Julian Assange, key initiator of Wikileaks, has been granted bail despite the British government’s appeal made in behalf of the Swedish government. A British district court judge had waited two days before approving bail in the amount of $316,000, on the condition that Assange wear an electronic tag, report to a police station daily, and comply with a 16-hour curfew allowing just eight hours of freedom from the “mansion arrest” in the house of a wealthy journalist/club owner.
At play here could well be documents Wikileaks released that show that US diplomats communicated with their State Department and White House bosses in Washington saying British troops in Afghanistan are not very good at the job. Brits are angry about this slur, especially given their long record of standing “shoulder to shoulder” with Bush’s in his terror wars.
Also, many Swedish politicians are angry after other Wikileaks documents exposing how, unknown to its parliament, Sweden’s military and secret services have long worked behind the scenes with NATO and have offered more assistance to the CIA than is legally permitted in supposedly neutral Sweden.
Assange wasn’t immediately released, as not all the bail money has been raised. It is difficult to get money to the defense, because the US government pressured conveyors of donations and website servers for Wikileaks’ homepage to end cooperation. Paypal, Visa, Mastercharge, Assange’s own Swiss bank, and other Establishment businesses have frozen Assange and wikileaks accounts and refused to process donations.
Wikileaks must be supported. It is a critical tool for maintaining what little freedom we have left to obtain the information we need in order to make grave decisions, like: should we go to war; should we torture people; should we destroy nature to have greater wealth??
Michael Moore is one of several well known cultural figures who posted bail. This is what he wrote on his website, December 14: “No one can plot the next Big Lie if they know that they might be exposed. And that is the best thing that WikiLeaks has done. WikiLeaks, God bless them, will save lives as a result of their actions. And any of you who join me in supporting them are committing a true act of patriotism. Period.”
I join in and urge readers to this piece to do the same. Just before writing these words, I sent my pension savings, $10,000, for our defense in Julian Assange’s name. You can do the same:
Wau Holland Stiftung Commerzbank Kassel Bank code: 52040021. Account: 2772812. IBAN DE57520400210277281200. BICCOBADEFF520
The British daily carrying Wikileaks documents, The Guardian, wrote that this is a way to get money to the right people. So, I guess I trust this.
To recall how this drama began, let us go back to December 7, when Assange turned himself in to police in London, following Sweden’s request to Interpol to issue an international warrant for his arrest and extradition to Sweden.
The accusing women are: Social Democrat party organizer of Assange’s speaking tour last August, Anna Ardin, a 31 year-old anti-Cuba activist allied with US-paid so-called “dissidents” in Cuba. (Ardin was reportedly kicked out of Cuba for subversive activities with right-wing groups there, and Sophia Wil?n, 27, a Social Democrat member in the audience.
Artin’s brother purportedly worked for the Swedish Secret Service/SEPO, which works with the CIA. (A word of caution about Ardin’s brother: While several alternative blogs and webs have stated that he is a SEPO man, none have mentioned a source or his name. I have not read about this in any mainstream medium.)
What does appear certain is that neither woman rejected Assange for days after their consensual coitus with him, which included allegedly busted-condom or no-condom sex.
Before these women complained to the police, they had boasted on Twitter and over sms texts about their escapades. Ardin, who hosted a party in Assange’s honor at her flat after his alleged sex “crime” of the night before, Tweeted her followers that she was with the “world’s coolest smartest people, it’s amazing!”
It is certainly possible that Sweden’s secret service got to her between her sexual conquest of an exciting cult figure and her trip to the police station, all to help out Big Daddy across the Atlantic.
Releasing government secret documents had become “old hat” by the time the first of 251,287 documents from 274 embassies, consulates and diplomatic missions were released?or so the mass media tried to claim. Even the progressive satire program The Daily Show took this view and portrayed Wikileaks as banal, providing “nothing new”, as though once the worst crimes imaginable are no longer unknown, the crimes become acceptable. This propaganda even affected many leftists, including many who usually fight against capitalism and imperialism.
Yet, suddenly the US government became nervous. This is because just the few hundred US Embassy documents released expose how cynical, arrogant and condescending US government leaders and diplomats are. The cables (“cablegate”) also reveal the extent of US spying on its friends and allies and on the UN; how it ignores corruption and real human rights abuses by its client states; backroom deals with allegedly “neutral” states; lobbying for US corporations’ profit interests; and they reveal how other government heads connive and lie, and seek to tumble other governments.
The Empire’s credibility throughout the capitalist world has been shattered. It can’t be trusted to keep its own secrets. Diplomats and military officials from several allied countries have recently cancelled meetings with US counterparts. The Empire is falling, so the Empire runs amok.
US military services have issued orders that no personnel may possess mobile communication apparatuses that could be used to record or photograph anything that could be embarrassing, such as occurred in Iraqi torture chambers. Furthermore, personnel are forbidden to read any websites or newspapers, such the New York Times, which have posted any documents released by Wikileaks.
The government is also seeking to make a create a new law especially aimed at Assange and Wikileaks–a modern version of the hoary Espionage Act of 1917 that forbade US government employees from revealing secret documents. No matter that Assange is an Australian citizen and has not taken any documents from the US, the US wants to create a new category of criminal: “information terrorists”. For those still in doubt about the significance of the documents being released, I point to some of the revelations.
1. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton ordered State Department diplomats to steal personal human material information?DNA, fingerprints, iris scans, credit card information?from UN officials, including from the general secretary (their own man), from other diplomats and from human rights leaders.
2. King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia (the country where bin Ladin and most of the September 11 alleged terrorists come from) asked its friend, the United States government, to attack Iran.
Britain’s Iraq inquiry was rigged so as to protect “US interests”.
3. Brits are now angry at the US for the way its leaders privately criticize British troops in Afghanistan.
4. The US knows that Sri Lanka’s government, under the Rajapaksa brothers’s rule, massacred ten thousand or more Tamil civilians in the last days of the civil war. Sri Lanka’s government can no longer have any credibility.
5. The US internally admits having lost control of Pakistan, where American forces are illegally killing civilians and despite the protests of the Pakistani government.
6. It has also been revealed that the US is secretly killing “undesirable” civilians in Yemen.
In Havana, the US government’s interest section head Jonathan Farrar summoned diplomats from several embassies, including those of China, Spain, Canada, Brazil, Italy, France, Japan, to a breakfast. They discussed with their US friend, how the last remaining semi-socialist country’s economy was doing. The conclusion was that its “financial situation could become fatal within 2-3 years”. China’s ambassador reportedly expressed “visible exasperation” with Cuba’s lack of making economic reforms, and said China wants joint venture partners in Cuba to own more than half of businesses, and it wants its loans repaid pronto.
The United States Government, its capitalist economic structural base, and its capitalist allies, is Organized Sickness!
This is not just another issue. This is a frontal attack against all who wish a decent world. Uproar!
From one “information terrorist” to an information-seeking potential terrorist public, I close with Edward R. Murrow’s adieu:
Good night and good luck!
RON RIDENOUR, who was a co-founder and editor with Dave Lindorff in 1976 of the Los Angeles Vanguard, lives in Denmark. A veteran journalist who has reported in the US and from Venezuela, Cuba and Central America, he has written, Cuba at the Crossroads, Backfire: The CIA’s Biggest Burn, and Yankee Sandinistas.