Julian Assange’s ‘Alternate’ Future

I published ‘March to Canberra with Christine Assange’ on June 19 2012, about 6 hours after Julian Assange entered the Ecuadorian Embassy. I had begun to take notes on a history that would repeat itself.

Just over 10 years ago, Julian Assange’s lawyer Gareth Peirce, wrote a letter to the PM of Australia, Kevin Rudd, that eerily described what eventually came to pass in Britain.  It was hand-delivered by Malcolm Turnbull, a subsequent PM. She wrote:

Letter: Gareth Peirce to Mi… by swedenversusassange


The letter described Julian Assange’s ‘alternate’ future, had he been extradited to Sweden. He was not facing charges there, but he was facing immediate imprisonment, solitary confinement for up to 23 hours a day and indefinite detention - on NO charges, as yet. He was there for questioning only, but there was no time limit to pre-trial detention in Sweden. This was “due process” for foreigners and suspects in sexual misconduct allegations, BEFORE they had been charged with any crime. They couldn’t apply for bail and even family visits were forbidden. Only a lawyer and priest could speak with them.

Swedish remand prisons had been described by Birgitta Winberg, the president of International Prison Chaplains’ Association Worldwide, as ’the worst in Europe’:

“In no other country”, she said, “are people in isolation before they are charged”.

And if a US indictment were to come through in the meantime for Assange, within days or years this process could be interrupted by Sweden to “loan” Assange to the US under the two countries’ Temporary Surrender Treaty – no questions asked.

It was a neater arrangement, a fast-track version you might say, of what eventually transpired in the UK. Assange secured Ecuador’s protection for another five good years of publishing, but the same net eventually tightened around him. The same indefinite detention and torture of isolation that Sweden had planned, with a hand-over to the US looming – like now in the UK – despite a prohibitive Extradition Treaty with the US for political offences; and despite the exposure over time of countless violations of due process across Sweden, the UK and the US – including CIA spying on the defence and most recently its utterly lawless kidnap or kill plan under the Trump Administration. The court knows now from expert witness Maureen Baird that if extradited, Assange’s future would be determined by the CIA – effectively those who were planning to kill him. It didn’t happen in 2012 and it may be time now to admit “Game Over” and drop the charges.

Gareth Peirce included two links for PM Rudd to visit. The first, still online, informs him about what’s going on in the US in 2011. We discover: 
Secretary of Defense Robert Gates has said that the military has enlisted FBI agents in its investigation of the matter, which could mean that someone who is not a uniformed US military person is about to be charged, or has been.

The FBI investigation would include a non-authorised field trip to Iceland to work with a potential witness against Assange, Sigurdur Thordarson, on what was exposed in the Icelandic parliament and in recent admissions by Thordarson, as an entrapment and false testimony plan. The Interior Minister of Iceland, Ögmundur Jónasson, said the FBI had deceived Icelandic authorities about their activity in Iceland.

Prosecution witnesses Sabu & Siggi: hackers who tried to entrap each other, not realising they were both working for FBI

The DoJ also deceived the UK by with-holding Thordarson’s name (and long criminal record) in their 2nd superseding indictment. The prosecution deceived the court by with-holding prison documents attesting to Assange’s mental health and mis-represented expert medical opinion at the US Appeal review on August 11. The US will assert Assange is a malingerer, and in any case, as prosecution witness Nigel Blackwood says,

“suicidal tendencies can be managed with the right kind of medication”.

There’s been a lot more massaging of the legal framework to do than in Sweden, and much more fallout as the ‘not cricket’ scandals unfold.

10 years ago, Gareth Peirce also alerted Australia’s PM to the US’s poor record in adhering to extradition assurances. Dated May 13 2010, her paper was entitled:
“America’s Non-Compliance - Gareth Peirce presents the case against extradition”

Peirce reports on how, under threat of disproportionate punishment, the US coerces defendants into 90% guilty pleas; or witness compliancy with impunity – such as Thordason was offered, plus expenses. She also cites the US’s history of non-adherence to rendition assurances:

Twice the foreign secretary has had to come before Parliament to apologise for the fact that US promises concerning rendition had not been kept; and in 2008 the Select Committee on Foreign Affairs recommended that US assurances should no longer be accepted, given the country’s continuing denials that its interrogative practices met the universal definition of torture.

Peirce adds, way back then, that US non-compliance with conventions on human rights and torture included non-ratification of its own regional convention on human rights. She wrote:

While it is a party to the UN Convention against Torture, it has never ratified the treaty’s optional protocol, and it doesn’t accept the right of individual petition to the Committee for the Prevention of Torture. In those countries which have signed up, UN special rapporteurs on torture carry out unannounced inspections, intended to get behind the façade of impressive constitutions. They dig out grim truths and their reports are often biting and always public. America doesn’t even accept the application of its own regional American Convention on Human Rights, which it signed but has never ratified. Thus no individual in the US can have recourse to the Convention’s enforcement body, the Inter-American Court on Human Rights. Petitions can be sent to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, but its reports are not binding and findings are consistently ignored.

So where are we today? The UN considers more than 14 days in solitary confinement as torture, but the US has been holding prisoners in isolation for up to 44 years, says former CIA whistleblower and segregated prisoner John Kiriakou.

Peirce demonstrates how the US, rather than complying, instead persuades or coerces other states and their institutions to comply with what it wants, regardless of convention. We have seen this play out, arguably with reckless zeal in the UK, in documented CPS manipulation of the Swedish Prosecution Service and the FCO’s role in turning Ecuador’s President against international law and Article 41 of his own Constitution. We see it in recent reports of UK counterparts of CIA agreeing to execute a shoot-out in the streets of London in the absence of any charge against Assange from the US.

10 years ago Peirce reached out to warn Australia of how the US would likely operate to get its man. Rudd and his successors do nothing, and in the fullness of time, ‘Plan B: UK’ comes to resemble ‘Plan A: Sweden’. A gateway has now been opened for a “Hail Mary pass”, in the words of Prof Bill Hogan, to discredit the expert testimony of Professor Micael Kopelman.

Both Hogan and clinical psychologist Lissa K. Johnson suggest that the US could run into difficulty having it dismissed. Lord Justice Holroyde and Lord Justice of England and Wales Ian Duncan Burnett will decide.

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Online International Solidarity Event: #FreeTheTruth

Catherine Brown, Andrew Feinstein, Kristinn Hrafnsson, Stefania Maurizi, Craig Murray, Peter Oborne and Chris Williamson will speak.

This event commemorates the inhumane removal of award-winning journalist & publisher Julian Assange from the Ecuadorean embassy in London, and seeks to examine the circumstances surrounding his planned extradition to the US.

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Parrot or Perish?

Unfortunately we don’t always practice what we preach. The US Constitution is the world’s model for press freedom for the last 300 years, when the First Amendment was born. But after almost a century of refinement in the processes of information management, challenges to what the state declared as truth were rare, and usually dismissed as “conspiracy theories” (a term weaponised by the CIA in the late 1960s to quarantine certain events as off limits to inquiry or debate).

The internet, and specifically citizen-generated media has now made the flow of information impossible to control, and official narratives are being ruptured at the seams by “insider threat” whistle-blowing and fearless independent investigative journalism. Pressure has come down on career journalists to ‘parrot or perish’, and as the ABC has somewhat ironically pointed out, China has been hammering journalists who report truthfully in a way that criticises the state, by attributing hundreds of negative social credits to them, and ruining lives…

We have recently learned that Microsoft and News Guard plan to silence the voice of independent media in the run-up to the 2020 elections, but is this what we want? We have indeed fallen into a schizoid and pervasively adversarial state, due to the contradictory information being delivered to us (even by POTUS), but faith in official narratives will not survive another generation if consistency and lawfulness are not restored.

President-elect Donald Trump took 141 distinct stances on 23 major issues during his bid for the White House.

If President Obama’s 2009 Executive Order 13526, Section 1.7 were actually put into practice, not only would we have less need for organisations like Wikileaks, the US could leave the 1917 Espionage Act buried in the ground, rather than exhuming and adapting it to prosecute whistle-blowers and (we shudder to think…) journalists.

