Sunday 23rd of January 2022

whistle stop...


But Mark Feldstein, professor of media at the University of Maryland, sees a worrying trend of espionage prosecutions since President Obama took office.

"To everyone's surprise, the Obama administration has escalated the war against whistleblowers and the attacks on information that journalists and the public were depending on to get evidence of wrongdoing by powerful institutions and individuals," Prof Feldstein says.

'Vindictive and malicious'

On Friday, Thomas Drake, a former senior official at the National Security Agency, a highly secretive US spy agency, was sentenced to one year's probation, after the Department of Justice's case against him collapsed.

your mission is...

Former prime minister Malcolm Fraser and former chief justice of the Family Court Alastair Nicholson are among Australians calling on the Federal Government to protect the human rights of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

The pair are among 72 signatories to an open letter demanding Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd and new Attorney-General Nicola Roxon seek assurances from the Swedish and US governments that they will treat Mr Assange according to international standards of due process.

Crikey journalist Bernard Keane co-ordinated the letter.


First, it would be better to ask the UK to adhere to international law and refuse the extradition of Assange to Sweden. And please note that the "charges" (not "charges" since they do not come from a judge and are only enquiries) against Assange HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH THE USA... but a couple of women — who are exercising their very draconian exclusive Swedish "rights"on sexual matters that would not make a ripple in many other educated countries and in which only their pride was ruffled — who were possibly US "plants" whose mission were to bring Assange and Wikileaks down to dust.

what chance julian assange .....

British judges Wednesday gave the government four weeks to obtain the release of a Pakistani man held in U.S. custody in Afghanistan — a ruling that could make for prickly discussions between Britain and the U.S.

Britain has until Jan. 18 to free Yunus Rahmatullah from a U.S. detention facility at the Bagram air base, according to the appeals court ruling.

The ruling comes nearly a week after the U.K. legal charity Reprieve successfully won its habeas corpus petition claiming that Rahmatullah's detention lacked sufficient cause or evidence, and that British forces violated international law when they handed him over to American troops nearly eight years ago.

It is one of the few cases where lawyers have been successful in their appeals to free a detainee from the sprawling secretive base in Afghanistan where, unlike the U.S. prison camp at Guantanamo Bay, terror suspects and detainees lack access to lawyers.

The appeals court order is final — meaning that Rahmatullah must be released, but the British government can appeal to the Supreme Court to debate the issue of habeas corpus. The appeal, however, would be largely academic and legal costs would have to be paid by the British government. It will not affect Rahmatullah's case.

"The only question left is: does the U.S. keep the bargains it makes with its closest ally?," said Reprieve's legal director Cori Crider. "The Obama administration has said it wishes to restore U.S. standing abroad and to bring the U.S. back into line with the Geneva Conventions. Well, there is no time like the present."

Rahmatullah was originally accused of being a member of Lashkar-e-Taiba, a militant group designated by the U.S. as a terrorist organization since 2001. But last year, U.S. authorities cleared him for release after a review of his case.

Britain's Foreign Office declined to say whether it had specifically asked the United States to free Rahmatullah but said it was in discussions with the United States.

The U.S. Department of Defense said Wednesday it was reviewing the decision and may offer further comment. U.S. authorities are not bound by the foreign court ruling.

Although Rahmatullah, 29, is not a British national, Reprieve argued that international law required Britain to be responsible for his care since British forces in Iraq originally seized him in 2004. He was later turned over to the Americans and transferred to Bagram after U.S. authorities said they lacked interpreters in Iraq.

James Eadie, the attorney representing the Foreign Office and Ministry of Defense in the original lawsuit, had argued it wouldn't be appropriate for a British court to make a judgment on the lawfulness of U.S. detention and said ordering British ministers to demand Rahmatullah's freedom could affect Britain's relationship with America.

There are currently some 3,000 detainees being held the Parwan detention facility at the U.S. Air Base in Bagram, Afghanistan.

Many recent British court rulings have drawn the ire of both Britain and the U.S. — especially when the rulings have been over torture, extraordinary renditions and intelligence exchanges that occurred during the so-called war on terror.

Two years ago, British High Court judges forced the British government to disclose secret intelligence exchanges about a former Guantanamo detainee's alleged torture, saying that the public had a right to know if Britain knew about the abuse.

The case focused on intelligence discussions on former British resident Binyam Mohamed. The British government had argued that the ruling could jeopardize the intelligence sharing relationship between Britain and the U.S.

Mohamed — an Ethiopian who moved to Britain as a teenager — was arrested as a terror suspect in 2002 in Karachi by Pakistani forces. He says he was tortured in Pakistan and later sent to Morocco where interrogators — it isn't clear from which country — sliced his penis with a scalpel and brutally abused him before he was transferred to Afghanistan and then to the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay in 2004.

He has since been released and is living in Britain.

Judges: UK has 4 weeks to free US-held Pakistani

f...ked ....

For more than a year the WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has remained closeted at secret locations in the English countryside, surrounded by friends and admirers but shackled on the right ankle with an electronic monitor to ensure he remains within reach, until the law this week hears a case that will decide his future.

Assange will appear in London today before seven of the 12 judges of Britain's Supreme Court, the highest court in the land, for his appeal against his extradition to Sweden, where is accused of rape, sexual molestation and coercion involving two women.

The legal action against the Queensland-born Assange, 40, has generated considerable public and legal interest worldwide, since he was taken into custody in England in December 2010 under a controversial European Arrest Warrant (EAW).

A Swedish public prosecutor issued the warrant on allegations that Assange had sexually assaulted two women during a visit to Stockholm, Sweden, in August that year.

Assange is alleged to have had unprotected sex with one woman when she allegedly had insisted he use a condom, and also to have had sex with another women when she was asleep. He denies strenuously the claims and says any sex was consensual.

The operation of EAW, which forms the central part of what may be Assange's last chance to avoid extradition to Sweden, has been a source of conflict within the British legal system since it was introduced.

It was incorporated into anti-terrorism provisions after the September 11, 2001, attacks in the US to make extradition easier for prosecutors in Europe.

Critics of the system - it operates in 27 EU countries - say it allows the movement of suspects from one country to another without the need to produce any evidence to support the allegations, as was required before its introduction.

Following his arrest, Assange was eventually given bail on securities and pledges totaling $354,000. But in February last year, a District Judge in London's Westminster Magistrates Court ruled that Assange should be extradited to Sweden. That decision was later upheld by the High Court. However, Assange's lawyers were given permission to appeal that decision in the Supreme Court.

Apart from asserting that Assange is innocent and that the process has been politicised to essentially punish and neutralise him because of the avalanche of embarrassing documents publicly released by WikiLeaks, his legal team argues that the extradition request was invalid on technical grounds relating to the EAW.

The EAW, they said, had been made by a ''partisan prosecutor working for the executive''. They also said the prosecutor was not a ''judicial authority'' and therefore was not able to issue warrants under extradition law, making the warrant invalid.

The Supreme Court later said it had decided to hear the appeal ''given the great public importance of the issue raised, which is whether a prosecutor is a judicial authority''. The court has set two days aside for the case.

The judges can also take into consideration defence claims that the allegations against Assange are politically motivated and related to the activities of WikiLeaks. Extradition is also not allowed if the person would be prejudiced at trial or restricted in freedom because of his or her political opinions.

On this point, one of Assange's lawyers referring to the pursuit of his client has said: ''This appears to be a persecution, not a prosecution.'' The lawyer for the two Swedish women has rejected any notion of a political tone to the case, saying his clients are victims of a crime.

While the Supreme Court is the final court of appeal in Britain, the legal battle could continue regardless of how the court rules on Assange.

The Swedish prosecutor also has other legal avenues to pursue Assange, and if the Supreme Court rules he should be extradited, Assange may be able to appeal to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.

If the European Court refuses to hear the case, Assange would be extradited to Sweden as soon as practicable, according to the Crown Prosecution Service.

There is much speculation on what the future holds for Assange. But there are portents.

First, Sir John Thomas, one of the judges in the High Court case that upheld the extradition order, remarked that the High Court view was that Assange's chances on appeal in the Supreme Court were ''extraordinarily slim''. He also said the court had ''very little doubt that as a matter of law, the [Swedish] prosecutor was within the scheme for issuing warrants''.

Then, in a recent interview with Rolling Stone magazine at his two-bedroom hideaway in the countryside, Assange revealed he had asked a Western intelligence source if he would ever again be free and be allowed to come and go from Australia as he pleased.''He told me I was f---ed,'' Assange said.

Assange's Day In Supreme Court Is Last Stand In Britain Against Extradition


Wikileaks founder Julian Assange is to guest star on animated comedy The Simpsons, it has been confirmed.

The 500th episode will see the family moving to an isolated house and finding themselves living next to Assange.

Fox said Assange, currently under house arrest while he appeals his extradition to Sweden over alleged sex offences - which he denies, recorded his lines from the UK.

The new episode will be broadcast in the US on 19 February.

assange's talk show on kremlin TV

 Mr. Nasrallah noted wryly that even the most sophisticated Israeli decryption technology couldn’t decipher the village slang his young fighters use over walkie-talkies. No computer analyst, he said, “is going to understand what the father of the chicken is and why they call him the father of the chicken.” Mr. Nasrallah added with a twinkle, “It’s not going to do you any good at WikiLeaks, by the way.”

The two men laughed companionably.

Mr. Assange says the theme of his half-hour show on RT is “the world tomorrow.” But there is something almost atavistic about the outlet he chose. RT, first known as Russia Today, is an English-language news network created by the Russian leader Vladimir V. Putin in 2005 to promote the Kremlin line abroad. (It also broadcasts in Spanish and Arabic.) It’s like the Voice of America, only with more money and a zesty anti-American slant. A few correspondents can sound at times like Boris and Natasha of “Rocky & Bullwinkle” fame. Basically, it’s an improbable platform for a man who poses as a radical left-wing whistleblower and free-speech frondeur battling the superpowers that be.

The show is unlikely to win high ratings or change many minds, but it may serve Mr. Assange’s other agenda: damage control.