Category Archives: Law

The Legal Narrative Funnel That’s Being Used To Extradite Assange, by Caitlin Johnstone

A fortuitous, for the US government, string of legal technicalities may allow it to throw Julian Assange in jail. From Caitline Johnstone at medium.com:

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.

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Why the Assange Arrest Should Scare Reporters, by Matt Taibbi

The Assange arrest is a direct assault on the freedom of the press. From Matt Taibbi at rollingstone.com:

LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 11: Julian Assange gestures to the media from a police vehicle on his arrival at Westminster Magistrates court on April 11, 2019 in London, England.  After weeks of speculation Wikileaks founder Julian Assange was arrested by Scotland Yard Police Officers inside the Ecuadorian Embassy in Central London this morning. Ecuador's President, Lenin Moreno, withdrew Assange's Asylum after seven years citing repeated violations to international conventions. (Photo by Jack Taylor/Getty Images)

Julian Assange gestures to the media from a police vehicle on his arrival at Westminster Magistrates court on April 11, 2019 in London, England. After weeks of speculation Wikileaks founder Julian Assange was arrested by Scotland Yard Police Officers inside the Ecuadorian Embassy in Central London this morning. Ecuador’s President, Lenin Moreno, withdrew Assange’s Asylum after seven years citing repeated violations to international conventions.

Jack Taylor/Getty Images

The WikiLeaks founder will be tried in a real court for one thing, but for something else in the court of public opinion

Julian Assange was arrested in England on Thursday. Though nothing has been announced, there are reports he may be extradited to the United States to face charges related to Obama-era actions.

Here’s the Washington Post on the subject of prosecuting Assange:

A conviction would also cause collateral damage to American media freedoms. It is difficult to distinguish Assange or WikiLeaks from The Washington Post.”

That passage is from a 2011 editorial, “Why the U.S. Shouldn’t Try Julian Assange.”

The Post editorial of years back is still relevant because Assange is being tried for an “offense” almost a decade old. What’s changed since is the public perception of him, and in a supreme irony it will be the government of Donald “I love WikiLeaks”Trump benefiting from a trick of time, to rally public support for a prosecution that officials hesitated to push in the Obama years.

Much of the American media audience views the arrested WikiLeaks founder through the lens of the 2016 election, after which he was denounced as a Russian cutout who threw an election for Trump.

But the current indictment is the extension of a years-long effort, pre-dating Trump, to construct a legal argument against someone who releases embarrassing secrets.

Barack Obama’s Attorney General, Eric Holder, said as far back as 2010 the WikiLeaks founder was the focus of an “active, ongoing criminal investigation.” Assange at the time had won, or was en route to winning, a pile of journalism prizes for releasing embarrassing classified information about many governments, including the infamous “Collateral Murder” video delivered by Chelsea Manning. The video showed a helicopter attack in Iraq which among other things resulted in the deaths of two Reuters reporters.

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Chelsea and Julian are in Jail. History Trembles, by Craig Murray

The government is getting its full measure of revenge against two people who told the truth about it. From Craig Murray at lewrockwell.com:

Tonight both Chelsea Manning and Julian Assange are in jail, both over offences related to the publication of materials specifying US war crimes in Afghanistan and Iraq, and both charged with nothing else at all. No matter what bullshit political and MSM liars try to feed you, that is the simple truth. Manning and Assange are true heroes of our time, and are suffering for it.

If a Russian opposition politician were dragged out by armed police, and within three hours had been convicted on a political charge by a patently biased judge with no jury, with a lengthy jail sentence to follow, can you imagine the Western media reaction to that kind of kangaroo court? Yet that is exactly what just happened in London.

District Judge Michael Snow is a disgrace to the bench who deserves to be infamous well beyond his death. He displayed the most plain and open prejudice against Assange in the 15 minutes it took for him to hear the case and declare Assange guilty, in a fashion which makes the dictators’ courts I had witnessed, in Babangida’s Nigeria or Karimov’s Uzbekistan, look fair and reasonable, in comparison to the gross charade of justice conducted by Michael Snow.

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Is Julian Assange another Pentagon Papers case? by Alan Dershowitz

Julian Assange and Wikileak’s case is indistinguishable from the Pentagon Papers case. From Alan Dershowitz at theburningplatform.com:

Image result for julian assange daniel ellsberg

Before WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange gained asylum in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London in 2012, he and his British legal team asked me to fly to London to provide legal advice about United States law relating to espionage and press freedom. I cannot disclose what advice I gave them, but I can say that I believed then, and still believe now, that there is no constitutional difference between WikiLeaks and The New York Times.

If The New York Times, in 1971, could lawfully publish the Pentagon Papers, knowing that it included classified documents stolen by Rand Corporation military analyst Daniel Ellsberg from our government, then WikiLeaks was entitled, under the First Amendment, to publish classified material that Assange knew was stolen by former Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning from our government.

