Thursday 23rd of September 2021

why the empire hates julian assange...

mr fish

As the book of memoirs of one of his attorneys, Michael Ratner, makes clear, the end has always justified the means for those who demand the global killing of Assange.


L’Empire n’en a pas fini avec Julian Assange – par Chris Hedges

 

The extent and significance of the Cablegate revelations took my breath away,” wrote Ratner, who died in 2016. “They opened the curtain and revealed how American foreign policy works behind the scenes, manipulating the events around the world. They have also given access to the raw, candid and often embarrassing assessments of US diplomats of foreign leaders. Here are some of the most amazing revelations:

In 2009, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton urged US diplomats to spy on UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon and other UN officials, those from China, France, Russia and the United Nations. United Kingdom. The information she requested included DNA, iris scanners, fingerprints and personal passwords. US and British diplomats also spied on UN Secretary General Kofi Annan [see  ta daa ..... ] in the weeks leading up to the 2003 US-led invasion of Iraq.


The United States has secretly launched missile, bomb and drone attacks on terrorist targets in Yemen, killing civilians. But to protect the United States, Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh told General David Petraeus: "We will continue to say that these are our bombs, not yours."


Saudi Arabian King Abdullah has repeatedly urged the United States to bomb Iran's nuclear facilities to "cut off the serpent's head." Other leaders, those of Israel, Jordan and Bahrain have also urged the United States to attack Iran.


The White House and Secretary of State Clinton refused to condemn the June 2009 military coup in Honduras that toppled President-elect Manuel Zelaya, ignoring a cable from the United States Embassy in that country describing the coup d'état as “illegal and unconstitutional”. Instead of calling for the restoration of Zelaya, the United States backed the elections orchestrated by coup leader Roberto Micheletti. Opposition leaders and international observers boycotted the elections.


Employees of a US government contractor in Afghanistan, DynCorp, hired "dancing boys" - a euphemism for child prostitutes - to use them as sex slaves.


In various cables, Afghan President Hamid Karzai is described as "an extremely weak man who did not listen to the facts but who was easily swayed by anyone who came to him to report the most bizarre stories or plots against him." Argentine President Cristina Kirchner and her husband Néstor Kirchner, the former president, are described as "paranoid". French President Nicolas Sarkozy is described as "susceptible" and "authoritarian". Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi is described as "incapable, futile and ineffective".


More importantly, the cables judged that Tunisian President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali had "lost contact with the Tunisian people" and described "high level corruption, a sclerotic regime and a deep hatred of ... Ben Ali's wife and his family ". These revelations eventually led to the overthrow of the Tunisian regime. The protests in Tunisia spread like wildfire to other countries in the Middle East, leading to the widespread uprisings of the Arab Spring of 2011.


After the cables were broadcast, Secretary of State Clinton responded, “Disclosures like this undermine the proper functioning of a conscientious government." Attorney General Eric Holder announced that the Justice Department is "currently conducting a full criminal investigation into WikiLeaks." Rep. Candice Miller (Republican-Michigan) then called WikiLeaks a "terrorist organization". Former GOP Chairman Newt Gingrich has called for the closure of WikiLeaks and the judgment of Assange as "an enemy fighter in an information war against the United States."


 

Translation by Jules Letambour

 

 

Read more:

 

https://www.les-crises.fr/l-empire-n-en-a-pas-fini-avec-julian-assange-par-chris-hedges/

 

 

Image at top: Illustration originale pour ScheerPost par M. Fish

the glory of the american experiment...

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6RmEsPE7iq0&feature=emb_title

 

 

Mike Pompeo About CIA : We lied, We cheated, We stole...

spying on wikileaks...

Nearly 500 search and seizure warrants were executed as part of the Mueller investigation into alleged Russian interference in the 2016 election. Some of those warrants were for the electronic data belonging to a graphic designer, that contained 'gag orders' preventing Google and Microsoft from informing him that his data had been handed over.

Somerset Bean is a British graphic designer who works with whistleblowers, journalists and activists. Bean (who prefers to be referred to by his pseudonym) discovered in 2019 that Google was served with a warrant by former special prosecutor Robert Mueller for the "contents and metadata of all emails" associated with his account, back in 2018. A 'gag order' within the warrant prevented Google from informing Bean that the warrant had been served. More than one year later, in January 2021, Bean was notified of another warrant that was served for more his digital records, this time from Microsoft.

