New Files Detail Level Of Julian Assange’s Prison Torment

Documents provided exclusively to The Grayzone detail Canberra’s abandonment of Julian Assange, an Australian citizen, and provide shocking details of his prison suffering… Was the government of Australia aware of the US Central Intelligence Agency plot to assassinate Julian Assange, an Australian citizen and journalist arrested and now imprisoned under unrelentingly bleak, harsh conditions in the UK?

Why have the country’s elected leaders refused to publicly advocate for one of its citizens, who has been held on dubious charges and subjected to torture by a foreign power, according to UN Special Rapporteur on Torture Nils Melzer? What does Canberra know about Julian’s fate and when did it know it?

The Grayzone has obtained documents revealing that the Australian government has since day one been well-aware of Julian’s cruel treatment inside London’s maximum security Belmarsh Prison, and has done little to nothing about it. It has, in fact, turned a cold shoulder to the jailed journalist despite hearing his testimony of conditions “so bad that his mind was shutting down.”

Not only has Canberra failed to effectively challenge the US and UK governments overseeing Assange’s imprisonment and prosecution; as these documents expose in stark detail, it appears to have colluded with them in the flagrant violation of an Australian citizen’s human rights, while doing its best to obscure the reality of his situation from the public.

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US Coverup Of Syria Massacre Shows The Danger Of The Assange Precedent

The New York Times has published a very solid investigative report on a US military coverup of a 2019 massacre in Baghuz, Syria which killed scores of civilians. This would be the second investigative report on civilian-slaughtering US airstrikes by The New York Times in a matter of weeks, and if I were a more conspiracy-minded person I’d say the paper of record appears to have been infiltrated by journalists.

The report contains many significant revelations, including that the US military has been grossly undercounting the numbers of civilians killed in its airstrikes and lying about it to Congress, that special ops forces in Syria have been consistently ordering airstrikes which kill noncombatants with no accountability by exploiting loopholes to get around rules meant to protect civilians, that units which call in such airstrikes are allowed to do their own assessments grading whether the strikes were justified, that the US war machine attempted to obstruct scrutiny of the massacre “at nearly every step” of the way, and that the Air Force’s Office of Special Investigations only investigates such incidents when there is “potential for high media attention, concern with outcry from local community/government, concern sensitive images may get out.”

“But at nearly every step, the military made moves that concealed the catastrophic strike,” The New York Times reports. “The death toll was downplayed. Reports were delayed, sanitized and classified. United States-led coalition forces bulldozed the blast site. And top leaders were not notified.”

Journalist Aaron Maté has called the incident “one of the US military’s worst massacres and cover-up scandals since My Lai in Vietnam.”

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‘Another nail in the coffin of democracy’: Tulsi Gabbard slams Biden administration’s ‘crusade’ against Julian Assange

Former Hawaii congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard has called out the “Biden-Garland administration” for its “vindictive retaliatory crusade against Julian Assange,” warning it was a slippery slope to the demise of American democracy.

“If they succeed in [extraditing Assange], this will be yet another nail in the coffin of democracy here in our country and around the world,” Gabbard warned in a video posted to social media on Thursday. 

The Democratic representative slammed what she referred to as the “increasingly authoritarian Biden-Garland administration,” dodging any mention of Vice President Kamala Harris in favor of Attorney General Merrick Garland.

Gabbard’s dislike of the VP is well known and her debate-stage takedown of Harris’ controversial record as attorney general of California is pointed to by some as the moment the senator’s own presidential campaign went up in flames.

In its continued persecution of Assange, Gabbard declared, the Biden administration was “doubling down on its crusade against our constitutionally protected rights,” specifically those protected by the First Amendment: freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, and freedom of the press. 

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The Assange Persecution Is Western Savagery At Its Most Transparent

The first day of the US appeal of the Julian Assange extradition case saw grown adults arguing in a court of law that the US government could guarantee that it would not treat the WikiLeaks founder as cruelly as it treats its other prisoners.

I wish I was kidding.

In their write-up on Wednesday’s proceedings, The Dissenter’s Kevin Gosztola and Mohamed Elmaazi report that the prosecution argued that “the High Court should accept the appeal on the basis that the U.S. government offered ‘assurances’ that Assange won’t be subjected to Special Administrative Measures (SAMs) or incarcerated in ADX Florence, a super-maximum prison in Colorado.”

