AuthorTopic: Wikileaks Updates-Julian Assange Thread  (Read 13044 times)

Offline RE

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Clinton, Assange and the War on Truth
« Reply #60 on: October 22, 2017, 03:45:43 AM »
https://www.counterpunch.org/2017/10/20/clinton-assange-and-the-war-on-truth/

October 20, 2017
Clinton, Assange and the War on Truth

by John Pilger


Photo by Kyle Taylor | CC by 2.0

On 16 October, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation aired an interview with Hillary Clinton: one of many to promote her score-settling book about why she was not elected President of the United States.

Wading through the Clinton book, What Happened, is an unpleasant experience, like a stomach upset. Smears and tears. Threats and enemies. “They” (voters) were brainwashed and herded against her by the odious Donald Trump in cahoots with sinister Slavs sent from the great darkness known as Russia, assisted by an Australian “nihilist”, Julian Assange.

In The New York Times, there was a striking photograph of a female reporter consoling Clinton, having just interviewed her. The lost leader was, above all, “absolutely a feminist”. The thousands of women’s lives this “feminist” destroyed while in government — Libya, Syria, Honduras — were of no interest.

In New York magazine, Rebecca Traister wrote that Clinton was finally “expressing some righteous anger”. It was even hard for her to smile: “so hard that the muscles in her face ache”. Surely, she concluded, “if we allowed women’s resentments the same bearing we allow men’s grudges, America would be forced to reckon with the fact that all these angry women might just have a point”.

Drivel such as this, trivialising women’s struggles, marks the media hagiographies of Hillary Clinton. Her political extremism and warmongering are of no consequence. Her problem, wrote Traister, was a “damaging infatuation with the email story”. The truth, in other words.

The leaked emails of Clinton’s campaign manager, John Podesta, revealed a direct connection between Clinton and the foundation and funding of organised jihadism in the Middle East and Islamic State (IS). The ultimate source of most Islamic terrorism, Saudi Arabia, was central to her career.

One email, in 2014, sent by Clinton to Podesta soon after she stepped down as US Secretary of State, discloses that Islamic State is funded by the governments of Saudi Arabia and Qatar. Clinton accepted huge donations from both governments for the Clinton Foundation.

As Secretary of State, she approved the world’s biggest ever arms sale to her benefactors in Saudi Arabia, worth more than $80 billion. Thanks to her, US arms sales to the world – for use in stricken countries like Yemen – doubled.

This was revealed by WikiLeaks and published by The New York Times. No one doubts the emails are authentic. The subsequent campaign to smear WikiLeaks and its editor-in-chief, Julian Assange, as “agents of Russia”, has grown into a spectacular fantasy known as “Russiagate”. The “plot” is said to have been signed off by Vladimir Putin himself.  There is not a shred of evidence.

The ABC Australia interview with Clinton is an outstanding example of smear and censorship by omission. I would say it is a model.

“No one,” the interviewer, Sarah Ferguson, says to Clinton, “could fail to be moved by the pain on your face at that moment [of the inauguration of Trump] … Do you remember how visceral it was for you?”

Having established Clinton’s visceral suffering, Ferguson asks about “Russia’s role”.

    CLINTON: I think Russia affected the perceptions and views of millions of voters, we now know. I think that their intention coming from the very top with Putin was to hurt me and to help Trump.

    FERGUSON: How much of that was a personal vendetta by Vladimir Putin against you?

    CLINTON: … I mean he wants to destabilise democracy. He wants to undermine America, he wants to go after the Atlantic Alliance and we consider Australia kind of a … an extension of that …

The opposite is true. It is Western armies that are massing on Russia’s border for the first time since the Russian Revolution 100 years ago.

    FERGUSON: How much damage did [Julian Assange] do personally to you?

    CLINTON: Well, I had a lot of history with him because I was Secretary of State when ah WikiLeaks published a lot of very sensitive ah information from our State Department and our Defence Department.

What Clinton fails to say – and her interviewer fails to remind her — is that in 2010, WikiLeaks revealed that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had ordered a secret intelligence campaign targeted at the United Nations leadership, including the Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon and the permanent Security Council representatives from China, Russia, France and the UK.

A classified directive, signed by Clinton, was issued to US diplomats in July 2009, demanding forensic technical details about the communications systems used by top UN officials, including passwords and personal encryption keys used in private and commercial networks.

This was known as Cablegate. It was lawless spying.

    CLINTON:  He [Assange] is very clearly a tool of Russian intelligence. And ah, he has done their bidding.

Clinton offered no evidence to back up this serious accusation, nor did Ferguson challenge her.

    CLINTON: You don’t see damaging negative information coming out about the Kremlin on WikiLeaks. You didn’t see any of that published.

This was false. WikiLeaks has published a massive number of documents on Russia – more than 800,000, most of them critical, many of them used in books and as evidence in court cases.

    CLINTON:  So I think Assange has become a kind of nihilistic opportunist who does the bidding of a dictator.

    FERGUSON:  Lots of people, including in Australia, think that Assange is a martyr for free speech and freedom of information. How would you describe him? Well, you’ve just described him as a nihilist.

    CLINTON:  Yeah, well, and a tool. I mean he’s a tool of Russian intelligence. And if he’s such a, you know, martyr of free speech, why doesn’t WikiLeaks ever publish anything coming out of Russia?

Again, Ferguson said nothing to challenge this or correct her.

    CLINTON: There was a concerted operation between WikiLeaks and Russia and most likely people in the United States to weaponise that information, to make up stories … to help Trump.

    FERGUSON: Now, along with some of those outlandish stories, there was information that was revealed about the Clinton Foundation that at least in some of the voters’ minds seemed to associate you ….

    CLINTON: Yeah, but it was false!

    FERGUSON: … with the peddling of information …

    CLINTON: It was false! It was totally false!  …..

    FERGUSON: Do you understand how difficult it was for some voters to understand the amounts of money that the [Clinton] Foundation is raising, the confusion with the consultancy that was also raising money, getting gifts and travel and so on for Bill Clinton that even Chelsea had some issues with? …

    CLINTON: Well you know, I’m sorry, Sarah, I mean I, I know the facts ….

The ABC interviewer lauded Clinton as “the icon of your generation”. She asked her nothing about the enormous sums she creamed off from Wall Street, such as the $675,000 she received for speaking at Goldman Sachs, one of the banks at the centre of the 2008 crash. Clinton’s greed deeply upset the kind of voters she abused as “deplorables”.

Clearly looking for a cheap headline in the Australian press, Ferguson asked her if Trump was “a clear and present danger to Australia” and got her predictable response.

This high-profile journalist made no mention of Clinton’s own “clear and present danger” to the people of Iran whom she once threatened to “obliterate totally”, and the 40,000 Libyans who died in the attack on Libya in 2011 that Clinton orchestrated. Flushed with excitement, the Secretary of State rejoiced at the gruesome murder of the Libyan leader, Colonel Gaddafi.

“Libya was Hillary Clinton’s war”, Julian Assange said in a filmed interview with me last year. “Barack Obama initially opposed it. Who was the person championing it?  Hillary Clinton.  That’s documented throughout her emails … there’s more than 1700 emails out of the 33,000 Hillary Clinton emails that we’ve published, just about Libya. It’s not that Libya has cheap oil. She perceived the removal of Gaddafi and the overthrow of the Libyan state — something that she would use in her run-up to the general election for President.

“So in late 2011 there is an internal document called the Libya Tick Tock  that was produced for Hillary Clinton, and it’s the chronological description of how she was the central figure in the destruction of the Libyan state, which resulted in around 40,000 deaths within Libya; jihadists moved in, ISIS moved in, leading to the European refugee and migrant crisis.

“Not only did you have people fleeing Libya, people fleeing Syria, the destabilisation of other African countries as a result of arms flows, but the Libyan state itself was no longer able to control the movement of people through it.”

This – not Clinton’s “visceral” pain in losing to Trump nor the rest of the self-serving scuttlebutt in her ABC interview  — was the story. Clinton shared responsibility for massively de-stabilising the Middle East, which led to the death, suffering and flight of thousands of women, men and children.

Ferguson raised not a word of it.  Clinton repeatedly defamed Assange, who was neither defended nor offered a right of reply on his own country’s state broadcaster.

In a tweet from London, Assange cited the ABC’s own Code of Practice, which states: “Where allegations are made about a person or organisation, make reasonable efforts in the circumstances to provide a fair opportunity to respond.”

Following the ABC broadcast, Ferguson’s  executive producer, Sally Neighbour, re-tweeted the following: “Assange is Putin’s bitch. We all know it!”

The slander, since deleted, was even used as a link to the ABC interview captioned ‘Assange is Putins (sic) b****. We all know it!’

In the years I have known Julian Assange, I have watched a vituperative personal campaign try to stop him and WikiLeaks. It has been a frontal assault on whistleblowing, on free speech and free journalism, all of which are now under sustained attack from governments and corporate internet controllers.

The first serious attacks on Assange came from the Guardian which, like a spurned lover, turned on its besieged former source, having hugely profited from WikiLeaks’ disclosures. With not a penny going to Assange or WikiLeaks, a Guardian book led to a lucrative Hollywood movie deal. Assange was portrayed as “callous” and a “damaged personality”.

It was as if a rampant jealousy could not accept that his remarkable achievements stood in marked contrast to that of his detractors in the “mainstream” media. It is like watching the guardians of the status quo, regardless of age, struggling to silence real dissent and prevent the emergence of the new and hopeful.

Today, Assange remains a political refugee from the war-making dark state of which Donald Trump is a caricature and Hillary Clinton the embodiment. His resilience and courage are astonishing. Unlike him, his tormentors are cowards.
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Offline RE

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💻 The Scourging of Julian Assange
« Reply #61 on: February 16, 2018, 12:02:17 AM »
https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/02/15/the-scourging-of-julian-assange/

February 15, 2018
The Scourging of Julian Assange

by John Wight


Photo by Jeanne Menjoulet | CC BY 2.0

Julian Assange’s latest attempt to have his outstanding UK arrest warrant dropped has failed in what stands as one of the most blatant and cruel examples of the British legal system being wielded as an instrument of persecution against a man whose only crime is speaking truth to power.

The judge presiding over his case, and who summarily dismissed it, was ‘Lady Arbuthnot of Edrom’. Yes, you read that right. In the second decade of the 21st century the UK legal system is still dominated by the kind of people whose morning workout consists of flogging the butler. Lady Arbuthnot also happens to be the wife of Tory peer and former junior Defence Minister Lord James Arbuthnot, whose father was Major Sir John Sinclair Wemyss Arbuthnot.

By now you should be getting the idea. These ridiculous products of privilege and the British public school system (private education for those unfamiliar with the quixotic and arcane code of the British ruling elite) are the guardians of a status quo of class oppression at home and imperialism abroad. In daring to rip off the mask of civility and moral rectitude behind which they and their masters in the US have long carried out their acts of brutality and barbarity at home and around the world, Assange is on the receiving end of their considerable wrath.

If Julian Assange had been confined to a foreign embassy in Moscow or Beijing for five years, on the same grounds on which he has been confined to the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, his plight would have been a cause celebre, sparking calls for boycotts, sanctions, and action at the UN on the part of free speech and prisoner of conscience liberals in the West who are never done excoriating Russia and China.

As it is the UN has already intervened in the matter of the plight of the Wikileaks founder. In February 2016 the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention determined that the “arbitrary detention of Julian Assange should be brought to an end, that his physical integrity and freedom of movement be respected, and that he should be entitled to an enforceable right to compensation.”

Given that the Swedish authorities dropped their investigation into the original charges of rape and sexual molestation – made against Assange in 2010 and which he has always denied and claims were politically motivated – the outstanding UK arrest warrant for breaching bail conditions in 2012 which relates to those charges is surely now moot. Julian Assange, you may recall, sought refuge in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London fearing not extradition to Sweden but to the US over his role as founder and public face of Wikileaks.

In 2018 not only does the threat of extradition to the US continue to hang over him with this outstanding UK arrest warrant, if anything the threat is even greater, what with the part Wikileaks played in disseminating damning facts about Hillary Clinton, the Clinton Foundation, and the leadership of the DNC in the run up to the 2016 US presidential election. The ensuing Washington liberal establishment rage that has ensued as a result of Clinton losing the election to Donald Trump has been positively volcanic.

Clinton, her supporters, and elements of the Washington establishment claim that the information Wikileaks published came by way of Russian hacking, while Assange and groups such as Veterans Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS), made up of former US intelligence operatives and officials, maintain that the information came by way of a leak within Washington itself. Meanwhile, up to this point, the investigation into alleged Russian hacking, Russiagate, is yet to produce one scintilla of concrete evidence that any such hacking on the part of Moscow took place.

Again, the real crime Julian Assange committed was not breaching his bail conditions but daring to speak truth to power. Wikileaks under his stewardship has become the bête noire of governments, particularly Western governments, revealing the ugly truth of crimes committed by US forces in Iraq, the West’s role in the destabilization of Ukraine in 2014, the destruction of Libya – and this is without the part the whistleblowing outfit played in exposing Hillary Clinton as a politician whose record is a monument to mendacity.

Wikileaks is and continues to be a thorn in their side and must be destroyed. Which means that Julian Assange must be destroyed, a man who teaches us that believing you live in a free society and actually behaving as if you do is not the same thing. The former allows you to exist in a bubble of soporific comfort, while the latter is liable to get you confined to a foreign embassy for five years and counting.

The personal toll on Assange’s physical and psychological well being as a result of his confinement should not be overlooked. Indeed the toll it is having was recently confirmed by the medical opinion of two clinicians, who upon examining Assange at the embassy in October 2017 renewed calls for him to be granted safe passage to a London hospital for treatment. In an article for the Guardian, the clinicians write: “While the results of the evaluation are protected by doctor-patient confidentiality, it is our professional opinion that his continued confinement is dangerous physically and mentally to him and a clear infringement of his human right to healthcare.”

It bears repeating: Julian Assange, as was Chelsea Manning, as will be Edward Snowden if he dares set foot outside Russia, is being punished for removing the veil of freedom, human rights, and civil liberties from the face of an empire of hypocrisy and lies. They lied about Iraq, they lied about Libya, they lied about Syria, and they lie every day about the murky relationships between governments, corporations, and the rich that negates their oft made claims to be governing in the interests of the people.

Until Julian Assange is free none of us are.
« Last Edit: February 16, 2018, 12:05:09 AM by RE »
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Offline RE

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📡 Julian Assange has internet cut at Ecuadorian embassy in London
« Reply #62 on: March 29, 2018, 01:40:03 AM »
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-43573694

Julian Assange has internet cut at Ecuadorian embassy in London

    28 March 2018


Image caption Mr Assange has been holed up at the Ecuadorian embassy since 2012

Ecuador has cut Julian Assange's internet connection at its embassy in London, preventing him from communicating with the outside world.

The move is to prevent the WikiLeaks founder from interfering in other countries' affairs, Ecuador said.

It comes after Mr Assange questioned accusations that Moscow was responsible for the poisoning of a Russian ex-spy and his daughter in the UK on 4 March.

Mr Assange was granted political asylum at the Ecuadorian embassy in 2012.

He was initially staying in London to avoid extradition to Sweden to face questioning over allegations of sex crimes, which the 46-year-old has always denied.

The Swedish authorities have since dropped their investigation, but Mr Assange believes he will be extradited to the US for questioning over the activities of WikiLeaks if he leaves the building.

    Campaigner or attention-seeker?
    Baywatch star's 'love' for Assange

On Monday, Mr Assange used Twitter to question the decision by the UK and more than 20 other countries to retaliate against a nerve agent attack on Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in the UK city of Salisbury by expelling Russian diplomats.
Image Copyright @JulianAssange @JulianAssange
Report

UK Foreign Office minister Alan Duncan responded to his comments by branding the Australian a "miserable little worm" who needs to turn himself over to authorities.

In 2016, Ecuador briefly suspended Mr Assange's internet connection after he published hacked emails from the campaign team of Hillary Clinton, a move seen as having an impact on the US presidential election campaign.

In May 2017, Ecuadorian President Lenin Moreno asked Mr Assange to refrain from expressing his public support for the independence campaign in Spain's Catalonia region after he tweeted that Madrid was guilty of "repression".

Mr Assange was granted asylum by President Moreno's predecessor, Rafael Correa.

Mr Moreno's government has said it will maintain Mr Assange's asylum. But it has also sought ways for him to leave the embassy without risking arrest for breaching his bail conditions, and possible extradition to the US over the 2010 publication of classified information by WikiLeaks.
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Offline RE

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⛔ The Isolation of Julian Assange Must Stop
« Reply #63 on: April 02, 2018, 02:32:03 AM »
https://www.globalresearch.ca/the-isolation-of-julian-assange-must-stop/5634306

The Isolation of Julian Assange Must Stop
We call on the government of Ecuador to allow Julian Assange his right of freedom of speech.
By John Pilger
Global Research, April 02, 2018
Region: Latin America & Caribbean
Theme: Law and Justice, Police State & Civil Rights


If it was ever clear that the case of Julian Assange was never just a legal case, but a struggle for the protection of basic human rights, it is now.

Citing his critical tweets about the recent detention of Catalan president Carles Puidgemont in Germany, and following pressure from the US, Spanish and UK governments, the Ecuadorian government has installed an electronic jammer to stop Assange communicating with the outside world via the internet and phone. As if ensuring his total isolation, the Ecuadorian government is also refusing to allow him to receive visitors. Despite two UN rulings describing his detention as unlawful and mandating his immediate release, Assange has been effectively imprisoned since he was first placed in isolation in Wandsworth prison in London in December 2010. He has never been charged with a crime. The Swedish case against him collapsed and was withdrawn, while the United States has stepped up efforts to prosecute him. His only “crime” is that of a true journalist — telling the world the truths that people have a right to know.

Under its previous president, the Ecuadorian government bravely stood against the bullying might of the United States and granted Assange political asylum as a political refugee. International law and the morality of human rights was on its side.

Today, under extreme pressure from Washington and its collaborators, another government in Ecuador justifies its gagging of Assange by stating that “Assange’s behaviour, through his messages on social media, put at risk good relations which this country has with the UK, the rest of the EU and other nations.”

This censorious attack on free speech is not happening in Turkey, Saudi Arabia or China; it is right in the heart of London. If the Ecuadorian government does not cease its unworthy action, it, too, will become an agent of persecution rather than the valiant nation that stood up for freedom and for free speech. If the EU and the UK continue to participate in the scandalous silencing of a true dissident in their midst, it will mean that free speech is indeed dying in Europe.

