HomeArticleThe Assange Extradition Ruling Is A Relief, But It Isn’t Justice

The Assange Extradition Ruling Is A Relief, But It Isn’t Justice

British Judge Vanessa Baraitser has ruled against US extradition for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, but not for the reasons she should have.

Baraitser’s frightening ruling supported virtually every US prosecutorial argument that was made during the extradition trial, no matter how absurd and Orwellian. This includes quoting from a long-discredited CNN report alleging without evidence that Assange made the embassy a “command post” for election interference, saying the right to free speech does not give anyone “unfettered discretion” to disclose any document they wish, dismissing arguments from the defense that UK law prohibits extradition for political offenses, parroting the false claim that Assange’s attempt to help protect his source Chelsea Manning while she was exfiltrating documents she already had access to was not normal journalistic behavior, saying US intelligence might have had legitimate reasons to spy on Assange in the Ecuadorian embassy, and claiming Assange’s rights would be protected by the US legal system if he were extradited.

“Judge is just repeating the US case, including its most dubious claims, in Assange case,” tweeted activist John Rees during the proceedings.

In the end, though, Baraitser ruled against extradition. Not because the US government has no business extraditing an Australian journalist from the UK for exposing its war crimes. Not because allowing the extradition and prosecution of journalists under the Espionage Act poses a direct threat to press freedoms worldwide. Not to prevent a global chilling effect on natsec investigative journalism into the behaviors of the largest power structures on our planet. No, Baraitser ultimately ruled against extradition because Assange would be too high a suicide risk in America’s draconian prison system.

Assange is still not free, and he is not out of the woods. The US government has said it will appeal the decision, and Baraitser has the legal authority to keep Assange locked in Belmarsh Prison until that appeals process has been carried through all the way to its end. Discussions on bail and release will resume on Wednesday, and Assange will remain imprisoned in Belmarsh at least until that time. Due to Assange’s bail offense which resulted from taking political asylum at the Ecuadorian embassy in 2012, it’s very possible that bail will be denied and he will remain imprisoned throughout the US government appeal.

The Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance (MEAA), the Australian trade union to which Assange belongs as a journalist, has released a statement on the ruling which outlines the situation nicely.

“Today’s court ruling is a huge relief for Julian, his partner and family, his legal team and his supporters around the world,” said MEAA Media Federal President Marcus Strom. “Julian has suffered a 10-year ordeal for trying to bring information of public interest to the light of day, and it has had an immense impact on his mental and physical health.”

“But we are dismayed that the judge showed no concern for press freedom in any of her comments today, and effectively accepted the US arguments that journalists can be prosecuted for exposing war crimes and other government secrets, and for protecting their sources,” Strom added. “The stories for which he was being prosecuted were published by WikiLeaks a decade ago and revealed war crimes and other shameful actions by the United States government. They were clearly in the public interest. The case against Assange has always been politically motivated with the intent of curtailing free speech, criminalising journalism and sending a clear message to future whistleblowers and publishers that they too will be punished if they step out of line.”

Indeed, the ruling today was a huge relief for Assange, his family, and for all his supporters around the world. But it wasn’t justice.

“It’s good to hear that court has ruled against the extradition of Julian Assange but I am wary of the fact it’s on mental health grounds,” AP’s Joana Ramiro commented on the ruling. “It’s a rather feeble precedent against the extradition of whistleblowers and/or in defence of the free press. Democracy needs better than that.”

“This wasn’t a victory for press freedom,” tweeted journalist Glenn Greenwald. “Quite the contrary: the judge made clear she believed there are grounds to prosecute Assange in connection with the 2010 publication. It was, instead, an indictment of the insanely oppressive US prison system for security ‘threats’.”

It is good that Baraitser ultimately ruled against extradition, but her ruling also supported the entirety of the US government’s prosecutorial narrative that would allow for extradition of journalists under the Espionage Act in the future. The ruling is a significant step toward freedom for Julian Assange, but it changes nothing as far as global imperialist tyranny is concerned.

So the appropriate response at this time is a sigh of relief, but not celebration. The Assange case has never been about just one man; the greater part of the battle, the one we are all fighting, continues unabated.

That said, the message of the empire here was essentially “We totally coulda extradited you if we wanted, but you’re too crazy,” which sounds a lot like the international diplomacy equivalent of “I could kick your ass but you’re not worth it.” It’s a way of backing down while still saving face and appearing to be a threat. But everyone looking on can see that backing down is still backing down.

I think it’s a safe bet that if this case hadn’t had such intense scrutiny on it from all over the world, we would have heard a different ruling today. The empire did what it could to try and intimidate journalists with the possibility of prison for exposing its malfeasance, but in the end, it backed down.

I’m not going to take that as a sign that we’ve won the war, or even the battle. But it is a sign that our punches are landing. And that we’ve got a fighting chance here.

______________________

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Latest comments

  • Live now: John Pilger, Roger Waters, Alexander Mercouris, Joe Lauria, Elizabeth Vos

    WATCH: CN Live!—‘Freedom Denied’ with Roger Waters and John Pilger — Consortium News
    https://consortiumnews.com/2021/01/06/watch-cn-live-freedom-denied-with-roger-waters-and-john-pilger/

    CNLive! S2E25 JULIAN ASSANGE BAIL DENIED – with John Pilger & Roger Waters

    • I am making over $9k a month working part time. I stored being attentive to different human beings inform me how much money they are able to make on line so I decided to lok into it. AMs well, it turned into all actual and has completely modified my life.

      That is what I do….-!~!~!~!…. Home Profit System

  • Assange has apparently been denied bail because he might flee. How long is the US appeal going to take? Because the risk of suicide is apparently the linch pin of all of this, I agree with WRINKLE that hog-tying and tube feeding Mr. Assange (just like at Gitmo!) may be the perfect “enhanced” anti-suicide vaccine.
     
