What’s next for Julian Assange?

…by fact, speculation, disinformation, psyop lies, and investigative journalism.  Let’s start with his hearing at Westminster Magistrates Court in London.

(Attorney Jen Robinson and Kristinn Hrafnsson  outside Westminster Magistrates Court)

‘Former UK ambassador Craig Murray denounces arrest and conviction of Julian Assange’, wsws.org, April 12, 2019

“Judge Michael Snow found Assange guilty of bail charges that date back to 2012, ordering him to appear at Southwark Crown Court at an unknown date. He could face a sentence of 12 months.”

“During a brief hearing Judge Snow gave voice to the state vendetta against Assange, attacking the award-winning journalist as a “narcissist”, telling him to “get over the US” and “get on with your life” and describing as “laughable” his claim he had not received a fair hearing.”

…then quoting long-time Assange supporter Craig Murray who was who was outside the court:

“What we have seen today is extraordinary. It’s amazing that you can be dragged out of somewhere by armed police and within three hours brought up before a judge and found guilty of a crime involving a serious jail sentence. There was no jury and no chance to mount a proper defence or have a proper hearing.

It is clear the judge was extremely prejudiced. It was very short hearing today and he cannot possibly have formed during that time his judgment that Julian Assange is a ‘narcissistic personality’.

That plainly shows that he must have formed his judgement from what he had read in the media before he ever came into the court. That judgement could not possibly be formed in the few minutes in the court. There are serious reasons to question Judge Snow and about the quality of justice that has gone on here. It is a case of extreme prejudice. There is no way anyone could call what has happened a fair trial.”

‘Out of the embassy, straight into custody: Assange’s court hearing’, Alistair Smount, reuters.com, April 11, 2019

“As Assange sat and read [Gore Vidal’s History of The National Security State], Judge Michael Snow considered calling security to locate Assange’s lawyers, who were late for the start of the hearing.

A lawyer representing Assange said he pleaded not guilty to failing to surrender over the Swedish charges, arguing it had been reasonable for him to enter the embassy given concerns that the United States could try and have him extradited, and because the original hearings were biased against him.

But Assange declined to give evidence, and Snow found him guilty of breaching his bail.

Representing Assange, lawyer Liam Walker said his client had always said there was a U.S. extradition request “waiting in the wings” for him. “His reasons for seeking refuge were well founded,” he said.

The judge said Assange could at a later date consent to be extradited to the United States.  The benefit of this, he said with a hint of irony, was that Assange would be able to “get there faster and get on with your life.”

The judge also gave the U.S. government a deadline of June 12 to outline its case [for extradition to the US] against Assange.”

WATCH: ‘British Gitmo’ jail where Julian Assange is being held’, RT.com, April 12

“Belmarsh is located on the eastern outskirts of London, about 5 miles (8 km) east of Greenwich on the southern bank of the Thames River. The prison opened in 1991, and has been used to imprison high-profile inmates such as Jordanian cleric Abu Qatada and Salafist preacher Anjem Choudary – but also former Labour MP Denis MacShane, convicted of fraud, and former Conservative politician Baron Jeffrey Archer, convicted of perjury.

Belmarsh was also used as the holding facility for around 17 individuals detained under anti-terrorism laws since 2001. Some of them were held in solitary for 22 hours a day, “entombed in concrete” without charges for months, their attorneys told BBC in 2004.

Both Assange’s lawyers and the UK authorities are yet to publicly confirm his whereabouts.”

The Latest on Wikileaks Founder Julian Assange’s Arrest, US Extradition, mintpressnews.com, April 11, 2019

“Following his arrest on Thursday, an independent U.N. human rights expert said that Assange’s arrest would not deter efforts to determine if the privacy rights of the WikiLeaks founder were violated, ostensibly by the Ecuadorian government who is accused of recording Assange and handing those recording to U.S. intelligence agencies.

UN Special Rapporteur Joe Cannataci had planned to travel to London on April 25 to meet with Assange at the Ecuadorian Embassy, where Assange sought asylum in 2012 to avoid extradition to Sweden. Cannataci says he still plans to keep the meeting despite Assange’s arrest at the embassy on Thursday.

Cannataci said in a statement: “I will visit him and speak to him in a police station or elsewhere in the U.K. where Cannataci in a statement. He says the U.N. human rights office plans to ask the British government to give him access to Assange on April 25. And if Assange is extradited to the United States by then, Cannataci said “then I will direct my request for access to the government of the United States.”

Responding to this (ahem) potentially complicating factor:

‘Julian Assange accuser asks for sex assault case to be reopened in Sweden, The Wikileaks founder is being held on behalf of the US authorities, as well as for breaching his bail conditions, Scotland Yard says’ sky.com, mint press news reports:

‘Initially, Sweden’s Chief Prosecutor Ingrid Isgren said, “we have not been able to decide on the available information” whether a stalled investigation into alleged sexual offenses against Julian Assange could be reopened if he returns to Sweden before the statute of limitations lapses in August 2020, but hours later following Assange’s appearance in the Westminster Magistrates’ Court, Swedish prosecutors reopened their preliminary investigation into allegations of rape against Assange after a lawyer for one of the alleged victims requested that Swedish prosecutors revisit the case. The prosecutors’ office has affirmed that the case against Assange will be reopened but did not give a deadline for the probe.”

