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Ron Patton | February 21, 2024

Once the death in a Russian prison of the Western-backed dissident, Alexei Navalny, was announced last week, it was immediately followed by a cascade of anti-Russian pronouncements and the demonization of Vladimir Putin. The mainstream media is taking advantage of this news story to delude the public that Russia is a great threat to world peace and stability. Congruently, Julian Assange is again being brought to the forefront through rallies worldwide. If he is extradited and convicted under the draconian Espionage Act, it will send a clear message that if a journalist reveals the truth, they can be locked away forever. Tonight on Ground Zero, Clyde Lewis talks with investigative journalist and co-host of the Rundown Live, Don Via, Jr. about IRONY IS DEATH.




Due to the powerful effects of television, news images, and their impact on its audience, it becomes increasingly easier to distract people from the facts and frame the narrative in a way that spins a lie or a conspiracy theory to implicate someone or to create a scapegoat.

From there, social media takes over and while it can be used as a magnifying glass for a framed narrative provided by the mainstream, it is countered by other conspiracy yarns that are compelling and complex.

The mainstream media in its framing war will tell you that conspiracy theories are divisive, dangerous, and even, evil. The term ‘conspiracy theory’ has long been used to discredit anyone pointing out collusion between powerful people, but efforts to pathologize dissent as ‘conspiracism’ are doomed to collapse under the weight of reality.

Corruption is rampant in the halls of power, that is as certain as death and taxes and will continue to be this way no matter what party controls the government.

We have all learned that the Biden Administration has allowed fir the weaponizing of the deep state to also threaten people who try to report the truth — they also are weaponized against citizens who attempt to protest.

Chicago Ray, the trucker who ignited the righteous anger of his fellow truckers and of millions of other Americans, has backed away from his boycott –and there has been comment that his life was threatened by the deep state.

Chicago Ray was angry about the astounding $350 million fine that the New York Judge levied against former President Trump in the recent fraud case.

But what Chicago Ray, the truckers, and so many Americans were really angry about was our corrupt judicial system and the evil overlords who created it.

But despite denial, the rumors are flying that the enforcers of the Deep State made a phone call or left a message under the windscreen wipers of his truck like, “Boycott Boy, you gonna have a bad accident before your haul is over.” Or they made a call to his cell phone like, “If you don’t end this boycott bullshit your family and home will be gone when you get back home.”

You can almost see and hear those threats when Chicago Ray posted, “I took that video down from Friday because it went viral and my Grandson saw it on TikTok.”

Newsweek reported Chicago Ray took down his original post and posted a new one on Monday “in which he distanced himself from the boycott calls and stressed that he was not encouraging anyone to do anything.” That post was also later deleted, but a screen grab of it was shared (with Newsweek) by the progressive Midas Touch in which he said, “Just to be clear… I’m no figurehead of any movement…”

Newsweek also reported Chicago Ray said, “I’m not leading, nor have I encouraged, or am I encouraging anyone to do anything other than what they were doing prior to the ruling on Friday in New York City.”

Does that sound like the way trucker Chicago Ray talks, or does it sound like someone dictating a statement to him?

Chicago Ray also posted, “No one’s got to me … I heard what drivers were saying and I’m hearing some of that today, I ain’t scared of s–t. I grew up in Chicago. I stand with Trump 100%. Truckers for Trump drivers can make their own decisions based on their families and their careers.” But then he took down that post too.

You saw what happened to the Canadian Truckers and the criminal acts that Trudeau carried out against them. All because they spoke up against their government’s draconian policies.

Yet we are told that in a free and open democracy like Canada, they have the freedom to politically stage a protest or a boycott if they choose.

Oddly enough this also applies in the United States — or does it?

I mean we here in the U.S. don’t punish citizens or otherwise terrorize them for participating in democratic protests, do we?

We don’t jail people for merely just walking by the January 6th rally — because that would make us like — oh you know Russia.

Vladimir Putin tortures and kills those who are critical of him.

