MCViewPoint

Opinion from a Libertarian ViewPoint

Posts Tagged ‘War Crimes’

Get Russian – Caitlin Johnstone

Posted by M. C. on May 6, 2020

https://caitlinjohnstone.com/2020/05/01/get-russian/

Dissent is Russian, or haven’t you heard?

Dissent is Russian.

Peace activism is Russian.

Exposing war crimes is Russian.

Inconveniencing Democrats is Russian.

Tara Reade? Russian.

Julian Assange? Russian.

Jill Stein? Russian.

Tulsi Gabbard? Russian.

Russia? You bet your sweet ass that’s Russian.

Conspiracy theories are Russian.

Alternative media are Russian.

It’s Russian to ask questions.

It’s Russian to reveal objective facts.

It’s Russian to tell the truth.

Truth is Russian in an empire of lies.

If truth is Russian, I don’t want to be Australian.

If truth is Russian, you can call me Svetlana.

If truth is Russian, then I will ascend to the clouds

by climbing a Tolstoy novel,

kicking my feet out in front of me

with my bum low to the ground

balancing a bottle of vodka atop a fur hat

whilst shouting “Stallone was the bad guy in Rocky IV

until my voice is hoarse.

If truth is Russian, then let’s all get Russian.

Get as Russian as possible.

Get aggressively Russian.

Get offensively Russian.

Get Russianly Russian.

Get so Russian it hurts.

Get so Russian they write Palmer Report articles about you.

Get so Russian that Rachel Maddow spits your name like it’s poison.

Get so Russian that Putin calls you and says tone it down.

Get so Russian that Khabib Nurmagomedov has nightmares about fighting you.

Camus said “The only way to deal with an unfree world

is to become so absolutely Russian

that your very existence is an act of rebellion,”

or something like that.

So get Russian, baby.

Fold your arms and get low on the dance floor.

Get low, shorty,

get low, low, low.

Get low,

get low,

and get Russian.

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

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Assange’s Extradition Hearing Reveals Trump’s War on Free Press – Antiwar.com Original

Posted by M. C. on February 25, 2020

Edward Fitzgerald QC indicated Assange has become a target of Trump’s “war on leakers and journalists.” He stated that his client was “the obvious symbol of all that Trump condemned. He had brought American war crimes to the attention of the world.”

“Mr. Rohrabacher visited Julian Assange and discussed a preemptive pardon in exchange for personal assistance to President Trump in the enquiry then ongoing concerning Russian involvement in the hacking and leaking of the Democratic National Committee emails… ” [3.7]

Fitzgerald QC continued: “We say that this whole pardon incident shows that, just as the prosecution was initiated in December 2017 for political purposes, so too the Trump administration had been prepared to use the threat of prosecution as a means of extortion to obtain personal political advantage from Mr. Assange.” [3.9]

https://original.antiwar.com/Nozomi_Hayase/2020/02/24/assanges-extradition-hearing-reveals-trumps-war-on-free-press/

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On Monday, WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange’s one-week extradition hearing began at Woolwich Crown Court in SouthEast London. The judge heard the opening arguments for the prosecution and defense. The prosecution began, accusing the journalist who exposed the US government’s war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan of espionage charges that would carry 175 years in jail.

The US-based investigative journalist Kevin Gosztola, who was at the media annex during the proceeding, reported that U.S. Government barrister, James Lewis QC, said that prosecutors “are not criminalizing the publication of classified materials but rather the publication of names of informants or dissidents who help the US and allies in military operations.”

Gosztola noted that James Lewis QC “listed off specific documents that Assange is accused of releasing which allegedly contained names of ‘human sources’ that were endangered.” When asked by the judge if the offense of publishing would extend to a newspaper, the Prosecution replied, “1989 Official Secrets Act would cover [that]” and “If a journalist or newspaper publishes secret information likely to cause harm in the categories, it commits an offense.”