What this means is that in order to overturn the January extradition ruling which judge Vanessa Baraitser denied on the basis that the notoriously draconian US prison system is too cruel to guarantee Assange’s health and safety, the prosecution has established as one of their grounds for appeal the claim that they can offer “assurances” that they would not inflict some of their most brutal measures upon him. These would include the aforementioned Special Administrative Measures, wherein prisoners are so isolated that they effectively disappear off the face of the earth, or sending him to ADX Florence, where all prisoners are kept in solitary confinement 23 hours a day.

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Netflix To Launch WikiLeaks Smear Job Three Days Before Assange Court Date

Netflix will begin streaming a brazen hatchet job on Julian Assange and WikiLeaks for its American subscribers on October 24th, just three days prior to a significant court date in Assange’s fight against extradition from the UK to the United States on October 27th.

“You can stream We Steal Secrets: The Story of WikiLeaks on Netflix starting Sunday, October 24, 2021, at 12 AM PT / 3 AM ET,” Netflix Schedule reports.

We Steal Secrets was a “documentary” that is now so outdated beyond its 2013 release that one of its central characters, Chelsea Manning, is referred to by a dead name throughout its entirety. Why choose this specific moment to release it?

Well it doesn’t make much sense at all, if the timing wasn’t deliberately geared toward damaging Assange’s reputation in the nation whose government is trying to extradite him for exposing its war crimes. Assange’s October court date was set way back in August and Netflix didn’t announce it had scheduled to begin streaming this film until two weeks ago.

After all, We Steal Secrets was so egregious in its spin that not only did WikiLeaks supporters like World Socialist Website and journalist Jonathan Cook pan it as a smear at the time, but WikiLeaks itself went to the trouble of publishing a line-by-line refutation of the mountains of propaganda distortion heaped on the narrative by filmmaker Alex Gibney.

“The title (‘We Steal Secrets: The Story of WikiLeaks’) is false,” WikiLeaks writes at the beginning of its response. “It directly implies that WikiLeaks steals secrets. In fact, the statement is made by former CIA/NSA director Michael Hayden in relation to the activities of US government spies, not in relation to WikiLeaks. This an irresponsible libel. Not even critics in the film say that WikiLeaks steals secrets.”

“Gibney’s latest release—We Steal SecretsThe Story of WikiLeaks—is something else again,” World Socialist Website wrote in 2013. “The 130-minute feature is a political hatchet job against Julian Assange and dovetails with the media and US government campaign against the WikiLeaks web site. Whether Gibney has shifted to the right or simply revealed the fatal limitations of his liberal ‘oppositional’ views is a matter for a separate discussion. In any event, his newest work is an effort at disinformation.”

“The job of a good documentarist is to weigh the available material and then present as honest a record of what it reveals as possible. Anything less is at best polemic, if it sides with those who are silenced and weak, and at worst propaganda, if it sides with those who wield power,” critiqued Jonathan Cook at the time.

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The CIA Plot to Kidnap or Kill Julian Assange in London is a Story that is Being Mistakenly Ignored

Three years ago, on 2 October 2018, a team of Saudi officials murdered journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. The purpose of the killing was to silence Khashoggi and to frighten critics of the Saudi regime by showing that it would pursue and punish them as though they were agents of a foreign power.

It was revealed this week that a year before the Khashoggi killing in 2017, the CIA had plotted to kidnap or assassinate Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, who had taken refuge five years earlier in the Ecuador embassy in London. A senior US counter-intelligence official said that plans for the forcible rendition of Assange to the US were discussed “at the highest levels” of the Trump administration. The informant was one of more than 30 US officials – eight of whom confirmed details of the abduction proposal – quoted in a 7,500-word investigation by Yahoo News into the CIA campaign against Assange.

The plan was to “break into the embassy, drag [Assange] out and bring him to where we want”, recalled a former intelligence official. Another informant said that he was briefed about a meeting in the spring of 2017 at which President Trump had asked if the CIA could assassinate Assange and provide “options” about how this could be done. Trump has denied that he did so.

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Pompeo Effectively Admits To Assange Allegations

In the process of issuing another not-really-a-denial about a Yahoo News report that the CIA plotted to kidnap, extradite and assassinate WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange in 2017, former CIA director Mike Pompeo said that the 30 former government officials the report was based on “should all be prosecuted for speaking about classified activity inside the Central Intelligence Agency.”

