By Neenah Payne
Latest Updates on Julian Assange’s Case shows why the case of the United States against Australian publisher Julian Assange, founder of WikiLeaks, suddenly fell apart. Key Witness In Julian Assange Case ADMITS TO LYING provides a quick overview of the case against Assange whose “crime” was reporting the war crimes of the United States revealed to him by former US intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning (then Bradley Manning) in 2010 which showed, among other crimes, that the US military killed 66,000 unarmed civilians in Iraq. See Wikileaks’ video Collateral Murder. Assange is awaiting an extradition hearing from Britain by the United Sates where he faces 17 charges under the Espionage Act and one of conspiracy to commit computer instruction for leaking classified documents. All charges relate to 700,000 classified documents handed to WikiLeaks.
Perhaps Assange’s “crime” is that he exposed the fact that the US is acting like a terrorist. Compare the deaths of 66,000 unarmed civilians just in Iraq with the deaths of 3,000 civilians at the World Trade Center and it begins to look like the US is waging a War OF Terror rather than a War on Terror. Add the fact that the US and NATO bombed Libya, one of Africa’s most advanced nations, back to the stone age for nothing, and the case becomes clear.
The War on Terror is not hurting just the Middle East. It is hurting America. It is allowing China to take the lead globally while America falls further and further behind technologically and economically. It is making enemies for America everywhere while China is undertaking major initiatives to connect with nations around the world
The importance of the Julian Assange case is not just for freedom of the press, the First Amendment, and democracy. It is about the future of America. We cannot continue to support the War on Terror. When Dr. Ron Paul ran for president in 2012, he said he would immediately bring all the troops home. Yet, Obama, Trump, and Biden have continued these disastrous policies in the Middle East.
How The War on Terror Is Destroying America
America must listen to Assange now to save itself. The real costs of the endless War on Terror are shown in part by how much progress China has made domestically and internationally in the 21st century.
The almost 20-year War on Terror is making enemies for the US around the world. It is bankrupting the US, crippling, and killing many young Americans, and depriving America of funds to build up its infrastructure. This stands in stark contrast to what China has accomplished in the 21st century. How China Is Conquering The World Now shows that in those 20 years, China has brought billions of its people out of poverty, massively enhanced its infrastructure, and has launched several major global collaborative initiatives.
At the beginning of the 21st century China had no high-speed railways. Under President Xi Jinping, China has built a network of bullet trains and continues to expand it. Why China Is So Good at Building Railways says that in 2008, China began investing in its High-Speed Railroad network. By 2018, China had more high-speed trains than the rest of the world combined. A former trip of 44 hours over a distance equivalent to Washington, DC to Dallas takes about nine hours now. China is the poorest country in the world to have high-speed rail. Over 2,800 pairs of bullet trains run daily connecting over 550 cities in China and cover 33 of the country’s 34 provinces.
The fastest passenger train in intercity service in the United States is Amtrak’s Acela Express which runs between Boston and Washington, D.C. It reaches a top speed of 150 mph — but only for 34 miles of the 450-mile route. Train tickets on the Acela Express from New York to Washington, DC, frequently go for more than $200. Train tickets for the bullet trains cost about $100.
China’s ‘bullet train’ network is the largest in the world — and it’s about to get even bigger. In 2018, China’s “bullet train” network was already the largest in the world at 15,500 miles compared to the second biggest high-speed rail network in Spain which is just 1,926 miles. China planned to expand its high-speed rail network by 2020 to around 18,600 miles, linking most of the nation’s big cities.
America used to lead the world in technology. Now, the US is increasingly looking second-rate, relying on foreign technology just to keep up. The video Fastest Train Being Built in America! – NYC to DC in 60 Minutes says the Northeast Maglev Project, the biggest public works project in the US, will use Japanese technology. The first leg from Washington to Baltimore is expected to be available in 2028 — 20 years after China’s rollout of a national network of high-speed bullet trains that it will show off to the world at the 2022 Winter Olympics.
