The CIA’s Chinese Walls 174


It is not in dispute that the CIA is in possession of Julian Assange’s legal and medical files seized from the Ecuadorean Embassy, including correspondence and drafting by his lawyers on his defence against extradition to the USA on Espionage charges. The defence submitted evidence of this in court. After Julian was arrested in the Ecuadorean Embassy and removed, all of his personal possessions were illegally seized by the Ecuadorean authorities, including his files and his IT equipment. These were then shipped back to Ecuador by diplomatic bag. There, they were handed over to the CIA.

These facts were agreed in court in Assange’s extradition hearing by the US authorities. However, they claimed that the proceedings were not tainted by the fact that the prosecuting state had seized all the defendant’s legal papers, because “Chinese walls” within the US government meant that the CIA would not pass any of the information on to the Justice Department.

Frankly, if anybody believes that, then I have a bridge to sell you. In any court in any Western jurisdiction against any other defendant but Assange, the seizure of the defence’s legal files by the state seeking extradition would in itself be sufficient for the case immediately to be thrown out as hopelessly tainted. That is without adding the fact that the CIA was also secretly video recording Assange – through the UC Global security firm – and was specifically recording his meetings with his lawyers.

As it happens, UC Global also recorded for the CIA several of my own meetings with Julian, and I shall next month be travelling to Madrid to give evidence in the criminal trial of David Morales, CEO of UC Global, for illegal spying (UC Global is a Spanish company). At least, I shall be if I am not in prison myself as a result of the suppression of my own reporting of the defence in the Alex Salmond case.

I ask one simple question. The CIA put substantial effort into recording Assange’s meetings with his legal team, and UC Global employees also gave evidence they were instructed physically to follow his lawyers, who in addition suffered burglaries and other intrusions. The CIA put effort into collecting specifically his legal papers from Quito. If there are effective “Chinese walls” preventing the stolen and eavesdropped material on his legal defence being given or explained to the American government prosecutors, then who is the market for these legal papers? Who is the CIA providing them to? What other purpose are the CIA supposed to be seizing his legal papers for?

There is no legitimate answer to these questions. I find breathtaking the UK court’s insouciance about the most gross and deliberate violation of attorney/client privilege of which the human imagination is able to conceive. Yet this is just one of the numerous breaches of procedure in the Assange case.

I am frequently asked about the current legal situation. The USA has submitted its appeal to the English and Welsh High Court against the decision not to extradite. The defence have submitted their response to the appeal. In doing so they have also submitted a counter-appeal against the many deeply concerning points on which Baraitser ruled extradition was possible, before ruling it out on the sole grounds of medical history and conditions of custody.

The situation now is complex. The first thing to be said is that the High Court has not yet ruled that the United States government’s grounds for appeal have sufficient legal merit to be considered, and thus accepted the case and set a hearing date. This is taking much longer than usual, and hope is growing that the High Court may rule that the United States’ grounds for appeal are too legally weak to meet the bar of a hearing. If that is the case, Julian could suddenly be released very quickly.

If the appeal is accepted, a hearing date will be set and the legal grapevine thinks that could be as early as July – much quicker than usual. We then have the further complication that the counter-appeal by the defence is not an automatic process, indeed it is exceptional. The normal procedure would be that the High Court would hear the US appeal on the medical and conditions of imprisonment points and the defence response, and rule on that. Should the US appeal succeed, the High Court would send that judgement back down to judge Baraitser, who would reconvene Westminster Magistrates Court and order the extradition. The defence could then appeal to the High Court against the extradition on all the other grounds, which are numerous but headed by breach of the provision on no political extradition of the Treaty under which the extradition is taking place.

The whole process would then start again, which would take us well into 2022 with Julian still in jail. The defence hope the High Court would instead take the counter-appeal at the same time and hear all the arguments together, but it is by no means a given the High Court will agree. If the High Court considers the US appeal weak there is a danger that the High Court would also think a hearing on all the other points – which would last weeks – would be an unnecessary waste of its time. Which leads us to the paradox that a quick victory for Julian on health grounds that sees him released, would leave in place as a precedent the awful aspects of Baraitser’s ruling on extradition for political offence being lawful, and on the dismissal of Article X freedom of speech arguments, and the acceptance of US universal jurisdiction over publishing of US classified information worldwide.

A further paradox which may trouble us in future is that if released, and if Biden as now is determined to continue the persecution of whistleblowers and of Wikileaks, Julian Assange could find himself trapped in England. Anywhere else he goes, including his native Australia, he could be the subject of a further US extradition request leading to imprisonment. This is the dilemma of my friend Lauri Love, whose lawyers advised him against even accepting my invitation to visit Scotland, in case a new US extradition request is issued in any other jurisdiction he visits. Lauri is only safe from extradition in England and Wales.

There is a further danger that the British Home Office might immediately on release seek to deport Julian to Australia on the grounds his UK visa has expired, and that the Australian government may imprison him there in pursuit of a further US extradition request. So in aiming for a situation where Julian can work, run Wikileaks, and contribute his remarkable talent and intelligence to further expansion of freedom of speech and the internet and empowering of ordinary citizens, we still all have work to do.

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174 thoughts on “The CIA’s Chinese Walls

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  • John O'Dowd

    What a disgraceful polity we live in. Yet another reason why we in Scotland must escape – and to reform urgently the disgraceful system seeking to imprison Craig Murray the consequence of our colonial status within the UK.

    • frankywiggles

      Craig’s persecutors would almost certainly be running an independent Scotland.

          • DiggerUK

            It was done by an independent Scottish judiciary. In the absence of any proposal to reform the Scottish judiciary that’s the judiciary you’ll get with independence.

            Starting a new nation with a bent civil service and a bent judiciary will suit the Murrells just fine…_

          • Goose

            Scotland would need a new written constitution to avoid such pitfalls.

            I believe smaller countries can resist being bullied and manipulated by larger ones. But the primacy of new written constitution and enshrining near total govt transparency would be key to keeping such corruption at bay. You almost need a system based on zero trust; one where it’s assumed politicians and judiciary are intrinsically corruptible, therefore the system actively polices itself and prevents that.

          • N_

            near total govt transparency would be key to keeping such corruption at bay

            Can you cite a model for that? Or will giving the thieves in the nationalist Partei their own toy state break new ground for cleanliness, honesty, democracy, people’s rule, and shutting down all the masons’ lodges in possibly the most freemasonic country in the world, so that Scotland can move from having an utterly corrupt regime to having a regime that’s purer than the driven snow? Seriously that doesn’t sound likely. It’s not as if Scotland even has much of a recent tradition (say since the poll tax) of working class or popular movements scaring the bosses and authorities so that things become a bit better or even so that things get worse a bit slower. Where will such a movement come from? And why on earth does it depend on a rising wave of nationalism and xenophobic lies (e.g. the existence of “colonial status” is a xenophobic lie)?

            No trusts? No Channel Islands or Isle of Man bank accounts?
            Will total government transparency be promised in the next “Scotland’s Future” document? Or do we have to hold our noses, go under the water, and trust a bunch of politicians, pockets stuffed with stolen money, to let us come above the surface again when things will be so much better?

            Nationalism and the independence movement serve to obscure the real corruption in Scotland which in much of the country is deeply tied up with the SNP. Nationalism and the independence movement are tools of corrupt thieves.

      • Giyane

        Frankwiggles

        Craig has already said that the consequences of his whistleblowing are already priced into his work. In that case it is inaccurate to call them persecutors. They are unhappy interlocutors as between a rescue team and somebody stuck down a mineshaft. The failed globalist 1% who only know how to make money and nothing else are the ones stuck down the mineshaft and unable to get out.

      • John O'Dowd

        “Craig’s persecutors would almost certainly be running an independent Scotland”.

        Almost certainly true at the outset – if the present SNP both achieve independence and remain in power. Neither of these is a foregone conclusion.

        Scotland will have to tread a difficult path out of colony status. The present instruments of state: civil service, courts, judiciary, prosecution authorities etc. are controlled by, and owe their allegiance to the British in Whitehall and Westminster, and have internalised their ‘colonial administration’ outlook. They are hand-picked to do so.

        Those who followed closely the persecution of the threat that was – and happily remains – Alex Salmond – and the consequent persecution of the only person who reported the defence side of his show trial, Craig Murray, will know that these state operatives were in cahoots with Mr Salmond’s erstwhile party, the SNP, the leadership of which appears to have been compromised and co-opted by the British State.

        Students of British imperial history will recognise that process, and the events as they played out.

        The prosecution witnesses – almost to a woman friends and associates of Ms Sturgeon – had their evidence reported ad nauseam and in salacious detail by the MSM, and especially by the salivating Brit Establishment shills of the BBC propaganda organisation.

        The defence case, was reported in detail only here, and for that Mr Murray is to be punished. We really cannot have non-trustees reporting on state-sensitive show trials!

        That case, the evidence of (mainly) women who told a different tale, was believed by the jury, and to the amazement of everyone who had not read it here, Mr Salmond was acquitted. Indeed, evidence relating to the most serious allegation (indeed just about the only serious allegation – most of the rest was trite and trivial tittle-tattle)- was demonstrated to have been impossible, since the woman in question wasn’t at the event at which the alleged crime took place. The jury did not believe her. All these women remain anonymous, and free to repeat that which the jury dismissed. The BBC, among others has done its propagandist duty and assisted them to do so. An innocent man is daily traduced, and a public that heard only one side, is largely and designedly, ignorant of the facts as revealed in court. The verdict is ignored – not least by that British pet, the First Minister of Scotland.

        Now we learn that the judge in the case wishes to abolish juries in cases of this nature, and Ms Sturgeon has already tried – and will try again, to get rid of juries altogether. How convenient for her. What else has she got planned?

        So indeed, assuming that the defanged SNP is in any way going to try to achieve independence “Craig’s persecutors would almost certainly be running an independent Scotland”.

        Increasingly, those of us who support independence, have little or no belief that that is any longer the intention of the leadership of the SNP – including large numbers of its erstwhile members who, like me, have left the party (in my case after nearly four decades of membership).

        But this is where your thesis falls down Frankie. Since there is little or no likelihood that the SNP will get us independence, there is little or no chance of these people “running an independent Scotland”.

        The independence movement is moving on. We recognise that its official leadership have been compromised, turned, or are just too wealthy and comfortable running the colonial administration. We were always, in any case, much wider and deeper than the SNP, which has now been captured and entered by careerists and even stranger people – with agendas other than Scottish independence.

        Some of us have joined Alba – others remain outwith party structures – increasing numbers even are members of nominally Unionst parties. We recognise that there is a job of de-colonialisation to be done, and we understand that the organs of state will have to be changed and in some cases replaced.

