On the Pavement with Wikileaks 363


Entirely unexpectedly, I have been down in London this last three days outside and around the Ecuadorean Embassy, following WikiLeaks’ announcement that their sources indicate Julian might be expelled within hours or days. Plainly Julian’s position within the Embassy has deteriorated fundamentally, to the extent he is now treated openly as a closely guarded prisoner. I still have not myself been granted permission to visit him and he is now very isolated.

Nothing has happened so far this weekend, though I stated from the start that if the police were going to move in. the most likely time would be 4am on Monday morning. There is a thought that the massive media presence occasioned by Wikileaks’ announcement may have succeeded in deterring President Moreno from the expulsion. Let us hope that will prove the case.

I am very exhausted, having been more or less on 24 hour watch for three days. It was also somewhat difficult to tell Nadira her birthday celebration had shifted without notice from a restaurant in Edinburgh to a wet pavement in London. But I was very pleased to have a very fruitful in depth conversation with Kristin Hrafnsson, editor in chief of Wikileaks. Our thoughts ran along these lines, and as this does not involve secrets but rather media handling, I see no harm in sharing these thoughts with you.

When Julian does leave the Embassy, whatever the circumstances in which he does that, it will be for a day or two the largest media story in the world and undoubtedly will lead all the news bulletins across every major country. The odds are that he will be leaving and facing a fight against extradition to the United States, on charges arising from the Chelsea Manning releases which revealed a huge amount about US war crimes and other illegal acts.

It will be very important to try to focus a hostile media on why it is Julian is actually wanted for extradition. Not for the non-existent collusion with Russia to assist Trump, which is an entirely fake narrative. Not for meetings with Manafort which never happened. Not for the allegations in Sweden which fell apart immediately they were subject to rational scrutiny. And not for any nonsense about whether he hacked the communications in the Embassy or cleaned up the cat litter.

This is not going to be an easy task because pretty well all of the Western media is going to want to focus on these false anti-Assange narratives, and they will be determined to give as little attention as possible to the fact he is a publisher facing trial for publishing leaked state documents which revealed state wrongdoing. It is a classic and fundamental issue of freedom of speech and freedom of the press. Drawing together a team that can get this message across in such MSM windows as are afforded, as well as through social media, is an important task. The team needs to be in readiness and to be backed by a suitable support infrastructure that can be dusted off and sprung into action. The public framing of Julian’s position will undoubtedly impact on the final outcome; that is why the MSM have put in such a consistent effort to demonise one of the most interesting figures and original thinkers of our time.

If the balloon really had gone up this weekend, we would have been woefully unprepared to deal with the task of explaining the true story. If nothing else, this weekend’s alarm has been very helpful in concentrating minds on the size of the task.


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363 thoughts on “On the Pavement with Wikileaks

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    • Coldish

      Thanks, Sharp Ears, for the link. The inappropriate and misleading phrase ‘Campaigner or attention-seeker’ may have been created by a BBC sub-editor. It doesn’t reflect the content of the article itself, which is a reasonably factual, although incomplete and (to my mind) one-sided.account.

  • Arbed

    Hi everyone!

    If any readers of Craig’s blog are within spitting distance of London, here’s a way you can offer some practical support. The team running Julian Assange’s Twitter account, which he no longer has access to due to Ecuador’s “Special Protocol”/prison conditions inside the embassy, just posted this tweet:

    “More supporters are needed to monitor the embassy during this week, especially at night! Take the last digit of your age. Your primary day is:
    0 – Sun
    1 & 7 – Mon
    2 & 8 – Tue
    3 & 9 – Thu
    4 & 0 – Fri
    5 – Sat
    6 – Sun
    If not available on that day, keep adding 1 until you are!
    https://twitter.com/DefendAssange/status/1115212859045220353

    I have no idea why they think he’ll be immune on Wednesdays, 😉 – but l’m guessing they’ve had too many sleepless nights recently.

    You get the idea anyway.

    • John Goss

      Hello Arbed. It is always good to have your informed and informative comments. I want you to know that (if I can speak for others) those of us who cannot make it because of difficulty getting there and back are so proud of you great people who have given up and are giving up your free time. You certainly have my moral support from Birmingham. I am especially thankful to Craig Murray who is nowhere near spitting distance from London and yet has rescheduled family matters to do his stint over this important defence of Julian Assange (detained without just reason).

      I hope you are well. It was good to meet you in 2014(?). Unfortunately I am tied up for the next fortnight. We may meet again after that.

    • bj

      The takeaway:

      – The one endangered to be ousted ‘within hours or days’ is Moreno himself

      – The opposition hacked his cellphone to put pressure on him

      – Moreno is trying to strike deals with Spain (which would explain a thing or two) or the USA for asylum there (apparently he own houses in both), because he faces serious charges of corruption

      – Assange can not be evicted from the Embassy becuase he is an Ecuadorian citizen (!), says Correa

      – If the opposition comes to power, its leader (forget the name) is even more hawkish via-a-vis Assange than Moreno

      • bj

        I.o.w. Moreno is pressed by time to forge a deal with Spain or the US, i.e. to capitalize on Assange before that capital escapes him if and when he is ousted on charges of corruption.

        The walls are closing in alright — on Moreno.
        And he knows it.
        The phrase ‘hours or days’, in its first reading, refers more to Moreno’s predicament than to Assange’s.

        • bj

          And finally, and prob. redundantly:
          – Moreno is to visit Trump on the 15th or 16th this month (i.e. in about a week).
          – A UN rapporteur is visiting Assange on the 25th.

          • freddy

            PS One thing you can’t buy, or be educated with, is a sense of humour. In fact , it’s severely lacking among the elite, especially when it’s close to the bone.

            No offence intended to you, bj.

  • leonor martinez lobato

    How will the public anti democratic lynch of Julian Assange be explained to the World and future generations?