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Cascading Cat Litter, by James Howard Kunstler

The US/British/Ecuadorian case against Julian Assange is a crock of the material cats cover up in their litter boxes. From James Howard Kunstler at kunstler.com:

And so now Julian Assange of Wikileaks has been dragged out of his sanctuary in the London embassy of Ecuador for failing to clean his cat’s litter box. Have you ever cleaned a litter box? The way we always did it was to spread some newspaper — say, The New York Times — on the floor, transfer the used cat litter onto it, wrap it into a compact package, and put it in the trash.

It was interesting to scan the Comments section of The Times’s stories about the Assange arrest: Times readers uniformly presented themselves as a lynch mob out for Mr. Assange’s blood. So much for the spirit of liberalism and The Old Gray Lady who had published The Pentagon Papers purloined by Daniel Ellsberg lo so many years ago. Reading between the lines in that once-venerable newspaper — by which I mean gleaning their slant on the news — one surmises that The Times has actually come out against freedom of the press, a curious attitude, but consistent with the neo-Jacobin zeitgeist in “blue” America these days.

Anyway, how could anyone expect Mr. Assange to clean his cat’s litter box when he was unable to go outside his sanctuary to buy a fresh bag of litter, and was denied newspapers this past year, as well as any other contact with the outside world?

US government prosecutors had better tread lightly in bringing Mr. Assange to the sort of justice demanded by readers of The New York Times — which is to say: lock him up in some SuperMax solitary hellhole and throw away the key. The show trial of Julian Assange on US soil, when it comes to pass, may end up being the straw that stirs America’s Mickey Finn as a legitimate republic.

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Truth Is an Outlaw in Washington, by James Bovard

If you’re interviewed by the FBI and your statements don’t align with what the FBI agents recall about your conversation, you could find yourself in jail. From James Bovard at lewrockwell.com:

Edit note: This article was written in November before Special Counsel Mueller completed his investigation of alleged Russian collusion. We haven’t seen the full text of the Mueller report yet but I am wagering that it will not require rescinding this article.

“Truth isn’t truth,” declared Rudy Giuliani, Donald Trump’s personal attorney, on Meet the Press last August. Giuliani’s comment was the “Trump era’s epitaph,” according to a Washington Post columnist. But truth really is defined differently inside the Beltway — when it is not in total hiding.

Trump could face a “perjury trap” from Special Counsel Robert Mueller because of the unique way that the FBI defines reality — and the truth. The FBI rarely records interviews and instead relies on written summaries (known as Form 302s) which “are widely held up in court as credible evidence of conversations,” the New York Times noted last year. Though defense attorneys routinely debunk the accuracy and credibility of 302s, prosecutors continue touting FBI interview summaries as the voice of God. Even if Trump made factually correct comments to Mueller, he could still face legal peril if his statements failed to harmonize with FBI “trust me on what I heard” memos containing contrary assertions.

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You’re A Sucker For Not Believing That The System Is Rigged, by Kurt Schlichter

After Russiagate and Jussie Smollett, is there any doubt that the American system is rigged? From Kurt Schlichter at townhall.com:

You’re A Sucker For Not Believing That The System Is Rigged

Imagine you spent two years completely screwing up at your job, I mean not merely getting every single thing wrong but loudly, proudly getting in everyone else’s face about how right you are. You’d get fired, terminated, 86’d, and Schiff-canned. But not the mainstream media. The media hacks failed for two years-plus, nonstop and without equivocation, but are they ever going to be held to account? No, they’re just going to gather in a big circle and Pulitzer each other.

Imagine you committed a racial hate crime where you falsely accused people who didn’t look or think like you of a horrible atrocity, and that you’d have gladly picked some poor saps with the wrong skin tone out of a line-up and sent them to prison for decades given the chance. Now imagine the two half-wits you hired to help you managed to get caught on video buying their stereotype get-up and spilled it all to the fuzz, though the fact you paid them with a check – because you’re a criminal mastermind – was already enough to get a grand jury to indict your sorry AOC. Now, what are the chances the DA is going to transform your 16 felony counts into a $10K fine and a couple days community servicing? Your chances of said outcome are poor. They are poor because your pals are neither Mrs. Obama or Willie Brown’s gal pal.

Now imagine that you studied really hard while the rich kids partied and smoked dope and splattered water on you by running their BMWs through puddles as you walked home from high school. Imagine your last name is “Chang,” or that your dad is a soldier and not a hedge fund manager, or that your mom is a waitress and not a TV bimbo. Now imagine how you feel when Durwood Richguy IV gets admitted to Harvard when he can’t count past 10 with his Gucci loafers on and you get slotted on a waiting list for Gumbo State.

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