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Split Hearings: The Assange Extradition Case Drags On

Binoy Kampmark

It is being increasingly larded with heavy twists and turns, a form of state oppression in slow motion, but the Julian Assange extradition case now looks like it may well move into the middle of the year, dragged out, ironically enough, by the prosecution.

Curiously, this is a point that both the prosecutors, fronted by the US imperium, and the WikiLeaks defence team, seem to have found some inadvertent agreement with. This is the biggest case of its kind, and will determine, for an era, how journalism and the publication of nationally classified information is treated.  Neither wish to misstep in this regard.

The last procedural hearing ahead of the full extradition trial of Assange over 17 counts of espionage and one of conspiracy to commit computer intrusion was trained on the issue of logistics.  The prosecutors seemed to be bellyaching in their discontent, lamenting matters of availability for their staff.

One striking example concerned the US government’s chief barrister, James Lewis, who would be taken up with a trial in Northern Ireland of “a great deal of substance and importance”.  This would make him unavailable for up to three months after the commencement of the extradition case.

Clair Dobbin, representing the US, was the first to make an application that the substantive hearing be split.  Various legal rulings, she argued, would have to be made subsequent to the full February proceedings, including the ticklish issue of whether certain witnesses were to remain anonymous or not. 

WikiLeaks wishes that they remain so; the prosecution would like that cloak removed.

Despite already furnishing the court with a meaty affidavit, Dobbin claimed that more needed to be done in responding to the defence evidence. (Good of them to give a sense of formality that are doing so.) Besides all that, experts sought by the prosecution were “extremely busy practitioners and academics with very full diaries”, many still chewing over the issue of where Assange fitted in the security paradigm. 

This statement of itself is odd, as is so much of the entire effort against the WikiLeaks publisher.

Procedural dragging was also a matter of importance for the Assange team.  Despite working with manic dedication over Christmas, the issue of access remains crippling for the defence. “We simply cannot get in as we require to see Mr Assange and to take his instruction,” argued one of Assange’s lawyers, Edward Fitzgerald.  “Frankly, we require more time before calling the main body of our evidence.”

The point of journalism, and its legitimate pursuit in this nasty, brutish and rather long encounter, lies at the heart of the battle.  The framing of the US indictment purports to negate journalism as a factor in the case, with the prosecutors honing in on the issue of espionage and hacking. 

Spies cannot be journalists, so goes the claim; espionage and publication should not be seen as comparable or even linked matters. This very claim suggests that any form of national security journalism, the sort that exposes abuses of power, is illegal.

This round of submissions merely confirmed the point, though it is one sharpened to specifically exclude foreigners.  In other words, press protections enshrined by the First Amendment of the US Constitution cannot apply to non-US nationals, a daringly dangerous assertion.

As WikiLeaks’ editor-in-chief Kristinn Hrafnsson crisply put it,

We have now learned from submissions and affidavits presented by the United States to the court that they do not consider foreign nationals to have a first amendment protection.”

To the AAP, he surmised that the US had also

decided that they can go after journalists wherever they are residing in the world, they have universal jurisdiction, and demand extradition like they are doing by trying to get an Australian national from the UK from publishing that took place outside US borders.”

The US case also insists that, should the extradition be successful, Assange will be subject to that troubling euphemism of “special administrative measures”.  Even in a bureaucratic penal system, such language entails a formal and legal disappearance of the subject.

Italian journalist Stefania Maurizi suggests with understandable gloominess that “Pandora’s box will open” if the prosecutors make their case fly in court. 

The extradition of an Australian or Italian journalist by the US would just as easily justify the same action by Saudi Arabia and Russia.  This terrifying precedent is reiterated as a distinct possibility across the spectrum of commentary, an extra-territorial extension of US power to punish the world’s scribblers, bloggers and publishers.

The outcome of this set of stuttered proceedings seemed to irritate District Judge Vanessa Baraitser, who conceded to the split, but sternly spoke of disfavour regarding any other requests for moving dates.  She did relent to another case management hearing scheduled for February 19. 

The full extradition hearing is now set to open on February 24 at London’s Woolwich Crown Court, adjourning after one week, then continuing in May 18 with a three-week hearing.  The chess pieces in this critical encounter have again been moved.

In this dark turn, a smattering of light seemed to shine through.  Having been held in withering solitary confinement in the prison medical wing of Belmarsh, news came that Assange will be moved to an area with other inmates. 

Joseph Farrell of WikiLeaks described it as “a dramatic climbdown”, “a huge victory for Assange’s legal team and for campaigners, who have been insisting for weeks that the prison authorities end the punitive treatment of Assange.”

The same could not be said about legal and medical access, both of which have been sorely lacking.

The decision to initiate the move seems to have sprung from prisoners within Belmarsh itself.  The prison governor has been petitioned on no less than three occasions by a group of convicts insisting that the treatment being afforded Assange smacked of injustice.  Human rights activist Craig Murray subsequently reflected on this “small victory for basic humanity – and it took criminals to teach it to the British state.”

Such victories in penal terms do tend to be mixed.  Assange will hope that those inmates he keeps company remain sympathetic to his cause.

The new quarters will house some 40 of them, and the risks to his being remain. Even in prison, Assange’s case and plight never ceases to astonish.

Dr. Binoy Kampmark was a Commonwealth Scholar at Selwyn College, Cambridge.  He lectures at RMIT University, Melbourne. Email: [email protected]

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Vierotchka
Vierotchka
Feb 5, 2020 4:17 AM

4 Feb 2020

In this speech recorded on the 4th of February 2020 in London, Editor-in-Chief of Wikileaks Kristinn Hrafnsson addresses the case of Julian Assange . Hrafnsson’s speech starts with his recent experience with Assange when he visited him recently in Belmarsh prison. Hrafnsson then examines the accusation of the U.S. government that asserts that Assange is a hacker and not a journalist. Thereafter he examines the most significant revelations of Wikileaks when Assange led the organisation, the threat that his extradition to the United States poses to press freedom and concludes by surfacing the importance of collective action.

Kristinn Hrafnsson – editor-in-chief of WikiLeaks since 2018 and an Icelandic investigative journalist. He was named Icelandic journalist of the year three times, in 2004, 2007 and 2010 by Iceland’s National Union of Journalists; the only journalist ever to receive this award thrice.

Dungroanin
Dungroanin
Feb 5, 2020 2:51 PM
Reply to  Vierotchka

That is an excellent link V, thanks.

Fucking Up-Pompeo as usual – I hadn’t picked up on him standing for Senate AND backed by Adelson!

Join the dots as the man says!

michaelk
michaelk
Feb 2, 2020 8:42 PM

https://www.theguardian.com/media/2020/feb/02/press-freedom-is-at-risk-if-we-allow-julian-assanges-extradition

The truly monumental hypocrisy revealed here is quite nausiating to behold; but if it helps to stop Assange being shipped off to an American dungeon for the rest of his life; I suppose it doesn’t matter.

paul
paul
Feb 2, 2020 7:34 PM

Zero Hedge has just been banned from Twitter, Glenn Greenwald is now facing the full Assange treatment from Trump clone Bolsonaro.

We are looking at the closing down of free speech across the western world, with Twitter/ Facebook/ Google being co opted as Deep State/ Establishment/ Spook gatekeepers to control Wrongthink. Only approved thought and speech will now be permitted. Everything else can be dismissed as hate speech, conspiracy theories, anti Semitism, Russian talking points or Russian bots.

This will blow up in their faces. It didn’t work in the Soviet Union and it is even less likely to work now. It will soon destroy what little remains of their credibility.

Frank Speaker
Frank Speaker
Feb 3, 2020 11:01 PM
Reply to  paul

But it won’t be ending soon. The USSR existed for many decades and the same is likely with this latest bunch of totalitarian evil bastards.

Gezzah Potts
Gezzah Potts
Feb 5, 2020 12:51 AM
Reply to  Frank Speaker

One of the sites I go on; Neoliberalism Softpanorama, which I think I’ve told numerous people here about states that such is the damage caused by Neoliberalism (including psychological) that even if this warped system ended tomorrow, its impact will still be felt in 50 years.

Richard Le Sarc
Richard Le Sarc
Feb 5, 2020 7:14 AM
Reply to  Gezzah Potts

Gezz, I very much doubt that any H.destructans will be left in fifty years to fret over any current bastardy.

Gezzah Potts
Gezzah Potts
Feb 5, 2020 11:48 AM

Yeah… I see all the little kids around the city, especially my customers children: 4, 5, 7 year olds, and I just think – what the bleeding feck will your futures be like in 40 years? That’s if humanity still exists.
How many nuclear weapons are there in the world?
Depresses the hell out of me Richard.
And their parents are completely oblivious about all this stuff – Yes, they do know about climate change, but not the other stuff like the Neocon nutters, that we live in an Empire, and the immense power of the Military Industrial Financial Complex.
Imagine if somehow Mike Pence became President? It’d be all over red rover.
I’m 57 Richard, the best years are past for me, but for all the young people now…

Ruth
Ruth
Feb 1, 2020 11:49 AM

Also, why Assange is not being given adequate access to his defence team is again to buy time for US to
come up with witnesseses, which I don’t believe they have. If they can’t get hold of credible witnesses, then Assange not being given enough time to prepare his case would be grounds to have it thrown out. Saves face.

Norn
Norn
Feb 1, 2020 9:09 AM

On Monday 21st October 2019, Julian Assange appeared at Westminster Court, looking unwell, unsteady as if drugged. “The magistrate refused to allow a preliminary hearing to hear arguments that the extradition request for Julian Assange was barred by the 2003 US-U.K. Extradition Treaty, which prohibits political crimes such as Espionage. Assange is charged under the 1917 Espionage Act.”
At the same time, no Australian media outlet talked about the new details of Assange’s ordeal at the hands of British Justice. However, on the same day, Monday 21st October 2019, all major Australian newspapers appeared with front pages full of blacked out spaces, protesting government overreach into press freedom.
This is a blatant interference in journalism. this is fascism!

