Julian Assange finally got some good news today -- not enough, but some. Thomas Scripps (WSWS) reports:
Julian Assange’s extradition from the UK to the United States has been blocked by a carefully crafted court ruling that upholds the grotesque frame-up case of the US Department of Justice.
The WikiLeaks founder faced extradition to the US under the Espionage Act and a possible 175-year sentence for publishing information exposing war crimes, coup plots, state surveillance, corruption, torture, and human rights abuses throughout the world.
District Judge Vanessa Baraitser refused the US extradition request on the grounds that it would be “oppressive” by reason of Assange’s compromised mental health and the risk of suicide if he is detained and imprisoned in the US.
Prosecution lawyers said they would appeal the decision, which they must do within 14 days. The defence will submit an application for bail Wednesday morning. At least until then, Assange remains detained in London’s Belmarsh maximum-security prison in the midst of an escalating COVID-19 pandemic.
Baraitser’s decision was highly unexpected. WikiLeaks editor-in-chief Kristinn Hrafnsson told AFP Sunday that he was “almost certain” the court would rule against Assange. Assange’s fiancé Stella Moris began her comments outside the court after the hearing by noting, “I’ve had to rewrite my speech.”
I'm glad that he wasn't handed over to the US government but it is time for Julian to be released (past time). Let him go. Publishing the truth is not a crime.
Here's C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"
Monday, January 4, 2021. We desperately need some common sense in this new year.
Let's start the year with some common sense.
First? Donald Trump. The election is over. It was over when the electoral college voted.
Was the election stolen? I see nothing to indicate that it was but let's say that it was stolen. It's too late now. The electoral college voted. Donald had every chance to make his case and it's over.
In 2000, Al Gore won the votes but didn't get the presidency. But at a certain point, it didn't matter anymore. And Al understood that and grasped that the only thing that could happen if he continued to persist was for him to be labeled a sore loser.
Is that what Donald wants to look like? Like Hillary Clinton for the last four years? Ranting with unfounded conspiracies of how Russia stole the election from her? Coming on a like a crazy woman?
It's over. Donald Trump has lost and any close to him would do well to explain that to him.
If you're late to the story, we're talking about the call SKY NEWS reports on below.
SKY NEWS? We're not going with any US outlet -- they're not known for their fairness.
SKY NEWS, if anything, would be in favor of Donald. I can understand people being dismissive of THE WASHINGTON POST, THE NEW YORK TIMES, MSNBC, CNN and others who shredded their credibility over the last four years. But that's not them. That's SKY NEWS out of Australia. It is right-wing leaning outlet, it is not a US outlet. So I would hope even Trump supporters could absorb what is reported in the video above.
Now it is over for Donald Trump. He can accept that or not. Whether he accepts or not, Joe Biden will become president January 20th. Donald should be spending the time remaining figuring out who he wants to pardon, what papers he wants to order released, that sort of thing -- the things you do as you close shop.
He should consider pardoning Julian Assange. WIKILEAKS' publisher is in the news this morning.
At SHADOW PROOF, Kevin Gosztola offers the following analysis of the breaking news.
For those late to the party, Julian is being persecuted for exposing War Crimes of the US government. Monday April 5, 2010, WikiLeaks released military video of a July 12, 2007 assault in Iraq. 12 people were killed in the assault including two Reuters journalists Namie Noor-Eldeen and Saeed Chmagh. Monday June 7, 2010, the US military announced that they had arrested Chelsea Manning and she stood accused of being the leaker of the video. Leila Fadel (Washington Post) reported in August 2010 that Manning had been charged -- "two charges under the Uniform Code of Military Justice. The first encompasses four counts of violating Army regulations by transferring classified information to his personal computer between November and May and adding unauthorized software to a classified computer system. The second comprises eight counts of violating federal laws governing the handling of classified information." In March, 2011, David S. Cloud (Los Angeles Times) reported that the military has added 22 additional counts to the charges including one that could be seen as "aiding the enemy" which could result in the death penalty if convicted. The Article 32 hearing took place in December. There was an Article 32 hearing and then a court-martial. February 28, 2013, Chelsea admitted she leaked to WikiLeaks. And why.
Chelsea Manning: In attempting to conduct counter-terrorism or CT and counter-insurgency COIN operations we became obsessed with capturing and killing human targets on lists and not being suspicious of and avoiding cooperation with our Host Nation partners, and ignoring the second and third order effects of accomplishing short-term goals and missions. I believe that if the general public, especially the American public, had access to the information contained within the CIDNE-I and CIDNE-A tables this could spark a domestic debate on the role of the military and our foreign policy in general as [missed word] as it related to Iraq and Afghanistan.
