The unex­pected deci­sion by Judge Vanessa Baraitser to deny a US demand to extra­dite Julian Assange, foil­ing efforts to send him to a US super-​max jail for the rest of his life, is a wel­come legal vic­tory, but one swamped by larger lessons that should dis­turb us deeply.
Those who cam­paigned so vig­or­ously to keep Assange’s case in the spot­light, even as the US and UK cor­po­rate media worked so stren­u­ously to keep it in dark­ness, are the heroes of the day. They made the price too steep for Baraitser or the British estab­lish­ment to agree to lock Assange away indef­i­nitely in the US for expos­ing its war crimes and its crimes against human­ity in Iraq and Afghanistan.
But we must not down­play the price being demanded of us for this victory.
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