Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
January 04, 2021

British Judge Rejects Assange Extradition

This was unexpected. The British district court judge Vanessa Baraitser rejected the U.S. extradition request against Julian Assange:

Kevin Gosztola - 11:07 UTC · Jan 4, 2021
BREAKING: Judge rules against US extradition of Julian Assange, contending extradition would be oppressive by reason of Assange’s mental health

The British judge said that the U.S. prison system is too brutal to be trusted with the health of Assange.

Kevin Gosztola @kgosztola - 10:57 UTC · Jan 4, 2021
Baraitser says Assange is at high risk of suicide and that there is a "real risk" he will be detained subject to special administrative measures (SAMs) in US prison, especially because intelligence community is hostile to him
Baraitser: Extradition would be oppressive by reason of Assange’s mental health
The United States government's mass incarceration system just lost them their case against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange
Holy shit, the judge ends saying she is satisfied that procedures described by US would not prevent Assange from finding a way to commit suicide in US supermax prison
The judge and defense are discussing an application for bail. US government is going to immediately appeal.

The full ruling is available here.

Caitlin Johnstone @caitoz - 11:14 UTC · Jan 4, 2021

UPDATE: Judge ordered no extradition for Assange, and orders him released from Belmarsh Prison, both due to suicide risk concerns. The US has confirmed that it will appeal extradition ruling. He's still jailed, court is in recess and then they'll discuss possible bail or release.

It's likely they'll keep him jailed until after the US appeals the ruling, as Medhurst explains. We're definitely not out of the woods yet. But getting out of Belmarsh is excellent.

This is not a win for freedom of speech or a free press. The judge has accepted the U.S. prosecution arguments against Assange. The extradition rejection is solely on humanitarian grounds.

Anyway, the British government seems to have grown a spine? We can then hope that the U.S.government's appeal will fail.

Posted by b on January 4, 2021 at 11:19 UTC | Permalink

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Unexpected is an understatement.
Is this real, or for show in which case he'll be sent to the US after appeal?

Posted by: Jim | Jan 4 2021 11:24 utc | 1

Very nice, if true. I think the explanation would be that they don't want to stir things up further at this point, you can already smell the grapeshot.

Posted by: Bemildred | Jan 4 2021 11:29 utc | 2

And when they were gathered together, Pilate said unto them: whether will ye that I give loose unto you, Barabbas, or Iesus which is called Christ?

18 For he knew well, that for envy they had delivered him.

19 When he was set down to give judgement, his wife sent to him, saying: have thou nothing to do with that just man, I have suffered many things this day in my sleep about him.

20 The chief priests and the seniors had persuaded the people, that they should ask Barabbas, and should destroy Iesus.

21 The deputy answered and said unto them: whether of the twain will ye that I let loose unto you? And they said, Barabbas.

22 Pilate said unto them: what shall I do then with Iesus, which is called Christ? They all said to him: let him be crucified.

23 Then said the deputy: what evil hath he done? And they cried the more saying: let him be crucified.

24 When Pilate saw that he prevailed nothing, but that more business was made, he took water and washed his hands before the people saying: I am innocent of the blood of this just person, and that ye shall see.

25 Then answered all the people, and said: his blood fall on us, and on our children.

26 Then let he Barabbas loose unto them, and scourged Iesus, and delivered him to be crucified.

-- Mathew 27 (TNT)

Posted by: Arch Bungle | Jan 4 2021 11:39 utc | 3

Bugger me, that's unexpected!
Still, we'll see what happens next , I'm not trusting any of those bastards yet....

Posted by: Jon L | Jan 4 2021 11:40 utc | 4

The court document states "410. I order the discharge of Julian Paul Assange, pursuant to section 91(3) of the EA 2003." so it's hard to see how he cannot be released from prison today.

Posted by: Steve | Jan 4 2021 11:42 utc | 5

well, I guess they can always fall back on extraordinary rendition....

unexpected for sure. for a few moments we can believe the English have not lost their collective minds.

Posted by: dan of steele | Jan 4 2021 11:52 utc | 6

Looks like Boris is angling for a sweet post Brexit trade deal and leveraging on a favourable US appeal.

I wonder what levels of pretzel-like legal contortions they will resort to to appease their irate cousins now they acknowledged Assange's health risks.

Sorry for the cynicism, but that's all i can see so far... maybe it's just a snowy monday affecting my judgement

Posted by: Et Tu | Jan 4 2021 11:54 utc | 7

It is good news for Assange, but bad for freedom of speech, as the judge agreed with the US case and only rejected it for mental health grounds.

Posted by: John A | Jan 4 2021 11:55 utc | 8

Decision of appeal will be handled by the British High Court, maybe they'll be more amenable to US hegomany. Maybe Biden regime isn't interested? I find it impossible to believe this hasn't been ok'd with the Americans in some form. Also noted that the judge agreed entirely with the US case, which is a joke after arms length employees paid by US intelligence testified in court about bugging and filming Assanges meetings with his lawyers. Case should have been thrown out at that point. Anyway, it's good news, lets hope it sticks! Maybe the Brits will agree to buy expensive dirty shale gas in return!

Posted by: Gerald | Jan 4 2021 11:55 utc | 9

I hope this means Assange will be released. I would not assume Baraitser is standing up against the US.

Posted by: Tuyzentfloot | Jan 4 2021 12:02 utc | 10

The US got hat it wanted, the judge has accepted the U.S. prosecution arguments and they don't have a martyr, dead or alive. Is the appeal all theatre?

Posted by: Tom | Jan 4 2021 12:05 utc | 11

"Anyway, the British government seems to have grown a spine?"

Who knows. This could be pre-arranged with their US counterparts.

The question is: does he walk now, or will he be kept locked up for all the endless appeals? And if he walks, what are the restrictions, if any?

Posted by: Mao Cheng Ji | Jan 4 2021 12:18 utc | 12

@John A | Jan 4 2021 11:55 utc | 8

It is good news for Assange, but bad for freedom of speech, as the judge agreed with the US case and only rejected it for mental health grounds.

