Ithaka 82


Away from the Tory Babel over who will be the top “world-leading” sociopath, I spent the last two evenings in the company of decent people. John and Gabriel Shipton, Julian’s father and brother, were in Glasgow and Edinburgh for the screening of “Ithaka”, the documentary that follows the fight by Julian Assange’s family to have him freed. I was moderating the Q & A.

The odd pub may also have been visited.

Ithaka is heart-rending, and it has an important message in rehumanising Julian after over a decade of concerted (I use that word advisedly) propaganda aimed at dehumanising him. The sheer baseness of the extraordinary lies told by the mainstream media about his personal hygiene – leaving toilets unflushed and even smearing Embassy walls with excrement – is something straight out of Goebbels’ playbook.

The cold calculation behind Assange’s treatment in his last months in the Embassy, when he was denied access to wash and shave, in order to produce the apparent monster for the photos of his arrest, is a true example of evil unfolding.

Two days before his expulsion I telephoned the Embassy and spoke to the First Secretary (a call I recorded). I explained that if, as we understood, Julian were no longer welcome, they only had to say so and he would leave voluntarily to the police station. Instead we had that calculated piece of theatre.

Presentation aside, it also enabled them to retain all of Julian’s possessions, including all his legal papers covered by client-attorney privilege relating to his defence. As we heard in the extradition hearing, all of those papers were taken to Quito and then given to the CIA. This was admitted by counsel for the US government who claimed that “Chinese walls” – a direct quote – within the US government prevented the CIA from passing any of that information to the Justice Department, who are running the case.

If you believe that, I have a bridge to sell you. But the fact is that it is the US Government who is applying for extradition and the US Government has stolen the legal papers of the other party in the case. In any other case this would lead to the case being kicked out immediately.

If you add that together with the fact that the extradition treaty specifically bars political extradition, that the US government’s key witness is a convicted fraudster and paedophile who was paid for his evidence (which he has since denounced), and that no journalist in the US has ever been charged with Espionage before, you begin to start to understand the depth of state depravity that has kept Julian in the UK’s strongest security prison for four birthdays.

I found this curious. Mike Pompeo, former US Secretary of State, who oversaw the plot to kidnap or potentially assassinate Julian in the Ecuadorean Embassy, called on Priti Patel on 30 June, just after she signed Julian’s arrest warrant and also just after Pompeo had been summoned by a Spanish court to give evidence on the plot.

That photo is more unusual than might be immediately realised. With a Democrat in the White House, it is extremely rare for a senior British cabinet minister, acting in an official capacity, openly to flaunt friendship with senior Republicans from the defeated administration, and to hold official meetings with them.

Pompeo is now a private citizen. He could quite naturally be meeting Patel as a friend in her home – but officially, at the Home Office? This is really not done, or if exceptionally needed, it is done quietly.

What did they discuss in the Home Office?

Here is something else downright peculiar. According to the Wall Street Journal, Priti Patel asked the US government to give her public congratulations for agreeing the extradition of Julian Assange:

After Ms. Patel’s ruling on June 17, for example, a U.K. official asked the U.S. Embassy in London if officials there or at the Justice Department could release a statement welcoming Ms. Patel’s ruling, adding that she would appreciate such a show of support, according to people familiar with the request.
The Justice Department declined to issue such a statement,

There is a very strange smell surrounding this extradition.

The film Ithaka is not a dissection of the legal issues, nor an in-depth recounting of the Assange case. It rather focuses on the devastating effect of his cruel imprisonment on his family, both his wife and children, and on his father John Shipton.

John’s personal crusade to save his son is the main focus. The insight into the fundamentals of the case – that the man who did most to expose war crimes is the man locked up and tortured, not the people who committed the war crimes – mostly come from interviews with Professor Nils Melzer, then UN Special Rapporteur on Torture.

Do go see the film – which has had excellent reviews from mainstream film critics. Chairing the Q&A sessions afterwards I have been struck by the number of tear-stained eyes when the lights go up, and the audience mood shifts from sorrow to anger fairly quickly. It is a remarkable film.

Let me give my own insights. As a technical bit of film-making, it is edited down from what must have been thousands of hours of footage. During the various stages of extradition hearings I was personally miked up every single day for the film for a total of over five weeks. Tens of hours of conversation between John and myself were recorded, not one second of which made it into the film.

That is absolutely not a complaint, you see more than enough of me. It is merely an illustration on the remarkable technique of editing down on this film. Over a thousand hours were left on the cutting room floor to get down to just two in the film.

