Friday 7th of October 2022

naked in a prison bare cell…….

Beware privileged people who have learned to speak with confidence yet appear blind to the benefits of social class. Beware powerful people who claim that democratic governments, in the US, UK, Australia, administer justice always according to some time-honoured principle about rules of law.

Beware a society in which men socialised by privileged education and employment remain socially distant from ordinary citizens with few resources. Beware assumptions derived from life in protected institutions, law, academia, or government, which foster hostility towards someone they do not understand, or who, heaven forbid, disputes the fairness of society’s customs and rules.


By Stuart Rees


Those observations about privilege and confidence which cement the benefits of class, are made in response to inhuman comments about the conduct of a brave Australian citizen Julian Assange. The comments were made by the Executive Director of the Lowy Institute Dr. Michael Fullilove.

He advised Prime Minister Albanese to be careful about intervening on behalf of journalist whistle blower Julian Assange to prevent this brave, albeit unusual (what’s wrong with that) Australian citizen’s extradition to the US. In 2019, Fullilove tweeted , ‘Poor Mr. Assange, no longer able to dodge the consequences of his actions. Finally having to live according to the rules that apply to everyone else.’

What rules and mores is he referring to? Not those which have bolstered his career, and mine for that matter. Only those which apply to people scapegoated as deviant and therefore easy targets for governments fascinated with punishment, intent on revenge.

In an earlier publication, Dr. Fullilove wrote that the rationale of Wikileaks was comparable to the revelations from Murdoch’s now abolished newspaper The News of the World.

How do lofty, seldom criticised commentators get away with such analogies? Ponder the comparison. Wikileaks releases the 2010 collateral damage video which showed eleven innocent Iraqi citizens murdered by US marines flying above Baghdad streets in an Apache helicopter. The News of the World, known for crafting sex stories on Sunday as a diet for British readers, was eventually closed on account of journalists’ phone hacking practices, their unethical, illegal conduct revealed after inquiries into the murder of 13 year old schoolgirl Milly Dowler?

Significant public figures such as Dr. Fullilove usually receive an immediate, respectful audience. With benefits flowing from title and class, they are listened to and taken seriously. On this occasion, Fullilove should at least face a fraction of the scrutiny dished out for years to Assange.

In adulation of a country with the world’s largest prison population and the highest incarceration rates, which boasts a Supreme Court following the bidding of gun toting lobbies, where police shoot Afro-American citizens and do so mostly with impunity, Dr. Fullilove puts on his ‘I love America glasses’.

Instead of identifying a failed state, Fullilove tells us, ‘The US is a proud democracy. They have prosecutors, they have the rule of law, they have prosecutors that look at the evidence…’

What is this ‘rule of law’ when several US politicians recommended that Assange should be killed. They encouraged almost anyone to take a gun and shoot him?

What is this phenomenon called evidence? People of influence in Washington weighed the political benefits of prosecuting someone who had revealed murder and mayhem committed by US forces in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Well before these extradition proceedings, a secret grand jury in Virginia sat for years trying to concoct charges against Assange. In dismissal of the First Amendment of the US constitution which guarantees freedom of speech, a 1917 Espionage Act was resurrected and someone conjured the idea that 175 years in prison would be appropriate punishment for a citizen from another country who revealed US dirty secrets.

In response to cruelty to an Australian citizen convicted of nothing, politicians Scott Morrison and Marise Payne adopted the coward’s ploy. They could not interfere with the administration of justice in another country. They reassured themselves that the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade would provide consular assistance to Julian Assange. What does that mean?

Social distance from others’ experiences enables people in high places to assume they know best, that the public can be reassured. This robot-like claim applies as much to Australian governments’ repeated statements about consular assistance for Assange as it does to Dr. Fullilove’s assumptions.

After 1000 days in top security UK prison Belmarsh, Assange is reported to have been stripped naked and left in a bare cell.

In references to the Australian Consular Services Charter, which says that officers will try to ensure an Australian like Assange will be ‘treated no worse than local citizens detained for similar offences,’ the significant Assange supporter James Ricketson has asked Prime Minister Albanese and Foreign Minister Wong several questions. ‘Is it customary for ‘local citizens in the UK who have broken no UK laws to be held in jail for three years and denied bail? Is it customary for UK citizens to be stripped naked and left alone in a bare cell?‘

Unless such questions can be answered free of establishment platitudes about the law running its course, the picture persists that justice towards Julian Assange requires brutal controls supported by people who use neither their humanity nor their brains to articulate alternatives to collusion with powerful others, and to call that collusion the rule of law.

