RAY McGOVERN: What if Ignored Covid-19 Warnings Had Been Leaked to WikiLeaks?

Julian Assange was arrested one year ago on Saturday and sent to Belmarsh Prison where he still languishes, a symbol of the Empire’s oppression.

By Ray McGovern
Special to Consortium News

The British court system continues to mock the Magna Carta. Bowing vassal-like to U.S. pressure it persists with Star Chamber proceedings against WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange until he is either extradited to the U.S. or winds up dead.

The judicial pantomime under way in London, under the guise of an extradition hearing, would make the English nobles who wrested precious civil rights from King John eight centuries ago sob in anger and shame. But nary a whimper is heard from the heirs to those rights. One searches in vain for English nobles today.

Yet the process stumbles along, as awkward as it is inexorable, toward extradition and life in prison for Assange, if he lasts that long.

The banal barristers bashing Assange now seem to harbor hope that, unlike the case of Henry VIII and Thomas More, the swords of royal knights will be unneeded to “deliver the Crown from this troublesome priest” — or publisher. Those barristers may be spared the embarrassment of losing what residual self-respect they may still claim. In short, they may not need to bow and scrape much longer to surrender Assange to life in a U.S. prison. He may die first.

King John of England accepts Magna Carta at Runnymede, near Windsor, on 15 June 1215. (Flickr)


For the UK and U.S. barristers and their puppeteers in Washington, salivating to seize the Australian publisher, a deus ex machina has descended backstage. It is called Covid-19 and London’s Belmarsh prison is accurately described as a petri dish for such disease. We already know of one prisoner death there from the virus. God knows how many more there already are — or will be.

In refusing to allow nonviolent prisoner Julian Assange to leave that crowded prison (with his immunocompromised condition, weakened lungs, and clinical depression), presiding Judge Vanessa Baraitser leaves an open door to deliver Kings Boris and Donald this “troublesome” publisher by “natural” means. The swords of royal knights are not needed for this kind of faux-judicial, royal screw. And, happily for Lady Baraitser, she may not have to keep washing blood off her hands as Lady Macbeth was compelled to do.

Meanwhile, as all await Assange’s demise — one way or the other — his lawyers have had no contact with him for three weeks. They cannot visit him in prison; nor can they even talk to him by video chat, according to WikiLeaks editor-in-chief Kristinn Hrafnnson.

Empire Drives Home an Old Lesson

However Assange is eventually dispatched — dead or alive — from Star Chamber and prison, the Empire remains hell-bent on demonstrating that it will give no quarter to those endangering it by WikiLeaks-type disclosures.

The lesson is now abundantly clear to all “troublesome” publishers tempted to follow Assange’s example of publishing documentary truth (a function of what used to be called journalism). They will be cut down — whether by “natural” means, or by endless faux-judicial proceedings resulting in lengthy imprisonment, financial ruin, or both.

On Tuesday Judge Baraitser announced that the Assange extradition hearing will resume on May 18, as previously scheduled and that it may drag on into July — Covid-19 notwithstanding. The big question is whether Assange, if he is kept confined in Belmarsh prison, will live that long. Meanwhile, thousands of other nonviolent prisoners are being released from other UK prisons in a humane step to reduce the chances of infection.

As I think of my good friend Julian, what comes to mind are the desperate words of Willy Loman’s wife Linda in “Death of a Salesman”:

“He’s a human being, and a terrible thing is happening to him. So attention must be paid. He’s not to be allowed to fall in his grave like an old dog. Attention, attention must finally be paid to such a person.”

(On the chance you are wondering, The New York Times, Washington Post, and Wall Street Journal — as well as National Public Radio — have paid zero attention to the extradition hearing in recent weeks — much less to Judge Baraitser’s Queen of Hearts-style, “off-with-his-head” behavior.)

Aping Caiaphas

Assange being arrested a year ago on April 11. 2019.

The pitiable Baraitser, of course, is simply a cog in the imperial machinery, a self-impressed, self-interested, rigid functionary aping the role of Caiaphas, the high priest beholden to an earlier Empire. “It’s better that one man die,” he is said to have explained, when another nonviolent truth-teller dared to expose the cruelties of Empire to the downtrodden of his day — including the despicable accessory role played by the high priests.

