Both Tortuous and Torturous 431


Magistrate Vanessa Bararitser walked into Westminster Magistrates Court No.1 at 10.12am this morning with the sunniest smile and most carefree disposition I have ever seen her adopt. Her shoulders appeared visibly lifted. She positively beamed at Clair Dobbin, counsel for the US government, as she invited her to put the case for the prosecution as to why Julian Assange should not be released on bail.

Mrs Dobbin has one of those gloomy, presbyterian personalities that only fully comes to life when it has the chance to condemn somebody. There is nothing like a flat Belfast accent for a really rousing condemnation, and this was a collector’s item.

Julian Assange, she stated in tones that made plain she considered that name in itself to be suspicious and unsavoury, had shown he would go to great lengths to avoid extradition to the United States. The judgement against his extradition turned only on one single point – that of his mental health – and that single point might easily be overturned by the High Court.

Assange had helped Edward Snowden to flee justice; he had boasted about it. As detailed in the US Government’s second superceding indictment, he had organised flights for Snowden and arranged a distraction operation to throw the CIA off the scent. When the US authorities had trapped Snowden in Russia by canceling his passport, Assange had tried to arrange not just private jets but even Presidential jets to help Snowden escape further. Such was Assange’s reach and ability.

Furthermore, the President of Mexico had made a public offer of asylum, giving Assange a firm motive to escape. Many countries would wish to support him and he might again enter a foreign Embassy. He had hidden for seven years in the Ecuadorean Embassy to avoid extradition to the USA. He had broken his bail commitments in 2012: “any idea that moral or principled reasons would bear on Mr Assange’s conscience turned out to be ill-founded indeed”.

The British government had been obliged to spend £16 million on the surveillance of Mr Assange while he was in the Ecuadorean Embassy. Those who had stood surety for him had failed in their duty to ensure that he presented himself in court in 2012. Tracy Worcester, who was among those offering surety now and had offered accommodation for the Assange family, had failed in her duty in 2012.

Furthermore Julian Assange had obtained diplomatic status from Ecuador, a further example of his seeking means to avoid extradition.

Dobbin then stated the US Government was appealing against the judgement not to extradite, and said it would do so on the grounds that Baraitser had made an error in law in incorrectly applying the relevant test on conditions that would bar extradition. In effect, Baraitser had set a new test of whether measures would be in place to make suicide impossible, whereas the correct test was whether measures would be in place to mitigate against the risk of suicide, and on that proper test the evidence was that the US system was sufficiently robust.

The test required a rigorous assessment of the facilities for treatment and prison conditions in the USA. This assessment had not taken place.

Dobbin went on to say that Baraitser had misinterpreted the law as to whether the cause of the immediate suicidal impulse was current circumstance or an underlying medical condition. She then argued that Assange’s young family ought not to be a factor, because they had been born while Assange was in the Embassy, and therefore in full knowledge that his future was entirely uncertain. Taken together, Dobbin concluded, these arguments posed an insurmountable obstacle to the granting of bail.

Edward Fitzgerald then replied that Baraitser’s judgement against extradition changes everything. Since October 2019, when the prison sentence for bail-jumping concluded, Assange had been held in Belmarsh prison solely on the basis of this extradition request. Now the request had been refused, he must be entitled to his liberty pending any appeal, as specified in the discharge order of Monday’s judgement. The status quo now was that the extradition request has been refused. Therefore the grounds for detention were gone, and further detention would be oppressive.

The court had accepted that incarceration was deleterious to Assange’s mental health, and he needed the support of his family. Conditions in the prison were made much worse by further lockdown due to Covid-19. Assange had not received a family prison visit since March 2020.

There followed a strange interlude where Fitzgerald stated that there was a major Covid epidemic in Belmarsh and 59 prisoners had tested positive in December. Dobbin rose to deny this and said there had been only 3 positive tests for Covid in Belmarsh, brandishing an email sent by the prison authorities at 10.49pm the previous night. There was heated discussion as to the veracity of this figure.

