VIPS: Extradition of Julian Assange Threatens Us All

Retaliation against Julian Assange over the past decade plus replicates a pattern of ruthless political retaliation against whistleblowers, in particular those who reveal truths hidden by illegal secrecy, VIPS says.

DATE: April 30, 2019

MEMORANDUM FOR: The governments and people of the United Kingdom and the United States

FROM: Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS)

SUBJECT: Extradition of Julian Assange Threatens Us All

On April 11, London police forcibly removed WikiLeaks co-founder Julian Assange from the embassy of Ecuador after that country’s president, Lenin Moreno, abruptly revoked his predecessor’s grant of asylum. The United States government immediately requested Assange’s extradition for prosecution under a charge of “conspiracy to commit computer intrusion” under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA).

Former U.S. Government officials promptly appeared in popular media offering soothing assurances that Assange’s arrest threatens neither constitutional rights nor the practice of journalism, and major newspapers like The New York Times and The Washington Post fell into line.

Not So Fast

Others found reason for concern in the details of the indictment. Carie DeCel, a staff attorney for the Knight First Amendment Institute, noted that the indictment goes beyond simply stating the computer intrusion charge and “includes many more allegations that reach more broadly into typical journalistic practices, including communication with a source, encouraging a source to share information, and protecting a source.”

In an analysis of the indictment’s implications, the Project on Government Oversight (POGO) observed that it includes an allegation that “Assange and Manning took measures to conceal Manning as the source of the disclosure…including by removing usernames from the disclosed information and deleting chat logs between Assange and Manning,” and that they “used a special folder on a cloud drop box of WikiLeaks to transmit classified records.”

“These are not only legitimate but professionally advised journalistic practices for source protection,” notes POGO. It is worth noting that Manning had Top Secret clearance and did not need Assange’s assistance to gain access to databases, but only to hide her identity.

The indictment’s implied threat thus reaches beyond Assange and even beyond journalists. The threat to journalists and others does not vanish if they subsequently avoid practices identified in the government’s indictment. The NSA’s big bag of past communications offers abundant material from which to spin an indictment years later, and even circumstantial evidence can produce a conviction. Moreover, the secret landscape—a recent and arbitrary development—continually expands, making ever more of government off limits to public view.

When politician and U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo labeled WikiLeaks a “non-state hostile intelligence service,” he was describing the oft-stated duty of newspapers, “to comfort the afflicted, and to afflict the comfortable.”

The Devil in the Big Picture

One can look so closely at the indictment details that one misses the big picture and with it vital truths. Standing back for a broader view, a long-running campaign of harassment by U.S. authorities and former officials focused on WikiLeaks’ publication of embarrassing secrets becomes visible. The Project on Government Oversight observes:

“Even if the motives for Assange’s indictment are entirely legitimate, the litany of high-ranking government officials who called for Assange to be prosecuted for publishing classified documents have likely already irreparably harmed the freedom of the press. It will be virtually impossible to fully disentangle the government’s desire to prosecute Assange for his publishing activities from the government’s current prosecution of him, and as a result there will to some degree be an unavoidable chilling effect stemming from his prosecution.”

Standing back still further, a crowd of similar cases comes into view: other truth tellers subjected to similar persecution. These are not journalists but another species of truth teller — national security whistleblowers— who have warned for years that this day would come.

A Pattern of Reprisal

Opinions of Julian Assange’s character and methods vary wildly but what is relevant to First Amendment freedoms is how the U.S. government perceives him. The big picture reveals that Assange, a publisher of whistleblower disclosures, is viewed the same way as whistleblowers: unwelcome lights shining on official wrongdoing who must be dimmed, deflected and shut off. What government bodies are doing to Assange they routinely have done to whistleblowers— Thomas Drake, Jeffrey Sterling, John Kiriakou, Thomas Tamm, William Binney, Daniel Ellsberg, Chelsea Manning and others—who disclosed for public benefit information the government finds politically troublesome.

