JOHN PILGER: A Day in the Death of British Justice

The reputation of British justice now rests on the shoulders of the High Court in the life or death case of Julian Assange.

The High Court at the Royal Courts of Justice. (David Castor/Wikimedia Commons)

By John Pilger
in London
Special to Consortium News

I sat in Court 4 in the Royal Courts of Justice in London Wednesday with Stella Moris, Julian Assange’s partner. I have known Stella for as long as I have known Julian. She, too, is a voice of freedom, coming from a family that fought the fascism of Apartheid. Today, her name was uttered in court by a barrister and a judge, forgettable people were it not for the power of their endowed privilege.

The barrister, Clair Dobbin, is in the pay of the regime in Washington, first Trump’s then Biden’s. She is America’s hired gun, or “silk”, as she would prefer. Her target is Julian Assange, who has committed no crime and has performed an historic public service by exposing the criminal actions and secrets on which governments, especially those claiming to be democracies, base their authority. 

For those who may have forgotten, WikiLeaks, of which Assange is founder and publisher, exposed the secrets and lies that led to the invasion of Iraq, Syria and Yemen, the murderous role of the Pentagon in dozens of countries, the blueprint for the 20-year catastrophe in Afghanistan, the attempts by Washington to overthrow elected governments, such as Venezuela’s, the collusion between nominal political opponents (Bush and Obama) to stifle a torture investigation and the CIA’s Vault 7 campaign that turned your mobile phone, even your TV set, into a spy in your midst.

WikiLeaks released almost a million documents from Russia which allowed Russian citizens to stand up for their rights. It revealed the Australian government had colluded with the U.S. against its own citizen, Assange. It named those Australian politicians who have “informed” for the U.S. It made the connection between the Clinton Foundation and the rise of jihadism in American-armed states in the Gulf.

About Those Who Take Us to War

There is more: WikiLeaks disclosed the U.S. campaign to suppress wages in sweatshop countries like Haiti, India’s campaign of torture in Kashmir, the British government’s secret agreement to shield “U.S. interests” in its official Iraq inquiry and the British Foreign Office’s plan to create a fake “marine protection zone” in the Indian Ocean to cheat the Chagos islanders out of their right of return.

In other words, WikiLeaks has given us real news about those who govern us and take us to war, not the preordained, repetitive spin that fills newspapers and television screens. This is real journalism; and for the crime of real journalism, Assange has spent most of the past decade in one form of incarceration or another, including Belmarsh prison, a horrific place.

Diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome, he is a gentle, intellectual visionary driven by his belief that a democracy is not a democracy unless it is transparent, and accountable.

On Wednesday, the United States sought the approval of Britain’s High Court to extend the terms of its appeal against a decision by a district judge, Vanessa Baraitser, in January to bar Assange’s extradition. Baraitser accepted the deeply disturbing evidence of a number of experts that Assange would be at great risk if he were incarcerated in the U.S.’s infamous prison system.

Professor Michael Kopelman, a world authority on neuro-psychiatry, had said Assange would find a way to take his own life — the direct result of what Professor Nils Melzer, the United Nations rapporteur on torture, described as the craven “mobbing” of Assange by governments – and their media echoes.

Those of us who were in the Old Bailey last September to hear Kopelman’s evidence were shocked and moved. I sat with Julian’s father, John Shipton, whose head was in his hands. The court was also told about the discovery of a razor blade in Julian’s Belmarsh cell and that he had made desperate calls to the Samaritans and written notes and much else that filled us with more than sadness.

Watching the lead barrister acting for Washington, James Lewis — a man from a military background who deploys a cringingly theatrical “aha!” formula with defence witnesses — reduce these facts to “malingering” and smearing witnesses, especially Kopelman, we were heartened by Kopelman’s revealing response that Lewis’s abuse was “a bit rich” as Lewis himself had sought to hire Kopelman’s expertise in another case.

No Contradiction

Lewis’s sidekick is Clair Dobbin, and Wednesday was her day. Completing the smearing of Professor Kopelman was down to her. An American with some authority sat behind her in court.

Dobbin said Kopelman had “misled” Judge Baraister in September because he had not disclosed that Julian Assange and Stella Moris were partners, and their two young children, Gabriel and Max, were conceived during the period Assange had taken refuge in the Ecuadorean embassy in London.

