By Neenah Payne
Julian Assange is the Australian founder of WikiLeaks who lives in London. Although Assange has committed no crimes and is not charged with any, he has been held in London’s Belmarsh Prison since 2019 under conditions which a UN investigator described as “torture.”
What is Assange being punished for? For publishing the truth about US war crimes in the Middle East during the endless “War on Terror.” Julian’s life depends on his winning his fight against extradition to the US where he faces 175 years in jail although he is not a US citizen. Julian’s wife Stella says if Julian is placed in the isolation the US government threatens him with, he will be driven to commit suicide.
From backroom deals between Hillary Clinton and Goldman Sachs to US covert operations in Haiti, Tunisia, Italy and beyond, WikiLeaks revealed the dark underbelly of US power. Author and journalist Stefania Maurizi joins The Chris Hedges Report to share her insider perspective on one of the century’s biggest stories, as well as her encyclopedic knowledge of the horrific truths revealed in WikiLeaks’ hundreds of thousands of leaked files.
Stella Assange Met With Pope On June 30
Stella Assange Addresses Australian National Press Club shows that Julian’s wife, Stella, went to Australia to address The National Press Club on May 22 with Jenifer Robinson, Australian Human Rights lawyer and barrister. See Stella’s passionate plea as she said the life of her husband is “in the hands of the Australian government” as she pleaded for Canberra to do more to influence the US to stop the pursuit of the WikiLeaks founder. “This is the closest we’ve ever been to securing Julian’s release.”
VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis met Friday with imprisoned WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange’s wife Stella, who said the pope’s gesture in receiving her was evidence of his “ongoing show of support for our family’s plight” and concern over her husband’s suffering.
In an interview with The Associated Press after the audience, Stella Assange recalled that Francis had sent a letter to her husband in March 2021, during a particularly difficult period. “He has provided great solace and comfort and we are extremely appreciative for his reaching out to our family in this way,” she told AP. “He understands that Julian is suffering and is concerned.”…
Stella Assange, a lawyer who married her husband in prison in 2022, said she and Francis spoke in Spanish, and that she showed him two photos of their wedding. She called the audience “overwhelming” and noted that she brought along her mother, brother, and the couple’s two young sons, Gabriel and Max, who were conceived during Julian Assange’s time in the embassy.
China Brokers Historic Peace While US Wages Endless War
The US has lost the moral high ground with which Americans were identified during the presidency of JKF’s Peace Corps. While the endless US War on Terror has been waged for more than 20 years, destroying one country after another and bombing civilians.
In the video below, Tucker Carlson shows that in March, China brokered peace between longtime bitter enemies Iran and Saudi Arabia! President Xi met with Putin in Russia and agreed to buy much of China’s oil and natural gas from Russia. Russia agreed to use Chinese currency instead of the US dollar in trade with Asia, Africa, and Latin America – undermining the petrodollar, the world’s reserve currency. Tucker reports that Xi discussed “change that hasn’t happened in 100 years” by which he meant the end of US global hegemony.
Carlson explained that the American Era ended two years into Biden’s presidency, but the corporate media is not reporting that. The world is tired of the kinds of abuses in the Middle East on which Assange reported. It’s past time now for the US to correct course. It should drop all charges against Assange now and end the War on Terror.
Carlson refers to the 3/1/23 article Eight Billion People in the World Is a Crisis, Not an Achievement
Central Bank Digital Currency
The video below says the dollar is being destroyed to usher in a Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC).
We delve into a recent revelation made by a banking insider that sheds light on Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs) and their potential implications.
Brace yourself for a shocking disclosure that connects the dots between digital currencies and implanted chips.
Klaus Schwab’s Warning in 2016: A Haunting Prediction* Back in 2016, Klaus Schwab, the founder of the World Economic Forum, issued a startling admission.
He predicted that CBDC’s would eventually become implanted in our bodies! This raises serious concerns about individual privacy and the balance of power in our society.
Assange’s team emailed the following information on August 5.
Julian Assange’s persecution has nothing to do with the law. It is a simple demonstration of the crushing power of the state’
From an article by Former UK Ambassador Craig Murray June 2023
There has never existed any government so evil and repugnant that it has been unable to find lawyers, and particularly judges, to do its bidding. Hitler did not need to manufacture lawyers and judges. A very significant number, indeed the majority, of established and reputable German lawyers were prepared to participate actively in Nazi law, both its development and implementation. That, of course, includes Roland Freisler, a Doctor of Law from the University of Jena, who was a practising solicitor before his elevation.
