The Unrelenting State 295


We are seriously worried about the condition of Julian Assange. He was too unwell to appear in court yesterday, and his Swedish lawyer, Per Samuelson, found him in a state where he was unable to conduct a conversation and give instructions. There are very definite physical symptoms, particularly rapid weight loss, and we are not satisfied that genuine and sufficient diagnostic efforts are being made to determine the underlying cause.

Julian had been held for the last year in poor, highly confining and increasingly oppressive conditions in the Ecuadorean Embassy and his health was already deteriorating alarmingly before his expulsion and arrest. A number of conditions, including dental abcesses, can have very serious consequences if long term untreated, and the continual refusal by the British government and latterly the Ecuadoreans to permit him access to adequate healthcare while a political asylee was a callous denial of basic human rights.

I confess to feeling an amount of personal relief after his arrest that at least he would now get proper medical treatment. However there now seems to be no intention to provide that and indeed since he has been in Belmarsh his health problems have accelerated. I witnessed enough of the British state’s complicity in torture to know that this may be more than just the consequence of unintended neglect. That the most lucid man I know is now not capable of having a rational conversation is extremely alarming.

There is no rational reason that Assange needs to be kept in a high security facility for terrorists and violent offenders. We are seeing the motive behind his unprecedented lengthy imprisonment for jumping police bail when he entered political asylum. As a convicted prisoner, Assange can be kept in a worse regime than if he were merely on remand for his extradition proceedings. In particular, his access to his lawyers is extremely restricted and for a man facing major legal proceedings in the UK, USA and Sweden it is impossible, even were he healthy, for his lawyers to have sufficient time with him adequately to prepare his cases while he is under the restrictions placed on a convict. Of course we know from the fact that, within three hours of being dragged from the Ecuadorean Embassy, he was already convicted and sentenced to a lengthy prison term, that the state has no intention that his lawyers should be able to prepare.

I have asked before and I ask again. If this were a dissident publisher in Russia, what would the UK political and media class be saying about his being dragged out by armed police, and convicted and sentenced to jail by a judge without a jury, just three hours later, after a farce of a “trial” in which the judge insulted him and called him a “narcissist” before he had said anything in his defence? The Western media would be up in arms if that happened in Russia. Here, they cheer it on.

Below is a photo of Julian in the Embassy in happier times, during the Correa Presidency, with a truly amazing and strong group of people, every one of whose stories we can follow and learn from:

Left to Right: Thomas Drake, Coleen Rowley, Julian Assange, Elizabeth Murray, Ray McGovern, Nadira, Ann Wright

I should add that I am currently trying to see Julian personally with two other close friends, but obviously access is extremely difficult.

Julian’s personal possessions have been seized by the Ecuadoreans to be given to the US government. These include not only computers but his legal and medical papers. This is yet another example of completely illegal state action against him. Furthermore, any transfer must involve the stolen material physically transiting London, and the British government is taking no steps to prevent that, which is yet another of multiple signs of the degree of international governmental coordination behind the flimsy pretence of independent judicial action.

Julian is imprisoned for at least another five months, even with parole (which they will probably find an excuse not to grant). After that he will be held further on remand. There is therefore no need for rush. The refusal of the Swedish court to delay a hearing on a potential extradition warrant at all, to allow Julian to recover to the extent he can instruct his lawyer, and the very brief postponement of the US extradition hearing in London, with the intimation it may be held inside Belmarsh prison if Julian is too unwell to move, are both examples of an entirely unaccustomed and unnecessary haste with which the case is being rushed forward. The mills of God grind slowly; those of the Devil seem to spin dangerously fast.

Finally, for those who still believe that actions against Julian, particularly but not only in Sweden, are in any way motivated by a concern for justice, particularly justice for violated women, I do urge you to read this excellent account by Jonathan Cook. As a summary of the truly breathtaking series of legal abuses by states against Assange, that the corporate and state media has been deliberately distorting and hiding for a decade, it cannot be bettered.


295 thoughts on “The Unrelenting State

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  • Andyoldlabour

    Craig, I commend you for these articles, because there are very few places in the media where you can read about this, and it is a real shame that state control/influence of the media has reached such a dangerous and damaging point.
    The most worrying and shameful aspect of this, is that Julian has been thrown under the bus by the media – journalists, people who were only too happy to use Wikileaks information when it suited them.
    The vast majority of folks, are happy to keep grazing on whatever the MSM feeds them, they are incapable or maybe too lazy to question anything.
    I was talking to someone recently, a relative, who on the face of it is a very intelligent person, has a PhD in science and is on the surface an amiable, level headed kind of guy.
    However, once we started to talk politics, I was somewhat startled to glean the following information from him.

    1) He believed that Julian had raped two women, one of whom was a minor.
    2) Operation Ajax – the 1953 coup which overthrew Mossadegh in Iran – well that never happened.
    3) The US never helped the Mujahideen in Afghanistan, that was simply anti American propaganda.

    If this is indicative of how, so called intelligent people think, then how on earth can we change the World, in order that it becomes a more stable and harmonious place to live in?

    • craig Post author

      Yes it is deeply worrying. I find such people will quite simply refuse to read something like the Jonathon Cook article I link to. They simply shut out any possible cognitive dissonance.

      Funnily enough I am starting to think that less educated people are a bit better at seeing through government bullshit.

      • Hatuey

        “I am starting to think that less educated people are a bit better at seeing through government bullshit.”

        I’ve been saying it for years. It’s a generalisation, of course, it doesn’t apply universally, but education closely resembles indoctrination and it would be surprising if it was any different.

        The middle classes in the West are so immersed in education that most are barely worth talking to. It’s a choice though, they choose not to see, and the choice stems from a value system that revolves around money.

        • N_

          Many are heavily armoured against learning what does not accord with the attitudes and beliefs that they are invested in as a member of their social caste and, if they’re middle class, as a cog in the caste system. (It has been said that middle class people ARE their jobs. Bunch of pillocks, if you ask me.) This armouring is especially thick in Britain, where the caste system is so strong, and a good illustration of it is the variation in how people in different castes view official corruption and the deliberate dishonesty of officials of all kinds, which are as widespread in Britain as they are in Brazil, China, France, Germany, Italy, Nigeria, Russia, Singapore, Spain, the United States, Uruguay, or any other country. Then there are moneygrabbing liars such as most medics who get respect in Britain from the large majority in all castes and are rarely put in the same category as, say, estate agents. Most who aren’t involved in the business world think most solicitors are highly educated and terribly honest too, rather than the crooks that most of them are. Dimwitted scoffy sarcasm is what you are bound to receive from most middle class people when you present them with an idea that you have arrived at by proper thinking: even more so if it’s the result of decades of thinking and testing and revising and intellectual growth, after which you will obviously find yourself in the position of being some kind of “outcast” (get it?) in such a culture. At all levels the culture works against thinking for yourself. There is wall-to-wall use of behavioural conditioning techniques which smartphones have taken to the next level.

          And on that cheery note, I hope everyone has a nice day!

        • Squeeth

          I had nearly 20 years of public education; being working class and honest has had more influence on my outlook.

      • Ian Clark

        In many ways intelligent, educated people are the easiest to fool. You just have to play on what they perceive as their strengths. Tell them what you want them to hear, but do it in such a way as to appeal to their vanity (concerning their intelligence and education). Flatter them by couching your message in a “on the one hand and on the other hand” form. Of course, you don’t mention all the “on the other hand” stuff.

        You’ve now got yourself supporters convinced they came to a rational, educated and informed decision all by themselves. It’s so much more effective this way when people internalise your view as their own! When you do your regular top up of propaganda in their favourite newspapers or national broadcaster it’s not seen as such, but as fairly self evident truth. That way it’s easier for them to dismiss dissenters as obsessional or irrational. Not the type of people to be engaged with beyond the pleasantries dictated by etiquette.

        Throw in some examples of supposed (or actual) abuse and you’ve got the emotional hook required to fully reel them in. Simple really.

        • N_

          Yes indeed – internalisation is crucial. This comes across in every serious text about advertising and conditioning and persuasion, not only the influencing of “free” individuals sitting in front of TV screens or walking along aisles in supermarkets or watching statements by politicians, but also the conditioning of prisoners of war, the management of an office or company, and the hooking of targets by pickup artists. All key figures in conditioning have known this since Pavlov, who himself didn’t give a damn about getting victims to think they were choosing.

          That said, there is another dimension. Theodore Roosevelt observed that “When you’ve got them by the b****, their hearts and minds will follow”. “Hearts and minds” was a phrase that was later used in the psychological warfare waged by British forces in Malaya under Gerald Templer who went on to become the head of the British army in the late 1950s including during Suez.

          Techniques had been used in Asia before then too – including against US prisoners of war – where influencees would be made to write short articles to get small extra amounts of food and even if at first they were cynical their minds soon followed their behaviour. Sure, it’s crude, but it works. (So do medals and knighthoods.) If you’ve ever been to a driving class of the kind that is sometimes offered in Britain as an alternative to points being put on your driving licence for a minor driving offence, you’ll have been subjected to a similar technique.

          Edward Bernays’s book Propaganda is very much worth reading, but may I also recommend Paul Linebarger’s Psychological Warfare and Robert Cialdini’s Influence. These works are much more useful than interminable boring crap by “liberal intellectuals” or Noam Chomsky. Read the real stuff.

          Knowledge of influencing “hearts and minds” of course involves knowledge about peer pressure. The key fact regarding the material supplied by Edward Snowden was that state communications intelligence agencies are deeply involved in the shaping of the culture in this internet age, specifically in how new technology gets “rolled out” until it reaches “critical mass”. They work so closely with the big US-registered corporations that you could not get a “cigarette paper” between the interests of the state and the interests of the corporations, to use Mussolini’s definition of fascism.

          • Ian

            Funny, isn’t it, how internet conspiracists are never the dupes of propaganda or false information, but everyone else, including the ‘intelligent and educated’ are. Most people on this site are intelligent and educated, so that makes them just as prone to conspiracy theories as anyone else, according to your pious logic. Yet they all think they are uniquely insightful and in possession of the truth. And they have wildly different views and versions of the same events, and get very heated when challenged. Go figure.

          • Hatuey

            Ian, it was said and we all understand that these are generalisations and there are exceptions.

          • J

            if you haven’t already, I recommend Linebarger’s science fiction output too, excellent stuff. He was better known by his pseudonym Cordwainer Smith.

        • Rod

          Hello Ian, just because people may be educated it doesn’t necessarily mean they are intelligent. As an example, no doubt Boris Johnson is an educated man (Eton & university) but his intelligence, not to be muddled with deviousness, is certainly questionable. I believe if the rank and file of people were properly intelligent they would think and see through any ploy to accept what you think they might want to hear. A truly enquiring mind would require verification or evidence of what is being put forward as an argument and would not simply accept what was being proffered as a truth. As you point out, this is not how it works out in the world today.

          Where I absolutely agree with you is that people are indeed ‘coached’ and important facets of argument are left out to project a narrative that is needed to be accepted by those currently holding power.

          The incarceration of Mr Assange in a maximum security prison has some similarities with the Skripal affair in that the public are being asked to accept the government narrative without properly questioning its account. In Mr Assange’s case tangible information on his wellbeing is as lacking as the current whereabouts as the Skripals’.

          To my mind what is required is that properly intelligent people in sufficient numbers need to find a way to bring matters like these to the forefront of all peoples minds and God alone knows how to achieve that.

      • Rob Royston

        They might not all be as educated because they have refused to conform to the laid out syllabi. Despite being a Professor, being famous for his TV shows and being the man who showed the world how maglev trains could work, Eric Laithwaite was banned from the Royal Society for demonstrating to them a gravity defying gyroscope that was brought to him by an electrician inventor.
        Today, it seems that all they teach most students is how to look up the answers they need. Few are encouraged to understand and challenge norms. Knowledge must indeed be power.

        • pretzelattack

          not according to wiki. a lecture he gave to the royal institution (not the royal society) was not published, but he was not banned from anything.

          • Rob Royston

            Yes, you’re right, it was during his 1974 Christmas Lectures to the Royal Institution, but he never received his anticipated Fellowship of the Royal Society as a result.

          • N_

            @Rob – Interesting. Thanks for this. Eric Laithwaite’s 1974 Royal Institution Christmas lectures are online here and they seem to be downloadable using third-party software. I haven’t watched them yet but gyroscopes feature in lecture 4.

          • Kempe

            Laithwaite was an outstanding electrical engineer but made some fundamental mistakes when he stepped outside his field of expertise. His observations on gyroscopes included.

            I remember his RI lectures as if they were yesterday.

          • N_

            Is there a good text explaining what mistakes he was making when he made his assertions about gyroscopes and appeared to demonstrate their truth in a public experiment? Such an explanation if sound would be highly educative.

      • Photios

        The problem lies in the difference between intelligence and knowledge. A man may be highly intelligent and well-qualified to expatiate upon whatever is his particular field, yet be spectacularly ignorant of much of whatever part of life/public affairs does not affect him directly; and be unable to realise this – surrounded as he often is by people who talk the same and think the same as him. The better educated he is, the less likely he is to admit deficiencies in his weltanschauung. Ordinary people are often much more open to understanding why the ‘authorities’ are not to be trusted (through the practical results of their interactions with said ‘authorities’) than the sort of Grauniadistas whose view of the world is based upon some theory or other rather than a sound grasp of history and a practical knowledge of human. Furthermore, ignorance and stupidity are not the same. Some of the most highly qualified and intelligent men can make the most stupid decisions. As proof, I offer a history book. Any history book.

        • Charles Bostock

          “A man may be highly intelligent and well-qualified to expatiate upon whatever is his particular field, yet be spectacularly ignorant of much of whatever part of life/public affairs does not affect him directly;”

          That’s what I’ve often said on here. A prome example is Chomsky : linguistic genius but political fruitcase.

          Scientists are of course not exempt either: wasn’t there some eminent British scientist of the early C20 who believed in fairies?

          • N_

            Belief in the existence of discarnate entities is a fundamental belief among Steinerites who have penetrated biology, including agrobiology, and medicine in many countries. “Spiritual science” they call some of what they are into.

            You may be surprised to learn the roots of the use of the word “organic” in the term “organic farming”.

            When someone says something about organic food it can be useful to point out that all food is organic.

            As is true of the members of any fraternity, any crowd, “scientists” often “think” as a herd.

          • N_

            @Photios

            Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was not a scientist. He was a writer of fiction

            What about Oliver Lodge?
            Or Alfred Wallace?
            Or John Rayleigh?
            Or Charles Richet?

            Were they scientists?

          • Charles Bostock

            Photios

            I wasn’t thinking of Conan Doyle. It was definitely some outstanding British scientist.

          • N_

            @Charles – You may be thinking of Oliver Lodge who contributed to technology that detected radio waves. It’s sometimes said he believed as Arthur Conan Doyle did in the veracity of the Cottingley fairies, but that is not true – he rightly thought the evidence was faked. But he did believe in the existence of discarnate entities (as did the other three scientists I listed, two of whom were British) and he was a spiritualist.

      • Lisa

        Graig, thanking you very much for clearing one issue that had bothered me for 2,5 years. Actually, the answer was included in the Jonathan Cook article you referred to. Here is the crucial part:

        “Ny (the Swedish prosecutor) finally relented on Assange being interviewed in November 2016, with a Swedish prosecutor sent to London after six years of heel-dragging. However, Assange’s Swedish lawyer was barred from being present. Ny was due to be questioned about the interview by a Stockholm judge in May 2017 but closed the investigation against Assange the very same day.”

        What I had wondered was – what was the Ecuadorian prosecutor’s conclusion of the interview (it was their case as Assange was interviewed on their territory)? The Swedes received the Ecuadorian document in the first days of January 2017, needed four (!!!) months to translate it from Spanish to Swedish. Obviously they were reluctant to tell publicly what the conclusion was, maybe Assange was declared innocent? We shall never know. We know all the details about Assange’s cat, the ladies who visited him during the years at the Embassy, the changes in his hair-do and beard, but no journalist has dug up the contents of this legal Ecuadorian document. Confidential, unlawful to disclose, you know.

        Now, another Swedish prosecutor is handling the case and will most probably not take up the Ecuadorian document again. It can certainly be explained as irrelevant, if anybody would ask.

      • R

        Education is always a hairs breadth away from being an obedience test. Most especially when it’s a Government created and approved curriculum. I left school at 15 and am far and away more capable of processing complex and apparently contradictory information than those ‘better educated’.

        It’s also worth pointing out that advanced degrees are actually very narrow in scope. By necessity but that’s why we shouldn’t take them too seriously as a demonstration of a rounded intelligence.

