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“No One is Above the Law:” You Have to be Kidding

James O’Neill

Theresa May declaring “no one is above the law” in Parliament, and somehow maintaining a straight face.

Reacting to the arrest and detention in British custody of Julian Assange from the Ecuadorian embassy, UK Prime Minister Theresa May said that the arrest confirms “that no one is above the law.” This was a phrase repeated multiple times by members of her government.

It is, or ought to be, a fundamental principle of a society based upon the rule of law, that this is indeed the case. If an individual, or group of individuals, transgress upon the law then they ought to be held accountable. That ought to apply regardless of that person’s status. We know of course that this is an ideal not always applied. There is ample sociological evidence to that effect.

A related principle is that a person is presumed innocent until they either plead guilty or are found guilty by a court of competent jurisdiction applying the law to the standard of beyond a reasonable doubt.

Whether or not Mr Assange will ever receive a fair trial is a moot point. There has been a veritable torrent of prejudicial pre-trial publicity. Even the Judge who dealt with Mr Assange’s charge of breaching his bail conditions (in respect of non-existent Swedish charges of alleged sexual assault) felt the need to describe Mr Assange as a “narcissist,” the relevance of which to a charge of breaching bail escapes me.

The judge then declined sentencing jurisdiction and transferred Mr Assange to a higher court, which had the capacity to impose a 12-month sentence instead of the six months available to a lowly magistrate. Mr Assange had spent six and a half years holed up in the Ecuadorian embassy, a detention that a United Nations panel found to be arbitrary and contrary to his human rights. Again, the legal justification for transferring Mr Assange to a higher court for admittedly breaching his bail on non-existent charges escapes me.

Returning to Mrs May’s triumphalist claim that no-one is above the law, her rhetoric immediately raises the question: if that is indeed true why is she and members of the government and those of governments before her not standing trial for the many and egregious breaches of international law perpetrated by successive British governments?

Let us look briefly that just four examples from recent history where, if indeed the standard of “no one is above the law” truly applied, it would rapidly deplete the ranks of United Kingdom politicians, past and present.

Afghanistan. In December 2001 the United States and its allies, including the United Kingdom, invaded Afghanistan, ostensibly because the Taliban Government refused to hand over Osama bin Laden, the alleged mastermind of the 9/11 attacks in New York City and Washington DC. The Taliban Government, far from refusing the United States request, asked for evidence of bin Laden’s alleged involvement in the attacks. That is after all, the basic requirement of the “rules based legal order”. That evidence was never provided.

We now know that the decision to invade Afghanistan was made in July 2001, two months before the 9/11 attacks. The real reasons for the invasion and occupation of Afghanistan had more to do with the refusal of the Afghan government to give the contract for a gas pipeline from the Caspian basin to an American company, and instead of giving the contract to the Argentinian Bridas Corporation.

17 ½ years later the United States and the United Kingdom are you still there. Millions of Afghans were forced into seeking refuge across the border, principally into Iran and Pakistan. The heroin trade, much reduced under the Taliban, now flourishes under US protection. Military bases are used as black sites for torture as well is providing springboards for hybrid warfare against the former Soviet republics on Afghanistan’s border and in China’s Xinjiang province. The latter is a key element in China’s BRI that the United States is determined to oppose and undermine at every opportunity.

In 2017 when an International Criminal Court prosecutor announced an intention to investigate war crimes allegedly committed by United States and Allied forces in Afghanistan, the United States reaction was to issue threats and a refusal to grant visas to ICC investigators. The May government was completely silent about this blatant attempt to obstruct justice, in itself a serious criminal offence.

Iraq. In 2003 the United Kingdom was a strong supporter of the Bush regime plan to invade Iraq, which just happened to be a major oil producer. There was the usual flimflam about Iraq’s alleged violations of United Nations Security Council resolutions dating back to the 1990 Gulf war. That had as much credence as the tales of Iraq’s fabled weapons of mass destruction.

Any doubt that this was anything other then a blatant regime change operation, with other goals including destroying one of Israel’s designated enemies; getting the United States a stronger foothold in the middle east; and turning over Iraq’s oil production to the major US and other western corporations; was demolished by, inter alia, Britain’s own Chilcott report.

And the number of prosecutions for this illegal war of aggression that devastated a society, gave birth to the ISIS plague, killed more than 1 million civilians and made millions more refugees? Absolutely zero.

Libya. After a massive propaganda campaign, nearly all of it entirely false, against Libyan leader Muammar Gadhafi, the United Nations Security Council passed resolution 1973. This resolution authorised the imposition of a no fly zone over Libyan territory and the right to use “all necessary measures” to prevent attacks on civilians. It did not authorise what NATO allies the United Kingdom and France did next, which was to apply massive military force to Libya.

This resulted in the destruction of a country, which up until that point had enjoyed Africa’s highest living standard; the brutal murder of its leader without even the pretence of minimum legal standards; a massive exodus of refugees; and an ongoing Civil War in which the United Kingdom is backing longtime CIA asset General Haftar.

How many United Kingdom politicians have been held accountable for these multiple breaches of international law? Again, absolutely zero.

Chagos Islands. This was a uniquely British piece of international banditry, albeit on behalf of the United States who wanted a military base in the Indian Ocean. The Labour government of Harold Wilson was only too happy to oblige. The short version of the chronicle of sustained and systematic abuse of the Chagos Islanders is that Mauritius was forced to agree to the Chagos Islanders being severed from their control. The Islanders were in turn forcibly evicted from their homes under appalling circumstances. The island was then handed over to the Americans for military purposes. There is strong evidence that the island of Diego Garcia, the principal island in the Chagos Group, is also used as a ‘black site’ for illegal renditions and torture.

The entire horror story is documented in the opinion of the International Court of Justice (www.icj-cij.org 25 February 2019) and an excellent summary by Craig Murray on his website (www.craigmurray.org.uk 26 March 2019). The majority opinion of the court (13:1) was that the United Kingdom was in breach of multiple legal obligations. The court rejected all of the arguments put forward by the United Kingdom to justify what it had done. The reaction of the UK government to the decision was to announce that it was going to ignore it.

The reaction to the ICJ decision provides the clearest possible illustration of the gap between the rhetoric of May about no-one being above the law, and the reality daily confronted by the victims of great power machinations.

Although it is probably of little comfort to Mr Assange, his experiences have helped to shed light on the brutality and ruthless disregard for the legal and moral principles reportedly held by those espousing sanctimonious claptrap in the House of Commons and elsewhere.

Mr Assange is not the first victim of imperial lawlessness. He will definitely not be the last.

James O’Neill is a barrister at law and geopolitical analyst. He may be contacted at joneill@qldbar.asn.au.

Filed under: empire watch, latest

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James O’Neill is a barrister at law and geopolitical analyst. He may be contacted at joneill@qldbar.asn.au.

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harry stotle
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harry stotle

MPs cheer the news Julian is a step closer to being delivered to the US security apparatus.

Yet not a shred of outrage from the ‘liberal media’ – one can only conclude they are part and parcel of the cryptofascism that has enveloped so much of our political and economic thinking.

Dark days for all of us, but especially for Julian Assange.

Oslo - Norway
Reader
Oslo - Norway

Hello friends, welcome to our latest Honest Government Ad. I was mid-way through writing an Aussie election episode when news broke of the US Government unsealing an indictment against Julian Assange. I wasn’t planning to make a video about this, but after seeing the sheer avalanche of bullshit that followed in the media, I just had to.

Thx to ‘thejuicemedia’ – (video only 2 min.) https://youtu.be/1efOs0BsE0g

auntiebuna
Reader

Oslo- thanks so much for introducing me to thejuicemedia. I am still chuckling over this superb and effective video while sending it out to anyone I can think of.