    Never count out the US when it comes to arm-twisting and outright threats or bombs in order to get what it wants. Maybe it will stop threatening the UK after Mr. Potato Head takes the oath of orifice, but I would not count on it. After all, future-President Potato Head was part of O’bomb’em & Co. and likely will continue its policy of silencing truth tellers by “whatever it takes”.
     
    The US may consider this a kind of UK “confidence vote” for US continuing US leadership of the OTEC.
     
    (This is almost the same situation in “Canada” — AKA US vassal state #2 — with Huawei CFO Ms. Meng Wanzhou’s kidnapping two years ago by “Canadian” agents at a “Canadian” airport on FBI orders and, ever since, being held for trade ransom. However, Ms. Meng’s conditions of capture — ankle bracelet and limited travel while living in a Vancouver mansion — are far, far better than Assange’s.)

  • Well, the US keep on winning, keeping Assange in jail for 10 years and more where they want him. Also their appeal could say, ‘Suicide in US jail? No way, well keep him hog tied permanently so he can’t move and he will be fed intravenously. So no problem about suicide. ‘

    I’m sure the British judge would go along with that.

  • Caitlin Johnstone on Twitter:
    “This is your list to follow along with the Assange bail hearing, which starts in a few minutes. We’re about to find out if he gets out of prison.”
    https://twitter.com/caitoz/status/1346756793557368832
    .
    Live outside London court as Assange full bail application submitted — Ruptly

  • The assange judge reminds me of the judge in the movie Miracle on 34th street. Doing the right thing would ruin them so they opted out once any likely excuse presented itself. I fully expect assange to remain and die in jail on any bogus chargre available.

  • I don’t understand why Julian Assunge would not want to be extradited to get out of a foreign prizon. Wouldnt an american trial served3 the purpose of publicly exposing the bs non sence of the false accusations against him even if he doesn’t have a hope to get a fair trial? An unfair trial is better than wasting away in a foreign prison, isn’t it? Or if they assasinate him, better dead and martyred than driven crazy suffering in prison. Explain please? Is it that he feels safer suffering in the prison where he is than tortured in a United States Prison?

    • Who Me? wrote:
      > I don’t understand why Julian Assunge would not want to be extradited to get out of a foreign prizon. Wouldnt an american trial served3 the purpose of publicly exposing the bs non sence of the false accusations against him even if he doesn’t have a hope to get a fair trial?
      .
      Julian Assange is an Australian citizen. It’s bad in HM Prison Belmarsh, UK, but it would be even worse in the US. The ruling is still subject to US appeal.
      .
      .
      “As for supporting me if I am extradited, I would say that it would be way too late. If people want to support us, they need to do it before I am extradited . . . Even if they’re technically innocent under the law, which probably anyone within WikiLeaks is — as I know that our activities are protected under the First Amendment — the verdict is still not guaranteed, due to of the degree of national security sector influence in the judicial process.”
      — Julian Assange, June 15, 2011
      .
      In Conversation with Julian Assange, Part II — Hans Ulrich Obrist — e-flux journal, 26 — June 2011
      https://www.e-flux.com/journal/26/67921/in-conversation-with-julian-assange-part-ii/
      .
      .
      As Caitlin wrote in another article:
      .
      “If Assange is successfully extradited to the United States . . . He and his legal team will be completely silenced from commentary on the trial, and he’ll disappear into a black hole of ‘Special Administrative Measures’ where he won’t be heard from again.”
      .
      This Assange “Trial” Is A Self-Contradictory Kafkaesque Nightmare — Caitlin Johnstone — Feb 28, 2020
      https://caitlinjohnstone.com/2020/02/28/this-assange-trial-is-a-self-contradictory-kafkaesque-nightmare
      .
      .
      That’s the reality of this case. As also explained by multiple experts during the court hearings, for Julian it wouldn’t be a normal regime in the US, but a federal supermax prison for spies, terrorists, etc. And under SAMs (Special Administrative Measures).
      .
      That is, permanent solitary confinement in a small soundproof concrete cell with one window 4 inches wide. It could be for life.
      .
      .
      “His most likely destination is the ‘Alcatraz of the Rockies,’ otherwise known as the United States Penitentiary Administrative Maximum Facility, or ADMAX, in Florence, Colorado. Among its 400 inmates are Unabomber Ted Kaczynski, Boston Marathon terrorist Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, FBI agent-turned-Russian spy Robert Hanssen, and Oklahoma City co-bomber Terry Nichols. The prison’s regime is as ruthless as its prisoners: 23-hour daily confinement in a concrete box cell with one window 4 inches wide, six bed checks a day with a seventh on weekends, one hour of exercise in an outdoor cage, showers spraying water in one-minute spurts and ‘shakedowns’ at the discretion of prison staff.”
      .
      My Final Visit With Julian Assange — Charles Glass — The Intercept — Apr 14, 2019
      https://theintercept.com/2019/04/14/julian-assange-languishes-in-prison-as-his-journalistic-collaborators-brandish-their-prizes/
      .
      .
      Extensive details were explained during the court hearings. For example:
      .
      “Things became not merely dramatic in the Assange courtroom today, but spiteful and nasty. . . . On the evidence, there were stark details of the dreadful regime Assange will face in US jails if extradited.”
      .
      Your Man in the Public Gallery: Assange Hearing Day 9 — Craig Murray — Sep 15, 2020
      https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2020/09/your-man-in-the-public-gallery-assange-hearing-day-9/