        That’s not to mention when a curriculum is deliberately ‘edited’ such as most economics degrees not covering money. Money just doesn’t exist in their world. How convenient given the banks monopoly on creating it!

      • Ort

        FWIW, Hannah Arendt observed from considerable personal experience that during the ascendancy of the Third Reich, it was the educated class– academics, intellectuals, the would-be “intelligentsia”– who most readily accepted and bought into the Nazi government’s propaganda.

    • Rhys Jaggar

      Andy, I may be able to explain this.

      Academia is not actually an environment of free thought and enquiry. There are very rigid rules and hierarchies and, trust me, if you transgress them, you are up the creek without a paddle.

      Once something is incorporated into the academic literature for several years, it takes real revolution for it to be questioned. So like the Ten Commandments, the Virgin Birth, the Crucifixion and the Resurrection in Christianity, in academia there are certain unspoken things which are taken as read.

      It usually takes an outsider to see through things and they may be amused, scornful or exasperated at what they see as academic intransigence or, more likely, opportunism where grant funding is concerned.

      I am afraid there are Labour party members with PhDs in physics who are completely incapable of discussing actual evidence bases in climatology, simply saying ‘well maybe that is true but I still believe in global warming’. It happens, their lives are more comfortable not knowing, not challenging hierarchy, not needing to completely reformulate their philosophy.

      I started out trusting seniority aged 21 and it half killed me. At 25, I basically said I will never give unconditional trust to anyone ever again, Nobel Prize winners included.

      If trust has not brought you to the brink of terminal depression, maybe you never need that attitude.

      The trumped up swindlers rely on trusting naivety to weave their webs of deceit after all.

      All too many people simply cannot see it coming.

      • Andyoldlabour

        Rhys Jaggar

        Thanks Rhys, some folks tell me that I am too cynical for my own good, but those people are the ones who never question anything, believe implicitly in our politicians, the media – particularly the BBC, and basically anyone who they believe to be their “elders and betters”.
        Fifteen years ago, I had to whistleblow on a company which was breaking all kinds of rules in a highly regulated industry.
        The head of that company was working in the same industry within two years, whilst I was left out in the cold for exposing corruption.
        What Julian Assange is going through, is a million times worse than I suffered and is an absolute disgrace in a so called democratic country.
        Truth and transparency are the arch enemies of politicians and governments.

        • Bayard

          The cynic in me thinks that the recent legislation designed to “protect whistleblowers” is simply there to persuade the more deluded ones to come forward so that they can be nailed, rather than remaining inconveniently anonymous.

          • N_

            Often if a person wants to blow the whistle the best way to do it is to post stuff anonymously to the internet. There are ways of doing this, but of course don’t rely on the CIA’s Facebook or on Google and most people don’t know how to do it. There are circumstances too when jumping in and doing it is not the most sensible course, and there are several aspects of doing it which are not at all easy if you want to stay healthy and free.

            Some British state institutions such as the NHS have a “whistleblowing procedure” which basically amounts to saying “Hmm, well yes, you want to say something about someone who’s higher up than you and you’re scared? Well just lie down and we’ll drag you through a big tunnel of sh*t for a few months – with psychiatric advice always available of course – and be assured that we take all allegations with utmost seriousness”.

      • pretzelattack

        what do problems in academia have to do with the science behind global warming? it doesn’t take real revolution to refute it, it just takes one study. why do you think the oil and coal companies haven’t come to the same conclusion, given their own scientists told them the science was sound, and decided instead on a tobacco industry style propaganda campaign.

        • N_

          @Pretzelattack

          What do problems in academia have to do with the science behind global warming?. Well if we replace “problems” with “practices”, because said “problems” often aren’t problematic for those who benefit from them, the answer is “a lot”. What does the church have to do with religion? A lot.

          why do you think the oil and coal companies haven’t come to the same conclusion,

          Big business is centralised across sectors.

          Why don’t you examine your use of the words “science” and “scientist”, which account for about 1 in 20 of the words that you just typed?

          Regardless of what is or what may be true or not true, or what probabilities of truth we might wish to assign to proposed statements of fact, if you don’t realise that huge propaganda is being put out to push the idea that people can stop the climate from changing if only they do what they’re told then you aren’t very observant where propaganda is concerned.

          • pretzelattack

            big business owns governments. and you aren’t answering the question. why do you think the science behind climate change in unsound, and why do you ascribe it to nebulous benefits for undefined people instead of ascribing the propaganda attack on it to fossil fuel interests. that’s a bad practice.
            moreover, the propaganda being pushed out is hugely imbalanced to favor the status quo. that’s because some very rich, very powerful corporations benefit from the status quo. if you haven’t noticed that, you aren’t very observant.

          • N_

            @Pretzel – Just to clarify: you believe that oil and coal companies acting in defence of their sectoral interests are behind propaganda that denies that ongoing climate change is largely caused by human actions – is that right?

            Big Oil has been investing billions in scientific research for decades (for example at Cambridge there is a BP Institute), and yet you seem to think it’s blowing up in their faces?

      • N_

        Most people who give a lot of weight to the word “science” and who wield it with emphasis to insist on the truth of their beliefs can’t even define it. And they feel uncomfortable about discussing how the word is used and how it should or should not be used. Is there a problem there, mateys? Above their pay grade! The word “scientist” goes back no further than the 1830s.

        • pretzelattack

          the evidence is scientifically very convincing. do you have some evidence, beyond vague conspiracy theories, that refutes it?

        • Casual Observer

          Good point re the 1830’s !

          There are probably more ‘Scientists’ today than have there have ever been before, all of whom will be expecting to be on considerably more than minimum wage. As probably better than 75% of this horde will rely upon government grants to butter their toast, its hardly surprising that most if not all, will tout the message that they imagine the ‘Public Interest’ will want to hear 🙂

        • Johny Conspiranoid

          Logically you can’t prove anything by the scientific method. To prove a theory you have to account for all the evidence and eliminate all other possible explanations but you can never know whether another piece of evidence is going to turn up or not or whether another possible explanation is devisable or not.

          Social behaviour prevents scientists from applying the scientific method consistantly.

          • Bayard

            “do you have some evidence, beyond vague conspiracy theories, that refutes it?”
            How about the huge amount of historical and archaeological evidence that it was warmer 1000 years ago than it is today?

            “Logically you can’t prove anything by the scientific method.”
            The “scientific method” is all about disproving theories, not proving them. Basically the method consists of constantly testing a theory to see if it can be disproved. Any that can’t are assumed to be the best theory there is to explain a particular phenomenon, pending a better one. Nothing is ever proved. All the Warmenist talk about the science being proved simply shows that they are not scientists as they don’t use the scientific method.

    • N_

      @Andy – For a laugh you could try your relative on the JFK assassination. I’ve sometimes encouraged people to wear their most innocent faces and ask their “No Conspiracy Here. Move Along!” family members the following question: “So you think US official investigators were right to conclude that Lee Harvey Oswald was acting alone, then?”

      They tend to go “er…er…er” and then “I don’t know why you’re interested”.

      Then there’s how the head of the CIA, George Bush, happened to be in London on the day that Harold Wilson unexpectedly announced his retirement as prime minister in 1976. What a coincidence. Which I mention because who knows what might happen in the area of “prime ministerial stuff” when the deranged New York billionaire US president Donald Trump is in London next week.

      Zionist power is also a topic that brings out very fast a person’s fear of thinking for themselves or alternatively their keenness. Extremely few people in the West (although this is not true in the Arab world, Iran, and the wider Muslim world) are able to think and talk sensibly about Zionist power.

      • Kempe

        My reaction is always to ask which of the numerous alternative conspiracy theories they believe in and take it from there.

        • J

          What you call conspiracy theories are probably not what is being discussed. The evidence is well documented (though often kept out of view) but try making the evidence fit any of the official accounts of JFK. You can’t, not without departing from the evidence. And following the evidence leads further away from the official narrative. True either in the case of JFK or RFK, particularly the latter which is the single best example of a long standing and publicly acknowledged successful conspiracy: to murder, to pervert the course of justice and to falsely incriminate.

          In case you are unaware according to the coroners report RFK was shot and killed at very close range, at distances of an inch or three and from behind. All witnesses are unanimous in placing the alleged killer Sirhan Sirhan in front of RFK at all times and at a distance of between three and five metres. More shots were fired than the capacity of his gun. He did not reload and was overpowered as soon as his gun was empty.

          Same effect when you look closely at the murders of MLK, Malcolm X and many others.

