MCViewPoint

Opinion from a Libertarian ViewPoint

Posts Tagged ‘Julian Assange’

Craig Murray – Historian, Former Ambassador, Human Rights Activist

Posted by M. C. on August 14, 2019

https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/

by

The highly dubious death of Jeffrey Epstein in a US maximum security prison is another strong reason not to extradite Julian Assange into one – particularly as many of the same people who are relieved by Epstein’s death would like to see Assange dead too.

But there is every reason to fear Assange is already in danger, in Belmarsh maximum security prison, where he is currently incarcerated. As the great journalist John Pilger tweeted six days ago:

Do not forget Julian #Assange. Or you will lose him.
I saw him in Belmarsh prison and his health has deteriorated. Treated worse than a murderer, he is isolated, medicated and denied the tools to fight the bogus charges of US extradition. I now fear for him. Do not forget him.

There is no official explanation as to why Julian’s health has continued to deteriorate so alarmingly in Belmarsh. Nobody genuinely believes him to be a violent danger, so there is absolutely no call for him to be imprisoned in the facility which houses the hardcore terrorist cases.

Assange is fighting major legal cases in the UK, Sweden and the United States, yet is permitted visitors for only two hours per fortnight, inclusive of time spent with his three sets of lawyers. All of his visitors have been alarmed by his state of physical health and many have been alarmed by his apparent disorientation and confusion.

It is because of Assange’s draconian one year sentence for “bail-jumping” on claiming political asylum that he can be kept in such harsh conditions and with so little access to his lawyers. That is why his sentence was so unprecedentedly stiff for missing police bail. Otherwise, as a remand prisoner awaiting extradition hearing his conditions would ordinarily be less harsh and his access to lawyers much better. The Establishment has conspired to reduce his ability to defend himself in court. I am not convinced it is not conspiring to destroy him.

Be seeing you

Assange

 

 

 

Advertisements

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Opinion  – Judge’s ruling throws huge spanner into US extradition proceedings against Assange

Posted by M. C. on August 3, 2019

News Flash: Doing what the New York Times and Washington Post do on a regular basis is not a crime.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/52021.htm

By Tom Coburg

August 01, 2019 “Information Clearing House” –  A US judge has ruled that WikiLeaks was fully entitled to publish the Democratic National Congress (DNC) emails, which means no law was broken. The ruling is highly significant as it could impact upon the US extradition proceedings against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, as well as the ongoing imprisonment of whistleblower Chelsea Manning.

The ruling

On 30 July, federal judge John G. Koeltl ruled on a case brought against WikiLeaks and other parties in regard to the alleged hacking of DNC emails and concluded that:

If WikiLeaks could be held liable for publishing documents concerning the DNC’s political financial and voter-engagement strategies simply because the DNC labels them ‘secret’ and trade secrets, then so could any newspaper or other media outlet.

In other words, if WikiLeaks is subject to prosecution, then every media outlet in the world would be. The judge argued that:

[T]he First Amendment prevents such liability in the same way it would preclude liability for press outlets that publish materials of public interest despite defects in the way the materials were obtained so long as the disseminator did not participate in any wrongdoing in obtaining the materials in the first place.

Significantly, the judge added that it’s not criminal to solicit or “welcome” stolen documents, and how:

A person is entitled to publish stolen documents that the publisher requested from a source so long as the publisher did not participate in the theft.

Important win

Jen Robinson, a member of Assange’s legal team, described the judge’s ruling as an “important win for free speech”:

And US WikiLeaks lawyer Joshua Dratel said he was:

very gratified with the result, which reaffirms First Amendment principles that apply to journalists across the board, whether they work for large institutions or small independent operations.

Legal precedents

Prior to the ruling, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) was party to a briefing to the court.

The ACLU summarised some of the legal precedents listed in the briefing. For example, the First Amendment of the US Constitution is a:

legal principle, articulated most clearly in the 2001 Supreme Court decision Bartnicki v. Vopper, [and] is a bedrock protection for the press. It is particularly important for national security reporters, who often rely on information that was illegally acquired by a source in publishing stories of considerable public concern. Indeed, this principle animated the court’s famous Pentagon Papers decision, protecting the right to publish stories based on a secret government account of official misconduct during the origins of the Vietnam War...

Be seeing you

Assange

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

The Just World Fallacy: Why People Bash Assange And Defend Power – Caitlin Johnstone

Posted by M. C. on July 24, 2019

https://caitlinjohnstone.com/2019/07/23/the-just-world-fallacy-why-people-bash-assange-and-defend-power/

I write a lot about how important it is for political dissidents to research and understand cognitive biases, the large number of well-documented logical glitches in the way human brains process information. I do this because the science of modern propaganda has been in research and development for more than a century, so if public domain psychology is aware of these glitches we can be absolutely certain that the propagandists are as well, and that they are exploiting those glitches currently.

