Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
September 07, 2020

U.S. War On Journalism - Assange Fights Extradition In British Court

Today the London show trial over the extradition of Wikileaks editor Julian Assange to the U.S. has begun. U.S. prosecutors claim that Assange's publishing of evidence of U.S. war crimes has violated the U.S. Espionage Act.

Why an Australian publisher who worked from Europe and evidently published truthful evidence of war crimes should by guilty under a political U.S. law is beyond me.

The trial in front of the British court is nominally public. But access to it has been severely restricted:

The public gallery of 80 has been reduced to 9 “due to Covid”. 5 seats are reserved for Julian’s family and friends, and I have one of these today, but not guaranteed beyond that. There are just 4 seats for the general public.

Journalists and NGO’s will be following the hearing online – but only “approved” journalists and NGO’s, selected by the Orwelian Ministry of Justice. I had dinner last night with Assange supporters from a number of registered NGO’s, not one of which had been “approved”. I had applied myself as a representative of Hope Over Fear, and was turned down. It is the same story for those who applied for online access as journalists. Only the officially “approved” will be allowed to watch.

This is supposed to be a public hearing, to which in normal times anybody should be able to walk in off the street into the large public gallery, and anyone with a press card into the press gallery. What is the justification for the political selection of those permitted to watch? An extraordinary online system has been set up, with the state favoured observers given online “rooms” in which only the identified individual will be allowed. Even with approved organisations, it is not the case that an organisation will have a login anyone can use, not even one at a time. Only specifically nominated individuals have to login before proceedings start, and if their connection breaks at any point they will not be readmitted that day.

Some 40 NGOs, including Amnesty International, had been told that they would have remote access to the trial but today the judge revoked that access without giving any reason.

With only a few selected and system conforming reporters allowed to watch the proceedings the public will get a very biased picture of the case and the trial:

Right now every journalist in the world ought to be up in arms, protesting at the abuses Assange is suffering, and has suffered, and the fate he will endure if extradition is approved. They should be protesting on front pages and in TV news shows against the endless and blatant abuses of legal process at Assange’s hearings in the British courts, including the gross conflict of interest of Lady Emma Arbuthnot, the judge overseeing his case.
[...]
Journalists do not need to care about Assange or like him. They have to speak out in protest because approval of his extradition will mark the official death of journalism. It will mean that any journalist in the world who unearths embarrassing truths about the US, who discovers its darkest secrets, will need to keep quiet or risk being jailed for the rest of their lives.

That ought to terrify every journalist. But it has had no such effect.

The vast majority of western journalists, of course, never uncover one significant secret from the centres of power in their entire professional careers – even those ostensibly monitoring those power centres. These journalists repackage press releases and lobby briefings, they tap sources inside government who use them as a conduit to the large audiences they command, and they relay gossip and sniping from inside the corridors of power.

That is the reality of access journalism that constitutes 99 per cent of what we call political news.

The renewed but 'politically correct' reporting about Wikileaks' founder and editor will also see the repeat of a number of false allegations that have been made against Assange.

Caitlin Johnstone has published a handy complete refutation of the 31 most often used smears against Assange. She also has good advice on how to defeat other arguments used against him.

Kevin Gosztola has talked with Barry Pollack, Julian Assange's U.S. lawyer, who outlines the case the U.S. government is making:

The position the U.S. is taking is that they have jurisdiction all over the world and can pursue criminal charges against any journalist anywhere on the planet, whether they're a U.S. citizen or not. But if they're not a U.S. citizen, not only can the U.S. pursue charges against them but that person has no defense under the First Amendment. It remains to be seen whether a U.S. court would accept that position, but that certainly is the position that the government is taking.

In the cases that have been brought under the Espionage Act to date, efforts to build defenses around the First Amendment have been quite unsuccessful. The courts have not [generally allowed or supported defenses] based on the First Amendment. But those are cases where the defendant was a leaker, not a publisher.

This case is unique. The U.S. government has never tried to charge a journalist or a publisher under the Espionage Act.

The defense arguments against the extradition from Britain to the U.S. are as follows:

The defence team, headed by Edward Fitzgerald QC, argue that the extradition proceedings amounts to an abuse of process in three separate but overlapping categories:
  1. The request seeks extradition for what is a classic “political offence”. [...]
  2. The prosecution is being pursued for ulterior political motives and not in good faith. [...]
  3. The request fundamentally misrepresents the facts in order to bring this case within the bounds of an extradition crime; both by misrepresenting that Julian Assange materially assisted Chelsea Manning in accessing national security information; and then by misrepresenting that there was a reckless disclosure of the names of particular individuals. [...]

There are additional arguments why the extradition request should be rejected by the British court. But it is not likely that the court will accept any of them. There is not much doubt about the likely outcome of the trial:

[J]udging from the first week of hearings in February at Woolwich Crown Court, all signs point to a decision already having been made to extradite Assange, and that the next three to four weeks will be simply justice going through the motions to make it appear that the WikiLeaks publisher is getting a fair trial.

After the current round of the extradition hearings it will still take some time until the British court system will come to a final decision:

District Judge Vanessa Baraitser is likely to take weeks or even months to consider her verdict, with the losing side likely to appeal.

It is a shame that first the Swedish and then the British justice system have let themselves become henchmen in a fundamentally unjust prosecution of a journalist who has brought more crimes to light than any other living person.

Posted by b on September 7, 2020 at 15:01 UTC | Permalink

Comments
next page »

> That ought to terrify every journalist.

It does. Unfortunately there aren't many real journalists left. There's probably more northern white rhino.

Posted by: S.O. | Sep 7 2020 15:28 utc | 1

Thanks to b for covering this, and reminding us what is at stake. I cannot believe that any result other than a compassionaate one will be acceptable to the public at large. Tensions are high and the current situation worldwide ought to give the powers in charge of this fiasco pause.

My prayers are with the Assange family and friends. Stay strong.

Again, thank you b.

Posted by: juliania | Sep 7 2020 15:29 utc | 2

Thanks for the Assange posting b.

I agree that all journalists should be up in arms about this but that they are not says they are not really journalists then are they.

Yes, the result of this witch hunt will resonate all over the world.....a much steeper decline or finally a clearing of the air around the tsunami of lies of late empire.

Hope Over Fear works for me

Posted by: psychohistorian | Sep 7 2020 15:30 utc | 3

It's also a shame that Western media falls in line.

And a shame that the Western public is too dumb and insensitive to understand how this threatens them.

First they came for Assange ...

!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Sep 7 2020 15:30 utc | 4

thank you for highlighting this b............... george orwell was from the uk... he saw this coming.. the uk is fucked... sweden and uk henchmen for the usa system.. indeed.

Posted by: james | Sep 7 2020 15:34 utc | 5

Criag Murray:

Media Freedom? Show me the MSM Journalist Opposing the Torture of Assange

!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Sep 7 2020 15:47 utc | 6

jr - that is the first link in b's post.... i'm telling, lol...

Posted by: james | Sep 7 2020 15:51 utc | 7

Putin! Putin!!! The authoritarian dictator killing freedom of speech!!!

Posted by: Nathan Mulcahy | Sep 7 2020 16:20 utc | 8

As stated by b and others, the vast majority of "journalists" in the world are little more than careerist hacks. They survive and prosper by maintaining access to sources who feed them propagandistic stories that should raise the eyebrows of anyone with a modicum of critical thinking skills. The only genuine investigative reporters left on the planet work for independent media outlets, many of which are continually slandered by the Blob. I wish Julian and his team the best possible luck, but it appears that luck will not have much of a chance in this re-run of Stalinist show trials.

Posted by: Rob | Sep 7 2020 16:33 utc | 9

We should all know that the Espionage Act was used to send Eugene Debs to prison for opposing US involvement in WWI. He spent 6 years in prison. It was that great American liberal Woodrow Wilson who pushed that prosecution. This prosecution of Assange is as American as apple pie. And if you go back and read what the "progressive" American press had to say about Eugene Debs at that time, it is quite similar to the smears against Assange that are being propagated by the great liberal outlets such as the Guardian, NYT, WaPo, etc, etc.