          Knock yourself out:

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d1iR4WuKvAY

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lCU2MCxjAJ0

        • Andyoldlabour

          Kempe

          Do you believe that the three examples I gave in the first post are “conspiracy theories” then, because they actually happened and are well documented by a wide variety of respected sources.

    • DiggerUK

      I found this piece by Robert Fisk a trifle critical of wiki leaks. He did seem a little miffed that old style investigative journalism could be superseded by leaked information…..deepthroat was an inside job after all.

      I think Fisk should get into the modern era, and accept the advantages of electronic data dumps with better grace than he exhibits here.
      That criticism aside it was another worthwhile read from him…_

      • Sharp Ears

        Yes I agree. I put a link to it on the previous thread. Mealy mouthed stuff covering all bases.

      • Geoffrey

        If he did the The Independent might silence him, and secondly bearing in mind what others have said above, if he is too strident not many will read his articles.
        He is of course the only reason to read The Independent.

      • N_

        I’m no great consumer of anybody’s journalism (I’d feel like I was falling into a sucking pit), but you write as if it’s wrong to be critical of Wikileaks. It is of course easy for Fisk to be critical of other people’s efforts from his five star hotel rooms and first class aeroplane seats, but still.

        • OnlyHalfALooney

          “his five star hotel rooms and first class aeroplane seats”

          You have personal knowledge of this?

          In person, he did not seem particularly wealthy or extravagant to me.

          But perhaps you’re not aware that Fisk has often visited sites and interviewed people the mainstream “safe” journalists would consider far too dangerous?

          For example, Douma after the alleged “chemical attacks”:
          https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/syria-chemical-attack-gas-douma-robert-fisk-ghouta-damascus-a8307726.html

          • N_

            Your knee is jerking as you suggest that I need to publish a personally witnessed account to get you to believe or even credit an idea that you don’t like, which is that Robert Fisk is highly paid and that on his jaunts he doesn’t slum it. Can you tell how rich a person is (or “wealthy” to use middle class language – why not go the whole hog and say “affluent”?) just by meeting them? (“No silk suit. Tick. Must be earning less than 200K a year.”) Then you give it another barrel by suggesting I’m not aware that said journo sometimes goes to places more dangerous than others go to. I’m sure he does. I was once shot at in South London. Doesn’t make me the messiah. (But I didn’t get paid for it.) Journos who go to war places love to get sold by their publishers and by themselves as heroes. Personally I don’t buy into the idea of heroic journalists, but whatever floats your boat. That said, I much prefer someone like Robert Fisk to someone like Andrew Sullivan, any day of the week.

          • Kempe

            Fisk got into Douma, whilst the OPCW were being denied access on the grounds that it was too dangerous, as an embedded journalist with Syrian government forces.

          • SA

            And before then who was in charge of Douma? And despite attacks by people like Proyrct, that Fisk’s debunking of the gas attack, the subsequent report, heavily politicized, bu the OPCW have confirmed what he said.

      • Ort

        I agree, DiggerUK.

        Fisk’s views and reporting are like the curate’s egg– parts of it are excellent, but the bad bits are impossible to swallow. He seems to be an authentic irascible curmudgeon, and is occasionally hobbled by compulsive crankiness and knee-jerk skepticism.

        He certainly has a “trutherphobic” animus towards non-professional investigation and analysis that challenges official narratives– narratives constructed by governments and orthodox mass-media “journalism”.

        In 2013, despite the mounting evidence that the alleged chemical weapons (gas) attacks in Syria had been staged by anti-Assad groups, Fisk stubbornly insisted that it was entirely possible that Assad and the Syrian government had perpetrated the false-flag attacks.

        At the time, I also noticed that Fisk is too ready to peremptorily label politicians and public figures he dislikes as “crackpots”, “madmen”, etc. For instance, when writing about then President of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Fisk felt compelled to write “the crackpot Ahmadinejad”– not once or twice, but as if Fisk believed that “Crackpot” was Ahmadinejad’s given name.

        It is an obvious, but entirely fallacious, defense to excuse this locution on the grounds that, well, Ahmadinejad is a “crackpot”.

        Surely madness and badness exist, and as a curmudgeon myself I believe in calling a spade a spade. But when this kind of facile, rancorous name-calling creeps into one’s professional writing, it amounts to idiosyncratic bias.

        Like the “little girl with the curl” in Longfellow’s poem, when Fisk is good, he is very very good, and when he is bad he is horrid.

      • certa certi

        ‘a trifle critical of wiki leaks’

        Most of us are. Fisk’s motive is public interest, Assange’s wasn’t. He was only pursuing his teenage hacktivist fantasy of paralyzing the State by causing distrust between it’s institutions. Paralyzing the US, Russia was only too happy to help. Putin’s motive wasn’t public interest either.

  • Sal Newton

    A sorry indictment of the current state of the people in charge in the UK and the western world today. A lesson that the Indy movement needs to pay heed to, when they think what happened in Catalonia couldn’t happen in these islands.
    Thoughts with Julian and thanks to Craig and his friends and everyone else who is trying to achieve justice for him including humane treatment and access to proper medical treatment.
    UK government treated white helmet terrorists better than this!

  • OnlyHalfALooney

    Sydney Morning Herald: Assange a victim of torture and Australia shares blame, says UN expert
    https://www.smh.com.au/world/europe/assange-a-victim-of-torture-and-australia-shares-blame-says-un-expert-20190531-p51t1v.html

    “In 20 years of work with victims of war, violence and political persecution I have never seen a group of democratic States ganging up to deliberately isolate, demonise and abuse a single individual for such a long time and with so little regard for human dignity and the rule of law.”

    Melzer told The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age that in his work with the UN and before in the field with the Red Cross he had seen people in rendition for interrogation after 9/11, and prisoners of war who had been ill-treated on a daily basis.

    “But [Assange] is really something I’ve never seen in 20 years,” Melzer said. “I’ve seen atrocities in war areas that were physically more horrible but I’ve never seen a single person pursued so relentlessly and with so little foundation.

    “[When I saw him] I immediately compared him to some of the graver cases in interrogation prisons in terms of his psychological reaction patterns. That’s what alarmed me so much.”

    It is also interesting to contrast the treatment of Shrien Dewani, who was accused of arranging the murder of his wife in a Cape Town township. In Dewani’s case, extradition proceedings were postponed for four years due to Dewani’s medical/psychological condition being such that he was not fit to plead his case.

    Unfortunately, the UK’s “special relationship” with the US means, in actual practice, that the UK does the US’s bidding. So I’m afraid I’m not particularly surprised by Assange’s treatment.

    • Mona Ries

      In the Dewani case there were witnesses ready to swear to his guilt . Was the treatment he got due to money influence? One wonders.
      This treatment is inhumane and akin to torture…I had hopes that the British government believed in just treatment but it seems I am wrong😢😱

      • OnlyHalfALooney

        I suspect Dewani was treated according to standard procedures, while Assange has been singled out as an “enemy of the state” who warrants “special treatment”.

    • N_

      I switch off when people credentialise by saying they’ve been doing something for 20 years. Melzer is only stating the f***ing obvious.

    • David Macilwain

      The UN special rapporteur’s opinions after visiting JA in Belmarsh were also reported in the Fraudian:
      http://www.dumptheguardian.com/media/2019/may/31/julian-assange-shows-psychological-torture-symptoms-says-un-expert
      Including particularly this:
      “What was worrying was the psychological side and his constant anxiety. It was perceptible that he had a sense of being under threat from everyone. He understood what my function was but it’s more that he was extremely agitated and busy with his own thoughts. It was difficult to have a very structured conversation with him.” and this:

      “In the course of the past nine years, Mr Assange has been exposed to persistent, progressively severe abuse ranging from systematic judicial persecution and arbitrary confinement in the Ecuadorian embassy, to his oppressive isolation, harassment and surveillance inside the embassy, and from deliberate collective ridicule, insults and humiliation, to open instigation of violence and even repeated calls for his assassination,” Melzer will say on Friday.

      He added the UK authorities had contacted his Geneva office to indicate that the British government would be issuing a point-by-point rebuttal of the assertions made in his letter.
      I’m also pleased to see that Gareth Peirce is acting as his lawyer once more, while Australia remains silent, beyond observing JA’s deterioration.

  • Anthony

    Perhaps Theresa May’s successor will be somebody more committed to free speech, more humane and less craven to the US. Or failing that then maybe liberal opinion formers and/or judges will finally start expressing outrage at the Tories crucifying JA at the behest of the great bogeyman Trump.
    Either way, he must surely be thankful he is in the UK and be confident that superior British values and principles will soon bring his persecution to an end.