Here is how theologian Eugene Peterson’s renders Caiaphas’s words in John 11: “Can’t you see that it’s to our advantage that one man die … rather than the whole nation be destroyed.” (“Nation” in that context meant the system of privilege enjoyed by collaborators with Rome — like the high priests and the lawyers of the time.)

The lesson meant to be taken away from Assange’s punishment are as clear — if less bloody — as the crucifixion that followed quickly after Caiaphas explained the rationale. The behavior of today’s empire pretends to be more “civilized” as it manufactures stories of rape, leans on ratty satraps in Sweden, England, and Ecuador, and ostentatiously thumbs its nose at official UN condemnations of “arbitrary detention.” And, if that were not enough, it also practices leave-no-marks torture.

Cutting Off Nose to Spite Face

Meanwhile, those who in an ideal world should be natural allies of WikiLeaks, the media, are cowed, and are as pitiable as Baraitser. Many loudly betray Assange outright.

There is no need now, two millennia later, to erect crosses along the roadside as graphic reminders to intimidate those who would expose Empire’s oppression. Civil rights wrested from King John 800 years ago — habeas corpus, for one — have become “quaint” and “obsolete”, adjectives applied by that distinguished American jurist, and George W. Bush “lawyer,” Alberto Gonzales to the Geneva Convention protections against torture. The successors to the English “nobles” of Runnymede seem to have gone the way of Gonzales.

This is not only a case of “killing the messenger”, lamentable as that is. It amounts to cutting off our collective nose to spite our face.

Because most Americans are so impoverished on accurate information, and so misled by the corporate media regarding WikiLeaks –and Assange, in particular—they are blissfully unaware of WikiLeaks’ capability to expose crucial information that can head off disaster.

What If?

Several Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS) have written retrospectives, sharing acute personal frustration at our inability to get important warnings through calcified bureaucracies before calamity struck — real calamities like 9/11 and the unprovoked attack on Iraq that has brought chaos and widespread death.

We have asked ourselves, “What if?” What if WikiLeaks had been up and running before those catastrophes? Would those of us privy to critical — but unheeded — information have turned to WikiLeaks to get the word out? Could those liminal events have been prevented?

The answer is consistently Yes, those events could have been exposed and prevented.

“WikiLeaks and 9/11: What If?” is the title The Los Angeles Times gave an Oct. 15, 2010 op-ed by former FBI Special Agent/Minneapolis Division Counsel Coleen Rowley and former Air Marshal Bogdan Dzakovic, who led an elite “Red Team” for the Federal Aviation Administration to probe vulnerabilities of airports and aircraft during the years before 9/11.

After arresting would-be hijacker Zacarias Moussaoui on August 16, 2001, Rowley’s colleagues in Minneapolis ran into unconscionable foot-dragging by FBI headquarters functionaries, who would not permit a search of Moussaoui’s laptop computer or his personal effects.

Former FBI Special Agent Coleen Rowley, whose 9/11 warnings were ignored. (Flickr)

In late August, the same Washington functionaries stonewalled an FBI Minneapolis Division supervisor, who emphasized that he was just “trying to keep someone from taking a plane and crashing it into the World Trade Center.” (Yes, those were his exact words.) Special Agent Harry Samit, who helped arrest Moussaoui, later testified that the actions of his FBI superiors in Washington constituted “criminal negligence.”

This was before WikiLeaks was up and running. Would Samit’s sense of duty and his frustration have prompted him to contact WikiLeaks, were it to have been available then and as technically easy to approach (via anonymous drop box) as it continues to be now? Someone should find Samit and ask that question. (Thus far, we have had no success contacting him.)

Hijacking Planes? Child’s Play

No one has to ask Federal Air Marshal Dzakovic whether he would have gone to WikiLeaks in desperation over the foot-dragging he encountered at senior levels of the FAA. His story is as painful to hear as Special Agent Samit’s, in terms of being ignored and stymied in the period leading up to 9/11.

Dzakovic’s “Red Team” included two Vietnam veterans: Steve Elson, a retired Navy Seal lieutenant commander, and Brian Sullivan, a retired Army lieutenant colonel with experience in intelligence and law enforcement. They both join Dzakovic in a loud “Hell Yes,” when I asked if they would have gone to WikiLeaks before 9/11, if it were in operation at the time.

