Okay, be sure to read Rebecca's "anne rice" and Marcia's "Anne Rice." The novelist Anne Rice passed away on Friday. Many kind and moving Tweets have gone up on Twitter but, for me, Steve Robertson captured it best:
Very well said.
Now here are two Tweets from Glenn Greenwald.
I want to use those two Tweets to take a moment to remind everyone that Oliver Stone's new documentary JFK REVISTED: THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS is on SHOWTIME. I have probably streamed it six times since Thanksgiving. I strongly recommend it.
This is C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"
Tuesday, December 14, 2021. Julian Assange isn't a criminal, he's a political prisoner.
THE CONVO COUCH's Fiorella Isabel Tweets:
Susan Sarandon Tweets:
The US government continues to persecute Julian Assange for the 'crime' of exposing their lies and their crimes. Can we get a government to demand that this same US government be extradicted to another country to face charges of murdering journalists -- the two REUTERS reporters were not the only ones murdered by the US government -- and murdering wedding parties with drones?
Whistleblowers are targets. They are often targeted invisibly, sometimes very visibly. Many at the conference did not want their names to be revealed. Perhaps they were right. At the end of the conference, some cheques, cash and the list of attendees were stolen.
Months later, following a court decision involving the National Crime Authority (NCA), I received a letter with the cheques and cash, but not the list of attendees. Whistleblowers Australia had been calling for a royal commission into the NCA. It never happened. Whistleblowers are targets. Those who survive learn to survive as targets.
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange attended the conference. Assange has become one of the main targets. Many of the themes discussed at the conference are what Assange has come to represent. Freedom of information rather than freedom from information. The prosecution of wrongdoers, not the prosecution of whistleblowers. An open society, not a closed society.
When WikiLeaks was established, I said it would give whistleblowers a mechanism to get stories into the international arena, that Australian whistleblower protection laws were cosmetic and cases like the AWB kickbacks scandal could have been exposed faster if there were a website like WikiLeaks.
[. . .]
The case against Assange involves hundreds of thousands of documents and diplomatic cables concerning the Afghanistan and Iraq wars. WikiLeaks was an intermediary, but there were other intermediaries, including many international newspapers. The U.S. Government has chosen to shoot the messenger but the question is: Who is the real messenger?
Ten sailors on a frigate blew the whistle on the Commodore of the American Navy. They petitioned the Congress in 1777 and swore affidavits citing examples of misconduct, including abuse of prisoners. The Congress backed the whistleblowers.
When the Commodore retaliated against the whistleblowers, the Congress paid for their legal costs, revealed information about the misconduct and removed the Commodore. The whistleblowers were fortunate to blow the whistle at the right time to the right people.
Julian Assange is being persecuted by the US government and it's for revealing their lies. US President Joe Biden is a stupid man who has never lived a real life. He wne to Congress early on and spent four decades there. You realize that when he says idiotic things like parents are suffering to pay their child's student loans. In what world, Joe? In what f**king world? In the world most people live in, they're sturggling to pay their own student loans and have been since the 90s -- Joe should know about this -- as a tool of the banking industry, it was Joe that made it so that declaring bankruptcy wouldn't wipe away your student loan debt.
He should also know that just because his sona nd his brother unethicially profit off Joe (and steer money back to Joe, let's get honest) doesn't mean everyone has that opportunity. Joe doesn't know the real world and that's clear anytime he opens his mouth.
If Joe gave a damn about the US Constitution, he would've demanded the persecution of Julian Assange ended. But he doesn't care about Freedom of the Press at all. He joins in the attacks and how leads them. And, if they succeed, it will upend press freedoms. The editorial board of THE GUARDIAN observed last Friday:
Yet the US government itself is endangering the ability of the media to bring to light uncomfortable truths and expose official crimes and cover-ups. On Friday, the high court ruled that Julian Assange can be extradited to the US, where he could face up to 175 years in prison. The decision is not only a blow for his family and friends, who fear he would not survive imprisonment in the US. It is also a blow for all those who wish to protect the freedom of the press.