That of course gives the director, Ben Lawrence, and his editor massive ability to shape the narrative by selection. Ben has chosen to illustrate the bleakness of Julian’s isolation by emphasising the loneliness of John and Stella’s quest. I am sure that is artistically valid and it presents a real truth – nobody can truly share the despair of the family, and in the long dark night of the soul they are alone.

But I do wish to assure you that the families are surrounded and supported by a group of really loving and caring people, very much more involved than I am. They are not foregrounded in the film for reasons of narrative selection, but they exist and they know they have the eternal gratitude of Julian and his whole family and many of the rest of us.

I would further add that John Shipton’s eclectic mind and deeply philosophical nature are brought out wonderfully, but his immense charm and also his great pleasure in social company perhaps do not come across on the screen. Ben has focused on the more angular bits of John’s nature.

None of that in any way detracts from the experience of a superb film by Ben Lawrence, produced by Julian’s quieter but very talented brother Gabriel. Undoubtedly the public perception has already been turning in Julian’s favour. Don’t just go see the film: take somebody who might have their eyes opened to the truth.

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82 thoughts on “Ithaka

        • nevermind

          well said Tom, after the Guardians hacks publushed the cose to the material Julian deemed to be ‘not to be published’ they were actively providing the US with a stick to beat Julian with, they are, imho, participating in framing Julian.
          Thanks to Craig for spending weeks climbing lots of stairs and reporting from the trial, he should be recognised as a jourbalist for that alone, but the NUJ seems to be dull of gate keepers.

          • Cactus

            Cheers Craig and readers… Scotland’s Doune the rabbit hole festival is alive and continues until tomorrow and thru this bonnie weekend.

            iScotland is coming soon…

            Ithaka.

          • pretzelattack

            cant read it now, behind a wall, but the first time i read it, very early on, it repeats the smear about Assange ducking a sex crimes charge, instead of the truth, he was trying to escape being renditioned to the US. that’s utter bullshit. there were some other things, too.

          • Jen

            “… But then he was confined to tiny rooms in London’s Ecuadorian embassy from 2012 to 2019 as a political asylum seeker, rather than face a sex assault investigation in Sweden, which he claimed was simply a smear and a scam to extradite him to the US …”

            “… But this film is effectively an answer to Laura Poitras’ critical documentary Risk from 2016, which revealed Assange’s vanity and high-handedness …”

            “… And awful though it is to admit it, by not appearing in person, Assange might have helped his cause in his film. His difficult, intractable personality became a problem. But he is not on trial for his personality; he never has been.”

            Guardian review is sympathetic and quite good? It looks to me as if Assange is being besmirched for his supposed personality flaws and behaviour. Pretzel Attack is correct.

            The Swedish rape allegations were not simply a smear and a scam as Peter Bradshaw breezily writes, and Assange had good reason to believe that these allegations were part of a ploy to exploit a part of Sweden’s extradition treaty with the United States. Especially as the Swedes themselves insisted on having Assange brought over to Stockholm to answer the rape allegations in person in court – and then later their prosecutor general travelled to Serbia to interview someone wanted for murder in Sweden. One of the women who accused Assange of rape, Anna Ardin, has a shady history herself.

          • Jimmeh

            The review compares Assange to Aung San Suu Kyi, who is herself an apologist for warcrimes. Kyi is the racist who said on learning she was to be interviewed by Mishal Hussein, “Nobody told me I was going to be interviewed by a Muslim!”

            The review says:

            “But this film is effectively an answer to Laura Poitras’ critical documentary Risk from 2016, which revealed Assange’s vanity and high-handedness.”

            You can’t reveal something that doesn’t exist; the reviewer is therefore implying that Assange is vain and “high-handed”. As far as I’m concerned, that’s simply personal abuse.

          • Bayard

            “Aung San Suu Kyi, who is herself an apologist for warcrimes.”

            These wouldn’t be the same sort of “warcrimes” that Russia is being accused of at the moment, would they? There seems to be a strong correlation between leaders standing up to the US on their foreign policy and being accused of carrying out, or being an apologist for, war crimes.

          • pete

            Reviewer Peter Bradshaw (whose output can be seen at https://www.theguardian.com/profile/peterbradshaw) saw fit to include the sentence

            “Assange looked like a loose cannon, a celebrity disruptor-narcissist who had done his bit to put Trump into power.”

            This is hardly an objective, value-free assessment of Assange’s work in allowing us to see how the mechanisms of our so called democratic institutions operate.

