Assange Final Appeal Day 2 – Your Man in the Public Gallery 224


I approached Day 2 with trepidation. It was not so much being accustomed to having hopes dashed, as having lived so long without hope that it was hard to know what to do with it. At 5:30am I stopped work for a while on writing up Day 1 and went out to walk down the Strand to the court. There was a slightly bigger crowd than had been there the day before at the same time, and happily it included the heroic volunteers saving my place.

A freezing Easterly wind was bustling down the Strand having come express from Siberia, driving before it what felt like a fair chunk of the North Sea, penetrating through layers of clothing with the ease of a ghost through the walls of St Paul’s. I gave the volunteers my opinion of the case so far and what I hoped was a rousing 6am pep talk. They were just astonishingly cheerful in the circumstances. There is a human goodness which can warm from within – I do wish I had some.

Having explained I wanted to publish as much as I could before returning to court, I went back to my Airbnb, where I needed to change all my clothing and even my shoes. I then got back to writing, and dashed off a good few more paragraphs before court, then pressed publish.

I was a little worried that this might be the day I was arrested – my appearance the first day might have thrown the authorities off guard, and I had always thought they would likely think about it a little before acting on the “terrorism investigation” nonsense. But in the event I had no problems at all, and police and court officials continued to be very friendly towards me.

Taking our position in the courtroom, there were still fewer seats available to the public. This is because there was a much larger presence of the “court media”, meaning those London-based journalists with permanent accreditation to the court. They had largely ignored Day 1 as that was Julian’s case; they had however turned up to report the US Government case on Day 2.

I had witnessed precisely the same behaviour at the ICJ Genocide Case in the Hague, where the Israeli arguments on the second day got massively more media coverage than South Africa on the first. The BBC even livestreamed the Israeli case but not the South African, which is a breathtaking level of bias.

So there were fewer spaces available. I was squashed up against the lady instructing the lawyer for the Home Secretary, who was actually extremely nice and kept feeding me mint humbugs as it became increasingly obvious I was struggling against cold symptoms.

James Lewis KC, who had previously led for the US government, was not present. This was unexplained; it is not usual to change the lead KC mid-way through an important case, and judges will generally bend over backwards to avoid diary clashes for them. I have to confess I had rather warmed to Lewis, as I think my reporting showed. I wondered if he had lost faith in his client; it may be of interest that his professional profile lists his most famous cases – but not this most famous case of all.

So his number 2, Clare Dobbin, today stepped up to the lead. She appeared to be on tenterhooks. For a full fifteen minutes before the appointed starting time at 10:30am, she stood ready to go, her papers carefully spread out around the rostrum. She continually looked up at the judges’ chair as though mentally rehearsing zinging her arguments in that direction. Or imagining becoming a judge; how do I know what she was thinking? Ignore me.

It particularly seemed futile that she was standing there all ready to go while we were sitting around her heedlessly chatting, given that we would all have to stand up too when the judges came in, before resuming our places with a fuss of coughing, turning off phones, knocking over files, squashing sandwiches etc. Anyway there she stood, staring earnestly at the bench. This gave me time to remark that she had notably longer hair than the last time she appeared in this case, and the long blond fibres fell completely straight and evenly spaced, ending in a line of hair across the back of her legal gown that was not only perfectly straight but also perfectly horizontal, and remained so no matter how she moved.

It was the most disciplined hair I ever witnessed. I suspect she had shouted it into submission. Ms Dobbin has an extremely strong accent. It is right out of those giant Belfast shipyards that only ever employed Protestants and which produced great liners that sank more efficiently, and in a more Hollywood-friendly manner, than any other ships in the world.

Someone in the shipyard had taken Ms Dobbin’s accent and riveted on a few elongated vowel sounds in an effort to make it posher, but sadly this had caused cracks of comprehension below the waterline.

However, something had happened to Ms Dobbin. She had been stentorian – I had previously described her as Ian Paisley in a wig. But now it took me several minutes to realise she had started speaking. This did not get better. The kindly Judge Dame Victoria Sharp came up with about eight different formulations in the course of the morning to ask her to speak up, like a school teacher encouraging a shy child at a carol concert. All to no avail.

One thing was very plain. Ms Dobbin had lost her faith in the case she was presenting. She hardly tried to argue it. That was not only in terms of volume. Ms Dobbin made very little effort at all to refute the arguments put by the Assange team the day before. Instead she merely read out large chunks of the affidavit provided by US Deputy Attorney General Kronberg in support of the second superseding indictment.

As judges Johnson and Sharp presumably can read, it was not plain what value this exercise added. Ms Dobbin is not so much in danger of being replaced by Artificial Intelligence, as being replaced by a Speak Your Weight machine. Which at least may have a more pleasant accent.

I should explain “Second Superseding Indictment”. The indictment, or raft of charges on which Julian Assange was first held for extradition, was an obvious load of nonsense flung together and scribbled on the back of Mike Pompeo’s laundry list. However, before the hearings started the US Government was allowed to scrap this and replace it with an entirely different set of charges, the “First Superseding Indictment”.

The rendition hearings started with five days of opening argument at Woolwich Crown Court, in the course of which the First Superseding Indictment was torn to shreds by the defence. Therefore – and please read this three times to overcome the disbelief you are about to feel – after the hearings had started and gone through the important opening argument phase, the United States Government was allowed to drop those charges, change them completely and present the Second Superseding Indictment with an entirely new bunch of charges based on Espionage and Hacking.

The Defence did not get to change their opening arguments to reflect the new charges, nor did they get the break of several months they requested to study the new charges and respond to them. Nor were they allowed to change their defence witness list, which consisted of witnesses called to rebut the charges now dropped, not the entirely different charges now faced.

Yes, you did read that all right. No, I can’t really believe it either. Now, let us continue. This is my very best effort to reconstruct, with occasional help from the kind lady from the Home Office, what Dobbin may have mumbled.

Dobbin opened by saying that the defence had made much of evidence being unchallenged. This was a mischaracterisation. All of the defence evidence was challenged.  None should be taken as accepted.

Judge Baraitser, said Dobbin, had shown very considerable leniency in allowing evidence to be heard of dubious relevance. Furthermore there was a nexus of relationships between several of the witnesses, and between some of the witnesses and Julian Assange. Some, including one lawyer, had been previously in his employ. The status and expertise of the witnesses individually and collectively is challenged. Their evidence was directly contradicted by the prior evidence which is contained in the witness affidavits of US Deputy Attorney Generals Dwyer and Kronberg.

This case is not about journalism. It is about the bulk disclosure of classified materials. It is about the indiscriminate publication of unredacted names. That is what distinguishes Wikileaks from the Guardian or New York Times. Judge Baraitser had rightly rejected outright that Assange is a journalist or akin to a journalist.

This is not a political prosecution. The US Administration had changed during these proceedings, but the prosecution continues because it is based upon law and evidence, not upon political motivation.

In Superseding Indictment 2 (which sounds like a very bad franchise movie) the hacking charge is added but the accusations in Superseding Indictment 1 are incorporated. What is alleged bears no relation to the Article X ECHR Freedom of Speech cases submitted by the defence. This case is about stolen and hacked documents, about a password hash hacked to allow Wikileaks and Manning to steal from the United States of America, and about the subsequent publication of unredacted names that had placed individuals at immediate risk of physical harm and arbitrary detention.

The indiscriminately published document files were massive. They included over 90,000 on Afghanistan, over 400,000 on Iraq and over 250,000 diplomatic cables. Assange had encouraged and caused Chelsea Manning to download the documents. The Wikileaks website actively solicits hacked material. “The suggestion Miss Manning is a whistleblower is unrealistic. A whistleblower reveals material legally obtained in the course of employment”. Manning however had illegally obtained material.

Assange cracking the password hash “goes far beyond the position of a journalist”. Judge Baraitser was therefore fully entitled to give full weight to that aspect of the case.

The United States had been obliged to go to great lengths to mitigate the danger that arose to its sources after their names were revealed, Many had been resettled, forced to move. The allegation is that the defendant knowingly and deliberately published the names of the informants.

As pointed out by Deputy Attorney General Kronberg, the charges had been approved by a Federal Grand Jury, after very careful independent consideration of the evidence.

Although this prosecution may indeed be unprecedented, it proceeded along long-established principles. There is no immunity of journalists to violate the criminal law. There is now a specific law against the intentional release of the names of intelligence officers and sources, and it has been ruled that this does not breach the First Amendment. The only material for which Assange is being prosecuted under the Espionage Act is that containing names. That is the difference between this and earlier instances which were or were not prosecuted.

Kronberg stated in his affidavit that there is evidence of people having to leave their homes or even their countries as a result of this disclosure. Several had been arrested or interrogated, and some had disappeared.

The material released by Wikileaks had been useful to hostile governments, to terrorist groups and to criminal organisations. Osama Bin Laden and the Taliban had requested and studied some of the disclosed material.

The judges at this stage were looking much more comfortable than they had the day before. They sat back in their chairs visibly relaxed and smiling. Yesterday they had been discomfited by members of their own class saying things about US war crimes to their faces, which they preferred not to hear. Today they were getting a simple recital of Daily Mail clichés and trigger words that reinforce the Establishment worldview. They were back in their milieu, like plump tropical fish in a tank whose heater had failed yesterday but just been replaced.

Dobbin continued that there was no question of any balance of public interest exercise being required. “The material that Assange published unredacted carries no public interest whatsoever. That is at the heart of the case.”

Judge Johnson asked whether Dobbin accepted the evidence given yesterday that others had published the unredacted material first. Dobbin replied that it was Assange who bore the responsibility for the material being available in the first place.

On the question of political extradition, the 2003 Act had transformed extradition law and had deliberately removed the prohibition on extradition for political offences which had been contained in Section 6 of the 1989 Extradition Act (shown here).

By contrast, Section 81 of the 2003 Extradition Act said this:

The phrase “political offence” had obviously been deliberately removed by parliament, said Dobbin.

Judge Johnson asked if there was any material published by government or anything said by ministers in Hansard which explained the omission. Dobbin replied that this was not needed: the excision was clear on the face of Section 81. If a Treaty contains a provision not incorporated in UK Domestic Law, it is not for the court to reinstate it. The political offence exclusion on extradition is not customary international law.

An unincorporated treaty can give rise to an obligation in domestic law, but cannot contradict the terms of a statute. Article 4 of the US/UK Extradition Treaty of 2007 contradicts the terms of Section 81(a) of the Extradition Act of 2003. That Article of the Treaty therefore falls in the United Kingdom, even though enforced in the United States where it does not contradict domestic legislation. Whereas extradition treaties are supposed to be mutual and interpreted the same way by both sides, that does not preclude an extradition by one party in unilateral circumstances.

At this point Judge Johnson was looking at Ms Dobbin with some concern, like a home supporter at a soccer match which his team is unexpectedly losing 3-0, who cannot quite work out why they are performing this badly.


At this point I thought I might introduce a panel so the reader can isolate this vital argument. The question is this. Is this provision of the 2003 Extradition Act at Section 81 (A):

… incompatible with this section of the subsequent US/UK Extradition Treaty of 2007:

… so as to render the latter null and void? That is a fundamental question in this hearing and the assertion made by Dobbin.

If Judge Baraitser’s acceptance of this argument was correct, it of course means that the Home Office lawyers in 2007 drafted a treaty, approved by the FCO lawyers, which neither set of lawyers noticed was incompatible with the legislation the same lawyers had drafted just four years earlier.

It would also mean that the very substantive mechanisms for ensuring the compatibility of treaties with domestic legislation, involving a great round of formal written interdepartmental consultation, all failed too. I have personally worked those mechanisms when in the FCO, and I don’t see how they can fail.

Crucially, Dobbin’s argument depends on the notion that the Extradition Treaty gives a broader definition of what can be a politically motivated extradition, than the Act. So while Assange’s extradition would be barred by the Treaty, it is not by the Act.

But that is obviously nonsense. The entire purpose of the much longer provision in the Treaty is plainly to limit what counts as political under the very broad definition in the Act. It reduces the ground for denying extradition as political; it does not extend it. The fact that even this lengthy list of exclusions does not exclude Wikileaks’ activity is extremely telling.

OK, that’s the end of the panel. Let us return to the hearing.


Dobbin continued that Abuse of Process arguments do not enable the incorporation of unincorporated international treaties. As an example, alleged obligations of the UK under the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child have been found by the courts not to be enforceable in domestic law. It is not accepted by the United States that this is a political offence. But even if it were, Swift and Baraitser are correct in law that there is no bar on extradition for political offences.

The defence had claimed the prosecution purported to be for a criminal offence but in reality was political. This argument must be treated with great caution, because any criminal could argue their offence was politically motivated.

The starting position must be the assumption of good faith on the part of the state with which the UK has treaty relations on extradition. The United States is one of the UK’s longest standing and closest international partners.

The Yahoo article was not fresh evidence. It had been properly considered and rejected by Swift and Baraitser. It was internally inconsistent and included official denials of the conduct alleged. The court must consider the nexus between those making allegations of impropriety and the appellant. Ecuador had rescinded his claim of political asylum and Assange was properly arrested by police invited into the Ecuadorean Embassy. There is simply no evidence that any harm would come to Assange were he to be extradited.

Even accepting the Yahoo article as evidence, that does not affect the objective basis of extradition proceedings. It states that kidnapping was rejected by US government lawyers as it would interfere with criminal proceedings.