That elite Red Team had found weaknesses in airport and airline security nine out of ten times, vulnerabilities that made it possible to smuggle weapons aboard and seize control of airplanes.

Starting in 1997-98, the Team worked feverishly through its chain of command, and got nowhere with its urgent warnings. It then went to the FAA inspector general and, later, the Government Accountability Office; and got nowhere.

Team members then contacted and briefed members of Congress in person; and got nowhere. As a last resort, about a year before the 9/11 attacks, Team members desperately tried to get the media interested in the calamity they could see brewing. This resulted in only two small stories, easily ignored in other mainstream media.

Testifying before the 9/11 Commission, Dzakovic summed up the Team’s experience:

“In the simulated attacks, the Red Team was extraordinarily successful in killing large numbers of innocent people … [and yet] we were ordered not to write up our reports and not to retest airports where we found particularly egregious vulnerabilities… Finally, the FAA started providing advance notification of when we would be conducting our ‘undercover’ tests and what we would be checking.”

Dzakovic has expressed “contempt… for the bureaucrats and politicians who could have prevented 9/11 but didn’t.” Adding further bureaucratic insult to injury, the 9/11 Commission did not see fit to include any of his testimony in its report.

The Unprovoked U.S./UK Attack on Iraq

Many — probably hundreds — of U.S. intelligence analysts knew in 2002-03 that there was no reliable evidence that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction or — still less — had significant ties to al-Qaeda.

They did not have to wait for the conclusions of the five-year Senate Intelligence Committee’s study. Announcing the committee’s bipartisan findings on June 5, 2008, then Chairman Jay Rockefeller (D-WVA) was unusually direct:

“In making the case for war, the Administration repeatedly presented intelligence as fact when in reality it was unsubstantiated, contradicted, or even non-existent. As a result, the American people were led to believe that the threat from Iraq was much greater than actually existed.”

Rockefeller: U.S. people misled on 9/11. (Flickr)

What does “non-existent” intelligence look like? And who created it out of nothing? We know the names. No one has been held accountable. One of the miscreants, former Acting CIA Director John McLaughlin, unabashedly regaled a large audience at the National Press Club last October with, “Thank God for the Deep State.”

The question, again: surely there was at least one intelligence officer with courage enough to go to WikiLeaks — had it been operating at the time — to out the lies and liars, “undeceive” the American people, and, not incidentally,

possibly head off the war on Iraq. Lt. Col. Karen Kwiatkowski, USAF (ret.), a VIPS member, says she would probably have done so.

As it was, Kwiatkowski, the 2018 recipient of the Sam Adams Award for Integrity in Intelligence, exhibited unusual courage in doing what she could to get the truth out before the attack on Iraq. In a recent posting Karen explains:

“Almost two decades ago, I challenged the status quo in my workplace, the politicized Pentagon, for creating urgency when there was none, publicizing lies when the truth did not support the political agenda.  I spoke directly to investigative reporters with Knight Ridder (as portrayed in the [Rob Reiner] film Shock and Awe).

Films and popular media coverage of the truth took a decade to percolate. Had Wikileaks been available in 2001 and 2002, global awareness of government and corporate lies relating to the Iraq war alone would have saved lives, protected the environment, and slowed or stopped the … wars that still invigorate Western foreign policy. The truth is owned by all of us; those willing to step up and risk careers, reputations, and even their own lives to speak truth to power are a small, and sadly, expendable number. Julian Assange and his vision of simple transparency, for the people, with technical protection for witnesses to evil, has saved lives … and elevated the concept of honesty everywhere. …”

So you say you have not seen the film (in which an actress plays Karen), and you had been wondering how it was that Knight Ridder journalists Warren Strobel and Jonathan Landay were virtually the only newspapermen to see through and report accurately on the widespread lies before the attack on Iraq? Now you know.

The problem, of course, is that — however enterprising, dogged, and professional the behavior of Strobel and Landay, they were largely marginalized as outliers in the mainstream media and were not given much play before the war. Exposure of the lies through WikiLeaks surely would have been more effective.

Early Warning on COVID-19

Kwiatowski receives 2018 Sam Adams award from author. (Joe Lauria)

In terms of fatalities in the U.S., the number of those succumbing to the Covid-19 pandemic already dwarf the total killed on 9/11. True, preparations, going back years, to prevent and/or deal with such a tragedy were inadequate, to say the least. Accountability for that, as usual, is zero, and there is abundant crow for recent administrations to eat. Even though this is not the time for a blame game, one is going full speed ahead. Consequently, it is doubly difficult to separate the fake-news chaff from the wheat.

On Wednesday, ABC News put out a breathless story titled “Intelligence report warned of coronavirus crisis as early as November; analysts concluded it could be a cataclysmic event.” The alleged report was said to have been prepared by the U.S. military’s National Center for Medical Intelligence (NCMI).

It was alleged to include information from satellite imagery and intercepts, and to have been briefed “multiple times” at the Pentagon and White House, with detailed warnings about the spread of what has become known as Covid-19.

Colonel Dr. R. Shane Day, director of the Center, wasted no time pouring ice water on the ABC report later on Wednesday. Col. Day stated:

“… in the interest of transparency during this current public health crisis, we can confirm that media reporting about the existence/release of a National Center for Medical Intelligence Coronavirus-related product/assessment in November of 2019 is not correct. No such NCMI product exists.”

A hint as to the probable motivation behind the original ABC report rests in its pointed suggestion that the “government could have ramped up mitigation and containment efforts far earlier to prepare for a crisis poised to come home.” The neuralgic question of how much time it took the Trump administration to take the pandemic seriously is, of course, a legitimate line of inquiry — assuming one stays alert for agenda-laden “breaking news.”

There have, however, been other accurate reports of studies done about preparation for a pandemic that the Trump administration ignored.

As for WikiLeaks, even U.S. intelligence officials have begrudgingly acknowledged, in backhanded but unmistakable ways, that WikiLeaks’ enjoys an unusually high reputation for accuracy. Documents, including emails and the like, are its stock in trade and considerable pain is taken to verify their authenticity and then let them speak for themselves. So, were WikiLeaks to be given an authentic document with significant information on the reaction of senior officials’ anywhere to Covid-19, it would almost certainly be posted.

The name of the game is documents. Daniel Ellsberg’s most insistent advice to leakers is: “Always bring documents.” With the help of clever, committed friends and the courageous stand taken by a highly principled senior lawyer at The New York Times, Ellsberg made it difficult for the Times to turn down The Pentagon Papers. 

Chelsea Manning and Edward Snowden followed Ellsberg’s advice on documents and, in their case, did not need to spend countless hours at a Xerox machine. It’s far easier now. Any questions as to why Assange is hated by those who have a lot to hide?

In the coming weeks and months there will be a high premium on the kind of transparency WikiLeaks can provide in publishing information otherwise hidden from the public.

This is particularly the case on the Covid-19 issue, inasmuch as government deliberations and decisions are being “classified,”thereby thwarting the transparency an educated populace should be able to expect.

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this article said The New York Times knew Ellsberg had given the Papers to a competitor. In fact Ellsberg only gave a copy to another newspaper, The Washington Post, four days after the Times first published a story about the Papers on June 13, 1971.

Ray McGovern works with Tell the Word, a publishing arm of the Church of the Saviour in inner-city Washington. He served as a Army combat Intelligence officer and later a presidential briefer during his 27-years as a CIA analyst. In retirement he co-founded Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS) two months before the war on Iraq. Ray is honored to call Julian Assange friend.

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24 comments for “RAY McGOVERN: What if Ignored Covid-19 Warnings Had Been Leaked to WikiLeaks?

    April 14, 2020 at 16:29

    A clip from Chomsky’s twitter account shows that USG simulations of the possible pandemic were done last October, but then shelved. Incompetence? Intentional? Or ‘lost in the mix,’ per Kenneth Arrow’ ‘Limits of Organization’? Funny how wikileaks could have gotten the proper attention that NC’s lifetime of insightful commentary cannot….

    Noam Chomsky: ‘Coronavirus pandemic could have been prevented’

    Chomsky slams US’s handling of virus as he warns nuclear war, global warming threats will remain after pandemic is over.

