Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Christine Assange Meets Ecuador's Foreign Minister

In the Ecuadorian capital of Quito today, Christine Assange struggled to hold back tears after a meeting with Ricardo Patiño, Ecuador's Minister for Foreign Relations, Business and Integration.

While WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange remains trapped in Ecuador's London embassy, his mother has flown to the small South American capitol to provide additional information on his request for political asylum, and make a personal plea for assistance.

At a press conference following today's meeting, Christine Assange thanked the Foreign Minister and the government of Ecuador "for paying attention to the information I have given, which is more than my own government will do."

Mrs Assange claimed the Australian government has abandoned her son, and reiterated her fears for his safety if he is extradited to the USA. She explained how the US Grand Jury process worked, and cited the treatment of Bradley Manning as an example of what her son could expect. She told local media that the current situation is not just about WikiLeaks, but also about justice and the future of press freedom.

The meeting was briefly halted when Mrs Assange was overcome with emotion, after beginning to explain to a reporter why she preferred to focus on the facts of the case rather than her own experiences.

According to Ecuador's El Telegrafo newspaper, Mrs Assange revealed that her phones are tapped, her 21-year-old grandson has had death threats, her father is dying and might not be able to see Julian before he dies, and the family is suffering symptoms of chronic stress.

Mrs Assange earlier said she was "terrified" by the thought of US extradition and that her son was "under extreme psychological stress" while confined to the Ecuadorian embassy.

"He is freedom-loving. He cannot run. He cannot go outside to see the sky. Outside, the UK police wait like dogs to take him."

"I am not here to demand asylum," she said. "I come to humbly ask, as his mother."

Foreign Minister Ricardo Patiño said he was "very surprised" by the information he had received from Mrs Assange, including details of processes "that could be underway in America" and alleged torture of Australian citizens in Guantanamo Bay.

Mr Patiño also revealed that the Ecuadorian embassy in Sweden has asked the Swedish government to come to London if they want to question the WikiLeaks Editor-in-Chief. As a gesture of respect to Britain, no decision on asylum is expected before the Olympic Games finish on August 12th.

"Ecuador continues its thorough analysis of this case in order to take an informed decision. Our decision will seek not to endanger the life of a human being," Patiño said.

"I am sure the president and his aides will make the best decision in this case," said Mrs Assange. She is scheduled to meet with President Rafael Correa before departing Ecuador on August 4th.

You can see video of Mrs Assange's press conference with Mr Patiño here.

Note: Reports that Christine said that Julian Assange's Australian passport has been cancelled appear to be due to bad translations. The 41-year-old's passport was confiscated by UK police when he was arrested two years ago.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Après Assange, Le Déluge

King Louis XV is widely credited with the phrase “Après moi, le déluge” (after me, the deluge), although it may have been spoken by Madame de Pompadour, his official mistress (the title was by appointment at the time: she divorced her husband after assuming the position). In any case, it was prophetic: Louis XV was the last monarch before the French Revolution. Louis XVI, his grandson and successor, was guillotined in 1793 at the Place de la Révolution.

On this Bastille Day, as the 21st Century staggers from one crisis to another, we are presented with a new turning point, inherently rich with the same revolutionary opportunity. Modern dictators and repressive regimes have long sought total control of the Internet, and with it the means to control information. But now even Western Governments, corrupted by Big Business and lacking true democratic legitimacy, are attempting to lock down information and dictate our very histories.

Let us be clear. The teflon-coated banksters who brought us this never-ending Global Financial Crisis, and the puppet governments who brought us the Iraq War, have bloody secrets they wish to keep hidden. Their psychopathic lack of morality is already obvious. Millions of innocent people have already been killed, maimed, displaced and tortured for their greed. The mainstream media are in their pockets. They have thrown international law, the US Constitution, and national sovereignty out the window. These people will not go quietly - they have far too much to lose.

Sleeping on a blow-up mattress in an office of the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, Julian Assange is at the very center of this growing storm. And his fate may well determine the course of global history.

