Assange in Court 856

UPDATE I have received scores of requests to republish and/or translate this article. It is absolutely free to use and reproduce and I should be delighted if everybody does; the world should know what is being done to Julian. So far, over 200,000 people have read it on this blogsite alone and it has already been reproduced on myriad other sites, some with much bigger readerships than my own. I have seen translations into German, Spanish and French and at least extracts in Catalan and Turkish. I only ask that you reproduce it complete or, if edits are made, plainly indicate them. Many thanks.


I was deeply shaken while witnessing yesterday’s events in Westminster Magistrates Court. Every decision was railroaded through over the scarcely heard arguments and objections of Assange’s legal team, by a magistrate who barely pretended to be listening.

Before I get on to the blatant lack of fair process, the first thing I must note was Julian’s condition. I was badly shocked by just how much weight my friend has lost, by the speed his hair has receded and by the appearance of premature and vastly accelerated ageing. He has a pronounced limp I have never seen before. Since his arrest he has lost over 15 kg in weight.

But his physical appearance was not as shocking as his mental deterioration. When asked to give his name and date of birth, he struggled visibly over several seconds to recall both. I will come to the important content of his statement at the end of proceedings in due course, but his difficulty in making it was very evident; it was a real struggle for him to articulate the words and focus his train of thought.

Until yesterday I had always been quietly sceptical of those who claimed that Julian’s treatment amounted to torture – even of Nils Melzer, the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture – and sceptical of those who suggested he may be subject to debilitating drug treatments. But having attended the trials in Uzbekistan of several victims of extreme torture, and having worked with survivors from Sierra Leone and elsewhere, I can tell you that yesterday changed my mind entirely and Julian exhibited exactly the symptoms of a torture victim brought blinking into the light, particularly in terms of disorientation, confusion, and the real struggle to assert free will through the fog of learned helplessness.

I had been even more sceptical of those who claimed, as a senior member of his legal team did to me on Sunday night, that they were worried that Julian might not live to the end of the extradition process. I now find myself not only believing it, but haunted by the thought. Everybody in that court yesterday saw that one of the greatest journalists and most important dissidents of our times is being tortured to death by the state, before our eyes. To see my friend, the most articulate man, the fastest thinker, I have ever known, reduced to that shambling and incoherent wreck, was unbearable. Yet the agents of the state, particularly the callous magistrate Vanessa Baraitser, were not just prepared but eager to be a part of this bloodsport. She actually told him that if he were incapable of following proceedings, then his lawyers could explain what had happened to him later. The question of why a man who, by the very charges against him, was acknowledged to be highly intelligent and competent, had been reduced by the state to somebody incapable of following court proceedings, gave her not a millisecond of concern.

The charge against Julian is very specific; conspiring with Chelsea Manning to publish the Iraq War logs, the Afghanistan war logs and the State Department cables. The charges are nothing to do with Sweden, nothing to do with sex, and nothing to do with the 2016 US election; a simple clarification the mainstream media appears incapable of understanding.

The purpose of yesterday’s hearing was case management; to determine the timetable for the extradition proceedings. The key points at issue were that Julian’s defence was requesting more time to prepare their evidence; and arguing that political offences were specifically excluded from the extradition treaty. There should, they argued, therefore be a preliminary hearing to determine whether the extradition treaty applied at all.

The reasons given by Assange’s defence team for more time to prepare were both compelling and startling. They had very limited access to their client in jail and had not been permitted to hand him any documents about the case until one week ago. He had also only just been given limited computer access, and all his relevant records and materials had been seized from the Ecuadorean Embassy by the US Government; he had no access to his own materials for the purpose of preparing his defence.

Furthermore, the defence argued, they were in touch with the Spanish courts about a very important and relevant legal case in Madrid which would provide vital evidence. It showed that the CIA had been directly ordering spying on Julian in the Embassy through a Spanish company, UC Global, contracted to provide security there. Crucially this included spying on privileged conversations between Assange and his lawyers discussing his defence against these extradition proceedings, which had been in train in the USA since 2010. In any normal process, that fact would in itself be sufficient to have the extradition proceedings dismissed. Incidentally I learnt on Sunday that the Spanish material produced in court, which had been commissioned by the CIA, specifically includes high resolution video coverage of Julian and I discussing various matters.

The evidence to the Spanish court also included a CIA plot to kidnap Assange, which went to the US authorities’ attitude to lawfulness in his case and the treatment he might expect in the United States. Julian’s team explained that the Spanish legal process was happening now and the evidence from it would be extremely important, but it might not be finished and thus the evidence not fully validated and available in time for the current proposed timetable for the Assange extradition hearings.

For the prosecution, James Lewis QC stated that the government strongly opposed any delay being given for the defence to prepare, and strongly opposed any separate consideration of the question of whether the charge was a political offence excluded by the extradition treaty. Baraitser took her cue from Lewis and stated categorically that the date for the extradition hearing, 25 February, could not be changed. She was open to changes in dates for submission of evidence and responses before this, and called a ten minute recess for the prosecution and defence to agree these steps.

What happened next was very instructive. There were five representatives of the US government present (initially three, and two more arrived in the course of the hearing), seated at desks behind the lawyers in court. The prosecution lawyers immediately went into huddle with the US representatives, then went outside the courtroom with them, to decide how to respond on the dates.

After the recess the defence team stated they could not, in their professional opinion, adequately prepare if the hearing date were kept to February, but within Baraitser’s instruction to do so they nevertheless outlined a proposed timetable on delivery of evidence. In responding to this, Lewis’ junior counsel scurried to the back of the court to consult the Americans again while Lewis actually told the judge he was “taking instructions from those behind”. It is important to note that as he said this, it was not the UK Attorney-General’s office who were being consulted but the US Embassy. Lewis received his American instructions and agreed that the defence might have two months to prepare their evidence (they had said they needed an absolute minimum of three) but the February hearing date may not be moved. Baraitser gave a ruling agreeing everything Lewis had said.

At this stage it was unclear why we were sitting through this farce. The US government was dictating its instructions to Lewis, who was relaying those instructions to Baraitser, who was ruling them as her legal decision. The charade might as well have been cut and the US government simply sat on the bench to control the whole process. Nobody could sit there and believe they were in any part of a genuine legal process or that Baraitser was giving a moment’s consideration to the arguments of the defence. Her facial expressions on the few occasions she looked at the defence ranged from contempt through boredom to sarcasm. When she looked at Lewis she was attentive, open and warm.

The extradition is plainly being rushed through in accordance with a Washington dictated timetable. Apart from a desire to pre-empt the Spanish court providing evidence on CIA activity in sabotaging the defence, what makes the February date so important to the USA? I would welcome any thoughts.

Baraitser dismissed the defence’s request for a separate prior hearing to consider whether the extradition treaty applied at all, without bothering to give any reason why (possibly she had not properly memorised what Lewis had been instructing her to agree with). Yet this is Article 4 of the UK/US Extradition Treaty 2007 in full:

On the face of it, what Assange is accused of is the very definition of a political offence – if this is not, then what is? It is not covered by any of the exceptions from that listed. There is every reason to consider whether this charge is excluded by the extradition treaty, and to do so before the long and very costly process of considering all the evidence should the treaty apply. But Baraitser simply dismissed the argument out of hand.

Just in case anybody was left in any doubt as to what was happening here, Lewis then stood up and suggested that the defence should not be allowed to waste the court’s time with a lot of arguments. All arguments for the substantive hearing should be given in writing in advance and a “guillotine should be applied” (his exact words) to arguments and witnesses in court, perhaps of five hours for the defence. The defence had suggested they would need more than the scheduled five days to present their case. Lewis countered that the entire hearing should be over in two days. Baraitser said this was not procedurally the correct moment to agree this but she will consider it once she had received the evidence bundles.

(SPOILER: Baraitser is going to do as Lewis instructs and cut the substantive hearing short).

Baraitser then capped it all by saying the February hearing will be held, not at the comparatively open and accessible Westminster Magistrates Court where we were, but at Belmarsh Magistrates Court, the grim high security facility used for preliminary legal processing of terrorists, attached to the maximum security prison where Assange is being held. There are only six seats for the public in even the largest court at Belmarsh, and the object is plainly to evade public scrutiny and make sure that Baraitser is not exposed in public again to a genuine account of her proceedings, like this one you are reading. I will probably be unable to get in to the substantive hearing at Belmarsh.

Plainly the authorities were disconcerted by the hundreds of good people who had turned up to support Julian. They hope that far fewer will get to the much less accessible Belmarsh. I am fairly certain (and recall I had a long career as a diplomat) that the two extra American government officials who arrived halfway through proceedings were armed security personnel, brought in because of alarm at the number of protestors around a hearing in which were present senior US officials. The move to Belmarsh may be an American initiative.

Assange’s defence team objected strenuously to the move to Belmarsh, in particular on the grounds that there are no conference rooms available there to consult their client and they have very inadequate access to him in the jail. Baraitser dismissed their objection offhand and with a very definite smirk.

Finally, Baraitser turned to Julian and ordered him to stand, and asked him if he had understood the proceedings. He replied in the negative, said that he could not think, and gave every appearance of disorientation. Then he seemed to find an inner strength, drew himself up a little, and said:

I do not understand how this process is equitable. This superpower had 10 years to prepare for this case and I can’t even access my writings. It is very difficult, where I am, to do anything. These people have unlimited resources.

