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Assange Wins. the Cost: Press Freedom Is Crushed, and Dissent Labelled Mental Illness
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The unexpected decision by Judge Vanessa Baraitser to deny a US demand to extradite Julian Assange, foiling efforts to send him to a US super-max jail for the rest of his life, is a welcome legal victory, but one swamped by larger lessons that should disturb us deeply.

Those who campaigned so vigorously to keep Assange’s case in the spotlight, even as the US and UK corporate media worked so strenuously to keep it in darkness, are the heroes of the day. They made the price too steep for Baraitser or the British establishment to agree to lock Assange away indefinitely in the US for exposing its war crimes and its crimes against humanity in Iraq and Afghanistan.

But we must not downplay the price being demanded of us for this victory.

A moment of celebration

We have contributed collectively in our various small ways to win back for Assange some degree of freedom, and hopefully a reprieve from what could be a death sentence as his health continues to deteriorate in an overcrowded Belmarsh high-security prison in London that has become a breeding ground for Covid-19.

For this we should allow ourselves a moment of celebration. But Assange is not out of the woods yet. The US has said it will appeal the decision. And it is not yet clear whether Assange will remain jailed in the UK – possibly in Belmarsh – while many months of further legal argument about his future take place.

The US and British establishments do not care where Assange is imprisoned – be it Sweden, the UK or the US. What has been most important to them is that he continues to be locked out of sight in a cell somewhere, where his physical and mental fortitude can be destroyed and where he is effectively silenced, encouraging others to draw the lesson that there is too high a price to pay for dissent.

The personal battle for Assange won’t be over till he is properly free. And even then he will be lucky if the last decade of various forms of incarceration and torture he has been subjected to do not leave him permanently traumatised, emotionally and mentally damaged, a pale shadow of the unapologetic, vigorous transparency champion he was before his ordeal began.

That alone will be a victory for the British and US establishments who were so embarrassed by, and fearful of, Wikileaks’ revelations of their crimes.

Rejected on a technicality

But aside from what is a potential personal victory for Assange, assuming he doesn’t lose on appeal, we should be deeply worried by the legal arguments Baraitser advanced in denying extradition.

The US demand for extradition was rejected on what was effectively a technicality. The US mass incarceration system is so obviously barbaric and depraved that, it was shown conclusively by experts at the hearings back in September, Assange would be at grave risk of committing suicide should he become another victim of its super-max jails.

One should not also discard another of the British establishment’s likely considerations: that in a few days Donald Trump will be gone from the White House and a new US administration will take his place.

There is no reason to be sentimental about president-elect Joe Biden. He is a big fan of mass incarceration too, and he will be no more of a friend to dissident media, whistleblowers and journalism that challenges the national security state than was his Democratic predecessor, Barack Obama. Which is no friend at all.

But Biden probably doesn’t need the Assange case hanging over his head, becoming a rallying cry against him, an uncomfortable residue of the Trump administration’s authoritarian instincts that his own officials would be forced to defend.

It would be nice to imagine that the British legal, judicial and political establishments grew a backbone in ruling against extradition. The far more likely truth is that they sounded out the incoming Biden team and received permission to forgo an immediate ruling in favour of extradition – on a technicality.

Keep an eye on whether the new Biden administration decides to drop the appeal case. More likely his officials will let it rumble on, largely below the media’s radar, for many months more.

Journalism as espionage

Significantly, Judge Baraitser backed all the Trump administration’s main legal arguments for extradition, even though they were comprehensively demolished by Assange’s lawyers.

Baraitser accepted the US government’s dangerous new definition of investigative journalism as “espionage”, and implied that Assange had also broken Britain’s draconian Official Secrets Act in exposing government war crimes.

She agreed that the 2007 Extradition Treaty applies in Assange’s case, ignoring the treaty’s actual words that exempt political cases like his. She has thereby opened the door for other journalists to be seized in their home countries and renditioned to the US for embarrassing Washington.

Baraitser accepted that protecting sources in the digital age – as Assange did for whistleblower Chelsea Manning, an essential obligation on journalists in a free society – now amounts to criminal “hacking”. She trashed free speech and press freedom rights, saying they did not provide “unfettered discretion by Mr Assange to decide what he’s going to publish”.

She appeared to approve of the ample evidence showing that the US spied on Assange inside the Ecuadorian embassy, both in violation of international law and his client-lawyer privilege – a breach of his most fundamental legal rights that alone should have halted proceedings.

Baraitser argued that Assange would receive a fair trial in the US, even though it was almost certain to take place in the eastern district of Virginia, where the major US security and intelligence services are headquartered. Any jury there would be dominated by US security personnel and their families, who would have no sympathy for Assange.

ORDER IT NOW

So as we celebrate this ruling for Assange, we must also loudly denounce it as an attack on press freedom, as an attack on our hard-won collective freedoms, and as an attack on our efforts to hold the US and UK establishments accountable for riding roughshod over the values, principles and laws they themselves profess to uphold.

Even as we are offered with one hand a small prize in Assange’s current legal victory, the establishment’s other hand seizes much more from us.

Vilification continues

There is a final lesson from the Assange ruling. The last decade has been about discrediting, disgracing and demonising Assange. This ruling should very much be seen as a continuation of that process.

Baraitser has denied extradition only on the grounds of Assange’s mental health and his autism, and the fact that he is a suicide risk. In other words, the principled arguments for freeing Assange have been decisively rejected.

If he regains his freedom, it will be solely because he has been characterised as mentally unsound. That will be used to discredit not just Assange, but the cause for which he fought, the Wikileaks organisation he helped to found, and all wider dissidence from establishment narratives. This idea will settle into popular public discourse unless we challenge such a presentation at every turn.

Assange’s battle to defend our freedoms, to defend those in far-off lands whom we bomb at will in the promotion of the selfish interests of a western elite, was not autistic or evidence of mental illness. His struggle to make our societies fairer, to hold the powerful to account for their actions, was not evidence of dysfunction. It is a duty we all share to make our politics less corrupt, our legal systems more transparent, our media less dishonest.

Unless far more of us fight for these values – for real sanity, not the perverse, unsustainable, suicidal interests of our leaders – we are doomed. Assange showed us how we can free ourselves and our societies. It is incumbent on the rest of us to continue his fight.

(Republished from Jonathan Cook by permission of author or representative)
 
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  1. Assange for the Nobel Peace Prize 2021!

  2. The battle is far from over. This is merely a reprieve. Raise hell wherever and whenever you can. And support those who cover the story, amplify them.