War is the goal and if anyone begins to effectively counter that goal, they will become a target of the US espionage act. That is US justice based in the great US constitution that every civilized member on this planet must respect.

Posted by: ToivoS | Sep 7 2020 16:39 utc | 10

In the west, reporting on a crime is the real crime in the eyes of the state.

Posted by: worldblee | Sep 7 2020 16:39 utc | 11

donkeytale | Sep 7 2020 15:53 utc | 8:

There’s some nuance here. When the current U.S. prosecution effort emerged from grand-jury secrecy, it also became clear that Trump’s Justice Dept. had taken a step beyond where Obama’s had been willing to go, meaning Assange could possibly have returned to Sweden when summoned, put up with many months of the severest jailing they could manage up there, and then kicked loose when the sex allegations collapsed as they eventually had to. Kicked loose *for the time being*, that is, until the imperial blob came up with something else to harass him with.

One needn’t subscribe to the overly reductive position that all U.S. presidents will act *exactly* the same to understand that the imperial project will proceed *essentially* the same under all of them. Turning this into an Orange Man Bad rally distorts that big picture.

I’ve personally felt all along that Assange walked into a dead end by going into the embassy, and Sweden was the better of his miserable options, and I think the facts have borne me out somewhat. But it’s his life, and it was totally his call to make. He should be supported unequivocally.

I also think that while extradition is a foregone conclusion, eventual conviction in the U.S. courts when all appeals are finished is much less so. But even if the *maximal* goal of throwing him into a dungeon for the rest of his life is not attained, the effort will still be rated a success for robbing him of years and his health, the whole (literally) tortuous process serving to punish Assange and deter others.

Posted by: David G | Sep 7 2020 16:54 utc | 12

Thanks for this timely post, b.
I read an article about this Kangaroo court trial yesterday which I thought was on SST or Strategic Culture Foundation. But can't find it at either place today.

Anyhow, the author was talking about AmeriKKKa's 5th Amendment and whether or not it applied to Assange. He asserted that a US trial of Assange, under the ancient Espionage Act, SHOULD be impossible and illegal. This is because Assange is not a US Citizen and the Espionage Act applies ONLY to US Citizens employed in "sensitive" roles who have signed an Oath not to disclose secrets they discover in the course of their employment.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Sep 7 2020 16:56 utc | 13

Can anyone tell me where I can find an Image of Vaessae Baraitser?

I’ve been trying since the beginning of this year but I cannot find anything.

IMO Arbuthnot iis just as implicated in her prostitution of U.K. legal protocols as Baraitser as she instructed her to oversee the case.

Posted by: Beibdnn | Sep 7 2020 17:01 utc | 14

. . .some notes re: Trump even worse than Obama in this case
>The Open Government Initiative is an effort by the administration of President of the United States Barack Obama to "[create] an unprecedented level of openness in Government.".[1] The directive starting this initiative was issued on January 20, 2009, Obama's first day in office -- wiki
>During the two terms Obama held office, eight whistleblowers were prosecuted, a number greater than those punished by the law under all U.S. presidential administrations combined. It is important to acknowledge that almost all of those whistleblowers were not dissenting against Obama, but rather challenged misconduct during the Bush administration. The Justice Department under Obama either did not stop pending criminal prosecutions, or initiated them. The eight whistleblowers were all accused of leaking or mishandling classified information under the Espionage Act. . .here
> the Trump administration’s extradition request is accompanied by criminal charges which are based on the same information which the Obama administration declined to charge Assange for. .The Obama administration looked at the evidence and concluded that there was no way to charge Assange with anything without endangering press freedoms . . .here
>The Espionage Act deemed a criminal anyone who, "when the United States is at war, shall willfully make or convey false reports or false statements with intent to interfere with the operation or success of the military or naval forces of the United States or to promote the success of its enemies and whoever when the United States is at war, shall willfully cause or attempt to cause insubordination, disloyalty, mutiny, or refusal of duty, in the military or naval forces of the United States, or shall willfully obstruct the recruiting or enlistment service of the United States, to the injury of the service or of the United States." . .here

Posted by: Don Bacon | Sep 7 2020 17:02 utc | 15

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Sep 7 2020 16:56 utc | 14

So, imo, the UK Kangaroo Court is about Sleazy Poms facilitating a Sleazy US plot to punish Assange for Chelsea Manning's praiseworthy 'crimes'.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Sep 7 2020 17:07 utc | 16

Beibdnn | Sep 7 2020 17:01 utc | 15:

I’ve seen this interesting phenomenon mentioned elsewhere. I think someone dug up a single image of her from some event.

If no one here can help, you should ask as a comment on Craig Murray’s blog where somebody probably can direct you to whatever is out there.

Posted by: David G | Sep 7 2020 17:09 utc | 17

@ 15
All images are difficult now b/c of URLs a mile long. If possible always go to a wiki entry to get a short URL.
Vanessa Baraitser - image
https://wikispooks.com/w/images/f/f8/Vanessa_Baraitser_3.jpg

Posted by: Don Bacon | Sep 7 2020 17:13 utc | 18


It takes huge amounts of effort not to get seriously angry. With British Courts, with journalist who are more interested in their bank balances than the truth. With DNC for starting the whole business to cover for their disgraceful emails. With anyone who believed the Swedish BS and who hasn't bothered to educate themselves in the matter.
If this ends well for JA I will be thrilled. I'd prefer a live dodgy Aussie to a dead Icon.
And the legacy media wonder why they are becoming increasingly irrelevant.
Thanks MOA.

Posted by: Ramon Zarate | Sep 7 2020 17:21 utc | 19

I don't see any difference between the foreign policies of Trump and Obama except that Obama acted more covertly. Obama had to that because part of his job description was to restore trust in USA after the Bush Administration had horrified the world with a 'war of choice' on Iraq and CIA rendition and torture.

The Deep State's Nobel Peace Prize-winning stooge led an Administration that droned weddings, conducted proxy war in Syria, bombed Libya, did a color revolution in Ukraine, and set up a honey-trap for Assange in Sweden.

The Deep State's MAGA Cold Warrior is allowed to be more overtly belligerent. In a Cold War belligerence is a feature, not a bug.

!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Sep 7 2020 17:21 utc | 20

@ worldblee
Indeed, ask John Kiriakou who blew the whistle on the criminal Bush-CIA torture program and was sentenced to prison for his courageous service.

Posted by: nwwoods | Sep 7 2020 17:27 utc | 21

And now to fog the narrative during the mock trail there is this posting title below from ZH showing more of our Wag the Dog world

"
Putin Critic Navalny Removed From Medically-Induced Coma As Condition Improves
"
Not only does journalism now not cover the important issues, they are easily led down the path of propaganda side road dead ends which steal energy/focus from real problems.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Sep 7 2020 17:32 utc | 22

There is a very rational argument that this is not about assange but about the precedent, about press freedom. It's a valid argument. The question then is why so few are motivated by it.
- because we don't really have a press, so why should it be worried about press (un)freedom. It's not their problem. That is the hard version. There is some truth to it.
- Softer version: Assange was a radical who thought the caste of journalists was getting in the way of transparency of power. Not a typical journalist. He just went too far.
Wikileaks was doing more than providing a pipeline to journalists , it also bypassed them. Greenwald believes the pipeline system can work and his own work is an example. I believe Assange would say that it may work in individual cases but overall it is broken , the role of the journalist is mostly complicit with power and a much stronger shift is needed. This is a matter for real debate.
- because journalists don't have the freedom to voice their opinion on this. That is the corporate discipline argument. The propaganda model is usually explained by the corporate discipline argument, although Edward Herman believed more in the corporate selection argument: the system selects people who fit in with minimal cognitive dissent. Chomsky believed more in 'The responsibility of intellectuals', the noncorporative effects which typically affect intellectuals most, and then we get to reputation.
- because Assange has a very bad reputation and journalists despise him. This is an important factor. Even if you want some rules to apply equally to people with good and with bad reputation, the people with good reputation provide a lot more motivation to raise objections. The most powerful damage to Assange's reputation was the Swedish rape accusation. This made it hard with people to be associated with him in vocal or other support. The russian link on the DNC issue also played a large role.
People could stand up for the principle of press freedom but the association with Assange was still too strong. Now that the swedish case has been dropped it does create a lot more room for people to support Assange. For instance Amnesty started to discover him , be it timidly. Once there is a good body of support even people in the press will feel empowered to stand up for the principle and claim it is not about Assange.