    • [VIDEO] United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture, yesterday after this ruling:
      .
      “Thanks @dwnews for this interview on today’s #UK court ruling not to extradite #Assange to the #US due to his poor health, which effectively confirms my findings of psychological #torture in the UK & the prospect of cruel, inhuman & degrading detention conditions in the #US.”
      .
      Nils Melzer — Twitter — Jan 4, 2021
      https://twitter.com/NilsMelzer/status/1346176867259326464
      .
      .
      “Since 2007, the European Court of Human Rights has put a stay on the extradition of six men wanted on terrorism charges because of concerns about the treatment that would be in store for them at ADX.”
      .
      US ‘supermax’ prison is condemned internationally for its abusive regime — Sadhbh Walshe — The Guardian — 18 Sep 2012
      https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2012/sep/18/us-supermax-prison-international-opprobrium
      .
      .
      Even more, one of the many issues related to Julian’s extradition to the US is the even much harsher treatment that he would receive because of being classified as a suicide risk.
      .
      It happened to Manning, who was not even in supermax:
      .
      Bradley Manning: how keeping himself sane was taken as proof of madness — The Guardian — 30 Nov 2012
      https://www.theguardian.com/world/2012/nov/30/bradley-manning-keeping-sane-madness
      .
      .
      See also:
      .
      Inside the Supermax prison that awaits Julian Assange — Jerry Dunleavy — Washington Examiner — Apr 13, 2019
      https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/inside-the-supermax-prison-that-awaits-julian-assange

      • Manning is not talked about enough IMHO, with Julian getting most of the glory they BOTH deserve. Manning could have obtained freedom merely by telling the Feds more about the documents, clarifying Julian’s role, if any, in accessing and copying them. She chose to remain silent and paid one hell of a price for refusing to be an informant or, as they say, a rat. Courage and integrity here in spades. And speaking of bridge, has anyone seen a play on words, in political commentary, referencing “no-TRUMP” as the strongest and highest position or bid? It seems so obvious, but so far I’ve missed seeing such a reference. Perhaps this isn’t surprising because I’ve religiously avoided reading about that asshole since he took his wheeling and dealing from the real estate game to that of the Oval Office.

    • Thank you Fair, that’s an extraordinary article, a must-read:
      .
      Chris Hedges: The Empire is Not Done with Julian Assange — ScheerPost — Jan 4, 2021
      https://scheerpost.com/2021/01/04/chris-hedges-the-empire-is-not-done-with-julian-assange

    • Other two good articles.
      .
      .
      If you want to know the dangers to press freedoms and to our rights, which require that we all continue to do our part:
      .
      “Assange showed us how we can free ourselves and our societies. It is incumbent on the rest of us to continue his fight.”
      .
      Assange wins. The cost: Press freedom is crushed, and dissent labelled mental illness — Jonathan Cook — Jan 4, 2021
      https://www.jonathan-cook.net/blog/2021-01-04/assange-wins-the-cost-press-freedom-is-crushed-and-dissent-labelled-mental-illness/
      .
      .
      And, if you also want to lift your spirits:
      .
      “Fitzgerald briefly made the point that Assange now had very little incentive to abscond, as there had never been a successful appeal against a refusal to extradite on medical grounds. . . .
      .
      “If the USA does appeal the judgement, it is far more likely that not only will the health grounds be upheld, but also that Baraitser’s positions on extradition for political offences and freedom of the media will be overturned, than it is likely that the US will achieve extradition.”
      .
      The Assange Verdict: What Happens Now — Craig Murray — Jan 5, 2021
      https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2021/01/the-assange-verdict-what-happens-now
      .
      .
      Welcome Back To The Fight — Casablanca (1942)