The implication was that this somehow lessened Kopelman’s medical diagnosis: that Julian, locked up in solitary in Belmarsh prison and facing extradition to the U.S. on bogus “espionage” charges, had suffered severe psychotic depression and had planned, if he had not already attempted, to take his own life.

For her part, Judge Baraitser saw no contradiction. The full nature of the relationship between Stella and Julian had been explained to her in March 2020, and Professor Kopelman had made full reference to it in his report in August 2020. So the judge and the court knew all about it before the main extradition hearing last September. In her judgement in January, Baraitser said this:

[Professor Kopelman] assessed Mr. Assange during the period May to December 2019 and was best placed to consider at first-hand his symptoms. He has taken great care to provide an informed account of Mr. Assange background and psychiatric history. He has given close attention to the prison medical notes and provided a detailed summary annexed to his December report. He is an experienced clinician and he was well aware of the possibility of exaggeration and malingering. I had no reason to doubt his clinical opinion.”

She added that she had “not been misled” by the exclusion in Kopelman’s first report of the Stella-Julian relationship and that she understood that Kopelman was protecting the privacy of Stella and her two young children.

In fact, as I know well, the family’s safety was under constant threat to the point when an embassy security guard confessed he had been told to steal one of the baby’s nappies so that a CIA-contracted company could analyse its DNA. There has been a stream of unpublicised threats against Stella and her children.

Based on a Fraudster

For the U.S. and its legal hirelings in London, damaging the credibility of a renowned expert by suggesting he withheld this information was a way, they no doubt reckoned, to rescue their crumbling case against Assange. In June, the Icelandic newspaper Stundin reported that a key prosecution witness against Assange has admitted fabricating his evidence. The one “hacking” charge the Americans hoped to bring against Assange if they could get their hands on him depended on this source and witness, Sigurdur Thordarson, an FBI informant.

Thordarson had worked as a volunteer for WikiLeaks in Iceland between 2010 and 2011. In 2011, as several criminal charges were brought against him, he contacted the FBI and offered to become an informant in return for immunity from all prosecution. It emerged that he was a convicted fraudster who embezzled $55,000 from WikiLeaks, and served two years in prison. In 2015, he was sentenced to three years for sex offenses against teenage boys. The Washington Post described Thordarson’s credibility as the “core” of the case against Assange.

On Wednesday, Lord Chief Justice Holroyde made no mention of this witness. His concern was that it was “arguable” that Judge Baraitser had attached too much weight to the evidence of Professor Kopelman, a man revered in his field. He said it was “very unusual” for an appeal court to have to reconsider evidence from an expert accepted by a lower court, but he agreed with Ms. Dobbin it was “misleading” even though he accepted Kopelman’s “understandable human response” to protect the privacy of Stella and the children.

If you can unravel the arcane logic of this, you have a better grasp than I who have sat through this case from the beginning. It is clear Kopelman misled nobody. Judge Baraitser – whose hostility to Assange personally was a presence in her court – said that she was not misled; it was not an issue; it did not matter. So why had Lord Chief Justice Holroyde spun the language with its weasel legalise and sent Julian back to his cell and its nightmares? There, he now waits for the High Court’s final decision in October – for Julian Assange, a life or death decision.

In the Land of Magna Carta

And why did Holroyde send Stella from the court trembling with anguish? Why is this case “unusual”? Why did he throw the gang of prosecutor-thugs at the Department of Justice in Washington — who got their big chance under Trump, having been rejected by Obama – a life raft as their rotting, corrupt case against a principled journalist sunk as surely as Titantic?

This does not necessarily mean that in October the full bench of the High Court will order Julian to be extradited. In the upper reaches of the masonry that is the British judiciary there are, I understand, still those who believe in real law and real justice from which the term “British justice” takes its sanctified reputation in the land of the Magna Carta. It now rests on their ermined shoulders whether that history lives on or dies.

I sat with Stella in the court’s colonnade while she drafted words to say to the crowd of media and well-wishers outside in the sunshine. Clip-clopping along came Clair Dobbin, spruced, ponytail swinging, bearing her carton of files: a figure of certainty: she who said Julian Assange was “not so ill” that he would consider suicide. How does she know?

