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Your debt and mine to Julian Assange

Philip Roddis

In a recent post I referred to the vile treatment of a man who brought us irrefutible evidence, and in screeds, that the widely cherished notion of the West being democratic is a fat lie. True, some of us knew this already, but Wikileaks shocked even the most hardened critics of liberal democracy by the extent and unprecedentedly fine granularity of that evidence.

In view of its shabby betrayal of Julian Assange – and the fact its readership demography maps closely onto that of my own site – I, pace Media Lens, singled out the Guardian for particularly scathing treatment. Two examples were columnists Deborah Orr and Suzanne Moore. It should surprise no one that both are women. Though Assange’s character assassination has involved many a male journalist – not least Russia Cold Warrior Luke Harding, whose uniquely personal betrayal of trust marked an all time journalistic low [1] – shills and hacks who also happened to be female had a spearhead role to play, given the precise form the assassination assumed.

Here’s what computer nerds call a boolean question – Julian Assange is or was wanted on charges of rape in Sweden: true or false?

Fret not (too much) if you wrongly answered “true”. So did Orr, though unlike you she said it to tens of thousands of Guardianista who, whether or not they know it – and usually they don’t – form hazy but comprehensive worldviews on the back of such stuff. The ease, in our post Jimmy Savile, #MeToo world of smearing by allegations of sexual misconduct should frighten us all – and I speak as a childrens’ home survivor – though many are so caught up in highly manipulated incandescence that this aspect eludes them.

I’m kind enough to deem Orr, Moore and their ilk useful idiots – with Moore, of “massive turd” fame, every bit as coarse on Jeremy Corbyn (and a hypocrite with it) – but can’t bring myself to extend such merciful judgment to Harding.

Anyways…Sweden’s chief prosecutor – also a woman – said Assange had no case to answer, yet he remains an effective prisoner, under arbitrary detention as the UN calls it, in London’s Ecuadoran Embassy. His sole offence is of skipping bail in circumstances where, with Obama breaking all records for locking up whistle blowers and throwing away the key, the alternative was a real threat of extradition to the United and Most Vindictive States of America. So let’s get ourselves up to speed on why – as if incurring Washington displeasure weren’t cause enough – Assange has so upset the British state.

The talking points below are a shameless steal, in shortened form, of a recommended Mark Curtis piece in ICH. For the full deal, go there. This is for consumption over coffee, afore you dash out to work.

Julian Assange Should be Thanked – not Smeared – for Wikileaks’ Service to Journalism

Twelve years ago this month, WikiLeaks began publishing government secrets that the world public might otherwise never have known. What it has revealed about state duplicity, human rights abuses and corruption goes beyond anything published in the world’s “mainstream” media.

For the rest, other than where I quote Curtis verbatim, I’ll simply summarise those aspects especially relevant to Britain. These include:

An “extraordinary” cable from 2013> on how Britain conducted secret vote-trading deals with Saudi Arabia to get both states elected to the UN Human Rights Council…

A 2008 cable showing shadow foreign secretary William Hague telling the US embassy that Britain “want[s] a pro-American regime. We need it. The world needs it.”…

A 2009 cable showing that, with the Chilcot inquiry on Iraq beginning, Whitehall assured Washington of “measures in place to protect your interests”. (Chilcott refused permission to publish letters between Bush and Blair, written on the eve of war.)

In 2009 PM Gordon Brown wanted Trident subs down from four to three, a policy opposed in Washington. Julian Miller from the Cabinet Office privately assured US officials that his government “would consult with the US regarding future developments concerning the Trident deterrent to assure…‘no daylight’ between the US and UK”…

“The Wikileaks cables are rife with examples of British government duplicity of the kind I’ve extensively come across in my own research on UK declassified files. In advance of the British-NATO bombing campaign in Libya in March 2011, for example, the British government pretendedthat its aim was to prevent Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi’s attacks on civilians and not to overthrow him”.

Wikileaks files released in 2016 – three weeks before military operations to overthrow Gaddafi, and before the UN resolution on protecting civilians – show William Burns, US deputy secretary of state, discussing a “post-Qaddafi” Libya with William Hague…

Remember Diego Garcia? Its population kicked out by Britain to make way for one of America’s hundreds of “defensive” military bases from which to “intervene” in the middle east? A 2009 cable shows Whitehall promoting the establishment of a “marine reserve” around the islands, explicitly to deter the diaspora from claiming rights of re-entry. One senior FCO official is shown as telling Washington that “former inhabitants would find it difficult, if not impossible, to pursue their claim for resettlement on the islands if the entire Chagos Archipelago were a marine reserve”

Another 2009 cable shows Foreign Secretary David Miliband helping the US get round a ban on cluster bombs, though Britain had signed up to their outlawing in 2008. How? By approving a loophole to avert a debate in parliament that could have “complicated or muddied” the issue…

Of course, the USA is not known for reciprocal loyalty – ask Mrs Saddam. Cables show the US spying not just on Merkel’s Germany – and every other of America’s ‘allies’ – but on Britain too.