This was prosecutor Telford Taylor, opening the trial of Nazi lawyers at Nuremberg:
- This case is unusual, in that the defendants are charged with crimes committed in the name of the law. These men, together with their deceased or fugitive colleagues, were the embodiment of what passed for justice in the Third Reich.
- Most of the defendants have served, at various times, as judges, as state prosecutors, and as officials of the Reich Ministry of Justice. ALL BUT ONE ARE PROFESSIONAL JURISTS. They are well accustomed to courts, and courtrooms, though their present role may be new to them.
- But a court is far more than a courtroom; it is a process and a spirit. It is the house of law. This the defendants know, or must have known in times past. I doubt that they ever forgot.
- Indeed, the root of the accusation in this case is that these men, leaders of the German judicial system, consciously and deliberately suppressed the law, engaged in an unholy masquerade of tyranny disguised as justice, and converted the German judicial systems to an engine of despotism, conquest, pillage and slaughter.
Taylor’s quote “an unholy masquerade of tyranny disguised as justice” is a phrase that has been rattling around my head as a perfect encapsulation of the state “legal” process against Julian Assange, which I have been detailing this last several years. Together, of course, with the fact that the NATO states hate Assange – and seek his judicial murder –precisely for revealing truths that embarrassed their system of “conquest, pillage and slaughter” in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Yemen, Syria and elsewhere.
It is worth noting Hitler was by no means alone in being able to call on the respected lawyers to do his bidding. The prosecutor of Stalin’s show trials, Andrei Vishinski, whom Freisler traveled to Moscow to see in action and whose screaming and taunting Freisler consciously copied, was also a “proper” lawyer, a graduate of the University of Kiev with a background of practice in Moscow. (I should note in passing the counter case that Stalin’s favourite judge, Ulrich, was an auto-didact out of military tribunals).
We are brought up with an innate respect for the rule of law and belief that, though it makes mistakes, it is impartial and honest. I was, nonetheless, so taken aback by Justice Jonathan Swift’s current and curt ruling, dismissing Julian Assange’s High Court appeal in (his) extradition saga, that I thought I would dig a little deeper….
Julian Assange Appeal
The very first sentence of Assange’s Appeali rings out loud, and explains why his extradition proceedings were held effectively in closed court and why the High Court are determined to avoid any substantive public hearing:
- ‘Julian Assange and Wikileaks were responsible for the exposure of criminality on the part of the US Government on a massive and unprecedented scale.’
There follows a further 147 pages of outstanding legal argument, including compelling evidence. The summary of the crimes of the US Government exposed by Julian Assange at pages 9 to 18 is simply mind-blowing. That section starts thus:
- ‘Every single one of the five ‘national security’ publications that are the subject of this extradition request exposed US Governmental involvement in crimes of the first order of magnitude. These disclosures exposed irrefutable evidence of, inter alia, illegal rendition, torture, and black site CIA prisons across Europe, as well as aggressive steps taken to maintain impunity and prevent the prosecution of any American operatives involved in these crimes. The following represents the unchallenged evidence before the DJ of the atrocities Mr Assange exposed.’
Here is just one example of the ensuing evidence:
- 3.3. Mr Stafford-Smith’s unchallenged evidence was that cables, for example, revealed by WikiLeaks regarding US government drone killings in Pakistan ‘contributed to [subsequent] court findings that US drone strikes are criminal offences and that criminal proceedings should be initiated against senior US officials involved in such strikes’ (Stafford-Smith, EB/22, §84, 91).
- ‘Those were very important in litigation in Pakistan’ (EB/40 Tr 8.9.20, xic, p4). The Peshawar High Court ruled, inter alia, that the drone strikes carried out by the CIA and US authorities were a ‘blatant violation of basic human rights’ including ‘a blatant breach of the absolute right to life’ and ‘a war crime’ (Stafford-Smith, EB/22, §91). What ‘we have to term criminal offences were taking place’ (EB/40 Tr 8.9.230, xic. p4).Moreover, and as a result, ‘the drone strikes, which were in their hundreds and causing many…innocent deaths, stopped very rapidly’ such that ‘there were none reported…in 2019’ (Stafford-Smith, EB/22, §93). WikiLeaks had ‘put a stop to a massive human rights abuse’ (Stafford-Smith, EB/22, §92-93). ‘Pakistan was an American ally. It was not like we were doing that to an enemy, and that again is just extraordinary to me’ (Stafford-Smith, EB/40 Tr 8.9.20, re-x, 26-27). Without the WikiLeaks disclosures, it ‘would have been very, very different and very difficult’ to prevent this crime (Stafford-Smith, EB/40 Tr 8.9.20, xic, p5).
