Biden says U.S. may be open to pardon of Julian Assange, as he spends 5th year locked up

President Joe Biden said that the United States government could be open to ending its yearslong persecution of Julian Assange who is currently rotting in a British prison.

The Wikileaks founder has been fighting to avoid his extradition to the U.S. to stand trial on charges of espionage over his organization’s publication of classified official documents including diplomatic cables that brought great embarrassment to the Obama administration and the ruling establishment.

When asked by a reporter for comment on Australia’s request for the U.S. to end its case against Assange, a citizen of the land down under, the octogenarian Democrat responded “We’re considering it,” in remarks that would be a major shift in policy.

The president’s comments came as he was walking outside of the White House with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida who was in town for a meeting between the two leaders on Wednesday.

The 52-year-old publisher has been locked up in the notorious Belmarsh Prison for the last five years since he was tossed out of the Ecuadorian Embassy in London where he had been holed up since 2012 to avoid arrest on trumped-up sex charges. He is currently waging a legal fight over his extradition for what would be a show trial in a D.C. courtroom where he would be convicted and then sent to a Supermax prison for the remainder of his life.

In a February speech to his parliament, Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said that “enough is enough” and “this thing cannot just go on and on and on indefinitely” before an 86-42 vote in favor of calling on the U.S. and the UK to allow Assange to return to the country of his birth.

“I hope this can be resolved. I hope it can be resolved amicably. It’s not up to Australia to interfere in the legal processes of other countries, but it is appropriate for us to put our very strong view that those countries need to take into account the need for this to be concluded,” Albanese said in February.. “Regardless of where people stand, this thing cannot just go on and on and on indefinitely.”

Albanese called Biden’s comment “encouraging,” adding, “there’s nothing to be gained by Mr. Assange’s continued incarceration, in my very strong view. And I’ve put that as the view of the Australian government.”

Last month, Assange scored a victory in the form of a reprieve from extradition when a court in London allowed him to appeal at a new hearing, further dragging out a process that has frustrated those who want to see cruel revenge imposed upon the journalist.

Whether the regime is truly considering leniency for Assange or if Biden’s words were just another one of the off-script moments that have given his handlers nightmares remains to be seen.

Chris Donaldson

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