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No Matter What Happens, the World Only Watches | The Libertarian Institute

Posted by M. C. on June 3, 2020

While most people focus on the riots inside the United States, they
do not see the deadly riots elsewhere, from India to Chile. The unrest
that has hurt millions in far more impoverished nations was not a simple
case of ‘racist police.’ It is for a myriad of reasons, but ultimately
the dissatisfaction with the state. It is its present form of austerity
measures, where the hungry and jobless rely on the state monopolised
services. Or it is because of repression and far more sinister democide
and torture. All we can do is watch, and as Adam Curtis once said,
‘exclaim Oh Dear!’ because we can’t explain or understand that much with
simple explanations. Instead we can only watch.


People Face Child Eye 32267

A police officer pushed his knee into the back of the neck of a man until he died. Murder. But we watched. A mob stomped a store owner into the pavement as he protected his property. Attempted murder. Again, we watched. A gunship blew journalists and then a family—including children—to pieces. Murder. We watched. We are good at watching. We hear the blasts from the whistleblowers, but we already have our own eyes and despite what we see, we ignore. We do not care. And should we claim to care. It is never enough to challenge the comfort. Even if what we watched was for a time uncomfortable.

For most that read this they were raised in a land of democratic governance; the liberal ideal that in electing one’s representatives, that freedom, security, and order will find some balance. Harmonizing society is the modern religion, with the belief that the sacrifice of millions of innocents is enough so long as we believe hard enough in a rule of law. If we vote regularly, all will be well in the world and when we watch the weeds of this system—the government that we apparently control—we do nothing. Instead we willingly watch the murder go on in our names.

The present protests tearing many parts of the United States apart were ignited initially by a murder. It was not just that slaying of a man that sparked such an eruption. The powder keg was already waiting. But as we watch on, social media blatherers and a clickbait army of journalists speculate and drive narratives. They blame contemporary political matters and merging them with ancient human ills such as racism. All may be to blame and yet none. The consistent theme however is that the state in its many forms is responsible. The protesters are not all looters and rioters. Many in fact are defending private property and protecting people. Some are paid shills doing violent deeds, others are criminal opportunists, and some are undercover police officers instigating violence. But as we watch through the straw of social media, we are told what we are seeing, and it is simplified in narratives.

While most people focus on the riots inside the United States, they do not see the deadly riots elsewhere, from India to Chile. The unrest that has hurt millions in far more impoverished nations was not a simple case of ‘racist police.’ It is for a myriad of reasons, but ultimately the dissatisfaction with the state. It is its present form of austerity measures, where the hungry and jobless rely on the state monopolised services. Or it is because of repression and far more sinister democide and torture. All we can do is watch, and as Adam Curtis once said, ‘exclaim Oh Dear!’ because we can’t explain or understand that much with simple explanations. Instead we can only watch.

Whether a lone police officer murdering a man with the arrogance that only costumed authority could safeguard, or a drone operator peering at human life through the cold gaze of a monitor, the calculation to murder is afforded by the legal mandates of a brutal monopoly. Sometimes scapegoats are sought, and events are segregated from the wider calamity of policy. And other times we, the powerful voter, watch and then move on to something else. Perhaps that vote really does not matter in the end. Instead it enables, legitimizing the murder and misery. Because in voting, we sanction it. The protests and unrests re-emerge. But it lets us feel as though we have a say or have control.

Standing Rock was a powerful moment of defiance for a time and now it is forgotten by those who are not hurt by the outcome and those bitter moments of policy. Those who watched on and formulated an opinion of distance do not care about the injustice that spurred the protests. They could not care about the legacy of betrayal and deceit; they would not know the history that led to that moment. The 1970s Wounded Knee standoff is almost ancient now and robbed in its significance by more recent acts of domestic defiance. The many nations of original Americans know the pain of defeat and the lies of the federal government, while the rest of us watched. Soldiers who massacred women and children still have the medals of honour to their names, while the victims’ graves were robbed of any justice. Then people read and celebrated an end to the West and the frontier. Civilization bathed in the blood of the innocent. Like now, except few read any more and only watch.