    The coronavirus crisis could have been prevented because there was enough information available to the world, according to Noam Chomsky, who has warned that once the pandemic is over, two critical challenges will remain – the threats of nuclear war and global warming.
    Speaking from his office in self-isolation to Croatian philosopher and author Srecko Horvat, the celebrated 91-year-old US linguist offered a stark perspective on how the pandemic has been managed by different countries.
    “This coronavirus pandemic could have been prevented, the information was there to prevent it. In fact, it was well-known. In October 2019, just before the outbreak, there was a large-scale simulation in the United States – possible pandemic of this kind,” he said, referring to an exercise – titled Event 201 – hosted by the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security in partnership with the World Economic Forum and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
    “Nothing was done. The crisis was then made worse by the treachery of the political systems that didn’t pay attention to the information that they were aware of.
    “On December 31, China informed the World Health Organization (WHO) of pneumonia-like symptoms with unknown origins. A week later, some Chinese scientists identified a coronavirus. Furthermore, they sequenced it and provided information to the world. By then, virologists and others who were bothering to read WHO reports knew that there was a coronavirus and knew that had to deal with it. Did they do anything? Well yes, some did.
    “China, South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore began to do something, and they have sort of pretty much seemed to have contained at least the first surge of the crisis.” [etc.; conclusion omitted for space reasons.]

  2. April 13, 2020 at 11:15

    Excellent article! Julian Assange finds himself caught in a trap, and the underlying message is that we all, with the exception of a few in government and the military, are caught in the same trap. Most of the American people go on with their daily lives, responding only to sports news, while the teeth of the trap dig slowly deeper into society’s ankle. People like Assange and Ray McGovern are not much recognized today, but history will be very kind to their valiant struggles.

  3. Robert Darragh
    April 13, 2020 at 01:44

    Hello Ray, I’ve admired your integrity for some time and from afar ( Australia). You are a rare individual in today’s world. I was appalled when those thugs arrested and bashed you from that hearing. Where is your country heading? And yet you still came up smiling the next day. VERY best wishes champion. Robert Darragh

  4. jeffrey Troyer
    April 12, 2020 at 20:52

    You are a beacon of truth and hope. This was another inciteful piece. Thanks Ray.

  5. Sam F
    April 12, 2020 at 19:05

    An excellent and timely comparison of Baraitser and Caiaphas, and a good argument of the value of Wikileaks and independent media. I have witnessed the refusal of DOJ, FBI, and others to investigate the inconvenient, such as theft by politicians of government funds for their political parties, and thereby their campaigns. Let us have leakers with documents, and the media or Wikileaks to protect them.

  6. AnneR
    April 12, 2020 at 15:23

    Thank you very much Mr McGovern for this important though depressing overview of the situation regarding Julian Assange and the future of the public’s access to really existing, but hidden, information about and thus knowledge of what our government is actually doing in the world and to it.

    I do think that you are being a little too generous toward the MSM, positing as you do that it is fear (fear engendered by what has happened to Mr Assange) which restrains the reporters, commentators, “journalists” from revealing too much, investigating too far. Frankly, it seems to me that they don’t either support Assange (which they manifestly do not) or go after the political and bureaucratic powers that be (not just WH but also Congress, both faces of Janus party, and the Pentagon, the FBI, NSA, CIA etc., etc.,) and demand that this heinous and falsely premised set of charges be dropped, that the push for extradition or death be ended, because they are in fact pretty much on the same side as the “powers that be,” the ruling elites, the MIC – including the Pentagon, and the US imperialist project. And that this is as true of the so-called progressive/Democrat MSM as it is of the right-wing/Republican leaning sections. After all, it’s not as if *only* Reprat prezzies were in charge and initiating, only Reprat Congresses supported US invasions, wars, coups d’etat, slaughterings, drone killings, economic sanctions (siege warfare). Nor only the Reprats who fed the fat pigs of the MIC with the obscenely overflowing troughs of taxpayer monies.

  7. Tony
    April 12, 2020 at 10:35

    Good point.

    And what if all the ignored warnings about 9/11 had been leaked too?

    • robert e williamson jr
      April 13, 2020 at 16:09

      Your point is very timely seeing as how the SUPREME LIAR, the Turtle, the weasel Lindsey Graham , the undead VP, seem hell bent to run the entire country straight in to the ground.