    • Agree: mark green, St-Germain
    • Replies: @follyofwar
  3. My guess is that Baraitser got a phone call to say Trump was considering a pardon. The mental gymnastics of this decision puts him in a tough place. On the other hand, now that the FBI has been outed as having had Seth Rich`s laptop for years, and Project Veritas has released an Assange phone call warning the State Department that one of former employees had stolen information that would be published unredacted, they needed more time to finish the job.

    • Replies: @Thomasina
    , @BL
  4. The judge is doing precisely what Teresa May did as Home Secretary in the Gary McKinnon case.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gary_McKinnon

    On 16 October 2012, then-Home Secretary Theresa May announced to the House of Commons that the extradition had been blocked, saying that:

    Mr McKinnon is accused of serious crimes. But there is also no doubt that he is seriously ill […] He has Asperger’s syndrome, and suffers from depressive illness. Mr McKinnon’s extradition would give rise to such a high risk of him ending his life that a decision to extradite would be incompatible with Mr McKinnon’s human rights.

    At issue is the Tony Blair US-UK Extradition Treaty of 2003.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/UK%E2%80%93US_extradition_treaty_of_2003

    The treaty has been claimed to be one-sided[3] because it allows the US to demand extradition of British citizens and other nationals for offences committed against US law, even though the alleged offence may have been committed in the UK by a person living and working in the UK (see for example the NatWest Three), and there being no reciprocal right; and issues about the level of proof required to extradite from the UK to the US versus from the US to the UK.[4]

    The political and judicial hierarchy hate it for this reason. They won’t abolish it, or alter it (yet). What they do is to play along with it for a while, then find reasons to tell the Americans to F*** Off.
    As here.

    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
  5. Exile says:

    This is only a beginning but it’s welcome news. Assange would likely have been Epsteined in American custody. The next step is to have him actually released.

    • Agree: Wielgus, Ann Nonny Mouse
    • Replies: @Lot
    , @Chris in Cackalacky
  6. thank you, jonathon & thank you julian. i saw an interview with the fm of azerbijan after the war…where he stopped the interviewer cold by simply bringing up julian & the brits. perhaps, biden’s crew…so utterly aware of pr & pc…began to see there was a gapping hole the chinese & russia could begin to use.

  7. “What has been most important to them is that he continues to be locked out of sight in a cell somewhere, where his physical and mental fortitude can be destroyed and where he is effectively silenced, encouraging others to draw the lesson that there is too high a price to pay for dissent.”

    Rudolf Hess?

    • Agree: Tom Welsh
  8. Franz says:

    Baraitser accepted the US government’s dangerous new definition of investigative journalism as “espionage”, and implied that Assange had also broken Britain’s draconian Official Secrets Act in exposing government war crimes.

    Kiss of death, that. She just made it worse.

    Now it’s down to Assange rotting in a UK cage instead of facing a CIA jury in Virginia. No great difference and proof that “legal systems” in all the Five Eyes are under the same thumb.

    • Agree: Ann Nonny Mouse
  9. Mikael_ says:

    While it’s a good step in itself, I cannot consider it a victory.

    To me it looks Baraitser has chosen the back-door exit, to cover her ass. And if you believe she did this on her own, without a nod from the US, I have a bridge I can sell to you.
    Now we’ll get the appeal, in truly Kafkaesque fashion “because we can.”

  10. @Thulean Friend

    If there is hope for Trump to pardon Assange it is instructive to look at Obama’s record. He didn’t commute Chelsea Manning’s long sentence until Jan. 17, 2017. On that date Obama also issued 64 pardons and 209 commutations. Obama set a one day record on Jan. 19, his last full day in office, when he commuted the sentences of another 330 people. He issued more commutations than the prior 13 presidents combined.

    We all know that Trump demands to be the center of attention. He loves nothing more than doing things BIGLY. Right now he is justifiably focused on Wednesday, when many Congressmen and Senators are on record that they will contest the Electoral votes of this stolen election.

    Assuming that Trump loses this battle, he would still have two weeks left as president. That’s plenty of time to pardon Mr. Assange. There is much pressure on him to do so, especially since the UK rejected extradition. Really, Trump’s legacy is at stake.

    Why would Trump give Biden the opportunity for an early victory by allowing him to issue the pardon? But, if Trump pardons him now, that will suck all the air out of the coming historic EC battle. Better to follow Obama’s example and wait until in his last few days in office, as the demands to issue a pardon reach critical mass. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that Trump will do the right thing.

    • Replies: @Greta Handel
    , @anon
  11. The UK judge had learned just how crooked US courts really are …

    Hidden UK Court Filing Won Assange Extradition Case

    Against public expectations, the US case for extraditing Julian Assange, was collapsed by a hidden court filing served last September to UK Judge Vanessa Baraitser

    This filing – by a former US Justice Department employee in Europe, who is now a key voice to EU and world governments on US judicial corruption – exposed how the UK courts and Judge Baraitser herself, were targeted by court fraud and attempted humiliation by a criminal gang involving the US intel agencies, who had even succeeded in corrupting Julian Assange’s own legal team.

    UK Judge Baraitser learned she was being set up as the “bad witch” in staged theatre involving both the CIA and US DOJ, with likely long-term damage to the international status of UK courts if she foolishly indulged the Assange case frauds.

    A key element as well, was Judge Baraitser receiving the file on international crimes against UK and European citizens enabled by US Virginia federal judge bribery, the same judges who would put Julian Assange on trial. This dossier on US Virginia federal judge bribery, had also been the key element in shutting down the Trump impeachment forays of former FBI director Mueller, who received huge payoffs from law firm crime gangs Mueller indulged, gangs who were bribing those US federal judges during Mueller’s FBI tenure.

    Full original of the court filing key in winning the order blocking Julian Assange’s extradition:
    https://pastebin.com/WDeKsepi

    • Thanks: Daniel Rich
    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
    , @Miggle
  12. @follyofwar

    Better to follow Obama’s example and wait until in his last few days in office, as the demands to issue a pardon reach critical mass. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that Trump will do the right thing.

    This also provides his supporters another couple weeks to come up with excuses and cope when he doesn’t.

  13. Lot says:
    @Exile

    No, the next step is for America to win the appeal and send the scumbag to Florence SuperMax for life.

    Failing that, he and his defense team and doctors and even the judge all say he’s both very unhealthy and suicidal…

  14. Thomasina says:
    @Curmudgeon

    “My guess is that Baraitser got a phone call to say Trump was considering a pardon.”

    That’s what I think too.

  15. Thomasina says:
    @Lot

    Obama, is that you?

