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My question to President Trump

My question to President Trump

Published Mar 12, 2020 Updated Jan 6, 2021
time 7 min

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My question to President Trump

#WeAreAssange

Dad, how come can publishing the truth illegally imprison you i.e. my father, the one I need and love?”

Julian Assange spent six and a half years without being able to kiss his children nor enjoy the daylight as a refugee within the premises of the Embassy of Ecuador in London where he had sought asylum. On April 11, 2019 he was transferred by British policemen to Belmarsh, a security prison located in the suburbs of London for a 50-week sentence because he had skipped bail back in 2012. He now is awaiting a trial to take place in February 2020 for which the judge could decide a potential extradition to the United States of America where the Wikileaks founder faces lifetime incarceration, torture and isolation because as a journalist, he published, among other stories,the ‘Rules of Engagement’ of “CollateralMurder” - confidential documents including videos of US military activities in Irak and Afghanistan (https://collateralmurder.wikileaks.org/en/resources.html).

Seven years ago, Assange’s attorneys stated that the goal was to extradite the Australian journalist to the United States where he would face Espionage charges. This was accurate prediction because we heard a British judge declare in September 2019 that Assange’s status has changed from a serving prisoner to a person facing extradition. This makes Assange the only political prisoner in Europe.

For weeks, Assange’s family, close friends and Wikileaks have been declaring on social networks that the prisoner’s health has deteriorated and that his situation is incompatible with ‘human basic rights’. A United Nations special rapporteur on torture who visited Assange in May last year has also reported the fact that Assange has suffered ‘psychological torture’ - in the country of the HabeasCorpus,one can wonder whether this sounds real-while free press organizations have condemned the imprisonment, arguingthat a war is declaredagainst the free press because publishing information of public interest is not a crime.

The First Amendment of the American Constitutionprevents the government from abridging the freedom of the press and the freedom of speech. Citizensindeedhave the right to access information, theyhave the right to know what our governments decide in the name of the people. Chelsea Manning, thevery courageous whistleblower who had provided Wikileaks with US army classified information including the ‘Collateral Murder’ video,was imprisoned last year because she refuses to stand in front of a USGrand Jury and testify against Assange and Wikileaks. She shows exemplarity because when testifying against a media and a journalist, she would thenstand against the freedom of the press and the freedom of speech.

If Assange were to be extradited to the USA because of the publication of information regarding US activities, then each journalist worldwide would face the same danger.

In spite of all the difficulties and discredit they have been facing for years, Wikileaks has successfully paved the way for a free, independent press that exposes the ones who do not respect the law. Assange has never put any ofhissources at risk ; as a rewarded journalist he has always complied with the dos and don’ts of the Declaration of the Rights & Duties of Journalists which was approved in November 1971 in Munich at a meeting of representatives of journalists’ unions (https://accountablejournalism.org/ethics-codes/International-Declaration).

Duties and rights namely include to respect the truth whatever be the consequence to oneself because of the right of the public to know the truth.

The second Daphne Caruana Award ceremony which took place at the European Parliament in Strasbourg in April 2019 was shared between Yasmine Motarjemi (Nestlé whistleblower), Rui Pinto (Football Leaks whistleblower) and Julian Assange. As a member of the panel which awarded the two whistleblowers and the journalist, I witnessed that standing together and talking in one voice worldwide is the only possibility todefend our citizens rights.

Not a single government has so far offered asylum to Assange. France has denied his request – as much as it has denied Snowden’s. Due to the values of the French Republic, my country should have welcomed Assange in order to offer him a fair trial. It would have honoured the weakened image of the country of human rights and would have strongly impacted our international credibility on a geostrategic point of view. Although the asylum of the ones defending the interests of the French citizens is perfectly obvious, the fact that these requests have been turned down by the governments of the French Republic proves that honest people are not protected in the “country of human rights”. Hypocrisy stands at the highest level of state when one knows that Jean-ClaudeDuvalier also referred to as“Baby Doc”, a former Haitiandictator, hadnotonly found asylum but had also been protected for twenty-five years on the French Riviera! (L’Express & Le Point – 17 & 30 January, 2011)

One can wonder whether the state strategists measure the impact of these decisions: the ones who respect the laws and defend the values of Franceare indeed more penalized than criminals. Is my country a really constitutional state, perceived internationally as ‘the country of liberty”?

