Home » Posts tagged 'julian assange'

Tag Archives: julian assange

Olduvai
Click on image to purchase

Olduvai III: Catacylsm
Click on image to purchase

Post categories

‘Journalists’ Who Smear Assange Are Pure Scum

‘Journalists’ Who Smear Assange Are Pure Scum

I wouldn’t have thought that any mass media reporters would have the temerity to continue the public smear campaign against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange after it became clear to everyone that he was the subject of a brutal Trump administration prosecution aimed at criminalizing inconvenient journalism. But if there was going to be anyone to take up that flag, it would be the odious James Ball.

Ball, who as activist Suzie Dawson documented in 2016 has been working within the plutocratic media to destroy Assange’s reputation for years, has just published yet another disgusting smear piece titled “Julian Assange is no hero. I should know — I lived with him and his awful gang”, this time with Murdoch’s Sunday Times. Claiming that Assange is “Reckless and immoral in deed and word”, Ball spins the tortured journalist as a monster who must remain marginalized and never be trusted by sources again.

This would be the same James Ball who, as Financial Eyes recently observed, “admits to having taken money from the Integrity Initiative, a government and NATO funded propaganda unit designed to shape opinion in a direction hostile towards Russia and favourable towards increased militarism.”

 

This would also be the same James Ball who, a year before Assange was dragged out of the Ecuadorian embassy in which he’d taken political asylum fearing US extradition, authored a Guardian article titled “The only barrier to Julian Assange leaving Ecuador’s embassy is pride” and subtitled “The WikiLeaks founder is unlikely to face prosecution in the US, charges in Sweden have been dropped – and for the embassy, he’s lost his value as an icon”.

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

 

Assange Wins. The Cost: Press Freedom Is Crushed & Dissent Labelled Mental Illness

Assange Wins. The Cost: Press Freedom Is Crushed & Dissent Labelled Mental Illness

We must not downplay the price being demanded of us for this victory, writes Jonathan Cook.

The unexpected decision by Judge Vanessa Baraitser to deny a U.S. demand to extradite Julian Assange, foiling efforts to send him to a U.S. super-max jail for the rest of his life, is a welcome legal victory, but one swamped by larger lessons that should disturb us deeply.

Those who campaigned so vigorously to keep Assange’s case in the spotlight, even as the U.S. and U.K. corporate media worked so strenuously to keep it in darkness, are the heroes of the day. They made the price too steep for Baraitser or the British establishment to agree to lock Assange away indefinitely in the U.S. for exposing its war crimes and its crimes against humanity in Iraq and Afghanistan.

But we must not downplay the price being demanded of us for this victory.

Moment of Celebration

We have contributed collectively in our various small ways to win back for Assange some degree of freedom, and hopefully a reprieve from what could be a death sentence as his health continues to deteriorate in an overcrowded Belmarsh high-security prison in London that has become a breeding ground for Covid-19.

For this we should allow ourselves a moment of celebration. But Assange is not out of the woods yet. The U.S. has said it will appeal the decision. And it is not yet clear whether Assange will remain jailed in the U.K. – possibly in Belmarsh – while many months of further legal argument about his future take place.

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

 

Chris Hedges: The Empire is Not Done with Julian Assange

Chris Hedges: The Empire is Not Done with Julian Assange

As is clear from the memoir of one of his attorneys, Michael Ratner, the ends have always justified the means for those demanding the WikiLeaks‘ publisher’s global persecution.

(Original illustration for ScheerPost by Mr. Fish)

Shortly after WikiLeaks released the “Iraq War Logs” in October 2010, which documented numerous U.S.  war crimes — including video images of the gunning down of two Reuters journalists and 10 other unarmed civilians in the “Collateral Murder” video, the routine torture of Iraqi prisoners, the covering up of thousands of civilian deaths and the killing of nearly 700 civilians who had approached too closely to U.S. checkpoints — the towering civil rights attorneys Michael Ratner and Len Weinglass, who had defended Daniel Ellsberg in the Pentagon Papers case, met Julian Assange in a studio apartment in Central London, according to Ratner’s newly released memoir Moving the Bar.

