Prosecuting and convicting Assange for the crime of possessing and publishing classified material would establish a precedent for convicting any journalist, media outlet, or citizen who publishes, republishes, cites, quotes, or even tweets classified material.
Cholera has broken out in the internally displaced persons camps growing again in eastern Congo, as Congolese people flee the war which, with backing from the Kagame regime in Kigali, Rwanda, resumed in April. The cholera outbreak has sparked fears of an epidemic. Now drenching rain is adding to the refugees’ misery. U.S. Special Forces are in the region, but not to hunt for Joseph Kony. It’s a military operation to secure oil and other African resources and limit Chinese access.
Do you have a smart phone? A laptop? Then you play a role in the violence that occurs in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Cell phones, laptops and other electronics don’t work very well without the mineral, coltan. In the Democratic Republic of Congo, poor farmers are gathered by armed gangs and enslaved to dig coltan out of the ground.
On Feb. 23, I attended a San Francisco Police Commission hearing to oppose arming the San Francisco Police with tasers as well as handguns and said, "I’m here ... because the culture that we impose on other parts of the world is something we create right here."
On Dec. 15, a French judge filed preliminary charges against six people close to Rwandan President Paul Kagame for the 1994 assassination of the Rwandan and Burundian presidents that triggered the Rwanda Genocide. When will Obama take heed of these new French charges? How much longer will the U.S. back the regime sued on two continents and in three countries?
The official Oct. 1 release of the U.N. report documenting the Rwandan and Ugandan armies’ massacres of Hutus in the Congo, should be a defining moment for President Barack Obama. The Congo bill he authored as a senator, passed in 2006, forecast much of the explosive information in the report.
We with our cell phones are directly fueling the most heinous violence the world has seen in 65 years and subsidizing what one activist, Kambale Musavuli, has referred to as the wholesale rape of land and people. As the beneficiaries of this violence, each of us can and must stand in solidarity with the Congolese people.