Updating the media on the hearing, the WikiLeaks Editor-in-Chief Kristinn Hrafnsson reminded the crowd that this is “journalism on trial” and stated that the US argument is repeating the same old line they used 10 years ago, while dismissing the importance of the harm the US was doing, as revealed WikiLeaks by in their 2010-2011 publications. Hrafnsson rejected the US government’s claims that WikiLeaks publications put lives at risk, stating that during the 2013 Manning Trial, the US government could not prove any harm, and had to admit that no physical harm had occurred to a single individual due to WikiLeaks revelations.

Assange’s defense lawyer Edward Fitzgerald QC argued that this prosecution is politically motivated and so the UK can’t extradite Assange, since their treaty with the US strictly forbids extradition for a political offense.

The defense for Assange provided a background that led to this prosecution of his client. He noted that “President Trump came into power with a new approach to freedom of speech…. Effectively declaring war on investigative journalists.” He said that “President Trump met with FBI Director James Comey and agreed that they should be ‘putting a head on a pike’ as a message to journalists over leaks, and ‘putting journalists in jail”.

Edward Fitzgerald QC indicated Assange has become a target of Trump’s “war on leakers and journalists.” He stated that his client was “the obvious symbol of all that Trump condemned. He had brought American war crimes to the attention of the world.”

Then, examples of egregious government “abuse of power” and the “abuse of the rule of law” were presented to the court as key defenses. These include the breach of client and attorney confidentiality. Assange’s conversations with lawyers were spied on by a Spanish security firm hired by the US while he was living under political asylum inside the London Ecuadorian Embassy. His grant of asylum was explicitly to protect him from the risk of extradition to the US; a risk related to his publishing activities with WikiLeaks.

A further breach of legal privilege occurred after the Ecuadorian government illegally breached his asylum and evicted Assange, having the UK police arrest him within the embassy. The US authorities were then permitted, by the embassy, to seize his legally privileged materials.

On the first day of the hearing, the unprecedented scale of the assault on the journalist was revealed. Extreme measures employed in the targeting Assange included plans to try to kidnap or poison Assange while he was in the embassy.

As another example of abuse of process, Fitzgerald QC brought up Republican Congressman Dana Rohrabacher’s alleged pardon offer, made to Mr. Assange in August 2017. The opening summary of defense case states:

“Mr. Rohrabacher visited Julian Assange and discussed a preemptive pardon in exchange for personal assistance to President Trump in the enquiry then ongoing concerning Russian involvement in the hacking and leaking of the Democratic National Committee emails… ” [3.7]

Fitzgerald QC continued: “We say that this whole pardon incident shows that, just as the prosecution was initiated in December 2017 for political purposes, so too the Trump administration had been prepared to use the threat of prosecution as a means of extortion to obtain personal political advantage from Mr. Assange.” [3.9]

From the US government spying on the embassy, to the alleged extortion, Julian Assange’s lawyer argued, this extradition case “is not about criminal justice, it’s about the manipulation of the system to ensure the United States could make an example of Assange.”

As the extradition hearing began, hundreds of supporters gathered outside the courthouse, chanting for freedom of the WikiLeaks founder. Major human rights organizations and press freedom groups, including Amnesty International and The Committee to Protect Journalists, have now come out strongly against Assange’s extradition to the US.

After the first day of monitoring the hearing, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) UK bureau director Rebecca Vincent noted, “Nothing we heard today was surprising, and has reinforced our position. We believe he has been targeted for his contributions to public interest reporting.”

Note:

 

 

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Assange’s Extradition Case: Critical Moment for the Antiwar Movement – Antiwar.com Original

Posted by M. C. on February 17, 2020

While media have become stenographers to power and have long betrayed ordinary
people, WikiLeaks has defended the public’s right to know by publishing more
than 10 million documents, with a pristine record of accuracy exposing human
rights abuses, government spying and war crimes on an unprecedented scale.

If the Trump administration were to succeed in extraditing Assange to the US, where he will not receive a fair trial, it will be the death of investigative journalism and the victory of senseless wars. If this is ever allowed to happen, the murder of an innocent journalist will not be the end, but only the beginning: the unchecked power of the US Empire will bring misery and death to countless innocents around the world, and tyranny inevitably follow with wars without end.

https://original.antiwar.com/Nozomi_Hayase/2020/02/16/assanges-extradition-case-critical-moment-for-the-antiwar-movement/

Last week, Leader of the UK opposition Jeremy Corbyn challenged Prime Minister Boris Johnson in the House of Commons on the US extradition request for WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange.