  8. Del Vezeau
    April 12, 2020 at 04:51

    Great article Ray.

  9. April 11, 2020 at 21:23

    Thanks Ray. Once again you paint such a clear picture of the truth and how this is so hated and punished by the Empire. I will meditate on it and hope there is still a chance more of us will embrace the light and save what may be left. Live on we need your words.

  10. April 11, 2020 at 20:49

    As a writer Ray, you’re in a rather noteworthy league. Your historical references which provide either the underlying support or contrast to your linear ends, are both informative and wide enough to provide ample room where no might find themselves feeling hemmed in. I’ve not tasted any real amount of wine in my life, but if the idea of allowing the points to breathe were an analogy ? You’re neither bogging anyone down nor hemming anyone in. This of course, is in direct contrast to the circumstances of Julian Assange. The ability to change his situation might accurately be described as an appeal to Caesar? Perhaps a theatrical approach.. where sewing machines and costume designers forge forth under the tongue and cheek guise of 1st century roman spectacle, borrowing, perhaps just a little, from a story that is told much later, in particular, the reenactment scene of ‘Simple Jack”, from Shakespeare’s, Tropic Thunder. Because when an eight year old, armed to the teeth, demands entertainment..
    How about this:
    Mr. President,
    As we appear to be somewhat on the verge of such totalitarian control that would seem to be contingent on technology and so forth, and as Mr. Assange, mind you, without the benefit of his input at this point, but, if he were to consider that his role in history was fulfilled, that his intentions were as consistent as his convictions, and that whatever exists in terms of Wikileaks , can decide with those who might remain, but as for Mr. Assange, like Mr. Gates, he might think it is time to step down and feed the swans in the park, were it made possible, for him.
    It might also be worth considering that a world, when largely indifferent , is little more than just that. Indifferent. One would be hard pressed to make the case, that the circumstances of Mr. Assange would in manner serve as an example to anyone we might consider indifferent. As for the ‘eight year old armed to the teeth’? |What template might they ‘waltz’ into IF in the pursuit of something close to what Mr. Assange achieved in the day? There was only one Frank Sinatra..and like the factors and forces that brought us old Blue eyes, there’s no school or curriculum that makes such circumstantially dependent factors possible. It’s an era.. it’s old already. Everyone from sitting Presidents to Rock stars to food vendors played their parts. Some even did their best. We’re all still here. We hopped an era after 9-11. We’re hopping another one now. The thing about indifference? Indifference is a something akin to sloth or gluttony.. it is a condition of too many options. When faced with circumstances where hard decisions are predicated upon few and fewer choices, indifference is replaced with the application of individual conscience in the pursuit of what matters. What Wikileaks provided the world and the people who were personally faced with matters of their own conscience? And for the small window of time it was afforded and great risk? Despite the larger indifference of a busy world with ever growing options, it mattered. It really mattered.
    Julian Assange matters.
    Mr President.

  11. Ellen Murphy
    April 11, 2020 at 18:57

    Hi, Ray, Thanks for the excellent piece We miss you here in Bellingham. Love, ellen murphy

  12. Christian J Chuba
    April 11, 2020 at 18:35

    What if our Intel Community was competent enough to read public WHO reports

    I don’t know if your site allows urls but WHO publicized their situation reports on their response to the Coronavirus.
    By Jan 24, they rated the risk of global outbreak – HIGH, declared human to human transmission, as well as 5,000 suspected cases and recommended temperature screening for fevers for all international travelers. Hello-HELLO, Danger Will Robinson!

    Republicans cherry pick statements from tweets and non-essential facts to create a myth that they did nothing. Perhaps they should have done something earlier but they did ring the alarm bell by Jan 24. Both Japan and S. Korea were already taking steps to contain the outbreak of the epidemic because of the data they got from WHO / China starting on 1/3. As of today they have less than 300 deaths between them.

  13. robert e williamson jr
    April 11, 2020 at 13:57

    Screw Trump and his worthless advice!

  14. robert e williamson jr
    April 11, 2020 at 13:55

    Been a little worried about you Ray, good to hear from you. Thanks for the info.

    Only in Washington D.C. can a man, the so called president, lie incessantly, be proved to lie incessantly and then be given prime air time to tell additional lies. The MSM be damned.

