Why I Support Julian Assange

I'm glad to be an American - but living outside of the US has given me a bird's eye view of troubling changes taking place in the American political landscape. Mark Weisbrot in the Guardian calls it like I see it:
Today, the US claims the legal right to indefinitely detain its citizens [without trial]; the president can order the assassination of a citizen without so much as even a hearing; the government can spy on its citizens without a court order; and its officials are immune from prosecution for war crimes. It doesn't help that the US has less than 5% of the world's population but almost a quarter of its prison inmates, many of them victims of a "war on drugs" that is rapidly losing legitimacy in the rest of the world.

I have dreams of someday coming back to the US to live - but not to a place like that. Assange may be an egoist, guilty of sexual assault - or just an asshole - for me that's not what is important. I want a light shown on the secret workings of my country because I feel it's slipping into a fascist police state- and I care about my country. I want institutions like Wikileaks to be unfettered and its staff free from fears of assassination or rendition. I want my country to stop its capricious wars abroad and focus on doing great stuff. How about channeling six months of the Afghanistan war budget towards a manned mission to Mars?

As Weisbrot notes - this is the first time a person fleeing persecution from the US has been granted politcal asylum - but the way things are going, I'm afraid it won't be the last.


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