Send this article to a friend:


The Murder of the First Amendment
Paul Craig Roberts

The illegal and unwarranted prosecution of Julian Assange by the US Government in a British court, if court it is and not a Star Chamber, is in fact the prosecution of the First Amendment. It will prevent journalists in the future from informing the public of criminal activity by government. This is already the case in a number of countries, and the US and UK are about to join them.  Washington, working through a British judge and a British prosecutor, is murdering the First Amendment and, thereby, accountable government. 

The US government’s case for Assange’s extradition to the US that is working its way through a CIA-suborned British court redefines journalists who hold government accountable as spies.  In other words, journalists who reveal criminal actions of governments are quilty of espionage.  If this were in fact the case, the New York Times would have been prosecuted for publishing the Pentagon Papers.

Once upon a time when law still ruled a person had to spy on his own country in order to have committed a crime.  Julian Assange is an Australian citizen, but he is accused of  committing espionage against the United States while living in Europe.  If this were a crime under law, all the Israeli Mossad spies spying on the United States would be arrested and treated as Assange.  Indeed, all spies of all countries spying on other countries, including the CIA and the British MI6, could be arrested and tried for espionage in the countries that they are spying on. Generally speaking, countries prosecute their own citizens who spy on their own country for foreign governments, but send foreign spies caught spying on them home ( ).

In other words, both the US and British governments are hypocrites and lawless.  As the Australian government is just another Washington puppet state, Australia has done nothing to protect its citizen from false prosecution. 

Neither have the journalists whose profession is being destroyed by the illegal prosecution of Assange.  What is happening to Assange is worse than a Stalnist show trial, but no presstitute has raised a voice. 

Journalists long ago ceased to be journalists and became propagandists for the CIA and the ruling elites.  What little independence American journalism ever had was destroyed by the Clinton regime’s acquiescence to the concentration of 90% of the US media in six hands.  Many books have been written exposing the CIA’s influence over the prestige US media since 1950, and Udo Ulfkotte exposed the CIA’s control over the European media.  British newspapers, such as the Guardian, guard the intelligence agencies and ruling elites.

There is no legal basis for Assange’s prosecution.  He is prosecuted for one reason only: to make it clear to journalists that the First Amendment is dead and their profession along with it.

For those who are not journalists, it means that Justice is dead.  Assange’s extradiction hearing is clearly not being run by a British court but by Washington.  What evidence can be presented is determined by Washington.  The judge, in my opinion a puppet of the intelligence services, and the prosecutor, another puppet devoid, in my opinion, of an ounce of integrity, have done more to prevent justice than Vyshinsky did in the Stalinist show trial of Nikolai Bukharin.

All great evil, such as is being practiced against Julian Assange, has unintended consequences.  What the US and UK are doing is digging their own graves as democracies.  They are transforming themselves into tyrannies.  For freedom, the world will henceforth look to Russia and China.

Craig Murray, a former British ambassador and one of the few people of integrity who have served in the British government in the past half century, has been covering the Assange Show Trial.  This is from his report of Day 14:

“I am very concerned about the obvious collusion of the prosecution and the judge to close this case down. The extraordinary conflation of “time management” and excluding evidence which the US Government does not want heard in public is plainly illegitimate. The continual chivvying and interruption of defence counsel in examination when prosecution counsel are allowed endless repetition amounting to harassment and bullying is illegitimate. Some extraordinarily long prosecution cross-examinations, such as that of Carey Shenkman the lawyer, have every appearance of deliberate time wasting and distraction.” 

There are so many things that need protesting.  But what are the protests about?  They are about a nonexistent “systemic white racism” and the falsely alleged murder by police officers doing their duty of a felon, George Floyd, who killed himself with an overdose of fentanyl ( ).  

Billions of dollars of businesses have been looted and burned because Democrat local and state governments would not permit police to halt the destruction.  The crimes committed by these Democrat mayors and governors are enormous, but no action is taken against them.

Instead, a journalist who told the truth has been under restraint for years and tortured.  Now he is being subjected to a show trial under the guise of an extradition hearing. It is obvious to everyone that the British “court” is acting for Washington and that Assange’s exradiction will be regarded as a sign that he is guilty as charged. No American jury would dare find him innocent.

No one in the US or British or Australian government and media other than a few of the caliber of John Pilger and Craig Murray has the integrity and decency to denounce the trial of Assange as a murderous assault on the First Amendment. The presstitute media donned their CIA cleats and jumped on Assange with both feet, serving as amplifiers for the false charges of Russian spy alleged against an honest journalist. In other words, dumbshit ”prestige” journalists are helping government criminalize journalism.

There is no democracy and no accountable government without an honest media.  The absence of an honest media in the West means that democracy and justice also are absent.

Assange faces life imprisonment for allegedly leaking documents, some of which had security classification, despite the fact that journalists have always had the right to publish leaks regardless of their classification. The Pentagon Papers were classified, and the New York Times published them.  

Moreover, as was established in the 14th day of Assange’s extradiction hearing, it wasn’t Wikileaks that first released the encryption key and location of the leaked documents.  It was The Guardian and David Leigh (see the account here: ( ).

