Julian Assange:  David G Silvers., CC BY-SA 2.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons

Yesterday, in the Westminster Magistrates Court in London, the lawyers for WikiLeaks co-founder Julian Assange presented to the judge a document from me stating that I have put up $20,000 of my own money to help bail Mr. Assange out of jail.

Furthermore, I am publicly offering the assistance of my website, my servers, my domain names and anything else I can do to keep WikiLeaks alive and thriving as it continues its work to expose the crimes that were concocted in secret and carried out in our name and with our tax dollars.

We were taken to war in Iraq on a lie. Hundreds of thousands are now dead. Just imagine if the men who planned this war crime back in 2002 had had a WikiLeaks to deal with. They might not have been able to pull it off. The only reason they thought they could get away with it was because they had a guaranteed cloak of secrecy. That guarantee has now been ripped from them, and I hope they are never able to operate in secret again.

So why is WikiLeaks, after performing such an important public service, under such vicious attack? Because they have outed and embarrassed those who have covered up the truth. The assault on WikiLeaks and Assange has been over the top:

**Sen. Joe Lieberman (Gore’s Democratic running mate in the 2000 election) says WikiLeaks "has violated the Espionage Act."

**The New Yorker's George Packer calls Assange "super-secretive, thin-skinned, [and] megalomaniacal."

**Sarah Palin claims he's "an anti-American operative with blood on his hands" whom we should pursue "with the same urgency we pursue al Qaeda and Taliban leaders."

**Democrat Bob Beckel (Walter Mondale's 1984 campaign manager) said about Assange on Fox: "A dead man can't leak stuff ... there's only one way to do it: illegally shoot the son of a bitch."

**Republican Mary Matalin says "he's a psychopath, a sociopath ... He's a terrorist."

**Rep. Peter A. King (R-NY) calls WikiLeaks a "terrorist organization."

And indeed they are! They exist to terrorize the liars and warmongers who have brought ruin to our nation and to others. Perhaps the next war won't be so easy because the tables have been turned — and now it's Big Brother who's being watched ... by us!

WikiLeaks deserves our thanks for shining a huge spotlight on all this. But some in the corporate-owned press have dismissed the importance of WikiLeaks ("they've released little that's new!") or have painted them as simple anarchists ("WikiLeaks just releases everything without any editorial control!"). WikiLeaks exists, in part, because the mainstream media has failed to live up to its responsibility. The corporate owners have decimated newsrooms, making it impossible for good journalists to do their job. There's no time or money anymore for investigative journalism. Simply put, investors don't want those stories exposed. They like their secrets kept ... as secrets.

I ask you to imagine how much different our world would be if WikiLeaks had existed 10 years ago. Take a look at this photo:


That's President George W. Bush about to be handed a "secret" document on August 6th, 2001 — just one month before 9/11. Its heading read: "Bin Ladin Determined To Strike in US." And on those pages it said the FBI had discovered "patterns of suspicious activity in this country consistent with preparations for hijackings." Mr. Bush decided to ignore it and went fishing for the next four weeks.

But if that document had been leaked, how would you or I have reacted? What would Congress or the FAA have done? Was there not a greater chance that someone, somewhere would have done something if all of us knew about bin Laden's impending attack using hijacked planes?

But back then only a few people had access to that document. Because the secret was kept, a flight school instructor in San Diego, who noticed that two Saudi students took no interest in learning how to perform takeoffs or landings, saw nothing strange about that and did nothing to inform any authorities. Had he heard about the bin Laden threat through the media, might he have called the FBI? (Please read this essay by former FBI Agent Coleen Rowley, Time's 2002 co-Person of the Year, about her belief that, had WikiLeaks been around in 2001, 9/11 might have been prevented.)

Or what if the public in 2003 had been able to read "secret" memos from Dick Cheney as he pressured the CIA to make up "facts" that he wanted in order to build his false case for war? If a WikiLeaks had revealed at that time that there were, in fact, no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, do you think that the war would have been launched — or rather, wouldn't there have been calls later on for Cheney's arrest?

Openness, transparency — these are among the few weapons the citizenry has to protect itself from the powerful and the corrupt. What if within days of August 4th, 1964 — after the Pentagon had made up the lie that one of our ships was attacked by the North Vietnamese in the Gulf of Tonkin — there had been a WikiLeaks to tell the American people that the whole thing was made up? I guess 58,000 of our soldiers (and 2 million Vietnamese) might be alive today.

Instead, secrets killed them.

I have joined with filmmakers Ken Loach and John Pilger and writer Jemima Khan in putting up the bail money for Julian Assange — and we hope the judge will accept this and grant his release today.

Might WikiLeaks cause some unintended harm to diplomatic negotiations and U.S. interests around the world? Perhaps. But that's the price you pay when you and your government take us to war based on a lie. Your punishment for misbehaving is that someone has to turn on all the lights in the room so that we can see what you're up to. You simply can't be trusted. So every cable, every email you write is now fair game. Sorry, but you brought this upon yourself. No one can hide from the truth now. No one can plot the next Big Lie if they know that they might be exposed.

And that is the best thing that WikiLeaks has done. WikiLeaks, God bless them, will save lives as a result of their actions. And any of you who join me in supporting them are committing a true act of patriotism. Period.

I stand today in absentia with Julian Assange in London and I ask the judge to grant him his release. We are willing to guarantee his return to court with the bail money we have wired to said court. I will not allow this injustice to continue unchallenged.

— Michael Moore

(P.S. You can read the statement I filed yesterday [ December 13, 2010 ] in the London court here.)


Back in December of 2010, three days after I wrote that statement and provided the court with my portion of Julian’s bail, the court granted Julian Assange his freedom based on our bail money. He then continued his appeals through the British Courts. After 18 months, facing certain extradition, he entered the Ecuadorian embassy in London seeking asylum. In April of 2019, upon leaving the Ecuadorian embassy after confining himself there for nearly 7 years, he was immediately arrested by British authorities and held at the request of the United States for possible extradition and trial in the US. He was incarcerated in Britain’s maximum security prison, Belmarsh, for over 5 years fighting his removal to the United States. The British courts, though, refused to turn Assange over to the Americans — in part because British law, as in most western democracies, refuses to extradite prisoners to any country that has the death penalty. His case dragged on through both the Trump and Biden administrations until finally, yesterday, the U.S. government gave in and agreed to a plea deal that would immediately grant Assange his freedom and allow him to return home to Australia.

So far, neither the U.S. Justice Department nor the British government has sought the arrest of those who fraudulently led both countries into invading Iraq under the lie that Saddam Hussein had something to do with the 9/11 attacks.

In addition, the British court informed me when Assange skipped bail and took refuge in the Ecuadorian embassy that they would not be returning my $20,000 in bail money. I have been assured, though, that the British government has used my contribution to finally help put into writing a first-ever written Constitution for the United Kingdom — something they have been promising to do since June of 1215.

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