ER Editor: First, we recommend pieces we’ve just ran: Revealed: Chief Magistrate In Assange Extradition Received Financial Benefits From Secretive Groups and Your Man in the Public Gallery – Assange Hearing Day One.
And we also highly recommend a piece by Ron Paul, noting all the ironies of the situation, titled Ron Paul Blasts Trump’s Betrayal Of Julian Assange. Of note:
One of the things candidate Donald Trump did to paint a deep state target on his back was his repeated praise of Wikileaks, the pro-transparency media organization headed up by Australian journalist Julian Assange. More than 100 times candidate Trump said “I love Wikileaks” on the campaign trail.
Trump loved it when Wikileaks exposed the criminality of Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Party, as it cheated to deprive Bernie Sanders of the Democratic Party nomination. Wikileaks’ release of the DNC emails exposed the deep corruption at the heart of US politics, and as a candidate Trump loved the transparency.
Then Trump got elected.
Starting Monday the 24th of February, Assange faces an extradition hearing in a UK courthouse. The Trump Administration – led by a man who praised Assange’s work – seeks a show trial of Assange worthy of the worst of the Soviet era. The US is seeking a 175 year prison sentence.
The Trump Administration argues that the Australian Assange should be tried and convicted of espionage against a country of which he is not a citizen. At the same time the Trump Administration argues that the First Amendment does not apply to Assange because he is not an American citizen! So Assange is subject to US law when it comes to publishing information embarrassing to the US deep state, but he is not subject to the law of the land – the US Constitution – which protects all journalists and is the backbone of our system of government.
It is ironic that a President Trump, who has been victim of so much deep state meddling, has done the deep state’s bidding when it comes to Assange and Wikileaks. President Trump should preempt the inevitable US show trial of Assange by granting the journalist blanket pardon under the First Amendment of the United States Constitution.
US Plotted To Assassinate Julian Assange, WikiLeaks Attorney Tells London Court
On Monday Julian Assange’s defense team told a London court that the United States plotted to assassinate the WikiLeaks founder.
After describing US intelligence attempts to plant “intrusive and sophisticated” secret surveillance devices in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London where Assange had been living under asylum for seven years, Assange’s attorney Edward Fitzgerald told the court according to an explosive Daily Mail report published Tuesday:
“There were conversations about whether there should be more extreme measures contemplated, such as kidnapping or poisoning Julian Assange in the embassy.”
The plot is alleged to have involved a private Spanish security company named UC Global, reportedly acting on behalf of the US authorities, which was engaged in eavesdropping on Assange and his visitors who entered the Ecuadorian embassy to meet privately with him. Officially the firm was in charge of protecting the Ecuadorian embassy in London.
Prior reports say live-stream audio and video devices were secretly hidden inside the embassy, and supplemented what could be picked up by laser microphones from outside. Court documents detailing UC Global SL’s illegal operation were previously presented to Spain’s High Court.
The new disturbing allegations which came out during the first day of the WikiLeaks’ founder extradition hearing involved scenarios wherein a “kidnapping” or killing could be made to look like an “accident”.
Fitzgerald made reference to a “Witness Two,” who revealed UC Global owner David Morales — a former Spanish military officer — discussed the “extreme measures”. The witness was among a group of whistleblowers who previously came forward to testify against illegal and shady practices of the Spanish security firm.
Witness Two detailed that Morales “said the Americans were desperate and had even suggested more extreme measures could be applied against the guest to put an end to the situation,” Fitzgerald told the court.
Fitzgerald read the witness statement in court, which according to The Daily Mail also included the following:
He said there was a suggestion the embassy door could be left open to make a kidnapping look like it could have been ‘an accident’, adding ‘even the possibility of poisoning had been discussed’.
Giving credence to the newly revealed alleged plot, it must be remembered that in 2017, while Assange was still holed up in the embassy, then CIA Director Mike Pompeo said in a speech before a Washington think tank audience that he deems WikiLeaks a “hostile intelligence service”.
“It is time to call out WikiLeaks for what it really is, a non-state hostile intelligence service often abetted by state actors like Russia,” Pompeo said.
This was widely interpreted as a sign the CIA considered Assange and WikiLeaks members as fair game for assassination or kidnapping, given Pompeo essentially declared them “enemy agents” of the US.
Two years following these remarks, the Spanish-language daily newspaper El País revealed the major surveillance plot targeting Assange while in the embassy:
Documents and videos revealed by EL PAÍS in July, months before Assange took legal action against Morales, show that UC Global SL spied on the cyber-activist’s conversations with his lawyers, at meetings where they were designing his defense strategy to avoid extradition to the US. Morales allegedly delivered these and other conversations to US intelligence services, this newspaper revealed. Morales was arrested and released pending trial to face charges of violation of client-attorney privilege and illegal arms possession.
ABC News Australia also days ago published spy footage it obtained from inside the embassy showing:
“Julian Assange’s conversations, including legally privileged meetings with Australian lawyers Geoffrey Robertson, Jennifer Robinson and Melinda Taylor, [which] were secretly recorded inside his London embassy home.”
During his last months and years in the embassy, Assange was said to be deeply worried he was being recorded by WikiLeaks’ enemies, at times going so far as to sleep in a tent in his room so his every movement couldn’t be captured.
He was rightly paranoid in part because the US and UK have long charged that Assange “put lives at risk” in previously releasing hundreds of thousands of government top secret files related to wars and covert operations especially across the Middle East, which gained international attention. He’s now awaiting potential extradition to the US while under horrible conditions at London’s notorious Belmarsh prison.
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