When government keeps the truth from you, what are they covering up?

Richard Le Sarc
Richard Le Sarc
Feb 2, 2020 1:51 AM
Reply to  Norn

The presstitutes only get worried when they are directly threatened by our fascist, religiously fundamentalist, Federal regime. They gave Assange a Walkley Award for journalism, then turned on his like the pack of mongrel do9gs that they are.

Ruth
Ruth
Feb 1, 2020 8:48 AM

I think the prosecution is delaying things because they don’t have witnesses. Chelsea Manning is still holding out refusing to testify despite being intimidated. So now the US government is after Greenwald to try and break him into testifying. This needs a bit more time.

Richard Le Sarc
Richard Le Sarc
Feb 2, 2020 1:52 AM
Reply to  Ruth

The presstitute vermin at the Guardian would be happy to testify.

Martin Usher
Martin Usher
Feb 1, 2020 5:48 AM

Any pretense of fairness in extradition evaporated with Mrs. Sacoolas’s exit from the UK and the active refusal of US autorities to cooperate with the UK. Extradition is a one way street — everyone is supposed to hand anyone over to the US on demand, no questions asked, but any other country requesting an exttradition of a US citzen is just told to pound sand.

Richard Le Sarc
Richard Le Sarc
Feb 1, 2020 7:28 AM
Reply to  Martin Usher

EVERYTHING is a one-way street with God’s Chosenest People. They ain’t ‘ Exceptional’ for nuthin’.

paul
paul
Feb 1, 2020 4:04 AM

Maybe we should just offer Trump Prince Andrew instead of Assange.
They could give him Epstein’s old cell.

wardropper
wardropper
Feb 1, 2020 3:44 AM

This is the biggest case of its kind, and will determine, for an era, how journalism and the publication of nationally classified information is treated

I think not. As I see it, there looms on the horizon a very large resistance to the austerity of incompetents and the political correctness of neoliberals.
At any rate, I credit common sense with a more natural talent for survival than the Washminster-bound mutants who currently hold sway.

Jack_Garbo
Jack_Garbo
Feb 1, 2020 2:33 AM

Why is the Assange case so slow? They are all waiting for him to die, conveniently in prison of some plausible ailment. There’s no justice or law where the US regime and its puppets are involved. They make it up as they please, so no logical, let alone legal, defense can be mounted. You can’t use intelligence on rabid animals; you escape them or kill them. Assange has neither option, only to die with dignity, unseen and unheard. A soon forgotten martyr.

John Thatcher
John Thatcher
Feb 2, 2020 10:48 AM
Reply to  Jack_Garbo

Moving Assange into a situation where he has access to other prisoners,and they to him, might be to assist in the process of a creating a “plausible death”

Arby
Arby
Feb 1, 2020 2:06 AM

How does Binoy feel about Russia I wonder?

Robbobbobin
Robbobbobin
Feb 1, 2020 6:38 AM
Reply to  Arby

How does Binoy feel about Russia I wonder?

How does Russia feel about you?

Tony
Tony
Feb 1, 2020 9:16 AM
Reply to  Arby

Maybe he’ll write an article. In the meantime, this one’s about Julian Assange.

Arby
Arby
Feb 1, 2020 1:53 PM
Reply to  Tony

Uh huh. I guess I’m the only one who noticed that he lumped Russia in with Saudi Arabia IN THIS ARTICLE.

Fair dinkum
Fair dinkum
Feb 1, 2020 1:54 AM

When the brilliant light of Truth shines on the darkness, Satan is unleashed.

wardropper
wardropper
Feb 1, 2020 3:52 AM
Reply to  Fair dinkum

Perhaps “revealed” would be a better word…
Satan is quite happy to be unleashed in the darkness too.

Dungroanin
Dungroanin
Feb 1, 2020 12:38 AM

What is not being made clear is why JA is STILL in prison – never mibd a high security one!

He has completed his sentence for absconding bail by gaining asylum in the Equadorian embassy while required to go to Sweden – who don’t want him for ANYTHING.

A extradition hearing does not require him to be in prison and as long as he does not have a passport he would not be leaving the country.

I remember the Natwest 3. Anyine else?

Andrew F
Andrew F
Feb 1, 2020 12:52 AM
Reply to  Dungroanin

JA is still in prison because his lawyers have never even applied for bail.

You can’t whinge about not having access to your client if you’ve never even tried for bail.

AND, his remand can only extend for 4 weeks at a time – that’s why he’s always back in Court for “technical” matters – and NOT ONCE have they applied for bail.

Dungroanin
Dungroanin
Feb 1, 2020 11:17 AM
Reply to  Andrew F

Bail for what?

Why is he in prison for absconding to an embassy – not the country- for a charge that was ultimately never made by Sweden and in effect was malicious?

