Henri Matisse Still Life with Apples on Pink Cloth 1925
— Wittgenstein (@backtolife_2022) June 18, 2022
Tucker FBI Biden
Tucker Carlson and Harmeet Dhillon, @pnjaban, suggest Joe Biden used the FBI “as his personal secret police” to go after Project Veritas journalists who were in possession of Ashley Biden’s diary. pic.twitter.com/LLU1npUUI2
— The Post Millennial (@TPostMillennial) June 18, 2022
Today is a sad day.
As I pack up & move on, all I have left to say is:
➡️Another missed opportunity to prove me wrong;
➡️Another occasion to ask: how far have we sunk?
Over and out. pic.twitter.com/JoQaZfTLx5
— Nils Melzer (@NilsMelzer) June 17, 2022
Macgregor has been a voice of reason all through the conflict. He’s so highly thought of in military circles that none of the usual suspects dares touch him.
The Western media did everything in its power to give the Ukrainian defense the appearance of far greater strength than it really possessed. Careful observers noted that the same video clips of Russian tanks under attack were shown repeatedly. Local counterattacks were reported as though they were operational maneuvers. Russian errors were exaggerated out of all proportion to their significance. Russian losses and the true extent of Ukraine’s own losses were distorted, fabricated, or simply ignored. But conditions on the battlefield changed little over time. Once Ukrainian forces immobilized themselves in static defensive positions inside urban areas and the central Donbas, the Ukrainian position was hopeless. But this development was portrayed as failure by the Russians to gain “their objectives.”
Ground-combat forces that immobilize soldiers in prepared defenses will be identified, targeted, and destroyed from a distance. When persistent overhead intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance assets, whether manned or unmanned, are linked to precision guided-strike weapons or modern artillery systems informed by accurate targeting data, “holding ground” is fatal to any ground force. This is all the more true in Ukraine, because it was apparent from the first action that Moscow focused on the destruction of Ukrainian forces, not on the occupation of cities or the capture of Ukrainian territory west of the Dnieper River. The result has been the piecemeal annihilation of Ukrainian forces. Only the episodic infusion of U.S. and allied weapons kept Kiev’s battered legions in the field; legions that are now dying in great numbers thanks to Washington’s proxy war.
Kiev’s war with Moscow is lost. Ukrainian forces are being bled white. Trained replacements do not exist in sufficient numbers to influence the battle, and the situation grows more desperate by the hour. No amount of U.S. and allied military aid or assistance short of direct military intervention by U.S. and NATO ground forces can change this harsh reality. The problem today is not ceding territory and population to Moscow in Eastern Ukraine that Moscow already controls. The future of the Kherson and Zaporozhye regions along with the Donbas is decided. Moscow is also likely to secure Kharkov and Odessa, two cities that are historically Russian and Russian-speaking, as well as the territory that adjoins them. These operations will extend the conflict through the summer. The problem now is how to stop the fighting.
“Climbing down off this ledge won’t be easy. It may be impossible. Biden denounced Russia’s leader as a war criminal, averred that he couldn’t be allowed to remain in office and bragged that US sanctions would cut the Russian economy in half.”
President Joe Biden’s administration faces a double disaster after its Ukraine miscalculation, namely a US recession and a second strategic humiliation in the space of a year. The US economy is almost certainly in recession, while oil prices drive inflation that has cut workers’ real pay by about 6% year on year. Washington’s earlier boasts of driving Russian President Vladimir Putin from power, destroying Russia’s capacity to make war and halving the size of the Russian economy look ridiculous in retrospect. The world economy is reeling from supply shocks in energy and food provoked by Western sanctions on Russia. Monetary policy can reduce inflation only by forcing consumers to stop buying, which forces retailers to liquidate inventory at lower prices and crushes demand for raw materials – a cure that is worse than the disease.
Russia meanwhile earned a record €93 billion (US$97 billion) from energy exports during the first 100 days of the war, a Finnish study concluded. China and India, which refused to join Group of Seven sanctions against Russia, reportedly are buying oil at a discount of $30 to $40 per barrel, while American and European consumers are paying the full price. Energy prices have become the main driver of G7 inflation. Changes in the oil price lagged by one to four months explain 70% of the monthly change in the CPI, according to an Asia Times study. The sensitivity of the US Consumer Price Index to the oil price, moreover, was about twice as high during the February 2020 to May 2022 period than it had been during the preceding 15 years, the study shows.