  • The Real Crime of Julian Assange
    If the Constitution means anything. Julian Assange and WikiLeaks are innocent of any crime under US law. The First Amendment protects publishing and speech The 4th Amendment calls for due process. But Julian Assange is guilty of unwritten law. Julian has violated the code of those invisible powerful men referred to by FDR, Woodrow Wilson and in 1952 described by Justice Frankfurter as the real rulers in Washington exercising power from behind the scenes. The threat to those oligarchs is more serious than any imagined crime WikiLeaks and Assange may have committed. The evidence for this assertion is necessarily circumstantial but many a person has been convicted on less.
    Timing is telling. It may be the strongest evidence of the concerted effort to take down WikiLeaks and Julian Assange. The collateral murder tape was released in April 2010. The rest of the war logs were released by June. The result on the part of the government and the media echo chamber ran the gamut from nothing to thankfulness and affirmation to the call for hanging of a traitor. Manning was arrested because he could not keep his mouth shut and since he was in the military under a different legal system, if you can call it that, he was subjected to what seemed more like a Stalin era show trial.
    In August 2010 WikiLeaks published internal documents from the collapsed Icelandic bank Kaupthing actually resulting in the arrest of some of the officials involved. To my knowledge they are the only banksters arrested, tried, convicted and sentenced for financial crimes committed during the 2007-2010 financial rape and pillage of the 99% and their countries. These actions by the government of Iceland were the direct result of popular outrage and a change in government. Michael Moore humorously relates some of what happened in his movie “Where To Invade Next” but there was little coverage of those events in the media in the US. The crimes exposed in the war logs were the crimes of “little people” and few were reluctantly charged and convicted for those crimes. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kaupthing_Bank
    On Nov. 29 2010, well after the publication of the war logs, Forbes published an interview with Julian Assange. In the interview Assange reveals that WikiLeaks has massive amounts of documents from the business sector revealing illegal activity. Such releases as led to the conviction of the banksters in Iceland he said they would begin to release them in early 2011. Among those soon to be published was said to be a copy of the hard drive of the CEO of a major too big to fail bank speculated by Time Magazine to be The Bank of America. When asked of the significance of the documents, Assange said they could take down a big bank or two. The price per share of B of A stock dropped by 2/3 at the end of 2010 and began a dramatic quintupling of price in 2012-2018 after Assange was safely in asylum. I am sure there are other factors in that stock fluctuation but the WikiLeaks documents were probably a major part of it. https://www.forbes.com/sites/andygreenberg/2010/11/29/an-interview-with-wikileaks-julian-assange/#d3566172c27c
    I imagine the concern that spread across the financial community on Wall Street caused the scrotums of many to lodge under their Adam’s Apples and much indigestion. The response was immediate. On Dec. 1, 2010 Amazon, that served as the host for WikiLeaks’ web site kicked that dangerous publisher out of its service. Most of Amazon’s profits come from government contracts including with the CIA. It is curious that more than 7 months after the release of the war logs but only 2 days after the Forbes article, Amazon chose to follow the desires of the US deep state and kick WikiLeaks off of its web servers. WikiLeaks quickly found other hosts among the Scandinavian countries including Iceland. Problem solved. On Dec. 2, 2010 PayPal refused to allow their services to be used to donate to WikiLeaks. https://www.wired.com/2010/12/paypal-wikileaks/
    On Dec. 3, 2010 Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Western Union followed suit. WikiLeaks had quickly been left to wither in a financial desert. All these financial institutions cited pressure from the US government as the reason for their actions. The US government probably had been pressuring these same companies since the war logs were released and before to no avail, yet within days of the publication of the Forbes interview these institutions responded in unison to financially eviscerate WikiLeaks. https://www.forbes.com/sites/andygreenberg/2010/12/07/visa-mastercard-move-to-choke-
    On Dec. 10, 2010 Assange was arrested in London on an Interpol warrant issued by Sweden. Assange had been in Sweden to arrange for the hosting of WikiLeaks’ site on a secure bank of underground vaulted servers. WikiLeaks staff probably knew that having Amazon as a host was problematic and had been searching for another host for a while. While released on bail, in January of 2011 CBS News filmed an interview with Assange conducted by Steve Kroft. During the interview Assange was asked about the financial crime documents that WikiLeaks were going to release. It is the only time during the interview that Assange appeared flustered. He did not reveal anything about those documents during the interview.
    https://www.cbsnews.com/news/julian-assange-the-2011-60-minutes-interview/

    While Assange was out on bail in London, he participated in a public discussion that I saw on Free Speech TV or LinkTV. During the question and answer segment a person from the audience asked about the business documents that were supposed to be released in early 2011. Assange’s response was that he was not at liberty to discuss that issue and added that the audience could imagine why. I imagine that Assange, various others and families were threatened with death if the business documents were released and WikiLeaks responded that if anything whatsoever happened to those threatened, the documents would be released. Everybody involved knew that there was no way that any government, corporation or agency could stop the release of the documents. They would have been stored securely in many places away from WikiLeaks and there may even be paper copies stored in strategic places. Stalemate accomplished or as said during the Cold War, mutually assured destruction.
    Enter Ecuador and the asylum granted, or should we say, forced on Assange. Assange’s son and the mother of his son were already underground either in a witness protection like program or just hidden there is little information that I could find on that, but I am sure the deep state knew where they were and wanted to keep them safe. The discussions that preceded the granting of asylum by Ecuador were in secret and will probably never be known barring a whistleblower. The reason to make sure Assange was in a safe and well surveilled space was so no “patriotic” loose cannon could take him down. The Ecuadorian Embassy was considered safer and more reliable politically than jail. Seven years in an Embassy is easier to accomplish than seven years in prison on questionable charges. Seven years later, 2019, was when the statute of limitations on financial crimes committed in 2009 and before have expired.
    Rafael Correa, the president of Ecuador, had a reputation as a defier of American imperialism and Wall Street and was considered part of what was called the “Pink Tide” of social reform in South America. All were incorrect or if at one time correct were no longer. At least since 2012 Rafael Correa has been a neoliberal of the first order. This I know after living in Ecuador for 6 years and talking with the top law students here. There is a plethora of oppressing laws that have been enacted during his administration.
    To support this part of the argument, I will have to give a little history. In 1999 Wall Street attacked the Ecuadorian currency, the Sucre, and crashed the economy. In response Ecuador wisely abandoned the Sucre and took the US dollar as their currency. Wall Street does not attack the USD as that is where they hold their assets. Ecuador used gold and oil revenues to purchase hard currency for circulation and created bookkeeping currency by counterfeiting it just like BofA and the rest of the private banks in the US do. The central bank also payed public employees and contractors by transferring money digitally into their accounts just like the Federal Reserve transfers money. Using money created in this manner the government of Ecuador stimulated the economy at 4-7% annually for 14 or more years. It spent much of it on increasing infrastructure, especially roads, water and hydroelectric plants and production. When I came here in 2014 I was reminded of the massive amounts of infrastructure building and general construction that I witnessed in California in the 60s.
    The political and economic waters of the US are crystal clear compared to murky waters of Ecuador so through chance or fate I met a person who was a former employee of the IRS and the Ministry of the Environment. She is very smart and ethical, so ethical that she was denied promotion because her personality profile test showed her unable to be cruel enough for the job. Because of her inside view I learned that among the first things Rafael Correa did was to pass a law forbidding the Central Bank of Ecuador from printing money. I could give many more examples to prove that from the start of his presidency, Rafael Correa was a minion and mercenary of Wall Street and no socialist.
    Here again timing is telling. When Assange was evicted from the Ecuadorian Embassy into the custody of the British police, the probable crimes revealed in the Wikileaks trove of documents had passed their statute of limitations. So even if there are financial crimes revealed ever, no one is going to be prosecuted, fined or sent to jai. Thus it will be business as usual on Wall Street and their scrotums can relax and they can continue bribing legislatures to make what was once illegal, legal. They will continue torturing and imprisoning Assange. The .00001% want to make sure that potential whistleblowers will quell their consciences and not risk releasing sensitive information and publishers will hesitate to publish what the whistleblowers release.
    The international finance connection with the asylum in the Ecuadorian embassy is most evident in timing. On the very hour of the day of the ejection from the embassy the IMF made available 4.5 billion dollars to the Ecuadorian government. Several years before Ecuador had eliminated all IMF debt. That money has not been spent into the economy which is still declining. And on that same day Ola Bini a friend of Assange who was in Ecuador was arrested by the Ecuadorian government and kept in custody without charge for over 2 months. I could go on and on providing evidence to support this argument. Perhaps in a later article, I will explore the evidence further. On an upbeat note that the international banksters are not in complete control an Icelandic court found Visa guilty of illegally blocking payments to WikiLeaks. So little Iceland is the only country to be brave enough to face up to the banksters and hold them to the rule of law.
    https://grapevine.is/news/2019/04/25/valitor-sentenced-to-pay-1-2-bill