The effort then seemed to become too much, his voice dropped and he became increasingly confused and incoherent. He spoke of whistleblowers and publishers being labeled enemies of the people, then spoke about his children’s DNA being stolen and of being spied on in his meetings with his psychologist. I am not suggesting at all that Julian was wrong about these points, but he could not properly frame nor articulate them. He was plainly not himself, very ill and it was just horribly painful to watch. Baraitser showed neither sympathy nor the least concern. She tartly observed that if he could not understand what had happened, his lawyers could explain it to him, and she swept out of court.

The whole experience was profoundly upsetting. It was very plain that there was no genuine process of legal consideration happening here. What we had was a naked demonstration of the power of the state, and a naked dictation of proceedings by the Americans. Julian was in a box behind bulletproof glass, and I and the thirty odd other members of the public who had squeezed in were in a different box behind more bulletproof glass. I do not know if he could see me or his other friends in the court, or if he was capable of recognising anybody. He gave no indication that he did.

In Belmarsh he is kept in complete isolation for 23 hours a day. He is permitted 45 minutes exercise. If he has to be moved, they clear the corridors before he walks down them and they lock all cell doors to ensure he has no contact with any other prisoner outside the short and strictly supervised exercise period. There is no possible justification for this inhuman regime, used on major terrorists, being imposed on a publisher who is a remand prisoner.

I have been both cataloguing and protesting for years the increasingly authoritarian powers of the UK state, but that the most gross abuse could be so open and undisguised is still a shock. The campaign of demonisation and dehumanisation against Julian, based on government and media lie after government and media lie, has led to a situation where he can be slowly killed in public sight, and arraigned on a charge of publishing the truth about government wrongdoing, while receiving no assistance from “liberal” society.

Unless Julian is released shortly he will be destroyed. If the state can do this, then who is next?


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856 thoughts on “Assange in Court

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  • Whatkins

    I see extradition to the US as inevitable. Very concerning, given past, and present, experience.

    Curious situation in the US, with investigation into several aspects of malfeasance surrounding the 2016 election becoming a criminal one. It has the potential to reach right to the top of the previous administration. Clapper just on CNN saying he was merely “following orders”

    Assange is a key witness in all of this, if not the key witness. How the Trump administration handles it all will be very interesting.

    • Doghouse

      Plenty of things have the potential to reach the top of any administration – Tony Blair should be behind war crimes bars and creepy Bill needs a dry cigar, but they never do reach that point. I see extradition as inevitable and doubt he’ll ever see the light of day again even if acquitted in a loaded canon trial. Cynical for sure, but a modern day crucifixion right here in our midst kinda has that effect…..

  • Derek Pattison

    I don’t think anybody should be surprised at the way the British government toady to the Yanks, it has gone on for years. A lawyer was once quoted as saying that he thought this extradition act had been written by the Americans because it contained so many American spellings.

    I don’t think Arrange should be extradited because what he did was political and by exposing illegal state activity in Iraq and Afghanistan, it was in the public interest.

    It seems to be easier to extradite British citizens to the U.S. but far more difficult to extradite American citizens to the U.K., even when they kill someone because they are driving on the wrong side of the road and the driver is the wife of a U.S intelligence officer.

    • bevin

      Wasn’t the Act the handiwork-or political legacy-of one John Reid now Baron Something or other and a renegade socialist? I seem to recall that when it first appeared in draft form it was held to have been written by the US for the US.

  • Brianfujisan

    John Pilger with consortiumnews

    ” More Important Than Dreyfus

    Julian’s case is often compared with Dreyfus; but historically it’s far more important. No one doubts — not his enemies on The New York Times, not the Murdoch press in Australia – that if he is extradited to the United States and the inevitable supermax, journalism will be incarcerated, too.

    Who will then dare to expose anything of importance, let alone the high crimes of the West? Who will dare publish ‘Collateral Murder’? Who will dare tell the public that democracy, such as it is, has been subverted by a corporate authoritarianism from which fascism draws its strength..”

    • On the train

      Yes you are right. It is very worrying, and especially because so few journalists are covering the story, let along protesting what is going on,

    • N_

      John Pilger is wrong: Vanessa Baraitser IS a judge. She is what is known as a district judge. District judges sometimes get work in magistrates’ courts. Most magistrates are legally unqualified. Some readers may be surprised at that, but it’s true. Most of them wouldn’t be able to distinguish extradition arguments from their own cr*pholes. A typical case that comes before them involves the cops lying their heads off, a junior CPS barrister adding in his own lies, and the clerk who sits at a table below the magistrate getting told what to do by the police and then telling the magistrate what to do. Then the magistrate talks in an authoritative voice. If something is too difficult for the magistrate to understand, they’re told to say that they’re making such and such a ruling “because it’s in the interests of justice”. Half of the job is stating “reasons” for stuff they’ve already decided – it’s like being most kinds of medic. So that is what a magistrate’s court is. Baraitser is a bit higher up – she is a district judge and of course she is legally qualified, even if she may be more viciousness than brains, which isn’t exactly unknown in various parts of the legal profession. Many magistrates love to humiliate defendants – their best bit is when they shout at them to stand up. Anyone who has been to a magistrate’s court a few times is aware of that. Baraitser sounds as though she’s getting in with the building’s culture.

      Maybe at receptions and dinner parties John Pilger is more used to meeting “red” (High Court) judges?

      As for the Dreyfus affair, I could certainly get alongside the idea that the Assange case SHOULD be made into a case that’s equally important, but simply to say it’s more important is lazy and stupid and it’s as if Pilger has forgotten what struggle means. First and foremost those who support Julian Assange should want to get him out of prison and the extradition case defeated. Seriously, f*** journalism. This isn’t about journalism. Journalists shouldn’t have any more rights than anyone else, and I am sick to the teeth of this idiotic Hollywood sh*t about the fourth estate and some kind of sacred right to protect sources, and so on. I couldn’t give a monkey’s about “journalism” and all this prissy cr*p. Most “journalists” are submissive morons who aren’t doing a proper job and need to be put in the stocks or something like that. Most of them get most of their stuff these days from Twitter or Instagram and haven’t got a clue how to use an apostrophe, let alone how to say anything that requires genuine independent thought about something like racism or Brexit or war or any particular story of the day. I have exactly zero friends who are journalists and that’s how I like it.

      The Julian Assange case is about WAR and the power of the US warfare state. Did someone actually pay Pilger for that cr*ppy article?


      • Mez

        Pilger is an outstanding journalist who has exposed the crimes of the west since before many of us were even in nappies! If you think he’s a stranger to the pressure of government to stay silent on the truth, you’re sorely mistaken. And, one last thing, how do we – the public – become aware of the crimes of our governments if journalists aren’t the ones to tell us? As Assange once suggested (maybe in not so many words): how can you possibly vote if you don’t know what you’re voting for?

        • N_

          @Mez – “And, one last thing, how do we – the public – become aware of the crimes of our governments if journalists aren’t the ones to tell us?
          Funny how the government allows such journalists to operate then. What do you expect a government that serves a few hundred families to do other than tell lies and commit crimes in their interests? Representative democracy and the “separation” of legislature from executive is all a smokescreen. Start from that. Don’t be a consumer of the latest “isn’t it awful?” journalism or Tariq Ali’s latest theatrical effort. The few hundred families can cope with that and they pay people to sell it as a safety valve. Revolutionary social critique grows from working class reflection on working class experience and it has nothing to do with passively consuming journalism. It’s not a show.

      • giyane.


        Baraister would do well to observe what the US does to its loyal agents. It routinely mocks and tortures them to let them know who’s boss. Oh ,so you thought you might get promotion?
        You might get called a shovelling coward and the world a safer place…

      • fwl

        In 2000 stipendiary magistrates (stipes) became district judges. Stipes / district judges are lawyers. Lay magistrates are not lawyers, sit as a panel of three and take advice from a clerk. We have had lay magistrates since the C14.

    • Julian Assange is INNOCENT - the Judges are corrupt

      McCarthyism is alive and well in UK, US, Australia and Sweden – the stitch-up of Assange is an assault on democracy and on human rights, while the justice system is now corrupted and compromised. UK, US, Australia and Sweden are jointly responsible for slowly murdering Assange. US and UK are guilty of war crimes and of cover-up: the perpetual “war on terror” is nothing but a war on mankind. Why isn’t Gareth Peirce representing Assange now? Whoever thinks he would be served by Amal Clooney is terribly naïve – an “entertainment” JC married to George Clooney whose close family members have earned their ill-got wealth by arms dealing should disqualify her from any involvement in judicial process. Julian Assange, Chelsea Manning and Edward Snowden are persons of integrity unlike those running the corrupt institutions which have destroyed all our lives. Our world is in chaos due to the stench coming from the top, which is defrauding us all. Those orchestrating the faux war on terror should be ousted and destroyed. Our civilisation is being destroyed by the Caligulas murdering and suiciding all of those who dare to speak out.

      • N_

        Are you sure Gareth Peirce isn’t representing him? There can be various reasons why a solicitor prefers to have a certain barrister appear in a certain hearing in their client’s case even if they themselves have advocacy rights in whatever court it is. Gareth is in my opinion the best solicitor in the English jurisdiction for political cases. But are you aware that she is 79 years old?

    • N_

      I’m sure it was chilling but John Rees doesn’t sound as though he’s seen much in his life. Many many working class lives have been ruined by middle class scum who say such things, enjoy them while they’re saying them, and then forget about them five minutes later. Ask someone in the working class, John.

