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posted by janrinok on Saturday August 26 2023, @09:09PM   Printer-friendly

The ScheerPost has published a sermon which Chris Hedges gave on Sunday Aug. 20 in Oslo, Norway at Kulturkirken Jakob (St. James Church of Culture) where the actor and film director Liv Ullmann read the scripture passages. Chris Hedges is a Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist who has worked for many years at the New York Times, NPR, and several other publications. In his sermon he expounds on the long-standing problem of speaking truth to power.

Julian exposed the truth. He exposed it over and over and over until there was no question of the endemic illegality, corruption and mendacity that defines the global ruling class And for these truths they came after Julian, as they have come after all who dared rip back the veil on power. "Red Rosa now has vanished too," Bertolt Brecht wrote after the German socialist Rosa Luxemburg was murdered. "She told the poor what life is about, And so the rich have rubbed her out."

We have undergone a corporate coup, where poor and working men and women are reduced to joblessness and hunger, where war, financial speculation and internal surveillance are the only real business of the state, where even habeas corpus no longer exists, where we, as citizens, are nothing more than commodities to corporate systems of power, ones to be used, fleeced and discarded.

Given the massive quantities of disinformation spread over a longer period of time against Julian Assange, and the media blackout on coverage of his case and how it effects journalism as a whole, this is a difficult case to find a concise and accurate summary to link to. The bottom line is that, regardless of what one thinks (or has been told to think) about Julian Assange, the case hinges on factors which will determine whether or not there is a future for investigative reporting.

Previously:
(2023) Australian Lawmakers Press US Envoy for Julian Assange Release
(2023) No NGO Has Been Allowed to See Julian Assange Since Four Years Ago
(2022) Biden Faces Growing Pressure to Drop Charges Against Julian Assange
(2022) Assange Lawyers Sue CIA for Spying on Them
(2021) Key Witness in Assange Case Jailed in Iceland After Admitting to Lies and Ongoing Crime Spree
...
(2015) French Justice Minister Says Snowden and Assange Could Be Offered Asylum


Original Submission

Related Stories

French Justice Minister Says Snowden and Assange Could Be Offered Asylum

French Justice Minister Christiane Taubira thinks National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden and WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange might be allowed to settle in France.

If France decides to offer them asylum, she would "absolutely not be surprised," she told French news channel BFMTV on Thursday (translated from the French). She said it would be a "symbolic gesture."

Taubira was asked about the NSA's sweeping surveillance of three French presidents, disclosed by WikiLeaks this week, and called it an "unspeakable practice."

Her comments echoed those in an editorial in France's leftist newspaper Libération Thursday morning, which said giving Snowden asylum would be a "single gesture" that would send "a clear and useful message to Washington," in response to the "contempt" the U.S. showed by spying on France's president.

Will France deliver the rebuke to Washington that Germany has failed to?

Key Witness in Assange Case Jailed in Iceland After Admitting to Lies and Ongoing Crime Spree 44 comments

Key witness in Assange case jailed in Iceland after admitting to lies and ongoing crime spree

Sigurdur Thordarson, a key witness for the FBI against Julian Assange, has been jailed in Iceland. The notorious alleged hacker and convicted pedophile was remanded to custody in Iceland's highest security prison, Litla Hraun, on September 24. Þórðarson´s lawyer, Húnbogi J. Andersen, confirms that he is in custody. Thordarson was given immunity by the FBI in exchange for testimony against Julian Assange.

Thordarson was arrested the same day he arrived back in Iceland from a trip to Spain, and was subsequently brought before a judge after police requested indefinite detention intended to halt an ongoing crime spree. The judge apparently agreed that Thordarson's repeated, blatant and ongoing offences against the law put him at high risk for continued re-offending.

[...] Thordarson is a key witness for the United States Justice Department according to documents presented to a UK court in an effort to secure the extradition of Julian Assange. He was recruited by US authorities to build a case against Assange after misleading them to believe he was previously a close associate of his. In a recent interview with Stundin he admitted to fabricating statements to implicate Assange and contradicted what he was quoted as saying in US court documents. In fact he had volunteered on a limited basis to raise money for Wikileaks in 2010 but was found to have used that opportunity to embezzle more than $50,000 from the organization. Julian Assange was visiting Thordarson's home country of Iceland around this time due to his work with Icelandic media and members of parliament in preparing the Icelandic Modern Media Initiative, a press freedom project that produced a parliamentary resolution supporting whistleblowers and investigative journalism.


Original Submission

Assange Lawyers Sue CIA for Spying on Them 20 comments

Assange lawyers sue CIA for spying on them:

Lawyers for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange sued the US Central Intelligence Agency and its former director Mike Pompeo on Monday, alleging it recorded their conversations and copied data from their phones and computers.

[...] They said the CIA worked with a security firm contracted by the Ecuadoran embassy in London, where Assange was living at the time, to spy on the Wikileaks founder, his lawyers, journalists and others he met with.

[...] Richard Roth, the New York attorney representing the plaintiffs in the lawsuit, said the alleged spying on Assange's attorneys means the Wikileaks founder's right to a fair trial has "now been tainted, if not destroyed."

[...] It said Undercover Global, which had a security contract with the embassy, swept information on their electronic devices, including communications with Assange, and provided it to the CIA.

In addition it placed microphones around the embassy and sent recordings, as well as footage from security cameras, to the CIA.

This, Roth said, violated privacy protections for US citizens.

Anyone knowledgeable on the law who can help unpack all the legal angles here (non-US citizen, US lawyers, in an embassy in a foreign country involving a private company)?


Original Submission

Politics: Biden Faces Growing Pressure to Drop Charges Against Julian Assange 16 comments

Biden faces a renewed push, domestically and internationally, to drop charges against Assange, who is languishing in a UK jail:

The Biden administration has been saying all the right things lately about respecting a free and vigorous press, after four years of relentless media-bashing and legal assaults under Donald Trump.

The attorney general, Merrick Garland, has even put in place expanded protections for journalists this fall, saying that "a free and independent press is vital to the functioning of our democracy".

But the biggest test of Biden's commitment remains imprisoned in a jail cell in London, where WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has been held since 2019 while facing prosecution in the United States under the Espionage Act, a century-old statute that has never been used before for publishing classified information.

[...] Now Biden is facing a re-energized push, both inside the United States and overseas, to drop Assange's protracted prosecution.

Five major media organizations that relied on his trove of government secrets, including the Guardian and the New York Times, put out an open letter earlier this month saying that his indictment "sets a dangerous precedent" and threatens to undermine the first amendment.


Original Submission

No NGO Has Been Allowed to See Julian Assange Since Four Years Ago 12 comments

Democracy Now has a brief interview with a representative from Reporters Without Borders (RSF) on their latest attempt to meet Julian Assange inside Belmarsh high-security prison in the UK. Despite being granted approval, the RSF secretary-general and executive director Christophe Deloire and the others with him were denied entry. No other non-governmental agency has been able to meet with Assange in the last four years either.

CHRISTOPHE DELOIRE: So, what happened is that in the past years we requested to be able to visit Julian in his jail. We got an approval recently, which was confirmed on March 21st with a number, an official number, for myself and my colleague, Rebecca Vincent, and we were invited to come to the prison.

And when we just arrived, the guy at the desk, when he saw my passport, he suddenly was very stressed, and that taking a paper on his office — on his desk, and that read it, saying, "According to Article" — I do not remember the number of the article, but according to this article, "you are not allowed to visit Julian Assange. This is a decision that has been made by the governor of the Belmarsh prison, based on intelligence that we had" — I quote him — "that you are journalists."

And it doesn't make sense at all, first, because, personally, I've been a journalist since 1996, and we were vetted, so it was never a mystery that I was a journalist, never a secret. Second, my colleague wasn't a journalist herself. And we came here not as journalists, but as representatives of an international NGO with a constitutive status in many international organizations. So it was really as Reporters Without Borders representatives, not as reporters covering the case. So, it doesn't make sense for this second reason. And there is a third reason for which it doesn't make sense, is that already two journalists, at least, have been able to visit him in jail in the past four years. So —

Previously:
(2022) Biden Faces Growing Pressure to Drop Charges Against Julian Assange
(2022) Assange Lawyers Sue CIA for Spying on Them
(2022) Julian Assange's Extradition to the US Approved by UK Home Secretary
(2021) Key Witness in Assange Case Jailed in Iceland After Admitting to Lies and Ongoing Crime Spree
(2019) Top Assange Defense Account Suspended By Twitter
(2019) Wikileaks Co-Founder Julian Assange Arrested at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London
(2015) French Justice Minister Says Snowden and Assange Could Be Offered Asylum

And many more.


Original Submission

Australian Lawmakers Press US Envoy for Julian Assange Release 4 comments

Australian lawmakers press US envoy for Julian Assange release

Australian lawmakers have met United States Ambassador Caroline Kennedy, urging her to help drop the pending extradition case against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and allow him to return to Australia.

The "Bring Julian Assange Home Parliamentary Group" said on Tuesday it informed Kennedy of "the widespread concern in Australia" about the continued detention of Assange, an Australian citizen.

The meeting comes before US President Joe Biden's scheduled visit to Australia this month for the Quad leaders' summit.

"There are a range of views about Assange in the Australian community and the members of the Parliamentary Group reflect that diversity of views. But what is not in dispute in the Group is that Mr Assange is being treated unjustly," the legislators said in a statement after meeting Kennedy in the capital, Canberra.