US GDP contracted at a 1.9% annual rate during the first quarter. The surprise drop in May retail sales that was reported June 15 by the Commerce Department and the 14.4% month-on-month fall in US housing starts reported on June 16 point to a second quarter of contraction – that is, a recession according to the standard criterion. That spells catastrophe for the Democrats in next November’s election. [..] Climbing down off this ledge won’t be easy. It may be impossible. Biden denounced Russia’s leader as a war criminal, averred that he couldn’t be allowed to remain in office and bragged that US sanctions would cut the Russian economy in half. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin claimed that the US would destroy Russia’s capacity to make war.
A compromise in Ukraine with significant territorial concessions to Russia – the only conceivable way to end the war – would humiliate Washington. A negotiated solution to the Ukraine war, though, is not impossible. Washington could continue to portray itself as the defender of Ukraine’s sovereignty while encouraging European leaders to do the dirty work and force Ukraine into negotiations with Moscow. A possible hint in this direction came on June 14 from US Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Colin H Kahl, who declared: “We’re not going to tell the Ukrainians how to negotiate, what to negotiate and when to negotiate. They’re going to set those terms for themselves.”
“Part of the reason for the pressure on the Independents, particularly Russia and China, is simply that they have resisted western hegemony. That is enough for getting on the West’s naughty list.”
How do Russia and China, and the war in Ukraine, factor into all of this? Why all the pressure from the West throughout the years and why all this panic now? Part of the reason for the pressure on the Independents, particularly Russia and China, is simply that they have resisted western hegemony. That is enough for getting on the West’s naughty list. But why the increased pressure in recent years? The reason is that Russia and China cannot be subjugated through bankruptcy and their assets harvested. They do not have much debt in western currencies which means that the people who own the West through debt do not currently own Russia and China (like they own the West and the indebted ‘third world’) and cannot acquire them through debt. The only way to acquire them is through regime change.
Their governments must be weakened by any means, including economic sanctions and military means if necessary -thus the use of Ukraine as a battering ram for Russia and Taiwan for China. Subjugating Russia and China is an existential issue for our Davos owners because when they take the western economy down, everything else must go down too. If the western economy is taken down and a large economic block doesn’t participate in the downfall, it will be a disaster for the West. The new block will gain massive economic power, and possibly unipolar hegemony of sorts, while the West descends into a feudal Dark Age and irrelevance. Therefore the entire world must go down for the Great Reset to work. Russia and China must be subjugated by any means, as well as India and other stubborn nations.
This is what has fueled the situation we now find ourselves in and will fuel the continuation of World War 3. The western owner-elites are going to war to keep their wealth and power. Everyone who resists must be subjugated so they can follow the West into the planned Great Reset Dark Age. The reason for the current panic among western elites is that the Ukraine project isn’t going as planned. Instead of Russia being bled on the battlefield, it is Ukraine and the West that bleed. Instead of the Russian economy crashing resulting in Putin’s replacement by a Davos-compatible leader, it is the West’s economy that is crashing. Instead of Russia being isolated, it is the West that is being increasingly isolated. Noting is working, and to top it all off, Europe has given the Russians the means and motive to destroy the European economy by partly shutting down its industry.
Without Russian resources, there is no European industry, and without industry, there are no taxes for paying for unemployment benefits, pensions, all the refugees, and pretty much everything else which holds European societies together. The Russians now have the ability to engineer an uncontrolled crash in Europe which is not what Davos planned. An uncontrolled crash might see Davos’s heads roll, literally, and that is causing fear and panic in elite circles. The only solution for them is to move on with World War 3 and hope for the best.
“Nordstream 1 is scheduled for annual maintenance that will halt all flows between July 11 and July 21.”
