Chris Hedges: The Empire is Not Done with Julian Assange
Chris Hedges: The Empire is Not Done with Julian Assange
January 4, 2021
As is clear from the memoir of one of his attorneys, Michael Ratner, the ends have always justified the means for those demanding the WikiLeaks‘ publisher’s global persecution.
Shortly after WikiLeaks released the “Iraq War Logs” in October 2010, which documented numerous U.S. war crimes — including video images of the gunning down of two Reuters journalists and 10 other unarmed civilians in the “Collateral Murder” video, the routine torture of Iraqi prisoners, the covering up of thousands of civilian deaths and the killing of nearly 700 civilians who had approached too closely to U.S. checkpoints — the towering civil rights attorneys Michael Ratner and Len Weinglass, who had defended Daniel Ellsberg in
the Pentagon Papers case, met Julian Assange in a studio apartment in Central London, according to Ratner’s newly released memoir Moving the Bar. (…)

Assange Extradition Ruling Is a Relief, But it Isn’t Justice

Assange Extradition Ruling Is a Relief, But it Isn’t Justice

January 4, 2021 

Caitlin Johnstone says the judge supported virtually every U.S. prosecutorial argument, no matter how absurd and Orwellian.

British Judge Vanessa Baraitser has ruled against U.S.  extradition for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, but not for the reasons she should have.

Baraitser’s frightening ruling supported virtually every U.S.  prosecutorial argument that was made during the extradition trial, no matter how absurd and Orwellian. This includes quoting from a long-discredited CNN report alleging without evidence that Assange made the embassy a “command post” for election interference, saying the right to free speech does not give anyone “unfettered discretion” to disclose any document they wish, dismissing arguments from the defense that U.K. law prohibits extradition for political offenses, parroting the false claim that Assange’s attempt to help protect his source Chelsea Manning while she was exfiltrating documents she already had access to was not normal journalistic behavior, saying U.S.  intelligence might have had legitimate reasons to spy on Assange in the Ecuadorian embassy, and claiming Assange’s rights would be protected by the U.S.  legal system if he were extradited.

“Judge is just repeating the U.S.  case, including its most dubious claims, in Assange case,” tweeted activist John Rees during the proceedings.

In the end, though, Baraitser ruled against extradition. Not because the U.S.  government has no business extraditing an Australian journalist from the U.K. for exposing its war crimes. Not because allowing the extradition and prosecution of journalists under the Espionage Act poses a direct threat to press freedoms worldwide. Not to prevent a global chilling effect on natsec investigative journalism into the behaviors of the largest power structures on our planet. No, Baraitser ultimately ruled against extradition because Assange would be too high a suicide risk in America’s draconian prison system.

Assange is still not free, and he is not out of the woods. The U.S.  government has said it will appeal the decision, and Baraitser has the legal authority to keep Assange locked in Belmarsh Prison until that appeals process has been carried through all the way to its end. Discussions on bail and release will resume on Wednesday, and Assange will remain imprisoned in Belmarsh at least until that time. Due to Assange’s bail offense which resulted from taking political asylum at the Ecuadorian embassy in 2012, it’s very possible that bail will be denied and he will remain imprisoned throughout the U.S.  government appeal.

The Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance (MEAA), the Australian trade union to which Assange belongs as a journalist, has released a statement on the ruling which outlines the situation nicely.

“Today’s court ruling is a huge relief for Julian, his partner and family, his legal team and his supporters around the world,” said MEAA Media Federal President Marcus Strom. “Julian has suffered a 10-year ordeal for trying to bring information of public interest to the light of day, and it has had an immense impact on his mental and physical health.”

“But we are dismayed that the judge showed no concern for press freedom in any of her comments today, and effectively accepted the U.S.  arguments that journalists can be prosecuted for exposing war crimes and other government secrets, and for protecting their sources,” Strom added. “The stories for which he was being prosecuted were published by WikiLeaks a decade ago and revealed war crimes and other shameful actions by the United States government. They were clearly in the public interest. The case against Assange has always been politically motivated with the intent of curtailing free speech, criminalisingjournalism and sending a clear message to future whistleblowers and publishers that they too will be punished if they step out of line.”

