The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of this site. This site does not give financial, investment or medical advice.
Submitted by Eric Zuesse…
A YouGov poll of 2,455 Americans taken on April 11th found that by a margin of 53% to 17%, or by slightly over 3 to 1, Americans want Julian Assange to be prosecuted.
The question was: “Wikileaks founder Julian Assange was arrested in London. Do you think he should or should not be extradited to the US?”
This was a remarkably bipartisan hostility toward Assange. As the YouGov news-report on that finding indicated:
“That majority increases among both Republicans (59% supporting extradition) and Democrats (62% supporting extradition), but decreases to a plurality (46%) among Independents. Independents were more likely to respond with uncertainty (32% saying they don’t know) than Republicans and Democrats, and a little more than one in five Independents (22%) are opposed to extradition.”
During 18-20 November 2018, YouGov had polled Americans on “Do you have a favorable or an unfavorable opinion” on Assange, and separately the same on Wikileaks. On each, Americans were predominantly unfavorable toward Assange by 38% to 20%, and toward Wikileaks by 44% to 29%. Another question in that poll was “Do you support or oppose the prosecution of Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks?” “Support” was 29%. “Oppose” was 19%.
In March 2011, Reuters’s Ipsos polling firm asked 18,829 people in 23 countries, “As you may know, the mission of the Wikileaks internet site is to publish copies of confidential government or corporate files and information to the public. Do you support or oppose this type of site that would post such materials?” Globally, there was 74% “Support” and 26% “Oppose.” The lowest support was in U.S.: 29% support versus 61% opposition. (The second-lowest support of Wikileaks was in UK or “Great Britain,” where the opposition to Wikileaks was 38% instead of America’s 61%.) That poll also asked “Would you consider the publishers of the materials” from such a site to be “public service” or “mischief makers” or “criminals” or “heroes” or “other”; and the predominant one of those choices worldwide was “public service,” which was selected by the same percentage of people as the total percentage who had chosen either “mischief makers” or else “criminals” (the second and third preferred options) and it was eight times as many as those who had chosen “heroes.” (NOTE: These latter opinions pertained to the news-media that published information from Wikileaks — not to Wikileaks itself.) However, yet again, in this poll, Americans stood alone for the extremity of their hostility towards a national press that’s not being controlled by the Government (which is what Wikileaks is all about): only one third as large a percentage of Americans as the global percentage chose “public service,” whereas the percentage of Americans who chose “criminals” (42%) was more than three times the global percentage (13%) who chose that. The second-highest to that degree of extreme hostility against a press that’s authentically independent of the government was likewise “Great Britain”: 20%. Canada was the third-highest, at 19%. In other words: the #1 most-hostile nation against democracy was 42% in America, and the next-most-hostile to democracy was 20% in “Great Britain” — less than half as high a percentage of hostility against democracy, as compared to the U.S. percentage; and Canada was only slightly less hostile toward democracy than was the UK.
That same poll also asked: “Wikileaks recently posted thousands of confidential US government diplomatic notes. … Julian Assange, who is responsible for leaking the documents should be viewed as a” — and 49% of Americans said “criminal,” whereas only 17% globally did. (Great Britain was, yet again, on this, the second-highest hostility against democracy, at 26%.) Globally, 29% of all respondents said that Assange had provided a “public service,” but only 11% of Americans said that.
By overwhelming margins, Americans thought that their Government should have an unqualified right to hide from the public, basically, anything it wants to hide. The U.S. Government actually does possess unlimited authority to categorize whatever it wants, as being “Classified.” Overwhelming majorities of the U.S. public approve of this root-principle of dictatorship. Assange is being condemned, fundamentally, because he violates that intrinsic principle (government-secrecy, regardless of how arbitrarily it is imposed), of dictatorship, anywhere.
Clearly, then, the American people were far more favorable toward dictatorship than the public was, in any of the 22 other nations that were sampled.
(NOTE: For the purposes of this article, effective control by the government over the nation’s press is defined as dictatorship, and effective freedom of the press to report any truth — regardless of what the government wants — is defined as democracy. So: the U.S. belongs in the category of a 100% dictatorship, since the Government can classify anything it wishes to.)
An interesting sidelight to these findings, of an extremely pro-dictatorship U.S. public — and with Great Britain being right behind (though not nearly as pro-dictatorship as Americans are) — is that, in 2002 and 2003, the national press in each of those two countries was so strongly controlled by the government as to deceive (via their stenographic ‘news’-media) their respective public into invading Iraq, on the basis of that stenographic reporting by the nation’s press of the government’s lies against Iraq. This is the result of both countries being dictatorships. This is true irrespective of whether Iraq also was.
