The CIA Wanted To Assassinate Julian Assange – A New Investigation Reveals

David G. Silvers, Cancillería del Ecuador, CC BY-SA 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

In Brief

  • The Facts:
    • An investigation revealed the CIA planned to abduct, kidnap, or assassinate WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

    • Senior officials inside the CIA asked for "sketches" or "options" to be drawn up as to how these acts could be carried out on Assange.

  • Reflect On:
    • Why do those in power want to kill the journalists who expose their crimes and wrong doing?

    • Why does the public still empower these leaders?

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A Yahoo News investigation has discovered that the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) had plans to kidnap and assassinate Julian Assange while he was held up in the Ecuadorian Embassy in early 2017. It was his fifth straight year there as Wikileaks continued to reveal crimes against humanity by several governments and, or often in collusion with, big powerful multinational corporations.

The investigation was based on, according to Yahoo, conversations with more than 30 former U.S. officials, “eight of whom described details of the CIA’s proposals to abduct Assange.”

The CIA failed to comment on the investigation, but this should come as no surprise. The CIA is quite passionate about silencing any type of information that, according to them, threatens “national security.” The only issue many seem to have is that the information Assange exposed was not a threat to national security, but rather a threat to the image of various organizations like the U.S. Military for example.

Assange, an award winning journalist, exposed numerous war crimes, and others who have followed his lead have also experience deep push back from these powerful forces. “National security” has become an umbrella term used to protect unethical actions taken by government entities. Many argue the term is akin to propaganda used by governments to shape public perception around their unharmonious actions.

Daniel Hale, a former U.S. intelligence analyst was arrested was sentenced to 45 months in prison for violating the Espionage Act. Hale leaked documents about the secretive U.S. drone program. His leaks showed that 90% of people killed in Afghanistan were innocent bystanders.

This was reminiscent of the video put out by Wikileaks called “collateral murder.” The video shows two Apache helicopters killing 11 Iraqi people including two Reuters journalists.

It’s not easy for whistleblowers, just look at the life of National Security Whistleblowers Edward Snowden, or former NSA direction William Binney. Both have had a hard time as a result of leaking information regarding the massive surveillance programs multiple governments have in place to mine data from the global citizenry. Snowden can’t even come back to his home country.

How far have we sunk if telling the truth becomes a crime? How far have we sunk if we prosecute people that expose war crimes for exposing war crimes? How far have we sunk when we no longer prosecute our own war criminals? Because we identify more with them, than we identify with the people that actually expose these crimes. What does that tell about us and about our governments? In a democracy, the power does not belong to the government, but to the people. But the people have to claim it. Secrecy disempowers the people because it prevents them from exercising democratic control, which is precisely why governments want secrecy.

Nils Melzer, Human Rights Chair of the Geneva Academy of Int Humanitarian Law and Human Rights, Prof of Int Law at the University of Glasgow, UN Rapporteur on Torture and Other Inhumane or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.

While he has been facing extradition to the United States, Assange has been subjected to extremely inhumane conditions and torture. Retired USAF lieutenant colonel Karen Kwiatkowski wrote in an article explaining,

It is difficult to know if the state is more sociopathic or more psychopathic.  What US government employees and/or contractors are currently doing to Julian Assange, and those who may have used Wikileaks as a journalistic avenue, may indicate it is the latter.  Torture, isolation, brutality, and the use of psychotropic drugs during interrogations and hiding this from the defendant’s own lawyers by denying them access.

In my eyes, and I would imagine most would agree if they were told the truth about Assange, he is a hero. But powerful forces are working incredibly hard to silence the dissemination of information that truly makes our world transparent. Look at how Assange is treated. Look at how Snowden is treated. Look at how independent media organizations like us, who have 12 years of experience, have been silenced and demonetized for holding powerful narratives accountable.

Our world is not as it’s presented to us, and one of the main sources of change is journalism and information. Transparency has the power to shift human consciousness and the way we view our world. We can never change what we’re not aware of, and many of the worlds greatest issues that seem to continue to plague humanity are a result of humanity being unaware of them.

While we are blinded by propaganda, actions taken by those we trust under the guise of goodwill may be, are in many cases, for more sinister ulterior purposes and motives. The “war on terror” is a great example of that.

This isn’t meant to be a negative insight, drawing emotion of hopelessness or despair. We have to identify the real problems if we want to implement real solutions. This is exactly what Assange has done.

I came across an interesting post by activist Greg Bean. In it, he brings up Johannes Gutenberg, the man who first introduced the printing press to the world.

He writes about how that single act created a free press, which gave birth to the concept of freedom of speech, and how the two are “inextricably linked; printing is a form of speech.”

The broad circulation of information, including revolutionary ideas, in many languages, undermined Latin’s dominant status and the authority previously held by those trained in Latin, it transcended borders, threatened the power of political and religious authorities, increased literacy breaking the monopoly of the literate elite on education and learning, and bolstered the emerging middle class. It increased cultural self-awareness and cultural cohesion and undermined the authority of distant rulers and high priests.

WikiLeaks’ threat to the powerful was recognised and every effort was, and is, being made to criminalise anonymous leaking, which would be akin to criminalizing Gutenberg’s printing press, but there is not much chance this criminalisation will succeed.

Something to think about.

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