Aug 122021

Julian #Assange attending today’s hearing by video-link from H.M.P. Belmarsh. It is astounding how much he seems to have aged in the space of six months. Puffed-up face and tired eyes. Hair and beard growing unruly. Very sad state of affairs. – Tareq Haddad


Microscopic Covid Vaccine-Induced Blood Clots (LSN)
Delta Variant Has Made Herd Immunity Impossible – AZ Developer (BI)
The Delta Variant Isn’t As Contagious As Chickenpox. But It’s Contagious (NPR)
La Pampa Ivermectin Monitored Intervention Program Results (IC)
India’s Ivermectin Blackout (Hope)
CDC Adjusts Florida Covid-19 Numbers After Health Department Call-Out (Fox)
SAGE Advisor Says Lockdowns Can No Longer Be Justified (SN)
Australia Can’t Escape Covid Lockdowns Even If 90% Is Vaccinated – Expert (DM)
Joe Biden Never Mentioned Covid ‘Quarantine Camps’… But The CDC Did (Bridge)
The Ultimate Power of The Word “NO” (Rossini)
Andrew Cuomo Is Resigning, But The Investigations Will Continue (USAT)
US Allowed To Challenge Key Psychiatric Evidence in Assange Case (RT)





Serious covid cases in Israel spike — 90% of serious cases are people over 50.

Fun fact: 95% of people over 50 are vaccinated



Oh, just great. And not even surprising anymore.

“And so, we understood in the end, the reason why the lungs fail is not because the virus is there. It is because micro blood clots are there..”

Microscopic Covid Vaccine-Induced Blood Clots (LSN)

Dr. Charles Hoffe has been practicing medicine for 28 years in a small, rural town in British Columbia, Canada, and recently gave a long interview. He has given about 900 doses of the Moderna experimental mRNA vaccine to his patients. So, contrary to some critics, he is no anti-vaccine doctor. The core problem he has seen are microscopic clots in his patients’ tiniest capillaries. He said, “Blood clots occurring at a capillary level. This has never before been seen. This is not a rare disease. This is an absolutely new phenomenon.” Most importantly, he has emphasized these micro-clots are too small to show up on CT scans, MRI, and other conventional tests, such as angiograms, and can only be detected using the D-dimer blood test, a standard test that indicates whether blood clots are being actively formed somewhere within a person’s vascular system.

Using the latter, he found that 62 percent of his patients injected with an mRNA shot were positive for clotting, not a small fraction that can be easily dismissed. He has explained that what is happening in bodies is that the spike proteins in the vaccine become “part of the cell wall of your vascular endothelium. This means that these cells which line your blood vessels, which are supposed to be smooth so that your blood flows smoothly, now have these little spikey bits sticking out. … when the platelet comes through the capillary, it suddenly hits all these COVID spikes, and it becomes absolutely inevitable that blood clots will form to block that vessel.” He made an important distinction: “The blood clots we hear about, which the media claim are very rare, are the big blood clots, which are the ones that cause strokes and show up on CT scans, MRI, etc.

“The clots I’m talking about are microscopic and too small to find on any scan. They can thus only be detected using the D-dimer test.” “The most alarming part of this is that there are some parts of the body like the brain, spinal cord, heart and lungs which cannot re-generate. When those tissues are damaged by blood clots, they are permanently damaged.” This is his pessimistic, scientific view: “blood vessels in their lungs are now blocked up. In turn, this causes the heart to need to work harder to try to keep up against a much greater resistance trying to get the blood through your lungs. This is called pulmonary artery hypertension – high blood pressure in the lungs because the blood simply cannot get through effectively. “People with this condition usually die of heart failure within a few short years.”

[..] The eminent Dr. Peter McCullough noted, “So, this is a very different type of blood clotting that we would see with major blood clots in the arteries and veins, for instance, blood clots involved in stroke and heart attack, blood clots involved in major blood vessels in the legs. This was a different type of clotting, and in fact, the Italians courageously did some autopsies and found micro blood clots in the lungs.” “And so, we understood in the end, the reason why the lungs fail is not because the virus is there. It is because micro blood clots are there. … When people can’t breathe, the problem is micro blood clotting in the lungs. … The spicule on the ball of the virus itself which damages blood vessels that causes blood clotting.”

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Some of this stuff is plain weird. This guy admits his vaccine fails to do what it promised, but says it’s only because there’s a new variant. And herd immunity can only be reached with vaccines. Which is contradicted even by the WHO’s new distorted definition that now says: “Herd immunity is a form of indirect protection from infectious disease that can occur with some diseases when a sufficient percentage of a population has become immune to an infection, whether through vaccination or previous infections..”

Delta Variant Has Made Herd Immunity Impossible – AZ Developer (BI)

The Delta variant has changed the equation for achieving herd immunity, the developer of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine has said. Speaking at a UK parliamentary meeting on Tuesday, Sir Andrew Pollard, a professor of pediatric infection and immunity at the University of Oxford, said that achieving herd immunity is “not a possibility” now that the Delta variant is circulating. “We know very clearly with coronavirus that this current variant, the Delta variant, will still infect people who have been vaccinated, and that does mean that anyone who’s still unvaccinated, at some point, will meet the virus,” Pollard said. He said it was unlikely that herd immunity will ever be reached, saying the next variant of the novel coronavirus will be “perhaps even better at transmitting in vaccinated populations.”

