The US Government Is Now Seeking To Arrest Julian Assange

The US and the UK are trying to capture, lure, try and convict on trumped up charges and execute Edward Snowden and Julian Assange for telling the truth. The US and the UK even admit it. And, you do nothing. Now, they have killed Jamal Khashoggi and they admit it, and again you do nothing. Who do you suppose will be next?

What message does your inaction send to the powers that be? Do you suppose? You’re telling them that they can do anything that they want and that you are powerless to stop them. Right?

CNN now report that US authorities have prepared charges to arrest the Wikileaks founder on grounds of having posted stolen, hacked and leaked information on the US government.

Seasons may come and go but Julian Assange remains locked in the Ecuadorian Embassy like a five year old who threatens to run away and only makes it to the end of the garden.

Despite clearly stating he would hand himself in were Obama to grant Chelsea Manning clemency, when Obama commuted Manning’s sentence, Assange remained hiding in the embassy broom cupboard.

Since 2012 Assange has been hiding in the Embassy where he was granted political asylum. This has made building a case against him difficult for the US Justice Department. But now sources have informed CNN that: ” Lawyers have found a way around first amendment concerns in the prosecution of Mr Assange”

Mike Pompeo commented that WikiLeaks “directed Chelsea Manning to intercept specific secret information, and it overwhelmingly focuses on the United States.”

“It’s time to call out WikiLeaks for what it really is: A non-state hostile intelligence service often abetted by state actors like Russia,” he added.

At a news conference yesterday Attorney General Jeff Sessions said that Assange’s arrest was now “a priority.”

“We are going to step up our effort and already are stepping up our efforts on all leaks,” he said.

“This is a matter that’s gone beyond anything I’m aware of. We have professionals that have been in the security business of the United States for many years that are shocked by the number of leaks and some of them are quite serious. So yes, it is a priority. We’ve already begun to step up our efforts and whenever a case can be made, we will seek to put some people in jail.”

Sources: US prepares charges to seek arrest of WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange

US authorities have prepared charges to seek the arrest of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, US officials familiar with the matter tell CNN.

The Justice Department investigation of Assange and WikiLeaks dates to at least 2010, when the site first gained wide attention for posting thousands of files stolen by the former US Army intelligence analyst now known as Chelsea Manning.

Prosecutors have struggled with whether the First Amendment precluded the prosecution of Assange, but now believe they have found a way to move forward.

During President Barack Obama’s administration, Attorney General Eric Holder and officials at the Justice Department determined it would be difficult to bring charges against Assange because WikiLeaks wasn’t alone in publishing documents stolen by Manning. Several newspapers, including The New York Times, did as well. The investigation continued, but any possible charges were put on hold, according to US officials involved in the process then.

The US view of WikiLeaks and Assange began to change after investigators found what they believe was proof that WikiLeaks played an active role in helping Edward Snowden, a former NSA analyst, disclose a massive cache of classified documents.

Assange remains holed up in the Ecuadorian embassy in London, seeking to avoid an arrest warrant on rape allegations in Sweden. In recent months, US officials had focused on the possibility that a new government in Ecuador would expel Assange and he could be arrested. But the left-leaning presidential candidate who won the recent election in the South American nation has promised to continue to harbor Assange.

Last week in a speech at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, CIA Director Mike Pompeo went further than any US government official in describing a role by WikiLeaks that went beyond First Amendment activity.

He said WikiLeaks “directed Chelsea Manning to intercept specific secret information, and it overwhelmingly focuses on the United States.”

“It’s time to call out WikiLeaks for what it really is: A non-state hostile intelligence service often abetted by state actors like Russia,” Pompeo said.

US intelligence agencies have also determined that Russian intelligence used WikiLeaks to publish emails aimed at undermining the campaign of Hillary Clinton, as part of a broader operation to meddle in the US 2016 presidential election. Hackers working for Russian intelligence agencies stole thousands of emails from the Democratic National Committee and officials in the Clinton campaign and used intermediaries to pass along the documents to WikiLeaks, according to a public assessment by US intelligence agencies.

Still, the move could be viewed as political, since Assange is untouchable as long as he remains in the Ecuadorian embassy, and Ecuador has not changed its stance on Assange’s extradition.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions said at a news conference Thursday that Assange’s arrest is a “priority.”

“We are going to step up our effort and already are stepping up our efforts on all leaks,” he said. “This is a matter that’s gone beyond anything I’m aware of. We have professionals that have been in the security business of the United States for many years that are shocked by the number of leaks and some of them are quite serious. So yes, it is a priority. We’ve already begun to step up our efforts and whenever a case can be made, we will seek to put some people in jail.”

“We’ve had no communication with the Department of Justice and they have not indicated to me that they have brought any charges against Mr. Assange,” said Assange’s lawyer, Barry Pollack. “They’ve been unwilling to have any discussion at all, despite our repeated requests, that they let us know what Mr. Assange’s status is in any pending investigations. There’s no reason why WikiLeaks should be treated differently from any other publisher.”

Pollack said WikiLeaks is just like the Washington Post and the New York Times, which routinely publish stories based on classified information. WikiLeaks, he says, publishes information that is in “the public’s interest to know not just about the United States but other governments around the world.”

Assange has also compared WikiLeaks to a news media organization that uses documents provided by whistleblowers to expose the actions of governments and powerful corporations.

“Quite simply, our motive is identical to that claimed by the New York Times and The Post — to publish newsworthy content,” Assange wrote in a recent op-ed in The Washington Post. “Consistent with the U.S.

Constitution, we publish material that we can confirm to be true irrespective of whether sources came by that truth legally or have the right to release it to the media. And we strive to mitigate legitimate concerns, for example by using redaction to protect the identities of at-risk intelligence agents.”

In his speech last week, Pompeo rejected that characterization and said Assange should not be afforded constitutional free speech protections.

“Julian Assange has no First Amendment freedoms. He’s sitting in an Embassy in London. He’s not a US citizen,” Pompe said.

Rep. Peter King, R-New York, told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer that based on CNN’s reporting, “I’m glad that the Justice Department has found a way to go after Assange. He’s gotten a free ride for too long.”

King said Assange has “caused tremendous damage to our national security, put American lives at risk.”

But Ben Wizner, director of the American Civil Liberties Union’s Speech, Privacy and Technology Project, argued that US prosecution of Assange sets a dangerous precedent.

“Never in the history of this country has a publisher been prosecuted for presenting truthful information to the public,” Wizner told CNN. “Any prosecution of WikiLeaks for publishing government secrets would set a dangerous precedent that the Trump administration would surely use to target other news organizations.”

The US and the UK are trying to capture, lure, try and convict on trumped up charges and execute Edward Snowden and Julian Assange for telling the truth. The US and the UK even admit it. And, you do nothing. Now, they have killed Jamal Khashoggi and they admit it, and again you do nothing. Who do you suppose will be next?

What message does your inaction send to the powers that be? Do you suppose? You’re telling them that they can do anything that they want and that you are powerless to stop them. Right?

FREE JULIAN:
WIKILEAKS:
The Top 100 Most Damaging Wikileaks (so far)
Search WikiLeaks
WikiLeaks: State Department cable “Detainees were raped”

Apartheid Part 2

By Christopher R Rice

Trump asks Mike Pompeo to look at South African land seizures and ‘large scale killing of farmers’ (BI)

(Reuters) – US President Donald Trump said he had asked Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to “closely study the South Africa land and farm seizures” and the killing of farmers there.

“I have asked Secretary of State @SecPompeo to closely study the South Africa land and farm seizures and expropriations and large scale killing of farmers,” Trump said in a post on Twitter.

