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We’re used to Russian, Chinese, Iranian and Saudi Arabian dissidents. However, the most notorious deniers of free speech are found under upturned rocks in the West.
Investigative journalist Julian Assange sought sanctuary in London’s tiny Ecuadorian embassy in 2012. The whistle-blower refuses to be silenced. The Australian has been awarded more than a dozen journalism awards. Once evicted under a dodgy-deal, blackmail and bribery, Assange faces life imprisonment, perhaps a death sentence.
Thanks to a clerical error by the U.S. attorney’s office in Alexandria, Virginia, the existence of sealed criminal charges against the Wikileaks founder has been confirmed.
What is typically left out is that Wikileaks originally released the diplomatic cables in piecemeal form, with names removed to prevent loss of life and minimize harm. It was only after a Guardian journalist’s error led to the full legally edited cables leaking to third parties on the web that Wikileaks also published them. Assange even attempted to warn the office of Hillary Clinton, then U.S. Secretary of State.
In other words, Wikileaks behaved precisely as any responsible journalist would in handling sensitive material should by removing information that could cause harm. The removals stopped only when they became pointless. The Pentagon later admitted under oath that they could not find any instances of individuals losing their lives as a result of being named in Manning’s leaks to Wikileaks.
When it comes to negligence a far stronger case can be made against Hillary Clinton for the way she handled State Department emails. Yet, no criminal charges have been laid against a woman mired in corruption and whose snail-trail lies over a score of corpses.
Assange is being targeted because he dared to challenge the western establishment but he is far from alone. Western governments routinely target scores of news reporting dissidents.
Imprisoned in Germany merely for investigating holocaust related fraud; Ursula Haverbeck (90), lawyer Sylvia Stolz, Music tutor Monika Schaeffer and her brother Alfred Schaeffer. In France, Professor Robert Faurisson, Brigitte Bardot, and Vincent Reynouard. The list of Western dissidents is as long and silent as are the names on the Cenotaph situated in Whitehall.
Any who associated with Julian Assange are pursued. Another well-known dissident is the National Security Agency (NSA) whistle-blower Edward Snowden. It was a time of globalist unease at the power of the internet to undermine authority.
Who would have thought that the highest court in Europe would uphold a case in which a woman was prosecuted for blasphemy against Islam? Who would have thought that Britain, the supposed birthplace of liberalism and the free press would ban an independent journalist from its shores for satirising the same religion?
Who would have thought that Germany, whose living memory of the totalitarian Stasi is just three decades old, would put its largest opposition party under surveillance? Just a few years ago, all three would sound far-fetched. But cases like these have become common as elites in virtually every western country mount a panicked attempt to contain the rise of populism.
A case in point is Tommy Robinson, the British critic of Islam who was dragged through Britain’s courts on fuzzy contempt-of-court charges. Sentenced to an astounding thirteen-month imprisonment, Robinson was eventually freed after a successful appeal. Robinson now awaits a final trial before Britain’s Attorney General. Shaky charges that have been successfully appealed were exploited to persecute a British citizen who was inconvenient to the establishment.
Alison Chabloz is endlessly re-cycled through British courts at the urging of Jewish special interest groups. She has been sentenced, fined and ordered to work for the State without charge.
Her crime, she satirises the spin of World War II propagandists. Again in Britain, Jez Turner is sentenced to 12 months in prison merely for publicly stating that Britain’s regime is overly influenced by Zionists; ironically, Zionists boast much the same thing.
In the self-styled cradle of democracy, one of the last European countries to give voting rights to men and women, Michael Walsh was handed down 6 x 4-month prison sentences for publishing fliers critical of immigration.
Britain routinely bans foreign politicians and media figures from the country for being right-wing. Michael Savage, Geert Wilders, Lauren Southern, Pamela Geller, and Robert Spencer all enjoy this dubious distinction. Theresa May, who was responsible for internal affairs and immigration when Spencer and Geller were banned, is the Prime Minister.
Trump’s White House, supposedly an ally of populists, failed to intervene on behalf of the American citizens banned from the U.K. for expressing populist viewpoints.
Julian Assange, a leftist oriented libertarian may share little ideological ground with right-wing critics of Islam. But they all share at least one thing: persecution by the Western States coupled with anti-establishment political speech or activities.
We also see attacks on free speech, with governments and politicians across the West pressuring Silicon Valley to suppress its critics. These toxic unaccountable, unelected elite can sweep away a person’s livelihood in minutes, and cut their political message off from millions of American citizens. PayPal, Twitter, YouTube, Facebook routinely disconnect the accounts of even small ‘c’ conservatives.
Undeniably, the West is as repressive as was the former Soviet Bloc. Who would have thought that countries like Ecuador, Russia, and Iran would offer sanctuary, safe passage and freedom to speak to Western dissidents; journalists, authors, poets, writers, libertarians and political activists?
Edward Snowden faces life in Russia as an exile for revealing the National Security Agency (NSA) mass surveillance of Americans. Before that, he sought refuge in Hong Kong, a Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China.