Tag Archives: Julian Assange

The UK’s hidden role in Assange’s detention, by Jonathan Cook

Great Britain has detained Julian Assange at the Ecuadorian embassy in London through subterfuge that violates international law…but pleases the US. From Jonathan Cook at jonathan-cook.net:

It now emerges that the last four years of Julian Assange’s effective imprisonment in the Ecuadorean embassy in London have been entirely unnecessary. In fact, they depended on a legal charade.

Behind the scenes, Sweden wanted to drop the extradition case against Assange back in 2013. Why was this not made public? Because Britain persuaded Sweden to pretend that they still wished to pursue the case.

In other words, for more than four years Assange has been holed up in a tiny room, policed at great cost to British taxpayers, not because of any allegations in Sweden but because the British authorities wanted him to remain there. On what possible grounds could that be, one has to wonder? Might it have something to do with his work as the head of Wikileaks, publishing information from whistleblowers that has severely embarrassed the United States and the UK.

In fact, Assange should have walked free years ago if this was really about an investigation – a sham one at that – into an alleged sexual assault in Sweden. Instead, as Assange has long warned, there is a very different agenda at work: efforts to extradite him onwards to the US, where he could be locked away for good. That was why UN experts argued two years ago that he was being “arbitrarily detained” – for political crimes – not unlike the situation of dissidents in other parts of the world who are supported by western liberals and leftists.

According to a new release of emails between officials, the Swedish director of public prosecutions, Marianne Ny, wrote to Britain’s Crown Prosecution Service on 18 October 2013, warning that Swedish law would not allow the case for extradition to be continued. This was, remember, after Sweden had repeatedly failed to take up an offer from Assange to interview him in London, as had happened in 44 other extradition cases between Sweden and Britain.

To continue reading: The UK’s hidden role in Assange’s detention

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WikiLeaks Has Published Leaks On Trump Admin And Russia, And Is Seeking More, by Caitlin Johnstone

WikiLeaks is not pro or anti Trump, its pro disclosure of information that governments and politicians would rather not have disclosed. From Caitlin Johnstone at medium.com:

WikiLeaks editor-in-chief Julian Assange recently posted a harsh criticism of what he calls Trump’s “subservience to Saudi Arabia’s military adventurism in Yemen” and the explosion of civilian deaths caused by this administration’s greatly escalated drone assassination program. This received an angry backlash from many of Assange’s Trump-supporting Twitter followers, one of them exclaiming, “Has your account been taken over by the deep state? Seems like you are trying to turn us against Trump. I have lost a lot of faith in you Julian. I thought you were a Trump supporter but this seems to show otherwise. Keep this up and you can kiss that pardon goodbye, sir.”

“My principles are not for sale,” Assange replied.

Over and over and over again you’ll see this exact sort of confusion about Assange and WikiLeaks coming from both sides of America’s illusory partisan divide. Democrats believe that Assange is a Trump-supporting Kremlin asset while Trump supporters believe Assange is a based MAGA hat-wearing ally to their cause, the former because they were told to believe that by CNN and the Washington Post and the latter because they’ve seen him championed by Fox’s Sean Hannity and the elaborate 4chan hoax“QAnon”. Neither could be further from the truth.

Today Assange responded to a call for transparency on Trump “tax returns, corporate records, campaign emails, and other documents relevant to Donald Trump’s Russia/WikiLeaks connections” from toxic neocon David Frum with the words “Go for it” and a link to WikiLeaks’ leak submission service.

This is not the first time WikiLeaks has solicited documents on the Trump administration, and it won’t be the last. Since long before the election and continuing through to the present, WikiLeaks has been harshly criticizingthe president’s refusal to release his tax returns and publicly asking for leakers to submit them. They are on record trying to persuade Donald Trump Jr to do the same in a conversation that has been spuriously criticized but which when examined impartially is plainly just a leak publishing outlet soliciting a potential source.

More importantly, WikiLeaks has already published Trump administration leaks. Its Vault 7 and Vault 8 leak drops exposing the CIA’s scary surveillance and hacking tools are comparable to NSA leaks from Edward Snowden against the Obama administration, and much like the Obama administration’s vindictive backlash against Snowden we are seeing similar retaliation from the Trump administration for the CIA leaks. Trump’s CIA Director has pledged to shut down WikiLeaks as “a non-state hostile intelligence service often abetted by state actors like Russia,” and his Attorney General has stated that Assange’s arrest is a priority, which Trump himself has said he would permit. Mike Pompeo’s increasingly vitriolic and threatening rhetoric about WikiLeaks is reminiscent of Joe Biden’s labeling Assange a “hi-tech terrorist” eight years ago.

To continue reading: WikiLeaks Has Published Leaks On Trump Admin And Russia, And Is Seeking More

Op Ed: Washington Post, Legacy Press Betray Assange As His Freedom Hangs In The Balance, from Disobedient Media

The mainstream media is not doing Julian Assange any favors. From the editorial board at disobedientmedia.com:

The last two months have seen tectonic shifts regarding Julian Assange’s hopes of being able to safely leave the Ecuadorian embassy in London after what is now over seven years of arbitrary detention. The Wikileaks Editor In Chief was granted an Ecuadorian passport in December, which conferred on him the right of Ecuadorian citizenship. Potentially even more significant was Ecuador’s move to classify Assange as a Diplomat.

Wikileaks specifically noted Reuters’ coverage of these latest developments: “Depo Akande, an international law professor at Oxford University, said that Ecuador could argue that Britain had no right under international law to reject its declaration that Assange had diplomatic status.”

