Sunday 23rd of January 2022



On 18 June 2021 the German Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier gave a remarkable, moving speech. The occasion was the opening of the exhibition “Dimensions of a Crime. Soviet Prisoners of War in World War II” which can now be seen at the German-Russian Museum in Berlin Karlshorst. 


The museum is the building where on 9 May 1945 the German leadership of the Wehrmacht signed the Document of Unconditional Surrender. The speech by the Federal President was also the central commemorative speech on the 80th anniversary of the start of the German war of aggression against the Soviet Union on 22 June 1941.


The Federal President not only recalled the suffering of the Soviet prisoners of war and the crimes against the peoples of the Soviet Union (see box). He also spoke about the importance of historical memory for our present and future.

  Even today, the war and its consequences – the division of the world into hostile blocs – have an impact on our thoughts and feelings: “The war and its legacy have also divided our memory, a division that has yet to be overcome even three decades after the lifting of the Iron Curtain. It continues to be a burden for the future. Changing this state of affairs is our task, a task for which we urgently need to redouble our efforts beyond borders – for the sake of the past, but, above all, for the sake of a peaceful future for coming generations on this continent.”



“We should remember …”

And further: “We should remember – not in order to burden present and future generations with a guilt that is not theirs but for our own sake. We should remember in order to understand what impact this past has on the present. Only those who learn to understand the traces of the past in the present will be equipped to help shape a future which avoids wars, rejects tyranny and makes possible peaceful co-existence in freedom.”

  “That after everything that happened Germans are received today with great hospitality by people in, of all places, Belarus, Ukraine or Russia, that they are extended a warm welcome – is nothing short of a miracle.”

  For Germany and the Germans, this means: “On this day when we are remembering the millions upon millions who lost their lives, let us also recall how precious reconciliation is when it has grown over the graves of the fallen.”



Doing everything to work for peace

From the gift of reconciliation arose a great responsibility for Germany: “We want, and indeed must, do everything to […] strive for peace with and among the success states to the former Soviet Union. […] we remember not by turning our backs to the future. Rather, we remember by looking ahead and shouting out loud and clear: never again should there be such a war! […] I ask you to ensure, indeed let us all ensure, that we do not confront each other again as enemies; that we do not fail to recognise the human being in others. Let us ensure that those who propagate national hubris, contempt, enmity, and alienation do not have the last word. Remembrance should bring us closer together. It must not be allowed to divide us once more.”

  At one point, the Federal President quotes a question posed by former Soviet prisoner of war Boris Popov, who had the great good fortune to survive German captivity – a question Boris Popov posed publicly many years after the war: “This raises the compelling question: is it not time for humanity to categorically reject wars and to resolve issues – no matter how complicated – peacefully and in a spirit of mutual respect?”



A path that led away from the logic of escalation

Steinmeier himself answers: “Europe was once closer to the answer than it is today. Decades ago, despite tensions and the confrontation between the two blocs, there was a different spirit on both sides of the Iron Curtain. I am talking about the spirit of Helsinki. In the midst of the mutual threat of nuclear annihilation, a process developed which was intended to avert, and did indeed help to avert, another war through the recognition of joint principles and through cooperation. This path, which led to the Helsinki Final Act, now lies almost half a century behind us. It was neither easy nor straightforward. However, it was a path which led us away from the logic of escalation and the threat of mutual destruction.”



Biden and Putin have met in Geneva

Two days before the speech of the German President, the US President Joe Biden and the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin met in Geneva – thanks to the good offices of the Swiss Confederation – for about three hours of talks. Both presidents commented on the content of the conversation and its atmosphere in separately held press conferences in the late afternoon and early evening; both are publicly available in pictures, sound and text.1

  The meeting of the two presidents took place at a time of great estrangement between the governments of the two states and in an environment of massive enemy images. Enemy images that had been created and deepened for years, especially by the USA and its Western allies. The Western mainstream media had not only conveyed the image of Russia as an enemy, but had also added fuel to the fire. Factual reporting on Russia was practically non-existent. How things were on the Russian side is difficult to judge from here. From time to time I read the German-language Russian media and have by no means observed such propaganda about the other side as in the Western media.



