VIDEO: European Parliament Debates Assange Extradition

The European Parliament Tuesday held a fiery debate on Julian Assange’s fate. Some MEPs argued the matter had no place in their body, others said human rights &  press freedom were fundamental European issues. Video by Cathy Vogan.

Watch the 27-minute debate on Assange here, captured from the plenary session by Cathy Vogan for Consortium News.

Catherine Vogan is an Australian film-maker and academic at Sydney Film School. She is a contributor to Consortium News.


29 comments for “VIDEO: European Parliament Debates Assange Extradition

  1. DW Bartoo
    April 18, 2019 at 14:52

    We certainly have been dosed with an excess of Brit “legal egg-spurts” since Assange was dragged from the Ecuadorian embassy, Skip Scott.

    Yesterday, on Crosstalk, entitled “Free Speech Threatened”, Peter Lavelle’s guests were John Wight, George Galloway, and Michael Patchett-Joyce, who was introduced as “an expert on Brit law”.

    Wight and Galloway were predictably excellent. Patcher-Joyce was very much of the same mindset as the Brit representative at the European Parliament, displaying an overbearing attachment to unctuous toff-ness and blithe indifference to the long ongoing incestuous relations between executive and judiciary in both the US and the U.K.

    Both must be very well paid and also very well-insulated from the experience of most people, if they are willing to mouth such rot and extremely shallow of actual critical thought if they imagine that they will be believed.

    Frankly, I doubt they care if they are believed because they assume that they and their power are safe from exposure to substantive consequence,

    I suspect and hope that those who comment and read here, are very familiar with Crosstalk and visit that site often.

    As well, Crosstalk, on April 11, 2019, in an episode entitled “Assange In Custody”, featured Joe Lauria, Ray McGovern, and Sara Flounders as Peter Lavelle’s guests. An most excellent edition of Crosstalk which I hope all here have watched.

  2. Tim Jones
    April 18, 2019 at 11:27

    Upon viewing even the title of this article, I have a glimmer of hope that the tables will be turned on the US to limit its reach. Also, I wait each day and hope for some news on the eight indictments and that among the names, Clapper and Brennan would be mentioned. If so, it could help destroy the myth Russia Gate was built on. Hopefully, this new AG is savvy and moves his investigation along quickly avoiding part of the very problem from ‘The Destruction Justice’ Dept.

  3. Katherine Da Silva
    April 18, 2019 at 08:43

    We need the European Council to be the defender of truth. There is so much more of the problem still ongoing foreign policy which is still affecting the countries of the Middle East. There is hardly any journalism about Yemen and Syria for example on the ground level. Very small amount of journalism. Great human rights tragedies are still being created.
    It would be wonderful if the law was equal to all men. I fear, that if a judge or magistrate is allowed sufficient freedom to issue verbally insults to a defendant even when the very event of a person has been created so that the defendant has little time to prepare sufficiently in that court how can anyone but see, politics at work in the legal system and judiciary. Julian was hauled before a magistrates the day of his arrest having been carried out against his will from the Ecuadorian Embassy in the morning. He was accused of being involved in ‘narcism’, his behavior more about his own ‘self-obsessed’ way. These terms do not belong in a court of justice and had no bearing on the case or legal issue of his crime of jumping bail. He did not jump bail out of conceit but, with genuine fear of persecution from the USA for his reporting activities. There is no actual charge against his name currently but for the one of breaking bail conditions. His friends put up the bail. But, a lot of those friends seem now to have been hangers on, after the glamour of the early days of Wikileaks bringing notoriety and attention, for the success of the writing. Where are they now? What is terrible. And I say terrible, all the judges; Magistrates the people of power, are many but, too the people who invest in weapons manufacture are the most deadly..we have to avoid these, or not live freely.

  4. MarB
    April 18, 2019 at 01:13
  5. Joe Tedesky
    April 17, 2019 at 21:48

    Neither Julian Assange is a US Citizen nor his WikiLeaks a US based news agency. Now think that over … really think it through a bit and then ask yourself by what right does the US have to extradite Julian Assange or does the US have the authority to have such a long judicial reach. Especially when you consider we are talking about distribution of the news worldwide. Why this aspect of the Assange Affair is so being ignored by the British and American populace it is proof of how managed the US news viewer is. While the MSM mulls over what’s hidden in the Mueller Report a true journalist suffers for being a committed true journalist.

