Assange, Manning and WikiLeaks, by making public in 2010 half a million internal documents from the Pentagon and the State Department, along with the 2007 video of US helicopter pilots nonchalantly gunning down Iraqi civilians, including children, and two Reuters journalists, effectively exposed the empire’s hypocrisy, indiscriminate violence and its use of torture, lies, bribery and crude tactics of intimidation
US government officials quoted in Australian diplomatic cables obtained by The Saturday Age described the campaign against Assange and WikiLeaks as “unprecedented both in its scale and nature.”
The global assault—which saw Australia threaten to revoke Assange’s passport—is part of the terrifying metamorphosis of the “war on terror” into a wider war on civil liberties. It has become a hunt not for actual terrorists but a hunt for all those with the ability to expose the mounting crimes of the power elite
An Interview With Julian Assange, The Nation, 8 May 13 Corporate totalitarianism is spreading rapidly, and it’s not just Assange or Manning they want. It is all who dare to defy the official narrative. Chris Hedges May 8, 2013 London—A tiny tip of the vast subterranean network of governmental and intelligence agencies from around the world dedicated to destroying WikiLeaks and arresting its founder, Julian Assange, appears outside the red-brick building on Hans Crescent Street that houses the Ecuadorean Embassy. Assange, the world’s best-known political refugee, has been in the embassy since he was offered sanctuary there last June. British police in black Kevlar vests are perched night and day on the steps leading up to the building, and others wait in the lobby directly in front of the embassy door. An officer stands on the corner of a side street facing the iconic department store Harrods, half a block away on Brompton Road. Another officer peers out the window of a neighboring building a few feet from Assange’s bedroom at the back of the embassy. Police sit round-the-clock in a communications van topped with an array of antennas that presumably captures all electronic forms of communication from Assange’s ground-floor suite. Read more »
No compensation for Maralinga radiation victims, SMH, April 29, 2013 Bianca Hall The British government has ruled out paying ”act of grace” compensation to Australian soldiers deliberately exposed to nuclear bomb testing at Maralinga in South Australia 61 years ago.
Greens senator Scott Ludlam wrote to Foreign Secretary William Hague in January seeking an undertaking that Britain would pay compensation to victims of its nuclear testing program.
”Of the British and Australian veterans who were involved in the testing, and the Aboriginal people in the area at the time of the blasts, only 29 Aboriginal people have ever received compensation from the Australian government and veterans continue to struggle to obtain the medical support they need,” Senator Ludlam said.
A 2006 report commissioned by the Australian government showed the Australians at the Maralinga and Emu Field sites were 23 per cent more likely than the general population to develop cancer, and 18 per cent more likely to die from cancer. But it found it was impossible to conclude whether that was due to radiation…….http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/political-news/no-compensation-for-maralinga-radiation-victims-20130428-2imrw.html#ixzz2RteYnZ00
Letter from UK Ministry of Defense http://xa.yimg.com/kq/groups/18059953/1363946993/name/maralinga.pdf
We failed our duty’ to Prisoner X http://www.theage.com.au/opinion/political-news/we-failed-our-duty-to-prisoner-x-20130214-2eg06.html#ixzz2L0Juuy7X February 15, 2013 David Wroe The Melbourne man dubbed ”Prisoner X” received no consular assistance from Australian officials despite the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade having been told of his detention by Israeli authorities nearly 10 months before he killed himself in jail.
And Australia’s forgiving response to Israel’s failure to formally advise that it had jailed dual-citizen Ben Zygier could imperil other dual citizens arrested in other countries, a top international law expert says.
Foreign Minister Bob Carr revealed on Thursday that ASIO informed the department in February 2010 that Israeli authorities were holding Mr Zygier because of ”serious offences under Israeli national security legislation”. He told a Senate estimates hearing the government had ”relied on” assurances by Israel that Mr Zygier was being well treated, that his family knew of his detention and that he was getting legal representation.
Mr Varghese said because Mr Zygier was a dual national, he was ”not under the relevant conventions” and there was ”no obligation on the Israeli government to commit to prison visits”.
But Australian National University international law professor Don Rothwell said Israel had broken the international convention on consular relations – and Mr Varghese’s response could imperil other dual citizens.
”If Mr Varghese is making that concession, it’s a very significant concession with respect to every other country where Australia has dealings with dual nationals at the moment, and, in particular, China,” he said.
Senator Milne asked: ”My question is just why did the Australian government hand over the welfare of one of our citizens to the spooks? Why?”