        We can learn from the histories of those who have successfully thrown off the shackles of the British empire – and there are many across the globe – and nearer home – who have done so, that a decontamination process will have to take place.

        We have sufficient clever and dedicated people ready and willing to do so the new state forged from our ancient nation, and believe me Franky we shall do so.

        So let’s get a wiggle on.

        • N_

          Scotland hasn’t got colony status. Can you give your head a good shake, please. You won’t reach sane conclusions based on such a wrong premise.

          As for the idea of supporting the SNP getting its own state for a while because afterwards there will come the glorious day when a lovely popular radical faction of the independence movement gets stronger and stronger and brings about a “second revolution”, there is a name for that ideology. It is called Strasserism.

          Got any examples anywhere, from any time, when the left supported the nationalistic right in setting up its regime and then overthrew it? Because there are many examples to the contrary, or at least when elements of the left were so stupid as to think like that. Usually any leftwingers who support the setting up of the new regime but don’t actually start loving it, and who continue to demand what they thought they were going to get, get killed.

          “New state forged from our ancient nation”. Do you actually care how you use concepts and what they mean? How can a state be made from a nation? What has ancientness got to do with it? Who cares about race movements and in-breeding many centuries ago anyway? Scotland is a brand like Coca-Cola. Different origins, yes, but so what?

          • N_

            Saying “I come from an ancient nation” is like saying “I’m in-bred, me; my greatgreat-…-greatgrandmothers didn’t lift their skirts for any foreigners.”

          • John O'Dowd

            “Scotland hasn’t got colony status.”

            Perhaps not in the formal sense – but we have many of the attributes of a colony, and much of our collective psychology betrays a colonial state of mind. Also our civic structures, cultural and national institutions are largely populated by outsiders, and incomers – especially the further up the tree you go – this is particularly the case in Universities.

            Our culture and languages (Gaelic and Scots) have been suppressed almost out of existence.

            It is worth noting that had the 2014 referendum been restricted to Scots-born electors, we would have won. We have more than 1 million English people living in Scotland – most voted, unsurprisingly, for our continued colonisation.

            But rather than me blabbing on I suggest you read Alfred Baird’s excellent book Doun Hauden: Socio-political determinants of independence:

            https://www.amazon.co.uk/Doun-Hauden-Socio-Political-Determinants-Scottish-Independence/dp/B086Y6MMH2

            This explains our predicament in much better terms than I have here.

  • Giyane

    The question of spying is categorically decided in both English Law and Islamic Law. It is categorically forbidden. Any attempt to change the Laws either of England or of Islam, is itself illegal. Now the illegality of governments is not something governments care too much about, but they do care about is publicity around their illegality. So well done Craig for challenging them on their weak spot.

    As to Islam, banking interest is forbidden, but what I hear my fellow Muslims telling about is putting together a portfolio of several interest based mortgages, because they no longer care about it.
    They no longer care about the absolute forbiddenness either of spying, or killing their fellow Muslims, or driving so fast it causes fatalities to innocents.

    One has to conclude that none if those institutions that present themselves as morally superior, like Britain , or Islam, care any longer about their moral superiority. They are treading water on their glorious pasts.

    However I am an optimist, and I believe firmly that this generation of moral relativism has so let down the next generation that the restoration of moral absolutes.is inevitable. It will happen. But whether it happens before Assange is destroyed completely or as a consequence of him being destroyed completely, is a moot point.

  • mark golding

    Interestingly spying on other people is the thin line between ethics and morality. As an example, spying on your children’s Internet access could protect them from the dangers of the Web. What about spying to ensure your employees don’t steal from you? What is the difference between surveillance, spying and espionage. Here [RT America – “Must see: Explosive video exposes MI6 links to Alexei Navalny”, YouTube 9m 8s] we witness important surveillance to undermine attempts at fomenting political discord.

    It appears spying on other parties is a double-edged sword. However I am disgusted, enraged and exasperated by the way our own government infringes the right of privacy for so called security reasons and espionage laws [“18 U.S. Code CHAPTER 37—ESPIONAGE AND CENSORSHIP”] are continually amended to embody ours and other governments inhumanity, cruelty, barbarity and outright cold-bloodedness.

    • Giyane

      Mark Golding

      The shop camera is visible, so it is recording from a privately owned space in public, just as a street camera is recording. A parent is monitoring and discussing their child’s internet use without any concealment.

      But in my own house or my own space if I don’t know where the camera or microphone is and I don’t know who is spying on me, the person is recording without any consent either open or explicit. That is illegal.

      I would imagine that Julian Assange would have assumed that everything he either said or did was being recorded, because he was in somebody else’s property. He had no power to control them doing that.
      The only control he had was to rehearse his defence options in front of his prosecutors in the hope that they would concede.

      As a result the prosecution decided not to listen to any of his defence, not to have it heard by anyone else, and to try a different case to what was being tried in court. The case they tried was not about harm he did to US assets, but whether it was illegal for him to expose US crimes outside the US. They have decided that in a kangaroo court, outside any Law that currently exists.

      The point is, that if you just spy on your child, without any exchange of ideas or moral discussion , you are behaving illegally, just as the US is with Assange.
      I’m big. You’re small. I’m right. You’re wrong. No books are allowed in this house.

        • giyane

          Mark Golding

          What do you think? Does a smart electricity meter connected to a mobile phone connection have the ability to record everything being said in the room and transmit it to some central computer? The EU is very keen on smart meters on the grounds of them saving energy. It doesn’t save energy at all. But it would be a coup for Big Brother.

          • UWS

            “have the ability to record everything”

            It doesn’t have a microphone. Take off your tinfoil hat. If you want to be paranoid about things, at least pick one of the 5 devices that can really spy on you (but funnily enough conspiracy theorists never pick realistic threats)…

            “It doesn’t save energy at all”

            Wrong and wrong. Why do denialists need to invent nonsense and lie about stuff in order to justify their phobia? Next time you will inform us that the masks do nothing, next gen cell phones emit mind control rays and Bill Gates puts microchips in vaccines…

  • Robyn

    While I appreciate your update, Craig, I just feel now that they want him and they’ll get him regardless of British Justice or Australian citizenship or innocence or whatever. From what I read his legal team wasn’t even able to get him warm clothes for winter, and I understand that early after he was kidnapped to Belmarsh it was fellow Belmarsh inmates who succeeded in getting the prison admin to pass on Julian’s glasses and other essentials. So, while I continue to follow every bit of news to be had on poor Julian, in all honesty I’ve given up.

    • Carolyn Zaremba

      What else have you given up on? Go back to sleep, then. Our job is to keep making noise, keep publishing protests against this illegal persecution and to never stop making noise for one moment. Name and shame the persecutors. Name and shame the system they support. Never stop. Even if all of your friends threaten to leave you.

      • Robyn

        I should have made clear that what I’ve given up is hope. Don’t think for a minute I’m not making as much noise as I can every chance I get.

    • SA

      Reminds me of the title of the book by Slavoj Žižek ‘The Courage of hopelessness’. Maybe realism is not a bad thing when the context is that nothing will change whilst the system is in operation.

  • N_

    The case builds for the citizen’s arrest of US officials in London – the head of the CIA London station, for example, or political counsellor Jennifer Gavito, or chargé d’affaires Yael Lempert.

    Lock them up!

  • bevin

    ” I find breathtaking the UK court’s insouciance about the most gross and deliberate violation of attorney/client privilege..”

    The behaviour of the authorities in this matter-from the DPP under Starmer to the recent farce presided over by Baraitser-has indeed been shocking. One suspects that Julian’s was one of those bodies that Johnson was ready to see piled high, while the leader of the Opposition looked the other way.
    The recent election of the imperialist candidate Lasso-evidently the beneficiary of an extensive and subtle lawfare campaign- in Ecuador adds to Julian’s, as well as that country’s problems.

    • Tom Welsh

      It was Starmer, wasn’t it, who told the Swedes, “don’t you dare get cold feet now”?

      That alone should disqualify him from ever holding political office – or any other position of trust. The man is a giant rat in human shape.

      • Coldish

        It was someone in Starmer’s office, presumably a subordinate. Hard to imagine that the boss didn’t know about it, tho’..

          • Bruce H

            Starmer certainly has everything going for him in the popularity stakes, and yet the odious man was chosen to lead the Labour party. It says something for the other candidates too..

  • Republicofscotland

    If freed and deported to Australia, a country that’s destroyed its economy with China to aid the USA, Assange would surely be extradited to the USA.

    As for Scotland whilst Sturgeon and Wolffe hold the reins of power, I’d advise anyone in Lauri Love’s position to remain exactly where they are.

    Here’s hoping the judicial decisions fall Assange’s way, and he get released sooner than later.

  • Goose

    The Greatest Conspiracies are Open and Notorious. Podcast with Edward Snowden – released Saturday 24th April. Snowden is back from his Twitter sabbatical.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e0zAJfbP3gg [Russell Brand – ‘Edward Snowden: “The Worst Conspiracies Are In Plain Sight”’ – YouTube 19m 23s]

    A good watch. Brand’s a bit rambling at times, but his observations are accurate. It’s the the stuff that’s being normalised (in reality not normal at all) and carried out in plain sight, often met by public apathy, in large part because of media sins of omission. That’s often the worst.

    Assange’s treatment falls into this category and will no doubt be studied by future historians. They’ll wonder why this travesty continued in plain sight. I’d like to think the Biden administration is just stringing this whole thing out and doesn’t want to look weak by backing down immediately, but I’m not so sure. We do know the whole thing is one big abuse of elite power carried out in plain sight.

    • Tom Welsh

      “The great masses of the people in the very bottom of their hearts tend to be corrupted rather than consciously and purposely evil … therefore, in view of the primitive simplicity of their minds, they more easily fall a victim to a big lie than to a little one, since they themselves lie in little things, but would be ashamed of lies that were too big”.
      — Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf (Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston, 1971; original version 1925), Vol. 1, chapter 10, p.231

      That is not even the original source. Goebbels and Hitler learned almost all that they knew about propaganda from Madison Avenue – Edward Bernays and his cronies.

      So it’s not very surprising that, once the Kaiser and Hitler and Stalin have come and gone, American shysters still lead the world (by the nose). And, by and large, the world thoroughly enjoys the experience.

      • Squeeth

        Why “the Kaiser and Hitler and Stalin”? Why not Lloyd George, Churchill, De Gaulle, Roosevelt, Attlee et al. too?

  • Stevie Boy

    The UK is just a client state/poodle for the US. The spineless bastards in Westminster won’t stand up for UK justice or UK Citizens, they just do as they’re told. Following orders.
    The Security Services (SS) are in bed with the CIA who carry out their data collection, spying and renditions on British soil with the connivance of the UK Government. And when they kill British citizens inadvertently/or not the UK Government will ensure they can escape justice by fleeing back to their cesspool in Maryland.
    The UK is an embarrassment governed by criminals. Not in my name.

    • Goose

      The politicians are never asked about this stuff, nor do they ‘collectively’ raise it, It’s llike some Westminster omertà. We found out by chance that ‘hundreds’ of people were subject to special rendition and tortured at various ‘black sites’ in the idiotic lashing out after 9/11 that was the ‘War on terror’. And it’s been swept under the carpet. MP’s like David Davis are having to take the govt to court to get the promised Judge-led inquiry. https://www.daviddavismp.com/david-davis-mp-challenges-refusal-of-judge-led-rendition-inquiry/

      Returning to medieval practices under the cloak of state secrecy.

      • Jimmeh

        I’m no Tory; but I think David Davis seems to be a decent and honourable man. There’s not many honourable politicians around, and you have to settle for what’s available. Apparently there are none in the SNP, and certainly none in Starmer’s version of what used to be the Labour Party.

        • Goose

          That Starmer styles himself as a ‘human rights lawyer’ and yet it’s left to Baroness Shami Chakrabarti to raise muted Labour concerns is just plain bizarre.

          Starmer is suspicious full stop. He was pictured before the last election meeting Tom Watson over lunch. Both are intelligent enough to have known pushing for another EU referendum would be toxic in the Midlands and North. An attempt to sabotage the last election?

          All this bad publicity Johnson is suddenly facing from the BBC, of all sources, is slightly strange too? Are the establishment intent on easing Boris out for someone more ‘war’ pliable like Starmer?

          • Goose

            It’s not just Johnson’s pliability the establishment might be worried about. Many probably believe he lacks the necessary seriousness to ‘sell’ a war. And you can wager wheels are turning and the next war is being planned. Iran seems the most likely candidate, it’s reported the Biden administration is refusing to lift sanctions first, in the goodwill gesture. On this, I personally think Iran is perfectly justified in its position; since it was the US (under Trump ) that showed bad faith by leaving the JCPOA. The US having never properly fulfilled their obligations before Trump walked away too. Objectively, the onus therefore, is on the US. Biden apparently wants to retain some of the sanctions Trump implemented and add new protocols around limiting missile development i.e., effectively punishing Iran because the US walked away. A totally unfair and absurd position.

          • Johny Conspiranoid

            There will have to be a whole lot of ballot rigging to get Starmer elected.

          • Goose

            Don’t you find it strange though? How the MSM floodgates have suddenly opened and Johnson is getting it from all sides? What’s changed? Since as you say, Starmer isn’t likely to become PM, do they want Johnson replaced by say, Jeremy Hunt, or some other Tory MP who’s more conducive to their plans?

            It’s not that the criticism of Johnson and his admin is unfair, but it’s emerged almost from nowhere and the media have had loads of scandals and stories to go at ever since he became leader from cronyism to Cummings. At the last election he refused to be interviewed by Andrew Neil and the media said sweet FA about it remember.

          • Giyane

            Goose

            Israel has run out of countries it needs demolishing Lebanon and Yemen being the most recent.
            Israel told Trump to get rid of Daesh, it was time to consolidate 40 years of destruction and allow them to grow political roots in all the trashed countries of the Middle East.

            CIAda is fully integrated into the Israeli military as proxies for this political work where the homeless serfs might need a nudge.

            That is why the army is proposing to turn its attention to the Pacific India region, leaving the Middle East to be parasitised into greater Israel.

            It’s really very annoying for them that everything they denied for 40 years about Iraq being about making Greater Israel has now turned out to be true. Assange is the thorn they think they can now pull out of their criminal record.

          • Tom Welsh

            If they attack Iran, Goose, they will find they have bitten off more than they can chew. China is too big a boo – especially with its navy just about surpassing the US Navy in strength. They just realised last week that Russia is too big a boo; Mr Putin ordered a rapid mobilisation, and suddenly they were faced with a frighteningly close decision between backing down and thermonuclear annihilation.

            They may think that Iran is not too big a boo, but they would be quite wrong. It can wipe out every US or NATO base for 1,000 miles or more – and every US or NATO warship too. The huge size of carriers just makes them easier targets.

            And if the West seriously attacks Iran, I believe Russia and China will help to defend it. Conceivably India too.

            I hope the reasonably intelligent and experienced people in the Pentagon will tell Sleepy Joe and his clique what they can do if orders are given to start a shooting war.

          • Goose

            @Tom Welsh

            Quote : Mr Putin ordered a rapid mobilisation, and suddenly they were faced with a frighteningly close decision between backing down and thermonuclear annihilation.

            I don’t think that’s why.

            N_ suggested a better explanation, regarding the use of Russian Electronic Warfare (EW) systems in the region – used for jamming and spoofing, the result being malfunctioning systems – the US was probably wary of walking in that trap, which would’ve been humiliating.

          • Kempe

            ” Mr Putin ordered a rapid mobilisation, and suddenly they were faced with a frighteningly close decision between backing down and thermonuclear annihilation. “

            It was Putin who blinked first though.

            India coming to the aid of a Muslim nation…. yeah right.

          • Goose

            Craig mentions Gove on Twitter. And I was thinking the same, it’s one interesting aspect to this story. Gove leapt to Johnson’s defence in an interview, foaming with self-righteous indignation. But Gove’s best mate, who’s ingratiated himself somehow with Carrie Symonds is ‘Chatty rat’ suspect Henry Newman.

            Is there a dual strategy whereby one undermines Johnson (through leaks), while the other plays loyal minister? Gove remember ruined Johnson’s first attempt at a leadership bid when May took over unopposed (as potential rivals fell aside). Gove’s apparently a fan of GoT and he’s very much a Petyr Baelish (Littlefinger) figure himself; hugely ambitious beyond his popularity, but always scheming nevertheless.

      • Johny Conspiranoid

        “It’s llike some Westminster omertà”

        Its not ‘like’ omerta, that’s just what it is.
        Why is David Davis even in ths conservative party?

        • Goose

          It’s becoming even less transparent too. ‘Govt by WhatsApp’ is in the news.

          Ironic, isn’t it,how the UK govt wants to limit ‘on by default’, ‘end-to-end’ secure encryption at a time they’re facing criticism for exploiting that very thing themselves, to limit transparency involving govt business.

        • Tom Welsh

          I wish people wouldn’t talk about the “Conservative”, “Labour” or “Liberal Democrat” parties. None of them is remotely conservative. None of them gives a rat’s arse for working people. And none of them cares about democracy or liberalism, except as obstacles to their goals.

          It would be better to refer to them as “Ruthless Amoral Looter Group A”, “Ruthless Amoral Looter Group B”, etc.

          • Bayard

            Nah, that’s too long-winded. Just call them what they are, Tories.
            Tory (n.)
            1566, “an outlaw,” specifically “one of a class of Irish robbers noted for outrages and savage cruelty,”

          • Tom Welsh

            Bayard, I wanted to avoid giving offence to the Irish. After all, my grandfather was born in Tipperary.

          • Bayard

            “After all, my grandfather was born in Tipperary.”

            But long after 1566, I expect. It’s not being unreasonable to hope that things have improved somewhat since the C16th in Ireland. Comparing someone to a four hundred year old band of robbers isn’t likely to give offence to the present inhabitants.

          • Tom Welsh

            How well do you know the Irish, Bayard? Four hundred years is not going to stop them bearing a well-earned grudge!

  • Ingwe

    Mr Murray, thank you very much for the update on Mr Assange’s legal position. It seemed uncannily quiet and, as a lawyer, I was becoming concerned about about the silence. All is now explained. The legal pirouetting that is going on and the minefield Mr Assange and his legal team still need to negotiate, increases my disquiet.

    I don’t hold that there is anything such as “good old British justice” that will result in FairPlay and justice being achieved. Instead I see further evidence of the extent of Britain’s decline to the toothless role as lackey to the USA and its fascistic leaders, deep state and judiciary. I live in hope rather than expectation.

    • Tom Welsh

      I think as long as Mr Assange rots in Belmarsh, everyone in power is happy. What might alarm them rather is the prospect of any legal proceedings whatever, which might conceivably set him free.

  • Goose

    Read a report yesterday(I think?) in El País. Apparently Spanish police just arrested the guy accused of setting up the surveillance equipment at the embassy – reported he was trying to flee the country.

    Probably wishes it was the UK and he’d gotten the Anne Sacoolas FCO bon voyage treatment.

    • Tom Welsh

      If Washington decide it matters, they will just send in an invasion force to extract him. NATO ShmATO.

      • Goose

        @Tom Welsh

        It’s alleged the information was being sold, or made available (US IPs accessed the material on UC Global’s servers). So no one at UC Global is directly in the employ of the CIA, they’re just contractors. It’s alleged a mutual friend Zohar Lahav, the vice-president for security at Las Vegas Sands, a casino owned by Sheldon Adelson put UC Global’s owner, former military officer David Morales, on to this work. Morales used to provide security services for Adelson’s luxury yacht on its Mediterranean trips

        The US does have good oversight procedures for its intel services, hence why it’d make sense for dirty work like this (illegal), to be carried out by third parties.

        • Goose

          I can’t find that new piece in El País?

          The above is mainly from another piece about the ongoing Spanish investigation.

          • Goose

            We’ve seen this type of thing with Orbis Business Intelligence. Hired to dig dirt on Trump. It seemed wholly inappropriate for politicians to hire a former spy(presumably with many intel contacts) to compile a dossier on an opponent.

            How many of these private ‘security services’ outfits are there?

            And doesn’t it undermine any meaningful legislation, if agencies can simply hire others to do what they can’t?

          • Goose

            Watching the Al Jazeera documentary ‘The Bay of Piglets’, about Silvercorp USA, another private ‘security services’ contractor … hired on a $1.5m retainer, and later to collect over $200m for the successful removal of Venezuela’s Nicolás Maduro.

            This private contracting – with the nod of intel agencies, is out of control. It makes a complete mockery of democratic delimitations and oversight.

          • Goose

            Only previously heard of Booz Allen Hamilton, associated obviously with Edward Snowden and Blackwater Security Consulting (now Academi), a private military company contracted by the US government to provide security services in Iraq held to be responsible for a massacre.

  • Rev Jimmy Riddle

    Ah ha – so now I understand why they found you guilty of contempt of court – when you were only ever guilty of the crime of doing some very good journalism – and I understand why the sentencing has been delayed until early May.

