No extradition for Assange

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

– Dylan Thomas

The British judicial system is still trying to cover up the wilful genocide of the Iraqi people by the British government. Judge Baraister has ruled in favour of all the United States submissions regarding the extradition of Julian Assange except to extradite him. The ruling elite in Britain is feeling the pressure applied by ordinary people campaigning for the release of Assange. There has been no mention that Prime Minister Blair is a war criminal and should be charged as such. The court judgement has obscured that there was no justification for a war and his claim that the Iraqi government had weapons of mass destruction was a lie.

US Defence chief claiming ‘fog of war’ defence on Collateral Murder

There is no escaping the terrible crimes by US, British and Australian governments exposed by Wikileakes in its Afghanistan and Iraqi war logs. Australian troops and their generals participated in war crimes both in Iraq and Afghanistan.

All the camouflage and denial produced by the judge in her 132 page judgement (attached below) can’t hide the reality that the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were crimes against humanity. The judge was careful to rule in favour of the United States government on all its points. But even Judge Baraister can’t ignore that US authorities routinely torture people and that sending him to the US could drive him to suicide which prison authorities could not prevent.

After rejecting all of the submissions by Assange’s defence team, the judge ordered:

I order the discharge of Julian Paul Assange, pursuant to section 91(3) of the EA 2003. That section of the Extradition Act applies when ‘The condition is that the physical or mental condition of the person is such that it would be unjust or oppressive to extradite him.

In her judgement Judge Baraister quotes the editors of the New York Times magazine:

“He (Assange) was angry that we declined to link our online coverage of the War Logs to the WikiLeaks Web site, a decision we made because we feared — rightly, as it turned out — that its trove would contain the names of low-level informants and make them Taliban targets”

Wikileaks says that it was the Guardian that released the password to the cables.

All major mainstream news media have now adopted the Secure File Transfer Protocol pioneered by Wikileaks.

The Media
In her judgement, Judge Baraister defends the ‘traditional media’ saying:

These traditional news media outlets contrasted their own careful editorial decisions not to publish these names, with what they describe as a “data dump” carried out by Mr. Assange.

Why did these painstaking editors at The Guardian, the New York Times, El Pais, Der Spiegel and Le Monde dump on Assange?

Regarding the plot by the CIA and the security firm at the Ecuadorian Embassy that spied on Assange while he was seeking advice from Australian barrister Geoffrey Robertson, Judge Baraister took the easy way out:

Mr. Assange has provided evidence to the Spanish authorities pursuant to a European investigation order; and the Spanish authorities are in the process of seeking responses from the US government to their enquiries. This court has no access to the information discovered from this investigation. Mr. Morales (head of security firm, UC Global, employed by the CIA) has had no opportunity to offer an alternative narrative to that given by the two anonymous witnesses (former employees of UC Global who exposed the CIA employment of Morales to spy on Assange).

Finally, the allegations of US interference at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London are currently being investigated by a court in Spain and I do not think it appropriate to make findings of fact on the basis of partial and untested evidence.

VANESSA BARAITSER
DISTRICT JUDGE (MAGISTRATES’ COURTS)
4 January 2021

Were the CIA trying to poison Assange?

There is a lot more to surface on this case and Assange has a long way to go before he will be free. Regardless of what happens to the Wikileakes founder, freedom of the press exists no more, if it ever did.

—————
Ian Curr 

Editor
Workers BushTelegraph
E:
iancurr@bigpond.com
M: 0407 687 016

__oOo__

VANESSA BARAITSER
DISTRICT JUDGE (MAGISTRATES’ COURTS)
4 January 2021

The allegations
Allegations against Mr. Assange relating to Ms. Manning

In 2009, Ms Manning was an intelligence analyst in the US Army. She was deployed to the Forward Operating Base Hammer in Iraq. Ms Manning held a “Top Secret” security clearance and had signed a classified information non-disclosure agreement. Between January and May 2010, she downloaded the following documents, many of which were classified as secret: approximately 250,000 diplomatic cables, approximately 75,000 Afghanistan significant activity reports (also known as the Afghan war logs), approximately 400,000 Iraq significant activity reports (also known as the Iraq war logs) and approximately 800 detainee assessment briefs, and provided them to Mr. Assange and WikiLeaks. Documents are classified as secret if their unauthorised disclosure could reasonably be expected to cause serious damage to the national security.

