key witness for Assange’s defense: John Goetz of der Spiegel [Updated]

at the bottom with Leon Panetta's comments in a recent German documentary on WikiLeaks.


John Goetz

Now that Judge Baraiter has told the defense to STFU about Julian’s extradition being ‘political’, in the second superceding indictment is his (WikiLeaks) having ‘put people in harm’s way’.  Now his Aussie attorney Jen Robinson said that i) if he had, there would have been reports of it, and two, even if anyone had been harmed, the issue was still moot under  his (their)  First Amendment rights to have done so.  As per Kevin Gostola yesterday, it was unclear whether or not Baraitser would allow Jen to testify for the defense.

Noteworthy is the fact that of all the media organizations who’d profited from publishing WikiLeaks work, Goetz is the only one willing to testify for the defense and tell the Truth.

‘Former Der Spiegel journalist exposes US government lies that Assange “failed to redact” and “put lives at risk”,  Laura Tiernan, 17 September 2020, wsws.org (Given permission, I’ll use it all, as he’s da bomb!)

Award-winning investigative journalist John Goetz testified at Assange’s extradition hearing yesterday morning from Berlin, blowing out of the water US government claims that Assange had failed to redact names from US classified documents, placing the lives of US government informants at risk.

Goetz, Head of Investigations for German public broadcaster NDR, was a journalist at Der Spiegel when it partnered with WikiLeaks in 2010. He travelled to London in June of that year where he worked with Assange and senior journalists from the Guardian and New York Times on what later became known as the Afghan War Diaries.

Goetz had earlier worked on major stories for Der Spiegel exposing German war crimes in Afghanistan. These included the bombing in Kunduz ordered by German military officers in September 2009 resulting in civilian deaths. The story received a prestigious Nannen Award for investigative journalism.

Despite a half-hour time limit imposed by District Judge Vanessa Baraitser, Goetz comprehensively refuted the US indictment that Assange published “certain classified documents that contained the un-redacted names of innocent people who risked their safety and freedom to provide information to the US and its allies.”

His expert witness testimony established that the only “harm to life” came from US war crimes which Assange and WikiLeaks were trying to expose.

Mark Summers QC for the defence asked Goetz about the content of the Afghan files, “Were they anodyne, irrelevant?”

“They were a fascinating first-hand eyewitness diary of what was happening in Afghanistan during the war, as it was happening,” Goetz replied. “I ended up working together with Nick Davies on a story about Task Force 373, which was a kind of assassination squad that existed in Afghanistan and which became then a cover story for Der Spiegel.

Task Force 373 was “something parallel to Operation Phoenix that existed in the Vietnam War, a team that went out and did assassinations … In the documents you could follow their activities. That hadn’t been known, and that’s why it was a major story at the time.”

A second witness statement submitted by Goetz related to the plight of German citizen Khalid el-Masri, whose story of CIA kidnapping, rendition, sodomy and torture Goetz had investigated in 2005-06. “At that point,” Goetz explained, “very few people believed it was true.”

Goetz later tracked down El-Masri’s CIA kidnappers in the United States. After NDR broadcast the story, Munich’s state prosecutor issued arrest warrants for each of the 13 CIA abductors, but the warrants were never issued in the US, where the perpetrators lived.

“When I finally saw the diplomatic cables, one of the first things I typed in was ‘Khalid el-Masri’ and I was fascinated to see the pressure that the United States had placed on the German government not to issue the arrest warrant in the United States,” Goetz recalled.

Goetz’s testimony established the “extreme” efforts Assange made to protect documents and redact names.

Recalling his own time in the Guardian’s “bunker,” Goetz said, “I remember being very annoyed and very irritated by the constant, unending reminders by Assange that we needed to be secure. That we needed to encrypt things, to use encrypted chats, and it was the first time in my life I had ever seen or used or touched a cryptophone. The amount of precautions around the safety of the material were enormous.”

Goetz admitted he had thought Assange’s focus on data security “paranoid and crazy, but later it became standard journalistic practice.” He recalled interviewing Assange at the Guardian’s downstairs restaurant in 2010, with Assange explaining that WikiLeaks’ harm minimisation process “was designed to protect innocents.”

The media partners’ own efforts at “harm minimisation” had involved contacting the White House, “[T]he New York Times team we were working with based in Washington, they had the connections, they knew how to reach the White House, and they sent a delegation to the White House to discuss their concerns about the publication.”

Straight after the White House meeting, the Times’ editor Erick Schmitt relayed a request for redactions, with WikiLeaks confirming they would redact 15,000 documents from the Afghan war logs. WikiLeaks said they would be open to receiving “technical assistance” from the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan over the redaction of names, Goetz recalled.

With the Iraq War Logs, Goetz recounted, WikiLeaks had “overshot” the redaction process, publishing fewer documents than had already been released by the US Department of Defence under Freedom of Information.

WikiLeaks’ vetting and redaction process for the release of US diplomatic cables was tighter still. They were to be rolled out over the course of an entire year, on a country-by-country basis, with an expanded group of local media partners. Meanwhile, Assange’s initial media partners took a conference call from US State Department officials who cited document numbers to the journalists, “pointing out [the] things that were sensitive.”

As the 30-minute limit for the defence expired, Summers alluded to sections 30-31 of Goetz’s written evidence, citing the role of Guardian journalists Luke Harding and David Leigh in publishing a “codeword” created by WikiLeaks to protect unredacted cables, “Are you able to explain the process by which unredacted State Department cables came into the public domain if anybody wants to ask you?”

“Yes,” replied Goetz, explaining later under cross-examination that the only unredacted documents published by WikiLeaks were those already widely available via the Cryptome site, thanks to the Guardian’s own journalists. 

James Lewis QC on behalf of the US government referred to a batch of 133,000 cables released by WikiLeaks in August 2011, prior to the Cryptome release. But Goetz explained these were unclassified. Moreover, as Summers established in his re-examination of Goetz, the main source for claims that Assange had placed the lives of US informants at risk was an article by LA Times journalist Ken Dilanian, later fired for sharing stories in advance with the CIA.

Lewis’s cross-examination of Goetz floundered on several occasions. He mixed up dates and appeared at one point to confuse the Afghan War Logs with the US State Department Cables. Lewis later tried to block the reading into evidence, in summary form, of expert witness testimony from Khalid El-Masri, claiming its sole motive was to prejudice his client, the US government.

The hearing continued in the afternoon.

Thank you Laura Tiernan, and thank you, John Goetz.  I’d had a copy of Khalid El-Masri’s testimony about his brutal torture at ‘the salt pit’ in Afghanistan, but I’ve mislaid it.  It was grisly beyond belief.

If or when I find it, I'll link to it in comments.

(cross-posted from Café Babylon)

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wendy davis's picture

but i did finally remember 'open society', and my firefox self-suggested it. enter at your own risk:

El-Masri v. Macedonia

https://www.justiceinitiative.org/litigation/el-masri-v-macedonia

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earthling1's picture

by this Baraitser tool.
Nothing will reverse the orders she has been given.
Best to focus on who has their hand up her ass working her mouth.

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After six years, still getting robo-calls from Marriot Hotels.
They're like herpes.

Roy Blakeley's picture

@earthling1 Jesus Christ could testify in Assange's favor and Assange would still be extradited. As I think of it Jesus would probably be in jail too.

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wendy davis's picture

@Roy Blakeley

forgotten puppet-master judge 'lady' emma arbuthnot who'd preceded beeyotch baraitser? the woman taught her well. from wsws.org in july 2019:

The “Guide to Judicial Conduct” in England and Wales, published in 2018, states that, “Judicial independence is a cornerstone of our system of government in a democratic society and a safeguard of the freedom and rights of the citizen under the rule of law. The judiciary must be seen to be independent of the legislative and executive arms of government both as individuals and as a whole.”

Arbuthnot should have automatically recused herself on this basis.

Her husband, James Norwich Arbuthnot, is a Conservative member of the House of Lords. He is intimately connected with the British armed forces and security services, whose criminal operations were exposed by WikiLeaks.

As a Tory MP, Lord Arbuthnot was between 2005 and 2014 the chair of the Defence Select Committee, the body overseeing the Ministry of Defence and Britain’s armed forces. His watch covered ongoing military operations in Afghanistan and Iraq, as well as the wars for regime change in Libya and Syria.

He is currently co-chair of the UK advisory board for defence manufacturer Thales and is an advisory board member of the Royal United Services Institute for Defence and Security Studies (RUSI). Lord Arbuthnot is also a former director at security and intelligence consultancy firm SC Strategy, where he worked for two years alongside co-directors Lord Carlile and Sir John Scarlett.