“Former Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa accused the nation’s current leader of retaliating against Julian Assange for WikiLeaks’ publication of documents that could implicate President Lenin Moreno in corruption. Correa — who led the South American nation when Assange was granted asylum in Ecuador’s London embassy — said Thursday that the decision to revoke asylum is “cowardly.”

WD here: Correa is mistaken: See Background on the INA Papers and Attempts to Expel Julian Assange from the Ecuadorian Embassy at defendwikileaks.org about two thirds of the way down the page, including:

“WikiLeaks did not publish the INA Papers. WikiLeaks only reported on the INA Papers investigation by Ecuador’s National Assembly in a March 25th tweet which stated, “Corruption investigation opened against Ecuador’s president Moreno, after purported leaked contents of his iPhone (Whatsapp, Telegram) & Gmail were published. New York Times reported that Moreno tried to sell Assange to US for debt relief. http://inapapers.org/.”

“In a stream of remarks on Twitter, Correa criticized Moreno for allowing British authorities to arrest Assange, and linked that to WikiLeaks’ disclosure about an offshore bank account allegedly linked to Moreno’s family and friends. Correa said the decision “will never been forgotten by all of humanity.”

Meanwhile, RT.com is reporting that Rafael Correa’s Facebook account has been deleted.  He’s now living in Belgium to escape political persecution by the Moreno administration.

And from Kevin Gosztola: ‘Justice Department Charges Julian Assange With Computer Crime But Alleges Conspiracy To Abet Espionage’, shadowproof.com, April 11, 2019, some excellent analysis. If you’d like to follow along:

[From the US Dept. of ‘Justice’, U.S. Attorney’s Office, Eastern District of Virginia, Thursday, April 11, 2019, ‘WikiLeaks Founder Charged in Computer Hacking Conspiracy’]

“The Justice Department’s grand jury investigation into WikiLeaks charged Assange with “conspiracy to commit computer intrusion.” It falls under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) and a general part of the criminal code that can be used against individuals who conspire to defraud the United States.

While on the surface it appears the Justice Department attempted to circumvent many of the First Amendment issues, which discouraged President Barack Obama’s administration from moving forward with an indictment of Assange, the language in the indictment—dated March 6, 2018—is very similar to what prosecutors typically include in indictments against individuals charged with violating the Espionage Act.

The indictment criminalizes Assange as an “aider” and “abettor” of “espionage” for publishing unauthorized disclosures of classified information on the WikiLeaks website.

When referring to an alleged “password-cracking agreement” between Assange and Manning, the indictment contends, “Assange knew that Manning was providing WikiLeaks with classified records containing national defense information of the United States. Assange was knowingly receiving such classified records from Manning for the purpose of disclosing them on the WikiLeaks website.”

“Part of the alleged computer crime contains language alleging Assange violated the CFAA. Yet, the Justice Department mostly shoehorns language from the Espionage Act into the alleged computer violation:

(a) to knowingly access a computer, without authorization and exceeding authorized access, to obtain information that has been determined by the United States government pursuant to an executive order and statute to require protection against unauthorized disclosure for reasons of national defense and foreign relations, namely, documents relating to the national defense classified up to the “secret” level, with reason to believe that such information so obtained could be used to the injury of the United States and the advantage of any foreign nation, and to willfully communicate, deliver, transmit, and cause to be communicated, delivered, or transmitted, to any person not entitled to receive it, and willfully retain the same and fail to deliver it to the officer or employee entitled to receive it.”

“Additionally, there is the timeline of events that appears in the indictment. On March 8, 2010, prosecutors allege Assange “agreed” to assist in cracking a password so she could anonymously access Defense Department computer connected to the Secret Internet Protocol Network that held the documents.

Manning had a security clearance because she was an all-source military intelligence analyst in Baghdad. She did not need Assange to help her obtain access. What the prosecutors are claiming is her interest in shielding her identity, and the fact that Assange allegedly was willing to help her protect her identity, opened him up to a charge of conspiracy.

The indictment highlights chats that allegedly occurred between Assange and Manning over the Jabber online chat service. What the indictment does not state is that the account Manning corresponded with was “Nathaniel Frank.” The U.S. government believes Assange used this account, but they will have to prove it in order to mount a successful prosecution.”

“To the Justice Department, part of the conspiracy involves publishing information that could “damage” the United States. They believe when Assange received the information he should have destroyed the documents or tried to “return” them to the U.S. government. It is but another alarming aspect of this indictment.”

He has a lot more, including the prosecution’s claims at Manning’s Article 32 in Dec. 2011, and quotes from Alexa O’Brien who’d covered the hearing as Kevin had.

Apparently this single charge carries a sentence up to five years in prison; if he were to be convicted under the Espionage Act, the penalty can include…death, the fact of which his attorneys are only too aware, see video at the top.  The single charge is obviously a psyop to schmooze credulous idiots into believing that it’s fine to extradite him to Amerika; he’ll only have to serve five years, and then…get back to his life! It additionally provides cover to Moreno and British law to not extradite Julian to a nation where he could receive the Death Penalty.

