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2020 Is The Year The Unseen Becomes Seen

2020 Is The Year The Unseen Becomes Seen

2020 is the year of Julian Assange’s extradition trials, the Kafkaesque proceedings by which the US government is attempting to imprison the WikiLeaks founder for the rest of his life as punishment for exposing US war crimes. Assange started an innovative leak publishing outlet on the premise that corrupt power can be fought with truth, and corrupt power responded by silencing and jailing him. They’ve proved him right about everything, right in front of everyone.

2020 is the year people began protesting police brutality, and police responded with ferocious and widespread acts of brutality. The massive deluge of video footage from these brutal police responses went viral all over the world. The argument about police brutality culture in the US police state was won clearly and decisively, right in front of everyone.

2020 is the year the most powerful government on earth responded to a pandemic virus with the largest upward transfer of wealth in history, leaving massive global corporations with record-high stocks while killing small businesses and throwing the rank-and-file public to the wolves after handing some of them a paltry $1200, all while failing spectacularly to address the threat of the virus itself. This financial abuse is happening right out in the open, right in front of everyone.

2020 is the year this same government’s electoral process is being exposed in front of everyone for the sham it has always been, as two corrupt racist right-wing warmongering dementia patients who’ve both been accused of rape are placed head-to-head in what will inevitably be the single dumbest presidential race in the nation’s history. Neither of these two men are capable of forming a coherent sentence, and their presidential debates will make them a laughing stock of the whole world, right in front of everybody.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

THE REVELATIONS OF WIKILEAKS: No. 8—Busting the Myth WikiLeaks Published Nothing on Israel & Syria

THE REVELATIONS OF WIKILEAKS: No. 8—Busting the Myth WikiLeaks Published Nothing on Israel & Syria

One myth about WikiLeaks is that it favors U.S. enemies and declines to publish documents against them, while another legend is that WikiLeaks, for obscure reasons, is soft on Israel, reports Patrick Lawrence.

President Barack Obama meets with members of Congress to discuss Syria in the Cabinet Room of the White House, Sept. 3, 2013. (White House, Pete Souza)

AWikiLeaks continued its document releases, and as major news organizations continued to publish fulsome accounts and analyses of these releases, the media’s stance toward Julian Assange and his organization began to turn: What had begun as collegial collaboration was transformed into criticism and denigration — this in accordance with the hardening attitudes of the U.S. and allied governments.

The key events in this shift were WikiLeaks’ publication in October 2010 of “Iraq War Logs,” comprised of 392,000 Army field reports, and, a month later, the phased publication of “Cablegate,” a collection of 251,287 State Department emails. “Cablegate” was the first major release of U.S. diplomatic traffic in WikiLeaks’ “Public Library of U.S. Diplomacy.” At writing, this continually expanding collection makes available more than 3 million documents spanning the 1966–2010 period.

With these publications, along with “Collateral Murder” and “Afghan War Diary,” released earlier in 2010, WikiLeaks penetrated more deeply into the citadels of official secrecy than it had since its founding in 2006. This new reality stunned the Obama administration and the national-security apparatus invisibly but formidably behind it.

Official policy shifted. Washington began actively to pursue avenues through which Assange could be arrested, charged, and tried for one or another offense, however far-fetched, trivial, or unrelated to WikiLeaks’ work. It was at this time that Sweden alleged that Assange had raped two women during a visit to Stockholm for a media conference—allegations based on falsified police reports and concocted evidence.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

ASSANGE EXTRADITION: ’60 Minutes’ Gives Assange Fair Shake

ASSANGE EXTRADITION: ’60 Minutes’ Gives Assange Fair Shake

The Australian version of the CBS News program ’60 Minutes’ presented a segment on Julian Assange Sunday night that was missing the usual mainstream media smears and distortions about his case.

