MCViewPoint

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Posts Tagged ‘Julian Assange’

Will alleged CIA misbehavior set Julian Assange free?

Posted by M. C. on January 13, 2020

There is Hope!

https://thehill.com/opinion/criminal-justice/477939-will-cia-misbehavior-set-julian-assange-free

A few days before Christmas, Julian Assange testified to a Spanish court that a Spanish security company, UC Global S.L., acting in coordination with the CIA, illegally recorded all his actions and conversations, including with his lawyers, and streamed them back in real time to the CIA. He will, at the end of February, make a similar complaint to a British extradition court about the CIA’s alleged misbehavior.

Will such misbehavior, if proven, set Assange free?

The Daniel Ellsberg case may be instructive. You may recall that after the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in the “Pentagon Papers” case, Ellsberg was indicted under the Espionage Act for leaking Pentagon documents to the New York Times and the Washington Post.

After the trial commenced in San Francisco, it was brought to the judge’s attention that the “White House plumbers” broke into the office of Ellsberg’s psychiatrist. Based on that information and other complaints of government misbehavior, including the FBI’s interception of Ellsberg’s telephone conversations with a government official, Judge William Matthew Byrne decided that the case should be dismissed with prejudice because the government acted outrageously.

For similar reasons, the case against Assange should be dismissed, if it reaches the U.S. courts.

The “plumbers” were a covert group formed by the Nixon White House to stop leaks of information from the government, such as the Pentagon Papers. They are notorious for their burglary at the Watergate Complex, which led to President Richard Nixon’s downfall. Approximately nine months before the Watergate break-in, the plumbers, led by former CIA agent E. Howard Hunt, burglarized a psychiatrist’s office to find information that could discredit Ellsberg.

The CIA also was involved with the break-in. It prepared a psychiatric profile of Ellsberg as well as an ID kit for the plumbers, including drivers’ licenses, Social Security cards, and disguises consisting of red wigs, glasses and speech alteration devices.

Additionally, the CIA allowed Hunt and his sidekick, G. Gordon Liddy, to use two CIA safe houses in the D.C. area for meetings and storage purposes. Clearly, the CIA knew the plumbers were up to no good. It is unclear whether the CIA knew Ellsberg was the target, but it would not have taken much to figure it out.

The Spanish newspaper El Pais broke the story that UC Global invaded Assange’s privacy at the Ecuadorian embassy and shared its surveillance with the CIA. It demonstrated step-by-step, document-by-document, UC Global’s actions and its contacts with the CIA. UC Global reportedly installed cameras throughout Assange’s space in the embassy — including his bathroom — and captured Assange’s every word and apparently live-streamed it, giving the CIA a free TV show of Assange’s daily life.

After reading El Pais’s series, you would have to be a dunce not to believe the CIA didn’t monitor Assange’s every move at the Ecuadorian embassy, including trips to the bathroom.

Ecuador granted Assange asylum in their embassy for seven years, after he jumped bail in London to avoid extradition to Sweden for allegedly raping two Swedish women. (Those charges are now dismissed.) If you can believe it, Ecuador had hired UC Global to protect the Ecuadorian embassy and Assange. Not surprisingly, the CIA later made UC Global its spy to surveil Assange.

When there was a change of administration in Ecuador, Assange’s asylum was withdrawn, and he was immediately arrested by British police at the request of U.S. officials. The United States subsequently indicted him for violating the Espionage Act, for publishing the very same information published roughly contemporaneously by the New York Times, the Guardian, El Pais, Le Monde and Der Spiegel. (Assange already was subject to a sealed indictment in the United States for computer hacking.)

The behavior of UC Global and the CIA seems indistinguishable from the government’s behavior in the Ellsberg case, which a federal judge found to have “offended a sense of justice” and “incurably infected the prosecution” of the case. Accordingly, he concluded that the only remedy to ensure due process and the fair administration of justice was to dismiss Ellsberg’s case “with prejudice,” meaning that Ellsberg could not be retried…

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Will alleged CIA misbehavior set Julian Assange free?

 

 

 

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Media Elites to Assange: Fight for Your Own Hide

Posted by M. C. on December 28, 2019

Who is betraying who?

https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/media-elites-to-assange-fight-for-your-own-hide/

The Committee to Protect Journalists mimics the government and drops the jailed Wikileaks founder like a hot potato.

 

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange languishes in a British prison awaiting probable extradition to the United States to stand trial for violating the Espionage Act of 1917. Ironically, he is serving jail time for jumping bail on trumped-up sex crime charges in Sweden that even the Swedish government has now abandoned. Most Western, especially American, mainstream journalists, though, have expressed at most tepid opposition to the persecution of Assange, even as reports mount that his health has deteriorated to an alarming extent.

This is shameful and jeopardizes the news media’s own long-term interests.

The worst thing about such conduct is that so many reporters have bought into the Justice Department’s insistence that Assange is not a “legitimate” journalist. John Demers, the DOJ’s assistant attorney general for national security, bluntly stated the government’s thesis earlier this year. “Julian Assange,” Demers said, “is no journalist,” since he engaged in “explicit solicitation of classified information.”…

Government prosecutors are going after Assange because he is an especially controversial figure and therefore a more vulnerable target. But prosecuting him and WikiLeaks for espionage poses a mortal threat to a free and independent press in the United States. It is extraordinarily dangerous to the health of the First Amendment to allow the government to decide who is or is not a “legitimate” journalist. Only legacy publications friendly to the national security bureaucracy could then count on restraint—and, as the Rosen and Risen cases indicate, even that expectation would be quite fragile. The CPJ and other media institutions that choose to abandon Assange are playing the role of the government’s useful idiots and imperiling their own best interests.

