MCViewPoint

Opinion from a Libertarian ViewPoint

Posts Tagged ‘War Crimes’

The US Cries About War Crimes While Imprisoning A Journalist For Exposing Its War Crimes

Posted by M. C. on April 21, 2022

https://caitlinjohnstone.substack.com/p/the-us-cries-about-war-crimes-while?s=r

Caitlin Johnstone

In what his lawyers have described as a “brief but significant moment in the case,” a British magistrates’ court has signed off on Julian Assange’s extradition to the United States, bringing the WikiLeaks founder one step closer to a US trial under the Espionage Act which threatens press freedoms worldwide.

The extradition case now goes to UK Home Secretary Priti Patel for approval, which will likely be forthcoming as Patel is a reliably loyal empire manager. After that point, Assange’s legal team will be able to launch an appeal. 

This is happening at the same time the United States and the United Kingdom are loudly demanding accountability for alleged war crimes by the Russian military in Ukraine, which is interesting because attempting to bring accountability for war crimes is precisely why Julian Assange is in prison.

“He is a war criminal,” President Biden said of Vladimir Putin following allegations of war crimes in Bucha, Ukraine earlier this month. “I think it is a war crime. … He should be held accountable.”

The Associated Press @APBREAKING: President Joe Biden calls for war crimes trial against Russian President Vladimir Putin, says he’s seeking more sanctions after reported atrocities in Ukraine. Biden: Putin should face war crimes trial for Bucha killingsWASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden on Monday called for Vladimir Putin to be tried for war crimes and said he’ll seek more sanctions against Russia after what he described as “outrageous” atrocities around Kyiv.apne.wsApril 4th 20221,178 Retweets4,023 Likes

WikiLeaks @wikileaks12 years ago today Julian Assange published the Collateral Murder video detailing the gunning down of civilians, children & 2 @Reuters journalists Assange faces a 175 year sentence if extradited for revealing this and other war crimes

April 5th 20222,993 Retweets4,086 Likes

And that’s all I’d like to say here today, really. That this discrepancy is very interesting.

I mean, can we take a moment to deeply appreciate the irony of this? Because it’s so obscene and outrageous it’s actually hard to take in unless you really let it absorb. The most powerful government in the world, which serves as the hub of the most powerful empire that has ever existed, is working to extradite a journalist for exposing its war crimes while simultaneously rending its garments over war crime allegations against another government.

I mean, damn. You would think a power structure that had recently been caught red-handed committing war crimes and is currently in the process of imprisoning a journalist for exposing those war crimes would at least have the sense not to yell too loudly about war crimes for a little while. But this is how confident the empire is in its ability to control the narrative.

Really take it in. Really digest it. The more you think about it, the freakier it gets. Not only is the empire persecuting a journalist for exposing its war crimes while at the same time demanding that others be held accountable for war crimes, it is also attacking the free press for reporting the truth about the powerful while at the very same time engaging in a massive propaganda operation which holds that it is involved in Ukraine to protect its freedom and democracy.

Caitlin Johnstone ⏳ @caitozAre people not tired of having their intelligence insulted like this? Nikki Haley @NikkiHaleyThis isn’t just a war for Ukraine, this is a war for freedom.April 19th 2022526 Retweets3,177 Likes

I mean, the gall. The absolute temerity. The balls on this empire, man.

I have said it before and I will say it again: Assange exposed many ugly realities about the powerful in his work with WikiLeaks, but everything that he has managed to expose thereafter simply by forcing them to prosecute him far surpasses the revelations in those publications.

If the highest form of journalism is exposing the darkest secrets of the most powerful people in the world, then Julian Assange is the highest form of journalist.

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Forgiving the Unforgivable?

Posted by M. C. on February 2, 2022

James Howard Kunstler writes, “The American people have been played backward and forwards, inside and out, through and through, and up and down; driven to the very edge of national suicide by a combine of enemies within and without. If China’s CCP wanted to take maximum advantage of a weakened, confused USA, they couldn’t have found more zealous help-mates than the seditious Democratic Party, along with Dr. Anthony Fauci’s treasonous public health empire, the murderous pharmaceutical companies, the recklessly dishonest news media, and a demonic host of federal agencies, especially the three-stooge “Intel Community” — the CIA (Moe), DOJ (Larry), FBI (Curley) — plus the many secret horror chambers in the Pentagon.

https://drsircus.com/general/forgiving-the-unforgivable/

Dr. Mark Sircus

A complaint with the International Criminal Court (ICC) accused 16 individuals of genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, and crimes of aggression. The 16 defendants include Dr. Anthony Fauci, Dr. Peter Daszak, Bill and Melinda Gates, the CEOs of Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson, U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson along with several other British authorities, as well as the presidents of the Rockefeller Foundation and the World Economic Forum.

