Apr 15, 2019
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has been arrested in London, and will be sent to the U.S. to face trial. A Virginia prosecutor is charging him with conspiring to hack into a Pentagon computer network in 2010.
While the media focuses primarily on the election interference of 2016 and while Assange is no doubt of questionable character, the reaction of the state apparatus has little to do with these irritations and much more to do with disclosures relative to the U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
In 2010, WikiLeaks published secret U.S. military logs from the Iraq War. They revealed some of the brutality of that war. Over 100,000 civilians had been killed outright – many more than the U.S had admitted. U.S. authorities tolerated abuse, torture, rape, and murder by the Iraqi police and soldiers who worked for them. Military officials classified murdered civilians as “enemy combatants.” Mercenaries hired by the U.S., called “contractors,” had also abused and killed many civilians.
WikiLeaks then published a similar log of abuse from the war in Afghanistan. And it posted a video taken from a U.S. attack helicopter in Iraq, showing U.S. helicopters murdering two Reuters journalists. It is called “collateral murder” and you can still see it on the internet.
Ever since this information was released, the U.S. government has been going after the people who revealed the truth about the U.S. wars. Chelsea Manning, the Army analyst who leaked the information, was sentenced to 35 years in prison and served seven – the longest of any leaker in U.S. history. Now she is back in jail for refusing to testify against Assange.
Assange and Manning are prosecuted – but the generals and politicians who carried out these murderous wars go free. When it comes to defending the interests of U.S. imperialism, murder, torture, and rape are not considered crimes – but revealing the truth about them is.