Thursday 29th of October 2020

pilger on journalism and defending julian assange...


Having reported the long, epic ordeal of Julian Assange, John Pilger gave this address outside the Central Criminal Court in London on September 7, as the WikiLeaks Editor’s extradition hearing entered its final stage.

When I first met Julian Assange more than 10 years ago, I asked him why he had started WikiLeaks. He replied: “Transparency and accountability are moral issues that must be the essence of public life and journalism.”

I had never heard a publisher or an editor invoke morality in this way. Assange believes that journalists are the agents of people, not power: that we, the people, have a right to know about the darkest secrets of those who claim to act in our name.

If the powerful lie to us, we have the right to know. If they say one thing in private and the opposite in public, we have the right to know. If they conspire against us, as Bush and Blair did over Iraq, then pretend to be democrats, we have the right to know.

It is this morality of purpose that so threatens the collusion of powers that want to plunge much of the world into war and wants to bury Julian alive in Trump’s fascist America.

In 2008, a top secret US State Department report described in detail how the United States would combat this new moral threat. A secretly-directed personal smear campaign against Julian Assange would lead to “exposure [and]criminal prosecution”.

The aim was to silence and criminalise WikiLeaks and its founder. Page after page revealed a coming war on a single human being and on the very principle of freedom of speech and freedom of thought, and democracy.

The imperial shock troops would be those who called themselves journalists: the big hitters of the so-called mainstream, especially the “liberals” who mark and patrol the perimeters of dissent.

And that is what happened. I have been a reporter for more than 50 years and I have never known a smear campaign like it: the fabricated character assassination of a man who refused to join the club, who believed journalism was a service to the public, never to those above.

Assange shamed his persecutors. He produced scoop after scoop. He exposed the fraudulence of wars promoted by the media and the homicidal nature of America’s wars, the corruption of dictators, the evils of Guantanamo.

He forced us in the West to look in the mirror. He exposed the official truth-tellers in the media as collaborators: those I would call Vichy journalists. None of these imposters believed Assange when he warned that his life was in danger: that the “sex scandal” in Sweden was a set up and an American hellhole was the ultimate destination. And he was right, and repeatedly right.

The extradition hearing in London this week is the final act of an Anglo-American campaign to bury Julian Assange. It is not due process. It is due revenge. The American indictment is clearly rigged, a demonstrable sham. So far, the hearings have been reminiscent of their Stalinist equivalents during the Cold War.

Today, the land that gave us Magna Carta, Great Britain, is distinguished by the abandonment of its own sovereignty in allowing a malign foreign power to manipulate justice and by the vicious psychological torture of Julian – a form of torture, as Nils Melzer, the UN expert has pointed out, that was refined by the Nazis because it was most effective in breaking its victims.

Every time I have visited Assange in Belmarsh prison, I have seen the effects of this torture. When I last saw him, he had lost more than 10 kilos in weight; his arms had no muscle. Incredibly, his wicked sense of humour was intact.

As for Assange’s homeland, Australia has displayed only a cringing cowardice as its government has secretly conspired against its own citizen who ought to be celebrated as a national hero. Not for nothing did George W. Bush anoint the Australian prime minister his “deputy sheriff”.

It is said that whatever happens to Julian Assange in the next three weeks will diminish if not destroy freedom of the press in the West. But which press? The Guardian? The BBC, The New York Times, the Jeff Bezos Washington Post?

No, the journalists in these organisations can breathe freely. The Judases on the Guardian who flirted with Julian, exploited his landmark work, made their pile then betrayed him, have nothing to fear. They are safe because they are needed.

Freedom of the press now rests with the honourable few: the exceptions, the dissidents on the internet who belong to no club, who are neither rich nor laden with Pulitzers, but produce fine, disobedient, moral journalism – those like Julian Assange.

Meanwhile, it is our responsibility to stand by a true journalist whose sheer courage ought to be inspiration to all of us who still believe that freedom is possible. I salute him.


Read more:



The picture at top by Gus Leonisky is of a life-size sculpture in Berlin, Germany. It could be the biggest one-piece CERAMIC in the world. I will chase references. I though it represented freedom and seduction together with transparency and accountability.

we are ruled by sociopaths...