All this in the name of democracy, free speech for the privileged and the interpretation of some laws by unaccountable politicians, UK Home Secretary Priti Patel springs to mind.

Leverage by social class affects the perspective of those who may take the administration of justice for granted or who see fit to criticise defendants with whom they have nothing in common. Social class influence persists. The Executive Director of the Lowy Institute must be aware and should know better.




FREE JULIAN ASSANGE NOW......##############

homer simpson bojo……...


By Gary Younge / The Nation


As the ethical lapses kept piling up, Boris Johnson, who studied classics at Oxford university’s Balliol College, reached for the moral code of the Iliad. “He thinks in classical terms,” one MP told the London Times. “For him there is no greater honour in resigning than being killed…. if you are going to die, go down fighting.”

It was quite a reach. Ultimately, Johnson’s end owed more to Homer Simpson than to Homer the ancient Greek author. He didn’t go down fighting but was dragged out in denial. There was no honor in his demise; he was effectively shot by his own troops in his own bunker.


As has so often been the case with Johnson, it was a potent combination of sex, booze, and lies that brought him to the brink. Last week, the Conservative deputy chief whip, Chris Pincher, resigned after he admitted “[drinking] far too much” at a private club and “embarrass[ing himself] and other people.” It was alleged that he had groped two men. This was not the first time Pincher had been accused of sexual misconduct. Johnson insisted for several days that he was not aware of Pincher’s past, even as it emerged that he had nicknamed him “Pincher by name, pincher by nature.” When a retired civil servant issued a public letter on July 5 saying he had personally briefed Johnson about Pincher’s behavior a few years earlier, the dam broke. After Partygate, two dramatic special election defeats, and the resignation of his ethics adviser, this was one lie too many. Two senior ministers—the chancellor and the health secretary—resigned, citing a lack of integrity and competence. A mass desertion followed. Sixteen ministers walked in the same day. One of the dwindling band of Johnson loyalists was interrupted on the radio three times by news of new resignations even as he made the case for Johnson to stay.

The recent indignation at Johnson’s behavior must be understood as a matter of politics, rather than principle. His contempt for the truth, narcissistic behavior, and utter disregard for convention were not only not new: These were his calling cards. “When people show you who they are the first time,” Maya Angelou once said, “believe them.” Johnson had showed us again and again and again. It was only when he became a clear political and electoral liability that these blatant faults became a problem for his Tory colleagues.

Johnson then telephoned those who had not resigned, one by one, as Thatcher had done, believing that they would be less likely to refuse him individually than as a group. These were the people who were closest to him, both politically and personally. And as was the case with Thatcher, even individually most of them told him he should go. Still, he refused to budge.

When he called MPs to offer them the jobs vacated by those who’d just resigned, they wouldn’t take them up. No rat in their right mind joins a sinking ship. Ministers he had only appointed the day before resigned. One minister, who had Covid and couldn’t keep up with events, actually resigned after Johnson had himself announced his resignation. But like a cartoon character who can keep running off a cliff so long as they don’t look down, Johnson’s obstinacy was time-limited. By the time he finally resigned, he had not run out of road but had finally run into reality.

Earlier on the day the resignations started, Keir Starmer, leader of the opposition Labour Party, had attempted to draw a line under Brexit. The UK “will not go back into the EU” under a Labour government, he said, claiming that if elected his task would be “to make Brexit work.”

Yet in Johnson’s departure we are seeing the unravelling of Brexit’s legacy in Britain’s political culture. Its diplomatic and economic ramifications continue to make deep and lasting impressions. Six years after the referendum victory he fought for, Johnson’s resignation represents the beginning of the end of its impact on domestic politics.

Johnson’s political ascent was a product of the 2016 referendum to leave the European Union. At the time, most Tory MPs wanted to remain in the EU. David Cameron resigned as MP after the country voted to leave. His successor, Theresa May, who also supported remaining, kept a balance of Remainers and Leavers in her cabinet. May was forced to resign after she could not assemble a Commons majority for her Brexit plan. The party—and therefore the country—was left to the rump that had backed leaving, with Johnson at its helm. It was primarily, though not exclusively, because of his promise to “get Brexit done” that he won such a thumping majority over Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party in 2019.

Now that Brexit has not just “been done” but is accepted as a fact of political life by enough of the polity, it will, in time, cease to be such a defining factor in British politics. The 2019 election delivered a decisive electoral victory—but not an ideological one—and whatever headway the Tories might have made politically was interrupted by the pandemic. Since then, necessity has forced a huge increase in public spending, tax hikes, and a far more substantial windfall tax on energy companies than Labour had dared propose. It has a huge majority but no coherent agenda.