After Ivan Lewis became junior foreign minister under Brown, US officials were briefing HRC’s State Department on rumours that he was depressed, a bully, and on “the state of his marriage”.

Washington was also spying on the UK mission to the UN.

And, yes, we Her Majesty’s subjects are also spied on.

One classified GCHQ document from 2012 shows its surveillance system collecting the IP addresses of Wikileaks visitors, as well as search terms used to reach the site.

Not that any of this should cause us to think for a moment that our masters have the slightest interest in Assange, other than to show the world what happens to bail-jumpers, and that in sovereign Blighty the rule of law is applied without fear or favour. Still less that the resources and desire to protect their interests of America’s deep state – and that of vassals – would ever extend to framing an innocent man.

NOTES:-

  • [1] – I refer among other things to Harding’s revealing the password, given to him in confidence, to the Wiki files.

Scribbler for some sixty years, and for fifteen a photographer too, Philip Roddis began blogging in the early noughties by inflicting film reviews on an unsuspecting public. Soon he was doing the same with illustrated writings on wanderings in Asia and Africa. He writes “to help me think, and because I like to be read”, and finds photography's problem solving aspects "a break from those of writing, as well as an aid to writing and to reflective travel”.

His blog is Steel City Scribblings

58 Comments

  1. tonyopmoc says

    I have been following the events/news of Julian Assange since before he was famous. Almost everyone here is disparaging the views of Crisp fan. I think his views may be largely correct. I have enormous respect for both Julian Assange, and Ed Snowden (who looks very much like a bloke I used to work with 15+ years ago (except he was English). However, if you analyse, all the details of their stories, even the recent ones, lots of things in the details simply do not make sense.

    Sure, most of the stuff they have both published is true, and embarrassing to Western Governments, but very little of it is groundbreaking, or unknown from other sources. I think their main roles is to frighten the hell out of any other potential whistleblowers. I could go into great detail, of how and why their stories are published on a regular basis by the controlled mainstream media, whilst others are almost completely unknown, and unpublished, sometimes when they have occupied the same space, even same physical jail. Ever heard of Anthony John Hill?

    It is important to keep an open mind, particularly anything regularly portrayed by the mainstream media. Just assume, that the reason you are reading this news (which is less than 5% of real events), is because the people in control want you to read these views or see them on TV.

    I think it is entirely possible that both Julian Assange and Ed Snowden are still working for Western Intelligence Agencies. If they weren’t you would probably have never heard of either of them.

    Just because they maybe working for Intelligence Agencies, does not mean, that they are not good people. I knew the allegations of rape against Assange in Sweden were complete nonsense, by the views of the two girls involved, who wrote about it at the time on Twitter in Swedish, and was also reported by the Swedish equivalent of “The Sun” Aftonbladet

    I was impressed the last time Julian Assange appeared live on the balcony of the Ecuadorian Embassy when some important news had been announced that he had to respond to. It was a hot sunny day. The film / tv crews had been there for over 6 hours before Julian appeared wearing a motocycle jacket, as if he had just arrived on a motorcycle, via the back door. In the time it took him to appear, he could have been flown by fast military jet, from almost anywhere within the Northern Hemisphere.

    Of course he is there, on occasion to receive guests, and even do live iterviews, but for the rest of the time he could be almost anywhere. Who would know?

    What have either of them said about 9/11?

    Tony

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    • frank says

      >>”What have either of them said about 9/11?”

      9/11 is a taboo subject. Both Assange and Snowden depend on their public perception for income. They don’t want to jinx that by speaking out about 9/11.

      Just a theory, but more plausible than them being secret agents. You seem to forget that both have been severely punished for what they did, and still suffer the consequences, for the rest of their lives.

      Here’s another theory: Snowden was shafted by Glenn Greenwald.
      Glenn Greenwald, now here’s a good candidate for a double dealing controlled opposition figure _that is not suffering any negative consequences_ for what he is doing.

      “Whistleblower Edward Snowden was taken for a ride by con artists in the service of the US and UK intelligence agencies. Under the cover of “independent journalism”, the scammers conned him out of his trove of secret NSA files, hustled him from Hong Kong ahead of legislature-sponsored public hearings on cyber-espionage, and unceremoniously dumped him, minus documents, in a transit lounge at Moscow Airport . This report shows how the American and British spymasters retrieved the top-secret files by luring the fugitive into a well-laid trap, while the mass media went along with the deception to aid the authorities in evading public calls to abolish the global surveillance state.”

      https://deeppoliticsforum.com/forums/showthread.php?12504-Who-is-Pierre-Omidyar-and-why-does-the-Ebay-billionaire-want-to-fund-Glen-Greenwald

      (Article is double posted, so it’s not as long as it seems.)

