WikiLeaks Editor in Chief Julian Assange and Green Party presidential nominee Jill Stein. (Global Revolution & Flickr / CC 2.0)

Jill Stein’s campaign is on a roll. Last week, the Green Party presidential nominee made history when she and running mate Ajamu Baraka participated in the first town hall meeting to feature the Green Party ticket on prime-time television. Just a day later, the duo sat down for a radio interview with Fox News’ Alan Colmes. Stein’s appearances on mainstream media come after months of criticism that journalists were biased in their coverage and failing to properly cover the Greens’ campaign.

It seems that Stein is determined to continue to make headlines. In an exclusive op-ed published on The Hill on Tuesday, Stein outlines her reasons for supporting WikiLeaks and other whistleblowers that “bring us the truth.” She writes:

George Orwell said, “In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.” Thanks to WikiLeaks, we know that powerful institutions have been abusing their power and lying to the public. For example, redacted State Department communications published by WikiLeaks revealed that Secretary Clinton identified Saudi Arabia as a leading funding source for terrorist groups around the time she approved a whopping $29 billion arms deal with the Saudi dictatorship. …

WikiLeaks’ stunning revelations of how top Democratic National Committee officials conspired to sabotage Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign, in collusion with the media, shattered the illusion of a fair electoral process and confirmed what millions Americans already knew in their gut: we live under a rigged political system.

What WikiLeaks actually does—to political parties, the military, and other powerful entities—is pull back the curtain of censorship, spin, and deception to show the public what’s really going on. Unlike pundits in the mainstream media, WikiLeaks doesn’t tell us what to think. They invite us to read the emails, watch the footage, and decide for ourselves.

Stein discusses whistleblower Chelsea Manning, saying that her recent suicide attempt is a reflection of the type of treatment she has received from the U.S. government. Just as it did with Manning, “[t]he security state would like to make an example of [WikiLeaks Editor in Chief Julian] Assange,” Stein writes.

She then addresses a criticism of the Green Party: If it supports feminism, how can it support Assange, who has been accused of rape? Stein responds:

While countless media reports highlight the allegations against Assange, most people have never heard that an official UN report has declared the case against Assange to be unfounded. Three investigations have been dropped without charges ever having been filed. And the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention has stated that Assange has been unlawfully detained and should be released. In light of these facts, it appears the allegations against Assange were a false pretext used by those who want to give him the Chelsea Manning treatment—or worse.

As the Presidential candidate of a party that has maintained principled criticism of powerful political, military and corporate institutions, I’ve gotten a first-hand look at how the establishment attacks people who challenge the status quo. These attacks are intended to brand their targets as pariahs and stigmatize anyone who dares to challenge this narrative. The truth is a frequent casualty to political vendettas.

The legal drama surrounding Assange has spanned years. Just as Stein noted, the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention did state that Assange had been “subjected to different forms of deprivation of liberty.” It wrote:

On 7 December 2010, pursuant to an international arrest warrant issued at the request of the Swedish Prosecutor, Mr. Assange was detained in Wandsworth Prison for 10 days in isolation. Thereafter, he was subjected to house arrest for 550 days. …

Since August 2012, Mr. Assange has not been able to leave the Ecuadorian Embassy and is subject to extensive surveillance by the British police. …

Having concluded that there was a continuous deprivation of liberty, the Working Group also found that the detention was arbitrary because he was held in isolation during the first stage of detention and because of the lack of diligence by the Swedish Prosecutor in its investigations, which resulted in the lengthy detention of Mr. Assange.

The United Nations News Centre wrote earlier this year that although “a judicial investigation was initiated against” Assange for allegations of sexual assault, “he was not formally charged” (according to the BBC, under “Swedish law, charges cannot be laid without interviewing the suspect”). Assange reportedly granted Swedish investigators permission to interview him in Ecuador’s London embassy in 2015, but three of the charges expired before they could do so. Earlier this month, however, The Atlantic reported that Ecuador’s foreign ministry “will set a date in the coming weeks for the proceedings inside its embassy” so that Swedish investigators can formally interview Assange.

After addressing this complicated legal trouble surrounding Assange, Stein calls out journalists for lambasting WikiLeaks when it’s doing what reporters are supposed to be doing: “reveal the unvarnished truth to the public” by “shining a light into the dark corners of power where corruption and wrongdoing fester.”

She ends the op-ed by praising WikiLeaks for mobilizing people “against corruption and wrongdoing at the highest levels.”

“[F]or that,” she writes, “Julian Assange is a hero in my book.”

Read the entire piece here.

—Posted by Emma Niles

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