Click amount to donate direct to CounterPunch
  • $25
  • $50
  • $100
  • $500
  • $other
  • use PayPal
Support Our Annual Fund Drive! We only ask one time of year, but when we do, we mean it. Without your support we can’t continue to bring you the very best material, day-in and day-out. CounterPunch is one of the last common spaces on the Internet. Help make sure it stays that way.
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Holder v. Assange

by SHERWOOD ROSS

Maybe because he’s from Australia, a U.S. satrap on the far rim of the American Empire, that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange doesn’t know that Washington does not allow anyone to steal information unless it orders them to do so. Attorney General Eric Holder, the Obama hack who will not prosecute CIA thugs for torture and murder, says he is mounting a criminal investigation against Assange because anyone who breaks American law “will be held responsible.” Prosecuting CIA Mafioso just doesn’t excite Holder. Threatening Assange for releasing a quarter of a million of the Empire’s secret files, does, especially since Assange did not alter or prettify them but released them in their unexpurgated state. Assange may or may not have raped a couple of Swedish ladies, as that spineless government suddenly needs to know, but there is no question he has disrobed the Statue of Liberty and shown all the world the whore she has become.

As for Bradley Manning, the Army PFC suspected of pilfering the evidence of Yankee cupidity and supplying it to Assange, he is being given free public housing in the Marine Corps brig in Quantico, Va., on suspicion of previous disclosures of the Truth, and the Pentagon would love to throw away the key. Let him rot his life away in the company of the 2.5-million prisoners now overcrowding our vast penal colony for such insidious crimes as selling a joint. Manning’s crime, as reported by AP, is: “I want people to see the truth…because without information, you cannot make informed decisions as a public.” And with an attitude like that you can’t go far in a country whose government is bent on controlling the planet and doesn’t want its sinister operations revealed. For his part, Assange told The London Telegraph President Obama has a record of arresting whistle-blowers and that he runs “a regime that doesn’t believe in the freedom of the press and doesn’t act like it believes it.”

Leading the charge against Assange is State Department boss Hillary Clinton, who said the release of the confidential files is “an attack on the international community,” a comment which pretty much sums up her own conduct as revealed by WikiLeaks. It is Ms. Clinton, after all, who has been doing the attacking. She ordered her diplomats to spy on Ban Ki-moon, the secretary general of the United Nations, as well as on the UN Security Council representatives from China, Russia, France, and UK; the UN undersecretaries, the heads of the UN specialized agencies; the heads of UN peace-keeping operations, and foreign officials apparently in a score of countries. As the UK Guardian reported Nov. 28th, Washington wanted “credit card numbers, email addresses, phone, fax and pager numbers and even frequent-flyer account numbers for UN figures and ‘biographic and biometric information’…” It also wanted to know of any plans by UN officials “to press for potentially embarrassing investigations into the U.S. treatment of detainees in Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay,” the Guardian said. So it has come to pass that the republic once cherished for birthing the ideals of individual liberty, including privacy, is now the world’s spymaster, jailer, warmonger, torturer, and, yes, mass killer, the only nation that has used nuclear fire and which now threatens others with its use.

It is, FYI, illegal for the U.S. to bug the UN’s phones as it did during the run-up to the invasion of Iraq to find out how other countries were voting. But while Obama and Clinton are outraged that their own correspondence has been made public, the U.S. National Security Agency has been tapping telephones the world over. Together with junior partners UK, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand, the U.S. operates ECHELON, a global network of interception stations that eavesdrops on the whole blinking planet. “In multiple ways, each of the countries involved is breaking its own laws, those of other countries, and international law,” Washington journalist William Blum writes in “Rogue State,”(Common Courage Press) noting that “the absence of court-issued warrants permitting surveillance of specific individuals is but one example” of ECHELON crimes. In Australia, Attorney General Robert McClelland has launched a probe to determine if WikiLeaks had broken any laws. In Congress, Senator Joseph Lieberman charged those responsible for the WikiLeaks disclosures have “blood on their hands,” never mind that Lieberman is a strong advocate of the Middle East wars that have killed, by some accounts, more than a million souls. (Say it ain’t so, Joe.)

