River Cities Reader 1000th Issue Print Edition Cover

Welcome to the 1,000th edition of the River Cities' Reader, and thanks for picking up the printed copy you are reading now. (Depicted here at the web version of this commentary is a photo of the 1000th Reader print edition. Cover illustation by Ed Newmann.) The number of editions we would print was never a metric for achieving any milestones. Still, reaching one thousand printed issues is a gratifying moment that inspires reflection and meta contemplation!

Mexico President Obrador

When Mexico President Andrés Manuel López Obrador meets with United States President Joe Biden on July 12, he plans to once again urge the U.S. government to drop the charges against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. Obrador is one of the few presidents in the world, who has expressed genuine support for Assange and even offered to engage in talks about asylum in Mexico.

Julian Assagnge Journalism is Not a Crime

Reporters Without Borders international campaigns director Rebecca Vincent reacted, “We welcome the High Court’s decision to allow Julian Assange the right to appeal his extradition case to the Supreme Court. This case will have enormous implications for journalism and press freedom around the world and could be hugely precedent-setting. It deserves consideration by the highest court in the land."

from-press-freedom-to-prison-systems-everything-assange-touches-is-illuminated

The U.S. appeal of a British court ruling on the Assange extradition case has concluded, and the judges will probably not have a decision ready until at least January – a full year after the extradition was denied by a lower court. Assange, despite being convicted of no crime, will have remained in Belmarsh Prison the entire time. Their old tactics never seem to have the intended effect. The harder they struggle to keep him from being able to expose their crimes, the more of their own criminality they reveal.

Julian Assange : Out of Sight, Out of Mind

It's well-documented that two years before his public execution, President Kennedy exposed that secret societies influence and control news organizations in order to conceal their corrupt actions and expand their authoritarian rule. In his April 1961 speech before the American Newspaper Publisher Association's meeting at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel John F. Kennedy stated, “Its preparations are concealed, not published. Its mistakes are buried, not headlined. Its dissenters are silenced, not praised. Without debate, without criticism, no Administration and no country can succeed– and no republic can survive.”

Julian Assange once said, “The overwhelming majority of information is classified to protect political security, not national security.” Assange isn’t in Belmarsh Prison for doing something wrong, but for doing something right. For trying to give the public information which will help them form a truth-based worldview so that they can make intelligent informed decisions about where they want to collectively steer society together.

Julian Assange in 2020

The Justice Department under President Joe Biden plans to continue the case against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange that was launched under President Donald Trump. "We continue to seek his extradition," Justice Department spokesperson Marc Raimondi told Reuters days before February 12 – the deadline for the United States government to submit its "grounds for appeal." The statement represents a departure from President Barack Obama's administration, which declined to prosecute Assange. Justice Department officials were reportedly concerned about the threat it would pose to press freedom.

The purpose of journalism is to uncover truth – especially uncomfortable truth – and to publish it for the benefit of society. In a free society, we must be informed of the criminal acts carried out by governments in the name of the people. Throughout history, journalists have uncovered the many ways governments lie, cheat, and steal – and the great lengths they will go to keep the people from finding out.

Julian Assange Holding Guardian Newspaper Afghan War Logs

At no point did the lead prosecutor offer any specific example of a death, and so the record remains as it has been since Chelsea Manning was put on trial. The government has no evidence that anyone was ever killed as a result of transparency forced by WikiLeaks.

Julian Assange's hearing in the British court to be extradited to the United States is scheduled to resume September 7, 2020. Assange’s partner Stella Moris visited him this month with their children at Belmarsh prison for the first time since March of this year, and reports that his physical condition has deteriorated noticeably since that time.

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