Fitzgerald next stated that the supervising prosecutor in the USA in this case had put on record his doubts that the incoming Biden administration would wish to continue this prosecution. He also pointed out that the Mexican offer of asylum was specifically for after the conclusion of legal proceedings and after discussion with the UK at foreign minister level. It was not an invitation to abscond.

Assange had no reason to abscond. There was little or no precedent for the High Court overturning any ruling against extradition on Section 91 health grounds. The defence strongly refuted the US government’s claim that the relevant tests had not been properly considered and applied by the court. Numerous expert witnesses had been heard. The Lauri Love case was the most relevant precedent. Stringent monitoring and bail conditions could be applied, but with the presumption now against extradition, Julian Assange should be returned to life with his family pending any US appeal, to give him a chance to recover his health.

Baraitser then immediately gave her decision. She stated that Assange had been a fugitive from British justice since 29 June 2012 when he failed to report to court as ordered. His entire motive for his residence in the Ecuadorean Embassy had been avoidance of a US extradition request. Assange therefore still had a motive to abscond. He had the backing of a powerful international network of supporters who could facilitate his escape.

The US government had the right to appeal and the High Court had the right to determine the matters at issue. It was therefore essential to ensure that Assange appeared before the High Court.

Assange had been deeply involved in the organisation of Edward Snowden’s escape which further underlined his contempt for the law. His health problems could be managed well in Belmarsh. Baraitser specifically accepted the figure of 3 COVID cases in Belmarsh given officially by the prison authorities. In conclusion, bail was refused.

COMMENT

All of Julian’s team were optimistic before this hearing and it seems perverse that, a judgement against extradition having been made, Julian should continue to be held in high security prison pending the US government appeal. He has already been in jail for over 14 months just in the extradition matter, after the expiry of his unprecedentedly harsh sentence for bail-jumping.

In effect, having already served that sentence, Julian is now being punished again for the same offence, spending years in extreme prison conditions purely because he once jumped bail, for which he already served the full sentence.

The logic of holding Julian now is simply not there, given the current legal position is that he is not being extradited. Furthermore this continuing raising and lowering of his spirits, and never-ending incarceration with no fixed limit, is destroying his fragile health. Baraitser has played cat and mouse this week. Julian is living his life in conditions both torturous and tortuous.

It is ironic to hear Baraitser declare in condemnatory tones, without equivocation, that Julian only entered the Embassy to escape extradition to the USA. This is of course perfectly true. But I remember the many years when the Establishment line, from the government and repeated in several hundred Guardian columns, was that this truth was a fiction. They claimed there was never any intention to extradite to the USA, and actually he was avoiding extradition to Sweden, on allegations that never had any basis and which disappeared like mist when the time actually came. I suppose we should be grateful for at least this much truth in proceedings.

Today’s judgement makes plain that whatever is happening with Monday’s judgement, it is not genuinely motivated by concern for Julian’s health. Yanis Varoufakis yesterday stated that the ultimate aim is still to kill Julian through the penal system. Nothing that happened today would contradict him.

The extraordinary figure of only 3 Covid infections in Belmarsh is very hard to believe and contradicts all previous information. Plainly Covid is less of a risk than anywhere else in London, and perhaps we should all break in to improve our isolation and safety. The only explanation that occurs to me is that the vast majority of prisoners are denied access to testing and are therefore not confirmed cases. or that the prson has chosen to give testing results for a single day and chosen to misrepresent the meaning of the statistic. In fact the point is not central to the bail application, but as a possible example of yet further malfeasance by the Belmarsh medical team, it is particularly intriguing.

The decision not to grant bail can be appealed to the High Court. I expect that will happen (there has been no chance yet to consult Julian’s wishes), and happen in about a fortnight.

