The “Resistance” Struggles To Justify Support For Trump’s Prosecution Of Assange

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Ever since suspicions were confirmed that the Trump administration is indeed working to prosecute and imprison WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange for publishing authentic documents, the so-called “Resistance” has been struggling to explain exactly why it is so enthusiastically supportive of that agenda. And when I say struggling, I am being very, very generous.

When news broke that a court document copy-paste error had inadvertently exposed the fact that the Trump administration is pursuing an agenda which experts of diverse political persuasions agreewould have devastating effects on the freedom of the press, #Resistance pundit and DC think tank operative Neera Tanden responded by tweeting, “Never mess with karma”. As of this writing if you do a Twitter search for the words “Assange” and “karma” together, you will come up with countless Democratic Party loyalists using that concept to justify their support for a Trump administration assault on the press that is infinitely more dangerous than the president being mean to Jim Acosta.

The trouble with that of course is that “karma”, as far as observable reality is concerned, is not an actual thing. It’s a Hindu religious concept that is supported by no more factual evidence than the Roman Catholic claim that a priest literally turns bread and wine into the body and blood of a Nazarene carpenter who died thousands of years ago. A Democratic pundit using the concept of “karma” to justify enthusiastic support for Trump’s fascistic attack on press freedoms is exactly the same as a Republican pundit using “God wills it” to justify the existence of poverty, and it is just as intellectually honest.

But it’s also the best argument these people have got.

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Neera Tanden

?@neeratanden

Never mess with karma

justin jouvenal

?@jjouvenal

BREAKING: WSJ reports Justice Dept. prepping to charge Julian Assange.

133 people are talking about this

I mean, think about it. There’s really no other way you can justify supporting a Trump administration agenda–an administration you claim to oppose–in a prosecution with legal implications that are severely detrimental to the free press, which you claim to support. The only way to justify it is with some vague, abstract notion that Assange is just “getting what he deserves” since the 2016 WikiLeaks publications of Democratic Party likely contributed to Trump’s electoral victory over Hillary Clinton, and the only way to reify that vague, abstract notion is with an appeal to some imaginary metaphysical principle, i.e. karma.

But, again, that is not a thing. There is no invisible eight-armed deity floating around behind the scenes arbitrating and distributing the consequences of WikiLeaks drops, and there is no rational argument that the Trump administration prosecuting Assange is desirable because Assange “deserves” it. The fact of the matter is that these people are supporting Trump’s fascism in the most toxic ways possible, they are utterly incapable of defending that support with any intellectual honesty, and the self-proclaimed “Resistance” would be more aptly named “the Assistance”.

Journalist Glenn Greenwald described this phenomenon as follows:

“But the grand irony is that many Democrats will side with the Trump DOJ over the Obama DOJ. Their emotional, personal contempt for Assange – due to their belief that he helped defeat Hillary Clinton: the gravest crime – easily outweighs any concerns about the threats posed to press freedoms by the Trump administration’s attempts to criminalize the publication of documents.

 

This reflects the broader irony of the Trump era for Democrats. While they claim out of one side of their mouth to find the Trump administration’s authoritarianism and press freedom attacks so repellent, they use the other side of their mouth to parrot the authoritarian mentality of Jeff Sessions and Mike Pompeo that anyone who published documents harmful to Hillary or which have been deemed “classified” by the U.S. Government ought to go to prison.

 

…It is this utterly craven and authoritarian mentality that is about to put Democrats of all sorts in bed with the most extremist and dangerous of the Trump faction as they unite to create precedents under which the publication of information – long held sacrosanct by anyone caring about press freedoms – can now be legally punished.”

 

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Caitlin Johnstone ?@caitoz

This is a response from a “Resistance” account to my tweet criticizing the for supporting Trump’s persecution of Assange. No attempt is made to justify that support, just yay Trump, womp womp. This is happening all over Twitter.

Kamala fan acct ??? ???@WaveriderBlue
Replying to @caitoz

Sounds like Assange should’ve thought twice before putting Trump in power, huh?

Womp womp.

95 people are talking about this

And indeed this is exactly what has been happening. Check out the joyous celebrations in online comments sections from when the news broke that the Trump administration has brought sealed charges upon Assange (herehere, or here for example) for a taste of where the “blue wave” zeitgeist is at right now. Their hatred for Assange has overpowered not only their hatred for Trump, but the most important ways in which they are meant to be resisting him.