Some experts had hoped that herd immunity could be reached with COVID-19, as was the case with measles, which is also highly infectious. Many countries have achieved herd immunity with measles by vaccinating 95% of the population against it, such as the US, where endemic transmission ended in 2000. That is because once a person is vaccinated against measles, they cannot transmit the virus. With COVID-19, vaccines still fulfill their primary role: protecting against severe disease. According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, vaccinated people who catch the Delta variant are 25 times less likely to have a severe case or die. The overwhelming majority who do catch it will have mild or no symptoms. But growing evidence suggests that, with the Delta variant, fully vaccinated people can still transmit the virus.

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The CDC lied again. Who notices anymore?

The Delta Variant Isn’t As Contagious As Chickenpox. But It’s Contagious (NPR)

In a leaked report, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention made a surprising claim about the delta variant of the coronavirus: It “is as transmissible as: – Chicken Pox,” the agency wrote in a slideshow presentation leaked to The Washington Post on July 26. Chickenpox is one of the most contagious viruses known. Each individual can spread the virus to as many as “90% of the people close to that person,” the CDC reports. Is the delta variant that contagious as well? The short answer is no, says evolutionary biologist and biostatistician Tom Wenseleers at the University of Leuven in Belgium. “Yeah, I didn’t find the CDC’s statement entirely accurate,” says Wenseleers, who was one of the first scientists to formally calculate the transmission advantage of the alpha and delta variants over the original versions of SARS-CoV-2.

Nonetheless, delta is still highly transmissible, he adds. It’s one of the most contagious respiratory viruses that we know of, he says. Here’s why. When scientists measure a virus’s transmissibility, they often use what’s known as R0, or “R nought. ” It’s the number of people a sick person will infect when the entire population is vulnerable to the virus. “So it’s the virus’s potential of spreading, given ideal conditions for the virus, when no one has any immunity,” says computational biologist Karthik Gangavarapu at the Scripps Research Institute. For example, the flu has an R0 of about two. Each person infected with flu passes the virus on to two people on average. Some people will infect more than two people, and some will infect fewer. But over time, the average will be about two.

Chickenpox, on the other hand, is way more contagious, Gangavarapu says. Chickenpox has an R0 of about nine or 10. So each person with chickenpox infects about 10 other people on average. Outbreaks are explosive. For SARS-CoV-2, the R0 has actually risen over the course of the pandemic as the virus evolved. When the coronavirus first emerged in 2019, SARS-CoV-2 was slightly more contagious than flu, Gangavarapu says. “The initial COVID-19 strain had an R0 between two and three.” Then about a year later, the virus began to mutate quickly. The alpha variant emerged, likely in the U.K., and was more transmissible than the original strain. A few months later, the delta variant emerged, most likely in India. It was even more transmissible than alpha.

“For the delta variant, the R0 is now calculated at between six and seven,” Wenseleers says. So it’s two- to three-times as contagious as the original version of SARS-CoV-2 (R0 = 2 to 3) but less contagious than the chickenpox (R0 = 9 to 10).

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Google translate from Argentina. Bit confusing, 4 different percentages in a few paragraphs. And I don’t get why they specifically focus on mortality (or even how), given that 99.9% of people survive.

La Pampa Ivermectin Monitored Intervention Program Results (IC)

“The primary objective in the community of the two populations was to evaluate mortality related to COVID-19. In this context, we studied 3,269 patients older than 18 years of the Ivermectin Group, and in the same period we compared it with a group of 18,149 patients who did not participate in the program. In the results of the mortality analysis in the Ivermectin Group, we found that it was 27.4% lower compared to the group of patients who did not use the drug. And when we evaluate the population over 40 years of age, the cut-off point that we established, the decrease was 33.4%. It means that, if confirmed with a randomized clinical study, 1 out of every 3 deaths would be avoided, it is a very strong figure, ”said Kohan.

The minister added that, in the Program, a dose of 0.6 milligrams per kilo of weight was used, in a period of 5 days. “The previous work carried out gave the clue that this was the correct dose in the first 5 days of transit of the disease with mild symptoms,” he added. Kohan. With the statistical data in hand, he considered it valuable that the study carried out in La Pampa was made known to the scientific community through the fastest possible channels. “We are going to publish it, we have discussed it with the working group, and we believe it is important that it be made available. And we are going to try to pave the way for rapid dissemination, so we first thought of making a preprint (in academic publication it is an original manuscript of an author before peer review) in a specialized journal.

We want others to discuss this issue and, as I said in June, we are not fans of Ivermectin but we found valuable elements in favor of the population. The statistics are there, and we also find more favorable statistics even in patients with comorbidities ”he added. Even under the encouragement of positive statistics, Kohan considered it important to be cautious with the dissemination of them. “Those who intervened and signed the consent are specifically detailed in specific files, those of the Control Group are not. For this reason, when you add the risk factors in people over 40 years of age, the mortality reduction is 44%, it is amazing, but you have to take it with great caution, “he said. Finally, he gave an account of the evaluations of intensive care hospitalizations and/or deaths “where we verified a 38% reduction in the patients of the Ivermectin Group” he concluded.