No one should want to be a winner any more

Be that as it may, finding a way out of this impasse is not easy. This was evident in many Western media commentaries after the meeting of the two presidents, also in Switzerland. Here is just one small, rather harmless, but significant example among many. On 18 June, a major Swiss daily newspaper ran the headline: “Russia sees itself as the winner”. There is no evidence of this in the text that follows. Could it not be that the title mainly reflects the thinking patterns of the newspaper makers? Namely, that the meeting of the two presidents was about the question of who was the winner – and thus, of course, who was the loser. Such thinking is widespread, but it is fundamentally opposed to the search for peace. The fact that both presidents in their press conferences were not out to look like “winners” but as serious seekers of a peaceful solution to serious problems and conflicts is a good sign. The fact that even such a critical thinker as Willy Wimmer gave a positive assessment of the Geneva summit in an interview with the German edition of Russia Today (RT) on 18 June2 makes one prick up one’s ears.



Peace is the most ardent wish

It is always risky to make statements about the future. A single meeting does not create peace. It remains to be seen what the working groups to be set up will come up with. The will of the political leaders to reach an agreement will be decisive. It will be clear to all participants that unspoken geopolitical calculations (for example, in the triangle between the USA, Russia and China), i.e. questions of power, will also play a role. Nevertheless, if the meeting in Geneva is a step towards more peace, it was a great success. The first result of the meeting of the two presidents, a “Joint Declaration on Strategic Stability” (see box), which was put on paper, is certainly to be welcomed. Both presidents recall that, even in times of tension, both states have managed to make progress in “reducing the risk of armed conflict and the threat of nuclear war”. More than that, they reaffirm the “principle that nuclear war cannot be won and must never be waged”.

  The people and peoples in every country of the world have one most ardent wish: to be able to live in peace. This peace was very much at risk until 16 June. Not for the first time since the Second World War. For years, there have been regions of the world where the new confrontation – as in the Cold War – is also being fought with weapons. In the bloc confrontation, a correct conclusion was drawn in 1962 after the Cuban Missile Crisis: an ever-widening spiral of escalation is a dead end and brings the world to the brink of destruction. An escalation of the conflict between the USA and Russia today is no less a dead end in which there can only be losers.

  In an article for the German weekly Die Zeit on the 80th anniversary of the German war of aggression on the Soviet Union3, Russian President Vladimir Putin once again called for overcoming dividing lines on the Eurasian continent together and on an equal footing; because “we simply cannot afford to carry with us the burden of past misunderstandings, grievances, conflicts. A burden that prevents us from solving current problems”.

  The EU summit of heads of state and government on 24 and 25 June showed how difficult it is for those in positions of responsibility in the NATO and EU states to leave the dead-end street once it has been reached. Instead of engaging in dialogue with the Russian government again after seven years, as proposed by the French President and the German Chancellor, they “agreed” on tougher sanction threats against Russia. Truly not a step towards détente.

  So, the question of the Soviet prisoner of war Boris Popov should be repeated at the end: “The question arises compellingly: Would it not be time for mankind to reject wars in principle and to solve even such complicated questions peacefully in a relationship of mutual respect?”  •


1 as video with German translation: (Vladimir Putin’s press conference), (Joe Biden’s press conference); as texts in English:  (Joe Biden’s press conference),  (Vladimir Putin’spress conference)  of 18 June 2021 of 22 June 2021



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Willy Wimmer: Putin and Biden summit could have an impact on federal elections


In an interview with RT DE, Willy Wimmer gives a positive assessment of the Geneva summit. He quotes Putin's formulation of the "dawn", which could have positive effects between the two great powers. Also with regard to politics in Germany.


The former CDU member of the Bundestag and former State Secretary Willy Wimmer described the conversation between US President Joe Biden and Russia's President Vladimir Putin as a good attempt at overtaking. Speaking to RT DE, Wimmer said that Putin correctly viewed the meeting as a kind of dawn in relations between Russia and the United States. He had the impression that there were few expectations for the future, but that these could offer perspectives.


If the working groups that it was agreed to set up actually do a thorough job, the summit will have positive consequences. The amount of problems and questions that were raised could of course not be dealt with in one meeting.


