Category Archives: Civil Liberties

Can WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange Get a Fair Trial? by Reese Erlich

Reese Erlich ponders the possibility of Assange getting a fair trial. His conclusion: don’t hold your breath. From Erlich at antiwar.com:

British police dragged WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange out of the Ecuadorian Embassy in London on April 11, witnessed by a scrum of international media. Authorities in the United Kingdom and US then tried to drag Assange’s reputation through the mud.

The official story was that Assange wore out his welcome at the embassy. News stories reported that he skateboarded through the offices, dirtied his bathroom, and let his cat poop in the halls. The man who had exposed government wrongdoing around the world had become the Hacker Who Came to Dinner.

Whatever the truth to those accusations, in reality, Assange was the victim of regime change. In 2017, Ecuadorians elected Lenin Moreno president and, in asharp departure from previous government policy, the new president sought closer relations with the US. Moreno decided to expel Assange as part of the bargain.

The US cares nothing about cat poop in the embassy hallways. But it does want to send a warning to the media, according to John Kiriakou, a former CIA case officer and whistleblower. He says in an interview that Presidents Donald Trump, like Barack Obama before him, has a “Nixonian obsession with national security leaks.” But the real goal is to send “a message to all journalists that there’s a lot less freedom of press than you might think.”

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Nearly Everyone Is a Socialist Now, by Alasdair Macleod

Socialism is ubiquitous, and even much of what is termed “capitalism” is actually socialism. From Alasdair Macleod at goldmoney.com:

The expansionary phase of the global economy is almost certainly ending. A combination of excessive debt and trade protectionism is likely to become economically and politically destabilising. If, as seems increasingly likely, the world is destined for another credit and economic crisis, the colour of the political establishment will shape outcomes. This article examines the political scene and concludes that socialist puppet-masters will use the opportunity in an attempt to crush capitalism.

Introduction

In 1975, I watched from the Strangers’ Gallery the debate in the House of Commons when the Referendum Act for membership of the Common Market was in its second reading. It was to be the first referendum ever held in the UK, and as one would imagine was contentious for that reason. The Labour government of the day had laid an act before Parliament for a referendum to ratify the European Communities Act of 1972, in other words, the UK’s membership of the Common Market.

The debate was not about membership, but the precedent of holding a referendum and its potential to undermine parliament’s sole right to take decisions on behalf of the people. In those days, MPs made proper speeches, not the time-limited five or so minutes permitted by Mr Speaker. A debate of this sort was worth listening to.

I was struck by the similarities of argument put forward by the two greatest parliamentary orators of the day. Michael Foot was the doyen of the extreme left in the Labour Party, and Enoch Powell was said to be on the extreme right (he wasn’t – he was a staunch free marketeer: more on this to follow). From their different perspectives their arguments were almost identical, and both spoke eloquently without notes.

Foot had a distinctive style we see less of nowadays. He was an old-fashioned socialist rabble-rouser, with his arguments and timing honed to perfection on the hustings. His was the traditional Labour campaigning style; a throw-back to pre-war socialist tub-thumping. He was, at that time, the best exponent of this type of oratory in Parliament, made all the more credible by his unwavering belief in the Marxist cause.

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Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters “Ashamed To Be An Englishman” Over Assange Saga, by Tyler Durden

There are still many decent English people left, and even some decent English celebrities. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:

As the establishment attempts to paint a narrative of Julian Assange in cahoots with every thug and terrorist in the world – and definitely not a journalist – many ‘dissenters’ refuse to allow the whitewashing to go unanswered.

One such voice is legendary Pink Floyd frontman Roger Waters, who told RT, in a wide-ranging interview this week, that he was “ashamed to be an Englishman” after seeing Assange being physically removed from his shelter at the Ecuadorian Embassy.

“To think that the UK has become such a willing accomplice and satellite of the American Empire that it would do such a thing in contravention with all laws, moral, ethical, and actual legal restrictions is absolutely, stunningly appalling and makes me ashamed to be an Englishman.

UK authorities will soon decide whether to deport Assange to Sweden, where he faces possible rape charges, or to the US, where he is wanted for conspiring with former army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning to break into a classified government computer.

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From The Ashes, by Joel Bowman

The global black market, even excluding drugs, arms, and other contraband, is huge. From Joel Bowman at internationalman.com:

“Nothing makes a man so adventurous as an empty pocket.”

~ Victor Hugo, The Hunchback of Notre Dame

As Paris’ most iconic cathedral was engulfed in flames earlier this week, crowds of somber onlookers gathered on the banks of the Seine.

They sang hymns. They embraced each other. They watched in shocked, helpless silence as 850 years of history looked as though it might collapse.