    I’m now quite confident that they’ll bang you up in prison – and the length of the sentence will be conveniently determined by what is necessary to prevent you from speaking on behalf of Julian Assange in Spain.

  • Tom Welsh

    “If the High Court considers the US appeal weak there is a danger that the High Court would also think a hearing on all the other points – which would last weeks – would be an unnecessary waste of its time”.

    Of course the High Court’s precious time is of inestimable value, unlike Mr Assange’s time – which belongs to the state. We often hear that the hours and minutes of a person’s life are their only personal “capital”. So far he has been wrongly deprived of 7 years cooped up in the Ecuadorean Embassy, and a further 2 years in the harshest high-security prison in the UK. Not only that, but his health has obviously been severely endangered.

    Apparently none of that matters in the least compared to the vital need of national governments to keep their hideous crimes secret. And the High Court’s time.

  • Allan Howard

    Off topic….. well slightly. It’s pretty long, and probably about a twenty/twenty-five minute read, but please do so when you have the time:

    J’accuse! Spycops defendant speaks out


    My memories of those times involve attending and organising branch and public meetings and endless discussion and debate. We were open and welcoming and we certainly had nothing to hide. We sold the weekly Socialist Worker newspaper and leafleted on the High Street, on housing estates, on pickets and on demonstrations .Vince Miller first made contact with our branch at the regular Saturday paper sale at the top of Walthamstow Market.

    Week after week we fly posted, supported pickets, collected money for strike funds and slowly forged relationships as we sought to build the movement. In other words we operated within the law in a perfectly peaceful and democratic fashion…..

    However I now know that the Vince Miller I thought I knew doesn’t actually exist. He is a wholly constructed fiction, a fake identity used as a tool for the purposes of political surveillance sanctioned by the state which infiltrated the most intimate parts of my body and my life…..

    The initial revelation of the true identity of a man with whom I had enjoyed an intimate sexual relationship and shared thoughts and feelings of a deeply private nature left me feeling nauseous and revolted. I felt degraded and abused and continue to feel a real sense of violation.

    https://www.counterfire.org/articles/opinion/22267-j-accuse-spycops-defendant-speaks-out

    • Johny Conspiranoid

      Allan Howard

      This shows how managed the opposition on the left is. Perhaps if they weren’t conspiracy denialists they would be able to see these things coming.

      • Allan Howard

        Could you elaborate Johny, because I haven’t got a clue what you’re talking about. How does ‘this’ show how managed the opposition on the left is managed? And managed by whom? As for ‘the left’ being conspiracy denialists, I take it you did a survey at some point asking left-wingers if they are conspiracy denialists. Is that right? And correct me if I’m wrong, but are you saying, in effect, that it’s because all these women (who were duped) are conspiracy denialists, that it was THAT that prevented them from realising that they were in a relationship with a spycop? AND had they NOT been ‘conspiracy denialists’ they would, at some point, have realised that the spycop was a spycop. Is that right?

        The reality IS of course – re your conspiracy denialist assertion – that people on the left are MUCH more open to conspiracy theories and consideration of them than the average person. So, for example, was it just coincidence that John Mann just happened to be at the entrance to Millbank Studios with a film crew when Ken Livingstone arrived there (to appear on the Daily Politics program) some three hours after doing his interview with Vanessa Feltz. I don’t think so somehow!

        Anyway, if I understand you correctly, what you’re saying is that it was the fault of the victims that they were the victims. Is that right?

      • Allan Howard

        PS Were people on the left taken in by the Panorama program about the Labour Party? Were people on the left taken in by the (alleged) Salisbury poisonings? I doubt that many, if ANY, were. So where do you get the ‘conspiracy denialists’ assumption from when in reality it’s entirely the opposite?

  • Fazal Majid

    The Post Office wrongful convictions have shown the disgraceful state of criminal justice in the UK, with courts far too deferential to the Establishment.

    • Frederick Rosyth

      Not sure that there’s a parallel with the Assange uk court saga and the sub postmasters disgraceful treatment, this goes further than The Courts which have only the evidence and arguments presented to judge the case, what’s more concerning than a hindsight view of the judgements is the institutional abuse of power to grind the unfortunate sub postmaster’s into the ground and the deceitfulness of the senior management in prosecuting cases where they were allegedly aware of problems with the Horizon system, who breaks a butterfly on a wheel – The Post Office does, with their in house police and investigation unit, auditors, lawyers and unlimited legal budgets plus the power to bring criminal prosecutions directly to Court without going through the DPP, telling subbies that ‘it’s only you, no one else is having problems balancing the till with Horizon’. Paula Vennells the ex CEO has resigned her other high profile directorships and her CofE role today presumably as an acknowlegment of the wrongdoing of The Post Office during her time as Chief Exec. But who was pulling her strings? The Treasury / HMG perhaps concerned to keep a tight grip on any counterclaims and from loss of face in being exposed for being wrong and covering up and using their full weight against trusted members of the local community. A disgraceful episode for all involved at the Post Office in a suspected deliberate cover up and a sobering reflection on how much trust we should have in an institution that would have once been regarded as beyond reproach. Perhaps the parallel with Assange is the blatant abuse of Institutional and Corporate power.

  • Philip Woodward

    I should have thought the presence of Stella Morris and Julian’s children here in England would make it extremely difficult for the Home Office to deport him to Australia. Their only chance would be to rely on the extraordinary cruelty with which they have treated Julian in order to argue that he hasn’t “put down roots” here. A clear plan of action is plainly needed in the event of his release from Belmarsh.

    It should be noted that Westminster Magistrates’ Court is not a superior court of record, so while its judgements can be cited in other cases, other courts (including other District Judges (Magistrates’ Courts) are not bound by Baraitser’s judgement. Any issue that the High Court considers and rules on will see a binding precedent set. Therefore if the High Court throws out the US appeal without considering the defence’s cross-appeal points, the High Court won’t have endorsed any of the troublesome aspects of Baraitser’s judgement. It simply won’t have considered them since the defence would have already won the case. There would continue to be no binding precedent with respect to those points.

    Of course it would be better to have those issues heard by proper judges in a proper court and for Baraitser’s findings in favour of the US government to be overturned. But the path to achieving that is fraught with danger – if the High Court upholds Baraitser on any point, it sets a binding precedent as a superior court of record.

    • Wikikettle

      As mentioned previously byTom Welsh, and to the chagrin of Kempe, the world, in my opinion has changed now. Both Russia and China now feel strong enough to speak of Red Lines, no longer to be crossed. This was echoed by no less than former British Ambassador to Russia, who was interviewed by Afshin Rattansi on Going Underground. His feeble tropes and smeers were destroyed by Afhin. Yet he agreed we were not that stupid to risk a nuclear exchange. So now the school bully has had his bluff called, all the other children in the playground will one by one tell him to sort out his own problems and leave them alone.

      • Goose

        Hopefully there’ll be no need for war. They say war is always a failure of diplomacy.

        Why is it the Russians and Chinese always sound the more sensible, restrained ones in interviews these days? Russia and China, based on their words, seem to want a world built on mutual respect – a multipolar world. I too favour multipolarity, I think any single power with an overwhelming military advantage, would be to the detriment of the entire world. This respect isn’t a commentary on the Russian or Chinese systems, we should be able to demonstrate mutual respect without getting hung up on seeking ideological dominance over each other. I honestly wonder whether we’ve got the sort of sensible politicians willing to accept equal status moving forward. If not, a catastrophic war is inevitable.

        • Kempe

          You might have something if it weren’t for the muscle flexing over Ukraine and Taiwan. China’s newest warship is a large (40,000 tonne) amphibious assault ship. This is not a defensive vessel. Two more are under construction with another 5 planned.

          • Johny Conspiranoid

            ” a large (40,000 tonne) amphibious assault ship. This is not a defensive vessel.”

            How can you tell a defensive vessel from a non-defensive vessel? Surely it all depends on how it is used. The amphibious assault ship could be used to respond to an attack from the ring of bases surrounding China.

          • Wikikettle

            Kempe. Since when have our warships been defensive ? China and Russia can easily be bottled in/blockaded via the Bosphorus and narrow entrance of South China sea. We can no longer have an arms race and bankrupt either China or Russia. Russia is now “pivoting” to spending on domestic infrastructure, education, health, transport, energy supply to local communities, having secured its deterrents. China is much more vulnerable to blockade as it has to import and export via sea routes, having no raw materials or oil and gas. It is in the same situation Japan was in prior to Pearl Harbour. The US had blockaded it prior to the attack. Our policy of “Containment ” will lead to war.

          • Tom Welsh

            Ukraine has historically been part of Russia. (For over 1100 years now; about since King Alfred ruled in Wessex and conceived of the idea of a future England).

            Taiwan has historically been part of China. (Since approximately forever – certainly long before the Roman Empire).

            Moreover, how Russia and China act towards large parts of their national territory is absolutely none of the West’s business.

          • Tom Welsh

            @Wikikettle:

            ‘Since when have our warships been defensive?’

            No warship is ever ‘defensive’. Their purpose is to kill and destroy. But it is true that British warships have never been required to defend the UK since 1945. Today their only purpose is to bully foreigners.

            ‘China and Russia can easily be bottled in/blockaded via the Bosphorus and narrow entrance of South China sea’.

            Not really. The Russia Black Sea Fleet can be bottled up, true (unless it chooses to fight its way out, or somehow get Turkey to give it free access). Any hostile ships or othe rassets trying to dispute its passage could be destroyed by, for example, MiG-31s launching Kinzhal missiles from Russian airspace. Russian missiles can destroy almost anything in the entire Mediterranean.

            However you can’t bottle up a world power that easily. Russian ships also have the Northern and Eastern ports, from which they can sail anywhere in the world. No doubt Moscow also takes the obvious precaution of having many submarines pre-positioned near enough to the shores of likely aggressors.

            As for China, ‘bottling up’ its navy in the South China Sea accomplishes little, as defending that area is a large part of its remit. If it needs egress, there is a large exit to the Philippine Sea between Taiwan and Luzon.

            Moreover, only one of China’s main naval bases is on the South China Sea. The North Sea Fleet and the East Sea Fleet have direct access to the Pacific. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/People%27s_Liberation_Army_Navy#Fleets

          • Tom Welsh

            @Wikikettle:

            ‘China is much more vulnerable to blockade as it has to import and export via sea routes, having no raw materials or oil and gas. It is in the same situation Japan was in prior to Pearl Harbour’.

