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I was deeply shaken while witnessing yesterday’s events in Westminster Magistrates Court. Every decision was railroaded through over the scarcely heard arguments and objections of Assange’s legal team, by a magistrate who barely pretended to be listening.

Before I get on to the blatant lack of fair process, the first thing I must note was Julian’s condition. I was badly shocked by just how much weight my friend has lost, by the speed his hair has receded and by the appearance of premature and vastly accelerated ageing. He has a pronounced limp I have never seen before. Since his arrest he has lost over 15 kg in weight.

But his physical appearance was not as shocking as his mental deterioration. When asked to give his name and date of birth, he struggled visibly over several seconds to recall both. I will come to the important content of his statement at the end of proceedings in due course, but his difficulty in making it was very evident; it was a real struggle for him to articulate the words and focus his train of thought.

Until yesterday I had always been quietly sceptical of those who claimed that Julian’s treatment amounted to torture – even of Nils Melzer, the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture – and sceptical of those who suggested he may be subject to debilitating drug treatments. But having attended the trials in Uzbekistan of several victims of extreme torture, and having worked with survivors from Sierra Leone and elsewhere, I can tell you that yesterday changed my mind entirely and Julian exhibited exactly the symptoms of a torture victim brought blinking into the light, particularly in terms of disorientation, confusion, and the real struggle to assert free will through the fog of learned helplessness.

I had been even more sceptical of those who claimed, as a senior member of his legal team did to me on Sunday night, that they were worried that Julian might not live to the end of the extradition process. I now find myself not only believing it, but haunted by the thought. Everybody in that court yesterday saw that one of the greatest journalists and most important dissidents of our times is being tortured to death by the state, before our eyes. To see my friend, the most articulate man, the fastest thinker, I have ever known, reduced to that shambling and incoherent wreck, was unbearable. Yet the agents of the state, particularly the callous magistrate Vanessa Baraitser, were not just prepared but eager to be a part of this bloodsport. She actually told him that if he were incapable of following proceedings, then his lawyers could explain what had happened to him later. The question of why a man who, by the very charges against him, was acknowledged to be highly intelligent and competent, had been reduced by the state to somebody incapable of following court proceedings, gave her not a millisecond of concern.

The charge against Julian is very specific; conspiring with Chelsea Manning to publish the Iraq War logs, the Afghanistan war logs and the State Department cables. The charges are nothing to do with Sweden, nothing to do with sex, and nothing to do with the 2016 US election; a simple clarification the mainstream media appears incapable of understanding.

The purpose of yesterday’s hearing was case management; to determine the timetable for the extradition proceedings. The key points at issue were that Julian’s defence was requesting more time to prepare their evidence; and arguing that political offences were specifically excluded from the extradition treaty. There should, they argued, therefore be a preliminary hearing to determine whether the extradition treaty applied at all.

The reasons given by Assange’s defence team for more time to prepare were both compelling and startling. They had very limited access to their client in jail and had not been permitted to hand him any documents about the case until one week ago. He had also only just been given limited computer access, and all his relevant records and materials had been seized from the Ecuadorean Embassy by the US Government; he had no access to his own materials for the purpose of preparing his defence.

Furthermore, the defence argued, they were in touch with the Spanish courts about a very important and relevant legal case in Madrid which would provide vital evidence. It showed that the CIA had been directly ordering spying on Julian in the Embassy through a Spanish company, UC Global, contracted to provide security there. Crucially this included spying on privileged conversations between Assange and his lawyers discussing his defence against these extradition proceedings, which had been in train in the USA since 2010. In any normal process, that fact would in itself be sufficient to have the extradition proceedings dismissed. Incidentally I learnt on Sunday that the Spanish material produced in court, which had been commissioned by the CIA, specifically includes high resolution video coverage of Julian and I discussing various matters.

The evidence to the Spanish court also included a CIA plot to kidnap Assange, which went to the US authorities’ attitude to lawfulness in his case and the treatment he might expect in the United States. Julian’s team explained that the Spanish legal process was happening now and the evidence from it would be extremely important, but it might not be finished and thus the evidence not fully validated and available in time for the current proposed timetable for the Assange extradition hearings.

For the prosecution, James Lewis QC stated that the government strongly opposed any delay being given for the defence to prepare, and strongly opposed any separate consideration of the question of whether the charge was a political offence excluded by the extradition treaty. Baraitser took her cue from Lewis and stated categorically that the date for the extradition hearing, 25 February, could not be changed. She was open to changes in dates for submission of evidence and responses before this, and called a ten minute recess for the prosecution and defence to agree these steps.

What happened next was very instructive. There were five representatives of the US government present (initially three, and two more arrived in the course of the hearing), seated at desks behind the lawyers in court. The prosecution lawyers immediately went into huddle with the US representatives, then went outside the courtroom with them, to decide how to respond on the dates.

After the recess the defence team stated they could not, in their professional opinion, adequately prepare if the hearing date were kept to February, but within Baraitser’s instruction to do so they nevertheless outlined a proposed timetable on delivery of evidence. In responding to this, Lewis’ junior counsel scurried to the back of the court to consult the Americans again while Lewis actually told the judge he was “taking instructions from those behind”. It is important to note that as he said this, it was not the UK Attorney-General’s office who were being consulted but the US Embassy. Lewis received his American instructions and agreed that the defence might have two months to prepare their evidence (they had said they needed an absolute minimum of three) but the February hearing date may not be moved. Baraitser gave a ruling agreeing everything Lewis had said.

At this stage it was unclear why we were sitting through this farce. The US government was dictating its instructions to Lewis, who was relaying those instructions to Baraitser, who was ruling them as her legal decision. The charade might as well have been cut and the US government simply sat on the bench to control the whole process. Nobody could sit there and believe they were in any part of a genuine legal process or that Baraitser was giving a moment’s consideration to the arguments of the defence. Her facial expressions on the few occasions she looked at the defence ranged from contempt through boredom to sarcasm. When she looked at Lewis she was attentive, open and warm.

The extradition is plainly being rushed through in accordance with a Washington dictated timetable. Apart from a desire to pre-empt the Spanish court providing evidence on CIA activity in sabotaging the defence, what makes the February date so important to the USA? I would welcome any thoughts.

Baraitser dismissed the defence’s request for a separate prior hearing to consider whether the extradition treaty applied at all, without bothering to give any reason why (possibly she had not properly memorised what Lewis had been instructing her to agree with). Yet this is Article 4 of the UK/US Extradition Treaty 2007 in full:

On the face of it, what Assange is accused of is the very definition of a political offence – if this is not, then what is? It is not covered by any of the exceptions from that listed. There is every reason to consider whether this charge is excluded by the extradition treaty, and to do so before the long and very costly process of considering all the evidence should the treaty apply. But Baraitser simply dismissed the argument out of hand.