With no good reason for the Brexit wing of the Conservative Party—which had neither the most experienced nor the most competent parliamentarians in it—to hold sway any longer, and without Johnson’s imposing personality looming in quite the same way, we are likely to see a significant realignment within the party.

What comes next is uncertain. The situation is volatile and fluid. Inflation is high, growth has stalled, and we have a summer of strike action ahead of us. Labour is calling for a general election, but with Johnson gone and the public still not keen on Starmer, there is no reason to believe Labour would win an election in the highly unlikely event that one were called this year. Instead, in the coming months the more significant opposition will mostly come from outside Parliament.

At the time of writing, the question of exactly when Johnson will leave remains open. He initially said he wants to stay on until a new party leader can be chosen in the fall, which was how Cameron and May left. But they left with some dignity; Johnson leaves with his fingernails on the spotlight.

Johnson’s resignation statement was characteristically graceless. Blaming the “herd instinct” in Westminster, he said changing leader at this stage was “eccentric” but “when the herd moves, it moves.” The immediate response from Tories to his request was incredibly frosty, suggesting the trauma he inflicted by overstaying his welcome will not be forgiven soon.

Who might replace Johnson is also very much an open question. The Tory party has lost its center of gravity. Foreign Secretary Liz Truss is often touted, and former defense secretary Penny Mourdant and former chancellor Rishi Sunak (whose resignation earlier this week triggered the final stage of this crisis) have both been mentioned. But Johnson was such an outsize personality that few of his cabinet members have much of a personal following within the party; most couldn’t be picked out of a lineup by the general public.

What is certain is that Johnson’s successor will be a Tory, whose government will continue to favor the rich and screw the poor. “Kings were put to death long before 21 January 1793,” wrote Albert Camus, referring to Louis XVI’s execution after the French revolution. “But regicides of earlier times and their followers were interested in attacking the person, not principle, of the king. They wanted another king, and that was all.” The change of personnel in Downing Street is welcome, but it is a change in policies that we need.






As suspected Liz Truss is throwing her silly hat in the ring to become top cheese. She's the pits of UK-KONservatism and has a senseless lack of knowledge about history.... If Churchill was alive, he would push her in a pool full of Piranhas, but the poor fish might starve for the lack of substance. AND UNFORTUNATELY, BOJO WILL STILL BE HERE BY AUTUMN AWAITING A MIRACLE RESURRECTION.......


FREE JULIAN ASSANGE NOW.......................



By Craig Murray


Away from the Tory Babel over who will be the top “world-leading” sociopath, I just spent two evenings in the company of decent people. John and Gabriel Shipton, Julian’s father and brother, were in Glasgow and Edinburgh for the screening of Ithaka, the documentary that follows the fight by Julian Assange’s family to have him freed. I was moderating the Q & A. 

The odd pub may also have been visited.

Ithaka is heart-rending, and it has an important message in rehumanizing Julian after over a decade of concerted (I use that word advisedly) propaganda aimed at dehumanizing him.

[Related: WATCH: CN Live! — ‘The Assange Family Struggle’]

The sheer baseness of the extraordinary lies told by the mainstream media about his personal hygiene — leaving toilets unflushed and even smearing Embassy walls with excrement — is something straight out of Joseph Goebbels’ playbook. 

The cold calculation behind Assange’s treatment in his last months in the Ecuadorian embassy in London, when he was denied access to wash and shave, in order to produce the apparent monster for the photos of his arrest, is a true example of evil unfolding. 

Two days before his expulsion I telephoned the embassy and spoke to the first secretary (a call I recorded). I explained that if, as we understood, Julian were no longer welcome, they only had to say so and he would leave voluntarily to the police station. Instead, we had that calculated piece of theater. 

Presentation aside, it also enabled them to retain all of Julian’s possessions, including all his legal papers covered by client-attorney privilege relating to his defence.

As we heard in the extradition hearing, all of those papers were taken to Quito and then given to the C.I.A. This was admitted by counsel for the U.S. government who claimed that “Chinese walls” — a direct quote — within the U.S. government prevented the C.I.A. from passing any of that information to the Justice Department, which is running the case.

If you believe that, I have a bridge to sell you. But the fact is that it is the U.S. government that is applying for extradition and the U.S. government has stolen the legal papers of the other party in the case. In any other case this would lead to the case being kicked out immediately. 

If you add that together with the fact that the extradition treaty specifically bars political extradition, that the U.S. government’s key witness is a convicted fraudster and pedophile who was paid for his evidence (which he has since denounced), and that no journalist in the U.S. has ever been charged with espionage before, you begin to start to understand the depth of state depravity that has kept Julian in the U.K.’s strongest security prison for four birthdays. 


Pompeo Calls on Patel 

I found this curious. Mike Pompeo, former U.S. secretary of state, who oversaw the plot to kidnap or potentially assassinate Julian in the Ecuadorian embassy, called on U.K. Home Secretary Priti Patel on June 30, just after she signed Julian’s extradition order and also just after Pompeo had been summoned by a Spanish court to give evidence on the plot.



That photo is more unusual than might be immediately realized. With a Democrat in the White House, it is extremely rare for a senior British cabinet minister, acting in an official capacity, openly to flaunt friendship with senior Republicans from the defeated administration and to hold official meetings with them. 

Pompeo is now a private citizen. He could quite naturally be meeting Patel as a friend in her home — but officially, at the Home Office? This is really not done, or if exceptionally needed, it is done quietly.

What did they discuss in the Home Office?

Here is something else downright peculiar. According to The Wall Street Journal, Priti Patel asked the U.S. government to give her public congratulations for agreeing the extradition of Julian Assange:


“After Ms. Patel’s ruling on June 17, for example, a U.K. official asked the U.S. Embassy in London if officials there or at the Justice Department could release a statement welcoming Ms. Patel’s ruling, adding that she would appreciate such a show of support, according to people familiar with the request.”


The Justice Department declined to issue such a statement.

There is a very strange smell surrounding this extradition.

The film Ithaka is not a dissection of the legal issues, nor an in-depth recounting of the Assange case. It rather focuses on the devastating effect of his cruel imprisonment on his family, both his wife and children, and on his father John Shipton. 

[Related: WATCH: CN Covers Assange Movie Premiere in Sydney]

John’s personal crusade to save his son is the main focus. The insight into the fundamentals of the case — that the man who did most to expose war crimes is the man locked up and tortured, not the people who committed the war crimes — mostly come from interviews with Professor Nils Melzer, then U.N. special rapporteur on torture.


Do go see the film — which has had excellent reviews from mainstream film critics. Chairing the Q&A sessions afterwards I have been struck by the number of tear-stained eyes when the lights go up and the audience mood shifts from sorrow to anger fairly quickly. It is a remarkable film.

Let me give my own insights. As a technical bit of film-making, it is edited down from what must have been thousands of hours of footage. During the various stages of extradition hearings, I was personally miked up every single day for the film for a total of over five weeks. Tens of hours of conversation between John and myself were recorded, not one second of which made it into the film. 

That is absolutely not a complaint, you see more than enough of me. It is merely an illustration of the remarkable editing down on this film. Over a thousand hours were left on the cutting room floor to get down to just two in the film.

That of course gives the director, Ben Lawrence, and his editor massive ability to shape the narrative by selection. Ben has chosen to illustrate the bleakness of Julian’s isolation by emphasising the loneliness of John and Stella’s quest. I am sure that is artistically valid and it presents a real truth – nobody can truly share the despair of the family, and in the long dark night of the soul they are alone. 

But I do wish to assure you that the families are surrounded and supported by a group of really loving and caring people, very much more involved than I am. They are not foregrounded in the film for reasons of narrative selection, but they exist and they know they have the eternal gratitude of Julian and his whole family and many of the rest of us. 

I would further add that John Shipton’s eclectic mind and deeply philosophical nature are brought out wonderfully, but his immense charm and also his great pleasure in social company perhaps do not come across on the screen. Ben has focused on the more angular bits of John’s nature. 

None of that in any way detracts from the experience of a superb film by Ben Lawrence, produced by Julian’s quieter but very talented brother Gabriel. Undoubtedly the public perception has already been turning in Julian’s favour. Don’t just go see the film: take somebody who might have their eyes opened to the truth.

Craig Murray is an author, broadcaster and human rights activist. He was British ambassador to Uzbekistan from August 2002 to October 2004 and rector of the University of Dundee from 2007 to 2010. His coverage is entirely dependent on reader support. Subscriptions to keep this blog going are gratefully received.

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The views expressed are solely those of the author and may or may not reflect those of Consortium News.










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and many more articles about Julian Assange on this site.



the slimy creatures want to rule the world…...



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