    • Anthony

      They will probably be even more accustomed to the silencing of voices who punch up at the powerful and shine a light on their crimes.

      • giyane

        Anthony

        Employers want to chip employees with tracking implants. Trade unions are against. 5G will be sufficiently penetrative to monitor employee moods from a distance. This is where we already are if you are someone of interest to the authorities such as a convert / revert to Islam. Why would anybody in their Alt Right mind object to that? The biggest snoopers at the moment are corporations and religious institutions where monitoring is 100% These two are enfranchised on a two way communication agreement with GCHQ and Police.

        I just heard a recording of Cameron telling Libyans they had chosen freedom – freedom to be ruled by the CIA Al Qaida, or the Daesh mafia who traffic free people as slaves, or by the UK – appointed
        ” internationally recognised stooge ” in Tripoli.

        Today we face a choice between No Deal Brexit which 72% of solid right-thinking Marxist Tories want; this choice means universal credit, universal chipping, universal totalitarian social rating like the Chinese Communist Party. Or, on the other side, a No Brexit Vote which means a European Army, rule by Germany and continuing to have free movement of people and goods from the East..

        Faced with this dilemma, I think I would opt for being chipped by the EU, under a left-leaning Labour Party, than under the full-blown Fascists of the ERG, where the only available credit card is American Express and all Muslims must be exterminated by 2040, the year diesel no longer exists for road transport..

        Put simply , if Trumps appointee, Boris Johnson , became PM , I would be writing to Mrs May, with all her obvious shortcomings, asking her if she fancied becoming my second wife. She has at least sat down with Jeremy Corbyn and talked sweet nothings for 2 consecutive days last week. Unlike Rees-Mogg who has totally refused to vote for Tory policy for three years. Whoever put that plum in his mouth must have failed with his potty training. ‘ If you totally refuse to make one poo the size of a plum before tomorrow morning, I will physically insert a plum into your mouth.’

    • wonky

      ..the usual “we were only following orders!”, but without mentioning whose..
      the post-modern Nuremberg defense, so to speak..

  • Craig Dunain

    I’m sure both the Red and Blue Tories will be keen to locate him somewhere safe should a few dozen pages of Westminster secrets start emerging 😉 Even faster if he were suddenly to become a Russian 😉

  • Crispa

    I very much support Craig on this one. It is ironic and hypocritical for states to seek to protect whistle blowers from retribution from their employers or whoever they are blowing the whistle on. [There is even a EU directive in the offing that will include whistle blowing on infringements of data protection]. But it is a different matter if someone blows the whistle on their own illegal actions, when they will use every pretext to destroy the whistle blower for doing the right thing.

    • freddy

      Here’s an idea, why not set up a whistle-blowing service in the name of transparency and ant-corruption, then you can vet who are the “good” ones and who are the “bad” ones?

  • LN

    Would it really be the worst danger for JA to fall into the hands of the USA? That is what is always made to seem dreadful for him, and yet I wonder whether his real threat is the UK? It is the stuff he knows about UK that makes his release dangerous for him, so if he could be taken straight into US custody that might provide a safe route out to where he can be asked to tell more of his truth. Extradition could be his way out, USA owes him that. We know that the UK gov was involved in mounting the fake dossier to try to derail Trump and that is what they will do anything to stop coming out. I don’t believe UK gov cares about JA’s well-being, except in maybe rather he stays locked up and silenced.

    • glenn_nl

      Are you serious? There were calls for Assange to be assassinated, and at the very least put on trial for terrorism, by senior government officials on the record. The only thing the USA thinks it owes him is a lifetime in maximum security lockup, at the absolute best.

  • Kempe

    There still remains the possibility that this is a complete mare’s nest; that either Wikileaks have been sold a pup or that they’ve dreamt it up themselves for the publicity or to gauge what sort of reaction there’d be if Julian really were under threat of eviction.

    If the latter they can’t exactly be feeling over the moon right now.

    Naturally if the eviction doesn’t go ahead Assange’s few active supporters will credit themselves with bravely facing down the facist police state etc.

    • pretzelattack

      given the years long smear campaign and efforts to imprison assange, i don’t think your scenario is very likely. do you? assange’s “offense” is working as a journalist to expose war crimes. if you support war crimes, you support extraditing assange to the u.s. where he can be tried on some trumped up charge (no pun intended). and that is very likely to happen if moreno kicks him out of the embassy.

  • Bob

    I’d be interested what Julian’s rumoured “nuclear options” are if he is 1) Arrested and 2) Extradited.

    As I understand it (and it could be rubbish) Julian has information that will be so harmful to US / UK, maybe Trump, that for some reason he has held back but it could, as I understand it bring down governments and put big names in prison for a long time.

    After years of incarceration I would have dumped the whole lot and said sod the backlash

    But if it is true then I think there is a question over his integrity if he is not publishing as a bargaining chip to save his own skin

    That’s why I doubt the story it would mean Julian is no better than his tormenters.

    • SA

      Too many suppositions here Bob. Are you not aware that Wikileaks and Snowden have already released information that have exposed many crimes which have resulted it no convictions of people in the system? And do you think any future revelations will not be equally ignored by the colluding MSM and the whole power of the judicial system of those accused?

  • ChristopherJ

    Thank you, Craig. You understand the critical import of this and he is a lucky man to have you at his side. All good Australians are supporting Julian. He is just a publisher and should not be in the state he is in.

    If our own government had a set, he wouldn’t be where he is. Sadly, we do what we are told down under.

    • Robyn

      ‘All good Australians are supporting Julian.’ Trouble is, none of these good Australians are in Government or Opposition. I can’t even get a standard acknowledgement email or letter to my (Opposition) MP when I contact him about JA. The only time he responded, to my first contact a few years ago, was to say that JA is free to leave the Embassy any time he chooses.

