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The Just World Fallacy: Why People Bash Assange And Defend Power

The Just World Fallacy: Why People Bash Assange And Defend Power

write a lot about how important it is for political dissidents to research and understand cognitive biases, the large number of well-documented logical glitches in the way human brains process information. I do this because the science of modern propaganda has been in research and development for more than a century, so if public domain psychology is aware of these glitches we can be absolutely certain that the propagandists are as well, and that they are exploiting those glitches currently.

If you don’t cultivate a healthy respect for just how advanced modern propaganda has become, you won’t be able to understand what the propagandists are doing when observing the behaviors of the political/media class, and you’ll almost certainly wind up being fooled by the propaganda machine in various ways yourself.

The fact that people think of themselves as rational creatures, but in reality have many large cognitive vulnerabilities which can and will be exploited to cause them to interpret data in an irrational way, is not some amusing-yet-inconsequential bit of trivia. It’s an absolutely crucial piece of the puzzle in understanding why the world is as messed up as it is, and in figuring out how to fix it. The immense political consequences of this reality extend into every facet of civilization.

For example, have you ever wondered why ordinary people you know in real life often harbor highly negative opinions about Julian Assange, seemingly to no benefit for themselves, even while he’s being viciously persecuted for his truthful publications by some of the most corrupt political forces on the planet? You’ve probably correctly concluded that it’s because they’re propagandized, but have you ever wondered why that propaganda works? Even on some of the more intelligent people you know?

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

New CNN Assange Smear Piece Is Amazingly Dishonest, Even For CNN

New CNN Assange Smear Piece Is Amazingly Dishonest, Even For CNN

CNN has published an unbelievably brazen and dishonest smear piece on Julian Assange, easily the most egregious article of its kind since the notoriously bogus Assange-Manafort report by The Guardian last year. It contains none of the “exclusive” documents which it claims substantiate its smears, relying solely on vague unsubstantiated assertions and easily debunked lies to paint the WikiLeaks founder in a negative light.

And let’s be clear right off the bat, it is most certainly a smear piece. The article, titled “Exclusive: Security reports reveal how Assange turned an embassy into a command post for election meddling”, admits that it exists for the sole purpose of tarnishing Assange’s reputation when it reports, with no evidence whatsoever, that while at the Ecuadorian embassy Assange once “smeared feces on the walls out of anger.” Not “reportedly”. Not “the Ecuadorian government claims.” CNN reported it as a fact, as an event that is known to have happened. This is journalistic malpractice, and it isn’t an accident.

Whenever you see any “news” report citing this claim, you are witnessing a standard smear tactic of the plutocratic media. Whenever you see them citing this claim as a concrete, verified fact, you are witnessing an especially aggressive and deliberate psyop. The Ecuadorian embassy was easily the most-surveilled building in the world during Assange’s stay there, and the Ecuadorian government has leaked photos of Assange’s living quarters to the media in an attempt to paint him as a messy houseguest in need of eviction, so if the “feces on the walls” event had ever transpired you would have seen photos of it, whether you wanted to or not. It never happened.

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

Power Versus the Press: The Extradition Cases of Pinochet & Assange

Power Versus the Press: The Extradition Cases of Pinochet & Assange

With Julian Assange facing possible extradition from Britain to the U.S. for publishing classified secrets, Elizabeth Vos reflects on the parallel but divergent case of a notorious Chilean dictator.

Eight months from now one of the most consequential extradition hearings in recent history will take place in Great Britain when a British court and the home secretary will determine whether WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange will be extradited to the United States to face espionage charges for the crime of journalism.

Twenty-one years ago, in another historic extradition case, Britain had to decide whether to send former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet to Spain for the crime of mass murder.

Pinochet in 1982 motorcade. (Ben2, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons)

In October 1998, Pinochet, whose regime became a byword for political killings, “disappearances” and torture, was arrested in London while there for medical treatment.