Headlice
Reader
Headlice

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-04-18/half-england-owned-1-population

How can there be any justice when half your lands are controlled by the 1%.?

Headlice
Reader
Headlice

http://johnhelmer.net/virtue-signalling-wont-save-julian-assange-british-law-might/#more-20742

We have a turd presently for a PM in Australia. Scott Morrison is his name.

The next turd in line for the job is Bill Shorten. His mother in law is the immediate ex Governor General of my fair land. We font have democracy in Australia. We have treasoness dogs to pick from for leaders. The purest of scum always floats to the top.

binra
Reader

I read of an FBI whistleblower – cant recall who – but he checked prospective candidates for promotion in the Judiciary and over the years saw that those with ‘dirt’ were those who were promoted. The underlying issue is of top down control – through vectors of leverage. You throw a lot of shit around – but none ever sticks to you? If that was your predilection and I was wanting to make an asset of you, I might recruit you without you being aware of what you were being brought into – because you always wanted to deal the… Read more »

harry stotle
Reader
harry stotle

With regard to the legal dimensions this short animation by Infobytes gives an excellent precis while highlighting the fact the authorities case againt Julian has got more holes in it than a supersized chunk of Emmental cheese.

As I see it we all have a responsibilty to try and undo the disinformation and lies promoted by US intelligence agencies via their usual Quislings in the media.

Headlice
Reader
Headlice
auntiebuna
Reader

Now that the Netherlands has also become a colony of the USA, (by jumping on the “let’s get Maduro” bandwagon), you should see the disgusting way the corporate “news” is handling the arrest of Julian Assange over here. It’s all about titillating the peasants with hints about his alleged sexual escapades in Sweden.

tedcarruthers2618
Reader

Prince Phillip appears to be above the law….anyone else would have been prosecuted for causing that accident….hardly surprising is it…Britain is THE country which closely resembles Orwells vision of the future…an all seeing secret police known by the innocuous sounding MI5…..CCTV cameras everywhere and the leader making patently contradictory comments…..an absolutely perfidious ruling elite making buckets of money merely by owning land….Britain is in dire need of revolution….as suggested by Thomas Jefferson….cleaning out the muck like you would a stable. As long as there is enough food to go around there ain’t going to be any revolution….The British prefer to… Read more »

Shardlake
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Shardlake

I see a report of yesterday (April 18th) that one of the two ladies injured in the road traffic accident earlier this year involving Prince Philip is to be prosecuted for two alleged motoring offences dug up from October last year in which she could potentially lose her driving licence, while the Duke has been observed recently driving his new Range Rover on crown estate property without wearing his seat belt.

Jerry Alatalo
Reader

Theresa May – author of “How I Lost the Skripals: My Shocking Story of the Greatest Mystery of Our Time” – brags that “Nobody is above the law”! What a sick and vomit-inducing joke is the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.

Badger Down
Reader
Badger Down

This is great news. May is going to go after war-criminal Tony Blair. She just might win my vote for her party.

British Justice
Reader
British Justice

This is a recipe/guidance/trick for governance used extensively by the Israelis:

The elites decide [what the law should be] while the commoners, often left in the dark, live in deception.

Israel pushes hard this recipe far and wide [political interference] to produce Zionist friendly policies across the world.

Narrative
Reader
Narrative

“Theresa May .. maintaining a straight face”

Botulinum toxin (Botox) face?

peasant43
Reader
peasant43

If typing were doing, you’d all be ruling.

Betrayed planet
Reader
Betrayed planet

Another twat devoid of critical thinking skills. Oh lord for patience, mine is wearing thin.

Antipropo
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Antipropo

Is there a point to your comment or were you just bored? By the way, you typed it.

peasant43
Reader
peasant43

Your contempt is my point.

witters
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witters

Add my contempt to your “point.”

Gwyn
Reader
Gwyn

Would that be the Theresa May whose husband works for a company (Capital Group) which is the major shareholder in Lockheed Martin (one of the world’s biggest arms manufacturers) and therefore benefits from our and the United States’ little imperial adventures?

