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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  • Yuri K

    “Assange had helped Edward Snowden to flee justice”

    Isn’t this a lie? According to Greenwald’s “No Place to Hide”, this was a conspiracy theory originating from a piece in WaPo by Walter Pincus.

    • james

      supporting conspiracy theories on the part of judges seems to be the thing these days…. it is all the rage in the msm, and the judges seem to support the same lies without question…. so much for impartiality…

    • Kerch'ee Kerch'ee Coup

      The jury’s not- guilty finding of Pat Pottle and Randel on aiding George Blake’s escape from the Scrubs to Russia still peeves the Dark Establishment. Only in leafiest Surrey(Sorry Mary) or The City of London would you get a jury to convict Julian Assange on this count and threatened. by such a sentence. How fortuitous it is not going before a jury and how clever of Blair to start doing away with juries and coroners.

      • Mary

        All the trees are bare now Kerch’ee. Just the rats on wheels (grey squirrels) by the dozen now.

        I have always wondered why I or my late husband were never called for jury service. Perhaps they keep a log of those with dissident beliefs.

        A local who was a military judge is a magistrate and I would not like to appear before him. A miserable b.

    • Ronny

      Even if he did help him travel from Hong Kong, that is not “fleeing justice”, as Snowden was not wanted by the Hong Kong authorities. If I am wanted by North Korea and you help me travel from Germany to France, are you helping me “flee justice”?

  • Peter Mo

    What on earth is wrong with Julian’s lawyers? Barraista the judge is so illogical and blind a first year legal student should have been able to totally debunk her assertions.
    So the government spent $16 million guarding Assange with at that time no extradition request from USA. Clearly he was no physical danger to the public and did nothing wrong the British police could allege and hadn’t been convicted anywhere. Also at that time there was no claim that he had hacked computers so the $16 million was spent for the only other reason i.e. POLITICAL.

    • james

      nothing wrong with julians lawyers.. it is a rigged system…. hard to get ahead in a rigged system, unless you are on the inside and connected to those doing the rigging…

    • Robyn

      You will seldom hear any question about whether Julian’s lawyers could have done better and, if a question is asked, many rise to their defence. But I’ve been wondering all along whether more could have been done to at least improve his conditions. I would have thought that, at the very least, they could have won adequate time with him in order to prepare the case but I repeatedly read that even that ‘privilege’ was denied. I understand that it was pressure from fellow prisoners which got him some essentials. It just doesn’t seem right that he has a top team of lawyers yet he remains in fragile health in conditions described by experts as torture.

      • james

        robyn – does the judicial system and the way the uk has acted on the world stage the past 20 years ”seem right” to you?? it sure doesn’t to me and this is one more example of a behind the scene game that the public are not privy to, or they are constantly told lies about..

      • Bayard

        Robyn, is it not the case that the lawyers are lawyers first and “defence” and “prosecution” a long way second?

  • Robyn

    There is a wonderful discussion on Consortium news with panellists John Pilger, Roger Waters, and Alexander Mercouris. Well worth a look.

  • stuart mctavish

    On the upside, whilst it might be too late not only for Julian but for all of us, we can now gauge with reasonable certainty the extent to which the UK government must have been involved in a coup against a sitting US president and that the question about the pardon ought to have been being asked of Tipperary Joe long before he gained the D nomination.

    • pretzelattack

      the coup to the extent there is one is being incited by trump. the uk was cooperating with trump in his attempt to get assange.

      • stuart mctavish

        So is the good news you are privy to that the appeal against Assange has been dropped (if it was ever raised) or is it that Trump is yet to be cowed after all?

        • pretzelattack

          he’s cowed. he just threw his crowd that invaded the capitol under the bus. there isn’t any good news, except biden may be slightly less vindicting and be willing to go slightly less far in trying to kill assange than trump is. trump is giving zero consideration to assange at the moment, he has his own problems, so there is that small mercy. but i doubt the vindictive egomaniac pardoner of war criminals has been cowed from going after assange; after all, both parties support it.

          • stuart mctavish

            Agree the news from Trump is bizarre – presumably he will need to retract it within a couple of weeks (Ashli Babbet, the lady that was shot, being no anarchist) or whoever is holding his dead-man switch will be obliged to assume he has been replaced by a hologram and we’ll get to see once and for all whether the moon’s dark side is indeed overdeveloped with outdated millitary infrastructure or if common sense has prevailed and his first term was put to good use replacing most of that crap with beautiful luxury resort and entertainment complexes.

    • Susan

      Yes, Stuart, that is exactly the question that should have been asked.

      Just heard on BBC World News some talking head saying that there is a lot of pressure in Congress to proceed with impeachment against Trump… “so he doesn’t issue a slew of pardons…”

      • pretzelattack

        the slew of pardons he might have issued would be to more war criminals like the murderers he has already pardoned, not people like assange who expose those criminals.

  • Rhys Jaggar

    So according to counsel for the US Govvernment (double V in Norn Iron you know), it is somehow evil and unacceptable to do everything in your power to avoid being extradited to a country that wants to torture you, kill you, basically end your meaningful life.

    What does the silly twit expect a man who believes in human freedom, human liberty and the right to expose criminal malfeasance by the organs of the US State to do?

    Bow down before CIA genocidalists and say ‘you wish is my command, sir!’?

    Join the Guardian Cheerleaders in calling for ‘Operation Shock N Awe Mk II’ in Iran??

    Ask to become Dominic Raab’s unpaid manservant?!

    Of course Julian Assange resisted the tentacles of the US Government: they were the criminals whose actions he was exposing.

    You don’t plea bargain with mafia Godfathers, you keep as far away as possible from them at all time….

  • Eoin

    “Assange had helped Edward Snowden to flee justice”

    “flee justice”?

    At best, Assange helped Snowden flee US authorities who wanted to question Snowden about revelations of what the USA finally decided was illegal data collection.

    Assange most certainly didn’t help Edward Snowden flee British justice.