Once the government develops animus toward a truth teller, it fishes indefinitely until it finds some means to retaliate—some pretext to punish that individual. A pattern of retaliation against high-profile national security whistleblowers includes the following tactics:

  1. relentless campaigns of character assassination and misinformation about facts of the case;
  1. hostile, lengthy government investigations, often for minor, never proven or circumstantial offenses;
  1. terrorization of the whistleblower and associates with threats (see here and here), solitary confinement and armed home invasions for non-violent, alleged offenses;
  1. pre-trial declarations of guilt from influential officials, such as Barack Obama’s declaration (as the military’s Commander-in-Chief) that Army Private Bradley (now Chelsea) Manning “broke the law” — potentially influencing the Army court that heard her case.
  1. a Balkanized judicial process that restricts most such cases to onejudicial venue cherry-picked by prosecutors for speedy deference to government, a venue sealed off from public scrutiny and, some say, justice;
  1. prosecution under the Espionage Act, a “vague” and “draconian” law, similar in those respects to the CFAA;
  1. continuing persecution—isolation, marginalization, blacklisting, and more—after time has been served (see here and here) or after charges are dropped.

Reportedly, British and U.S. intelligence are interrogating Assange, possibly employing torture tactics, without access to legal counsel at a prison reserved for terrorists. U.S. officials apparently charged Assange as “a terrorist” in order to dodge the problem of the statute of limitations for conspiracy or computer intrusion by extending (via the Patriot Act and/or other terrorism laws) the normal statute of limitations from 5 to 8 years.

Not for Insiders

Even if charges against a whistleblower are later dropped, governments still win because the tactics used damage the truth teller professionally, financially, socially and psychologically, and foreseeably chill other whistleblowers.

Importantly, virtually all of the retaliatory actions described above are carried out or instigated by the elite political establishment—current and former political appointees and elected officials. Equally important is the fact that tactics used against whistleblowers are rarely if ever applied to political insiders who fail to protect classified information. Even actual spies who give or sell secrets directly to foreign governments have fared better than some well-meaning whistleblowers. In contrast to whistleblowers, political insiders who mistreat government secrets are publicly praised by the establishment, face lesser charges (if any), are treated with dignity by investigators, receive presidential pardons and move on to prestigious and lucrative positions.

The Takeaway

Retaliation against Julian Assange over the past decade plus replicates a pattern of ruthless political retaliationagainst whistleblowers, in particular those who reveal truths hidden by illegal secrecy. U.S. law prohibits classifying information “in order to conceal inefficiency, violations of law, or administrative error; to prevent embarrassmentto a person, organization, or agency.”

Whether U.S. authorities successfully prosecute Assange, accept a desperate plea deal or keep him tied up with endless litigation, they will succeed in sending the same chilling message to all journalists that they send to potential whistleblowers: Do not embarrass us or we’ll punish you—somehow, someday, however long it takes. In that respect, one could say damage to journalism already has been done but the battle is not over.

This extension of a whistleblower reprisal regime onto a publisher of disclosures poses an existential threat to all journalists and to the right of all people to speak and hear important truths. The U.S. indictment of Julian Assange tests our ability to perceive a direct threat to free speech, and tests our will to oppose that threat.Without freedom of press and the right and willingness to publish, whistleblowers even disclosing issues of grave, life and death public safety, will be like a tree falling in the forest with no one to hear.

The great American writer Henry David Thoreau wrote, “It takes two to speak the truth–one to speak and one to hear.” Today, it takes three to speak the truth–one to speak, one to hear, and one to defend the first two in court. If the U.S. Government has its way, there will be no defense, no truth.

For the Steering Groups of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity and Sam Adams Associates for Integrity in Intelligence:

William Binney, former Technical Director, World Geopolitical & Military Analysis, NSA; co-founder, SIGINT Automation Research Center (ret.)

Richard H. Black, Senator of Virginia, 13th District; Colonel US Army (ret.); Former Chief, Criminal Law Division, Office of the Judge Advocate General, the Pentagon (associate VIPS)

Marshall Carter-Tripp, Foreign Service Officer & former Division Director in the State Department Bureau of Intelligence and Research (ret.)

Thomas Drake, former Defense Intelligence Senior Executive Service and NSA whistleblower

Bogdan Dzakovic, former Team Leader of Federal Air Marshals and Red Team, FAA Security (ret.) (associate VIPS)

Philip Giraldi, CIA, Operations Officer (ret.)

