Free at Last: Wikileaks Founder Julian Assange Is Out of Prison

Free at Last: Wikileaks Founder Julian Assange Is Out of Prison
Adam Garrie | June 25, 2024

By Adam Garrie, Breaking News Reporter, The Kennedy Beacon

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange has entered a tentative plea agreement with federal prosecutors that has resulted in his release from prison in England. He had served five years. Following the breaking news, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. made the following statement:

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Julian Assange struck a plea deal and will go free! I am overjoyed. He’s a generational hero. The bad news is that he had to plead guilty to conspiracy to obtain and disclose national defense info. Which means the US security state succeeded in criminalizing journalism and extending their jurisdiction globally to non-citizens. Julian had to take this. He has heart problems and he would have died in prison. But the security state has imposed a horrifying precedent and dealt a big blow to freedom of the press.

As the first presidential candidate to celebrate the news, Kennedy added, “Next steps: 1. The USG should build a monument to Assange in Washington as a civics lesson for the American public about the importance of free speech. 2. Free Edward Snowden to demonstrate our commitment to government transparency. 3. Free Ross Ulbricht to show our commitment to transactional freedom.”

Because the Wikileaks founder had to enter a guilty plea to secure his release, Assange gained personal freedom, but he did not receive what Kennedy considers justice. A future President Kennedy could and likely would still pardon Assange as a means of clearing his name. This would also affirm the precedent set when Pentagon Papers publisher Daniel Ellsberg had charges under the Espionage Act dismissed in 1973. This precedent was disregarded during the prosecution of Assange under the Obama, Trump and Biden administrations.

Assange founded Wikileaks in 2006 as a nonprofit media organization with a goal to expose criminality, corruption, and subterfuge among the major political powers of the world.

Kennedy has supported Assange and praised his publications for making public allegedly criminal, unethical, and immoral activity on the part of the military-industrial complex. Earlier this year, Kennedy said: “Attacking the messenger is never good policy. The government’s war against whistleblowers has turned heroes into criminals. Only if we stand together can we protect free speech, which is why I am encouraging every American to sign our petition to demand the immediate pardon and release of Julian Assange from incarceration.”

Kennedy believes there was no judicial basis for this plea bargain or indeed for the charges, because Assange’s publications of government secrets were protected by the First Amendment. By forcing Assange to accept a plea bargain for his freedom, Kennedy argues, the government ensures that other journalists and publishers remain threatened by arbitrary punishment for the “crime” of publishing truthful information.

As Assange said before to his incarceration, “If wars can be started by lies, peace can be started by truth.”

Wikileaks gained international notoriety in 2010 when it released raw footage of a US Army (Boeing AH-64) Apache helicopter firing on a group of men in Iraq, killing multiple innocent civilians, including two journalists. Several children were injured in the attack.

Wikileaks continued to release authentic information on the involvement of the US and other global powers in controversial wars. The media organization, though initially embraced by established outlets ranging from The New York Times and The Washington Post to The Guardian and Le Monde, eventually became a target for attacks by so-called Deep State organizations, whose spokespeople argued that Wikileaks compromised national security by publishing truthful information.

In 2012, Assange took refuge in the Ecuadorian embassy in London, having faced sex-related allegations from Swedish prosecutors that were subsequently dropped. In 2019, UK police entered Ecuador’s embassy (following a change in the Ecuadorian ruling faction) and placed him under arrest for a minor bail infraction.

Since 2019, Assange has languished in one of Britain’s most infamous prisons while appealing extradition to the US, where he was charged with violating the Espionage Act of 1917 that became law during the First World War.

According to analysis of recently published court documents, Assange has entered a guilty plea in exchange for his release. Wikileaks reported that Assange was released from prison in the UK and has since boarded a flight to the US overseas territory of Saipan. In Saipan, Assange will formally enter his guilty plea before flying to his birth nation of Australia.

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