Why The United States Should Pardon Julian Assange
Though the United States has never filed charges against WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange, President Donald Trump has the ability to grant a preemptive pardon for any crimes he may have committed — and he should.
Assange was once held in the absolute highest regard by the left for his publishing of the Iraq and Afghan War Logs, which crippled the agenda of the war hungry swamp and dealt a massive blow to the Bush administration. At the time, he was branded by establishment Republicans as an enemy of the state who was simply seeking to hurt their party. However, Assange proved beyond a shadow of a doubt over the years that his loyalty was not to a party, but to the truth. This was especially true when he published the emails from the Democratic National Committee last year.
With an unblemished record of truth for over a decade, WikiLeaks is the antithesis of the Fake News industry that Trump spent much of his campaign speaking out against. Without real, unfiltered, access to news and information being bravely published by Assange, there is a possibility that the world would be a very different place at this time. For that, much of America will always salute him.
When the nation elected President Trump, they did so as a rejection of the DC establishment machine. There is no better way to prove commitment to these ideals than freeing the man who has been fighting one of the bravest fights against the swamp, at great risk to himself, all while trapped within the confines of a small embassy that has become his prison. Assange has given up his freedom, ability to easily see his children, or even just enjoy a stroll in the sunshine to fight for the same thing that the current White House administration campaigned on — stopping crooked corporations and politicians. The same politicians and insiders that Assange has been working for years to expose are the same ones who have now been working tirelessly to overthrow Trump himself — and the results of our democratic election.
Without WikiLeaks and their quest for truth, America would likely have never known about how the Democratic Party was misrepresenting themselves as impartial to supporters of Senator Bernie Sanders in the primaries. We would have no idea that “unbiased” journalists were colluding with party insiders to assist the Hillary Clinton campaign. We would have remained in the dark, possibly for ever, about the fact that the former First Lady and Secretary of State admitted that both Saudi Arabia and Qatar — who have given millions to the Clinton Foundation — provide clandestine support to ISIS. That is merely a few of the bombshells that sent shockwaves through our nation’s conscience last year.
These revelations may have been seen by some upset Democrats as something nefarious — but it was the truth — straight from the horses mouths. Despite their disappointment with the party, there is still a large section of the left that appreciates WikiLeaks and would like to see Assange walk free — particularly millennials, progressives, and loyal truth-seekers. This would be a fantastic way for the president to unite, even for a moment, many within these increasingly polarized sections of society. Perhaps he could even win over a few hearts and minds in the process.
What WikiLeaks did during the election season was allow voters a rare glimpse into what they were really buying — without any of the shiny false advertising neatly printed on it’s packaging. When Americans were finally able to see the real ingredients contained within, the product was rejected en masse.
As Justice Louis Dembitz Brandeis famously said, “publicity is justly commended as a remedy for social and industrial diseases. Sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants; electric light the most efficient policeman.” Assange is the electric light the world absolutely needs to navigate the dark and murky swamps of this world.
Assange entered the Ecuadorian Embassy in London on June 19, 2012, where he applied and was granted political asylum. Since that time, the embassy has been encircled by police waiting on standby to arrest him. He has not exited the building once since that day. It is the type of uncertain and cruel indefinite detention that would make Dick Cheney beam with delight. We are better than this.
In 2016, after 16 months of investigation, the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (UNWGAD) concluded that Julian Assange is the victim of arbitrary detention. Not only did the group, made up of lawyers and human rights professionals, release an opinion that Assange should be released, they reported that he should be compensated by the governments of Sweden and the United Kingdom for “deprivation of liberty.”
As H.A. Goodman wrote for the Daily Caller, “his alleged crimes have no basis in any legal precedent, especially since WikiLeaks doesn’t hack or steal any documents.” It really is as simple as that. The entire media is based on obtaining leaks, scoops, and secrets — Assange just happens to be better at it than anyone else. Given the amount of leaks we have seen appearing in the liberal media from the current administration, there is not a chance that any major news outlet wouldn’t have published the emails — had they have been from the Trump campaign or Republican National Committee. Rachel Maddow even read Trump’s leaked tax returns on-air — though it did not quite have the impact or reaction she was going for.
In 2010, Assange was named the people’s choice for Person of the Year. He has also won a Sam Adams Award and Martha Gellhorn Prize for Journalism, among many others.
“If other journalists were held to the same standard as Julian Assange, New York Times writers would be serving time in prison,” someone who worked closely with WikiLeaks opined to Big League Politics.
On Wednesday evening it was revealed that Assange and his lawyer, Jennifer Robinson met with Rep. Dana Rohrabacher and journalist and researcher Charles Johnson for three hours. The historic meeting marks the first time that a US Congressman has ever went to meet with the publisher in person.
Rohrabacher told The Hill that “Julian emphatically stated that the Russians were not involved in the hacking or disclosure of those emails.” Additionally, and most importantly, he claims that Assange has information he will share only with Trump about the DNC leak, and that he would like for WikiLeaks to be granted a seat in the White House press corps. His request is not only fair, but would be a massive contribution to society given their unwavering commitment to truth and honest reporting — something that is deeply lacking at most conventional media outlets.
Additionally, those who have worked tirelessly for WikiLeaks for years deserve to have a free editor-in-chief that they can freely communicate with. Assange’s four children deserve to spend as much time as they can with their heroic father.
A pardon is deserved, morally necessary, and legally justified.
Preemptive pardons are rare, but not unheard of — with one being granted most famously by President Ford to Richard Nixon soon after he replaced him in the White House.
Not only should Assange be pardoned, he should be welcomed out of his captivity with a medal and a parade. In a world of lies and misinformation, people like him may be our only hope.