Julian Assange

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Open Letter to Joe Biden by 95 Greek MPs: “Drop all charges against Julian Assange!”

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 08/07/2021 - 3:01am in

As part of the international mobilisation to apply pressure on the US government to end the persecution of Julian Assange, MeRA25 invited members of Greece’s Parliament to co-sign the letter below, addressed to President Biden.
The letter reminds the US President that, as Obama’s Vice-President, he took the decision not to prosecute Julian. Indeed, the prosecution – and request to the UK authorities that he be extradited to the US – went ahead under President Trump. The letter also reminds Mr Biden that Julian is fading daily in solitary confinement because his Department of Justice chose to appeal a British court’s verdict not to extradite him to the US – and, thus, calls upon him to drop all charges and rescind Julian’s persecution.
Similar letters have been sent to the US President by British and Australian MPs, including some representing the two countries’ conservative parties. In this spirit, MeRA25 invited MPs from all wings of Greece’s Parliament to join its 9 MPs as co-signatories – an invitation that SYRIZA MPs accepted. [Nb. Conservative New Democracy and the former PASOK party did not reply, while the Communist Party of Greece refused the request.]
The significance of freeing Julian and ending his persecution cannot be overstated. By subjecting him to a slow death, the powers behind his incarceration are targeting the right of Europeans and Americans to know about the crimes perpetrated in their name and behind their back by their governments, with the help of corporates.
The struggle to free Julian is also a struggle to prevent the dying of the last hope that barbarism can be resisted.
LETTER TO PRESIDENT BIDEN 

 

The post Open Letter to Joe Biden by 95 Greek MPs: “Drop all charges against Julian Assange!” appeared first on Yanis Varoufakis.

Ποιός φοβάται τον Τζούλιαν Ασάνζ; Κε Μπάιντεν, γιατί επιμένετε στον αργό του θάνατο;

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 03/07/2021 - 7:37pm in

Ο καλός μου φίλος Τζούλιαν συνεχίζει να σιγοπεθαίνει στο κελί του στα βάθη του Βρετανικού Γκουαντάναμο, θύμα αδίστακτων Δυτικών κυβερνώντων αποφασισμένων να ρουφήξουν λίγο-λίγο την ζωή μέσα από το κορμί του έτσι ώστε να αποτρέψουν άλλες και άλλους από το να αποκαλύψουν άβολες για την ολιγαρχία αλήθειες. To DiEM25-MέΡΑ25, κίνημα του οποίου ο Τζούλιαν είναι συνιδρυτής, κινεί γη και ουρανό για να τους σταματήσουμε. Σήμερα, Σάββατο 3η Ιουλίου, διαδηλώσαμε πανευρωπαϊκά μπροστά από πρεσβείες γιορτάζοντας έτσι τα 50α του γενέθλια, απαιτώντας την άμεση αποφυλάκισή του, και ευχόμενοι στον Τζούλιαν να δημιουργεί για τουλάχιστον άλλα 50 χρόνια πρόβλημα στην παγκόσμια ολιγαρχία.

The post Ποιός φοβάται τον Τζούλιαν Ασάνζ; Κε Μπάιντεν, γιατί επιμένετε στον αργό του θάνατο; appeared first on Yanis Varoufakis.

Who is afraid of Julian Assange? Why are they so determined to suck the life slowly out of his body?

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 03/07/2021 - 7:32pm in

My dear friend Julian continues to waste away in Britain’ Guantanamo, the victim of ruthless Western governments determined to suck his life slowly from his body as a cautionary tale to anyone who dares expose inconvenient truths. DiEM25, the movement that Julian co-founded, is moving heaven and earth to stop them. Today, Saturday 3rd July, we were demonstrating in front of embassies to celebrate his 50th birthday, to demand his immediate release and to wish him at least another 50 years of being a thorn in the global oligarchy’s backside.

