Trump Imprisoned Assange. He can undo that. (TheDuran.com)
Any semblance of rationality during the past dozen years in the United States Military Empire (USME) regarding what the Republican and Democratic parties really stand for and against is hard to find–other than agreement on never-ending escalating profits from, among other areas, war weaponry.
Political science courses used to teach that Republicans are conservative, oppose unionization and decent wages, always ready to war on somebody in the interest of “national security”. While they like to kill foreigners in their wars, especially people of color, they are appalled at the notion that American fetuses should be stopped from growing into human beings.
Democrats were said to be liberal, maybe even “progressive”, willing to protect workers on the job, allowing unions, using diplomacy instead of always warring—without good cause, of course. Just ask Bernie Sanders. He voted against the Iraq war, albeit voted for financing it once it began. All the other wars were OK for that so-called “socialist”.
In comes the “peace president.” Barack Obama took over Republican Bush’s two wars—Afghanistan and Iraq—and extended them. He even added five more to his drugstore cowboy gun belt: bombing Libya, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, Pakistan. Every Tuesday he sat beside his CIA Director John Brennan, and pushed buttons on who should be droned that day. Never mind the fact that none of these wars were actually declared as such. They were “humanitarian actions” to help someone get human rights. That they were all unconstitutional did not faze this lawyer-specialist in constitution law.
Some political scientists could make the case that, still and all, Democrats are adherents of bourgeois democracy (some might dare say, social democracy). Trump has shown himself to be a neo-fascist with strong racist attitudes and a preference for violence. Yet it is difficult for most typical political scientists to explain that while Trump has been in office, the Democrats have wanted to make war against Russia while he wants to do capitalist business with them. But when it comes to China, both Trump and Democrat opponents want to encircle and threaten war with its greatest capitalist competitor. So they do have something in common.
When Assange/Wikileaks was revealing war crimes during the Obama regime, the president’s secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, wanted to drone him for revealing her communication to rig the Democratic presidential primary in her favor. So, she sat on Brennan’s lap and they conjured up Russiagate. Trump declared, “I love Wikileaks”.
Republicans and Democrats Lie, Cheat, Steal, Kill
The Democratic National Committee–backed by war addicts in the Pentagon and CIA, and their sensationalism-seeking friends in the corporate fake news media world–forced Trump to sound tough and for war too. He continued with Obama’s dronings and bombings here and there while he simultaneously sought to withdraw from several of the Bush-Obama wars. On the other hand, hardly a peace president, Trump increased Pentagon’s official budget by $150 billion over Obama’s budget, built new tactical nuclear weapons with a first-strike scenario to be launched from submarines and stealth aircraft, and created a whole new US Space Force to develop combat capabilities in orbit.
Regardless of political party differences, most all lame duck presidents have traditionally pardon some prisoners, especially those they feel close to, or who have done them favors. Gen. (ret.) Michael Flynn for instance. Trump’s three-week national security advisor talked with Russians. Democrats considered that to be treason. Maybe Democrats don’t know that the United States is not at war against Russia (not yet anyway). Well, they reply, Flynn must have lied to the FBI (a felony even if not put under oath). Who wouldn’t lie to FBI cops? Name me a politician, especially when they get to be secretary of state, directors of intelligence service and presidents, who don’t lie. Trump’s lies are simply more apparent than Obama’s Harvard voice reveals.
Behold Mike Pompeo chuckling with his audience at the Texas A&M University, on April 15, 2019: “When I was a cadet [West Point] our motto was: You will not lie, cheat, or steal, or tolerate those who do. [when] I was the CIA director, we lied, we cheated, we stole. It was like we had entire training courses. It reminds you of the glory of the American experiment.”
Democrats agree but would rather disguise that reality. Another area of agreement with Democrats is preventing any US soldiers from being punished for committing war crimes. The Trump administration, like administrations before his, calls the International Criminal Court a kangaroo court. Trump, like his predecessors, refuses to allow any US soldier to be brought before the court for purported war crimes in Afghanistan. But Trump has gone further, ordering that none of the court investigators or judges on that court can receive visas to enter US territory. Any property or bank accounts they have in the US are to be confiscated. (Executive Order on Blocking Property Of Certain Persons Associated With The International Criminal Court | The White House)
If any court is a disingenuous kangaroo court it is the one in the UK handling the extradition case against Julian Assange, in London. The first magistrate who sat in judgment of possible extradition of Assange to the US for alleged violations of its Espionage Act, is a subject itself in Wikileaks’ revelations. Chief Magistrate Emma Arbuthnot and her husband, James Arbuthnot, who was a defense minister for procurement, have “earned” money from companies — a fact that was exposed by Wikileaks. During the August-September extradition hearings, Arbuthnot “stepped down” to be supervisor of the new magistrate, Vanessa Baraitser. During three weeks of hearings, Baraitser looked at her laptop to read out decisions she had written before defense lawyers had made their arguments and before witnesses had testified.
Trump wants to distinguish himself from Democrats. He hasn’t succeeded when it comes to bullying and warring. But he could slap the authoritarian anti-democratic Democrats in the face by dropping all Obama-era charges against pro-peace “criminals” Julian Assange, now languishing in a British holding cell, and Edward Snowden, who is living in Russia where he had to flee an espionage indictment after Obama’s State Department cancelled his US passport.
I am not the only one hoping that Donald Trump will do the right thing with Assange and Snowden. The last president, one Trump hates, first put Assange’s key whistleblower in prison, in isolation and under torture. Chelsea Manning was sentenced to 35 years. Before leaving office, Obama, in a wave of “good will,” commuted Chelsea’s sentence (she’d already served seven years) . She was later jailed for another year, though, by a judge for contempt for not snitching on Julian.
Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI), the only Democratic presidential candidate during the 2020 Democratic primary who wasn’t a war hawk, is asking Trump for good will. She tweeted Trump: “Since you’re giving pardons to people, please consider pardoning those who, at great personal sacrifice, exposed the deception and criminality of those in the deep state,” and named Assange and Snowden, asking for him to drop charges against them.
Here is solid information about what this Wikileaks/Assange story is all about.
Speakers: Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg, Law Professor Marjorie Cohn, Consortium News editor-in-chief Joe Lauria. Presented by Covid-19 Global Solidarity Coalition with introduction by Randa Serhan and moderator Ron Ridenour.
Ron Ridenour retired journalist, anti-war and radical activist; author a dozen books: “The Russian Peace Threat: Pentagon on Alert” https://www.amazon.com/Russian-Peace-Threat-Pentagon-Alert/dp/; six books on Cuba, (“Backfire: The CIA’s Biggest Burn”); “Yankee Sandinistas”, “Sounds of Venezuela”, “Tamil Nation in Sri Lanka”. He’s written from several Latin American countries (1988-96 Cuba’s Editorial José Martí and Prensa Latina), Venezuela, Nicaragua, Bolivia, Mexico, USA, Iceland and Denmark. www.ronridenour.com; firstname.lastname@example.org.