Assange: An Unholy Masquerade of Tyranny Disguised as Justice 130

There has never existed any government so evil and repugnant that it has been unable to find lawyers, and particularly judges, to do its bidding.

Hitler did not need to manufacture lawyers and judges. A very significant number, indeed the majority, of established and reputable German lawyers were prepared to participate actively in Nazi law, both its development and implementation.

That of course includes Roland Freisler, a Doctor of Law from the University of Jena, who was a practising solicitor before his elevation.

This was prosecutor Telford Taylor, opening the trial of Nazi lawyers at Nuremberg:

This case is unusual, in that the defendants are charged with crimes committed in the name of the law. These men, together with their deceased or fugitive colleagues, were the embodiment of what passed for justice in the Third Reich.

Most of the defendants have served, at various times, as judges, as state prosecutors, and as officials of the Reich Ministry of Justice. ALL BUT ONE ARE PROFESSIONAL JURISTS. They are well accustomed to courts, and courtrooms, though their present role may be new to them.

But a court is far more than a courtroom; it is a process and a spirit. It is the house of law. This the defendants know, or must have known in times past. I doubt that they ever forgot.

Indeed, the root of the accusation in this case is that these men, leaders of the German judicial system, consciously and deliberately suppressed the law, engaged in an unholy masquerade of tyranny disguised as justice, and converted the German judicial systems to an engine of despotism, conquest, pillage and slaughter.

Taylor’s quote “an unholy masquerade of tyranny disguised as justice” is a phrase that has been rattling around my head as a perfect encapsulation of the state “legal” process against Julian Assange, which I have been detailing this last several years.

Together, of course, with the fact that the NATO states hate Assange – and seek his judicial murder – precisely for revealing truths that embarrassed their system of “conquest, pillage and slaughter” in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Yemen, Syria and elsewhere.

It is worth noting Hitler was by no means alone in being able to call on the respected lawyers to do his bidding.

The prosecutor of Stalin’s show trials, Andrei Vishinski, whom Freisler traveled to Moscow to see in action and whose screaming and taunting Freisler consciously copied, was also a “proper” lawyer, a graduate of the University of Kiev with a background of practice in Moscow.

(I should note in passing the counter case that Stalin’s favourite judge, Ulrich, was an auto-didact out of military tribunals).

We are brought up with an innate respect for the rule of law and belief that, though it makes mistakes, it is impartial and honest. Unfortunately, that is merely one of the myths by which our society functions. That is something I have reluctantly come to understand.

I was, nonetheless, so taken aback by Justice Jonathan Swift’s current and curt ruling, dismissing Assange’s High Court appeal in the extradition saga, that I thought I would dig a little deeper.

I therefore started with Swift’s surprising December ruling, in cahoots with Judge Lewis, that the Tory government’s scheme to deport refugees to Rwanda is lawful.

His judgment depends above all on the notion that any fiction concocted by the UK government has more legal force than actual fact. There is no real world doubt that Rwanda is a ghastly dictatorship and kills opponents. Nor that it has killed the inhabitants of refugee camps on its soil.

But that is OK, say Swift and Lewis, because the government of Rwanda has said in an MOU that it won’t do that to our refugees, who are different to those other refugees:

73. The Claimants rely on what happened in 2018 when
refugees from neighbouring countries at Kiziba refugee camp protested at the
conditions in the camp. It has been reported (for example, by Human Rights Watch)
that the police who entered the camp in response to the protests used excessive force.
They fired on the refugees and some were killed. The Claimants also point more
generally to limits in Rwanda on the freedom to express political opinion if that opinion is critical of the Rwandan authorities.

74. We do not consider that any direct inference can be drawn from the events at Kiziba refugee camp in 2018. The circumstances that led to those protests are unlikely to be repeated for any person transferred to Rwanda under the MEDP. The treatment of transferred persons, both prior to and after determination of their asylum claims is
provided for in the MOU (at paragraphs 8 and 10) and in the Support NV. For the
reasons already given, we consider the Rwandan authorities will abide by the terms set out in those documents.

On top of which, the Refugee Convention, according to Swift and Lewis, says that refugees must be treated no worse than a state’s own citizens. So if Rwanda persecutes its own people, then there is no breach in persecuting the refugees we send too.

…the Claimants’ case comes to the proposition that, following removal to Rwanda, it is possible that one or more of those transferred might come to hold opinions critical of the Rwandan authorities, and that possibility means that now, the Soering threshold is passed.

77. There is evidence that opportunities for political opposition in Rwanda are very limited and closely regulated. The position is set out in the “General Human Rights in Rwanda” assessment document, one of the documents published by the Home Secretary on 9 May 2022. There are restrictions on the right of peaceful assembly, freedom of the press and freedom of speech. The Claimants submitted that this state of affairs might mean that any transfer to Rwanda would entail a breach of article 15 of the Refugee Convention (which provides that refugees must be accorded the most favourable treatment accorded to nationals in respect of non-political and non-profit-making associations and trade unions). However, we do not consider there is any force in this submission at all. Putting to one side the fact that article 15 does not extend to all rights of association, it is, in any event, a non-discrimination provision – i.e., persons protected under the Refugee Convention must not be less favourably treated than the receiving country’s own citizens. There is no evidence to that effect in this case.

Indeed, Swift and Lewis tell us, the defendant’s case is “speculative”. There is no evidence that the government of Rwanda will wish to torture them, simply because the government of Rwanda hasn’t even met them yet. Besides, the government of Rwanda has promised not to mistreat people under an agreement with the UK, “the MEDP”, which gives the Rwandan government 120 million of cash to steal, or spend on Rwanda’s economic development.

Returning to the material covered in the Home Secretary’s assessment document, there is also evidence (from a US State Department report of 2020) that political opponents have been detained in “unofficial” detention centres and that persons so detained have been subjected to torture and article 3 ill-treatment short of torture. Further, there is evidence that prisons in Rwanda are over-crowded and the conditions are very poor. Nevertheless, the Claimants’ submission is speculative. It does not rest on any evidence of any presently-held opinion. There is no suggestion that any of the individual Claimants would be required to conceal presently-held political or other views. The Claimants’ submission also assumes that the response of the Rwandan authorities to any opinion that may in future be held by any transferred person would (or might) involve article 3 ill-treatment. Given that the person concerned would have been transferred under the terms of the MEDP that possibility is not a real risk.

Swift and Lewis argue further, at paras 81 to 84, that in UK domestic law, the Home Secretary’s certification of Rwanda as a safe country is “irrebuttable” – ie there is no legal avenue to question its truth, and nor does it require parliamentary approval. The “safety” of Rwanda is a fact in law simply because Braverman certifies that it is.

Having stated that under Tory immigration legislation the Home Secretary can certify anywhere she feels like as safe, irrespective of objective truth (provide certain procedural steps are taken) Swift and Lewis then go on to the non-sequitur on which their judgment depends, that because a country has been certified “safe” for the purposes of UK domestic law, that makes it actually eligible for receipt of UK deportees in terms of the UN Refugee Convention.

The UN Refugee Convention says this:

No Contracting State shall expel or return (“refouler”) a
refugee in any manner whatsoever to the frontiers of territories
where his life or freedom would be threatened on account of his
race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social
group or political opinion.

That is the obligation under international law, incorporated into British law. It does not disappear with a signature from the Home Secretary, but depends on the actual, real state of affairs.

It would not, in real life or in the Refugee Convention, be safe to deport people to Yemen, Eastern Ukraine nor the Sudan just because Braverman signed something. The Refugee Convention is not subject to the fantasy propositions of “irrebuttable” Whitehall certificates.

As devoted servants of the Executive, Lewis and Swift undeniably have one thing in common with Freisler, Ullrich and Vishinski, which is an impatience with pesky defendants bothering them with evidence, troublesome arguments and annoying amounts of paper, and trying to save their own lives.