  • Charles Bostock

    Let’s get one thing straight, shall we?

    Assange was not the hacker, but he was the publisher of classified information obtained illegally. That is also an offence, just as – for example – publishers are can be prosecuted alongside or instead of the author in prosecution under the Obscene Publications Act (repeat for the stupider readers : this is an example).

    It is an offence he could easily not have committed but for his overweening pride, self-confidence and massive ego. He went ahead, probably thinking he would never risk having his collar felt. Bad move!

    • pretzelattack

      oh so like the new york times, then. and which country’s laws did he violate, dear charles. the “offense” is revealing, as a journalist, as the new york times did in the pentagon papers, information that should never have been classified in the first place. all you war crimes shills would like to ignore that, for obvious reasons.

      • pete

        The person who illegally copied the pentagon documents and leaked them to the press was Daniel Ellsberg. The US government tried to prosecute him but failed due to incompetence and illegal evidence gathering, see: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daniel_Ellsberg
        Ellsberg was protected also by the first amendment of the US constitution, sadly we have no such constitution to protect us here in the UK.

        • pretzelattack

          it doesn’t matter whether ellsberg copied the documents or loaded them on a thumb drive the nyt performed exactly the same function as assange in this instance, and escaped prosecution. now some in the u.s. want ellsberg put to death for acting like newspapers should act. and why would the u.s. have jurisdiction over an australian journalist practicing his profession?

      • Charles Bostock

        Pretzel

        With great respect, it is not for you to say which information should be classified by governments and which shouldn’t. The laws violated are presumably those of the USA since it is the USA which is said to be seeking his extradition.

        But what is everyone so afraid about? If it is true – as some have claimed on here – that he has broken no US law, then he will be acquitted at his trial.

        • Ken Kenn

          The Law allegedly Assange has ‘ violated ‘ is The Espionage Act of 1917.

          No doubt this came about as Lenin came to power.

          Assange is not Lenin and Corbyn is not a Marxist.

          But many ( including your good self ) have been moved so far to the right over the
          past forty years that what used to be called Liberal thought is now the equivalent
          of Leninism.

          By the way it is not for you ( you are captured anyway by my country right or wrongism ) or
          the State that allegedly work for us in order to allegedly protect us from real and perceived
          other villainous States to dictate what we should know or not know.

          It was almost brick through the telly time when that complete dolt George W Bush came on American TV and our TV
          to tell the American people how he and his protective apparatus were going to protect the people against terrorism
          around 12 hours after after he and his State apparatus patently failed to do so on the morning of 9/11.

          You need to realise that the security services don’t protect the populace of any country – they protect ‘ interests’

          Assange expose those ‘ interests ‘ to an unknowing public who labour under the misapprehension that the security services exist to protect us all without fear nor favoor.

          It’s always been BS and always will be.

          By the way even if Assange was removed surely the PTB don’t think that their exposure will go away?

          It won’t.

          • pete

            Re Ken @21.49 Agreed, the publishers in the Pentagon Papers case was the NY Times and the Washington Post, they had the advantage that they were protected by the first amendment, Assange, as a non US citizen would have no such protection. Not that US citizenship helped Manning much.

        • Andyoldlabour

          Charles Bostock

          You really are very pro establishment Charles, even a “defender of war crimes”, which kind of makes you complicit in the actions of our government(s).
          When, as a result of our foreign policy, we incur acts of terrorism on home soil, I always feel sympathy for the victims, but I always wonder why the politicians and their supporters are hardly ever touched by the atrocities.

          • Charles Bostock

            Where have I defended war crimes? Chapter and verse please, or I shall ask the mods if deleting slanderous posts (which are by definition ad hominem) is part of their remit. 🙂

          • Clark

            Andyoldlabour, I suggest you use Charles as an asset. Most of his assertions are so easily contradicted with a quick reference to memory or a web search; use his comments as opportunities to post revealing evidence.

          • Herbie

            “I always wonder why the politicians and their supporters are hardly ever touched by the atrocities.”

            Aye. That’s puzzled me since the NI Troubles.

            Terrorists and state armies seem to concentrate much more on slaughtering innocent civilians than on the opposing elites.

          • Ken Kenn

            My 88 year old mother used to ask just that question.

            Why the ‘ordinary people?’ she added that ” It’s like it’s not allowed”

            Andyoldlabour:

            How Assange ( an Australian ) can be tried as a traitor under The US Espionage Act is a puzzle.

            He ( unlike Chelsea Manning as you say ) is not a US Citizen.

            Therefore he can hardly be accused of betraying HIS country as his country is not the USA.

            Grovelling Britain will capture him on behalf of the US as they always do as they are told.

            For any reason – it doesn’t matter whether it is ‘ lawful ‘ or not.

            As I said previously jailing Assange won’t stop Wikileaks from operating.

          • Herbie

            ”It’s like it’s not allowed”

            Your mum was certainly onto something rather important in terms of how the world works today.

        • Johny Conspiranoid

          Chas;

          “If it is true – as some have claimed on here – that he has broken no US law, then he will be acquitted at his trial.”
          How do you know that?

          • Charles Bostock

            Because in general I have faith in the US court system and the US judiciary.

            You, I guess, believe he would not get justice. How do you know that?

          • Herbie

            “Because in general I have faith in the US court system and the US judiciary.”

            You really gotta be kiddin.

            Either that or you’re completely clueless the US Justice system.

          • Clark

            Well who is the only person to be imprisoned over the US torture programme?

            Answer: John Kiriakou, for revealing it! Then there’s this:

            https://www.latimes.com/world/la-fg-hague-icc-prosecutor-visa-revoked-trump-20190405-story.html

            The Trump administration has revoked the U.S. visa of the International Criminal Court’s chief prosecutor, who has reported that American personnel may have committed war crimes in Afghanistan.