      • Some Random Passerby

        I’m working class (not that this term exists with any meaning anymore).

        I earn £8 odd quid an hour and I have zero job security.

        I have disabled step kids to keep alive.

        None of this compares to what Assange is going through. It is chilling, as the state is showing it’s true colours and no one cares or wants to discuss it…

        At least Assange isn’t Gary Webb. He ended up losing everything (with lots of help from the media) before committing “suicide” via two rounds to the back of the head…

        Webb’s crime was exposing the CIA as being responsible for the crack epidemic of the 90s

  • Jake Walker

    This is a debacle happening right now! People in general believe that Human Rights and Political rights are powerful. They ain’t. How? There is an excess of evidence that when States or emanations of State powers decide to act, they readily breach internationally protected Rights. How can they do this?
    1. Dead men do not sue for breaches of their rights.
    2. Those surviving dead men, whose rights have been breached, have an uphill struggle to seek redress for breaches.
    3. Even if they are successful after a costly haul, States are prepared to compensate what amounts to pennies in the grand scheme of things.

    In other words ‘your’ rights are up for sale – and Nation States are prepared to pay relatively paltry sums – in order to be rid of you.

    The atrocities of the world wars which led to the development of Human and Political rights are being repeated today in many ways – not just against Assange.

    Nation States can commit what would effectively be murder if done by any ordinary person – and get away with it. Really? – You ask. If you have to ask then you’re oblivious to details of the killing of Khashoggi.

    We are living a surreal Orwellian dystopia.

    “Political language… is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind” – George Orwell

    S/he who turns a blind eye to all this and remains silent, is contributing to destruction of the human race.

  • Hatuey

    I’m not suggesting any of you are intentionally avoiding the subject but, at the same time, I am surprised and disappointed to see that so few comments are addressing the claim that Assange is guilty of hacking. And, as I understand it, that’s what he is going to be extradited for.

    Most here seem to be only willing to address the issue of publishing secrets, leaving aside the question of how he acquired them.

    Should I assume that most of you regard the charge of hacking as a false allegation? Or should I assume that you think that his hacking was justified by the disclosures that resulted from it (assuming he did engage in hacking)?

    • We are all Julian Assange

      You’ve lost your way… another one “sitting on the fence”. Inculcated by the CIA?

      The USA is a rogue State, engineering war on us all. Time for UK to end this extradition arrangement with Satan.

      Julian Assange has exposed war crimes and corruption.

      USA is a very dangerous place. None of us is safe. FREE JULIAN ASSANGE.

      • N_

        Where does this “rogue state” idea come from? I think it’s supposed to be a left wing throwing of the term back into the face of the US government which has used the term against target regimes in various parts of the world, or at least it did until a decade or so ago. (In the current decade it wasn’t even used much when Libya was devastated, or Venezuela either for that matter. Even the now largely destroyed state that calls itself Iraq-Syria and Iraq-Levant wasn’t and isn’t called a “rogue state” in western discourse. Western propagandists prefer to refer it using the name of an Egyptian goddess or an acronym or, when they do use the word “state” they like to use it either with strange syntax – “Islamic State” without the definite article – or prefaced with the word “so-called”.) The truth is that most elites in most countries in the world LOVE the US government and US culture. At international get-togethers the US representative is one of the most popular attendees that most of the other disgusting creeps want to talk to and sit at a table with. And the position of ambassador or other senior diplomat in Washington DC or New York City is coveted in almost every country and it’s not so that they can wag their finger and stand up to the US government and tell it where to shove its hamburger and porn contributions to world culture and any university place in “the States” that might come the way of their offspring. Just saying. Most regimes in the world are total sh*t and the US regime isn’t a “rogue” among them. It SHOULD be. It should be a total pariah, but it isn’t.

        • nevermind

          A rogue state is an entetity calling itself a country, when it had no declated borders? A UN requirement forimng the basid pf a state/ country are that they have declared borders with othe countries.

          Any penpusher should have hearf of the basics.

        • Tom Welsh

          IMHO a “rogue state” is one that refuses to recognize or obey the laws, treaties, agreements and other rules of the “rules-based international order”.

          The obvious exemplar is the USA, which talks a lot about law and order and the “rules-based international order”; but unfortunately always means by that ITS OWN rules.

          In marked contrast, nations like Russia and China are very careful to observe the letter of the law as far as possible.

      • Hatuey

        Lost my way? CIA? For asking what people thought of the charges against him?

        Saying the US is evil might work as a defence in the kingdom of heaven but I have grave doubts that it will help in a US court.

        • sc

          What worries me is the way he is kept isolated, looks very unwell, lack of access to lawyers, unsure about medical care, in a UK prison. Even if he was guilty that would surely be unacceptable.

        • pretzelattack

          well for example exposing the lies behind the iraq war by hacking would be both, no?

          • Hatuey

            No. In legal terms here in the UK and in the US as I understand it, hacking would not be legally justified on the basis that you were doing so to expose lies. There are though good grounds for hacking just as there are good legal grounds for kicking doors in at times, and that’s the most likely defence. But I’m reluctant to discuss.

    • jmg

      Hatuey wrote:
      > Should I assume that most of you regard the charge of hacking as a false allegation?

      Yes, WikiLeaks is about leaks, not about hacks at all. Tribunals in both the UK (Judge Bartlett, London, December 12, 2017) and the US (Judge Koeltl, New York, July 30, 2019) have already recognized WikiLeaks as a media organization that, as many other media organizations, publishes information leaked by whistleblowers. That is to say, leaks from insiders with legal access to the information who feel the duty to uncover crimes and corruption.

      WikiLeaks is formed by investigative journalists, editors, and publishers who protect whistleblowers. The current editor-in-chief of WikiLeaks is the well-known investigative journalist Kristinn Hrafnsson. The publisher of WikiLeaks is still investigative journalist Julian Assange.

      • Hatuey

        Jmg, I get all that. Had wikileaks only published materials supplied by someone else, that would be a very understandable defence, a rock solid one from a legal perspective, but the charge of hacking raises concerns that I hadn’t thought through before.

        You will be familiar either the idea of evidence being inadmissible in court on the basis that the evidence was acquired improperly or illegally. That principle doesn’t come with exceptions — you couldn’t argue that how the evidence was acquired was unimportant because it served a greater good such as exposing US war crimes. You could, but you’d probably go to prison.

        There’s a claim that Manning who had access up to a point was prevented from going further by password protection and that Assange offered to help crack the password. I’m hoping someone can tell me that’s a pack of lies. I’m hoping Manning is not on any record anywhere suggesting that’s what happened.

        • Doghouse


          As I understand it Chelsea Manning denied at trial any hacking involvement by WL. I read somewhere can’t recall where that the single hacking charge – and there’s a very good reason it is there as you know – arises from hacking into Assange’s computer obtained when he was lifted from the embassy. Wish I could remember where that came from because it is apparently very flimsy and incomplete – there’s a surprise.

          I strongly suspect that if this is the case there will be several more charges added prior to full extradition application and arising from their most dubious Icelandic source who was allegedly flown to the US recently. Sorry for the airy fairy nature and would be glad for anyone to confirm but also it appears that whilst if charges arise from the Icelandic source they might/would not stand up in a US court but would serve their function of assisting extradition (beyond political) as that source does not even have to be named in such proceedings let alone tested.

          It seems the priority is to get him to the US by whatever means and with a legal nod however flimsy. Judging by the fervour this one act is and has been pursued, after that, anything could and probably will happen and if the lawful route is followed however faintly, they’d prefer their chances against a lobotomised Assange than a lucid one. I can’t see that being allowed at all, not publicly anyhoos.

        • Forthestate

          “You will be familiar either the idea of evidence being inadmissible in court on the basis that the evidence was acquired improperly or illegally.”

          Yes, but in this case the issue is whether or not it was acquired improperly or illegally by the person who published it, not by the person who provided it. Furthermore, “The recent case of Singh v Singh (2016) EWHC 1432 is a reminder that there is no absolute prohibition of the use of illegal or covertly obtained evidence and that the courts will allow such evidence to be presented if it is particularly relevant to the case.”

          If it is found that he published illegally, then obviously journalism worldwide, such as it is, is finished, since it operates on exactly the same principle.

        • jmg

          Hatuey wrote:

          > Had wikileaks only published materials supplied by someone else, that would be a very understandable defence, a rock solid one from a legal perspective

          That’s exactly what happened. As always, it was a leak and there wasn’t any hacking at all.

          It seems that Manning and some anonymous person with account username “pressassociation” and alias “Nathaniel Frank” — who could be Assange or not, it’s unknown — briefly chatted in March of 2010 about the possibility of protecting the whistleblower’s identity with a different login, but at the end they didn’t.

          Manning was an Army intelligence analyst and already had access to classified databases, of course.

          As Snowden explained it:

          “Because when you look at this charge, what the government has actually charged, is something that has been publicly known about for nearly a decade now. The chat logs of the famous exchange between Chelsea Manning, who was the source of the 2010 disclosure, and someone who is alleged to be Julian Assange but is actually using a secure and anonymous messenger, called Jabber, using protocol called Off The Record, which actually supposed to provide capabilities like plausible deniability. . . .

          “In the affidavit, they actually say that it did not happen. They directly say, ‘they did forensics on Manning’s system that this was pulled for, the hash was for a service account, for a program to use on the computer, for an FTP program, and it was not logged into.’

