Green Party Calls for Release of Julian Assange

Above: Julian Assange arriving at Westminster Magistrates court on April 11, 2019, in London. PHOTO BY JACK TAYLOR for GETTY IMAGES

Posted by Kevin Zeese

  • Green Party Members Organize Protest at UK Embassy in Washington, DC at 5:00 p.m. today

The Green Party of the United States strongly and unequivocally condemns the arrest of Julian Assange and calls for his immediate release. Assange was expelled from the Ecuadorian Embassy in London this morning and is being held in the United Kingdom for extradition to the United States, where he is very likely to face espionage charges. Assange is the publisher of Wikileaks, which published documents exposing US war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan, human rights violations at the Guantanamo Bay prison and State Department cables that showed corporate corruption of US foreign policy.

The Green Party of the United States strongly and unequivocally condemns the arrest of Julian Assange and calls for his immediate release. Assange was expelled from the Ecuadorian Embassy in London this morning and is being held in the United Kingdom for extradition to the United States, where he is very likely to face espionage charges. Assange is the publisher of Wikileaks, which published documents exposing US war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan, human rights violations at the Guantanamo Bay prison and State Department cables that showed corporate corruption of US foreign policy.

Members of the Green Party have organized a protest today at 5:00 pm outside of the British Embassy in Washington, DC, located at 3100 Massachusetts Ave., NW at 5 pm. Another action is in New York City at 845 Third Avenue at 4:30 pm.

In April 2010, Wikileaks posted on its site the famous 17-minute video, entitled “Collateral Murder,” of an incident in Baghdad that took place in July 2007, in which the crew of a US Apache helicopter killed two unarmed employees of Reuters and gravely wounded two small children of a man who was merely attempting to assist one of the dying Reuters men. The video, seen to date by over 16 million people on YouTube, revealed to people worldwide the ugly nature of the Iraq War, which the Green Party opposed from the start, not the sanitized version propagated by the U.S. government.

Since that time, Assange has endured smears by the media and fierce condemnation by US politicians, including even calls for the death penalty. In the resulting hysteria, the dire implications of this attempted silencing of an uncompromising publisher have been ignored, even by mainstream media outlets that have the most to lose by ignoring them.

“Freedom of the Press in the 21st Century is under unprecedented attack and the arrest with the prosecution of Julian Assange represents perhaps the most dangerous manifestation of this trend,” said Kevin Zeese, member of the Maryland Green Party coordinating council and advisory board member of the Courage Foundation. “Assange is being persecuted for exposing and embarrassing US government administrations, Republican and Democrat, not, as claimed, for revealing vital secrets necessary to national security.”

Beginning under President Obama and continuing under President Trump, whistleblowers are being arrested and charged with the Espionage Act at ominously increasing levels. From the time the Espionage Act was passed in 1917 until the Obama administration took office, it was used against one person. Eight people were prosecuted by the Obama Department of Justice. The number of investigations of leaked information has tripled under the Trump administration.

Publishing the truth is not a crime. The US and international courts should be prosecuting those who committed the crimes exposed in the documents published by Wikileaks, not the media outlet who exposed such the crimes.

Wikileaks has democratized the media by enabling people to expose the crimes of governments and corporations, and by anonymously leaking documents that show their activities. This innovation gives power to the people to be the media. Such power is essential at this time of corporate concentration of media, where only six companies control 90 percent of the news.

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About Kevin Zeese

Kevin Zeese is a public interest attorney who has worked for economic, racial and environmental justice as well as peace since graduating from George Washington Law School in 1980. He co-directs PopularResistance.org which works to build the independent movement for transformational change. Zeese co-hosts, Clearing the FOG a radio podcast which airs on We Act Radio, Progressive Radio Network, and other outlets.  He is recognized as a leading activist in the United States in the series Americans Who Tell the Truth. Zeese was an organizer of the Occupation of Freedom Plaza in Washington, DC in 2011.  He serves as president of Common Sense for Drug Policy and is a co-founder of the Drug Policy Foundation, now known as Drug Policy Alliance as well as a former director of NORML. He is a co-founder of Health Over Profit for Everyone which seeks to put in place National Improved Medicare for All. Zeese is an advocate of Internet Freedom and is a leader of the campaign for Title II Net Neutrality to ensure equal access and treatment for everyone on the Internet.  Zeese served on the steering committees of the Chelsea Manning Support Network which advocated for the Wikileaks whistleblower and is on the advisory board of the Courage Foundation which supports Edward Snowden, Julian Assange, and other whistleblowers. Zeese is an election integrity advocate who a co-founded TrueVote Maryland which led a successful campaign to end the use of paperless voting machines in the state.  He has been active in independent and third party political campaigns including Peter Camejo for governor of California served as press secretary and spokesperson for Ralph Nader in 2004 and as a senior advisor to Jill Stein in 2016.  He ran for the US Senate in 2006; the only person ever nominated by the Green, Libertarian and Populist Parties of Maryland and the only person ever nominated by the Green and Libertarian Parties for a statewide office. Zeese served as Attorney General in the Green Shadow Cabinet.

38 thoughts on “Green Party Calls for Release of Julian Assange

  1. NewFederalist

    Good for the Greens! I would hope other parties (Libertarian, Constitution et al) would join in.

  2. dL

    btw, not a peep today on this matter from Reason’s new GOP libertarian flavor, justin amash

  3. dL

    https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/assange-fears-beaten-us-prison-called-trump-crowd/story?id=62332466

    Assange described longtime Trump friend and political adviser Roger Stone and Donald Trump Jr. as intellectually incapable of a conspiracy, much less one that included WikiLeaks or him, and he rejoiced when Special Counsel Robert Mueller recently closed his investigation without indicting him for conspiring with Russian military intelligence to tilt the U.S. election.

    “‘Those bunch of clowns’ — that was the exact quote — ‘those bunch of clowns couldn’t conspire and organize this kind of thing’,” Langan recalled Assange telling him. “He certainly did not hold [President Trump] in high regard. He was quite dismissive.”

  4. paulie

    https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/assange-fears-beaten-us-prison-called-trump-crowd/story?id=62332466

    Assange described longtime Trump friend and political adviser Roger Stone and Donald Trump Jr. as intellectually incapable of a conspiracy,

    While Jr. certainly wouldn’t be a mastermind, he has been involved in the ongoing conspiracies which constitute an integral part of the Trump family business for most of his life. Roger Stone is easily capable and has been known to be involved in conspiracies many times. It’s certainly possible they did not deal directly with Assange, or that he was not even aware of their involvement, although the latter seems less likely.

    “He certainly did not hold [President Trump] in high regard. He was quite dismissive.

    An assessment I share, having known him somewhat in the 1980s, and shared by people I knew who knew him better than I did back then. But that doesn’t mean he couldn’t have been a useful tool for someone like Putin, who does have the capability to be a mastermind of conspiracies.

    Participating in a conspiracy organized by someone else doesn’t require a great deal of intelligence. I’ve seen people who could barely spell their own name do it on a habitual basis.

  5. Jill Pyeatt

    I believe that Julian Assange is being brought here to testify that the Russians didn’t do the email hacking, and will remain safe in our custody, then will be exonerated. My opinion only.

  6. dL

    I believe that Julian Assange is being brought here to testify that the Russians didn’t do the email hacking, and will remain safe in our custody, then will be exonerated. My opinion only.

    uh, no. The arrest warrant and extradition has nothing with RussiaGate[sic]. It’s over the 2010 Chelsea Manning Leak, with the charge that Assange was an accomplice in Manning’s security hack. It’s absurd to pretend the Trump administration is a closet Assange/Wikileaks ally.

  7. dL

    But that doesn’t mean he couldn’t have been a useful tool for someone like Putin, who does have the capability to be a mastermind of conspiracies.

    I’m sure he does, but he didn’t mastermind Trump’s election. The masterminds of Trump’s election were the authors of the 12the Amendment, which effectively allows someone to win POTUS without actually getting the most votes.

  8. Alex

    Plus there’s no ties here to the recent $4.2 Billion payment to Ecuador by the IMF….

  9. Jill Pyeatt

    $4.2 billion is a lot to pay for someone so he can be charged with something from 2010. There’s clearly more to the story. I guess you’ll find out sooner or later.

  10. dL

    $4.2 billion is a lot to pay for someone so he can be charged with something from 2010. There’s clearly more to the story. I guess you’ll find out sooner or later.

    There clearly isn’t anything more to the story. Wikileaks has published a compendium of devastating US Security State leaks, and this extradition has been in the works for years, predating the Trump Administration. There are no wikileaks allies in the Trump Admin. There is only bipartisan bloodthirst for that enemy of the state. And 4.2 billion to bring another latin American country into the American orbit is chump change.

    Btw, they haven’t forgotten about Snowden, either. They want him, too.

  11. Thomas Knapp

    “The arrest warrant and extradition has nothing with RussiaGate[sic]. It’s over the 2010 Chelsea Manning Leak, with the charge that Assange was an accomplice in Manning’s security hack.”

