By Jacob G. Hornberger
Originally published here by The Future of Freedom Foundation, Dec. 14, 2021
When Julian Assange and Wikileaks disclosed evidence of dark-side activity, including war crimes, on the part of the U.S. national-security establishment, U.S. officials felt they had no choice but to use Assange to send a three-part message.
The first message is to people within the national-security establishment who might be tempted, out of a crisis of conscience, to reveal dark-side activities of the national-security establishment. By doing everything they could to destroy Assange’s life and even maybe bring about his death, the national-security establishment sends a powerful message to would-be leakers: “This is what will happen to you if you disclose our dark-side secrets to the American people. We will hunt you down, we will persecute you, we will prosecute you, we will destroy you, and we might even kill you.”
How many people within the national-security establishment are willing to undergo that price for revealing dark-side secrets of the Pentagon, the CIA, and the NSA? I’d venture to say not very many at all.
Thus, regardless of what ends up happening to Assange in a court of law—that is, even if he is ultimately acquitted in a U.S. federal court of ludicrous charges of violating some World War I-era espionage law—the national-security establishment has undoubtedly already succeeded in its quest to suppress revelations of other dark-side activities. All that any would-be leaker has to do is look at Assange’s mental and physical condition after years of being hounded by the national-security establishment. Very few people want to end up like that. They are likely to remain silent, even if their consciences are calling on them to reveal dark-side secrets to the American people.
The second message is to people who disclose the dark-side secrets that are leaked to them—organizations like Wikileaks and executives within those organizations, like Assange. The message to them is the same as the message to would-be leakers: “If you dare publish any of our dark-side activities, we will come after you with a vengeance, just as we have with Julian Assange. We will hound you, indict you, prosecute you, persecute you, incarcerate you, torture you, and maybe even kill you.”
Oh, sure, they won’t go after big-name media organizations, which is why the big-name media organizations don’t care about what they have done to Assange. The national-security establishment has the big media organizations under their control anyway. They’ll go after the smaller organizations and people—the less powerful ones, the ones they can more easily break financially, emotionally, and psychologically.
Again, the goal is suppression. People and organizations who happen to acquire information detailing dark-side activity on the part of the national-security establishment must be made aware that if they decide to publish that dark-side activity, they will end up in the same place as Julian Assange—i.e., have years of their lives taken away from them and, in the end, finish in a broken emotional and physical condition.
The third message is to the American people.
When the U.S. government was converted from a limited-government republic to a national-security state after World War II, an implicit bargain was made with the American people.
The bargain was this: “We will exercise dark-side powers on your behalf to keep you safe from the communists, who are coming to get you. These will be unsavory powers that have always been illegal under U.S. law. But rest assured that we will keep all of this dark-side activity secret from you, so that your consciences will not be bothered by the things we will have to do to keep you safe.”
Thus, what Assange and Wikileaks did amounted to a tortious interference with that implicit contract between the national-security establishment and the American people. Through Assange and Wikileaks, the American people did learn about some of the dark-side activity of the national-security establishment, including the killing of innocent people, which caused consternation for many Americans, especially those who would prefer to not know about such things as assassinations, kidnappings, torture, disappearances of people, and helping dictatorial regimes to kill or disappear innocent people.
By hounding, persecuting, prosecuting, extraditing, incarcerating, torturing, and maybe even killing Assange, U.S. officials are telling the American people that they need not be concerned about learning about any more dark-side activities in the future. The message is: “Our bargain will continue. Things will go on as they have for the past 75 years of America as a national-security state—where we—the Pentagon, the CIA, and the NSA—will continue to wield omnipotent, dark-side powers in the name of keeping you safe from the communists, terrorists, drug dealers, Muslims, illegal immigrants, ISIS, al-Qaeda, Russia, China, Syria, and other official enemies, opponents, rivals, and competitors. Your consciences will not be troubled because we will continue to keep our dark-side activity secret from you.”
The American people need to rescind that evil bargain. But even that’s not enough. They also need to rid our federal governmental system of this evil institution known as the national-security state and restore our nation’s founding constitutional system of a limited-government republic. That would get our nation on the road to liberty, morality, conscience, peace, prosperity, and harmony with the people of the world. The deep suffering inflicted on Julian Assange by the U.S. national-security state need not be in vain.