The Chinese government delivered a rare rebuke to Washington after US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo accused China of meddling in the affairs of Venezuela. Accusing China of harming Venezuela by trading and investing in the country is insane. He has a point.
By Ron Paul
Last week’s arrest of Wikileaks publisher Julian Assange by the British government on a US extradition order is an attack on all of us. It is an attack on the US Constitution. It is an attack on the free press. It is an attack on free speech. It is an attack on our right to know what our government is doing with our money in our name. Julian Assange is every bit as much a political prisoner as was Cardinal Mindszenty in Hungary or Nelson Mandela in South Africa.
They, and so many more, were imprisoned because they told the truth about their governments.
Repressive governments do not want their citizens to know that they are up to so they insist on controlling the media. We are taught, at the same time, that we have a free press whose job it is to uncover the corruption in our system so that we can demand our political leaders make some changes or face unemployment. That, we are told, is what makes us different from the totalitarian.
The arrest of Assange is a canary in a coal mine to warn us that something is very wrong with our system.
What’s wrong? The US mainstream media always seems to do the bidding of the US government. That is why they rushed to confirm Washington’s claim that the Assange indictment was not in any way about journalism. It was only about hacking government computers!
As the New York Times said in an editorial, sounding like a mouthpiece of the US government, Julian Assange committed “an indisputable crime.” But was it? As actual journalist Glenn Greenwald wrote last week, what Julian Assange did in 2010, for which he is facing extradition to the US, is no different from what New York Times and other journalists do every day! He attempted to help Chelsea Manning shield his identity as he blew the whistle on US government crimes to a publisher. The information in question included a video showing US military personnel participating in and cheering the murder of Iraqi civilians. Why is it criminal for us to know this?
The difference is that what Assange and Manning did embarrassed the US government, which was lying to us that it was “liberating” Iraq and Afghanistan when it was actually doing the opposite. Mainstream journalists publish “leaks” that help bolster the neocon or other vested narratives of the different factions of the US government. That’s why the US media wants to see Assange in prison, or worse: he upset their apple cart.
The lesson is clear: when you bolster the government's narrative you are a “brave journalist.” When you expose corruption in government you are a criminal. Do we really want to live in a country where it is illegal to learn that our government is engaged in criminal acts? I thought we had an obligation as an engaged citizenry to hold our government accountable!
As long as Julian Assange is in prison, we are all in prison. When the government has the power to tell us what we we allowed to see, hear, and know, we no longer live in a free society. Julian Assange will be extradited to the US and he will have dozens of charges piled on. They want him to disappear so that the next Assange will think twice before informing us of our government’s crimes. Are we going to let them steal our freedom?
By Adam Garrie
This article was originally published at Eurasia Future.
Journalism in its truest sense must necessarily be guided by a spirit of iconoclasm. This is the case because unlike activism, advocacy or propaganda, pure journalism is about exposing the truth, even if the truth is something that contradicts one’s own ideals, the material goals of one’s friends, one’s own conscience or one’s own personal interests. Because of this, true journalism is a much less enjoyable task than activism, advocacy, propaganda or public relations. In activism, advocacy, propaganda or public relations, one is best served professionally by representing and promoting points of view that one actually believes in or is at minimum, deeply comfortable with. In true journalism, one’s job is to expose the truth – the easy and happy truths along with the grim, depressing and self-defeating ones.
This helps to explain why Julian Assange has been stabbed in the back by so many. Many had falsely assumed that because Assange published material that embarrassed and compromised George W. Bush, he would not go after Barack Obama when he took charge of the United Stated. Such people were ultimately proved to be deeply wrong in their arrogant assumptions about Assange.
Many were likewise surprised that the same man who told uncomfortable truths about Hillary Clinton also told uncomfortable truths about her nemesis Bashar al-Assad. Assange was someone who one day literally talked about the importance of Wikileaks in leading to the so-called Arab Spring yet is likewise being persecuted by the western politicians who actively orchestrated the most deadly aspects of the so-called Arab Spring.
Assange’s releases had something for everyone to love and had something for everyone to cringe at . This is the nature of the truth and as truth becomes an ever more scarce commodity, it becomes an increasingly alien concept to many. It is because Assange could not be coaxed into transforming himself from a publisher and journalist into a propagandist, public relations man or ideological advocate, that he made many enemies ranging from the government of Iran to its geopolitical nemesis, the government of the United States.
But while such a statement might sound odd in a political context, to a traditional iconoclastic journalist like Assange, this would have been the highest compliment. In an age where even science has become politicised, Assange was able to maintain traditional truth telling standards whilst using innovative technologies to distribute his honest information. His record of not having to retract a single publication under the guise of being materially false is a testament to his high level of work.
It is therefore ironic that many who would never publicly say that they want only comforting truths rather than only the real truths, nevertheless make Assange out to be the villain. While the corporate liberal narrative that Assange is somehow a villainous traitor for exposing American war crimes and political corruption is pervasive in western societies, there are also plenty of individuals who accuse Assange of being a western intelligence asset due to the fact that some of his publications were received in a deeply negative light in parts of the Middle East, Asia and Africa that are broadly ruled by so-called “anti-western” leaders.
But even so, the factual nature of everything ever published on Wikileaks withstands the test of material honesty every time. In this sense, to argue with Wikileaks and Assange is to argue with the truth itself.
Whilst Assange is often called an activist (including on these pages) because of his tendency to resist the prosecutors of war and violence, Assange should be best though of as someone who was willing and able to expose the truth about the powerful, whether the powerful were good or evil. Because the powerful during Assange’s time in charge of Wikileaks tended to be overwhelmingly evil, it became easy for some to confuse Assange for a moralist when in fact he was only ever an iconoclast.
Like a physician, it is not the job of a journalist to say that things are going well when they are not. If a doctor diagnoses a horrible disease, it is his or her duty to inform the patient about the illness and what if anything can be done to palliate it.
It is perhaps therefore little wonder that most so-called journalists today aren’t actually journalists at all. They are instead a combination of advocates, activists, propagandists and public relations people. In some ways, one can’t blame them. Their non-journalism is more fun, generally better paying, more relaxing and far less dangerous than the real journalism that Julian Assange took to new heights.
That is why people should be honest with themselves. Most could not be a true journalist and when faced with the choice, most would at least privately admit that they do not want to be. Assange however never abandoned his journalistic ethics. This is why some of those who once loved him now hate him and it is why some who once loathed him now read his publication and are grateful for what Wikileaks has put out. And yet even those who always hated him are aware of him and cannot deny the truths that he unilaterally exposed.
It’s not easy being a journalist because the price of freedom, honesty and integrity is often the loss of friendship and the loss of money. But in a free society, it should never result in the loss of personal or professional liberty. This is why the story of Julian Assange’s sacrifice is all the more tragic. He may have been prepared to lose friends, but what kind of man is prepared to lose his freedom for the crime of honesty?
The timing was hardly "coincidental." Not long after a trip by Vice President Pence to "convince" Ecuador to hand over Julian Assange, a $4.2 billion IMF loan appears on the scene. Then Ecuador follows through and delivers the Wikileaks publisher to face the wrath of the US political establishment. Do what Washington says, get a bribe. Don't do what Washington says, get a bomb.
Capitalism created the greatest prosperity that the world had ever seen in early-America. But by the late 1800's, a litany of American presidents declared that the age of "laissez-faire" was over. Government would intervene into every corner of life. And..ever since...it has! The horrendous consequences of this are apparent to everyone. But there are now some people who are trying to shift the blame. They're trying to blame "Capitalism" for the consequences of an over-bearing government.
UK Metropolitan Police were allowed into the Ecuadorian Embassy today to violently arrest Wikileaks publisher Julian Assange, after the Ecuadorian government cancelled his asylum. He's already been convicted in the UK court this morning, but the real show trial awaits him after extradition to the US.
If hemp's now legal, why are people still getting arrested? Reason Magazine Senior Editor and civil liberties champion Jacob Sullum joins today's Liberty Report to look at some of the darker corners of the drug war...and to give us a preview of next month's Ron Paul Institute conference, Winning the War on the War on Drugs. More information: RonPaulInstitute.org/conference
By Chris Rossini
Two types of erroneous thinking (acted out) have caused tremendous pain for humanity.
The first is the man who believes it is his task to organize all life under his command. The list of excuses to justify his delusions are numerous. Maybe he thinks he's genetically superior, or intellectually superior, or racially superior, or that God gave him this special task. Whatever the justification he comes up with, he has decided to believe that all humans are clay, and he is the sculptor.
If this man's ideas remain with him, the possibility exists that he may come to see the error in his thinking, but even if he doesn't, there's very little damage that he could do to humanity as a whole. He may sit in a coffee shop and stew, but he can't act out his delusions on any type of scale.
But there's another type of erroneous thinking that enters the mix. The second man, who who believes that he is perpetually inferior. He yearns for someone else to come and save him, make him feel secure and safe. He wants to be taken care of from cradle to grave. He wants something for nothing.
Once again, if this man's ideas remain with him, the possibility exists that he sees the error in his thinking, but even if he doesn't, there's very little damage that he could do to humanity as a whole. He may sit in a coffee shop and whine about how he's entitled to everything, but unless he wants to be arrested for theft, he can't act out his something for nothing desires on any type of scale.
However, A GREAT BIG PROBLEM arises when the errors in thinking of these two men coincide.
You see, the first man needs believers in his imaginary superiority and ability to organize life under his command. Meanwhile, the second man, who believes in his imaginary inferiority is immediately attracted to the first man like a moth to a flame. Their interests coincide.
Now the damage that can be done by these two forms of erroneous thinking escalates. It comes out of the coffee shop and into the rest of the world ... a "movement" begins.
The quest is to accumulate more believers in the first man and more victims that can join the second.
In a free society, where individuals value Liberty, everyone can believe whatever they want. As long as no one is permitted to use aggressive violence, civilization can continue to flourish.
Well ... that setup doesn't work for the two erroneous thinkers. The man who sees all humans as clay for him to mold, needs aggressive violence to force everyone to obey him.
The second man clearly understands where his entitlements come from, so he's all for the first man using violence if that's what needs to be done.
And so the #1 Goal if these two men are to make aggressive violence acceptable.
The foundation of a free society has to be turned upside down.
The first man must be exempt. He must have the power to use aggressive violence.
Once this 'new deal' is accepted....once a person (or group of people) are permitted to use aggressive force, civilization begins its decline.
Unexpectedly, the first man immediately notices that he has some competition. Others come out of the woodwork who believe that they are the superior ones. They know the blueprint on how to organize humanity. They are the sculptors.
The second man also finds some unexpected competitors. Others come out of the woodwork who believe that they are more entitled than him! They should get the stolen loot. Their cause is the righteous cause.
Politics .... lobbyists ... wars ... welfare ... All battles to take control of the violent force. The blind lead the blind and they all fall into the ditch.
The foundation of civilization is very easy to understand. Liberty is rooted in the non-aggression principle. Live and let live. You keep your hands off me and my stuff, and I keep my hands off you and your stuff.
No aggressive force is permitted.
Force is for self-defense purposes only.
No one is exempt.
When such principles are generally accepted, the mass delusions will certainly subside. The erroneous thinkers will no longer have a tool to live out their superiority and inferiority fantasies. Their ideas will be sequestered to the coffee shops.
Civilization will resume its upward climb.
By Liberty Report Staff
For the first time ever, the United States has declared a foreign country's military force a "terrorist organization." Iran's Revolutionary Guard has most recently been fighting al-Qaeda and ISIS in Syria, but Trump has accused Iran of harboring al-Qaeda. Iran has returned the "favor," designating the US Central Command (CENTCOM) a "terrorist organization." Is this the set-up for war with Iran?