    • OnlyHalfALooney

      Either way, he must surely be thankful he is in the UK and be confident that superior British values and principles will soon bring his persecution to an end.

      I hope you’re joking…

    • Andyoldlabour

      Anthony

      “superior British values and principles”

      That has to be sarcasm?

      • Anthony

        Andy

        We keep getting told they exist so we’ll surely see some evidence of them soon, especially from all the liberal media and political figures who claim to oppose the authoritarian Trump. Or perhaps they do not see any threat being posed to the principle of free speech.

  • michael norton

    Yesterday the WikiLeaks founder was too unwell to appear at Westminster Magistrates’ Court via video-link from Belmarsh Prison for a hearing on his extradition to the United States to face espionage charges. Earlier, Wikileaks revealed Mr Assange was in a state of rapidly “deteriorating health”. A UN independent expert on torture has since claimed the 47-year-old has been exposed to prolonged psychological torture for a period of several years.
    https://www.express.co.uk/news/world/1134349/julian-assange-news-health-latest-cruel-punishment-torture-united-nations-expert

    So now the story hits the Daily Express,
    this must be a positive development for Julian.
    I hope he gets the help he needs, now.

    • Jimmy

      I doubt its in the print version, so middle England wont read about it or care….

      • michael norton

        Jimmy, even the BBC are running the Julian Assange prolonged psychological torture story, now.

  • DiggerUK

    @Craig Murray.
    There has been allegations by a member of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity member, Karen Kwiatkowski, that Julian has been “chemically interrogated” by members of US security agencies whilst in prison.
    Nobody on Julian’s defence team, from Wikileaks, or in his closest circles has reported anything to support such an allegation. If true it is shocking, if untrue the damage to the credibility of those campaigning for justice for Julian is severely damaged…..You are aware of this allegation.

    You are hoping to visit Julian soon, you are also on the inside track of this battle. I ask you to comment.
    Thank you, DiggerUK…_

    • mark mcdougall

      If there have been studies into bioweapons, rf weapons, even icebullets in the last century, theres plenty of untraceable possibilities,.. so its not much point risking a wrong accusation. Caitlyn Johnson’s article and Craig Murray’s piece come to terms with everything , Dr Paul Craig Roberts too,.. effectively decapacitating to the point of death while making it look like a minor problem of mixed bureacracies.,,.. its as old as the hills,.. just missing a rack, rats and a dungeon.

      • DiggerUK

        @mark, you sound like a failed spin doctor, blunt I know, but that’s how your reply reads.

        What we need with this allegation is substantiation, and it is nowhere to be seen. With our knowledge of the capabilities of the state the allegation is very plausible, but that’s the level this argument remains at.
        Without corroboration this story should not have been run. At a basic level it is simply sloppy, poorly researched journalism.

        Craig has, so far, not responded; fine, he is not compelled to answer an anonymous poster on his blog.
        However, we have a lot of trust and confidence in him, and he is in a position to answer my question. I hope his silence is honourable…_

  • nevermind

    Thanks for this horrendous update Craig, your and Johnathan’s article should land on every journalists desks with a note ‘this concerns you personally’.
    Students of journalism at Newcastle should be warned that they will be expected, and paid for, to write as they are told here in the UK, or change their courses, at least that would deter all those who want to speak truth to the facts as they find them.

    I have written to my local BBC phone in journalist who also works in Birmingham at times, a busy boy. I have asked him to read Johnathan’s excellent article. He has family and hence might feel some sort of responsibility towards the truthful future of his/her offspring.

    • mark mcdougall

      Ive heard, first hand, one cant do a journo course in germany without signing up to limit what you will write about… So its widespread.

    • N_

      Students of journalism at Newcastle should be warned that they will be expected, and paid for, to write as they are told here in the UK, or change their courses

      Yes…but on the way there it gets subtle. Students are encouraged to do stuff like take the eco-critical view of big bio business in roleplaying workshops funded (and openly so) by big bio business. “OK today you’re all going to be eco campaigners trying to get the truth out of big bio business that’s lying through its teeth about a chemical accident.”

      Conditioning involves making people do what they’re told while thinking they’re deciding all the time to do what they want and maintaining their independence of mind. Pavlov moved on to Skinner.

  • Loony

    The treatment meted our to Assange is disgusting. State abuse of this nature is only possible as a consequence of the media which is wholly controlled by activists and propagandists and by the partisan nature of his own supporters.

    Obviously less educated people understand the nefarious nature of the government because they have been on the receiving end of government lies and government brutality for a very long time.

    Take the case of Tommy Robinson. It does not matter whether you agree with him or not but he has obviously been persecuted by the state and continues to be persecuted by the state. Using the benefit of education the media does all in its power to incite violence against this man always ensuring that their syntax allows them to deny the charge.

    Human rights activists themselves have almost certainly been infiltrated. How else to explain these peoples rage against the treatment endured by Assange and quiet snickering glee over the treatment endured by Tommy Robinson. Robinson just happens to be a man with name recognition but there are thousands of other less well known people that similarly abused by the state. They are less well known because no-one cares.

      • Loony

        Why is that – do you have some irrational hatred of the Canadian$?

        Or, alternatively do you hold the view that it is perfectly OK to persecute people with whom you do not agree and absolutely not OK to persecute people with whom you do agree. If this is the case then that makes your opinion utterly worthless.

        Assange has a report from the UN that confirms that he has been persecuted and Robinson has a judgement from the Lord Chief Justice confirming that he has been persecuted. Where is the difference?

        • Hamish McGlumpha

          I know the words are similar, but there is a difference between ‘persecution’ and ‘prosecution’. I know they look similar and this may cause you some difficulty, but just check them out in a dictionary if you have one.

          In the case of Laxely-Lennon the latter appears to be richly deserved for a thuggish proto-fascist. In Assange’s case, as has been ably demonstrated here, the legal system is being abused to persecute a man by virtue of vexatious prosecution and the dubious application of a legal system that is skewed in favour of elite interests. To understand this requires a reasonable appreciation of context and civilised norms – again Mr Murray has provided abundant evidence of this abuse.

          I’ll give the benefit of the doubt Loony, in assuming you are not as stupid as you present yourself; in which case the only conclusion to be drawn is that you are taking the piss, and simply trolling this blog for whatever dubious reasons only you know.

          Serious matters deserve to be treated seriously, so please just retire with some grace and a smidgeon of self-respect – even if you have no respect for others who DO take these serious matters seriously.

          • Loony

            You are free to hold any opinion that you wish.

            However it is a fact that your opinion regarding Robinson is not shared by Lord Burnett, the Lord Chief Justice. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. Do you have any evidence that your opinion of the operation of the law should be accepted as being more valid and more accurate than the opinion of the Lord Chief Justice?

            I am content to rely upon the opinion of the UN with regard to the persecution of Assange and am also content to rely upon the opinion of the Lord Chief Justice with regard to the persecution of Robinson. Both appear to be credible sources. You by contrast seem determined to ignore any independent opinion that does not accord with your own prejudices. It is precisely this kind of attitude that facilitates the persecution of people by the state.

            Your concern should be with persecution period, and not simply with the persecution of people you happen to be well disposed toward.

          • SA

            Loony
            The finding of the judge was that there were procedural irregularities, there was no persecution or torture in the case of Robinson and he still faces other charges. At worse it may have been a miscarriage of justice and a sentence out of proportion to the crime. But Robinson is a previously convicted violent person. To compare this with the Assange case is willfully disingenuous and you know that.

    • Hatuey

      Well, I didn’t expect the comments on this piece to send me into uncontrollable laughter. Thanks for that, loony. Assange and Robinson.. lolz

      • Loony

        Why not help me out here. Can you point to any substantive difference between what Tommy Robinson says and what Douglas Murray says. The only difference I can identify is that one speaks in the vernacular of the working classes whilst the other speaks in the refined language of Eton and Oxford. One is persecuted and one is not,

        Ask why and then look at your own views and ask why you are always on the losing side. Here is a clue – you are on the losing side because you have chosen to bend your knee to your social betters and to heap abuse and vitriol on those you consider your social inferiors. This mindset is precisely why the state retains full confidence in its ability to persecute (and perhaps kill) Julian Assange.

        No-one does snobbery quite like the British – what weird people you are.

