Most major corporations today are closer to socialism than capitalism, and they have no compunction about teaming with governments to destroy their enemies. From Chris Hedges at consortiumnews.com:
Those, like environmental lawyer Steven Donziger, who fight the corporate control of our society on behalf of the vulnerable find the institutions of power unite to crucify them.
Steven Donziger. (Still from video by Amazon Watch and Frente de Defensa de la Amazonía)
The persecution of the attorney Steven Donziger is a grim illustration of what happens when we confront the real centers of power, masked and unacknowledged by the divisive cant from the Trump White House or the sentimental drivel of the Democratic Party. Those, like Donziger, who name and fight the corporate control of our society on behalf of the vulnerable see the judiciary, the press and the institutions of government unite to crucify them.
“It’s been a long battle, 27 years,” Donziger said when I reached him by phone in his apartment in Manhattan.
Donziger, who has been fighting polluting American oil companies for nearly three decades on behalf of indigenous communities and peasant farmers in Ecuador, has been under house arrest in Manhattan for a year. He will go to trial in federal court in New York on Sept. 9 on contempt of court charges, which could see him jailed for six months. Ever since he won a multibillion-dollar judgment in 2011 against the oil giant Chevron, the multinational has come after him personally through litigation that threatens to destroy him economically, professionally and personally.
“Our L-T [long-term] strategy is to demonize Donziger,” Chevron wrote in an internal memo in 2009, as reviewed by Courthouse News.
(Still from video by Amazon Watch and Frente de Defensa de la Amazonía)
Five nations have shredded the law in their vendetta against Julian Assange. From Raúl Ilargi Meijer at the automaticearth.com:
With the news that Julian Assange is “wasting away” in Belmarsh prison hospital, and with UN rapporteur Professor Nils Melzer’s report detailing how this happens, I’m once again drawn towards the lawlessness that all “authorities” involved in his case have been displaying, and with impunity. They all apparently think they are literally above the law. Their own laws.
But they can’t be, nowhere, not above their respective national laws nor the international ones their countries have signed up to. They can’t, because that would instantly make any and all laws meaningless. So you tell me where we find ourselves today.
Australia not only refused Assange, a citizen, any help during his long ordeal, but prime minister Julia Gillard even threatened to strip Assange of his citizenship, until it was pointed out that it would be illegal for Australia to do so.
See, Cook is already skipping a step there. Gillard didn’t take Assange’s citizenship away, because that is against Australian law, but it’s just as much against Australian law for a government to let one of its citizens rot in some kind of hell. Still, they did let him rot, but as an Australian citizen. At that point, what difference does anything make anymore?
This is the definitive and comprehensive source for anyone who wants to defend Julian Assange in an argument and win. From Caitlin Johnstone at theburningplatform.com:
Have you ever noticed how whenever someone inconveniences the dominant western power structure, the entire political/media class rapidly becomes very, very interested in letting us know how evil and disgusting that person is? It’s true of the leader of every nation which refuses to allow itself to be absorbed into the blob of the US-centralized power alliance, it’s true of anti-establishment political candidates, and it’s true of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.
Corrupt and unaccountable power uses its political and media influence to smear Assange because, as far as the interests of corrupt and unaccountable power are concerned, killing his reputation is as good as killing him. If everyone can be paced into viewing him with hatred and revulsion, they’ll be far less likely to take WikiLeaks publications seriously, and they’ll be far more likely to consent to Assange’s imprisonment, thereby establishing a precedent for the future prosecution of leak-publishing journalists around the world. Someone can be speaking 100 percent truth to you, but if you’re suspicious of him you won’t believe anything he’s saying. If they can manufacture that suspicion with total or near-total credence, then as far as our rulers are concerned it’s as good as putting a bullet in his head.
Those of us who value truth and light need to fight this smear campaign in order to keep our fellow man from signing off on a major leap in the direction of Orwellian dystopia, and a big part of that means being able to argue against those smears and disinformation wherever they appear. Unfortunately I haven’t been able to find any kind of centralized source of information which comprehensively debunks all the smears in a thorough and engaging way, so with the help of hundreds of tips from my readers and social media followers I’m going to attempt to make one here. What follows is my attempt at creating a tool kit people can use to fight against Assange smears wherever they encounter them, by refuting the disinformation with truth and solid argumentation.
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.
Julian Assange and Wikileak’s case is indistinguishable from the Pentagon Papers case. From Alan Dershowitz at theburningplatform.com:
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.
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.
For a man who has no criminal charges against him outstanding, Julian Assange is being treated worse than many convicted felons. From Elizabeth Los at consortiumnews.com:
On this date in 2018, the Wikileaks publisher was cut off from the work of journalism, reports Elizabeth Vos.
One year ago Thursday, Ecuador’s government under President Lenin Moreno silenced Julian Assange.