            – The State Department confirmed that Bensouda’s U.S. visa had been revoked and said, “The United States will take the necessary steps to protect its sovereignty and to protect our people from unjust investigation and prosecution by the International Criminal Court.”

            – U.S. Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo said last month that Washington would revoke or deny visas to ICC staff seeking to investigate allegations of war crimes or other abuses committed by U.S. forces in Afghanistan or elsewhere and that it may do the same with those who seek action against Israel.

            At its highest echelons, the US knows no law.

          • Herbie

            That the US Justice system is a complete cesspit of corruption needs no evidence at this point.

            It’s those who claim it to be jurisprudence at its best who need to show evidence.

          • Clark

            Too lazy, huh?

            You don’t seem to get it. We are the alternative media, as opposed to the mainstream media or MSM. The MSM, amid lashings of opinion, occasionally post evidence. They’re generally very selective about it, but the little they post is the source of their credibility.

            It is up to us to reverse that credibility. Swaggering around like a big head claiming that everything is obvious and everyone either knows it already or must be “part of the conspiracy” just doesn’t cut it. A poll recently claimed to show that 48% of the US population would approve of Assange being prosecuted. If we dismiss that 48% as sheeple and not worth bothering with, we’ll lose.

          • Herbie

            Yeah, well, so long as Michael Bloomberg publishes a piece saying that Julian shouldn’t be extradited to the US, then I think that breakdown in bipartisanship should be of assistance.

            I’m pretty sure most Americans know their justice system is a heap of junk.

            And your figures indicate only a minority support his prosecution in the US.

            Things are better than we remember them a few years ago.

    • Republicofscotland

      Charles

      Assange isn’t a US citizen, so the only way he can be prosecuted in the United States is if Britain hands him over to them. The British states credibility is already withered and thin, handing over Assange to the US, will turn even more folk against the British state, already a laughing stock due to Brexit.

      Oh and there’s this as well.

      In the case Supreme Court case New York Times vs the United States, it was determined by the court that the First Ammendment protects the press even if the information it publishes was illegally obtained or disclosed.

    • David

      Oh do be quieter CB, with your seeming journey to the very endpoint of all leakers must be executed surely you are joking?

      here’s very recent UK ‘news-leaks’ leaking & promptly printing internal EU secrets….(lets assume Prince William did the hacking whilst tea-boy last week)

      https://news.sky.com/story/leaked-eu-document-shows-brexit-punishment-plan-11239487
      https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/apr/04/leaked-file-shows-stark-contrasts-for-britons-in-eu-after-no-deal-brexit
      https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2018/02/06/brussels-plots-strip-britain-single-market-access-ignores-eu/

      Putting it more simply, shall we arrest all journalists, as your military law with your trillion dollar budgets, rules over all of humanity?

      No , as leakers leak, journalists publish, there’s nothing illegal about publishing ‘military secrets’ once the document has been leaked, at least according to all the meetings on the subject that I have attended. I accept, that in some current quasi-Stalinesque institutions and situations, the military might wish that things were different, here, there are extant freedoms, just.

      • Charles Bostock

        Leaking and printing internal EU secrets (by which I think you mean information classified as “confidential”, “secret” or “very secret” one of the other EU institution) : I don not know whether the EU institution could do against the publisher but if it found that the leaker was one of its employees then that employee would be severely punished, up to and including dismissal.

        I gather from the correspondence on here that the US does not agree that someone can publish information obtained by a leaker or hacker with impunity. So the US begs to differ when you state that “there’s nothing illegal about publishing military secret”. And as far as Assange’s future is concerned, the US take is slightly more relevant than yours.

        • DAVID

          Another “US take” on your made-up twaddle me laddy, I’ll SHOUT if it helps you to read and understand….

          https://caitlinjohnstone.com/2019/04/07/assange-is-not-a-journalist-yes-he-is-idiot/

          the press freedom guarantee of the [US] First Amendment isn’t confined to “legitimate news outlets” – whatever that might mean. The First Amendment isn’t available only to a certain class of people licensed as “journalists.” It protects not a privileged group of people called “professional journalists” but rather an activity: namely, using the press (which at the time of the First Amendment’s enactment meant the literal printing press) to inform the public about what the government was doing.

          Everyone is entitled to that constitutional protection equally: there is no cogent way to justify why the Guardian, ex-DOJ-officials-turned-bloggers, or Marcy Wheeler are free to publish classified information but Julian Assange and WikiLeaks are not.

          • Charles Bostock

            David

            I would as soon take Caitlin Johnstone’s word for anything as I would Boris Johnsons’s.

            But anyway : re your last para, why don’t we wait and see what happens in the US courts (if Assange does get extradited)?

    • Mary Pau!

      There have been cases in the past in the UK where journalists have been tried, and convicted, of publishing classified information passed to them by someone else4.. Journalist privilege/licence is not necessarily a sufficient defence.

  • Peter Grafström

    Cass Sunstein the USg ‘Tsar’ of cognitive infiltration welcomed the wikileaks psyop at its foundation. The stated aims was to encourage regime change operations in particular towards the east. They early on leaked info which aided the 7 countries in five years project. The Arab Spring.Critical info of the imperial stooges Us/Uk/Israel was absent.
    The msm gave wide cover for WLs video about the shooting of some Iraqies.
    That video had already been published before by other altmedia sites but they didnt get the support of the msm.
    Assange had been recruited in the 90s after he had committed cyber crime.
    He was reported to have worked at the Sandia labs with computer security.
    But it appears this happened after he was caught. So it looks like they encouraged him to think he was special since otherwise it was a peculiar type of punishment for his cybercrimes.
    I mention this since this ought to be reason to claim that the Usg, Cia etc, groomed him to become agent material. And that this couldnt have happened without the support of the mighty.
    Most of you like to focus on the role of freedom fighter which is entirely false as indicated above. And since he apparently inadvertently leaked documents which have caused concern among the military and that he therefore has fallen prey to retribution, it may help him more if the emphasis is directed to the grooming phase. That he as a young man was seducted by more experienced people to become an agent and that he didnt know what he was getting involved in.