Mike Gravel, former Adjutant, top secret control officer, Communications Intelligence Service; special agent of the Counter Intelligence Corps and former United States Senator

Katherine Gun, former linguist and Iraq War whistleblower in UK’s GCHQ (affiliate VIPS)

Matthew Hoh, former Capt., USMC, Iraq; former Foreign Service Officer, Afghanistan (associate VIPS) 

James George Jatras, former U.S. diplomat and former foreign policy adviser to Senate leadership (Associate VIPS) 

Michael S. Kearns, Captain, USAF (ret.); ex-Master SERE Instructor for Strategic Reconnaissance Operations (NSA/DIA) and Special Mission Units (JSOC)

John Kiriakou, former CIA Counterterrorism Officer and former Senior Investigator, Senate Foreign Relations Committee

Karen Kwiatkowski, former Lt. Col., US Air Force (ret.), at Office of Secretary of Defense watching the manufacture of lies on Iraq, 2001-2003

Clement J. Laniewski, LTC, U.S. Army (ret.) (associate VIPS)

Linda Lewis, WMD preparedness policy analyst, USDA (ret.) (associate VIPS)

Edward Loomis, NSA Cryptologic Computer Scientist (ret.)

Annie Machon, former intelligence officer in the UK’s MI5 domestic security service (affiliate VIPS)

Ray McGovern, former US Army infantry/intelligence officer & CIA presidential briefer (ret.)

Craig Murray, former British diplomat and Ambassador to Uzbekistan, human rights activist and historian (affiliate VIPS)

Elizabeth Murray, former Deputy National Intelligence Officer for the Near East & CIA political analyst (ret.)

Todd E. Pierce, MAJ, US Army Judge Advocate (ret.)

Coleen Rowley, FBI Special Agent and former Minneapolis Division Legal Counsel (ret.)

Peter Van Buren, U.S. Department of State, Foreign Service Officer (ret.) (associate VIPS)

J. Kirk Wiebe, former Senior Analyst, SIGINT Automation Research Center, NSA (ret.)

Larry Wilkerson, Colonel, U.S. Army (ret.), former Chief of Staff for Secretary of State; Distinguished Visiting Professor, College of William and Mary

Sarah Wilton, Commander, U.S. Naval Reserve (ret.) and Defense Intelligence Agency (ret.)

Robert Wing, former U.S. Department of State Foreign Service Officer (Associate VIPS)

Ann Wright, U.S. Army Reserve Colonel (ret) and former U.S. Diplomat who resigned in 2003 in opposition to the Iraq War

47 comments for “VIPS: Extradition of Julian Assange Threatens Us All

  1. May 14, 2019 at 12:36

    Very useful information for people, I think this is what everyone needs.
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  2. May 8, 2019 at 11:15

    Thank you for the links, it’s very interesting. I will definitely come to the site.

  3. Robert Mayer
    May 5, 2019 at 02:39

    Tnx CN & VIPS 29 xgov figs of courage & conviction… Please add2 my other comments re: Julian… If he were Meng & owned Huawei cel he’d out on bail & headed4 hand slap in some other court! Fix? Duh!!!

  4. ethan allen
    May 2, 2019 at 18:16

    Thanks to all the members of VIPS and to those carrying on the legacy of Robert Parry and ConsortiumNews.
    Here is a recent article by independent Australian journalist Caitlin Johnstone that may interest those herein that are concerned and disgusted by the treatment of Julian Assange by both the UK and the USA.
    https://caitlinjohnstone.com/2019/05/01/assange-sentenced-50-weeks-for-bogus-bail-charge/
    As Usual,
    EA

  5. Mez
    May 2, 2019 at 02:11

    Touche VIPS! I have followed your work for many years, from your tireless efforts to clear whistleblowers of the smears against them to the forensic study of the DNC leaks and… gosh, there’s so much good that you do I can’t even remember it all.

    I don’t really care much for Trump but, as an Australian citizen, I don’t have to (a feeling which I’m fairly certain Assange shares). I have, however, been eagerly awaiting any news on possible background investigations going on while the Democrats have the media distracted with their totally ridiculous war-with-Russia-at-all-costs pursuit, whilst inadvertently making Trump look more and more credible (I’m sure someone will make a comedy movie about it one day).

    So, can you give us a hint… is Trump listening to VIPS at all? On any matter? Or has he simply fallen into line with his homicidal counterparts? I’ve noted, the moment the HJC starts rummaging around, the psychopaths are lightening fast at dismantling the body behind it and launching a new attack, but is this obstruction strategy actually working for them?

    The reason I ask is because if there is any hope… even a tiny glimmer… that something else is going on that could turn the “Anti-White-House” situation around over the next 50 weeks – then I feel there is hope for Assange to stay alive. Is that too much to hope for?

    The thing I find most interesting, even comforting, is they’re basically sending all their bitches (allies) the message that the current Admin can’t be trusted. For those of us who already know this, it’s a good thing – but for them… hrrmmm… it’s a pretty shitty marketing campaign LOL! Killary sure knows how to chop her nose off to spite her face!

  6. May 1, 2019 at 22:57

    Thank you ladies and gentlemen.

    • May 2, 2019 at 20:09

      An excellent article from an attorney experienced in Article One press freedoms. Thanks!
      As Usual,
      EA

  7. DW Bartoo
    May 1, 2019 at 16:57

    Lionel, do you maintain the behaviors of the U$ and the U.K. Governments, in questions of international law, as well as domestic, are beyond both question and scrutiny?

    Is it your view, and I am merely looking at the language you have shared with us, that Assange would have no reason to fear what might happen were he whisked off to the tender mercies of the Pentagon which certainly wanted to “interview” him, as Ann Garrison’s article suggests?

    Might you agree with the Brit judge who termed Assange “narcissistic”?

    These “courts” that you reference, are they in Sweden, in Britain, and in the U$?

    We know that no charges were ever made against Assange in Sweden. There were allegations but no charges.

    Can you provide an example where the Brit courts have ever done with any other person what they did with the asylum-seeking Assange?

    Why was he prohibited from going to Ecuador by Brit authorities after the courts in Sweden declined to press charges against him? As well, it is not simply the Brit courts which are and have been involved in the “legal” restraint and enforced seclusion of Assange but other parts of the judicial system as well, at no small cost to the people of Great Britain, it will be recalled. You may also recall that the UN made clear its displeasure with that heavy-handed “legal” presence and pressure.

    Now, of course, we have yet to see what U$ courts may have in mind for Assange. However, might you cite the legal basis for the U$ courts having any jurisdiction whatever over Assange who is not a U$ citizen?

    Further, what might you say about the very real possibility, were Assange to be turned over to the U$, that he might be tried in secret rather than in an open and transparent proceeding on charges not yet enumerated? Would you still regard the Brit courts, which would have to decide to turn him over to the U$, to still be treating Assange “properly and fairly”?

    While you might consider those last questions to be purely hypothetical and speculative. However, after the fact, any claim to “properly and fairly” may well be but an exercise in the empty form of the law being used, as an excuse to destroy the rule of law – and by that “rule” it cannot be meant the brute power to force, beyond substantive due process, outcomes desired by power, alone, for then a total mockery of law has held sway.

    Please remember that the U$ engaged in torture, which Bush legal counsel, Yoo and Addington, determined was “legal”, though in fact it was not and is not under international treaties to which the U$ is a signatory.

    • Skip Scott
      May 2, 2019 at 07:56

      Good comment DW. I will be very surprised if you get a lengthy response from Lionel. By the terseness of his comment, I suspect he is a troll, and has no interest in serious debate. What I wonder is if Lionel is being paid, or if he volunteers to represent the empire.

    • DW Bartoo
      May 2, 2019 at 13:34

      I think it hard to determine, Skip Scott, whether Lionel be merely one of the many manipulated by the cynical and well-rewarded MSM whose task, beyond stirring fear of and anger toward Russia, beginning a new Cold War that serves both the corporate Democrats and the “intelligence” agencies, as well as their war-mongering bosses, also are charged with shaping the character assassination of Julian Assange by the media which has previously made money on his revelations even as they now happily savage both the man and the truth he presented that would otherwise have remained hidden. Or, as you suggest, could Lionel simply be an enforcer, paid or not, who job is to promulgate those same false narratives?

      Frankly, I encounter many who firmly believe that Assange is just a cowardly rapist who betrayed some public trust requiring everyone to keep secret the things which “protect democracy and freedom” as “loose lips” provide some nebulous “enemy” sacred information that has harmed us all, in a dangerous world where treacherous monsters, like Russia and China, await every opportunity to attack our freedom and undermine our trust in our way of life. Even Venezuela and Cuba may be held up as “national security threats”.

