Techliberty

Where tech and civil liberties intersect.

Assange And The U.K./U.S. Treaty on Extradition: Can They Honestly Extradite Him Legally?

The United States and the U.K. ratified an extradition treaty in 2007 for extraditing serious offenders. Under this treaty between the two countries, “Extradition shall not be granted if the offense for which extradition is requested is a political offense.” By indicting Assange on Espionage the DOJ has proven that the arrest by the U.S. government is politically based. According to an article seen on justsecurity.org: “Another defense available to Assange—and perhaps his most formidable one—will be to assert that he is being charged with a political offense. If that assertion is deemed correct, it could block his extradition, because, like many extradition agreements, the US-UK treaty forbids any transfer based on such charges. The categorical prohibition under Article 4 of the treaty could not be clearer: “Extradition shall not be granted if the offense for which extradition is requested is a political offense.” But what is a political offense? Transgressions such as espionage, sedition, and treason are what are known as “pure” political offenses, including under UK law—that is to say, activities that directly target the state but that would not necessarily be criminal in other contexts. A related category, known as “relative” political offenses, covers common crimes that are incidental to purely political activities. Because various jurisdictions have interpreted the expansiveness of this political exception differently over time, a universal definition of a relative political offense is difficult to articulate, but the basic principle of the political exception in extradition has remained unchanged since its origins in the late nineteenth century. It states, in brief, that nations should not return political opponents to face prosecution for challenging the states that would sit in judgement of them. ” The fact is, extradition would also be exposing Assange to conditions which would further deteriorate his psychological and physical health if they rule in the U.S.’s favor and also result in possible torture. Several of the indictments against Assange can carry the death penalty and under British law, it is illegal to surrender a prisoner to another country where they may face death. Keep in mind, Assange sought asylum for fear of being extradited to the United States and remained detained in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London for 7 years because of that fear. He knows he will be treated unfairly and under severely harsh conditions in the U.S. He most likely would be in solitary confinement for the rest of his life if he was not given the death penalty and tortured. The question remains, will the U.K. extradite against it’s own laws? Will the judicial system in regards to Assange continue it’s bias? Will Assange be punished for publishing documents that were in the public interest? When will this injustice end?
Please donate to Wikileaks, or the official defense fund. You can do so by going to https://wikileaks.org/donate, or https://defend.wikileaks.org/donate/ I need a notification of this donation, so I can track the totals raised by this event. You can do so by emailing antipentrap(at)protonmail.com, or sending a direct message to @antipentrap on Twitter. You can also fill out the donation notification form I created, it's right here. #vigil #Wikileaks #Assange

https://spcommreports.ohchr.org/TMResultsBase/DownLoadPublicCommunicationFile?gId=24631 https://spcommreports.ohchr.org/TMResultsBase/DownLoadPublicCommunicationFile?gId=24643 https://spcommreports.ohchr.org/TMResultsBase/DownLoadPublicCommunicationFile?gId=24642 https://spcommreports.ohchr.org/TMResultsBase/DownLoadPublicCommunicationFile?gId=24641<?a> https://spcommreports.ohchr.org/TMResultsBase/DownLoadPublicCommunicationFile?gId=24711 These look pretty much the same. They're pretty long, so I thought I'd just post the links this time.Please donate to Wikileaks, or the official defense fund. You can do so by going to https://wikileaks.org/donate, or https://defend.wikileaks.org/donate/ I need a notification of this donation, so I can track the totals raised by this event. You can do so by emailing antipentrap(at)protonmail.com, or sending a direct message to @antipentrap on Twitter. You can also fill out the donation notification form I created, it's right here. #vigil #Wikileaks #Assange

CN LIVE! Episode 3

Featuring Nancy Hollander, Margaret Kimberley, Ed Butowsky & Ray McGovern.

Consortium News launched its first live show, CN Live!, on July 12, 2019 at 2pm EDT, to provide weekly insights into WikiLeaks, the Middle East, the US presidential elections and other topics in the news. Hosted by Joe Lauria, Elizabeth Vos.

I was able to watch this last night, after it was already done. Please donate to Wikileaks, or the official defense fund. You can do so by going to https://wikileaks.org/donate, or https://defend.wikileaks.org/donate/ I need a notification of this donation, so I can track the totals raised by this event. You can do so by emailing antipentrap(at)protonmail.com, or sending a direct message to @antipentrap on Twitter. You can also fill out the donation notification form I created, it's right here. #vigil #Wikileaks #Assange

In a Crisis of Democracy, We Must All Become Julian Assange

The US government’s indictment against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange marked the worst attack on press freedom in modern history. Assange has been charged with 18 counts, including 17 violations of the Espionage Act. James Goodale, former general counsel of the New York Times, who urged the paper to publish the Pentagon Papers during the Nixon administrationnoted, “If the government succeeds with the trial against Assange, if any, that will mean that it’s criminalized the news gathering process.” On June 12, UK Home Secretary Sajid Javid signed the extradition papers. Assange’s hearing is now set to begin next February. He is currently being held in London’s Belmarsh high security prison for what amounts to a politically motivated, 50-week sentence given by a judge for violating bail conditions in 2012 while attempting to obtain political asylum in Ecuador against the threat of extradition to the US. Nils Melzer, the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture visited Assange with two medical experts and assessed that Assange has been subjected to prolonged psychological torture by the US government and its allies for nearly a decade, and warned about his serious physical deterioration. While this multi-award winning journalist who published truthful information in the public interest about the US government, is in jail, the British government (that has been a key player in this political persecution) recently held a Global Conference for Media Freedom. Despite its stated mission of protecting the safety and rights of journalists, the conference failed to address the degrading and inhumane treatment of Assange and the US government’s prosecution of the publisher that could set a dangerous precedent for press freedom. This total hypocrisy was best shown by the fact that this gathering was hosted by UK Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt who, last month, told US TV that he would happily extradite Assange to Trump’s America where former CIA officer John Kiriakou indicated that he would receive no fair trial and face life imprisonment. The true face of Western liberal democracy Why has Assange become a target of these Western governments’ coordinated attack? Over 10 million documents that WikiLeaks released with a pristine record of accuracy revealed the corruption of these governments, including US war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan. It is apparent that Assange is being punished for revealing these governments’ inconvenient truth. But more significantly, he has been condemned because WikiLeaks’ publication exposed the true face of Western liberal democracy, informing the public about how the structure of power really works. What is Western liberal democracy? It is a particular style of governance that was developed in the US and exported around the world. Political theorist Sheldon S. Wolin (2008) reads: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances. Here, the First Amendment was aimed to restrict the governmental power. It was specifically addressing what Congress can’t do. However, the constitution didn’t ensure that corporations would not be able to circumvent laws and restrict freedom of speech. This lack of oversight made the system of governance vulnerable to corruption, as was observed by Thomas Jefferson, when he warned American people about a time when the American system of government would degenerate into a form of “elective despotism”. New mechanism of accountability The managed democracy relies on secrecy and deception to control the will of the populace. With the infiltration of commercial interests and the consolidation of media, the big business class has found a way to regulate free speech on their terms. The establishment of corporate media turned journalists’ First Amendment protection into a privilege that they can use against the public. Journalists, who have now become a new class of professionals, no longer share interests with ordinary people. They serve