    Most worrying to see Baraitser embrace US interests (“justice”) as equivalent to UK interests,

    • james

      regarding your last line – this is the defacto position of the uk with regard to everything the usa does… no where is it more apparent in the war on iraq with blair supporting bush…. the uk has been embracing us interests for a very long time… nothing unusual about it, or this position that the judge here gives.. it is all the norm and what i have come to expect from the uk.. neither the uk or the usa is trustworthy on any level at this point… they haven’t been for a long time too..

    • Bramble

      Quite. Wonderful way to declare our sovereignty, by adopting the US Injustice System wholesale.

  • Mac

    The decision not to extradite was so wildly out of ‘character for Bararitser you knew there was going to be a catch somewhere and that it was probably just some form of future trap down the road and / or another way to continue their cat and mouse torture game with Assange.

    I believe Bararitser is doing exactly what she is told and she seems to really relish the role. If she is seen to be ruling in ‘favour’ of Assange in any way then I’d strongly suspect it was not actually in his favour at all. They are very calculating and they are not going to willingly cut Assange any breaks whatsoever. He has got to be destroyed as an example to the rest of us. That is how these folks think. Yanis thingmybob is bang on the money in that regard.

    Bararitser’s behaviour throughout made you feel it was hopeless for Assange. So imagine how he must have felt. Take away a person’s hope for justice and liberty while spending over a year in harsh solitary confinement and then out of the blue give it back to them… only to snuff it out again. Jeez it is almost like they are trying to drive Assange to the edge or something….

  • Anthony

    Stunning credulity from Aaron Bastani in that interview with Yanis Varoufakis, accepting of Baraitser’s claims that Julian cannot be considered a journalist and that all sorts of innocents (translators, etc) had their lives put at risk by Wikileaks. (Something that not even the US prosecution was able to evidence). One more reminder that Novara for all its radical pretensions is not a trustworthy source. They went along as one with the Labour antisemitism scam and even now, after everything, still refer to “Keir” like he is their loved high chieftain. There is a desperation to retain credibility with centrist media that is simply nausea inducing.

    • Goose

      They’re probably loyal to Labour/Starmer, for now, simply because there’s literally nowhere else to go politically. Other than becoming completely irrelevant.

      I think Aaron Bastani seems ok, Michael Walker is a bit of a mystery. With Momentum, Walker did Corbyn no favours whatsoever standing alongside Jon Lansman during the whole media/PLP antisemitism furore. I actually think Momentum did Corbyn and Labour a lot of harm in 2019, it’s continuation allowed the press to present them as something dangerous lurking within the party (thugs and revolutionaries according to the press) despite being nothing of the sort – we saw concentrated media fire on this one small organisation that had little influence.

      • Johny Conspiranoid

        Goose
        Labour/Starmer is completely irrelevant. Nowhere else to go is the whole point of getting rid of Corbyn. There are people out there who think Corbyn ruined the Labour Party. Why humour them?

        • Goose

          That’s probably correct, and in time, as the true nature of the party under Starmer dawns on the membership, Starmer’s and the party’s polling will likely decline.

          But right now from Novara media’s perspective, stating they no longer support Labour because of Starmer and his centrists(in reality the right) would leave them unable to constructively criticise. Unable to urge support for Party ‘X’, they’d be accused of simply being wreckers shouting from the outside while offering no alternatives or hope – a bit like Galloway with his absurd anti-Westminster but also anti-independence position.

          • Johny Conspiranoid

            “Unable to urge support for Party ‘X’, they’d be accused of simply being wreckers “

            They don’t strike me as having the courage of their own convictions if they are that troubled by what others, i.e. the media, say. The media are going to say nasty things about them as long as they oppose the desires of the media’s owners which are represented by Party “X”. That was part of Corbyn’s problem, he kept trying to reason with unreason.

    • nevermind

      I am gutted at this display of tortuous smiles by this whore to evil people. The same evil people who want to usurp the world with their violence.
      ‘Democracy is not about violence, its about freedom’ said Biden. He will swivel on his own words in a very short time, because of his past allegiances and his support for just about every attack and bombing campaign in his lifetime.

      What would have happened at Capitol hill last night if the majority of protesters were peaceful unarmed BLM demonstrators, unhappy with the ignorance of some Republiican senators?
      And what would Trump and Biden said then?

      • Tatyana

        I agree with the phrase ‘Democracy is not about violence, its about freedom’
        Terrifying news about Washington today. I am honestly very upset about this. A police officer shot an Air Force veteran woman who died later in a hospital. That is really very very sad.
        I’ve seen that video on russian news, it must be removed by now, because Facebook and Twitter have already declared they’ll block reports.

        • fwl

          Trump may not have been a warmonger but he incited a riot and has to take responsibility for this woman’s sad death. He and Giuliani can not but have foreseen the consequences of their incitement.

          • Courtenay Barnett

            fwl – my reading of Trump is that he is deeply worried about his personal future once he no longer has the protection of his office post-20th January, 2021. Desperate people do desperate things.

          • fwl

            Clark – I don’t know about that and hope your wrong. I appreciate that trapped and wounded beasts can behave in an unpredictable way, but over his term in office he has resisted military escalation. In any event he is already history. The NYSE followed his lead and proclaimed that 3 Chinese companies listed on the exchange were to be de-listed but a few days later reversed that. I don’t know why, but I guess they assumed or were reliably informed that Trump’s voice and policies didn’t carry weight anymore.

            Some feel that they have legitimate grievances and rights which are ignored and that MSM is closed to them resulting in their finding dubious platforms, for eg look back at the publishing difficulties faced by Colonel Fletcher Prouty or more recently online platforms open to Professor Francis Boyle and even Peter Dale Scott’s books are never to be found on bookshop shelves. Part of America felt that they have had to turn to Trump to give them a voice. He was their dodgy platform and he milked it. It has to be the fault of the de-platforming MSM that it has worked out that way. Peter Dale Scott who coined the term Deep State and whose books are researched and restrained is worth reading. He avoids polemic and considers the opposite position. He has more the reasonable and balanced voice of Montaigne than others.

