January additions to Julian Assange’s extreme plight

I’ll go backwards in time first, so some of this you may already know.

‘Ecuador unveils “special examination” of Julian Assange’s asylum’, Mike Head,
5 January 2019, wsws.org

“Facing mounting demands from Washington, Moreno’s government has unveiled a “special examination” of Assange’s asylum and citizenship—a process clearly designed to repudiate both. The issue of citizenship is significant because Ecuadorian law forbids extradition of citizens.

On January 3, former Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa, whose government granted Assange asylum, tweeted an image of a letter he received from Ecuador’s State Comptroller General on December 19, notifying him of an investigation by the Direction National de Auditoria.

Specifically, the “general objective” of the audit is to “determine whether the procedures for granting asylum and naturalization to Julian Assange were carried out in accordance with national and international law.” It will cover the period between January 1, 2012 and September 20, 2018.

Correa, now living in Belgium, was asked to supply information for the inquiry, but no timeline was mentioned, nor any date for the end result. There is no doubt, however, that the timing is directly connected to the escalating economic, financial and political pressure on Ecuador, above all emanating from the US military-intelligence apparatus and political establishment.”

‘Corporate media smears WikiLeaks and Julian Assange’, Oscar Grenfell, 11 January 2019, wsws.org

“Virtually identical articles were featured this week in some of the most prominent publications around the world, including the London Times, the Washington Post and the Australian. All of them centered on personal smears against Assange and attempts to downplay the immense threat to democratic rights posed by the US-led vendetta against him.

The pretext for the venomous outpouring was the publication of a confidential email sent by WikiLeaks to media organisations, rebutting 140 falsehoods about Assange that have appeared in the press. The document demanded that the recipients of the email refrain from presenting the defamatory statements as facts.

A version of the email was first published online on January 7 by Emma Best, a self-styled “transparency activist.” Best’s “activism” has included numerous denunciations of WikiLeaks that echo the talking points of the US government and its intelligence agencies. She came to media prominence by “leaking” private online discussions between WikiLeaks supporters last year.”, and so on.  And yes, Marcy Wheeler had featured ‘emma best’s ‘exposé.
https://bit.ly/2HgExBO

‘WikiLeaks’ Assange should surrender to UK rather than stay at embassy indefinitely – Ecuador FM’, 11 Jan, 2019

“The UK will never let Julian Assange just leave the country, so he should surrender, Ecuador’s foreign minister said. The only other option is life self-imprisonment at the Ecuadoran embassy.

“Mr. Assange has basically two options: to stay indefinitely because the British authorities have told us … that they will never authorize a safe passage for him to leave the embassy to a third country, and the other alternative is to surrender,” Foreign Minister José Valencia FM Mundo.

While securing safety assurances from the British side would be ideal, “you cannot continue insisting on something that will not happen,” Valencia stressed, noting that Ecuador believes that it will be “most positive” for Assange to leave the diplomatic compound and face the British law – and by extension a possible extradition to the US.”, etc.

‘Julian Assange’s Living Conditions Deteriorate – More Akin to Stasi-Era Dissident Than an Award-Winning Publisher With Asylum’ cassandra fairbanks, gatewaypundit.com, Jan. 10, 2019 via WL on Twitter  a couple excerpts of her heart-rending report:

“After receiving permission to visit (not something I was sure of by any means), I was given an authorization letter that I had to provide, along with my passport, at the door of the embassy before being allowed in. Once inside, my bag was searched and I was scanned with a metal detector, TSA style. Given the amount of enemies that Assange has made, this seemed appropriate.

As this was taking place, Assange walked by — all smiles — which was immediately reassuring as I had been tremendously worried about his wellbeing given the tough restrictions placed on him by Ecuador’s new regime.

The reassurance didn’t last long.

After being guided into the conference room, the same place we initially met at the beginning of my last visit, I immediately noticed a marked increase in the amount of cameras in the hallways and around the large meeting table. After saying hello, we tried to go to another room with less surveillance so we could speak more openly. Within minutes, a member of the staff at the embassy came knocking on the door and demanded that we go back. As we walked through the hall, I noticed that there was no angle that wasn’t being recorded by a forest of menacingly Orwellian black cameras.”