The post Who is afraid of Julian Assange? Why are they so determined to suck the life slowly out of his body? appeared first on Yanis Varoufakis.

Chris Hedges: Julian Assange and the Collapse of the Rule of Law

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 12/06/2021 - 11:52am in

PRINCETON, NEW JERSEY (Scheerpost A society that prohibits the capacity to speak in truth extinguishes the capacity to live in justice.

This why we are here tonight.  Yes, all of us who know and admire Julian decry his prolonged suffering and the suffering of his family.  Yes, we demand that the many wrongs and injustices that have been visited upon him be ended.  Yes, we honor him up for his courage and his integrity. But the battle for Julian’s liberty has always been much more than the persecution of a publisher.  It is the most important battle for press freedom of our era.  And if we lose this battle, it will be devastating, not only for Julian and his family, but for us.

Tyrannies invert the rule of law.  They turn the law into an instrument of injustice.  They cloak their crimes in a faux legality.  They use the decorum of the courts and trials, to mask their criminality.  Those, such as Julian, who expose that criminality to the public are dangerous, for without the pretext of legitimacy the tyranny loses credibility and has nothing left in its arsenal but fear, coercion and violence.

The long campaign against Julian and WikiLeaks is a window into the collapse of the rule of law, the rise of what the political philosopher Sheldon Wolin calls our system of inverted totalitarianism, a form of totalitarianism that maintains the fictions of the old capitalist democracy, including its institutions, iconography, patriotic symbols and rhetoric, but internally has surrendered total control to the dictates of global corporations.

I was in the London courtroom when Julian was being tried by Judge Vanessa Baraitser, an updated version of the Queen of Hearts in Alice-in Wonderland demanding the sentence before pronouncing the verdict. It was judicial farce. There was no legal basis to hold Julian in prison.  There was no legal basis to try him, an Australian citizen, under the U.S. Espionage Act. The CIA spied on Julian in the embassy through a Spanish company, UC Global, contracted to provide embassy security. This spying included recording the privileged conversations between Julian and his lawyers as they discussed his defense. This fact alone invalidated the trial. Julian is being held in a high security prison so the state can, as Nils Melzer, the U.N. Special Rapporteur on Torture, has testified, continue the degrading abuse and torture it hopes will lead to his psychological if not physical disintegration.

The U.S. government directed, as Craig Murray so eloquently documented, the London prosecutor James Lewis.  Lewis presented these directives to Baraitser.  Baraitser adopted them as her legal decision.  It was judicial pantomime. Lewis and the judge insisted they were not attempting to criminalize journalists and muzzle the press while they busily set up the legal framework to criminalize journalists and muzzle the press. And that is why the court worked so hard to mask the proceedings from the public, limiting access to the courtroom to a handful of observers and making it hard and at times impossible to access the trial online.  It was a tawdry show trial, not an example of the best of English jurisprudence but the Lubyanka.

Now, I know many of us here tonight would like to think of ourselves as radicals, maybe even revolutionaries.  But what we are demanding on the political spectrum is in fact conservative, it is the restoration of the rule of law.  It is simple and basic. It should not, in a functioning democracy, be incendiary.  But living in truth in a despotic system is the supreme act of defiance.  This truth terrifies those in power.

The architects of imperialism, the masters of war, the corporate-controlled legislative, judicial and executive branches of government and their obsequious courtiers in the media, are illegitimate.  Say this simple truth and you are banished, as many of us have been, to the margins of the media landscape.  Prove this truth, as Julian, Chelsea Manning, Jeremy Hammond and Edward Snowden have by allowing us to peer into the inner workings of power, and you are hunted down and persecuted.