From Philip Roddis:


I began a recent post with this assertion:

The western world is inhabited by those who know we are ruled by sociopaths … and that much larger group which, taking at face value the surface forms of democracy informed by independent media, either cannot or will not accept this admittedly frightening truth.

You find me hyperbolic? I’d love to hear your factually based reasons. Ditto if you had a similar reaction to my many allusions to the USA – and other imperialisms defined as such by financial domination of the global south – as lawless.

I look to facts rather than lifelong imbued depictions, powerfully impressionistic and implicitly racist, of a morally superior West when all the evidence points quite the other way. Take the US Empire. It really is an extraordinary achievement by narrative managers that slavery, colonial plunder, land grabs, coups, colour revolutions to install US puppets and genocidally internecine quarrels (the last one ending in the Pentagon testing newly acquired death technology on the Japanese people) have been variously ignored, justified by half truths and flat out lies, or simply filed under the Bad Old Days before “we” learned to behave better.

The agents of this PR success story are by no means confined to news media. They also take in our entertainment industries, education systems and other ideological gatekeepers. What’s more – see my July post, political economy of our media – this success does not presuppose consciously mendacious actors. In the main, the normal incentives of career motivation apply.

Here’s what I wrote in 2016:

Journalists who know what’s good for them please editors. Editors who know what’s good for them please proprietors. Proprietors need advertisers and crave honours.

And here’s a now famous exchange from February 1996, between the BBC’s Andrew Marr and Noam Chomsky:

Marr: How can you know I’m self censoring?

Chomsky: I’m not saying you are self censoring. I’m sure you believe everything you say. But what I’m saying is that if you believed something different you wouldn’t be sitting where you’re sitting.

By 2017 Marr had honed his riposte:

I was nervous of Chomsky. When he said “if you believed something different, you wouldn’t be where you’re sitting”, I immediately realised this was not so much brilliant as unanswerable […] I had said that the Guardian and the Telegraph posed very different world views. And that journalists varied hugely in politics and temperament. Chomsky is brilliant, but a brilliant conspiracist, so no, it wasn’t a matter of the penny dropping, still less an epiphany.”

Which tells me several things. One is that Marr is intellectually vain. “I immediately realised …” can be read as defending his being lost for words at the time. Another, more important, is that he really does believe Guardian and Telegraph pose very different worldviews. 

For reasons I’ve set out many times, on issues that most matter to class rule, Marr, product of a privileged but narrow education (Dundee High, Cambridge), is quite wrong on this point.

(Or have I missed some profoundly subtle yet shatteringly radical difference between Guardian and Telegraph coverage of Assad, Assange, Chavez, Corbyn, Maduro, Mugabe, Putin and Xi? My, in a world of thugs and robbers, mostly in the global south, we can thank our lucky stars that the West, with its 500 year history of altruism, is ready and willing to act as the world’s selfless gendarme!)

As for “journalists varying hugely in politics and temperament”, that is so spectacularly point missing, from an otherwise sophisticated man, as to corroborate an opinion I’ve long held. In a corrupt status quo, career mindedness begets cynicism which in turn begets, for reasons to do with our limited capacity to tolerate cognitive dissonance, its own forms of obtuseness.

Finally, Chomsky is emphatically not a conspiracy theorist in any meaningful sense of the term – read him at source on these matters – far less in the degraded sense now routinely used to dismiss arguments – not just any old argument but those fatal to illusions which enable class rule to go quietly about its business – without the inconvenience of addressing their specifics. Implicit in Marr’s usage is the very circularity of reasoning he – and this too is implicit – lays at Chomsky’s door.

Not that self interest leading to self censorship, without our being consciously involved in the process, is confined to news media. It can be detected in all ideological agencies, aided by the reality that homo sapiens sapiens, for all her remarkable powers of reason, is first and foremost a psychological rather than logical animal.

Which goes some way to explaining why myths imbibed since infancy, of the fairness of our political and judicial systems, of media independence and of a moral entitlement – nay, duty – to police the planet so often trump cold facts. Especially when, on matters which do not cut to the heart of ruling class interests, the myths are not wholly inaccurate.

It is Julian Assange’s misfortune – and ours, if we could but see beyond the ends of our noses – that the threat he posed through truthful journalism did indeed cut to the heart of ruling class interests.