The attacks on the World Trade Center on 9/11 in 2001 killed about 3,000 people and were blamed on 18 Arabs on the planes that hit WTC 1 and WTC 2. However, many people reported evidence that suggests the 9/11 attack was an inside job. Architects & Engineers For 911 Truth shows that planes hitting the WTC buildings could not have caused them to implode. The film SEVEN shows that WTC 7, not hit by a plane, fell on its footprint in seconds. These are typical of controlled demolitions.
Although no connection between Iraq and the 9/11 attacks had been shown, Bush launched the War on Terror on the claim that Iraq had “Weapons of Mass Destruction” in Iraq. After Saddam Hussein was murdered and Iraq destroyed, no WMDs were discovered and Bush laughed about it.
Architects of Disaster: The Destruction of Libya
President Obama received the Nobel Peace Prize shortly after taking office in 2008. However, in 2011, he joined NATO in destroying Libya in an unprovoked attack – which is defined as a war crime in the Geneva Conventions of 1949. Obama never received congressional approval for the attack – a violation of the US Constitution as well as the 1973 War Powers Resolution. Obama’s father was from Africa, but he showed no compassion for Colonel Muammar al-Gaddafi who was uniting Africa in the African Union. Gaddafi’s Great Manmade River Project was bringing clean water to all of Africa.
The 2017 video Libya suffers severe water shortages shows Libya’s current state after the destruction of the country and the project in 2011.
In a video interview, Hillary Clinton, Secretary of State in the Obama administration, triumphantly joked about the murder of Muammar Gaddafi by paraphrasing Julius Caesar’s famous statement “Vini, Vidi, Vinci” meaning “I came, I saw, I conquered”. Hillary laughingly gloated. “We came, we saw, he died!”
The 2015 book Architects of Disaster: The Destruction of Libya is by Peter Hoekstra and Teri Blumenfeld.
China’s New Silk Road: Belt and Road Initiative (BRI)
While America has spent 20 years making enemies as it destroys the Middle East, China has launched historic initiatives to empower its people and to unite the world under its leadership.
The New Silk Roads: The New Asia and the Remaking of the World Order by Peter Frankopan says: “All roads used to lead to Rome. Today they lead to Beijing.”
China Railway Express: From Silk Road to Silk Railroad Two says that a thousand years ago, commodities could take a year to get from China to Europe over the old Silk Road. Marco Polo’s reports of China inspired Europeans to travel to China and eventually led to the trip by Christopher Columbus in pursuit of a westward path to the wealth of the Indies. There was also a Maritime Silk Road of ports in a vast network of international commerce that connected East and West.
This Silk Road spirit was one of peace, cooperation, openness, inclusiveness, mutual learning, and mutual benefits. In 1938, in his book The Silk Road, Swedish Explorer Sven Hadin wrote,
“It can be said without exaggeration that this traffic artery through the whole of the old world is the longest, and from a cultural-historical standpoint, the most significant connecting link between peoples and continents that has ever existed on Earth.”
The Silk Roads: A New History of the World shows that understanding the old Silk Road provides a deeper understanding of China’s role in history – and how China is changing the world today.
One Belt One Road Documentary Episode One: Common Fate reports that President Xi said in his speech proposing the new Silk Road that the starting point of the old Silk Road was in Shaanxi, the province where he grew up. The old Silk Road was the center of trade, knowledge, and civilization. China introduced not only silk to Europe, but paper and printing, spices, and medicines. Constantinople (Istanbul), Venice, and other cities sprang up on the Silk Road and prospered.
Some analysts see the BRI as comparable to the Marshall Plan that re-built Europe after WWII.
President Xi is not just re-building China, but is also restructuring the world. His plans extend around the globe in multiple ways.
China’s participation in the BRICS nations (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) provides a countermeasure to Western dominance. With the rise of the BRICS nations, there is an increasing realization that the balance of power has changed in a way the West is not dealing with effectively.