            On the same day he also saw fit to give his view of Dr Who and the Daleks which included this passage: “the Doctor’s grownup female helpmeet (Curzon) is, incidentally, just that tiniest bit sleeker and more glamorous, an inch closer to Diana Rigg in The Avengers.” Six paragraphs of this drivel compared to five on Assange.
            Why do people read the Grauniad?

          • SurferDave

            That review continues the gross smearing of Julian and his ‘intractable personality’. No, not a good review at all.

    • Gerald

      Well, Guardian journalists are responsible for Julian being in prison, they released the encryption key to access the unredacted wikileaks files which were put online so anyone could see them, whilst Assange spent days creating redacted versions specifically to avoid that of which he was accused. The Guardian is a has-been right-wing rag for those faux lefties who want to pretend their right-wing middle-class politics aren’t what they are. After the recent Paul Mason MI5/6 ‘scandal’ (as if we didn’t know what Mason was all about a long time ago) the Guardian isnt even eligible as fish-n-chip paper.

  • Courtenay Francis Raymond Barnett

    Just saying for one and all – Assange’s journey continues:-

    Ithaka, poem by C. P. Cavafy, from Collected Poems, translated by Edmund Keeley and Philip Sherrard. Translation Copyright © 1975, 1992 by Edmund Keeley and Philip Sherrard.

  • Scott

    I recall an interview with Kim Stanley Robinson, who recommends that his book “The Ministry for the Future” (concerning a fictitious future earth suffering the consequences of climate change), should only be read in the morning or afternoon, as the material can be too emotionally unsettling otherwise.

    I have the same feeling when reading Nils Melzer’s book, “The Trial of Julian Assange”. The book is excellent and recommended to readers, however the sobering facts of Julian’s persecution and isolation can be deeply depressing.

    I appreciate that there are many more voices/ NGOs/ politicians/ media outlets speaking out against Assange’s extradition to the US than ever before, but I do wonder where those voices were years ago.

    It smells of too little too late, the extradition papers have been signed, and now there is a tepid attempt by some actors to align with the morally correct position, hoping that the collective amnesia of others will forgive them their hypocrisy.

    Amnesty International, refusing to take a position on Assange’s persecution for years, and refusing to recognise him as either a journalist or a prisoner of conscience.

    The Guardian now belatedly considers the the extradition of Assange to be wrong, while before it was a vocal cheerleader for him to be locked away for ever: guilty until proven innocent. The Guardian journalists made no attempt to provide nuanced analysis in any of their coverage. The Guardian was a key media actor that behaved in an orchestrated coordinated way across all its coverage of Assange, that could only have happened with editorial approval. The later character assassination pieces about Assange’s hygiene, prefaced in every article with the description “alleged rapist” (often in the byline), refusing to consider the possibility that the state level machinations being coordinated against him, were all designed to isolate/ denigrate and dehumanise him, defining him as an “other” figure, who devoid of any public sympathy could be quietly extradited to the US to spend the rest of his life in a Supermax prison.

    For those who have not been following closely the Assange case from the beginning, I recommend you read Melzer (who speaks Swedish fluently), as he returns to the primary Swedish case notes and police material, and explains clearly:
    – why the whole Swedish case against Assange lacked credibility
    – how it was orchestrated to be as damaging to Assange as possible by state level actors working on behalf of the US
    – why the case was ultimately discarded (clue: it was nothing to do with the statute of limitations)

    I have real hope that the worst is almost over for Assange, and that his appeal against extradition will ultimately succeed, and he will be reunited with his family.

    Thank you Craig for speaking up for Assange over the years, especially at those moments where it seemed almost all the mainstream media was against him, and you were one of the few public figures speaking out. Your integrity and courage is admirable.

    Kind regards,
    Scott

    • Elyse Gilbert

      Thank you Scott, for replying in the most accurate and detailed manner. I have been a staunch supporter of Julian for years and I too, am honored by individuals such as Craig Murray, Nils Melzer and John Pilger, who if it weren’t for their collective intelligences, righteousness and integrity I wouldn’t be aware of them nor the vital information they report and express in their support of Assange. As a friend and Julian supporter, Craig Murray, you never fail to deliver to your readers your immense talent to allow the reader to feel as if they were there. Thank you so very, very much.
      Regards and solidarity,
      Elyse

    • tom welsh

      “I recall an interview with Kim Stanley Robinson, who recommends that his book “The Ministry for the Future” (concerning a fictitious future earth suffering the consequences of climate change), should only be read in the morning or afternoon, as the material can be too emotionally unsettling otherwise”.

      I have an even better idea: not to read the book at all. I say that as one who has read some of Robinson’s books and quite enjoyed them, although he seems rather dogmatic about some things. I much preferred science fiction in the days before political correctness, when authors cheerfully ignored and contraverted all received wisdom. (See, for instance, Heinlein’s novel “Farnham’s Freehold”, set in a future where all white people are slaves owned by the dominant black rulers – who, for good measure, eat whites).

      By and large, political correctness is an obstacle rather than an aid to creative thought.

      • pretzelattack

        some received wisdom is tested regularly, as it is in hard science, so it’s not really “received”. Heinlein had his own version of political correctness, libertarianism.

  • Blissex

    «Pompeo is now a private citizen. He could quite naturally be meeting Patel as a friend in her home – but officially, at the Home Office?»

    Oh it is much funnier than that: Pompeo seems to be aiming to be the Republican candidate for the next presidential elections in the USA against Joe Biden (or Kamala Harris if she succeeds him), and Patel is in effect boosting his image to support his campaign.

    • Mary Bennett

      I would be very surprised indeed if Pompeo were nominated by the Republicans. Nor would the endorsement of an Anglo-Indian woman mal eleve (as the Republican voters are sure to see it) help him; such endorsement would be far more harmful stateside. I suspect that Pompeo was angling for Indian diaspora funding.

      As of right now, the probable nominee is either DeSantis, Gov. of Florida, or Texas Gov. Abbott. It is the latter whom the Democrats fear the most, and with good reason. DeSantis is your basic corrupt Cubano; the Tea Party types like corrupt governance, because then they can pursue their own petty scams without interference.

        • Mary Bennett

          Trump is literally hated by many who normally vote Democratic. The Republicans will be hoping that those voters stay home rather than countenance another lackluster stuffed shirt or blouse installed by the party central committee. Trump on the ticket will bring them out for sure.

      • Wally Jumblatt

        I suspect it was Priti trying to upgrade her profile across the pond.
        She seems to think self-promotion is the way to go and will make friends with anyone she thinks will help her up the ladder.
        If she stuck to trying to do her job well, that might give her leverage – who knows if it is her or her department that is no good.

  • ET

    “Craig Murray (“Your Man in the Public Gallery”) attended & reported on the great UK Show Trial of Julian Assange. This compendium provides a preview of (& links to) his reports & related information.”

    La Fleur Productions has put this together and can be found at the link below. I can’t verify that absolutely everything has been indexed nor have I yet read through all the “related information” but it seems to be a good resource where everything is linked to in the one place, and perhaps makes it easier to share all CM’s related reporting. The links to CM’s blog posts refer back to this blog. I hope by posting this link I’m not upsetting anyone.

    https://lafleurproductions.substack.com/p/craig-murray-on-the-julian-assange

  • Steve

    Just looking at Pompeo makes me feel nauseous, a really objectionable sack of guts. There is no doubt that he current British government is rotten to the core.

    • Roger

      Dennis Skinner famously said in Parliament “Half the Tory members opposite are crooks”, and when told by Mr Speaker to withdraw, said “OK, half the Tory members opposite are not crooks”.
      Maybe he was right then but today this would be an over-generous statement. How many Tory MPs can be said to understand the meaning of the word “integrity”? David Davis. Maybe Sajid Javid? Any others, anyone?
      Not coincidentally, neither of them has the remotest chance of becoming party leader.

        • fwl

          Party may regret sacking Boris. His faults were well known and although he exceeded himself with Party and then Groper gate he has a sort of authenticity lacking in the others. Voters recogised the sincere chancer with charm and accepted an element of the rogue, as what he was. Leaders need a little piracy in their make up.

          • amanfromMars

            The problem is the Conservative party have no political leaders, and court jesters like Boris are as an endemic madness entertained rather than being isolated to only do self harm.

            Indeed, Parliament itself in its entirety suffers from such a fundamental deficit and now exists to only give the impression that a democracy is present to represent voters with a voice worthy of listening to and agreeing with on a course of future action to be enthusiastically followed providing rewarding succour and universal security.

            In essence, Honourable Members are little more than just daily soap opera actors for news to portray with the accompaniment of their collective and individual shenanigans. A simple distraction from the major stirrings attracting critical traction in the shadowy dark background and deep underground.

