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

1 2 3 4
          • Republicofscotland

            Peter.

            Thanks for the link, between this and Murrell looking like his days are numbered, things might actually be going in the right direction.

          • Peter N

            It’s worth going back and re-reading that article now; it has now been expanded somewhat since I posted the link here.

          • Cubby

            Wings publishes the actual letter from Salmond to Hamilton. Better than a Britnat media summary.

            There is also a new submission from Salmond to the Inquiry published on the website. Not good reading for the crooks in the Scotgov.

          • N_

            At least Douglas Daniel of Wings Over Scotland wasn’t one of the many Scotnats who hallucino-defecated on most Scottish people after the results came in in 2014 by claiming that Donald Trump the YeSNP actually “won” the election referendum because Joe Biden the No campaign pulled the wool over the sheeple’s eyes by hiding ballots and stuffing ballot boxes, before cackling all the way back to Antifa headquarters “Westminster”.

            But if Trump gets a big media machine up and running (which is unlikely), no prizes for guessing which side it would back in any future Scindyref. Perhaps he could even go full-scale “Idi Amin” and become the king?

    • Tom Welsh

      Be prepared for a LOT of things to “come out” now that Mr Trump is definitely leaving office.

      Previously it was important to make everything look as bad as possible, to discredit him. (As if he knew anything about medicine or science or security).

      Now it will become important for everything to start looking nice and lovely.

      In other news, I notice that hydroxychloroquine is being spoken of again as a reputable and effective treatment of Covid-19. Now that the Orange Man has gone (or nearly so), the stain associated with everything he ever recommended can be erased and reality can (nervously) reemerge from hiding.

      • glenn_uk

        You’re going to be injecting bleach soon then, Tom?

        You must have a short memory, or a selective one. Obama got slammed for such huge crimes as wearing tan coloured trousers, playing golf about 1/10th as often as Trump did, and for sending Tweets.

        Take a look at this, one of numerous compilations of the way Obama was treated compared with Trump, if you’re still struggling to recall those days:

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ly8wfEBAz60

        • Robyn

          I watched that ‘injecting bleach’ video several times. Trump never actually suggested that people inject bleach, play the whole segment and you’ll see. But MSM said he did say it and so it’s become a fact.

    • Antonym

      Proves again how the FBI like the CIA has become a state within the States, part of the Swamp. Edgar J. Hoover’s ghost is spooking around still. Trump was just too impulsive and poorly advised to call them out properly. The Anglo Establishments both sides of the Atlantic are in their underpants now regarding Julian Assange and Donald Trump. What in God’s name is keeping Trump from pardoning Assange now???

      • pretzelattack

        he is a right wing warmonger, antonym, what do you think? he pardoned iraq war criminals. that is who he sympathizes with, and that is who he is.

        • David

          Who knows for sure what Trump is? Despite that terrible decision, he’s not a right wing warmonger though – he is the only US president for a very long time NOT to start any more wars. It seems to me that he is either

          (1) a flawed champion of the people doing his best to fight the swamp, but lacking the ability to do so successfully and ultimately failing

          (2) entirely controlled opposition.

          If I had to guess, I’d go with (2) – but I’m still not absolutely certain he’s not (1).

  • Goose

    Jonathan Cook’s latest explores how the campaigns against Assange and Corbyn show, the left… is being manipulated into colluding in its own character assassination.

    He believes new strategies are needed. I don’t think his analysis entirely holds up though. Assange was and is perfectly capable of defending himself and it was only the unique situation of being incommunicado; stuck as he was for years in Ecuador’s embassy, while the establishment’s propaganda exercise was waged against him over those years (false stories about hiding from Swedish justice and Manafort meeting that wasn’t, along with other distortions about his hygiene etc) were it not the case they wouldn’t have had the free hits.
    As for Corbyn, his own feebleness and failure to confront, in response to those outrageous AS smears played a large part in his downfall. Had the stars aligned differently, for Tony Benn to become leader, the mob that destroyed socialist Corbyn wouldn’t have stood a chance pulling the same sort of stunts against someone with more guile and a more combative spirit.

    • Peter

      Thanks for this. I think this is where Cook gets it wrong:

      “Loach found himself with a terrible binary choice: either he must collude with Freedland and the corporate media in smearing Corbyn, a long-standing friend, or else he would be forced to collude in his own smearing as an antisemite.”

      In this case Loach would, of course, also had the choice of personally rejecting both scenarios – and doing so very assertively. That wouldn’t, of course, have stopped Freedland from accusing him of being an antisemite for supporting Jeremy Corbyn.

      Where Cook gets it particularly right is here:

      “As Varoufakis also says, the left needs urgently to go on the offensive.

      We need to find ways to turn the tables on the war criminals who have been gaslighting us in demanding that Assange, who exposed their crimes, is the one who needs to be locked up.”

      The left, in this country at least, is far too timid when responding to media assault, nearly always responding to the context of the question rather than rejecting the question outright, and, indeed, rejecting the point of view of the questioner and even sometimes the questioner themselves.

      The right, in this country at least, is much better at this. Whilst disagreeing with his policies, Farage offers a very good lesson in calling out the media to their faces.

      • Goose

        “As Varoufakis also says, the left needs urgently to go on the offensive…”

        In a British political context there’s the obvious problem in figuring out who the genuine allies of the left are? The great tragedy of Corbyn for the left, is he didn’t really shape a party in his image, in fact there’s very little in terms of a legacy there. Open ‘candidate’ Selection could’ve been his great crowning achievement; a fundamental shift in power from the PLP to CLPs. It would have given the 500,000 strong membership that Corbyn so enthused, reason to stay and resist Starmer’s centrists. Protecting that democratic right to choose local parliamentary candidates would’ve really mattered.

        There’s also the difficulty and risk in speaking out in terms of their careers the left face. There aren’t many employed in a media dominated by the super rich, for obvious reasons. Owen Jones at guardian is the nearest thing to a mainstream left-wing journo, he’s a good person, but he’s clearly also fully aware that there was a line he could not cross at the guardian in Corbyn’s defence. Questioning the antisemitism narrative at its height, for instance, would’ve been treated as heresy by the editorial staff, I’d wager he wouldn’t be a columnist now had he done so.

        • Rhys Jaggar

          Look, those 500,000 can resign their memberships just like that. It would be the final nail in Starmer’s coffin. The leader that caused 95% of his membership to resign en masse.

          No-one should stay in an organisation that does not represent their values.

          They joined due to one man. They should leave due to his defenestration.

          I think you call that democracy.

          Or is the ‘New Normal’ being forced to join a political party and have dues removed from your bank account without your consent?!

          • Peter

            @ Rhys Jaggar

            There is an, arguably more effective, alternative to resignation which is, of course, staying and fighting against Starmer, Evans and Rayner’s stalinism.

            It’s the choice of many including Jewish Voice For Labour, a very fine group of people in my view, who are taking the Labour Party to court – and they are not the only ones, I believe Jeremy Corbyn and Chris Williamson are doing so also.

            https://www.jewishvoiceforlabour.org.uk/statement/why-jvl-is-supporting-legal-action-against-the-labour-party/

          • Goose

            The MSM is so heavily weighted in the political right’s favour, I don’t think they’d report it, unless the en masse resignations were accompanied by some sort of huge, peaceful demo (impossible at the moment with tier 4 restrictions).

            Just how biased is easily illustrated: During Corbyn’s time, the BBC had a stream of Corbyn critics on its political shows, bemoaning the direction of the party under his leadership. How many Starmer critics have been or will be invited on?

            https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-55558060

            The BBC, which should be balanced, clearly has an agenda, as illustrated only 2 days ago, when presenter Emma Barnett caught out by an unmuted mic, discussing with her producer ways to shoehorn ‘antisemitism’ into an unrelated ‘MeToo’ movement discussion with an invited guest. The guest, Kelechi Okafor, said she was treated in a “degrading” and “vile” manner.

          • Coldish

            Rhys, what if Starmer wants them out? If they resign as a protest that just saves Starmer the trouble of finding reasons to suspend and exclude them. Ask Jeremy Corbyn for his opinion. I’m sure Corbyn wants people who think like him to stay and fight.

          • Giyane

            Peter

            The complaints of the JVL about doctrinal hijacking of the Labour Party, look exactly like my complaints against the mosque.

            It was Blair who first announced that election victory gave him a personal mandate to do anything he liked , even if it was against the wishes of members and the principles of the Party.

            That swing to Stalinism is the beginning of the process that ends up in the real Stalinism of Julian Assange being locked up and threatened with extradition to the US.

            We all know where Starmer ‘s Stalinism will end and it isn’t tears. It’s wars. For any leader of any institution to use authoritarianism against disagreement is an abuse of human intelligence which asks for participation , not just acquiesing in silence.

            As to the mosque, British Intelligence had hijacked the academic minority to its proxy jihadism decoy for expanding Britain’s colonial reach. We all know there this leads and it isn’t tears . It’s wars. Discussion with the ordinary members is closed, if it was ever open. The policy of the mosque is collaboration with British military power. A policy that is as forbidden in Islam , as collaboration with the Far Right is forbidden in the Labour Party.

            They garner the votes, or in the case of the mosque the worshippers, and with those numbers do the opposite of what those voters/members believe in.

            A modern concept of politics which treats the community with disdain at best, and abuses its leadership to acquire personal power and wealth for the grovelling elites.

            In short it stinks.

        • Johny Conspiranoid

          ” but he’s clearly also fully aware that there was a line he could not cross at the guardian in Corbyn’s defence. “

          Doesn’t not crossing lines defined by a media dominated by the super rich make someone a fake leftist?
          As you say, he wouldn’t have had a job if he had crossed those lines. So his job is to be a fake leftist and he does his job despite what he really thinks.

          • Goose

            I think everyone in the media self-censors to an extent, there’s nobody who can maintain purity of message like that.

            To be fair to Jones, he has tried to tiptoe around the subject of the lack of actual evidence of antisemitism. The real problem was how the left weren’t allowed TV or radio airtime to contest any of this stuff. Whereas the likes of Margaret Hodge, Ian Austin et al were treated like broadcasting royalty ; seemingly able appear anytime they wanted to, to rant about Corbyn.

          • arby

            It must have been such a relief in the Hodge household when that dreadful man Corbyn was ousted and Margaret finally felt able to remove her dashing-away bag from just inside the front door.

          • Goose

            She compared current times in the UK, to the German Reich in the 1930s – and the Sky News presenter never even challenged her, not once.

            Surely, an offensive slur on the whole UK to even suggest similarities?

            Journalist Simon Heffer went one better, by repeatedly soberly claiming that lifelong anti-racism campaigner Corbyn would reopen Auschwitz concentration camp if he came to power. Again, without being challenged.

            And they wonder why people are losing faith in our media and democratic system.

          • Colm Herron

            Re Owen Jones: he is living a lie by trying to perpetuate the myth that there was serious and prevalent antiSemitism in the Labour party under Corbyn. If Jones’s motivation was to keep his column in the Guardian so as to smuggle in the occasional socialist message, he should remember what happens when you lie down with dogs.

            This is not to say that Corbyn himself wasn’t badly advised. I agree with Goose when he writes:

            “As for Corbyn, his own feebleness and failure to confront, in response to those outrageous AS smears played a large part in his downfall.”