        • Hatuey

          Loony, I’ve been trying to help you out. But you’re trying to turn this into an argument about British snobbery, which nobody could realistically deny, and in doing so hoping to get away from the ridiculous comparison you made between Assange and Robinson.

          Assange will go down is world history books as a highly significant figure. He confronted the most powerful country in the world and revealed just some of its dark secrets and wrongdoings.

          Robinson, who I have defended on here from a free speech standpoint, has achieved very little, even by his own narrow standards. He plays to a crowd and supplies a message that most people in that crowd are happy to hear and re-interpret with racist connotations. Outside of the crowd, his views are rightly scorned — the supposed threat to British society from Islam and immigrants is hypocritical, exaggerated, and I’d say a distraction from much more important issues. I also think his message is poisonous on a societal level, divisive, and dangerous.

          I’ve been careful above not to refer to him as a racist, almost as careful as he has to avoid giving grounds to that accusation, but we all know that his message is one that sits comfortably in the minds of those who are prone to racist views. Incidentally, I think we all have a degree of racism in us.

      • Ingwe

        Actually, I’m with Looney on this. It is the persecution that’s the important not the individual subject to the persecution. We should be as concerned by the deprivation of liberty of Tommy Robinson as of Julian Assange.
        It’s like freedom of speech; it’s indivisible. Once you deviate from that, then you’re on the road to curtailing of all freedoms.

        • Hatuey

          “It’s like freedom of speech; it’s indivisible. Once you deviate from that, then you’re on the road to curtailing of all freedoms.”

          Just one small fly in the ointment. Britain doesn’t have freedom of speech. As as I understand it, no European country even comes close.

          • Ingwe

            Hatuey-I’m not saying Britain does have free speech. They are curtailing all freedoms here. Tommy Robinson has as much right not to be persecuted as Julian Assange. The Yorkshire Ripper has as much entitlement to have his defence argued as anyone else. Just because you don’t like or agree with an individual does not entitle you deny them the right to hold their views, however abhorrent. That is the downside of freedom. We trust in rational argument to defeat stupid or dangerous beliefs. One either believes in freedom or one doesn’t. Not just the freedoms you agree with.

          • Hatuey

            Ingwe, you misunderstand me. I’m not saying Britain purports to have freedom of speech but fails in terms of letting it flourish or inhibiting it.

            I’m saying that Britain doesn’t even claim to have it in any meaningful sense. The 2003 communications act, for example, makes it an offence to offend anyone. I could go on endlessly.

            The US is way ahead on this.

    • Sharp Ears

      Tommy Robinson aka Stephen Yaxley-Lennon (why the pseudonym btw?)

      ‘He is a far right, Islamophobic extremist with an extensive history of violence and criminality’ who would like to wipe out followers of Islam whereas Julian’s interests lie in the furtherance of human rights and exposing the lies of the state(s). He has never hurt so much as a fly.

      • Loony

        John Wayne aka Marion Morrison, Elton John aka Reg Dwight, Michael Caine aka Michael Micklewhite (why the pseudonyms btw?)

        If what you say is true that Robinson “would like to wipe out followers of Islam” then I can assure you that that is a serious crime under English law. If you have evidence of this claim then you are morally and legally obligated to report him to the police. If you have such evidence and do not report it to the police then you too could be guilty of committing a crime.

        In other words your silence offers succour and support to a genocidal maniac. If you are supporting a genocidal maniac then why should anyone be interested in your opinions on Julian Assange?

        • Ian

          Ha, your chain of ‘if…then’s’ is reminiscent of a Warner Bros cartoon.

      • Deb O'Nair

        “Tommy Robinson aka Stephen Yaxley-Lennon (why the pseudonym btw?)”

        Because ‘Tommy Robinson” makes him sound like WW1 cannon fodder. Yaxley-Lennon gets a lot of support from serving British Army types.

  • Sharp Ears

    The UK is a fascist state.

    The UK is a police state.

    No other words except to express deep sympathy to Julian for his torture by May’s apparatchiks.

  • remember kronstadt

    It’s not that injustice has to be done, most importantly it has to be seen to be done.

  • Hatuey

    I think Assange’s prospects are better now than they were. Embassy life was as bad as a third world prison, by the sound of it. In a few years I believe he will be through this.

    Everything will come down to the law and legal frameworks. He needs the best lawyer.

    As for the theories on chemical lobotomies etc., none of that stuff makes sense.

    • Loony

      It may be not true – but a reasoned case can be made.

      Assange must know where he obtained his information from – and maybe there are people very keen to ensure that the source of this information never enters the public domain. The murder of Seth Rich remains unsolved.

      • Hatuey

        Unsolved doesn’t mean a thing when such a high percentage of robberies and crimes generally go unsolved.

        I think wikileaks has done more harm to the Democratic party than the US government as a whole though, even if the distinction is an entirely false one.

        None of those videos showing civilians being shot in Iraq shocked or even surprised me in the least, though. We know that millions died in the illegal Iraq war and there’s no way to kill millions of innocent people legally or humanely. In that respect, wikileaks added nothing and I don’t see what the fuss was about.

        • Loony

          You are entirely correct in that it proves nothing. It is merely suggestive.

          It is interesting that when you allude to Seth Rich you observe that a high percentage of robberies and crimes go unsolved. In the case of Seth Rich there was no robbery and the only crime was murder.

          Most murder victims tend to be robbed, murdered in “revenge” for something or murdered for some form of deviant sexual gratification. Seth Rich was simply murdered.

          • Hatuey

            The assumption is that it was a robbery that had gone wrong, leading to a fight and then ultimately murder. He died later in hospital remember — this was not the cold assassination that you are implying.

            If it was a targeted assassination, don’t you think they would have made sure he was dead and tried to disguise as a robbery?

  • Baalbek

    The way Assange is being treated is absolutely disgusting and a sure sign that liberal democracy is on the ropes. What makes the whole thing even worse is how few “left” liberals really care about Assange’s plight and understand what is at stake here. Many of them eat the Guardian’s smear pieces up and blabber about how he’s a vile rapist who doesn’t clean up after his cat etc. not once pausing to consider that destroying a person’s character in order to discredit the organization they represent is straight out of the propaganda 101 playbook. A leaked CIA internal memorandum from 2008 discusses the agencies “concern” over Wikileaks and that smearing Assange in the media might be an effective way to damage the group’s reputation. How much clearer can it get?

    Also not considered by the liberal lynch brigade is how fishy the sexual misconduct allegations against him are. The American feminist author and Assange ally Naomi Wolf pointed out that usually when a celebrity or high status individual is accused of a sexual transgression the media’s comments are quite sober and measured, but in Assange’s case they have been treating him as guilty and portraying him as the lowest form of scum from day one. Just this week Harvey Weinstein (the famous “feminist” film producer and Clinton family friend who was accused of rape and sexual assault during the #metoo fracas) settled out of court and walked away a free man. He doesn’t even have to pay the settlement form his own pocket, his insurance company is on the hook for that. Nary a peep from the media about this piece of shit. Compare that with the media’s pillaging of Assange and the righteous outrage from the Grauniad’s sociopathic libfem twats.

    When actress Pamela Anderson went to visit Assange in Belmarsh, the aforementioned feminist twats and their followers had a blast on Twitter making fun of her appearance and clothing (she wore a jacket with ‘free speech’ written on it…what a crazy cow), the way she talks, everything. The kind of comments they screech over to no end when they are made about one of their fellow feminist hacks or a libfem approved female celebrity. These people are absolutely vile and despicable. Elitist strivers who would throw their gran under the bus if they thought it would improve their neoliberal cred and get them closer to power.

    There is not much I can personally do to help Julian Assange but I have donated to Wikileaks and defend his name on the internet and whenever a friend or acquaintance repeats media falsehoods about him. I hope he pulls through his ordeal and gets his freedom back. The future of western democracy is at stake here and the precedent his persecution sets should deeply concern everyone who believes in a free and open society.

    • OnlyHalfALooney

      Just this week Harvey Weinstein (the famous “feminist” film producer and Clinton family friend who was accused of rape and sexual assault during the #metoo fracas) settled out of court and walked away a free man.

      Don’t forget the other Bill Clinton (and Trump) friend, Jeffrey Epstein, who got off with a slap on the wrist despite despite horrendous allegations of pedophilia and even reportedly running an underage “sex island”.

      The opening paragraph of Edward Bernay’s Propaganda:

      The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country.

    • Hatuey

      All good, but I don’t understand the use of phrases such as ” liberal democracy” (which is “is on the ropes”) and “western democracy”.