Executive Order 13526, Section 1.7 states that it is illegal to classify information that would conceal a crime, or simply embarrass an administration.

In any case, the world needs the truth, and it will have it.

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Spooks & Nukes – Integrity Initiative’s state-funded, pro-war information operations exposed by Anonymous

As I hear more about the Integrity Initiative (II), I am reminded of Julian Assange & Edward Snowden in 2013, on the militarised occupation of our private lives and the new great game.

Years later we would realise, with a bang, the purpose of the new great game.

Spying—>Analysis—>Persuasion. The Mi(6)ssion was not just to collect information about the inner core of our lives, but using big data AI analysis, to learn how we as a society and as individuals, would be most vulnerable to misinformation, and apt to consent. Cambridge Analytica whistleblower, Chris Wylie, held a mirror to our nakedness in the face of such power, and to his company’s for-profit information operations, within the context of elections.

As they appear, the Integrity Initiative revelations, as well documented here by Robert Stevens on the WSWS, are steadily revealing that the same ‘national security’ bodies, who amended or ignored constitutional laws and collected everyone’s confidential information, are behind years of misinformation, with a view to a war. WW3 it seems. Stevens enlightens us on II’s involvement in the Skripal reporting, and the licence it gave Teresa May to lash out at Russia.

Former British Ambassador, Craig Murray has written extensively on the Skripal story

The pro-war ring of govt depts in the UK (Mod, FCO), the intelligence community, mainstream journalists, broadcasters & politicians, has been identified as state-sponsored propaganda, on the back of the public purse. To compound the scandal, the Integrity Initiative has been exposed as partisan, with the smearing of a party leader, Jeremy Corbyn, listed on its agenda.

We have also discovered that II is an international network, with “Clusters” of misinformation assets & outlets in other countries, including the US & Spain. That the Spanish Cluster misled the UK Parliament regarding links between Julian Assange and Russia; and that Guardian journalist, Luke Harding, misleads the world, with his “sources say” articles about Assange, Russia and Manafort, consistently void of evidence. Two other prominent Guardian journalists, including the 2018 Orwell Prize winner, Carole Cadwalladr, have been named in relation to II, as well as journalists from the BBC.

Most of the money comes from the UK govt.
Quite a lot from NATO.

Thanks Anonymous for giving peace a chance, even among friends. We didn’t know what to believe. The game is on again to move beyond Post-Truth.

In 2014, the Hawaii Democrat & presidential candidate, Tulsi Gabbard, advocated for ending warrantless NSA data collection on millions of innocent people, as a way to keep them safe. I can imagine that as the cynicism of an oppressed people, heavily subjected to information operations.

The NSA’s Thin-Thread architect, William Binney, has been saying the same thing for 17 years. As the name suggests, his program narrowed down surveillance to highly probable criminals, and by default, guaranteed everyone else’s privacy. [Unfortunately it was replaced by the dragnet program, Trailblazer, 3 weeks before 9/11, and the Saudis got lost in a haystack...]

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Cutting the Clap-Trap on Russian Hacking: a Forensic Incision

James Clapper, the former director of US national intelligence, is still frequently called upon for commentary on Russian hacking. We saw his testimony strongly featured in Australia’s high profile, 3-part series by ABC’s Four Corners, ‘Trump/Russia’.

For those who recall, James Clapper is the man who ‘confirmed’ there were WMDs in Iraq (as did Rumsfeld, Cheney/Bush, Robert Mueller and others). He is also the man who claimed under oath that the US did not “wittingly” spy on all its citizens, which Edward Snowden later proved to be another lie.

Now former CIA analyst, Ray McGovern (off-camera), challenges Clapper with the forensic evidence – released a year ago – by a technical team from VIPS (Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity), a group that includes William Binney, a former official & technical director at the NSA. Binney was the original architect of the US’s national security surveillance system.