But that’s quite enough from me. Here’s Oscar Grenfell, writing today in WSWS.1

The working class must defend Julian Assange!




The latest stage in the decade-long persecution of Julian Assange begins today, with the final three weeks of British court hearings for the extradition of the WikiLeaks publisher to the US, where he faces 175 years in prison for exposing American war crimes, human rights violations, coups and meddling operations around the world.

Whatever the court decides will likely be subject to years of legal appeal, but the scenario that Assange has warned of for the past ten years—that he risks being hauled before a secret US court, prosecuted for lawful publishing activities and thrown into a hellhole run by his CIA persecutors—is all too real.

The innumerable pundits and media commentators who derided these warnings as a conspiracy theory and promoted the slanders used to undermine public support for Assange have fallen silent.2 The legal travesty underway in the land of the Magna Carta either goes unmentioned in the official press, or is discreetly buried in brief columns halfway through the papers.

The hearings are only proceeding because the attempt of the British state to kill Assange by exposing him to the danger of coronavirus infection has so far failed.

Throughout the pandemic, Assange has been held in the maximum-security Belmarsh Prison, where he has been denied a mask or any other protection, even as dozens of inmates and staff have contracted COVID-19. A bail application has been contemptuously dismissed, despite the fact that Assange has been convicted of no crime, as have warnings that his health continues to deteriorate.

Assange, facing the most consequential legal proceedings of his life, has been unable to meet with his lawyers for the past six months. Weeks before the resumption of the trial, US prosecutors filed a superseding indictment, based on the lies and slanders of FBI informants, over a year after they were required to submit their final charge sheet. The transparent purpose was to inundate Assange’s legal team with tens of thousands of documents, after they had finished preparing their case, to prevent even the possibility of a defence.

As a matter of law, the US extradition request should have been thrown out as soon as it was submitted.

It violates innumerable treaties, laws and international conventions, including a ban on extraditions from Britain to the US for political offenses…

Read the full piece here.


Read more:



Read from top again. See also:

call off the persecution of julian assange.

If Donald Trump was genuinely against “endless wars” – as he claims to be – then he would do the decent thing and call off the persecution of Julian Assange.

The extradition trial of the Australian founder of Wikileaks resumed in London this week. In the coming weeks, Assange faces the prospect of being extradited to the US where he will be prosecuted on espionage charges carrying a sentence of 175 years in prison.

The legal proceedings and charges against Assange are a sham. His vindictive detention in solitary confinement at a maximum security prison for over a year amounts to torture. Every day of his incarceration for the past 16 months has been a grotesque abuse of human rights. And this barbarity is all due to the fact that Assange’s whistleblower site Wikileaks exposed monumental war crimes committed by the American and British governments and their militaries.

Julian Assange is a hero to truth-telling and holding tyrannical powers to account. His Wikileaks organization not only exposed illegal wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, but also massive criminal espionage against citizens around the world perpetrated by Washington and its Western allies.

Arguably, Donald Trump benefited greatly from Wikileaks’ blistering exposés of political corruption that tainted the election campaign of Hillary Clinton in 2016. This, by the way, had nothing to do with the bogus so-called Russiagate scandal. Wikileaks exposed Clinton and her Democratic cronies as Wall Street flunkeys using internal sources that had nothing to do with supposed Russian hackers. Those bombshell revelations no doubt served to substantially damage votes for Clinton, thereby benefiting Trump. This is not to suggest Assange was campaigning for Trump. Wikileaks was simply letting citizens know about the corruption swilling around Clinton and the Democrat establishment.

Trump even declared on several occasions that he “loved Wikileaks”. Well, no doubt, he appreciated the beneficial fallout from its exposés.

However, subsequently, it is the Trump administration which has gone after Assange with a vengeance. It was Trump’s Department of Justice that greatly loaded the prosecution case against him when it filed 17 charges under the archaic World War One-era Espionage Act. Instead of a facing relatively minor charges of computer hacking with five-year imprisonment (still unjustified, mind you), Assange is being hounded by the Trump administration with the threat of 175 years in prison. A de facto death sentence.

In other words, the Trump administration has ensured the trashing of any due process and Assange’s legal rights in order to pursue his destruction. And of course the British vassal state has dutifully obliged the American tyranny against this innocent and imminently honorable man.

This is important proof of Trump’s charlatan character. This week the American president sought to pose as being against endless wars and of being on the side of ordinary troops. Having been accused of disparaging American war dead as “losers and suckers”, Trump no doubt felt under pressure to appear as the champion of the troops.

In doing so, Trump took aim at the military top brass at the Pentagon and the military-industrial complex.

“I’m not saying the military’s in love with me — the soldiers are,” said Trump during his Labor Day address on Monday. “The top people in the Pentagon probably aren’t, because they want to do nothing but fight wars so that all of those wonderful companies that make the bombs and make the planes and make everything else stay happy.”

Trump is reprising his populist 2016 election promises of “ending endless wars” in the interest of protecting soldiers’ lives.

That posturing doesn’t sit well with the fact that Trump has done nothing to stop American militarism around the world since be took office nearly four years ago. As for the Pentagon war machine, this president has greatly expanded the taxpayer-funded bloat of the military-industrial complex.

But perhaps the most telling test is the fate of Julian Assange. He exposed criminal US endless wars more than anyone. If there were any justice, Assange should be freed and feted as a hero serving the good of the public and the cause for peace. Trump’s callous persecution of Assange shows that his rhetoric about ending wars is empty, cynical posturing.

The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.



Read more:



Read from top.


And lets not forget the Rubbish Scumbag Aussieland government persecuting Witness K and his lawyer, Bernard Collaery...

a failure, a cockup, a snafu, a fucup or a deliberate shut up?

Hot on the heels of a coronavirus scare, Julian Assange’s extradition hearing was postponed on Monday following a farcical videolink failure which meant the court could not hear the testimony of a prominent witness.

The court was hearing from witness Eric Lewis, an experienced US lawyer, when out of the blue it was interrupted by a Fox News video about WikiLeaks. The source of the unexpected interruption was never revealed and the court went into recess in a bid to resolve the technical difficulties.

Lewis was expected to give evidence that Assange would face a “flagrant denial of justice” if put on trial in the US. The court was only on the first of five statements he submitted when the issues arose.

The videolink problems persisted when the sitting resumed as those in the courtroom were unable to hear what Lewis was saying. Despite problems in the courtroom, the lawyer’s comments were audible to those watching a livestream of the proceedings. Lewis could be heard repeatedly saying “can you hear me?” while frantically waving his arms to catch the attention of the court.

The technical difficulties failed to be resolved and after a lengthy delay the court was adjourned without hearing Lewis’ full testimony. During the portion that could be heard, the lawyer gave evidence that the WikiLeaks founder would face a possible 175-year sentence if convicted on all 18 charges he faces, pointing out that in the US “sentences are longer than are found elsewhere in the world.” 

Assange is wanted in the United States over allegations that he conspired to hack government computers and violated an espionage law over the release of confidential cables in 2010-2011.


Read more:


Read from top.


a donald deal...

President Donald Trump attempted to cut a deal with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, offering the wanted journalist a pardon in exchange for the source of the 2016 DNC emails. Assange refused to betray the source.

Assange’s defense revealed the pardon deal to a court in London on Friday, where the WikiLeaks founder is currently fighting extradition to the US. Should he lose, he will be tried for espionage offenses and could face 175 years behind bars.

However, Assange was apparently offered an out by the Trump administration. Defense lawyer Jennifer Robinson told the court that former US Rep. Dana Rohrabacher and another Trump campaign associate, Charles Johnson, offered a pardon if Assange were to reveal the source of the emails, which are widely considered to have helped Trump win the 2016 presidential election.

“Rohrabacher proposed a ‘win-win’ situation,” Robinson said. 

Assange can get ‘get on with his life’ – a pardon in exchange for information about the source.”

“Information from Mr Assange about the source of the DNC leaks would be of value to Mr Trump,” she added, paraphrasing Rohrabacher and Johnson.

Assange rejected the offer, and was indicted in 2019 on 17 counts of violating the Espionage Act. At the time of his indictment he was already in custody in the UK, after being arrested in London’s Ecuadorian embassy that April.


Read more:


We guessed that much when posting this cartoon in 2017


Click on picture for link...







Whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg – whose ‘Pentagon Papers’ leak exposed illegal US bombing during the Vietnam War – said Julian Assange would not see a fair trial if extradited to the US, comparing the publisher’s case to his own.

Testifying at Assange’s extradition hearing on Wednesday, Ellsberg said the WikiLeaks co-founder would be denied a chance to defend himself if sent to the US for a trial, noting that, like in his own case, Assange would not be permitted to argue his publications were in the ‘public interest.’

“I observe the closest of similarities to the position I faced, where the exposure of illegality and criminal acts institutionally and by individuals was intended to be crushed by the administration carrying out those illegalities,” Ellsberg told the court.

[Assange] cannot get a fair trial for what he has done under these charges in the United States.

WikiLeaks disclosures – such as the grisly ‘Collateral Murder’ video, showing an American gunship firing on Iraqi journalists – have exposed evidence of war crimes, the famed whistleblower went on, arguing that Americans had a right to know what their government had done in their name.

“I was acutely aware that what was depicted in that video deserved the term murder, a war crime,” he said of the ‘Collateral Murder’ footage, adding in his written testimony that the video confronted citizens with the “reality of our war.”



Read more:



Read from top.



the war crimes in our shanty world...


By Caitlin Johnstone, an independent journalist based in Melbourne, Australia. Her website is here and you can follow her on Twitter @caitoz

Amid Julian Assange’s ongoing legal battle, we are losing sight of the bigger picture: this is a trial that should never have happened in the first place. The fact it is happening highlights deep-rooted flaws in our society.

The Kafkaesque extradition trial of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange continues, with each frustrating day making it clearer than the day before that what we are watching is nothing other than a staged performance by the US and UK governments to explain why it’s okay for powerful governments to jail journalists who expose inconvenient truths about them.

The Assange defense team is performing admirably, making the arguments they need to make to try and prevent an extradition that will set a precedent which will imperil press freedoms, creating a chilling effect on all adversarial national security investigative journalism around the world. These arguments appear to fall on deaf ears before Judge Vanessa Baraitser, who has from the beginning been acting like someone who has already made up her mind, and who has been reading from pre-written judgements at the trial regardless of the points presented to her (an unusual behavior made all the more suspicious by her supervision under Chief Magistrate Emma Arbuthnot, who has a massive conflict of interest in this case).

And while it is essential to fight this fight with every intention of winning, I’d also like to issue a friendly reminder that this entire trial is illegitimate at its very foundation.

Amid all the pedantic squabbling over when it is and is not legal under US law for a journalist to expose evidence of US war crimes, we must never lose sight of the fact that (A) it should always be legal to expose war crimes, (B) it should always be illegal for governments to hide evidence of their war crimes, (C) war crimes should always be punished, (D) people who start criminal wars should always be punished, (E) governments should not be permitted to have a level of secrecy that allows them to start criminal wars, and (F) power and secrecy should always have an inverse relationship to one another.

The Assange case needs to be fought tooth and claw, but we must keep in mind that it is so very, very many clicks back from where we need to be as a civilization. In an ideal situation, governments should be too afraid of the public to keep secrets from them; instead, here we are begging the most powerful government in the world to please not imprison a journalist because he arguably did not break the rules that that government made for itself.

Do you see how far that point is from where we need to be?

It’s important to remember this. It’s important to remember that the amount of evil deeds power structures will commit is directly proportional to the amount of information they are permitted to hide from the public. We will not have a healthy world until power and secrecy have an inverse relationship to each other: privacy for rank-and-file individuals, and transparency for governments and their officials.

“But what about military secrets?” one might object. Yes, what about military secrets? What about the fact that virtually all military violence perpetrated by the world’s largest power structures is initiated based on lies? What about the utterly indisputable fact that the more secrecy we allow the war machine, the more wars it deceives the public into allowing it to initiate?

In a healthy world, the most powerful government on Earth wouldn’t be trying to squint at its own laws in such a way that permits the prosecution of a journalist for telling the truth.

In a healthy world, the most powerful government on Earth wouldn’t prosecute anyone for telling the truth at all.

In a healthy world, governments would prosecute their own war crimes, instead of those who expose them.

In a healthy world, governments wouldn’t commit war crimes at all.

