Assange, the Vindictive Empire, and a slim ray of hope

Six weeks ago Ecuador President Lenin Moreno somehow managed to wrangle $10 Billion in international loans. How was he able to influence the U.S.-controlled IMF and World Bank to do that?
Moreno had an asset to sell that Washington desperately wanted.

Just days into 2019, the former president of Ecuador, Rafael Correa, who had originally granted Assange asylum in 2012, shared via Twitter a document showing that Ecuador’s current government, led by Lenín Moreno, was “auditing” Assange’s asylum as well as Assange’s Ecuadorian citizenship, which he had been granted in late 2017.
...WikiLeaks subsequently shared Correa’s tweet and noted that this seemingly unusual reevaluation of Assange’s asylum was directly related to the Moreno administration’s efforts to secure a loan from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for a total of $10 billion. 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.

According to a leaked U.S. Army manual published by WikiLeaks in 2008, the IMF was considered by the U.S. government to be a “financial weapon” to be used in “unconventional warfare” scenarios.
Moreno has since slashed thousands of government jobs while dropping the lawsuit against Chevron.
Meanwhile, Washington is ready to pounce on Assange.

A U.S. prosecutor has inadvertently revealed that Julian Assange, the founder and former editor-in-chief of WikiLeaks, has been secretly charged by the U.S. government, confirming long-held suspicions that the U.S. has had criminal charges waiting for Assange should he be extradited to the United States.

The revelation comes just hours after a report in the Wall Street Journal revealed that the U.S. Department of Justice is preparing to indict Assange in such a way that it would trigger his extradition to the United States to stand trial, following sensitive negotiations with foreign governments, most likely the governments of the United Kingdom and Ecuador.

It looks really bad for Assange. What chance does one person have against an entire vindictive empire?
Assange looks destined to be thrown into a dark hole.

Yet it turns out that the excessive cruelty, ruthlessness, and lack of justice in the United States, instead of being a strength, could give Assange a way out.

Whatever the U.S. authorities’ reasons for keeping the indictment under seal, they’ll be forced to disclose the charges against him when they ask the U.K. to extradite him, at least to the British extradition judge. In accordance with the two countries’ extradition treaty, they’ll need to show they have a reasonable suspicion against Assange.

The judge then will have a lot of discretion in how to proceed. Assange may walk, for example, if the judge decides the U.S. case against him is politically motivated.

There is absolutely no question that the case against Assange is politically motivated, but a UK court ruling that way would be a first.
But that isn't all.

The U.K.-U.S. extradition treaty, signed in 2003, gets a lot of criticism in the U.K. because, as then-Attorney General Dominic Grieve told a 2012 parliamentary hearing, “There is a lack of public confidence in the U.S. criminal justice system.” Activists and politicians have called for amendments, demanding a higher evidentiary standard and more protection for people handed over to the U.S. But the treaty has withstood the criticism, and attempts by suspects to argue, for example, that the U.S. penitentiary system is so cruel as to violate European human rights protections have been struck down both by British courts and the European Court of Human Rights.

Still, the U.K. does occasionally refuse U.S. extradition requests. According to government evidence submitted to the U.K. Parliament, out of 106 such requests between 2007 and 2014, 14 were turned down, two of them on human rights grounds.

The Assange case calls for another such refusal. If, as is likely, the U.S. wants the WikiLeaks founder for publishing stolen government secrets, Human Rights Watch General Counsel Dinah PoKempner expects him to be tried under the U.S. Espionage Act of 1917, which has no exemptions for those who reveal classified information in the public interest.

Extraditing someone to face an unfair trial under the U.S. Espionage Act would be unprecedented and extremely controversial. It's still long odds for Assange, but the legal case against extradition can be easily explained.

most of the big leaks WikiLeaks has published meet any reasonable definition of public interest journalism, the kind that resulted in the publication of the Pentagon Papers or the Washington Post’s reporting on Watergate. Article 6 of the European Convention of Human Rights stipulates the right to a fair trial, and there’s an argument to be made that depriving Assange of the public interest defense would make his U.S. trial unfair.

It all makes so much logical and legal sense that if it wasn't for the politics you could see a UK court saying, "No, we won't send Assange off to his doom."
But we all know that this is first and foremost about politics, so all this talk about laws and justice just sounds naive, right?

Except for one thing, Britain may be about to have an unprecedented change in political leadership, and Jeremy Corbyn is unlikely to interfere in the legal process.

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There are a lot of if's here. A lot of things have to go right for Assange.
But this isn't a hopeless situation.
And if Assange can beat the odds, someone else might be a little interested in the outcome.

If such a European court decides that WikiLeaks generally has worked in the public interest and not as a “non-state hostile intelligence service,” as Mike Pompeo dubbed it when he was director of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, that could create an opportunity for another U.S. fugitive, Edward Snowden, to leave Russia and find refuge somewhere in the European Union.
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Shahryar's picture

There's 0 chance the Brits will let Assange go free.

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Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@Shahryar

is threatening a coup if Corbyn becomes PM.

Dishonorable unpatriotic disloyal motherfuckers. Care more about the CIA than your own country.

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9 users have voted.