Assange had just returned to London from Sweden where he had attempted to create the legal framework to protect WikiLeaks’ servers in Sweden.  Shortly after his arrival in Stockholm, his personal bank cards were blocked.  He had no access to funds and was dependent on supporters.  Two of these supporters were women with whom he had consensual sex.  As he was preparing to leave, the Swedish media announced that he was wanted for questioning about allegations of rape.

The women, who never accused Assange of rape, wanted him to take an STD test.  They had approached the police about compelling him to comply. “I did not want to put any charges on Julian Assange,” texted one of them on Aug. 20 while she was still at the police station, but “the police were keen on getting their hands on him.” She said she felt “railroaded by the police.”

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

The Assange Extradition Ruling Is A Relief, But It Isn’t Justice

The Assange Extradition Ruling Is A Relief, But It Isn’t Justice

British Judge Vanessa Baraitser has ruled against US extradition for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, but not for the reasons she should have.

Baraitser’s frightening ruling supported virtually every US prosecutorial argument that was made during the extradition trial, no matter how absurd and Orwellian. This includes quoting from a long-discredited CNN report alleging without evidence that Assange made the embassy a “command post” for election interference, saying the right to free speech does not give anyone “unfettered discretion” to disclose any document they wish, dismissing arguments from the defense that UK law prohibits extradition for political offenses, parroting the false claim that Assange’s attempt to help protect his source Chelsea Manning while she was exfiltrating documents she already had access to was not normal journalistic behavior, saying US intelligence might have had legitimate reasons to spy on Assange in the Ecuadorian embassy, and claiming Assange’s rights would be protected by the US legal system if he were extradited.

“Judge is just repeating the US case, including its most dubious claims, in Assange case,” tweeted activist John Rees during the proceedings.

In the end, though, Baraitser ruled against extradition. Not because the US government has no business extraditing an Australian journalist from the UK for exposing its war crimes. Not because allowing the extradition and prosecution of journalists under the Espionage Act poses a direct threat to press freedoms worldwide. Not to prevent a global chilling effect on natsec investigative journalism into the behaviors of the largest power structures on our planet. No, Baraitser ultimately ruled against extradition because Assange would be too high a suicide risk in America’s draconian prison system.

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

Never Forget How The MSM Smeared Assange: Notes From The Edge Of The Narrative Matrix

Never Forget How The MSM Smeared Assange: Notes From The Edge Of The Narrative Matrix

The frenetic mass media propaganda campaign against Julian Assange was easily the creepiest and most Orwellian thing I’ve ever witnessed. And now it is silent. It did its job and then disappeared, before the public could really notice what was happening. It’s absolutely stunning.

You wouldn’t know it now, but between late 2016 and Assange’s arrest social media was full of blue-checkmarked narrative managers falling all over each other to be the first to come up with the day’s hottest smear painting a heroic journalist as a villain. Day after day after day. Smearing Assange was one of the easiest ways for an aspiring journalist to show current and prospective employers that you’re on the side of the empire. He was a soft target you could kick to signal that you’ll say whatever the Pentagon wants so you can climb the media ladder.

The smear campaign pervaded every political faction in every part of the US-centralized power alliance. Where they couldn’t get away with openly smearing him they circulated rightist psyops about Trump and Assange secretly working together and the extradition actually helping Assange, which was effectively the same as smearing him. The overwhelming majority of mainstream opinions about Assange are the result not of his work or the life he’s lived, but of a concerted propaganda campaign the majority of which took place between late 2016 and Assange’s arrest in April 2019. People just aren’t aware they’ve been propagandized.

The smear campaign went silent so quickly because it is now impossible to paint yourself as a brave up-punching journalist while smearing someone who is being openly prosecuted for journalism. So they’ve slinked off into the shadows, hoping we’ll forget what they did. Let’s not.