In a healthy world, governments wouldn’t start wars at all.

In a healthy world, governments would see truth as something to be desired and actively sought, not something to be repressed and punished.

In a healthy world, governments wouldn’t keep secrets from the public, and wouldn’t have any cause to want to.

In a healthy world, if governments existed at all, they would exist solely as tools for the people to serve themselves, with full transparency and accountability to those people.

We are obviously a very, very far cry from the kind of healthy world we would all like to one day find ourselves in. But we should always keep in mind what a healthy world will look like, and hold it as our true north for the direction that we are pushing in.

Think your friends would be interested? Share this story!

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.


read more:



Read from top.

linked to the military-complex and the British secret services..

Emma Arbuthnot is the main judge who instructs, in London, the extradition process of Julian Assange to the United States, where he could be sentenced to 175 years in prison for "espionage", that is, for having published, as an investigative journalist, evidence of US war crimes, such as the well-known videos of the massacres perpetrated against civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan. During this process, in the hands of Judge Vanessa Baraitser, all the defense requests have been rejected.

In 2018, after Sweden dropped the sexual violence charge, Judge Arbuthnot refused to overturn the arrest warrant, thus preventing Assange from obtaining asylum in Ecuador. This same judge rejected the conclusions of the UN Working Group on Assange's arbitrary detention. Nor did she want to hear the conclusions of the UN head against torture, who pointed out that "Assange, detained in extreme conditions of unjustified isolation, shows typical symptoms of prolonged exposure to psychological torture."

In 2020, while thousands of detainees were placed under house arrest, as a measure against the coronavirus, Assange has been kept in prison and has been exposed to contagion in conditions of physical weakness. In court, Assange is unable to consult his lawyers, is kept in isolation in an armored glass cage and is threatened with expulsion if he dares to open his mouth. What is behind so much cruelty?

Judge Arbuthnot holds the title of "Lady" for being the wife of Lord James Arbuthnot, a well-known "hawk" of the Conservative Party and former Defense Minister, notoriously linked to the military-industrial complex and the British secret services. Lord Arbuthnot is also chairman of the British consultation committee of the Thales Group - a French transnational specialized in military aerospace systems - and a member of the consultation committee of the firm Montrose Associates, which specializes in strategic intelligence, two positions generously paid. Lord Arbuthnot is also a member of the Henry Jackson Society (HJS), an influential transatlantic think tank linked to the US government and intelligence.

Last July, the US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, participated in a panel discussion organized in London by the Henry Jackson Society. Since his time as CIA director, Pompeo has accused WikiLeaks - the website founded by Assange - of being "an espionage service for the enemy." This Pompeo campaign coincides with that of the Henry Jackson Society, which accuses Assange of "casting doubt on the moral position of Western democratic governments, supported by autocratic regimes."

Until recently, Priti Patel, the current UK Home Secretary, was on the Henry Jackson Society's political council, together with Lord Arbuthnot, precisely the person who will or will not have to sign the extradition order against Julian Assange. This pressure group, which has been campaigning for the extradition of Assange - under the leadership of Lord Arbuthnot and other influential figures - is closely linked to Judge Arbuthnot, appointed by the queen as chief magistrate in September 2016. When WikiLeaks had already published - in March - the most compromising documents for the United States.

Incidentally, among those documents are the emails from then-US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, revealing the true goal of NATO's war against Libya: to prevent the government led by Muammar el-Kadhafi from using their gold reserves to create a pan-African currency as an alternative to the US dollar and the CFA franc - the currency that France imposed on 14 former African colonies.

The true “crime” committed by Julian Assange is to have opened a breach in the wall of political-media silence behind which the true interests of powerful elites are hidden that, from the protective shadow that the Deep State guarantees them, they repeatedly resort to the letter of war.

That is the hidden power that accuses Assange and puts him on trial, as when so-called heretics were exposed to the whims and fury of the Holy Inquisition. If his extradition to the United States is decided, Assange will be subjected to "special administrative measures" much harsher than those he already suffers in the United Kingdom. He will be locked up in a small cell under conditions of isolation, he will not be able to have contact with his family - not even through his lawyers, who would also be incriminated if they dared to deliver a message to him. In other words, handing him over to the United States would be sentencing him to death.

