Assange files appeal against US extradition

Julian Assange’s legal team filed an appeal on Friday to stop the WikiLeaks co-founder’s extradition to the US, where he faces espionage charges that carry a prison sentence of up to 175 years.

According to WikiLeaks, Assange’s lawyers filed “perfected grounds of appeal” before the UK High Court of Justice against the US government and UK Home Secretary Priti Patel, who approved the extradition of the Australian-born editor in mid-June.

The appeal argues that “Julian Assange is being prosecuted and punished for his political opinions,” while the US government “misrepresented the core facts” of the case to the UK judiciary. It adds that the request to extradite the WikiLeaks co-founder violates the relevant treaty between the US and the UK, as well as international law.

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Evidence confirms that TWA Flight 800 was shot down by the U.S. military, followed by a massive coordinated cover-up

The official story surrounding the tragic crash of Trans World Airlines (TWA) Flight 800 back on July 17, 1996, maintains that the airplane just “exploded” out of nowhere, and that there was no terroristic foul play. However, William Henry Teele III, a 10-year Navy veteran-turned-whistleblower, offers a different version of events that pegs the United States military as the culprit.

Though not intentional, according to Teele’s account, several U.S. Navy vessels were in the area at the time. And one of them launched a missile that struck TWA 800 and sent it plunging into the sea off the coast of Long Island, N.Y.

Jack Cashill from American Thinker wrote a book about all this back in 2016. He published an article the other day stating that he believes Teele’s account to be legitimate, based on who he is and his presence on one of the ships in the fleet that witnessed the TWA 800 incident first-hand. (Related: We, too, published a report back in 2013 about other whistleblowers who exposed what they described as a coverup concerning the crash of TWA 800.)

“Teele did not claim to be on the ship that fired the missile,” Cashill writes – you can read a more detailed account of Teele’s background in Cashill’s article about the subject.

“He was on the USS Carr, a guided missile frigate that was one of the ‘combatants’ in the battle group that destroyed the unfortunate 747 and killed the 230 souls on board. Everything that I could verify about Teele’s account back then checked out.”

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When whistleblowers go to prison, we’re on the road to tyranny

Daniel Hale, dressed in a khaki uniform, his hair cut short and sporting a long, neatly groomed brown beard, is seated behind a plexiglass screen, speaking into a telephone receiver at the federal prison in Marion, Illinois. I hold a receiver on the other side of the plexiglass and listen as he describes his journey from working for the National Security Agency and the Joint Special Operations Task Force at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan to becoming federal prisoner 26069-07. 

Hale, a 34-year-old former Air Force signals intelligence analyst, is serving a 45-month prison sentence, following his conviction under the Espionage Act for disclosing classified documents about the U.S. military’s drone assassination program and its high civilian death toll. The documents are believed to be the source material for “The Drone Papers” published by The Intercept, on Oct. 15, 2015. 

These documents revealed that between January 2012 and February 2013, U.S. special operations drone airstrikes killed more than 200 people — of which only 35 were the intended targets. According to the documents, over one five-month period of the operation, nearly 90 percent of the people killed in airstrikes were not the intended targets. The civilian dead, usually innocent bystanders, were routinely classified as “enemies killed in action.”

You can see my interview with Hale’s attorney, Jesselyn Radack, here.

The terrorizing and widespread killing of thousands, perhaps tens of thousands, of civilians was a potent recruiting tool for the Taliban and Iraqi insurgents. The aerial attacks created far more hostile fighters than they eliminated and enraged many in the Muslim world.

Hale is composed, articulate and physically fit from his self-imposed regime of daily exercise. We discuss books he has recently read, including John Steinbeck’s novel “East of Eden” and Nicholson Baker’s “Baseless: My Search for Secrets in the Ruins of the Freedom of Information Act,” which explores whether the U.S. used biological weapons on China and Korea during World War II and the Korean War. 

Hale is currently housed in the Communications Management Unit (CMU), a special unit that severely restricts and heavily monitors communications, including our conversation, and visits. The decision by the Bureau of Prisons to lock Hale up in the most restrictive wing of a supermax prison ignores the recommendation of the sentencing Judge Liam O’Grady, who suggested that he be placed in a low-security prison hospital facility in Butner, North Carolina, where he could get treatment for his PTSD.

