A Call to Bring Julian Assange Home Consortiumnews

The Australian government has an obligation to free Julian Assange, John Pilger told a rally in Sydney on June 16, marking Assanges six years confinement in the Ecuadorean embassy in London.

By John Pilger

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 Julians 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 U.S. 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 U.S. 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.

Vichy Media

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 U.S. 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.

WikiLeaks Exposed Clinton

Leaked emails published by WikiLeaks revealed that Hillary Clintons 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 foundations 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 Australias publicly-funded state broadcaster had a duty to give him.

As if that wasnt enough, Fergusons executive producer, Sally Neighour, followed the interview with a vicious re-tweet: Assange is Putins bitch. We all know it!

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

The former editor of theGuardian,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.

Maligning and Profiting off Assange

WikiLeaks revelations became part of theGuardiansmarketing plan to raise the papers cover price. They made money, often big money, while WikiLeaks and Assange struggled to survive.With not a penny going to WikiLeaks, a hypedGuardianbook led to a lucrative Hollywood movie deal. The books authors, Luke Harding and David Leigh, gratuitously abused Assange as a damaged personality and callous.

They also revealed the secret password Julian had given theGuardianin confidence and which was designed to protect a digital file containing the U.S. 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 iswhy.

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. Hell be eating cat food forever.

In Alexandra, Virginia the suburban home of Americas 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 U.S. Constitution protects publishers, journalists and whistleblowers. Assanges crime is to have broken a silence.

They Never Happened

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.

WhenHarold 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 Americas 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.Thatis 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, Assanges lawyer, to the government. We talked about his famous victory in the 1980s when, as a young barrister, he had fought the British Governments attempts to suppress free speech and prevent the publication of the bookSpycatcher 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 Assanges 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 Gillards 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 Julians passport.

Malcolm Turnbull is now the Prime Minister of Australia. Julian Assanges 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 Assanges 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 governments 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.

John Pilger is an Australian-British journalist based in London.Pilgers Web site is:www.johnpilger.com. His new film, The Coming War on China, is available in the U.S. fromwww.bullfrogfilms.com

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A Call to Bring Julian Assange Home Consortiumnews

Pamela Anderson Opens Up About Being Linked to Julian Assange …

Pamela Anderson is shedding more light on the nature of her relationship to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

The actress sat down for aninterview with The Daily Beast where she opens up about Assange, the whistleblower who has been taking refuge in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London for the past six years. Anderson has spoken in support of him several times and hinted at them being more than just friends, but seemed to shut down those rumors in the interview.

RELATED:Is Pamela Anderson Dating WikiLeaks Founder Julian Assange? Its No Secret, He Is One of My Favorite People, She Says

It is sexism, Anderson said of always being linked romantically to powerful men by tabloids. Its all crazy. Its funny how your relationships do get reduced to some kind of sexual relationship. I think the world of Julian, I really do, and I think hes an important person that needs to be protected, and that bringing any attention to him helps keep him safe.

Julian Assange, Pamela Anderson

From Left: Kirsty Wigglesworth/AP; Ricky Vigil M/GC Images

Anderson also gave more insight into their first meeting and how the two came to be friends. The actress says Assange heard about how she included him in one of her poems, and asked mutual friend Vivienne Westwood to introduce them. But when the two women got the dates mixed up, Anderson showed up to the Embassy on her own and met Assange one-on-one.

I went to the embassy, buzzed the buzzer, said who I was, and we had this long conversation, she explains. There were a lot of people in the room and then slowly it was just him and I. Then I came a few months later and started bringing him vegan food and made sure he was exercising, because I was worried about his healthhis skin was transparent. I learned a lot about him and we have a lot of mutual friends, so its nice to keep his spirits up.

WATCH:Pamela Anderson Looks Almost Unrecognizable as She Pumps Up the Glamour at Cannes

Although she maintains a friendship with Assange, Anderson has been dating French football player Adil Rami, who won the World Cup with his team on Sunday in Moscow. The actress has been seen supporting her boyfriend in Russia and attended his semifinal match against Belgium last week.

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Pamela Anderson Opens Up About Being Linked to Julian Assange …

Julian Assange, CrowdStrike, and the Russian Hack That Wasnt …

Robert Muellers investigation into the 2016 presidential election is predicated on Russian intelligence having hacked the Democratic National Committees computers. Russias guilt is such an article of faith among our political class, that a Republican-controlled Congress imposed sanctions and President Trump signed on, substantially worsening relations with an important and potentially dangerous nation.

Outside the Acela Corridor, however, one finds more skepticism.

A lot of ordinary folks wonder why the DNC wouldnt let any outside parties examine their server. Instead, the FBI accepted the word of CrowdStrike, a private contractor hired by the DNC, without any independent confirmation.

And a bunch of not so ordinary folks who know a thing or two about computers thinks there may be a simple explanation for the DNCs unwillingness to let outsiders have a peek at the evidence: There isnt any. The Russian hacking thats caused so much division and turmoil at home and abroad never really happened. It was all a ruse concocted by CrowdStrike.

One such skeptic is an anonymous journalist and computer aficionado who goes by the pseudonym Adam Carter. Carter has spent the last couple of years cataloging evidence, unearthed by himself and others, that CrowdStrike engaged in a disinformation campaign, inventing not just a fake Russian hack but also a fake hacker called Guccifer 2.0. Much, but by no means all, of Carters evidence is technical. And hes unquestionably found an inconsistency in the Russia narrative that ought to raise doubts in even the most computer illiterate congressmans mind.

Julian Assanges ThreatBut first, why on earth would a private contractor hired by the DNC engage in such tactics? For motive, we need to go back to June 12, 2016, when Wikileaks founder Julian Assange made an announcement that was sure to worry Hillary Clinton and her closest advisers:

We have upcoming leaks in relation to Hillary Clinton . . . We have emails pending publication.

A little less than three months earlier, on March 19, hostile actors had gotten ahold of all the emails in campaign chairman John Podestas main Gmail account. You may have heard that Podestas emails were hacked, but they werent. There were no faraway cyber-nerds searching for some vulnerability in the DNC network. He fell for a common spear phishing scam. A fake email from Google arrived, saying he needed to change his password and providing a link. The link was also fake. Instead of changing his password, Podesta gave it awayalong with all of his campaign emails.

Whoops!

The Clinton campaign learned of Podestas blunder almost immediately and must have suspected that the emails Assange was threatening to release were his. Moreover, on that date, a lot of the revelations contained therein would have been salientand not in a good way.

Just six days before, with Clinton still 570 delegates short of the 2,382 needed to win the Democratic nomination, the Associated Press angered Bernie Sanders and his supporters by claiming that shed already won. The New York Times, CNN, NBCNews, USA Today, and The Washington Post all followed suit, declaring Sanders loss a fait accompli.