Lewis and Swift begin their judgment on Rwanda with a full throttled rant at the annoyance of having to wade through the paperwork that the deportees had the downright cheek to produce in defence:

36. The pleadings in these proceedings are not models of good practice. Practice Direction 54A requires Statements of Facts and Grounds to be clear and concise. None of the pleadings meets this requirement, even though many if not all have been revised one or more times since the proceedings were issued. On the Claimants’ side the pleading in claim CO/2032/2022 (AAA and others) has taken pole position, setting out various generic grounds of challenge as well as grounds specific to the facts of the cases of the individual claimants in that case. Seven generic grounds of challenge are pleaded (Grounds 1, 1A – 1C, 2A and 3-6). However, these grounds tend to overlap or circle back on one another. Other claims brought by other Claimants have adopted these generic grounds of challenge or formulated variations on them, as well as pleading complaints based on their own circumstances. The pleading in CO/2056/2022 (the Asylum Aid case) raises complaints about the Home Secretary’s decision-making procedure. What is said about procedural fairness in this case largely overlap with the complaints on procedural fairness raised in CO/2023/2022 and other claims. Asylum Aid contends that these matters demonstrate there is systemic unfairness in the procedure adopted to deal with the inadmissibility and removal decisions. The Home Secretary pleading is a response in kind. The Amended Detailed Grounds of Defence (to all claims) runs to some 215 pages.

37. At the court’s request the parties prepared an agreed list of issues. However, that
exercise failed to simplify the position: the list identifies 29 generic issues, many of
which are repetitive or overlapping; and many more issues specific to each claim.

38. The same approach has been repeated in the Skeleton Arguments. Mention should be made of the Skeleton Argument in CO/2032/2022 and CO/2104/2022 (262 pages), and the Skeleton Argument in CO/2094/2022 (63 pages). Each comfortably exceeds the maximum length permitted by Practice Direction 54A (25 pages). Permission to file skeleton arguments longer than the maximum permitted was not requested in advance; each document was presented to the court as a fait accompli. The length of these documents has not served to clarify the way in which the various complaints are put. The documents meander and repeat themselves. .

This is plainly a particular bugbear of Swift. My examination of his ruling on Rwanda deportations is only a prelude, to put into context this ruling on the Assange appeal. What I have found common to both decisions is an insistence that narrative put forward by the executive is not to be questioned, and an extreme distaste for having to entertain lengthy arguments on behalf of those individuals whose lives hang in the balance.

The Assange Appeal

I consider the High Court appeal of Julian Assange to be, in itself a document of historic importance. I have therefore decided to publish it in full, and I recommend you at the very least to dip in to it.


The very first sentence of Assange’s Appeal rings out loud, and explains why his extradition proceedings were held effectively in closed court and why the High Court are determined to avoid any substantive public hearing:

Julian Assange and Wikileaks were responsible for the exposure of criminality on the part of
the US Government on a massive and unprecedented scale.

In the first 3 pages (of 150), it outlines the argument and the ground it covers:

B E T W E E N:
References to CB/X are references to the core permission bundle.
EB/X are references to the section 103 evidence bundle.
1. Introduction
1.1. Julian Assange and Wikileaks were responsible for the exposure of criminality on the part of the US Government on a massive and unprecedented scale. The publication in 2010 and 2011
of materials sent by a serving military officer, Private Manning, sit at the very apex of publicinterest disclosures. By publishing this material ‘WikiLeaks…exposed outrageous, even
murderous wrongdoing [including] war crimes, torture and atrocities on civilians’
(Feldstein, EB/10, §4).
1.2. Julian Assange’s work, dedicated to ensuring public accountability by exposing global human
rights abuses, and facilitating the investigation of and prosecution for state criminality, has
contributed to the saving of countless lives, stopped human rights abuses in their tracks, and
brought down despotic and autocratic regimes.
1.3. Those who expose grave state criminality, defenders of fundamental human rights, are, and
always have been, vulnerable to acts of political retaliation and persecution from the regimes
whose criminality they expose. Julian Assange is no exception.
1.4. The law is fiercely protective of human rights defenders. Exposure of state criminality is, in law, a protected political act, the product of a political opinion. Prosecutions ‘on account of’ such acts are straightforwardly prohibited by s.81 of the 2003 Act.
1.5. The history of this prosecution, between Mr Assange’s exposures in 2010 and 2011 and the
indictment in 2018, is a textbook example of political persecution. The course of this case
since 2011 is simply extraordinary. It involves, inter alia, US Governmental plots to interfere
with judges who investigate the matters Mr Assange exposed; to silence the International
Criminal Court (ICC) who have taken up Mr Assange’s disclosures; and to kidnap and
rendition Mr Assange himself, or else murder him. What follows below is conduct of the type
one would normally expect from a military dictatorship. The DJ failed to act upon (or even
address) these issues from the perspective of s.81 because (despite having the law drawn
squarely and repeatedly to her attention) she failed to recognise or acknowledge that exposure
of state criminality is, in law, a protected ‘political’ act, engaging s.81.
1.6. The evidence in this case has, moreover, developed since the DJ’s decision in January 2021.
Investigations in America now provide a fuller picture of the US state-level plans to kidnap,
rendition and murder Mr Assange. They also reveal that the initiation of criminal proceedings
in this case – by a criminal complaint in December 2017 resulted after obstacles (some
reported as having been erected by the UK) to those criminal plans.
1.7. The prosecution that the US were forced to resort to instead, commenced in 2018, is no less
extraordinary. (a) It is unprecedented in law. (b) It cuts clean across established principles of free speech. (c) To deal with that, it anticipates a trial at which Mr Assange, as a foreigner, can be denied reliance on the First Amendment (d) indeed, a trial outwith protections of the US Constitution altogether, and (e) is accompanied by exposure to a grossly disproportionate sentence. In short, the circumstances of the prosecution are so stark and unusual that they engage bars to extradition in their own right.
1.8. As to the circumstances of the ensuing extradition request. (f) It violates the prohibition on extradition for political offences expressly provided for in the relevant treaty and under
international law. (g) It deliberately misstates the core facts. The DJ took these issues one by
one and reasoned that none offended the 2003 Act. For reasons which follow, she was plainly
wrong in multiple respects.
1.9. But even if she were right on each of these issues when viewed separately, the DJ then
needed, but failed entirely, to stand back and examine what they cumulatively told her about
the political origins of this case. They were all, in short, individually and cumulatively, the
clearest evidence of a prosecution mounted ‘on account of’ Mr Assange’s political opinions –
namely his stated and proven commitment to the exposure of US-state-level criminality.
1.10. These Perfected Grounds of Appeal, served in accordance with Crim PR r.50.20(5), are
structured as follows:
1.11. Part A: addresses Ground of Appeal 1, namely that the judge wrongly rejected the
argument that the request was being made for the purposes of prosecuting or punishing Julian
Assange for his political opinions, and therefore barred by s.81(a).1 Accordingly Part A
provides an overview of the history of this matter, and explains the over-arching s.81 case the
DJ failed to engage with. This includes:
(i) Section 2: the evidence before the DJ concerning Mr Assange’s political opinions;
(ii) Section 3: the evidence before the DJ about the criminality Mr Assange exposed.
1 Ground 1 also encompasses the allegation of abuse of process, by reason of ulterior motivation of the request and
the underlying prosecution, which is dealt with in Part D.
(iii) Section 4: The law the DJ ignored;
(iv) Section 5 and 6: the other evidence before the DJ concerning the origins of the 2018
(v) Section 7: The DJ’s decision
1.12. Part B: addresses Grounds of Appeal 2 to 6. That is the various egregious aspects of the
prosecution, eventually commenced in 2018, which individually bar extradition, regardless of
s.81; including:
(i) Section 9: An unprecedented prosecution (Ground of Appeal 2: Article 7 ECHR);
(ii) Section 10: A prosecution for protected speech (Ground of Appeal 3: Article 10
(iii) Section 11: A prosecution designed to secure a guilty verdict (Ground of Appeal 4:
Article 6 ECHR);
(iv) Section 12: A prosecution with no Convention Rights protections at all (Ground of
Appeal 5);
(v) Section 13: Followed by a grossly disproportionate sentence (Ground of Appeal 6).
1.13. Part C: addresses Grounds of Appeal 7 to 8. That is the aspects of the ensuing extradition
request which individually bar extradition, regardless of s.81; including:
(i) Section 14: An extradition request for political offences, in violation of the treaty and
international law (Ground of Appeal 7);
(ii) Section 15: An extradition request which deliberately misstates the core facts,
unfairly improperly and inaccurately (Ground of Appeal 8).
1.14. Part D: returns to s.81 and abuse of process (Ground of Appeal 1), as the DJ ought to have
done, in Section 16. Finally, Sections 17 and 18 address the new evidence in this case.

