Tuesday 19th of January 2021

publish and be damned...

freedom

I don’t dispute the good will of Laurie Patton but I disagree with his article, "Assange ruling sensible, but no implications for press freedom” which sounds okay, until one reads some of it. Patton seems quite naive or disingenuous when he says:



I don’t dispute the value of the WikiLeaks material, which exposed activities about which people are entitled to have serious concerns. However, that’s quite a separate matter from whether or not each document contained accurate and truthful accounts.

A fundamental onus on journalists includes verifying the accuracy of what is published. At the very least WikiLeaks arguably violated the privacy rights of people named in otherwise confidential documents.

Dumping masses of unfiltered material on to the internet is not journalism. To me, Assange is a hacker and a whistle-blower. And one with seemingly admirable intentions.

If he had leaked directly to the media outlets that subsequently, but very selectively, published reports based on some of his WikiLeaks files he probably would not be subject to US legal action. Assange’s identity as a ‘source’ would have been protected.


Read more:
https://johnmenadue.com/assange-ruling-sensible-but-no-implications-for-press-freedom/

On what planet does Mr Patton live? 

And why would John Menadue publish this strange Patton holy-drivel?

The only reason that Assange is being chased by the US boffins is that the information contained in the Wikileaks documents “dumps” is 100 per cent true. They also want to know the source of the leaks of documents. They have had Chelsea Manning, but they need the other whistleblowers — and it seems that Obama was one of the most vicious presidents against these. The documents PUBLISHED on Wikileaks are the official secret records of US activities — some not very savoury and outright murderous. Some are boring as a pancake cooking in hell.

Unlike a scorned lover of the Duke of Wellington who did not care about being exposed as having had an affair, the US are not happy having had their pants pulled down.

Publish and be damned!” was the Duke of Wellington’s response to the blackmail from his former mistress who would publish his love letters to make their affair public. In this case, the truth did not matter to the Duke. In Assange’s case, the scorned are not blackmailed, but exposed for having done some very naughty things, at all levels, including at diplomatic levels, and breaking our trust by telling contrarily soothing (or designed to sow fear) duplicitous porkies as shown by the documents.

This is what “investigative” journalism is about: exposing the deviousness of governments by using their own records, without any “editorialisation” that could mitigate  — and would be designed by the MSM to mitigate — the information… 

One can argue that the documents could be fake. Yes, the Main Stream Media bought the "Saddam has weapons of mass destruction" FAKE mantra, for several years for some MSM, while others still believe it was an “intelligence failure”. Bollocks! The intelligence was fabricated to make us swallow the idea of going to war. The “documents/informations” were supplied “by the governments” who were using these to bullshit us. But it was also convenient for the MSM to publish this official version of events, at best bullshit on a grand scale, without asking too many "investigative" questions, possibly because it seemed reasonable and official — and war sells news

This is why we need the TRUE unadulterated SECRET versions of events as collected and filed by “intelligence” employees who don’t ask questions, not about the veracity of such, NOR about the horror of such, NOR about the discrepancies between what the public is told and what is within the documents. INTELLIGENCE AGENCIES ARE GEARED TO MANUFACTURE AND SELL FALSEHOODS TO THE PUBLIC — AND TO THE “ENEMIES”. SIMPLE enough? Public deceit is the bread and butter of “intelligence" agencies... Original documents record the stratagem in order to minimise conflicting information as more information is piled on. The Skripal slow release of information over a year kept contradicting previous information and ended up not making ANY SENSE AT ALL, for example. This showed either poor record of the bullshit and/or they took us for fools...

As one knows, true journalists always go to source-documents. One of the problem with the information contained in the Wikileaks dumped documents is that it can be so “unbelievable” that one could not spin a credible story out of them. Having the original untainted source document for all to see, we have to know we have been swindled by our governments, and not fed a pre-munched biased version from a subjective Main Stream journalist/editor working for Mr Murdoch. Find me a good journalist that is not subjective and I will show you a pig on the moon...
The identities of people on most Wikileaks documents were electronically redacted (by Wikileaks?) but by some curious coincidence, the news outlet that were given the "dumps" were also provided the key to unlock the names (for verification?), but NOT FOR PUBLICATION. But they did publish non-redacted documents and they let Julian Assange’s Wikileaks wear the can.

