Tag Archives: Julian Assange

US Foreign Policy Exposed, by Kevin B. Zeese and Margaret Flowers

It would be hard to find a square inch of the world that the US government does not deem a vital national interest. From Kevin B. Zeese and Margaret Flowers at antiwar.com:

In the last week, the realities of US foreign policy have been exposed by a leaked audio tape, a leak about a US attack on the Russian electrical grid, and US attempts to extradite Julian Assange. All the information points to a foreign policy that violates international law and standards, perpetrates wars and conflict and seeks to undermine press freedom in order to commit its crimes in secret.

This is not new information to those of us who closely follow US foreign policy, but these new exposures are broad and are in the mass media where many millions of people can view them and gain a greater understanding of the realities of US actions around the world. Join the People’s Mobilization to Stop the US War Machine this September.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo Exposes Himself To Jewish Leadership

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo gave a foreign policy speech to the presidents of major Jewish organizations. The speech was remarkable because it shows the special attention this group receives. Very sensitive secrets of US foreign policy were provided to the audience. Thankfully, someone in the audience audio-taped the conversation, and as a result, millions of people in the US and around the world now know the truth about some critical US foreign policy issues. Here are some of the topics he discussed:

US Seeks To Stop Jeremy Corbyn Before He Is Elected: The audio includes Pompeo promising to do his “level best” to stop Corbyn from ever being elected as Prime Minister of the UK. Pompeo was responding to a question, “Would you be willing to work with us to take on actions if life becomes very difficult for Jews in the UK?” This was about the false claim that Corbyn is anti-Semitic because he favors the rights of Palestinians and criticizes Israel. Pompeo responded:

“It could be that Mr. Corbyn manages to run the gauntlet and get elected. It’s possible. You should know, we won’t wait for him to do those things to begin to push back. We will do our level best. It’s too risky and too important and too hard once it’s already happened.”

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Secrecy and Lies: Chernobyl and the U.S. Government, by Jacob G. Hornberger

The truth is no more welcomed by the US government now than it was by the Soviet government after Chernobyl. From Jacob G. Hornberger at fff.org:

SPOILER ALERT: If you have not yet seen the excellent HBO miniseries Chernobyl and might yet do so, you might want to wait to read this article until after you have seen the series, as it contains spoilers.

The five-part series documents the catastrophic nuclear explosion that took place at a nuclear power plant in the Soviet Union in the 1980s, an event that threatened the lives and health of millions of people, not only in the Soviet Union but also in Europe. The series documents the heroic life-endangering efforts of thousands of people in an effort to resolve the crisis with the least amount of damage and loss of life.

The most powerful part of the series occurs in part 5.

Whenever power plant officials conducted tests on the system, everyone knew that there was a failsafe button in the event that everything went wrong with the test and an explosion became imminent. All that the power plant people had to do was push the failsafe button and the entire plant would come to a halt. The reason was that the button activated the introduction of control rods containing boron into the fissioning uranium, which would cause the entire system to be immediately shut down.

To save money, Soviet officials had used graphite in the rods. In the 1970s, a Soviet nuclear scientist wrote an article stating that the graphite would serve as an accelerator, not a suppressant, of an impending nuclear explosion. He wrote that it was imperative that all the control rods be replaced immediately.

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A Soldier’s Defense of Chelsea Manning and Julian Assange, by Danny Sjursen

A former soldier applauds Chelsea Manning and Julian Assange’s exposure of US  war crimes. From Danny Sjursen at antiwar.com:

It’s a matter of principles over personalities. Whether one loves or hates Chelsea Manning and Julian Assange is besides the point. The First Amendment freedom of the press is at stake now. In this case the government’s tool for oppression is the Espionage Act, an archaic relic from America’s repressive World War I-era legislation. Chelsea Manning already served seven years of a 35-year sentence, one of the longest ever meted out to a whistleblower, and was recently jailed again after she refused to testify about WikiLeaks.

That was harsh and disturbing enough for those of us who value transparency regarding our national security state. Now the Trump administration has gone a step further and threatens, for the first time ever, to imprison an actual publisher – in this case Julian Assange. Charged on 17 counts of violating the Espionage Act, Assange – currently jailed in Britain – faces extradition and a lengthy sentence in the United States.

I’ve been called a whistleblower, myself, for my decision to write a book and articles critical of the American warfare state and the military to which I dedicated my entire adult life from the age of seventeen. But the truth is I’ve got nothing on Chelsea Manning and Julian Assange. Manning broke the law, risked it all, went to prison for her principles. Assange is headed for the same fate. And as a soldier I’m glad they did what they did!