There follows a further 147 pages of outstanding legal argument, including compelling evidence.
The summary of the crimes of the US Government exposed by Julian Assange at pages 9 to 18 is simply mind-blowing. That section starts thus:

Every single one of the five ‘national security’ publications that are the subject of this extradition request exposed US Governmental involvement in crimes of the first order of magnitude. These disclosures exposed irrefutable evidence of, inter alia, illegal rendition, torture, and black site CIA prisons across Europe, as well as aggressive steps taken to maintain impunity and prevent the prosecution of any American operatives involved in these crimes. The following represents the unchallenged evidence before the DJ of the atrocities Mr Assange exposed.

Here is just one example of the ensuing evidence:

3.3. Mr Stafford-Smith’s unchallenged evidence was that cables, for example, revealed by WikiLeaks regarding US government drone killings in Pakistan ‘contributed to [subsequent] court findings that US drone strikes are criminal offences and that criminal proceedings should be initiated against senior US officials involved in such strikes’ (Stafford-Smith, EB/22, §84, 91). ‘Those were very important in litigation in Pakistan’ (EB/40 Tr 8.9.20, xic, p4). The Peshawar High Court ruled, inter alia, that the drone strikes carried out by the CIA and US authorities were a ‘blatant violation of basic human rights’ including ‘a blatant
breach of the absolute right to life’ and ‘a war crime’ (Stafford-Smith, EB/22, §91). What
‘we have to term criminal offences were taking place’ (EB/40 Tr 8.9.230, xic. p4). Moreover,
and as a result, ‘the drone strikes, which were in their hundreds and causing many…innocent
deaths, stopped very rapidly’ such that ‘there were none reported…in 2019’ (Stafford-Smith,
EB/22, §93). WikiLeaks had ‘put a stop to a massive human rights abuse’ (Stafford-Smith,
EB/22, §92-93). ‘Pakistan was an American ally. It was not like we were doing that to an
enemy, and that again is just extraordinary to me’ (Stafford-Smith, EB/40 Tr 8.9.20, re-x, 26-
27). Without the WikiLeaks disclosures, it ‘would have been very, very different and very
difficult’ to prevent this crime (Stafford-Smith, EB/40 Tr 8.9.20, xic, p5).

There is much other material in the appeal which the US and UK governments would not wish to be rehearsed in public:

Secondly, the report provides further, corroborative, evidence (not
available to the DJ) of the fruit of the resulting ‘no limits’ discussions.
Namely, the emergence of US Governmental plans about which Witness 2 (EB/2)
gave evidence to the DJ to:
(i) Kidnap Mr Assange:
‘This Yahoo News investigation, based on conversations with more than 30 former
U.S. officials — eight of whom described details of the CIA’s proposals to abduct
Assange’ (p2)
‘Pompeo and [Deputy CIA Director Gina] Haspel wanted vengeance on Assange. At
meetings between senior Trump administration officials after WikiLeaks started
publishing the Vault 7 materials, Pompeo began discussing kidnapping Assange’
(ii) In order to rendition Mr Assange to the US:
‘Pompeo and others at the agency proposed abducting Assange from the embassy and
surreptitiously bringing him back to the United States via a third country — a process
known as rendition. The idea was to ‘break into the embassy, drag [Assange] out and
bring him to where we want,’ said a former intelligence official’ (p18)
(iii) Or else murder Mr Assange:
‘Some senior officials inside the CIA and the Trump administration even discussed
killing Assange, going so far as to request ‘sketches’ or ‘options’ for how to
assassinate him. Discussions over kidnapping or killing Assange occurred ‘at the
highest levels’ of the Trump administration, said a former senior counterintelligence
official. ‘There seemed to be no boundaries’’ (p1)
‘Some discussions even went beyond kidnapping. U.S. officials had also considered
killing Assange, according to three former officials. One of those officials said he
was briefed on a spring 2017 meeting in which the president asked whether the CIA could
assassinate Assange and provide him ‘options’ for how to do so’ (p20)
‘agency executives requested and received ‘sketches’ of plans for killing Assange …
said a former intelligence official. There were discussions ‘on whether killing
Assange was possible and whether it was legal,’ the former official said’ (p20).

Swift dismisses the 150 page appeal in just three pages, with a curt and sneering rejection.

There are 8 proposed grounds of appeal. They are set out at great length (some 100pp), but the extraordinary length of the pleading serves only to make clear that the proposed appeal comes to no more than an attempt to re-run the extensive arguments made to and rejected by the District Judge.

Swift then stipulates that if Assange’s lawyers apply for a hearing for their request for an appeal to be heard, then that hearing will be limited to 30 minutes.

Furthermore, he limits Assange’s defence to just 20 pages. 20 pages and 30 minutes (the latter being the time for the entire hearing, including the response by the US government). That is the value Swift places on pleadings for a man’s life. Swift even aims a prim taunt at the defence: “The present grounds of appeal are unwieldy and do not comply with any known rules of pleading”.

Swift states that “the issue is the one posed by section 103 of the 2003 (Extradition Act); ought the judge to have decided a question at the extradition heariing differently”. Swift then subjects this “issue” to impossible constraints. Neither the judge’s evaluation of fact nor their assessment of argument can be revisited. He also objects to new evidence, even though new evidence at appeal is specifically allowed by the Extradition Act.

Swift’s background is as a government lawyer. He revealed something of himself in this interview with a legal magazine, where he stated that:

Favourite clients were the security and intelligence agencies. ‘They take preparation and evidence-gathering seriously: a real commitment to getting things right.’


What really matters is that the bond of confidence between Executive and Judiciary is maintained

But perhaps even more revealing is that in this brief interview about his career, he chooses to throw in an entirely gratuitous and pointed anecdote about how unpleasant left wing people are, which perforce implies he was coming from an opposite position:

The first member of his family to go to university and the first to be a lawyer, he remembers his welcome at New College. ‘I unpacked and knocked on the door opposite to introduce myself. ‘Hello, I’m Jonathan,’ only to get the response ‘I’m Dave. I’m a Militant. F*** off!’’ After all, it was the mid-1980s.

It is perfectly plain what Swift is, and that he could be entirely relied on to dismiss Assange’s appeal with no discussion of any difficult subject matter on state crimes.


It turns out that Swift’s reputation is well established. I was sent a copy of this revealing tweet.


In the District Court, Judge Baraitser ruled against Assange on the eight grounds, but had ruled for him on the grounds of mental health and US prison conditions. This resulted in the complicated process of successive High Court Appeals.

First the United States was permitted to appeal on health and US prison conditions. After they won, it was Assange’s turn to appeal on those other eight grounds, on which he had lost at the District Court.

The difference between the High Court treatment of the US appeal, which was accepted and eventually won, and Assange’s appeal, which is dismissed out of hand, is highly instructive.

The US appeal turned very largely on new evidence. That consisted of new diplomatic assurances from the USA in which they stated that Assange would not be placed in a super-max prison pre-trial and would not be subjected to Special Administrative Measures – unless it became necessary to do so.

These “assurances” could have been given during the original hearing but were not, because of course the US has every intention of placing Julian in super-max prison. Judges Burnett and Holroyde, ruling in favour of the USA, airily stated that the new assurances were admissible because assurances were not “evidence”:

A diplomatic note or assurance letter is not “evidence” in the sense contemplated
by section 106(5)(a) of the 2003 Act: it is neither a statement going to prove the
existence of a past fact, nor a statement of expert opinion on a relevant matter.
Rather, it is a statement about the intentions of the requesting state as to its future

So they ruled that, while new evidence is excluded, new “assurances” are not, a bit of special pleading they simply picked out of their capacious arses.

