Tag Archives: Julian Assange extradition

London Court Hears Details Of CIA Plot To Poison Julian Assange, Steal DNA From Family Members, by Tyler Durden

No surprises here—there is just no low to which the US government will not stoop in its vendetta against Julian Assange, including murder. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:

Now in its second week, Julian Assange’s extradition hearing at the Old Baily in London just heard explosive testimony based on previously reported revelations that the CIA had actively plotted to assassinate him, by either poisoning or via a kidnapping plot.

The testimony is part of the defense team’s attempt to frame the US extradition case as entirely political in nature, and not based on breaking US law, but also toward convincing the judge that the WikiLeaks founder would certainly face extreme and excessive punishment, which would be cause for Britain to block the extradition.

Though mainstream media has by and large ignored much of the bombshell testimony from the hearing since last week, this latest cloak-and-dagger type information detailing just how far US intelligence was willing to go is impossible to ignore.

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LETTER FROM LONDON: The Surreal US Case Against Assange, by Alexander Mercouris

This is the best dissection of the incoherent US case against Julian Assange that we’ve seen. From Alexander Mercouris at consortiumnews.com:

The fox is guarding the henhouse and Washington is prosecuting a publisher for exposing its own war crimes. Alexander Mercouris diagnoses the incoherence of the U.S. case for extradition.

Julian Assange’s father John Shipton outside the court where his son is on trial in London, September 2020. (Twitter)

Following the Julian Assange case as it has progressed through its various stages, from the original Swedish allegations right up to and including the extradition hearing which is currently underway in the Central Criminal Court in London, has been a troubling and very strange experience.

The U.S. government has failed to present a coherent case.

Conscious that the British authorities should in theory refuse to extradite Assange if the case against him were shown to be politically motivated and/or related to Assange’s legitimate work as a journalist, the U.S. government has struggled to present a case against Assange which is not too obviously politically motivated or related to Assange’s legitimate work as a journalist.

This explains the strange succession of one original and two superseding indictments.

The U.S. government’s first indictment was based on what was a supposedly simple allegation of computer interference, supposedly coordinated in some sort of conspiracy between Assange and Chelsea Manning.

This was obviously done in an attempt to dispel the idea that the request for Assange’s extradition was politically motivated or was related to Assange’s legitimate work as a journalist.

However lawyers in the United States had no difficulty pointing out the “inchoate facts” of the alleged conspiracy between Assange and Manning, whilst both lawyers and journalists in the United States and elsewhere pointed out that the facts in the indictment in fact bore all the hallmarks of action by a journalist to protect a source.

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The Guardian’s deceit-riddled new statement betrays both Julian Assange and journalism, by Jonathan Cook

The Guardian sinks to new lows. From Jonathan Cook at jonathancook.net:

In my recent post on the current hearings at the Old Bailey over Julian Assange’s extradition to the United States, where he would almost certainly be locked away for the rest of his life for the crime of doing journalism, I made two main criticisms of the Guardian.

A decade ago, remember, the newspaper worked closely in collaboration with Assange and Wikileaks to publish the Iraq and Afghan war diaries, which are now the grounds on which the US is basing its case to lock Assange behind bars in a super-max jail.

My first criticism was that the paper had barely bothered to cover the hearing, even though it is the most concerted attack on press freedom in living memory. That position is unconscionably irresponsible, given its own role in publishing the war diaries. But sadly it is not inexplicable. In fact, it is all too easily explained by my second criticism.

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British Ambassador Craig Murray Exposes the Corrupt and Censored Assange Extradition Hearing, by Paul Craig Roberts

The fix is in on the Assange extradition proceeding. From Paul Craig Roberts at paulcraigroberts.com:

Ambassador Murray is upfront: “I strongly expect the final decision was made in this case even before opening arguments were received.”

Although the hearing is being conducted in a British court, the US government has controlled the hearing and has determined what evidence could be presented:

“The plan of the US Government throughout has been to limit the information available to the public and limit the effective access to a wider public of what information is available. Thus we have seen the extreme restrictions on both physical and video access. A complicit mainstream media has ensured that those of us who know what is happening are very few in the wider population.”

Even Ambassador Murray’s reports on the hearing are censored by social media:

“Even my blog has never been so systematically subject to shadowbanning from Twitter and Facebook as now. Normally about 50% of my blog readers arrive from Twitter and 40% from Facebook. During the trial it has been 3% from Twitter and 9% from Facebook. That is a fall from 90% to 12%. In the February hearings Facebook and Twitter were between them sending me over 200,000 readers a day. Now they are between them sending me 3,000 readers a day. To be plain that is very much less than my normal daily traffic from them just in ordinary times. It is the insidious nature of this censorship that is especially sinister – people believe they have successfully shared my articles on Twitter and Facebook, while those corporations hide from them that in fact it went into nobody’s timeline. My own family have not been getting their notifications of my posts on either platform” ( https://www.craigmurray.org.uk ).