Related: Smash and grab’ of land won’t happen in South Africa, says Ramaphosa (Bloomberg)

Related: South Africa withdraws white farmland redistribution bill six days after Trump warned he was closely studying the situation (DailyMail)

So the ANC caved because Trump threatened you with Pompeo. Well, let me tell you something about Pompeo. Trump sent Pompeo to Korea to slip Kim Jong Un a nerve agent but he failed. Then Trump sent Pompeo to Iran, where Pompeo paid some Iranians to protest in a weak attempt at a color revolution that also failed.

Related: Mike Pompeo reportedly joked he was still trying to kill Kim Jong Un on first meeting him (BI)

So you have nothing to fear from Pompeo. What did Pompeo do when he was at the CIA? Nothing but suck on the public tit and stuff his face with donuts. And you’re worried about this asshole?

Related: Pompeo announces Iran Action Group to ramp up pressure on Tehran (LATimes)

I have a message for the ANC: When you were in diapers and wetting the sheets I was fighting de Klerk’s Apartheid and Ronald fucking Reagan.

Related: Trump Cites False Claims of Widespread Attacks on White Farmers in South Africa (NYTimes)

Biko and Reagan are both dead but I’m still here.

Ronald Reagan had no problems with Apartheid which kept blacks from owning their own land. Either did Donald Trump. I know because I was there and I fought Reagan myself over what Reagan termed “constructive engagement.” And since my friends the US had no problems, at all, with whites stealing land from blacks. How can you now keep that land in white hands?

When I started the boycotts that ended Apartheid, I begged everyone to please not stop protesting, because as I said then, nothing will change. Ending the Apartheid laws was a scam just like civil rights legislation in the US was a scam, too.

Black are no better off than before. Black South Africans still work 16 hours a day seven days a week to live in a shanty town where the houses are made out of cardboard boxes.

So to the ANC, I’d like to say that you are no better than Apartheid under de Klerk and I will fight you with everything I have until the day I die. Because the Underground believes that no one is free until we are all free. And freedom is something that is worth fighting for. Freedom is something worth dying for.

The difference between a rich man and a poor man is a poor man will travel halfway around the world to die for another mans freedom while a rich man will ask for five deferments and run from harms way. I am not a rich man.

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CIA Destroys Interrogation Tapes, NSA Uses Porn to “Break Down Detainees”

By ACLU

From jailing children together with adults in prisons where they were raped to failing to notify their parents of their arrest, the U.S. committed numerous war crimes against children in Afghanistan and Iraq, a new book on President Bush states.

~snip~  “American guards videotaped Iraqi male prisoners raping young boys but took no action to stop the offenses (and) children in Abu Ghraib were deliberately frightened by dogs,” writes political scientist Michael Haas in his new book, “George W. Bush, War Criminal?”(Praeger), a question he answers in the affirmative.

According to a letter filed by the government in court, the CIA acknowledged it destroyed 92 tapes of interrogations. The admission comes in an American Civil Liberties Union lawsuit seeking records of the treatment of prisoners in U.S. custody abroad. In December 2007, the ACLU filed a motion to hold the CIA in contempt for its destruction of videotapes recording the harsh interrogation of prisoners in violation of a court order requiring the agency to produce or identify all the requested records.

The following can be attributed to Amrit Singh, staff attorney with the ACLU:

“This letter provides further evidence for holding the CIA in contempt of court. The large number of videotapes destroyed confirms that the agency engaged in a systemic attempt to hide evidence of its illegal interrogations and to evade the court’s order. Our contempt motion has been pending in court for over a year now – it is time to hold the CIA accountable for its flagrant disregard for the rule of law.”

The tapes, which show CIA operatives subjecting suspects to extremely harsh interrogation methods, should have been identified and processed for the ACLU in response to its FOIA request demanding information on the treatment and interrogation of detainees in U.S. custody. The tapes were also withheld from the 9/11 Commission, appointed by former President Bush and Congress, which had formally requested that the CIA hand over transcripts and recordings documenting the interrogation of CIA prisoners.