Once the death in a Russian prison of the Western-backed Russian dissident Alexei Navalny was announced on Friday, February 16, 2024, it was immediately followed by a cascade of anti-Russia pronouncements whose aim was to not only continue the demonization of Russia and its President Vladimir Putin but to serve other purposes as well.

When Joe Biden met Vladimir Putin in 2021, the leaders staring at each other across the library of a Geneva lakeside villa, the US president warned there would be “devastating consequences” for Moscow if Alexei Navalny died in Russian custody.

Quite bizarre really when you think about it. Here we have our President telling the leader of Russia that what happens to a citizen in his country under the Russian justice system is of so much concern to the United States that there will be “devastating consequences.”

Experts label this focus as dangerous and frustrating, as it overshadows possible peace efforts with Ukraine.

There were those in the left media that again blamed Tucker Carlson for giving Putin a so-called brutal murderer, dictator, new Hitler, and Satan a forum. While supporters of Carlson are citing freedom of the press the left is asking the question where is the justice for Navalny as he was a journalist and Putin’s biggest critic.

Well perhaps we are all learning that the oppressors have always been the bad guys — but alas Tucker Carlson is the left’s new punching bag because he normalized Putin.

The long and boring history lesson about Ukraine, Russia, and U.S./NATO that Putin had delivered to the world via Tucker Carlson disappeared down the memory hole, as Biden, without any evidence, declared that “Putin and his thugs” and Putin’s “brutality” are responsible for Navalny’s death.

Much of the rest of the world has seen through the mainstream media headlines used to delude the public that Russia is a great threat to world peace and stability.

Like the previous Russia-gate lies, about Trump this ongoing one, coinciding with Navalny’s death, is timed to divert the public’s attention from key ongoing matters.

A Pattern of Irony is emerging and we need to pay close attention as to how President Biden is about to face the same situation.

He will be put to the test to see how merciful he is,

Noam Chomsky has noted, that the real world doesn’t generate precise paired studies, but it often comes pretty close — and there are conspiracy theorists who believe that there are no coincidences –and the recent news about the death of Alexei Navalny and the possible extradition of Julian Assange to the United States should produce a colossal storm of irony, where a paired studies worthy of discussion.

Julian Assange will have his final appeal in a British court to prevent his extradition to the United States. Biden wants him prosecuted for doing the job that the mainstream has failed to do: Exposing war crimes, and Hillary Clinton’s e-mails.

A truly free press would not treat Navalny and Assange in the same manner, but the broad strokes of their treatment will probably be similar – both figures rose to prominence through disruptive use of evolving online media, both dedicated themselves to exposing the corruption and malfeasance of world superpowers, one has now died, reported to be a political murder carried out exclusively by Putin Himself– and the other awaiting extradition to the United States –where many worry will meet the same fate.

President Biden has his own Navalny in Assange– and all the propaganda we hear about how Vladimir Putin treats his detractors and critics — we shall see how Biden treats Assange.

Hillary Clinton once said of Assange “Can’t we just drone this Guy?” According to department sources, there was awkward laughter after her statement.

Clinton continued: “After all, he is a pretty soft target, walking around freely and snubbing his nose without any fear of reprisal from the United States.

Hillary Clinton was a target of Assange On March 16, 2016, when WikiLeaks launched a searchable archive for over 30 thousand emails & email attachments sent to and from Hillary Clinton’s private email.

Some say that Assange helped Donald Trump win his bid in the 2016 election.

But that doesn’t let Trump’s administration off the hook:

Some senior officials inside the CIA and the Trump administration discussed killing Assange, going so far as to request “sketches” or “options” for how to assassinate him. Discussions over kidnapping or killing Assange occurred “at the highest levels” of the Trump administration, said a former senior counterintelligence official. “There seemed to be no boundaries.”

The conversations were part of an unprecedented CIA campaign directed against WikiLeaks and its founder. The agency’s multipronged plans also included extensive spying on WikiLeaks associates, sowing discord among the group’s members, and stealing their electronic devices.