Wimmer rated the atmosphere of the meeting, which he had watched on television, as good. The Russian President had found a "wonderful formulation" by describing the meeting as a "dawn" in relations between the two great powers. Much can follow a dawn.


"You can't talk sensibly to each other over the table and you kick your legs under the table," emphasized the former State Secretary. "If you give these signals, you also have to deliver." According to him, the questions posed by US journalists at the press conference demonstrated that they would continue "to sit in the trenches and do nothing better than to blow out the Russian Federation," said Wimmer. "You obviously still haven't understood what Geneva can be."


The fact that the USA and Russia have not had ambassadors in Washington and Moscow for months testifies to how catastrophic the relations between the two great powers have been, said Wimmer. According to him, the news that the atmosphere during the talks was good is a ray of hope for the whole world.


German politics will also have to change if Putin and Biden establish a good dialogue, said the CDU politician. Since the Greens under Annalena Baerbock stand for confrontation with Russia, this could significantly increase the election chances of the CDU candidate Armin Laschet, who stands for cooperation, predicted Wimmer.



Willy Wimmer, born in 1943, was a member of the Bundestag from 1976 to 2009. He was defense policy spokesman for the CDU / CSU parliamentary group and state secretary in the Federal Ministry of Defense. From 1994 to 2000 he served as Vice President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Organization for Security and Cooperation (OSCE).



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saving julian...

A doctor who has joined other medical professionals in calling for Julian Assange’s release from prison told RT that the WikiLeaks co-founder’s arbitrary and cruel detention continues to put him at risk of suicide.

The same concerns about Assange’s mental health that led to the High Court in London blocking his extradition to the US in January are still relevant, perhaps even more so, today, Dr. William Hogan, a specialist in internal medicine and professor of biomedical informatics at the University of Florida’s College of Medicine, said. 

Hogan was among more than 200 medical experts who signed an open letter published last month in the respected medical journal The Lancet, which demanded an end to the “torture and medical neglect” faced by the Australian journalist as he languishes in London’s maximum-security Belmarsh Prison. 

Speaking to RT, the American doctor and academic cited expert testimony suggesting that Assange suffers from “severe signs of mental illness and mental stress,” including auditory hallucinations that are “persecutory” in nature. Securing Assange’s release would be the first step in trying to mend the extensive psychological damage, Hogan explained. While stressing that he was not a psychologist, the doctor said Assange would require “intensive treatment” and that some aspects of the trauma would likely be “permanent.”


The problem is potentially life-threatening, Hogan claimed, pointing to Belmarsh’s high suicide rate and noting that an inmate had recently taken his own life after just two days in the prison. Assange has endured some eight months without visitors due to Covid restrictions, and was only recently able to see his fiancée. 

With every passing day, with no resolution in the ongoing arbitrariness of the legal proceedings … the longer this goes on, the more likely it is [that Assange could commit suicide]

Hogan condemned the British authorities for treating the Australian “like a terrorist,” and pointed to the fact that Assange remains in prison even though he has not been convicted of a crime in the UK. 

The doctor predicted that, should Assange eventually be released, Washington would be “vindictive and arbitrary enough” to drum up new charges in an attempt to restart the extradition process. Although his extradition has been blocked, the United States has been permitted to challenge the UK court ruling. 

The WikiLeaks co-founder has already spent more than two years behind bars at Belmarsh. The US Justice Department has charged the Australian journalist under the Espionage Act, accusing him of having leaked classified information in 2010 detailing alleged war crimes carried out by the US military in the Middle East. If found guilty, Assange could spend the rest of his life in prison


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kromberg's bullshit...

THE BATTLE TO extradite WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange from the United Kingdom to the United States is shaping up to be a legal case of paramount importance to the future of national security reporting. The U.S. continues to press the case even after a change of administration, with President Joe Biden keeping up efforts to bring Assange to a U.S. court on Espionage Act charges for his role in publishing classified government documents. One little-noted name in filings from extradition hearings in the U.K. keeps popping up as a key figure in the U.S. government’s case: a federal prosecutor named Gordon Kromberg.

