Louis Proyect | 29 May 21:21 2012
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[WIKILEAKS] WikiLeaks under threat: Assange extradition judgement tomorrow

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On 5/29/2012 3:08 PM, Wikileaks Press Office wrote:
> PRESS RELEASE
>
> State of play of attacks against WikiLeaks to date
> Tuesday May 29, 2012 20:30 GMT
>
> -----------------------
> Summary
> -----------------------
>
> US GOVERNMENT ATTACK ON WIKILEAKS
>
> * WikiLeaks is under attack. The United States is seeking to charge Julian
> Assange - a journalist and publisher - with espionage.
>
> * The US Grand Jury reportedly possesses a sealed indictment, which could be
> used to extradite Assange to the United States.
>
> * Secret subpoenas have been served on ISPs and online services for the private
> data of WikiLeaks staff and supporters.
>
> * Special task-forces have been setup by various various US intelligence
> agencies, including the Pentagon, CIA, FBI, and the US State Department.
>
> * Associates of WikiLeaks have been detained and interrogated at US and UK
> airports, their equipment confiscated, and attempts have been made to turn them
> into informants.
>
> * If the indictment is unsealed upon Assange's extradition to Sweden he faces
> further removal from Sweden to the United States.
>
> * Meanwhile, an unprecedented extralegal denial of service by Visa and
> Mastercard has cut off funding to WikiLeaks, almost shutting down WikiLeaks'
> publishing activity.
>
>
> THREAT OF EXTRADITION
>
> * If the extradition to Sweden is quashed in the outcome of the court
> judgement, he faces extradition from the United Kingdom.
>
> * Both Swedish and UK governments have been coordinating with the US, taking
> steps to facilitate a US extradition request in either eventuality. Assange
> cannot take steps to avoid either risk. For 539 days he has been detained
> without charge in the UK under house arrest.
>
> * Under US pressure the Australian government has relaxed its own extradition
> law, smoothing any possible extradition from Assange's home country. The
> Gillard government has also amended legislation to give Australian intelligence
> agencies powers of surveillance over WikiLeaks supporters.
>
>
> -----------------------
> Full Brief
> -----------------------
>
> WikiLeaks is under serious threat. The US, UK, Swedish and Australian
> governments are engaging in a coordinated effort to extradite its
> editor-in-chief Julian Assange to the United States, to face espionage charges
> for journalistic activities.
>
> GRAND JURY
>
> For twenty-one months a Grand Jury sitting in the Washington DC area has been
> meeting on a monthly basis, seeking to prosecute Julian Assange for espionage.
> <a
> href="www.guardian.co.uk/media/2011/may/11/us-opens-wikileaks-grand-jury-hearing">[Read
> More]</a>
>
> No judge or defense counsel is present at these proceedings. According to the
> global intelligence firm Stratfor, a sealed indictment against Assange was
> issued 18 months ago, in January 2011.<a
> href="http://ccrjustice.org/newsroom/press-releases/ccr-condemns-reported-sealed-indictment-against-wikileaks-founder-julian-assange">[Read
> More]</a>  <a
> href="http://wikileaks.org/gifiles/docs/375123_fw-ct-assange-manning-link-not-key-to-wikileaks-case-.html">[Source]</a>
>
> In connection with the case, individuals have been legally compelled to give
> evidence to the Grand Jury.<a
> href="http://www.salon.com/2011/04/27/wikileaks_26/">[Read More]</a>
>
> Google, Twitter, and other internet service providers have been issued secret
> court orders to divulge private information about WikiLeaks staff, volunteers
> and supporters.<a
> href="http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203476804576613284007315072.html">[Read
> More]</a>
>
> Friends and supporters of WikiLeaks have been detained, searched and
> interrogated at airports, and attempts have been made to turn them into
> informants.<a
> href="http://www.democracynow.org/2012/4/20/we_do_not_live_in_a">[Read
> More]</a>
>
> Please consult Alexa O'Brien's<a
> href="http://www.alexaobrien.com/timeline_us_versus_manning_assange_wikileaks.html#20100822-pentagon-rape-epidemic">timeline
> of US vs. Manning, Assange, WikiLeaks and the Press</a>  for comprehensive
> information on the Grand Jury and associated matters.