When you find yourself supporting conflicting principles, it’s a sure sign that you were never guided by principle to begin with.

And this is really the lesson we can take from all this. The noxious strain of American liberalism which promotes Russia conspiracy theories, supports the prosecution of government transparency advocates, and only attacks Trump as an idea rather than actually resisting his actual policies was never about any principle of any kind. There were preexisting agendas against Russia, alternative media, WikiLeaks, and government transparency long before Trump took office, and all of those agendas have been systematically advanced by the powerful using the “us vs them” herd mentality of the McResistance. These people aren’t supporting the prosecution of a leak publisher because of their ideological values, they are supporting it because that’s what powerful manipulators want them to do.

Trump’s despicable prosecution of Assange, and corporate liberalism’s full-throated support for it, has fully discredited all of mainstream US politics on both sides of the aisle. Nobody in that hot mess stands for anything. If you’re still looking to Trump or the Democrats to protect you from the rising tide of fascism, the time to make your exit is now.

____________________________

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Latest Comments

  • Caitlin

    In your zeal to attack those dirtbags, you gloss over the fundamental underlying issue – there is no free press allowed to exist in the western world. There are some brave and spirited individuals.

    All is spin. Gleen from it what you can but bear in mind you are being lied to pretty much all of the time – it is the reason that the media exist. So there is no s7rprise they attack assange. When results contradict your expectations check you assumptions. The media would only tell the truth to gain your trust so they can deceive you about some more important. Its called a “con” look it up smell the coffee.

  • It is not clear that this recently revealed sealed indictment originated under the Trump administration rather than the Obama administration. Maybe true, but maybe not. Greenwald appears to be jumping to an unjustified conclusion based on no new evidence. Several years ago under Obama, unnamed sources reported by the MSM suggested that there was no indictment. But Wikileaks, Assange and his lawyers saw no basis for trusting this and received no confirmation, so were and are still quite suspicious that the US Wikileaks Grand Jury had returned an indictment back then. And various MSM sources have recently noted this, noted that when this indictment came as well as the charges are still not known.

  • Thanks Caitlin – excellent post!

  • Karma actually means we live in a cause and effect universe. What you do matters. If you harm others, you will be harmed, if you serve others, your needs will be met. Ms Tanden and other clinton operatives will suffer tremendously for their actions, in this and future lives. They are very low on the spiritual intelligence scale. The arc of justice may be long, but we are her handmaidens. Thank you Caitlen. Julien is a hero, and we must save him from persecution.

  • Trump would not have been elected save for Assange shining a light on the Swamp … but Trump is a betrayer.
    There is a myth that Trump is a “loyal” person. Loyal TO WHOM !!?? Find ANYONE who Trump has NOT betrayed? Trump betrays/cheats on his wife(s) Trump betrays his Creditors everytime he declares another bankruptcy . Trump betrays employees constantly by backstabbing and cowardly “tweet firings” …… Trump betrays his God by groveling to Israel … Trump betrays his “base” through his actions.

    • Actually Assange had little to nothing to do with it.
      The split second the DNC decided to blatantly steal the primary they lost the general.
      Honestly I think the bitch stole about 3 million plus votes in the general but stupidly missed stealing enough in a couple states they thought she was going to win.

      All our elections are fraudulent.

  • Damn Caitlin!!

    You sure give good Op-Ed!!

  • It’s interesting which hat is being worn when “karma” is dismissed as being outside of observable reality, but change of consciousness is extolled as a virtuous (and bona fide) resistance to this system of propaganda (i.e. there is no alternative to [imperialistic financial and globalised general-monopoly] capitalism) which infects every waking moment of everyday reality.
    How is consciousness praiseworthy but karma degraded?
    I guess it depends on which hat is donned.

  • “The Assistance”. Haha. You are a bottemless well of insults to partisan morons. I’m gonna drop that one on my ‘lefty’ friends at every opportunity.

  • Just more proof everyday that the corporate Democrats are exactly the same as the lunatic christofacsist Republicans.
    Trump has already won 2020, that should terrify anyone sane.

    • This article just makes me so sad. Deep sorrow for the America of our fantasies we grew up thinking existed, or could exist, to the ever awakening concept this ideal we hold onto for dear life is stolen, being manipulated out of existence. Tears, rivers of sorrow.