            That would be somewhat true, were it not for the immense hinterland of Asia behind China. Plentiful oil and gas are cheaply and reliably available overland from Russia, not to mention Iran and other sources. (Although land transport from Iran to China is still a few years away). Also ‘China also has significant deposits of oil and natural gas most of which are located in the country’s northeastern region’. https://www.worldatlas.com/articles/what-are-the-major-natural-resources-of-china.html

            ‘No raw materials’ is a bit of an exaggeration.

            ‘China is the major supplier of critical raw materials, accounting for 70% of their global supply and 62% of their supply to the EU (e.g. rare earth elements, magnesium, antimony, natural graphite, etc.). Brazil (niobium), USA (beryllium and helium), Russia (palladium) and South Africa (iridium, platinum, rhodium and ruthenium) are also important producers of critical raw materials. The risks associated with the concentration of production are in many cases compounded by low substitution and low recycling rates’.
            https://www.betterworldsolutions.eu/raw-materials-world-becoming-dependent-china/

            ‘How China’s mines rule the market of critical raw materials’
            https://www.dw.com/en/how-chinas-mines-rule-the-market-of-critical-raw-materials/a-57148375

            China is the world’s largest producer of gold.

            As for Pearl Harbor, I quite understand what FDR did there. But China is entirely different. As I already mentioned, it has its back to the biggest continental ‘wall’ in the world, with Russia to defend it. And China doesn’t have to rely on Russia’s altruism, either; they both know that ‘we must hang together, or we shall surely hang separately’. The Americans will tell any lies and play any filthy tricks to prize Russia and China apart; but they are too intelligent to fall for that.

            China has over 11 times the population of Japan and well over 4 times the population of the USA. Its output of graduates and postgraduates in useful disciplines such as STEM dwarfs those of other nations.

          • Kempe

            ” Ukraine has historically been part of Russia. (For over 1100 years now; about since King Alfred ruled in Wessex and conceived of the idea of a future England).

            Taiwan has historically been part of China. (Since approximately forever – certainly long before the Roman Empire).

            Moreover, how Russia and China act towards large parts of their national territory is absolutely none of the West’s business. “

            OK so Catalan is historically part of Spain, Scotland and Ireland are historically part of Great Britain; the views of the inhabitants count for nothing and if Russia, China or anyone else object to how we act in parts of our national territory it’s none of their business.

            Glad we cleared that up.

          • Bayard

            “OK so Catalan is historically part of Spain, Scotland and Ireland are historically part of Great Britain; “

            Your habit of bunking off history lessons is showing again: 1100 years ago, the period in question, Ireland and Scotland were independent from the countries that would one day make up England. Spain was not created as a country until 1469 and Catalonia was not united with Aragon until 1137.

          • Tom Welsh

            “OK so Catalan is historically part of Spain, Scotland and Ireland are historically part of Great Britain…”

            Of course Catalonia is historically part of Spain; as Bayard has pointed out, it became part of Aragon in the 12th century, and thus part of Spain when that nation took shape 300 years later.

            The crowns of England and Scotland were united in 1603, when the king of Scotland became king of England also. More of a Scottish takeover than an English one. The Acts of Union followed in 1706-7, but England did not conclusively conquer Scotland until Culloden (1746). So that’s about 255 years that Scotland has been, not part of England, but part of the UK with England. Ireland’s story is rather different, as it was gradually conquered by England without any formal union. It has never been conclusively conquered, and of course the Republic has been independent for a long time.

            “…the views of the inhabitants count for nothing…”

            They didn’t count for much during the centuries of conquest, and today’s states seem to have agreed to retain the borders that were formed at that time. For some reason the US government is the most resolute of all that no land should ever be given back to its original inhabitants, and no territory should ever be allowed to secede. Except, of course, from countries that the US government wishes to harm.

            “…if Russia, China or anyone else object to how we act in parts of our national territory it’s none of their business”.

            Exactly. As a matter of interest, when do you remember them making any such objections?

          • Giyane

            Tom.Welsh

            Assad is our dictator, our torture renditioner , our line in the sand against Sunni Islam. I grant you he is not in power because of just Putin. He’s in power for the same reason that Nicola Elfie sweet Sturgeon is going to be in power on 7 May. Because she is our woman.
            When no say our, I obviously don’t mean mine.

  • Aidworker1

    I’m terribly concerned about Julian’s mental state after all this.

    How can he possibly stay in prison almost another year for nothing?

    Craig – can you give an address so we can send books or flowers or anything to help?

  • fwl

    Under the President’s Proclamation persons are not currently allowed to enter the US from the UK unless they are US Citizens or have been out of the UK (or Iran, N Korea, Brazil or SA etc) for 14 days before travel.

  • james

    power trumps justice.. that is the message we get regularly from the uk and usa… they don’t give a flying care for justice.. it is all about exercising power in whatever way they feel is necessary to hold onto power… quite sick really… i think more people are catching onto this though… at some point they won’t be able to maintain the facade… meanwhile one is made to feel like a dupe or naive at best to think that justice has anything to do with assange or craigs charges… it is all about exercising power in the most cavalier manner with no regard for justice..

  • Gary Littlejohn

    Very interesting discussion. I notice that Russia is now mentioning the Assange case in response to questions about the western stooge Alexei Navalny. Russia is accusing the West of hypocrisy, especially when Navalny’s prison conditions have been seen on video.

    https://thesaker.is/maria-zhakarova-collective-west-is-living-in-fantasy-land/

    (Dubbed in English.) Meanwhile Putin did not blink first over Ukraine, because of the plan to assassinate Lukashenko and use the NATO forces exercising in Poland to support a coup in Belarus. This was an existential threat to Russia, Putin has stated publicly that he will not back down over nuclear war if Russia’s existence is placed in question. Nuclear deterrence is over and Russia will defend its territory at all costs, including such a war. It can get 40 million people into nuclear shelters within about 15 minutes, that is, within the flight time of land-based ICBMs, if not sub-launched ones. It would be able to re-constitute itself as a coherent society afterwards.

    • U Watt

      Pointing out Britain’s audacious hypocrisy only adds a further charge to Russia’s rap sheet — the despicable crime of ‘whataboutery’. They never learn.

      • mark golding

        Obviously an Economist reader – Whataboutism keeps authentic history alive while Britain prefers to rewrite history. For example Blair and other pro-war agitating pundits maintain the Iraq war was justified to rid the world of Saddam and bring democracy to that Middle East country while ignoring the rationale that was originally given for the invasion of Iraq, that it was on the verge of unleashing mushroom clouds of nuclear weapons.

        The bothersome question of the missing WMDs triggers hard-headed realist responses that they (the war-mongers) were misled by ‘faulty intelligence’ while bashing antiwar activists as naïve and clueless peaceniks who do not really understand sophisticated ideas of geopolitics, terrorism, intelligence gathering and foreign policy but just happened to be right about WMDs by accident.Thus they themselves cannot be personally faulted.

        I say WHY are these bastards Blair and Bush Jnr not indicted as war criminals for murdering thousands in Iraq and creating chaos to this day..

        • Gary Littlejohn

          There is evidence from an unimpeachable source who was an eyewitness that before the invasion Blair was briefed for 3 hours by President Thabo Mbeki of South Africa that there were no WMD in Iraq. At Iraq’s request, supported by other Middle East countries, Mbeki had sent a mission of nuclear,biological and chemical weapons specialists to Iraq. (Apartheid South Africa had nuclear, chemical and biological weapons programmes, and although such programmes had been dismanted after Apartheid, the expertise was stil there.) They had full access to all wepaons facilities in Iraq. After finding that there were no WMD, Thabbo Mbeki flew to the UK with his trusted aide Frank Chikane, while sending another diplomat to the USA to brief Bush and the UN. Mbeki spent 3 hours alone with Blair at Chequers and then Mbeki and Chikane spent another hour briefing civil servants there. See Franck Ckiane, Things that Could not be Said, Picador, Johannesburg, 2013. I sent a photocopy of the relevant pages to the journalist Peter Oborne, but nothing was published. I assume that there is a DCMS Notice censoring such reports.

    • Giyane

      Gary Littlejohn

      Why isn’t Vladimir Putin reforming Belarus from an archaic communist dictatorship into a manufacturing country like Bulgaria? Why isn’t he reforming Russia himself before the Western stooges get too popular?

      Like the icons of the Orthodox church, Russia seems to be fossilized in communism. What kind of mindset calculates that they can recreate the same obsolete society they have had for the last century after being attacked by nuclear bombs?

      Islam is not an existential threat to communism either in China or Russia. Jihadist terror is. Why do Russia and China only have control freak solutions to people of faith? Do they not understand that their repression of Islam will turn Muslims to the Great Satan?

      To me the concept of an icon is like a sarcophagus, wooden , dead, brain-dead too. As if Communism is terrified of life, opinion , faith, diversity and change.
      Russia and China want to.make their politics a concrete bunker against progress and change, not just against nuclear bombs.

      • Sam

        I have no idea why you think that Belarus is not currently a “manufacturing” country. Not only heavy industry but light industry is booming in Belarus, including things like bicycles (“Aist”), home appliances, and cosmetics. Where I live, almost all the doors and vinyl fixtures for homes are imported from Belarus.

        What do you think everyone in Minsk is doing? Growing radishes?

      • Gary Littlejohn

        Dear Giyane,
        If you think that Russia is fossilized in communism then you are not even at first base in understanding modern Russia. Russia is a high-tech, rapidly modernising, increasingly diversified economy. It has a far wider range of manufacturing technologies than Bulgaria, and it is making serious innovations in its manufacturing. In addition, it’s agriculture is completely unrecognisable compared to Soviet times: it is now an agricultural superpower, usually exceeding the USA and Canada combined in its wheat exports, whereas in Soviet times it had to import food, including even American chickens. They are now banned owing to their inferior standards. The variety of its crops is growing, thanks to VAT changes encouraging agricultural diversification..

        What makes you think that Muslims are subject to control freakery in Russia? I cannot speak for China.

        • nevermind

          Dear Gary Littlejohn
          Thank you for the assumptions offered here. To assume that you can get 40 million people within 15 minutes into nuclear shelters and survive a first strike and ICBM full scale exchange, coming back to sunshine after 2 years of sitting out nuclear winter is wrong. The accelerated global warming and the chaos created within the natural feedback system will ensure that not many at all will survive such an ordeal, rich or poor.
          We have to get away from listening to, and spreading, unscientific scenarios and NATO brain farts about how to survive a nuclear exchange, because we have for decades undermined natural recovery mechanism by our rapaciously damaging societies, especially in the west.
          Spreading these fake news scenarios and making out that a nuclear war can be won, should be made an offense of stupidity, and no pointing to Hiroshima and Nagasaki as ‘having survived it’ is remotely comparable to what will happen.
          How do you think would a recovery happen? much energy from primitive means will be needed to re build and to restart an even halfway civil life, if civility will ever be gained again.
          Please refrain from taking us here for patsies, some of us have lived through the cold war and have insight in what will be involved and very likely occur, nuclear war in an already ravaged world would be an act of utter madness and ignorance.

