The online Oxford dictionary defines the word ‘siege’ as a “military operation in which enemy forces surround a town or building, cutting off essential supplies, with the aim of compelling those inside to surrender.”
The strategy dates back to medieval times after the proliferation of the castle, where a defending force could hole itself up inside an easily defended fortress against an invading enemy who would be at a major disadvantage in a direct attack. To get around this, an army who wanted to depose the leadership within a castle or other impregnable construct would simply surround it and refuse to allow any food or supplies to be brought in. With enough patience, those inside would be forced to either starve or surrender.
This is precisely the strategy that is being employed against Julian Assange. If you try to talk about Assange being in a state of functional house arrest on any online forum you will be swiftly inundated by accounts asserting in fascinatingly uniform language that Assange is free to leave the Ecuadorian embassy whenever he wants, which just so happens to be the desire of the empire which currently has him under siege.
Doctors who examined Assange earlier this year say that his health is in a “dangerous” state of deterioration. They had to conduct their examination using improvised means in an unsanitary environment because the embassy isn’t set up for medical examinations, much less healthcare. They say he badly needs care, and he can’t get that care from where he’s at.
In her epic breakdown of the way perception of WikiLeaks is being extensively manipulated by the empire titled “Being Julian Assange“, journalist Suzie Dawson thoroughly documents the effects that Assange’s detention are having on his mental and physical wellbeing. Here is a small sample:
“In his most recent live appearance, Assange is insightful, learned and brilliant as ever. But he is visibly suffering the ever exacerbating physical effects of his 7 year confinement.
After more than half a decade without fresh air to breathe, he coughs and clears his throat constantly. He struggles to maintain cognitive flow – breaking and reforming his thoughts, soldiering on in a concerted effort to express his ideas. It is obvious to any viewer that his vision has been affected. Our eyes need regular exposure to both short and long distances, as well as natural light changes, to maintain their health. With only four close walls to look at, Assange faces partial blindness, as well as a host of other negative effects from his unjust confinement.
Although there are countless social media threads and tweets circulating about Julian and WikiLeaks every day, few if any seem to register the serious and grave possibility that, immersed in our collective complacency, we may lose them forever.”
Julian Assange cannot “leave whenever he wants”. A judge with severely corrupt ties ruled in February that his arrest warrant still stands for an absurd bail-jumping charge from 2012 that Assange has already served his sentence for many times over according to the law as it is written. As soon as he sets foot outside the embassy he will most certainly be arrested, and then most certainly extradited to the US where the Trump administration is aggressively pursuing his arrest.
Chelsea Manning was tortured. CIA black sites exist. The hoards of online trolls promulgating the narrative that Assange can “leave whenever he wants” would crack like eggs under the treatment that is inflicted upon individuals who have dared to stand up to the US-centralized empire.
Assange isn’t hiding from justice, he is hiding from injustice. There is no reason to believe that this draconian empire would give him a fair trial and humane treatment. He can no more “leave whenever he wants” than he could if there was a firing squad stationed outside the embassy door.
And now this same western empire has pressured Ecuador into cutting off Assange’s internet access, phone calls and visitors to its siege, with electronic jammers being placed inside the embassy to make doubly certain that he is completely cut off from the world. A whole new array of weapons have been added to the empire’s siege, and it’s getting a lot hotter in there.
What all this has done, however, is prove irrefutably that Julian Assange has been right all along. The empire that he has been railing against throughout his entire time in the spotlight is every bit as depraved, oppressive and Orwellian as he has claimed, and is unquestionably deserving of his relentless assault upon it.
If you speak out against the US-centralized empire, you will be silenced. If you expose the truth about it, it will lay siege to you until you either surrender or die. Dissent is being stomped out. Truth is being attacked.
Light is feared by vampires. And we need to be real with ourselves: their siege might work. They may well succeed in squeezing the life out of Assange until he either sets foot outside the embassy, cracks under the mental pressure, or dies, and in any of those cases his voice will be cut off from the world forever.
