Via America’s Lawyer: Wikileaks founder Julian Assange has been detained in the UK for nearly 10 years. Meanwhile, mainstream news outlets are crying foul over the imprisonment of Russian whistleblower Alexei Navalny. Host of “Redacted Tonight” Lee Camp joins Mike Papantonio to explain the threat Julian Assange presents to our intelligence community, and why President Biden still wants him extradited to face charges of treason.
*This transcript was generated by a third-party transcription software company, so please excuse any typos.
Mike Papantonio: WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has been holed away in the UK since 2012. He spent seven years under house arrest in, in Ecuador, in the embassy, before literally being dragged to prison. His supporters have campaigned for his release, yet the Biden admin, administration, still wants him extradited to the US. I have host of Redacted Tonight, Lee Camp, just one of the smartest, really the smartest progressive in this business, takes a com, he takes a comedy angle, but his stories are incredible. Lee, look, what, what do you believe is the biggest motivating factor for our government’s continued push to extradite this guy? It just goes on and on, doesn’t it?
Lee Camp: Yeah, it really does. I mean, it’s incredibly just disgusting to watch. The courts in the UK have ruled that he can’t be extradited specifically because the US prisons are so horrific that he would be a suicide risk. And so all that needs to happen now is that they need to stop the appeals, Biden, Biden administration, and he would be a free man. Assange would be a free man tomorrow if they did that. But they’re not and actually we did get a slip up from one of our ruling elite, Leon Panetta, the former head of the CIA revealed the real reason. And we kind of knew it, that they are continuing to persecute Assange. He said, we just want this to send a message to others, to not do the same thing. Meaning do not reveal our secrets.
Mike Papantonio: Well it. Right, that’s the message. Don’t tell the ugly filthy things that the CIA has done, or the FBI has done. Don’t tell us what the NSA is doing to us every single day because that’s bad. So let’s keep the guys locked, let’s, let’s just keep the guy locked up and hopefully the story will be that everybody, journalist or otherwise, is just terrified to actually tell us the truth. What are the main concerns of his supporters, Lee?
Lee Camp: Well, obviously his health is a major one. He’s, he’s been unhealthy for years now. Anyone can take a look at a photo of him and know that this is not a healthy man. I mean, before these two years in Belmarsh the harshest prison in the UK, he spent seven years, like you said, in the, in the, basically one room in the Ecuadorian embassy. So he’s really been in close to solitary confinement for nine years now. He is not healthy. People are worried about him, worried about him getting COVID, and, and there’s a million reasons that he should be released. And part of the reason that I mentioned that they did, they’re not extraditing him to the US, is because he is a, a suicide risk. He’s depressed. He is having an incredibly rough life and his supporters want him to, again, be free because this is a hero. This is someone who revealed, as we said, the secrets, the actual operating procedures of our American empire and so many countries around the world, not just America. But secrets that, that were from the Russian government, the Chinese government, Australia, Peru, Britain. So people think he was on some sort of just mission against America, but he was really for a mission of transparency by governments around the world.
Mike Papantonio: He revealed what Howard Zinn was telling us for decades. And then that the CIA, the NSA and spook industries in other countries have just managed to mangle decency and democracy. Look, I, I think this is interesting. It seems like every American corporation, media corporation, is talking about op, talking about opposition leaders all over the world and poor, poor Navalny. Okay. This is a guy, understand that this Navalny, people don’t understand this, this is a guy Alexei Navalny, he was a guy who made the statement that immigrants coming to his country are, are less than cockroaches. And it doesn’t seem to affect the corporate media about that. He’s the big victim now. What is your take on this thing? I wonder if it’s the same as mine.
Lee Camp: Well, I, you know, I’m, I’m close to a prison abolitionist. I believe we should have about one, 100th of the prisoners we have in America, but in most countries. So I want to see most of these people freed. But the idea that the media or our government somehow cares about the health of Navalny suddenly, but they don’t care about the health of Julian Assange. They never have, they don’t report on it. They don’t care about it. And they don’t care about the health of the American people. This is a time we’re in the middle of a pandemic and we can’t get Medicare for All. We can’t get our own American citizens to have healthcare. And suddenly they care about the health of Navalny. It’s, it’s laughable on so many levels. It’s just being used as a, as a propaganda trick.
Mike Papantonio: Yeah. I mean, in one hand, you’ve got a guy who is a journalist. You can call him whatever you want. Journalism begins with information. This guy got the information. He had the courage to put it out there. And then every, I mean, every, every president since that’s happened has done nothing to say, you know what, maybe we ought to pay attention to what he said. Maybe we ought to react to what he said rather than, than having this guy rot away in prison. Lee Camp, thanks very much. You can catch, you can get Lee’s hosting RT’s weekly comedy show Redacted Tonight. It is truly a great show. You can see his website @leecamp.com. Let’s, let’s, let’s follow this story a little bit more Lee as we go on. Okay. Thank you for joining me.
Lee Camp: Thanks, Mike.