On the central questions of what assistance Assange provided to whistleblower Chelsea Manning and the ostensible harm his actions caused to U.S. national security, a U.K. court filing earlier this year cites Kromberg’s assertions verbatim. “Mr. Kromberg’s evidence on this is clear,” the filing says. “He stated that stealing hundreds of thousands of documents from classified databases was a multistep process.” The same document cites Kromberg again, claiming that “well over one hundred people were placed at risk from the disclosures and approximately fifty people sought and received assistance from the US” — references to purported U.S. intelligence assets outed by the documents WikiLeaks published.


Kromberg, an assistant United States attorney in the Eastern District of Virginia, may be unknown to foreign and even many American observers. In U.S. legal circles, though, he has been a highly controversial figures for over two decades, dogged by accusations of bias and politicization in his prosecutions. For years, civil rights activists and lawyers tried to draw attention to allegations of Kromberg’s abusive practices. Rather than being pushed into obscurity by these efforts, today he is serving as a key figure in one of the most important civil liberties cases in the world.

In all, the January court documents from Assange’s extradition case mention Kromberg over 40 times to help make the legal argument for extraditing Assange. Many of his statements go to the heart of the Espionage Act case against the WikiLeaks publisher.

The case has raised alarms among civil liberties groups in the United States, particularly in light of the Biden administration’s decision to continue pressing for extradition. Assange has become a controversial figure in the U.S. due to his alleged role in manipulating the 2016 presidential election, but the charges he faces relate almost entirely to acts of receiving and publishing secret information — the bread and butter of most national security journalism.


“If Julian Assange is extradited to the U.S. it would be by far the most important and dangerous trial for press freedom in the 21st century,” said Trevor Timm, co-founder and executive director of the Freedom of the Press Foundation. (Timm is an occasional contributor to The Intercept.) “Seventeen out of 18 changes in the indictment against Assange are Espionage Act charges. This is the same law that has been used against sources and whistleblowers for over a decade now, and which news organizations have been terrified would be used against them to prosecute national security reporters who receive classified information from their sources.”

This January, Assange’s extradition was blocked on humanitarian grounds. More recently, a report from the Icelandic investigative news site Stundin claimed that a key witness in the U.S. case against Assange recanted his testimony, potentially throwing the charges against him into further disarray. For now, the extradition fight is ongoing, and a new ruling on the U.S. government’s appeal of the January decision is expected later this year.

Unbowed by outside pressure and criticism that using the Espionage Act against Assange would endanger press freedoms, the Biden Justice Department continues to use one of its most incendiary prosecutors to help bring Assange to U.S. soil.


IN THE YEARS after the 2001 September 11 terrorist attacks, Gordon Kromberg became the government’s point man on notorious terrorism cases involving allegations of torture and malicious prosecution. In the past, opposing counsels and civil rights groups accused him of engaging in racist behavior and using unethical tactics in pursuit of convictions.


Legal experts said that the inclusion of a notoriously politicized and aggressive prosecutor on a high-profile extradition case like Assange’s is a sign of how strongly the government is motivated to extradite the WikiLeaks publisher and bring Espionage Act charges at all costs.

“A common factor in Kromberg’s career has been a willingness to take very provocative positions on behalf of the government and stay the course with them,” said Wadie Said, a professor of law at the University of South Carolina and author of “Crimes of Terror: The Legal and Political Implications of Federal Terrorism Prosecutions.” “He has also shown great willingness to take on highly political cases and to be a lightning rod himself for attention; he often makes himself part of the story with his own actions and statements.”

Said added, “From my perspective, some of the things that Kromberg has said in the past and the positions that he has taken are quite tendentious and even vindictive in terms of his mindset toward the person that he is targeting.”


Neither Kromberg nor the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia responded to requests for comment.

In 2008, Kromberg was the subject of a Washington Post profile covering his conduct in the prosecution of Sami Al-Arian, a Palestinian academic in the U.S. who faced terrorism charges after 9/11. The government’s relentless pursuit of Al-Arian came to be viewed by many legal observers as an example of malicious prosecution, with Kromberg’s role coming in for particular scrutiny.

