Skip to main content

Only cowards and sadists support the persecution of Assange

 by Caitlin Johnstone

Former British ambassador Craig Murray has published a very disturbing account of Julian Assange’s court appearance yesterday which I recommend reading in full. There have been many reports published about Assange’s case management hearing, but the combination of Murray’s prior experience with torture victims, his familiarity with British courts, his friendship with Assange, and his lack of reverence for western power structures allowed for a much more penetrating insight into what happened than anyone else has been able to provide so far. 

Here is a small excerpt:

Before I get on to the blatant lack of fair process, the first thing I must note was Julian’s condition. I was badly shocked by just how much weight my friend has lost, by the speed his hair has receded and by the appearance of premature and vastly accelerated ageing. He has a pronounced limp I have never seen before. Since his arrest he has lost over 15 kg in weight.

But his physical appearance was not as shocking as his mental deterioration. When asked to give his name and date of birth, he struggled visibly over several seconds to recall both. I will come to the important content of his statement at the end of proceedings in due course, but his difficulty in making it was very evident; it was a real struggle for him to articulate the words and focus his train of thought.

Until yesterday I had always been quietly sceptical of those who claimed that Julian’s treatment amounted to torture — even of Nils Melzer, the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture — and sceptical of those who suggested he may be subject to debilitating drug treatments. But having attended the trials in Uzbekistan of several victims of extreme torture, and having worked with survivors from Sierra Leone and elsewhere, I can tell you that yesterday changed my mind entirely and Julian exhibited exactly the symptoms of a torture victim brought blinking into the light, particularly in terms of disorientation, confusion, and the real struggle to assert free will through the fog of learned helplessness.

Murray reports that there were no fewer than five representatives of the US government in the Westminster Magistrates Court that day, and that there were seated behind the British prosecutors and essentially giving them orders. The judge, Vanessa Baraitser, reportedly behaved coldly and snarkily towards the defense, smirking and refusing their requests without explanation, while behaving warmly and receptively toward the prosecution. Assange’s extradition hearing will commence without delay on February of next year, despite the case violating the 2003 US/UK extradition treaty, and despite new evidence emerging of CIA-tied espionage on Assange and his lawyers while he was at the Ecuadorian embassy. It will commence in a tiny Belmarsh courtroom with almost no room for the public to provide scrutiny, without Assange’s defense having adequate time to prepare.

Assange’s lawyer Mark Summers told the court that the case was “a political attempt” by the United States “to signal to journalists the consequences of publishing information.” And of course he’s right. Nobody sincerely believes that the 175-year sentence that Assange is looking at if he’s successfully extradited to the US by the Trump administration is a reasonable punishment for publishing activities which the Obama administration had previously declined to prosecute based on the exact same evidence, citing concern for the damage the precedent would do to press freedoms. These charges have nothing to do with justice, and they aren’t meant to be merely punitive. They’re made to serve as a deterrent. A deterrent to journalists anywhere in the world who might otherwise see fit to publish inconvenient facts about the US government.

This is obvious. It is obvious that the US government is destroying Assange to signal to journalists the consequences of publishing information. It is therefore also obvious that any journalist who fails to use whatever platform they have to speak out against Assange’s persecution has no intention of ever publishing anything that the US government doesn’t want published. Their silence on or support for what is being done to this man can and should be taken as an admission that they are nothing other than state propagandists. State propagandists, sycophants, and cowards.

Cowardice is driving public support for Assange’s persecution. Cowardice and sadism. Even if every single bogus smear against him were true, from the lies about feces on embassy walls to the still evidence-free allegation of Trump/Russia collusion, even if every single one of those ridiculous fantasies were true, his punishment to date would be more than enough. I mean, exactly how much torture is appropriate because your preferred candidate wasn’t the one who was elected? How weird is it that such entitled sadism goes unquestioned? To continue to call for more is to reveal your sick fetish, whether you’re one of the powerful people he pissed off or just another mindless repeater in the comments section. Enough. You’ve had your pound of flesh.

We are watching a great tragedy unfold in a fractal-like way, from the zoomed-out meta tragedy of the worldwide death blow to press freedom, drilled down to the personal tragedy of this death blow to a man called Julian Assange. His once encyclopaedic brain can now barely remember his own birthday. This guts me. There are no other minds on earth that understood the power dynamics of invisible imperialism and the Orwellian dangers humanity now faces as we hurtle towards and AI-dominated information landscape as well as his did. That mind has been purposely destroyed. We must never forget that. We must never forgive that.

It’s been a tough day. My heart has been hurting and my sighs have been long. The only brightness I can see through the bleakness is the quandary that appears to be emerging for these nationless plutocrats who are pulling the strings. The more they get their way, the more obvious their actions must necessarily be, because the thing they are attempting to do is so totally abnormal. Yesterday’s court proceedings were blatantly farcical, from the curious rulings, to the strange sight of US advisers interfering in a UK case about an Australian citizen, down to even the dismissive smirk on the judge’s face. None of this is normal, and when things aren’t normal there is a risk that people will notice, and things are only going to get stranger as they attempt to pull this off.

The only thing keeping people from really seeing what’s going on here is a thin layer of narrative management, and the only thing keeping them from acting on their seeing is feeling like they are alone in their seeing. Keep the pressure up, keep watching, and keep talking about what you’re seeing to anyone who will listen. It may very well save Julian’s life.

Source, links:

https://medium.com/@caityjohnstone/only-cowards-and-sadists-support-the-persecution-of-assange-b717b1b07dfe


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Former CIA high-ranking official accidentally reveals the type of the false flag operation that the US imperialists will orchestrate to start a war with Iran

globinfo freexchange
In the following video, Jimmy Dore makes an analysis of an interview that the former CIA deputy director, Michael Morell, gave on CBS, regarding the recent developments after the assassination of the Iranian major general, Qasem Soleimani. 
Morell describes a probable scenario according to which the Iranians and their proxies could retaliate further. And therefore, this will naturally and eventually lead the US to start a war with Iran. As Morell points out:
                    Hopefully, that can de-escalate now, but that doesn't mean the covert war is over. [...] There are two things we need to think about here. One is, still, down the road, at some point, an assassination of a senior US official, somewhere in the world, could be months from now, to get revenge. And then, two, we still have to worry about those Iranian proxies. They may still attack US military bases ...

Note, that this interview was taken AFTER the Iranian retaliation through the missile att…

Suppression before uprising: how the system attempts to push societies away from the practice of protesting

globinfo freexchange
Six years ago we wrote that controlled information that reaches the media and reproduced by them, may include the overestimated capability of governments to monitor, for example, an extremely large number of phone conversations. Even if there is such a possibility, such huge amount of data is extremely difficult to be processed. However, the technology is evolving rapidly, and possibly will allow processing of large amount of data in very short time, in the near future. When technology will allow this, people will have already become familiar with the idea that any conversation can be investigated and processed any time.
Today, it seems that not only we reached that point, but the establishment apparatus seeks to 'train' us to accept an elevated form of suppression, through a rapidly growing surveillance technology.

A recent article published in NY Times proves that the establishment apparatus will seek to expand the suppression state in unprecedented leve…

Μα καλά, δεν βρέθηκε ένας να του δείξει ως που μπορούν να φτάσουν οι Ιρανικοί πύραυλοι;

failed evolution
Οι φάπες πέφτουν σύννεφο και απ'ότι φαίνεται, στις όποιες διαπραγματεύσεις, η σημερινή κυβέρνηση παριστάνει τη γλάστρα, χωρίς να απαιτεί το παραμικρό.
Και σαν να μην έφταναν όλα αυτά, ο Κούλης έσπευσε να επικροτήσει την απαράδεκτη ενέργεια του Τραμπ να δώσει εντολή για τη δολοφονία του κορυφαίου Ιρανού στρατηγού, Κασέμ Σουλεϊμανί.  
Δυστυχώς, είχαμε και πάλι δίκιο. Η χώρα ήδη πληρώνει την απόλυτα ανεύθυνη στάση Μητσοτάκη, καθώς το Ιράν προέβη σε έντονο διάβημα διαμαρτυρίας, με τον Ιρανό πρέσβη να φέρεται να δηλώνει ότι «Ούτε άλλες χώρες της ευρωπαϊκής Ένωσης με τις οποίες έχουμε κακές σχέσεις δεν τοποθετήθηκαν έτσι». 
Όμως το Ιράν φαίνεται να προχώρησε παραπέρα, θέτοντας θέμα Αμερικανικών βάσεων στην Ελλάδα, στέλνοντας μια επιστολή στην Καθημερινή και αναφέροντας, μεταξύ άλλων: "Η Ισλαμική Δημοκρατία του Ιράν έχει δηλώσει ξεκάθαρα ότι σε περίπτωση επιβολής πολέμου κατά της χώρας από την Αμερική, η διάθεση βάσεων από οποιαδήποτε χώρα στον αμερικανικό εισβολέα …

Why the US imperialists will start a war with Iran right after the 2020 US presidential election

by system failure
Even before 2016 US presidential election we were arguing in this blog that Donald Trump is only the reserve of the establishment, a necessity solution. The first signs, right after his election, were indicating that we were right. Trump literally hired Goldman Sachs to run the economy and immediately authorized further tax-cuts for the super-rich, contrary to his pre-election rhetoric.
Then, things got even worse by hiring some of the most bloodthirsty neocons in key positions. Trump's 'anti-establishment' facade was rapidly collapsing as he was  starting to move towards the US deep state agenda. In fact, the only card left to play was that of his alleged 'anti-interventionism'. Yet, he succumbed further to the US pro-war cabal by bombing Syria, without even waiting to see some evidence about Assad's alleged chemical attacks against civilians. 
Beyond that, he continued Obama's awful legacy regarding the war in Yemen, by arming Saudis and…

Bolivia’s free territory of Chapare has ousted the coup regime and is bracing for a bloody re-invasion

Spending time with the union members of Chapare, who run society in a collective fashion, offers special insights into the resistance to the coup. They succeeded in expelling the police, but now fear a bloodbath in retaliation.

by Ollie Vargas
Part 1

Known as Bolivia’s Chapare region, the Tropico of Cochabamba is a sanctuary for elected President Evo Morales’ most dedicated base of support. Since the November 10 coup, it has effectively become a self-governing territory where the military junta is absent.

The police and military were sent in full retreat from this area the coup began and were told they would only be welcomed back if the they “get on their knees and apologize” to the community.

In this 12,000 square kilometer swath of land, hundreds of unions have flourished over the years. I spent several days with the union rank and file, witnessing how they run society in a collective fashion, and how they have organized ferocious resistance to a right-wing coup government that threat…

US-backed parties have infiltrated Lebanon’s protests, pushing the country toward war amid economic collapse

By joining the roadblocks around Beirut, protesters allowed themselves to be used by US-allied parties playing a dangerous game that has the potential to explode into open warfare
by Rania Khalek
Part 4 - Cooperation and integration versus the West’s recipe for fragmentation
The Lebanese economy is facing imminent collapse. Unemployment is spreading, prices are spiking and the street price of the Lebanese lira continues to devalue. There is little that can be done to avoid the collapse, which has been thirty years in the making.

The implosion of the Lebanese economy is spilling over into Syria, which was already teetering on the edge of economic collapse due to eight years of war, government mismanagement and US sanctions designed to collapse the country. Syria was relying on Lebanon as its access point to purchase goods for imports. Now that too is gone. Lebanon’s economic crisis is also affecting Syrian elites who placed their money in Lebanese banks during the war and cannot access i…

Antisemitism claims have one goal: To stop Jeremy Corbyn winning power

The Jewish community’s alienation from Labour has been years in the making - but it is Johnson's Conservatives who have embraced hostility to minorities
Jonathan Cook
Part 11 - One-sided programme
Respondents had been influenced, Philo pointed out, by headlines like “Corbyn’s antisemite army” or descriptions of Labour as “riddled with antisemites”. He also noted the role of the BBC, which is widely trusted, in bolstering the misleading coverage. 
Its recent Panorama programme “Is Labour Anti-Semitic?” presented 17 former Labour staffers attacking the Corbyn-led party. But the programme-makers failed to identify who these critics were. Many were in fact Israel lobbyists – one was even a former employee of the Israeli embassy in London.

While the show included one person replying to the complaints, it entirely excluded the many Jewish voices in Labour that defend Corbyn. Philo observed that both the BBC and Guardian, two media organisations often seen as offering a counterweight to th…

Ex-US intel officer: Pompeo 'lying through his teeth' on Iran

The Grayzone
The Trump administration is imposing new sanctions on Iran and defying Iraq's call for a US troop withdrawal. This comes as the stated rationale for the US assassination of Qasem Soleimani and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis is being undermined by its top officials' own statements. Scott Ritter, a former Marine Corps intelligence officer, analyzes the increased White House coercion efforts and collapsing intelligence claims.

Big tech firms are joining Trump’s all out war against Iran

Deleting messages of support for Iran may seem a petty, childish retaliation for opposing the Trump administration, but it has profound ramifications for freedom of access to information.
by Alan Macleod 
Silicon Valley giant Facebook announced Friday that it would be deleting all positive posts about recently assassinated Iranian general Qassem Soleimani on its platform and its subsidiary Instagram. The reason for this, it explained to CNN, was that the new U.S. sanctions made it illegal to promote any message supporting a person or group that the government describes as a terrorist organization. “We operate under U.S. sanctions laws, including those related to the U.S. government’s designation of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and its leadership,” a Facebook spokesperson said. 
Instagram had already closed Soleimani’s account in April last year, following Trump’s designation of the IRGC as a terrorist group. Following the news Friday, Twitter suspended Iranian Supreme L…

US-backed parties have infiltrated Lebanon’s protests, pushing the country toward war amid economic collapse

By joining the roadblocks around Beirut, protesters allowed themselves to be used by US-allied parties playing a dangerous game that has the potential to explode into open warfare
by Rania Khalek
Part 3 - Fear of Amal, hatred of corrupt leadership, and lack of ideology
In Tyre, protesters tore down Berri’s posters and torched the Tyre Rest House Resort, which they believe is owned by Randa Berri, though Nabih Berri denied it. When I visited Tyre two weeks later, hundreds of new posters of Berri had been erected that read, “the guarantor of Lebanon” and “we are all with you [Berri].”

The posters surrounded the small protest encampment located in a roundabout on the beach road. The protest was part art fair, part concert for families, with liberals and a few leftists filling the ranks. Demonstrators were careful not to name leaders like Berri in their chants and when interviewed, they often spoke in vague terms out of fear of Amal. Later in the night, Amal members provoked the protesters…