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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.”

WATCH: WikiLeaks Iraq War Logs: What It Means for Press Freedom,

WATCH: WikiLeaks Iraq War Logs: What It Means for Press Freedom

WikiLeaks editor Kristinn Hrafnsson leads a discussion with investigative journalists Iain Overton and Chris Woods about the impact of the Iraq War Logs’ release a decade ago.

Almost 10 years ago WikiLeaks published the Iraq War Logs along with The New York Times, The Guardian, El Pais, The Washington Post and other news outlets. The logs showed the true numbers of civilian deaths in Iraq—at least 15,000 more people had died than previously thought—as well as the abuse and torture of prisoners by police and military in full knowledge of coalition forces. 

“The U.S. figures appear to be unreliable in respect of civilian deaths caused by their own military activities,” The Guardian reportedThis online event was organized by the Don’t Extradite Assange campaign. It features WikiLeaks editor Kristinn Hrafnsson and investigative journalists Iain Overton and Chris Woods.

WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange remains held at a maximum security prison in London in relation to a US extradition request – he faces a sentence of 175 years for publishing truthful information in the public interest, which include the Iraq War Logs.

 

A Danish Journalist Arrived to Cover the TMX Pipeline. The Guard at YVR Decided to Deport Him

A Danish Journalist Arrived to Cover the TMX Pipeline. The Guard at YVR Decided to Deport Him

Kristian Lindhardt says Canada’s laws stifle press freedom afforded ‘during every crisis.’

When Danish journalist Kristian Lindhardt arrived at the Vancouver airport on Friday, he knew he would face additional levels of border scrutiny because of the coronavirus. Lindhardt wasn’t too concerned, though, because he has international press credentials from Denmark’s version of CBC and a statement from Chief Reuben George of the Tsleil-Waututh First Nation explaining that Lindhardt is here to report on the Trans Mountain pipeline. Lindhardt had also made all the necessary arrangements for a 14-day quarantine in Vancouver.

But just as Lindhardt was about to get through customs a border guard pulled him aside. The guard questioned him for hours and made him sign a document promising to fly back to Denmark today. “I asked what happens if I don’t sign them,” Lindhardt told The Tyee over the phone Saturday morning, just hours before his flight back to Europe was set to depart. “And he said he would detain me in a jail cell.”

The B.C. government currently deems “newspapers, television, radio, call centres, online news outlets and other media services” as essential work. But there is no direction from the federal government saying journalists must be let into the country, according to Green Party MP and former leader of the party Elizabeth May, who has looked into the issue. At the end of the day, it’s up to individual border guards to decide who can enter and who can’t.

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

Establishment Journalists Call For Big Tech to Censor Everyone Else

ESTABLISHMENT JOURNALISTS CALL FOR BIG TECH TO CENSOR EVERYONE ELSE

In a major threat to what’s left of press freedom, establishment journalists are calling for Big Tech to censor those who won’t parrot the government-approved official narrative. Journalist Sulome Anderson has publically called for censorship of a site because it’s an independent news source.

Anderson publicly requested that Google de-rank the independent news site The Grayzone. Anderson, who, according to her bio on her Twitter page, has published with news outlets such as The Washington PostNewsweekNew York Magazine, and Foreign Policy, labeled a recent article by Grayzone contributor Rania Khalek as “dangerous”. For her part, Khalek called Anderson’s comments to Google a “dangerous threat to press freedom.”

Khalek’s article, which Anderson specifically took aim at, is part of a two-piece investigation into alleged U.S. and Gulf states attempts to co-opt and influence the ongoing anti-corruption protests in Lebanon, according to Sputnik News.

Khalek writes that:

“By joining the roadblocks around Beirut, the protesters have inadvertently allowed themselves to be used by these US-allied parties. Whether they know it or not, the media-friendly artists and students at the ring road in downtown Beirut have given cover to the Lebanese Forces roadblocks in the north and the [Progressive Socialist Party] and Future Party roadblocks in the south.”


