Robert F. Kennedy Jr. pledged to deliver a pardon to whistleblower Julian Assange if elected president in 2024. The Democratic candidate said the U.S. should champion free speech and not persecute those who shed light on misdeeds.
He announced in a tweet on May 2 that he will “pardon brave truth-tellers” like Julian Assange and investigate the corruption and crimes they exposed.
RFK, Jr — "I'll pardon brave truth-tellers like Julian Assange"
— Ron Paul (@RonPaul) May 3, 2023
RFK Jr. added that this country is not the Soviet Union and should not practice jailing dissidents.
The Wikileaks founder has been the target of the U.S. government for years over revelations of everything from untruths surrounding the Iraq War to corruption by failed presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. Assange has been held indefinitely in a U.K. prison.
Supporters believe he deserves a chance to defend himself in a fair trial, something he certainly has lacked.
The Democrat not only spotlighted Assange but included Edward Snowden, Chelsea Manning and others in his pledge. He said these “truth-tellers” are part of “return(ing) America to its democratic and humanitarian ideals.”
Wikileaks was created in 2006 and exploded into the public consciousness in 2010 when U.S. Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning provided dramatic documentation from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.
The materials allegedly proved that American forces killed civilians in incidents that went unreported in the conflicts. Another controversial revelation was the reported effort by the U.S. to acquire biometric data on key United Nations officials.
Assange was jailed in 2012 but then sought refuge in Ecuador’s London embassy. He was granted asylum after he claimed political persecution, but that asylum was withdrawn in 2019 after conflicts with diplomatic authorities.
He is currently imprisoned in London.
But now RFK Jr. promises to pardon Assange if he is elected president next year. Despite his longshot candidacy and Democratic Party leadership circling the wagons around an unpopular incumbent, he has already made waves in a party nervous about its chances in 2024.
A recent Fox News poll showed RFK Jr. drawing 19% of support among Democrats compared to only 62% for Biden. That despite the mainstream media virtually ignoring his candidacy and party bigwigs dismissing him outright.