Why did people who should know better join the Julian Assange lynch mob?

By Joe Montero

The story about Julian Assange and WikiLeaks conspiring with the Russians to make Donald Trump the president of the United States, has been one of the big hoaxes of out time. Not one shred of undeniable evidence has been presented to back the claim.

Proving the case was never the goal for the authors of the hoax, the Democratic Party leadership 9Democratic National Committee or DNC), . Their need was to deflect attention from themselves, after losing an unlosable election. The party core needed an explanation. Julian Assange became the fall guy, and many of the faithful lapped it up.

Assange and WikiLeaks were vulnerable, because they were already being chased by the Previous Obama administration, and Assange was holed up in the Ecuadoran Embassy in London. They had begun to expose war crimes from Chelsea Manning’s leaks. After the release of the Collateral Murder video, Washington really went after him. Then began the leaks exposing the scale of corporate tax evasion and crooked deals. Remember the Panama Papers? They had stood on some very powerful toes and were paying the price.

Collateral damage

Video from WikiLeaks

An eyewitness soldier’s testimony

Video from WikiLeaks

After publishing the Clinton, Podesta emails and other files, the DNC was outraged and really after his blood. These leaks had brought out into the light of day, Hilary Clinton’s role in war crimes, her close association with Wall Street billionaires financing her campaign, and the way the DNC neutralised the party voice on her behalf and prevent the rise of Bernie Sanders, by far the most popular candidate.

The persecution of Julian Assange has had considerable success. Some of those who should have known better have fallen for it hook line and sinker. One day they were railing about money laundering war crimes and corruption. The next they helped take these issues off the headlines. They were too busy taking part in the lynch mob to get Julian Assange.

The persecution soon moved away from the files. The focus turned to an allegation of sexual misconduct. It morphed into an allegation that Julian Assange is against women. It was lapped up by some of those who should have known better. So were the lines that he was fleeing due process and the claim of likely extradition to the United States was no more than an attempt to escape justice.

It doesn’t stop here. The exceptional lengths to which established legal principles have been violated through a conspiracy of the US, British, Ecuadoran and Australian governments, has been largely overlooked and therefore justified. People who would consider themselves to be defenders of human rights have been transformed into violators.

Like others, I have tried to fathom this. The most plausible explanation is a failure to face the truth. Julian Assange and WikiLeaks have helped bring home to us the need to discard old illusions and have the courage to change the nature of our politics. When the torch illuminated the path ahead, it was too scary for some. They went into denial and retreated to familiar ground.

Those around the Democrats in the United Sates, saved themselves from facing the simple facts that they had a rotten candidate, that corruption existed the highest levels of the party, and that fixing this requires a major political transformation. Blaming Assange is a hell of a lot easier to do.

It is this failure that created fertile ground for political manipulation by those who have the means to take advantage of it. And it did not only happen in the United States. The same has taken place in the United Kingdom, and here in Australia, where one of our own has been allowed to be mistreated by fellow travelers eager to join in sinking the boot.

There is hope. The tide is starting to turn. The extradition argument that was once dismissed, is now a living reality. Julian Assange faces 175 years imprisonment and the count is still going up. The so-called Swedish case has evaporated completely. Journalist and civil liberties organisations are speaking out. The understanding that this is an attack on us all is becoming more widely accepted, and a movement for the release of Julian Assange and his right to come home to Australia, is gaining greater traction.

No doubt Assange’s courage in continuing the fight against the odds has been a major contributing factor. So has the inability to hold up a veneer of lies, which crumbles on any close examination.

A civil case brought before the United States District Court of the Southern District of New York by the DNC, on the allegation of a conspiracy with the Russian to hack into its computer system and steal the damaging files, has just been thrown out.

The prosecution argued that if WikiLeaks knew the documents were stolen, they become accomplices by publishing them. Judge John G Koeltl saw it differently, and used precedents, the most important being the Pentagon Papers case, which makes it clear that there is a right to publish truthful information that is of public concern.

The wheels are falling off the get Julian Assange bandwagon.

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