Has Ms. Dobbin worked her way through the medieval maze at Belmarsh to sit with Julian in his yellow arm band, as Professors Koppelman and Melzer have done, and Stella has done, and I have done? Never mind. The Americans have now “promised” not to put him in a hellhole, just as they “promised” not to torture Chelsea Manning, just as they promised ……

And has she read the WikiLeaks’ leak of a Pentagon document dated 15 March, 2009? This foretold the current war on journalism. U.S. intelligence, it said, intended to destroy WikiLeaks’ and Julian Assange’s “centre of gravity” with threats and “criminal prosecution”. Read all 32 pages and you are left in no doubt that silencing and criminalising independent journalism was the aim, smear the method.

I tried to catch Ms. Dobbin’s gaze, but she was on her way: job done.

Outside, Stella struggled to contain her emotion. This is one brave woman, as indeed her man is an exemplar of courage. “What has not been discussed today,” said Stella, “is why I feared for my safety and the safety of our children and for Julian’s life. The constant threats and intimidation we endured for years, which has been terrorising us and has been terrorising Julian for 10 years. We have a right to live, we have a right to exist and we have a right for this nightmare to come to an end once and for all.”


John Pilger is an Australian-British journalist and filmmaker based in London.Pilger’s Web site is: In 2017, the British Library announced a John Pilger Archive of all his written and filmed work. The British Film Institute includes his 1979 film, “Year Zero: the Silent Death of Cambodia,” among the 10 most important documentaries of the 20thcentury. Some of his previous contributions to Consortium News can be found here.  

47 comments for “JOHN PILGER: A Day in the Death of British Justice

  1. August 15, 2021 at 12:59

    The High Court image at the top of this article shows impressive architecture – a truly impressive structure. Gracious, do you see all the circular towers there? Little ones that you could try to hide out in.
    The picture was taken on what must have been the sunniest day in Britain for some time now.
    Sadly, without justice the structure is worthless.
    I don’t know about the rest of you all, but my heart goes out to Julian Assange, his wife, Stella, and their children. How could you explain what has happened to Julian to your children? Especially, if they were the children of the man?
    So, I’m gonna cry today myself and shed some tears for Stella, Julian, and their children. It is all so unfair and something has got to give soon.
    I believe in truth. I have faith in justice.
    In honor of Julian Assange, and may the man live on, despite the harsh unfair conditions of solitary confinement in the worst the UK has to give – Belmarsh prison to a man who told the truth. There is no stopping the truth.
    Lets take it to the end. It must be done.

  2. alley cat
    August 15, 2021 at 12:49

    Many thanks to CN editors for spearheading the defense of Julian Assange and free speech in the U.S.

    Americans foolishly squabble over identity politics while neocon warmongers burn the Bill of Rights to the ground.

  3. P oliver
    August 15, 2021 at 08:40

    Thank you for your report and information . Heartbreaking to hear the distress of the family
    We hear nothing of what is and has been done to mr Assange ….so again thank you .

  4. Edwin Francis
    August 15, 2021 at 07:21

    Julian Assange is an honest Australian journalist who has been neglected by his own country for doing his job.
    He shone a light on military action which should never have been allowed.
    He has paid a huge price for telling the truth and he should be freed to spend the rest of his life with his family in peace.

  5. August 15, 2021 at 05:17

    The United Kingdom ?? surely can’t condemn a freedom fighter we should all stand behind Julien

  6. Badger Down
    August 15, 2021 at 02:40

    I’m not sure what crime Assange committed in the UK, but doesn’t 10 years locked up cover it?

  7. August 15, 2021 at 01:36

    Let every nation deluge the UK/ US with offers to provide #Asylum4Assange

  8. Stephen Langford...
    August 14, 2021 at 20:07

    Bravo Bravo Bravo. This has inspired me to get moving on this again… link up with the Blue Mountains people and much else. Thank you. S

  9. David Hallam
    August 14, 2021 at 18:33

    Thank all that’s holy for your work trying to save the founder of the most important vehicle of real journalism of the past 200 years. Indeed, thank all that’s holy for your work stretching back 40 years.

    At 75 years of age, it gives me no pleasure whatsoever to have to say that unless we have a revolution in every country in the West in the next 10 years maximum, freedom of even the crippled variety we had during the immediate post-war years will be dead.

  10. Jan
    August 14, 2021 at 14:17

    I just read an article about the Israeli persecution of former World Vision Gaza Operations Manager, Mohammad El Halabi. What amazing parallels with the persecution of JA. It becomes clear. The colonial chickens have come home to roost.