Was George Floyd murdered because of racism? Who knows what was in the mind and heart of the uniformed killer. But would it have mattered? Individuals of all races, genders, and ages are murdered by the state in similar ways. Failed no-knock home invasions that lead to the murder of the innocent, bombs dropped onto city blocks from helicopters to defeat a gang, women shot in their bed as they sleep. We can watch on as a homeless man sits in his wheelchair and is gunned down in daylight or a man is tasered and then shot because he did not have a camping permit. Their skin color less important than that they are all individuals lost in time at the hands of agents of the state. That is the distinction. The power to murder without repercussion is afforded by the authority of the state.

While the siege at Waco and the execution of a family at Ruby Ridge may lead to the horrendous violence of the Oklahoma City bombing, the original evil is not suddenly cured because another act of wickedness was committed in vengeance. Even as we watch on, we can attempt to rationalize. Some can blame the victims when they suffer beneath the brutality of the state, despite what we watched. The mass murderers that masterminded the attacks of 2001 on the United States did it because it was a stab into their powerful enemy that they saw as responsible for so much horror inside the lands that mattered to them. Destroying many parts of the world in response was another cycle of misplaced vengeance. The innocent died as we all watched on. But the images of the burning and then collapsing Twin Towers of New York City was more important in some minds than watching Iraq or Afghanistan bleed for decades.

When people inside Iraq protest outside the American embassy, many cheer when the U.S. military blows an Iranian envoy to pieces while they are in an airport on a diplomatic mission. The protests were blamed on a foreign nation; they could not organically spark, the narrative claimed, even if thousands of people were desperate in their anger. As we watched on, we had the murders explained to us. The dead were evil men, the killing was justified. Yet it solved nothing. The people in Iraq are still suffering and desperate. We can watch them cry in agony as mutated babies die and smoke pollutes the playgrounds of violence left as a result of a self-righteous foreign policy. We can blame Iran, but it was the coalitions of distant and willing nations that have been bombing Iraq since 1991.

In months and years from now, when the present protests die down, the narrative will be simplified. As the LA riots of 1992 or the Watts riots of 1965 have become memories, it is clear the lessons were not learned. Sensitivity training and better public relations has not stopped the increase in laws, the violence, and the murders. It can be called racism or a class struggle but, in the end, it is the government exercising authority despite the claimed limitations of its own laws. Regardless of a sniper blowing a hole through a mother holding her baby or the bombs destroying peasants in distant lands, we are told to be angry when a man does not stand for a flag and a song before a football game.

The 1989 Tiananmen protests did not end the grip of the Chinese government’s rule. It made the CCP wiser and ensured that they installed greater controls from censorship to surveillance. The Hong Kong protests will no doubt only further these tightening grips, added with the Covid-19 pandemic and the availability of pervasive technology. Dictatorships will find it easier to control and rule. They will cite the calamity and violence of social disharmony as justification. The pandemics that have spread fast and taken lives as a key factor for public health and controls on the individual. And many more will dob and report to the authorities despite the AI and software that already monitors us. Despite the repression, the organ harvesting, executions and symbol of the ‘Tank Man,’ we take money from that government and visit the nation as happy tourists, omitting the images we watched.

This is the coming fate for liberal democracies. We have seen it with the COVID-19 lockdown and pandemic. The average person was diligent in their obedience, reason be damned. Science is politicized and massaged according to the latest meme that someone viewed. Feelings and mob instincts for control, to dabble in a neighbour’s or stranger’s life, is fueled with sense of entitlement. More authority, more government is called for by the self-righteous voices. And as a flock of ‘Karens’ scream at a woman who is shopping with no face mask on, many will cheer and applaud them. If their belief in the mask is enough many may some day bludgeon the maskless too, like that shop owner who was left for dead by looters, and we will watch.

Those who have caused the chaos, whether in foreign lands littering them with bombs and depleted uranium, or in crippling industry through regulation and taxation, or in waging a war on human ingestion, or to enforce medical lockdowns each time a flu arises, have only been allowed to because we all watched it happen. We were, in the end, indifferent. We are told that each vote matters and yet we never seemed to vote for anything that ever mattered. Instead the voter only votes on want, not need. A want for welfare, subsidies, grants, contracted jobs, and entitlements. All at the expense of dignity and other people’s rights. The mob never seemed to need freedom. And when it is taken away, those who cry out are called selfish. Yet those taking it, those wanting comforts or entitlements at the expense of strangers and familiars, claim to always be in need.