This is not just a matter of showing support and solidarity. We are appealing to all who care about basic human rights to call on the government of Ecuador to continue defending the rights of a courageous free speech activist, journalist and whistleblower.

We ask that his basic human rights be respected as an Ecuadorian citizen and internationally protected person and that he not be silenced or expelled.

If there is no freedom of speech for Julian Assange, there is no freedom of speech for any of us — regardless of the disparate opinions we hold.

We call on President Moreno to end the isolation of Julian Assange now.

List of signatories (in alphabetic order):

Pamela Anderson, actress and activist

Jacob Appelbaum, freelance journalist

Renata Avila, International Human Rights Lawyer

Sally Burch, British/Ecuadorian journalist

Alicia Castro, Argentina’s ambassador to the United Kingdom 2012-16

Naomi Colvin, Courage Foundation

Noam Chomsky, linguist and political theorist

Brian Eno, musician

Joseph Farrell, WikiLeaks Ambassador and board member of The Centre for Investigative Journalism

Teresa Forcades, Benedictine nun, Montserrat Monastery

Charles Glass, American-British author, journalist, broadcaster

Chris Hedges, journalist

Srećko Horvat, philosopher, Democracy in Europe Movement (DiEM25)

Jean Michel Jarre, musician

John Kiriakou, former CIA counterterrorism officer and former senior investigator, U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations

Lauri Love, computer scientist and activist

Ray McGovern, former CIA analyst, Presidential advisor

John Pilger, journalist and film-maker

Angela Richter, theater director, Germany

Saskia Sassen, sociologist, Columbia University

Oliver Stone, film-maker

Vaughan Smith, English journalist

Yanis Varoufakis, economist, former Greek finance minister

Natalia Viana, investigative journalist and co-director of Agencia publica, Brazil

Ai Weiwei, artist

Vivienne Westwood, fashion designer and activist

Slavoj Žižek, philosopher, Birkbeck Institute for Humanities
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Offline RE

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🥇 The Persecution Of Assange Proves Him Right
« Reply #64 on: April 04, 2018, 01:22:44 AM »
Go to the link for the Tweets.

RE

http://www.greanvillepost.com/2018/04/01/the-persecution-of-assange-proves-him-right/

The Persecution Of Assange Proves Him Right
April 1, 2018 Posted by Addison dePitt


HELP ENLIGHTEN YOUR FELLOWS. BE SURE TO PASS THIS ON. SURVIVAL DEPENDS ON IT.
IN OUR VIEW ONE HAS TO WONDER IF THE MASSES OF IDIOTS PROCLAIMING THAT ASSANGE CAN LEAVE THE EMBASSY ANYTIME HE WANTS ARE REAL PEOPLE OR BOTS PLANTED IN NUMEROUS SOCIAL MEDIA BY THE EMPIRE.

The online Oxford dictionary defines the word siege as a “military operation in which enemy forces surround a town or building, cutting off essential supplies, with the aim of compelling those inside to surrender.”

The strategy dates back to medieval times after the proliferation of the castle, where a defending force could hole itself up inside an easily defended fortress against an invading enemy who would be at a major disadvantage in a direct attack. To get around this, an army who wanted to depose the leadership within a castle or other impregnable construct would simply surround it and refuse to allow any food or supplies to be brought in. With enough patience, those inside would be forced to either starve or surrender.

This is precisely the strategy that is being employed against Julian Assange. If you try to talk about Assange being in a state of functional house arrest on any online forum you will be swiftly inundated by accounts asserting in fascinatingly uniform language that Assange is free to leave the Ecuadorian embassy whenever he wants, which just so happens to be the desire of the empire which currently has him under siege.

Doctors who examined Assange earlier this year say that his health is in a “dangerous” state of deterioration. They had to conduct their examination using improvised means in an unsanitary environment because the embassy isn’t set up for medical examinations, much less healthcare. They say he badly needs care, and he can’t get that care from where he’s at.

In her epic breakdown of the way perception of WikiLeaks is being extensively manipulated by the empire titled “Being Julian Assange“, journalist Suzie Dawson thoroughly documents the effects that Assange’s detention are having on his mental and physical well being. Here is a small sample:

“In his most recent live appearance, Assange is insightful, learned and brilliant as ever. But he is visibly suffering the ever exacerbating physical effects of his 7 year confinement.

After more than half a decade without fresh air to breathe, he coughs and clears his throat constantly. He struggles to maintain cognitive flow – breaking and reforming his thoughts, soldiering on in a concerted effort to express his ideas. It is obvious to any viewer that his vision has been affected. Our eyes need regular exposure to both short and long distances, as well as natural light changes, to maintain their health. With only four close walls to look at, Assange faces partial blindness, as well as a host of other negative effects from his unjust confinement.

Although there are countless social media threads and tweets circulating about Julian and WikiLeaks every day, few if any seem to register the serious and grave possibility that, immersed in our collective complacency, we may lose them forever.”

Julian Assange cannot “leave whenever he wants”. A judge with severely corrupt ties ruled in February that his arrest warrant still stands for an absurd bail-jumping charge from 2012 that Assange has already served his sentence for many times over according to the law as it is written. As soon as he sets foot outside the embassy he will most certainly be arrested, and then most certainly extradited to the US where the Trump administration is aggressively pursuing his arrest.

Chelsea Manning was tortured. CIA black sites exist. The hoards of online trolls promulgating the narrative that Assange can “leave whenever he wants” would crack like eggs under the treatment that is inflicted upon individuals who have dared to stand up to the US-centralized empire.

Assange isn’t hiding from justice, he is hiding from injustice. There is no reason to believe that this draconian empire would give him a fair trial and humane treatment. He can no more “leave whenever he wants” than he could if there was a firing squad stationed outside the embassy door.

And now this same western empire has pressured Ecuador into cutting off Assange’s internet access, phone calls and visitors to its siege, with electronic jammers being placed inside the embassy to make doubly certain that he is completely cut off from the world. A whole new array of weapons have been added to the empire’s siege, and it’s getting a lot hotter in there.

What all this has done, however, is prove irrefutably that Julian Assange has been right all along. The empire that he has been railing against throughout his entire time in the spotlight is every bit as depraved, oppressive and Orwellian as he has claimed, and is unquestionably deserving of his relentless assault upon it.

If you speak out against the US-centralized empire, you will be silenced. If you expose the truth about it, it will lay siege to you until you either surrender or die. Dissent is being stomped out. Truth is being attacked.

Light is feared by vampires.

And we need to be real with ourselves: their siege might work. They may well succeed in squeezing the life out of Assange until he either sets foot outside the embassy, cracks under the mental pressure, or dies, and in any of those cases his voice will be cut off from the world forever.

But remember this! Never, ever forget this: if their siege does work and the empire finally does get its sociopathic claws on him alive or dead, all they will have accomplished is showing the world just how right he always was. They will force us all to become Julian Assange in order to take apart the oppression machine which forever snuffed out the voice of truth one day in London, and we will let truth roar through all of us.

No matter what the brainwashed MSM zombies tell you, any power establishment which will stomp out the voice of someone who simply shares facts about it is worthy of nothing other than relentless tooth-and-claw opposition.

Assange is right. He has always been right. Let’s take these bastards down.


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🌍 Ecuador hints it may hand over Julian Assange to Britain and the US
« Reply #65 on: May 15, 2018, 03:04:49 AM »
http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2018/05/12/assa-m12.html

Ecuador hints it may hand over Julian Assange to Britain and the US
By James Cogan
12 May 2018


Julian Assange is in immense danger. Remarks made this week by Ecuador’s foreign minister suggest that her government may be preparing to renege on the political asylum it granted to the WikiLeaks editor in 2012 and hand him over to British and then American authorities.

On March 28, under immense pressure from the governments in the US, Britain and other powers, Ecuador imposed a complete ban on Assange having any Internet or phone contact with the outside world, and blocked his friends and supporters from physically visiting him. For 45 days, he has not been heard from.

Ecuadorian Foreign Minister Maria Fernanda Espinosa stated in a Spanish-language interview on Wednesday that her government and Britain “have the intention and the interest that this be resolved.” Moves were underway, she said, to reach a “definite agreement” on Assange.

If Assange falls into the hands of the British state, he faces being turned over to the US. Last year, US Attorney General Jeff Sessions stated that putting Assange on trial for espionage was a “priority.” CIA director Mike Pompeo, now secretary of state, asserted that WikiLeaks was a “non-state hostile intelligence service.”

In 2010, WikiLeaks courageously published information leaked by then Private Bradley [now Chelsea] Manning that exposed war crimes committed by American forces in Iraq and Afghanistan. WikiLeaks also published, in partnership with some of the world’s major newspapers, tens of thousands of secret diplomatic cables, exposing the daily anti-democratic intrigues of US imperialism and numerous other governments.

For that, Assange was relentlessly persecuted by the Obama administration. By November 2010, it had convened a secret grand jury and had a warrant issued for his arrest on charges of espionage—charges that can carry the death sentence. The then Labor Party government in Australia headed by Prime Minister Julia Gillard threw Assange, an Australian citizen, to the wolves. It refused to provide him any defence and declared it would work with the US to have him detained and put on trial.