  • lysias

    Looking more and more as though the break-in into the U.S. Capitol was a Reichstag Fire event, in which the police were stood down to allow the crowd into the Capitol.

      • lysias

        No, it’s not proven, at least as far as I know. But Washington Post’s reporting this morning makes it clearer that the police were stood down, and I can’t think of a better explanation.

        • Parky

          They could have kept the doors locked and have had the national guard on standby. It is clear to see on these clips as I thought when seeing it live that this was staged and pre-planned to be blamed on Trump. I hope he gets his revenge in the fullness of time, and he does indeed drain the swamp. Trump has already said he WILL NOT be going to the inauguration of Sleepy Joe.

          • JohninMK

            Video has appeared of the Capitol police guiding a group of black clad protestors towards the Senators offices. Some of those that did damage seem to have been recognised as BLM or Antifa operatives.

            Watching it unfold live it was clear that at a particular time the police just abandoned the barriers and the crowd moved forwards. Up to that moment there had neither been pressure on nor a large crowd at the barrier. The Trump supporters all the way in seemed to be acting as sightseers in the main, just milling round. But there were elements of the crowd that were clearly on a mission. It just didn’t feel right. Then the Trump requests for them to leave the building were removed by Twitter.

            Of course, if someone had planned to achieve the result that has now occurred, the operation was a blinding success.

          • pretzelattack

            no, there is no evidence at all that the people who entered the capitol were affiliated in any way with blm or antifa. there’s a simple eplanation, lysias, though you may not want to entertain it. trump wanted the cops to do it. which would also explain some cops resisting and others’ not resisting–trump doesn’t have anything like universal support among either the cops or the military.

          • Laguerre

            Bizarre that you think it was planned to be blamed on Trump. In the video I linked to it was very clearly Trumpy supporters who were being let in, not antifas. Amazing how the truth is being bent by the Trumpies, And the same with the potentially doctored video link from the gatewaypundit. The voice is evidently laid over the video afterwards.

  • M.J.

    It’s disappointing that Assange was not granted bail, but I can’t say I’m surprised. Hopefully the High Court will set him free soon.

    • M.J.

      But here’s some dark humour to cheer him up, from persons unknown, should he hear of it:

      Best one-liner of the pandemic:

      “Due to travel restrictions, this year the United States has had to organize the coup at home.”

      • Sarge

        Some of the most ostentatious pearl clutchers were the loudest in roaring on Trump’s attempted coups in Venezuela and Bolivia, seconding his scorn for socialist election victories. Pelosi, Schumer, MSNBC, New York Times. There comes a time for anyone paying attention when you stop taking these people seriously.

    • Tom Welsh

      Zuckerberg is one of the world’s richest individuals, which in the USA is equivalent to sainthood. A man that wealthy cannot do, say or think anything that is in the least degree wrong.

      Indeed, if you find you disagree with him you had better change your thinking double quick.

  • Dungroanin

    Whatever anyone’s opinion on Trump the man, Trump the POTUS, the worlds superest power and the ideal of ‘democracy’, who got 75 MILLION votes and LOST, has had his communications to these seventy five million and the rest of the population that he is still for a few more days the incumbent President of.

    Silenced.

    Why?

    That is the real coup.

    The only thing that didn’t happen as a constitutionally legal activity in the confirmation of the president elect was the planned few hours of objections and evidence that the disputed states would have debated. And still lost. And why did the anti trumpers antifa happen to be in the vanguard of the pantomime ‘invasion’ of the Capitol.

    It seems there are rumblings in Italy rising like effluent towards the whirly thing attached to the ceiling and the objectors were hence silenced.
    A plan was obviously undertaken to suddenly use the 25th. Maybe even some protestors shot. A new Act of Domestic Terrorism is prepped to be implemented, also obviously long planned. The potus is not allowed to utter a word about it. No one elected suckerburger and co to SILENCE the highest elected person in the world.

    They silenced the President of the United States – again!

    THEY certainly can’t risk him standing again.

    • Giyane

      Dungroanin

      The media silences and the media amplifies. Ask Theresa May why the BBC suddenly became mesmerized by some idiots called ERG while She was PM. As for the votes, those solid little things on which our destiny depends, are infinitely shrinkable and expandable within the limits of credibility by algorithms. What a load of ballots. Suddenly the buffoon with the desired message has a 90 point lead in parliament.

      Or in the US case the most despised politician of all time, after warmonger Cain , is elected to POTUS. You’ll probably find the slaves who built the pyramids actually elected Pharaoh, because they suspended their disbelief and accepted that the msm tripe he put out that he controlled the waters of the Nile.

      • giyane

        McCain the top Al Qaida handler. By ‘ the most despised politician of all time, ‘ I meant Biden, with his utter two-facedness and feigned restraint, not Trump who like all the good guys, likes to communicate..

    • Tatyana

      The key to what is happening with Trump on social media is the same key to the events with Julian Assange, and with the prosecution of Mr. Murray – the owners of the media are held responsible for the published information.

      In Trump’s case, his tweets have an author who is responsible for his own actions, so Twitter’s responsibility is nothing more than the responsibility of paper and pencil. Nontheless, using the ‘legality’ pretext Twitter and Facebook ban Trump.

      A social network, which did not introduce censorship, and stated that Trump’s posts would be removed only by court order – Parler. Google and Apple have already removed Parler app from their databases. And even Reddit is blocking the discussion!
      https://pikabu.ru/story/v_ssha_tsenzuryi_net_s_lyuboy_idiot_7946315

        • N_

          That statement by Twitter is specious. Trump’s saying he won’t be going to the inauguration violated the company’s “glorification of violence” policy? That’s ridiculous. And why do they talk of the preparation of an armed attack on 17 January if they want to hinder the communications of those who are preparing it? It doesn’t take 89 million moronic Twitter “followers” to organise an armed attack on a building. Twitter are acting under orders. Trump could write a sentence that certain interests would seriously not like, and he could do it without warning. He hasn’t done it yet.

          • N_

            The neo-Nazi hardcore don’t rely for their comms on Parler and the Google and Apple platforms that it runs on. OK, maybe the lardarses with Viking horns do who can easily be turned on and off like a tap. But the top Nazi brains are well sussed about Google and Apple.

            As for Twitter, it has been a main enabler in the entire Trump political phenomenon. Dorsey should be given a 50-year prison sentence.

      • Parky

        If Twitter etc decide to weld editorial control then they are defacto publishers and should be brought to account under law.

        • S

          I agree, the explanation of the verdict about Trump makes it very far from a mechanised decision, it is clearly an editorial decision. It will be interesting to see how the Biden administration deal with all this.

      • Goose

        This arbitrary god-like power they’ve assumed to suspend or ban accounts and censor content on spurious grounds isn’t healthy at all.

        Though, that said, it’s worth pointing out that Trump wants the protections against liability they enjoy (publisher vs platform) offered by Section 230 removed, purely out of spite.

        Tech monopolies are also inherently vulnerable to political threats of tax and anti-trust investigations. Their big fear – being broken-up – would probably be healthier for the internet and free discussion. The threats are probably empty ones as the internet is global: break Twitter, FB et al’s hold and rivals based in other countries may rise in their place; rivals the US would have little control over.

        • N_

          The internet is all about mugs finding that the only way they know how to talk to each other is as unpaid floorsweepers for advertising companies.

          The only good internet is a dead internet.

          • Sarge

            Perhaps you saw a problem with your comment before you pressed reply. I’m guessing not.

          • glenn_uk

            N: “The only good internet is a dead internet.

            PLEASE feel free to kill your own connection to it immediately. That would make an excellent start.

        • Tatyana

          I agree, it isn’t healthy.
          As for me, Trump himself is responsible for everything that Trump said, as long as he did not write anonymously. It’s the task of the court, or whoever has a legal right to do so in the US, to assess the president’s words and to take action. They could implement a special para of their constitution, after all, to restrict Trump.
          Not a private company, even if it’s a monopolist, even if it belongs to a very rich person.

          Private media influencing politics? That smells really bad, like the oligarchy makes political decisions. Yet Trump, stupid moron, tried to picture it as communism. Haha, communism, private commerce, monopoly and communism 🙂

          Personally, I actually don’t care whether it’s Trump or Biden who will piss tomorrow in my doorway. I’m just curious under what sauce freedom-loving Americans will be forced to eat this shit.

      • Dungroanin

        HNY T, thanks for the thoughtful reply.

        If you haven’t yet got around to the Leveson Inquiry – I suggest you get a lot of popcorn and settle down with its 500+ pages.

        The unprecedented public judicial Inquiry was forced upon the PM at the time Cameron to Lance the festering boil of the Newspapers – because they had been caught red handed with phone jacking and a lot worse – such as police collusion. Most of it under Blair.
        It was Public, Judicial (meaning oaths were taken by the participants) and independent under the great and knowledgeable judge Leveson.

        A repeat of previous such attempts over the generations at looking at controlling the Power of the Press. But this one had teeth – it could issue writs to attend.

        As expected it was instantly shelved and the fake supporters of the Inquiry (especially the Guardian) as a diversion and sweeping under the carpet exercise, also dumped on the good Lord Chief Justices conclusions and recommendations- and they have returned to business as usual. Cameron and his Murdochian henchminions have skipped off to enjoy their payoffs.

        Leveson had also concluded through the process that the Internet Media should be included in any such Regulation of the ‘News Media’ and was only held back because of ongoing cases at the time. He fully expected to comeback and finish the process with Leveson2 – probably a very quick process of publishing – because all the evidence had already been gathered and only his conclusions withheld.

        So my take is – the Social Media Platforms ARE publishers, just as Newspapers and TV are. They should therefore be subject to the same regulations and standards.

        Including Monopoly powers, Behaviour, Fair Play, etc.

        They certainly should not have powers to publish what THEY like and WHO they like and to silence the voices they don’t want heard.

        Along with Gaggle, Farcebook and Twatter are obvious long term planned web base control mechanisms and responsible for a lot lot worse than giving voice to Trump.

        Any genuine uncontrolled spaces need to be encouraged and the sooner the better because the barbed wire fences are up and about to enclose the wild and free inter web, as full control is restored.

        I’m looking for the new platforms we should have a list.

        If there aren’t any then we should head back into the wild internet and bulletin boards – the old days of text files only.

        • Goose

          One of the main reasons Europe doesn’t have alternatives is because in the past the EU have overegulated the internet

          We need a European OS alternative and alternatives to Facebook and Twitter; with transparency at their core and privacy properly protected. Algorithms would be public and servers on European soil with no data transferred to the US without full consent. The current market dominance of Google,Apple; MS, FB, Twitter et al gives the US and FVEYs, far too much control over everyone’s data.

          • Goose

            I’d wager many Americans probably wish there were alternatives with better privacy protections and more transparency about censorship policies and algorithms.

            Bemused by the whole Huawei 5G equipment warnings. If you were a big European company or a govt department submitting a requisition order, you’d be probably safer with Huawei equipment in terms of the risks of being spied on. Lots of actual evidence the US has spied on European industry,University research depts; EU institutions and politicians alike in the stuff Snowden leaked – even pictures of Cisco network products being tampered with while in transit.

          • Goose

            @Tatyana

            Huge effort underway to present Russia as responsible for the SolarWinds hack which in the form of a ‘malicious update’, after a update server was presumably compromised, they are calling it “a massive intelligence coup by Russia’s foreign intelligence service (SVR)”.