    Yes, because nobody else mentioned in the whole Russiagate saga has been charged with something completely unrelated to, say, “Trump campaign collusion with Russia,” then offered a deal on that completely unrelated charge in return for cooperation/testimony, right?

  12. paulie

    I’m sure he does, but he didn’t mastermind Trump’s election. The masterminds of Trump’s election were the authors of the 12the Amendment, which effectively allows someone to win POTUS without actually getting the most votes.

    Both played a role along with several other elements, including Democratic Party-Clinton campaign primary season collusion, corruption, and pre- and post-nomination arrogance. Comey also played a very strange role, especially considering his subsequent role vis a vis Trump.

  13. Freeman

    “… the 12th Amendment, which effectively allows someone to win POTUS without actually getting the most votes.”
    I’m baffled.
    The 12th adjusted how the Vice gets elected.
    There was no popular vote until two decades after the 12th was ratified.

    Wow! Comments go up straight away! And with a five minute edit option! Nice!

  14. paulie

    Agreed…happy to see actual Greens posting here rather than just having Libertarians cover Green news when we get around to it.

  15. Jill Pyeatt

    Comey’s role in the 2016 campaign has been more than “strange”. He is undoubtedly one of the people named in Devin Nunes’s 8 criminal referrals. I suspect he and Brennan will be the first to be indicted.

  16. dL

    Yes, because nobody else mentioned in the whole Russiagate saga has been charged with something completely unrelated to, say, “Trump campaign collusion with Russia,” then offered a deal on that completely unrelated charge in return for cooperation/testimony, right?

    Well, if this was the Mueller Grand Jury, you might have a point. Since it’s not, there’s no point. Yes, prosecutors can coerce cooperating witnesses for a grand jury investigation by threatening unrelated charges, but no, a grand jury is not convened as a pretext to coerce cooperation in another grand jury investigation. This has been in the works pre-Trump. Assange said from day one when he went into Asylum that the US was targeting him for extradition on espionage charges.

  17. Thomas Knapp

    “Well, if this was the Mueller Grand Jury, you might have a point. Since it’s not, there’s no point. ”

    Non sequitur.

    The action coordinated between a minimum of three governments could have been taken at any time, but it was taken at a specific time (right after Mueller wrapped up with bupkes and with at least one WikiLeaks-connected case from his indictments awaiting trial).

    That doesn’t prove that it’s “connected to Russiagate,” but which grand jury handed down an indictment isn’t evidence either way as to whether it’s “connected to Russiagate.”

  18. dL

    The action coordinated between a minimum of three governments could have been taken at any time, but it was taken at a specific time (right after Mueller wrapped up with bupkes and with at least one WikiLeaks-connected case from his indictments awaiting trial).

    So, it is your contention that the extradition of Assange is the DOJ’s tump card to free Roger Stone from the clutches of Bob Mueller? Ain’t buyin that, ain’t buying the plausibility of that…and the burden ain’t on me to disprove it.

  19. Tony From Long Island

    Well at least they refer to Chelsea Manning with the right pronouns 🙂

    I’m not seeing what your issue here is. He is charged with a legitimate crime by a duly formed grand jury.

    Maybe your gripe is with what should and shouldn’t be labeled classified? That is definitely an issue worth discussing.

    Is your gripe that he was arrested on foreign soil? Also an issue worth discussing.

    However, here, certain material WAS labeled as classified and he unlawfully accessed and disseminated it. Am I missing something?

    Chelsea Manning was convicted of the same conduct and incarcerated. However, her sentence was (rightfully) commuted.

  20. dL

    However, here, certain material WAS labeled as classified and he unlawfully accessed and disseminated it. Am I missing something?

    yeah, 48 years of SCOTUS precedent( New York Times Co. v. United States) that divorces the 1st amendment right to publish classified information from the methods by which such information was obtained. What rock do live under, Tony?

  21. Thomas Knapp

    “So, it is your contention that the extradition of Assange is the DOJ’s tump card to free Roger Stone from the clutches of Bob Mueller?”

    No.

    All I did was point out that your specific argument against that proposition isn’t an argument against that proposition.

  22. Thomas Knapp

    “However, here, certain material WAS labeled as classified and he unlawfully accessed and disseminated it. Am I missing something?”

    Well, the fact that he was neither in the US, nor under US jurisdiction, nor bound by US law when he did it.

    This farce is the equivalent of Chicago asking France to extradite a Norwegian for allowing the grass at his vacation home in Spain to grow longer than allowed by Chicago’s ordinances.

  23. Tony From Long Island

    TK – very fair point

    dL – according to your statement, his publishing of the material was legal, but his methods of obtaining them were not. I believe the SCOTUS case you refer to said that the publishing was legal, right?