Corbyn stated that Assange had been charged by the US “for exposing war crimes, the murder of civilians and large-scale corruption”. Backing the Council of Europe, who warned that the prosecution of Assange sets a dangerous precedent for journalists and called for his immediate release, he asked:

“Will the Prime Minister agree with the Parliamentary report that’s going to the Council of Europe that this extradition should be opposed and the rights of journalists and whistleblowers upheld for the good of all of us?”

Corbyn has risen to political prominence for his lifelong activism against military action. He opposed the 2003 Iraq War and also voted against British military involvement in Afghanistan and Libya. The Labour leader, who is known for his staunch commitment to democratic rights and peace, understood very well the value of WikiLeaks’ disclosure of government secrets.

WikiLeaks’ publication of documents concerning US wars in Iraq and Afghanistan was a major contribution to the antiwar movement. The release of the Collateral Murder video provided a rare window into modern asymmetric warfare, revealing the war crime of a US military airstrike killing innocent civilians in a suburb of Iraq.

Corbyn, who has not mentioned Assange’s plight over the last 10 months, and with now less than two weeks before his extradition hearing, finally broke his silence. In his question to the Prime Minister, he fiercely asserted the voice of the antiwar movement at the Parliamentary session.

The Fourth Estate as a vehicle for peace

This decisive action by Corbyn came shortly after Julian Assange was nominated for the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize, along with whistleblowers Chelsea Manning and Edward Snowden. The nomination letter stated that these three need to be recognized for their “unprecedented contributions to the pursuit of peace and their immense personal sacrifices to promote peace for all”. It acknowledged how they have “exposed the architecture of war and strengthened the architecture of peace”. In the following week, Assange also won the 2020 Gary Webb Freedom of the Press Award, adding another prize to his list of journalism awards.

Assange understood the critical role of media in keeping peace. He once noted: “Populations don’t like wars. They have to be lied into it. That means we can be ‘truthed’ into peace.” Speaking in defense of the disclosure of classified US military documents on the Iraq War, Assange pointed out how “most wars that are started by democracies involve lying” and described, “the start of the Iraq War involved very serious lies that were repeated and amplified by some parts of the press”.

The Iraq War is a good example of the massive failure of established media in the West. Colin Powell’s fabrication at the UN Security Council about Iraq’s supposed weapons of mass destruction was a particular low point for the US in its base war propaganda.

While media have become stenographers to power and have long betrayed ordinary people, WikiLeaks has defended the public’s right to know by publishing more than 10 million documents, with a pristine record of accuracy exposing human rights abuses, government spying and war crimes on an unprecedented scale. By bringing truth to the public, the whistleblowing site transformed the Fourth Estate into becoming a powerful vehicle for peacemaking.

Australian MPs’ initiative

In the EU, the number of Parliament members, lawmakers and ministers in support of Assange is growing. In Assange’s home country, Australia, concern for one of the nation’s legendary journalists is becoming stronger. As more and more people voiced disappointment with the inaction of the Australian government, individuals inside the institution began to take action.

On February 10, Australian MP Andrew Wilkie tabled a historic petition in Australia’s Parliament calling for an end to the US extradition. As he urged the government to bring Assange back home, he added:

“That the perpetrator of those war crimes, America, is now seeking to extradite Mr. Assange to face 17 counts of espionage and one of hacking is unjust in the extreme and arguably illegal under British law.”

Then, a day later, he announced that he would travel to London to visit Assange in Belmarsh prison, where he has been kept in complete isolation until recently. Another Australian MP George Christensen will also visit Assange in London and together they plan to lobby Britain for his freedom.

Momentum is now building up, with political figures demonstrating great leadership in urging their governments to do the right thing. In the US, during the lead-up to Mr. Assange’s UK hearing, the Democratic Party’s primary nomination contest is intensifying. Candidates race to win the right to challenge Trump for the 2020 presidential election.

Presidential race to rescue the free press?