          • giyane

            nevermind

            ” We have to get away from listening to, and spreading, unscientific scenarios and NATO brain farts about how to survive a nuclear exchange, “

            Agreed. But from now we can expect smaller battlefield nukes to be used in wars in non-nuclear countries like Yemen and Syria, on the same false excuse as Hiroshima, to teach all smaller countries a lesson not to displease superpowers. Hiroshima was done when the prospect of peace was near. The NATO brain farts see it as a useful opportunity to exert universal terror.

          • Gary Littlejohn

            The original calculations by Carl Sagan et al regarding a nuclear winter do not stand up to scrutiny. Nor would a thermonuclear war accelarate global warming even enough to partially offset the ‘nuclear winter’ effect, limited though the latter would be. Russia has spent over 70 years developing new varieties of ‘winter wheat’ that are free of the disease known as ‘wheat rust’ and which can grow in cool conditions on poor soil. That is the main reason why it is now an agricultural superpower. Most of Russia is empty of population (and thus nuclear targets) and so it would be comparatively easy to rebuild further east than what is commonly known as European Russia. Russia rebuilt most of the housing demolished by the Nazis in little more than a decade.

            In Soviet times, they had a ‘doomsday machine’ that worked on the ‘dead man’s hand’ principle, that is, if the computers detected no Russian military communications, they would ‘assume’ that a nucear first strike from NATO had taken place and would automatically launch ALL missiles. That was located in Moscow, but had a backup at a former silver mine in the southern Urals. In the past, that facility could hold 127,000 people (presumably skiilled personnel of vrious kinds) for months. There is another similar facility further north in the Urals. Now that ‘doomsday machine’ has been re-activated in a thoroughly modernised form, and whereas in Soviet times there were only two such control centres, there are now *five*. The locations of the other three are unknown, although it is a reasonable guess that one of those three will be that other former silver mine further north in the Ural mountains. I have had confirmation of this from a face-to-cafe conversation with a Russian at Pulkovo airport near St. Petersburg in May 2018.

            Russia has secure military comunications with all its military and (some other ministries) using Russian computer chips (based on the old Sparc design but presumably updated) and line-by-line inspected Russian translations of either Unix orLinux code. They almost certainly check the security of their communications using quantum entanglement to monitor the integrity of the signal, and claim to be able to comminicate securely at the platoon level using mobile phone networks. They also have two military supercomputers (but probably more advanced than the one at Edinburgh Univresity which is the only one in the UK) only one of which is located at the defence ministry in Moscow. The other one is a battlefield upercomputer, perhaps the only one in the world.

            They can rebuild energy sources quite quickly, even if the oil fields are nuked, because the oil is quite close to the surface, which is why Russian oil is so cheap to prodcue: They also have a floating nuclear power station installed in a town on the Arctic coast,and anoher one under construction, using modified maritime nuclear power technology. n\uclear subs moored on the coast after the conflict would be another readily availabble energy source, and there are lots of trees for wood-fired power stations.

            They don’t want nuclear war, but the era of Mutually Assured Destruction is *over*. Failure to understand this constitutes a massive NATO intelligence failure, which they are only just beginning to appreciate.

        • giyane

          Gary Littlejohn

          For the last ten years Russia has been fighting against Islamists in Syria and protecting Assad who is one of USUKIS useful torturers and in his own right a seriously oppressive dictator. He’s still in power and he will still have to be removed. It is without any doubt within their power to replace him with someone who represents the Sunni Islam majority. Why do you think Putin has kept Lukashenko and Assad in power, if not to retain heavy handed, old fashioned brutality over their respective subjects?

          Do British interests , Russian interests , Turkish interests or Israeli interests in a third country overrule the responsibility of those fulfilling those interests , to protect the oppressed citizens, or can Britain, Russia and Turkey or Israel just grab what they want without bothering themselves with the good governance of that country so long as they have got what they want?

          Assad has a spy system coupled to a torture system which means that elections are irrelevant. People will only vote for their own and their family’s safety. A wrong vote gets you in prison or worse. In fact the only reason why there is a war at all in Syria in which these countries can steal , is because USUKIS stole the Russian naval base in Libya by brute force.

          In the world of geo-politics everybody is happy with a dictator so long as they get their spoils of war. Many millions of Muslims practice Islam in Russia and China. That’s not the point. The problem is that neither Russia or China will ever do anything creative or useful to change the political oppression of Muslims in countries that are under their control. China is de-stabilising Uighur society and Russia is de-stabilising Syria.

          So long as they serve their own interests, they absolutely don’t care about Muslims. That is very strange behaviour.

          • mark golding

            “Islam and Orthodox Christianity, just like other world religions, are based on fundamental humanistic values that are of enduring importance — on mercy and love for one’s near, justice and respect for human beings,” Vladimir Putin 2019

          • mark golding

            My own view giyane is not as angled and partisan as you suggest. Please consider the raison d’etre; aside from personal financial interest for the likes of Murdoch and others, a post-Assad, US-friendly Syrian government would mean one less major Russia-Iran-axis power in the Middle East to worry about, a turn of events also greatly desired by Israel, while economically Syria would be opened up to all manner of ‘opportunities’ for Western corporations.

            The WikiLeaks Files details US Assad overthrow plans from as far back as 2006. The US Peace Council visited Syria again in 2016 and the delegation was deeply impressed by the unity and determination of the Syrian people to defend their country and their sovereignty; their rejection of efforts to divide the population along sectarian lines; and their determined emphasis that what is going on in Syria is not a civil war but a foreign imposed invasion.

            Journalist Vanessa Beeley travelled to Syria to answer the questions are Assad and Putin exterminating the population for sport? Is it a war against US-backed “moderates”? That is what the mainstream media would have us believe. Here is her insight: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I8mA0h7dCKI

            Finally confronted with new evidence of torture and mass hangings in one of his military prisons, Syrian President Bashar Assad said in an exclusive interview with Yahoo News that the allegations were the product of a “fake news era” and charged that a human rights group, Amnesty International, had fabricated evidence to discredit his embattled government.

            https://uk.news.yahoo.com/exclusive-defiant-assad-tells-yahoo-news-torture-report-is-fake-news-100042667.html

          • Giyane

            Mark Golding

            It’s obligatory to fight oppressive dictators in Islam. But neither Syrians, nor Russia, nor Assad were going to take any lessons from drugged brain washed proxy jihadists about oppression.

            Iraq refused to take any lessons from the British or US about oppression because the US used sectarian false flag market place bombs to teach Iraq about democracy. Sorry, hypocrisy.

            Best thing to do, if your psychologist is mad , is to keep saying yes till they get bored with you and try it somebody else. Imho.

            We waited so long for the proxy oppressors to be defeated because they were worse than Assad, but if Putin now leaves Assad in power, like Lukashenko in Belarus another wave of jihadist attacks is inevitable, and that will put Putin out of business.

            Putin might want to flex his muscles. Politicians can’t resist it.
            But so long as the root cause of the war remains, which is Assad, maybe deliberately by Russia Israel and the US, war in Syria will continue indefinitely.

          • Tom Welsh

            “He’s still in power and he will still have to be removed. It is without any doubt within their power to replace him with someone who represents the Sunni Islam majority. Why do you think Putin has kept Lukashenko and Assad in power, if not to retain heavy handed, old fashioned brutality over their respective subjects?”

            Why will he “have to be removed”? Who made you God with power over everyone on Earth, and the duty to ensure perfect behaviour by all humans at all times?

            Actually Syria is (and has been for some time) quite close to the ideal for a Middle Eastern nation. It is democratic, secular and extremely tolerant. In other words, it is indifferent to a person’s religion – an excellent thing. Why on earth would anyone want Syria ruled by someone “who represents the Sunni Islam majority”? Mr Assad was elected by the people of Syria, presumably not voting along sectarian lines as you, apparently, would wish. Do you deny them that right?

            As for Mr Assad and Mr Lukashenko, I think Mr Putin has done what he could to support them because he saw that as the best way of keeping their nations stable and independent. He has always made it quite clear that he defers to the wishes of the people, and would not support Mr Assad’s remaining president if he were voted out of office.

          • Giyane

            Mark Golding

            A post Assad , US friendly Syria

            Like tectonic plates mid Atlantic, Syria and Libya play out the bankrupt tensions between East and West, and North and South.

            The presence of Muslim populations in those two countries means that Islamists, political Islam , can be harnessed to geo-political dick- waving between the superpowers. I wish those political cock-suckers from the Muslim Freemasonry were not participating in superpower geo-political, trying to get wealth and power at the Muslims expense.

            Islamists tell us that they have some evidence that our prophet, peace be on him , gave them permission to side with the West in their inter- continental struggles.

            But the Qur’an forbids it, so I personally think that’s tosh.

          • Giyane

            Tom Welsh

            Your 22.54 comment is very confused. You are normally the first to defend the rights of victims of oppression.

            Let me be clear. Those political Muslims who do Jihad are not doing Jihad. Usama bin Laden requested from Bush , not to attack the West, but to attack Muslims that in his opinion were not practising Islam properly
            , which they have done ever since.

            I won’t go into the boring details of the grounds for attacking them because those grounds eerecalways a false pretext for simply enriching themselves at Saudi and other bankroller’s expense. But if rape murder and pillage thrown in to supplement their wages.

            The Western militarily and diplomatically supported Jihad we have seen in recent years was never conceived as s project for regime change by the jihad organisers because everyone knows if you work for USUKIS they will merely replace one dictator with another.

            The purpose of this ” Jihad ” was to pleasure the West, by diverting the anger of the Muslim populations about centuries of colonial violence away from the colonisers towards the 2 a penny pet dictators they kept in power to do their dirty work.

            These jihadists say I’m not a Muslim because of whatever evidence they with their colonial superpowers can concoct by spying on me. Takfir, which means asserting that Muslims are not Muslims so as to deprive them of their rights.

            This is a truly irrelevant diversion in the history of Islam . These jihadists are chancers and tricksters who compete with Bojo and Cameron in the criminal classes of political lying.

            My point is that after these ticks have dropped off the bellies of George Bush and his Petro-thugs, the job they never intended to do, I.e. to bring Muslim rulers to govern Muslim countries, still needs to be accomplished.