          • Clark

            Fwl, I don’t think there’s much doubt that Trump is trying to nuke Iran before he loses power. Just a couple of weeks back he sacked the head of nuclear security whose job is to restrict deployment of nuclear weapons, and replaced her with someone more compliant. That was immediately before another B52 mission to the Middle East, which was to back up another Israeli assassination of a top Iranian nuclear scientist. See also my quote of Ted Lieu, military lawyer on the forum I linked.

            I entirely agree that the establishment – the collusion of “centrist” politicians and the corporate media – is responsible for this situation. Conspiracy theory, Trump, and his “populist” support are all merely reactions to that consolidation of power and narrative.

          • Giyane

            Clarke

            Trump wants to carry on being President, even if he has to nuke Iran to do it. Unfortunately there are others even more willing, and even more countries.

          • laguerre

            Clark

            I really don’t think Trump is going to nuke Iran, however nutty he is now. It doesn’t advantage Israel very much, and might well trigger Hizbullah into launching their arsenal, which is capable of devastating Israeli cities, which would provoke a major flight of Israelis with their second passports.

          • glenn_uk

            Trump is not going to “nuke Iran”. Contrary to some films and popular opinion, the President cannot simply dial up a “nuking” at his convenience. The military would not obey such orders at this stage, despite his having put some very dubious and incompetent stooges in high command in recent weeks.

          • Clark

            Laguerre, if Trump wasn’t trying to nuke Iran, he did a very good bluff of looking like it. He successively sacked and replaced each person who would have prevented him including, on Nov 7 2020, the chief of the Nuclear Security Administration, his Defense Secretary and the Chief of the CIA. Then he sent B52s to Iran. That was his first go.

            Last night he sent the B52s again, they flew via Tel Aviv and Riyadh, then to the Persian Gulf where they turned their transponders off and flew around invisible for some hours. Deputy National Security Advisor Matthew Pottinger resigned, and Member of Congress and military lawyer Ted Lieu Tweeted that he was “working on the Trump nuclear issue”. Iran and Iraq both filed International Arrest Warrants for Trump at Interpol.

            Glenn_uk – “The military would not obey such orders at this stage”

            Yes, that appears to be what prevented absolute disaster.

          • laguerre

            clark

            Yes, of course we can rediscuss the Iran situation yet again, if you insist. The situation really hasn’t changed since the first (or perhaps not the first) time the US was about to launch a massive attack on Iran in 2012. The military advice was against then, and continues to be so. It’s the same in the US and in Israel. I’m sure Netanyahu was not keen on Trump launching an attack, as it is his country that would suffer. Sending some aging B52s on a show of strength really doesn’t mean very much. Trump loves a show, we know that.

          • Johny Conspiranoid

            “Trump may not have been a warmonger but he incited a riot and has to take responsibility for this woman’s sad death.”

            When did he incite a riot? Surely the person who shot her is responsible. Agent provocateurs might be the inciters.

          • Johny Conspiranoid

            ” And this woman, according to her own social media, wanted Pence shot by firing squad, and approved of the Second Amendment, that politicians should be shot by citizens if needs be.”

            I can’t see how the quoted tweets support this interpretation.

        • pretzelattack

          police have been shooting and brutalizing innocent people all year at black lives matter protests.

          • Tatyana

            That should never happen. Why violence, why shooting?

            Once a video was shared on this site, people gathered to protest and Mr. Murray spoke there. It was a wonderful, and even in some ways exemplary event, absolutely peaceful. I then commented that it looks like the May holidays in Russia.

            The second similar event was the last change of power in Armenia, my Armenian dentist told me about it. He said that everything went in the same peaceful and almost festive spirit. People were happy to meet on the streets, share their views and united to achieve the desired result – absolutely peacefully, with music, wine and barbecue, they brought Pashinyan to power.

            With the woman veteran death it is just horrible. I imagine what if my grandfa, who also served military service to the country, WWII veteran, what if he went to the city administration to say how unhappy he is with the election result – just to be shot to death by a policeman? That is f*cking joke.

          • Clark

            Tatyana, I just checked her Twitter account, and found this:

            CommonAshSense Retweeted

            JUAN Q SAVIN @richardgibb8 4 Jan

            The President reinstates Death by Firing Squad , Guess What the US penalty for Treason Is ? DEATH BY FIRING SQUAD ! 2+2=4 last I checked

          • Clark

            One of her Twitter hashtags is 2A, ie. Second Amendment:

            “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

            I think it’s likely that this woman tried to take the law into her own hands.

          • Tatyana

            So, what does this retwitt mean?
            She is said to have covered herself with the US flag and be making selfies.
            here is another video, that rather proves it, she had no weapons, there were many protesters and policemen around her
            https://twitter.com/i/status/1347097520074272768
            please note, there were armed police behind her, down the stairs, when she was shot in the chest by the police from in front of her.

          • Clark

            I can’t see exactly what happened from that video. But she was one of the people that had forced past police into the Capitol, the police were not firing indiscriminately, only one shot was fired. And this woman, according to her own social media, wanted Pence shot by firing squad, and approved of the Second Amendment, that politicians should be shot by citizens if needs be.

          • Fwl

            It is very sad that she died, but the police response to the whole event was oddly muted.

            The surprising or shocking fact is not one tragic death but that there were not more. You can’t break into Congress in session and not expect gunfire. It would have been possible for a the mob to have inadvertently acted as a Trojan for worse mischief. So it had to be stopped.

            However, the whole event was bizarre. There was little in the way of police resistance and some of the protestors even appeared to some extent restrained with some shown walking within the designated hand rails like tourists? There doesn’t seem to be any graffiti nor weapons. You see worse behaviour at some football matches. BUT this was Congress and for the President to have incited it means that he should carry the can. What was typical of him is that having incited the attempted insurrection and said he would be there with his supporters he went off in another direction. To be impeached with two weeks to go – what a legacy.