          “So they had not actually succeeded in breaking this, they had not used it, but the government is alleging, just the sheer fact that Manning said, ‘Hey, can you find out what this password is, and if you can give it back to me,’ it’s not even really Assange’s idea from the chat logs, as far as we can tell. And the DOJ is going look, ‘This is a crime, we’re going to charge it as’ — they call it a “password cracking agreement,” which is enough . . . even if it’s not used to get access to more classified material, and the government says they believed it was only used to cover Manning’s tracks, Manning didn’t want to be logging in with like, username ‘Chelsea Manning’, right, and doing whatever, so they wanted to use this anonymous account to do it. . . .

          “And then, even though they’re saying they conspired to break this law, it didn’t actually happen, for whatever reason, because of fate, because of incompetence, whatever reason, they weren’t successful in actually committing the crime, but the conspiracy’s enough. . . .

          “They go, ‘Look, Julian may not have actually cracked a password, we don’t have any evidence that he did, we’re not going to try to prove that he did, we’re going to simply say the agreement to try was enough.’”

          Edward Snowden on Julian Assange’s arrest and indictment – Defend WikiLeaks

          To this initial charge, “conspiracy to commit computer intrusion”, they later — on May 23, 2019 — added 17 Espionage Act charges. Many have warned about the historic significance of this, and it isn’t an exaggeration, unfortunately.

          With these new 17 charges, receiving and publishing leaked information on crimes and corruption — the cover-up of which by classification is unlawful by the way — that is, normal investigative journalism, is effectively converted into espionage from now on, and therefore punished with life in supermax prison or death sentence.

          • Hatuey

            JMG, thanks for that, sincerely. You’ve provided information I wasn’t aware of that is of interest.

            I think I understand how this will go and I actually don’t think any of that will feature in Assange’s defence — there’s a simpler and more fundamental rebuttal available to him which should end the case quite quickly.

          • Ken Kenn

            “conspiracy to commit computer intrusion”,

            That’s an interesting choice of words they use.

            Someone could ” intrude ” into my computer but say if they tried to login in to my bank account they couldn’t
            unless they knew my login details.

            So is what they are saying that even an attempt to intrude is a supermax offense?( US spelling)

            Is intruding the same as the Financial Time’s leaked government paper on the real effect of a No Deal on workers rights etc in a similar vein?

            That is; Physical paper leaking is the same offence if it’s from the Whitehouse?

            If so then all journalists could end up in the pokey across the globe.

            As I say – an interesting and possibly significant form of phrasing.

            Except intrusions to impeach Trump – of course.

          • jmg

            Ken Kenn wrote:
            > “conspiracy to commit computer intrusion”, . . . So is what they are saying that even an attempt to intrude is a supermax offense?( US spelling)

            No, the initial indictment wasn’t espionage yet, but a CFAA charge (Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, which is used against hackers).

            There is a similar case, Justin Liverman, charged with hacking conspiracy against CIA Director John Brennan. From a report:

            “Like Assange, Liverman didn’t do the hacking himself but encouraged it — and he got the maximum sentence of five years in 2017. Liverman’s initial indictment was sealed in the Eastern District Court of Virginia, just like Assange’s. Liverman is doing his time at Fort Dix in New Jersey.”

            Julian’s initial indictment was only “conspiracy to commit computer intrusion” as well, and the Fort Dix federal prison is a low-security one.

            However, a second superseding indictment added 17 Espionage Act charges, basically for receiving and publishing classified information, that is for practicing investigative journalism, now called espionage.

            Because of this, if there is extradition, and unless a big First Amendment battle is won, which seems highly unlikely in Virginia, he is expected to probably spend the rest of his life in ADX Florence supermax prison in Colorado, according for example to a report by the Washington Examiner, also confirmed in a The Intercept article by Julian’s friend American journalist Charles Glass.

            Even The New York Times (article “Assange Indicted Under Espionage Act, Raising First Amendment Issues”) quoted Jameel Jaffer of the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University:

            “The charges rely almost entirely on conduct that investigative journalists engage in every day. The indictment should be understood as a frontal attack on press freedom.”

            You can see the US indictments against Julian Assange here:

            Resources – Defend WikiLeaks

        • Rowan Berkeley

          “There’s a claim that Manning who had access up to a point was prevented from going further by password protection and that Assange offered to help crack the password.” This is the basis of the Espionage charge, yes. It isn’t “a pack of lies,” but nor has it much objective significance in espionage terms. Manning only ever downloaded from SIPRnet, which contains Confidential and Secret material, never from JWICS, which contains Top Secret material, and he never downloaded using a false name or password. Assange never seriously addressed Manning’s request for help in devising one, so don’t overrate the importance of these few lines in their voluminous exchanges.

    • Mez

      Avoiding it? Or simply giving it no airtime because, if you use your brains and don’t just repeat propaganda/rhetoric, you’ll plainly see that Manning had full access to the system that the info came from as an EMPLOYEE. How can you HACK a network you already have full access to?? Speaks for itself really…. if at all you’re using your own brains!

      • Hatuey

        Mez, stop being stupid. The plight of Assange is unlikely to be detrimentally affected by someone asking about the charges he faces on here. Just about every news website out there is discussing the hacking charge — it’s no secret.

        I hope to god what you’re saying is verifiably true about Manning having full access. If it was, the case against him would dissolve completely.

        • Herbie

          My understanding was that the US were alleging that Julian gave advice to Chelsea on covering her tracks whilst accessing the info.

          That’s where the conspiracy to hack comes in.

          So, Chelsea is allowed to use the network, but not for purposes of dissemination to outside parties.

          • pretzelattack

            conspiracy to commit journalism. it’s a trumped up charge, by the institutions adversely affected by exposing their crimes.

      • Ken Kenn

        That’s a good question.

        If you had Bluetooth on your moblie and ‘intercepted ‘ inadvertently a conversation between plotting terrorists and recorded the conversation then passed it onto the authorities I don’t think the authorities would defend privacy rights of the plotters.

        It depends on who is hacking what I think.

        There’s good hacking and bad hacking depending on who’s side your on.

        Julian Assange ‘intercepted ‘ the wrong info.

        Donald hacked to kill the ISIS Boss and has now matched Killary.

        He has been blooded.

        Thanks to jmg from here as I can’t reply directly to his informative answer.

    • Forthestate

      “Should I assume that most of you regard the charge of hacking as a false allegation?”

      I’m not sure it’s an allegation at all. This from Glenn Greenwald and Micah Lee at the Intercept back in April:

      “The other key fact being widely misreported is that the indictment accuses Assange of trying to help Manning obtain access to document databases to which she had no valid access: i.e., hacking rather than journalism. But the indictment alleges no such thing. Rather, it simply accuses Assange of trying to help Manning log into the Defense Department’s computers using a different username so that she could maintain her anonymity while downloading documents in the public interest and then furnish them to WikiLeaks to publish.

      In other words, the indictment seeks to criminalize what journalists are not only permitted but ethically required to do: take steps to help their sources maintain their anonymity. As longtime Assange lawyer Barry Pollack put it: “The factual allegations … boil down to encouraging a source to provide him information and taking efforts to protect the identity of that source. Journalists around the world should be deeply troubled by these unprecedented criminal charges.”

      Pilger in his RT interview with Afshin Rattansi on ‘Going Underground’ said that not even the US prosecutor had any faith in that one.

      • Hatuey

        I’ve looked into and considered the matter of hacking which as far as I know is the only charge that would warrant extradition and I’m satisfied that I now know what Assange’s defence will be and, assuming he is given an opportunity to defend himself in a court that is willing to listen with even a modest level of objectivity, I’m certain that defence will succeed towards setting him free.

        Forgive me for not elaborating here. I doubt very much that the defence I have in mind would be a surprise to any legal minds but I wouldn’t want to prejudice anything or forewarn anybody in any way.

        Over and out.

        • zoot

          i have not heard any legal expert suggest he has a chance of being acquitted by a us court. he certainly doesn’t think so himself and he perhaps understands what’s going on better than most.

          • lysias

            John Kiriakou, who was convicted on very shaky grounds before the same judge and in the same court that Assange would almost certainly face, has said repeatedly on his radio show that Assange would have no chance under those circumstances. Defendants who face. Judge Leonie Brinkema are not acquitted.

          • Hatuey

            zoot “i have not heard any legal expert suggest he has a chance of being acquitted by a us court”

            I have.

          • Hatuey

            Actually, Lysias, Kiriakow has suggested that Trump might be convinced to give Assange a break. He has also suggested that Assange could have success in the US if his defence team press for Jury Nullification. To be clear, this isn’t the same as saying he can form an effective or successful defence in the US; it’s a reference to an approach that basically dismisses the whole case as inappropriate.


          • pretzelattack

            trump is not a legal expert, and since he is in charge of this whole process now, i see it as unlikely that he will intervene to overturn the inevitable result. you said legal experts thought he could be acquitted via the legal process. who?

    • Tom Welsh

      “I am surprised and disappointed to see that so few comments are addressing the claim that Assange is guilty of hacking”.

      That would depend on what you mean by “hacking”.

      The main meaning is “writing computer software”. But that is not, in general, a crime.

      The subsidiary meaning, used by amateurs and outsiders, is something along the lines of “getting unauthorized access to a computer”. But that is a hopelessly confused definition, which cannot possibly be made to mean anything definite.