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wendy davis's picture

@earthling1

the US/UK doing the bidding of the dying US empire. should i chronicle sweden having 'reopened the rape charges against assange? what lucre lenin moreno received from the the US hegeomon, and the cia spies who'd spied on julian and his lover?

there are more, of course, but i'm almost to exhausted to speak, given blogging life and RL obligations. wish i knew how to type, as six or more letters on my keyboaard have been erased with punching them.

good night all, thanks, and dream well if you can; if not, then at least instructively.

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Roy Blakeley's picture

However, I don't think "journalist" is the right descriptor for Luke Harding. If one wants to refrain from profanity, "security agency tool" might be appropriate.

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wendy davis's picture

@Roy Blakeley

be a prime example of yellow journalism, yes? and according to kevin gosztola on twitter,
david leigh is saying he/they had been told be assange that it was only a temporary passord.

wot? i'm getting confused as to which day's coverage is which, but for some reason jen robinson's testimony was read into the record, rather than her having appeared in court. sputnik has it, h/t mr. wd:

'It has been alleged by members of the Democratic Party and elements of the press that the source of the DNC Leaks published by WikiLeaks is linked to the Russian state, a position that has been consistently denied by both Julian Assange and the Russian state.

US President Donald Trump was "aware of and had approved of" US Congressman Dana Rochbacher and Mr Charles Johnson meeting with Julian Assange in order to secure the source of the DNC Leaks, in exchange for some form of "pardon, assurance or agreement" which would "both benefit President Trump politically" and prevent a US indictment against and extradition of Mr Assange, the Old Bailey heard on Friday.

The assertions were read into open court on behalf of barrister Jennifer Robinson, who was present at the meeting in the Ecuadorian Embassy on 15 August 2015. This was before any indictment was issued against the WikiLeaks publisher, The US government's representative told the court that they do not dispute the offer was made during the meeting but do appear that they will contest the truthfulness of the offer itself. Ms Robinson's statement notes that Mr Rohrabacher and Mr Johnson told Ms Robinson and Mr Assange that they "wanted to resolve the ongoing speculation of Russian involvement in the Democratic National Convention" and that it was "damaging to US Russia relations and reviving old Cold War Politics.

Ms Robinson states that the Congressman made clear that "the source of the DNC leaks would be of interest value and interest" to the President. Mr Rohrabacher apparently described what would be a "win/win solution" for Mr Assange to leave the embassy and "get on with his
his life'.

and i guess kahled el-masri himself will testify today?

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@wendy davis @wendy davis The meeting was on 15 August 2017 not 2015. The earlier date wasn't possible as Trump wasn't POTUS until 2017.

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wendy davis's picture

@Marie

also, a hint: each time you edit a comment, it adds another @so and so.

if you deleted all but the initial one on the left, then hit Enter for a blank space, it will read better and less crowded.

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@wendy davis in your comment.

(sorry about the edit -- messed up on bolding.)

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wendy davis's picture

@Marie

but the sputnik one is dated: 18.09.2020 (sept. 18, 2020); RT.com has it today, and kevin gosztola had tweeted about it. i may have the video jen had spoken of it that far back when julian was still in the embassy.

i'll add some of kevin's coverage of kahlid el-mazri's kinda/sorta-appearance in today's hearing.

on edit: egad, you'd meant inside:

The assertions were read into open court on behalf of barrister Jennifer Robinson, who was present at the meeting in the Ecuadorian Embassy on 15 August 2017.

you may be right; i live in a time warp. but it was quite some time ago...and dayum, i must have deleted the video in which she spoke of it back in the day.

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wendy davis's picture

this morning: Former CIA director Leon Panetta: We are prosecuting Assange to intimidate others, Oscar Grenfell, 18 September 2020

Leon Panetta, who served as director of the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) from 2009 to 2011, and then as the Obama administration’s secretary for defence, has let the cat out of the bag, telling interviewers that the US is seeking to prosecute WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange to send a threatening message to whistleblowers and publishers alike.

The comments were aired this week in a documentary produced by German public broadcaster ARD, entitled “Wikileaks - USA against Julian Assange.” The program was a compelling and objective account of the ten year US persecution of Assange and featured strong interviews with his father John Shipton, his partner Stella Moris, WikiLeaks’ lawyers, United Nations Rapporteur on Torture Nils Melzer and famous National Security Agency (NSA) whistleblower Edward Snowden.

Panetta’s remarks were arguably the most significant, because they were confirmation from the horse’s mouth of the mafia-character of the US pursuit of Assange, its politically-motivated nature and flagrant disregard for international laws and fundamental democratic rights. His comments have, not only political, but potentially legal significance, refuting the lies of the US Justice Department, aimed at presenting the attempted extradition as a bona fide process conforming with judicial norms.