The head of a Russian oil giant says European nations are committing energy suicide by following the United States in imposing sanctions on Moscow over the war in Ukraine. Speaking at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF), Igor Sechin, the head of Russian oil company, Rosneft, said that the Europeans are shooting themselves in the foot by restricting Russian oil and gas imports. “Europe is committing energy suicide by imposing sanctions on Russia,” Sechin said. The United States placed an embargo on Russian oil earlier this year, shortly after Russian President Vladimir Putin declared a military campaign against Ukraine on February 24. Europe, particularly, has struggled to wean itself off from Russian energy.
The continent’s reliance on Russian gas and Moscow’s slashing of supplies in retaliation have proven a headache for the 27-member bloc. To that aim, European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen proposed a gradual ban on Russian oil imports last month. The proposal would ban Russian crude gradually over the next six months and refined fuels by the end of this year.. The EU and Britain also agreed recently to prohibit insurance on tankers carrying Russian oil at the end of last month. Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Friday that the EU “has completely lost its political sovereignty, and its bureaucratic elites are dancing to someone else’s tune, accepting whatever they are told from above, causing harm to their own population and their own economy.”
Putin previously described the sanctions on his country as a double-edged sword. Reports said Russian gas flows to Europe fell short of demand on Friday as temperatures blew past historical records for this time of the year, hitting over 40°C in some places. Italy and Slovakia reported receiving less than half of the usual volumes through the Nordstream 1 pipeline. The pipeline, which crosses the Baltic Sea from Russia to Germany, accounts for around 40% of Russian pipeline flows to the EU. Nordstream 1 is scheduled for annual maintenance that will halt all flows between July 11 and July 21.
Does anyone believe Lavrov is lying here?
As talks toward a peaceful settlement to the war in Ukraine have all but collapsed, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Moscow received a workable proposal from Ukrainian negotiators soon after the conflict began, but claimed Kiev abruptly broke off all dialogue and has been ‘silent’ ever since. Speaking to TASS for an interview on Thursday, Lavrov said that while peace talks held in Istanbul in March offered some promise for an end to the fighting, the efforts quickly crumbled after Ukraine’s negotiation team ceased all contact with its Russian counterpart. “These negotiations at some point at the end of March … led to a result that gave hope to all of us, thanks to the fact that the Ukrainian side for the first time put on paper a position that suited us as a basis for work,” the FM said.
As of mid-April, however, “the Ukrainian side has not responded to the proposals that we transmitted to them,” Lavrov went on, adding “There has been complete silence” ever since. “If the Ukrainian side shows understanding that it is still necessary to conclude some agreements, we are ready for this. But they showed no such desire.” It’s unclear what proposal was advanced by Kiev, but Lavrov said the talks were ended soon after the “provocation in Bucha,” referring to a series of alleged Russian war crimes in the outskirts of the Ukrainian capital. Though the minister dismissed the charges, claiming the atrocities were ‘staged,’ evidence has emerged indicating Russian soldiers were behind a number of grisly executions in the city. The allegations have yet to be probed by an impartial investigator.
While Kiev has previously signaled that it would be open to a diplomatic settlement, its rhetoric has become increasingly bellicose, with President Volodymyr Zelensky vowing to achieve a full military victory over Moscow earlier this week. Ukraine’s Western allies, meanwhile, have at times discouraged negotiations altogether, while simultaneously funneling billions of dollars in heavy weapons into the chaotic warzone.
Will, not could.
Record-setting prices on diesel fuel, coupled with soaring inflation and the ongoing war in Ukraine, could lead to food shortages in the US, farmers warned. “For so long, we’ve enjoyed lots of food in this country, so we’ve never ever faced a food shortage and I think that’s coming in the coming months,” John Boyd Jr., president of the National Black Farmers Association, said during an interview on NewsNation’s “On Balance” with Leland Vittert on Monday. Average diesel prices in the US Monday reached $5.70 per gallon, representing a $2.40 increase compared to the same period last year. Farmers disproportionately rely on diesel to fuel their tractors and other heavy machinery used to plant and harvest crops, burning up to thousands of gallons a month, depending on the size of their operation.
