Julian Assange faces potential extradition to the US for exposing the crimes of US imperialism. The brutal methods of the American ruling class must not be exposed, so they intend to make an example of Assange.
The hearing is underway in a London court as to whether Julian Assange should be extradited to face trial in the US for the “crime” of exposing the brutal methods of US imperialism. The real intention of the US is clear: it is purely about making an example out of Assange to deter others. No one must be allowed to expose the crimes of the US ruling class, it appears.
Pretending that this is just another ‘normal criminal case’ about official secrets, as the UK authorities are claiming, is simply not true – this extradition hearing is a political act, directly driven by Trump and his Secretary of State, Pompeo.
Beginning in 2007, Wikileaks exposed an immense amount of material that detailed the crimes and wrongdoings of US imperialism and others. One document revealed the full extent of torture methods used at Guantanamo Bay, the small naval base the US continues to hold on to in Cuba.
As such, the veil of humanitarianism that the US has so often hidden behind was torn apart, much to their embarrassment and anger.
The ruthlessness of US foreign policy has always been a brutal tool to keep other nations and peoples in line and help maintain its position as the world’s superpower. Wikileaks shone a light on the barbarism necessary to maintain this rotten system, something that the ruling class cannot tolerate.
It is for this reason that Assange is now threatened with up to 175 years in prison, should he be extradited.
Instability and struggle
In more stable times the airing of the ruling class’ dirty linen is merely annoying from their perspective. But in a period of increasing instability and sharpening class struggle, these revelations become all the more threatening to the establishment. The US is therefore seeking to deploy the full coercive power of the state apparatus against Assange, hence the extradition request.
Their aim is to suppress both future potential whistleblowers and any investigative journalists who might dig up too much and again expose the real workings of the system. The attitude of the US authorities mirrors that of 50 years ago when Nixon sought to crush those responsible for leaking the Pentagon Papers, which exposed the state lies over the Vietnam War.
All socialists and trade unionists must condemn this latest move by US imperialism. We must call for the immediate release of Julian Assange, and for the right to freely report on and expose the crimes of the capitalist system. Yet whilst it is important that their actions are exposed, we should note that these crimes will continue anyway to be perpetrated until their root cause is eradicated.
Only the overthrow of this rotten, predatory system can guarantee an end to these crimes, such as those exposed by Wikileaks and others. We must therefore fight for a socialist transformation of society, ending this brutal state of affairs and sharing resources rationally on a world scale.