Consortium News

Australia’s 60 Minutes newsmagazine Sunday night aired an extensive interview with Stella Morris, Julian Assange’s partner, and featured the two boys the couple have had together.  While the promos for the segment during the week indicated it would focus on salacious questions such as, “How does one get pregnant in an embassy?” and “Did Pamela Anderson give your relationship cover?,” the 24-minute spot ditched the usual smears against the imprisoned WikiLeaks publisher and instead humanized him to a large national audience. 

The segment made clear Assange was never charged with rape in Sweden, was only wanted for questioning, and that that inquiry has been closed. It reports that the CIA surveilled Assange 24/7 in the embassy, including on privileged conversations with his lawyers; that the CIA plotted to kidnap Assange, poison him and steal one of his boy’s diapers for DNA to prove it was his child. The interview with Australian MP Andrew Wilkie makes clear why the U.S. espionage charges against Assange are really an assault on journalism.

The program ends with an appeal from Morris to Australian prime minister Scott Morrison to apply pressure on the British government to release Assange from high-security Belmarsh prison where he is isolated 23-hours a day on remand waiting a decision on a U.S. extradition request.

An article Monday in Australia’s Murdoch papers about the 60 Minutes’ report was largely factual, except that it repeated the canard that Assange faced rape “charges” in Sweden. 

WikiLeaks, Christine Assange, Julian’s mother, and Assange supporters have tweeted recognition that this was a mainstream treatment of the Assange case like few others. 

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Covering the Julian Assange Story

Covering the Julian Assange Story

With corporate TV and press abandoning the imprisoned WikiLeaks publisher, Consortium News has been in the forefront among alternative media in chronicling his plight. But we can’t do it without you. 

Assange outside UK Supreme Court in 2011. (Flickr)

Except for a brief moment after his dramatic arrest, the mainstream media has abandoned Julian Assange. They do this at their own peril.   

That’s because the arrest and espionage indictment of Assange for practicing journalism is a danger to all journalists everywhere.

Consortium News started covering the Assange case on Dec. 16, 2010 with an article by founding editor Robert Parry, one of the leading investigative reporters of his generation. Bob argued that Assange was practicing journalism in the exact way that he did.   He wrote: 

“… the process for reporters obtaining classified information about crimes of state most often involves a journalist persuading some government official to break the law either by turning over classified documents or at least by talking about the secret information. There is almost always some level of “conspiracy” between reporter and source.

Though some elements of this suspected Assange-Manning collaboration may be technically unique because of the Internet’s role – and that may be a relief to more traditional news organizations like the Times which has published some of the WikiLeaks documents – the underlying reality is that what WikiLeaks has done is essentially “the same wine” of investigative journalism in “a new bottle” of the Internet.

By shunning WikiLeaks as some deviant journalistic hybrid, mainstream U.S. news outlets may breathe easier now but may find themselves caught up in a new legal precedent that could be applied to them later.”

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Humanity Is Making A Very Important Decision When It Comes To Assange

Humanity Is Making A Very Important Decision When It Comes To Assange

The propagandists have all gone dead silent on the WikiLeaks founder they previously were smearing with relentless viciousness, because they no longer have an argument. The facts are all in, and yes, it turns out the US government is certainly and undeniably working to exploit legal loopholes to imprison a journalist for exposing its war crimes. That is happening, and there is no justifying it.

So the narrative managers, by and large, have gone silent.

Which is good. Because it gives us an opening to seize control of the narrative.

It’s time to go on the offensive with this. Assange supporters have gotten so used to playing defense that it hasn’t fully occurred to us to go on a full-blown charge. I’ve been guilty of this as well; I’ll be letting myself get bogged down in some old, obsolete debate with someone about some obscure aspect of the Swedish case or something, not realizing that none of that matters anymore. All the narrative manipulations that were used to get Assange to this point are impotent, irrelevant expenditures of energy compared to the fact that we now have undeniable evidence that the US government is working to set a precedent which will allow it to jail any journalist who exposes its misdeeds, and we can now force Assange’s smearers to confront this reality.

“Should journalists be jailed for exposing US war crimes? Yes or no?”