            The basis for attribution, is, of course, top secret. The idea this breach of “more than 250 federal agencies and businesses” went unnoticed for months and months seems absurd to many, given the NSA’s and other agencies resources and talents. As for attribution, are we supposed to accept that any of: China, Iran , North Korea or Syria lacks the technical ability to carry out and obfuscate the origin of such a hack?

            Biden is reportedly promising the US will retaliate. Do these politicians ever think someone or some group may be manipulating them? Politicians should know misattribution has become a key part of any sophisticated nation state’s hacking operations.

          • Tatyana

            Goose, re. alternatives, inspired by this russian discussion:
            – Twitter is blocking there, but in our country it’s done by the state.
            – So our country is run by the government, and theirs by those who own Twitter.

            I believe that the key is that companies are private, which means they are not controlled by society. I believe that the alternative should be state-owned. As medical service – it’s good to have both state guaranteed medical care and a private alternative. The same with education.
            What’s really bad is to have only one option.

          • Tatyana

            oh, new old Russian hack 🙂 I can’t say that I’m extremely excited, unfortunately, this sort of news is rancid.
            I’m thrilled to hear the Russians are to blame for the storming of Capitol!

          • Goose

            Many in the west criticise China and Russia for their internet restrictions and control, but I’m more understanding, even though I’m instinctively libertarian : anti-censorship and pro-privacy. As a thought experiment, let’s imagine the situation were reversed and Russian companies, based in Russia(Russian servers) dominated the internet, as US companies do, would the US and UK govt find that data transfer situation tolerable? My guess is, no way.

          • Goose

            @Tatyana

            I don’t know that the Russians didn’t do it, but I think with so much at stake, we need audited proof. The FVEYs surely do penetration testing of their own networks (ones that they are there to protect), we have the means to misattribute attacks to other countries.

            I ‘d hate to think a future war was started on the basis of a misattributed cyber attack, planned by some rogue agency to create pretext. Attribution is such a murky business and politicians should be more sceptical.

            If some say that is an outrageous idea a wild future conspiracy theory, I ‘d point you to the dodgy dossier – used as pretext for launching the Iraq war.

          • Goose

            ….We also have the means to route an attack through ORBs (operational relay boxes) basically foreign based servers and other commandeered infrastructure, so it would look 100% like any attack was originating in Russia, China, Iran or Syria or anywhere else they choose.

            Scary stuff,considering you might have some leader completely in the dark and believing the routing info at face value.

          • Tatyana

            @Goose
            I’m not too concerned about privacy because 1. I am obliged to openly publish my data for commercial reasons 2. I’m
            doing nothing illegal or shameful 3. if someone is interested to know the opinion of Tatiana from Russia, then I’m only happy to confirm I’m a real person and not an anonymous bot.
            Both the country of my citizenship and the country of my business own my personal data, I see no problems.
            I’m anti-censorship and generally against uninvited patronage, because I believe that a healthy adult person is perfectly capable of making decisions on their own, as well as of being responsible.
            Now I wonder if I qualify as a libertarian? Or, is privacy concern a must?

          • Goose

            We’ve got a debate going on here in the UK about ending online anonymity. Of course it’s not true anonymity – just anonymity among those commenting on these social media platforms. I personally don’t think they’ll make true ID online requirement law. It’d open too many up to fraud and being targeted especially the wealthy, execs etc. And political parties authorities use that ‘surface’ anonymity too.

            We’ve also got politicians who want to ban end-to-end encryption – the only purpose of such a move would be to access private messages. They basically want the clock turned back to the days of one guarded company server private key, unlocking all captured traffic for decryption and analysis. The equivalent of steaming everyone’s postal mail open.

          • Goose

            The way I see the privacy debate is: do those who trot out the ‘nothing to hide’ line, live in houses with curtains and blinds… if so, why, if they’ve nothing to hide?

            Privacy is a basic human right imho.

          • glenn_uk

            T: Is the person you call “Tatiana from Russia” related to the Tatyana of your username? Do you spell your own name differently, depending on the occasion or context?

            In any case, I feel your position is very subservient to authoritarianism, in saying “I have nothing to hide”, and so on.

            What about people who don’t want the government to know all the details about their plans to – legally and peacefully – overturn and replace them?

            I also have nothing in particular to hide. But I still close curtains at night, and shut the door when I want privacy.

            I’m in agreement with Edward Snowden, who pointed out that saying “I don’t need privacy because I have nothing to hide” is equivalent to saying “I don’t need free speech because I have nothing to say.”

          • Tatyana

            It is easier for the state to maintain the current illusion of anonymity than to provoke people to really take care of their safety. If anonymity is officially canceled, it would open a new market for fake accounts 🙂

          • Goose

            Quote : If anonymity is officially canceled, it would open a new market for fake accounts 🙂

            Yes I think that’s true, those fairly neutral now, with current pseudo-anonymity arrangements would start taking privacy a whole lot more seriously.

            Returning to, ‘Nothing to hide, Nothing to fear’ – the problem many have with this, is it suggests there is a burden on the ordinary citizen to continually prove their innocence, rather than being innocent until proven guilty , it goes against traditional English values and law, as we understood them. It encourages an absolute belief in authority.

          • Tatyana

            oh, I see we are talking about the binary choice again …
            Well, I don’t want the “curtains” and “closed doors” on the Internet to become mandatory. Because, in addition to my personal reasons, I also see too many examples of how anonymity is used for dirty purposes when talking about “Russian bots” or “unnamed sources”.
            I’m not saying everyone should do like me, but I want me to have a choice, and perhaps you will be surprised, but I want you to have your choice. What about, everyone chooses what they like?

            glenn_uk,
            Don’t you find it extremely authoritarian to advocate anonymity for everyone, bacause You need it?
            Goose,
            Don’t you think that privacy will cease to be a right, if it becomes a duty?

            Yet, let’s not confuse privacy in personal space, like a home, with privacy on the Internet, which is a public space. The above example with curtains is irrelevant, because on the Internet I go to communicate with other people, and when I want privacy I stay home with my curtains shut and door closed, too.
            Let’s compare privacy on the Internet to the right not to give your real name when attending a show.

          • Goose

            I get your point about how lifting social media anonymity would at least expose the almost laughable western media lies about ‘Russian bots’ being active everywhere on social media.

            Those who make such claims, oddly enough, can never provide examples of this supposedly ubiquitous, but somehow unavailable malign interference. Craig devoted a whole blog piece to this absurd modern day Anglo-US McCarthyite inspired witch hunt among our own citizenry. There has always been a bunch of people in the UK who are quick to accuse their fellow citizens of subversive behaviour, when the behaviour in question amounts at most to mild dissent.

          • glenn_uk

            T: “glenn_uk,
            Don’t you find it extremely authoritarian to advocate anonymity for everyone, bacause You need it?”

            I was – of course – not suggesting everyone HAS to be anonymous, why would you say something you surely know to be false?

            If someone does want to be anonymous, isn’t it “extremely authoritarian” to prohibit it ?

            One might almost think you came up with such a silly answer as a distraction, instead of addressing the points I had made, Tatyania/ Tatiana.

          • Tatyana

            glenn_uk, will you be happy if I start explaning that on Saturday night, finding myself next to my laptop, I am too lazy to type an English answer, and I use copy-paste from Google Translate, which writes my name Tatiana, but at other hours I access this site from my smartphone, so have to type every word manually?
            Isn’t it silly? Isn’t it a distraction? I blush with shame, imagining whether the moderators will be happy when they see another off-topic with my participation.

            Okay, I agree, you did not explicitly state that everyone HAS to be anonymous, the whole general tone of your comment made me understand that you ADVOCATE this, seems that this is the word I used?

            As for those who might want to remain anonymous discussing on the Internet how to “overturn and replace a government” 🙂 Well, my personal opinion is: not too smart people they are, to say it politely. Perhaps, if those are identified and thus prevented from replacing an overthrown government, it might even be better for everyone. Hardly anyone wants a government so stupid.

          • glenn_uk

            @T: Fair enough, although I have to admit, if my own name is misspelled, it sticks out like a sore thumb.

            T: “As for those who might want to remain anonymous discussing on the Internet how to “overturn and replace a government” 🙂 Well, my personal opinion is: not too smart people they are, to say it politely. Perhaps, if those are identified and thus prevented from replacing an overthrown government, it might even be better for everyone. Hardly anyone wants a government so stupid.

            Sorry to have to break it to you, but governments get overturned all the time in democracies. It happens probably approaching half the time elections are held – not every country is, erm, “stable” enough to have a single leader for decades.

            Many of us were discussing how to best overturn and remove the Conservative government right here on this blog, just as a for-instance. And we shall continue to do so, using our real names or anonymously, as we prefer.

            I feel it’s very sad that some citizens not only feel they cannot and should not do so, but think it amusing that anyone would be stupid enough to try. But if the government in question is run by Putin, you would of course be absolutely correct.

          • Tatyana

            Many happy discussions, Glenn! I’m only in my 40s, so perhaps too young to remember the last time your government was overthrown and replaced by Internet conspirators. Nontheless, I’m sure you enjoy discussing this.

          • glenn_uk

            T: “Many happy discussions, Glenn! I’m only in my 40s, so perhaps too young to remember the last time your government was overthrown and replaced by Internet conspirators. Nontheless, I’m sure you enjoy discussing this.

            Indeed. Our language barrier has caused an unfortunate narrowing of the confines of our discussion, so you continue to misconstrue my position to be other – and/or much more narrow – than intended.

            Rather than talking strictly about “Internet conspirators”, I was talking about the need for privacy and anonymity for those who might wish to – legally and peacefully – change the government. This has actually taken place many times.

            It’s a shame I am unable to argue the case for privacy and secrecy adequately in your language. But my lacking in that ability might be overcome by reference to a keyboard warrior by the name of Anton Chekhov, who wrote about secrecy and privacy thus:


            “[…] And he judged of others by himself, not believing in what he saw, and always believing that every man had his real, most interesting life under the cover of secrecy and under the cover of night. All personal life rested on secrecy, and possibly it was partly on that account that civilised man was so nervously anxious that personal privacy should be respected.”

            It would doubtless be conveyed better in the original Russian, with which I am sure you must be familiar. In my own book of his short stories, it is entitled “The Lady with the dog”.

          • Johny Conspiranoid

            glen_uk

            ” But if the government in question is run by Putin, you would of course be absolutely correct.”

            Putin keeps winning elections without the aid of postal ballots.
            Has a government been overturned if it is replaced by people who do everything the same way as the previous group?

          • Tatyana

            Actually, in Russia you may be e.g. liberal-democrat party member, if you choose anti-communism, conservative liberal movement. At the same time you may vote Putin to be the president for all Russia, as you may think he fits better for the position than your party’s leader Zhirinovsky.
            I believe it partly for the fact, that misunderstanding appeared. As long as I’m aware you choose your party and the party’s top chooses the prime minister.

          • Tom Welsh

            “Our language barrier has caused an unfortunate narrowing of the confines of our discussion…”

            Oh, don’t be so modest, glenn_UK!

            I am sure Tatyana understands the subtleties of your Russian perfectly.

          • Tatyana

            Actually, the language barrier appeal has an effect. But I am still trying to find where my logical error is.

            There’s no anonymity on the Internet, and I don’t see how this false illusion can help in discussing political intentions.