Compare this to the evidence submitted by Assange that the USA spied on his legal defence team and plotted to kidnap him, while actively discussing his assassination. That is excluded on the basis that it is “new evidence”, and on the fact that it is in part based on journalistic reports. The fact that the US government’s star witness has admitted he lied and gave his evidence for money, has also been dismissed on the grounds that information is available from journalistic reports.

Yet a media interview with one of the psychiatrist witnesses for Julian Assange, introduced by the US as part of their High Court appeal, was accepted, and not excluded as either “new evidence” or a “press report”.

You can read the entire the Burnett and Holroyde judgment, discussing the District Judge’s assessment of the evidence of Julian Assange’s mental health and US prison conditions, and it is impossible not to conclude that they are absolutely “second guessing the original judge’s evaluation of the facts and assessment of the arguments”.

There is literally nothing else they are doing.

Therefore, in finding for the USA appeal, the High Court conducted precisely the exercise which Swift rules is out of order when argued for the other side of the case, for the Assange appeal.

My favourite bit of stinking hypocrisy from Holroyde and Burnett comes at para 45:

Extradition proceedings are not private law proceedings but a process through
which solemn treaty obligations are satisfied in the context of a framework which
ensures that a requested person is provided with proper safeguards.

The phrase “solemn treaty obligations are satisfied” should cause an immediate revulsion. The Treaty in question is the US/UK Extradition Treaty of 2003, and it states at Article 4 that there can be no political extradition.

The District Court ruling, specifically upheld by Swift now, is that the UK/US Extradition Treaty has no legal standing and therefore the bar on political extradition it contains does not apply. Swift accepts the argument, that as the 2003 Extradition Act does not include a bar on political extradition, that provision of the Treaty does not apply.

The Extradition Treaty, Swift baldly states, is “not justiciable”, ie cannot be taken into legal account.

How it can both be that, and be a “solemn obligation” at the base of these entire proceedings, is an extraordinary contradiction which worries none of these judges in their concern to quickly and efficiently impose the brute force of the state. The entire process is designed as punishment for Assange’s unauthorised revelation of truth.

How an extradition can take place specifically under a Treaty whose provisions cannot be applied to that extradition, is a logical conundrum to which only the sophisticates of the UK judiciary could adapt their flexible intellects and – more to the point – consciences.

The executive will always find the judiciary needed to do its dirty work. Any executive. There may be occasional blips in periods of political convulsion. There was a temporary standoff with the Supreme Court over facets of Brexit, for example. But the judiciary will realign themselves with the executive in quick time. The power of the State is the constant.

Julian’s persecution has nothing to do with the law. It is a simple demonstration of the crushing power of the state.


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130 thoughts on “Assange: An Unholy Masquerade of Tyranny Disguised as Justice

1 2
  • DiggerUK

    Wars, just like “the crushing power of the state” don’t survive perpetuity. Guantanamo Bay, Internment without trial in the North Of Ireland and Apartheid in South Africa, are all examples of the alarming levels of success and eventual failure of the ‘all powerful’ state.

    The list of other comparisons I could give is endless. The UK seems to have another to add to its own catastrophes, Tamil refugees on the Chagos Islands, aka Diego Garcia.

    Many are ignoring the injustice against Julian, but not everybody is ignorant of the wrongs against him. Remember the jubilation we felt when Mandela walked free and remind yourself of the number of times you despaired along the way. Yes, also remember Steve Biko, but don’t forget that right prevailed…_

  • Jules Orr

    All kids get told the truth comes before anything else, yet they see our politicians and judges imprisoning Julian Assange, a peaceful publisher and digital freedom activist for telling the truth. Likewise his friend Craig Murray the journalist.

    Question this state persecution of truthtellers and the gradation suddenly changes: well no actually, the rule of law comes before anything else.

    But is ‘the rule of law’ an accurate guide to human decency and morals? How can it be when the Holocaust was legal, and people who hid Jews were criminals? When slavery was legal, and people who hid slaves were criminals? When apartheid was (and still is) legal, and people who protested it were criminals (or are antisemites)? When colonialism and looting other people’s countries was legal?

    These 21st c persecutions of Julian and Craig prove yet again that government and laws are no guide at all to decency and truth. Nor are judges and lawyers, simply professions of paid whores.

  • Jack

    Non western nations need to become better to raise awareness, pressure, sanction western nations, like, western nations pressure and sanction them for people they want released in non-western countries.

    Pres Lula da Silva called for a mobilization against extradition of Julian Assange

    For example non-western nations should initiate the same type of campaigning in the west for Navalny for Assange.

  • sergey

    quite an effort! but then, right from the onset, you knew the forthcoming end product. doubt even the martians will appropriate this as an artifact worthy of display in their museum of the deceased civilization of planet earth

  • elkern

    “Justice is merely incidental to law and order.”
    – J. Edgar Hoover, Director, [US] Federal Bureau of Investigation, 1935-1972.

    (I do NOT agree with or approve of this, just posting it as perspective on US “Justice” system.)

    • Tom Welsh

      “Laws are written for underlings, not for their bosses”.
      – Count Benkendorf, chief of the Russian secret police in the 1830s.

      Nothing has changed.

  • John O'Dowd

    Swift’s wiki entry Seems pretty accurate to me:

    “On 8 June 2023, he rejected the appeal of political prisoner Julian Assange’s legal team, which had filed two appeals against the kangaroo court and Priti Patel’s decision to extradite the award-winning Wikileaks founder being indicted by the United States under the Espionage Act for exposing war crimes to the general public.[7] Justice Swift rejected the vast breadth of evidence further indicating the political and farcical nature of the case on the grounds that he is a bootlicker and can’t be bothered to read more material than a middle school student for one of the most important cases regarding journalism and press freedom.”

  • townsman

    You are saying, or at the very least strongly suggesting, that Justice Jonathan Swift has not done his job properly.
    But the law is a complex discipline with its own rules and precedents. You are not qualified in the field, nor am I, and nor are the majority of your readers. What you think, and what you persuade your readers to believe, is not really relevant.
    If you could collate the opinions on the matter of prominent academic experts with recognised reputations, that would mean something. The law in this area may be bad – there are a lot of bad laws on the books. But you are saying (or at least suggesting) that Swift is a corrupt judge who fails to apply the law impartially; you compare him, implicitly, with a convicted Nazi war criminal. This is completely unreasonable without some backing from people educated to a high level in English law.

    • Lapsed Agnostic

      I’ve not been educated to even a low level in the law of Germany between 1933 & 1945, townsman. Therefore, I cannot say whether the Holocaust was right or wrong. Can anybody here help me out?

    • Doug Scorgie

      June 15, 2023 at 21:34

      Mr Townsman,
      You reply to Craigs analysis as:
      “… the law is a complex discipline with its own rules and precedents. You are not qualified in the field, nor am I, and nor are the majority of your readers. What you think, and what you persuade your readers to believe, is not really relevant.”

      Craig is entitled to his opinion as much as you are but Craig has gone to the trouble, over years, to collect, analyse and present evidence for his views in a well researched professional manner, unlike yourself.

      Regards Doug Scorgie

    • Frank Hovis

      “you compare him, implicitly, with a convicted Nazi war criminal.”
      If by that you are referring to Roland Freisler, then I’m afraid you are wrong. Freisler met his hopefully grisly end courtesy of an American bomb during an air raid in early 1945. One of the few bombs out of the many millions they have dropped on every continent (with the possible exception of Antarctica), that actually did some good in the world.

      • townsman

        “If by that you are referring to Roland Freisler”
        No, I was referring to the quote from Telford Thomas, opening a case in which two judges were convicted. Craig strongly suggests that Telford Thomas’ words apply to Jonathan Swift, because the case was brought against judges (among others) and judges were in fact convicted.

        • Lapsed Agnostic

          If Mr Justice (Sir Jonathan) Swift feels that he is being unfairly traduced and compared to Nazi war criminals, townsman, then, being ‘educated to a high level in English law’, I’d imagine he’s aware that he can sue this site for libel. Still, I’m sure he’ll appreciate your moral support.

