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Virginia Hefferman—The Empire’s Whore—and Naveed Jamali—The Scum of the Earth

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Virginia Hefferman—The Empire’s Whore—and Naveed Jamali—The Scum of the Earth

The First Amendment Is About To Be Deep-sixed While Democrats, Republicans and Media Cheer

“Reporters who bash Julian Assange while he is silenced instead of using their platforms to draw attention to the many, many wicked deeds that are being perpetrated by the powerful in their own country are the lowest of the low. They are scum. They are the scum that scum scrapes off its shoes. There is no more despicable, sniveling waste of space on this earth than someone who attacks the powerless on behalf of the powerful while calling themselves a journalist.”

In the articles below, Caitlin Johnstone deplores that there are people who will tell any lie to help the Empire destroy a truth-teller in exchange for career advancement. The ranks of the Western media are filled with assets of the Deep State who place zero value on integrity and honesty. As there is no legal case against Assange, the Empire uses its media assets to brainwash an insouciant public into believing that Assange deserves to be prosecuted, thus not seeing the show trial staged in front of their eyes.

What Empire Loyalists Are Really Saying When They Bash Julian Assange
By Caitlin Johnstone 

Wired has just published what might be the single most brazenly dishonest and manipulative piece of down-punching empire smut that I have ever read. An article by Virginia Heffernan titled “The Real Houseguest of the Ecuadorian Embassy” revolves around the outright lie that Julian Assange is suing the Ecuadorian government because he doesn’t feel like cleaning up after his cat and maintaining basic hygiene in the embassy he’s been confined to since 2012. In reality, the legal case arose from the fact that despite being granted political asylum for his journalism, Assange has for months been cut off from the world and forbidden to practice journalism by the new government of Ecuador, and would remain unable to practice journalism under the new conditions Quito recently imposed upon him.

The article reads as though its author is attempting to force snarky humor through a thick fog of hatred and personal misery while seeing how many lies she can pack into each paragraph. Heffernan claims falsely that Assange is “wanted on various criminal charges”; Assange has not been charged with anything. Heffernan claims falsely that Assange “has been closely linked to the Kremlin and Russian president Vladimir Putin”; this is just objectively false with no evidence backing it up whatsoever. Heffernan claims falsely that “the distinct possibility has surfaced that during his embassy tenure Assange communicated with Roger Stone, Donald Trump’s consigliere, via magic decoder rings or the internet”; there’s no evidence that Stone had any back channel with WikiLeaks, and the information he notoriously amplified was already public. Heffernan claims falsely that WikiLeaks is “Russia-aligned”; another assertion for which there is zero evidence and much evidence to the contrary.

You get the picture. I’m not going to spend an entire article beating up on some writer for Wired just for authoring an amazingly horrible article about Julian Assange, especially when there are so very, very many other ambitious presstitutes falling all over themselves in a mad scramble to do the exact same thing right now.

Just as new information begins surfacing that Assange’s safety and security may be in immediate jeopardy, the brave, dauntless journalists of the establishment press have been working around the clock to bring their audiences as many versions as possible of the crucial bombshell news story that the WikiLeaks founder is a stinky, stinky man. Like it would even matter if that were true. Like the barely disguised plot to extradite a journalist for the crime of publishing facts to the same nation which tortured Chelsea Manning would be any less Orwellian if that journalist didn’t change his sheets often enough.

But that,  of course, is not the point. The point is to create public revulsion for Julian Assange, thereby killing sympathy for his unconscionable persecution and dampening the impact of any future WikiLeaks releases. The point is to marry Assange’s name with the idea of bad smells, so that the public will begin to find themselves increasingly disgusted by him and everything he stands for without quite remembering exactly why they feel such disdain for him.

And there are more than enough aspiring pundits out there trying to do exactly that. Every story you see about Assange’s plight in mainstream media now goes out of its way to drag the focus away from the fact that a political prisoner has had his important voice silenced, and suck it into some vapid narrative about personal hygiene and kitty litter. Every few minutes there’s some blue-checkmarked goon making a juvenile tweet about how weird and gross Julian Assange is like a high school bully. There is no shortage of empire loyalists looking to prove themselves worthy lackeys before the watchful eyes of current and future employers.

And make no mistake, that is all it is ever about. The reason almost every journalist below a certain age has a Twitter account these days is because they are taught in no uncertain terms that building a social media profile is an essential part of the job. They know that their social media presence can be just as much a determining factor in whether or not they keep climbing the ladder of prestige and influence as their resume is. Reporters in western corporate media aren’t usually explicitly told to protect establishment interests, but the ones who consistently do are the ones who get hired to the choice jobs. Making a big show about what a good empire lackey you are by smearing Julian Assange at a key juncture in his fight is a great way to show your peers and superiors that you’re someone who plays along with the beltway groupthink, and the fact that Assange cannot defend himself from those smears makes it extremely risk-free.

So when you see some political writer yukking it up about Julian Assange and kitty litter, what they are really saying is, “Hey! Look at me! You can count on me to advance whatever narratives get passed down from on high! I’ll cheer on all the wars! I’ll play up the misdeeds of our great nation’s rivals and ignore the misdeeds of our allies! I’ll literally spit on Assange if you’ll give my career a boost!”

They are saying, “I support everything the media-controlling oligarchs support, and I hate everything they hate. I will be a reliable mouthpiece of the ruling class regardless of who is elected in our fake elections to our fake official government. I will say all the right things. I will protect what you need protected. I will hide what you want hidden. I understand what you want me to do without your explicitly telling me to do it. I’ve got what you need. I have no principles. Look, I’m even joining in the dog pile against a political prisoner who can’t defend himself.”

Reporters who bash Julian Assange while he is silenced instead of using their platforms to draw attention to the many, many wicked deeds that are being perpetrated by the powerful in their own country are the lowest of the low. They are scum. They are the scum that scum scrapes off its shoes. There is no more despicable, sniveling waste of space on this earth than someone who attacks the powerless on behalf of the powerful while calling themselves a journalist.

https://caitlinjohnstone.com/2018/11/02/what-empire-loyalists-are-really-saying-when-they-bash-julian-assange/

Newsweek-Employed Spy Explains To Us Why Assange Should Be Prosecuted
by Caitlin Johnstone

So it turns out it’s really really important for powerful people to be able to lie to us with impunity, you guys. I know this because an actual, literal spy told me that that’s what I’m meant to believe in an article published by Newsweek yesterday.

If you were wondering how long it would take the imperial propagandists to ramp up their efforts to explain to us why it is good for the Trump administration to prosecute WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange after we learned that sealed charges have been brought against him by the United States government, the answer is eight days. If you were wondering which of those propagandists would step forward and aggressively attempt to do so, the answer is Naveed Jamali.

To be clear, I do not use the word “propagandist” to refer to a mass media employee whose reliable track record of establishment sycophancy has propelled him to the upper echelons of influence within platforms owned by plutocrats who have a vested interest in maintaining the status quo, as I often mean when I use that word. When I say that Jamali is a propagandist, I mean he is a current member of the United States intelligence community telling Newsweek’s readers that it is to society’s benefit for the US government to pursue a longstanding agenda of the US intelligence community in imprisoning Julian Assange.

“This is not reporting, this is not journalism and Assange is not a journalist providing analysis or investigative reporting— this is the hocking of stolen secrets, with no regard for the very real damage their disclosure does.” My latest for @Newsweek https://t.co/FdNJ1vRvZh
— Naveed Jamali (@NaveedAJamali) November 25, 2018

Jamali is currently a reserve intelligence officer for the United States Navy, and is a former FBI asset and double agent. He is also like many intelligence community insiders an MSNBC contributor, and is a senior fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute, a think tank which has featured many prominent neoconservative war whores like Donald and Frederick Kagan, Max Boot, and James Woolsey. Any think tank with the words “foreign policy” in its title is nothing other than a group of intellectuals who are paid by plutocrats to come up with the best possible arguments for why it would be very good and smart to do things that are very evil and stupid, and Naveed Jamali sits comfortably there.

