Are the CIA and its contractors able to bully not only the U.S. Department of Justice, but also the UK judiciary? This is not hard to conclude after the High Court decision announced early Friday to bow to the US and extradite Julian Assange.
Underneath the pettifoggery, the decision demonstrates that the British will lop the "juris" off jurisprudence and pay heed only to "prudence" in kowtowing to the security state in Washington and its junior partner in London.
The objective, of course, is to warn any journalist or publisher tempted to investigate and and expose U. S. war crimes or political sabotage, US "Justice" is going to get you, no matter who you are or where you live. (Call it a new wrinkle on the concept of "universal jurisdiction", if you will.)
All According to (Updated) Plan
Assange’s lawyers have said they intend to appeal the High Court decision. But, as Glenn Greenwald pointed out, "today’s victory for the US means that Assange’s freedom, if it ever comes, is further away than ever: not months but years even under the best of circumstances." That, of course, has been the plan for a decade or more.
Glenn also noted that post-Obama Democrats and their security state allies have a particularly potent reason to exact vengeance on Assange, who published those DNC emails showing that Bernie Sanders was cheated out of the nomination in 2016. Add the indignity suffered by the CIA, when an insider apparently leaked a treasure trove of unique documents on cyber warfare. WikiLeaks promptly published parts of "Vault 7", the family jewels of offensive cyber tools, in which the CIA and NSA has invested Billions. The security state had a witches’ brew.
In early July, I pointed to some graphic evidence that this was about bloodlust as well as vengeance, noting that the British were following the detailed ‘Washington Playbook” approach that was exposed by WikiLeaks itself in Feb. 2012.
Some readers may recall that WikiLeaks-revealed confidential emails from the US private intelligence firm Stratfor mentioned that the US already had a secret indictment against the WikiLeaks founder. Bad enough.
What also showed up in the Stratfor emails was the unrelenting, Inspector-Javert-type approach taken by one Fred Burton, Stratfor’s Vice-President for Counterterrorism and Corporate Security. (Burton had been Deputy Chief of the Department of State’s counterterrorism division for the Diplomatic Security Service.)
Here’s Javert – I mean Burton:
“Move him [Assange] from country to country to face charges for the next 25 years. But seize everything he and his family own, to include every person linked to Wiki.” [my comment: “country to country”, or – equally effective – court to court]
“Pursue conspiracy and political terrorism charges and declassify the death of a source, someone which could link to Wiki.”
“Assange is a peacenik. He needs his head dunked in a full toilet bowl at Gitmo.”
"Take down the money. Go after his infrastructure. The tools we are using to nail and de-construct Wiki are the same tools used to dismantle and track al-Qaeda.”
“Bankrupt the arsehole first; ruin his life. Give him 7-12 years for conspiracy.”
“Assange is going to make a nice bride in prison. Screw the terrorist. He’ll be eating cat food forever … extradition to the US is more and more likely.”
Nice people – once sworn under oath “to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies foreign and domestic”. Since comparisons are invidious, apologies to “Javert” and Victor Hugo.
"The Truth Will Always Win"
This saying of Julian’s is one that we strong supporters are determined to hang onto – and believe, even when it stretches credulity. Throwing in the towel is not an option. Inspiration can also be taken from the dismal-sounding, but nonetheless uplifting words of I. F. Stone:
"The only kinds of fights worth fighting are those you’re going to lose, because somebody has to fight them and lose and lose and lose until someday, somebody who believes as you do wins."
The late Kurt Vonnegut may seem like a strange person with which to close in this way, since he was the quintessential "humanist".
“How do humanists feel about Jesus? I say of Jesus, as all humanists do, ‘If what he said is good, and so much of it is absolutely beautiful, what does it matter if he was God or not?’
“But if Christ hadn’t delivered the Sermon on the Mount, with its message of mercy and pity, I wouldn’t want to be a human being.
“I’d just as soon be a rattlesnake.”
I imagine that one part of that Sermon on the Mount Vonnegut may have had in mind was this.
People are going to insult you and persecute you and utter every kind of slander against you because you tell the truth. What it means is that the truth is too close for comfort and they are uncomfortable. Know that you are in good company. They persecuted the prophets before you in the very same way.
Ray McGovern works with Tell the Word, a publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour in inner-city Washington. His 27-year career as a CIA analyst includes serving as Chief of the Soviet Foreign Policy Branch and preparer/briefer of the President’s Daily Brief. He is co-founder of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS).