Democracy Now? Eamonn McCann weighs in on the US Presidential Election

Wikileaks serves democracy better than the US presidential election.

Wikileaks is still run by Julian Assange from the Ecuadorian embassy in London where he has been holed up for the past four years. Last month he released thousands of hacked emails and other documents from the Democratic National Committee (DNC) exposing the dirty tactics and deep dishonesty of the Clinton campaign. Publication of the documents caused turmoil in the Democratic Party. Chairwoman and close Clinton confidante Debbie Wasserman Schultz had to resign. Clinton strategist Bob Beckel then told Fox News: "A dead man can't leak stuff. This guy's a traitor, he's treasonous, and he has broken every law of the United States. And I'm not for the death penalty, so... there's only one way to do it: illegally shoot the son of a bitch."

We might pause to wonder what reaction would have been had a top official of the Trump operation threatened explicitly to have somebody seen as undermining their campaign illegally killed. That is to say, murdered. Clinton's gripe against Assange is that he gave the mass of the American people access to the truth about their government's dirty tricks. Clinton's Irish crowd includes every opportunist Nationalist party in the land. Clinton is a "friend of Ireland," they plead - meaning that she would welcome them into the White House with a warmth which Trump couldn't emulate, and allow them to bathe in bogus glamour while posing with eager grins for photographs for distribution to Irish 'papers' to show how well-got they are.

Not a bother to them that their heroine has beaten the war drum for every recent US assault; assaults that has helped generate the tide of blood now dimming the Middle East, and have sparked terrorist atrocities both in Europe and on the beaches of North Africa. The US is currently bombing Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and Libya. Meanwhile, Clinton misses no opportunity to declare support for Israeli violence against the Palestinian people. Her moral response to the murder of sons of bitches she sees as enemies of US strategy was well expressed in her response to Gadaffi being sodomised to death with a bayonet: "We came, we saw, he died." Followed by a snigger. (We have been here before. Her husband, pudgy sax-abuser Bill, once had a missile unleashed against a pharmaceutical factory in Sudan in order to distract attention from a semen stain on an intern's dress.)

The best excuse "progressive" Clintonites can come up with is that the election in November will amount to a choice between Clinton and Trump. Clinton is the "lesser evil," they say. It's either her or the semi-rational ranter. But that position has been mainly contrived by Clinton herself. And it isn't true anyway. Even after Sanders' withdrawal, the Vermont senator continued to poll better than Clinton going head-to-head with Trump. Electability was never the point. The point was to have a shill for Wall Street in the White House, and Sanders couldn't be trusted to fill that role. You want a measure of Clinton's mendacity in trying to shake off a candidate who alarmed her backers and whom she had never expected to present a serious challenge?

A majority of Sanders' delegates went into the Democratic Convention intending to fight all the way, if only to expose the fact that the process had been rigged from the outset by the DNC. Part of the Clinton strategy was to drown them out. A leaflet distributed to Clinton delegates told that Sanders' supporters would try to highlight the key difference between the candidates by chanting "No more war!" whenever the subject came up.

Clinton followers were asked to retaliate by chanting: "USA! USA! USA!" It's not as if there isn't a decent alternative to Trump in the field. Green Party candidate Jill Stein is unafraid, radical, and anti-war. Given the febrile state of US politics, she could do a lot better than mainstream commentators imagine and provide a focus for the millions left politically homeless after Sanders called on them to switch their support to Clinton.

Millions voted for Sanders in the primaries. If a sizable proportion of these were to weigh in behind Stein, a sizable progressive Left-wing movement would emerge, committed to the interests of the 99% and to combating climate change. If you have family or friends in the US, urge them to stand up for what's right, and vote for a woman who genuinely wants to save the world. Back to Assange. He's in the Equadorian embassy because the UK courts want to extradite him back to Sweden to face charges of sexual abuse. He says he's innocent and has formally undertaken to return to Sweden if the authorities there will guarantee that he won't be extradited onwards to the US. Best case scenario, he says, would be life in prison. Worst case - he'd be killed either judicially or extra-legally.

Assange's plea has been routinely dismissed as a flimsy attempt to avoid having to face the music in Sweden. Anybody feel like arguing that now? The real reason they will do anything to discredit Assange is that they are desperate to avoid scrutiny of the bloody crimes of the likes of Hillary Clinton.


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