The violence of policy is on all of us. No militant junta or imperial democracy ever existed without the obedience of thousands or millions of willing killers. No tyrant is so powerful that they could rule without others doing their deeds. When Nicolae Ceausescu, the communist dictator of Romania, was executed by the very men who served him, they did so because the tide had changed. The killers now served the mob and not the tyrant. It is no different anywhere else. The killers will kill for whoever is in authority.

And without that authority, the killers are no longer protected. They no longer have the excuse of orders and policy to cower behind. When a policeman brutalizes an unarmed child, instead of filming it—protect the child. We have watched that scene enough. When a gang of fiends bash a man into the pavement—save the man. And perhaps instead of thanking a military person for their service, treat them as just another person. Because if it was not for that collective service, we would not have so much misery in those desperately poor parts on this Earth.

Perhaps we need to stop simply watching, we should begin to think for ourselves and stop blindly obeying the unjust. Perhaps next time you are watching murder, stop seeking a narrative that blames the victim and absolves the killer and act according to your dignity and justice. The answer is not in a ballot box or in mass carnage but by thinking, living, and discussing with liberty in mind. Perhaps we need to stop being afraid of disobeying unjust laws.

Never forget that there is never a reason to kill a non-threatening person in your care. That is murder and it defies the apparent principles of law and order under which the rest of us are forced to abide. Human dignity tells us it is wrong, even if narratives and ideologies grant it an exception. Dropping bombs on unarmed civilians or blowing a school bus full of children is always wrong. No matter who does it. A song, a flag, an ideal is never important enough to conceal that fact. There is never a context for murder. Tt is a shared insanity we keep allowing to occur. There is no greater perversity in watching the murder of others. We have too many snuff films that we can access and yet we do nothing but keep watching on.

Should something happen to you, don’t be surprised if the world just watches on.

Be seeing you


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The US Declares War on America – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on April 14, 2020

These included extensive programs of mind-control experimentsinterrogation/torture experiments, deliberate infection with deadly or debilitating diseases, exposure to severe radioactivity and every manner of biological, bacteriological and toxic chemical pathogens. They encompassed brainwashing, torture, electroshock, nerve agents, drugs and exotic hypnosis and surgical experiments including lobotomies, and a wide range of pharmacological “research”, all conducted on innocent, uninformed and helpless civilian victims ranging from newborn babies to adults.

By Larry Romanoff
Global Research

For the past 70 or so years, the US government waged a war against its own citizens, a reprehensible history of illegal, unethical and immoral experiments exposing countless US civilians to deadly procedures and pathogens.

According to a US Congressional investigation, by the late 1970s:

at least 500,000 people were used as subjects in radiation, biological and chemical experiments sponsored by the US Federal Government on its own citizens”.

Screenshot: Tampa Bay Times, October 7, 2005

The United States Government Accountability Office issued a report on September 28, 1994, which stated that between 1940 and 1974, the United States Department of Defense and other national security agencies studied hundreds of thousands of human subjects in tests and experiments involving hazardous substances.

“Many experiments that tested various biological agents on human subjects, referred to as Operation Whitecoat, were carried out at Fort Detrick, Maryland, in the 1950s. The human subjects originally consisted of volunteer enlisted men. However, after the enlisted men staged a sit-down strike to obtain more information about the dangers of the biological tests. No follow-ups of note were done, nor were records kept, of the participants. The US military later claimed it had contact information for only about 1,000 of the original participants. [The] United States biological defense program contains scores of divisions, departments, research groups, bio-intelligence and more, by no means all related to “defense” in any sense.”

From the document: American nuclear Guinea Pigs: Three decades of radiation experiments on U.S. citizens: Report prepared by the Subcommittee on Energy Conservation and Power, of the Committee on Energy and Commerce, U.S. House of Representatives, November, 1986: U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, 1986, 65-0190

“The human subjects were captive audiences or populations that experimenters might frighteningly have considered “expendable”: the elderly, prisoners, hospital patients suffering from terminal diseases or who might not have retained their full faculties for informed consent. … no evidence that informed consent was granted. … the government covered up the nature of the experiments and deceived the families of deceased victims as to what had transpired. … subjects received doses that approached or even exceed presently recognized limits for occupational radiation exposure. Doses were as great as 93 times the (maximum) body burden recognized”. The paper then proceeds: “Some of the more repugnant or bizarre of these experiments are summarized below.”

Few Americans seem aware of their own government’s programs of human experimentation, an unconscionable litany of atrocities performed by the CIA and military on an innocent and uninformed population, always without consent and most often with tragic results.

These included extensive programs of mind-control experimentsinterrogation/torture experiments, deliberate infection with deadly or debilitating diseases, exposure to severe radioactivity and every manner of biological, bacteriological and toxic chemical pathogens. They encompassed brainwashing, torture, electroshock, nerve agents, drugs and exotic hypnosis and surgical experiments including lobotomies, and a wide range of pharmacological “research”, all conducted on innocent, uninformed and helpless civilian victims ranging from newborn babies to adults.

The substances used – the “tools of their trade” – included LSD, heroin, morphine, Benzedrine, marijuana, cocaine, PCP, mescaline, Metrazol, ether, nerve gases VX and Sarin, toxic chemicals such as zinc cadmium sulfide and sulfur dioxide, a variety of biological agents, sulfuric acid, scopolamine, mustard gas, radioactive isotopes, and various dioxins from Dow Chemical. They also included electroshock, synthetic estrogens, live cancer cells, animal sexual organs transplanted into humans, cow blood transfusions and much more. Deliberately-transmitted diseases included syphilis, gonorrhea, hepatitis, cancer, bubonic plague, beriberi, cholera, whooping cough, yellow fever, dengue fever, encephalitis and typhoid, Lyme Disease, hemorrhagic fever and much more.

Screenshot, New York Post

Experiments were performed on children, orphans, the sick and mentally disabled, prisoners who were given no choice in participation. Read the rest of this entry »

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A Letter to the Staff of Belmarsh Prison – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on April 11, 2020

Left we forget.


Dear Staff of Belmarsh,

A lot of other people are writing to politicians, elected representatives, celebrities, and other people who have “platforms” or “influence.” I’ve decided to write to you.

You are no doubt aware that there is a man being held in your prison by the name of Julian Assange. I am sure that you are also aware that a great many people believe this that he should not be there, or in any prison. They (and I) believe that the only crime he has committed is having revealed actual crimes committed by people and institutions much more powerful than himself.

We further believe that the only reason he is being held–and held at a time when other non-violent prisoners are being released in order to help minimize the spread of Covid-19–the only reason the most powerful government on earth has contorted the justice system of your own country to the point that it is no longer recognizable as such, is that that government (the government of my country) wishes to send a strong message to anyone else who ever thinks about making its crimes public:

“We can do whatever we want, to whomever we want. We are bound by no laws, no justice system, and if you dare to expose our crimes to the world as this man has, we will do this to you too.”

I am not going to repeat all of the charges against him, nor explain why they are nonsensical. Nor will I dwell on his treatment in prison, which according to UN Special Rapporteur on Torture Nils Melzer, constitutes torture. Nor will I take apart the various smears against him. Others have done a very good job of all of those things already, as you can read here, here, and here. You can also read detailed accounts of the mockery that his hearings have made of British Justice, with representatives of the US government almost literally pulling strings attached to the person of magistrate Vanessa Baraitser.

You can read all of that for yourselves, and I hope that you will. I will only say this:

There is a long-standing tradition in Western culture of honoring disobedience to immoral laws. In my own country, this tradition was upheld by abolitionists who defied the Fugitive Slave Acts and helped escaped slaves get to freedom; It was upheld at the Nuremberg trials after World War II, when some German officers were hanged for obeying laws that violated more fundamental principles of human rights; And it is enshrined in something much older, known as the “Doctrine of the Lesser Magistrates.”

This doctrine dates back to at least 39AD, and was formally articulated by Christian pastors in the Magdeberg Confession of 1550. It can be summed up as follows:

When those in high authority command that those beneath them enforce laws that are immoral or unjust, those authorities beneath them have a duty to refuse to enforce those laws, and if necessary to actively resist them.

The persecution of Julian Assange is a grotesque abomination of justice. And it represents a direct assault on our ability to hold our governments accountable for their actions. If the government of the United States succeeds in extraditing Julian Assange, or if he is allowed to die in prison in the UK, then we will have lost much more than the life of one man. We will have allowed the most powerful government on earth to cement its lawless rule over us all, to effectively prohibit free and open discourse about its actions in our societies.

So why am I writing to you? Because I don’t believe in politicians. I don’t believe that “elected representatives” really represent anyone other than themselves and the people who keep them in power. But, strangely, I do believe in people. Not all of them of course. There are good people and there are bad people. But I do believe, very strongly, that out of all the people who happen to work at Belmarsh prison, there are some good ones. How many, I don’t know. Maybe a hundred? Maybe thirty? A dozen? Three or four? Maybe just one.

However many of you there are, you are the ones I am speaking to. I believe that there is something you can do–one of you, some of you, all of you–although I can’t say for sure what it might be, to change how this story ends. I am writing to remind you of the Doctrine of Lesser Magistrates, and to urge you to do the right thing. Not only for Julian Assange, but for all of us. Our history is quite literally in your hands.

Be seeing you




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WikiLeaks Condemned by Governments on Three Continents

Posted by M. C. on February 17, 2020

Asked if he is worried that the release of so many secret documents could cause the deaths of U.S. military personnel, WikiLeaks Founder Julian Assange replied: “No, I’m worried that the press chooses to credibly report statements like that from the Pentagon…. Most wars that are started by democracies involve lying. The Vietnam War and the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution involved lying. The start of the Iraq war involved very serious lies that were repeated and amplified by some parts of the press.”

Written by 

The publication of nearly 400,000 secret U.S. military documents about the Iraq war by the whistleblower WikiLeaks earned condemnation from governments on three continents within hours of their posting on the Internet. The U.S. government, the British defense ministry, and the Iraqi prime minister’s office all quickly condemned the documents being revealed to the public.

The October 22 WikiLeaks posting of 391,832 secret U.S. government intelligence reports on the Iraq war from 2004 through 2009 was a follow-up on the nearly 90,000 secret documents revealed by WikiLeaks on the Afghan war back in July. The “Iraq War Diary,” as WikiLeaks called its most recent group of documents, reveals that the U.S. government kept detailed files on civilian casualties in Iraq (despite claims to the contrary) and allowed the press to underestimate civilian casualty numbers by more than 15,000.

According to the U.S. government, the WikiLeaks posting endangers American lives. “This is an extraordinary disservice to America’s men and women in uniform,” Pentagon press secretary Geoff Morrell charged in a government press release. “That danger is now exponentially multiplied as a result of this leak because it gives our enemies the wherewithal to look for vulnerabilities in how we operate and to exploit those opportunities and potentially kill our forces. That is just shameful.”

The British Defense Ministry claimed that WikiLeaks “can put the lives of UK service personnel and those of our allies at risk and make the job of armed forces in all theatres of operation more difficult and more dangerous.”

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s office also released a statement that the WikiLeaks posting was an attack “against national parties and leaders, especially against the prime minister.”

Asked if he is worried that the release of so many secret documents could cause the deaths of U.S. military personnel, WikiLeaks Founder Julian Assange replied: “No, I’m worried that the press chooses to credibly report statements like that from the Pentagon…. Most wars that are started by democracies involve lying. The Vietnam War and the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution involved lying. The start of the Iraq war involved very serious lies that were repeated and amplified by some parts of the press.”

The Pentagon charged that WikiLeaks had endangered U.S. service personnel or informants after it posted information in July on the U.S. war in Afghanistan, but has since made no mention of any actual deaths resulting from the public posting of the documents.

The condemnation of WikiLeaks by governments seems largely to have been because the documents reveal crimes by these governments. “Britain’s role in the alleged torture and unlawful killing of Iraqi civilians may be the subject of legal action,” the British Manchester Guardian reported October 23. The Guardian noted that Phil Shiner of the British group Public Interest Lawyers claimed the WikiLeaks-released documents have exposed prosecutable war crimes. “Some of these deaths will be in circumstances where the UK [has] a very clear legal responsibility,” Shiner contended. “This may be because the Iraqis died while under the effective control of UK forces — under arrest, in vehicles, helicopters or detention facilities.”