          • Giyane

            Tom Welsh
            22.54

            Also, the purpose of the Political islam to please the West was simply to get the West to appoint their little group of cock suckers to be the regional administrators of the mosques, instead of the scholars who previously did that job. In other words replacing qualified ,wise, moderate scholars with their own political Islam group.

            That group, known as Salad is, have been appointed the administrators of Islam in the Middle East. They believe in takfir,, dispossessing innocent people of their rights by the use of spying, and slavery, and crushing thosecwjo do not agree with them as if they were criminals.

            The end result is Thatcher asyrianscare homeless, jobless, living in refugee camps, while a coup had been carried out over their heads.

            The new imams are the agents of the West. When they go to the mosque, they have to pray behind the murderers who trashed their country for their own political gain.

          • giyane

            Tom Welsh
            22.54

            Also, the purpose of Political islam to please the West was simply to get the West to appoint their little group of cock suckers to be the regional administrators of the mosques, instead of the scholars who previously did that job. In other words replacing qualified ,wise, moderate scholars with their own political Islam group.

            That group, known as Salafis, have been appointed the administrators of Islam in the Middle East. They believe in takfir,, dispossessing innocent people of their rights by the use of spying, and slavery, and crushing those who do not agree with them as if they were criminals.

            The end result is that the Syrian are homeless, jobless, living in refugee camps, while a sectarian coup had been carried out over their heads.

            The new imams are the agents of the West. When ordinary people go to the mosque, they have to pray behind the murderers who trashed their country for their own political gain.

          • Gary Littlejohn

            The main objective of the Russian intervention in Syria was to stabilise the military situation in order to create the conditions for real peace talks. A secondary objective was to stop jihadis there before they arrived in Russia.

            The problem is that the main groups opposed to Assad’s government have always insisted that Assad is removed, as a precondition for any serious talks, They have done this for years, while being funded by Western governments. This is unsurprising, given how the Arab League effectively sabotaged their own peace mission in 2011 (as one can see from reading the first report from the Sudanese general who led that mission). This was a classic case of the USA’s policy of ‘leading from behind’ which was also evident in the intervention in Libya in 2011.

            It should not be forgotten that there were people firing at both sides in the early demonstrations of 2011, as reported on BBC Radio 4 news at the time (but never repeated). This was just like in the Maidan Square coup in Kiev, Ukraine in 2014. Western intelligence services use a limited playbook, because it keeps working, when backed by large-scale funding.

            After the repeated failure of the UN talks in Geneva where the different groups would not even meet in the same room, Russia initiated the talks in Astana (as it was then called) the capital of Kazakhstan. These too have been kept alive with difficulty, partly owing to Erdogan’s neo-Ottoman ambitions for Syria. None of this constitutes a case of Russia repressing Muslims. Their military intervention has always been very limited, despite being so effective. Those who fund jihadis (who themselves kill and repress large numbers of Muslims) bear a serious responsibility for the failure of peace talks in Syria.

        • Kempe

          Russia is still a net importer of food, $30 billion in 2020. A few years ago Putin acknowledged that the greatest problem facing Russia was a declining population. To get the birthrate back up he needs to improve the quality of life for ordinary Russians, particularly healthcare as life expectancy is still on the low side but whether he can do that, have his high tech weapons and fund the war in Syria on a GDP half that of the UK is a moot point. At its height the Syrian air campaign was costing around £3 million per day and there’s no sign of an end yet.

          • Wikikettle

            Kempe. In which case, with a small economy/GDP, falling birth rate and a costly war preventing Syria to fall into the hands of western backed Islamists, which Russia can ill afford, how it a threat to US, UK, EU and the combined forces and economies of NATO ? We surround it, blockade it and fund revolutions in its back yard.

          • Tom Welsh

            Kempe, you wrote that “A few years ago Putin acknowledged that the greatest problem facing Russia was a declining population”. That must have been quite a few years ago.

            “…since the 2010s, Russia has seen increased population growth due to declining death rates, increased birth rates and increased immigration”.
            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russia#Demographics

            You asserted that “Russia is still a net importer of food, $30 billion in 2020”. That turns out not to be the case.

            “Russia exported 79 million tons of food products last year, worth $30.7 billion, the AgroExport center under the country’s Ministry of Agriculture said in its latest report.

            “According to the agency, Russian food exports saw a 20-percent surge compared to the previous year, beating the record set in 2018, when the country exported 78.5 million tons of produce worth $25.8 billion.

            “The nation also exported more grain, meat, fish, vegetables, dairy and other products than it imported, becoming a net seller of agricultural produce for the first time since the collapse of the Soviet Union”.

            https://www.rt.com/business/517625-russia-food-net-exporter-record/

          • Pigeon English

             

             UK

             Russia

            GDP 2.6 Trillion 1.6 Trillion
            PPP 3 T 4 T (purchasing power parity)
            Gold 300 Tons 2300 Tons
            Debt ~90% 20-30 %
            Household debt 1.3 Trillion ?

          • Gary Littlejohn

            The situation in 2020 was exceptional (look at the figures for the previous 5 years) and resulted in higher food prices, with some ministry officials being accused in the media of pandering to the interests of some oligarchs.

            The population of Russia is regularly analysed by Anatoly Karlin using a quite serviceable demographic model. The declining population has been a concern of the Russian government since at least 2008, when they had American demographers spell out the implications at a conference that I attended. However, the population was growing from about 2016 to about 2019 before starting a slight decline again. The situation was not helped by an ill-judged pensions reform which was instituted by a neo-liberal ideologue, and Putin had to move swiftly to mitigate some of the effects (after having approved the legislation) as the legislation went through the Duma. I have published a commentary on this issue because it should have been obvious that the pensions reform was a problem, since a combined demographic/econometric analysis came out before the legislation was initiated, and demonstrated conclusively that it would have a negative effect on both living standards and growth. Karlin was wrong on this because his model does not integrate the economic with the demographic.

            The quality of life for ordinary Russians has been improving pretty constantly since the recovery from the Western sanctions that took place by 2016. Life expectancy is not on the low side. That was only true during the Yeltsin period. Health care is improving – have you not noticed that they now (unlike in Soviet times) have thriving biotech and pharmaceutical industries. Did you think it was just the Sputnik V vaccine?

            GDP is not a good measure for an economy which is in reality bigger than that of Germany. That is, it has recently overtaken Germany as the fifth largest economy in the world, on Parity Purchasing Power [PPP] whereas the UK is only 11th on the PPP measure. The reason why this is more appropriate is because GDP is measured in terms of the foreign exchange rate and the decline of the Ruble owing to sanctions gives a completely false impression of the size of the Russian economy. (I have also published an article on this issue while covering debates on economic policy in Russia. This view has also been published independently by a Swedish economist living in Moscow at that time: 2018)

            The defence budget of Russia has been *declining* as a percentage of national income since about 2019 when they had almost reached the objective of modernising the armed forces by 70 per cent. It is scheduled to be kept below 10 per cent of national income, however that is measured.

            Russia does not have the slightest problem funding its defence spending and is in fact steadily increasing the amount of money that it has in its sovereign wealth funds. Unlike practically *any other economy* in the world, certainly any advanced economy, Russia funds its investment out of *current income and savings*. Almost all other economies fund their growth from debt. This, plus its diversification funded by the cash cow of oil and gas exports, is how Russia is able to withstand sanctions so easily these days. The West is suffering from collective delusion on the Russian economy, as it is on its military capabilities. Yet another major intelligence failure.

      • Bruce H

        You do seem rather obsessed by islam, is this because you are a muslim yourself? If so, don’t worry you are perfectly allowed to believe in such fairy tales if that’s what you want but why bring religion into everything? Most people these days are not religious, even if there is something of a religious revival in some countries, driven by tv evangelists and other unsavoury characters but by and large it is not really a major issue for most.

        And by the way, Russia is not communist anymore and even China has moved to a system which mixes communism and capitalism, but both try to defend their populations from religious extremism and violence, something they are quite right to do just as any other modern country does.

        • Giyane

          Bruce H

          Fairy tales

          The Muslims who live in this country also believe that the Oxford science that produced a vaccine, the IET science that produced the BS 7671 Electrical regulations and whatever bit of plumbing science made the Building regulations about methane and germs coming out of manholes in buildings : are all fairy tales or white man’s magic which doesn’t apply to them. And the HMRC minimum wage regulations , the traffic speed regulations. And the Tax regulations.

          Oh , and the child protection regulations and not enslaving free citizens in domestic service and forcing them to rape regulations while we are on the subject. All fairy tales and legitimately bypassed Islamic magic.

          And the Islamic banking interest and not killing people regulations when they annoy you: are also considered as a repressive constraint on their individual freedoms and male chauvinist honour.

          So the feeling is mutual. I have seen what happens when you get a shock from a live wire above an un-earthed metal ceiling grid when you are standing on top of a ladder sorting out a leak. You are paralysed by the electric shock and fall backwards and break your neck.

          I have seen what happens to a victim of a Muslim rape.

          Have you seen what happens on the Day of judgement to those who ignore their Creator? Obviously you must have.

          We don’t live in a perfect world. What about taking the best of what we each have and building on that, rather than dismissing it all as fairy tales and rubbish?

      • Squeeth

        Russia was never communist and most wasn’t Bolshevik after the suppression of the Kronstadt rebels in 1921.

        • Giyane

          Squeeth

          Fine. The nominally communist kleptocracy and the nominally capitalist kleptocracy, if you like.

      • Gary Littlejohn

        Giyane,
        Belarus is not integrated into Russia, although recent events in Ukraine and the failed coup attempt in Belarus may hasten that process, under the Union State Treaty and associated legislation, which Lukashenko neglected for years.

        You do not specify here why you introduce Islam into the discussion, but since Syria is your understandable concern, you may be aware that many of the Russian peace-keeping military police in Syria are actually Muslims and this may have helped them to negotiate local peace agreements. With regard to jihadis, all those involved in the Chechen uprisings of around 20 years ago have been killed, the last one being killed about 18 months ago. Russia is aware that Erdogan was going to send more of his paid jihadis into Ukraine in support of any fighting near Crimea or the LDNR in eastern Ukraine. The downing by EW methods of the Turkish drone that Erdogan supplied to the Kiev government probably put an end to that idea.

        If Russia were repressing Muslims, it would be difficult to explain the number of Uzbeks currently working in Russia. They are in regular dialogue with the five Central Asia states, and with Azerbaijan. That is how |Russia was able to negotiate a cease-fire over Nagorno Karabakh.

    • Tom Welsh

      ‘Russia is accusing the West of hypocrisy…’

      No doubt they also accuse fish of swimming and birds of flying.

