For about 70 years the CIA has been undermining a free press. It began with Operation Mockingbird, a Cold War operation against communism. The CIA recruited journalists into a propaganda network. The CIA paid journalists to write fake stories or to publish stories written by the CIA in order to control explanations that served the agency’s agendas. Student and cultural organizations and intellectual magazines, such as Encounter, were suborned into the CIA’s propaganda network.
Thanks to the German journalist, Udo Ulfkotte, we know that every European journalist of any significance is a CIA asset. In 1977 Carl Bernstein of Watergate fame wrote in Rolling Stone that the CIA “has secretly bankrolled numerous foreign press services, periodicals and newspapers – both English and foreign language – which provided excellent cover for CIA operatives.” Like most other people, Western journalists were all too willing to sell out their integrity for money. The few who were not were blackmailed into submission.
The few honest journalists who remain have been forced out of the “mainstream” or presstitute media onto Internet websites. Wikileaks is by far the best news organization of our time. To bring this organization to heel Washington, using its Swedish, British, and Ecuadoran vassals, has persecuted Wikileaks’ founder, Julian Assange, for years. The CIA’s media vassals, including the New York Times and The Guardian, both of which published the material leaked to Wikileaks that is being used to destroy Assange, have joined wholeheartedly in the persecution of the World’s Best and Most Honest Journalist.
Currently Assange is being tortured, apparently to death, while bring held in solitary confinement in a maximum security British prison awaiting his extradition to the US on false charges. As the CIA cannot be certain it has suborned all the federal judges, Washington is just as happy if Assange dies in a British prison as there is no valid case against him under current US law. Probably the absence of a valid case doesn’t matter as the rule of law in the US is very difficult to find.
The lack of any valid case against Assange is the reason the distinguished documentary film maker John Pilger describes Assange’s persecution as a Stalinist Show Trial.
The worst moment was one of a number of ‘worst’ moments. I have sat in many courtrooms and seen judges abuse their positions, This judge, Vanessa Baraitser—actually she isn’t a judge at all; she’s a magistrate—shocked all of us who were there.
Her face was a progression of sneers and imperious indifference; she addressed Julian with an arrogance that reminded me of a magistrate presiding over apartheid South Africa’s Race Classification Board. When Julian struggled to speak, he couldn’t get words out, even stumbling over his name and date of birth.
When he spoke truth and when his barrister spoke, Baraister contrived boredom; when the prosecuting barrister spoke, she was attentive. She had nothing to do; it was demonstrably preordained. In the table in front of us were a handful of American officials, whose directions to the prosecutor were carried by his junior; back and forth this young woman went, delivering instructions.
The judge watched this outrage without a comment. It reminded me of a newsreel of a show trial in Stalin’s Moscow; the difference was that Soviet show trials were broadcast. Here, the state broadcaster, the BBC, blacked it out, as did the other mainstream channels.
Having ignored Julian’s barrister’s factual description of how the CIA had run a Spanish security firm that spied on him in the Ecuadorean embassy, she didn’t yawn, but her disinterest was as expressive. She then denied Julian’s lawyers any more time to prepare their case – even though their client was prevented in prison from receiving legal documents and other tools with which to defend himself.
Her knee in the groin was to announce that the next court hearing would be at remote Woolwich, which adjoins Belmarsh prison and has few seats for the public. This will ensure isolation and be as close to a secret trial as it’s possible to get. Did this happen in the home of the Magna Carta? Yes, but who knew?
What is astonishing about the CIA’s destruction of Julian Assange is the silence of American law schools and bar associations, the silence of universities, the absence of student and labor union protests, the absence of any protection of Assange’s rights from courts as the last news organization willing and capable of holding governments accountable for their crimes is destroyed openly in full view of the law schools, intellectuals, bar associations, courts, and print and TV media.
The CIA’s control over explanations is as complete as the control Big Brother has in George Orwell’s dystopian novel, 1984. And this doesn’t bother the citizens of the US, UK, Australia, Canada, Sweden, Europe. Only a few individuals speak out for Assange, and they, too, are demonized in turn.
The Age of Tyranny has now descended upon the Western World.