Reputation is a serious form of protection. That is why when eliminating a whistleblower they first destroy his reputation. So that the person and the message are unappealing and it is not a big deal if they disappear.
Restoring his reputation helps him and helps Wikileaks, and by extension helps us. Therefore it is good to point out Assange is a moral leader and a better man than the journalists who look down upon him. And to rub it in occasionally too. Except when they stand up for Assange and say it is not about the man. Let them save face.

Posted by: Tuyzentfloot | Sep 7 2020 17:34 utc | 23

Oops!
Ignore my comment @ #14.

b has linked to, and cited from, the source I was referring to. It was quoted in Xymphora's September 6 post about the Kevin Gosztola/Barry Pollack interview. The goto part of the interview follows on from the passages quoted by b...

GOSZTOLA: That raises an important question in my mind, which is, how can someone who is not from the U.S. be expected to submit to these U.S. secrecy laws and regulations, especially when he never signed a non-disclosure agreement?

A key part of these Espionage Act prosecutions are that they are brought forward as strict liability offenses, that he signed something. It seems that there is no evidence whatsoever in favor of the U.S. government that he signed anything to agree to not disclose information.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Sep 7 2020 17:42 utc | 24

Tuyzentfloot #Sep7 17:34 #24

The most powerful damage to Assange's reputation was the Swedish rape accusation.

It wasn't just the bogus rape allegations.

They also linked Wikileaks to Russian election meddling. In the 2016 election, Trump help to do this by calling on Wikileaks to "release the emails!" (Hillary's emails). About the same time, USA labeled Wikileaks a hostile intelligence agency.

!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Sep 7 2020 17:48 utc | 25

Thank you David G and Don Bacon.

I needed a few beers before I could take a long look.

IMO She prostituted her ethics but she’d never make it as a sex worker...

Posted by: Beibdnn | Sep 7 2020 17:50 utc | 26

journalism -- the activity or profession of writing for newspapers, magazines, or news websites or preparing news to be broadcast, all of this in accordance with mainstream media community standards which promote and do not detract from US government activities.

Dan Rather, an iconic US journalist: "Look I'm an American. I never tried to kid anybody that I'm some internationalist or something. And when my country is at war, I want my country to win, whatever the definition of 'win' might be. Now, I can't and don't argue that that is coverage without prejudice. About that I am prejudiced." So Dan brought us through the criminal war against Vietnam and the Nixon presidency. -- from Norman Solomon's "War Made Easy" -- How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Sep 7 2020 17:50 utc | 27

Western "journalists" are best described as "presstitutes" - the overwhelming majority of them

Posted by: Nathan Mulcahy | Sep 7 2020 17:54 utc | 28

U.S. War on Journalism waged by Trump and yet no mention of that. Trump could snap his fingers and Barr would close the case on Assange in a nanosecond. But Trump being the opportunist that he is benefitted from the DNC email dump and then threw Assange under the bus once he became President.

Posted by: Circe | Sep 7 2020 17:57 utc | 29

@jackrabbit , Yes the Russian link is a big one which is why I mentioned it. The thing with reputation as protection is that when it get damaged slander and accusations become more credible. The damage from the rape accusation made the next accusation more credible. It is kind of an avalanche effect. Caithlin Johnstone debunks a whole list of them. The Russian link was launched in June 2016 I think by the DNC (Ray McGovern pointed out that Jennifer Palmieri was selling it to everyone). By then there had already been many other damaging stories which made it an easy sell. The first major 'contribution' in damaging Assange's reputation came from the Guardian in 2011.

Posted by: Tuyzentfloot | Sep 7 2020 18:00 utc | 30

The Ministry of Injustice is quite clearly endorsing the United States "right" to try international citizens under an act that clearly should have jurisdictional limits to the boundaries of the country passing the act.

Posted by: William Heflin | Sep 7 2020 18:00 utc | 31

The white Western judeo-christian mass media cannot be trusted. It has and is losing its legitimacy in the mind of an increasingly larger portion of the general public.

Posted by: Ali | Sep 7 2020 18:03 utc | 32

Since the UK left the E.U, it is showing signs of transforming itself into a US puppet. We just need to hear Bojo claims "Make The UK Great Again"

For the E.U, the Uk departure is a "good riddance". Despite the UK intelligence endless efforts to prevent the E.U from getting closer to Russia, it is obvious that Russia and the EU will get closer and closer. The Skripals and the Navalny are clearly UK-US plots to disrupt the Nord Stream 2 and any potential collaboration between the UK and the E.U.
Merkel and Putin watch thiss dirty game unfolding. The UK was a snake in the EU, let us see now how it will be when absorbed by the US.

Posted by: Virgile | Sep 7 2020 18:23 utc | 33


to state the obvious, this really is astonishing in a very bad way.

The regime in the UK and in the US, personified by the "judge or executioner" are giving a giant F___ you, a middle finger, to the world of decency and justice, and no one including the prostitutes in MSM are trying or going to do a damn thing about it.

Posted by: Thomas Minnehan | Sep 7 2020 18:44 utc | 34

The self-styled "progressives" spew their virulent hate of Assange while supporting Manning and Reality Winner. They are a bit divided about Snowdon, since he fled to Russia.
They are really touchy about their double standards, and pointing these out will get you cancelled from any forum they control.

Posted by: Keith McClary | Sep 7 2020 18:53 utc | 35

Trump ordered Assange’s seizure by British police and wanted him dead. By Thomas Scripps and Chris Marsden. 3 March 2020.

"Journalist Cassandra Fairbanks has revealed an explosive series of communications on the case of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange between herself and Republican operative Arthur Schwartz.

They confirm that the attempted extradition of Assange is a criminal enterprise, aimed at silencing someone who has exposed US war crimes in Afghanistan and Iraq, and to intimidate all opponents of imperialist war. …"

https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2020/03/03/assa-m03.html

For info, Idk.

William Bowles - some Ok articles, etc.

https://williambowles.info

Posted by: Noirette | Sep 7 2020 18:58 utc | 36

An invisible "in your face" example of thorough control of information is, in fact, mis-information. To wit:

Congress never declared "war" in Vietnam.

The military actions were all a ruse...an in-your-face example. Up to 1963, the actions were not initiated by the military, which was belatedly handed "control" in that year, replacing covert US Agency control.

Posted by: chu teh | Sep 7 2020 18:58 utc | 37

donkeytale @8

Please tell us which so-called journalist on such MSNBC (really MSDNC) and kindred Blue Face leaning MSM outlets of whatever type (NYT, WaPo, The Atlantic; radio, NPR or tv) have a) kept us up-to-date on Julian Assange's wrongful imprisonment; have stood for his NOT being extradited; have recognized his journalistic value (his and Wikileaks); and have decried lies behind the Swedish stitch up....

They have not even mentioned the terrible conditions under which Ms Manning was summarily held until recently ($1,000/day fine for not capitulating to the government's demand that she tell tales about Mr Assange).