According to politico.com:

In the U.S., Eastern Virginia District Court Judge Claude Hilton, an appointee of Republican President Ronald Reagan and a former judge on the intelligence court that approves foreign surveillance warrants, will hear Assange’s case. That’s the same location as the trial of former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort and the place where Hilton recently held Manning in contempt of court.”

Back to Craig Murray speaking to wsws reporters:

“Then there is the truly appalling behaviour of Ecuador’s dreadful President Moreno. He has not only curried favour with the United States and UK but sold Julian out.

One good thing, if you wish, that has come out of this is that now we are talking about extradition. We can now see what all of this is really about. It is about freedom of the press, about Julian being charged with publishing the revelations made by Chelsea Manning. From day one this has been about the United States wishing to lock Julian up for the Chelsea Manning leak exposing serious American war crimes in Afghanistan and Iraq.”

I guess I don’t think that’s it, as this is only the first charge, or shall we call it ‘the initial gambit’?; even Julian reckons the bastards really want to get him for publishing the two CIA vaults, most especially.

And just in this morning, ‘Julian Assange’s life is in danger’, wsws.org, 13 April 2019, and whoa,  Eric London does not mince his words; a few outtakes:

“The official pretext being used to extradite Assange is a transparent lie. In a previously-sealed indictment made public Thursday, the US Department of Justice charged Assange only with violating a federal law against conspiring to break passwords to government computers.

The fact that the crime carries only a 5-year sentence and does not fall under the Espionage Act provides all involved parties with a cover for handing Assange over to the Americans. In particular, the US-UK extradition treaty excludes transfer for “political offenses,” including espionage. Citing the Justice Department document, the British government will claim in the courts that Assange’s extradition will not be prevented by this exclusion.

The Ecuadoran government, moreover, claims it could revoke Assange’s asylum because the indictment shows he will not face the threat of the death penalty.

In fact, once Assange is in the hands of the United States, he will quickly confront a series of additional charges, including espionage. The efforts to downplay the threat to the freedom of the press and understate the charge against Assange are aimed at sowing complacency in the population and distracting from the core free speech issues at stake.”

“Based on the language of the indictment, both Assange and Manning could face criminal persecution under this law. By announcing that Assange is being prosecuted based explicitly on Manning’s activity, the government is demonstrating her future is at risk as well. In fact, the first two words of the indictment are “Chelsea Manning.”

OMG; I’ve been studiously avoiding reactions from the political class, but one paragraph after his exposing the facts that so many are eager to seize Assange and lock him up for life—if not impose worse punishments:

“Like a dungeonmaster who has been handed his latest victim, Democratic Senator Joe Manchin declared: “He is our property and we can get the facts and the truth from him.” On the basis of this statement, Assange is being transferred to the US for the purpose of interrogation—which would fall under the category of extraordinary rendition, not extradition.”

Prior to that he’d brought these examples from the D political class proving again that Russia-gate will live in their mangy souls forever:

“Democratic Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer tweeted, “I hope he will soon be held to account for his meddling in our elections on behalf of Putin and the Russian government.” Democratic Senator Mark Warner called Assange “a direct participant in Russian efforts to weaken the West and undermine American security. I hope British courts will quickly transfer him to U.S. custody so he can finally get the justice he deserves.”

Read the rest at your peril; thought crimes might result.

What, then, is to be done? From comment under London’s piece:

“In the age of mouthpiece journalism echo chambering the approved gov. news; Julian Assange and wikileaks is without any exaggeration the bright light in the valley of darkness. This is.. the going out of the last light! If we fall prey to indifference and powerlessness; and do not stand up for this hero; then i do not know if a day where the working class becoming the ruling class can be any more than just words.”

Begging the question, yes, there will be protests globally, more letters to sign, etc., and all supporters will do what they must do, and are able to do…but how often has the working ever caused the Ruling Class to heed us?

(cross-posted from Café Babylon)

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Cassiodorus's picture

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"The degree to which liberals are coming to inhabit an alternate reality, impenetrable by facts or reason, is actually frightening." -- Steve Maher

wendy davis's picture

@Cassiodorus

meanwhile, back in 2015, three butt-ugly sculptures were unveiled. imo, their ugliness is rivaled by the hideous sculpture of MLK, jr. on the mall in deecee.

but yeppers, as he's been an undying supporter for so long, we could use waters writing a song for julian about now, couldn't we?

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EdMass's picture

...this one must die.

Oh hell, let's get biblical.

Why not?

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Help me Mr. Wizard!

Drizzle, Drazzle, Druzzle, Drome;
Time for this one to come home.

I am EdMass. I approve this message.

Stop the War!

@EdMass

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8 users have voted.

The earth is a multibillion-year-old sphere.
The Nazis killed millions of Jews.
On 9/11/01, a Boeing 757 (AA Flight 77) flew into the Pentagon.
If you can't accept these indisputable facts, I can't fake an interest in your opinions about anything else.

wendy davis's picture

@EdMass

assange being christ murdered by pilate for the sanhedrin...for the sake of the nation.

(got waylaid along the way diggin' out john mellecamp's 'face of the nation', stayed for my fave: 'rain on the scarecrow'...)

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might find themselves on the wrong side of a british judge who concludes that assange cannot possibly get a fair trial.

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15 users have voted.