      I don’t see a thing here that threatens any of those ideas, or anyone really.

      Liberal Democracy and Western Democracy will never collapse because they don’t exist. Various elites that operate within and between states aren’t in the least bit threatened by any of this either, except perhaps in very localised and limited ways.

      The best way to look at “the west” is to take the MSM view of Russia and apply that to us. Thus, we are in the grip of a fairly tight network of crooks with sinister links to intelligence services, ties to illicit banking and financing, who are prone to violence when it comes to foreign policy goals and internally when it comes to control and manipulations, all totally at odds with democracy in any meaningful sense.

      If wikileaks was trying to undermine Russia, do you think it would succeed? Would it ever have a chance of bringing about systemic change? Of course, the answer is no. At worst they’d take a few knocks, move a few compromised people around, and possibly go after those involved…

      The proof of the pudding is everywhere to see. I didn’t hear anyone amidst the Iranian sabre rattling recently suggest that the wikileaks revelations had any bearing on how such wars might be started or conducted.

      Wikileaks has huge historical importance but only because at confirmed what most of us already knew; the higher up the greasy pole we go, the darker it gets. Ordinary people know all this too but are focused on getting by and trying to squeeze some fun out of this bizarre thing we call life.

      • Iain Stewart

        I often enjoy reading your comments, Hatuey, despite them often having the same dispiriting effect as those of Loony, with whose percussive methods of argument they have much in common. Perhaps you both sat through similar depressing sermons inspired by John Knox in childhood? 🙂

        • Hatuey

          That’s interesting, Iain, I generally find Loony’s comments quite funny.

          Episcopalian, though, in terms of childhood.

  • Tony_0pmoc

    With regards to Julian Assange, The British State, even in The UK, is now appearing openly Brutal, and totally devoid of Justice or Independence from the United States.

    Tony

  • JJ

    What seems terrifying is there seems to be no law to protect his health nor independant judicial oversight for his protection as a human being…access for his own doctors, any checking if any medical treatment has side effects….my suspicion is ministrokes due to condition stress lack of proper diet…any independant qualified psychiatric assessment preservation of medical records.. protection of his computer and personal records…no independant access for assessment of the prison hospital is it sufficient to treat his condition with what level and qualification of medical staff and what equipment…has there been previous concerns regarding the medical treatment at Belmarsh that could justify a legal appeal to get him removed for specialist treatment eg special diets…CT scans etc….

  • Baalbek

    Just found this article on Counterpunch. One of the best and most comprehensive pieces about the persecution of Julian Assange I have read. Completely destroys the rationale given by the morally bankrupt, concern trolling Guardian for extraditing him to Sweden. It debunks every argument totalitarian apologists come up with to justify the demonizing of Assange and shows how utterly ridiculous and phony the Swedish prosecutor’s position is. Well worth the read

    Swedish Sex Pistol Aimed At Julian Assange

  • Andyoldlabour

    I don’t really know where to post this, but in the last hour Labour NEC member Peter Willsman, has been suspended on a suspected charge of antisemitism.
    He dared to suggest that the constant slurs levelled at Jeremy Corbyn and others had been orchestrated by the Israeli embassy.
    When did it become antisemitic to question the role of a state interfering in our politics.
    Perhaps the Labour stooges who have suspended Willsman should cast their minds back to the “Shai Masot affair”.

    https://www.theguardian.com/news/2019/may/31/israeli-embassy-labour-antisemitism-claims-peter-willsman

    https://morningstaronline.co.uk/article/labour-members-call-inquiry-israeli-meddling

    • Ingwe

      Anyoldlabour-indeed. And now listening to that Blair’s old roomy Charlie Falconer, supposedly a lawyer and former minister of Justice, holding forth on the radio agreeing he should be expelled forthwith, before any investigation. And he’s supposed to be a lawyer! Jesus, his clients should run for the hills!

      • Charles Bostock

        Why “supposedly” a lawyer? He is fully qualitifed, I believe, and has practised. No good insulting people just because you disageee with their views, it’s very childish and not at all lawyerly.

          • Sharp Ears

            Quite so. He even set up the Hutton Inquiry which subsumed Dr Kelly’s inquest which had been opened by the Wiltshire coroner and never re-opened. Dr Kelly is perhaps the only person in this country who has died of unnatural causes and whose death has never been subject to an inquest. Remember it was a pruning knife found by his body without fingerprints. It would be difficult to cut skin and flesh with it and an ulnar artery that is severed does not lead to haemorrhage and death. The artery will close up. Also remember that ‘the papers’ were locked away for 70 years. Dirty deeds by Blair, Straw and Falconer and the other neocon warmongers.

            Read ‘An Inconvenient Death’ by Miles Goslett who reported on the case throughout. ‘How the establishment covered up the David Kelly affair.’

        • Ingwe

          Bostock- this legal system, with all its flaws, starts with a presumption of innocence. Lawyers know this. To therefore suggest that one is justified in suspending someone before any investigation, before allowing any response, is against natural justice and the presumption of innocence until proven guilty. The former lord chancellor and minister of justice should know this.
          And I don’t take lectures from you on either insults or childish behaviour.
          Go and do some more reading.

          • Charles Bostock

            I thinkit is perfectly reasonable and proportionate to suspend the man pending an investigation. Surely you’re not soggesting that he should have been expelled hic et nunc instead?

          • Ingwe

            Unfortunately it doesn’t seem I can reply to Bostock’s post at 17:02 as there is no reply button. So I’ve replied to my own post. It isn’t reasonable and proportionate to suspend the man at all. By blaming something on the Israel embassy isn’t anti-Semitic and, if you have even a modicum of intelligence, alleging this is unsustainable.
            Why don’t those alleging anti-semtism explain how saying the Israeli embassy does something is is anti-Semitic. But not even one of the BBC news readers (I’ll not dignify them with the status of journalist) even asks the question of laughing boy Falconer.

          • Charles Bostock

            Ingwe

            So, to cut through the woffle, you would have preferred him to be expelled right away rather than suspended pending investigation? Curious.

    • Sharp Ears

      Sky News are going large on this of course. I have been in and out of the house today. Each time I have come in I have seen firstly Mike Katz of Jewish Labour, then Dame Louise Ellman, a supporter of Zionist Israel and a member of LFoI and now Alistair Campbell. He was asked how he viewed his suspension relative to Willsman’s disclosures.. Katz and Ellman were allowed to spout their stuff on anti-semitism in the party.

      YCNMIU

      All the time there was not so subtle smearing of Corbyn as leader including from the presenters asking their disingenuous questions. Disgusting stuff.

      • Andyoldlabour

        Sharp Ears

        A very good propaganda piece by Sky, totally predictable, just allow pro Israel voices, including a Bliarite who has been expelled from the Labour party,
        We have our own swamp in the UK which needs to be drained.

    • Bayard

      “When did it become antisemitic to question the role of a state interfering in our politics.”
      When the definition of antisemitism was broadened to include criticism of the state of Isreal.

  • lysias

    I fear that, after the negative reaction in the media to the new Espionage Act charges against Assange, the powers that be may have decided that the only solution available to them is to cause Assange’s death.

  • Mist001

    As I said last night, I wondered if he was actually being deliberately slowly poisoned in prison. It seems to me at least, that it’s a pretty rapid decline in health to have happened naturally. I did say a few weeks ago that I thought he might be assassinated just to get rid of the problem altogether. Maybe this is it?

  • Hmmm

    Martinned day off? He should be telling us how this is all perfectly fine and dandy.

    • Charles Bostock

      Perhaps he’s working? You know, WORK – the thing most of this blog’s Kommentariat don’t do any longer.

  • Bort

    There is only one explanation I can think of as to why, as a journalist, you would not strongly object to what is happening to Assange, and that is that you have no intention of ever publishing anything that reflects as poorly on your government as the Collateral Murder video does on that of the United States. It is a tacit admission of cowardice and short-sightedness, and an unmistakable sign that you are utterly worthless as a journalist.

    • remember kronstadt

      Yes, that’s a good explanation – the chattering classes have something to lose! The lower classes – only their chains.

  • SANDRA CRAWFORD

    And our erstwhile deranged Prime Minister was proud of this. It reminds me of a scene from “The Rise of Evil.” I am sickened.