      When I point out that Assange was never, or ever, charged with rape, but was only sought by the Swedish authorities to respond to allegations, I am often told that I am only saying that because, “You like what he did.”

      Yes, I do appreciate what he did, for all of us, by exposing what amount to war crimes and to efforts to subvert the democratic process, little as it is.

      I go on to say, if the offended party yet remains willing to listen, that a minimal effort of research will confirm the fact that Assange was not charged with rape because no such charges were ever made.

      The problem is that too many U$ians assume that allegation, like indictment, is the same as conviction, a direct and intended result of a failed educational system reinforced by a celebrity “infotainment” media which presents what its corporate owners wish within the narrow confines those owners permit, while broadcasting “news” that reflects “views” of a government also owned by those same corporations.

      Most U$ians wish to hear none of this, and since many have lives so fraught and precarious, they regard such perspectives as simply more “negative” and “depressing stuff”, not realizing that their misery is the result of deliberate policies which return no benefits to the people but merely tax them to fund military and corporate interests while leaving the many without healthcare, but with a crumbling infrastructure, without decent education, but with politics of deception and “issues” of emotion designed to antagonize and keep people confused, apart and powerless.

      You know, the whole sorry excuse for empire and most wealth going to the few who live in gated communities at a safe remove from the riff raft, hoi poloi, where no suffering is visible.

      The enforced mythologies and the obvious but confusing and impenetrable deceits and unexamined assumptions that are empires and top-down hierarchies of brute power and pitiless greed, must be unpacked and unravelled, even as the ruthless beast is collapsing into crazed, spiteful, and terribly dangerous rage as its moment of uncontested domination comes to an end.

      I really expect no response from Lionel, either lengthy and in depth, or terse and disgruntled.

  8. Jacquelynn Booth
    May 1, 2019 at 15:31

    I long had wondered how the good German merchant, the mother and cook of the family, the farmer or herder family, along into the 1930’s, grew to accept – and finally embrace – the hatred and abuses of fellow citizens, and the disavowal of truth in favor of the Big Nationalist Lie – that nurtured the rise of the totalitarian Nazi “solution” – Hitler’s killers, torturers, demented psychopaths and “hangers on.”
    Now I have seen just how it is done. I have watched a people be turned into a mob that works toward one idea — violence. Destruction. Domination. Superiority over all.

    • caseyf5
      May 3, 2019 at 04:10

      Hello Jaquelynn Booth, I agree with your assessment. I have been wondering what it takes to wake up the undead people occupying what purports to be a democratic country. It seems that the trend is for a country to become fascist over a period of years. The right wing starts it all slowly but as things progress it moves faster and faster. Most of the alleged first world countries have turned rightward or ever further to the right than is good for any country or person alive or even dead!

  9. robert e williamson jr
    May 1, 2019 at 14:34

    WOW!

  10. robert e williamson jr
    May 1, 2019 at 14:25

    Bad math “B CUBED”

    Trigots can KMA.

  11. robert e williamson jr
    May 1, 2019 at 14:23

    You dog damned right it’s heartening DW Bartoo. But it isn’t near powerful enough to “cut the BS”. The Liar in Chief’s number one fan, BAD BOY BILLY BARR, FROM THIS DAY ON ” B SQUARED”, is lying currently to congress on the tube.

    Tristan be good to your self and give yourself a break, I see you as being ultimately a PATRIOT, FOR WE ARE COMRADES AGAINST THE DEEP STATE

    Bring it on you “TRIGOTS”! That would be “Trump Bigots” for the weak in the skull group!

    If you want to make mayonnaise you have to break a few eggs. Kinda like the Chicago Police and Berrlin police did in 1968. Oh wait, my bad. They broke heads didn’t they, geez my bad. GMAFB!!!

    • Linda Furr
      May 1, 2019 at 18:53

      Trump is clueless of the depth of the Deep State, and I continue to cringe when people point to him as the Washington DC problem. VIP’s, you are the heroes of the 21st Century – you, Consortium News and the journalists you protect so professionally, tirelessly, and passionately.

  12. jeff montanye
    May 1, 2019 at 12:23

    wonder if trump, given his experiences with wikileaks in the presidential campaign and his run-ins with the deep state then and later, might not be the best president to extradite julian assange that history could offer. perhaps even trying him for whatever crimes the deep state accuses him of could be a real teaching opportunity for the sheeple. and there would always be the possibility of a presidential pardon, etc. assange was not in a good place. perhaps extradition to the u.s. would be better. if not, we would know that trump is a fraud. this is a fight that needs to be fought.

    • May 1, 2019 at 23:01

      Trump wouldn’t pardon Assange; he’d be accused of working for Russia.

    • Silly Me
      May 2, 2019 at 08:01

      Assange will establish a precedent for journalists, if tried, but he is, at the moment, put away for 50 weeks in an English prison for skipping bail on a non-existent charge. Chances are, he is placed on the back burner and, unless used to parade around first, he will be silenced, forgotten, and soon die of “natural causes,” just like Milosevic at the Hague, and in a similar fashion, will be declared innocent posthumously.

      The end result will be the same.

  13. May 1, 2019 at 11:49

    this is a complete crock of shht.

    Assange is being, and has been, properly and fairly dealt with by the British courts.

    • May 1, 2019 at 18:03

      The USA has focused on Assange since as a Teen he exposed USA nuke sub bases in Austrailia.

    • Fredd
      May 1, 2019 at 18:05

      Dumm wie Bohnenstroh. Aber eine Meinung haben Sie, wie die meisten Blöden. “Ich weiss nicht viel, aber was ich weiss, weiss ich genau.”

    • May 1, 2019 at 18:05

      Fair would be a NOBEL PEACE award.

    • Mez
      May 2, 2019 at 02:19

      @Lionel
      Seeking political asylum for an unjust extradition is not bail jumping or illegal… International Law has ruled on this TWICE! The UK didn’t spend $16 million guarding a common “bail-jumper” 24/7 for 7 years (compliments of Venezuelan gold)… nor did they spend a single cent trying to bring charges against Jimmy Saville when 1500 rape victims came forward. It’s a no-brainer, unless you prefer not to your brain of course!

  14. doris
    May 1, 2019 at 11:49

    Thank you all for your continued pursuit of truth in this nation of lies. This is the line in the sand for those who stand for the truth. Are you for the truth, or are you a war-crime sympathizer? Will you fight for the truth tellers or the war criminals?

    Thanks again, VIPS. Your work is vital to stop the war criminals from killing the messengers of truth.

  15. DW Bartoo
    May 1, 2019 at 11:27

    Ann Garrison has an excellent article on Julian Assange at Black Agenda Report, this morning.

    She makes clear that the Pentagon had its sights on Assange, well before the subsequently dropped rape allegations against him were raised in Sweden.

  16. DW Bartoo
    May 1, 2019 at 10:32

    It should be noted, that in the article at RT, on Assange, is reported that in a letter read to the Court, Assange stated that, “… struggling with circumstances … I did what I thought at the time was the best or perhaps only thing that I could have done” and apologized to those who, “consider I’ve disrespected them.”

    • May 1, 2019 at 11:51

      that Assange did what Assange thought best for Assange, rather than what was required of him by the courts, is not terribly impressive, DW

    • May 1, 2019 at 17:52

      Quatschkopf.

    • anon4d2
      May 1, 2019 at 17:55

      Why comment against those who understand the issues, when you refuse to examine them?
      No one cares about mere opinions, group dependencies, blind loyalties.
      Here we care only for evidence and argument.

    • Peter Duveen
      May 1, 2019 at 21:29

      Those who defend their legitimate self interest are defending all of us.

    • Silly Me
      May 2, 2019 at 08:03

      Bravo!

      The most elegant response to the statement!

    • DW Bartoo
      May 2, 2019 at 12:07

      Well and truly said, Peter Duveen.

    • Mez
      May 2, 2019 at 02:24

      The CIA has this MK Ultra stuff down pat… who’d have thunk Operation Mockingbird would have legs this long? Lionel doesn’t even realise he’s a Manchurian, no doubt

  17. DW Bartoo
    May 1, 2019 at 10:12

    I guess the question now becomes this; Does Julian Assange have at least fifty weeks before he will “belong” to the U$ elite?

    Or will the Brits magnanimously share him before that time with their betters?