If you don’t cultivate a healthy respect for just how advanced modern propaganda has become, you won’t be able to understand what the propagandists are doing when observing the behaviors of the political/media class, and you’ll almost certainly wind up being fooled by the propaganda machine in various ways yourself.

The fact that people think of themselves as rational creatures, but in reality have many large cognitive vulnerabilities which can and will be exploited to cause them to interpret data in an irrational way, is not some amusing-yet-inconsequential bit of trivia. It’s an absolutely crucial piece of the puzzle in understanding why the world is as messed up as it is, and in figuring out how to fix it. The immense political consequences of this reality extend into every facet of civilization.

For example, have you ever wondered why ordinary people you know in real life often harbor highly negative opinions about Julian Assange, seemingly to no benefit for themselves, even while he’s being viciously persecuted for his truthful publications by some of the most corrupt political forces on the planet? You’ve probably correctly concluded that it’s because they’re propagandized, but have you ever wondered why that propaganda works? Even on some of the more intelligent people you know?

The reason is partly because of a glitch in human cognition known as the just world hypothesis or just world fallacy, which causes us to assume that if bad things are happening to someone, it’s because that person deserves it. Blaming the victim is more psychologically comfortable than seeing that we live in an unjust world where we could very easily become victim ourselves someday, and we select for that comfort over rational analysis.

In the early 1960s a social psychologist named Melvin Lerner discovered that test subjects had a curious tendency to assign blame for an unfortunate event to the victims–even when said event couldn’t logically have been their fault–and to assign positive attributes to people who received good fortune–even if their fortune was due solely to random chance. Lerner theorized that people have an unconscious need to organize their perceptions under the fallacious premise that the world is basically just, where good things tend to happen to good people and bad things tend to happen to bad people. Nothing in a rational analysis of our world tells us that this assumption is in any way true, but tests by Lerner and subsequent social psychologists have backed up his theory that most of us tend to interpret events through the lens of this irrational assumption anyway.

Like other cognitive biases, this one fundamentally boils down to our annoying psychological tendency to select for cognitive ease over cognitive discomfort. It feels more psychologically comfortable to interpret new information in a way that confirms our preexisting opinions, so we get confirmation bias. It feels psychologically comfortable to assume something is true after hearing it repeated many times, so we get the illusory truth effect. It feels more psychologically comfortable to believe we live in a fair world where people get what they deserve than to believe we’re in a chaotic world where many of the most materially prosperous people are also the most depraved and sociopathic, and that we could be next in line to be victimized by them, so we get the just world fallacy.

When news first broke in November of last year that the Trump Justice Department was preparing to charge Julian Assange for 2010 publications by WikiLeaks, establishment Democrats suddenly began babbling about “karma”. These people weren’t Buddhists or Hindus, yet when the Trump administration (who they claim to oppose) began an aggressive assault on the free press (which they claim to support), they began reaching for eastern philosophical concepts which have no evidentiary basis whatsoever in order to justify it. Their irrational belief in a just world was psychologically more comfortable than going against their confirmation bias about the guy who spilled dirt on Queen Hillary, so they selected it. Not because it was more truthful, but because it was more comfortable.

You see this more and more often as facts in evidence make it abundantly clear that the Trump administration’s persecution of Assange pose the greatest threat to the free press in modern history, both among the rank-and-file citizenry and among the political/media class. Countless opinion segments and articles have flooded the mainstream media denying that Assange’s persecution poses a threat to press freedoms, on the basis that Assange is different from the mainstream press in some way.

This isn’t due solely to the fact that these establishment lackeys know they’ll never publish anything which inconveniences power like Assange did (many mainstream journalists sincerely believe that they hold power to account in some way); a lot of it is due to the fact that it’s much more psychologically comfortable to believe that Assange is being savagely persecuted because he deserves it. Believing that Assange is getting what’s coming to him is just plain more psychologically comfortable than believing you’re in an endlessly out-of-control world where bad things happen to good people, and that in fact you live in a world where your own government will torture and imprison a journalist for publishing embarrassing facts about it. And it’s certainly a lot more comfortable than believing you could be next.

The just world fallacy explains so much about what’s going on today. It explains why everyone scrambles to defend their government when it begins victimizing a sovereign nation for refusing to comply with the demands of the powerful. It explains why people have been so easily propagandized into believing that poverty is caused by the laziness of the poor rather than the exploitation of the rich. It explains why people are so quick to justify the censorship of a perceived political enemy on the internet. It explains why any time video footage of a controversial  police shooting goes viral, the comments are always flooded with people saying the victim should have known better than to get down on the ground so slowly or reach for his wallet so quickly. It explains why attempts to discuss rape culture are so often bogged down by moronic comments about how its victims should behave. It explains why people justify mass government surveillance claiming that if you’ve got nothing to hide, you’ve got nothing to worry about. Some of these issues are more obvious to those on the left of the partisan divide, and some of them are more obvious to those on the right, but the impulse to create a false sense of safety in yourself is the exact same in all examples.

