Isn’t it interesting how an Ecuadorian “asylum conditions” technicality, a UK bail technicality, and a US whistleblowing technicality all just so happened to converge in a way that just so happens to look exactly the same as imprisoning a journalist for telling the truth?

Following the arrest of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, top UK officials all began simultaneously piping the following exact phrase into public consciousness: “No one is above the law.”

“This goes to show that in the United Kingdom, no one is above the law,” Prime Minister Theresa May told parliament after Assange’s arrest.

“Julian Assange is no hero and no one is above the law,” tweeted Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt. 

“Nearly 7 years after entering the Ecuadorean Embassy, I can confirm Julian Assange is now in police custody and rightly facing justice in the UK. I would like to thank Ecuador for its cooperation and @metpoliceuk for its professionalism. No one is above the law,” tweeted Home Secretary Sajid Javid.

Over and over again that phrase showed up to be unquestioningly re-bleated by the human livestock known as the British press in all their reporting on the Assange case: No one is above the law. No one is above the law. No one is above the law. Something tells me they really want people to know that, with regard to Julian Assange, no one is above the law.

But what is “the law” in this particular case? What they are constantly referring to as “the law” with regard to Assange is in fact nothing more than a combination of ridiculous bureaucratic technicalities which can be (and have been) interpreted very differently, but are now instead being interpreted in a way which just so happens to lead to a truth-telling journalist being locked in a cage, awaiting extradition to the same government which tortured Chelsea Manning.

Now, the US is a Free Democracy™. When you are a Free Democracy™, you can’t just go around imprisoning journalists willy nilly simply for telling the truth about your government. That’s something other countries do, bad countries, the kind of country the US routinely invades in order to help spread Freedom and Democracy™. The US would never do that. But it would diddle a bunch of narratives in such a way that just so happens to achieve exactly the same result.

As we discussed yesterday, the Trump administration’s extradition request is accompanied by criminal charges which are based on the same information which the Obama administration declined to charge Assange for, a point which has been discussed in more detail in a new article by The Intercept‘s Glenn Greenwald and Micah Lee. The Obama administration looked at the evidence and concluded that there was no way to charge Assange with anything without endangering press freedoms, then the Trump administration looked at literally the exact same evidence and said screw press freedoms, we’re going after him. They wanted to punish Assange and show the world what happens to a journalist who exposes US war crimes, so they changed the narrative to make it happen.

But they couldn’t extradite Assange from the UK if the British government didn’t legally have Assange in custody.

To get around this problem, the UK, which is functionally just a province within the US-centralized empire, used a bail technicality to justify his arrest. After the Swedish government decided to drop its sexual assault investigation without issuing any charges, Assange’s legal team attempted last year to get a British arrest warrant dropped for a bail violation which went into effect when the WikiLeaks founder took political asylum in the Ecuadorian embassy. The judge in that case, Emma Arbuthnot, just happens to be married to former Tory junior Defence Minister and government whip James Arbuthnot, who served as director of Security Intelligence Consultancy SC Strategy Ltd with a former head of MI6. Lady Arbuthnot denied Assange’s request with extreme vitriol, despite his argument that British law does have provisions which allow for the time he’d already served under functional house arrest to count toward far more time than would be served for violating bail. The British government kept police stationed outside the embassy at taxpayers’ expense with orders to arrest Assange on sight.

But they couldn’t arrest Assange as long as he had legal political asylum in the Ecuadorian embassy.

To get around that problem, Ecuador’s new president Lenin Moreno found himself being courted by the US government, meeting with Vice President Mike Pence and reportedly discussing Assange after US Democratic senators petitioned Pence to push for Moreno to revoke political asylum. The New York Times reported last year that in 2017 Paul Manafort met with Moreno and offered to broker a deal where Ecuador could receive debt relief aid in exchange for handing Assange over, and just last month Ecuador ended up receiving a 4.2 billion dollar loan from the Washington-based IMF. And then, lo and behold, we just so happen to see Ecuador justifying the revocation of political asylum under the absurd claim that Assange had violated conditions that were only recently invented, using narratives that were based on wild distortions and outright lies.