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

The Kafkaesque Imprisonment of Julian Assange Exposes U.S. Myths About Freedom and Tyranny

The Kafkaesque Imprisonment of Julian Assange Exposes U.S. Myths About Freedom and Tyranny

The real measure of how free is a society is not how its mainstream, well-behaved ruling class servants are treated, but the fate of its actual dissidents.

A billboard van calling for an end to extradition proceedings against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange waits at traffic lights in Parliament Square in London, England, on September 14, 2020. (Photo by David Cliff/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Persecution is not typically doled out to those who recite mainstream pieties, or refrain from posing meaningful threats to those who wield institutional power, or obediently stay within the lines of permissible speech and activism imposed by the ruling class.

Those who render themselves acquiescent and harmless that way will — in every society, including the most repressive — usually be free of reprisals. They will not be censored or jailed. They will be permitted to live their lives largely unmolested by authorities, while many will be well-rewarded for this servitude. Such individuals will see themselves as free because, in a sense, they are: they are free to submit, conform and acquiesce. And if they do so, they will not even realize, or at least not care, and may even regard as justifiable, that those who refuse this Orwellian bargain they have embraced (“freedom” in exchange for submission) are crushed with unlimited force.

Those who do not seek to meaningfully dissent or subvert power will usually deny — because they do not perceive — that such dissent and subversion are, in fact, rigorously prohibited. They will continue to believe blissfully that the society in which they live guarantees core civic freedoms — of speech, of press, of assembly, of due process — because they have rendered their own speech and activism, if it exists at all, so innocuous that nobody with the capacity to do so would bother to try to curtail it…

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

The Case For a Pardon of Edward Snowden by President Trump

The Case For a Pardon of Edward Snowden by President Trump

The real criminals are those he exposed: the security state officials who illegally and unconstitutionally spied on innocent people by the millions, and who still do so.

Edward Snowden speaks via video link at a news conference for the launch of a campaign calling for a pardon on September 14, 2016, in New York City (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images).

A U.S. appellate court in September unanimously ruled that the NSA’s program of mass domestic surveillance was illegal, as well as likely a violation of the Fourth Amendment’s guarantee against “unreasonable searches and seizures.” The court, and the broader public, knew about this illegal mass surveillance program created by the NSA only because Edward Snowden, while working inside that agency, discovered its existence and concluded in 2012 that the American public has the right know about what was being secretly done to them and their privacy by their own government.

Upon making the decision to blow the whistle on this security state illegality, Snowden delivered the documents relating to that program and other then-unknown systems of mass online surveillance not by dumping them indiscriminately on the internet or selling them or passing them to foreign governments, but by providing them to journalists (including myself) with The Guardian, The Washington Post and other news outlets. The documents Snowden provided were accompanied by requests to report them responsibly. He thus relinquished the power entirely to make decisions about which documents would and would not be published, leaving those decisions exclusively to news outlets.

Julian Assange’s ‘Trial of the Century’: 10 Reasons Why it Threatens Freedom of Speech

Julian Assange’s ‘Trial of the Century’: 10 Reasons Why it Threatens Freedom of Speech

Fidel Narváez was in the court in London for the majority of the hearings and offers this comprehensive summary.

“Old Bailey” court in London. (Wikimedia Commons)

At the end of the hearings that seek to extradite journalist Julian Assange to the United States, on Oct. 1, his defense team should have felt triumphant. Because with more than 30 witnesses and testimonies, throughout the whole month of September, they gave a beating to the prosecution representing the U.S.

If the case in London were decided solely on justice, as it should in a state based on law, this battle would have been won by Assange.

However, this “trial of the century” is, above all, a political trial, and there remains the feeling that the ruling was made beforehand, regardless of the law.

The court kicked off on Sept. 7 with hundreds of protesters outside, in contrast with the restrictions that the court imposed inside — in what is the most important case against the freedom of expression in an entire generation.

It only permitted the entry of five people on the list of “family members,” and five people from the public, who were put in an adjacent room, where they were barely able to follow the video transmission.