Shortly after WikiLeaks released the Iraq War Logs in October 2010, which documented numerous US war crimes—including video images of the gunning down of two Reuters journalists and 10 other unarmed civilians in the Collateral Murder video, the routine torture of Iraqi prisoners, the covering up of thousands of civilian deaths and the killing of nearly 700 civilians that had approached too closely to U.S. checkpoints—the towering civil rights attorneys Len Weinglass and my good friend Michael Ratner, who I would later accompany to meet Julian in the Ecuadoran Embassy, met with Julian in a studio apartment in Central London.  Julian’s personal bank cards had been blocked. Three encrypted laptops with documents detailing US war crimes had disappeared from his luggage in route to London. Swedish police were fabricating a case against him in a move, Ratner warned, that was about extraditing Julian to the United States.

“WikiLeaks and you personally are facing a battle that is both legal and political,” Weinglass told Assange. “As we learned in the Pentagon Papers case, the US government doesn’t like the truth coming out. And it doesn’t like to be humiliated. No matter if it’s Nixon or Bush or Obama, Republican or Democrat in the White House. The US government will try to stop you from publishing its ugly secrets. And if they have to destroy you and the First Amendment and the rights of publishers with you, they are willing to do it. We believe they are going to come after WikiLeaks and you, Julian, as the publisher.”

“Come after me for what?” asked Julian.

“Espionage,” Weinglass continued. “They’re going to charge Bradley Manning with treason under the Espionage Act of 1917. We don’t think it applies to him because he’s a whistleblower, not a spy. And we don’t think it applies to you either because you are a publisher. But they are going to try to force Manning into implicating you as his collaborator.”

“Come after me for what?

That is the question.

They came after Julian not for his vices, but his virtues.

They came after Julian because he exposed the more than 15,000 unreported deaths of Iraqi civilians; because he exposed the torture and abuse of some 800 men and boys, aged between 14 and 89, at Guantánamo; because he exposed that Hillary Clinton in 2009 ordered US diplomats to spy on U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki Moon and other U.N. representatives from China, France, Russia, and the UK, spying that included obtaining DNA, iris scans, fingerprints, and personal passwords, part of the long pattern of illegal surveillance that included the eavesdropping on UN Secretary General Kofi Annan in the weeks before the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003; because he exposed that Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and the CIA orchestrated the June 2009 military coup in Honduras that overthrew the democratically elected president Manuel Zelaya, replacing it with a murderous and corrupt military regime; because he exposed that George W. Bush, Barack Obama and General David Petraeus prosecuted a war in Iraq that under post-Nuremberg laws is defined as a criminal war of aggression, a war crime, that they authorized hundreds of targeted assassinations, including those of U.S. citizens in Yemen, and that they secretly launched missile, bomb, and drone attacks on Yemen, killing scores of civilians; because he exposed that Goldman Sachs paid Hillary Clinton $657,000 to give talks, a sum so large it can only be considered a bribe, and that she privately assured corporate leaders she would do their bidding while promising the public financial regulation and reform; because he exposed the internal campaign to discredit and destroy British Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn by members of his own party; because he exposed how the hacking tools used by the CIA and the National Security Agency permits the wholesale government surveillance of our televisions, computers, smartphones and anti-virus software, allowing the government to record and store our conversations, images and private text messages, even from encrypted apps.

Julian exposed the truth.  He exposed it over and over and over until there was no question of the endemic illegality, corruption and mendacity that defines the global ruling elite.  And for these truths they came after Julian, as they have come after all who dared rip back the veil on power.  “Red Rosa now has vanished too. …” Bertolt Brecht wrote after the German socialist Rosa Luxemburg was murdered. “She told the poor what life is about, And so the rich have rubbed her out.”

We have undergone a corporate coup, where the poor and working men and women are reduced to joblessness and hunger, where war, financial speculation and internal surveillance are the only real business of the state, where even habeas corpus no longer exists, where we, as citizens, are nothing more than commodities to corporate systems of power, ones to be used, fleeced and discarded. To refuse to fight back, to reach out and help the weak, the oppressed and the suffering, to save the planet from ecocide, to decry the domestic and international crimes of the ruling class, to demand justice, to live in truth, is to bear the mark of Cain. Those in power must feel our wrath, and this means constant acts of mass civil disobedience, it means constant acts of social and political disruption, for this organized power from below is the only power that will save us and the only power that will free Julian.  Politics is a game of fear.  It is our moral and civic duty to make those in power very, very afraid.

