GUEST BLOG: Lois Griffiths – Blunt Message of 2021

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These are dangerous times.

2021 should be remembered as the year the warning was made loud and clear, that machinations of
the world’s powerful are not to be exposed.

The message, for journalists, for potential whistleblowers, and for human rights lawyers, is be very afraid.

Australian journalist, publisher of Wikileaks, Julian Assange, as of this writing is still in Belmarsh Prison, under very harsh conditions described as torture by the UN Rapporteur on Torture Nils Melzer.

It’s well known that Assange is not well. It’s well known that the CIA has threatened to kill him. The US wants him to be extradited to the US. John Pilger and others have been following his situation.

What has been done, is being done, to Assange is seen by many, to be a warning to journalists around the world.

Do not write about American war crimes. Don’t you dare.

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Daniel Hale joined the US military. He was posted to the American base in Kabul, Afghanistan, as an intelligence specialist with the NSA. His assignment was to locate targets identified by the White House, for drone assassination.

He was shocked to discover that a drone attack on a target he was ordered to locate, killed civilians, including children.

Hale told an independent journalist what happened. He was arrested by the American forces , put on trial and imprisoned.

What was done to Daniel Hale, is seen by many to be a warning to anyone in the US military, motivated by their conscience to be a whistleblower.

Don’t you dare.

Steven Donziger is an American human rights lawyer. He visited Ecuador to see for himself, what he had heard was happening to an indigenous people near the border with Colombia. For years, the giant multinational oil corporation Texaco, now called Chevron, deliberately dumped carcinogenic waste into a local river.

The result led and continues to lead, to cancer and birth defects. Donziger helped the local people to successfully sue Chevron in an Ecuadorean court. Chevron never paid a penny.
Instead, working with a corporate-friendly, Trump-appointed judge, Chevron, determined to destroy Donziger, successfully sued him in a US court.

What has happened to Steven Donziger is a warning to young American law students who might consider following Donziger’s example and expose humanitarian abuses by powerful corporations.
The message is : Don’t challenge corporate power.

Don’t you dare.

Julian Assange, Daniel Hale, Steven Donziger..and others of course, including Chelsea Manning and Edward Snowden.

These people should be regarded as heroes, by anyone who wants to live in a world where the public has the right to be told what is happening, and where abused power is held to account.

Lois Griffiths is a Human Rights Activist.

7 COMMENTS

  1. This is an archetypal story, one which reverberates through eternity. Those who follow the call to speak truth to power, then face the terrible consequences of their heroism.

    The rest of us still have our decisions to make.

  2. Power in itself isn’t a bad thing. It’s that damn observation about humans and power that it is often over-bearing.
    ‘Power tendsto corrupt, and absolute power tends to corrupt absolutely.’

    Thanks for this timely post Lois.

  3. Through history those who disagree or dare to speak or write the truth about the establishment can and will be punished.
    For instance where someone speaks out against the Police or the Intelligence Security Service with
    incontrovertible evidence people have been set up and convicted of crimes of which they are innocent.
    Prisons around the world house unjustly sentenced political prisoners who either battle tirelessly for the hope of release or give up and face the reality that they will die in prison.
    Julian Assange’s crime was not only speaking truth to the world about Washington’s abuse of power but he embarrassed both sides of the political aisle and that will never be tolerated.
    Hillary Diane Rodham Clinton is an arch enemy of Julian Assange and the warmonger will be salivating at the thought of his possible extradition to a US prison.
    Let’s not forget the complete establishment tool and Zionist Joe Biden who has cravenly set the dogs loose since becoming President.
    Unfortunately the mainstream media has been found wanting when a comrade badly needed support and history (if written truthfully) should judge each and every one of them with the disdain they deserve.
    Thank you Lois for once again shining a light on a very dark time in our history.
    Free Julian Assange.

  4. One point in the Steven Donziger case it was not a trump judge, it’s a Chevron judge. By Chevron judge, I mean a lawyer who worked for Chevron for years, and is now a judge. Yes they were appointed in the trump years, but just as many of these corporate judges were appointed by obama.

    So can we get beyond the partisan crap and at the truth, the elites in the USA are walk in lock step over this, be they republican or democrat.

  5. why did we let in the US stooge afghan vice president? because he presumably needed a hidyhole to be free of danger….anyone wanna put up a hand and say assange isn’t in danger from US revenge? and I mean kangaroo court and long term imprisonment if not worse….but hey we’ll send US ambassador a very stern note attached to a nice bottle of sav blanc on the day of assanges execution.

  6. This is just another example of the world we live in today. Power rules, nothing else matters. Unfortunately for us, we now live in era where, we the people, now trust the corridors of power like we have never, ever trusted them before. At times, we can see parts of this dystopian picture, but we never bother to connect all the dots. Such is life.

  7. Makes a change from Israel-bashing, I suppose. Perhaps you could run an article on freedom of the press in Russia and China, Lois, or in Islamic states, in particular under the PA and Hamas?

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