As attempts to evict Julian Assange from the Ecuadorian embassy in London get more and more aggressive, we are seeing a proportionate increase in the establishment smear campaign against him and against WikiLeaks. This is not a coincidence.
The planned campaign to remove Assange from political asylum and the greatly escalated smear campaign to destroy public support for Assange are both occurring at the same time that Assange has been cut off from the world without internet, phone calls or visitors, completely unable to defend himself from the smear campaign. This, also, is not a coincidence.
The ability to control the narrative about what is going on in the world is of unparalleled importance to the plutocrats who use governments as tools to advance their agendas. The agenda to make an example of a leak publisher with a massive platform who has repeatedly exposed the corruption of the establishment upon which western plutocrats have built their empires will require continuous narrative spin, since the precedent set by prosecuting a journalist for publishing authentic documents would arguably constitute a greater leap in the direction of Orwellian dystopia than the Patriot Act.
Among the latest components of this campaign has been a viral dump of Twitter DMs being promoted as a hot news item by outlets like Motherboard, The Hill, Forbes and Think Progress and across #Resistance Twitter. The fact that the juicy bits from those DMs had already been published months ago by The Intercept, and the fact that the smears and spin we’re seeing reruns of today were long ago ripped to shreds in journalist Suzie Dawson’s epic essay “Being Julian Assange” after the Intercept publication, has not dampened the orgiastic frenzy with which this non-story is being bandied about by establishment loyalists and defenders of power as evidence of Assange’s nefariousness.
This is entirely illegitimate. It is not legitimate to make claims about someone who has been deliberately deprived of the ability to defend himself. It is not legitimate to spin a narrative about someone whose ability to participate in that narrative has been deliberately cut off. You don’t get to silence a man and then legitimately take over the public narrative about him. That is not a valid thing to do.
But that of course is the idea. By cutting Assange off from internet access, phone calls and visitors, he has been deprived of the ability to give his side of the story in another interview with Fox News, for example, or in tweets to his millions of followers, thus making his side of the story mainstream knowledge. Every voice has been shoved off the stage but that of the political and media establishment which just so happens to be owned and operated by the same powerful oligarchs who want Assange silenced and prosecuted for challenging their rule. This is not a coincidence.
I have said it before and I will say it again: whoever controls the narrative controls the world. If you can control the stories that the public are telling themselves about what’s going on in the world, you control the public itself. So many of the plutocratic establishment’s most aggressive spin campaigns recently have been about securing narrative control in a new media environment with unprecedented public internet access, from constant warnings about “fake news” and “conspiracy theories”, to fearmongering about “Russian bots” and “Russian propaganda”, to promoting and legitimizing the persecution of Julian Assange and WikiLeaks. The empire hates Assange because he punches holes in their ability to control the narrative, and thus control the public, and they have silenced him to deprive him of the ability to control his own narrative about himself. Click To Tweet
Every claim made about Assange since his silencing in late March of this year can therefore be safely dismissed by the public on general principles. As long as they are rigging the debate in their favor, the debate is invalid. Literally any attack on or criticism of Assange being promoted in public discourse can legitimately be dismissed with “Assange has been deprived of his ability to defend himself from that accusation. As long as he is cut off from the world, that’s an invalid accusation to make.”
Feel free to say this to every blue-checkmarked establishment crony on social media who is bravely kicking Assange while his hands and feet are tied behind his back. Their smear campaign is intrinsically invalid, and they should be told so at every opportunity.
Latest posts by Caitlin Johnstone (see all)
- Media Manipulation: Conditioning Us Through False Narratives - August 13, 2018
- How Julian Assange Exposed the Fraudulence of Mainstream Media - August 3, 2018
- Wielders of Power: From Kings to the Invisible Hands of Despots - July 26, 2018