the agendas of the powerful state in maintaining an illusion of democracy, by restricting the flow of information and controlling narratives. For instance, the New York Times has publicly acknowledged that it sends some of its stories to the US government for approval from “national security officials” before publication. With the merger of the state and corporations, the power of private companies to influence governments and erode civil liberty has increased. Transnational corporations can now revoke and restrict basic rights at any time, crossing the judicial boundaries on the borderless cyberspace. Tech giants like Google, Facebook and Twitter censor free speech online and, without warrant, spy and invade the privacy of users. Assange recognized the anti-democratic forces that existed at the very founding of the United States and the establishment of the constitutional republic. He also understood that within the existing political system there is no mechanism for ordinary people to check on this unaccounted power. Civil right activist Audre Lorde once wrote, “The master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house.” Assange through his work with WikiLeaks provided vital tools that make it possible for everyday people to counter corporate media’s weapon of mass deception and dismantle the master’s house. At the core of WikiLeaks is scientific journalism. By publishing full archives in a searchable format, the whistleblowing site gave ordinary people a mechanism to independently check the claim of journalists and to hold them, with their unelected powers accountable. This way, the whistleblowing site enabled a true function of free press and opened a door for democracy. Call for real democracy With the Trump administration’s prosecution of Assange and imprisonment of whistleblower Chelsea Manning, we are now seeing a deepening crisis of enlightenment values. In Chinese, the word for crisis signifies danger and opportunity. This attack on free press poses great threat to democracy, but at the same time, perhaps it also presents an opportunity that has never been available before. The truths that Assange and Manning have brought forward with enormous courage have pierced the façade of democracy. They sacrificed their personal liberty in order to give us a chance to create a society that is truly aligned with our values. Manning has now been confined for more than four months after being found in contempt by a federal judge for refusing to testify before a grand jury, and is subject to punitive fines. Assange being locked up in the notorious UK prison previously referred to as “Britain’s Guantanamo Bay” has been made defenseless. He is not allowed to use a computer and has limited access to his lawyers, making him unable to adequately prepare for his legal defense. In a message sent out from a high security prison, where he is being held in solitary confinement, Assange asked everyone to take his place. Democracy requires ordinary’ people’s participation in power. In order for us to alter this oppressive system, change ought to be made first within ourselves. Each of us needs to start exercising our right to free speech, assemble and associate with one another and organize a society, governed not by the elite few, but through networked conscience of common people. Even after Assange’s imprisonment, character assassination and smearing designed to deceive the public continues with the latest CNN hit piece twisting embassy surveillance records against him. Assange remains silenced. He is suffering for all of us, urging us to find strength within to seize this opportunity to take back the power that belongs to us. Let us fight for his freedom. Let us complete the great work of justice and democracy he started with WikiLeaks. His plight of curtailed freedom is a call for a real democracy. We all must now take his place and claim our own significance. We must become Julian Assange, for his struggle is ours. We are all Julian Assange.
I'm not sure I can take his place, but I'd definitely trade places with him! I do try to spread the message as best I can, that's what this vigil is for. Please donate to Wikileaks, or the official defense fund. You can do so by going to https://wikileaks.org/donate, or https://defend.wikileaks.org/donate/ I need a notification of this donation, so I can track the totals raised by this event. You can do so by emailing antipentrap(at)protonmail.com, or sending a direct message to @antipentrap on Twitter. You can also fill out the donation notification form I created, it's right here. #vigil #Wikileaks #Assange

