MCViewPoint

Opinion from a Libertarian ViewPoint

Posts Tagged ‘Julian Assange’

America Is Erasing Herself – PaulCraigRoberts.org

Posted by M. C. on December 19, 2021

When a country’s universities are against the country, sooner or later the people will be so also. Universities train leaders and educators who take the training to children. It is entirely possible to completely revolutionize and destroy a society through its educational system.

https://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2021/12/17/america-is-erasing-herself/

Paul Craig Roberts

In the event you are unaware that insanity now encompasses the US Supreme Court, the Court ruled in 2020 with only three dissents that a person’s gender is self-declared and unrelated to biological fact. The consequences of the Supreme Court’s elevation of fiction over fact are now showing themselves.

A female middle school child declared herself to be male, but the school prevented her from using the boy’s locker room. A naked girl showering with naked males was not the school’s idea of family values. However, a local court in Blue Springs, Missouri (57,000 population) ruled that as the girl said she was a boy, she had to be believed. The school had singled her out on the basis of her female genitalia and ruled that she was female and not eligible for the boys’ locker room. This decision based on biological fact the jury decided was discrimination and awarded the girl $4 million dollars. https://www.rt.com/usa/543444-missouri-school-transgender-bathroom/

This is a good example of what I mean when I say that in the US facts no longer matter. A country in which counterfactual claims take precedence over fact is a country soon to be bereft of scientific and technological capability.

Facts no longer matter across the spectrum from history to law, from language to mathematics. In America, law is whatever a prosecutor decides. For example, a federal prosecutor has decided that it is espionage for a non-citizen outside the country to publish leaked documents, as journalists have been doing for decades. The law being applied to Julian Assange does not exist on the US law books. But it doesn’t matter as law is whatever a prosecutor says, just as a person’s gender is whatever the person declares. Glenn Greenwald Explains How Truth, Law, and Justice are Overwhelmed by Deliberate Disinformation: https://greenwald.substack.com/p/the-real-disinformation-agents-watch?token=eyJ1c2VyX2lkIjoyMzM4MTg3OCwicG9zdF9pZCI6NDU1Nzg0NjQsIl8iOiJtTUJ0MyIsImlhdCI6MTYzOTY3MTcyNSwiZXhwIjoxNjM5Njc1MzI1LCJpc3MiOiJwdWItMTI4NjYyIiwic3ViIjoicG9zdC1yZWFjdGlvbiJ9.oh0_jj2_xj6Q5HaiRiZn2jAqRBSBdC5DKecLswJ2pEw

The English language has the largest vocabulary and is the most expressive. But according to the Woke imbeciles, this makes it oppressive. The Woke program is to shrink the language until all oppressive elements, such as gender pronouns, are eliminated. Once we no longer can know if it is a he or a she, a mother or a father, a grandmother or grandfather, aunt or uncle we will no longer be oppressed.

The new history is also free of factual basis. Wars are about whatever issue an organized interest group finds serves its interests. Critical Race Theory is a theory that specifies the facts, not a theory based in facts.

Mathematics is racist. That 2+2=4 is a white racist construct. This reduces mathematics to systemic racism.

Disrespect for facts is the hallmark of tyranny. Educational systems are the institutions that enculturate people into society and pass on its values. It is how a society and a culture survive as a country lives and develops in time. Today enculturation has been replaced with alienating youth from the society and culture that is their birthright. Instead, they are taught that their culture is evil and has a long history of crimes against humanity. Indeed, the New York Times 1619 Project teaches that the United States was founded on racism. The so-called “Civil War” is explained as the North’s attempt to cleanse itself of its own racist sins by projecting them upon the South.

When a country’s universities are against the country, sooner or later the people will be so also. Universities train leaders and educators who take the training to children. It is entirely possible to completely revolutionize and destroy a society through its educational system. That is what is happening in the US and UK. The two societies are erasing themselves. There is very little left.

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British Court Trusts US to Protect Assange Even Though CIA Plotted to Kill Him

Posted by M. C. on December 17, 2021

Meanwhile, Assange’s mental and physical health continue to deteriorate. He suffered a stroke in late October as the extradition hearing began. United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture Nils Melzer was not surprised. Melzer wrote in a Twitter post that the “U.K. is literally torturing him to death,” adding, “As we warned after examining him, unless relieved of the constant pressure of isolation, arbitrariness & persecution, his health would enter a downward spiral endangering his life.”

https://truthout.org/articles/british-court-trusts-us-to-protect-assange-even-though-cia-plotted-to-kill-him/

By Marjorie Cohn, Truthout

Part of the Series

Human Rights and Global Wrongs

In a patently political decision, the U.K. High Court reversed the British lower court’s denial of extradition of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to the United States on a narrow ground, despite the recent revelations of a CIA plot to kidnap and assassinate him.

Assange was charged by the Trump administration with violation of the Espionage Act for revealing evidence of U.S. war crimes in Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantánamo Bay. He could be sentenced to 175 years in prison if he is tried and convicted in the United States. But instead of dismissing Trump’s indictment, the Biden administration continues to pursue the case against Assange, notwithstanding the grave threats his prosecution poses to investigative and national security journalism.

The High Court judges did not question U.K. District Judge Vanessa Baraitser’s conclusion that it would be “oppressive” to extradite Assange due to his mental health. Michael Kopelman, emeritus professor of neuropsychiatry at King’s College London, testified that Assange “suffers from a recurrent depressive disorder … sometimes accompanied by psychotic features, often with ruminative suicidal ideas.” He added that the “imminence of extradition or extradition itself would trigger a suicide attempt, but it was Mr. Assange’s mental disorder that would lead to an inability to control his wish to commit suicide.” Although the Biden administration challenged Kopelman’s credibility, the High Court affirmed Baraitser’s reliance on his testimony, which was corroborated by an experienced developmental psychiatrist, Quinton Deeley, who said Assange’s Asperger’s diagnosis means he is at heightened risk of suicide if extradited to the United States.

See the rest here

Marjorie Cohn sits on the national advisory board of AssangeDefense. She is professor emerita at Thomas Jefferson School of Law, former president of the National Lawyers Guild, and a member of the bureau of the International Association of Democratic Lawyers.

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The Real Disinformation Agents: Watch as NBC News Tells Four Blatant Lies in a Two-Minute Clip

Posted by M. C. on December 17, 2021

The same corporate outlets that most vocally profess concern over disinformation are the ones spreading it most casually. NBC’s Assange report is the perfect case study.

https://greenwald.substack.com/p/the-real-disinformation-agents-watch?r=zre7q&utm_campaign=post&utm_medium=email

Glenn Greenwald

The war on “disinformation” is now one of the highest priorities of the political and media establishment. It has become the foundational justification for imposing a regime of online censorship. Around the world, new laws are being enacted in its name to empower the state to regulate discourse. Exploiting this cause, a small handful of billionaires are working in unison with Western security state agencies — under the guise of neutral-sounding names like The Atlantic Council — to set the limits of permissible thought and decree what is true and false. Corporate media outlets are attempting to rehabilitate their shattered image by depicting themselves as the bulwark against the rising tide of disinformation.

It is an understatement to say that this righteous cause is a scam. That its motive is power and control over speech and thought — to eliminate dissent and discredit competition — rather than a noble quest for truth is almost too self-evident to require explanation. No human institutions should be trusted with the inherently tyrannical power they seek to arrogate unto themselves: to decree truth and falsity with such authoritative power that views they have decreed “false” become prohibited, off-limits, even worthy of punishment.

See the rest here

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As Fascism Casts Off Its Disguises – Caitlin Johnstone

Posted by M. C. on December 13, 2021

https://caitlinjohnstone.com/2021/12/10/as-fascism-casts-off-its-disguises/

author: Caitlin Johnstone

The US government has won its appeal against a lower British court’s rejection of its extradition request to prosecute Julian Assange for journalistic activity under the Espionage Act. Rather than going free, the WikiLeaks founder will continue to languish in Belmarsh Prison where he has already spent over two and a half years despite having been convicted of no crime.

“As a result, that extradition request will now be sent to British Home Secretary Prita Patel, who technically must approve all extradition requests but, given the U.K. Government’s long-time subservience to the U.S. security state, is all but certain to rubber-stamp it,” writes Glenn Greenwald. “Assange’s representatives, including his fiancee Stella Morris, have vowed to appeal the ruling, but today’s victory for the U.S. means that Assange’s freedom, if it ever comes, is further away than ever: not months but years even under the best of circumstances.”

“Mark this day as fascism casts off its disguises,” tweeted journalist John Pilger of the ruling.

Media freedom plays an indispensable role in informing the public, holding governments accountable, and telling stories that otherwise would not be told. The U.S. will continue to stand up for the brave and necessary work of journalists around the world. #SummitForDemocracy pic.twitter.com/ilitbdzSd1

— Secretary Antony Blinken (@SecBlinken) December 8, 2021

This ruling which allows the US to continue working to extradite a journalist for exposing US war crimes comes on the final day of Washington’s so-called “Summit for Democracy“, where the US Secretary of State made a grandiose show about how press freedom “plays an indispensable role in informing the public, holding governments accountable, and telling stories that otherwise would not be told” and said “The U.S. will continue to stand up for the brave and necessary work of journalists around the world.”

This ruling also comes on UN Human Rights Day.