  11. John Gilberts
    August 14, 2021 at 13:12

    Thanks to John Pilger, Joe Lauria and everyone else who brings the truth of the continuing malevolence towards this truth-teller – so critically important for all who value freedom of speech, th0ught and human rights. Sorry to report that in Canada, neither the msm nor sadly, the alternative press has done much more than repeat official disinformation and smear. Even more dismal is the lack of response from a supposedly ‘progressive’ Canadian academia or the legal or medical community. So much for the myth of a ‘nicer, kinder, gentler Canada’, which is unfortunately beginning to seem as doubtful as ‘British justice.’

  12. Linda Bird
    August 14, 2021 at 11:39

    Voltaire had it right… “If you want to know who controls you, look at who you are not allowed to criticize.”

    Assuage should always be, should always have been, respected and protected by the laws governing free speech in any sane country in this world. He is a hero not only for his strength in fighting for the basic right of freedom of speech for all, but also for the concept of for justice for all. Justice must prevail for Julian Assuage.

  13. alley cat
    August 14, 2021 at 11:35

    RT is carrying this article by Pilger as well an outstanding article by Richard Medhurst, which CN might wish to publish as well. Many thanks to CN editors for spearheading the defense of Julian Assange and free speech in the U.S.

    Americans foolishly squabble over identity politics while neocon warmongers burn the Bill of Rights to the ground.

  14. Dawn Fleming
    August 14, 2021 at 10:48

    I am afraid this is an example of how our courts have become a theatre for those in Chambers wanting to make a name for themselves and better their careers regardless of the accused not being guilty . Perhaps they would be better placed in an auditorium. Let’s get the truth out there in the public domain. How about televising the appeal.

  15. Greg Rason
    August 14, 2021 at 10:45

    John Pilger does what we ALL should and DON’T.

  16. Ray Peterson
    August 14, 2021 at 09:45

    Well John, once again your work allows me to relish in my teaching world history with your film: “Palestine is still the issue. ”
    But a clarification: was Baraitser (sp), appointed by a higher magistrate whose husband has U.K. military connections that WikiLeaks revealed?
    And hope in symbolic tradition, the Magna Carta? Well, democracy in England came with the capitalist elite having more
    power in production than the aristocracy in their hereditary land ownership, so rights for the upcoming elite made sense.
    Now, the status quo corporate military ruling elite has no need for, and fears rights for the masses, and democracy’s demand for transparency is an enemy: for the CIA, FBI, MI6 and the Mossad, and their courts empowered by that elite
    to judge. The Enlightenment’s reason for justice and truth is dead.
    But Julian’s spirit for justice and truth (and Stella’s), is alive and made more so by their suffering for the good.
    And just who does that remind us of?

  17. JonT
    August 14, 2021 at 03:19

    “Lewis’s sidekick is Clair Dobbin, and Wednesday was her day. Completing the smearing of Professor Kopelman was down to her. An American with some authority sat behind her in court…”co

    I wonder who the ‘American of some authority…’ Is?

    August 14, 2021 at 00:41

    Thank you for this article by John Pilger on Julian Assange, and the backgound he gave us on what I would like to call: ‘Truth and Justice in the American Way’ . I remember those word from my youth when I once once believed them.
    I do not think that John has given us much that we have not heard, apart from his personal observations, but what he has given us, was so clear.

  19. Bryan Bateman
    August 13, 2021 at 21:54

    In August 2019, a U.S. of A’s Diplomats Wife, Anne Sacoolas, killed a British 19 year old boy, Harry Dunn, with her car by driving on the wrong side of the road. The U.S. of A refuses to extradite the diplomat’s wife to the United Kingdom. Tell them that we will not extradite Julian Assange.

    • Margaret O'Brien
      August 14, 2021 at 03:37

      He is not a diplomat, he is a spy. The “RAF base” is a US base used to spy on British citizens. She is not just his wife, she is also a spy herself. British spies are sent to the US to spy on American citizens in what appears to be a reciprocal arrangement. It was claimed he was a diplomat purely to get his wife out of the country to evade justice here, by stating she had diplomatic immunity. That was a lie which was exposed and clarified in no uncertain terms by amongst others, former diplomat Craig Murray, currently in prison in Edinburgh on a fake contempt of court conviction. More British justice including the Scottish variety! Craig is also a friend and staunch supporter of Julian Assange and has reported honestly on Julian’s case, another thing he is being punished for.