Years of intense pursuit by the Justice Department, with Kromberg playing a lead role, over Al-Arian’s alleged terrorist ties failed to produce any jury convictions on 17 charges related to terrorism. In 2006, as part of a plea deal on a single count of conspiracy to provide money to a designated terror group, the former University of South Florida professor accepted a deportation order to Turkey to “conclude his case and bring an end to his family’s suffering,” as he previously told The Intercept.

The 2008 profile of Kromberg’s role cited one legal expert who referred to Kromberg as a “loose cannon.” Stephen Gillers, a legal ethics expert at New York University Law School, told the Washington Post, “If I were the Justice Department, I wouldn’t want him on the front lines of these highly visible, highly contentious prosecutions.” (Kromberg declined to comment to the Washington Post at the time.)

Despite the plea deal and planned deportation, Al-Arian’s ordeal went on for nine more years, continuing all the way until 2015, as Kromberg tried to drag him into providing more testimony in other cases and had him imprisoned again, for contempt, until he was finally deported.

Kromberg has been accused by civil rights groups of being motivated by anti-Muslim animus in many of his prosecutions, including one case in which he was accused of mocking the family of a terrorism suspect who had experienced torture in Saudi custody; he allegedly told them that their son is “no good for us here, he has no fingernails left.” (Kromberg declined to comment on the allegation at the time.)

According to affidavits filed by opposing counsel about his conduct, Kromberg allegedly criticized “the Islamization of the American justice system,” and denied appeals to accommodate Muslim defendants during Ramadan on the grounds that if “they can kill each other during Ramadan, they can appear before a grand jury.” These sentiments appear to have deep ideological roots. In personal diaries published by Kromberg online in the past, he espoused extreme views on the Israel-Palestine conflict, referring to the Israeli-occupied West Bank as “Judea and Samaria.”

Despite his checkered track record, Kromberg has continued to hold a high position in the Justice Department. In addition to his current role in the Assange extradition, he has also continued to prosecute high-profile terrorism cases.

In 2017, Kromberg prosecuted the case of a D.C. police officer accused of buying gift cards in support of terrorism, charges that arose from a controversial sting operation. In court, Kromberg leveled eyebrow-raising allegations that the suspect was both a supporter of the jihadist group Islamic State as well as the World War II-era German Nazi Party on the grounds that he owned historical paraphernalia. Referring to an anonymous online commenter who had called the defendant “Muslim-Nazi scum,” Kromberg argued in court, “Whether or not that’s true, I don’t know the answer to that. But the point is that the Nazi stuff in this case is very much related to the, to the ISIS stuff.”

ASSANGE’S CASE HAS been largely ignored in the U.S. press, considering the potential implications of his prosecution under the Espionage Act. Kromberg’s key role, however, suggests that the Justice Department is not taking the implications of the case on its end lightly. Legal observers say that the incredible extent that the government is going to level these charges, spending years pursuing Assange in various forms, and placing one of its most aggressive prosecutors on the case all sends a dire message to those who would publish classified information in the future.


“This case is incredibly problematic, and we do believe it is politicized,” said Rebecca Vincent, the director of international campaigns at Reporters Without Borders. “What we’ve seen so far are very powerful interests throwing everything they’ve got at one person. Regardless of what happens next, that in and of itself will have a significant impact on national security reporting. Very few people are going to be willing to go through what he has gone through for over a decade.”

Vincent, who has been an observer on the case for Reporters Without Borders, said that the psychological and physical pressure of years of incarceration has taken a toll on Assange. His deteriorating condition and the likely further harm that he would suffer in U.S. prisons have been a key stumbling block in the effort so far to extradite him. A disclosure from the appeals case last week reported by the New York Times indicated that the U.S. government had consented to Assange being held in Australian custody, but only if the Australian government consented to the transfer and after all appeals in Assange’s case had been exhausted.

In a dark irony, Kromberg happened to be the one making the case in U.K. courts this past January that Assange might not have it so bad if he were held in U.S. custody. Prior court documents from Assange’s extradition hearing cited Kromberg to state expectations that Assange would be held in a highly restrictive supermax prison once sent to the U.S. were “purely speculative,” quoting him further to say that “the philosophy of the [Bureau of Prisons] is to house all inmates in the least restrictive environment appropriate for the inmate.”