Who decides which protests are worthy/unworthy? And why?

It’s all about location!

Protest against a government the US hates and you’ll get the hero treatment in US media.

But protest against a US ally and you’re a rioter.

Watch my handy guide:


Anderson lashed out against the article, calling The Grayzone a “conspiracy theorist website” worth of Google’s power-hungry censorship:

“It’s Not a Conspiracy Theory… It Is Happening Right Now”

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

Grayzone Editor Max Blumenthal Arrested Months After Reporting on Venezuelan Opposition Violence

Grayzone Editor Max Blumenthal Arrested Months After Reporting on Venezuelan Opposition Violence

Blumenthal has been arrested on false charges after reporting on Venezuelan opposition violence outside the D.C. embassy. He describes the manufactured case as part of a wider campaign of political persecution, reports Ben Norton. 

Max Blumenthal, the editor of the news site The Grayzone, was arrested on the morning of Oct. 25 on a fabricated charge related to the siege of the Venezuelan embassy in Washington, D.C., that took place between April and May.

A team of D.C. police officers appeared at Blumenthal’s door at just after 9 AM, demanding entry and threatening to break his door down. A number of officers had taken positions on the side of his home as though they were prepared for a SWAT-style raid.

Blumenthal was hauled into a police van and ultimately taken to D.C. central jail, where he was held for two days in various cells and cages. He was shackled by his hands and ankles for over five hours in one such cage along with other inmates. His request for a phone call was denied by D.C. police and corrections officers, effectively denying him access to the outside world.

Max Blumenthal.

Blumenthal was informed that he was accused of simple assault by a Venezuelan opposition member. He declared the charge completely baseless.

“This charge is a 100 percent false, fabricated, bogus, untrue, and malicious lie,” Blumenthal declared. “It is clearly part of a campaign of political persecution designed to silence me and the The Grayzone for our factual journalism exposing the deceptions, corruption and violence of the far-right Venezuelan opposition.”

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

The Forgotten Media Purges of the Great Depression

The Forgotten Media Purges of the Great Depression

Republican Hoover built the federal broadcasting shield in 1927. Roosevelt fashioned it into a weapon in 1934 and Democrats have never put it down since. One might consider the elaborate FCC speech barriers: A Poll Tax on Public Debate

One of the more enduring myths accepted as reality in our modern society is that America has a relatively free press. The ruling authorities and their entrenched accomplices promote that lie as diligently as they work to ensure that it never again becomes true.

America did have a mostly free and independent press until the rise of broadcasting in the 1920s. Within a few years, a small group of Republicans, progressives and corporate interests successfully nationalized the airwaves with restrictive licensing that blocked competition, rewarded insiders and squelched dissent.

Over the next few decades, the increasingly powerful medium of radio and then television drowned out the previously broad spectrum of information and ideas—with often three or more diverse choices of daily newspapers in many U.S. cities—and turned free speech into carefully rationed federal broadcasting privileges, their anointed urban newspaper monopolies and a few approved magazines.

One of the more ironic parts of this forgotten history is that a Republican, Herbert Hoover, led the initial charge to politicize the press. When the more authoritarian FDR took the reins in 1933—holding onto power until his death in 1945—he would ultimately purge the airwaves as well as the newspaper and magazine stands of the nation’s greatest commentators, publishers, editors and writers. In their absence, only pro-war / pro-welfare state neo-liberals and neo-conservatives would survive in mainstream media for generations to come.

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

Freedom of the Press? Not in the U.S.

Freedom of the Press? Not in the U.S.

The United States ranks 48th among nations for press freedom, according to Reporters Without Borders. Since few other countries have the equivalent of our First Amendment, learning that we rank below Botswana and Slovenia may come as a surprise.