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        • frank says

          Weak article written in a very tendentious style.

          So for example he goes from

          “Snowden claimed he could do very heavy damage to the entire US intelligence community in 2008”
          (I don’t know if this is true or where he got this quote from but let’s assume it’s true)

          to

          “had the capability to take down the whole US inter-agency intelligence network”

          The whole article is in a similar vein. Almost all of it is either speculation or insinuation or made up on the part of Rappoport.

          Snowden was NSA, therefore he still is in the NSA? That would mean not a single whistle blower can be trusted.

          The CIA or NSA would not hire somebody that young? The bullsh*t goes on and on and on.

          “Ed Snowden was able to steal thousands of highly protected NSA documents because…he had a thumb drive.”

          Uhm, I think it was a bit more complicated than putting a thumb drive into a computer.
          It goes on and on with this kind of insinuations and nonsense.

          And of course not a single link to a single source on any of his claims.

    • George cornell says

      Almost all of what they revealed was unknown to the general public. What on earth are you talking about? You live in a country where half of those surveyed were unable to name the Prime Minister. Don’t forget that.

  2. Spread the Message. Reward the Messenger. says

    Controlled corporate media is only interested in Demonising Assange, with very little space given to the contents of Wikileaks releases.

    Tried to google Hilary emails contents at US elections time?
    You ALWAYS saw the Guardian’s ‘FBI is Trumpland’ and some CNN and BBC drivel at the top of search results.

    • After all, your hero went with his “revelations” to these controlled corporate media (gaurdian, nyt, der spigel) to demonize Syria and Iran

      • wardropper says

        The Graun still had some shreds of respectability left in those days.
        It was, for example, still possible to comment on most topics.
        I have no doubt that Assange now knows considerably more about that paper than he did then.
        That Domscheidt fiasco must also have taught him a few things about the determination of the “standard narrative” to ensure that their weird, sick world persists too.

    • vexarb says

      @The One. Having read both denunciation of Julian Assange — the first by Lehmann and the second by Azaziah — I agree that WikiLeaks info about the scale of killing by the U$ / UK Coalition of The Killing of does not amount to much when compared with, say, the estimate of Iraqi dead which was made by the Editor of The Lancet. The horrors perpetrated in the MENA by colonial powers F UK Z U$A have been catalogued far more fully by much lesser known Truthers. But this does not diminish the injustice af Assange’s entrapment and International persecution by an Unholy Trinity of the U$ Regime, the Swedish Strongman Carl Bildt and the British Law Lords.

      • There are no other real prisoners to whom “alt” media could devote so much attention to him?

        Litmus test is failed by Mossange. He is a 9/11 truth “denier” who believes the official bullshit story that AL-CIA-DA and MOSSAD cranked out about who did it.

        Not one piece of this shit he puts out on the street is real intelligence information. Nothing the average non moron who knows how to find information on the web about U.S. War crimes in Irag, Afghanistan etc. can’t find on their own.

        And more to the point, Mossange is pushing shit that legitimizes WAR ON SYRIA AND IRAN.

        Why do you suppose that is?

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        • frank says

          @ der einzige

          Have you even read the article?
          Wikileaks has done tremendous damage to the establishment and the deep state.
          If he’s a CIA agent (or whatever else you think he is), why does the US want to put him in prison and throw away the key? If he’s an agent of the deep state, why is he in house arrest for 6 years? If he was an agent he would be free by now, he would not have had to seek refuge in the embassy in the first place. 6 years in virtual prison with no way out for the foreseeable future, a bit of a high price to pay for an “agent” I would say.

          I’m all for being skeptical of everything. But try to keep it real.

          He doesn’t believe in 9/11? So what, nobody is perfect.

          Legitimizing war on Syria and Iran? Show me.

          • Read again the article by Christof Lehmann, which I have posted and see it
            Sex, Lies, Iran, Israel and Wikileaks
            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7TheJPboU4c
            and It
            WikiLeaks: Advancing an Israeli Agenda?
            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0bjJIUoWGJs
            I can’t give more than two links, so look on yt Webster Tarpley points to the possibility that Wikileaks is a CIA operation “Is WikiLeaks A CIA Operation?”

            What has he been doing in the embassy for so many years? Maybe he was needed to change the government Correa which was an ally and friend of Hugo Chavez. Everyone would like to have a man in the embassy of the country you want to take over. As you can see, they succeeded.

