WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is one step closer to facing espionage charges in the US after a British judge formally approved his extradition.
The case will go to Britain’s interior minister for a decision, and Assange, 50, still has legal avenues of appeal.
A judge at London’s Westminster Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday issued the extradition order in a brief hearing, as Assange watched by video link from Belmarsh Prison. He stated his full name and date of birth.
It is up to Home Secretary Priti Patel to decide whether to grant the extradition.
The order comes after the UK Supreme Court last month refused Assange permission to appeal against a lower court’s ruling that he could be extradited.
The move doesn’t exhaust the legal options for Assange, who has sought for years to avoid a trial in the US on 17 charges of espionage and one charge of computer misuse related to WikiLeaks’ publication of a massive trove of classified documents more than a decade ago.
The reason Trump failed to issue a pardon for either Snowden or Assange centers on the deep state trying to protect itself by placing Trump in jeopardy, suggested Greenwald last week in an episode of his System Update show.
In a written introduction for the episode, Greenwald notes that Trump, while president, had both “raised the possibility that he might pardon Snowden” and was “actively considering a pardon for Assange.”
Greenwald, in the introduction, zeros in on a recent interview of Trump by Candace Owens. In the interview, Trump stated he came “very close” to pardoning one of them but did not ultimately do so. Why? Trump said the reason was because Trump “was too nice” to issue the pardon.
Greenwald isn’t buying that explanation. He writes:
The question that obviously emerges from that answer: too nice to whom? To the U.S. security services — the CIA, NSA and FBI — which had spent four years doing everything possible to sabotage and undermine Trump and his presidency with their concoction of Russiagate and other leaks of false accusations to their corporate media allies? Too nice to the war-mongering servants of the military-industrial complex in the establishment wings of both parties who were the allies of those security services in attempting to derail Trump’s America First foreign policy agenda? Too nice to John Brennan, James Clapper and Susan Rice, the Obama-era security officials most eager to see both Assange and Snowden rot in prison for life because they exposed Obama’s spying crimes and the Democrats’ corruption in 2016? Trump’s “I’m too nice” explanation is, shall we say, less than persuasive.
Two of the television outlets on which American liberals rely most for their news — NBC News and CNN — have spent the last six years hiring a virtual army of former CIA operatives, FBI officials, NSA spies, Pentagon chiefs, and DOJ prosecutors to work in their newsrooms. The multiple ways in which journalism is fundamentally corrupted by this spectacle are all vividly illustrated by a new article from NBC News that urges the prosecution and extradition of Julian Assange, claiming that the WikiLeaks founder, once on U.S. soil, will finally provide the long-elusive proof that Trump criminally conspired with Russia.
The NBC article is written by former FBI Assistant Director and current NBC News employee Frank Figliuzzi, who played a central role during the Obama years in the FBI’s attempt to investigate and criminalize Assange: a rather relevant fact concealed by NBC when publishing this. But this is how U.S. security state agents now directly control corporate news outlets.