Feeling the pinch at the pump, farmers can decide to stop planting certain crops to save money on fuel, which, in turn, could result in higher food prices and even food shortages. During this week’s hearing on inflation held by the Pennsylvania House Republican Policy Committee, Kyle Kotzmoyer, a legislative affairs specialist for the Pennsylvania Farm Bureau, offered a bleak outlook, describing the current situation on local farms as “teetering on the edge,” reported the Morning Call. “If the farmers cannot get crops out of the ground, then there is not food on the shelves,” the Farm Bureau aide explained. In Pennsylvania, average diesel prices Tuesday were $6.19 per gallon, up 75% compared to last year, AAA reported. Kotzmoyer said he has already heard of farmers opting to plant hay instead of corn or beans, because it is more economical.
What is it, 2 1/2 years? Go f*ck a duck.
The head of the World Health Organisation privately believes the Covid pandemic started following a leak from a Chinese laboratory, a senior Government source claims. While publicly the group maintains that ‘all hypotheses remain on the table’ about the origins of Covid, the source said Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of the World Health Organisation (WHO), had recently confided to a senior European politician that the most likely explanation was a catastrophic accident at a laboratory in Wuhan, where infections first spread during late 2019. The Mail on Sunday first revealed concerns within Western intelligence services about the Wuhan Institute of Virology, where scientists were manipulating coronaviruses sampled from bats in caves nearly 1,000 miles away – the same caves where Covid-19 is suspected to have originated – in April 2020.
The worldwide death toll from the Covid pandemic is now estimated to have hit more than 18 million. The WHO was initially criticised for its deferential approach to China over the pandemic, as well as a willingness to accept Beijing’s protestations that claims of a laboratory leak were just a ‘conspiracy theory’. However, in the absence of any compelling evidence of ‘zoonotic’ spread – the process by which a virus leaps from animals to humans – it is now adopting a more neutral public stance. Dr Tedros updated member states on the pandemic this month, admitting: ‘We do not yet have the answers as to where it came from or how it entered the human population. ‘Understanding the origins of the virus is very important scientifically to prevent future epidemics and pandemics.
‘But morally, we also owe it to all those who have suffered and died and their families. The longer it takes, the harder it becomes. We need to speed up and act with a sense of urgency. ‘All hypotheses must remain on the table until we have evidence that enables us to rule certain hypotheses in or out. This makes it all the more urgent that this scientific work be kept separate from politics. The way to prevent politicisation is for countries to share data and samples with transparency and without interference from any government. The only way this scientific work can progress successfully is with full collaboration from all countries, including China, where the first cases of SARS-CoV-2 were reported.’
Now ask why.
It appears that the United States just became the only country in the world to “vaccinate” babies and toddlers with COVID injections. Despite what you are reading in the press, the U.S. seems to be, as of Friday, the only country in the world to partake in experimental COVID therapeutics for infants. On Friday, the FDA authorized mRNA COVID shots (both Pfizer and Moderna) under emergency use authorization for children under 5 years old, all the way down to 6 months of age. As you’ll see in a moment, this is unprecedented anywhere in the world. The approval made its way through the halls of the federal bureaucracy, regardless of any studies showing a positive benefit for injecting young children with mRNA shots, which, even in adults, do not effectively prevent coronavirus infection.
Making matters worse, our deceitful corporate press is actively engaged in a cover up operation to make it seem like the new policy is not particularly unique, when in fact, it is exclusively unique. Many corporate press reports, in hailing the announcement, churned out stenography today that made a quick mention of the fact that “a dozen countries, including China, already vaccinate kids under 5.” But when you break down the data further, a true scandal arises. As of a couple weeks ago there were only 7 countries where kids under 5 were given COVID injections, though the WHO now claims that number is 12. The seven countries on record are: -Argentina -Bahrain -Chile -China -Cuba -UAE -Venezuela (the territory of Hong Kong, which uses the Chinese-made shots, is sometimes listed as the eighth country on record). But that’s only the beginning of the madness.
Venezuela and Cuba are the only countries that allow for COVID shots between the ages of two and three. The rest of the countries only go as young as three. Moreover, none of the nations are using mRNA. 5 out of 7 are using Chinese manufactured inactivated vaccines. Cuba and Venezuela are using the Cuban homebrew shot. And NONE of these countries are allowing for COVID shots between the ages of 6 months to two years, which means that the United States has become the only country in the world to allow for experimental COVID injections shots for babies and 2 year old toddlers.