The earth is a multibillion-year-old sphere.
The Nazis killed millions of Jews.
On 9/11/01, a Boeing 757 (AA Flight 77) flew into the Pentagon.
If you can't accept these indisputable facts, I can't fake an interest in your opinions about anything else.

Anja Geitz's picture

@UntimelyRippd

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If we surrendered to earth's intelligence we could rise up rooted, like trees
~ Rainer Maria Rilke

wendy davis's picture

@UntimelyRippd

your meaning, as do the thumbs. but i don't, could you explain? i had meant to bring this from RT as a first comment, but i've had a lot to do in RL. contra politico, this from john kiriakou, who seemes to be contracting what he'd said not long ago:

'No fair trial awaits Assange at US ‘Espionage Court,’ only more charges – CIA whistleblower Kiriakou' april 11

"A fair trial in the Eastern District of Virginia, under Judge Leonie Brinkema, is utterly impossible. They don't call EDVA the "Espionage Court" for nothing.

Judge Leonie Brinkema is a Reagan appointee to the federal bench and she was promoted to District Court bench by Bill Clinton in the mid-1990s. She reserves all national security cases for herself. She handled my case, the Jeffrey Sterling case [over leaking details of a CIA op to journalist James Risen], she is Julian’s judge, she has reserved the [NSA whistleblower] Ed Snowden case for herself,” he said."

curious about venue of his extreme rendition trial, i found this from nbc UK:

"Assange will appear via video link in court on May 2 to hear the extradition order and again on June 12."

...meaning i assume from his cell at Belmarsh Gitmo prison.

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@wendy davis
know fuck all about what the expectations are in an extradition hearing, whether in the UK or anywhere else, but I have some notion that I've read in the past about circumstances in which people have fought extradition on the basis that they have no hope of receiving due process.

If the British court views the American agenda as hopelessly rigged, I'm not sure how they might act.

But again, I really know nothing about these matters.

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5 users have voted.

The earth is a multibillion-year-old sphere.
The Nazis killed millions of Jews.
On 9/11/01, a Boeing 757 (AA Flight 77) flew into the Pentagon.
If you can't accept these indisputable facts, I can't fake an interest in your opinions about anything else.

wendy davis's picture

@UntimelyRippd

but whether you're an attorney of not simply doesn't matter. rule of law is one thing, biased opinions are another, and believe me, i've read attorney opiniions galore on assange's current charges. but of course the british courts have already found him guilty of not only bail jumping (he'll likely get the full year in belmarsh gitmo), but are art of the western empire full-court press (UK/USA/ecuadorian gummit...against assange. there is NO way he'll receive a fair trial.

i hope you might read the OP more carefully, as i hope fakenews might.

but then, i never grasped what you'd meant by your 'the stakes we are gambling are frighteningly high' comment to @EdMass, either, so there's that as well.

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@wendy davis @wendy davis
the fact that there are some very complex things going on here, and there are a lot of interested parties and conflicting traditions, expectations, and principles, with at least three different nations involved. Yes, the UK are "all in" with the American imperial enterprise, but you shouldn't assume that any particular judicial or bureaucratic functionary will openly and publicly defy British legal precedent and constitutional understandings just to satisfy that imperial agenda. Generally speaking, British politics and British law are culturally very distinct from American politics and American law. They have no written constitution, yet under many circumstances they will behave with far more respect for their understood constitution than is shown by our politicians and judges for our written one. A lot of what goes down in this country simply because the constitution doesn't forbid it would not be tolerated over there.

After all, Theresa May's tenure at Number 10 depends entirely on the continued support of her own party in parliament. Losing a vote of no-confidence is a real threat that really happens: can you imagine, given similar power, the Republicans in Congress ever throwing their own guy out of the White House and risking a new election to replace him?

Thus, it's quite possible that if some British person whose assent is required concludes that it is simply indisputable that Assange cannot receive fair due process, that person might conceivable decline to assent. It is not, however, your conviction or mine that applies, which is why your matter-of-fact assertion that Assange won't receive a fair trial is not a rebuttal or refutation of my suggestion. Of course he won't receive a fair trial -- from our perspective; but then, from my perspective almost nobody receives a fair trial in this country (or the UK, for that matter). The people who are the bits and pieces of the machinery of these systems don't agree with me in general -- but if you've got American government officials pronouncing Assange guilty before he's even set foot in the country, that's a different sort of thing.

As to my response to EdMass, I'm afraid I was just being clever. When I saw the subject of his comment in the sidebar of recent comments, "For the sake of the nation," I immediately thought of the song from Jesus Christ Superstar, and thought I would drop in and post the youtube video ... only to find that his comment was a posting of the youtube video. The single most powerful moment in the song happens when Caiaphas loses patience with his subordinate priests, and shouts at them: "FOOLS! You have no perception! The stakes we are gambling are frighteningly high!"

After which he concludes, "We must crush him completely, so like John before him, this Jesus must die ... for the sake of the nation, this Jesus must die."

The situation is disturbingly similar to where we find ourselves with Assange and Wikileaks: Insane powermongers determined to destroy this one guy, because he is such an enormous threat to their own status -- yet justifying it in terms of their duty to their people, their nation. The one thing they've got right, though, whether in AD33 or AD2019, is that the stakes on the table are, indeed, frighteningly high.

