WE’LL KNOW TRUMP IS A FRAUD ON FREE SPEECH IF HE DOESN’T PARDON ASSANGE

by | Dec 18, 2020 | Headline News | 14 comments

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    This article was originally published by Ryan McMaken at The Mises Institute.

    Back in May, President Donald Trump signed an executive order designed to partially repeal some of the legal shields provided for social media firms by section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. Essentially, Trump accurately sees that large social media firms like Facebook and Twitter exercise editorial control over the content on their sites and are thus not public platforms in the manner required for the Section 230 protections.

    From a general policy standpoint, Trump is right to do so. Section 230 is an artificial, arbitrary legal protection granted to huge media firms that push their own editorial positions just like any newspaper or broadcasting operation. Yet social media firms receive these legal protections because they masquerade as neutral public platforms.

    But let’s not kid ourselves. Contrary to Trump’s claims, his executive order does not “defend free speech from one of the gravest dangers it has faced in American history.” When it comes to threats to free speech, Facebook is a joke compared to the United States government. How many people has Facebook jailed? How many people face federal prosecution because they said something executives at Twitter didn’t like? The answer, of course, is zero.

    Meanwhile, Trump tried to portray himself as a great defender of “free speech,” explicitly claiming his executive order would “uphold the free speech rights of the American people.” But this is a man who has done nothing to protect the free speech rights of real journalists who expose real evils committed by the American regime.

    I speak of course of Julian Assange, and so long as Trump refuses to pardon Assange, we’ll know that any of Trump’s claims of being a defender of “free speech” are utter nonsense. Claiming that Facebook is “one of the gravest dangers” to free speech while simultaneously working to keep Assange locked in a hole in a British prison should be regarded as darkly comedic.

    Yet journalists like Julian Assange face imprisonment for merely making factual statements.

    Ron Paul helps us understand the stakes:

    Assange is now literally fighting for his life, as he tries to avoid being extradited to the United States where he faces 175 years in prison for violating the “Espionage Act.” While it makes no sense to be prosecuted as a traitor to a country of which you are not a citizen, the idea that journalists who do their job and expose criminality in high places are treated like traitors is deeply dangerous in a free society.

    To get around the First Amendment’s guarantee of freedom of the press, Assange’s tormentors simply claim that he is not a journalist. Then-CIA director Mike Pompeo declared that Wikileaks was a “hostile intelligence service” aided by Russia. Ironically, that’s pretty much what the Democrats say about Assange.

    The same “deep state” bureaucrats who have long attempted to destroy the Trump presidency also seek to destroy Assange. Yet many of the same people who proclaim their undying loyalty and support to Donald Trump also continue to drink the deep state Kool-Aid and repeat tired bromides about how Assange (and whistleblower Edward Snowden) supposedly endangered American lives or American spy operations by exposing the blatantly unconstitutional and immoral operations and war crimes carried out by US personnel.

    Trump hater and former CIA director John Brennan couldn’t ask for a more helpful gang of “useful idiots” than these pro-Trump defenders of the unaccountable security state.

    Of course, the Espionage Act itself is unconstitutional and immoral. It’s the product of Wilson-era prowar hysteria. There is no exception in the Bill of Rights for government limitations on the information that embarrasses the American regime. The act of journalism is most laudable when it does precisely this. And unlike most American journalists, who spend their time celebrating the regime, Assange actually exercised real free speech.

    Trump still has time to redeem himself, however. Before he leaves office, he could pardon Assange, Snowden, and even Chelsea Manning (who only received a commutation from Barack Obama).

    If he takes free speech seriously at all, Trump will do this. But if he does not, a great opportunity will be missed, and we’ll know that for Trump, free speech is really little more than a campaign slogan.

    Moreover, if Trump really is an opponent of the deep state that sought to destroy him, he will seek to assist those who have exposed its crimes. As Paul reminds us:

    Edward Snowden and Julian Assange are not criminals. They are heroes for telling us the truth about what criminals in government were doing in our name and with our money.