    • LOL: Biff
    • Replies: @Lot
  16. @Exile

    Assange would have been ‘Epsteined’ in custody? Silly — Assange is not a Jew and therefore would not be whisked away to the Shylock State to live incognito there as was Esptein.

  17. Lot says:
    @Thomasina

    Obama pardoned Assange’s deranged tranny partner in crime.

  18. Derer says:

    Any sane person understand the Assange’s investigative journalism cannot be claimed for being espionage. Espionage data is kept secret by the enemy but in this case the documented war crimes was released to the public. One cannot expect anything brave from a country that sent their young people to die in a far away country on a concocted lie.

  19. Ghali says:

    The decision is a slab in the face of U.S. attack-dogs (politicians and “journalists”) in Australia, including the PM who refused to ask Trump to pardon Assange, the despicable and professional liars like Tony Abbott, Peter Greste and Chris Zappone, just to name a few.
    It important to note that, nowhere is Assange more demonised and falsely accused than in his country Australia, where neo-Fascism is alive and well. Here, most Australians do not want to know about Assange. They will run away if they hear someone mentioning his name.

  20. neutral says:
    @Lot

    In case some people don’t know, this Lot is a jew. Just another good example just how vile and disgusting the jews are.

  21. Scotist says:

    This is where the criticism of mainstream psychiatry a la Thomas Szasz et al comes in. But the contemporary right wants to lock up “the mentally ill” into asylums again, so kind of hard to have their cake and eat it too, I guess.

  22. Dumbo says:
    @Lot

    Why so much hate for the guy?
    Just because he’s not Jewish?
    What about Epstein, do you defend him?
    And Maddoff?
    You people are sick.

  23. @Lot

    No, the sentence was commuted — prospectively, thus endorsing and continuing the injustice for several months —with a typically pompous statement from the Nobel Peacenik about Manning having accepted responsibility, etc.

    Manning can still and should be pardoned, with a statement of contrition … Uncle Sam’s.

    Is your favorite strafing scene in Collateral Murder that of the Reuter’s reporters, or the double tapping of the van with the kids in it that stopped to help?

    • Replies: @Badger Down
  24. Greg Bacon says: • Website
    @Commentator Mike

    Nah, Assange couldn’t be considered for that Peace Prize, unless he was made POTUS & went on to bomb eight different nations during Obomber’s eight year reign of terror.

    • Agree: Liza
  25. El Dato says:

    Who is “Judge Vanessa Baraitser”?

    The reincarnation of Dr. Roland Freisler … or just an actor that can be de-rezzed again when the show is over?

    https://wikispooks.com/wiki/Vanessa_Baraitser

    On 28 October 2019, John Pilger described the disturbing scene inside a London courtroom the previous week when the WikiLeaks publisher, Julian Assange, appeared at the start of a landmark extradition case that will define the future of free journalism:

    “The worst moment was one of a number of ‘worst’ moments. I have sat in many courtrooms and seen judges abuse their positions. This judge, Vanessa Baraitser – actually she isn’t a judge at all; she’s a magistrate – shocked all of us who were there.

    “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. When Julian struggled to speak, he couldn’t get words out, even stumbling over his name and date of birth.

    “When he spoke truth and when his barrister spoke, Baraitser contrived boredom; when the prosecuting barrister spoke, she was attentive. She had nothing to do; it was demonstrably preordained. In the table in front of us were a handful of American officials, whose directions to the prosecutor were carried by his junior; back and forth this young woman went, delivering instructions.

    https://caitlinjohnstone.com/2020/02/28/this-assange-trial-is-a-self-contradictory-kafkaesque-nightmare/

    It’s pretty clear by the way Baraitser is even more biased against Assange than the actual prosecutors that she made up her mind how she’s going to rule long before the trial even began. This is made all the more shady by the fact that there are apparently no photographs of this public official anywhere online, and indeed no documentation of her existence outside of the court.

    “Ms Baraitser is not fond of photography – she appears to be the only public figure in Western Europe with no photo on the internet,” wrote Murray after noting her anger at someone photographing the courtroom. “Indeed the average proprietor of a rural car wash has left more evidence of their existence and life history on the internet than Vanessa Baraitser. Which is no crime on her part, but I suspect the expunging is not achieved without considerable effort. Somebody suggested to me she might be a hologram, but I think not. Holograms have more empathy.”

    This by itself is weird. How is someone with no public face ruling on an extradition trial of such immense historical significance? How is a public official allowed to make a decision which will affect every member of the public in one way or another, yet the public is not allowed to know anything about her or what she even looks like? That, in my opinion, is weird and creepy.

  26. El Dato says:
    @Lot

    Channelling Hillary that hard. How’s the spirit cooking coming?

  27. Sean says:

    The precedents were all for Assange. Gary McKinnon and Lauri Love were excused extradition on exactly the same grounds as Assange for almost the same crimes. Assange is not British and must never walk British streets again, but be deported to Australia forthwith. He has cost the British taxpayer quite enough.

  28. Tom Welsh says:

    It’s ironic that the risk of suicide should be cited as the only reason for denying extradition – since Mr Assange’s suicide would be the ideal outcome for the US and UK governments and all the rest of his enemies.

    He owes his life to their reluctance to admit publicly that his suicide would be the ideal outcome in their eyes.

    Those people have not the slightest concern for human life – not the life of one innocent journalist who has done immense good, and not the lives of literally millions of people in the Middle East who were cynically murdered in pursuit of certain people’s ambitions.

  29. @Verymuchalive

    Thanks for the heads up on Theresa May’s decision.. Good to know she got one decision right. It is appalling though to find, on reading the Wikipedia entry, that the wretched Tony Blair’s extradition treaty, which was a disgrace anyway, operated retrospectively.

    • Replies: @Verymuchalive
    , @dearieme
  30. @brabantian

    The District Judge would not have been influenced in any way by such low grade rubbish which she probably didn’t finished reading after a quick glance.

  31. The Judge seems to have got the idea that Theresa May, as Home Secretary, in effect provided a safe precedent. However it is to be hoped that a higher court on appeal, like the Sulreme Court when Boris Johnson advised the Queen to prorogue Parliament for five weeks, may take the bit between its teeth and uphold some of Assange’s other legal arguments.

  32. ivan says:
    @Lot

    You are just trolling I hope. What was Manning’s crime : Exposing the Torture Inc’s machinations. That was yeoman work

  33. gotmituns says:

    Press Freedom Is Crushed
    ———————————
    Finally figuring out [press freedom is crushed]. Been that way for a few decades now fella.