Hmm, yeah – she’s just the person to be delivering sanctimonious lectures to other people.

Headlice
Reader
Headlice

A shocking pig of a thing is May.

Makes one want to chunder just looking at her.

A female creep.

binra
Reader

OK – you have made of her person what you will for your own gratification and approval – but what about addressing the issues?

Shardlake
Reader
Shardlake

By God, Gwyn, I think you’re right ! … and I always thought, judging by his photographs, she was married to Arthur Askey.

Gwyn
Reader
Gwyn

There’s definitely a comedy connection, Shardlake – have you heard those zingers she throws around at PMQ?

Poor old Mr Askey could only DREAM of coming up with that kind of comedy gold!

Yarkob
Reader
Yarkob

Seeing as how “The Law” is written and made statute by the very same state who regularly flouts it, anyone whom the State decides is above the law, is above the law. For the people who operate their law it’s quite a fluid, amorphous thing. For the rubes, not so much.

Bankers, despots, bent spooks, criminal corporatists etc etc the list goes on…It’s quite tedious to be told no-one is above the law when we see daily evidence of all sorts of people being just that. It’s actually funny, but not.

Mucho
Reader
Mucho

Evidence that the chosen ones may be behind Notre Dame, from the excellent Know More News. Apparently a church has been torched every week this year in France. Essential info:
Notre Dame Cathedral Fire ‘Conspiracy Theories’

auntiebuna
Reader

As soon as I saw this on the news I thought Macron would find a way to blame the Yellow Vests.

BigB
Reader
BigB

No, not ‘evidence’ – rabid speculation, conspiracy innuendo, and total supposition ‘theory’ masquerading as barely concealed open racism. Its just sad that you think this this somehow adds anything at all to the support of Julian. Way off. Way, way off.

crank
Reader
crank

BigB, Do you think the outbreak of fire at the Al-Aqsa at the very same time as the fire in Notre Dame is pure co-incidence? If not, then what do you think is going on? I’ve looked at plenty of Adam Green’s work, and I don’t think he is motivated by racism. He puts forward a theory that a group of religious fanatics have gained access to/ control of the heights of power in Tel Aviv and Washington, and produces an abundance of evidence to make his case. Whether you think his evidence adequately supports that theory or not, it… Read more »

BigB
Reader
BigB

Crank A bunch of barely correlated facts drawn from 1245 to present (“Oh, that one about burning the Talmud is not relevant – but I’ll show it anyway” – please!) – do not a coherent causative theory make. If there was a causal link between a very small fire, easily dealt with in Jerusalem, and a culturally tragic conflagration in Paris – it certainly wasn’t due to a Jewish Underground, Jewish Chabad or Cabbalistic egregore. Dragging through every barely related news story for 47 minutes of my life I will never get back does not make any relevant inculpatory accusative… Read more »

crank
Reader
crank

Thanks for sharing your opinion BigB.

tresmegistus
Reader
tresmegistus

bigb – perhaps you think the muslim’s were behind destruction of 9/11. think again (suggestion how does a third building collapse on its foot print – a miracle?) and look at the evidence and the ultimate objective which led to the Iraq war. a reminder one cannot have a conspiracy theory as it is an oxymoron.

BigB
Reader
BigB

Tresmegistus

If you think that; perhaps you don’t know anything about me and want to simplify me into a level of comprehension you are comfortable with? Perhaps I do not fit in your, or anyone else’s comfort zone? Simplistic, reductive binary constructions rarely produce any insight – and become the author’s own cognitively biased narrative trap.

Mucho
Reader
Mucho

Another brilliant podcast from Last American Vagabond
Saudi Arabia, Israel & US All Deeply Involved In Sudan’s Illegal Regime Change

Steve Hayes
Reader
Steve Hayes

The government’s “Online Harms” white paper contains provisions to make it impossible to publish disinformation. Of course, these will not apply to their disinformation, but will obviously apply to any challenges to their disinformation.

summitflyer
Reader
summitflyer

“Nobody is above the law”
It is indeed insulting that they take all of us for fools to believe their drivel and lies .
Would it not be grand if we had elected leadership that a shred of respect for the public that elected them….