Assange is battling extradition from the United Kingdom to the US where he is wanted on criminal charges over the release of confidential military records and diplomatic cables in 2010. Washington says the release of the documents had put lives in danger.

Previously:

April 2023: No NGO Has Been Allowed to See Julian Assange Since Four Years Ago
December 2022: Biden Faces Growing Pressure to Drop Charges Against Julian Assange
August 2022: Assange Lawyers Sue CIA for Spying on Them
June 2022: Julian Assange's Extradition to the US Approved by UK Home Secretary


Original Submission

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  • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 26 2023, @10:13PM (7 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 26 2023, @10:13PM (#1321992)

    Was the information the rapist Assange revealed useful? Of course. But he is not a "journalist" nor is he a god.

    • (Score: 1, Touché) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 26 2023, @10:53PM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 26 2023, @10:53PM (#1321994)

      I see this is going to be an ass kissing thread.

      • (Score: 2) by ls671 on Sunday August 27 2023, @04:33PM

        by ls671 (891) on Sunday August 27 2023, @04:33PM (#1322080) Homepage

        Here is my part then:
        From TFS:

        the case hinges on factors which will determine whether or not there is a future for investigative reporting.

        I feel confident I would have a great future doing investigative reporting on Donald Trump so, I guess it depends what you do investigative reporting on.

        --
        Everything I write is lies, including this sentence.
    • (Score: 4, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 26 2023, @11:40PM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 26 2023, @11:40PM (#1322002)

      He's from a different time. Back when there was some semblance of sanity or decorum.

      Back when leftists were against big pharma and corporations instead of their cheerleaders.

      >New York Times, NPR, and several other publications.

      These same outlets spread establishment propaganda with a socialist facade.. and the best part is: former "liberals" have all bought in and try to stone you when you point it out.

      • (Score: 4, Informative) by therainingmonkey on Sunday August 27 2023, @11:57AM

        by therainingmonkey (6839) on Sunday August 27 2023, @11:57AM (#1322054)

        There are no leftists allowed in the US media.

        The American overton window stretches from centre-right liberals to far-right conservatives.

        Remember that everhywhere else, "liberal" and "leftist" are completely different ideologies; it's only in America that they've been squashed together.

    • (Score: 5, Informative) by Runaway1956 on Sunday August 27 2023, @05:14AM (1 child)

      by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Sunday August 27 2023, @05:14AM (#1322021) Journal

      For the record, there was no rape. Both of the "victims" have stated as much. If Julian was guilty of anything, he violated a social more. Sexual interactions were consensual, but Julian had no condoms on hand when he went back for seconds. Same story with both "victims". If you bother to read up on the encounters, it's interesting that the two stories are so very similar.

      Of course, cave hermits can't be expected to understand the subtleties here. Which is exactly the reason American media characterized Assange as a rapist. You've been had, one more time.

      --
      We've finally beat Medicare! - Houseplant in Chief
      • (Score: 4, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 27 2023, @10:47AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 27 2023, @10:47AM (#1322050)

        They didn't even complain until later when they were comparing notes and found out he bonked both of them The initial statement to the cops was just an inquiry to ask if they could force him to have an STD test.

        Pretty sure that out of town prosecutor who went after him is a CIA asset.

    • (Score: 2, Insightful) by khallow on Sunday August 27 2023, @02:19PM

      by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Sunday August 27 2023, @02:19PM (#1322069) Journal
      The revealing of said information is what makes him a real journalist by definition. And I doubt anyone is shaken by this startling revelation that Assange may be slightly impaired on the deific front.
  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by jelizondo on Sunday August 27 2023, @12:22AM (3 children)

    by jelizondo (653) Subscriber Badge on Sunday August 27 2023, @12:22AM (#1322005) Journal

    As Julian feared, he was charged [justice.gov] by the U.S. government in the case of Chelsea Manning for revealing the truth about what was really happening in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    I don't care much for Julian as a person, but I do think he is being punished for telling the truth, a truth that made powerful people uneasy.

    • (Score: 4, Interesting) by Frosty Piss on Sunday August 27 2023, @01:02AM (2 children)

      by Frosty Piss (4971) on Sunday August 27 2023, @01:02AM (#1322009)

      His hubris is his downfall. And unfortunately for him, the chances of the US charges being mitigated or dropped is slim to none. It's unlikely he would qualify for low to medium security lockup due to being a flight risk, and exposure to the "general prison population" would be physically dangerous for him, thus he will likely lose his mind in some sort of protective solitary.

      • (Score: 3, Touché) by ikanreed on Sunday August 27 2023, @04:43AM

        by ikanreed (3164) Subscriber Badge on Sunday August 27 2023, @04:43AM (#1322019) Journal

        I'm not inclined to take "personal hubris" as a reason to justify excessive punishment and obvious attainder by the powers that be.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 27 2023, @06:08AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 27 2023, @06:08AM (#1322023)

        Maybe he'll get another chance at a pardon from a President who just doesn't care, such as Biden or Trump.

