13/03/2024 lewrockwell.com  4 min 🇬🇧 #244705

« Libérez la vérité » : Julian Assange et la défense de la liberté de la presse

He's a Hero, So the Elites Hate Him

By  Tom Woods

March 13, 2024

From the  Tom Woods Letter:

The British High Court will soon decide whether to extradite journalist Julian Assange to the United States, where he will assuredly face a long prison sentence.

It is shocking to me that anyone who reads what I write could side with the regime on this.

The University of Chicago's John Mearsheimer recently summarized the situation, and this is my analysis as well:

Assange is a journalist, and he did not break the law, as it is commonplace for journalists to publish classified information that is passed on to them by government insiders. If journalists in the United States were sent to jail for publishing classified material, the jails would be filled with many of America's most famous reporters from newspapers like The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Wall Street Journal.

But of course, that hardly ever happens. Simply put, newspapers publish classified material, and hardly anybody ever goes to jail. Why is this the case? What is the reason for this situation? Governments of every type, and this includes liberal democracies like the United States and Britain, sometimes go to great lengths to hide their actions or their policies from public view, which makes it almost impossible for the public to evaluate and criticize their behavior....

Thus, a rich tradition has developed over time in the United States, where insiders leak information about classified policies to journalists who publicize the information so that the public can evaluate it and push back hard against misguided policies.

The most famous case that illustrates this phenomenon involves the famous Pentagon Papers, which were a multi-volume study of the American decision to enter the war in Vietnam in the 1964-65 period and then escalated in subsequent years.

Daniel Ellsberg, who was an insider and had access to classified material, leaked the papers in 1971 to The New York Times, which subsequently published them. The story in those documents was starkly at odds with what the Johnson administration had been telling the American people about US policy in Vietnam.

By most accounts at the time, and certainly since then, both Ellsberg and The New York Times performed an important public service.... Ellsberg did not go to jail despite leaking classified information, although it did appear at the time that he might be sent to jail. Certainly, nobody at the New York Times went to jail because, again, journalists don't go to jail for publishing classified information in the United States.

It is very important to remember that in the case of Julian Assange, he is not the equivalent of Ellsberg because he was not an insider who leaked the information. Chelsea Manning was the insider. Assange was the equivalent of the New York Times, and thus he should not be extradited....

Two final points. First, it is important to emphasize that nobody was hurt because of the documents that Assange published. Nobody's life was put in danger because of what he posted on Wikileaks, and certainly nobody was killed....

Second, Assange has already paid a huge price for his actions. He has effectively been in prison for years. Sending him to the United States, where he is likely to be convicted and sentenced to a long jail term, would be a case of cruel and unusual punishment.

Exactly right. I would add: the regime Assange exposed hates you. If you're feeling compelled to defend it, don't. It will only laugh that one of its victims wants to speak in its favor.

I was glad to see that Assange's brother, Gabriel Shipton (whom I interviewed on the Tom Woods Show not too long ago), accompanied Rep. Thomas Massie as the latter's guest at last week's State of the Union.

Massie has made the point that with RFK, Jr. (who supports pardoning Assange) siphoning votes from the two major parties, there's every political reason for one of the two major-party candidates to declare his own support for pardoning Assange as well. (Interestingly, Donald Trump, Jr., recently noted that he had changed his mind on the subject and now favors the pardon.)

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