Matt Morley
Reader
Matt Morley

I have been reading “Julian Assange in Sweden: What Really Happened” by Guy J. Sims (available on Kindle at Amazon for the price of a cappuccino!), a detailed account of absolutely everything and everyone involved, including police statements, the judicial process followed, ancillary events and background information, Julian Assange’s own testimony, as well as who knew who and what hidden agendas were served. What I can safely say at this point is that there are a whole bunch of people involved right up to the present moment who are seemingly “above the law”, and who have indeed conspired to promulgate,… Read more »

auntiebuna
Reader

Brother Matt Morely: I am attempting to find the book (on Kindle) by Guy J. Sims, “Julian Assange in Sweden: What Really Happened?” and I keep getting the message “There are no results”. I don’t want to sound like one of those annoying (but correct) “conspiracy theorists” but I am guessing Amazon is complicit in preventing us from getting the whole story. Sorry I haven’t checked all the links you provided yet. Maybe there’s an answer there. Just thought it would be a good idea to squawk early about this. In fairness to Amazon: Gore Vidal’s book “History of the… Read more »

Matt Morley
Reader
Matt Morley

Hi Judy and AuntieBuna! You’re right, it appears to be unavailable on amazon.co.uk, though how it’s possible to run out of e-books will just have to be added to the mystery ;-P Try amazon.fr where I bought it, it’s in English and downloaded fine for me over here (Paris), and I’ve never had problems with cross-Channel purchases so far. Here’s the link, let me know if it works:

https://www.amazon.fr/Julian-Assange-Sweden-English-Sims-ebook/dp/B00957HDBI/ref=sr_1_fkmrnull_1?__mk_fr_FR=%C3%85M%C3%85%C5%BD%C3%95%C3%91&keywords=julian+assange+in+sweden&qid=1555680952&s=gateway&sr=8-1-fkmrnull

JudyJ
Reader
JudyJ

Thanks, Matt. I shall give it a go…the link certainly works ok.

Cheers.
J

JudyJ
Reader
JudyJ

auntiebuna,

If it’s of any help I put the title into Google and came up with a number of online companies offering the eBook. There was one US website I looked at called Smashwords.com offering the eBook for $2.95. Unfortunately I don’t use eBooks, otherwise I would try to order it myself.

binra
Reader

The free ‘Calibre’ allows reading or conversion/printing of ebooks on computers. So not having a dedicated e-reader device is not an obstacle to accessing information via ebooks.
There may be issues with Amazon or other DRM – with a cat and mouse game defences and work-arounds. But Calibre reads ePubs and any computer reads pdf.

JudyJ
Reader
JudyJ

Thanks, Binra. Very helpful info. I’m not very computer savvy – I’m sure it’s in my DNA! – but I am more than willing to give it a go in conjunction with Matt’s suggestion below.

Cheers
J

auntiebuna
Reader

Thanks, Judy! I’m on it!

JudyJ
Reader
JudyJ

Matt,

In the vain hope that there might be a copy of this book going on Ebay, I put the title in and at the top of the list of nearest titles was Guy Martin’s book “Worms to Catch”. Quite apposite I thought!

Tim Jenkins
Reader
Tim Jenkins

LMFAO, this is just about my favourite topic of all time, excepting Magnetism: i’m 57 years old, studied law and thankfully (greetings Pete Murphy, if yer’ alive) got a salutary lesson, during my first Summer break from studying, at just 18 years of age, spending 2 months with a QC so good, that he’d bring an honest ‘copper’ to sweat & mumblings, as barrister in court, if the price was right and hell, if the guy was rich, I watched ole’ Pete get ’em off, on technicalities so absurd, even when they were 100% guilty … back in the days… Read more »