  34. ivan says:

    Its interesting that just 50 or so years ago, the Soviet Union’s justice system used basically they same cover of insanity to jail or exile their dissidents, men like Sakharov and Sharansky. The US and the USSR have traded places and its a wonder to behold.

    “Behold, I shew you a mystery; we shall not all be asleep, but we shall be changed.” – St Paul

    For anyone who came of age in the 70s when Ellsberg; Woodward & Bernstien, China Syndrome were all the rage, the utter dereliction of duty by the liberal press as pointed out by Greenwald and shown in Garrison’s cartoon, are exemplars of the old saying that if one lives long enough, one will believe the opposite of what one started with .

    And boy am I glad that I can continue listening to Roger Waters and other artists, after all their advocacy on behalf of Assange.

    • Agree: gay troll
    • Replies: @anon
  35. @Lot

    We know that. The question is: why didn’t he then pardon Assange himself? It was Manning that broke his oath; Assange never took one. Manning is a US citizen; Assange is not, and has never even been to the US, I think. So why did O’Bomber do that?

    Do enlighten us …

  36. @Lot

    That should not come as a surprise to anyone given that the country is heavily homojewified, whereas, Assange is neither a faggot nor a Jew thus undeserving of pardon.

  37. Mike Tre says:

    ” and hopefully a reprieve from what could be a death sentence as his health continues to deteriorate in an overcrowded Belmarsh high-security prison in London that has become a breeding ground for Covid-19.”

    Covid-19. Are you kidding me? What may be Assange’s death sentence is the fact that he will be in close contact with physically violent ass-rapists.

    Is there any topic in which the West’s newest dogma, The vYrhus (PBUI), cannot be obscenely inserted into? Is it like a sacrament for Corona Cultists?

    • Agree: U. Ranus, Liza
  38. @Wizard of Oz

    Tony Blair was a disgrace, full stop. In fact, he still IS a disgrace.

    As said, Parliament isn’t ready ( yet ) to abolish or amend the Extradition Act 2003. However, “mental health” and other creative reasoning has been used to block egregious attempts to extradite, as here. I expect this to continue in the future. Large parts of the Treaty and Act will be rendered null as a result.

    It would not surprise me if the Establishment helped play up Assange’s “mental health issues” whilst in Belmarsh, so as to nudge the judge into the correct decision. Like a lot of things in the Assange Case, it’s not straightforward. I’m glad to have enlightened readers about the Theresa May decision in the McKinnon case, which is obviously directly relevant to this case. Sadly, most of the commenters here, even the non-Americans, couldn’t tell the difference between Theresa May and Teresa May ( as I inadvertently called her in my previous comment). Brabantian probably thinks she’s an alien shapeshifter. However, it is gratifying that you and Sean give me credit.
    Thanks.

  39. Jiminy says:

    What I don’t follow is why didn’t Assange have a fall back plan in case things went topsy-turvy? Maybe his autism is severe enough that he thought that when dealing with some of the worlds worst criminals, he too would be untouchable.
    It’s disgraceful how our whorish political elite have allowed this to go on for so long. The US mafia rings up the Aus. callgirls, and tells them to bend over, and they say how far? Mother England still calls the shots as well, I’m sure. I know that here in his home town not much is mentioned of him, and I don’t think I’ve ever seen any protests, or the mayor or politicians coming out and saying anything in his favour. It will be interesting to see what happens next.

    • Replies: @Sean
  40. dearieme says:
    @Wizard of Oz

    Cheer up! It’s Toni Blair’s fondness for retrospective legislation that means that someday we’ll be able to arrest, charge, try, convict, and hang the bugger.

    • LOL: Wizard of Oz
    • Replies: @Verymuchalive
  41. BL says:
    @Curmudgeon

    I wrote and posted the following on 12/29 in response to Giraldi’s “A Pardoning Time of Year.” Giraldi refused to post it. I’ll have more to say now that I’ve been proved correct if Cook lets this through:

    BL says:
    December 29, 2020 at 2:55 pm GMT • very recent • 300 Words ↑
    I’ll be concise because no one is listening anyway.

    Sometimes timing is everything. It isn’t coincidental that this author is only now politely asking for Trump to pardon Assange.

    How obvious and frequent does a pattern have to be for it to be recognized and acknowledged?

    Once the innumerable attempts to frame-up and destroy Trump failed the good enough for government resolve was to essentially force Trump to pardon the targets. Stone’s trial was a travesty and the judge then refused him bail while on appeal. The Flynn case is even more glaringly obvious.

    Indeed, it’s only through willful ignorance that anyone can’t see that the destroy Trump operation, both during the Comey and Mueller/Weissman phases was designed to get the targets to make up fairy stories about Trump.

    Apparently I’m the only one who noticed the eventual revelation that Mueller “had evidence” that Manafort visited Assange in the embassy. ” Or Cohen in Prague. Or the Rohrabacher/Johnson set-piece.

    Failing in all of these gambits, they amped up their goading of Trump to fire Mueller, the fallback to teeing up Impeachment via Obstruction of Justice.

    Assange, a journalist and founder of WikiLeaks, is currently languishing in a British prison, where he has been for twenty-one months, awaiting a decision on whether he will be extradited to the United States or not which will reportedly be decided on January 4th.

    Could the timing be more obvious — two days before the new Congress meets to certify who will take the oath on January 20th? After all, even if they succeed in the steal, Trump has until January 2o, to pardon Assange.

    Dollars to donuts, if Trump doesn’t pull the trigger by 1/4/2021, Assange’s judge will kick the can until after 1/20/2021 noontime.

    A word to the wise to all of your swine opening up a mouth with insults towards Trump, if you think now that Sleepy Joe will be president or, in the event that’s what happens, then implore his handlers to put a pardon for Assange on his teleprompter to read ASAP.

    • Thanks: Curmudgeon
    • Replies: @Greta Handel
    , @BL
  42. JackOH says:

    One awful and pretty obvious consequence of the continued beatdown of Assange, whose case I haven’t followed much, is that meaningful dissent will continue to be silenced, marginalized, otherwise attenuated.

    Permissible dissent will amount to co-opted, weak-tea individuals and organizations that offer not much more than empty verbalism and the appearance of activism in response to fundamental wrongheadedness in our governance.

    I know–I’ve worked with some of them. They’re well-intended, but they want to go from Point A to Point B without knowing the political coordinates of either, and they’ll have you wheel-spinning your way into putzdom. That sort of “dissent” (the sneer quotes are intentional) is great for suburban cat ladies on fat pensions, student-dabblers, hobbyist virtue-signalers, and cunning politicians cultivating an amen corner for their own machinations.

