High Court Allows Assange Extradition, Quashing His Discharge

The High Court allowed the U.S. appeal to reverse an order not to extradite Julian Assange and to send the case back to magistrate’s court.

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

By Joe Lauria
Special to Consortium News

The High Court in London on Friday ruled in the U.S. appeal against a lower court decision not to extradite imprisoned WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange by sending the case back to Magistrate’s Court with instructions to send the case to the secretary of state to decide on Assange’s extradition.

The matter is now in the hands of the home secretary, Priti Patel, unless Assange’s lawyers appeal the decision to the U.K. Supreme Court, which they have said they will do. If extradited, Assange faces up to 175 years in prison on charges under the Espionage Act and one count of conspiracy to commit computer intrusion. Assange is the first journalist to be charged with espionage by the U.S. for obtaining and publishing state secrets.

Lord Justice Timothy Holroyde, who read the High Court’s summary decision in court in nine minutes, said the order by a lower court to discharge Assange was overturned and that he was to remain on remand in prison.  Holroyde said that the High Court had accepted the U.S. assurances that Assange would not be kept in harsh prison conditions in the U.S. He called them “solemn undertakings from one government to another.”

The High Court was satisfied, Holroyde said, that Assange would not be held under Special Administrative Measures or sent to ADX Florence maximum security prison in Colorado, that Assange would receive adequate medical treatment while incarcerated and that he could serve his post-trial and post-appeal sentence in his native Australia.

“The court rejected various criticism argued on Mr. Assange’s behalf …that the assurances …were not sufficient,” Holroyde said. 

He read:

“For the reasons given in the judgment which is today handed down, the court allowed the appeal on the grounds that .. a. the DJ [District Judge], having decided that the threshold for discharge under section 91 of the Extradition Act 2003 was met, ought to have notified the USA of her provisional view, to afford it the opportunity to offer assurances to the court; and b. the USA has now provided the United Kingdom with a package of assurances which respond to the DJ’s specific findings.” 

Holroyde read only the summary judgment in court. He said nothing about the district judge’s finding of oppression to discharge Assange, pointing out only that the High Court was satisfied with the U.S. assurances. Details of the mental health issues are in the full 27-page judgement that can be read here.  It is discussed later in this report.

Holroyde (justice.uk)

Holroyde pointed out that the district judge, Vanessa Baraitser, “decided all but one of the issues in favour of the USA. She decided that Mr Assange’s mental condition was such that it would be oppressive to extradite him because of the harsh conditions in which he was likely to be detained.” 

Holroyde said: “Mr Assange has indicated that he challenges the DJ’s decisions on the issues which were decided against him, and will seek to raise those issues at a later stage.” This is in reference to a possible cross appeal that Assange’s lawyers could lodge at the Supreme Court, depending on whether the Supreme Court accepts his appeal.

U.S. Grounds for Appeal

The High Court rejected three of the five U.S. grounds for appeal:

“The USA appeals against the order discharging Mr Assange on five grounds:

i) Ground 1: The judge made errors of law in her application of the test under section 91. Had she applied the test correctly she would not have discharged Mr Assange; [The High Court rejected this ground.]

ii) Ground 2: Having decided that the threshold for discharge under section 91 was met, the judge ought to have notified the USA of her provisional view to afford it the opportunity of offering assurances to the court;

iii) Ground 3: Having concluded that the principal psychiatric expert called on behalf of the defence (Professor Kopelman) had misled her on a material issue, the judge ought to have ruled that his evidence was incapable of being relied upon (or that little weight should be attached to it) or that his lack of independence rendered his evidence inadmissible. The district judge failed to interrogate or adequately assess the reasons for Professor Kopelman misleading her (seemingly concluding that it was sufficient that he had misled her for ‘human’ reasons) or to assess adequately how his willingness to mislead her impacted upon the overall reliability of his evidence. Had she not admitted that evidence or attributed appropriate weight to it, the judge would not have discharged Mr Assange pursuant to section 91; [The High Court rejected this ground.]

iv) Ground 4: The judge erred in her overall assessment of the evidence going to the risk of suicide, in particular in her predictive assessment of a future, long term risk which was based upon several contingencies which might or might not eventuate;[This ground was rejected by the High Court.]

v) Ground 5: The USA has now provided the United Kingdom with a package of assurances which are responsive to the judge’s specific findings in this case. In particular, the US has provided assurances that Mr Assange will not be subject to SAMs or imprisoned at ADX (unless he were to do something subsequent to the offering of these assurances that meets the tests for the imposition of SAMs or designation to ADX). The USA has also provided an assurance that they will consent to Mr Assange being transferred to Australia to serve any custodial sentence imposed on him if he is convicted.”