    The fact is we were lied into war over and over again. While those wars were profitable for the military-industrial-Congressional-media complex, they snuffed out the lives of hundreds of thousands of innocent people overseas and robbed our own children and grandchildren of trillions of dollars wasted on neocon lies. And meanwhile, as Ed Snowden showed us, the intelligence community declared us the enemy and set up an elaborate internal spy network that would make the East German Stasi green with envy.

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      14 Comments

      1. Capt Barty

        This is where the “rubber meets the road.” Trump needs to pardon Assange, get him back to health, and living normally. Snowden, no!

        • Kevin2

          Cape Barty

          Definitely pardon Snowden. The NSA violates the 4th Amendment by recording EVERY ELECTRONIC TRANSMISSION, Phone, Internet, all of it and then felony lies about it to Congress. Don’t you see the potential blackmail potential? Bet ya Thomas Jefferson would agree with me.

          • Jake

            Transport Jefferson or the other founding fathers to today and they would be astonished at the twisted, broken, fraudulent machine we call “government”. They would not recognize it.

            The only thing this regime does well is grow bureaucracy* at the expense of individual liberties and commit international crimes.

      2. Darth Skippy

        I don’t believe that patsy Assange published anything of strategic value, to national state enemies, or to proles who want to live free.

        • Bill

          DS – What Snowden did was an act of conscience, he let the American people know that every citizen in the US was being illegally and un-Constitutionally spied on, and lied to continually, by our gov’t. He did not profit materially any from exposing these “secrets”, it’s likely many intel agencies throughout the world already knew about it anyway, everyone knew except the American people. The leaders of these intel agencies then had the gall to openly lie to Congress about the complicity of their agencies. It turns out they spy on, and collect unimaginable amounts of every kind of personal data, on every person, and it continues today. They were caught lying, yet have not been prosecuted, but want to prosecute Snowden.

          • Darth Skippy

            With all due respect, how could I leverage this information.

            We generally accepted that phone convos were insecure, since the days of dial tone, and would not say anything menacing in public, in expectation of the secret police.

            Where is the chink in the armor of state, that allows me to provide for my own biological needs, without any duties or preconditions.

      3. jakartaman

        Why are we talking about the pimple on the elephants ass when the world is imploding??
        – Covid-19 has mutated and is 70% more contagious – the vaccine is now questionable.
        – Governments are locking down societies and their economies all over the world
        – The USA debt is spiraling out of control and will never be paid off
        – There is/will be food shortages here and around the world.
        – The USA just elected a socialist for a President with open borders etc.
        The Chinese and Russia have and will continue to hack us to death and are becoming more aggressive..
        – We are seeing civil unrest becoming very popular
        – Free citizens can’t get ammo for their Guns??
        – Inflation IS happening and will continue!

        There is a convergence of many bad things that will Blow!

        “And you don’t believe we are on the verge of destruction”!!!

        • Kevin2

          “– The USA debt is spiraling out of control and will never be paid off”

          It cannot be paid off because if it was there would be no money in existence; it’s created by debt since abandoning Bretton Woods in august 1971. When loans are not serviced money literally disappears. They make more, inject it into the system and if in somewhat equilibrium with the supply of goods inflation (which the USD exports to the world) doesn’t skyrocket. This injection paid for government spending and direct QE. The main problem is its loaned to private business and the companies become Zombie living off the handout. In the end, like Vinny & Guido loansharks, the bank, and by extension the Federal Reserve owns (therefore controls) the “means of production”. It’s a hybrid of Fascism at the very top and Socialism below it. This mess only has the superficial veneer of Market Capitalism.

      4. Yu-No-Hu

        To begin here, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to everyone…every man, woman and child of the Nation.

        Mr Assange is a true victim of the duplicity of the Deep State and I have held from day ONE that Donald Trump should execute a Full Presidential Pardon of him without delay…which as we all know has not – yet – occured. To be sure, it is always easier to suffer the trials of others than it is to SUFFER ourselves, no? In the last few years Mr Trump has been a focus of the Deep Stares vitriol and in that time – just possibly – he has at last achieved to a visceral understanding of what many, many others have experienced lo these last several years…perhaps.
        “The Road of Excess leads to the Palace of Wisdom.” is an old adage, one I think might be operational here – beneficially – for everyone. In that light , should the President choose to pardon Mr Assange it would be little short of the penultimate ‘Up YOURS’ to the constituency of the other side…one which those could do absolutely nothing about as our President begins the process of peacefully vacating the Office,allowing the illegitimate Usurper his short tenure there.
        In a phrase, “A fitting parting gesture…” IMHO.

