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State Department Congratulates Itself for Press Freedom, as Julian Assange Is Tortured in U.K.

Nov. 1, 2020 (EIRNS)—A press release issued by U.S. Department of State press secretary Morgan Ortagus asserts that, “A free press is essential to an informed citizenry. A vigorous press can, for instance, expose corruption, shine a light on human rights abuses, and provide the public essential information during crises.”

One such example of the free press is WikiLeaks, which has certainly exposed corruption, and whose founder Julian Assange has been held in conditions leading to his expression of what the UN Rapporteur on Torture considered “all the symptoms typical for prolonged exposure to psychological torture” during his imprisonment in British jail for over a year.

The statement laments that, “Journalists around the world also face harassment, threats, arbitrary detentions, and politically motivated prosecutions.” Good thing no one in the U.S. government does such things! Recall that Mike Pompeo, in April 2017 declared WikiLeaks to be “a nonstate hostile intelligence service,” opening the drive towards extraditing Assange from Britain.

The statement concludes, “On this International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists, the United States calls for governments to ... abolish laws and practices limiting their freedom of expression.” Does this refer to the ridiculous Espionage Act, under which a defendant’s motivations in releasing classified information may not be used in their defense?

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