Will WikiLeaks be followed by a deluge of free information, transforming our understanding of history and ushering in a new era of open government? Will Assange's battle for transparency open the floodgates to a radical transformation of society, whereby the gatekeepers of information are forced to publicly rationalise their decision-making with confirmed empirical evidence? Will this be the end of politically-motivated pseudo-science and socially destructive political spin?

Or will WikiLeaks be the last hurrah for free speech, followed by a deluge of new laws and restrictions that kill Internet freedom once and for all? Will the Internet go the way of the atomic bomb and become the most effective tool of power ever invented? Will endless resource wars continue to be justified by bullshit PR exercises while our planet warms beyond the point of no return? Is this the way the world ends?

Are we, the citizens of this earth - right now - choosing between certain Armageddon and a comparative Utopia? And if so, why are so few of us even aware what's going on?

Of course this is not just about Julian Assange, or even WikiLeaks. There are thousands of wonderfully gifted and inspiring people around the globe, courageously fighting the same battle for truth, transparency and online freedom.

But I cannot help thinking that Assange is now the canary in the coalmine.

At this critical time, I urge everyone who understands the stakes at play to put aside petty squabbles, put aside fragile egos, and unite in support for Julian Assange. Whatever you may think of his mainstream-media-enhanced personality, this is a man who has dedicated his life to truth, transparency, peace and love. If his sacrifices ultimately prove to be in vain, then all our efforts may also prove inconsequential.

The future is ours to take. Together we are strong. Vive la Révolution!

Monday, July 2, 2012

REVEALED! WikiLeaks' SHOCKING Un-Published Revelations!

WikiLeaks releases have shaken global politics and provoked countless news headlines. Founder Julian Assange has rarely been out of the media spotlight. And yet WikiLeaks' greatest revelations have scarcely been acknowledged by mainstream media journalists. Here at last, we expose the full story behind the stories that the corporate media are too scared to touch!

Ignore for a moment (like the media) all the actual, fact-packed contents of WikiLeaks releases. Instead, let us examine how various powerful groups - including the media, politicians, the military, corporations, and regulatory bodies - have mis-reported, spun, denied or suppressed these facts.

Only then do we begin to perceive WikiLeaks greatest un-published revelations: not the information itself, nor the distorted reactions to the leaked information, nor even the reactions to the messengers of this information - but what all these distortions, suppressions, and endless attacks on WikiLeaks and Julian Assange tell us about the true nature of the society we live in.

A few key examples will suffice to paint a picture that is all-too-clear to many...

COLLATERAL MURDER

WikiLeaks' award-winning work around the globe was largely ignored by the media until the explosive release of the "Collateral Murder" video on April 5th, 2010. So how did media, politicians and the US military react to this atrocity, a clear War Crime by any logical and humane interpretation of that concept?

Although Bradley Manning would not be arrested for another month, rumours of the existence of the 2007 video had long been circulating. Reuters were denied an FOI request for a copy. US officials had plenty of time to organise a damage control exercise. The undeniable shock of the nauseating televised violence was immediately "balanced" by senior officials promising a full investigation. Media anchors willingly acquiesced to their demands that judgement be postponed until a convenient "context" could be established.

And yet these same officials and journalists had already decided on WikiLeaks's guilt: Assange was immediately condemned as an irresponsible, egotistical anarchist. Demands for his assassination began to appear. The search for the unknown leaker soon became the main story, and within weeks Bradley Manning was being tortured in a Quantico brig.

Around the globe, officials in US client states like Australia echoed the White House talking points. The media also towed the line. Reuters EIC David Schlesinger spiked a story suggesting that the attack on his own staff members constituted a War Crime. The Washington Post denied having sat on the video for a year.

At the time, US officials must have considered this quite a successful damage control operation. Most of the domestic TV-watching public saw only snatches of the video, with multiple "expert" caveats. But international observers, and those accessing online information sources, could easily see the truth behind the propaganda. Truth will out: the leading YouTube version of the attacks currently has over twelve and a half million views.