But it wasnt.

The AP arrived at its numbers by polling unpledged superdelegates, who couldnt vote until the convention and were free to change their minds or even to deceive the AP.

Sanders supporters had been angry about the role superdelegates played in the nominating process for months. Sanders himself complained about it just one week before Assanges announcement and a day before the media began writing his campaigns obituary:

My problem is that the process today has allowed Secretary Clinton to get the support of over 400 superdelegates before any other Democratic candidate was in the race.

The next days headlines prematurely declaring Clintons victory brought Sanders supporters long-simmering anger to a boil. His spokesman blasted the corporate medias rush to judgement:

Secretary Clinton does not have and will not have the requisite number of pledged delegates to secure the nomination. She will be dependent on superdelegates who do not vote until July 25 and who can change their minds between now and then.

For the rest of the week, the big election story was whether Sanders would exit the race gracefully and encourage his followers to forgive, forget, and rally round Hillary Clinton. But just 12 hours after Assanges announcement, Sanders emerged from a meeting with his top advisors, refusing to concede and reiterating his determination not to let the media gaslight his candidacy into a lost cause:

[W]e are going to take our campaign to the convention with the full understanding that were very good in arithmetic and that we know who has received the most votes up until now.

The Immensity of Podestas BlunderPodestas blunder had the potential to damage Hillary Clintons already precarious reputation with voters regardless of their feelings about Bernie Sanders. In some of his pilfered emails, top Clinton advisors, including Podesta himself, insulted herabilitiesandher ethics, commented on her poorhealth, made disparaging remarks about Catholics,Muslims, blacks, and Latinos, and complained that Clinton wanted unaware and compliant voters.

Many of Podestas emails also contradict claims made in defense of the private email server Clinton used as Secretary of State. Others reveal that the FBI investigation into the matter was anything but unbiased. At a minimum, the emails prove the Clinton campaign knew from the beginning that she was breaking the law.

Its easy to forget how serious an issue Clintons private server was on June 12, 2016, three weeks before FBI Director James Comey publicly exonerated her. A few weeks earlier, the State Department had sharply rebuked Clinton for violating department rules, generating unpleasant headlines like, Hillary Clintons email problems just got much worse.

A June 1 Morning Consult poll found that about half of voters thought her private email server was illegal, unethical and a major problem, with a quarter of Democrats agreeing. Theres little question that Assanges threat would have made the poll disturbingly salient to Clinton and her top advisers.

But, given Sanders supporters anger and Clintons need for their enthusiastic support to prevail against Trump, her team would have been more concerned about emails revealing her disdain for Sanders supporters and some of their most beloved progressive policies.

For example, Clinton secretly opposed gay marriage and supported fracking. She and other top campaign officials regularly insulted Sanders and his supporters. Making matters worse, Podestas emails also revealed that CNN contributor Donna Brazile gave Clinton at least three questions in advance for her debates with Sanders. And an extraordinary number of emails confirm Sanders supporters suspicions that the DNC and the mainstream mediawere colluding with Clinton to torpedo his candidacy from its inception.

But perhaps the most troubling of Podestas emails would have been those containing passages from speeches Clinton gave to Goldman Sachs and other big money outfits at $225,000 a pop. In these speeches, Clinton downplayed Wall Streets role in the 2008 recession and said big money bankers themselves are best equipped to write any necessary legislation.

Clinton in those speeches also conceded that her economic fortunes put her obviously out of touch with the struggles middle-class voters face. She further admitted that she has distinct public and private positions on political issues, and revealed that she secretly favors open borders.

Like the controversy over her private server, Clinton weathered this storm so well that its hard to remember how much her unreleased speeches alarmed Sanders supporters, to whom she was little more than a corporate shill. Sanders had been using Clintons speeches as a laugh linein his own stump speeches for months:

If youre going to give a speech for $225,000 its gotta be really, dont you think an extraordinarily brilliant speech, I mean why else would they pay that kind of money? . . . Must be a speech written in Shakespearean prose. So I think, if it is such a fantastic speech, the secretary should make it available to all of us.

To make matters worse, three weeks before Assanges announcement, Clinton released a mandatory financial statement that brought her Wall Street speeches to the forefront of campaign news, yielding headlines like, How corporate America bought Hillary Clinton for $21Mand The massive scale of the Clintons speech-making industry.

A few days later, reporters even annoyed President Obama at a G7 summit in Japan by asking him whether she ought to release her speeches. On June 1, just 11 days before Assanges announcement, a Morning Consult poll had 64 percent of voters saying she should, including two-thirds of independents and almost half of Democrats.

Some readers have likely forgotten the many serious political headaches Hillary Clinton suffered in the week preceding Assanges June 12 announcement and how desperately she needed to placate Sanders angry supporters. If you werent too distracted by the Russia narrative, however, you probably remember some of the above revelations from Podestas emails that would have made doing so impossible had Assange not given Clintons camp so much time to prepare.

By October 7, when Wikileaks finally began releasing Podestas emails, Democrats had been taught to tune them out by angrily reciting the mantras Putin and Russia. CNN told viewers it would be illegal for folks who didnt work for CNN or some other CNN-approved corporation to so much as look at the emails. Trump couldnt push Wikileaks because doing so immediately rebounded back at him, raising worries he might be Putins puppet, rather than reflecting poorly on Clinton.

Clinton Uses the Russia Narrative to Great EffectWhether Adam Carter is right that the DNC hack was a ruse designed to deflect the damaging Podesta emails, there is no question Clinton and her surrogates were instantly prepared to use it for that purpose.

Within hours of Assanges October 7 release, Podesta made a transparent attempt on Twitter to tie anything damaging in his emails to insidious Russian interference:

Clinton first publicly addressed Podestas emails 12 days later in her third debate with Trump:

But you are very clearly quoting from WikiLeaks. What is really important about WikiLeaks is that the Russian government has engaged in espionage against Americans. They have hacked American websites, American accounts of private people, of institutions. Then they have given that information to WikiLeaks for the purpose of putting it on the internet. This has come from the highest levels of the Russian government. Clearly from Putin himself in an effort, as 17 of our intelligence agencies have confirmed, to influence our election. So, I actually think the most important question of this evening, Chris, is finally, will Donald Trump admit and condemn that the Russians are doing this, and make it clear that he will not have the help of Putin in this election.

A more transparent attempt to tie Wikileaks, espionage against Americans, Russian government, and Donald Trump to any damaging disclosures that might surface from Podestas emails would be impossible.

So, by October 7 tainting Podestas emails with a Russian provenance was demonstrably the Clinton campaigns go-to strategy. But a Washington Post story about the DNC hack published two days after June 12 Assanges threat on June 12 shows the strategy was prepared much earlier.