That’s the debate now. Not Russia. Not Sweden. Not whether he followed proper bail protocol or washed his dishes at the embassy. That’s old stuff. That’s obsolete. That’s playing defense.

Now we play offense: “Should journalists be jailed for exposing US war crimes? Yes or no?”

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

ASSANGE EXTRADITION: Can a French Touch Pierce a Neo-Orwellian Farce?

ASSANGE EXTRADITION: Can a French Touch Pierce a Neo-Orwellian Farce?

By offering asylum to the persecuted publisher of WikiLeaks, France’s Macron would enhance his status in myriad European latitudes and all across the Global South, writes Pepe Escobar.


It’s quite fitting that the – imperially pre-determined – judicial fate of Julian Assange is being played out in Britain, the home of George Orwell. 

As chronicled by the painful, searing reports of Ambassador Craig Murray, what’s taking place in Woolwich Crown Court is a sub-Orwellian farce with Conradian overtones: the horror…the horror…, remixed for the Raging Twenties. The heart of our moral darkness is not in the Congo: it’s in a dingy courtroom attached to a prison, presided by a lowly imperial lackey.

In one of Michel Onfray’s books published last year, “Theorie de la Dictature” (Robert Laffont) – the top dissident, politically incorrect French philosopher starts exactly from Orwell to examine the key features of a new-look dictatorship. He tracks seven paths of destruction: to destroy freedom, impoverish language, abolish truth, suppress history, deny nature, propagate hate, and aspire to empire.

Michel Onfray in 2009. (Alexandre López, CC BY 2.0, Wikimedia Commons)

To destroy freedom, Onfray stresses, power needs to assure perpetual surveillance; ruin personal life; suppress solitude; make opinion uniform and denounce thought crimes. That sounds like the road map for the United States government’s persecution of Assange. 

Other paths, as in impoverishing language, include practicing newspeak; using double language; destroying words; oralizing language; speaking a single language; and suppressing the classics. That sounds like the modus operandi of the ruling classes in the Hegemon. 

To abolish truth, power must teach ideology; instrumentalize the press; propagate fake news; and produce reality. To propagate hate, power, among other instruments, must create an enemy; foment wars; and psychiatrize critical thinking.  

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Debunking The Smear That Assange Recklessly Published Unredacted Documents

Debunking The Smear That Assange Recklessly Published Unredacted Documents

This is a new section for my newly updated ongoing mega-article Debunking All The Assange Smears, a resource for debating 30 of the most common smears against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. Use it, share it, and let me know if there’s anything you think should be changed or added.

The prosecution in the Assange extradition trial has falsely alleged that WikiLeaks recklessly published unredacted files in 2011 which endangered people’s lives. In reality the Pentagon admitted that no one was harmed as a result of the leaks during the Manning trial, and the unredacted files were actually published elsewhere as the result of a Guardian journalist recklessly included a real password in a book about WikiLeaks.

A key government witness during the Chelsea Manning trial, Brig. Gen. Robert Carr, testified under oath that no one was hurt by them. Additionally, the Defense Secretary at the time, Robert M Gates, said that the leaks were “awkward” and “embarrassing” but the consequences for US foreign policy were “fairly modest”. It was also leaked at the time that insiders were saying the damage was limited and “containable”, and they were exaggerating the damage in an attempt to get Manning punished more severely.

As Assange’s defense highlighted during the trial, the unredacted publications were the result of a password being published in a book by Guardian reporters Luke Harding and David Leigh, the latter of whom worked with Assange in the initial publications of the Manning leaks. WikiLeaks reported that it didn’t speak publicly about Leigh’s password publication for several months to avoid drawing attention to it, but broke its silence when they learned a German weekly called Freitag was preparing a story about it. There’s footage of Assange calling the US State Department trying to warn of an imminent security breach at the time, but they refused to escalate the call.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

We’re Asking One Question In Assange’s Case: Should Journalists Be Punished For Exposing War Crimes?