      • I believed in that America until I watched Good Will Hunting and the Matt Damon character mentioned this guy Howard Zinn, whom I’d never heard of, so I checked him out.

      • I know from my own experience in the early 1990’s what you feel. After being a strong supporter of the US during Cold War v1 it was then that I realized that the US was using fascists, nazis, and jihadis in the Balkans, Chechnya, and elsewhere which violated the myth of America in my head. What I learned since is that the anatomy of the US Deep State we see operating today was put into place during WW2 to fight that war. It has continued since to manipulate and enrich itself as it continues to plow and plunder the world. We live in the US Empire. The myth of America will only be realized if the American Republic is restored but I can’t see how that can happen.

  • It rally should not be surprising that so many ‘liberals’ support Trump’s policies. After all, the have resided right of center for more than two decades. Their liberalism has been nothing but a façade. Their philosophies are fraudulent and opportunistic, but similarly dictated by those at the top who are funded by the same sources as is the right-wing. We in the U.S. are collectively taken up by a slow, but accelerating, slide into totalitarianism.
    Those who won’t stand up against the onslaught might as well just enjoy the ride, for soon it will be the only thing left for them to enjoy.

  • 1) Assange is not Wikileaks alone. He is not a one man band.
    2) Both main parties have been totally hi-jacked, for anyone to vote for either shows how dumb they are.

  • The ‘resistance’ is a propaganda campaign meant solely for the viewing by the wandering sheep of the ‘democrat left’ …. if they (democrat left) actually exist or nor is up for debate. When we do not to show up to support Harris the Wall Street Walker or Crooked Clinton or Booker the Hooker in 2020, expect to be branded ‘Un-American’ by the ‘resistance’. I find it very difficult to connect with my former political party when the only strategy is: To appear less evil than Trump and the republicans.

    • We could of had Jill Stein for president. Instead we drop 200 bombs a day on innocent men women and children. And we’re still using white phosphorous. They need to drop 200 burnt bodies a day on the Washington mall.

    • They’re not less evil, they’re just better liars and more politically correct.

  • It seems simple enough to me. As sensible people have known for decades, the USA is not a functioning democracy but a militarized plutocracy. Gore Vidal, as usual, explained matters succinctly and precisely about 40 years ago:

    “There is only one party in the United States, the Property Party… and it has two right wings: Republican and Democrat. Republicans are a bit stupider, more rigid, more doctrinaire in their laissez-faire capitalism than the Democrats, who are cuter, prettier, a bit more corrupt – until recently… and more willing than the Republicans to make small adjustments when the poor, the black, the anti-imperialists get out of hand. But, essentially, there is no difference between the two parties”.

    So it’s not in the least surprising that people who call themselves “Democrats” are just as furiously angry with anyone who tries to interfere with the unlimited powers of the US federal government than people who call themselves “Republicans”.

    It’s a distinction without a difference. Regardless of all the loud hubbub of recriminations and abuse that they direct at each other, virtually all US citizens are agreed that their country is the best, supreme, entitled, exceptional, and Chosen to rule (and loot) the world.

  • I wonder if the “journalists” at the NYT are going to be prosecuted for doing exactly what Wikileaks and Assange did. On second thought, I know with certainty that no one from the NYT is going to suffer what Assange will suffer for doing exactly the same thing.
    ..
    TBTF banks CEOs get away with fraud and theft. Hitlery is not prosecuted for her server. Manning went to jail for revealing US war crimes and crimes against humanity. Snowden had to seek asylum in Russia for revealing illegal surveillance of ordinary Americans. Clapper, etc. get off for perjury. In short, the US system of arbitrary, politicized justice is one ugly mother-fucker.

  • The neo-liberal moral and intellectual bankruptcy confirmed by this insane tantrum just vindicates voters’ perceptions of corporate Democrats unfitness to rule that sadly led to Trump. The very thing they are scorning. But they will never be able to see that.

  • Caitlin,
    you are ignoring the most basic & fundamental
    Law of Neo-Liberal/Conservative/establishment Karma:

    ”no good deed shall go unpunished”

  • The “resistance” is a hypocrisy based, orchestrated temper tantrum that has sucked in way too many naive but decent people, many very bright, it is nothing more, and it is certainly not the left.

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