16:21 GMT28 January 2021
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    Former Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa has accused WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange of meddling in the 2016 US Presidential election from his country's embassy in London. The comment comes as Assange awaits potential extradition to the US, following his removal from the embassy in April.

    But just why is the mainstream media so desperate to depict him as a villain? Sputnik spoke with Adam Garrie; geopolitical analyst and director at Eurasia Future to get his views on the saga.

    Sputnik: What do you make of the comments by Correa? Is it yet another attempt to demonise Assange?

    Adam Garrie: Correa, even though he is thought of quite rightly as Assange's saviour because he was the one who offered him and granted him asylum when nobody else did, he’s always been careful to present himself as a former President of a country rather than a member of the WikiLeaks organisation.

    Today's remarks are a bit more strident than the ones he's made in the past. He always had said that while he doesn't approve of everything that Assange and WikiLeaks did, that he saw the issue and still does, as a human rights issue, rather than one of the state of Ecuador necessarily advocating for Assange one way or the other.

    That's the issue insofar as he's concerned, but the rhetoric behind it does not look that great, but when one contextualises it, one can see that he’s not saying anything specifically novel and that it's still his decision that his successor Lenin Moreno betrayed Assange at the level of human rights victim, rather than someone who had to necessarily support everything he did.

    Sputnik: How do you see the future of the Assange case panning out? Will he be extradited to the US?

    Adam Garrie: I don't think there will be any relief for Assange in the English courts, and it will really all come down to what Donald Trump things.

    Donald Trump, of course, benefitted greatly from the truth that WikiLeaks published, and nobody's denied that everything that WikiLeaks published has been factually accurate and truthful, so we'll see.

    A demonstrator wearing a mask depicting Julian Assange protests as police officers stand guard outside of Westminster Magistrates Court, where a case hearing for U.S. extradition of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange is held, in London

    ​Trump's clearly not wanting to commit himself on this one way or another, much of that is probably because of self-preservation; the so-called swamp around his administration is just as anti-Assange as Hilary Clinton, who famously wanted to kill Assange, but Trump still remains a wild card on that.

    I think Assange should be knighted; I think he should be Sir Julian Assange, and I think as soon as he gets done with that, he should be sent to Oslo to receive a Nobel Peace Prize, so what one thinks and what one thinks is just and ethical is very different than the situation on the ground.

    The fact of the matter is for the UK; it's simply a formality, the British government has wanted to get rid of Assange for a long time, they don't care what happens to him, they see him as an annoyance, and the US obviously is more than willing to take him off their hands, it’s really as simple as that, it has nothing to do with justice, nothing to do with morality, nothing to do with human rights.

    Sputnik: Why is the mainstream media so quick to paint Assange as a villain?

    Adam Garrie: It's quite ironic because, in the last week, we saw all of the mainstream media throughout Britain and beyond praise the Daily Mail for publishing leaked information they received regarding the statements from the former UK ambassador to the US; Sir Kim Darroch, yet these same people who praise the Daily Mail for publishing leaked information that happened to be true, are the same ones that are continuously berating Assange for doing the exact same thing, only in respect of information that is far more important to the world than the rantings of a clearly incompetent ambassador.

    We see essentially; that the mainstream media is completely disingenuous when it comes to defending principles like the freedom of speech, the freedom of publication, and even the freedom of thought.


    Supporters of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange block the traffic on Marylebone Road to protest against the extradition hearing of Julian Assange at Westminster Magistrates Court, in London. File photo
    © Sputnik / Justin Griffiths-Williams
    Supporters of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange block the traffic on Marylebone Road to protest against the extradition hearing of Julian Assange at Westminster Magistrates Court, in London, Great Britain

    ​They do what they are told because they want to make money, they want to get invited to certain areas, they want material enrichment and to do that they need to kiss the backside of the people in charge, or at least the people they perceive as being in charge; that's one thing that Assange never did; he truly published without fear.


    Views and opinions, expressed in the article are those of Adam Garrie and do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

    The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.


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