We’re Asking One Question In Assange’s Case: Should Journalists Be Punished For Exposing War Crimes?

This is a speech I gave yesterday at a demonstration for Assange with the Socialist Equality Party Australia.

Tomorrow in the UK a judge will start the process of answering a very important question. It’s a question that many of us knew was the heart of this debate back in 2010, ten years ago, when this all started. It’s a question that they have been obfuscating, bloviating, huffily denying, smearing, gaslighting, and distracting from–basically doing anything they can to hide it from view.

It’s a question that they don’t want the public to know that we are answering. A question that goes to the heart of democracy, and to the heart of the role of the fourth estate, journalism. And that question is this:

Should journalists and publishers be punished for exposing US war crimes?

And, ancillary to that question: should we allow them to be punished by the very people who committed those war crimes?

Is that something that we want for our world, ongoing? Because our answer to this question is going to shape our society, our civilization, for generations to come.

There is no coming back from this for a very long time should the answer be, “Yes! Yes, it’s fine, war criminals should go ahead and punish journalists for publishing true facts about their war crimes.”

If we allow the answer to be yes, then we’re stuck with the endless stupid wars that everyone wants done with, from Melbourne to Kabul, from Sydney to Syria–right across the world people are done with these stupid wars for profit.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Why Did Twitter Just “Lockdown” WikiLeaks Account?

Why Did Twitter Just “Lockdown” WikiLeaks Account?

Just hours after a secret meeting with Silicon Valley tech giants to discuss censorship of “misinformation” surrounding coronavirus, and just days before Julian Assange’s extradition hearings are set to continue, Kristin Hrafnsson – a WikiLeaks’ journalist – reports that the WikiLeaks’ Twitter account has been locked-down…


WikiLeaks twitter account has been locked, shortly before Assange extradition hearing. All attempts to get it reopened via regular channels have been unsuccessful. It has been impossible to reach a human at twitter to resolve the issue. Can someone fix this?@twittersupport @jack


t is not the first time Twitter has – allegedly – acted to suppress WikiLeaks voice.

As The Washington Examiner noted as far back at 2016, Twitter lit up in late July with allegations that it tried to suppress news that secret-leaking website Wikileaks exposed thousands of emails obtained from the servers of the Democratic National Committee.

Friday afternoon, users noted, “#DNCLeaks” was trending, with more than 250,000 tweets about it on the platform. By Friday evening, it vanished completely from the site’s “trending” bar for at least 20 minutes. It returned as “#DNCLeak” after users erupted, though it was too late to quell their rage.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

RAY McGOVERN: German TV Exposes the Lies That Entrapped Julian Assange

RAY McGOVERN: German TV Exposes the Lies That Entrapped Julian Assange

A major German TV network has aired an interview with the UN rapporteur on torture that reveals the invention of the Swedish “rape” case against Julian Assange.

Truth has broken through for those confused about how a publisher ended up in a maximum security prison in London with a one-way extradition ticket to court in the U.S. and the rest of his life behind bars.

One of the main German TV channels (ZDF) ran two prime-time segments on Wednesday night exposing authorities in Sweden for having “made up” the story about Julian Assange being a rapist. 

Until last night most Germans, as well as other consumers of “major media” in Europe, had no idea of the trickery that enmeshed Assange in a spider-web almost certainly designed by the U.S. and woven by accomplices in vassal states like Sweden, Britain and, eventually, Ecuador. 

ZDF punctured that web by interviewing UN Rapporteur on Torture Nils Melzer. One ZDF “Heute Sendung” segment (in German) is especially telling from minute 13:00 to 15:30 . The second is ZDF “Heute Journal” (minute 25:49 to 30:19.)

Both ZDF programs show Melzer being interviewed, with minimal interruption or commentary, letting his findings speak for themselves about how allegations against Assange were “made up” and manipulated to hold him captive. 

