Blair received top knighthood despite his alleged war crimes, yet Jullian Assange who exposed those crimes sits in Belmarsh prison awaiting Her Majesty’s pleasure.
This is the new world order, one in which truth, justice and freedom have no place but those that carry out the atrocity of war, leaving a trail of death and destruction that has become the legacy of the first quarter of the 21st century are awarded the establishment highest honours.
While the world mourns the death of Archbishop Desmond Tutu remembering his fight against oppression and injustice, it seems only apt that we recall his words concerning Tony Blair and Blair’s real legacy, one of death and destruction.
In 2012 the late Desmond Tutu declared: “The immorality of the United States and Great Britain’s decision to invade Iraq in 2003, premised on the lie that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction, has destabilised and polarised the world to a greater extent than any other conflict in history.
Instead of recognising that the world we lived in, with increasingly sophisticated communications, transportations and weapons systems necessitated sophisticated leadership that would bring the global family together, the then-leaders of the US and UK fabricated the grounds to behave like playground bullies and drive us further apart. They have driven us to the edge of a precipice where we now stand – with the spectre of Syria and Iran before us.”
It was the same Late Archbishop Desmond Tutu that called for Tony Blair and George Bush to be hauled before the international criminal court in The Hague and delivered a damning critique of the physical and moral devastation caused by the Iraq war.
Tutu, the Nobel peace prize winner and hero of the anti-apartheid movement, accused the former British and US leaders of lying about weapons of mass destruction and saying the invasion left the world more destabilised and divided “than any other conflict in history”.
Writing in the Observer, Tutu also suggests the controversial US and UK-led action to oust Saddam Hussein in 2003 created the backdrop for the civil war in Syria and a possible wider Middle East conflict involving Iran.
He was not wrong! The fallout from the decision to invade Iraq based on the Dodgy dossier carries the ghost of countless dead, who died on a decision based on a lie.
A lie that destabilised entire regions, regions that almost a quarter of a century on are still in turmoil.
Of course, Current Labour leader, Sir Keir Starmer, said: ‘The last Labour government delivered enduring change from the national minimum wage to the peace process in Northern Ireland. My congratulations to Tony Blair on this recognition for his public service to our country.’
If Starmer thinks that is a fair balance of the books, it gives us a clear insight into another sociopath in charge of Labour.
The number of deaths alone including our own troops sent to fight for corporate interests is estimated at over a million people. Not to mention the eruption and displacement of millions, who even today are living under some of the harshest extremes of humanity, not excluding slavery and people trafficking but as Starmer says, at least Blair gave us a minimum wage…
Jeremy Corbyn’s 2010 Stop the war coalition speech touches on why we participated in these corporation wars: “Hundreds of British soldiers have died, hundreds of soldiers from other coalitions have died and thousands upon thousands of Afghanistan people have also died, for what, for whom for what purpose in the long run.
“I think the pentagon let the cat out the bag when they announced the levels of mineral deposits they had discovered in Afghanistan.”
“I think the Arms dealers of the world let the cat out of the bag when you realised what profits they made over the equipment sold in Afghanistan ”
If leaders may lie, then who should tell the truth?
We soon woke up to the fact that the “War on Terror” had little to do with fighting “Terrorism” and more to do with making the world a safer place for corporate plunder
For many that truth came in the form of Wikileaks an organisation willing to push investigative journalism to its limits exposing the truth for an informed society.
As a result of WikiLeaks’ disclosures, we have learned more than ever before about corruption and human rights abuse around the world, the nature of diplomacy, the military-industrial complex, the extent of misinformation about war, and the abuse of government power and public-private partnerships in traditional government functions, such as intelligence sharing, which are being contracted out to private corporations that are beyond the scope of regulatory control.
WikiLeaks has shown a courageous commitment to the finest traditions of journalism and to the role of the Fourth Estate in our democracy, which has not only challenged authority and power to achieve greater accountability but has also challenged the ‘old’ media to do better. This chapter reviews the phenomena of WikiLeaks and other forms of new media, as a part of the Fourth Estate, in modern democracy.
The traditional or ‘old’ media has always operated on leaks and journalists, editors and publishers have relied on the protections afforded them under laws protecting free speech.
Julian Assange and WikiLeaks did everything journalists should do by finding out important information about government misdeeds and handing it over to the public.
The media have been cowed
But the political and legal responses to the success of internet publisher WikiLeaks in the past few years have called into serious question the legal regimes related to the disclosure of information, including protections related to freedom of speech and the press, protection for sources and whistleblowers, the alleged need for confidentiality in government, and the justification for concomitant limitations upon freedom of information and transparency.
Astonishingly, British and American commentators are in a state of denial when it comes to seeing that what happens to Assange could happen to them. They argue bizarrely that he is not a journalist, though the Trump administration implicitly accepts that he is one, since it is pursuing him for journalistic activities. The motive is openly political, one of the absurdities of the hearing being the pretence that Trump-appointed officials provide a reliable and objective guide to the threat to the US posed by the WikiLeaks revelations.
China highlights case of WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange in reponse to criticism over #HongKong— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) December 30, 2021
Assange Fiancée: ”’What about Assange?’ is the perfect comeback to criticism of human-rights abuses”https://t.co/3RBWb4ALlc https://t.co/9jK7eaKzZD
Hero’s of the people Julian Assange, Chelsea Manning, Edward Snowden.
UN’s torture expert condemns persecution of UK Political Prisoner Julian Assange
A temporary monument to Assange, Snowden, and Manning was unveiled in Geneva. The mobile art installation, made by Italian artist Davide Dormino in 2015 and dubbed ‘Anything to Say?’ shows the three figures standing on chairs with a fourth empty chair next to them.
On April 11, Julian Assange was taken into custody outside of the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, ending his seven-year isolation there. He was arrested by British authorities, and the United States has filed an extradition warrant. He faces charges of conspiring to hack government computers.
This is a politically-motivated arrest due to his exposure of American atrocities and crimes. His arrest is an affront to liberty and indicative of the reach and power of the deep state.
Assange has been indicted in the U.S. on 18 charges over the publication of classified documents. Prosecutors say he conspired with U.S. Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning to crack a password, hack into a Pentagon computer and release secret diplomatic cables and military files on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
It really doesn’t matter how they dress the extradition charge, the reality: ‘its revenge for publishing and Assange is now damned’.
Assange exposed and embarrassed and he must be punish.
The concept of secrecy for “national security” has been used by authoritarians and despots to justify violations of civil rights and liberties for millennia. Julian Assange is guilty of the crime of exposing the unconstitutional dealings of the United States’ government. Assange exposed videos of U.S. Apache attack helicopters killing unarmed civilians, including two Reuters journalists.
The U.S. military denied culpability. WikiLeaks revealed that the U.S. military would regularly hand over detainees to the Iraqi military, knowing they would be tortured. Wikileaks revealed that the State Department asked diplomats to spy on United Nations officials, including the Secretary-General.
The U.S. knew that ex-president of Afghanistan Hamid Karzai regularly released drug dealers with political connections. These are some of the milder things that Wikileaks revealed to the public. You can see the raw leaks at WikiLeaks.org. Assange has been condemned as a terrorist by public officials because he threatens their job security by exposing abuses and atrocities that are unpalatable to the public.
Don’t shoot the messenger
The arrest of Assange has widespread implications. Ben Wizner of the American Civil Liberties Union said that any prosecution by the United States of Mr Assange for WikiLeaks’ publishing operations would be unprecedented, unconstitutional and would open the door to criminal investigations of other news organizations. People can be arrested because they expose the tyrannical actions of the U.S. government. Actions that have not been approved by the public. Actions that, if done to Americans, would lead to massive public outcry. Actions that are repugnant and antithetical to our concept of inalienable rights and liberties. We have to seriously consider the powers we give to the government if they are allowed to conduct themselves in such a secretive and criminal way.
Is Assange a flawless hero? Absolutely not. Credible arguments could be made about his associations with Russian political figures. Assange has a noticeable tendency to target the United States, but in that, they make themselves such an easy target. Assange may not have revealed the same actions of interest that have been committed by other states but that could be due to the flow of information and the whistleblowers’ policies of some less liberal countries that do not hold such freedoms as the first amendment in their civil rights.
Does this disqualify his potency as a journalist and advocate for First Amendment rights? Absolutely not.
Assange argues he was acting as a journalist entitled to First Amendment protection and says the leaked documents exposed U.S. military wrongdoing. Among the files published by WikiLeaks was video of a 2007 Apache helicopter attack by American forces in Baghdad that killed 11 people, including two Reuters journalists.
This embarrassment, this ugly face of war is why America will have its revenge.
The footage of the July 2007 attack was made public in a move that angered the Pentagon, it had drawn up a report identifying the whistleblower website as a threat to national security. The US defence department was embarrassed when that confidential report appeared on the Wikileaks site alongside a slew of other military documents.
The release of the video from Baghdad also comes shortly after the US military admitted that its special forces attempted to cover up the killings of three Afghan women in a raid in February by digging the bullets out of their bodies.
The video of the Baghdad attacks was recorded on one of two Apache helicopters hunting for insurgents on 12 July 2007. Among the dead were a 22-year-old Reuters photographer, Namir Noor-Eldeen, and his driver, Saeed Chmagh, 40.
The Pentagon blocked an attempt by Reuters to obtain the video through a freedom of information request. Wikileaks director Julian Assange said his organisation had to break through encryption by the military to view it.
In the recording, the helicopter crews can be heard discussing the scene on the street below. One American claims to have spotted six people with AK-47s and one with a rocket-propelled grenade. It is unclear if some of the men are armed but Noor-Eldeen can be seen with a camera. Chmagh is talking on his mobile phone.
One of the helicopter crew is then heard saying that one of the group is shooting. But the video shows there is no shooting or even pointing of weapons. The men are standing around, apparently unperturbed.
The lead helicopter, using the moniker Crazyhorse, opens fire. “Hahaha. I hit ’em,” shouts one of the American crew. Another responds a little later: “Oh yeah, look at those dead bastards.”
One of the men on the ground, believed to be Chmagh, is seen wounded and trying to crawl to safety. One of the helicopter crew is heard wishing for the man to reach for a gun, even though there is none visible nearby, so he has the pretext for opening fire: “All you gotta do is pick up a weapon.” A van draws up next to the wounded man and Iraqis climb out. They are unarmed and start to carry the victim to the vehicle in what would appear to be an attempt to get him to hospital. One of the helicopters opens fire with armour-piercing shells. “Look at that. Right through the windshield,” says one of the crew. Another responds with a laugh.
Sitting behind the windscreen were two children who were wounded.
After ground forces arrive and the children are discovered, the American air crew blame the Iraqis. “Well it’s their fault for bringing kids into a battle,” says one. “That’s right,” says another.
Initially, the US military said that all the dead were insurgents. Then it claimed the helicopters reacted to an active firefight. Assange said that the video demonstrated that neither claim was true.
“Why would anyone be so relaxed with two Apaches if someone was carrying an RPG and that person was an enemy of the United States?” he said. “The behaviour of the pilots is like a computer game. When Saeed is crawling, clearly unable to do anything, their response is: come on buddy, we want to kill you, just pick up a weapon … It appears to be a desire to get a higher score, or a higher number of kills.”
Ten years later…
In an Old Bailey courtroom in London over the past months, lawyers for the US government have sought the extradition of Assange to the US to face 17 charges under the Espionage Act of 1917 and one charge of computer misuse. At the heart of their case is the accusation that in leaking a trove of classified US diplomatic and military cables in 2010, Assange and WikiLeaks endanger the lives of US agents and informants.
One of the many peculiarities in this strange case is that the evidence for any such thing is non-existent. The Pentagon has admitted that it failed to find a single person covertly working for the US who had been killed as a result of the WikiLeaks disclosures. This failure was not for lack of trying: The Pentagon had set up a special military task force, deploying 120 counter-intelligence officers, to find at least one death that could be blamed on Assange and his colleagues but had found nothing.
Other allegations against Assange put forward by the lawyers for the US government are similarly flimsy or demonstrably false, yet he is still in real danger of being sent to a maximum security prison in the US after the court makes its ruling on 4 January. Once there he faces a sentence of up to 175 years and, whatever the length of his incarceration, he is likely to spend it in solitary confinement in a tiny cell.
Julian Assange hero truth bring faces a 175 years prison sentence, Tony Blair warmonger arguably war criminal receives the highest honour of knighthood for services rendered, and we are supposed to be the good guys.
Petition: Tony Blair to have his “Knight Companion of the Most Noble Order of the Garter” rescinded – Sign the Petition! Link