David Hicks’ former lawyer, Dan Mori, now with the Australian firm Shine Lawyers, said Australia had failed in its basic duty to look out for one of its citizens. ”It boggles my mind that they sit back and not say, ‘He’s one of our citizens and we’re not going to have a consular visit?’ ” he said. ”You would want them to at least put eyes on them. It’s that basic service.”
In several developments on the case, senators grilled the minister and secretary over what the government knew and when.
Senator Carr’s office admitted the Minister’s incorrect statements to the ABC and Fairfax Media that his department knew nothing of the case until after Mr Zygier had died in December 2010 had been based on written advice from DFAT.
The ABC’s Foreign Correspondent sent Senator Carr’s office written questions prior to his interview for the program, which had been forwarded on to the department. Yet the department replied with incorrect answers.
Here’s what Roger Helbig sent me today: ” Your first immediate action is to take my name out of your
e-mail subject line. I have already advised WordPress and I will make
every possible effort to take down your WordPress blog and eliminate
your ability to ever have another WordPress blog.” along with a lot of other threats of legal action.
This humble little website is now in the company of some much more illustrious sites. For example – “It has come to our attention that an individual by the name of Roger Helbig, has been going to great effort to damage our reputation” http://www.salem-news.com/
There are dozens more .. you see, Roger Helbig makes a profession of harrassing and preferably shutting down, any voices that criticise the use of depleted uranium.
With Assange in Diplomatic Limbo, Sweden in No Rush to Press Rape Charges , 01 February 2013 By Alissa Bohling, Truthout | News Analysis With Julian Assange remaining in diplomatic limbo in London, Sweden refuses his offer for an interview, leading some to suspect they are not anxious to pursue allegations of rape that have been lodged against him……
In an October 2012 letter to US Attorney General Eric Holder, they asked the Department of Justice to give its word that Assange will not be extradited, subject to indefinite detention or prosecution under the Espionage Act for the activities of WikiLeaks, but with no response, he and his Swedish accusers remain in legal limbo, calling into question whether Assange’s civil liberties and the women’s right to take their accusations through the criminal justice process can both be upheld.
Government Tactic of Smearing Whistleblowers Read more »
Australia’s electronic spy agency, the Defence Signals Directorate, (DSD) is Australia’s equivalent to America’s National Security Agency( NSA) and has no qualms advertising its twin missions: “One is collecting foreign intelligence by interception. The other is working to stop people doing the same to us,” Burgess says….. The ordinarily shadowy DSD has published a detailed study on its top 35 cyber “mitigation strategies”.
Under Operation Australia, which has protested new data retention proposals, Anonymous shut down more than 10 Australian government sites, including ASIO’s, in July last year using denial of service attacks.
ASIO advocates reforms to communications and privacy laws to provide basic cyber-insurance.
Attorney-General Nicola Roxon has referred the proposals to the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security.
It’s global cyber war out there, Financial Review, Christopher Joye, 2 Jan 13,
“..Australia’s most experienced spy master, the director-general of ASIO, David Irvine, has a lot on his mind
…… with the privatisation of so many utilities over the past three decades, government has unwittingly delegated national security to business.
This is why ASIO believes national security reforms need to be made to the regulations governing essential infrastructure, including telecommunications.
“The more rocks we turn over in cyberspace, the more we find . . . the internet and increased connectivity has expanded infinitely the opportunities for [these threats]”, Irvine says. Read more »
Australian filmmaker prevented from entering Kudankulam 25 Oct 12http://www.dnaindia.com/india/report_australian-filmmaker-prevented-from-entering-kudankulam_1756187 , Oct 25, 2012, Three persons from Australia were today prevented from entering Idinthakarai, the epicentre of protests by People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy leading the stir against Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant in Tirunelveli district, police said.
Filmmaker David Bradbury along with his wife and son arrived in India on tourist visas and were about to enter Idinthankarai from Kanyakumari district this morning when police stopped them near Radhapuram police station, they said.
“After interrogations, the three were made to go back, since prohibitory orders were in place,” an officer said.
The PMANE has been leading protests against the plant for over a year citing safety concerns.
Commissioning of the first unit of the Indo-Russian project was originally scheduled for December last year, but has been delayed due to the protest.
Australian filmmaker detained, let off http://www.thehindu.com/news/states/tamil-nadu/australian-filmmaker-detained-let-off/article4031884.ece , 26 Oct 12, David Bradbury, a documentary filmmaker from Australia, was said to have been detained by the police at Kamanaeri village, near Thomas Mandapam, on his way to Idinthakarai village on Thursday evening Police, however, denied any such incident.