  • We should consider what brought Julian to this point:
    Determination, courage, a passion for Truth and a large ego.
    While these traits are important, what he needs now, more than ever, is the Love of his partner Stella, his children and parents, spiritual introspection and the encouragement of his supporters.
    The system he’s been fighting is a Hydra that feeds on fear and divisiveness.

  • This is not shameless self promotion but I want you to go to my website and look at the entry I made today for Jan 4th. It directly relates to Julian. I posted an interview with Birgitta Jonsdottir and it more than anything you look at today will clarify the issues concerning Julian. Most readers here may not need such clarification, but it was not long ago that Trump said: ‘ I don’t know anything about Wikileaks.

    https://chasingthesquirrel.com/

    • The Wikileaks Documentary — Full Version

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PvmfOaZ34Pk

      Also by Birgitta.

    • Thanks for the link, K-Dog. Interesting and wide-ranging site. Listened to the interview and nosed around a bit more. Will return to check out more of your stuff and urge that others join me.

  • I see Mexico’s leader AMLO has offered asylum to Julian Assange. I wonder what that could mean. Does Mexico have an embassy in London?

    What would be Assange’s legal situation if he was released by the UK, and then traveled to Australia? Could the Biden Administration just start the whole thing over again? Would he be safer in Mexico? I suppose Mexico could have the same problem as Ecuador, where change of president means having asylum revoked.

    Might he have to stay in the UK, the only country that will have already had their court process exhausted eventually?

  • First question – is there a time frame in which the U.S. must present its appeal? If Julian will not be granted bail, but must also remain in jail until the appeal is ready to present, what’s to stop the U.S. from taking,m say, 25 years to file. Given failing health, Julian could actually die in a British prison, if there is not time limit.
    In not recognizing the truths in Julian’s defense, there can only be two explanations for this judge’s decision. Either she was paid or threatened. after all, even Stevie Wonder could see the merit in Julian’s defense statements.

    • I think it was a no win situation for her. She decided to deflect the spotlight from herself onto someone else. Sometimes a judge is put in a corner to be the fall guy. This is how they escape. All the crap she spouted for the prosecution was just her way of appeasing the system.

      • I think the judge was told to quiesce the case by her masters, whoever they are. The Left may not be able to elect, but they have been able to surprise everyone by putting a lot of people in the street. The nationalist Right is also sympathetic (some of them) to Assange because he exposed the Clintons. The trial of Assange, then, might well become a circus, and in the end — one can never tell for sure what a jury will do — he might be acquitted. All of it could be embarrassing for Biden and company. Hence, time to quiesce.

  • That’s right. All you inert cubicle plankton keep pounding your keyboards quarantined in your halucinations of sovereignty.

    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/Eq5Jtx5XIAA4Ylk?format=jpg&name=large

  • Now live, just started (at 20:00 UTC/GMT):

    #AssangeCase panel by @DefenseAssange and @Shadowproof

    Speakers: Noam Chomsky, Marjorie Cohn, Daniel Ellsberg

    Hosted by @kgosztola

    https://twitter.com/DefenseAssange/status/1346184523629912064

    #AssangeCase Online Press Conference: Speakers – Noam Chomsky, Marjorie Cohn, @DanielEllsberg. — YouTube

  • Caitlin, thank you for your integrity, courage and kindness. Inspirational X

  • “British Judge Vanessa Baraitser… ruled against extradition because Assange would be too high a suicide risk in America’s draconian prison system.”
    .
    In sports vernacular, this is called “Winning Ugly”. You get a “victory” but it sure isn’t a pretty one. And while this is far from anything like a decisive win or finish, we know what the alternative would have been.
    .
    In further sports vernacular, this process is still going on way early in the game. We know that the effort to crush free expression will never stop. This is a struggle without end. All one can hope to do is keep bailing the water out of the lifeboat to keep from drowning as quickly as They are lustily poured it in.
    .
    Each of us will answer for our actions one day. Including all the players in this international drama. We will stand as if before a TSA body scanning screen but this Cosmic One will see and reveal everything we have ever done, failed to do, said, not said, and how we handled (or didn’t handle) all our challenges. All of us players in this Earthly Human Drama will have our time to see, face, and explain what we’ve done. Even those who enthusiastically protest that none of this will ever happen.
    .
    It’s times like this that really brings this reality home.

  • The ” Empire ” does not care where Julian Assange spends his ” life sentence ” as long as he is never allowed to ever be free again. The United States is going to have quite enough on its plate on January 7, 2021 after the ” Trumpoids ” go wild on January 6, 2012.