Sputnik: What entered your mind when you were first notified that the DOJ sought and obtained access to your Google related digital records?

Somerset Bean: My initial feelings were those creepy feelings I'm sure most people get when receiving direct confirmation of an invasion of their privacy. We all know that all our data is being vacuumed up by "security agencies" and giant corporations, but it's more confronting to know that you have been personally targeted.

It was also interesting and a little disturbing to have confirmation that the net is rather wide when it comes to DoJ fishing expeditions like this aiming to catch Julian Assange.

Sputnik: What exactly did the US DoJ gain access to?

Somerset Bean: The Google warrant was for the contents and metadata of all emails, including drafts and those deleted but still stored by Google, all information related to the identification of the Google account including physical and IP addresses, phone numbers, credit card or bank account numbers, search and web history associated with the account, even passwords... and more. Basically, everything Google had on me.

I actually deleted my Gmail account many years ago and have no insight as to the information that would still have been on Google's servers.

I'm waiting to receive a copy of the warrant served on Microsoft, but I imagine it will be similarly comprehensive in the information it demands. My email account with Microsoft is still active as it is the address I've used to communicate with family and friends for more than a decade. So the DoJ would have gathered plenty of irrelevant data whilst intruding in my personal life.

Update: Just received notice from Microsoft informing me that data was handed over to the US DoJ in October 2018 under a non-disclosure order that has now expired. Related to the Mueller Investigation's fishing expeditions 

Sputnik: Do you know why you were targeted by these warrants? Have you worked with WikiLeaks or Assange?

Somerset Bean: Pages of the Mueller inquiry which have been released include basic information about the search and seizure warrant and the legislation under which it was implemented. It's one of the nearly 500 search and seizure warrants issued by the inquiry.

The Google warrant reveals the type of content the DoJ is searching for, and lists specific felonies such as "aiding and abetting", "accessory after the fact", "conspiracy", "unauthorized access of a protected computer" and "witness tampering".

The warrant also states that the inquiry is looking for evidence of "hacking, release of hacked material. communications with persons or entities associated with [REDACTED] including but not limited to Julian Assange."

So it's clear that the targeting is a result of any contact that I may have had with Julian Assange and possibly people associated with WikiLeaks (some of that information has been redacted in the warrant).

I've been offering free graphic design resources for activists and journalists supporting Julian Assange over the last 10 years, and to WikiLeaks. I visited Julian a handful of times when he was in Embassy asylum, and I suspect it is those visits that have drawn the attention of US prosecutors.

Sputnik: Have your habits or behaviour changed at all as a result discovering that the US DOJ were able to secretly gain access to all of your digital information?

Somerset Bean: I don't think so. Because I was already well aware that all of our data is being captured, I was already using end-to-end encrypted email as much as possible. Apart from that, I'm not a tech expert and I also participate in social media, so haven't much of a hope of protecting my privacy. Though I'm determined not to let that intimidate me or chill my activism.

Sputnik: What can you tell us about this latest warrant for your Microsoft related accounts?

Somerset Bean: Not a great deal yet, until we can see the actual warrant. I presume it will be similar to the Google warrant and gag order. Although Microsoft have informed me over a year later than Google, so it will be interesting to see if the gag order was set to run for a longer time, or if Microsoft dragged their feet in letting me know.

Sputnik: Has this most recent revelation of another warrant obtained for your Microsoft-related accounts caused any more distress or concern?

Somerset Bean: Not particularly, as the "novelty value" of receiving such a warrant has long passed! Also, the warrants are related to a now-closed inquiry which found no evidence of wrongdoing on the part of Assange or WikiLeaks.

I'd already decided that visiting the US probably isn't worth the hassle.

The distress and concern that I do have is related to the global proliferation of mass surveillance systems, and the implications for society where unaccountable corporations control all of our data.

Sputnik: What, if anything, are you trying to do now in relation to these revelations?

Somerset Bean: I'm now awaiting a response from Microsoft providing the original documents for the search warrant and the gag order.

I'm also sharing the information online as it is another small aspect of the US persecution of Julian Assange. Everyone should be aware of how far the finger of accusation inevitably points from the central target. Activists, whistleblowers, journalists and others who are particularly vulnerable to this kind of targeted surveillance should endeavour to protect themselves and their associates and secure their data — at the very least "sensitive" communications.

