9/11/20 Clive Stafford Smith on Julian Assange’s Political Show Trial

Clive Stafford Smith, expert witness in Julian Assange’s extradition hearing, talks about the outrageous scandal that is the U.S. government’s attempted prosecution of Assange and Wikileaks. Smith begins by making the obvious point that as a recipient of classified leaks, and not a leaker himself, Assange is no different than any journalist who writes stories containing classified information. To prosecute Wikileaks, in other words, the government would have to admit that they could prosecute the New York Times and The Washington Post as well. The focus of Smith’s testimony was on the many heroic and salutary effects Assange’s exposure of U.S. government malfeasance has had, including illegal torture of terrorism suspects, whom Smith has spent part of his legal career defending. Smith argues that these misdeeds must be exposed, since their continuation puts thousands of innocent lives at risk from blowback.

Discussed on the show:

Clive Stafford Smith is founder and director of Reprieve, and the author of Bad Men: Guantánamo Bay and the Secret Prisons and Injustice: Life and Death in the Courtrooms of America. Follow him on Twitter @CliveSSmith.
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