Posted by Richard Willett - Memes and headline comments by David Icke Posted on 29 June 2023

Daniel Ellsberg Is Lauded in Death by the Same Media That Lets Assange Rot in Jail

Rightly, there’s been an outpouring of tributes to Daniel Ellsberg following the announcement of his death last Friday, aged 92. His leaking of the Pentagon Papers in 1971 revealed that Washington officials had systematically lied for decades about US military conduct in Vietnam.

The disclosure of 7,000 pages of documents, and subsequent legal battles to stop further publication by the New York Times and Washington Post, helped to bring the war to a close a few years later.

As an adviser to US Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara in the 1960s, Ellsberg had seen firsthand the Pentagon’s brutal military operations that caused mass civilian casualties. Entire villages had been burned, while captured Vietnamese were tortured or executed. Deceptively, the US referred to these as “pacification programs.

But most of those today loudly hailing Ellsberg as an “American hero” have been far more reluctant to champion the Ellsberg of our times: WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

For years, Assange has been rotting in a London high-security prison while the Biden administration seeks his extradition on charges that ludicrously equate his publication of the Afghan and Iraq war logs – a modern Pentagon Papers – with “espionage.”

Like Ellsberg, Assange exposed the way Western states had been systematically lying while they perpetrated war crimes. Like Ellsberg, he was fraudulently labeled a threat to national security and charged with espionage. Like Ellsberg, if found guilty, he faces more than 100 years in jail. Like Ellsberg, Assange has learned that the US Congress is unwilling to exercise its powers to curb governmental abuses.

But unlike Ellsberg’s case, the courts have consistently sided with Assange’s persecutors, not with him for shining a light on state criminality. And, in a further contrast, the Western media have stayed largely silent as the noose has tightened around Assange’s neck.

The similarities in Assange’s and Ellsberg’s deeds – and the stark differences in outcomes – are hard to ignore. The very journalists and publications now extolling Ellsberg for his historic act of bravery have been enabling, if only through years of muteness, Western capitals’ moves to demonize Assange for his contemporary act of heroism.

Docile lapdogs

The hypocrisy did not go unnoticed by Ellsberg. He was one of the noisiest defenders of Assange. So noisy, in fact, that most media outlets felt obliged in their obituaries to make reference to the fact, even if in passing.

Ellsberg testified on Assange’s behalf at a London extradition hearing in 2020, observing that the pair’s actions were identical. That was not entirely right, however.

Assange published classified documents passed to WikiLeaks by Chelsea Manning, just as the New York Times published the secrets handed to them by Ellsberg. Given that media freedoms are protected by the US First Amendment, whereas whistleblowing by an official is not, Assange’s treatment is even more perverse and abusive than Ellsberg’s.

Read More: Daniel Ellsberg Is Lauded in Death by the Same Media That Lets Assange Rot in Jail

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