Assange, Manning, and Snowden: Standing Up for Truth and Freedom of Speech

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Julian Assange
The Empty Chair of Truth

Julian Assange: A Symbol of Truth and the Overt Side of Censorship

In the intricate tapestry of modern history, certain individuals rise to prominence not only for their own actions but also for the ideas they represent. Julian Assange, the co-founder of WikiLeaks, is undoubtedly one of these figures. Over the years, he has become a symbol of truth and transparency in a world plagued by hidden agendas and manipulation. Yet, as Stella Assange, his wife, recently revealed, Julian’s current predicament underscores the darker side of censorship.

In a recent speech, Stella Assange shed light on the alarming state of her husband’s legal battle. The High Court, in an unfathomable decision, has denied Julian the opportunity to appeal his case. The process itself has been marred by delays and obstructions, reflecting a blatant disregard for justice. What we witness here is not merely an isolated incident, but rather a manifestation of the broader censorship industrial complex that pervades our society.

Stella Assange draws a parallel between the overt censorship experienced on social media platforms and Julian’s plight. The erosion of free expression in the digital sphere has become increasingly evident as time progresses, leading to justified paranoia among those who value open discourse. It is not a leap of faith to recognise the interconnectedness of these two phenomena—both are different sides of the same coin.

The WikiLeaks saga began with Chelsea Manning, a U.S. soldier stationed in Iraq who unearthed evidence of war crimes and civilian casualties numbering in the tens of thousands. Disturbing reports of indiscriminate killings in Iraq and Afghanistan, including the now-infamous “Collateral Murder” video, sent shockwaves through the international community. This video depicted a helicopter gunship callously mowing down civilians, including journalists, and tragically injuring innocent children.

Manning’s courageous act of leaking this information to WikiLeaks sparked a global reckoning with the atrocities committed in the name of war.

Julian Assange, as the publisher of these revelations, brought to light the records of civilian killings, evidence of torture, and the nefarious ways in which the U.S. government obstructed investigations into its own wrongdoing.

The WikiLeaks disclosures exposed the use of diplomatic channels to impede accountability for CIA renditions and shield responsible parties from facing trial. In essence, Assange’s case highlights the struggle between impunity and accountability, with his imprisonment standing as a grim testament to the former’s prevailing power.

It is undeniable that Julian Assange is paying the price for publishing the truth. The very country seeking his extradition, the United States, plotted his assassination during Mike Pompeo’s tenure as head of the CIA. The irony is glaring—how can the UK, the nation that colluded in an assassination plot against Assange, consider extraditing him to the very country he exposed for war crimes?

The absence of accountability is deeply troubling, and it raises fundamental questions about the erosion of justice in the modern world.

Stella Assange spoke at the end of an event with Russell Brand, Matt Taibbi and Michael Shellenberger, discussing the Twitter Files.

Stella Assange astutely points out that a systematic campaign of smears has paved the way for Julian’s incarceration. He serves as a deterrent, a warning to journalists who dare to publish the truth. The message is clear: those who anger the powerful will face dire consequences. This intimidation tactic extends beyond the journalism community—it is a warning to society at large.

In the face of such challenges, we must push back and reclaim our rights. Stella Assange emphasises the need for organisation and resistance. The forces of censorship and manipulation are well-coordinated, exploiting complacency and leveraging legislation to maintain control. The battle for truth and freedom of expression necessitates an equally organized and determined response from those who value these principles.

“Anything to Say?”

The urgency of Julian Assange’s case cannot be overstated. Extradition looms, and he faces the horrifying prospect of 175 years in a U.S. prison under the Espionage Act. The absence of a public interest defence deprives him of the ability to explain why he published the information that exposed war crimes and government misconduct. He stands defenceless, with only the support of decent people worldwide to defend the truth.

In an effort to rally support and draw attention to this critical situation, Stella Assange calls upon concerned individuals to stand in solidarity. A powerful act of defiance has been placed—a statue of Edward Snowden, Chelsea Manning, and Julian Assange unveiled in Parliament Square, London.

An empty chair accompanies these statues, symbolising the importance of open dialogue and accountability. It is aptly named “Anything to Say?“—a reminder that we all have a voice, and we must use it to shape the world in which we live.

The time for silence and complacency has passed. The fate of Julian Assange transcends his individual circumstances—it is a litmus test for the very foundations of journalism and the freedoms we hold dear. Let us heed Stella Assange’s call and engage in this critical battle. For the truth, for justice, and for a society that values the power of speech to shape a better world.

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