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What’s the Difference Between ‘Villain’ Assange & ‘Intrepid’ Woodward? by Lee Camp

There is no discernible difference between what Julian Assange has done as a journalist and what Bob Woodward has done his entire career. From Lee Camp at counterpunch.org:

The completely fair super awesome trial of Julian Assange continues in the U.K. as I write this. It’s a beautiful blend of the works of Kafka, Stalin and Joseph Heller.

Seeing as Julian is kept in a glass container in the courtroom, like a captured cockroach, maybe Kafka wins the day.

The court clearly must keep Julian in that giant Tic-Tac container because he’s undoubtedly as dangerous as Hannibal Lecter. If he weren’t in there, no one would know when he might lurch forward and PUBLISH SOMETHING THAT’S TOTALLY TRUE!

What they’re deciding in this trial is whether Assange should be extradited to the United States, or “kidnapped” as the kids call it these days.

If he is lovingly black-bagged by our government, they have promised he will face 175 years in prison if convicted by another super rad show trial presided over by an American government puppet judge. (A puppet judge is just like a real judge but they’ve got the government so far up their backside they can taste the Cheetos.)

Countless excitable activists out there say this persecution of Julian Assange is unheard of. They’re acting like no journalist has ever been prosecuted under the Espionage Act. They’re acting like it’s unprecedented for the U.S. to go after a journalist who’s not even a U.S. citizen and has never operated his organization from the U.S. They’re acting like it’s ridiculous to add on new superseding indictments days before the trial begins.

But all the people saying that are… um… correct. Yeah, they nailed it. (Sorry for the buildup – I thought that paragraph would come out differently.)

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The Murder of the First Amendment, by Paul Craig Roberts

If Julian Assange is extradited to the US and then convicted, the First Amendment is a dead letter. From Paul Craig Roberts at paulcraigroberts.org:

The illegal and unwarranted prosecution of Julian Assange by the US Government in a British court, if court it is and not a Star Chamber, is in fact the prosecution of the First Amendment. It will prevent journalists in the future from informing the public of criminal activity by government. This is already the case in a number of countries, and the US and UK are about to join them.  Washington, working through a British judge and a British prosecutor, is murdering the First Amendment and, thereby, accountable government.

The US government’s case for Assange’s extradition to the US that is working its way through a CIA-suborned British court redefines journalists who hold government accountable as spies.  In other words, journalists who reveal criminal actions of governments are quilty of espionage.  If this were in fact the case, the New York Times would have been prosecuted for publishing the Pentagon Papers.

Once upon a time when law still ruled a person had to spy on his own country in order to have committed a crime.  Julian Assange is an Australian citizen, but he is accused of  committing espionage against the United States while living in Europe.  If this were a crime under law, all the Israeli Mossad spies spying on the United States would be arrested and treated as Assange.  Indeed, all spies of all countries spying on other countries, including the CIA and the British MI6, could be arrested and tried for espionage in the countries that they are spying on. Generally speaking, countries prosecute their own citizens who spy on their own country for foreign governments, but send foreign spies caught spying on them home ( https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2010/07/why-doesn-t-the-fbi-prosecute-more-spies.html ).

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Exposing War Crimes Should Always Be Legal. Committing And Hiding Them Should Not. By Caitlin Johnstone

The two sentences above should be non-controversial, but they’re not. From Caitlin Johnstone at medium.com:

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The Kafkaesque extradition trial of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange continues, with each frustrating day making it clearer than the day before that what we are watching is nothing other than a staged performance by the US and UK governments to explain why it’s okay for powerful governments to jail journalists who expose inconvenient truths about them.

The Assange defense team is performing admirably, making the arguments they need to make to try and prevent an extradition that will set a precedent which will imperil press freedoms and creating a chilling effect on all adversarial national security investigative journalism around the world. These arguments appear to fall on deaf ears before Judge Vanessa Baraitser, who has from the beginning been acting like someone who has already made up her mind and who has been reading from pre-written judgements at the trial regardless of the points presented to her (an unusual behavior made all the more suspicious by her supervision under Chief Magistrate Emma Arbuthnot, who has a massive conflict of interest in this case).

And while it is essential to fight this fight with every intention of winning, I’d also like to issue a friendly reminder that this entire trial is illegitimate at its very foundation.

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The War on Assange is a War on Truth, by Ron Paul

If Assange is railroaded, will any journalist in the future dare publish any kind of government secret? From Ron Paul at ronpaulinstitute.org:

It is dangerous to reveal the truth about the illegal and immoral things our government does with our money and in our name, and the war on journalists who dare reveal such truths is very much a bipartisan affair. Just ask Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, who was relentlessly pursued first by the Obama Administration and now by the Trump Administration for the “crime” of reporting on the crimes perpetrated by the United States government.