Moreover, where have the Blue Faces of DC been????? If their beloved Obama refused to have Assange extradited (but did that mean Mr Assange would be free to go? And what of the fact that the CIA - under BHO's watch filmed every minute of Assange's time in the Ecuadorian Embassy?) why have they not stood by that determination and used every tool in their power to push for his release????

Posted by: Anne | Sep 7 2020 18:59 utc | 38

You might have thought that somebody/anybody at Reuters might have stood up for JA given that of the eleven people murdered in the 2007 Apache assault in Baghdad, two were employed by Reuters.

Posted by: spudski | Sep 7 2020 19:01 utc | 39

I’m ashamed to be Australian. This trial makes me sick. He is an Australian citizen and he has been thrown to the wolves. Shame on us for our abject craven bootlicking.

Posted by: Patroklos | Sep 7 2020 19:25 utc | 40

chu teh @Sep7 18:58 #40

Yeah, they called it a "police action".

!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Sep 7 2020 19:29 utc | 41

donkeytale @Sep7 18:43 #36

I support Assange and believe him at worst to be a useful idiot at times but generally to be a courageous activist exercising free speech for the public good.

Well, that's a welcome change from your 2019 view that of Assange as "a media whore and drama queen."

!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Sep 7 2020 19:52 utc | 42

No sooner had John Helmer written his normal acerbic analysis of Navalny than his website has been taken down.
www.johnhelmer.net. Not a good time to be an investigative journalist.

Posted by: Keith | Sep 7 2020 20:12 utc | 43

@ 40 chu teh
Congress never declared "war" in Vietnam.
It's been well-established that wars can and do exist without declarations of any kind. The Constitution doesn't prohibit undeclared wars. It doesn't say: No war will be entered into without a declaration by Congress. It says: "The Congress shall have Power. . .To declare War. ."

Posted by: Don Bacon | Sep 7 2020 20:28 utc | 44

I can guarantee you in decades to come, there will be Assange Squares, Avenues, Streets or whatever places they choose to name after him.
The only things named after Bush, Obama or Trump will be more murder camps sponsored by the US Army, and maybe toilets or sewerage plants everywhere else in the world. The guy is a living legend. Shameful how he has been abandoned by his own Gov't and the countless colleagues who profited from his hard work, integrity and commitment to uncovering and exposing truth. Like him or hate him, his record is untarnished, 100% truth. Anyone who doesn't like Assange, doesn't like truth and reality.

If Trump had any decency, he would pardon Assange immediately. Such was Julian's contempt for the US, he deliberately tipped the scales against Hillary in 2016, imho in the knowledge that a Trump presidency would be the best way to bring the country down and stop the insanity.

The insanity continues nevertheless, yet somehow it feels like less people are listening to it or appear keen to follow it.

I sincerely hope we see Julian walking as a free man again one day. Australia sure could do with its own Mandela.

Posted by: Et Tu | Sep 7 2020 20:42 utc | 45


It is so obvious that the judge is determined to see Assange sent to the US that I can't understand why he is contesting the extradition. No agruement could possibly impact this judge's decision. She has made that clear. Why participate in this farce when the result is not in question? He has a much better chance in an American court room than he has in this one. His best hope is on appeal. He won't live long enough for that to happen at this rate.

Posted by: David | Sep 7 2020 21:07 utc | 46

@ 46 keith... try johnhelmer.org - he owns the 2 sites and usually one of the 2 are up.. coincidentally he has an article up today -
MH17 SHOW TRIAL GOES FOR THE JACKPOT – DEFENCE LAWYERS DON’T OBJECT

@ 50 david.. that is pretty much true.. a complete farce... what do you recommend here??

Posted by: james | Sep 7 2020 21:46 utc | 47

I have kept up to date on this trial from the beginning and find the proceedings to date a travesty of justice. Since Assange is an Australian, this trial gives a whole new meaning to the concept of a Kangaroo Court!

Posted by: Dick | Sep 7 2020 22:00 utc | 48

First of all, I think it's wrong to compare Julian Assange, a whiter than white man, who didn't grow up under racial oppression or spend over a decade in prison for fighting racism, to Mandela. There is no comparison.

Trump is an opportunist in business for Trump. He believes Manning is a traitor and Assange is disgraceful deserving of the death penalty.

Barr does everything and anything for Trump. If the case against Assange is proceeding, then it's because Trump has no problem with it.

Assange helped Trump and he paid a big price already, and when they put him in Federal supermax, where Epstein was held, he'll be lucky to get out alive, or not.

Trump is like Judas for Assange; the kiss of death.

Posted by: Circe | Sep 7 2020 22:17 utc | 49

Don Bacon | Sep 7 2020 20:28 utc | 47

Good catch and thanks indeed your clarification re constitution only says Congress has the power to declare war.

Posted by: chu teh | Sep 7 2020 22:45 utc | 50

You have to admit, Chelsea Manning was tortured in prison, held for 7 years and survived. Julian Assange has been detained in prison for a year or less and is barely recognizable. Manning has guts. I don't think Assange can survive the U.S. prison system if he is barely surviving detention in the U.K.

Posted by: Circe | Sep 7 2020 22:54 utc | 51

donkeytale | Sep 7 2020 18:43 utc | 36:

The clarification is appreciated. There needs to be room for differing opinions without recrimination.

Posted by: David G | Sep 7 2020 22:55 utc | 52

@ 55 circe... i disagree with your take on assange... being in the equador embassy was a type of prison, only to lead to being put in belmarsh prison... he is been held captive for many years.. your lack of empathy and compassion - something you have accused me of not having - is clearly on display in your post here... and why compare them in this way??? they have both suffered at the hands of an international system that is clearly deranged and lacking of any integrity or respect..

Posted by: james | Sep 7 2020 23:13 utc | 53

Circe @ #55 (subconsciously?) revels in the same myths that Caitlyn Johnstone has pushed back so hard against. Ah yes, Circe he sure is ugly now and frail isn't he. And you have first-hand details about his time at Belmarsh I'm sure as well. Thank you for showing the lack of compassion in the USA pwogwessive psyche.

Posted by: _K_C_ | Sep 7 2020 23:17 utc | 54

David | Sep 7 2020 21:07 utc | 50:

Why participate in this farce when the result is not in question?
That’s a reasonable question, but maybe it’s better to fight them every inch of the way. If they’re going to devour him anyway, at least make the bastards work for it.

I do have an admittedly optimistic, but I think not unrealistic, hope that the U.S. jail will be an improvement over what Assange is undergoing now, hopefully giving him some chance to recover his health. The U.S. program is obviously to destroy him, but that won’t necessarily take the form of intolerable conditions in custody. Unlike Manning’s initial experience in the brig at the mercy of the Marines, I don’t think there is a focus on crushing Assange is that particular way.

Of course, I also had hopes that his transfer to the hospital wing at Belmarsh would offer some relief, which definitely proved *not* to be the case: the Brits are making the most of this opportunity to torment him in every sadistic and petty way they can

Posted by: David G | Sep 7 2020 23:18 utc | 55

What they are doing to Assange is a huge injustice, but no one East or West give a helping hand, it seems.

Posted by: Smith | Sep 7 2020 23:34 utc | 56

Smith @Sep7 23:34 #60

... but no one East or West give a helping hand ...

Well, it seems to me that help from the East would be counter-productive.

!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Sep 7 2020 23:45 utc | 57

And, still, the Australian Government and Australian "media" just keeps smiling and pretending there is nothing wrong with spending life on your knees in front of unzipped fly.

As if we need more reason to despise our political and "thought" leaders.

The nation I was born in is doomed to collapse into irrelevancy, if not there already.

Posted by: Jon_in_AU | Sep 7 2020 23:47 utc | 58

@ Jackrabbit

Why? It's better for Assange to live, not to die, yes.

This is just torturing him, expecting his enemies to just free him is retarded.

!!

Posted by: Smith | Sep 8 2020 0:00 utc | 59

Don Bacon | Sep 7 2020 20:28 utc | 47

...but further to my Sep 7 2020 22:45 utc | 54...