    • pretzelattack

      you didn’t post any evidence of any of this blather. agent of what, precisely, and what is your evidence?

    • freddy

      Fascinating post Peter; I’d welcome some sauce, especially for the second half of it. If true, my head would probably *literally* explode (but that’s ok)

    • Republicofscotland

      “The msm gave wide cover for WLs video about the shooting of some Iraqies.”

      Two of them were genuine Reuters reporters, they were murdered by a US Apache gunship.

      https://collateralmurder.wikileaks.org

      “Most of you like to focus on the role of freedom fighter which is entirely false as indicated above.”

      Evidence please.

        • Yalt

          If you’re going to drop a bombshell you need to have complete control of the airspace. Substantiation is then irrelevant at best, perhaps even counterproductive.

  • Greg Park

    I know you will convey the reality of what’s happening to JA very clearly given the opportunity Craig. If you are afforded any airtime in coming days do remind them that unconvicted war criminals and war fomenters continue to bestride the earth like collosi. In fact several sit at Trump’s right hand demanding he convict JA.

  • michael norton

    extradite
    /ˈɛkstrədʌɪt/
    verb
    hand over (a person accused or convicted of a crime) to the jurisdiction of the foreign state in which the crime was committed.

    So in which country was Julian supposed to have been, when he was supposed to have exposed the WAR CRIMES of America.
    If it was not in America, he should not be extradited there.

    • mouwophouders

      I’m unsure how a fainéant cut-and-paste from Google is helpful, michael norton: a dig at some commenters’ lack of basic understanding, perhaps?

      That was a concise, but not compendious definition. If Mr Assange has contravened US law (the abovementioned 1917 Espionage Act), which seems to be the nub of the matter, Google’s pithy entry remains sufficient. He did not need to be physically on US soil at the time of publication, in the terms of the Act, for a felony to have taken place. Hence the wish to ˈɛkstrədʌɪt the man is entirely valid.

      I think the real issue is the doubt he would enjoy a fair trial, having been a cause célèbre (Nixon’s near-scuppering of the “Manson Family” trial, with his begobbery comes to mind here, strangely) and moreover for so long.

      This, in addition to the indiginously political nature of his putative case, produces the conundrum to which there seems no straightforward solution.

  • BrianFujisan

    Good to see Arbed Popping up again.. With the Missing Wednesday..

    It will all be happening on Wednesday.. Daft O Clock wee hours.

    I see on the RT Live feed the Lone Protester with Head covered by a big Silver Whistle was back..he / she was there about 4 am as well.

    That Whistle could, for all I know, be made of tin.. But it definitely Looks like a Whistle.. and NOT a Hat.. I wonder if the Whistle is Whistling sounds of Truth…The Kinds of Truth n Facts that got Julian this Unlawful, hateful treatment. And Chelsea too.. Twice.

    • pete

      Yes, a long article, at it’s heart is the BAP, the significance of which is illuminated by this article from the Gruaniad back in November 2004:
      https://www.theguardian.com/world/2004/nov/06/usa.politics1

      There is reference in the True Publica article regarding a leaked cable that mentions Ruth Smeeth and Smeargate, but, looking at the cable, these smears were those created by Damian McBride. If Smeeth is involved with BAP she may or may not be a US asset, I would like to see more evidence though, to be convinced.

      • Crispa

        Ruth Smeeth is married to Michael Smeeth who is an Executive Director for BAP: not evidence of her involvement but close enough perhaps?

        • Paul Barbara

          @ Crispa April 9, 2019 at 00:22
          A quick search got this: ‘The murky world of the UK’s Blairite anti-Corbyn coup plotters’:
          https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2016/07/22/smee-j22.html
          ‘The attempt to remove UK Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn is being spearheaded by right-wing supporters of former Labour leader Tony Blair. These forces, who aim to either take over or destroy the Labour Party and set up a new right-wing party, are working in intimate collusion with the security services in Britain and the United States.
          The plot was enacted immediately after the June 23 referendum vote for Britain to leave the EU. The organisers of the putsch seek to reverse the referendum result and re-fashion the Labour Party as the central tool to carry this out.
          Among those playing a leading role against Corbyn is Labour MP Ruth Smeeth. She was elected as a Labour MP at the 2015 general election, after working in public relations at multinational food and facilities management company, Sodexo. She later worked in public relations for Nestlé. In between, she held a post with the pro-Israel lobby group, Britain Israel Communications and Research Centre (BICOM)….’
          I don’t know anything about it myself, but it may be useful to those following it. Looks highly credible at first sight.

          • Andyoldlabour

            Paul Barbara

            None of that would surprise me in the least Paul, I was always convinced that Bliar and his ilk were trying to destroy the Labour party. He was a well known admirer of Thatcher and firmly aligned himself with George W Bush and the neocons.

        • Vivian O'Blivion

          BAP has been considered as an Atlantasist, Masonic lodge. “Graduates”, that is to say people introduced to the circuit as potential “fellow travelers” are enticed with personal advancement through Lodge, networking. The Graduates of the circuit are “new blood”, I would imagine that close association with Graduates is sufficient to fall within the orbit of the Lodge. In that case, Smeeth can be considered safely BAP by marriage, without necessarily ever having been formally run through the “program”. Similarly, the widow of John Smith (Baroness Smith of Gilmorehill) and eldest daughter Sarah Smith (propagandist in the employ of the BBC) can be considered BAP.

