- Sputnik International, 1920, 10.12.2021
US Wins Appeal to Extradite Assange
The US has won an appeal in London's High Court to have Wikileaks founder Julian Assange extradited on spying charges. In January, UK district judge Vanessa Baraitser ruled against extraditing Assange to the US, but the US Department of Justice appealed her decision to the London High Court.

Assange's Pardon Depends on 'Massive Protests by Ordinary People', Investigative Journo Says

© REUTERS / NTBA banner in support of Julian Assange is displayed in front of a stage where the Norwegian Minister of Culture and Gender Equality Anette Trettebergstuen is holding an appeal before the torchlight procession in honour of this year's Nobel Peace Prize winners Maria Ressa and Dmitry Muratov in Oslo, Norway, December 10, 2021.
A banner in support of Julian Assange is displayed in front of a stage where the Norwegian Minister of Culture and Gender Equality Anette Trettebergstuen is holding an appeal before the torchlight procession in honour of this year's Nobel Peace Prize winners Maria Ressa and Dmitry Muratov in Oslo, Norway, December 10, 2021.  - Sputnik International, 1920, 11.12.2021
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On 10 December, a London court ruled in favour of a US appeal to extradite WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, dismissing concerns raised about the journalist's health and the inhumane conditions he could face in the American prison system.
As the London High Court ruled Julian Assange can be extradited to the US, Lucy Komisar, an investigative journalist based in New York, shares her take on the Western media's role in the Assange case, a possible pardon by the US president in case Assange was extradited, while revealing how the Friday court's decision would influence her job as an investigative journalist.
Sputnik: Now, after the London High Court ruling, do you believe there's anything the international media community and the American mass-media in particular can do to stop Assange's extradition to the US?
Lucy Komisar: The western media, aside from some pro forma criticisms, has large ignored the Assange case. For example, when western media talk about the Summit for Democracy and statements by Biden or Blinken about press freedom, they routinely ignore the persecution of Assange. If they wanted to, they could run a campaign of articles and editorials calling for Biden to drop the prosecution. Not just once, but repeatedly, the way they run a campaign about unproved human rights violations in Xinjiang. But, they won’t, because they are invested in U.S. government world view and foreign policy.

Sputnik: You are an investigative journalist yourself, how will this verdict impact your work? How are you supposed to work knowing that if you expose sensitive information, you could be treated like Assange?
Lucy Komisar: I will never change how I work. I started as a journalist as editor of the Mississippi Free Press in Jackson, Mississippi, in 1962-3 when civil rights advocates were getting killed. People who are afraid of telling the truth need to get other work. But, alas, there are many who lie about U.S. foreign policy, not because they are afraid of persecution by the government but because their careers will suffer. People have been fired for getting out of line on “the line”.
Stella Morris, partner of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, speaks to media outside the Royal Courts of Justice following the appeal against Assange's extradition in London, Britain December 10, 2021. - Sputnik International, 1920, 10.12.2021
US Wins Appeal to Extradite Assange
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Sputnik: President Biden is holding the Summit for Democracy and praising his support for the free press. Do you think he might grant Assange a pardon in the event that the Wikileaks founder is extradited to the US, or this is an unlikely scenario?
Lucy Komisar: Biden is in a long tradition of US presidents whose hypocrisy about human rights know no limits. As an example, I once asked Patt Derian, President Carter’s human rights secretary, if she was going to write a book about Carter’s human rights policy and actions. She said, “That would be a very short book!” American presidents talk a lot, do little.
A pardon depends on the political climate. Unfortunately, it’s very hawkish across political lines. Or cowardly. Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the highest profile “progressives”, have been silent on Assange. A pardon would depend on massive protests by ordinary people. It could happen, but not without that kind of pressure.
Sputnik: Why, in your view, has the American mainstream not been particularly interested in covering the Assange case?
Lucy Komisar: Assange’s revelations are indictments of American war crimes, to which American foreign policy is tightly linked, and has been for at least a century. The mainstream media is an arm of the U.S. military-industrial-congressional and even think tank complex. Most fall into lockstep on major Deep State issues. Assange is an embarrassment for some media, put apparently not hard to overcome.
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