Just in case anybody was left in any doubt as to what was happening here, Lewis then stood up and suggested that the defence should not be allowed to waste the court’s time with a lot of arguments. All arguments for the substantive hearing should be given in writing in advance and a “guillotine should be applied” (his exact words) to arguments and witnesses in court, perhaps of five hours for the defence. The defence had suggested they would need more than the scheduled five days to present their case. Lewis countered that the entire hearing should be over in two days. Baraitser said this was not procedurally the correct moment to agree this but she will consider it once she had received the evidence bundles.

(SPOILER: Baraitser is going to do as Lewis instructs and cut the substantive hearing short).

Baraitser then capped it all by saying the February hearing will be held, not at the comparatively open and accessible Westminster Magistrates Court where we were, but at Belmarsh Magistrates Court, the grim high security facility used for preliminary legal processing of terrorists, attached to the maximum security prison where Assange is being held. There are only six seats for the public in even the largest court at Belmarsh, and the object is plainly to evade public scrutiny and make sure that Baraitser is not exposed in public again to a genuine account of her proceedings, like this one you are reading. I will probably be unable to get in to the substantive hearing at Belmarsh.

Plainly the authorities were disconcerted by the hundreds of good people who had turned up to support Julian. They hope that far fewer will get to the much less accessible Belmarsh. I am fairly certain (and recall I had a long career as a diplomat) that the two extra American government officials who arrived halfway through proceedings were armed security personnel, brought in because of alarm at the number of protestors around a hearing in which were present senior US officials. The move to Belmarsh may be an American initiative.

Assange’s defence team objected strenuously to the move to Belmarsh, in particular on the grounds that there are no conference rooms available there to consult their client and they have very inadequate access to him in the jail. Baraitser dismissed their objection offhand and with a very definite smirk.

Finally, Baraitser turned to Julian and ordered him to stand, and asked him if he had understood the proceedings. He replied in the negative, said that he could not think, and gave every appearance of disorientation. Then he seemed to find an inner strength, drew himself up a little, and said:

I do not understand how this process is equitable. This superpower had 10 years to prepare for this case and I can’t even access my writings. It is very difficult, where I am, to do anything. These people have unlimited resources.

The effort then seemed to become too much, his voice dropped and he became increasingly confused and incoherent. He spoke of whistleblowers and publishers being labeled enemies of the people, then spoke about his children’s DNA being stolen and of being spied on in his meetings with his psychologist. I am not suggesting at all that Julian was wrong about these points, but he could not properly frame nor articulate them. He was plainly not himself, very ill and it was just horribly painful to watch. Baraitser showed neither sympathy nor the least concern. She tartly observed that if he could not understand what had happened, his lawyers could explain it to him, and she swept out of court.

The whole experience was profoundly upsetting. It was very plain that there was no genuine process of legal consideration happening here. What we had was a naked demonstration of the power of the state, and a naked dictation of proceedings by the Americans. Julian was in a box behind bulletproof glass, and I and the thirty odd other members of the public who had squeezed in were in a different box behind more bulletproof glass. I do not know if he could see me or his other friends in the court, or if he was capable of recognising anybody. He gave no indication that he did.

In Belmarsh he is kept in complete isolation for 23 hours a day. He is permitted 45 minutes exercise. If he has to be moved, they clear the corridors before he walks down them and they lock all cell doors to ensure he has no contact with any other prisoner outside the short and strictly supervised exercise period. There is no possible justification for this inhuman regime, used on major terrorists, being imposed on a publisher who is a remand prisoner.

I have been both cataloguing and protesting for years the increasingly authoritarian powers of the UK state, but that the most gross abuse could be so open and undisguised is still a shock. The campaign of demonisation and dehumanisation against Julian, based on government and media lie after government and media lie, has led to a situation where he can be slowly killed in public sight, and arraigned on a charge of publishing the truth about government wrongdoing, while receiving no assistance from “liberal” society.

Unless Julian is released shortly he will be destroyed. If the state can do this, then who is next?

UPDATE I have received scores of requests to republish and/or translate this article. It is absolutely free to use and reproduce and I should be delighted if everybody does; the world should know what is being done to Julian. So far, over 200,000 people have read it on this blogsite alone and it has already been reproduced on myriad other sites, some with much bigger readerships than my own. I have seen translations into German, Spanish and French and at least extracts in Catalan and Turkish. I only ask that you reproduce it complete or, if edits are made, plainly indicate them. Many thanks.

(Republished from CraigMurray.org by permission of author or representative)
 
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  1. utu says:

    Hire Amal Clooney to be the face of public campaign.

  2. TKK says:

    Nobody could sit there and believe they were in any part of a genuine legal process or that Baraitser was giving a moment’s consideration to the arguments of the defence. Her facial expressions on the few occasions she looked at the defence ranged from contempt through boredom to sarcasm. When she looked at Lewis she was attentive, open and warm.

    A female magistrate- I am shocked.

    He has a better chance in the US. It’s good he will be extradited here. There are top notch federal criminal defense attorneys that hate the government and will push back hard. He needs to be charged with treason and the death penalty sought and no other lesser charges as a fallback for the Government can’t prove treason.

    Sadly, if he pretended to be “transitioning”to female like Manning- he would get probation and could be the Grand Marshall of a Gay Pride Parade.

    • Replies: @alexander
    , @Sean
  3. Biff says:

    On a similar note, the hypocrisy of the media is reviled when they boast about a free press, but in reality, the media has it out for the truth tellers. They are to be blacked out….

    https://fair.org/home/max-blumenthal-arrest-exposes-hypocrisy-of-western-media-and-human-rights-ngos/

  4. Mark Hunter says: • Website

    This revelation makes my blood boil. The so-called civilized West has descended into something out of Bolshevik Russia. I’ve linked to Karen Kwiatkowski before but it’s worth repeating.

    • Replies: @George F. Held
  5. We need far greater publicity of the bureaucratic filth perpetrating this, Who are the Magistrates, who are their wives/children, where do they live, go to school etc.

    • Replies: @sally
    , @Ber
  6. Adrian says:

    How to explain the attitude of that magistrate? Was she really contemptuous of Assange? That is what Craig Murray thinks. And that was also the impression of John Pilger:

    “Her face was a progression of sneers and imperious indifference; she addressed Julian with an arrogance that reminded me of a magistrate presiding over apartheid South Africa’s Race Classification Board. “

    But why?

    One can only surmise that the world wide smear campaign against Assange (of which we even see evidence on this blog) had got to her as well. That is bad news. It shows that such campaigns are more effective than one would hope.

