"This is an obscenity in a country that pretends to believe in the rule of law and justice, who cannot tremble with indignation when we learn!
If you cannot tremble with indignation ... You're not a human being. You have no pulse and you have no soul.
And that's the reality of the so-called fourth estate in this country. I spit upon them!"
Galloway is a brilliant orator. He tells the truth about the Assange travesty. Well worth a listen. If you are in a hurry, watch the last minute.
Honorable Craig Murray, my r.t colleague, Peter Lavelle. Honorable speakers, brothers and sisters, comrades and friends. This is a magnificent event attended by people, as Greg said, of different political stripes, but united in solidarity. With prisoner number A 9 3 7 9 A Y - the World Historic Figure: Julian Assange.
I just want to in parentheses make this point.
I said the Honorable Craig Murray. All of the speakers are honorable, but he is right, honorable.
You see, people like me had no choice but to take this path. We were born into it. We had no alternatives.
The struggle, this struggle, the struggle against imperialism was the only choice that we had. But Craig Murray had a glittering career in the British Foreign Office. Her Majesty's ambassador to Uzbekistan. And he threw it all away because he stood up for justice against torture, against disappearances, against political repression.
He threw it all away.
He could have kept his head down.
Been the ambassador for here and there and have a knighthood. Well, they may not give you a knighthood, but you'll always be Sir Craig Murray to me.
Ten years ago, exactly on this day, I was kidnapped by the thugs of the dictator Hosni Mubarak, who died today. I was kidnapped in the dead of night. I was taken by men without uniform who couldn't speak English, even if they had wanted to tell me who they were and where they were taking me. They drove me for many hours. I knew not where. And deposited me at the airport in Cairo, served me with the certificate, which I proudly hold the blue paper declaring me persona non grata and no longer welcome in Egypt.
And I have to tell you that the legal proceedings, as described here this evening and in the various blogs, because that's the only place you're going to read anything substantive about what's going on in blogs like Craig Murray's and many others.
These legal proceedings would have been more fitting in Hosni Mubarak's dictatorship in Egypt than in a country like Britain, which is supposed to be a Western democracy.
Who cannot tremble with indignation at what happened to Julian Assange just yesterday.
Never mind over the last decade. Just yesterday, this man who should be in Oslo getting the Nobel Peace Prize was being stripped and searched by goons.
Handcuffed, held in five different cells in one day, handcuffed, eleven times, handcuffed for what?
He was in a bullet proof box all day in the court.
What were they searching him up his backside for? Why did they take his legal papers away? Talk about an abuse of process.
This is an obscenity in a country that pretends to believe in the rule of law and justice, who cannot tremble with indignation when we learn, that every movement, literally Craig, every time we went to the toilet in the Ecuadorian embassy, the CIA were watching it on video.
I'm not exaggerating. There was a camera in the toilet.
Where Pamela Anderson, PD work, Craig Murray and me and others who have the honor to be friends of Julian Assange, but much more importantly than our movements, they spied on every legal meeting that Julian had with his representatives in absolute brazen defiance of the rules of justice and the lawyer client privilege - as Craig pointed out in any other [case]. if you were in court, because your dog had fouled the pavement, and this kind of abuse of process was unveiled by the defense, the case would be thrown out immediately. No trial can take place when it's been corrupted from the beginning.
In this way, who can not tremble with indignation at the idea that the....
I'm coming to that point.
Who cannot tremble with indignation at the idea that the man that blew the whistle on the war crimes is in Belmarsh and the war criminals are on the BBC and ITV and raking in millions and millions and millions and millions of pounds.
The criminals, the criminals have made it a crime to report on the crimes that they committed - point of that: that that's now the country that we are living in.
Who cannot tremble with indignation - well, ninety five percent.
These to Britain's journalists who didn't even show up today to hear the defense's argument.
Ninety five percent of Britain's broadcasters I'm not trembling with indignation.
If you cannot tremble with indignation, any injustice anywhere. You're not a human being. You have no pulse and you have no soul.
And that's the reality of the so-called fourth estate in this country. I spit upon them.