            Legally, peacefully and anonymously, you cast your vote in elections. When the government wants to know your plans from your Internet discussions, it collects information by keywords.There’s no need to identify everyone, because John Smith’s personal opinion doesn’t matter, only general statistics and trends are important – that’s how the government knows expectations for the next elections.

            What the government will 100% want to know is the plans + identity of those who want to overthrow and replace the government illegally or non-peacefully. That’s where the “conspirators” come from.

            As for “stability” – Glenn, I agree, we probably don’t even have enough, it looks like we still have a long way to go until we get to the monarch with the house of Lords.

      • Rhys Jaggar

        Tatyana, I tend to view these things like a woman turning you down for a date. Don’t waste time trying to change her mind, there are another 1 billion women out there who haven’t yet said no.

        I never opened a Twitter account, but if I had one right now I would be shutting it down.

        That’s the only way people can act in this case: shut down their accounts en masse.

        If you believe in free speech, you have to shut down your Twitter account, even if you think Trump is the world’s biggest asshole. You don’t believe in Free Speech unless you are prepared to give Apartheid South Africa’s UK Ambassador a hearing in 1984 (I did at the Cambridge Union Society and lots of ‘lefties’ were saying I shouldn’t). There nothing difficult about letting those you agree with having free speech. The test of free speech is letting those whose words make your blood boil have their say too.

        If Trump must be banned, then every US senator and Congress(wo)man who voted for foreign wars must be banned too. They voted for mass murder, so they should undoubtedly lose the right to speak. That includes Nancy Pelosi, it includes Barack Obama, it includes Hillary Clinton and it includes Lindsey Graham.

        I’ve no doubt that Zuckerberg won’t be banning any of those and nor will Cowboy Dorsey.

        Tells us a lot about their true values: human life is expendable but a peaceful protest on Capital Hill is a crime worse than all others.

        And Zuckerberg thinks he is fit to be a parent??

        Good luck dealing with his children if he brings them up to believe that……

  • Vivian O'Blivion

    Events in Washington on Wednesday make an excellent case for the argument that news should be consumed with the volume on mute. Use your eyes and brain to interpret events. Avoid the hyperventilating, North Korean style pundit commentary.
    What really happened? A bunch of spectacularly ill informed (QAnon, OANN, Newsmax, Trump’s Twitter feed, InfoWars) red-necks broke into a building using fairly minimal force because minimal resources were expended to prevent them. They committed minor acts of vandalism and left.
    MSM screams “attempted coup!”, “armed insurrection!”, “domestic terrorists!”. Really?
    When the MAGA morons strapped with AR15s stormed the Michigan Statehouse, that was armed insurrection. When the militia nutters plotted to (at an absolute minimum) kidnap Governor Whitmer, that was domestic terrorism.
    It suits the Democrats to overplay Wednesday’s events. It suits Mitch McConnell to demonise the MAGA hordes.
    Put populism back in its box and resume business as usual.

    • pretzelattack

      they beat one of the cops to death with a fire extingusher. was it a coup? it had no chance of success. it was like the “attack” on venezuela by mercenaries, stopped by some fisherman.

    • Goose

      It could have been a lot more dangerous, I think that’s the point.

      They were a mix of QAnon weirdos, white supremacists and yokels, but they stormed in and occupied some of highest offices in the land. The guy with his feet on Pelosi’s office desk with what appears to by an official govt folders by his boots. Office PCs left on for anyone to access and download the contents. The US spends literally hundreds of billions on military and security each year and yet these storm the place, they didn’t know who these people were or what their intentions were.

    • Squeeth

      “Events in Washington on Wednesday make an excellent case for the argument that news should be consumed with the volume on mute.” If you bother with that overflowing toilet at all. In the dark days of the 80s a college lecturer said the same thing about tv and film propaganda. Trust your eyes before your ears.

  • Brian c

    “They claimed there was never any intention to extradite to the USA, and actually he was avoiding extradition to Sweden”

    The goalposts will continue to be shifted if need be, brazenly and with impunity. One of the many reasons why MSM is so loved and trusted.

    • nevermind

      Its hard to see who was there apart from the family. So what will happen if people dont let the police into their house anymore after having seen this video?

      To arrest anybody and take them away, in front of their traumatised children, is not necessarry. Further, this could easily result in neihhbour on neighbour violence.

      Nobody likes a snitch.

  • fwl

    Trump = potential propensity for Russian benefit

    Biden = potential propensity for China benefit

    However, I suspect we are not going to hear allegations in respect of Chinese interference in 2020 to the extent we heard allegations of Russian interference in 2016.

    I note a tendency within news media supporting Trump to also support Russia and vice versa. Both also tend to do down China.

    Yet China and Russia outside of the US appear to have improved relations. That never really makes sense to me. Would Russia use the US to run down China?

    Maybe its a long game of divide the US and conquer.

    • Goose

      Never understood the talk in the US about Trump being Putin’s puppet. Trump has been terrible for US – Russia relations. he’s done nothing for Russia.

      Look at the sanctions and how the US have lobbied Europeans relentlessly to cut trade with Russia, and threatened secondary sanctions over companies cooperating in delivering Nord Stream 2.

      The only area where Russia may think Trump has mildly aided them, is in his reluctance to wade into the Syrian quagmire. But that was a pre-election pledge so only as expected. If Biden seeks to get involved in that mess he’ll destroy his own political support pretty quickly. It wasn’t popular for Hillary and it most certainly won’t be popular now, after Trump for all his other faults, kept the US out.

        • Goose

          OSB?

          In Europe(EU), there’s only Austria that seems to consistently resist calls for more sanctions.

          Russia is paying a big price ostensibly for Crimea and continued trouble in Eastern Ukraine.

          • giyane

            Tatyana

            Offensive Strategy Ballistics [as opposed to Defensive Strategy in sport ] appears to be what used to be called Black Ops , in less politically correct times. We urgently need an alternative to that label. Mafia Ops? maybe racist against Sicily. Psy ops? too weak. Strike first no mercy? a bit obvious.
            What about OSBA? Offensive strategic ballistic attack.

          • Goose

            The US’s INF Treaty withdrawal under Trump?

            The US claimed Russia’s RS-26 ballistic missile violates the INF Treaty. Russia and China hold the view the US was just looking for excuses to quit, in order to modernise its own intermediate missiles.

            There are hopes Biden will seek re-energize it, but if Russia and China are correct that’s doubtful.

          • JohninMK

            The sanctions are a two edged sword. Yes, it has cost Russia but so too has the EU been hit with exports to them hammered. In addition, Putin has used it as an opportunity to increase the spread and depth of Russia’s economy with a major import substitution drive especially in high tech products like aero engines and composite wings. More sanctions seem pretty pointless at this stage.

            Russia may be paying a “big price” but they gained some big and priceless benefits:

            • probably millions of extra, skilled, Russian speaking immigrants either fleeing Ukraine or already in Russia and not going home. Compared to the EU which has to absorb unskilled and wrong culture immigrants.
            • just as the UK has been regarded as the US carrier off Europe, Russia now has permanent control of Crimea as its carrier dominating the Black Sea whilst preventing NATO from ever getting a foothold there.
            • Ukraine was the centre of the USSR’s technical excellence in many products, especially military. It is now a hollowed out shell. Anything important but especially helicopter engines and marine diesels, is either in production or in final test in Russia.

            In reality the sanctions don’t appear to have achieved much if the objective was to bring the Russians to a negotiating table.

          • Goose

            @JohninMK

            EU unity behind sanctions is getting harder to maintain too as time goes on. Could be why we keep getting ‘incidents’ involving Russia to keep up the hostility.

            A whole generation will have grown up in Crimea as a part of Russia, and to those people Ukraine will be an increasingly distant relative. I really don’t know where they are going with sanctions, if the population of Crimea is content with their status what are the US/EU trying to achieve?

            I noticed in the news that Biden has brought Victoria “Fuck the EU” Nuland back – tbc as Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs at the Department of State. What that will mean for Ukraine/ Russia/EU relations idk?

          • Tatyana

            Goose,
            Biden also brings Psaki back. I’d like to wittily quote some of her statements as her middle name, but there are too many of them.
            Jen Psaki reminds me of Hanna Schmitz in Stephen Daldry’s ‘The Reader’. I’m afraid, it’s nothing good for Ukraine and Crimea, look at her defending the use of ‘subhumans’
            https://youtu.be/yWsdb8tkzjk

          • JohninMK

            Crimea, having spent decades as an under funded offshore backwater of Ukraine is now a well funded frontwater of Russia. The local population, many of whom are either retired Soviet/Russian military or their descendants, must be over the moon at their change of fortunes, Especially when they see the basket case that Ukraine has become as well as after the completion of the longest road/rail bridge in Europe over the Kerch Strait.

            I don’t think this result was what Nuland had in mind. It will be interesting to see what the new US regime is going to do there as the ripples of Brexit spread out. Young Ukrainians have been heading into the Eastern EU for work, in part replacing the young EUs who have come to the UK for work. Now that the later migration route has stopped there could well be increasing pressure, especially in Poland, to stop the former whilst demanding that the Ukrainians already there go home. These returning young plus those who can’t leave will give Kiev a problem.

          • Goose

            Yes, I think there are worrying signs in these appointments that the Democrats have learnt absolutely nothing and Biden wants to simply pick things back up where they were left in 2016, when Trump won promising a less interventionist approach.

            Leaving aside the rights and wrongs of the annexation, the practical reality on the ground means Crimea isn’t going to return to Ukraine and the US/EU need to accept that. The EU, sans the UK, may finally start to stand up for itself and stop accepting US foreign policy diktat. Polls show trust and support for the US has plunged in Germany over recent years, in large part because of Trump’s unpopular ambassador Richard Grenell’s often disrespectful, sometimes threatening behaviour. He behaved more like he was running a colonial outpost.

      • Rhys Jaggar

        There’s nothing to understand but that the Democrats set about smearing Trump relentlessly from the moment they lost the 2016 election. Russiagate was unadulterated lies, all made up by intelligence services who are suitably ‘beyond the law’.

        When propaganda war is in full swing, the facts are irrelevant. The only relevance is how much the mud sticks.

        Arguing the facts during propaganda wars is a losing strategy.

        Nancy Pelosi has more blood on her hands than Donald Trump ever did. But she is ‘clean’ and Trump is ‘an enemy of mankind’?

        Do me a favour: Pelosi is a psychotically deranged psychopath who should be at the ICC accused of war crimes, along with a majority of those who occupied the Senate and the Congress since 2002.

  • Theo

    In 2012 Julian Assange came to the same conclusion as this joke of a judge Vanessa Baraitser:
    An extradition to the US (via Sweden) would endager his life. Logically he therefore applied for political asylum, as she admitted.
    Ecuador granted that providing a carefully written and detailed reasoning, afirming the validity of his fears for his life if being extradited. So Baraitser confirms his and Ecuadors decision back then to be in line with international and British law and she herself would have acted equally.
    In the stupidest ruling ever she now punishes him for acting sensibly and in full allignment with international law back in 2012.
    She punishes him for RIGHTFULLY FEARING FOR HIS LIFE. By this logic she has to jail herself into Belmarsh, because just two days before she did exactly the same as Assange in 2012. As his conclusion back then is the ONLY reason for his incarceration, there’s no way out: She has to be put in solitary confinement in Belmarsh to freeze her ass off at night as well.
    The difference though is, that she has no right to complain about it.