But remember this! Never, ever forget this: if their siege does work and the empire finally does get its sociopathic claws on him alive or dead, all they will have accomplished is showing the world just how right he always was. They will force us all to become Julian Assange in order to take apart the oppression machine which forever snuffed out the voice of truth one day in London, and we will let truth roar through all of us.
No matter what the brainwashed MSM zombies tell you, any power establishment which will stomp out the voice of someone who simply shares facts about it is worthy of nothing other than relentless tooth-and-claw opposition.
Assange is right. He has always been right. Let’s take these bastards down.
April 2, 2018
We call on the government of Ecuador to allow Julian Assange his right of freedom of speech.
If it was ever clear that the case of Julian Assange was never just a legal case, but a struggle for the protection of basic human rights, it is now.
Citing his critical tweets about the recent detention of Catalan president Carles Puidgemont in Germany, and following pressure from the US, Spanish and UK governments, the Ecuadorian government has installed an electronic jammer to stop Assange communicating with the outside world via the internet and phone. As if ensuring his total isolation, the Ecuadorian government is also refusing to allow him to receive visitors. Despite two UN rulings describing his detention as unlawful and mandating his immediate release, Assange has been effectively imprisoned since he was first placed in isolation in Wandsworth prison in London in December 2010. He has never been charged with a crime. The Swedish case against him collapsed and was withdrawn, while the United States has stepped up efforts to prosecute him. His only “crime” is that of a true journalist — telling the world the truths that people have a right to know.
Under its previous president, the Ecuadorian government bravely stood against the bullying might of the United States and granted Assange political asylum as a political refugee. International law and the morality of human rights was on its side.
Today, under extreme pressure from Washington and its collaborators, another government in Ecuador justifies its gagging of Assange by stating that “Assange’s behaviour, through his messages on social media, put at risk good relations which this country has with the UK, the rest of the EU and other nations.”
This censorious attack on free speech is not happening in Turkey, Saudi Arabia or China; it is right in the heart of London. If the Ecuadorian government does not cease its unworthy action, it, too, will become an agent of persecution rather than the valiant nation that stood up for freedom and for free speech. If the EU and the UK continue to participate in the scandalous silencing of a true dissident in their midst, it will mean that free speech is indeed dying in Europe.
This is not just a matter of showing support and solidarity. We are appealing to all who care about basic human rights to call on the government of Ecuador to continue defending the rights of a courageous free speech activist, journalist and whistleblower.
We ask that his basic human rights be respected as an Ecuadorian citizen and internationally protected person and that he not be silenced or expelled.
If there is no freedom of speech for Julian Assange, there is no freedom of speech for any of us — regardless of the disparate opinions we hold.
We call on President Moreno to end the isolation of Julian Assange now.
List of signatories (in alphabetic order):
Pamela Anderson, actress and activist
Jacob Appelbaum, freelance journalist
Renata Avila, International Human Rights Lawyer
Sally Burch, British/Ecuadorian journalist
Alicia Castro, Argentina’s ambassador to the United Kingdom 2012-16
Naomi Colvin, Courage Foundation
Noam Chomsky, linguist and political theorist
Brian Eno, musician
Joseph Farrell, WikiLeaks Ambassador and board member of The Centre for Investigative Journalism
Teresa Forcades, Benedictine nun, Montserrat Monastery
Charles Glass, American-British author, journalist, broadcaster
Chris Hedges, journalist
Srećko Horvat, philosopher, Democracy in Europe Movement (DiEM25)
Jean Michel Jarre, musician
John Kiriakou, former CIA counterterrorism officer and former senior investigator, U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations
Lauri Love, computer scientist and activist
Ray McGovern, former CIA analyst, Presidential advisor
John Pilger, journalist and film-maker
Angela Richter, theater director, Germany
Saskia Sassen, sociologist, Columbia University
Jeffrey St. Clair, journalist
Oliver Stone, film-maker
Vaughan Smith, English journalist
Yanis Varoufakis, economist, former Greek finance minister
Natalia Viana, investigative journalist and co-director of Agencia publica, Brazil
Ai Weiwei, artist
Vivienne Westwood, fashion designer and activist
Slavoj Žižek, philosopher, Birkbeck Institute for Humanities