Thanks to the cowardly words of President Joe Biden this past week in the Middle East and his actions against Julian Assange, or inactions, whichever you prefer, journalism is no longer a safe profession. It is evident that murdering and torturing journalists who hold governments accountable is okay for despots and presidents alike. Before taking office, Joe Biden called Saudi Arabia a “pariah state” and its Prince leader, Mohammed bin Salman, a murderer for the killing of US journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
The Guardian writes:
The 79-year-old Biden had initially shunned the 36-year-old royal over human rights abuses, particularly the killing of US-based writer Jamal Khashoggi, which US intelligence officials believe was likely approved by the prince.
But Biden decided he needed to repair the longstanding relationship between the two countries to address rising gas prices and foster stability in the volatile region.
“It is only becoming clearer to me how closely interwoven America’s interests are with the successes of the Middle East,” the president said Saturday. Ending his speech on a hopeful note, Biden expressed his belief in cooperation among the nations.https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2022/jul/16/joe-biden-arab-leaders-summit
Investigative journalism is holding truth to power. As a journalist, seeking the freedom of Julian Assange and the promotion of Wikileaks as the model for a global free press, the cowardice of Joe Biden cannot be emphasized enough. On his trip, he also kissed the hands of Israel’s leadership, who is sitting on the evidence of who killed Al Jazeera’s journalist, Shireen Abu Akleh. It won’t happen. “National interests will prevail.”
In the backdrop of all this chaos as the world melts down, Julian Assange still languishes in Belmarsh maximum security prison for his journalism. The movie Ithaka has opened in Europe and Stefani Maurizi’s book “Il Potere Segreto, (The secret power. Why they want to destroy Julian Assange and Wikileaks has entered its third edition).” A Spanish court wants former head of the CIA to explain why he oversaw the planning to assassinate Julian Assange while Julian was seeking refuge in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London.
Yes, this is the United States government who makes speeches around the world as beacons of the free world and the upholder of human rights; as long as those humans don’t stand up to power and call them liars and corrupt. Freedom of the press to seek the truth about our leaders in government and share our findings with the citizens we serve is a great power. As we can see, only corrupt governments would disallow journalists from doing their jobs. The United States of America stands as a major obstructive force, even a violent force, against journalism. But we’ve now learned there is no difference between despots and democracies when it comes to abusing their powers.