The Assange Hearing: A Reticent Request 133

Julian Assange will stand next week in the armoured dock, accused of the “crime” of publishing. It is worth recalling that Wikileaks has a 100% record of accuracy. Nothing it has published has ever been shown to be inauthentic. Julian stands accused of the crime of telling the truth – more than that, of telling freely to the ordinary people of the world about the crimes which the powerful seek to conceal.

It is a sad and damning fact that nobody in the United States has ever been jailed for the war crimes Wikileaks has revealed, for the massacre of journalists and of children, for the torture or for the corruption. Instead, the publisher who helped whistleblowers to get the truth out to the people has suffered enormously, and is threatened with incarceration for the rest of his life.

We might also consider that none of Julian’s publishing ever took place inside the United States. The USA is trying to extradite him for publishing American secrets outside the USA, in a startling claim of worldwide jurisdiction. It is a prosecution that would if successful have a massive chilling effect on investigative journalists all over the globe. The fact that the mainstream media editors who gleefully republished Wikileaks’ revelations are not also in the dock reflects the fact that the security services are now very confident they have those outlets under control.

For these and many other reasons, Julian’s hearing next week is extremely important and I am going down to London today for ten days to cover it and to take part in associated events. I do hope everybody will make a real effort to join the protests.

With great reluctance, I am obliged to ask for donations to help this blog cover the Assange court case. We have rented a house close to the court and I will be trying to queue in the early hours of the morning to get one of the tiny number of seats available to the public at the hearing. The last year has seen constant travels down to London to support Julian in one way and another, and funds for the blog are running very low at the moment – very substantially less than 1% of readers subscribe (I am grateful to and humbled by those who do subscribe). I generally do not seek one off donations, as long term income is required to keep things on the road, but for the Assange – and Salmond – cases to be covered properly an exception is needed. With humility and reticence, I therefore ask if a few people could put some small donations forward using the standard payment details below.


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133 thoughts on “The Assange Hearing: A Reticent Request

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  • tartanfever

    Morning Craig. Good luck this week.

    I hit the subscribe button for £10 a month and it automatically took me to Paypal (my preferred method of payment) for those fellow posters asking about it.

  • Patrice Naughton

    Dear Craig Murray

    I”m unable to make today demo for Julian Assange in London but would like to donate to your expenses for covering his trial – do you have a paypal address I can send it over?

    all the best


  • Phillip

    I have had the honour to meet Julian, and spend time with Julian discussing various things. Fortunately for me it was while Correa was President and we had a white noise device activated so it would make it extremely difficult for MI5 or other security services to hear what we discussed. But I still suspect that MI5 etc logged my visit.

    Anyway Craig, your articles about Julian are spot on. They make me sad as the articles remind me how awesome Julian and Wikileaks are, yet we are holding Julian in our top security prison for being a journalist, made even worse by the silence from most of our news media about this evil.

    Yes, some of your articles and opinions I really do disagree with but for Julian I will send over a few £s to help you in London next week. And what would the world be like if new only read news/blogs/etc by people with agreed with 100%? We all need to read news that we don’t like or columnists that we disagree with, so we can understand other viewpoints and positions.

    Keep up the good work!

  • Harry law

    Could this be why no US military have been brought before a court? ……..
    The American Service-Members’ Protection Act, [ASPA] authorizes the U.S. president to use “all means necessary and appropriate to bring about the release of any U.S. or allied personnel being detained or imprisoned by, on behalf of, or at the request of the International Criminal Court”. This authorization has led the act to be nicknamed the “Hague Invasion Act” The act also prohibits U.S. military aid to countries that are party to the court. Just recently the US has threatened the Judges at the ICC, that they will be refused entry to the US and could have their assets seized.

  • Jan Brooker

    Skint, but chipped in a regular donation. You and Jonanthan Cook on my quick links. Always check out what you’ve got to say, MOST of which never makes the MSM.

  • Neil

    OK, I’ve just made a wee one-off donation via online banking to your bank a/c.


    “I will be trying to queue in the early hours of the morning to get one of the tiny number of seats available to the public at the hearing. ”

    You mentioned before how you went down with a bad cold from ONE occasion when you stayed out for a long time on some demo (AUOB I think, but my memory could be wrong).

    You’re going to be a fat lot of use to the rest of us if you keel over again from cold + stress.

    Well, I can’t help you much about the stress, but there is a way of avoiding the effects of prolonged exposure to cold.

    This comes from my experience back in the 1960s, when as a teenager I used to go skiing with my father in Scotland (usually Glencoe, but sometimes Glenshee). We went at weekends, either the whole weekend, or just the Saturday (sometimes it would just get too crowded on a Sunday). My father had a policy of only going if the weather forecast was good. Unfortunately forecasts back then were only right about 50% of the time. So we got used to skiing in atrocious conditions. Think what it’s like, in a blizzard 3,000ft up a Scottish mountain in winter. Yet with the right clothing it is possible to feel as snug as a bug in a rug even in such conditions. It’s true that the exertion from skiing can help keep you warm, but most of the time you’re either standing around in a queue, or sitting on a ski lift.

    This is what you need to wear to avoid the cold:

    Torso: 2vests (string vests are best, but anything will do) + 3 long-sleeved shirts + 2 cardigans/jumpers + sweater + waterproof and windproof anorak, with a hood. (The hood is important, see below).
    Legs: usual underwear + either long johns or pyjama bottoms + usual trousers + windproof and waterproof over-trousers
    Feet: 2 ordinary socks + very thick socks + boots a size larger than usual.
    Head: You lose more heat from your head than any other part of your body, so it’s important to keep your head warm. That’s why skiers wear ski masks (+ the blast of cold air when you’re going fast downhill can be very painful). My mother used to knit us balaclavas to wear. At least get a woollen hat, and pull the hood from your anorak over your head.
    Also wear gloves.

    Keep warm, and stay well!

    BTW, I can remember the hard case ski nutters who would go every weekend, regardless of the weather. Most of them seemed to be ordinary workers from the Glasgow shipyards, or from the huge ICI Nobel division factory at Ardeer, where my father worked as a scientist. I wonder how many ordinary workers nowadays can afford to go skiing…

        • Paul Barbara

          @ Mary February 22, 2020 at 13:23
          Forecast from 06.00 – 10.00 tomorrow: 9* -10*, chance of rain, wind 11 – 18 mph.
          And it is very open around Belmarsh. I hope I make it, but I am not looking forward to it at all.

      • Neil

        Mary, Nope, I’m thinking of his having to queue for hours – I assume outside – in the early hours of the morning. My opening quote makes that clear, I hope.

    • Roderick Russell


      I too used to ski Glencoe with my father in the 1960s. I can attest to almost everything you wrote about in your comment. I even recall the Clyde Shipyard workers who used to camp out fairly near the bottom of the chair lift (one of them was my first ski instructor).

      Today all three of my children are avid skiers, though sadly none of them have ever skied in Scotland. Fortunately for those who are skiing today, the quality of winter clothing is so much better than it was in the 1960s.

      • Neil

        Ah, yes, fond memories. I also remember the guys who used to camp out at the bottom of the chairlift, real hard cases. I only had the benefit of a professional ski instructor on a couple of occasions, as my father mostly took on that job. He wasn’t very good at it, probably the legacy of having been 3 years a Japanese PoW in the Second World War. That had a terrible psychological effect on him, and made him a very difficult man to live with. I put up with it for the sake of the skiing.

        • Neil

          Roderick, I’ve just had a quick look at your website (I recommend others here should read it too). I was reflecting on the effect on my father of his 3 years as a Japanese PoW, and the effect of long-term torture (the sort that goes on for many years) such as Julian is undergoing. Even if Julian is released, as I hope he will be, the murderous, lying bastards behind this outrage know fine well that its horrifying effects will continue for the rest of Julian’s life, just as it did for my father. There is one reason for optimism, though: thanks to the work of people like Helen Bamber and others, some good help is available nowadays to the survivors of torture, which wasn’t the case for my father.

    • Alastair McP

      I know I’m far from alone in watching this thread, and am therefore disappointed that my previous comment remains unheeded and quite so valid.

      I’m unsure of the value of advocating Craig getting “ballied-up” at a JA rally in Central London, while secretly wearing

      … 2 cardigans/jumpers + sweater +…

      Surely you meant “… 3 jumpers… ” or us there an important distinction between “jumpers” and “sweaters” you’d like to share with us, Neil?

      Where are Cubby, N_ et al when you need ’em? It’s just not enough to have one’s heart in the right place. It’s frankly embarrassing.

      • Neil

        “’I’m unsure of the value of advocating Craig getting “ballied-up” at a JA rally in Central London, while secretly wearing”

        I said no such thing. Please read my post again: there’s a quote from Craig right at the top. It’s there for a purpose. Please read it.

        Since Mary made the same mistake (why didn’t you read my reply to her?), I obviously need to make this crystal clear:

        I’m thinking of Craig next week having to queue for hours outside, day after day, in the early hours of the morning, i.e., the coldest part of the day (or night). The example I gave of a blizzard up a mountain in Glencoe is to make it clear that it is always possible to keep warm, no matter how cold the weather.

    • Mary

      The ES knows damn well who Craig is but do not give an attribution.

      ‘Yanis Varoufakis (second left), Vivienne Westwood (centre), Assange’s father Richard (second right) and Pink Floyd bassist Roger Waters ( PA )’

      Does Gideon still work for Lebedev? That is as editor of the ES when he not knocking up hundreds of thousands of shekels from BlackRock.
      ‘Fund manager reshuffles leadership of its influential research and analysis unit, which counts George Osborne among its advisers’

      • Robyn

        I understood Julian’s father’s name was John (not Richard) Shipton. I noticed RT called him Richard. John or Richard?

        • jmg

          Robyn wrote:
          > John or Richard?

          John and Richard.

          John Shipton is Julian’s father. Richard Brett Assange was Julian’s stepfather, passed away in 2012 in Sydney.

          A few excerpts of them talking about Julian; also his mother Christine:


          John Shipton, father of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange . . .

          Shipton’s response to a question about the suggestion by some that his son is his own worst enemy draws a blunt Aussie response.

          “That’s horseshit,” he says. “What you’re dealing with reminds me of the line in [TS] Eliot about the King and Thomas Beckett. ‘Will anybody rid me of this turbulent priest?’ A lot of that stuff is designed to just get at Julian with no basis for it.

          “Julian is a joy of a man, he’s very positive, sweet natured. He’s determined but he always could get his own way by being charming. He didn’t have to bully anyone.”

          ‘Will you come and help?’ Father of Julian Assange on campaign to free his son — Irish Examiner — November 9, 2019


          The secret life of Julian Assange

          Controversial whistleblower Julian Assange was “a very bright boy with a keen sense of right and wrong” when he was growing up, according to his stepfather.

          Brett Assange . . . described his stepson as a “sharp kid who always fought for the underdog.”

          He added: “Strangely enough I always thought he would do something like this. He was always very independent. And he certainly wouldn’t take no for an answer.

          “He always stood up for the underdog. I remember that, like with his school friends. He was always very angry about people ganging up on other people. He had a really good sense of equality and equity.” . . .

          Assange has been described by his mother, Christine, as “highly intelligent.” . . .

          Though his mother raised him without any religious influence, she sensed that from a tender age, her son was led by a strong desire to do what he perceived as just.

          “He was a lovely boy, very sensitive, good with animals, quiet and has a wicked sense of humor,” . . .

          Assange’s mother said Wednesday that she feared her son had become “too smart for himself.”

          “I’m concerned it’s gotten too big and the forces that he’s challenging are too big,” Christine Assange told the Herald Sun.

          The secret life of Julian Assange – December 2, 2010

  • Ben

    Did anyone else notice how strangely quiet Trump was when the Brits finally got Assange out of the embassy? And how he didn’t join in the Republican chorus saying Assange should get the death penalty?
    He probably figured this day was coming.

  • durak

    Priti Patel has already passed the verdict to the judge via discreet channels
    farce isn’t the word
    All this will one day I have no doubt become undone, they can’t maintain this grip indefinitely.

  • Aidworker1


    I’m just back from the march.

    Your speech was inspirational – thank you – and the crowd was moved. I loved seeing you Brian and Yanis sharing smiles at the back.

    You’re very well connected!

    The stage was very small and couldn’t Roger or Brian have put some money up?

    • jmg

      Speeches in the main video from a report on the Julian Assange march in London today:

      – 1:21:45 John Rees, Stop the War Coalition
      – 1:22:40 John Shipton, Julian Assange’s father
      – 1:28:25 Deepa Driver, University and College Union
      – 1:30:55 Tim Dawson, National Union of Journalists
      – 1:36:00 Vivienne Westwood, designer and activist
      – 1:40:25 Kristinn Hrafnsson, editor-in-chief of WikiLeaks
      – 1:43:50 Roger Waters, songwriter, Pink Floyd co-founder
      – 1:55:35 Tariq Ali, New Left Review editorial committee
      – 2:03:10 Lindsey German, Stop the War Coalition
      – 2:07:35 Brian Eno, musician and human rights activist
      – 2:13:55 Yanis Varoufakis, Greek MP, DiEM25 co-founder
      – 2:21:00 Loki, Scottish rapper and social commentator
      – 2:27:55 Craig Murray, former British Ambassador

      Protest March Held in London Ahead of Assange’s Extradition Hearing—video/

      • jmg

        Correction, sorry. The speaker before Craig is:

        – 2:21:00 Lowkey, British-Iraqi rapper and activist

  • Margaret McGowan

    I am trying to subscribe to pay £5 monthly from my credit card but it keeps taking me to Paypal. I have not been happy with Paypal fees recently and am trying not to use it. Please contact me if it is possible to use my credit card or to set up a Direct Debit from my bank. Or can I set up a Direct Debit from my account to yours for £5 per month?

    By the way, several years ago I read that donations were required by the legal team of Julian Assange in the UK. I duly filled in the form and input my Mastercard details and the amount. Mastercard refused to process the donation to the legal team of Julian Assange. I was disgusted. So then I used my Visa card – the same thing happened. So then I Googled to find out who was JAs lawyer in the UK with a view to donating directly to the firm …… the information came back telling me he had died unexpectedly. So I then decided to send a donation to his lawyer in the USA. Again I Googled.. the information came back telling me that he had committed suicide …. I don’t think he had a history of depression. Call me paranoid…….. but…….

    BTW again…. I was in New York in January and when I was in Central Station there was a group of people handing out leaflets in support of JA and against what their government was doing. It was heartwarming to discover that not all Americans swallow the garbage propaganda that is fed to them. I have kept the leaflets they were handing out and could photograph them and email or Whatsapp them to you if you are interested.

    Thanks for putting the time and effort in to supporting JA and trying to prevent a terrible injustice.
    Kind regards,
    Margaret McGowan

    • AliTee

      It’s possible to send ‘as a friend’ and not incur fees.
      You just have to switch the setting. At least that’s what I did last night sending it to Craig’s gmail account/personal PayPal. I know Craig’s fond of ripping into people on here for ‘being fucking stupid’ on occasions… well Craig you’re a fucking idiot to insist on the methods of depositing as it closes the door on people who want to give outside of the narrow scope you offer. And people complaining about PayPal fees should realise that they can change the setting to friends and family and the transaction is then fee less. I don’t always agree with Craig and thus I’m not moved to pay subscription uncritically but in this case I’ll be putting a few bob in over the week and try to get up London to show solidarity. Free Assange!

    • jmg

      Margaret McGowan wrote:
      > By the way, several years ago I read that donations were required by the legal team of Julian Assange in the UK.

      WikiLeaks released a great fundraising video when Julian was under house arrest at Ellingham Hall, Norfolk:

      How Much Does it Cost to Save the World? — TheWikiLeaksChannel — July 9, 2011

      Margaret McGowan wrote:
      > So then I Googled to find out who was JAs lawyer in the UK with a view to donating directly to the firm …… the information came back telling me he had died unexpectedly. So I then decided to send a donation to his lawyer in the USA. Again I Googled.. the information came back telling me that he had committed suicide …. I don’t think he had a history of depression. Call me paranoid…….. but…….

      About that, a few excerpts from an interview to Juan Branco, lawyer in the WikiLeaks legal team:


      During our conversation, my impression that Branco is under immense pressure has not disappeared for a second. How does it feel to work for Julian Assange?

      “It depends on the period”, Branco replies. “It can be extremely isolated and violent; it can be also very exciting; because you receive a lot of pressure from powerful people, but also important gratitude from those citizens that understand that you are working to improve… Yeah, I think violence is the term that should be used for these proceedings; Violence for Julian and violence for the people surrounding him, who have paid a high price for what they do”.

      Violence for Assange is currently “translated” to psychological torture. “There is a force sufficient to destroy him”, Branco says. “He is under psychological torture as Nils Melzer, the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture has stated. The conditions of his detention are sufficient to destroy a man. He doesn’t need to be drugged or anything else.

      ”And yet he is not destroyed. And yet he is still an active man and yet he will be able to defend himself, starting the 24th of February. So, that says a lot about who he is”. . . .

      He refers to risks.

      “Do you receive direct threats in the legal team?” I ask.

      “Yes, of course”.

      Life threats?


      From specific sources?

      “Yeah, but… One of the main lawyers of Julian killed himself… I mean, yeah, yeah, it’s difficult”. . . .

      When it comes to the outcome of the trial he said: “We are determined. We are neither pessimistic nor optimistic. We are fighting for a cause and whatever our chances, we will not let it go.”

      Juan Branco: “We Are Lucky that Assange Is Still Alive”

  • Tatyana

    Please do not consider this arrogant rudeness, Mr. Murray, actually I’m not going to teach you, but as a person with some (successful) experience in Internet sales, I would like to express my opinion. I’d be glad if you find some ideas acceptable to you.

    1. Merchandise.
    Namely, place a product on the marketplace (rather I think of a digital product. I believe that the most acceptable product would be an image, or a poster with an image and some words).
    2. Place this merchandise on a real trading marketplace, e.g. Amazon., that will provide many convenient payment methods for people.
    3. Invite contributors to checkout this digital product.

    Today, this is a popular way of remote art selling, because the buyer is able to download the digital product and print it on convenient format and with satisfying quality in the nearest printing-service. Also, I’m sure that among your commentators there must be creative people who are ready to make a digital design of the poster in support of Assange. And I am sure that Mr. Assange will agree to give you the right to use his photo (or even handwritten inscription or slogan) for these purposes.

    Of course, not everyone would like the idea of ​​paying a fee to marketplaces or payment systems, but at least this is convenient and it’s all legal.

  • N_

    The best of luck to Julian next week. It will be a great day if at long last he walks free…
    Outside of jail there seems to be some kind of apocalyptic nightmare with crowds of people carrying interactive TV sets (“smartphones”) in their hands and wearing anti-biowar masks over their noses and mouths. Anybody who predicted that in 1990 would have been called a nutter.

  • Clark

    I’m not long back from London and the demonstration of support for Julian Assange. Chrissie Hynde played after Craig’s speech; John Pilger, Roger Waters, Brian Eno, and Randy Credico were present. I made my new big circular Extinction Rebellion patch as conspicuous as I could and donated my other patches to other XR supporters I met on the march; although XR’s ‘official’ activities today didn’t include the Assange rally, there were plenty of X-Rebels in attendance, the one furthest from home that I met was from Seattle. We all agreed that we were there for the same reason – our First Demand in XR is Tell the Truth, and that’s exactly what Assange is being persecuted for. Big thanks to the Hari Krishna Temple volunteers for my lunch, Craig for dinner and beer, and especially Iain Orr for everything else.

      • Clark

        bj, sorry, I have forgotten. She’s a woman in her fifties I’d say, plump, just over five feet tall, dark shoulder-length hair with a few streaks of grey on top, and she was livestreaming to her Facebook account, which she said she does quite often for political and activist events. She livestreamed Craig’s speech.

  • Giyane

    The only reason Saddam Hussain attacked his own country men and women the Northern Iraqi Kurds was their flirting with the CIA and Mossad and their inter party infighting.

    Saddam’s wrath was absolutely extreme , almost as extreme as the CIA and Mossad’s vengeance on Julian Assange for standing in their way after they utterly trashed Iraq from 2003 to , well, ongoing.

    Imho there’s something deeply ignorant about the way US UK and Israel castigated the crimes of the dixtators of the countries they want to thieve oil from, while simultaneously whitewashing their own crimes, like 8 metre bomb craters in Baghdad, Abu Graib e.t.c. Would Boris Johnson put up with armed insurrection or terrorism in Scotland for instance?
    And yet they constantly demonize Assad.

    The Iraqi judges who tried Saddam and Chemical Ali were noticeably more civilised than the sneering Baraister and CIA Star Chamber. I recognised impartiality in the Iraqi court but I saw none in the UK court. What are the regional and political allegiances of Ms Baraister or whoever’ is the current judge in this trial?
    I suspect they are allegiances to iraq, UK, US and Israel.
    Are these appropriate loyalties for a judge to hold on the case of Julian Assange who exposed the excesses of the Bush Blair coalition of 2003?

    A bit like Saddam Hussein trying himself and finding himself 100% not guilty. The only people who could ever be qualified to serve in a court of law against Assange would be from third party countries with no connections to the assailants of 2003.

    Judges in the case who have connections to the interests that Wikileaks exposed, Usukis or Iraq, should be categorically disqualified because of the possibility of a conflict of interests.
    The whole court is basically a kangaroo.

    • Laguerre

      The Iraqi judges who condemned Saddam were not free and objective. One, they were under US military occupation. And two, they were appointed by the Shi’a-dominated government in Baghdad, hardly an impartial or objective lot, a more partisan government is difficult to imagine. Barzani’s lot aren’t much better, according to you. That’s not to say Saddam wasn’t guilty, he was. He knew what was coming to him, and went to his death with dignity, at least.

      • Mary

        And his execution was televised. It was disgusting. The world has gone to the proverbial hell in a handcart since Bush and his poodle Blair waged their terrible war.

        Life for the Iraqis now?

      • Giyane


        Di you support CIA sponsored terrorism, which is Saddam’s reason for turning against hus own people. Like China : Uighurs. Like Assad, like Gaddafi or like the army in Myanmar?

  • J

    Very powerful speech Craig, magnificent contributions from all the other speakers too. Bravo to all who made it to the protest.

  • Paul Barbara

    Interesting update on Julian’s (and Chelsea’s) cases:
    ‘Bid to free Manning launched as explosive new evidence threatens to end Assange extradition’:
    ‘John McDonnell visits Julian Assange and slams his ‘political persecution’:
    ‘..The way in which a person is being persecuted for political reasons, for simply exposing the truth for what went on in relation to recent wars….’ (John McDonnell).
    Julian lost some powerful friends in government when the PTB nobbled our Jeremy & Co. Still, they will back him in opposition.

  • a supporter

    I already support the site on a monthly subscription basis. Where would I go to make a special donation to support covering Assange’s court case?

  • SayLess

    Does anyone know how to make an anonymous cash deposit into Murray’s account? I would dearly like to contribute to the stirling work he has done over the years, but I don’t particularly want the government to know. There must be a way…?

  • Tapani Lausti

    We are making a donation of £50 towards your expenses for the court hearing.
    We do make a recurring donation of £10 monthly. We appreciate your work, very enlightening.
    One of us, Tapani Lausti, has a blog,, where all your posts are included under Mediawatch.
    Regards and best wishes, CF

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