CrowdStrikes Remarkable Announcement and Guccifer 2.0s DebutThe June 14 Washington Post article is the first time the DNC went public about the alleged Russian hack. It includes the detail that the hackers stole a file of Trump opposition research; which, though no ordinary readers could have known it at the time, would turn up months later when Wikileaks released Podestas emails.

Indeed, this detail is also the articles big takeaway, as its mentioned in both the lead sentence and the headline: Russian government hackers penetrated DNC, stole opposition research on Trump.

The story extensively quotes CrowdStrike President Shawn Henry, who previously headed the FBIs cybersecurity division, and Chief Technology Officer Dmitri Alperovitch; all information was provided voluntarily by CrowdStrike and the DNC. According to Alperovitch, they decide[d] to go public with information about their incident and give us permission to share our knowledge.

So, why did the DNC want the world to know on June 14 the embarrassing fact that the Russians had hacked their server and the content of one pilfered file?

Alperovitch says they wanted to help protect even those who do not happen to be [CrowdStrike] customers. But they must have had a more self-interested motive to justify again publicly connecting Hillary Clintons name to lost emails and unsecure servers while Comeys investigation was still a very serious campaign issue.

Clintons team had to suspect Assange had Podestas emails and knew the Trump opposition-research file was among them. So announcing that the Russians had stolen the file two days after Assanges threat is, in hindsight, either an incredible coincidence or the first step in a strategy to taint the damaging information in Podestas emails with Russian perfidy.

But CrowdStrike and the DNC werent the only ones calling attention to the stolen Trump opposition file. The very next day, a new actor appeared, calling himself Guccifer 2.0, and claiming to be the very hacker mentioned by Alperovitch in the Washington Post story.

And, to prove it, he posted 230 pages of Trump opposition research on his newly minted blog and emailed copies to Gawker and The Smoking Gun.

We are now supposed to think that Guccifer 2.0 was a Russian spy passing documents he hacked from the DNC server to Wikileaks. In fact, this is the only evidence that Russia hacked the DNC besides CrowdStrikes unverified examination of their server.

But if G2 really is a Russian spy, Russia ought to be pitied rather than sanctioned.

When he debuted taking credit for the hack mentioned in the previous days Post, G2 made no attempt to deny he was a Russian spy. Anyone reading his blog post who was also familiar with the Poststory would assume that he must be a Russian spy as it claims. Would a real Russian spy pretending to be something else connect himself to a report outing him as a Russian spy without denying it? Why would he connect himself to such a report at all?

Would a real Russian spy trying to hide his identity end the second sentence in his first blog post with ))), the symbol that Russians use in place of our lol. G2 did.

And, would a Russian spy working with Wikileaks to discredit Hillary Clinton announce to the world that hes working with Wikileaks? G2s advertising that connection, not denying hes a Russian spy, and using Russian emoticons had the completely predictable effect of tying Assange to Putin and thus discrediting any Wikileaks releases that might otherwise have harmed Clinton.

G2 denied being Russian only after it emerged that he left Russian fingerprints all over the documents he released. Odd enough by itself, given the superb operational tradecraft, attributed to him by Alperovitch.

But Carter and his intrepid virtual friends examination of the fingerprints revealed that, rather than accidentally leaving them, G2 went out of his way to plant them.

The first evidence of Russian involvement was found within hours of G2s June 15 debut. Someone at Gawker looked at the metadata in the files he sent and discovered the name of the founder of the Soviet secret police written in the Russian alphabet! No real Russian spy would be so careless. And if we werent so desperate for sensational news, a Gawker reporter finding evidence connecting G2 with Russian intel mere hours after his debut by itself would have raised red flags about the Russia narrative.

G2 also chose to use a company based in Russia to cloak his IP address. Even then, there are plenty of email providers that would conceal the Russian IP. Yet G2, who Hillary Clinton suggested clearly took orders directly from KGB prodigy Vladimir Putin, somehow chose one that didnt.

If G2 had simply done nothing, there would have been nothing connecting Wikileaks to Russia. Instead of doing nothing, he went out of his way to connect Wikileaks Clinton releases to Russian intelligence. Yet, somehow, were supposed to think he was out to hurt Clinton. And, despite claiming to be Clintons enemy, neither the Trump opposition file nor any of the other files he released with it contained anything damaging to her.

So a Russian spy intent on getting Trump elected released 230 pages of damaging information on Trump but nothing negative about Hillary Clinton?

Viewed in quick and haphazard slices, G2s debut may look like a collaboration with Putin and Assange. But Russian spies trying to hide their identity dont openly confess to crimes the Washington Post has attributed to Russian spies the day before.

Nor do they use Russian emoticons.

Nor do they reveal their connections to organizations secretly shilling for them.

Nor do they intentionally plant evidence of their identity.

And when Russian spies release 230 pages of negative information about Donald Trump, its Trump, and not his enemies, they are trying to harm.

When we widen our view, the suggestion that G2 is a Russian spy is revealed as a naked insult to the nations intelligence.

Where Did Guccifer 2.0 Get the Trump File?Hindsight together with Carter and crews hard work shows that G2, rather than trying to harm Clinton, worked to manufacture a fake connection between Assange and Russian intel. This fake connection would later be used by Clinton to deflect the avalanche of damaging information in Podestas emails when Assange released them.

The Washington Post headline that the Russians hacked a Trump opposition document from the DNC set the stage. But the article made no mention of Assange or Wikileaks. So, considered alone, it had zero potential to discredit any damaging Wikileaks releases.

G2 forged the crucial link to Assange the next day; by taking credit for the hack and claiming to have turned over the spoils to Wikileaks. His release of the Trump opposition file, which would later turn up when Wikileaks finally released Podestas emails, would also then provide confirmation for his story about being the hacker; and, as a result, strengthen the links between Putin and Assange he was creating.

Absent G2 bringing Wikileaks into the picture, the Washington Post story would have informed voters of an embarrassing Russian DNC hack of some Trump opposition research, without any mitigating way to connect those Russians to Julian Assange, and thereby discrediting him.

So the information released to the Post serves no purpose and, indeed, would harm Clinton, unless CrowdStrike knew G2 would immediately enter the fray and shift attention away from Russian intels breach of the DNC server and towards speculation about Russian intels connection to Wikileaks.

But theres another more conclusive reason to think that G2 had to be working with CrowdStrike and Hillary Clinton.

Remember, on June 15, Guccifer 2.0 emailed a Trump opposition file to Gawker and The Smoking Gunand posted it on his blog. But we now know, apart from the Russian fingerprints he planted, the very same Trump opposition file was among Podestas emails when Assange released them four months later.

So, how did G2 get ahold of a file from John Podestas emails? Thats what Adam Carter wants everyone to start asking.

Since G2 manifestly isnt the implacable enemy of Hillary Clinton he pretended to be, its unlikely that he hacked the DNC server as claimed. And, Carter and other experts say, his claims arent technically credible, anyway.