The High Court judgment says:

“The USA contends that had the judge approached the evidence surrounding the issue of oppression correctly (grounds 1 to 4) she would have decided the question differently and sent the case to the Secretary of State. In consequence the appeal should be allowed. In the alternative the question should be remitted for redetermination.”

In other words, the High Court could have sent the case back to Magistrate’s Court to be re-litigated. Instead it decided to send the case back to the lower court with the instructions to reverse its ruling and send the matter to the secretary of state to decide on extradition.

The High Court laid out specifically why it allowed the U.S. appeal and rejected Assange’s argument. It came down to the fact that the court accepted the U.S. assurances even though they came after Baraitser’s ruling not to extradite. The High Court explicitly believed in the sincerity of those assurances. 

The judgment said: “There is no reason why this court should not accept the assurances as meaning what they say. There is no basis for assuming that the USA has not given the assurances in good faith.”

It said further:

“There were no assurances before the judge (ground 5). They are now offered in response to the finding on oppression. The contention of the USA is that the assurances raise a new issue for the purposes of section 105 of the 2003 [Extradition] Act and that had the assurances been available to the judge she would have decided the oppression question differently.”

“It is submitted that on this basis alone, the appeal should be allowed.” [Emphasis added.]

The High Court rejected arguments by Assange’s lawyers that the U.S. assurances could not be trusted, by  ruling:

“General statements of opinion calling into question the good faith of the USA from those who establish no relevant expertise to give such an opinion are of no more value than a journalistic opinion culled from an internet search. We have nonetheless considered all the material de bene esse.”

The court rejected the Assange argument that the assurances should not be admitted because they came after Baraitser had ruled. “In our view, a court hearing an extradition case, whether at first instance or on appeal, has the power to receive and consider assurances whenever they are offered by a requesting state,” the High Court judgment said.

It said further:

“An offer of assurances in an extradition case is a solemn matter, requiring careful consideration by the requesting state of its willingness to give specific undertakings to another state. It would not be appropriate to require that to be done on a contingent or hypothetical basis; and we doubt the practicability of such an approach. We do not accept that the USA refrained for tactical reasons from offering assurances at an earlier stage, or acted in bad faith in choosing only to offer them at the appeal stage.”

The High Court also tried to justify why the U.S. waited until after the extradition hearing in September 2020 to make its assurances. “We observe that the decision that all closing submissions should be made in writing, in a case in which the arguments had ranged far and wide over many days of hearing, may well have contributed to the difficulty faced by the USA in offering suitable assurances any earlier than it did,” the court said.

The U.S. assurances appear to contain an error. It promises Assange will not be held pre-trial at ADX Florence prison, when Assange would be held before trial at the Alexandria Detention Center.

Mental Health Issue

Koppelman. (nhs.uk)

The High Court rejected ground 3 of the U.S. appeal that the testimony of defense witness Prof. Michael Kopelman should not be given any weight because in his first report to the lower court he concealed the relationship Assange had with Stella Moris, and their two children. Baraitser had ruled that while he mislead the court it was humanly understandable given the risks to Moris and the children.

Those risks came from C.I.A. contractor UC Global, which was spying on his Assange and all of his visitors at the Ecuador embassy in London, including Moris, and Assange’s lawyers and doctors. The High Court made no mention of this, but concluded:

“It is submitted that the judge – who had of course seen and heard all the evidence, and was well aware of the criticisms made in the cross-examination of Professor Kopelman — accepted that he had made two misleading statements in his first report but concluded nonetheless that his expert opinion was impartial and reliable. She was entitled to come to that conclusion and there is no basis on which this court can go behind it.”