VIPS’ hard evidence – of which we have seen none from the intelligence community to refute it – shows that the so-called ‘hacked’ emails were transferred at a speed that is impossible across the internet, and corresponds exactly with the rate of transfer to a USB stick. In other words, it was a local copy, which could only indicate an insider leak, not a remote hack. We must rely on the word of James Clapper, to believe otherwise.

VIPs also proved that the self-proclaimed hacker, Guccifer 2, was a fraud, while the Wikileaks Vault 7 release revealed that the CIA have a tool called Marble, which enables the insertion of a fake ‘digital footprint’ in a choice of foreign languages, including Chinese, Korean, Russian and Farsi.

What the VIPS forensic evidence implies is that Clapper lied again about Russian hacking. Yet their evidence goes unmentioned to this day by mainstream news outlets around the world. On the contrary, the MSN consistently refers to the DNC’s hacking narrative as fact, and the loyal bleat: “It’s Mueller’s time!” – unaware perhaps that he too lied, alongside Clapper, about the WMDs in Iraq.

Given that the DNC emails (which were not state secrets) weren’t hacked but leaked; both Binney and McGovern are wondering who the anonymous Russian hacker, ‘Guccifer 2′, really was. Technically, it is possible that this entity is a fabrication by the CIA, using the Marble framework.

We were warned that the Trump administration’s investigation, led by Robert Mueller, would be “disappointing”. Ray McGovern suggests he might end up telling us no more than Obama did, two days before leaving the Whitehouse; that the intelligence community’s evidence against Wikileaks collusion with Russian hackers was “inconclusive”.

“The conclusions of the intelligence community with respect to the Russian hacking were not conclusive as to whether WikiLeaks was witting or not in being the conduit through which we heard about the DNC e-mails that were leaked.”

Barack Obama

Did things begin to unravel a few days ago, when Trump’s attorney, Rudi Guiliani said that as editor-in-chief, Julian Assange had committed no crime in publishing this material? Daniel Ellsberg opined that it was a very good sign, since Guiliani cited the First Amendment as the protector of press freedom, and made it clear that Wikileaks was a media outlet, just like the New York Times & Washington Post.

We know not yet, if Rudi has heralded back-tracking by Trump’s administration on the arguably stinky Russian hacking investigation. But if they do, and decide to stop pulverising Assange, there will still be an elephant in the room regarding the role of the media in all of the above.

If the press really is free, why does it unquestioningly echo the word of mouth from proven liars? Why doesn’t it print VIPS’ credible forensic evidence that refutes Clapper’s claims? Will it be happy to close the matter with he “made a mistake” again? Or will he eventually be held to account as “James Clap-Trapper”, whose lies started a war that killed many young Americans and hundreds of thousands of civilians? Whose lies denied that the privacy of every citizen in the world was breached, and abused? Whose lies fuelled another Cold War with Russia, and the beating of drums for a hot one?

Will the penny drop for journalists in the echo chamber, that throwing a journalist into the middle of the Russiagate narrative has the potential to threaten their very own freedoms, if ever they care to use them.

Cathy Vogan

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Saving the First Amendment from Bi-partisan Attack

Julian Assange’s pending charge, the one that was accidentally revealed but as yet remains sealed, relates to the Chelsea Manning leaks.

That’s the Cables, Iraq War Logs & Guantanamo publications, back in 2010, around which most of the left side of US politics passionately defended Wikileaks, and Republicans wanted the head of its editor-in-chief on a platter. Are the latter just as hungry now to devour journalists? Here’s their chance, but will they make a move? Unsurprisingly, that looks like a negative. Today @AssangeLegal reported that the Department of Justice filed its opposition to the motion by the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press (@rcfp) to unseal the Assange Indictment.

Why the charge is about the Manning era is because it was filed in the Eastern District Court of Virginia, and bears the signature of the officer associated with the Grand Jury investigation into that case, G. Zachary Terwilliger. We’ve known about it since February 2011, when the Sydney Morning Herald and Melbourne Age reported that in one internal email sent in January 2011 a senior Stratfor exec writes: “We have a sealed indictment on Assange”. In response, the Australian QC, Julian Burnside sent the following request for information and assistance to the Australian Attorney General.