Panetta laughing as he discusses the prosecution of Assange (Screenshot “Wikileaks - USA against Julian Assange”)

Panetta’s comments have probative value, because he was intimately involved in the initial stages of the US campaign to silence Assange. A decades-long Democratic Party political operative, Panetta was head of the CIA in 2010, when the US government responded to WikiLeaks’ exposures of war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan and global diplomatic conspiracies, by launching an unprecedented operation against Assange and denouncing him as a “spy” or a “high-tech terrorist”

Panetta would undoubtedly have been involved in the Obama administration’s establishment of a “WikiLeaks war room,” staffed by hundreds of military and intelligence operatives, with the sole purpose of “neutralising” Assange.

It can only be assumed that he was privy to the plans surrounding various dirty tricks against the WikiLeaks founder; the 2010 global tour by Hillary Clinton to mitigate the impact of the publication of hundreds of thousands of US diplomatic cables and to line up governments internationally against Assange, and the discussions that resulted in the establishment of a secret grand jury, convened for the purpose of concocting charges against Assange.

In other words, Panetta is not a disinterested observer, but a direct participant. Moreover, while he departed the CIA in mid-2011, and retired from federal office two years later, it is well known that no one ever quite leaves the agency. Its power is based not only on a vast bureaucracy and network of field agents, but also a web of influence encompassing “retired” officials and private security companies, who are “kept in the loop.” Panetta remains a prominent political figure, heading the “Panetta Institute for Public Policy.”

It was in this context that Panetta baldly declared: “All you can do is hope that you can ultimately take action against those that were involved in revealing that information so you can send a message to others not to do the same thing.”

In other words, the prosecution of Assange is a political act, intended to send a warning to journalists who would consider publishing the secrets of the American government. Earlier in the program, Panetta had presented the publication of “classified” and “national security” material as a sin worse than any other.

Those statements alone demonstrate that the US government is lying to the British courts. Under the existing British-US extradition treaty, an individual cannot be extradited to face charges of a political nature." [...]

"Panetta’s statements about Assange himself underscored the intensely vindictive character of the US prosecution. He declared, without attempting to provide any evidence, that “Assange is somebody who will sell somebody in his family if he thinks that, you know, that he is going to get some attention.” This is not the language of legal proceedings, but of a vendetta.

The ARD program also included an interview with David Morales, a former Spanish navy marine turned mercenary. As head of the Undercover Global security firm, he is accused of overseeing a vast spying operation against Assange while he was residing in Ecuador’s London embassy.

Undercover Global was contracted by the Ecuadorian authorities to manage security at the embassy. But former staff members have stated that in 2015, Morales entered into a secret agreement with US intelligence agencies to surveil every aspect of Assange’s life on their behalf." [...]

Morales, who is credibly accused of spying on a political refugee for money in violation of international law, pathetically complained that internal Undercover Global documents which cast an unfavourable light on his activities were “confidential” and should not see the light of day.

The denials were undercut by Panetta. With the hubris of an official accustomed to doing as he pleases, Panetta declared the allegation that US intelligence spied on Assange through Undercover Global “doesn’t surprise me. That kind of thing goes on all the time. In intelligence business, the name of the game is to get information any way you can, and I’m sure that’s what was involved here.”

Panetta knows of what he speaks. The alleged espionage likely involved the agency that he previously directed.

Two further points should be made. Panetta’s unequivocal endorsement of the Trump administration’s attempt to prosecute Assange demonstrated, yet again, the bipartisan character of the US war against WikiLeaks and journalism. It is further proof that in the official contest between the Republicans and the Democrats in this November’s presidential election, there is no alternative for the working class.

Secondly, while Panetta’s remarks clearly indicated that, in the first instance, the prosecution is intended as a threat to dissident journalists, the warning is much wider. It is an attempt to establish the conditions for victimisations and frame-ups, amid an immense global crisis of capitalism, widespread anti-war sentiment and the reemergence of the class struggle. The primary target of the turn to authoritarianism is the working class."

the parts i've left out are here

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mimi's picture

go to C99p to find this documentary. I so appreciate your work here. I wonder if the documentatary was broadcasted on ARD German TV (Das Erste) already or not. I was too busy lately and was not aware of this documentary.
Thanks again.