Meanwhile, the government condemnations have forced WikiLeaks Founder Julian Assange into a virtual life on the run. “Julian Assange moves like a hunted man,” the New York Times reported October 23. “He demands that his dwindling number of loyalists use expensive encrypted cellphones and swaps his own as other men change shirts. He checks into hotels under false names, dyes his hair, sleeps on sofas and floors, and uses cash instead of credit cards, often borrowed from friends.” Assange is being investigated for anonymous accusations of rape in Sweden, a nation with strong free press laws where the WikiLeaks website is hosted, and he has been denied residency in the country.


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RAY McGOVERN: German TV Exposes the Lies That Entrapped Julian Assange – Consortiumnews

Posted by M. C. on February 8, 2020

Opposition to extraditing Assange to the U.S. is becoming more widespread. Another straw in an Assange-favorable wind came last week when the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) called for Assange’s immediate release, ending years of silence by such European institutions.

By Ray McGovern

Special to Consortium News

Ray McGovernTruth has broken through for those confused about how a publisher ended up in a maximum security prison in London with a one-way extradition ticket to court in the U.S. and the rest of his life behind bars.

One of the main German TV channels (ZDF) ran two prime-time segments on Wednesday night exposing authorities in Sweden for having “made up” the story about Julian Assange being a rapist.

Until last night most Germans, as well as other consumers of “major media” in Europe, had no idea of the trickery that enmeshed Assange in a spider-web almost certainly designed by the U.S. and woven by accomplices in vassal states like Sweden, Britain and, eventually, Ecuador.

ZDF punctured that web by interviewing UN Rapporteur on Torture Nils Melzer. One ZDF “Heute Sendung” segment (in German) is especially telling from minute 13:00 to 15:30 . The second is ZDF “Heute Journal” (minute 25:49 to 30:19.)

Both ZDF programs show Melzer being interviewed, with minimal interruption or commentary, letting his findings speak for themselves about how allegations against Assange were “made up” and manipulated to hold him captive.

The particularly scurrilous allegation that led many, including initially Melzer, to believe Assange was a rapist — a tried and tested smear technique of covert action — was especially effective.  The Swedes never formally charged him with rape — or with any crime, for that matter.  ZDF exhibited some of the documents Melzer uncovered that show the sexual allegations were just as “invented” as the evidence for WMD before the attack on Iraq.

Melzer had previously admitted to having been so misled by media portrayals of Assange that he was initially reluctant to investigate Assange’s case.  Here is what Melzer wrote last year in an op-ed marking the International Day in Support of Torture Victims, June 26.

No major media would print or post it. posted it under the title “Demasking the Torture of Julian Assange.”


“But surely, I found myself pleading, Assange must be a selfish narcissist, skateboarding through the Ecuadorian Embassy and smearing feces on the walls? Well, all I heard from Embassy staff is that the inevitable inconveniences of his accommodation at their offices were handled with mutual respect and consideration.

This changed only after the election of President Moreno, when they were suddenly instructed to find smears against Assange and, when they didn’t, they were soon replaced. The President even took it upon himself to bless the world with his gossip, and to personally strip Assange of his asylum and citizenship without any due process of law.

In the end it finally dawned on me that I had been blinded by propaganda, and that Assange had been systematically slandered to divert attention from the crimes he exposed.” (Emphasis added.)

Melzer ended his op-ed with this somber warning:

“… This is not only about protecting Assange, but about preventing a precedent likely to seal the fate of Western democracy. For once telling the truth has become a crime, while the powerful enjoy impunity, it will be too late to correct the course. We will have surrendered our voice to censorship and our fate to unrestrained tyranny.” (Emphasis added.)

Melzer’s indefatigable efforts to expose what Assange has gone through, including “psychological torture,” met with some modest success in the days before the German ZDF aired their stories. Embedded in the linked article is by far the best interview of Melzer on Assange.

Opposition to extraditing Assange to the U.S. is becoming more widespread. Another straw in an Assange-favorable wind came last week when the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) called for Assange’s immediate release, ending years of silence by such European institutions.

It remains, nonetheless, an uphill struggle to prompt the British to think back 800 years to the courage of the nobles who wrested the Magna Carta from King John.

Be seeing you

WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange Facing 17 New Charges That Could ...