    • Courtenay Barnett

      Theo,
      I am only making two (2) simple points:-

      “ So Baraitser confirms his and Ecuadors decision back then to be in line with international and British law and she herself would have acted equally.”

      The point is taken.

      “ She punishes him for RIGHTFULLY FEARING FOR HIS LIFE.”

      So – it is impossible to square the two positions ( then read her decision/Judgment) for an understanding of total incongruity.
      Courtenay

      • giyane

        Courtenay Barnett

        Imho the US doesn’t care about us knowing about their or our war crimes Assange is not being punished for that by Baraitser’s handlers. She herself understands the reason he is in the Ecuadorian Embassy.
        But Arbuthnot and his equivalent in the US are furious that their agents names were published. They cannot punish David Leigh or the Guardian , perhaps because, ahem , they are one of their most important agents.

        The case against Assange is like a spinning top or gyroscope. By continuing to kick it, it continues to stay upright. If it was left alone, it would fall flat on its face. Then it would be perfectly obvious to all concerned that what Julian did was extremely reasonable and legal and he didn’t do the bit they don’t like , which is expose the names of their agents, the Guardian did. Maybe if Julian was extradited and died in prison they wouldn’t tell us. Only the extreme energy of their kicks is supporting the case , against all normal laws of gravity and justice.

  • Goose

    You’d think a serious journalist like Marr – a former broadsheet newspaper editor – would be all over this. Sharing the same concerns Alan Rusbridger has about the precedent being set here. Marr wouldn’t need to address Assange’s case specifically, given a judicial process is underway, just the general principles involved.

    The Guardian casually reports “Starmer accepts end of EU free movement in Brexit reversal” – breaking another of his pledges. Where is the consultation and internal party democracy within Labour party under Trilateral Commission’s Obergruppenführer Starmer? That Starmer can make far reaching policy decisions in such an autocratic fashion? If Corbyn had stated Labour will support Brexit before the last election, all hell would’ve broken loose over the lack of consultation.

    • Rhys Jaggar

      ‘A serious journalist like Marr’? Excuse me, Marr isn’t fit to wipe Andrew Neil’s backside, let alone tie his shoelaces.

      He is a soundbite-obsessed ideologue with a set of political lines he pursues relentlessly.

  • Goose

    Good twitter post by David Sacks -retweeted by Glenn Greenwald- that sums the problem with consolidated internet control, power & free speech in 2021:

    Twitter & FB ban accounts. “It’s not censorship, you can create your own app.”

    Then Google & Apple ban apps. “It’s not censorship, create your own website.”

    Then Amazon bans web hosting. “It’s not censorship, create your own…”

    What? Your own internet? Just so you can tweet?

    • ASC

      The issue is – or should not be – about ‘free speech’ and banning people from social media. It’s about Trump and his neo-fascists feeling free to lie, libel and slander as much as they want without consequence. You have a choice between banning them (or blocking interaction with posts and sticking on ridiculous ‘contested claim’ labels) or making people like Trump actually pay heavily, with their personal freedom maybe, for spreading lies and gross defamation, fomenting violence, including racial violence (and including among law enforcement), and basically testing the pliability of a democratic system for a right-wing coup. Which is what he, his supporters, his financers and his enablers have been doing. The problem is that the internet has created a situation which usually there is literally no consequence for circulating any untruth you wish. ‘Fake news’ and ‘alternative facts’ comes not from an inability to distinguish the difference between true and false, but the absence of any responsibility or accountability for whichever you knowingly choose to circulate. Social media companies don’t really care either way. It’s ludicrous to complain about a Twitter ban now without acknowledging that Twitter basically enabled a Trump presidency in the first place. Personally I’m happy for Trump to tweet. From jail.

      • Goose

        I think the rules regarding incitement to violence are long established, clear, accepted by all, and are, quite frankly good enough, to protect society.

        What we are seeing now is political censorship, masquerading as public protection from misinformation and disinformation. Big tech is acting as judge and jury, suppressing, through use of private corporate algorithms, political and other views that don’t conform to the establishment narratives about domestic and world events. I’d rather be able to read and judge for myself, than have this dystopian alternative imposed in the name of protecting society.

        • ASC

          I’m not really disagreeing with you. I’m suggesting that existing legislation should be enough to hold Trump accountable for any number of criminal actions. However, the situation is somewhat unprecedented in having a deranged, sociopathic narcissistic in a position of huge power (as President of the US) and huge influence (via social media), who is clearly desperate. Before rushing to criticize Twitter, Facebook and Apple (who allowed Trump free reign while it sorted them) I’d be more immediately worried about the consequences of allowing Trump and QAnon mob free reign at this moment. Since much of the Republican Party is backing him, Pence is too weak to call the 25th amendment, and Congressional impeachment will be too slow or even blocked, I do wonder what, exactly, people who don’t want a right-wing white supremacist coup in the US (and spreading beyond) suggest to curb more of the mayhem we saw at the Capitol. And frankly I care less about Trump’s immediate civil rights than the damage a white supremacist US dictatorship would cause. They’re testing for weaknesses. Giving succour to Trump at this moment, in any form, is highly dangerous.

      • Brian c

        the internet has created a situation which usually there is literally no consequence for circulating any untruth you wish.

        The internet didn’t create that. Highly damaging untruths have been pumped out by legacy media for as long as anyone can remember. Look at the BBC justifications for trashing Iraq and Libya and for imposing austerity on the poor and disabled. Or look at the Guardian headlining fake visits to Julian Assange and fake antisemitism ‘crisis’. Always with zero consequences. Some of the loudest voices in condemning fake news are themselves the most dangerous perpetrators of it.

        • Goose

          It’s hard to feel sorry for a MSM that has largely discredited itself.

          If people are searching out alternative points of view and explanations (some admittedly wacky eg. QAnon), it’s because the MSM has become little more than an echo chamber of those in power. Look at investigative journalism’s decline in the MSM, and the way the security establishment has sought to control journos(Integrity Initiative) They agencies once respected the division between security state and journalism and the vital role investigative journalism played. What did those seeking to control journos think would happen? Did they think the public wouldn’t notice how newspapers were no longer questioning narratives?

          • Goose

            On Trump being banned, Matt Hancock said the move showed Twitter “taking editorial decisions” and by implication accepting that social media companies are not just platforms.

            That’s the logical conclusion. It’s why these ‘platforms’ should’ve been far more transparent and nonpartisan as a matter of policy. I fully support the idea they are mere hosting platforms and not responsible for user created content, but this targeting drives a coach and horses through through their own defence.

          • Goose

            A good example of the unquestioning toady nature of today’s MSM, is in how people had to come to blogs like this to read a perfectly reasonable critique of the Skripal narrative. In the not too distant past, such reports would have appeared in the guardian, Times under a heading such as “The troubling unanswered questions in the Skripal case”, not now, contradictions and timeline problems ignored in favour of a simple Goebbelsian assertion.

        • ASC

          That the internet didn’t create untruths seems fairly obvious. What it did create is a medium through which entire ecosystems can be created based on untruths, virtual reality worlds that absorb millions and evolve almost independently. How can I challenge a QAnon virtual ecosystem? It’s completely inaccessible to me. I have little or idea what ideas (and lies) are even circulating. The BBC, Guardian etc. can be challenged in various ways because I know what they’re publishing. I have ready access. It’s a basic level of accountability, even if the law and state cultivate and protect various media narratives and their supporters. I oppose permanently barring Trump on Twitter etc. as it will create more and larger mutually non-communicating social media bubbles. Perhaps that’s inevitable. But whatever the case, he needs to be held accountable for the riot he incited and prevented from causing further and perhaps worse damage before he’s gone from the White House.

          • Brian c

            The lies pushed by the BBC and Guardian had much darker repercussions than any of Trump’s, and they have not been held accountable in any way. In fact we have a MSM culture where it is not widely accepted they did promote lies in any of the instances I mentioned. Those media institutions remain far more influential in shaping public opinion than social media and are permitted to tell disastrous lies with impunity.

      • Wikikettle

        ASC. How dare Trump go over the heads of the filtering fake media, direct to the public. How dare Trump be thr first President not to start a new war for decades. The media was captured years ago by the big boys. Everyone is outraged by the right wing mob entering the Capitol. On the back of which the big boys have closed the circle of censorship. However much a moron Trump was, he more than any previous Preident in recent times has far less blood on his hands from wars of aggression abroad. If he should be in Jail then what about his predecessors ?

        • ASC

          Trump may have had no interest in an international war. His interest has always been in a domestic (civil) race war. I should that have become obvious by now.

      • Tatyana

        I can understand Twitter’s motives for blocking Trump for fear of more violence. But the Trump team is also blocked, and that makes a completely different matter. I believed that Trump’s supporters are almost half of the country. They can be a thousand times wrong in their actions, but is it unprecedented to just shut them up and ignore them.

        • ASC

          I agree. Censorship will ultimately have a negative impact. However the Republican Party, its base and increasingly the majority of its congressional members, have shifted towards neofascism: white supremacist, armed, violent, paranoid, rejecting basic democratic process (which involves accepting you lost an election).The idea that this may just be alarmism should have dissipated now – if not long ago.

          • Goose

            Social media or no social media, can’t see Trump being silenced for long.

            Fox News will probably give him his own show or segment. Whether people hate him or love him, everyone seems to have an opinion and he’ll probably be good for ratings, ultimately that will surely count.

            As for his angry base, the real problems could come when Biden/Harris become unpopular .

        • Rhys Jaggar

          AT least 40 million of them will be shutting down their Facebook and Twitter accounts, if they have them. They will be migrating to a new platform.

          Twitter is becoming the yapdog chamber for ‘liberals’ and ‘democrats’ who are showing themselves to be stridently authoritarian and absolutely anti-democracy.

      • Johny Conspiranoid

        ASC
        The people that are chosen to police the internet will not be any better than Trump. Can you think of any examples of Trump doing the things you mention?

        • Mary

          A. Cleggover –

          PMQs sketch: Nick Clegg wished Harriet Harman had kept her nose out of his sex life
          PMQs is much more fun when the questions are on the 30 women Nick Clegg slept with, says Sunday People Political Editor Nigel Nelson

          https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/pmqs-sketch-nick-clegg-wished-4782803

          No accounting for reasons why certain politicians are voted for. IMHO it’s gullibility.

          Anyway he’s gone away to collecting dollars. He landed us on a plate to the Tories. Thank goodness I have never voted Tory or LD locally or nationally.

      • giyane

        ASC

        ” Social media companies don’t really care either way. “

        If they don’t care, why do they get very right-wing neo-liberals like Nick Clegg to run them? This pretending to look the other way is in reality very heavy duty gatekeeping. It scoops up supposedly encrypted, supposedly un-identifiable opinion and delivers it to the intelligence agencies. It also gives a publishing platform for professional political dissent, which also gets scooped up in the same way.

        I know the mind boggles how big data can benefit the powers that be, but AI is now an essential tool of the msm and politicians, just like supermarkets. The demonstrations on Capitol Hill are no more than a marketing strategy to discount washing powder, a pressure relief valve to mitigate the anger generated by their criminal forging of ballots in favour of their shit candidate, Joe Biden. Like releasing water into a flood plain.