    If one compares Assange’s fate with that of the main player in an 18th Century “press delict”, John Wilkes, who even had the King after him, one gains the impression that our freedoms have gone down. Wilkes ultimately ended up as Lord Mayor of London. No such fate for Julian I am afraid.

    • Replies: @Curmudgeon
  7. Assange is only in trouble because a big powerful country which pretends to rule the world took issue with his activities and because it still has enough vassal states, including his country of birth. If he had revealed some military secrets of say Myanmar or Sri Lanka I doubt the UK would be holding him or extraditing him. They’d probably praise him for it. The hypocrisy is revealing and so tiring.

    • Replies: @Herald
    , @Really No Shit
  8. Herald says:
    @Commentator Mike

    The hypocrisy is revealing and so tiring.

    It’s worse than that, the hypocrisy is absolutely sickening.

    • Agree: Commentator Mike
  9. @Commentator Mike

    Burma and Ceylon don’t matter because they were part of the British Empire. We’ll let China deal with those two bitches if they got uppity.

  10. alexander says:
    @TKK

    A female magistrate….

    Yes, and I am sure when she exits the courtroom…and enters her chambers…..she peels back her mask ( a la mission impossible) revealing herself as Queen Hillary…

    Excuse me, ….a “giggling”…. “cackling”…Queen Hillary.

    • Replies: @col from Oz
  11. There is no greater power than that of the state. Even God in heaven will dare not intervene on Assange’s behalf. Beware the power of the state, as it is your only true God.

    • Replies: @onebornfree
  12. This is what happens to a person who exposes the ruling class to be pedophilies and killers of children and assorted other demonic crimes!

    • Agree: Agent76
  13. Republic says:

    Craig Murray is a man of integrity, a quality which is rare in the UK.

    He was the former UK ambassador to Uzbekistan in the early 2000s. He lost that position when he complained to his superiors in London at the foreign office that intelligence reports from Uzbekistan submitted to both the UK and US governments were unreliable due to the fact that they had been obtained under torture.

    His memoire: Murder in Samarkand describes his experience while he was Ambassador to that country . Murray reported on the tyrannical rule of Karimov.

    Islam Karimov, was the former head of the communist party in Uzbekistan and later became the first President of Uzbekistan from 1991 after the breakup of the USSR until his Death in 2016.

    Karimov was essentially a dictator who controlled by ruthless methods including boiling his opponents to death and pulling out their fingernails with pliers.

    I was once in Uzbekistan, around the time that Murray was ambassador, visiting both the capital, Tashkent as well as Samarkand . As soon as I got off the plane I could smell the fear in the air, the unmistakable atmosphere of a real police state.

    It was an unique experience

    • Agree: Mark Hunter
  14. Shortly after extradition expert lawyer John Jones of Doughty Street Chambers joined the Assange legal team, he was thrown under a train and killed on 18 April 2016, an alleged ‘suicide’ tho the UK coroner at first refused to declare that

    But Wikileaks and Assange, and Assange’s current lawyers, led by Jennifer Robinson also of Doughty Street Chambers, along with Mark Summers of Matrix Chambers, don’t have much to say about this … Robinson and Summers not seeming as if they are doing much to ‘defend’ Assange despite his apparent condition, and they refuse to deploy Wikileaks files which have helped block other extraditions, and which would absolutely stop Assange’s as well

    Why do they avoid talking about Assange’s dead lawyer, or the files that would set Assange free? It seems that Assange’s dead lawyer John Jones, was killed whilst discovering, why Israel’s Netanyahu told Israeli media that Assange was a Mossad asset, in fact a CIA fraud … the obsessively pro-Israel, anti-Palestinian, anti-9-11-truth Assange

    Jones apparently began to understand that, in fact, Assange was apparently never really ‘living’ at the London Ecuador Embassy, but moved in & out for photo ops and meetings … A critical look at Assange as very likely a wholesale fraud of CIA and Mossad:

    – Zbig Brzezinski on 29 Nov 2010, USA PBS-television, admitted Assange was intel
    – Assange got famous via CIA-tied media, NY Times, UK Guardian, never interested in real dissidents
    – Assange shared lawyer with Rothschilds, Rothschild sister-in-law posted Assange bail, Assange ties to Soros too
    – 3 people trusting Assange are dead – Peter W Smith, Seth Rich, John Jones – others are jailed
    – Assange helped Rothschilds destroy rival bank Julius Baer in Switzerland via his pro-Rothschild ‘wiki-leaking’
    – Assange won’t mention USA Virginia fed judge bribery files that have blocked other extraditions
    – Assange had a weird childhood with Aussie mind-control cult ‘the Family’

    [MORE]

    – Unknown how many dissidents Assange helped silence & kill, Assange a ‘rat trap’ for trusting whistle-blowers
    – ‘Living at Ecuador Embassy’ – ‘now in Belmarsh prison’ – easily faked, Assange moved in & out for photos etc by MI5 MI6
    – Assange de-legitimises real dissidents, people saying, ‘Wikileaks – NY Times – UK Guardian would cover it if it was true’
    – As big a faker as ‘Edward Snowden’ who first ‘leaked’ to CIA WashPost Bush VP Dick Cheney biographer, then they realised that was too stupid, so they switched to Rothschild employee & ex-gay-pornography-seller Glenn Greenwald of ‘hairystuds’, Putin hinting out loud he knows Snowden is fake

    Sources:
    ‘Arrest of Julian Assange is Just Theatre – Assange is a Rothschild-Israeli Operative’ – ‘Assange & Snowden are CIA ‘Rat Traps” – ‘Snowden and Greenwald are CIA frauds’
    https://www.henrymakow.com/2019/04/Julian-Assange-Arrest-is-Theatre.html
    https://www.henrymakow.com/2018/11/assange-snowden-rat-traps.html
    http://www.veteranstoday.com/2016/09/21/russia-govt-report-snowden-greenwald-are-cia-frauds/

    French Mediapart legal blog on the bizarre, inexplicable conduct of Assange’s ‘lawyers’ and of Wikileaks, English versions
    https://blogs.mediapart.fr/edition/liberez-assange-ethiques-et-medias/article/230819/ghost-lawyers-julian-assange-long-version

    https://blogs.mediapart.fr/edition/liberez-assange-ethiques-et-medias/article/090819/assange-away-does-wikileaks-remain-trustworthy

    Media on ‘suicide’ of Assange extradition lawyer John Jones
    https://www.hamhigh.co.uk/news/qc-who-worked-on-julian-assange-case-jumped-in-front-of-west-hampstead-train-after-being-allowed-out-of-private-hospital-1-4664571

    USA Justice Department file on Virginia judge bribery crimes – crimes of the same judges who would put Julian Assange on trial – data which helped stopped the extradition of Lauri Love from the UK to the USA – a file which Assange and his lawyers refuse to use, even tho they know these files would make Assange’s extradition to the USA impossible – files that helped shut down Robert Mueller
    https://www.docdroid.net/eVAAjIq/doj-ig-memo-mueller-bribery-extortion.pdf

    • Troll: Mark Hunter
    • Replies: @Mark Hunter
  15. sally says:
    @Bill Jones

    Greater publicity..? Exactly how do you make the story simple enough, strong enough, urgent enough..? How do you make the story attack proof ..How do you keep the story from being re engineered by the propaganda engineers that are hired by, or available to, the amoral perpetrators?

    The perpetrators have the media on their side, they own it. The story of Assange is too complicated, the personal risk to citizens in allowing the leaders of the government or the deep state to kill silence Assange to the individual audience freedom is too deep to grasp, the time it takes to understand its meaning too long, and the story itself much too amendable to deep state and elite managed propaganda engineering, publicity is risky if it turns the minds away instead of toward the intended impact. News of any kind is not going to do the trick no matter the quality of the articles. Some thing, a song, with the lyrics and a good beat, might work, like the hang mans knot, count the 13 turns in the knot and attach to each a meaning, count the steps as Assange mounts the Gallows, then the snap.
    something better has to be made the embed the importance the Assange story in the minds of every person w ho cherishes his or her individual freedom?

    Some how Assange has too be compared to Martin Luther..or another icon of equivalent fame. Some how the mistreatment by the system of Assange needs to achieve instantaneous {gee that could happen to me] recognition <=a single image or in three words or less, a slogan that fits into the mind of the I don't knows, so I don't cares.. Some how … the message of intentionally engineering railroading, hanging, lynching the innocent because he told the truth about those who are doing the hanging must become a household item, the Assange message must reach the lips, minds and sense of mans decency. Some how it needs to become clear that it is not Assange that is on trial, and that matters not whether what he did was right or wrong, but what matters is the right of every citizen to point out to his fellow man the failings of those who offend humanity. The offenses of those who are in position to lead or to propagate propaganda are not criminal, they are support for the system. The message must challenge the the conscious sense of justice, it must make clear the false premise put forth by the deep state, that silencing a truth sayer, a whistleblower or revealing citizen is a the system that will soon do the same to you. People must come to understand that suffering by Assange will soon be theirs if they allow those in charge to deny the truth by railroading Assange.

  16. sally says:

    http://themillenniumreport.com/2019/11/overthrow-imminent-american-republic-under-withering-assault-by-communist-coup-plotters/ this seems to fit in the Assange problem. ? so I post it for discussion as a reason to think heavily about this Assange thing.

  17. In case you were wondering why the Uninvited Kingdom got booted off the bench of the World Court, in a unprecedented action, Brabantian is here to show you. CIA has lots of wogs in Britain like Brabantian who do what they’re told or else, like judges and ministers and dukes and queens. When some rude bounder like Craig obtrudes law, CIA’s English butlers have to tell you what a bad man the persecuted victim is. It’s ever so effective! But CIA’s pathetic little island colony is going to lose more of its P5 waterfall privileges.

    • Agree: Agent76
  18. Agent76 says:

    Apr 16, 2019 Julian Assange: Political Prisoner

    Our freedoms are endangered by the US government’s desire to punish Assange.

    • Agree: DESERT FOX
  19. Sean says:
    @TKK

    Assange is well into middle age so of course the signs of physical deterioration are appearing. He has never been all that good at personal care, his body odor was always noticeable (Steve Jobs was the same). I would be depressed and off my food too if I was in prison and looking at being fifty before I regained my freedom. Baldness under 30 years old is more of a risk factor for heart trouble than being obese, and in folk wisdom bald men are seen as less assertive (not a great jump to saying less violence prone). A huge genetic study detected an allele association with being gay (baldness associated DNA area) was statistically significant. Scientist are often portrayed as bald, I think baldness goes with reduced sensitivity to testosterone and increase sensitivity to DHT, which has an effect on nerve tissue. I suppose the side effect is unusual sexual interests. As a young hacker Assange’s chose as his handle Mendax (‘speaker of lies’).

    Assange ought not to have absconded after being given bail by a UK court if he wanted his rationale and defence of whistleblower motivation to be given more of a hearing when fighting extradition from the UK. The release in 2017 by Wikileaks of CIA cyber warfare secrets (AKA vault 7) supplied by chomo porn aficionado and bald abuser of unconscious women Joshua Schulte was not going to make Assange less of a target of US prosecutors. Moreover

    https://wikileaks.org/WikiLeaks-Statement-On-Edward.html WikiLeaks Statement On Edward Snowden’s Exit From Hong Kong
    Sunday June 23, 13:00 BST
    23 June 2013
    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

    Mr Edward Snowden, the American whistleblower who exposed evidence of a global surveillance regime conducted by US and UK intelligence agencies, has left Hong Kong legally. He is bound for a democratic nation via a safe route for the purposes of asylum, and is being escorted by diplomats and legal advisors from WikiLeaks. Mr Snowden requested that WikiLeaks use its legal expertise and experience to secure his safety. Once Mr Snowden arrives at his final destination his request will be formally processed. Former Spanish Judge Mr Baltasar Garzon, legal director of Wikileaks and lawyer for Julian Assange has made the following statement:”The WikiLeaks legal team and I are interested in preserving Mr Snowden’s rights and protecting him as a person. What is being done to Mr Snowden and to Mr Julian Assange – for making or facilitating disclosures in the public interest – is an assault against the people”.

    Accompanied by Assange’s factotum girlfriend Snowden was on his way to Ecuador when he ended up in Russia. More great thinking by Assange.

    WikiLeaks/Assange, “If Obama grants Manning clemency Assange will agree to US extradition despite clear unconstitutionality of DoJ case.” WikiLeaks said that Assange “stands by” the promise right up till the day Obama released Manning, then Assange backed away from his commitment. Mendax indeed!

    Assange, owes a lot to Chelsea Manning. He got the kudos for Collateral Murder, she got 35 years, and it must never be forgotten that it was the Keller of the NYT who Assange chose to cooperate with that outed Nanning as the source of the information. Comparing her to him, one must conclude Assange has brass neck but no sense of responsibility to his sources while Manning is the naive one one with metaphorical balls of steel. Prison was no joke for Manning who attempted suicide twice.

    After Obama released Manning he was earning a reasonable living as a public speaker and yet refused to testify in front of the grand jury indicting Assange and was jailed, released, and has since March been jailed again with effective solitary confinement 22 hours a day, and all the while a massive per week fine accumulating for her release, by which time she will have done many more months because of not testifying in the Assange indicting grand jury and be left in a financial hole of tens of thousands of dollars. I have no sympathy for Assange at all.