  • My big surprise is that Baraitser made a ruling against extradition with position in government and husband and so forth. She is deeply part of the suppressive state. Her “grounds” are obviously a way give a reason while skirting around suppression. That Baraitser actually ruled this way is a testament to the protests over years and nothing from the MSM. Still, she clearly knows Assange is a media saint and hero, and she needs an excuse to rule against extradition. Reminds me a bit of the judge in “Miracle on 34th Street” who was trying to find a way not to rule against Santa Claus. That was funny. This, Baraister, remains evil and ominous. This presumes to make a judgement, a decision, which defines journalism for the purposes of repression.

    • Nice touch, Michael, to allude to the ruling in “Miracle.”

  • Easier said than done. President Trump’s spent 4 years removing us from senseless, pointless wars against invented enemies. Yet one time he took a militaristic stand. Against the corrupt and stolen government of Venezuela. But rather than recognize the contrast Caitlin chose to repeat thirdhand talking points about imperialism and the ridiculous ‘Spanish Elite’. No number of firsthand accounts I could offer her regarding the real situation could sway her. She read the newspapers, adopted the usual sound bites and condemned a genuine humanitarian effort. Fast forward to late 2020 and what do we know? That Venezuela and Maruro are the origin point of Dominion/Smartmatic and their worldwide campaign of election fraud. We saw the tallies and heard (more) firsthand accounts from the very software engineers behind it. Maduro never won an election. He lost badly but rigged the outcome anyway. He was never the rightful elected leader. He stole his way into power then abused a citizenry that never elected him. TRUMPS EXACT WORDS. And the world’s reluctance and failure to support these innocent victims turned out to have untold unintended consequences. Joe Biden, heir to Maduros election theft strategy has now usurped the office of President of the United States. What seemed like an irrelevant uprising in some banana republic has morphed into the darkest hour of history since the Bubonic Plague. The shining beacon on the hill has been snuffed out. And why? Because the Caitlin’s of the world COULD NOT RECOGNIZE that they were not in control of their minds or their thoughts or their grasp of reality no matter how shrill their assertions to the contrary. So while this article is very astute and very well written, it is very rich coming from Caitlin. Has she ever conceded how verifiably wrong she was about Venezuela? Or is she just preaching to you? A gospel that she failed to follow when it counted most. When far more than we knew hung in the balance Why? What is her soap box built on? Contradiction? Denial? It would sure seem that way and the best evidence against her came from her own hand. But it doesn’t matter much now. The snowball is too far down the hill to be stopped. So now, quite predictably, she wants to take issue with YOUR denial. That should make you want to vomit.

    • As Caitlin carefully indicates, this is great day for those who see reality. Not anything close to a lasting victory for truth and justice, of course, but a great day nevertheless. It will be even a greater day, and closer to that lasting victory, when sentiments like Deuce’s are not censored (which would be a denial of free speech) but rather are not voiced at all, especially on a day like this, because those who had them finally recognized the insanity of them, the obscenity in them.

    • “That Venezuela and Maruro are the origin point of Dominion/Smartmatic and their worldwide campaign of election fraud. We saw the tallies and heard (more) firsthand accounts from the very software engineers behind it. Maduro never won an election.” A link?

      All two headed calfs depicted in our press confirmed that story, notably, each with both heads, but “software engineers behind it”? Reading lips of calfs shown in tabloids is an exact science, to be sure, but who and where reported statements of “software engineers behind it”? And how far behind where they? Seems that someone is raving like a true Trumpoid.

  • Because Baraitser has not rejected the US legal team’s prosecutorial arguments, is it the case then that when they present their appeal, if they offer alongside it formal reassurances that Assange’s treatment during his trial and any subsequent incarceration will not be “oppressive”, Baraitser will thus have a basis (albeit a phoney one) for reversing her ‘judgement’?

  • I wonder is this ruling a strategic move to avoid any possibility that Trump could or might pardon Julian if he was under US jurisdiction? Is this a delaying tactic? I dont believe this is being done for either humanitarian reasons or for justice. I think the Deep State Elites intend to continue to imprison and punish Julian. They want to make an example of him; and I dont think any court will go against them.
    Anyone any opinions on that?

    • That’s exactly what my wife said upon receiving the news. The great humanitarian judge Baraitser would rather Assange be slowly tortured to death in Her Majesty’s Prison Belmarsh than pardoned by Trump. Madam Judge can bide her time awaiting the upcoming Harris administration to dutifully take extradition orders from the Dark Side.

  • Reactionary Plutocratic ‘Civilization and its Malcontents’ in Action: The Actual Inhuman Dissidents

    ‘Civilization’ is the most infamous of misnomers in the English language, for the reality is quite the opposite of any of the definitions of civilized; which makes the word the leading oxymoron of history.
    The term civilization, as applied, does not relate to humanism in any form.

    Regrettably, therefore, it refers primarily, to how persons, on this planet, conduct themselves in reality. It has nothing to do with the all-inclusive Darwinian ideas of the processes of ‘natural evolution’ of species.
    Homo-Sapiens, like all other organisms, certainly are changing, yet this so-called evolution has, by its own hand, split off from anything relating to the natural evolution Darwin was referring to.

    Man has begun to see himself as separate – superior to nature… but I digress!
    What a so-called civilized humanity – the U.S., has inflicted on Julian Assange, over the past ten-plus years, is an abomination of that notion of itself as civilized!
    Trump is but one incidental example; an emblematic fruit of this twisted self.

    Then there is the lackey Judge overseeing the Assange extradition farce, who has now arbitrarily decided that first they try driving him to mental incompetence; to cause him to become mentally ill, as well as physically deteriorated to the degree that he is literally at deaths door – without actually dying.

    In this they have succeeded; before ruling against extradition to the U.S., on totally bogus charges.
    This judgement represents the uncivilized insane behavioral response of the global – U.S. “powers that be”!