        Over the next several weeks continue securing ALL that you think you and yours will require, with all due diligence; when the Left finally realizes that the ‘line in the Sand’ is now drawn by US and that we will NOT budge one millimeter therefrom they will be madden to the point of insanity. So be it. It is nothing – more or less – than what is at this point their Just due. There will be significant disruption of supply chains and likely extreme civil unrest in metropolitan centers. So be it, let them burn their own havens of corruption to the ground if they will…but do that on OUR turf and you will be ‘well met’, truly.
        Enjoy these last moments of Peace while they last…and remember them, they will come again rest assured.

        JustOneGuy

      5. Ara

        Pardon Assange for what?he hasn’t been convicted.

      6. Frank Thoughts

        We already know Trump is a fraud and a lazy ass. He didn’t accomplish anything he promised and his nationalist rhetoric was just a misdirection.

        He won’t be missed. So long fatso!

      7. Kevin2

        Frank Thoughts

        You do realize that Joe Biden voted yes for NAFTA, China Free Trade (GATT) which de-industrialized the US while Trump pulled the US out of the Paris Climate Change nonsense which facilitated the US abandoning manufacturing to China which is exempt. Why would you support Biden and worse yet Harris? The southern border was significantly tightened. Why would you support the influx of illegal aliens? Biden admitted to using a billion dollar US loan as leverage to stop an investigation on his son; why is that ok in your eyes?

      8. Bill

        I believe this site, like many others, has some provocateurs. Their job is to post comments that are meant to induce and incite the readers to post things that will trigger algorithms. In turn, these algorithms are triggered by comments such as endorsing violence, by mentioning items and facts about a certain group of people, by mentioning items and facts about certain individuals, by making comments that are anti-deep State, by exposing real corruption and secrets, or by endorsing citizen power against the State, to name a few. All I say about myself is they must have a file on me. We are being observed and recorded, in detail.
        The bottom line is that the Republic as we once knew is all but dead. It has been thoroughly altered, transformed, compromised, sold out, degenerated, deteriorated, etc. Only the hollow rotted structure remains. In its place is another structure, one that is an “organization” of individuals made up of people with hidden names and hidden faces, with public individuals and minions who possess two personas – one persona is for the public, the other persona is private. They aren’t only billionaires, not at all, they are politicians, bureaucrats, foreign power brokers, central bankers, and neo-cons, with all their minions/shills. These individuals (and there’s more than you think) are people who will do literally anything to maintain a concentration of power, wealth, and privilege, while in reality actually simultaneously despising the people of America. Like George Carlin said, “It’s a big club, and you ain’t in it”.
        The power structure they built is built on real evil, lies, treason, propaganda, death, hatred, elitism, immorality, hypocrisy, cruelty, favoritism, and anti-GOD. Everything about it is illicit, absolutely nothing positive. They earnestly mean to destroy you, your freedom, your rights, your mind, your individuality, your family, your faith, your power, your everything. You and your children are to be nothing more than a managed submissive disposable resource.
        The farther they get in their agenda, the faster it accelerates, we better figure out what were going to do, and quick.

        • Confederate Bill

          The only rational and effective measure remaining, and it would definitely work, is secession. History has shown what the State calls “rebellion” is really the only measure citizens and states can Constitutionally deploy (yes, that’s correct, IT IS a Constitutional right) that the State takes seriously. Given the intractable perverse mess that is the political, social, and financial situation in the US, it is irrational to expect those who created this mess to fix anything. Indeed, it is the way it is by intention. lt make no sense to expect a terminally and hopelessly corrupt and oppressive gov’t to protect your individual rights and freedoms.

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