Given how hard G2 worked to discredit Wikileaks, neither is it credible that he got the file through them.

Without the Trump file, G2 might have just been some unconnected third-party trolling Julian Assange. But the fact that G2 possessed a file from Podestas emails seems inexplicable, given everything else we now know, unless G2 is part of a CrowdStrike disinformation campaign to protect Hillary Clinton from the consequences of John Podestas blunder.

The foundations of both Robert Muellers investigation and the sanctions placed on Russia appear to have crumbled into dust.

Lets hope our political class notices.

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Julian Assange, CrowdStrike, and the Russian Hack That Wasnt …

Report: Julian Assange Soon May Be Kicked Out of Embassy

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange may soon be evicted from the Ecuadorean Embassy in London after six years as high-level talks continue between that country and Britain, The New York Post reported Saturday.

Citing The Times of London, the Post said that Assange’s fate at the embassy, where he has been since 2012, depended on the outcome of the discussions.

Former President Rafael Correa granted Assange, 47, asylum after he was accused of sexual assault and rape in Sweden.

But his successor, Lenin Moreno, who was elected in May, considers Assange an inherited problem and has ripped him as a “stone in the shoe.”

Moreno’s government has already cut off Assange’s Internet access and has banned most of his visitors to the embassy.

Assange has claimed that the Swedish charges were created by the United States to discredit him after WikiLeaks published hacked information that discredited the Obama administration, the Post reported.

He fears that he would be extradited to the U.S. if he leaves the embassy, an even more likely possibility the Post disclosed after 12 Russian intelligence officers were indicted Friday by special counsel Robert Mueller’s prosecutors.

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein announced the indictments, accusing the Russians of leaking hacked data from the Democratic National Committee, Hillary Clinton’s campaign and party operatives to WikiLeaks, Guccifer 2.0 and others.

The stolen emails, the Post disclosed, included Democratic plans to derail the campaign of Bernie Sanders to boost Hillary Clinton.

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Report: Julian Assange Soon May Be Kicked Out of Embassy

Why I Stand With Julian Assange | The American Conservative

This weekend I joined a number of people for an online vigil in support of Wikileaks Julian Assange. Some have asked why I did it: after all, Assange is at best an imperfect figure. But supporting Assange transcends just him, because the battle over his prosecution is about something greater: the future of free speech and a free press. Even if you think Assange doesnt matter, those things do.

Assange is challenging to even his staunchest supporters. In 2010, he was a hero to opponents of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, while others called him an enemy of the state for working with whistleblower Chelsea Manning. Now most of Assanges former supporters see him as a traitor and a Putin tool for releasing emails from the Democratic National Committee. Even with the sexual assault inquiry against him having been dismissed, Assange is a #MeToo villain. He a traitor who hides from justice inside the Ecuadorian embassy in London, or a spy, or some web-made Frankenstein with elements of all the above. And while Ive never met Assange, Ive spoken to multiple people who know him well, and the words generous, warm, and personable are rarely included in their descriptions.

But none of that matters.What matters is that Assange has ended up standing at a crossroads in the history of our freedoms: specifically, at what point does the right of the people to know outweigh the right of the government to keep information from view? The question isnt new, but it has become acute in the digital age, when physical documents no longer need to be copied one-by-one, can be acquired by hackers on the other side of the world, and are far removed from the traditions, obstacles, safeguards, and often-dangerous self-restraint of traditional journalism.

A complex history precedes Assange. In 1971,Daniel Ellsberg leaked the Pentagon Papers, a secret U.S. government-written history of the Vietnam War, to the New York Times. No one had ever published such classified documents before, and reporters at the Times feared they would go to jail under the Espionage Act. A federal court ordered the Times to cease publication after an initial flurry of excerpts were printed, the first time in U.S. history a federal judge had censored a newspaper. In the end, the Supreme Court handed down a victory for the First Amendment in New York Times Company v. United States,and the Times won the Pulitzer Prize.

But looking at the Times case through the lens of Wikileaks, law professor Steve Vladeck points out that

although the First Amendment separately protects the freedom of speech and the freedom of the press, the Supreme Court has long refused to give any separate substantive content to the Press Clause above and apart from the Speech Clause. The Supreme Court has never suggested that the First Amendment might protect a right to disclose national security information. Yes, the Pentagon Papers case rejected a government effort to enjoin publication, but several of the Justices in their separate opinions specifically suggested that the government could prosecute the New York Times and the Washington Post after publication, under the Espionage Act.

The Supreme Court left the door open for the prosecution of journalists who publish classified documents by focusing narrowly on prohibiting the government from exercising prior restraint. Politics and public opinion, not law, has kept the feds exercising discretion in not prosecuting the press, a delicate dance around an 800-pound gorilla loose in the halls of democracy. The government, meanwhile, has aggressively used the Espionage Act to prosecute whistleblowers who leak to those same journalists.

The closest a journalist ever came to being thrown in jail was in 2014, when the Obama administration subpoenaed New York Times reporter James Risen. They then accused former CIA officer Jeffrey Sterling of passing classified information to Risen, information that it said had appeared in his book State of War. After a lower court ordered Risen to testify and disclose his source under threat of jail, the Supreme Court turned down his appeal, siding with the government in a confrontation between a national security prosecution and an infringement of press freedom. The Supreme Court refused to consider whether there existed a gentlemens agreement under the First Amendment for reporters privilege, an undocumented protection beneath the handful of words in the Free Press Clause.

In the end, the government, fearful of setting the wrong precedent, punted on Risen. Waving the flag over a messy situation, then-attorney general Eric Holder announcedthat no reporter who is doing his job is going to go to jail. Risen wasnt called to testify and wasnt punished for publishing classified material, even as the alleged leaker, Jeffrey Sterling, disappeared into prison only to emerge three and a half years later in January. To avoid creating a precedent that might have granted some form of reporters privilege under the Constitution, the government stepped away from the fight.

Those same issues now hover over Julian Assange.Should the government decide to prosecute him, there are complex legal questions to be answered about who is a journalist and what is publishing in the digital world. There is no debate over whether James Risen is a journalist and whether a book is publishing. Glenn Greenwald has written about and published online classified documents given to him by Edward Snowden, and has never been challenged by the government as a journalist or publisher. Both men enjoy popular support and work for established media. The elements of fact checking, confirming, curating, redacting, and providing context around classified information were all present in the New York Timescase with the Pentagon Papers; they are also present with American citizens Risen and Greenwald. Definitions and precedents may be forming.

Assange is an easier target. With him the government is able to mold the legal precedents with such certainty that, where they backed away from other cases in their long-running war of attrition against free speech and the press, this one they may seize.