    • “Civilization” is an imported word in English, from Latin, etymologically it is equivalent to “urbanization” and “politicization”, as they stem from three words for a city: civis, urbs, polis. So you had unruly and backward villages, and organized cities where the discourse was POLITe, as enforced by POLICe, and you had essential trappings of CIVILization: public theatre, public baths, a basilica (a hall for larger meetings) and so on.

      Over the ages, the aspects of civilization changed. Development of modern plumbing reduced the need for public baths, and we can actually adequately bath in villages too. So we yokels in the countryside got civilized.

      What I am trying to say is that “civilization” was meant as something good, but it was never a collection of all important human values. We got plumbing, road rules not regulated by combat, that type of thing.

  • You have a great way to cut through the chaff to the real story! Ultimately i’m still pissed off that while Assange will (hopefully) be freed, the real story of the crap he exposed has got lost in the process and Big Brother will have put off a lot of would be Assanges in the process

  • This reminds me of the decision in the most important case in US history, one that had no basis in fact or law but was an enormously important strategic triumph for judiciary over the other two branches of government. History has muddled the issue, as it so often does. There the Court decided in favor of Secretary of State Madison, and by extension in favor of Chief Justice Marshall{s cousin, Thomas Jefferson (ignoring the obvious conflict), but under terms that stole judicial review of Congressional action from the executive and usurped it for the judiciary thus placing Jefferson in a position of having to accept the decision while losing a huge portion of his power (the presidential veto was supposed to have been the check on unconstitutional legislative action, and impeachment the check on unconstitutional executive action). In the Assange case, the judge created horrendous precedent regarding freedom of the press (it is non-existent, but then, today, so is a free and unbiased press) and instead ruled that Assange was too unstable to withstand US torture, if he’s released, that case too is unlikely to be appealed by Assange. One wonders how the US government will react, having won a major victory on precedent, while perhaps not on the revenge the Deep State craves.

  • This is very similar to the supreme court using discretion for an election ruling. They both used a technicality to sidestep an incendiary ruling. Sometimes being a judge is not all that easy.

  • There’s nothing that garbage people hate more than people who aren’t garbage. That was the whole purpose of garbage people taking over Christianity from day one, Christ even said so before those garbage people ever got around to killing him. Garbage people like that judge never stop lying about the reasons why they do what they do because they’re sick.

  • The judge’s logic is unassailable. You would have to be crazy to take on the international elites.

  • I was more surprised than relieved. He’s unlikely to be set free anytime soon. In fact I suspect the abuse he suffers may get worse now that some of the attention to his case has been reduced. I was particularly disturbed by the reason for the denial. Since it appears his jailers were attempting to encourage his suicide to begin with. Too bad this sorry excuse for a judge failed to see a logical, reasonable, and legal reason to deny extradition. They are after all quite abundant.

    • Regardless of the ultimate outcome, what they have done to Assange already will have a chilling effect on journalism for a long time to come. The damage has already been done.

      • If there was such a thing as journalism among the MSM in the first place. They’re all agents of the state anyway. Julian was not the first victim. A number of real journalists have met their end in “mysterious” circumstances. Julian is the test balloon for the state openly murdering one.

    • The Judge is afraid of the US elites, as well she should be. I think Julian will be denied bail, the Judge will be reversed on appeal, and Julian will wind up in the US, where he will be tortured until he is dead. You cannot ever, for any reason, talk about US war crimes or the people that order and commit them, with any hope of impunity.

  • Excellent Article.

    I hope President Trump pardons Assange. That would make the Democrats mad, which I assume he would love to do, before he leaves office.

    This Judge should be ashamed of herself. England should be ashamed of her.
    That is the best she could do for Truth and Justice?

    As Thomas Jefferson said-“Without Free Speech, there can be No Democracy”.

    • Caitlin just opined a week or so ago that Trump will never pardon Assange because Trump isn’t who we think he is and has really been a part of the Swamp all along. I’m afraid she’s probably right, even though it would be a very smart move on his part.

    • I cannot understand why everyone speaks of USA Democracy. There is no such thing as Democracy in the USA there is rule by Oligarchs and ” Deep State ” suppor4t fo0r whatever crimes the Oligarchs wish to commit.

  • It pains me to take no relief from judge Baraitser’s ruling. While I agree with John Pilger’s assessment that “It’s a face-saving cover for the British to justify their disgraceful political trial of #Assange on America’s behalf,” it also provides a face-saving cover for the U.S., sparing the federal courts from having to rule against the First and Fourteenth Amendments in order to punish him for his real offense, exposing the criminal acts of his prosecutors. In essence, the British court has taken responsibility for convicting Assange without giving him his day in an American court, the latest in a long list of rights which he has been denied. I see no reason to expect that his sentencing and execution will not also be carried out in Great Britain without due process, “a face-saving cover” for all.

    • I strongly suspect that the judge continues to do Empire’s bidding by her ruling. On Wednesday, bail will most likely be denied with the excuse that he jumped bail when he fled to the Ecuadorian embassy. So, he’ll be back at Belmarsh while the US draws up it’s appeal. Then there’ll be another appeal up to the supreme court, and all the while they will be killing him slowly in Belmarsh and getting their message across to journalists and whistleblowers regarding the fate that awaits them if they misbehave.

  • Anyone that doubts this is a political prosecution should go back and remember Hillary Clinton’s public proposal in her 2016 race against Trump to assassinate Assange, saying, “Coudn’t we just drone this guy?”

    Everything about this case, the election, the Russiagate scandal, smells Clinton, a scorned and bitter woman. They arrested Assange to keep him from being involved in an election where Biden’s criminal conducts would have been highlighted by WIkileaks, and they had to stuff ballot boxes to get him allegedly selected.

