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Julian Assange, co-founder of WikiLeaks was imprisoned on Thursday, April 11, after spending seven years in exile at the Ecuadorian embassy in London. WikiLeaks became known for publishing secret communications from various governments, particularly the US government. Assange is also accused of “alleged rape” in Sweden.

By: Américo Gomes

With this imprisonment, Lenin Moreno joins the list of elected governments presenting themselves as “progressives” and ended up being great allies, true “imperialist lapdogs.” He joins Evo Morales, who recently handed Cesare Batisti to the Italian police.

In this case, they went so far as to allow British police to enter the Ecuadorian embassy and arrest Assange. The British government, in a complete Brexit voting crisis , presented Wikileaks founder Assange’s imprisonment as a victory , and the British Interior Minister, Sajid Javid, was very grateful: “I am satisfied with the decision of President Moreno and I convey the gratitude of the United Kingdom for resolving this matter. ”

Julian Assange lawyers denounced that this case could extend to more attacks to democratic rights, freedom of press and individual. With that, any journalist can be extradited, to be prosecuted in another country for having published true information about that country.

Imperialist secrets

The truth is that WikiLeaks, as well as Edward Snowden, committed a very serious crime against imperialist governments: reveal secret information, which for them is more serious than any genocide.

The Bolsheviks and Lenin always defended the end of secret diplomatic relations between countries and denounced that these were at the service of the interests of international capitalists.

After the Russian Revolution of 1917, the Bolsheviks revealed secret treaties signed by tsarist Russia with other countries during the First World War, denouncing imperialist annexation policies among them.

Stalinism resumed “confidential treaties” practice that harmed workers and peoples of the world, such as the secret protocol of the Molotov-Ribbentrop agreement, which divided Poland, the Baltic, Finland and Romania between German Nazis and Russian bureaucrats .
Trotsky dedicated a whole part of the Transition Program to this issue, warning that even bourgeois governments considered democratic “stop the investigations of the trusts with their industrial and commercial secrets” [1] and defend the principle of “non-intervention” in the administration of the great capital. “The commercial secret, in the current era, is a constant plot of monopoly capital against society” [2]. Denounced that practice as “machinations of exploitation, pillage, deception,” announcing as part of the revolutionary program of the working class “the abolition of trade secrecy,” as the first step in the sense of workers control and socialist control of the economy. That is why, he said, the demand of our class must be “Down with secret diplomacy!”.

State Secrets

The first report published by WikiLeaks occurred in 2008 and was called “The Cry of Blood”, which detailed the Kenyan government’s policy to kill and make young people disappear, including two lawyers who carried out investigations. With this disclosure, they won the Amnesty International New Media Award in 2009.

Assange returned to international news in early 2010, when WikiLeaks published a video of an attack by US Apache helicopters (with night vision and target sensors) that killed 18 people in Baghdad in 2007. Among the dead were two Reuters reporters . The video was confidential information of the U.S. Army.

That same year, the group disclosed more than 90,000 secret documents detailing the US military campaign in Afghanistan; 400,000 internal US military reports on operations in Iraq; 250,000 confidential telegrams from US embassies, among other documents.

These disclosures were considered an unacceptable crime against the US government, and Assange became the declared enemy of the US (which demand his extradition, accusing him of hacking and conspiracy) and of several imperialist countries

I love Wikileaks [3]

But Assange is far from being a Bolshevik revolutionary. To maintain his business, he also established secret relationships with bourgeois governments and multinationals. At the embassy, he received distinguished visitors such as Lady Gaga and actors such as John Cusack and Pamela Anderson.

In the US, Democrats were in government, and showed that to defend state secrets ,they act just like Republicans, Hillary Clinton, who was Secretary of State, made Assange her personal enemy. In contrast, without intimidation, days before the Democratic Convention, WikiLeaks leaked a file with 19,252 e-mails from the leadership of the National Committee of the Democratic Party, with information from the Clinton and Democratic leadership negotiations . Among them, those who proved that the party primaries were manipulated and that Bernie Sanders never had a chance.

Michael Cohen, a former Donald Trump lawyer and who recently called him, in his testimony in Congress, “racist, charlatan and cheat,” said that in the 2016 elections, Trump knew about the articulations and contacts of his counselor Roger Stone with WikiLeaks to filter e-mails that hurt the Hillary campaign, and that this was done in collusion with companies linked to the Kremlin.