WikiLeaks wrote on Twitter Wednesday: “… March 28, marks one year that WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange has been illegally gagged from doing journalism—any writing that expresses a ‘political opinion’? even on his own treatment, after pressure from the U.S. on Ecuador.”
On this date in 2018 Moreno imposed on Assange what Human Rights Watch’s legal counsel Dinah Pokempner described as looking “more and more like solitary confinement.” Moreno cut off Assange’s online access and restricted visitors to the Ecuador embassy in London where Assange has had legal political asylum since 2012.
Moreno cited Assange’s critical social media remarks about Ecuador’s allies, the U.S. and Spain. Assange’s near-total isolation, with the exception of visits from legal counsel during week days, has been augmented by the Ecuadorian government’s imposition of a complex “protocol,” which, although eased slightly in recent months in respect of visits allowed, has not improved Assange’s overall status over the last 12 months. In some respects, it seems to have worsened.
Truck in D.C.,March 28, 2019. (Pamela Drew, Twitter)
The Guardian has offered no evidentiary support for its assertion that Julian Assange met Paul Manafort. From Craig Murray at craigmurray.org.uk:
The right wing Ecuadorean government of President Moreno continues to churn out its production line of fake documents regarding Julian Assange, and channel them straight to MI6 mouthpiece Luke Harding of the Guardian.
Amazingly, more Ecuadorean Government documents have just been discovered for the Guardian, this time spy agency reports detailing visits of Paul Manafort and unspecified “Russians” to the Embassy. By a wonderful coincidence of timing, this is the day after Mueller announced that Manafort’s plea deal was over.
The problem with this latest fabrication is that Moreno had already released the visitor logs to the Mueller inquiry. Neither Manafort nor these “Russians” are in the visitor logs.
This is impossible. The visitor logs were not kept by Wikileaks, but by the very strict Ecuadorean security. Nobody was ever admitted without being entered in the logs. The procedure was very thorough. To go in, you had to submit your passport (no other type of document was accepted). A copy of your passport was taken and the passport details entered into the log. Your passport, along with your mobile phone and any other electronic equipment, was retained until you left, along with your bag and coat. I feature in the logs every time I visited.
Julian Assange has committed the ultimate crime—he told the truth—and Washington is after him in full force. From Paul Craig Roberts at paulcraigroberts.com:
ustice has disappeared in the West. In Justice’s place stands Revenge. This fact is conclusively illustrated by Julian Assange’s ongoing eight year ordeal.
For eight years Julian Assange’s life has been lived in a Kafka Police State. He has been incarcerated first under British house arrest and then in the Ecuadoran Embassy in London, despite the absence of any charges filed against him.
Meanwhile, the entirety of the Western world, with the exception of former Educadoran President Rafael Correa and a UN agency that examined the case and ruled Assange was being illegally detained by the UK government’s refusal to honor his grant of political asylum, has turned its back to the injustice.
Assange is locked away in the Ecuadoran Embassy, because to protect him from false arrest, former Ecuadoran President Correa gave him political asylum. However, the corrupt and servile UK government that serves Washington, and not justice or law, refused to honor Assange’s asylum. The US vassal known as the UK stands ready to arrest Assange on Washington’s orders if he steps outside the embassy and to hand him over to Washington, where a large number of both Democrats and Republicans in Congress have said he should be executed. The Trump regime, carrying on the illegal practices of its forebears, has a secret indictment waiting to be revealed once they have their hands on Assange.
Julian Assange wasn’t paranoid, he was right about US plans to have him extradited from Great Britain to face charges in the US. From Caitlin Johnstone at medium.com:
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has been charged under seal by the Trump administration. This has been revealed by a purportedly accidental copy-paste error in an unrelated court document which used Assange’s name, interestingly not long after it was reported to the Wall Street Journal that federal prosecutors “have considered publicly indicting Mr. Assange to try to trigger his removal from the embassy because a detailed explanation of the evidence could give Ecuadorean authorities reason to turn Assange over.”
Insider sources have reportedly confirmed to the Washington Post that Assange has been charged. Because those charges are sealed, it’s impossible to know what they are or how they’re being justified. If you ask #Resistance Twitter, it’s because it’s #MuellerTime and Assange is about to be arrested under some mysterious charges involving WikiLeaks’ publication of non-government, non-classified emails in 2016. If you ask QAnon cultists, it’s because Donald Trump is planning to extradite Assange so as to rescue him and deal a fatal blow to the Deep State. If you ask people who actually know what they’re talking about, however, it’s most likely for WikiLeaks’ Afghanistan and Iraq war logs and/or last year’s CIA leak publications, and most likely using the Espionage Act. This would constitute a deadly blow to press freedoms, and arguably a greater leap in the direction of Orwellian dystopia than the Patriot Act.
It also proves once again that Julian Assange was completely right.
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