Assange has become a polarizing figure in the U.S., with detractors and supporters divided over the nature of his work and motivations, particularly since the 2016 U.S. presidential elections, where he was believed to have acted in support of Donald Trump’s candidacy. Press freedom experts say that irrespective of people’s personal opinions on Assange, if he is successfully extradited and convicted on Espionage Act charges for publishing classified information, the consequences for the future of national security journalism in the U.S. would be grave.

“Lots of people hate Julian Assange, his opinions, and his tactics, but if you look at the Espionage Act charges that he faces, they wholly relate to speaking to sources, asking for more information, receiving or holding classified information, and then publishing a subset of that information,” said the Freedom of the Press Foundation’s Timm. “Whatever anyone thinks of Assange, or whether they think he’s a journalist or not, those actions are what journalists do all the time.”

Timm added, “If the U.S. government is successful in prosecuting Assange for those actions, there would be nothing stopping it from prosecuting New York Times or Washington Post reporters on the same grounds in the future.”


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libertad para julian assange ahora !!!!


Welcoming the coordinated efforts that led to recent revelations of alleged targeted espionage practices, the President of Mexico paid tribute to the work carried out by Julian Assange, whose release he called for.


At a press conference on July 21 at the headquarters of the Mexican presidency, Andrés Manuel López Obrador spoke about the alleged practices of targeted espionage targeting journalists, lawyers and politicians, recently highlighted by a consortium of 17 media in connection with the Pegasus affair.


Assange must be released


Emphasizing the effectiveness of such coordination on a global scale, the Mexican president then felt that it was just as essential to recognize the importance of the work carried out by Julian Assange through the WikiLeaks platform.


“Assange must be released because he is unfairly in prison, treated with cruelty, for providing information on an even greater scale [than the current case],” said Andrés Manuel López Obrador.


"As revelations related to the Pegasus affair tour the world, the President of Mexico calls for the release of WikiLeaks founder and editor Julian Assange, who first exposed large-scale global surveillance operations.", commented WikiLeaks by reposting the extract in question on social networks.


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Freiheit für Julian Assange jetzt !!!!


Secretary of State Antony Blinken vowed last Monday that the United States “will always support the indispensable work of independent journalists around the world” – a commitment that the Biden administration has refused to apply to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, whom the US government is attempting to prosecute for releasing classified information that exposed war crimes in Iraq and elsewhere.

“We won’t tolerate efforts to intimidate them or silence their voices,” Blinken tweeted, referring specifically to Masih Alinejad, an Iranian-American journalist and critic of Iran’s government. Alinejad, who currently works as a television host for the Voice of America Persian News Network – a US government-funded outlet – says Iranian intelligence agents recently attempted to kidnap her from her home in New York City.

Critics were quick to note that Blinken’s expression of support for Alinejad and “independent journalists around the world” has not yet been extended to Assange, given that the Biden administration has continued its predecessor’s attempt to extradite the publisher from the United Kingdom, where he has spent more than two years in a maximum-security jail.

“Every US media outlet should lambast this comment and reference Assange, but they won’t, because they suck,” political commentator Kyle Kulinski tweeted in response to Blinken’s remark.

Clare Daly, a socialist member of the European Parliament, noted that “the upshot of the ongoing Trump/Biden prosecution of Julian Assange is the United States believes all journalists, whatever their nationality, wherever they are, have a legal duty to keep the US government’s dirty secrets.”

“Now I’m sorry, but that’s not ‘supporting’ journalists,” Daly added.

In January, a British judge rejected the Trump administration’s request to extradite Assange on the grounds that the brutal American prison system posed a threat to the publisher’s life. Despite pressure from press freedom groups to drop the charges, the Biden administration appealed the judge’s ruling in February and has since promised to let Assange serve out his potential 175-year prison sentence in his home country of Australia.

International advocacy organizations have consistently argued that prosecuting Assange for publishing classified information – something journalists do frequently – would pose a grave threat to press freedoms around the world.

“Journalists at major news publications regularly speak with sources, ask for clarification or more documentation, and receive and publish documents the government considers secret. In our view, such a precedent, in this case, could effectively criminalize these common journalistic practices,” a coalition of press freedom groups wrote in a letter to the Biden Justice Department earlier this year.

