The Rule of Men

Don’t worry; the Trump administration is hard at work protecting America from the truth. By which I mean: they’ve apparently concocted an ambitious network of excuses to kidnap and torture dispense summary justice upon deliver a charming Uncle-Sam-o-gram to Wikileaks editor Julian Assange, who has, as of the time of this writing, been holed up in the Ecuadorean embassy in London for seven years. Of course, the Official Media Gatekeepers — by which I obviously mean: fake news — are only too happy to help sell this atrocity to the American people.

The US view of WikiLeaks and Assange began to change after investigators found what they believe was proof that WikiLeaks played an active role in helping Edward Snowden, a former NSA analyst, disclose a massive cache of classified documents.

Note carefully the very specific phraseology: Wikileaks "played an active role in helping Edward Snowden… disclose a massive cache of classified documents." Think about this for a moment. Doesn’t that seem odd to you? What Wikileaks did in terms of "helping Snowden disclose" his massive cache was publish it. So why don’t they just say that? Because if they acknowledge that they’re trying to murder Julian Assange forever for the crime of publishing classified information, they run into the giant, impassable roadblock that is New York Times Co. v United States, in which the Supreme Court explicitly held that the federal government cannot intervene to prevent the publication of secret documents. Here’s the great justice Hugo Black:

Madison and the other Framers of the First Amendment, able men that they were, wrote in language they earnestly believed could never be misunderstood: "Congress shall make no law . . . abridging the freedom . . . of the press. . . ." Both the history and language of the First Amendment support the view that the press must be left free to publish news, whatever the source, without censorship, injunctions, or prior restraints.

In the First Amendment, the Founding Fathers gave the free press the protection it must have to fulfill its essential role in our democracy. The press was to serve the governed, not the governors. The Government’s power to censor the press was abolished so that the press would remain forever free to censure the Government. The press was protected so that it could bare the secrets of government and inform the people. Only a free and unrestrained press can effectively expose deception in government. And paramount among the responsibilities of a free press is the duty to prevent any part of the government from deceiving the people and sending them off to distant lands to die of foreign fevers and foreign shot and shell. [Emphasis added]

Now you see why the house media — this story comes courtesy of CNN wire service, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Democratic National Committee — phrases things so peculiarly. You also understand what would prompt CIA director Mike Pompeo to utter something like this:

Julian Assange has no First Amendment freedoms. He’s sitting in an Embassy in London. He’s not a US citizen.

Director Pompeo almost definitely knows better than this, but he’s betting that you don’t. In particular, his hope is that this entirely specious argument will fool enough of the people that there will be no effective resistance.

The First Amendment, of course, is not a positive grant of special privileges to American citizens. There is no possible, sensible reading of the text that could even begin to suggest otherwise. The First Amendment is a restraint on the powers of the federal government. The federal government may not interfere with "the freedom of speech, or of the press." Nowhere does the First Amendment state that this limitation applies only to the speech or presses of American citizens inside the United States; indeed, that the federal government can reach beyond the confines of the nation to censor speech and publication abroad is a peculiar idea, and not well supported by the text.

It is true: Julian Assange is not a citizen of the United States. However, the government has no more authority to censor the speech and publication of resident aliens or even of mere tourists than it does of resident citizens; as such, Assange’s nationality is clearly irrelevant. The only remaining excuse would be that he is outside the United States, yet by what authority, we may ask, does the United States government presume to censor speech beyond its borders? Mr. Assange is an Australian citizen presently in Ecuador. The United States is not, as of this writing, yet at war with Australia nor Ecuador. The United States government clearly has no jurisdiction over Mr. Assange; only by bringing him within its jurisdiction can it attempt to censor him… at which point it will clearly be constrained from doing so. No, the First Amendment does indeed present an impenetrable bulwark against this exact behavior — which is exactly what it was meant to do.

Not that CNN is done lying to you with a straight face just yet, of course:

US intelligence agencies have also determined that Russian intelligence used WikiLeaks to publish emails aimed at undermining the campaign of Hillary Clinton, as part of a broader operation to meddle in the US 2016 presidential election. Hackers working for Russian intelligence agencies stole thousands of emails from the Democratic National Committee and officials in the Clinton campaign and used intermediaries to pass along the documents to WikiLeaks, according to a public assessment by US intelligence agencies.

Notice the utterly shameless way CNN omits any use of weasel-words like "alleged" in its flat declaration that "hackers working for Russian intelligence agencies" are responsible for all of Her Royal Majesty’s woes? This is such a feeble lie that even the intelligence agencies are giving up on it — already it’s acknowledged that, no, it really wasn’t the Russkies who haxt the CIA. But of course we’re really sure the Russkies haxt the DNC, right? Even though every single person who’s in a position to know — very much including Julian Assange — has said quite clearly that it was insiders, just like every other leak?

The silver lining here is that people are seeing through this rubbish at a greater rate than ever. We had to put up with the Bush administration for six years and the Obama administration for three before their approval ratings hit rock bottom. The Trump administration? Months. That’s good! Keep their feet to the fire and don’t let them get away with anything. After all, as a wise man once said:

The greater the importance of safeguarding the community from incitements to the overthrow of our institutions by force and violence, the more imperative is the need to preserve inviolate the constitutional rights of free speech, free press and free assembly in order to maintain the opportunity for free political discussion, to the end that government may be responsive to the will of the people and that changes, if desired, may be obtained by peaceful means. Therein lies the security of the Republic, the very foundation of constitutional government.

And don’t even get me started on Soros’ pet Antifa thugs.

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