WikiLeaks always denied talking to Stone. But Stone himself confirmed having made contact, during the campaign, with Assange and with the clandestine hacker “Guccifer 2.0”, supposedly Romanian and responsible for the “wiretaps”.

In this gray world of espionage it is difficult to know the truth. But the fact is that Trump declared at various times: “WikiLeaks, I love WikiLeaks”, for example, at the Pennsylvania and Ohio conventions. And WikiLeaks representatives asked Trump Jr. to use his influence with his father to guarantee a designation of Assange as an ambassador in Washington, with the intention of avoiding his imprisonment.

The German computer specialist, Daniel Domscheit-Berg, who worked on WikiLeaks and wrote the book Inside WikiLeaks, is constantly threatened by Assange to not disclose information about his company. Contradictions of a businessman who manages a “business” above all.

Domscheit-Berg asserts that, because of this, all new officials and collaborators now have to sign a confidentiality clause, with a fine for those who infringe it, of 12 million pounds.

Legal War

Now there will be several legal battles, the first one about Assange extradiction, which can last months or years, and many pages and news in the newspapers. Next, the debate about whether Assange acted as a journalist and editor and, therefore, about protection of the US Constitution and First Amendment, or as a spy.

The US government accuses Assange of espionage and of helping former Army analyst, Chelsea Manning, to illegally hack “a password stored in the U.S. Department of Defense computers .”

A weak argument, because Edward Snowden, former agent of the National Security Agency (NSA) and the CIA, with categorical evidence obtained from his work, proved that U.S. agencies develop mass surveillance programs, monitoring e- mails, messages, facebook and skype , through NSA global surveillance programs such as XKEYSCORE or XKS [4] and PRISM [5].

He also denounced that the NSA collected daily telephone data from millions of Verizon customers , one of the largest telecommunications providers in the US, and that any computer or laptop can be remotely activated, anywhere in the world by NSA agents .
In fact this agency maintains an invasion software factory in Germany , where it hires hackers from all over Europe to write codes aiming access to cell phones and other connected devices, in a large operation of cyber-surveillance espionage.

For broad freedom of information. Freedom to Assange, Manning and Snowden

It is very likely that Julian Assange obtained personal and financial gains for all the disclosure he did. However, all this material was useful for workers, all over the world, to understand, once again, the lies and corruption of their governments. In particular, how they earn rivers of dollars with weapons and war deals around the world.

Manning and Snowden were correct to disclose information that Assange and WikiLeaks received and distributed, just like any other media outlet . The material from Afghanistan, for example, was coordinated with newspapers and magazines such as The New York Times, The Guardian, Der Spiegel, as well as documents about the Guantanamo prison and corruption in Kenya. And, fundamentally, the information was true.

Manning served seven years in prison, out of 35 of his sentence, in a military prison, before being pardoned by Barack Obama. In March, she was again detained for refusing to go to court to testify in the WikiLeaks process. Snowden is self-exile in Moscow. And now, Assange is in prison.

They all discovered, in the worst way, that in defense of their secret information, anti-Bush Democrats are no different from Republicans, and even during the Obama administration the so-called “security breaches” were violently repressed.

Therefore, it is an obligation of all workers’ organizations and popular movements to fight for freedom and for the end of the persecution of Assange, Manning and Snowden. Their imprisonment and persecution mean another attack on the freedoms hard won by the struggles of workers around the world.

Notes:
[1] TROTSKY, León. “Transition Program”.
[2] Idem.
[3] https://brasil.elpais.com/brasil/2019/04/12/internacional/1555095425_235074.html
[4] NSA Global Surveillance Program that allows its analysts to do research on e-mails, online conversations and internet searches of millions of people around the world.
[5] Maintained in secret from 2007 to 2013 when it was disclosed by The Guardian, based on documents by Edward Snowden, in which companies that provide services on the Internet, collect data from their users to provide services [from intelligence]. For example: Gmail, Webmail, Skype and YouTube. It includes historical research, e-mail content, file transfers, videos, photos, voice and video calls, details of social networks and logins, with direct access to Google, Facebook, Apple, Microsoft. Yahoo !, AOL, Paltalk servers and other internet giants.

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