    • Sam F
      April 18, 2019 at 12:17

      Yes, the US news viewer is managed, and the legal authority should be a matter of public debate.

      That authority is under MLATs (multilateral legal assistance treaties) that most western countries have, permitting enforcement of their own laws in the other countries. So the other countries would lose the advantages thereof if they refuse assistance; they would have to withdraw to object to the other country’s laws, or suffer sanctions if they choose when to cooperate. But that way, the rogue US bullies the others to enforce improper laws, just as it bribes them with secret agency cooperation, to effect unconstitutional US domestic surveillance via their own countries.

      • Joe Tedesky
        April 18, 2019 at 21:59

        The US Sam better watch the president it is setting. Will there come a day when a Russia or China may extradite another country’s citizen while they visit DC? Will there come a day when all the US controlled sanctioned nations become their own trading community enough to squeeze out the US? Will US worldwide bases and carrier groups become obsolete when the Russians and the Chinese develop weapons quick and plentiful enough to take out all those bases and attack squadrons with a blink of an eye? Oh wait…

  6. givebirthathome
    April 17, 2019 at 17:55

    Would you be willing to label the country, and speaker on future videos?

  7. Simeon Hope
    April 17, 2019 at 16:05

    Wasn’t this the same Julian Assange that skipped bail for seven years to escape facing a trial on two charges of rape and sexual assault? He’s not my hero, at least not until those charges are tried and he’s exonerated.

      April 17, 2019 at 21:29

      Julian Assange was never charged with rape or any other crime by Sweden. He was simply wanted for questioning, and after that questioning took place eventually inside the embassy (after Britain tried to prevent that), the case was closed without any charges having been filed.

      • DW Bartoo
        April 18, 2019 at 08:51

        This very clear description of the truth of and around the canard that Assange ran away from a charge of having committed rape is very much appreciated.

        I hope that it might be widely circulated by all who read it,

  8. geeyp
    April 17, 2019 at 15:51

    I hear them say, and I don’t know how much they are aware that things have changed since 9/11, that the UK courts and the judges have competence. The judges have acquiesced to power mongers in a great many cases. It is overdue that someone in authority critique the judges for this. Germany puts on the record their opinion on this topic of what is happening with Julian Assange. It would look even more forceful if they had offered asylum to Julian awhile ago. Germany has no dog in this hunt. They have stood up to the U.S. over the past several years in many ways, not least of which, Germany wants to work with Russia to improve relations and also get the gas pipeline and purchase of fuel from Russia. I salute them.

    • geeyp
      April 17, 2019 at 16:05

      And although the US strongly dislikes Germany acquiring fuel oil from Russia, the German politician (forget his name) talked sense, stating it saves money purchasing the fuel “locally” instead of long distance from the U.S.

    • Sam F
      April 17, 2019 at 19:53

      Yes, it is overdue, but those in authority (legislatures and executive officials) rarely critique the judges because they are, or represent, the same forces that appointed the judges. Those in opposition may do a cost/benefit calculation of how many millions of sanctions Assange’s freedom is worth, without seeing that it is the price of all our freedom. Also the UK and EU secret agencies share the operation and results of the unconstitutional surveillance exposed by Assange. Likely we will see a strong backlash from the EU and everyone else, when the US has sunk under the debt and trade imbalances that finance its wars of aggression for the rich, unless Europe goes down at the same time.

  9. bill
    April 17, 2019 at 15:48

    There appears to be some moves to improve protection for whistle-blowers and people who support whistle-blowers in law in the European Union:


  10. DW Bartoo
    April 17, 2019 at 15:46

    There are those Europeans most happy and even anxious to wash their hands of the whole of the moral/legal(?)/ and political(!!!) issues around the shameful and disgraceful behavior of the Ecuadorian, US, UK, and potentially, the Swedish governments in the very highly politicized removal of Julian Assange from his asylum in the Ecuadorian embassy in London.

    Other members of the European Parliment have acquitted themselves in a fashion consistent with principle and with genuine respect for actual law and not the empty form of the law being utilized by the US, the U.K., and Ecuador.

    That the UK’s representative went on at such length to pretend to some sacred, and presumably respected, distance or separation between the “politics” of the executive and the solemn legal behavior of the judiciary is ludicrous in light of what lived experience must surely have demonstrated to any not invested, or much rewarded, in that fantasy.

    As an aside, the male translator who made such garbled, halting, and labored an interpretation of what a number of the speakers said, really ought to practice a much more measured approach, even with those who spoke quickly, for much was lost, one imagines, even as what, very likely was eloquent and impassioned defense of the public’ fundamental right to know what their governments and the powerful, who sway or “influence” such governments, are doing.

    My deep appreciation to Consortium News for providing this coverage.

    I cannot help but ponder the very many times in history, even in the last 100 years when governments chose to look away from crimes against humanity and the persecution of those who such governments found to be offensive and politically advantageous to scapegoat and punish. Not for justice, but to demonstrate brute power and thus silence critics and crush dissent.

    • OlyaPola
      April 17, 2019 at 18:14

      “but to demonstrate brute power and thus silence critics and crush dissent.”

      … facilitating outcomes that vary from their purpose, thereby illustrating that the benefits of dumbing down don’t accrue solely to those seeking to demonstrate brute power and thus silence critics and crush dissent.

      • DW Bartoo
        April 17, 2019 at 19:07


        Let us try, for the third time:

        Are you suggesting that we, all so very “dumbed down”, face an ineluctable situation?

        You know, something “against which it is useless to struggle”?

        If you think that to be so, then have you a smartened up solution?

      • anon4d2
        April 17, 2019 at 19:39

        How does that make such a point, OP?
        How would dumbing-down anyone benefit those without power?

        • OlyaPola
          April 18, 2019 at 03:50

          “How does that make such a point, OP?”

          Perception is a weapon including the perception that anyone is without power, or that anyone has a monopoly of power, or anyone has a constant assay of “power”, the latter having added facilitity in lateral process acceleration/diffusion/implementation since the opponents are saturated with and immersed in various attempts at seeking to deny time.

          These perceptions facilitated beliefs in “full spectrum dominance” and “the end of history”, and through opponents’ efforts of implementing “strategies” that others perceived as wishes derived therefrom facilitated the complicity of the opponents in the ongoing lateral process of the transcendence of the Soviet Union by the Russian Federation “hidden in open sight” through the interaction of the agency of others whom the opponents perceived as without power.

          This also facilitated ponderings on whether and which of the opponents should be nominated for The Nobel Peace Prize, the outcome of such ponderings at that juncture was that the process was unseemly.

          Other examples in lateral process are the lateral trajectories of interactions with Mr. Assange and opportunities of transcendence afforded.

          Although the opponents are understandably constrained by ropes of many threads/tackles of varying strengths, the opponents are loathe to agree that it is always wise to test hypotheses including by not relying on belief to bridge doubt to attain comfort/confirmation, a process of self-inflicted doubling down/dumbing down/myopia/blindness accelerating and diffusing levels of saturation/immersion of the opponents akin to fish riggling in fishing nets becoming more constrained.

          • Sam F
            April 18, 2019 at 06:05

            But the fact that people of all persuasions accept narratives, does not argue that dumbing-down processes benefit the powerless as well as the powerful. The dumbing-down process is necessarily controlled by the rich through mass media, as it is, and silences opposition views, which cannot benefit the opposition. You would need some argument to throw the dumbing-down argument back at the opposition.

            If the point is to caution against some extreme opposition narrative, one can simply say that. To go further requires specific evidence to fit the case. But where the majority is oppressed to benefit the rich, the opposition narrative often has emphasized the ultimate effects to unify the opposition, otherwise we would not have shaken off tyranny. That often results in over-reaction, but that is the fault of the oppressor, not the opposition.

            Perhaps your point was missed, and could be stated more clearly.

          • OlyaPola
            April 18, 2019 at 06:50


            Sam F
            April 18, 2019 at 06:05

            From the assertion commencing “But the fact that people…..” onwards.

            “That often results in over-reaction, but that is the fault of the oppressor, not the opposition.”

            Thank you for another illustration of specia in the petri dish of the opponents’ culture.

            Framing in binaries is always a strategic disadvantage in any lateral interaction including by obfuscating varying assays of complicity and opportunities derived therefrom, and seeking to deny time by assertion of stasis.

            “Perhaps your point was missed, and could be stated more clearly.”