    Try to respond without the snark if possible . . . .

  24. dL

    All I did was point out that your specific argument against that proposition isn’t an argument against that proposition.

    It wasn’t an argument. I simply wrote that if the Grand Jury in question was the one convened by Muller, then there might be an ulterior motive to consider. Since it wasn’t, there is no such motive to consider. I see no need to conspiratorialize the simplest, straight forward appearance in this instance. And I think the burden is on those to demonstrate the plausibility of any such ulterior motive. All the timing of it demonstrates is that the the Trump DOJ waited for that Mueller nonsense to run its course so that any extradition would not get tied into it.

  25. dL

    Try to respond without the snark if possible . . . .

    Snark is my polite of responding to what I might interpret as excessive bootlicking…

  26. dL

    This farce is the equivalent of Chicago asking France to extradite a Norwegian for allowing the grass at his vacation home in Spain to grow longer than allowed by Chicago’s ordinances.

    Well, I doubt Chicago would try to extradite the Norwegian for the length of grass violation at the Spanish vacation home, but I Imagine the US DOJ would try to extradite the Norwegian from France if the Americans thought he had penetrated a US military network from his Spanish vacation home. The farce is not the attempt(that’s to be expected) but the servility of other states to comply with the extradition request***. It is a disgrace that other countries won’t stand up to the US bully for these political crimes extradition attempts(be it a Snowden or an Assange). But it’s not much of a surprise. After all, one of the more sensation Wikileaks publications was the diplomatic cable leaks which showed just how much the international community is a political stooge to the United States.

    *** For example, about a decade there was a moderately high profile case of the Brits ultimately refusing to extradite British national Gary McKinnon to the United States for repeated penetrations of US military systems. McKinnon’s motivations were along the lines of exposing an XFiles type coverups but in the process caused non-trivial logistic operations disruptions.

  27. Carol Moore/Secession.net

    Of course, the sex allegations cannot be totally brushed aside, even though it does seem likely Assange refused to face them in Sweden because extradition from there was easier than from Britain at that time.
    (Sweden screwed up delaying for so long even interviewing him about it in Britain, an issue also covered in article quoted below.)

    Here’s relevant details:
    https://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2016/11/14/501989661/prosecutors-question-julian-assange-over-sex-crime-accusations
    Quote: The AP has details on the allegations in the case:

    “The sex crime allegations were made shortly after Assange and WikiLeaks became well known worldwide for releasing hundreds of thousands of pages of classified government documents.

    “One Swedish woman said Assange intentionally damaged a condom and pinned her down while having sex. A second woman said Assange had sex with her without a condom while she was asleep.

    “In Sweden, having sex with an unconscious, drunk or sleeping person can lead to a rape conviction punishable by up to six years in prison.” End quote

    Assuming these accusations are true, a lot of guys think once you’ve had sex with a woman holding a woman down or having sex with a sleeping person isn’t a big deal. Obviously more know that messing with condoms or not using one against express request you do so is a bigger issue. Ignorance of laws against force and fraud is less of an excuse than ignorance of stupid bureaucratic laws that don’t involve real crimes, obviously.

    Definitely a reminder that women really have to spell out what they will and won’t put up with and make it clear the guy’s ass will be on the line if they do. (And guys should spell it out too, if they worry women might jump them when they are asleep without a condom – or some other kinky thing women have taken to in recent years I don’t know about.)

  28. paulie

    I believe I saw it reported recently that Assange said he has proof that the sex allegations were a frame job. I haven’t seen that evidence myself though.

  29. Carol Moore/Secession.net

    I did read originally way back that when the two women, supporters in the same circles, happened to meet each other a few days later and compare sex notes and saw similar circumstances, that is when they got really pissed.

    Also that police originally decided not to press charges and then – probably from political pressure – changed their minds.

    So all of that is complicated. But I doubt it’s total fabrication cause in distant past ran into guys that jerky.

  30. paulie

    Assange may or may not be one of them. Certainly there are people with motives to frame him, and certainly there are in fact guys who do the things he was accused of. He claims he has proof he was framed, but I have not seen it.

  31. Jill Pyeatt

    Carol, I’m fairly certain any and all rape charges have been dismissed. I personally don’t believe the charges ever had any validity.

    I’m still hopeful that he’ll testify that Russians did not provide the DNC emails, and then will be allowed to go free.

  32. paulie

    I don’t think they were dismissed per se. As far as I can remember they expired per statute of limitations. That doesn’t mean they had any validity to begin with but if Assange has the proof he claims that it was a set up he never brought it to any kind of court.

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