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JOHN KIRIAKOU: Those Torture Drawings in the NYT

Posted by M. C. on December 13, 2019

By John Kiriakou
Special to Consortium News

The New York Times last week published shocking drawings by Guantanamo prisoner Abu Zubaydah showing in graphic detail the types of tortures he endured at the hands of CIA officers and contractors at secret prisons around the world.  The drawings were sickening.  With a child’s simplicity, they showed the irrational cruelty of the CIA’s torture program, which weakened our country, violated domestic and international law and ended up saying so much more about us, as Americans, than it did about the terrorists who wished us harm.

The Times did its duty of reminding us what monsters the CIA produced in the early years of its so-called war on terror, people introduced to most Americans in the Senate’s torture report.  These are people such as the CIA’s former Director George Tenet and Deputy Director John McLaughlin.  They include unapologetic torture proponents such as former Deputy Director for Operations Jose Rodriguez and current CIA Director Gina Haspel.  They are the creators of the torture program: psychologists James Mitchell and Bruce Jessen. And in the photos of Abu Zubaydah’s drawing that the Times ran, the CIA dutifully blacked out even the stick-figure sketches of the actual torturers, those CIA officers who sold their souls to break the law, all in honor of that false god called “national security.”

Woefully Inadequate Article

With that said, the Times article, although revelatory in terms of Abu Zubaydah’s personal story, was woefully inadequate.  It never mentioned, for example, how the Obama administration did literally nothing to make any of this right.  Remember former President Barack Obama’s decision to hold no one accountable for the torture program and instead “look forward, not backward?”  That didn’t serve justice.  It just protected the torturers and the criminals who supported them. Remember the promise to close Guantanamo?  It never happened.

And what about that Senate torture report?  We talk about “the Senate torture report” like we actually know what was in it.  We don’t. The 5,500-page report was never released.  Instead, after a battle royal with the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI), Obama finally allowed only a heavily redacted version, less than 700 pages, of the report’s executive summary to see the light of day.  And all of that happened after then-CIA Director and Obama loyalist John Brennan ordered CIA officers to secretly hack into the SSCI’s computer system to see what committee investigators were up to.  Of course, no charges for that were ever filed…

A Pakistani policeman shot and severely wounded Abu Zubaydah on the night we captured him.  He was then transported to a secret CIA prison to recover and to be tortured.  As you can imagine, he confessed to a wide variety of terrorism-related crimes, whether he had actually committed them or not.  A torture victim will tell his torturer literally anything just to make the torture stop.  None of that information, because it was collected illegally, is admissible in a court of law.

And so, Abu Zubaydah, like every other Guantanamo detainee with the dubious exception of alleged 9/11 mastermind Khalid Shaikh Muhammad, sits in solitary confinement year after year without ever having been charged with a crime.

There is only one way out of this national embarrassment.  Abu Zubaydah has a constitutional right to face his accusers in a court of law.  He has a right to be tried by a jury of his peers. If he is not charged — if he cannot be charged — with a crime, he must be released. That’s the law.  It’s the American way.

Former President George W. Bush got us into this situation by allowing the likes of his Vice President Dick Cheney to run the country. Barack Obama did nothing to improve the situation.  Indeed, he sided with the CIA at every opportunity.  President Donald Trump (who has publicly supported torture), well…  it’s not even worth having that conversation.  But the bottom line is that what Abu Zubaydah and others have endured in secret prisons and at Guantanamo is not the American way.  It’s not constitutional.  It’s not legal. We have to correct this immediately.

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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.”

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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‘Truth Is Treason’ – The Torture Of Julian Assange

Posted by M. C. on October 22, 2019

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Run! – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on October 3, 2019


Julian Assange is reported to very thin, very sick and being treated at this point, as little more than a “lab rat” by his state doctors and interrogators at Belmarsh.  Word is that his encryption key ring (with his private keys that unlock his various public keys) has already been extracted, under physical duress, cold, light and noise torture, food deprivation, BZ variants, some experimental, and now that he is very physically weak, PCP.  The arrests have started and they won’t stop until the injured parties –mainly the US government – have satisfied their bloodlust.

If the hundreds, perhaps thousands, of donors of information to Wilikeaks around the world haven’t begun to already, they need to rapidly take cover – legal, physical, operational and otherwise.

