Day One of the US Appeal for Assange’s Extradition Hearing

(Not really ready for prime time...)

First, some background: on Oct. 22 Joe Lauria at Consortiumnews.org had reported:
Chief Justice of England & Wales, Who Blocked Lauri Love Extradition, Joins Bench for Assange Hearing’; The most senior judge in England and Wales, who let activist Lori Love evade extradition to the U.S. on humanitarian grounds, will join Lord Justice Timothy Holroyde at the U.S. appeal hearing against Julian Assange next week.’

No one in the comments had asked how it works with an even number of judges works in their system. No tie-breaking vote?

“Instead they recommended that Love be tried in the United Kingdom on charges of hacking into U.S. government computers. (The U.S. then dropped the charges.) Unlike Love, Assange is accused of no crimes in Britain. But like Love, he has been deemed (by the magistrate’s court) at high risk of suicide if he were to be extradited to the United States.”

Oscar Grenfell at wsws.org in his Oct. 22 ‘Press freedom groups call for charges against Assange to be dropped ahead of US appeal’, a few outtakes:

“The statement, delivered last week to Biden’s Attorney General Merrick Garland, reflects the widespread popular opposition to the attempt to prosecute Assange in the United States for exposing US-led war crimes, surveillance operations and global diplomatic intrigues.
It also expresses the increasingly crisis-ridden state of the US campaign against Assange, which is widely viewed as an assault on core civil liberties. This is even more so since revelations last month of gangster-like plans by the Trump administration and CIA to kidnap or kill the Australian journalist while he was a political refugee in Ecuador’s London embassy.” [snip]

“The same coalition appealed to the Biden administration to end legal action against Assange shortly after Biden’s inauguration, but the request was rebuffed in another demonstration of the bipartisan character of the assault on Assange, WikiLeaks and democratic rights more broadly. The Democrat administration has not only continued the vendetta against Assange, but has played the lead role in crafting an appeal aimed at securing his dispatch to the US and life imprisonment.”
(Vault 7 Frenzy):

The documents exposed the agency’s vast cyberwarfare capacities, including its extensive use of malware, and capabilities to place “tell-tale” markers on its own hacks, aimed at ascribing them to foreign powers such as Russia and Iran. “Vault 7” demonstrated that the CIA was engaged in mass surveillance, including through smart phones and televisions, and was discussing the development of capabilities to remotely take over the computing systems of modern cars.” [long snip]

“Despite the complete exposure of the US case as a frame-up and a dirty-tricks operation, the record of the British judiciary means there can be no confidence that it will reject the US appeal when it is heard on October 27 and 28.”

...or the 49 min video:

@kgosztola
6h
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is in Belmarsh high-security prison, where he has been in custody since he was expelled from Ecuador embassy in April 2019. The district judge denied his release two days after blocking extradition due to his mental health.

Kevin is Tweeting up a storm; I’ll hit a few of the biggies, you can click in and read more, add what you’d like.

@kgosztola
2h
Back from lunch. James Lewis begins by addressing the issue of "assurances" not being offered before the judge ruled against the extradition request. Lewis says assurances are not "fresh evidence" and can be given at any stage.

James Lewis: Position always was there was no real risk Assange would be held in SAMs or ADX Florence. "Issue of assurances only arisen because of the judge’s conclusions." That precipitated the requirement to give the "assurances."

We've moved on to Ground 3 of the appeal, which exclusively deals with seeking to discredit Professor Michael Kopelman.

Lewis says Assange went to extraordinary length to avoid extradition to United States. Went to Ecuador embassy and stayed for 7 years. "Those conditions were absolutely dire." He only "left when he was forced to do so by the Metropolitan Police."

Lewis continues that #Assange was adept at breaching protection by Ecuador. Hosted chat show on RT and assisted "Eric Snowden" in his flight from the United States.

For those interested, Assange is still following along, though he appears very tired with his head resting on his hand.