Hale is one of a few dozen people of conscience who have sacrificed their careers and their freedom to inform the public about government crimes, fraud and lies. Rather than investigate the crimes that are exposed and hold those who carried them out to account, the two ruling parties wage war on all who speak out.  

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FBI Continues to Cover Up and Block Requests for Information Related to Seth Rich

Seth Rich worked at the DNC in Washington DC in 2016.  He was reportedly a Bernie supporter.  After DNC emails were released to WikiLeaks, Seth Rich was mysteriously murdered.

To this day we still don’t have good information on Seth Rich’s murder.  He was shot in the back twice in the early morning near his home.  He died later in the hospital.  The police recorded the event as a robbery and yet Rich’s phone, wallet, and personal items were with him when the police arrived.

Some people suspect Rich was the source of the emails that went to WikiLeaks before the 2016 Election related to Hillary and her corrupt actions over many years.  These emails were ignored by the corrupt mainstream media but were shared on social media at that time.

A short time after Seth Rich’s death, the Russia collusion story was created.  It’s also suspected in certain circles that the Russia collusion story was created to keep eyes off of Seth Rich’s murder.

The FBI denied any information or files related to the Seth Rich murder.  But that was not true and eventually, the information was found.

Attorney Ty Clevenger is still trying to get at the government’s records regarding Seth Rich and it is still almost impossible.  Clevenger’s efforts have helped uncover records to date but because of the FBI’s dishonesty to date with the FOIA requests on Rich, Clevenger wanted to be able to observe the FBI’s review in this case.

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CIA software engineer, 33, is convicted over ‘single biggest leak of classified information in Agency’s history’: Gave WikiLeaks top secret intel on how U.S. spies on people abroad using internet-connected TVs and compromised smartphones

A former CIA software engineer accused of the largest leak of classified data in agency history was convicted on all charges.

Joshua Schulte, 33, was convicted Wednesday of leaking classified CIA information to WikiLeaks in 2017. He was found guilty in federal court on eight espionage charges and one obstruction charge over the so-called Vault 7 leak.

Schulte, who chose to defend himself at the New York City retrial, told jurors in his closing arguments that the CIA and FBI made him a scapegoat for the embarrassing public release the trove of secrets.

The leaked materials concerned software tools the Central Intelligence Agency used to surveil people outside the U.S., through such means as compromising smartphones and internet-connected TVs.

The U.S. Department of Justice said Schulte was motivated to leak the materials out of spite because he was unhappy with how management treated him.

Prior to his arrest, Schulte had helped create the hacking tools as a coder at the CIA’s headquarters in Langley, Virginia

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Assange Makes Final Appeal Against US Extradition

In a last-ditch effort to avoid extradition to the United States, lawyers for jailed WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange on Friday appealed to the United Kingdom’s High Court to block the transfer.

Assange’s brother, Gabriel Shipton, told Reuters that the Australian publisher’s legal team appealed his extradition, which was formally approved by U.K. Home Secretary Priti Patel last month.

“We also urge the Australian government to intervene immediately in the case to end this nightmare,” Shipton said.

Supporters of Assange held protests ahead of his 51st birthday on Saturday, including one in an open-top double-decker London tour bus that passed by British government buildings in Westminster on Friday. One of the demonstrators, 79-year-old Gloria Wildman, told Agence France-Presse that Assange has “been in prison for telling the truth.”

“If Julian Assange is not free, neither are we; none of us is free,” she added.

Myriad human rights, journalistic, and other groups have condemned Assange’s impending extradition and the U.S. government’s targeting of a journalist who exposed American war crimes. In a Thursday statement, the Australian Journalists Union said that “the charges against Assange are an affront to journalists everywhere and a threat to press freedom.”

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Merrick Garland: Drop the Charges Against Julian Assange

I turned on the news yesterday and there was Attorney General Merrick Garland somewhere in Ukraine, talking about being part of the effort to prosecute war crimes charges against the Russian invaders. Coincidentally, the night before seeing our chief prosecutor in Ukraine, I had finished reading Nils Melzer’s recently-published book, the Trial of Julian Assange, which is an eloquent and devastating exposé of endemic political corruption deep within the state apparatuses of the US, the UK, Sweden, and other countries.