—————————————————–

 
 
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431 thoughts on “Both Tortuous and Torturous

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  • Mairi morrison

    Respectfully why do you expect defense fo appeal bail ? They never have before ? Unlike the prosecution they were downright obsequious today. They should have requested full release and blasted the other points hopefully they appeal the whole verdict. I am disgusted

    • Andrew F

      Good point. And, why wait 2 weeks to lodge the High Court Bail Application anyway?
      It should have been all ready to go and filed today.
      Since the end of the sentence Julian Assange has been denied Bail every 28 days – and not once has his legal team exercised their automatic right to go straight to the High Court to seek Bail.
      It’s not even an Appeal, it’s an automatic right that he has always had and has never been used.
      (P.S. – I’m a Barrister)

        • Andrew F

          No idea. It’s the same with his gagging. There is no legal reason why we have hardly heard a single direct word from the man himself since early 2018. Since late 2019 he has been a remand prisoner which means he has even more rights than a prisoner serving a sentence. Even Tommy Robinson did a TV interview from Belmarsh, but we can’t get a single direct message from Julian in the first person (rather than third person, second hand opinions from those who have visited or spoken with him) about what he thinks about anything? Not credible.
          For literally years I’ve been politely trying to get answers to these, and other, questions but all I get is stonewalling or pointless speculation that there MUST be some good reason, or more often I get attacked and called names which is revealing about the minds of the attackers but doesn’t answer the valid questions.

    • Robyn

      I also wondered why the bail application wasn’t ready to go just in case. Every day in that hellhole makes Julian’s recovery longer and more difficult – assuming he’s not already past the point of no return. I’ve been wondering, too, whether anything was done to improve Julian’s prison conditions and, now, if he has to continue locked up, why not in a prison with humane conditions?

      The Australian government (and Opposition) have been spineless throughout. Australia’s worst of the worst are not ‘housed’ like that. Yet more proof that Australia is a US outpost.

  • frankywiggles

    I see Clair Dobbin practices in the field of human rights. The septic isle seems to churn out a brand of “human rights lawyer” unique to itself. I recall it was also the self description for a long time of the CIA’s highest ranked asset in the UK, our old mate Sir Keef. Is becoming a “human rights lawyer” now deemed to be an essential cover for aspiring authoritarians?

  • Gerry Bell

    Bitterly, but predictably unjust. ‘Dobbin’ used to be a pet name for a workhorse in my youth. Ulster’s council for the U.S. government proves every bit as plodding and senseless.

  • James Cook

    “Plainly Covid is less of a risk than anywhere else in London, and perhaps we should all break in to improve our isolation and safety. “

    Nurse Ratched will be waiting for all who enter!

    “Trust the POMS to cut the Gordian Knot in such a way that everyone can claim a small win, while still controlling their Human Collateral in THEIR own version of GUANTANAMO.

    This theatre will continue till Julian dies; then everyone can walk away head-held-high without settling the issue of Freedom-of-Speech……….yet signalling to every journo what happens to those who do not follow the correct narrative.

    Continuous War, Continuous Virus, Continuous Control!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Posted by: James Cook | Jan 4 2021 14:57 utc |”

  • Giyane

    I observed in the last post that victims of British colonial oppression, as I assume Mrs Dobbin must be if is from Ulster , ought to be able to empathise with the tortuous and torturous cruel hypocrisies of the criminal British confederacy called the UK.

    But often they don’t. They have been unable in spite of manifest success and privileges to swage their bitterness, and can deal with it only by channelling their hate onto those who are also of Britain’s devious politics.

    But the comment was cut. Perhaps because it was too uncomfortably close to the truth.

    • Hamish McGlumpha

      “I observed in the last post that victims of British colonial oppression, as I assume Mrs Dobbin must be if is from Ulster”

      There are two sides of the occupation of the six counties of Ireland’s North East (only two thirds of Ulster):

      The oppressed and the oppressor.

      A cursory knowledge of origins the family names of that place, would suggest that Ms Dobbin, is of the planter, colonialist, Brit oppressor side.

      This fits well with her present role

      • giyane

        Hamish McGlumpha

        Indeed . Wherever British Imperialism has shat, there are , on account of British Divide and Rule, you will find ‘ planter, colonialist, Brit oppressor side ‘ and the corresponding opposite. That is true of today’s colonial criminal British psyops as it has ever has been. I think this unpleasant fact has got a slight connection with the concept of former colonies regaining their sovereign independence.

        ‘ Oooh dear, I’m not sure the Scots or the Irish are ready to stand on their own little feet yet.
        or at least they won’t be after we have started a 30 year sectarian bombing campaign.’.

      • IrishU

        A cursory glance would also inform you that Mrs Dobbin attended St Louise’s Comprehensive on Belfast’s Falls Road, a Catholic School on the Catholic Falls Road.

        Perhaps you need more than a cursory knowledge when discussing people from Northern Ireland.

    • Ann Owen

      I think the ‘Stockholm syndrome’ should have a more UK wide application -Cardiff, Edinburgh, Belfast. Like many readers of local papers today I have read of local worthies accepting their orders./members of the British Empire! One despairs.

  • Yalt

    Surely the ultimate aim of the entire proceeding is the chilling effect it has on other journalists? Torturing Assange is a means to that end. Killing him might be also, but it’s probably less effective than torture to the point of thwarted suicide would be.

    • Tom Welsh

      Precisely so, Yalt. And if they ever do decide to kill him, now they can claim that he evaded their desperate efforts to keep him safe and did away with himself.

      The lesson is the same as that of the annoying journalist who a judge solemnly declared had committed suicide by shooting himself in the head – twice.

      Obviously untrue and unbelievable – but what are you going to do about it?

      • pretzelattack

        that was the guy who exposed cia drug dealing iirc, in the u.s.
        I should have known better than to hope, given baraitser’s conduct during the rest of the trial. the people running this farce should be locked up in julian’s place. let them see how safe it is.

  • Kuhnberg

    There was never a possibility that Baraitser would let Assange go free. She is owned by the secret state body and soul, happy to do the bidding of her masters to the letter, which s why she was assigned to this case. Her verdict will have been dictated by discussions at the highest level of government. These people want Assange punished so severely that no-one else will ever be tempted to expose the crimes of the military industrial complex. Which means locking him up for the rest of his life. Baraitser’s pretense of consideration for Assange’s mental and physical health is hypocrisy of the most odious sort. This is how the secret state operates. To do this dire narrative justice would require a novelist of the power and intelligence of John Le Carre, and he, alas, is no longer with us.

    • mark golding

      Indeed Kuhnberg – intuitive post and splendid vision. I too miss John Le Carre who once said he was critical of Tony Blair’s role in taking Britain into the Iraq War, saying “I can’t understand that Blair has an afterlife at all. It seems to me that any politician who takes his country to war under false pretences has committed the ultimate sin. I think that a war in which we refuse to accept the body count of those that we kill is also a war of which we should be ashamed.” Le Carre condemned US/UK/IS encirclement and enfarction of Iran esp. after UK SIS installed the Shah and trained the macabre and sickening SAVAK in psychological torture, rub outs, contract killing, lethal injection, VX and thallium poisoning.

    • Giyane

      Kuhnberg

      I think Craig made the point that for all of her being totally owned by the PTB, she displayed real distress at some of the gorier details of the case, and these unpleasant emotions were quenched satisfactorily for her by the knowledge that she could now be as vindictive as she liked, by refusing bail, pending the US appeal.

      The person with the mental health problems is Vanessa Baraitser. By projecting her own damaged past onto Julian Assange, she feels sympathy one day , and revenge, the next. She is being played like a violin by the US , as well as getting instructions on how to interpret the respective US and British Law.

      One would hope that a judge in a higher court will take note of her professional non-competence to adjudicate in this dual nation legal landmine, and also of her lack of emotional stability.

      I can’t claim to be either more knowledgeable or more emotionally unassailable than her, but there again, I’m not sentencing an innocent man to certain death in a foreign high security prison.

      The message is clear about the US agents whose lives were put at risk by the Guardian’s publication of the un-redacted files. How does it feel , Mr Assange, to be on the receiving end of arbitrary justice? Those sentiments might be justified , but not against Julian Assange, who redacted the agent’s names.

      The venomous conduct of this trial has , for political reasons, not been launched against one of their own stalwarts of Neo-liberal , moral nihilism, for obvious reasons. Never attack your own allies. The moral cowardice is blatant and overwhelming. Julian Assange has been made the scapegoat for The Guardian’s reckless publication of un-redacted files.

      No doubt the bigger intellects of a higher court will see and correct all these legal and moral mistakes and Baraitser’s out of depth fluff politely binned. I am sure that will happen. Not for a second.

  • Republicofscotland

    I’m surprised that Magistrate Vanessa Bararitser actually took Assange’s mental health into account this time afterall she has appeared so far very hostile to Assange, why then suddenly deny his extradition to the USA, and why not go the whole way and grant him his liberty.

    Is Bararitser playing mind games with Assange and his council, I doubt she’ll want to seriously piss off her US counterparts who thought by having her as magistrate that it would be a done deal as they say.

  • JB

    I hope there will come a time when the long line of infamous characters in the legal profession, who have abused the law so brutally and who have persecuted Assange, will be prosecuted. They are criminals of the first order. Also the politicians who initiated the persecution with the intention to destroy Assange’s life and kill him if possible.
    The only important thing now is for Assange to be released, to be free. He must become a free man again, and we should all celebrate the day.

  • SO.

    And so the long sorried saga will continue.

    You should have realised Craig.

    It’s not like you’ve no experience with judicial fuckery at this point. They don’t take losing gracefully.

  • Peter M

    As noted in a previous post, I was suspicious about what was going to happen with Assange after the refusal to allow extradition.
    Craig was optimistically positive about Assange being granted bail. Unfortunately it appears he misread the signs and circumstances. No fault of his own. Despite his experience with officialdom/power in the past, his humanness misled him to underestimate how low the powers that be will go to have their way in destroying Julian Assange and with it, freedom of speech.
    The evilness of USA, UK and, I may add, Israel (think Mordechai Vanunu, Palestine) knows no bounds. The rest of the Western world goes along with it. In comparison, Russia and China (though far from perfect) are beacons of freedom. Freedom in the West is only a thin veneer which the treatment of Julian Assange has so obviously scratched away.

    In his Dec 24 blog ‘The Fake Political and Media Class’ Craig highlighted the collusion between the political class and the media to show how the Brexit ‘negotiations’ were all but a show to keep the masses entertained. I believe the same applies to Julian’s trial. I have no doubt that USA and UK string pullers behind the scenes have got together and worked out a road map towards driving Julian to an Epstein ‘suicide’ or an eventual extradition to the USA. That to me is the only rational explanation of the unpredictability and unexplainably unjust decisions and rulings in this kangaroo show-for-the-masses court case.

    • Shatnersrug

      The Obama administration looked into prosecuting Assange and ultimately decided it was futile due to the first amendment now they’re back in charge they probably believe the same. Maybe Baraster had her orders to deny extradition and deny bail because its solves the problem of Julian’s ‘punishment’ – he can rot in a British Jail and the US don’t have to worry about losing their prosecution

    • SO.

      Held pending forever.

      What most people never realised or even paid attention to is the fact that the Vault7 wikileaks is filled with british code.

      Leaking it directly pissed off Pompeo on one hand (his department) and it pissed off the UK cos it’s existence is illegal and selling it to the CIA set up a political turf war between them and the NSA.

  • Courtenay Barnett

    The British judicial system is openly showing itself to be as corrupt as many others around the world.

    In the past there was a deference based on the self-praising acclamations which none, or at the very least – a few, questioned.

    Now – we know for sure – corruption rotting from the head of the fish – only to what degree relative to other corrupt ‘fishes’ all over the world?

    That is the question!

    • Yr Hen Gof

      I sincerely doubt that there is a single office or function of the UK state that is not corrupt, including the ballot box.
      Perhaps not yet a failed state but a suborned one.

  • 6033624

    You are still the only journalist to cover any kind of detail on this. Some big titles DID report on it but with pitifully few details and only after failing dismally to report on the meat of the hearing itself. The case has fully achieved its aim, the chilling effect on journalism seems complete. The only target left, it seems, is you. And they have already have you in their sights over the Salmond case.

    This has removed any doubt from my mind that we live in a free and fair country. We are given the chance to vote every few years but this makes only a small difference. We MUST get independence from this madness. I’ve often thought that it’s best put to someone as, ‘imagine the Mafia ran the country, now stop imagining’

  • Eoin

    This must be a difficult evening for you Craig with your friend Julian confined in Belmarsh for what appears to be 3 months minimum. I hope it passes and you steel yourself for the battle ahead. At least there should now be a cross appeal on the press freedom issues.