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Obesity may play a major role here. US is 15 times worse than even Tamil Nadu.

India’s Ivermectin Blackout (Hope)

The graphs and data from the Johns Hopkins University CSSE database do not lie. On the contrary, they provide a compelling trail of truth that no one can dispute, not even the NIH, CDC, FDA, and WHO. Just as Galileo proved with his telescope that the earth was NOT the center of the Universe in 1616; today, the data from India shows that Ivermectin is effective, much more so than the vaccines. It not only prevents death, but it also prevents COVID infections, and it also is effective against the Delta Variant. In 1616, you could not make up the telescopic images of Jupiter and its orbiting moons, nor could you falsify the crescent-shaped images of Venus and Mercury. These proved that the earth was NOT the center of the Universe – a truth the Catholic Church could not allow.

Likewise, the massive drop in cases and deaths in India to almost nothing after the addition of Ivermectin proved the drug’s effectiveness. This is a truth that the NIH, CDC, and FDA cannot allow because it would endanger the vaccine policy. Never mind that Ivermectin would save more lives with much less risk, much less cost, and it would end the pandemic quickly. Let us look at the burgundy-colored graph of Uttar Pradesh. First, allow me to thank Juan Chamie, a highly-respected Cambridge-based data analyst, who created this graph from the JHU CSSE data. Uttar Pradesh is a state in India that contains 241 million people. The United States’ population is 331 million people. Therefore, Uttar Pradesh can be compared to the United States, with 2/3 of our population size.

This data shows how Ivermectin knocked their COVID-19 cases and deaths – which we know were Delta Variant – down to almost zero within weeks. A population comparable to the US went from about 35,000 cases and 350 deaths per day to nearly ZERO within weeks of adding Ivermectin to their protocol. By comparison, the United States is the lower graph. On August 5, here in the good ol’ USA, blessed with the glorious vaccines, we have 127,108 new cases per day and 574 new deaths. Let us look at the August 5 numbers from Uttar Pradesh with 2/3 of our population. Uttar Pradesh, using Ivermectin, had a total of 26 new cases and exactly THREE deaths. The US without Ivermectin has precisely 4889 times as many daily cases and 191 times as many deaths as Uttar Pradesh with Ivermectin.

Uttar Pradesh on Ivermectin: Population 240 Million [4.9% fully vaccinated]
COVID Daily Cases: 26
COVID Daily Deaths: 3

The United States off Ivermectin: Population 331 Million [50.5% fully vaccinated]
COVID Daily Cases: 127,108
COVID Daily Deaths: 574

Let us look at other Ivermectin using areas of India with numbers from August 5, 2021, compiled by the JHU CSSE:
Delhi on Ivermectin: Population 31 Million [15% fully vaccinated]
COVID Daily Cases: 61
COVID Daily Deaths: 2

Uttarakhand on Ivermectin: Population 11.4 Million [15% fully vaccinated]
COVID Daily Cases: 24
COVID Daily Deaths: 0

Now let us look at an area of India that rejected Ivermectin. Tamil Nadu announced they would reject Ivermectin and instead follow the dubious USA-style guidance of using Remdesivir. Knowing this, you might expect their numbers to be closer to the US, with more cases and more deaths. You would be correct. Tamil Nadu went on to lead India in COVID-19 cases.
Tamil Nadu off Ivermectin: Population 78.8 Million [6.9% fully vaccinated]
COVID Daily Cases: 1,997
COVID Daily Deaths: 33

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By close to 50%. How often does the CDC make such “mistakes”?

CDC Adjusts Florida Covid-19 Numbers After Health Department Call-Out (Fox)

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Tuesday updated its COVID-19 tracker for Florida over the past few days after the state’s department of health appealed publically for an update. The CDC told Fox News in an email on Tuesday that it was working with the state’s health department to correct the information. The state took to Twitter on Monday to ask the CDC to update its COVID-19 case tracker because it incorrectly combined “MULTIPLE days into one.” The Sunday total was the state’s worst ever, according to the CDC data. Multiple media organizations picked up on the number and the department corrected the stories online with some bite.

“Wrong again. The number of cases @CDCgov released for Florida today is incorrect,” it responded to a report in the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. “They combined MULTIPLE days into one. We anticipate CDC will correct the record.” The CDC initially reported 28,317 new cases on Sunday but adjusted that number to 19,584 by Tuesday. The health department said there were 15,319 cases on Sunday.

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They’re going to do them anyway.

SAGE Advisor Says Lockdowns Can No Longer Be Justified (SN)

A top SAGE adviser to the UK government says that COVID lockdowns can no longer be justified and that measures to control the virus should instead be aimed at protecting the most vulnerable. Professor Andrew Hayward, a University College London epidemiologist, said that the days of disruptive restrictions imposed on everyone should end in favor of a more targeted approach. “I think as we generally move into an endemic rather than pandemic situation the potential harm that a virus can cause at a population level is much less,” Hayward told BBC Radio 4. “So you can’t really justify such broad population-wide control measures and we tend to target the control measures more to those who are most vulnerable,” he added.

