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Julian Assange: A Pro-Freedom Victory With A Dark Warning

4 min read

Julian Assange: A Pro-Freedom Victory With A Dark Warning

Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, is finally free, but let's not pop the champagne just yet. His release is a bittersweet moment, showcasing both a win for transparency and a dangerous precedent for future whistleblowers and journalists. This might sound like a bold claim, but the dark realities exposed by Assange, as well as the mass censorship taking place, are not to be taken lightly. 

In today’s world, we’re told day in and day out that democracy is under attack, with multiple pro-establishment leaders pointing fingers at those who spread so-called misinformation and, of course, those with dissenting views. 

But the question is, why does the establishment want to censor those who think differently? Would it not be better to give everybody freedom of thought so that they make their own conclusions? It looks like the goalposts are shifted, making us question what democracy and freedom are in the first place.  

Recent historical events, whether in medicine or war, prove once again that our liberties are being reduced. Democracy and freedom start to look like good memories from the past as we witness the rise of new forms of totalitarianism based on the control of information. 

The elites do not want you to know what is going on, but in this article, we will go through Julian Assange’s case and recent release from prison. Also, if you are interested in freedom-related news like this, we strongly encourage you to subscribe to our newsletter, where you will be updated on this and more information to help you build a successful expat journey. 

 

Assange exposed numerous sensitive pieces of information about powerful figures and even state secrets. Arbitrarily persecuted, his natural right to freedom of expression was completely curtailed

Assange exposed numerous sensitive pieces of information about powerful figures and even state secrets. Arbitrarily persecuted, his natural right to freedom of expression was completely curtailed

THE LONG ROAD TO FREEDOM

Assange spent years dodging extradition and imprisonment. But what was he guilty of? Exposing government secrets, including U.S. military misconduct in Iraq and Afghanistan. These leaks revealed the grim realities of war, making Assange a target for powerful governments​ (The Independent)​​ (Guernsey Press).

After a decade-long saga, Assange struck a plea deal with the U.S. He agreed to plead guilty to charges under the Espionage Act, serving time already spent behind bars. His release from Belmarsh Prison marks the end of one chapter and the start of another in the fight for press freedom.

But all of these events and legal battles are extremely concerning. Again, let’s discuss one of the most manipulated concepts today: democracy. In school, we are always taught that the West is a bastion of democracy, with features such as the separation of powers and freedom of speech. However, these claims do not hold anymore. 

The courts do not seem impartial anymore; rather, Assange has faced arbitrary persecution. And what about freedom of speech? Well, it seems that you can say whatever you want, but if you happen to attack the status quo, you will be threatened, jailed and, in certain cases, even executed… This looks like tyranny. 

 

Julian Assanges newly attained freedom marks a turning point in the history of journalism, setting a significant precedent for those who seek to expose sensitive secrets(1)

Julian Assange's newly attained freedom marks a turning point in the history of journalism, setting a significant precedent for those who seek to expose sensitive secrets

A SYMBOL OF RESISTANCE

From a pro-libertarian perspective, Assange is a symbol of resistance against state overreach. His work with WikiLeaks brought to light government corruption and human rights abuses, allowing citizens to know the unfiltered truth. This right to information is central to libertarian values, emphasizing transparency and the decentralization of power​​​​.

Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese played a key role in advocating for Assange's release, showing that international pressure can make a difference. However, this victory is marred by the heavy price Assange paid—years of confinement and deteriorating health. The state (mainly the U.S. and UK) does not face the consequences of its criminal actions, but an individual who speaks against it, such as Assange, does without any compensation. 

Julian Assange’s newfound freedom is a turning point in the history of journalism, setting an example for others who want to reveal secrets. In summary, those who dare to speak up, as much as they may prove that what they say is true, will be censored. 

 

The message is unequivocal_ challenge us and you will pay the price. This chilling effect is precisely what libertarians and advocates of free speech fear the most (Photo by James Ross)

The message is unequivocal: challenge us, and you will pay the price. This chilling effect is precisely what libertarians and advocates of free speech fear the most (Photo by James Ross)

THE TERMS OF RELEASE: SAIPAN AND BEYOND

Assange's plea deal involved a peculiar detail: his court appearance in Saipan, part of the Northern Mariana Islands, a U.S. commonwealth in the Pacific. This remote location underscores the lengths to which both sides went to finalize the agreement away from the limelight. After his court appearance, Assange is expected to return to Australia.

The choice of Saipan and the terms of his release highlight the complex geopolitical moves involved in Assange's case. It reminds us of the power struggles at play and the often-hidden machinations behind such high-profile cases.

 

THE DANGEROUS PRECEDENT

While Assange's release is a win for those who value transparency, it sets a dangerous precedent. Charging journalists and whistleblowers under the Espionage Act for publishing information in the public interest is a slippery slope. It casts a long shadow over press freedom and could deter future revelations of government misconduct​ (The Independent)​​ (Guernsey Press).

This case should serve as a stark warning. Governments have shown they're willing to go to great lengths to silence dissent and control information. The message is clear: challenge us, and you'll pay the price. This chilling effect is exactly what libertarians and free speech advocates fear most. The state’s influence goes beyond mere economic intervention, as it also wants to tap into people’s freedom of thought and the right to alternative information sources. 

 

Assange's freedom symbolizes that we must never give up, but we must remain vigilant to ensure we are not censored or, worse, that we do not self-censor. As Mises used to say, "The first requirement for a better social order is the return to unrestricted freedom of thought and expression."

Assange's freedom symbolizes that we must never give up, but we must remain vigilant to ensure we are not censored or, worse, that we do not self-censor. As Mises used to say, "The first requirement for a better social order is the return to unrestricted freedom of thought and expression"

CONCLUSION:  A MIXED BAG OF HOPE AND CAUTION

As Assange reunites with his family and supporters, we should not celebrate his freedom without remaining vigilant. His case underscores the ongoing battle for transparency and the need to protect those who dare to speak truth to power. It's a victory, yes, but one that came with heavy costs and ominous implications for the future of journalism and whistleblowing.

Julian Assange’s release is a moment to reflect on the resilience of truth and the fight for liberty. But it also serves as a grim reminder of the stakes involved. As we celebrate this milestone, we must stay alert and continue to defend the freedoms that Assange fought so hard to uphold.

 

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Mikkel Thorup

Written by Mikkel Thorup

Mikkel Thorup is the world’s most sought-after expat consultant. He focuses on helping high-net-worth private clients to legally mitigate tax liabilities, obtain a second residency and citizenship, and assemble a portfolio of foreign investments including international real estate, timber plantations, agricultural land and other hard-money tangible assets. Mikkel is the Founder and CEO at Expat Money®, a private consulting firm started in 2017. He hosts the popular weekly podcast, the Expat Money Show, and wrote the definitive #1-Best Selling book Expat Secrets - How To Pay Zero Taxes, Live Overseas And Make Giant Piles Of Money, and his second book: Expats Guide On Moving To Mexico.

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