A local resident said a foreign national was intercepted by the police at Kamanaeri while he was on his way to Idinthakarai, the hub of the anti-nuclear protest. He was later taken to the Radhapuram police station and let off after some time. However, he was not allowed to proceed to Idinthakarai.
The Deputy Superintendent of Police, Valliyoor, K. N. Stanley Jones, denied that any foreigner was detained at the Radhapuram police station.
M. Pushparayan, a leader of the People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE), which spearheads the protest, said he had no knowledge of a filmmaker by that name planning to come to Idinthakarai.
a new form of economic imperialism, with the long arm of the Government using criminal enforcement powers to enforce commercial interests at the behest of corporations and their lobbyists. It’s about power.
As recently amended, Australia’s extradition laws enable a person to be extradited for minor offences
extradition is not precluded if the person faces cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment that is not severe enough to amount to torture.
What is to become of individuals who engage in non-violent political protest on the internet?
The tentacles of extradition, Online opinion By Kellie Tranter -, 23 October 2012 Being hailed as “incredibly brave” to stand up to the United States, UK home secretary Theresa May has halted the extradition of British computer hacker Gary McKinnon because of medical reports warning that McKinnon – who was first indicted by a federal grand jury in Virginia in November 2002 –would kill himself if he was sent to stand trial in the United States. But unanswered questions remain about the nature of political extradition cases more generally.
In 2007 former NSW Chief Judge in Equity, Justice Peter Young, highlighted in the Australian Law Journal ‘the bizarre fact that people are being extradited to the US to face criminal charges when they have never been to the US and the alleged act occurred wholly outside the US.’
Justice Young’s comments were raised in the context of the case of Hew Griffiths, an Australian who was the first person in the world to be extradited and criminally prosecuted in the United States for copyright infringement. .. Read more »
Defence treaty to ‘censor’ research http://www.theage.com.au/opinion/political-news/defence-treaty-to-censor-research-20121009-27bao.html#ixzz28xGXeEc9 October 10, 2012 Bianca Hall UP TO 90 per cent of academic research could be affected by an Australian-US trade agreement that would make it an offence for academics to communicate findings on research, the University of Sydney has warned. Read more »
‘Enemy’ tag poses fresh test of citizens’ rights, The Age editorial September 28, 2012 The law must be the same for Assange as for everyone else. THE designation of WikiLeaks and its co-founder, Julian Assange, as enemies of the US adds to the gravity of the consequences for releasing classified embassy cables two years ago.
The development, revealed in newly released US Air Force documents, puts Assange in the same category as al-Qaeda terrorists and the Taliban. Personnel who contact him risk being charged with crimes that may carry the death penalty.
Senior US politicians have called Assange a terrorist and demanded he be charged with espionage, hunted down or assassinated.
The Age has refuted Australian government claims of ignorance of US plans to pursue Assange. When coupled with public denunciations – Prime Minister Julia Gillard declared Assange to be a criminal – this government inspires little confidence that it would be any more diligent than the Howard government was in standing up for its citizens’ rights.
A member of the military charged with a military offence can expect to be tried in a military court. US Army private Bradley Manning faces a court martial charged with aiding the enemy by transmitting information that became available to the enemy via WikiLeaks. However, as a result of being deemed ”enemy combatants” – an expedient but legally dubious categorisation – Australians David Hicks and Mamdouh Habib endured long detentions without charge at Guantanamo Bay until a special military tribunal was set up to try detainees.
That points to the risks for anyone declared an ”enemy” of the US military. Assange, though, is not a combatant; as WikiLeaks editor-in-chief, he sees himself as a journalist. The Age published excerpts from the cables by arrangement with WikiLeaks, as did The New York Times in the US and The Guardian in the UK. This information exposed the truth
about the conduct of governments involved in wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Publication was based on the conviction that citizens have a right to know about glaring differences between what governments say in public and what they say and do in private. We had no compunction about making public the secret business of governments and their militaries when the public had been deceived about grave decisions of state,
which went to the justifications for and progress of two wars. At the time, The Age cited an obvious historical precedent. Four decades ago, the Pentagon papers, also illegally copied and provided to The New York Times, showed the Johnson administration had deceived Congress and the public about the Vietnam War.
It is hard to mount a credible argument that exposing deceptive conduct and collusion by elected governments is against the public interest. If governments are embarrassed, lose credibility and are politically damaged, they deserve to be……. http://www.theage.com.au/opinion/editorial/enemy-tag-poses-fresh-test-of-citizens-rights-20120927-26o6e.html#ixzz27o1kr02U
US Vice-President Joe Biden labelled Mr Assange a “high-tech terrorist” in December 2010 and US congressional leaders have called for him to be charged with espionage. Sarah Palin and Mike Huckabee – both once involved in presidential campaigns – have both urged that Mr Assange be “hunted down”.