@kgosztola
1h
Lewis' objection to the judge is that she did not weigh facts presented in observations from their preferred doctors in manner that was more favorable to the US government. And the problem with that is the judge is entitled to determine which facts are most important

Let's be clear: An appeal hearing is not supposed to be a do-over for the prosecution, where they get to have another go at convincing judges that certain facts should persuade them. It's supposed to be focused on issues involving the law or court procedures.

US government insisted Assange had, as the judge acknowledged, a "strong incentive to feign or exaggerate his symptoms and that there was suspicion surrounding reports that he read scientific journals including the British Medical Journal (the BMJ)." They persist with this view.

We're building to a possible outcome where the justices on the High Court agree with the Crown prosecutors that not enough weight was given to other psychiatrists & when considering their observations extradition should've been granted. Which then Assange appeals to Supreme Court

Potentially important exchange with the Chief Justice, who points to how the judge said Kopelman was misleading but it did not mislead her. He says if accepted then the criminal procedure rules would allow experts to mislead the court, which Lewis agrees.

Fitzgerald counters that Nigel Blackwood, a psych favored by prosecutors, actually got it wrong as to why Assange was put into health care unit. He discussed suicidal thoughts with an officer and was moved on May 18, 2019. But Blackwood said had nothing to do with health care.

@kgosztola
4h
James Lewis discusses the Lauri Love case and says, "This was not a pure suicide case." The High Court made a "judgment on the combined factors of vulnerability - Asperger's, eczema, and asthma, which would be exacerbated by suicide watch."

One of the justices says it is possible he wouldn't even be sentenced at all, if not convicted. Then Lewis presents a rosy but improbable scenario where defense "apply for speedy trial" (?), challenge prosecution on First Amendment grounds, and Assange goes free.

To give you a sense of James Lewis' dense legal argument: "If on same factual matrix it would be impossible for there to be breach of Article 3 particularly when there is no ADX or SAMs, it’s very difficult to see there could ever be a breach of section 91.

James Lewis says US government must be allowed to impose SAMs to protect against a breach of national security. If not, that would give Assange a "blank check to do whatever he liked, and those conditions could not be imposed."

James Lewis: "Once conditions of SAMs and ADX Florence are removed, once there is assurance of appropriate medical care, once it is clear he will be repatriated to Australia to serve any sentence, then we can safely say" judge would not have ruled against Assange's extradition.

@kgosztola
6h
Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights is being raised by James Lewis. However, Assange's legal team did not highlight the inhumanity of US jails or prisons under Article 3. They did so under extradition law, which subsequently led to the judge's decision.

Stella Moris had put this on her Twitter account: US v Julian Assange David Rovics Behind these Prison Walls!

Share
up
9 users have voted.

Comments

wendy davis's picture

i blew some of the formatting as the twit machine goes backward in time.

i checked in with julian's key detractor, emptywheel (Marcy Wheeler) Oct. 27: ‘The Julian Assange Question: True Claims about Prison Conditions or Lies in Service of Martyrdom?

ptui.

and... would anyone else here care to bring Day 2? Snoop for instance? i'm not feeling fit as a fiddle, although i did get some blessed zzzzleep last night, and had some good dreams for a change. ; )

up
6 users have voted.

up
9 users have voted.

up
8 users have voted.

up
8 users have voted.

up
6 users have voted.
zed2's picture

he ugly mask is coming of the UK.

(This is a sham procedure which doesnt deserve to be taken seriously.

People should know that the reason they hate Assange is that he exposed a huge scam that intends to steal the world for the oligarchy that goes back to the Clinton Administration. Its called TISA. Its kind of like the British Enclosure Acts that stole the Commons from Britich peasants and it fully intends to steal the rights of Americans. Why does it matter? Look at the fake debate over family leave. Thanks to TISA which promised to freeze regulation, it is totally impossible that the US would increase regulation on foreign corporations now. Just like ite impossible for them to have a fake Public Option when they promised foreign contries (whom they also promised potentially millions of jobs to) They wouldnt increase wages or allow additional sick leave because that woiuld increase what foreign firms had to pay their employees, and really cheap wages is their main advantage fir winning those bids. They wouldnt do it because the foreign firms would then sue us in the WTO and we likely would lose. Because they froze financial services regulations in particular and also the TISA is negative list which means it freezes everything that would decrease profits as of its signing date. Meaning that nomatter who we voted for they could not do anything like what the politicians always promise. Read the so called mandate fior the TISA which spells out how TISA freezes "The autonomous level of regulation" as of its signing date. That means the present day level of regulation. GATS does this too. In shrt the country has been conned.

Politicians are pretending these massive changes were never made to us. Which is a bald faced lie.

It reminds me of the con with the healthcare mess in the early 1990s. While the Uruguay Round negotiations were occurring, making services tradable. The wife of a politicl candidate made a big kerfluffle pretending to be trying to make much needed changes in healthcare (which violated rigid US trade ideology which was unlikely to ever change, in fact they were trying to lock the bad policies in forever) which the treaty forbade, and they engaging in skit with a (fake) faction in the Democrats with a colorful canine name. But it was all a scheme to keep attention away from what was really happening in Geneva. It was all a theatrical performance to hide what was happening in Geneva. Which is a matter of record and easy to show. They were taking away our ability to vote fior healthcare reforms and have changes implemented. This really should be a front page news story but they have the system rigged to hide whatever they do.

It seems in Sanya's talk at the end, as if TISA will completely eliminate set-asides for historically wronged groups like black and women owned businesses..

This is because TISA is supposed to be a sort of set aside that captures the compenstion for everything under the sun and devotes it to propping up th lower income TISA countries leadership. To keep them in power? The high profit countries (which are often corrupt) are where huge profits are often made.. By the UK banking cartel- See Nicholas Shaxson's book "Treasure Islands' to see how the "spiders web" of deceit operates.

Finance and the City of London work in a certain way, to assist the corrupt elites of the former UK colonies and hide their loot.. They looted dozens of developing countries and left them with huge debts and largely got away with it, are still getting away with it. Dumping the debt on these countries taxpayers The criminality underneath neoliberalism has enabled the biggest imaginable thefts.. . Watch the videos..

up
2 users have voted.
wendy davis's picture

@zed2

even if i don't quite take your meaning. ; )

up
1 user has voted.
wendy davis's picture

for the additional coverage, humphrey.

a three-fer from caitoz, as well, including the dastardly UC global spying and the lying criminal Siggi.

the "assurances" ring pretty f'ing hollow don't they? my fave: Presto!

James Lewis: "Once conditions of SAMs and ADX Florence are removed, once there is assurance of appropriate medical care, once it is clear he will be repatriated to Australia to serve any sentence, then we can safely say" judge would not have ruled against Assange's extradition.

i finally got an abbreviated, Tweetless version up at the Café, checked with stefania maurizzi and torture expert Dr. Jeffrey Kaye and othr on Twitter.+