      What Assange’s accusers probably mean is something vague along the lines that he somehow handled information that had been stored in a computer by someone who didn’t want it to become generally known.

  • Rowan Berkeley

    About the symptoms of blinking and grimacing shown in Julian’s last video appearance, which is the Ruptly clip looking into the police van as it starts to move away, the cameraman running alongside: Tardive dyskinesia is a side effect of antipsychotic drugs. It causes movements you do over and over, like blinking and grimacing. Antipsychotic medications that can cause tardive dyskinesia include older antipsychotics like: Chlorpromazine (Thorazine), Fluphenazine (Prolixin), Haloperidol (Haldol), Thioridazine (Mellaril) and Trifluoperazine (Stelazine). Hope this helps 🙂

  • Mez

    In my uneducated opinion, they don’t want the Spanish process to be of any service what-so-ever to the defense and that’s why they won’t budge on the dates. The US knows it has breached due-process and waiting for proof to emerge would be detrimental to getting their hands on Assange. It’s not very complicated to wrap your head around IMO.

  • remember kronstadt

    in a just system…

    ‘exercising targeted malice’

    The Crown Prosecution Service guidelines on this offence[1] say that the elements of the offence are when:

    A public officer acting as such.
    Wilfully neglects to perform ones duty and/or wilfully misconducts oneself.
    To such a degree as to amount to an abuse of the public’s trust in the office holder.[4]
    Without reasonable excuse or justification.
    The similarly named malfeasance (or misfeasance) in public office is a tort. In the House of Lords judgement on the BCCI malfeasance case it was held that this had three essential elements:[5]

    The defendant must be a public officer
    The defendant must have been exercising his power as a public officer
    The defendant is either exercising targeted malice or exceeding his powers

  • Fleur

    For anyone who wants to get active but not sure where to find relevant information and/or fellow activists, here is a place to start. Please everyone, share this about.

    And, as usual, thanks a million Craig Murray. Not just for your excellent articles and speeches, but also for hanging in there with Julian and Wikileaks for the long haul. Key elements in the fight for truth and justice have always been: Standing up, Showing up, Speaking up. (and you do them all so well). Now we need the millions to join in.

  • Frédéric Lefebvre

    Hello, Mr. Murray,
    J’ai traduit en français votre compte-rendu sur l’audience au tribunal de Westminster, je vais le publier dans ma (toute petite) revue de presse mais je pourrais vous faire parvenir la traduction si vous le souhaitez. Votre texte est sur une colonne & le mien en regard pour faciliter la comparaison. J’ai également traduit & présenté de la même façon l’article 4 du traité d’extradition.
    Merci pour votre action en faveur de Julian & des droits humains.

    I have translated your report on the Westminster court hearing into French, I will publish it in my (very small) press review but I could send you the translation if you wish. Your text is on a column & mine next to it for easy comparison. I have also translated & presented in the same way Article 4 of the Extradition Treaty.
    Thank you for your action in support of Julian & Human Rights.
    Frédéric Lefebvre

  • Bob Apposite

    It doesn’t sound so bad to me. Assange has evaded prosecution for years, ergo has had years to obtain counsel + prepare a “defense”. If they’re only charging him with theft/publication of military docs, that also seems generous. As to his mental state, who is to say that that is the result of ‘torture’, and not reality crashing down on a narcissist?

    • Bob Apposite

      Tardive dyskinesia – the blinking and grimacing ‘tics’, would not be inconsistent with – personality disorder of some kind.

      So that would be my guess.

    • Bob Apposite

      I will say that there is some hypocrisy in US Left singing the praise of whistleblowers in the Trump administration while wholly ignoring the Assange trial.
      So I am not wholly unsympathetic to Assange.

      • giyane.

        Bob Apposite

        The narcissist with a tic is Tony Blair.
        Plus his mates in the Christian fundamentalists who think Armageddon will see them riding on clouds watching Muslims being punished.down below.
        Hell you’d be safer in a Boeing .
        At least you might get compensation

    • Jm

      Yeah right Bob….who’s to say torture apart from the UN Special Rapporteur On Torture?

      Of course I’m sure your qualifications trump his though eh?

      Your 3 posts seem like poor attempts at trolling,paid or otherwise.

      • Bob Apposite

        Paid trolling? Who would pay me to troll Craig Murray? Do you think every dissenting voice or differing perspective is a troll? If you do you might be living in a narcissistic cult.

        I’m not wholly unsympathetic to Assange, but Murray lays it on a bit thick and makes him sound like the biggest victim/martyr in the world. How am I supposed to react to that?

        I’m not an expert in WikiLeaks, I didn’t follow them from the beginning, and I don’t know the significance of all their data dumps. But WL did some high profile stuff in the last US election, and it didn’t seem terribly “journalistic” or “whistleblowy”, it just seemed like an organization DOXing a political candidate they didn’t like.

        The most talked about email in their was some witchcraft-related artistic performance thing with Podesta. What does that have to do with anything? I’ve looked through the Clinton collection for evidence of her doing bad stuff – but I can’t find it. So what were they blowing the whistle on, exactly, and why did it look more like simply DOXing a woman with her own emails during an election?

        The Wikileaks page says:

        “On March 16, 2016 WikiLeaks launched a searchable archive for over 30 thousand emails & email attachments sent to and from Hillary Clinton’s private email server while she was Secretary of State. The 50,547 pages of documents span from 30 June 2010 to 12 August 2014. 7,570 of the documents were sent by Hillary Clinton. The emails were made available in the form of thousands of PDFs by the US State Department as a result of a Freedom of Information Act request. More PDFs were made available on February 29, 2016, and a set of additional 995 emails was imported up to February 2, 2018.”

        I don’t see any mention of any particular whistleblower issues.

        • Bob Apposite

          Let me add – The Podesta Emails:

          “WikiLeaks series on deals involving Hillary Clinton campaign Chairman John Podesta. Mr Podesta is a long-term associate of the Clintons and was President Bill Clinton’s Chief of Staff from 1998 until 2001. Mr Podesta also owns the Podesta Group with his brother Tony, a major lobbying firm and is the Chair of the Center for American Progress (CAP), a Washington DC-based think tank.

          Read The Podesta Emails, Part 1: John Podesta and The Uranium One Story”

          So the Podesta emails are all about “whistleblowing” on Uranium One?

          That seems pretty lame, too.

        • zoot

          the most talked about of the emails, other than the ones that confirmed the rigging of the primary, were those that exposed her as a 2-faced charlatan.
          in her own words, to the banksters at goldman sachs:
          ‘if everybody’s watching, you know, all of the back room discussions and the deals, you know, then the people get a little nervous, to say the least. so, you need both a public and a private position’.

          i can’t say I was even aware of her ‘witchcraft-related artistic performance’, although that’s a pretty fair description of her pitch for main street’s votes.

          • Bob Apposite

            So WikiLeaks is blowing the whistle on a politician saying you have to be pragmatic? LOL. That statement isn’t even from the Clinton emails, you know – that’s from the Podesta batch.

            Surely you don’t think that’s “whistleblowing”.

          • Bob Apposite

            As to 2-faced charlatans, how about Sanders – who can’t admit he voted for sanctions (destabilizing Iraq) ?

            Who made you the authority on who’s genuine and who isn’t?

            The DNC attacks by WikiLeaks had no “whistleblowing” component to them…and just look like some desperate narcissistic conflict b/t the egos at WikiLeaks and Clinton.

        • jmg

          Bob Apposite wrote:
          > I’m not an expert in WikiLeaks, I didn’t follow them from the beginning, and I don’t know the significance of all their data dumps.

          Here you have a quick and easy introductory video by Lee Camp:

          You Are Being Lied To About Julian Assange!

          “You are being lied to about Julian Assange. He has exposed more war crimes, crimes against humanity, corruption, & lies than perhaps anyone in history.

          “That is why our government is so eager to lock him away forever.”

          — Lee Camp, April 23, 2019

          • Bob Apposite

            OK, I watched the video.

            The only references to Clinton are that 1. she (allegedly) ordered diplomats to spy on French, British, and Chinese delegations at the UN Security council, and 2. that the DNC primaries are “rigged”.

            As to #1, that’s the first I’ve ever heard of that, so I find it hard to take you seriously.

            As to #2, get over it. Bill & Hillary Clinton (and other moderates) built that party. Bernie Sanders wasn’t even a Democrat. Why would people want some outsider who never contributed anything to the party – win the party nomination? Sanders should have run as an independent, but was greedy and wanted the resources that the Dem party had. Typical socialist parasite.

            Basically you DOXed Hillary Clinton because your candidate failed to steal a nomination from the woman who deserved it.

            That’s not whistleblowing.
            That’s just narc revenge.

          • jmg

            Bob Apposite wrote:
            > The only references to Clinton are that 1. she (allegedly) ordered diplomats to spy on French, British, and Chinese delegations at the UN Security council, . . .
            > As to #1, that’s the first I’ve ever heard of that . . .

            “Clinton ordered American diplomats to spy on U.N. officials

            “Amid all the WikiLeaks uproar is the news that a July 2009 directive under Secretary Clinton’s name ordered U.S. diplomats to spy on officials at the United Nations and gather information such as credit card numbers, frequent flier numbers, and ‘biometric information on U.N. Security Council permanent representatives.’ Biometric information would include fingerprints and iris recognition. Also on the list of whom to gather biometric information from include, ‘key UN officials, to include undersecretaries, heads of specialised agencies and their chief advisers, top SYG [secretary general] aides, heads of peace operations and political field missions, including force commanders,’ reports the Daily Telegraph.