          • townsman

            “I’m sure he’ll appreciate your moral support.”
            He doesn’t have my moral support (or my disapproval). I merely pointed out that his job is to apply the law. He didn’t make the law.
            There are two matters at issue.
            1. Is the law just?
            2, Did the judge apply it correctly?
            I suspect that the answer to (1) is “No”, and I don’t think anyone here is sufficiently expert in English law to answer (2) with the degree of certainty evident in these comments.

          • Lapsed Agnostic

            Thanks for your reply, townsman. You & I are agreed on point 1. With reference to point 2: there is little doubt that the members of the legal profession who were found guilty of war crimes at Nuremberg applied the new Nazi laws correctly, whether they agreed with them or not, i.e. they were just doing their jobs. Nonetheless, they were still punished severely.

            Whether Mr Justice Swift is applying the laws relating to the extradition of Julian Assange correctly or not is open to interpretation. Nonetheless, taking the above into consideration and bearing in mind that there’s a high chance that Assange could face a life sentence in the US, it is not unreasonable, let alone ‘completely unreasonable, to compare him to judges in Nazi Germany without the requirement to receive the backing of ‘people educated to a high level in English law’. Of course, Mr Justice Swift may take issue with this; he is quite at liberty to sue.

    • Dom

      Justice Swift knows the Americans tried to murder Julian yet is happy to deliver him into their hands. What does basic commonsense tell you about that, Townsman?

    • Tom Welsh

      “You are saying, or at the very least strongly suggesting, that Justice Jonathan Swift has not done his job properly”.

      I wouldn’t necessarily go as far as that. It all depends on what his job is.

  • AG

    Print out this text and put in the mail and send it to the papers and TV-stations and radio-stations and churches and universities and embassies and MPs and schools and and and?

    I know its dumb but the other lawyer in question here would be Carl Schmitt. Whose realist-think not only served the Neocons but of course firstly the Nazis. “The normative power of force of the factual.” It is this what we witness.

    How do you respond to that?
    (it is a different matter, but the Russian response was, they went to war. Fire vs. fire.)

    The BPP experienced the same on a daily basis and even worse but without any media testimony and eventually turned to the use of force.

    If Assange does end up in US prison. He will stay and die there.

    And then what?

    In light of these harsh realities, sorry to say: but Fuck Alexei Navalny.

    It don´t wish him any harm but to compare him with Julian Assange is an insult of spectacular proportions to Assange.

    Nevalny is in prison for corruption.


    • Bramble

      Navalny is a racist. Which makes him socially acceptable in the West, it seems. He is also a collaborator with the American Empire and actively involved in attempts to bring down the Russian government.

      • Tom Welsh

        “Navalny is a racist. Which makes him socially acceptable in the West, it seems”.

        Certainly if he is racially prejudiced against the USA’s designated “adversaries”/”antagonists”/”enemies”. (Or, as we normal people would call them, competitors).

        Very much like the remark attributed to many US politicians: “He may be a son of a bitch, but he’s our son of a bitch”.

        When it comes to harming the designated “adversaries”/”antagonists”/”enemies”, white becomes black and black becomes white. And the worse becomes the better case.

        One need look no further than Mr Zelensky – a character who, in isolation from any considerations of political advantage, would appear to be about as unpleasant and undesirable as one could imagine.

        However, since he became a useful stick with which to poke Russia, he has been sainted and adored.

  • FranzB

    Perhaps the route to getting Julian Assange free lies through Australia.

    Assange is an Australian, and Australia has this AUKUS agreement with the US and the UK, and Australia is also a member of the five eyes intelligence group. So it could be that political pressure from Australia might open the doors of Belmarsh. The Australian PM Albanese has also made the point that Chelsea Manning is free, so why put the person who published Manning’s leaks in prison?

    Perhaps one route would be for Australia to insist that Assange’s case goes to the European Court of Human Rights, in which case the UK might cut its losses and simply release Assange (via an appropriate legal fiction).

    • Sean_Lamb

      The Australian Defense Department wants Assange dead – or at least permanently silenced – the Australian government is just going through the motions to appease popular opinion.

      • Yuri K

        This is exactly what I implied. If you boast that you are a democracy, then “we the people” bear responsibility for everything that happens. If there is no Hitler, only you can “emancipate yourself from the humiliating chimera which is called conscience”.

  • Sean_Lamb

    This reminds what I commonly see in wrongful conviction cases with a popular following – when a judgement doesn’t go their way they complain about the judge rather than asking if the lawyers were no good.

    Assange’s lawyers did a poor job in the first hearing especially around the hacking charge and because they did a poor job and generally it is difficult to introduce new material in the appeal process, they are on shaky grounds on the appeal.

    Usually an appeal judge won’t relitigate findings of fact at the lower court (and an extradition hearing is always very limited in its findings of fact). And Swift is almost certainly on solid ground when he says the treaty is not justiciable – even if you think it should be.

    The challenge for Assange’s lawyers is to take the Treaty and create a point of law that an appeal court will be happy to rule on.

    In this case – as I think I have argued before – the text of the Treaty set out the common law position in both countries – that people do not get extradited for non-violent political offences (this is set out in case-law and other treaties important to establish the common-law principle).

    It is open to Parliament to remove that common-law protection, but they need to do so clearly and explicitly and it is clear from comments during debates and subsequently they did not intend to remove that protection.

    As such the clause in the legislation: “is in fact made for the purpose of prosecuting or punishing him on account of his race, religion, nationality, gender, sexual orientation or political opinions” should be seen as embodying the text of the treaty and continuing that common law tradition.

    That is a point of law and that is something an appeal judge will rule on

    • AG


      “This reminds what I commonly see in wrongful conviction cases with a popular following”

      forgive me but this is not some Johnny Depp vs. Amber Heard shit.

      As to how the law goes.
      I haven´t read your posts on this issue but I assume you are pretty well informed about the forces Assange and his lawyers are up against.

      In fact all kinds of Le Carré madness you couldn´t make up.

      It must be feared that an example is to be statuated and the rule of law will bent even further when it is in fact broken and what is left is a bunch of Ivy League / Eton guys bragging about how fucking untouchable they are.

      Because in states of emergency them are the rules, which means:

      “What We Say Goes” to quote former US President George Bush Sr. when attacking Iraq.

      A look into altern. site scheerpost today:
      above a current photograph of Henry Kissinger age 200 and below Assange.

      Kissinger got people mass murdered and whilst the other guy is rotting in prison Mr. H.K. from Fürth, Germany is still doing his cheerleading routine.

    • craig Post author

      Sean Lamb,

      The appeal is drafted by Gareth Peirce, a lawyer of legendary ability and achievement, together with Mark Sommers KC, editor of the standard legal text on extradition law, and the renowned Edward Fitzgerald KC. Forgive me if I am not immediately convinced Sean Lamb’s common law tips would do better.

      I don’t, however, actually think that the defence legal pleadings would make any difference whatsoever, whatver they said.

      • Sean_Lamb

        The fact that it is possible that even competent defence legal pleadings might not make a difference seems a poor excuse not to make the attempt. The legal team keep making an error that even first year law students are warned against: “The dualist system means that in order for the treaty obligations to be given the force of law domestically, they cannot simply be ratified – they must be incorporated into domestic legislation”

        The fact that UK judges constantly have to keep reminding the Assange’s lawyers of this basic fact suggests either they are too old and out of their field of expertise (Peirce) or hopelessly conflicted (probably everyone else). Instead of writing long blog posts whining about that basic fact, efforts would be better served by thinking about some creative ways to get around it.

        I might remind you again of what Australian Prime Minister and lawyer Malcolm Turnbull said re Assange?
        “So I think the you know, there’s a great old saying that anyone can go to jail if they get the right lawyer”

        The difference between Malcolm Turnbull and Assange’s legal team is when Malcolm Turnbull took on the UK secret state in court, he won. Assange’s legal team lose time and time again/

      • Sean_Lamb

        I have had a quick look at the 100+ page pleadings Mr Murray has linked to.