up
4 users have voted.
zed2's picture

that nobody in the Democrats, here or really in America gets why Biden is resisting these changes that all further violate the GATS. They are not deregulation. Which is all thats allowed. If people want family leave why dont they go to the WTO in Geneva, who make these decisions and try to get the agreement of the other 163 countries to change the rules? All we would be allowed to do now is get rid of these benefits. Its a one way street. What meaning? Could you elaborate? Really, the whole thing is theater at this point. We're already under a lot of pressure on other conditions that are alleged to be trade barriers intended to prevent the agreed opening up of the US labor market to foreign temping firms. The countries that likely will win those jobs are low income countries. They dont give all these benefits, for the most part. We cant saddle them with additional regulations since we signed a treaty. Its like a contract not to change the terms. We can deregulate but we cant reregulate. Elizabeth Warren explained this. Suppose we raised a minimum wage, and then asked foreign firms to pay their workers THAT WAGE. That would be a violation. Have any minimum wages gone up since 1995? Maybe some but not many. We're being accused of protectionism. Other firms can probably do the work of millions of US workers for less. So why arent they doing them. Clearly US businesses need our unskilled workers. So, then they go and propose effectively paying them more by giving them benefits that would cost the foreign firms a lot of money. They see this as aimed right at them. Do you understand why? To keep them out, to keep them from "taking US jobs' when we already agreed they could and should. No we are thanking them for taking the overpaid jobs and doing them for less. For doing them for less and less, and paying les and less. And keeping the riffraff workers without degrees out, unless they have paid their bribes for fake degrees? Which are a big problem in the authoritarian bargain countries, with their corruption. According to the WHO more than eight out of ten doctors in India are not qualified. Thats what happens under corruption. Money buys the rich degrees. A costly screen that keeps the poor out of the professions.

Americans need to learn what this country stands for now. The elimination of public services, globally. So the poor stay poor and the rich rich.

What its government wants. Trade agreements that are doing this "are forever". So how could democracy co exist with this. People would just vopte to fix things that were broken. No corporations investments would be safe. Really, thats what they say. SO they "fixed" it decades ago. In 1995 with the WTO. You can put money on them never doing certain things. Like raising wages or benefits. Eliminating them sure, but not reregulating. Its a racket and ratchet, like a noose. It only gets tighter. Throttling Democracy. The world has changed a lot since 1995, a lot. Learn how and this will all make sense. They want the developing countries to do the menial low wage entry-level work. And professional work that might cost much less to be done by African workers.. Thats where the investment is. Because of the demographics. America is for rocket scientists, and trade lawyers and you tubers and reality TV actors. Because its expensive here.

According to the Indian It industry lobby, our "minimum wages" are an illegal trade barrier. They dont want to pay their engineers what we want them to if US wage laws apply. They already have to pay additional Social Security costs which for them is money down the drain. As they dont get to take them when they go home. (These jobs are officially not immigration but they seem to think they are)
They think that rules requiring them to pay their subcontractors US-legal wages while they are here are trade barriers, numerical quotas that violate the WTO rules. Read them. It seems we agreed to not put numerical limits on the things forbidden by the WTO rules. Just like we agreed not to limit the insurance trade or its fees. Or do what Canada has done, with their zero quota on commercial insurance, which is why healthcare is affordable in Canada. Bernie Sanders misled us to think we can do that here, now in 2016, or 2020, That is much too late, as they would have had to be existing on dates way back in the 1990s. Its like building codes, a door slammed shut because of the rules we wrote. His campaign was shambolic, Bernie was part of the big cover up to hide GATS. The Demogops number one lie was pretending we could or would fix healthcare where >200 people are dying each day because our healthcare is so rigged.. Bernie and others who are playing thius game are faking it. Hiding the fact that to make changes we have to pursue the obscure GATS ARticle 21 procedure.. Which may involve our trading equivalent value jobs away, like to get the healthcare sector back we may have to give away some other service sector or pay the value of its trade back in some other concession, say drug prices.. Imagine that, to be able to fix healthcare we would have to dump TRIPS and the restrictive laws that killed 30 million poor people mostly children in the 90-s because they couldnt afford to pay $15000 a year for a pill that CIPLA made and sold to people for pennies a day.. Yusef Hamied of CIPLA IS my nomination for hero of the century..He embarrassed them by exposing their murder of millions for the crime of being poor. I hope the politicians who let that happen receive the mercy they gave those 30 million children. They and their rigid ideologies.

Watch was he says at the end about the dates 1995 and 2000 and why.

The same people conned us into the GATS.