            Not all are lost in the can do/must do conflation or keeping company with Mr. Schroedinger and his cat and/or view missing as an unalloyed disadvantage.

            Enjoy your journey.

        • OlyaPola
          April 18, 2019 at 06:25

          Last paragraph:

          “Although I am convinced that Russia would have preferred to cooperate with the US and its allies, forging an unbreakable partnership at a time of global crisis….”

          Another example of using belief to bridge doubt to attain comfort, and continuing illustration that the benefits of dumbing down do not accrue solely to those engaged in dumbing down.

        • OlyaPola
          April 18, 2019 at 06:36

          “How would dumbing-down anyone benefit those without power?”

          Last paragraph:

          “Although I am convinced that Russia would have preferred to cooperate with the US and its allies, forging an unbreakable partnership at a time of global crisis….”

          Another example of using belief to bridge doubt to attain comfort, and continuing illustration that the benefits of dumbing down do not accrue solely to those engaged in dumbing down and that some continue to believe that broadcasting is effected on publication, not transmission.

          • DW Bartoo
            April 18, 2019 at 13:25

            Owed, to Goad

            (For Ditzy Dazzle &
            Bullhead Baffle)

            Well then, fare thee.

            Poor tells, oh pen?

            In tur dee men shun

            ulls, pay sez

            Dump ed down

            Wen lode ah

            Krah Pola.

          • Skip Scott
            April 18, 2019 at 14:45


            Good one. I’ve learned to ignore O.P. For a while I thought he/she might not even be human, but some kind of A.I. experiment. ” If you can’t dazzle ’em with brilliance, baffle ’em with B.S.”

    • Skip Scott
      April 18, 2019 at 10:04

      When the brit said “no serious person doubts the objectivity and professionalism of the English judiciary” I nearly jumped out of my seat. In fact, all “serious” persons have such doubts. The evidence is overwhelming. He seeks to stifle debate on the very crux of the issue.

      Then later he says, referring to western democracies, “the separation of the executive and the judiciary is absolutely fundamental”. Only if it were so in fact instead of theory! Again the evidence of corruption and collusion is rife!

      First and foremost, the Empire has the goal of global domination, and with that goal in mind it twists its institutions to do its bidding. Putting lipstick on the pig, as our Englishman does here, doesn’t change the facts for all who have eyes to see.

      Wikileaks takes the lipstick off the pig for the whole world to see. For that, Julian must be punished. The Empire will insist upon it. If it fails to succeed in the courts, it will fall back on skullduggery. If Julian gets a chance to flee, he should seek to disappear and assume a new identity. It’s his only chance to live to an old age outside of a cage.

  11. hetro
    April 17, 2019 at 15:08

    Many thanks to CN and Cathy Vogan. The “fiery” argument is mostly over “leave it to the judiciary” versus “honor the principle of whistleblowing and free speech.” Extradition and capital punishment were also frequently mentioned. The hall was largely empty.

    Meanwhile, Eric Zuesse updated his recent speculations on responses to Assange’s arrest with a report on Americans at 3-1 in favor of prosecuting Assange. Brainwashing has done its duty. Would Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King Jr. also be considered “criminals” I wonder, for disturbing the PTB?

    from Zuesse’s report:

    A YouGov poll of 2,455 Americans taken on April 11th found that by a margin of 53% to 17%, or by slightly over 3 to 1, Americans want Julian Assange to be prosecuted.

    The question was: “Wikileaks founder Julian Assange was arrested in London. Do you think he should or should not be extradited to the US?”

    This was a remarkably bipartisan hostility toward Assange. As the YouGov news-report on that finding indicated:

    “That majority increases among both Republicans (59% supporting extradition) and Democrats (62% supporting extradition), but decreases to a plurality (46%) among Independents. Independents were more likely to respond with uncertainty (32% saying they don’t know) than Republicans and Democrats, and a little more than one in five Independents (22%) are opposed to extradition.”

    • Tim Jones
      April 19, 2019 at 03:12

      Yes hetro: In the media department all of us are helpless and they got to the tipping point a while back and are now reinforcing already held ideas. We hope some countries in the EU, will confound the US extradition efforts. There are elements in all EU countries, within their legal bodies and politics who want to save Julian Assange—so let’s all visualize Julian Assange free and support coming to him. Thought, as well as the pen, has force and let us not underestimate this power and never lose hope.

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