The judgment overturns January’s decision by a district court that the WikiLeaks founder could not be extradited because of the substantial risk that he would kill himself, given his mental health and the conditions he would face. The US subsequently put forward a package of reassurances in its attempt to overturn that ruling, which the high court judges accepted. But the US has reserved the right to put him in a maximum security facility or to subject him to special administrative measures – which can include prolonged solitary confinement – based on his conduct. His team will appeal, and the legal process is likely to drag on for years.
The focus has shifted to the heart of the matter. Regardless of Mr Assange’s wellbeing, the US should not be demanding his extradition, and the UK should not be granting it. He is charged under the Espionage Act, including with publishing classified material. The case against the 49-year-old relates to hundreds of thousands of leaked documents about the Afghanistan and Iraq wars, as well as diplomatic cables, which were made public by WikiLeaks working with the Guardian and other media organisations. They revealed horrifying abuses by the US and other governments which would not otherwise have come to light.
As Agnès Callamard, secretary general of Amnesty International, has noted: “Virtually no one responsible for alleged US war crimes committed in the course of the Afghanistan and Iraq wars has been held accountable, let alone prosecuted, and yet a publisher who exposed such crimes is potentially facing a lifetime in jail.”
No public interest defence is permissible under the Espionage Act. Campaigners in the US have warned that its use is a direct assault on the first amendment. And publishers outside it are equally at risk if Mr Assange is extradited; the charges relate to acts which took place when he was not in the country.
Amnesty International issued the following:
Responding to the High Court’s decision to accept the US’s appeal
against the decision not to extradite Julian Assange Amnesty
International’s Europe Director Nils Muižnieks said:
“This is a travesty of justice. By allowing this appeal, the High Court has chosen to accept the deeply flawed diplomatic assurances given by the US that Assange would not be held in solitary confinement in a maximum security prison. The fact that the US has reserved the right to change its mind at any time means that these assurances are not worth the paper they are written on.
“If extradited to the US, Julian Assange could not only face trial on charges under the Espionage Act but also a real risk of serious human rights violations due to detention conditions that could amount to torture or other ill-treatment.
“The US government’s indictment poses a grave threat to press freedom both in the United States and abroad. If upheld, it would undermine the key role of journalists and publishers in scrutinizing governments and exposing their misdeeds would leave journalists everywhere looking over their shoulders.”
The US extradition request is based on charges directly related to the publication of leaked classified documents as part of Julian Assange’s work with Wikileaks.
Publishing information that is in the public interest is a cornerstone of media freedom and the public’s right to information about government wrongdoing. It is also protected under international human rights law and should not be criminalized.
Julian Assange is the first publisher to face charges under the Espionage Act.
For more information or to arrange an interview contact Stefan Simanowitz firstname.lastname@example.org
What's taking place is appalling. And read the Tweets 'responding' to Susan Sarandon's Tweet abpve and grasp how stupid so many people are. Stupid is the term, we can also use ignorant. Watching MSNBC doesn't make you educated. In fact, it probably harms you more than anything else. It creates a false world and a you don't grasp it. You think you've spent all that time watching so you know what's going on. MSNBC viewers that I personally know are too stupid to do anything but vote the way they're told. Six to nine months after a stand is needed, they'll call or show up at my door, "Okay, I get it now." Yeah, too late though. YOu've got people who do not nothing but traffic in outrage and hysteria to try to get viewers. It was called "yellow journalism" in an earlier time. You really need to ask yourself why you don't have any core princiiples, why you shift like sand over and over, time and again. You're the victim of your own limited education and of consuming a bombastic media that tries to play on your emotions.
Do journalists have the right to report the truth? Yes or no. PUll Julian out of it. Yes or no? If they do have the right then why is the US spending years trying to get custody of an Austrlian citizen? He's not even a US citizien. But MSNBC helped popuralize the lie that Julian committed "treason." (Treason is committed by a citizen against their own government.) Facts have flown out the window repeatedly.