Even those who are wide awake to what’s going on in the world and don’t fall for any of the victim-blaming dynamics described above still often fall for a victim-blaming illusion of their own: the impulse to blame the propagandized masses for being propagandized, instead of blaming the propagandists. This one is just as deluded as any of the others, and it works for the same reason: it’s just plain more psychologically comfortable to believe that someone is being victimized by the system because of some flaw in the victim.

If we had a just and fair world, creating propaganda would be illegal along with murder, theft, fraud, and every other infraction on an individual’s personal sovereignty. To be clear, I don’t think that trying to make it illegal would work. I believe we need to evolve beyond the manipulations so they no longer affect us, but that requires us to see it as the serious offense that it is. If in the future we are to evolve to see it clearly, propaganda will elicit an instant and aggressive backlash from the collective against the propagandist. But right now it doesn’t, and it’s protected in part by people who believe that the crime of manipulation is outweighed by the crime of being trusting. Deliberately manipulating people for money, power or both is an attack on people’s psychological sovereignty, and until we see it as such then we will never turn our anger where it’s meant to go: on the perpetrators. If we can’t eradicate propaganda then we will never be able to see and understand what’s going on in the world clearly enough to fix it.

In reality, we live in a very unjust world. We live in a world where money is the only real valuing system, and money selects for ruthlessness. Money elevates those who will do what it takes to get ahead, and so money elevates sociopaths. No amount of muddle-headed magical thinking about “karma” is going to make that untrue. There is no grand arbiter in the sky selecting for goodness and badness. We must select good and badness. People must be held to account for their actions by those that observe that those actions are unjust. Great things happen to bad people, and awful things happen to good people, and when culture elevates greed and sociopathy that is only going to get more true until we put an end to it.

It is psychologically comfortable to believe that we live in a just world. It is much less psychologically comfortable to understand that we don’t, and that we never will unless we fight very hard for it. One is an illusion, the other is reality. A preference for reality over comfort is the primary factor which separates those who serve corrupt power from those who speak out against it.

________________

The best way to get around the internet censors and make sure you see the stuff I publish is to subscribe to the mailing list for my website, which will get you an email notification for everything I publish. My work is entirely reader-supported, so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, liking me on Facebook, following my antics on Twitterthrowing some money into my hat on Patreon or Paypalpurchasing some of my sweet merchandisebuying my new book Rogue Nation: Psychonautical Adventures With Caitlin Johnstone, or my previous book Woke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers. For more info on who I am, where I stand, and what I’m trying to do with this platform, click here. Everyone, racist platforms excluded, has my permission to republish or use any part of this work (or anything else I’ve written) in any way they like free of charge.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Dunce’s cap for Russiagate coverage should go to CNN (by George Galloway) — RT Op-ed

Posted by M. C. on July 19, 2019

https://www.rt.com/op-ed/464387-cnn-assange-meddling-election/

George Galloway

If there was a dunce’s cap awarded to the most gullible – or worse, complicit – news outfit in the whole ‘Russiagate’ affair, it would surely go to CNN.

The small consolation is that its ratings have plummeted in direct proportion to its fake news agenda. Unless trapped in a hotel room in Ulan Bator and having already read the Gideon’s Bible, nobody in their right mind goes looking for CNN.

However, other media do, of course, amplify their prevailing narrative. This is that the Democratic Party didn’t lose because they chose the only person in America who could possibly lose to Donald Trump, but because a bearded man with snow on his boots smelling of vodka and speaking with a thick Russian accent fooled everyone into voting for the GOP. And where no such man can be identified, then a Western cipher can be demonized as his proxy.

Also on rt.com How Assange & RT meddled in 2016, according to CNN’s ‘possibilities,’ innuendo & liesSo unhinged has CNN – the last hold-out of the Russiagaters – become that they have now piled new levels of ordure on the political prisoner Julian Assange in a much touted “Special,” heaping speculation upon speculation on what they hope is the coffin of a man they once lionized.

Because, dear readers, in a now-forgotten coincidence, it was CNN that in a way brought Julian Assange into the public limelight. They interviewed him a number of times, including once in 2010, when they sent their team to showcase the then-pale-blonde ascetic wonderkid of the whistleblowing business. That was way before RT had aired Assange’s show ‘The World Tomorrow’ – because that suited CNN’s agenda then, in the way that burying him does now.