            • frank says

              The only “argument” in that first video is that Assange has said that he does not like conspiracy theories about 9/11.

              Is that really all you got?

              (As I said before: 9/11 is a taboo subject. Both Assange and Snowden depend on their public perception for income. They don’t want to jinx that by speaking out about 9/11.

              Just a theory, but more plausible than them being secret agents. You seem to forget that both have been severely punished for what they did, and still suffer the consequences, for the rest of their lives.)

              Second video puts a faulty spin on the wikileaks revelations to create anti-Iran pro-Israel propaganda.

              How about this:
              Iran Quotes WikiLeaks At U.N. To Prove Saudis Are State Sponsors Of Terror
              http://www.shtfplan.com/headline-news/hillary-said-so-iran-quotes-wikileaks-at-u-n-to-prove-saudis-are-state-sponsors-of-terror_10022018

              • “Is that really all you got?”
                there is enough against Mossange: 9/11, supporting Israeli policy, iran,and even the publication in MSM.
                Is WikiLeaks A CIA Operation? (watch all 3 parts – more than one Clinton mail)
                https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=brGAgrxscOg

                You believe that if he had something solid to publish, they would do it?
                You want to say that little “hacker” Julian was born yesterday and he did not know what MSM is and who the owner is? If it were not for Julian, you would not know that people are killed in war? And if it were not Edward, you would not know that they were eavesdropping and spying on everyone? Did you hear about Patriot Act? What do you need Snowden?

                Read:
                Snowden and the final purpose of the Surveillance State
                https://jonrappoport.wordpress.com/2014/01/16/snowden-and-the-final-purpose-of-the-surveillance-state/

                On off-guardian fb this article illustrates a photo with the words “do you want know a secret?”
                What secret did Mossange reveal?

                I do not know what strict penalties you write? One is sitting in Russia and the other until recently played a celebrity at the embassy.

                Remind me where Snowden worked? CIA? NSA? Calling it an agent is logical!

                Which means 9/11 is taboo? For whom it is taboo?

                • frank says

                  Rehashing the same very weak arguments.

                  – He doesn’t speak out about 9/11 therefore he’s a secret agent.

                  (Btw whether or not mossad was involved in 9/11 has noting to do with Assange.)

                  – He used to be in the CIA and NSA therefore he still is.

                  The rest is just insinuations and speculations.
                  I’m certainly willing to entertain the theory. But when there are multiple theories the theory that makes the least amount of assumptions is statistically most likely to be correct. And the theory that Assange and Snowden are secret agents is making a whole lot of very far fetched assumptions that fly in the face of reality.

                  Assange has been in virtual prison for 6 years and if he’s ever handed over to the US -something that is becoming more likely by the day- than he’ll be in prison for the rest of his life.

                  On Snowden:

                  “One should expect obfuscation and misleading coverage from the Intercept, whose star journalist Glenn Greenwald has not yet released 95% of the Snowden files he was entrusted to curate in 2013.

                  With the anti-leaker bias at the core of the Intercept exposed, it should shock no one that the outlet was responsible for last year’s arrest of leaker Reality Winner. What appeared to be sloppy opsec may have been deliberate betrayal – the journalists who bungled Winner’s leak were also involved in outing CIA whistleblower John Kiriakou, who exposed the agency’s torture program.”

                  From: http://helenofdestroy.com/index.php/37-free-julian-assange-or-you-re-next-critical-update

                  So if anybody’s a double agent, it’s Glenn Greenwald. Occam’s razor.

                  • If someone supports the official 9/11 version is an idiot or agent. There is no other option.
                    three simple rhetorical questions:
                    1. will any newspaper publish anything against its owner?
                    2. what did these dudes say to you that you did not know before?
                    3. you watch too many American movies and do you believe that the world is being saved/changes by lonely heroes?
                    Weak are your arguments.

  3. Inquisition in Liberal clothes says

    Western Democracy:

    Much more like Inquisition system of governance than a Liberal one.
    Bomb whoever we don’t like.

  4. rilme says

    “…columnists Deborah Orr and Suzanne Moore. It should surprise no one that both are women.”
    With names like Deborah and Suzanne, I’m not surprised that both are women. The maddest kid in my school was called Orr; it must be hard to get a clear sense of one’s identity with a name like that.

    • Feminists are CIA creation says

      Sometimes, I get the these G. feminists are sedated with strong anti-depressants and all the writing is done by some other agencies.

      • Feminists are CIA creation says

        *
        I get the feeling

        ‘Divide and rule’ is used here to sow conflicts between men and women.

        Sure, battle of the sexes is nothing new, but the budgets invested in feminism in the last decade with a reach to every remote village on Earth, to places where they have no stable power supply, an organisation like the CIA with unlimited resources must be behind feminism.