Mr Assange’s US attorney, Michael Ratner, said the designation of WikiLeaks as an “enemy” had serious implications for the WikiLeaks publisher if he were to be extradited to the US, including possible military detention.
US calls Assange ‘enemy of state’, http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/political-news/us-calls-assange-enemy-of-state-20120927-26m7s.html#ixzz27joofxHc SMH, September 27, 2012 Philip Dorling THE US military has designated Julian Assange and WikiLeaks as enemies of the United States – the same legal category as the al-Qaeda terrorist network and the Taliban insurgency.
Declassified US Air Force counter-intelligence documents, released under US freedom-of-information laws, reveal that military personnel who contact WikiLeaks or WikiLeaks supporters may be at risk of being charged with “communicating with the enemy”, a military crime that carries a maximum sentence of death. The documents, some originally classified “Secret/NoForn” – not releasable to non-US nationals – record a probe by the air force’s Office of Special Investigations into a cyber systems analyst based in Britain who allegedly expressed support for WikiLeaks and attended pro-Assange demonstrations in London. Read more »
By agreement we will be issuing both Julian Assange, via his father, and Mamdoub Habib, who will be present, an Aboriginal Nations Passport that will allow both to respectfully travel through the Aboriginal Nations of Australia. Mamdoub now and Julian on his return to Aboriginal Australia. Both these men were denied any assistance, firstly by the Howard Government and then by the Gillard Government respectively.
Indigenous Social Justice Association September 9, 2012 It is with a sense of pride and complete social justice that this Association has worked with the Sydney Support Assange and WikiLeaks Coalition to have the privilege of successfully arranging for Julian Assange to be able to be issued with an Aboriginal Nations Passport that his father, John Shipton,
will accept on his behalf at the Welcome to Aboriginal Land Passport Ceremony to be held at The Settlement, 17 Edward Street, Darlington from 11am to 4pm on Saturday 15 September, 2012.
We strongly endorse the words of Ms Linda Pearson of the Support Assange and WikiLeaks Coalition, see below, on the total lack of support by our Federal Government to assist Julian against being press-ganged to America to face corrupt charges against him for informing the world’s people of the absolute lies that all Governments continue to tell their people. Whilst it is true that all Governments lie, it is well known that America leads the pack in their eternal quest for American hegemony of the world’s resources. Read more »
Lawyer for Assange detained at Heathrow and told she was on a ‘secret watch list’ Daily Mail, By ABUL TAHER, 1 September 2012 A lawyer acting for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange says she was stopped at Heathrow and told that she was on a secret watch-list and required special clearance before she could board her plane.
Australian Jennifer Robinson said she was left stunned after being told by an airline crew that she was on an ‘inhibited person list’ that means she must have ‘done something controversial’.
Ms Robinson said that she could not understand why she was on the list as she had never done anything controversial or criminal. She had only represented clients around the world, one of whom was Mr Assange….. Ms Robinson, 31, said: ‘This incident raises so many questions.
‘Why would I need clearance to travel to my own country? So far I have not had a proper explanation.’
The human rights lawyer is a member of Mr Assange’s legal team, which has been fighting his extradition to Sweden on alleged sexual assault offences.
She was also his legal adviser when WikiLeaks published US military documents as well as diplomatic cables from American embassies. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2197003/Lawyer-Assange-detained-Heathrow-told-secret-watch-list.html#ixzz25RNRNfJl
Police note lets slip Julian Assange arrest plan http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/world/police-note-lets-slip-julian-assange-arrest-plan/story-fnd134gw-1226457832696 By CHARLES MIRANDA in London
August 25, 2012 THE order is simple and the note brief but it points to a likelihood of a complex and lengthy impasse between Ecuador and Britain over the future of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange.
“Assange to be arrested under all circumstances,” the confidential Scotland Yard note seen yesterday being carried by an officer outside the Ecuador embassy reads.
And therein lies the problem. He has political asylum in Ecuador but cannot get there with Britain refusing to let him step onto public soil without immediate arrest, detention and extradition to Sweden to face sexual assault allegations.
Scotland Yard acknowledged the handwritten note was from a briefing and stressed that the force’s objective is to arrest Assange for breach of bail.
“Under no circumstances would any arrest be made which was in breach of diplomatic immunity,” Scotland Yard said.