Full disclosure: Julian Assange is a friend of mine and so opportunists seeking his crucifixion to serve an anti-Trump agenda cut no ice with me. Furthermore, I work for RT, and know personally the fine broadcasting professionals traduced in a disgraceful way by the CNN “Special.”

Julian Assange was hiding in plain sight by having his own show on RT. That’s how espionage works nowadays in the fevered minds of CNN. And he appeared on news shows throughout the world – any one of which could have “passed him a USB drive” when they went into the Ecuador Embassy to film him. He even appeared on my show on TalkRadio, whose proprietor could of course be a (deep) undercover Russian agent.

The fatal flaw in all of this, of course, is that the DNC computers were never hacked in the first place, not by a “master-hacker” or even a schoolboy in his bedroom. That’s why their servers were never examined by the FBI, Mueller or anybody else wearing any kind of official badge.

The scandalous behavior – including CNN’s own (now Fox) contributor Donna Brazile – through which the Democratic Party rigged their own Primary process to defeat Bernie Sanders and procure the coronation of the aforementioned Mrs Clinton was not hacked but leaked. Not by Russians but by Americans. Not by RT but by Democratic Party insiders, disgusted as they should have been at the shameless Tammany Hall shenanigans going on in their party.

The real target of fading, failing, flailing CNN was not Julian Assange but Donald Trump. His administration is currently trying to incarcerate Assange in the gulags of the US injustice system for the crime of publishing the truth. That’s the real scandal.

Be seeing you

 

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange rips Google in new book ...

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

New CNN Assange Smear Piece Is Amazingly Dishonest, Even For CNN – Caitlin Johnstone

Posted by M. C. on July 18, 2019

https://caitlinjohnstone.com/2019/07/16/new-cnn-assange-smear-piece-is-amazingly-dishonest-even-for-cnn/

CNN has published an unbelievably brazen and dishonest smear piece on Julian Assange, easily the most egregious article of its kind since the notoriously bogus Assange-Manafort report by The Guardian last year. It contains none of the “exclusive” documents which it claims substantiate its smears, relying solely on vague unsubstantiated assertions and easily debunked lies to paint the WikiLeaks founder in a negative light.

And let’s be clear right off the bat, it is most certainly a smear piece. The article, titled “Exclusive: Security reports reveal how Assange turned an embassy into a command post for election meddling”, admits that it exists for the sole purpose of tarnishing Assange’s reputation when it reports, with no evidence whatsoever, that while at the Ecuadorian embassy Assange once “smeared feces on the walls out of anger.” Not “reportedly”. Not “the Ecuadorian government claims.” CNN reported it as a fact, as an event that is known to have happened. This is journalistic malpractice, and it isn’t an accident.

Whenever you see any “news” report citing this claim, you are witnessing a standard smear tactic of the plutocratic media. Whenever you see them citing this claim as a concrete, verified fact, you are witnessing an especially aggressive and deliberate psyop. The Ecuadorian embassy was easily the most-surveilled building in the world during Assange’s stay there, and the Ecuadorian government has leaked photos of Assange’s living quarters to the media in an attempt to paint him as a messy houseguest in need of eviction, so if the “feces on the walls” event had ever transpired you would have seen photos of it, whether you wanted to or not. It never happened.

“New documents obtained exclusively by CNN reveal that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange received in-person deliveries, potentially of hacked materials related to the 2016 US election, during a series of suspicious meetings at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London,” the article begins.

In its very first sentence the article invalidates all the claims which follow it, because its use of the word “potentially” means that none of the documents CNN purports to have contain any actual evidence. It’s worth noting at this time that there is to this day not one shred of publicly available evidence that any of the Democratic Party emails published by WikiLeaks in 2016 were in fact “hacked” at all, and could very well have been the result of a leak as asserted by former British ambassador Craig Murray, who claims to have inside knowledge on the matter.

The glaring plot holes in the Mueller report’s assertions about Russia being the source of the 2016 WikiLeaks drops have already been ripped wide open by journalist Aaron Maté’s meticulous analysis of the report’s timeline in an article accurately titled “CrowdStrikeOut: Mueller’s Own Report Undercuts Its Core Russia-Meddling Claims“. The CNN smear piece, which claims to “add a new dimension to the Mueller report”, is entirely relying on this porous timeline for its reporting. Plot holes include the fact that Mueller claims (and CNN repeats) that the Russians transferred the emails to WikiLeaks on or around July 14, which Maté notes is “a full month after Assange publicly announced that he had them.”

CNN kicks off its smear piece with the inflammatory claim that “Assange met with Russians and world-class hackers at critical moments”, mentioning both “Russians” and “hackers” in the same breath in an attempt to give the impression that the two are related. It’s not until paragraph 43 and 46, long after most people have stopped reading, that the articles authors bother to inform their readers that the “hackers” in question are German and have no established connection to the Russian government whatsoever. The “Russians” counted among Assange’s scores of visitors consist of RT staff, who have always consistently reported on WikiLeaks, and a “Russian national” about whom almost nothing is known.