The mental health of the US and UK governments are indeed in question. Or maybe not.

Posted by: Norwegian | Jan 4 2021 12:32 utc | 13

The US got hat it wanted, the judge has accepted the U.S. prosecution arguments and they don't have a martyr, dead or alive. Is the appeal all theatre?

Posted by: Tom | Jan 4 2021 12:05 utc | 11


Precisely.
Failed to take the right decision and reject the case as legally wrong, but took a cop out instead.
It does seem to be a deal with the US, and just more evidence that keeping the US happy is more important that law.

I'd be surprised if anyone wanted to appeal this - it seems the result that the US wants. Moreover the higher the court the more likely they would be to over rule the extradition on merit - which would be bad news for US and Crown Prosecutors.
This judge is safely under the control of the UK intelligence services.

Posted by: Michael Droy | Jan 4 2021 12:34 utc | 14

Assange is a CIA regime change asset. There as never any doubt he was not going to jail.

Posted by: Robert Browning | Jan 4 2021 13:04 utc | 15

It IS good news for freedom of journalism. The judge's rejection of the defense team's arguments and acceptance of the U.S. arguments yet releasing Assange for fear for his health is clearly a face saving ruling.

She could not admit that the defense team's arguments were solid and Uncle Sam's merely BS/lies/mendacity.

Posted by: Ernesto Che | Jan 4 2021 13:06 utc | 16

In the reverse Turing test you have to prove your humanity by saying something that is so stupid that no bot could ever come up with it.

Posted by: Tuyzentfloot | Jan 4 2021 13:19 utc | 17

Posted by: Tuyzentfloot | Jan 4 2021 13:19 utc | 15


In the reverse Turing test you have to prove your humanity by saying something that is so stupid that no bot could ever come up with it.

In which case Robert Browning seems to have proven his humanity.

Posted by: Arch Bungle | Jan 4 2021 13:29 utc | 18

Has a book been written exposing the media influencers who spread BS propaganda about Assange? I'm sure the list of names and quotes would be quite long. Including those "journalists" and "progressive politicians" who stayed silent as the travesty was carried out could be included also.

For a researcher with time and energy, maybe the same approach re Russiagate... Syria/Assad...or others.

Caitlin Johnstone hit the bulls-eye with her latest:

"The frenetic mass media propaganda campaign against Julian Assange was easily the creepiest and most Orwellian thing I’ve ever witnessed. And now it is silent. It did its job and then disappeared, before the public could really notice what was happening. It’s absolutely stunning.

You wouldn’t know it now, but between late 2016 and Assange’s arrest social media was full of blue-checkmarked narrative managers falling all over each other to be the first to come up with the day’s hottest smear painting a heroic journalist as a villain. Day after day after day. Smearing Assange was one of the easiest ways for an aspiring journalist to show current and prospective employers that you’re on the side of the empire. He was a soft target you could kick to signal that you’ll say whatever the Pentagon wants so you can climb the media ladder.

The smear campaign pervaded every political faction in every part of the US-centralized power alliance. Where they couldn’t get away with openly smearing him they circulated rightist psyops about Trump and Assange secretly working together and the extradition actually helping Assange, which was effectively the same as smearing him. The overwhelming majority of mainstream opinions about Assange are the result not of his work or the life he’s lived, but of a concerted propaganda campaign the majority of which took place between late 2016 and Assange’s arrest in April 2019. People just aren’t aware they’ve been propagandized.

The smear campaign went silent so quickly because it is now impossible to paint yourself as a brave up-punching journalist while smearing someone who is being openly prosecuted for journalism. So they’ve slinked off into the shadows, hoping we’ll forget what they did. Let’s not."

Posted by: Kabobyak | Jan 4 2021 13:32 utc | 19

Very humbly, judges under pressure find ways to rule responding to pressure without insulting the other side too much. No doubt freedom of the press is not explicitly strengthened but the US prison system takes a blow. Thank you to the Moon of Alabama for the complete judgement

Posted by: John Philpot | Jan 4 2021 13:39 utc | 20

A deeply cynical decision. The assault on the freedom of the press is confirmed. US only needs to affirm it can keep Assange from killing himself (death by mistreatment is fine). If freed, where can Assange and his family go to be free of CIA snatch or assassination teams? Russia, I expect, which will be used against him.

Posted by: NoOneYouKnow | Jan 4 2021 14:05 utc | 21

This is a victory for freedom of journalism. The judge's rejection of the defense team's arguments is clearly a face saving way out of filthy mess with her behaviour. The defense team's arguments were undoubtedly solid, whereas the prosecution's arguments were total BS/lies, though the judge could not admit it.

Posted by: Ernesto Che | Jan 4 2021 14:08 utc | 22

I wouldn't cheer excessively loudly yet, perfidious Albion plays the game so surreptitiously, too much is yet at stake with its American masters. I have bitter memories of countless Irishmen being released only to be instantly re-arrested on mythical trumped-up charges.

Posted by: Séamus Ó Néill | Jan 4 2021 14:08 utc | 23

I find myself very concerned that England will deport Assange to Australia, and then the US's poodle Australia will extradite him to the US.

This fight isn't over, by a long shot . . .

Posted by: AntiSpin | Jan 4 2021 14:08 utc | 24

Is UK negotiating something with USA?? It may be some kind of trade off...

Posted by: Ana Q | Jan 4 2021 14:11 utc | 25

Judge Vanessa was hiding her humanitarian impulses very well in the past. Thus I suspect that the impulse came from Washington. Intimidation of wannabe leakers and people who help disseminate the leaks is preserved, and actual extradition would cause internal problems for the new Administration that wishes to keep Democratic Party somewhat united, a consideration that a Republican Administration did not have.