    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
    , @getaclue
  20. Che Guava says:

    I was two degrees of separation from Asange (at tines Mendax). While the Darpanet existed at thet ime, the two mainframe-based Compuserve and AoL at the time were different. Also easy to break into.

    I did. So did Julian, earlier with no malicious intent.

    The idea was not even of the ‘white-hat hacker’ of now. It was simply to do a dance on the keyboards, see where one could reach.

    A gang of Jewish low-IQ morons, and I sure DO it. came in and plundered accounts, but also credit.
    vingobqrered 、

  21. Mark Hunter says: • Website
    @Brabantian

    A collection of arbitrary, and ridiculous, assertions. If Veterans Today said the sky was blue I’d look out the window first before believing it.

  22. @Adrian

    But why?

    The short answer is that she is a member of the tribe whose name must not be spoken.

  23. It comes to be a P2S condition, bygone old-world virtue in the burgeoning pen of modernity.

  24. onebornfree says: • Website
    @Johnny Walker Read

    “The state is the most destructive institution human beings have ever devised—a fire that, at best, can be controlled for only a short time before it o’erleaps its improvised confinements and spreads its flames far and wide.

    Whatever promotes the growth of the state also weakens the capacity of individuals in civil society to fend off the state’s depredations and therefore augments the public’s multifaceted victimization at the hands of state functionaries.

    Nothing promotes the growth of the state as much as national emergency—war and other crises comparable to war in the seriousness of the threats they pose.

    States, by their very nature, are perpetually at war—not always against foreign foes, of course, but always against their own subjects. The state’s most fundamental purpose, the activity without which it cannot even exist, is robbery. The state gains its very sustenance from robbery, which it pretties up ideologically by giving it a different name (taxation) and by striving to sanctify its intrinsic crime as permissible and
    socially necessary. State propaganda, statist ideologies, and long-established routine combine to convince many people that they have a legitimate obligation, even a moral duty to pay taxes to the state that rules their society…….”:

    From:”The Siren Song of The State” -Robert Higgs: https://mises.org/library/siren-song-state

    Regards, onebornfree

    • Replies: @Mefobills
  25. wdg says:

    We are witnessing the face of evil in the UK and the US. The blood of Julian Assange will be on both Boris Johnson and Donald Trump. This is what happens when evil people infiltrate and subvert what was previous free and democratic nations such as the UK and the US. What a tragedy for all humanity but particularly the British and American people.

  26. onebornfree says: • Website

    “Police State Escalates War on Freedom of Speech”:

    “MAGA has deluded itself into the false belief the deep state is primarily comprised of Democrats on the warpath against “conservative” Republicans and New Right types. In fact, the state is apolitical in regard to national partisan politics. It favors Democrats and Republicans only if they toe the neoliberal and corporate line. If they deviate, they may suffer the fate recently experienced by Max Blumenthal. For now, this fate is reserved for those with high visibility such as Blumenthal.

    For really serious violations of the neoliberal code and the establishment’s prearranged political construct, the state prefers torture and slow death. It is currently doing this to Julian Assange. For the national security state, it is a cardinal sin and high crime to expose the dirty and murderous secrets of the state.

    Assange will not be killed outright like the journalists Michael Hastings and Gary Webb. Both Hastings and Webb exposed the crimes of the national security state and paid for it with their lives. Assange, on the other hand, will be slowly and sadistically tortured to death, thus revealing how the state responds when “national security secrets” are exposed and disseminated to millions of people…..”:

    https://www.activistpost.com/2019/11/police-state-escalates-war-on-freedom-of-speech.html

    Regards, onebornfree

    • Agree: DESERT FOX
  27. @Sean

    No sympathy for Assange maybe but what about utter disgust with the US and UK governments? And some for the Australian and Swedish governments too?

    • Replies: @The Swamp
    , @Sean
  28. Saggy says: • Website

    The staggering thing about this is that there is absolutely no organized opposition of any sort from the US media, politicians, or people, as this is happening before our very eyes. We are sheep who don’t need a shepherd, zombies. The whole notion of a democracy of informed active persons is shown to be preposterous, pure fantasy. What in hell is going on here ???

    • Replies: @peterAUS
    , @John Achterhof
  29. Mefobills says:
    @onebornfree

    Onebornfree blathers about the state but no discussion or acknowledgement of shadowy privateers and special interests pulling strings of their puppets.

    It is bovine to assume humanity can exist only with two way relations. Even a small tribe of people will select an elder or some arbiter to step in and solve disputes.

    The real question is how to restrain government, something George Washington struggled with.

  30. peterAUS says:
    @Saggy

    The staggering thing about this is that there is absolutely no organized opposition of any sort from the US media, politicians, or people, as this is happening before our very eyes. We are sheep who don’t need a shepherd, zombies. The whole notion of a democracy of informed active persons is shown to be preposterous, pure fantasy.

    Don’t say.

    What in hell is going on here ???

    Well, The Devil came into the house, as any sane person knew he would.

    Nobody was paying attention when the same Devil was dishing the ….ahm…”justice” all over the world. “Not us”, “them”. Who cares.

    Yugoslavia. Afghanistan. Iraq. Libya.

    Hague court anyone. What’s that?!

    I mean, if a President of a sovereign European state can be arrested on “interesting” charges and then…ahm….dies in prison, why are people surprised now?
    I am surprised because, apparently, plenty of people around are surprised.

    Welcome………………………… and enjoy.

    More to come, for sure.

  31. @Saggy

    Well, the public is fulsomely engaged on the safe level of voicing partisan contentions, just not so much on higher level concerns of government encroachment (surveillance) and foreign aggression. America doesn’t have a social credit system like China but I suppose that the awareness, in our corporate-dominated economy, that social media history can be consequential to career prospects achieves some like effect. Moreover, humans are always keenly interested in enhancing status, and the standard of measure here has morphed along with the spectacular economic development into commercial, consumeristic culture.

  32. Ber says:
    @Bill Jones

    There are so many NGOs from A to Z. Surely one or 2 can be made to be a “Court Watch”?

  33. getaclue says:
    @Sean

    Yes because those prosecuting him have such clean hands and good intentions for us all….Is that you Langley?

  34. The Swamp says:
    @Wizard of Oz

    What’s your problem with the current Australian Government?

    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
  35. Adrian says:

    Chris Hedges in conversation with Vijay Prashad at Truthdig:

    “I want to talk about the concerted effort to smear Assange. There was a leaked document that was prepared by the Cyber Counterintelligence Assessment Branch [of the U.S. Defense Department] on March 8, 2008. It called on the U.S. to build a campaign to eradicate “the feeling of trust of WikiLeaks and their center of gravity” and to destroy Assange’s reputation. The press became the echo chamber for this.”

