Assange faces extradition as US state seeks revenge

Catherine Clarke, Southampton West Socialist Party

The fate of Julian Assange lays in the hands of home secretary Priti Patel, unless further legal proceedings succeed in delaying the Wikileaks founder’s extradition to the US further.

Assange faces espionage charges in the US, for the ‘crime’ of publishing classified documents detailing US and UK horrors during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Assange’s Wikileaks platform published the documents supplied by former US intelligence analyst and whistleblower Chelsea Manning in 2010.

If Patel decides to send Assange to the US, it will bring to an end his three-year incarceration at Belmarsh high security prison, despite having not been convicted of a crime. Prior to his incarceration, Assange had spent seven years in London’s Ecuadorian Embassy to escape being sent to Sweden on rape charges – investigations which have since been dropped.

If extradited, Assange will be prosecuted in Virginia, and face a jury selected from a population where 80% work at either the nearby Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and National Security Agency (NSA) headquarters, or in the Pentagon. The state has never lost an espionage case there. It is possible that he will receive a 175-year prison sentence.

The US state is hell-bent on revenge, assisted by the British state and others also implicated in the Wikileaks revelations. The name of the game is a concerted effort to deter other journalists from following Assange’s example.

The capitalist states want to ensure a truth teller can never be freely allowed to publish the truth about our decaying capitalist system that has nothing left to support its goals but endless war and austerity.