  43. @brabantian:

    Stopped reading that pastebin nonsense when I came to the stupid fairy tale that Assange wasn’t ever actually in the Ecuadorian embassy, cause he’s really a super duper undercover meriken spy. Was he really on trial at all? I hear he was spotted with Epstein and a couple hot babes on the beach in Israel. I know – Let’s ask Sean and Lot!

    • Replies: @Sean
  44. WJ says:
    @Lot

    Why is he a scumbag?

  45. WJ says:

    Assange made the mistake of not choosing sides. He is fair and balanced in his indignation at both sides of the divide. When he exposed massive US war crimes in Iraq he was hated by the reliable conservatives and he when he exposed the vile Democrat party and Hillary then he was also hated by that side. It leaves him with no major support to advocate for him.

    I would give him a US medal of honor if I was king.

    • Agree: Robert Konrad
  46. @BL

    If your comment was blocked, that’s disappointing. However, using Assange

    A word to the wise to all of your swine opening up a mouth with insults towards Trump, if you think now that Sleepy Joe will be president or, in the event that’s what happens, then implore his handlers to put a pardon for Assange on his teleprompter to read ASAP.

    or any other metric to distinguish between Biden and Trump is folly.

    The Establishment uses Red+Blue politics to prevent dissent with your particapatory assent.

    • Replies: @BL
  47. Sean says:
    @Jiminy

    Assange will now start screaming about how it is cruel to send him to Australia, and how his mental disorder requires him to stay in Britain.

  48. BL says:
    @BL

    Okay, now accept that destroying Trump is the main event, not Assange.

    One glaring tell for me since Trump won in 2016 and took the oath is whether someone writing or commenting on Assange at least implicitly recognized the similarity between the two men in their refusal to retreat from the arena, break, and discredit themselves.

    Though it’s important to recognize that both are also alike in simply being cunning enough to realize any deal behind the curtain they made would be broken.

    With all that’s been going on it’s easy to miss how thoroughly the left has (also) discredited itself. Even elderly grandees like Chomsky cravenly declared Hillary their savior and Trump the enemy of all that was good and right.

    Assange has already been made a cautionary tale. If you’re still noodling over the effect of his persecution on press freedom then you’re very late to the party. But there is nothing free in this world. The cost of protecting filth like Brennan has been monumental. No one is fooling anyone anymore, even if they’re self-protectively circumspect.

    Assange has a real “Dead man’s switch.” But he also has a family and a number of people who have courageously remained loyal who no doubt Assange has been warned will pay the price if the trigger is pulled.

  49. Realist says:

    The press doesn’t care about freedom…just power and money.

  50. Z-man says:

    “The amazing thing is that when you mention Assange, the only people who pop up to demand he be imprisoned and prosecuted are US liberals.
    They don’t realize how isolated in the world they are: the only ones on the side of Pompeo, CIA & the DOJ. But that’s 100% who they are.”
    Glenn Greenwald

    Yes it is bizarre. Politics have become the ‘theater of the absurd’.
    Let’s hope Donald does the right thing and pardon Assange.

    • Agree: Agent76
    • Replies: @ivan
  51. BL says:
    @Greta Handel

    . . . using Assange or any other metric to distinguish between Biden and Trump is folly.

    How could you or anyone else write such an absurd sentence?! So much so I’ll turn it around and ask you what you thinking. What are the three most consequential ways you believe them indistinguishable?

    • Replies: @Greta Handel
  52. Assange hasn’t gotten bail yet. Also if he gets bail, what does that mean in Britain? No clue about the British legal system, but in the US it could be an ankle bracelet that limits movement just like living in an Ecuador embassy. If the US does appeal, which sounds like they will, what does the rest of her decision mean for the appeal and his possible bail? Seem like she agrees with the criminally insane DOJ that Assange is dangerous. Just feels like there is potential for another bait and switch. Also giving a desperate man a fleeting sense of hope, only to take it away, might just lead to what appears to be the deep state’s desired conclusion. Sorry for the pessimism, but the bulk of her decision was creepy.

    • Replies: @Commentator Mike
  53. anon[278] • Disclaimer says:
    @ivan

    For anyone who came of age in the 70s when Ellsberg; Woodward & Bernstien, China Syndrome were all the rage, the utter dereliction of duty by the liberal press as pointed out by Greenwald and shown in Garrison’s cartoon, are exemplars of the old saying that if one lives long enough, one will believe the opposite of what one started with .

    O, the whoring seventies, what an utterly underrated decade.

    Was this the same 70s that gave pentagon and MIC assets (Woodward, Naval Intelligence; Ellsberg, RAND) a huge media platform, but then there is this:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Secret_Team#Reception

    The great truth revealing trio, Ellsberg, Woodward, and .. well never mind Prouty and his book Secret Team.

    Secret Team is on Archive.org for free. Do yourself a favor and read it and revisit the “70s”.

    btw, you can see the continuing effort to bury this book by this little wikipedia “fact”:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Secret_Team#Eisenhower’s_alleged_prediction

    One of the most interesting reveals of Secret Team is the TRUMAN editorial a month after JFK assassination where TRUMAN rips a new one for CIA. Unlike EISENHOWER bs about “Military industrial comoplex” puts the “I” straight on Intelligence Complex…

    http://www.maebrussell.com/Prouty/Harry%20Truman’s%20CIA%20article.html

    [MORE]