    • TS
      August 14, 2021 at 09:10

      Tell them that we will not extradite Julian Assange.

      Nobody really gives a damn what “you” want to do; it is all up to Boris and his backers, and the ruling class in general. And most of them would prefer to see Assange die in prison…

  20. Roza Trajkovska
    August 13, 2021 at 21:10

    What is scary about the British/Australian etc justice system is that it all depends on which judge is sitting and making the decision and their subjective influence on the decisions. There are no real objective decisions as they all bring in their own personal views despite of they they actually say.
    And the barristers arguing their cases all depend on who are the better story tellers not the actual truth.

  21. Emiko Okoturo
    August 13, 2021 at 19:41

    John Pilger analysis of this case is excellent. The difference between science and the law as Galileo said many years ago is that science relies on facts and law relies on opinion. Julian Assange’s lawyers have to make the High Court Judges aware that Opponents lawyers will subtly use legal rhetorical fiction to distract the Judges subconsciously in accepting their false beliefs so that the Judges do not focus on true beliefs that underpin the valid medical facts in this matter to try and deceitfully discredit that valid medical report about Julian’s health.

  22. Hilary
    August 13, 2021 at 18:11

    Another brilliant article that keeps the light on. Thank you John for your support of Julian, justice and for exposing iniquity in an age when journalists are mainly doing something else.

  23. Patricia Tursi, Ph.D,
    August 13, 2021 at 15:20

    There is little justice into today’s world. For Assange and for jounalism, it has been a disastrous assault. Freedom of speech, personal freedom and hope for Humanity is wounded and recovery does not look probable. Thank goodness Julian has Stella. May their relationship carry them to justice, to freedom, and a life beyond insane technological tyranny.

  24. Shirley Breeze
    August 13, 2021 at 15:15

    The fear is that bona fide journalism is now under attack by governments that claim to be democratic. The most recent blow is a proposal from Johnson’s government that journalists who leak information that “embarrass” the government will face up to 14 years in prison. Who will judge whether the leak is “embarrassing” or “unmasking” motives?

  25. Carolyn L Zaremba
    August 13, 2021 at 13:28

    Thank you, John Pilger for your steadfastness in support of Julian Assange and Stella Moris. Stella IS one hell of a brave woman and Julian is a true man of courage. This, of course, is why the U.S. goverment wants to take him down. It is unbearable to these imperialists that a man exposed their crimes to the public–the public they are supposed to serve. People must be made to realize that if they allow Julian to go down, they will be next. That instead of being banned by Facebook for going against “community values” (of which “community” it becomes ever more evident) they will be carted off to a prison cell for “wrongthink”. We must stop asking the government who is torturing Julian Assange to show human decency or–heaven forfend–clemency. It is up to the people of the world to stand up for Julian and free him. Time is running out.

  26. Colleen Adams
    August 13, 2021 at 13:18

    I have been a supporter of truth and justice all my life. I have supported Julian’s bravery for for many years. The time will come when real justice will be done and he will be free and recognised as Australia’s greatest hero. I admire and love him for his courage.

  27. August 13, 2021 at 11:20

    Both Britain and the US have for decades if not centuries committed scandalous acts against justice.
    The most recent episode sees the British government attempt to cover up their atrocities in N Ireland. This is after the numerous corrupt convictions and cover ups of atrocities where innocent people were murdered. I’d hate to think what they got up to in countries where the eyes of the world wasn’t as intense.
    The idea of the Magna Carta is long past it’s sell by date.

  28. August 13, 2021 at 10:32

    The reality is that “justice” has rarely existed anywhere where special interests are involved, and that impunity for the powerful is the rule and its opposite awaits those the powerful fear or disdain, like Julian.

  29. Nylene13
    August 13, 2021 at 10:24

    Free Julian Assange Now.

    “Without a Free Press there can be No Democracy”
    Thomas Jefferson

  30. Vera Gottlieb
    August 13, 2021 at 10:24

    It is no wonder that Yanx and Brits get along so well…Two peas in the same miserable pod.