BTW, it's an astonishing bit of music, I recommend you go ahead and give it a listen.

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6 users have voted.

The earth is a multibillion-year-old sphere.
The Nazis killed millions of Jews.
On 9/11/01, a Boeing 757 (AA Flight 77) flew into the Pentagon.
If you can't accept these indisputable facts, I can't fake an interest in your opinions about anything else.

wendy davis's picture

@UntimelyRippd

amplification, and while i might say: 'from your fonts to the gods' ears', i still don't see those possibilities myself. i will offer one caveat, and that is how many appeals and of which sorts his attorneys offer against extradition, knowing that the appeal process could, but not necessarily will, take years as he's stuck in belmarsh gitmo. and i'm sure that UN special rapporteur joe canatacci will weigh in, as well.

on edit: my caveat was meant to include if his appeals process/es go on for years, if not decades, as some 'legal experts' posit, there could be a major geopolitical shift among the troika of tyrannies: the US, ecuador, and the UK...by then. but that would be cold comfort for julian, and for chelsea. as both julian and jen robinson both said (close to) 'yes, we were right and told you so, but it comes without any pleasure to have been correct'.

zo. i guess we'll see what case for extradition amerika makes by June 12. the british home secretary sajid javid has said it was his wish that assange would be able to get medical attention soon. i haven't found evidence that he has, but...we can hope so, and that it was the 'attention' of the right sort.

zo... i let my fingers do the bingling on 'appeals', and found this lengthy piece at the irish times, including:

"Following his arrest on a provisional arrest warrant, the United States has 65 days to submit a full extradition warrant together with an affidavit stating what the charges will be, human rights lawyer Karen Todner said.

His legal team will raise objections and submit arguments on what bars there are to extradition before a full hearing in front of a district judge at Westminster Magistrates’ Court, which is likely to take a number of days.

How can he fight extradition?

Ms Todner said lawyers could argue “political motivation” in relation to the process, or say Mr Assange’s mental health has been harmed after living in confined conditions over the past seven years.

She suggested Article 3 of the Human Rights Act — that no one should be subjected to “inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment” — could be used if he faces charges carrying a sentence of life imprisonment without parole, while lawyers are also likely to challenge US prison conditions.

Rebecca Niblock, an extradition specialist and partner at law firm Kingsley Napley, said Mr Assange’s most obvious argument is that he would not face a fair trial in the US, which would be a breach of his human rights.

Other possible arguments could include his “speciality rights” — that he could face further charges once extradited — or whether the alleged offence was committed in the UK, she said.

Ms Niblock said: “I think he’s got a chance, but I think it’s going to be very, very difficult for him, and I can’t see him being successful.

thanks for suggesting i watch the film, but i had ages ago, didn't care for it, and prolly never even finished. different strokes for different folk, i reckon.

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@wendy davis
that assortment of possible constraints/defenses is along the lines of what i thought was "out there", but didn't have any real expertise on. the law rarely conforms to anything that is rational and/or ethical and/or moral, so i usually try to avoid making any but the mildest assertions about what some authority can or can't do. it's interesting even to realize that JA's situation might become much more parlous the moment the UK "successfully" Brexits, as the British government will no longer be constrained by EU restrictions and so on.

also, i wasn't recommending the movie, only the song. i was well-familiar with all of the music from the original London recordings (which were done in a studio, there was no stage production), long before i saw the movie (or heard the movie versions of the songs, actually).

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2 users have voted.

The earth is a multibillion-year-old sphere.
The Nazis killed millions of Jews.
On 9/11/01, a Boeing 757 (AA Flight 77) flew into the Pentagon.
If you can't accept these indisputable facts, I can't fake an interest in your opinions about anything else.

snoopydawg's picture

Yes that is exactly what that was and this is the term I will now be using. It was extraordinary that Moreno broke his country's law by allowing the UK secret police to go into their embassy and drag a person who had diplomatic immunity out of it.

Here's another good article on this. The information that Chelsea and Wikileaks released is still out there and the PTB want to hide its war crimes. We should not allow that and I will be posting the collateral murder video far and wide to remind people of what this country has done.

The point of journalism is to expose horrific crimes like this so that the powerful people who order them pay legal consequences, not the ones who expose them. Presumably that is why “press freedom” is considered important, and why it’s guaranteed by the First Amendment. The law should have protected Manning from punishment, the same way it protects somebody who uses violence in justifiable self-defense or in defense of others.

In Manning’s case, that was especially true, because she exposed grave crimes while stationed in Iraq, as the US perpetrated an even higher-level crime—a war of aggression based on a fraudulent pretext. If the law should have protected Manning, who was at the very heart of the “conspiracy” to expose gruesome crimes, then it obviously should protect Assange, and any of the outlets that worked with him.

Last year, James Goodale, former general counsel to the New York Times, commented on the (now confirmed) idea that a “conspiracy” charge would be brought against Assange by the US government:

As a matter of fact, a charge against Assange for “conspiring” with a source is the most dangerous charge that I can think of with respect to the First Amendment in almost all my years representing media organizations.

The reason is that one who is gathering/writing/distributing the news, as the law stands now, is free and clear under the First Amendment. If the government is able to say a person who is exempt under the First Amendment then loses that exemption because that person has “conspired” with a source who is subject to the Espionage Act or other law, then the government has succeeded in applying the standard to all news-gathering.

