The purpose of journalism is to uncover the truth – especially the uncomfortable truth – and publish it for the benefit of society. In a free society, we need to be informed about criminal acts committed by governments on behalf of the people. Throughout history, journalists have discovered the many ways in which governments lie, cheat and steal – and the tremendous efforts they will make to prevent people from finding out.
Great journalists like Seymour Hersh, who told us about the tragedy of the Mai Lai massacre and the horrors that took place at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, are essential.
Ten years ago, Julian Assange’s Wikileaks organization released an account of the US government’s wrongdoing on par with the Hersh bomb stories above. The publication of the “Iraq War Diaries” has shown us the brutality of the American attack on Iraq. He told us the truth about the American invasion and occupation of this country. It was not a defensive war against a nation that threatened us with weapons of mass destruction. It was not a liberation of the country. We were not bringing democracy to Iraq.
No, the publication of nearly 400,000 filed field reports by the US military has shown us in great detail that the US attack was a war of aggression, based on lies, in which hundreds of thousands of civilians took part. been killed and injured.
We learned that the US military classified anyone it killed in Iraq as “enemy combatants”. We have learned that over 700 Iraqi civilians have been killed for “driving too close” to one of hundreds of US military checkpoints – including expectant mothers rushing to hospital.
We have learned that US military personnel routinely hand over “detainees” to Iraqi security forces where they are tortured and often killed.
Ten years after Assange’s brave act of journalism changed the world and revealed one of the crimes of the century, he is sitting alone in solitary confinement in a British prison. He is literally fighting for his life, as if he were successfully extradited to the United States, he risks 175 years in a “supermax” prison for having committed “espionage” against a country of which he is not a citizen.
On the Iraq war, we punished the truth tellers and rewarded the criminals. People who knowingly lied to us in the war like Dick Cheney, George W. Bush, the neo-conservative Beltway “experts” and most of the media have suffered no professional punishment or shame for their actions. In fact, they came out free and many even thrived.
Julian Assange explained that he published the Iraq War Diaries because he “hoped to correct some of the attacks on the truth that took place before the war, and which have continued since the official end of this war.” We used to praise brave journalists who weren’t afraid to take on the “bad guys”. Now we torture and imprison them.
President Trump was keen to refer to the US attack on Iraq as one of the “stupid wars” he pledged to end. But we wouldn’t know half the stupidity – and the evil – that was without the courageous actions of Julian Assange and whistleblower Chelsea Manning. Journalism shouldn’t be a crime, and President Trump should immediately forgive Assange.
This article first appeared on RonPaulInstitute.org.
Trump’s choice for CIA chief Gina Haspel, who covered up CIA torture and used bad information to drag us into the Iraq war, is also implicated in the CIA coup attempt against Trump and subsequent cover-up.
#Truth #betrayal #Dateway