Noam Chomsky hurled criticism on all of the governments that coordinated to put Assange behind bars. Chomsky called the arrest of Julian Assange “scandalous” on many levels, during an interview with Amy Goodman on Democracy Now.
Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, was arrested on Thursday. London’s Metropolitan Police arrested him, based on demands from the US government, in order to extradite Assange for publishing classified information.
Noam Chomsky said, “The Assange arrest is scandalous in several respects. One of them is just the effort of governments—and it’s not just the U.S. government. The British are cooperating. Ecuador, of course, is now cooperating. Sweden, before, had cooperated. The efforts to silence a journalist who was producing materials that people in power didn’t want the rascal multitude to know about—OK?—that’s basically what happened. WikiLeaks was producing things that people ought to know about those in power. People in power don’t like that, so therefore we have to silence it. OK? This is the kind of thing, the kind of scandal, that takes place, unfortunately, over and over.”
Journalists around the world are calling Assange’s arrest arbitrary and an attack on journalism and press freedom. Clearly, if Assange can be prosecuted by the US government for publishing information gained through a source, any journalist can be tried using the same argument in the future.
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange’s lawyers are planning to fight the possible extradition to the US following his arrest from the Ecuadorian Embassy, where he had taken asylum for almost seven years.
“Why should the United States have the power to control what others are doing elsewhere in the world? I mean, it’s an outlandish situation,” Chomsky said. “It goes on all the time, we never even notice it, at least there’s no comment on it.”
Noam Chomsky likened the persecution of Julian Assange to that of Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva in Brazil. Those in power feel, “We have to silence this voice.”