        Remember how they feted Gadaffi in Paris to make him relax his guard before the bank robbery. The mission to incapacitate Sunni Islam was complete, and the US now needed to eradicate the proxy army they had created to trash the Middle East. Enter Donald Trump. Daesh is dealt with by US allies Iran and UK. Trump now needs to be switched off so that they can advance East from Azerbaijan towards China, rescuing a hundred otrher countries from Russia’s sphere of influence.

        How do you retire a populist who commands the patriotic yearning of half your country? Give him a stupid stunt which causes the entire msm to have the vapours. He retires peacefully. Long may his lum reik in Bonnie Scotland. To be very honest, I am so bored with the fiction of modern politics, I haven’t followed the Capitol Hill tripe at all. It’s just another round of Hollywood fiction, which embarrasses us if we let it activate our vicarious search for excitement. Political porn. White poodle doo-doo.

        • ASC

          Nick Clegg may be neoliberal but if you call him ‘very’ right-wing, you’re going to run out of political labelling space very quickly. He’s a classic ‘soft Tory’, right-wing, increasingly rare.

          “…their criminal forging of ballots”: what proof do you have of that? If you’re going to argue for a manufactured result, I also wonder how much you factor in (Republican) voter suppression of black and Latino populations? Multiple forms of disenfranchisement?

          Why would the capitol demonstrations be a marketing strategy? Whose? And mitigating anger or releasing an anger stoked on the basis of fabricated claims that ‘Trump really won’? I’m no believer in violence as catharsis, or a release valve, the complete opposite: it usually generates the pretext for more violence. And why do you think Trump – or at least Trumpism – is going to retire?

          I do agree about social media companies being a way for state agencies to hoover up our personal data. That’s been obvious virtually from day one with the likes of Google. Though I don’t see how a few people opting out, or many people switching to another ‘alternative’ company with (probably) zero transparency or viable protection from state agencies really improves that fact.

          • Goose

            Nick Clegg wasn’t a neoliberal, but by the end of his political career he’d certainly sold his supporters out.

            I remember him looking utterly disgusted with himself in the HoC , sat next to Cameron in that coalition, on more than one occasion. The low point was in whipping his party to support military action in Syria in 2013 – former leader Charles Kennedy didn’t vote iirc. Had Clegg voted against action and given the Security State | Big Tech nexus, you can wager he’d have never got the highly lucrative position in the US at FaceBook.

            In 2010, Nick Clegg was calling for a radical shift in foreign policy, arguing for an end to Britain’s “default Atlanticism” , closer engagement in the EU and a review of the UK nuclear deterrent. He basically gave up.

          • Giyane

            ASC

            I’m not suggesting as Trump is suggesting that the rigging is criminal against him, only that the ballots are sacrosanct in our stupid system, so sacrosanct that no proof is ever available to contradict the choice of the PTB.

            Just how the Holy Spirit is trapped inside the wine is a similar mystery of the Delphic Oracles and C of E.

            Every 1st world democracy in the world is disenfranchised in the same way, as well as their colonial protege.

            Lastly, Trump is not going to retire, but be retired, having served his purpose in the cogs of USUKIS gimme yet money hegemony.

          • Goose

            @Giyane

            I don’t know about ballot stuffing, but there were pictures of people queuing for 10 hours to vote, in certain counties.

            The US is the richest country in the world with billions of dollars spent on ‘attack ad’ campaigns, there are all manner of suppression techniques and district gerrymandering is going on, some of it would embarrass a country in central Africa. Suppose given the poor quality of recent Presidential candidates they are lucky folks can be bothered to vote at all. Envious of US democracy Europe ain’t.

          • Giyane

            Goose

            Nick Clegg is a neo-liberal to the core. He might well have been disgusted that people like you were able to watch him launch the LibDem Party into mainstream neo-liberalism.

            When someone greets you with a large smile, you wonder if they are smirking or happy to see you. The alligator isn’t smiling. He’s ventilating the digestive gases from his latest victim.

            The expression you saw on Clegg’s stupid face was: ‘ Thank God my treacherous deal with Cameron, letting the unelectable Tories win the election, gives me an excuse not to carry on pretending to be a LibDem.

          • Brian c

            Nick Clegg is exactly the kind of leader liberal-centrist Britain deserves and will keep on getting in perpetuity.

          • Johny Conspiranoid

            “…their criminal forging of ballots”: what proof do you have of that?”
            There’s proof and then there’s likelyhood.

          • nevermind

            He could not understand what Brexit meant when he advised his party to abstain from the referendum vote in Parliament which set us on to the course we are ploughing today, because he was more into the prestige to be in Government, the perks that came with it and the kudos that gave the Lib Dems, not a thought of the consequences.
            First they succumbed to the Tories in a week of speed dating, daring to call it coalition talks and then, power dazzled and grateful for a few jobs, they committed the country to a chaotic saga that lasted 5 years, by abstaining.
            They should have resigned their coalition at this point and rather than loose billions in trade later on, commit to an extra election expense and debate what Brexit actually would mean during an election campaign.

          • Johny Conspiranoid

            “I also wonder how much you factor in (Republican) voter suppression of black and Latino populations? Multiple forms of disenfranchisement? “

            Its likely they’re all at it and have been for centuries. Normaly the two groups of gangsters divvy up who has ‘won’ what but sometimes they fall out and start complaining about each other’s fiddles.
            What’s being marketed is more power for the state to ‘deal with’ these staged events in many peacefull and genuine Trump suporters have been duped into being bit players. The increased state power will be sold as ‘liberal’ in America.
            Yes, just how ‘alternative’ are these alternative media? Any semi-competant bunch of spooks would set up their own, “social media companies being a way for state agencies to hoover up our personal data”. Of course this is a proof free conspiracy theory but then have people stopped conspiring?

          • glenn_uk

            Mary: “Trust that Cleggover is happy in his new mansion in the US. What a worm. Whoever voted for him and the LDs?”

            Whoever voted for him? Craig Murray for one! Surely you’re not calling such voters idiots?

            Why do you call him “Cleggover” anyway? Did he, well, “get his leg over” at some point when he should not? Or is it just some baseless slur?

            No answer expected.

          • Bayard

            “…their criminal forging of ballots”: what proof do you have of that?”

            Er, it’s an election in the USA?

  • Wikikettle

    A very comprehensive interview by Aaron Mate’ on The Grayzone with Nils Melzer about Julian’s continual incarceration.

  • Tony

    The case of James Earl Ray, framed for the assassination of Martin Luther King, highlights the dangers of extraditing people to the USA.

    • Courtenay Barnett

      Tony,
      On point – several years ago I wrote this:-

      ” I MET A MAN –OR, WAS IT JAMES EARL RAY WHO KILLED DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING?
      I met a man. His name was Tupper Saussy. He happened to have been the ghost writer for a book by James Earl Ray, entitled “Tennessee Waltz” published in 1987. The book gives Ray’s account of the events to state that he did not kill Dr. King.
      Saussy’s view, in his long conversations with me, was that James Earl Ray was not Dr. King’s murderer and he explained to me inconsiderable detail why Ray was not the killer, then gave me a copy of the book which I then read.
      On Thursday, the 3rd April, 2008, I watched a CNN special on the eve of the anniversary of Dr. King’s assassination. The book came back to mind and I asked myself on conclusion of the CNN special – why is CNN trying to confuse the public?
      Before I return to the book’s contents, I would invite the reader to look at the physical location at the Lorraine Motel, where Dr. King was shot, and consider the photographs of the positioning of surrounding buildings, the trajectory of the bullet, and the direction that the witnesses present were all pointing to when the single shot rang out that killed Dr. King. The web site is worth a visit and it is at 🙁http://www.whatreallyhappened.com/ARTICLE1/overlooked.html).
      The reasoning at the web site is sound, the pictures are clear and the conclusions can logically be drawn.
      Back to the book. Read Ray’s own story for yourself and draw your own conclusions. The points I would leave you with are these:-
      A. Why would the witnesses present all be pointing in the direction they heard the shot come from, and CNN be leading the unsuspecting public in 2008 towards some alternative belief that they were pointing elsewhere to a window at a rooming house across the street, from where Ray is supposed to have shot Dr. King?
      B. Is there anything to be made of Ray’s reference to an operative or handler called “Raoul”, and if Ray was this perfect sniper shot who assassinated Dr. King – did he simply conveniently drop all his evidence outside the doorway of the rooming house, to link him to the crime?”

      Here:-

      http://www.tucradio.org/Who_killed_MLK.pdf

      • Courtenay Barnett

        Continued:-

        C. If, it was Ray’s doing from reference to B above – then why don’t the test bullets fired from the weapon attributed to Ray notballistically match the bullet taken from Dr. King – so who did fire the weapon that killed Dr. King?

        Conclusion
        A single person cannot be in two places at the same time. There are two (2) vantage points for the location of the sniper who didthe shooting (1) a window from the rooming house and (2) the Gattis penthouse ( to which Andrew Young and all other witnessesare pointing at the time of the shooting).
        Again, carefully review the photographic evidence at the web site:-
        (http://www.whatreallyhappened.com/ARTICLE1/overlooked.html).
        Now – you decide – who killed Dr. Martin Luther King?
        When the state is confronted with legitimate challenges against its destructive polices:-

        “…I knew that I could not ever again raise my voice against the violence of the oppressed in the ghettos without having firstspoken clearly to the greater purveyor of violence in the world: my own government.” – Martin Luther King in his “Beyond Vietnam” 1967 speech.

        it has the power to destroy those who dare speak truth to power. The agents of the government of the United States of America didfirst attempt to destroy the reputation of Dr. Martin Luther, and used its FBI’s COINTELPRO program to try by criminal means todestroy the credence of those who fought for and sought equal rights and justice. When that failed – well – simply stated, the agents of the state just murdered Dr. King.
        Courtenay Barnett – 4th April, 2008

        ________________________________

        • cimarrón

          Courtney,
          On US assassinations: comment from this blog, posted in 2010 –

          Edo at January 29, 2010 3:08 PM:

          “I’m afraid we were misled,” Salandria said sadly. “All the critics, myself included, were misled very early. I see that now. We spent too much time and effort microanalyzing the details of the assassination when all the time it was obvious, it was blatantly obvious that it was a conspiracy. Don’t you think the men who killed Kennedy had the means to do it in the most sophisticated and subtle way? They chose not to. Instead, they picked the shooting gallery that was Dealey Plaza and did it in the most barbarous and openly arrogant manner. The cover story was transparent and designed not to hold, to fall apart at the slightest scrutiny. The forces that killed Kennedy wanted the message clear: ‘We are in control and no one — not the President, not Congress, nor any elected official — no one can do anything about it.’ It was a message to the people that their Government was powerless. And the people eventually got the message. Consider what happened since the Kennedy assassination. People see government today as unresponsive to their needs, yet the budget and power of the military and intelligence establishment have increased tremendously.