    INDEPENDENCE, MO., Dec. 21 — I think it has become necessary to take another look at the purpose and operations of our Central Intelligence Agency—CIA. At least, I would like to submit here the original reason why I thought it necessary to organize this Agency during my Administration, what I expected it to do and how it was to operate as an arm of the President.
    I think it is fairly obvious that by and large a President’s performance in office is as effective as the information he has and the information he gets. That is to say, that assuming the President himself possesses a knowledge of our history, a sensitive understanding of our institutions, and an insight into the needs and aspirations of the people, he needs to have available to him the most accurate and up-to-the-minute information on what is going on everywhere in the world, and particularly of the trends and developments in all the danger spots in the contest between East and West. This is an immense task and requires a special kind of an intelligence facility.
    Of course, every President has available to him all the information gathered by the many intelligence agencies already in existence. The Departments of State, Defense, Commerce, Interior and others are constantly engaged in extensive information gathering and have done excellent work.
    But their collective information reached the President all too frequently in conflicting conclusions. At times, the intelligence reports tended to be slanted to conform to established positions of a given department. This becomes confusing and what’s worse, such intelligence is of little use to a President in reaching the right decisions.
    Therefore, I decided to set up a special organization charged with the collection of all intelligence reports from every available source, and to have those reports reach me as President without department “treatment” or interpretations.
    I wanted and needed the information in its “natural raw” state and in as comprehensive a volume as it was practical for me to make full use of it. But the most important thing about this move was to guard against the chance of intelligence being used to influence or to lead the President into unwise decisions—and I thought it was necessary that the President do his own thinking and evaluating.
    Since the responsibility for decision making was his—then he had to be sure that no information is kept from him for whatever reason at the discretion of any one department or agency, or that unpleasant facts be kept from him. There are always those who would want to shield a President from bad news or misjudgments to spare him from being “upset.”
    For some time I have been disturbed by the way CIA has been diverted from its original assignment. It has become an operational and at times a policy-making arm of the Government. This has led to trouble and may have compounded our difficulties in several explosive areas.
    I never had any thought that when I set up the CIA that it would be injected into peacetime cloak and dagger operations. Some of the complications and embarrassment I think we have experienced are in part attributable to the fact that this quiet intelligence arm of the President has been so removed from its intended role that it is being interpreted as a symbol of sinister and mysterious foreign intrigue—and a subject for cold war enemy propaganda.
    With all the nonsense put out by Communist propaganda about “Yankee imperialism,” “exploitive capitalism,” “war-mongering,” “monopolists,” in their name-calling assault on the West, the last thing we needed was for the CIA to be seized upon as something akin to a subverting influence in the affairs of other people.
    I well knew the first temporary director of the CIA, Adm. Souers, and the later permanent directors of the CIA, Gen. Hoyt Vandenberg and Allen Dulles. These were men of the highest character, patriotism and integrity—and I assume this is true of all those who continue in charge.
    But there are now some searching questions that need to be answered. I, therefore, would like to see the CIA be restored to its original assignment as the intelligence arm of the President, and that whatever else it can properly perform in that special field—and that its operational duties be terminated or properly used elsewhere.
    We have grown up as a nation, respected for our free institutions and for our ability to maintain a free and open society. There is something about the way the CIA has been functioning that is casting a shadow over our historic position and I feel that we need to correct it.

    • Thanks: ivan
  54. @BL

    Notwithstanding what they say (and, even in 2015, Trump called Snowden a “traitor”), anyone who gets far enough to be elected will do what’s desired by the Establishment. Sticking to the three you requested:

    1. Big War, Exceptional! “foreign policy.” (Trump lied about troop “drawdowns” while putting a treacherous hit on Soleimani and chillingly bragging about it before donors days later.)

    2. Privatized abuse of free speech and other natural rights secured — ineffectively, thanks to a craven judiciary and Congress — in the Constitution. (Trump’s done nothing but Twitterbitch, while an antitrust action could have been brought in the first weeks of his presidency.)

    3. Dollars for Wall Street, pennies for people. (Trump signed off on the CARES Act, pa$$ed 96-0 and as quickly as goose poop in the Senate.)

    If you think I’m wrong, show your work.

    • Agree: niceland
    • Replies: @Eagle Eye
  55. ivan says:
    @Z-man

    Trump would not be the President had it not been for WikiLeaks. Yet that fellow could not do the right thing and pardon Assange over the last four years. He really is an ungrateful chump.

    • Replies: @Jake
  56. Jake says:
    @Commentator Mike

    The Nobel Committee is not that brave. It too bows before the Anglo-Zionist Empire.

    • Replies: @Commentator Mike
  57. Jake says:
    @ivan

    That’s because Trump was trying to avoid going to war with the Neocons. That was his biggest mistake. If you are not backing the Neocons, they are at war with you whether you know it or remain oblivious.

    • Disagree: ivan
  58. BL says:

    I appreciate the effort but I asked about this that you wrote:

    . . . using Assange or any other metric to distinguish between Biden and Trump is folly.

    Sorry, but none of these three sells the idea Trump and Sleepy Joe are indistinguishable. Either the men themselves or their relationship to power centers, foreign and domestic.

    Indeed, by any readable measure they’re polar opposites. Look, the ship sailed on your argument about Trump years ago. If he sold out MAGA then why did those ranks increase and deliver him a landslide win on November 3rd?

    • Replies: @Greta Handel
  59. GMC says:

    I remember a divorce case in Chicago – the man – wheelchair bound for life needed all the pension and a certain amount of money to live in his condition. The judge thought different and warded the wife – a lot of money. But the old man in the wheelchair – disagreed – and grabbed his sawed off shotgun from under his wheel chair and blew the Judge and the Bitch’s lawyer away. I used Saigon rules once – it worked.

  60. 70s was exactly when journalism changed. When 1000s of bankers were sent to jail, you know something had to change.

  61. Sean says:
    @Beobachter

    Assuming willingness to go to prison, men can do all sorts of things to naïve females. To avoid the punishment they can commit suicide. If someone really wants to commit suicide, then they are going to do it. Assange needs to be deported back to Australia.

  62. @Jake

    Well, I hope some of his more influential supporters nominate him – he needs all the support he can get. He’s certainly more deserving than many who have been awarded it in the past.

  63. When will Parliament repeal the UK–US extradition treaty of 2003 implemented by Blair ?

    Part 2 of the Act: Extradition to category 2 territories (non-European Arrest Warrant territories) removed the requirement on the US to provide prima facie evidence in extraditions from the UK

  64. @Old and Grumpy

    Freedom is overrated in the age of the Covid lockdowns. He’ll just be exchanging one cell for another, a larger one perhaps, and for maybe longer walks than he gets during any exercise inside.

  65. @dearieme

    Glad to see you’re back and talking sense, dearie.

    It’s worse than that. First, there was the Human Rights Act (1998) which incorporated the ECHR ( European Convention on Human Rights ) in its entirety into UK law. He didn’t need to do that.
    Then he signed up Britain for the International Criminal Court. Any state with a sense of sovereignty said no : Russia, America, China, India, Iran, Israel etc. He certainly didn’t need to do that.

    Both he and his wife are lawyers, she of the highly paid “human rights” kind. They didn’t seem to realise that at some future date that the above acts might be used against them. George Bush II keeps a very low profile and remains in the US, despite being on much firmer legal ground. Blair gallivants around the world, but for how much longer ?

    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
    , @Eagle Eye
  66. Agent76 says:

    Jan 3, 2021 CIA End-to-End Involvement in Assange Case / CDDP Australia Steps Back from Prosecuting Journalists

  67. Agree.
    That Assange may go free is wonderful. The cost is appalling.

    One minor upside is that the corruption of the Judicial system across pretty much all the West in support of the US Empire is now undeniable. The Netherlands has Malasian Air 17. Germany has Navalny, UK now has Assange.

