Paul Jay on Assange Extradition Hearing

Paul Jay participated in an Italian press conference demanding freedom for Julian Assange.


Paul Jay

When Julian [Assange] was arrested, in his handcuffed hands, he was holding a copy of a book called The History of the National Security State, which were interviews I conducted with Al Gore Vidal. And apparently, even in the courtroom, he held the book up. And clearly, he was sending us a message that he was under attack by the American National Security State. And why?

The National Security State, as we call it, some people call it the Permanent War State, emerged out of World War II after the atomic bombings of Japan and the beginnings of the Cold War. And the National Security State dressed itself up as if it was continuing a fight for democracy. It had fought, supposedly, for democracy against fascism in Europe and Japanese militarism, imperialism. And now, the security state was going to continue this fight for global democracy.

Which, of course, was an enormous lie. The National Security State, American National Security State was there to impose the will of the growing American Empire. It had emerged from World War II as the single superpower. And lie after lie after lie is how this permanent war State justified wars of aggression, which the Nuremberg trials called the highest form of war crime.

Well, one war of aggression after another was waged by the United States in the name of democracy. And at home the National Security State also undermined democracy. The House of American Activities Committee, McCarthyism, covert FBI operations against black and progressive anti-war groups. This State is the opposite; this National Security State is the opposite of democracy.

The need of this State to have a fabric of lies is essential that the American people believe that they’re fighting for the good. I mean, how else do they get young soldiers to go off and die? They don’t die because they’re fighting to make rich Americans richer. They die because they think they’re fighting for freedom.

To cut ahead, the persecution of Julian Assange is of extreme importance because under the [Barack] Obama administration, apparently, they had decided not to pursue the persecution of Assange. Under the logic that if we go after Assange, then we have to go after the American newspapers that cooperated with WikiLeaks and released these documents. That was undone by [Donald] Trump, who apparently not only wanted to pursue the prosecution but even wanted to assassinate Julian or kidnap Julian.

Now the [Joe] Biden administration is continuing this, which means the logic that if we go after Julian, that means we have to go after some of the major newspapers that collaborated with Julian.

That is the message they’re trying to send now. By continuing this prosecution, they want the American media to think, yes, you could be next. You do not pierce the secrets of the National Security State. Yes, you can critique it from the outside. But WikiLeaks did something more than just a critique from the outside. They actually revealed documents and video, which was like a dagger in the heart of these lies.

So the defence of Julian is of critical importance to anyone that cares, actually cares about democracy, actually cares about journalism. If the Biden administration has any seriousness whatsoever in supposedly defending the institutions of democracy because they want to paint Trump and his supporters as those forces that want to simply destroy the Democratic norms and institutions of America. And they do. There’s no doubt Trump and that movement do want to eliminate even formal democracy.

But Biden is doing no better in this prosecution of Assange. And I have to say, if the United States is successful in extraditing Julian, there will be a trial like never before because it won’t be Julian that’s on trial. It will be the crimes of this National Security State. It will be the crimes of U.S. foreign policy that, are put on trial and the entire world will be watching.

So I guess what I’m concerned about here is what Biden is actually doing, and maybe they’re not that serious about winning the extradition. Maybe they want to drag this out as a part of an attempt to assassinate Julian by having him stay in jail until he dies.

At any rate, what will die here, a big piece that will die here is the courage of journalists to, at least they hope this will happen. I think there’s enough journalists that will continue to stand up, but they hope this will intimidate real investigative journalism and critique an exposure of the lies of this State. And Julian has made a tremendous contribution. And I’m happy you’re organizing this today. It’s extremely important internationally that everyone gets the significance of the need to end this monstrosity of a supposed process.


October 26th Rome press conference on the defense of Assange at the Italian Parliament Montecitorio in Rome:   US Citizens for Peace and Justice – Rome   DiEM25 Italy   Italians for Assange  Peacelink


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One Comment

  1. The US government, under FDR, did not enter the war in 1941 to spread democracy to Europe or to Asia. It buried democracy in Spain. It entered to protect US imperial ambitions from those of Germany and Japan. Early in the war, planning began of the Grand Strategy, the post-WW2 replacement of the British Empire by the American. Democracy is a word useful for motivating people, but it is hardly a form of government that governing elites seek to advance. If it arises, it is a consequence of the displacement of an elite class by a ruler and the empowering of the demos by war. The tyranny of Cleisthenes, for example, and the victory of Athens over Persia. I can’t think of an example of democracy as a result of popular will.

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