The Messenger. This was the third of my candidates for the opening song for this vigil. I thought it was a bit serious for 6 in the morning though, so I decided to post it 12 hours later instead. I'm saving the fourth and final one until the end. Please donate to Wikileaks, or the official defense fund. You can do so by going to https://wikileaks.org/donate, or https://defend.wikileaks.org/donate/ I need a notification of this donation, so I can track the totals raised by this event. You can do so by emailing antipentrap(at)protonmail.com, or sending a direct message to @antipentrap on Twitter. You can also fill out the donation notification form I created, it's right here. #vigil #Wikileaks #Assange

Julian Assange: WikiLeaks has the same mission as The Post and the Times

On his last night in office, President Dwight D. Eisenhower delivered a powerful farewell speech to the nation — words so important that he’d spent a year and a half preparing them. “Ike” famously warned the nation to “guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.” Much of Eisenhower’s speech could form part of the mission statement of WikiLeaks today. We publish truths regarding overreaches and abuses conducted in secret by the powerful. Our most recent disclosures describe the CIA’s multibillion-dollar cyberwarfare program, in which the agency created dangerous cyberweapons, targeted private companies’ consumer products and then lost control of its cyber-arsenal. Our source(s) said they hoped to initiate a principled public debate about the “security, creation, use, proliferation and democratic control of cyberweapons.” The truths we publish are inconvenient for those who seek to avoid one of the magnificent hallmarks of American life — public debate. Governments assert that WikiLeaks’ reporting harms security. Some claim that publishing facts about military and national security malfeasance is a greater problem than the malfeasance itself. Yet, as Eisenhower emphasized, “Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.” Quite simply, our motive is identical to that claimed by the New York Times and The Post — to publish newsworthy content. Consistent with the U.S. Constitution, we publish material that we can confirm to be true irrespective of whether sources came by that truth legally or have the right to release it to the media. And we strive to mitigate legitimate concerns, for example by using redaction to protect the identities of at-risk intelligence agents. Dean Baquet, executive editor of the New York Times, defended publication of our “stolen” material last year: “I get the argument that the standards should be different if the stuff is stolen and that should influence the decision. But in the end, I think that we have an obligation to report what we can about important people and important events.” David Lauter, Washington bureau chief of the Los Angeles Times, made a similar argument: “My default position is democracy works best when voters have as much information as possible . . . And that information often comes from rival campaigns, from old enemies, from all sorts of people who have motives that you might look at and say, ‘that’s unsavory.’ ” The media has a long history of speaking truth to power with purloined or leaked material — Jack Anderson’s reporting on the CIA’s enlistment of the Mafia to kill Fidel Castro; the Providence Journal-Bulletin’s release of President Richard Nixon’s stolen tax returns; the New York Times’ publication of the stolen “Pentagon Papers”; and The Post’s tenacious reporting of Watergate leaks, to name a few. I hope historians place WikiLeaks’ publications in this pantheon. Yet there are widespread calls to prosecute me. President Thomas Jefferson had a modest proposal to improve the press: “Perhaps an editor might begin a reformation in some such way as this. Divide his paper into 4 chapters, heading the 1st, ‘Truths.’ 2nd, ‘Probabilities.’ 3rd, ‘Possibilities.’ 4th, ‘Lies.’ The first chapter would be very short, as it would contain little more than authentic papers, and information.” Jefferson’s concept of publishing “truths” using “authentic papers” presaged WikiLeaks. People who don’t like the tune often blame the piano player. Large public segments are agitated by the result of the U.S. presidential election, by public dissemination of the CIA’s dangerous incompetence or by evidence of dirty tricks undertaken by senior officials in a political party. But as Jefferson foresaw, “the agitation [a free press] produces must be submitted to. It is necessary, to keep the waters pure.” Vested interests deflect from the facts that WikiLeaks publishes by demonizing its brave staff and me. We are mischaracterized as America-hating servants to hostile foreign powers. But in fact I harbor an overwhelming admiration for both America and the idea of America. WikiLeaks’ sole interest is expressing constitutionally protected truths, which I remain convinced is the cornerstone of the United States’ remarkable liberty, success and greatness. I have given up years of my own liberty for the risks we have taken at WikiLeaks to bring truth to the public. I take some solace in this: Joseph Pulitzer, namesake of journalism’s award for excellence, was indicted in 1909 for publishing allegedly libelous information about President Theodore Roosevelt and the financier J.P. Morgan in the Panama Canal corruption scandal. It was the truth that set him free.
Julian Assange wrote this himself, it was publish on 4/11/2017. It's definitely a bit outdated, but still has quite a few relevant things in it. Please donate to Wikileaks, or the official defense fund. You can do so by going to https://wikileaks.org/donate, or https://defend.wikileaks.org/donate/ I need a notification of this donation, so I can track the totals raised by this event. You can do so by emailing antipentrap(at)protonmail.com, or sending a direct message to @antipentrap on Twitter. You can also fill out the donation notification form I created, it's right here. #vigil #Wikileaks #Assange