  5. wardropper says

    Things are not so black: From PCR’s blog today:

    Dear Readers:

    It is all over the internet and international media that Twitter has suspended my account.
    This is not the case.
    I do not use social media.
    I discovered that a Twitter account was operating in my name.
    I requested that the account be taken down.
    I have no recollection of giving anyone permission to operate a Twitter account in my name. I am still extremely busy trying to help family relatives impacted by Hurricane Michael and could only quickly look at the Twitter postings. It seemed to be mainly innocuous, consisting of links or quotes from my posted columns.
    However, there were other things, such as appeals that money be sent to Alex Jones InfoWars and other things. I have no objection to Alex Jones. However, my webmaster and I were concerned that things could be posted that would be dangerous for me, such as libel, death threats to others, and so forth.
    To repeat, the account was closed at my request.
    To repeat, I do not use social media.

    Paul Craig Roberts

  6. archie1954 says

    I find it very sad that the UK has become a boot licker to the US! Dose it not have one ounce of honour and sovereignty left, just one ounce?

    • At many levels, and those are the levels that matter – the economic and military industrial complex, the US and the UK have been a singular entity for some time. Certainly since the 1980s and arguably for more than a century. Those that dictate the direction and campaigns of that empire are transnationalists who use capitalism to own and control every facet of the global economy from raw resources through to the institutions of governance. It is for us paeons to earnestly debate notions of sovereignty, human rights and justice. The ruling class leave us to it, happy in the knowledge we are fixated on notions of reality that no longer exist in any meaningful way.

  7. Robbobbobin says

    “Though Assange’s character assassination has involved many a male journalist – not least Russia Cold Warrior Luke Harding, whose uniquely personal betrayal of trust marked an all time journalistic low [1]…

    [1] – I refer among other things to Harding’s revealing the password, given to him in confidence, to the Wiki files Emphasis added.”

    NOT.

    Nick Davies was given most of the password (ACollectionOfHistorySince_1966_ToThe_PresentDay#) in written form on a Brussels hotel napkin in a one-on-one meeting with Assange, who added a verbal instruction to insert the word “Diplomatic” before the word “History” to complete it and deccrypt the data, which could be downloaded from a temporary Internet address to be advised later. After it was downloaded and decrypted, the data was passed to
    David Leigh, who had been involved in preparing the raw data for publication and who later co-authored
    WikiLeaks: Inside Julian Assange’s War on Secrecy with Luke Harding, in which both the written and verbal components of the password were made public. However, by the time the book was published, the encrypted data had been leaked onto the Internet and the encrypted data could therefore be decrypted by anyone bought the book. Harding may have been involved writing the subsection of the book concerned as more than a subeditor, and so may or may not be the one who revealed the password given to Davies and passed to Leigh, but in this case that is unlikely and in any case he is not a person to whom it was given in confidence.

  8. James Connolly says

    It’s likely that the sheer intensity of the vitriol aimed at JA by Guardian journos is informed by self-loathing. They know that Assange is guaranteed immortality as a world-historical figure who rattled the cage of the Hegemon and its coterie. The contrast with themselves – faux-dissidents who aim their fiercest barbs at those who challenge the status quo – must be exceedingly painful to contemplate. For all their high-profile scribbling, nobody is going to remember these establishment-supporting no-marks – and they know it.

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    • writerroddis says

      Indeed. A very similar observation is made by Media Lens in their recent book, Propaganda Blitz, reviewed by me not long ago on this site. That book, incidentally, is where I got the information – incorrect says Robbobbobin – that David Leigh and Luke Harding bear joint responsibility for betraying Assange over the Wikileaks password.

      • Crisp fan says

        All of Wikileaks so called information was published by The Guardian. That is the biggest flag of all to suggest it is an intelligence fraud. Assange is now being portrayed as the bad buy because of the release of the Clinton related emails. He still did his job. Russians were blamed for that.

        So who betrayed Seth Rich to the bad guys, Julian ?

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      • Robbobbobin says

        “ropaganda Blitz … is where I got the information – incorrect says Robbobbobin – that David Leigh and Luke Harding bear joint responsibility for betraying Assange over the Wikileaks password.”

        I have not read Propaganda BlItz but if that is actually what they said then I do not disagree. Authors that put their name on publications of putative fact are responsible for the veracity of those “facts” even if they are only co-authors who were not directly concerned with the writing of sections that have distorted or misrepresented the facts. “Comment is free, but facts are sacred.”

