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Commentary: The injustice of Assange guilty plea! | Revolution Now!

Commentary: The injustice of Assange guilty plea!

Submitted by Freedomman on Thu, 06/27/2024 - 11:18

by Jacob G. Hornberger

June 25, 2024 - I can fully understand why Julian Assange has accepted a plea deal in which he has agreed to plead guilty to a supposed conspiracy to disclose official secrets relating to U.S.
“national security”.

Given the lapdog nature of the British government, it was a foregone conclusion that British officials would ultimately, one of these days, rule in favor of the U.S. government’s extradition demand for Assange to be delivered into the clutches of U.S. officials.

Upon being brought to the United States, it also is a virtual certainty that Assange would have been convicted and sentenced to serve the rest of his life in prison, given the kangaroo nature of political trials in the Washington, D.C. environs of northern Virginia, where Assange’s
trial would have been held.

Nonetheless, it’s important that we recognize an important fact: A U.S. District Judge in the Northern Mariana Islands, which is a far-flung member of the U.S. Empire, will be accepting a plea of guilty from a man who isn’t guilty at all.

Why is that important? Because judges aren’t supposed to accept guilty pleas from innocent people. That’s why federal judges go through extensive questioning of every person who decides to plead guilty. “Are you pleading guilty because you really are guilty or for some other reason?” is a standard question that the federal judge will ask Assange.

If Assange were to tell the truth - that he is pleading guilty not because he really is guilty but because he doesn’t want to take the chance of receiving the 170-year jail sentence with which the U.S. government is threatening him - the judge would not be able to accept his guilty plea.

So, everyone will have to go through a charade, one that will involve the conviction of an innocent man - a man who did nothing more than reveal dark-side secrets of the U.S. national-security state to the world.

There are some who claim that this is a freedom-of-the-press case. That’s pure nonsense. The right to reveal dark-side secrets of the national-security state - including murder, assassination, and torture - adheres to everyone, not just journalists. In other words, let’s
assume that the top-secret “collateral murder” video that Assange revealed to the world, which shows U.S. military personnel murdering innocent people in Iraq, had fallen into the hands of, say, a bus driver. Under principles of free speech, he’d have the right to share the video with anyone he wants. He wouldn’t have to be a journalist to do so.

The core of the problem here is, of course, the national-security state form of governmental structure that the American people have unfortunately come to accept on a permanent basis. Once the federal government was converted from a limited-government republic, which was our founding governmental system and which lasted for some 150 years, to a national-security state, an implicit pact was made with the American people. The pact was: as a national-security state, we will be vested with omnipotent dark-side powers that we will exercise to keep you “safe”. But to protect you from your own consciences, we promise that we will keep what we are doing secret from you.

That’s why they hate Assange so much, along with Edward Snowden and other people who reveal their dark-side secrets. Assange violated the pact and caused untold discomfort among many Americans, who simply do not want to be made aware of such things. The national-security state had to send a message to all other would-be violators of the pact: if you do what Assange has done, we will destroy you. We will permit no interference with our dark-side operations.

What would have been the morally correct outcome of the Assange case? Dismissal of all charges against him. Alternatively, the second-best outcome would have been Assange pleading Nolo Contendere - No Contest - to the charge rather than pleading guilty. Not contesting the charge
would have had the same effect as a guilty plea but without having to plead guilty. As things stand now, the U.S. District Judge in the imperial outpost of the Northern Mariana Islands will be accepting, in a judicial charade, the guilty plea of an innocent man - one who has been claiming his innocence for many years - one who will falsely tell the judge that he is guilty but who doesn’t really believe he’s guilty and, most important, isn’t guilty of anything.

Jacob G. Hornberger is founder and president of The Future of Freedom Foundation. He was born and raised in Laredo, Texas, and received his B.A. in economics from Virginia Military Institute and his law degree from the University of Texas. He was a trial attorney for twelve years in Texas. He also was an adjunct professor at the University of Dallas, where he taught law and economics. In 1987, Mr. Hornberger left the practice of law to become director of programs at the Foundation for Economic Education. He has advanced freedom and free markets on talk-radio stations all across the country as well as on Fox News’ Neil Cavuto and Greta van Susteren shows and he appeared as a regular commentator on Judge Andrew Napolitano’s show Freedom Watch. Send him email here.


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