        • pete

          I had almost forgotten that some time ago one of Craig’s contributors, Chris Friel, created a document, Muralgaga – search the old comments for the link- and I downloaded it for future reference. I’ve just checked it and Ruth Smeeth does make a late appearance in it as one of the people involved in the antisemitism smear campaign. While this does not make her a US asset, it does make sense it the smear campaign being about getting rid of Corbyn rather than demonstrating actual antisemitism. Just my view of course.

  • John2o2o

    Just thought I’d add a few thoughts to my previous posting which is buried here somewhere. Maybe my thoughts will be helpful, maybe not. My aim is to be helpful. Please do not troll my comment, I rarely revisit my comments once posted.

    Julian is often described by prominent supporters as a journalist. I have to say that I’ve always felt a little uncomfortable about that definition.

    Why? Because Julian is not a “regular” journalist: He does not write for a newspaper or online news media publication in the way that the majority would recognise. That is not his core activity. This means that when a supporter describes Julian as a “journalist”, his detractors can convincingly argue against them.

    Ardent supporters of Julian and wikileaks will of course not be swayed, but the Masses – the vast majority of people out there – can be. This doubt about Julian that is then sowed in the minds of ordinary members of the public costs him support.

    I would suggest that people are clear in their description of Wikileaks and Julian Assange. They are PUBLISHERS of sensitive material that is freely given to them and which is then released by them in the public interest. The definition provided by wikipedia seems appropriate.

    • Robyn

      I agree that Julian can’t properly be described as a journalist. As you note, he does not write articles and, further, he does not investigate and (to the best of my knowledge) he does not have a qualification in journalism. IMO he is a publisher and the ‘not a journalist’ aspect is just a distraction and a way of painting him as a phony. Regardless of the label, he must be freed from the hell in which he is being confined.

      • BrianFujisan

        what is Journalism Robyn..
        The bbC.. Ch4…Sky.. NYT CNN the Guardian Ect

        Find a release from wikileaks that is false.

        Try the same with above MSM.. Wake up .

          • Ken Kenn

            Well we and Mueller and his chums would have to get a look at her DNC servers in order to prove a few things.

            They were not volunteered as evidence.

            By the way Clinton has never denied or opposed what was said within the leaked emails.

            She could always sue?

  • N_

    Julian Assange: Socialists and Liberals Must Now Choose Their Side.

    The false left and liberals have until now been delighted to hide behind Russiagate or Sweden to avoid asking themselves the fundamental question.

    The real left doesn’t help Trump. The question of whether someone helps Trump because he is largely Kremlin-owned is not as “fundamental” as whether he helps Trump.

    Then there’s the New York Times. And the Guardian. And Eric Schmidt. What interests was Julian Assange serving when he met with Eric Schmidt by the way? “Free speech”? Same as the god of the Swedish “pirates”?

      • N_

        That’s a typically Trumpian question: everyone who’s not on the fascist Trump bandwagon is a “loser” who worships email-sending, pizza-eating, Soros-friend “Hillary”, right?

        As for a typically Trumpian exclamation, “Fake news!” has got to be up there with “Losers!”, near the top of the list.

        We seem to agree that Assange and Wikileaks helped Trump.

        I wish for Julian Assange’s liberation from confinement and his freedom from persecution by the US government. I also believe him to be innocent of the sexual offence allegations, which I believe were lies told by CIA asset Anna Ardin. That doesn’t mean he isn’t an arsehole. In circumstances where he hadn’t supported Trump (actions for which he has never apologised), wasn’t mixed up with an obviously extremely dodgy international organisation called Wikileaks, and hadn’t been involved in games involving Eric Schmidt for who knows what coalition of interests, it might be reasonable to say that emphasising the fact that he is an arsehole might be a stupid distraction. But those aren’t the circumstances and it isn’t.

        And look what’s coming…

        • N_

          Julian Assange does not describe himself as being on the left.

          As far as I know, he does not even describe himself as someone who would support a redistribution of wealth away from the rich.

          • Herbie

            I’ve seen him and Slavoj Žižek argue against the turn to the Right made by David Horowitz, and that suggests a degree of Leftyness.

            And he’s in what at least used to be a Lefty regime’s embassy.

            I’d agree he often does comes across as more of a Libertarian kinda thing.

          • Charles Bostock

            Herbie

            When you use words like “kinda”, are you trying to appear OAP-chic?

        • joel

          Clinton’s emails merely confirmed what everybody already knew: that she is a 2-faced stooge of Big Money interests. Posthumous claims that their release is what cost her is simply a cynical construct to give the corporate Democrats a reason not to change. What gets forgotten is that the day wikileaks released the Clinton emails the entire corporate media leapt to her rescue by suddenly ‘discovering’ an old tape of Trump talking about assaulting women. The major upshot of the wikileaks release was that the media went into overdrive in its baseless allegations that ‘Putin wants Trump to win’.

          Also written out of history by Clinton diehards is that she had every conceivable advantage going up against Trump: a vast campaign fund of $1.7 bn, thanks to a multitude of paid-for promises to corporate predators and parasites; the uniform support of respectable media and political opinion worldwide, which demonized her clownish, ill-informed opponent 24/7 for months on end.

          To have achieved the impossible and still lost every swing state should have been cause for humble introspection from her centrist-liberal (sorry ‘real left’) camp followers. Sadly, that has not been the case.

          • glenn_nl

            Actually you have that the wrong way around.

            The Access Hollywood (“pussygate”) tape of Trump came out. Then – less than one hour later – Wikileaks start dumping the hacked Podesta emails.

            https://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2016/dec/18/john-podesta/its-true-wikileaks-dumped-podesta-emails-hour-afte/

            I trust you will now revise your narrative, given these facts?

            You also forgot to mention that, along with “every conceivable advantage”, Clinton also had a 30-year hate campaign against her reaching its high point. Right wing radio (coast to coast, 24 hours, across the dial) had been throwing everything at her since the 1980s. The most commonly watched news station, Fox, had been in full campaign mode against the Dems and for Trump without a pause. Trump got free coverage from every TV and radio station, as much as he wanted.