            Trump and his cronies is responsible, but MSM should also review the extent to which voices are de-platformed.

          • portside

            Fwl
            America’s MSM is responsible for infinitely greater crimes than what occurred yesterday. The only voices it de-platforms are those that critique the farce of American democracy and the crimes of American empire. Voices like Chomsky’s, respected the world over.

          • Clark

            That video is much clearer. She was shot through the barricaded doors by someone inside, tasked with holding the barricade. It seems unlikely that the shooter could see the armed police ascending the stairs.

            It is regrettable that anyone should be injured or killed, but it is far worse that her death is now likely to make her a martyr to the violent, and heavily armed, faction of Trump’s supporters. I dread to think what might be happening in the US by nightfall.

          • Tatyana

            people here who are trained to handle weapons may understand it better – what is very very wrong with this shooting – look at the shooter’s hands and the position. He was ready, stabilized his hands, positioned the finger on the trigger and he aimed at her for about 10 seconds, to make one single shot. He didn’t choose to shoot at her leg or arm, but on the chest.
            It’s a murder.
            I agree with commentors who say “if it were a black woman, the whole DC would be on fire by now”.

          • Clark

            Well Tatyana, if you want “the whole of DC to be on fire” by this evening, keep drumming up sympathy for this far right militia woman.

          • Clark

            Or you could take a more balanced approach, at least until Trump’s power and his threat to Iran have decreased.

          • Tatyana

            The shooter hardly knew who she was at all. Or do you think he was busy flipping through her Twitter before shooting?
            He had a choice to react non-lethally. He committed unnecessary violence, and this is much worse than justified retaliatory violence, in my view.
            No Clark, I don’t want DC on fire. I am against violence in principle and will only welcome if they can resolve this without further escalation. What upsets me is the extremely biased views, literally blaming the victim.

          • Tatyana

            unnecessary violence – Bad
            retaliatory violence, expected therefore it causes less damage – but still Bad
            seeking whether the victim herself is to blame for unnecessary violence against her – Bad
            admission of guilt + forgiveness on the part of the victim and the absence of retaliatory violence – the only possible Good option

            *whoever edited my original Extremely Balanced to Extremely Biased – I don’t even know if to thank you – I tried to find a polite equivalent to the phrase “the approach so well balanced that turns simply pathetic”

          • Clark

            I think, that if the DNC, the Clintons and the corporate media hadn’t conspired to defeat Bernie Saunders, this, along with many other regrettable things over the last four years, would never have happened.

            I have just found out that, during the distracting events of last night, Israel destroyed early warning systems and air defence radars in Syria. Such an attack makes suggests that further attacks are to follow. I hope that Syria can rebuild its defences before Biden reinstates the more typical neocon hostility towards allies of Russia.

          • Fwl

            Clark, there are those who sometimes make interesting counter narrative comments, but then after a while you see that they are propaganda merchants eg Zero Hedge and Off Guardian. I regret that Tatyana’s insistence here appears intent on drumming up the drum of division. That this veteran died is tragic but foreseeable and the surprising thing is that there was such restraint.

          • Clark

            The man who shot from inside the barricaded doors was very probably Secret Services rather than police.

            Fwl, I agree that the police response was very restrained, but I think this was a pragmatism; the US establishment and authorities are afraid of the right wing among their own populace, many of whom are heavily armed. It is another irony in that the same US establishment routinely encourages right-wing ideology, as ironic as last night’s incessant hypocritical whining about “democracy” from the US establishment, which undermines democracy all over the world as a matter of course.

          • glenn_uk

            I’m astonished more people didn’t get shot in this insurrection. Far from trying to whip up outrage at this one traitorous woman being killed, the secret service and police deserve blame for too much restraint if anything.

          • Clark

            Tatyana, now that I’ve had a proper night’s sleep following Trump’s probably nuclear-armed B52s returning to the US, I have reconsidered, and I apologise to you for my earlier remarks. Of course it is wrong that this misguided young woman was killed; it is tragic. But I do not blame the agent on the government side of the barricaded doors who, in the US, where a large minority possess semi-automatic firearms and mass shootings are common, was probably terrified for his own life (though his training will have helped him to cope), he and his colleagues being greatly outnumbered by the crowd attempting to force entry.

            Trump must carry the immediate responsibility for the deaths on Jan 6, for misleading and inciting his gullible supporters over the course of years, and finally instructing them to intimidate the officials and staff at the Capitol. He did all this purely out of selfishness and arrogance, with no sense of responsibility for the immense power conferred upon his words by his position as President. Had Trump’s crowd of supporters been stronger and had successfully forced his preferred election result, would Trump have meekly handed power back to normal governmental procedures? Of course he wouldn’t; he was entirely committed to holding power “by any means necessary”. Only after his social media was cut off did he even consider any kind of dialogue and cooperation, which proves that his power derived from direct manipulation of his supporters.

            But beyond that, the entire system is antiquated, corrupted, and dominated by hierarchical power wielded from its pinnacle. Ultimately Trump’s presidency itself is merely a symptom of that broken system, much as Hitler’s power was, and any egotistical ruler you care to name. We’re all responsible, for wishing to abdicate our individual power, and the responsibility that inevitably comes with it, onto some “strong leader” who says what we want to hear – and who, we subconsciously know, will carry the blame when their decisions fuck up, which they all ultimately must.

          • Tatyana

            Clark, I really appreciate your answer, it gives me some hope.
            I agree that Trump is acting out of his own immoral motives, and that the shooter was only following instructions. But what really scares me is the reaction of the general public. This is exactly how all evil things in the world happen, when public does not worry too much about violence, because they already believe that the victim deserved it.

            Today I came across this unhuman statement. He is a writer, rather popular they say.
            https://pikabu.ru/story/ubivat_ikh__znachit_prinosit_zhizn_7944170

            Our news featured a Russian journalist who interviewed a Trump’s supporter near Capitol. The man said, that he supported Trump’s intention to improve relations with Russia, which would reduce the risk of the WW3. I see nothing bad in it, it was a major expectation in Russia too. But, you know, there was a passer-by who shouted to them “Go home, losers.”

            I don’t know how to help USA people to hear each other. I’m very afraid that tomorrow a bomb will arrive, and half of America would say about my death “she deserved it, she is Russian, so there is nothing to regret.” The same as they see nothing wrong with shooting down Ashley Babbitt.

  • Alex

    Dare I say this is nothing more than the UK now looking to serve an new master. Biden gives assurance on protections for Julian and gets to play the humanitarian whilst loking up a publisher for life.

  • node

    Assange’s treatment has gone beyond punishment, he is now being used primarily as a deterrent to others.

    If he were extradited to the US, he would be quickly jailed and out of the news. It suits their purposes better that his punishment is dragged out under the public gaze, that we witness his despair, humiliation, and perhaps ultimately his self-destruction.

    The continued uncertainty, the dashed hopes, his privacy exposed in court in forensic detail – they are all big sticks to beat him with. The more we see of it, the less likely we’ll put ourselves into his position.

  • Republicofscotland

    Comments flying around that Mark Hirst has been acquitted of all charges, I do hope they are correct.

    Meanwhile

    This might sound a bit controversial, but, isn’t ironic that what happened in the USA yesterday, is something that the USA actively sponsors around the globe.

    The undermining of democracy is a speciality of the USA in South and Central America by consecutive US administrations. The UK’s Atlanticist media are furious at why such a thing could happen in the USA, a country that committed genocide on its indigenous people, and treats its black folk as second class citizens.

    In my opinion, the sooner the USA breaks up into smaller countries, the safer the world will be to live in.

      • Republicofscotland

        Thank you Dawg for the link. Now for Craig’s to follow suit and see his charges dropped as well.

        • penguin

          No case to answer yet the police helped themselves to his computers, phones and diaries when a gang of them raided his house.
          Sturgeon and her Gestapo need to be stopped. Under humza’s law MH would be guilty and looking at 7 years in Gaol.

          • Republicofscotland

            Yip the COPFS guided by the FM and the Lord Advocate, have gotten themselves into a big hole that they cannot get out of with this.

          • Goose

            If it is as reported by Craig, it should never have been brought to court. Everyone involved in his hounding should feel thoroughly ashamed.

            ‘reap the whirlwind’ denotes only a belief there’ll be ‘consequences’, not the nature of those consequences, they could be entirely political i.e., being voted out . Certainly not a threat, merely like saying a price to be paid. reading ‘violence’ into such a comment is absurd.

      • Republicofscotland

        Clark. I’m no fan of Trump nor his far right wing rabble, a thought occurred to me yesterday as the storming of the political seat of power in Washington was broadcast far and wide. That the US political system from the top down is not fit for purpose, and that what if those protestors hadn’t been Trump supporters but democracy seeking citizens absolutely fed up with the current flawed US system, what then.

        For in all honesty I see no other likely way that change will come to America to make it a more fairer society than by real action, some will say that makes me a militant radicalist, who doesn’t believe in democracy, but I say the democratic process isn’t just about electing a president.

        I’d have loved to have been a fly on the wall of Venezuela’s President Maduro when he heard the news, or any other South and Central American President or PM for that matter.

        • Clark

          Our governments are not fit for purpose. They have broken the social contract, by abandoning the population and the biosphere to the cruelties of “the market”. But violence breeds violence; we will fail if we attempt to do God’s will, as it were, with the devil’s tools. That’s why Extinction Rebellion just sit peacefully (or build and occupy sculptures) in the road until they get arrested.

          XR Principle 1 – We have a shared vision of change;
          – To make a world fit for generations to come.

  • Harry Law

    Craig…“Mrs Dobbin has one of those gloomy Presbyterian personalities that only fully comes to life when it has a chance to condemn somebody” how did that “bigot” get into St Louise a Catholic School on the Catholic Lower falls rd?
    St. Louise’s was established in 1958. The religious order the Daughters of Charity of St Vincent de Paul was asked by the Catholic Church to take responsibility for this school. Shortly afterwards Sister Geneviev (Mary) O’Farrell was appointed Principal, a position she held for the next 25 years. Of course Craig could be right, Mrs Dobbin could have had a good Catholic education and still have had a gloomy Presbyterian personality.

  • Watcher

    Craig is a true hero, but I was amazed that he could still, after all he’s seen, and been through himself, think that the UK or US “justice” systems have anything at all to do with justice or logic. I think Varoufakis (another hero) has it exactly right, unfortunately.

  • Republicofscotland

    Well it looks to me like man that shot and killed the woman in the Capitol building has made a martyr out of that woman with the Trump support, I fear that this killing will on harden the minds of those who already feel cheated by the electoral system in the USA. America could now become divided country in the long run.

    • bevin

      Trump feels cheated. And justifiably so: the Republicans in the South have become so used to cheating- removing hundreds of thousands of voters from the electoral register, banning ‘felons’ (largely black and rarely felonious) from voting and intimidating poor and elderly black folk, particularly the many living in rural and small town communities, to keep them away from the polls. With elections run that way Georgia, Florida and Arizona (where the minority is native and latino) are generally considered sure things by the Republicans. The Democrats winning Georgia in 2020 is as shocking as it would have been for the Republicans to win Mississippi in 1948.
      And Trump is probably right about the Democrats cheating-they generally do, in 2016 they put on a clinic for election cheats in the Primaries. In 2020 they did it again. The idea that the Democrats are incapable of stuffing the ballot boxes or fiddling the voting machines is outlandish. Mayor Daley, anyone? Tammany has been a Democratic Party machine since Day One. The Pendergast machine (see the great movie Kansas City) was one of the many big city machines that dominated states and pulled rabbits out of hats at a minute to midnight.
      The problem is that the US is rotten to the core, socially, politically and economically. The ‘rioters’ in DC are the very least of the country’s problems- if ever a building deserved to be emptied by rioters chasing its denizens out it was the Capitol building.
      The real story here is the way that the social media censors have turned themselves, by popular demand, into arbiters of acceptable opinion. They have decided that nobody should be allowed to say that the election was fixed, while the truth is that nobody knows what the electorate wanted. And there is no means of telling.

      • Republicofscotland

        The Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave, neither really apply in my opinion.

  • Lorna Campbell

    “… 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… “

    Priceless observation. At least some good news: not for Mr Assange, but for Mark Hirst. No case to answer. Will they still try to hang you out to dry, Mr Murray? We’ll see. This result could see your case dropped very soon. Let us hope so. As for Mr Assange, incarceration in the Chateau D’If seems to be the template they’re working from. An appeal by the Americans seems to be taking vindictiveness to extreme levels when the point has already been conceded that it would serve no real purpose whatsoever to continue in this vein.

    His being accused of treason (by America, in a British Court on whether he should be extradited) stands in contrast to the betrayals of the Cambridge lot which, of course, were misdemeanours because they were not Antipodean cousins, but the product of English pubic schools and elite universities. No incarceration for them. Just tip-offs and clearance to flee to other jurisdictions before the law moved, sluggishly, at the pace of a crippled snail, with leaden feet, to apprehend them.

    • bevin

      Please no more ‘boots in’ on the Cambridge “spies”.
      What was it that they did that still angers you? Philby, for example, made sure that the fascist thugs set upon Albania were caught before they killed anyone. Others helped, it is said, the Soviet Union get the A-Bomb thus preventing a US strike and a nuclear war. Most of the Cambridge men were disgusted by the power of the nazi sympathisers in the government. And they saw themselves as working against fascism. What made them unusual was that nobody who had not been to public school or Oxbridge stood a chance of getting close to influence and power- traitors they may have been, to their class, but for the country as a whole and humanity in general they deserve better than gratuitous pissing on their graves.

      • Bramble

        I remember reading somewhere that they considered the USA a greater threat to the world than the USSR. They were right.

  • laguerre

    In spite of it seeming unlikely, there are continuing reports that Washington might go for the 25th amendment, and get Trump out straight away. It’s obviously in discussion, even if it is difficult to see how it might be done.

    • Goose

      Trump may be a clown who’s not really worth fighting for, but it amazes me how they don’t realise this is just a symptom and a preview of what’s likely to come.

      They claim they’re an open and free democracy. But if they were, would Trump and Biden really be the candidates that’d be put before the people? They’ve got freedom enshrined and protected by the constitution, but on a national level their democracy, like ours(UK) is in a sorry state.

      The US has an ageing political class, shaped by the Cold war, who refuse to relinquish control; septuagenarians, octogenarians. You do wonder what comes next, because very few share their views.

      • laguerre

        see my 20.13 for my view. Going for populism is never a good solution. It may be that the elderly, who are wise from a life, may be the best adapted to finding a solution.

        • Goose

          @laguerre

          It may be that the elderly, who are wise from a life, may be the best adapted to finding a solution.

          I wish that were the case, and yes, with age comes a certain degree of wisdom…. to a point. But many of these were low quality politicians in their prime eg., Biden. Many are now just plain out of touch. They’ve been in politics far too long and the world and work have changed and they haven’t changed their views.

          No supporter of Trump, but I’m very pessimistic for the upcoming Biden/Harris presidency.

          • laguerre

            I agree that Biden may not do very much, as too old. What should he do, though? The US economy is not going to be turned around just like that. Even younger politicians don’t have much of an idea.

      • BrianFujisan

        Tatyana
        Stay Strong. X

        Peace From From UK Nukes Base…

        Have you see The Stalinav Petrov Film ?

  • laguerre

    In the end this issue in the States seems to me to be about much the same issue as Brexit: keep the bloody foreigners out and White supremacy. In Britain it’s the majority white regions who are so strong for Brexit; in the US, it’s the white dominant regions of middle America. When I worked in California ten years ago, it was noticeable how few the whites were. Not surprising that whites in the midwest and south, who have economic difficulties can’t cope, and prefer extremism.

    • Goose

      Ed Balls explored the insecurity of the shrinking middle class in America. It’s not a phenomena unique to the US, it’s true of Europe and some of it is definitely due to globalism/outsourcing. Trump DID try to do something about this, hence his baffling (to Europeans) levels of support in some of those Red States.

      The causes : deindustrialization, heavy industry vanishing; automation and yes some outsourcing to countries with cheaper labour, are well known. What to do about these seems like an impossible conundrum; some very rich people eg. Musk and Bezos, support a UBI, but few politicians like the idea. Their alternatives include the idea everyone can retrain to be computer programmer ‘coder’. Politicians who’ve never written a line of code in their lives you can wager.

      • laguerre

        It is not a question of a “shrinking middle class” in America who are in fear of losing their jobs, but the poor whites. The woman who died, 14 year military veteran, probably didn’t have great employment prospects in the future, leading to her activism. Otherwise you’re right. But it’s manifested in White supremacism.

        • Goose

          Yes, in interviews on our news they come across as rightfully angry, but deeply misguided, in that they’ve made the appalling Trump their champion.

          I mean, they’d be far better supporting someone like Bernie Sanders, than a fake lip-service populist like Trump. Although talking the language of a populist and anti-elite, Trump didn’t actually take on the elite all that much, he fed them to excess if anything.

          • james

            laguerre.. apparently the msm has convinced you of that… what else to do convince you of?? assanges lack of innocence too?? you’d do well to quit mouthing the msm position.. it is unbecoming..

          • laguerre

            I don’t feel strongly about the question, but Sanders doesn’t have much governmental experience

          • glenn_uk

            L : “Sanders doesn’t have much governmental experience”

            You don’t think being the mayor of Vermont’s most populous city for a decade counts as “much” governmental experience, even if you’re discounting his role as congressman and senator for three decades – which included being on numerous committees and having a large hand in much legislation?

            What did Trump have, by way of comparison?

          • giyane

            laguerre

            Permanent opposition is better than no opposition at all.Talking of which, the Democrats have spent the last four years like a kid’s computer game, firing at phantoms and occasionally zapping a fake foe. I have heard literally nothing but hot air from them for years. How could the American people vote for a Party that’s only policy was to lie low, hoping the electorate would forget how much they hated Hillary Clinton and were disappointed by Obama?

            You can’t just phantom up the anger we saw yesterday. Nobody goes to the most secure office in the country and demonstrate there, even if the guards let them in. The fact that US politicians found it shocking to see such rage, { excluding Biden who only knows one word, terrorists, to cover all eventualities} just shows how out of touch the political class is with reality.

            The whole world , including America, is disgusted at the concept of US, UK Zionist or any other hegemony.We spent the last century getting rid of one; why on earth do we need another? The political class is bent on doing something that the people hate. Considering how much more the people would hate it if the MSM told them what is going on, Jeremy Corbyn did a fine job as silly mid on and most of the rest of his team including Starmer were eating sandwiches in the pavilion with the Tories.

          • giyane

            Goose

            The appalling Trump obliterated Daesh in Mosul. Boring I know. But the alternative would have been that Daesh assisted by Turkey was invading Europe and consuming Syria in barbarism. The appalling Trump has given us hope that the eaters of their own vomit in British and US intelligence can be thwarted. Bit of a rollercoaster ride, I grant you.

          • Goose

            Trump ended up with Bolton and Pompeo in his administration – this after promising to take on the ‘deep state’ and “drain the swamp”. He could’ve easily provoked a war with Iran with his recklessness and his one-sided approach to the Israel-Palestine question has been as obnoxious as it was shocking.

            Trump was however, something unusual, a break from the norm, in that his presidency wasn’t the stage-managed politics Washington DC is used to. US Presidents, I’d imagine, are like a cog in a big machine and great effort and care is taken by DNC and GOP establishments to select the right cog(s)(candidates) ones that can run smoothly in that big govt machine, military complex and intel agencies. This is well before the public actually get their say in a Presidential election. Trump certainly wasn’t the preferred GOP cog or candidate that is clear.

            Those in the deep state who were terrified of a Trump presidency probably quickly learned he was containable. If he’d been a smarter individual, winning power against the odds, he could have been v.dangerous to the rest of the machine.

          • Goose

            I’m fully aware they have primaries – giving the semblance of democratic choice in nominee selection. But as we saw with Biden in 2020 and Hillary in 2016 , once the party’s establishment have settled upon a candidate, the media kick into overdrive, endorsements flow, as other candidates step aside and that candidate becomes unstoppable – whether worthy or not. By common agreement ,Biden was a terribly poor candidate, written off as ‘past it’ in early primary contests. In any fair contest he wouldn’t have been the party’s nominee, but the party and media pulled out all the stops to deny Sanders.

          • Goose

            You only have to look at the early footage – still on Youtube, from early primary states showing an agitated Biden calling a young woman student Democrat supporter “a lying , dog -faced pony soldier”, and another clip with him calling a man a ‘liar” and ‘fat’ and then challenging him to a push-up contest telling him they’d take it outside. Later in the campaign in another temper flare-up, he said a Michigan autoworker was “full of shit”. If this had been Sanders it’d have been replayed over and over as proof of his cognitive decline by the MSM.

          • Dawg

            No sir, that’s proof the man has spunk (as they say in the States) – it’s the spirit of the good ol’ Wild West.

            Do politicians have to be tolerant of people spouting BS? Maybe Biden finally decided to fight back, like the Coward of the County.

      • Courtenay Barnett

        Goose,

        I believe that you have your hand on real point:-

        ” The causes : deindustrialization, heavy industry vanishing; automation and yes some outsourcing to countries with cheaper labour, are well known.”

        Started with Nixon and oursourcing to China. Can’t have your profit corporate cake and eat it after you have gobbled up all the profits.

        So Trump speaks White nationalism and fake ‘patriotism’ to get to his goal of further Trumpian enrichment.

        Thanks for your observations – Goose.

        Courtenay

        • Goose

          This quote’s a good one from 2017:

          Take Nixon in the deepest days of his Watergate paranoia, subtract 50 IQ points, add Twitter, and you have Trump today.

          Bruce Bartlett, on Twitter.

      • Harry

        Exactly

        However one wonders what will happen if you do not address the causes. These people are not used to years of deprivation. The anger will continue to grow. And blaming Putin will not cut it.

  • IMcK

    ‘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. ‘

    Is the legal infringement of which JA is guilty, bail jumping against extradition to Sweden? The legal infringement (as opposed to JAs real reasons) surely cannot be bail jumping against extradition to USA since no such extradition request existed at the time (plus I seem to remember official denials of any such intention). Thus the dropping of any charges by Sweden (I don’t know if any were ever brought) and/or non-materialisation of an extradition request to Sweden must strongly mitigate the original offence of bail jumping since the original pursuit of JA proved to be unjustified and the bail jumping proved justified. Can anybody shed light and/or advise whether this line has been aired?

    • IMcK

      I should add that I raise this since the original offence of bail jumping seems to be being used to assist in the refusal of bail

      • Stonky

        You raise a good point and one that has been in my mind from the moment of JA’s conviction. The Bail Act (6.1) is very specific:

        “If a person who has been released on bail in criminal proceedings fails without reasonable cause to surrender to custody he shall be guilty of an offence…” (my emphasis)

        JA’s grounds for jumping bail were:
        1. The accusations in Sweden were a spurious pretext to get him into custody.
        2. Once in custody the US would immediately apply to have him extradited.

        What actually happened? As soon as he was in custody the 10-year Swedish case evaporated, and the US applied to have him extradited.

        This it would appear to be that in law at least he had demonstrable “reasonable cause” for jumpng bail. It never seemed to me that his legal team made much of a fist of arguing that point.

        • IMcK

          Stonky
          Well stated.
          So not only did JA have ‘reasonable cause’ for bail jumping since his reasons for doing so as stated at the time proved to be real (your items 1 & 2) and underlining his own openness and honesty but the shifted position of the UK/US following his custody highlights their duplicity.
          Perfidious Albion laid bare for all who care to look.