Julian Assange had been praised to the skies by journalists and media worldwide until they all turned their backs to him as soon as he was in trouble. I have suffered exactly the same processes of discredit in France. This exposes the problem of the humans who always manage to corrupt themselves while trying to accuse others in order to better hide their own corruption. Because Assange has served the interests of all the journalists, all of them on a global scale should stand to support him. However most of them have so far preferred to kick the ball into touch although it is clear that without the leaks provided by Assange and his team, journalism would nowadays be referred to as ‘communication’.

In the 1980s when several French journalists have been held hostages in the Middle-East, each of their photos associated to a number stating the days of imprisonment have been broadcast by the French TV channels. Why has not a single western media ever done so for Assange while claiming “Assange’s freedom is our freedom”?

One can compare this cowardice with the ones who, in France, run from a TV set to another, trying toprove oneself as being a white knight but who are as rotten as the ones they are supposed to fight. To prove something, one has to stick to the truth of facts and only to the truth of facts. When one looks quite closely at the attitude of the ones supposed to be truth-tellers, one acknowledges that they do not look for the truth; they look for part of it and turn it into their truth. This is the definition of a corrupted spirit. This part of the truth allows them to live a far less cumbersome life that real whistleblowers because they take a soft line on the corruption system. The truth-tellers are imprisoned (Assange, Manning, Pinto), live in exile (Snowden), are totally ostracised (Yasmine Motarjemiand, Rudolf Elmerin Switzerland) when they are not eliminated (Daphne Caruana, Jan Kuciak, Jamal Khashoggi, Victoria Marinova). The guides of a more ethical world can only be the ones who are the most ostracised because they are like “The Untouchables” - such as Eliot Ness who had continued the fight whereas some of his men had been killed by Al Capone.

One is not a good person because one did a good action once in one’s life. All the ones who have turned their back to Assange, accusing him to have jeopardized agents in the Middle East or in the USA are invited to publish the facts and results of their investigation.

People who never bring any support are unable to face the truth. Truth is something cruel, which hurts. It belongs to itself, nobody owns it. One can only refer to the truth such as ina police investigation: one checks who lies and who does not. Assange’s story reveals the hypocrisy as far as establishing the truth:  if one does not support Assange, one cannot possibly stand against corruption.

Real whistleblowers and real journalists are truth-tellers, they lead a war against opacity and impunity. On the contrary, people who do not double-check the information are useful idiots who lose their credibility. In the case of the ones working within networks and share a truth – part of the truth – one can realize that they have blown the whistle with one hand while enjoying their little arrangements with the other hand ; their networks enjoy a system which is precisely identical to the one being fought by real whistleblowers. The best examples of corrupted spirits are the ones who have been whistleblowers once and have been reinstated by the corrupted system which they have blown the whistle on. This constitutes the absolute proof that they are big fans of the corruption when it serves their own interests. Who enjoys the crime of these strategies?

As a mother separated from her children for several years because the French Ministry of Finances has refused to respect my rights, I am a victim of the failure to apply the law in the “country of human rights”. This is why I obviously perceive Assange’s children as the forgotten ones, deprived of a father who is imprisoned because as a journalist, he did his job to publish information. This is pathetic. Only in the worst dictatorships would one see children be psychologically tortured through their parents’ dramatic situations. Can Assange’s children understand the world through the unfair situation of a father who has dedicated his life to expose crime?  What example do our western democracies give to them?  All the whistleblowers who have families should stand united for Assange and his family and make sure that they find a life in a ‘real’ democracy.

As written by Julian in the preface of my book, President Trump tweeted “I love Wikileaks” during the 2016 presidential campaign. President Trump, do you still love Wikileaks? As a President proclaiming the love of your country and of your citizens, could you please stand against fake news by showing the world that the US is a ‘real’ democracy?  As a patriot, you would make history when committing yourself to #PotusIsAssange.

Stephanie Gibaud

 

 

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