Additional press reports indicate that if the UK were ordered by the International Court to accept Ecuador’s decision to treat Assange as a diplomat, and were then to “declare him persona non grata, it would then ‘have to give him facilities to leave’ the country unhindered.” One hopes that the current Ecuadorian President, Lenín Moreno, will not bow to pressure from the United States to withdraw support from Assange. Ecuador’s former President, Rafael Correa, has indicated that this is a real possibility.

So far, legacy press has not taken the UK to task for attempting to “ignore” Assange’s new diplomatic role. Now more than ever, the media’s silence is important in informing or misinforming the public regarding Assange’s situation. The legal implications of Ecuador’s decision to confer Assange diplomatic status are potentially massive, but many outlets have been atrociously silent on the matter when they are not outright lying regarding Assange’s circumstances.

In light of the precariousness of recent events, human rights activist, journalist and Wikileaks supporter Randy Credico recently issued a call for Wikileaks supporters to ‘mobilize‘ in his support. This is a statement which should be taken seriously by the public and by independent media, which has increasingly been tasked with filling the void left by mainstream outlets that no longer function in the interest of honest reporting.

To continue reading: Op Ed: Washington Post, Legacy Press Betray Assange As His Freedom Hangs In The Balance

 

He Said That? 1/14/18

From Julian Assange:

One of the best ways to achieve justice is to expose injustice.

The Persecution of Julian Assange, by Paul Craig Roberts

One of the clearest markers of a civilization is how it treats those who tell or disclose the truth. From Paul Craig Roberts at paulcraigroberts.com:

“We need a political intervention to make this situation end. He (Assange) is the only political prisoner in Western Europe.” Juan Braco

The persecution of Julian Assange, the founder of Wikileaks, is now seven years old. Ecuador has protected Assange for the past half decade from being turned over to Washington by the corrupt Swedish and British for torture and prosecution as a spy by giving Assange political asylum inside the Ecuadorian Embassy in London. Ecuador has now given citizenship to Assange and attempted to provide his safe transit out of England by giving him diplomatic status, but the British government continued in its assigned role of jailer by rejecting Ecuador’s request for diplomatic status for Assange, just as the most servile of Washington’s puppet states rejected the order by the UN Committee on Arbitrary Detention to immediate release Assange from his arbitrary detention.

Assange got into trouble with Washington, because his news organization, Wikileaks, published files released by Bradley Manning. The files were a tremendous embarrassment to Washington, because they showed how Washington conspires against governments and betrays its allies, and the files contained an audio/video film of US military forces murdering innocent people walking down a street and then murdering a father and his two young children who stopped to give aid to the civilians the American soldiers had shot. The film revealed the heartlessness and criminal cruelty of the US troops, who were enjoying playing a real live video game with real people as their victims.

It was Manning who suffered, not the troops who committed murder. Manning was held for two years in conditions that experts said constituted torture while a case was framed against him. Some believe the harsh conditions affected his mind. Manning was convicted by a kangaroo court and sentenced to 35 years in prison, but Obama in an act of humanity unusual for Washington pardoned Manning.

Washington wanted Assange as well, and the chance came when two Swedish women, attracted to Assange by his celebrity status, seduced him. The two women had not secured the cooperation they wanted from Assange in the use of condoms and, brainwashd by HIV fears, wanted Assange to join them in being tested.

Assange, misreading the extent of their fears, was too slow to comply, and the women went to the police to see if he could be required to be tested. According to the women, the police made up the charge of rape. The women themselves disavow the charge.

The charges were investigated, and the chief Swedish prosecutor Eva Finne dismissed the charges, saying “there is no suspicion of any crime whatsoever.”

To continue reading: The Persecution of Julian Assange

Ecuador and Assange, by Craig Murray

Now that Ecuador has made Julian Assange a citizen, well-established international law saws it can make him a diplomat and he will have the usual privileges while he’s in the UK, including diplomatic immunity and the right to leave the country. From Craig Murray at craigmurray.org.uk:

It is for the government of Ecuador, not the UK, to determine who is an Ecuadorian citizen. It is for the government of Ecuador, not the UK, to determine who is an Ecuadorian diplomat.

It is not in the least unusual for Julian Assange to become an Ecuadorian citizen. Having been granted political asylum, and having lived for over five years under Ecuadorian jurisdiction, naturalisation is a perfectly normal step. There are a great many refugees in this country who are now naturalised UK citizens. Julian appears suitably proud of his new citizenship, and rightly so.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office appears to be putting out a story that it has refused to accredit Assange as an Ecuadorian diplomat. As the Guardian reports:
“Earlier this week the UK’s Foreign Office revealed that Ecuador had asked for Assange, who was born in Australia, to be accredited as a diplomat. The request was dismissed.”

I have no knowledge that the Ecuadorian government ever notified Assange as a member of diplomatic staff of its mission. But it has every right to appoint Assange, now an Ecuadorian citizen, as an Ecuadorian diplomat if it so chooses. Ecuador cannot tell the UK who may or may not be a British diplomat, and the converse applies.

The Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations – to which the UK and Ecuador are both party – is the governing international law and determines the obligations to respect diplomatic immunity. It is crystal clear (Article 4,1) that the need to obtain agreement in advance of the receiving state only applies to the Head of Mission – ie the Ecuadorian Ambassador. For other staff of the mission the sending state (in this case, Ecuador) “may freely appoint” the other members of the mission, (Article 7), subject to provisos in Articles 5,8,9 and 11. Plainly the only one of these which applies in the Assange case is Article 9. Julian Assange is persona non grata – unwelcome -to the UK government. That is a legitimate reply to notification, but comes following the appointment; it does not pre-empt the appointment.

To continue reading: Ecuador and Assange

Criminals and Heroes from The Burning Platform

https://www.theburningplatform.com/2017/11/05/criminals-heroes/