It is not journalism to encourage people to break the Official Secrets Act or to steal information. Miss Manning is not a whistleblower but a hacker. Protected speech is therefore not engaged and that entire line of argument falls. Baraitser rightly distinguishes between Wikileaks and the concept of “responsible journalism”. No public interest could attach to the indiscriminate mass release of information.

There are many reasons why the title of whistleblower does not attach to Chelsea Manning. There is no evidence Manning had any specific information she wished to impart or any specific issues she wished to pursue.

Julian Assange did not have to disclose the unredacted material. It was not a necessary part of his publication. The New York Times had published some of the material responsibly and redacted. Assange by contrast arrogated to himself the role of deciding what was in the public interest.

The defence was mistaken in its approach to Article X on Freedom of Speech. The approach in England and Wales is not to consider whether a particular publication is compatible with Article X, but whether a particular criminal charge is compatible with Article X. Plainly the charge was compatible in this case with Article X restrictions on grounds of national security. There was no error in law. In this jurisdiction Assange could also be charged with conspiracy.

Johnson then asked a very careful question. If, in this country, a journalist had information on serious governmental wrongdoing and solicited classified material, and published that material in a serious and careful way, would that not engage Article X?

Dobbin replied that following the decision in the Shayler case, he should have pursued internal avenues.

Johnson pressed that he was not talking of the whistleblower but of the journalist. Would the journalist have Article X protection?

Dobbin replied no, but there would have to be a proportionality test before a prosecution was engaged. (You will recall Dobbin had stated earlier that in this case there was no need for any such balancing test as Manning was not a whistleblower and the material was not in the public interest.)

Dobbin said the USA was at pains to distinguish this unprecedented prosecution from ordinary journalism. This was indiscriminate publication of material. The Rosen case was important because, although in a lower court, it explains why you prosecute Wikileaks and not the New York Times. (This case has come up repeatedly throughout the hearings. Of current interest, it was about AIPAC receiving and using classified information.)

While it was the case that the United States could argue that Julian Assange was not entitled to First Amendment protection due to his nationality, it was not saying it would do that. This was merely noted as an option. This could not therefore be a block to extradition due to discrimination on grounds of nationality under Section 81a.

Johnson interjected that in the affidavit we have the prosecutor clearly saying that he might do this. Dobbin replied that this was “tenuous”. Even if the prosecutor did it, there was no way of telling how it might work out. The judge might reject it.  This argument could fall flat in court. This possibility did not offer sufficient foundation to exclude extradition on the basis of discrimination due to nationality. Further this would be about Convention rights that lie outwith the jurisdiction of this court.

At this point Judge Dame Victoria Sharp was looking at Dobbin with great concern, as Dobbin prattled on with a kind of stream of consciousness of meaningless phrases. Judge Johnson attempted to bring her back to reality. Do we have any evidence, he asked, that a foreign national does indeed have the same First Amendment rights as a US citizen?

Well, yes, replied Dobbin. Or perhaps, no. One of the two. She would find out.

With that, Dobbin sat down with a look of great relief. She had got to the end, and spoken so softly that not many people heard what she had said. So not too much damage done. The judges looked even more relieved that she had finished. Prof Alice Edwards, the redoubtable UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, was in court. I wanted to ask her whether listening to Dobbin for more than 15 minutes could in itself be construed as cruel and unusual punishment, but sadly she was seated too far away.

The next KC for the USA now stood up, a Mr Smith, who had been promoted from Number 3 to Number 2 in the absence of Lewis. Smith, from his manner, had no doubts at all about his client’s case, or at least he had no doubts about his fee, which amounts to the same thing. He also had no problem being heard. They heard him in Chelsea.

He said that he wished to address the mosaic of complaints brought by the applicant under Articles IV and VI of the ECHR, relating to fair trial, the rule of law and abuse of process. In the written submissions, the appellant had referred to the system of plea bargaining as enforcing guilty pleas by threatening disproportionate punishment, thus interfering with fair trial. But this argument had never been accepted in any extradition to the United States. In some matters, such as jury selection, the defendant had better rights than in the UK.

With regard to the system of sentencing enhancement with reference to other alleged offences not charged, this could not be abuse of process or denial of fair trial. It was “specialty or nothing”, specialty being the principle in international law that a person extradited could only be charged with the named offence.

As the appellant had noted, the US trial judge could enhance the sentence on the basis of whether the applicant was guilty of further offences, on a “balance of probability” judgment. But this does not mean the defendant is convicted of those further offences. The conviction is solely for the offence charged, enhanced by other conduct. The specialty argument then falls. This was not dissimilar to the UK, where aggravating or mitigating factors might be taken into account.

This could come nowhere near the threshold of a “flagrant” breach of the rule of law required to bring the ECHR into operation. Article 6 (2) would only be invoked if the procedure involved an additional conviction on a new charge. The appellant had also raised the possibility of sentencing enhancement from the information in classified material that would be shown to the judge but not to the defendant or his lawyers. But there was no evidence before the court that showed this would happen in this case.

We now come, said Smith, to the question of grossly disproportionate sentencing, which the defence first raised in relation to Article III of ECHR and they now relate also to Article X on Freedom of Speech. But it is not the norm to impose UK sentencing standards on foreign states. The test is whether a sentencing decision is “extreme”.

The defence had given the estimate of 175 years, as the maximum sentence for each charge, running consecutively. But the defence’s own expert witnesses had given different estimates, ranging from 30 to 40 years to 70 to 80 months.

In his affidavit the Deputy Attorney General had stated that avoiding disparity was a key factor in sentencing guidelines. Miss Manning had been sentenced to 35 years and was eligible for parole after one third of that sentence under military law. Kronberg had given other possible comparators ranging from 42 months to 63 months.

Assange stood accused of very serious conduct, for which sentence could be upped by significant aggravating factors. In the UK, Simon Finch had his sentence increased to 8 years for leaking a document which had put national security at risk. By comparison Assange’s alleged offence was not just grave but entirely unprecedented.

Assange and others at Wikileaks had recruited Chelsea Manning and other hackers, encouraged them to steal classified information, had published unredacted names thus putting lives in danger and causing relocation. So none of the range of sentences which had been placed before the court would be grossly disproportionate, from 60 months to 40 years.

Article X could only be applied in these circumstances to a flagrant breach of Freedom of Speech rights. That was not the case. This was neither a whistleblower case nor responsible journalism. It does not engage Article X at all.

Judge Johnson asked for a copy of the sentencing remarks of the court martial in the Manning case.

Ben Watson KC now stood up to address the court on behalf of the UK Home Secretary, although on recent form he could not be sure if that would still be the same person when he got back to the office. He stated that the Secretary of State has no role in supervising the extradition treaty, The substantive decision is for the judges.

He said that it was worth noting that the bar on political extradition had been removed from the European Framework Agreement between EU member states. It was a doctrine “on the wane”.

There was no basis for the court to infer that Parliament was not aware of the difference between section 81 of the 2003 Extradition Act and the bar on political extradition at section 6 of the 1989 Act. See for example the contribution of Prof Ross Cranston MP in the debate on the act (Cranston was both an MP and a former High Court judge).

I suspect that Watson threw this out with confidence that nobody actually would see the contribution of Prof Ross Cranston MP in the debate. But then Mr Watson has never met me. I did decide to see the contribution of Prof Ross Cranston MP in the debate, and this is what he had to say on the subject of political extradition, in the debate on 9 December 2002.

Clause 13 refers to extraneous circumstances. We shall not extradite people where they might be pursued for political or religious opinions. That is a good thing. There is, of course, the question of definition. In the Shayler case, the French court refused to extradite Shayler to this country on the ground that it was a political offence, so there can be disagreement about what extraneous circumstances might entail. However, there is a valuable barrier that will operate in our domestic law.

That rather conveys the opposite sense to what Watson claimed Professor Cranston was saying. Cranston says political offences will still be banned, and it will be for the courts to define them. That is plainly not the same as saying the Act is removing the bar on extradition for political offences.

Judge Johnson now asked Watson a question. The treaty bars extradition for a political offence. So does this mean that if the US receives a request for extradition for a political offence from the UK, it can refuse it, but if the UK receives an extradition request for an identical political offence from the US, it cannot refuse it, and the Secretary of State cannot block it even if they consider it contrary to Article IV?

Watson replied yes, that is the position. He seemed to find nothing troubling in that at all. Judge Johnson, however, seemed to find it a strange proposition.

Watson moved on to the death penalty. Chelsea Manning had not received the death penalty. There was nothing to suggest the applicant faced the serious threat of the death penalty. The fact that the United States had said that Assange could serve his sentence in Australia could be taken as an assurance against the death penalty. So there was no need for the Secretary of State to seek assurances. The United States had suggested Assange faced a maximum penalty of 30 to 40 years.

Judge Johnson then intervened again, and asked if there were anything to prevent the United States from adding offences of aiding and abetting treason or other counts of espionage which do attract the death penalty? Watson replied there was nothing to stop them, but that would be contrary to the assurance received on serving sentence in Australia. There must be a threshold of possibility of the death penalty before the Secretary of State was obliged to seek assurances against it.

Edward Fitzgerald then rose for rebuttal. He was in much more commanding form today, on the attack, scornful of the arguments he was dismissing with a broad sweep of rhetoric.

Edward Fitzgerald KC

The United States had failed to address the point of arbitrariness. Of course it was arbitrary to lock somebody up under an extradition treaty, while deliberately ignoring a major provision of that very treaty that specifically says they should not be locked up. Even if we did ignore this vital provision in the treaty, Assange was still being punished for his political opinions contrary to Section 81 of the Extradition Act.

It had been suggested that the removal of the phrase “political offence” from the 2003 Act was an “express omission”. But there was no evidence produced of that. “You are saying that silence provides by inference the provision of the Act, that disapplies a provision that plainly is actually in the subsequent Treaty”.

It is ludicrous to say the bar on political extradition is out of date. It is not out of date. The UK continues to sign extradition treaties containing this exact same provision. It is in all but 2 of the UK’s over 150 extradition treaties. It is in all US extradition treaties. It is in many major international instruments. Plainly this is abuse of process. As stated plainly by Bingham and Harper “it is abuse to disentitle someone to the protection of the treaty”.

The United States had come nowhere near to meeting the point on the discrimination by nationality, if Mr Assange were not given First Amendment protection because he is not a US citizen. For the US prosecutor to say we may or may not apply this discrimination was no answer, any more than if they said they reserved the right to torture somebody but may not do it.

On enhanced sentencing, this point also had not been met. There was a clear danger Assange would be sentenced for offences with which he was not charged.

Judge Sharp asked Fitzgerald if this point could not block every extradition to the USA. Fitzgerald said no, it should be judged on a case by case basis on the likelihood of this occurring. In this case the court had evidence that the prosecution had not been motivated by the offences charged, but by other alleged conduct. Judge Sharp asked if he meant the CIA Vault 7 leaks. Fitzgerald confirmed that he did.

Mark Summers KC then stood to continue the rebuttal. It was remarkable, he declared in a tone of barely suppressed rage, that counsel for the USA had spoken for hours and never once acknowledged the massive evidence of criminal state-level behaviour by the United States revealed in the leaked material. They never mentioned or acknowledged the war crimes revealed. There had never been any challenge in the court to the witnesses who testified for days that the material exposed state-level crimes.

Mark Summers KC

Summers said that a key United States argument seemed to turn on the notion that what constituted a political act and political persecution under section 81, and the standards of evidence required in judging them, were different in an extradition hearing than applied in consideration of political asylum cases. This was wrong, They were the same. The protected categories in Article 33 of the Refugee Convention of 1954

on account of his race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion.

… were in practice identical to the protected categories of the 2003 Extradition Act Section 81:

on account of his race, religion, nationality, gender, sexual orientation or political opinions

There was a reason for this. The protection to be given under the Extradition Act and under the Refugee Convention is identical, and for identical reasons, and to be judged by the same standards.

When you prosecute for the act of publishing evidence of war crimes, the nexus that made this political persecution was entirely plain. Publication of information which exposes a state’s crime is protected speech. The state you exposed cannot prosecute you for that.

We had heard much about Deputy Attorney General Kronberg, but he was not the initiator. This was all ordered from way above his head. The prosecution had been decided at the very top. You cannot discuss the sheep and ignore the shepherd. The prosecution had noted that Trump had praised Wikileaks a couple of times as though that ruled out the possibility that agencies in the United States were plotting to kill Assange. That plainly did not follow.

We had clear evidence both from the Yahoo News article and from Protected Witness 2 that there were plans laid by US authorities to murder, kidnap or poison Assange. What does that tell us about the intentions of the US government, as opposed to the bland claims of Mr Kronberg?

The point of foreseeability had not been countered. There was no effort made to counter it. In 2010 it could not have been foreseen that publication would bring espionage charges against the publisher. It had never happened before. Encouraging a whistleblower to produce documents was definitely not unprecedented. That was an absurd claim. It was everyday journalistic activity, as witnesses had testified. No witnesses had been produced to say the opposite.

Of course it was illegal for journalists to commit criminal acts to obtain material. That had not happened here. But even in that case, it does not render the act of publication illegal.

The release of unredacted names was by no means unprecedented. Daniel Ellsberg had testified in these very hearings that the Pentagon Papers he released contained hundreds of unredacted names of sources and officers. The Philip Agee case also released unredacted names of sources and officers. Neither had resulted in an Espionage Act prosecution, or any prosecution aimed at a journalist or publisher.