    • Kempe

      Any evidence of this plot to assassinate Lukashenko and stage a coup in Belarus? It could actually be the only way to put an end to the last dictatorship in Europe; the last country on the continent to still have the death penalty. The Russian troops were deployed hundreds of kilometres away on the Eastern border of Ukraine. They’d have been little use if NATO had invaded.

      Fifteen minutes might be the flight time of an ICMB but the population is unlikely to get that much warning and 40 million people emerge to what? A radioactive wasteland where everything that isn’t flattened is heavily contaminated. They’ll just die slower.

      • Wikikettle

        Kempe. So why did Reagan say to Gorbachev in the walk in the woods ‘ I will talk to my people and get back to you’ when Gorbachev said let’s get rid of all nuclear weapons in the world. What is the justification for us to have them in UK ? Is it because the French decided to have them ? Pathetic children playing with fire.

      • Tom Welsh

        “It could actually be the only way to put an end to the last dictatorship in Europe; the last country on the continent to still have the death penalty”.

        Do you also wish to overthrow the large nation on the continent of North America that still has the death penalty?

        As for the danger of thermonuclear war, what do you think Russia and Belarus should do to avert it? They have done everything humanly possible, short of surrendering – which they will not do. If we all die, it will be entirely the fault of the Washington creatures and their NATO catamites.

      • Gary Littlejohn

        The evidence of the coup is on video, just like the much earlier video (all in English) of one of Navalny’s sidekicks trying to get £20 million out of the British Embassy in Moscow, in return for which he promised to let UK banks to have a free hand in Russia. In other words, he was literally selling out his country. The UK Embassy wisely directed him to an NGO source.

        Like most people in the West, you are seriously under-estimating present day Russian military capacity. They not only amassed more troops and equipment near the borders of Ukraine than NATO could *ever* hope to put together in any military theatre, but they strengthened resources and numbers in the Caucasus and on the Pacific coast at the same time, as well as between the Baltic Republics and St. Petersburg. Since they had also put Ilyushin-76 military transport planes at the disposal of rhe Belarus Airborne Forces, and supplied additional materiel to the rest of the Belarus armed forces, who had publicly declared that they would fight on Russia’s side, there would not have been the slightest problem in dealing with the NATO forces conducting a military exercise in Poland, an exercise which with hindsght seems to have been part of he plan to support the coup in Belarus, as Russia claimed. You may be unaware that a recent Polish war game in which they attempted to invade Kaliningrad resulted in Russian troops in Warsaw in 5 days. Russia has modernsied all its military forces bby 70 per cent between 2010 and 2020, and in the case of nuclear forces, accorsing to a US general in evidence to to the US Senate Intellgience Committee a few days ago, it is 88 per cent by the end of 2020.

        You can no longer rely on the Western media to keep you informed about Russia. This was the biggest military crisis since Cuba in 1962, and it is not over yet.

  • Antonym

    The point is that Julian Assange has to be kept away from any free press people: he knows too much about for example Seth Rich and would thus expose another CIA lie, the former Russiagate crap that was planted on sitting US president Trump, the stuff the fake FBI investigation became even more mum about. This worked as a double edged sword as few in the West now believe a word the CIA/Mi6 say or insinuate. You can’t fool even sheep only that many times.

  • Sam

    “a situation where Julian can work, run Wikileaks, and contribute his remarkable talent and intelligence…”

    How about he just breathes in some fresh air, feels the sun on his face, and gets to hug his children? That’s enough for me.

    • nevermind

      Thanks for expressing what I have been thinking all the time Sam, if Julian is continued to be tortured in a terror facility by not being able to hug and kiss his children and partner, that will surely be on his mind, enough to get mad. This farce has now run for ten years and Starmer as well as Boris are both guilty of continuing this torture, pretending to be lawful when they are ignoring the elephant in the room.
      War crimes have been committed by the USUKIS and others, they have been called out carefully by Julian, now he is being prosecuted for daring to whistle blow these acts of cold blooded murder of innocent children and journalists like himself.

      That is barbaric, Judge Baraitser should be more than ashamed of her actions, never mind calling it lawful process, its denying justice on a grand scale.

  • amanfromMars

    Ladies and Gentlemen and Brave Hearts of Scotland, first get your act together is sound advice and your first act together, not yet even really started, is kicking mainstream media moguls and muppets and puppets out of the park and down the road kicking stones on their way to collect the burro. They do you no favours.

    And it is in one’s mindless acceptance of the necessity and veracity of their pwnd systems where their corrupting and subversive powers reside and fester, is it not, and as is more than just suggested in the following post hosted elsewhere and appropriate to here, now, too ……? 🙂

    amanfromMars 1 Wed 28 Apr 04:34 [2104280434] ……. being somewhat more forthright on
    https://forums.theregister.com/forum/1/2021/04/26/apples_macos_gatekeeper_flaw_exploit/

    Default Condition Code Red in Wild Wacky Western Spheres of Malevolence*

    Pretentious fear-mongering twat.……. iron

    It is hardly an Earth shattering exclusive identifying the ubiquitous useful idiot, iron, whenever terrestrial news media is both lock. stock and barrel infested and so heavily root invested in and plagued by such Remote Access Trojans on the sinking ships of empires past built and presently vastly failing and fast fading in the full glare and and shady shadows broadbandcast by the SMARTR Lights of Sublime Internet Networking Virtual Machinery simply pumping and dumping and pimping undeniable home-grown truths, which to deny, return again and again to destroy the doubting Thomases and Thomasinas alike, sparing none the moronic mercy of baying crowds.

    Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt, Doom and Gloom, Raging Conflict and Imminent Collapse is their Stock in Trade and Fare and Store. Tell me that isn’t perfect fodder for pretentious fear-mongering twats and we will fundamentally disagree.

    Cast you eyes across and open your ears to what it has been decided to be made available for presentation to you today, and tell me it isn’t true, and neither is anything in all of that so easily and clearly freely shared above.

    Tell us all here that aint no Code Red, Colonel Jessup …. and such are not akin to a crime against humanity and an act of war against innocent civilian beings in an ignorant state, for all here to disagree with you, LOUDLY AND CLEARLY again.

    And if you support Code Reds there be consequences which may or may not be very much like that shown in this brief clip spotlighting an arrogant fall from grace and assumed power ……. Jessup Is Arrested

    * ….. in Advanced IntelAIgent Eras of Greater Brainwashing Revolts.

    Be careful out there, as strange as things are, they aint like they used to be, and are definitely getting even stranger. 🙂 IT’s practically primeval and a primitive virtual virgin jungle.

    • JeremyT

      Thanks for being from Earth, Craig. The clarity and resonance of your analysis makes for a sharp contrast with much of what one has to consume in the media, restoring the value of debate and the nuances of truth.

    • amanfromMars

      I share with y’all below from another independent foreign source, further supporting news on the undeniable truth of the opening two paragraphs above [posted April 28, 2021 at 09:11] …. for as you will surely know, the UK has its very own versions of dark villains and nefarious chapters that match the likes of a US Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), Foreign Malign Influence Center, American Israeli Public Affairs Committee and the Murdoch media empire, and they don’t work for you, nor do they you any great favours. The unfortunate great unwashed truth is probably the exact opposite, and their influence is positively malignant and decidedly designedly subversive and counter super productive enlightening.

      Heaven forbid that any actual novel progress outside of traditional existing elitist establishment command and control be made which would reveal the secrets used to capture and enslave nations to the will of ……. well, some themselves would be quite delusional and would be thinking them a Chosen Few and Practically Almighty …… which is Crazy, with others also venturing an excuse in both a prognosis and diagnosis of Certifiably Insane.

      It is always most helpful, and some would even tell you vital, to know your enemy [who it is, where it is, what it is, why it is] better than your friend.

      The Foreign Malign Influence Center was specifically mandated to examine the social media influence campaigns operated by Russia, China, Iran, and North Korea. It is particularly telling that they were not directed to investigate the two largest foreign sources of political influence in America today, namely the American Israeli Public Affairs Committee and the Murdoch media empire. President Putin could only dream about being able to buy congressional seats the way AIPAC does, or control what information becomes magnified (and, by extension, suppressed) by the newspapers, television and radio enterprises owned by Rupert Murdoch.

      These are the true villains when it comes to foreign corruption of American politics. These foreigners, however, have a seat at the establishment table. Their malign influence will never be labeled as such, and they will never have to withstand the ignominy of having their work scrutinized under the politicized microscope of an intelligence community that has allowed itself to be corrupted by domestic American politics to the point that it no longer serves the American people as a whole, but only a select class of American persons. …….
      https://www.rt.com/op-ed/522404-foreign-malign-influence-center/

      Is there an Independent Scots National Intelligence Guard/AI Black Watch available and on call servicing Laird Duties/Highland Clan Ventures ‽ . Or is that still a secret to be plausibly denied until a limited admission is deemed unavoidable and helpful some time much later on in the future. Inquiring minds would wish to know of the Enigmatic Energetic State of Current Scottish Enlightenment at its core levels.

  • M.J.

    I understand that Julian Assange has Ecuadorian citizenship. Would an electoral change of government in Ecuador (from the one that handed him over) change his prospects?

  • Sarge

    The theft of Julian’s legal files by the state seeking his extradition is but one of many abominations in this case. None of them has unsettled the great and the good of liberal Britain nor given them pause in reiterating that they stand steadfastly for free speech and a free press.

    The UK’s most venerated moral pillars are complete frauds to a man and a woman, but will British people ever make peace with that reality?

  • Clay Sucre

    Hail I – peace to all. Thanks for the update on Julian – Craig. Best of health to him and release is now – his liberation is way past due. What a travesty of the English judicial and legal system. Barriester and Stamner and company how they sleep – comfortably peacefully?
    Goose – unilateral sanctions are illegal under international law. The USA are habitual repeat offenders when it comes to breaking agreements – ask the native peoples- Sioux Navajo. Pawnee Commanche- etc etc take your pick- or as we here in the Caribbean know NAFTA. If even they lift the sanctions are back into JCPOA-what then the addict is now clean – a relapse is as certain as the sun is hot. You and We and I-must demand of our leaders that ALL abide by the law and respect sovereignty and territorial integrity of all UN members states. Collectively we must stand for TRUTH. Independent Scotland – Craig thanks again and sending some Carribean goodwill and Peace.

  • Timothy Rue

    This is not about proper legal, its about keeping a muzzle on Julian.
    Of the documents obtained from the Embassy there were manuscript Julian was working on, so they know what he will do upon being released. Its the only reason why EVERYTHING regarding aggression against Julian Assange is absent of viability. It a game of bluffs to manipulate the legal process so as to keep Julian Muzzled.

    This leaves the big question, what do his captors not want the people to know?

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