Since the Biden administration’s appeal of the UK judge’s extradition ruling, new revelations about the US government’s case against Assange have sparked growing calls for an end to the prosecution effort and his immediate release from jail.

In an interview with the Icelandic newspaper Stundin last month, a key witness against Assange admitted to fabricating accusations that the US government used in its indictment (pdf) of the WikiLeaks founder. Common Dreams reported the news of Sigurdur Thordarson’s admission earlier this month, but the corporate media in the US has largely ignored the walk-back.

As Jacobin‘s Branko Marcetic summarized:


“The [US government’s] indictment charges, among other things, that Assange instructed Thordarson ‘to commit computer intrusions’ and secretly record high-ranking Icelandic officials, including members of parliament; that they tried to decrypt a ‘stolen’ file from an Icelandic bank; that Assange tried to use ‘the unauthorized access given to him by a ‘source’ to make use of a government website that tracked police vehicles; and that he had ordered and encouraged Thordarson to set up a relationship with a hacking group, who would hack and illegally obtain documents to pass on to WikiLeaks. All of these claims, Thordarson has now admitted to Stundin, are either highly misleading or outright false, the paper reports.”


“No one should be under any illusion that Blinken or Joe Biden is actually concerned about press freedoms, of course, as the administration’s actions in the first six months in office plainly show – just with assuring liberal voters this presidency is different from Trump’s,” Marcetic continued. “But that’s a lot harder to do when a key part of the case that Assange wasn’t merely a publisher of official secrets, but a criminal directing global hacking operations, turns out to have been fabricated.”

This article written by Jake Johnson was republished from Common Dreams 20 July 2021 under the Creative Commons License. Click here to read the original article.


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Read from top. Blinken and Biden are sadists...


Freiheit für Julian Assange jetzt !!!!


the appalling media...



Stunning revelations have emerged overseas about the reckless and duplicitous methods used by US law enforcement against Julian Assange. But in the US, the story has been subject to an almost total media blackout. BY BRANKO MARCETIC    JULY 12, 2021  

Two weeks ago, the Icelandic newspaper Stundin published a bombshell report revealing that Sigurdur Thordarson, a former WikiLeaks volunteer from Iceland whose testimony was key to the US case against Assange, admitted to fabricating accusations against Assange. Those accusations had been featured in the US indictment against the organization’s founder, and they were cited by the British judge who narrowly ruled against Assange’s extradition at the start of this year.

The crux of the situation is this: the indictment charges, among other things, that Assange instructed Thordarson “to commit computer intrusions” and secretly record high-ranking Icelandic officials, including members of parliament; that they tried to decrypt a “stolen” file from an Icelandic bank; that Assange tried to use “the unauthorized access given to him by a source” to make use of a government website that tracked police vehicles; and that he had ordered and encouraged Thordarson to set up a relationship with a hacking group, who would hack and illegally obtain documents to pass on to WikiLeaks. All of these claims, Thordarson has now admitted to Stundin, are either highly misleading or outright false, the paper reports.

But it gets much worse. Thordarson is a clinically diagnosed sociopath with a history of criminal activity, including stealing documents and embezzling funds from WikiLeaks itself, which he did shortly before contacting the FBI offering to be an informant on the organization. While he was collaborating with the FBI, Thordarson was racking up an impressive rap sheet, featuring fraud, forgeries, and serious sexual misconduct involving underage boys, landing him in prison for a time.

This didn’t stop the Trump administration, with its bias toward the national security state and hostility to press freedoms, from jumping at the chance to make an immunity deal with Thordarson in 2019, made in writing and viewed by Stundin.

According to the newspaper, in exchange for helping the US government build a case that Assange was a criminal rather than a news publisher worthy of First Amendment protections, the Trump Justice Department guaranteed Thordarson both immunity from prosecution over any of his law-breaking that they happened to know about, and that they wouldn’t share information with Icelandic or any other authorities about his criminal activities. As a result, states the report, Thordarson “started to fleece individuals and companies on a grander scale than ever,” including forging his lawyer’s signature for a fraudulent real estate scheme, criminal activity that was going on right up to the day the report was published.