  31. Maggie Harrison
    August 13, 2021 at 10:10

    How convenient that this Case is happening, while Boris and his Cabinet are on their Summer break! I read that Boris and his family will spend time with the Queen at Balmoral, yet, always understood the Queen s relationship with the PM is a business one! I m heartbroken for the suffering of Julian and those who love and respect him and it will be devastating if this government, allows his extradition, I would be heart broken and hope this fiasco of a trial can be stopped, or disrupted, before Biden and Boris are patting each others backs!Sadly most people are not aware what’s going on, as journalists are too afraid to speak. Boris is now working on a UK system, which will send journalist to Prison, if they reveal government secrets..this is terrifying!

    • rosemerry
      August 13, 2021 at 15:35

      I remember a time last year when the Queen’s reply to a letter from prominent medical people gave the impression that she understood this was a political conviction. If only she had/could/ would use her power to free an innocent man, what a singular benefit this would be for “British Justice” from the renowned British Royalty.

  32. Michael
    August 13, 2021 at 09:42

    What is on trial in this case is the independence of the British justice system.
    Thank you John Pilger, for your powerful account here of this latest stage of the legal abuse against Julian Assange that has been permitted to development in the last decade, and particularly since he has been incarcerated in a high security prison

  33. Jo
    August 13, 2021 at 09:25

    Thank you for your thorough article.
    What is being done to Julian and his family, and friends is inhumane.
    A Brave soul that only knows truth.
    A true person of the people.
    I see a day when JA is awarded the highest regards for his contribution to humanity.
    Sending love and prayers ???

    • Jo
      August 13, 2021 at 09:26

      Turns out ‘heart’ emojies translate to ???

  34. Tina
    August 13, 2021 at 05:56

    ‘JUSTICE’? They can’t even SPELL it – let alone DELIVER it!

    Post-Reformation, 4-Centuries ongoing on FIVE Continents where they don’t belong!!!!!

    $elf-ju$tified, Manife$t De$tiny?

    FAKE-virtue anti-Christ $ub-human Ang£ow $ATAN Fa$cist$ – Blood £u$t B-E-A-$-T-$ of GREED is GOD, dog-eat-dog CANNIBALI$T$!!!!!!

    History’s BIGGE$T HYPOCRITES, £IAR$, Denyer$, psychOtalitarian $elf-justifiers, MONEYTI$ED MA$$ MURDERERS / INDU$TRIALI$ED MA$$ DE$TROYERS.

    Make OPENLY totalitarian short-lived Stalin & Hitler look like AMATEURS!!

    And post-WW2, it’s a PROVEN fact, not an analysis, not even an opinion. The free & open international order so called ‘Free Christian Democracy’ supposedly promoted since winning WW2 in 1945 by the U$ & UK has cost the lives of 20 to 30 MILLLION people in 37 VICTIM Nations.

    Including the World’s most vulnerable, pregnant women/unborn babies, infants, children, the disabled and defenseless elderly in their own lands!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    No duly elected President or Prime Minister (since the CRIMINAL-CIA MURDERED JFK) has DARED to slow the rhythm of this UNelected, UNdeselectable, UNdemocratic CORPORATE CONTROLLED CRIMINAL KILLING MACHINE.

    All for CORRUPT CAREERS, RATINGS, PROFIT GREED, Power & Control over their kept-DUMB $ha££ow Ignorant Ma$$ed Mug$ & MORON$!!! And all deviously ma$ked by their supposed ‘FREE Pre$$/Media’ WMDs/Word$ of Ma$$ Deception – as so called ‘Public Protection’ – WTF?!


  35. Tony Kevin
    August 13, 2021 at 04:25

    Thank you, John Pilger. Powerful reporting . Tony Kevin

  36. August 13, 2021 at 04:19

    It has happened before, this is from around 2000 years ago in America. The Gadiantons were like a criminal Cartel, they had their own laws and customs, a principal weapon was secrecy deceit and murder. And they had their own cities and lands.

    This is from The Book of Mormon, it describes the state of government in an advanced civilization of millions on the American continent.

    Nephi, the writer, lived in a great city by a highway which lead to the chief market. Highways were elevated and stretched between cities. So it’s not hard to see in archaeology where this may have taken place. Twice the size of Medieval England but much more densely populated.

