• ASSANGE IS FREE ASSANGE IS FREE ASSANGE IS FREE

    June 25, 2024
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    Source: screencap from X, and bless whoever made it.

    It feels perfectly surreal to type that headline after so, so, so much time.

    Pop The Champagne, But Reverently

    Julian Assange, all-costs truth-teller, is FREE.

    That he was ever persecuted is a stain that will bleed into Western future-history for untold centuries. That it went on for so long is morally, ethically, and humanely unforgivable.

    His torment--driven by the likes of Hillary Clinton, who infamously suggested killing him with a drone strike--was a blackpill indescribably hard to swallow.

    O, Fetid Sewer Of Memories

    And it was that. A blackpill, a soul-crushing realization. It wasn't a simple "are we the baddies?" moment. It unfolded so obscenely slowly, tearing away the scales from the eyes of those who cherish liberty, libertas, liberté. For the millions of us who pushed back against the faithless verdict, it killed a part of our trusting souls.

    We--who then leaned into the international treachery that kept a journalist imprisoned for 15 years (before "journalist" was such a derided word), who offered naught but our spongy, idealistic brains against the jagged concrete millstone of foreign relations machinery--suffered.

    This is not emotional beggary. This is no plea for a balm, some sweet populist salve for those of us who supported Julian, signed countless petitions or took action (to likely land us on federal lists). And it is certainly not a moment for gloating. Fragile is our system of just notions, those tenuous ideas extrapolated from holy and/or logical texts that we casually call "lawful".

    In fact, this moment should be sobering, akin to remembering those who died to uphold such lofty ideals.

    Assange's legacy is the painfully slowly unfolding instant (that melted into generational duration) that informed the attention-paying world that America can be both an arsenal of democracy and the primary driving force of global evil.

    So Much Housekeeping

    "Lawfare!" cry the modern conservative pundits over Donald Trump's legal tribulations. And they're not wrong. The four suits brought against the 45th president are specious and deeply cynical. But consider the depth of wreckage wrought on Assange. Fifteen years in the bloom of life, gone. Parenthood, erased. Untold exposés, unexposed. A meteoric career, darkened.

    Make no mistake, Joe Biden's handlers will use this moment to shame Trump. This happened now for a political reason. Biden's team will try to position this long, long, long overdue outcome as a win. "Why didn't Trump free Assange?" is a question that will be asked, however absurdly, online and even, perhaps, in the upcoming debate. Much like measures to control the border invasion taken after three years of planned inaction.

    The retort is not so simple.

    Yes, Trump should have freed Assange. But it was hardly front-burner stuff for an administration attacked nonstop for frivolous reasons for four years. A pale prisoner in a foreign country was not top priority, though it should have been. It ranks up there in the pantheon of missed opportunities with not prosecuting Hillary, and not releasing classified files clamored for by Trump backers.

    Yet here we are. Assange is free. Let's celebrate now, and in the spirit of Julian's lifelong struggle, get back to work tomorrow.

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