Further confirmations of the extreme degree of dictatorship in the United States are that it’s the nation which has the world’s highest percentage of its people in prison, and that in the periodic polling by the Gallup organization, the one “institution” that always scores at the very top as being the most highly respected of all institutions in America is “the military.” That is the finding which would reasonably be expected in a total dictatorship.
So: if Assange gets extradited by Great Britain to the United States for prosecution, he will face here not only the most hostile government but the most hostile public. Presumably, this would please the leaderships (even if not the publics) in all U.S.-allied nations, including especially NATO — America’s anti-Russia military alliance, which after 1991 absorbed the entirety of the no-longer-existing Soviet Union’s Warsaw Pact mirror organization which had countered America’s NATO alliance. NATO itself is strongly supported not only by the governments but by the people within the respective member-nations, and polling in June 2014 found that “A little more than half of EU respondents (56%) said it was desirable that the United States exert strong leadership in world affairs.” So, the publics in those nations (at least back in 2014) wanted their own government to continue to be led by the U.S. Government. That was more than a decade after the U.S. Government (and Great Britain) had invaded and destroyed Iraq, on the basis of lies. So: perhaps the public, not only in America but in other countries, learns nothing from experience, and they are perennially suckers of their respective national leaderships. But, in any case, the American public are international standouts for supporting dictatorship — not merely accepting it, but actually endorsing it. Obviously, if Assange is not freed from Great Britain and especially from the U.S., his prospects are exceptionally dismal. His only actual ‘crime’ is having stood up internationally for democracy. If that’s not a “hero,” who is? But perhaps, now, democracy has become a hopeless cause. Perhaps, in the final analysis, Assange’s fate will turn out to have been the fate of democracy, too — the canary in this coal mine.
Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of this site. This site does not give financial, investment or medical advice.
They are Americans thus stupid, ignorant and naive.
“Americans thus stupid, ignorant and naive.”
You can say that “Americans thus WILLFULLY stupid, ignorant and naive.”
You have to split America into two classes of the above to understand it fully. There’s the dimwitocrats that are still 100% convinced that Russia hacked Clinton’s e-mails and ordered Assange to release them and never shall it be forgotten (or negated). Then there are the fanaticaljihadirepubs with yarmulkes kept at the ready in their breast pockets for spontaneous prayer meetings that hate Assange for exposing war crimes, regime-change plans, spying and spoofing habits and other nefarious activities that they’d reserved strictly for use against foreign irritating entities in their crosshairs. So between these two distinct classes of Assange hate-mongers,… Read more »
Hahaha, nice response.
On a positive note – it can only get better !!.
RUSSIA TODAY: Majority of Russians believe Assange wanted to expose corruption & crime – poll Published time: 18 Apr, 2019 11:09 Following the arrest in London of Julian Assange, a new poll shows that a large share of Russians support the WikiLeaks’ co-founder and view him as a champion of press freedom and a humanitarian. As many as 45 percent of Russians believe that by publishing secret US papers, Assange was guided by the principles of press freedom, according to the Russian Public Opinion Research Center (VTsIOM). Around 40 percent of the respondents think that Assange acted for the benefit… Read more »
2455 Americans as the representative sample!? Come on Eric. Stop being so vain as to endorse such a flimsy sample as representative. You are talking a negligible cover of America that doesn’t favour any side of the argument. I suspect the majority really don’t care and have yet to even think about the question. Those that have would be sorely under-represented by such a meagre sample. Add to that the fact a lot of polls and surveys in America have little difficulty clearing over a million I’d suspect you’ve wilfully jumped the gun or the poll was deliberately bias and… Read more »
https://projects.fivethirtyeight.com/pollster-ratings/ is the gold-standard for tracking the reliability of the various polling organizations and gives YouGov a “B” rating based on dozens of factors, such as having correctly called 88% of U.S. political contests. 2,455 sample-size for opinion-polling of the U.S. electorate is a higher-than-average sample-size, not lower-than-average, as “Cudwieser” (who is obviously ignorant about how professional polling is done) seems to assume. That person also ignores that as shown at the link which I gave in this article, “Results are weighted to be representative of the US population.” How that’s done is all about statistics and other math, which… Read more »
Whether the poll iis right or wrong, fact is, the majority of US population is dumb as horseshit. They couldn’t care less.
