DOJ Drooling Over Likely Assange Extradition
The American brief in a London court today against Julian Assange is that he put informants at risk by publishing hundreds of thousands of pages of U.S. military documents and State Department cables in 2010.
According to The Guardian’s reporting this morning, Washington’s lawyer, James Lewis, told the court that informants had “disappeared” after the leaks. But no one knows of course whether they just wised up and faded away.
“The US is aware of sources, whose unredacted names and other identifying information was contained in classified documents published by WikiLeaks, who subsequently disappeared, although the US can’t prove at this point that their disappearance was the result of being outed by WikiLeaks,” he told the court in south-east London.
Let’s make this clear, there has never been any evidence presented in the decade since those cables were released, that anyone was ever harmed. This is a baldfaced canard deployed by Washington from the start and it is now being used to attempt to drag Assange back to the U.S. where he faces 18 federal charges of espionage, including theft and hacking, and for that, up to 175 years in prison.
At this rate—despite the enormous crowds of support outside the courtroom, despite his more than capable lawyers and celebrity supporters—the chances of Assange beating this rap are thin. Why? Because the UK has no constitutional guarantee of a free press and its free speech rights are practically non-existent today, which means his pleas for both won’t buy him a basket of fish and chips from the local pub.
It also remains to be seen whether the most egregious evidence of U.S. tampering—that private conversations between Assange and his attorneys in his former Ecuadorian embassy sanctuary were being secretly taped and delivered right into the hands of American officials will make any difference to the magistrates in London. Is this a ‘fair trial’?
In other words, putting trust in the British system of law is a gamble. The British establishment hated Assange from the beginning too. And why not? Former PM Tony Blair was President George Bush’s poodle, and dragged his country into the war in Iraq against the majority of his countrymen’s wishes. They were right there with us as the lies played out in real time. That goes for Afghanistan too. So when the Iraq War and Afghan War logs came out, followed by the damning State Department diplomatic cables, the Brits had just as much mud on their faces and blood on their hands.
The U.S. Justice Department is no doubt salivating over the idea that Assange will be theirs to toy with, much like Chelsea Manning, who has been languishing in jail for nearly a year because she refuses to testify against Assange.
Meanwhile. American press is decidedly against Assange and any attempt to make him “one of them.” Much of this is because of the so-far-unproven connection he has with the Russians and the DNC email scandal. A story that former Republican Rep. Dana Rohrabacher supposedly delivered him a clemency offer from Trump in 2017 (Rohrabacher and the White House later denied this) was published last week and has muddied the waters. Of course anything with the taint of Trump, even a journalist who exposed war crimes and government lies, cannot be defended, ever.
Journalists would be gravely stupid to ignore the implications of Assange’s persecution, just like Richard Gizbert says in this video. But this doesn’t seem to be in the American hive’s DNA to defend their own rights, of course until it’s too late.
Richard Gizbert (@rgizbert1) says “for the first time” in 40 yrs as a journo he’s a “participant” and not just an observer.”The implications are so vast” anyone who works or relies on the media “needs to be here” @ #DontExtraditeAssange rally, Australia House to Parliament Square pic.twitter.com/Y49Bq6wRX3
— M. A. E. (@MElmaazi) February 22, 2020