The unmistakable fact is that Merrick Garland’s Justice Department is still actively pursuing the extradition of Julian Assange, in order for him to face charges under the Espionage Act and spend the rest of his life in prison. This is the same Espionage Act that the Nixon administration considered using against Daniel Ellsberg, for leaking what became known as the Pentagon Papers, which were published in the New York Times and elsewhere.

Unlike Ellsberg, Assange did not himself steal, hack, or otherwise make off with secret documents that exposed US war crimes. He only facilitated the leaking of these documents, and the eventual publication of redacted parts of them by Wikileaks, the New York Times, and most of the rest of the world’s media. But unlike with Ellsberg, the government is going ahead with prosecuting someone — a journalist and editor named Julian Assange — under the Espionage Act.

The Espionage Act is one of these laws that is on the books but is not generally considered particularly useful by prosecutors because the law is so blatantly an outrageous, draconian relic of the Red Scare, an example of the most authoritarian responses to the militant labor movement of the post-World War 1 period. Enforcing the Espionage Act makes a complete mockery of all of the most fundamental democratic institutions. It’s obviously in total conflict with the First Amendment and many other elements of the Bill of Rights. The possibility that other journalists who expose war crimes might go to prison for the rest of their lives for violating the Espionage Act is a terrifying prospect. But Garland’s prosecution of a journalist for exposing war crimes under the Espionage Act continues.

While Garland makes plans to help prosecute war crimes committed by Russian soldiers, the war crimes committed by US forces in Bagram, Kama Ado, Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo, Fallujah, Haditha, Baghdad, and on and on and on, go almost entirely unprosecuted and unpunished, and generally unacknowledged, except when the media spotlight is temporarily impossible to ignore, and a few crocodile tears must be shed to maintain appearances. But even while occasional noises are made by officials to half-heartedly acknowledge some of the shortcomings of the US military invasions and occupations of Afghanistan and Iraq, the person most responsible for bringing the knowledge of these shortcomings to the global public is being prosecuted under the Espionage Act of 1917.

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Fmr CIA Director Summoned by Judge Over Claims US Plotted ‘At Highest Level’ to Execute Julian Assange

Last year, media reported that US officials had allegedly discussed the possibility of assassinating Julian Assange during his stay in the Ecuadorian embassy in London in 2017. The alleged plot presupposed kidnapping the WikiLeaks founder from the diplomatic mission or capturing him if he tried to escape.

Mike Pompeo, the former US secretary of state, has been summoned by a Spanish court to testify over claims the US had plotted “at the highest level” to assassinate WikiLeaks whistleblower Julian Assange, reported The Telegraph.

Judge Pedraz had sent a request to US authorities to call Pompeo as a witness, a spokesman for Spain’s National Court was cited by The Telegraph as saying, adding that, “There has been no reply as yet.”

Judge Santiago Pedraz, of Spain’s National Court, is leading a probe into whether Spanish security firm UC Global spied on Assange while providing security for the Ecuadorian embassy in London.

The Australian citizen had sought refuge at the embassy in 2012 in order to avoid extradition to Sweden on rape charges, which he denies. The whistleblower remained there until April 2019, when Ecuador’s new government revoked his asylum.

Lawyers representing Assange in Spain, including the former judge Baltasar Garzón, have accused Washington of “orchestrating” the espionage effort targeting the whistleblower. The claim that UC Global placed microphones and cameras in the embassy to spy on Assange’s private conversations and meetings.

The legal moves involving Mike Pompeo come as part of a petition filed by Aitor Martínez, one of the lawyers representing Assange in the proceedings against UC Global. In addition to summoning Pompeo, Judge Pedraz is also seeking to question William Evanina, a former US counterintelligence official who is said to have confessed to viewing security camera footage and audio recordings from inside the Ecuadorian Embassy.

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Netflix, Ron Howard Do Seth Rich a Major Injustice

“It should have been an open and closed case of a tragic robbing,” writes Gretchen Small in Bustle.com of the 2016 Seth Rich murder, “but what ensued was an alt-right conspiracy theory movement designed to take attention off of Donald Trump and put pressure on Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.”

Small accurately summarized the thesis of “A Murder in D.C.,” an episode in the Netflix series, “Web of Make Believe: Death, Lies and the Internet.” I suppose she could be forgiven her failure to know that Rich wasn’t robbed. The producers failed to share that rather critical detail, one detail out of many that allowed them to keep airheads like Small ignorant of the real scandal — the media scandal. In this case, the cover-up may well have been worse than the crime.

Although I do not know who killed Seth Rich, I do know that the media did everything in its power to discourage anyone from finding out. Ron Howard, a loyal Democrat, served as executive producer of this visually well-crafted series. Not surprisingly, the episode in question does little but showcase the media’s ongoing role as protector of Democratic Party secrets.

The Alt Right — whatever that is — had almost nothing to with the case save for a little internet gossip. Julian Assange, the darling of the media before he started releasing DNC emails, was the man who moved the curious beyond the “botched robbery” scenario trotted out by the D.C. Police.

Interviewed on Dutch TV four weeks after the shooting, Assange said, unprompted, “Whistleblowers go to significant efforts to get us material and often very significant risks. There’s a twenty-seven-year-old, works for the DNC, was shot in the back, murdered just a few weeks ago for unknown reasons as he was walking down the street in Washington.” The Netflix producers showed this interview, then spent the rest of the episode trying to dismiss its relevance.

The Dutch TV show host, as compromised as his American peers, tried to head off Assange’s line of thought. He said, “That was just a robbery, I believe. Wasn’t it?” Assange would not be reined in. Said he, accurately, “No. There’s no finding.” Although Assange evaded the question of whether Rich was a source, his offer of a $20,000 reward to find Rich’s killer raised the possibility that Rich was one.

Assange’s theorizing was given legs by B-grade media personality Ellen Ratner. The producers knew about Ratner, a Democrat and Hillary supporter. They showed her on camera and mentioned her in passing as someone who worked with Ed Butowsky, the villain of the piece. They then seem to have forgotten about her. My guess is they chose to edit Ratner’s real contribution out and overlooked the initial intro.

Butowsky, a financial guy with Republican leanings, met Ratner through their occasional TV appearances. Ratner was a friend of Assange. Her late brother Michael Ratner, a hard-core leftist, had been one of Assange’s American lawyers. 

On the day after the 2016 election, Ratner boasted during an otherwise banal panel discussion at a Florida university, “I spent three hours with Julian Assange on Saturday at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London.” She then added without prompting, “One thing he did say was the leaks were not from, they were not from the Russians.  They were an internal source from the Hillary campaign or from somebody that knew Hillary, an enemy.”

Fortunately for the media, Ratner’s self-involved fellow panelists ignored her comments and returned to their banalities. The video did not surface until much later. It did not interest the media when it did surface.

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Google Worker Fired For Blowing The Whistle on ‘Spiritual Organization’ Within Company That’s Been Accused of Sex Trafficking

Google fired one of its employees for blowing the whistle on a “doomsday” cult-like “spiritual organization” within the company.

The employee, Kevin Lloyd, a video producer who worked in the Google Developer Studio, is now suing the tech giant, claiming he was unfairly fired in retaliation after he raised alarm about the religious group.

Lloyd warns the group called the Fellowship of Friends has increasingly gained power at the company by hiring members of its cult-like organization to fill key positions.

Members of the Fellowship of Friends believe they are called to create a new civilization following a doomsday event and implores its followers to attain enlightenment to transcend a state of “waking sleep” state.  The group, which has approximately 1,500 members internationally,  also believes enlightenment is attained by embracing arts including ballet, painting, opera and wine. Friends of Fellowship

The alleged cult-like organization, which collects 10 percent of its’ members’ income, was founded in the 1970s by Robert Earl Burton, who has been sued for sexually assaulting male members of the group.

“Once you become aware of this, you become responsible,” Kevin Lloyd told the New York Times while recounting his decision to sound the alarm on the group’s infiltration of Google. “You can’t look away.”

In his lawsuit, which was filed in a Californian Superior Court in Silicon Valley, Lloyd claims Peter Lubbersthe, director of the Google Developer Studio and a member of Fellowship of Friends, is funneling money from Google to enrich the religious organization and that he was wrongfully terminated for informing his supervisors about the issue.

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