          • Blissex

            «the exceeded himself with Party and then Groper gate»

            Beers, wallpaper, trolley, groping: they are all excuses, and insignificant to the effects of the policies that Boris has chosen. Note that all these “explosive” issues have been pushed hard by the right-wing media. It is just gang warfare between the right-wing “tory” brexiteer thatcherites and the right-wing “whig” globalist thatcherites. Since the latter cannot win elections (their champion, Starmer, is not competitive) they seem to have decided to attack the frontman of the “tory” brexiteers to take back control of the Conservatives. Note the delight of the right-wing “whig” globalist “The Guardian”:

            https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2022/07/07/lord-michael-heseltine-boris-goes-brexit-goes/

            If Boris goes, Brexit goes, says Lord Heseltine
            Tory grandee says Prime Minister’s departure likely to lead to shake-up in relations with EU

            https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2022/jul/12/why-labour-party-tories-rishi-sunak

            Sunak remains the only candidate to have conveyed a steady competence in one of the toughest offices of state. His straight-talking and lack of evasive cliche in public have been a breath of fresh air. His final days at the Treasury saw him adamant in weighing the needs of public spending against the dangers of deficit and indebtedness. He fought Johnson’s plea for tax cuts to aid his personal survival. Sunak’s calm intelligence is desperately needed at this critical juncture in British government.
            […] Voters are already beginning to join them, even as Starmer insists that the subject is essentially closed. The politicians might not want to say it, but this week is a milestone in the fate of Brexit. The prime author of Britain’s exit from the EU has fallen: the standing of his calamitous project is heading the same way.

          • Blissex

            «The problem is the Conservative party have no political leaders, and court jesters like Boris are as an endemic madness entertained rather than being isolated to only do self harm.

            The real problem is rather that political differences are minimal: the Conservatives, LibDems, New Labour, all represent the interests of property owning “Middle England” voters, and so agree on economic policy as Peter Mandelson well said twenty years ago:

            https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2002/jun/10/labour.uk

            in the urgent need to remove rigidities and incorporate flexibility in capital, product and labour markets, we are all Thatcherites now

            The only differences left among thatcherites are between Conservative (and some Labour) brexiteer “tories” and Conservative, New Labour and LibDems globalist “whigs”, that difference is behind the current “regime change” operations.

            Given the lack of most political differences, how can politicians differentiate their brands from those of other politicians? They have to use secondary issues. For Starmer it is now “integrity”, for some Conservative leadership candidates it is “tax cuts” (because Sunak was against them, and Boris increased tax, even if only on Labour voters).

            This lack of political differences also means that personalities and stunts matter a lot to careers, and Boris was pretty good at both. That’s why politics has become a performance art, like in the USA long ago.

          • MrShigemitsu

            @Blissex,

            Correct. And just to demonstrate that there will be very little difference between a Starmer/Reeves govt and a Cameron/Osborne one, here is Reeves committing Labour to “sound money” idiocy:

            https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2022/jul/12/labour-to-pledge-ironclad-discipline-with-public-finances

            What’s the point of voting Labour if their economic policies are going to be no different from the Tories?

            Might as well get Johnson back – at least he’s happy to splurge money, even if corruptly and inefficiently.

            Austerity now will be disastrous; to not even have an opposition waiting in the wings to reverse it will be catastrophic.

    • Lysias

      What was really horrifying was the video of Pompeo boasting of lying, cheating, and stealing. The audience (of people at Texas A&M) seemed amused by what be said.

      • Bramble

        Like Tom Tugendhat joking about invading someone else’s country. (Which he did twice. But it is okay when a white Anglo does it.)

        • tom welsh

          One of many fine examples of doublethink – indeed, once you start noticing them, they are everywhere. Most British and American people today endorse (explicitly or implicitly) the following three propositions:

          1. When other people attack or kill us, that is wicked and must be stopped.
          2. When we attack or kill other people, that is perfectly OK, because we are intrinsically good and so everything we do must be good.
          3. We believe that all people are equal and have the same human rights.

          Yet those propositions are utterly incompatible. Any two of them might be true at the same time, but not all three.