        In the case of the Wikileaks password fiasco, Nick Davies – the reporter who was actually given the password to the encrypted data – was evidently a computer illiterate bimbo and supposed authorative journalist who apparently did not even bother to ask anyone in the Guardian’s IT department to explain this password stuff in layman-understandable terms of data security; Leigh was a purportedly competent “Investigations Editor” and I understand that Harding claims to be a journalist. I believe that Assange is an assiduously exact computer scientist who would have left any one of them with absolutely no doubt as to the difference between a server on the Internet and some encrypted data occupying some of its disk space and exactly to which the password applied both when he handed the password to Davies and subsequently to anyone concerned with using it to decrypt the data and ready it for newspaper publication, or write subsequent accounts of the process in book form, were they even just half inclined to get their heads out of their manifestly over-dilated arseholes and pay the technical matter of data security some passably adequate degree of attention. Editor-in-Chief Rusbridger, brother-in-law of Leigh, is not exonerated either. To appoint a bunch of lazy, opinionated, shit-for-brains who can’t be bothered to keep up with the easily understood lay-technical security requirements of their assignment in which the Guardian saw itself as an editorial-level security enforcer without putting a computer literate into the loop is hardly the behaviour reasonably expected of a professional ultimate buck-stopper. They all should have eaten gargantuan crow, but like all bullies when confronted with suggestions of culpable dereliction of reasonable due care, they chose to come out with the guns of misdirection and self-absolution blazing.

        However, none of that turns Harding into a person who actually received the password concerned from Assange in confidence then betrayed it. It is most likely that his first knowledge of it was in a draft of the book recounting the circumstances surrounding the matter passed to him openly by his colleague and co-author Leigh without any form of caution and withour any form of questioning or security checking. by himself. Or, possibly, it was an internallyor externally conceived plan to stitch Assange up real good and the all knew what they were doing after Assange has passed over the word, in confidence, to Davies.

        Third-party opinions based on unchecked fact are a form of cancer on public rationality. As harry stotle notes elsewhere in this thread:

        “…the Guardian’s seemingly irreversible descent into neoliberal toilet paper will not be reversed if its so called senior commentators fail to understand the difference between infantile forms of identity politics and actual journalism (which sometimes means getting up of your arse and actually conducting some form of investigation).”

        An injunction that is as relevant to any report or opinion piece on The Guardian as off it.

        And a corollary is, if it’s not first hand information always cite the absolving source.

  9. vexarb says

    Anonymous post BTL Saker:
    Notable antiwar writer Paul Craig Roberts has had his Twitter account cancelled for his criticisms of Neoconservatives in the USA. When they silence and shut down people like Mr. Roberts, no one is safe.

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    • wardropper says

      Well perhaps we’ll soon have a situation where most of us have become antiwar writers… The dolts in Washington still haven’t fathomed that it is they themselves who create squillions of new enemies in the Middle East every week, as well as plenty of new antiwar writers in the West. There has to come a point when they are forced to fathom it.
      “I.Q.” must by now have acquired a new meaning in the U.S. government, since it certainly doesn’t mean what it used to when I was a kid.

  10. harry stotle says

    The Guardian’s anti-Assange juggernaut is especially egregious, even by their low standards – I mean what has it come to when the likes of Moore, Hyde, Orr, et al, are gloating about successive privations inflicted on a person obviously living in fear because of long term persuit by the worlds leading terror state (for which he has already spent time in prison before being forced to wear an electronic tag).

    The only thing we know for sure is the Guardian’s seemingly irreversible descent into neoliberal toilet paper will not be reversed if its so called senior commentators fail to understand the difference between infantile forms of identity politics and actual journalism (which sometimes means getting up of your arse and actually conducting some form of investigation).

    Yes some men abuse women (and escape punishment for it) but this unpalatable fact does not translate into all men are automatically guilty on the basis of allegations alone, especially when those allegations have been shown to be inconsistent, not to mention subverted by third parties who are themselves seeking to exploit the 2 complainants in order to gain political leverage.

    For the likes of Moore, Hyde and Orr hysteria seems to be the order of the day if a middle class student encounters drunken male behaviour during freshers week, yet two decades of war crimes in the Middle East barely receive a murmer despite the likes of Assange taking huge personal risks to demonstrate to them what is really going on.

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    • Crisp fan says

      Don’t forget it was The Guardian that (preposterously) published all of Assange’s so called leaks. Did you forget that little detail ?

      What happened is that MI6’s favourite sleazeball did something sleazy with his fame in Sweden.They still managed to get him back to London and arranged protection in the Ecuadorian embassy.

      “Paranoid, vain and jealous’ – the secret life of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange

      An excoriating profile by Julian Assange’s ghostwriter, Andrew O’Hagan, has lifted the lid on the strange world of the founder of WikiLeaks

      Even Assange’s girlfriend, WikiLeaks researcher Sarah Harrison, grew increasingly frustrated at his behaviour during the weeks he spent on bail at Ellingham Hall, in Norfolk, the home of another of his guarantors, Vaughan Smith, the founder of the Frontline Club.

