While in London this past week, visiting the UK to address the Oxford, Durham and Cambridge Unions about Donald Trump’s improbable 2016 victory and the outlook for his presidency, I visited the tiny Ecuadoran Embassy where journalist Julian Assange has been effectively imprisoned for nearly SIX years, under siege from vindictive state intelligence forces.
Knowing any actual contact with Assange would instantly become needless fodder back home for rabid partisans desperately clinging to their fast-sinking Trump-Russia collusion fantasy, I chose only to drop off my business card.
My inchoate courtesy call was, in part, to “punk” some in British media who persist in the falsehood that Assange is a Russian agent and WikiLeaks a Russian front, rather than a legitimate news organization.
Last September I testified, under oath, to the U.S. House Intelligence Committee that Assange and I never communicated during the 2016 election and that my comments regarding Wikileaks disclosures about Hillary Clinton were from a keen reading of Assange’s own tweets and public comments, NOT from any inside or advance knowledge.
Assange subsequently confirmed this in an interview with U.S. reporter Amy Goodman, saying I had tweeted nothing he hadn’t already publicly disclosed.
I also testified to communicating with another American journalist who I believed could confirm that Wikileaks had indeed obtained, and intended to publish, damaging Clinton emails.
This journalist’s role as a mere confirming source was legitimate and entirely-lawful. But when I declined to provide the journalist’s name, fearing they would face professional reprisals, Committee Democrats launched a manic witch-hunt to identify and ultimately interrogate this person.
As I feared, Committee staffers leaked the journalist’s identity and this journalist was summarily-terminated from employment as a radio talk show host.
To many, this is all just a fancy high-stakes political game. But real human damage has been caused by the cynical manipulations and brazen deceit of the Russia collusion hoaxsters around Hillary Clinton. The malicious harm these people inflict far exceeds anything that should ever be an acceptable cost of opposing, much less reporting on, any political candidate.
In this vein, my visit to Julian Assange’s cramped quarters was, above all, to protest the unjust, inhumane persecution to which Assange is being perpetually-subjected.
Assange is not “hiding” at the embassy, as the Daily Beast mal-reported. Without question, he remains there under UN-sanctioned asylum, mercifully given refuge against false charges and lawless threats of prosecution as a ‘hostile intelligence agent’.
Assange’s crippling peril and personal suffering, ameliorated only by the sympathies of those who recognize the manifest injustice being inflicted on this man, make it clear he is precisely what NO evidence has EVER contradicted: an impeccably-honest, incredibly-brave, humanitarian journalist, who provides an invaluable platform for whistleblowers exposing corruption and criminality infesting governments, nullifying democracy and obliterating human rights, around the world.
The Swedish charges against Assange have long since been abandoned. Lingering UK bail charges are soon to be heard on petition for dismissal. But if Assange should fall into the hands of UK authorities, it is almost certain U.S. intelligence spooks will swoop in to extradite him to the U.S. for treatment reserved only for terrorists and heinous violent criminals.
Apparently, it matters not to these purported agents of law and justice that there are absolutely no legitimate legal grounds to prosecute Assange and, as the U.S. DOJ admitted in 2013, that doing so would expose ALL U.S. journalistic and news outlets to similar criminal jeopardy.
This leaves justice for Julian Assange in the hands of one man — my friend of nearly 40 years, for whom my efforts began 30 years ago to help any way I could to attain the job he finally won and currently holds — President of the United States Donald Trump.
While officials in charge of the Trump Justice Department and CIA grotesquely parrot Hillary Clinton’s absurd slandering of Wikileaks as a “tool of Russian intelligence,” President Trump himself had nothing but praise during his campaign.
“Wikileaks, I love Wikileaks!”, Trump exclaimed at huge campaign rally.
“Wikileaks is amazing,” he told Fox News’s Bill O’Reilly.
After his election, under assault from the ‘deep state’ as a Russian stooge, President-Elect Trump cited Assange for reinforcement, Tweeting: “Julian Assange said “a 14 year old could have hacked Podesta” – why was DNC so careless? Also said Russians did not give him the info.”
Just recently, President Trump’s lawyers in a malicious Democrat lawsuit against his campaign, and me personally, asserted journalistic protection for Wikileaks to vitiate liability for supposed damage to DNC workers from release of their emails.
The Donald Trump I know is a generous, compassionate, humane and, above all, fair man. As his steadfast, loyal, decades-long supporter, with all I have I implore him: Mr. President, FREE JULIAN ASSANGE!