Here are some quotes from the exchange on Pompeo’s recent Megyn Kelly Show appearance courtesy of Mediaite:

Kelly asked Pompeo about the claims.

“Makes for pretty good fiction, Megyn,” said Pompeo. “They should write such a novel.”

He added, “Whoever those 30 people who allegedly spoke with one of these reporters, they should all be prosecuted for speaking about classified activity inside the Central Intelligence Agency.”

Pompeo called Wikileaks a “non-state hostile intelligence service” that is “actively seeking to steal American classified information.”

“You deny the report?” asked Kelly.

“There’s pieces of it that are true,” said Pompeo. “We tried to protect American information from Julian Assange and Wikileaks, absolutely, yes. Did our justice department believe they had a valid claim which would’ve resulted in the extradition of Julian Assange to the United States to stand trial? Yes. I supported that effort for sure. Did we ever engage in activity that was inconsistent with U.S. law?… We’re not permitted by U.S. law to conduct assassinations. We never acted in a way that was inconsistent with that.”

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How Is The CIA Still A Thing?

Citing “conversations with more than 30 former U.S. officials,” a new report by Yahoo News has confirmed earlier allegations that the Central Intelligence Agency not only spied on WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and his associates, but also drew up plans for kidnapping, renditioning, and assassinating him.

These plans were reportedly made in coordination with the Trump White House as then-CIA Director Mike Pompeo and then-Deputy CIA Director Gina Haspel raged over WikiLeaks’ 2017 Vault 7 release which revealed that the CIA had lost control of an enormous digital arsenal of hacking tools. These included tools which enabled the surveillance of smartphones, smart TVs and web browsers, the hacking of computerized vehicle control systems, and the ability to frame foreign governments for cyber attacks by inserting the digital “fingerprints” of the hacking methods they employ for investigators to find. It was the single largest data leak in CIA history.

Normally we have to wait decades for confirmation that the CIA did something nefarious, and then people absurdly assume that such things no longer occur because it was so long ago, and because changing your worldview is uncomfortable. But here we are with an extensively sourced report that the agency plotted to kidnap, rendition and assassinate a journalist for publishing authentic documents in the public interest, just four years after the fact.

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CIA was ready to wage gun battle in London streets against Russian operatives to kill or snatch Assange, bombshell report claims

Under Obama, the CIA wanted to define Julian Assange and other journalists as “information brokers” in order to ramp up their spying on them. And during the Trump era, it prepared plans to abduct or kill the WikiLeaks founder.

The claims about the extraordinary lengths to which the CIA under Director Mike Pompeo were prepared to go to get Assange were made on Sunday in a Yahoo News report based on interviews with more than 30 former US officials. The report offers an insight into how the US national security apparatus was escalating its war with WikiLeaks under two consecutive US administrations.

At the peak of preparations for hostilities in 2017, the CIA was allegedly expecting Russian agents to help Assange flee the Ecuadorian Embassy in London. In such a contingency, the Americans, together with the British, were planning to engage in street battles against the Russians, potentially starting a firefight, ramming a Russian diplomatic vehicle, or shooting at the tires of a Russian plane to prevent it from lifting off, the story said. The attempt to spring Assange was reportedly expected on Christmas Eve.

“It was beyond comical,” a former senior official told the outlet regarding the situation in the vicinity of the embassy at the time. “It got to the point where every human being in a three-block radius was working for one of the intelligence services – whether they were street sweepers or police officers or security guards.”

The CIA was also deliberating plans to kill Assange and other members of WikiLeaks, the report said. Alternatively, the agency was considering snatching him from the embassy and bringing him to the US, or handing him over to the British authorities. At the time, the UK wanted Assange for skipping bail in an extradition trial on a request from Sweden – a case that has since been dropped.

The possibility of carrying out a successful rendition or assassination were described as “ridiculous” by one intelligence official, because of the location. “This isn’t Pakistan or Egypt – we’re talking about London,” the source was quoted as saying. There was also resistance in the Trump administration because such an operation might be deemed illegal under US law. A source said using CIA powers meant only for spy-versus-spy activities would be “the same kind of crap we pulled in the War on Terror.”

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