FINANCIAL BLOCKADE

As another example of media and political reaction, consider the global blockade on WikiLeaks by financial giants including Mastercard, Visa and PayPal. WikiLeaks poses no obvious threat to their operations, and of course neo-Nazis and other extremist groups remain free to use their services. So this blockade reveals a shocking bias, and sets a very dangerous precedent.

The blockade exposes not just political influence on global finance, but also political influence on global media, plus financial influence on global politics. And it is astonishing how widespread and uniform such influence appears to be across the Western world.

Why haven't politicians, economists and the media taken more interest in this "non-story"? Are we all supposed to just shrug and ignore it? Apparently so. Yes, the blockade was reported (minimally), but the broader implications have been totally ignored. And that's the real story here.

LEVESON INQUIRY

For a similar WikiLeaks "non-story", consider Julian Assange's submissions to the UK Leveson enquiry. Assange rightly claims to have been unfairly maligned by the UK press. But how is it possible that nearly every major Western media outlet has either steadfastly ignored him or adopted a negative stance? In the retail sector, such evidence would be grounds for an investigation into collusion.

Indeed, while UK media organisations have dutifully reported daily events at the Leveson inquiry, they have largely ignored the evidence itself, prompting @GuidoFawkes blogger Paul Staines to publish some of the Operation Motorman leaks, which he describes as "Britain's biggest establishment cover-up".

"Currently in Britain the newspapers are neither naming nor shaming because the criminal enterprises are the newspapers themselves, who understandably do not wish to report their own crimes," says Staines.

In Assange's case, the most guilty newspaper is (ironically) former partner The Guardian, which now leads the UK Establishment's attack on WikiLeaks. Even more ironically, the Leveson inquiry would never have happened without Guardian EIC Alan Rusbridger's dogged pursuit of Rupert Murdoch. So how do you explain such a peculiarly selective brand of outrage? Oddly enough, nobody is even trying.

Addressing complaints of anti-WikiLeaks bias, even the Guardian's Reader's Editor would only promise not to use the word "charges" to describe Assange's Swedish allegations. Readers comments were again predictably scathing. But it seems such major UK media organisations would rather insult their readers' intelligence than speak up for Assange and WikiLeaks, even as they drift towards financial oblivion.

BRADLEY MANNING

Another WikiLeaks "non-story" is the US government's treatment of Bradley Manning, the young soldier who ALLEGEDLY (there's still no conclusive proof, and probably never will be, given the farcical nature of his US military trial) passed a treasure trove of files to WikiLeaks. Manning was tortured by the US government in solitary confinement for six months, and now faces a show trial that is barely being covered by domestic US media.

The studiously ignored question is: "Why?" Under international law, it is a crime for a soldier NOT to reveal knowledge of war crimes. In a saner world, Bradley Manning would be celebrated as a US national hero who helped bring two unjust wars to a close, while those responsible for the crimes he exposed would be brought to justice. Yet Ron Paul is the only senior US politician currently championing Manning's cause (and the media ignore him too). Why?

This is the real revelation here. Why are the US media actively ignoring Manning's trial and his altruistic motivations, while giving short shrift to any sympathetic opinions? Is the US media not allowed to even canvass ideas that do not conform to Pentagon strategy? Is that the true state of US media today, 35 years since the CIA boasted about having a spy in every major newsrooom?

The sub-plot in this "non-story" is that the US government appears to have been pressuring Manning to blame Assange for his actions, and has set up a Grand Jury to find more excuses to extradite Assange and lock him away. Meanwhile the FBI flipped LulzSec hacker Sabu, who allegedly offered to sell the leaked Stratfor emails to WikiLeaks. Was that operation designed to entrap WikiLeaks? Are these threads all aspects of a grand US government conspiracy to destroy WikiLeaks and make an example of Assange?

AUSTRALIA AND SWEDEN

The casual brutality of Washington's reaction will have shocked nobody who has been watching the USA's steadily accelerating slide towards Fascism. But many have been surprised by the slavish public reactions of the Australian and Swedish governments, who are now exposed as willing tools of US imperialism, ready to ignore the law, invite international ridicule, sacrifice innocent citizens, and even lose power to opposition parties rather than speak up for truth and justice.

Sweden's reputation as a forward-thinking nation of sexually liberated citizens has been trashed. Foreign Minister Carl Bild's friendship with US neocon Karl Rove appears to be the new cornerstone of Swedish foreign policy. Behind the cosmopolitan facade of Stockholm, we see a provincial town still in the grip of an 18th Century Lutheran witch-hunt mentality.

In Canberra, Prime Minister Julia Gillard has lost credibility and irreparably damaged the reputation of the Labor Party, whose back-room ties to the US Embassy were already exposed by WikiLeaks. It's hard to think of anyone who has come out of this long WikiLeaks saga looking worse than the Gillard government, whose Foreign Minister and Attorney General have plumbed Orwellian depths of reality-denial. Of course, Assange can expect little better from the opposition Coalition, whose complicity is confirmed by their silence. Meanwhile the Greens, a growing, credible and courageous third force, remain potential king-makers in any future elections.

Obviously Assange's Australian citizenship and the sexual allegations in Sweden make these nations central to any WikiLeaks discussion. But around the world today, millions of citizens are dismayed at how their supposedly democratic governments ignore popular will while pandering to global financiers and US-dominated corporations.

CONSPIRACIES, OPINIONS AND FACTS

We could continue examining many, many more examples of government and media silence and collusion against WikiLeaks.

But at some point we have to look beyond the latest scandal, recognise a clear pattern, and draw some conclusions. And what we see can only be described as a massive anti-WikiLeaks conspiracy.

Many supporters have described the process of following WikiLeaks as a journey "down the rabbit hole". Can you handle the truth? It is indeed hard for people to reassess attitudes and opinions that have been brain burned. But the facts exposed by WikiLeaks, and the reactions to those revelations, are matters of fact, and must be respected in any rational society. And those facts point to a complex, far-ranging conspiracy.

Let us be clear: this enormous conspiracy of media, politicians, the military, corporations and private business has not arisen purely in response to WikiLeaks. It has been growing steadily for at least 50 years. But WikiLeaks has clearly and cleverly exposed it. And that, in my humble opinion, is WikiLeaks' greatest revelation.

Censorship reveals fear, as Julian Assange says. And the attempts to smear Assange and silence WikiLeaks have exposed the fears of conspiracy participants.

But why are our global leaders afraid of the truth? What have they got to hide? And why are the media aiding and abetting this conspiracy?

Stay tuned...


NOTES:

1. Of course, the media reflexively dismiss anything they can label a "conspiracy theory". Politicians refuse to even discuss "hypotheticals". But they will all discuss ad nauseam conspiracy theories such as President Obama's birth certificate, or hypothetical plans to invade Iran or Syria. Double standards are easily exposed.

2. It is obviously not fair to tar all journalists with the same brush: a few dedicated professionals have done outstanding work in support of WikiLeaks, Assange and Manning. It's no coincidence that most of these journalists work predominantly online. And it's no coincidence that those involved in the conspiracy are actively working to crush Internet freedoms.

3. Many support the conspiracy unwittingly, such as wannabe alt.media writers whose negative opinions of Assange are informed by mainstream media smears, or well-meaning but time-poor politicians who vote along party lines without checking the facts for themselves. These people can be reached.

4. The situation today is precarious. We are in an Information War, a race against time, with advancing technology benefiting either the peace-loving people of this world, or our war-mongering oppressors. Our governments today are busy closing legal loopholes and imposing restrictive controls on the Internet. If they succeed, there may never be another WikiLeaks. Get active.

5. It's Julian Assange's birthday in 100 minutes (Oz time). I was hoping to post this at WikiLeaks Central but the site seems to be under attack again. Now who would do that? And why??? Happy birthday, mate.