I don't handle heavy drama very well. When someone tries to manipulate me with emotional propaganda, I tned to shut down and shut them out. That's why, one day after 9/11, I said enough, turned off the TV and traveled around talking to people. I'm not going to be told what to think. It's sad that so many will allow themselves to be. That's how we get the round up of Muslims that happened in the US after 9/11. It's how we got the internment of the Japanese. It's how we got the persecution and murders of Jews, gay people and the Romas by the Nazis. Time and again, despots and liars prey upon our emotions to try to get us to do what common sense and reason reject.
Common sense should make clear that there's no reason for Julian Assange to be brought to the US. There's no crime. He's not committed a crime, he's not broken a law. But if you're going to say that he did, the next move is to arrest and try THE NEW YORK TIMES, THE WASHINGTON POST, etc. They worked with Julian, remember. So if he's guilty,t hey're guilty as well.
Reporting isn't a crime and shouldnt be. And covering things that really matter, issues of life and death, should be applauded, not punished. It's up to you what kind of world you want: One where you can be told the truth or one whete your government can lie to you and never be challenged?
Common sense should make you nod along as you read this from Australia's ABC NEWS:
Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce has penned an editorial for the Nine newspapers saying Mr Assange should be tried for any crime he is alleged to have committed on British soil, or be sent home.
"Assange was not in breach of any Australian laws at the time of his actions. Assange was not in the US when the event being deliberated in a court now in London occurred," Mr Joyce wrote.
"The question is then: Why is he to be extradited to the US? If he insulted the Koran, would he be extradited to Saudi Arabia?"
Common sense should tell you that a government that plotted how to assassinate Julian Assange (as the US government did) cannot be believed when they say they will provide a fair trial. Chris Hedges observes:
Assange committed empire's greatest sin. He exposed it as a criminal enterprise. He documented its lies, callous disregard for human life, rampant corruption and innumerable war crimes. Republican or Democrat. Conservative or Labour. Trump or Biden. It does not matter. The goons who oversee the empire sing from the same Satanic songbook. Empires always kill those who inflict deep and serious wounds. Rome's long persecution of the Carthaginian general Hannibal, forcing him in the end to commit suicide, and the razing of Carthage repeats itself in epic after epic. Crazy Horse. Patrice Lumumba. Malcolm X. Ernesto "Che" Guevara. Sukarno. Ngo Dinh Diem. Fred Hampton. Salvador Allende. If you cannot be bought off, if you will not be intimidated into silence, you will be killed. The obsessive CIA attempts to assassinate Fidel Castro, which because none succeeded have a Keystone Cop incompetence to them, included contracting Momo Salvatore Giancana, Al Capone's successor in Chicago, along with Miami mobster Santo Trafficante to kill the Cuban leader, attempting to poison Castro's cigars with a botulinum toxin, providing Castro with a tubercle bacilli-infected scuba-diving suit, booby-trapping a conch shell on the sea floor where he often dived, slipping botulism-toxin pills in one of Castro's drinks and using a pen outfitted with a hypodermic needle to poison him.
The current cabal of assassins hide behind a judicial burlesque overseen in London by portly judges in gowns and white horse-hair wigs mouthing legal Alice-in-Wonderland absurdities. It is a dark reprise of Gilbert and Sullivan's Mikado with the Lord High Executioner drawing up lists of people "who would not be missed."
The US government turned Iraq into a land of orphans and widows -- but the same government wants to punish Julian Assange for reporting? MIDDLE EAST EYE notes:
Five million orphans - equivalent to five percent of all orphans worldwide - are in Iraq, with nearly the same number of young people living in poverty, data published in a new Iraqi High Commission for Human Rights report has revealed.
According to the report, covered in Asharq al-Awsat, one million children are working as labourers to support their families, including 45,000 who don't have official identification documents as a result of their parents' affiliation with the Islamic State group.
Around 4.5 million children are in families living below the poverty line with 25 percent of the total population of Iraq living in poverty and an unemployment rate of 14 percent, the commission found.
When do extradition requests for War Criminals like Joe Biden start?
The following sites updated: