Today, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was sold out by the Ecuadorean government and arrested by British authorities to be prepared for extradition to US courts where the whistle-blower will be prosecuted for distributing journalism.
Advocates for the US Constitution and basic human liberty have sounded the alarms all day about the problematic nature of this arrest, which could have a chilling impact on news reporting and digital free speech moving forward.
Former Texas Congressman Ron Paul devoted an entire episode of his liberty report to Assange today:
Is A Show Trial Next For The Truth-Telling Assange? pic.twitter.com/Ybqm8RhRB6
— Ron Paul (@RonPaul) April 11, 2019
Trial attorney Robert Barnes, who is representing the Covington Catholic high school kids, pointed out the lies issued by the prosecutors while announcing they were prosecuting Assange.
People who think this is only about computer access & not as about investigative journalism have not read the indictment. It literally criminalizes acts of gaining sources & protecting sources as acts of "criminal conspiracy." https://t.co/wLtr5OCxfi
— Robert Barnes (@Barnes_Law) April 11, 2019
Humorist Michael Malice used comedy to illustrate the ridiculousness of the indictment:
Let's be clear: Julian Assange is not a journalist.
He uncovered and released information that the political establishment and government wanted to stay hidden.
Does that sound like the work of a journalist?
— Michael Malice (@michaelmalice) April 11, 2019
Austrian economist Bob Murphy pointed out the clear implication of Assange’s railroading:
"If you see something, KEEP YOUR MOUTH SHUT." — US government
— Robert P. Murphy (@BobMurphyEcon) April 11, 2019
Dissident academic Nassim Nicholas Taleb stated the obvious as well:
Today, they made Jullian Assange a martyr.
— Nassim Nicholas Taleb (@nntaleb) April 11, 2019
Leading independent journalist Ben Swann spoke at length about what the extradition means for press freedom worldwide:
Even some of Trump’s top social media surrogates are deeply angry about his administration’s move against Assange.
Pro-Trump libertarian Stefan Molyneux pointed out a suspicious coincidence related to the timing of Assange’s prosecution:
It is an odd coincidence that Julian Assange gets arrested one day after Attorney General Barr says Trump was spied on.
— Stefan Molyneux (@StefanMolyneux) April 11, 2019
Paul Joseph Watson, formerly of Infowars, pointed out that the Assange prosecution comes alongside the shuttering of independent journalism online:
Since much of the media is now centred around generating outrage and deplatforming dissent, “journalists” don’t have to worry about being targeted by the establishment because they no longer do actual journalism.
That’s why they’re all cheering Assange’s arrest today.
— Paul Joseph Watson (@PrisonPlanet) April 11, 2019
Jack Posobiec, reporter with One America News Network, pointed out that Assange was integral in exposing Trump’s deep state enemies with hard-hitting leaks.
We would never have known about Spygate without the work of Julian Assange
— Jack Posobiec 🇺🇸 (@JackPosobiec) April 11, 2019
Cassandra Fairbanks, an independent journalist who is a close friend of Assange, pleaded with Donald Trump to do something about this railroading.
I hope to god that @realDonaldTrump has some good people around him and isn’t buying into the lies from the Never Trumpers and Hillary fanatics.
Please don’t fall for this crap. You could be a hero and call it off. pic.twitter.com/1ZrozYr13A
— Cassandra Fairbanks (@CassandraRules) April 11, 2019
But President Trump is intent to play dumb while his administration makes Draconian overreaches that threaten digital freedom worldwide.
Reporter: “Do you still love Wikileaks?"
Trump: "I know nothing about WikiLeaks. It’s not my thing." pic.twitter.com/oWrO1rEyG6
— Greg Hogben (@MyDaughtersArmy) April 11, 2019
President Trump would be wise to continue protecting whistle-blowers, or risk having a legacy even more injurious to the Constitution than former President Barack Hussein Obama.