        It seems pointless to spend pages arguing that Assange was entitled to help Manning hack into Pentagon computers when there is absolutely no evidence that is what he intended. Even if he was entitled, that is surely a matter for a jury not an extradition court. The correct argument – that there is zero possibility that could have occurred and zero evidence Assange and Manning had that intent is left to page 120 after the judge has waded through pages of agit-prop. And there is zero attempt to look at dual criminality – ie whether expressing an intent to pass on half a password to a third party actually broke a UK law or an Icelandic law (if that is where Assange was – the failure of the defense to establish where Assange was in Iceland or not always struck me as strange). Setting out a clear rationale while the evidence offered by the US government is manifestly insufficient to ever support a prosecution in a UK court seems to have been missed.

        In regards of trying to access the UK-US extradition treaty, it is the idea of using extrinsic materials to clarify legislative intent. Because it is not just the UK-US extradition treaty this language is used. It is all extradition treaties that the UK signs.
        For example in 2011

        “The extradition of a person sought will be precluded by law if
        the competent authority is satisfied that the offence is of a
        political character;”

        If the UK government is sign agreements that saying that offences is of a political character will be precluded by law it must surely point to fact that it considers that such extraditions are in fact precluded by law and that the UK Parliament has never passed legislation authorizing such acts.

        The other avenue would be administrative law and when appealing the Home Secretary’s approval claiming they need to consider the Extradition treaty and other international agreements. However, I know little about UK extradition law.

  • Brandon

    Assange would be supporting China and Russia and the massacre of innocent civilians, just like you, John Pilger, and ConsortiumNews, so who cares about the guy? Assange supported Brexit and didn’t care that the most vulnerable in society would be targeted all over again:

    Pilger, who, like you, loves to brag about how he’s friends with Assange – WOW, OMG!!!! – praised China for its handling of Covid; namely, disappearing doctors & citizen journalists, and holding people hostage at airports at gunpoint. He could have praised Taiwan, but Taiwan is backed by the U.S.

    China plays dirty, so it doesn’t deserve to be treated fairly – just ask Hong Kongers!

    Hope Hell is hot enough for you and your buddies, Mr Murray.

    { Mod: ‘Brandon’ aka ‘Tarragon’, ‘Jason’, ‘Jeff’, ‘Janice’, etc. ]

    • Walt

      Yes, China’s record against Covid was truly shocking. It took them several whole months to expunge it in early 2020, and then they were able to eliminate it from the country (while the rest of the world was continuously suffering its consequences) for barely two years with no irksome restrictions before more infectious but virtually harmless versions took hold, the government then reacting to protect its citizens, and we were eventually fully released from protective measures last December to live normal lives again.

      According to surveys by US organisations such as Pew, the Chinese government has over 90% popular support while western governments barely muster 50%. I wonder why. Could it be (for example):

      UK: 3,303 Covid deaths per million population.
      USA: 3,485 Covid deaths per million population
      China: 4 Covid deaths per million population.

      Source: Worldometers.

      I don’t doubt the Chinese figure because as I say there were virtually no cases and no restrictions during that lengthy period of danger once the initial outbreak in Wuhan was overcome. I know that because I have lived through almost that entire period here. Those of us privileged to live in a country where the well-being of its citizens is the priority of its government consider ourselves fortunate not to be living in the fantasy land you inhabit. And If you were properly informed rather than saturated with disinformation about it, you would think so too.

      • Brandon

        Walt, what does this mean in concrete terms:

        “According to surveys by US organisations such as Pew, the Chinese government has over 90% popular support while western governments barely muster 50%.”

        90% of the public around the world support China? 90% of the global population said: “Go China! Take back Hong Kong, take back Taiwan – we’re behind you all the way! No one cares about quaint old-fashioned notions such as international law and the right to self-determination anymore – it’s your land, China, and you also own the people – livestock to control and slaughter!

        I suppose 90% also support the way China treats Tibet and were fully behind the Tiananmen Square massacre and the censorship of that historical event.

        This is the evil of politics that Mr Murray, Assange, Pilger, and others are all part of – it’s just a game to you and them – you’re no better than the existing “elite”.

      • Brandon

        Walt, part 2.

        Taiwan also has a very low death count, and did it without massive oppression or holding people prisoner at gunpoint. More games from you: lies, damned lies, and statistics.

        What you should be saying is: what should the UK and US have done differently whilst still respecting our cultural norms and values. Smearing people – as “anti-vaxxers”, say – to turn one group of people against another is, unfortunately, a British norm.

        This is politics today: choose a side and back it to the hilt even in the face of crimes against humanity. I don’t support the UK government or the U.S. government or China’s government or even Taiwan’s. I don’t vote Tory. I don’t vote Labour. I don’t vote LibDems. I don’t vote Green.

      • Tom Welsh

        I advise not feeding the troll. As George Bernard Shaw said about wrestling with a pig, you get dirty and the pig enjoys it.

      • Nota Tory Fanboy

        “virtually harmless versions took hold”

        Ah yes, so virtually harmless that crematoria ran non-stop and car parks were filled with bodies in body bags because there was no way the coffin manufacturers could keep up (in one of the World’s most efficient manufacturing countries)…

        But yes, the West (UK and US primarily, though not exclusively) also guilty of murder (gross negligence manslaughter doesn’t fit) by “letting it rip” through their populations and allowing the bodies to “pile high in their thousands”.

        China did an absolutely astonishing job of keeping the death rate so low for so long but let’s not pretend some of the measures were anything other than the opposite end of the scale from ideal and the Chinese People’s patience broke after far too many apartment block fires, people carted away in body bags who were still alive etc., leading to infection reduction measure-defeating protests moving it beyond Ping’s control. That’s why you’re leading “normal” lives again. Though your infection – and reinfection, and Long Covid – rates will now likely be as high as in any other similarly densely populated place.

    • Dom

      Brandon, You seem enraged by anything that deviates from the worldview of Washington chickenhawks and our own venal centrist establishment. Not groups renowned for caring about the most vulnerable in society.

      • Brandon

        Dom, I’m enraged by evil – by you people who are no less evil than those you condemn.

        Russia was NOT under imminent attack. Just because the geopolitical game that politicians play says: if a country has its military near you in any way, shape or form, you must attack your neighbour and spill gallons of blood doesn’t make it right, let alone morally acceptable.

        People like Mr Murray, Pilger, etc, endlessly attack Israel. They accuse Israel of starting the 1967 six-day war. However, Arab armies were massing on Israel’s borders.

        Well, sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander. Russia didn’t even have Western armies massing on its borders to justify an invasion, yet started a brutal war nevertheless. And all we hear from the once great moralists, such as Noam Chomsky (who recently appeared on “The Duran” YouTube channel, which is openly pro-Kremlin – the channel owners actually thumb up comments saying “Glory to Russia” and others that wish Vladimir Putin a happy birthday), is silence.

        Russia is a nuclear power. Chomsky used to say: the U.S. never attacks countries with nuclear weapons, and that had Iraq had nukes, the U.S. would never have invaded. RUSSIA HAS MORE NUCLEAR WEAPONS THAN THE U.S. But now we’re meant to believe that Russia is at risk of being invaded. Do nukes act as a deterrent or don’t they?

        As George Bush tried to say: fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.

        • Dom

          Brandon, Chomsky wrote that

          ‘Fame, Fortune and Respect await those who reveal the crimes of official enemies; those who undertake the vastly more important task of raising a mirror to their own societies can expect quite different treatment. George Orwell is famous for Animal Farm and 1984, which focus on the official enemy. Had he addressed the more interesting and significant question of thought control in relatively free and democratic societies, it would not have been appreciated, and instead of wide acclaim, he would have faced silent dismissal or obloquy.’ (Noam Chomsky, ‘Deterring Democracy’, Hill and Wang, 1992, p.372).

          Chomsky was writing however about accomplished propagandists. While nobody can question your sheer rage on behalf of the cause I am hesitant to assure you that Fame, Fortune and Respect are on the way.

      • Brandon

        >Not groups renowned for caring about the most vulnerable in society.

        And neither do you people care!

        As I said, you’re all evil, just like those you condemn.