The information released revealed war crimes. Article X is therefore unavoidably engaged by protected speech. The Shayler case was being misapplied by the prosecution. That judgment specifically excluded the press from liability for publication. It was about the position of the whistleblower. Assange is not the whistleblower here, Manning is. Assange is the publisher. There is no suggestion whatsoever, in any of the Strasbourg authorities, that the press are to be regarded the same way as the whistleblower. What Strasbourg does dictate is that there must be an Article X balancing exercise with the public interest in the disclosures. No such exercise was undertaken by Baraitser.

The prosecution refused to acknowledge the fact, backed up by extensive and unchallenged witness evidence, that Assange had undertaken a whole year of a major redaction exercise to avoid publication of names which might be put at risk. This year was followed by one of the media partners publishing the password to the unredacted material as the chapter heading in a book. Then Mr Assange made desperate efforts to mitigate the damage, including by phoning the White House. This did not accord at all with the prosecution narrative: “At best, Mr Assange was reckless in providing the key to Mr Leigh”.

Several others had then published the full, unredacted database first, including Cryptome. None had been prosecuted, yet more evidence that this prosecution was unforeseeable.

There was, however, no evidence given of harm to any individual from the disclosures. What had been created was a risk. You had to set against that risk the proposed sentence of 30 to 40 years in jail suggested by the prosecution. The guidelines say “rest of life”. Chelsea Manning was given 35 years. Evidence had been given that 30 years was a “floor not a ceiling”. A sentence like this for publication “shocks the conscience of every journalist around the world”.

For what? For revealing state-level crime including torture, rendition, waterboarding, drone strikes, murder, assassination, strappado. Strasbourg regards revelation of these state-level crimes as extremely important. The court has ruled revelations of such abuses as clearly covered by Article X. Leaks had the capacity to stop such abuses, and in some cases actually had. The exposure of major international criminal wrongdoing outweighs the risk created by revealing the names of some of those involved in it.

Dame Victoria interjected that some of the names were of people not involved in criminal wrongdoing. Summers accepted this but said “it is just not tenable to argue, as the prosecution does, that there is no public interest whatsoever in the publications”.

Turning to the issue of capital punishment, the Home Office contended that there was “no real risk”. But it was admitted that Assange could be charged with a capital offence. This exercise is not a risk assessment. The law says that in circumstances where the death penalty might be imposed, there must be an assurance sought against it. “We don’t understand why there is no routine assurance against the death penalty provided in this case. If there is no risk, then surely there is no difficulty in providing the assurance”.

Then, all of a sudden, the hearing was over. The judges stood and left through the door behind them. Five minutes later they were back and reserved their judgment, asking for various written materials to be provided, with a last deadline of March 4. Then they left and it was over.

I am conscious that this account flows less well and reads much more bittily than the account of day one. That is simply how it was. On the first day, Assange’s legal team set out a planned and detailed exposition of the case. On the second, the USA and Home Office responded, and did so in rather disjointed fashion, essentially just reiterating the accusations. There was little legal argument as to why Baraitser and Swift had been right to accept them. The rebuttal was thereafter a series of quickfire returns on individual points.

It was impossible not to note that the judges were distinctly unimpressed by some elements of the prosecution. The possibility of discrimination by nationality over applying the First Amendment appears to be an argument to which the judges were searching in vain for an adequate answer. They were also plainly dissatisfied with the lack of an assurance on the death penalty.

But the British security state is never going to accept that the publication of state secrets is justified where it reveals state crimes, and the judges were desperate to hang on to the ruse of avoiding that question by saying this is only about the publication of names of innocent sources. They are also never going to entertain the wider criticisms of the US system such as sentence enhancement.

So my prediction is that a further appeal will be allowed, but only on the narrow grounds of discrimination by nationality and the death penalty. If their hand is thus forced, the Americans will produce an assurance against the latter and the appeal will be on discrimination by nationality.

That appeal will be scheduled for the Autumn, and its result dragged out until after the US election to avoid embarrassment to Biden. That is my best guess of what happens next. Of course all the time the Establishment has achieved its objective by keeping Julian in a maximum security jail for longer.

The point in the whole proceedings which struck me most strongly, was that in the initial hearings the US was keen to downplay the possible sentence, continually emphasising 6 to 7 years as likely. Now an earlier decision has removed considerations of US prison conditions and Julian’s health from the case, they have radically changed tack and were emphasising repeatedly 30 to 40 years as the norm, which is in effect a rest-of-life sentence. That shift, together with the refusal so far to rule out the death penalty, gives a measure of the ruthlessness with which the CIA is pursuing this case.

My apologies for the delay in producing this report. I caught quite a serious chest infection, I think from the cold and wet in London those days, and was really very ill.

 
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224 thoughts on “Assange Final Appeal Day 2 – Your Man in the Public Gallery

1 2
  • Sam (in Tiraspol)

    Whew, that was intense. Thank you SO much for being there and providing this comprehensive write-up AND analysis. Really goes to show you how shit the mainstream world of “journalism” really is.

    • Melrose

      First there was bullshit,
      And then came how shit
      I gladly join you in thinking Mr Murray could easily take the job of most journalists with the Daily Mail and Guardian.
      While they couldn’t take his…

      • Lysias

        Today’s UK edition of the Daily Mail throws fits over Galloway’s victory in the Rochdale by-election. Meanwhile, the US edition (like the Washington Post) totally ignores it.

        • Cornudet

          The Daily Mail is allowing the vile Ian Austin to do what the vile Ian Austin does best which is to smear as racists people who have spent years fighting racism whilst he himself is a supporter of a fascist apartheid regime

  • Ebenezer Scroggie

    The two halves of this article, combined into one, really ought to be taught in Journalism Schools, around the world, as an exemplar of how good reporting can be.

    His ICJ reporting should be an added unit, similarly.

    True honest journalists are vanishingly rare. We have one here. A treasure.

    That the NUJ rejects him is, quite frankly, frightening.

  • Adrian

    Outstanding reports which manage to be both lengthy and detailed without being tedious. With lots of background, observation, colour and atmosphere, like a top-class parliamentary sketch writer. Brilliant analysis of these very important issues. I have sent you a modest donation to express my gratitude.

  • Courtenay Francis Raymond Barnett

    I know that I shall be ruled as being off topic – but I believe not totally so. I shall explain how so.

    How so?

    Well, George Galloway just won the election in Rochdale.

    He will, no doubt, be an important voice for Gaza inside Parliament – and I believe that he will also use his influential voice in support of Julian Assange.

    So be it – and – let it be.

    Justice for all!

      • Courtenay Francis Raymond Barnett

        Melrose,

        So true what you say.

        However, if we view the current situation more as Galloway being just a glimmer of sunshine via the UK Parliament into the very dark days which the Palestinian people are facing – rather than at one fell swoop a suddenly arrived summer; ah…there you go.

        • Allan Howard

          Just came across this Sky News interview posted in the last hour or so with George Galloway which is totally hilarious, and George in his element. First off George is asked what his response is to Rishi Sunak saying that his election ‘is beyond horrifying’:

          George Galloway: ‘I despise the prime minister’ (9 mins)

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J7p7CAyxHgg

          • Mr Mark Cutts

            Allan Howard

            The Tories would call that a ‘Hate Speech’ (no doubt) and demand that the country conducts its political business in a more polite way. The Tories appear to be getting more and more desperate after the Number 10 Lectern Speech where the media thought this would be an announcement for the GE.

            Instead the election of George Galloway (‘an Agitator’ according to the Guardian) put the Pigeon amongst the Cats. As if that was the final nail in the coffin of Democracy itself.

            This will be the divide and rule play magnified to the n‘th degree in the GE as it keeps any media talk of the Tories past record away from the masses. Instead we will see MPs whining on the TV about the dangers THEY are in rather than the actual dangers the Gazans are ACTUALLY in and will still be in the future if these spineless clowns keep assisting in this plausible Genocide.

            For myself the real story to be taken from all this is that it appears (with a few exceptions) that both major parties are either under the spell (for why I don’t know exactly why?) of the Israeli Lobby groups and it could be assumed that The Tories and Labour are no longer in charge of their parties but the Israeli Lobby Group is. The unelected Board of Deputies are telling the elected what they should or shouldn’t do and the Lobby Group (again unelected by no one in the UK) are suggesting that the Tories and Labour (where both leaders have also not been elected by any voters) and do X, Y and Z.

            And they have the nerve/cheek indeed to say that, THEY are the defenders of democracy. (Imagine if Putin’s people did that – the media would be foaming at the mouth – full of Evil Russian interference stories.)

            If this is all the Tories have to avoid near wipeout, then let’s call the GE ASAP and then they can put US out of THEIR misery.

            p.s. If I was George Galloway I would not just aim all my fire at Labour – spineless, yes – complicit in Plausible Genocide – yes, but for now they are not the government issuing the cash for arms and ‘assistance’ to Israel.

            They deserve the full-on opprobrium – but the Tories actually give the nod to assisting Israel and its destruction of Gaza and Gazans; they don’t wield the blade, but the give the wielder the knife.

            In British Law the passer of the knife is viewed just as guilty as the user of the knife.

          • Courtenay Francis Raymond Barnett

            Allan Howard,

            Somehow it is easier to rush to the ad hominem and apply same against George Galloway, than it is to focus on the law and facts applied to Israel:-

              (i)  Does Israel find itself in violation of Resolution 242?
            https://peacemaker.un.org/sites/peacemaker.un.org/files/SCRes242%281967%29.pdf
              (ii)  If I said that Israel stands in violation of a minimum of 28 UN Resolutions – would I be incorrect?
                  The laws violated by Israel stand at a minimum of 28 resolutions by reference to the United Nations Security Council as stand legally binding on member-nations of the U.N. Charter, including Article 25 (1945); – and a few sample resolutions can be cited being – 54, 111, 233, 234, 236, 248, 250, 252, 256, 262, 267, 270, 280, 285, 298, 313, 316, 468, 476, etc.
              (iii)  Most recently, did not the ICJ confirm that in the current round of conflict there is plausible genocide being committed by Israel?

            I stop there and stand by those three questions to ask whether Galloway has any basis for saying that he despises the PM when in point of fact he (Sunak) has sided with a serial violator of the law as laid down by the Security Council within the UN system.
            Does anyone contest these facts?

          • Steve Hayes

            Mark Cutts

            Politicians, like most people, crave a quiet life and a secure job. They have learned over the decades that stepping out of line gets a furious response from the Israel lobby which is unquestioningly picked up and amplified by the media, so they just don’t go there. But now they’re starting to worry that toadying to that lobby might also lose them their jobs. What are they to do? Never mind other people being blown to bits. The poor things might get chucked out of the gilded palace and find themselves in the Job Centre. This must stop.

          • Franc

            @ Allan Howard
            Many thanks for the George Galloway link. I’ve had difficulty forwarding the video to others. Now, there’s a surprise!

          • Squeeth

            Mr Mark

            You curiosity would be assuaged if you stopped thinking about the zionist antisemites as a lobby and thought of them as a proxy. American Caesar and now the Britunculi are using the zionist antisemites as a brownshirt militia to discipline the boss class and the corp-0-rat media as a matter of course and a few small fry like Assange, Craig and Gorgeous George when it’s convenient. I bet that the corp-0-rat media try to make George as anonymous as Arthur Scargill.

          • Tom Welsh

            Thanks, Allan. That interview made my day! Especially the small crowd that gathered, and the interviewer’s question that was met with loud laughter before Mr Galloway had a chance to answer. Like Mr Murray, he is so honest it is deliciously refreshing. Like a breath of Arctic breeze in a stuffy room – you can feel your mind clearing.

          • SKY News bias

            That link should be preserved and brought out frequently as the best possible demonstration of Sky’s political bias. The reporter in question was of course a complete cunt but of course just following orders. Disgusting!

          • Tom Welsh

            Mr Galloway presumably gets older, but he doesn’t lose any of his power, persuasiveness, or charisma. That interview is a fitting companion to this famous one:
            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6jfTaIW8mqg
            (I noticed how the senator who questioned Mr Galloway managed to have the last word by insinuating, without a trace of evidence, that Mr Galloway had been lying.)

            Oddly, he doesn’t even look any older after 19 years. Probably because one’s attention is focused on the lucidity, the unimpeachable truthfulness, and the granite logic.

            There is a well-known saying among lawyers that it’s a mistake to ask any question without knowing for certain what the answer will be. Mr Galloway has provided some classic examples of questions that have blown up in the questioners’ faces – all with civility, sometimes laced with vitriolic denunciation.

          • Tom Welsh

            “Politicians, like most people, crave a quiet life and a secure job”.

            Mediocre ones do. Of course, it seems distinctly possible that all our politicians today are mediocre – at best.

            As Charlie Brown says in one of the wonderful “Peanuts” cartoons, “I don’t mind being mediocre, just so long as I’m above average”.

        • nevermind

          Dont let the buggers get you down Brian, if they had any spines, they would openly stand against the SNP at the next election.
          They would be pounding the constituency, knocking on doors and stand up for Palestine just as GG did.
          Talk comes easy these days.
          My greatest thanks to the most comprehensively reporting Craig Murray, the only journalist to call out the facts and report in a very informed way.
          Have reinstated my monthly contribution, after realising that it had run out, and send you a sum I could afford.