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A Swedish court finally injects some sense into Assange case, by Craig Murray

The Swedish court refused to issue an arrest warrant after looking at the Swedish government’s weak case against Assange. From Craig Murray at sott.net:

free assange sign

When, eight years late, the European Arrest Warrant request for Assange was finally put before a Swedish court, the court refused to issue it.

Readers of this blog are amongst the very few people who have had the chance to learn the information that the original European Arrest Warrant for Julian Assange from Sweden was not issued by any court but by a prosecutor; that this was upheld in the UK Supreme Court despite the Court’s open acknowledgement that this was not what the UK Parliament had intended by the phrase that the warrant must come from a “judicial authority”; and that the law had been changed immediately thereafter so it could not be done again.

Consequently in seeking a new European Arrest Warrant against Assange, Swedish prosecutors had finally, eight years on, to ask a court for the warrant. And the court looked at the case and declined, saying that the move would be disproportionate. It therefore remains the case that there is no Swedish extradition warrant for Assange. This is a desperate disappointment to the false left in the UK, the Blairites and their ilk, who desperately want Assange to be a rapist in order to avoid the moral decision about prosecuting him for publishing truths about the neo-con illegal wars which they support.

assange sweden prosecutor

© Fredrik Sandberg
Prosecutor Eva-Marie Persson comments on the Uppsala District Court’s decision not to detain the WikiLeaks founder.

The problem is that the evidence of sexual crimes was always extremely, extremely weak to anybody who took the trouble to examine it – which is why the same false left were desperate to convince us that it was wrong to examine the evidence as the “victim” must always be believed, a strange abandonment of the entire principle of justice.

In the lesser charge which fell through the statute of limitations, Anna Ardin claimed that during the act of sex Julian Assange had deliberately torn the condom with his fingers. But the torn condom she produced to police had none of Assange’s DNA on it, a physical impossibility.

In the remaining charge of “rape, less serious”, Sofie Wilen alleges the following. She had consensual sex with Assange in her bed. She then dozed and was “half asleep” when Assange started having sex with her again. He states that she was fully awake and responsive through a series of sexual acts.

I have looked Julian Assange in the eye when he explained what happened, and believed him. I have not had the same opportunity with Sofie Wilen, and quite possibly she is equally honest in her account of events and I would believe her too. They had both been drinking. The difficulty is that this scenario is incapable of proof. A private sexual act that everybody agrees started and was consummated as fully consensual, but then continues or resumes as one partner is drifting off or has drifted off, but the other partner says they were still awake, absent a recording is quite simply incapable of proof either way.

What is beyond doubt true is that Sofie Wilen had no thought she had been raped when she met police to ask if Assange could be compelled to take an HIV test – a visit to the police which had been encouraged by Anna Ardin (she of the faked condom evidence). Ardin was present during Wilen’s police interview.

At the police station on 20 August, Wilen texted a friend at 14.25 “did not want to put any charges against JA but the police wanted to get a grip on him.”

At 17.26 she texted that she was “shocked when they arrested JA because I only wanted him to take a test”.

The next evening at 22.22 she texted “it was the police who fabricated the charges”.

Despite this, Ms Wilen’s lawyer is adamant that she now does wish a prosecution to proceed. The problem is that question of proof. As the court has seen, there is none.

Julian Assange was interviewed in detail in Sweden before he was given permission to leave Sweden when the case was dropped by the Chief Prosecutor of Stockholm. When it was reopened by another prosecutor (possible in Sweden), who issued the European Arrest Warrant, Assange at all times during his detention in the UK declared his willingness to be interviewed again, and eventually was interviewed over two days in the Ecuadorean Embassy in November 2016.

Julian Assange has never tried to avoid the investigation in Sweden. His concern was always that the whole thing was cooked up as a ruse to get him into custody for extradition to the USA. Events have proved this to be true.

To return to Sweden, the remaining question at issue is a very simple one. Was Sofie Wilen awake and responsive when sex was resumed, as Julian Assange insists, or was she “half-asleep” as Sofie says? Exhaustive questioning both in Stockholm and London has failed to produce an answer which could convince a court to issue a warrant. Prosecutor Eva-Marie Persson is now going to apply to interview Assange again. I genuinely cannot see what she feels this is going to achieve, unless she hopes to harass an ill man into a false confession.

The Swedish courts have finally injected a note of realism. The evidence Assange broke any law in Sweden has never stacked up. At some point, this poisonous farrago of prosecutorial grandstanding and Swedish sexual politics needs to be brought to a close.

