This morning Julian Assange was dragged out of the Ecuadorian Embassy in London and arrested in relation to a US extradition request for “conspiracy with Chelsea Manning”.
The allegation is that Assange tried and failed to help crack a password, and this is an allegation for which the Obama administration tried to find evidence for many years, without success.
Snowden remarked “The weakness of the US charge against Assange is shocking”, and previously Obama’s DOJ refused to charge the same count, saying it endangered journalism.
The DOJ has justified the prosecution of Assange by saying that his request for “more information” from Manning was criminal. That is what journalism is: asking for information from your sources. This is literally the criminalization of journalism.
The only news outlet that captured Assange being dragged out of the embassy this morning was Ruptly, a subsidiary of RT. It is “inconvenient” that all other outlets left 2 days ago, and also “inconvenient” that Ruptly could not post the video live, because apparently their transmission line to their van was inexplicably cut.
As Snowden says:
“Images of Ecuador’s ambassador inviting the UK’s secret police into the embassy to drag a publisher of–like it or not–award-winning journalism out of the building are going to end up in the history books. Assange’s critics may cheer, but this is a dark moment for press freedom.”
Indeed, today is a dark day for freedom of the press.