Wednesday 18th of September 2019

TIME TO LET HIM FREE...

assange

We all know that the charges of sexual assault against Assange were dropped by Swedish prosecutors, and the charges were a ploy to flush him into the arms of the US mal-justice department. His only crime now is to have skipped bail in the UK. Yet the UK cannot guarantee that he won’t be extradited to the USA, though no official request for such is known — though we know US charges (fictitious or not) against Assange exist.

 

A bit of respect, please…

 

The Respect Party, launched 12 years ago as a platform for opposing the Iraq war, has ceased to be [2016]. After it lost its only parliamentary seat in the 2015 election, the party has “voluntarily de-registered” from the Electoral Commission.

 

The demise of the party has led to much speculation about what the future holds for George Galloway – the man who was the party’s leader and its only ever MP. Many now assume he will attempt to rejoin the Labour Party, which has shifted significantly to the left under Jeremy Corbyn. These two parliamentary stalwarts share many political ideals and fought together against the Iraq war in the early 2000s.

 

Losing Respect

Respect emerged in 2004 out of the anti-war movement. Galloway was a high profile figure and, within the space of just a few months, the party managed to win a quarter of a million votes in the European parliamentary elections. Galloway himself was almost elected as an MEP in London.

A year later he went one better in the 2005 general election and was elected as MP for Bethnal Green and Bow, a constituency with a large Muslim population. More success followed in the 2006 local elections, when Respect became the official opposition on Tower Hamlets council.

George Galloway has been criticised by anti-rape campaigners after suggesting Julian Assange was accused of nothing more than "bad sexual etiquette":

 

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Mr Assange is wanted in Sweden to face allegations - which he denies - of sexual assault made by two women.

The Respect MP said the women's claims were "totally unproven" and the Wikileaks founder had been "set up".

Rape charity Crisis said Mr Galloway's comments were "offensive" and "deeply concerning".

The UK has said Mr Assange must be extradited to Sweden despite being given political asylum by Ecuador.

Mr Assange remains in the Ecuadorean embassy in London, where he has taken refuge, but the UK has said he will not be given safe passage to the Latin American country.

'Bad manners'

Mr Assange insists that he had consensual sex with each of the women who have made allegations against him.

 

His legal team has said he wants assurances from the Swedish government that he will not be extradited to the US - where Wikileaks caused a storm last year by publishing thousands of leaked diplomatic cables and correspondence.

 

Mr Galloway, a frequent critic of the US and UK governments, said Mr Assange's "only crime was to expose, through Wikileaks, malfeasance by states including our own and the US on a truly gargantuan scale".

 

In a thirty minute podcast, the controversial anti-war MP said it was "an extraordinary coincidence that public enemy number one, Julian Assange, somehow gets inveigled with two women with incredibly complex political backgrounds who just, at the right time, come forward with allegations of sexual misconduct against him".

 

"Let me tell you, I think that Julian Assange's personal sexual behaviour is sordid, disgusting, and I condemn it," he said.

 

https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-19323783

 

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The Galloway brand

Galloway alienated many people in Respect, especially women. Salma Yaqoob, one of the original founders of Respect, and the party’s other high-profile politician, cut ties with the party in 2012, citing Galloway’s comments about rape allegations made against Wikileaks founder Julian Assange.

 

But he was electric on the campaign trail and there is little doubt that Respect’s greatest successes were largely due to his charisma and personal appeal – particularly for young Muslim voters.

 

Galloway couldn’t always pull it off. A shambolic campaign in the Scottish parliamentary election of 2011 (which delivered just 0.35% of the local vote) and his most recent foray into the 2016 London mayoral election (when he won 1.4% of the vote) showed that without the right issues and electorate to exploit, his rhetoric could only get him so far.

 

His career in politics has been anything but dull. Serving as an MP between 1987-2010 and 2012-2015 he was also a contestant on Celebrity Big Brother and more recently brought out a film about Tony Blair. He is a household name in British politics; something that cannot be said for most of the politicians serving in Corbyn’s present shadow cabinet.

 

Galloway has always maintained he was “Old Labour”. He even said so in his 2012 by-election victory speech as leader of the Respect Party. He had been expelled from Labour in 2003, for bringing the party into disrepute over his opposition to the Iraq War. But in 2013 there were rumours that he had been in talks with Labour’s then leader, Ed Miliband, to rejoin.

 

http://theconversation.com/the-party-is-over-for-respect-but-george-galloway-could-find-a-home-again-in-labour-64263

 

 


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The recent “revelations” by The Guardian’s Luke Harding (quoting anonymous “sources”, see the end of the guardian?... ) show that Assange, despite being holed-up, isolated and deprived of natural rights, is still one of the biggest political players in the world — and any tactic will be used to “shut him up” or taint him with “Russiagate” despite HAVING NOTHING TO DO WITH IT — except releasing emails that showed that Hillary Clinton was not above board. 

 

The establishment, in bed with the “liberal” media and with Hillary Clinton, and the “liberal” media in bed with establishment and Hillary Clinton  — and Trump — are pushing hard to prevent Assange continuing spreading the truth.

 

Despite all this — and threats to his cat — Assange is patient and true to his word of never revealing sources — which in the case of the Clinton emails would most likely bring further MASSIVE embarrassment to the DNC.

 

Similarly, George Galloway has had no choice but to join the RT team of commentators, counter-balancing the propaganda rubbish from the Western media (both CONservative and "liberal"), which to say the least were in favour of the war on Saddam. None have apologized for being wrong, apart from the New York Times providing an “apology” that was as pissy as a cat caught doing its business outside its box — and still looking for cuddles.

 

The truth in these circumstances has little chance of being heard.

 

The latest kerfuffle in Crimea, with Poroshenko, the president of fascist Ukraine, declaring martial law after provoking an inevitable Russian strong response, being supported by NATO is a farce that would be funny if it was not so dangerously designed to give the West another pretext to go to war.

 

Our idiot masters, led by Bolton and Pompeo — with Trump being a gesticulating weak pisspot who does not drink alcohol but gets his drugged derangements from salted fast foods and sugary drinks —  are playing Russian roulette and they don’t know the gun is FULLY loaded and facing their own throat. Your throat.

 

the blair killings...

I’m making the definitive documentary about the Blair years. Years of war and plunder, death and destruction, corruption and disillusion. Tony Blair killed the Labour Party as we knew it. He and George W. Bush helped kill a million people in disastrous wars and Blair is currently making a financial killing out of both.

In 2003, I was expelled from the Labour Party over my outspoken opposition to Bush and Blair’s war in Iraq. I promised that until the last day of my life I would go on fighting to put Tony Blair on trial, a real trial in The Hague, for war crimes and crimes against humanity. This documentary, the mother of all documentaries, will expose Blair’s crimes.

This documentary will not be another sterile chronicle of the Blair years. I witnessed his mendacity firsthand and am able to offer you the inside story. I will pull no punches in going toe to toe with those in the upper echelons of New Labour; the likes of Peter Mandelson and Alistair Campbell are all in my sights and so are the big business bankers he consults for. There is no doubt that the debates will be heated. But from that heat will come light.

I need your help to launch this film. We are trying to raise £50,000 here on this site. This target is the absolute bare minimum we need to complete the research and filming. In total, we will need more than twice that amount to purchase further archive materials, distribute and market the documentary. We are confident that a successful Kickstarter campaign will empower us to match funds from other sources.

This is an all-or-nothing platform. If we don’t raise the full £50,000 in just 40 days, no money changes hands. I hope you will want to be a part of this. You can be the difference to help make history, stop Blair in his tracks, halt his profiteering, and bring him to some kind of justice. It is an ambitious project, but it is not beyond us.

Thank you,

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George Galloway MP

 

see:  film about Tony Blair

 

See also: http://www.yourdemocracy.net.au/drupal/node/11276


the clinton US craptrap...

It is widely rumored that, with sealed indictments pending in the US, Wikileaks founder and publisher Julian Assange may be imminently forced to leave the Ecuadorian Embassy which has provided him safe refuge since 2012.

However, after a recent visit to Ecuador, US vice president Mike Pence (representing the Cabal) reached an agreement with the Moreno government acknowledging that forcibly expelling Assange was politically untenable.

One can only imagine that if such an expulsion comes to pass, it would likely result in a riot in the streets of London or that drugging Assange and smuggling him out in the middle of the night, under cover of a dark moon would equally result in forceful public demonstrations as well as worldwide condemnation. The Ecuadorians informed Pence they would rather make life inside the Embassy difficult and unsustainable, thereby encouraging Assange to voluntarily vacate the premises. Lots of Luck with that!

There is no way to know if an indictment will be personally served on Assange. For Assange to simply walk out the door and into the arms of a waiting extradition order to the US is indefensible as Assange is facing specious charges of “espionage” for daring to protect free-thinking whistleblowers by publishing their documents that exposed crimes and corruption at the highest levels of the US Government and political system.

The distinction is crucial in that Assange did not steal documents but published documents provided to him just as the New York Times and other national newspapers have done for decades. It will be positively riveting to watch the Trump Administration attempt to indict the NYT, the Washington Post and/or the LA Times for publishing what Wikileaks published.

Enter The Cabal: that deeply embedded, nameless/faceless unelected entity which dictates public policy although they have no public support whatsoever. In agreeing with Moreno, the Cabal has already blinked in the tacit admission that Assange controls the narrative. They are cowardly perpetrators of a simulated reality of war, devastation and poverty and highly vulnerable to an aroused, angry public. It is the Cabal that had the most to lose if Assange was allowed to continue documenting the corrupt, unscrupulous behavior of its toadies.

Not to be confused with the Deep State, although we cannot be certain of where the overlap between these synonymous bastions of criminal malevolence begin and end; yet it is apparent that both control enormous factions of the US government from a dark sinister pit of wickedness; owing their existence to and total dependence on an unworthy claque of self-identified MSM “journalists” who willingly dance on the Empire’s thin ice of righteousness.

It is that collapsing Empire and political structure that have been most accurately depicted in many of the Wikileaks exposes that has stirred the Establishment to vociferously pursue prosecution of Assange. The Democratic party is especially incensed that the Podesta/DNC emails were part of a treasure trove perhaps provided by DNC staffer Seth Rich who was murdered twelve days before the Wikileaks release.

Some Wikileaks contributions that provided the public with unclassified information that should have already been public include:

  • Clinton Foundation received Millions of dollars from the governments of Qatar and Saudi Arabia, both major funders of Islamic terrorists;
  • Secretary of State HRC then approved an $80 billion weapon sale to the Saudis with which they began the war in Yemen in earnest;
  • Goldman Sachs paid HRC $675,000 for one speech; 
  • Secretary of State HRC was the architect for the disastrous war in Libya leading to chaos in Europe; 
  • Vault 7 revelations that the CIA had developed a program to metadata a hack by adding ‘fingerprints’ to ‘prove’ that some other foreign agency had committed the hack.

Ergo, you can see the need to hoodwink the public into believing that Assange is a threat to democracy, an unconstitutional criminal responsible for the 2016 loss of HRC in cahoots with the equally criminal Russian president, Vladimir Putin. It is the work of a poorly contrived fabrication that does not stand up to serious scrutiny – at question is whether the American public, well known for its political apathy and one dimensional thinking, will recognize truth even if they have to gag on it.

There is, however, an undeniable paradigm shift at play here dissolving whatever form, structure or institution no longer represents the public’s best interest. The scandals at the FBI and Department of Justice are but one example of “Deep State” corruption as its very existence remained in the shadows until the 2016 election. It has now been publicly outed as more than speculation and can be viewed as an active appendage of the Cabal. It is difficult to know how deeply buried the Deep State layers go or how far out of reach the country’s make-believe electeds are, many of whom function as consigliere to the Cabal.

Despite the current strategy of denying Assange access to necessary medical care and his legal team, contact with his family and friends as well as removal of all outside world contact through the web and regular daily meals, my money is on Assange to stay the course. Through the integrity he has established himself to be a truth seeker and man of peace who, to his credit, has attracted the same enemies as JFK. His continued resistance, although it appears ‘the resistance’ is absent from an opportunity to truly resist, will do much to encourage another wiseass heroic individual who dares to expose the details of American war crimes.

Despite best efforts by the Cabal, my guess is that against overwhelming odds, he will prevail and he will persevere, he will dig deep and find the inner grit as he has done since 2012 to defy the all powerful who inhabit dark places.

 

Read more:

https://off-guardian.org/2018/11/29/julian-assange-vs-the-cabal/

 

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See also: 

a troubling foundation...

classic dishonest journalism...

Luke Harding and Dan Collyns, writing in the Guardian, have claimed Paul Manafort (jailed former-campaign chief to Donald Trump) met with Julian Assange, the illegally detained founding editor of WikiLeaks, in the run-up to 2016 Presidential election.

You can read an archived version their article here, just in case The Guardian “amends” their claims in the future (Update – The Guardian has already edited their article to scale back their language. Called it).

Other “news” outlets have, rather predictably, jumped all over it.

WikiLeaks have categorically denied any such meetings took place...

WHAT THE ARTICLE SAYS

So, is there any truth to the claims? Well, certainly not on the weight of Harding’s article. There is no evidence cited, except for the testimony of anonymous “sources”.

Sources have said Manafort went to see Assange in 2013, 2015 and in spring 2016.

A well-placed source has told the Guardian that Manafort went to see Assange around March 2016.

Manafort’s first visit to the embassy took place a year after Assange sought asylum inside, two sources said.

…is the type of language that fills this article. The claims of these “sources” are never analysed, only accepted.

For example, it is never explained why these visits were never mentioned before. The article refers to the “previously unreported Manafort-Assange connection”, without ever endeavouring to explain WHY it was “previously unreported”.

The Ecuadorian embassy in London has been the most photographed and videoed embassy in the world for the past 8 years – we have footage and/or photographs of visits from Pamela Anderson to John Pilger, and dozens of others.

How did the collected British press, police and security agencies manage to miss not one but FIVE separate visits from the campaign chief of a man running for President of the United States? We don’t know, they never say.

One particularly glaring problem with the narrative supplied by these anonymous “sources” is highlighted by the authors of the article (our emphasis)…

Visitors normally register with embassy security guards and show their passports. Sources in Ecuador, however, say Manafort was not logged.

…but even then the idea the “sources” could be misleading and/or mistaken is never floated. Indeed, rather than interrogating whether or not the claimed meetings happened at all, the authors endeavour to ask why they may have happened. This is not, traditionally, how journalism works.

WHAT THE ARTICLE DOES NOT SAYS

For all the claims of a Russia/Manafort/Assange connection, possibly the more shocking problem with the article is the near-constant lying by omission.

For example, it states:

WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of emails hacked by the GRU

Without mentioning that both Russia and WikiLeaks have emphatically denied this happened. Julian Assange, and every other representative of WikiLeaks, have always claimed the e-mails were leaked by DNC insiders, not hacked.

Later, the article says:

According to the dossier written by the former MI6 officer Christopher Steele, Manafort was at the centre of a “well-developed conspiracy of cooperation” between the Trump campaign and Russia’s leadership.

They don’t say that the Steele dossier was at least partly funded by Hillary Clinton’s Presidential campaign and the DNC, rendering all of its “findings” completely unreliable and possibly bogus.

This is classic dishonest journalism. Leaving out important information, whilst building its entire case on alleged anonymous “sources”. The tools of the hack with an axe to grind, or a Deep State-backed stenographer just doing what he’s told.

It’s all the Guardian does these days. And all Luke Harding has ever done.

QUESTIONS MOVING FORWARD
  • If all visitors to Assange need to sign-in and log their passports, why does Manafort’s name not appear in these logs?
  • Why and/or how did the press and police, forever camped outside the Ecuadorian embassy, manage to miss a high-profile Trump aide visiting Assange 5 times?
  • Why would Trump’s DOJ file charges against Assange if they were all part of the same Russian conspiracy?
  • Is this connected to Manafort’s alleged “dishonesty” in his cooperation agreement?
  • Is this a new part of the MSM effort to discredit Julian Assange, a pre-emptive defence of his deportation and show-trial?
  • Will Luke Harding be sued?

We may be updating this piece as information is released. Feel free to discuss below.

UPDATE: 28/5/18

WikiLeaks have announced they are considering suing The Guardian for running a “totally fabricated” story...

Read more:

https://off-guardian.org/2018/11/27/discuss-the-secret-meetings-of-paul-...

 

not worth the paper it's not written on yet...

Britain has provided enough guarantees that Julian Assange will not be extradited to any country where he would face the death penalty if he leaves the Ecuadorian embassy in London, according to Ecuadorian President Lenin Moreno.

Speaking during a radio interview on Thursday, Moreno said his administration has received written assurances that the UK will not extradite Assange to any nation where he will face the death penalty.

 

Read more:

https://www.rt.com/news/445783-ecuador-assange-britain-guarantees/

 

The UK and their "friends" lie. Until the terms of Assange freedoms are set in concrete (and not concrete boots), one cannot trust any of this yet. And the "not-the-death-penalty" could be "prison forever"... 

fighting cut-and-paste "error"...

MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Barry Pollack, a lawyer of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, has rejected the deal that Ecuadorian President Lenin Moreno said he had struck with the UK authorities, giving the whistleblower guarantees that he can leave the Ecuadorian embassy in London without fearing that he would be put on death row outside the United Kingdom.

"The suggestion that as long as the death penalty is off the table, Mr Assange need not fear persecution is obviously wrong … No one should have to face criminal charges for publishing truthful information … Since such charges appear to have been brought against Mr Assange in the United States, Ecuador should continue to provide him asylum," Pollack told The Telegraph newspaper.

Pollack maintained that the deal announced by Moreno was unacceptable, according to the outlet.

 

Assange’s lawyer in Ecuador, Carlos Poveda, has told Sputnik that his client was ready to surrender to the UK authorities after receiving written guarantees from London that he would not be extradited to the United States or any other country.

The whistleblower has been living in the Ecuadorian embassy since 2012. Assange has repeatedly suggested he might be apprehended outside the embassy and extradited to the United States.

READ MORE: Assange Readies Lawsuit Over 'Fabricated' Story on Meeting Manafort — Reports

Over the past months, the Ecuadorian authorities have been putting various restrictions on the conditions of Assange’s stay in the embassy, which the whistleblower’s defense called the violation of human rights.

 

In November, WikiLeaks suggested that the US authorities might have brought sealed charges against Assange, citing a filing in an unrelated case that used Assange's name in an "apparent cut-and-paste error."

 

Read more:

https://sputniknews.com/europe/201812071070466175-uk-ecuador-wikileaks-a...

 

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shooting the messenger...

Julian Assange has accused his Ecuadorean hosts of spying and feeding information to US authorities, and slammed attempts to block his journalistic work as a more subtle way of silencing than the murder of Jamal Khashoggi.

Suggesting there were “facts of espionage” inside the embassy, the WikiLeaks co-founder expressed concern during a hearing in Quito on Wednesday that Ecuadorean intelligence is not only spying on him, but sharing the data it has harvested with the FBI. Ecuadorean intelligence clearly spent a sizable amount of money equipping the embassy for surveillance, Assange added.

He accused Ecuadorean authorities of “comments of a threatening nature” relating to his journalistic work and compared attempts to silence him to the murder of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi, who was tortured and cut up in the Saudi embassy in Istanbul in October, but “more subtle.”  The comparison elicited a harsh reaction from Ecuadorean Prosecutor General Inigo Salvador, who accused Assange of biting the hand that feeds him.

 

Read more:

https://www.rt.com/news/446323-assange-khashoggi-spying-hearing/

 

 

Read from top.

a hero, not a criminal...

WikiLeaks' founder "is a hero, not a criminal," says British human rights activist Peter Tatchell, for whom Assange should never be tried: "The US government and military must be tried." 

According to Tatchell, Assange on trial would undermine freedom of information, "important human rights principles."

Based in London, Tatchell questions why The Guardian and The New York Times, which published Assange's revelations, are not charged with the Australian journalist. "The diminution of a vigilant, probing media weakens an important check and balance on the Washington elite," states the Peter Tatchell Foundation's founder. 

Below, the full interview with Peter Tatchell about the Assange imminent extradition to the United States.


Edu Montesanti:
 Accused of espionage, Julian Assange's trial in a U.S. court is imminent. WikiLeaks' founder is considered by those who accuse him, stuck in a quagmire of lawlessness, a"threatening" to US national security, and of "undermining" its democratic processes. What are your thoughts on this, Peter? 

Peter Tatchell: We know that a secret grand jury was convened years ago in the wake of WikiLeaks revelations, that highlighted US war crimes and government deceptions and cover-ups. The intention is to charge Assange with serious offenses that are likely to result in him being jailed for 30 years to life.

Trump administration officials have admitted that prosecuting Assange is a major legal priority. They are out to get him.

The truth is that Assange performed a great public service, by revealing US human rights abuses in Iraq and Afghanistan.

He's a hero, not a criminal. 

Edu Montesanti: What would Assange condemnation mean to journalism and free expression, and even the fight against imperialism and corruption? By the way, Peter, isn't is a bitter irony that those who have committed several terrible crimes all over the world, and against humanity without any accountability, trumpet law enforcement in Assange case now, the whistleblower of such crimes? The U.S. has spied on the whole world, seeking to condemn Assange now for having proved exactly which Washington, without any evidence, hysterically accuses the Kremlin, for instance... 


Peter Tatchell: Assange published revelations by whistle-blower Chelsea Manning. So did the Guardian newspaper in London, and the New York Times. Why is Assange being singled out for prosecution but not the two newspapers?

Freedom of information and media freedom are important human rights principles, which are being undermined by the plan to put Assange on trial in the US and to lock him up for decades.

It is the US government and military that should be on trial, not Assange. 

Edu Montesanti: Peter, I firmly believe that the mainstream media plays an important, and criminal role on Assange's current situation at a risk of being arrested, as the world media has ignored WikiLeaks' founder, and his revelations... or the corporate media has not given him much importance, as his revelations require. Let us remember that the German magazine Der Spiegel has reported years ago that many European "journalists" are CIA assets, which is also true in my region, Latin America. How do you evaluate the mainstream media coverage on WikiLeaks through years, and how much is it "guilty," let us put this way, what can you say about media responsibility for Assange's fate now?

Peter Tatchell: Much of the Western media has failed to fully report on the dire restrictions on Assange in the Ecuadorean Embassy in London, which are similar to the restrictions imposed on prisoners in maximum security jails. Yet Assange has never been charged, let alone convicted, of any crime.

The media has mostly failed to hold to account the US government and armed forces for the human rights violations revealed by Assange. This is damaging to democracy.

The diminution of a vigilant, probing media weakens an important check and balance on the Washington elite


See more at http://www.pravdareport.com/opinion/columnists/19-12-2018/142126-assange_public_service-0/

 

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have the best possible new year, julian...


Justice for Julian Assange, Test of Western Democracy


by  Posted on December 29, 2018


This has been the 7th year that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange spent Christmas in confinement inside Ecuador’s London embassy. For nearly a decade, the US government’s aggressive witch-hunt of truthtellers has trapped him in the UK.

Assange claimed political asylum in the Ecuadorian Embassy in 2012 to mitigate the risk of extradition to the US, relating to his publishing activities. He has been unlawfully by the UK government without charge, being denied access to medical treatment, fresh air, sunlight and adequate space to exercise. In December 2015, the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention concludedthat Assange was being "arbitrarily deprived of his freedom and demanded that he be released". Yet the UK government’s refusal to comply with the UN finding has allowed this unlawful detention to continue.

This cruel persecution of Assange represents a deep crisis of Western democracy. As injustice against this Western journalist prevails, the legitimacy of traditional institutions has weakened. The benevolent Democracy that many were taught to believe in has been shown to be an illusion. It has been revealed as a system of control, lacking enforcement mechanisms in law to deal with real offenders of human rights violations, who for example illegally invade countries under the pretext of fighting terrorism. Under this managed democracy, the premise of "no person is above laws" is made into a pretense that elites use to escape democratic accountability. Media has become the "Guardian" of ruling elites that engage in propaganda to distort truth.

Dictatorship of the West

Assange’s plight, his struggle for freedom revealed a dictatorship in the West. There have been changes in Ecuador’s treatment of Assange ever since a new President Lenin Moreno took office in May 2017. Contrary to the former President Rafael Correa, who courageously granted the publisher asylum, Moreno has shown total disregard for this Australian journalist who has become a political refugee and also a citizen of Ecuador since December 2017.

This Ecuadorian government’s shift in attitude had to do with Western governments’ bullying this small nation of South America. It was reported that the US has pressured Ecuador over loans, making it act illegally in violation of international laws as well as its own constitution. At the end of March, one day after a high level US military visit to Ecuador, this new Ecuadorian president unilaterally cut off Assange from the outside world, by denying his access to internet, prohibiting him from having visitors and communicating with the press. Assange has been put into isolation, which Human Rights Watch general counsel described as being similar to solitary confinement.

In mid October, in the guise of restoring his Internet access, Ecuador issued a "Special Protocol" that perpetuates this silencing of Assange. By further restricting his freedom of expression and requiring him to pay for medical bills and phone calls, Moreno government seeks to break Assange. He is forcing him to leave the embassy on his own accord and get arrested by UK authorities, who are refusing to give him assurances to not extradite him to the US.

US imperialism

Assange has met the fury of empire by exposing US government war crimes having the blood of tens of thousands of innocent people dripping from its hands. He has become a political prisoner, being treated as an enemy by the most powerful government in the world. Last month, US prosecutors mistakenly revealed secret criminal charges against Assange under file in the Eastern District of Virginia.

James Goodale, First Amendment lawyer and former general counsel of the New York Times, commented on the danger of US government’s efforts to charge a journalist possibly under espionage who is not American and did not publish in the US:

"A charge against Assange for ‘conspiring’ with a source is the most dangerous charge that I can think of with respect to the First Amendment in almost all my years representing media organizations."

The Espionage Act of 1917 is a US federal law, created after World War I to prosecute spies during wartime. This law is still in effect today and can be used to go after even those outside of US territory, due to a later amendment that removed this wording from the act: "within the jurisdiction of the United States, on the high seas, and within the United States".  

Obama’s Justice Department was eager to prosecute Assange and WikiLeaks for publishing classified documents, but chose not to do so, due to concerns that it would set a precedent which could strip away the First Amendment protection for the press. After WikiLeaks’ Vault 7 publication in March 2017 detailing CIA capabilities to perform electronic surveillance, the US government showed its appetite to abuse this outdated law to criminalize journalism.

In April 2017, the then Attorney General Jeff Sessions stated that the arrest of Assange is a priority. This threat on press freedom increased in the following months, as he showed his determination to prosecute media outlets publishing classified information. Trump’s Secretary of State and the former CIA director, Mike Pompeo called WikiLeaks "a non-state hostile intelligence service", claiming that the organization tries to subvert American values and it needs to be shut down. As the Trump administration tries to claim that it has a right to prosecute anyone in the world in their assault on free press, top Democratic leaders on Capitol Hill showed their bipartisan support. They signed a letter demanding Pompeo urges Ecuador to evict Assange.

Contagious act of resistance

The secret indictment against Assange opened a sad era for democracy. Barry Pollack, WikiLeaks founder’s Washington D.C. based attorney noted that this Trump administration’s attempt to prosecute "someone for publishing truth is a dangerous path for democracy to take". David Kaye, UN special rapporteur on freedom of opinion and expression stated that "prosecuting Assange would be dangerously problematic from the perspective of press freedom" and should be resisted.

Top human rights organizations have been showing strong opposition against the extradition of Assange. Both Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch urged the UK government not to extradite him to the US. More than 30 Parliamentarians of the German Parliament and EU Parliament wrote to UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, asking the UN to intervene so that Assange can travel to a safe third country.

Now, significant support for Assange has emerged from one of the European nations. On December 20, two German parliamentarians came to London to visit Assange inside the Ecuadorian Embassy. Germany that once suffered the suppression of civil liberty under a terrifyingly totalitarian state, has in recent years become a safe haven for Western dissidents who were forced to flee their countries against their governments’ persecution. In the aftermath of Snowden revelations of the "United Stasi of America", support for the safety of whistleblowers and journalists who report on government surveillance has increasingly grown.

WikiLeaks investigative editor Sarah Harrison, who helped to secure asylumfor the NSA whistleblower found her refuge for her exile from the UK in Berlin. Germany’s major center-left political party, SPD recognized her political courage, demonstrated in her work with WikiLeaks and the organization’s extraordinary source protection. Harrison was given an award, named after a journalist and the former West German chancellor Willy Brant who escaped the Nazis and was exiled before returning to Germany.

Last week, two German politicians who traveled to visit Assange, carried out an act of urgent diplomacy to represent this country’s commitment to the value of freedom of speech. At the press conference outside of the embassy after their visit, the pair who has been eager to see Assange for months, but were not allowed to do so until now, stood with Assange’s father and called for an international solution to Western government’s persecution of Assange. Savim Dagdelen, member of the Left Party, emphasized that Assange’s injustice is an exceptional case, noting how "there is no other publisher or editor in the Western world who has been arbitrarily detained" and this is a betrayal of Western values about human rights. Heike Hansel, vice-chairman of the Left parliamentary group, urged people to resist US government’ extraterritorial prosecution of Assange.

The courage of individuals inside democratic institutions, striving to uphold civil liberties, became contagious. Just before Christmas Eve this year, UN experts reiterated their demand for the UK to honor its international obligations and allow Assange to leave the embassy without fear of arrest and extradition. Chris Williamson, a sitting UK Member of Parliament has endorsed the UN’s statement that Assange should be compensated and be made free. While elected officials are standing up for the principle of democracy, concerned citizens around the world day and night stand watch over Assange outside of the embassy in London.

Restoring rule of law

As 2018 comes to an end, the legitimacy of the West and its entire fabric of institutions is now being tested. Democracy birthed in ancient Athens, was people’s aspiration to organize a society through their direct participation in power. In modern times, it got uprooted from the original imagination and quickly degenerated into a form of "elective despotism" that Thomas Jefferson once predicted.

In the institutional hierarchy of Western liberal democracy, what was regarded as the force for progress began to decay, from inside out. A system of representation that is purported to make those who are capable and intelligent to use their skills for public service, has been abused. Now, the rich and powerful began to inflict harm on those whom they are supposed to represent.

WikiLeaks, the world’s first global Fourth Estate, has come to existence as response to this crisis of democracy. With a pristine record of accuracy in its publications, the whistleblowing site brought a way for citizens around the world to transform this hollow democracy that has devoured ideals that once inspired the hearts of ordinary people.  

From the 2007 release of the Kroll report on official corruption in Kenya that affected the outcome of the national election, to the exposing of the moral bankruptcy of Iceland’s largest bank in 2009, WikiLeaks publications helped awaken the power of citizenry in many countries. Released documents sparkedglobal uprisings, transforming pervasive defeatism and despair into collective action on the streets. US diplomatic cables leak shared through social media in 2010 unleashed a powerful force that finally topped the corrupt Tunisian dictator Ben Ali.

Months after the Arab Spring, informed by WikiLeaks cables, people in Mexico launched a peaceful youth movement against the political corruption of the media. Revelations of Cablegate also affected the course of a presidential election in Peru, and transformed the media in Brazil. In 2016, the DNC leaks and publication of Podesta emails educated American people about how their political system works.

Julian Assange, through his work with WikiLeaks, engaged in that type of vibrant journalism that revitalized the impulse for real democracy. By publishing vital information in the public interest, he defended public’s right to know, empowering ordinary people to actively participate in history.

Now, it is our responsibility to respond to this crisis of democracy through solidarity. Can each of us step up to the challenge to solve the problems that our leaders have created? Efforts to free Assange urge us all to claim and exercise the power inherent within that can restore justice to end this prosecution of free speech.

 

Nozomi Hayase, Ph.D., is a writer who has been covering issues of freedom of speech, transparency, and decentralized movements. Her work is featured in many publications. Find her on twitter @nozomimagine.

 

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suing the USA...


WikiLeaks Sues to Unseal Secret US Charges Against Julian Assange


Prosecutors are pressing witnesses to testify against Assange 

 

Jason Ditz.   Posted on January 23, 2019

 

Categories NewsTags 

The US Justice Department has been building a criminal case against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange for years. There has been some evidence that there are charges secretly filed against him, pending the possibility of the US getting ahold of him.

On Wednesday, WikiLeaks has launched a lawsuit to try to force the Trump Administration to disclose any secret charges that have been filed against Assange. WikiLeaks is petitioning the Inter-American Commission of Human Rights to help with contesting extradition to the United States. 

From the moment the first WikiLeaks revelations started becoming embarrassing to US officials, top officials began to rail against the group in general and Assange in particular. Concern Assange would be extradited to the US, and potentially executed, was a big reason why he sought asylum in Ecuador. 

Assange has been in the Ecuadorean embassy in London for years. There is interest in him leaving the embassy, but only with assurances on what would happen to him if he did. Knowing what he is actually being secretly charged with would be a big step in figuring that out. 

 

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when justice stinks from the arsehole...

Judge Leonie Brinkema has denied an application from the Reporters’ Committee for Freedom of the Press to unseal the U.S. government’s complaint against WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange.

By Joe Lauria
Special to Consortium News

A U.S. federal judge has ruled against a petition to unseal a criminal complaint against WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange, arguing that there is no proof that it exists. 

Judge Leonie Brinkema of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia decided on Wednesday to turn down the request by the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press to make public details of the complaint, the existence of which was made known inadvertently last year. 

“The Government opposes the Committee’s application on the ground that it has neither confirmed nor denied whether charges have been filed against Assange and cannot be required to disclose that information before an arrest is made,” Brinkema wrote in her 10-page ruling.

Assange’s named appeared in a totally unrelated criminal complaint, apparently from a copy and paste mistake. The government called it an “unintentional error.” 

Brinkema ruled that despite the government’s admission of the error, “The Government has not acknowledged whether formal charges have been filed against Assange and the Committee has not cited any authority supporting the notion that the public has a right to require the Government to confirm or deny that it has charged someone.”

 

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room 101...

While Julian Assange is still held prisoner, Julie Bishop has failed to use her political influence to put a case forward in his favour, writes John Pilger.

WHENEVER I VISIT Julian Assange, we meet in a room he knows too well. There is a bare table and pictures of Ecuador on the walls. There is a bookcase where the books never change. The curtains are always drawn and there is no natural light. The air is still and fetid.

This is Room 101.

Before I enter Room 101, I must surrender my passport and phone. My pockets and possessions are examined. The food I bring is inspected.

The man who guards Room 101 sits in what looks like an old-fashioned telephone box. He watches a screen, watching Julian. There are other unseen, agents of the State, watching and listening.

Cameras are everywhere in Room 101. To avoid them, Julian manoeuvres us both into a corner, side by side, flat up against the wall. This is how we catch up — whispering and writing to each other on a notepad, which he shields from the cameras. Sometimes we laugh.

I have my designated time slot. When that expires, the door in Room 101 bursts open and the guard says, “time is up!” On New Year's Eve, I was allowed an extra 30 minutes and the man in the phone box wished me a Happy New Year, but not Julian.

Of course, Room 101 is the room in George Orwell's prophetic novel ‘1984’, where the Thought Police watched and tormented their prisoners and worse, until people surrendered their humanity and principles and obeyed Big Brother.

Julian Assange will never obey Big Brother. His resilience and courage are astonishing, even though his physical health struggles to keep up.

Julian is a distinguished Australian, who has changed the way many people think about duplicitous governments. For this, he is a political refugee subjected to what the United Nations calls “arbitrary detention”.

The United Nations says he has the right of free passage to freedom, but this is denied. He has the right to medical treatment without fear of arrest, but this is denied. He has the right to compensation, but this is denied.

As founder and editor of WikiLeaks, his crime has been to make sense of dark times. WikiLeaks has an impeccable record of accuracy and authenticity which no newspaper, no TV channel, no radio station, no BBC, no New York Times, no Washington Post, no Guardian can equal. Indeed, it shames them.  

That explains why he is being punished.

For example:

Last week, the International Court of Justice ruled that the British Government had no legal powers over the Chagos Islanders who, in the 1960s and '70s, were expelled in secret from their homeland on Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean and sent into exile and poverty. Countless children died, many of them from sadness. It was an epic crime few knew about.

For almost 50 years, the British have denied the Islanders the right to return to their homeland, which they had given to the Americans for a major military base.

In 2009, the British Foreign Office concocted a “marine reserve” around the Chagos Archipelago.

This touching concern for the environment was exposed as a fraud when WikiLeaks published a secret cable from the British Government reassuring the Americans that:

‘...the former inhabitants would find it difficult, if not possible, to pursue their claim for resettlement on the islands if the entire Chagos Archipelago were a marine reserve.’

The truth of the conspiracy clearly influenced the momentous decision of the International Court of Justice.

WikiLeaks has also revealed how the United States spies on its allies — how the CIA can watch you through your iPhone, how Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton took vast sums of money from Wall Street for secret speeches that reassured the bankers that if she was elected she would be their friend.

In 2016, WikiLeaks revealed a direct connection between Clinton and organised jihadism in the Middle East — terrorists, in other words. One email disclosed that when Clinton was U.S. Secretary of State, she knew that Saudi Arabia and Qatar were funding Islamic State, yet she accepted huge donations for her foundation from both governments.

She then approved the world's biggest ever arms sale to her Saudi benefactors, arms that are currently being used against the stricken people of Yemen.

That explains why he is being punished.

WikiLeaks has also published more than 800,000 secret files from Russia, including the Kremlin, telling us more about the machinations of power in that country than the specious hysterics of the Russiagate pantomime in Washington.

This is real journalism, journalism of a kind now considered exotic. It's the antithesis of Vichy journalism, which speaks for the enemy of the people and takes its sobriquet from the Vichy Government that occupied France on behalf of the Nazis.

Vichy journalism is censorship by omission, such as the untold scandal of the collusion between Australian governments and the United States to deny Julian Assange his rights as an Australian citizen and to silence him.

In 2010, Prime Minister Julia Gillard went as far as ordering the Australian Federal Police to investigate and hopefully prosecute Assange and WikiLeaks, until she was informed by the AFP that no crime had been committed.

Recently, the Sydney Morning Herald published a lavish supplement promoting a celebration of “Me Too” at the Sydney Opera House on 10 March. Among the leading participants is the recently retired Minister of Foreign Affairs, Julie Bishop.

Bishop has been on show in the local media lately, lauded as a loss to politics — an “icon”, someone called her, to be admired.

The elevation to celebrity feminism of one so politically primitive as Bishop tells us how much so-called identity politics have subverted an essential, objective truth: that what matters, above all, is not your gender but the class you serve.

Before she entered politics, Julie Bishop was a lawyer who served the notorious asbestos miner James Hardie, which fought claims by men and their families dying horribly with black lung disease.

Lawyer Peter Gordon recalls Bishop:

“...rhetorically asking the court why workers should be entitled to jump court queues just because they were dying.”

Bishop says she acted on instructions... professionally and ethically”.

Perhaps she was merely acting on instructions when she flew to London and Washington last year with her ministerial Chief of Staff, who had indicated that the Australian Foreign Minister would raise Julian's case and hopefully begin the diplomatic process of bringing him home.

Julian's father had written a moving letter to the then Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, asking the Government to intervene diplomatically to free his son. He told Turnbull that he was worried Julian might not leave the embassy alive.

Julie Bishop had every opportunity in the UK and the U.S. to present a diplomatic solution that would bring Julian home. But this required the courage of one proud to represent a sovereign, independent state, not a vassal.

Instead, she made no attempt to contradict the British Foreign Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, when he said outrageously that Julian faced serious charges. What charges? There were no charges.

Australia's Foreign Minister abandoned her duty to speak up for an Australian citizen, prosecuted with nothing, charged with nothing, guilty of nothing.

Will those feminists who fawn over this false icon at the Opera House this Sunday be reminded of her role in colluding with foreign forces to punish an Australian journalist, one whose work has revealed that rapacious militarism has smashed the lives of millions of ordinary women in many countries? In Iraq alone, the U.S.-led invasion of that country, in which Australia participated, left 700,000 widows.

So what can be done? An Australian Government that was prepared to act in response to a public campaign to rescue the refugee football player, Hakeem al-Araibi, from torture and persecution in Bahrain is capable of bringing Julian Assange home.

The refusal by the Department of Foreign Affairs in Canberra to honour the United Nations' declaration that Julian is the victim of “arbitrary detention” and has a fundamental right to his freedom, is a shameful breach of the letter and spirit of international law.

Why has the Australian Government made no serious attempt to free Assange? Why did Julie Bishop bow to the wishes of two foreign powers? Why is this democracy traduced by its servile relationships and integrated with lawless foreign power?

The persecution of Julian Assange is the conquest of us all: of our independence, our self-respect, our intellect, our compassion, our politics, our culture.

So stop scrolling. Organise. Occupy. Insist. Persist. Make a noise. Take direct action. Be brave and stay brave. Defy the thought police.

War is not peace, freedom is not slavery, ignorance is not strength. If Julian can stand up, so can you. So can all of us.  

John Pilger gave this speech at a rally for Julian Assange in Sydney on 3 March.

Read :

https://independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/julian-assange-the-prisoner-says-no-to-big-brother,12443

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