The current extradition is a ‘new’ case by the US not Sweden.

It is about journalistic freedom not a made up rape. It is not a criminal charge but a publishing of a whistleblowing.

I don’t know what the lawyers are playing at either- maybe he needs some new ones.

Andrew F
Andrew F
Feb 1, 2020 3:06 PM
Reply to  Dungroanin

When JA entered the embassy in 2012 to seek asylum he was on bail. The condition of bail was that he had to appear at Court when required. He didn’t appear at Court so they issued a warrant for his arrest for breach of bail (happens literally all the time when people on bail fail to appear). They couldn’t arrest him because he was on foreign sovereign territory.

On 11 April 2019 he was forced out of the embassy and arrested on the 2012 warrant for breach of bail.

Then he was brought before the Court on that charge. There is a defence under the Bail Act of “reasonable cause”. If you are on bail and supposed to be in Court but you get hit by a bus on the way and end up in hospital – that would be “reasonable cause” for failing to appear.

There is nothing to suggest that his lawyers actually argued that seeking and being granted political asylum in accordance with international law was the reason he failed to appear – in other words, that he had “reasonable cause”. If they DID argue that and it failed then they should have appealed against the conviction. They didn’t.

They only had 28 days to appeal the conviction and they let it pass.

JA was sentenced to 50 weeks (meaning actually 25 weeks) in jail. SOMEONE lodged an appeal against that sentence but mysteriously and without explanation the lawyers told the Court 1 week before the appeal was to be heard in Court that they were dropping it. WTF? Why? He’s literally got nothing to lose.

As soon as he was arrested on 11 April the US sought extradition. When the US seeks extradition of someone in the UK they must be held on remand. They can seek bail just like anyone else, in fact they can ONLY be held on remand for 4 weeks – UNLESS the Court extends that for a further 4 weeks, etc… every 4 weeks.

If you are “on remand” under UK law you have a right to seek bail and be released (even on strict conditions such as daily reporting to police and not going within a certain distance of places such as airports – or maybe embassies? – and so on). If bail is refused you have an automatic right of appeal to the High Court.

His lawyers have NEVER EVEN ONCE APPLIED FOR BAIL EVEN THOUGH THAT IS HIS ABSOLUTE RIGHT!!

Anyone who tries to tell you there is some logical reason for that better have a damn good argument to support it – because it looks to a lot of people that there is an inner circle of gatekeepers surrounding JA and actually keeping him gagged and locked up.

That’s the way it looks. And watch what happens when you try asking for a logical explanation.

Andrew Mcguiness
Andrew Mcguiness
Feb 2, 2020 5:03 AM
Reply to  Andrew F

“There is nothing to suggest that his lawyers actually argued that seeking and being granted political asylum in accordance with international law was the reason he failed to appear – in other words, that he had “reasonable cause”. ”

From memory, I’m pretty sure they did make this argument, and it was rejected.

Andrew F
Andrew F
Feb 2, 2020 7:44 AM

The reporting at the time was sketchy on the point. But, to repeat what I wrote above:

If they DID argue that and it failed then they should have appealed against the conviction. They didn’t.

They only had 28 days to appeal the conviction and they let it pass.

If they had appealed against the conviction on the basis that he had reasonable cause and they won the appeal, then JA would have had NO CONVICTION. Then there would be NO SENTENCE. He would have to be released immediately – back in APRIL 2019!

Obviously the UK would then try to hold him on remand pending the extradition hearing, but at that point the lawyers would seek bail. If they sought bail and bail was refused there is an automatic right of appeal to the High Court. Again, none of this has happened and nobody has ever stated for a fact (such as the lawyers or Wikileaks) that this is because there was insufficient money or because the lawyers only had enough time to concentrate on the extradition and no time to actually get him released beforehand.

Again:

Anyone who tries to tell you there is some logical reason for that better have a damn good argument to support it – because it looks to a lot of people that there is an inner circle of gatekeepers surrounding JA and actually keeping him gagged and locked up.

That’s the way it looks. And watch what happens when you try asking for a logical explanation.

No offense, but your assumption that there really really must be a good reason, doesn’t allay those concerns or amount to “a damn good argument”.

Oliver
Oliver
Feb 3, 2020 6:37 PM
Reply to  Andrew F

The whole Assange/Manning/Wikileaks saga reeks of fish. Assange believes in the official 9/11 conspiracy theory for one.Manning was a military intelligence analyst that (presumably) was able to conceal his desire to be a woman from positive vetting processes. Right. Manning at school in West Wales as his dad at USN facility Brawdy, now base for U.K. 14 Signal Regiment.

Andrew Mcguiness
Andrew Mcguiness
Feb 2, 2020 5:02 AM
Reply to  Andrew F

I assume that his lawyers are working flat out to mount a defence, and have not applied for bail because Arbuthnot pre-emptively told them she wouldn’t grant it.

And not having applied for bail certainly doesn’t mean that it’s legal to deny a defendant adequate access to legal representation.