A copy of the government’s letter is available at:  ACLU

The ACLU’s contempt motion and related legal documents are available online at: www.aclu.org/torturefoia

‘She was up to her eyeballs in torture’: Trump’s nominee for CIA director oversaw the torture of detainees under Bush By , BusinessInsider

President Donald Trump’s controversial nominee to lead the Central Intelligence Agency helped implement the agency’s torture program under the George W. Bush administration, a record that will make her confirmation process difficult and likely ugly.

Gina Haspel, who joined the CIA in 1985 and spent most of her career undercover, oversaw the waterboarding and use of other “enhanced interrogation techniques” — authorized by the Bush administration and later outlawed by President Barack Obama and Congress — at a secret CIA prison in Thailand in 2002.

Haspel was nominated to become the agency’s first female director after Trump fired Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and asked CIA Director Mike Pompeo to replace him.

At the Thai prison, known as a “black site,” that Haspel ran, two terror suspects were extensively tortured. One detainee, Abu Zubaydah, was waterboarded 83 times in one month and subjected to other dangerous treatment, including having his head slammed against a wall repeatedly.

Interrogators ultimately determined that Zubaydah, who lost an eye during his CIA detention, did not possess any useful information.

In 2005, Haspel signed a cable ordering the destruction of 92 video tapes of Zubaydah’s interrogations — a decision that became the subject of a lengthy criminal investigation by the Justice Department that did not result in charges. Haspel also helped facilitate the “extraordinary rendition program,” in which the US government handed detainees over to foreign officials, who detained and tortured them in secret prisons.

Hundreds of terror suspects were tortured and abused by the CIA and Department of Defense in the years following the 9/11 terrorist attacks. And while the Bush administration’s program, which violated longstanding US and international law, has been widely condemned both domestically and around the world, no government official has ever been prosecuted for their involvement in it.

Current CIA director Mike Pompeo has said that waterboarding and other “enhanced interrogation techniques” do not constitute torture. And he has defended intelligence officials and others who engaged in these practices as “heroes” and “patriots” simply protecting their country.

Trump repeatedly expressed his support for torture, including waterboarding, on the campaign trail.

“Would I approve waterboarding? You bet your ass I would. In a heartbeat,” Trump said during a 2016 campaign rally. “I would approve more than that. It works.”

The ACLU, which has engaged in extensive litigation concerning the government’s torture program, is pushing the CIA to declassify and release “every aspect of Haspel’s torture record” before she is put through the nomination process.

Former CIA Director John Brennan, who led the agency under Obama, praised Haspel as someone with “a lot of integrity,” despite her record, during a Tuesday interview on MSNBC.

What do you suppose was on those tapes? The International Criminal Court prosecutor asked for authorization to investigate reported human rights abuses in Afghanistan, including allegations of rape and torture by U.S. military and the CIA, crimes against humanity by the Taliban and war crimes by Afghan security forces. Source: NBC

Controversial nominee Gina Haspel confirmed as first female CIA director 

Gina Haspel was confirmed Thursday to be the first female director of the CIA with the help of votes from a half-dozen Senate Democrats.

Haspel was confirmed in a 54-45 vote, the culmination of a roller-coaster nomination that appeared to be in danger at several points after she was abruptly selected by President Donald Trump in March.

Three Republicans opposed Haspel’s nomination: Sens. Rand Paul of Kentucky, Jeff Flake of Arizona and John McCain of Arizona, although McCain did not vote because he’s battling brain cancer at home.

But Haspel secured enough votes to win confirmation with the backing of six Democrats, including Virginia Sen. Mark Warner, the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee. Continue reading: CNN

NSA Used Porn to “Break Down Detainees” in Iraq — and Other Revelations From 297 Snowden Documents By , , TheIntercept

He was an NSA staffer but also a volunteer, having signed up to provide technical expertise for a wide-ranging, joint CIA mission in Iraq. He did not know what he was getting himself into.

