During Sunday’s Super Bowl, American and many international viewers witnessed the debut of an advertisement for the Washington Post. The Tom Hanks narrated advertisement spoke of the ideal values of honest journalism, before paying tribute to journalists who had lost their lives in recent years, including the Saudi born Jamal Khashoggi who had worked for the Washington Post prior to his murder inside the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul.
But when it comes to journalists being harmed inside the consulates or embassies of foreign nations, there is one incredibly brave journalist, publisher and peace activist who continues to rot inside the tiny chambers of Ecuador’s Embassy in London.
Julian Assange founded Wikileaks in late 2006 in order to expose the war criminality and other misdeeds of the powers that be. Among his most important and one of his first major breakthroughs was his publication of US Army whistle-blower Chelsea Manning’s leaks regarding the extent of the atrocities committed by US and allied forces in Iraq. Since then, Wikielaks has exposed the grim realities of the Guantanamo Bay concentration camp, campaign fraud in the United States, intelligence agencies spying on innocent civilians and even fellow world leaders, geo-economic corruption and illegal political meddling by the US into the affairs of sovereign nations.
Crucially, not a single item that Julian Assange has published has ever been challenged on a factual basis. This is something that is unheard of in journalism and is a record of which Assange can be proud. And yet instead of being granted a Nobel Peace Prize for opening the eyes of the world to the criminality that occurs under the fog of war, instead of being granted major journalistic awards for his commitment to holding authority to account, Assange instead languishes in a small room with no access to the outdoors.
Assange is a prisoner of conscious whose only option is to trade his present prison cell for an even less humane one and almost certainly execution shortly thereafter. It must never be forgotten that Hillary Clinton once remarked that Assange’s execution should be conducted with a military grade drone. Imagine if a Saudi politician said this about a dissident journalist? The Washington Post might actually feign shock in such an instance, but this was not the case when a major US politician said so about Julian Assange.
Julian Assange is beyond a shadow of a doubt, not just the greatest journalistic figure of this age, but of all time. No one has shown an ability to better harness cutting edge technology to tell world changing truths that would have been far more easily suppressed in a previous epoch. But because Assange’s publications could not be suppressed, instead the powers that be decided to suppress, repress and oppress the man.
For nearly a year, Assange has been cut off from his single lifeline to the outside world – the internet, as Ecuador’s President Lenin Moreno has conspired to stab Assange in the back rather than pursue the humanitarian cause of his predecessor, former President Rafael Correa, a man who is now himself persona non grata in Ecuador due to Moreno’s decision to abrogate the policies of his predecessor.
Assange has not been exposed to the light of day for nearly seven years. Over the last year in particular, doctors who have visited Assange offered reports detailing his severe degradation in both physical and mental health.
Whilst the Washington Post’s advertisement convoyed some pleasant ideals, those who have followed the last three years in US politics are aware that the open feud between Donald Trump and Washington Post owner Jeff Bezos was self-evidently one of the main motivators for the Washington Post to purchase some of the world’s most expensive air time during the Super Bowl. In reality, the Washington Post’s advertisement was little more than the world’s most expensive attempt to troll Donald Trump. Clearly it worked as Donald Trump Jr. offered Bezos the response he apparently sought to provoke.
You know how MSM journalists could avoid having to spend millions on a #superbowl comercial to gain some undeserved credibility?
How about report the news and not their leftist BS for a change.
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) February 4, 2019
But while US television screens and computer screens are being dominated by a family feud between two ultra-wealthy Americans, Julian Assange is being left alone both physically and metaphorically. The Washington Post’s slogan is “democracy dies in darkness”. And yet, a man called Julian Assange tried to democratically empower men and women throughout the world with knowledge and as a result – Julian Assange is literally dying in darkness.