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Urgent memo to President-elect Trump: let Julian Assange go free!

The Swedish decision to interview Julian Assange in the Ecuadorian embassy finally proves that the whole case brought against him in Sweden is a charade.

The fact Swedish investigators have interviewed Julian Assange in the Ecuadorian embassy in London vindicates the stance both he and his lawyers have taken throughout the drama surrounding his extradition and claim for asylum.

The Swedish authorities have never given a coherent explanation of why they so single-mindedly insisted on having him extradited to Sweden – where he has never been charged with anything – instead of questioning him in Britain, as he repeatedly offered and for which there are numerous precedents.

The fact that the Swedish authorities have now interviewed Assange in the Ecuadorian embassy proves that Assange and his lawyers were right about this all along. 

In light of this it is impossible to justify legally or morally the protracted and highly expensive legal proceedings which have been brought against Assange in Britain, or the stance of the British authorities in agreeing to extradite him to Sweden, or their refusal to respect the Ecuadorian government’s decision to grant him asylum, which as a UN panel has correctly said, grossly violates his human rights and his rights as a refugee.

In reality the truth about Assange’s case is that the Swedes and the British pursued their case against him in the way they did, not because there was any legal cause to do so, but because – as Assange and his lawyers say – they have been in private pressed by the US to keep him in detention until he is extradited to the US to face charges under the Espionage Act.

I appreciate that my saying this will appear controversial to some people, but I have absolutely no doubt it is true.

It is high time this ugly charade which has done so much damage to the reputations and integrity of the Swedish, British and US justice systems, was brought to a stop.  What that requires is for the pretence that there is a serious case against Assange in Sweden (a claim which has been trashed by numerous legal experts and jurists) to be finally dropped.

Moreover the events of the last year show why this is now an urgency.

Readers who follow Alex Christoforou on The Duran will know of the absolutely central role Julian Assange and Wikileaks have played in exposing the ‘dirty tricks’ of the Hillary Clinton campaign. We would not for example know of the way the Democratic National Committee sought to fix the Democratic Party’s nomination for Hillary Clinton without the DNC leaks.

Moreover the impact of what Assange and Wikileaks have done cannot be overstated.  Anyone who has the slightest knowledge of social media and alternative media knows that the information contained in the DNC and Podesta leaks immediately went viral, and was picked up by literally tens of millions of people, even as the mainstream media tried to suppress and ignore them, and even as the Hillary Clinton campaign – with the help of a compliant establishment media and the US intelligence community – tried to shift the blame for them on Russia.

In the nature of things it is impossible to say how big an impact the DNC and Podesta leaks had on the outcome of the election.  My own feeling (with which others are free to disagree) is that it was considerable and quite possibly decisive.

Whether that is so or not, by no means the least important thing that President Trump should now do is call the dogs off Wikileaks and Assange. 

Not only do the American people and the world owe Wikileaks and Assange a huge debt for the light they have shed on some of the truly concerning aspects of US political life, but it is not impossible that Trump owes them the Presidency.

Even if that is overstating it, Trump owes Wikileaks and Assange his thanks, and if only for that reason and given the obvious justice of Assange’s case, the right and proper thing now for Trump to do is to call the dogs off on them.

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Alexander Mercouris
Editor-in-Chief atThe Duran.

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