As for the Mueller indictments relating to the 2016 elections & ‘Russiagate’, as Charlie Savage in the New York Times advises, they were issued from the District of Columbia. Nothing related would be filed in a different jurisdiction, least of all collusion with those parties already indicted.

The strategy of Hillary Clinton and the DNC has been to portray Wikileaks as a partisan organisation, stirring up a lot of anger in Trump haters around the world. The democrats are no doubt happy to have their supporters think the charges relate to the Mueller investigation or the DNC lawsuit. And equally so, when Trump supporters suggest he owes Assange one for helping him win the election, since that supports their case against both. It is most unlikely charges will be brought in relation to the publication of DNC or Clinton emails. The most significant obstacle is the First Amendment. Behind that, the fact that this material was never classified as state secrets.

President Trump has no reason to celebrate or be grateful to Julian Assange in respect of Manning’s revelations through Wikileaks. In fact he called for Julian’s assassination when in 2010, their publications exposed war crimes during the Bush administration. Interestingly for both sides of politics, is that Colin Powell was not the only one to lie to the American people about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. So did Robert Mueller.

As they come to realise that this is a First Amendment issue, the Fourth Estate in the US is getting nervous. The records from the Eastern District Court of Virginia show that the line of investigation in relation to Assange, was into conspiracy to commit espionage. To convict Assange, the conspiracy had to be with someone charged with espionage, as Manning was. However, as Joe Lauria points out to Chris Hedges in a recent assessment of the situation, there is legislation in the Espionage Act of 1917 to charge any unauthorised person of state secrets, such as an investigative journalist.

That clause has never been used to date to convict a journalist. Indeed conflating the notion of conspiracy with a journalist’s process of gathering information would cripple the Fourth Estate’s freedom to publish truthful information in the public interest. It would deny the rights of the First Amendment. Daniel Ellsberg and James Goodale  (the First Amendment lawyer for the New York Times in the Pentagon Papers case)  have both warned, if Assange goes down on this charge, the First Amendment goes with him.

Will either the Trump or Clinton camps protect the First Amendment? I think not. On December 31st 2011, the long-term Propaganda Act was repealed by President Obama in the amendments made to the National Defence Authorisation Act (NDAA), making propaganda permitted again under law. This was an expedient and sweeping move to control the narrative,; initiated by the Democrats, but cozy for all. As long as the government of the day owned the MSN, it would work. That is, if Wikileaks could be effectively silenced.

The climate today is such that the President of the United States (POTUS) is even attacking MSN journalists and calling them the enemy of the people. He advises that they ignore the brutal murder of one of their own, Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi. The most reliable left-wing media that is critical of the DNC narrative and hosts CIA veteran officials like William Binney – whose forensic team proved there was no hacking of DNC servers – that media is being disappeared down Google search lists by Silicon Valley, who are largely in the pocket of the DNC. That is why the hacking scenario is still being taken as a given by the MSN and consequently, most of the public.

But let’s not forget the tactics of Trump’s campaign team, Cambridge Analytica, to identify and target the most vulnerable citizens (in multiple countries) with mendacious propaganda in order to get their vote. Let’s remember how fair comment between friends about John McCain was being deleted before our very eyes on social media. The battle for control of the narrative is deeply pervasive. Their ‘givens’ can become our givens, when repeated often enough. Sound familiar?

Trump could intervene, and be considered by many a hero for protecting the Constitution, but that seems as unlikely as the pig flying. What both sides of politics have been conducting over the last 8 years is a bipartisan war on whistle-blowers (in the case of Assange, across multiple countries) and intensifying surveillance on public servants (insider threats). This amounts to taking back control of the historical record.

The worst response ‘we the people’ can have, is to help either camp chip away at the freedom and safety of the Fourth Estate, or journalism’s fundamental ethic of impartiality. If a precedent is set with one journalist for the handling of state secrets – and in the case of Assange, a foreign national who has never worked or published in the US – every journalist in the world who handles (never mind publishes) US state secrets becomes vulnerable to the same prosecution.