Phony or not, the "lesser evil" brand requires some maintenance.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Jan 4 2021 14:36 utc | 26

Obviously significant pressures must be forcing them to drift off the official Spartacus myth script with a scheduled Deep State crucifixion somewhere down south in USA Swampland.

In spite of all the howling, hissing, spitting and gnashing of teeth by a judicially compromised Vanessa Baraitser (a sit-in puppet stooge of Emma Arbuthnot who was appointed chief magistrate in Westminster in October 2016 and is the wife of James Arbuthnot, a peer with historical connections to all-expenses-paid secretive gatherings of the organizations Tertulias and Tatlidil that included numerous UK foreign policy officials) it looks like Julian Assange is soon to be free to publish again. Let's hope he does not have an accident in a tunnel on the way home like certain out of favor royal princess.

One has to give some credit to Baraitser and her minders having their cake and eating it as well -- she/they have found a strategic crack in their subaltern contract with the USA thanks to the Epstein bunk-bed sheet theory. Although many think he was smuggled out for 5-star treatment back home in Occupied Palestine, Epstein's case gave official judicial cover for a clean-hands washing 'Pontius Pilate' maneuver that panders to all the necessary UK-USA 'foreign policy' power issues while at the same time shoots the poisoned arrow through the only Achilles heel option on the table.

Assuage may well still die at some point under 'strange' Clintonianesque circumstances; but it will be on sleepy Joe Biden's watch and not stain the plush royal carpets of British justice system corridors. After all, as an Australian citizen, Assange is still technically just another naughty wild colonial boy (not called Brian) and commoner-subject of the Queen of Australia, Betty Windsor, c/o Bucky Palace, Londinium.

Posted by: imo | Jan 4 2021 14:38 utc | 27

"This is not a win for freedom of speech or a free press. The judge has accepted the U.S. prosecution arguments against Assange. The extradition rejection is solely on humanitarian grounds."

Don't celebrate too much.

Posted by: Lawrence Magnuson | Jan 4 2021 14:44 utc | 28

Gerald @ 9: "... about bugging and filming Assanges meetings with his lawyers."

... and obviously porno filming him and his wife making a family.

Posted by: imo | Jan 4 2021 14:50 utc | 29

As an Australian this is humiliating!
Neither my Government or the National Broadcaster stood up for Assange as this Gross US Deep State murders children across the Planet and is bereft of any vales which we follow like a mangy dog.
If there is a Civil War you can understand why?...... The US has no values just ingrained Materialism and spiteful hate!

Posted by: William Kierath | Jan 4 2021 14:52 utc | 30

UNEXPECTED????? HARDLY!!!!

Trust the POMS to cut the Gordian Knot in such a way that everyone can claim a small win, while still controlling their Human Collateral in THEIR own version of GUANTANAMO.

This theatre will continue till Julian dies; then everyone can walk away head-held-high without settling the issue of Freedom-of-Speech..........yet signalling to every journo what happens to those who do not follow the correct narrative.

Continuous war, Continuous Virus, Continuous Control!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: James Cook | Jan 4 2021 14:57 utc | 31

Looking on the bright side: this is a damning indictment of the brutal, violent US prison system. The ruling should be used as a precedent for refusing extradition to the US for ANY reason. The US prison system is what you'd normally expect from the worst 3rd world countries. This judgement confirms this.

Posted by: Dave | Jan 4 2021 14:57 utc | 32

No 3
If you quote the bible avoid pious corruptions
The choice was between Jesus the Son of the Father(Bar Abbas)
and Jesus the so called anointed one of the lineage of King David (messiah to Greek christos)
The choice was between two alleged persons with the identical name Yahoshua.
One notorious and the other rebellious.
Both deemed criminals under Roman Law.

This verdict uses the word suicide euphemisticly to describe the fate that afflicted Epstein.


Posted by: Tiberius Pantera | Jan 4 2021 15:00 utc | 33

John A @8: "... as the judge agreed with the US case and only rejected it for mental health grounds."

Historically, which is what really scares them, they have been forced to leave future historians a rich source of data to deconstruct and analyse the state's policy position and strategic self-justifying rationalization narratives.

Assange's defense team statements and Vanessa Baraitser's wriggling replies will be held up together for public review long after the cynical murky miasma issues du jour are long forgotten. They have been used by higher forces and flushed out a little too much into the open light for the plutocratic roaches they are. And I suspect they eventually came to realize this and the double bind dilemma they had created for themselves. Rat cunning abounds while real sympathetic and critical intelligence is rare in those quarters.

Posted by: imo | Jan 4 2021 15:06 utc | 34

British judges are establishment appointees rather than political appointees and the British judiciary is like a gentleman's club (think Diogenes rather than Stringfellow's) that includes women, so Baraitser would most likely have discussed this with higher ranking judges in private before making her decision. I doubt the higher courts will overturn her decision as those judges wouldn't want to have the reputation for sending Assange to his certain death.

Posted by: Ghost Ship | Jan 4 2021 15:17 utc | 35

IMHO this was instigated by the Biden regime as they have come to realize, due to recent global commerce decisions and internal rebellion, the US brand is severely tarnished and cannot abide another martyr.

Additionally, it is difficult to chastise Chinese "repression" when we maintain such a large police state and gulag industry, that is intent on brutalizing people or totally disenfranchising them.

Additionally, before the Covid-19 pandemic we had more people living in extreme poverty ($1.90/day) than those evil Chinese.

Posted by: Michael | Jan 4 2021 15:19 utc | 36

Gerald@9 and a couple of others must be right: there is nothing honourable about this. The matter was fixed to spare Biden the choice of angering his 'progressive' friends (see Circe below) or his masters in the Deep State. This gets him off the hook neatly.

As for Robert Browning@14 whose contribution is:
"Assange is a CIA regime change asset. There as never any doubt he was not going to jail."

Assange has been in the worst prison in the UK for a year now- the notion that he was a CIA asset was always idiotic, to maintain it in these circumstances is beyond stupid. But the good news is that Robert probably doesn't believe in pandemics either so he won't be long with us.