On June 19, 2012, under conditions in which he faced extradition to Sweden to answer questions over fabricated allegations of sexual assault, and the prospect of rendition to the United States, Assange sought asylum in the Ecuador’s embassy in London.

Since that time, for nearly six years, he has been largely confined to a small room with no direct sunlight. He has been prevented from leaving, even to obtain medical treatment, by the British government’s insistence it will arrest him for breaching bail as soon as he sets foot outside the embassy.

Now, for six weeks and three days, he has been denied even the right to communicate.

Jennifer Robinson, the British-based Australian lawyer who has represented Assange since 2010, told the London Times in an interview this month: “His health situation is terrible. He’s had a problem with his shoulder for a very long time. It requires an MRI [magnetic resonance imaging scan], which cannot be done within the embassy. He’s got dental issues. And then there’s the long-term impact of not being outside, his visual impairment. He wouldn’t be able to see further than from here to the end of this hallway.”

The effort to haul Assange before a US court is inseparable from the broader campaign underway by the American state and allied governments to impose sweeping censorship on the Internet. Lurid allegations of “Russian meddling” in the 2016 US election and denunciations of “fake news” have been used to demand that Google, Facebook and other conglomerates block users from accessing websites that publish critical commentary and exposures of the ruling class and its agencies—including WikiLeaks and the World Socialist Web Site.

WikiLeaks has been absurdly denounced as “pro-Russia” because it published leaks from the US Democratic Party National Committee that revealed the anti-democratic intrigues the party’s leaders carried out to undermine the campaign of Bernie Sanders in the 2016 presidential primary elections. It also published leaked speeches of presidential candidate Hillary Clinton that further exposed her intimate relations with Wall Street banks and companies.

As part of the justification for Internet censorship, US intelligence agencies allege, without any evidence, that the information was hacked by Russian operatives and supplied to WikiLeaks to undermine Clinton and assist Trump—whom Moscow purportedly considered the “lesser evil.”

In response to the hysterical allegations, WikiLeaks broke its own tradition of not commenting on its sources. It publicly denied that Russia was the source of the leaks. That has not prevented the campaign from continuing, with Assange even being labelled “the Kremlin’s useful idiot” in pro-Democratic Party circles. WikiLeaks is blamed for Clinton’s defeat, not the reality, that tens of millions of American workers were repulsed by her right-wing, pro-war campaign and refused to vote for her.

Under conditions in which the Ecuadorian government has capitulated to great power pressure and is collaborating with British and US agencies to break Julian Assange, there is an almost universal and reprehensible silence on the part of dozens of organisations and hundreds of individuals who once claimed to defend him and WikiLeaks.

The United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, which in February 2016 condemned Assange’s persecution as “a form of arbitrary detention” and called for his release, has issued no statement on his current situation.

In Britain, the Labour Party and its leader Jeremy Corbyn have said nothing on the actions by Ecuador. Nor have they opposed the determination of the Conservative government to arrest Assange if he leaves the embassy.

In Australia, the current Liberal-National government and Labor leadership are just as complicit. The Greens, which claimed to oppose the persecution of Assange, have not made any statement in parliament or issued a press release, let alone called for public protests. Hundreds of editors, journalists, academics, artists and lawyers across the country who publicly defended WikiLeaks in 2010 and 2011 are now mute.

A parallel situation prevails across Europe and in the US. The so-called parties of the “left” and the trade unions are all tacitly endorsing the vicious drive against Assange.

Around the world, the Stalinist and Pabloite pseudo-left organisations, anxious not to disrupt their sordid relations with the parties of the political establishment and the trade union apparatuses, are likewise silent.

The World Socialist Web Site and the International Committee of the Fourth International unconditionally defend Julian Assange and WikiLeaks. If the ruling elite can haul him before a court, it will hold him up as an example of what happens to those who speak out against social inequality, militarism, war and police-state measures. His prosecution would be used to try to intimidate and silence all dissent.

If Assange is imprisoned or worse, and WikiLeaks shut down, it will be a serious blow to the democratic rights of the entire international working class.

Workers and young people should join with the WSWS and ICFI in demanding and fighting for the immediate freedom of Julian Assange.
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http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2018/05/12/assa-m12.html

Ecuador hints it may hand over Julian Assange to Britain and the US
By James Cogan
12 May 2018


Julian Assange is in immense danger. Remarks made this week by Ecuador’s foreign minister suggest that her government may be preparing to renege on the political asylum it granted to the WikiLeaks editor in 2012 and hand him over to British and then American authorities.

On March 28, under immense pressure from the governments in the US, Britain and other powers, Ecuador imposed a complete ban on Assange having any Internet or phone contact with the outside world, and blocked his friends and supporters from physically visiting him. For 45 days, he has not been heard from.

Ecuadorian Foreign Minister Maria Fernanda Espinosa stated in a Spanish-language interview on Wednesday that her government and Britain “have the intention and the interest that this be resolved.” Moves were underway, she said, to reach a “definite agreement” on Assange.

If Assange falls into the hands of the British state, he faces being turned over to the US. Last year, US Attorney General Jeff Sessions stated that putting Assange on trial for espionage was a “priority.” CIA director Mike Pompeo, now secretary of state, asserted that WikiLeaks was a “non-state hostile intelligence service.”

In 2010, WikiLeaks courageously published information leaked by then Private Bradley [now Chelsea] Manning that exposed war crimes committed by American forces in Iraq and Afghanistan. WikiLeaks also published, in partnership with some of the world’s major newspapers, tens of thousands of secret diplomatic cables, exposing the daily anti-democratic intrigues of US imperialism and numerous other governments.

For that, Assange was relentlessly persecuted by the Obama administration. By November 2010, it had convened a secret grand jury and had a warrant issued for his arrest on charges of espionage—charges that can carry the death sentence. The then Labor Party government in Australia headed by Prime Minister Julia Gillard threw Assange, an Australian citizen, to the wolves. It refused to provide him any defence and declared it would work with the US to have him detained and put on trial.

On June 19, 2012, under conditions in which he faced extradition to Sweden to answer questions over fabricated allegations of sexual assault, and the prospect of rendition to the United States, Assange sought asylum in the Ecuador’s embassy in London.

Since that time, for nearly six years, he has been largely confined to a small room with no direct sunlight. He has been prevented from leaving, even to obtain medical treatment, by the British government’s insistence it will arrest him for breaching bail as soon as he sets foot outside the embassy.

Now, for six weeks and three days, he has been denied even the right to communicate.

Jennifer Robinson, the British-based Australian lawyer who has represented Assange since 2010, told the London Times in an interview this month: “His health situation is terrible. He’s had a problem with his shoulder for a very long time. It requires an MRI [magnetic resonance imaging scan], which cannot be done within the embassy. He’s got dental issues. And then there’s the long-term impact of not being outside, his visual impairment. He wouldn’t be able to see further than from here to the end of this hallway.”

The effort to haul Assange before a US court is inseparable from the broader campaign underway by the American state and allied governments to impose sweeping censorship on the Internet. Lurid allegations of “Russian meddling” in the 2016 US election and denunciations of “fake news” have been used to demand that Google, Facebook and other conglomerates block users from accessing websites that publish critical commentary and exposures of the ruling class and its agencies—including WikiLeaks and the World Socialist Web Site.

WikiLeaks has been absurdly denounced as “pro-Russia” because it published leaks from the US Democratic Party National Committee that revealed the anti-democratic intrigues the party’s leaders carried out to undermine the campaign of Bernie Sanders in the 2016 presidential primary elections. It also published leaked speeches of presidential candidate Hillary Clinton that further exposed her intimate relations with Wall Street banks and companies.

As part of the justification for Internet censorship, US intelligence agencies allege, without any evidence, that the information was hacked by Russian operatives and supplied to WikiLeaks to undermine Clinton and assist Trump—whom Moscow purportedly considered the “lesser evil.”

In response to the hysterical allegations, WikiLeaks broke its own tradition of not commenting on its sources. It publicly denied that Russia was the source of the leaks. That has not prevented the campaign from continuing, with Assange even being labelled “the Kremlin’s useful idiot” in pro-Democratic Party circles. WikiLeaks is blamed for Clinton’s defeat, not the reality, that tens of millions of American workers were repulsed by her right-wing, pro-war campaign and refused to vote for her.

Under conditions in which the Ecuadorian government has capitulated to great power pressure and is collaborating with British and US agencies to break Julian Assange, there is an almost universal and reprehensible silence on the part of dozens of organisations and hundreds of individuals who once claimed to defend him and WikiLeaks.

The United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, which in February 2016 condemned Assange’s persecution as “a form of arbitrary detention” and called for his release, has issued no statement on his current situation.

In Britain, the Labour Party and its leader Jeremy Corbyn have said nothing on the actions by Ecuador. Nor have they opposed the determination of the Conservative government to arrest Assange if he leaves the embassy.

In Australia, the current Liberal-National government and Labor leadership are just as complicit. The Greens, which claimed to oppose the persecution of Assange, have not made any statement in parliament or issued a press release, let alone called for public protests. Hundreds of editors, journalists, academics, artists and lawyers across the country who publicly defended WikiLeaks in 2010 and 2011 are now mute.

A parallel situation prevails across Europe and in the US. The so-called parties of the “left” and the trade unions are all tacitly endorsing the vicious drive against Assange.

Around the world, the Stalinist and Pabloite pseudo-left organisations, anxious not to disrupt their sordid relations with the parties of the political establishment and the trade union apparatuses, are likewise silent.