          • Melrose

            We all have preemptively expressed our thanks to our host for his exceptional reports.
            Meanwhile, Mr Murray still is under pressure because of his recent misadventures with UK police. So let’s give him a break. Because obviously a VPN cannot hide your location when security services are involved. Posting that you’re in Vacitan City or on a Greek island won’t spare you being followed…
            Best of luck to Craig, and kudos to such generous donators as you.
            Nevermind of course

          • Brianfujisan

            I drive about with a Palestine Flag Let them come .. SNP ..I shall march with Two Flags South Africa

          • will moon

            Brian, Ashfin Rattantsi interviewed A Dershowitz on “Going Underground” the other day [link (RT)], I watched it on Rumble [link]. They discuss current events and Dersh’s new books Get Trump: The Threat to Civil Liberties, Due Process, and Our Constitutional Rule of Law [link (Goodreads)] & War Against the Jews: How to End Hamas Barbarism [link (Goodreads)].

            The interesting thing is Dersh has developed a facial tic focused on his right eye, I counted five, with with the last one being a massive double spasm of the eye. Also towards the end of the interview, maybe two thirds in, his hole face resets with an involuntary spasm. These involuntary responses all took place, at moments of high stress, when he was being challenged on his “facts” – which seem to consist of labelling any question of the events, as reported by Israel of the 7th October and subsequently as “holocaust denial” and “antisemitism” – Dersh at bay, facing a confident well-briefed Rattantsi.

  • Vragtes

    Thank you Mr Murray for making sense of the proceedings.

    I’ve attended enough court proceedings as an advocate to know how difficult they can be to follow, even as a trained lawyer, due to a combination of the acoustics, poor voice projection, disorganised papers and often obtuse judicial interventions. All these can and often are so intended, to break up one’s comprehension. Thanks also for several ‘coffee-spitting-moment’ episodes in your humorous descriptions and musings.

    I am rather less generous than you are to the judges. I know from experience, and certainly in cases which have a clear political dimension, that the decision is already pre-considered and the apparently ‘helpful’ questions by the judges to the advocates of the favoured side serve only to provide ex-post justifications to the perverse findings. It’s so people can say “oh look, the judges really gave the government’s lawyers a hard time, so they must have acted fairly!”

  • CWolf

    Thank you, Craig, for your invaluable deconstruction of the proceedings, once again. I’m very glad those heroes kept your place in line for you. Best wishes for a speedy recovery.

  • Jay

    The UK establishment has closed ranks to attack a newly elected MP because he doesn’t support the starvation and blowing up of children. That is the set to which the kindly Judge Dame Victoria Sharp belongs and the context in which she must ultimately be viewed.

    • Tom Welsh

      Rishi Sunak, of all people, had the incredible barefaced gall to allege that people who support Mr Galloway “may not belong here”.

      That from a near-billionaire of pure Indian descent, married to a wife of pure Indian descent. He may believe that being educated at Winchester College helps to make him more acceptable, but he may be wrong about that too.

      • Melrose

        Rishi is prone to risky statements, but he also knows from his Winchester days there’s no such thing as a silver bullet. So he made sure to limit his xenophobia to people on a visa. What remains unclear is his personal definition of “mob rule”. Does it include a democratic election when the outcome doesn’t please his own support system?
        Sunak or later, UK citizens will need to answer the question…

        • Tom74

          It’s an interesting one. It is more than possible, of course, that Sunak was lashing out in personal political desperation or at the behest, of say, Tory sponsors, or the US or Israel. Yet I wouldn’t have said Sunak was inherently dishonest in the way Johnson was. And it is worth bearing in mind, as Craig will know, of course, that the Prime Minister cannot divulge much of the intelligence briefings he receives from the security services. It may seem slightly far-fetched but I wouldn’t be surprised if ‘the mob rule’ Sunak mentioned wasn’t in fact anything to do with either Islam or Judaism but was a coded warning of some other threat to those in the know. Again, possibly far-fetched but the address on a Friday afternoon doesn’t quite add up to me at face value.

          • Stevie Boy

            Nah.
            Keith (I’m a zionist) Starmer and Rich (Hope your side wins) Sunak have soiled their underwear because Gorgeous George managed to thrash the main stream parties simply on the basis of not supporting ethnic cleansing and genocide. Anyone who doesn’t support western genocide is obviously an antisemetic terrorist and probably in the pay of Russia or China.
            If it smells like a scumbag, talks like a scumbag then in all probability it is a scumbag.

  • Mr Mark Cutts

    Well – it will be great to see George Galloway’s Maiden Speech in Parliament. But – as we know with the current Speaker set up you may not hear him again in Parliament.

    In my opinion there is a lot of ‘Lawfare’ going on in the so called Democracies.

    So the PTB may try to disbar (don’t know the legal definition) George Galloway from Parliament for making (their words – not mine) Anti semitic hate Speeches in the Mother of All Parliaments. They will also possibly try to do the same to any GE candidates who are deemed to have done the same.

    What has happened to Imran Khan and Lula, and many many more, will arrive and be prosecuted in the UK. Whomever they don’t like will not be allowed to stand and they will say if you vote for these candidates they will not be able to enter Parliament to represent you.

    Sounds extreme I know but desperation has set in within both parties and The Establishment. Anything could happen – even a cancelling of the GE under a Britsh version of The Homeland Security Act.

    • Melrose

      Until yesterday, PTB stood for pulmonary tuberculosis.
      Does this new acronym you have apparently coined imply that the ruling class is suffering from hardly curable diseases?

    • Clark

      “In my opinion there is a lot of ‘Lawfare’ going on in the so called Democracies.”

      Judge Silas Reid has now threatened jurors with criminal prosecution if they don’t return the verdict he wants:

      https://www.thecanary.co/editorial/2024/03/04/judge-threatens-jury-criminal-charges/

      He told a jury:

      “It is only on the evidence you are able to try the case and not on conscience…It is a criminal offence for a juror to do anything from which it can be concluded that a decision will be made on anything other than the evidence.”

      I defended Reid in comments under Craig’s article linked below. Once again, Craig was right and I was wrong.

      https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2023/03/fascist-judges/

        • Clark

          He also said:

          “The circumstances of the damage do not include any climate crisis which may or may not exist in the world at the moment.

          – Whether climate change is as dangerous as each of the defendants may clearly and honestly believe or is not, is irrelevant and does not form any part of the circumstances of the damage.”

          Can we assume he’d say the same about a firefighter or police office who broke down a door? No. Some defendants are more equal than others.

          • Pears Morgaine

            A firefighter or a police officer would do that to save a life that was in immediate danger. There’s a difference between legitimate protest and criminal damage.

          • Lapsed Agnostic

            The police can legally also break down doors and enter private property, Pears, if they have a search or an arrest warrant, to re-arrest someone who has absconded from custody, or if they reasonably believe there is a risk of serious injury or serious damage to property (Section 17 of the Police & Criminal Evidence Act 1984).

            If you’re going to do criminal damage to advance a political cause in the UK, Clark, you generally have to do billions of pounds’ worth of it – see Sinn Fein/IRA:

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1993_Bishopsgate_bombing

            Go hard or go home – as they say in Leeds Irish Centre.

          • will moon

            “ If you’re going to do criminal damage to advance a political cause in the UK, Clark, you generally have to do billions of pounds’ worth of it ”

            You are spot on here – of course I don’t think the IRA are the prime example, Margaret Thatcher did a lot of “criminal damage”, both to Brits and Argentines and to property, in her response to the seizure of the Falkland Islands by the Galtieri-led junta that governed Argentina

            Though many individuals were killed and many seriously injured in the war, following the Argentine seizure of the islands, her political cause in Britain benefitted to a greater degree. Indeed she needed the death and destruction to allow “Mrs Thatcher” the media assemblage to become viable. The actual person was horrible and with hyper-criminal bosom buddies like Jimmy Saville and Augustus Pinochet, marketing this moral sinkhole would have been rather difficult without a nice little war. A few more Exocets in the hands of the Argentines and there would have been no Mrs Thatcher. I believe it was American pressure on France and some other countries which stopped Argentina being re supplied with Exocets – now that is what I call a “special” relationship!

          • Lapsed Agnostic

            Thanks for your reply Will.

            Re: ‘You’re spot on here’

            I usually am. Thatcher’s governments may have done considerable damage to many communities in the UK, but the vast majority of it wasn’t criminal – at least as far as the law went. With the possible exception of the sinking of the Belgrano, neither were British actions in the Falklands War. In the eighties, Jimmy Savile (one L*) was seen as a national treasure who raised loads of money for charity, and being associated with him would have been viewed by most people as a plus point.

            Re: ‘A few more Exocets in the hands of the Argentines and there would have been no Mrs Thatcher.’

            Not sure that the Argies would have been able to launch an Exocet at No. 10.

            * Also, Pinochet’s first name was Augusto.

          • will moon

            The conflict made the “Thatcher”media construct viable. I recall Argentina becoming increasingly agitated before the war broke out regarding the ownership of the islands, telegraphing it’s intentions to take them. A saner polity than Britain would have negotiated to avoid the need for military action but why let a good crisis go to waste, even if some people have to die to enrich the shareholders? After all the military victory allowed the super rich to launch their takeover of the British government and the purchase of British national assets at bargain basement prices to boot – what is not to like, if one is a merciless oligarch? Everyone involved, except the Argentine conscripts, had some responsibility for what happened. I watched a vid with some of the mothers of these youngsters talking about the death of their sons, why it happened and what it meant – it was a moving experience.

            “ Holidays are dirt-cheap in the Costa del Malvinas
            In the Hotel Argentina they can hardly tell between us
            For Teresa is a waitress though she’s now known as Juanita
            In a tango bar in Stanley or in Puerto Margarita
            She’s the sweetest and the sauciest
            The loveliest and the naughtiest
            She’s Miss Buenos Aires in a world of lacy lingerie
            What do we care if the world is a joke
            We’ll give it a big kiss
            We’ll give it a poke”
            Tokyo Storm Warning – Elvis Costello

            ps The whole imbroglio could easily be seen as a marketing campaign for the Harrier jump jet lol

      • Tom Welsh

        Even so, I do not see how a judge can presume to look inside jurors’ minds and see why they brought in a given verdict. If they believe that the evidence shows innocence, who can prove that they didn’t believe that?

        For judges to threaten juries with imprisonment if they disagree with the judges is a long first step to abolishing juries altogether. If judges can direct them to bring in a specific verdict, on pain of criminal prosecution, there is no point in having juries.

        I believe that Mr Assange has been deliberately prosecuted in a series of conspiracies, and that law – let alone justice – has been trampled underfoot in his case. A judge might disagree with me about that, but could she really prove that my conclusions do not follow from the facts?

        If so, we could save a lot of time and money by packing in the pretences of “democracy” and “justice”, and simply admitting that we live in a totalitarian tyranny.

      • Mr Mark Cutts

        On that basis then what are we to make of swearing on the Bible before giving evidence? The whole truth and nothing but the truth and so on?

        Or does that depend on the Judges version of his or her ‘Truth’?

        As an example: what the Houthis/Yemenis are doing is deemed by the West as a crime.

        The Houthis/Yeminis in ‘conscience’ believe that preventing a Genocide is morally (consciously) correct in that case – committing a minor crime to prevent a greater crime.

        The Judges in the Assange case may (or may not) know that what they are doing and the reasons for doing it are not necessarily based on ‘The Whole Truth’ etc. but based on Mistruths.

        The ex PO staff and the past Judges in those cases are in a similar position. Meaning: the truth interpreters (Judges) have been misled at best or lied to.

        How are their consciences now?

    • Squeeth

      FPTP is the equivalent of cancelling an election. Anyone who votes is rigging their own ballot; that’s why we don’t have anything vulgar like tanks on the lawn.

  • harry law

    Craig Murray appearing as a guest on G Galloway’s MOATS a few day’s ago Ep 322 called out the hypocrisy of dropping small amounts of aid, and the likelihood that those same planes had transported bombs for Israel to drop on those same starving Gazans.
    These air drops are a PR exercise for the US and Israeli friendly regional governments, they do not make any impact on the ongoing Genocide, nor are they intended to.
    “I’ve seen Israel humiliate previous US administrations, but aside from murderous 1967 Israeli airstrike against US navy ship Liberty, now forcing [the United States] to do airdrops of aid to Gaza as if [the United States] is no better than Egypt and Jordan is Israel’s worst humiliation of [the United States] I’ve ever seen,” Robert Ford, a former US diplomat, wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter.
    “I should add that [the United States] will do humanitarian aid airdrops to Gazans if the Israeli air force graciously agrees not to shoot down the American planes over Gaza.”
    That sentiment may be understandable, but it turns reality on its head: Washington is in control. Washington wants the genocide to continue. It just wants to pretend that it is aiding Palestinians while it helps Israel murder them.
    Washington clearly sees the airdrops as means to that end. https://electronicintifada.net/content/demeaning-airdrops-over-gaza-are-humanitarian-aid-theater/44946

    • Stevie Boy

      The fact is that the USA could stop Israel dead … if it wanted to.
      Israel has nothing and Israel is nothing without USA money. Without Israel the USA has no foothold in the Middle East, that is Israels only purpose. If that changes the zionists will be cast out into the wilderness without a second thought.

      • Mr Mark Cutts

        Stevie Boy

        Exactly. Why don’t they do it?

        Because they agree with it – simple as that for myself.

