Damage to the Soul 123


The imprisonment of Julian Assange has been a catalogue of gross injustice heaped upon gross injustice, while a complicit media and indoctrinated population looks the other way. In a truly extraordinary twist, Assange is now being extradited on the basis of an indictment served in the UK, which is substantially different to the actual indictment he now faces in Virginia if extradited.

The Assange hearing was adjourned after its first full week, and its resumption has since been delayed by coronavirus. In that first full week, both the prosecution and the defence outlined their legal arguments over the indictment. As I reported in detail to an audience of millions, Assange’s legal team fairly well demolished the key arguments of the prosecution during that hearing.

This extract from my report of the Defence case is of particular relevance to what has since happened:

For the defence, Mark Summers QC stated that the USA charges were entirely dependent on three factual accusations of Assange behviour:

1) Assange helped Manning to decode a hash key to access classified material.
Summers stated this was a provably false allegation from the evidence of the Manning court-martial.

2) Assange solicited the material from Manning
Summers stated this was provably wrong from information available to the public

3) Assange knowingly put lives at risk
Summers stated this was provably wrong both from publicly available information and from specific involvement of the US government.

In summary, Summers stated the US government knew that the allegations being made were false as to fact, and they were demonstrably made in bad faith. This was therefore an abuse of process which should lead to dismissal of the extradition request. He described the above three counts as “rubbish, rubbish and rubbish”.

Summers then walked through the facts of the case. He said the charges from the USA divide the materials leaked by Manning to Wikileaks into three categories:

a) Diplomatic Cables
b) Guantanamo detainee assessment briefs
c) Iraq War rules of engagement
d) Afghan and Iraqi war logs

Summers then methodically went through a), b), c) and d) relating each in turn to alleged behaviours 1), 2) and 3), making twelve counts of explanation and exposition in all. This comprehensive account took some four hours and I shall not attempt to capture it here. I will rather give highlights, but will relate occasionally to the alleged behaviour number and/or the alleged materials letter. I hope you follow that – it took me some time to do so!

On 1) Summers at great length demonstrated conclusively that Manning had access to each material a) b) c) d) provided to Wikileaks without needing any code from Assange, and had that access before ever contacting Assange. Nor had Manning needed a code to conceal her identity as the prosecution alleged – the database for intelligence analysts Manning could access – as could thousands of others – did not require a username or password to access it from a work military computer. Summers quoted testimony of several officers from Manning’s court-martial to confirm this. Nor would breaking the systems admin code on the system give Manning access to any additional classified databases. Summers quoted evidence from the Manning court-martial, where this had been accepted, that the reason Manning wanted to get in to systems admin was to allow soldiers to put their video-games and movies on their government laptops, which in fact happened frequently.

Magistrate Baraitser twice made major interruptions. She observed that if Chelsea Manning did not know she could not be traced as the user who downloaded the databases, she might have sought Assange’s assistance to crack a code to conceal her identity from ignorance she did not need to do that, and to assist would still be an offence by Assange.

Summers pointed out that Manning knew that she did not need a username and password, because she actually accessed all the materials without one. Baraitser replied that this did not constitute proof she knew she could not be traced. Summers said in logic it made no sense to argue that she was seeking a code to conceal her user ID and password, where there was no user ID and password. Baraitser replied again he could not prove that. At this point Summers became somewhat testy and short with Baraitser, and took her through the court martial evidence again. Of which more…

Baraitser also made the point that even if Assange were helping Manning to crack an admin code, even if it did not enable Manning to access any more databases, that still was unauthorised use and would constitute the crime of aiding and abetting computer misuse, even if for an innocent purpose.

Now while there is no evidence that judge Baraitser is giving any serious consideration to the defence case, what this has done is show the prosecutors the holes in their argument which would cause them serious problems should they get Julian to trial in the United States. In particular, they are wary of the strong freedom of speech protections in the US constitution and so are desperate to portray Julian as a hacker, and not a journalist. But, as you can see above, their case for this is not looking strong.

So the prosecution needed a different case. They have therefore entirely changed the indictment against Julian in Virginia, and brought in a superseding indictment.

As you can see, this is about switching to charges firmly grounded in “hacking”, rather than in publishing leaks about appalling American war crimes. The new indictment is based on the evidence of a “supergrass”, Sigurdur Thordarson, who was acting a a paid informant to the FBI during his contact with Wikileaks.

Thordarson is fond of money and is a serial criminal. He was convicted on 22 December 2014 by Reykjanes District Court in Iceland of stealing over US $40,000 and over 13,000 euro from Wikileaks “Sunshine Press” accounts by forging documents in the name of Julian Assange, and given a two year jail sentence. Thordarson is also a convicted sex offender, and was convicted after being turned in to the police by Julian Assange, who found the evidence – including of offences involving a minor – on Thordarson’s computer.
[Updated 13.45 to add detail of Thordarson’s convictions].

There appears scope to doubt the motives and credentials of the FBI’s supergrass.

The FBI have had Thordarson’s “Evidence” against Assange since long before the closing date for submissions in the extradition hearing, which was June 19th 2019. That they now feel the need to deploy this rather desperate stuff is a good sign of how they feel the extradition hearing has gone so far, as an indicator of the prospects of a successful prosecution in the USA.

This leaves the UK extradition in a state of absolute farce. I was involved in discussion with Wikileaks about what would happen when the superseding indictment was introduced at the procedural hearing last month. It ought not to have been accepted – it is over a year since the closing date, and a week of opening arguments on the old indictment have already been heard. The new indictment is plainly designed to redress flaws in the old one exposed at the hearing.

The superseding indictment also is designed to counter defence witness affidavits which have been disclosed to the prosecution, including expert witness testimony which refutes the indictment on Assange’s alleged hacking assistance to Manning – until now the sole ground of the “hacking” accusation. This switch, we averred, was an outrageous proposition. Was the whole hearing to start again on the basis of the new indictment?

Then, to our amazement, the prosecution did not put forward the new indictment at the procedural hearing at all. To avoid these problems, it appears they are content to allow the extradition hearing to go ahead on the old indictment, when that is not in fact the indictment which awaits Assange in the United States. This is utterly outrageous. The prosecution will argue that the actual espionage charges themselves have not changed. But it is the indictment which forms the basis of the extradition hearing and the different indictment which would form the basis of any US prosecution.

To have extradition decided on the merits of one indictment when the accused actually faces another is an outrage. To change the indictment long after the hearing is underway and defence evidence has been seen is an outrage. The lack of media outrage is an outrage.

None of which will come as any shock to those of us who have been paying attention. We have to continue to build public consciousness of the fact that the annihilation of a journalist for exposing war crimes, based on a catalogue of state lies and dodgy procedure, is not an act that the state can undertake without damage to the very soul of the nation.

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123 thoughts on “Damage to the Soul

1 2
    • Sean_Lamb

      Its a site associated with Emma Best, she is a toxic piece of work who pretends to be pro-whistleblowing (except – you guessed – for Julian Assange). But normally manages to disguise her malice in a sort of Just-Interested-In-Transparency kind of way.

      Because she functions as a limited hangout for the US intelligence community, she is never short of large datasets (generally of limited interest) with the only proviso, as she solemnly informs people, the dataset has been laced with GRU fakes.

      In short she is a complete waste of space. The assangeleaks will be maliciously but probably fairly petty in the wide scheme of things

  • dearieme

    This is all very crooked and disgraceful. Is there no one, save one blogger, prepared to make a fuss on the issue?

    Why won’t Starmer, for instance? Or maybe Farage? Is there no one in politics with a shred of decency?

    We need an Enoch Powell – someone of high intellect who entertains deep suspicion of the US and is prepared to speak out on unfashionable causes.

      • dearieme

        You can’t seriously be suggesting that a chap who is both a socialist and a shyster can’t turn on a sixpence and give the government hell?

        • Royd

          Replying to dearieme

          ‘You can’t seriously be suggesting that a chap who is both a socialist and a shyster can’t turn on a sixpence and give the government hell?’

          Why would Sir KS risk exposing his sordid role in this sordid affair?

          • Marmite

            Not necessarily an idiot. Just someone who is either grossly misinformed, or has a very twisted sense of what socialism is.

        • John+Deehan

          The notion that Starmer is a socialist has as much credibility as the indictment against Assange. In 2015, he along with the majority of the PLP ( many of whom were chosen under Blair’s central listing system designed to filter out any potential socialist parliamentary candidates) refused to oppose the Tories austerity measures against the poorest most vulnerable in the U.K. Hardly a socialist act.

          In addition, he participated in the Chicken coup against the overwhelming democratically elected leader of the democratic socialist Labour Party. Again, hardly a socialist act.

          Now, he is on a right wing trajectory following in Blair’s footsteps. A further proof of hardly a socialist act.

          However, your point on Starmer being a “ Shyster” I agree 100%.

    • Out+of+Affric

      Starmer has, as they say, ‘previous’ – viz. Jean Charles de Menezes

          • Goose

            If he’s a plant, that’d be exhausting – leading a party you don’t actually like.

            Blair had goodwill from the left between 1994-1997 to the GE, but having experienced New Labour in power, most are far more sceptical now. Forewarned and all that.

            Corbyn got 40% in his first GE and brought in 580,000 members. Starmer won’t match that with washed up centrist crap that enthuses no one. If his intention is to move Labour to the hawkish, neoliberal right where is the market for that today?

    • Ian

      Enoch Powell?? Lol, you know how to choose them. Other role models are available.

      • dearieme

        Name one who combined high intellect, suspicion of the USA, and an established record of speaking up for unfashionable causes.

        No one on the left in my lifetime has had that combination. For a start they’ve all been too dim.

        • Vercingetorix

          Michael Foot?
          Michael Meacher? (he was the only UK politician I can recall who publicly questioned the Official 9/11 narrative)
          Charlie Kennedy?

          In fact where are the “Liberal Democrats” those guardians of liberty?

          I don’t think Powell would have done anything. He told Thalidomide victims to buzz off. He did have some interesting conspiracy theories about Mountbatten though.

        • Ian

          I wouldn’t call racism an unfashionable cause, his intellect is neither here nor there. On a par with Boris’ faux Greek posturing.

          • dearieme

            Why on earth do you think I meant racism? Look up what he had to say about the prison treatment of Mau Mau.

          • Laguerre

            “his intellect is neither here nor there. On a par with Boris’ faux Greek posturing.”

            That’s quite wrong. Powell was a decent classical scholar, though not the finest. Still far above the level of Johnson’s fumblings. He edited one of the Oxford Classical Texts I still have on my bookshelf. Sophocles, was it (I haven’t looked it out).

        • Squeeth

          Powell was an intellectual mediocrity made to look clever by the greater mediocrity of his peers. Why else would he try to build a power base inside the Tories (Officials) on the back of racist appeals?

          • Stonky

            Powell was an intellectual mediocrity made to look clever by the greater mediocrity of his peers. Why else would he try to build a power base inside the Tories (Officials) on the back of racist appeals?

            I think the fundamental problem with Powell is a kind of bovine smugness that passes for education among progressive people nowadays. The generally know quite literally nothing about him other than three words that he didn’t utter, and they don’t even know what that speech was about.

            He was a much more nuanced character. He supported legislation in favour of gay rights for example, and refused to buy into the “evil Soviet threat”. By the 1980s he was an active opponent of Britain’s nuclear “deterrent”. Above all, he was opposed to Britain’s pathetic and diligent adoption of the role of Uncle Sam’s poodle. My favourite words of his are these:

            Yet we slink about like whipped curs… our self-abasement principally takes the form of subservience to the United States… we are under no necessity to participate in the American nightmare of a Soviet monster barely held at bay in all quarters of the globe by an inconceivable nuclear armament and by political intervention everywhere from Poland to Cambodia. It is the Americans who need us in order to act out their crazy scenario… We simply do not need to go chasing up and down after the vagaries of the next ignoramus to become President of the United States…

            He wrote this in 1982, and could have repeated it every year since, just updating the names of the 3rd-party countries from time to time. I wonder how many British politicians today would dare even to think such things, far less voice them out loud.

            As for being a racist, in 1959 Powell issued an unequivocal denunciation of the Mau-Mau massacre which Denis Healey described as the best parliamentary speech he ever heard.

      • Stonky

        Enoch Powell… Other role models are available…”

        Prior to World War II Powell was working in Australia. He was an outspoken critic of Nazi appeasers. He wrote to his parents:
        “It is the English, not their Government; for if they were not blind cowards, they would lynch Chamberlain and Halifax and all the other smarmy traitors…”

        As soon as war was declared he returned to the UK at his own expense. He pretended to be Australian so he could enlist immediately as a volunteer. This allowed him to join up as a private in an infantry rifle brigade, as he intended to walk his talk and fight, as opposed to watching and cheering from a safe distance while other people did the fighting.

        But I’m sure your much braver and more principled than he was. So please let us know about all your comparable exploits. And we’ll set aside normal standards of modesty for this, so feel free to go into as much detail as you like.

          • Stonky

            Who are “they”? Apart from me I can only see one poster speaking up for Powell, and I think it would be an exaggeration to say (s)he “loves” him.

          • Stonky

            Right. I see what you mean now. Right-wing extremists love Powell because they’re bovine ignoramuses. Interestingly enough, left-wing progressives despise him because they’re bovine ignoramuses too.

  • Rhys Jaggar

    Safe to say that Baraitser does not believe in legal due process, she believes in following orders from the USA.

    Safe to say that the current hearing should be dissolved and a new one started based on new indictments from the USA. It should also be made quite clear that there will not be a third hearing if the USA concocts a third set of false charges. There must be a time limit to unethical, unprincipled, lawlessness by a Sovereign Deep State.

    How is the extradition of Anne Sacoolas coming along?

    I would never have allowed any hearing for Assange without a guarantee that Sacoolas was returned to the UK to face trial.

    But Conservatives are such US patsies they have no balls to demand that.

    The USA see ‘the law’ as a means to prosecute their enemies and ensure that their drones remain above the law.

    They are no longer a nation of principle, wedded to the rule of law. Were they ever?

    • OnlyHalfALooney

      “I would never have allowed any hearing for Assange without a guarantee that Sacoolas was returned to the UK to face trial.”

      You are willing to trade human beings?

      • Bramble

        Moreover, this puts Assange, a principled whistleblower and journalist, on the same moral level as Sacoolas, who is in effect a hit and run motorist. There is no equivalence.

  • OnlyHalfALooney

    I’ve begun to wonder if Barraitser isn’t connected to intelligence services herself. Why would information about her on the internet be scrubbed or simply not exist? I can’t see any actual need to hide her background, unless…

    This whole case is a travesty from beginning to end.

    I do wish Assange was in Sweden and not in the UK. I have a nasty feeling he was played by intelligence services by suggesting Sweden might extradite him to the US. Was this suggested by a “source”? It was always plain to me that the UK was much more likely to extradite him than Sweden.

    • Ash

      Sweden would have also done so in a heartbeat. They’re a good little toadie too.

      • pretzelattack

        yeah they were renditioning prisoners on us direction to torture sites in eastern europe and the middle east.

        • OnlyHalfALooney

          Only 2.

          There was such a political storm about it that the Swedish parliament banned rendition flights from Swedish airspace. (Although this ban was apparently ignored by the US.) The Swedish government eventually paid both $380,000 compensation for their mistreatment. One of the renditioned men, Ahmed Agiza, was granted a permanent Swedish residence permit.

      • OnlyHalfALooney

        Sweden is a neutral country and not a member of NATO let alone the “five eyes”.

        Even if the Swedish prosecution service had pressed for extradition, it is extremely unlikely the Swedish courts would have permitted this.

        Unlike the UK, Sweden does not suffer from a “Stockholm syndrome” when it comes to the US. Basically, the “special relationship” means letting the US kick you around. You even seem to pretend you’re “equal partners”. What I don’t understand is: UK politicians and journalists seem to love this abuse.

        • John A

          Sweden is no longer a neutral country, but a partner state of Nato and is involved in Nato exercises, including in Sweden, and Swedish troops have served in Nato hotspots around the world. The politicians are all US toadies, cowed by what happened to Palme and Lindh. Bildt is known to be a CIA informer. Basically, according t regular opinion polls, the majority of Swedes (and Finns) want to stay neutral, but are being ridden roughshod will all manner of scare stories about big bad Russia and Putin, with the ludicrious submarine invasions, used by the military to get more money for their toys. The main daily, Dagens Nyheter, is edited by a US educated zionist of Polish extraction, that has morphed into a Swedish sister of the guardian in its ludicrous reporting on big bad Russia etc.

          • OnlyHalfALooney

            I agree that Sweden has changed. For one thing, being a EU country means you cannot really be neutral at all.

            However, we’re comparing Sweden to the UK. There is no country more willing to do the USA’s bidding than the UK. This includes eager complicity in war crimes.

            I think you’d agree it’s ridiculous to suggest Sweden is a partner in international US crimes just like the UK is.

  • Robyn

    Trump wants Christopher Steele extradited to the US for lying.
    Trump wants Julian Assange extradited to the US for telling the truth.
    What a world we now live in.

    • OnlyHalfALooney

      Russia wants to extradite Browder for fraud and tax evasion and the US and UK protect him.

    • Tatyana

      Truthfulness or falsehood of information is secondary to him, most importantly, he wants to control public access to information in principle – release the information he needs at the right time, and hide the information that is not favorable to him from the public eye.

  • Watt Tyler

    A brilliant – if disturbing piece. And enough in itself to explain why its author has to be fitted up in a preposterous move by the Scottish legal authorities, based on the his reporting of er …another (failed) establishment legal fit-up.

    “Banana Republic” doesn’t come close!

  • Natasha

    Has anyone else had any progress chasing their MP to speak out publicly? Since my letter to Caroline Lucas MP in March …

    https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2020/03/julian-assange-hearing-your-help-wanted/comment-page-2/#comment-927720

    … she’s since agreed to drop a line to one of the four organisations who’ve recently published open letters of support for Julian (doctors, lawyers, journalists and parliamentarians) which I’ve specifically asked her to support, but she will not commit to publicly speaking out, citing parliamentary non interference in the judicial process rules, not knowing all the details, not wishing to compromise those working closely with Assange, and being too busy with other work.

    My reply: Julian’s treatment by UK and US authorities is described as “torture” by the United Nations. Julian is in solitary confinement effectively for 24hours a day at Belmarsh maximum security prison, where he is denied access to his lawyers, to court proceedings facing 175 years in a US jail for exposing systematic war crimes by the US and it allies including the UK, and where he is forced to be exposed to the Covid-19 virus to which he has severe life threatening vulnerabilities, thereby evidencing a clear intent by the UK authorities to let him die in prison as soon as possible.

    The man is being tortured under your watch.

    This should be sufficient “detail” for you to “weigh in” now. In this instance if it were not the London Parliament, but some other jurisdiction, public silence from the legislature would be quickly constructed by all fair minded people as silent complicity with an authoritarian right wing fascist regime.

    So I am asking you to speak out publicly against the indisputable fact of the open torture on UK mainland of its victim and the attendant surrounding debilitating conditions of this specific ‘show trial’ in London.

    • Marmite

      I used to have an MP who listened and replied. Now I have a Tory, unfortunately, and I wouldn’t bother, because it is like talking to a dummy.

  • Crispa

    I have been trying to work out what these statements mean and I continue to struggle. So have I understood these points correctly?
    Magistrate Baraitser twice made major interruptions. ….

    1. “She observed that if Chelsea Manning did not know she could not be traced as the user who downloaded the databases, she might have sought Assange’s assistance to crack a code to conceal her identity from ignorance she did not need to do that, and to assist would still be an offence by Assange”.
      My take.
      Assange would be committing an offence if he helped Manning to crack a code to obtain the databases because she was unaware that by cracking the code herself she would not be found out. If she had cracked it herself she would assume that she would be found out, but because she did not know she would not be found out she could have asked Assange for help, which would lead to him committing an offence by giving that help.
    2. a) “Summers pointed out that Manning knew that she did not need a username and password, because she actually accessed all the materials without one. Baraitser replied that this did not constitute proof she knew she could not be traced. Summers said in logic it made no sense to argue that she was seeking a code to conceal her user ID and password, where there was no user ID and password. Baraitser replied again he could not prove that”.
      My take.
      It was impossible to prove Manning was unaware that she could not be found out just because
          a) she did not need a username or password and
          b) she got access without one.

      b) “Baraitser also made the point that even if Assange were helping Manning to crack an admin code, even if it did not enable Manning to access any more databases, that still was unauthorised use and would constitute the crime of aiding and abetting computer misuse, even if for an innocent purpose”.
      My Take.
      Assange would be committing a crime of aiding and abetting computer misuse if he helped Manning to crack the admin code which did not actually need cracking to obtain access and regardless of any other motives for seeking access.

    So here we have the inversion of the idea of “innocent until proven guilty” with hypothetical crimes substituting for real crimes and being used as the basis for a conviction.
    It is really Alice in Wonderland stuff. At least the Queen of Hearts dispensed with any idea of applying contorted logic to her verdicts.

    • Tatyana

      Absolutely, Crispa. Judge Baraitser makes assumptions about intentions of Manning.
      New old way to truly know what have happened, a specifically British deduction method called ‘highly likely’.

  • Republicofscotland

    It looks like Assange is going to be railroaded no matter of the legalities, he’s to be sacrificed on the high altar, as a stark reminder and warning to journalists everywhere, with the message, step out of line and we’ll get you regardless of the law.

    I’m absolutely disgusted that the British judiciary are complicit in this, but not surprised.

    • Mary

      Craig used the word ‘ annihilated’ about what is being done to Julian. That is exactly the intention.

      ‘Meaning: destroy utterly; obliterate’

  • Fortingall Nesbit

    ‘ “Banana Republic” doesn’t come close!’

    Indeed so, Watt Tyler. It is abundantly clear that the UKanian legal establishment, both north (the prosecuting authorities) and south (a deep-state appointed judge) of the border, are irremediably corrupt and acting at the behest of sinister and shadowy forces, and in no meaningful sense democratically accountable.

    What has also become abundantly clear is that they are thrashing about under the light shed upon their activities by journalists like Assange and Murray, who have demonstrated (by accurately and fairly reporting state activities) the extent to which they have relied upon Her Majesty’s Loyal Corps of Pressitutes, either to selectively report, or to fail altogether to report altogether, what they are getting up to.

    They are greatly discommoded my this.

    Each is being dealt with.

  • 6033624

    I don’t know why, and I’m certainly no legal expert, but I’d thought that you had to be extradited on the charges you would face. Perhaps there would be scope for additional charges should new information come to light but this ‘bait and switch’ is, I thought, illegal.

    It looks to me, if I understand you correctly, that merely speaking at conferences etc and encouraging whistle blowing is enough for the US to call it a criminal offence. “Encouraging others to commit a crime”

    It’s a sad day when you are literally the only source for information on this. You are only one man and they are doing their utmost to silence you too, our press should hang its collective head in shame. Papers share the same headlines and stories are almost word for word, many copy/paste from wire services despite (allegedly) having ‘journalists’ on the spot. I am not surprised that newspaper circulations are going further and further down. Many of the public simply don’t believe what the papers say any more and would more readily believe a conspiracy theory than the front page of ANY of the dailies. The only way to get REAL news is to proactively search for it now. Blogs like this and a few, selected, online news sources and for major stories (this is what I do anyway) I read the story on the BBC, RT and at least one European source. This gives a fuller picture and both sides of the story. Gone are the days when we had investigative journalism. Perhaps the only journalists with any honour left are sports reporters, at least they haven’t succumbed to the King’s Shilling yet..

  • Stevie Boy

    Contrast Julian Assange’s treatment and the MSM reaction with that following the arrest of The Independent’s chief US correspondent, Andrew Buncombe who was shackled, assaulted and detained for more than six hours after being accused of “failing to disperse” in Seattle.

    > The British ambassador to the United States has launched an official complaint registered with senior levels of the State Department and the White House.
    > The arrest sparked international condemnation.
    > The Independent stated:
    “Journalists need protection to carry out their vital work to defend democracy wherever they may be working. In the case of Andrew Buncombe, it is essential that the UK government makes plain that when a journalist is carrying out their profession within law that they are provided with the protection that any liberal democracy demands. To do else is to betray the communities and society that they serve.”

    Hypocrites or what ?

  • Squeeth

    All states are fascist and the British state does fascism so very, very well. If only that gutless poltroon Corbyn had found a backbone, Assange could be out now.

    • AliB

      Sorry, what has this to do with Corbyn? In spite of never being in Government Corbyn appears to be blamed for all the current ills in the UK. He truly is an amazing man.
      Now if only the entire MSM hadn’t spent the entire time of his leadership slagging him off and making malicious false accusations of anti semitism and assorted hysterical “terrorism” charges.

      • bevin

        The problem is that many people believe that once having voted for a candidate like Corbyn he can be expected to exert pressure in such matters as this.
        Nothing could be further from the case: voting for Corbyn was a good start but no more than that.
        There are 600 plus CLPs in the UK how many of them sent resolutions forward, to regional conferences, Party conference etc to demonstrate support for Julian?
        It is a little wearying to see the continued slagging of Corbyn, not just by his (Assange’s and humanity’s) enemies but by those who still accuse him of not doing what nobody could have done in the circumstances (and ever will be able to do) without a massive, determined and serious popular movement for change.
        The political consumerism of choosing a champion and then expecting him/her to build a new world for us all is very dangerous: it produces, as often as a left wing leader emerges, disillusionment and demoralisation. And defeats.
        Corbyn’s achievements between 2015-2020 should have galvanised us all into action. In too many cases they simply afforded people the opportunity of demonstrating the impotent sectarianism and disunity for which intellectuals on the left in the UK have long been notorious. It is an attitude of mind precisely reflected in the bien pensant cowardice of the majority of the intelligentsia who were only too happy to take up the alibi that the unfounded and spurious charges against Assange afforded them.
        The entire case against Julian would fall apart tomorrow if the public honestly expressed the contempt that all decent people must feel after reading the reports that Craig gives us.
        It is not the skill and energy of the imperial propaganda machine that gives it its power but the cowardice, apathy and idleness of the intellectual classes. The shadow of the Empire- the looting and murder, the lies and racist ideologies- looms over us all yet. And nothing could be more appropriate than for the Judge in these proceedings to be closely linked to the old South African Apartheid regime and the zionist cult in Palestine.

        • Jarek Carnelian

          Spot on. Though the constant propaganda and fear-politics play a large part. It is hard to imagine the shadow of Empire retreating due to any movement from within this country. Only huge changes beyond these islands can rip aside that evil veil of the centuries. When the USA no longer needs us and Eurasia has won the mantle of World Economic Power… the apathy will turn into howls of indignation as bank accounts and property prices shrink, ” … and the weak suffer what they must.”

          δυνατὰ δὲ οἱ προύχοντες πράσσουσι καὶ οἱ ἀσθενεῖς ξυγχωροῦσιν
          Where is our Sparta?

      • Squeeth

        He should have been and would have been had he not been a gutless poltroon. (Obviously)

  • Ben

    Thank you Craig, raising a glass of Lagavulin to you, purchased here in Basingstoke at the weekend. Nice.

  • Gav

    Give me an eff, give me a yoo, give me a see, give me a kay; give me a tee, give me an aitch, give me an eee; give me a yoo, give me an ess, give me an ay.

    Whaddya get? JAMES CRAIG!

  • Courtenay Barnett

    Craig,

    Here you make a very clear observation:-

    ” Now while there is no evidence that judge Baraitser is giving any serious consideration to the defence case, what this has done is show the prosecutors the holes in their argument which would cause them serious problems should they get Julian to trial in the United States. In particular, they are wary of the strong freedom of speech protections in the US constitution and so are desperate to portray Julian as a hacker, and not a journalist. But, as you can see above, their case for this is not looking strong.”

    So – the entire British justice system is left one of two choices:-

    1. Come to an honest decision and set Assange free; or

    2. Keep being a willing prostitute to the dictates and desires of the Government of the United States of America.

    Seems to me that it comes down to a political choice of number 2.

    Wish I were wrong.

    Courtenay

  • Ian Kiddle

    Great work Craig. The UK legal system is being held in contempt by Baraitser.

  • Funkermann

    Craig we are hogtied and helpless. the USA has destroyed many countries and will destroy many more. One man means nothing to them.
    I am not indifferent nor brainwashed to the plight of julian Assange, just powerless
    and heartbroken.

  • Wikikettle

    Matters of the soul indeed. Craig does the hard graft and takes all the risks. I was watching The Jimmy Dore Show interview with Ralf Nader, who has launched a new manual on activism “Fake President”. In which Ralf asks the public to spend a fraction of their time getting more informed via a manual and politically active. Great respect to such a person. If some could post the link please. On YouTube it’s under “We need two million Congress watchers Ralf Nader interview “

  • Sid Loose

    It’s truly frightening what the US and UK governments are getting away with these days. What has happened to investigative journalism and holding our ‘leaders’ to account? And more worryingly, why do so few people seem to care?

    • Hamish McGlumpha

      What has happened to investigative journalism and holding our ‘leaders’ to account?

      This is what has happened Sid. The last thing these people want is to be ‘held to account’.

      Assange and Murray are being made examples precisely to DISCOURAGE any would-be investigative journalist (an extinct species in the MSM in any case) from looking to closely at what they are up to.

  • rainbowsally

    Correction:

    Summers then walked through the facts of the case. He said the charges from the USA divide the materials leaked by Manning to Wikileaks into three categories:

    a) Diplomatic Cables
    b) Guantanamo detainee assessment briefs
    c) Iraq War rules of engagement
    d) Afghan and Iraqi war logs

    Should be “four categories”

  • Antonym

    “The FBI have had Thordarson’s “Evidence” against Assange since long before the closing date for submissions in the extradition hearing, which was June 19th 2019.”

    Hard to figure out when the FBI top was more corrupt: under Edgar J. Hoover, under Robert Mueller III or now under Christopher A. Wray.

    Their public image as organized crime fighters hides that their biggest blunders were in their other fiefdom: national security. Those two fields should have been separated long ago – or maybe they themselves see the two as completely intertwined from own (or CIA) experience since 1962…

  • Hugh Josey

    I always had the notion that we had a fairly robust and fair justice system! The Julian Assange debacle has changed my perception of our system radically! It seems that the torture of an innocent man is of no consequence! We truly have plumbed the depths of depravity when our so-called civilised country can ignore his silent pleas for help

  • Giyane

    The additions to the indictment charges are worryingly incompetent. US politics seems to consist of nothing but red herrings designed to keep the public’s eyes off the ball. Surely the additions are flimsier than the original charges and even more likely to be thrown out by US freedom of speech legislation?

    Similarly with Ms Baraitser’s comments . When told that it would be pointless for Manning to hack something she already had permission for, she dismisses it. Like I had the key to my front door does not exclude the possibility of me climbing through the open upstairs back bathroom window up a plastic pipe installed by DIYer.

    Like American TV in which the main content is an advert for the American Dream and the adverts consist of the ingredients. While you are busy unwinding from your financial stress by watching drama, why would you be in a mood to buy stuff? The ad is there only to remind you just how financially [email protected] you really are.

    I see nothing to be scared about here except fear.
    baraitser’s game is to convince you the law is brainless, and the prosecutor’s game is to convince you they are dumb. In a word, My soul is not dinted at all by this weird charade of intellectual buffoonery.

    Assange is totally free to publish anything in the public interest, . The ” I from village, inbred and wet behind my ears ” argument is rather astonishing from the supposed leaders of the free world.

  • Legalese

    Really the extradition hearing can now be thrown out of court on the simple easy grounds that the extradition is being pursued on grounds that have been abandoned by the pursuers (as proved by the raising of new entirely different additional grounds in the US that have NOT been introduced in the extradition court). At the very least Assange is now GUARANTEED unassailable grounds for any appeal against any contrived Braitser extradition judgement, the devils have made a big bubu !!

    • Alan Dow

      It seems to me the US / UK alliance do not actually wish to extradite Assange. If they did extradite him, the ensuing show trial could easily end in repercussions for the deep state actors who are pulling the strings. Far better for their purposes to have a prolonged, purportedly independent ‘extradition process’, during which they can keep Assange locked up and incommunicado, on the pretext of his being a ‘flight risk’. (Feel free to draw parallels with an ongoing US-backed ‘peace process’, as distinct from ‘peace’, in the mid-east)
      It is for that reason, that the UK lower court is (under instruction from the US) engaging in flagrant abuse, in the certainty that the inevitable appeals processes can be dragged out for years.
      This does happen to fit a leaked Stratfor recommendation.

  • pete

    Great post Craig. I am trying to imagine in what disordered universe Thordarson might be considered a reliable witness, or how desperate the FBI must be to rely on new evidence provided by a twice convicted felon they had made payments to, or how experienced legal minds might have come to believe that selecting Baraitser as a judge with the competence to seamlessly guide this farce to a particularly desired conclusion without revealing her naivety was a good idea. This prosecution cannot succeed in all this disorder, even the BBC would reject the plot as too absurd.

  • Brian

    A long time ago I read a book The Cuckoo’s Egg written in 1989. The story involved tracking down a hacker that was hacking into supposedly secure US military sites. To get information to sell to Russia. The hacker was able to succeed due to gross incompetence. As the default passwords allowing supervisor access had been left on the systems.
    Sounds like security has not improved with passwords and system access.
    This just shows it does not matter how much money or management exists.
    Very poor oversight and professionalism exists.
    It is rather like how Neil Ferguson and his team could spend over twenty years developing undocumented badly written code that was not tested.

  • Phil Williamson

    The good news: in the 2019/2020 financial year, the Guardian’s net cash outflow increased from £28.1M to £29M, the value of the Scott Trust Endowment Fund fell 6% to £954M and the “news”paper has announced plans to shed 180 jobs. Long may these richly-deserved trends continue.

    The bad news: the current annual operating loss of the Guardian is balanced by the expected long-term annual returns of £25-30m produced by the Scott Trust. Let us hope that, contrary to these projections, the Scott Trust continues to lose value.

    And its readership?

    “There were 821,000 readers making regular monthly contributions at the end of March, up a quarter over the last year, driven by new subscribers to the company’s apps and continuing financial contributions from readers. There were notable increases in the number of people subscribing to the premium version of the Guardian’s mobile phone and tablet app, plus people subscribing to the Daily edition and the new Guardian Puzzles app. About half of the regular contributors are from outside the UK, aided by growing numbers of readers in Australia, the US and across Europe.”

    Oh, and one last thing. Despite being the “most bought” rag by the BBC, the Guardian was the only “news” organisation to lobby against the BBC during the government’s review of the corporation’s future in 2016 (https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/guardian-campaign-to-rein-in-the-bbc-zntzvhcbp). Four years ago, this was an easy story to find but, in another example of facts being “Soviet encyclopedia-d”, the only reference to this story via either DuckDuckGo or Google now is the Times own paywall version. And don’t think that the Wayback Machine is going to help except in the most superficial of ways (the odd embarrassing Tweet from yesteryear): the clowns that run it catalog vast amounts of data infected with a piece of coding excreta known as robots.txt which ensures that many archived websites just offer up their front page and nothing else. It seems that the concept of the Internet as an open forum just didn’t make it through to all those “genius” programmers years ago.

      • Phil Williamson

        As a long-term reader of the Guardian (class of ’67), I have been fascinated by its gradual decline since the time of the miners’ strike, (when the labour (not Labour) editor apparently sourced his “product” straight from MI5’s canteen) and its precipitous decline since the intellectual midget Rusbridger took over in 1995. The final Viner version has become, just like its ilk in the US, nothing more than a “middle class” tabloid, in content if not format, with systematic, politico-ideological lies about Assange, Corbyn, Trump et al replacing the “folk” lies represented by “WW2 Bomber Found On The Moon” and “Freddie Starr Ate My Hamster”-type stories in the “If it bleeds, it leads” media.

        Obsession? No.

    • Johny Conspiranoid

      Phil Williamson
      Where does your quote about the Guardian’s readership figures come from?

      • Phil Williamson

        Ah, right…my reference to ‘readership’ was in relation to their “ideological formation”, not absolute numbers.

        As I posted on 25th June, the rise of Web2.0, i.e. social, media over the past 20 years, in conjunction with the rise of digital-advertising based entities such as Google and Facebook, has had a profound effect on the “news media”, i.e. ideological warfare, business.

        “3. Web2.0 was probably initially thought by those in power to represent the same non-threat as universal suffrage turned out to be, i.e. just as women and other previously-disenfranchised groups proved to be just as amenable to capitalist ideology as men (why wouldn’t they be?), so the massive dilution of sources would overwhelm any real danger to the system from ‘cranks’, who could shout for all they were worth from the sidelines and occupy in the popular imagination, when they were even noticed at all, the same position as those who, in a previous generation, patrolled Oxford Street carrying “The end in nigh” placards.

        4. It didn’t work out that way, however. As, simultaneously, advertising was sucked away from the traditional media, threatening their financial survival and therefore their vital narrative-creating ideological role, and the first truly free-speech era of Web2.0 proved more dangerous than at first thought, the former pivoted to an opinion- rather than news-provision model that would guarantee a solid subscriber base behind a paywall (the NYT added 300,000 subscribers in its first quarter after DT’s election by becoming a Never-Trumper “organ”, a trend that continued and one followed by others such as the Washington Post and the Guardian), and the latter increasingly came under attack from the censorship tactics isolated by Chomsky 40+ years previously as operating in the traditional media when they were the only sources of “news”: outright no-platforming, a restriction on the ‘acceptable’ sources of facts/news, a restriction on the ‘acceptable’ range of opinion to be aired, the sieving of the ‘experts’ to be called upon to comment on current/world affairs according to the ‘ideological soundness’, etc.

        5. In a flip-flop reminiscent of the “Left’s” Damascene conversion re the NSA, CIA and the FBI as now “defenders of civil liberties” because elements within them have attempted a soft coup against DT (https://www.counterpunch.org/2020/06/12/removing-a-u-s-president-without-an-election/), the “agenda-free”, “quality” media (traditional and Web2.0) have ignored – and where they have not ignored, justified and supported (https://www.breitbart.com/search/?s=google+censorship#gsc.tab=0&gsc.q=google%20censorship&gsc.page=1) – this attack on free speech and doubled-down on their distortions of what the “alternative media” constitute.”

        The Guardian’s increasingly shrill, neo-liberal, pro-globalisation, anti-Russian “woke” stance (not to mention its shameless, brazen (and, psychologically speaking, cry for help) “WTF are you going to do about it?” lying), whilst not ideologically ‘out of line’ with the current Western zeitgeist, is, equally importantly, financially motivated as a survival technique in the face of Web2.0 free-speech competition. The readership figures relating to financial support that the Guardian was bragging about yesterday (https://www.theguardian.com/media/2020/apr/29/guardian-reports-surge-in-readers-support-over-past-year) – my quote merges the 2nd and 3rd paragraphs – I therefore found interesting in that they give a “put your money where your mouth is” indication of the popularity of this ideological position worldwide.

        As for the daily/weekly/monthly readership figures, these are becoming almost impossible to calculate – they were dodgy even before the digital era; now, with publications opting out of the ABC, all one can say is that numbers are plunging.

        GOOD.

    • Phil Williamson

      With respect to robots.txt/robots exclusion standard (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robots_exclusion_standard), why not drop the retard responsible for it, Martijn Koster (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Martijn_Koster), a line letting him know what you think about censorship?

      The “funny” thing is that this type of censorship is never referenced in geek discussions on censorship precisely because it is the type that they themselves practice “It’s not censorship” – yet another example of the hypocrisy of the “progressive”.

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