Where Is My Final Assange Report? 179


Numerous people have contacted me in various ways to ask where is my promised report on the final day of the Assange hearing, to complete the account?

It is difficult to explain this to you. When I was in London it was extremely intense. This was my daily routine. I would attend court at 10am, take 25 to 30 pages of handwritten notes, and leave around 5. In court I was always with Julian’s dad John, and usually for lunch too. After court I would thank supporters outside the courtroom, occasionally do some media and often meet with the Wikileaks crew to discuss developments and tactics. I would then get back to my hotel room, have a bite to eat and go to bed around 6.30pm to 7pm. I would awake between 11pm and midnight, shower and shave, read my notes and do any research needed. About 3am I would start to write. I would finish writing around 8.30am and proofread. Then I would get dressed. About 9.30am I would make any last changes and press publish. Then I would walk to the Old Bailey and start again.

Apart from being exhausting, I was totally immersed in a bubble, and buoyed by the support of others close to Julian, who were also inside that bubble.

But in that courtroom, you were in the presence of evil. With a civilised veneer, a pretence at process, and even displays of bonhommie, the entire destruction of a human being was in process. Julian was being destroyed as a person before my eyes. For the crime of publishing the truth. He had to sit there listening to days of calm discussion as to the incredible torture that would await him in a US supermax prison, deprived of all meaningful human contact for years on end, in solitary in a cell just fifty square feet.

Fifty square feet. Mark that out yourself now. Three paces by two. Of all the terrible things I heard, Warden Baird explaining that the single hour a day allowed out of the cell is alone in another, absolutely identical cell called the “recreation cell” was perhaps the most chilling. That and the foul government “expert” Dr Blackwood describing how Julian might be sufficiently medicated and physically deprived of the means of suicide to keep him alive for years of this.

I encountered evil in Uzbekistan when the mother brought me the photos of her son tortured to death by immersion in boiling liquid. The US government was also implicated in that, through the CIA cooperation with the Uzbek Security Services; it happened just outside the US military base at Karshi-Khanabad. Here was that same evil paraded in the centre of London, under the panoply of Crown justice.

Having left the bubble, my courage keeps failing me to return to the evil and write up the last day. I know that sounds either pathetic or precious. I know the mainstream journalists who revel in portraying me as mentally unstable will delight to mock. But this last few days I can’t even bring myself to look at my notes. I feel physically ill when I try. Of course I will complete the series, but I may need a little time.

 
 
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179 thoughts on “Where Is My Final Assange Report?

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    • Marmite

      Indeed there is something very dodgy about a journalist making a living from remaining on comfortable ground, only speaking out against petro-industries when there is already the growing consensus and when he safely won’t rock the boat.

      Spineless was a good word choice there, and when reading Monbiot, I’m invariably been left with a ‘You don’t say!’ type of response. It’s kind of like when your kid comes home from school and tells you they learned about the need to conserve water.

      Maybe you are right that the anti-neo-liberal mask just disguises another slimy hack-hypocrite neoliberal apologist.

      The ongoing tragedy in Israel makes me want to puke, so I generally steer clear of Cook, but he has a very good point there.

    • Joseph Mellon

      I often wondered if Monbiot is a deep cover intelligence “asset”.
      Method: establish himself as an progressive opinion leader by saying sensible and progressive things, but when it matters coming out for the interests of “the man”.
      Examples: his suddenly found enthusiasm for nuclear power, his very curious (in)actions wrt. Julian Assange.
      In general too I think especially the Guardian and the NYT have been targets of that sort of intelligence undermining for years.
      No need to change the opinions of the Times readers, no point in trying to change the opinions of the well informed progressive… But the soft left of centre, progressive, too busy to be really well informed, lefty is a winable target for misinformation:
      “If Saddam Hussein has WMD,”,
      “If Assange raped women,”
      “If Putin is sooo nasty,”,
      “If Assad does Chem attacks,”,
      “…then I suppose ‘we’ need to declare war/lock him up/block NordStream II/bomb Damascus”

  • Naila

    Please be sure to be well before continuing any work. I don’t know how you have the energy for it all, quite frankly, plus you’ve already done more than enough. Mainstream journalists who take pleasure in this kind of thing can kindly fuck off, we already see what they’re about in ignoring this threat to their own profession. You have more integrity in your fingernails than they do in their entire family trees, I’m sure. Keep rocking, Craig.

    • dearieme

      “Please be sure to be well before continuing any work”: sound advice.

      Chin up, you daft old leftie; in this case you are doing God’s work.

      (Oh all right there isn’t a God but I am allowed a metaphor, eh?)

  • Marmite

    Infuriating too that the spineless cretins on the Nobel Prize committee failed yet again to award the Peace prize to Assange, or one of the other few decent celebrities out there, Greta or Vandana Shiva, rather than something so generic that it is meaningless.

  • Goose

    History will view you as one of a few conscientious individuals who posed the right questions as western society veered off track.

    Throughout human history there have been evil rulers, however the tormentors eventually become the tormented.

    • Susan

      “Throughout human history there have been evil rulers, however the tormentors eventually become the tormented.”

      Of course, it is hard to come to terms with what has been revealed by Craig (and by what has happened in the years since 9-11 – the most audacious crime in the U.S. carried out in plain sight by a foreign power). But thinking that the tormentors will eventually become the tormented is, I fear, naivety in the extreme. Voltaire recognized in 1771 (in his Letter of Memmius to Cicero) that these people would some day become deadly to the human race. And we’re there. It’s happened.

  • AlanG

    Craig, please give yourself a break! Take time to feel and express all that emotion. Your intellect and your will cannot do this by themselves, please, you are not superhuman. What you have done already is magnificent, and you will finish it when the time is right. It sounds as if you are looking after yourself sensibly by waiting for that time to arrive rather than forcing the issue and jeopardising your health.
    Best wishes.

  • Republicofscotland

    Fear not Craig, you haven’t let anybody down by not posting the final report, I don’t know about others in here but I’m surprised you managed to do what you did, it was such a mammoth task, and you acquitted yourself brilliantly throughout it.

    How you managed to sit through days of lies and deceit by the British and US states yes men and women, you are a credit to your friends and family and your readers. Of course what you feel and have suffered by watching Assange be hung out to dry, is nothing to what he faces if extradited to the USA, being a close friend to him and his father has obviously left you drained, which is only to be expected.

    Please take a bit of time to recuperate, charge your batteries so to speak, and I’m sure you’ll feel much more optimistic, take care.

    • Cubby

      ROS

      Well said ROS.

      Craig, The MSM are complicit in this farce of a trial just as they were with the Salmond trial. You shouldn’t waste any energy caring what these evil people say or think.

      • Republicofscotland

        Lets not forget Craig has his own unjust ordeal still ahead of him, via the Salmond fit up which he reported back to us with great accomplishment as well. The disgraceful COPFS and the LA want to shut him up also for pointing out the truth. The dirty b*stards.

        • Colm Herron

          What a world we live in. I’m not going to curse the darkness, much and all as I feel like doing that. But I’m going to light a couple of little candles: (i) let everybody possible know what’s been happening at the scaffold in London and try to get them to spread the ripples, and (ii) send £15 per month to Craig, starting today.

  • writeon

    Be easy on yourself, Craig. You’ve done some sterling work here, covering this… this… thing. This grotesque ritual in such telling detail. For the historic record. You were in a hightened state for weeks and now it’s over with and the return to the ordinary and mundane world, is a bit of shock to the system. Your mind and body are telling you to take a well-deserved break. It would be unwise to ignore such ‘advice.’

    I’ve been disgusted and appalled at Assange’s treatment, for years, and my righteous anger has taken a toll on me too. This last shreds of my remaining illusions about “bourgeois, liberal, democracy’ have been stripped away and I often feel like I’m trapped in a kind of nightmare where evil zombies have taken over society and try as I might, it’s a hopeless task trying to convince people that this is really happening! For you, who know Assange, he’s a friend; it must be even worse, and that’s nothing compared to how Assange himself must be feeling. Betrayed and abandoned to his fate. Facing the wrath of a vicious empire that’s determined to destroy him for daring to challenge and publicise their terrible and bloody crimes.

    The ‘explosion’ of the Internet is arguably as important as the invention of the printing press. Then, knowledge, information and ideas, could be made permanent and distributed widely and vast numbers of people could read the available texts for themselves. Mainly the Bible in the beginning. This was also highly destabilising for the feudal power structure, the spread of texts and knowledge, which had been the property of the few and the elite of society. There are those who believe the spread of knowledge also led to the religious wars in Europe that ravaged a continent for centuries.

    Is the Internet just or even more ‘destabilising’ potentially because it so much more global, faster, and functions in real time? Assange may be a person of real, historical importance; like Martin Luther, who also was a polemicist and a disruptor and critic of the old order. Only Luther had powerful allies. Princes ready to defend him because they were also defending their own interests and challenging the old society. In contrast, Assange has no powerful allies at all, which is a historic tragedy and an indictement of our culture.

    Apart from the persecution of Assange for daring to question the old, mainstream news order; what strikes one equally is the complete neutralisation and subjugation of the media in relation to these momentous events unfolding in the Old Bailey, just down the fucking road, not in some far-off place like Iraq or Afghanistan, where our bloody crimes can he hidden from the public and the people blinded by distance.

    I dunno. It’s really rather depressing. All of it. Perhaps the Supreme Court will show some legal and moral courage and end this travesty of ‘justice’?

  • N_

    That and the foul government ‘expert’ Dr Blackwood describing how Julian might be sufficiently medicated and physically deprived of the means of suicide to keep him alive for years of this.

    I have come across medics who work in the prison system too, and they are ABSOLUTE SCUM. And it can be really shaking to be confronted with the reality that such people exist…

    • ET

      You really don’t like the medical profession do you N_? I am sure that that there are some absolute scum docs in the prison system as elsewhere but I am also sure that there are some who do their job diligently. I also imagine it is a somewhat tough and frequently dispiriting environment in which to work.
      Sadly, there seem to be many willing to participate in inhumane practices for whatever reason.

  • M.J.

    I am sceptical about the story in the last para about failing courage. It won’t surprise me if Craig has split in order to avoid his own trial, and is now out of the UK.

  • Tom Robertson

    I could tell from your blog Craig that this travesty was taking a toll on you my friend. Your’s is the only version(not that their are many) of events that I would give creedance to and I am sure thousands more would agree that you have done decent human beings a great service by shining a light on the bending of our justice system to accommodate US vengeance against Julian. Take some time to heal and recharge the batteries . . I know you have your own travesty coming up and will need your best wits about you for that, good luck and best wishes my friend.

  • Antiwar7

    It’s amazing what you’ve done so far! Take a much-needed rest, friend.

    And you right, there was absolute evil in that courtroom. What an appalling travesty of justice. Great Britain, civilized? Spare me.

  • Baron

    You’re more than a star, Mr. Murray, it’s people like you that should be nominated for the Nobel prize, you have talent, you have wisdom, you also have courage. One wishes there were more people like you. You should take as long as necessary and then some more, you’ve done already a tremendous job, and please, do be careful, they will try to get you.

    • On the train

      Yes the Nobel peace prize..I can’t think if anyone who deserves it more.
      As so many others have said you have done a tremendous job. It had to be done and you were the one to do it. I couldn’t bear to read the bits of the account that talked of Julian Assange personally, or about the future that may await him if he is extradited. My eyes just jumped over those bits as they were so heartbreaking, and I can’t bear to think how his family must feel .
      I think you showed so much courage and strength to sit there day after day witnessing the personal suffering of Julian Assange, who is your friend, and yet not Tom be able to reach out to him or to give him some words of comfort.
      Now it’s over, ( for the time being) you must be exhausted emotionally and physically and you need to retreat for a while to gather your strength.
      I hope you know how many many of us out here value and support you. You are a true hero.

  • Xavi

    Not just the political trial of the century but likely an epochal moment in terms of the facade being stripped from western democracies. All recorded meticulously while the colissi of Anglo-American politics and media disappeared. A very worthwhile few months I would say.

  • Eliza Walshe

    Honestly, I am not at all surprised by your words. Personally, I feared for your health and continued welfare after your last report, and have been concerned for you ever since. It won’t help much, but you should know that you have the gratitude and support of many ordinary people out here. We can only imagine the toll it has taken on you watching this horror unfold and then having to render it into some semblance of sense so the rest of us can begin to understand. I can only speak for myself, but I am sure I am expressing the feelings of many when I say: please, take care of yourself first. You’re right: this evil. None of us wish to see yet another decent and principled warrior against it in any way fall victim to it.

  • ET

    “Having left the bubble, my courage keeps failing me to return to the evil and write up the last day. I know that sounds either pathetic or precious.”

    It s neither pathetic nor precious and you definitely deserve to catch a break. If anything, it makes you more human and humane, the very qualities that shine through all of your writings, posts and books.
    Take all the time you need or want and if you don’t want to , don’t.
    Your dispatches from the front lines already tell the story well.

  • 6033624

    Take your time, Craig. You have produced the only comprehensive report of these proceedings and, as such, this will be the only historical record of the facts in the case. The time and effort has been gargantuan and you have your own case coming too. Thank you seems almost inadequate but it’s all anyone can say.

  • Bobby Kookumber

    Dear Mr Murray

    Like others I am a regular reader of your blog but have never commented.
    I hope you gain some strength from our support and would like to add mine. You are a remarkable man.
    I do my best to spread the words you write but am often told to give it a rest. Some friendships are under pressure because I can’t do much other than try to keep this in peoples consciousness and correct their misconceptions.
    I recently chatted to a head teacher who I thought would be sympathetic and he said he would support JA if it wasn’t for the rape charge! I put him right but I don’t think it registered.
    I send articles to my MP Rosindell but get standard replies like, “we must let justice take it’s course.” I sent him the video of the Piccadilly Circus protest but have not had a response. I’ll keep on.
    I don’t know how you do it but please continue to do so and take great care of yourself.
    Kind regards.

  • James Hugh

    I just want to say well done on finding the strength and courage to be in court every day and to document in the way that you did… A true witness to the sadistic perversity that Julian has been subjected to and endorsed by the state.

    You’ve earned a rest and i hope you find rejuvenation on all levels Craig.

  • nevermind

    wishing you all the calm recuperation you need after this mindbending ordeal. You have made all of us feel the immense emotions that were at play during this law panto macabre, and I can’t thank you enough for putting this extradition hearing into the public sphere.

    I know that all of your children are immensely proud of you for what you have done to shine a light on free speech. Now rest, please….

  • Dario Z

    You have our maximum support and respect, Craig.

    In my circle of conflict prevention activists, the whole affair of Julian persecution has been as disheartening just every bit as much as it’s been outrageous.

    I actually completely understand you when you make reference to the concept of the proximity of evil being physically as well as psychologically overwhelming.
    When you get to see what human beings are capable of doing to other human beings, it might trigger something inside, a depressing and fatiguing process.
    I’ve gone through that myself when I first came across notable record regarding biological warfare programs.

    And we still need a very positive drive to carry out our peace and human rights activism effectively.

    Hope to see you back soon and thanks again for the fantastic job done with Julian’s (pseudo) trial coverage.
    Eternal shame again to the presstitutes and their abdication of any standard of remotely resembling journalism.

  • arby

    No shame in being human in the face of such unremitting inhumanity – rather, respect.
    The weed will break through the concrete!

  • Tom Hunsdale

    Many of us think we have stress in our lives, particularly during this covid insanity which is driving many to despair. But it can be nothing compared to what you have had to endure witnessing this abomination and having to try to make sense of it. Thank you. Your work is greatly appreciated but look after yourself and your health.

  • Chris Schmidgall

    Thank you for all you’ve done, Craig. What you’ve endured has surely been traumatic. I felt much the same after serving on a jury for a sexual assault case during which we had to review photographic evidence for days on end. It was incredibly disturbing while we deliberated, but the full weight of it all didn’t hit home until the trial was over. At that point I broke down for a couple of days and slowly came back to myself with the help of caring loved ones.
    Take your time.

  • Jeff Weinberger

    As a struggling person, myself, I can’t support you financially. But please Craig, you have no need of justifying any delay in your reportage of this travesty. As an activist/organizer fighting for the rights of homeless people I have my own experience of having felt overwhelmed on many an occasion. Then the energy flows back in of its own accord, and we keep going. I’m sure you know this, and that this is in the not too distant offing for you and your fantastic work. You deserve only deep, deep thanks!

  • Chris Clay

    once again ,Craig, I am in awe of your courage and dedication to the pursuit of justice for Julian…I am not surprised at your need for time to recover before having to find the resources to continue your true crusade
    thank you again…and again…and again
    with respect and love for your humanity
    chris

  • Tom Kennedy

    I find it difficult to read your accounts of the hearing Craig, it’s no surpise that you found it difficult to write. Make sure you get counselling or help should you need it. Your daily reports from the show trial of Julian Assange are reporting of the highest order. Let anyone come here who wishes to know the difference between real journalism and that produced by people who have killed their own souls.

  • Carl Olsen

    Craig, just to let you know how much I appreciate the enormous time and effort you have put into bringing to life these nightmarish proceedings. Hopefully it will contribute to the all-too-slow awakening of the masses to the absolute abomination we ironically call the “elite”.

  • KamNam

    Take your time Craig, It will be worth waiting for.
    America for a long time has forgotten how to build things unless they are for destroying other things example, people, governments or even countries they take a dislike to. America is just a Corporation now with a COO (Chief Operations Officer, which is not even a managerial position) up front called the President. You had a clear glimpse of that during the Assange ordeal.
    Take care of your mental health as well as your physical well being.
    Thank you for all you do.

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