Assange Travesty Continues 133

The travesty that is Julian Assange’s extradition hearing resumes fully on 7 September at the Old Bailey. I shall be abandoning my own legal team and going down to London to cover it again in full, for an expected three weeks. How this is going to work at the Old Bailey, I do not know. Covid restrictions presumably mean that the numbers in the public gallery will be tiny. As of now, there is no arrangement for Julian’s friends and family in place. It looks like 4am queuing is in prospect.

By 7 September it will be six months since I applied to resume my membership of the National Union of Journalists. I STILL have not the slightest idea who objected, or what the grounds were for objection. I have not heard from the NUJ for months. A senior official of an international journalists’ organisation has told us that he inquired, and learnt that the NUJ national executive has considered my application and set up a sub-committee to report. But if so, why is this secret, why have I not been informed, and why am I not allowed to know what the objection is? I find this all very sinister. At this stage it is not paranoid to wonder whose hand is behind this.

The practical effect of this is that without NUJ membership I cannot access a Press card, and avail myself of whatever media arrangements are in place for the Assange hearing (just as I was kept out of most of the Salmond trial). I have now reached the stage where I would like to take legal action against the NUJ, but the finances are beyond me. I am not going to ask you to donate because we are going to need all our resources for the contempt case against me, which the Crown drags out.

I shall be writing next week about my own case and that hearing earlier this week. I would just note now that the “virtual hearing” is entirely unsatisfactory and unfair on defendants. There was at least one occasion when my QC agreed with a suggestion of the judge when I would have instructed them not to had I been, as I should normally have been, seated near them in court and able to instruct.


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133 thoughts on “Assange Travesty Continues

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  • Goose

    No response? Hmm?

    Are you addressing them by their full title: The National Union of Govt Approved Journalists.

    Amusing, how in the guardian’s plea for reader support they state: [you’d be helping support] analysis that has ‘authority and integrity’. Don’t know about authority, but their output certainly has integrity; at least four of their regular columnists were listed on those leaked Integrity Initiative documents. One is a Nato propagandist (Natalie Nougayrède) and the less said about Spooky McSpookface, aka. Mr Collusion, Luke Harding, the better.

      • Ingwe

        Clicking a direct link to the Guardian provides them revenue if people click on the link. If you want to share the article you can use an alternative way. I reproduce the method, nothing to do with me, below:

        “If you link, use
        If you want readers to be able to click through and read the content for themselves, edit the URL to the Guardian article you’re about to share and simply add ‘dump’ in front of the domain name.……

        The rest of the URL can stay the same. Anyone who clicks on the link will then reach our page which will automatically forward them on to an archived copy of the Guardian article hosted by the non-profit Internet Archive project.”

        Let the Guardian get its money from the intelligence services not us!

        • Goose

          Yeah, I know about that, and I never really thought about it, sorry.

          If people are using a browser ad-blocker I’d imagine they generate little from clicks anyway?

          Something I’ve found out : if I’m using a stub resolver for DNS queries(based abroad connection via TLS verified in wireshark port 853 capture), as opposed to my ISP’s default recursive resolver( UDP), I can’t read the articles without registering, whereas using my ISP’s I can. What others’ experiences?

          • Goose

            I was using Cloudflare’s DoH(DNS-over-https) but decided DoT (DNS-over-TLS) is superior. Not really seeking anonymity or anything, don’t even use a VPN, just interested in technology.

        • ET

          That is a useful link, thanks.
          Goose, you may be interested in setting up Pi-Hole on a raspberry pi or similar to be your DNS server. It acts as an ad blocker by blocking DNS requests to blacklisted sites, trackers etc.

          It’s a good project and is open source etc etc

          • Goose


            I see no need really. I’m not an investigative journo. I studied to CCNA R/S, so know the basic networking fundamentals. It was more about the situation investigative journos and bloggers face today. My thoughts:

            Investigative journalism faces multiple challenges. Investigative reporting has been all but banished to the fringes – to brave blogs like this and others. Without the resources of MSM legal teams behind them and tech experts doing their best to protect their comms the average investigative journo faces not only difficult legal problems but potentially threats and even harm.

            Finnish Finance Minister Katri Kulmuni in a speech in February 2020 called for Europe to develop its own OS, web browser and cert authorities. “Hostile influencing through managing computer networks and data is the biggest (security) risk we face in the future,” Kulmuni said.

            She is absolutely right, this could be an important step for investigative journalism which the UK and US are increasingly hostile to.

            With US tech firms dominating even monitor all your data – upstream and downstream, understanding how everything works network connectivity wise (client/ server) and topology wise. Fully understanding the OSI stack, TLS, the differences between TCP/UDP; ssl tunnelling; use of a Stub resolver to do fully encrypted DNS over TLS resolution (DoT) on trusted foreign based severs with full authentication (shunning domestic ISP default recursive DNS resolution which is a kind of back and forth search for an address that exposes more client traffic). Packet capture and analysis, know about necessary network traversal exposed header information, SNI (in the initial TLS SYN/ACK setup), OCSP (& OCSP stapling). A lot, and still have data sniffed and captured/decrypted if an adversary has special access to private keys such as those protecting servers (plus OS, UEFI (PK, KEK, DB, DBX) or direct access to to servers(if configured to use PFS – session keys). And your VPN is only as good as it’s configured server-side & administered too. Tor is dangerous for investigative journos, as the HSDirs are probably state controlled, as are many endpoint nodes, flagging up traffic, even if Tor is being used for no other reason than supposed anonymity.

            In other words, far too much still depends on trust, trust that can’t be guaranteed. How your average investigative journo would secure his/her comms and manage his possibly sensitive online searching and research, I can’t imagine? It’s getting to the point where independent journos need to be network experts just to function.

            Which brings it back to Katri Kulmuni’s comments. Microsoft, Apple, and the excellent Chrome browser, so ubiquitous Chrome has absolute dominance in Europe (62% market share). Even SSL security – the core to web security (note the browser padlock), even that is built upon a Chain of Trust emanating downwards from the Certificate Authority (CA). It seems an area that would be uniquely vulnerable to state pressure. Google launched its own root Certificate Authority. Former CEO Eric Schmidt’s view on privacy is this:

            “If you have something that you don’t want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn’t be doing it in the first place”

            Whether he thought through his position with a view to investigative journos idk?