Yes, it can still get worse.
“This technology bypasses the inconvenience of recalcitrant citizens who may refuse to give consent.”
For two decades scientists have been quietly developing self-spreading contagious vaccines. The NIH funded this research, in which either DNA from a deadly pathogen is packaged in a contagious but less harmful virus, or the deadly virus’s lethality is weakened by engineering it in a lab. The resultant “vaccines” spread from one person to the next just like a contagious respiratory virus. Only five percent of regional populations would need to be immunized; the other ninety-five percent would “catch” the vaccine as it spread person-to-person through community transmission. This technology bypasses the inconvenience of recalcitrant citizens who may refuse to give consent. Its advocates highlight that a mass vaccination campaign that would ordinarily take months of expensive effort to immunize everyone could be shortened to only a few weeks.
Scientists have already shown proof of concept in animal populations: in 2000, Spanish researchers injected seventy rabbits with a transmissible vaccine and returned them to the wild, where they quickly passed the vaccine on to hundreds more, reportedly stopping a viral outbreak. European countries are now testing the technology on pigs. In the wake of the covid pandemic, about a dozen research institutions in the U.S., Europe, and Australia are investigating the potential human uses for self-spreading vaccines. The federal Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), for example, is examining this technology for U.S. military to protect against the West Africa lassa fever, a virus spread by rats to humans. This project, it should be noted, does not require the consent of our military service men and women.
In 2019 the U.K. government began exploring this technology to address the seasonal flu. A research paper from Britain’s Department of Health and Social Care advised that university students could be an obvious target group: “They do not work so [vaccinating them] will not cause much economic disruption and most have second homes to go to, thereby spreading the vaccine.” Researchers admitted a contagious vaccine for an attenuated flu virus would cause some deaths but estimated these would be less than the original influenza virus. As the U.K. government report described: “Self-spreading vaccines are less lethal but not non-lethal: they can still kill. Some people will die who would otherwise have lived, though fewer people die overall.”
Still afraid of Trump.
In past columns, we have discussed how Harvard Law professor Laurence Tribe seems intent upon running through the entire criminal code in declaring clear evidence of every federal crime by former President Donald Trump and/or his family. In light of Tribe’s prior declarations of the long litany of criminal acts by Trump, the opening question of Burnett seemed almost rhetorical bordering on the comical: “From everything you have seen so far, including the hearing today that focused so much on Trump causing violence against Pence, do you believe the committee has proven that Trump himself knowingly committed crimes?”
Tribe responded: “Without any doubt, beyond a reasonable doubt, beyond any doubt, and the crimes are obvious. The most obvious was that he was ordering his vice-president to do what everyone in the room knew would be illegal, namely, exercise power to pick the next president. It would be very convenient if Al Gore could have picked himself as the next president in 2000, very convenient if Richard Nixon could have done it in 1960. “Ordering your vice-president to violate the law in order to stay in power is a very serious federal crime, but there are other crimes as well. One that occurred to several people today is attempted murder. You know, under the criminal code of the United States, the attempted murder of the vice-president is punishable by life imprisonment. What we saw with the president egging the crowd on, telling them that, basically, his own vice-president was a traitor while he knew that the mob had gallows waiting for him, that’s pretty serious stuff. You don’t have to go to law school to know that there’s something seriously criminal about that. There are other crimes that have been proven. Those are plenty to start with.”
It is a curious thing that these crimes “have been proven” but Trump has not been charged with them. After the riot, District of Columbia Attorney General Karl Racine announced that he was considering arresting Trump, Donald Trump Jr., Rudy Giuliani and U.S. Rep. Mo Brooks and charging them with incitement. So what happened to that prosecution? The failure of Racine to charge Trump was not due to any affection or loyalty to the former president. It was due to the paucity of direct evidence of a crime that would hold up in court.
“..he remains controversial, tweeting that “the police kill” and promising to naturalise Wikileaks founder Julian Assange as French if he wins the election.”