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Trauma is not what happens to you, but what happens inside you as a result of what happens to you. - Dr. Gabor Mate

wendy davis's picture

@mimi

'The comments were aired this week in a documentary...', so it's apparently been broadcast at least once, but you might find some way of checking if it will be again. well, thank oscar grenfell, i'm just a scribe to the coverage of the proceedings.

but it was pretty damning evidence, not the the Judge gives a fig. 'Verdict first. trial later'.

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mimi's picture

@wendy davis @wendy davis
I missed it. Thanks again. I had and have a lot of manual heavy labor to do in our garden and house. I go to bed before ARD broadcasted it. Old bones need to rest etc. etc. Still glad you pointed to it. It's on my list to watch it in full.

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Trauma is not what happens to you, but what happens inside you as a result of what happens to you. - Dr. Gabor Mate

wendy davis's picture

@mimi

then. and glad as well that he'd described most of it in his report, as i just can't handle more that 10 or 12 minutes of video w/o getting vertigo and motion sickness. weird brain-itis, me.

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wendy davis's picture

tech glich in his:

'Kahlid El Masri Stands up to CIA Intimidation, Supports Assange during Extradition Hearing, Sept. 19, 2020, shadowproof.com (some excerpts)

'Khaled El Masri, a survivor of CIA kidnapping, torture, rendition, and detention, submitted testimony in support of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange during his extradition trial.

The Central Criminal Court in London was prepared for El Masri to testify. An interpreter was lined up for the ninth day of proceedings. However, technical problems prevented him from addressing the court beyond his written statement.

Prosecutors also objected to El Masri giving live testimony. According to Court News UK reporter Charlie Jones, that prompted Assange to stand up and declare, “I will not accept you censoring a torture victim’s statement to this court.”

El Masri’s testimony directly relates to the defense argument that Assange published classified information from the United States in order to reveal abuses and misconduct, such as torture and war crimes.

In the United Kingdom, Assange’s legal team has been allowed to enter this evidence into the public record. However, during a potential trial in the United States, it will likely be excluded as irrelevant because the Espionage Act does not allow a public interest defense.
............................
The charges criminalize the act of merely receiving classified information, as well as the publication of state secrets from the United States government. It targets common practices in newsgathering, which is why the case is widely opposed by press freedom organizations throughout the world.

El Masri declared, “I record here my belief that without dedicated and brave exposure of the state secrets in question what happened to me would never have been acknowledged and understood.” He added threats and intimidation are “not diminishing but expanding for all concerned.”

“I nevertheless believe that the exposure of what happened was necessary not just for myself but for law and justice worldwide. My story is not yet concluded.”

As El Masri noted, he submitted testimony because “WikiLeaks publications were relied on by the [European Court of Human Rights] in obtaining the redress” he received.

While reading parts of El Masri’s statement for the court, defense attorney Mark Summers said that, as a result of cables, it is known that the German government bowed to pressure from the U.S. to not seek the extradition of the CIA rendition team.

El Masri also mentioned the WikiLeaks cables similarly showed that the U.S. government interfered in a judicial investigation in Germany and in Spain. (The rendition flight in question traveled from Palma airport in Spain.)

Media scrutiny led to a parliamentary investigation, but that did not prevent El Masri from facing what he described as “impediments” to ascertaining the truth, “including via witnesses whose details” he learned about while in prison in Afghanistan."

el-masri then recounted some the shiver and thought crime-inducing, tortures he'd endured in the Open Society document i've linked above" The CIA Torture and Rendition of El Masri

'Without WikiLeaks, The Truth Of What Happened To El-Masri Would Still Be Buried

On September 16, John Goetz, a German journalist who worked for Der Spiegel from 2010-2011, provided a statement to the court to help reinforce El Masri’s testimony.

(coverage from laura tiernan, wsws above, including):

Goetz, who traveled to North Carolina to confront members of the CIA team behind El Masri’s rendition, further declared, “Without publication of information that the U.S. government intended to be kept secret for national security reasons, the entire truth would still be buried. Because it was only when reading the diplomatic cables that we saw the role the U.S government was playing behind the scene.

The publication of the cables “threw light on the pressures and bullying techniques brought by the U.S. in more than one country to prevent the prosecution of CIA agents involved [in the El Masri case].”