In this way a kind of narrative funnel was created, funneling Assange from the embassy to British police on the imaginary narrative that Assange had violated asylum conditions and that he needs to serve time for a bail violation, which in turn allows for Assange to be funneled from the UK into the US on the imaginary narrative that he broke some kind of law by trying to help Chelsea Manning cover her tracks and avoid detection, which is all made possible by the fact that the government of Australia (another province in the US-centralized empire) has refused to provide any protection for its citizen. And the end result just so happens to look the same as what you see when a journalist tries to expose malfeasance in an overtly totalitarian government.

This is called Nice Guy Fascism. With a little narrative manipulation you get to act just like a brutal totalitarian regime and then say it’s not because you’re a brutal totalitarian regime, it’s because you’re deeply deeply concerned about the adherence to a specific interpretation of the bureaucratic technicalities of bail protocol. No one is above the law. No one is above the law. No one is above the law.

They keep saying “No one is above the law,” but what they really mean is “No one is safe from the law.” Our rulers are using Assange to show that they can get anyone who tells the truth about them, even if there are laws and policies in place which ostensibly prohibit that.

Manipulators love the rule of law, because they are able to twist it toward their infernal ends. It’s always possible to squint at laws in such a way that it allows them to be interpreted to the benefit of the powerful, which is why lawyers are often horrible human beings. All the most horrific things that have been done throughout the history of civilization have been carried out not by criminals but by law-abiding citizens, because they were perfectly legal under the ruling governments of that time. Genocide, slavery, torture, the use of the atomic bomb: all perfectly legal and state-sanctioned in their time.

They want you looking at “the rule of law”. They want you fixated on it. But really “the rule of law” is nothing other than a series of mental narratives which are treated as reality by existing power structures. Assange is a prisoner by narrative, because he punched holes in the authorized narratives of the powerful. Whoever controls the narrative controls the world.


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42 responses to “The Legal Narrative Funnel That’s Being Used To Extradite Assange”

  1. Oh, someone is above the law. Or more specifically, a group of someones.

    They are called “government officers.” And they are as corrupt as any villains that ever came from the writings of Franz Kafka or George Orwell.

  2. Typical legal reasoning of the ruling classes: no one is above the law unless they serve the oligarchy.

    The lies of the oligarchs reveal the truth about the so-called legal system: truth, and any notion of justice, should never get in the way of the law.

    Our progress is measured in the number of oligarch lies we destroy: that free-market capitalism is the only way to efficiently organize an economy; that human rights legislation is unnecessary, and an attack on the superior white race; that being religious indicates superior morality; that women don’t need the vote because they will vote like their men; that only property owners can act responsibly; that going to war will make a man of you; that the white race is superior, and must rule for the good of the world; that royalty have a divine right to rule without restraint.

    Anyone who follows the US will fall into the huge hole they are making for their society.

    H.L. Mencken: ‘Nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public.’
    Voltaire: ‘Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.’


    The expression, “No one is above the law,” is a clipped form of the fuller, “No one is above the law, nor anyone beneath it.” Older and more complete still, “No one is so high, as to be above the law; nor anyone so base, as to be beneath it. This elaborates–comments, if you will, on the last formulation of Item (39) of Magna Carta in 1354:
    “(39) No man, of whatever estate or condition he may be shall be seized or imprisoned, or stripped of this rights or possessions, or outlawed or exiled, or deprived of his standing in any other way, nor will we proceed with force against him, or send others to do so, except by the due process of law.”
    As others have observed, under the American law of conspiracy, there need be no direct contact, no contact at all, between leaker and publisher. The publisher’s providing a convenient, secure, and supposedly discrete means for sending and receiving documents might suffice to show “agreement.” Any more “contact” than that is simply “gravy” for government prosecutors.

  4. Cory Christofferson Avatar
    Cory Christofferson

    Pretty slick gig the world mafia has going. Create money out of thin air and then buy off the planet.

  5. This is the best short summary of Assange’s predicament.

  6. “No one is above the law” is nothing but a political platitude. As sentient and ethical beings people are creating laws and obey them because of the shared sense of right and wrong. So, we are all, in a way, above the law. Only as sane and moral individuals we may be considered responsible citizens in a legally binding society.

    Law is not above the notion of right and wrong; lt is not a principle above but a function of the notion of justice. Ethics is the basis of laws as the framework of social consensus. There is no law which is above individual sense of justice. That is to say, only by being above law we can be truly morally responsible. For example, there is no military law which can be behind the order to commit a war crime. Our moral right to disobey such orders are above any military or civil duties. By obeying to the military order and committing a war crime we may end being a good soldier but still a war criminal. This is because our own feeling of right and wrong overwrites any other laws that might have been framed for us to obey and, at the end, only we are responsible for our choices as being able to recognise the right from wrong.

    Ethics is what defines our dignity as a human being. Blindly following orders is for the war drones which, by the way, do not relinquish their creators from moral responsibility. Without ethical human beings and a common sense of justice there would be no need for having laws. The fact that neoliberal politics keeps repeating the phrase: “no one is above the law” shows that they are well aware that in the case of Assange their own lack of morals when bending the laws is the devil detail able to discredit the law machine and collapse basic structures of society.

  7. “In the United Kingdom, no-one is above the law”. This means a judge is going to request the extradition of George W. Bush for complicity with UK politicians in mass murder, right?

    Wait, they can’t do that, he’s American, not Australian…

    But that’s the right thing to do.

  8. “No one is above the law” perfectly fits the -tell a big lie and repeat ad naseum- strategy. As Catlin astutely points out one often sees the media dispense precisely worded phrases in unison revealing that they have been instructed to make this communication by a controlling authority.

    Individuals capable of appropriate skepticism are alarmed by the 5-eyes orchestrated attack on Assange and the media campaign to justify it. Over and over again we have seen those blowing the whistle on the crimes of unaccountable government agencies relentlessly pursued and jailed, while the revealed crimes go completely unaddressed. This well established pattern certainly does reveal that the crimes of these agencies are indeed “above the law”.

  9. if you read the manifesto that Assange wrote when he started Wikileaks, he writes that he wants to disrupt the communication of the global elite class because communication (one inside the exclusive club of the elites and the other for the peons outside) is the tool that enables the ever-shrinking tiny group of ruling elites to organize themselves and rule the rest effectively. Assange puts forward transparency and accountability as the standards of the alternative world.

    that was a profound insight into this world. and that’s why keeping the internet (as a communication tool) free is so critical to humanity. Caitlin, your project (punching holes in the master narratives) fits right in Assange’s vision. your stirring words are deeply appreciated.

  10. “A wolf, meeting with a Lamb astray from the fold, resolved not to lay violent hands on him, but to find some plea to justify to the Lamb the Wolf’s right to eat him. He thus addressed him: “Sirrah, last year you grossly insulted me.”

    “Indeed,” bleated the Lamb in a mournful tone of voice, “I was not then born.”

    Then said the Wolf, “You feed in my pasture.”

    “No, good sir,” replied the Lamb, “I have not yet tasted grass.”

    Again said the Wolf, “You drink of my well.”

    “No,” exclaimed the Lamb, “I never yet drank water, for as yet my mother’s milk is both food and drink to me.”

    Upon which the Wolf seized him and ate him up, saying, “Well! I won’t remain supperless, even though you refute every one of my imputations.”

    Moral: The tyrant will always find a pretext for his tyranny.”
    For a few more years, the US will have absolute power over other people and we will use that power in an absolutely corrupt way at the behest of our overlords in Riyadh and Jerusalem. When retribution finally comes our way, no one will shed a tear for us.

    Nor should they, for we do evil.

  11. We live in a LAWLESS WORLD ORDER.
    The mafia ‘ ‘democracies’ ‘ of the west all kiss the arse of the US empire.
    The mafia US government doesn’t obey its own Constitution, must less international law.
    ‘ ‘Might Makes Right’ ‘ as Genghis Khan used to say.