“And so I think, not only in testing but in all sorts of forms of control, as we move into a situation where we’re coming to live with this virus forever, then we target the measures to the most vulnerable rather than having the more disruptive measures,” said the professor. Hayward’s view that we need to learn to live with the virus was echoed by signatories to the Great Barrington Declaration, in which 12,000 scientists asserted that the strategy should be centered on “focused protection,” not endless lockdowns. However, the UK government is still pursuing the idea of vaccine passports for some venues from September onwards while eliminating the option of negative COVID tests, despite the fact that fully vaccinated people can still catch and spread the virus.

The domestic passports have proven highly controversial in France, where police were seen earlier this week checking the medical papers of people sitting outside at cafes. As we previously highlighted, some lockdown advocates appear to be upset that the restrictions might not make a return, with a Guardian journalist writing about how he is “going to miss being locked down.”

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Build a wall around it. Shut down the airlines and the ports. Don’t let anyone leave ever again.

Australia Can’t Escape Covid Lockdowns Even If 90% Is Vaccinated – Expert (DM)

A top US disease expert who was among the first to sound the alarm when the Covid pandemic first appeared in Wuhan has painted a bleak picture for millions of Australians hoping to be released from stay-at-home orders. Harvard-trained epidemiologist Dr Eric Feigl-Ding warned that even with 90 per cent of Australia’s population vaccinated – 10 per cent higher than the federal government’s reopening target of 80 per cent – it still won’t be enough to fend off the relentless cycles of lockdowns. Dr Feigl-Ding said in order to live with the highly infectious Indian Delta variant, life will need to remain in a perpetual state of restrictions including a ban on indoor dining and a move to premium face masks.

But despite the grim outlook, he’s still urging everyone to get the potentially life-saving jab as its proven to reduce hospitalisation rates by about 90 per cent. ‘Even for highly vaccinated countries, relying on vaccines alone is not a panacea to stop Delta,’ he told A Current Affair. ‘What that means is just relying on that single vaccine approach is very, very narrow minded. ‘We must do other layers in addition to waiting around for vaccines.’ He says life returning to normal is still a long way off and suggests a public health strategy ‘in between’ being locked down or fully opened is needed. This would include bans on indoor dining and cloth-made masks, improved ventilation standards and a nationwide vaccine passport system.

‘No one wants lockdowns… but if you don’t have these in place I guarantee you, you will be headed towards a lockdown because the cases will be surging so quickly and the hospital beds will be filling up,’ Dr Feigl-Ding said. ‘Without these measures you’re headed for disaster.’

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The CDC is just one long horror story. Bunch of career bureaucrats in no way up to an actual challenge.

Just like Fauci, who spent 40 years in his job in silence, building ties with Big Pharma. Of course he’s going to screw up after all that.

Joe Biden Never Mentioned Covid ‘Quarantine Camps’… But The CDC Did (Bridge)

As a number of politicians push for ‘vaccine passports’ amid fears that a new brand of medical apartheid is coming, a re-surfaced CDC publication advocating internment camps for the ‘high-risk’ has some people fearing the worst. Last year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a paper that floated the totally not suspicious idea of relocating “high-risk” individuals into green zone “camps.” While the proposal didn’t attract much attention at the time, as draconian anti-Covid measures are beginning to ramp up, and basic human rights and liberties are coming under attack, the document has attracted newfound attention. And not without reason, it seems.

The very first line of the document discusses the implementation of a “shielding approach in humanitarian settings… focused on camps, displaced populations and low-resource settings.” Essentially, and this will be important later on, ‘humanitarian settings’ is just another way of saying ‘camps’. Many people are quick to associate the idea of camps with the containment of refugees, for example, or illegal aliens who have breached the border. Yet the only time the word ‘refugee’ is mentioned in the paper is in reference to a camp in Kenya. At the same time, ‘camp’ and ‘camps’ are referred to about 20 times. There is another ambiguous thing about this document, and that involves its description of “high-risk” individuals and the “general population.”

The paper reads: “In most humanitarian settings [i.e. camps], older population groups make up a small percentage of the total population. For this reason, the shielding approach suggests physically separating high-risk individuals from the general population to prioritize the use of the limited available resources and avoid implementing long-term containment measures among the general population.” In other words, the CDC is saying that older people being held in camps (humanitarian settings), because they are in the ‘high-risk’ category, should be separated from the ‘general population’ in these facilities so as to reduce the ‘containment measures’. OK, fine. But the document never explains who makes up the general population inside the camps, and why these ‘low-risk’ individuals are being held in these humanitarian ‘green zones’ in the first place.

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Via Ron Paul.

The Ultimate Power of The Word “NO” (Rossini)

Fear is the primary tool of authoritarians. It mentally disarms the population. We know about the desire to physically disarm the population, by trying to take away guns. Well, fear is the tactic for mental disarmament. When one is afraid, one makes bad decisions. One doesn’t think things through. One tends to act impulsively in an attempt remove immediate dissatisfaction. One tends not to question, but blindly obey. In a state of fear, one may submit and agree that 2+2=5; only to afterwards be filled with regret at doing such a stupid thing. Fear is meant to break your individual will. Your will to say the word “NO” stands in the way of every authoritarian scheme. The authoritarian needs you to say “YES,” even if you don’t really believe it. The authoritarian will pull all the levers available, and move all the pieces on the board to corner you, all with the goal of getting you to say “YES.”