Who among the US presidential candidates would be the next to follow Corbyn’s great lead to defend Assange, in order to rescue the free press that is now under attack by the Trump administration?

So far, strong support is shown by Democratic Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, Hawaii’s congresswoman and the first female combat veteran to ever run for president. She indicated that, if elected President in 2020, she would drop all US charges against Julian Assange and pardon Edward Snowden.

What about the positions of other major candidates? Both the Vermont senator Bernie Sanders and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren recognized the dangerous precedent that the Trump administration’s indictment against Assange poses for press freedom, yet they fall short in coming forward to strongly defend a journalist imprisoned in London’s HMP Belmarsh, who is now facing 175 years in a US prison for his publishing activities exposing US war crimes.

Will Sanders, who is viewed by many as America’s counterpart to UK Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, stand up for what has become the most essential media freedom issue of our time? Would Warren, who promises to take on Wall Street to protect economic opportunities for working families, show the same enthusiasm to protect media freedom? Will any of them challenge Joe Biden for the remarks he made while he was Vice-President to Barack Obama comparing Assange to a “high-tech terrorist”?

Bill Weld, a former Massachusetts governor, who now has become the only opponent to challenge Trump for the Republican ticket, indicated that his administration would not press Espionage Act charges against Julian Assange.

Grassroots action

While presidential candidates are lacking in their courage to defend Assange, support toward the WikiLeaks founder is growing at the grassroots level among the American people. Rick Sterling, the Bay Area-based investigative journalist, recently launched a new petition to intervene on behalf of Assange’s freedom. The petition, endorsed by the National Lawyers Guild and Veterans for Peace, is addressed to Vanessa Baraitser, who will be the presiding judge at Assange’s formal extradition hearing starting February 24, urging her to exercise judicial independence and reject the US extradition request.

Sterling, who is a member of Syria Solidarity Movement, has been critical of the US military invasion of the Middle East, and has traveled to London with other concerned friends to investigate Assange’s current situation. He said, “Once there, we were inspired by the dedication of activists who protest outside Belmarsh Prison every Saturday and in Trafalgar Square every Saturday night. People from around the world are coming to express their solidarity.”

He said that he initiated this petition because he wanted to make it known that  “there are informed American citizens who adamantly OPPOSE what our government is doing”. He added: “We want the judge to consider all the facts and not be pressured or bullied into extraditing Assange.”

In defense of peace

Assange’s US extradition hearing is set to start for five days on February 24, and will then resume on May 18 for three more weeks. His first day in the court is marked as a Global Day of Protests, where supporters around the world are organizing rallies and demonstrations. In the US, supporters across the country are planning to gather for solidarity actions planned in Washington DC throughout the first week of his hearing.

Nils Melzer, the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture who investigated Mr. Assange’s situation, spoke at a recent public rally in London about how Julian Assange reported on torture conducted by the US government, but which has never been prosecuted. He reminded the audience that Assange has been and continues to be psychologically tortured, and that if he were to be extradited to the US he would be tortured until the day he dies.

The US government’s extradition and prosecution of Julian Assange is a critical moment for press freedom, but also for the antiwar movement. This aggressive government’s assault on journalists poses grave danger to peace, for without a press that is free and independent, truth that has the power to stop wars is defenseless.

If the Trump administration were to succeed in extraditing Assange to the US, where he will not receive a fair trial, it will be the death of investigative journalism and the victory of senseless wars. If this is ever allowed to happen, the murder of an innocent journalist will not be the end, but only the beginning: the unchecked power of the US Empire will bring misery and death to countless innocents around the world, and tyranny inevitably follow with wars without end. We need to solidify our opposition to the US extradition of Julian Assange, because peace needs a great public defense.

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Julian Assange Could Die In Prison Doctors Warn | Disclose.tv

 

 

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How the US Wages War to Prop up the Dollar | Mises Institute

Posted by M. C. on January 13, 2020

America’s hatred of Iran starts with its attempt to control its own oil production, exports and earnings. It goes back to 1953, when Mossadegh was overthrown because he wanted domestic sovereignty over Anglo-Persian oil.

https://mises.org/power-market/how-us-wages-war-prop-dollar

Ryan McMaken

At Counterpunch, Michael Hudson has penned an important article that outlines the important connections between US foreign policy, oil, and the US dollar.