Mostly the organization pins this dismal state of affairs on Trump’s attacks on the news media. They reference the White House’s revocation of CNN reporter Jim Acosta’s press card, the president’s “fake news” and “enemy of the people” jibes and his tacit approval of the grisly murder of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi by the government of Saudi Arabia. “At least one White House correspondent has hired private security for fear of their life after receiving death threats, and newsrooms throughout the country have been plagued by bomb threats and were the recipients of other potentially dangerous packages, prompting journalism organizations to reconsider the security of their staffs in a uniquely hostile environment,” reports RWB. (Cry me a river! I’ve received hundreds of death threats.)

Like most other mainstream analyses of the state of press, RWB focuses on how easy it is for large, corporate-owned media conglomerates with establishmentarian political orientations to do their jobs.

Independent journalists, especially those whose politics are left of the Democrats or right of the Republicans, have much bigger problems than deep-pocketed mega-conglomerates like CNN.

No consideration of freedom of the press in the U.S. is complete without a hard look at the case of Julian Assange. The founder and publisher of WikiLeaks is rotting in an English prison, awaiting extradition to the United States for possession and dissemination of classified information—exactly what The New York Times did when it published the Pentagon Papers and the Edward Snowden revelations.

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

The CIA’s “Intelligence Authorization Act” Would Criminalize Whistleblowers and Reporters

The CIA’s “Intelligence Authorization Act” Would Criminalize Whistleblowers and Reporters

(Starts at approx. 5:00)
A CIA written Bill called the Intelligence Authorization Act (SB 3153) would criminalize whistleblowers and reporters.

Section 733 Sense of Congress on WikiLeaks:

“It is the sense of Congress that WikiLeaks and the senior leadership of WikiLeaks resemble a nonstate hostile intelligence service often abetted by state actors and should be treated as such a service by the United States.”

The Bill is also known as the Damon Paul Nelson and Matthew Young Pollard Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Years 2018, 2019, and 2020 (H.R. 3494).

Demand Progress warned,

“House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff is once again putting the interests of the intelligence agencies in concealing their misdeeds ahead of protecting the rights of ordinary Americans by criminalizing routine reporting by the press on national security issues and undermining congressional oversight in his Intelligence Authorization bill,” Daniel Schuman, policy director, of Demand Progress said.

He added: “Schiff’s expansion of the Intelligence Identities Protection Act beyond all reason will effectively muzzle reporting on torture, mass surveillance, and other crimes against the American people — all at the request of the CIA. Schiff is clearly the resistance to the resistance, and he should drop this provision from his bill.”

Government That Tortures Journalists Bans RT From Media Conference

Government That Tortures Journalists Bans RT From Media Conference

The British Foreign Office has banned Russian outlets RT and Sputnik from attending the upcoming Global Conference on Media Freedom in London, citing their predilection for “disinformation”.

“We have not accredited RT or Sputnik because of their active role in spreading disinformation,” said a Foreign Office spokeswoman.

“It takes a particular brand of hypocrisy to advocate for freedom of press while banning inconvenient voices and slandering alternative media; sadly, the world has learned to expect just that from the UK Foreign Office,” RT said in a statement in response.

“It amounts to direct politically motivated discrimination of the Russian channel,” said the Russian embassy in London. “The refusal of accreditation comes on top of the months-long smear campaign against RT by British political figures, governmental bodies, including media regulator Ofcom, and even fellow journalists.”

“Now a leading Russian international TV channel is denied access to the forum, despite being officially registered and working in the UK, on legal grounds,” the embassy added. “What better illustration of the real situation with media freedom in the UK does one need? Yet the organizers of the Conference, as far as we understand, wish to discuss the situation with media freedom anywhere in the world, but not in this country.”

UK govt organises international conference on ‘media freedom’, bans @RT_com (and Syria & Venezuela) from attending https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-48919085 …
’It takes a particular brand of hypocrisy to advocate for media freedom, while banning inconvenient voices and slandering alternative media’1,2296:26 AM – Jul 9, 2019Twitter Ads info and privacyRussia’s RT banned from UK media freedom conferenceThe UK Foreign Office bans two Russian news agencies, accusing them of spreading misinformation.bbc.co.uk

 …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…

The Legal Narrative Funnel That’s Being Used To Extradite Assange

The Legal Narrative Funnel That’s Being Used To Extradite Assange

Isn’t it interesting how an Ecuadorian “asylum conditions” technicality, a UK bail technicality, and a US whistleblowing technicality all just so happened to converge in a way that just so happens to look exactly the same as imprisoning a journalist for telling the truth?