    • Disagree: Wizard of Oz
  68. mcohen says:

    it might be a rainy night in Georgia but trump did the right thing.wonder what Pamela whispered in his ear.lol.

    trump deserves once last hurrah in georgia.

    if you stand for anything then you stand for nothing

    • Replies: @Miggle
  69. Davidoff says:

    Press Freedom…. they are hearing my laughter from Pluto and beyond…

    I think I just burst my ribcage…

    If you don’t hear anything else from me you know what happened!!!

    • Replies: @Miggle
  70. Ignoring the Elephant at Gitmo: Yet Another 9/11 Crime

    https://digwithin.net/2020/01/25/gitmo/

  71. Miggle says: • Website
    @brabantian

    The UK judge had learned just how crooked US courts really are

    The UK judge has taught us how crooked UK courts really are are.

  72. Miggle says: • Website
    @Davidoff

    Just heard a loud bang. You?

    But America brings Democracy to every non-White dictatorship with free health care and free education like Iraq and Libya, remember. Democracy! America! Assad, go!

    • Replies: @Davidoff
  73. Parbes says:
    @Lot

    No, I have a better idea: Let’s reopen the Siberian gulags and send all the neocon bastards to fill them up. Especially the Judaic ones. ESPECIALLY the two-bit Anglo-Zionist “Internet commenter”-propagandists, who fill up our information/sociopolitical debate space with toxic GARBAGE.

    There was a reason that Stalin etc. had gulags for people like you. You are SCUM.

  74. Exile says:
    @Lot

    Exposing the ugly ties between your tribe and U.S. power and warmaking is very upsetting, I know, but your Zionist bloodlust will have to remain unslaked for awhile longer.

    +1 for Whitey on this one.

  75. Miggle says: • Website
    @mcohen

    trump deserves once last hurrah in georgia.

    Trump deserves the sewer.

    And it will be better if Biden gets in on manifest fraud plainly visible to the world. The US will no longer be able to boast Democracy. Every other country in the world will just laugh at that lie.

    Still, okay, do what Trump says. If everyone in Georgia votes R they’ll still lose.

  76. Parbes says:
    @neutral

    Not just a Jew; but a Jewish neocon Internet troll who has been churning out utter bullshit for years and years, poisoning the blog discussion webspaces in service to the reigning criminal neocon power structure. Probably an actual paid propagandist.

    In other words, a disgusting turd.

    • LOL: Lot
  77. Davidoff says:
    @Miggle

    Very good 😁😁😁! It wasn’t me.. yet. I am still laughing… 😂😂😂

  78. @neutral

    “In case some people don’t know, this Lot is a jew. Just another good example just how vile and disgusting the jews are.”

    You mean: “how vile and disgusting Lot is.” That I agree with, but to make such a huge inductive jump is absolutely disgusting and vile too.

    • Replies: @Ann Nonny Mouse
  79. Anon[365] • Disclaimer says:

    “Suicide risk”

    Kind of like Jeffery Epstein. Assange like Epstein has information which is damning for the US security state and DNC. What is that information? Who leaked the DNC emails which if outed would destroy the whole Russiagate narrative and may also help solve who killed Seth Rich. We now know the FBI lied about the fact it had Rich’s laptop.

  80. @Verymuchalive

    Your mention of Human Rights lawyers prompts me to try and enlist you to e encouragung Ron Unz to seek contributions from his enormously prolific contemporary [indeed at Harvard possibly] Prof. Philippe Sands QC of Matrix Chambers whom you can see in his Wikipedia biography is a strong objector to American war crimes like the Iiraq invasion start with

    https://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/latenightlive/the-rat-line_phillipe-sands/12966390

    You will thank me for having listened to a vivid engagingly told story by someone I take to be honest and humane.

    I hope Ron will engage with him to reach a more precise and nuanced position on the Holocaust than I sometimes detect. Sands says his maternal grandfather lost nearly all his family. While Sands refused to defend Pinochet I don’t see him as other than a truth seeker.

    • Replies: @Verymuchalive
  81. @neutral

    ‘Lot is a jew. Just another good example just how vile and disgusting the jews are.’

    Readers of the Unz Review, of all people, can’t generalize like that!

    If you’ve heard interviews with the proprietor of this website — and there are two interviews with him posted on the site right now under Announcements — some jewish Westerners are obviously great people.

  82. John Hagan says: • Website

    Assange Judas: Strong Satire: Look here, the motives of those who support the permanent incarceration of Assange are Christians and moralists whose main concern is delivering hope for the people who want to live in a secure and happy environment in the US , UK Europe and Australia.

  83. Harris may be a plagiarizer but so was MLK. His doctoral thesis was stolen from others. And he took chunks from others’ speeches. So, I guess Harris is following in King’s footsteps. Biden’s a known plagiarist too. But what does it matter in the US that no longer has any use for truth or principles? US has become a nation where liars call other liars ‘liars’.

    • Agree: Liza
  84. @Commentator Mike

    It should be renamed Piece Prize. Prize for people who blow the world up into pieces. Look at some of the people who got it.

    • Replies: @Commentator Mike
  85. Eagle Eye says:
    @Greta Handel

    All good points.

  86. Eagle Eye says:
    @Verymuchalive

    … ECHR …

    [Anthony Charles Lynton Blair] didn’t need to do that.

    … ICC …

    [Anthony Charles Lynton Blair] didn’t need to do that.

    Blair was always a more than willing tool, no doubt well rewarded in little boys and a bit of bullion for the missus.

    Anthony Blair was a born performer, perhaps related to the fact that his father “Leo Blair was the illegitimate son of two entertainers and was adopted as a baby by Glasgow shipyard James Blair and his wife, Mary.”

  87. @Priss Factor

    Sure, but I was thinking more along the lines of Shirin Ebadi, Malala Yousafzai, and Liu Xiaobo. Assange has certainly done more, and on an international level, exposing war crimes, human rights abuses, corruption in high places, etc. And he’s also a victim of state repression as were some former awardees, although not yet as long in prison as Mandela but that record’s hard to beat. If anyone deserves it surely Assange does.

  88. anon[355] • Disclaimer says:

    Does anyone else smell the hypocrisy here? Punishing Julian is like punishing a publisher for printing a book? Hello? Anybody home? This is strictly a political assassination of a publisher for simply telling the truth. What the hell ever happened to the 1st Amendment? Oh that’s right it only pertains to the lying lame stream media with their big corporate sponsors!

