The Show Trial of Julian Assange Is an Attack on the Right to Dissent

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Wikileaks’ ascendancy has led to a revolution in publishing and politics that has been felt across the world, and was synonymous with the hope of the Arab spring. But a crackdown is now in full swing. The sudden, shocking ascendancy of Assange to the forefront of the right to dissent was an awakening for the world. In 2010, a global society a decade deep in the War on Terror rubbed its bleary eyes and gazed in horror at the vast misery engineered by US war crimes. The response from the newly roused was to take a veteran anti imperialist and rally behind his calls to hold war ideologues in Washington to account for their heinous policy.

With the viral success of ‘Collateral Murder’, Assange immediately instigated a collective public questioning of the US commitment to war and imperialism that was nearly unthinkable during the aftermath of 9/11, when the US deployed bullying tactics to ensure conformity to its agenda for total domination of global geopolitics.

Because Assange’s message has been so powerful in dissolving the hawk narrative of the Washington status quo, his leadership has heralded a new era of progressive politics. This new era threatens to smash the tight consensus grafted together by elites, so they have responded by enforcing a global mass propaganda program by stealth to defame Assange and his supporters.

The aim of this program is to distract people from the truth of the struggle Assange represents and the choices he makes plain, that in one direction lies a future promoting power for and by the people and in the other lies the continued dominance of politics, the economy, society and the narratives that bind it together by an unaccountable complex of elites and transnational corporate lobbies estranged from the working population.

It is balefully poor politics and testament to the hawk lack of imagination that today they denounce Wikileaks as a “hostile intelligence service.” The democratic function of a pillar of the fourth estate has been obscured as the bourgeoisie attempt to stifle its revolutionary potential.

It doesn’t take a genius to see that intelligence agencies (remember, they are unelected, secretive associations through which the constitution is undermined) are confreres of US imperial power and thus have a vested interest in maligning grassroots movements because they energize seismic campaigns that advance “unapproved” agendas that undermine the maintenance of elite control.

Wikileaks are activists who advocate the use of citizen journalism as a way to protect the public against abuses of power. Yet the media today don’t stop for a moment while denouncing Assange to reflect on whether there is value in his philosophy, or to ask themselves if there is a reason why his ideas have become popular. Because doing so would entail dangerous cognitive dissonance that would threaten their allegiance to status quo narratives that just so happen to justify the world they know and love.

This propaganda program is insidious, leaders like Assange who make any headway in challenging the status quo are smeared with a coordinated campaign of aspersions in an attempt to make them unacceptable to the public. Assange, who is not only arguably responsible for the renaissance of scientific journalism but has been a leading voice in the radical antiwar left for decades, has been vilified for years by both domestic and international media outlets . So now he has become the target of covert intelligence operations, directed in part by the dying hawk lobby that’s in cahoots with powerful intelligence firms. Together, they have mounted a bitter political attack by using the media to paint Assange as a cyber terrorist.

Anybody who denies that there is an agenda to repress voices of dissent against the policies of US war state, and who denies that the establishment suppresses reporting about its crimes, a suppression which operates by conflating dissidence with terrorism, is wrong. Citizens who support this dissent are not apologists for terror. They represent a people’s agenda for societal and political change that extends solidarity to struggles around the world.

The US empire is a clown car driven by hawks into dystopia. This reality has simply not been recognized within national political and media circles. It has been sidelined by distraction, diversion and misinformation unprecedented in its depth, complexity and scale. The media, which, when used earnestly, can be a great tool for emancipation and liberation through collective enlightenment, has, through forty years of machinations of neoliberal New Public Management doctrine, been transformed into the biggest, most dangerous totalitarian cult ever seen. The media cult is a threat to politics and global peace. It is the media that has been instrumental in manufacturing the myth of Assange’s danger.

This metamorphosis of the media and journalistic culture into an elite cult that attacks real progressive causes has come about silently because those who know about it are insiders with no incentive to speak about it. They are blinded by vested interests in maintaining the interconnected geopolitical and media status quo. Left to its own trajectory, in a few years the global media will be the canteen tannoy of postmodern totalitarianism, indivisible from U.S. power and the world order. We may, in fact, be there already.

The neoliberal hawk lobby is a useless parasite on the world, engorged on its power and profits in societies merging with a hell of poverty, austerity and destitution. The media-politico complex, not Wikileaks, is the true terror imperiling US politics and global peace.

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