Posts Tagged ‘Assange’

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article33783.htm Have You No Shame? Lies, Damned Lies, and Newspaper Reporting By Annie Machon February 01, 2013 “Huffington Post” – -Where to start with this tangled skein of media spin, misrepresentation and outright hypocrisy? Last week the Sam Adams Associates for Integrity in Intelligence presented this year’s award to Dr Tom Fingar at a ceremony jointly hosted by the prestigious Oxford Union Society. Dr Fingar, currently a visiting lecturer at Oxford, had in 2007 co-ordinated the production of the US National Intelligence Estimate – the combined analysis of all 16 of America’s intelligence agencies – which assessed that the Iranian nuclear weaponisation programme had ceased in 2003. This considered and authoritative Estimate directly thwarted the 2008 US drive towards war against Iran, and has been reaffirmed every year since then. By the very fact of doing his job of providing dispassionate and objective assessments and resisting any pressure to politicise the intelligence (à la Downing Street Memo), Dr Fingar’s work is outstanding and he is the winner of Sam Adams Award, 2012. This may say something about the parlous state of our intelligence agencies generally, but don’t get me started on that… Anyway, as I said, the award ceremony was co-hosted by the Oxford Union Society last week, and many Sam Adams Associates attended, often travelling long distances to do so. Former winners were asked to speak at the ceremony, such as FBI Coleen Rowley, GCHQ Katherine Gun, NSA Thomas Drake, and former UK Ambassador Craig Murray. Other associates, including CIA Ray McGovern, diplomats Ann Wright and Brady Kiesling and myself also said a few words. As former insiders and whistleblowers, we recognised the vitally important work that Dr Fingar had done and all spoke about the importance of integrity in intelligence. One other previous winner of the Sam Adams Award was also invited to speak – Julian Assange of Wikileaks. He spoke eloquently about the need for integrity and was gracious in praising the work of Dr Fingar. All the national and international media were invited to attend what was an historic gathering of international whistleblowers and cover an award given to someone who, by doing their job with integrity, prevented yet further ruinous war and bloodshed in the Middle East. Few attended, still fewer reported on the event, and the promised live streaming on YouTube was blocked by shadowy powers at the very last minute – an irony considering the Oxford Union is renowned as a free speech society. Read the full article here

http://m.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/jan/22/paypal-wikileaks-protesters-ddos-free-speech There is no weapon on the planet more powerful than speech. In recent years, the digital revolution has led to new and unique ways for people to express themselves, and speech has flourished around the world, bringing it closer together. As a lawyer and as someone who promotes the advancement of individual liberties, I was fascinated by the advent of online speech, which was quickly followed by the advent of online protest. Readthe full report here

The defense team for Army Private Bradley Manning will not be allowed to present evidence of his motives behind the intelligence leaks for which he faces 22 charges, a military judge ruled Thursday. The ruling, which is not available to the press or the public, underscores the fraudulent and anti-democratic character of the entire case.

The 25-year-old soldier is accused of transmitting hundreds of thousands of government and military documents to whistleblower organization WikiLeaks, which published the material. Among the documents were evidence of war crimes, including a video WikiLeaks published under the name “Collateral Murder,” showing US military helicopters gunning down Iraqi civilians, journalists and first responders in cold blood. Other documents made clear that the US vastly underreported civilian casualties in Afghanistan.

Army Colonel Denise Lind, the judge overseeing the ongoing pretrial hearings at Fort Meade, Maryland, granted a government motion that questions of conscience and “good faith” are irrelevant in the case. This strips Manning of any potential legal protection offered under a whistleblower status and prevents any discussion of the content of the leaked material from reaching the American public.

Manning was detained on May 26, 2010, after computer hacker Adrian Lamo turned a series of chat conversations over to the US government. In the logs, Manning allegedly described collecting the materials while working as an Army intelligence analyst in Baghdad. He reportedly told Lamo that he felt compelled to act out of good conscience. The government and military networks, he said, contained “incredible things, awful things…that belonged in the public domain, and not on some server stored in a dark room in Washington DC.”

