Mick Clifford: Jailing Assange would be a blow to democracy — and it may never recover: Mick Clifford, Irish Examiner, 271021


Large media organisations have referenced the injustice to which he is being subjected, but with nothing like the fervour that would apply were he a character one could empathise with. There have been no high-profile campaigns to put pressure on the US to drop the case or the UK to stand firm against his extradition.

Clare Daly made reference to the “noise” around Assange’s character on Saturday and she rightly pointed out that the charges against him have nothing to do with any of that. The charges are simply that he got his hands on classified US government material and published it.

That is called journalism and the US constitution places great store on freedom of the press, yet here they want to criminalise a journalist who isn’t even an American citizen. The objective is quite obviously to send out a message that journalists will be punished severely if they attempt to access classified information even when it is patently vital to the public interest of not just the American people but the world at large.