Gone is that so-called “light on the hill” and that old-time “huddled masses” routine as the good-old US of A is now known as the hypocritical epicenter of life on the planet — if American authorities can’t arrest you, then you’ll be hunted down like a dog and assassinated, and if you are captured, you’ll be waterboarded until you scream out some sort of confession.
Julian Assange wasÂ released on bail from an UK jail Thursday and confessed his ultimate dread:
Speaking to reporters in London after his release from custody, Assange said: ‘I do not have too many fears about my extradition to Sweden. The much bigger fear is about extradition to the US.’
And into the hands of those without any sense of humanity.
(Illustration found here).
Maybe Assange has gotten wind of Bradley Manning’s situation.
Manning is the 23-year-old US Army private who has been changed with, but not yet convicted of passing classified information to Assange’s WikiLeaks operation — Manning has been held in horrible conditions since his arrest last May.
Another notice of US reality.
Via Raw Story:
Coleen Rowley, a former special agent/legal counsel at the FBI’s Minneapolis division, told MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann Wednesday that it appears Manning was receiving the same type of harsh treatment reserved for terrorism detainees.
“I’ve never heard of punishing someone pre-conviction like this in solitary confinement,” she said.
“It really sounds vindictive and in a way, it seems like some of the harsh interrogation tactics have kind of bled over now into the criminal process, which is just shocking.”
Read Glenn Greenwald’s most-excellent post on Manning’s position within the US legal system — it ain’t pretty.
And all this despite the law.
Rep. John Conyers (D-MI), chairman of the House judiciary committee, said Thursday that the prosecution of Assange and WikiLeaks goes against the standard of what the US has stood for and maintained for the last 200-plus years.
Again, via Raw Story:
“As an initial matter, there is no doubt that WikiLeaks is very unpopular right now.
Many feel that the WikiLeaks publication was offensive,” Conyers said, according to prepared remarks.
“But being unpopular is not a crime, and publishing offensive information is not either.
And the repeated calls from politicians, journalists, and other so-called experts crying out for criminal prosecutions or other extreme measures make me very uncomfortable.”
“But let us not be hasty, and let us not legislate in a climate of fear or prejudice,” Conyers closed, referring to the calls for new laws criminalizing the actions of Wikileaks.
“For, in such an atmosphere, it is our constitutional freedoms and our cherished civil rights that are the first to be sacrificed in the false service of our national security.”
The House Judiciary Committee itself heard from legal experts on Thursday that going after Assange and Wikileaks is not only illegal, but also that ‘excessive government secrecy is a serious problem that needs to be fixed.’
The biggest impact from WikiLeaks is the exposure, once again, of how morally-corrupt the US has become, and the fear rest of the planet has of America.
A most-horrifying shame.