There is much other material in the appeal which the US and UK governments would not wish to be rehearsed in public:
- Secondly, the report provides further, corroborative, evidence (not available to the DJ) of the fruit of the resulting ‘no limits’ discussions. Namely, the emergence of US Governmental plans about which Witness 2 (EB/2) gave evidence to the DJ to:
- (i) Kidnap Mr Assange: ‘This Yahoo News investigation, based on conversations with more than 30 former U.S. officials — eight of whom described details of the CIA’s proposals to abduct Assange’ (p2) ‘Pompeo and [Deputy CIA Director Gina] Haspel wanted vengeance on Assange. At meetings between senior Trump administration officials after WikiLeaks started publishing the Vault 7 materials, Pompeo began discussing kidnapping Assange’ (p18)
- (ii) In order to rendition Mr Assange to the US: ‘Pompeo and others at the agency proposed abducting Assange from the embassy and surreptitiously bringing him back to the United States via a third country — a process known as rendition. The idea was to ‘break into the embassy, drag [Assange] out and bring him to where we want,’ said a former intelligence official’ (p18)
- (p20) ‘agency executives requested and received ‘sketches’ of plans for killing Assange … said a former intelligence official. There were discussions ‘on whether killing Assange was possible and whether it was legal,’ the former official said’ (p20).(iii) Or else murder Mr Assange: ‘Some senior officials inside the CIA and the Trump administration even discussed killing Assange, going so far as to request ‘sketches’ or ‘options’ for how to assassinate him.Discussions over kidnapping or killing Assange occurred ‘at the highest levels’ of the Trump administration, said a former senior counterintelligence official. ‘There seemed to be no boundaries’’ (p1) ‘Some discussions even went beyond kidnapping. U.S. officials had also considered killing Assange, according to three former officials.
One of those officials said he was briefed on a spring 2017 meeting in which the president asked whether the CIA could assassinate Assange and provide him ‘options’ for how to do so’
Swift dismisses the 150 page appeal in just three pages, with a curt and sneering rejection:
- ‘There are 8 proposed grounds of appeal. They are set out at great length (some 100pp), but the extraordinary length of the pleading serves only to make clear that the proposed appeal comes to no more than an attempt to re-run the extensive arguments made to and rejected by the District Judge.’
Swift then stipulates that if Assange’s lawyers apply for a hearing for their request for an appeal to be heard, then that hearing will be limited to 30 minutes.
Furthermore, he limits Assange’s defence to just 20 pages. 20 pages and 30 minutes (the latter being the time for the entire hearing, including the response by the US government). That is the value Swift places on pleadings for a man’s life. Swift even aims a prim taunt at the defence: “The present grounds of appeal are unwieldy and do not comply with any known rules of pleading.”
Swift states that “the issue is the one posed by section 103 of the 2003 (Extradition Act); ought the judge to have decided a question at the extradition hearing differently”. Swift then subjects this “issue” to impossible constraints. Neither the judge’s evaluation of fact nor their assessment of argument can be revisited. He also objects to new evidence, even though new evidence at appeal is specifically allowed by the Extradition Act.
Swift’s background is as a government lawyer. He revealed something of himself in this interview with a legal magazine, where he stated that:
- Favourite clients were the security and intelligence agencies. ‘They take preparation and evidence-gathering seriously: a real commitment to getting things right.’
- What really matters is that the bond of confidence between Executive and Judiciary is maintained
But perhaps even more revealing is that in this brief interview about his career, he chooses to throw in an entirely gratuitous and pointed anecdote about how unpleasant left wing people are, which perforce implies he was coming from an opposite position:
- The first member of his family to go to university and the first to be a lawyer, he remembers his welcome at New College. ‘I unpacked and knocked on the door opposite to introduce myself. ‘Hello, I’m Jonathan,’ only to get the response ‘I’m Dave. I’m a Militant. F*** off!’’ After all, it was the mid-1980s.
It is perfectly plain what Swift is, and that he could be entirely relied on to dismiss Assange’s appeal with no discussion of any difficult subject matter on state crimes.
It turns out that Swift’s reputation is well established. I was sent a copy of this revealing tweet:
In the District Court, Judge Baraitser ruled against Assange on the eight grounds, but had ruled for him on the grounds of mental health and US prison conditions. This resulted in the complicated process of successive High Court Appeals.
First the United States was permitted to appeal on health and US prison conditions. After they won, it was Assange’s turn to appeal on those other eight grounds, on which he had lost at the District Court.
The difference between the High Court treatment of the US appeal, which was accepted and eventually won, and Assange’s appeal, which is dismissed out of hand, is highly instructive.
The US appeal turned very largely on new evidence. That consisted of new diplomatic assurances from the USA in which they stated that Assange would not be placed in a super-max prison pre-trial and would not be subjected to Special Administrative Measures – unless it became necessary to do so.
These “assurances” could have been given during the original hearing but were not, because of course the US has every intention of placing Julian in super-max prison. Judges Burnett and Holroyde, ruling in favour of the USA, airily stated that the new assurances were admissible because assurances were not “evidence”:
- A diplomatic note or assurance letter is not “evidence” in the sense contemplated by section 106(5)(a) of the 2003 Act: it is neither a statement going to prove the existence of a past fact, nor a statement of expert opinion on a relevant matter. Rather, it is a statement about the intentions of the requesting state as to its future conduct
So, they ruled that, while new evidence is excluded, new “assurances” are not, a bit of special pleading they simply picked out of their capacious arses.
Compare this to the evidence submitted by Assange that the USA spied on his legal defence team and plotted to kidnap him, while actively discussing his assassination. That is excluded on the basis that it is “new evidence”, and on the fact that it is in part based on journalistic reports. The fact that the US government’s star witness has admitted he lied and gave his evidence for money, has also been dismissed on the grounds that information is available from journalistic reports.
Yet a media interview with one of the psychiatrist witnesses for Julian Assange, introduced by the US as part of their High Court appeal, was accepted, and not excluded as either “new evidence” or a “press report”.
You can read the entire the Burnett and Holroyde judgment, discussing the District Judge’s assessment of the evidence of Julian Assange’s mental health and US prison conditions, and it is impossible not to conclude that they are absolutely “second guessing the original judge’s evaluation of the facts and assessment of the arguments”.
There is literally nothing else they are doing. Therefore, in finding for the USA appeal, the High Court conducted precisely the exercise which Swift rules is out of order when argued for the other side of the case, for the Assange appeal.
My favourite bit of stinking hypocrisy from Holroyde and Burnett comes at para 45:
- Extradition proceedings are not private law proceedings but a process through which solemn treaty obligations are satisfied in the context of a framework which ensures that a requested person is provided with proper safeguards.
The phrase “solemn treaty obligations are satisfied” should cause an immediate revulsion. The Treaty in question is the US/UK Extradition Treaty of 2003, and it states at Article 4 that there can be no political extradition
The District Court ruling, specifically upheld by Swift now, is that the UK/US Extradition Treaty has no legal standing and therefore the bar on political extradition it contains does not apply. Swift accepts the argument, that as the 2003 Extradition Act does not include a bar on political extradition, that provision of the Treaty does not apply.
The Extradition Treaty, Swift baldly states, is “not justiciable”, ie cannot be taken into legal account.
How it can both be that, and be a “solemn obligation” at the base of these entire proceedings, is an extraordinary contradiction which worries none of these judges in their concern to quickly and efficiently impose the brute force of the state. The entire process is designed as punishment for Assange’s unauthorised revelation of truth.
How an extradition can take place specifically under a Treaty whose provisions cannot be applied to that extradition, is a logical conundrum to which only the sophisticates of the UK judiciary could adapt their flexible intellects and – more to the point – consciences.
The executive will always find the judiciary needed to do its dirty work. Any executive. There may be occasional blips in periods of political convulsion. There was a temporary standoff with the Supreme Court over facets of Brexit, for example. But the judiciary will realign themselves with the executive in quick time. The power of the State is the constant.
Julian’s persecution has nothing to do with the law. It is a simple demonstration of the crushing power of the state.
Jailing The Truth
Jailing Assange is intended to threaten any journalist who tells the truth about the many abuses of the War on Terror. President Bush began the endless war with an attack on Iraq based on the charge that it had “Weapons of Mass Destruction” which the mainstream media promoted non-stop. Bush just laughed when it was discovered that there were no WMD after Saddam Hussein had been assassinated and the country destroyed. George W Bush ADMITS He’s A War Criminal. The US has violated international treaties prohibiting torture, bombing civilians, and destroyed one nation after another on the theory that they are “terrorists.” However, the US has looked like the biggest terrorist.
Neenah Payne writes for Activist Post
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