Previous to the WTO, all these things that changed were still allowed. Now the politicians who promise them owe us all a big apology. Politicians lying about stuff like this should be a huge capital crime. How could any democracy function like this? With lying about the most important things not only allowed, its encouraged. (If they told the truth they would be crucified by those on top)

we cant, we promised not to, forever. There is no expiration date. You wont see laws raising wages or benefits here any more. No sorry. This is the United States.

Not some majoritarian state.

Elizabeth Warren told you. The WTO blocks increases in minimum wages. If we ask other countries to be bound by them while providing services. When they send the expected millions to do their jobs here. like thye wage rules, they claim these measures are explicitly prohibited by the GATS. We cant make up new laws to keep the companies from the labor supplying countries out because they are doing well. Because they are charging less doing jobs our workers dont even want. See the intel agencies are doing their disinformative job well. They dont want the rest of the world feelingsorry for us, that was Trumps job. This is a masterful con job, isnt it? Trillions of dollars being wasted o over high wages here, they say. Read it for yourself. They say the US middle class is a tremendous inefficiency. And efficiency is what its all about now. Read up on the Law and Economics movement. Its a core part of this cult that runs us now. Businesses we invited in to do the jobs. Its their right to charge as little as they want, they say. They keep the rest and make huge profits off of their cheap labor. Paying say 1/10 of what the same skilled workers are paid here. This is the future. Their long cherished goal, rolling back the 20th century. Really. Well, The 20th Century after the 20s and 30s. Gilded Age profits are Their entitlement. The WTO is doing that. Free trade means sweatshops and deregulation. They fooled us. Now do you understand. Jobs as we knew them are going away. The default in 2045 according to the IEEE will be unemployment. People are too expensive to do most kinds of work if other means are available.

The concept of a living wage is something we subscribe to but its alien to the economic system we subscribe to. What if we tried to force the whole world to follow our standards? We invited them to trade with us on a level playing field but then we say they have to pay wages that are artificially pegged at wages higher than elsewhere.? See Article XVI of GATSar...where numerical quotas are forbidden.. quotas on the amounts of transactions, (wages) as well as the legal forms they do busines under.. (unions?) limits on numbers of insurance companies if any insurance is sold anywhere at all.. is forbidden. This is why the UK's NNS days are numbered. If they had a single payer system that was 100% and health insurance was forbidden, they could have a public system. You see all these jobs are open to competition. If Americans want them we have to win the bids. Low bids are more efficient. Otherwise we are inviting firms to trade with us (to lower our companies costs, remember) but then imposing our standards on the whole world, Everything changed on January 1, 1995 and TISA is even worse, see https://wikiliks.org/tisa/. Wikileaks We all have been led into a big con..Look GATS' market access rules up. Both ARticle 1 (esp 1:3 definig its scope and 1:4 describing what we have to do to prevent barriers to the harmonization of "professional
qualifications".. And Its ARticle XVI XVII and XVIII. We cant discriminate. Its a twisted parody of the US civil rights movement, one that dismantles its gains.

But we cant discriminate in favor of our own people and shut other countries, especially poor countries like the ones in Africa out! (But its because of high profits.. )

GATS PRIVATIZES HIGHER EDUCATION, WATER, HEALTHCARE, AND LOCKS IN A NOOSE OF CORPORATE WISHLISTS FROM HELL, OF VOTER REJECTED IDEAS. IT PUTS CORPORATIONS FIRST AND DELETES PEOPLE FROM WE THE PEOPLE. HOW CAN DEMOCRATS HAVE LET OUR COUNTRY BE CAPTURED, WE SNOOZED We LOST.

up
2 users have voted.
zed2's picture

The UK hates Assange for leaking TISA. They want to get rid of the NHS with their Brexit trick. Because of the Baby Boom and entitlement. Its a similar situation here. WTO and TISA gut once public servics. Like Medicare and Social Security. They are against our state religion. Really.Do the TISA math.