            “The directive also requested passwords and encryption keys for communications systems used by U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and other high-level U.N. officials. . . .”

            Clinton ordered American diplomats to spy on U.N. officials — Foreign Policy — November 29, 2010

          • jmg

            Bob Apposite wrote:
            > and 2. that the DNC primaries are “rigged”. . . .
            > Basically you DOXed Hillary Clinton because your candidate failed to steal a nomination from the woman who deserved it.

            Well, I’m not from WikiLeaks, but of course — while their main motivation is truth and democratic transparency of governments — many thousands of people like me will support them whenever we can.

            Their position on elections is clear. They said in 2016:

            “2. Does WikiLeaks seek to play a partisan role in the US election? No.

            “WikiLeaks is a publisher. WikiLeaks provides a safe means for whistleblowers to make disclosures to the public on wrongdoing committed by any government or private enterprise. If we have significant confidential information on Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton we will publish it. If we have information on any significant power faction or candidate in a globally significant election campaign, we publish it.”

            WikiLeaks Ten Year Anniversary (2016):
            Frequently Distorted Facts about WikiLeaks

            There is as well the “Assange Statement on the US Election” linked from another post answering you.

        • jmg

          Bob Apposite wrote:
          > But WL did some high profile stuff in the last US election, and it didn’t seem terribly “journalistic” or “whistleblowy”, it just seemed like an organization DOXing a political candidate they didn’t like.

          Bob, no candidate is perfect, and of course some people preferred mass murderer Hillary Clinton, others caveman Donald Trump, etc. However, as a press/media organization, WikiLeaks informs about all the facts they have. They defend the right of the people to know the truth, whatever it is. That’s what they do.

          For example, that time they didn’t receive leaks on Trump, but received a leak from a DNC insider about the rigging of the primaries by the DNC and Hillary Clinton against Bernie Sanders. You know, the chair of the Democratic National Committee, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, resigned after these revelations, etc.

          So, the facts are the facts, and the truth of the matter is that Hillary herself was who helped Trump win by being so corrupt.

          You can read some details on why they kept publishing all the true facts here:

          Assange Statement on the US Election — WikiLeaks — 08 November 2016

          • Bob Apposite

            If WikiLeaks wants to blow a whistle on something in the DNC campaign, that’s fine with me.

            But Wikileaks didn’t do one whistleblowing release.
            They did a campaign against Hillary Clinton – releasing the emails in installments to pace the election…essentialy DOXing Hillary in the final months of the election.

            That – is not whistleblowing.
            That is DOXing/harassment.

          • jmg

            WikiLeaks released the leaks soon after they received them. Naturally they need some weeks to review and verify leaks, etc.

            You know, truth and government transparency are fundamental in a true democracy.

            The following simple graphic is a summary that shows how those revelations were clearly in the public interest, and honestly could not be concealed from the public:

            WikiLeaks Top 10 Publications (2006-2016):
            Graphic 10. DNC Leaks, 2016

        • pretzelattack

          who would pay you? how about the british organization that was formed to push propaganda? or its us counterpart in the pentagon?

    • Tom Welsh

      “As to his mental state, who is to say that that is the result of ‘torture’, and not reality crashing down on a narcissist?”

      Not you, apparently.

    • Forthestate

      “Assange has evaded prosecution for years”.

      An outright lie. Until the US Justice Deparment’s charges, Assange has never been charged with anything. Sweden opened and closed the investigation into their own allegations of rape – neither woman accused him of it – three times; he has never been charged.

      • Bob Apposite

        “Assange has evaded prosecution for years”.

        “An outright lie. Until the US Justice Deparment’s charges, Assange has never been charged with anything. Sweden opened and closed the investigation into their own allegations of rape – neither woman accused him of it – three times; he has never been charged.”

        Well, my apologies. One presumes someone hiding in an embassy is evading prosecution. I guess he was evading the Swedish charges. So he was evading a prosecution. And there was a criminal investigation ongoing for his Wikileaks activities. Re: the Swedish stuff, I’m not unsympathetic, even if those were false accusations – you do realize most people falsely accused of crimes cannot avoid it by hiding in an embassy.

        Most people rightly or wrongly accused, have to defend themselves, try to clear their name in a courtroom.

        • Jm

          Bob Apposite,

          You really have zero grasp of the facts in this case that much is clear.

          “ A narcissistic cult”? Lol…interestingly many of JA’s detractors and trolls employ the word narcissist.Its like troll bingo.

          Do some research before you presume.

          • Bob Apposite

            I don’t use the term for no reason. There are different types of narcissism, and most people are only familiar with “overt” narcissism. Whereas there are other, less obvious typologies:

            Look up “communal narcissism” and “pseudo-altruism”.


            Pseudo-altruism: Pseudo-altruism is a pattern of behavior used by people who have a problem in coping satisfactorily with repressed rage. Observed in both individual and group psychotherapy, it allows the discharge of unacceptable impulses through professed concern about others.

          • pete

            Re Bob etc’s reply,
            Re “Pseudo-altruism is a pattern of behavior used by people who have a problem in coping satisfactorily with repressed rage” is a quote from:
            an abstract from a paper published in 1981. If you are going to use a quote can you please cite the source, otherwise we might gain the impression that you know more than you do, which is clearly not the case.

        • jmg

          Bob Apposite wrote:
          > Well, my apologies. One presumes someone hiding in an embassy is evading prosecution.

          Yes, after cooperating with the authorities for a long time, he realized it was a trap by Sweden, UK, and US.

          > I guess he was evading the Swedish charges.

          No, he was evading extradition to the US from Sweden or the UK, both of which refused to guarantee that he would not be turned over to the United States.

          > So he was evading a prosecution.

          Yes, for revealing government crimes and corruption.

          > And there was a criminal investigation ongoing for his Wikileaks activities.

          Exactly. As usual, he was right.

          > Re: the Swedish stuff, I’m not unsympathetic, even if those were false accusations – you do realize most people falsely accused of crimes cannot avoid it by hiding in an embassy.

          In this particular case, the embassy as well saw it was a political persecution.

          > Most people rightly or wrongly accused, have to defend themselves, try to clear their name in a courtroom.

          You see what is happening now. Did you read Craig’s article?

          For details on Sweden, etc., there is another quick introductory video:

          The Wikileaks, Julian Assange Diplomatic Standoff

          • Bob Apposite

            Are they after Assange b/c he exposed “corruption” or b/c he’s exposing their trade secrets? He’s done both – so it’s hard to say.

            I would not expect the U.S. govt to sit idly by and do nothing if I published their technical docs. If you’re publishing the technical capabilities of a nation, than you’re obviously a security risk to that nation.

            Like I said, I’m not wholly unsympathetic to Assange, but obviously he’s made enemies, who see the world differently than he does.

            I don’t doubt that Assange think’s he’s fighting for “peace and justice” or whatever.
            But the US military probably thinks they are -too-.

        • Forthestate

          “I guess he was evading the Swedish charges.”

          There were no Swedish charges.

          “One presumes someone hiding in an embassy is evading prosecution.”

          One presumes incorrectly. There was no prosecution. If you don’t know that, you’re not fit to discuss the subject. He wasn’t hiding in an embassy, you idiot, since everyone knew where he was. He sought and received asylum because the Ecuadorian government believed that his fears that he was being set up for extradition to the US were justified. Those fears, no doubt ridiculed at the time by the clueless such as yourself, have been proved correct, and the clueless confirmed as clueless.

          • Bob Apposite

            I perhaps spoke hastily/ignorantly.

            While it is true that many that are falsely accused have to, nevertheless, defend themselves/clear their name at trial…I suppose Assange’s case is different in that the accusations are from state actors, not other private citizens.

        • pretzelattack

          one presumes he was seeking shelter in the embassy from a rogue state and a rogue legal process, if one knows what the hell one is talking about.

          • Bob Apposite

            “Rogue” may not be the word, you’re looking for.

            Considering I think most of you are brexiting the European Union to go “rogue”.

            “Rogue” means “to cease to follow orders; to act on one’s own, usually against expectation or instruction. To pursue one’s own interests.”

            You’re the rogues, I think.

  • John Goss

    Reading this has made me so depressed. I could cry for Julian Assange, and my beloved country which has become a rogue state, the 51st rogue state, The more people add about what is happening here the more depressed I become.

    “The evidence to the Spanish court also included a CIA plot to kidnap Assange, which went to the US authorities’ attitude to lawfulness in his case and the treatment he might expect in the United States.”

    Should he ever be extradited it is quite clear what would happen. The US does not have a proper legal system whereby evidence can be examined and decisions made on that evidence. Maria Butina can tell you a thing or two about the US penal system, as can Talha Ahsan. Basically you have to plead guilty to a crime you never committed in the hope that this plea bargain might get you a reduced sentence. Practically nobody walks free. I am sickened.

    Having said that I am proud that there are citizens of the British Isles who still believe in justice. Thank you Craig Murray for telling us the truth about British justice. It does not make easy reading. There is not much I can do but I will share this important article.

    • Tom Welsh

      I’m very much afraid, John, that the British ruling classes have always done such filthy things whenever they thought they could get away with them.

      Consider the fate of King Edward II, when they could just as easily have given him hemlock or put a pillow over his face.

    • Jives

      John Goss,

      You cry your tears John and let them flow.They are a testament to your humanity,strength and integrity.

      I have read your posts here over many a year and,like many here,they shine with truth,dignity and fortitude.

      You contribute more than many so stay strong and righteous.

      We are now,without a doubt,in a struggle of monsters versus humanity.

      It’s that simple.

      Best wishes my friend.

  • Brianfujisan

    Yeah Ingwe..

    When will the fucktards at bbC tell us that it’s Illegal for any Foreign Country to be there.. Without permission.

  • Thomas

    “If the state can do this, then who is next?” The question is also who was it, how often does it happen, how many lives were destroyed, why aren’t we even thinking about holding judges, prosecutors and prison wardens accountable.

  • Jay

    Is it possible to obtain a transcription of court proceedings? As Plainsite Org offer for US litigation. Crowdfund?

  • Dungroanin

    The proceedings in the US against the top echelons of the 3 lettered agencies will surely have repercussions on the indictment against JA ? Seeing as it was perpetrated by the same people and their version of the ‘fixed’ judges and courts in Virginia.

    Chopping the legs off there ought to lead to the collapse of the vexatious persecution of Manning; the formal collapse of Russia election meddling; exposure of Ukrainian cyber intervention; DNC/Obama/Clinton conspiracy; Admission of Seth Rich & bros roles>>> revelation of false witness against wikileaks.
    Freeing of Assange >>> fall of the house of cards >>> exposure of the DS conspiracy under a forthcoming Labour government.

    Unless they think that Trump will be bought off by the latest bit of fairy tale from Idlib?

    If so – a court case against Assange will certainly see a lot of testimony reveal large chunks of that truth. I expect CM is raring to get on the stand!

  • Graham Ennis

    I am horrified. But not in any way surprised. The UK judicatory powers are no more honest than those in a banana republic, when the power of the state is exposed and challenged. My personal experience of this makes me completely understand the situation Assange is in. He will be parcelled up, and once he is extradited, (they will probably fly him out of the country secretly, from an American airbase) he will be immediately ill-treated, hooded, chained, and drugged, and treated like a terrorist. They will of course keep him alive for the state trial, exactly like the Russian terror police did under Stalin. But after a show trial, and a huge criminal sentence, he will become an “unperson”. We all know what happens to such victims, hidden in the depths of the American so-called “max” detention facilities. Years of solitary, bad food, no reading material, a broken exercise bicycle the only exercise permitted, tear gas thrown into the cell at the slightest sign of resistance, etc., not to mention the drugging, the beatings. Typical American barbarism. They will of course keep him just well enough to experience years of this, until he is a mad ghost. I am not the slightest surprised by the vicious conduct of the district judge. She is a tool of the state. But it’s still legal, (barely) for people to write to this judge, and protest at her evil conduct. I suggest we avalanche her with strongly worded letters. (but no swearing!). I am concerned that the proceedings are not being challenged at a higher court, on multiple legal grounds of mis-conduct and mis-rulings. There are so many breaches of the law in her conduct that she must never be allowed to forget what she did, and every possible way to challenge it. Especially the court location in February. Not even enough seats for reporters, and probably reserved for the daily mail. The fundamental principle of a public trial is being violated. We must protest. We must struggle as much as we can, to avoid these criminal misconducts of the law.

    • Borncynical


      Thank you for expressing your very profound and heartfelt sentiments. I would like to think you are wrong but I don’t.

      One comment you have made which I don’t quite concur with is where you anticipate that the hearing in February will “not even [have] enough seats for reporters”. This is being too kind to the vast majority of the journalistic fraternity. When the mainstream media sing as one with the corrupt and shameless ‘powers that be’ they are not interested in witnessing and reporting on events first hand. To be put in that position might prove awkward for them (at least for those who might claim to have a conscience and any sense of professional integrity). It is far easier for them to avoid attending and, instead, just stay silent on the matter or simply rely on reporting the final outcome and repeating the egregious lies without any objective or professional analysis.

      All the best to you.

  • Astrid Watanabe [Lapinsky]

    Thank you very much for writing this. Thank you for caring. Bless your heart.

  • Tatyana

    Dear all,
    My question relates to making the Assange’s story known to more people.

    Do I understand it correctly, that I have legal right to translate your COMMENTS and publish the translation in russian sites? If so, please advise whether I should put a copyright mark (c) under every comment?

    People in Russia put the same questions as people here on this discussion do. And, I publish your opinions and reasoned answers backed by links.
    As often, first I do, then I think if it is OK, sorry 🙂

    • Tatyana

      Nevermind, my question is about comments, not about article itself. Comments do not belong to Mr. Murray, and I see no way to ask permission from every commenter. I hope there’s a general policy and I hope someone can advise me on it.

      It’s not actually about FSB, but nontheless, a funny soviet joke for you:

      Once there were no vacant rooms in a hotel and Ivan had to take a bed in the occupied room, with neighbors. People in the room drank vodka and told political jokes, but Ivan, having had a really hard day and hoping to have some sleep, invented a plan.

      Ivan walks out into the corridor and tells the maid:
      – Excuse me, what is your name?
      – Masha.
      – Well, Masha, would you bring me a cup of coffee in ten minutes, please?

      Then Ivan returns to the room and says to his neighbors:
      – Are you crazy? All the rooms in the hotels are tapped! You scold Brezhnev, you tell political jokes. Aren’t you scared?
      – Relax. You’re a moron, who needs us?

      Then Ivan approaches a wall, knocks at it and says:
      – Comrade Major, please ask Masha to bring me a cup of coffee …
      The neighbors twist their fingers at the temples. Suddenly the door opens and Masha brings a cup of coffee. Everyone was silently afraid and went to bed.

      In the morning, Ivan wakes up and sees nobody in the room, only Masha is making the beds. Ivan asks:
      – Where is everyone?
      – KGB took them all, at night.
      – Why didn’t they take me as well?
      – Comrade Major said that he really liked your coffee joke.

      • Tom Welsh

        Really brilliant, Tatyana! The first part seems fairly normal – but the last part is (I think) very Russian.

    • pete

      Tatyana, I am fairly sure that if I post a comment in the Comments section anywhere, it goes into the public domain and can be quoted or used by anyone anywhere for any purpose, good or bad. Craig’s comments may be different as, being a published author, he may wish to retain some control over the reprinting as this could have an adverse effect on his professional standing, but there is fair usage to consider also, some quoting is fine if it is in the purpose of a review or such like.

      The only time I have ever heard of people getting into trouble regarding their comments is if they have threatened or incited a criminal act. I doubt very much if any contributor to the comments would care if you quoted them or not unless you criminally libelled them. I doubt if anyone in the comments section has any expectation of privacy regarding their remarks or could afford to embark on an expensive and lengthy legal process in a country whose legal rules they were unfamiliar with.

      I would say quote away at the comments to your hearts content.

      • Tatyana

        Thanks, pete.
        We were discussing the hacking, leaking, legal/illegal aspects. And especially if these activities are justified when uncovering state’s crimes.
        I’ve translated a part of this discussion for the russian readers.

        Btw, my opinion is – state’s dirty secrets are all protected. If a person is found guilty for breaking this protection, then it is just another way to make clear we are allowed to know only what the state wants us to know, no more. It is the end of journalism and it is, well, totalitarianism?

      • Aim Here

        Not true.

        The comments would technically be the copyrighted works of whoever wrote them. You generally can’t assume anything is public domain, unless it’s old enough to have definitely expired.

        Having said that, if you’re uploading the comments to a forum like this one, then there’s an implicit license for them to appear here, and since there’s no significant market for web forum comments, and there is a concept of ‘fair dealing’ or ‘fair use’, where people can use parts of copyrighted works for review and comment and various other purposes; quoting the comments to show what people here are thinking wouldn’t be an issue. Nobody would have any financial incentive to sue over them, and it’s far from obvious they’d win even if they did.

        So in general, she should quote them anyways, but your characterization of the law is wrong, in somewhat dangerous ways.

        • Tatyana

          Ok, let me ask in more specific way. I’ve posted:
          here is a piece of the discussion under the original article:
          Username A
          … (russian translation)
          Username B
          …(russian translation)

          My assessment if these comments is …

          The original article and discussion in English is linked both at the beginning and at the end of my main posting, so anyone can check.

          So, should I ask permission from commentor A, commentor B etc. for translating and publishing it?
          Or, should I better just say in my own words something like “in this discussion people say this and that”? Or should I simply make a screenshot and a translation?

          Actually, the comments are intellectual property, I think there must be some rule about it.

          • Tom Welsh

            You are welcome to translate and otherwise publish my comments, Tatyana – as long as the translation and quotation are reasonably accurate.

          • Tatyana

            Thank you Tom. I’m not very good in English as you see from my comments here. My grammar, my vocabulary, ‘the’ and ‘a’ … But my education is linguistics and communication and I understand the importance (and responsibility) of being accurate in translation. Russian is my native language, so I promise my translations are exact.

          • Iain Stewart

            There is a lovely Italian expression you may be familiar with: Traduttore, Traditore!

          • John Goss

            Tatyana, your English is good. All foreigners who do not have have definite and indefinite articles (the and a) in tehir language struggle, like we struggle with perfective and imperfective aspects, case endings and where to put the stress. But Russian is better structured than English. At least you do not have different pronunciations to words with similar spellings. Though, tough, bough, cough and through are pronounced differently whereas bought, caught, taut and sort are spelled differently but pronounced the same, at least by me.

            The old cliche is true. You need to live in a country to understand the language.


            Incidentally I tried to send a message with virtually the same content as above earlier. Unfortunately it would not send. It came up with the message “This page is not working” inviting me to reload the page, yet I could open the site in another tab.

          • Tatyana

            Да, я согласна 🙂
            В моем случае я считаю, что важнее донести новости до тех русских, кто не знает английского, чем тренировать до совершенства артикли 🙂 Вы согласны?

            Я считаю своей сильной стороной в отношении родного языка такую черту, которую у нас принято называть “врожденная грамотность”, но вернее было бы называть ее “вычитанная грамотность”. Это чутье на оттенки смысла и уместность использования того или иного слова. А еще любые орфографические ошибки “режут глаз”.

          • John Goss


            As to: “А еще любые орфографические ошибки “режут глаз”.” I spotted the “tehir language” in my previous comment when it was too late. As soon as it was posted. Ha, ha. 🙂

            My eyes are quite sharp for my age but my fingers must be too fast or too slow for the keyboard.

          • John Goss

            Would “режут глаза” be correct and would it mean “sharp eyes” as in proof-reading, or eyes that cut, or kill, or any, or none? In MInsk in 1982 I learnt the phrase Свой глаз – алмаз which in English we would not usually say. We would usually say “Your/his/her/ eyes are diamonds.” But we would say “He has an eye for detail”.

            Anyway with his dark eyes Aidamir Mugu needs no documents.


          • John Goss

            I get it now. Thanks. How stupid of me. I thought the error was in the quote as the plural did not agree with the singular eye. But now I see it was orthographical errors “they hurt your eye”.

            Thanks too for the explanation of “глаз – алмаз” which on reflection was not “Свой глаз – алмаз” but “твой глаз – алмаз”. It was in a college at a Вечеринка so perhaps it was apt.

            I knew a Russian, university lecturer, who drank quite heavily. He had a phrase late at night “Ничего, ничего – завтра будет молоко.” I don’t drink these days, and not even milk since I became a vegan.

          • Tatyana

            re.: case endings in russian. I was amusing myself by asking people to determine which option is right:

            a. у рыбей нет зубей
            b. у рыбов нет зубов
            c. у рыб нет зуб

  • Dungroanin

    I am a bit perplexed maybe someone here can educate me about a couple of things?

    1. I just wandered through CM’s tweets and there are a large number of posts there from a woman claiming to be JA’s fiance. Who claims lots of other things. What’s going on?

    2. David Alan Green?
    What’s the story? Why the bad blood?

    P.S. anyone seen SharpEars? I’m missing the background links 🙂

  • michael norton

    Very Soviet-like
    Bukovsky had a heart attack on Sunday evening after ailing for several years.

    He became a prominent Soviet dissident in the early 1960s and was soon after declared mentally ill.
    That avoided the inconvenience of a trial, and Bukovsky would spend the next 12 years, on and off, in psychiatric clinics and prison camps.
    In 1971, between prison sentences, Bukovsky helped smuggle to the West the psychiatric hospital records of six well-known dissidents – exposing a Soviet practice of declaring dissidents mentally ill in order to detain and discredit them, rather than have them labelled as political prisoners.

    Is there an actual line, between being seemingly mentally ill before you are locked up
    and seemingly becoming mentally ill after you have been incarcerated?
    I think it has been claimed that one in four of us will be classed as mentally ill at some stage or stages of our lives.
    Some recover, some do not.

    Is it part of the punishment to make prisoners mentally ill?

    • michael norton

      As a follow up,
      if Julian Assange is declared mentally ill,
      he cannot be moved to America.

      • Doghouse

        Cannot? Or should not?
        As all but one of the charges amount to political crimes for extradition purposes, with the one remaining to be argued not as hacking but instead either also political or nothing more than standard journalistic ethical practise as defined in the day when that profession possessed as much, and was deemed not chargeable but an assault on the first amendment under the Obama watch in 2013, then he shouldn’t be extradited full stop. But the smart money says such trivia will likely not stand in the way…..

      • Tom Welsh

        Aha! But who is to declare him mentally ill? Presumably the only person allowed that privilege would be a doctor working for the State.

        • Doghouse

          And there’ll be no shortage of those willing to sell the letters after their name for a handful of beans and a 30 second news slot. Sad, but tell me tis not true.

          • Iain Stewart

            “Say it ain’t so, Joe.” – a phrase attributed to Chicago Daily News reporter Charley Owens in reference to baseball player Shoeless Joe Jackson’s admission that he cheated in the 1919 World Series.

      • N_

        Extradition Act 2003:

        (1)This section applies if at any time in the extradition hearing it appears to the judge that the condition in subsection (2) is satisfied.
        (2)The condition is that the physical or mental condition of the person is such that it would be unjust or oppressive to extradite him.
        (3)The judge must—
        (a) order the person’s discharge, or
        (b) adjourn the extradition hearing until it appears to him that the condition in subsection (2) is no longer satisfied.

    • Tom Welsh

      The UK government and its “intelligence services” (i.e. secret police) may be slow but they are not altogether clueless.

      Just imagine: it has taken them only 70 years or so to study and adopt the techniques of their colleagues who worked for Stalin and his successors.

      Who says there is no progress in the humanities?

  • Rupert

    What is your point. Assange stole information that he had no right to. Please explain what you feel the state did wrong? Confidential that can comprise investigations into terrorist activities makes that person an accessory to any planned or perpetrated activity against the law abiding and peaceful citizens of the world. So then he deserves to be treated in the way you describe.

    • Cascadian

      So you believe the Apache crew in the collateral murder video should go scot free?

      Words fail me to describe the level of your delusion.

        • Cascadian

          jmg, good point.

          But his post does smack of a distinct lack of research into Western activities over the past 100 years. That, or a deliberate intent to troll and misdirect.

    • zoot

      any views on the characters who devastated iraq on a pack of lies and brought isis into being? no. the criminal is some publisher who shed further light on the realities of ‘operation enduring freedom’..

    • Doghouse

      Dear Rupert – nice strides btw.

      Actually, Assange stole nothing.
      Bradley Manning who had lawful access to the info handed it to Assange….
      Who handed it to various news outlets some of whom in turn handed it to other news outlets.
      Nor did he hack anything nor is there any evidence sufficient to prove a charge to say he did, even the Feds admit as much.
      The hacking charge apparently was not followed up on in 2013 by the Obama Dept of Justice as it was considered Assange’s actions were protected as with all press under the First Amendment.
      All other charges relate to handling the information provided by Manning and in that regard he stands no different to the major news outlets who also aired it all.
      And for the record, nor did he commit any sexual misdemeanours in Sweden, if he had, he would have been charged.
      Nor did he run away from those charges, he remained, answered all questions and was told he could leave.
      The person alleging his inappropriate behaviour said he deliberately tore a condom which he had smartened up his pecker with, when the police examined it it contained not a jot of his DNA, none.
      How can that be? Even if he did a Sting and didn’t empty into it, that thing would have been as snug as Wiggins long leg budgie smugglers and would have been plastered with his DNA. But it wasn’t.
      Getting the picture yet?
      Nice scarf btw….

    • Doghouse

      Rupert, I apologise for being facetious I let myself down, but the truth is if you are going to come on here spouting patent untruths then it is either deliberate or you really haven’t done any research at all and you therefore deserve to be treated like the cartoon character you are. As for this which you said….
      “…any planned or perpetrated activity against the law abiding and peaceful citizens of the world”
      Are you including many of the Iraqi, Libyan and Syrian men women and children , civilians who would have undoubtedly considered themselves peaceful people as you and I do, yet had bombs rained down on their heads by unseen planes and unseen gunships? In yours and my name. I consider myself peaceful, a pacifist in every sense and cannot begin to imagine the horror of what so many peaceful civilians have endured – those that survived that is. Do you think they were in terror Rupert? Do you? And are you really a peaceful person if you think it is okay to do such things? I would say you are not, I would say one who condones indiscriminate bombing and gunning as anything but peaceful……

    • N_

      Please explain what you feel the state did wrong?
      Slaughtered hundreds of thousands of people for money, maiming hundreds of thousands more, causing millions to lose everything and be displaced a long way from their homes never to return, and lied through their teeth. Does that help? Where have you been? In a cave?

    • Tom Welsh

      “Please explain what you feel the state did wrong?”

      You mean, other than everything that they possibly could do wrong?

      – They lied on an industrial scale to fake up a casus belli.
      – They violated the UN Charter and all other provisions of international law by launching an unprovoked war of aggression against Iraq and other nations – “the supreme international crime” according to the Nuremberg Tribunal.
      – They caused well over 1 million Iraqis alone to be killed or to die as a result of their actions.
      – They injured or caused serious harm to at least another 1 million Iraqis.
      – They drove several million Iraqis from their homes, many of them out of their country, in justified fear for their lives.
      – They deliberately destroyed the Iraqi national infrastructure, which has not even begun to recover today after 17 years.
      – They deliberately destroyed the Iraqi government, civil services and other government organizations.
      – They deliberately disbanded the Iraqi armed forces and fired all the officers, many of whom would band together to form ISIS.

      That’s just the first dozen or so that come to mind, I could easily add another 40 or 50.

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