A couple days ago, U.K. bank National Westminster (NatWest) servicing Russia Today (RT), a Russian news company, sent RT a letter stating that the bank will be closing RT’s accounts. The letter gave the broadcasting company a strict deadline and clearly stated that the decision was final and the matter could not be discussed any further.
At the same time, WikiLeaks announced that Julian Assange’s internet connection at his home in London had been severed by a state party. The timing of these two scenarios poses some serious questions: Are these two acts related, how is the UK government involved, and are these strategic strikes against alternative media?
What is Russia Today?
Russia Today is a state-sponsored news network that has gained a loyal, global following as a result of the network’s ability to broadcast real news to English, Spanish, and Arabic audiences. The stories RT reports on are the critical events happening in our world, as well as other important subjects that aren’t discussed by mainstream media. Covering stories related to scandal, false-flag terrorism, corruption, and conspiracy — along with the true motives behind the people or institutions involved — has proven the network’s credibility. Many of the topics that RT covers are those that wouldn’t be found on mainstream media outlets because these outlets are either too afraid to report on these subjects or controlled by corporations, the elite, and/or the government.
Why Would the U.K. Close RT’s Accounts?
The bank said that the entire Royal Bank of Scotland Group, of which NatWest is a part of, would refuse to service RT. The company was given no notice prior to receiving the letter, which stated that the decision was final and could not be further discussed. Though the company’s assets weren’t frozen, the notice was rather abrupt.
Here’s a copy of the letter to RT from NatWest, which clearly states that the bank is “not prepared to enter into any discussion in relation to it.”
The Russian Foreign Ministry voiced its suspicions, stating it was “an action aimed at eliminating a media outlet, which was unfavorable for the British establishment but popular among the British public. . . . If so, then it is a gross violation of the basic principles of free speech and free press by… ‘the oldest democracy in the world.’ “
Sergey Zheleznyak, member of the Russian Parliament Foreign Affairs Committee, added: “We will demand explanations from the British authorities for this situation. We will help RT staff to protect their rights. We will request that international organizations like the Council of Europe and the UN, as well as international human rights and media professionals communities state their positions on this issue.”
Even the publisher and editor of Politics First, Marcus Papadopoulos, expressed his concerns to RT:
I sincerely hope that there’s no political motive for this, because we know that the British government isn’t happy with RT in Britain. . . . RT has a lot of viewers in Britain. Many British people now tune in to RT to receive information on major topics around the world, including in Britain. And many British people believe that the alternative accounts that RT puts forward and covers are more truthful than what they’re hearing from, for example, Sky News.
These statements and the secretive nature of the abrupt closure suggest that the U.K. government may have had a hand in freezing RT’s bank accounts. When you consider the fact that the U.K. has significant shareholdings in NatWest and the worsening situations between the West and Russia in Syria, Yemen, and elsewhere, it’s easy to imagine how they could be involved. This seems even more plausible when you take into account the other extremely apparent act of censorship that occurred in the U.K. around the same time.
How This Relates to Julian Assange’s Internet Allegedly Being Cut
That same weekend, WikiLeaks announced over Twitter that Julian Assange’s internet had been purposely cut by a state party in his home inside the Ecuadorian Embassy in London. Directly before this particular tweet, WikiLeaks tweeted more information regarding their October Surprise document leaks (read our articles about it here). The tweets included cryptic codes naming U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, Ecuador, and the U.K.’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office, in turn creating speculation that Assange’s ‘dead man’s switch’ had been triggered.
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Although WikiLeaks’ claim regarding Assange’s internet access has yet to be proven, it certainly seems likely that a state party from the U.K. or even the U.S. could be responsible for it. The documents and emails WikiLeaks recently exposed have shed some serious light on the lack of government transparency. Even though WikiLeaks probably had access to the alleged documents Assange had obtained and tweeted about, it still speaks volumes that the government may have attempted to stop them from being released to the public. That would be a direct violation of free speech — although this wouldn’t be the first time governments withheld information.
Both the cutting of Assange’s internet access and RT’s frozen bank accounts appear to be direct violations of free speech. The timing of these two scenarios seems too “coincidental,” but U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May has assured the public the government had nothing to do with RT’s bank account closing. May’s spokeswoman explained that “the decision by NatWest to withdraw banking services in Britain from state-funded Russian broadcaster RT is a matter for the bank. . . .[And] it’s for them to decide who they offer services to based on their own risk appetite.”
It’s unlikely that the government didn’t at least play a role in this, as the Royal Bank of Scotland Group and thus NatWest essentially acted as ‘wards of the state.‘ One would assume that a politically-significant move like this would require prior approval from the government. It’s important to note that much of this is speculation, so we may never know the truth behind RT’s bank account closure and Assange’s internet cut. Given the timing of both events, I believe this deserves some consideration and at least some reflection on the lack of transparency that exists within the government and mainstream media.
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