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America is a pathetic nation; a fascist state fueled by the greed, malice, and stupidity of her own people.
- strife delivery

wendy davis's picture

@snoopydawg

noted that guardian was still calling for assange to face his rape charges, as they still are as on today. they included women groups against rape, etc.

it sure was propitious finding jennifer robinson's interview below to set the record straight. but as i said, and the interviewer echoed: people believe what they've been predisposed to believe, and evidence...usually fails to change their minds.

but sajid javid sounds like a real prince of a man./s

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snoopydawg's picture

BREAKING: New Wikileaks File Dump

Wikileaks releases massive file dump after arrest of Julian Assange.

https://file.wikileaks.org/file/

Most of the files go back to 1984. Strange year don't you think. There are a lot of broken links, but the collateral murder vid and Hillary's emails are working.

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America is a pathetic nation; a fascist state fueled by the greed, malice, and stupidity of her own people.
- strife delivery

wendy davis's picture

@snoopydawg

to be by way of the legendary 'dead man's switch'? but yes, 1984 and all. is this just a teaser, more to come? and who is/are 'nation and state'? and how in the world did you find this?

on later edit:

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snoopydawg's picture

@wendy davis

Just that they posted lots of their older material that they want people to be reminded of. In other words, "here is the work that Wikileaks has done and BTW none of it has been disproven." Hillary's emails and the collateral murder video were the only current ones listed. But I love the 1984 dig.

I found the link in the comments in the article I posted in another essay here this morning.

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America is a pathetic nation; a fascist state fueled by the greed, malice, and stupidity of her own people.
- strife delivery

wendy davis's picture

@snoopydawg

date was brilliant. big brother, surveillance, double-speak.

from r cobb, and man ahead of his time:

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lotlizard's picture

@wendy davis  
Ron Cobb went from counterculture political cartoonist to Hollywood science-fiction film set designer.

Ron Cobb (1937–) was a lifelong friend of folk singer Phil Ochs (!). Moved to and lives in Australia.

https://www.lambiek.net/artists/c/cobb_ron.htm

http://roncobb.net/

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wendy davis's picture

@lotlizard

the links, miz lizard, i'll peek in later. i do remember him going sci-fi; what would have been more natural, as he saw the world as dangerously surreal in his cartoons, or tip it upside down: as cartoonishly dangerous and dystopian.

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wendy davis's picture

@lotlizard

you second link, with the film tab. awesome and wide work. dinnae know that even IS a film of 'hitchhiker's guide'; i'll ask mr. wd to see if he can get it thru inter-library loan.

one of my favorite cobb's is the sows in the wooden stockyards outside the slaughter house showing two piglets having squeezed thru the boards and running about:

'that's all this younger generation thinks about...escape from reality.'

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Big Al's picture

of course, very rarely. I could do another on-line complaint to my unrepresentative, and I could put my yellow vest on and go down to the city park and walk around with a sign that says, "free Assange!", but it won't do much good other than maybe wake a couple people up. I've noticed a lot of calls for "doing something!", that this is a pivotal moment in human history and if we don't stand up and fight back now, all hope will be lost. But I haven't seen much in specifics other than to hit the streets and call your unrepresentatives, things that won't work unless the numbers are great and continuous, i.e., very well organized. The worst I've seen is waiting for favorite democratic politicians to issue "statements", like that's going to matter.

Relative to the timing of all this, read a good article last night by Tim Kirby explaining how this fits in with the current geopolitics, particularly the shift toward Latin America. This is like the fake killing of bin Laden under Obama. They could have done it under Bush but waited for the right time geopolitically. Obama, who is given credit for not arresting Assange, just didn't do what Trump has done because of timing, no fucking credit needed. Makes a lot of sense.

https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2019/04/12/assange-arrest-impossi...

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wendy davis's picture

@Big Al

the only time the working class got thrown a bone (and yes, it was a bi bone)was under fdr, and if i remember it was largely due to the fear that commie strikes like the wobblies were 'coming to amerikia'.

thanks for the link, and i agree with kirby (was that his name?). i dunno how to make a permalink to a comment, but i'd said similarly to snoopy on my last post. it was about who made the imf loans to euador, and whitney webb citing:

wikiLeaks US army manual on “Unconventional Warfare” published by WikiLeaks in 2008 noted that the IMF was considered by the U.S. government to be a “financial weapon” to be used in “unconventional warfare” scenarios. As MintPress News recently noted, the manual states that the U.S.’ “persuasive influence” over the IMF can be used by the U.S. military to create “financial incentives or disincentives to persuade adversaries, allies and surrogates to modify their behavior at the theater strategic, operational, and tactical levels,” with such unconventional warfare campaigns highly coordinated with the State Department and the intelligence community." and as

Per WikiLeaks, some of the conditions set for Ecuador’s receipt of the IMF loan included U.S. government demands of “handing over Assange and dropping environmental claims against Chevron” for the oil giant’s role in polluting Ecuador’s rainforest and poisoning many of its indigenous inhabitants."

reads lame now, but i'd said that 'further tangling things are the facts that pence, bolton, and pompeo have crowned random guaido as king in bolivarian VZ, and T's administration has signed military agreements with moreno to use air space and bases...yanno, to invade with 'low intensity' operations or whatever. i'll add that every article i'd read about the reason moreno had sought the loans in the first place was that...rafael correa had ruined the eoncomy, cuz: yanno, bolivarian socialism. so moreno, as has guaido in VZ, claimed that 'ecuador is open for foreign bidness (esp. USian is the subtext). MAGA! trump scores!'

but the timing does seem to be part of a larger geopolitical came, creating new anti-bolivarian alliances in Our Backyard', which IS the monroe doctrine, both to stop russia and china on their ascendancy (as this empire is sinking) from aiding those nations. fascinating he'd brought in biden's corruption in ukraine as well.

need to read it again to see if it sinks in better. but how fucked they needed him as such a pawn in the fucked games.