China’s Multi-Faceted Investment Across Africa
China’s investment in the infrastructure of many of the 55 African nations is reviving that continent and winning friends for China. China is gaining access to the mineral resources it needs for industrialization while building roads, highways, schools, universities, hospitals, airports, wells, and manufacturing centers for Africa. The West has given Africa funds primarily for AIDS and Ebola.
The video China’s Footprint in Africa shows the deep investment China has been making in multiple sectors in a variety of African countries for several years.
Assange’s Father and Brother Tour US To Demand His Freedom
“Julian Assange’s father, John Shipton, begins a month-long, 17-city U.S. tour in Miami as his son languishes in Belmarsh Prison in London awaiting a US appeal against the denial of his extradition. Organized by Assange Defense, John and Gabriel Shipton, Julian Assange’s father and brother are scheduled to make stops on both coasts and the Midwest before concluding the tour in the nation’s capital.”
STAND WITH ASSANGE: Reception for John and Gabriel Shipton, the father and brother of Julian Assange – YouTube. The transcript of Chris Hedges’ powerful speech at the event is shown at Chris Hedges: Assange & the Collapse of the Rule of Law which also links to the video of his speech. Chris Hedges is a Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist who was a foreign correspondent for 15 years for The New York Times.
See New York City #HomeRun4Julian for summaries of the other speeches.
The Collapse of the Rule of Law
Below is part of Hedge’s speech Chris Hedges: Assange & the Collapse of the Rule of Law.
“A society that prohibits the capacity to speak in truth extinguishes the capacity to live in justice.
This why we are here tonight. Yes, all of us who know and admire Julian decry his prolonged suffering and the suffering of his family. Yes, we demand that the many wrongs and injustices that have been visited upon him be ended. Yes, we honor him up for his courage and his integrity. But the battle for Julian’s liberty has always been much more than the persecution of a publisher. It is the most important battle for press freedom of our era. And if we lose this battle, it will be devastating, not only for Julian and his family, but for us.
Tyrannies invert the rule of law. They turn the law into an instrument of injustice. They cloak their crimes in a faux legality. They use the decorum of the courts and trials, to mask their criminality. Those, such as Julian, who expose that criminality to the public are dangerous, for without the pretext of legitimacy the tyranny loses credibility and has nothing left in its arsenal but fear, coercion and violence.
The long campaign against Julian and WikiLeaks is a window into the collapse of the rule of law, the rise of what the political philosopher Sheldon Wolin calls our system of inverted totalitarianism, a form of totalitarianism that maintains the fictions of the old capitalist democracy, including its institutions, iconography, patriotic symbols and rhetoric, but internally has surrendered total control to the dictates of global corporations.
I was in the London courtroom when Julian was being tried by Judge Vanessa Baraitser, an updated version of the Queen of Hearts in Alice-in Wonderland demanding the sentence before pronouncing the verdict. It was judicial farce. There was no legal basis to hold Julian in prison. There was no legal basis to try him, an Australian citizen, under the U.S. Espionage Act.
The CIA spied on Julian in the embassy through a Spanish company, UC Global, contracted to provide embassy security. This spying included recording the privileged conversations between Julian and his lawyers as they discussed his defense. This fact alone invalidated the trial. Julian is being held in a high security prison so the state can, as Nils Melzer, the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, has testified, continue the degrading abuse and torture it hopes will lead to his psychological if not physical disintegration…
Now, I know many of us here tonight would like to think of ourselves as radicals, maybe even revolutionaries. But what we are demanding on the political spectrum is in fact conservative, it is the restoration of the rule of law. It is simple and basic. It should not, in a functioning democracy, be incendiary. But living in truth in a despotic system is the supreme act of defiance. This truth terrifies those in power.….
They came after Julian not for his vices, but his virtues…..Julian exposed the truth….”
Neenah Payne writes for Activist Post and Natural Blaze
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