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Tomaž Mastnak: The “crime” Assange is alleged to have committed is to have exposed a crime

Tomaž Mastnak: The “crime” Assange is alleged to have committed is to have exposed a crime

24. februar 2020 3 min branja

I wish to join the calls for ending the torture of Julian Assange and for restoring his liberty.


Strictly speaking, such calls could be considered as attacks against the independence of the judiciary. However, there is no independence of the judiciary in this case. Assange is a political prisoner. The judiciary is a means of pressure. A potential decision for Assange not to be extradited to the United States would be just as arbitrary as the more probable decision for him to be extradited and just as his arrest was in the first place. If the US get their hands on Assange, their revenge will have nothing to do with legality save for being presented in legal form. This is about the political judiciary, and the politics this judiciary serves is murderous.

They would have him quartered in public if they could but instead they chose to resort to poisoning him with small doses. The fake-judicial treatment of Assange performs the same function as quartering once did: a show for the public.


This is as little about law as it is about the freedom of the press or media. In the free West, journalism, as well as the rule of law, have both declined. With a few exceptions, fellow journalists have failed Assange. Increasingly, journalism is becoming a direct extension of intelligence services, serving to control and manage the population. We cannot do much to help Assange in the name of the freedom of journalism because such freedom no longer exists, unless we fight for his freedom as well as fight the forces that have destroyed journalism along with so many other things. However, this is a political fight rather than dissidents advocating “the rule of law” and “human rights”. And there is no place for satisfaction because dissidents have turned into a Western phenomenon.


The “crime” Assange is alleged to have committed is to have exposed a crime. And the crime he has exposed is a war crime. However, for the Western world, such wars have become a way of life. We now live with, and from, such wars. We accept freely the nefariousness of these wars, their insufferable brutality, the endless suffering and destruction they have been generating around the world. But the brutality and destruction that have been keeping the West alive and dominant, and on which our relatively comfortable and absolutely thriftless lives depend, are coming home. The ruling elites and classes will be maintaining their position of dominance with the same brutality at home as they have been elsewhere. Consider how brutally the French Police have been suppressing the citizen protests. Consider how police have been militarized. Consider the military exercises where they are being trained for urban fights with the disgruntled population. Consider the infrastructure being built for the internment of rebellious people while the public infrastructure has been disintegrating.


Assange has pointed at the freedom these forces have taken in having our lives at their disposal, and in crippling and killing. He has shown how, to them, the majority of lives count for nothing. For this freedom, Assange was deprived of his liberty. They have his life at their disposal, demonstratively, to show that they also have our lives at their disposal.


If we want to help Assange, we have to take from those in power their freedom to have our lives at their disposal; we have to win our lives back. We have to stand up against the crime, the exposure of which has cost Assange so dearly, resulting in him being arrested and tortured. For as long as we tolerate and accept and close our eyes to or are even complicitous in this crime, we are doing nothing to help Assange.


Tomaž Mastnak