    • Agree: Commentator Mike
    • Replies: @Commentator Mike
  89. Miggle says: • Website
    @Lot

    Lot of slime there. The brown smelly kind.

  90. @Robert Konrad

    Partly correct, only partly. There have been many Jews to whom we owe thanks. Norbert Wiener for the fundamentals of binary digital technology, Nathan Pritikin son of Jacob and Ester Pritikin taught us how to live 110 years, Ron Unz maybe (I mean a Jew, maybe), and many, many others. But they were just … they got on with other things, rather than Jewish ritualism. They didn’t hate Gentiles, probably didn’t know or care what a Gentile was.

    But the Jews who are Jews for Jews, at war with us Gentiles, us the Unclean … forever celebrating Purim, Holocaust etc etc etc etc, forever persecuted and killed by Gentiles when the truth is the exact reverse … tell us how vile and disgusting the Jews as such are. They are.

  91. @Greta Handel

    It’s gotta be the kids. The “is” have a special bent for maiming and killing West Asian children.
    https://ifamericansknew.org/stat/children.html#source

  92. No mention of millionaire ‘radical left’ lawyer Keir Starmer.

    As Director of Public Prosecutions he failed to charge prolific pedophile Sir James Wilson Vincent Savile but fast tracked Assange’s case and his staff urged Swedes not to develop ‘cold feet’.

    Like Savile for the above and other ‘services’ Starmer was given a knighthood.

    • Replies: @Wielgus
  93. @BL

    If he sold out MAGA then why did those ranks increase and deliver him a landslide win on November 3rd?

    Because people are easily duped, especially when the other “choice” is so unpalatable (too).

    Sorry, but none of these three sells the idea Trump and Sleepy Joe are indistinguishable.

    Why not? Your denial of facts is not refutation.

    This is why I asked you to show your work. If you want to try again, make sure to use the correct REPLY button.

  94. @anon

    Yes! They should then arrest Mark Zuckerberg for hate speech because someone posted something racist or hateful on Facebook or all those other owners of Twitter, blogspot, etc. etc. because some racists and haters use their services to express their views. It is absolutely ridiculous. Even terrorists use some of these services that are owned and run by somebody (usually by front-men for the CIA as is probably Zuckerberg himself) and nobody bothers them.

  95. The headline of this article makes it seem as if freeing Assange somehow will result in the loss of press freedom. Of course the very opposite is true. Yes of course it would have been better if the kangaroo court had stood up for freedom, but if Assange walks free, who the hell cares what gibberish the ghouls of that hopelessly corrupt system mumble? May he soon see the blue sky again – and be able get the hell out of the tier 5 poodle-sphere!

  96. Wielgus says:
    @Amerimutt Golems

    Not that “radical left”. He upheld a decision not to prosecute police who shot dead the Brazilian Jean-Charles de Menezes. He also did not prosecute a policeman for knocking down a man during a protest in 2009 – the man, Ian Tomlinson, died shortly after. Another inquest did charge the cop but he was acquitted. Starmer has a noticeable bias towards the police and the establishment and is considered a safe pair of hands, unlike Jeremy Corbyn.

  97. Lot says:

    Cook’s concern with “Press Freedom” is limited to anti-American and Israel press.

    https://www.bbc.com/news/amp/world-asia-china-55555299

  98. @Wizard of Oz

    I do not promote lawyers in any way, shape or form. At best, they are over-paid professionals. At worst, they are parasites on the body politic and fomenters of violence and stasis. The leaders of the French Revolution were largely provincial lawyers after all.

    Also, you seem to overestimate my influence with Mr Unz, which I would put about zero. He has never replied to my complaints as to why he is employing Patrick Cockburn – which seems in contradiction of the masthead’s motto.
    A Collection of Interesting, Important, and Controversial Perspectives Largely Excluded from the American Mainstream Media

    Also, when I contradicted his obviously unbalanced statement that COVID-19 would kill 0.5% t0 1% of the World’s population ( 39 to 78 million people ), he cut up rough and didn’t publish my comment. He then replied to a previous comment of mine to tell me this wasn’t the forum to deal with my comment.

    Still it is gratifying that you consider I have an influence many times greater than I have in reality. If only that were true !

  99. Jett Rucker says: • Website

    Dissent = Insanity.

    George Orwell explained this to us over 50 years ago. 1984 (in 1948).

  100. Jett Rucker says: • Website

    Mr Justice Charles Gray rendered a similarly bogus verdict (against Irving) in 2000 in the case of David Irving v. Deborah Lipstadt and Penguin Books.

    British jurisprudence is well beneath derision.

  101. anon[406] • Disclaimer says:

    Assange didn’t win. He was denied bail and may very well spend the last few years of his life in a maximum security prison in England while American lawyers contest the current decision. Which is probably exactly where operators in the American government want him. To keep Antifa out of it and avoid more riots in the US. This could have been agreed even before the judgment came down.
    It may not have happened that way but if you were a democrat in control of vast wealth would you want a politically hot potato landing in your newly ‘elected’ president’s lap if you could avoid it?
    There may come a time when a lot of unpaid antifa people realize that their new democratic government doesn’t really support them at all. It supports the rich people who paid for their dinner. They may even start to think that the fairy tale without the monster doesn’t actually make sense if they are now cast into the role of the monster.

    • Replies: @anon
  102. Yesterday’s events in Washington and the iron wall of denialism erected throughout the US establishment might convince Trump that Assange’s enemies are his enemies.

  103. MEH 0910 says:

  104. anon[406] • Disclaimer says:
    @follyofwar

    ” I’m keeping my fingers crossed that Trump will do the right thing. ”
    This whole thing of presidents pardoning people when their own last days in office are coming to an end seems just a little bit wonky.
    First, why did they wait until they were leaving office to pardon people who may have been wasting away for the last four years of their presidency? Doesn’t make sense unless you admit that fear of the media had a lot to do with their decision in the first place.
    And second, at least one president resigned and got his VP to pardon him. Another one, namely President Trump, has already pardoned murderous criminals in his last little time in office.
    Question is: How does that relate to decency or democracy. Especially when some small time criminals with marijuana convictions are still kept in jail for probably years and years when pot is pretty well legal in large swathes of America. I don’t have a dog in the race, smoke it if you like it. I don’t. But it doesn’t seem fair.

  105. anon[406] • Disclaimer says:
    @anon

    Or would you rather have him die quietly in the basement of a drafty maximum security prison in England? Has that every happened before in English history? England is now biting the bullet for America. What? Pity that, old chap. Previously they only made mistakes like this for their own rulers.

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