Therefore, it is David Leigh, not Julian Assange, who is responsible for what Washington regards as a crime. Not only does Washington have an illegitimate case, it has the wrong man in the dock.

This is par course for Washington and explains why Washington is no longer respected in the world even among its European vassals.

The question that we need to ask ourselves, and the question that President Trump needs to ask himself, is why is Trump supporting the fabricated case of the corrupt Obama regime against Julian Assange.  Is the answer that Trump feels that he cannot go against the wishes of the military/security complex when he faces the prospect of a color revolution to overturn his reelection?  Will Julian Assange be another Democrat victim like the countless business men and women whose undefended businesses and livelihoods were burned and looted because Democrats would not defend property from thugs whose cause they champion?


Hon. Paul Craig Roberts is the John M. Olin Fellow at the Institute for Political Economy, Senior Research Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, and Research Fellow at the Independent Institute. A former editor and columnist for The Wall Street Journal and columnist for Business Week and the Scripps Howard News Service, he is a nationally syndicated columnist for Creators Syndicate in Los Angeles and a columnist for Investor's Business Daily. In 1992 he received the Warren Brookes Award for Excellence in Journalism. In 1993 the Forbes Media Guide ranked him as one of the top seven journalists.

He was Distinguished Fellow at the Cato Institute from 1993 to 1996. From 1982 through 1993, he held the William E. Simon Chair in Political Economy at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. During 1981-82 he served as Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy. President Reagan and Treasury Secretary Regan credited him with a major role in the Economic Recovery Tax Act of 1981, and he was awarded the Treasury Department's Meritorious Service Award for "his outstanding contributions to the formulation of United States economic policy." From 1975 to 1978, Dr. Roberts served on the congressional staff where he drafted the Kemp-Roth bill and played a leading role in developing bipartisan support for a supply-side economic policy.

In 1987 the French government recognized him as "the artisan of a renewal in economic science and policy after half a century of state interventionism" and inducted him into the Legion of Honor.

Dr. Roberts' latest books are The Tyranny of Good Intentions, co-authored with IPE Fellow Lawrence Stratton, and published by Prima Publishing in May 2000, and Chile: Two Visions - The Allende-Pinochet Era, co-authored with IPE Fellow Karen Araujo, and published in Spanish by Universidad Nacional Andres Bello in Santiago, Chile, in November 2000. The Capitalist Revolution in Latin America, co-authored with IPE Fellow Karen LaFollette Araujo, was published by Oxford University Press in 1997. A Spanish language edition was published by Oxford in 1999. The New Colorline: How Quotas and Privilege Destroy Democracy, co-authored with Lawrence Stratton, was published by Regnery in 1995. A paperback edition was published in 1997. Meltdown: Inside the Soviet Economy, co-authored with Karen LaFollette, was published by the Cato Institute in 1990. Harvard University Press published his book, The Supply-Side Revolution, in 1984. Widely reviewed and favorably received, the book was praised by Forbes as "a timely masterpiece that will have real impact on economic thinking in the years ahead." Dr. Roberts is the author of Alienation and the Soviet Economy, published in 1971 and republished in 1990. He is the author of Marx's Theory of Exchange, Alienation and Crisis, published in 1973 and republished in 1983. A Spanish language edition was published in 1974.

Dr. Roberts has held numerous academic appointments. He has contributed chapters to numerous books and has published many articles in journals of scholarship, including the Journal of Political Economy, Oxford Economic Papers, Journal of Law and Economics, Studies in Banking and Finance, Journal of Monetary Economics, Public Finance Quarterly, Public Choice, Classica et Mediaevalia, Ethics, Slavic Review, Soviet Studies, Rivista de Political Economica, and Zeitschrift fur Wirtschafspolitik. He has entries in the McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of Economics and the New Palgrave Dictionary of Money and Finance. He has contributed to Commentary, The Public Interest, The National Interest, Harper's, the New York Times, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, Fortune, London Times, The Financial Times, TLS, The Spectator, Il Sole 24 Ore, Le Figaro, Liberation, and the Nihon Keizai Shimbun. He has testified before committees of Congress on 30 occasions.

Dr. Roberts was educated at the Georgia Institute of Technology (B.S.), the University of Virginia (Ph.D.), the University of California at Berkeley and Oxford University where he was a member of Merton College.

He is listed in Who's Who in America, Who's Who in the World, The Dictionary of International Biography, Outstanding People of the Twentieth Century, and 1000 Leaders of World Influence. His latest book, HOW THE ECONOMY WAS LOST, has just been published by CounterPunch/AK Press. He can be reached at: [email protected]


Please Donate

I listen to my readers. In March 2010, I terminated my syndicated column. Thousands of you protested. So persuasive were your emails asking me to reconsider and to continue writing that, two months later, I began writing again.

In order to create a coherent uncensored and unedited archive of my writings, The Institute For Political Economy, a non-profit organization that supports research, writing and books, has established this site, thus gratifying readers' demands that I continue to provide analyses of events in our time.

In order to stay up, this site needs to pay for itself.

Send this article to a friend: