Monday 13th of July 2020

the sins of western democracy...

sins   The persecution of Julian Assange is one of those breakthrough moments when suddenly people realise that almost everything they have been told to believe is not true.

This week the Australian-born journalist and publisher has been subjected to a show trial in a British court with the threat of extradition to the United States looming. If he is extradited, the 48-year old is facing 175 years – a death sentence – in prison on wholly contrived espionage charges.

Assange is being persecuted for the sole and simple reason that he exposed war crimes and systematic corruption by the US government and its Western allies. His years of arbitrary detention and the torture endured over the past year while in solitary confinement in a British dungeon are a grim warning to all citizens. The warning is that their supposed democratic rights are non-existent as far as the powers in Washington and London are concerned. If you dare speak truth to power, then this fate will also be yours.

Thus, when it gets down to it, the harsh reality is that there is no such thing as democracy in the US or Britain. Elections and media are but window-dressing to hide the brutal truth that fundamental, basic democratic rights of free speech and due legal process are not inalienable principles, but rather are dispensable privileges whenever the powers-that-be ordain so.

Julian Assange’s incarceration and pillorying is like an inquisition from medieval times happening in the year 2020. He dared expose the rampant, systematic crimes of so-called authorities through his Wikileaks site. His blasphemy was to expose the charlatans and mass-killers who masquerade as pious leaders.

Those revelations showed the public that the pretensions of democracy and rule of law by the American and British governments are nothing but hypocritical, empty posturing. Assange’s courageous publishing work demonstrated how those governments have waged criminal wars and committed genocidal crimes; how they have made a mockery of international law and democratic rights. And for that heroic service to public truth and empowerment with the truth, Assange is being pilloried like a rebellious serf by overlords posing as “governments” and “judges”.

Assange’s show trial is also powerfully revealing of the real nature of Western so-called news media. Not one of the major US or British news outlets have given any coverage, let alone comment, regarding his week-long extradition trial.

A journalist and publisher is being whipsawed in the court as if he is a dangerous terrorist. He is denied elementary due process by being confined to a glass-cage dock, not able to communicate with his defence lawyers, unable to even hear what his accusers are claiming.

His extradition, to be determined at a future court hearing, seems like a foregone conclusion, such is the bias and hostility towards Assange from the presiding British judge, Vanessa Baraitser.

Given the international outcry from hundreds of doctors and UN representatives over Assange’s torture endured while in British custody, and given the grotesque abuse of legal process by the American and British so-called authorities, the case should be thrown out immediately – if there were any modicum of justice.

The vendetta against Assange tells us what kind of societies citizens (or rather subjects) are living under in the US and Britain. These states are oligarchies where “democratic rights” are strictly conditional on subjects not stepping out of line, such as criticising war crimes or illegal global spying.


Julian Assange has torn through the largely invisible matrix of propaganda and power that people really live under. The saccharin myths of “democracy” and “free speech” are shown for the ugly, putrid reality that they are. And the Western corporate-controlled media in their silence about what is going on are also condemned for the lying servile machines that they are.


We must not accept the fate being prepared for Assange as if it is inevitable or as if we are powerless to overthrow it. The first step towards freedom is truth, and thanks to Julian Assange, we have the power to be free. We know the tyrannical nature of the governments that presume to rule over us in our names. There must be a popular uprising in defence of Assange. Because no-one is free until he is.


A final note by way of testimony: anyone who has been enlightened by Wikileaks’ revelations over the past decade will know that the current escalation of conflict in Syria’s Idlib is due to NATO powers illegally occupying that country. They will know that NATO powers have for years covertly sponsored terror groups to carry out a criminal regime-change war. By contrast, anyone who relies on Western governments and mainstream media for “information” will have no idea whatsoever about what is really going in Syria. A wider war could erupt any day and those who are brainwashed by Western regimes and their media are impotent to stop it. The empowerment of citizens by Julian Assange and Wikileaks over the years is the difference between ending wars or fueling them.