“It feels like a national hero was shot,” writes a friend, who was standing amongst the crowd. “The mood in the air is like at a funeral. Everyone is in mourning.”

Thankfully, all was not lost. Although the Gothic spire – once the highest point in the city – fell… and the roof was badly damaged… the 12th century oak beams stood, and the towers remain.

The city will rebuild, says the president. (Already, €300 million has been pledged for the purpose, mostly from wealthy families and private companies.)

Of course, the cathedral was more than simply a religious structure. It was a symbol of human achievement… and perseverance.

Recalling our own time living in Paris, where we stayed not two blocks from La Grande Dame, we remember vividly another sort of strength, a type of character that is forged in the crucible of necessity and adversity and even deprivation.

You see it on the streets… and in the peripheral arrondissements … particularly late at night.

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Suzie Dawson on Julian Assange’s mistreatment

The Fly in the Mueller Ointment, by The Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPs)

The assumption at the heart of the Russiagate case, accepted by official Washington and its captive media, has never been proven. From VIPs at antiwar.com:

MEMORANDUM FOR: The President
FROM: Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPs)
SUBJECT: The Fly in the Mueller Ointment

Mr. President:

The song has ended but the melody lingers on. The expected release Thursday of the redacted text of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s “Report on the Investigation into Russian Interference in the 2016 Presidential Election” will nudge the American people a tad closer to the truth on so-called “Russiagate.”

But judging by Attorney General William Barr’s 4-page summary, the Mueller report will leave unscathed the central-but-unproven allegation that the Russian government hacked into the DNC and Podesta emails, gave them to WikiLeaks to publish, and helped you win the election. The thrust will be the same; namely, even if there is a lack of evidence that you colluded with Russian President Vladimir Putin, you have him to thank for becoming president. And that melody will linger on for the rest of your presidency, unless you seize the moment.

Mueller has accepted that central-but-unproven allegation as gospel truth, apparently in the lack of any disinterested, independent forensic work. Following the odd example of his erstwhile colleague, former FBI Director James Comey, Mueller apparently has relied for forensics on a discredited, DNC-hired firm named CrowdStrike, whose credibility is on a par with “pee-tape dossier” compiler Christopher Steele. Like Steele, CrowdStrike was hired and paid by the DNC (through a cutout).

We brought the lack of independent forensics to the attention of Attorney General William Barr on March 13 in a Memorandum entitled “Mueller’s Forensic-Free Findings”, but received no reply or acknowledgment. In that Memorandum we described the results of our own independent, agenda-free forensic investigation led by two former Technical Directors of the NSA, who avoid squishy “assessments,” preferring to base their findings on fundamental principles of science and the scientific method. Our findings remain unchallenged; they reveal gaping holes in CrowdStrike’s conclusions.

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The World’s Hypocritical Silence as China Imprisons its Ethnic Muslims En Masse, by Charles Hugh Smith

Nobody is going to piss off the Chinese government and lose access to over a billion potential customers. From Charles Hugh Smith at oftwominds.com:

The entire world’s ruling elites are silent because they’re terrified that even mild murmurings might limit the blood-soaked billions they want to reap from trade with China.

Imagine the reaction in the global Muslim community if a western nation imprisoned hundreds of thousands of Muslims solely for being Muslim and subjected them to torture, “re-education” that amounts to treating their religious faith as a pathological mental illness, forcefully separating parents and children, incarcerating the children in state-run orphanages, and on and on in a ruthlessly efficient Nazi-like systemic oppression.

The Muslim “street” would erupt in mass protests, burning flags and calling for the downfall of The Great Satan, and the Muslim nations would cancel energy and trade contracts and lodge diplomatic protests.

But the global Muslim community, and indeed, the entire global community, is strangely silent as China pursues a high-tech suppression of its ethnic Muslims. This silence might be the one thing Tehran, Moscow and Washington have in common: a complete and utter disregard for China’s Muslim-only gulags.

While America’s ruling elite greedily rubs its hands over the wealth that will flow from a “trade deal” with China, where is America’s vaunted concern with human rights? Nowhere to be found. Where are the canceled energy and trade contracts between China and Iran, Turkey, Pakistan, Egypt, Indonesia, Malaysia, Iraq, Syria, Saudi Arabia, the Persian Gulf States and other Muslim-majority nations?

The entire world’s ruling elites are silent because they’re terrified that even mild murmurings might limit the blood-soaked billions they want to reap from trade with China. That is the source of the world’s hypocritical silence about China’s Muslim-only gulags: the endless, insatiable, boundless greed of the ruling elites.

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