It’s "very telling" that the "original" basis "for harassing [Julian] Assange" has been dropped, journalist Barrett Brown, someone who knows a little something about being targeted by suppressive forces, says.
The rape charge brought against Australian computer scientist turned WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange by the Swedish government "did what it may have been intended to do," namely, delegitimize Assange’s reputation and "minimize his soft power," Brown told Radio Sputnik’s By Any Means Necessary.
But attempts to silence critical journalists and leakers have instead drawn more attention to a law enforcement system that is losing credibility each day.
Whistleblowers like Chelsea Manning and Assange have blown a hole in the notion that US justice system and law enforcement bodies operate within legal bounds.
According to Brown, an Anonymous activist, there’s little reason to believe the “cracks in the facade” of the US justice system will stop spreading anytime soon.
The same week Manning, the former US intelligence analyst who leaked footage of US helicopters gunning down civilians in Iraq, was vindicated and released from jail, Assange’s charges were dropped.
While he may not be free to leave the confines of the Ecuadorian embassy in London just yet, the breakthrough suggests manipulating the law enforcement and justice systems to quell leakers hasn’t worked in the internet age.
The corruption within former President Barack Obama’s Justice Department was never more prevalent than during the “unprecedented failure of justice” of Bill Clinton’s shady tarmac meet-and-greet with then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch, Brown said.
Further, recently fired FBI Director James Comey engaged in what Brown called “discrete maneuvers” that seemed to benefit a particular political party during the most recent presidential campaign cycle.
Most recently, of course, Comey and current US President Donald Trump have been calling each other liars, Brown added.
The nation’s own institutions, having failed to suppress the chorus of voices calling out their abuses, have now turned on each other.
The US national conversation has yet to absorb the “full extent of that,” Brown said.
Mainstream discourse is “not quick on the uptake” of the true magnitude of these developments, he warned.
Law enforcement bodies in the US are not losing credibility because of the actions of groups like Antifa and Black Lives matter, Brown said.
They’re doing it all on their own, through the actions of presidents, senators and other top government officials.
The faults that are being exposed are not bugs, but features of a corrupt and unfair system that are increasingly difficult to conceal.