Things are getting serious and legal. The world’s largestever international criminal investigation is now under‐way, involving Hammersmith Police, The Metropolitan Police, and The International Criminal Court. The U.K. police accepted the supporting information and agreed there was enough evidence to proceed.

Hitler’s medical monsters were hung after the Nuremberg Trials, and it’s anyone’s guess how far this and other legal processes will go against our present crop of medical monsters. However, in terms of the gain of function research that medical devils who invested billions in creating COVID, we could line up the nasty deeds of all the evil men in history and still not balance the scales. So it is now or never for medicine, humanity, truth, justice, and the prevalence of good over evil.

The whole game of detracting the reality of this pandemic resulting from lab-created gain of function research is so the principal people involved would not be arrested. So far, they are getting away with their murderous deeds, yet resistance is hardening. However, die from taking one of these experimental COVID shots, and the chances are excellent your life insurance company will rule death by suicide and not pay your family the benefits.

Its insane actions now are killing people while seeking to
punish those who refuse to walk sheepishly into America’s
version of the gas chamber, the Anthony Fauci “vaccines.”
James Howard Kunstler

No writer can vomit enough bad words to address the glee of Fauci as he predicts vaccinating babies with COVID shots. No one can cry enough tears for the mothers who trusted their doctors only to lose their babies in the womb. There must be three thousand of them. Is anyone in the world of medicine crying for them? Have we gotten so stone cold?

See the rest here

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Truman’s War Crimes at Hiroshima and Nagasaki – The Future of Freedom Foundation

Posted by M. C. on August 8, 2020

Keep in mind that there is nothing in the principles of warfare that required Truman and Roosevelt to demand the unconditional surrender of Japan (or Germany). Wars can be — and often are — ended with terms of surrender. Both presidents were willing to sacrifice countless people on both sides of the conflict to attain their demand for unconditional surrender.

https://www.fff.org/2020/08/05/trumans-war-crimes-at-hiroshima-and-nagasaki/

by

This month marks the 75h anniversary of the U.S. atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. While proponents of the bombings have long justified them on the basis that they shortened World War II, the fact is that they were war crimes. The only reason why President Truman and the pilots who dropped the bombs were not prosecuted as war criminals is because the United States ended up winning the war.

It has long been pointed out that Japan had expressed a willingness to surrender. The only condition was that the Japanese emperor not be abused or executed.

President Truman refused to agree to that condition. Like his predecessor Franklin Roosevelt, Truman demanded “unconditional surrender.”

That was why Japan continued fighting. Japanese officials naturally assumed that U.S. officials were going to do some very bad things to their emperor, including torture and execution. In the minds of Japanese officials, why else would the United States not be willing to agree to that one condition, especially given that it would have meant the end of the war?

The dark irony is that Truman ended up accepting the condition anyway, only after he pulverized the people in Hiroshima and Nagasaki with nuclear bombs.

In an excellent op-ed in the Los Angeles Times today entitled “U.S. Leaders Knew We Didn’t Have to Drop Atomic Bombs on Japan to Win the War. We Did It Anyway” the authors point out:

Seven of the United States’ eight five-star Army and Navy officers in 1945 agreed with the Navy’s vitriolic assessment. Generals Dwight Eisenhower, Douglas MacArthur and Henry “Hap” Arnold and Admirals William Leahy, Chester Nimitz, Ernest King, and William Halsey are on record stating that the atomic bombs were either militarily unnecessary, morally reprehensible, or both.

Keep in mind that there is nothing in the principles of warfare that required Truman and Roosevelt to demand the unconditional surrender of Japan (or Germany). Wars can be — and often are — ended with terms of surrender. Both presidents were willing to sacrifice countless people on both sides of the conflict to attain their demand for unconditional surrender.

But Truman’s unconditional surrender demand is not why his action constituted a war crime. This bombings constituted war crimes because they targeted non-combatants, including children, women, and seniors with death as a way to bring about an unconditional surrender of the Japanese government.

It has long been considered a rule of warfare that armies fight armies in war. They don’t target non-combatants. The intentional killing of non-combatants is considered a war crime.

A good example of this principle involved the case of Lt. William Calley in the Vietnam War. Calley and his men shot and killed numerous non-combatants in a South Vietnamese village. The victims included women and children.

The U.S military prosecuted Calley as a war criminal — and rightly so. While the deaths of non-combatants oftentimes occurs incidentally to wartime operations, it is a war crime to specifically target them for death.

Truman justified his action by arguing that the bombings shortened the war and, therefore, saved the lives of thousands of American soldiers and Japanese people if an invasion had become necessary. It is a justification that has been repeated ever since by proponents of the bombings.