TISA is a theft of the entire future world. And the entire Western way of life and the very existence of a middle class - they feel has to go. TISA and GATS "discipline" domestic regulations. Isnt thats whats happening. They (measures, basically: any laws) cant create more benefits only less..

up
1 user has voted.
wendy davis's picture

@zed2

your thesis/theses as to Why, but i respectfully disagree with it.

i believe it's more about exposing Western Imperial war crimes (countless killed) and then da crazy came with the publication of vault 7 than the horrific financial crimes.

in her op-ed today caitlin johnstone's The Assange persecution lays out Western savagery at its most transparent , she links to c. hedges (i'm not a fan) here: Assange exposing US war crimes

"Shortly after WikiLeaks released the Iraq War Logs in October 2010, which documented numerous U.S. war crimes — including video images of the gunning down of two Reuters journalists and 10 other unarmed civilians in the "Collateral Murder" video, the routine torture of Iraqi prisoners, the covering up of thousands of civilian deaths and the killing of nearly 700 civilians that had approached too closely to U.S. checkpoints — the towering civil rights attorneys Len Weinglass and my good friend Michael Ratner, who I would later accompany to meet Julian in the Ecuadoran embassy, met with Julian in a studio apartment in Central London. Julian's personal bank cards had been blocked. Three encrypted laptops with documents detailing U.S. war crimes had disappeared from his luggage in route to London. Swedish police were fabricating a case against him in a move, Ratner warned, that was about extraditing Julian to the United States.

They came after Julian because he exposed the more than 15,000 unreported deaths of Iraqi civilians; because he exposed the torture and abuse of some 800 men and boys, aged between 14 and 89, at Guantánamo; because he exposed that Hillary Clinton in 2009 ordered U.S. diplomats to spy on UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon and other UN representatives from China, France, Russia and the U.K., spying that included obtaining DNA, iris scans, fingerprints and personal passwords, part of the long pattern of illegal surveillance that included the eavesdropping on UN Secretary General Kofi Annan in the weeks before the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003; because he exposed that Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and the CIA orchestrated the June 2009 military coup in Honduras that overthrew the democratically elected president Manuel Zelaya, replacing it with a murderous and corrupt military regime; because he exposed that George W. Bush, Barack Obama and Gen. David Petraeus prosecuted a war in Iraq that under post-Nuremberg laws is defined as a criminal war of aggression, a war crime, that they authorized hundreds of targeted assassinations, including those of U.S. citizens in Yemen, and that they secretly launched missile, bomb and drone attacks on Yemen, killing scores of civilians, and so on.

and by the by, i know videos aren't just for me, but i limit myself to 6 mins, then a rest...for 12 min videos. i've had two major vertigo crashes after trying two on china. as in: not worth it for me.

and i have separate categories for TTP and TTIP, and TSA at my home website Café Babylon.

up
1 user has voted.
snoopydawg's picture

Beyond comprehension that he argued that. What bearing does it have on whether Julian is suicidal? Just seeing how sick he looks should give him the benefit of doubt that he’d survive US prison. Besides the justice department stuck Hale in a shithole that they are promising Julian won’t be stuck in. But then this isn’t being decided on facts!

up
5 users have voted.

In a free country civil liberties are not only for certain groups.
So this is how liberty dies . . . with thunderous applause.
The donor class doesn’t want it, and Americans elect the bribed. So suck it up.

up
4 users have voted.
wendy davis's picture

@humphrey

that's great!

up
1 user has voted.

up
4 users have voted.
wendy davis's picture

and i'll do my best to cover it, even by wrap-up videos...

how polite of him! i'd have said: STFU!

up
2 users have voted.
snoopydawg's picture

Besides the fact that they are saying that if they need to punish Julian they will throw him in a dark hole anyway.

up
2 users have voted.

In a free country civil liberties are not only for certain groups.
So this is how liberty dies . . . with thunderous applause.
The donor class doesn’t want it, and Americans elect the bribed. So suck it up.