In short, US foreign policy is geared very much toward controlling oil resources as part of a larger strategy to prop up the US dollar. Hudson writes:

The assassination was intended to escalate America’s presence in Iraq to keep control of the region’s oil reserves, and to back Saudi Arabia’s Wahabi troops (Isis, Al Quaeda in Iraq, Al Nusra and other divisions of what are actually America’s foreign legion) to support U.S. control of Near Eastern oil as a buttress of the U.S. dollar. That remains the key to understanding this policy, and why it is in the process of escalating, not dying down.

The actual context for the neocon’s action was the balance of payments, and the role of oil and energy as a long-term lever of American diplomacy.

Basically, the US’s propensity for driving up massive budget deficits has created a need for immense amounts of deficit spending. This can be handled through selling lots of government debt, or through monetizing the debt. But what if there isn’t enough global demand for US debt? That would mean the US would have to pay more interest on its debt. Or, the US could monetize the debt through the central bank. But that might cause the value of the dollar to crash. So, the US regime realized that it must find ways to prevent the glut of dollars and debt from actually destroying the value of the dollar. Fortunately for the regime, this can be partly managed, it turns out, through foreign policy. Hudson continues:

The solution [to the problem of maintaining the demand for dollars] turned out to be to replace gold with U.S. Treasury securities (IOUs) as the basis of foreign central bank reserves. After 1971, foreign central banks had little option for what to do with their continuing dollar inflows except to recycle them to the U.S. economy by buying U.S. Treasury securities. The effect of U.S. foreign military spending thus did not undercut the dollar’s exchange rate, and did not even force the Treasury and Federal Reserve to raise interest rates to attract foreign exchange to offset the dollar outflows on military account. In fact, U.S. foreign military spending helped finance the domestic U.S. federal budget deficit.

An important piece of this strategy has been a continued alliance with Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia maintains the world’s largest capacity for oil production, and it was the largest single producer of crude for most of the period from the mid-1970s to 2018, when the US surpassed both Saudi Arabia and Russia.

Read the rest of this entry »

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The Afghanistan Papers Propaganda at the WashPo Fooled Many – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on January 4, 2020

The Post it seems just did the job it was tasked to do by publishing this story in order to place just enough blame on the system at large so that the rest of society would feel better, and then go right back to sleep.

There is no mention of war crimes, no mention of the senseless murder of hundreds of thousands, and nothing said of the millions of innocent lives destroyed by this purposeful slaughter for the sake of power and control.

The stage is now set for a major continuation of this war on humanity. Iran will be the next and most important victim in this game of death and empire.

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2020/01/gary-d-barnett/the-afghanistan-papers-propaganda-at-the-washington-post-fooled-many-now-on-to-iran/

By

“The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country”. ~ Edward Bernays, Propaganda (1928), p. 10

All of a sudden, and out of the blue, the “truth-telling” Washington Post informed us that Afghanistan was a failure. They claimed that they were able to gain this valuable and previously unknown information by gaining access to “secret documents,” that were actually not secrets or documents at all, but so-called hidden interviews with those who were actually responsible for prosecuting this heinous war against an innocent people. As stated by the Post “We’re basically fighting the wrong way,” and “This was an original way to tell the story of all the failures in Afghanistan.” Propaganda at this level deserves respect for its blatant and open dishonesty, because the pathetic American populace, including many of those in the alternative press and many of those falsely claiming to be champions of liberty, will easily swallow these outright lies.

In the quote above by Edward Bernays, the “conscious and intelligent manipulation” of the masses is somewhat misleading in that the manipulation may be intelligent, but only because the collective masses are consumed by blind ignorance…

Afghanistan was never a failure; it was a resounding success for the ruling elite puppet masters, their pawns in government, and the entirety of the military industrial complex. The war against Afghanistan and the Middle East was planned far in advance of the staged events of September 11, 2001. A war was certainly desired, but times had changed, and some of the people were tiring of war. What was needed was a solidifying event, one that would corral the emotions of the masses so they would once again accept carnage for false safety, but this time it was to be forever. A simple war was not enough, so a never-ending war was sought, and the era of the bogus war on terror was conceived. Afghanistan was only the beginning.

