We’re Asking One Question In Assange’s Case: Should Journalists Be Punished For Exposing War Crimes?
This is a speech I gave yesterday at a demonstration for Assange with the Socialist Equality Party Australia.
Tomorrow in the UK a judge will start the process of answering a very important question. It’s a question that many of us knew was the heart of this debate back in 2010, ten years ago, when this all started. It’s a question that they have been obfuscating, bloviating, huffily denying, smearing, gaslighting, and distracting from–basically doing anything they can to hide it from view.
It’s a question that they don’t want the public to know that we are answering. A question that goes to the heart of democracy, and to the heart of the role of the fourth estate, journalism. And that question is this:
Should journalists and publishers be punished for exposing US war crimes?
And, ancillary to that question: should we allow them to be punished by the very people who committed those war crimes?
Is that something that we want for our world, ongoing? Because our answer to this question is going to shape our society, our civilization, for generations to come.
There is no coming back from this for a very long time should the answer be, “Yes! Yes, it’s fine, war criminals should go ahead and punish journalists for publishing true facts about their war crimes.”
If we allow the answer to be yes, then we’re stuck with the endless stupid wars that everyone wants done with, from Melbourne to Kabul, from Sydney to Syria–right across the world people are done with these stupid wars for profit.
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