    Helaman 7: 4 And seeing the people in a state of such awful wickedness, and those Gadianton robbers filling the judgment-seats—having usurped the power and authority of the land; laying aside the commandments of God, and not in the least aright before him; doing no justice unto the children of men;

    5 Condemning the righteous because of their righteousness; letting the guilty and the wicked go unpunished because of their money; and moreover to be held in office at the head of government, to rule and do according to their wills, that they might get gain and glory of the world, and, moreover, that they might the more easily commit adultery, and steal, and kill, and do according to their own wills—

    This eventually lead to the government completely failing.

    It’s interesting what Christ said about this:

    3 Nephi 9

    And behold, that great (Gadianton) city Jacobugath, which was inhabited by the people of king Jacob, have I caused to be burned with fire because of their sins and their wickedness, which was above all the wickedness of the whole earth, because of their secret murders and combinations; for it was they that did destroy the peace of my people and the government of the land; therefore I did cause them to be burned, to destroy them from before my face, that the blood of the prophets and the saints should not come up unto me any more against them.

    Good government benefits the people, it builds civilization, it sees that all are treated justly and all are cared for. Weather people are religious or not isn’t that important, but there is a moral standard based on truth and justice that all are responsible to follow, it is expected and will be required of them.

    Governments cannot reject ideals of truth and justice without serious consequences. Nor can populations sit by and allow it to take place.

    • Brian
      August 13, 2021 at 12:02

      Warnings unheeded, yet governments across the planet filled with corrupt officials, who lie, steal, and cheat. They stand by and do nothing while the innocent are punished and truth tellers( whistleblowers) are jailed or chased from the land.

  37. MagdaTam
    August 13, 2021 at 03:49

    “The reputation of British justice…”

    Perhaps a reminder of Australian history would suggest that British justice never existed, merely the rule of man cloaked in the rule of law. This cloak partly existed by the belief of others in the conflation of justice/law.

    Another encouraged illusion, including by way of blind statue placed at the highest points on cupola, is that the judiciary are “independent” of the influence of others – akin the the illusion of omniscience inherent in the oath of “I promise to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth” effectively rendering every witness at risk of “contempt of court”.

    The relevant invitation is fait vos jeux in suffering the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune through de-mystifying to some not restricted to another illusion designated as “The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland” that the rule of law is a cloak worn by the rule of some, and that justice a lullaby to encourage sleep not restricted to infants, or to take arms against a sea of troubles, and by opposing end them through transcendence of coerc ive social relations including the illusion designated as “The west”.

    However nothing in lateral systems are binary, and so in paralell some might deem it wise to minimise blowback by initiating a process of rendering Mr. Assange a martyr, and/or a monument, and/or a T-shirt as was the case of Mr. Guevara post 1967, then after 30 years have a commission to finesse that – We all make mistakes – avoiding any hint of father forgive us we know not what we do.

  38. gcw919
    August 12, 2021 at 19:49

    So Joe Biden was going to be the antidote to the toxic Trump? Think again. American foreign policy continues on its suicide mission of trying to dominate a world that has had enough. Punishing Assange is one of the many futile, criminal, last gasp efforts of a crumbling empire.

  39. J. Edward Tipre
    August 12, 2021 at 18:58

    Thank you Mr. Pilger for your exemplary reports on Julian Assange, a courageous journalist himself who has been tortured in the British “justice” system with no accounting by any commercial news media. Democracy, always in the experimental stage in Europe and North America, is truly moribund, and imperial statecraft is the cause. So long as common human beings, citizens of the world community, are kept ignorant of the state crimes against Assange and others, there is little hope for authentic state justice when heavy chips are on the table.

  40. Patricia Grogan
    August 12, 2021 at 18:48

    I for one trust your article and your knowledge of what actually occurred John. Have always known that you are the voice of truth.

  41. bardamu
    August 12, 2021 at 18:44

    We witness the incontrovertible burial not of Julian Assange, but of what I was brought up in mid-century to call “Western Man,” whose ideas and ideals were said to be worth defending, worth making exception for.

    The persecutors fail their posts, their presumed principles, their human mutuality. Where there is nothing to preserve, morale will flag for preservation.

    If we cannot send these people home, may whoever comes and razes the nest have more sense.

  42. Lily
    August 12, 2021 at 17:42

    John Pilger, bless you for this.

    I hope there are still some human beings among the High Court Judges of the former land of the Magna Charta.

    Julian is a Mensch who’s only crime was telling the truth. He does not belong to where he is now. He should be free.

    I wish he could have made it to Russia.

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