by Ron Ridenour
Any semblance of rationality during the past dozen years in the United States regarding what the Republican and Democratic parties really stand for is hard to find, other than money, of course.
Political science courses used to teach that Republicans are conservative, oppose labor unionization and decent wages, always ready to war on somebody in the interest of “national security”. While they like to kill foreigners in their wars, especially people of color, they are appalled at the notion that American fetuses should be stopped from growing into human beings.
Democrats were said to be liberal, maybe even “progressive”, willing to protect workers on the job, allowing unions, using dialogue in diplomacy instead of warring — without good cause, of course. Just ask Bernie Sanders. He voted against the Iraq war, albeit voted for financing it once it began. All the other wars were OK for that so-called “socialist”. In comes the “peace president”. Barak Obama took over Republican Bush’s two wars — Afghanistan and Iraq — and extended them, and even added five more to his cowboy gun belt: bombing Libya, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, Pakistan. Every Tuesday he sat beside his CIA Director John Brennan, and pushed buttons on who should be droned that day. Never mind the fact that none of these wars were actually declared as such. They were “humanitarian actions” to purportedly help someone get human rights. That they were all unconstitutional did not faze Obama, the supposed lawyer specialist in the constitution.
Now, some political scientists could make the case that, still and all, Democrats are adherents of bourgeois democracy (some might dare say social democracy). Some contend that Trump has shown himself to be a neo-fascist with strong racist attitudes. Such pundits might find it difficult to explain that while Trump has been in office, the Democrats want to make war against Russia while he wants to do capitalist business with them. OK, both Trump and Democrat opponents want to encircle and threaten war with China, so they do have something in common.
When Assange/Wikileaks was revealing war crimes during the Obama regime, the president’s secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, wanted to drone Assange for revealing her communication to rig the Democratic presidential primary in her favor. So, she sat on Brennan’s lap and they did Russiagate. Trump declared, “I love Wikileaks”.
The Democratic National Committee, backed up by war addicts in the Pentagon and CIA and their sensationalist-seeking friends in the corporate fake news media world, forced Trump to sound tough for war too. He did some droning, and bombing here and there while he also sought to withdraw the U.S. from several of the Bush-Obama wars.
Lame-duck presidents usually pardon some prisoners, especially those they feel close to, or who have done them favors. Michael Flynn for instance. Trump’s three-week national security advisor talked with Russians. Democrats consider that to be treason. Maybe Democrats don’t know that the United States is not at war against Russia, not yet anyway. Well, they reply, Flynn must have lied to the FBI. Who wouldn’t lie to cops? Name me a politician, especially when they get to be secretary of state, directors of intelligence service and presidents, who don’t lie. Trump’s lies are simply more apparent than Obama’s Harvard voice reveals.
Remember Mike Pompeo chuckling with his audience at the Texas A&M University, on April 15, 2019: “When I was a cadet [West Point] our motto was: You will not lie, cheat, or steal, or tolerate those who do. [When] I was the CIA director, we lied, we cheated, we stole. It was like we had entire training courses. It reminds you of the glory of the American experiment.”
The Trump administration calls the International Criminal Court a kangaroo court. He refuses to allow any U.S. soldier to be brought before the court for purported war crimes in Afghanistan. None of the court investigators or judges will receive visas to enter U.S. territory. Any property or bank accounts they have in the U.S. will be confiscated.
If any court is a disingenuous kangaroo court it is the extradition trial against Julian Assange, in London. The first magistrate who sat in judgment of possible extradition to the U.S. for alleged violations of its Espionage Act, is a subject in Wikileaks’ revelations. Chief Magistrate Emma Arbuthnot, and her husband, James Arbuthnot, who was a defense minister for procurement, have “earned” money from two companies exposed by Wikileaks. During the August-September extradition hearings, Arbuthnot “stepped down” to be supervisor of the new magistrate, Vanessa Baraitser. During three weeks of hearings, Baraitser looked at her laptop to read decisions she had written before defense lawyers had made their arguments, or witnesses had testified.
I am not the only one hoping that Donald Trump will do the right thing with Julian Assange, and Edward Snowden too. The last president, one Trump hates, first put Assange’s key whistleblower in prison, in isolation, under torture. Chelsea Manning was sentenced to 35 years. Obama leaving office with a gesture of “goodwill”, commuted Chelsea’s sentence once she served seven years. She was later jailed for another year for not snitching on Julian.
Tulsi Gabbard, the only Democratic presidential candidate in 2020 who wasn’t a war hawk, is asking Trump for goodwill. She tweeted tagging Trump, “Since you’re giving pardons to people, please consider pardoning those who, at great personal sacrifice, exposed the deception and criminality of those in the deep state,” and named Assange and Snowden for him to drop charges.
The proposal for Trump to pardon Assange was also endorsed at this recent webinar which included speakers Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg, Law Professor Marjorie Cohn, Consortium News editor-in-chief Joe Lauria.
If Trump did the honorable thing of halting the persecution of Julian Assange, it would be a blow for freedom and a middle finger to the Deep State including Obama and Clinton. Wasn’t Trump supposed to be the anti-Deep State candidate? Now’s his chance to prove it.