The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organised habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country
                                  Edward Bernays, in Propaganda (1926).


In modern times this translate into:

It is one of the most important aspects of our media system, and yet hardly known to the public: most of the international news coverage in Western media is provided by only three global news agencies based in New York, London and Paris.
The key role played by these agencies means Western media often report on the same topics, even using the same wording. In addition, governments, military and intelligence services use these global news agencies as multipliers to spread their messages around the world.

A study of the Syria war coverage by nine leading European newspapers clearly illustrates these issues: 78% of all articles were based in whole or in part on agency reports, yet 0% on investigative research. Moreover, 82% of all opinion pieces and interviews were in favor of a US and NATO intervention, while propaganda was attributed exclusively to the opposite side.


Read more:
https://swprs.org/the-propaganda-multiplier/


Now do we trust the information above or not? Could it come from an organisation specialising in reversed disinformation, against Bellingcat and other secretive information channels such as “integrity Initiative” and “Fancy Bear”? Well this outfit (SWPR) seems to be able to get below the skin of the beast. But they cannot beat the information that has surfaced at Wikileaks, the source documents, including those from Russia and the Vatican (stories which are coming to surface now, but exposed by Wikileaks a year ago). 

And this is why, Mr Leonisky often goes to RT and Sputnik, the Russian bias of which is well-known, yet many of the journalists working there, are “Western” journalists who could not be published in the Western Press, because of their views and powerful exposure of facts.
Meanwhile Twitter, Facebook and Google have censured stories about Joe Biden that were not “complimentary” to what the MSM was peddling, yet these stories were true.

See also: https://swprs.org/russian-hacking-nato-psyop-revealed/

In regard to propaganda, Gus often references to E T Gundlach (Facts and Fetishes of Advertising original edition — savaged by James W. Young, a reviewer at The University of Chicago Press, Volume 37, Number 5 | Mar., 1932) — and in regard to deceit Gus often references to J C Masterman (Double-Cross System). THE DOUBLE-CROSS SYSTEM is an authentic document from within the espionage empire of the Second World War, written as a secret report for the Intelligence Commission and released for publication only in 1972. Quite simply, it tells how Britain used the enemy against themselves.

Dismissed as a nominalist by Young, Gundlach was an experimental realist and empiricist, with more success than most in the business of advertising. His methods were to convince advertisers that simple advertising worked. Simple. The realist position invite an alliance between empiricism and nominalism. An example of such synthesis was the work of William of Ockham. Ockham’s razor is the problem-solving principle that "entities should not be multiplied without necessity", or the simplest explanation is usually the right one. No hubcaps… Price, quality and repeat exposure with tweaks to the market (repeat of value through adjustable messages of propaganda). The market for Julian Assange is the TRUTH. The original documents without editorialisation are the reality. You do not have to buy. Minimise the editorialised bullshit.

And Patton also tells us:

Australia’s most well-known contemporary international journalist Peter Greste – who spent more than 400 days in an Egyptian jail after being arrested on terrorism charges he denied – is one who has challenged the view that Assange is a journalist and maintains WikiLeaks is not a news organisation. “There is an argument to be had about the libertarian ideal of radical transparency that underpins its ethos, but that is a separate issue altogether from press freedom,” Greste has written.


On the other hand, back in 2011 the MEAA – the Australian journalists’ union – gave WikiLeaks a Walkley Award, which is its highest acclamation. It should be noted though that it was WikiLeaks, not Julian Assange, that received the award which was for “contribution to journalism”.


Hello? So Wikileaks blah blah blah... I have got news for Patton: Assange has spend more than 3,000 days in exile or prison and might spend a few more. I have got news for Peter Greste: There are different form of journalism like there are different fruit and bags of fruit. Julian Assange has done us a service for exposing the too regular duplicity of editorialisation that tends to distract us from reality, acting like "photo-retouching" to a starlet crooked bum-crack. The Journalism that Assange has practiced may be different to yours, but IT STILL IS JOURNALISM —  a transfer of information via a media platform. That the information is raw can be annoying to the word-crafters (the wordsmiths) because there is no style added — It comes to us like a chaotic bouquet of flowers rather than a flower arrangement. And we have to make up our own mind.

And this is what I like.

GL.