The particularly scurrilous allegation that led many, including initially Melzer, to believe Assange was a rapist — a tried and tested smear technique of covert action — was especially effective.  The Swedes never formally charged him with rape — or with any crime, for that matter.  ZDF exhibited some of the documents Melzer uncovered that show the sexual allegations were just as “invented” as the evidence for WMD before the attack on Iraq.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

The Empire’s War On Oppositional Journalism Continues To Escalate

The Empire’s War On Oppositional Journalism Continues To Escalate

Journalist Glenn Greenwald has been charged by the Bolsonaro government in Brazil with the same prosecutorial angle used by the US to target WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

Per The New York Times:

Citing intercepted messages between Mr. Greenwald and the hackers, prosecutors say the journalist played a “clear role in facilitating the commission of a crime.”

For instance, prosecutors contend that Mr. Greenwald encouraged the hackers to delete archives that had already been shared with The Intercept Brasil, in order to cover their tracks.

Prosecutors also say that Mr. Greenwald was communicating with the hackers while they were actively monitoring private chats on Telegram, a messaging app. The complaint charged six other individuals, including four who were detained last year in connection with the cellphone hacking.

This argument is essentially indistinguishable from the argument currently being used by the Trump administration in charging Assange with 17 counts of violating the Espionage Act. The US Department of Justice alleges that Assange attempted to provide Private Manning with advice and assistance in covering her tracks while leaking documents she already had access to, therefore making Assange party to a conspiracy against the United States.

It is not surprising that Brazil is advancing the same war on journalism we’ve been seeing in the US, UK, Australia and France. With the election of the overtly fascist Jair Bolsonaro in October 2018 (an election whose corrupt foundations were exposed by Greenwald’s reporting with The Intercept Brasil), the Brazilian government moved into full alignment with the the US-centralized empire, which was why his inauguration was enthusiastically celebrated by characters like Donald TrumpMike PompeoJohn Bolton and Benjamin Netanyahu.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

International Group Of Doctors Warns Assange Will “Die In Prison” Without Urgent Medical Care

International Group Of Doctors Warns Assange Will “Die In Prison” Without Urgent Medical Care

With Washington fighting tooth-and-nail to extradite him from the UK, the notion that Wikileaks founder Julian Assange might die in prison is looking increasingly probable. At this point, it’s more a matter of when: A few weeks, or a few decades.

Assange’s health has reportedly deteriorated to such a terrifying degree that a group of 60 doctors have written an open letter warning that they fear the renegade journalist could soon die in a British jail if he doesn’t receive more intensive medical care, the Guardianreports. 

In the “open” letter (which was nevertheless still addressed to British Home Secretary Priti Patel), the doctors called for Assange to be moved to a university teaching hospital from his current digs at the Belmarsh Prison on southeast London.

The doctors based their assessment of Assange’s health on the “harrowing eyewitness accounts” of his Oct. 21 court appearance in London and a Nov. 1 report by Nils Melzer, the UN special rapporteur on torture, who has repeatedly issued warnings about Assange’s treatment by the British. In his November report, Melzer said warned that Assange’s “continued exposure to arbitrariness and abuse may soon end up costing his life.”

In the letter – which stretched to 16 pages – the doctors expressed “serious concerns” about Assange’s mental and physical health.

“We write this open letter, as medical doctors, to express our serious concerns about the physical and mental health of Julian Assange,” the letter read.

They expressed doubts about his ability to withstand the full extradition hearing, which is presently set for February.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Now That Assange Is Safely Locked Up, Sweden Drops Its “Investigation”

Now That Assange Is Safely Locked Up, Sweden Drops Its “Investigation”

Now that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is safely locked up in Belmarsh prison awaiting a US extradition hearing, Sweden has, for a third time, dropped its rape investigation.

“After conducting a comprehensive assessment of what has emerged during the course of the preliminary investigation I then make the assessment that the evidence is not strong enough to form the basis for filing an indictment,” said deputy chief prosecutor Eva-Marie Persson at a press conference in Stockholm on Tuesday.