A judge in Madrid,  Baltasar Garzón, sought his extradition in connection with the deaths of Spanish citizens in Chile.

Citing the aging Pinochet’s inability to stand trial, the United Kingdom in 2000 ultimately prevented him from being extradited to Spain where he would have faced prosecution for human rights abuses.

At an early point in the proceedings, Pinochet’s lawyer, Clare Montgomery, made an argument in his defense that had nothing to do with age or poor health.   

“States and the organs of state, including heads of state and former heads of state, are entitled to absolute immunity from criminal proceedings in the national courts of other countries,” the  Guardianquoted Montgomery as saying. She argued that crimes against humanity should be narrowly defined within the context of international warfare, as the BBC reported.

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

This Assange Supporter Excoriating The Press Is The Best Thing You’ll Watch All Day

This Assange Supporter Excoriating The Press Is The Best Thing You’ll Watch All Day

Julian Assange’s latest US extradition hearing was a brief affair which saw the WikiLeaks founder’s next hearing scheduled for sometime after the end of February, nearly at the end of his 50-week sentence for a bail conditions violation. According to Reuters Assange was lucid and spirited enough to argue with the prosecution a bit, telling the American lawyer via videolink, “I didn’t break any password whatsoever.”

So that’s somewhat encouraging. A short time earlier, on the other side of the Westminster Magistrates courthouse wall, a far more animated scene had just been live-streamed to the world.

During a lively pro-Assange demonstration outside, independent reporter and political commentator Gordon Dimmack took the bullhorn, pointed it at the press crew which had gathered awaiting news from the courthouse, and delivered a scathing rebuke to them which is about the most delightful and cathartic thing that an Assange supporter can possibly watch.

“Today’s the day that journalism gets put on trial,” Dimmack said. “And it’s interesting that behind me there are this many cameras. There haven’t been this many cameras for quite a while. It’s interesting that when Julian was dragged out and kidnapped from within that Ecuadorian embassy, all of you guys had actually gone home, and it was a Russian TV station that actually caught it, Ruptly. It’s almost as if you don’t care.”

“For seven years you have smeared and slandered that man who is going to appear on video in that court in about fifteen minutes,” Dimmack told the mainstream press, right to their fucking faces. “You are all responsible for what has happened today! All of you in the media! Every one of you. You have got blood on your hands.

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

UK Signs DOJ Request To Extradite Assange; Lengthy Legal Battle To Ensue

UK Signs DOJ Request To Extradite Assange; Lengthy Legal Battle To Ensue

Early on Thursday UK home secretary Sajid Javid revealed that he has signed a US extradition request for Julian Assange, putting the WikiLeaks founder a step closer to facing prosecution for espionage and hacking on American soil, where he’s almost assured life in prison or worse after the US justice department filed 17 new charges against him following the initial May count of conspiring with Chelsea Manning (totaling 18 counts).

But first a lengthy legal battle will likely ensue while he’s held at London’s maximum security Belmarsh prison on skipping bail. The extradition order, which was expected, is the first step in the process. The home secretary told BBC Radio 4’s Today on Thursday:

He’s rightly behind bars. There’s an extradition request from the US that is before the courts tomorrow but yesterday I signed the extradition order and certified it and that will be going in front of the courts tomorrow.

Among the 18 US counts include charges under the Espionage Act, which could potentially bring the death penalty; however, Assange’s lawyers can use the potential for a capital crimes case hanging over him in the US to argue British law prevents his extradition to American soil (according to the “Extradition Act 2003”).

The UK was expected to weigh the option of extraditing him to either Sweden or the US, but last week a court in Upssala declared he did not need to be detained by Swedish authorities

Javid further said

“It is a decision ultimately for the courts, but there is a very important part of it for the home secretary and I want to see justice done at all times and we’ve got a legitimate extradition request.” He added, “so I’ve signed it, but the final decision is now with the courts.”

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

We Must Defend Assange to Save Democracy from American Despotism

We Must Defend Assange to Save Democracy from American Despotism

Photograph Source Elekhh – CC BY-SA 3.0

On Thursday, the Department of Justice made an unprecedented move to file 17 Espionage Act charges against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. This indictment was what Assange and his legal team have been warning about since 2010 and the risk of extradition was the sole reason why Assange sought and was granted political asylum by Ecuador in 2012.

Free press defenders condemned this aggressive prosecution of Assange by the Trump administration as “the most significant and terrifying threat to the First Amendment in the 21st century”. This attack on free press as a pillar of democracy was predicted long ago by a leading figure in America’s early development. Thomas Jefferson feared that there would come a time when the American system of government would degenerate into a form of “elective despotism”.

Assange echoed this warning from one of America’s founding fathers in his message to his supporters: “I told you so”, which he deliveredthrough his lawyer after he was arrested at the Ecuadorian Embassy. He was not only aware of this unaccounted power inside this nation, but also through his work with WikiLeaks, he shed light on its shadowy activities, and provided ordinary people means to counter this force that has now become tyrannical.

WikiLeaks by publishing truthful information about the US government, revealing its war crimes, corruption and human rights abuses, came head to head with the Pentagon and the US State Department. Long before Edward Snowden’s NSA revelations, Assange alerted public about mass surveillance, informing people how the Internet “has been transformed into the most dangerous facilitator of totalitarianism”.

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

Tide of Public Opinion is Turning in Assange’s Favor

Tide of Public Opinion is Turning in Assange’s Favor

Corporate media & some politicos who opposed Assange after the 2016 election have radically changed their tune, favorably influencing public opinion after the Espionage Act indictment of the WikiLeak‘s founder, reports Joe Lauria.

The indictment of Julian Assange under the Espionage Act has profoundly affected press coverage of the WikiLeaks founder, with much of the media turning suddenly and decisively in his favor after  years of vilifying him.

The sharp change has also come from some politicians, and significantly, from two Justice Department prosecutors who went public to express their dissent about using the Espionage Act to indict Assange.

To the extent that public opinion matters, the sea-change in coverage could have an effect on the British or Swedish governments’ decision to extradite Assange to the United States to face the charges. 

Used to Be a Russian Agent

Since the 2016 U.S. presidential election establishment media, fueled by the Mueller probe, has essentially branded Assange a Russian agent who worked to undermine American democracy. 

Focusing on his personality rather than his work, the media mostly cheered his arrest by British police on April 11 after his political asylum was illegally revoked by Ecuador in its London embassy.

Assange’s initial indictment for conspiracy to intrude into a government computer was portrayed by corporate media as the work of a “hacker” and not a journalist, who doesn’t merit First Amendment protection.

But the superseding indictment under the Espionage Act last Thursday has changed all that. 

Rather than criminal activity, the indictment actually describes routine journalistic work, such as encouraging sources to turn over sensitive information and hiding a source’s identity.  

Since the Trump administration has crossed the red line criminalizing  what establishment journalists do all the time, establishment journalists have come full-square against the indictment and behind Assange.

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

Professional Assange Smearers Finally Realize His Fate Is Tied To Theirs

Professional Assange Smearers Finally Realize His Fate Is Tied To Theirs

Rachel Maddow has aired a segment condemning the new indictment against Julian Assange for 17 alleged violations of the Espionage Act.

Yes, that Rachel Maddow.

MSNBC’s top host began the segment after it was introduced by Chris Hayes, agreeing with her colleague that it’s surprising that more news outlets aren’t giving this story more “wall to wall” coverage, given its immense significance. She recapped Assange’s various legal struggles up until this point, then accurately described Assange’s new Espionage Act charges for publishing secret documents.

“And these new charges are not about stealing classified information or outsmarting computer systems in order to illegally obtain classified information,” Maddow said. “It’s not about that. These new charges are trying to prosecute Assange for publishing that stolen, secret material which was obtained by somebody else. And that is a whole different kettle of fish then what he was initially charged with.”

“By charging Assange for publishing that stuff that was taken by Manning, by issuing these charges today, the Justice Department has just done something you might have otherwise thought was impossible,” Maddow added after explaining the unprecedented nature of this case. “The Justice Department today, the Trump administration today, just put every journalistic institution in this country on Julian Assange’s side of the ledger. On his side of the fight. Which, I know, is unimaginable. But that is because the government is now trying to assert this brand new right to criminally prosecute people for publishing secret stuff, and newspapers and magazines and investigative journalists and all sorts of different entities publish secret stuff all the time. That is the bread and butter of what we do.”

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

VIPS: Extradition of Julian Assange Threatens Us All

VIPS: Extradition of Julian Assange Threatens Us All

Retaliation against Julian Assange over the past decade plus replicates a pattern of ruthless political retaliation against whistleblowers, in particular those who reveal truths hidden by illegal secrecy, VIPS says.

DATE: April 30, 2019 

MEMORANDUM FOR: The governments and people of the United Kingdom and the United States

FROM: Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS)

SUBJECT: Extradition of Julian Assange Threatens Us All

On April 11, London police forcibly removed WikiLeaks co-founder Julian Assange from the embassy of Ecuador after that country’s president, Lenin Moreno, abruptly revoked his predecessor’s grant of asylum. The United States government immediately requested Assange’s extradition for prosecution under a charge of “conspiracy to commit computer intrusion” under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA).

Former U.S. Government officials promptly appeared in popular media offering soothing assurances that Assange’s arrest threatens neither constitutional rights nor the practice of journalism, and major newspapers like The New York Times and The Washington Post fell into line.

Not So Fast

Others found reason for concern in the details of the indictment. Carie DeCel, a staff attorney for the Knight First Amendment Institute, noted that the indictment goes beyond simply stating the computer intrusion charge and “includes many more allegations that reach more broadly into typical journalistic practices, including communication with a source, encouraging a source to share information, and protecting a source.”

In an analysis of the indictment’s implications, the Project on Government Oversight (POGO) observed that it includes an allegation that “Assange and Manning took measures to conceal Manning as the source of the disclosure…including by removing usernames from the disclosed information and deleting chat logs between Assange and Manning,” and that they “used a special folder on a cloud drop box of WikiLeaks to transmit classified records.”

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

Washington Has Destroyed Western Liberty: The Era of Tyranny Has Begun

Washington Has Destroyed Western Liberty: The Era of Tyranny Has Begun

A fish rots from the head. In the Western world rot is accelerating. The rot in Washington is swiftly spreading to state and local governments and abroad to the Empire’s vassal governments.

Washington’s attack on journalism represented by the illegal arrest of Julian Assange has now spread to France. The US government’s policy of sanctions against sovereign countries that do not follow Washington’s orders has spread to the state of New York, where the governor has threatened sanctions against financial institutions that do business with the National Rifle Association.

In France the vassal president Macron has ordered three journalists — who revealed that Macron’s government knowingly and intentionally sold arms to Saudi Arabia and the UAE to be used for the slaughter of women and children in Yemen — to report for police questioning. The report proves that Macron’s government deliberately lied when it said it was unaware that French weapons were to be used for attack rather than defense use in violation of the Arms Trade Treaty of 2014. The journalists are under investigation by the French gestapo for “compromising national defense secrets.”

In other words, when the French government lies, it is a violation of national defense secrets to report it. 

The entire Western world is adopting Washington’s approach to Assange and criminalizing the practice of journalism, thus protecting governments’ criminality. If you reveal a government crime, as Wikileaks did, you will be prosecuted by the criminal government for doing so. It is like permitting a criminal to prosecute the police and prosecutor who want him arrested.

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

Assange’s Imprisonment Reveals Even More Corruption Than WikiLeaks Did

Assange’s Imprisonment Reveals Even More Corruption Than WikiLeaks Did

Consortium News has launched a new series titled “The Revelations of WikiLeaks”, geared toward helping readers come to a full appreciation of just how much useful information the outlet has made available to the world with its publications. Which is good, because there’s a whole lot of it. Understanding everything that WikiLeaks has done to shine light in areas that powerful people wish to keep dark makes it abundantly clear why powerful people would want to dedicate immense amounts of energy toward sabotaging it.

What’s even more interesting to me right now, though, is that if you think about it, the completely fraudulent arrest and imprisonment of Julian Assange arguably exposes more malfeasance by government and media powers than than what has been revealed in all WikiLeaks publications combined since its inception. And we can use that as a weapon in waking the world up to the dystopian manipulations of the powerful, in the same way we can use WikiLeaks publications.

Really, think about it. Thanks to WikiLeaks we know about a military cultural environment in the Iraq war that was toxic enough to give rise to US servicemen merrily gunning down civilians, including two Reuters war correspondents, while whooping and exchanging verbal high-fives. We know that the CIA cultivated a massive cyber-arsenal which enables them to spy through smartphones and smart TVs, remotely hijack vehicles, and forge digital fingerprints on cyber-intrusions to make it look to forensic investigators as though hackers from another nation was responsible, and that they lost control of this arsenal. 

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

Q&A: MSM Lies, Consciousness, Evolution, Australia, Assange, And Me

Q&A: MSM Lies, Consciousness, Evolution, Australia, Assange, And Me

It’s time for another Q&A article! I think I’m going to make these a regular feature that I put out every so often, so if you have any questions for me email me at admin@caitlinjohnstone.com and I’ll get to them the next time I write another of these. Let’s jump right in.

“I’d love to have more examples of how the corporate media has lied to us. Iraqi WMD is the best example, then there’s Iraqi soldiers pulling Kuwaiti babies from incubators, and of course Russiagate. What else can we point toward to explain to people what’s happening?”

There are tons of examples, but their lies about Syria have been especially appalling. Whenever anyone disputes my claim that the mass media is waging a giant deception campaign I like to share this fake, scripted CNN interview in which a seven year-old Syrian girl sounds out scripted words explaining her analysis of an alleged chemical attack. I’ve never encountered anyone who could provide an intelligible argument for this; when I share it in a debate it always makes the other party’s head spin. The girl is indisputable reciting from a script, and what’s far more disturbing is that that means CNN’s Alisyn Camerota necessarily had the other half of that script. They intentionally staged an interview designed to incriminate a government long targeted for regime change using propaganda spouting from the sweet, innocent face of a child, and they falsely presented it as a real interview.

Lately I’ve been focused on the outright lies the mass media have been circulating about Julian Assange, including the Guardian‘s now-fully disproven and always self-evidently false report that Paul Manafort met repeatedly with Assange during the election campaign. Some other examples include the bullshit they’ve been peddling on Venezuela

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

Julian Assange’s Victory

Julian Assange’s Victory

Throughout history, dark and reactionary forces have always attempted to control the world; by violence, by deceit, by kidnapping and perverting the mainstream narrative, or by spreading fear among the masses.

Consistently, brave and honest individuals have been standing up, exposing lies, confronting the brutality and depravity. Some have fought against insane and corrupt rulers by using swords or guns; others have chosen words as their weapons.

Many were cut down; most of them were. New comrades rose up; new banners of resistance were unveiled.

To resist is to dream of a better world. And to dream is to live.

The bravest of the brave never fought for just their own countries and cultures; they fought for the entire humanity. They were and they are what one could easily define as “intuitive internationalists”.

Julian Assange, an Australian computer expert, thinker and humanist, had chosen a new and mostly untested form of combat: he unleashed an entire battalion of letters and words, hundreds of thousands of documents, against the Western empire. He penetrated databases which have been storing the evidence of the most atrocious crimes the West has been committing for years and decades. Toxic secrets were exposed; truths revealed. To those who have been suffering in silence, both face and dignity were finally returned.

Julian Assange was a ‘commander’ of a small team of dedicated experts and activists. I met some of them, and was tremendously impressed. But no matter how small in numbers, this team has been managing to change the world, or at least to give the Western public an opportunity to know, and consequently to act.

After WikiLeaks, no one in New York, Berlin, London or Paris has any right to say “we did not know”. If they do not know now, it is because they have decided not to know, opportunistically and cynically.

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

Remembering the Crimes of the Powerful Exposed by Wikileaks’ Julian Assange

Julian Assange | Wikilekas

Remembering the Crimes of the Powerful Exposed by Wikileaks’ Julian Assange

Assange’s “crime” was revealing deep, embarrassing, sometimes deadly, malfeasance by numerous actors, including the U.S. government, the media, the Democratic Party-Clinton machine, and Israel.

What-is-WikiLeaks.html” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener noreferrer”>Wikileaks publisher Julian Assange has finally been imprisoned, an objective long sought by powerful parties he helped to expose over the past dozen years.

Assange’s “crime” was revealing deep, embarrassing, sometimes deadly, malfeasance by numerous actors, including the U.S. government, the media, the Democratic Party-Clinton machine, and Israel.

Wikileaks revealed the U.S. government’s cover-up of torture, cruelty, the killing of civilians, spying on its own citizens and others. It exposed Democratic Party cheating and manipulation, the fraudulence of “Russiagate.” It unmasked Israeli plans to keep Gaza on the brink of collapse, to use violence against Palestinian nonviolence, to make war upon civilians. All of this will be detailed below.

Without Wikileaks’ exposés, many of these actions would quite likely have remained hidden from the general public, as the perpetrators hoped.

The actual charge against Assange is allegedly conspiring with Chelsea Manning “to commit computer intrusion,” violating a somewhat problematic law with what one expert terms “overly expansive wording.”

The government seems to have resorted to this charge after the Justice Department had concluded in 2013 that it could not charge Assange for publishing the Iraq and Afghanistan war logs (which revealed various U.S war crimes detailed below), because government lawyers said this would also require charging various U.S. news organizations and journalists.

The Washington Post reported that Justice officials “realized that they have what they described as a ‘New York Times problem.’ If the Justice Department indicted Assange, it would also have to prosecute the New York Times and other news organizations and writers who published classified material, including The Washington Post and Britain’s Guardian newspaper.”

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

The Prosecution Of Julian Assange Is Infinitely Bigger Than Assange

The Prosecution Of Julian Assange Is Infinitely Bigger Than Assange

Julian Assange’s mother reported yesterday that the WikiLeaks founder has not been permitted any visitors during his detention in Belmarsh Prison, including from doctors and his lawyers. Doctors who visited Assange in the Ecuadorian Embassy have attested that he urgently needs medical care. Belmarsh is a maximum security prison sometimes referred to as “the UK’s Guantanamo Bay“.

And yet we’re asked to believe that this has something to do with an alleged bail violation and a US extradition request for alleged computer crimes carrying a maximum sentence of five years. If you zoom out and listen to the less-informed chatter of the overt propagandists and the brainwashed rank-and-file western mass media consumers, you will also see that people believe this has something to do with Russia and rape allegations as well.

Actually, none of these things are true. Assange is being imprisoned under draconian conditions for journalism, and for journalism only. The Obama administration declined to prosecute him after WikiLeaks’ publication of the Manning leaks out of concern that doing so would endanger press freedoms, and the Obama administration didn’t have any more evidence at its disposal than the Trump administration has now. The “crime” Assange is accused of consists of nothing other than standard journalistic practices that investigative journalists engage in all the time, including source protection and encouraging the source to obtain more material. The only thing that has changed is an increased willingness in the White House to prosecute journalists for practicing journalism, and there are an abundance of reasons to believe that he will be hit with far more serious charges once extradited to US soil. They’re not going to all this trouble for a bail violation and a five-year maximum sentence.

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

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