Image at top: still from Sputnik LIVE TV transmission on Youtube.

this is a victory...

RT's Shadia Edwards-Dashti speaks to former Ecuadorian consul Fidel Narvaez, as London’s Old Bailey court rules against extradition to US of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9OEFqMTnrKE

 

The full release of Julian Assange still has to be won... 

 

See also: 

of journalism...

 

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Below is a better piece than the rubbish by Laurie Patton (read at top)

 

Opinion: Julian Assange wins, but threat to press remains


The ruling to block the extradition of the WikiLeaks founder to the United States is good news for Julian Assange. However, it does not go far enough in terms of protecting press freedom, DW's Matthias von Hein writes.


Following a trial that was extremely unfair in many respects, District Judge Vanessa Baraitser has ruled against allowing Britain to extradite WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to the United States. Many observers had assumed that Britain's judiciary would sacrifice its independence, the rights of Assange and press freedom on behalf of the country's "special relationship" with the United States. After all, the courts had hampered Assange's defense at every turn. It is a cause for celebration that this British court did not give in — but it is not a cause for relief. 

Baraitser did not go to bat for investigative journalism. She merely accepted the argument that Assange would likely face harsh conditions in detention in the United States and could go on to commit suicide under those circumstances.

The judge expressly contradicted the defense, who argued that Assange was being persecuted because of his journalistic activities, that his exposing of US war crimes and other wrongdoings was in the public interest, and that the trial was politically motivated. In short, Baraitser agreed on almost all points with the arguments put forward by the US government. As a result, both Julian Assange and press freedom remain at risk.

 


Assange's 'psychological torture'


In December US President Donald Trump pardoned four Blackwater private security contractors who had been convicted of war crimes for a massacre in Baghdad that left 14 unarmed civilians dead. The calls to respect much-vaunted American values and to pardon Assange for his role in exposing war crimes went unheeded. 

The persecution of Assange has undermined the claims that Britain, the United States and the EU are the guardians of humanitarian values. This became abundantly clear in November, when a BBC correspondent confronted Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev with critical questions about restrictions on press freedoms. Aliyev fired back, saying the UK had no right to lecture other countries about human rights and press freedom given the way it had treated Assange. 

So where do things go from here? The US government has already announced that it intends to appeal the ruling. It could be years before the case makes its way through the courts. Assange should not have to spend this time locked up in the high-security Belmarsh prison in London, which has been dubbed Britain's Guantanamo. After visiting the prison in 2019, UN Special Rapporteur for Torture Nils Melzer said Assange "showed all the symptoms typical for prolonged exposure to psychological torture." Assange has spent 19 months in the prison, over half of that time in solitary confinement there, though he has not been convicted of any crime.

The first step should be to finally release Assange into house arrest to await the conclusion of the appeals process. It is hard to understand why an investigative journalist should be detained under harsher conditions than a mass murderer. The Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet, for example, was permitted to await his extradition proceedings in house arrest in a mansion in a private estate close to London. 

And we must remember to keep up public pressure on the authorities after this latest decision. We owe it to Julian Assange and to press freedom.

 

 

Read more:

https://www.dw.com/en/opinion-julian-assange-wins-but-threat-to-press-remains/a-56128316

a welcome redress from john menadue website...


Assange decision welcome but sullied by legal chicanery

 


By STUART REES | On 6 January 2021

The British judge’s ruling that Julian Assange cannot be extradited to the United States is welcome, but it comes after the charade called justice in which British authorities held an unconvicted person in a top security prison and made his defence as difficult as possible. 

On the grounds that any rationale to refuse extradition is a relief, a public interested in justice by whatever means will be grateful for the judge’s ruling that Julian might take his life if placed in an American jail, hence the refusal to extradite.

The rest of the judge’s rationale is an exercise in legal chicanery. One highly privileged person sitting alone may know rules of law and how to mount legal arguments but appears blind and deaf to notions of justice. Judge Baraitser’s finding that the US government was not politically motivated against Jullian Assange flies in the face of US anger at WikiLeaks revelations and denial of the significant achievements of Julian Assange in informing the public about US forces’ murder and mayhem in Iraq and Afghanistan.