“Unable to speak privately, even with a noise machine attempting to muffle the microphones from picking up conversations, we resorted to passing notes. Assange is not only barred from sharing his views online under the new regulations — thanks to the constant surveillance, he can’t even do so among his friends in the embassy where he is arbitrarily detained.”

Now the most recent and ungodly WikiTweets have been consolidated by RT, although I’m not overly fond of their report, but then…I was struggling to know how to present them, as the tweets were threaded.

‘DOJ to question Ecuadorian Embassy staff following Guardian Manafort story – WikiLeaks’  18 Jan, 2019, RT

“The US Department of Justice is to question six staff from the Ecuadorian Embassy in London following the Guardian’s [Luke Harding, Dan Collyns, Fernando Villavicencio] controversial [< ? Lying bullshit!] article alleging Paul Manafort visited Julian Assange, according to WikiLeaks.

The DOJ issued formal requests on January 7 to “interrogate six former diplomats & staff at Ecuador’s London embassy following Guardian’s fabricated story of Assange-Manafort meetings,” the whistleblowing organization tweeted Thursday.

The interviews scheduled by Ecuador’s Attorney General’s office are to take place on Friday in Quito, Ecuador.

The report comes after six Democrats, including Senators Chuck Schumer and Dianne Feinstein, wrote to US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on December 12, demanding Ecuador provide information about the allegations made in the Guardian’s report.”

“An intentionally planted front page false story in the Guardian has now led to statements in Congress, the activation of the U.S. Secretary of State, the DoJ, Ecuador’s DoJ, and Ecuador’s astonishing agreement to formally let a foreign power interrogate its diplomatic staff,” WikiLeaks tweeted Thursday.

WikiLeaks said in a statement that it’s “highly unusual” to allow foreign governments to conduct “interrogations of former diplomatic officials over their diplomatic work, or to provide foreign investigators information about those who have been afforded political asylum in relation to them.” Assange has been living in the Ecuadorian Embassy since seeking asylum there in 2012 and was granted Ecuadorian citizenship in late 2017.” 

From this morning:

I’ll include this Ben Norton exposé on ‘Fernando Villavicencio, reTweet by Defend Assange in hopes it’s not as iffy as it seems at first blush.

Last, this is the Home Page of Defend WikiLeaks, with 9 tabs in the lemon yellow bar at the top.


(cross-posted at caucus99percent.com)

11 responses to “January additions to Julian Assange’s extreme plight

  1. from phillip adams:

    For those interested there is a Unity4J Greece event on Jan. 26, 2019 17:00 Athens time (26th January is Australia Day). I will be part of it. The link will give you the details of how to connect to it. Thankyou to Wayne Hall and the rest of the Unty4J Greece Team for making it happen.
    Link: https://unity4jgr.wordpress.com/…/unity4j-english…/news/

  2. Thankfully, the Assange “story” has no relevant effect/affect on the voting behavior of Chicanos and Native Americans during this past election cycle.

    Regardless, I offer my tip of the hat to you in your defense of the Assange ‘story.’

    Even though I disagree with you on Assange, my disagreement is of a much larger storyline, and it comes in the form of today’s schematic for National Security and Defense. Take, for example, taxpayers via Congress are shelling out $1.5 trillion annually, and yet, if I went to a local library, I would not find a book on the ‘national security’ aspects that speak to any one of the 23 nation-states residing within this Hemisphere. Consequently, there is no readily available and legitimate information of what consists of ‘national security’ that addresses the ‘close-in’ nation-states, as well as the ‘national security’ that is being advanced by the United States. And more so, the national security realm of Ecuador’s self-interest when compared and contrasted with the self-interest of the United States.

    Back in the day’s of Bush43, he eliminated the existing dredges of information that spoke to some of what these 23 nation-states located over at one of the web sites at the State Department. Consequently, taxpayers and voters don’t have an inkling of what the United States is attempting to install within our national vision of what Ecuador should do to further enhance our nation’s Neoliberalism Schematic all across and throughout this Indigenous Hemisphere.

    And from therein, is Assange’s greater dilemma.