It’s hard to know where to begin here. For one, it’s a vivid illustration of just how sordid Washington’s yearslong pursuit of Assange has been. To punish Assange for embarrassing the US government, successive administrations not only got in bed with a criminal, they effectively facilitated his crimes, which included forcing and tricking boys into sex. The fact that accusations of sexual misconduct against Assange proved central to the case for his extradition to the United States adds an extra layer of hypocrisy.

That’s far from the only one, though. As Stundin reports, when the FBI first tried to use Thordarson as an informant, under Barack Obama, they “took material he had gathered, including data he had stolen from WikiLeaks employees and even planned to send him to England with a wire.” In other words, they took stolen documents and planned to secretly record a group of people, the very things the US Justice Department has (in the latter case, falsely) accused Assange of doing while charging that it made him a vile criminal.

In fact, as Stundin points out, when the hackers Thordarson had been in touch with carried out a DDoS (distributed denial-of-service) attack on several Icelandic government websites—thereby giving the FBI the pretext to enter Iceland and set up contact with Thordarson—one of those involved had already become an informant for the Bureau. That means that, before falsely accusing Assange of carrying out hacking operations against the Icelandic government, it’s likely the US government gave, at the very least, its blessing to an actual hacking operation against the Icelandic government.

It’s abundantly clear, from this report alone, that at no point in this saga did Washington have a genuine and principled opposition to any of the transgressions involved here, from hacking and stealing secrets to general criminality. Rather, it was all about punishing Assange for exposing US war crimes and the backroom dealings of the powerful, sending a message to any other whistleblowers or leakers who would try to do the same and, as a nice bonus, maybe scaring journalists and press outlets into thinking twice before reporting on such information.



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ecuadorian no more...


Ecuador’s justice system formally notified the Australian of the nullity of his naturalisation in a letter that came in response to a claim filed by the South American country’s Foreign Ministry.

A naturalisation is considered damaging when it is granted based on the concealment of relevant facts, false documents or fraud.

Ecuadorian authorities say Assange’s naturalisation letter had multiple inconsistencies, different signatures, the possible alteration of documents and unpaid fees, among other issues.

Carlos Poveda, Assange’s lawyer, told The Associated Press the decision was made without due process and Assange was not allowed to appear in the case.

"On the date (Assange) was cited he was deprived of his liberty and with a health crisis inside the deprivation of liberty center where he was being held,” Poveda said.

Poveda said he will file appeals asking for an amplification and clarification of the decision. “More than the importance of nationality, it is a matter of respecting rights and following due process in withdrawing nationality.”

Assange received Ecuadorian citizenship in January 2018 as part of a failed attempt by the government of then-President Lenín Moreno to turn him into a diplomat to get him out of its embassy in London.

On Monday, the Pichincha Court for Contentious Administrative Matters revoked this decision.

Ecuador’s Foreign Ministry told AP the court had “acted independently and followed due process in a case that took place during the previous government and that was raised by the same previous government.”

Assange, 50, has been in London’ high-security Belmarsh Prison since he was arrested in April 2019 for skipping bail seven years earlier during a separate legal battle.

Assange spent seven years holed up inside Ecuador’s London embassy, where he fled in 2012 to avoid extradition to Sweden to face allegations of rape and sexual assault.

Sweden dropped the sex crimes investigations in November 2019 because so much time had elapsed.

U.S. prosecutors have indicted Assange on 17 espionage charges and one charge of computer misuse over WikiLeaks’ publication of thousands of leaked military and diplomatic documents. The charges carry a maximum sentence of 175 years in prison.

U.S. prosecutors say Assange unlawfully helped U.S. Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning steal classified diplomatic cables and military files that WikiLeaks later published.

Lawyers for Assange argue that he was acting as a journalist and is entitled to First Amendment freedom of speech protections for publishing documents that exposed U.S. military wrongdoing in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Earlier this month, Britain’s High Court granted the U.S. government permission to appeal a decision that the WikiLeaks founder cannot be sent to the United States to face espionage charges.

In January, a lower court judge had refused an American request to send Assange to the U.S.


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