His Newsweek article, titled “Prosecuting Assange is Essential for Restoring Our National Security”, begins with the sentence “Full disclosure: I am not a fan of Julian Assange or Wikileaks,” and doesn’t get any better from there. The article consists of two arguments, the first being that since Assange is “not a journalist” he is not protected by the First Amendment from prosecution by the US government. This argument is bunk because (A) this is a made-up nonsense talking point since neither the US Constitution nor the Supreme Court have made any distinction between journalists or any other kind of publisher in press freedom protections, and (B) WikiLeaks has won many awards for journalism. The second argument is that it is very important for the US government to be able to hide any kind of secrets it wants from the American people.

And really that’s the only thing these paid manipulators are ever telling you when they smear Assange or argue for his prosecution: powerful people need to be able to lie to you and hide information from you without being inconvenienced or embarrassed by WikiLeaks. If they say it often enough and in a sufficiently confident tone, some trusting, well-intentioned people will overlook the fact that this is an intensely moronic thing for anyone to believe.

Forget Jim Acosta. If you’re worried about Trump’s assault on the press, news of a Wikileaks indictment is the real scare story. Matt Taibbi’s latest https://t.co/0UB8d6GH4o pic.twitter.com/WtgQoFd3Ts

— Rolling Stone (@RollingStone) November 23, 2018
I’m going to keep answering this the same way: these charges almost certainly involve pre-2016 behavior, and you might want at least try to understand what that might mean, or why people like Jeff Sessions and Mike Pompeo were gunning for a case. https://t.co/su7mB6D3NY
— Matt Taibbi (@mtaibbi) November 23, 2018

I’m going to keep answering this the same way: these charges almost certainly involve pre-2016 behavior. So you might want to try to think about what that means. https://t.co/CYRFuaYhwY
— Matt Taibbi (@mtaibbi) November 23, 2018

I’m going to keep answering this the same way: this case almost certainly pre-dates 2016, and you might want to think about what that means. https://t.co/dYHzCJqwZs
— Matt Taibbi (@mtaibbi) November 23, 2018

I guess I have to keep repeating that this case almost certainly pre-dates 2016. It’s amazing how many people aren’t interested in big-picture legal issues if the protagonist is someone they don’t like. https://t.co/iNM5PRGBk8
— Matt Taibbi (@mtaibbi) November 23, 2018

Contrary to what US intelligence operatives would have you believe, the prosecution of Julian Assange by the United States government would indeed be disastrous for press freedoms around the world. A good recent essay by Matt Taibbi for Rolling Stone titled “Why You Should Care About the Julian Assange Case” breaks down exactly why everyone should oppose this administration’s aggressive pursuit of Assange, even if they hate him and everything he stands for. In terms of speech protection there is nothing that legally distinguishes an outlet from WikiLeaks from outlets like the New York Times and the Washington Post, both of whom have published secret documents and information which was taken through illegal means. If Assange is successfully prosecuted for doing the same thing other mainstream publications do to hold power to account, there will be little stopping the US government from going after those types of outlets all around the world for publishing its secrets.

After Taibbi published his article, he spent a couple hours on Twitter explaining to Democratic Party loyalists over and over and over and over again that the charges Assange is facing almost certainly have nothing to do with the 2016 WikiLeaks publications, and rather relate to much earlier publications of a far more classified nature than a few Democrats’ emails. He had to do this because Russiagate conspiracy theorists have been shrieking that it’s #MuellerTime ever since news broke about the sealed charges, and now you’ve got the strange scene of liberals everywhere cheering on a Trump administration agenda which threatens to cripple the free press they claim to be protecting from the very administration that they are cheering for. The concept that the prosecution of someone they’ve been trained to hate has nothing to do with the thing they hate him for is inconceivable from within the walls of the binary narrative matrix that these people have become trapped in by establishment manipulators like Jamali.

Taibbi’s essay wraps up with the words, “Americans seem not to grasp what might be at stake. Wikileaks briefly opened a window into the uglier side of our society, and if publication of such leaks is criminalized, it probably won’t open again.”

He’s right. They don’t grasp it. Here’s hoping they do before it’s too late.

https://caitlinjohnstone.com/2018/11/25/newsweek-employed-spy-explains-to-us-why-assange-should-be-prosecuted/

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