      • tom welsh

        “As the sociologist Georg Simmel wrote over a century ago, if you make money the center of your value system, then finally you have no value system, because money is not a value”.
        -– Morris Berman, “The Moral Order”, Counterpunch 8-10 February 2013. http://www.counterpunch.org/2013/02/08/the-moral-order/

        “Capitalism is an economic system, which we have elevated to a social system. It only has one fundamental value, exchange value, which isn’t much of a value, at least not in terms of organizing society or maintaining any sort of human culture or reverence for the natural world it exists in. In capitalist society, everything, everyone, every object and sentient being, every concept and human emotion, is worth exactly what the market will bear … no more, no less, than its market price. There is no other measure of value”.
        — C.J. Hopkins, “Tomorrow Belongs to the Corporatocracy” http://www.unz.com/article/tomorrow-belongs-to-the-corporatocracy

  • Morepork

    Here is a comment on the actual film. Not a comment on newspaper reviews. 😉
    I think this film is brilliant in that it tells the very human story of Julian’s family and skilfully interweaves Julian’s path. The cinematography is also outstanding. My whole family went to see it and the younger generation (20s) got a lot out of it as they were too young at the time to grasp the significance of events. Before this film Julian Assange was too abstract for many people especially with the general media hardly reporting anything about him, and if so, then always with a smear or two or more.
    And yes, Craig, heartfelt thanks for your skilful and unwavering support for Julian and making superhuman efforts to keep us all informed esp during the hearings. THANK YOU 🙂

  • Peter Mo

    Interesting case in New Zealand.

    Voting age lobby group Make It 16 is hoping a “strong moral message” in favour of change emerges from a Supreme Court hearing on Tuesday.
    Make It 16 wants the court to declare that denying 16 and 17-year-olds the vote is unjustified age discrimination, and inconsistent with the Bill of Rights.

    ***************
    Now if this type of declaration is possible in the UK I suggest a completely different legal team (crowdfunded) put forward something similar covering the numerous instances of human rights abuses against Julian.

    • Blissex

      «why not swap his freedom for those of a half a dozen yanks and brits captured by pro-russians in Ukraine»

      The anti-freedom-of-press propagandists are indeed very keen to ensure that Assange be officially mislabeled as a russian agent like Snowden was.

  • DarrenH

    A stunning film. Watched it last night. As someone who has been following along in detail it was still a powerful film. The deep humanity of Julian’s father and of Stella had tears flowing in our house.

  • Anna

    Priti Patel meeting, very shocking really rather than just questionable. It reminds me of Farage standing by the gold door with Trump, or Gove by the framed Playboy photo with Trump.

  • mark golding

    Of course. Hatred, pain, wickedness, corruption and bad has ruled, has prevailed far too long. Hesitation and delay have become void and empty at this time, this space.

    So how can we put off connecting and with little doubt, bring together a force that will free, that will remove Julian Assange from isolation and despair and indeed bring him back to life.

    Numbers matter.

    Write, email, affirm and publish your disgust, your sadness, your shock and nausea at the conduct, the manner and way a veracious human has been hurt, mentally punished and grieved.

    Thanks for your good will.

      • mark golding

        Is the UK a supplicant to the demands, wishes and desires of the US in this case? Keep in mind In August 2002, the US threatened to withdraw aid from countries that refused to recognise the immunity of US military personnel from ICC prosecution. That is blackmail.

        • Carlyle Moulton

          I think that powers in the US are not the only people who hate Assange. All governments and their spook services hate anyone who exposes their secrets especially those secrets the disclosure of which shows their behaviour as contemptible.

          So Australia, Sweden and the UK and …. want him to be punished and to be seen to be punished to deter others. They will accept Assange’s death by suicide or from ill health due to his treatment as acceptable but would prefer his life imprisonment in a US supermax prison under special administrative measures.

          I would point out the similarities in the treatment of Assange to that of Aafia Siddiqui.

  • nevermind

    I remember watching the world championship in football on a big screen at DtRh 3 years back.
    Could we have a small screen showing it to the younger generations spme who never had an inkling of Julians plight?
    just a thought.

  • Peter Mo

    I note with interest the Conservatives promised a Royal Commission on the Justice System.
    Could I suggest a further form of attack for Assange supporters would be starting a new petition to have all aspects of Julian Assange’s detention and court hearings included in the terms of reference.

      • tom welsh

        In the past a knighthood was a symbol of honour – not so much today. (Think of some of the “knights” and “dames” who have been created recently).

        I think the best recognition would be an even £1 billion, to be used as Mr Assange sees fit – as compensation for his suffering and the injustices inflicted on him, and also to further his work and Wikipedia’s.

  • Carlyle Moulton

    The justification for locking Assange in Belmarsh maximum security prison is that he is a flight risk because he jumped bail on the Swedish sex crime extradition. There are two points that need to be made:-

    1. If he is a flight risk surely there are prisons less oppressive than Belmarsh that could keep him securely;
    2. Assange interpreted the Swedish inquiries as an attempt to get him extradited to the US without the UK government copping the resultant opprobrium and in retrospect he was correct to do so. He was not fleeing bail on the sex case but on the feared US prosecution. Any reasonable person should support his doing so.