    BTW CJ, you were quoted in CounterPunch:

  12. Let’s just say that the arrest of Julian Assange is at the request of the US for extradition on charges of assisting Chelsea Manning in hacking a US facility. My question is WHY wouldn’t the agreement have been between the Ecuadorian Embassy and the US. Instead it was carried out by the UK authorities who stand to lose the most from Julian Assange falling into the hands of the US authorities investigating the REAL foreign collusion into the US 2016 election.

    The US over that 2.5 years has been charging people with crimes completely subsequent to any form of collusion with Russia or any Russian interference into the election short of one thing… That would be the narrative that Russians closely related to the Kremlin “hacked” the DNC. The reason they do this is to frighten people into flipping side and turning on the people they’re really after. Papadapolous, Manafort, and Michael Flynn were all charge with shit just to get them to lie about Trump and say that he was motivated by the bad guys. It’s all a horse and pony show. But Assange is different. He actually knows WHERE the DNC Emails came from. He may never reveal that source, but the threat to the OP is real.

    The UK will never let the US have Assange. And not because they believe in free speech, no. The reason they’ll never allow him to travel to the US is the damage he would cause to the public view of UK intelligence when it was revealed that they were fully invested in the setup of the Trump Campaign and assisted the CIA in framing George Papadapolous and the source behind the fake Russian Dossier, which was gathered from… Russians. Does any of this seem ironic.

    How about this for irony. The UK didn’t arrest Assange with intention to send him to the US, but rather Sweden, who conveniently decided to recharge him again with rape. And just as you said on your article, the narrative pipeline, perfectly reacting to the screams from the audience about journalistic rights, have made it clear they’re not going to send him to the US when he may be guilty of rape in Sweden. Dozens of MPs have signed a letter to be certain that Assange never akes it to the US.

    I find it amazing that very few people saw through this mascarade, when it seemed so obvious. By the UK claiming that it was the US request they were acting on, they diverted everyone’s attention to the rights of speech. In this way the public is now doing the work for them, literally fight for Julian Assanges RIGHT to resist extradition, “journalist should fear this”! While what this MI6 bait and switch did has put Assange in danger of being sent to Sweden to the cheers of crowds eager to see womens rights supported. Because “NO ONE IS ABOVE THE LAW”.

  13. Aardvark-Gnosis Avatar

    Sadly I leave you with this… Not all is as it is potrayed to be… Here is a narritive most will never understand… Because the illusion and propaganda are MSM narritives to keep us out of the know!
    Here the altuirnitve news and research seepens when we see who are our masters and who really control us…
    Believe what you will… Knowledge is what most citizen do not rely on for truth and prpaganda… You can research until we are blue in the face… yet we have writers that still keep silent about who our controles are…, Once they become aware of the branding of anti-Semitic..they hunker down on the alternatate narritive of the dumb down to protect their cash flow and the morgage they are paying… You can not by truth, because it ids controled by the few and the money changers of ancient wealth… We are all small fish in a big pond of jellyfish and spinless invertebrates slithering beneath the fodder of materialism… Nothing to loose you say??? Ya right!

  14. Aardvark-Gnosis Avatar

    The rule of laws are made by those that control the narrative…. Wow! Profoundly accurate and reminds me of the Rabbis that call their words the laws of god… The lesser gods that rules planet Rothschild… Lawyer speak… Throw common sense out the window… It is said that the man Jesus, understood the double speak of the Pharisees and the Sadducees… The objective personification of the law held in the hands of psychotics who’s psychobabble control the ignorant and the superstitious rank and file uneducated serf. The narrative is still with us today, That is, to obey the narrative of Machiavellian’s rules by self appointed narcissist and slave traders. These are the holy men of stature and self-proclaimed authoritarians that never keep a promise and change the laws to fit their sick agendas…as well, make us believe we are free! Well folks, is there anyway else to see it?
    It’s broken, it’s the common thread of imperialism and the ruling elite… Spill your blood as revolutionary’s and you play right into their hands… ASSANGE!!!… he might as well be us as a whole… keep quiet and follow the yellow brick road to maintain our slave status. He will now follow in the footsteps of the grand martyr and historical figure Jesus!!! His crucifixion, based on the idea he is a journalist who spoke the truth… Was Jesus a journalist that exposed the ruling class of the time, as he exposed the caste system for what it really is. I think so, forget the holy grail and the mother Mary stuff… He is the grand martyr of a history that goes back thousands of years… The faces change but the genre is still the same. Looking at ASSANGE, bearded and held hostage because of truth… Is this how Jesus looked the day the romans hauled him off, Yes! Why not?.., The same clergy of self-righteous criminals and religious cartels control the narrative behind the seen… These are the Pharisees of evil and man gods that represent the world of the Neo-Con domination… they are still with us in the here and now…for those that have an ear to hear… Evil is knocking on the door post and your blood may be smeared on it by those that seek evil and call it truth… THEEND, is just another beginning of the same old narrative… We can’t fix it!… but we sure can complain to those that have control of us.

  15. It’s Evil, Pure Evil. Law of the land as I always understood it is a connection, privilege, love, care and respect. No person is above the law as The Hon. Theresa B May pointed out however I believe she was referring to a very more recent MAN MADE LAW. Recently made up and rephrased for convenience.

  16. Michel Bélisle Avatar
    Michel Bélisle

    It is so strange but the story of the arrest of Mr Assange, just a week before the Holy Week, has similarities with the arrest of Jesus, not that Mr Assange is Jesus but he is a man who has reported some truths and he is persecuted for that.

    I think as a Catholic believer that the End times are here. I believe especially in the prophecy of the popes telling us pope Francis is the last pope before the Final Judgement of mankind.

    A lot of things happening now seem to confirm that.

    I will keep my Rosary close.

    1. Exactly what I so sadly feel as well. We are being sold out everywhere and we don’t know who to trust and we were warned to be very careful. I get you.

  17. “Every attack now made on WikiLeaks and Julian Assange was made against me and the release of the Pentagon Papers at the time.”

    Daniel Ellsberg

    1. I respect you so much Daniel. You of all people know exactly what is happening today. A repeat happening. God help us

  18. “In the UK no one is above the law” unless they are royals, MPs, police commissioners, or celebrities and they are accused of pederasty FOR YEARS. Or if you are Muslim and a child rapist. THOSE people are above the law. If forced to, you do the bare minimum to investigate and then only really go after them, or apologize for doing nothing, after the perp has died .

  19. I may be completely off base here, but would like to float a way out theory on the Assange arrest, and probable prosecution by the US. I have posted this on the following site, and welcome any comments.

  20. I think what they’re really trying to say is this: The no-bodies [you and me] are not above their man-made laws–whereas, while the somebodies–they and them–are of course not restricted by the law–as evidenced by the most heinous crimes possible–including: murder, treason, robbery, deception, and any type of corruption that they can get their hands on and into. These are our esteemed leaders and g-d bless them–should the ruthless mod–decide to bring them to justice–could get ugly.

  21. Maybe someone can explain how is it the US can claim jurisdiction over Assange. Did he do what he is being charged with inside the United States? If his activities were carried out outside of the US how does US law apply to any foreigner in a foreign country? If an American received and revealed classified material of the Russian government and assuming that to do so is not a crime under US law, would Americans think it proper that that revealer be turned over to the Russian government for punishment?

    Does US law apply to every human on the planet now? This doesn’t seem to questioned. Guess I missed something somewhere.

    1. Not only that, the poor excuse of an Australian government is doing nothing to protect its citizen.

    2. Very similar to the Chinese lady who was arrested in Vancouver Canada

  22. Caitlin…you’re a fantastic journalist & I read all your articles. Love your great sense of justice, outrage, and incredible insights. I, too, am heartbroken about Assange’s fate at the hands of our hypocritical US warmongers. All of us who love and support his great work and courage are sick in our guts & hearts. Thank you for all your powerful support for his struggle to spread the truth. You and he are torch bearers…and we all need your guidance in these dark days of human ugliness and corruption.