Indeed, the ruling today was a huge relief for Assange, his family, and for all his supporters around the world. But it wasn’t justice.

“It’s good to hear that court has ruled against the extradition of Julian Assange but I am wary of the fact it’s on mental health grounds,” AP’s Joana Ramiro commented on the ruling. “It’s a rather feeble precedent against the extradition of whistleblowers and/or in defence of the free press. Democracy needs better than that.”

“This wasn’t a victory for press freedom,” tweeted journalist Glenn Greenwald. “Quite the contrary: the judge made clear she believed there are grounds to prosecute Assange in connection with the 2010 publication. It was, instead, an indictment of the insanely oppressive U.S.  prison system for security ‘threats’.”

It is good that Baraitser ultimately ruled against extradition, but her ruling also supported the entirety of the U.S.  government’s prosecutorial narrative that would allow for extradition of journalists under the Espionage Act in the future. The ruling is a significant step toward freedom for Julian Assange, but it changes nothing as far as global imperialist tyranny is concerned.

So, the appropriate response at this time is a sigh of relief, but not celebration. The Assange case has never been about just one man; the greater part of the battle, the one we are all fighting, continues unabated.

That said, the message of the empire here was essentially “We totally coulda extradited you if we wanted, but you’re too crazy,” which sounds a lot like the international diplomacy equivalent of “I could kick your ass but you’re not worth it.” It’s a way of backing down while still saving face and appearing to be a threat. But everyone looking on can see that backing down is still backing down.

I think it’s a safe bet that if this case hadn’t had such intense scrutiny on it from all over the world, we would have heard a different ruling today. The empire did what it could to try and intimidate journalists with the possibility of prison for exposing its malfeasance, but in the end, it backed down.

I’m not going to take that as a sign that we’ve won the war, or even the battle. But it is a sign that our punches are landing. And that we’ve got a fighting chance here.

Glenn Greenwald On His Resignation From The Intercept

Matt Taibbi     30.10.2020

The Pulitzer winner founded the Intercept to challenge official narratives and protect editorial freedom. When editors abandoned those principles, spiking a controversial story, he was forced to quit

Quelle: Glenn Greenwald On His Resignation From The Intercept

Glenn Greenwald On His Resignation From The Intercept201030

‘The Emails Are Russian’ Will Be The Narrative, Regardless Of Facts Or Evidence

‘The Emails Are Russian’ Will Be The Narrative, Regardless Of Facts Or Evidence

By Caitlin Johnstone

October 20, 2020 „Information Clearing House“ –  Fight it all you want, but there’s nothing you can do. “The emails are Russian” is going to be the official dominant narrative in mainstream political discourse, and there’s nothing you can do to stop it. Resistance is futile.

Like the Russian hacking narrative, the Trump-Russia collusion narrative, the Russian bounties in Afghanistan narrative, and any other evidence-free framing of events that simultaneously advances pre-planned cold war agendas, is politically convenient for the Democratic party and generates clicks and ratings, the narrative that the New York Postpublication of Hunter Biden’s emails is a Russian operation is going to be hammered and hammered and hammered until it becomes the mainstream consensus. This will happen regardless of facts and evidence, up to and including rock solid evidence that Hunter Biden’s emails were not published as a result of a Russian operation. (…)

13 ehemalige Präsidenten fordern die britische Regierung auf, Julian Assange unverzüglich frei zu lassen. Politiker aus 27 Ländern und 189 …

13 ehemalige Präsidenten fordern die britische Regierung auf, Julian Assange unverzüglich frei zu lassen. Politiker aus 27 Ländern und 189 …

Debunking The Top Five Fake News Narratives About Nagorno-Karabakh

Andrew Korybko
28 September 2020

This weekend’s resumption of hostilities in Nagorno-Karabakh has led to an explosion of fake news narratives about the conflict, hence the reason for writing this piece in order to debunk the top five ones that have since proliferated across the Alt-Media

Quelle: Debunking The Top Five Fake News Narratives About Nagorno-Karabakh

Tareq HADDAD Lies, Newsweek and Control of the Media Narrative: First-Hand Account


A mafia runs editors. Freedom of the press is dead. Journalists and ordinary people must stand up.