The High Court however severely criticized Kopelman for violating his oath to the court to tell the truth. “With all respect to the judge, we cannot agree with her implicit finding that Professor Kopelman’s failings could be excused or overlooked merely because his conduct could be viewed as ‘an understandable human response’”.

Assured By the Assurances

Despite this ruling, the High Court made clear that it based its entire decision to quash Assange’s discharge on accepting the U.S. assurances. It accepted the U.S. contention that

“the risk that Mr Assange would be made subject to SAMs and/or would be detained at the ADX was ‘front and centre’ of the opinions of both [defense witnesses] Professor [Michael] Kopelman and Dr [Quinton] Deeley, and was the basis of the judge’s decision that extradition would be oppressive. Once that risk is removed by the assurances, the judge would have reached a different decision.”

The court added: 

“Given the emphasis which the judge placed on the ‘harshest SAMs regime’, and given that the evidence of Professor Kopelman and Dr Deeley of the risk of suicide was premised on Mr Assange being held under harsh conditions of isolation, we are unable to accept the submission that the judge’s conclusion would have been the same if she had not found a real risk of detention in those conditions.”

In other words, the High Court accepted that it would be Assange’s prison conditions that were the key factor to his risk of suicide, and that once the U.S. assurance removed that factor, Assange should be extradited. 

The C.I.A.

Neither the words “C.I.A.” nor “Central Intelligence Agency” appear anywhere in the High Court decision, even though Moris’ safety was at risk because of the C.I.A. and more significantly, because the C.I.A. had seriously considered kidnapping or killing Assange while he was in the embassy.

This plot was submitted as evidence in Assange’s September 2020 extradition hearing and in much greater detail at the High Court hearing at the end of October, when Assange lawyer Mark Summers QC referred to the Yahoo! News report about the C.I.A. plot. 

He argued that Assange could not be extradited to a state whose intelligence services had discussed a plot to kill him. At his conclusion, Summers recommended that the two high court judges read the Yahoo! report. If they did, they clearly ignored it. 

In fact, it rejected a new submission by Assange that the U.S. had committed “an abuse of the process because the USA was prompted by ulterior motives.” The High Court said: “The DJ [Baraitser] was satisfied that the federal prosecutors who brought the charges against Mr Assange acted in good faith.”

More Reactions

There was no immediate reaction from the U.S. government to the High Court decision. 

WikiLeaks Editor-in-Chief Kristinn Hrafnsson said: “Julian’s life is once more under grave threat, and so is the right of journalists to publish material that governments and corporations find inconvenient.”

Moris, Assange’s fiancee, issued a statement after the ruling:

Joe Lauria is editor-in-chief of Consortium News and a former U.N. correspondent for The Wall Street Journal, Boston Globe, and numerous other newspapers. He was an investigative reporter for the Sunday Times of London and began his professional work as a 19-year old stringer for The New York Times.  He can be reached at joelauria@consortiumnews.com and followed on Twitter @unjoe  

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43 comments for “High Court Allows Assange Extradition, Quashing His Discharge

  1. Lily
    December 11, 2021 at 15:38

    This is very sad. How can they apply such injustice to a single, fragile human being whose only crime was telling the truth?

    They have taken away their masks. Everybody can see now they are not human. This will never be forgotten.

  2. evelync
    December 11, 2021 at 15:19

    Sadly, this focus on seemingly endless legal nitpicking, currently over the absurd question of whether or not the Brits can trust the American judicial system seems to me like a cruel cat and mouse game: two fat, painfully patient collaborating cats enjoying torturing 1 long suffering ill, frail mouse – but isn’t that the goal here?

    For decades the two collaborators waged wars for profit, condoned/perpetrated torture, droning, and environmental devastation against millions of black and brown peoples for the short term financial interests of a corrupt elite (the too big to fail banks, multinational corporations, investors in the government sponsored war machines).
    Since 2012 they’ve controlled the life of one courageous guy whose crime was informing all of us how our tax dollars have been diverted to commit war crimes in the service of powerful financial interests at the expense of critical needs at home.