        But you’re also mortal, and your time will come.

        • Mark Golding

          Idiot It was America & baton holder Britain that smashed Iraq in an illegal war killing 376 children living in Baghdad within 24 hours after 2 million of us openly cared but were ignored by a rotten , facist State under war criminal Blair.

  • Walt

    But this is what I really came to comment on, not to reply to a barmy interloper.

    “We are brought up with an innate respect for the rule of law and belief that, though it makes mistakes, it is impartial and honest. Unfortunately, that is merely one of the myths by which our society functions. That is something I have reluctantly come to understand.”

    This is one of the most important pieces you have written for a while and that comment, I just had to read and reread. Yes, I too was brought up in the belief that our country was different from the rest of the world. They had dictators, unstable untrustworthy governments, vicious police, imprisonment without trial, censorship, biased media. Weird cars with noisy aircooled engines at the wrong end. We had democracy, rule of law, Dixon of Dock Green, the Archers, a free press, the NHS and our wonderful BBC. MGs, and Triumph sports cars. Norton motorcycles. I loved my country and was proud of it. We had won two world wars and one World Cup, after all.

    I was a student revolutionary in the glorious 1960s, but I guess in later life I was too busy working and helping to raise a family to pay too much attention to world events. I read the Guardian daily and the Observer on Sundays and believed I was relatively well-informed. I was pleased when Blair finally released us from decades of Tory misrule. But then it seemed, the world started to intrude. I well remember sitting outside my workplace on 11 September 2001 listening to my car radio and wondering what the hell was going on. A couple of years later I was marching against the Iraq war in my country town. I met some politically active Iraqis then and through them joined the Palestine Solidarity Campaign. I joined the Labour Party when Corbyn was elected leader and became active locally. But the Red Pill moment had still not truly occurred.

    It was the extraordinary treatment of Assange and then of Corbyn and the absurdities of Brexit, and finding alternative media such as this that finally tore down the curtain for me, and there, propped up on a chair two sizes too big for it, the stark reality of the UK as a vassal state of the most dangerous nation in world history and all that that entails became apparent. It took a long time but yes, I too “have reluctantly come to understand”. I am now both ashamed of and disgusted with the United Kingdom and all that it stands for, ashamed to admit to being British and disgusted by its accelerating descent into the gutter. The Truss episode just defied belief, albeit more comedy than politics, but now there is an undeclared war with Russia. What could possibly go wrong?

    You will have gathered from other comments that I am no longer a resident. Too old to drive now, my final car was an MG, but it was built in Nanjing. Kind of symbolic, wouldn’t you say? My adopted country is by no means perfect, of course not, naysayers, but it has made remarkable progress in the past 40 years, its people are growing prosperous (just as my parents did in the 1950s, that comparable, lost golden era), are well aware of and are grateful for that. And it is an extraordinary privilege in a final act to watch it and be a part of it.

    As for the UK, I didn’t leave it: it left me.

    • Brandon

      Walt Disney wrote:

      >But this is what I really came to comment on, not to reply to a barmy interloper.

      As I said, I hope Hell will be hot enough for you people – especially you, Mr Murray!

      “There is no Hell – there’s nothing – we’re just matter – you barmy interloper”

      I don’t go along with this propaganda that the universe magically created itself (randomly of space, time and matter) and upholds its own existence with rigid, coherent laws that, again, just randomly popped into existence – and to top off this miracle to end all miracles, physical matter became conscious and can experience. The smell of freshly cut grass, the sound of an aeroplane, the taste of strawberries – none of those things can be explained in terms of a physical mechanism – Albert Einstein saw this and said science will “NEVER explain the flavour of this soup I’m eating.”

      But you people are too evil to discuss topics like this, too preoccupied with your own egos to see beyond the end of your noses. Politics only attracts evil people because no one good wants to rule over others, treat people dismissively, or defend bloodshed. You have to be dead inside to enjoy such savagery.

      Not long for you old men to discover what awaits you. Chomsky will be first to go – a coward who was so frightened of the Covid virus that he said the unjabbed should be isolated and left without food. He wanted young people to risk their health – and even their lives (a 22-year-old American student died after getting jabbed) so that he can live a few more years. With luck, he won’t even get that. But scared as he is of dying, he’ll try to cling on for as long as possible, however much of an embarrassment it becomes.

      • craig Post author

        Brandon, you are in fact completely wrong about Julian’s views on both Russia and Ukraine. Also in general, Julian is much more of a libertarian than he is a socialist. He has been silenced so long that I think his voice, if finally heard, would surprise many, supporters as well as detractors.

        • Sean_Lamb

          Indeed, but there is being a libertarian and then there is colluding with genocide.

          People accept as truth Daniel Domscheit-Berg account that because he never saw the slightest evidence of the Chinese dissidents originally behind the setting up of Wikileaks that Julian Assange invented them. He didn’t event them, one of their names is Linfa Wang.

          Having said that there is ample evidence Assange was under duress.

  • Coldish

    Thank you, Craig. A minor correction: the American lawyer whose statement at Nuremberg you quote was Telford Taylor, not Telford Thomas.
    It must have been clear to German lawyers at the latest by 31 March 1933 that justice in Germany was dead. On that day Raimund Pretzel (a ‘Referendar’ or legal intern, heading for a career as a government lawyer) was reading in a law library in Berlin when the SA arrived and announced ‘Non-Arians must leave the building immediately.’ Pretzel’s first impulse was to take no notice. When an SA man asked him ‘Sind Sie arisch?’ (Are you Arian?), without thinking Pretzel answered ‘Ja’. Overcome by shame, he left the building, never to return, and abandoned his legal studies. Instead he became a journalist, remaining in Berlin until 1938, then emigrated to England where he wrote for the Observer under the name Sebastian Haffner

    • craig Post author

      Thank you, correction made. I frequently muddle people’s names. It is generally understood and a point of amusement sometimes, that muddling of proper nouns is a common early feature of mental decline with age, but I wonder why it happens? My grandfather did it extensively from his 60s – even muddling his grandchildren’s names all the time – but his intellect stayed otherwise pin sharp for another 20 years, before other facets began to slow a bit.

      • Coldish

        Perhaps you were thinking of the great Scottish civil engineer Thomas Telford. Now there’s a national hero for you!

  • Ebenezer Scroggie

    Scotland was one of very few European countries in the 20th century which permitted the Chief Prosecutor (Lord Advocate) to hand-pick his own judges in a juryless trial as safe pairs of hands whom he could trust to deliver him her preferred verdict.

    That’s exactly what happened when Lord Hardie (Google “Scotland’s worst judge”) hand-picked three judges + 1 spare to try Megrahi and Fhimah.

    The indictment claimed that Megrahi and Fhimah “conspired together to cause the explosion which destroyed Pan Am 103 over Lockerbie”.

    Hardie’s hand-picked judges found Fhimah not guilty of conspiring with Megrahi and found Megrahi guilty of conspiring with Fhimah.

    Subsequent, though not consequent, to his appointment of those judges, the UK signed the ECHR which now forbids Scottish Lords Advocate from appointing their own judges in juryless criminal trials.

    • Tony

      The most plausible explanation is that the CIA was behind the Lockerbie bombing:

      “Among the Lockerbie victims was a party of US intelligence specialists, led by Major Charles McKee of the DIA, returning from an aborted hostage-rescue mission in Lebanon. A variety of sources have claimed that McKee, who was fiercely anti-drugs, got wind of the CIA’s deals and was returning to Washington to blow the whistle. A few months after Lockerbie, reports emerged from Lebanon that McKee’s travel plans had been leaked to the bombers. The implication was that Flight 103 was targeted, in part, because he was on board.”

    • Peter Mo

      Maybe a lawyer could comment on Pepper v Hart in light of the extradition debate.