Mass propaganda is designed to get you to say “YES”. Everywhere you look, you see the same exact message. “Say YES”…”Say YES”…”Say YES”… Slapping the mask on your face provided two wins for authoritarians: First, you said “YES” to allowing authoritarians to dress you when you left your house. Second, it conditioned you to realize that all others had their wills broken too. Everyone’s face was now dressed up, and hidden from view. What a powerful visual to break down your will. Saying “YES” to unprecedented “Lockdowns” and isolation has led to massive mental and physical illnesses that will reverberate through the ages, and will be talked about for the rest of our lives, much in the same way that the World Wars and Great Depression are talked about.

Now, the levers are being pulled, and pieces are being maneuvered for the grand slam: Saying “YES” to having foreign chemicals injected into your body, even if you don’t want them and don’t need them. Medical treatments, especially those that will be with you and inside of your body for the rest of your life, should never (EVER) be mandatory. Most people would agree with this in a heartbeat. Yet, with a constant diet of fear, the goal is to get you to say “YES.” Saying “YES” to this not only breaks your will, but surrenders your sovereignty over the one (and only) body that you will ever have. Allow this, even a single time, and saying “NO” to future mandated injections will be neutralized. It’s too late. Whatever injections are decreed, your body will always be at the mercy of other human beings.

One word from you puts an end to this: “NO.” One word keeps your sacred will intact: “NO.” One word can possibly and literally save your life: “NO!”

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They won’t go after him for killing old people. Too many other Democrats did the same.

Andrew Cuomo Is Resigning, But The Investigations Will Continue (USAT)

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is giving up the powerful job he’s dedicated most of his life to keeping within his family, but his resignation won’t end a bevy of pending investigations into him and his administration. No fewer than five district attorneys have made preliminary inquiries into Cuomo’s alleged sexual harassment detailed in the scathing, 165-page report last week from Attorney General Letitia James’ office that ultimately led to the governor’s announcement Tuesday that he will resign in two weeks. That includes Albany County District Attorney David Soares, who is in the midst of a criminal investigation into claims by a Cuomo executive assistant who says the governor groped her breast at the Executive Mansion last year.

There’s also a pending investigation by federal prosecutors in Brooklyn who are looking into the Cuomo administration’s handling of COVID-19 in nursing homes and its withholding of certain death data at the height of the pandemic last year. And that’s not all. James is still looking into whether Cuomo illegally used state resources to pen his book on the COVID-19 crisis, for which he is due to be paid $5.1 million. And the Assembly’s impeachment inquiry continues on, though its immediate future is no longer clear. The investigations and litigation could enmesh Cuomo for months or years after his scheduled departure from public office in two weeks. “The inquiry into criminal conduct in our jurisdiction remains open and pending,” Soares spokesperson Cecilia Walsh said Tuesday, just after Cuomo announced his pending resignation.

[..] Separately, federal prosecutors in the Eastern District of New York have subpoenaed material related to Cuomo’s recent memoir as part of an investigation of the state’s handling of COVID-19 deaths in nursing homes on Cuomo’s watch, The Wall Street Journal reported in June. [..] James, meanwhile, told reporters last week that her investigation into Cuomo’s book deal remains underway. “The investigation with respect to the book and whether or not public resources were utilized is ongoing and it’s separate and apart from this investigation,” she said Aug. 3. The Assembly Judiciary Committee, which has been investigating various Cuomo-related issues to determine whether to impeach the governor, is scheduled to meet Monday.

Lawmakers had been moving toward impeaching the governor, but Cuomo’s resignation could change their plans. The Assembly could still pursue an impeachment that could prevent Cuomo from running for state office again. Such an endeavor, however, would cost millions of dollars in taxpayer money, which Cuomo himself highlighted during his resignation speech. “It will consume government,” Cuomo said of his potential impeachment. “It will cost taxpayers millions of dollars. It will brutalize people.”

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The presence of judges makes you think this is about law. It is about politics. No matter that the key witness, without whom there would be no case, says he made it all up. No matter that Julian helping Manning crack something was a blatant lie. Those things have become part of the case, accepted as facts.

Yesterday was only about whether his two kids will prevent him from suiciding. As if this should ever have been allowed to become about that.

There have been people walking around with signs for a decade, and writing righteous texts on social media. When will they realize this is no use? As a society, we will never process the death through torture of our bravest and smartest. And we don’t deserve to. We deserve to be forced to explain this to our grandchildren.

US Allowed To Challenge Key Psychiatric Evidence in Assange Case (RT)

The High Court in London has allowed the US to challenge a psychiatric evaluation of Julian Assange, which was key in an earlier court ruling refusing Washington’s request to extradite him for trial. Wednesday’s appeal proceeding is the latest development in the continuing effort by the US to extradite Assange to stand trial on American soil for alleged computer-related crimes. A British judge refused the request in January on humanitarian grounds, ruling that there was a high risk of Assange taking his own life if she agreed to his extradition. Testimonies by psychiatrist Michael Kopelman about the poor state of the Australian’s mental health were crucial in the case. The US was allowed to challenge the ruling of the District Court on three points and wanted to pursue two further arguments.