The article falsely labels Assange a “hacker”, a defamatory claim the mass media circulates whenever it wants to tarnish Assange’s reputation. Assange, of course, is a publisher. WikiLeaks publishes materials which are given to it, it doesn’t “hack” them.

CNN also repeats the long-debunked lie that RT “published articles detailing the new batches of emails before WikiLeaks officially released them” during the 2016 election, citing no evidence because this never happened. RT reported on a WikiLeaks release in October 2016 after it had been published by WikiLeaks but before the WikiLeaks Twitter account had tweeted about it, and western propagandists willfully conflated WikiLeaks publications with tweets from the WikiLeaks Twitter account in order to make it look like RT had insider knowledge about the publications.

In reality, RT was simply watching the WikiLeaks site closely for new releases in order to get an early scoop before other outlets, because Podesta email leaks had been dropping regularly.

“That is a LIE that’s been debunked over and over,” tweeted RT America editor Nebojša Malić‏ in response to the smear. “We published ONE article about the emails that were RELEASED already, just not TWEETED about yet, because WikiLeaks had been releasing them like clockwork and we paid attention. It’s called journalism, they should try it sometime.”

“Yes that is fake news,” tweeted RT’s Ivor Crotty. “I was the editor on the team that monitored wikileaks and by Podesta 6 we knew they tweeted at 9am EST each day (1pm Dublin) – so we checked the database by reverse searching and discovered a new dump, tweeted about it, and the conspiracy theorists jumped.”

“RT already addressed this in 2016, convincingly if you read the sequence of events they lay out: the Podesta emails appeared on the WikiLeaks website before WikiLeaks sent a tweet about it,” Maté tweeted at CNN’s Marshall Cohen. “Ignoring that allows for the conspiracy theory you propose. It’s ridiculous to suggest that RT-Wikileaks ‘were coordinating behind the scenes’ based on the fact that RT tweeted about the Podesta emails AFTER they appeared on WL’s site, but BEFORE WL tweeted about them. You’re implicating RT in a conspiracy… for doing journalism.”

It’s not possible to research the “RT had advance knowledge of WikiLeaks drops” conspiracy theory without running across articles which debunked it at the time, so the article’s authors were likely either knowingly lying or taking dictation from someone who was.

“Spanish newspaper El Pais on July 9: ‘Spanish security company spied on Julian Assange’s meetings with lawyers‘. Add little security state propaganda and 6 days later you get from CNN: ‘How Julian Assange turned an embassy into command post for election meddling’,” noted Shadowproof managing editor Kevin Gosztola in response to the CNN smear, a reminder of how a little narrative tweaking can turn a story on its head in support of the powerful.

This would be the same CNN who told its viewers that it’s against the law to read WikiLeaks, with Democratic Party prince Chris Cuomo lying “Remember, it’s illegal to possess these stolen documents; it’s different for the media, so everything you learn about this you’re learning from us.” The same CNN which falsely reported that Assange is a pedophile not once, but twice. The same CNN which has been caught blatantly lying in its Russiagate coverage, which has had to fire journalists for misreporting Russiagate in a media environment where that almost never happens with Russia stories, which has deleted evidence of its journalistic malpractice regarding Russiagate from the internet without retraction or apology.

So this latest attempt to tarnish Julian Assange’s reputation from CNN is not surprising. Nor is it surprising that the article contains exactly zero of the “exclusive documents” which it says validate its claims and insinuations. Nor is it surprising that CNN is using invisible evidence which almost certainly came into its hands through a government agency to give weight to its smear. But the sheer volume of disinformation and deceit they were able to pack into one single article this time around was just jaw-dropping. Even for CNN.

_____________________

The best way to get around the internet censors and make sure you see the stuff I publish is to subscribe to the mailing list for my website, which will get you an email notification for everything I publish. My work is entirely reader-supported, so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, liking me on Facebook, following my antics on Twitterthrowing some money into my hat on Patreon or Paypalpurchasing some of my sweet merchandisebuying my new book Rogue Nation: Psychonautical Adventures With Caitlin Johnstone, or my previous book Woke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers. For more info on who I am, where I stand, and what I’m trying to do with this platform, click here. Everyone, racist platforms excluded, has my permission to republish or use any part of this work (or anything else I’ve written) in any way they like free of charge.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

CNN Twists Embassy Surveillance Records To Attack Julian Assange

Posted by M. C. on July 17, 2019

https://shadowproof.com/2019/07/15/cnn-twists-ecuador-embassy-surveillance-records-attack-assange/

Spanish newspaper EL PAÍS reported on July 9 that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was spied on by a Spanish private defense and security firm called Undercover Global S.L., when he lived in the Ecuador embassy in the United Kingdom.

The report was based on “documents, video, and audio material” that was “used in an extortion attempt against Assange by several individuals.” In May, Spanish police arrested journalist José Martín Santos, who had a record of fraud, and a computer programmer for their alleged involvement in an “attempt to make €3 million from the sale of private material.”

Reporters for EL PAÍS found the spying on Assange’s legal defense meetings to be most significant. They were stunned by the fact that Assange felt he had to hold meetings in the women’s bathroom if he wanted to ensure privacy. And they took note of U.C. Global’s “feverish, obsessive vigilance” toward “the guest,” which became more intense after Lenin Moreno was elected president of Ecuador in May 2017.

That is not how CNN viewed the same cache of information compiled by the private security company and eventually used to allegedly extort Assange.

Although EL PAÍS makes no mention of meddling in the 2016 presidential election in its coverage, CNN approached the material like analysts at the CIA. They voraciously consumed logs hoping the documents would confirm Assange collaborated with Russian intelligence assets to release emails from John Podesta, Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman.

Compare the two reports, as they appeared on the news organization’s websites:

CNN was unable to find concrete proof, and the words “potentially” and “possibility” do heavy lifting for the media organization.

“New documents obtained exclusively by CNN reveal that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange received in-person deliveries, potentially of hacked materials related to the 2016 US election, during a series of suspicious meetings at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London,” the CNN report reads.

It adds, “The documents build on the possibility, raised by special counsel Robert Mueller in his report on Russian meddling, that couriers brought hacked files to Assange at the embassy.”

Yet, there is little to no evidence in the report to substantiate the conspiracy theory that CNN reporters want the public to believe.

Much of CNN’s report quotes from the Mueller report, not the private security company materials. It plugs in meetings and interactions Assange had with visitors that align with dates in the report in order to claim this appears to be evidence of collaboration with the Russian government, but CNN does not know what transpired…

CNN management must keep churning out gossip pieces like this report on Assange because its ratings partly depend on sustaining the panic around Russia’s alleged influence. Although Mueller was unable to “establish that members of the Trump campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government,” that does not matter to the news network.

Worse, the Trump administration indicted Assange for allegedly violating the Espionage Act when he published classified documents from Chelsea Manning that revealed war crimes, diplomatic misconduct, and other acts of political corruption. They launched a prosecution that could set a dangerous precedent that would greatly impact the ability of CNN to engage in newsgathering activities.

Such a precedent would not affect CNN when it produced intelligence agency propaganda like this story on Assange, but it could impede reporters if they dared to engage in journalism that challenged officials, particularly those involved in national security operations.

Be seeing you

mbird

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Demasking the Torture of Julian Assange – Nils Melzer – Medium

Posted by M. C. on July 2, 2019

https://medium.com/@njmelzer/demasking-the-torture-of-julian-assange-b252ffdcb768

By Nils Melzer, UN Special Rapporteur on Torture

I know, you may think I am deluded. How could life in an Embassy with a cat and a skateboard ever amount to torture? That’s exactly what I thought, too, when Assange first appealed to my office for protection. Like most of the public, I had been subconsciously poisoned by the relentless smear campaign, which had been disseminated over the years. So it took a second knock on my door to get my reluctant attention. But once I looked into the facts of this case, what I found filled me with repulsion and disbelief.

Surely, I thought, Assange must be a rapist! But what I found is that he has never been charged with a sexual offence. True, soon after the US had encouraged allies to find reasons to prosecute Assange, two women made the headlines in Sweden. One of them claimed he had ripped a condom, and the other that he had failed to wear one, in both cases during consensual intercourse — not exactly scenarios that have the ring of ‘rape’ in any language other than Swedish. Mind you, each woman even submitted a condom as evidence. The first one, supposedly worn and torn by Assange, revealed no DNA whatsoever — neither his, nor hers, nor anybody else’s. Go figure. The second one, used but intact, supposedly proved ‘unprotected’ intercourse. Go figure, again. The women even texted that they never intended to report a crime but were ‘railroaded’ into doing so by zealous Swedish police. Go figure, once more. Ever since, both Sweden and Britain have done everything to prevent Assange from confronting these allegations without simultaneously having to expose himself to US extradition and, thus, to a show-trial followed by life in jail. His last refuge had been the Ecuadorian Embassy.

Alright, I thought, but surely Assange must be a hacker! But what I found is that all his disclosures had been freely leaked to him, and that no one accuses him of having hacked a single computer. In fact, the only arguable hacking-charge against him relates to his alleged unsuccessful attempt to help breaking a password which, had it been successful, might have helped his source to cover her tracks. In short: a rather isolated, speculative, and inconsequential chain of events; a bit like trying to prosecute a driver who unsuccessfully attempted to exceed the speed-limit, but failed because their car was too weak…

Well then, I thought, at least we know for sure that Assange is a Russian spy, has interfered with US elections, and negligently caused people’s deaths!…

But surely, I found myself pleading, Assange must be a selfish narcissist, skateboarding through the Ecuadorian Embassy and smearing feces on the walls?…

In the end it finally dawned on me that I had been blinded by propaganda, and that Assange had been systematically slandered to divert attention from the crimes he exposed. Once he had been dehumanized through isolation, ridicule and shame, just like the witches we used to burn at the stake, it was easy to deprive him of his most fundamental rights without provoking public outrage worldwide. And thus, a legal precedent is being set, through the backdoor of our own complacency, which in the future can and will be applied just as well to disclosures by The Guardian, the New York Times and ABC News…

Yes, living in an Embassy with a cat and a skateboard may seem like a sweet deal when you believe the rest of the lies. But when no one remembers the reason for the hate you endure, when no one even wants to hear the truth, when neither the courts nor the media hold the powerful to account, then your refuge really is but a rubber boat in a shark-pool, and neither your cat nor your skateboard will save your life.

Even so, you may say, why spend so much breath on Assange, when countless others are tortured worldwide? Because this is not only about protecting Assange, but about preventing a precedent likely to seal the fate of Western democracy. For once telling the truth has become a crime, while the powerful enjoy impunity, it will be too late to correct the course. We will have surrendered our voice to censorship and our fate to unrestrained tyranny…

Be seeing you

truth

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Assange Lawyer Reveals The Pentagon Was Behind Bringing Down WikiLeaks’ Assange – Collective Evolution

Posted by M. C. on June 22, 2019

https://www.collective-evolution.com/2019/06/21/news-assange-lawyer-reveals-pentagon-behind-pursuit-of-wikileaks-publisher/

By

In Brief

  • The Facts:One of Assange’s lawyers has confirmed that it was the Pentagon who was behind the smear and aggression to bring down Julian Assange, not the Obama admin.
  • Reflect On:Why does our government’s work so hard to protect secrets related to wrongdoing that no one supports? Why do we spend more time arguing over if Assange is right or wrong when we already know the actions of our governments are dreadful?

As free and open journalism remains under attack, a lawyer for WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange has confirmed that it’s the Pentagon, and not the White House or any other government agency whose secrets he has leaked, that has been pushing for years to smear and bring down Julian Assange.

Assange lawyer Geoffrey Robertson was granted a meeting with Obama administration insiders and had asked if they “really wanted” the publisher so they could access his whistleblowers and because he warned that “there are dangerous precedents here,” Robertson said they responded simply:

We don’t want him, but the Pentagon does, and the Pentagon may eventually get its way.

Robertson spoke to Obama administration insiders after he learned of a secret grand jury they had convened against Assange in 2010, he explained to Phillip Adams on ABC’s Radio National on Thursday. Robertson reminded them that charging a journalist under national security laws had serious First Amendment implications, but the Obama team was already aware of the kind of precedent it would set. If this goes through, journalists will essentially be silenced from exposing government secrets – not only systemically, but through fear of life in prison.

Interestingly, the Obama administration charged more leakers under the Espionage Act than all previous administrations combined, but it never sought to go after a journalist or publisher. This is something new, and dangerous, all together. It reveals the true nature of how far government agencies will go to protect their secrets.

According to award-winning journalist John Pilger, the Pentagon’s campaign enacted the media to destroy Assange’s reputation as “threats of exposure [and] criminal prosecution” were used to rid the public “feeling of trust” towards the core of WikiLeaks’ operations. In many cases, this worked. Look how many mainstream media outlets who long profited off of Assange’s work early on but have now turned on him. Was this at the call of ‘higher powers?’ or are they simply following up with natural responses to a heavy smear and disinformation campaign?…

Regardless, this presents an opportunity for questioning. Why does our government’s work so hard to protect secrets related to wrongdoing that no one supports? Why do we spend more time arguing over if Assange is right or wrong when we already know the actions of our governments are dreadful? Are we not simply being distracted by them? Good ol’ bait and switch?

Be seeing you

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange arrested in London over 7 ...

 

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Why Everyone in the U.S. Who Counts Wants Julian Assange Dead | Common Dreams Views

Posted by M. C. on June 18, 2019

https://www.commondreams.org/views/2019/05/15/why-everyone-us-who-counts-wants-julian-assange-dead

It’s not for being a jerk that the Establishment state wants the Wikileaks publisher dead. They want him dead for publishing videos like these.

On April 5, 2010, WikiLeaks released ”Collateral Murder,” a video showing a July 12, 2007 US Apache attack helicopter attack upon individuals in a Baghdad suburb. Amongst the over twelve people killed by the 30mm cannon fire were two Reuters journalists. (Image: Screenshot)

Below is a full video version of Collateral Murder, the 2007 war footage that was leaked in 2010 to Wikileaks by Chelsea (then Bradley) Manning. This version was posted to the Wikileaks YouTube channel with subtitles. It will only take about 15 minutes of your life to view it.

It’s brutal to watch, but I challenge you to do it anyway. It shows not just murder, but a special kind of murder — murder from the safety of the air, murder by men with heavy machine guns slowly circling their targets in helicopters like hunters with shotguns who walk the edges of a trout pond, shooting at will, waiting, walking, then shooting again, till all the fish are dead.

The film also shows war crimes that implicate the entire structure of the U.S. military, as everyone involved was acting under orders, seeking permission to fire, waiting, then getting it before once more blasting away. The publication of this video, plus all the Wikileaks publications that followed, comprise the whole reason everyone in the U.S. who matters, everyone with power, wants Julian Assange dead.

They also want him hated. Generating that hate is the process we’re watching today.

“Everyone” in this case includes every major newspaper that published and received awards for publishing Wikileaks material; all major U.S. televised media outlets; and all “respectable” U.S. politicians — including, of course, Hillary Clinton, who was rumored (though unverifiably) to have said, “Can’t we just drone this guy?”

Yes, Julian Assange the person can be a giant jerk even to his supporters, as this exchange reported by Intercept writer Micah Lee attests. Nevertheless, it’s not for being a jerk that the Establishment state wants him dead; that state breeds, harbors and honors the very worst criminal jerks everywhere in the world. They want him dead for publishing videos like these.

Please watch it. The footage shows not only murder, but bloodlust and conscienceless brutality, so much of it in fact that this became one of the main reasons Chelsea Manning leaked it in the first place. As she said at her court-martial: “The most alarming aspect of the video for me, was the seemingly delight of bloodlust they [the pilots] appeared to have. They dehumanized the individuals they were engaging with, and seemed to not value human life in referring to them as ‘dead bastards,’ and congratulating each other on the ability to kill in large numbers.”

The Wikileaks page for the video is here. A transcript is here.

This was done in our name, to “keep us safe.” This continues to be done every day that we and our allies are at “war” in the Middle East.

Bodies pile on bodies as this continues. The least we can do, literally the least, is to witness and acknowledge their deaths.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

The Stories are Beginning to Exceed even the Gullibility of Americans – PaulCraigRoberts.org

Posted by M. C. on June 17, 2019

https://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2019/06/15/80318/

Paul Craig Roberts

The past couple of days have seen interesting developments.  The US or Israel struck a Japanese ship with small rockets and tried to blame it on Iranian mines.  The Japanese ship owner put a halt to the false flag event.  He pointed out that the damage was above, not below the water line and that crew members observed objects approaching in the air. https://www.lewrockwell.com/2019/06/no_author/the-gulf-of-credibility/ 

In the New York Times, David Sanger, a generally unreliable reporter in my opinion, released what a person with my quarter century of experience in Washington would regard as sensitive national security information when he reported that Washington was putting malware into the Russian electrical grid.  Who leaked this sensitive national security information?  Why aren’t they being arrested and prosecuted for leaking to a reporter?  Why isn’t Sanger himself, like Julian Assange, arrested for trumped-up reasons?  It makes no sense to give to Russia the information in public disclosure as that allows Russia to find and eliminate the malware.  As it makes no sense, it raises the question whether Sanger’s story is correct or merely something handed to him by the NSA which wants to polish its image before it becomes a victim along with Brennan and Comey and Hillary in the attempted Russiagate frameup of President Trump.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/06/15/us/politics/trump-cyber-russia-grid.html?ref=cta&nl=top-stories?campaign_id=61&instance_id=0&segment_id=14339&user_id=c57a8c2d498023b54c8a416a37b2bb8a&regi_id=21653813ries

Sanger’s story loses all credibility when he repeats the disproven allegation that “Russia’s Internet Research Agency [is] the group at the heart of the hacking during the 2016 election in the United States. It was one of four operations his so-called Russia Small Group organized around the midterm elections. Officials have talked publicly about those, though they have provided few details.”

Ray McGovern, William Binney and other retired intelligence professionals have proven conclusively that there was no hacking.  The information revealed by Wikileaks was a leak from inside the Democratic National Committee.

How is it possible that David Sanger doesn’t know this?  How can his New York Times editor not know this?

Be seeing you

ABC, NYT Reporters Lie About Texas Shooting to Dismiss ...

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »