A relief for Julian Assange

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By TARIQ ALI

The British judicial system has a horrifying record when it comes to dealing with “enemies of the state”. This is because he was created to be an enemy of the people

The Supreme Court's decision to allow Julian Assange to appeal his pending extradition is an important, if partial, victory. The judges are aware that he doesn't actually have a case to answer. The US accusation of “espionage” is blatant nonsense. The fact that it has not yet been rejected and Julian Assange released is a sign of the UK's widespread subordination to American interests.

All credit must be given to the international campaign to free him – in particular, to the firm determination of his wife, Stella Assange – and to Nils Melzer's unimpeachable forensic deconstruction of this entire sordid affair. O The New York Times and the Guardian, both barometers of obsequious opinion, recognized the absurdity of the accusations. Even the normally servile Australian political class voted to demand his release. (“History,” wrote Engels, “is made in such a way that the final result always arises from conflicts between many individual wills, each of which, in turn, became what it is by a series of particular conditions of life").

Julian Assange's only “crime” was exposing a crime. Make available evidence of US brutalities in Iraq. And he could only do this because Chelsea Manning provided him with the explosive video.”Collateral Murder” plus other vital information. She has since regained her freedom, while Julian Assange continues to rot in Belmarsh. Firstly, an impartial Public Prosecutor's Office would not have pursued him. By 2013, the Swedes were willing to drop the case. But the Public Ministry [Crown Prosecution Service], led by Starmer, asked them to keep it open.

He and his collaborators flew to the US, where they colluded with the Barack Obama administration – although documents relating to these trips were hidden or destroyed. Like convicted criminals, Starmer and his colleagues did not want any details to be leaked to the public. May this guy now be the so-called “Leader of the Opposition” – applauded by the establishment for getting rid of the Corbyn group, restoring the Blairite old guard and supporting the Israeli genocide – no surprise. His training to become the next acceptable prime minister began with the framing of Julian Assange.

Another terrible and vindictive decision was to keep Julian Assange locked up in a maximum security facility, with prolonged periods of solitary confinement that amount to authentic torture. The official explanation was that he had not paid bail, which could explain the refusal to release him; but an open prison, like those used to hold financial criminals, would certainly have been sufficient. The real reason was that the secret services wanted him to be punished and humiliated. As a result, the journalist WikiLeaks is so ill that he was unable to attend the last two court hearings. Do they expect him to die before the last resort?

Five years ago, from his prison cell, Assange wrote to a friend: “I am intact, although literally surrounded by murderers, but the days when I could read, speak and organize to defend myself, my ideals and my people are over! All people must take my place. I am defenseless and I am counting on you and others of good character to save my life… The truth, in the final analysis, is all we have.”

Truth alone is never enough, especially in this vile world of Western double standards. The British judicial system has a horrifying record when it comes to dealing with “enemies of the state”. This is because he was created to be an enemy of the people.

*Tariq Ali is a journalist, historian and writer. Author, among other books, of clash of fundamentalisms (Record). [https://amzn.to/3Q8qwYg]

Translation: Fernando Lima das Neves.

Originally published on the blog of New Left Review.


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