While Assange had been on the radar of U.S. intelligence agencies for years, these plans for an all-out war against him were sparked by WikiLeaks’ ongoing publication of extraordinarily sensitive CIA hacking tools, known collectively as “Vault 7,” which the agency ultimately concluded represented “the largest data loss in CIA history.”

President Trump’s CIA director, Mike Pompeo, was seeking revenge on WikiLeaks and Assange, who had sought refuge in the Ecuadorian Embassy since 2012 to avoid extradition to Sweden on rape allegations he denied.

The CIA’s fury at WikiLeaks led Pompeo to publicly describe the group in 2017 as a “non-state hostile intelligence service.” More than just a provocative talking point, the designation opened the door for agency operatives to take far more aggressive actions, treating the organization as it does adversary spy services.

Within months, U.S. spies were monitoring the communications and movements of numerous WikiLeaks personnel, including audio and visual surveillance of Assange himself, according to former officials.

Yahoo News did an investigation, and based on conversations with more than 30 former U.S. officials — eight of whom described details of the CIA’s proposals to abduct Assange — reveals for the first time one of the most contentious intelligence debates of the Trump presidency and exposes new details about the U.S. government’s war on WikiLeaks. It was a campaign spearheaded by Pompeo that bent important legal strictures, potentially jeopardized the Justice Department’s work toward prosecuting Assange, and risked a damaging episode in the United Kingdom, the United States’ closest ally.

Countless others see him as an agent of espionage, because in 2010 when he published a series of leaks from US Army intelligence operative Chelsea Manning in what was referred to as the largest disclosure of classified documents in history.

He faces up to 175 years in prison if convicted of a string of espionage charges.

Others say that he will suffer the same fate as Navalny where he will be yet another journalist critical of a government being taken out by a government that has weaponized its intelligence networks.

Yesterday and Today the High Court of Justice in London will conduct a hearing to decide whether WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange can appeal the court’s earlier decision to extradite him to the U.S. to face 17 charges under the Espionage Act and one for computer crime.

At the end of the two-day hearing, the court could grant Julian permission to appeal, it could deny it, or it could postpone its decision to a later date. Or the two judges might have some other ruling up their puffy sleeves.

In the first instance, if permission to appeal is granted, whilst awaiting another hearing, Julian would most likely be returned to high-security Belmarsh Prison where he has been held for nearly five years under arbitrary detention in near-total solitary confinement, though he has been convicted of no crime. Belmarsh is known as Britain’s Guantanamo because of its torturous conditions as well as for its population of mostly alleged murderers and terrorists.

Julian, an award-winning journalist and publisher, a lifelong promoter of peace, and a nine-time nominee for the Nobel Peace Prize, is quite obviously not in that category, though some think he is. Most notable among these is former CIA Director Mike Pompeo, who pronounced Julian “a darling of terrorist groups”, and defined WikiLeaks as a “nonstate, hostile intelligence service”.

The crime that Julian is essentially “guilty” of is revealing truths most uncomfortable to the ruling powers—practicing journalism as it should be practiced.

The second possible outcome of the upcoming hearing, denial of permission to appeal, could mean that within hours Julian would be shackled and placed on a U.S. military jet headed for Alexandria, Virginia. There his case will be heard by the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, where many residents work in national security (CIA, FBI, Department of Defense) or have a family member who does. The jury pool comes from this group and, not surprisingly, no one brought before this court under the Espionage Act has ever been exonerated.

Not only would Julian be denied a fair trial there, according to experts such as Nils Melzer, former U.N. rapporteur on torture, but he would not be able to use the defense that what he did was in the public interest, though clearly, it was. The outcome there for Julian has virtually been decided even though his final appeal in Britain has not yet been heard.

What happens to Julian after a near-certain conviction by the federal court is that he will forthwith be sent to Supermax ADX Florence Colorado—or a comparable hell hole—which was described by a former supervisor there as being worse than death.