Following the arrest of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, top UK officials all began simultaneously piping the following exact phrase into public consciousness: “No one is above the law.”

“This goes to show that in the United Kingdom, no one is above the law,” Prime Minister Theresa May told parliament after Assange’s arrest.

“Julian Assange is no hero and no one is above the law,” tweeted Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt. 

“Nearly 7 years after entering the Ecuadorean Embassy, I can confirm Julian Assange is now in police custody and rightly facing justice in the UK. I would like to thank Ecuador for its cooperation and @metpoliceuk for its professionalism. No one is above the law,” tweeted Home Secretary Sajid Javid.

Over and over again that phrase showed up to be unquestioningly re-bleated by the human livestock known as the British press in all their reporting on the Assange case: No one is above the law. No one is above the law. No one is above the law. Something tells me they really want people to know that, with regard to Julian Assange, no one is above the law.

But what is “the law” in this particular case? What they are constantly referring to as “the law” with regard to Assange is in fact nothing more than a combination of ridiculous bureaucratic technicalities which can be (and have been) interpreted very differently, but are now instead being interpreted in a way which just so happens to lead to a truth-telling journalist being locked in a cage, awaiting extradition to the same government which tortured Chelsea Manning.

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

“Assange Is Not A Journalist!” Yes He Is, Idiot.

“Assange Is Not A Journalist!” Yes He Is, Idiot.

As we discussed yesterday, whenever Assange is in the news and people are defending him you always see a bunch of hyper-emotional empire loyalists running around online trying to manage the narrative about him. One of the most common talking points which comes up is that Assange is “not a journalist”.

The reason this talking point comes up, of course, is because the WikiLeaks founder is besieged by powerful forces who are attempting to imprison him for publishing inconvenient facts about them, and his defenders often voice their concerns about what this means for the future of press freedoms. The completely baseless claim that Assange is “not a journalist” is used in an attempt to defuse the argument that his prosecution by the US government could lead to the same fate for any news media outlet which publishes leaks on the US government anywhere in the world. If he’s not a journalist, then his prosecution sets no precedent for real journalists.

This argument, if you can call it that, is fallacious for a number of reasons. For starters, as The Intercept‘s Glenn Greenwald explained last year, there’s not any legal distinction in the US Constitution between news media outlets like the New York Times and an outlet which solely focuses on publishing leaks. If you set the precedent with any publisher, you’re necessarily setting it for all of them. Greenwald writes the following:

To begin with, the press freedom guarantee of the First Amendment isn’t confined to “legitimate news outlets” – whatever that might mean. The First Amendment isn’t available only to a certain class of people licensed as “journalists.”

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

Trump Derangement International

Diego Velázquez The Spinners 1655-60

 

Dirk Kurbjuweit, deputy editor-in-chief of Germany’s Der Spiegel magazine for the past 4 years, unwittingly put his foot a mile deep in his mouth this week when he reacted to a letter written by US Ambassador to Berlin Richard Grenell. His reaction presents perhaps the most perfect example of the downfall of news, journalism, the media in general, that we’ve seen so far. Most perfect among very stiff competition.

After Der Spiegel itself this week ‘outed’ its award-winning star reporter, Claas Relotius, as someone who had made up many of his lauded articles from scratch, Grenell suggested the magazine, and especially its editorial staff, shouldn’t think they can get away with putting all the blame on just this one guy. He tweeted:

We value policy criticism. We love a free press. But @Spiegel literally fabricated stories saying people (Americans) were racist & xenophobic. They made up events, details, & lies – and no editor checked the stories. Every real journalist should be outraged by this.