  • littoral

    Any comment about the apparent presence of a razor and rope in Julian’s cell? Are they actually providing him with the means to commit suicide?

  • Mary

    Back to Milady Arbuthnot.

    This piece suggests that she is in charge of Baraitser in Julian ‘s case.

    ‘The very same people from the UK Foreign Office with whom Chief Magistrate Arbuthnot had been hobnobbing before her appointment have made the most vociferous denunciations of Assange, calling him “a miserable little worm.” They refused to recognize his right to asylum in Ecuador, leaving him trapped inside the Ecuadorian Embassy in London for seven years before British police dragged him out and arrested him last April.’

    New conflict of interest evidence against UK judge in charge of Assange extradition process
    https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2020/02/22/judg-f22.html

    • Giyane

      Mary

      It is a massive conflict of interest that Lady Arbuthnot is both married to a senior Tory minister in the Defence field, and supervising this extradition trial. But the echelons of power are crystallized conflict of interest, pure corruption, like pure heroin. That pure corruption , like heroin, can be used for good as well as for evil.

      Julian Assange’s “””” crime “””” was that he produced factual evifence. Freedom of speech apparently doesn’t extend to publishing of evidence. We can say what we like so long as they can dismiss it as unsubstantiated. At this point I won’t mention Trump or your comment might grow a very long winged rat tail like the last one.

      I suspect the outcome for Trump if he had found the evidence for the certain fraud would have been impeachment and imprisonment. His plan for that was to fly to Scotland on 20th January. If he did that, he would be facing the same extradition as his administration imposed on Julian Assange. Probably with the same consequences.

      But he was sensible enough not to publish the proof of the swamp’s utter corruption . Do that, and you’re done. Nothing enrages the corrupt more than publication of their wrongdoings.

  • BrianFujisan

    Of Course the news was out before I read Craig’s Post on Wednesday night.. I must confess That I was So worried After watching the Video Craig Posted On Monday… REAL Optimism ..

    Reading the First Paragraph on this post.. Breaks my heart .. I only read the First Five Sentence before Switching off.. To read at a later time.

    So I Really Feel for Craig Right Now..And Stella, the Kids , Julian’s Family and Legal Team.

    Please Stay Strong

    Brian

  • Paul Mc

    “Mrs Dobbin has one of those gloomy, presbyterian personalities that only fully comes to life when it has the chance to condemn somebody.”
    ——-
    reminds me of my favorite Rafael Sabatini quote:

    “A papist thou?” The judge gloomed on him a moment. “Art more like a snivelling, canting Jack Presbyter. I tell you, man, I can smell a Presbyterian forty miles.”

    “Then I’ll take leave to marvel that with so keen a nose your lordship can’t smell a papist at four paces.”

  • Antonym

    Julian Assange dying in Belmarsh prison would be the biggest blemish on the UK of the 21st century.
    Which Establishment figures are to be held responsible for this clear possibility by many today plus History?

  • Mike

    We live in an very evil world with extremely evil Wesens in leading positions
    Will we leave such an disgusting planet for our children?
    Or will we fight for our freedom?

    • Mary

      Wesens – that’s a new one for me

      Wesen (VES-sən; Ger. “a being” or “creature”) is a collective term used to describe the creatures visible to the Grimms. They are the basis not only of the fairy tales……..

      • Invisible man

        But why the need for a wesen when you can have a shabos hidden in plain sight? They are actively conspiring to get rid of an independent minded bojo now, so we can be made to carry out another Iraq war on Iran for them sooner.

  • Harry

    “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.”

    Is there a transcript – I have quoted you on several web forums and had my comments deleted under the pretext that you are not a reliable source. Of course it has nothing to do with their embarrassment

    • Giyane

      Harry

      You can always tell a reliable source when they make you agree to scour your hard drive with their cookies.

  • Goose

    As Jonathan Cook put it on the 4th January :

    It would be nice to imagine that the British legal, judicial and political establishments grew a backbone in ruling against extradition. The far more likely truth is that they sounded out the incoming Biden team and received permission to forgo an immediate ruling in favour of extradition – on a technicality.

    This was the correct assessment imho, since borne out by the seemingly contradictory refusal to grant bail. They are toying with him, leaving him in prison limbo, for now, because they can. I do however believe that in the end the Biden administration will drop the whole thing because of the wider political context. Many on the left who supported Sanders held their noses to vote for Biden/Harris and much of the media establishment – so supportive of Biden – are queasy about this case and its implications for national security reporting. In blunt political terms, Biden and the Democrats don’t need a cause célèbre of libertarians, jailed, for publishing the truth – stuck in jail damaging their electoral prospects with that coalition they assembled, not when the balance in the US and Senate are so precariously poised and the 2 yearly electoral cycles provide an early test. You’d have to believe dropping the whole thing will be seen as the most sensible approach.

  • Vivian O'Blivion

    Trump has just confirmed (his Twitter feed has been restored) that he won’t be attending Biden’s Inauguration. Well, nothing infantile or petulant about that.
    If he thinks he can come over and hide in “Trump” Turnberry he can get it right up him.

    • Republicofscotland

      Vivian.

      There are fears that Trump might want to head to Scotland and his golf courses, I hope not.

    • Goose

      Reports that Biden now says his immediate priority will be passing new domestic laws on terrorism inspired by political ideology. You can wager they’ll be used to monitor left-wing groups and BLM more than those Trump supporting Confederate flag-waving rednecks.

      Sounds like what happened here in the UK under various authoritarian Home Secretaries with ever increasing draconian surveillance, and restrictions on the right to gather and protest, esp. outside parliament – unless, of course, you are protesting against Corbyn and/or antisemitism.

      Haven’t they got enough laws? The scenes from the Capitol protests seemed like more a case of lax enforcement. At one point, guards were posing for pictures with invading Trump supporters and the doors were pushed wide open as if they were a tour party.

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