After touting Wikileaks on the campaign trail, calling for the release of the Clinton emails, why has President Trump not offered to pardon Assange? In fact, why has he essentially reversed course to say that he now knows nothing about Wikileaks?
Julian Assange, founder of the infamous whistleblower website Wikileaks, is currently held by the United Kingdom where he was found guilty of failing to surrender himself to the court in 2012. At the time, he took residence in the Ecuadorian Embassy where he had been granted asylum.
Assange spent seven years locked up inside the embassy, knowing that he would face charges and ultimately extradition to the United States for leaked government documents pertaining to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as the disturbing video known as Collateral Murder.
The decision to end asylum at the Ecuadorian Embassy was itself controversial. Wikileaks itself put out allegations of the decision that were denied by the Ecuadorian government. However, in a move that appears to have been directly tied to Ecuador/US relations, Ecuador did exactly that within less than a weeks time.
Now Assange is facing extradition to the United State’s on 18 counts under the Espionage act.
With the recent admission within US courts that the NSA was acting illegally, as revealed by whistleblower Edward Snowden.
Snowden has been living with asylum in Russia since his revelations, and given the court ruling deserves the same pardon and protections that a whistleblower deserves, but seldom receives.
There is no difference for Julian Assange. He did not sell secrets to foreign governments, he revealed crimes of world governments to the people. This is the ultimate check and balance when nations fail to follow their own laws. It is a public service that should be protected, as is the right of journalism. For Trump to fail to offer a pardon to Assange and safe asylum within the US is a disgrace.