            Then there were the fake news and conspiracies, of course. Hillary was going to take your Bibles and guns. Everything from Hillary dying of Parkinsons, murder plots, child abuse rings, millions of body bags being delivered for FEMA death camps (along with 30,000 guillotines), and many, many more.

            Didn’t you notice any of that?

          • joel

            No Glenn, Inever in my life watched Fox News. But the election statistics show the decisive factor was not a massive turnout by Fox viewers- Trump got fewer votes than Mitt Romney had. No, it was the failure to show up by 9 million registered Democrats in the swing states who had voted for Obama in 2012.

            Btw, what in God’s name is the basis for the support on this site for the nakedly corrupt warmonger Hillary Clinton?

          • freddy

            Hillary was polling wildly higher than Trump throughout the presidential campaign, so the 30-year “hate-campaign” does not seem to have been that effective.

          • Stonky

            Actually you have that the wrong way around…

            Libya 2011: A stable secular country. The most prosperous country on the African continent. A healthcare system (free to all) we and the US could only dream of. An education system (free to all up to and including university) we and the US could only dream of. A range of other significant welfare benefits. Main industry – oil and gas…

            Libya 2019: A failed state. Tens of thousands dead. The survivors cringing under the jackboot of whichever Islamofascist managed to grab the heavy weaponry in their neck of the woods. Waiting for civil war when one of the Islamofascists thinks he’s tough enough to take on the rest. Infrastructure and social services destroyed. GDP cut by half. Main industry – people trafficking. Black people are stood on a stump and sold as slaves in public markets…

            Anybody who needs any more reason than that to despise Hillary Clinton with every fibre of their being never had a moral compass to begin with.

          • Herbie

            “Btw, what in God’s name is the basis for the support on this site for the nakedly corrupt warmonger Hillary Clinton?”

            She’s not Trump.

            It ain’t very sophisticated, but there ya go.

            Much the same as Clark’s version, where you can’t be against Globalisation because the extreme Right is against it.

            You gotta love these contrived dialectics.

          • MJ

            “an old tape of Trump talking about assaulting women”

            It wasn’t even that. He simply used an expression often used about men and slightly changed it to describe his way of dealing with businesswomen. Taking the comment literally is silly. You’d think they could have dug up something more incriminating.

          • glenn_nl

            Joel: “Btw, what in God’s name is the basis for the support on this site for the nakedly corrupt warmonger Hillary Clinton?”

            OK, try this on for size – what’s the basis for _your_ support of that white supremacist, climate change denying, dictator-loving, ignorant savage Trump?

            I’m joking – somewhat. But surely it’s obvious that you don’t love one candidate because you don’t like their opponent. There’s no logic there.

            Apart from actively supporting deeply unpleasant leaders around the world, Trump panders to the far-right Christianists, tips a wink to Nazis, is cruel to the poor, and gives massive tax cuts to the rich while destroying the environment. He’s anti-science and had stuffed cabinet positions with oligarchs and industry stooges. I take it you don’t approve of these actions? Republicans love them, and that’s the party Trump heads. With that party in power, these are the policies you will get.

            It’s not quite as simplistic as liking this or that person – we really have to be a bit more grown up about it.

          • Herbie

            “You’d think they could have dug up something more incriminating.”

            They could have, but chose not to because they’re involved in the same things themselves.

            The pretence to difference between the two parties may have been revealed as cobblers.

          • Martinned

            Libya 2011: A stable secular country.

            Did you seriously just come out in defense of the Ghaddafi dictatorship? I guess you’re right, at least the trains ran on time…

          • Observer

            Martinned, you really don’t do yourself any favours in coming up with cavalier wisecracks like this.

          • Herbie

            Sure, it’s much better now that it’s had a bit of “humanitarian intervention”

          • Stonky

            Did you seriously just come out in defense of the Ghaddafi dictatorship?

            Yes I did Martinned. For three reasons:

            1. Because I cannot for the life of me see how even the most grievous of Libya’s shortcomings has been remedied by making it ten times worse.

            2. Because I cannot for the life of me see any good reason why, when obese purple-faced imbeciles like you and your pals decide that you’re going to save some unfortunate Africans from the tyrant who oppresses them, you start with the most stable and prosperous country on the continent instead of one of the worst.

            3. Because I have spent more than ten years in a developing country that is habitually portrayed in the Western media as a tyranny where the people cringe under the jackboot of their pitiless oppressors. I am quite sure that you have never set foot there, any more than you ever set foot in Libya. But if I were to tell you which country, I am certain that you would immediately be able to regale me with a whole host of the horrors its people have to endure, based on nothing more than your stupidity and gullibility.

            My own experience bears no resemblance to that. It is one of millions of ordinary people going about their ordinary business – ensuring that they have a roof over their heads, food on the table, clothes on their backs, an education for their children, and prospects of a better future – largely untroubled by their tyrannical oppressors. I suspect that Gaddafi’s Libya was very much similar.

            But should the Western powers ever succeed in provoking war or insurrection in this country, as they would very much love to do, millions of these people would die, and the end result for the survivors – as in Iraq, Libya, and Syria – would be ten times worse than what they have now. Meanwhile, thousands of miles away, obese purple-faced imbeciles like you and your pals would be yammering and yodelling with glee, and slapping each other on the back, and congratulating each other at how you had “made things better”.

            Killary Klownshoes still claims Libya as “one of her greatest successes”.

            I trust that helps.

          • Republicofscotland

            “Did you seriously just come out in defense of the Ghaddafi dictatorship? I guess you’re right, at least the trains ran on time…”

            Actually Martinned your Mussolini quote is said to be a mis-quote by some.

