OPINION – At this moment, the most wanted man in the world is Wikileaks founder and spokesman Julian Assange. Several nations are currently pulling out all stops to get their hands on him.
Sweden wants to extradite him for questioning over accusations of alleged “sexual misbehavior.” Britain has threatened to invade Ecuador’s London embassy, where he currently resides, to arrest Assange in order to turn him over to Sweden. But the nation most eager to get its hands on this man is the United States of America.
Even though world media is asserting “rape” as the reason why Assange is being sought, there is another dynamic we must consider. Namely, revenge. After all, Julian Assange, through Wikileaks, has exposed numerous inconvenient truths about those in power.
Wikileaks became an international phenomenon for its willingness to publish documents leaked by whistleblowers around the world. Since its first appearance online in 2007, the website claims to have received millions of documents from government and corporate whistleblowers.
As long as those documents were exposing the plight of Chinese dissidents or extra-judicial police killings in Kenya, U.S. officials seemed less than concerned about what Wikileaks was doing.
But that all changed two years ago with the release of a video titled “Collateral Murder.”
The video consisted of 39 minutes of unedited gun camera-footage from U.S. helicopter gunships that showed the unprovoked killing of two unarmed Reuters journalists along with a number of Iraqi civilians. Pentagon officials, fearing that it might cast American forces in a bad light, had kept the video out of the view of the public.
Wikileaks also released a large number of classified diplomatic cables that exposed a side of the Afghanistan War that Pentagon officials wished to keep out of public view.
Among the inconvenient truths were documentation of incidents of a July 2008 U.S. air raid on an Afghan bridal party near the Pakistan border that killed at least 70 women and an August 2008 air strike on a memorial service that killed at least 90 civilians. These and other incidents comprise the tip of an iceberg that made the Collateral Murder video body count seem tame by comparison.
In an act of hypocrisy that would rival Larry Flynt lecturing the clergy about the dangers of pornography, the Pentagon admonished Julian Assange that he and his sources “might already have on their hands the blood of some young soldier or that of an Afghan family.”
You read that correctly. Those leaders whose hands drip with the actual blood of innocent victims were scolding Assange for prospective blood on his hands.
To this end, Julian Assange and Wikileaks performed a valuable, if not heroic, service to truth-seekers everywhere.
The information contained in the leaked documents imperils only those policy makers who require darkness and secrecy in order protect their own interests. Atrocities and suffering that cause the public to think are considered “dangerous” and “irresponsible” by those whose power depends upon keeping them hidden.
This is why the U.S. government, which claims the power to assassinate or indefinitely detain anyone, anywhere in the world without due process, wants to get its hands on Julian Assange.
As Paul Craig Roberts explains, “It is power taking its revenge. Assange has made government transparency a moral issue and made people aware that classification and secrecy serve to hide government crimes and deception. This has empowered whistleblowers.”
Sweden wants Britain to turn Assange over to them for “questioning” on alleged sexual misconduct. But Sweden has offered no guarantee to Assange that it will not summarily turn him over to the U.S., which has been sharpening its knives in anticipation of getting its hands on him.
Assange is well aware of talk among U.S. power brokers to try him for treason, even though he is not American and his acts did not occur on U.S. soil, as well as calls for convicting him of espionage and putting him to death. This is why he asked for and received asylum from Ecuador in its London Embassy.
Our government’s actions reveal something very interesting. It doesn’t fear the combined armies of the world. It fears something even more powerful – the withdrawal of approval by an informed American public.
George Orwell once said, “In times of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.” It appears that Orwell has been proven right yet again.
Bryan Hyde is a news commentator and co-host of the Perspectives morning show on Fox News 1450 AM 93.1 FM. The opinions stated in this article are his and not representative of St. George News.
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