It’s fairly simple psychology. The US government has become so brutally, oppressively, irresistibly omnipotent that most US citizens cannot imagine standing up to it or resisting it.
Hence they adopt the opposite attitude: they identify with it. “If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em”.
Any attack on the glorious US government is felt as an attack on themselves.
Add to that the dumbing down of US citizens to the point that the majority are sheeple to be herded here and there.
But not all, and it does not take a majority to turn it around. So there is some hope for the future.
I would think it certainly would take a majority to turn it around. The US has undergone state capture and is now so locked down that even if every one of the 350 million yanks had a gun, the state would still have the upper hand. No, it has to be a kind of awakening, a eureka moment through-out the nation. Maybe the Internet has given us a glimmer of a hope.
Yougov is not a scientific poll. Most people around me at work would challenge this result. Moreover, the sample size is statistically insignificant taken on an Internet poll. I call BS.
And now “Cudwieser” gets yet two more up-votes, but this time for seconding an opinion that shares that person’s own biases and false beliefs.
Could Mr. Cudwiewer be a CIA “agent provocateur”, sent to write troublesome notes in the comment section? I have often wondered about his strange input, not only here but for other texts of THE DURAN as well.
This time around, the commenter criticizes YouGov itself, one of the world’s most highly regarded polling organizations; and this time the comment has even more than the five up-votes that the comment by “Cudwieser” got, but instead a whopping 9 up-votes, which goes to show that there are apparently an extraordinarily large number of people here who are ignorant and misinformed about polling but who wish publicly to display their ignorance and misconceptions. Anyway, as I said before, YouGov is a better-than average professional polling organization (see https://projects.fivethirtyeight.com/pollster-ratings/ ) and the sample-size in this poll was unusually large, and its… Read more »
Please don’t get angry, dear Eric. When we publish as authors in the DURAN, we have to count with criticism. Every writer gets his fair share of criticism. On the other hand, the amount of comments shows the general interest of readers in the topic and in your text. Cheer up! You are a good writer.
Der Olivia, I’m not ‘angry’, I am depressed because I see so many comments here from people who seem so determined to retain their misconceptions so as for them to slam-shut their minds to contrary information. I have read many social-psychology studies finding this “confirmation bias” to be common, but for me to encounter it at this terrific site makes me feel hopeless.
Dear Eric; I was watching the TV series ‘Why Planes Crash’ the other day, as they looked for the reason why a Brazilian airliner flew 90 deg. off course to finally crash in the jungle. It turns out the pilot simply misread his flight plan coordinates. All the rest, he just kept on confirming what he and his copilot thought they should be seeing out the window to the very end. CONFIRMATION BIAS they called it. First I’d heard the term. I immediately recognized it as what has been gripping the Russiagaters by the throat for years now (and the… Read more »
Definitely Eric Zuesse has an astute mind. That’s why he is an author on THE DURAN, a media for astute minds.
Your text is paving the way for a change of mind, Eric. So you needn’t be depressed or hopeless. Change takes a while, it is often a long-winding process. Also, rest assured that all those stubborn voices going against your text are mostly “agents provocateurs”, sent by the US Deep State. The majority of readers who agree with you will probably not take the time to comment. I have often found that the “agent provocateurs” lot is much more active on this site than other readers, probably because THE DURAN is a non-main-stream media. Every swimmer knows that swimming against… Read more »
Over the years, I’ve come to the uncomfortable conclusion that, in bulk, my fellow Americans have discarded tampons, also in bulk, for brains. Far too prone to the media and politicians’ bunk and circumstance to be entrusted with managing anything more intricate than a manual toothbrush.
Ignore us as best you can. I’ll sleep better.
boy are we dumb.
True, lizzie. US sheep are exceptionally stupid.
Totally brainwashed populations always support the big bully. History repeats itself again and again 🙁 Very sad !
Pesquisa fajuta, feita na sede da CIA…
A sede da CIA é um buraco de rato.