The US, its allies and understudies, its lackeys and satraps, both of the state and corporate type, want to know where the leaks are.  And they will find them.

Was Julian Assange the publisher (like Google and Facebook)?  Was he some kind of fake whistleblower (like the CIA guy on loan to the White House)?  Might he be considered an actual whistleblower like Chelsea Manning or Ed Snowden and Bill Binney and many, many more driven by a sense of real patriotism and justice to share with the people what is being done in their name?…

Assange must not be tried in a court of law, even the dubious law of the Eastern District Court, because his “crimes” if any, will be found invalid, or invalidated.  He himself is not a whistleblower, and the charges in the US case against him thus relate to hacking and “encouraging” an existing whistleblower.  Decisions were made at the highest levels of both US and UK governments that Assange will be sacrificed in the name of the higher goal of tamping out current leaks, punishing past leakers, and discouraging future leakers, as well as improving information and technical security at NSA and other parts of the USG.   Part of this project is recent. Coming arrests and trials of people who may have violated their employment agreements in sharing classified information with Wikileaks, will, even if it must use parallel reconstruction as Judge Napolitano explains, will be enough for a trial.  Even kangaroo courts have their standards.

As Caitlyn Johnstone explains in the current US case, what we are witnessing is beyond a double standard and indicates CIA readiness to take on a president inclined to restrict it.  Perhaps, hope of hope, Trump was planning to fire its budget hungry and war-inflamed Director Pompeo? Meanwhile, Trump fails to rein in his IC, and fails to protect Assange, a man he once admired, if one can believe his tweeting.  Another man who once praised Wikileaks, and now leads England, was just this week praising Egypt for its freedom, and silent on Assange.  This summer’s first ever Media Freedom Conference was held in London not far from Belmarsh, with a several day, 14 page agenda studded with famous people.  Illustrating the very “deep fake” conundrum they did talk about at the conference, the agenda contained not a single mention of Wikileaks or Julian Assange.

This world is not for freedom lovers, or truth tellers.  Run!

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Julian Assange On The Mire Of Politically Distorted ...



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Why is the 9/11 Mastermind Still Awaiting Trial? | The American Conservative

Posted by M. C. on September 12, 2019

One word: torture.

By Kelley Beaucar Vlahos

The trial date for 9/11 mastermind Khalid Shaikh Mohammed and his cohorts for their role in the September 11, 2001 attacks, which were responsible for the deaths of 2,976 people, has been finally set.

For January 11, 2021.

Wrap your heads around that for a moment. Kids who were born the year of the worst terror attack on U.S. soil are now applying for colleges and signing up for Selective Service. They’ll be able to vote in the next presidential election.

For those of us who went the through painful process of covering the evolution of the U.S. military tribunal at “Camp Justice” at Guantanamo Bay, the announcement that a date has been “set” means very little. Most observers don’t think it’ll happen, not in January 2021 or ever. Why?


The U.S. military and the CIA took KSM and other high level detainees who later spent time at the infamous GTMO off the battlefield and into “black” interrogation sites that most Americans would rather forget ever existed. They tortured these individuals for information before bringing them to GTMO and then tortured them some more. Anyone who does not believe that has been living in a politically warped state of denial for the last 18 years.

If it hadn’t happened, the U.S. military might have had a lot more than a handful of convictions (out of the hundreds of detainees who have rotated in and out of the prison). Out of the handful of convictions at Camp Justice, most have been overturned in the last several years. The record of this tribunal is pathetic. The only thing truly accomplished here is the U.S. military ecosystem flourishing a short hop from the Cuban mainland. What was supposed to be temporary has been made permanent, like all things in the American military industrial complex…

The reason why KSM and his four cohorts have not gone to trial yet is because there is a dispute over whether their confessions are admissible because they were gleaned through torture sessions in CIA prisons. By law the any evidence obtained under these conditions is inadmissible. Defense lawyers in this case, as well in the other major case at Camp Justice—the 2000 USS Cole bombing—have been able to hold up the progress of both cases on this basis. If for some reason these men are convicted, and they get the death penalty, their lawyers were use torture to prolong that process too…

Torture report: 10 examples of the horror in the CIA's prisons





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