What the Post story has attempted to accomplish, and apparently achieved, is to bring some sort of mental closure to a situation that was always meant to be the linchpin in a much more aggressive universal war that could lead to a one-world dominate economic system. While the CIA probably did not actually write this Post article, it certainly planted the information, and put all the pieces together in order to set the narrative going forward. The Post it seems just did the job it was tasked to do by publishing this story in order to place just enough blame on the system at large so that the rest of society would feel better, and then go right back to sleep…

The stage is now set for a major continuation of this war on humanity. Iran will be the next and most important victim in this game of death and empire. It has already begun, but this time the consequences could be far more dangerous, and fatal for the future of freedom.

My position is to believe nothing and question everything. It is the only way to achieve sanity, to find the truth, and to see the evil that exists in this world. That evil is far more prevalent than can be readily imagined, and only truth can expose the risks we face. Beware of false flags. Beware of state and media lies. Beware of false prophets wearing the robes of kings, and beware of those that continue to paint a picture of terror in order to advance more war. We are in a time of great danger, and that danger is already upon us today.

“It happened that a fire broke out backstage in a theater. The clown came out to inform the public. They thought it was a jest and applauded. He repeated his warning. They shouted even louder. So I think the world will come to an end amid the general applause from all the wits who believe that it is a joke.”

~ Søren Kierkegaard

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A Timeline of CIA Atrocities - Veterans Today | News ...

 

 

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Craig Murray – Historian, Former Ambassador, Human Rights Activist – Julian Assange Bail Violation

Posted by M. C. on September 16, 2019

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

by

We are now just one week away from the end of Julian Assange’s uniquely lengthy imprisonment for bail violation. He will receive parole from the rest of that sentence, but will continue to be imprisoned on remand awaiting his hearing on extradition to the USA – a process which could last several years.

At that point, all the excuses for Assange’s imprisonment which so-called leftists and liberals in the UK have hidden behind will evaporate. There are no charges and no active investigation in Sweden, where the “evidence” disintegrated at the first whiff of critical scrutiny. He is no longer imprisoned for “jumping bail”. The sole reason for his incarceration will be the publishing of the Afghan and Iraq war logs leaked by Chelsea Manning, with their evidence of wrongdoing and multiple war crimes.

In imprisoning Assange for bail violation, the UK was in clear defiance of the judgement of the UN Working Group on arbitrary Detention, which stated

Under international law, pre-trial detention must be only imposed in limited instances. Detention during investigations must be even more limited, especially in the absence of any charge. The Swedish investigations have been closed for over 18 months now, and the only ground remaining for Mr. Assange’s continued deprivation of liberty is a bail violation in the UK, which is, objectively, a minor offense that cannot post facto justify the more than 6 years confinement that he has been subjected to since he sought asylum in the Embassy of Ecuador. Mr. Assange should be able to exercise his right to freedom of movement in an unhindered manner, in accordance with the human rights conventions the UK has ratified,

In repudiating the UNWGAD the UK has undermined an important pillar of international law, and one it had always supported in hundreds of other decisions. The mainstream media has entirely failed to note that the UNWGAD called for the release of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe – a source of potentially valuable international pressure on Iran which the UK has made worthless by its own refusal to comply with the UN over the Assange case. Iran simply replies “if you do not respect the UNWGAD then why should we?”

It is in fact a key indication of media/government collusion that the British media, which reports regularly at every pretext on the Zaghari-Ratcliffe case to further its anti-Iranian government agenda, failed to report at all the UNWGAD call for her release – because of the desire to deny the UN body credibility in the case of Julian Assange.

In applying for political asylum, Assange was entering a different and higher legal process which is an internationally recognised right. A very high percentage of dissident political prisoners worldwide are imprisoned on ostensibly unrelated criminal charges with which the authorities fit them up. Many a dissident has been given asylum in these circumstances. Assange did not go into hiding – his whereabouts were extremely well known. The simple characterisation of this as “absconding” by district judge Vanessa Baraitser is a farce of justice – and like the UK’s repudiation of the UNWGAD report, is an attitude that authoritarian regimes will be delighted to repeat towards dissidents worldwide.