I also believed the detailed analysis of the data over a long period of time by different sectors of society might cause society to reevaluate the need or even the desire to even to engage in counterterrorism and counterinsurgency operations that ignore the complex dynamics of the people living in the effected environment everyday.
Monday April 5, 2010, WikiLeaks released US military video of a July 12, 2007 assault in Iraq. 12 people were killed in the assault including two Reuters journalists Namie Noor-Eldeen and Saeed Chmagh. In addition, October 22, 2010, WikiLeaks released 391,832 US military documents on the Iraq War. The documents -- US military field reports -- reveal torture and abuse and the ignoring of both. They reveal ongoing policies passed from the Bush administration onto the Obama one. They reveal that both administrations ignored and ignore international laws and conventions on torture. They reveal a much higher civilian death toll than was ever admitted to. Calls are coming in from officials in many countries for an investigation -- including from the UK, Norway and Israel -- and from the United Nations High Commissoner for Human Rights and the United Nations' Special Rapporteur on Torture.
For publishing these revelations -- and others -- Julian Assange has been persecuted.
Today, the judge has ruled that he may not be extradited to the US. Hopefully, this will be followed by Julian being released. Common sense dictates that.
Common sense. It was in short supply in 2020 -- and the US media ensured it was in short supply for the last four years. Donald's going to be removed from office!!! There are indictments against Donald Jr.!!! One claim after another fizzled out and the bulk of them should never have been 'reported' or amplified by the non-reporting talk shows of MSNBC. That's all they are: Talk show hosts. It would be great if the new year could bring even a semi-functioning media in the US. All standards were shredded over the last four years and they were not impartial in the least. It was appalling. And Donald Trump has every right to complain about the US media. They were not fair, they did not follow the same rules on him that they did for others.
Are they going to turn it around now? Probably not. They've gone down a road that would require a major u-turn at this point. Whatever credibility they had left is gone. Yes, rabid partisans on both sides will cheer what passes for 'journalism' when their foes are the victims of journalistic malpractice. But the vast middle of America isn't feeling it. And, let's remember, the US media has ignored the hit they took for lying about Iraq but despite ignoring it (or maybe because of ignoring it) they suffered a body blow that they still have not come back from.
2021 will be very difficult in the US for anyone who wants to see the US government actually serve the needs of the American people. No, $150 a month (what the only stimulus check -- issued back in April -- provided for American citizens) is not taking care of the needs of the American people.
It's going to be difficult to try to move a non-responsive government.
And it's going to be difficult because there are so many who love an abusive relationship.
That's what We The People have with the US Congress.
Jimmy Dore called for progressives in the House to state that they would withhold their votes for Nancy Pelosi in the Speaker of the House race unless she agreed to bring Medicare For All to a floor vote in the House by the end of January.
This was a solid move. A drama queen who loved Hillary now loves Kamala Harris and tries to pretend he's a K-Hiver. Whatever. But he's among the many attacking Jimmy and saying that this is how the left turns on its own.
Drama Queen, you're not in Congress. Members of Congress are not your own. They are your public servants -- something that they forget becaue we don't remind them of it.
They are there to serve us, not corporations, not foreign interests, not the zodiac, not the rolling tides. They are there to serve us.
People like Drama Queen ensure that this will be a difficult battle because they refuse to hold members of Congress accountable.
AOC is not your friend. What is she? She's an idiot. She sometimes makes good statements but she's inexperienced and she's failed to take any real stands. She talks but she doesn't act. She's rather vapid -- a glossy individual -- remember I offered that critique when she got into Congress -- and former Senator Claire McCaskill echoed those points on CNN.
You give up all your power when you work and work to turn someone into your hero.
As Michelle Pfeiffer's Catwoman says in BATMAN RETURNS, "You make it so easy, don't you? Always waiting for some Batman to save you."
You create false gods and you do so for a number of reasons including that you're lazy. False gods let you pretend that everything's alright -- when it's not. It's the point of John Mulaney's whole bit about the horse loose in the hospital.
It was not alright that a bunch of nonsense treaties and agreements with no teeth to them passed for eight years during Barack Obama's two terms as addressing climate change.
That is not alright.
And it cannot happen under even one term of Joe Biden's -- this is a crisis and it needs to be addressed. That's not going to happen by being the pep squad for Congress.
They need to fear you. They need to fear that they could be voted out of office.
Jimmy Dore's plan was a good one.
It was supposed to educate us. It was supposed to demonstrate, via a floor vote, who we could count on in the fight for Medicare For All and who we couldn't count on.
It did educate us. It showed us that the so-called progressives are empty vessels who will not be agents of change unless tremendous pressure is brought to bear on them.