    • Sad

      He is almost certainly drugged with psychotropics. It is routinely done in institutions nowadays – hospitals, homes for the elderly, places for kids – when the “patients” show signs of disorientation, anxiousness or are “overactive” and the doctors who do it, feel they are acting in the interest of the patients. It happened to family members of mine and they and I had to go through a lot of trouble to get them out of this type of treatment. It is not black and white, Julian Assange may need this type of treatment, but he is certainly in no condition to fight a court case for the duration.
      There is no free choice of doctor in prison (nor in the British health system, I believe) and the only person at least partly legally able to decide on his treatment, if he his incapable, would be his mother, I guess.
      Julian Assange makes it obvious how much is wrong in the pretense of human rights in society. He has the media focus others caught up in the system don’t have.

  • Sharp Ears

    There is a typo, It is Jonathan Cook, not Jonathon.

    [ Mod: Amended, thanks. ]

    He writes from Nazareth where he lives with his Palestinian wife and family. In the ‘belly of the beast’ so to speak.
    https://www.jonathan-cook.net/

    Wouldn’t it be good to be taken on a tour by him and to hear his account of what the Palestinians are enduring in their daily lives.
    Tours of Nazareth and the Galilee region
    https://www.jonathan-cook.net/tours/

    He worked for the Guardian and the Observer but he left his job and became a freelance.
    Reporting from the perspective of 1948 – a profile of Jonathan Cook
    https://mondoweiss.net/2011/05/reporting-from-the-perspective-of-1948-a-profile-of-jonathan-cook/

    • Charles Bostock

      So living in Nazareth makes Cook an expert on the Assange case? He should stick to what he knows something about.

  • remember kronstadt

    All ‘real’ politics appears to be on hold until the coronation of a replacement, which will be a wondrous distraction presenting a new beginning that will purge the past and deliver a GE tory triumph. This mornings Sky ‘all out politics’ was a tsunami of s*it heralding worse to come.

  • Shug

    I see the bbc is launching a drama on the salsbury novo chock thing
    Wonder what they will make up and what they will alter

    • Andyoldlabour

      Shug

      Maybe they will put a disclaimer at the end saying – “No ducks were hurt in the making of this drama”.

    • Deb O'Nair

      Considering that the police, security services and government’s story is so full of holes perhaps it is time to let the professionals have a go.

  • Heather Crossley

    You can use my identity. You can check on me if you wish. Can you get him bail ? I will look after him til necessary. I can give him a free bedroom, an ensuite and an office. I have a secure walled garden to keep him safe an ex the Bere peninsula has only one road in/out. I have a lovely garden , views of Dartmoor , the house is ancient l have and training in teaching and psychology. Get him here and he will recover I am older but l will get him well…l looked after my late husband.

    • Andrew Ingram

      Nice one Heather. I’m sure you reflect the feelings of most of us here.

  • Goose

    Assange looks doomed, and yes, the public apathy towards him and the injustice(literal) of it all is as perplexing as it depressing. The US election Russian interference/collusion allegations have clearly soured opinion against Assange, Manning and indeed Snowden; the very people who’d normally defend each on free speech grounds and the public’s right to know. The election interference allegations have also allowed the authoritarian tendencies in the UK and US to ramp up sockpuppetry; ostensibly on the basis of countering said Russian interference. We urgently need new rules on domestic state sponsored ,quasi-political, public opinion shaping and psy-ops ;whether via sponsored undeclared journalists pushing propaganda pieces or other sockpuppets. The domestic realm should be free of such free speech stifling behaviour from our own govts.

    • Northern

      I agree wholeheartedly in principle that online sock puppetry of this kind should be banned, although how you’d actually legislate for it without opening several tins of worms is debatable.

      It’s certainly a practice that’s rife though. The revelations regarding surveillance in recent years it wouldn’t surprise me at all to learn that it’s much more prevalent than we currently realise, especially given Craig’s work on the Wikipedia editing entry Philip Cross. There’s tonnes of ‘independent’ news sites that appear to be nothing more than a front for channelling discourse. Even on alternative sites like this you can sometimes spot the posters who’ll go above and beyond defending war crimes etc to a level that no logical, free thinking person would be prepared to go and pointing discussions into dead ends deliberately. Mainstream heavily moderated sites like the BBC and Sky must be absolutely crawling with it, I think.

      • Goose

        I think it’s come about due to groupthink among elites.

        The reasoning goes : Russia threatens our western values, therefore let’s counter them online – superficially it sounds perfectly reasonable. However, has anyone seriously investigated the real scale Russia’s actual influence, because they seem to be lots of people accusing anyone in the west who happens to echo a view pushed by Moscow of being somehow a mouthpiece of the Kremlin , i.e.,the accusations are based on pretty idiotic, threadbare stuff.

  • Sharp Ears

    One of three articles by Ben Quinn in the Guardian today. The other two concern Campbell’s expulsion from Labour and fundraising by the UK’s far right not being taken seriously.

    Julian Assange shows psychological torture symptoms, says UN expert
    UK government urged not to extradite WikiLeaks co-founder to US where he faces decades in prison
    https://www.theguardian.com/media/2019/may/31/julian-assange-shows-psychological-torture-symptoms-says-un-expert

    He says that Nil Melzer, the UN’s special rapporteur on torture, will speak further.

  • mark golding

    Neither the US or UK security services want Julian Assange to be a victim of injustice, a suffering saint infused and indelible in the chronicles of history. He is thus subjected to psychological torture by desensitizing dope, set and setting as explained in a previous post….

    At the time I was told to ‘rest up’ by an ignorant blogger.

    Accordingly our ignorance and ambivalence to this outrageous and monstrous villainy by the US/UK establishment will indeed propel all of us back into the information dark ages.

    • lysias

      The U.S. and UK states have dropped their masks and revealed their true nature.

      • Andrew Ingram

        @Lysias
        The masks slipped a long time ago. I lost faith in the UK one Sunday in January 1972 and no amount of Blairite propaganda about “Cool Britannia” changed my mind.

    • Tony_0pmoc

      mark golding,

      You have always been the best poster on here, with bevin, a close second, (and many others) now sadly banned.

      On numerous occasions, you have inspired me by telling the Truth. I know you have been through hell. I hope you are well.

      Tony

      • Iain Stewart

        Tony, you will be pleased to learn that Bevin commented here about a week ago. I think we will never know whether he was banished or just got fed up. The same goes for some of the crazier commenters like RobG, Blunderbuss and others who have disappeared down the blog memory hole.

  • Northern

    All those usual commentators who’ve spent months and years telling us that Assange was a narcissist and this was all a figment of his imagination are pretty quiet today aren’t they? Or do you need the UK government’s response to be published before you have any talking points? Day by day, seemingly, we become a more authoritarian, nakedly fascist state.

    • Goose

      I suppose very powerful people feel deeply threatened by him: uncontrollable, and via WikiLeaks, the capability of shaking the foundations of the US and UK, possibly bringing down democracy – look at the Arab Spring – one big devastating leak of some very dark secret and the agencies involved could well be disbanded. If half the stuff Craig explores and reporters like Robert Fisk one of the few people on the ground in Syria, investigate is true, about false flags etc, the consequences could destroy not just reputations, but our country’s self-image. High stakes indeed.

      One thing that baffles me about Assange’s behaviour though is why, given Assange stated in 2010 he knew from 2008 onwards the CIA was ‘out to get him’ and close down WikiLeaks, he was so promiscuous with strangers, any one of whom was a potential honeytrap ‘accuser’.

    • Charles Bostock

      A bit of firm action against those who think they can bugger about with impunity is only to be welcomed.

      What percentage (roughly) of Assange’s published material was actually about alleged war crimes and human rights violations?

      • Goose

        But this whole thing is like a modern day version of “Shooting the messenger”.

        They claim Assange isn’t a journalist, yet he had his own TV show : World Tomorrow, or The Julian Assange Show, a series of political interviews. He’s written articles and he’s an author. If he’s not a journalist, who is?

        • Charles Bostock

          Answer the question : what percentage of Assange’s output concerned war crimes and human rights violations?

          • Andrew Ingram

            @Bostock
            “Answer the question”
            I love it when you get all masterful. Others might not. Assange has exposed terrible violations of human rights. Violations so terrible that the violators are now persecuting the man. Should he have kept quiet about those violations? Are there things going on that are not the public concern? Are we the people better off not knowing about such violations? Can’t we handle the truth? Are you a gatekeeper of the truth? The British Army is in the dock at the moment regarding the Ballymurphy massacre – it has taken forty seven years for the truth to make it’s way from Northern Ireland to the big island and I doubt it will get the headlines it deserves – justice delayed is justice denied.

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