The prospect of life imprisonment in the U.S. for a publisher who revealed high crimes by Washington is considered in this Courage Foundation discussion aired on Saturday.
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is imprisoned in the high-security HMP Belmarsh in London as he faces extradition to the United States, where he has been indicted on 18 counts for obtaining, possessing, conspiring to publish and for publishing classified information. With the first-ever use of the Espionage Act for a publisher, the indictment represents an unprecedented attack on press freedom around the world. For Julian Assange, who could face up to 175 years in prison, a conviction could be a death sentence.
The Courage Foundation convened a panel of experts to examine what Julian Assange would endure and be up against if the United Kingdom extradites him to the U.S., from pre- and potentially post-trial prison conditions, the lack of a public interest defense under the Espionage Act, and the extremely high rate of convictions in U.S. federal courts.
Barry Pollack, Julian Assange’s attorney in the U.S.
Jeffrey Sterling, CIA whistleblower who was convicted under the Espionage Act
Lauri Love, U.K. activist who successfully defeated an extradition request from the United States
Moderated by Kevin Gosztola, independent U.S. journalist at Shadowproof.com who has covered Chelsea Manning’s military court martial and Julian Assange’s extradition proceedings thus far.
Thanks to the Courage Foundation for presenting this.
What we are seeing (again) in the persecution of Julian Assange is that the rule of law does not exist. Instead it is the law of the rulers, which can change at every election.
Julian Assange published undeniable (and undisputed) evidence of government crimes. The law of the rulers wants to put Assange on trial instead of putting the government on trial. The Bill of Rights and human rights are unenforceable when the law of the rulers wants a conviction.
The ancient Greeks didn’t pretend that political trials didn’t happen. They just increased the size of the jury from 201 to 1,501. Majority verdict. (search for the Apology of Socrates) If Jeffery Sterling’s jury had 1,501 jurors he may have been acquitted if the defense was allowed to present the actual facts including the conspiracy to unjustly convict Sterling.
Large juries would not cost the government much given the slave wages paid to jurors. A person who would make the jury representative of the state and district must go without pay 1 to 6 months to be on a jury. Many of them claim hardship and are excused. Government employees receive their regular salary while on jury duty. No justification to be excused. That bias exists in every federal judicial district in the US because the law of the rulers, overriding the Bill of Rights, packs the jury with government employees.
Julian Assange can’t get a fail trial in the United States.
The Bill of Rights in a democracy would allow defendants to file counter criminal charges against the government.
I should have said ” file counter criminal charges against his government accusers.”
To extradite someone from the UK to the USA only three things have to be true.
1 – The USA will not execute him. Granted.
2 – The USA will not add additional charges. Granted
3 – The USA has a valid judicial system. Established.
Assange will have his day in court in northern Virginia, USA. It is not a question of “if” but a question of “when”.
4. It is not a political offense. Not Granted.
5 – Torture is not technically execution …but it will achieve the same result – Granted
6 – Whatever the US says it will or won’t do is thrown out the window once nobody is looking – Granted
7 – The US has very little in the way of a valid system of anything anymore – Granted
His ‘day in court’ will be behind glass, separated from lawyers, separated from due process, and a charade.
The UK does not have a formal Constitution like the USA has. The collective Acts of Parliament serve as the UK’s Constitution which supercedes and overides all other UK legal dictates. To prevent criminals from being extradited by claiming their crime was commited for political reasons Parliament passed an Act that overides all individual extradition treaties with any particular country. It maks no reference to “political reasons”. For example, if someone kills someone in say Pakistan and then flees to the UK, they cannot claim the murder committed back in Pakistan was for “political reasons”.
Magistrate Barister will not allow Assange’s defense team to argue that JA’s alleged extraditable crimes were done for political reasons. The Act of Parliament governoring extraditions specifically removed any prohibitions to extradition due to claims of political reasons for committing the extraditition charges.
This is your opinion about an issue between the 2003 Act and 2007 Treaty that is not yet resolved. It is wrong to say that Baraitser will not allow Assange’s defense to make that argument because it already has as explained here in an eyewitness account of the court proceedings by former British ambassador Craig Murray, who argues that the Act depends on the Treaty:
“Rather the 2003 Extradition Act is an Enabling Act on which extradition treaties then depend. You can’t thus extradite under the 2003 Act without the Treaty. So the Extradition Treaty of 2007 in a very real sense becomes an executive instrument legally required to authorise the extradition. For the executing authorities to breach the terms of the necessary executive instrument under which they are acting, simply has to be an abuse of process. So the Extradition Treaty owing to its type and its necessity for legal action, is in fact incorporated in English Law by the Extradition Act of 2003 on which it depends.”
You can read his entire article, in which he goes into more detail, here: hXXps://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2020/02/your-man-in-the-public-gallery-assange-hearing-day-four/
The question of extradition is a very serious one given what happened to James Earl Ray.
He was framed for the assassination of Martin Luther King.
I am told that there is a popular saying today in Russia that goes something like this – everything they told us in the Soviet Union about our country was wrong but everything they told us about the west was right.
It is so very sad to grow up believing that you are Iiving in a democracy—–and even sadder to find that you are Living in a hypocrisy.
We are aII JuIian Assange.
You’re absolutely right, but it also serves as an eye-opener that USA is NO DEMOCRACY but a TRUE TYRANNY controlled by criminals in the White House & Congress.
This is the proof that whistle blowers need to keep a good bit well hidden as a protection policy.
I am 83 yrs on this planet.
I thought that the “the old USA” WAS THE LAND LAND OF THE FREE.
Me thinks that this is not true..
It goes against all of the tenets of freedom that this man is being held in this fashion.
The boys in the back room are waiting for him to disappear in any form. Release him.
The land is what its citizens make out of it. We can blame our government, the deep state, the manipulative media, etc. all we want. But if I look around and see my friends, relatives, colleagues and neighbors who are happy about what is happening to Assange, sometimes for contradictory reasons, then I am not surprised at what our country has become.
The cyber Great Powers are now fighting hacking and encryption wars. Setting aside the jeopardy to the public press, could a successful prosecution of JA in the Virginia court create precedent for the US Security screen to classify large areas of cyberspace, dark and deep