And he wrote a letter to Der Spiegel, albeit addressed at the ‘wrong’ editor, Steffen Klussman, who won’t be in the post until after Jan. 1:

The recent revelations of completely fabricated stories, completely fictional people and fraudulent details in Spiegel over the last seven years are very troubling to the US Embassy. These fake news stories largely focused on US policies and certain segments of the American people. It is clear we were targeted by institutional bias and we are troubled by the atmosphere that encouraged this recklessness.

While Spiegel’s anti-American narratives have expanded over the last years, the anti-American bias at the magazine has exploded since the election of President Trump. We are concerned that these narratives are pushed by Spiegel’s senior leadership and reporters are responding to what the leadership wants.

This is where Dirk Kurbjuweit’s foot enters his mouth, stage left, and starts its long journey down:

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

 

America Is One Of The World’s Deadliest Countries For Journalists

Media group Reporters Without Borders said Tuesday it has observed a terrifying trend in the number of journalists killed and imprisoned worldwide, in 2018.

For the first time, the US is one of the world’s deadliest countries for journalists after six were killed.

The Paris-based group, also known as RSF, said the US ranked sixth on the list for most dangerous countries for journalists, behind Afghanistan, Syria, Mexico, Yemen, and India.

Four journalists, as well as a sales manager, were killed in June when a deranged gunman opened fire at the Annapolis, Maryland offices of the Capital Gazette. Two more reporters, a North Carolina television anchor and cameraman, were killed by a tree while covering a hurricane in May.

“Non-professional journalists play a fundamental role in the production of news and information in countries with oppressive regimes and countries at war, where it is hard for professional journalists to operate,” RSF said in the report.

The big picture: The group states there is an “unprecedented” level of worldwide hostility against members of the press, than in any other period on record. 

Murder, imprisonment, hostage-taking, and disappearances of journalists all increased on a year-over-year basis.

In total, 80 journalists were killed in 2018, with 49 murdered while 31 were killed in the act of reporting.

While the report blames warzones in Afghanistan for the increased deaths, 45% of those killed were not in conflict regions.

Three hundred and forty-eight reporters have so far been detained this year and 60 were held hostage.

China leads the world in detentions, with 60 journalists held in state jails. Thirty-one journalists are currently being held in Syria.

“Violence against journalists has reached unprecedented levels this year, and the situation is now critical,” Christophe Deloire, the group’s secretary general said.

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

The “Resistance” Struggles To Justify Support For Trump’s Prosecution Of Assange

The “Resistance” Struggles To Justify Support For Trump’s Prosecution Of Assange

Ever since suspicions were confirmed that the Trump administration is indeed working to prosecute and imprison WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange for publishing authentic documents, the so-called “Resistance” has been struggling to explain exactly why it is so enthusiastically supportive of that agenda. And when I say struggling, I am being very, very generous.

When news broke that a court document copy-paste error had inadvertently exposed the fact that the Trump administration is pursuing an agenda which experts of diverse political persuasions agreewould have devastating effects on the freedom of the press, #Resistance pundit and DC think tank operative Neera Tanden responded by tweeting, “Never mess with karma”. As of this writing if you do a Twitter search for the words “Assange” and “karma” together, you will come up with countless Democratic Party loyalists using that concept to justify their support for a Trump administration assault on the press that is infinitely more dangerous than the president being mean to Jim Acosta.

The trouble with that of course is that “karma”, as far as observable reality is concerned, is not an actual thing. It’s a Hindu religious concept that is supported by no more factual evidence than the Roman Catholic claim that a priest literally turns bread and wine into the body and blood of a Nazarene carpenter who died thousands of years ago. A Democratic pundit using the concept of “karma” to justify enthusiastic support for Trump’s fascistic attack on press freedoms is exactly the same as a Republican pundit using “God wills it” to justify the existence of poverty, and it is just as intellectually honest.

But it’s also the best argument these people have got.

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

Olduvai IV: Courage
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Olduvai II: Exodus
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