One of their extra lines of attack, which was granted by Lord Justice Tim Holroyde, was to seek the dismissal of Kopelman’s testimonies, due to the fact that he initially concealed Assange’s relationship with Stella Moris and the fact that they had two children together. Clair Dobbin, who represents the US side, argued that the professor had misled the court and that his opinion about Assange’s state of mind should have been dismissed by Judge Vanessa Baraitser. The name of Assange’s partner was not public at the time of Kopelman’s initial testimony, but it became known before the ruling was passed. The expert witness for the defense did report Assange’s fatherhood, and said when pressured by the US side during the extradition hearings that he didn’t disclose Moris’ identity out of respect for her privacy.

Judge Baraitser decided when rejecting the extradition request that although Kopelman did mislead the court, he didn’t fail in his role as an impartial witness. Edward Fitzgerald, who represents Assange, argued against the challenge, saying concern for family safety was natural in his situation. He recalled that a Spanish private security firm hired to spy on Assange allegedly snatched a diaper from his baby son to test his DNA and identify the child’s parents. The baby boy was regularly brought by an associate of Assange to visit him at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, where he was staying for seven years to avoid extradition proceedings. The firm is suspected to have worked on behalf of the US government, and its alleged activities were cited extensively before Judge Baraitser.

Matt Kennard

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Oct 272015
 October 27, 2015  Posted by at 9:24 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,  9 Responses »

LIFE How to kiss 1942

On the day after a bunch of European countries headed into yet another -emergency- meeting, and as the refugee situation in Greece and the Balkans was more out of hand than ever before, not in the least because the numbers of refugees arriving from -in particular- Turkey are larger than ever, let’s reiterate what should always be the guiding principle driving the response to issues like this.

That is, the only way to approach a crisis such as this one is to put the people first. To say that whatever happens, we will do what we can, first and foremost, to not allow for people to drown, or go hungry or cold, or contract diseases. Because that contradicts our basic morals. The loss of lives and prevention of misery should be the most important thing for everyone involved, all the time, from politicians to citizens.

If we cannot approach both the issue and the people with decency and humanity, we are as lost as they are. If only because we have no claim to being treated better than we ourselves treat others. After all, if someone else’s life is neither sacred nor valuable, why should yours be?

Looking through the response across Europe to the growing numbers and the growing crisis, what’s remarkable is the difference between individual citizens and the governments that are supposed to represent them. Apart from outliers like Hungary PM Victor Urban and the ubiquitous fascist groups from Greece through Germany, citizens win hands-down and across the board when it comes to humanity.

The arguably worst record is set by the European Union, ironically the one body that claims to represent everyone in the 500 million strong continent. Individual politicians in leading nations like Germany, France and the UK are close behind. European ‘leaders’ are not looking for a European solution, they’re all only trying to deal with their own part of the problem. As long as the refugees don’t burden their nations, they’re satisfied.

After a year of increasing refugee arrivals it’s safe to say that the pan-European approach, to the extent that it can even be said to exist, is a dismal and deadly failure.

Yesterday’s ‘Balkan+’ mini-summit was no exception. The AP headline says it all: “EU Agrees To Tighten Border Controls And Slow Migrant Arrival”. Europe’s priority is not to fight or minimize the suffering, it’s to make the problems go away by making the people go away. The new deal that came out of the summit cannot possibly work because it is based on unrealistic predictions of stopping the flow of refugees.

Greece has agreed to ‘host’ 50,000 refugees, but with 10,000 arriving daily that is a meaningless number. Apart from that, this is supposed to take place in ‘holding camps’, and the term all by itself should make one shiver. The ‘hotspots’, another EU initiative, are already making the refugee situation even worse than they have been for months.

Moreover, these people don’t want to stay in Greece, because in Greece economic prospects are so bleak as to be non-existent for the simple reason that the EU itself has demolished the Greek economy. Those responsible for that demolition now seek to force Greece to keep refugees from traveling north in holding camps and severely undermanned fingerprint facilities.

Disgrace comes in spades. It was therefore good to see that Greece had the pretty perfect answer:

Greece Says Refugees Are Not Enemies, Refuses to Protect Borders From Them

Greece’s migration minister has rejected accusations by Germany and other European countries that Greece is failing to defend its borders against mass migration, insisting that the refugees and other migrants trekking to Europe constitute a humanitarian crisis, not a defense threat. “Greece can guard its borders perfectly and has been doing so for thousands of years, but against its enemies. The refugees are not our enemies,” Yiannis Mouzalas said in an interview.

Greece is under pressure from other European governments to use its coast guard and navy to control the huge influx of migrants who are making their way, via the Aegean Sea and Greece’s territory, from the Middle East to Northern Europe, especially Germany. [..] leaders from Greece and other countries on the latest migration route through the Balkans are facing allegations from Germany, Hungary and others that they are passively allowing migrants to pass through.

“In practice what lies behind the accusation is the desire to repel the migrants,” said Mr. Mouzalas. “Our job when they are in our territorial sea is to rescue them, not [let them] drown or repel them.”

Last week alone, Greece received about 48,000 migrants and refugees on its shores, the highest number of weekly arrivals this year, the International Organization for Migration said Friday.

Athens opposes an idea floated by European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker to set up joint Turkish-Greek border patrols. Greece and Turkey have long-standing disputes over their territorial waters, which have led to military tension over the years.

“This was an unfortunate statement by Mr. Juncker,” Mr. Mouzalas said. “The joint patrols have never been on the table. They have no point anyway, as they wouldn’t help ease the situation.”

Mr. Mouzalas said Turkey should have been invited to Sunday’s summit. “Turkey is the door and Greece is the corridor; Europe should not treat Greece as the door..”

But count on Brussels and Berlin to issue Athens with more threats. It worked over the summer, so… Still, Europe as a whole, the 28 nations that make up the EU, can and will not agree on the entire issue and all its aspects. And that is why Yanis Varoufakis is wrong in his approach, and his call to Britain (which he shares with Xi Jinping of all people) and the rest of Europe:

Yanis Varoufakis Says Britons Should Vote To Stay In Union

Yanis Varoufakis, the former Greek finance minister, has called on Britons to vote to remain in the European Union in the upcoming referendum. The bête noire of the European political elite was speaking at a Guardian Live event at Central Hall in Westminster, central London, on Friday night. He said: “You have a referendum coming up. My message is simple yet rich: those of us who disdain the democratic deficit in Brussels, those of us who detest the authoritarianism of a technocracy which is incompetent and contemptuous of democracy, those of us who are most critical of Europe have a moral duty to stay in Europe, fight for it, and democratise it.”

Yanis is wrong because the EU is not a democratic institution, and can therefore not be “democratized”. It’s a pipedream gone horribly awry. It should be exorcised. And even if “democratization” were possible in theory, before you can reform the EU, you’re 10-20 years or more down the road. And there’s no such time available. The problems exist in the presence, not just in the future.

The EU is a loose collection of separate sovereign nations that came together in times of plenty. These nations will always, when pressured, seek their own advantages, never that of the collective if it means a disadvantage for themselves. The whole idea behind the union has been, from the start, that of a tide that lifts all boats. And that promise has already been smashed into a corner, bruised and broken beyond repair.

After Greece there can be no doubt of that. And the other separate EU-member economies are not exactly doing well either. Mario Draghi pumps €60 billion a month into the eurozone engine, but it keeps leaking just as hard and the best it can do is sputter.

In institutions such as the EU, organized like the EU, power will inevitably flow towards the center. And at some point in that process, democracy will vanish into thin air. Draghi’s €60 billion will just as inevitably benefit the power center most, and leave the periphery ever poorer. This is not an unfortunate coincidence, it’s built into the union’s structure. Which is therefore not merely undemocratic, it’s inherently anti-democratic.

Nobody in Europe ever voted for Jean-Paul Juncker -or had the chance to- to represent them, at least not in any direct democratic fashion. And nobody outside of Germany ever voted for Angela Merkel -or had the chance to- . Yet, these are arguably the most powerful people in the EU. That in a nutshell is what’s wrong with and in Europe.

Financial and political power reside with the rich and powerful nations, and they acquire more of each as they go along. This is unavoidable in the present situation. It can only be corrected by decentralization of power, but since that would run counter to what Brussels and Berlin envision (more power for themselves), it’s not going to happen. Europe will not be ‘democratized’.

Or put it this way: the only way EU nations can regain democratic values is by leaving the union. That is also the only real vote Europeans have left; a vote within the EU structure goes wasted. Ask the Greeks.

Europeans need to acknowledge that the EU has failed, and inexorably so. Schengen is already dead, walls and fences are popping up everywhere. All the rest is just make-believe. There will never be a consensus on the ‘distribution’ of the numbers of refugees. Views and national interests are too far apart.

And the vested interests in the centers of power are too strong. Merkel may be Europe’s unelected leader, but she will always put German interests before those of the 27 other nations. This may be accepted in 7 years of plenty, but it won’t be in the 7 lean years.

Meanwhile, it’s the hundreds of thousands of refugees who pay the price for the fundamental faultlines in what was supposed to bring and hold Europe together. And an interesting additional issue, which so far flies largely under the radar, arises.

First, refugee numbers keep rising, as Reuters reports:

Immigration flows to Greece surged to 48,000 in the five days to October 21, the highest weekly total so far this year, bringing the number of Mediterranean migrant arrivals in Europe to 681,000 the International Organization for Migration said today. Amin Awad, the Middle East director for the UN refugee agency UNHCR, said Russian airstrikes and increased fighting around the Syrian city of Aleppo had contributed to the “dynamic of displacement”, with about 50,000 displaced, but had not contributed much to the refugee exodus. But he said the number of internally displaced people within Syria had fallen from 7.6 million people to 6.3 million, a decline that could be attributed to the refugee flows to Europe, as well as people being missed from the latest count.

48,000 in 5 days in Greece from October 17-21, 12,000 in one day in Slovenia. Over 5,000 in 5 hours on Lesvos Friday. 52 refugees died off Greece in 10 days. That’s five lives lost every day. While Brussels stand by and watches, as does Merkel, paralyzed by fears of losing votes and power at home. And when they do act, it’s most of all to try and quell the refugee flood, not to minimize the suffering.

Turkey gets offered billions to built camps on its territory, Greece is threatened into doing the same. Makes you wonder where Juncker and Merkel think the people they want to lock up in these camps will eventually wind up.

