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Assange arrest

April 14, 2019

If you see something, say nothing!

That is the message to potential whistleblowers possessing evidence of war crimes around the world.

Julian Assange, founder and face of Wikileaks, was arrested [Reuters] in London. After years of diplomatic pressure from the US, the Ecuador embassy ended his asylum.

Assange faces extradition to the US for conspiracy to assist imprisoned whistleblower Chelsea Manning. It is widely expected that after extradition, he would also face charges of publishing evidence of war crimes, hacking, fraud, and corruption.

The sole charge, at the moment, concerns conspiracy with Manning.

The significance of a platform such as Wikileaks is that while reporting of these events is not uncommon, it is often based on witness accounts and is thus easily denied by the accused in the classic he-said-she-said mode. Assange and Wikileaks amassed a record of successfully bringing to light hard documentary evidence. Emails, memos, malicious code, or video [Vimeo].

The video shows killing of unarmed civilians and journalists, while the voice communication between the helicopter pilot and the officers authorizing use of lethal force seems to (falsely) state that they are armed. This was perhaps Manning’s most impactful revelation. This video (along with the torture pics) came to be seen by many as a microcosm of the entire US involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan.

In the public debate, a photo or video of a single human being has vastly more impact than a statistic that might say 100,000 or more innocent people were killed. That they were killed on false pretenses highlights the need to include the significant fraud associated with the violent crimes themselves, i.e. intentionally misleading the public on matters related to war and international relations, in the group of crimes which are serious enough that their exposure should be granted whistle-blower type protection.

Quite simply, there is no other mechanism for accountability for the top power in the world – and in the absence of such a mechanism, we now have nearly 2 decades of mass destruction, the consequences of which are still developing.


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