Her decision to commit Assange to continuing jail pending his extradition hearing was excessively cruel given the serious health problems he has encountered in Belmarsh…

So now we have a right wing government in the UK with scant concern for democracy, and in particular we have the most far right extremist as Home Secretary of modern times. Assange is now, plainly and without argument, a political prisoner. He is not in jail for bail-jumping. He is not in jail for sexual allegations. He is in jail for publishing official secrets, and for nothing else. The UK now has the world’s most famous political prisoner, and there are no rational grounds to deny that fact. Who will take a stand against authoritarianism and for the freedom to publish?

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Assange

 

 

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‘A Breath of Fresh Air’ as Pamela Anderson Takes Meghan McCain to Task Over US War Crimes | Common Dreams News

Posted by M. C. on September 9, 2019

Normally what some hollywood type has to say is of little interest to me but anytime someone goes head to head with a McCain warmonger I applaud.

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2019/09/06/breath-fresh-air-pamela-anderson-takes-meghan-mccain-task-over-us-war-crimes

“Pamela Anderson talking about how war crimes need to be punished and of course Meghan McCain is crying about it.”

Actress Pamela Anderson and nepotism case Meghan McCain stare daggers at one another as The View's Sunny Hostin asks a question.

Actress Pamela Anderson and nepotism case Meghan McCain stare daggers at one another as The View‘s Sunny Hostin asks a question. (Image: screenshot/ABC)

Friday’s edition of The View became the site of an argument about war crimes, the U.S. military, and WikiLeaks as actress Pamela Anderson and program co-host Meghan McCain battled during Anderson’s appearance on the hit daytime talk show.

The dispute began when View hosts attacked Anderson for her unwavering support of Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks. McCain pounced, claiming that Assange is merely a “cyber terrorist.”

“He hacked information,” McCain said. “His leaks included classified documents that put our national security at risk, our military, and the lives of spies and diplomats at risk.”

Anderson replied by pointing out that the U.S. military, not WikiLeaks, is responsbile for the deaths of many innocent people around the world.

“How many people have the American government killed innocently and how many has Wikileaks?” Anderson asked. “The military has put many innocent lives at risk.”

That response spurred a cheer from the audience.

“Oh, calm down, sir,” McCain snapped at one boisterous supporter.

Later in the discussion, McCain extolled the virtues of American spies and intelligence officers and asked if Anderson was concerned for their safety from Assange leaking information to the public.

“Well, there’s no evidence he’s put anyone at risk,” said Anderson. “And I think people like Edward Snowden, Chelsea Manning are heroes.”

Progressive reaction online to the argument focused on Anderson’s effective batting away of McCain’s right-wing talking points.

“What a breath of fresh air!!” Splinter managing editor Katherine Kreuger wrote in her recap of the argument.

“Pamela Anderson talking about how war crimes need to be punished and of course Meghan McCain is crying about it,” said Twitter user @Millerheighlife.

In a rare omission, Meghan McCain did not mention that her father was late war hawk Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) during the discussion.

Watch Anderson’s appearance:

 

Be seeing you

 

 

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

Posted by M. C. on June 18, 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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The War Crimes That Don’t Get Punished – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on June 11, 2019

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2019/06/ron-paul/the-war-crimes-that-dont-get-punished/

By

Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA) found himself in hot water recently over comments he made in defense of Navy SEAL Edward Gallagher, who faces war crimes charges over his alleged conduct while serving in combat overseas. Gallagher is charged with stabbing a 15 year old ISIS member while in custody, of taking photos posing with the corpse of the teen, and with killing several civilians.

Defending Gallagher recently, Hunter put his own record up next to the SEAL to suggest that he’s an elected Congressman who has done worse things in battle than Gallagher.

That’s where Hunter’s defense earned him some perhaps unwanted attention. While participating in the first “Battle of Fallujah” in early 2007, by Hunter’s own account he and his fellow soldiers killed hundreds of innocent civilians, including women and children. They fired mortars into the city and killed at random.