    This system as it is currently configured is not worth saving. Not for the common man.

    Be safe.

  15. Skip Scott
    April 11, 2020 at 11:35

    Great article Ray. Thanks. I can’t help but wonder how many potential whistleblowers have been cowed by what is being done to Julian.

    April 11, 2020 at 10:55

    Assange’s distressing case is only one of many places where you can see no honest information reaching people about what has taken place.

    Quite apart from the efforts of the military/security state and its allies in the press to distort and block information, America today is a viciously divided society. One where no agreement on almost anything is possible.

    It is almost impossible today to get a clear and factual message out in America about anything, including a life-threatening pandemic.he division serves the power establishment well in its dark tasks.

    First, there is the wealth division, which today resembles something from 18th century France before the revolution. Its vastness is astonishing, and it affects everything in society, from attitudes and assumptions right down to information and healthcare access.

    Then there is the political or ideological divide, which today is absolutely bitter. A tour of various Internet sites easily brings to mind the title of the early 1960s’ film, “Mondo Cane.”

    You can also gain this sense of things just by reading the words of any high official from the White House. There has never in my lifetime been such speech with no effort at grace or politesse. Raw sewerage pouring out of pipeline.

    And need I remind readers that it is applauded by large numbers?

    The nation is literally incapable of doing anything – including distributing genuine information about a disease to its citizens – without a chorus of opposition and counter-claims and labelling experts as liars or incompetents.

    The only place America appears able to act in a unified fashion is in its panoply of coups, intrusions, menaces, bombings, and blockades abroad.

    And that is because the people have absolutely no say in those affairs. They are run by the Dark State.

    That really is America’s face to the world today, and it is frightening.

  17. Todd Pierce
    April 11, 2020 at 10:44

    Excellent article, Ray, with history to Assange’s and Wikileaks repression put into context showing how our freedoms have already been lost. Here is further information of what is happening to our so-called “freedom of the press” (and speech): See: (Roger Waters on Assange) youtube.com/watch?v=qOJFFZQTl_U

  18. April 11, 2020 at 10:17

    Good Post

  19. journey80
    April 11, 2020 at 08:20

    Is there no way to challenge Baraitser’s spectacular unfitness to hear this case?

    • Sam F
      April 12, 2020 at 19:15

      A good point. In the US the complaint of judicial ethics can be addressed to a local chief judge or to a commission of the judiciary. It never works. They really don’t have a concept of unethical conduct beyond openly accepting bribes. Absolutely any scam or manipulation is fine with all of them, as they were trained and selected for corruption, and so the corruption increases as one appeals to the top. Only conduct that would be incompetent for a crooked judge would require action, and that is easily avoided. No doubt Mr. Assange’s lawyers in UK are aware of corresponding mechanisms in their judiciary.

  20. walter cadette
    April 11, 2020 at 08:09

    Bravo, Ray. Referring to the Brits, my Irish brother-in-law often says: “British justice is an oxymoron.” could we not same the same about justice in the USA?

    • April 11, 2020 at 13:46

      Dear Walter —

      How good to hear from a fellow Fordham alum, and especially from one of the sharpest knives in the drawer of the Rams. Pls get in touch. Ray

    • Jim KABLE
      April 14, 2020 at 03:04

      A Canadian-born later US citizen uncle said to me that US justice is “just us!” He had other interesting asides: “With liberty and justice for all (who can afford it)!” Or “With liberty adjusted for all.” His wife – my Australian father’s older sister – had her own take on issues of justice and level playing fields: “The Law of Relativity – One rises to the height of those to whom one is Related.” My uncle taught at the Embry-Riddle School of Aeronautics – Arizona campus – quite likely taught one of the 9/11 pilots during his Health course – mandatory for all students. Now long deceased. This article on the skulduggery of British and US “law” and the persecution and inhuman treatment of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange will become a document studied in Ethics courses throughout the world I have no doubt. As scorn is poured on those implicated in this hideous matter. As for the Baraitser woman – I read she is a mere magistrate – not properly a Judge – if there is any truth that from one to the other is meant to suggest a leap from the mundane to the beyond reproach – indeed?? Our judgement of her is already sealed – and should the worst happen to Julian before his release and total exoneration – his death will be on her bloodied hands!

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