The judge, Vanessa Baraitser, who is overseeing the case, without a convincing reason cut the access to the video stream that had previously been authorized to nearly 40 human rights organizations and international observers, including Amnesty International, Reporters Without Borders and PEN International.

Each day, starting at 5 am, selfless activists stood in line so that observers like Reporters Without Borders, for example, could enter and take one of the five available seats. Thanks to them, and to family members of Assange, I was able to be in court to attend the majority of the hearings.

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

Chomsky, Cockburn and Worthington Forced To Testify Only in Writing in Assange Case

Chomsky, Cockburn and Worthington Forced To Testify Only in Writing in Assange Case

I really do not know how to report Wednesday’s events. Stunning evidence, of extreme quality and interest, was banged out in precis by the lawyers as unnoticed as bags of frozen chips coming off a production line.

The court that had listened to Clair Dobbin spend four hours cross-examining Carey Shenkman on individual phrases of first instance court decisions in tangentially relevant cases, spent four minutes as Noam Chomsky’s brilliant exegesis of the political import of this extradition case was rapidly fired into the court record, without examination, question or placing into the context of the legal arguments about political extradition.

Twenty minutes sufficed for the reading of the “gist” of the astonishing testimony of two witnesses, their identity protected as their lives may be in danger, who stated that the CIA, operating through Sheldon Adelson, planned to kidnap or poison Assange, bugged not only him but his lawyers, and burgled the offices of his Spanish lawyers Baltazar Garzon. This evidence went unchallenged and untested.

The rich and detailed evidence of Patrick Cockburn on Iraq and of Andy Worthington on Afghanistan was, in each case, well worthy of a full day of exposition. I should love at least to have seen both of them in the witness box explaining what to them were the salient points, and adding their personal insights. Instead we got perhaps a sixth of their words read rapidly into the court record. There was much more.

I have noted before, and I hope you have marked my disapproval, that some of the evidence is being edited to remove elements which the US government wish to challenge, and then entered into the court record as uncontested, with just a “gist” read out in court. The witness then does not appear in person.

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

Chris Hedges: The Cost of Resistance

Chris Hedges: The Cost of Resistance

You can measure the effectiveness of resistance by the fury of the response by ruling elites.

Two of the rebels I admire most, Julian Assange, the WikiLeaks publisher, and Roger Hallam, the co-founder of Extinction Rebellion, are in jail in Britain. That should not be surprising. You can measure the effectiveness of resistance by the fury of the response.

Julian courageously exposed the lies, deceit, war crimes and corruption of the ruling imperial elites. Roger has helped organized the largest acts of mass civil disobedience in British history, shutting down parts of London for weeks, in a bid to wrest power from a ruling class that has done nothing, and will do nothing, to halt the climate emergency and our death march to mass extinction.

The governing elites, when truly threatened, turn the rule of law into farce. Dissent becomes treason. They use the state mechanisms of control – intelligence agencies, police, courts, black propaganda and a compliant press that acts as their echo chamber, along with the jails and prisons, not only to marginalize and isolate rebels, but to psychologically and physically destroy them.

The list of rebels silenced or killed by ruling elites runs in a direct line from Socrates to the Haitian resistance leader Toussaint L’Ouverture, who led the only successful slave revolt in human history and died in a frigid French prison cell of malnutrition and exhaustion, to the imprisonment of the socialist Eugene V. Debs, whose health was also broken in a federal prison.

Detroit, 2009. (CC BY 2.0, Wikimedia Commons)

Rebel leaders from the 1960s, including Mumia Abu Jamal, Sundiata Acoli, Kojo Bomani Sababu, Mutulu Shakur and Leonard Peltier, remain, decades later, in U.S. prisons. Muslim activists, including those who led the charity The Holy Land Foundation and Syed Fahad Hashmi, were arrested, often at the request of Israel, after the hysteria following 9/11, and given tawdry show trials. They also remain incarcerated.

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

Julian Assange and the Conservative Press


Rembrandt van RIjn A Woman Standing with a Candle c.1631
To be honest, I didn’t think it would ever happen, even though it’s been so obvious for so long. But all of a sudden, the conservative voices questioning the Russia collusion narrative and all the investigations that followed from it, are finally figuring out that those behind that narrative and all that resulted from it, are the same people who have been chasing down Julian Assange for many years.

And that to get to the bottom of the hunt for Trump by the DNC, Clinton campaign, US intelligence and last but not least the media in their pockets, the NYT, WaPo, MSNBC, CNN et al, they will have to take a much closer look at what happened to Assange. If they don’t they will never understand. How do we know it’s starting to dawn on them? Look at this illustration at the Last Refuge site yesterday. More on them later.

Note: the mostly left wing Assange supporters would do good to consider the same thing: they in turn must look into the RussiaRussia Trump collusion stories, much as they may not like the president. Because those stories are why Assange has been chased down like so much roadkill. And because the right win of America is their best chance at getting him pardoned/released. The enemy of my enemy is my friend, to put it bluntly. Sometimes you need blunt.

As I’ve pointed out countless times, the Mueller investigation of the Trump campaign -and presidency- may have come up glaringly empty, but the report they issued maintained that “13 Russians” and Julian Assange were responsible for hacking DNC emails. There is no proof of this, but since none of the “accused” can speak out, the report make the claim, and did.

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

The Assange Trial, And Other Notes From The Edge Of The Narrative Matrix

The Assange Trial, And Other Notes From The Edge Of The Narrative Matrix

The most powerful government in the world is currently conducting a prosecution to protect its right to lie to the public about the evil things that it does, and somehow the public isn’t shaking the earth with unmitigated rage about this.

~

“Assange isn’t a journalist! He has an agenda!”

Every journalist in the world has an agenda. It just happens that most journalists have fame, wealth and esteem as their agenda while Assange’s agenda is, in his own words, “crushing bastards”.

It’s crazy how there are still people who try to claim Assange isn’t a journalist. He is, and it’s not even debatable. Publishing information that informs the public about what’s going on in the world is exactly the thing that journalism is.

~

The mainstream press have been far, far less critical of immensely powerful world-dominating government agencies than they’ve been of one thin, frail man locked in a cage who published inconvenient facts about those agencies.

~

The very worst fringe conspiracy theories do far less damage than mainstream, establishment-promoted conspiracy theories.

~

If I died today my one regret would be that I wasn’t mean enough to shitty MSM reporters.

~

Step 1: Destroy nations and displace tens of millions of people.

Step 2: Wait for some of those people to hate you and want to fight back.

Step 3: Use their desire to fight back as justification to repeat Step 1.

~

Ask someone how much a dollar bill is worth and they’ll tell you a dollar. Put a gun to their head and ask “Are you sure it’s not worth 100 dollars?” and they’ll say “Ah yes you’re right, my mistake.”

That’s the economy under the US empire.

~

Q: What is Novichok?

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

Greenwald: MSM Journalists Hate Assange Because He’s Broken More Blockbuster Stories Than All Combined

“Nonsense!” — Julian Assange shouted as during the second day of his resumed extradition hearing US federal government attorney James Lewis told a witness that the WikiLeaks founder is facing extradition over the publication of informants’ names and not for merely handling leaked documents.

Judge Vanessa Baraitser promptly warned Assange, seated in the dock, that any further outbursts could get him removed from court and the hearings could proceed without him.

“If you interrupt proceedings and disrupt a witness who is properly giving their evidence, it is open to me to continue without you in your absence,” Baraitser said. “This is obviously not something I wish to do. I am, therefore, giving you a clear warning.”

Julian Assange being held in a glass cage during prior May UK court proceedings, via The Gray Zone.

The US side is hinging its extradition request argument on its prior claims that WikiLeaks under Assange’s leadership revealed names of sources. These individuals then “disappeared” according to the government’s argument, suggesting Assange actually got US operatives and assets detained or killed in foreign countries.

During the Tuesday proceedings, US wrongdoing was highlighted as well. Reuters reported that:

Stafford Smith, a dual US-UK national, said the leaked information had contributed to court findings that criminal proceedings should be taken against senior U.S. officials.

“I say this more in sadness than anger. I would never have believed that my government would do what it did,” he said. “We are talking about criminal offences of torture, kidnapping, rendition, holding people without trial.”

Meanwhile The Intercept journalist Glenn Greenwald blasted the deafening press silence this week as the hearing proceeds.

Greenwald pointed out that years ago “it was fairly accepted in liberal circles (and media ones) that prosecuting Assange would be a grave threat to press freedom.”

But what’s different this time, Greenwald underscores, is that “Now Trump DOJ is doing it, and liberals are silent-to-supportive because Assange hurt Hillary & liberals want him imprisoned for that.”

John Pilger: The Stalinist Trial of Julian Assange

John Pilger: The Stalinist Trial of Julian Assange

The extradition hearing beginning this week is the final act of an Anglo-American campaign to bury Julian Assange. It is not due process. It is due revenge, said John Pilger in a speech Monday outside the court building.

Having reported the long, epic ordeal of Julian Assange, John Pilger gave this address outside the Central Criminal Court in London on Sept. 7 as the WikiLeaks Editor’s extradition hearing entered its final stage.


When I first met Julian Assange more than ten years ago, I asked him why he had started WikiLeaks. He replied: “Transparency and accountability are moral issues that must be the essence of public life and journalism.”

I had never heard a publisher or an editor invoke morality in this way. Assange believes that journalists are the agents of people, not power: that we, the people, have a right to know about the darkest secrets of those who claim to act in our name.

If the powerful lie to us, we have the right to know. If they say one thing in private and the opposite in public, we have the right to know. If they conspire against us, as Bush and Blair did over Iraq, then pretend to be democrats, we have the right to know.

It is this morality of purpose that so threatens the collusion of powers that want to plunge much of the world into war and wants to bury Julian alive in Trump’s fascist America.

In 2008, a top secret U.S. State Department report described in detail how the United States would combat this new moral threat. A secretly-directed personal smear campaign against Julian Assange would lead to “exposure [and] criminal prosecution”.

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

At A Time Of Rapidly Creeping Authoritarianism, Assange’s Freedom Is More Crucial Than Ever

At A Time Of Rapidly Creeping Authoritarianism, Assange’s Freedom Is More Crucial Than Ever

My home state of Victoria has become the center of attention in the anti-lockdown movement for its authoritarian crackdown against not just people who are in violation of lockdown protocol, but people who merely post about staging future anti-lockdown protests on social media.

Police have been breaking into people’s homes and arresting them in front of their children under charges of “incitement” for posting about anti-lockdown protests on Facebook, drawing international headlines. This is obviously a major threat to human rights that sets a dangerous precedent and will have many undesirable knock-on effects, and it should be condemned unequivocally.

“This is awful. ‘Incitement’ is going to be used to crack down on all sorts of protests – including on issues we agree with and think are worth protesting,” explained Australian author and analyst Ketan Joshi of one such arrest. “Every time I post about this, I am stunned by the number of people who seem furiously unwilling to draw any connection between what’s happening above and the history of climate and anti-racist protest in Australia.”

“Those who claim Covid-19 is being exploited by governments to dismantle our diminishing freedoms have just been handed a chilling new piece of evidence to support their case,” tweeted journalist Jonathan Cook.

Indeed this ham-fisted approach seems to be a lot more popular among residents of Melbourne and the state of Victoria who are subjected to it than to a large portion of the outside world. Part of this discrepancy is due to Australia having an entire culture built around the phrase “No worries, whatever you reckon’s a fair thing,” but another part is the fact that people in other self-proclaimed democracies are accustomed to having a bill of rights to protect them against such intrusive overreach.

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

Olduvai IV: Courage
In progress...

Olduvai II: Exodus
Click on image to purchase