      Miss Harrison says of Assange: “He openly chats girls up and has his hands on their a**e and goes nuts if I even talk to another guy. He’s like threatened to fire me a few times and always for crazy reasons. One of the times was literally because I had hugged another member of staff. Julian was like ‘that’s so disrespectful to me’.”

      http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/wikileaks/10655638/Paranoid-vain-and-jealous-the-secret-life-of-WikiLeaks-founder-Julian-Assange.html

      Ellingham Hall is a stately home. How many aristocrats do you know ? Vaughan Smith was EMBEDDED with the British army in Afghanistan.

      http://www.channel4.com/news/articles/uk/embedded%2Bwith%2Bbritish%2Btroops%2Bin%2Bhelmand/3539237.html

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      • George Cornell says

        Your nasty ad hominem comments do nothing to address the point of the article. We owe and even you owe Assange a lot. Smearing him seems an inappropriate way to settle that debt. So tell us, while you munch on your crisps, who do you admire, faultless one? So we can trash them like you trash Assange. He acted in the finest tradition of journalism, but effectively incarcerating him for a period longer than is served by the average murderer in the US is not enough for you? You discredit your species.

        Hanging is too good for the man who embarrasses the USUK (you suck) , is that your position?
        Why not be upset about the lying, cheating, stealing, hypocritical duplicity?

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        • Crisp fan says

          To me, Assange is a very obvious (unwilling) CIA/MI6 operative whose articles were published in the Guardian and New York Times. Think about it.

          This was written BEFORE the Guardian got the order to publish the leaks. They asked John Young to register Wikileaks because he is the recognised global authority.

          “But the group ran into problems even before WikiLeaks was launched. The organisers approached John Young, who ran another website that posted leaked documents, Cryptome, and asked him to register the WikiLeaks website in his name. Young obliged and was initially an enthusiastic supporter but when the organisers announced their intention to try and raise $5m he questioned their motives, saying that kind of money could only come from the CIA or George Soros. Then he walked away.

          “WikiLeaks is a fraud,” he wrote in an email when he quit. “Fuck your cute hustle and disinformation campaign against legitimate dissent. Same old shit, working for the enemy.” Young then leaked all of his email correspondence with WikiLeak’s founders, including the messages to Ellsberg.

          http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2010/apr/10/wikileaks-collateral-murder-video-iraq

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        • Jen says

          @ George C: Do not feed the troll called Crisp Fan. This looks like Matt in another disguise. Flooding this comments thread with innuendo and tags (to attract the attention of censors) may be part of the game plan and replying to Crisp Fan’s comments is encouraging it.

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    • Yarkob says

      “The only thing we know for sure is the Guardian’s seemingly irreversible descent into neoliberal toilet paper will not be reversed if its so called senior commentators fail to understand the difference between infantile forms of identity politics and actual journalism”

      stable door; wave goodbye to horse.

      the graun will not return whence it came. it’s gone for good.

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  11. Hope says

    Thank you for this. These talking points are urgently needed and should be widely disseminated.

  12. MichaelK says

    Only last week, on the BBC World Service, what they like to call ‘The World’s Radio Station’, I heard the newsreader state that Assange was in the Ecuadorian embassy because he feared being extradited to Sweden to face ‘rape charges.’ This isn’t true. It’s an example of real fake news. Assange was never charged with rape by the Swedish authorities. In fact he wasn’t charged with anything at all. The Swedes wanted to question him, in Sweden, in relation to various allegations that had been made by two women during a questionable police interview about their sexual relations with Assange. More precisely, the two women did not accuse Assange of raping them during the interview, that was merely the interpretation the female police officer stamped on the details herself, before talking to a legally qualified prosecutor first, when the prosecutor looked at the text of the interview she rejected the officers evaluation and dismissed the ‘case.’ Yet, almost immediately, someone in the system, probably because by now the Swedish security police were involved because it was Assange… leaked the information to the Swedish tabloids and the whole ghastly tainted snowball began to role.

    I’ve lost count of the hours and hours and thousands of words I’ve written about this affair, trying to get the Guardian and the New Stateman to, at the very least, treat Assange fairly. All to no avail. As I speak Swedish I read the leaked police interviews and the evidence, and could see immediately that the whole thing was… ridiculous, to put it mildly. But the British press weren’t interested and wanted to hammer Assange and destroy him and Wikileaks and they didn’t care how they did it, or what outright lies they had to tell; like Assange being wanted in Sweden on rape charges brought by two women accusers. It’s amazing and terrifying that they could twist, distort and spin this stuff out of all recognition and similarity to reality and get away with it and as the recent BBC text shows, are still doing it! It reminds one of Iraq all over again, or this absurd Skripal Affair.

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      • Robyn says

        I didn’t watch it but, as a general comment, I would say don’t waste your time on the ABC. The Australian Bullshit Corporation is completely controlled by neocons and all their ‘reports’ on foreign policy come direct from Washington or Tel Aviv.

    • mark says

      This has now become standard throughout the western world.
      Target some enemy with absurd smears, allegations without a shred of supporting evidence that are endlessly repeated by tame media hacks until they become “true.”
      Like Assange being a sex fiend or Russian spy (or both), ditto Edward Snowden, Corbyn being a secret Nazi and Anti Semite, the election of Trump/ Brexit/ French, German, Italian, Dutch, Swedish etc. elections all being masterminded by the dastardly Putin, who also periodically assassinates complete nonentities for the pleasure of it, like the evil Assad regularly gassing people to satisfy his blood lust, and much else in a similar vein.
      Transparent lies are peddled incessantly and accepted without question.
      1984 always seemed a bit far fetched to me when I read it, but the Bizarro Clown World it depicts now actually seems quite mild compared to what we have now.
      We live in a post truth age. Objective reality is whatever you wish it to be, or whatever is convenient at any given time.
      We are lucky to have whistleblowers and truth tellers of the calibre of Assange, Snowden, Eva Bartlett, Vanessa Beeley, Lizzie Phelan and others. Without these courageous people the crimes of the ruling elite would have remained hidden.

  13. I’m finding it hard to keep a sense of humour these days. It seems there are no depths to which our sham democracies will not sink. A century of regime change strategies around the world, and a planet full of plastic and displaced people, and all of it about the control of natural resources – at ANY COST so long as the corporate hegemonies keep stashing away the loot.

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    • I share your lack of humour. In me it has been replaced by a developing rage that is always looking for a meaningful outlet. There are few. While speaking the truth is a revolutionary act these days it is insufficient. We must support Julian if and when the time comes.

  14. Fair dinkum says

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but just prior to Assange’s detention wasn’t Wikileaks about to release a shipload of documents detailing corporate malfeasance around the world?
    Inconvenient truths?
    And presto, Assange is public enemy número uno.
    $atan$ $oldier$ wear $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$uit$.

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  15. Crisp fan says

    Assange has gone from the corporate hero who (it is preposterously claimed) published American secrets in intelligence owned publications The Guardian and New York Times then by some bizarre process gathered and published information about Arab countries and triggered the Arab Spring for the NED, the same American intelligence operation Bellingcat works for.

    He is now the enemy of the mainstream and the darling of the ‘alternative’ media because he published the Podesta emails which the corporate media have conveniently blamed on the Russians and arrested hackers to blame.

    I will not respond to fanboy abuse.

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    • Crisp fan says

      “Amnesty International hails WikiLeaks and Guardian as Arab spring ‘catalysts’

      The rights group singles out WikiLeaks and the newspapers that pored over its previously confidential government files, among them the Guardian, as a catalyst in a series of uprisings against repressive regimes, notably the overthrow of Tunisia’s long-serving president, Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali.

      http://www.theguardian.com/world/2011/may/13/amnesty-international-wikileaks-arab-spring

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    • Crisp fan says

      Why Egypt doesn’t trust us (LA Times)

      Private pro-democracy groups funded by the U.S. have a troubling history.

      But many in Congress felt that the program’s problem lay only in its ties to the CIA. Cut those ties and make everything above board, they argued, and the attempt to win hearts and minds to the American way would be useful and benign. In the 1980s, during the Reagan administration, Congress created the NED (National Endowment for Democracy) to take the place of the defunct CIA program.

      http://articles.latimes.com/2012/mar/07/opinion/la-oe-meisler-prodemocracy-20120306

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      • George Cornell says

        And who trusts the US.? Certainly no one in South America. Can’t think of anyone, really.

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    • Crisp fan says

      Egypt protests: America’s secret backing for rebel leaders behind uprising

      The American government secretly backed leading figures behind the Egyptian uprising who have been planning “regime change” for the past three years, The Daily Telegraph has learned.

      The American Embassy in Cairo helped a young dissident attend a US-sponsored summit for activists in New York, while working to keep his identity secret from Egyptian state police.

      On his return to Cairo in December 2008, the activist told US diplomats that an alliance of opposition groups had drawn up a plan to overthrow President Hosni Mubarak and install a democratic government in 2011.

      http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/africaandindianocean/egypt/8289686/Egypt-protests-Americas-secret-backing-for-rebel-leaders-behind-uprising.html

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    • Crisp fan says

      Sorry, indicted not arrested. They will never be arrested.

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