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snoopydawg's picture

@Big Al

Good points.

Here's another one

https://spectator.us/soiling-julian-assange/

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America is a pathetic nation; a fascist state fueled by the greed, malice, and stupidity of her own people.
- strife delivery

fakenews's picture

With Sweden dropping it's extradition request some time back and the only charge pending against Assange being a "bail jumping" charge in UK (relatively minor) why is it that Julian Assange was still holed up in the Ecuadorian embassy?

Peace
FN

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"Democracy is technique and the ability of power not to be understood as oppressor. Capitalism is the boss and democracy is its spokesperson." Peace - FN

TheOtherMaven's picture

@fakenews

The "bail jumping" charge would be used as an excuse for the US to butt in and demand his extradition to the US - which not only has the death penalty, it has sadistic judges who don't believe death should be painless!

Once the US has its bloody claws on him, it's game over, no matter what lying promises they make or have made.

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There is no justice. There can be no peace.

wendy davis's picture

@TheOtherMaven

he knew what he said would happen did (being correct is cold comfort, yes?)...and now the case may be open again, if we can believe sky.com news. sigh.

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@fakenews
Isn't that obvious?
He was trying to avoid being the star in a political show trial in America.

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fakenews's picture

I thought the bail jumping charge was a UK charge and not a U.S. charge, but yes once in custody I suppose anything could have happened and more easily than being a guest of Ecuador.

Peace
FN

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"Democracy is technique and the ability of power not to be understood as oppressor. Capitalism is the boss and democracy is its spokesperson." Peace - FN

snoopydawg's picture

@fakenews

from the U.K. But as with the charges by Sweden Julian felt that the U.K. one was just an excuse so that the US could bring him here.

The Sweden charges were originally dropped because there wasn't a case. And he did not rape anyone. Sweden has rules about consensual sex and apparently Julian didn't wear a condom. The woman or women involved didn't bring charges against him until a few days or weeks after the event and had seen him more than once after whatever happened.

Obama pressured Sweden to charge him anyway after Julian left the country. This is when he started thinking that it was a way for us to get him extradited here.

There is a good link in one of the essays here about one of the women who is involved. I don't remember which one though.

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America is a pathetic nation; a fascist state fueled by the greed, malice, and stupidity of her own people.
- strife delivery

wendy davis's picture

and thank you all for caring about what happen next for julian, and not just what your favorite politicians virtue-signaled or not about his illegal by international law arrest'

i'll offer two closing songs, one from mr. wd, and one from myself.

his would likely be this brilliant cover of bluesman timmy thomas's tune:

i'll add this from santana and everlast:

may julian and chelsea hear them...even if just in their sleep. g'night.

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Big Al's picture

@wendy davis video from the Corbett report. Very interesting information about the minimum wage and the history of it. Things I did not know and has me thinking. Anyway, if you have time. I actually watched the entire thing which is rare with me and videos, excepting good music. Would make a good essay topic.

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wendy davis's picture

@Big Al

at the length. 22 minutes? arrrrgh. but luckily i did find the transcript, for anyone more inclined to read rather than listen, as i am. i just don't absorb audio well, i kinda require the printed word (even tho' my short-term memory is full of blank spaces.)

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wendy davis's picture

yesterday i'd run into a version of this news, but this a.m. i dug up one w/ at least more information, if not clarity. see what you make of it.

British MPs urge government to prioritize Assange extradition to Sweden;
Swedish prosecutors are considering re-opening a rape case against Julian Assange, Laura Kayali' 4/13/19, politico

"A cross-party group of more than 70 British members of Parliament is urging the government to ensure Julian Assange is extradited to Sweden if the Swedish government makes a request.

We are writing to request that you do everything you can to champion action that will ensure that Julian Assange can be extradited to Sweden in the event Sweden makes an extradition request," reads the letter, made public by Labor MP Stella Creasy and sent to Home Secretary Sajid Javid."

"After his arrest, Swedish prosecutors said the lawyer of one of the alleged victims asked for the rape case to be re-opened. The British MPs urged full co-operation with Swedish prosecutor if they resume the case.

Diane Abbott, the shadow Home Secretary and senior Labour MP who also received the letter, said Sweden has so far made no extradition requests.