This decision comes days after the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture Nils Melzer began making noise about the Swedish government’s refusal to answer his questions on the many enormous, glaring plot holes in the investigation which began in 2010. These plot holes include “proactive manipulation of evidence” with the testimony of the alleged victim, a condom provided as evidence that had neither the DNA of Assange nor of the alleged victim on it, complete disregard for confidentiality rules and normal investigative protocol from the earliest moments of the investigation onward, disregard for conflicts of interest, Sweden’s refusal to provide assurance that Assange would not be extradited to the US if he went there to answer questions, statements made by the alleged victims which contradict the allegations, unexplained correspondence between Swedish prosecutors and the FBI, and many others.


#Sweden: FULL PIC of Govt’s disappointing response to my detailed & diligent inquiries of 12 Sept & 28 May, flatly refusing:
– to explain its handling of the #Assange case
– to provide the requested information
– to engage in a constructive dialogue with #SRT@SwedenUN
#Torture


 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Will Julian Assange Die in Prison?

Will Julian Assange Die in Prison?

Julian Assange gestures to the media from a police vehicle on his arrival at Westminster Magistrates court on April 11, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Jack Taylor/Getty Images)

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange is suffering significant “psychological torture” and abuse in the London prison where he is being held, and his life is now “at risk,” according to an independent UN rights expert. A senior member of his legal team believes Assange may not live until the end of the extradition process.

Assange mumbled, stuttered, and struggled to say his own name and date of birth when he appeared in court on October 21. The Wikileaks founder is being subjected to long drawn-out “psychological torture” as he battles to prevent his extradition to the United States where he faces a slew of espionage charges, warns Nils Melzer, the UN special rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading punishment.

“Unless the UK urgently changes course and alleviates his inhumane situation, Mr. Assange’s continued exposure to arbitrariness and abuse may soon end up costing his life,” Melzer said in a statement on Friday.

“His physical appearance was not as shocking as his mental deterioration,” writes former British ambassador Craig Murray, who was present at the October hearing. “When asked to give his name and date of birth, he struggled visibly over several seconds to recall both… his difficulty in making it was very evident; it was a real struggle for him to articulate the words and focus his train of thought… Until yesterday I had always been quietly skeptical of those who claimed that Julian’s treatment amounted to torture… and skeptical of those who suggested he may be subject to debilitating drug treatments.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Propaganda Narratives Are Custom-Made For Each Ideological Echo Chamber

Propaganda Narratives Are Custom-Made For Each Ideological Echo Chamber

Yesterday I started a thread on Twitter lamenting the fact that support for WikiLeaks and Julian Assange has been eroded all across the political spectrum since 2016 by the establishment smear campaign.

I started the thread because I’d just been reflecting on how some of the first clumsy articles I ever wrote for this gig were basically just me marvelling at how support for Assange had united Berners, Trumpers, Greens, anarchists, libertarians and hackers against those who sought to silence him. Yet today I routinely see people from those factions smearing him because, at some point between then and now, an establishment propaganda narrative got through to them.

Almost immediately after I made the initial post, commenters started lining up to unintentionally prove me right. A Bernie supporter came in to proclaim that Assange is “a giant piece of shit”, and a liberal claimed Assange was “a de facto member of an election campaign to get a white nationalist elected president of the U.S.”

Multiple Trump supporters came forward arguing in support of their president’s persecution of Assange, arguing that his imprisonment and pending extradition is no big deal, claiming Assange is a CIA asset, saying Assange needs to be punished for publishing US military secrets, arguing that Trump is actually just trying to force Assange to give up his sources for the 2016 publications (as though a president coercing a journalist to give up a source with the threat of life in prison would be perfectly fine and constitutional), and claiming Assange’s persecution is coming exclusively from the UK and not the US (the US extradition request is the only reason for his continued imprisonment and US officials are openly giving instructions to British prosecutors in the courtroom).

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

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