The Constitution, Article 1,Section 8 does state that Congress has the power "To declare war, grant letters of marque and reprisal, and make rules concerning captures on land and water;"

But Section 1 of Article 1, which governs Section 8, states ...

"Section 1.
All legislative powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives."

Thus it would seem only Congress has those powers "vested".

This is also applicable to the power "To coin money, regulate the value thereof, and of foreign coin, and fix the standard of weights and measures;"

Bankers, lawyers, advisors et al may be rewarded to respectfully disagree. Thus redefinition of words can always be employed to "use the law to defeat the law". E.g., corporations are persons; war is not war unless Congress declares it a war; if there are no marks or long-term effects it isn't torture; ...

Posted by: chu teh | Sep 8 2020 0:10 utc | 60

Posted by: Circe | Sep 7 2020 22:17 utc | 53 when they put him in Federal supermax, where Epstein was held, he'll be lucky to get out alive, or not.

Wrong. A Federal supermax is about the safest place you can be incarcerated. You are in lockdown 23 hours out of 24 and the one hour you're allowed out you are either in a fenced cage or you're in the showers with only one or two other prisoners. And it's quite likely that Assange, being "political", will be kept separate from all other inmates - most of whom probably like him anyway because he screwed the US government. As long as he keeps his nose clean with other inmates, he'll be fine (aside from whatever medical issues he brings with him, of course.)

I spent two years, three and a half months, under those conditions at Leavenworth Penitentiary (not a supermax, but in "the Hole" the same rules apply.) Not a problem. Not that it was fun, of course...

In general, this is a done deal - Assange will be extradited, given another show trial in the US and sentenced to life in Federal prison. Short of some future US President pardoning him (like Clinton pardoned Marc Rich in exchange for some expensive furniture for Hillary), that's where he'll stay. One more proof that no one in the US - at least no one who is opposed to US policies - has the power to affect what the US government does.

Anyone want to save Assange? Put up the money, hire the guys to break him out of prison and fly him to Russia or China. That's your option.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Sep 8 2020 0:10 utc | 61

If only Assange were a Black man-woman-thing with a severe hangup on exotic pronouns he would get sympathy from brain damaged and hysterical Democrat party trolls like Circe.

Go let Biden grope you and whisper sweet nothings in your ear, Circe. We know you've been pining for that all year.

Posted by: William Gruff | Sep 8 2020 0:19 utc | 62

Circe | Sep 7 2020 22:17 utc | 53:

… Federal supermax, where Epstein was held …
Epstein was in pre-trial lockup in Lower Manhattan, not actually a Federal prison at all, let alone a supermax.

Posted by: David G | Sep 8 2020 0:36 utc | 63

Smith @Sep8 0:00 #63

Why? It's better for Assange to live, not to die, yes.

What kind of scenario are you imagining?
  • Lobbying for his release would be used as proof that Assange and Wikileaks were agents of whatever country is complaining.
  • Breaking him out - or providing funds to others that break him out - would be fraught with risks up to war.

<> <> <> <>

What's needed is that people in the West recognize his value as a check on the establishment. Wikileaks is more than a publisher, they are a Movement. And Assange is more than a dissident, he is this generation's Truth-teller.

Whistle-blower Truths Matter (WTM)

!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Sep 8 2020 0:55 utc | 64

@donkeytail Post 34


It's more sordid, confounding and ultimately heart-breaking than your summary (#34) In the Spring of 2017, Comey had actually agreed to drop the case...but before it was announced Comey got his marching orders from Trump. Pronto arrived the Special Counsel -within 2 days before or after Comey's exit, I need to check those twisty moves which were more a consequence of the insider conspirators' Get Trump! mission than any specific attack on Assange per se. Nonetheless the offer of resolution evaporated...that he might have walked free...but for an ongoing coup effort in a foreign land. Big Sigh. Plenty of dirty hands on all sides. Very sad.

Posted by: Anne | Sep 8 2020 2:06 utc | 65

Some good people should jump the judge and just trash her and leave her with some broken bones and ribs. See how it feels to be abused.

Posted by: Kouros | Sep 8 2020 2:19 utc | 66

I'm not sure why posters imagine Mr Assange would be safe in Russia and probably not China either, although I remain unsure of that as I don't think wikileaks have had to publish the number of China exposes WL has run. They certainly did with Russia though pointing out that under Mr Assange's editorship WL had published several thousand articles & leaks on corruption across all levels of government in Russia. They did it back when dembots like the circe moron kept pushing out lies about Mr Assange being a Russian troll.
Wikileaks has always been an objective publisher that will run any story about any corrupt institution once it has been verified. As I'm sure many of you are aware unlike the media outlets many here appear addicted to, Wikileaks has never been shown to have published an untruth.
That alone should be sufficient reason for the world to rise up - but of course it won't.

One more thing re the point ToivoS made at #11, Wilson didn't even free Gene Debs after the war ended, Debs was kept in federal prison until amerikans elected a rethug prez, Warren Harding. Harding set him free in 1922 by which time Debs, a man older than Mr Assange had developed a cardiovascular disease which killed him in 1926.
It is important to remember that Debs like Assange was a victim of that democrat party revenge punish anyone on the left who isn't a dem program that the circe dembot so cruelly demonstrates on this site.
dems hated Debs because his road to socialism began when as a dem party member he got frustrated at the indolence, corruption & compromise endemic to that gang of crooks & patsies, he resigned from the dems & went his own way. As an immensely popular & talented politician he garnered a substantial share of lefty votes whenever he ran for prez.
That begs the question, if Gore had won in 2000, how likely would it have been that Ralph Nader would have been slotted up on some bogus charge? A dead set certainty I reckon.

Posted by: Debsisdead | Sep 8 2020 2:43 utc | 67

Debsisdead @71: "I'm not sure why posters imagine Mr Assange would be safe in Russia..."

Very true. The CIA would probably think it's funny to novichok him in front of Saint Basil's Cathedral for maximum effect on the western population of meat robots. The murder site would end up on heavy rotation on TV, pumped into the flaccid minds of brainwashed mass media consumers, and that cathedral is one of the only landmarks in Russia that the remote controlled couch vegetables would recognize.

Posted by: William Gruff | Sep 8 2020 2:57 utc | 68

@ 72 william gruff.. i am sure the cia would like to pull off a similar act on snowden.... as it is they have to settle for navalny - their man, until he wasn't...

Posted by: james | Sep 8 2020 3:26 utc | 69

MCC is a Federal Prison that has a supermax wing where prisoners are in lockdown 23 of 24 hours. It's a terrible, inhumane place they call the Guantanamo of New York.

james, William Gruff and KC

Look, I do feel very badly for Assange, and no, his time in the Embassy cannot compare to prison, even though he was stuck there. Puh-lease! Why do you think he deteriorated so fast once he was in a real prison and didn't so much in the Embassy??? What kind of idiot do you play me for? First, the Mandela comparison and now the Embassy is as bad as prison. Ask him which is worst!

I'm angry that some of you dimwits think Trump has nothing to do with Assange's suffering plus the absolute worst ordeal of his life he now faces! WAKE UP, DAMN YOU. Trump is a soul-less heartless scumbag! He could have snapped his fingers and have Barr stop the extradition request on some technicality months ago.

As Richard Steven Hack put it, Assange is facing life in prison. This is very serious. He's at death's door, and still Trump gets a pass around here? All for effing Russia! You all are the shameless ones.

Posted by: Circe | Sep 8 2020 3:28 utc | 70

caitlin johnstone article hits into this for those interested..

Australia Suddenly Cares About Its Journalists When They Get In Trouble In China

circe, he was deteriorating before he got to the prison... he has been under constant harassment for about 10 years... no one is saying the time at the embassy is the same as the fucking prison... but the past 10 years have been fucked for him.. it is too bad you can't see that and only want to talk about your fucking anti hero trump..