"Any rape charge that may be brought by Swedish authorities shouldn’t be ignored. But the only extradition request is from USA," Abbott said, explaining that Labour opposes Assange's extradition to the United States."

now is that a crazy idea given that assange and his attorneys knew that sweden's aim was to gin up the charge against him in order to have him sent to the US?

i did find this at the daily mail tabloid:

"The Swedish prosecutors office confirmed today that they will look into resuming the rape investigation and it will be handled by prosecutor Mikael Björk in Gothenburg.
Investigators said the statute of limitations on the rape case has not yet passed and in Assange's can be reopened at any point until mid-August next year."

adding to my angst about what amerikans believe about assange's arrest and likely extreme rendition (thanks for tipping your han, joe manchin), was this thread around it at ian welsh's website where a high number of comments were about him having 'broken the law' and he should have gone to sweden to face the music...but what depressed me was not just the level of ignorance, but i) others presenting conter-narrative leak, not hack, the rape charges, etc. made no dent in the beliefs of his detractors, and ii) one man i've long respected and with whom i'd even had an email friendship, was frustratingly ignorant and biased.

anyhoo, i'd looked into the defend wikileaks thingies on the rape charges, but hadn't found what i'd thought i'd remembered; how serendipitous it was to run into jen robisnon this a.m. setting things straight, although i wish we could have heard the Qs that prompted her explanation:

on later edit: a light bulb finally game on, so i looked into the sky interviewer's twitter account, and found what appears to be the initial origin; i hope i've gotten the progression right (urls are so much easier for me to handle than embed codes):

only slightly redundant, but not entirely, iirc)

but while i'm embedding tweet videos, i reckon you'll like to hear more from craig murray:

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Lookout's picture

...and it ain't a pretty picture. (3 min)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UT7n0WY_6Ww

...and his TD article in case you missed it -
https://www.truthdig.com/articles/the-martyrdom-of-julian-assange/

Sure is sad.

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“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

wendy davis's picture

@Lookout

my friend. i began reading the print edition, but got bogged down at its length.

first take-ways as akin to: Who Are The Lawbreakers?

"Under what law did Ecuadorian President Lenin Moreno capriciously terminate Julian Assange’s rights of asylum as a political refugee? Under what law did Moreno authorize British police to enter the Ecuadorian Embassy—diplomatically sanctioned sovereign territory—to arrest a naturalized citizen of Ecuador? Under what law did Prime Minister Theresa May order the British police to grab Assange, who has never committed a crime? Under what law did President Donald Trump demand the extradition of Assange, who is not a U.S. citizen and whose news organization is not based in the United States?

News organizations that had run WikiLeaks material over several days soon served as conduits in a black propaganda campaign to discredit Assange and WikiLeaks. This coordinated smear campaign was detailed in a leaked Pentagon document prepared by the Cyber Counterintelligence Assessments Branch and dated March 8, 2008. The document called on the U.S. to eradicate the “feeling of trust” that is WikiLeaks’ “center of gravity” and destroy Assange’s reputation." the bolded portion link leading to john pilger, 2018

and it's the same in australia today: 'Australian PM and Labor Party leader both reject any defence of Julian Assange, Mike Head, 13 April 2019 wsws.org

yep, i just checked. an earlier link snoopy had provided to common dreams has on the right sidebar GG and micah lee saying assange's arrest is an assault on press freedom... the thing is, both of them (as well as at least three other Intercept 'fearless investigative journalists) had smeared him with lies, innuendo, and noting once again (GG and naomi klein) that he was 'the bad whistleblower. so it's always: 'love him or hate him: Press Freedom!'

ooopsie; looks as though i couldda finished hedges piece in the time i took to rant, lol.
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Lookout's picture

@wendy davis

He talks about what kind of treatment he will face, and like I said it ain't pretty. The US is the evil empire and the leading world terrorist....and the silence is deafening and the acquiescence sickening.

What a world...what a world.

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“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

wendy davis's picture

@Lookout

i thought you'd meant the text was what he'd said in the video clip. oh, my, dunno if i'll watch it, now or ever, but you seem to be assuming he's correct, and he may be. again, i'm assuming what he'll face in prison, but that may be an incorrect assumption.

by the way, your new diary on balance looks beautifully written, and your moebious strip graphic is breath-takingly lovely. wish i had time to partake, and were able to participate in your cure toward that balance.

but this is the evil empire, the largest exporter of violence in the world. in the name of democracy™, of course.

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wendy davis's picture

@Lookout

that you'd said it was only three minutes earlier. yes, it was hideous, but nothing more hideous than any of us imagine what he'll face in amerikan custody. guess that's what eric london saw as per fucking dark-heart joe manchin: torture to 'make him talk'.

the thing is, i can't even imagine what they'd hope to make him say? give the dead man's switch code? i'd guess his glimmer about any possible justice in the UK justice system is also in vain as i'd said upthread.

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wendy davis's picture

on a dead thread. no song, i got nuttin', but i'm off to relax and watch Les Misérables on one one of our pbs stations.

let that victor hugo novel stand as a metaphor for this diary; i know you know that it's a literary masterpiece, but also as a metaphor for what ails societies. will there be a different ending soon? who can say?

g' night.

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lotlizard's picture

@wendy davis  
Revolution in the age of Google . . .

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wendy davis's picture

@lotlizard

duck duck going quack? ♪♫ ; )

had a red fox outside this morning barking...whoosh.

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lotlizard's picture

@wendy davis  
doesn’t allow us to use it (no Unicode characters with codepoints 0x10000 and above).

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