In the aftermath of Trump’s victory, petitions asking the President-elect to pardon Julian Assange and Edward Snowden are being widely circulated. People realise that Wikileaks had a substantial effect on Hillary Clinton losing the election and whilst Assange was clear in his anti-endorsement of both candidates, it would be hard to deny that most followers and supporters of Wikileaks felt that Hillary Clinton was unambiguously the worst choice for president imaginable.
Throughout the campaign Hilary and her supporters attacked Wikileaks publicly and privately, things were even worse. Hillary was exposed by Wikileaks talking about assassinating Julian Assange and many of her supporters repeated these sentiments in public.
By contrast, Trump said relatively little about Wikileaks and as his campaign became more and more serious, he said virtually nothing at all on the subject. But Trump is a clever man, in spite of the insults of his opponents implying otherwise. He is shrewd and understands the political landscape far better than most professional politicians.
Because of this, he will be keenly aware that his support base were readers of Wikileaks and broadly supportive of the personal plights of Julian Assange and Edward Snowden, though it must be said that Snowden’s plight remains academic whilst Assange’s remains all too real. Snowden lives freely in Russia and has said he is content to do so in terms of having a comfortable daily life. By contrast, Julian Assange is a prisoner in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, if he walked out the door he would be arrested and might likely never again experience life outside of a prison.
Because of this, Assange’s ordeal is far more urgent than that of Snowden. Of the many key points former Congressman and US Presidential candidate Dr. Ron Paul made in his recent interview with Peter Lavelle, the one which stuck with me the most was his praise for WIkileaks and his view that Assange should be freed and praised rather than executed and derided as the Clinton campaign sought.
Dr. Paul emphasised that the privacy of ordinary citizens is sacred but that whistle-blowers perform a vital duty in exposing lies, corruption, deviousness and criminality in government. Of course, under Bush and Obama this balance has become complete inverted vis-à-vis the totally correct paradigm Dr. Paul wishes to see implemented.
If Donald Trump were to formally pardon Julian Assange, it would not only represent the US government at long last being on the side of truth, justice and morality, but it would personally represent a great coup for Trump over his former opponents and against the deep state which he seems to resent and which his supporters widely detest.
To put it in Trump’s language it would represent him saying ‘Look at me, I’m powerful, I’m independent and I have sound judgement and look at you deep state people, you’re LOSERS’. When understood from this perspective, the idea of Trump pardoning Assange may not be as far-fetched as it seems.
As with debates on foreign policy, Trump’s success in helping to correct the wrongs of the Obama administration in respect of Julian Assange, depends on how independent a character Trump can be. As I have said, the deep state needs s purging and criminal elements of all kinds need to be prosecuted. It goes well beyond ‘locking her up’ as there are hundreds of others like her. Trump calls it draining the swamp and if he is successful, then he may have a freer hand in matters like foreign affairs and Wikileaks than one might think.
If Trump does pardon Assange, many will be worried that this will compromise the independence of Wikileaks. To such naysayers I can only say this: if that’s what you think, you really don’t understand Julian Assange.
Let’s hope that Trump can listen to his supporters, understand how Wikileaks helped him to crush the corrupt, crooked Clinton dynasty and let’s hope that he listens to the always wise words of Dr. Ron Paul.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.