Posted by: james | Sep 8 2020 3:52 utc | 71

Most Americans, including high-ranking army officers and experienced diplomats, now have a total negative opinion of the Iraq war, from start to finish, as they should. We must assume that Wikileaks' release of almost 400,000 classified Iraq war documents, revealing much of the truth about the war, contributed to these negative opinions.

So now any reprise of Operation Iraqi Freedom in any other country has little chance. We must thank Assange and Wikileaks for contributing to this pleasant change in US behavior which includes dropping regime change wars and planning (and equipping) instead for a big one with China, and/or maybe Russia (good luck on that).

Posted by: Don Bacon | Sep 8 2020 3:52 utc | 72

Circe,

You have no idea what it is like to be holed up in a small room of an embassy with the world's most lawless country using its lapdogs to imprison you and surveil your every move, intercept and cut off you communication and the "liberal" mainstream media publishes story after story of how "discourteous" you are and how bad your hygeine is. Yeah so maybe he had some better food than the cold 3-day old frito pie they serve in American (and British?) jails/prisons, but what he didn't have was any sort of closure or idea of what ultimately faced him. Then, in violation of international and British law, the lapdog Brits allow the embassy to be stormed after it became obvious that the new Ecuadorian president was a sellout to the IMF and it was published that Assange had been spied on by a Spanish company at the behest of the "intelligence" community and the Trump AG.

I am not sure where you get the idea that any of us *don't* blame Trump for this. It's been said over and over - Obama actively chose not to bring charges, whether his administration had a role in what's happening now or not and Trump chose to file them and take the next step to his extradition on bullsh*t charges way outside of any American jurisdiction. Somewhat hilariously (if his predicament wasn't so dire) the fact that Trump doesn't pardon Assange immediately would seem to fly in the face of the "Q" nonsense, but of course "Q" is himself playing 11 dimensional chess and somehow this show trial and eventual extradition and Show Trial II represent Trump striking out at the "deep state" or the "Democrat controlled intelligence community." It's a shit show on all sides for sure.

But you are probably the least qualified among us here to make judgments about Assange's condition based on his looks as depicted in the Western media. Were there frequent photos of Chelsea nee Bradley manning published while he/she was imprisoned? No. So you have zero anecdotal comparison points to go by there as well.

Just an all around bitter, toxic attitude you have about Assange and it's even more evident when your Trump Derangement Syndrome causes you to attribute Trump defending behavior to people like me, Gruff and others that any person with a brain would have realized long ago are the farthest thing from supporters or apologists for the Mango Mussolini.

Posted by: _K_C_ | Sep 8 2020 4:59 utc | 73

Don Bacon @Sep8 3:52 #76

We must thank Assange and Wikileaks for contributing to this pleasant change in US behavior which includes dropping regime change wars and planning (and equipping) instead for a big one with China, and/or maybe Russia (good luck on that).

USA wasn't deterred from Libyan intervention or the proxy war in Syria. And today USA occupies Syria and still remains in Iraq and Afghanistan. So I don't think Assange or Wikileads can be blamed or credited for deterring USA/Empire from any adventurism.

And the Cold War with Russia and China was inevitable when Russia chose to align with China. A "choice" that was really forced upon them because USA/Empire only sought submission from them after the end of the first Cold War in 1991. A point that Kissinger obliquely and succinctly made when he said that nobody foresaw the ability for Russians to absorb pain (the pain inflicted by USA with "economic shock therapy' in the 1990's).

The new Cold Wars (which are really hybrid wars) can be laid at the feet of the Deep State that failed to bring Russia into the West after helping China rise to a point that it could challenge USA/Empire. That was a strategic mistake by the double-down crowd of exceptional asshats.

Helping China rise was meant to isolate Russia. And it mostly worked - paid for with the loss of USA manufacturing and USA middle-class with it. But USA/Empire then needed Russia on-side to isolate China. As the exceptional asshats try to correct that "mistake" we can expect that ordinary people of USA and Europe will pay dearly in blood and treasure. Positioning the public to be supremely f*cked (once again) is Trump's job.

!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Sep 8 2020 5:00 utc | 74

What is going on lately around here where I can make one post in a thread and then any subsequent posts are flushed into oblivion? In order to make this one I am using a proxy server. I made a long reply to Circe about Julian Assange and it just disappeared...poof. Is there a technical issue on this platform that might cause that or is b or someone working for him actively and/or randomly picking posts or IP addresses and blocking them? Anyone have any idea?

Posted by: _K_C_ | Sep 8 2020 5:02 utc | 75

Hmmph....I guess I was wrong. Maybe just a delay. Ne'er mind.

Posted by: _K_C_ | Sep 8 2020 5:02 utc | 76

_K_C_ @Sep8 4:59 @77

Don't waste your breathe on Circe the dembot troll.

He (yeah, he's a guy) is playing the establishment game by focusing on Trump as the embodiment of evil.

<> <> <> <> <> <>

Readers must learn to recognize the tell-tale signs of a Trump apologist trolls and dembot trolls. They are two sides of the same Empire coin.

!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Sep 8 2020 5:08 utc | 77

_K_C_ Sep8 5:02 #79

I made a long reply to Circe about Julian Assange and it just disappeared...poof.

I see your comment @77, it starts:
You have no idea what it is like to be holed up in a small room of an embassy with the world's most lawless country using its lapdogs to imprison you and surveil your every move, intercept and cut off you communication and the "liberal" mainstream media publishes story after story of how "discourteous" you are and how bad your hygeine is.

!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Sep 8 2020 5:11 utc | 78

No journalists left now. They are all Mockingbirds, even most of alt media . They all will be well represented when Nurmberg II comes around. No mercy for them.

Posted by: Kay Fabe | Sep 8 2020 5:17 utc | 79

Rabbit,

Roger that. 10-4 on the fact that you're able to see my comment as well.

IIRC, wasn't Circe like *SUPER DUPER* pro-Bernie until Super Tuesday when Biden won a bunch of states that a) don't matter at all when it's time for the general (South Carolina, Arkansas, etc.) or b) were obvious signs of malfeasance b/c exit polling in places like Massachusetts showed Warren winning, but the unverifiable final tally giving Biden the win and Warren a distant 2nd?

Then, on cue, Mr. Judas Goat Sheepdog immediately drops out and kisses the ring of Joe Biden and the establishment corporate (this includes MIC corporations) whore DNC.

Yes, 2016 would have taught anyone who has a shred of reasoning skills that Bernie was playing a role, but even I was thinking he might actually do it this time around - silly me. But at least now I don't have to worry so much about it. My socialist European country provides very well for me and my hosts, courtesy of my tax dollars that go to things which benefit us and not some bloated military gangster complex or corrupt financial institutions that should in no way be FDIC insurable.

Posted by: _K_C_ | Sep 8 2020 5:24 utc | 80

james @Sep8 3:52 #75

That's awesome reporting and commentary from CJ.

!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Sep 8 2020 5:27 utc | 81

Actually, I think Amendment VI, as opposed to amendment V, of the USA constitution might be a better defense.. for Assange.. " It says " in all criminal prosecutions.. (<=meaning domestic or foreign persons?) the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy trial and public trial, by an impartial jury of the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defense.

His trial has not been speedy <=so the case should be dismissed?
His trial must be public <= very interesting outcomes come to mind
impartial jury, from a place where crime was committed.. <=
be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation...<=
be confronted with th witnesses against him.. <= wonder who that might be?
to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor.. who might that be?
to have assistance of counsel for his defense.. <=


below are comments about other amendments and rights..

Thanks for this timely post, b.
I read an article about this Kangaroo court trial yesterday which I thought was on SST or Strategic Culture Foundation. But can't find it at either place today.