Quelle: Lies, Newsweek and Control of the Media Narrative: First-Hand Account


Until several days ago, I was a journalist at Newsweek. I decided to hand my resignation in because, in essence, I was given a simple choice. On one hand, I could continue to be employed by the company, stay in their chic London offices and earn a steady salary—only if I adhered to what could or could not be reported and suppressed vital facts. Alternatively, I could leave the company and tell the truth. (…)

Full blog article here: tareqhaddad lies newsweek 20191214

60 Intellectual’s Appeal to Archbishop of Canterbury for Liberation of Julian Assange

Appeal to Archbishop of Canterbury for Liberation of Julian Assange


Α letter signed by 60 intellectuals from 15 countries was delivered to Lambeth Palace calling on His Grace, Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, to use his moral influence to end the unjustified imprisonment of Julian Assange in Belmarsh Prison.

Signatories include, among others, Nobel Peace Prize laureate Mairead Maguire, Noam Chomsky, Daniel Ellsberg, film-maker Oliver Stone, human rights defender Francis Boyle, former chair of the Human Rights Committee of the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly Dick Marty, the Greek composer Mikis Theodorakis, the popular German Bundestag member Sahra Wagenknecht, the ex-editor of Le Monde Diplomatique Alain Gresh, William R. Polk, descendent of the 11th President of the United States and former President of the Adlai Stevenson Institute of International Affairs, Manolis Glezos, named by Charles de Gaulle “the first Resistant in Europe”.

Here follows the text of the letter

To the Most Reverend Justin Welby,
Archbishop of Canterbury

We the undersigned respectfully call on the moral authorities of the United Kingdom to use their influence to obtain immediately release of Julian Assange, citizen of Australia, from Belmarsh prison where he is being unjustly and cruelly incarcerated.

Julian Assange is not charged with any crime or even misdemeanor in Britain, and has fully served his sentence for his single offense: jumping bail to avoid extradition to the United States via Sweden.  He was not and is not charged for any crime in Sweden.  The sole charges against him originate in the United States, on purely political grounds, aimed at punishing Julian Assange for publication of accurate information provided by informed sources.  This is a regular practice of all mainstream media, which now shamefully fail to speak out in defense of Mr. Assange, even when they published exactly the same information that he did.

It is quite clear that in their current treatment of Julian Assange, the United Kingdom is debasing itself as a mere instrument of political repression exercised by the United States.

Your Grace,

The current imprisonment of Julian Assange is a blot on the nation’s judicial system, a disgrace to British decency.  This scandal may be largely hidden today but will surely emerge in history unless measures are taken immediately by the highest representatives of the British people to correct this major injustice.

We ask you to respectfully transmit this message to Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II.

We appeal to your sense of justice and of national honor to uphold the best traditions of British democracy and respect for human rights by calling for the immediate freeing of Julian Assange.