There are two big problems with that justification, however.

First, an invasion would not have been necessary. All that Truman had to do was to accept Japan’s only condition for surrender, and that would have meant the end of the war, without the deaths that would have come with an invasion and that did come with the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

More important, the fact that lives of American soldiers would have been saved is not a moral or legal justification for targeting non-combatants. If Calley had maintained at his trial that his actions were intended to shorten the Vietnam War, his defense would have been rejected. He would have still be convicted for war crimes.

Soldiers die in war. That is the nature of war. To kill women, children, and seniors in the hopes of saving the lives of soldiers by shortening the war is not only a war crime, it is also an act of extreme cowardice. If an invasion of Japan would have become necessary to win the war, thereby resulting in the deaths of thousands of U.S. soldiers, then that’s just the way that war works.

It’s also worth pointing out that Japan never had any intention of invading and conquering the United States. The only reason that Japan bombed Pearl Harbor was in the hope of knocking out the U.S. Pacific fleet, not as a prelude to invading Hawaii or the continental United States but simply to prevent the U.S. from interfering with Japan’s efforts to secure oil in the Dutch East Indies.

And why was Japan so desperate for oil as to initiate war against the United States? Because President Franklin Roosevelt had imposed a highly effective oil embargo on Japan as a way to maneuver the Japanese into attacking the United States.

FDR’s plan, of course, succeeded, which ended up costing the lives of hundreds of thousands of American soldiers and millions of Japanese citizens, including those at Hiroshima and Nagasaki.


This post was written by:

 

Jacob G. Hornberger is founder and president of The Future of Freedom Foundation. He was born and raised in Laredo, Texas, and received his B.A. in economics from Virginia Military Institute and his law degree from the University of Texas. He was a trial attorney for twelve years in Texas. He also was an adjunct professor at the University of Dallas, where he taught law and economics. In 1987, Mr. Hornberger left the practice of law to become director of programs at the Foundation for Economic Education. He has advanced freedom and free markets on talk-radio stations all across the country as well as on Fox News’ Neil Cavuto and Greta van Susteren shows and he appeared as a regular commentator on Judge Andrew Napolitano’s show Freedom Watch. View these interviews at LewRockwell.com and from Full Context. Send him email.

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Remember America’s Great Kosovo Ally? Never Mind the War Crimes! – Antiwar.com Original

Posted by M. C. on June 26, 2020

https://original.antiwar.com/doug-bandow/2020/06/25/remember-americas-great-kosovo-ally-never-mind-the-war-crimes/

The Trump administration, in the personality of Richard Grenell, former U.S. ambassador to Germany, has become intricately and bizarrely involved in Balkan politics. His effort to reconcile Kosovo and Serbia, from which the former seceded in 2008, risks an embarrassing crash after the indictment of Kosovar President Hashim Thaci of war crimes. But Grenell has achieved more success than all the European Union’s diplomats over the last decade.

One of the most perspicacious insights of famed German Chancellor Otto von Bismarck was that the Balkans was not worth the bones of a single Pomeranian grenadier. Had his successors in Germany, as well as statesmen across Europe, heeded his admonition World War I would have been avoided. And with it an even worse conflict a generation later, as well as the ensuing Cold War. As Bismarck feared, “it will be some damn foolish thing in the Balkans that sets off” a disastrous human conflagration.

Alas, the US repeated that mistake three decades ago as Yugoslavia disintegrated. What seemed to most attract the Clinton administration was the fact that America had no conceivable security interests at stake in the region. It was the ultimate example of what Michael Mandelbaum of Johns Hopkins University termed “foreign policy as social work.”

Like so many international controversies, the extended Yugoslav civil war always was more complicated than the simple morality play portrayed by Washington’s establishment hawks. The death of Yugoslav dictator Josip Broz Tito in 1980 and collapse a decade later of the Soviet Union, which long threatened Yugoslavia’s independence, set the stage for the latter state’s dissolution.

The US and European governments violently resisted their own secessionist movements but adopted a different position toward Yugoslavia. Germany took the lead in encouraging the Serb-dominated polyglot nation’s breakup. But the allies decided that ethnic minorities newly subjected to the vagaries of ethnic rule, meaning Serbs, should not secede.

Unfortunately, Croatia and Bosnia included substantial numbers of Serbs, who had no reason to trust newly ascendant local ethnic groups. For instance, Croatia’s Franjo Tudjman was an anti-Semite and violent anti-Serb – though he had no love for Muslims either. Although the Yugoslav military and Serbian forces committed the worst war crimes, Croat, Bosnian Croat, and Bosniak militias also were responsible for manifold atrocities.

The only consistency in US policy was that the Serbs always lost. Read the rest of this entry »

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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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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.

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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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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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