Andrew F
Andrew F
Feb 2, 2020 2:22 PM

His lawyers have NEVER EVEN ONCE APPLIED FOR BAIL EVEN THOUGH THAT IS HIS ABSOLUTE RIGHT!!

Anyone who tries to tell you there is some logical reason for that better have a damn good argument to support it – because it looks to a lot of people that there is an inner circle of gatekeepers surrounding JA and actually keeping him gagged and locked up.

That’s the way it looks. And watch what happens when you try asking for a logical explanation.

Q.E.D.

Antonym
Antonym
Feb 1, 2020 2:00 AM
Reply to  Dungroanin

Which shows who is in charge in the UK and US: not popularly elected Trump and Johnson but still the CIA and MI6 gangs, the Anglo triads. They have dirt on all, including judges. They tap client-lawyer conversations, they assassinate those expose them.

Richard Le Sarc
Richard Le Sarc
Feb 1, 2020 7:30 AM
Reply to  Antonym

Oh, Ant-so very modest. It does you proud.

Dungroanin
Dungroanin
Feb 1, 2020 11:21 AM
Reply to  Antonym

Ah well – lucky we still have the ECHR.
And the ECJ for the rest of the year.
Free speech must not be silenced – i’m sure you’ll agree.

Gezzah Potts
Gezzah Potts
Jan 31, 2020 11:31 PM

Binoy… The Hegemon and its quivering puppets couldn’t give a rats tinker about legal conventions or first ammendments or international law or anything else.
We have all seen this in Syria, in Iraq, in Yemen, in Palestine, not to mention the murder of General Soleimani, to name just a few examples.
This travesty, this rank injustice against Julian Assange is about two things:

1) Vengeance for these creatures being
exposed as the mass murdering blood
drenched war criminals that they are.
2) To send a strong message to any other
would be whistle-blower who thinks of
exposing any of the vast crimes of the
Empire.

The role of the presstitutes, especially amongst the alleged ‘progressive’ media like the kitty litter Guardian has been especially disgusting, along with the moral and ethical bankruptcy of politicians right thruout the West which has been exposed for all to see, and in whom these bastards really serve.
As for the identity politics lobotomised ‘Left’ – their hypocrisy and silence has been shameful. But as most of them come from relatively wealthy middle class homes, it’s probably to be expected.
It’s a very divided, ignorant, brainwashed state of affairs we find ourselves in.

Charlotte Russe
Charlotte Russe
Jan 31, 2020 11:07 PM

“Spies cannot be journalists, so goes the claim; espionage and publication should not be seen as comparable or even linked matters. This very claim suggests that any form of national security journalism, the sort that exposes abuses of power, is illegal.
Press protections enshrined by the First Amendment of the US Constitution cannot apply to non-US nationals, a daringly dangerous assertion.”

The security state considers publishers and journalists who reveal US war crimes spies who can be “renditioned” from anywhere, and if prosecuted are not entitled to US Constitutional rights. So in effect, journalists are being treated like terrorists.

“Freedom of conscience, of education, of speech, of assembly are among the very fundamentals of democracy and all of them would be nullified should freedom of the press ever be successfully challenged.” – FDR

JudyJ
JudyJ
Jan 31, 2020 9:04 PM

I was interested to see that the article linked below managed to slip through the censorial clutches of the Guardian’s editorial team. Parliamentarians in the Council of Europe have expressed concern about Assange’s treatment and the precedent it sets, and have recommended that Julian Assange be released. Yet another verdict at a high international level which the UK will, it would seem, arrogantly and scornfully ignore.

https://www.theguardian.com/media/2020/jan/28/julian-assange-detention-sets-dangerous-precedent-for-journalists

Gall
Gall
Jan 31, 2020 8:33 PM

Actually the US “Government” as such is full of shit the 1st Amendment clearly says:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

https://www.law.cornell.edu/constitution/first_amendment

Notice that this amendment does not specify US citizens or persons specifically as only having those rights. Recently the Supreme Court upheld the right of a US person meaning someone legally within the jurisdiction of the United States but not a citizen to have a firearm. Again since the Amendment doesn’t specify US citizens only.

Thus the prosecution is either acting out of willful ignorance or is treasonously in direct violation of their oath of office which is:

“I, AB, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.”

https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/5/3331

If that isn’t enough the US is also a member of the UN and therefore obliged under treaty to abide by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. More specifically Article 19

Article 19.

Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.

https://www.un.org/en/universal-declaration-human-rights/index.html

Proving that this Kangaroo “trial” is nothing but a totalitarian Star Chamber sham.

Andrew Mcguiness
Andrew Mcguiness
Feb 2, 2020 5:06 AM
Reply to  Gall

It’s pretty clear from the whole saga of persecution of Assange that the powers-that-be apply only those laws that suit their purpose, ignoring contraventions of other laws.

Gal
Gal
Feb 2, 2020 5:10 AM

Roger that in the affirmative. If the law was equally applied they’d be doing some serious time.