        I’m pretty convinced that Netanyahu and his band of Crazies want to keep this assault going until Trump gets into The Whitehouse. Trump will be worse – not better.

        The bad news for Israel is that in order to keep the Genocide pot boiling then the Rafah attack has to happen. If it does the there is a possibility of Hezbollah and the Iraqi groups becoming involved. They will not play nice.

        The Iranians becoming involved is the Isreali’s theoretical ‘Ace’ as in – how could the US desert Israel in its time of need? They ought to check the US’s loyalty historical record for the answer. And the answer is that if the US’s interests are threatened they will cut you off without a worry.

        Then all Israel has is Nuclear Weapons to attack or defend itself.

        A Right wing writer wrote a book about this many years ago. Basically he posed the question: “What would we do if the US deserted us?”

        Fair question.

      • Gorse

        It is all about the Ga’z’ fields off Gaza and many countries and their despicable political trough feeder-leaders are getting in line to be the benefactors of Israeli gas or should that be Palestinian gas ?or just another short cut to doom of people and planet.
        So many lose lose situations as the carbon get rich quick wars continue … Israel will totally dominate the Middle East with the trillions of profit / strategic suppliers of gas to everywhere and be tyrannical on an even grander scale.
        Ironic that Gazprom originally offered to help technically with developing the Leviathan and Tamar gas fields…. I’m sure NATO scuppered that.
        So another suggestion as to who blew up the Nordstream pipelines…to de-supply Europe of natural gas from Russia, inflate the prices and be future dependent on the Eastern Med gas… A lot of which will be spilling it’s liquefied way across the high seas to destinations West.
        It seems like somebody decided to kill two birds with one stone ….one gas supplier (not Russia) and Israel also decided ok we now have a financial as well as fanatical reason to kill all Palestinian let the clearance begin…nobody will stop us with all that gas sitting offshore.

        They’d choke themselves before contemplating that the Palestinian have the right to benefit from the gas extraction royalties.
        Whilst the world wonders why their leaders will not act to stop the active attempt at the extinction of Palestinian people in Gaza (along with the eco systems of the land and Red Sea, The Med…. to add to The Baltic and Black Sea) ….it’s because they have all been especially the USA trying to get every last cent out of dirty oil exports and await the super fields going on line….these are not new plans…. Hence attacking Syria from within ….at one time a pipeline was planned to pass through Lebanon and Syria with Turkey hoping to be the hydrocarbon hub…. Now the plan via Cyprus and Crete (!) ….
        Zionism is an evil sickness but so much murder has been carried out on country after country over hydrocarbons.
        Ironic that the story of the murder of people from the Osage nation because the land they were cleared to Oklahoma turned out to be oil rich as well as over grazed dust bowl, just was made into a film.
        Yet the current genocide is live and being carried out to make way for something monstrous like Dubai.
        And the other film that won awards was about the atomic bomb….
        Local energy ….from local renewable resources for local people doesn’t involve killing people and undermining democracies by Proxy foreign govts. and destroying the Earth.
        If the killing doesn’t stop now we will all be ended.

  • Geoffrey

    I was surprised to find that my local Indian newsagent was largely supportive of Israel’s attack on Gaza. Now I hear that much of the anti Palestinian propaganda is produced in India.
    Sunak’s view is probably genuine and not surprising.

    • Stevie Boy

      Sunak doesn’t have a genuine view. Money and power is all he is concerned with, he was put in place by the bankers not the electorate, unlike George Galloway. The bankers are anti-palestinian because only the rabid zionists will make Palestine’s assets freely available to the West, hence Sunak is anti-palestinian..

    • Steve Hayes

      Hindus and Muslims have fought vicious wars, notably in the Subcontinent as the Raj collapsed. Caucasians aren’t the only racists in the world.

      • Melrose

        Exactly. You’ve noticed that too.
        Quite a few Hindus and Muslims are also antisemitic.
        But they basically come 80 years too late.

      • will moon

        Steve there are convincing historical descriptions which minimally suggest it was the servants of the Raj who primed the powder keg of sectarianism, and stoked the conflagration once it broke out. This process was exacerbated by the Raj’s long-established historical preferences in the race and culture of the comprador class that helped the British to administer and rule this vast dominion.

        I would imagine a nascent racism in most if not all people. Surely the important issue is the political use such potentially emergent social forces are put to, and of course who by.

    • Tom Welsh

      This article by an expatriate Indian might help to explain. It seems that Indian culture bears some resemblance to that of Israel.

      “The Discovery of Civilization”
      By Jayant Bhandari
      https://www.lewrockwell.com/2024/02/jayant-bhandari/the-discovery-of-civilization/

      ‘What looks relatively innocent carries profound significance and is reflected in all social and economic transactions in India: making money from a transaction is insufficient. At the very least, a small part must be earned through cheating, even if it’s a symbolic fraction of a penny. You could pay an employee as much as you wanted, pay the businessman what he asked for, or enter into a contract favorable to the other party, but you knew you would be shortchanged and contracts reneged. There is no shame or guilt associated with cheating.

      ‘People no longer worry about water in the milk; India has come a long way. Nowadays, milkers add chemicals and thickeners, some of which are carcinogenic. Vegetables are now colored, dipped in chemicals to appear fresh, and “washed” in sewage to add shine.

      ‘In the ultimate analysis, India was a no-trust, atomized, amoral society. Envy, greed, and absence of fairness ran unrestrained and wild, for virtues and sins were foreign concepts. People praised your street smartness if you cheated on someone and got away with it. Lacking virtues and spirituality, people visited temples to get material favors from their favorite deities. The virtues implanted by colonizers were wearing thin’.

      • Anthony

        ‘The virtues implanted by colonizers were wearing thin’.

        Sounds like he’s trying to get a gig writing for the Spectator or selected as a Tory parliamentary candidate.

        • Tom Welsh

          Unfashionable though it is to admit, some at least of the colonizers had distinct virtues. Even their system had its strengths.

          “This burning of widows is your custom; prepare the funeral pile. But my nation has also a custom. When men burn women alive we hang them, and confiscate all their property. My carpenters shall therefore erect gibbets on which to hang all concerned when the widow is consumed. Let us all act according to national customs!”
          – General Sir Charles James Napier (William Napier, History Of General Sir Charles Napier’s Administration Of Scinde, 1981. P. 35)

        • Anil

          Anthony

          He might be trying to do just that – but this is irrelevant. If you disagree with his analysis, you should produce a counter-analysis, preferably based on facts.

          • Anthony

            Anil

            Britain looted 45 Trillion dollars from India during the period 1765 to 1938. Right now, in 2024, Britain is abetting a genocide of helpless brown women and children.

            If you disagree these are the colonizers’ values then please provide your counter-analysis, preferably based on facts.

    • Anthony

      Sunak’s family are members of Modi’s extreme anti-Muslim Hindu nationalist party, the BJP. His wife and father in law’s companies make regular big donations to the BJP. Hindu nationalists are some of the most ardent Zionists out there. Priti Patel and Tulsi Gabbard are other well-known examples in western politics of extreme Zionist Hindu nationalists.

    • will moon

      Geoffrey I find I have to disagree. My perception is the only genuine view Sinai has is that of money – his. I watched a vid of a much younger Sunak saying he had never met a “poor person”. The idea he would bother to carry popular prejudices seems a stretch – after all that is what servants are for.

  • AG

    German chancellor Scholz, for the first time I think, urged GB to not extradite Assange. His argument is however, Assange is in danger because he gave away US secrets. So in order to find empathy with the other corrupt war lords sitting in governments he sells Assange as a traitor.
    What difference would it make to Scholz if he were telling the simple truth? None. His statement would still stand. But dozens of reporters would dare to change their chime. And not denounce Assange a traitor any more.

    BERLINER ZEITUNG report is here:
    “Olaf Scholz speaks out against extradition of Julian Assange to the USA
    The US government wants to put the Wikileaks founder on trial on espionage charges. Now Assange is receiving support from Chancellor Scholz.”
    https://archive.is/As0SS

    p.s. if you take a look at the image you will see why Scholz does it, for electoral reasons (EU vote is up) and to stay popular among the young voters.

  • AG

    btw: Blinken declared this morning Victoria Nuland intends to step down in the coming weeks as Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs

      • AG

        I like Brioche.
        Give her something different. Like pancake. Or a donut. Something All-American industrial made.
        (Admittedly the quote doesn´t work that well with “pancake”.)

        • Tom Welsh

          Scots, of course, dispose of a formidable array of cakes and smallbread. Pancakes, crumpets, doughnuts, scones, tarts, cupcakes… and those delicious “fruit pies” that we always used unflinchingly to call “flies’ cemeteries”. (I still recall vividly the pleading look on the baker’s face as he begged me to use the correct name when in his shop, in case tourists should hear).

          Not forgetting, of course, the famous Dundee cake. (With or without added whisky).

          • AG

            what is a
            crumpet
            Dundee cake
            and what´s the difference between the donut and the doughnut?

            p.s. regarding prejudice it is funny that I have exchanged over sweets, cake and desert mostly with English folks not French

          • Tom Welsh

            Good questions, actually.

            A crumpet is something different in Scotland, England, and the USA. In Scotland it is something like a thin pancake, round, just big enough to fit on a standard bread or cake plate. It has little holes, is sweet and about the same taste and texture as a Scottish pancake, and is best with butter and/or jam. You butter it, spread jam, then roll it up into a cylinder and eat it – usually it makes about two mouthfuls, then you want another. (Or a doughnut). https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crumpet#/media/File:Pancake_and_crumpet.jpg

            Dundee cake is a rich fruit cake with such exotic ingredients as glace cherries, marmalade, and almonds. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dundee_cake

            A doughnut is just the original British English spelling of what Americans have simplified to “donut”. The British spelling makes it clear that it is just like a big “nut” made of dough. Which Americans may, for all I know, spell “do”. 😎

            A Scottish pancake is also a bit different. It’s usually about as wide as the palm of a man’s hand, and about one finger thick. I used to love making them on a girdle (Scots for “griddle”). You take a spoonful of batter and drop it onto the hot buttered girdle. After only a few seconds little holes develop on the top surface; then you rapidly insert a metal fish slice under the pancake and flip it. After about the same time has elapsed again, you remove it and place it on a clean towel to dry. They are absolutely delicious with unsalted butter.

          • Bayard

            Are Scottish pancakes the same as what my grandmother used to make and call “dropscones”? They certainly sound like it. If so, I agree with you, they were delicious, with or without butter.

          • AG

            Thx very much for the expert details!

            Personally with age I have come down to the view, the thinner the better, and as little fat as necessary for the production.
            Otherwise I am just wasted afterwards. It was different when being a kid of course.
            So I must disagree with the additional butter on it.
            Since there is already oil/butter in the dough and in the pan to fry it.

            You may use butter in the pan instead of oil, to give darker colouring.
            So as much as I used to follow the French “de beurre, de beurre, de beurre” (as to what is most important) I have distanced myself from it.

            It is highly interesting to see so many variations and names for the idea behind it, on that island/archipelago of yours.
            Germans have several names but its mostly 2 variants.

            p.s. because this was in the BERLINER ZEITUNG just today:

            “Soufflé pancakes: The tastiest thing we’ve eaten in Berlin in months
            After donuts and cinnamon rolls, cruffins and New York rolls, a new food trend is hitting our city: where to find Japanese pancakes and what they taste like.”
            https://archive.is/6GHkp

            This is of course totally posh and unnecessary and as a staunch Socialist I would enter the cafe under protest only handing out leaflets about gentrification in Berlin before spending the entire day there, eating (just like Danton would have done it.) First a speech, than feast.

            Another method, which you will know too, is the German “Kaiserschmarrn”,
            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kaiserschmarrn
            which in essence uses the egg-white from the pan-cake to whip it into egg-white cream and put it softly under the egg-yolk and fry that (in essence indeed a soufflé). But you don´t have to go to Japan for that.
            The Russians have it more complicated with their variations of Blinys using, yeast but thats another sport.

            p.p.s. what marmelade or jam would you use?

          • Tom Welsh

            Bayard, I don’t know – but I am doubtful whether anything called a “scone” could be a pancake. They may be made by the same process of dropping batter onto a hot girdle – and it is hot enough when the butter on it emits a wisp of blue smoke. I suspect the ingredients are different, causing the scone to rise and become relatively hard.

            AG, we must agree to differ on the question of butter. To my mind, fresh unsalted butter is pure ambrosia – almost any dish is improved by it. But then I am a ketonist and carnivorously inclined. The best thing I have eaten this year was a couple of lamb steaks briefly fried in lashings of butter. Not only delicious, but IMHO very healthy – the two go together, of course.

          • will moon

            I cannae believe on this site nobody has mentioned that Caledonian delight which transcends mere sconery, the redoubtable Bannock – made with oatmeal and flour, cooked on a griddle or in a skillet, preferably on a open fire, served with butter or jam or both (Tom) – heavenly – very much a heaven made in Scotland – though apparently Northern England has traditional recipes which dabble in the inclusion of various types of grain – barley, oats etc, I find it hard to believe the Bannock could be matched by these southern pretenders. I have been fortunate enough to have eaten these delicious morsels when returning from a long walk in the countryside whilst on holiday in Scotland. I bought some in a supermarket once, they weren’t very good nothing like the ones I had straight off the griddle. I have made my own on an electric cooker and they were ok but not the same. I would have to go to Scotland to get more

            However all is not lost – living in close proximity to Wales, I am able to get my hands on very decent Welsh-Cakes – a flat scone-like affair with dried fruit and a mere hint of spice, also cooked on a griddle. A fine thing is a Welsh Cake but a Bannock straight off the fire cannae be beat, imho.