In the sanitized world of US mainstream media reporting on US wars overseas, we do not hear about non-combatants being killed by Americans. How many times has there been any reporting on the birth defects that Iraqis continue to suffer in the aftermath of US attacks with horrific weapons like depleted uranium and white phosphorus?

Rep. Hunter described his philosophy when fighting in Iraq:

“You go in fast and hard, you kill people, you hit them in the face and then you get out…We’re going to hurt you and then we’re going to leave. And if you want to be nice to America, we’ll be nice to you. If you don’t want to be nice to us, we’re going to slap you again.”

This shows how much Duncan Hunter does not understand about war. When he speaks of hitting people in the face until they are nice to America, he doesn’t seem to realize that the people of Fallujah – and all of Iraq – never did a thing to the US to deserve that hit in the face. The war was launched on the basis of lies and cooked-up intelligence by many of the people who are serving in the current Administration.

And that brings us to the real war criminals. Read the rest of this entry »

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Lee Camp: 18 Ways Julian Assange Changed the World

Posted by M. C. on May 29, 2019

Nothing published on WikiLeaks has ever been proven untrue. Compare that record to CNN, MSNBC, Fox News or any mainstream outlet.

https://www.mintpressnews.com/lee-camp18-ways-julian-assange-wikileaks-changed-the-world/258790/

By Lee Camp

Julian Assange is a dick. It’s important you understand that.

Assange and WikiLeaks revealed the American military’s war crimes, the American government’s corruption and the American corporate media’s pathetic servile flattery to the power elite. So, if you’re a member of our ruling class, you would view those as textbook examples of dickery.

In a moment I’m going to list all the ways Julian Assange changed the world by being a dick.

In an evolved and fully realized society, the oligarchy would see Assange as a dangerous criminal (which they do), and the average working men and women would view him as justice personified (which they don’t). We would celebrate him even as the mass media told us to hope for his downfall—like a Batman or a Robin Hood or an Ozzy Osbourne (the early years, not the cleaning-dog-turds-off-his-carpet years).

But we are not evolved and this is not Gotham City and average Americans don’t root for the truth. Many Americans cheer for Assange’s imprisonment. They believe the corporate plutocratic talking points and yearn for the days when we no longer have to hear about our country’s crimes against humanity or our bankers’ crimes against the economy. Subconsciously they must believe that a life in which we’re tirelessly exploited by rich villains and know all about it thanks to the exhaustive efforts of an eccentric Australian is worse than one in which we’re tirelessly exploited by rich villains yet know nothing about it.

“Ignorance is bliss” is the meditative mantra of the United States of America…

And Chelsea Manning’s most famous leak is arguably also WikiLeaks’ most famous leak, so it’ll top this list:

1) That would be the notorious Collateral Murder video, showing U.S. air crew gunning down unarmed Iraqi civilians with an enthusiasm that couldn’t be matched by an eight year-old winning a five-foot-tall stuffed animal at the county fair. They murdered between 12 and 18 innocent people, two of them Reuters journalists.

Zero people have been arrested for the collateral murders. Yet Julian Assange has been arrested for revealing them.

2) WikiLeaks brought us the Guantanamo Bay “Camp Delta Standard Operating Procedures—showing that many of the prisoners held on the U.S. military detention facility were completely innocent, and that some were hidden from Red Cross officials. (Because when you’re torturing innocent people, you kinda want to do that in peace and quiet, away from prying eyes. It’s very easy to get distracted, and then you lose your place and have to start all over again.)

None of the soldiers torturing innocent people at Gitmo have been arrested for it. Yet Julian Assange has been arrested for revealing it.

3) Not content with revealing only war crimes, WikiLeaks in 2008 came out with the secret bibles of Scientology, which showed that aliens, um, run the world or … aliens are inside all of us or … aliens give us indigestion. I can’t really remember.

But no one has ever been arrested for perpetrating that nutbag cult. Yet Julian Assange has for revealing it.

Many people believe WikiLeaks has unveiled only crimes of the American government, but that’s completely false. The U.S. corporate media doesn’t want average Americans to understand that WikiLeaks has upped the level of transparency around the world. Read the rest of this entry »

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