    • Mez
      May 2, 2019 at 02:29

      Looking at the Guccifer case, who US agreed to send back to serve out his home country’s sentence first, I’m guessing the same will apply to Assange. But UK is one of the 5-eyes so maybe not.

    • Skip Scott
      May 2, 2019 at 09:54

      It may be that they are still deciding at what pace they should pursue the Assange case. This gives them the option to “slow walk” the process. I believe the extradition hearing is in a couple days. In the end the UK will do whatever Master says.

  18. DW Bartoo
    May 1, 2019 at 09:33

    Assange has been sentenced to 50 weeks in prison, by a Brit court, for “violating bail conditions” and for embarrassing Brit “justice”.

    • DW Bartoo
      May 1, 2019 at 09:49

      “Judge Deborah Taylor, of the Southwark Crown Court, in London, on Wednesday”, said that Assange had used bail, “to escape the law” and had “expressed disdain for British justice.”

      According to an article at RT.

  19. Theresa Barzee
    May 1, 2019 at 08:31

    Thank you all so very much for your deep decency. I am so grateful. This is what clawing back democracy looks like.

  20. DW Bartoo
    May 1, 2019 at 07:52

    Continuing deep appreciation to VIPS for all you have done and continue to do to ensure that truth may be heard and respected as fundamental to a principled civil society.

    When Barack Obama, much lauded as a “Constitutional Scholar”, sought to depict Chelsea Manning as “breaking the law”, as you mention in “tactic 4.”, effectively branding Manning as guilty in the court of public opinion, Obama fully knew what he was doing, fully understood that he was cynically undermining justice and deliberately seeking to harm both Manning and the people’s right and responsibility to know what is done in their name.

    I think it may very well turn out that Obama’s actions around “Russiagate” as yet unrevealed, will further tarnish his image as an idol of veneration among the many still smitten by his smooth-talking style which hid many things, in service to that rapidly expanding governmental push toward deep pervasive secrecy which VIPS so accurately and decisively exposes.

    Tactic 4. may also be observed when Trump inserts himself into the Edward Gallagher case, although the intent here is to influence, to sway public opinion, sympathy actually, in favor of Gallagher, to portray him as patriotic and loyal to all the best myths of exception and indispensability while hiding the patent illegalities of the wars in which Gallagher was turned loose in the continuing war of terror, that perpetual war waged, it is claimed, to win a perpetual peace, through which the U$ government, in service to corporate, financial, military, and intelligence interests intends to maintain Full Spectrum Dominance in a world of nations and peoples grown weary of that vicious control and exploitation.

    It is heartening, in these interesting times, to witness the roster of those who are members of VIP continue to grow, both in number and in influence.

  21. Sam F
    May 1, 2019 at 07:25

    Good to hear of another weakness in the US case (statute of limitations that forced them to use the absurd charge-them-with-terrorism scam), but the list of USG abuses of investigative journalists shows that the tyranny of ignorant demagogues rules the US.

    As our dictatorship of the rich buries the last illusions of democracy, we need whistleblowers and investigative journalists more than ever before in US history. They are the patriots, and the officials who hide their corruption in “state secrecy” are the traitors, seeking money and power by manipulating the fears of tribe members, and exploiting their social and financial dependency.

    All war is now economic war, even information war, especially the war of the rich against the people of the United States, which they will lose when the middle class cannot afford the “bread and circus” manufactured overseas by the poorest.

  22. geeyp
    May 1, 2019 at 06:45

    See the world with Wikileaks.

  23. Ann Batiza
    May 1, 2019 at 00:38

    You are on the right side of history. It remains to be seen if the American public, consuming state propaganda 24/7 (isn’t that the lesson of Russiagate?) can open their minds to the truth right before their eyes. Julian Assange is a journalist and the public, whether on the right or the left, are supporting a camouflaged death blow to journalism by a U.S. state whose only desire is to exploit its own people and all other peoples around the world.

  24. Tom Kath
    April 30, 2019 at 23:45

    I wish to add my support here, along with what I hope is a great silent majority who are currently merely being overshadowed by a noisy desperate and fundamentally bad minority.

  25. Tristan
    April 30, 2019 at 22:36

    Press hard forward my good folks (I wanted to say comrades, but that would be interpreted by some as, oh you know.), cheers for VIPS, your work is invaluable and necessary. Thank you.

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