          • AG

            Tom Welsh

            I understand on how important and essential butter is that is worth the term.
            I for some reason with age have developed a negative reaction.
            Unfortunately.

            For instance an excellent Italian restaurant served ravioli with boletus mushroom (is this the correct Engl. term?).
            They were swimming in butter. Despite being aware of my issues I took it all in.
            The 48 hours following were ghastly.

            So I sort of envy you.
            Nonetheless the variety you all are describing is astonishing, including Will moon´s description.

            Of course if you spend time walking a lot in the countryside, unlike me, that butter will be welcome by your body.

            p.s. I used to make chocolate buns/rolls with yeast dough. Warm from the oven among the best things on the planet.
            But I can´t handle it any more. It´s off my menu.

            In terms of cookery I have therefore turned to the stuff they do in restaurants like spraying a bit of oil with a dispenser on the fish or the meat or backing paper between pan and meat.

            Or use roasting flavour by letting the meat or fish get slightly burnt in the pan due to the lack of fat. That too can be excellent but needs time to figuring out to not ruining the meat or the pan.

    • Anthony

      Being replaced with their chief Chinaphobe, Kurt Campbell. He is the main architect of the AUKUS pact and the looming cataclysmic war on China.

      • Tom Welsh

        There is really no need to attack China. Much the same effect – and almost as much enjoyment – can be had by removing shoes and socks and repeatedly kicking a brick wall as hard as you can.

  • Allan Howard

    Just came across the following video on Consortium News’ youtube channel entitled ‘Mr. Galloway Goes to London’, posted a few hours ago:

    Newly-elected MP George Galloway, on his second day back in office on Tuesday, campaigns in Lewisham, London for John Hamilton, who runs in a by-election on Thursday as a mayoral candidate from Galloway’s Workers’ Party of Britain, a movement that is spooking the British establishment.

    George is up at 19mins 55secs (after Jackie Walker), and there’s obviously a good crowd of people there. And fingers crossed for John Hamilton….. now that really WOULD scare the pants off of the establishment!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ABv933dNYo (33 mins)

    • Allan Howard

      PS And I meant to say that I’m pretty certain that In a recent video that I watched a bit earlier, KernowDamo refers to Rishi Sunak as the Prime Minature, which is quite hilarious!

      Lying smearing demonising hate-mongering scare-mongering genocide-supporting fascists deserve all the contempt and ridicule they get! And if it’s humorous as well, then so much the better.

      • Allan Howard

        This excellent piece by Kate Hudson of CND was in a recent Labour Outlook newsletter, and is well worth reading:

        “Clear and outspoken support for the people of Gaza, calling for an end to the genocide, has been unequivocal from many Latin American countries – Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua have all been outspoken”

        What is our government’s approach to this massively dangerous situation? In his first major speech as Defence Secretary, Grant Shapps stepped up Britain’s commitment to war-fighting and destruction, and indicated his desire for Britain to be in the driving seat in stoking further conflicts. We are in a pre-war world, he stated…..

        Of course Shapps has no thought for how potential war can be prevented, how international relations can be reset to stop the drive to war. He thinks only of how to contribute to it, to prepare for it, and in doing so, to make it far more likely. His priority is to throw weapons and money at everything, from Ukraine, to Gaza, to the Red Sea, to the Indo-Pacific. He brags of pushing ‘defence’ spending to 2.5% of GDP, of exceeding £50 billion a year; and Britain’s power to influence world events is couched solely in terms of military might and destructive power – with the added bonus that this can be great for British industry.

        https://labouroutlook.org/2024/03/02/latin-america-stands-at-the-heart-of-global-resistance-kate-hudson-cnd/

        It’s ironic that one of the most popular songs of the past fifty years or so was Imagine, by John Lennon (and one of the most popular albums was What’s Going On by Marvin Gaye), and it only occurred to me a year or two ago that Imagine is indirectly about those that prevent such a reality from ever being realised. Another great song (from a great album called Brave New World) is Turn Things Around by Ana Christensen:

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

          • will moon

            How about Tom Lehrer’s “ We Will All Go Together When We Go”?

            “ And we will all go together when we go.
            What a comforting fact that is to know.
            Universal bereavement,
            An inspiring achievement,
            Yes, we all will go together when we go.”

        • Stevie Boy

          When you have a war based economy then the government is going to push for wars. Most western nations are, in reality, bankrupt, they need death and destruction to distract the populace and to keep money pouring into the war chest, albeit they are out the back printing the new money.

          Music. Almost anything by ‘Rage Against The Machine’

        • Johnny Conspiranoid

          “We are in a pre-war world, he stated…..”
          A world which he helped create and a war which we are sure to lose.
          See Larry Johnson for a precis of the delusional nature of western politics.

  • Allan Howard

    In his democracy-under-threat-there’s-a-national-emergency claptrap outside Number 10 on Friday evening, Rishi Sunak began by saying that:

    ‘In recent weeks and months we’ve seen a shocking increase in extremist disruption and criminality. What started as protests on our streets has descended into intimidation, threats and planned acts of violence.’

    I seem to recall that Hitler concocted and contrived threats (internal, as well as external later on) that were completely non=existent as well. Notice how he says ‘we’ve seen’, and does so for the purpose of trying to gaslight Jo/Joe public at the outset of his theatrical performance. What a total unowhat….. I’m sure you know what I mean. Anyway, in my travels round youtube through the night I came across a site I’ve not come across before called OpenmindedThinker which, on first impressions, appears to be the business, and also another one called My Left Eye. Anyway, at the risk of GG over-exposure, here’s the OpenmindedThinker video I came across in the reccomends, and if you just watch/listen to ten minutes or so, I’m sure you’ll get what I mean:

    Watch This New George Galloway Video Before YouTube Removes It

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=55aHmczmSlU&t=528s (23 mins 27 secs)

  • Tom Welsh

    I hadn’t heard of Garland Nixon until Andrei Martyanov recommended this monologue:

    https://smoothiex12.blogspot.com/2024/03/garland-provides-good-summary.html

    Some may dislike his style; I find he reminds me of George Carlin (which is good, if you’re in doubt). Not only funny and rapid-fire, but quite insightful. For instance, emphasising that European elites are not just at war with Russia, but at war with European people. He displays a clear understanding of the neocon mind set.

    • Tom Welsh

      At about 26 minutes he briefly refers to George Galloway’s election and Mr Sunak’s reaction. “It’s open season on Galloway! It’s Galloway season!!”

      • Allan Howard

        I’d not heard of him – or come across him – either. Hilarious! It’s just one long stream of consciousness! Very conscious consciousness!!

    • Tom Welsh

      About 45 minutes, enjoy the metaphor of walking up behind Mike Tyson and hitting him on the back of his head. Question: when he turns around and is about to beat you to a pulp, what do you do?

      Apologise.
      Grovel.
      Offer generous compensation.
      Promise never to do it again.
      Walk briskly away.

  • Allan Howard

    Am I right in thinking that Donald Trump has said very little, if anything, about the genocide being perpetrated by Israel on Gaza?

    I thought I’d just do a quick search re >donald trump gaza genocide< and the following article from yesterday came up in the results:

    'Trump Says Israel Has To ‘Finish The Problem’ In Gaza After Months Of Silence'

    Former President Donald Trump said Tuesday that Israeli forces involved in the military offensive against Palestinians have to “finish the problem,” after months of staying silent on the violence in Gaza.

    In a phone interview on “Fox & Friends,” hosts Brian Kilmeade and Lawrence Jones asked the GOP front-runner if he was “on board” with the way Israeli forces have been carrying out their offensive in Gaza.

    “You’ve got to finish the problem,” Trump said. “You had a horrible invasion that took place, that would have never happened if I was president, by the way.”

    Trump dodged multiple questions by the “Fox & Friends” hosts on his stances related to Israel and Gaza and instead reiterated that the Oct. 7 attack and Israel’s retaliation would not have happened had he been president.

    “They wouldn’t have done it to me I guarantee you that,” he said. “They did this because they have no respect for Biden, and frankly, they got soft.”

    Despite the president’s strong allyship with Israel, Trump would likely still be the preferred candidate for the Israeli government’s far-right leaders, including National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir. Last month, Ben Gvir told The Wall Street Journal that Trump would give the Israeli right a stronger backing than Biden currently does.

    https://uk.news.yahoo.com/trump-says-israel-finish-problem-214217131.html

    Hmm, so he HAS been keeping schtum about it!?? The only reason I can think of for him doing so is in the hope that some of the people who are pissed off with Biden over Gaza will vote for him. I mean it's most unlike Trump to stay quiet about major issues.

    • Stevie Boy

      All American Politicians, and most western ones, have to do the ‘Goy Grovel’ to stay in power. Trump would undoubtably be shooting himself in the foot, re. the election, if he got too involved at this point.
      However, what does he really think ? He moved the USA Embassy to Jerusalem and his daughter Ivanka is married to Jared Kushner. So the reality is that Trump is another Israeli supporter. Plus ça change.

      • Melrose

        Trump only thinks with his bank statements. He probably doesn’t like Israel more than you do. But he knows how to protect his investments.
        Plus c’est pareil…

        • Mr Mark Cutts

          I am pretty much convinced that the likes of Pense, Pompeo and Cheney genuinely believe that there are Banks in Heaven.

          Perhaps trump and Netanyahu do too?

          So – once the Jewish Blazing Zionist Charioteers renounce their religion and convert to Bannonite Zionist Christianity then they can all take their credit cards into the bank of Heaven and carry on where they left off on earth.

          That’s faith for you and many of these nasty people go to Church and the Synagogue on Saturday to buy their way into Heaven by doing ‘Good works’ like bombing people flat and robbing the poor of the Earth.

          I am an atheist but sometimes I wish there was a God and a Heaven because I would have a very long list of world leaders for God to do a lot of Smiting to.

          p.s. For the Mammon and God believers in the West- would the Blazing Chariot carring them up to Heaven not melt their Credit/Charge cards? Thereby rendering them useless?

          Just a practical thought – that’s all.

          • Cornudet

            The faithful will probably find that waiting for a blazing chariot to talented to heaven is liberating for the transport serviceable on by the likes of Ann Gloag. Samuel Beckett wrote a play about it…

          • Mr Mark Cutts

            Cornudet

            There appears to be an awful lot of ‘The Chosen Few’ these days:

              •  Blair
              •  Kissinger
              •  the Clintons
              •  the Obamah’s
              •  Dick Cheney
              •  Gyles Brandreth (I’m exaggerating)
              •  Michael Gove (not exaggerating – he is self appointed).

            And a cast of hundreds of thousands.

            as I say as an atheist I feel sorry for the ‘Left Behind’:

              •  Nigel Farage
              •  Rees Mogg
              •  Jeremy Clarkson
              •  Fiona Bruce
              •  Lawrence Fox (an actor who can’t even act the part of being like a human being)
              •  Katie Hopkins
              •  Julia Hartley Brewer

            The list is not endless – but pointless.

            Here’s the problem for Bannon and his Blazing Charioteers: Just how many ‘worthy’ to God like people can you fit into a Chariot? (Noah gave the thing a real good go.)

            Bannon doesn’t seem to have the effort in him. I suspect he is a fake religious believer – not dissimilar to Netanyahu.

            No expert – just an opinion?

  • harry law

    Jack and others have quite rightly berated the Muslim nations in their total lack of measures against the Israeli Genocide, in this article David Hearst outlines the pressures on these nations by the ‘West’.
    South Africa has thrown caution to the wind. It is prepared to risk US sanctions – there are two punitive bills proceeding through the House of Representatives at this moment – to make a moral stand on Palestine.
    “We are heterogeneous in the global South. But one thing we share is the historical experience of oppression and colonialism. This is what unites us in supporting the struggle for Palestine,” said Naledi Pandor, Pretoria’s minister of international relations.
    This week, Pandor is in Washington to lobby against the imposition of sanctions which would be “catastrophic” for her country. But by heaven, it feels lonely.
    “We went to the International Court of Justice, looked around, and there was nobody behind us,” said Faisal Dawjee, former media director for the South African government, recalling the pressure South Africa came under to withdraw the case before the preliminary ruling.
    “What’s happening in the occupied territories is ten times worse than the apartheid we experienced in South Africa, and the West is complicit in apartheid and genocide,” Dawjee said. https://www.middleeasteye.net/opinion/war-gaza-arab-states-turkey-ceasefire-break-israel-siege

  • Allan Howard

    The following, which I just posted in the comments in the latest video by Damo, is self explanatory:

    Damo, could you please do a vid re ‘ Mehdi Hasan debunks top 7 lies about Gaza’, which JVL posted about earlier today, and which is also up on youtube, as of today, and ask all your subscribers and viewers to share it far and wide. As with so many things – the A/S smear campaign against Jeremy Corbyn and the left, for example – the vast majority of us on the left know the truth, but millions of people out there (and that’s just in the UK) don’t know the truth, and they are the people we have to reach. And the only way we are can do that is by putting leaflets together and putting them through peoples doors, whether it’s 10 or 50 or a 100 or 500, directing people to articles (like the excellent article Jonathan Cook posted yesterday) and videos such as the Mehdi Hasan video. There are hundreds of thousands of us, and between us we have the potential to reach tens of millions of people and expose all the lies and demonisation about the protesters etc, etc, etc. Thanks

    Here’s a link to the Mehdi Hasan video on youtube (5 mins)

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pfRybrAyUtE&t=28s

    • Allan Howard

      When I posted my comment in the latest Damo video (which I spotted in the reccomends) it had only been up for about 25 minutes, and there were just nine comments at the point where I started typing it out, and twenty-two at the point when I posted it. But as I’m sure many on here know, if you’re signed in to youtube (google), no matter how many comments have been posted, yours appears at the top of the comments. So anyway, I figured that my comment would be about the twentieth one down, but I couldn’t understand why everyone else was getting Likes, but my comment wasn’t. So I thought I’d sign out so as to see where exactly it was in the list of comments, and lo-and-behold, my comment isn’t there, and I have little doubt that the Nazi shite who are monitoring me 24/7 replaced the page with a shadow duplicate, and THAT is what I typed my comment into, and that’s why it wasn’t there when I signed out and checked to see where it was situated. And for all I know, I could be typing this comment right now into a shadow duplicate of this page.