    • If you don’t think that makes this political, I don’t know what more you need.

    • Here’s the full story, which went much further than the comment she now denies saying, or if she did it was meant to be a joke.
      https://truepundit.com/under-intense-pressure-to-silence-wikileaks-secretary-of-state-hillary-clinton-proposed-drone-strike-on-julian-assange/
      As bad as I consider Trump to be, on issues such as arms control or the environment, we definitely dodged a bullet when we justly rejected Hillary Rodham Clinton as president in 2016. And we’d better dodge this one where her sockpuppet Biden claims victory by fraud.

      • Bullshit. A bit late for yet another conspiracy theory.

  • I posted this on Caitlin’s previous article, but feel it needs to be read here.

    I am afraid that this will be a VERY dangerous time for Assange. His being released for health reasons, namely risk of suicide, instead of the obvious illegality of his detention, will set him up for being “suicided” a la Epstein, or killed by a “lone nut” a la JFK, MLK, RFK, etc. His only real hope would be to successfully jump bail during the appeals process, disappear, and seek a new identity. That avenue is fraught with risk as well. Trump may issue a pardon on Wednesday, probably just for his own egotistical reasons if he does so, but I think Assange will still need to disappear if he wants to live.

    • You may well be right, Skip, but while it’s clearly not our call to make, especially because the vast majority of us wouldn’t have the courage to make it (or even to put ourselves in the position of having to make it), there’s terrible truth in the old saying that losing one’s life is sometimes the only way to save it.

    • The deep state has worked hard to keep Assange alive but miserable. If he is dead then the troves of documents still retained by WikiLeaks will be published. As long as he is alive there is hope and WikiLeaks will not publish.

      • I wonder how much longer they will care whether or not Wikileaks publishes anything. Places like this site are a “sound proof free speech zone.” As long as they have a total lock on the MSM, which they seem to have acquired with both carrot and stick, they rest of us can be dismissed as “conspiracy theorist” nut jobs. Robert Parry’s Mighty Wurlitzer still controls the masses.

        • So it also seems to me, Skip, in my darker moments. But then there are those bursts of light, when it suddenly seems that truth, so long as it is kept alive here and at other scattered “free speech zones,” will ultimately prevail–that the bastards will indeed be beaten, and a more beautiful world be born. Does that arc of history bend toward justice, or doesn’t it? How one answers this question may not only help to define one’s life but also assist in the bending. Thus my mantra in the final chapter of my life: believe, against all odds, all appearances, in the human spirit.

  • Wrestlemania kabuki theater. By parroting US charges, the judge sets predicate for denying bail, as if the Belmarsh torture chamber is any better than the 7S Super Max. If released, expect Arkancide of this depressed gadfly.

  • You seem not to understand. If he is extradited to the US, he will be tried again, imprisoned, and killed.

  • Hooray! Congratulations to you, Caitlin Johnstone, and the other courageous journalists who fought for Assange. It is one step. As a very great and kind man said: Every step is a destination. Assange is much more likely to continue living and without being tortured. That step is a victory, and it should make for encouragement to keep fighting.

    As a lawyer I have seen unjust judges grit their teeth and do the right thing because they were forced to. And when they did it, instead of admitting defeat, they would find obviously phony reasons for their decisions. Baraitser and her gang of ghouls were defeated and they know it and are likely grinding their teeth in private. But they just couldn’t do what they really wanted – send Julian Assange to a U.S. hellhole to be tortured into giving up his sources, who likely would have been murdered soon after. So it is a victory for many unknown whistleblowers, for all whistleblowers and all the people that want the facts.

    • As a fellow lawyer, Alan, I concur with your wise observations derived from hard experience. Let’s all take this small, precarious yet precious victory and run like hell with it. Without the significant voices of rogue journalists like Caitlin, which sharpen and amplify our own, where would we be right now? Not here with this glimmer of hope.

    • Alan Ross wrote:
      > Hooray! Congratulations to you, Caitlin Johnstone, and the other courageous journalists who fought for Assange. It is one step. . . .
      > As a lawyer I have seen unjust judges grit their teeth and do the right thing because they were forced to. And when they did it, instead of admitting defeat, they would find obviously phony reasons for their decisions. Baraitser and her gang of ghouls were defeated and they know it and are likely grinding their teeth in private.
      .
      Newton Finn wrote:
      > As a fellow lawyer, Alan, I concur with your wise observations derived from hard experience. Let’s all take this small, precarious yet precious victory and run like hell with it. Without the significant voices of rogue journalists like Caitlin, which sharpen and amplify our own, where would we be right now? Not here with this glimmer of hope.
      .
      .
      That’s also right, more and more people, journalists, doctors, jurists, human rights and freedom of the press organizations, etc. were increasingly supporting Julian.
      .
      As Caitlin writes:
      .
      “It’s a way of backing down while still saving face and appearing to be a threat. But everyone looking on can see that backing down is still backing down.
      .
      “I think it’s a safe bet that if this case hadn’t had such intense scrutiny on it from all over the world, we would have heard a different ruling today. The empire did what it could to try and intimidate journalists with the possibility of prison for exposing its malfeasance, but in the end, it backed down.
      .
      “I’m not going to take that as a sign that we’ve won the war, or even the battle. But it is a sign that our punches are landing. And that we’ve got a fighting chance here.”

  • I think this is disugsting . He should be alllowed to be extradited back to US. He’s paid more than enough for his “so called crimes”.

    • What? You want him to be “allowed” to be extradited back to the US? I don’t think you understand what is going on here, at all. You’re clearly confused. Obviously that’s not what Caitlin is urging.

    • Assange is fighting against extradition. Not for it! I hope you just mistyped that.

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