Julian Assange and WikiLeaks, Journalism on trial, Scahill, Hedges, Pilger and more: the charges, the defense, what you can do

Several articles are posted here. Click on the each title or video to read/see the full article.
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On Contact: Chris Hedges interviews Kristinn Hrafnsson, Editor-in-Chief of WikiLeaks

Assange charges and extradition: A political question and an attack on the foundation of democracy

Chris Hedges discusses the US extradition request for Julian Assange with WikiLeaks editor in chief, Kristinn Hrafnsson

RT America

Published on Jun 15, 2019
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Journalists Chris Hedges and John Pilger unite for Assange

RT  June 14, 2019

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange appeared in court on Friday. Top independent journalists from the world over flocked to UK to cover his trial. Rick Sanchez explains what’s at stake. We’ll also hear from acclaimed documentarian John Pilger. Then host of “On Contact” Chris Hedges joins live from London, UK to discuss the case against Assange.
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Media betrays Assange after profiting from leaks – Chris Hedges

RT  June 14, 2019

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Assange’s US extradition hearing will be in February 2020

RT  June 14, 2020

Snowden, Assange and Manning statues unveiled in Berlin

Snowden, Assange and Manning statues unveiled in Berlin

Taking a stand in Berlin’s Alexanderplatz are whistleblowers Chelsea Manning, Julian Assange and Edward Snowden.

The sculptures represent three contemporary heroes who have lost their freedom for the truth.

The life-size bronze statues were unveiled on Friday in front of members of the German Green Party as well as activists.

All three figures are considered heroes on the political left for leaking US intelligence documents.
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Why You Should Care About Trump’s War on Whistleblowers

With Jeremy Scahill  The Intercept  June 14, 2019

By the time President Barack Obama left office, his Justice Department had indicted eight journalistic sources under the Espionage Act, more than all U.S. presidents before him combined. Among these cases was U.S. Army whistleblower Chelsea Manning, former CIA officer Jeffrey Sterling, National Security Agency whistleblower Thomas Drake, and NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden. In some of these cases, people were sentenced to lengthy prison terms. In others, the government ruined the lives of the targets.

Then Donald Trump took power and immediately began using the playbook refined and sharpened by his predecessor, President Obama. Donald Trump is now surpassing Obama’s eight-year record in just over two years in office.

We are at an extremely dangerous moment in the history of this country. Donald Trump is using the same rhetoric used by Nazi officials in the 1930s and ’40s to attack the press. He has said he wants to jail journalists who publish stories he doesn’t like. And he is wielding the Espionage Act like a chainsaw against journalistic sources.

What makes it all so much worse is that it was the constitutional law scholar and Trump predecessor, Barack Obama, who teed Trump up, who laid the groundwork, who blazed the trail for this extremely deranged and dangerous man currently occupying 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

But look at the way these stories are covered in the broader media. With a few notable exceptions, the lack of solidarity or just basic understanding of how dangerous these cases are is just largely absent. Instead, there are attacks on the news organizations or reporters. For all of the talk of how dangerous Trump is to a free press, why hasn’t the Reality Winner case been covered more extensively? Why is a CNN reporter losing credentials a national scandal and threatening alleged whistleblowers with 50 years in prison is a nonstory?

This is about criminalizing journalism. It is about increasing the secrecy and decreasing the transparency. It is an assault on the very idea of a democratic society. At these moments, silence is complicity.

This is a precedent-setting moment, not just legally, but morally. Because this is not the end. This is the beginning, and they will eventually come for other news organizations. Or they will scare news organizations from doing high stakes national security reporting.

It doesn’t matter what you think of any of these individual whistleblowers. But it does matter that we all recognize that this is an attack on our basic rights to information about what the U.S. government does in our names and with our tax dollars. It matters that people who blow the whistle on crimes and war crimes be defended and not abandoned or portrayed as violent criminals or traitors. All of us must ask ourselves where we stand. History will remember our answers.
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OPINION

A Soldier’s Defense of Chelsea Manning and Julian Assange

A Soldier's Defense of Chelsea Manning and Julian Assange
Alastair Grant / AP

By Maj. Danny Sjursen  Truthdig  June 11, 2019
This piece originally appeared on antiwar.com

It’s a matter of principles over personalities. Whether one loves or hates Chelsea Manning and Julian Assange is beside the point. The First Amendment freedom of the press is at stake now. In this case, the government’s tool for oppression is the Espionage Act, an archaic relic from America’s repressive World War I-era legislation. Chelsea Manning already served seven years of a 35-year sentence, one of the longest ever meted out to a whistleblower, and was recently jailed again after she refused to testify about WikiLeaks.
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THE U.S. GOVERNMENT’S INDICTMENT OF JULIAN ASSANGE POSES GRAVE THREATS TO PRESS FREEDOMS

By ,
 The Intercept April 11, 2019

The indictment seeks to criminalize what journalists are not only permitted but ethically required to do: take steps to help their sources maintain their anonymity.
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Image: Photo of Manning, Chelsea Manning addresses the crowd ~Roger Jones, 9/23/2017; Photo Julian Assange, Foto: David G Silvers. Cancillería del Ecuador. 8/18/2014

Petition to Free Julian Assange and
Chelsea Manning

Posted by UNAC

The US has charged Julian Assange with espionage, and he now faces up to 175 years in prison for telling the truth about U.S. war crimes.   He is charged under the Espionage Act of 1917 which was passed soon after the U.S. entered World War I in large part to stop opposition to the war.  If convicted, he will be the first publisher convicted of espionage for publishing classified information.  The case could greatly limit what publishers can report about U.S. policy.

Assange is not a US citizen; so, if these charges hold, journalists anywhere in the world who tell the truth about the United States can be subject to prosecution if the U.S. decides the information is “classified.”  In recent years, the U.S. has routinely classified information about illegal and unpopular acts committed by its military as a way of hiding them from the public.

Chelsea Manning, who initially leaked the information to Assange and Wikileaks about U.S. war crimes has also been jailed for refusing to cooperate with a grand jury convened to get information to prosecute Assange.   Manning has refused to speak to the grand jury and play any role in the attacks on Julian Assange.

Please read and sign the petition here.
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Indictment – ]U.S.] Department of Justice

https://www.justice.gov/opa/press-release/file/1165556/download

May 23, 2019 – Count 1818 U.S.C. §§ 371 and 1030. Conspiracy … When the Grand Jury alleges in this Superseding Indictment that an event occurred on a…

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