  3. when you come back, unity4jgreece, here are the promised gilet jaunes links, although we seem to being asked to take johnstone at her word on the over-riding One Demand.

    https://www.globalresearch.ca/gilets-jaunes-2019-french-democracy-dead-alive/5665302
    https://winteroak.org.uk/2019/01/08/may-our-yellow-sparks-of-revolt-set-the-world-ablaze-in-2019/

    • Thanks for these two articles Wendy E. Davis. I have been an admirer of Diana Johnstone since reading her book in the mid-eighties “The Politics of Euromissiles” and I have also read her book on Yugoslavia and her father’s book on US nuclear weapons strategy. The lyrical contribution from winteroak.org is also a moving afterword. Diana’s analysis is a thousand times more succinct and intelligent than most “alternative” political analysis (which is the only real political analysis). But I part company with her on her implied satisfaction with the adequacy of existing conceptions of direct democracy. The Swiss referendum system, like the Swiss constitution and political system generally,was initiated by Ioannis Capodistrias, who met the same fate as John Kennedy. He deserves to be as well known in all of Europe as he is in Greece and Switzerland but that doesn’t mean his ideas on the subject are good enough for now. I have written a little on this subject, as have some friends, but there is not space, time, or (as yet) an audience, to go into it all now.

  4. Thanks for this update, wendye.

    I am always behind the 8-ball as far as keeping abreast of events, slow as I am to digest all of the threads of influence that weave into the Assange story. One that I was mentally pursuing was your student days with Kent State being a focal point, so the Vietnam war era having a critical focus for you.

    For me it was really after my college years when I was first raising my family, and it was the President Kennedy assassination, followed as that was within 8 years by the three other assassinations – you might say the four cornerstones of a new edifice being built paradigmatically within whose structure Assange now is imprisioned.

    I thank you for sending me by link to the unity4jgreece site which has additional important information, including Assange’s mother’s appeal, which I had not seen before. The article there ended with a link to an earlier piece on commondreamsdotorg, and that piece by Nozomi Hayase confirms my intuition:

    Published on
    Thursday, November 22, 2018
    by Common Dreams
    Prosecution of Julian Assange, America’s Betrayal of Its Own Ideals

    The date above, of course, is the date of President Kennedy’s death. When I advised on the recent petition for a truth and reconciliation commission at NC, the one comment observed that ‘all history should have a truth and reconciliation commision.’

    Maybe so, but I do believe the connections between those four assassinations and Assange’s plight today are an edifice such as I have described, a building which must be torn down by whatever means possible if this country is to survive.

    No doubt you have referenced the article above, wendye – it is a very powerful piece of writing. I thank you, and unity4jgreece for staying focused during these turbulent times.

  5. welcome, juliaina. sorry to not say more, but i need to go rest my eyes for a bit.

  6. Wendy, when your eyes are rested can you say whether it is possible for e.g. me to start a new topic. I would like to start a thread entitled “Why, after the defeat of Napoleon, is France still a great power?”

    • ‘wd’ i fine. ;-) give me a bit of time to think about the ‘hows’ of your request. just now i’m immersed in the coup against maduro in VZ, and had bee working toward a report on the WEF in davos. okay?

  7. ‘Tony Kevin, a former Australian ambassador, defends Julian Assange & WikiLeaks & reveals a plan to get him safely from Ecuador’s London embassy back to Australia. He is interviewed by CN Editor Joe Lauria for Unity4J.’

    the ‘plan’ begins at 12:22

    • hella lot of ‘ifs’ there, mr kevin. yeah, not just road blocks, or a quick magnetic bomb stuck to the car’s bottom side? but there’d be no way for a few hundred supporters in look-alike clothes, hair to help smuggle him out, as some have suggested.

      glenn morris has made his position on assange very clear (if via sexual smear i’ve forgotten), the next elections for both houses of parliament will be held:

      The next election must be held by 18 May 2019 for half of the Senate and on or before 2 November 2019 for the House of Representatives and Territory Senators. inaugrations later if enough seats are won by a party to form a government.

      here’s the current high commissioner:
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Brandis
      sigh.

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