It’s not even two months since Emmanuel Macron was convincingly re-elected as president but he is already in a crunch election that could prevent him pushing through his reforms. French voters are going to the polls to decide who will control their National Assembly. Mr Macron beat the far right in April, but this time the challenge is harder. Far-left Jean-Luc Mélenchon leads a left-green alliance that finished neck and neck with Macron only a week ago. They call themselves Nupes, which stands for New Ecological and Social Popular Union, and the polls suggest they could stop the president winning the 289 seats he needs for an outright majority. The centrist Macron alliance, Ensemble, portrays them as a “marriage of convenience” of Communists, Socialists, far-left Mélenchonists and Greens.
But Nupes have galvanised voters with a promise to fight spiralling prices, bring down the retirement age and tackle climate change. Green leaders and many green voters back them, accusing President Macron of doing little in the past five years. Sunday’s second round is almost entirely made up of run-off duels between two candidates, and almost half involve the two big alliances. Several ministers in the Macron government are battling to keep their seats and hold on to their jobs, and two of the toughest fights involve Europe Minister Clément Beaune and Green Transition Minister Amélie de Montchalin. Without an outright majority of 289 seats, Mr Macron will need the support of other parties to push through his big-ticket reforms, such as raising the retirement age, cutting taxes and reforming benefits. Pollsters suggest Ensemble will win 255-305 seats and Nupes 140-200.
While fighting for the presidency, Mr Macron rallied voters across the spectrum by presenting his main rival Marine Le Pen as an extremist and contrary to the republic’s values. With mainstream parties joining the Mélenchon alliance it has become harder to do that with this rival. President Macron has appealed to voters to give him a solid majority in the “superior interest of the nation”, while Russia’s war rages at the gates of Europe. Former Marxist Jean-Luc Mélenchon has long wanted France to leave Nato but says that is now not a priority. However, he remains controversial, tweeting that “the police kill” and promising to naturalise Wikileaks founder Julian Assange as French if he wins the election.
Governed by criminals.
On Tuesday evening, a chartered Boeing 767 passenger jet, in a blue-and-white livery, waited in the summer sunshine on the tarmac of Boscombe Down, a testing site for military aircraft, in the South of England. The plane was scheduled to take off at 10:30 p.m. and fly to Kigali, the capital of Rwanda, initiating a new arrangement in which the African country will process and house asylum seekers who have sought refuge in the United Kingdom.Priti Patel, Boris Johnson’s Home Secretary, has described the deal—which almost certainly breaches international law and will cost at least a hundred and twenty million pounds in the next five years—as a “first-class policy,” but, as with anything agreed to by Johnson’s government, it’s usually worth checking the small print. Officials said that there would be a hundred and thirty people on the first flight to Kigali.
But, after dozens of successful legal challenges, only seven asylum seekers were taken to the airbase. “I can’t say exactly how many people will be on the flight,” Liz Truss, the Foreign Secretary, told the media. “But the really important thing is that we establish the principle.” Around 7:30 p.m., the European Court of Human Rights, in Strasbourg, ruled that one of the seven, an Iraqi man known as K.N., should be allowed to remain in the U.K. until three weeks after all his legal options were exhausted. K.N. had crossed the English Channel in a boat on May 17th. Three days after he was ordered to be sent to Rwanda, a doctor found that he may have been a victim of torture. The European court ruling prompted a wave of emergency appeals from the other six passengers.
At around 10 p.m., half an hour before the plane was due to take off, there was no one left to take to Rwanda. Later, the jet, which had been hired at a reported cost of five hundred thousand pounds, flew back to Spain. The U.K.-Rwanda Migration and Economic Development Partnership was signed in April. It immediately invited comparisons to a similar arrangement that existed, until 2017, between Israel and Rwanda and Uganda. In the three and a half years of that program, which was secret, around four thousand Eritrean and Sudanese asylum seekers were relocated from Israel to sub-Saharan Africa, where they promptly disappeared. (Between 2009 and 2017, Israel accepted a total of ten refugees from Eritrea and Sudan.)
Two pieces from the Guardian on Assange. No publication has done more to hurt him.
Murderers, torturers and war criminals will be toasting the British home secretary, Priti Patel, tonight. Her decision to approve the extradition of Julian Assange turns investigative journalism into a criminal act, and licenses the United States to mercilessly hunt down offenders wherever they can be found, bring them to justice and punish them with maximum severity. Julian Assange’s supposed crime was to expose atrocities committed by the US and its allies, primarily in Afghanistan and Iraq, during the war on terror. He shone a light on the systematic abuse dealt out to prisoners in Guantánamo Bay. He revealed the fact that more than 150 entirely innocent inmates were held for years without even being charged.
He published a video of helicopter gunmen laughing as they casually massacred unarmed Iraqi civilians in an attack that killed around 15 people, including a Reuters photographer and his assistant. The US declined to discipline the perpetrators of that atrocity. But they are pursuing Assange to the ends of the earth for revealing it took place. Once safely in US hands, it’s all but certain that Assange will spend the remainder of his life in jail. That’s because the US is determined to show that terrible reprisals lie in store for any reporter who runs a story based on US government documents. That’s why Daniel Ellsberg, the former US Marine Corps officer behind the Pentagon Papers revelations that exposed the secret US bombing of Cambodia and Laos, has said that he feels a “great identification” with Assange’s work.
Edward Fitzgerald, Assange’s lawyer, argued convincingly in court that Assange’s only crime is investigative journalism. For example, the US charge states that he tried to conceal “the source of the disclosure of classified records”. Every journalist worth her or his salt would do the same, but the US insists that Assange is guilty of espionage – and the British home secretary shamefully agrees. While it is true that Patel is an unusually authoritarian home secretary, I suspect that every recent holder of the office, Labour or Conservative, would have made an identical decision. Britain values beyond measure its security relationship with the US.
Judge Nap Assange
— Judge Napolitano (@Judgenap) June 17, 2022
Now they think they can benefit from a 180º. Talk about shameless.
The decision by Priti Patel, the home secretary, to extradite the WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to the US ought to worry anyone who cares about journalism and democracy. Mr Assange, 50, has been charged under the US Espionage Act, including publishing classified material. He faces up to 175 years in jail if found guilty by a US court. This action potentially opens the door for journalists anywhere in the world to be extradited to the US for exposing information deemed classified by Washington. The case against Mr Assange relates to hundreds of thousands of leaked documents about the Afghanistan and Iraq wars, as well as diplomatic cables, which were made public by WikiLeaks, working with the Guardian and other media organisations.
They revealed horrifying abuses by the US and other governments that would not otherwise have been disclosed. Despite claiming otherwise, US authorities could not find a single person, among the thousands of American sources in Afghanistan and Iraq, who could be shown to have died because of the disclosures. Mr Assange, who has a reputation for being a brilliant but difficult character, has suffered enough. Until 2019 Met police had waited seven years for him to emerge from the Ecuadorian embassy in London. Since then he has spent three years in Belmarsh high-security prison without being convicted of any crime. Mr Assange should have been given bail to be with his wife and their two young children. To keep track of him, the authorities could have insisted that he be electronically tagged and monitored.
The use of the Espionage Act to prosecute him should be seen for what it is: an attack on the freedom of the press. As the Knight First Amendment Institute’s Carrie DeCell wrote in 2019, when the charge sheet was published, “soliciting, obtaining, and then publishing classified information … [is] what good national security and investigative journalists do every day”. Ms Patel could have turned down the American request. Britain should be wary of extraditing a suspect to a country with such a political justice department. Her predecessor Theresa May halted the extradition proceedings of Gary McKinnon, who hacked the US Department of Defense. The UK could have decided that Mr Assange faces an unacceptably high risk of prolonged solitary confinement in a US maximum security prison
Assange eternal war
"In a time of deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act." -George Orwell pic.twitter.com/TQFne9XwWs
— Wittgenstein (@backtolife_2022) June 17, 2022
Democracy dies in dumbness
Bill Maher is having the best year of monologues of his career.
“Democracy dies in dumbness.”
— Bobby Burack (@burackbobby_) June 18, 2022
Our health czar is getting mighty fat
— Wittgenstein (@backtolife_2022) June 18, 2022
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