      So I just signed back in to youtube, and my comment is there at the top of the comments!

      • Steve Hayes

        That’s reminiscent of the scam where Labour apparachiks put out paid Facebook campaign ads that were restricted to Corbyn’s staff so they would believe the campaign was happening when in reality it wasn’t. In your case, I wouldn’t put it past YouTube to somehow identify your comment as something to suppress, while showing it to you (when signed in) to keep you unaware. The Thought Police are everywhere.

  • mark golding

    An emergency ECHR injunction might be the only hope for preventing Trump and the CIA ‘dealing’ with Julian in a similar construct to the demise of Alexei Navalny…

  • Allan Howard

    The Center for Media Monitoring has just published this report:

    Media Bias Gaza 2023-24

    Report Examines Media Bias Coverage of Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

    The Centre for Media Monitoring (CfMM) today releases its latest report, ‘Media Bias Gaza 2023-24’, exposing significant biases in media coverage.

    KEY FINDINGS

    Language Utilisation: Emotive language describes Israelis as victims of attacks 11 times more than Palestinians.
    Framing of Events: Most TV channels overwhelmingly promote “Israel’s right” to defend itself, overshadowing Palestinian rights by a ratio of 5 to 1.
    In broadcast TV, Israeli perspectives were referenced almost three times more than Palestinian ones.

    In online news it was almost twice as much.
    Contextual Framing: 76% of online articles frame the conflict as an “Israel-Hamas war,” while only 24% mention “Palestine/Palestinian,” indicating a lack of context.
    Misrepresentation and Undermining: Pro-Palestinian voices face misrepresentation and vilification by media outlets, perpetuating harmful stereotypes.
    Right wing news channels and right-wing British publications were at the forefront of misrepresenting pro-Palestinian protestors as antisemitic, violent or pro Hamas.

    https://cfmm.org.uk/resources/publication/cfmm-report-media-bias-gaza-2023-24/

  • Allan Howard

    I just did a search in respect of something and ended up on the DMs website and, as such, came across the latest salvo – they HAVE to keep their propaganda campaign going! – against those marching for an end to the slaughter and destruction and devastation in Gaza:

    Pro-Palestine protesters are turning London into a ‘no-go zone for Jews’, claims Britain’s counter-extremism tsar as he blasts the Government for letting extremists go ‘unchallenged for too long’

    Is anyone aware of who these extremists are, and what it is they’ve done, that the Government have allowed to go unchallenged for too long? No?, neither am I! It’s all a massive fiction, and on a par with the sort of thing the Nazis did. Needless to say, this is just a ruse that Sunak and Co have contrived with the so-called counter-extremism tsar, so as to up the ante. It’s so goddamned transparent it’s a joke!

    I haven’t checked out the comments yet – the TOP-rated comments, that is – but no doubt they’ll be reinforcing this massive big lie and gargantuan deception, but then there is a video included (about 4 mins) oddly enough in which demonstrators/marchers give their response to being demonised as extremists, which is worth a look:

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-13171151/Pro-Palestine-protesters-turning-London-no-zone-Jews-claims-Britains-counter-extremism-tsar-blasts-Government-letting-extremists-unchallenged-long.html

    • Allan Howard

      Sorry about this, but hardly anyone else is posting, so my posts are all clumped together, but they have in fact been posted over a period of many hours.

      Anyway, I was just tuning into Fascist Talk TV to see what bollocks they’re spouting at the moment, and it was the Douglas Murray programme, who I have of course heard about in recent months, but I’ve never actually caught his programme until now and, as such, seen him in the flesh, so to speak.

      Anyhow, he had some guy on with whom he was discussing this absurd idea of Biden’s to build a port or whatever so as to deliver aid to Gaza by sea, and Murray just came out with this thing, in passing, that ‘weaponry’ had been found in the past in trucks delivering aid into Gaza from Egypt, which I assume is a massive Big Lie, either on HIS part, or a massive Big Lie on Israel’s part which he – Murray – is knowingly repeating. But given that I’ve not heard or read anything to that effect before, I assume it was the former, and something Murray himself has concocted. I mean if you know that Israel/the IDF is going through everything with a fine tooth comb before they let the trucks into Gaza, which they are, then it would be completely pointless putting any weapons on board any of the trucks, and so therefore it’s not gonna happen. And lets face it, it would only have to happen the once, and BN and Co could justify refusing to let the aid in.

      Actually, that’s just reminded me of Caitlin Johnstone’s latest article:

      ‘Pretending The US Can’t Just Drive Aid Into Gaza’

      https://caityjohnstone.medium.com/pretending-the-us-cant-just-drive-aid-into-gaza-64a81f955b7f

      • frankywiggles

        That bollocks exists unwatched. It’s the BBC that is the key outlet in manufacturing tolerance for genocide in the UK. There has just been a report released based on a major content analysis of British MSM since October 7th, 2023. It finds overwhelming Zionist bias across the board: obfuscation of Israeli colonialism, devaluing of Palestinian life, repeating IDF propaganda, failing to challenge genocidal language and fake rape claims of Israeli politicians, suppressing the involvement of the British government and military, hiding the genocide case and ruling against Israel at the Hague, smearing anti-genocide demonstrators in the UK etc, etc.

        BBC reporting, while masquerading as the gold standard, is shown to be “overwhelmingly” biased in favour of apartheid Israel, portraying the mass slaughter and starvation of children within a frame of Israel defending itself.

        Centre for Media Monitoring report here:
        Media Bias, Gaza, 2023-24 (March 2024)
        https://cfmm.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2024/03/CfMM-Report-Final-MEDIA-BIAS-GAZA-2023-24-ePDF.pdf

        • frankywiggles

          Why is the BBC trying to manufacture consent for genocide? One reason is the influence of board member Sir Robbie Gibb. Sir Robbie is the sole owner of the arch-Zionist Jewish Chronicle. According to fellow arch-Zionist Emily Maitliss, he controls the news output and content of the UK’s public service national broadcaster.

  • Mr Mark Cutts

    Not all bad news.

    I believe Jeremy Corbyn is suing Farage for mouthing off that Corbyn is a rabid antisemite and (if I heard right?) a Holocaust denier.

    Let’s hope that his suing leads to his Coutts bank account emptying rapidly.

    Farage is an utter fraud. He drinks a pint when the cameras are on and fine wine in private.

    He could go for 9th attempt at getting elected but I think he is relying on Trump
    to give him a job as a Concierge at Trump Towers.

    Polishing up the handle on the Big Front Door.

    • will moon

      Mark I saw a clip of him being introduced at a Trump rally by Trump as “The King of Europe”. In response he said that Trump was the bravest man he knew – fragments of a hologram.

    • AG

      Chris Hedges recently had this interview with Rabbi Shaul Magid, teaching Jewish Studies at Dartmouth.

      It was interesting, but there was this odd passage about Corbyn and antisemitism which remained unresolved in the interview, what actually one could state as a strength of Hedges as a reporter (a good reporter never claims to a) have all the answers to everything b) protects the dignity of the interviewee.)
      But I still want to highlight and quote it below.

      See the entire interview:
      https://scheerpost.com/2024/02/24/chris-hedges-the-death-of-liberal-zionism/

      The actual single phrase is in the middle, but to provide the necessary context, here the entire passage. I haven´t compared to the original video. But perhaps some words are in fact missing in the transcription:

      “(…)
      Chris Hedges: For those of us who abhor violence… And I knew two of the leaders of Hamas and was quite upfront. This was during the suicide bombing attacks in Jerusalem which I had to cover. And I argue both in the home of Abdelaziz Runtisi, one of the co-founders of Hamas and then after he was assassinated, Nizar Ryan that by carrying out indiscriminate suicide bombing attacks against Israeli civilians, they were essentially abrogating or taking from themselves the moral high ground they had. Not to mention the fact that it was a war crime. But among Palestinian friends without being a strong supporter of BDS, I don’t know how I can counter this call to resist the violence.

      Shaul Magid: I hear you. That’s a very serious critique. And again, I don’t have an answer for it. What happens from within the circles that I live in, signing on to BDS puts you outside the conversation, and at this point, I prefer to be inside that conversation. I can understand BDS, if it’s a movement that’s seeking to end the occupation and create justice and equality for Palestinians, from everybody that lives from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea, I can support that as a non-violent movement because I agree with those goals. Do I think that those goals can be achieved with or without BDS? The argument in my book is, not as long as Zionism is the ideology that dominates the state.

      Chris Hedges: I want to ask you about Jeremy Corbyn. That was another… Now there’s very strong evidence that antisemitism was weaponized to bring down Corbyn and his supporters, many of whom were Jewish. But you say that he may be an antisemite. I am curious what your perspective is now on the whole campaign against Corbyn.

      Shaul Magid: Yeah, it’s a good question. It was a bit of a throwaway line that maybe on second thought, I probably [laughs] … I honestly don’t feel like I know enough about the ins and outs of British parliamentary politics. I would say all I know about Corbyn is what he said, and there were a lot of things that he said that I agreed with and there were things he said that I didn’t agree with. Determining whether somebody is an antisemite is a much more complicated process in terms of what’s the intention of what they said and from the distance that I have, I wasn’t able to ascertain that.

      I do think though that the weaponization of antisemitism… And it’s not being used against people like Jeremy Corbyn. Just yesterday it was used against a colleague of mine who’s a historian of Zionism, Derek Penslar, who was appointed to be the co-director of the task force on antisemitism at Harvard University, who is a Zionist. So it’s become a term that’s been used and here I fault the ADL and Jonathan Greenblatt so extensively and so sloppily that it doesn’t mean anything anymore. Somebody who’s a Zionist and spent his entire adult life teaching Jewish history and Jewish students, for that person to be called an antisemite because he criticizes Israel, the term loses all of its meaning.
      (…)”

      Now whatever Corbyn does the stain will remain for the rest of his life.
      Professional skeptics as this gentleman, scholars above all who in fact believe that nothing can be proven only disproven with 100% certainty, will always provide argumentation which leaves the door open for the allegation.

      To them the specter of antisemitism is everywhere.
      And thus irrationality meets wisdom, meets 3000 years of religion, meets academic excellency and everything in between.

      In the end you also might end up argueing that after all self-hating Jews exist. “Who knows, right?”. Even if your own political views totally oppose that.

      Thus one has the explanation why a studied person like Ken Stern, the major author of the antisemitism definition which has caused so much trouble and pain and in fact also deaths in Gaza, doesn´t understand why him drafting this definition was such a mistake.

      Because by defining what is and what is not antisemitism you already lay out the norms of language, of communication.
      That way you end up with German governments supporting genocide.

      (The Germans would very strongly side with above comment and argue “May be Corbyn was antisemitic even if the evidence suggests otherwise. Because you never know, right?”)

      It all starts with that well-meaning skepticism and the uncertainty of whether Corbyn is or is not an antisemite. Regardless of what truly happened. Or better, did not happen. There is no escape.

      • zoot

        please cite what Corbyn said that made this rabbi deem him an antisemite and explain why you think that claim is well meaning.

        • AG

          I have no idea what the rabbi is referring to.
          Your question is of course the issue here.
          Insider´s talk? Assuming everyone knows?
          Assumptions, approximations, allegations, interpretation instead of quotations, of context, of facts, of mere description.
          p.s. I can only guess that Hedges didn´t want the interview to spill over into other areas so he could cover more ground instead. May be knowing that Mr. Magid either would not want to talk about it, or only in-depth.

          • zoot

            he should not be promoting characters like that if he is unwilling to confront and expose their lies. I am amazed he still has any stomach for them.

          • Allan Howard

            It’s odd – and this is in no way a criticism of Chris – but people never think to ask the obvious question – ie ‘Why do you think it is that none of the groups and organisations and individuals accusing Jeremy Corbyn of antisemitism – and in some cases calling him an antisemite – ever reported him to the police?’

            On a different matter, if you didn’t see Newsnight last night and you have access to Iplayer, check it out. The main thing that was discussed was some report that was published yesterday about the need to increase defence spending blah, blah, blah, and there was some General Sir something-or-other on there who at one point said that there is an existential threat to Britain (or an existential threat to our security), and yet again, something akin to the above example, the presenter interviewing them never thinks to ask who it is that poses this existential threat to us, and why they think they do. Needless to say if they did ask, the response would be Russia, or China, or both, but the reality is of course the very opposite – ie that it is the West/Nato (the US) that threatens them – but like the evil little fascists they are, they turn everything on its head, just like Hitler and Co did.

