The Capture of Julian Assange & the Betrayal of the Free Press

By Chapter 180 member: Jackson Shepherd

Yesterday marked a sad day for press freedom as Julian Assange has been arrested and dragged out of Ecuador’s embassy in London. Ecuador suspended Julian Assange’s citizenship and accused him and others at WikiLeaks of working in attempts to destabilize the nation’s government.

Assange was born in 1971 in Australia, and is a computer programmer and journalist. He started WikiLeaks, an international non-profit organization that publishes secret information, news leaks, and classified media, in 2006. In 2010, WikiLeaks published classified documents revealing American war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan. He has been living in Ecuador’s embassy in London since 2012.

With a mainstream press that fails us every day, people like Assange are more important than ever.  When we start going after people for publishing the truth, do not expect our other freedoms to last long.  The government has not been working for ‘We the people’ for a long time.

Why do you think that the First Amendment to our constitution includes free speech and freedom of the press?  These are things that should not be messed with, but sadly that has been our landscape before the current president, and it is only getting worse.

The coming election in 2020 is an important one; sitting out will not be acceptable, we need to vote people in that will represent our interest and not that of the corporations.

The United States of America does not take kindly to those that tell her darkest secrets: from Smedley Butler and Daniel Ellsberg, to Chelsea Manning and now Julian Assange.  After seven years in prison, Manning is back behind bars since February 2019for not giving in to the government; a government which has unlimited resources for war, and apparently those that tell any truth but what comes from the top about it. Calling out your own when they mess up should not be seen as someone turning their back, we should want to rid ourselves of the ones that give us a bad name, not cover up for them!  This parade is far from over, and I am ashamed of what I am witnessing.  Any ‘journalist’ applauding this should really think about what this could mean for them.

Jackson Shepherd served with the US Army’s military police in Germany between 2007-2010, including a tour of duty in Afghanistan. He is now a husband, father, and peace activist in Fresno.

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