By Jerry Alatalo
“I want no money raised by injustice.”
“Letter of State”, 1027; after pilgrimage to Rome.
– CANUTE “THE GREAT” (995-1035) King of England and Denmark
ikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange remains by almost any definition or perspective a political prisoner inside the Ecuadorian embassy in London, U.K.. Despite having never been charged with a single crime and many expert attorneys and the United Nations stating his detention is simply … well, – wrong, Mr. Assange is still being held after more than 6-years and denied his clearly justified freedom.
Two historical examples similar to Julian Assange’s are those of Israeli nuclear weapons whistleblower Mordechai Vanunu and Nelson Mandela of South Africa. Remarkably, in both cases unjust, extreme political retribution became chosen and actualized by apartheid states against men opposed to their governments’ policies.
Mr. Vanunu told the world of Israel’s previously secret possession of nuclear weapons and paid the price of enduring long-term silencing and loss of freedom. After the Israeli nuclear technician leaked information on Israel’s secret nuclear weapons to British press in 1986, he was eventually caught in Italy and returned to Israel, where after a behind-closed-doors trial he became sentenced to 18 years in prison, of which 11 of those years were especially brutal in solitary confinement. Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg once described Mordechai Vanunu as the “prominent figure of the nuclear era”.
Nelson Mandela, who became a practicing attorney, spent the years 1963-1990 locked up in South African prisons until built-up worldwide pressure started bringing down apartheid. He was finally granted freedom, and after being released from prison he was met by massive crowds of celebrating supporters. Mandela then eventually joined with South African President F. W. de Klerk in bringing an end to apartheid. Mandela shared the Nobel Peace Prize with President F.W. DeKlerk – the man he succeeded as president after Mandela won election in 1994. Nelson Mandela is remembered as one of the most influential political figures of recent history.
In the last years of his life, Nelson Mandela would joke about being labeled a “terrorist” – by those trying to sustain South African apartheid – to fellow members of The Elders group, including Ireland’s former president Mary Robinson, America’s former president Jimmy Carter, former United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan (who passed away at 80 on August 18), and other retired leaders in the group. Mr. Mandela wondered out loud to his Elder friends about whether he’d be allowed to pass through the Pearly Gates – considering he was a “terrorist”.
any hold the erroneous perception that Julian Assange is a whistleblower, but in fact he is a publisher who facilitates dissemination of information obtained by those who find “sitting on” facts which must absolutely become known by all people both unconscionable and willingly accepting of one’s own moral bankruptcy. If one could imagine life were truth, WikiLeaks represents the emergency room and intensive care unit anguished whistleblowers go to after coming to the painful realization they have no other options. Julian Assange’s millions of supporters around the Earth unanimously agree: “Julian’s only ‘crime’ is that of sharing the truth – and that is not a crime.” It is important to note that WikiLeaks’ entire archived, searchable mountain of published materials is 100% accurate – a phenomenal achievement in journalism, taking into account that means WikiLeaks’ over 10,000,000 (ten million!) documents.
Of the nations most responsible and closely associated with the unjust, over 6-years-long imprisoning of Julian Assange – United States, United Kingdom, Ecuador, Australia, – none have the nationwide societal conditions which warrant comparisons to formerly apartheid South Africa and present-day apartheid Israel. South Africa was practicing apartheid through extreme, violent racial discrimination and separation between majority blacks and minority whites, and Israel practices apartheid now through violent racial discrimination and suppression of human rights directed against Palestinians.
The uniquely related form of apartheid visible in the case of Julian Assange is extreme discrimination directed against him specifically and, by extension, all free speech advocates on Earth seriously intent on gaining and sharing vital truth.
The extraordinary situations, circumstances and facts differ between the three men when considering their respective experiences, yet those knowledgeable of Nelson Mandela, Mordechai Vanunu and Julian Assange’s life stories understand they belong with other equally courageous, respected men and women in a distinct grouping. Is it reasonable to suggest “Mandela, Vanunu, Assange …” – positioning the three men in the same sentence – represents a definite distinct continuum?
Here’s the simple, direct, 100% accurate answer …
Free Julian Assange.
(Thank you to #Unity4J at YouTube)