            He established close ties with the govt (He is currently chair of the US Department of Defense’s Defense Innovation Advisory Board).

          • ET

            Interesting view from Finnish Finance Minister Katri Kulmuni with which I agree, although I think there are already solutions that EU governments could be using such as linux. I wonder how much governments are paying in liscensing fees to Microsoft and others.

            I had set up a stubby resolver to encrypt DNS queries. However, once you have received the IP address of a site from your encrypted DNS lookup you still use your ISP’s network to get to that site unless you are using a VPN. So, it is kind of pointless. I wanted ad blocking and tracking blocking. Browser add-ons work but your browser will still have requested the dns for whatever ad or tracker it was directed to request. Your browser add-on will scan that and block it from appearing but pi-hole blocks the DNS request in the first place thereby saving on some bandwidth. I realise that bandwidth is not such an issue anymore but hey, I might as well have it than them. So, as I had an old unused rasp-pi sitting around I went with that. It also functions as an encrypted DNS server. It blocks approx 10% of DNS traffic.

            I agree with the rest of your post. I don’t think one can block data gathering 100% and not at all if a state is after you unless you use someone else’s computer and connection. It is shocking and the vast majority of folk are totally unaware or maybe uninterested. Wikileaks and Julian Assange as well as Snowden and others have tried to expose this. It’s a shame more people don’t take notice.

            I’d suggest people stop using Chrome as their browser, there are others that are more privacy focused. Also stop using google as their default search engine. I currently use Quant as search engine and rarely, if ever use google anymore.

          • Goose


            Indeed. There are alternatives EU countries could use i.e., open source: Linux distros, like say OpenSUSE, which is German afaik? and different European browsers, but they aren’t widely adopted – they have nothing like US market share. The German govt tried using Linux instead of Windows and gave up because of incompatibility with existing applications(software). In Europe, Windows dominates desktops and Apple devices dominate tablets, phones, for companies, politicians and govts. All that metadata flows to US servers, providing easy targets, very little US data flows to Europe. It’s one way traffic. That’s bad we need digital independence with data staying in Europe on European servers.

            As for DNS over TLS, it’s worthwhile if concerned about privacy as you can use uncensored DNS servers; queries are sent over a secure connection encrypted with TLS, the same technology that encrypts HTTP traffic, so no third parties can see your DNS queries. DNS is insecure because by default DNS queries are not encrypted and thus DoT prevents middle entities messing with traffic Quote:

            DNS cache poison is one of the DNS abuses that is widely used by the Great Firewall of China (GFW) to censor Chinese Internet. GFW checks every DNS query that is sent to a DNS server outside of China. Since plain text DNS protocol is based on UDP, which is a connection-less protocol, GFW can spoof both the client IP and server IP.  When GFW finds a domain name on its block list, it changes the DNS response. For example, if a Chinese Internet user wants to visit, the Great firewall of China returns to the DNS resolver an IP address located in China instead of Google’s real IP address. Then the DNS resolver returns the fake IP address to the user’s computer.

            I’m not comparing the UK to China but we risk slowly getting there in small steps, look how Craig’s stuff is being hidden , how long until this site is on some govt ISP block list?

          • Goose

            True end-to-end privacy is really difficult in practice. In The Fifth Estate (film), they have Assange (played by Cumberbatch) using some sort of thin OS possibly BSD? with what looks like encrypted IRC(SSL & OTR? ) Remember the weird lengths(covering) Snowden went to in the documentary Citizenfour?

            Highly capable, state resourced Five Eyes can spy on anyone, no doubt. The fact investigative journos and other whistleblowers, like Craig’s FCO ‘sources’ can barely communicate safely, should trouble all if we are to remain a democracy. The public never endorsed this dragnet, mass-surveillance, indeed when it is put the public in referenda it’s overwhelmingly rejected (see Netherlands referendum) we’ve sort of walked into an authoritarian Orwellian nightmare state without ever voting for it. Comparisons with the Stasi are inappropriate however , but like the Stasi, there is no public consent.

          • ET

            I agree with pretty much all you say Goose. I haven’t seen the Assange movie but I have seen Citizenfour. However I don’t think the Stasi could ever have dreamed of having access to so much information let alone the ease of accessing it. Formerly there would have been many human work hours invested in scouring through paper files, now it’s a simple key word data base search. Maybe hours compared to weeks of data gathering.
            I guess the difference is the use to which the gathered data is put. I am not so sure that it isn’t used for “Stasi” like purposes given how Craig, Julian Assange and others appear to be targeted unfairly. One would like to think that the use of such data is protected by robust access protocols and high calibre judicial oversight but that doesn’t seem to be the case. I also suspect that security services are as subject to mission creep as any other organisation.
            To be clear, I do think that security services are a necessity even if they are one we would rather not need. It is becoming increasingly unclear in whose interest they work, their own, the public’s, the government of the day’s or corporate interests.

          • Goose


            “One would like to think that the use of such data is protected by robust access protocols and high calibre judicial oversight but that doesn’t seem to be the case. “

            It’s fairly clear that if Craig had written his blog piece for the Guardian (under Rusbridger) in all likelihood he’d have never faced any legal action based on alleged ‘jigsaw identification’. Look how the Daily Mail called out three judges as ‘Enemies of the People’, they’d never go after the MSM like they are going after bloggers and whistleblowers. So I don’t hold out much hope for ethical surveillance, thanks to high-quality judicial oversight.

      • Carolyn Zaremba

        Luke Harding is a despicable human being. Aaron Mate trashed him in an interview a long time ago.

    • Phil Williamson

      The Guardian has become the dictionary definition of a snake in the grass.

      I create a new account almost weekly, not because there remains any point in contributing BTL but to discover the latest “unsayable” word, phrase, link, etc. Yesterday, I found it impossible to upload a comment containing the words ‘deplorables’ and ‘Assange’ on the topic of censorship (they had to be removed in that order, the post lasting c.15 minutes before being removed and the account being ‘pre-moderated’). A week or so ago, I found that Chomsky’s quote on free speech (“Goebbels was in favor of free speech for views he liked. So was Stalin. If you’re really in favor of free speech, then you’re in favor of freedom of speech for precisely the views you despise. Otherwise, you’re not in favor of free speech.”) activates the “endless buffering” function and will not post – that’s REAL irony for you from the “newspaper without an agenda”! Earlier this year, it became impossible to discuss or post links to anything about the Paul Manafort lie, last year the Covington Catholic High School incident in Washington DC, before that anything to do with JA, and so it goes on.

      The sooner that piece of filth dies the better.

      • Goose

        Yes, commenting has become like walking on eggshells.

        I deleted my account some time ago. It might improve once editor-in-chief Kath Viner and her intolerant gang are shown the door? Under former editor, Alan Rusbridger, it certainly wasn’t as bad as it is now. Most of the investigative journalists have gone. The more controversial columnists; people like Cohen and Freedland rarely even open their columns up to comments. Easier to lazily dismiss every critic as a Russian troll I suppose.

        • Phil Williamson

          Worse now, but Rusbridger set the tone re Israel. Not only any reference to that regime as being anything other than pristine, but also the mentioning of the existence/activities of a shady little bunch of scrotes originally called CiFWatch (, then UK Media Watch, then BBC Watch and now CAMERA UK ( were enough for an account to be cancelled outright without going through the ‘pre-moderation’ stage. Another nice touch (short of account deletion) with respect to articles on Israel was that hostile comments would be “disappeared” without the usual attribution (“This comment has been removed…”), thus giving the impression after comments had closed that the Guardian’s readership were completely in agreement with their ‘line’.

      • Baalbek

        “ The Guardian has become the dictionary definition of a snake in the grass.”

        I agree 100%. A very apt term to describe the duplicitous travesty that is the Guardian.

        I was a regular at CiF when it was one of the liveliest political discussion forums on the internet. Moderation was very light and mainly used to discourage blatant trolling and the harassing of other commenters rather than censoring political speech. The Guardian began deteriorating after the Snowden affair and the infamous MI5 instigated hard drive destruction incident and it really went downhill after Viner replaced Rusbridger as Chief Editor.

        Looking back at the pre-2013 internet, it’s stunning how restricted it has become. There are no MSM forums that allow anything even remotely resembling free and open discussion and with a few notable exceptions, like Robert Fisk, journalists at mainstream media outlets have been reduced to pro-establishment shills, Atlanticist propagandists and hysterical ‘woke’ scolds. Blatant censorship on sites like YouTube has become the norm and degraded Google search results return an endless list of junk and Atlantic Council approved right think with the quality stuff deliberately buried or disappeared completely.

        Among MSM news sites the once semi-respectable Guardian has fallen farther than most. I haven’t posted there in years and now only rarely bother visiting, mainly only when I want to get the definitive establishment approved take on an issue. Articles covering the most contentious, and important, topics are rarely open for comments and when they are the strictly controlled banal blather that passes for discussion there is not worth reading.

        I must admit the Graun shoving its virtual begging bowl in my face while telling me about its honest and uncompromised journalism really rankles. How stupid do they think people are? Maybe if they practiced what they preach they wouldn’t have to constantly harass their remaining readers for handouts. After the Guardian’s horrific character assassination of Julian Assange and Jeremy Corbyn and its shameful pro-war cheerleading and Israel über alles stance I have nothing but contempt for that outfit and the gutless hacks it employs. Its demise can’t come soon enough.

        • Squeeth

          The Graun was always a byword for middle-class hypocrisy but like COMbbc they have stopped pretending that they aren’t the Daily Express.

        • Muscleguy

          I agree with you in spades. I gave up on them in the latter stages of the indyref due to the manifest bias displayed against Scottish Independence. Afterwards I went back to flay them for it but gave up again like you.

          I went to the Indy since their independence coverage was much less biased. But then they rejigged the site making it a hell to use. Their home page took 1GB of my RAM slowing my computer to frozen treacle.

          I did have a subscription to The National here in Scotland but had to stop due to economic realities. I drop in occasionally and there is feck all actual news just endless commentary so even if my finances pick up I doubt I will be back.

          The MSM is pretty damn dire now.

        • Carolyn Zaremba

          The Guardian has all but eliminated CiF altogether. It is not permitted to comment on anything at all, much less politics or history. When they threw Julian Assange under the bus (after using his information) and then had their resident toad Luke Harding smear Assange to make money off a book full of bullshit, they ceased being dependable as anything other than an ass-kisser of the establishment.

      • Monster

        I closed my account two years ago and have never clicked on any link to or from this British Intelligence cesspit.

      • Nickle101

        You know you have grown up politically when you get moderated by the graun. It is a rite of passage.

        Dump the Guardian.

  • Caratacus

    How much would you need to proceed against the NUJ? Some of us would contribute in a separate action as well as having contributed to the principal appeal for funds.

    • Susan

      No need to ‘ask’. I’m happy to make a contribution towards a NUJ appeal. Anything that helps Craig cover the biggest travesty of justice in our lifetime (the persecution of Julian Assange) is worth my money, for sure. Thanks for what you do, Craig.

  • Nickle101

    The actions of the NUJ are a terrible indictment of the state of journalism in the country. Who are the gamekeepers and who are the poachers any more?

  • pete

    I hope you manage to get to be an observer when the Assange extradition case resumes, it is extraordinary that there is no legal mumbo jumbo which the prosecution will not endorse, aided and abetted by a hopelessly biased judge, in their efforts to ingratiate themselves with the paranoid USA authorities.
    Don’t give up with the NUJ, this is another cosy little elite gang in the pay of vested interests rather than any conceivably rational notions you might hold about the legitimate concerns of the public or common decency.

    • Goose

      Client journalism clique .

      As Peter Oborne put it in a tweet : By client journalism I mean journalism as decoration of power, or court reporting. The opposite of independent journalism.

  • Tatyana

    I believe the Union of Journalists does not disclose the name and details of the complaint because the complainer is involved in another case against you, Mr. Murray. The disclousure could expose to the general public someone’s conspiracy aimed to neutralise you.

    As we are not given any names, so I’ll try jigsaw identification, and my guess is – it’s Mr. Prentice.

  • Courtenay Barnett


    The international Bar Association has this to say:-

    ” The IBAHRI sends impartial international observers to attend hearings to assess the independence of the legal profession. The practice of sending trial observers is well established within the international community. It aims to ensure the right to a fair and public trial through the impartial administration of justice and the proper functioning of the court. This principle is established in several international and human rights instruments, such as Article 14 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights”,proper%20functioning%20of%20the%20court.&text=It%20undertook%20its%20first%20trial%20observation%20in%201996.

    I am aware of the New York Times case over the publication of the Pentagon Papers. I mention that to say two things:-

    1. How is it that the exposure of the facts contained within the Pentagon Papers gained protection under the US Constitution’s First Amendment – yet – quite similarly, Assange’s exposure of war crimes is not subject to similar Freedom of Expression protection?
    2. Why is ‘numb’ the word relative to Amnesty International’s response ( lack thereof) to Assange’s case?

    Something rotten in the state of….. what was the country Shakespeare was referring to again ( must be old age affecting my memory and sense of correct location).

    • Clark

      “How is it that the exposure of the facts contained within the Pentagon Papers gained protection under the US Constitution’s First Amendment – yet – quite similarly, Assange’s exposure of war crimes is not subject to similar Freedom of Expression protection?”

      As an Australian rather than a US citizen, is Assange protected under the US Constitution?

      Whatever, the indictment is under the US Espionage Act – and it’s extremely dodgy. It relies on two witnesses known to be compromised by the FBI under sex, fraud and computer intrusion charges, who claim that Assange encouraged third parties to break into the computer systems of a private company, and that some “Russians” were present on the chat forum where this occurred.

      • Courtenay Barnett


        You have already answered your own question:-

        ” It relies on two witnesses known to be compromised by the FBI under sex, fraud and computer intrusion charges, who claim that Assange encouraged third parties to break into the computer systems of a private company, and that some “Russians” were present on the chat forum where this occurred.”

        And further – extradition cannot be a politically motivated process. So – just link what you outlined and accurately stated – then ask the big wigs the type of question you were directing my way.


  • Courtenay Barnett

    Craig Murray,

    Take heart from the past.

    There was an Australian by the name, Wilfred Burchett. His act of courage and his integrity are both noteworthy.
    He had made his way independently to Hiroshima immediately after the atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima. The dominant ‘misinformation’ from the mainstream media was that there was no radioactive fallout from the bomb’s explosion, which was the official line echoed and printed by the official accredited ‘journalists’ at the time. Burchett, was himself an accredited journalist, but he stood away from the pack and sought the truth. He wrote that truth and did so in the London Daily Express of September 5,1945. He stated to the world that there were many people dying who had no visible physical injuries – of course – radioactive illnesses in great numbers.
    For his act of reporting truthfully, he was stripped of his accreditation.

    Your situation is in a certain way, the reverse, for you want to be accredited to be enabled to report the truth.

    Just saying that establishment manipulation and corruption is not anything new.

    • NoOneYouKnow

      No, I think it’s to be expected at this point. The deep state, or the establishment or whatever you want to call it, has trapped most mainstream journalists and outlets in the UK and abroad, particularly the US. “[Dr Udo] Ulfkotte said most corporate media journalists in the United States and Europe are “so-called non-official cover,” meaning that they work for an intelligence agency. “I think it is especially the case with British journalists, because they have a much closer relationship. It is especially the case with Israeli journalists. Of course with French journalists. … It is the case for Australians, [with] journalists from New Zealand, from Taiwan, well, there is many countries,” he said.” Ulfkotte, a former editor at Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung who blew the whistle on mass CIA ownership of European journalists, died of “heart failure” soon after this interview.

  • Stevie Boy

    Two points I’ve been mulling over:

    1. how do ‘we’ get the Assange case into the public eye, given the MSM blackout ? (countrywide Graffiti campaign ?)
    2. Could Craig obtain journalistic accreditation from an agency abroad, would that help ? (our Uzbekistan representative)

    Any thoughts ?

    • Goose

      The damage is done unfortunately.

      Many of those who should be Assange’s natural supporters and defenders, bought into the (false)narrative he(or WikiLeaks) worked with Russia to get Trump elected. The fact it’s the Trump administration pursuing him doesn’t seem to register as inconsistent with holding this belief.

  • Glenn

    Where are the civil rights lawyers at with all of this? We shouldn’t need to raise money there should be a battalion of conscious lawyers ready to dedicate pro bono time between them to defend you and everyone else being targetted.

    • J

      This is indeed a noteworthy point. If things continue as they are, does the legal profession not recognise its own inevitable demise? Mere self preservation, surely…

    • Antonym

      They are apparently too busy defending illegal immigrants, for government fees that is. Defending a Craig Marray is more bothersome than helping some firebrand mullah, let alone a Julian Assange.

  • Juteman

    Poverty is relative.
    When I was younger, I was prosecuted for a crime.
    I was innocent, but offered a £40 fixed penalty if I pleaded guilty.
    My income was just over the threshold for Legal Aid, so it would have cost me around £500 to employ a solicitor and go to court to fight my case.
    I just accepted the £40 fixed penalty.

  • Ian

    I don’t want to be a harbinger of gloom, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they try to exclude you, as they did in the latter part of the Salmond trial. Therefore it may be prudent to be prepared, if there are any ways of doing so, to confront such a situation.

  • Trowbridge H. Ford

    I feel obliged to explain why my contribution to your fund never arrived since you are now experiencing a shortage in it. I made a mistake in my check in the number of your fund, and Nat West wrote to my bank to learn if I had the account instead of writing me to correct the mistake. I only learned of the rigmarole about a month ago, and thought then that it was unnecessary to rectify.

    I see that it isn’t, and will try again now.

    Think the the union’s failure to make a decision in your case may have something to do with who wins the American election. If Trump is reelected, think any serious danger to Assange disappears since he has looked into a pardon for Snowden , and if Biden wins, Assange should still be seriously worried.

    • Goose

      It was Pompeo who said : “It is time to call out WikiLeaks for what it really is – a non-state hostile intelligence service often abetted by state actors like Russia.”

      If Trump should win in November, and if he wanted to be lenient, because the evidence for holding that hope is scant. Wouldn’t ex-CIA chief Pompeo be against?

    • Goose

      I think Biden might be a better bet, because the Democrats are at least wary of the precedent a prosecution represents and the risks from it to a free press.

      The whole pursuit of Assange has a Kafkaesque quality; a deeply vindictive misuse of the law feel, the extraterritorial jurisdiction aspect is as chilling as it is outrageous. An alleged crime abroad, but not in the US, why is a non-US citizen being dragged over there anyway, to face such a potentially draconian sentence?

      Could a European citizen, say someone who isn’t Chinese or a Saudi, be extradited to those countries for infringing one of their laws? We’d find the notion absurd.

      • Trowbridge H. Ford

        Utter nonsense, as Biden follows Hillary when it comes to Snowden. She thinks Snowden has long been a Russian spy.

        As DCi, Pompeo may know that the Agency tried to entrap Snowden as a Chinese spy.

        And Pompeo can be overruled by Trump in any case,and can have a better opinion of Wikilreaks in his case.

        • Goose

          Does Pompeo even intend to stick around if Trump wins a second term?

          From a British perspective, and as someone who is anti-war and certainly doesn’t want to see UK troops embroiled in huge war with Iran, Trump winning again, but the Dems winning control of the House and Senate, would probably be the best scenario for a peaceful future.

      • Squeeth

        No, the US empire wants Julian Assange and the British whelps want to sell him. The ouanqueur in the shop window is irrelevant.

    • Baalbek

      “If Trump is reelected, think any serious danger to Assange disappears since he has looked into a pardon for Snowden”

      You are seriously deluded. The Trump administration worked hard to get Assange hauled in front of an extradition hearing, by leaning on Ecuador, for example, convening a grand jury and trying to get Chelsea Manning to rat him out. When the porcine apocalypse cultist Pompeo called Wikileaks a “non-state intelligence agency” he made his administration’s stance on Assange and his organization very clear.

      The Trump administration is using the 1917 Espionage Act to persecute Assange and without its vindictive belligerence he would not be in Belmarsh at the moment effectively fighting for his life.

      Also, Trump hasn’t “looked into” pardoning Snowden, he just dropped it mindlessly into one of his disjointed rants, much like he said he was a big fan of Wikileaks…and then choosing to threaten not only Assange’s liberty but the future of press freedom and First Amendment protection for journalists.

      You Trumpets are just like the Obots in denying that your man is a fake, a sell out, a con man who sold you a pack of beautiful lies to win your trust and then betrayed you as soon as he got what he wanted. Now that he’s up for election again, he’s playing you again and you, like the Obots, are falling for it.

      The buck stops with the president, isn’t that they say in the States? He has a lot more power to act unilaterally than, for example, a prime minister in the British parliamentary system. It’s beyond delusional that you think Trump has nothing to do with Assange’s current ordeal. Just like Obama had nothing to with the Libya disaster. After all it was Hillary who took the lead on that one and cackled in glee after Qaddafi was sodomized with a bayonet and shot to death, nothing to do with Barack who was planning on saving Muammar when the coast was clear. You’d never accept that ridiculous excuse from a Democrat, and rightly so.

      Stop twisting yourself into a pretzel spinning hero fantasies for a narcissistic goon who lies through his teeth and promises the world if it gets him what he wants. People like Trump laugh at desperate chumps like you who continue trusting them even after you’ve wiped their spittle from your face.

      You’re a grown man and you no longer need a daddy authority figure to worship. Accept objective reality, learn the relevant lessons (Trump is a liar and no friend of Assange or Wikileaks) and move on. You’ll be okay, I promise.

      • Goose

        It’s Trump vs Biden, which in reality is Trump vs Harris, because Biden probably hasn’t got the stamina to be President.

        They can prop him up for half an hour a day, like some latter-day US version of Leonid Brezhnev, but there’s no denying he’s often a frail old man. He was only chosen because the Dems closed ranks to deny Sanders. Americans will have to decide whether Harris better than Trump? From what I’ve read, Harris seems about as bad as Hillary and armed with Congress I think the war drums would be banging. I doubt a Dem controlled congress would fund a war with Iran even if Trump wanted one.

        • SA

          Goose and Trow. Third above discussion seems surreal?
          Since when did a change of POTUS radically change the US foreign policy in such matters. Remember the great hope that US policy was finally going to change after the peace loving Nobel Laureate was elected?

          • Goose

            I know. There’s a good scene that captures this reality in Oliver Stone’s film Nixon. The scene where he’s speaking to a group of young protestors outside the Lincoln Memorial.

            Young Student: You don’t want the war, we don’t want the war, the Vietnamese don’t want the war, so why does it go on?
            Young Student: You can’t stop it, can you? Even if you wanted to. Because it’s not you, it’s the system. The system won’t let you stop it.

            Richard Nixon: There’s… there’s more at stake here than what you want, or what I want.

            Young Student: Then what’s the point? What’s the point of being President? You’re powerless!

            Richard Nixon: No. No, I’m not powerless. Because, because I understand the system, I believe I can, uh, I can control it. Maybe not control it totally, but tame it enough to make it do some good.

            Young Student: Sounds like you’re talking about a wild animal.

            Richard Nixon: Yeah, maybe I am.

          • Trowbridge H. Ford

            Barack Obama certainly hoped in using former POTUS Jimmy Carter as bait to denuclearize North Korea, and having his Vice President Joe Biden dispose of John P. Wheeler, III serving the same process with Iran.

        • Trowbridge H. Ford

          Thanks, Clark, for pointing out how wrong Baalbek is in his cherry-picking of me.

  • Marmite

    I would have thought that the ‘virtual hearing’ was the least of the issues when facing up against the crudity of English law and a legal system where justice is not even guaranteed if you have large pockets.

  • Soothmoother

    In my opinion everything is on hold until 3rd of November.

    The whole world is on hold until then.

    Any word from Stella and the kids?

  • Goose


    Do you read this story in the independent from 2 days ago quote :

    A vaccine against coronavirus could be rolled out as an unlicensed medicine under planned changes to the law which will also protect pharmaceutical companies from being sued if the vaccine causes side-effects.

    Now I’m not an antivaxxer, I believe in the science behind vaccine , but this would make many feel very uncomfortable.

    • N_

      Thanks, @Goose. I hadn’t seen that story. And for all we know they might try to do it with an mRNA vaccine, a type that’s never been used before.

  • N_

    A friend tells me this was under the the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (No. 2) (England) Regulations 2020 – sections 5 (restrictions on gatherings) and 9 (fixed penalty notices).

  • Noel Wauchope

    I’m sorry that I cant subscribe/donate. As an Australian, I am appalled at what is being done to Julian Assange. But not surprised, when I think upon it Very similar things were done decades ago, to Wilfred Burchett. His crime was to go to Hiroshima and report on the sufferings of the people after the atomic bombing. While not an Australian, he had strong connections here, so was banned from this country.
    Ever a colony, Australia kowtows to the military industrial complex, and cannot tolerate those who speak truth about it.

    I understand that Julian Assange is supposed to be a supporter of the nuclear industry. My websites and campaign are about opposition to that industry. People can’t seem to get it – that I don’t care what Julian thinks about that. The point is (a) this man is being treated cruelly, and (b) freedom of speech, justice, fairness – don’t we care about this?

    • Mary

      That is a lie about Assange supporting the nuclear industry.

      What we know about nuclear weapons and the nuclear industry thanks to WikiLeaks

      “The Nobel Peace Prize will be awarded on 11 October. Why I support the nomination of Julian Assange and WikiLeaks.”

      Felicity Ruby
      7 October 2019
      Ten examples
      Below are just ten examples of where WikiLeaks exposed wrongdoing on the part of governments and corporations that meant citizens could take action to protect themselves from harm, or governments were held to account:

      • Natasha

        Mary, Noel Wauchope,

        Why refer to it as “nuclear industry”? Why needlessly obscure the core issue involved in honest analysis of this civilization saving / making technology?

        If the aim is to reduce and eventually eliminate anthropic CO2 emissions – the core issue – then the facts of the matter are that high density nuclear energy is the only technology available that is capable of replacing high energy density fossil fuels.

        You can argue all you like about electricity $£prices getting lower every year. In whole system analysis, it is thermodynamically impossible to replace fossil fuels with low energy density wind water & solar because they have energy densities an order or two less than fossil or nuclear. Period.

        If you then say, ‘but what about [insert your pet anti-nuclear energy trope here]’ then you axiomatically condemn humans to not fixing anthropic CO2 emissions. Period. Like it or not, this is the message thermodynamics is delivering to us.

        Further, humans do not need nuclear technology to behave badly. Thus ‘fear mongering’ about nuclear weapons proliferation, pollution etc… as if ‘nuclear’ = ‘axiomatically bad’ is foolish.

        Let’s instead focus on the ‘real’ problem here? How do we prevent ‘natural monopolies’ from being exploited by psychopathic candidates at the ballot box and the public institutions they corrupt to assist their destructive goals?

        Meanwhile, science, thermodynamics and engineering is very clear indeed: if we opt to get rid of the “nuclear industry” entirely we will also be getting rid of the long term viability of human civilisation, beyond a return to candles to see at night, and wood fires to cook on.

        • nevermind

          Rubbish Natascha, what we have is not a sole solution, it is a highly controlled method which is not easily maintained, whilst a plethora of options without much national security risks, such as onshore windpower, a multitude of wave and sea current options which could easily maintained, is affordable and made to measure for the specific cause and location, with requirements that can be serviced locally, and as part and parcel of a multiplicity of local and regional energy production cooperatives are far less expensive, risky and or dependent on a continuation of a volatile foreign and trade policy.
          Becoming regionally sustainable in one’s benign energy production must be part of any Green deal.
          If the nuclear industry does not develop a molten salt reactor that uses the still highly enriched leftovers from an inefficient pressurised reactor, their regurgitation of the same old slogans will fall on deaf ears.
          The ability to generate one’s own power locally, by any benign means, must be a right reserved for all by law, private individuals and or communities/regions.

          • Jennifer Allan

            Yes Scotland is fortunate to be able to generate more than 50% of energy from renewables, thanks mainly to a hydro power network instigated by the farseeing Victorians/Edwardians. New energy sources are being utilised and refined, including waste to energy and biomass, and of course we can all do our bit to save energy in our own homes. Maintaining our gardens with lawns helps to soak up the carbon. Astroturf and stone chips and slabs do nothing to maintain the carbon cycle in balance. It’s not often I agree with Nicola’s policies, but she is spot on with her anti-nuclear pro renewables stance. The radioactive pollution at the now decommissioned Dounreay power station will persist for thousands of years. The Hunterson reactor is badly cracked. We don’t want any Chernobyls or Fukushimas here thank you very much.

          • Vivian O'Blivion

            Jennifer, I fear you slightly miss the pertinent issue regards replacement of lawns. The loss of carbon capture capacity will be minimal as grasslands are inherently poor carbon sinks. The immediate issue is reduction of storm soak away capacity. AstroTurf, mono-block and decking are a direct and major contributor to the flash flooding we experience with accelerating regularly. Sewage networks were designed to handle storm drainage for a fixed urban area in the days when we had grass lawns and permious driveways. As AstroTurf etc. are retrofitted there is no readily available means for Scottish Water to extract the monetary funds necessary to to retroactively upgrade their facilities.
            Two solutions present themselves. AstroTurf, mono-block and decking be brought under Planning permission. We tear ourselves away from our I-phones long enough to cut the f@*$€ing grass.

          • Natasha

            Nevermind, you appear to have entirely missed the point I am making.

            It is against the (so far known) laws of physics i.e. THERMODYNAMICS to sustain the modern industrialised world of human *energy* consumption – 85% fossil fuels (2017) and rising – if you exclude the only known high energy density sources we have access to: nuclear fission and fossil fuels.

            Please go ahead and “generate one’s own power locally, by any benign means” (nobody’s suggesting such stupidity should be illegal btw) but don’t fool your self – and others – that microgeneration of such low energy density sources – wind, hydro, solar, biomass, geothermal – can scale up to replace fossil fuels.

            Remember *electricity* is less than 15% of total global *energy* consumed, so you will also have to account for how you plan on electrification of the remaining 85% of global energy consumption.

            In 2017 Wind, Solar & Geothermal accounted for under 2% of global *energy* consumed; Hydropower roughly 3%; Traditional bio-mass about 7%; Nuclear circa 2%. All the rest was Big Fossil 85%.

            If you know how to get round this thermodynamic limit, please share with us the maths behind your ‘plan’ giving us *whole system* data on land use, and primary energy use for mining & transporting & processing minerals such as cobalt and lithium for batteries, copper for micro-grids, process heat for steel & cement, to build the multiple millions of power plants needed, and maintain and decommission them etc… etc… of the *entire* energy system you ‘hope’ will be able to replace fossil fuels the supply 86% and rising of global *energy* supply?

            If you need some help (you do) check out what the late Sir David MacKay, polymath, author of the influential book ‘Without Hot Air’ and head-hunted UK government climate change advisor, said when he appealed to his readers “Please don’t get me wrong: I’m not trying to be pro-Nuclear. I’m just pro-arithmetic. The one ethical position I wish to push is “we should have a plan that adds up”.

            I have. And I’ve written my plan up. Its obvious to me that we can’t sustain the modern industrial world on low energy density sources like wind, solar, hydro, or burning bio-mass alone.

          • Natasha

            Jennifer Allan, unfortunately you – like too many others – are fatally confused with respect to electricity & energy generation. Scotland does *not* “generate more than 50% of energy from renewables” – electricity, maybe, some of the time but *electricity* consumption is circa only 15% of *energy* consumption.

            Perhaps better to have written something like “Scotland generates up to c7% of its *energy* from low energy density renewables, but still relies on high energy density fossil for back when its lucky accident of having some of the world best locations for hydro has run out up to stabilise the otherwise floundering to cope electricity grid”.

            As such “Nicola’s policies” promoting the “anti-nuclear pro renewables stance” consigns Scotland to the global energy solutions remedial class, because it is against the (so far known) laws of physics i.e. THERMODYNAMICS to sustain the modern industrialised world of human *energy* consumption – 85% fossil fuels (2017) and rising – if you exclude the only known high energy density sources we have access to: nuclear fission and fossil fuels.

            Also, you *vastly* over estimate the danger caused by “radioactive pollution”. In fact Chernobyl is now Europe’s largest wildlife refuge. Visitors to the 30 kilometre radius exclusion zone will get more radiation from the flight they take to get to a guided tour. According to biologists, far from a Nuclear wasteland, the exclusion zone has become a sanctuary for flora and fauna – precisely because people were forced to flee. National Geographic “30 Years After Chernobyl, Nature Is Thriving.” BBC “The Chernobyl exclusion zone is arguable a nature reserve.”

            The problem is that at the very low doses found in the exclusion zone, its practically impossible to correlate any irradiation with certain biological effects. This is because the baseline cancer rate is already very high with the risk of developing cancer already fluctuating 40% because of individual life style and environmental effects, obscuring the subtle effects of low-level radiation. Secondly, and this is crucial, the truth about low-dose radiation health effects still needs to be discovered. It’s still not exactly known whether these low doses of radiation are detrimental or beneficial nor where the thresholds are.

            Nonetheless, anecdotal evidence suggests that women who stayed in the exclusion zone have generally outlived their neighbours who stayed away, “happiness” — or relative happiness, anyway — is a key reason why. About 100 people live there now, the last remnants of more than 1,000 mostly older women who moved back into the exclusion zone in the weeks and months after the disaster.

            The disaster caused circa 50 direct deaths plus a few thousand early deaths from cancer above the 100,000 expected deaths in the exposed population. But tragically, it was very preventable and the result of decision-makers’ hubris and bad policy that encouraged shoddy practice. The design of the reactors were significantly flawed with a well known “built-in instability”. An early Generation II reactor based on 1950s Soviet technology, the RBMK design was optimized for speed of production over redundancy. The combination of graphite moderator and water coolant is found in no other power reactors in the world.

            Which renders your call “We don’t want any Chernobyls or Fukushimas here thank you very much” a bit irrational, no?

    • np

      Noel, Wilfred Burchett was an Australian and very proud of it. He was also one of the best journalists working in the English-language during and after WWII.

      The Australian government refused to renew his passport for many years, forcing him to rely on travel documents issued by others (Vietnam, Cuba). The bastards wouldn’t even let him into Australia to attend his father’s funeral. But when his brother died, he just flew in anyway on a private plane, causing a huge uproar.

      You can read more about his colourful life and achievements on Wikipedia.

  • Anthony

    The British NUJ is hardly in the business of encouraging honest reporting of show trials. It exists to aid state propagandists in their vital work.

  • Rhys Jaggar

    The NUJ’s 10 Commandments:

    1. Though shalt have no other God but Neoliberallism.
    2. Honour thy POTUS and PM. Especially if one of them is female….
    3. Do not covet the cheapness of houses in Russia – they are cheap because only cheapskates live there.
    4. Thou shalt only bear false witness against thy neighbour if they are a socialist, if they support Julian Assange or if they support Alex Salmond.
    5. Respect the Sabbath, especially if you work on one of the Dailies, not the Sundays. Otherwise, respect the Sabbath by sleeping all day long….the best way for journalists to keep the Sabbath Holy is by staying at home indoors.
    6. Thou shalt not create statues of false idols like Tony Blair. But making them of Rupert Murdoch, Bibi Netanyahu or Silvio Berlusconi is fine and dandy.
    7. Thou shalt not take the name of thy Publisher in vain, especially if you are shagging their wife at the time.
    8. Thou shalt not kill, but thou shalt never refuse to watch others killing third parties, especially if you get a fantastic expense account to go with it….
    9. Thou shalt not covet any Channel islands, nor any apartments in St James, London, nor any other mansions owned by the geezer that pays you.
    10. Thou shalt not steal property, but stealing ideas is just everyday life.
  • Pyewacket

    Preliminary Court hearings, attempting to address another travesty of justice, were held in Scotland last week, in respect to the appeal on behalf of Abdelbasset Al Megrahi, the previously convicted, but now deceased Lockerbie Bomber. One newsworthy element to emerge from the appeal is the existence of US communications that were undisclosed at trial. These cables were apparently placed under a PIIC by Milliband D, in 2008, for the usual excuses, national security, and negative impact on foreign relations. The Megrahi team have also learned that the PIIC was renewed, and signed off by Raab on August 17th last, for the same reasons as before blah de blah. For that reason, they have asked that a Court appoint a suitably security cleared person to view these documents and report back, as to their relevance regarding the appeal. They also, quite rightly ask, is the reissue of the certificate really appropriate after 31 years. The case resumes in November.

    • Mark Golding

      Thanks Pyewacket; As you know this case is in my box of intentions in a compartment that spells out the perverse and unacceptable manner Trumps succumbs to the trumpery of deep state and their complete disregard for the lives and souls of ordinary working class folks shuttered by the iron grip of their neo-liberal regulation and jurisdiction.

    • bevin

      This is from the current edition of The Lobster

      “I am not a Lockerbie expert. I’ve read (and forgotten) a couple of the books.
      If asked about it, the best I could manage would be that the Libya-dunit story
      was obvious and demonstrable baloney. Beyond that . . .
      Which is a necessary preamble to recommending the Lockerbie writing of
      Ludwig De Braeckeleer at Intel Today. De Braeckeleer is a Professor of Physics
      who has been working on Lockerbie for a long time and he has concluded:

      ‘New Evidence and Logic have led me to rewrite 30 years of History. Pan
      Am Flight 103 disintegrated in flight over Lockerbie on December 21 1988
      because of a massive structural failure due to well-known issues of metal
      fatigue in section 41 and 42 of the Boeing 747 (Series 100 & 200), not
      because of an explosive device.’

      He has laid it all out in a book which he has put on-line. The little I have read 19
      of it is excellent….”

      • Trowbridge H. Ford

        Anyone wanting a true account of the Lockerbie tragedy should read Ted Gup’s The Book of Honor and Peter Dale Scott’s and Jonathan Marshall’s Cocaine Politics: Drugs, Armies and the CIA in Central America, especially about Syrian arms dealer Manzar al-Kssar.

      • Mark Golding

        We must identify the explosive device planted on PanAm Flight 103 initiated the metal fatique fractures. Ludwig De Braeckeleer and others meticulously revealed the planting of evidence by the CIA and bribes offered to potential witnesses for the trial.

        The meme ‘structual failure’ echoes in my mind deeply such I recoil away from the damn phrase.

    • Mary

      D Miliband indeed. A true socialist now residing in the US on a vastly inflated salary.

      ‘David Miliband’s American charity pay deal is worth £680,000
      The former Labour foreign secretary’s pay as chief of the IRC rose by 5.5 per cent
      November 15 2018
      David Miliband’s pay and benefits from running a large American charity have risen to £680,000, its accounts show.
      The former Labour foreign secretary, now president and chief executive of International Rescue Committee (IRC), a private aid organisation, was paid a basic salary last year of $708,754 (£545,000). He got £19,360 in pension contributions, £17,500 in other non-taxable benefits and £100,000 towards a “supplemental non-qualified retirement plan”. The IRC accounts, filed with the charities bureau in New York for the year ending September 2017, also list back-dated pension contributions of £64,000.’

      • Ken Kenn

        The Labour Party has been riven with NGO careerists for years.

        The sad truth is that a big number of Labour MP’s don’t become MPs to do good for the people – mainly to do good for themselves.

        Becoming an MP is only a stepping stone to a better job later in their careers.

        The Change UK lot have all landed some nice appointments ( one of them as a CEO for a group of Bailffs) which sums up the whole show.

        Milliband has carried on the great tradition.

        Interestingly – ‘ International Rescue ‘ were the Thunderbirds on TV in my very young days.

        The thing is the Thunderbirds were all puppets.

  • Mark Golding

    It strikes me the National Union of Journalists needs our thoughts as an intention to challenge their modus as a democratic trade union. This especially as members are expected to encourage work colleagues who are eligible for membership to apply to join the NUJ and to support those who are starting out in careers in journalism, especially trainees.

    Clearly Craig qualifies for membership.

  • M.J.

    The NUJ has a list of jobs that qualify you for membership, and it seems to me that you would be eligible
    in several different ways e.g.

    court reporter
    freelance writer

    our members also include .. website managers,… bloggers, podcasters… and video journalists”

    I wonder why the governing board of the NUJ set up a special sub-committee to investigate the delay. Could it be that a government agent whom I will call a “mole” deliberately blocked a stage in the process? So the fact of the investigation might be a good sign. If I were on the NUJ board myself I might “switch to manual”, examine your application form myself, be satisfied that everything was in order and have your card issued forthwith!

  • Peter Biesterfeld

    Really appreciate your efforts on behalf of Assange, Craig. Can’t say enough thank yous. Have you considered stringing for an MSM outlet? Might help with accreditation. I’m thinking a Canadian news org. I’m based in Toronto where trying to instigate Canadian media interest in fact-based coverage, let alone journalistic solidarity with Assange has been a slog. But I would be happy and honoured to make introductions to see if we can line up the planets to make something happen. Again, respect for your unfailing commitment to press freedom and Assange’s well-being, your empathy and attention to detail in your reportage. Looking forward to your reports from the Old Bailey. Be swell.

  • shatnersrug


    Is it worth contacting @markcurtis30 @kennardmatt at Declassified UK to see if they publish your assange reporting, maybe this would facilitate an NUJ card. Seeing as you are playing in the same sandpit with assange and they are both considered ‘legitimate’ journals (whatever that means)

  • Fwl

    Why not seek notional employment and sponsorship/ support for union membership from a sympathetic paper; eg perhaps West Highland Free Press?

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