    And on this thread Sean and Brabantian are the main agents for this (thus far).

    Caitlin Johnstone has catalogued the smears and provided a debunking reaction on each of these. Here is her catalogue. You can click on any of these and find her debunking retort.

    [MORE]

    0. “He’s not a journalist.”
    “He’s a rapist.”
    “He was hiding from rape charges in the embassy.”
    “He’s a Russian agent.”
    “He’s being prosecuted for hacking crimes, not journalism.”
    “He should just go to America and face the music. If he’s innocent he’s got nothing to fear.”
    “Well he jumped bail! Of course the UK had to arrest him.”
    “He’s a narcissist/megalomaniac/jerk.”
    “He’s a horrible awful monster for reasons X, Y and Z… but I don’t think he should be extradited.”
    “Trump is going to rescue him and they’ll work together to end the Deep State. Relax and wait and see.”
    “He put poop on the walls! Poop poop poopie!”
    “He’s stinky.”
    “He was a bad houseguest.”
    “He conspired with Don Jr.”
    “He only publishes leaks about America.”
    “He’s an antisemite.”
    “He’s a fascist.”
    “He was a Trump supporter.”
    “I used to like him until he ruined the 2016 election” / “I used to hate him until he saved the 2016 election.”
    “He’s got blood on his hands.”
    “He published the details of millions of Turkish women voters.”
    “He supported right-wing political parties in Australia.”
    “He endangered the lives of gay Saudis.”
    “He’s a CIA agent/limited hangout.”
    “He mistreated his cat.”
    “He’s a pedophile.”
    “He lied about Seth Rich.”
    “He’s never leaked anything on Trump.”
    “He conspired with Nigel Farage.”

    Sean mentions that Assange has a nasty body odor. Aparft from the fact that this has nothing to do with the case he is not in a position to know since he has never met Assange. He has just picked up a smear that makes Assange seem repulsive.

    “Smear 12: “He’s stinky.”

    Caitlin Johnstone
    Follow
    Apr 22 · 1 min read

    It’s amazing how many mainstream media publications have thought it newsworthy to write articles about Assange’s body odor. Try advocating for him on any public forum, however, and you’ll immediately understand the intention behind this smear. Try to argue against the extradition of a journalist for publishing inconvenient facts about the powerful, and you’ll be swarmed by people making scoffing comments about how stinky and disgusting he is. As though that has anything to do with anything whatsoever.
    For the record, people who visit Assange commonly report that he’s clean and smells normal, but that’s really beside the point. Trying to turn a discussion about a journalist who is being prosecuted by the US empire for publishing truth into a discussion about personal hygiene is despicable, and anyone who does it should feel bad.”

    The promise about Chelsea Manning
    (Sean is worried about her …)

    “A lawyer for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange says that President Barack Obama hasn’t met Assange’s standards for a promise to face extradition, something WikiLeaks claimed he would do if Obama granted whistleblower Chelsea Manning clemency. Yesterday, Obama commuted Manning’s sentence from 35 years to just over seven years, meaning she should be released in May. But according to a statement in The Hill, attorney Barry Pollack says that while Assange “welcomes” the reduction of Manning’s sentence, Obama’s actions are “well short of what he sought.”
    “Mr. Assange had called for Chelsea Manning to receive clemency and be released immediately,” said Pollack””

    • Agree: Mark Hunter
    • Replies: @Sean
  36. @alexander

    Queen Hildabeast licking her chops after the Epstein kill.

  37. The title of the piece should read ” Assange in a Kangaroo Court”.

    • Agree: Republic
    • Replies: @Republic
  38. Sean says:
    @Adrian

    There are passing mentions of him having a personal hygiene problem from before he was in the Ecuadorian Embassy. A Wikileaks person in Sweden who knows Assange and the two women complainants said if he had just had an HIV test as they requested, the police would not have become involved. He did not deny having sex with them so what was the problem?

    https://www.theguardian.com/film/2017/jun/29/laura-poitras-wikileaks-film-risk-julian-assange

    In one astonishing scene, Assange talks to Helena Kennedy QC, who is advising him on how to deal with the allegations. Assange says, as if to excuse himself, that it is a “radical feminist conspiracy” and dismisses the complainants as lesbians. Kennedy tells him it is not helpful to talk like this. “No, not publicly,” he says, while being filmed. Her look of despair is priceless. Assange then explains why it is not in the best interests of the women to press charges. “An actual court case is going to be very hard for these women … they will be reviled for ever by a large segment of the world population. I don’t think it’s in their interest to proceed that way.’’ It is this scene that led to Poitras and Assange’s falling out.

    Helena Kennedy is a real liberal leftie. There is a pattern of women in Wikileaks inner circle becoming estranged from Assange and his sense of entitlement. No CIA agent, Poitras, who is an American, was the first person in Wikileaks to be in contact with Edward Snowden. Snowden traveled to Russia with another Wikileaks woman who was Assange’s girlfriend. None of these people have had anything happen to them.

    • Replies: @Adrian
  39. Adrian says:
    @Sean

    So what are you suggesting – that he didn’t want to take an HIV test because he was smelly?

    It is true that ONE of the women said afterwards that she merely wanted him to take an HIV test -but it is NOT true that the processing of the case merely depended on that. The matter was taken out of their hands by the collusion of that Goteborg couple: Marianne Ny and Claus Borgstrom. There was a political agenda here right from the start. Cp. John Pilger:

    “When she (the prosecutor A.) announced last week that she was dropping the Assange case, she made no mention of the evidence that would destroy it. One of the SMS messages makes clear that one of the women did not want any charges brought against Assange, “but the police were keen on getting a hold on him”. She was “shocked” when they arrested him because she only “wanted him to take [an HIV] test”. She “did not want to accuse JA of anything” and “it was the police who made up the charges”. In a witness statement, she is quoted as saying that she had been “railroaded by police and others around her”.

    Neither woman claimed she had been raped. Indeed, both denied they were raped and one of them has since tweeted, “I have not been raped.” The women were manipulated by police – whatever their lawyers might say now. Certainly, they, too, are the victims of this sinister saga.

    Katrin Axelsson and Lisa Longstaff of Women Against Rape wrote: “The allegations against [Assange] are a smokescreen behind which a number of governments are trying to clamp down on WikiLeaks for having audaciously revealed to the public their secret planning of wars and occupations with their attendant rape, murder and destruction… The authorities care so little about violence against women that they manipulate rape allegations at will. [Assange] has made it clear he is available for questioning by the Swedish authorities, in Britain or via Skype. Why are they refusing this essential step in their investigation? What are they afraid of?”