Manlio Dinucci


Il Manifesto (Italy)



Read more:



Read from top. (Translated from Spanish)

not the first publisher...

The US government is wrong to charge WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange with publishing unredacted classified documents because they had already appeared online, a London court has heard.

Computer scientist Professor Christian Grothoff said the organisation was not the first to make public 251,000 diplomatic cables when they appeared on its website on September 2, 2011.

Assange, 49, is fighting extradition to the US, where he is facing an 18-count indictment alleging a plot to hack computers and conspiracy to obtain and disclose national defence information.

Prosecutors claim the Australian put the lives of sources and informants around the world at risk by publishing their names.

Professor Grothoff, of the Bern University of Applied Sciences in Switzerland, told the Old Bailey the unredacted cables came into the public domain following the publication of a passcode in a book by Guardian journalists in February 2011.

At the end of August, it was discovered the code could be used to decrypt a mirrored version of the WikiLeaks online encrypted store of cables before the full cache – including classified documents – was made available through torrents and the Cryptome website on September 1, he said.

“It was actually available on the internet in a way that would be virtually impossible to stop,” Professor Grothoff told the court, giving evidence by video link.

But his impartiality was called into question by the US government when it emerged he had signed a 2017 letter to Donald Trump urging the president not to charge Assange or other WikiLeaks staff.



Read more:



Read from top.


being remembered in history as a bastard...

The one thing which could hold the fire of the judges in the Assange case is that the pair of them Baraister and Arbuthnot would be remembered in history as a pair of bastards, loonies and anti-justice shits. More to come...

crumbling case against assange...


The entire computer crime case against Assange is based on a brief discussion, between a publisher and source, about cracking a password — but the cracking never actually happened.

BY 2013, the Obama administration had concluded that it could not charge WikiLeaks or Julian Assange with crimes related to publishing classified documents — documents that showed, among other things, evidence of U.S. war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan — without criminalizing investigative journalism itself. President Barack Obama’s Justice Department called this the “New York Times problem,” because if WikiLeaks and Assange were criminals for publishing classified information, the New York Times would be just as guilty.

Five years later, in 2018, the Trump administration indicted Assange anyway. But, rather than charging him with espionage for publishing classified information, they charged him with a computer crime, later adding 17 counts of espionage in a superseding May 2019 indictment.

The computer charges claimed that, in 2010, Assange conspired with his source, Chelsea Manning, to crack an account on a Windows computer in her military base, and that the “primary purpose of the conspiracy was to facilitate Manning’s acquisition and transmission of classified information.” The account enabled internet file transfers using a protocol known as FTP.

New testimony from the third week of Assange’s extradition trial makes it increasingly clear that this hacking charge is incredibly flimsy. The alleged hacking not only didn’t happen, according to expert testimony at Manning’s court martial hearing in 2013 and again at Assange’s extradition trial last week, but it also couldn’t have happened.

The new testimony, reported earlier this week by investigative news site Shadowproof, also shows that Manning already had authorized access to, and the ability to exfiltrate, all of the documents that she was accused of leaking — without receiving any technical help from WikiLeaks.

THE GOVERNMENT’S hacking case appears to be rooted entirely in a few offhand remarks in what it says are chat logs between Manning and Assange discussing password cracking — a topic that other soldiers at Forward Operating Base Hammer in Iraq, where Manning was stationed, were also actively interested in.

The indictment claims that around March 8, 2010, after Manning had already downloaded everything she leaked to WikiLeaks other than the State Department cables, the whistleblower provided Assange with part of a “password hash” for the FTP account and Assange agreed to try to help crack it. A password hash is effectively an encrypted representation of a password from which, in some cases, it’s possible to recover the original.

Manning already had authorized access to all of the documents she was planning to leak to WikiLeaks, including the State Department cables, and cracking this password would not have given her any more access or otherwise helped her with her whistleblowing activities. At most, it might have helped her hide her tracks, but even that is not very likely. I suspect she was just interested in password cracking.

Assange, however, never cracked the password.

That’s it. That’s what the government’s entire computer crime case against Assange is based on: a brief discussion about cracking a password, which never actually happened, between a publisher and his source.



Read more:



Read from top.