 

 

Read more:

https://sputniknews.com/military/202101221081818053-secret-warrants-for-all-emails-and-metadata-of-wikileaks-supporter-reveal-far-reaching-state-power/

 

 

Read from top.

 

The Mueller investigation NEVER found the source of the Hillary emails leaks. No Russian involved either.

It's more than likely that the files of the DNC/Hillary emails came on a USB memory stick, sent via ordinary mail to an address in a country, then forwarded to another... And as usual, as practiced in business regarding sensitive matters transfer, there would have been several such USB memory sticks on the move, via different routes, should one be "lost"...

until assange is freed, biden is a nasty bastard...

In 2010, then-Vice President Joe Biden derided WikiLeaks co-founder Julian Assange as a “high-tech terrorist". Now that Biden is president, his administration is keen to continue the work begun by US President Donald Trump of putting the Australian journalist behind bars.

The US Department of Justice announced on Tuesday it would challenge a January ruling by a British judge that blocked the extradition of Assange to the US for trial. The news comes as civil liberties advocates hoped the Biden administration would drop the matter.

On January 4, UK District Judge Vanessa Baraitser ruled that Assange’s mental condition rendered it unsafe for him to be extradited to the US, where he is charged under the Espionage Act for allegedly helping former US Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning steal damning documents WikiLeaks later published. Baraitser’s ruling cited the treatment Assange would likely endure in a US prison, saying it put him at risk of attempting suicide.

The US government has until Friday to file a brief challenging Baraitser’s ruling; if it does not, then the possibility of extraditing Assange to the US is void and the charges are effectively dropped. However, DOJ spokesperson Marc Raimondi told Reuters the new administration intends to challenge it.

A coalition of advocates and civil rights groups came together on Monday to pressure Biden to drop the charges. A letter sent to Acting Attorney General Monty Wilkinson urged the DOJ not to “jeopardize journalism that is crucial to democracy.”

“It is unfortunately the case that press freedom is under threat globally. Now more than ever, it is crucial that we protect a robust and adversarial press - what Judge Murray Gurfein in the Pentagon Papers case memorably called a ‘cantankerous press, an obstinate press, an ubiquitous press’ - in the United States and abroad,” the letter states. “With this end in mind, we respectfully urge you to forgo the appeal of Judge Baraitser’s ruling, and to dismiss the indictment of Mr. Assange.”

Among the groups that signed the letter are Human Rights Watch, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Amnesty International, and the Freedom of the Press Foundation.

Biden Never a Friend of Assange

Biden has made clear there are few good feelings lost between him and Assange. In 2010, Biden told CBS’ “Meet the Press” that the DOJ was “looking into” pressing charges against Assange for publishing documents.

 

Read more:

https://sputniknews.com/world/202102091082029747-snubbing-civil-liberties-groups-bidens-doj-plans-to-pursue-assange-extradition-from-uk/

 

Read from top.

 

see also:

free assange, president biden...

 

"eat my shorts" — joe biden wrote the "patriot act"...

 

free assange today, mr biden...

 

get assange out of prison!...

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

 


It is no surprise that the US government under President Biden is following Trump’s policy on Julian Assange. But we must continue to fight – not just for his freedom, but for the freedom of journalists to report the truth.

Just one day after a coalition of prominent civil rights groups made headlines with a letter urging the Biden administration to drop efforts to extradite WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to the United States on espionage charges, Washington has announced its intention to continue those efforts.

“Justice Department spokesman Marc Raimondi on Tuesday said the U.S. government will continue to challenge a British judge’s ruling last month that Assange should not be extradited to the United States because of the risk he would commit suicide,” Reuters reports.

“We continue to seek his extradition,” Raimondi said.

If those who denounced Trump's attacks on press freedom actually meant what they said, they will be the first to denounce the Biden admin's decision to *continue* the most egregious and harmful one. Where are you at on this, BernieSanders@OC NancyPelosi SenSchumerhttps://t.co/sOIxfEmESk

— Aaron Maté (aaronjmate) February 9, 2021

 

Assange’s arrest and subsequent charges under the Espionage Act in 2019, for what amount to standard journalistic practices which exposed US war crimes, marked both a dramatic escalation in the US empire’s war on critical national security journalism and a sharp divergence from the Obama administration’s decision not to pursue such charges in this case. Biden is not just upholding Trump’s assault on press freedoms (far and away the single most egregious attack on journalism in the 45th president’s entire four years in office), he is rejecting the Obama administration’s decision not to charge Assange due to concerns that it would erode the First Amendment.