Slovenia is the latest bottleneck, after many miles of walls and and fences and razorwire have been installed elsewhere.

Last Tuesday, Slovenia was first reported to be asking for “additional police forces”.

Slovenia Asks For EU Police Help As Thousands Enter Country

Around 19,500 have entered Slovenia since Friday after Hungary sealed its southern border with Croatia. Speaking after a meeting with European Council President Donald Tusk and EU chief executive Jean-Claude Juncker, President Borut Pahor said:

We need fast assistance of the European Union. Slovenia will formally ask for additional police forces to guard the border between Slovenia and Croatia and for financial help.

The country has deployed 140 soldiers to the border to assist police and hasn’t ruled out building a fence as part of its efforts to control the influx of migrants.

And I thought: police? What police? There is no EU police force. At least not a ‘boots on the ground’ one. There’s Europol, Europe’s own Interpol, but they do intelligence. There’s the European Gendarmerie Force, but that’s a (para-)military police force. And we’re dealing with sovereign nations here, so any police force, let alone a military one, would face huge legal issues; at least if people pay attention.

Then a few days later, Reuters had this:

Worried Slovenia Might Built Fence To Cope With Migrant Crisis

Slovenia said it will consider all options, including fencing off its border with Croatia, if European leaders fail to agree a common approach to the migrant crisis as thousands stream into the ex-Yugoslav republic. Migrants began crossing into Slovenia last Saturday after Hungary closed its border with Croatia. The Slovenian Interior Ministry said that a total of 47,000 had entered the country since Saturday, including some 10,000 in the past 24 hours. Slovenian officials said the country is too small and does not have enough resources to handle such large numbers of people. [..]

According to Slovenia’s interior ministry, the cost of fencing off the 670-km long border with Croatia would be about €80 million. Slovenia has asked for the EU for assistance and officials said Austria, Germany, Italy, France, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Poland offered to send police reinforcements.

That’s 8 different countries offering to send policemen. But what status would these people have? Would they be allowed to bear arms? In a foreign sovereign nation? I’d love to see the legal documents that justify such a move. Would these foreign police officials also enjoy immunity, as Europol officers do? Under whose command would they operate?

I can imagine perhaps these new policemen, or border guards, could be Frontex, but Slovenia is not on Europe’s border. And Frontex already lacks the personnel to execute its intended policies (halt the refugees) in places where Europe does have borders.

This looks like a deep and dark legal quagmire. So perhaps it’s not surprising that Slovenia digs a little deeper still, as the Guardian noted yesterday:

Slovenia To Hire Private Security Firms To Manage Migrant Flows

Slovenia is planning to employ private security firms to help manage the flow of thousands of migrants and refugees travelling through the country toward northern Europe, a senior official has said. Bostjan Sefic, state secretary at the interior ministry, said 50-60 private security guards would assist the police where necessary. More than 76,000 people have arrived in Slovenia from Croatia in the past 10 days. More than 9,000 were in Slovenia on Monday, hoping to reach Austria by the end of the day, while many more were on their way to Slovenia from Croatia and Serbia. The emergency measure was announced by the prime minister, who described the migrant crisis as the biggest challenge yet to the EU.

If a joint solution is not found, [EU] will start breaking up, Miro Cerar warned. About 2,000 migrants waited in a field in Rigonce on the Croatian border on Monday for buses to take them to a nearby camp to be registered before they are allowed to proceed north. [..] Slovenia, the smallest country on the Balkan migration route, has brought in the army to help police. Other EU states have pledged to send a total of 400 police officers this week to help manage the flow of people. Over the past 24 hours, 8,000 people arrived in Serbia en route to northern Europe, the UN refugee agency, UNHCR, said.

Now I know it all perhaps depends on what tasks the various ‘additional’ crew are supposed to handle. Frontex could be doing registration and finger printing. Europol could do some stuff behind the scenes, like sniffing out alleged terrorists. But actual policemen and soldiers and even private security operating inside a sovereign European nation?

The overarching question is how this is different, how far removed is it, from German soldiers and policemen patrolling in for instance Greece? And what would be the reaction from the Greek people to such a development? Or we can turn it around: how would Germans react to Greek soldiers operating on German soil? Once you provide a legal justification for one situation, this should cover all 28 nations, and equally.

Another question is Slovenia once hires private security, how far away are we from employing some subsidiary of Blackwater to patrol the Aegean and/or other parts of the Mediterranean? Or land-based border crossings for that matter?

It will become clearer, fast, what an awful mess Brussels and Berlin have created here, because with winter approaching more refugees will fall victim to the conditions under which they’re forced to live once they’ve entered Europe. Which, in their own eyes, will still be preferable to the conditions in their homelands. And then what will we do, when dozens start dying from cold and diseases? Send in more police and military?

This is a road to a very bleak nowhere. We can only possibly return to what I started out with: “the only way to approach a crisis such as this one is to put the people first.” That is, pay for and send in aid agencies, not officers bearing arms.

And perhaps Europe should begin to ponder the possibility that this is not something it can stop at will. That the 500 million citizens of the EU may have to share their bounty with a few million newcomers. Who, on the whole, look a lot fitter, more determined and more motivated than scores of Europeans do, by the way.