  • (Score: 3, Informative) by mendax on Sunday August 27 2023, @04:10AM (7 children)

    by mendax (2840) on Sunday August 27 2023, @04:10AM (#1322017)

    I'm sorry but I have a great deal of time feeling sympathy for Julian Assange. With regard to the charges the United States has filed against him he is likely an innocent man, but as a human being he's rather awful. I hope he's released soon and allowed to return to Australia, but that doesn't mean that I'll ever like the man. He's just not very pleasant in my eyes.

    --
    It's really quite a simple choice: Life, Death, or Los Angeles.
    • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 27 2023, @05:10AM (4 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 27 2023, @05:10AM (#1322020)

      Have you ever actually met him? Or is your opinion solely due to media manipulation?

      • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Runaway1956 on Sunday August 27 2023, @05:24AM (1 child)

        by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Sunday August 27 2023, @05:24AM (#1322022) Journal

        You don't have to meet a person to come to some conclusions about them. Mendax thinks he's an unpleasant sort of fellow - and I kinda agree with him. I declare him foolish, and the proof of his foolishness is that he went to an embassy from which there was no escape. He should have run for the border, then if he escaped the UK, he should have kept running until he was beyond extradition. Edward Snowden's story isn't hugely different from Assange, but Snowden understood his odds, and dealt with them appropriately. I also think that I would enjoy barhopping, or dinner, or just idle chitchat with Snowden, far more than I would enjoy Assange's company. Assange is something of a weenie, all things considered. Of course, being a weenie doesn't make you a bad guy, nor does it make you a criminal.

        --
        We've finally beat Medicare! - Houseplant in Chief
      • (Score: 3, Funny) by mendax on Sunday August 27 2023, @06:36AM (1 child)

        by mendax (2840) on Sunday August 27 2023, @06:36AM (#1322024)

        Of course not, although coincidentally, he and I use the same cyberspace "handle". I think I started using it first, however. Anyway, over the years he just has always struck me as being a jerk.

        --
        It's really quite a simple choice: Life, Death, or Los Angeles.
        • (Score: 3, Informative) by Mojibake Tengu on Sunday August 27 2023, @12:37PM

          by Mojibake Tengu (8598) on Sunday August 27 2023, @12:37PM (#1322060) Journal

          In Latin, mendax means "lying". Assange took this nick at his age of 16, from Quintus Horatius Flaccus' poetry where it is written as splendide mendax, "nobly untruthful".

          It's pure idealism, an adequate nick for that age. You, no doubt, performed the same. That makes jerks two of you. (I am a tengu, I recognize a jerk when I see one...)

          Besides, Julian Assange is not a saint, but he is still a victim of totalitarian Injustice.
          That's a real shame.
          Not of him of course, but of goddess Iustitia.

          --
          Rust programming language offends both my Intelligence and my Spirit.
    • (Score: 4, Insightful) by pTamok on Sunday August 27 2023, @10:09AM

      by pTamok (3042) on Sunday August 27 2023, @10:09AM (#1322043)

      I'm sorry but I [don't] have a great deal of time feeling sympathy for Julian Assange. With regard to the charges the United States has filed against him he is likely an innocent man, but as a human being he's rather awful. I hope he's released soon and allowed to return to Australia, but that doesn't mean that I'll ever like the man. He's just not very pleasant in my eyes.

      There's a relatively famous quotation by the American journalist and essayist H.L. Mencken [wikipedia.org] on this very topic:

      The question is not whether Assange is a 'good chap', the question is about (investigative) journalistic freedom. I share your view that Assange is not someone I would personally want to spend time with: but I think some of the work he did was, and continues to be, important to defend.

      It is a well known technique to assassinate the character of someone whose views you wish to be unpopular. The technique is used because it works. Also, sometimes people with poor characters do good things, which are unnoticed as a result.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 27 2023, @01:27PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 27 2023, @01:27PM (#1322063)

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Julian_Assange [wikipedia.org]

      Reading his Wikipedia article earlier and filling in some of the gaps in his life history I forgot or missed made me like him more. He really likes hacking Nortel lol.

  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by SpockLogic on Sunday August 27 2023, @12:24PM

    by SpockLogic (2762) on Sunday August 27 2023, @12:24PM (#1322056)

    When Wikileaks published "Collateral Murder" https://collateralmurder.wikileaks.org/ [wikileaks.org], exposing US war crimes in Iraq including the murder of two Reuters journalists, he put a target on his back. There was no safe place in the world for him once he pulled the veil off the state sponsored lies.

    --
    Overreacting is one thing, sticking your head up your ass hoping the problem goes away is another - edIII
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