    • Replies: @Sean
  40. Sean says:
    @Adrian

    So what are you suggesting – that he didn’t want to take an HIV test because he was smelly?

    Personal hygiene and providing a sexual partner with an HIV test are both indications of a lack of arrogance. Moreover someone who cannot be bothered to wash and violated others’ personal boundaries to get his dick wet during a promiscuity campaign with rapey elements is showing signs of the kind of insouciance that might lead them to get HIV and then transmit it.

    She was “shocked” when they arrested him because she only “wanted him to take [an HIV] test”

    Neither of the women had been intimate with Assange before the incidents that made them demand he provide them with proof of his HIV status. One said Assange penetrated her while she was sleeping the other said she agreed to have sex with Assange if he used a condom which he seemed to do, but she realised afterwards he had ejaculated in her. If you think these two incidents which occurred within a week or so are, even when not reported by separate women, no cause for criminal charges then you try it and see what happens to you.

    “The allegations against [Assange] are a smokescreen behind which a number of governments are trying to clamp down on WikiLeaks

    The French government blew up a Greenpeace ship. Government can do anything they like and Assange was granted bail by a British court (which by the way Pilger among other stood surety for). Assange has not been silenced at all and the Wikileaks woman of his inner circle were, subsequent to him being stick in the Ecuadorian embassy hiding from Swedish charges his own recaltecent wham bam a thank you should be enough attitude caused, been instrumental in the Snowden affair. You cannot have it both ways. if governments wanted to silence him and destroy his organisation they would have found a much more effective way to do it.

    • Replies: @Sean
  41. Sean says:
    @Sean

    Correction: one of the women (the one who said he penetrated her without protection while she was sleeping) had been intimate with Assange before the incidents, About the other one

    Assange was accused of pressuring a woman into sex, of ripping off her clothes and breaking her necklace, of repeatedly ignoring her when she asked to use a condom, of pinning her down, of breaking a condom when she consented to protected sex https://graziadaily.co.uk/life/in-the-news/julian-assange-rape-allegations/

    • Replies: @Adrian
  42. @The Swamp

    Who are you when not posting as The Swamp? I see that our host’s software has identified you as having at least one other moniker.

    As it happens….

    Not much trouble with the present Australian government given that I am reconciled to its not picking up my 20 brightest ideas. But I fear that it is no better than previous governments in seeing that, above all, Australian citizens and permanent residents need to have the option of being tried in Australia if they are to receive fair trials.

    After all, the rule used to be (maybe still is) that extradition would be ordered only for crimes that were crimes in the extraditing country. And it is hardly unfair that foreign counsel assisting local prosecutors should be housed in the Hilton rather than have the defendant banged up in prison away from family and friends while he is bullied into a plea bargain.

  43. Adrian says:
    @Sean

    Assange’s sexual mores, whatever they are, have absolutely nothing to do with the campaign against him. Your refusal to acknowledge that, and the eagerness with which you go on finding more dirt against him (now ripped off clothes and broken necklaces – what next) suggest to me that you are an active participant in the vilification campaign Chris Hedges talked about. So keep on fishing for more dirt. There is plenty out there. Your taskmasters have seen to that.

    • Replies: @Sean
  44. Sean says:
    @Wizard of Oz

    United States diplomatic cables leak (CableGate) was in November 2010 which was also when Sweden issued an international arrest warrant for Assange, but they had they had interviewed him months before. In Britain journalist are given an exemption from the espionage laws, but he claimed to be an independant spy for the people. That is why he was making out like James Bond. Those women were fans of his, until he used them as unwitting cum dumpsters.

    As I understand it, Assange got 50 weeks for absconding after he was given bail (on surety from hapless dupes like Pilger), which seems a reasonable penalty considering the police resources he tied up for several years. He intended to actually leave Britain and go to Ecuador. He was trying to make a fool of British law in the same way he had made a fool of the US government and State Department. The moral is that American secret intelligence services like the CIA are nothing to worry about, but you never want to get caught up in the criminal justice system of any country.

  45. Sean says:
    @Adrian

    Assange’s sexual mores, whatever they are, have absolutely nothing to do with the campaign against him.

    His bulk-publishing of unredacted documents suggest he thinks the public have a right to know. things that may well hall got US agents killed. Jizzing up women without their permission is a lack of any sexual mores. Why would he think there would not be consequences of behaving like a rutting alpha male chimp with leftie female political activists I have no idea. And in Sweden of all places. Look at the documentary where he is talking to Helana Kennedy QC and you will get an idea of why almost all of his early supporters and inner circle have since didassociated themselves from him

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6917177/Assange-victim-shames-Labour-Woman-accusing-WikiLeaks-founder-sexual-assault-blasts-Abbott.html

    Miss W wanted to go to a hotel, but he insisted on coming to her home, in the city of Enkoping a 50-mile train ride away. Star-struck, she bought his £10 train ticket because he had no cash (and said he didn’t want to use his credit card in case his movement was being tracked).[…] After deciding to consent to sex, she then attempted to reach for a condom. However Assange held her arms and pinned her legs to prevent her grabbing it, the statement claims. […] After a brief discussion, they agreed to contact Assange and asked him to take a test for STDs. However, for reasons that are unclear, he refused. It was in this febrile state the two women, who had previously barely known each other, decided to take a momentous step which would have ramifications few could have predicted – a few days later, they walked into a police station, and sat down to tell their stories.

    God Almighty would not have been as arrogant as Assange was in Sweden, and that narcissistic attitude is the source of all his problems. He broke his word to those who stood surety for him and also went back on his word (by retrospectively making additional conditions) to hand himself if Chelsea Manning was released. Assange was someone it would have been difficult to extradite once but now his credibility has receded even faster than his hair, and in the aftermath of #MeTo, only the diehards still believe in him. Even Edward Snowden (who probably knows a thing or two about Assange other do not) declined to use Wikileaks for disseminating the highly classified material which he stole, he used the Guardian instead. A WikiLeaks was linked website said the president of Ecuador Moreno’s brother had created an offshore company, and it leaked private pictures of Moreno and his family. Great thinking!

  46. Adrian says:

    Are you being paid by the line?

  47. Adrian says:

    UK independent reporter slams British media for hate campaign against Assange:

    • Replies: @Sean
  48. Sean says:
    @Adrian

    Assange claimed to be an independent intelligence operative or spy of the people, not a journalist.

    • Replies: @Adrian
  49. Adrian says:
    @Sean

    You claimed:

    “Assange claimed to be an independent intelligence operative or spy of the people, not a journalist.”

    The second part of that sentence has probably been made up at Hasbara Cenral but whether the quote is genuine or not doesn’t make the slightest difference. What matters is the scope Assange’s activities are offered under the law.