  23. Christine Smith Avatar
    Christine Smith

    Another excellent succinct article Caitlin. This is such a dangerous time! I’m not on PayPal so how can I donate to your patreon account?

  24. Ms Johnstone this is a magnificent article, just plain magnificent!!! Thank You!!!!

  25. EXCEPT, the US is saying Assange conspired with Manning to get a password with Higher privileges than Manning’s own (presumably the “root” password, which has access to everything), by “un-hashing” the hashed root password. Now I don’t know if this is true or not, but to get the root password would be the key to a goldmine of information. “Un-hashing” is impossible without enormous computer power, and lots of computer time, but it would be fun to talk about it, and every hacker’s dream to try.

    At that point, all your claims fall flat. It IS possible for a country to revoke assylums they have granted. It IS possible for a judge to insist on someone being in court. It IS possible to claim extradition of someone who has tried to get hold of a root password to a security database. I expect Assange’s defence will be as circuitous, and every decision will be appealed on some score.

    1. I wasn’t going to reply because essentially you are talking nonsense but anyhow. It is not possible for a country to “revoke (sic)assylums” its called refoulment. The rest of your semiliterate babble is too circuitous to bother with.

  26. Charles Robinson Avatar
    Charles Robinson

    What they are saying is nobody BUT the politicians, the media and the “elite” are above the law. They are trying to hide that Theresa May, Tony Blair, George HW Bush, Bill Clinton, “Poppy’s Seed” Bush, Obama, HILLARY CLINTON, and Donald Trump, don’t follow the law of the Land The US Constitution! Nor the International Criminal Court either. Clearly lots of these types of carrion people do not obey the Law and they themselves act as if they are above the law. They weld their little wooden mallets or flash their Presidential seals and they scream, “Order in the court! Off with their heads!” They lie every damn day. Yet, if someone exposes their lies and tells the truth, it is that which is the capital crime! But please avert your eyes from the War crimes carried out behind your backs for their Wall Street / City of London, FAT CAT backers. The “elite” fund the endless wars that murder civilians and soldiers alike and it is these whore minions who slither about pontificating their master’s commands. They rig the elections for their cronies leaving the people behind. The law that these traitors would have you follow is to shut up, or be locked up!
    What happened to ” The Law” of the right to freedom of Speech? This is hypocracy!

    1. Thank you very much for your comment, Charles, you beat me to the punch. I’ll believe the bullshit, No one is above the law, when I see the afor mentioned WAR CRIMINALS IN THE DOCK. C’mon May, what’s holding you back ???????????

  27. The law I’d like to see implemented relates to the prosecution of war criminals. That would see most of the US Congress and the MPs of their war-mongering co-conspirator countries locked up. A large number of MSM reporters would be locked up for collaborating.

  28. Excellent clarity, tremendous post.

  29. Carolyn Zaremba Avatar
    Carolyn Zaremba

    I would like to see Tony Bliar and Theresa May dragged out of their houses in chains and thrown into police vans. Same for the Trump, Obama, and Bushy administrations, and especially Hillary Clinton. These are the real criminals.

  30. No one is above the law, except for the United States government and it’s mafia controllers. They use the laws to control others, but never themselves. For these arch criminal violators of humanity to invoke the law is an ugly travesty, that only underlines the depth of their evil nature.

    1. Nothing is sacred to our rulers, except power. Power is everything, ethics is just a tool to manipulate and control others. They worship Satan, nothing else. They are truly evil. They are the definition of evil. There is nothing more evil than our rulers. These ruthless monsters are the curse on our planet. If we cannot remove them, we are all truly doomed.

    2. You MUST include the City Of London in your comment, not complete without it.

  31. Translation;
    “Rule of Law” means law of the rulers.
    “Law of the jungle” means democracy.

    1. Ah, to hear the roar of Caliban…

  32. “There can be No Democracy without a Free Press”
    Thomas Jefferson

    So how did the protests in Australia go?
    Any Videos?

  33. “No one is above the law”.. that is hysterical.. fucking hypocrites!!

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