With great concern,

Tariq Ali, author, editor, filmmaker, UK.
Mary Beaudoin, Women Against Military Madness, Minnesota, USA.
Francis Boyle , law professor, Board of Directors, Amnesty International USA (1988-92)
Paolo Borgognone, scholar, author, Italy.
Jean Bricmont, mathematical physicist, author, Belgium.
Peter Brock, mainstream reporter, media critic, journalist, Pulitzer Prize finalist, USA.
Scott Burchill, senior lecturer in International Relations, Deakin University, Australia.
Al Burke, editor, Nordic News Network, Sweden.
Franco Cavalli, former President of the International Union Against Cancer, Geneva.
Noam Chomsky, linguist, author, activist, USA.
Michel Chossudovsky, economist, director Global Research, Canada.
Neil Clark, journalist, broadcaster and author, UK.
Andrew Cockburn, author, Harper’s Magazine editor, Washington DC, USA.
Michel Collon, publisher, director of Investig’Action, Bruxelles.
Francis Combes, poet, publisher, Paris, France.
Sevim Dagdelen, journalist, Member of the German Bundestag.
Manlio Dinucci, journalist, author, Rome, Italy.
Bruno Drweski, historian, France.
Björn Eklund, publisher, Sweden.
Daniel Ellsberg, former military analyst, public discloser of Pentagon Papers, author, USA.
Norman G. Finkelstein, political scientist, author, USA.
Julie Franck, Laboratoire de Psycholinguistique, University of Geneva, Switzerland.
Julio Cesar Gambina, economist, President of the Fundación de Investigaciones Sociales y Políticas, Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Manolis Glezos, leading WWII resister, former Member of European Parliament, age 97, Greece.
Alain Gresh, journalist, author, former editor of Le Monde diplomatique, Paris, France.
Katharine Harwood Gün, celebrated British truth revealer (whistleblower).
Chris Hedges, journalist, author, USA.
Diana Johnstone, journalist, author, Paris, France.
John C. Kiriakou, former CIA Officer, whistleblower, USA.
Dimitrios Konstantakopoulos, journalist, writer, expert on East-West relations and arms control, director of, Greece.
Tamara Kunanayakam, former Ambassador of Sri Lanka to Cuba, to the United Nations Office in Geneva and to the Holy See.
Annie Lacroix-Riz, historian, France.
John Laughland, historian, author, UK.
Joe Lauria, veteran foreign correspondent, Editor-in-Chief of Consortium News, USA.
Annie Machon, former MI5 intelligence agent, truth revealer (whistleblower).
Mairead Maguire, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, Northern Ireland.
Cynthia McKinney, Former Congresswoman, activist, author, USA.
Dick Marty, jurist, former Senator and former Chair of the Committee on Human Rights of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, Switzerland.
Albrecht Müller, economist, author, director of NachDenkSeiten website, Germany.
Moritz Müller, journalist, Germany.
Jan Oberg, peace researcher, founder director of The Transnational Foundation (TFF), Sweden.
Jean-Pierre Page, former head of the international department of the French General Confederation of Labor (CGT), France.
Dragan Pavlovic, professor of anesthesiology and intensive care medicine, Serbia.
John Pilger, journalist, author, filmmaker, Australia.
William R. Polk, Professor of History emeritus University of Chicago, former President Adlai Stevenson Institute of International Affairs, USA.
Jesselyn Radack, human rights attorney, USA.
Raúl Roa Kourí, playwright, former Cuban Ambassador to the United Nations and to the Vatican, Cuba.
Paul Craig Roberts, former U.S. Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy, USA.
Coleen Rowley, retired FBI agent/division legal counsel; 9-11 whistleblower, USA.
Rick Rozoff, editor, Stop NATO, USA.
Robert Scheer, journalist, commentator, California.
Eugene Schulman, stockbroker, bibliophile, Geneva, Swizerland.
Norman Solomon, director, Roots Action, USA.
George Szamuely, journalist, New York.
Matthew Stevenson, travel writer, Switzerland.
Oliver Stone, filmmaker, USA.
Mikis Theodorakis, composer, Greece.
Jeannie Toschi Marazzani Visconti, journalist, author, Milan, Italy.
Antonio Tujan, IBON Foundation founder, Manilla, Philippines; Chair international Reality of Aid Network.
Sahra Wagenknecht, economist, Member of German Bundestag.
John Walsh, physiologist, essayist, California.
Daniel Warner, independent scholar, Switzerland.

Why The Takedown Of Heinz-Christian Strache Will Strengthen The Right — Moon of Alabama


During the last days a right wing politician in Austria was taken down by using an elaborate sting. Until Friday Heinz-Christian Strache was leader of the far right (but not fascist) Freedom Party of Austria (FPOe) and the Vice Chancellor…

über Why The Takedown Of Heinz-Christian Strache Will Strengthen The Right — Moon of Alabama