A brief digression might enable this British judge to learn what is involved in politics. She is a political operator, albeit within the boundaries of her interpretation of laws. Listen to the astute Polish poet Wislawa Szymborska in Children of Our Age. ‘All day long, all through the night, all affairs, yours, ours, theirs are political affairs. It’s in your genes, your political past and cast so whatever you say reverberates and you are talking politics.’

Denial that the prosecution of Julian Assange was politically motivated is the convenient Bristish fig leaf picked to conceal US fascination with revenge. For years, a grand jury sat in secret in Virginia trying to concoct charges against Julian. Then the US and British governments colluded with a right-wing regime in Ecuador to drag Julian from the Ecuadorian Embassy in London and transfer him to a top security prison.

Even the concoction of eighteen charges – more legal chicanery – from the seldom-used 1917 US Espionage Act, was a political construction, preceded by prominent US politicians saying that Julian Assange should be assassinated.

Revenge was the motivation, British justice the convenient cover. Australian governments’ cowardice – too scared to offend the US by defending an Australian citizen – another element in the political drama called ‘stifle and punish Julian Assange.’

If the judge was blind to the politics of this case, she must surely have noticed the US Department of Justice’s (what an unfortunate title) immediate decision to appeal. They want revenge. Thay cannot tolerate truths about states’ abusive power. They love punishment. How on earth did they ever come up with the idea of anyone spending 175 years in prison.

Instead of appealing the decision not to extradite Julian Assange, it is long overdue that the bully boys in international politics – and the US are not the only ones – ate a little piece of humble pie and decided ‘enough is enough, we have been pursuing injustice for too long, it is time we gave up and resolved to abide by international law and to respect the ideals and language of non-violence.’

Julian Assange has shown stamina and courage in revealing truths about abusive power. It is sad that other journalists have spent time messing around with their narrow interpretations of who or what is a journalist when they could have been defending Julian plus principles of freedom of speech and of the press.

We don’t need mainstream journalistic chicanery added to the performance witnessed in that British court.

Thank you Julian Assange. May you and all the members of your family walk free.

 

Read more:

https://johnmenadue.com/assange-decision-welcome-but-sullied-by-legal-chicanery/

 

Read from top.

 

See also: 

free assange today, mr biden...

thank you, peter...

 

This article seems to be more pro-Assange as a journalist, than previous Peter Greste's views as attributed to him by Laurie Patton (read at top)

 

Peter Greste


Professor of Journalism and Communications, The University of Queensland

 

When UK District Judge Vanessa Baraitser declared she was rejecting the US request to extradite Julian Assange, his partner Stella Moris wept with relief. In an emotional speech outside the court, Moris described the ruling as “the first step towards justice”, and called on President Donald Trump to halt further extradition efforts. 

According to Baraitser’s ruling, Assange could not be extradited because he was depressed and at risk of committing suicide. Assange’s lawyers are planning to apply for bail, while lawyers for the US government say they are going to appeal. 

Although he is by no means a free man, this crucial round goes to the Australian WikiLeaks founder.

But on every other point of law, the judge found in favour of the US. She rejected claims that Assange’s case was politically motivated, that he would not get a fair trial and that it was an assault on press freedom.

So, is this a victory for Assange and his supporters, or a blow to those who believe this case to be about protecting press freedom? A close reading of the verdict and its implications suggest it is both.

There have been legitimate questions with regard to whether Assange’s human rights have been abused. Moris has claimed Assange has been held in appalling conditions in London’s Belmarsh prison, and the judge concluded his mental health is in a dangerous state. 

Trump has also poisoned the political environment in the US in a way that would surely test the American judicial system’s ability to deliver a verdict in his case free of political influence. 

Read more: Julian Assange on Google, surveillance and predatory capitalism

To be clear, I applaud much of WikiLeaks’ extraordinary work in exposing evidence of US war crimes. The shocking Collateral Murder video showing a US Apache helicopter gunning down a dozen unarmed civilians, for example, was one of the most important leaks in recent history. 

But in the past, I have argued Assange did not apply ethical journalistic practices and standards to his work more broadly, and therefore cannot claim press freedom as a defence. 

Soon after he published unredacted US diplomatic cables in 2011, a wide range of news organisations distanced themselves from WikiLeaks for that reason.

Implications for press freedom

But this is where nuance is important. Baraitser’s judgement also has clear implications for press freedom that must concern anyone who believes in the oversight role journalists play in a democracy. 

