other heroes out there who brought corruption, war crimes, crimes against peace and humanity to the public consciousness and as a consequence face persecution, imprisonment, assassination, and whatever sordid punishments the machinery of rogue states can cook up. People like Daniel Ellsberg, William Binney, Ray McGovern, Scott Ritter, Edward Snowden, Chelsea Manning, George Galloway, conscientious objectors, truth tellers, resistance fighters, among others.

Eight: Assange is a hero. Heroes tend to be too loosely defined. Scoring a boatload of goals does not one a hero make, neither does crooning a hit song make one a hero, nor does attaining ultra wealth. Heroes are embued with a highly developed sense of morality and transcend themselves by working for the greater good of humanity and the world.

Nine: It is a Pyrrhic victory for Empire. Yes, Assange was brought to the point of having to confess guilt, but who knows what Assange and WikiLeaks will do for exposing crimes of state from here on.

Ten: Whatever Assange decides to do in the future, his decision is earned. He has already done so much for the people who want transparency and who want their governments held to account.

Kim Petersen is an independent writer. He can be emailed at: kimohp at gmail.com. Read other articles by Kim.