As the Washington Post reported during Barack Obama’s second term in 2013:

“The Justice Department has all but concluded it will not bring charges against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange for publishing classified documents because government lawyers said they could not do so without also prosecuting U.S. news organizations and journalists, according to U.S. officials.”

 

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,” said former Justice Department spokesman Matthew Miller. “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.

Nothing about this has changed. The Trump administration did not have access to any evidence that the Obama administration did not also have in 2013; it just chose to squint at the law from a different angle and legally interpret Assange’s journalistic activities as a violation of the Espionage Act. There is nothing whatsoever preventing other journalists around the world from facing the same fate under similarly dubious legal interpretations. The US Department of Justice is not going to be using other people’s personal definitions of what constitutes legitimate journalistic activity going forward; it’s going to be using its own.

As the Obama DOJ Concluded, Prosecution of Julian Assange For Publishing Documents Poses Grave Threats to Press Freedom https://t.co/iyZMRhSu0Q

— Glenn Greenwald (ggreenwald) November 16, 2018

 

Biden’s divergence from the Obama administration’s less authoritarian position on the matter should not come as much of a surprise, since he took an absurdly hard line against WikiLeaks after the first publications of the earth-shattering Manning leaks in 2010.

I would argue it is closer to being a hi-tech terrorist than the Pentagon papers, Biden said of Assange at the time. “But, look, this guy has done things that have damaged and put in jeopardy the lives and occupations of people in other parts of the world.”

It should also come as no surprise because, all things considered, this administration has not been much different from the previous one in terms of actual policy. The policy of regime change interventionism in Venezuela is the same. The policy of hawkishness toward China is the same. The policy of starvation sanctions against Iran is effectively the same. In a recent CNN interview, Secretary of State Tony Blinken could not speak highly enough of Trump’s more incendiary foreign policy decisions, like moving the US embassy to Jerusalem and recognizing the illegally occupied Golan Heights as Israeli territory.

There are far, far more similarities between the Trump administration and the Biden administration than there are differences. As is consistently the case with US presidents, the narratives are different, the campaign platforms are different, the political parties are different, but the actual policies and behaviors remain more or less the same.

Blinken is a bigger fan of Trump's foreign policy than half the Trump administration. https://t.co/tajQye9JGX

— Caitlin Johnstone  (caitoz) February 9, 2021

 

None of this means we should stop fighting tooth and claw for Assange’s freedom: the fight is far from over. There is still time for the Biden administration to opt against appealing the UK court decision not to extradite, thereby leaving the entire embarrassing extradition attempt on Trump’s lap.

“The US may submit its Assange appeal filing by Friday to meet its deadline, but one would expect a serious policy decision to be made by the new Attorney General who, once confirmed, can review the incredibly weak case against Assange in full before making a determination,” a statement by the Courage Foundation reads. “Reports are circulating that an interim spokesperson says the Biden admin will continue the Assange case. The incoming DOJ, whose Attorney General is yet to be confirmed, can drop the charges against Assange at any time, including after this Friday’s appeal deadline.”

So we keep pushing. We cannot allow a corrupt and murderous globe-spanning empire to effectively outlaw inconvenient journalism around the world in the way it would by setting the legal precedent it is trying to set with the Assange case. If journalists everywhere know they can be extradited and imprisoned for publishing inconvenient facts about the US-centralized empire, they will largely refrain from doing so. And that is the whole idea.

Through WikiLeaks, Julian Assange has revealed a lot of damning information about the most powerful entities on our planet. But by far the most damning revelation he provided was not a WikiLeaks release at all: it was the revelation that 'free democracies' like the US and the UK will openly imprison and torture a journalist for telling the truth. This has been seen, and it cannot be unseen. We owe him a great debt for bringing such facts into the light. The least we can do is try to get him out of there now.

 

Read more:

https://www.rt.com/op-ed/515166-caitlin-johnstone-biden-trump-press/

 

 

Meanwhile, the "liberal" media have gone cold on the issue because they are in love with Biden... Biden or Trump — or Obama for that matter — have been nasty bastards... They — and the media — only deserve our scorn.

 

 

Read from top.