In rejecting the notion the case threatens press freedom, Baraitser was ignoring the way it exposes journalists and their sources who seek to hold governments to account. 

The Obama administration was notoriously aggressive in attacking press freedom by using the Espionage Act. But even it baulked at prosecuting Assange because of what it came to think of as “The New York Times Problem”. 

Read more: Assange’s new indictment: Espionage and the First Amendment

As former Justice Department spokesman Matthew Miller told The Washington Post in 2013,

The problem the department has always had in investigating Julian Assange is there is no way to prosecute him for publishing information without the same theory being applied to journalists. 

And if you are not going to prosecute journalists for publishing classified information, which the department is not, then there is no way to prosecute Assange.

This may sound like splitting hairs, but it is a crucial distinction. 

Journalists have a responsibility to uphold ethical principles, particularly if they are going to maintain public confidence in their watchdog role. However, we must also push back when press freedom is threatened either directly or indirectly.

 

Read more:

https://theconversation.com/julian-assanges-extradition-victory-offers-cold-comfort-for-press-freedom-152676

 

 

Read from top.

nobody is above the law, especially judges and governments...

...

Having been told by a senior judge that he was a narcissist and nobody is above the law, he is now free to be both, or either, if he wishes. Having been in solitary lock-up for 23 hours a day in Belmarsh prison without exercise or showers since November, and with the worst criminals, some of whom have COVID19, he will not be extradited to the US because conditions in Super Max, Florence, Colorado, are reportedly similar. Having been found more than a year ago by a UN Special Rapporteur and numerous medical specialists to be suffering mental torture, this is suddenly grounds for his release.

After Judge Vanessa Baraitser’s surprising decision, the US Department of Justice claimed its points of law at the extradition hearing had prevailed, and will pursue an appeal. Australian QC Geoffrey Robertson says that’s unlikely to succeed. The Americans’ lawyers complained to Baraitser last October that Assange’s defence team described the US as being ‘guilty of torture, war crimes, murder, breaches of diplomatic and international law and…is “a lawless state”’.

That’s a statement with which few international observers would disagree. That is just what WikiLeaks showed, using all-American evidence that was not hacked or stolen, but given to Assange by an American private soldier, Chelsea Manning, in 2010. The other main accusation of the prosecution’s lawyers was that by publishing the names of people working for the US, WikiLeaks put their lives in danger. Evidence put forward by Assange’s defence showed he had redacted thousands of names, and also cited an American Brigadier-General’s denial that anyone had been harmed as a result of WikiLeaks’ disclosures.

Assange’s crime is different. He embarrassed the US by revealing activities recorded by Americans themselves, and the lawlessness of the US military that continues every day, all round the world. Multiple documents and videos confirmed US torture of prisoners at Abu Ghraib, war crimes and murder against unarmed civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan, and spying on UN diplomats. And these were classified only up to ‘confidential’, the defence team pointed out, leaving to the court’s imagination what’s top secret.

That is why the US wanted – and may still want – him extradited, tried and imprisoned for 175 years. The framers of the successive US indictments appeared not to care about First Amendment rights to free speech, which they claimed didn’t apply to Assange as an Australian, nor the effect on all other journalists everywhere. He has been repeatedly accused of treason in the past – including by Hillary Clinton, and of being a ‘high-tech terrorist’ by then senator Joe Biden. Espionage in this case, for which Manning was imprisoned for seven years and acquitted by Obama, inexplicably now applies solely to Assange. What his US accusers really want is to make him an example to anyone wanting to do the same.

 

 

Read more:

https://johnmenadue.com/alison-broinowski-right-outcome-wrong-reasons-on-julian-assange/

 

Read from top.

 

The whole saga, including the torture — physical and psychological — of Julian Assange has been designed to make him loose his wits (destroy his brains). The US wants to make sure, free or not, Assange won't be able to do more damage to their standing by revealing more secrets. Meanwhile as Joe Biden goes back into the fold of the deep state, Trump acts like the idiot he is... If Trump wants to redeem himself, just a little bit, he would make sure that all charges against Assange are dropped. Many of us might be cynical, should he do this, but he should not care either. He would be recorded has having DONE THE RIGHT THING.