Brian Harry
Brian Harry
Feb 3, 2020 7:31 AM

George ‘Dubya’ Bush, famously described “The Constitootion” as “Just a piece a’paper”……AND, all U.S. Presidents, when they are sworn in as President, have to “Swear” to uphold the Constootion of the United States”…..
There are some serious crimes being committed in broad daylight in all this “Bovine Excreta”……

Harry Stotle
Harry Stotle
Jan 31, 2020 6:11 PM

Not a single British MP has raised concerns about the mistreatment of Julian Assange which can only mean one of two things; either they are sanguine about journalists being tortured by the authorities, or, one or two of them may be slightly alarmed, but are nevertheless relying on a sufficient level of public aptahy so they don’t actually have to do anything about it, the gutless bastards.

I know former MP, Chris Williamson, was an exception – but don’t forget Chris was thrown under a bus by Labour’s NEC for failing to show due diffidence to a government in thrall to apartheid.

As an aside I wonder if anyone has tried to ask questions about it on ‘Question Time’?
Surely a flagship political forum famous for its impartiality must be aware that certain elements within the international community are horrified by Britain’s complicity with human rights abuses that began in the Middle East (with waterboarding and such like) but are now happening much closer to home.

Richard Le Sarc
Richard Le Sarc
Jan 31, 2020 8:16 PM
Reply to  Harry Stotle

The Afrikaaner regime, so beloved of Israel, called apartheid ‘separate development’. Surely then it is but a manifestation of a psychology whose oldest extant, and still vigorous, example is Judaism.

Ramon Zarate
Ramon Zarate
Jan 31, 2020 11:02 PM
Reply to  Harry Stotle

Mr Stotle I’m afraid you are mistaken if you think the BBC will do anything to aid Assange. No one at the BBC will rock the boat because they know they will be thrown overboard if they do.

paul
paul
Jan 31, 2020 11:35 PM
Reply to  Ramon Zarate

BBC News is being culled with 450 “journos” given the boot.
Will anyone really notice?

Rob McKenzie
Rob McKenzie
Feb 2, 2020 9:56 AM
Reply to  paul

You can be sure the ones who openly parade their Toryism will keep their jobs.

MichaelK
MichaelK
Jan 31, 2020 4:51 PM

https://www.republik.ch/2020/01/31/nils-melzer-about-wikileaks-founder-julian-assange

Here’s the entire Assange Affair put into detailed perspective by Nils Melzer in the Swiss magazine, Republik. It’s the interview the Guardian, or the rest of the British media, don’t dare conduct.

Many of Melzer’s conclusions, analysis, revelations and arguments, mirror my own efforts, to an extraordinary degree, going back almost ten years; attempting to get the journalists at the Guardian and New Statesman, to examine the Assange Affair properly and honestly by examining the facts of the case instead of the lies and propaganda provided by the state designed to undermine and rid public debate of a journalist determined to shine a light on the crimes of the state.

The treatment of Assange shows how fearful most UK journalists have become in relation to covering the affair honestly. The example being made of Assange, has clearly worked and cowed nearly all of them into silence and culpability. The fear that if this can happen to Assange, that they, journalists working for the Guardian could be next in line for the same treatment.

First Assange, then Glenn Greenwald. Free journalism resembles a rotting corpse in the UK. But the silence about Assange simply shows how far the rot has spread and how close we are to living in a lawless totalitarian state, that just pretends to be a healthy and functioning democracy.

Richard Le Sarc
Richard Le Sarc
Jan 31, 2020 8:26 PM
Reply to  MichaelK

The Guardian vermin presstitutes did much, much, more than merely not support Assange. They turned on him, after co-operating in the release of the Manning revelations, with psychopathic viciousness and treachery. Led by the feminazi Maenads, the likes of the loathsome Hyde, with the excuse of the patently phony Swedish ‘rape’ charges. There is NO chance that the powers-that-be will turn on such loyal and loathsome scum.

Brian Harry
Brian Harry
Feb 3, 2020 7:37 AM

Now, that’s what I call “Tipping a bucket of Shit” over something/someone……Congratulations, SO well done……..!!

nottheonly1
nottheonly1
Jan 31, 2020 4:03 PM

Odd, but I get the feeling that Julian Assange is part of a much, much larger picture.
There have always been human beings that turned humanity from a dangerous path into total darkness. And even if his being part of human evolution in this stark and heartbreaking way is involuntarily – which it appears not to be – he has already arrived at a situation in this Universe that goes beyond his ‘ego’, or ‘persona’ and obviously, the future path of mankind is depending on this human being.

And it will no longer work to simply torture, silence or end people’s lives in order to perpetuate the darkness. Those responsible for this situation are not only dealing with Julian Assange. They are dealing with a place that has been unfolding in a specific fashion since billions of years. Homo Sapiens in his equally infinite arrogance declares himself to be the master now and depending on where you look at, there is a group that considers itself part of this invincible delusion – to be authorized to change the course of mankind. In this case from bad to worse.