I doubt this very much…..but IF THIS IS TRUE, THEN I HAVE TO LEAVE THE U.S.
for some other place
It’s true, though several readers here are closed-minded and insist upon believing that it’s untrue. The statistical margin of error in this poll, within a 95% level of statistical confidence, would be somewhere around 3%, but, in any case, a 3-to-1 ratio (the finding in this poll) is so huge, and the sample size quite sufficiently large, so that no reasonable doubt can exist that at least by a 2-to-1 margin Americans want Assange to be prosecuted. If you want to see a stark measure of how enormously alone Americans are internationally in their hatred of Assange, check out this:… Read more »
Dear Eric, several readers are maybe not so “close-minded” as they are eager to show that they know somehing about the topîc as well. Or rather, they believe they know something better than the author of the text. I call this the “Me-too” movement of journalism. The reader shouts: “Me too! I know something, too!” Please do not get angry, Eric. Keep up the good job.
Be careful with the back handers Olivia. Not all of us are so naive or ignorant of what goes on or treating these comments as a popularity contest. The scope of opinion is often broader than knowledge at hand, but that doesn’t mean our views are lacking or that we all share our opinion in spite. We comment here to share a perspective and to fundamentally question everything to get to the truth. We speak in consideration and (oddly) respect of what is happening. Some might be looking attention, but be mindful many don’t. They, like you and Eric want… Read more »
I agree that we are all truth-seekers here. Who would want to be a liar? Nobody, surely. I am not saying that you are wrong, I merely wanted to console Eric Zuesse, the author of this text, that we authors are always exposed to criticism by readers, which is often voiced in a harsh way. The statistics Eric quotes might be right, or they might be wrong. Who knows? Statistics are a tricky thing and can easily be manipulated. I would even go as far as to say that ALL statistics are manipulated to show certain tendencies wanted, needed, wished… Read more »
I do agree and if it is a consolation to Eric I rarely read the name of the Author or give much weight to a name. The message is important more than who says it, something a lot of people in general seem to be forgetting (talking specifically of the so called progressive left). Eric does raise an interesting point, but that doesn’t put it beyond rebuke and heavens forbid life would be dull if everything was. At the end of the day I wish Eric every success and doubtless you and he will if you keep speaking truth to… Read more »
I must admit that I read an article, if the topic interests me, or when I like the author. Readers’ habits are varied, just like every human being is different from the other. In general, I feel compassion, when an author that I like gets harsh criticism. But we have to live with that.
Olivia is right, calm yourself. Your not the Messiah and your name isn’t Brian :). Firstly, I’ve qualifications in Maths and Physics and considerable experience in data handling and scientific method. I have experience of sampling and representation of data. If the sample of 2455 was a sample of 5000 or 6000 Americans It would be bloody impressive, but of the entire populous of America it would be a minimal cross section of Delaware. It doesn’t sit right as being representative. More over through my experiences I’ve learned to question everything, especially stats and sources. The art of stats is… Read more »
“The art of stats is fallible by its nature and barely representative at best.”
I agree with you a hundred per cent. So let’s take Eric’s interesting article as a thought-provoking incentive. Why are such results of statistics possible? And what do they indicate?
Statistically valid poll-taking has been subjected to the rigueurs of mathematics for, well…forever now.
If someone wants to question the validity of a poll, then do it by questioning the application/calculations, not by attacking statistics itself.
I doubt any poll coming from a reputable organization can be accused of deviating from standard statistical methods. It’d be too easy to spot. Then again, these days – any outright lie cloaked by conventional standards is possible, since no one in government or media questions anything said that suits their interests any more.
No poll asked THIS American. This American thinks Assange should be released immediately and given the Nobel Peace prize. (If they’re short on cash, they can take it back from Obama.) All that said, Americans won’t wake up until Americans start dying in serious numbers. They are willfully ignorant and profoundly uncaring.
They should also take back the Nobel Peace Prize given to the EU and hand that one over to Snowden.
I can’t believe Americans at large are that stupid and/or evil. Either the polls are rigged beyond repair, or we’re seeing the effect of 24×7 propaganda.
Anyone who wants Assange prosecuted deserves to live in the totalitarian fascist dictatorship he is asking for — but not at the expense of the rest of us.
There is a rumour going around that Trump is bringing Assange to the US to help him prosecute the criminals in the Deep State. If true this may change some minds but we’ll have to wait and see.
Yeah, right. Dream on. The man’s been willingly and irretrievably hypnotized by the neocon’s sparkly ball trick.
This poll is entirely consistent with all other polls on Assange-opinions in America: intense and internationally unique hostility.
Congratulations, Eric. You are the DURAN record holder with 60 comments. Bravo! Book of Guiness place is reserved for you ….
Mr. Cudwieser will be very angry, jumping up and down like “Rumpelstilzchen” (a very angry dwarf in one of Grimm’s fairy tales).