The US should be very careful about making such a move against a foreign journalist. Not that the Australian government has any concerns in the case of Assange, where bipartisan smear and lies have been consistent across six administrations. The point is that if other ‘civilised’ countries follow suit and start hunting down journalists, whatever their nationality or jurisdiction of publication, trouble may soon arise for US foreign correspondents who regularly violate foreign secrecy laws, with the greatest threat to their freedom and safety coming from abroad. Such was the case for Khashoggi. If President Trump wants to avoid going down that dangerous road, he must protect the First Amendment; not any journalist in particular. All of them.

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Reconstructing Narratives: Jacob Applebaum & Laura Poitras

Live at Chaos Computer Club | Kill lists details | SSH possibly compromised | PRISM document shows OCR and PGP still safe | Signal safe

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Christine Assange speaks out for Julian

On August 9th, Sydney beamed out strong support for Julian Assange with a live-to-air event: ‘THE GAGGING OF JULIAN ASSANGE’. The venue, with live audience, was Politics in the Pub at the Sydney Gaelic Club. Thanks goes to the #Unity4J movement and particularly its ‘Stream Team’, for their invaluable technical support.

The remote guest speakers were Julian’s mother, Christine Assange, and the President of the New Zealand Internet Party, Suzie Dawson, who spoke to the audience live from Moscow.

In Sydney, the speakers were Cathy Vogan, Professor Stuart Rees and Mike Head. Christine was interviewed two days earlier by Cathy Vogan, and this was pre-loaded to the stream. There had been ‘mysterious problems’, in getting her connected to the live monthly VIGILS that #Unity4J have been running, so no risks were taken…

Here is the entire show, as broadcast on August 9th, with a direct link to Suzie Dawson’s talk. As viewers will see from the opening remarks by Vogan, there was a power failure (and internet lockout) while Christine’s interview was playing. Dawson focuses on the #Unity4J movement to save Julian – now 2700 people strong, and comprised of artists, writers, techs and speakers. She addresses the idea of bringing together people with different political opinions, who have one common aim, and how that’s been panning out.

Big shout-out to Gard Lord, @Jarraparilla, for this list of the main points made by Christine Assange:

*** “UK extradition does not require a prima facie case… There is absolutely no proper legal process for my son. The US Grand Jury is in secret… it has no defence allowed and it has no judge…”

*** “If UK get him on the [bail] warrant, which should be defunct, they can then drop that [and] serve the Grand Jury indictment with no proper legal process. Then they can extradite Julian to the US, again without legal process because you don’t have to present a prima facie case…”

*** “And then, when he gets to USA, under the National Defence Authorisation Act, he can be detained indefinitely without trial and face the death penalty, or 45 years in jail, if we see him at all for trial. It’s horrific.”

*** “And the Australian government has done NOTHING. Julian has tried to renew his passport but the computer won’t allow him to do that, which means that the government is not allowing him to do it.”

*** Christine suggests that UK govt did not extradite Gary McKinnon or @FreeLauriLove because they were UK citizens and the groundswell of outrage would have made it harder for them to extradite her son @JulianAssange.

*** Christine believes the #Russiavape collusion narrative is designed to make it easier to charge Julian with espionage and avoid First Amendment protections. She notes how @SamAdamsAward US intel veterans have defended @JulianAssange and don’t believe Russia was @wikileaks source.

*** Christine notes a former CIA officer claiming infiltration of international state media. She says @abcnews “are the worst” & wonders if they are infiltrated. “I have had to pull them up on calling Julian a hacker. Constantly. They will not refer to him as a journalist.”

*** “Australia has to stand up. Why do we want to be a Republic? Because we want to be a sovereign nation. But if you are not going to stand up for your citizen when a big bully superpower is threatening & torturing them, then you are not a sovereign nation.”

*** “Julian is dying. He is being slowly murdered. And this is the really disgusting thing: they’ve got nothing to charge him with. Because he’s done nothing wrong.”

*** “So they have chosen deliberately not to go to court, to keep him detained, to refuse him the normal requirements of life – fresh air, exercise, sunshine, medical care – so that he will gradually die.”