Drama Queen is a joke, a US citizen who won't stand up for his rights because he's too busy giving standing ovations to politicians who haven't delivered anything.
Jimmy Dore did a wonderful thing and hopefully this is the first of many battles. At his Twitter thread, he's noting Ana Kasparian. If he does a commentary on it at his YOUTUBE channel, we'll post it but I'm not sharing a video of her -- I'm not giving her views. (A video of THE JIMMY DORE SHOW would include the clip but the views would go to Jimmy.)
At THIRD, we did "JACOBIN needs to fire Ana Kasparian." I don't call for people to be fired, it's a difficult economy. My default position, for example, is not fire the awful Bill Maher but bring on a show with people who aren't anti-Muslim and aren't anti-women. We need more voices, not less.
But Ana already has a voice -- on THE YOUNG TURKS.
We have said for some time that she is hurting JACOBIN's brand. She is not what the publication is or at least what it pretends to be.
From Ruth's "Ruth's Streaming Report:"
I cannot listen to JACOBIN. I know there is a mid-week program and C.I. highlights it, and she defended it this week at HILDA'S MIX. I get her point. But as long as JACOBIN is going to dilute their own brand by allowing the hideous Ana Kasparian to host their weekend program, I am not going to stream them. Ms. Kasparian is hateful and she is rude. More to the point, she is part of THE YOUNG TURKS. I thought JACOBIN was about Democratic Socialism. I am confused how the DSA can endorse Madeleine Albright because that is what Ms. Kasparian has done.
Ms. Albright is a War Criminal. If this is what JACOBIN wants to represent, I hope they understand that many of us on the left will not be visiting their website. Ms. Kasparian already works for THE YOUNG TURKS. She has an outlet. It is time to let someone else -- especially someone not giddy over copping a feel of War Hawk Albright -- host the weekend program.
Mad Maddie Albright? She cozies up to that? Is that what JACOBIN wants to stand for?
And now she's really made it important that JACOBIN retire her. She used Saturday's JACOBIN program to attack Katie Halper and Briahna Joy Gray.
She can do that on THE YOUNG TURKS. They do anything on that cesspool -- and have, sexism, homophobia, racism, you name it.
But is this what JACOBIN wants to stand for?
And while attacking them, she whines that others -- not her, never here (despite her Twitter nonsense attacks that she's carried out for weeks now) -- are dividing the left.
Ana, look in the mirror.
The Iraq War continues. But JACOBIN won't make time for that -- they're not alone on that -- however Ana's allowed to use the magazine's program for personal vendettas?
That's not what JACOBIN is supposed to be about. She needs to go.
You didn't have a 'protest' in Baghdad yesterday. A protest is something against the government. And when we've seen real protests in Baghdad, we've seen real violence. This was a rally to support militias and to support the government of Iran. That's why they weren't attacked by government forces, that's why two Members of Parliament took place. This was not a protest.
I'm sorry, where is the coverage in western media of that? Or of the murder of Safaa al-Sarai? Never. Can't be bothered. But they can call Sunday's rally in Baghdad a protest. From the slums of Sadr City they pilled into downtown Baghdad and ALJAZEERA proclaimed them "mourners."
NBC NEWS stated "thousands of Iraqis gathered in Baghdad's central square on Sunday to mark the anniversary of the U.S. killing of a top Iranian general." Really? Because the UK-based REUTERS got it right: "Tens of thousands of supporters of Iranian-backed Iraqi paramilitary groups" -- yep, that's what they were. Germany's DEUTSCHE WELLE got it right too: "Thousands of Iraqi followers of Iran-backed paramilitary groups"
This wasn't a protest. If you've forgotten, the same square, weeks ago, was torched and actual protesters attacked -- torched by and attacked by government forces. So don't pretend that thug Muqtada and his slum dwellers are representative of Iraq. They're not even representative of the Shia in Iraq.
If you're still not getting it, Amnesty's Donatella Rovera Tweeted it plainly:
Year-in-review pieces went up last week:
C.I.'s "2020: The Year Long Walk Of Shame," Ruth's "Ruth's Streaming Report," Kat's "2020 in music" and Martha & Shirley's "2020 in Books (Martha & Shirley)" went up here earlier. Ann's "2020 in films" and Stan's "2020 in films" (joint-post) went up at their sites and will be reposted her later as will Rebecca's "sexiest men of 2020."
New content at THIRD:
- Truest statement of the week
- Truest statement of the week II
- A note to our readers
- Editorial: Iraq and the Dinar
- TV: The big ripoffs
- JACOBIN needs to fire Ana Kasparian
- Know your enemies
- CRAPAPEDIA gets it wrong again
- Burn Pits 360's 10th year anniversary of advocacy
- Jimmy Dore
- Tweet to listen to