He would then in essence become the West’s version of Navalny– many people say he will be tortured and will die.

It looks like the only saving grace Assange would have was if Donald Trump were to become president.

Donald Trump, Jr., one of his father’s chief advisors, recently said that based on what he knows now, he would be in favor of dropping the charges against Julian Assange.

Vivek Ramaswamy, former candidate in the Republican party primary, now a Trump supporter who throughout his campaign said he would pardon Julian on day 1, stated that in a recent meeting with Trump, when they discussed various issues, Trump said he would be amenable to pardoning Julian. Three other presidential candidates also want to see Julian freed: Jill Stein, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., and Marianne Williamson.

For a Trump pardon of Julian to happen, many factors would have to come into play here. Trump has previously flip-flopped about Julian, and may well do so again. “I love WikiLeaks!” he declared with great fervor in 2016, lauding WikiLeaks for having published internal emails of the Democratic National Committee showing it undermined Bernie Sanders’ chances of becoming the Democratic presidential nominee and instead installed Hillary Clinton.

But then Trump indicted Julian under the spurious 107-year-old Espionage Act and declined to pardon him during his last days in office. And, under Trump’s presidency, the CIA plotted to kill Julian. Perhaps now Trump wants to be seen as doing the right thing for Julian—or just gain the hundreds of thousands of votes of those who want to see that happen.

The possibility of Trump being elected and then pardoning Julian is of course very far from certain. If indeed it did happen, it couldn’t be before January 2025. By that time, unless extradited, Julian will have suffered yet another year in Belmarsh prison, where he has been held since April 11, 2019, on remand, at the bidding of the U.S.

In the U.S., House Resolution 934, introduced by Rep. Paul Gosar, a Republican from Arizona, calls for the U.S. to drop the charges against Julian Assange, stating that “regular journalistic activities, including the obtainment and publication of information, are protected under the First Amendment”.

The Resolution has eight other co-sponsors from both parties and is currently before the House Judiciary Committee. While its passage there, then onto the floor of Congress, over to the Senate could be a lengthy route, its supporters hope that thousands of people will write to their representatives urging their support for this resolution, thereby bringing massive attention to Julian’s case and what it means.

It has been said that before a major war, during wartime, and immediately post wartime – one of the biggest casualties is the truth.

Can a comparative look at Navalny give us pause to think that we face a cessation of the benefits of the Constitution because all of what we have been taught is now antiquated because of our consensus behaviors?

These questions will be answered with the Julian Assange case.

President Biden faces a parallel situation where we will see if he will be merciful — and that he is not like what the media has told us Vladimir Putin is.

Is Julian Assange – a whistleblower, journalist, or spy? Is he an enemy of the state — and will he become a political prisoner because he would be one of President Biden’s and the political liberal left’s worst enemies?

Julian’s importance has been acknowledged by hundreds of thousands of parliamentarians, human rights authorities, medical doctors, religious leaders, artists, teachers, trade unionists, legal professionals, journalists, students, and writers all over the world who publicly demand his immediate release.

Nevertheless, the Americans and Brits may very well prevail, keeping Julian locked up for more years as he wastes away under the grueling prison conditions awaiting a final decision. Or they could prevail in having Julian sent to a supermax prison via the U.S. district court.

The possibility of Julian’s cranking up WikiLeaks to once again be the propaganda and lies-shattering, truth-telling online publication that it made him a huge threat to all those all around the world who are committing unseen—or even seen—and with impunity the same and even more nefarious crimes Julian earlier revealed.

During Julian’s incarceration and WikiLeak’s slowdown, alternative journalists and bloggers have done heroic jobs of reporting what must be brought to light.

The World Economic Forum has stated in many of its gatherings that the biggest threat to their world takeover is independent journalism.

Something they love to call conspiracy theories and misinformation.

What’s at stake for Julian is horrendous. What’s at stake for the rest of us is terrifying. If Julian is extradited and convicted under the draconian Espionage Act, the message will be that anyone anywhere in the world who says or writes anything that the U.S. considers against their interests can also be locked away forever.

While the U.S. seems to feel that extraterritorial jurisdiction is its right alone, other countries may decide to follow suit, picking off journalists or activists who don’t toe the government line.

If a journalist and publisher is locked away forever for revealing truths, a clear message is broadcast, and even more journalists and publishers will self-censor, so the same fate isn’t rained down on them. And that ends a free and open press, that kills our right to know.

Today it is open season on journalists in many parts of the world, most egregiously in the Isreali-Palestine war where it has been reported that some 120 journalists—and often their families as well—have been targeted and assassinated by the IDF.

Now there are gatherings outside the London Courthouse awaiting the outcome of his trial. Hundreds of supporters holding “Free Julian Assange” signs and chanting “There is only one decision – no extradition.”

Rallies were also held in cities around the world, including Rome, Brussels, and Berlin.

Julian’s wife Stella told the crowd the case was about “the right to be able to speak freely without being put in prison and hounded and terrorized by the state”.

She said: “What happened to Navalny can happen to Julian, and will happen to Julian if he is extradited.”

She of course was referring to the Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny.

Stella Assange, who married the WikiLeaks founder in prison in 2022, said last week that his health has deteriorated during years of confinement and “if he’s extradited, he will die”.

Unfortunately to pile up the anti-Russian propaganda the overkill reporting about Navalny has rendered the absolute hypocrisy over the torture and imprisonment of Assange secondary and “inconsequential.”

As intended, this has now become an afterthought as the mainstream media’s Russia-obsessed headlines flow uninterruptedly.

We are being reminded over and over that Putin had Navalny killed.

He has nothing to gain and everything to lose by doing so. Yet the Mainstream Mews and their government overlords consider most people very stupid and so are trying to blitz them with obvious propaganda through commission and omission.

Now how do handle a problem like Julian Assange and will Joe Biden be any more transparent or merciful? If Putin gave the whacking orders for Navalny, which of course he had motive, then we have pointed out plenty of motives for Biden to do the same thing.

This is a major lesson in hypocrisy.


Don Via Jr. is an independent journalist based in central Virginia, his reporting mainly focuses on politics, corruption in government, and foreign policy. He is the co-host of The Rundown Live and contributor to The Free Thought Project.

Written by Ron Patton


This post currently has 3 comments.

  1. SARGE

    February 21, 2024 at 4:42 pm


  2. Ajakey

    February 21, 2024 at 6:44 pm

    Hard times bring strong people, string people bring good times, good times bring weak people, weak people bring hard times again.

  3. Pat

    February 22, 2024 at 5:41 am

    Clyde good to hear you back….. real good show tonight . Maybe. Alexei navalny. Is alive and well on a parallel universe and the president of Russia.? Many men in 1776 who signed a declaration of independence were persecuted and died because they signed up, signed up to be independent from England People today are being persecuted and arrested because they don’t believe what they told by the deep state. Alexei Navalny. Death at a remote prison camp above the Arctic Circle. He was a revolutionist, just like our forefathers was years ago. The world will never know the truth. Circumstances of his death. Julian Assange Some call him a traitor. Some call him a hero and champion of truth. He let a lot of secrets out from the deep state that was happening to the public. Hillary Clinton let a lot of secrets out from all our emails floating around and peoples lives died also. But you don’t see her in prison. You’re right mainstream news, and the government overlords. Are feeding people a bunch of bull. I think most people are sheep, and they can be led to the slaughter can be told to walk to their death. People need to think for their self read the constitution of United States. Look to our past, see what it stands for. I fear, Julian Assange, Will be brought back to the United States and will die mysteriously in a US prison. What a coincidence? Jeffrey Epstein. Mysteriously died by a suicide in prison.? The deep state can hide and secrets people need to wake up and smell a coffee every day above ground is a good day. Enjoy your freedom. Are we still have it?

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