By Ray McGovern, July 6, 2021
For those put off by the dulcet tones of my Happy 50th Birthday singing to Julian Assange or begrudging 8 min. For the rest of the talk I recorded for the demo before Belmarsh Prison on July 3, here is what I said after the song:
I’d like to start by quoting Julian’s brother Gabriel, at a press conference at the National Press Club in Washington, DC, on June 30 — Wednesday, 4 days ago.
Gabriel said: In Washington we stopped at the Jefferson Memorial and one thing that really struck us there was one of Jefferson’s writings, where he said that if he were forced to choose between “a government without newspapers or newspapers without a government”, he would choose the latter.
The powers that be here in the United Stated have have chosen the former — in effect, a government without independent newspapers. So, we have a government without a free press.
There were no “mainstream” journalists, no TV outlets. At THE NATIONAL PRESS CLUB, for god’s sake, and no newspaper journalists, no members of what I have called the “Fawning Corporate Media” — the FCM. Actually, it’s an acronym — FCM — go ahead, pronounce it quickly, with the “C” a hard “C”. Yes, that’s how I feel about them too.
Again, we have a government without a free press.
Are you shocked that there was a big event at the National Press Club and no one from the corporate media came?
Well, it’s worse. Get this: A whole week has gone by without ANY mention of the confession by “Siggi the Hacker” that he made up the accusations that the U.S. Justice Department used in its SUPERSEDING INDICTMENT of Julian. It desperately needed to manufacture “evidence”, in order to avoid what is widely known as “the New York Times problem”. Namely, how can one prosecute JA and not prosecute the NYTimes for publishing the same material?.
The “Siggi the Hacker” story trended worldwide on Twitter on the weekend LAST WEEKEND, with WikiLeaks itself, Edward Snowden and Glenn Greenwald tweeting about it. We ALL tweeted about it.
Has the story appeared in the Fawning Corporate Media — the so-called “Mainstream Media??? NO!
As one media watchdog, FAIR, put it:
Such a blatant and juicy piece of important news should have made worldwide headlines. But, instead, as of Friday, July 2, there has been literally zero coverage of it in corporate media; not one word in the New York Times, Washington Post, CNN, NBC News, Fox News or NPR.
I have been told that papers in the UK have also been biting their collective tongue.
Here’s the thing: the charges against JA for hacking in Iceland — the charges that the Department of Justice thought would allow it to prosecute JA and circumvent the “NY Times problem” — those charges now have no foundation. They rest on self-admitted lies. The superseding indictment falls flat on its face.
Absent those made-up charges…. well here’s how the deputy general counsel of the NY Times, David McCraw, stated “the New York Times problem” three years ago: “The prosecution of Assange would be a very, very bad precedent for publishers… he’s sort of in a classic publisher’s position and I think the law would have a very hard time drawing a distinction between The New York Times and WikiLeaks.”
By their current silence, what The NY Times and other major media have made clear is that they are, pure and simple, tools of the government; they are the centerpiece, the cornerstone of what I call the MICIMATT — the Military-Industrial-Congressional-Intelligence-MEDIA-Academia-Think-Tank complex.
So today we face a far more complicated conundrum than the one Jefferson spoke of. It’s not a choice between newspapers and government. THE NEWSPAPERS ARE SERVILE TO THE GOVERNMENT AND THE RULING CIRCLES, THE MICIMATT, IF YOU WILL. The government and media are one. In other words, today we no longer have the choice Jefferson spoke of. It is not as though we can give priority to one over the other.
It is a truism that DEMOCRACY CANNOT SURVIVE if people have no way of knowing what is going on. We are getting very close to that now.
But, NO CHOICE? Really? Surely we have a choice, But it will take more imagination and more courage than we have shown up till now. And our 50th-birthday person deserves no less.
Let me invoke the “NOAH PRINCIPAL”: NO MORE AWARDS FOR PREDICTING RAIN; AWARDS ONLY FOR BUILDING ARKS.
SURELY IT IS NOT BEYOND US TO FIGURE OUT HOW TO BUILD SOME STURDY ARKS.
IT’S ON US NOW; Julian has done his part.
LETS SUMMON THE INGENUITY AND THE COURAGE TO DO THE RIGHT THING.
What a good way to wish Julian a Happy 50th Birthday!