Manning faces life in military prison under the Espionage Act. Prosecutors for the Obama administration argue that he is guilty of “aiding the enemy” for leaking information that was subsequently made available on the Internet to anyone, including enemies of the United States. If Manning is convicted, the case will set a dangerous precedent for other whistleblowers, as well as media and watchdog organizations, journalists, bloggers, and anyone who accesses information that the government deems sensitive to US interests.

This is precisely the Obama administration’s intent. During arguments January 9, prosecutors explicitly stated that the government saw no difference between WikiLeaks and newspapers such as the New York Times. Like the bulk of the Manning hearing to date, this declaration received little media attention.

In her ruling Thursday, Lind said Manning’s motive could not be considered as a factor until the young soldier either entered a plea or was found guilty. At that point, Lind said, Manning’s rationale could become a factor that might influence a reduction in his sentencing. The Justice Department is no doubt eyeing a plea agreement that would require Manning to testify in a future military trial against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

Lind also blocked the defense team, led by civilian lawyer David Coombs, from presenting evidence that the publication of documents that Manning is accused of leaking caused no harm to US security or personnel.

Issues of motive are precluded from arguments on charges that Manning “wrongfully and wantonly cause[d] to be published on the Internet intelligence belonging to the United States government,” Lind ruled, or for charges where the government asserts that Manning had “reason to believe such information could be used to the injury of the United States or to the advantage of any foreign nation.” The defense could raise issues of motive only when addressing the “aiding the enemy” charge to argue that Manning did not know dealing with WikiLeaks would be tantamount to “dealing with the enemy.”

Prosecutors are seeking to tie Manning and WikiLeaks to Al Qaeda. In order to do this, the government has culled together flimsy evidence, including vague references by alleged Al Qaeda-linked propagandists who have said WikiLeaks might provide insight into US activity in the Middle East. A 2010 issue of Inspire magazine, for example, entered as evidence Wednesday, contained a line attributed to an Al Qaeda operative: “[A]nything useful from WikiLeaks can be archived and used to help the mujahideen.” Prosecutors also claim they have evidence collected from the raid of Osama bin Laden’s compound showing that he had reviewed WikiLeaks-published material.

Under Lind’s ruling, the government’s own damage assessments into the impact of the leaks on US interests will not be admitted into evidence until sentencing. Numerous intelligence assessments submitted to the Congressional “WikiLeaks Task Force” found no harm was caused.

Manning has been held for nearly 1,000 days without conviction. From July 2010 to April 2011, he was subjected to mistreatment at Quantico Marine brig in Virginia, including solitary confinement and forced nudity and harassment by guards. Brig officials reported to the Pentagon on Manning’s day-to-day conditions and disregarded recommendations from psychiatric staff that the young soldier be treated less severely.

Coombs argued that Manning’s treatment amounted to “unlawful pretrial punishment,” and called for charges to be dismissed. Instead, Lind granted a reduction of only 112 days—an absurdity in the face of a potential life sentence—and insisted that the harsh treatment was necessary to ensure Manning “did not hurt or kill himself and was present for trial.”

Manning’s court martial has been delayed once again; he is scheduled to face trial June 3. The defense argued that the government has shown “tremendous lack of diligence in the processing of this case,” violating Manning’s right to a speedy trial. On Wednesday, Coombs argued that the length of time would weaken the ability of witnesses to give reliable testimony. “It is just common sense to say, witnesses will say, ‘It has been several years, I don’t recall,’ ” he said. The government invoked national security to justify the delay.

Read the Full Report via the Centre for research on Globalization

FAIR USE NOTICE: This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of political, economic, scientific, and educational issues. We believe this constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information go to:

http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml.