It is alleged that WikiLeaks solicited material by publishing a list of information it wished to obtain, its “Most Wanted Leaks”. In November 2009 this list included: “Bulk Databases” including “Intellipedia”, (a non-public CIA database) and classified “Military and Intelligence” documents. In December 2009, Mr. Assange and a WikiLeaks affiliate gave a presentation to the 26th Chaos Communication Congress in which WikiLeaks described itself as “the leading disclosure portal for classified, restricted or legally threatened publications.” In 2009 Mr. Assange spoke at the “Hack in the Box Security Conference” in Malaysia in which he made reference to a “capture the flag” hacking contest and noted that WikiLeaks had its own list of flags that it wanted captured.

It is alleged that Ms. Manning responded to the list by searching databases or servers, using a US classified information-network search engine, for information which corresponded to it. For example, on 28 November 2009, Ms. Manning searched “Intelink,” a classified Department of Defence (“DoD”) network search engine, for “retention+of+interrogation+videos.” The following day she searched the classified network for “detainee+abuse,” which was consistent with an entry on the list for “Detainee abuse photos withheld by the Obama administration”. On 8 December 2009, she ran several searches on Intelink relating to Guantánamo Bay detainee operations, interrogations, and standard operating procedures (“SOPs”) consistent with an entry on the list for “Guantánamo Bay operating and interrogation Standard Operating Procedures”. It is stated that many of the classified document that Ms. Manning provided to Mr. Assange were uploaded through a Secure File Transfer Protocol (“SFTP”) connection to a cloud drop box operated by Wikileaks and into a specific directory which had been created for Ms Manning. Ms. Manning used the SFTP connection to upload 250,000 diplomatic cables to the cloud drop box.

On 22 March 2010, she downloaded the Iraq rules of engagement files from SIPRNet, and between 28 March and 9 April 2010 she downloaded the diplomatic cables, all of which were consistent with the materials WikiLeaks sought.

Between November 2009 and May 2010, Ms. Manning was in direct contact with Mr. Assange using a chatlog (the “Jabber communications”). On 8 March 2010, it is alleged that Mr. Assange agreed to assist Ms. Manning in cracking a password hash stored on a DoD computer. Mr. Assange indicated that he was “good” at “hash-cracking” and that he had rainbow tools (a tool used to crack Microsoft password hashes). Ms. Manning provided him with an alphanumeric string. This was identical to an encrypted password hash stored on the Systems Account Manager (SAMS) registry file of a SIPRNet computer, used by Ms. Manning, and associated with an account that was not assigned to any specific user. Mr. Assange later told her that he had no luck yet and asked for more “hints.” It is alleged that, had they succeeded in cracking the encrypted password hash, Ms. Manning might have been able to log on to computers connected to the classified SIPRNet network under a username that did not belong to her, making it more difficult for investigators to identify her as the source of the disclosures. It is specifically alleged that Mr. Assange entered into this agreement to assist Ms Manning’s ongoing efforts to steal classified material.

Other communications on the chatlog included:

a. On 7 March 2010, Ms. Manning asked Mr. Assange how valuable the detainee assessment briefs would be. After confirming that Mr. Assange thought they had value, Ms. Manning told Mr. Assange that she was “throwing everything [she had] on JTF GTMO [Joint Task Force, Guantánamo] at [Assange] now.” Mr. Assange responded, “ok, great!”

b. On 8 March 2010, when Ms. Manning brought up the “OSC” (the CIA Open Source Center), Mr. Assange replied, “that’s something we want to mine entirely, btw,”

c. On 10 March 2010, Ms. Manning told Mr. Assange in reference to the detainee assessment briefs that “after this upload, that’s all I really have got left.” In response to this statement, Mr. Assange replied, “curious eyes never run dry in my experience”.

d. The Jabber communications also show them discussing measures to prevent the discovery of Ms. Manning as Mr. Assange’s source, such as clearing logs, the use of a “cryptophone’, and a code phrase to use if something went wrong.

During 2010 and 2011 Wikileaks published the materials which had been obtained from Ms. Manning.

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Verdict
Judge Mr. Assange is accused of aiding and abetting Ms. Manning in her theft and disclosure of the information, as an accessory to her offending. The defence submits that no offence is committed by Mr. Assange unless he has engaged in a criminal activity separate from Ms. Manning’s act of whistle-blowing. However, in my judgment, Mr. Assange’s alleged activities went beyond the mere encouragement of a whistle-blower.

The judge says Assange’s ‘alleged activities went beyond the mere encouragement of a whistle-blower.’ The judge went on to say what she meant by this.

For months, Mr. Assange was communicating with Ms. Manning via the social media platform “Jabber”. On 10 March 2010 when she told him she had nothing left to give him in reference to the detainee assessment briefs, he commented “curious eyes never run dry in my experience.

After this comment, she went on to upload hundreds of thousands more classified documents, such as the 250,000 diplomatic cables on 10 April 2010. He told her that in relation to the CIA Open Source Centre materials this is something he wished to “mine entirely”.

He provided Ms. Manning with a SFTP connection to a cloud drop box operated by WikiLeaks, in a specific directory that WikiLeaks had designated for her use. She uploaded the cables to this cloud drop box.

To illustrate this point, in stark contrast to Mr. Assange’s final, indiscriminate disclosure of all of the data, newspapers who had worked with him from both sides of the Atlantic condemned his decision.

These traditional news media outlets contrasted their own careful editorial decisions not to publish these names, with what they describe as a “data dump” carried out by Mr. Assange. The Guardian published the following report on 2 September 2011 (put in evidence to both Professor Feldstein and Mr. Timm):

“WikiLeaks has published its full archive of 251,000 secret US diplomatic cables without redactions, potentially exposing thousands of individuals named in the documents to detention, harm or putting their lives in danger. The move has been strongly condemned by the five previous media partners, the Guardian, the New York Times, El Pais, Der Spiegel and Le Monde who have worked with WikiLeaks publishing carefully selected and redacted documents.” …. “We deplore the decision of WikiLeaks to publish the unredacted State Department cables which may put sources at risk, the organisations said in a joint statement. Our previous dealings with WikiLeaks were with a clear basis that we would only publish cables which had been subjected to a thorough joint edited and clearance process. We will continue to defend our previous collaborative publishing endeavour.

Judgement
Here is the full verdict and judgement.

3 thoughts on “No extradition for Assange

  1. Bail denied says:

    Not surprisingly the judge denies Assange bail because of flight risk. The 9 who put up bail (including members of the aristocracy) lost their securities nearly 10 years ago.

    Meanwhile John Shipton is in the US trying to get an audience with sleepy Joe Biden to see if Assange can be ‘pardoned’ … even though his son is yet to be convicted of anything in the US? Desperate father.

    Sorry I have not been able to access the actual judgement on the bail application. Does anyone know where it is?

  2. Press freedom crushed, dissent labeled mental illness says:

    The unexpected decision by Judge Vanessa Baraitser to deny a US demand to extradite Julian Assange, foiling efforts to send him to a US super-max jail for the rest of his life, is a welcome legal victory, but one swamped by larger lessons that should disturb us deeply.

    Those who campaigned so vigorously to keep Assange’s case in the spotlight, even as the US and UK corporate media worked so strenuously to keep it in darkness, are the heroes of the day. They made the price too steep for Baraitser or the British establishment to agree to lock Assange away indefinitely in the US for exposing its war crimes and its crimes against humanity in Iraq and Afghanistan. See http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/56130.htm

    By Jonathan Cook

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