    Some authoritative opinions:

    Here is Daniel Ellsberg of the Pentagon Papers:

    “… Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg says the Espionage Act, under which he was indicted, cannot apply to Julian Assange because he is a journalist. 
    Speaking during an online vigil for Assange organized by Unity4J.com, Ellsberg told Lauria that the motive for U.S. leaders to protect their secrets and go after Assange has nothing to do with their mantra of “national security.” 
    “The purpose is not to protect national security, but to protect the asses of the people who wrote the directives” of classified material, most of which should never have been classified, Ellsberg said

    … 

    “Julian is not a whistle blower per se, but a facilitator of whistleblowing,” Ellsberg said, “…the point being that as a journalist, he can not fairly be tried under the Espionage Act.”
    As one who only received classified material and published it, “It is essential that Julian Assange not be indicted, be convicted, or be extradited to the United States,” Ellsberg said. “

    Here is Glenn Greenwald who is a journalist AND a lawyer:

    “To begin with, the press freedom guarantee of the First Amendment isn’t confined to “legitimate news outlets” — whatever that might mean. The First Amendment isn’t available only to a certain class of people licensed as “journalists.” It protects not a privileged group of people called “professional journalists” but rather an activity: namely, using the press (which at the time of the First Amendment’s enactment meant the literal printing press) to inform the public about what the government was doing. Everyone is entitled to that constitutional protection equally: there is no cogent way to justify why the Guardian, ex-DOJ-officials-turned-bloggers, or Marcy Wheeler are free to publish classified information but Julian Assange and WikiLeaks are not.”

    Here is fellow Australian journalist Caitlin Johnstone:

    “Publishing relevant information so the public can inform themselves about what’s going on in their world is the thing that journalism is. Which is why Assange was just awarded the GUE/NGL Award for “Journalists, Whistleblowers and Defenders of the Right to Information” the other day, why the WikiLeaks team has racked up many prestigious awards for journalism, and why Assange is a member of Australia’s media union. Only when people started seriously stressing about the very real threats that his arrest poses to press freedoms did it become fashionable to go around bleating “Assange is not a journalist.” “

    • Replies: @Sean
  50. Sean says:
    @Adrian

    https://www.delo.si/zgodbe/sobotnapriloga/exclusive-interview-julian-assange-a-spy-for-the-people.html

    The journalistic exception exists in Britain because it was written into British law, but journalists have professional ethics. Ellsberg stole a government review ordered by McNamara that revealed high level geostrategic calculations of ‘the other side must be made to believe we are not going to back away under pressure’ that had been made behind closed doors. Nixon was made to serve as baddie although the Papers were finished before he became Pres. Nixon tried to stop publication to make ending US participation in the war easier.

    Nixon was trying to bomb the North Vietnamese to the negotiations, while they were holding out for a not only American withdrawal of ground troops but a complete and immediate end to US aid and air force backing in any NV-US peace agreement. Ellsberg weakened Nixon’s hand, and it is not obvious that Ellsberg and the NYT were saving lUS lives, by in effect advocating an immediate total withdrawal of any kind of support for South Vietnam. Rather obviously North Vietnamese killing Americans would pressure Nixon to immediately capitulate. The North Vietnamese totalitarian police state were encouraged to continue with their hard line demands. Ellsberg threw a spanner in the works of an attempt to disengage from a lost war while retaining credibility. The USSR might have been emboldened to something precipitating a situation with immediate thermonuclear implications if the US had ran away from South Vietnam as Ellsberg and others seemed to want them to do.

    To begin with, the press freedom guarantee of the First Amendment

    Relates to political dissent and maybe at a pinch high level diplomatic communications about foreign policy (AKA Cablegate). Not

    “Unnamed American colonist sources who spoke on condition of anonymity have revealed a secret plan for tomorrow to warn patriot colonist militia forces of the route that English regular soldiers plan to take as they move their forces to Lexington and Concord …”

    Assange put out raw US military communications from a war zone including details that could be used to identify individuals and quite conceivably sign their death warrant. He did not redact (edit) the materials. The Guardian newspaper fell out with Assange over that. So in the opinion of journalists, Assange was operating with a non journalistic rule book, and he himself said he was more of a populist self appointed spy in competition with the traditional journalists of the Guardian.

    • Replies: @Adrian
  51. Adrian says:
    @Sean

    So your minders have given you another script, have they? Now it is all about official concern for the lives of informers. Who believes that? Was there any concern for the lives of civilians who were wantonly murdered by being shot from a helicopter by way of sport? That is one of the war crimes reported by Wikileaks and that revelation sticks in the craw of the establishment among other things. They now come up with this bogus concern for the lives of informers. Wikileaks was in fact appalled by the lack of protection for and carelessness about these sources.

    James Cerveny wrote:

    “… WikiLeaks not only took great care to redact potentially harmful information (holding back more than 15,000 documents for this very reason) but prior to releasing the documents, sought to engage the White House in its efforts to vet the material. (Source: “Afghan Leak: WikiLeaks’ Assange denies ‘blood on hands’”, BBC News Canada, 7/30/10)
    According to Julian Assange, military procedures for source protection were poor and the leaked material was available to every soldier and contractor in Afghanistan. “We are appalled that the US military was so lackadaisical with its Afghan sources. Just appalled. We are a source protection organization that specializes in protecting sources and have a perfect record from our activities,” Assange said.

    It is clear, then, that if anyone has “blood on their hands,” it is the US government. There is no rhyme or reason for a continued U.S. presence in Afghanistan. It is widely believed that, contrary to the focus of coalition military activity, Al Qaeda now operates largely out of Pakistan. As General McChrystal has stated, the battles in Afghanistan are tribal in nature and the agendas are local. (Source: “Thank God for the Whistleblowers”, Robert Scheer, Truthdig, 7/27/10), paraphrasing McChrystal.

    Indeed, the US government has demonstrated that concern for its soldiers is, to put it mildly, not a top priority.

    Dangers to National Security

    Finally, interventionism and its inevitable blowback are far greater dangers to security than basic truths. Among the truths revealed by the leaks (which, of course, the US government wishes to conceal) is that Stinger rockets given to the Mujhadeen by America during the Soviet war are now being used against American troops. (Source: Scheer article)”

    And Robert Scheer wrote:

    “What WikiLeaks did was brilliant journalism, and the bleating critics from the president on down are revealing just how low a regard they have for the truth. As with Richard Nixon’s rage against the publication of the Pentagon Papers, our leaders are troubled not by the prospect of these revelations endangering troops but rather endangering their own political careers. It is our president who unnecessarily sacrifices the lives of our soldiers and not those in the press who let the public in on the folly of the mission itself.”

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