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The Prosecution Of Julian Assange Is Infinitely Bigger Than Assange

• By Caitlin Johnstone CaitlinJohnstone.com

Julian Assange's mother reported yesterday that the WikiLeaks founder has not been permitted any visitors during his detention in Belmarsh Prison, including from doctors and his lawyers. Doctors who visited Assange in the Ecuadorian Embassy have attested that he urgently needs medical care. Belmarsh is a maximum security prison sometimes referred to as "the UK's Guantanamo Bay".

And yet we're asked to believe that this has something to do with an alleged bail violation and a US extradition request for alleged computer crimes carrying a maximum sentence of five years. If you zoom out and listen to the less-informed chatter of the overt propagandists and the brainwashed rank-and-file western mass media consumers, you will also see that people believe this has something to do with Russia and rape allegations as well.

Actually, none of these things are true. Assange is being imprisoned under draconian conditions for journalism, and for journalism only. The Obama administration declined to prosecute him after WikiLeaks' publication of the Manning leaks out of concern that doing so would endanger press freedoms, and the Obama administration didn't have any more evidence at its disposal than the Trump administration has now. The "crime" Assange is accused of consists of nothing other than standard journalistic practices that investigative journalists engage in all the time, including source protection and encouraging the source to obtain more material. The only thing that has changed is an increased willingness in the White House to prosecute journalists for practicing journalism, and there are an abundance of reasons to believe that he will be hit with far more serious charges once extradited to US soil. They're not going to all this trouble for a bail violation and a five-year maximum sentence.

But if you zoom out even further, in the grand scheme of things this barely even has anything to do with Assange. Sure, he has of course been a thorn in the side of those who operate the transnational western power alliance, and given the choice they would of course prefer him to be locked up or dead than free and alive. But that's not what the corrupt influencers who are strangling our world are shooting for here. They are making a grab for something much, much bigger. Assange just happens to be a stepping stone along the way.

As we've discussed previously, the prosecution of Assange is really designed to set a legal precedent which will enable the US government to imprison journalists for trying to hold it to account using journalism. The reason you are seeing the phrase "Assange is not a journalist" bleated constantly by empire lackeys all around the world today is because they need a counter-narrative for the indisputable fact that this precedent poses a threat to journalists around the world, the argument being that since Assange isn't a journalist (pure bullshit by the way), this isn't setting a precedent for journalists. As though their personal definition of what a "real journalist" is will be the one used by the US government when determining whether or not to prosecute other people for doing things similar to what Assange did, instead of whatever definition happens to suit US government agendas in that instance.

But in order to get the really, really big picture perspective of what these bastards are going for, we need to zoom out even further than that.

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