The World Socialist Web Site and the International Committee of the Fourth International unconditionally defend Julian Assange and WikiLeaks. If the ruling elite can haul him before a court, it will hold him up as an example of what happens to those who speak out against social inequality, militarism, war and police-state measures. His prosecution would be used to try to intimidate and silence all dissent.

If Assange is imprisoned or worse, and WikiLeaks shut down, it will be a serious blow to the democratic rights of the entire international working class.

Workers and young people should join with the WSWS and ICFI in demanding and fighting for the immediate freedom of Julian Assange.

I posted this yesterday, fwiw.
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I posted this yesterday, fwiw.

Missed it.  Should be interesting if/when they boot him out the Embassy door.

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Is Julian Assange About to be Arrested?
« Reply #68 on: May 27, 2018, 09:11:05 AM »
https://www.globalresearch.ca/is-julian-assange-about-to-be-arrested/5641916

Is Julian Assange About to be Arrested?
By True Publica
Global Research, May 26, 2018
TruePublica 25 May 2018
Region: Latin America & Caribbean
Theme: Law and Justice, Media Disinformation

According to numerous mainstream media reports, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is about to be forced to leave the Ecuadorian embassy in London. If that happened, he would face imminent arrest by British authorities and extradition to the US, where he would probably face life imprisonment on the one hand or execution on espionage charges on the other. The latter being the preferred option for the Trump administration.

It has now been exactly two months since Assange has been denied visitors and any outside communications since the Ecuadorian government cut off his access on March 28. He has no internet, phone, television and is no longer allowed visitors at all.

The truth is, no-one actually knows if Assange is still actually on the Ecuadorian premises.

Ecuador gave citizenship to Assange prior to their recent general election in the hope of providing safe transit out of England by giving him diplomatic status. However, the British government continued in its assigned role of jailer by fully rejecting Ecuador’s request for diplomatic status for Assange.

A British tribunal refused to release any documents pertaining to the reasons as to why Assange remains in an effective prison, at taxpayers expense, on the grounds that it had to protect the British Prosecution Service’s relationship with foreign authorities – in this case, the USA.

Britain is doing Washington’s dirty work and given the heavily increased ‘chatter’ on Assange’s fate – it is quite likely the British government is looking for public reaction to be muted enough to simply arrest him, go through the motions and send Assange to certain solitary confinement on death row.

The signs are not good. Since the new Equidorian President Mr Moreno was recently elected he described Mr Assange as an ‘inherited problem’ and ‘more than a nuisance.’

Mr Assange’s lawyer, Melinda Taylor, said:

    “For the last eight years, the UK has refused to either confirm or deny that they have received an extradition request from the US.”

Taylor continued:

    ‘At the same time, they have refused to provide assurances that Julian will not be extradited to the US if such a request were to be received, and maintained an ever-present vigil of the Embassy, notwithstanding a UN directive to take steps to ensure Julian’s immediate liberty. Their silence speaks volumes, particularly in light of recent statements from US officials that Julian’s arrest and extradition are a priority.’”

Foreign Policy Journal opines that:

    “Britain, as the most servile of Washington’s puppet states rejected the order by the UN Committee on Arbitrary Detention to immediately release Assange from his arbitrary detention.”

The mainstream media have obviously been alerted to quite possibly what will happen next. The language of the salivating establishment press is all too clear and clear:

    CNN: Julian Assange’s nearly six-year refuge at the Ecuadorian embassy in London is in danger, opening the WikiLeaks founder to arrest by British authorities and potential extradition to the US, multiple sources with knowledge tell CNN.
    NewYorkPost: WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange may have overstayed his welcome at the Ecuadoran embassy in London, where his situation is “unusually bad” and he could be forced out “any day now.”
    Daily Express: Julian Assange is on the verge of “eviction” from the Ecuadorian embassy in London, where he has been holed out for the last six years.
    Daily Mail: Julian Assange’s situation at the London Ecuadorian embassy is ‘unusually bad’ – the new President of Ecuador, Lenin Moreno, ordered the removal of extra security at the embassy.

Nowhere does the media report in this latest round of growing excitement that the United Nations has already fully stated that Assange’s detention is illegal based on international law. In a public statement, the UN called on the British authorities to end Julian Assange’s deprivation of liberty, respect his physical integrity and freedom of movement, and afford him the right to compensation.

Julian Assange is a political prisoner of Britain. This is a country who teaches its children by law, through a defined curriculum that British values include: “democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, mutual respect for and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs and for those without faith.”

Irrespective of your personal thoughts on whether Assange is a criminal or not, two of the five most basic principles of civil society in Britain has been completely discarded by the state in its subservience to a foreign power, in this case, Washington. It is a further sign of the breakdown of law and order in a country who once prided itself in such characteristics as justice.
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📡 FREE JULIAN ASSANGE!
« Reply #69 on: June 06, 2018, 12:22:11 AM »
https://www.greanvillepost.com/2018/06/04/lift-the-ban-on-communications-free-julian-assange/

Lift the ban on communications! Free Julian Assange!
June 4, 2018 Posted by Addison dePitt


BE SURE TO PASS THESE ARTICLES TO FRIENDS AND KIN. A LOT DEPENDS ON THIS. DO YOUR PART.

By James Cogan, wsws.org

    “The American state and its allies are seeking to destroy WikiLeaks and Julian Assange in order to intimidate every critical and independent media organisation…”

June 6 will mark 10 weeks since the Ecuadorian government blocked all communication by WikiLeaks’ editor Julian Assange with the outside world, including personal visitors. Assange has been trapped inside the Ecuadorian embassy in London since 2012, when Quito granted him asylum in the face of a legal witch-hunt by the governments of the United States, Britain and Sweden.

Britain was moving to extradite Assange to Sweden on trumped-up allegations of sexual abuse as the first step in transferring him to the US to face charges of espionage, which carry a possible death sentence. Washington had vowed to punish Assange for having exposed before the world war crimes committed by the US in Iraq and Afghanistan as well as US intrigues against other countries.

In remarks last Wednesday, Ecuadorian President Lenín Moreno attempted to defend the silencing of Assange. He sought to deny—unconvincingly—that this action was the outcome of his government’s capitulation to pressure and threats by the United States.

Moreno put forward an Orwellian conception of freedom of speech that lines up entirely with the standpoint of American imperialism and every enemy of democratic rights. Renouncing WikiLeaks’ right—and the right of all journalists and media—to publish information that reveals government and corporate criminality or challenges official propaganda, the Ecuadorian president asserted: “There are two types of liberty. The responsible liberty and the liberty in which everyone thinks they can do whatever they want, whenever they want and however they want. That is not liberty. Liberty must be used with a lot of responsibility.”
“Britain was moving to extradite Assange to Sweden on trumped-up allegations of sexual abuse as the first step in transferring him to the US to face charges of espionage, which carry a possible death sentence. Washington had vowed to punish Assange for having exposed before the world war crimes committed by the US in Iraq and Afghanistan as well as US intrigues against other countries…”

Moreno stated that the WikiLeaks editor had to accept that the “conditions of his asylum prevent him speaking out about politics or intervening in the politics of other countries.” He threatened that if Assange did not submit to such terms, Ecuador would “take a decision” to revoke its granting of asylum.

Assange’s entire mission in forming WikiLeaks in 2006 was to enable people to use the immense power of the Internet to break through the “responsible” disinformation and censorship that prevails in the corporate-controlled and state-owned media. All critical and independent journalism, by its very nature, involves “speaking out about politics.”

Assange is now in grave danger. It is more than two years since a United Nations working group condemned the British government for enforcing Assange’s “arbitrary detention,” calling it a “contravention of his fundamental human rights.”

His lawyer Jennifer Robinson and supporter Pamela Anderson have publicly warned in recent weeks about the seriousness of his medical condition. For six years, he has been confined in a small building with no access to sunlight or adequate medical treatment. For 10 weeks he has been subjected to the additional psychological pressure of what Moreno declares will be ongoing, indefinite isolation.

A calculated operation is underway to break the WikiLeaks editor. Moreno’s statements only underscore that the aim is to force him to “voluntarily” leave the Ecuadorian embassy, to be taken by waiting British police and placed in detention on bail-related charges without any means of contacting the outside world. That would be followed by further months or years of imprisonment while his legal defenders fight American extradition warrants.

The government of Australia, where Assange was born and holds citizenship, bears immense responsibility for the situation. In late 2010, instead of defending an Australian citizen whose rights were under attack, the Labor Party government of Prime Minister Julia Gillard sided with Washington. It labelled WikiLeaks’ actions “illegal” and declared it would support the prosecution of Assange for espionage. The current Liberal-National coalition government has not lifted a finger to oppose his ongoing persecution.

The American state and its allies are seeking to destroy WikiLeaks and Julian Assange in order to intimidate every critical and independent media organisation. The aim is to suppress the exposure of the crimes and lies of governments and to silence all those who seek to defend democratic rights and freedom of speech.

The attack on Assange is bound up with the aggressive moves by US and global intelligence agencies, working with social media and Internet companies, to suppress left-wing, anti-war and socialist views online. A pall of censorship is descending over the Internet, the most democratic form of communication in human history.

The International Committee of the Fourth International (ICFI) and its publication, the World Socialist Web Site, are urging resistance. We call for the greatest possible international mobilisation in defence of WikiLeaks and Julian Assange. This is an essential part of a broader fight to defend Internet freedom, freedom of speech and all social and democratic rights of the working class.

A historical crossroads has been reached. Organisations and individuals will be judged by where they stand in this basic conflict over democratic rights.

The Socialist Equality Party, the Australian section of the ICFI, has called a demonstration in Sydney for 1:00 p.m. on Sunday, June 17 at the Sydney Town Hall Square. It is being held in conjunction with acclaimed journalist and filmmaker John Pilger, an unwavering defender of WikiLeaks, Julian Assange, media freedom and democratic rights.

The demonstration has also been endorsed by prominent civil liberties attorney Julian Burnside and by Terry Hicks, who waged a five-year struggle against the imprisonment of his son, David Hicks, in the hell-hole US prison camp at Guantanamo Bay.

Musician Roger Waters of Pink Floyd fame, who has for decades spoken out against war and injustice, has sent the WSWS a message of support endorsing action to defend WikiLeaks. On the stage of his concerts in Berlin over the weekend he posted the call: “Resist the Attempted Silencing of Julian Assange.”

The demonstration in Sydney will press the demand that the Australian government act immediately to secure Assange’s unconditional return to Australia, with a guarantee against any American attempt to extradite him to the US.

A vigil demanding freedom for Julian Assange will be taking place in London at the Ecuadorian embassy on Tuesday, June 19. The May government must end its persecution of Assange, drop the bail-related charges against him and allow him to leave the Ecuadorian embassy and the UK. Similar vigils on June 19 are being held in other cities around the world.

In contrast, a whole layer of trade union, Green Party and pseudo-left organisations that voiced support for WikiLeaks and Assange in 2010 and 2011 have repudiated any struggle against his persecution. They have shifted to supporting imperialism.

The working class and the youth, however, are entering into immense struggles, and there is enormous respect among them for Assange and WikiLeaks. The social force that will lead the fight to defend democratic rights is the international working class, as part of a broader struggle to secure its social rights and oppose war, inequality and the capitalist system.

We urge readers of the WSWS to turn to the workplaces, factories, campuses and high schools to fight for maximum support for the demonstrations and vigils demanding freedom for Julian Assange.
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The author is a reporter with wsws.org, a leading political analysis organization and publication arm of SEP (Social Equality Party).
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Julian Assange
« Reply #70 on: June 08, 2018, 11:40:43 PM »
https://medium.com/@caityjohnstone/why-bringing-assange-home-would-be-the-best-possible-thing-for-australia-5b897d509997
Why Bringing Assange Home Would Be The Best Possible Thing For Australia
Caitlin Johnstone
9 June 2018

Well I’ll be damned, it’s about time.

According to a new report by the Sydney Morning Herald, officials from Australia’s High Commission have just been spotted leaving the Ecuadorian embassy in London, accompanied by Julian Assange’s lawyer Jennifer Robinson. Robinson confirmed that a meeting had taken place, but declined to say what it was about “given the delicate diplomatic situation.”

So, forgive me if I squee a bit. I am aware how subservient Australia has historically been to US interests, I am aware that those US interests entail the arrest of Assange and the destruction of WikiLeaks, and I am aware that things don’t often work out against the interests of the US-centralized empire. But there is a glimmer of hope now, coming from a direction we’ve never seen before. A certain southerly direction.

If the Australian government stepped in to protect one of its own journalists from being persecuted by the powerful empire that has dragged us into war after war and turned us into an asset of the US war/intelligence machine… well, as an Australian it makes me tear up just thinking about it. It has been absolutely humiliating watching my beloved country being degraded and exploited by the sociopathic agendas of America’s ruling elites, up to and including the imprisonment and isolation of one of our own, all because he helped share authentic, truthful documents exposing the depraved behaviors of those same ruling elites. I have had very few reasons to feel anything remotely resembling patriotism lately. If Australia brought Assange home, this would change.

We Australians do not have a very clear sense of ourselves; if we did we would never have stood for Assange’s persecution in the first place. We tend to form our national identity in terms of negatives, by the fact that we are not British and are not American, without any clear image about what we are. A bunch of white prisoners got thrown onto a gigantic island rich with ancient indigenous culture, we killed most of the continent’s inhabitants and degraded and exploited the survivors, and now we’re just kind of standing around drinking tea as the dust settles saying, “Hmm… well, we’re not stuck-up like the Brits, and we’re not entitled like the Yanks.”

That’s pretty much our entire nation right now. A beautiful continent where the Aboriginal Dreamtime has been paved over with suburbs and shopping centers. We are a warm and charitable people, we value family and community, but we’ve got no sense of who we are and what it means to be Australian.

We try sometimes; there are attempts to uplift Australian art and culture which we call Australiana. I remember going to “bush dances” as a kid where old-timey settler music was played and everyone pretended to have some kind of connection with it. We like meat pies. The footy’s great. But our sense of ourselves has never really taken root.

Which is ultimately why attempts to assert our sovereignty, to leave the British commonwealth and stop having that ugly old woman’s face on our money have fallen short. It is also why we had no problem subjugating ourselves as a functional vassal state of the US as it emerged as a dominant superpower following the world wars. If we’d had a clear image of ourselves, what we stand for, and what our best interests are, this never would have happened. But because of our background we’ve been like the home schooled teenager going to high school for the first time and instantly being absorbed into a bad crowd because she didn’t understand the social dynamics.

I went to a community theater with my family the other day to see Spring Awakening, an English-language musical set in Germany. For no apparent reason, the actors on the stage spoke in American accents. They were Australians playing Germans, not Americans; there was no reason whatsoever for that to happen. But that sort of thing is so commonplace here the only person who pointed it out was my American husband. It seemed perfectly normal to me.

But it isn’t normal. It isn’t normal for a nation of people to be so neurotic and ashamed of their own nationality that they put on a foreign accent rather than their own for no reason. It isn’t normal that we have such a head-down, subservient society that most of our homegrown talent leaves Australia forever because we’ve got a weird slave-culture habit of cutting down the “tall poppies” whenever anyone is perceived to have risen above their station. It isn’t normal that we feel so ashamed of standing tall and shining bright in the world.

Nowadays the closest non-Aboriginal thing you ever see to a display of Australian identity typically involves Southern Cross tattoos, thuggishness, Islamophobia, and a desire to continue the cruel warehousing of human beings on Manus Island. That is plainly gross, and the Aboriginal people now hold their culture secret and close to their chests for completely understandable reasons, so what else is there? What else could there be that could begin to unite us as a people so we can begin to develop a little collective pride and cease allowing ourselves to be used as a tool of sociopathic imperialists?

Well, there’s Julian Assange. He’s something positive that we can all fight for, a clear force of good in the world that we can unify around as we begin a slow, sloppy, completely necessary divorce from the cancer of empire.

Assange confuses Americans in the same way Mountain Dew confuses me. Americans don’t have any cultural hook-ups for the kind of creature he is. In the same way that Mountain Dew looks, tastes, smells and feels like poison to me, they can’t tell if he’s right wing or left, if he’s a hero or a villain, or what motivates him. They don’t trust him because they don’t know what they’re looking at. As someone who grew up around the same time, in the same area, and in similar social circles to him, it seems very obvious to me what he is. And what he is is very Australian.
Traditionally Australians have lionized anti-establishment heroes such as Australian bushranger Ned Kelly, the son of an Irish convict who was hanged for killing a British cop.

Every country has its flavor. In my country, we grew up valuing innovation. Most people my age can reel off a list of Australian inventions, from the Hills Hoist to the postage stamp to the bionic ear to wifi. I did not even have to go and google that just now, that’s how much a part of our national conversation and our education is our pride in our use of insight for practical problem-solving.

There are some fundamental values that we grew up with as seventies children in Australia. There was the value of “do the right thing,” the value of “giving everyone a fair go”, and the value of “keeping the bastards honest.” These were key and oft-repeated phrases in my childhood during the seventies and eighties. Remember, we were small when there was a CIA/MI6 coup in our country and our parents were implored by the ousted Prime Minister Gough Whitlam to “maintain the rage” at the unforgivable attack on our democratic sovereignty. That’s in my living memory. When Julian and I were small, anti-establishment sentiment was at its loudest.
The badge from Gough Whitlam’s successful 1972 election as Prime Minister. Hugely popular and establishment-smashing, he was ousted by the Queen of England’s Governor General in a CIA/MI6 backed coup only three years later.

We have an inbuilt distrust of authority and a deep hatred of empire which probably stems from our convict roots, and then from the ongoing waves of refugees who were running from famine, wars and despotism. Aside from the indigenous population, we are a country full of people who were forced by empire to come here in one way or another. So we don’t like authority much and we instinctively cut people down before they get too powerful. This is why the unions are still strong and social programs are such a natural fit for us. We like things to be fair. We like everyone to have a say.

Julian Assange’s work is an embodiment of all those values. The initial innovative use of technology to create WikiLeaks, the belief in openness and transparency, the desire to democratize information for the good of the whole, and the joy in keeping the bastards honest — all of that is very Australian. Very child of a strong Mum and brought up in Melbourne. Very me. My seed took root in similar soil. He seems obvious to me.

His work is extraordinary. Never has a single innovation brought power to its knees in such a short amount of time. In an inverted totalitarian system where the ability to suck resources from the people is hidden under a veil of propaganda, the ability to rip through the veil of spin and government opacity is a powerful tool indeed. In just a little over a decade he has managed to make himself the most wanted man alive by the most powerful people on earth. That’s how effective WikiLeaks has been in bringing truth to power.
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Re: Julian Assange
« Reply #71 on: June 09, 2018, 01:06:34 AM »
Even assuming the Aussies decide they want to give JA asylum, I wonder about the logistics of getting him out of the Ecuadorian Embassy and then on a plane to Oz without the Brits arresting him along the way?

Also, I am merging this with the Julian Assange thread in Heroes of the Revolution.

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Re: Wikileaks Updates-Julian Assange Thread
« Reply #72 on: June 09, 2018, 09:37:25 AM »
About time Australia did the right thing. Maybe they're finally getting tired of the US being so heavy handed all the time.

They can give Assange full diplomatic immunity and he can walk out without any fear of (legal) reprisal. Not sure about illegal.
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🌏 Demands grow that Australian government act to free Julian Assange
« Reply #73 on: June 13, 2018, 01:22:52 AM »
https://www.greanvillepost.com/2018/06/12/demands-grow-that-australian-government-act-to-free-julian-assange/

Demands grow that Australian government act to free Julian Assange
June 12, 2018 Posted by Addison dePitt


BE SURE TO PASS THESE ARTICLES TO FRIENDS AND KIN. A LOT DEPENDS ON THIS. DO YOUR PART.

By Mike Head, wsws.org


Last Sunday, Australia’s Channel 7 network broadcast an interview with Jennifer Robinson, an Australian-born, London-based lawyer who represents WikiLeaks editor Julian Assange. She issued a clear demand for the Australian government to carry out its responsibility to secure his freedom, as an Australian citizen.

The interview and 10-minute segment on the nationally-televised “Sunrise” morning program was a significant break in the general silence within the Australian corporate media on the more than seven-year detention of Assange. It came amid a renewed international campaign to fight for the unconditional freedom of the courageous journalist, who has continued to expose the war crimes, regime-change operations and mass surveillance conducted by the US and its allies around the world.

One of the central demands of this campaign is that Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s government act immediately to secure Assange’s freedom and his right to return to Australia, with guaranteed protection from any US request for his extradition on conspiracy and espionage charges. These charges can carry the death penalty.

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/TKrEVDato0w" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/TKrEVDato0w</a>

Robinson’s interview came three days after she accompanied two Australian consular officials to meet with Assange inside the Ecuadorian embassy in London, where he sought political asylum on June 19, 2012. The visit was the first made by Australian officials to the Australian citizen in the six years since he has been effectively imprisoned inside the embassy, denied the right to obtain medical treatment or sunlight and outdoor physical exercise.

In her “Sunrise” interview, Robinson posed the pressing question: “What diplomatic representation is the Australian government willing to provide to protect Julian Assange from the risk of US extradition?”

Robinson pointed out that the Trump administration had taken “a far more public and aggressive stance” against WikiLeaks and Assange than even the Obama administration, under which a Grand Jury indictment was made for Assange’s arrest.

Since Trump’s election, Robinson explained, key members of his administration had called for WikiLeaks to be “taken down,” and for ways to be found to prosecute Assange, regardless of the US Constitution’s First Amendment guaranteeing free speech.

“When will the Australian government, which is uniquely placed to provide a resolution to this case, step forward to provide assistance?” she asked.

Robinson said Assange was willing to “face British justice, but not the risk of US injustice.” He is prepared to face court for breaching his British bail conditions when Ecuador granted him political asylum, but must have a guarantee against extradition to the US.

Such a guarantee was “standard procedure,” Robinson said. “If the Australian government would come to the fore, the case could be resolved quickly.”

As Robinson emphasised, both US Attorney General Jeff Sessions and CIA Director Mike Pompeo, now secretary of state, had made clear their intent to imprison Assange and shut down WikiLeaks, which Pompeo last year described as a “hostile non-state intelligence service.”

US threats against Assange escalated from March 2017, when WikiLeaks began publishing a massive leak of CIA documents, dubbed “Vault 7.” The documents lay bare a vast system of surveillance, hacking and cyberwarfare directed against the people of the United States and the entire planet.


A rarity: An Australian TV network reporter covering the Assange case in London. The outrage is so great that not even these complicit corporadoes can ignore it much longer.

As the WSWS reported at the time, the documents indicate that the CIA has developed “more than a thousand hacking systems, trojans, viruses and other ‘weaponized’ malware” allowing it to seize control of devices, including Apple iPhones, Google’s Android operating system and devices running Microsoft Windows. By hacking these devices, the CIA can also intercept information before it is encrypted on social media platforms such as WhatsApp, Signal, Telegram, Weibo, Confide and Cloackman.”

These revelations came on top of the fury in the US political establishment after WikiLeaks published emails exposing the Democratic Party National Committee’s sabotage of Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign and Hillary Clinton’s secret speeches promising to protect the interests of Wall Street.

Since March 28 this year, Assange has faced further mistreatment, and is now in imminent danger. Under pressure from Washington, Ecuador’s government has deprived him of any form of communication with the outside world, including visitors. It has also threatened to renege on Assange’s asylum, and hand him over to waiting British police. Just before he was cut off, Assange had tweeted links to the WSWS series exposing the unprecedented number of former CIA agents running as Democrats in this year’s US midterm elections.

After Robinson’s interview, New Matilda, an Australian media outlet, published a commentary by Kellie Tranter, a lawyer and human rights activist. She detailed documents, obtained by freedom of information requests, showing that Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop had refused to “seek to ‘resolve’ Mr Assange’s case.” Bishop’s refusal followed the February 2016 findings of the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (WGAD) that Assange was being arbitrarily detained by Britain and Sweden in violation of international human rights law.

On February 12, 2016 Bishop, a former lawyer, signed a Ministerial Submission stating “we are unable to intervene in the due process of another country’s court proceedings or legal matters, and we have full confidence in the UK and Swedish judicial system.”

Tranter disclosed two further statements from Bishop’s department, on June 7 and 8 this year, adhering to the refusal to act on the WGAD verdict, even though in May 2017 Sweden finally dropped its trumped-up “investigation” into the sexual assault allegations against Assange. Among the exposures made of the politically motivated and dubious character of these allegations was a detailed examination undertaken by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s “Four Corners” program on July 23, 2012 (see: “Sex, Lies and Julian Assange”).


Assange’s mother, Christine Assange, holding a picture of her son.

Tranter explained that the Swedish decision meant that the only outstanding “court proceeding” was the “relatively minor one of a breach of bail conditions by Assange when he sought asylum in 2012.” Tranter stated: t is incumbent upon a civilised nation to protect its citizens from risks posed by other nations to that citizen’s wellbeing.”

As a legal analysis published yesterday by the WSWS explained, both international and Australian law establishes that the Australian government clearly has the “discretion”—that is, the power—to take action against the United Kingdom in order to protect Assange, including, potentially, legal action in the British courts.

Robinson’s “Sunrise” interview is the second breach in the wall of corporate media silence. On June 2, Fairfax Media newspapers carried an opinion piece by Greg Barns, a barrister who is an adviser to Assange and WikiLeaks.

Barns called on Turnbull and Bishop “to assist in ensuring that this Australian citizen is no longer at risk of being subjected to US detention and can therefore leave the Ecuadorean embassy. This is because a key hurdle to Australian involvement in the Assange case has been removed, namely the Swedish warrant.”

On May 28, the WSWS and the International Committee of the Fourth International called for international action to defend Assange  and endorsed the vigil being prepared by WikiLeaks’ supporters outside the Ecuadorian embassy in London on June 19, and other vigils being organised around the globe.

In the same statement, the Socialist Equality Party (Australia), with the support of journalist and film-maker John Pilger, announced a demonstration to be held at Sydney Town Hall Square on Sunday, June 17 at 1:00 p.m. The rally will demand that the Turnbull government honour its responsibilities to Assange and intervene to secure his right to return to Australia, with guaranteed protection from any US extradition request.

Every effort must be made to mobilise the full strength of the international working class to win Assange’s freedom, as part of the defence of all basic democratic rights. Under the Trump administration, the American state and its allies have ramped up their efforts to destroy WikiLeaks and Assange as part of a broader agenda of censoring, silencing and intimidating every critical and independent media organisation.

Since WikiLeaks was created in 2006, both it and Assange have made an immense contribution to the exposure of great power criminality and abuses. That role will become even more important as the US and its partners, including Britain and Australia, escalate the drive toward trade war and war against China and Russia, and any other country regarded as a threat to Washington’s post-World War II hegemony.

We urge all our readers to join the demonstrations, vigils and other actions that are being organised internationally and to fight for an end to the persecution of Julian Assange and WikiLeaks.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
The writer is a reporter and analyst with wsws.org, a Marxian publication.
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🌏 John Pilger speaks: “Bring Julian Assange Home”
« Reply #74 on: June 20, 2018, 12:20:01 AM »
"Hundreds of People" at a rally is not going to change many minds in the Oz Goobermint.  ::)

RE

https://www.greanvillepost.com/2018/06/18/watch-rally-to-free-julian-assange-held-in-sydney/

Watch: Rally to Free Julian Assange held in Sydney; John Pilger speaks: “Bring Julian Assange Home”
June 18, 2018 Posted by Addison dePitt

“We’re not asking Malcolm Turnbull to defend Assange, we are telling him!”
18 June 2018


Hundreds of people participated in Sunday’s demonstration in Sydney Town Hall Square to demand Julian Assange’s safe return to Australia. The rally, organised by the Socialist Equality Party, featured speeches from SEP Australia national secretary James Cogan and independent journalist and filmmaker John Pilger.

Bring Julian Assange Home

by JOHN PILGER
Photo by valerialaura | Public Domain

The persecution of Julian Assange must end. Or it will end in tragedy.

The Australian government and prime minister Malcolm Turnbull have an historic opportunity to decide which it will be.

They can remain silent, for which history will be unforgiving. Or they can act in the interests of justice and humanity and bring this remarkable Australian citizen home.

Assange does not ask for special treatment. The government has clear diplomatic and moral obligations to protect Australian citizens abroad from gross injustice: in Julian’s case, from a gross miscarriage of justice and the extreme danger that await him should he walk out of the Ecuadorean embassy in London unprotected.

We know from the Chelsea Manning case what he can expect if a US extradition warrant is successful — a United Nations Special Rapporteur called it torture.

I know Julian Assange well; I regard him as a close friend, a person of extraordinary resilience and courage. I have watched a tsunami of lies and smear engulf him, endlessly, vindictively, perfidiously; and I know why they smear him.

In 2008, a plan to destroy both WikiLeaks and Assange was laid out in a top secret document dated 8 March, 2008. The authors were the Cyber Counter-intelligence Assessments Branch of the US Defence Department. They described in detail how important it was to destroy the “feeling of trust” that is WikiLeaks’ “centre of gravity”.

This would be achieved, they wrote, with threats of “exposure [and] criminal prosecution” and a unrelenting assault on reputation. The aim was to silence and criminalise WikiLeaks and its editor and publisher. It was as if they planned a war on a single human being and on the very principle of freedom of speech.

Their main weapon would be personal smear. Their shock troops would be enlisted in the media — those who are meant to keep the record straight and tell us the truth.

The irony is that no one told these journalists what to do. I call them Vichy journalists — after the Vichy government that served and enabled the German occupation of wartime France.

Last October, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation journalist Sarah Ferguson interviewed Hillary Clinton, over whom she fawned as “the icon for your generation”.

This was the same Clinton who threatened to “obliterate totally” Iran and, who, as US secretary of State in 2011, was one of the instigators of the invasion and destruction of Libya as a modern state, with the loss of 40,000 lives. Like the invasion of Iraq, it was based on lies.

When the Libyan President was murdered publicly and gruesomely with a knife, Clinton was filmed whooping and cheering. Thanks largely to her, Libya became a breeding ground for ISIS and other jihadists.  Thanks largely to her, tens of thousands of refugees fled in peril across the Mediterranean, and many drowned.

Leaked emails published by WikiLeaks revealed that Hillary Clinton’s foundation – which she shares with her husband – received millions of dollars from Saudi Arabia and Qatar, the main backers of ISIS and terrorism across the Middle East.

As Secretary of State, Clinton approved the biggest arms sale ever — worth $80 billion — to Saudi Arabia, one of her foundation’s principal benefactors. Today, Saudi Arabia is using these weapons to crush starving and stricken people in a genocidal assault on  Yemen.

Sarah Ferguson, a highly paid reporter, raised not a word of this with Hillary Clinton sitting in front of her.

Instead, she invited Clinton to describe the “damage” Julian Assange did “personally to you”. In response, Clinton defamed Assange, an Australian citizen, as “very clearly a tool of Russian intelligence” and “a nihilistic opportunist who does the bidding of a dictator”.

She offered no evidence — nor was asked for any — to back her grave allegations.

At no time was Assange offered the right of reply to this shocking interview, which Australia’s publicly-funded state broadcaster had a duty to give him.

As if that wasn’t enough, Ferguson’s executive producer, Sally Neighour, followed the interview with a vicious re-tweet: “Assange is Putin’s bitch. We all know it!”

There are many other examples of Vichy journalism. The Guardian, reputedly once a great liberal newspaper, conducted a vendetta against Julian Assange. Like a spurned lover, the Guardian aimed its personal, petty, inhuman and craven attacks at a man whose work it once published and profited from.

The former editor of the Guardian, Alan Rusbridger, called the WikiLeaks disclosures, which his newspaper published in 2010, “one of the greatest journalistic scoops of the last 30 years”. Awards were lavished and celebrated as if Julian Assange did not exist.

WikiLeaks’ revelations became part of the Guardian’s marketing plan to raise the paper’s cover price. They made money, often big money, while WikiLeaks and Assange struggled to survive.

With not a penny going to WikiLeaks, a hyped Guardian book led to a lucrative Hollywood movie deal. The book’s authors, Luke Harding and David Leigh, gratuitously abused Assange as a “damaged personality” and “callous”.

They also revealed the secret password Julian had given the Guardian in confidence and which was designed to protect a digital file containing the US embassy cables.

With Assange now trapped in the Ecuadorean embassy, Harding, who had enriched himself on the backs of both Julian Assange and Edward Snowden, stood among the police outside the embassy and gloated on his blog that “Scotland Yard may get the last laugh”.

The question is why.

Julian Assange has committed no crime. He has never been charged with a crime. The Swedish episode was bogus and farcical and he has been vindicated.

Katrin Axelsson and Lisa Longstaff of Women Against Rape summed it up when they wrote, “The allegations against [Assange] are a smokescreen behind which a number of governments are trying to clamp down on WikiLeaks for having audaciously revealed to the public their secret planning of wars and occupations with their attendant rape, murder and destruction… The authorities care so little about violence against women that they manipulate rape allegations at will.”

This truth was lost or buried in a media witch-hunt that disgracefully associated Assange with rape and misogyny. The witch-hunt included voices who described themselves as on the left and as feminist. They willfully ignored the evidence of extreme danger should Assange be extradited to the United States.

According to a document released by Edward Snowden, Assange is on a “Manhunt target list”. One leaked official memo says: “Assange is going to make a nice bride in prison. Screw the terrorist. He’ll be eating cat food forever.”

In Alexandra, Virginia – the suburban home of America’s war-making elite — a secret grand jury, a throwback to the middle ages — has spent seven years trying to concoct a crime for which Assange can be prosecuted.

This is not easy; the US Constitution protects publishers, journalists and whistleblowers. Assange’s crime is to have broken a silence.

No investigative journalism in my lifetime can equal the importance of what WikiLeaks has done in calling rapacious power to account. It is as if a one-way moral screen has been pushed back to expose the imperialism of liberal democracies: the commitment to endless warfare and the division and degradation of “unworthy” lives: from Grenfell Tower to Gaza.

When  Harold Pinter accepted the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2005, he referred to “a vast tapestry of lies up on which we feed”. He asked why “the systematic brutality, the widespread atrocities, the ruthless suppression of independent thought” of the Soviet Union were well known in the West while America’s imperial crimes “never happened … even while [they] were happening, they never happened.”.

In its revelations of fraudulent wars (Afghanistan, Iraq) and the bald-faced lies of governments (the Chagos Islands), WikiLeaks has allowed us to glimpse how the imperial game is played in the 21st century. That is why Assange is in mortal danger.

Seven years ago, in Sydney, I arranged to meet a prominent Liberal Member of the Federal Parliament, Malcolm Turnbull.

I wanted to ask him to deliver a letter from Gareth Peirce, Assange’s lawyer, to the government. We talked about his famous victory — in the 1980s when, as a young barrister, he had fought the British Government’s attempts to suppress free speech and prevent the publication of the book Spycatcher — in its way, a WikiLeaks of the time, for it revealed the crimes of state power.

The prime minister of Australia was then Julia Gillard, a Labor Party politician who had declared WikiLeaks “illegal” and wanted to cancel Assange’s passport — until she was told she could not do this: that Assange had committed no crime: that WikiLeaks was a publisher, whose work was protected under Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, to which Australia was one of the original signatories.

In abandoning Assange, an Australian citizen, and colluding in his persecution, Prime Minister Gillard’s outrageous behaviour forced the issue of his recognition, under international law, as a political refugee whose life was at risk. Ecuador invoked the 1951 Convention and granted Assange refuge in its embassy in London.

Gillard has recently been appearing in a gig with Hillary Clinton; they are billed as pioneering feminists.

If there is anything to remember Gillard by, it a warmongering, sycophantic, embarrassing speech she made to the US Congress soon after she demanded the illegal cancellation of Julian’s passport.

Malcolm Turnbull is now the Prime Minister of Australia. Julian Assange’s father has written to Turnbull. It is a moving letter, in which he has appealed to the prime minister to bring his son home. He refers to the real possibility of a tragedy.

I have watched Assange’s health deteriorate in his years of confinement without sunlight. He has had a relentless cough, but is not even allowed safe passage to and from a hospital for an X-ray .

Malcolm Turnbull can remain silent. Or he can seize this opportunity and use his government’s diplomatic influence to defend the life of an Australian citizen, whose courageous public service is recognised by countless people across the world. He can bring Julian Assange home.

This is an abridged version of an address by John Pilger to a rally in Sydney, Australia, to mark Julian Assange’s six years’ confinement in the Ecuadorean embassy in London.

John Pilger can be reached through his website: www.johnpilger.com
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