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Wikileaks

The Julian Assange Show: Noam Chomsky & Tariq Ali (E10) - YouTube
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Julian Assange speech that was censored by the Oxford Union - YouTube
In an attempt to highlight the importance of whistleblowers, Julian Assange chose to have WikiLeaks' Collateral Murder footage as background for his speech a...

Is the Julian Assange case rigged?

Whether you like Julian Assange or not and whether you think he assaulted anybody in Sweden or not, his extradition should be barred according to English law.

That does not mean he need not face the Swedish allegations, but he cannot be made to face them in Sweden. The Extradition Act 2003 Section 13(b) states "if extradited he might be prejudiced at his trial or punished, detained or restricted in his personal liberty by reason of his race, religion, nationality, gender, sexual orientation or political opinions."

It is very important to note that the words are "might be prejudiced" meaning it is only necessary to prove the possibility of prejudice it is not necessary to prove the fact of prejudice.

The BBC said that "Before the extradition hearing it had been strongly suggested Mr Assange would argue the arrest warrant against him was politically motivated."

A source close to Assange has said that judge Riddle made it clear at the hearings that he would not accept arguments based on 13(b). Perhaps Julian’s lawyers foolishly responded by with every other defence they could possibly conceive of rather then sticking to their guns and demanding a satisfactory explanation. Given that this there is unquestionable evidence that 13(b) applies, such a dismissal clearly needs adequate explanation, yet Judge Riddle simply wrote in his judgement of XX/XX/XX "This has been hinted at, but no evidence has been provided and the bar is neither argued nor found."

All this suggests that Judge Riddle was not solely influenced by the facts of the case alone. One cannot help but ask the question, why should a judge ignore what is clearly the case and then provide such a woeful explanation for doing so.

A search for "Kill Assange" on Google has some interesting results.

Here is some of the evidence that proves that the extradition might be prejudiced at his trial or punished, detained or restricted in his personal liberty by reason of his political opinions. These came from http://www.swedenversusassange.com/Political-Interference.html

  • The UK newspaper The Independent (08 December 2010) reported that Sweden and the United States were holding informal negotiations about Assange’s onward extradition. The news was picked up by the Swedish tabloid Expressen.
  • The Guardian, the New York Times, Der Spiegel, El País, Le Monde and WikiLeaks began publishing diplomatic cables on 28 November 2010.
  • Two days later, Republicans in the US made a concerted call to the Obama administration to act as if it were at war against ’WikiLeaks terrorists’ (30 November), and called for Julian Assange to be assassinated, kidnapped and/or harmed.
  • Pressure was mounting back in the US to ’kill Assange’. The period of the most heated vitriol on US and Canadian television coincided with the issuing of both EAWs, the INTERPOL Red Notice, and the release of the US diplomatic cables (see Timing of EAW and INTERPOL Red Notice ).
  • Pressure by the Obama administration on Visa, Paypal and Mastercard lead to an economic blockade of WikiLeaks’ funding channels on 7 December 2010.
  • Anonymous Operation Want’s Blog - Sweden’s Big Trade Deal for Assange: Who profits the most?

And here is some more;

"Congressman Peter King called Assange an "enemy combatant"; King suggested prosecuting Assange for espionage, designating WikiLeaks as a terrorist organization, and freezing the group's assets. Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee called for the execution of those responsible for the leaks, while former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin said Assange “should be hunted down just like al-Qaeda and Taliban leaders.” Some have theorized that such statements raise the possibility of conspiracy and/or espionage charges;" from http://wlcentral.org/node/2342

BUT to spell it out the court conclusion was that;

no evidence has been provided that in Sweden Julian might be prejudiced at his trial or punished, detained or restricted in his personal liberty by reason of his political opinions!

Judge riddle and Julian's lawyers took this view! This case looks rigged.


For WikiLeaks links see WikiLinks

The Arguments

1 Legal Issues

(1.1) What is the justification for holding Julian Assange, or anybody for that matter, in Wandsworth Prison rather than in other more comfortable secure accommodation before criminality is established?

(1.2) Regarding the European Arrest Warrant;
  • Was the issue of a EAW justified? Yes.
  • Was the correct EAW procedure followed? Don't Know.
  • Is the EAW procedure its self defective? Maybe. See The Guardian.
  • Would the execution of an EAW would lead to extradition to the US?
  • Would the US prosecute for sabotage? Yes.
The EAW should be barred under Extradition Act 2003 Section 13(b) "if extradited he might be prejudiced at his trial or punished, detained or restricted in his personal liberty by reason of his race, religion, nationality, gender, sexual orientation or political opinions."

Extradition Act 2003 Section 21(1)If the judge is required to proceed under this section (by virtue of section 11 or 20) he must decide whether the person’s extradition would be compatible with the Convention rights within the meaning of the Human Rights Act 1998 (c. 42).

Notably Human Rights Act 1998 Section (12) Freedom of expression (4) The court must have particular regard to the importance of the Convention right to freedom of expression and, where the proceedings relate to material which the respondent claims, or which appears to the court, to be journalistic, literary or artistic material (or to conduct connected with such material), to—
(a)the extent to which—
(i)the material has, or is about to, become available to the public; or
(ii)it is, or would be, in the public interest for the material to be published;
(b)any relevant privacy code.

That was my sketchy look at why the European arrest warrant might be barred.

(1.3) Regarding Extradition to the US;
  • Is there really a case for extradition?
TIAS 10812 Supplementary Convention on Extradition between the United States of America and the Kingdom of Sweden states;

Article II
  1. An offense shall be an extraditable offense only if it is punishable under the laws of both Contracting States by deprivation of liberty for a period of at least two years. However, when the request for extradition relates to a person who has been convicted and sentenced, extradition shall be granted only if the duration of the penalty, or the aggregate of the penalties still to be served amounts to at least six months.
Full text down a bit on this page SWEDEN – SUPPLEMENTARY Extradition

(1.4) What is the US human rights record and would Julian Assange expect a fair trial?
  • Given that Bradley Manning is being subject to intimidation his testimony should be invalid.
  • Given Adrian Lamo is currently undergoing some odd "drug therepy" his testament is also invalid.
  • Given the death threats from senior figures in US leadership.
It would appear that a fair trial for sabotage in the US is highly unlikely.


2 Moral Issues

(2.1) The Swedish Sex allagations - in view of the evidence available to us;
  • At best Julian Assange was attracted by Anna Ardin but then spent the night with Sofia Wilen returning to Anna, both women threw themselves at him but felt that to be two timed was too much.
  • At worst Julian Assange did the above but jumped on Anna Ardin uninvited or at least she consented under duress and with Sofia Wilen he initiated sex with her without a condom in the morning while she was asleep knowing that she did not wish to have sex without a condom. It is probably quite hard to come to terms with the idea that your idol has two timed you and possibly even harder to come to terms with the idea that you have been over powered by someone you trusted. This kind of rape is sadly staggeringly common. However we must not mix passionate and consensual sex with passionate unconsensual sex.
Julian Assange has said he does not have unconsensual sex, he does not talk about his sex life and that he does not criticise women!

We as observers hope that the first option is true but only the evidence will tell, if there is sufficient evidence!

(2.2) Justification for the covert obtaining of information and subsequent publication of the same. Taking information or taking property from any other person or organisation is an exceptional act and therefore requires special justification.

It is not sufficient to say that information may be covertly taken in support of;
  • "freedom of speech", or
  • "improvement of our common historical record".
It is also insufficient to cite that the human right to seek and receive information is a right to distribute information taken covertly any more than the right to sell goods entitles one to sell goods taken covertly.

However the covert taking of information may be justified by the fact that it is evidence that the person or organisation concerned has committed a Crime, been Incompetent or Negligent (CIN) in some respect, and has not or can not its self, put things right, and so;
  • the information is evidence of the "truth" so the people can pressure the person or organisation to put things right.
The press has been notoriously bad, arguing freedom of speech was a way to justify publishing any information they could lay their hands on, irrespective of whether the result was to put anything right or put things badly wrong. This ignorant and irresponsible approach to exposure needs to be corrected.

(2.3) Many of the organisations that now hold power have committed Crimes, been Incompetent and Negligent (CIN) in many instances which has led to the needless loss of human life and destruction of property on a massive scale. Further to this in the Iraq Enquiry the authorities are intending to keep secret the communications between Bush and Blair. This act constitutes the withholding of evidence vital to the enquiries determination of the extent of criminality, incompetence and negligence in taking us into this war. As such the covert acquisition of this information would appear thoroughly justified. Recall from above: The covert taking of information may be justified by the fact that it is evidence that the person or organisation concerned has committed Crimes, been Incompetent and Negligent (CIN) in some respect, and has not or can not its self, put things right.

Conclusions

The US intends to prosecute Julian Assange for Sabotage but one witness (Bradley Manning) has been intimidated, one is drugged (Adrian Lamo) and no US judge can withstand Washington's political bias as evidenced by their lack of action on the war crimes revealed by Wikileaks and across the board. Notably it is a human right to release information which is in the public interest. (Stop US show trials.)

The US has expressed the intention to extradite Julian Assange from Sweden under the TIAS 10812 the "Supplementary Convention on Extradition between the United States of America and the Kingdom of Sweden" but here is no rule in this convention under which they can do so! The US has already illegally extradited many people from Europe and may apply extreme pressure on Sweden in this respect. (Stop illegal extraditions to US.)

It is the national interest and a matter of national security that those few, who practice Crime, are Incompetent or Negligent (CIN) within our services and within government should be removed so that the many who do not CIN may serve their country's and the world in a properly. If we do not act their numbers will increase. (CIN is still CIN even when you're in government!)

US Embassy Cables

It is suggested that over a million people had access to the embassy cables including Bradley Manning then age 22 years which means it was unlikely to be top security information or that somebody was negligent. Surely with that kind of exposure any foreign intelligence that wanted it was likely to have it.  

"Vice President Joe Biden said there has been no 'substantive damage' to the United States by Julian Assange in the whole WikiLeaks scandal. He says it has been embarrassing, but you can't prosecute people for embarrassing the United States. If that were true, Joe Biden would be serving life in prison." –Jay Leno

In 1944 her Majesty's government in the United Kingdom decided to publish Documents on British Foreign Policy 1919-39 -  the most important documents in the Foreign Office archives relating to British foreign policy between 1919 amd 1939 in three series: the 1st ser. covering from 1919-1930, the 2d from 1930-39, the 3d from Mar. 1938 to the outbreak of the War. I cannot help wondering whether it is time for another such publication.

Amnesty Speaks

Don't forget to scroll down.

YouTube Video


YouTube Video


YouTube Video



The Timeline There are many events still to be included in the Timeline but this gives the long story but sadly only covers the Swedish affair in depth. This is a serious omission any help to correct this would be appreciated.

The People

The people directly involved are listed under People

About Wikileaks

This link actually says a lot about Wikileaks Wikipedia - Julian Assange
How does Wikileaks work About Wikileaks
Interviews with Julian Assange Assange Speaks

Legal

For the The Best Legal Explaination of the European Arrest Warrant EAW click the link.

The Skeleton Arguments for the next court hearing on 7th and 8th of February are well summarised in the Guardian Blog on this issue and the actual arguments can be downloaded as a PDF from FSLaw where donations can be made. Here is my summary of the summary which is prodominantly the work of the Guardian, so buy a paper to thank them!
  • Assange's lawyers dispute that the Swedish prosecutor has the authority to issue a European arrest warrant in the case.
  • Extradition is sought for an improper purpose – for questioning, not for prosecution. Assange has already offered to be questioned many times.
  • The offences are not extradition offences (TODO I do think rape is actually need to check this!)
  • The Swedish prosecuting authorities refusal of the prosecutor to interview him on the dates offered and a refusal of all requests to make the evidence against him available in English (a right under the European convention on human rights).
  • Human rights - this is the part where the defence claims a risk that Assange will be extradited from Sweden to the US, which it says would be in violation of article three of the European convention on human rights.
It is submitted that there is a real risk that, if extradited to Sweden, the US will seek his extradition and/or illegal rendition to the USA, where there will be a real risk of him being detained at Guantanamo Bay or elsewhere, in conditions which would breach Article 3 of the ECHR. Indeed, if Mr. Assange were rendered to the USA, without assurances that the death penalty would not be carried out, there is a real risk that he could be made subject to the death penalty. It is well-known that prominent figures have implied, if not stated outright, that Mr. Assange should be executed
Sweden's Supplementary Extradition Agreement with the US SWEDEN – SUPPLEMENTARY Extradition

The Guardian Blog is very detailed and excellent so don't forget to hit the previous and next buttons at the top of the page and see it all.

Campaign

I believe the campaign needs to focus on supporting the above issues as outlined in the skeleton arguments and in particular the US human rights abuses and potential show trial. For some preliminary campaign ideas look at Campaign. I do not necessarily agree with the extent of the information released, I am waiting for arguments from both sides on this, but neither do I agree with the US treatment of its prisoners in Guantanamo Bay or Bradley Manning. Not least is that since the US hopes to use Bradley Manning as a key witness against Julian Assange they have completely invalidated any testimony he gives through their appalling treatment of him. I am currently looking for a list of all Wikileaks releases with a justification for each so that people can decide sensibly about each release.

The Wider Issues

  • The smear campaign against Julian Assange
  • Progress towards open government
  • Failure to prosecute people in authority for CIN.

Secrecy

To what extent should a body that has authority over us and protects or fails to protect our liberties be able to hold restricted information. I have written a little about it before in the article  Secrecy and Power but here I deal with the Wikileaks case in brief in what I hope is an unbiased fashion. Your criticism is welcome.