This ruling comes on the same day as two journalists formally received the Nobel Peace Prizes they’d been rewarded and demanded protections for journalists in their acceptance speech.

This ruling comes as the US government pledges hundreds of millions of dollars in support for “independent media” around the world in coordination with British state media.

This ruling comes after it was revealed that the CIA drew up plans to kidnap and assassinate Assange in the Ecuadorian embassy after the 2017 Vault 7 releases embarrassed the agency.

This ruling comes after it was revealed that CIA proxies spied on Assange and his lawyers at the Ecuadorian embassy, thereby making a fair trial in the United States impossible.

This ruling comes after it was revealed that the US prosecution relied on false testimony from a diagnosed sociopath and convicted child molester.

This ruling comes after recent investigative reports on civilian-slaughtering US airstrikes reminded us why it’s so important for the press to be able to conduct critical natsec journalism on the most powerful military force ever assembled.

The High Court has ruled that Julian #Assange can be extradited to the US. “How can it be fair, how can it be right, how can it be possible, to extradite Julian to the very country which plotted to kill him?” said Stella Moris. Mark this day as fascism casts off its disguises.

— John Pilger (@johnpilger) December 10, 2021

The facts are in and the case is closed: the US and its allies do not care about press freedoms beyond the extent that they can be used to conduct propaganda. The way journalists who offend the powerful are dealt with by the US government and the way they are dealt with by the Saudi monarchy differ only in terms of speed and messiness.

The masks are crumbling. Even when he is silenced, immobilized, locked up and hidden from public view, Julian Assange continues to shine a light on the abusive mechanisms of power. He is arguably exposing them more now than ever before.

As fascism casts off its disguises, it becomes more and more important to highlight the hypocrisy, fraudulence and depravity of the people who rule our world.

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My work is entirely reader-supported, so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, following me on FacebookTwitterSoundcloud or YouTube, or throwing some money into my tip jar on Ko-fiPatreon or Paypal. If you want to read more you can buy my books. The best way to make sure you see the stuff I publish is to subscribe to the mailing list for at my website or on Substack, which will get you an email notification for everything I publish. Everyone, racist platforms excluded, has my permission to republish, use or translate any part of this work (or anything else I’ve written) in any way they like free of charge. For more info on who I am, where I stand, and what I’m trying to do with this platform, click here

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Julian Assange has a stroke in Belmarsh prison: Fiancée blames extreme stress | Daily Mail Online

Posted by M. C. on December 12, 2021

Did you really think he was going to make it to trial?

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-10300037/Julian-Assange-stroke-Belmarsh-prison-Fianc-e-blames-extreme-stress.html

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From Press Freedom To Prison Systems, Everything Assange Touches Gets Illuminated – by Caitlin Johnstone – Caitlin’s Newsletter

Posted by M. C. on October 31, 2021

It’s been a constant throughout his life as near as I can tell, from when he was a young man using his technical prowess to help Australian police bring down distributors of online child pornography in the mid-nineties. This curious impulse to bring what is hidden in the dark out into the light where it can be seen is what gave birth to WikiLeaks and all the major revelations about the criminality and corruption of the powerful which resulted from its publications. 

https://caitlinjohnstone.substack.com/p/from-press-freedom-to-prison-systems

Caitlin Johnstone

The US appeal of a British court ruling on the Assange extradition case has concluded, and the judges will probably not have a decision ready until at least January—a full year after the extradition was denied by a lower court. Assange, despite being convicted of no crime, will have remained in Belmarsh Prison the entire time.

During that time the judges will be weighing arguments they’d heard about the cruel nature of the US prison system, which formed a major part of the reasoning behind Judge Vanessa Baraitser’s rejection of the US extradition request. They’ll be considering the draconian policy of Special Administrative Measures, whose victims are cut off from human contact and from the outside world. They’ll be considering the brutality of the supermax ADX facility in Florence, Colorado whose inmates are kept in solitary confinement for 23 hours a day, and where Assange could easily wind up imprisoned despite the prosecution’s flimsy assurances.

Assange probably never set out on this journey with the goal of calling attention to the abuses of the US prison system as his foremost priority, but, as is so often the case with anything his journey touches, those abuses keep getting pulled into the light of public awareness anyway. His case is now no longer just about press freedom, US war crimes, corrupt governments collaborating to stomp out inconvenient truth tellers, and the malfeasance of US alphabet agencies, but about the abusive nature of the US prison system as well.Consortium News @ConsortiumnewsChris Hedges: The Most Important Battle for Press Freedom in Our Time Chris Hedges: The Most Vital Battle for Press Freedom in Our TimeIf Assange is extradited and found guilty of publishing classified material it will set a legal precedent that will effectively end national security reporting. By Chris Hedges in Washington, D.C. ScheerPost.com For the past two days, I have been watching the extradition hearing for Julianconsortiumnews.comOctober 29th 2021108 Retweets212 Likes

And this is a big part of what I find so endlessly captivating about the life of this extraordinary individual. No matter what he’s doing, no matter where he is, no matter how beaten down and silenced and immobilized they may appear to have him, his life keeps exposing things. Keeps bringing things into the light.

It’s been a constant throughout his life as near as I can tell, from when he was a young man using his technical prowess to help Australian police bring down distributors of online child pornography in the mid-nineties. This curious impulse to bring what is hidden in the dark out into the light where it can be seen is what gave birth to WikiLeaks and all the major revelations about the criminality and corruption of the powerful which resulted from its publications. 

And as paradigm-shattering as those many bombshell revelations were, they were arguably small potatoes compared to the criminality Assange exposed by simply standing his ground until the most powerful institutions in the world conspired to drag him from the Ecuadorian embassy and lock him in Belmarsh Prison for telling the truth. 

Assange created an innovative publishing platform which allowed whistleblowers to upload files anonymously on the premise that corrupt power needs to be able to communicate secretly in order to operate efficiently. Corrupt power responded by silencing, immobilizing, isolating, imprisoning and torturing him. In so doing, corrupt power exposed itself and its true nature far more than any WikiLeaks drop ever could.

Since Assange’s imprisonment there’s been a jaw-dropping deluge of revelations about the malfeasance of the power structures which rule over us which could not have been exposed to such an extent in any other way.

It was revealed that the US power alliance will openly jail journalists for telling the truth with as much brazenness and despotism as any other tyrannical regime, giving US-targeted nations the ability to rightly call out the hypocrisy of Washington’s concern trolling about human rights.Hua Chunying 华春莹 @SpokespersonCHNIf the #US truly defends freedom, why won’t they allow others to tell the truth when they are making up lies? Why has Mr. #Assange been thrown in prison after being forced to shelter in the #Ecuadorian Embassy in London for 7 years? May 10th 20211,154 Retweets3,307 Likes

It was revealed that because he inconvenienced the most powerful government in the world, Assange has been subjected to abuses which amount to psychological torture according to a UN special rapporteur on torture.

It was revealed that the CIA plotted to kidnap and assassinate Assange, an earth-shaking discovery we wouldn’t have been able to confirm for decades under normal circumstances, but due to a miraculous combination of partisan feuding and their frantic compulsion to silence him it was confirmed just a few short years after the fact.

It was revealed that CIA proxies spied on Assange and his lawyers at the Ecuadorian embassy and conspired to collect the DNA of his child from a soiled diaper.

It was revealed that the US prosecution relied on false testimony from a diagnosed sociopath and convicted child molester who collaborated with the FBI.

It was revealed that the western news media are so propagandistic and morally bankrupt that they will viciously smear a dissident journalist for years to manufacture consent for his arrest and imprisonment, and then act completely guiltless when the most powerful government on earth works to extradite him into its dungeons. 

And now we’re seeing the same US government which has been plotting this man’s destruction and even death for many years humiliating itself by hilariously trying to argue that he would be safe under their care, just so they can get their claws into him. Like Count Olaf in Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events taking on whatever disguise might allow him to nab the Baudelaire orphans.Caitlin Johnstone ⏳ @caitozThe Assange Persecution Is Western Savagery At Its Most Transparent “So the prosecution’s legal argument here is essentially ‘We promise we won’t treat Assange as cruelly as we treat our other prisoners, unless we decide we really want to.'” The Assange Persecution Is Western Savagery At Its Most TransparentListen to a reading of this article: ❖ The first day of the US appeal of the Julian Assange extradition case saw grown adults arguing in a court of law that the US government could guarantee that it would not treat the WikiLeaks founder as cruelly as it treats its other prisoners.caitlinjohnstone.substack.comOctober 28th 2021406 Retweets789 Likes

The more they come after him, the more damage they do to themselves. It’s like Assange is standing in a beam of sunlight surrounded by vampires, and every time they reach in to grab him they wind up disintegrating their own limbs. 

Their old tactics never seem to have the intended effect. The harder they struggle to keep him from being able to expose their crimes, the more of their own criminality they reveal.

It always reminds me of the lyrics to that Johnny Cash song: “Well you may throw your rock and hide your hand, workin’ in the dark against your fellow man/ But as sure as God made black and white, what’s done in the dark will be brought to the light.”

And the struggles of our world today really do seem to come down to a battle between light and darkness. I say this not in any kind of mystical or metaphysical sense, but in the sense that there are on all levels forces which wish to bring the unseen out of hiddenness and forces which have a vested interest in keeping things hidden.

On the global level there are vast power structures which have a vested interest in keeping their misdeeds out of public attention and making sure we all remain confused and misinformed about what’s really going on in the world. On a sociological level there are individuals who have a vested interest in keeping their personal actions out of the light and preventing anyone from clearly seeing what they’re really up to. On an internal level we’ve all got subconscious forces at play within ourselves whose existence depends on avoiding the light of conscious perception.

And on every level there’s a struggle to bring those things into the light. On a global level there are forces working to expose the corruption and tyranny of ruling power structures. On a sociological level there are forces working to expose liars, manipulators, abusers, crooks and psychopaths. On an internal level there are always forces working to bring the endarkened aspects of ourselves into consciousness.https://www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/eJlN9jdQFSc?rel=0&autoplay=0&showinfo=0&enablejsapi=0

It’s a struggle that’s happening on every level of our species, and Julian Assange seems to be one of the very brightest points in that struggle.

It appears to be a very reliable principle of the human condition that if you firmly and sincerely resolve deep within yourself to desire truth above all else and to seek it at all cost, it causes everything your life touches to move into the light: the good, the bad, and the ugly. Hidden psychological tendencies become seen, understood and resolved. Abusive family dynamics, manipulative behavior patterns and everything untruthful around you and in you all starts to move into the spotlight. Some relationships end, others deepen. It upends your world while grounding you in something far more meaningful than the sources in which you’d formerly sought stability.

This movement into truth can be devastating, humbling, humiliating or downright terrifying, and sometimes all of them at once, because it’s a relinquishing of control and a surrendering to whatever’s true, no matter what that turns out to be, no matter how insecure or embarrassed or inadequate it might make you feel at first. But looking back there’s an immediate understanding that you wouldn’t have had it any other way.

I don’t know Julian Assange personally, but I suspect he may have signed an internal contract like this at some point in his life. The desire for truth, come what may, whatever the cost, whatever the consequences. Whether he did or did not, that has been the result of the luminescent path his journey has blazed through humanity during his time on this planet. And the world is a much better place for it.

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My work is entirely reader-supported, so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, following me on FacebookTwitterSoundcloud or YouTube, or throwing some money into my tip jar on Ko-fiPatreon or Paypal. If you want to read more you can buy my books. The best way to make sure you see the stuff I publish is to subscribe to the mailing list for at my website or on Substack, which will get you an email notification for everything I publish. Everyone, racist platforms excluded, has my permission to republish, use or translate any part of this work (or anything else I’ve written) in any way they like free of charge. For more info on who I am, where I stand, and what I’m trying to do with this platform, click here

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Erie Times E-Edition Article-US: Assange could serve time in Australia

Posted by M. C. on October 28, 2021

Assange, who is being held at London’s high-security Belmarsh Prison, had been expected to attend the twoday hearing by video link, but Fitzgerald said Assange had been put on a high dose of medication and “doesn’t feel able to attend.”

Australia-The country where police beat people in the streets for not wearing a mask.

https://erietimes-pa-app.newsmemory.com/?publink=33fd0bc35_1345f78

Jill Lawless

ASSOCIATED PRESS

LONDON – U.S. authorities launched a new battle on Wednesday to make Julian Assange face American justice, telling British judges that if they agree to extradite the WikiLeaks founder on espionage charges, he could serve any U.S. prison sentence he receives in his native Australia.

In January, a lower U.K. court refused a U.S. request to extradite Assange over WikiLeaks’ publication of secret American military documents a decade ago. District Judge Vanessa Baraitser ruled that Assange, who has spent years in hiding and in British prisons as he fights extradition, was likely to kill himself if held under harsh U.S. prison conditions.

Appealing against the January decision, an attorney for the U.S. government on Wednesday denied that Assange’s mental health was too fragile to withstand the U.S. judicial system. Lawyer James Lewis said Assange “has no history of serious and enduring mental illness” and does not meet the threshold of being so ill that he cannot resist harming himself.

U.S. prosecutors have indicted Assange on 17 espionage charges and one charge of computer misuse over Wiki-Leaks’ publication of thousands of leaked military and diplomatic documents. The charges carry a maximum sentence of 175 years in prison, but Lewis said that “the longest sentence ever imposed for this offense is 63 months.”

Lewis said American authorities had promised that Assange would not be held before trial in a top-security “Supermax” prison or subjected to strict isolation conditions and, if convicted, would be allowed to serve his sentence in Australia. Lewis said the assurances “are binding on the United States.”

“Once there is an assurance of appropriate medical care, once it is clear he will be repatriated to Australia to serve any sentence, then we can safely say the district judge would not have decided the relevant question in the way that she did,” he said.

The U.S. also says a key defense witness, neuropsychiatrist Michael Kopelman, misled the previous judge by omitting to mention that Stella Moris, a member of WikiLeaks’ legal team, was also Assange’s partner and had two children with him. Lewis said that information was “a highly relevant factor to the question of likelihood to suicide.” Assange’s lawyer, Edward Fitzgerald, accused U.S. lawyers of seeking to “minimize the severity of Mr. Assange’s mental disorder and suicide risk.”

Fitzgerald said in a written submission that Australia has not yet agreed to take Assange if he is convicted. Even if Australia did agree, Fitzgerald said the U.S. legal process could take a decade, “during which Mr. Assange will remain detained in extreme isolation in a U.S. prison.”

Assange, who is being held at London’s high-security Belmarsh Prison, had been expected to attend the twoday hearing by video link, but Fitzgerald said Assange had been put on a high dose of medication and “doesn’t feel able to attend.”

Assange later appeared on the video link at times, seated at a table in a prison room wearing a black face mask.

The U.S. requested to extradite Julian Assange over WikiLeaks’ publication of secret American military documents a decade ago. MATT DUNHAM/AP FILE

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Daniel Ellsberg On The CIA Plan To Kidnap And Possibly Kill Julian Assange, The End Of The Afghanistan Occupation, And The Ongoing Us Drone War – CounterPunch.org

Posted by M. C. on October 19, 2021

So, I think we have to accept that if Biden’s appeal is successful and Assange is brought back here and tried, that will not be the last, and we won’t have to wait for a Republican either or for Trump. Even under Biden it will not be the last, and yes, the New York Times itself will find that it has to defend and maybe a little late because the precedent will have been set.

https://www.counterpunch.org/2021/10/11/daniel-ellsberg-on-the-cia-plan-to-kidnap-and-possibly-kill-julian-assange-the-end-of-the-afghanistan-occupation-and-the-ongoing-us-drone-war/

by Dennis Bernstein

There are many things to say about Legendary Whistleblower, Daniel Ellsberg. First and foremost of course is that he blew the whistle on the big lies behind the US Justification for the Vietnam war. Indeed, in 1967 while at the Rand Institute Daniel Ellsberg worked on the top-secret McNamara Study, US Decision Making in Vietnam, which later came to be known as the Pentagon Papers. In 1969 he photocopied the 7,000-page study and gave it to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. In 1971 he gave it to the New York Times, the Washington Post and 17 other newspapers.

Ellsberg’s subsequent trial on 12 felony counts posing a possible sentence of some 115 years was dismissed in 1973 on the grounds of governmental misconduct against him, leading to the convictions of several White House aides and figuring in the impeachment proceedings against President Richard Nixon. Now in his 90’s, Dan Ellsberg is front and center in the battle to free Wikileaks founder Julian Assange. We spoke to Ellsberg on the heels of the troubling revelations that the US CIA was considering kidnapping and even killing Assange.

Dennis: Good to speak to you again Dan. Let’s start with this: Why do you think the former CIA Director under Donald Trump thought that it might be necessary not only to kidnap, to maybe kill, Julian Assange? Why did they find him so dangerous?

Dan: You know, the – I notice on the news, on Wiki, Google News, a couple headlines that I haven’t seen yet about why did the CIA want to kill Assange. I’m interested in those stories. I haven’t been able to read them yet. Actually, it’s on a podcast. I’ll have to listen to it in England, because that isn’t self-evident why at that point they would want to kill him, except that yes, they wanted him to come into trial, they wanted to kidnap him, and get him back here. Or now they’re still trying to extradite him under Biden and get him for trial.

But on the other hand, a trial isn’t actually perfect for them because that will certainly bring up two kinds of problems, the crimes that he revealed, the war crimes, the things that Chelsea Manning had given to him about Afghanistan and Iraq revealing enormous numbers of civilians killed which had not been reported, a major program of torture by our Iraqi allies which continued into the Biden – into the, I’m sorry, Obama Administration when Biden was Vice President, and definitely would have constituted war crimes. So, these are not things they wanted discussed in open-ended trial all that much, although they do want to make an example of Julian.

I really think that in one – I’ve always thought that to some extent the best thing for him is just to keep him there in a prison without having to go through a trial and reveal any of this stuff, or have him even in Sweden on that. But since they don’t want to concede that what he did was not criminal, as I would say was not under any constitutional reading of the Espionage Act, they want to continue that and have to at least go through the motions of trying to expedite him.

But of course, assassinating him would cut that short, just keep him silent, keep him out of the way, certainly form a good example, counter, to people who might be tempted to follow in his footsteps as to what to expect if you take on not only the world’s richest and strongest imperial power, the United States, but really this was a challenge to secrecy in all governments in the world. And I doubt if he has very many admirers within state governments, practically anywhere in the world, although there were many countries where he’s extremely popular.

Germany, for example, being one for various reasons. But their – and even their Bundestag has tried to get him to come as a witness about the secrecy system. But governments that want to be tight in hand with their rich uncle here, Uncle Sam, do not want to antagonize America, and that turns out to be Biden as well as Trump. So, he’s challenged all of them, and that puts you by way of a lot of retribution.

Dennis: How would you – how do you consider Julian Assange? Do you see him as a publisher and poet and journalist? People call him lots of different things. And apparently he’s been, although he’s helped a great deal in publishing a number of incredible stories in various news organizations, he’s been sort of betrayed, set aside, forgotten. How do you see him? Is he – is his work important in terms of journalism, and what role does it play in the public knowledge?

Dan: Well first take the position that the government – that he’s put himself in as government, our government, has put him in of being under charges as a publisher, as a journalist. He’s the first actually to be indicted in this country in a way that is blatantly in contradiction to the First Amendment, “Congress shall pass no law abridging freedom of the press, freedom of speech.” There could hardly be a more clear-cut denial of the protection to the press, that the First Amendment author than to be indicting and prosecuting Julian Assange.

See the rest here

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Netflix To Launch WikiLeaks Smear Job Three Days Before Assange Court Date – by Caitlin Johnstone – Caitlin’s Newsletter

Posted by M. C. on October 15, 2021

So they’re not exactly looking out for the little guy, which from a company worth an estimated $229 billion should come as no surprise.

Still, such open facilitation of the world’s most powerful government in its campaign to imprison a journalist for inconvenient journalistic activity is a special kind of reprehensible.

https://caitlinjohnstone.substack.com/p/netflix-to-launch-wikileaks-smear

Caitlin Johnstone

Netflix will begin streaming a brazen hatchet job on Julian Assange and WikiLeaks for its American subscribers on October 24th, just three days prior to a significant court date in Assange’s fight against extradition from the UK to the United States on October 27th.

“You can stream We Steal Secrets: The Story of WikiLeaks on Netflix starting Sunday, October 24, 2021, at 12 AM PT / 3 AM ET,” Netflix Schedule reports.

We Steal Secrets was a “documentary” that is now so outdated beyond its 2013 release that one of its central characters, Chelsea Manning, is referred to by a dead name throughout its entirety. Why choose this specific moment to release it? 

Well it doesn’t make much sense at all, if the timing wasn’t deliberately geared toward damaging Assange’s reputation in the nation whose government is trying to extradite him for exposing its war crimes. Assange’s October court date was set way back in August and Netflix didn’t announce it had scheduled to begin streaming this film until two weeks agoJonathan Cook @Jonathan_K_CookThree days before a crucial court hearing – as Julian Assange fights against extradition to a US super-max prison – Netflix is showing Alex Gibney’s execrable propaganda film We Steal Secrets. I wrote a post detailing its smears at the time of its release jonathan-cook.net/2013-07-29/the…

NetflixFilm @NetflixFilmWE STEAL SECRETS: THE STORY OF WIKILEAKS (On Netflix in the US on October 24) https://t.co/KzGjiFepYLOctober 13th 202180 Retweets128 Likes

After all, We Steal Secrets was so egregious in its spin that not only did WikiLeaks supporters like World Socialist Website and journalist Jonathan Cook pan it as a smear at the time, but WikiLeaks itself went to the trouble of publishing a line-by-line refutation of the mountains of propaganda distortion heaped on the narrative by filmmaker Alex Gibney.

“The title (‘We Steal Secrets: The Story of WikiLeaks’) is false,” WikiLeaks writes at the beginning of its response. “It directly implies that WikiLeaks steals secrets. In fact, the statement is made by former CIA/NSA director Michael Hayden in relation to the activities of US government spies, not in relation to WikiLeaks. This an irresponsible libel. Not even critics in the film say that WikiLeaks steals secrets.”

“Gibney’s latest release—We Steal SecretsThe Story of WikiLeaks—is something else again,” World Socialist Website wrote in 2013. “The 130-minute feature is a political hatchet job against Julian Assange and dovetails with the media and US government campaign against the WikiLeaks web site. Whether Gibney has shifted to the right or simply revealed the fatal limitations of his liberal ‘oppositional’ views is a matter for a separate discussion. In any event, his newest work is an effort at disinformation.”

“The job of a good documentarist is to weigh the available material and then present as honest a record of what it reveals as possible. Anything less is at best polemic, if it sides with those who are silenced and weak, and at worst propaganda, if it sides with those who wield power,” critiqued Jonathan Cook at the time.WikiLeaks @wikileaksRELEASE: “We Steal Secrets: Not the Story of WikiLeaks” full annotated transcript justice4assange.com/IMG/html/gibne… @WeStealSecrets @baluebolivarAnnotated Transcript of “We Steal Secrets” by Alex Gibneyjustice4assange.comMay 23rd 201345 Retweets16 Likes

This would not be the first time Netflix has helped circulate narratives that advance the interests of the US empire, or the second, or the third, having already run blatantly propagandistic “documentaries” advancing imperial interests in nations like Ukraine, Russia, Egypt, and multiple ones about Syria. Netflix has also signed deals with the Obamas and with British royalty.

So they’re not exactly looking out for the little guy, which from a company worth an estimated $229 billion should come as no surprise.

Still, such open facilitation of the world’s most powerful government in its campaign to imprison a journalist for inconvenient journalistic activity is a special kind of reprehensible. If there is a healthy humanity in the future, it will look back on the worldwide smear campaign against Assange and WikiLeaks with horror.

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The CIA Has Stultified American Consciences – The Future of Freedom Foundation

Posted by M. C. on October 11, 2021

To get America back on the right track, what we need is a moral awakening, one that entails the operation of conscience. If that day were to come, there is no doubt that the American people would cast the CIA into the dustbin of history, where all evil agencies belong.

https://www.fff.org/2021/10/05/the-cia-has-stultified-american-consciences/

by Jacob G. Hornberger

REMINDER: Tonight, 7 p.m. Eastern Time, via Zoom: Tufts University professor of law Michael Glennon‘s presentation as part of our ongoing conference series on restoring civil liberties in America. To receive a zoom link, register at our conference web page. Registration fee: FREE.

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One of the worst consequences of converting the federal government to a national-security state has been the stultification or warping of the consciences of the American people. With unwavering allegiance to the Pentagon, the CIA, and the NSA, all too many Americans have sacrificed their sense of right and wrong at the altar of “national security,” the two-word term that has become the most important term in the political lexicon of the American people.

The best example of this phenomenon is the CIA’s power of assassination. Most Americans have come to passively accept this power, with nary a thought as to the victims against whom it is carried out and under what what circumstances it is carried out.

Consider recent revelations that the CIA was planning to assassinate Julian Assange, the head of WikiLeaks, for disclosing dark-side secrets of the U.S. deep state to to the world. 

That’s why U.S. officials have pursued him with a vengeance — not because he lied about the Pentagon’s and the CIA’s dark-side activities but rather because he disclosed the truth about them. 

That’s why they were seeking to murder him — to silence him, to punish him, and to send a message to other potential disclosers of dark-side secrets of the national-security establishment. 

But anyone with a conscience that is operating would easily see that assassinating Assange would be just plain murder. And at the risk of belaboring the obvious, the murder of an innocent person is just plain evil. 

Yet, the reaction to all this from the mainstream press has been one great big collective yawn. No big deal. It’s just another state-sponsored assassination intended to protect “national security.” If U.S. national-security state officials have decided that Assange needs to be taken out, then that’s just the way it is. That’s why we have a CIA, after all. We have to defer to its judgment, even if it means sacrificing our consciences in the process. After all, that’s its job — to protect “national security.”

By the way, there is virtually no doubt that if they could get away with assassinating Edward Snowden for disclosing the truth about NSA dark-side activity, they would murder him too. The probable reason they haven’t assassinated Snowden is because they haven’t figured out a way to get the assassins out of Russia.

When the federal government was converted to a national-security state after World War II, the American people made an implicit bargain with the devil. The bargain empowered the national-security establishment to engage in dark-side activity, including assassination. But another part of the bargain was that officials would keep their dark-side activity secret from the American people so that people wouldn’t have to deal with their consciences over a governmental entity that was assassinating people. 

Assange’s and Snowden’s great “crime” was in violating that pact. By bringing dark-side activity to the attention of the American people, they ran the risk that people’s consciences might start operating. 

So far, there appears to be no risk of that happening. Consider, for example, the assassination of Iranian General Qassem Suleimani. That was just plain murder. Iran and the United States are not at war with each other. Sure, we are told that Iran is a “rival,” an “enemy,” an “opponent,” or an “adversary,” but does that morally entitle U.S. officials to murder Iranian officials? It does not, just as it doesn’t entitle Iranian officials to murder U.S. officials. 

Again, however, the reaction among the mainstream press to the assassination of Suleimani was one great big collective yawn. Revealingly, there was also no moral outrage expressed among church ministers across America. If the Pentagon and the CIA deemed it necessary to assassinate Suleiman, that’s all we need to know. 

To get America back on the right track, what we need is a moral awakening, one that entails the operation of conscience. If that day were to come, there is no doubt that the American people would cast the CIA into the dustbin of history, where all evil agencies belong.

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