          “The tyranny of power is here. Current events tell us that those who killed Kennedy can only perpetuate their power by promoting social upheaval both at home and abroad. And that will lead not to revolution but repression. I suggest to you, my friend, that the interests of those who killed Kennedy now transcend national boundaries and national priorities. No doubt we are dealing now with an international conspiracy. We must face the fact — not waste any more time microanalyzing the evidence. That’s exactly what they want us to do. They have kept us busy for so long. And I will bet, buddy, that is what will happen to you. They’ll keep you very, very busy and eventually, they’ll wear you down.”

          http://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2010/01/the_911_post.html#comments

          • Courtenay Barnett

            Cimarron,
            Yeah – I am ‘boy Courtenay’ not ‘girl Courtney’ – but no problem – it is the ideas which mainly count.
            I don’t have a problem with what you/Edo have pointed out. All true.
            Follow the money to get to the political power – then trace a line to military action. Eisenhower in his farewell speech in the early 1960s warned of this very development in the US.
            However, if I or you or anyone else speak, write, comment on the micro or macro domestic and/or global issues – isn’t it better to know and be aware than to be brain dead – dormant – disinterested and hopelessly frustrated?

          • Squeeth

            Why would the boss class bother conspiring to kill Kennedy when the 22nd Amendment of the Constitution was going to do it for them?

  • Cubby

    Good luck on the day of your trial Craig. Is it a weird coincidence that it is the same day ( 26 Jan ) that Sturgeon is scheduled to attend the Inquiry Committee meeting.

  • cimarrón

    Goose,
    ‘…Biden has brought Victoria “Fuck the EU” Nuland back’

    Bag Lady of Kiev –
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lpNAhrG3b3I

    Nuland is married to Robert Kagan, co-founder of the neoconservative Project for the New American Century, which produced the 2000 paper “Rebuilding America’s Defenses”, asserting that only a “new Pearl Harbor” would enable the military and defence policy transformations the group desired to rapidly take place – then, ‘Bang!’ – 9/11.

    Geoffrey Pyatt (seen in the Bag Lady video), US ambassador to Ukraine at the time of US interference, went on to become ambassador to Greece – a country considered ‘crucial in the West’s effort to limit Russian energy influence’.

    —————————————————————-

    Tatyana,
    “Biden also brings Psaki back”

    US State Department: Slaying ’em in the aisles –
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E34PQuPCgLw

    • nevermind

      Maybe Nuland knows stuff about the Biden family and their deals with Ukraine than is healthy to Biden, Cimarron, so best to keep her inside the tent, rather than having her big ego trying to usurp his plans with new secretive arms deals over, above and without talking to the EU. Safety first.

      • Goose

        Really hope the strategy isn’t to ratchet up tensions with Russia, encouraged by the US MSM. No one in Europe wants or needs escalating tensions.

        The frequent ‘incidents’ : recent hacking allegations , Skripals, Navalny etc could be aimed at maintaining sanctions, keeping Russia in the international doghouse. Obama’s administration despised Putin because of Syrian intervention being thwarted, Crimea being annexed and Snowden’s asylum, this, before the allegations of electoral interference in 2016. As Biden was vice President at that time it’s probably a reasonable assumption to think hostilities may be resumed.

  • ronan1882

    For me the most worrying aspect of the case has been the willingness of the media and mainstream intelligentsia to stand to one side during one of the greatest attacks on press freedom in modern history. They either remained silent or made nit-picking attacks on Assange’s personality, despite the implications for their own industry. If anything worthwhile at all has resulted from Assange’s persecution it is that at least there is now total clarity about who the British media are and what we are dealing with.

    • Goose

      The US and UK where war criminals who leave behind total chaos are not only protected but lauded as elder statesmen : Blair : Iraq, Afghanistan, and Cameron : Libya.

      And mere truth-tellers: Julian and Craig are hounded and jailed.

      Will history record these as some of the worst abuses of judicial power and prosecutorial misconduct since the Salem witch trials?

    • Goose

      No one stands up for civil liberties these days. That’s why so many believe we could be on the verge of Anglo-US fascism.

      We elect politicians to represent us, protect our liberties, not defend the security state’s latest power grab. Virtually no leadership opposition in parliament to ever increasing draconian measures aimed at crushing dissent.

      Amazing how many politicians think it is their job to act as spokespeople for the security state rather than defend our rights. Of course from a security perspective you’d see new powers from a purely utilitarian perspective, but politicians should be more questioning.

      • Goose

        Another example tonight: Shami Chakrabarti bravely trying to amend the CHIS bill (aka. the spycops bill) in the HoL facing being briefed against (new Labour style) by Starmer’s allies. Starmer demanded Labour peers abstain. Shami Chakrabarti was director of Liberty and Starmer was once a legal officer for the campaign group. She should have confronted him.

        https://labourlist.org/2021/01/chakrabarti-tells-labour-sources-briefing-against-her-to-grow-up/

        In the Guardian’s report they mention former undercover police say the power is most frequently used in drug cases. Support more liberal drug laws and you could fix the need.

  • JohninMK

    I see some parallels in what is happening in the US to the British Establishment reaction to the growing popularity of Corbyn. In both situations a man that might become an independently minded political leader needed to be curtailed. In some ways it was much more critical here as Corbyn was the leader of an independent party as opposed to Trump being nominally the leader of half the US Uniparty. The big difference as it turned out being that the British, having more perceived risk and more skill and experience in this kind of situation acted far sooner, before they had a big and much more difficult/public problem. The US of course as normal in their overconfident way, left it too late by underestimating Trumps votes in 2016 and got stuck with a problem that has continuously increased since.

    After the shock that an outsider won in 2016 they clearly decided to make sure that only ‘anointed’ ones had a chance in the future, as they had in the past. What is happening now can be seen as a typical US over-reaction to underestimating again another unexpectedly large Trump vote, followed by him not playing by their ‘rules’ and accepting it, along with a determination to ensure that he will no longer be a threat post 20th Jan.

    The events at the Capitol on the 6th look to have been a very successful part of that operation and we can see that the next stages of the plan are well underway. What seems to be happening is far more strategic than a bit of public deplatforming here and there. It is now all about ruthlessly eliminating any meaningful uncontrolled opposition.

    Wars and their battles, be they political or physical, are only won with the interchange of information, logistics and communications leading to organisation and co-ordinated plans followed by actions. Those controlling the future of the US seem now to be well down the path of eliminating this as a risk to their plans. As in, how in the situation that seems to be unfolding, will this be possible any more?

    In particular, how can you organise and set up supplies for an event, or even perhaps a meeting, when almost the only way of securely communicating will be by word of mouth, hand passed letters or maybe CB radio? In effect, nothing out of your local community. The situation unfolding is that the IC and the three letter agencies will be in the 21st Century, the unauthorised opposition will barely be in the 17th.

    Whilst it looks unstoppable, the DC power base may be overestimating their power over the people. Americans tend to be a pretty independently minded bunch that don’t bow down, they give the third finger to authority. The runes point towards the US being headed towards a period of very messy people versus the Government.

    Imagine what would have happened here if Corbyn and the Labour Party as it was that he led, rather than the sanitised party with its sanitised leader that it is now, had actually won the last election. A very British panic in the upper levels of the Establishment perhaps?

    • Goose

      When did the US last have a genuine, ‘real’ political choice in a presidential election? Nixon and Carter’s eras in the 1970s perhaps?

      Trump wasn’t an insider, he was independent, but he wasn’t a risk to the power brokers – the cliques and cabals.

      • Goose

        The great error we all make as a public is in believing politics is untainted, and politicians just ’emerge’ in a natural, non-manipulated process. Why wouldn’t elites try to get ‘their people’ into top positions? Look at Keir Starmer.

      • Tom Welsh

        You need to look for a time when the political establishment was genuinely horrified at the outcome, as someone who was not “permitted” won the election.

        Before Trump, you probably have to go back to Lincoln. Incidentally, Lincoln faced a lot of the same insults and obstruction as Trump. But, being a great natural politician, he went into the revolving door last and came out in front. If necessary, he directed to courts to imprison awkward opponents in direct defiance of the law and the constitution. He threatened to have stubborn opponents shot without trial.

        • Goose

          I think it’s because the security/military complex establishment have become too powerful and too dependent on the ‘right’ people being in power. Their needs have damaged the public’s democratic choice considerably.

          No one in the US would claim Biden is the best alternative to Trump the US could hope to produce. Admirable people wouldn’t be let near the presidency though, because they’d be appalled at how things are really conducted. Much like the scene in A Few Good Men where Jack Nicholson’s character shouts “You can’t handle the truth!” trying to maintain a global hegemony is a messy business. Look at what Snowden revealed and how he opened people’s eyes to the staggering Anglo ambition to dominate the world.

        • Goose

          Yes, I’m sure they initially feared Trump. Probably overestimated his ability?

          He ended up with Mike Pompeo – ex CIA chief, as the filter or firewall. If Trump had, as his Tweets suggested, been truly against the ‘Deep State’ and anti-establishment then someone else would’ve been picked for that role.

      • Bramble

        We had a real choice in 2019. The people chose the proto-fascist Brexit Party, which was effectively backed by the “liberal” Establishment. Denying people the choice isn’t needed when the people themselves choose far right demagogues and claim to “hate” mildly social democratic reformers on the grounds that they are not militaristic patriots.

    • Walt

      “Imagine what would have happened here if Corbyn and the Labour Party as it was that he led, rather than the sanitised party with its sanitised leader that it is now, had actually won the last election. A very British panic in the upper levels of the Establishment perhaps?”

      I do imagine. Or rather, I did. But first, it would not have been allowed to happen, Pompeo said so, and even if it had, the covid experience would have buried that anyway. Imagine Corbyn getting away with what Johnson has inflicted? Not a chance, he would have been roasted by now.

      I regarded Corbyn’s leadership as the last chance for the country I was born into in 1944. There was still something to believe in, into the 1970s, but from Thatcher on, it was all downhill. I founded a manufacturing business in the UK in 1994, it is now 99% exporting, mainly to Asia. UK entrepreneurship is finished.

      All hope is gone now, and with it any future for a civilised UK. I hope NI and Scotland will go their own way and Wales, my birthplace, will find the guts to follow. On reflection I guess I always hated the superior attitude of England and the English, ruled by royals and Etonians.

      I have a residence permit in one other country and am applying for another, both in Asia. I have no intention of returning. I shall watch with interest the death throes of the UK

      • joel

        The Corbyn-Sanders moment already feels like a fever dream. Now we’re back to rightwing liberals posturing as the only alternative to revanchist nationalists. Morbid symptoms as Anglo-America circles the drain.

        • Goose

          Have they really won though, or is it just Pyrrhic?

          Biden is old and wasn’t a particularly popular candidate, Harris isn’t popular either, if anything ‘anyone but Trump’ won. If they make bad policy decisions both the US left and right will be angry.

          Here, Starmer is making more and more enemies everyday. He’s Blair without the charisma. The press can try to prop him up, but once the covid crisis eases and CLPs meet again, he may face a backlash for his right-wing posturing.

          • Goose

            Not necessarily, I’d imagine these highly compartmentalised agencies wouldn’t get directly involved in politics like that.

            All his decisions as DPP seem to have been very much as authorities would wish for from Julian’s treatment to the torture claims. If he’d been a thorn in the establishment’s side as DPP, and pursued the torture allegations would he have received a knighthood in 2014? Everyone with an ounce of intelligence knows how the system works.

            And no leader of the Labour party should be a member of the secretive Trilateral Commission either. Their own material states : The Trilateral Commission espouses support for private enterprise, economic freedom. What is a person supposedly on the political left doing in such a forum?

          • Goose

            My point being: there are enough people on the political right (politicians and MSM) arguing the case for private enterprise, without parties supposedly on the left joining in.

