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27 Feb, 2020 12:38

Julian Assange is the victim of a power struggle in the US between Donald Trump and the deep state

Julian Assange is the victim of a power struggle in the US between Donald Trump and the deep state

The WikiLeaks co-founder, wanted in the US for ‘endangering national security,’ now faces extradition to America as the Democrats and Republicans are prepared to use him as an expendable pawn in their never-ending partisan feud.

Julian Assange, 48, provides the rare example of a man who has suffered enough hardship in life to be a witness to his own martyrdom. After enduring a seven-year asylum inside of the Ecuadorian Embassy in London to avoid deportation on rape charges (Sweden has since dropped this claim), Assange is now fighting to avoid extradition to the US for allegedly assisting Chelsea Manning in leaking a mountain of classified military documents in 2010. He faces a 175-year prison sentence.

Donald Trump is attempting to “make an example” of Julian Assange, Wikileaks' lawyers argued in a London courtroom this week at the start of his extradition hearing. But there seems to be much more to the story than that.

Why is Trump obsessed with extraditing Assange to the US over a security breach that occurred a decade ago under the Obama administration? Although the leak dealt an embarrassing blow to US national security, what does Trump hope to gain politically – in a momentous election year, no less – by continuing to hound the truth-seeking journalist? At first glance, not much. Indeed, it would seem much more logical if it were the Democrats seeking vengeance against Assange, who played no small role in crushing Hillary Clinton’s presidential dreams by releasing incriminating emails from the Democratic National Committee. Those communications showed, among other things, a concerted effort to sideline Bernie Sanders in favor of Clinton.

Yet, far from the Democratic leadership being rebuked in the media for those disturbing discoveries, the narrative flipped as Julian Assange and Russia suddenly became the focus of criticism. 

“I think Assange has become a kind of nihilistic opportunist who does the bidding of a dictator,” Hillary Clinton said in reference to her favorite bogeyman, Vladimir Putin. “I mean, he’s the tool of Russian intelligence.”

Judging by that comment, it’s not difficult to predict how the Democrats will respond if the UK extradites Assange to the United States for what promises to be the show-trial of the century. They will argue that Trump is throwing his partner in crime, Julian Assange, ‘under the bus’ after the WikiLeaks editor helped the real estate developer win the White House by publishing DNC emails that were provided to Assange by none other than the Russians. The most astonishing thing about that explanation is that millions of Democratic voters, oblivious to the abhorrent treatment of a principled journalist, will accept it without question. Such is the incredible power of Trump Derangement Syndrome.

Donald Trump, meanwhile, should be singing the praises of WikiLeaks, calling out the military atrocities that occurred on Obama’s watch in Iraq and Afghanistan, while reminding Americans about the high levels of corruption and favoritism that exist inside of the Democratic camp. In fact, there should be a life-size portrait of Julian Assange adorning the lobby of Trump Plaza as a tribute to his work.

Yet far from Trump praising Assange for his devotion to true journalism, which would probably work to the US president’s advantage considering the way he constantly slams the ‘fake news’ media, Trump has practically declared the Wikileaks editor enemy number one. Why?

To answer that question, it must be remembered what is happening inside of Washington DC at the moment. Trump’s attorney general, William Barr, has been busy investigating the origins of the Russia-collusion conspiracy theory, which hounded Trump for much of his first term in office. In a nutshell, Barr is attempting to determine whether members of the FBI and the Democratic Party were guilty of hatching a secret operation to portray Donald Trump as somehow beholden to the will of the Kremlin. Remember the ‘pee tape’ allegations?

Thanks to the Democrats’ endless offensive against Trump, however, first with the Mueller investigation and then with a failed impeachment attempt, many people forgot, or never knew, that such an investigation against the Democrats has been in full swing. Not surprisingly, the media has provided mere scraps of information to the public on Barr’s progress (compare that to the non-stop coverage on the Mueller investigation and Trump’s impeachment hearing). This raging behind-the-scenes political battle is why so many political pundits believe that the Democrats – with their unrelenting attempts at investigations and impeachments – are desperately trying to destroy Donald Trump before he destroys them.  

This is where Julian Assange comes in, that is, if he actually appears in a US court of law. The WikiLeaks co-founder may – or may not – provide testimony that would expose the Russiagate hoax once and for all. After all, if anyone can shed some light on the biggest political scandal of modern times it would be the leader of the most effective whistle-blowing site of modern times. Let’s not forget that the Democrats’ extremely injurious claims of Russian collusion were said to have emerged after Russia allegedly gave WikiLeaks emails “hacked” from DNC computers.

In 2017, however, Julian Assange went on record as saying that Russia had not been the source.

“Our source is not a state party,” Assange told Fox anchor Sean Hannity in an interview inside the Ecuadorian Embassy in London. “So the answer – for our interactions – is no.”

At this point, it does not seem too outrageous to suggest that Donald Trump, understandably anxious to clear his name for posterity of any ‘Russia collusion’ fairy tales, is hoping to extradite Julian Assange to the US where the accused may be willing to cut a plea bargain and avoid a lengthy and very undeserved prison term in return for revealing the true identity of the DNC ‘hacker.’ Or is the correct term ‘leaker’?

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The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.