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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.

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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.

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

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

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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…

Assange Extradition Hearing Resumes on Monday in London

Assange Extradition Hearing Resumes on Monday in London

If extradited to US, the WikiLeaks founder could face up to 175 years in prison

The extradition hearing for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is set to resume in London on Monday, September 7th. Assange is currently being held in Belmarsh Prison, and if extradited to the US, the publisher faces up to 175 years in prison.

The US has indicted Assange on 17 counts of espionage and one count of conspiring with a source to violate the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. The charges are related to WikiLeaks’ dissemination of a trove of documents released in 2010 that revealed classified information about the US wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the US prison in Guantanamo Bay.

The information was provided to WikiLeaks by former US Army soldier Chelsea Manning, who spent more almost seven years in prison for the leaks before President Obama commuted her sentence in 2017. Manning was jailed again in March 2019 for refusing to testify before a grand jury investigating WikiLeaks and Julian Assange, and was not released until March 2020.

If Assange, an Australian citizen, is extradited to the US and prosecuted, it will be the first time a journalist is tried under the 1917 Espionage Act, and it will set a grave precedent for press freedom in the US and around the world.

Throughout Assange’s lock-up at Belmarsh, the publisher’s family and experts have warned of his deteriorating health. Nils Melzer, a UN special rapporteur for torture, has likened Assange’s treatment to psychological torture.

How to follow the hearing:

Consortium News will be reporting on the hearing and live-tweeting throughout the process. Journalist Joe Lauria will be recapping each day on the CN Live! YouTube channel. The channel will also host a panel of experts every weekend while the hearing is ongoing; the trial is expected to last three to four weeks.

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

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.

 

How We Could Wind Up Banned From Discussing An October Surprise On Social Media This Election

How We Could Wind Up Banned From Discussing An October Surprise On Social Media This Election

In what it calls an effort to make itself “a more reliable source for election-related news and information,” YouTube has announced  that it will be removing “content that contains hacked information, the disclosure of which may interfere with democratic processes, such as elections and censuses.”

“For example, videos that contain hacked information about a political candidate shared with the intent to interfere in an election,” adds the Google-owned video sharing platform.

 

This by itself is an alarming assault on human communication and press freedom. If there is authentic information out there about either of the candidates who are up for the most powerful elected position on the planet, the world is entitled to know about it, regardless of how that information was acquired. Monopolistic tech oligarchs have no business barring us from learning about and discussing that information.

Immensely powerful people should not be permitted to have secrets from the public anyway. The amount of power one has should be directly inverse to the amount of secrecy they are permitted to have. If you’re anywhere near the presidency of the United States of America, the secrecy you are entitled to should be zero.

If a hacker is able to get ahold of accurate information about Donald Trump or Joe Biden, that information is ours. We’re entitled to it. Anyone who tries to obstruct our access to that information is stealing from us. It’s absolutely ridiculous that we have a society where people are permitted to both rule over us and keep secrets from us as it is without government-aligned tech plutocrats silencing our attempts to learn what those secrets might be.

…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…

RAY McGOVERN: How an Internet ‘Persona’ Helped Birth Russiagate

RAY McGOVERN: How an Internet ‘Persona’ Helped Birth Russiagate

Guccifer 2.0 turns four years old today and the great diversion he took part in becomes clearer by the day, writes Ray McGovern.

Four years ago today, on June 15, 2016, a shadowy Internet persona calling itself “Guccifer 2.0” appeared out of nowhere to claim credit for hacking emails from the Democratic National Committee on behalf of WikiLeaks and implicate Russia by dropping “telltale” but synthetically produced Russian “breadcrumbs” in his metadata.

Thanks largely to the corporate media, the highly damaging story actually found in those DNC emails — namely, that the DNC had stacked the cards against Bernie Sanders in the party’s 2016 primary— was successfully obscured.

The media was the message; and the message was that Russia had used G-2.0 to hack into the DNC, interfering in the November 2016 election to help Donald Trump win.

Almost everybody still “knows” that — from the man or woman in the street to the forlorn super sleuth, Special Counsel Robert Swan Mueller III, who actually based indictments of Russian intelligence officers on Guccifer 2.0.

Blaming Russia was a magnificent distraction from the start and quickly became the vogue.

The soil had already been cultivated for “Russiagate” by Democratic PR gems like Donald Trump “kissing up” to former KGB officer Vladimir Putin and their “bromance” (bromides that former President Barack Obama is still using). Four years ago today, “Russian meddling” was off and running — on steroids — acquiring far more faux-reality than the evanescent Guccifer 2.0 persona is likely to get.

Here’s how it went down:

1 — June 12: WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange announced he had “emails related to Hillary Clinton which are pending publication.”

2 — June 14: DNC contractor CrowdStrike tells the media that malware has been found on the DNC server and claims there is evidence it was injected by Russians.

…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…

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…

Olduvai IV: Courage
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Olduvai II: Exodus
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