    It seems that this cruel kabuki theater while Julian Assange’s frail condition deteriorates is intended to wear us all down and then throw up our hands in despair.

    Everyone knows how the lead collaborator has viciously gone after other whistle blowers, thrown into dungeons, tortured physically and mentally, deprived of income if they ever get out. We all have witnessed the Empire mindset of the “Tony Blairs”. Members of the British courts and even the Crown are groomed in their elite schools to fall in line with the corporate war power structure.
    (Videos are available on line showing members of British Royalty for decades hosting British weapon manufacturers at trade shows for Middle Eastern Potentates.)

    Who is there to represent the people? There was Jeremy Corbin but he had to be smeared with faux anti-semitism charges for daring to be concerned over the plight of Palestinians at the hands of their collaborator the right wing war machine in Israel.

    This cats and mouse game endangers us all given that it’s leading inevitably to climate devastation and/or nuclear war and yet there is no arbiter with the enforceable authority to stand up to the criminals. And no shame from the Americans whose State Dept. babbled recently about protecting whistleblowers.

    The cats, in the end, are determined to draw this out to convince their citizens that:
    1. they are witnessing a fair trial as their eyes glaze over with the absurdity of it all.
    2. even if its not a fair trial, the peoples’ representatives, the honest journalists, will be shut down and there’s no hope for those of us who wish to live our lives in countries that don’t just espouse the illusion of democracy (because their power structure has no intention of standing in the way of short term corporate greed) but to actually live in a sustainable representative democracy which is what publisher/investigative journalist Assange has been fighting for all along.

    And that’s why he’s being punished – to impress on their citizens that we’re powerless and they have no intention of serving our interests but will continue to enforce their corporate controlled agenda with packed courts, a secretive intelligence service and resources managed by/for their military empire.

  3. TimN
    December 10, 2021 at 19:07

    I knew from the moment Assange was taken by force from the embassy that it would come to this. The US, little more than a gangster state at this point, will either have him in one of our wretched prisons, or have him dead in the UK. I read above that some vile liberals and Dem Party apparatchiks are gloating over Assange’s likely fate, slow-motion torture and murder courtesy of the authoritarian government they are slavishly devoted to. The US political class is one sick animal.

  4. Ian Brown
    December 10, 2021 at 18:13

    I just keep thinking of how many officials, judges, prosecutors, have been deeply stained by this, as well as the credibility of entire countries as being independent, rule of law, and human rights abiding havens of press freedom. Everybody around the world can see this. Do they really think this degree of naked malfeasance, corruption, lies, and hypocrisy comes with no cost? The UK, US, Sweden, and Ecuador have shattered their own reputations into a thousand pieces and scattered it to the wind. Do they really believe that fear and lies alone can hold their empire together?

    • Matrix
      December 11, 2021 at 16:20

      And Australia! How can any of their citizens think their own country will ever defend them against injustice/torture/kidnapping by other countries after this? If they do think that, they shouldn’t!

  5. Matrix
    December 10, 2021 at 17:49

    This is what 2-party-system adherents like Noam Chomsky and Aaron Mate voted for and encouraged others to vote for. They either knew Biden would continue this [and Iran BS, and Venezuela, and inequality, and immigrant abuse, and environmental rape, etc. etc.] and so are complicit; or this is a surprise to them, in which case they’re naive or ignorant or stupid.

    No matter the reason, they should shut up about government abuse for a long while, since they and their ilk actively promote it and advocate for others to support it.

  6. Tobin Sterritt
    December 10, 2021 at 14:48

    The High Court’s reprimand of Koppleman’s breach (if indeed it was), given his reason for it, makes their ruling come off even more egregious.

  7. rosemerry
    December 10, 2021 at 14:24

    It is ironic to think that Austlaian Julian is to be deprived of Stella and his two sons and thrown into the monstrosity of the “US legal system” while American Ed Snowden, who did in fact break US laws, is safe with wife and child and allowed to speak out in Russia, which the UK never stop denigrating.

