Deliberate or not, in one day, U.S. soldiers were responsible for three different attacks on the media: the Palestine Hotel, Al Jazeera, and Abu Dhabi TV

By Chip Gibbons, The Dissenter

When Secretary of State Antony Blinken visited Australia in August, he was, as expected, asked about WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. Blinken confirmed that he discussed the Assange case with his Australian counterpart Foreign Minister Penny Wong. He stated that while he understood Australians’ views on the matter, Australians needed to recognize the United States’ position. “Mr. Assange was charged with very serious criminal conduct.”

An explosion hits a part of a city in the middle east

Blinken’s remarks were outrageous for a number of reasons. The most glaring and obvious reason is that Assange is charged with exposing human rights abuses by the U.S. one might label “very serious criminal conduct.” The fact that the U.S. now seeks to extraterritoriality apply its Espionage Act to a journalist for exposing these crimes could reasonably be deemed “very serious criminal conduct.”

But an extra layer of perversity is attached to Blinken’s hypocritical remarks when one considers that the State Department cables published by WikiLeaks document how the U.S. works to evade accountability for its serious crimes. The one that was most on my mind  involved the U.S. efforts to squash criminal indictments of three U.S. servicemembers over their alleged involvement in the death of Spanish photographer Jose Couso.

Since the early 1990s, the U.S. had bombed Iraq, including the capital city of Baghdad. In 2003, invading U.S. forces entered Baghdad during “Shock and Awe,” the campaign of overwhelming military violence designed to terrorize the Iraqi people in the hopes that their government would submit. By April 3, ground forces had mounted an offensive to seize control of Baghdad.

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