FREE JULIAN ASSANGE | Freedom Of Speech: Use It Or Lose It This was an event that took place outside Belmarsh prison on 5/25/2019. Please donate to Wikileaks, or the official defense fund. You can do so by going to https://wikileaks.org/donate, or https://defend.wikileaks.org/donate/ I need a notification of this donation, so I can track the totals raised by this event. You can do so by emailing antipentrap(at)protonmail.com, or sending a direct message to @antipentrap on Twitter. You can also fill out the donation notification form I created, it's right here. #vigil #Wikileaks #Assange

This Spoke To Me Today About Assange

Isaiah 59:14 So justice is turned away, and righteousness stands at a distance. For truth has stumbled in the public square, and honesty cannot enter. As Assange languishes in prison, in a hospital ward, suffering from the brutality of our Western society, this verse spoke to me. It spoke to me of the downfall of what was once an example of freedom. It spoke to me of a time when the press held the government accountable, the way it should be. It made me miss my youth. This verse spoke to me of how truth lays trampled in the street by corporate run propaganda centers calling themselves journalists. It whispered to me softly to be careful because independent journalists may be next. It shouted at me that real journalists are persecuted and slowly assassinated. It screamed of the injustice being done to our truth tellers today. Mostly though, I mourned the silencing of the greatest journalist of our time. The justice being lost as he is martyred underneath the very noses of those he sought to educate. I wept for the loss of a free speech advocate and a human rights hero. I felt the agony of the quietness left from one of the greatest human beings I have ever known. For I miss his words terribly. This verse reminded me of what they have done to a fellow man who cared. For him, I weep but I also fight! He deserves that. I care enough to stand up and tell you what is happening to Assange is wrong. It is an injustice. It is an example of the hypocrisy of our politicians. An illustration of how our media is capable of helping to destroy one of its own. It is a sample of what tyrrany is to come if we don’t stop it. Yes, this verse spoke to me today. Loudly and clearly.
It speaks to me as well. I'm not sure how many times i've read through Isaiah and passed right over it. It will definitely stand out to me now! #vigil #Wikileaks #Assange

#Candles4Assange 03.07.19 Jacob Appelbaum speaking at US Embassy Berlin Haven't seen Jacob Appelbaum speak in several years. This was also taken from the birthday celebrations held on 7/3/2019, this was from the one in Berlin though. Please donate to Wikileaks, or the official defense fund. You can do so by going to https://wikileaks.org/donate, or https://defend.wikileaks.org/donate/ I need a notification of this donation, so I can track the totals raised by this event. You can do so by emailing antipentrap(at)protonmail.com, or sending a direct message to @antipentrap on Twitter. You can also fill out the donation notification form I created, it's right here. #vigil #Wikileaks #Assange

Editor-in-Chief of WikiLeaks Calls to 'Question the Essence of Democracy' and 'Media Freedoms'

At a festival in the heart of the Scottish countryside, whistle-blower’s and activists are given centre stage amongst the drums and the dancing. With a fair bit of festival mud, it’s not quite the environment you might expect to find Julian Assange’s successor, editor-in-chief of Wikileaks, Kristinn Hraffson. Sputnik caught up with him, for a word on WikiLeaks and his role in the organisation. Sputnik: The heavy-handed approach that is being taken against Julian Assange is often labelled as an attempt to dissuade future whistleblowing. What can be done to ensure that potential future whistle-blowers are protected? Kristinn Hraffson: To protect whistle-blowers, we need to create a genuine law. The whistle-blowing laws that have been passed in many countries usually have the opposite effect. It’s not protecting the whistle-blower, they are outlining that you should go to certain platforms before you actually go to the media. You should talk to your boss, and then, you know, go up the steps. However, if you don't stick completely to the process, then you're open game. They will go after you. But in saying that, there is an understanding, and there's an appreciation. People do appreciate what Edward Snowden did, apart from the American authorities of course. I mean, it was extremely important information that he brought us. We got involved in WikiLeaks with Edward Snowden because the media betrayed him. The Guardian journalist and the other American journalist working on the base of his material just left him in Hong Kong after they were, had been fed with the information. So he was just sitting there, a sitting duck waiting to be arrested or extradited. So we stepped in, and we're actually helping him get into Latin America. His passport was revoked, and he was stranded in Moscow. And now, of course, being a condemned for seeking asylum in Russia, when actually the State Department in the US was responsible for him ending up there. So, to answer the question concisely, supporting of whistle-blowers in general, and at the same time, laws can be changed, and awareness of the importance of whistle-blowers can be raised on all platforms to ensure that this important work is carried out. Sputnik: Do you have an example of this? Kristinn Hraffson: The publication from 2010, (related to the war in Afghanistan), which is the basis of the indictment now against WikiLeaks, against Julian Assange. For 10 years the US government have been maintaining that this publication had terrible consequences. I had the head Chief of Staff on TV in front of me, claiming that WikiLeaks might already have blood on their hands. He was in tears- which was a bit ironic, given the fact that he basically been swimming in the blood of the slaughters of Iraq and Afghanistan. But in 2013, the Pentagon had to admit in the Chelsea Manning trial, that no one had been harmed as a result of the 2010 publication. They are still clinging onto the hopes they'll find somebody, somewhere, that might have been harmed. I know actually, that a major news organisation was working on a story that they might actually have found one. But, it gives you an indication of actually how overblown this reaction is that this notion of national security- it hasn't anything to do with the National Security. It has to do with the secrecy of the military organisation that politicians don't want you to know. It's as simple as that. They want you ignorant. They want to keep their secrets for themselves. This has been changing very fast. I mean, their comments are becoming more and more secretive. And it has happened slowly, without us actually recognising it, because it's incremental. So, yes, in the end, I am not too worried, I don't see that anything that WikiLeaks does is in reality affecting national security. Sputnik: Clearly WikiLeaks is a massively powerful tool for that reason. Is there any worry that there are not enough people paying attention to the info that is being published? Kristinn Hraffson: It depends on the material. I mean the most important material that was posted were the war crimes that did get attention and will get attention still. Even the mainstream media is very eager to work with WikiLeaks when there is something on offer because they like big headlines as well. But it's not reflecting in the way they actually write about WikiLeaks or Julian Assange in between. If it is newsworthy material, it will get attention. Sputnik: About Julian Assange, ought he to be tried as a journalist? Kristinn Hraffson: Journalists shouldn't be tried for publishing truthful information that is just impossible if we get there, and I will say it again, this is the worst attack on media freedom in the West, in decades and at least a century. If it's not contested and it does go forward, then we have basically seen such a blow to media freedom, that there is no turning back. You must question the essence of democracy, when media freedom is attacked in that way, Sputnik: As your position as editor-in-chief, following on from Julian Assange, are you worried about your freedoms- About the fact that you might be targeted in a similar manner? Kristinn Hraffson: I'm pretty sure that I am targeted in some manner, but whether a smear campaign will be solved against me. I just assume that might happen. Even some legal process, we know for certain that I and two of my colleagues are subject to an investigation by the secret court in Virginia. So anything can happen, but it is part of the job. People who are committed to working in journalism put themselves in danger, and all over the world, journalists are being killed in war zones, and difficult terrain. So it's nothing for us to complain about the fact that we might have to face some adverse consequences for our action. If you believe in some ideals as I believe in journalism, you do what needs to be done.
Please donate to Wikileaks, or the official defense fund. You can do so by going to https://wikileaks.org/donate, or https://defend.wikileaks.org/donate/ I need a notification of this donation, so I can track the totals raised by this event. You can do so by emailing antipentrap(at)protonmail.com, or sending a direct message to @antipentrap on Twitter. You can also fill out the donation notification form I created, it's right here. #vigil #Wikileaks #Assange

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