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‘Absolutely unaware’ Assange testifies in trial of Spanish company that spied on WikiLeaks founder inside embassy — RT World News

Posted by M. C. on December 23, 2019

The proceedings were closed to the press on the grounds of “national security.”

It is OK for “spies” and governments to know, but not US.

https://www.rt.com/news/476529-assange-testify-spanish-spying/

RT

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange briefly stepped out of maximum security prison in the UK to testify via video-link in a Spanish case against a company that spied on him inside the Ecuadorian embassy, allegedly on the US’ behalf.

Assange, who is being held at Belmarsh prison in southern London pending his hearing on extradition to the US, was driven over to the Westminster Magistrates’ Court on Friday, where a video-link was set up for him to speak with a judge in Madrid. The proceedings were closed to the press on the grounds of “national security.”

RT

The High Court in Madrid is hearing Assange’s case against Undercover Global Ltd, a Spanish security company that allegedly bugged him during his stay at the Ecuadorian embassy in London. Undercover Global was contracted to provide embassy security between 2015 and 2018, and in that capacity secretly recorded Assange’s every move via hidden cameras, microphones and electronic surveillance, the lawsuit says.

Assange told the court “he was absolutely unaware that the cameras recorded audio, that hidden microphones had been introduced” into the fire extinguisher mounts inside the embassy, his attorney Aitor Martinez told reporters in Madrid after the testimony.

Assange was “an absolutely passive subject of an illegitimate interference that would have been eventually coordinated by the United States,” Martinez added.

If the illegal surveillance targeted Assange’s legal team and violated his attorney-client privilege, that has ramifications on the proceedings against him in both the UK and the US, his lawyers have argued.

David Morales, owner of Undercover Global, was briefly arrested in September and then released on bail. In June, he told the Spanish daily El Pais that his company “simply did a job” and that all the information it gathered is “confidential and it belongs to the government of Ecuador.”

Assange sought asylum from Ecuador in 2012, facing an investigation of sexual assault in Sweden and fearing it was a pretext to have him extradited to the US. He ended up spending almost seven years trapped inside the Latin American country’s embassy in London, because UK authorities denied him permission to leave. The new government in Quito withdrew his asylum in April, and he was dragged out of the building by UK police.

Within days of his arrest, the US would confirm Assange’s suspicions by unsealing the indictment charging him with violating the Espionage Act, over publishing the Iraq and Afghanistan war documents in 2010. If extradited and convicted, he faces 175 years in prison. British authorities sentenced him to 50 weeks in prison for bail violation, and then kept him locked up at Belmarsh after he served that sentence, pending extradition hearings. Sweden formally dropped an investigation against Assange last month.

Editor’s note: The article has been updated to clarify that Assange faced ‘allegations’, not ‘charges’, of sexual assault in Sweden.

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WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has been BLOCKED from seeing key evidence from US authorities who want to extradite him for ‘leaking sensitive military data’, court hears

Posted by M. C. on December 13, 2019

Belmarsh=British Guantanamo? Maybe.

UK = US sock puppet? Definitely.

Julian is dead. We just don’t know it yet.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7788673/WikiLeaks-founder-Julian-Assange-BLOCKED-seeing-key-evidence-authorities.html

By Terri-ann Williams For Mailonline

 

  • Julian Assange faces accusations of leaking United States’ military material
  • The 48-year-old appeared at Westminster Magistrates’ Court over video-link
  • Currently being held at HMP Belmarsh, one of the UK’s most notorious prisons

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is yet to be shown key evidence in the case brought against him by the American authorities, his extradition hearing was told today.

The 48-year-old, faces accusations of leaking sensitive United States’ military material between January and May 2010.

The Australian national appeared at Westminster Magistrates’ Court over video-link from HMP Belmarsh white haired and clean shaven with a grey jumper and spoke to confirm his identity.

The Americans want to extradite him to US soil so he can be prosecuted for conspiring with army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning for leaking classified documents…

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Julian Assange pictured as he is led out of the Ecuadorian Embassy in London in handcuffs following his sensational arrest by British police earlier this year

 

 

 

 

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Who Spied on Julian Assange? There are many possible suspects

Posted by M. C. on December 11, 2019

http://www.unz.com/pgiraldi/who-spied-on-julian-assange/

…Aware that he might be monitored by the British government as well as by other interested parties, Assange would often meet his legal team using a white noise machine or in women’s bathrooms with the water running, but the firm, UC Global, anticipated that and planted devices capable of defeating the countermeasures. It planted microphones in the embassy fire extinguishing system as well as in numerous other places in the building. The recordings were reportedly streamed, undoubtedly encrypted, to another nearby location, referred to in the trade as a listening post. The streamed material was also reportedly transcribed and copied at the UC Global offices in Andalusia, but hard copies of the material were made as well on CDs and DVDs to be turned over directly to the client.

The Spanish newspaper El Pais, which has seen much of the evidence in the case, also mentioned how UC Global fixed the windows in the rooms actually being used by Assange so they would not vibrate, making it possible to use laser microphones from a nearby line of sight building to record what was being said. Presumably the listening post also served as the line-of-sight surveillance point…

According to employees of UC Global, details of the Ecuadorean Embassy operation were tightly held inside the company. Morales would make secret trips to the United States once or twice every month and it was assumed that he was carrying material relating to the recordings, but UC Global staff were advised never to mention his travels to the Ecuadorean staff in the embassy.

The obvious candidate for spying on Assange would be, as both the Spanish government and the New York Times speculate, the Central Intelligence Agency (C.I.A.), as Washington intends to try Assange prior to locking him away for the rest of his life. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, while director of C.I.A., once referred to Assange and WikiLeaks as a “hostile intelligence service,” so one should have no illusions about what will be done to him if he ever arrives in the U.S…

That means that anything going through Adelson will wind up in Israel, which suggests that if Adelson is actually involved the whole exercise just might be an Israeli false flag operation pretending to be the C.I.A. Israel does not hate Assange with the fervor of the U.S. government but it certainly would consider him an enemy as he has had a tendency to expose sensitive material that governments would not like to make public. Israel would be particularly vulnerable to having its war crimes exposed, as was the case when WikiLeaks published the material revealing American crimes in Iraq provided by Chelsea Manning.

So, there is a choice when it comes to considering who might have commissioned the spying on Julian Assange, or it might even have been a combination of players. The sad part of the story is that even if David Morales is convicted in a Spanish court, sources in Britain believe the violation of Assange’s rights will have no impact on the move to extradite him to the United States. That will be decided narrowly based on the charge against him, which is exposing classified information, a violation of the Espionage Act of 1917. As the Espionage Act is infinitely elastic and as the preferred U.S. Court for the Eastern District of Virginia has a very high conviction rate, there is little doubt that Julian Assange will soon be on his way to the United States where he will undoubtedly be sentenced to life in prison.

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Why Do Western Governments Favor Immigrant-invaders Over Law-abiding Citizens?

Posted by M. C. on December 7, 2019

In once Great Britain criminal jihadists are released early from prison because a “compassionate” justice system doesn’t want to marginalize the immigrant-invaders. It is only guiltless Julian Assange who is kept in prison.

Swedish women are afraid to leave their homes. According to some reports only 7% of immigrant-invader rapists are convicted. Conviction would make the poor dears feel unwanted and unappreciated. The idiot Swedish government actually works to attract gang-rapists into Sweden by advertising the benefits available to immigrant-invaders.

The presstitute media doesn’t report these stories out of fear of being labeled “white supremacist” or out of fear of validating “white supremacists’ concerns.”

https://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2019/12/05/why-do-western-governments-favor-immigrant-invaders-over-law-abiding-citizens/

Paul Craig Roberts

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has never represented Germans. She represents Washington, the CIA, and immigrant-invaders. Recently she gave a speech in the German parliament in which she put the right of immigrant-invaders not to be offended above the free speech of Germans. In Merkel’s sick mind, for German citizens to complain about the cost of supporting immigrant-invaders and the rape of German women by immigrant-invaders is offensive to the immigrant-invaders. She calls this spreading hatred and violating the dignity of immigrant-invaders. The violated dignity of raped German women is not her concern. Neither are the raped budgets of the German taxpayers. https://voiceofeurope.com/2019/12/merkel-claims-freedom-of-speech-must-be-limited-to-maintain-a-free-society/

In once Great Britain criminal jihadists are released early from prison because a “compassionate” justice system doesn’t want to marginalize the immigrant-invaders. It is only guiltless Julian Assange who is kept in prison.
https://www.rt.com/uk/474743-london-
bridge-suspect-released-early/

The hapless Swedish population are the Europeans who are the worst afflicted by the importation of diversity. Swedish women are afraid to leave their homes. According to some reports only 7% of immigrant-invader rapists are convicted. Conviction would make the poor dears feel unwanted and unappreciated. The idiot Swedish government actually works to attract gang-rapists into Sweden by advertising the benefits available to immigrant-invaders. Little doubt that the absence of punishment for rape ranks up there with free housing and food.

The advocates of immigrant-invaders say the high numbers of Swedish rapes are the result of Swedish husbands raping their Swedish wives. The official position is that only racists and white supremacists complain about immigrant-invader rapists. https://voiceofeurope.com/2019/10/swedish-dystopia-nearly-one-in-four-women-are-afraid-to-leave-their-homes-at-night/

Swedish “justice” lets rapists of 11-year old girl go free:
https://voiceofeurope.com/2018/11/11-year-old-girl-gang-raped-in-sweden-perpetrators-walk-free-and-laugh-in-her-face/

When the rare and light punishment of migrant-invaders for rape is compared to the destruction of white Julian Assange who was never even accused of rape, it is clear that justice in Sweden is race-based. I know of no statistics to consult, but I bet white ethnic Swedes who rape are punished more severely than immigrant-invaders.

When migrant-invaders gain citizenship, they feel freer to rape:
https://voiceofeurope.com/2018/10/migrant-celebrates-swedish-citizenship-by-raping-woman-and-tells-her-now-i-can-do-what-i-want/

https://www.hannenabintuherland.com/europa/a-turn-for-the-worse-for-the-rape-capital-of-the-west-feminist-sweden/

https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/5195/sweden-rape

12 year old undergoes endless rape by immigrant-invaders in UK:
https://voiceofeurope.com/2019/12/uk-12-year-old-girl-passed-around-like-a-piece-of-meat-by-middle-eastern-rape-gang/

South Africa now very dangerous for white population:
https://voiceofeurope.com/2018/10/straight-a-student-21-kidnapped-raped-and-murdered-by-south-african-gang/

The presstitute media doesn’t report these stories out of fear of being labeled “white supremacist” or out of fear of validating “white supremacists’ concerns.” Little doubt “white supremacist” will now be added to my collection of libelous labels bestowed on me by those determined to control their false explanations.

The Obama regime made sure Americans also experienced the joys of multiculturalism by importing large numbers of immigrant-invaders and dumping them on the taxpayers of American communities. There is suspicion that Obama used immigrant-invaders to build Democratic Party constituencies. Minnesota got a lot of Somalis, as did Maine. The presstitute media tell lies about how well it is going for everyone and how the immigrants are restoring and rebuilding declining America. Occasionally a bit of truth gets out: https://mainefirstmedia.com/2018/05/gang-of-somali-kids-attack-park-goers-in-lewiston/

The strength of a country is in the unity of the people, not in their division. It is extraordinary that as Washington becomes more aggressive abroad, it supports division at home. With Identity Politics teaching hatred, how is America’s multicultural military going to function? Try to imagine an Arab army consisting of Sunnis and Shiites. The soldiers would be too busy fighting one another to attend to the opposing army. A divided army is what Identity Politics will create for America.

Assimilation is required if a country of diverse ethnicities is not to become a Tower of Babel. In the US an English population was able to assimilate Irish, Italians, and Polish peoples by having periods of no immigration. Moreover, all were from a Christian European culture. Today the situation is much more challenging. Somalis and Muslims are culturally different from Western populations, and assimilation is considered racist white superiority. The result is separate populations with the recent arrivals claiming to be victims of the white population. It is a sign of insanity that everywhere in the Western world governments are trying to marry unassimilable ethnicities, many of whom are victims of the West’s bombing and invasion of their home countries, with Identity Politics. This is a recipe for the destruction of Western countries.

The leftwing thinks that this is a good thing. Just as libertarians think that people in government are evil but people in private business are good, the leftwing thinks that white people are evil, but people of color are good. For libertarians getting rid of government is the solution. For the leftwing getting rid of white people is the solution. We see, especially in Sweden and Germany, white governments favoring immigrants over the native ethnic Swedish and German populations.

I am sure that white ethnicities have much to answer for. For example, as soon as the war criminal Union generals Sherman and Sheridan destroyed the South, they turned on the native Plains Indians. To become acquainted with the crimes of the Union Army against America’s native populations, read The Long Death: The Last Days of the Plains Indians by Ralph K. Andrist. https://www.amazon.com/Long-Death-Last-Plains-Indians/dp/0806133082/ref=sr_1_1?crid=2VKQOC72YMBDI&keywords=the+long+death+the+last+days+of+the+plains+indians&qid=1575508971&s=books&sprefix=the+long+death%2Caps%2C366&sr=1-1

But blacks and Muslims also have much to answer for. In the 1994 Rwanda Genocide, the black Hutus killed one million black Tutsis. The religious divide between Sunni and Shiite has led to numerous deaths, and the lack of Arab unity has permitted Western and Israeli colonizers to dominate Muslim lands. The disunity of Arabs makes them impotent.

Identity Politics has invented the fake news of a “white race.” There is no more a white race than there is a black race. There are numerous white ethnicities, most of whom have been at war with one another for centuries. The same for blacks. The international black slave market was the creation of the black King of Dahomey’s slave wars. He sold his surplus first to Arabs and then to Europeans. Yet in Identity Politics, it is the nonexistent “white race” that is responsible for slavery.

Very few interest groups are served by truth. But many are served by lies. As interest groups control the media and the Internet, lies take precedence over truth. Truth-tellers are excoriated. Once they are labeled, usually falsely, “holocaust deniers,” their friends abandon them in order to survive. When former President Jimmy Carter’s book, Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid https://www.amazon.com/Palestine-Peace-Apartheid-Jimmy-Carter/dp/0743285034/ref=sr_1_5?keywords=Jimmy+Carter&qid=1575576459&s=books&sr=1-5 , was published, all the Jews on the Carter Center’s board resigned. The Israel Lobby branded Jimmy Carter an anti-semite.

It seems to me that Israel creates its own enemies by branding those who give Israel good advice “anti-semites” and “holocaust deniers.” Jimmy Carter gave Israel good advice, and the Israel Lobby demonized him.

According to world polls, the two most despised countries in the world are Israel and the United States. The rest of the world has reduced the “axis of evil” to Israel and America. Yet both governments advertise themselves as the “chosen people” who are above both their own law and international law. Both governments expect the rest of the world to submit to them.

One can understand the self-satisfaction of Israel. Of all the countries in the world, only the Israeli government has enough sense to prevent non-Jewish immigration. Israel is a land for Jews only. The Palestinian citizens of Israel are being prepared to be cast out of their citizenship or any effective utilization of such.

In terms of the values of today, one has to admire the steadfastness of the Israeli Zionists. They have conquered a land and built a country for Jews during the years that the European ethnicities have destroyed their own countries by making them “multi-cultural.” There is no such thing as multi-cultural Israel.

As a person accused of anti-semitism and being a holocaust denier despite my many Jewish friends and supporters and despite that I have never investigated The Holocaust, I attest to my admiration for Israel, a tiny state with a tiny population that is able to control the foreign and in many respects the domestic policy of the entirety of the Western world, most of the Arab world, and also parts of the foreign policy of the Russian government.

It is impossible not to admire Israel’s ability to dominate. Unlike former great empires, only Israel has been able to conquer the entirety of the Western world and also parts of the Russian government.

For such a tiny percentage of the world population to achieve such domination over the world suggests that they are indeed God’s Chosen People. By comparison, Americans are nothing. Americans don’t even count in the importance of things.

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Attacking The Source: The Establishment Loyalist’s Favorite Online Tactic – Caitlin Johnstone

Posted by M. C. on December 4, 2019

https://caitlinjohnstone.com/2019/11/28/attacking-the-source-the-establishment-loyalists-favorite-online-tactic/

If you’re skeptical of western power structures and you’ve ever engaged in online political debate for any length of time, the following has definitely happened to you.

You find yourself going back and forth with one of those high-confidence, low-information establishment types who’s promulgating a dubious mainstream narrative, whether that be about politics, war, Julian Assange, or whatever. At some point they make an assertion which you know to be false–publicly available information invalidates the claim they’re making.

“I’ve got them now!” you think to yourself, if you’re new to this sort of thing. Then you share a link to an article or video which makes a well-sourced, independently verifiable case for the point you are trying to make.

Then, the inevitable happens.

“LMAO! That outlet!” they scoff in response. “That outlet is propaganda/fake news/conspiracy theory trash!”

Or something to that effect. You’ll encounter this tactic over and over and over again if you continually engage in online political discourse with people who don’t agree with you. It doesn’t matter if you’re literally just linking to an interview featuring some public figure saying a thing you’d claimed they said. It doesn’t matter if you’re linking to a WikiLeaks publication of a verified authentic document. Unless you’re linking to CNN/Fox News (whichever fits the preferred ideology of the establishment loyalist you’re debating), they’ll bleat “fake news!” or “propaganda!” or “Russia!” as though that in and of itself magically invalidates the point you’re trying to make.

And of course it doesn’t. What they are doing is called attacking the source, also known as an ad hominem, and it’s a very basic logical fallacy.

Most people are familiar with the term “ad hominem”, but they usually think about it in terms of merely hurling verbal insults at people. What it actually means is attacking the source of the argument rather than attacking the argument itself in a way that avoids dealing with the question of whether or not the argument itself is true. It’s a logical fallacy because it’s used to deliberately obfuscate the goal of a logical conclusion to the debate.

“An ad hominem is more than just an insult,” explains David Ferrer for The Quad. “It’s an insult used as if it were an argument or evidence in support of a conclusion. Verbally attacking people proves nothing about the truth or falsity of their claims.”

This can take the form of saying “Claim X is false because the person making it is an idiot.” But it can also take the form of “Claim X is false because the person making it is a propagandist,” or “Claim X is false because the person making it is a conspiracy theorist.”

Someone being an idiot, a propagandist or a conspiracy theorist is irrelevant to the question of whether or not what they’re saying is true. In my last article debunking a spin job on the OPCW scandal by the narrative management firm Bellingcat, I pointed out that Bellingcat is funded by imperialist regime change operations like the National Endowment for Democracy, which was worth highlighting because it shows the readers where that organization is coming from. But if I’d left my argument there it would still be an ad hominem attack, because it wouldn’t address whether or not what Bellingcat wrote about the OPCW scandal is true. It would be a logical fallacy; proving that they are propagandists doesn’t prove that what they are saying in this particular instance is false.

What I had to do in order to actually refute Bellingcat’s spin job was show that they were making a bad argument using bad logic, which I did by highlighting the way they used pedantic wordplay to make it seem as though the explosive leaks which have been emerging from the OPCW’s investigation of an alleged chemical weapons attack in Douma, Syria were insignificant. I had to show how Bellingcat actually never came anywhere close to addressing the actual concerns about a leaked internal OPCW email, such as extremely low chlorinated organic chemical levels on the scene and patients’ symptoms not matching up with chlorine gas poisoning, as well as the fact that the OPCW investigators plainly don’t feel as though their concerns were met since they’re blowing the whistle on the organisation now.

And, for the record, Bellingcat’s lead trainer/researcher guy responded to my arguments by saying I’m a conspiracy theorist. I personally count that as a win.

The correct response to someone who attacks the outlet or individual you’re citing instead of attacking the actual argument being made is, “You’re attacking the source instead of the argument. That’s a logical fallacy, and it’s only ever employed by people who can’t attack the argument.”

The demand that you only ever use mainstream establishment media when arguing against establishment narratives is itself an inherently contradictory position, because establishment media by their very nature do not report facts against the establishment. It’s saying “You’re only allowed to criticise establishment power using outlets which never criticize establishment power.”

Good luck finding a compilation of Trump’s dangerous escalations against Moscow like the one I wrote the other day anywhere in the mainstream media, for example. Neither mainstream liberals nor mainstream conservatives are interested in promoting that narrative, so it simply doesn’t exist in the mainstream information bubble. Every item I listed in that article is independently verifiable and sourced from separate mainstream media reports, yet if you share that article in a debate with an establishment loyalist and they know who I am, nine times out of ten they’ll say something like “LOL Caitlin Johnstone?? She’s nuts!” With “nuts” of course meaning “Says things my TV doesn’t say”.

It’s possible to just click on all the hyperlinks in my article and share them separately to make your point, but you can also simply point out that they are committing a logical fallacy, and that they are doing so because they can’t actually attack the argument.

This will make them very upset, because for the last few years establishment loyalists have been told that it is perfectly normal and acceptable to attack the source instead of the argument. The mass hysteria about “fake news” and “Russian propaganda” has left consumers of mainstream media with the unquestioned assumption that if they ever so much as glance at an RT article their faces will begin to melt like that scene in Raiders of the Lost Ark. They’ve been trained to believe that it’s perfectly logical and acceptable to simply shriek “propaganda!” at a rational argument or well-sourced article which invalidates their position, or even to proactively go around calling people Russian agents who dissent from mainstream western power-serving narratives.

But it isn’t logical, and it isn’t acceptable. The best way to oppose their favorite logically fallacious tactic is to call it like it is, and let them deal with the cognitive dissonance that that brings up for them.

Of course some nuance is needed here. Remember that alternative media is just like anything else: there’s good and bad, even within the same outlet, so make sure what you’re sharing is solid and not just some schmuck making a baseless claim. You can’t just post a link to some Youtuber making an unsubstantiated assertion and then accuse the person you’re debating of attacking the source when they dismiss it. That which has been presented without evidence may be dismissed without evidence, and if the link you’re citing consists of nothing other than unproven assertions by someone they’ve got no reason to take at their word, they can rightly dismiss it.

If however the claims in the link you’re citing are logically coherent arguments or well-documented facts presented in a way that people can independently fact-check, it doesn’t matter if you’re citing CNN or Sputnik. The only advantage to using CNN when possible would be that it allows you to skip the part where they perform the online equivalent of putting their fingers in their ears and humming.

Don’t allow those who are still sleeping bully those who are not into silence. Insist on facts, evidence, and intellectually honest arguments, and if they refuse to provide them call it what it is: an admission that they have lost the debate.

__________________________

Thanks for reading! 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 Twitter, checking out my podcast on either YoutubesoundcloudApple podcasts or Spotify, following me on Steemitthrowing 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.

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Advancing Propaganda For Evil Agendas Is The Same As Perpetrating Them Yourself – Caitlin Johnstone

Posted by M. C. on November 23, 2019

https://caitlinjohnstone.com/2019/11/22/advancing-propaganda-for-evil-agendas-is-the-same-as-perpetrating-them-yourself/

The Guardian has published an editorial titled “The Guardian view on extraditing Julian Assange: don’t do it”, subtitled “The US case against the WikiLeaks founder is an assault on press freedom and the public’s right to know”. The publication’s editorial board argues that since the Swedish investigation has once again been dropped, the time is now to oppose US extradition for the WikiLeaks founder.

“Sweden’s decision to drop an investigation into a rape allegation against Julian Assange has both illuminated the situation of the WikiLeaks founder and made it more pressing,” the editorial board writes.

Oh okay, now the issue is illuminated and pressing. Not two months ago, when Assange’s ridiculous bail sentence ended and he was still kept in prison explicitly and exclusively because of the US extradition request. Not six months ago, when the US government slammed Assange with 17 charges under the Espionage Act for publishing the Chelsea Manning leaks. Not seven months ago, when Assange was forcibly pried from the Ecuadorian embassy and slapped with the US extradition request. Not any time between his April arrest and his taking political asylum seven years ago, which the Ecuadorian government explicitly granted him because it believed there was a credible threat of US extradition. Not nine years ago when WikiLeaks was warning that the US government was scheming to extradite Assange and prosecute him under the Espionage Act.

Nope, no, any of those times would have been far too early for The Guardian to begin opposing US extradition for Assange with any degree of lucidity. They had to wait until Assange was already locked up in Belmarsh Prison and limping into extradition hearings supervised by looming US government officials. They had to wait until years and years of virulent mass media smear campaigns had killed off public support for Assange so he could be extradited with little or no grassroots backlash. And they had to wait until they themselves had finished participating in those smear campaigns.

This is after all the same Guardian which published the transparently ridiculous and completely invalidated report that Trump lackey Paul Manafort had met secretly with Assange at the embassy, not once but multiple times. Not one shred of evidence has ever been produced to substantiate this claim despite the embassy being one of the most heavily surveilled buildings on the planet at the time, and the Robert Mueller investigation, whose expansive scope would obviously have included such meetings, reported absolutely nothing to corroborate it. It was a bogus story which all accused parties have forcefully denied.

This is the same Guardian which ran an article last year titled “The only barrier to Julian Assange leaving Ecuador’s embassy is pride”, arguing that Assange looked ridiculous for remaining in the embassy because “The WikiLeaks founder is unlikely to face prosecution in the US”. The article was authored by the odious James Ball, who deleted a tweet not long ago complaining about the existence of UN special rapporteurs after one of them concluded that Assange is a victim of psychological torture. Ball’s article begins, “According to Debrett’s, the arbiters of etiquette since 1769: ‘Visitors, like fish, stink in three days.’ Given this, it’s difficult to imagine what Ecuador’s London embassy smells like, more than five-and-a-half years after Julian Assange moved himself into the confines of the small flat in Knightsbridge, just across the road from Harrods.”

This is the same Guardian which published an article titled “Definition of paranoia: supporters of Julian Assange”, arguing that Assange defenders are crazy conspiracy theorists for believing the US would try to extradite Assange because “Britain has a notoriously lax extradition treaty with the United States”, because “why would they bother to imprison him when he is making such a good job of discrediting himself?”, and “because there is no extradition request.”

This is the same Guardian which published a ludicrous report about Assange potentially receiving documents as part of a strange Nigel Farage/Donald Trump/Russia conspiracy, a claim based primarily on vague analysis by a single anonymous source described as a “highly placed contact with links to US intelligence”. The same Guardian which just flushed standard journalistic protocol down the toilet by reporting on Assange’s “ties to the Kremlin” (not a thing) without even bothering to use the word “alleged”, not once, but twice. The same Guardian which has been advancing many more virulent smears as documented in this article by The Canary titled “Guilty by innuendo: the Guardian campaign against Julian Assange that breaks all the rules”.

You can see, then, how ridiculous it is for an outlet like The Guardian to now attempt to wash its hands of Assange’s plight with a self-righteous denunciation of the Trump administration’s extradition request from its editorial board. This outlet has actively and forcefully paved the road to the situation in which Assange now finds himself by manufacturing consent for an agenda which the public would otherwise have found appalling and ferociously objectionable. Guardian editors don’t get to pretend that they are in some way separate from what’s being done to Assange. They created what’s being done to Assange.

You see this dynamic at play all too often from outlets, organizations and individuals who portray themselves as liberal, progressive, or in some way oppositional to authoritarianism. They happily advance propaganda narratives against governments and individuals targeted by establishment power structures, whether that’s Saddam Hussein, Gaddafi, Assad, Maduro, Morales, Assange or whomever, but when it comes time for that establishment to actually implement the evil agenda it’s been pushing for, they wash their hands of it and decry what’s being done as though they’ve always opposed it.

But they haven’t opposed it. They’ve actively facilitated it. If you help promote smears and propaganda against a target of the empire, then you’re just as culpable for what happens to that target as the empire itself. Because you actively participated in making it happen.

The deployment of a bomb or missile doesn’t begin when a pilot pushes a button, it begins when propaganda narratives used to promote those operations start circulating in public attention. If you help circulate war propaganda, you’re as complicit as the one who pushes the button. The imprisonment of a journalist for exposing US war crimes doesn’t begin when the Trump administration extradites him to America, it begins when propagandistic smear campaigns begin circulating to kill public opposition to his imprisonment. If you helped promote that smear campaign, you’re just as responsible for what happens to him as the goon squad in Trump’s Department of Justice.

Before they launch missiles, they launch narratives. Before they drop bombs, they drop ideas. Before they invade, they propagandize. Before the killing, there is manipulation. Narrative control is the front line of all imperialist agendas, and it is therefore the front line of all anti-imperialist efforts. When you forcefully oppose these agendas, that matters, because you’re keeping the public from being propagandized into consenting to them. When you forcefully facilitate those agendas, that matters, because you’re actively paving the way for them.

Claiming you oppose an imperialist agenda while helping to advance its propaganda and smear campaigns in any way is a nonsensical and contradictory position. You cannot facilitate imperialism and simultaneously claim to oppose it.

They work so hard to manufacture our consent because they need that consent. If they operate without the consent of the governed, the public will quickly lose trust in their institutions, and at that point it’s not long before revolution begins to simmer. So don’t give them your consent. And for God’s sake don’t do anything that helps manufacture it in others.

Words matter. Work with them responsibly.

_________________________________________

Thanks for reading! 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 Twitter, checking out my podcast on either YoutubesoundcloudApple podcasts or Spotify, following me on Steemitthrowing 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.

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Now That Assange Is Safely Locked Up, Sweden Drops Its “Investigation” – Caitlin Johnstone

Posted by M. C. on November 21, 2019

“How do I know that Interpol, Britain and Sweden’s treatment of Julian Assange is a form of theater? Because I know what happens in rape accusations against men that don’t involve the embarrassing of powerful governments.”

https://caitlinjohnstone.com/2019/11/20/now-that-assange-is-safely-locked-up-sweden-drops-its-investigation/

Now that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is safely locked up in Belmarsh prison awaiting a US extradition hearing, Sweden has, for a third time, dropped its rape investigation.

“After conducting a comprehensive assessment of what has emerged during the course of the preliminary investigation I then make the assessment that the evidence is not strong enough to form the basis for filing an indictment,” said deputy chief prosecutor Eva-Marie Persson at a press conference in Stockholm on Tuesday.

This decision comes days after the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture Nils Melzer began making noise about the Swedish government’s refusal to answer his questions on the many enormous, glaring plot holes in the investigation which began in 2010. These plot holes include “proactive manipulation of evidence” with the testimony of the alleged victim, a condom provided as evidence that had neither the DNA of Assange nor of the alleged victim on it, complete disregard for confidentiality rules and normal investigative protocol from the earliest moments of the investigation onward, disregard for conflicts of interest, Sweden’s refusal to provide assurance that Assange would not be extradited to the US if he went there to answer questions, statements made by the alleged victims which contradict the allegations, unexplained correspondence between Swedish prosecutors and the FBI, and many others.

None of which matters anymore. He is caged, and public support for him has been deliberately demolished. The Swedish parody of an “investigation” did its job. Assange took political asylum with the government of Ecuador out of fear of US extradition and was slowly squeezed off from the outside world, his own reputation, and his own physical health while the empire prepared its case against him, keeping him increasingly immobilized, silenced and smeared until he could be forcibly pried from the embassy in April of this year.

Once this was accomplished, all the feigned concern for alleged victims of sexual assault suddenly vanished, lining up perfectly with a 2010 article authored in the early days of the investigation by feminist writer Naomi Wolf who said, “How do I know that Interpol, Britain and Sweden’s treatment of Julian Assange is a form of theater? Because I know what happens in rape accusations against men that don’t involve the embarrassing of powerful governments.”

“In other words: Never in twenty-three years of reporting on and supporting victims of sexual assault around the world have I ever heard of a case of a man sought by two nations, and held in solitary confinement without bail in advance of being questioned — for any alleged rape, even the most brutal or easily proven,” Wolf wrote. “In terms of a case involving the kinds of ambiguities and complexities of the alleged victims’ complaints — sex that began consensually that allegedly became non-consensual when dispute arose around a condom — please find me, anywhere in the world, another man in prison today without bail on charges of anything comparable.”

Everyone who was familiar with sexual assault investigations knew that Assange’s case was being treated wildly different from any other, and anyone with a shred of intellectual honesty knew that this was because his case was different from any other: it was an investigation of a man who had embarrassed powerful governments. That was always what this was about. It was never about protecting women. The fact that the case is being flushed now that the imperialists have gotten what they wanted makes this abundantly clear.

And now he’s locked up for no other reason than a pending US extradition request, exactly as he anticipated and rightly tried to avoid. The ridiculous bail sentence he was serving has already expired, and the rape investigation everyone pretended was so important has been tossed aside like an old gum wrapper. As one reader put it on Twitter today, “So Julian Assange continues to be detained in a high security prison, having completed an extreme sentence for not meeting the bail conditions for a charge that wasn’t and won’t be made. All on top of the rules of asylum being cast aside to net him. This is rule of jackboot not law.”

“Let’s call this for what it is: an outrage,” the Defend Assange account tweeted after the news broke. “The road to Belmarsh and 175-years in prison was paved in Stockholm–and so it will be remembered. The damage done to Assange’s and WikiLeaks’ reputation-outing his name in an ‘investigation’ for which he was never charged-is monstrous.”

Monstrous it is. And monstrous the whole thing remains. They have maneuvered circumstances and narratives in such a way that they are now able to literally imprison a journalist for exposing US war crimes, right in front of us, while telling us we live in a free society. It’s like watching someone who’s supposed to be your friend reach down and start strangling your dog to death while looking you right in the eye and saying “I’m not killing your dog. I would never do that. We’re friends.”

They’ve locked him up. They’ve silenced him. They’ve broken his body. They’ve broken his mind. And now they’re trying to lock him out of sight forever, out of sight and out of mind, so we can all forget all about the evil things they’ve revealed about themselves.

But all that means is that now his fate is in our hands. Back when he was strong and bright-eyed and had a voice, it was easy to kid ourselves and say “Eh, he’ll find a way out of this. He’s the smartest guy around!” It was easy to lean on his strength in order to abdicate our responsibility to defend him tooth and claw from a globe-spanning oligarchic empire which seeks to criminalize holding power to account.

We can’t do that anymore. We can’t take comfort in Assange’s power, because he doesn’t have it anymore. His frailty now means we need to be the strong ones. We need to fight for him, because he can’t do it himself. We need to win this battle if we’re ever to have any hope of overturning the status quo that is oppressing us all and shoving us toward greater and greater peril. We can’t afford to lose this one. We need to fight for Assange like the world depends on it. Because, in a very real sense, it does.

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Thanks for reading! 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 Twitter, checking out my podcast on either YoutubesoundcloudApple podcasts or Spotify, following me on Steemitthrowing 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.

Be seeing you

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‘The Report’ and Adam Driver drive home moral truths about torture

Posted by M. C. on November 19, 2019

In a poignant scene from the film, Bening — as Feinstein — asks why, if the torture program was supposedly working, did they have to waterboard someone 183 times.

Today, thanks to the leadership of the American faith community and many others, torture of the sort that occurred in the past is clearly prohibited by U.S. law.

Except when the UK performs torture to foreign nationals, like Julian Assange, for the US government.

https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2019/11/15/based-true-events-report-makes-compelling-case-against-torture-column/4191415002/

Have we finally learned the moral lesson on torture as a nation? The story Hollywood tells in ‘The Report’ drives home a truth we should already know.

Ron Stief
Opinion contributor

Nothing is easy about watching a torture scene in a film — especially as a Christian minister who hopes our better angels will prevail.

Yet the depiction of how the U.S. government and the public came to learn the fate of Gul Rahman and other detainees in the secret CIA torture program instituted after the attacks of 9/11 is the long overlooked story we must see. Rahman was stripped naked by his CIA handlers, short-chained to a cold cement floor in a painful bent position, doused in ice cold water and then left to freeze to death.

I’ve been motivated by my faith to work to end torture for over two decades, yet watching that scene still shook me to my core.

A six-year mission and a terrible truth

The subject of “The Report,” opening in theaters this weekend, is the Senate Intelligence Committee’s quest to uncover the story of the dark path the United States took with the CIA’s detention and interrogation program. Adam Driver gives a riveting performance as Daniel J. Jones, a staffer working for committee Chair Dianne Feinstein (portrayed by Annette Bening) who leads the investigation that produced the 6,700-page official record of CIA torture between 2002 and 2008.

“The Report” dramatizes Jones’ six-year mission — as a pastor, I’d refer to it as a calling — as he worked night and day with a skeletal staff in a Virginia basement in pursuit of evidence that revealed a terrible truth: The torture of detainees at theGuantanamo Bay prison in Cuba and secret CIA black site prisons around the globe produced no actionable intelligence in the war on terror.

Further, Jones discovered that the U.S. decision to go full steam ahead with the torture program disrupted, and in some cases ended, intelligence gathering operations conducted by the FBI and the U.S. military that might well have helped prevent further terrorist attacks where the torture of detainees could not.

Even Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the presumed architect of the 9/11 attacks and a detainee who endured an estimated 183 waterboarding sessions over one month at the hands of CIA contractors and operatives, had nothing of value to disclose. In a poignant scene from the film, Bening — as Feinstein — asks why, if the torture program was supposedly working, did they have to waterboard someone 183 times.

The Senate Intelligence Committee has never released its full report on torture, and it needs to so the U.S. public can see the full details to ensure that this never happens again.

A heavily redacted, 500-page executive summary was released in December 2014. As a direct result of the committee’s work, Feinstein and Sen. John McCain (who was tortured in a North Vietnamese prison) led a bipartisan effort resulting in a 78-21 Senate vote to amend the National Defense Authorization Act and permanently ban the CIA from ever torturing detainees again. President Barack Obama signed the act into law

Today, thanks to the leadership of the American faith community and many others, torture of the sort that occurred in the past is clearly prohibited by U.S. law. But have we finally learned the moral lesson on torture as a nation?

Hopefully, Hollywood telling the story with “The Report” helps drive home a truth we already knew: Torture is always wrong.

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