    In retrospect, I wonder in my imagination if we should have stormed the court room on Monday and held Julian aloft in our arms as we intoned “habeas corpus” all the way down Blackfriars and beyond to freedom.

  • pnyx

    Your judgement yesterday unfortunately was wrong. Perhaps you let yourself be guided too much by psychological details. This case is a state affair. In the background, the British executive probably pulled the strings of the British judiciary more than once. The independence of the powers has limits as you certainly know better then I do. I think Assange’s further fate depends very much on the political developments in the u.s. in the coming weeks.

  • james

    thanks craig.. as i pointed out yesterday, i felt your assessment was overly rosy…….i wish this wasn’t the case..
    “Yanis Varoufakis yesterday stated that the ultimate aim is still to kill Julian through the penal system.” – bingo…

  • Shea

    This is a frightening development.

    The worry now is that Julian receives the Epstein treatment and it will be blamed on suicide or covid, probably the latter. The Minitrue (MSM) will blast this lie in to the world despite the evidence to the contrary, and quickly move on to something else. Meanwhile the illusion of a fair trial is held up all along. The enemy must not be underestimated.

  • Pat Pending

    Well who could have seen that coming ?
    This has absolutely nothing to do with law . No amount of legal argument is going to change the outcome.
    Craig of all people must know that…..??

  • Tom Welsh

    “… it seems perverse that, a judgement against extradition having been made, Julian should continue to be held in high security prison pending the US government appeal”.

    It would seem perverse if the authorities on either side of the Atlantic cared a fig about Mr Assange’s health – or indeed his life. The very alleged “crimes” for which he is being pursued by Washington demonstrated the US government’s absolurte callousness and unconcern for the lives of others. Mr Assange is being hounded to death for the imaginary “crime” of publishing the US government’s real crimes.

    What I think is really going on is that the US and UK governments are enjoying a game of cat and mouse. Whatever happens on the surface, whatever legal games are played, the ineluctable fact is that Mr Assange remains imprisoned under the harshest, most inhuman of conditions. And that is exactly where they want him to stay.

  • N_

    That’s the first time I’ve heard it said that a person who stands surety for a defendant’s bail has the “duty” of “ensuring” that they attend court.

    It just means you lose your money if they don’t. Obviously you mustn’t conspire to help them abscond, but that’s a crime whoever does it. If you care about your money, you MAY keep tabs on them somehow, but you don’t have a DUTY to.

  • N_

    She then argued that Assange’s young family ought not to be a factor, because they had been born while Assange was in the Embassy, and therefore in full knowledge that his future was entirely uncertain.

    That’s a truly obnoxious argument. Bail is not supposed to be a punishment, either of a defendant or of a defendant’s children. This b*tch is saying his children shouldn’t have been brought into the world. At the time they were conceived and born, Julian Assange was living under Ecuadorean jurisdiction as a free man (the fact that the embassy was effectively under siege is not relevant), and he had a right to a family life under both Ecuadorean and international law.

    That said, and whilst I am not taking the side of the US government here, the argument that “he might abscond to another embassy, such as the Mexican one” actually does have some weight.

    • Cascadian

      On the other hand, the offer made by the Mexican president may have been made at the behest of the USA so that it could later be used as an argument against allowing bail for Assange. I wouldn’t trust any politician, they are born liars.

  • michael riddle

    “I proclaim that justice is nothing but the interest of the stronger,” Thrasymachus’ discussion with Socrates.

    Due legal process is the veil hiding the underlying motive of maintaining the power of the powerful. And the complexity and interpretation of that process is the means to manipulate outcomes. The British legal system has fawned to the bidding of the powerful in a charade it tries to call justice. They underestimate the sypherpunks willingness to stand and be coded, to whistleblow on high crimes for the benefit of all not just the few. We should all be grateful for the support and defence of JA and hope he soon rejoins the ranks.

  • Incontinentia Buttox

    “And I think Trump will accept the result with a show of good grace. The dangerous rhetoric was to motivate his base to vote, not actually to instigate a coup.” (Craig Murray, 3 November 2020)

    It’s so-called commentators like you that have given succour to this buffoon.

  • Susan

    Within only a few minutes of my initial euphoria following Baraitser’s verdict on Monday, I realized it was a “poisoned chalice”.

    Baraitser had agreed with the US on every single point, except one. But given that she had ‘ostensibly’ denied extradition, the defence was denied the opportunity to appeal any of the other points. It was a trap.

    Baraitser left the US one single point (as Dobbin was eager to point out today) to appeal. The US knew it was easily winnable, that’s why Baraitser was told to use it. As evidenced in court today, Dobbin had already been given the arguments for the appeal – long before Baraitser ever wrote(sic) her verdict.

  • JB

    Dobbin “then argued that Assange’s young family ought not to be a factor, because they had been born while Assange was in the Embassy, and therefore in full knowledge that his future was entirely uncertain.”

    Once again, let me remind you that this is a woman who wrote: “Interested in helping to make society fairer for all children.” in her Twatter bio.

    • Giyane

      JB

      Mrs Dobbin as executioner might complain, ‘ This axe is fecking heavy. It’s hurting me a lot more than anything you’re going to feel., ‘

    • Peter Mo

      C’mon Assange lawyers. Dobbins quip about Assanges family is against all forms of human dignity and rights. Its downright disgusting. But when it comes to criticizing a lawyer you won’t find another lawyer doing it. Quite frankly Julian would do better defending himself.

  • Courtenay Barnett

    THE WESTERN SYSTEM IS ABOUT TO EITHER COLLAPSE – OR – IMPLODE.

    WHAT I JUST WROTE ABOVE IS NOT HYPERBOLE – IT IS REALITY STARING EVERYONE IN THE FACE WHO WANTS AND/OR WISHES TO CONFRONT REALITY!

    COMMENTS PLEASE.

    • Shatnersrug

      Lay off the caps lock and the vino CB!! It was just a bunch of trump idiots after all. Of course the US police is full of trump idiots too so they let them in!

    • Roderick Russell

      Courtenay, I think that the western system will neither collapse nor implode, bur will change. My cut feel is that two likely models will develop. One will be on the Swedish model, with its very authoritarian, only slightly democratic system,, Control will be maintained through a very establishment run system of political correctness where dissenters are ridiculed or viewed as not patriotic. The second alternative will be somewhat similar, except that control will be exercised by a secret police posing as intelligence services. What’s left of democracy will gradually disappear though we will all pretend its still there.

      • Johny Conspiranoid

        “What’s left of democracy will gradually disappear though we will all pretend its still there.”

        That’s where we are now.

      • Courtenay Barnett

        Roderick,

        Your point here ” What’s left of democracy will gradually disappear though we will all pretend its still there.” and the future of the economies of the West is what exercises my mind – or – was exercising it when I posted.

    • Giyane

      Courtenay Barnett

      The West plays dictators by infiltrating their societies, inciting rebellion and then going back to the dictator with a list of the plotters against them.

      Authoritarianism is stupid, and can easily be manipulated by the intelligence services. Trump eradicated the Daesh in Mosul which Obama had created. How did that happen, a Republican crushing hate and a Democrat creating it? It proves that when Zionism wants destruction, it can turn it on, and after the destruction has been done, they can turn it off again.

      Is Trump clever enough to weaken the authority of the US political system? Nah. Cui bono? Cooeee bo-no?

  • Roderick Russell

    An appalling result for Mr. Assange. After all what has he done wrong, except expose the crimes of others. The mistake most people are making is thinking that we operate under the Rule of Law. We don’t, At least not where the Deep State is involved – and the Assange trial is being used to get this message across. It’s Nuremburg again. Not Nuremburg post WW2 but Nuremburg in the 1930s.

    I would confess that my, somewhat lapsed, Presbyterian personality was a little concerned as being described as gloomy, but then I suspect those of us who, like Assange, are concerned about human rights, civil liberties, democracy etc. have much to be gloomy about.

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