Assange is now literally fighting for his life, as he tries to avoid being extradited to the United States where he faces 175 years in prison for violating the “Espionage Act.” While it makes no sense to be prosecuted as a traitor to a country of which you are not a citizen, the idea that journalists who do their job and expose criminality in high places are treated like traitors is deeply dangerous in a free society.

To get around the First Amendment’s guarantee of freedom of the press, Assange’s tormentors simply claim that he is not a journalist. Then-CIA director Mike Pompeo declared that Wikileaks was a “hostile intelligence service” aided by Russia. Ironically, that’s pretty much what the Democrats say about Assange.

Earlier this month, a US Federal appeals court judge ruled that the NSA’s bulk collection of Americans’ telephone records was illegal. That bulk collection program, born out of the anti-American PATRIOT Act, was first revealed to us by whistleblower Edward Snowden just over seven years ago.

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Empire’s mask slips at Julian Assange trial, by Pepe Escobar

US government lawyers are arguing in Julian Assange’s extradition proceeding that any journalist publishing classified information can be subject to prosecution under the Espionage Act. There was not a peep from any mainstream media so-called journalist about this. From Pepe Escobar at zerohedge.com:

Authored by Pepe Escobar via The Asia Times,

The concept of “History in the making” has been pushed to extremes when it comes to the extraordinary public service being performed by historian, former UK diplomat and human rights activist Craig Murray.

Murray – literally, and on a global level – is now positioned as our man in the public gallery, as he painstakingly documents in vivid detail what could be defined as the trial of the century as far as the practice of journalism is concerned: the kangaroo court judging Julian Assange in Old Bailey, London.

Let’s focus on three of Murray’s reports this week – with an emphasis on two intertwined themes: what the US is really prosecuting, and how Western corporate media is ignoring the court proceedings.

Here, Murray reports the exact moment when the mask of Empire fell, not with a bang, but a whimper:

“The gloves were off on Tuesday as the US Government explicitly argued that all journalists are liable to prosecution under the Espionage Act (1917) for publishing classified information.” (italics mine).

“All journalists” means every legitimate journalist, from every nationality, operating in any jurisdiction.

Interpreting the argument, Murray added, “the US government is now saying, completely explicitly, in court, those reporters could and should have gone to jail and that is how we will act in future. The Washington Post, the New York Times, and all the “great liberal media” of the US are not in court to hear it and do not report it (italics mine), because of their active complicity in the “othering” of Julian Assange as something sub-human whose fate can be ignored. Are they really so stupid as not to understand that they are next?

Err, yes.”

The point is not that self-described paladins of “great liberal media” are stupid. They are not covering the charade in Old Bailey because they are cowards. They must keep their fabled “access” to the bowels of Empire – the kind of “access” that allowed Judith Miller to “sell” the illegal war on Iraq in countless front pages, and allows CIA asset and uber-opportunist Bob Woodward to write his “insider” books.

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Claims that Assange ‘endangered lives’ rubbished in U.S. extradition proceedings, by Tareq Haddad

Wikileaks goes to extraordinary lengths to redact information in its disclosures that might result in harm to sources and operatives if it was revealed. The claim that Julian Assange endangered lives has little support. From Tareq Haddad at tareqhaddad.com:

An American helicopter flies over Afghanistan where the U.S. military has waged an illegal invasion for the last 19 years. (credit: Flickr)
(London, U.K.) A senior investigative journalist who worked on the release of thousands of military and diplomatic cables with WikiLeaks has rubbished prosecution claims that Julian Assange and his organisation put the lives of U.S. service members and informants at risk.

John Goetz, an investigations editor with the German public broadcaster NDR, had been a reporter with Der Spiegel at the time of the releases between 2010 and 2011. That included the Afghan and Iraq war diaries, in addition to the release of U.S. diplomatic cables that came to be known as Cablegate.

James Lewis QC, on behalf of the U.S. government, told the Old Bailey last week that Assange is not being prosecuted for receiving the documents, but because he risked lives with “reckless publication”.

Goetz told the court on Wednesday (September 16) that Assange and WikiLeaks in fact had a “very rigorous redaction process” – on occasion more censorious than the Pentagon when the same documents were released by Freedom of Information Act requests.

As the lead investigative journalist for Der Spiegel, Goetz was among a handful of journalists to be invited to the Guardian’s “bunker” in London where they, alongside WikiLeaks and New York Times staff, worked on removing sensitive names from documents.

Goetz said that redaction and what Assange called the “harm-minimisation process” was central from the very beginning of his involvement in June 2010 and how Eric Schmitt of The New York Times was tasked with contacting the White House prior to publication due to the newspaper’s location and existing relationship.

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