In sum, it’s apparently insufficient that the U.S. runs the greatest spy operation in history via 16 agencies that Walter Pincus of The Washington Post writes will cost taxpayers $80 billion this year. Ms. Clinton, like her predecessor Condoleezza Rice, ordered her payrollers to become spies as well. “Fingerprints and photographs are collected as part of embassies’ consular and visa operations, but it is harder to see how diplomats could justify obtaining DNA samples and iris scans,” the Guardian said. No it’s not. In the brave new world run by the American Master Race, foreign diplomats are supplicants, not equals, who can be subjected to any humiliation. And so, (surprise!) can the American people. Their bodies are now subject to X-raying and physical groping at airports. Their telephones, faxes, and E-mails are being read. Their bank accounts and credit cards are being monitored. Americans are being arrested and prosecuted for exercising their Constitutional right to protest at a Republican Convention or at a trade conference. Their taxes are being stolen big-time to bail out private bankers. Their children are being ordered to fight wars of aggression based on the kinds of lies WikiLeaks at least has the courage to reveal and Ms. Clinton seeks to conceal. In short, don’t look to America for freedom any more. It is locked up in a Quantico brig with PFC Bradley Manning.

SHERWOOD ROSS formerly reported for the Chicago Daily News and worked as a wire service columnist. He can be reached at: at sherwoodross10@gmail.com

 

 

More articles by:

2016 Fund Drive
Smart. Fierce. Uncompromised. Support CounterPunch Now!

  • cp-store
  • donate paypal

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

September 27, 2016
Jeffrey St. Clair
Idiot Winds at Hofstra: Notes on the Not-So-Great Debate
Mark Harris
Clinton, Trump, and the Death of Idealism
Mike Whitney
Putin Ups the Ante: Ceasefire Sabotage Triggers Major Offensive in Aleppo
Anthony DiMaggio
The Debates as Democratic Façade: Voter “Rationality” in American Elections
Binoy Kampmark
Punishing the Punished: the Torments of Chelsea Manning
Paul Buhle
Why “Snowden” is Important (or How Kafka Foresaw the Juggernaut State)
Jack Rasmus
Hillary’s Ghosts
Brian Cloughley
Billions Down the Afghan Drain
Lawrence Davidson
True Believers and the U.S. Election
Matt Peppe
Taking a Knee: Resisting Enforced Patriotism
James McEnteer
Eugene, Oregon and the Rising Cost of Cool
Norman Pollack
The Great Debate: Proto-Fascism vs. the Real Thing
Michael Winship
The Tracks of John Boehner’s Tears
John Steppling
Fear Level Trump
Lawrence Wittner
Where Is That Wasteful Government Spending?
James Russell
Beyond Debate: Interview Styles of the Rich and Famous
September 26, 2016
Diana Johnstone
The Hillary Clinton Presidency has Already Begun as Lame Ducks Promote Her War
Gary Leupp
Hillary Clinton’s Campaign Against Russia
Dave Lindorff
Parking While Black: When Police Shoot as First Resort
Robert Crawford
The Political Rhetoric of Perpetual War
Howard Lisnoff
The Case of One Homeless Person
Michael Howard
The New York Times Endorses Hillary, Scorns the World
Russell Mokhiber
Wells Fargo and the Library of Congress’ National Book Festival
Chad Nelson
The Crime of Going Vegan: the Latest Attack on Angela Davis
Colin Todhunter
A System of Food Production for Human Need, Not Corporate Greed
Brian Cloughley
The United States Wants to Put Russia in a Corner
Guillermo R. Gil
The Clevenger Effect: Exposing Racism in Pro Sports
David Swanson
Turn the Pentagon into a Hospital
Ralph Nader
Are You Ready for Democracy?
Chris Martenson
Hell to Pay
Doug Johnson Hatlem
Debate Night: Undecided is Everything, Advantage Trump
Frank X Murphy
Power & Struggle: the Detroit Literacy Case
Chris Knight
The Tom and Noam Show: a Review of Tom Wolfe’s “The Kingdom of Speech”
Weekend Edition
September 23, 2016
Friday - Sunday
Andrew Levine
The Meaning of the Trump Surge
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: More Pricks Than Kicks
Mike Whitney
Oh, Say Can You See the Carnage? Why Stand for a Country That Can Gun You Down in Cold Blood?
Chris Welzenbach
The Diminution of Chris Hayes
Vincent Emanuele
The Riots Will Continue
Rob Urie
A Scam Too Far
Pepe Escobar
Les Deplorables
Patrick Cockburn
Airstrikes, Obfuscation and Propaganda in Syria
Timothy Braatz
The Quarterback and the Propaganda
Sheldon Richman
Obama Rewards Israel’s Bad Behavior
Libby Lunstrum - Patrick Bond
Militarizing Game Parks and Marketing Wildlife are Unsustainable Strategies
Andy Thayer
More Cops Will Worsen, Not Help, Chicago’s Violence Problem
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail