The Assange case

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By SERGIO AMADEU DA SILVEIRA*

The pillars of democracies cannot be supported by farce, disinformation and dissimulation

It is certainly difficult to define which is the greatest example of disinformation in recent times. But certainly the Assange case is among the most damaging and aggressive hoaxes ever mounted in recent years. Julian Assange is arrested in the UK for leading the Wikileaks, an organization that aims to publish leaks from powerful organizations such as states and large corporations. The organization's publication criterion is that the contents are demonstrably true and relevant to world public opinion. Despite attempts to disqualify him, Assange practiced good journalistic investigation and, therefore, is being silenced and arrested.

The damage that Assange's arrest has done to press freedom is staggering. The United States, a country that uses the logic of reason of State to fulminate freedom of expression and approve acts of internal censorship in the name of the fight against terror, also practices operations of extreme violence and dissimulation. Washington employs its intelligence agencies and carries out operations ranging from reputation assassinations to the physical execution of people around the world. Assange was the victim of attempts by US agencies to destroy his image in order to delegitimize his work.

The North American agencies armed against the leader of the Wikileaks a rape charge in Sweden. This accusation was the basis of a priority arrest call by Interpol. Arrested in the United Kingdom by the frame that moved the Swedish authorities, Assange asks for asylum in the Ecuadorian embassy. The United Kingdom does not allow him to travel to the airport in an official car of the Republic of Ecuador to travel to the South American country. Like any dictatorship, the vaunted British liberal democracy even threatens to invade the embassy that gives asylum to Assange. Months later, Sweden drops the charge against Assange. The farce was untenable.

The reason the UK had arrested Assange fell apart. But that wasn't the real reason for her persecution. Interestingly, England maintains that he violated his house arrest. Given the fragility of the accusations that would make even Lava Jato prosecutors blush, the only thing left for the US was to show up with its real objective. Thus, US authorities file 17 charges against Assange in the UK.

He is accused of conspiracy to spy. Then, the heralds of the farce ask for his extradition to the country that has secret prisons in different parts of the planet and that performs torture in manuals that have already been leaked and published by the world press. It is not Venezuela that I am describing, it is the United States, the example of democracy. This country that talks about human rights while torturing the “detaile” in Guantánamo, an area where the state of exception prevails, as Giorgio Agamben warned us.

Assange was never a spy. He acted as every good investigative journalist should. Once he received certifiably true information demonstrating the war crimes of US military forces, he did what every good journalism handbook recommends. Assange divulged the truth about the sinister and criminal practices of the armed forces of the country that claims the right to be the police of the world. Edward Snowden, in 2013, showed that the US digital intelligence agency spied on allies and millions of people not to fight terrorism, but to obtain numerous economic and political advantages.

Assange is a political prisoner in the UK. According to the UN human rights rapporteur, Assange is the victim of a major hoax and is subjected to psychological torture. The British are once again fulfilling their regrettable role of following Washington's dictates. Linked to a disastrous geopolitical logic, the United Kingdom shows us that human rights and freedom of the press are worthless when what is at stake is the maintenance of the chain of power commanded by the United States.

The Assange case is an example that the disinformation practiced by the United States must be denounced. From the farce “the occupation of Iraq against weapons of mass destruction” to “the fight against corruption on the planet”, US agencies are a constant risk to the truth and to the right of peoples to correct and quality information. .

Without being able to deny the veracity of the images of the Apache helicopter that murders civilians and Reuters reporters in Baghdad, known as “Collateral Murder”, without being able to deny the communiqués from the US embassies released by the Wikileaks, among other leaks of information, the US opts for the war tactics it knows so well. Lie, dissuade, confuse, obfuscate. These are the appropriate verbs to talk about the actions taken by the US authorities.

In addition to the notorious farce against Julian Assange, the international press discovers that the CIA under the government of Democrat Barack Obama planned to kidnap and kill Assange. This is a sign that imperialism is bigger than temporary occupants of government positions. There is a logic in US power that needs to be denounced. We can no longer accept such falsehood, so much lies, so much misinformation. Enough of complacency with authorities that claim to be democratic while blocking peoples' right to information.

What is most frightening is that the overwhelming majority of international public opinion knows that Assange is under arrest for disclosing the truth about US war crimes. How long are we going to accept this farce? How long can we see a person's life destroyed because Washington wants revenge? Can we continue to accept cynicism as the main strategy in international relations led by the United States? Is the idea that the reasons of State are above the right of peoples to obtain true information still valid? Legitimate?

The pillars of democracies cannot be supported by farce, disinformation and dissimulation. If this were possible in the world of mass communications, it is no longer possible today. Combating disinformation is the foundation of democracies. To fail in this battle is to strengthen the main strategy of the world's extreme right, which wants to equate democratic governments with authoritarian ones, in order to deal the former the mortal blow of the neoliberal dictates that today flirt with fascism.

After all, say the leaders of the North American alternative right, “freedom no longer coexists with democracy”. What freedom? Freedom from ultra economic exploitation and all sorts of denialism, the right to aggression, hate speech understood as freedom of expression, typical things of the North American right.

PS: I ask that all and all engage in the defense of freedom for Julian Assange. This farce must end. If you are in São Paulo, on February 25th, from 11:13 am to 741:XNUMX pm, come to the protest for freedom for Assange in front of the British consulate, at Rua Ferreira de Araujo, XNUMX, Pinheiros.

Yes, this article ends with a call to action.

*Sergio Amadeu da Silveira is a professor at the Federal University of ABC. Author, among other books, of Free software – the fight for the freedom of knowledge (Conrad).

 

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