 

Hacking Dirty Government Secrets Is Not a Crime, by Ted Rail

People who blow the whistle on government crime (Is that a redundancy?) should be given medals, not jail sentences. From Ted Rail at antiwar.com:

British goon cops acting at the request of the United States government entered Ecuador’s embassy in London, dragged out WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and prepared to ship him across the pond. After this event last month, most of the mainstream media reacted with spiteful glee about Assange’s predicament and relief that the Department of Justice had exercised self-restraint in its choice of charges.

“Because traditional journalistic activity does not extend to helping a source break a code to gain illicit access to a classified network, the charge appeared to be an attempt by prosecutors to sidestep the potential First Amendment minefield of treating the act of publishing information as a crime,” reported a pleased New York Times.

At the time, the feds had accused Assange of hacking conspiracy because he and Army whistleblower Chelsea Manning allegedly discussed how to break into a Pentagon computer.

Bob Garfield of NPR’s “On the Media,” a veteran reporter who should and probably does know better, was one of many establishmentarians who opined that we needn’t worry because Assange isn’t a “real” journalist.

This being the Trump administration, self-restraint was in short supply. It turns out that the short list of Assange charges was a temporary ploy to manipulate our gullible English allies. Now, Assange faces 17 additional charges under the Espionage Act, and a finally concerned Times calls it “a novel case that raises profound First Amendment issues” and “a case that could open the door to criminalizing activities that are crucial to American investigative journalists who write about national security matters.”

Corporate media’s instant reversal on Assange – from rapist scum to First Amendment hero within minutes – elevates self-serving hypocrisy to high art. But that’s OK. Whatever gets Assange closer to freedom is welcome – even the jackals of corporate media.

May we linger, however, on an important point that risks getting lost?

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Don’t Be Fooled: Media Still Selling Out Assange, by Jonathan Cook

After maligning him for years, mainstream media outlets are trying to stymie the threat Julian Assange’s indictment represents to freedom of the press while distancing themselves from Assange himself. From Jonathan Cook at antiwar.com:

A few corporate media publications have finally come out in very halfhearted support of Julian Assange – after years of stabbing him in the back at every opportunity. These outlets, including the Guardian, The Washington Post and The New York Times, have found their voice very belatedly, only after the Trump administration revealed last week that it plans to lock Assange away for the rest of his life on espionage charges. His crime on the charge-sheet: more than a decade ago he published evidence of US war crimes committed in Iraq.

The journalistic “resistance” claims to be coming to Assange’s defense out of principle: if he is jailed for espionage, journalism itself will be criminalized. And they are most definitely right about that. But their sudden conversion to Assange’s cause is not really about principle – legal or journalistic. It is rooted solely in an urge for self-protection.

The papers that have rushed so very late in the day to Assange’s side, after the Trump administration announced moves to charge and extradite him, are also those who worked most closely with WikiLeaks – in a distant past, long before they turned on him.

The Guardian published a mealy-mouthed commentary from its former editor Alan Rusbridger. He spent part of his short space reminding us how unlikeable Assange is – as though that had anything to do with the rights and wrongs of the Trump administration’s case and as though Assange wasn’t so vulnerable now to Washington’s ire precisely because papers like the Guardian have worked so hard to isolate and demonize him.

The Washington Post, a little more honorably, gave room to Glenn Greenwald, an expert in U.S. constitutional law, to make a persuasive case for Assange based on journalistic, ethical and legal principles.

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Assange Indictments Hide the Context of War, by Robert Koehler

You’d never know what Assange disclosed from his indictment. From Robert Koehler at antiwar.com:

The U.S. government protects itself, not democracy. That’s what is most apparent about its 18-count indictment of Julian Assange, not to mention the ongoing imprisonment of Chelsea Manning, for the leaking and release of State Department and military documents and videos a decade ago.

The current reporting on the indictment is mostly about Assange himself: his expulsion from the Ecuadoran embassy in London after he’d been holed up there for seven years; the sexual assault charges against him in Sweden; and, of course, his role as a “tool” of the Russians, along with his flip-flopping appeal to both the political left and right (depending on the nature of the controversy WikiLeaks is stirring up). What a story!

Almost entirely missing is anything about the leaks themselves, except vague references to them, such as this comment by John Demers, assistant attorney general for national security: “This release made our adversaries stronger and more knowledgeable, and the United States less secure.”

These words are remarkable bullshit and have resonance only to the extent that the actual leaked data is missing from the discussion, such as the infamous Apache helicopter video of 11 unarmed men (in US military parlance, “insurgents”) – including a Reuters photographer and his driver – being shot and killed from above on a street in Baghdad, and two children being injured.

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