            As for Libya, in defence of Gaddafi, of which you quote, it would seem that the British PM Blair had no qualms mingling in his company.

            As for Libya the country, and its people, it was a damn sight better off in every way imaginable before the Great Satan and its minion Britain, which spent thirteen times more on bombing Libya, than they’ve spent to help rebuild it post destruction.

            https://www.heraldscotland.com/news/13499912.uk-government-spent-13-times-more-bombing-libya-than-on-rebuilding-post-war/

            Libya is intentionally being kept a warn to state.

          • Clark

            Stonky, I entirely agree. Martined, ‘humanitarian intervention’ is just imperialism.

            Herbie – “Clark’s version, where you can’t be against Globalisation because the extreme Right is against it”

            No; what I think is that the term ‘globalists’ is vague and says nothing about whether something is good or bad. It also lends itself to fuzzy conspiracy theory type thinking, and can associate those who use it with the Ku Klux Klan and anti-Semitism etc.

            Globalisation of various sorts is inevitable with population growth and the increasing availability of transport. Some of it is absolutely excellent; the globalised Internet and other communications are fine things. The global cooperation of the UN, and its agreement about international law and human rights is superb. The WHO’s global smallpox eradication campaign was an incredible success. We need a global HVDC electrical power grid and global pollution restrictions urgently.

            The terms ‘globalism’ and ‘globalist’ tell the reader nothing. You have to say what should or shouldn’t be global, and why. Otherwise, you could be referring to anyone and anything, and its impossible to differentiate it from various very unpleasant overarching conspiracy theories.

          • Clark

            Freddy, that’s right – we are the alternative media – millions, billions of us. Nothing like it has ever happened before; global publishing for everyone (Global? Is that bad? ).

            We have a choice. We can hold each other to account in the fashion of the academic community, or we can abdicate that responsibility. The latter choice is not acceptable, because it lets loose conspiracy theory-style thinking which corrupts the truth. If we abdicate, the authorities will be forced to seize back control. This is already happening. We need to clean up our act, because it’s

            Truth, Justice, Peace.

          • Herbie

            Paul Barbara

            “it is continuing full steam ahead right now”

            It’s not. It’s been stalled by opposition from Russia and others.

            That too is kinda obvious.

          • freddy

            Oh Mods, much as I love you, I was just writing out a way to reach out to Clark before you nipped it in the bud 😉

            [ Sorry for the inconvenience, freddy, but you’re welcome carry on in the blog forums, and to issue an invite to Clark accordingly. ]

          • freddy

            It’s not that important. Part of my post was trying to explain it wasn’t my intention to clutter up your blog with personal arguments and animosities. I guess you beat me to it 😉

    • Ken Kenn

      Joel

      Plus a voter list 7.45 million short of black people and Hispanics.

      See Greg Palast’s reports youtube.

      Oh and I forgot Trump was helped by the Slave Owners very own weighted Electoral College.

      I think some slaves were worth half a vote relatively.

      Going off memory though so not a fact.

      • Stonky

        Oh and I forgot Trump was helped by the Slave Owners very own weighted Electoral College…

        The “Slave Owners very own weighted Electoral College” only helped Trump in the sense that it misled Klownshoes into the smug assumption that there were certain Electoral College votes that she already had in the bag, and that she had no need to set foot in the relevant States. Instead she could stay in California, greasing the backsides of wealthy faux-progressives in exchange for ten thousand dollars a plate, and telling them of all the wonderful things she was going to do for them once the anointing ceremony was out of the way.

        I love it.

      • joel

        Ken, you will recall there was no mention whatsoever prior to HRC’s defeat of the electoral college or popular vote. For months in advance the entire world was informed that a few swing states that would decide the outcome. HRC lost in all of them.
        I agree the disenfranchisement of minorities was probably a big factor in deciding some of those states. But it is an issue that has been doggedly covered only by Greg Palast. Corporate Dems and their media have preferred to reside in the fantastical rabbit hole of Putindunnitism.

  • Observer

    Interesting article here, rather more nuanced than most of the commentary above.
    https://www.japantimes.co.jp/opinion/2019/04/08/commentary/world-commentary/assange-shouldnt-extradited-u-s/#.XKt8A-tKjR0

    Very curious that it should come from The Japan Times of all sources.

    What is Assange’s own legal game-plan? If he thinks he will be allowed to walk scot-free without a trial somewhere or the other, isn’t he fooling himself? In the meantime, he’s just clocking up ‘detention’ time.

    Can Craig or anyone up to speed know if Assange has in fact turned down an offer from the UK govt. to extradite him to the US? (And be tried in the UK instead? Does the UK govt even have the legal capacity to make that ‘deal’, or is it something that only the courts can decide upon?

  • Dave

    Treading old ground here, but as I understand it, there is a live warrant for his arrest for violating bail conditions regarding a matter that has been dropped.

    Some say with doubtful sincerity he can just leave the Embassy and not face extradition, but clearly he must fear it to have remained cooped up in the Embassy for so long, which amounts to self-imposed torture, far surpassing any punishment for a bail conviction for a case that’s been dropped.

    However if his fears are irrational this could be a sign of mental illness and worthy of medical assistance and protection under a host of legislation. Hence a compassionate Government would act to remove those fears and the suffering by publicly announcing in some guaranteed way that he wont be extradited in the public and his interest, particularly in view of diplomatic embarrassment and police costs over the years.

    The failure to do so shows either his fears are genuine or its evidence of a wicked government that professes to be civilised but clearly isn’t interested in really promoting care in the community and supporting people with mental illness.

    • Observer

      “Hence a compassionate Government would act to remove those fears and the suffering by publicly announcing in some guaranteed way that he wont be extradited in the public and his interest, particularly in view of diplomatic embarrassment and police costs over the years.”

      Does the UK govt have the prerogative powers to do that, or is it up to the judiciary, say if the US make an application.

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