It is time we call Julian Assange what he has really been all along:

A Reformer.

Reformers do not have a say in being that. They cannot, but be reforming the ill ways that plague mankind by the hands of its most vile and willfully ignorant members. As a Reformer, he is up against the fake humans, the corporate ‘persons’ that have bought all the courts, didn’t they already? It must therefore be understood that the treatment of Julian Assange is the treatment of corporate persons – employing liars and terrorists in the flesh – towards a living member of the species Homo Sapiens.

This is

“The Machine vs. Julian Assange”

The owners of the planet do not want any reforms. Not from any politician, not from any journalist, not from any publisher and ultimately, they will use their corporate suppression tools to shut down all of the masses. It is happening before tired eyes.

This too, will pass.

Richard Le Sarc
Richard Le Sarc
Jan 31, 2020 8:28 PM
Reply to  nottheonly1

It will pass because humanity will pass away, quite soon. The ruling scum usually just murder a trouble-maker like Assange.

paul
paul
Jan 31, 2020 3:36 PM

Assange, Greenwald, goon squads smashing up the Guardian computers, this is the new normal.

Robbobbobin
Robbobbobin
Feb 1, 2020 6:59 AM
Reply to  paul

…goon squads smashing up the Guardian computers…

The Guardian smashed up its own computers. The goon squads were two GHCQ technicians who provided technical advice.

pasha
pasha
Jan 31, 2020 2:44 PM

Let’s all pray that the authorities haven’t agreed to this move in the hope (design?) that a fellow-prisoner will stick Assange with a home-made shiv “that nobody knew anything about” and solve everybody’s problems.

paul
paul
Jan 31, 2020 3:32 PM
Reply to  pasha

Maybe they will just Epstein him.
The Rule Of Law, the Independent Judiciary, the precious “Rules Based Order” are no more than very sick jokes.
We always knew this, but the case of Assange has brought this into sharp relief.
Anyone in the world who displeases the Deep State in any way can be thrown into one of their dungeons indefinitely. If they are lucky, they will get a travesty of a “trial” facing secret charges based on secret “evidence” before a secret kangaroo court.
This applies to anyone, anywhere in the world. A Huawei executive competing with US corporations can be arrested in a third country on trumped up charges. Trump said that he would use the case as a pawn in trade negotiations with China.
Iranians across the world are being arrested and imprisoned in third countries like Australia on US orders, accused of circumventing illegal US sanctions against their country.
The same treatment is being meted out to ordinary Russians, like Maria Butinova, who are used as hostages and political pawns. There are many others. I am no fan of billionaires and oligarchs, but Abramovich was refused entry to the UK and threatened with the confiscation of Chelsea F.C. out of spite because he knows Putin.
People are retrospectively smeared as rapists, like Assange, or as spies, like Assange and Snowden and Butinova, and their lives destroyed by tame hacks and lying smear merchants in the MSM.
Anyone can now be smeared, Corbyn as an anti semite, Trump as a Kremlin agent, or Assange as a rapist. No evidence required, whatever is convenient, facts don’t matter. Any “proof” can be concocted later.
Or people can just be droned, like Soleimani, and retrospectively smeared as a “terrorist.”
This lawlessness can only spread. Maybe China, Russia or Iran will start doing the same as a matter of routine.
China did consider using a drone strike in Burma against a criminal gang who had murdered some Chinese sailors, but thought better of it.
And the fish rots from the head down. Maybe sub government groups and ordinary people will start to adopt this model of behaviour on their own account.

nottheonly1
nottheonly1
Jan 31, 2020 4:13 PM
Reply to  pasha

It would be imperative to take a closer look at the shift calendar.

Surveillance cameras only work on Up’s and Vup’s. (Unimportent Person/Very unimportant person).

Tallis Marsh
Tallis Marsh
Jan 31, 2020 1:51 PM

Is Assange and his unfair situation being used as an example to stop future whistle-blowers from speaking out? Whether he is controlled opposition or not is almost a moot point if this is the case.

Talking of corruption, censorship and whistle-blowing. Re: my last comment in the last article (pasted again, below**)- about Lord James of Blacksmith. I’ve literally just read this tweet:

“Common Law Quells [email protected]

Severe pressure is being put on Lord James to resign from the House of Lords for asking the Government questions on #EuropeanDefenceUnion such as the one quoted in the article below.
This Brexit Day, register your disgust with the Clerk of the Parliaments.”

https://www.ukcolumn.org/article/schrodingers-defence-policy

https://twitter.com/UK_National/status/1223237281147969541

** Exactly! It was always going to be Brexit in name only (BRINO) with Theresa May and Boris at the helm (due to their establishment masters including the civil service). If the 2019 election hadn’t been transparently & despicably corrupt (with its uber smears of Jeremy Corbyn and the outright rigging with postal ballots) we would not be in this position. The truth must be that the estab had too much to lose to not rig it.

Will we be leaving all the EU institutions including the ECJ?

