The corporate media are crowing over the London arrest of Julian Assange in April after Ecuador caved to U.S. pressure and revoked his asylum. The U.S. had requested Assange’s extradition on an indictment for working with Chelsea Manning to publish classified intel on U.S. war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan on the WikiLeaks website.
The establishment press has had little to say about the appalling jailing of Manning for refusing to testify against Assange before a grand jury. At press time, Chelsea Manning has been released, but has already received a new subpoena from a second grand jury no doubt ready to return her to solitary confinement.
A month after Assange’s arrest, Sweden renewed an earlier indictment and extradition request based on a 2010 sexual assault charge. Regardless of the outcome of that case, Manning and Assange deserve support against the U.S. empire.
Defending both is vital to enforcing the First Amendment and the public’s right to know. Manning previously endured seven years in prison for her “crime” of whistleblowing. As a trans woman, she withstood viciously abusive conditions. Assange is a publisher, just as The New York Times is, and should receive the same journalistic protections. Stop the escalating war on freedom of the press!