  8. Maria Sause
    December 10, 2021 at 14:23

    When will the UK stop genuflecting to the wishes and lies of the US? Julian Assange could not have exposed those lies more clearly. He exercised his profession with the highest moral commitment, exposing crimes against humanity committed by the US military, putting nobody’s safety at risk. What a travesty of truth and justice for the US to be now holding a conference that defines what countries are democratic, which will of course be those who do its bidding.

  9. gcw919
    December 10, 2021 at 13:46

    This decision is beyond shameful. It is only exceeded by the hypocrisy of the US lecturing the world about human rights and democracy.

  10. David Otness
    December 10, 2021 at 13:27

    I cannot read this without the appearance in my mind of so many characters from “Alice In Wonderland,”no matter how I try to absorb the facts (and especially the purported facts) of the matter. Like the vast majority hearing of this, my deepest sympathies extend to Julian, his loved ones, and his many supporters worldwide.
    We know this is about all of us. We know the real reasons his persecution continues. We know our Western history and its imperialist trappings, and can easily see the future that is ours if we even once relent on this ongoing saga of the State vs the People.

    Courage to all; this is but a moment, albeit another gut punch, but this is but one part of one battle, the will to endure is yet ours and the betterment of all people the Long Cause. We must continue to do our part while we yet live. Promise yourself to carry on bravely in this signal moment in human civilization.
    With my thoughts directed to Julian and his family, may this special season be one of love and deep introspection, and hope above all.

  11. peon d. rich
    December 10, 2021 at 12:54

    Fuck Anglo-American liberal philosophies – they haven’t been able to prevent the greatest purveyors of injustice in the world for the 300 + years since John Locke’s defense of slavery. The empires, the wars, the state terror. And on it goes. Julian, Mr. Assange, your suffering is my contempt, no, my hatred.

    • Close Gitmo
      December 11, 2021 at 02:14

      The privileged leadership of the few reliant on the public subsidy of media to promote agendas of infinite crimes that continue to wet the hands of their citizenry in blood can be abolished by the hands of only that citizenry. Negotiation will always fail, if action is recognized as perpetually absent. The public, at large, and Julian, in particular, shall be void of anything but a wretched affair, until an objective of freedom for Julian is recognized as inseparable from the punishment of his or our transgressors. To speak of the truths that you share is hopeful, motivating a mere discussion to form the base of such an effective action.

  12. Alex Cox
    December 10, 2021 at 12:18

    Ditto from the UK. I am ashamed of my country.

  13. jmg
    December 10, 2021 at 11:58

    If editor and publisher Julian Assange was for example dictator Augusto Pinochet and had tortured and murdered thousands of people, he would have walked free by order of the UK Government, as it was under Tony Blair.

    However, in this persecution, since this political prisoner is the only party who has always defended the law and human rights, now the criminals in power are trying real hard to either imprison him for life or suicide him.

    High Court of Justice… So there goes the last remaining faith in the Establishment. As legendary Australian journalist John Pilger has also mentioned in other stronger words, the mask of all of them is completely removed now. Just corruption in full display.

    “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and all kinds of filth.”
    — Jesus of Nazareth (Matthew 23:27)

    Mahatma Gandhi to bastards in power: It Is Time You Left
    youtube.com/watch?v=CZVsWzIb6Vk

  14. Dennis Rice
    December 10, 2021 at 11:30

    This entire United States argument against Julian Assange is more for the United States and the U.S. military to SAVE FACE over what has been exposed about U.S. military atrocities than it is about the atrocities themselves. In so doing, my country only loses more FACE. And one may rightfully ask, why? the United States media are not more involved in the fight to free Julian Assange; insider politics, or fear of out government?

    The English courts have been a farce in this matter. A political farce.

    • Anonymous
      December 10, 2021 at 13:48

      If the media fear our government, they may be the only ones with their glasses adjusted correctly. A government that loudly proclaims freedom of speech and thought but would incarcerate Assange must be cleverer with its dishonesty than all those it condemns for tyranny.

    • David Otness
      December 10, 2021 at 13:53

      Dennis, the mainstream media IS the government. The corporate/government nexus. The msm has no fear of the government of which they/it are a constituent and vital bodily part. The fix is in. You must come to terms with this reality. As much as it sucks.

  15. Dosamuno
    December 10, 2021 at 11:04

    Now all the truth is out,
    Be secret and take defeat
    From any brazen throat,
    For how can you compete,
    Being honor bred, with one
    Who were it proved he lies
    Were neither shamed in his own
    Nor in his neighbors’ eyes;
    Bred to a harder thing
    Than Triumph, turn away
    And like a laughing string
    Whereon mad fingers play
    Amid a place of stone,
    Be secret and exult,
    Because of all things known
    That is most difficult.

    —William Butler Yeats

  16. December 10, 2021 at 10:28

    Is there a true copy of the indictment used against the journalist available to view?

    • Consortiumnews.com
      December 10, 2021 at 12:36

      It is here: hXXps://www.justice.gov/opa/press-release/file/1289641/download

  17. Vera Gottlieb
    December 10, 2021 at 10:18

    The Yanx’s immorality makes me want to throw up!

  18. Tom Partridge
    December 10, 2021 at 10:12

    A decision like this makes it possible to be shocked and not surprised at the same time.
    When I read that the High Court allowed the US appeal to reverse an order by the lower court’s decision not to extradite Julian, my immediate feeling was one of shock, but I was not surprised by the contorted way the Judges came by that decision.
    District Judge, Vanessa Baraitser in her original decision left an opening by deciding on all the issues except one in favour of the US. The judges were then able to exploit the health issue, to arrive at their final decision. But they first had to produce arguments, to discredit Professor Kopelman, to arrive at the conclusion that his evidence was inadmissible.
    The judges were able to dismiss the concerns of Assange’s lawyers, by stating that they had no relevant expertise to give an opinion that the US assurance could not be trusted, and “then compared it to a journalist opinion culled from an internet search”. Considering that they also were hardly in a good position to make that assessment either, and solely relied on the guarantees of the US.
    In almost every matter the Judges sided with the US. It is astounding that the Judges accepted the “solemn assurances” containing within it the escape clause, “unless he were to do something subsequent to the offering of these assurances that meet the tests for the imposition of SAMs or designation to ADX.”
    Considering, the USA’s propensity to concoct lies to engage in all out war, it is not unreasonable to assume that they could do the same in the case of Julian Assange to apply the severest punishment possible.

  19. Ray Peterson
    December 10, 2021 at 10:05

    Julian’s extradition to the U.S., although it will be appealed, but appealed to whom? The highest U.K. judge made the decision, all a
    set up from Baraitser’s no extradition because of emotional consequences; all to make the extradition decision look like justice. Pilate washing his hands (Mt.27.24). Without a Christian conscience there is no Martin Luther King leadership for protesting injustice.

  20. John Doran
    December 10, 2021 at 10:03

    Our “justice” system has dropped its bottle & this political very hot potato back into the politicians’ laps.
    Deservedly so: it’s always been political. Will Raab find some backbone? One rather doubts it.

    This most treacherous of countries, not for nothing do we carry the handle: “Perfidious Albion” will most likely
    Continue along its merry path towards a One World Fascist Totalitarian Govt.

  21. JonT
    December 10, 2021 at 09:52

    “…(unless he were to do something subsequent to the offering of these assurances that meets the tests for the imposition of SAMs or designation to ADX)”

    Of course be will. The US will invent something, that’s for sure. This latest ‘Judgement’ is very sad news, but not really unexpected, sadly, given the farce we have seen so far.

  22. rosemerry
    December 10, 2021 at 09:25

    On Human Rights Day 2021 we see how the Justice Departments of two alleged democracies who want to extend their already vast, illegal, cruel and murderous behaviour all over the globe and never be exposed by real journalists, manage to destroy one person known to us all. Julian’s work has NEVER been shown to cause the death of any person while the US?UK, with the help of NATO and other “allies”, have caused countless deaths, destruction of lives,and misery to millions forced to flee their homes if any survive.
    If huge crowds do not protest forcefully against this decision, and if real journalists do not act , this is obviously the end of freedom of speech,which the USA/EU /UK seem already to have discarded.

  23. December 10, 2021 at 09:04

    A ludicrous miscarriage of justice in the land of the Magna Carta but then, the Magna Carta was always a hypocritical exaggeration, it was almost immediately discarded and applied primarily to the rights of nobles versus the King. The United Kingdom, like the United States, has become an antilibertarian parody of democracy with no respect for human rights. Witness the authoritarian reaction to the Covid 19 situation which guarantees not public health but pharmaceutical profits and political contributions.

  24. roberto
    December 10, 2021 at 08:49

    Monsters!

    • DW Bartoo
      December 10, 2021 at 10:50

      It must be understood that the U$ “legal” system and the English “legal” system, from which the U$ system arises, are not about justice or an honest search for the truth of things.

      Rather, the function of these two systems is (and always has been) to protect the status quo of wealth, power, and privilege.

      In a genuine justice system, neither money nor connection would be of advantage.

      Nor would courts be able to dismiss ANY question of redress as lacking the “standing” to challenge prevailing oppressions or political deceits.

  25. Alan Ross
    December 10, 2021 at 08:36

    The fear of what will happen if a real journalist is allowed to live is the driving force behind this decision.

  26. Em
    December 10, 2021 at 08:10

    If there is anyone, in this world, who still believes anything – when it comes to Julian Assange, any official spokesperson, speaking on behalf of the U.S. ‘government’ (the UK ‘legal’ system par excellence) says, they need to have their head examined, especially if that guarantee emanates from the mouth of the likes of a groupie, toady, who happens, at this particular time, to be the Secretary of State, Anthony (keep the blinders on for those not permitted to the truth) Blinken, the head operative for the regime of the clandestine state, worldwide.

  27. Me Myself
    December 10, 2021 at 07:44

    The bad guys seem to always win.

    • Daniel
      December 10, 2021 at 10:36

      Sad and true. For they hold all the Aces.

    • Dosamuno
      December 10, 2021 at 11:59

      “Everybody knows that the war is over,
      Everybody knows that the good guys lost.”

      —Leonard Cohen

      • Anonymous
        December 10, 2021 at 13:43

        Cohen really nailed it with that song. That darkness you feel when you listen to it – that’s reality. The rest of what we experience is delusional optimism.

  28. alley cat
    December 10, 2021 at 07:35

    Another turn of the screw….

    British and American plutocrats are at war with the world, but they know they can’t prevail until they have crushed free speech everywhere.

    Tell me again why we should be afraid of Putin and Xi Jinping when our own ruling class never stops attacking us?

    Julian Assange is in a maximum security prison in Britain, but the High Sheriff of Nottingham assures us that Assange will be treated better once he is extradited to the U.S.?

    Tell me again why Assange is in any kind of prison for publishing evidence of U.S. war crimes in Iraq, when Blair and Bush, the two men most responsible for those war crimes, are treated like heroes by our rulers?

    All the while, they laugh at our futile judicial appeals and our feeble-minded faith in the rule of law.

  29. Robyn
    December 10, 2021 at 07:28

    I am utterly devastated. I have never been more ashamed to be Australian or more disgusted with my government.

    • Daniel
      December 10, 2021 at 10:37

      Ditto from the US.

    • Carolyn L Zaremba
      December 10, 2021 at 12:36

      Think how we feel in the U.S.

      • Anonymous
        December 10, 2021 at 13:45

        Some of us. CNN and MSNBC have yet to even publish an article on this, and the trolls are out in force on HuffPost mocking assange, and calling him insane (attributing the founding of wikileaks to it), a russian operative, and in trump’s pocket. Truly disgusting.

        • TimN
          December 10, 2021 at 18:59

          Cool it. This was inevitable whether Biden or Trump were President. It’s outrageous and wrong to blame Chomsky and Mate. Really now.

          • Jake
            December 11, 2021 at 11:38

            Why not, TimN? Chomsky is blaming the pandemic and deaths on the “anti-vaxxers”, and has no concern for those who’ve already suffered a severe reaction and don’t want another jab or who have legitimate reasons not to get jabbed – he’s revealed his true colors!

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