The Julian Assange Case Threatens All Journalists Who Scrutinize Government Conduct
Submitted September 14, 2020 at 03:05PM by Cropitekus
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Today in the Old Bailey I watched the grim farce of the US/UK attempt to extradite Julian Assange. The bullying prosecutor is reduced to insulting the integrity of expert witnesses. Trapped behind glass, Julian is denied free access to his barrister. This is Britain’s shame.
Submitted September 14, 2020 at 11:46AM by failed_evolution
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Extradition hearing is a farce
Behavior of the magistrate is beyond contempt. Multiple occasions have seen her produce a ruling which was already written before arguments – against the Defendant every time. As the trial portion started, the Defense have absolutely trashed the Prosecution, to the point that on Thursday 10 Sep, the trial was adjourned until the following Monday, ostensibly because a prosecutor might possibly maybe kinda like, you know, be coming down with… yep, covid. My take is that things were stopped because the Defense were making a very clear case that the charges in US are in fact political, which means the UK cannot extradite Assange under the terms of the extradition treaty between US and UK, and needed time to find a way around that. Monday, they stopped things again because of "technical problems" with the audio and video link between the day's Witness in US and the Court at the Old Bailey in London. The magistrate started the day by complaining that a previous Witness had been seen to drink coffee, which was completely improper conduct. I will not be surprised if they wind up closing the trial to the public (only five, friends/relatives of Assange) are allowed in, anyway, and a few others, mostly media, are allowed "in", but in a separate room, with a smallish video screen and what so far has been reported as very poor audio… hell, they might as well close it. Actually, from all that has transpired so far, they might as well cut it off and announce that the extradition is granted, and let the Americans bag him up and take him straight to a chopper on the roof.
Submitted September 14, 2020 at 10:11AM by zenguitar
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Glenn Greenwald eloquently summarises the prosecution of Julian Assange.
From the YouTube video https://youtu.be/XNFEXvyZdyU A transcript of the primary question and answer;
What is Assange being prosecuted for?
The US government, first under Obama and now under Trump, has wanted to prosecute Assange/WikiLeaks for a long time, not because of anything relating to the 2016 election, but because of the publications in 2010 of the Iraq and Afghanistan war logs and the diplomatic cables provided to them by Chelsea Manning.
And the problem that the Obama justice department ran into was how is it that we could prosecute WikiLeaks for publishing these materials without creating a precedent that would also require the prosecution of the New York Times, Washington Post & The Guardian, which not only publish top secret documents all the time but published the same exact documents in partnership with Wikileaks
And so they ultimately concluded that the only way to do that would be to find something that Assange did that was more than just publication, to be able to say that he actually participated in the crime itself and they found nothing.
When Jeff Sessions and Mike Pompeo came in under Trump, they made it their priority, they vowed that they would destroy Wikileaks and they concocted a theory that justified indicting Assange where they claim that he did more than just receiving the material, he actually worked with Chelsea Manning to help her try evade detection by cracking passwords that would’ve let her not access documents but let her sign into the systems anonymously to avoid detection and that by doing that, says the indictment, he actually became part of the conspiracy.
And the reason it’s so dangerous, because journalists always try to help their sources evade detection, it’s not only their right of a journalist, it’s their duty. If you go to the NYT or WP front page today you’ll see instructions on how people can leak information to those newspapers using encryption and other kinds of programs without getting caught.
So the extradition proceeding is just the US government’s request to the government of the UK to take Assange from the prison that he’s in and ship him to the US to stand trial under espionage acts in connection to the publication of those documents in 2010.
They’ve made no secret of the fact that they want to imprison him for the rest of his life essentially for the crime of exposing what it is the US government does in war and in other instances that they want to keep from the public.
Submitted September 13, 2020 at 07:56PM by BWV1012
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Glenn Greenwald – Also note that Assange is accused of trying (but failing) to help Manning crack a password *not* to enable her to access more documents (she already had the access) but merely to help her avoid government detection, something all responsible journalists do with their sources.
Submitted September 13, 2020 at 05:03PM by karmagheden
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