By Claudia Drdul
Julian Assange was illegitimately detained by UK police when they stormed the Ecuadorian Consulate in London April 11, after he began “acting out” due to spending more than seven years mentally deteriorating while confined to a single building.
Assange was given asylum by former Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa in 2012 after violating bail terms set by a British courts for an unrelated crime. Correa did so due to his anti-imperialist stance and dedication to limit Ecuador’s involvement with the United States’ after years of natural resource depletion by US corporations and exploitative trade policies.
Sadly, Correa was succeeded by Lenin Moreno who looked to re-establish the United States’ grip on Ecuador through neoliberalist trade policies and involvement with the International Monetary Fund and World Bank.
Only two months before Assange was ripped from the Ecuadorian Embassy, the IMF granted Ecuador $4.2 billion in a staff-level financing deal after years of not cooperating with the country.
Either way, the United States’ extradition request is not only unsubstantiated but also infringes upon Assange’s First Amendment rights as a journalist to inform the public about government corruption. His extradition would put all other journalists at risk for detention if they choose to expose the government’s myriad of war crimes.
The Wikileaks database has provided the public with information regarding the United States’ crimes against humanity, political party corruption, and basic violations of citizen’s rights to privacy. This database is one of the only sources we have that performs a legitimate check on the actions of our government.
Whistleblowers are necessary for identifying the issues within our system, and correcting them before they become deadly.
The United States government is never going to hold itself accountable. It is critical that organizations like Wikileaks exist to serve as the ombudsman we so desperately need to expose the misdeeds of America’s imperialistic foreign policy.