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

Shahryar's picture

There's 0 chance the Brits will let Assange go free.

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The Liberal Moonbat's picture

"...stranger things have happened!"

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8 users have voted.

“Do not let your fire go out, spark by irreplaceable spark....Do not let the hero in your soul perish in lonely frustration for the life you deserved and have never been able to reach. The world you desire can be won. It exists.” ― Ayn Rand

Deck is stacked against Julian Assange

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YbnWCweexQQ

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mimi's picture

And if Assange can beat the odds, someone else might be a little interested in the outcome."

You do an admirable job here on C99p, gjohnsit, and that is not often enough said by us lazy readers who profit so much from your analyses... I just wouldn't have expected to get some hopey feelings here about the UK being courageously anti-US. Aren't we all cute poodles in the EU when it comes to comply with Uncle Sam?

ok, let's hope, I change my sun glasses to clear glasses and see some light at the end of the tunnel. As Joe said in another comment, it is always darkest before the dawn, so to take off my sun glasses might do the trick.

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@mimi
It's also easy to be depressed.
If you don't have hope then it gets hard to get out of bed in the morning.

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mimi's picture

@gjohnsit
with my laptop and read gjohnsitand Joe et al on C99... Wink

Nothing for Ungood. Heh, I earned my sleeping in and do what I want in my bed.

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5 users have voted.

what could go right. We never hear that side.

Anyone in a position of power who has the ability to stop this persecution of Assange and doesn't should loose every bit of credibility. (I know, I know, these days that seems a contradiction of terms: person in position of power/credibility.) TPTB like to present themselves as enlightened, intelligent, capable people. This episode makes them look nothing but barbaric. Anyone who allows the worst to happen to Assange should be a pariah in society and completely shamed. They are taking us back to the barbarism of the inquisition. They are showing the world that freedom in our society is nothing but a joke.

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dkmich's picture

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"Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

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Lookout's picture

1.5 min

the live unity video today...https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6kswQ0_cqjo

Spread the word:
Movement hashtag: #Unity4J Official website: http://unity4j.com/
Official Twitter: @Unity4J
WikiLeaks Legal Defence Fund: https://justice4assange.com/donate.html
WikiLeaks support website: https://iamwikileaks.org
Courage Foundation: https://couragefound.org/
Other credible accounts for Julian Assange updates:
https://twitter.com/suzi3d/lists/assa...
MEDIA INQUIRIES: Media inquiries and interview requests should be made to Suzie Dawson, via DM on Twitter: @Suzi3D, or by emailing info@unity4j.com Background reading:
Courage Foundation: Assange’s protection from US extradition “in jeopardy” https://defend.wikileaks.org/2018/05/...
Conspiracy emerges to push Julian Assange into British and US hands
https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2018...
The UK’s Hidden Role in Assange’s Detention https://original.antiwar.com/cook/201... Treatment of Assange is unjust, says former Ecuador minister
https://www.theguardian.com/world/201...
Ecuador’s Ex-President Rafael Correa Denounces Treatment of Julian Assange as “Torture” https://theintercept.com/2018/05/16/e...
Opinion: Ecuador’s Solitary Confinement Of Assange Is Torture
https://disobedientmedia.com/2018/04/...
Being Julian Assange: https://contraspin.co.nz/beingjuliana...

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11 users have voted.

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

dystopian's picture

Thanks for the great work man! I keep my fingers crossed, pray to the gods of truth and honesty winning, and fear terribly for Julian. The entire situation is ridiculous beyond belief. It proves the powers that be in Amerca are about their power, not what is right or wrong, or what is good or bad for society, not even about truth or honesty. Has anyone counted how many things in the Constitution this has violated? You know, that damn piece of paper.

It is just kabuki theater, and a power trip game, in this case one about getting your enemies, even if they are only such for exposing your corruption, and not any actual wrongdoing. Like what was called a banana republic. How dare you stand up against America's imperialism! How do you work with people that can't take criticism? You can't. They are the ones in charge here now.

When Pompeo called Wikileaks a non-state hostile intelligence service, it meant that they could call any one of us a non-state hostile intelligence person. And there was silence.
The media has been in cahoots all along, from the whole Russia thing to promoting Hillary as a candidate, and letting Comey, Lynch, and Obama F us all because it was HER turn.

... and people wonder why I just walk around aimlessly with binocs and camera and go birding and nature nerding.

This Craig Murray article was good too:
https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2019/04/muellergate-and-the-disc...

Thanks again for the great roundup on the situation... let us hope!

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13 users have voted.

We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.
Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.
both - Albert Einstein

Julian Assange seems to be as sought after as Osama bin Laden.

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wendy davis's picture

but a fellow named owen of classconscious.org stopped by the café yesterday to ask my e-address, then mailed me a long letter in suppport of julian and chelsea, and if i've got it write, we can go here

https://freepressday2019.wordpress.com/
to sign onto the letter of support or sign up for may 3 actions, etc.

at the bottom it says:

Contact: worldpressfreedomday@protonmail.com to endorse either the letter or the call out for actions

and of course it may or may not be too late by then, but even the vibrations of doing something...might help.

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