If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

http://wlcentral.org/node/1418 The following brief was submitted to the meeting outlined here by WL Central: On 2nd March 2011 at 9.15am a meeting was held, organised by Andrew Laming (Liberal Party MP Bowman Qld) at Parliament House Canberra to allow federal parliamentarians who wished to attend, some insights into the matters of Julian Assange facing extradition from the UK to Sweden, and facing (subject to that extradition process) a possible trial in Sweden and another possible extradition to the USA thereafter. Among others, MPs Andrew Laming, Malcolm Turnbull, Doug Cameron and Sarah Hanson-Young were in attendance, along with parliamentary staff members. Three speakers made themselves available for oral presentations and questions: Greg Barns, barrister from Tasmania; former Australian diplomat Tony Kevin and Peter Kemp solicitor from NSW, the latter two made written material available for the parliamentarians reprinted here with their permission. The following brief was submitted to the meeting by Jennifer Robinson of the firm Finers Stephens Innocent. She is part of the legal team representing Julian Assange in the extradition proceedings requested by Sweden. Jennifer Robinson’s biography. 1. I am writing to you to provide a briefing for the meeting of members of Federal Parliament on Wednesday 2 March 2011 regarding the case against Julian Assange. This briefing note sets out the timeline of events and the human rights concerns that we have raised in relation to Julian’s case in Sweden. 2. Julian is facing extradition to Sweden pursuant to a European Arrest Warrant (EAW). He is currently electronically tagged and held under virtual house arrest, having spent nine days in solitary confinement in a London prison for a crime that he has not been charged with and in relation to allegations that he emphatically denies. 3. It is mutually concerning that an Australian citizen like Julian has been treated in ways which would not accord with the standards of Australian law or indeed international law. As I set out in this note, if he is extradited to Sweden, he will be held incommunicado, in solitary confinement, and without bail for several months and then tried in secret on allegations which are weak and which would not constitute a crime in Australia or in the UK. In such event, it can be predicted that Australians will be outraged and that considerable damage will eventuate in respect of relations between Australia and Sweden. 4. It is hoped that this briefing note will act as a resource for concerned Australian MPs to raise questions and to take action on Julian’s behalf. Read the full report here

Dandelion Salad

Dandelion Salad

Nov 29, 2012 by democracynow

In his most extended interview in months, Julian Assange speaks to Democracy Now! from inside the Ecuadorian embassy in London where he has been holed up for nearly six months. Assange vowed WikiLeaks would persevere despite attacks against it. On Tuesday, the European Commission announced that the credit card company Visa did not break the European Union’s anti-trust rules by blocking donations to WikiLeaks.

View original post 5,366 more words

Declassified Documents Reveal US Military Designated Assange ‘Enemy of State’

This is the same designation held by al-Qaeda, and it means that Assange could be killed or detained without trial

by John Glaser, September 26, 2012

Newly declassified documents have revealed that the US military designated WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange an enemy of the state, who can be killed or detained without trial.

The documents were released under a Freedom of Information Act request for an investigation into a US Air Force cyber analyst who allegedly expressed support for WikiLeaks and attended pro-Assange demonstrations.

The investigation, the documents reveal, was meant to determine whether this analyst, who had a top-secret security clearance, had given classified information to WikiLeaks supporters, who the documents describe as an “anti-US and/or anti-military group.”

The documents allege this suspect may have been “communicating with the enemy, 104-D,” an article in the US Uniform Code of Military Justice that prohibits military personnel from “communicating, corresponding or holding intercourse with the enemy,” the same designation held by al-Qaeda.

Assange’s US attorney, Michael Ratner, claims this designation has very dangerous implications and could be interpreted as a green light to kill or detain Assange without charge or trial.

“It appears that Julian Assange and WikiLeaks are the ‘enemy.’ An enemy is dealt with under the laws of war, which could include killing, capturing, detaining without trial, etc.,” Ratner warned.

WikiLeaks is nothing more than a publishing platform and Julian Assange is properly understood as a journalist. For the US military to designate him in the same class as al-Qaeda militants is the greatest affront to first amendment press freedoms in a very long time.