For years, America’s oligarch class has grown fat by betraying the country they rule over. They’ve outsourced the country’s wealth and well-being to China. They’ve embroiled the country in one disastrous war after another — wars that did nothing to make America safer but did a great deal to enrich the defense contractors who supplied them. They’ve colluded with Big Tech and Big Finance to gradually chip away at the basic rights that Americans once took for granted.
To the badly misnamed, oligarch-captured “intelligence community,” the imprisoned Wikileaks Editor and free speech activist Julian Assange remains Public Enemy Number One.
As head of Wikileaks, Assange published leaked documents from former Army soldier Chelsea Manning (born Bradley Manning). Manning has already gone free, but Assange has been a hunted man ever since. For seven years, Assange holed up in the Ecuadorian embassy in London to avoid an unjust extradition on trumped-up charges.
In 2016, Wikileaks released emails from the DNC and John Podesta. These emails exposed how the Democrat Party rigged the primary race for Hillary Clinton. After an informed public unexpectedly rejected Hillary Clinton for president, Washington, D.C.’s rage against Assange boiled over. Assange was assigned a key role in the Russiagate conspiracy theory that charged Russia with handing Trump the 2016 election. In spring 2019, Ecuador revoked Assange’s asylum, and he was dragged out of the embassy to face extradition on more than a dozen espionage charges in the U.S.
But another possibility exists. President Trump could thumb his nose at the Deep State’s decade-long obsession with persecuting Assange, and give him the pardon he deserves. Revolver has advocated just such a course.
Remarkably, a steadily-growing group of fair-minded patriots around the world have come together to ask for Assange’s freedom. Former vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin had her emails published by Wikileaks in 2008, but on Saturday she called her prior attacks on Assange a ‘mistake’ and called on President Trump to pardon the Wikileaks publisher. Republican Congressman Matt Gaetz and Democrat Tulsi Gabbard have joined forces to endorse clemency for Assange as well. Actress Pamela Anderson wants clemency as well, as does Iranian dissident and Nobel laureate Shirin Ebadi.
A recent tweet by Pastor Mark Burns mistakenly announcing an imminent pardon for Assange has racked up nearly 200,000 likes on Twitter.
Stella Moris-Smith Robinson is a human rights lawyer who was born in South Africa. She was a member of Assange’s legal team during his stay at the Ecuadorian embassy. Now, she is his fiancée. The pair have two children together. Moris has spent years fighting relentlessly for Assange’s freedom, and she graciously agreed to join Revolver for an exclusive interview.
First off, many thanks for agreeing to do this interview and for your bravery in defense of Julian and his mission. Your appearance on Tucker Carlson Tonight was powerful and remains a must see for patriots all over the world. Let’s start with the crime with which Julian is actually charged, a violation of the Espionage Act of 1917. Is there any evidence at all that Julian committed espionage? From what I’ve seen he published classified information, which is something that all major newspapers have done, such as the New York Times. Also there are claims that he assisted his source Chelsea in hiding her identity — which is also a standard journalistic practice. So where’s the actual crime here?
There isn’t one. This is an unconstitutional, political case that has bent the law to suit its political objective. It turns necessary journalistic practices — communicating with a source and having and publishing true information — into crimes.
Saying that it is a crime for Julian to have published this material is as absurd as saying that US journalists are legally bound not to violate China’s, Turkey’s, or France’s secrecy or censorship laws, even though they are publishing in the U.S. Whatever those countries’ legislations have to say about that, I think we can all agree — that proposition cannot be correct.
I sometimes hear Julian mentioned in the same breath as famous American whistleblowers. But their cases are different. They are American citizens. They worked for the US government. That does not apply to Julian. Julian is a publisher. He wasn’t in the United States. He wasn’t a government employee or a contractor. He never signed a confidentiality agreement. The only promise he made was to the public, to publish the truth about governments and corporations. Everyone has their role in a free society and Julian’s role is to publish.
The strength of the First Amendment is that it is simple, clear, absolute. It is truly exceptional when you compare it to equivalent rights in Europe, and that comes from the fact that it isn’t what people think it is. It doesn’t grant people rights that can be taken away. It bans lawmakers and the executive from interfering with speech and publishing. So what is unlawful is passing laws attempting to criminalize speech and the press.
So how do you get around that? Well you don’t — if you abide by the Constitution. What is happening is that those who are driving the case against Julian — the most sinister elements of the US government — are abusing the broad wording of an existing piece of legislation, the 1917 Espionage Act, to re-purpose it so that it will do what the First Amendment forbids: interfere with freedom of speech and the press. The political case against Julian has created a noose around the First Amendment rights of everyone.
During the Obama years, the DOJ normalized re-purposing the Espionage Act to prosecute whistleblowers. But expanding it to apply to journalists and publishers is explicitly against what is in the the spirit and the wording of the Constitution. Congress’s stated intent when it passed the Espionage Act was that it would not apply to the press. Julian’s case is the first time it has ever been used against a publisher. That’s why everyone agrees, on all sides of politics, that the case against Julian is the number one threat to free speech and press freedom and that it will have catastrophic consequences for US democracy.
While Republicans may not have been concerned about this under the current administration, the threat that this case poses to them must now be obvious. It is a certainty that if the case proceeds, the precedent it sets will be abused by the most anti-democratic elements of future administrations.