      Decision of Pepper v HartThe decision in Pepper v Hart was confirmed in Three Rivers District Council v Bank of England(No. 2) (1996), which concerned the correct interpretation of legislation passed in order to fulfil obligations arising from an EC directive. Although the legislation was not itself ambiguous, the claimants claimed that, if interpreted in the light of the information contained in Hansard, the legislation imposed certain duties on the defendants, which were not obvious from the legislation itself. The defendants argued that Hansard could only be consulted where legislation contained ambiguity, but the court disagreed,stating that where legislation was passed in order to give effect to international obligations, it was important to make sure that it did so, and consulting legislative materials was one way of helping to ensure this. The result would appear to be that Hansard can be consulted not just to explain ambiguous phrases, but to throw light on the general purpose of legislation

  • Tom Welsh

    “What really matters is that the bond of confidence between Executive and Judiciary is maintained”.

    That really says all that anyone needs to know about that particular judge. No mention of the law, equity, fairness, justice… no, what matters is that the courts continue to operate as a reliable organ of the executive.

    Separation of powers… he’s heard of it.

  • Tom Welsh

    Time and again one sees the same pattern of thinking in the statements of lawyers. Tony Blair was one of them; Richard Nixon another.

    Their legal training biases them excessively in favour of the written word, and against physical reality. They live in a world where laws written by politicians and their servants are far more important than the laws of nature, religion, or morality.

    And they also often come to believe that it is in their sole power to decree what is right and what is wrong.

  • John O'Dowd

    “How an extradition can take place specifically under a Treaty whose provisions cannot be applied to that extradition, is a logical conundrum to which only the sophisticates of the UK judiciary could adapt their flexible intellects and – more to the point – consciences”.

    Quite wrong, Mr Murray.

    Psychopaths are devoid of conscience. It is this gives them internal permission for their callous acts of cruelty, and allows them to sleep at night.

  • Republicofscotland

    It would appear that twisting bending and breaking laws, seeing them through a biased perspective is an international thing now, they want Assange locked up until he dies, and between now and then they will torture him for every last bit of info he knows, if he is extradited, even though he has committed no crime, albeit he told the truth which is a crime in itself these days.

    Assange would’ve had more justice if he were locked up in a banana republic.

    • Stevie Boy

      I don’t believe the powers that be give a toss about the truth. They are more concerned with anyone or anything criticising or putting restrictions on their ability to do whatever they want.

      • Republicofscotland

        Agreed, world governments and bodies are moving in a dangerous direction today, in most cases its a direction against accountability, as governments around the globe openly flout and bypass laws which are there to to protect us, to meet their goals or the goals of another party which has either financially rewarded them or rewarded them in another fashion.

        Orwell’s and Huxley’s visons of the future, are getting closer by the day.

  • Ian

    Terrific analysis, Craig. Your attention to detail and the chicanery of the legal profession which is obfuscated in these documents is admirable, and a lesson to would-be journalists and commentators, none of whom will learn it. The smug hypocrisy is as depressing as it is alarming, with the dawning realisation the life of a person is irrelevant, as is justice, in the flagrant abuse of their position by these right wing judges. Good call to use the Nazis as an example of how the legal profession can adapt its methods to suit the governing party.
    It is vicious, and the declaration that the judiciary must buttress the executive is an astonishing admission that the basic tenets of the state, well established in liberal theory, ie the vital separations of those institutions, is as dead as a doormat.
    But, as you observe, because of the absence of the real scrutiny you apply, they continue to pretend that we live in such a democracy. A definitive piece.

    • Allan Howard

      If the Nazis were in control of the West today (and many other countries), and working within the parameters and limitations of democracy (albeit an illusion they created), they would be doing much the same as we are experiencing and witnessing. In a recent article (The Twilight of Freedom) Craig finished by saying ‘A unified political class, controlled by billionaires, is hurtling us towards fascism’. Thing is that the ruling class – the Establishment – are inherently fascist (albeit hidden from view of course), and their fascism only becomes manifest (to those with eyes to see it) when need be. The abolition of the GLC and the six Met County Councils – all being run by left-wing administrations at the time – is a good example. Needless to say, if they had been being run by Tories or right-wing Labour administations, it wouldn’t have happened. And that of course exemplifies what they think of actual democracy. And the MSM is there to enable it, and as we have seen in the last seven/eight years in particular, even the BBC and the Guardian and the Mirror and the Indy are now more-or-less fully on board. That said, it goes back even further in respect of Julian.

      The only real enemies of the ruling elite (apart from OTHER ruling elites) are the left and free thinkers who aspire to and work towards changing the world for the better, who champion human rights and oppose injustice, who campaign against the destruction and poisoning and polluton of our planet, etc, etc, etc, and that of course is why they – the ruling elite(s) – regard us as their enemies. In some countries – like Saudi Arabia, for example – they just lock people like us up or execute them. In other countries they get their thugs to kill envronmentalists campaigning against the wholesale destruction of the rain forests, and as much as they would like to and would no doubt do in other circumstances, the ruling elite are restricted in so-called civilised countries, so what they do instead – as they have been doing in the past couple of years in particular – is enact oppressive and repressive legislation, and of course increasingly deplatform people that speak truth unto power AND expose their lies and falsehoods – ie their black (and white) propaganda – like Craig and John Pilger and Jonathen Cook and Chris Hedges and Caitlin Johnstone, and many others, not least of all Julian. And not forgetting Roger of course.

      One could debate the reasons why the history of mankind seems to be just one of war and conflict, and MORE war, and no doubt the strongest instinct at work in all animals – Survival – has played a major part in it historically. But as of since the dawn of civilisation, I would suggest that Psychopaths have increasingly been responsible for our reality. And psychopaths are inherently fascistic and sadistic.

      • Allan Howard

        It just this minute occurred to me that I omitted to mention the obvious – i.e. that not only is the oppressive and repressive legislation mainly aimed at the left and freethinkers, but Starmer and Co. have been busy this last three years or so exorcising the left from mainstream politics (see latest post on Skwawkbox – at the time of typing). And I hope I’m not taking liberties, given that this thread is about Julian, but I just recently came across this Skwawkbox article again from November 2020, which is very revealing. We may know that something is true, in THIS case that Margaret Hodge played a leading role in the A/S scam/black op against Jeremy and the left – and have absolutely no doubt whatsoever about it, but THAT is not the same as having evidence/proof in effect that it was all fraudulent and mendacious lies and faux outrage on her part, and THAT is what this revelation skwawkbox posted DOES:

        The Margaret Hodge quote on Corbyn you won’t see the ‘mainstream’ media talking about’

  • pretzelattack

    This article reminds me of recent articles on jury nullification in the UK, and the attempt by authorities to circumvent that. That’s another possible way for citizens to protest a rigged legal system. we can’t have that.

  • joel

    So English Law now takes no issue with an intended assassination of a defendant or the revelation that the star prosecution witness is a paid liar (and paedo to boot)!

    No obstacles to extradition whatsoever.

    Nothing untoward going on according to the Our Values titans of the UK Parliament, His Majesty’s Fourth Estate or the BBC.

    Let silence reign.

    • Tom Welsh

      How proud Judge Jeffreys would be!

      Pontius Pilatus would quite understand: reasons of state. And Cardinal Richelieu, who memorably said, “If one would give me six lines written by the hand of the most honest man, I would find something in them to have him hanged”.

    • Tom Welsh

      What a shocking contrast with the decisions of Judge William Matthew Byrne Jr. 50 years ago in the “Pentagon Papers” case. It is surely symbolic that Mr Ellsberg has just died (at a ripe old age); we now live in a quite different world.

      “Mr. Ellsberg was charged with espionage, conspiracy and other crimes and tried in federal court in Los Angeles. But on the eve of jury deliberations, the judge threw out the case, citing government misconduct, including illegal wiretapping, a break-in at the office of Mr. Ellsberg’s former psychiatrist and an offer by President Nixon to appoint the judge himself as director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation”.

  • Robert Dyson

    I just read this, “Whistleblowing banker who went to prison speaks out”:
    But from 2000 years ago as well. “Pilate said unto him, What is truth? And when he had said this, he went out again unto the Jews, and said unto them, I find in him no fault at all.” See how that turned out.
    We just have a different veneer covering corrupt power now.
    The Assange case is a nadir of legal corruption, being flaunted for all to see and fear. Such a parallel with Kafka’s “Der Process” – the original title tells you what is important.

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