This church should be bulging with journalists because if they had any intention of actually doing their job. What is happening to Julian Assange is a mortal danger to them. It's a knife at their heart. It's a sword of Damocles hanging over their heads. If they ever intended to actually be journalists.
But of course, the truth is, most of them have sold whatever soul they had just for a ribbon to put on their coat, just for a shilling or two.
They have abandoned any claim of moral authority. These are the people that lecture us.
Especially election times. Speaking of which: on the principle that it's better late than never. I'm glad that Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell have finally found a voice to speak up in favour of Julian Assange.
And if they had done so earlier, we might have been farther down the road to getting Julian out of Belmarsh.
I only have time to make two more quick points.
And again, they relate to what the Honorable Craig Murray said.
You see, I was there when this extradition treaty was reached.
It was concluded behind the backs of parliament during the summer recess when no member of parliament could question the treaty, which David Blunkett, Tony Blair's home secretary, corruptly and secretly concluded with the United States, a one sided extradition treaty, the likes of which no free country would ever sign with any other country.
Well, they never have to send anybody to us whatever they've done, even if it's killing our young boy on a motorway because you're driving up the wrong side of the road.
You don't have to send anybody to us.
But we will send anybody to you without even just cause having to be produced. But when Parliament returned in the autumn, I bearded David Blunkett and the members lobby and told them all the things that I thought were wrong and dangerous with this extradition treaty. And he said to me, you're worrying unnecessarily because all of the points you're making are taken care of by article four point one of the treaty which precludes the extradition of people in Britain for political offenses to the United States. And now the judge is telling us that although that's on the face of the treaty, it does not apply.
What madness is this? And the second point.
Windrush. That's another meeting. I'll come back to that.
The last point then that I have time to make. Is this:
If we allow. If the British public allows, the British media allows, if the British political class allows and remember, this has to be rubber stamped, signed off by the current home secretary, Prety Patel.
So public opinion has a role here. He cannot be sent from this country without a politician. An elected politician, a member of an elected government signing the final extradition order.
If we allow Julian Assange to be sent, for the rest of his life. The rest of his life into the dungeons of the US injustice system, Journalism, Freedom, Freedom of Speech. Democracy itself will have been murdered in plain sight on our watch!
And that's why we are going to fight and fight and fight again to free Julian Assange!
Free Julian Assange! Free Julian Assange! Free Julian Assange!
JULIAN ASSANGE ::: london ::: taylor hudak (US) with rebecca vincent (UK)
•Mar 10, 2020
LONDON ::: 23.2.2020 ::: Taylor Hudak (actions4assange US) in an interview mit Rebecca Vincent (Reporters without Borders UK) one day before the start of the extradition hearing of Julian Assange in front of the Woolwich Crown Court at the high security prison HMP (Her Majesty's Prison) Belmarsh ::: with international delegation from ROG Reporter ohne Grenzen Germany, Christian Mihr ::: RSF Reporter sans Frontiere, France, Christophe Deloire, secrétaire général . video ::: Free Assange Committee Germany FACG
We Are About to See How Malleable UK Courts Are to US Bullying - the Assange Drama
The CIA and Pentagon are saying, in effect, “Trust Us.” What could possibly go wrong? — aside from a publisher of accurate information spending the rest of his life in prison .
By Ray McGovern - 27, February 2020
We are about to see how malleable the British Court system is to diktat from Washington. Will the British embrace the flimsiest of circumstantial “evidence” from U.S. security services that have axes to grind?
Will British officials turn their back on 800 years of progress on the human rights wrested from King John at Runnymede? Are there today no “English Nobles” to thwart the obscene “legal” proceedings aimed at extraditing WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange to a U.S. prison for publishing the truth about U.S. and UK war crimes?
At Monday’s court hearing in London, James Lewis QC, argued the U.S. case using information the U.S. gave him from “secret sources” in Iraq and Afghanistan. Here’s Mr. Lewis:
“The U.S. is aware of sources, whose unredacted names and other identifying information were contained in classified documents published by WikiLeaks, who subsequently disappeared, although the US can’t prove at this point that their disappearance was the result of being outed by WikiLeaks.”