Posted by: bevin | Jan 4 2021 15:20 utc | 37

Peter Lavelle & George Szamuely discusses the status on Assange

The Gaggle: UK Judge Shocks the World: Assange Extradition Denied

Posted by: Norwegian | Jan 4 2021 15:22 utc | 38

Baraitser's focus on suicide could be a set-up. Arranging Assange's "suicide" while out on bail in Britain would be cheaper, more permanent, and more satisfying for his true enemies than extradition & lengthy imprisonment in USA.

Otherwise, this is very good news!

Posted by: elkern | Jan 4 2021 15:31 utc | 39

This is a win. I hope it remains as such. However, I have little doubt that Assange will eventually be extradited. The UK is going to need an economic 'partner' as it has now left the EU, and one of the conditions for a USUK trade deal will be US satisfaction on the Assange file. Unfortunately, I believe the US will 'win' on appeal. Today's ruling calms the masses. Shows the world that the UK takes human rights, and dignity seriously.

Until the money talks.

Posted by: rgl | Jan 4 2021 15:35 utc | 40

In my view, based on the scoundrellous and comprehensively and relentlessly persistent persecutory behaviour of Baraitser in her judgement (without even considering her contemptable behaviour in court), the actual extradition of Assange now appears to be secondary in importance, as far as the British are concerned, to the comprehensive destruction of investigative journalism, the ability of journalists to operate outside of the approved pro-establishment mainstream, and the ability of journalists to publish state secrets even in the public interest and where secrecy is used to protect state criminality. They have concluded that by disabling the extradition on health risk grounds the loss of the ability to have Assange put on trial, in itself, is small compared to the importance of completely destroying independent journalism that is not completely under the state thumb.

In asserting this intent I am not only referring to independent media. Looking at the tone and content of Baraitser's judgement - and in particular the extent to which Baraitser is so relentless in dismissing the entirety of the arguments of the defence - comprehensively and in every detail - with the tiny exception of the issue of risk of suicide, it is clear that the intent is to demolish in its entirety every trace of the use of journalism as a defence, and to support the completion of the change in the nature of journalism in the West from one with elements of free speech and independent investigation to one in which media publication is comprehensively blocked from rising above the level of state propaganda. It is interesting that, by contrast, Baraitser is equally comprehensive in rejecting every detail of the US arguments against the suicide risk - in exactly the same way as so comprehensive in rejecting every other aspect of the defence. Both (a) the comprehensive destruction of the defence arguments (blindly and even stupidly so, in my non-legal opinion) and (b) the comprehensive destruction of the US arguments against a serious suicide risk, appear to indicate a pre-determined (pre relative to the judgement) policy decision of the British State with respect to (a) and (b) in combination. The thinking seems to be that by killing the extradition itself, the British State will kill opposition to the legal precedent set by the judgement in destroying real journalism.

Neither the British queen nor the US want real journalism to exist in the future, and this judgement has to be viewed within the context of deep changes in the nature of government and society over the last 25 years or more, but rapidly accelerating over that period. The journalistic environment today is radically different from this time last year, which in turn was radically different from 5 years ago, which in turn was drastically different from 10 years before that, etc. This movement is accelerating with every day. Over the last year, some of the final loopholes in the quasi-global (western) police state have been progressively closed, and this judgement is an important part of that process.

The aim of this judgement is to show that journalism of 5 years ago will no longer be tolerated or permitted, but rather will be exterminated as relentlessly and as brutally as Assange has been (virtually, so far) exterminated. The warning is not just to 'alternative media' (which are step by step being comprehensively exterminated anyway), but in particular to mainstream journalists, to make sure that all mainstream journalists go into complete lockstep and to exterminate all rebellious tendencies within the MSM.

Independent journalists, and lawyers and organisations in this field, need to take urgent and comprehensive action against every detail of Baraitser's scoundrelous behaviour in court and her scoundrelous opinions in this judgment (with exception of the suicide issues), to prevent it becoming a valid legal precident. They must not be complacent at this time.

Assange will not be extradited - the comprehensiveness with which Baraitser dismissed the arguments against the suicide risk indicate that must be the current British State policy in my view (but he could still be exterminated during the US appeal process), but all those interested in the protection of independent investigative journalism and "free" speech urgently need to resist the temptation to relax, and to vigorously and relentlessly protest this judgement and take whatever legal actions are possible to block it as a legal precedent.

Posted by: BM | Jan 4 2021 15:39 utc | 41

d: "Anyway, the Brithish government seems to have grown spine?"

Private 1st class Hudson: "We've got readings, We've got movement - in Front AND Behind!

d, these aren't the spines you're looking for .. in fact, I dare say that All of the 5-eyes A•L•I•E•N $ can't help but drip acid-for-blood, arm in scaly arm with the sponsorship of those Other creatures .. the SantaClauSchwabian control-freaks, who hail from Planetoid Eurolandia!

Posted by: polecat | Jan 4 2021 15:46 utc | 42

Anyway, the British government seems to have grown a spine?

b believes there is no separation of powers in the UK. I can't say I disagree with that, it is an oligarchic state.

Posted by: Norwegian | Jan 4 2021 15:53 utc | 43

@John A | Jan 4 2021 11:55 utc | 8

“It is good news for Assange, but bad for freedom of speech, as the judge agreed with the US case and only rejected it for mental health grounds.”


The judge did NOT “only” reject extraditing Assange to the US due to “mental health” concerns. The judge also rejected his extradition due to “physical health” concerns. The judge clearly mentioned “ physical health” as well.

But by ONLY mentioning Assange’s mental health, you are feeding into the mainstream’s false narrative that he is merely crazy. Craziness, not sanity, is what drove him to do what he did, according to the mainstream. It’s the mainstream’s way of taking the ball off the truth about all the good that Assange did exposing restless aggressions and other evil hegemonic doings by the US empire and all the corruption being committed by its political elites — especially on the blue side of the aisle, which is no surprise given that the mainstream has consistently backed the blue party over the red party ever since Obama began his presidency. I never thought I would see the day when a very pro-red party mainstream outlet like FOX would back the blues over the reds.

Then again, that’s only due to the fact that Trump isn’t a mainstream politician. He isn’t mainstream because he spoke about reining in the US empire and spoke critically about a pro-mainstream populist movement like BLM. Consequently, the mainstream labeled him as a Russian stooge as their way of countering his views on empire and labeled him as a white supremacist as their way of countering his views on BLM.

BTW, many if you don’t share my views on BLM. To me, it is very much part of the mainstream establishment. If it wasn’t, it would speak critically about all of our aggressive acts and illegal wars around the world and support labor over management in the workplace. The truth is that BLM has no intentions of disrupting the existing power structure in the US. It’s only intent is put more people of color, especially blacks, in positions of power within the existing power structure, nothing more, nothing less. If BLM were a anti-war and pro-labor movement, there’s no way in this world the MSM would have given it such positive airtime over the past year, or Corporate America had given it so money over the same time period.

Posted by: Cynthia | Jan 4 2021 16:08 utc | 44

It may seem a trivial thing but I believe it would help to restore Assange's reputation. Reputation is a powerful form of protection. The press should have risen up on principle against the extradition claims and really everything which happened the last 10 years. There was no motivation for it in large part because Assange had a bad reputation. Even Nils Melzer said so. He was not motivated to look into the case because he thought Assange was some kind of narcistic rapist hacker who colluded with the Russians and acted like a pig. It is quite possible Melzer's pressure on Sweden caused Sweden to withdraw the legal case against him, and with that it became much more acceptable to defend him. It became much easier to defend Assange and say it was not about him once his reputation improved.
Assange's reputation is a form of protection for him, for Wikileaks and for journalism. Which is of course why his reputation was targeted for destruction in the first place.

Posted by: Tuyzentfloot | Jan 4 2021 16:08 utc | 45

had been hoping that President Trump would have decided to release Assange
before he left office later this month. Perhaps that was his intention.
But that would only have opened him to criticism of political opportunism (and Trump is the kind of guy who would use such an opportunity)

seems that Brits do seem to have grown a spine of sorts.

waiting to see the end of this sorry saga.

Posted by: chris m | Jan 4 2021 16:12 utc | 46

Assange to be 'Epstein-ed'?

There is a lot of unwarranted hopium about this ruling.

The Judge ruled totally in favor of USA but declined extradition on pretended concerns for Assange's welfare.

USA has said they will appeal and will almost certainly demand that Assange continue to be held in confinement. And the Brits will almost certainly comply with USA demands because USA won the case without question. The only thing that stands in the way of extradition is USA's convincing the Appeals Court that it can imprison Assange in a way that ensures that Assange will not commit suicide.

Perhaps Assange's confinement in UK will be relaxed? IIRC he's held in solitary with 1 hour in the yard (alone) and few visitors.

To win their appeal, USA must argue that they will impose 'sucide watch' conditions that may be tortuous - especially when carried on over long periods of time. Are they implicitly incentivizing Assange to kill himself in UK to avoid years of tortuous conditions in USA (note how Manning was treated)?

If UK relaxes Assange's confinement regime that may grant Assange enough freedom to kill himself. And if Assange doesn't/won't kill himself, perhaps they will have someone do it for him? This can be summarized as "'Epstein' him".

Both US and UK authorities would then claim to be free of blame for his death as UK will claim to have defended Assange's human rights and USA never had custody.

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

I'm looking forward to what Craig Murray has to say.

!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jan 4 2021 16:19 utc | 47

Or Assange has agreed to a deal involving his cable sources. I seriously doubt they'll back down at this late. In the end they succeeded in getting their hands on Assange proving that they have resources and persistence to root and single out whoever turn against them.

Posted by: Lucci | Jan 4 2021 16:24 utc | 48

Lucci | Jan 4 2021 16:24 utc | 46.

Not a chance in Hell that Assange made a deal.

Posted by: arby | Jan 4 2021 16:33 utc | 49

This was not unexpected. Some campaigners in the UK have discussed this possibility for some time.
The British political system is extremely flexible and the powers that be have a long tradition of using this to get out of different situations.

Despite the absence of a mass campaign, Assange has been an enormous embarrassment.

The decision by a local magestrate (not a High Court judge) let's HMG off the hook. At the same time all the tremendous arsenal of legal sanctions against disclosing secrets are left intact.

Posted by: George | Jan 4 2021 16:33 utc | 50

I was happy (and astonished) when I heard this.

But I have absolutely no trust in either the British or the American governments.

I fear that all this was just for publicity purposes.

By "publicity purposes" I mean that that this was just done to make things "look fair." I expect that an appeal will overturn the ruling.

I hope that I am wrong but I fear that I am right.

These days, most everything in the "West" is pure theater.

Posted by: Mike from Jersey | Jan 4 2021 16:34 utc | 51

Just bullshit for the masses. five-eyes have got him and will never let him out. sounds like they have already fucked his mind.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jan 4 2021 16:38 utc | 52

thanks b... the uk is so full of shite, it just isn't funny anymore.... they give the usa a run for their money and that is saying a lot...

"The British judge said that the U.S. prison is too brutal to be trusted with the health of Assange." right, but keeping him in belmarsh prison in a type of solatary confinement isn't? what idiots do they think people are? meanwhile they rely on cnn transcripts to come to their conclusions.. i rest my case - the uk is full and i mean full of shite... publicity stunt..

ditto @ 49 peter au... good to see you peter.. happy new year...

Posted by: james | Jan 4 2021 16:42 utc | 53

Parallel-construction is simply a euphemism for lies.

Observe for yourself how broadly parallel-construction describes "news" and
"information" and "history". The creators of parallel-construction are talented and well paid tools for population control.

"Economics" as parallel-construction? Consider the very definition of "finance" as "the management of money, especially large sums". Parallel-construction underlies all fortunes and the get-rich-quick modes and IRS tax avoidance v. evasion.
Modern accounting is the art of parallel-construction.

Did I mention the practice of law?

Being creative with reality pays. Ask any troll.

Posted by: chu teh | Jan 4 2021 16:44 utc | 54

people have no faith in asshole judges anymore either.. they are all warped and imperfect people, they lady in particular...

Posted by: james | Jan 4 2021 16:50 utc | 55

And so the Julian Assange Saga enters into its next act as a wave of hope moves through the audience. The irony of this decision coming on the first anniversary of the Soleimani assassination is so far an unmentioned aspect. The idea posed that the judge was being "humanitarian" is quite laughable. The hugely negative precedent that would've been set and its use to further diminish the West's credibility are the realpolitic issues that caused the decision.

Assange's most powerful asset is that Truth resides with him, not his enemies. The UK being a tad more mature than the Outlaw US Empire chose not to deal with the massive blowback that would ensue if lies were allowed to destroy Truth. Yes, we shall see if that holds true. But imagine the consequences for Law, particularly Contract Law, if Truth is ruled inadequate and Facts deemed inconsequential.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 4 2021 16:54 utc | 56

Judge Baraitser implies she would have extradited Assange if he had been in good shape physically and mentally. Well then, if Assange is released, and if his support system is able to nurse him back to sound physical and mental health, will the UK rearrest him and resume extradition proceedings?

I doubt this broken paladin can ever again lead Wikileaks. Trump, dear brother, can you spare a pardon?

Posted by: Jay-Ottawa | Jan 4 2021 17:20 utc | 57

The UK, in the past, has refused to extradite hackers to the US to face charges on account of the brutal conditions in American prisons. I guess this is in line with that precedent.

What does that tell you about the human rights situation in the US? Where are the sanctions?

Posted by: fnord | Jan 4 2021 17:22 utc | 58

Here's yet another wild theory which events will confirm or deny. The Brits, in order to foreclose the possibility that Orange Man might pardon Assange - just to spite the spooks and the elite media - have arranged this temporary solution until DT is out of office.

In any case Assange is a broken man now. He's not going to thumb his nose at the deep state anymore, not after what he's been through.

Posted by: groucho | Jan 4 2021 17:28 utc | 59

I haven't looked at the fine print of the judgment, so I don't know if the judge actually said the US complaints were valid and, under normal circumstances, he should be extradited, or not. And then, did the judge chose to deny the extratidion on "humanitarian" ground because it was the easiest way, the one who would less anger Washington and cause the less fallout for British government? Or maybe did some powerful people in UK assumed he was broken enough and wouldn't be a threat anymore?
Whatever, I really hope he will be set free soon.

Posted by: Clueless Joe | Jan 4 2021 17:40 utc | 60

I suppose if he is set free now, then suing them for wrongful imprisonment is not a possibility anymore.

Posted by: arby | Jan 4 2021 17:54 utc | 61

From a Lang commenter: "Unless it was the case that President Trump was contemplating a pardon and they decided to forestall that."

Posted by: j. casey | Jan 4 2021 18:00 utc | 62

quite hilarious. Humanitarian? ROTFLMFAO!!! "Excuse me sir, we've decided waterboarding is torture so we're just going to drown you outright."

Unless Assange is released from prison immediately and given safe passage to anywhere he chooses, this is all just one more ring in the BS Circus.

Posted by: gottlieb | Jan 4 2021 18:02 utc | 63

totally agree gottlieb.. the uk and usa are always giving us new definitions of what it means to be nice..

Posted by: james | Jan 4 2021 18:10 utc | 64

UK Judge Vanessa Baraitser probably ruled against the USA extradition of Julian Assange because of Ghislaine Maxwell, UK socialite and Jeffrey Epstein's pimp being held without bail in NYC.

Does Baraitser have a Maxwell connection through the UK oligarch Royals?

Posted by: Johnny law | Jan 4 2021 18:16 utc | 65

Fair play, boasted as a british concept. But how sore losers they are, Assange figures in the same equation together with Epstein!, by name if you search the ruling, what an infamy.

Posted by: Paco | Jan 4 2021 18:16 utc | 66

@Jay-Ottawa | Jan 4 2021 17:20 utc | 54

Judge Baraitser implies she would have extradited Assange if he had been in good shape physically and mentally.

One must ask the obvious question: Who's responsibility is it that he is in such a poor physical and mental condition that he is likely to commit suicide (according to the judge)?

Posted by: Norwegian | Jan 4 2021 18:27 utc | 67

Most likely scenario is the judge invoked humanitarianism because she doesn't want to be murdered by the US deep state.

Assange's case transcend the liberal judiciary system, it's way above ms. Baraitser's pay grade.

Posted by: vk | Jan 4 2021 18:37 utc | 68

Mexico is offering Assange political asylum. He really needs protection.

Posted by: Norwegian | Jan 4 2021 18:58 utc | 69

AMLO signs his death certificate:

Mexico to Take Steps to Grant Assange Political Asylum, President Lopez Obrador Says

Posted by: vk | Jan 4 2021 19:04 utc | 70

Judge Bar's ruling upholding the prosecution's arguments and ordering JA's release on health issues, she effectively deflated and thereby shortening any lengthy appeal.

Posted by: Willow | Jan 4 2021 19:13 utc | 71

One thing to watch out for is the US "appeal" which will go through the UK Supreme Court. This could be sent through Arbuthnot. She was the Judge who was active at the beginning of the Assange Saga in the British courts, and who is now "promoted" to sit on the Supreme Court. She has been overseeing Baraitser's handling of the case.

She has definite conflicts of interest (Mainly because her husband was "fingered" by Wikileaks). It is still a possibility that she would be the one to judge on the appeal.
-----
I note with a bit of amusement that the FT did an article on Assange and a bit later suddenly shut down the comments section. They probably didn't like being called accomplices?

Posted by: Stonebird | Jan 4 2021 19:16 utc | 72

Notwithstanding the multitude of explanations in these Comments of the Assange ruling to the contrary, I had the thought that perhaps Judge Baraitser ruled the way she did simply to prevent a successful appeal. After all, in spite everything she wrote, she did hear the presentations from both sides -- and perhaps she was persuaded by the defense. She just didn't say it, for practical reasons.

Giving the losing side everything it wants -- except the result that the losing side had hoped for -- is a prudent way to rule from the bench. While I'm not savvy about British legal practice, I'm savvy enough with its American counterpart to posit that this does occur.

One principle that appellate courts love to rely on is to defer to the trial court for the facts determined at trial. In other words, just as an appellate court would be reluctant to overturn a ruling that a credible criminal prosecution against Assange could be presumed from the facts adduced at the trial, an appellate court would likewise be reluctant to overturn a finding that a defendant presented a danger to himself.

The only legal remedy available to the appealing party that I'm aware of would be for the appellate court to order a new trial. But since this case was so fully litigated, that result sees unlikely.

While I have no idea about whether my pontification is correct, it seems to me that a much simpler explanation of the Assange ruling is to suggest that Judge Baraitser was simply setting herself up to be insulated from getting overturned. Trial judges don't like getting flipped on appeal. Really.

Posted by: elephant | Jan 4 2021 19:28 utc | 73

"Anyway, the British government seems to have grown a spine?" I don't think so. I think this an example of the Brit's characteristic duplicity. Playing both side at the same time.

Posted by: Steve | Jan 4 2021 19:33 utc | 74

According to F24, 5 minutes ago, Mexico has offered Assange asylum. It'd be nice if a few more countries hopped onto the Asylum For Assange bandwagon, if only to show the Yankees how despised they are.

I'm waiting to hear what Neocon Oz PM Scum Mo, aka Mr Glib, has to say about Assange's plight. Scum Mo governs in the tradition of Neocon John Dubya Howard. When David Hicks and two British citizens were detained by the Yanks at Mazar e Sharif in Afghanistan at the begining of the Fake War On Terror, the Brits demanded that their citizens be freed and repatriated to the UK. And they were freed and repatriated. "Honest" John Howard abandoned Hicks to AmeriKKKa's warped Military Tribunal System.
In the end, Hicks was saved by a Yankee military defense lawyer called Major Michael Mori who, as a result became a sort of Honorary Oz Hero.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jan 4 2021 19:36 utc | 75

This protects Prince Andrew. The UK Gov can now shrug and say there is nothing they can do, regardless of evidence.

Posted by: Joe | Jan 4 2021 19:40 utc | 76

The law in anglo hands is a mace, just in case he survives which I think he will, he’ll be officially labeled as an out of his mind paranoid on the same league with Epstein and all the degenerates in high places associated with that name, that is a new and refined step in the never ending flogging of a great man that will survive, recover, and surprise us all again, that is why they treat him like that.

And bravo México, líder del mundo hispano, el gran Limonov afirmaba que la caída del imperio no la causaría ni Rusia, ni China, México será el enterrador del imperio sin disparar ni un solo tiro, todo a base de amor, mucho amor y mucho chingar. ¡¡¡¡Que viva México!!!!!

Posted by: Paco | Jan 4 2021 19:46 utc | 77

barflies, jonathon cook has a great post on his website...blog side. well worth a read.

Posted by: emersonreturn | Jan 4 2021 19:47 utc | 78

I think the "Deep State" knows Trump will likely pardon Assange. I have not seen the British government have a spine in decades.

Posted by: red1chief | Jan 4 2021 19:47 utc | 79

According to an ancient Chinese proverb, when you accidentally get (lose) a horse, it is not necessarily a good (bad) thing.

I suspect the ordeal for Assange is not entirely over. There may be further appeal or new charges or new twists. Also, what about Snowden - his ordeal probably will never end in his lifetime.

Posted by: d dan | Jan 4 2021 19:51 utc | 80

Trump is fully in control of Justice Department right now. Barr was only disloyal in not contesting election results and was summarily pressured to resign by Trump. If U.S. is appealing; it's because Trump wants this. PERIOD.

Deep state, my ass! Pfft! This is all Trump's doing.

Posted by: Circe | Jan 4 2021 19:53 utc | 81

Next: Assange commits suicide by Novichok, thus proving that he is a Russian agent.

Jocularity aside, the CIA will try to assassinate Assange. There can be no doubt of that. Judge Barshitter might have actually been informed that was the CIA's intention, which is why she wants him out of British prison. At this point few people would believe it was suicide if he died in custody. Of course, nobody would believe it was suicide if Assange dies out of custody either, but at least the blame wouldn't fall directly on the British legal system if that happens somewhere else.

Posted by: William Gruff | Jan 4 2021 20:00 utc | 82

Here's an example of the potential Blowback I mentioned @56:

"China Daily EU bureau chief Chen Weihua publicly shamed the New York Times, Washington Post, and Australian PM Scott Morrison for their lack of support for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange as he faced extradition to the US:

"It’s shocking that none from New York Times and Washington Post coming out to support Julian Assange. And also shocking that Australian PM Scott Morrison is dead quiet about the greatest Australian citizen. Shame.

"Weihua tweeted and retweeted several posts calling for Assange’s release, and signed a statement by international journalists in support of the Wikileaks founder, putting most Western reporters – who have stayed silent on the matter – to shame."

The article goes on to cite just a few of the many anti-Assange "news" items written by Western BigLie Media that have done much to erode what little credibility remains from those once greatly respected institutions. By supporting the Inquisition against Assange, Western BigLie Media has severely damaged its ability to create a Narrative the rest of the world's media will follow, which is great for the world and the squandering of a major asset by the West.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 4 2021 20:05 utc | 83

red1chief

Trump would sooner pardon Jack the Ripper than Assange. Trump could care less what happens to Assange; he hates whistleblowers, leakers and especially the journalists who help them and even more someone who is an odd combo of both! Trump pardoned the war criminals who committed atrocities in Iraq and left Assange to rot behind bars.

Assange has been the victim of the old saying: No good deed goes unpunished.

He's not the first or last to wittingly or unwittingly help Trump and then be kicked to the curb and worse. He'll think twice about who benefits next time. Cautionary tale.

Posted by: Circe | Jan 4 2021 20:08 utc | 84

Posted by: Circe | Jan 4 2021 19:53 utc | 81

Could be a lot worse, like for instance:

Can't we just drone Julian Assange?

I wonder who said that, oh yeah, the same person that quoted Ceasar with his famous "We Came, We saw, He died".

Posted by: Paco | Jan 4 2021 20:09 utc | 85

If you help a scoundrel, Trump being the first, he'll be the first to betray you.

Trump pardoned the war criminals who committed atrocities in Iraq and left Assange to rot behind bars.

How's that for an eye-opening bitchslap? If that ain't proof of where Trump's head is at regarding Assange and his business; then I don't know what more you need, kool-aid kult-freaks?! Trump would piss all over you in a nanosecond and you'd think he's the rainmaker in the desert of your desperation. Bah! Such stoop...idity. Arrgh.

Posted by: Circe | Jan 4 2021 20:24 utc | 86

Xymphora's comment on the Brit Court's Assange decision...

"I think I owe Baraitser an apology, and sincerely hope the CIA doesn't drown her in the Thames."

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jan 4 2021 20:24 utc | 87

If anything it would be Guardian journalists who should face such extradition because their sloppiness and the malign intent of a disgruntled Wikileaks employee revealed to the public the decryption key giving access to that documents trove.
Recently a recording was publicized with Assange warning the State department of the upcoming publication. So Assange was actively engaged in damage containment. Now why were the WaPo and NYT journalist which used their decryption key to exploit that document trove before the decryption key became public never prosecuted?

Posted by: JR | Jan 4 2021 20:28 utc | 88

@85. Let me take on the Paco tool...

You know what the sole difference between Hillary and Trump is?

GENDER

Posted by: Circe | Jan 4 2021 20:28 utc | 89

Sorry for OT. It an important international news of today
To assure her regional and international clients, on anniversary Of US regime’s assassination of general Sulimani. US regime sends B52s and carriers to The Persian gulf to scare Iran not to take any revenge.
What does Iran do, first within hours she start enriching uranium to 20% on over 1000 centrifuges in well protected Fardo enrichment facility being a clear message to US clients in Europe and the region that iran has a capability of only few days. And seizes a South Korean tanker for environmentally violating Persian gulf waters, never mind that SK under orders from her protector is holding 7 billion of Iranian money. This again is being a message to US regional and international clients that no US carrier or B52s can secure the Persian gulf waters if Iran don’t want too. So much for US security umbrella and control of sea routes for her regional and international clientele.

I just love this well calculated Iranian messages , basically saying to the hyper power and it’s shit head president assassination is cowardice if you have the balls “bring it on”

Posted by: Kooshy | Jan 4 2021 20:31 utc | 90

@18 & @37 A lazy mind is easiest to deceive.

Just google Cass Sunstein and Julian Assange. Wikileaks was originally created by Cass Sunstein to subvert and undermine the Chinese government, regime change. Assange has admitted it in his earlier days.

Posted by: Robert Browning | Jan 4 2021 20:34 utc | 91

Maybe Vanessa Baraitser has heard on the grapevine that Trump intends to pardon Assange, so she has been told to avoid the embarrassment to the UK of shipping him over their in chains only for the Americans to remove the shackles when he arrives?

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Jan 4 2021 20:45 utc | 92

Looking over all comments re Julian Assange case' latest court pronouncement, nearly every one involves or is a product of...

parallel-construction...or using the law to subvert the law...or manipulating outcomes suit an intention extraneous to justice, aka fairness.

Posted by: chu teh | Jan 4 2021 20:47 utc | 93

@92 Yeah, Riiight...🙄

My @86 describes the likes of you to a t!

Posted by: Circe | Jan 4 2021 20:50 utc | 94

Posted by: Circe | Jan 4 2021 20:28 utc | 89

The last refuge of scoundrels now is gender, how low can you descend? You're behaving like a zionist, if anything said about occupied Palestine is not of their taste: anti semitism, end of it. Now you give me the alphabet soup, what letter do you feel today, from A to Z?

Besides, women do not behave like that rabid harpy that calls the drones like you call a taxi, not the ones I've known and deeply loved.

Posted by: Paco | Jan 4 2021 20:53 utc | 95

paco - do us a favour and stop talking with the idiot...

Posted by: james | Jan 4 2021 20:55 utc | 96

Here’s a good double down news link
Summary of Julian Assange situation.
Not up to date——-

https://www.doubledown.news/watch/2020/28/october/the-trial-of-julian-assange-should-terrify-everyone-matt-kennard

Posted by: Mark2 | Jan 4 2021 20:55 utc | 97

Posted by: Circe | Jan 4 2021 20:28 utc | 89

You're right, sorry for the badly spent space.

Cheers to Assange and AMLO, he'll make it.

Posted by: Paco | Jan 4 2021 20:59 utc | 98

Posted by: james | Jan 4 2021 20:55 utc | 96

That message @98 was for you James, I'm so happy about Mexico offering Assange asylum since here in Spain he is being constantly denigrated by the social democrat's media, and by right too, since he was supportive of the Catalan movement.

Posted by: Paco | Jan 4 2021 21:03 utc | 99

Circe @ all
Thanks for all your valuable contributions and comments
Disregard James and other trolls.
You add more to this blog, than them.
I commend Circe to all readers. She is and has been consistently right.
The pathetic bullying by James and others here brings this blog into disrepute. Putting a lot of readers off visiting.

Posted by: Mark2 | Jan 4 2021 21:06 utc | 100

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