Assange isnt an American. He is unpopular, drawn now into Americas 21st-century Red Scare. He has written nothing alongside the millions of documents on Wikileaks, has done no curating or culling, and has redacted little. Publishing for him consists of uploading what has been supplied to him. The government could argue that Assange isnot entitled to First Amendment protections simply by claiming that a mouse click isnt publishing and Assange isnt a journalist. The simplest interpretation of the Espionage Act, that Assange willfully transmitted information relating to national defense without authorization, would apply. He would be guilty, same as the other canaries in the deep mine shaft of Washington before him, no messy balancing questions to be addressed. And with that, a unique form of online journalism would be squashed.

And that really, really matters. Wikileaks does indeed sidestep the restraints of traditional journalism. In 2004, the New York Times held the story of George W. Bushs illegal warrantless eavesdropping program until after his reelection. In 2006, the Los Angeles Times suppressed a story on the governments wiretapping of Americans when asked to do so by the NSA. Glenn Greenwald said it plainly: too many journalists work in self-censoring mode, or obsequious journalism, as he called it. Meanwhile, Assange has made mistakes while broadly showing courage, not restraint, under similar circumstances. And the public is better informed because of it.

Wikileaks version of journalism says here are the cables, the memos, and the emails. Others can write about them (and nearly every mainstream media outlet has used Wikileaks to do that, some even while calling Assange a traitor), or you as a citizen can read the stuff yourself and make up your own damned mind. That is the root of an informed public, a set of tools never before available until Assange and the internet created them.

If Assange becomes the first successful prosecution of a third party under the Espionage Act, whether as a journalist or not, the government will turn that precedent into a weapon to attack the medias role in any national security case. On the other hand, if Assange leaves London for asylum in Ecuador, that will empower new journalists to provide evidence when a government serves its people poorly and has no interest in being held accountable.

Freedom is never static. It either advances under our pressure, or recedes under theirs. I support Julian Assange.

Peter Van Buren, a 24-year State Department veteran, is the author ofWe Meant Well: How I Helped Lose the Battle for the Hearts and Minds of the Iraqi PeopleandHoopers War: A Novel of WWII Japan. Follow him on Twitter @WeMeantWell.

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Why I Stand With Julian Assange | The American Conservative

Persecution of WikiLeaks editor Julian Assange continues …

By James Cogan 5 July 2018

Today is the 100th consecutive day of the denial, by the Ecuadorian embassy in London, of the democratic right of WikiLeaks editor Julian Assange to communicate with the outside world, or receive visitors, apart from his legal representatives and a brief, unexplained visit by two Australian consular officials.

Julian Assange sought political asylum in the small embassy building on June 19, 2012. For 2,767 daysmore than six yearsthe British government has denied him exposure to direct sunlight and adequate medical care. On July 3, he turned 47-years-old, enduring conditions that the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention condemned as deprivation of liberty, a violation of his human rights and tantamount to torture.

The reasons why Assange sought asylumand why it was granted, under international law, by Ecuadorhave not changed. He was being given no support by the government of Australia, where he was born and holds citizenship, under conditions where he faced the prospect of extradition to the United States.

In June 2012, Assange lost his last legal appeal against an attempt to extradite him to Sweden to answer questions over manufactured allegations that he may have committed sexual assault offenses. His concern, however, was not the Swedish case. It was the well-grounded fear that Sweden would hand him over to the US to face charges of espionage, in response to WikiLeaks publication of leaked documents that had revealed American war crimes, and intelligence and diplomatic intrigues.

The threat that Assange could face a US show trial on charges that carry massive prison sentences, or even the death penalty, has only become more serious. Former CIA director and now Trumps secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, declared in April 2017after WikiLeaks began publishing explosive exposures of CIA hacking and criminalitythat the US government can no longer allow Assange and his colleagues the latitude to use free speech values against us. The Trump administrations attorney general, Jeff Sessions, declared several days later that Assanges arrest was a priority.

The Swedish prosecutors office ended its investigation and extradition request in May 2017 with no sexual offence charges ever being laid. The British government and police, however, immediately made clear that if Assange left the Ecuadorian embassy he would be detained for breaching his bail conditions.

The danger that faces Assange was spelled out this week by lawyer Geoffrey Robertson. The well-known human rights defender stated: If he leaves the embassy, he will be arrested, held for a short time for a breach of bail, and in that time, the US foreign secretary will order an extradition request that will keep him in prison for years, fighting a US extradition request to prosecute him as a spy.

Since Ecuador cut off his communication on March 28, and leading up to the June 19 sixth anniversary of his involuntary confinement in the embassy, there has been a renewed groundswell of demands that the persecution of Julian Assange be ended. He has not committed any crime. He is the editor of an award-winning media organisation, which has informed the world of numerous cases of government and corporate criminality and abuse of power.

The demands have been raised around the world: Ecuador must restore Assanges communications; the British government must drop its pursuit of a minor bail breach and allow him to leave the United Kingdom if he chooses; and the Australian government must exercise its undeniable diplomatic power and legal discretion to secure the unconditional release of an Australian citizen and journalist facing unjust treatment.

The response of the political establishments of the United States, Britain and Australia, however, has been to continue their vendetta to silence WikiLeaks and prosecute Assange.

Mike Pence, Trumps vice president, visited Ecuador last week. On the eve of the trip, 10 of the most prominent Democratic Party senators demanded that he pressure the government of President Lenn Moreno to renege on Assanges right to asylum and expel him from the embassy.

Based on statements made after the talks, Pence does not seem to have pressed Moreno on the asylum issue. Instead, the Trump administration appears content to use the Ecuadorian government as its agent in a vindictive attempt to break Assange, physically and psychologically, by denying him his fundamental right to access and communicate with the outside world.

For its part, the May government in the United Kingdom is participating in the effort to pressure Assange to leave the embassy with no guarantees against extradition to the US.

In words dripping with deceit, Minister of State for Europe and the Americas Sir Alan Duncan told the British parliament on June 26: We would like to make the assurance that, if he [Assange] were to step out of the embassy, he would be treated humanely and properly and the first priority would be to look after his health, which we think is deteriorating.

Assanges health has been deteriorating over the past six years because the May government has refused to allow him to even temporarily leave the embassy building to visit a hospital or a dentist. Duncans real attitude to the WikiLeaks editor was made clear on March 27, when he labelled him a miserable little worm, who should give himself up to British justice.

The Labour Party opposition headed by Jeremy Corbyn has made no attempt to expose the utter fraud of Duncans statement, let alone demand that Assange be given a guarantee against US extradition and the right to leave the UK unhindered.

The Australian government of Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has likewise not shifted from its cowardly collaboration with the US.

Assanges father John Shipton wrote to Turnbull last month, appealing to him for assistance in extricating his son from the Ecuadorian embassy, with the necessary protections.

Turnbull has responded with a deafening silence. Moreover, the establishment media has raised not a single question of the government over Assanges condition, or even asked that it explain why it sent two officials to visit him on June 7, for the first time since he sought asylum.

The Australian Labor Party, which denounced Assange as a criminal when it was in government, has predictably also said nothing. More significantly, the Greens leadership, along with independent Andrew Wilkie, who once claimed to defend WikiLeaks and Assange, have also remained mute over the issue.

Only one member of parliament has mentioned Assange: Green senator Andrew Bartlett, who is retiring in a matter of weeks. On June 28, during debate on sweeping anti-democratic, foreign interference laws, Bartlett noted in the Senate that government member Andrew Hastie had raised Assange and WikiLeaks as examples of the kinds of individuals and organisations that the new legal powers would be required to suppress.

Bartlett used one of his last opportunities to speak in parliament, to provide at least some voice to the sentiments of millions of ordinary people in Australia.

Im not giving him [Assange] a character reference, Bartlett insisted, but I am certainly saying he has a right as an Australian citizen to receive proper support against what has clearly been an international conspiracy by governments to try and silence him. He has been kept in isolation for years. He has been basically silenced already because of the threat he poses to the statenot to the community, not to the public. These laws are attempts to criminalise and attack people like Julian Assange.

In a later contribution, Bartlett directly asked: Given that Mr Hastie specifically referred to Julian Assange, is there actually an explicit focus on the activities of him and his organisation? A government minister replied: The answer is no.

The honest answer to that question would have been yes.

Successive Labor and Coalition governments have collaborated in the persecution of Assange and WikiLeaks because of their support for the full alignment of Australian imperialism with its alliance partner, the US, in its escalating geo-strategic and military confrontation with China. The Australian ruling elite is just as hostile to an independent and critical media as its American counterpart.

There is little question that the new Australian foreign interference laws are intended to be used against media organisations that publish leaked information, which exposes US and Australian war plans against China. They can also potentially be used to criminalise anti-war political opposition and activity. Most ominously, the laws are being hailed internationally as a model for legislation in other countries.

Assange and WikiLeaks are a sharp example of the broader campaign to censor and silence oppositional voices. The fight to defend him is inseparable from the struggle to alert and mobilise the international working class against the ongoing attacks on fundamental democratic rights and against the danger of dictatorship and war.

SEP (Australia) to hold meetings on new foreign interference laws: A move towards dictatorship and war [3 July 2018]

Full WSWS Coverage on the defence of Julian Assange

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Persecution of WikiLeaks editor Julian Assange continues …

Julian Assange – Computer Programmer, Journalist, Activist …

Julian Assange came to international attention as the founder of the whistle-blowing website WikiLeaks.

Born on July 3, 1971, in Townsville, Australia, Julian Assange used his genius IQ to hack into the databases of many high profile organizations. In 2006, Assange began work on WikiLeaks, a website intended to collect and share confidential information on an international scale. For his efforts, the internet activist earned the Time magazine “Person of the Year” title in 2010. Seeking to avoid extradition to Sweden over sexual assault allegations, Assange has remained at the Ecuadorian embassy in London since 2012. In 2016, his work again drew international attention when WikiLeaks published thousands of emails from U.S. presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and the Democratic National Committee, an effort believed to have impacted that year’s presidential election.

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Journalist, computer programmer and activist Julian Assange was born on July 3, 1971, in Townsville, Queensland, Australia. Assange had an unusual childhood, as he spent some of his early years traveling around with his mother, Christine, and his stepfather, Brett Assange. The couple worked together to put on theatrical productions. Brett Assange later described Julian as a “sharp kid who always fought for the underdog.”

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The relationship between Brett and Christine later soured, but Assange and his mother continued to live a transient lifestyle. With all of the moving around, Assange ended up attending roughly 37 different schools growing up, and was frequently homeschooled.

Assange discovered his passion for computers as a teenager. At the age of 16, he got his first computer as a gift from his mother. Before long, he developed a talent for hacking into computer systems. His 1991 break-in to the master terminal for Nortel, a telecommunications company, got him in trouble. Assange was charged with more than 30 counts of hacking in Australia, but he got off the hook with only a fine for damages.

Assange continued to pursue a career as a computer programmer and software developer. An intelligent mind, he studied mathematics at the University of Melbourne. He dropped out without finishing his degree, later claiming that he left the university for moral reasons; Assange objected to other students working on computer projects for the military.

In 2006, Assange began work on WikiLeaks, a website intended to collect and share confidential information on an international scale. The site officially launched in 2007 and it was run out of Sweden at the time because of the country’s strong laws protecting a person’s anonymity. Later that year, WikiLeaks released a U.S. military manual that provided detailed information on the Guantanamo detention center. WikiLeaks also shared emails from then-vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin that it received from an anonymous source in September 2008.

In early December 2010, Assange discovered that he had other legal problems to worry about. Since early August, he had been under investigation by the Swedish police for allegations that included two counts of sexual molestation, one count of illegal coercion, and one count of rape. After a European Arrest Warrant was issued by Swedish authorities on December 6, Assange turned himself in to the London police.

Following a series of extradition hearings in early 2011 to appeal the warrant, Assange learned on November 2, 2011, that the High Court dismissed his appeal. Still on conditional bail, Assange made plans to appeal to the U.K. Supreme Court.

According to a New York Times article, Assange came to the Ecuadorean Embassy in London in June 2012, seeking to avoid extradition to Sweden. Nearly two months later, in August 2012, Assange was granted political asylum by the Ecuadorean government, which, according to the Times, “protects Mr. Assange from British arrest, but only on Ecuadorean territory, leaving him vulnerable if he tries to leave the embassy to head to an airport or train station.” The article went on to say that the decision “cited the possibility that Mr. Assange could face ‘political persecution’ or be sent to the United States to face the death penalty,” putting further strain on the relationship between Ecuador and Britain, and instigating a rebuttal from the Swedish government.

In August 2015 the lesser sexual assault allegations from 2010 with the exceptionof rape were dropped due to statute of limitation violations by Swedish prosecutors. The statue of limitations on the rape allegations will expire in 2020.

In February 2016, a United Nations panel determined that Assange had been arbitrarily detained, and recommended his release and compensation for deprivation of liberty. However, both the Swedish and British governments rejected those findings as non-binding, and reiterated that Assange would be arrested if he left the Ecuadorian embassy.

On May 19, 2017, Sweden said it would drop its rape investigation of Julian Assange. While today was an important victory and important vindication, the road is far from over, he told reporters from the Ecuadorian Embassy in London. The war, the proper war, is just commencing.

Assange still faced a warrant in Britain for failing to appear in court, and the U.S. Justice Department said it was reconsidering whether to charge him for revealing classified information.

Assange was granted Ecuadorian citizenship in December 2017, but his relationship with his adopted country soon soured. In March 2018, the government cut off his internet access on the grounds that his actions endangered “the good relations that the country maintains with the United Kingdom, with the rest of the states of the European Union, and other nations.”

Assange and WikiLeaks returned to the headlines during the summer of 2016 as the U.S. presidential race was narrowing to two main candidates, Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump. In early July, WikiLeaks released more than 1,200 emails from Clinton’s private server during her tenure as secretary of state. Later in the month, WikiLeaks released an additional round of emails from the Democratic National Committee that indicated an effort to undermine Clinton’s primary opponent, Bernie Sanders, leading to the resignation ofDNC chairperson Debbie Wasserman Schultz.

In October, WikiLeaks unveiled more than 2,000 emails from Clinton campaign chair John Podesta, which included excerpts from speeches to Wall Street banks. By this point, U.S. government officials had gone public with the belief that Russian agents had hacked into DNC servers and supplied the emails to WikiLeaks, though Assange repeatedly insisted that was not the case.

On the eve of the election, Assange released a statement in which he declared no “personal desire to influence the outcome,” noting that he never received documents from the Trump campaign to publish. “Irrespective of the outcome of the 2016 U.S. Presidential election,” he wrote, “the real victor is the U.S. public which is better informed as a result of our work.” Shortly afterward, Trump was declared the winner of the election.

Rumors of a relationship between Assange and actress Pamela Anderson surfaced after the former Baywatch star was spotted visiting the Ecuadorian embassy in late 2016. “Julian is trying to free the world by educating it,” she later told People. “It is a romantic struggle I love him for this.”

In April 2017, Showtime announced that it would air theAssange documentary Risk, which hadpremiered at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival but updated with events related to the U.S. presidential election.

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Julian Assange – Computer Programmer, Journalist, Activist …

"I Am Julian Assange" | Zero Hedge

Authored by Raul Ilargi Meijer via The Automatic Earth blog,

Julian Assange appears to be painfully close to being unceremoniously thrown out of the Ecuadorian embassy in London. If that happens, the consequences for journalism, for freedom of speech, and for press freedom, will resound around the world for a very long time. It is very unwise for anyone who values truth and freedom to underestimate the repercussions of this.

In essence, Assange is not different from any journalist working for a major paper or news channel. The difference is he published what they will not because they want to stay in power. The Washington Post today would never do an investigation such as Watergate, and thats where WikiLeaks came in.

It filled a void left by the media that betrayed their own history and their own field. Betrayed the countless journalists throughout history, and today, who risked their lives and limbs, and far too often lost them, to tell the truth about what powers that be do when they think nobodys looking or listening.

Julian is not wanted because hes a spy, or even because he published a number of documents whose publication was inconvenient for certain people. He is wanted because he is so damn smart, which makes him very good and terribly effective at what he does. Hes on a most wanted list not for what hes already published, but for what he might yet publish in the future.

He built up WikiLeaks into an organization that acquired the ultimate trust of many people who had access to documents they felt should be made public. They knew he would never betray their trust. WikiLeaks has to date never published any documents that were later found out to be false. It never gave up a source. No documents were ever changed or manipulated for purposes other than protecting sources and other individuals.

Julian Assange built an empire based on trust. To do that he knew he could never lie. Even the smallest lie would break what he had spent so much time and effort to construct. He was a highly accomplished hacker from a very young age, which enabled him to build computer networks that nobody managed to hack. He knew how to make everything safe. And keep it that way.

Since authorities were never able to get their hands on WikiLeaks, its sources, or its leader, a giant smear campaign was started around rape charges in Sweden (the country and all its citizens carry a heavy blame for what happened) and connections to Americas favorite enemy, Russia. The rape charges were never substantiated, Julian was never even interrogated by any Swedish law enforcement personnel, but that is no surprise.

It was clear from the get-go what was happening. First of all, for Assange himself. And if theres one thing you could say hes done wrong, its that he didnt see the full impact from the campaign against him, sooner. But if you have the worlds largest and most powerful intelligence services against you, and they manage to find both individuals and media organizations willing to spread blatant lies about you, chances are you will not last forever.

If and when you have such forces running against you, you need protection. From politicians and from -fellow- media. Assange didnt get that, or not nearly enough. Ecuador offered him protection, but as soon as another president was elected, they turned against him. So have news organizations who were once all too eager to profit from material Assange managed to obtain from his sources.

That the Guardian today published not justone, nottwo, butthreewhat can only be labeled as hit pieces on Julian Assange, should perhaps not surprise us; they fell out a long time ago. Still, the sheer amount of hollow innuendo and outright lies in the articles is astonishing. How dare you? Have you no shame, do you not care at all about your credibility? At least the Guardian makes painfully clear why WikiLeaks was needed.

No, Sweden didnt drop its investigation into alleged sexual offences because it was unable to question Assange. The Swedes simply refused to interview him in the Ecuador embassy in London, the only place where he knew he was safe. They refused this for years. And when the rape charges had lost all credibility, Britain asked Sweden to not drop the charges, but keep the pressure on.

No, there is no proof of links from Assange to Russian hackers and/or to the Russian government. No, there is no proof that DNC computers were hacked by Russians to get to John Podestas emails. In fact there is no proof they were hacked at all. No, Ecuador didnt get tired of Julian; their new president, Moreno, decided to sell him out at the first pressure from the United States. Just as his predecessor, Correa, said he would.

Julian Assange has been condemned by Sweden, Britain, the US and now Ecuador to solitary confinement with no access to daylight or to medical care. Without a trial, without a sentence, and on the basis of mere allegations, most of which have already turned out to be trumped up and false. This violates so many national and international laws its futile to try and count or name them.

It also condemns any and all subsequent truth tellers to the prospect of being treated in the same way that Julian is. Forget about courts, forget about justice. Youll be on a wanted list. I still have a bit of hope left that Vladimir Putin will step in and save Assange from the gross injustice hes been exposed to for far too many years. Putin gets 100 times the lies and innuendo Assange gets, but he has a powerful nation behind him. Assange, in the end, only has us.

Whats perhaps the saddest part of all this is that people like Chelsea Manning, Kim Dotcom, Edward Snowden and Julian Assange are among the smartest people our world has to offer. We should be cherishing the combination of intelligence, courage and integrity they display at their own risk and peril, but instead we let them be harassed by our governments because they unveil inconvenient truths about them.

And pretty soon there will be nobody left to tell these truths, or tell any truth at all. Dark days. By allowing the smartest and bravest amongst us, who are experts in new technologies, to be silenced, we are allowing these technologies to be used against us.

Were not far removed from being extras in our own lives, with all significant decisions taken not by us, but for us. Americas Founding Fathers are turning in their graves as we speak. They would have understood the importance of protecting Julian Assange.

To say that we are all Julian Assange is not just a slogan.

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"I Am Julian Assange" | Zero Hedge

The Next Step: The Campaign for Julian Assange

The modern detainee in a political sense has to be understood in the abstract. Those who take to feats of hacking, publishing and articulating positions on the issue of institutional secrets have become something of a species, not as rare as they once more, but no less remarkable for that fact. And what a hounded species at that.

Across the globe prisons are now peopled by traditional, and in some instances unconventional journalists, who have found themselves in the possession of classified material. In one specific instance, Julian Assange of WikiLeaks stands tall, albeit in limited space, within the Ecuadorean embassy in London.

Unlawful imprisonment and arbitrary detention are treated by black letter lawyers with a crystal clarity that would disturb novelists and lay people; lawyers, in turn, are sometimes disturbed by the inventive ways a novelist, or litterateur type, might interpret detention. The case of Assange, shacked and hemmed in a small space at the mercy of his hosts who did grant him asylum, then citizenship, has never been an easy one to explain to either. Ever murky, and ever nebulous, his background and circumstances inspires polarity rather than accord.

What matters on the record is that Assange has been deemed by the United Nations Working Group in Arbitrary Detention to be living under conditions that amount to arbitrary detention. He is not, as the then foreign secretary of the UK, Philip Hammond claimed in 2016, a fugitive from justice, voluntarily hiding in the Ecuadorean embassy. To claim such volition is tantamount to telling a person overlooking the precipice that he has a choice on whether to step out and encounter it.

The whole issue with his existence revolves, with no small amount of precariousness, on his political publishing activity. He is no mere ordinary fugitive, but a muckracker extraordinaire who must tolerate the hospitality of another state even as he breathes air into a moribund fourth estate. He is the helmsman of a publishing outfit that has blended the nature of journalism with the biting effect of politics, and duly condemned for doing so.

Given such behaviour, it was bound to irk those who have been good enough to accept his tenancy. The tenancy of the political asylum seeker is ever finite, vulnerable to mutability and abridgment.Assanges Ecuadorean hosts have made no secret that they would rather wish him to keep quiet in his not so gilded cage, restraining himself from what they consider undue meddling. To do so entails targeting his lifeblood: communications through the Internet itself, and those treasured discussions he shares with visitors of various standings in the order of celebrity.

On March 27, his hosts decided to cut off internet access to the WikiLeaks publisher-in-chief. Jamming devices were also put in place in case Assange got any other ideas. Till that point, Assange had been busy defending Catalan separatist politician Carles Puigdemont against Germanys detention of him, in the process decrying the European Arrest Warrant, while also questioning the decisions made by several European states to expel Russian diplomats in the wake of the poisoning of double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter. It was just that sort of business that irked the new guard in Ecuador, keen on reining in such enthusiastic interventions.

What seems to be at play here is a breaking of spirit, a battle of attrition that may well push Assange into the arms of the British authorities who insist that he will be prosecuted for violating his bail conditions the moment he steps out of the embassy. This, notwithstanding that the original violation touched upon extradition matters to Sweden that have run their course.

Former Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa had denounced his countrys recent treatment of Assange. In May, Correa told The Intercepthow preventing Assange from receiving visitors at the embassy constituted a form of torture. Ecuador was no longer maintaining normal sovereign relations with the American government just submission.

Times, and the fashion, has certainly changed at the London embassy. Current President Lenn Moreno announced in May that his country had recently signed an agreement focused on security cooperation [with the US] which implies sharing information, intelligence topics and experiences in the fight against illegal drug trafficking and fighting transnational organized crime.Tectonic plates, and alliances, are shifting, and activist publishers are not de rigueur.

The recent round of lamentations reflect upon the complicity and collusion not just amongst the authorities but within a defanged media establishment keen to make Assange disappear. This quest to silence free speech and neuter a free press, suggests Teodrose Fikre, is a bipartisan campaign and a bilateral initiative.

There has been little or no uproar in media circles over the 6-year period of Assanges Ecuadorean stay, surmises Paul Craig Roberts, because the media itself has changed. The doddering Gray Lady (The New York Timesfor others), had greyed so significantly under the Bush administration it had lost its teeth, allowing Bush to be re-elected without controversy and allowing the government time to legalize the spying on an ex post facto basis.

Both President Donald J. Trump and Russia provide the current twin pillars of journalistic escapism and paranoia. Be it Democrat or Republican in the US, the WikiLeaks figure remains very wanted personifying the bridge that links current political behemoths. For the veteran Australian journalist John Pilger, The fakery of Russia-gate, the collusion of a corrupt media and the shame of a legal system that pursues truth-tellers have not been able to hold back the raw truth of WikiLeaks revelations. Such rawness persists, as does the near fanatical attempt to break the will of a man who has every entitlement to feel that he is losing his mind.

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The Next Step: The Campaign for Julian Assange

UK Should Reject Extraditing Julian Assange to US | Human …

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is seen on the balcony of the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, Britain, May 19, 2017.

It has been six years since Julian Assange, founder of Wikileaks, fled to the Ecuadorean Embassy in London to seek asylum from possible extradition to the United States to face indictment under the US Espionage Act.

At the time, Assange, an Australian national, was wanted by Sweden for questioning over sexual offense allegations. Assange had also broken the terms of his UK bail. Since then, he has become even more controversial, having published US Secretary of State Hillary Clintons emails and internal emails from Democratic Party officials.

While some admire and others despise Assange, no one should be prosecuted under the antiquated Espionage Act for publishing leaked government documents. That 1917 statute was designed to punish people who leaked secrets to a foreign government, not to the media, and allows no defense or mitigation of punishment on the basis that public interest served by some leaks may outweigh any harm to national security.

The US grand jury investigation of Assange under the Espionage Act was apparently based on his publishing the leaks for which Chelsea Manning, a former US army soldier, was convicted. Her sentence was commuted.

The publication of leaksparticularly leaks that show potential government wrongdoing or human rights abuseis a critical function of a free press in a democratic society. The vague and sweeping provisions of the Espionage Act remain ready to be used against other publishers and journalists, whether they be Wikileaks or the New York Times.

Assange has agreed to surrender himself to the British police but only if he were granted assurances against extradition to the US, where he could face life in prison. He also offered to appear in Sweden if Sweden would offer similar assurances.

In 2016, the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention found Assanges stay in the Ecuadorean embassy, enforced by the alternative of his potential extradition to the US, to be an arbitrary deprivation of liberty. Ecuador, offended by Assanges political comments, this year has denied him internet access and visitors, other than occasional contact with his lawyers. Ecuador denied Human Rights Watch permission to visit him this May. Concern is growing over his access to medical care. His asylum is growing more difficult to distinguish from detention.

The UK has the power to resolve concerns over his isolation, health, and confinement by removing the threat of extradition for publishing newsworthy leaks. It should do so before another year passes.

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UK Should Reject Extraditing Julian Assange to US | Human …