Anyhow, the author was talking about AmeriKKKa's 5th Amendment and whether or not it applied to Assange. He asserted that a US trial of Assange, under the ancient Espionage Act, SHOULD be impossible and illegal. This is because Assange is not a US Citizen and the Espionage Act applies ONLY to US Citizens employed in "sensitive" roles who have signed an Oath not to disclose secrets they discover in the course of their employment.

Its not AmeriKKKa's 5th Amendment,, the amendment was made to the Founders who wrote the Constitution .. the Founders themselves were forced to amendement their constitution by very upset and angry Americans at the time.
If those ten amendment are changed, modified, or eliminated or expanded or the government itself fails to honor and enforce those ten amendments, there is no constitution and without a constitution, there is no authority for anyone to govern, except at the point of a gun. Those ten amendments are all that keep the Oligarchs from using the Authority of the Constitution and the government that operates under it from just doing away with the pesky Americans it must take the trouble to manage.

by: Hoarsewhisperer @ 14

There is a very rational argument that this is not about assange but about the precedent, about press freedom. It's a valid argument. The question then is why so few are motivated by it.by: Tuyzentfloot @ 24

<= I don't think so.. when it comes to the agreement made between the anti-federalist and the federalist Americans understand that ratification of the Founders 1787 Philadelphia generated Constitution of the USA there was<=then and is =>now many angry people about it. Those angry people (called Anti federalist) agreed to the ratification of the Founders constitution, if and only if conditions precedent to the ratification were included as amendments and enforced . .. all ten of the first amendments were conditions precedent to the ratification.. if the USA fails to honor any of them for any reason, does not the constitution automatically end? its that simple .. no argument exist except maybe if they kill you or nuke your neighborhood, can change the fact that the 1st 10 amendments must not only be honored by all who serve under the Constitution but must also be enforced by the government against the governors as well as against all public and private interests operating within the jurisdiction of the governing power of the USA.. If there is anything that would make a revolution by the people justified it seems to me, failure on the part of the government to honor those preconditions would be high on the list. Those ten amendments are not just ten amendments tmade by law under Article I, they are the essence of, and basis for, the authority for the existing government to pay governors to manage the government, because that authority comes to the constitution through ratification.


A key part of these Espionage Act prosecutions are that they are brought forward as strict liability offenses, that he signed something. It seems that there is no evidence whatsoever in favor of the U.S. government that he signed anything to agree to not disclose information. by: Hoarsewhisperer @ 25 <= Still the question is jurisdication over a foreign person in violation of a USA law. Also the documents are labeled confidential is there any international law that would allow USA law to attach because of that label? ?

The Ministry of Injustice is quite clearly endorsing the United States "right" to try international citizens under an act that clearly should have jurisdictional limits to the boundaries of the country passing the act.

by: William Heflin @ 32 <= it seems there are, but there must be an international law, treaty or agreement for them to do that.. and still as already pointed out Assange is not a USA citizen. . so where is the authority.. ?


They confirm that the attempted extradition of Assange is a criminal enterprise, aimed at silencing someone who has exposed US war crimes in Afghanistan and Iraq, and to intimidate all opponents of imperialist war. …"

https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2020/03/03/assa-m03.html For info, Idk. William Bowles - some Ok articles, etc.

https://williambowles.info by: Noirette @ 39 <= thank you for the link.. I think you hit the nail on its head..
criminal enterprise using the power of the nation state to silence someone.. It is important I think to assign responsibility clearly. The nation state cannot do anything it is a structural paper tiger.. so its like a corporation, and if the corporation favors criminals, then the corporation will be managed by salaried persons for the benefit of rich privileged criminals.


I don't think the intense interest to get Assange is about control of communications. or even about any particular thing his work disclosed, nor do i think this prosecution is about precedent.. as above suggested.. I think its about total international control over all nation states. Remember federalism was about sucking to the center and top all state power.. and all individual power.. no one would be allowed to breath without a license. That is what the Framers wanted from their USA constitution and it was exactly what the Anti Federalist did not want. .. Nothing has changed the fact that the Constitution is authoritative only so long as it honors those conditions precedent. infringement of one of the ten amendments should quash the constitution and deny the government that then sits.

chu teh @ 64 discovers article I of the Constitution of the USA gives legislative powers.. to the USA congress, but the question is not "law" its constitutional authority, to apply the foreign espionage act [Law] written by the Congress under Article I, to convict a foreign born, non USA citizen person.

IANAL.. very interesting issues Assange case.

Posted by: snake | Sep 8 2020 5:47 utc | 82

Assange is an Australian citizen. The Australian government - my government - should be screaming bloody murder over his treatment, and yet the silence is deafening.

Shameful. Utterly and completely shameful.

I thought we were better than this.
Certainly Assange deserves way better than this.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Sep 8 2020 6:02 utc | 83

Posted by: Patroklos | Sep 7 2020 19:25 utc | 43
Posted by: Jon_in_AU | Sep 7 2020 23:47 utc | 62
Posted by: Yeah, Right | Sep 8 2020 6:02 utc | 87
etc.

Have any of you ashamed Australians, sent a communication to appropriate politicians or written to or otherwise contacted local (Oz) mainstream media?

Posted by: tucenz | Sep 8 2020 6:46 utc | 84

Posted by: Circe | Sep 8 2020 3:28 utc | 74 MCC is a Federal Prison that has a supermax wing where prisoners are in lockdown 23 of 24 hours. It's a terrible, inhumane place they call the Guantanamo of New York.

Technically it's not a "supermax wing" - it's called "Administrative Detention". Meaning you get put there if you 1) don't follow the rules, 2) are a physical threat to yourself or others, or 3)the Feds feel like it. You might also end up if you're in transit between facilities and they don't want to bother taking the time to admit you to Gen Pop. ADs are in every prison, regardless of the level of prisoner normally housed there.

I spent a total of three years, plus three and a half months, on various occasions, in ADs. I preferred it since I didn't have to interact with the rest of the morons (prisoners and staff). The Leavenworth staff hated me so much for doing this they denied me release money - except the 14 cents that remained on my books - you usually get $100 or so - or admission to a half-way house on release - which even a major drug dealer would probably get.

Fuck 'em. They'll get theirs.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Sep 8 2020 6:02 utc | 87 I thought we were better than this.

We're not (who is this "we", Kimosavee?). That's what I keep telling people. Assange should have stayed an anonymous hacker with decent OPSEC, he might be free now.

Posted by: snake | Sep 8 2020 5:47 utc | 86

Where is the authority? There is none. The Anti-Federalists lost. That's why the 2nd Amendment phrasing was changed to emphasis the *state militia*, not the *individual* "right" to "keep and bear arms", which the original phrasing emphasized. Now the "authority" is - whatever some government flack says it is. The "authority" is there because there isn't anyone capable of taking it away (short of nuclear war by an outside state). Arguing points of "Constitutional law" is irrelevant - Obama was a frickin' "Constitutional law expert" (supposedly) - how'd that work out for everyone?

Assange is finished. End of story. And after they get rid of him, they'll start in on finding a way to gut Wikileaks itself and everyone who works for or with it. The goal - which they probably won't achieve - is to burn *leakers* by making them think twice. They may not achieve that, but they can go a long way to making whistleblowers less common.

The guys who did the "Blue Leaks" have the right idea - hack and release. Forget about "going public". The only reason Snowden is still alive and out of prison is because the US screwed up and canceled his passport while he was still in a Russian airport. If he'd gotten anywhere else, he'd be dead or in prison now.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Sep 8 2020 7:06 utc | 85

@ 55 circe... i disagree with your take on assange... being in the equador embassy was a type of prison, only to lead to being put in belmarsh prison... he is been held captive for many years.. your lack of empathy and compassion - something you have accused me of not having - is clearly on display in your post here... and why compare them in this way??? they have both suffered at the hands of an international system that is clearly deranged and lacking of any integrity or respect..