          • Stevie Boy

            Yes, this absolute rubbish was all over the daily smell. Occurs to me that if they’re actually serious about defending the UK then why are they throwing billions to the rabid nazis in Ukraine and Israel.
            And of course, if any UK government was serious about defence they wouldn’t be directly funding the USA MIC by buying their laughably rubbish jets and trident missiles.

          • AG

            These allegations against RU & friends pose a serious social problem in the long run.

            The same is more or less going on in Germany. And NOBODY asks for proof like during the discourse over Covid when everything was about “scientific proof”. Which meant everyone else but a “doctor” had to shut up.

            Astonishingly the same media fanatics suddenly don´t care about proof any more.

            But if reporters stop asking and instead believe everything the government says, everything the state security services say who is checking the government then?

            And once this is established as habit governments then can tell us ANYTHING.

            Information will simply be handed down from top to bottom.

            When did this change? Media distrusted secret intelligence in the 1990s and early 2000s. I remember that. Since something fundamentally changed.

            I posted a parliamentary inquiry from Denmark a couple of weeks ago in the forum on threat assessments re: RU.

            The response by the Danish security council contained no proof whatsoever.
            Excluively allegations, hypotheses. But nobody seemed to take issue over that.

            In journalism such statements normally amount to nothing. And have to be treated as such. But they are not any more.

        • Johnny Conspiranoid

          “please cite what Corbyn said that made this rabbi deem him an antisemite and explain why you think that claim is well meaning.”
          I don’t think the rabbi deemed Corbyn to be an antisemite, rather he pointed out that it had not been proved that Corbyn was not an antisemite. He then went on to look at the argument that “nothing can be proven only disproven with 100% certainty,” by which all humans who have ever lived could be antisemites including Corbyn and all jews.

          • Mr Mark Cutts

            Johnny Conspiranoid.

            This not a pipe ?

            “nothing can be proven only disproven with 100% certainty,”

            If it isn’t it is?

            I boil a kettle I get steam. If I don’t I get no steam.

            There is science and there is the “disproven”.

            The supposed learned Scholar is talking nonsense.

            What is, isn’t – and what isn’t, is.

            Semantics – if you pardon the pun.

            Garbage. A proven fact is a fact, an unproven fact isn’t.

            Playing with words.

          • Johnny Conspiranoid

            I agree with you Mr Mark Cutts. I’m talking about what the rabbi thinks.

          • will moon

            Mr Mark and Johnny

            It is like biologists, after identifying Corbyn as a bipedal, mammal from the primate family of the genus Homo then applying a new sub-classification, under the exigencies of these trying times, which would be be rendered in scientific Latin as follows,

            Homo Sapiens Anti-Semiticus

            The “experts” could then adjudicate as to whether Mr Corbyn was a member of this subgenus lol!

      • Calgacus

        They talk about Corbyn after 37:45. Some words are inaudible, but consistent with the rest of his words I think he suggested very briefly he shouldn’t have said that because he doesn’t know the situation well enough. He’s not helping things, but he is backpedaling somewhat.

        I think this is an instance of what I call the Shirer effect. William Shirer was a correspondent in Hitler’s Germany and wrote The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich. As knowledgeable, prescient and anti-Nazi as anyone at the time. But he wrote that after he came back to the USA from years in Germany, he realized that even though he fought it and wrote against it all day, that the omnipresent Nazi propaganda had had a real and malign influence on his thoughts and attitudes!

        The propaganda is at such a fever pitch, especially in the circles he moves in, that even though he fights it and ridicules the ridiculous accusations of “anti-semitism”, he succumbs to its influence once in a while. I think all or most of us have in some ways over various issues. So I trust that Hedges is right overall, this is a decent person who thoughtlessly gave in to groupthink.

        • will moon

          “When they came for the “anti-semites” I never spoke out”

          Calgacus remember the British Army in Afghanistan doing target shooting at photos of Corbyn? There are numbers of vets discharged with mental health issues – mixed-up memories, massive psych trauma etc,

          To me it smacks of academic negligence. This is a basic logical category mistake – there’re is no “Homo Sapiens anti semiticus”. Corbyn, amongst us all, is least likely to be hurtful to other people. Though it was his biggest fault it was also powerful inverted branding which worked on many who want the country to be run by somebody who is aware of ethics, a decent person. Maybe I am expecting too much but the lack of definition in the interview highlighted above by AG’s initial offering then delineated by commentator zoot’s objections troubled me.

          Any person can err – Corbyn, Magid, Hedges or whoever, especially in highly charged environments but your comparison to Shirer is disturbing. Can you clarify this for me? What exactly is the resemblance you are drawing here? Is it the one my Bonhoeffer pastiche alludes to?

    • Gorse

      You mean polishing a knob….any knob with money…
      Ah there must have been two types of Mediavel Jester in court.. those with wit who dared to voice what others dared not ….and then there was the total Joker someone they could lob their bones at with contempt.
      Nigel German Passports Farage.

      • will moon

        Judging from the reaction of the crowd to Farage at the Trump rally I mention above, I can confirm him to be a jester of the latter type. Indeed “The King of Europe” realised very quickly the crowd all knew they were to throw their bones at him with mockery and he handed the mic back to god emperor Trump and bolted.

  • James Andrews

    I have so enjoyed reading your two day accounts of the recent court hearing. They are both fascinating, informative and at times very amusing. Thank you Craig.

  • Ebenezer Scroggie

    I apologise if this has been asked and answered already.

    When is the outcome of the judgement expected to be announced?

    The judgement is almost certainly going to be binary. Either an innocent man will immediately be released; or he will be condemned to an end of life sentence in a gruesomely cruel Supermax prison. Within a couple of hours he’ll be handed over to the US Marshals on the tarmac at somewhere like Northolt or Mildenhall and whisked away into oblivion before a European court can ‘intervene’.

    If the latter, then there will be a legal precedent, internationally, of a new crime called Journalism.

    It’s of immense importance to Western civilisation.

    • Tom Welsh

      If I’m not mistaken, Ebenezer, it’s not so simple. If the judges refuse the application to appeal, Mr Assange will be on the next plane to the States. If they allow it, the whole dreary process starts up again. Both sides prepare for the actual appeal, which takes place… at every stage if Mr Assange loses, his life is over. If he wins, he gets another day in court. They win, he loses… we all lose.

      Curse them.

      • harry law

        Tom, in my opinion the Judges will allow the appeal and Assange will not be on the next plane to the US, the simple reason is that since the prosecution cannot guarantee more charges will not be added once in the US, the death Penalty cannot be ruled out, therefore the UK government cannot extradite. Extradition can only be prohibited if the person could face the death penalty (unless the Secretary of State gets adequate written assurance that the death penalty will not be imposed or, if imposed, will not be carried out). How can any US official, no matter how high, preempt any trial verdict, still less promise that verdict should not be carried out?

        • Tom Welsh

          Logic, justice, and law are on your side, Harry. We’ll see, presently, how much ice they cut compared to money and raw power.

          • nevermind

            Where is logic and justice if these judges still purport to support the European Human Rights act?
            When they have given carte blanche to the US to open a drawer, midcourse of Julian’s trial, to come up with a new set of charges and demands?
            When they wriggle over the question of threats of murder by US police makers and intrusion of sovereign embassies by Spanish spy agencies, breaching multiple persons’ privacy with no other reasons than revenge for daring to speak the truth to the world.
            Imho, these judges have no spines and do not represent a humane course of the law.
            Julian Assange should be released to recover from this far too long torturous lawlessness by being able to hug, kiss and bond with his family.
            This ongoing trial is like a wound that is not allowed to heal and it must stop now!

          • Ebenezer Scroggie

            >>>>
            When they have given carte blanche to the US to open a drawer, midcourse of Julian’s trial, to come up with a new set of charges and demands?
            >>>>

            That sort of shit does happen in British Courts.

            Megrahi and Fhahim were indicted on an allegation that “they conspired together to cause the explosion…”. (PA103 over/near Lockerbie)

            The three judges, who had been hand-picked by the then chief prosecutor (Google “Scotland’s worst judge” to see his name) to deliver him his chosen verdict, found Fhima Not Guilty of conspiring with Megrahi and that Megrahi was Guilty of conspiring with Fhima.

            Recognising the absurdity of their verdict, they obliged the Crown Office to amend the wording of the original indictment to fit their verdict.

            Preposterous, but that really did happen right here in the UK.

        • Stevie Boy

          Having Assange free and talking to the press cannot be allowed, who knows what he might say !
          Truth terrifies TPTB.

          • Stevie Boy

            Do you honestly think that has any bearing whatsoever on his bail chances.
            (BTW. There are multiple cases of bail jumpers receiving bail)

          • Mr Mark Cutts

            The thing about Julian Assange is that he has done his bail time and should be walking the streets of the UK a free man. He isn’t a free man for a different reason which appears to me that his captors haven’t got any specific charges to try him on in the US that will have the look of legal credibility to the viewers of the case.

            He is being held because they are working on it as a ‘fit up’ as they say in the trade. They could have offered him bail until the trial but they didn’t, instead they locked him up post previous bail when they should have let him out. Just in case he jumped bail again – the bail he was never offered on the alleged new charge.

            He is a Prisoner alright – a Political Prisoner. Navalny the right kind of Political Prisoner – Assange the wrong kind of Political Prisoner.

            By the way no mention of the journalist Pablo Escobar (I think that’s his name?) who ‘died’ in a Ukrainian Prison in the MSM. Wrong kind of Prison (Russian) – right kind of Prison (Ukraine). Weird (make it up as you go along) kind of Prison (UK).

            p.s. I heard one of the bosses of UNWRA on the BBC and he said it was too dangerous for his people to deliver the aid to the starving Gazans. As usual the non quick witted BBC presenter failed to ask the rep where the danger came from. Maybe her Producer had a quick word in her earpiece? “Say/Ask nothing as that is our usual practice at the BBC”. That way there is no come back from the Israel Lobby and their puppet politicians. That’s what happens when the MSM try put an equals sign to every news story in order to avoid accusations of ‘bias’.

            Ramadan starts tonight/tomorrow and I’m afraid the portents don’t look good across Gaza – sad to say.

          • Tom Welsh

            While it is technically true that Mr Assange “jumped bail”, he did so only to accept political asylum in the embassy of Ecuador. In order to avoid precisely what has happened to him since the new government of Ecuador withdrew its protection nearly 5 years ago. He was arrested and hustled away to Belmarsh, where he has been ever since.

            Which is exactly what our glorious leaders – the dirty conscienceless rats – wanted. Mr Assange told the world about the filthy crimes of the US government – so no Western government will lift a finger to help him. The friends of truth are their irreconcilable enemies.

  • Bob (not OG)

    I believe the journalist prisoner was Gonzalo Lira. It’s true, his death was ignored by the MSM hypocrites.
    Pablo Escobar was a notorious Colombian drug lord.

    • Dodds

      G L – He died from Pneumonia and or Covid, allegedly, certainly not assassination by the West (Navalny) and he was not the famous Columbian drug cartel leader but someone of Chilean American birth with very opaque activities as well as being an obnoxious vicious misogynist online to a fan base of Incels in his spare time.

      I found it very strange that a man supposedly fleeing for his life from the Ukrainians for reporting their defeats in the Eastern Front decided to podcast live shortly before he crossed into Hungary to escape ..then got “caught” and taken back to a Ukrainian jail.
      Why did they let him go in the first place? if he really was what he claimed to be in his reportage …. an independent reporter with Russia sympathies …. I doubt he would have been made a prisoner even the first time let alone make bail.
      from HIS background ???? He used to write for a Far Right website.
      Foolhardy American indie reporter, pretending to be one but really something else?? Was he planted to draw out an audience to be identified particularly there ? Someone who fantasised at being a spy or the real thing?!! . Was he part of some disinformation game and playing the field. Or just a grandiose liar?
      Maybe one day we might find out but my gut instinct was ” I smell shite”
      The only thing that seems to be accurate is that he was probably the architect of his own demise in the long run.

      • will moon

        Dodds, I seem to remember in 2019-20(?) he said repeatedly that General August Pinochet was a paragon of human virtue, and anyone who didn’t agree with him needing dealing with! Pinochet led the country after the CIA-organised military coup deposed the rightfully elected Salvadore Allende and was responsible for the torture and murder of many tens of thousands of Chilean citizens as well as numerous terrorist atrocities both at home and abroad – the General was also a dear friend of British Prime Minister M.Thatcher.

        Whether Lira was recruited by the CIA or by DINA (Chilean Secret Police) or by both back in the 70/80s is mere speculation but I think likely – as an informer not a “secret agent”.

        In the world we live in now it is pertinent to ask; is he really dead? Did he really exist? Or was he all along just a figment of our own deepest psychological needs – to perceive something human in this infernal media machine we must enter every time we seek information outside of our immediate locale and habitude.

    • nevermind

      Travesty is the account of narcissist behaviour by persons who try and stay in power or close to it, hallo Boris et al.
      How many people can one think of that this little prayer applies to? Sigh….

      That didn’t happen.
      And if it did, it wasn’t that bad.
      And if it was, that’s not a big deal.
      And if it is, that’s not my fault.
      And if it was, I didn’t mean it.
      And if I did, you deserved it.

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