*** “His doctors are saying that if he is not gotten out of there, that’s exactly what will happen: he will die. He has irreversible damage to his mind and body now. He has been in chronic pain for 2 years. And UK refuses safe passage to go to a hospital.”

*** “I could never be as brave as Julian. Most people couldn’t. But what we can do for people in his situation is stand up for them. We can stand up to our governments and say No! Evil is not going to flourish because good men are going to do something.”

“Don’t we tell our children to stand up to bullying? Well I’m asking the Australian people to stand up & say NO. We’re better than this. We’re not gonna let this happen. If you don’t have the guts to do it, Malcolm Turnbull, we’re going to make you do it.”

*** “I want to say thank you to everyone who has stood up and is standing up. It does make a difference. You mightn’t think anything is being stopped but I think it is.. It’s not only boosting @JulianAssange’s morale but also his family’s morale, for us to keep going.”

*** “My son hasn’t felt the grass on his feet for six years. His eyesight is failing because he can’t look into the distance. If this was going on in a Third World country, or Russia, they would all be screaming at the top of their lungs.”

*** “They did more for one of the worst pedophiles the world has ever seen, Peter Scully, who was raping & killing babies. The Australian govt offered Consular Support and $500K! They go & bail out people who have been CHARGED with smuggling drugs!”

*** Christine notes @wikileaks revealed Hillary’s cynical plot to overthrow Gaddafi as a prelude to her run for President. Libya’s collapse has now triggered waves of refugees. “I see a lot of people protesting… Where are they for my son? He is a political refugee!”

*** “Liberty isn’t something that we just attain. We’ve got to continually fight for it. Because there are always people trying to take it away. Never has liberty been more under threat than right now, because of the technology [that Julian helped expose].”

*** “Both Left and Right can abuse power. Within the #Unity4J movement I am working with all sorts of people. What they all have in common is support for democracy and free speech, a free press, fair legal process and human rights. We can all come together on that.”

Christine Assange speaks out for her son Julian. Sydney, August 9 2018

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The Gagging of Julian Assange: What’s at Risk? – Sydney, Aug 9

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#Unity4J Online Vigil in support of Julian Assange

I was honoured to take part in the third online vigil for Julian Assange. He’s been shut off from the world since March 22nd. No internet, no phone calls, no visitors. Not even family or friends. It’s torture.

Much thanks Kim Dotcom and the tech team, and congratulations to Suzie Dawson @Suzi3D and Elizabeth Lea Vos @ElizabethleaVos from disobedientmedia.com for organising these outstanding events. HT to their knowledge of the subject matter, insight and passion. They brought out the best in their guests, as well as the best of expert opinion. Likewise cheers, to Cassandra Fairbanks and Tim Foley, who held the fort while the girls were getting a bit of shut-eye.

There may have been other helpers. I haven’t got through it all yet. The first vigil was 10 hours; the second 25; and the third 35, so a few more binge-viewings to go. The plan is to continue the series until Julian’s human rights are restored; once a month and they keep getting longer. This is what I had to say as a citizen journalist.

But what a line-up of distinguished guests! Daniel Ellsberg, Slavoj Zizek, John Kiriakou, William Binney and Ray Mcgovern have all come forward to share their perspective on this development, and plead the case for Assange and Wikileaks. Likewise, comedian-journalists Jimmy Dore and Lee Camp; Australian political advisor Felicity Ruby, Australian citizen-journalist Caitlin Johnstone, former British Ambassador Craig Murray, British politician George Galloway, legendary activist Cairon O’Reilly… and the unforgettable, former US congresswoman, Cynthia McKinney.

We’ve also heard from former workers in the intelligence community; journalists; historians and academics, including a professor of propaganda! The series of one-hour interviews has been as emotionally charged as it has been enlightening. As one viewer aptly commented:

“So many astute observations and political nouse”

The next #Unity4J vigil is on August 4th. It will be followed on August 9th by a live and online event coming from Sydney Australia. I’m organising that one. I’ll be joined by Suzie Dawson and if all goes well, Cynthia McKinney. Stay tuned.

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