          • pretzelattack

            biden or harris is going to get us another trump, but that is ok with the dnc, their main focus is on stopping any hint of actual reform. as long as they can cover things up with a “diverse” set of faces, they are fine with losing.

          • Tom74

            I get the feeling we’re probably approaching the ‘sweet spot’ of public discontent where the elite will be wishing they had allowed democracy to run its course in December 2019, rather than cheating and installing Johnson. The backlash will likely destroy both Johnson’s vassal government, and the UK establishment, which so cravenly enabled the far-right to gain control of this country.

          • Bramble

            Is he just a Bliar front man? We know Bliar is advising Hancock (he is probably behind the questionable 12 week wait for a second jab) and Al Jazeera say he is up for a De Gaulle like return to leadership here. I would not mind betting he is also behind Starmer and that Starmer is in fact his “John the Baptist”, preparing the way. With of course the full approval of MI6, Integrity Initiative, Luke Harding, Jonathan Freedland etc – and all the other fascist stooges.

  • CameronBrodie

    Given I appear to have been the recent victim of gross misrepresentation as a “spammer” who’s judgement is undermined by poor mental health, I’m wary of doing more than suggesting that those with an interest might find practical instruction from “Common law tort of negligence as a tool for deconstructing positive obligations under the European convention on human rights”. Hopefully this recommendation is recognised as being made in the best of faith and sound judgement. 😉

  • CameronB Brodie

    While I’m at it, those with an interest might also find practical instruction from “CAUSATION AND RISK IN NEGLIGENCE AND HUMAN RIGHTS LAW”. 😉

    • Goose

      So he’s actually a Ukrainian ultra-nationalist.

      Amazing how everyone jumped on this when due to mhmck’s tweet they thought he was Russian. Russophobic paranoia clearly off the scale in the US.

      • Goose

        His presence, if anything, raises questions:

        How long has he been there? Does he live in the US? Maybe he’s in the US to attend the inauguration?

        Can’t imagine it being cheap for a Ukrainian to travel and stay in the US (plus there’s covid travel restrictions).

        • Goose

          The ‘QAnon Shaman’ – the guy with the fur hat and horns he is pictured with, Jake Angeli, is an out of work actor.

          That fact and this, seems to lend credence to those who are alleging the whole thing was staged to damage Trump, with a hired mob.

          • Goose

            Not suggesting there were hired agitators among the crowd, I don’t know? But it is bizarre that Ukrainian goes from a warzone in eastern Ukraine, to taking part in domestic protest that turned violent at the US Capitol.

            You can wager were he Russian, as first suggested, the likes of Bellingcat would be all over it.

          • pretzelattack

            It wasn’t a hired mob, Goose. Trump has been agitating for this for 2 months. The fact is, he was never very popular, and then came the virus, and he totally screwed the pooch on that. I don’t think he ever had approval ratings over 50%, and he had accrued the kind of ill will that H Clinton had when she lost to him in 2016. I wish he had been beaten because of his authoritarian support for brutal cops murdering black and poor people in the street, or his merciless pursuit of Assange, or his assassination of Iranians, or his complete reversal on draining the swamp, but it was mainly the virus response that did him in. It doesn’t surprise me that a right wing Ukranian would fit right in with right wing Trump supporters; they share many of the same values. for some reason, Trump went all in on the strategy of pretending the virus is a fake problem, and this concerns a lot of people who see the number of cases, hospitalizations and death continue to rise. He wasn’t responsible for all of this by a long shot, but he was responsible for a lot of it. Imo he would have won had he just sat back, let the CDC experts deal with it, and taken credit for it like Obama did with H1N1.

            It all comes back to the same unpalatable truth. 2 bowls of crap ran for President, and one won. As Caitlin Johnstone has pointed out, trump was reliably pro empire during his term; but he just was too impulsive and egotistical to be controlled by many of the powers that be, and that’s why they preferred the less obvious tool of empire Biden. But others like sheldon adelson strongly supported trump. imo biden wont push for extradition for assange but will continue to push for keeping him confined at belmarsh, where biden hopes he will die of Covid or by suicide, and will drag the case out as long as possible to give that the best chance of happening. The empire will continue to try desperately to hang on, and start more wars, and I hope they don’t erupt into nuclear wars.

          • Goose

            I’m not a defender of Trump: don’t like the man or his politics.

            But I also dislike big tech monopolies’ coordinated bans and censorship we’ve seen in recent days. And the liberal US media seem as besotted with Biden/Harris as ours were with Boris Johnson at the last election. There’s a risk of zero scrutiny of Biden’s administration. One of the big reasons the Tories here in the UK aren’t in more political trouble over their handling of Covid and Brexit is because of their kid-glove treatment by our media – a media who simply don’t know how to hold them to account because they’ve been hero worshipping them for so long.

          • pretzelattack

            unfortunately, americans are now experiencing what people in other countries have experienced for a long time, the repression by cops, many of whom served in the foreign wars, the spying, etc etc. so in that sense the exported product has been certified for domestic use.

          • Goose

            Guardian : Army investigates psyops officer for role in Washington on day of Capitol riot

            Capt Emily Rainey of the 4th Psychological Operations Group at Fort Bragg, according a spokesman for 1st Special Forces Command. Known as Psyops.

            She led a group people from North Carolina to the rally according to the report. Not in uniform – as that’d be against DOD policy. Seems strange someone like this would get mixed up in this crazy stuff.

          • lysias

            Ukrainian ultranationalist, psyops officer. It adds up. Deep state was doing its best to discredit Trump.

          • giyane

            pretzelattack

            The vote rigging, the psy-ops, the indiscriminate violence, the MSM histrionics.the fake news. The ultra corrupt American swamp has bee suppressed under Trump. They are now firing on all 20 cylinders , like proper red-necked yanks.

    • giyane

      Tatyana

      In the digital age “looks” and “sounds” are easily made-up or edited. We should never trust digital evidence.
      The political classes are very fond of false flags , just because they can cause a lot of stress and anxiety using fake evidence made by Hollywood animation techniques. They could have filmed the entire episode of what is supposed to have happened inside the building on Capitol Hill on Xmas Eve while Santa was busy filling stockings down chimneys.

      Fake Skripal Novichok or fake B 52 bombers , when we watch films , we suspend disbelief. We have to lkearn to “suspend disbelief” i.e. not believe what our eyes and ears are telling us, whenever government is trying to twist our minds. You saw how the SNP’s smoke and mirrors trickery disappeared in the Alex Salmond court case..

      BTW I have a new screen-saver for my computer. It reads JASSOUS, or SPY in Arabic. I’m hoping it’s really pixxing off the spook who is monitoring what I write. Anyway, just a little bit.

  • Gregor

    Here public (make your own mind up):

    ” Jun 4 2020 18:49:59 (EST)
    EAM LOYALISTS:
    RED1: POTUS twitter removal
    RED2: Central communications blackout [continental US]
    RED3: CLAS movement PELOSI or PENCE
    RED4: Movement of MIL assets [10th Mountain_1st Marine_CPSD_Marine_QVIR] to central locations under guise of citizen riot control.
    RED5: NAT MIL COM CEN
    RED6: SEC OF DEF _instruct1
    USSS
    CASTLE_ROCK
    Q”

      • Tatyana

        amazing how things change … I thought it would be useful for me to learn English phrases
        “excuse me, would you be so kind, please tell me where I can dine nearby. thanks”
        and now I have to use Google Translate to understand the meaning of “trickery, spook, under guise, spoof” etc
        oo-er – I wonder what it means?

        • giyane

          oo-er Tatyana some thoughts might lead you to things you’re not supposed to know about.

          For example, an 80 year old President could never be suspected of dishonourable behaviour.
          But Joe Biden has started his psy-ops before even becoming president by trying to make it appear that Trump is mad, using his influence on the police and military to make it look as though Trump is crazy.

          If that’s the hors d’oevre, what’s the main course going to be like? The next four years are going to be full of psy-ops and fake news. You ain’t seen nothing yet.

        • Mart

          Tatyana,

          “Oo-er” in English is a vocalisation made when the speaker expresses surprise at some intrigue. It’s mostly used with humorous intent, often in response to a suggestive double entendre.

    • Tom Welsh

      The first step, Gregor, is to find out whether Mr Murray or his moderators had anything to do with it. On Dr Kendrick’s blog, for example, many people (including me) have had some or all of their comments censored although Dr Kendrick has done nothing. Apparently the corporations that host blogs may exercise censorship on their own.

      If that is the case, simply try posting under a different handle. That may help.

    • giyane

      Josh R

      ” Vanessa Baraitser cited a suspect report by CNN that accused Assange of conspiring with Russians to turn Ecuador’s embassy in London, where he was trapped in refuge for roughly seven years, “into a command post for election meddling.”

      Russia has traditionally been much less anti-semitic than Britain or Germany and a very large percentage of Israeli citizens have roots in Russia. So Baraitser is not a Russophobe. This is grasping at straws, trying to say that spying on Assange was linked to spying on Russian interference in elections. They were spying on Assange for two reasons, firstly to identify his legal arguments and secondly for damage limitation against any further damning evidence against USUKIS crimes, that Assange might still be able to publish.

      Baraitser has ignored all Assange’s legal team’s evidence. But USUKIS have no idea how much unprintable, unimaginably sordid evidence Assange may still have. They also want to terrify anybody else who has access to those secrets to deter them from publishing it. The suicide threat plays into that narrative. Anybody who releases any more damning evidence will be tortured to the limit of their endurance.

      They probably think that Craig Murray might be a trusted partner of Julian Assange, They will try very hard next week to discredit Craig and close down this blog. And they will probably search his premises.
      There are still 18 years of unpublished war crimes which can potentially close down Western Democracy for good. Hence the diversions about Capitol Hill and other Hollywood tripe.

      Biden is a man who knows where all the skeletons are buried.

  • James B

    It seems pretty clear that the FBI murdered Seth Rich and they’d do exactly the same to Julian Assange if they could, for the same reasons.
    Therefore – he’s actually probably safer in Belmarsh than out on bail. They can’t really do him in when he’s in Belmarsh. If he were out, then they could do him in and when he went missing claim that he had jumped bail.

    • Antonym

      I agree on the lack of scruples with the FBI (or their British counterpart): their leadership is on the drug of “the End justifies the means” since -??- wrongly for a Democracy. For the CIA and Mi6 very few doubt they went off the rails specially after the Iraqi WMD.
      .
      Is sitting in Belmarsh a life worth living? I doubt it, unless waiting for something tangible better that is going to happen for sure – not on my horizon for Julian. Too bad.

  • Jon Cofy

    Baraitser’s judgment spells death for journalism but hang on I’m sure Baraitster seen or heard some of them secret leaked documents . That’s enough to indict her under the same 1917 Espionage act as Assange. How about that Joe Biden. Extradite Baraitster for espionage and really make a name for the good old USA. No public interest defence for her neither.

    In the meantime let’s get Baraitster into Belmarsh maximum where she’ll be safe from covid !
    It’s a travesty keeping the Belmarsh holiday resort from the public. Yeah let us all in to covid safe Belmarsh. 🙂

    And me? No I never saw or heard nuthin secret mate. Nah I’ve got me head stuck where the sun don’t shine. Actually I’m deaf and blind like the MSM as well. This is all a joke right! Isn’t it? Really! 🙁

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