    The dishonesty in the UK treatment is obvious.

    The Swedish strategy was used because at that time the UK was not willing to bear the resultant protest but it is now because it considers that it has sufficiently smeared J A to the extent that many of his former supporters have changed sides now seeing him as an absolutely despicable character.

    • tom welsh

      To which should be added:

      1. Mr Assange was never charged with any crime in Sweden, not was he seriously investigated on suspicion of any crime. Instead, a venal Swedish prosecutor pretended to be planning to open a case – no doubt on instructions from Washington. Mr Assange waited in Stockholm for quite a while, in case the police should decide to interview him. They didn’t. On confirmation that the matter was over, Mr Assange flew to London, whereupon the venal prosecutor set up a din about how he had “fled justice”.

      And, as we all know – or should know – Keir Starmer urgently warned the Swedish authorities that they must keep up the pressure. The message from the British CPS was: “Don’t you dare get cold feet!!!”

      https://www.theguardian.com/media/2018/feb/11/sweden-tried-to-drop-assange-extradition-in-2013-cps-emails-show

      So Mr Assange was found guilty of jumping bail in the matter of his extradition to Sweden, where he had lingered specifically to give the authorities every opportunity to interview him until they told him he was free to go. In a matter that was never a criminal complaint, let alone a criminal charge.

      A classic piece of CIA work, exploiting the greed and ambition of their pawns abroad.

      • Courtenay Francis Raymond Barnett

        Tom Welsh,

        So you understand very clearly how justice systems are manipulated to achieve political ends. Even the ‘fair and just’ British justice system.

    • Peter Mo

      I can’t get my head around the relationship between non charges in Sweden and skipping bail.
      If there are no charges and never been a basis for extradition to Sweden then bail should be null and void also. Therefore skipping bail can hardly be called a crime if there never was valid charges.
      In turn skipping bail cannot be given as a reason for keeping Assange in prison. This whole thing just doesn’t make sense.

  • Peter Mo

    Talk Talk talk….. c’mon people. I think the pro’s and cons surrounding Julian Assange have been established by now. What is needed is worldwide action. I’ve suggested in several posts ideas maybe not great but needed is an army-like structure with coordinated action on numerous fronts. Through the courts, through protests through universities. This isn’t just Assange it represents many injustices and rights abuses.
    The English judicial system used to be a model which a few misguided legal professionals think is alright but it isn’t. It’s a joke.
    Let’s talk about the action happening.

    • Carlyle Moulton

      The English justice system in the past never was the paragon that it was held to be and certainly is not now.

      • Peter Mo

        I hope legal minds have examined the situation with the bail money forfeiture. The way I see it Assange returning to custody directly from the embassy meant he never legally skipped bail. The stay at the embassy should have put on hold everything else.
        Perhaps there is a case for reclaiming the money. Certainly worth a go.

        • Peter Mo

          Expanding on the refund of forfeited bail money. Assange in hindsight had every right to seek asylum which is enshrined in law and no doubt supersedes the law around bail. He returned to custody once asylum rescinded.
          Quite simple logic….. the bail money seized must be refunded.

    • mark golding

      Perhaps better to kill time by reprogramming the mind; conditioned, trained, learned compliance -and obedience in the first five years of life… – Never a ‘Free child’ ego state as in the mystery and subtlety of transactional analysis.

  • Conall Boyle

    Craig, your words of wisdom are directed towards more and more arcane and parochial topics, important yes, but dramatic shifts are taking place in the world out side. If you cannot direct your attention to these then I will feel that my monthly sub would be better directed elsewhere. Have your seen Alexander Mercouris’s almost daily blogging?

    • mark golding

      Conall Boyle I suggest you broaden your thinking. None of Craig’s posts are trivial or insignificant and we live in an era of simulated schemes and maneuvers by cabals desperate to retain power and control. Thankfully Julian Assange has exposed the brutal nature of these plots and his treatment by thick-skinned schmucks consumed by greed makes clear an advance or shift towards reality, compassion and credibility is vital to contain a moral cohesion in our world.

      The disclosures by one brave man, Julian Assange and those that support him, have moved millions of trusting minds within the same channel that seeks autonomy from deceit, a selfish set of rules and indoctrination by pay-offs, force and death.

    • nevermind

      Conall. Do consider that Craig has more to do than just maintaining and flourishing minds with important information the general public is not privvy to.
      Running a festival for 4 days is a slog and if you get 3/3 hours to sleep you are lucky. The rest of the days you’re walking about sorting out hiccups, supply logistics and services.
      Your comment was not fair and I agree with Mark.

  • Tezza

    There will be a rally for Julian outside Parliament House, Canberra, next Thursday. I was very tempted to go but the 6 hour drive was a big deterrent.
    I just watched this video and I am now undeterred.

    Caitlin Johnston: The Wizard, for Julian (2 Jul 2022) – YouTube, 6m 1s

    “Multimedia piece I made for Assange’s 50th birthday, inspired by a report that he’s been keeping his spirits up by feeding a pair of mallards nesting by his Belmarsh window.”

  • Natasha

    On July 15 Kevin Gosztola / The Dissenter reported that Attorneys for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange separately appealed decisions by Home Office Secretary Priti Patel and a United Kingdom district court, which authorized his extradition to the United States. The grounds for appeal (links below) are very short and easy to read timelines & legal ‘containers’ into which factual details and arguments will flow and be expanded upon once the applications are accepted for hearings. Any thoughts?

    https://thedissenter.org/assange-appeals-extradition-to-united-states/

    https://www.tareqhaddad.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/2022.06.23-USA-v-Assange-Defence-grounds-for-appeal-on-SSHD-decision.pdf

    https://www.tareqhaddad.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/2022.06.30-USA-v-Assange-Defence-grounds-for-appeal.pdf

    • Peter Mo

      Thanks for the links.
      However I don’t see any application for bail. If Assange was guilty of bail skipping (I don’t believe he was) then he has served his sentence which was at the top end of accepted penalty. Now by keeping him still in prison without bail then what happens if the US drops the case entirely. Surely Assange would be able to claim compensation but no way would UK authorities countenance that. Therefore they are in a bind. No matter what he must be extradited simply to let UK authorities off the hook.

  • Australia Voice

    I posted the following on 2 July on the most relevant recent article I could find on this site. It’s possibe not many caught it so I am reposting on a current & relevant post. Thanks Craig
    *

    Craig and interested commentators I hope you can pay attention to 15minute audio interview with Wikileaks human rights lawyer Renata Avilia. Linked at the bottom of comment. She discusses Laura Poitras and the film Risk. Basically Laura broke every single private agreement made with Wikileaks in order to make her film, and in doing so, made a stack of decisions that directly threatened the safety, security and freedom of Wikileaks members and those involved in its work. Avilia also discusses the editorial decisions made in the film Risk .
    *
    One thing that amazed me in that film was, all that was required was for a comment to be included (by Assange, by Laura, by anyone) that the news of the sexual assault investigation was not “surprising news” like it’s presented. Because, the matter was first presented when Assange was in Sweden to begin with. Most importantly, he had approached the authorities in Sweden and offered to assist them, and they said everything’s fine and gave him permission to leave the country.
    By wilfully redacting that important fact, from the documentary a radically alternate interpretation of the facts is presented.

    https://soundcloud.com/user-108809485/human-rights-lawyer-renata-avilia-on-laura-poitras-film-risk

  • nevermind

    Excellent film and presentation as well as Q&A afterwards by Craig, John Shipton, and Adrrian Devant at last night’s picture house venue here in Norwich.
    It was hoaching and there were interesting questions from the public who have taken Julian’s plight, inflicted by the blighters of our lives, to their heart.

    FREE JULIAN ASSANGE. Don’t let the war criminals off the hook by using some footie/Commonwealth game event to spirit him away in silence.

  • Rosemary MacKenzie

    A Russian NGO has suggested Donetsk ask that Julian Assange and another individual be exchanged for the two British men sentenced to death in Donetsk.

  • Republic of Scotland

    I’m pleasantly surprised by this, Australian MPs standing up for Assange.

    The speakers at Converge on Canberra for Assange:

    • MC Mary Kostakidis
    • Andrew Wilke MP
    • Peter Whish-Wilson MP
    • Bridget Archer MP
    • Monique Ryan MP
    • David Shoebridge MP
    • Jordan Steele-John MP
    • Julian Hill MP
    • Christin Lambang – Foyne, Amnesty International
    • Pre-recorded message from Gabriel Shipton
    • Sue Wareham – Doctors for Assange
    • James Ricketson

    https://consortiumnews.com/2022/07/29/watch-australian-politicians-on-fire-for-assange/