Goetz concluded, “These detailed revelations threw light on otherwise inexplicable actions by the countries involved. Together with other information [related to] the Afghan/Iraq Wars and Guantanamo Bay, and in relation to other renditions and rendition flights, the full picture could finally be seen and understood.”

how many technical problems have been reported during this final phase of his Extradition hearing? two dozen? kevin himself was blocked out yesterday.

how many empty seats were inside the Old Bailey today? kevin had quipped last week that he was looking forward to an artist's rendering of assange behind glass facing the Judge as the sole occupants of the room.

court will resume on monday. more updates and coverage of testimony can be found on WikiLeaks on twitter, including this on Kiwi nicky hager:

and this is confusing, as i'd thought jen had needed to have her statement read into the record for her:

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wendy davis's picture

a rep from RSF (reporters sans frontier) did finally make it into court, but not:

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earthling1's picture

Tell Trump that Assange will claim Russian interference in the 2016 election favoring Trump if he is not immediately pardoned and freed.
Assange holds Trumps re-election in his hands.
Fuck um.

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After six years, still getting robo-calls from Marriot Hotels.
They're like herpes.

wendy davis's picture

@earthling1

of that suggestion. but speaking of which, Russia expert Prof. Stephen F. Cohen, expert on debunking russiagate, left this mortal coil yesterday at age 81, may he Rest in Power.

RT.com has also featured many of his early writings and interviews. oddly enough, i'd just brought him up recently as an example of how RT has devolved over time, as the site used to give more space to dissidents of the hegemonic Western Imperium.

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mimi's picture

@wendy davis
I feel so discouraged and so unhappy and so frustrated. How was it possible to end up this way? Right wing extremism and injustice everywhere you look. I wanna go too. No sense in staying much longer.

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Trauma is not what happens to you, but what happens inside you as a result of what happens to you. - Dr. Gabor Mate

wendy davis's picture

@mimi

perhaps we just notice when our heroes cross to the other side more...as we mourn them. rotten peeps die as well, but many refuse to actually die in neocon hearts and minds to the degree they have the former.)

while i know that there is good and bad in all of us, keeping the light of the good inside of, while doing our own battles against our dark sides...seems to be the balance many of us are striving for.

sure there's sense in staying longer, if for no other reason than curiosity. i admit i'm about ready to go...if mr. wd and i could go at the same time, hardly likely. ; )

there may be newer bright lights about to shine (not necessarily in amerika).

but let's put up this delectable bruce cockburn song as a tribute to the good professor cohen; perhaps it may cheer you up just a yittle bit, as my grandson used to say.

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mimi's picture

@wendy davis
I dunno know either, why Germany has ended up this way, apparently after reunification, which I didn't experience life and close-up, Germany became a far more right-wing country than I remember it had been in the 1970ies. I am just exhausted and frustrated and sometimes angry about the words I hear coming out of our own kind of extremists here and to me it seems these voices are much stronger in the former Eastern German regions. I am just very, very disappointed about my own country.

May be it is just exhaustion. I worked very hard the last couple of weeks and months. And I need a break and want to travel. But this whole corona shitstorm could just kiss my behind. People should be allowed to make their own decisions about what kind of risks they take, travelling wherever they want.

And thank you so much for your outstanding coverage and work you posted here about Assange.
I hope I will reread this all in a couple of weeks when I hopefully have finished all those tasks I have to finish.

Peace and love to you. I hope you live at a safe place and keep on working together with Mr. Wendy on all those important news issues. Kudos to both of you.

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Trauma is not what happens to you, but what happens inside you as a result of what happens to you. - Dr. Gabor Mate

wendy davis's picture

@mimi

as well, my sister, and yes. i wish you a rest after your long labors. i'd imagine you're only too correct about germany becoming more right-wing recently.

we tease daily that here 'we're just livin' the dream', an ironic phrase mr. wd has borrowed from one of his favorite employees at one of the stores where he shops 20 miles west of here.

her job is stocking the frozen foods as a wage slave, and so it's so great to hear that she pokes a bit o' fun at her circumstances. but truly, covid's very rare here, and we really don't sweat it on this little oasis of trees we've built over the decades. easier to be philosophical when one already lives in heaven, isn't it?

traveling for you will have to wait, it seeems, but you've reminded me of another glorious song from yesteryear:

love and (((hugs))) again,
wd

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mimi's picture

@wendy davis

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Trauma is not what happens to you, but what happens inside you as a result of what happens to you. - Dr. Gabor Mate

wendy davis's picture

nor can the inherent danger of kahled el-masri's testimony in julian's extradition hearing above. thanks for the reminder, stella. may light shine upon you both.

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