After arriving in Baghdad “grungy and tired,” the staffer would later write, he discovered that the CIA and its partner, the Defense Intelligence Agency, had moved beyond talking to locals and were now intent on looking through their computer files. Marines would bring the NSA man “laptops, hard drives, CDs, phones and radios.” Sometimes the devices were covered in blood — and quite often they contained pornography, deemed “extremely useful” in humiliating and “breaking down” for interrogation the people who owned them.

The story of how the National Security Agency harvested porn for use against prisoners in Iraq is just one of the revelations disclosed in the agency’s internal newsletter SIDtoday during the second half of 2005.

There’s also the tale of how some intercepts would be rushed almost instantly to the president at Camp David via golf cart “with virtually no oversight.”

Then there’s one about how the NSA declared it could find “not many” Arabic translators it could trust among “the largest Arabic-speaking population in the United States.”

Or the story of how the agency listened as the Egyptian government dictated through its communication channels the final results for an election that had barely begun.

Told in more detail below, these are highlights from some 297 SIDtoday articles published today by The Intercept as part of an ongoing project to release, after careful review, material provided by whistleblower Edward Snowden.

From the same SIDtoday release — our sixth thus far — we are publishing three other articles. One is an investigation into a secretive global intelligence-sharing alliance led by the NSA, comprising 18 members and known as the SIGINT Seniors. Another looks at increased surveillance in the United Kingdom following the London bombings in 2005 — and discloses for the first time a secret agreement to share metadata harvested from the vast data repositories of the NSA and its counterparts in the U.K., Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.

Also today, in collaboration with the Norwegian Broadcaster NRK, we shine light on a large spy base located outside Oslo. The base was built with the NSA’s help to aid Norway’s military and counterterrorism operations overseas. But it has also swept up Norwegian citizens’ phone and email records – and is now at the center of a dispute over illegal surveillance.

The NSA declined to comment for this article.

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U.S. Military nudes exposed (NSFW)

CIA director Mike Pompeo was “blindsided” by an executive order that opens the door for American intelligence agencies to resume waterboarding and other “enhanced interrogation techniques” at newly reopened CIA “black site” prisons overseas, according to a source familiar with conversations he has had about the document.

Trump told ABC News anchor David Muir: “We’re not playing on an even field. When they’re chopping off the heads of our people, and other people — when they’re chopping off the heads of people because they happen to be a Christian in the Middle East — when ISIS is doing things that nobody has ever heard of since medieval times, would I feel strongly about waterboarding? As far as I’m concerned, we have to fight fire with fire.”

Trumps executive order does not seem to be limited to ‘foreign’ detainees but “anyone, anywhere that the President deems to be a threat to the safety and security of the United States.”

ANTI-TORTURE LINKS:

Anti-Torture Initiative with the United Nations Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment.

irct International Rehabilitation Council for Torture Victims

UN Committee Against Torture

Abolish Torture Muslims Against Torture And Political Imprisonment Everywhere

Witness Against Torture formed in 2005 when 25 Americans went to Guantánamo Bay and attempted to visit the detention facility. Once we returned from that journey, we began to organize more broadly to shut down Guantánamo, working with interfaith, human rights and activists’ organizations.

Stop Torture The Harvard Anti-Torture Coalition

Human Rights Watch is a nonprofit, nongovernmental human rights organization made up of roughly 400 staff members around the globe. Its staff consists of human rights professionals including country experts, lawyers, journalists, and academics of diverse backgrounds and nationalities. Established in 1978, Human Rights Watch is known for its accurate fact-finding, impartial reporting, effective use of media, and targeted advocacy, often in partnership with local human rights groups.

TASSC (Torture Abolition & Survivors Support Coalition) is a coalition of torture survivors, representing countries and ethnic groups throughout all parts of the world.

APT  The Association for the Prevention of Torture was founded in 1977 by the Swiss banker and lawyer Jean-Jacques Gautier. Our work is built on the insight that torture and forms of ill-treatment happens behind closed doors, out of public view. We therefore promote transparency in all places where people are deprived of liberty.

Amnesty International is a global movement of people fighting injustice and promoting human rights.

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