The criminal ruling class has all of us locked in its death grip.  It cannot be reformed.  It has abolished the rule of law.  It obscures and falsifies the truth. It seeks the consolidation of its obscene wealth and power. And so, to quote the Queen of Hearts, metaphorically of course, I say, “Off with their heads.”

Feature photo | Original illustration by Mr. Fish

Chris Hedges is a Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist who was a foreign correspondent for fifteen years for The New York Times, where he served as the Middle East Bureau Chief and Balkan Bureau Chief for the paper. He previously worked overseas for The Dallas Morning News, The Christian Science Monitor, and NPR. He is the host of the Emmy Award-nominated RT America show On Contact.

The post Chris Hedges: Julian Assange and the Collapse of the Rule of Law appeared first on MintPress News.

Julian Assange could finally walk free—if we seize the moment

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 27/03/2021 - 6:58pm in

For the first time in more than a decade there’s cause for hope. The tortuous chain of cause and effect that saw Australian publisher Julian Assange go from global news sensation to a freezing cell in a London prison may at last be ended if the Biden administration decides to make a principled break with the fateful decisions of President Donald Trump.

Trump’s decision in 2019 to prosecute Assange for espionage placed Assange at risk of a maximum prison sentence of 175 years. It crossed a line that President Obama’s administration had been unwilling to step over—not through any love of WikiLeaks but for the simple reason that accusing publishers of espionage ran headfirst into the principle of press freedom enshrined in America’s First Amendment. The ‘New York Times’ problem, they called it: if Assange goes to jail then so should the editor of the New York Times. The leaks at the centre of the case led to dozens of public interest stories in the Times and other publications around the world, including this one.

In January 2021 there was an unexpected turn: a London Magistrate’s Court decided to reject Trump’s request to extradite Assange from the United Kingdom to the United States. The election result and the court’s decision provide the circuit breaker this terrible miscarriage of justice so desperately needs.

Trump, and his accomplices in the Department of Justice and Department of State, are gone. On their way out the door they filed an appeal in the UK courts—a matter of routine, according to most observers—and there the matter rests.

President Biden’s pick for US attorney general, Merrick Garland, told the Senate judiciary committee of his commitment to the protection of rights, to fair treatment of the press, and to the exercise of prosecutorial discretion. It is impossible to reconcile any of these priorities with the continuation of the former president’s dangerous conflation of journalism and espionage.

President Trump relished open hostility to the media, treating the press as ‘the enemy of the people’. He had an ally in Prime Minister Scott Morrison, who showed zero interest in stepping up to help an Australian citizen in trouble. But now, far from Canberra, the ground is shifting.

In the United States, moves are afoot across civil society, the press and the legal profession to bring this dangerous episode to a close. Organisations with global reach, including Amnesty International, Reporters Without Borders and Human Rights Watch, have recognised the threat of this prosecution and stepped up a lobbying campaign to ensure the Biden administration drops the case. There is renewed energy around the world, from the Media, Entertainment & Arts Alliance—Assange’s union here in Australia—to the remarkable work the US-based Courage Foundation is doing to help focus the mind of the incoming attorney general. Now is the time to raise our voices, to demand lawmakers here urge their American counterparts to let Julian Assange walk free and reunite with his family after more than ten years.

‘Transparency in government remains a vital national interest in a democracy, Garland has said. On 29 March his justice department is due to publish more details on its grounds for appeal. That’s how long we have to ensure that these words mean something.


Eyewitness to the Agony of Julian Assange

John Pilger, 2 Oct 2020

I have sat in many courts and seldom known such a perversion of due process. This is due revenge.

Labour In Exile Network Conference Today

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 27/02/2021 - 8:21pm in

I realise this is short notice, but I only came across it on Tony Greenstein’s blog yesterday. The Labour In Exile Network is a group of suspended and expelled Labour party members formed in opposition to Keir Starmer’s utterly inept and persecutory leadership.

Tony’s article on them accurately describes Starmer’s continuing attempts to purge the party of left-wingers and traditional socialists, all under the spurious guise of fighting anti-Semitism. He also makes the point that Starmer is very much a creature of the establishment, as shown by his support for the prosecution of the Julian Assange, his hostile attitude to rape victims, whose attackers were acquitted, and membership of the Trilateral Commission. He has also employed an Israeli spy, Assaf Kaplan, as a member of his staff.As Labour leader, he has consistently failed to oppose the Tories, even outrageously declaring that Matt Hancock should not resign. He makes the point that the ban on the three Liverpudlian ladies standing for elected mayor in their fair city should be the last straw for socialists. He makes the point that Starmer has little time for Black people and that Anna Rothery, one of the three women barred without explanation from standing as mayor of Liverpool, was barred because she was a Black socialist.

Tony describes the Labour In Exile Network thus

Labour In Exile Network was formed in the wake of Jeremy Corbyn’s suspension and the ensuing suspension of officers of the Labour Party who had the temerity to allow their parties to discuss such mundane matters as whether Starmer was out of his reactionary mind to suspend his predecessor.

LIEN has received considerable publicity in its call for an explanation from Starmer as to why he employed an Israeli spy, Assaf Kaplan, as a member of his staff, with the remit to snoop on members. LIEN has threatened, given the wholesale suspensions and expulsions, to simply reprint its own Labour Party cards. We have also made it clear that we will only canvass for and support those opposed to the present witch-hunt and attack on Labour Party democracy…..

The idea behind the LIEN is simple. It is to form a non-geographical CLP along the lines of the non-geographical International CLP. We aim to keep expelled and suspended socialists together.

It is clear that Starmer’s project, gutting Labour of its socialists and ending its reliance on trade unions, is destined to end in failure.  In the words of the inestimable Rachel of Swindon, Starmer’s

mind-boggling inability to lead a once-great party is ensuring a generation of Conservative rule. Let’s be honest here folks, Starmer is a fucking disaster for the Labour Party, and a credit to the Conservative Party.

The Corbyn Project attracted hundreds of thousands of people to the idea that a better world was possible.  They were betrayed by people like Jon Lansman and John McDonnell who thought they could trim their sails to the wind and bow to the ruling class ‘anti-Semitism’ attack that was launched against Corbyn and his supporters.

The time to organise is now overdue.  Although Momentum claims to have 20,000 members it is like the Titanic.  It is unable to turn round in time.  We can be more nimble.

The links are in Tony’s original article. For further information, including how you can attend the conference, go to

Labour In Exile Network Conference – This Saturday February 27th – Tony Greenstein

The speakers include Graham Bash, Tosh MacDonald, Chris Knight, Leah Levane, Jackie Walker and Roger Silverman.

Lien’s formation follows the establishment several years ago of Labour Against the Witch-hunt, a similar network of people expelled from the Labour party for supposed anti-Semitism, but whose real crime was socialism, supporting Jeremy Corbyn and proper treatment of the Palestinians.

I feel passionately that we need these groups, and support their actions against a vicious, factional, racist, and hypocritically anti-Semitic Tory-supporting leadership.

Continuing Prosecutions: Assange and the Biden Administration

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 11/02/2021 - 1:35pm in

With changes of presidential administrations, radical departures in policy are always exaggerated. Continuity remains, for the most part, a standard feature. It is precisely that continuity being challenged by groups fearful of the continuing prosecution of Julian Assange. The effort by the US Justice Department to extradite Assange from the UK on eighteen charges based…

The post Continuing Prosecutions: Assange and the Biden Administration appeared first on The AIM Network.