Posted by: james | Sep 7 2020 23:13 utc | 57

the man fathered two children while holed up in a room at hte equadorian embassy, while Chelsea Manning was locked up in a brig as a transwomen. funnily enough the dumbfuck got himself in to the situation he is now - not because of awesome journalism - but because he fucked the wrong women without a condom. He ain't no journalist, he is a stenographer at best. The risk were carried by those that blew the whistle, he just leaked the material. He has got no guts, and very little honor. Fathering two children to be milked as cashcow in the future when daddy asange is dead.

Posted by: Sabine | Sep 8 2020 7:27 utc | 86

The much vaunted British justice system shows its true colours. I hope that Baraitser Woman has a miserable life.

Posted by: Ike | Sep 8 2020 7:49 utc | 87

Kouros (#70) has the best take on actions to be taken concerning the farcical Kangaroo Court show extradition proceeding now being conducted against Julian Assange only because he exposed yankee war crimes. The British regime reveals itself as a Vichy-like lapdog in its grovelling to the yankee imperium's efforts to keep its criminal imperial record secrat.

Posted by: exiled off mainstree | Sep 8 2020 9:04 utc | 88

Good to see this column's support for such a historically important cause. The public torture and destruction of the publisher Julian Assange, his smearing, outlandish persecution as prosecution, and the lack of a concerted, organized, international mass-based resistance against it by so-called 'progressives' at this point in history, is deeply disappointing. Collectively, we are sending a message to the Powers That Be, that we will permit this. A dangerous and obvious state of generalized political weakness that will most certainly be noted, expanded upon, and exploited even more ruthlessly.

Posted by: John Gilberts | Sep 8 2020 9:16 utc | 89

Censoring Dissent: Chomsky on Assange

https://youtu.be/bpxG3WU4JCk

"He's being sacrificed - we'll stay silent."


For coverage of Julian Assange extradition hearing go to

https://assangedefense.org

Posted by: John Gilberts | Sep 8 2020 9:33 utc | 90

It is the justice system that is on trial.
The sham trial draws attention to Mr Assange.
One might think that is the purpose.
Which would mean we are dropping the pretenses.

Posted by: jared | Sep 8 2020 10:28 utc | 91

Perhaps the best way to deal with Julian’s situation would be a hostage exchange! But who would be of equal political value ?
And who would have the motivation and resources to bring about such a development.
The above I hasten to add is pure speculation.

Posted by: Mark2 | Sep 8 2020 10:35 utc | 92

Talking about double standards: Australian journalist in slightly uncomfortable sitaution saved by australian government

Posted by: Gary | Sep 8 2020 11:25 utc | 93

If the USe,rules and application of US of North A law is to reign as the Supremes of chanting "Rule of Law"as their set roles, then what use is there for international law or human rights laws? All British members of parliament should pack their bags when Washington D.C. passes their laws for Great Britain and City of London is the preferred shapers and authors of the national budget of insolvent states to come.
Great Britain is abrogating its agreement on extradiction of criminal offenders (not political offenders) with Hòng Kóng now these days. In HK and Mainland China, the sentenced people tend to reappear after some years of incersation. In USA and UG/GB, they are disappeared or tortured into death or insanity. In China, they sometimes reappear as respected Pary members (cf."La revo cul dans la Chine pop").

Posted by: Tollef Ås/秋涛乐 | Sep 8 2020 12:14 utc | 94

As my personal belief, I belive Assange is somewhat akin to Edward Snowden, beholden to MSM media in a belief that they would uphold truth and justice -- and paid to believe suchamuch.
Unfortunately for both, the gratest First Gods have always wanted to devour their own offspring, à la the Titans. but Titans will fail cause their fall wights too much to avoid crutch an crashes with reality. "Was wunderschönheit!" and true justice a-coming down the road for them along Highway 66!-

Posted by: Tollef Ås/秋涛乐 | Sep 8 2020 12:44 utc | 95

I won't even dignify _K_C_ 's delusional diatribe.

Richard Steven Hack is right, Assange is finished, and no amount of howling and pulling out one's hair will change that, and Trump is fully to blame!

*************

I don't give a damn if you all want to canonize Assange but it's demeaning to compare Mandela's 27-year imprisonment, 18 years of which sleeping on a straw cot in an 8x7 cell at night, breaking stone into gravel and getting blinded working in a lime quarry by day, hard labor, to Julian Assange fathering children, skateboarding, surfing the net and receiving hundreds of guests and celebrities who brought him goodies in his flat at the Ecuadorian Embassy!

Manning spent 7 years in a real Federal U.S. prison, was tortured, and then thrown into prison again by Trump's justice department for refusing to throw Assange under the bus! Would Assange have done as much for Manning, having had a taste of prison himself for just a year??? I seriously doubt it! Yes I'll compare the two, damn straight I will! Manning has real guts, risked everything for the truth and went back to prison rather than rat on Assange.

Don't give me your deluded feedback or try to peg me as not compassionate when you know me from squat! I don't agree with Assange being extradited to the barbaric U.S. prison system. It's wrong and yes he suffered enough, but much less than Mandela or Manning, and no, he does not possess their character and consequently I do not have to respect him to the degree I respect them, only because you demand it, but he is a human being, and he should be treated as such with full legal and human rights. Why don't you write your precious Trump, that you lauded for years here and squeal and rail against the bastard that refuses to end Assange's misery and yet has all the power to do so???

Trashing me because I respect honor and integrity to the degree I do ain't gonna advance the fight for Assange's freedom.

Someone brought up Mandela in a context that undermines his life struggle and suffering. Blame that person for triggering the truth I feel should prevail at all times.

Posted by: Circe | Sep 8 2020 13:20 utc | 96

Most Americans, including high-ranking army officers and experienced diplomats, now have a total negative opinion of the Iraq war, from start to finish, as they should.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Sep 8 2020 3:52 utc | 72

The curious point is that a good proportion of the Iraqi population had had enough of Saddam by 2003. They didn't exactly welcome the US as liberators, Iraqis are not like that, but they didn't fight to defend him either. The US could have built on that attitude but didn't bother. It was entirely down to the appalling behaviour of the US military (and often the British) in occupation that the resistance developed. I don't suppose those "high-ranking army officers" are going to blame themselves (though of course they were not the only Americans responsible).

Posted by: Laguerre | Sep 8 2020 13:53 utc | 97

Laguerre @97

If the US Marines were in Paris to get Macroon, would the French people come out to protect him? I think maybe a few, but nothing the marines couldn't handle. This would particularly be the case if the capitalist mass media spent a year or so beforehand softening the French population up with tales of Macroon's brutality, authoritarianism, and general evilness.

Posted by: William Gruff | Sep 8 2020 14:03 utc | 98

You really believe Australia's PM didn't speak to Trump privately about Assange's prosecution?

Wouldn't you all like to have been a fly in on that conversation?

I could just hear Trump saying: You know, leaking U.S. classified military material is a very serious offense.

Trump is a fascist thug who hates leakers and whistleblowers even if this one did his campaign a favor. Trump will not make Assange the exception. He really believes that what Assange did leaking classified military material should be punished with the death penalty, and that's what he'd push for with anyone else. No doubt thinks he's cutting Assange slack with only prison, and Assange should be grateful for that.

That's all. That's your boy Trump. So eat that!

What's Assange compared to what's good for Russia, riiiight? HA! So much hypocrisy behind the scenes here, it's laughable.

Posted by: Circe | Sep 8 2020 14:17 utc | 99

Posted by: William Gruff | Sep 8 2020 14:03 utc | 98

I think you'll find the English-language media give you a very false image of Macron. France has quite a big army to get in the way of the marines, the situations are not the same in any way. The French would certainly fight to defend their country, they just complain a lot. But they've done OK out of Macron. You've evidently conveniently forgotten what Saddam was like.

Posted by: Laguerre | Sep 8 2020 14:21 utc | 100

next page »

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Working...
Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.

Working...

Post a comment

Working...