The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik, but they fit those of Gus Leonisky ...

 

Read more:

https://sputniknews.com/columnists/202002281078430608-assange-rips-the-m...

 

 

Sing together now:

 

Free ASSANGE TODAY,

TODAY, TODAY,

IF YOU WERE TOO afraid

of DISPENSING

proper justice yesterday...

because TODAY IS THE DAY...

to FREE ASSANGE TODAY...


the rot and rorts in his head...

incontrovertible evidence of government crimes...


From Chris Floyd...


It doesn’t matter what you think of Julian Assange personally; his personality is not on trial. He is facing charges for one thing only: publishing incontrovertible evidence of US war crimes in Iraq. If he is extradited to the US and convicted, then every single media outlet that publishes evidence of government wrongdoing will face the same threat. That is the point of his prosecution: to put a chill of fear into every journalist and editor who receives evidence of government crimes.

The extraordinarily brutal treatment Assange is getting even as his extradition hearing goes forward this week is part of the chilling process. Here’s what any journalist who exposes state crimes has to look forward to:


"Day 2 proceedings had started with a statement from Edward Fitzgerald, Assange’s QC, that shook us rudely into life. He stated that yesterday, on the first day of trial, Julian had twice been stripped naked and searched, eleven times been handcuffed, and five times been locked up in different holding cells. On top of this, all of his court documents had been taken from him by the prison authorities, including privileged communications between his lawyers and himself, and he had been left with no ability to prepare to participate in today’s proceedings."

 

Throughout the hearing, Assange is locked in a glass box, forbidden any human contact. Meanwhile, the judge openly derides the defense, interfering with their presentation. Even so, their case was devastating. Using actual evidence from the US government itself, they demolished, point by point, the accusations put forward by the Trump administration. 

The Trump lawyers claim that Assange told Chelsea Manning how to break into the classified computer files that she later released. Yet the US government’s own evidence in its trial of Manning clearly showed she already had access to the files — as did thousands of other personnel — before she ever contacted Wikileaks. Wikileaks played no part at all in procuring the files, which is the heart of the Trump team’s ostensible case.

The second element of the case involves Wikileaks’ release of unredacted documents from Manning. The Trump lawyers claim that Wikileaks knew the release would put agents at risk but did it anyway. Here too the actual facts, again backed up by the US government’s own evidence, are devastating. Wikileaks only published the unreacted files after writers from the Guardian had given away the secret encryption code in a published book – despite Wikileaks’ frantic pleas for them not to do this. After the Guardian writers had published the code, Wikileaks contacted the US government to warn them of the possible dangers. US officials did nothing, leaving agents exposed to any enemy who could now, thanks to the Guardian, obtain all the thousands of files. After the government failed to act, Wikileaks then published the already obtainable files so that any agent named in them could at least know what information was out there on them.

In any case, US government prosecutors themselves clearly confirmed in the Manning trial that, in the end, no US agents or personnel had come to harm from the release of the files. They also confirmed that Wikileaks informed the US government that the encryption code – which Wikileaks had given to the Guardian when working together to release carefully redacted excerpts from the documents — had been broken. It was the Guardian writers and their publishers who actually gave any potential enemy the keys to the classified files. By the US government’s own admissions in a court of law, Wikileaks tried to stop the release of unredacted materials, then frantically sought to work with the US government to mitigate any harm, and only published them after they were already widely obtainable — and again, only in order to mitigate any harm for agents who didn’t know they’d been exposed by the Guardian writers. 

In short, the Trump lawyers have absolutely no case for Assange’s extradition. Their charges are transparently false, and are refuted by the US government’s own evidence in previous trials. But in the end, this is not going to matter. The judge who is the sole decider in the case has clearly made up her mind. In one of several of her extraordinary interventions into the case, she declared yesterday that evidence of the United States government’s own trial against Chelsea Manning could not be used as facts in the extradition hearing. Yes, you read it right. The facts established and accepted by the US government in court proceedings cannot be used as facts in a court proceeding involving the US government. The Trump prosecutors have taken the same line: “Yes, we know the US government confirmed these facts before, but we’re saying that doesn’t matter. The new facts are now the false facts we’re presenting here.”

I don’t know how anyone can call themselves a journalist — or just an ordinary concerned citizen of what are supposed to be the democracies of the United States and Great Britain — and not feel a deep chill, and hot outrage, at these proceedings. American liberals turn a blind eye because Wikileaks published emails that embarrassed Hillary Clinton and they believe Assange is an unsavoury character. But again, none of this has anything to do with Assange’s personality or with Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump or Vladimir Putin or any of that. A publisher is being prosecuted for publishing incontrovertible evidence of government crimes. He is facing demonstrably false charges by a government that is openly dismissing its own previous admissions and evidence. He is being openly abused in the prison system. If this was happening to a publisher in Russia or China or Iran, there would be endless outrage across the Western media. But the extradition hearing is getting little or no coverage at all.

If Assange is extradited and convicted of these false charges, then we will have taken another giant leap down the road of authoritarianism. If this doesn’t bother you, then please don’t bother telling us what a “resister” you are. 

 

Read more:

http://www.chris-floyd.com/mobile/articles/chill-factor-wikileaks-trial-...

 

 

Read from top...

seen as highly susceptible to abuse...

A lawyer for Chelsea Manning says the former intelligence analyst has tried to take her own life but was taken to hospital, where she is recovering.

Manning has been in jail since May 2019 for refusing to testify before a grand jury investigating WikiLeaks.

She was scheduled to appear in federal court in Alexandria, Virginia, on Friday for a hearing on a motion to terminate the civil contempt sanctions stemming from that refusal.

In the motion filed last month, Manning’s lawyers argued that Manning has shown during her incarceration that she can’t be coerced into testifying before a grand jury.

Manning served seven years in a military prison for leaking a trove of documents to WikiLeaks before President Barack Obama commuted the remainder of her 35-year sentence in 2017.

 

Read more:

https://thenewdaily.com.au/news/people/2020/03/12/chelsea-manning-suicid...

released from jail...

US District Judge Anthony J. Trenga ordered whistleblower Chelsea Manning released from detention on Thursday, a day after she attempted to take her own life. However, he did not release her from the fines she incurred as punishment, which total a quarter of a million dollars.

"Upon consideration of the Court's May 16, 2019, order, the motion, and the court's March 12, 2020, order discharging Grand Jury 19-3, the court finds that Ms. Manning's appearance before the grand jury is no longer needed, in light of which her detention no longer serves any coercive purpose," Judge Trenga wrote in a Thursday court order. "The court further finds that enforcement of the accrued conditional fines would not be punitive but rather necessary to the coercive purpose of the court's civil contempt order."

"According, it is hereby ordered that Chelsea Manning be, and she hereby is, immediately released from the custody of the attorney general," he wrote.

However, the judge denied Manning's request to have waived $256,000 in fines she had accrued since the previous May, which he added as an additional coercive measure to try and force her to testify.

The decision comes a day after Manning attempted to end her life while in Virginia's Alexandria Detention Center and a day before she was due to appear in court regarding a February 19 motion for her release. She has been in detention since March 2019 for her refusal to testify before a grand jury about her interactions with WikiLeaks co-founder Julian Assange, who helped her publish a trove of stolen US government documents in 2010 revealing US war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan. Manning, then a US Army intelligence analyst, was tried and sentenced to 35 years in prison in 2013 for that crime, but released in 2017 when departing US President Barack Obama commuted her sentence.

Her detention has been protested by tens of thousands of activists, academics, politicians and sympathetic persons, including United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture Nils Melzer, who wrote a letter to the US government in November denouncing her treatment and calling for her release.

 

Read more:

https://sputniknews.com/us/202003121078551825-whistleblower-chelsea-mann...

 

May be a rich guy, say Bloomberg, could pay the fines plus tax, for an exclusive interview with Manning...