“I can’t believe Americans at large are that stupid and/or evil. Either the polls are rigged beyond repair, or we’re seeing the effect of 24×7 propaganda.”
1984: Two minutes of hate
America is Oceania. Those people are Oceanians, and Assange is their hate-target today.
The USA is “Oceania”, populated by blind fish.
Another reader here on the DURAN called the USA “Amazia”. I like that term as well because the US regime and most of the US population in their infinite stupidity never cease to amaze me.
My favorite passtime these days is to avoid engaging in small talk with any fellow American that may lead to a blurting out of political opinion. Not that I’m anything special but to be honest, the few times I was foolish enough to engage, I felt like I was discussing cosmology (as if I knew anything) with five year olds at an Oral Roberts prayer-picnic.
You probably mean a fellow US American, Orwell’s Razor. Have you tried having small talk with a Mexican, Guatemalan, Hondurian, Venezuelan, Cuban, Uruguayan? They are all Americans as well, and not just from the infamous, despised “back yard”, but from sovereign Latin American countries. There are vere smart and pleasant people among them, I may assure you. You might give it a try, if you speak Spanish.
I am at a loss. Either Americans by a margin of 3:1 have bought the propaganda or the poll is wrong. I would add had a poll of Germans been carried out during the WWII, the majority would likely have supported Nazism – showing how effective Goebbels and the Nazis were with their propaganda. In the past there has been many mass hysterias and delusions, (which I might have read in a reprint of “Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds” by Charles Mackay). This is nothing more than an extremely effective propaganda exercise. It also shows that critical… Read more »
America – an intellectual third world nation, fattened with corporate junk food and media. Among its masses, those with backbone have no brain and those with brain have no backbone. Worse still, amongst the elite who may by chance be endowed with both, there’s no moral compass of worth to be found. Only broken needles pointing on the owner’s demand.
Exceptions there be but ever harder to find, by you or me.
This does not ring true to me. Most Americans distrust all polling organizations because they have been exposed a corrupt. A number like this suggests corruption.
I think that there is much more support for Julian Assange than there is opposition. And, I live is a very red part of the USA.
I used to defend the US public by saying that the Deep State, or Establishment, controls the media and the direction the government takes is not their fault. However, further investigation changed my mind. This poll shows that I was right to change my mind. The public is as much the culprit as any swamp creature. 80% of Evangelicals worship Israel as much as they do Jesus. It is they who guide the warlike foreign policy and the blind support for a country that shoots unarmed protesters, starts illegal settlements in Palestinian, murders Syrian and Iranian fighters engaged in defeating… Read more »
That is truly astonishing. This poll is like a litmus test of attitudes towards freedom of thought and speech. It seems that the citizens of the Anglo-American empire, the putative purveyor of “democracy” to the world, are the least democratic or understand the principles of democracy the least. It confirms everything we have believed about the Empire.
Americans are distracted and don’t have a clue what’s going on. Most also think this government is out there battling evil to spread freedom and democracy for all. That alone should tell you what you’re dealing with
This is the answer to those many Americans who say “don’t blame us, we’ve been taken over by Jews; we’ve been infiltrated and a coup d’etat has occurred;.it’s all because of the traitors who have taken over our Government”. I keep repeating – a few thousand people in a nation of over 300 million can’t do it all. They aren’t the ones there in the police force, shooting people in the back; in the schools teaching sexual perversions are normal; in the media, entertainment, news sites and so on. All over the country, it’s there in the majority of the… Read more »
I like your last line: “It is not enough people to save a nation from collapse”. The USA deserves collapse, I hope they will collapse soon.
Most Americans are still mesmerized by the MSM, and DC doesn’t care what they think anyway.
If you want to have secret government forever, and journalists afraid to challenge the establishment narrative, then prosecute Assange.
In a democracy, truth is more important than the attempts of officials to cover their corruption and blundering. Secret government types will always cry, “national security”, to frighten the populace. Since 9/11, there really hasn’t been any rational government, only pigs lined up at the MIC trough.
Most “Americans” live in Central and South America. They are not mesmerized by anything at all, except by their own thoughts how to get around invasions and sanctions imposed by the godless, fascist US regime.
This is eye-opening. They’re even dumber than I thought.
You want to change in policy towards JULIaN ASSANGE; Mike Gravel wants Julian Assange to get a MEDAL OF HONOUR; SUPPORT MIKE GRAVEl!