With the CIA and Defense Department saying, in effect, “Trust Us”, what could possibly go wrong? — aside from a publisher of accurate information spending the rest of his life in prison — and all future journalists running the same risk, should they run afoul of U.S. authorities.
Lewis: Offered no proof lives were endangered.
Unless the British Court system has become totally subservient to U.S. influence, James Lewis QC will have to do better in the coming weeks to plausibly pin a crime on Julian Assange.
Still, do not underestimate British “flexibility” in reaction to orders from Washington. Recall, for example, that just a short, but havoc-filled 17 years ago, UK Attorney General Lord Peter Henry QC (now Baron) Goldsmith was persuaded to abruptly reverse his opinion on the upcoming U.S./UK unprovoked attack on Iraq from “illegal” to “legal”, for which he was awarded yet additional British honorifics.
Do President Donald Trump and Prime Minister Boris Johnson really wish to take their cue from the sorry pair of Bush and Blair? We never did learn very much about the “secret sources” that were said to be behind all the poppycock about those elusive Weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq, did we?
Once Called ‘Hearsay’
Speaking on behalf of U.S. officialdom, Lewis claimed that hundreds of people across the world had to be warned after the WikiLeaks disclosures. Some had to be relocated. Others later disappeared, he said. But wait. He was careful to indicate that the U.S. would not try to prove that these events resulted directly from the disclosures. (Is this not what was once called “hearsay”?)
As an ominous coda to his presentation, Lewis somberly added that some WikiLeaks information was found at Osama bin Laden’s hideout in Pakistan. Aha!
Former CIA Director (and later Defense Secretary) Robert Gates.
After WikiLeaks published copious materials on the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and State Department cables, there was a hue and cry regarding the “inevitable” damage to U.S. assets and equities. On Nov. 30, 2010, then Secretary of Defense Robert Gates offered a more candid appraisal of risks and damage from the WikiLeaks disclosures.
Here’s Gates at a formal Pentagon news briefing:
“Now, I’ve heard the impact of these releases on our foreign policy described as a meltdown, as a game-changer, and so on. I think — I think those descriptions are fairly significantly overwrought … We are still essentially, as has been said before, the indispensable nation. So other nations will continue to work with us. We will continue to share sensitive information with one another. [Emphasis added.]
Is this embarrassing? Yes. Is it awkward? Yes. Consequences for U.S. foreign policy? I think fairly modest.”
Shortly after Gates’s unusually frank correction, politicians and pundits adjusted their sights on Assange, to allegations that he was a “terrorist.” Then Vice President Joe Biden said publicly that Assange was a “high-tech terrorist”, and CNN invited a slew of talking heads to confirm the new meme: Yes indeed, Assange clearly was a terrorist.
Apparently, someone told CNN it might look a little better if they added another head for balance. I became the token head “for balance” — the patsy.
CNN’s Don Lemon asked me on Dec. 12, 2010 to explain why many of my VIPS colleagues and I could conceivably think Assange was not a terrorist, but rather a journalist.
Lemon: “So, you don’t like the way he’s been labeled a terrorist or a hacker? You actually think that he’s a journalist. I want to get that correct.”
Lemon was right about one thing: “That will have to be the last word.” Indeed, I have not been invited onto CNN since.
When I had a chance to review the show, I found it so transparent that I actually felt a bit sorry for Lemon who, after all, clearly had his instructions — and perhaps a family to feed. That turned out to be silly; he got promoted and now has his on show on CNN.
The gunsight video-cum-audio showing the cold-blooded killing of at least 12 Iraqi civilians, including two Reuters journalists, by gunners in a U.S. Apache helicopter on July 12, 2007 during the “surge” of U.S. forces into the Baghdad area needs to accompany any story on WikiLeaks’ revelations; this whether or not it is given much play at the hearing in the days ahead. Watching this 18-minute video will provide some idea as to why Private Chelsea Manning was moved to give it to WikiLeaks.
Every American should watch this video to get some sense of the kind of war crimes WikiLeaks exposed — accurately, with original footage — and to understand why Establishment Washington got so angry at Assange and remains hell bent on making an example of him.
For broader perspective on events surrounding Manning’s decision to give the video to WikiLeaks, there is no better source than the account given by video-maker Sonia Kennebeck, nee Mayr.
Her work “Shooters Walk Free, Whistleblower Jailed” appeared first on the German TV program Panorama; it is only 12 minutes long, but speaks volumes.
There was nothing like it at the time, so Panorama was persuaded to prepare a version, with Sonia’s own voice-over, for English speakers. Strongly recommended. (Kennebeck later directed/produced the award winning documentary film about drone warfare, “National Bird” (2016).
Ray McGovern works with Tell the Word, a publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour in Washington, DC. He was an Army/Infantry and CIA intelligence analyst for three decades, and personally conducted the early morning briefings of The President’s Daily Brief from 1981 to 1985. He is co-founder of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS).
Source: Consortium News
Assange Extradition: Proceedings so Far
This was originally an update to our discussion thread on Julian Assange’s arrest and “trial”, but as that post was two days old many readers seemed to miss the updated information. In light of that, we decided it was better suited to a separate article.
Some are calling it the “trial of the century” but, to this point, it seems more a piece of badly-staged political theatre. Day 3 of Assange’s trial closes, and so far it’s painting a grim picture of the British legal system.
Anybody interested in a detailed run-down of each day of the Julian Assange’strial, Craig Murray has been attending and writing up reports on a day-by-day basis. They make interesting reading.
Day 1 saw something perverse taking place, an acknowledgement that this is a piece of performance art as much as a trial:
James Lewis QC made the opening statement for the prosecution. It consisted of two parts, both equally extraordinary. The first and longest part was truly remarkable for containing no legal argument, and for being addressed not to the magistrate but to the media. It is not just that it was obvious that is where his remarks were aimed, he actually stated on two occasions during his opening statement that he was addressing the media, once repeating a sentence and saying specifically that he was repeating it again because it was important that the media got it.
Along with examples of the mainstream media totally failing in their public duty…again:
There was a separate media entrance and a media room with live transmission from the courtroom, and there were so many scores of media I thought I could relax and not worry as the basic facts would be widely reported. In fact, I could not have been more wrong. I followed the arguments very clearly every minute of the day, and not a single one of the most important facts and arguments today has been reported anywhere in the mainstream media.
Day 2 saw the defence protesting Assange’s treatment in prison,
Day 2 proceedings had started with a statement from Edward Fitzgerald, Assange’s QC, that shook us rudely into life. He stated that yesterday, on the first day of trial, Julian had twice been stripped naked and searched, eleven times been handcuffed, and five times been locked up in different holding cells. On top of this, all of his court documents had been taken from him by the prison authorities, including privileged communications between his lawyers and himself, and he had been left with no ability to prepare to participate in today’s proceedings.
Which lead to a classic example Judicial bias when the defense asked the Magistrate Vanessa Baraitser to intercede with the prison on Assange’s behalf:
Baraitser flat-out denied any knowledge of such a practice, and stated that Fitzgerald should present her with written arguments setting out the case law on jurisdiction over prison conditions. This was too much even for prosecution counsel James Lewis, who stood up to say the prosecution would also want Assange to have a fair hearing, and that he could confirm that what the defence were suggesting was normal practice. Even then, Baraitser still refused to intervene with the prison.
And another addition to the ever-growing pile of evidence that Assange doesn’t stand a chance:
Then, to wrap up proceedings, Baraitser dropped a massive bombshell. She stated that although Article 4.1 of the US/UK Extradition Treaty forbade political extraditions, this was only in the Treaty. That exemption does not appear in the UK Extradition Act. On the face of it therefore political extradition is not illegal in the UK, as the Treaty has no legal force on the Court.
You can’t help but agree when he concludes:
There were moments today when I got drawn into the court process and achieved the suspension of disbelief you might do in theatre, and began thinking “Wow, this case is going well for Assange”. Then an event such as those recounted above kicks in, a coldness grips your heart, and you recall there is no jury here to be convinced. I simply do not believe that anything said or proved in the courtroom can have an impact on the final verdict of this court.