Why did Theresa May (and Boris) insidiously sign us up to the Global Compact for Migration? Why did Theresa May (and Boris) also insidiously sign us up to the EU/European Defence Union? Do some people not know what I am talking about? Well, there is a Media ‘D Notice’ on these subjects. if you need to find out about these things you will have to look to the alternative media like UK column and social media (like Twitter e.g Veterans for Britian) to find these things out.

Did you know Lord James of Blackheath was threatened for speaking about the EU Defence Union last year – that may tell you how important it is that the estab need to keep most of the public unaware of the subject. **

People should realise what is ACTUALLY happening re: Brexit and share this information.

pasha
pasha
Jan 31, 2020 2:53 PM
Reply to  Tallis Marsh

Even a cursory glance at this matter is deeply worrying. Thanks for bringing it up.

Tallis Marsh
Tallis Marsh
Jan 31, 2020 3:11 PM
Reply to  pasha

You’re welcome. Yes, it is worrying especially when ‘D-notices’ are placed on MSM and MPs; a tactic used against democracy and the rights & well-being of the general public. Such censorship practices are abhorrent.

Here are more details in the following tweet I have just found:


DEF [email protected]

Lord James of Blackheath Can not get answers…
to HM Gov commitment to European Defence Union
Why?
Is his Question an unthinkable Answer that bings paradox to
@BorisJohnson
Brexit❓

“Lord James of Blackheath to ask her Majesty’s government whether any agreements have been made with the EU about British participation in: (1) The establishment of a European Defence Union, (2) Any military Command and Control Procedures, (3) the future of the Five Eyes, (4) The procurement of military equipment from an EU wide organisation, and (5) the transfer of nuclear technology licensed to the UK by the USA; if so what are the details of any such agreements; and whether any such agreementsare seperate to any agreements relating to the UK’s departure from the EU.”

https://twitter.com/STRATEGICDEFENC/status/1219670364655144961

Vierotchka
Vierotchka
Jan 31, 2020 4:51 PM
Reply to  Tallis Marsh

Note that Assange is not a whistle-blower, he is a publisher and journalist.

Tallis Marsh
Tallis Marsh
Jan 31, 2020 5:32 PM
Reply to  Vierotchka

Due to how restricted journalists and publishers are in the modern era — they can only publish certain subjects and only from particular angles within their articles and books; basically they are confined within the establishment’s defined parameters — it is probably quite accurate to call journalists and publishers whistle-blowers?

With the knowledge practices like MSM ‘D notices’ exist; and that security agencies (see below**) dictate to MSM what the journalists (and publishers) put out – this means the traditional role of journalism is now reduced to ‘churnalism’ rather than researching and reporting in an open, unbiased manner (the original definition of journalism and reporting)?

** The late German journalist, ~Udo Ulfkotte blows whistle on how the CIA controls the media:
https://www.globalresearch.ca/non-official-cover-respected-german-journalist-blows-whistle-on-how-the-cia-controls-the-media/5407118

Robbobbobin
Robbobbobin
Feb 1, 2020 7:32 AM
Reply to  Vierotchka

Note that Assange is not a whistle-blower, he is a publisher and journalist.

Bet that’ll cheer him up.

George Cornell
George Cornell
Feb 1, 2020 10:24 AM
Reply to  Vierotchka

Why do you wish to make that distinction here?

lundiel
lundiel
Jan 31, 2020 1:26 PM

He shouldn’t even be in Belmarsh. If you accept that “he would be likely to flee if given bail”, he should have been moved to Brixton prison on remand after he completed 25 of the 50 weeks he was given. Brixton is not somewhere you can easily escape from, so the “history of absconding” bullshit doesn’t wash. Also, Assange shouldn’t be classified as a Cat A prisoner, his “history of absconding” should at most make him Cat B.

Norn
Norn
Jan 31, 2020 2:08 PM
Reply to  lundiel

He shouldn’t be in Belmarsh prison. Correct. But also, he shouldn’t be in Brixton’s either!
In a democracy that qualifies for the title “The mother of parliaments” , a journalist (and a hero) who tells the truth, should not have been subjected to a cruel house arrest that lasted SEVEN YEARS without sun exposure inside the tiny Ecuadorian embassy –nor inside any other embassy.

Susan heyes Ashley G
Susan heyes Ashley G
Jan 31, 2020 6:16 PM
Reply to  lundiel

I’m wondering Julian our parliament are working against the law as we are well aware surely they will realise when the push comes to the shove. Oh and by the way everyone has been competing here and I’m just trying to do the best for you that may not be much but Everyone Let’s Me Know about it anyway you have your followers imine of them I’m doing what I can it may not be a lot but at least I’m trying love you honey

pasha
pasha
Jan 31, 2020 11:13 PM
Reply to  lundiel

He shouldn’t be in jail at all. He has committed no crime. Even the vile, despicable Swedish governing mafia have admitted as much.

But then again, it’s 2020. Few governments give a shit about laws any more. “We’re an empire now . . . we make our own reality . . . “, etc., etc.