>
> AUSTRALIAN COMPLICITY
>
> Australia quietly changed its extradition law three months ago. An amendment
> passed in February makes it possible for someone to be extradited for minor
> offenses. This amendment weakens the security of all Australians, and
> facilitates Assange's extradition from his home country, despite popular
> support for him there. There was no media reportage on the passage of this
> amendment.<a
> href="http://castancentre.com/2012/03/07/extradition-and-mutual-assistance-changes-slip-in-under-the-radar/">[Read
> More]</a>
>
> Declassified Australian diplomatic cables reveal that Australian diplomats have
> raised no concerns over the possible extradition of Julian Assange to the
> United States. The Australian government asks only that it be forewarned, so as
> to coordinate a media response.<a
> href="http://www.theage.com.au/national/authorities-still-gunning-for-assange-cables-show-20120527-1zd2x.html">[Read
> More]</a>  <a
> href="http://www.theage.com.au/national/australia-did-not-object-to-us-pursuit-of-assange-20111202-1obg4.html">[Supplementary]</a>
>
> The Australian government also passed the 'WikiLeaks Amendment' in July 2011,
> broadening the powers of Australia's ASIO intelligence agency to spy on
> Australian citizens and anyone associated with WikiLeaks.<a
> href="http://www.crikey.com.au/2011/07/05/asio-gets-its-new-powers-and-no-one-will-tell-us-">[Read
> More]</a>
>
> At the behest of the US government, Prime Minister Julia Gillard instigated a
> federal investigation into whether criminal charges could be brought against
> Assange. Before it had been concluded that Assange has broken no laws, Gillard
> had already publicly called Assange's actions “illegal” and stated that his
> passport may be cancelled.<a
> href="http://www.theage.com.au/national/asio-eye-on-wikileaks-20110522-1eyyt.html">[Read
> More]</a>  <a
> href="http://news.smh.com.au/breaking-news-national/australia-to-help-us-over-assange-20101204-18k3w.html">[Supplementary]</a>
>
> The Australian government has repeatedly delayed, censored and blocked Freedom
> of Information (FOI) requests for material that would reveal its internal legal
> deliberations over Assange's extradition to the US and has refused to answer
> parliamentary questions about the extent of its co-operation.<a
> href="http://www.crikey.com.au/2012/04/18/julian-assange-freedom-of-information-requests/">[Read
> More]</a>  <a
> href="http://greensmps.org.au/content/media-releases/new-leaks-show-our-freedom-information-system-broken-greens">[Supplementary]</a>
>
>
> It has given only cursory assistance regarding a highly irregular and
> politicized Swedish extradition request for Julian Assange under the European
> Arrest Warrant (EAW) system.<a
> href="http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/42368.html">[Read More]</a>  <a
> href="http://www.smh.com.au/national/wikileaks-founder-abandoned-by-government-20111107-1n3wj.html">[Supplementary]</a>
>
> Please see SwedenVersusAssange's<a
> href="http://www.swedenversusassange.com/Australia.html">Australia page</a>  for
> more comprehensive information on Australian complicity.
>
> UK COMPLICITY
>
> Assange has been detained under house arrest without charge for 539 days. If
> his May 30 Supreme Court challenge is successful, he is at risk of extradition
> to the US under the terms of a one-sided UK/US extradition treaty.<a
> href="http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-17553860">[Read More]</a>
>
> Long-promised reform of the UK's extradition arrangements continue to be
> delayed, and this is despite the findings of two Parliamentary Select
> Committees that reform is urgent.<a
> href="http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/jt201012/jtselect/jtrights/156/15611.htm">[See
> §5]</a>
>
> The US government is directly involved. A February FOI request revealed the
> involvement of Attorney General Eric Holder and other US officials in the Baker
> Review on UK extradition reform. The UK government has refused to publish the
> evidence on which the Baker Review based its findings. Other FOI requests
> specific to Julian Assange have been denied.<a
> href="http://www.scribd.com/doc/81571864/Feb12FOICase20979Reply">[Read
> More]</a>
>
> US Ambassador Louis Susman confirmed that the US would wait to see “how
> things work out in the British courts."<a
> href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TdbiAI3dQ0Y">[Watch]</a>  Mr Susman has
> been granted extraordinary access to directly address the UK Parliament and its
> Select Committees, arguing that reform of the UK/US extradition treaty is
> unnecessary.<a
> href=http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/8928388/Extradition-rules-under-strain-as-MPs-prepare-for-historic-vote.html">[Read
> More]</a>
>
> SWEDISH COMPLICITY
>
> On 8 December 2010 the Independent newspaper in the UK cited “diplomatic
> sources” confirming informal talks between Sweden and the US about
> extraditing Julian Assange.<a
> href="http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/assange-could-face-espionage-trial-in-us-2154107.html">[Read
> More]</a>
>
> The US/Sweden bilateral treaty has a “temporary surrender” clause which can
> be used for onward transfer to the US, circumventing the safeguards of a formal
> extradition.<a
> href="http://www.swedenversusassange.com/US-Extradition.html#TR">[Read
> More]</a>
>
> Sweden was condemned by the UN Committee Against Torture in 2005  for its role
> in the extraordinary rendition of refugees to CIA black sites.<a
> href="http://www1.umn.edu/humanrts/cat/decisions/233-2003.html">[Read More]</a>
> Sweden has not refused a US request for extradition since 2000.<a
> href="http://translate.google.com/translate?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.svd.se%2Fnyheter%2Finrikes%2Fassange-sverige-har-inte-motsatt-sig-usa_6715051.svd">[Read
> More]</a>
>
> The Swedish Prime Minister's chief political adviser is Karl Rove, infamous for
> coordinating smear campaigns while he was George Bush's adviser.<a
> href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/andrew-kreig/rove-suspected-in-swedish_b_798737.html">[Read
> More]</a>  Rove is an old associate of Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt, who
> was revealed as a US informant in a 2007 State Department cable published by
> WikiLeaks.<A
> href="http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/julian-assange-the-rolling-stone-interview-20120118">[Read
> More]</a>
>
> Senior Swedish political figures have made false and/or misleading public
> statements highly prejudicial to a fair trial for Julian Assange. These include
> <a
> href="http://www.swedenversusassange.com/Political-Interference.html#SE">Prime
> Minister Reinfeldt</a>, Swedish<a
> href="https://carlbildt.wordpress.com/2012/02/22/smutskastningskampanj/">Foreign
> Minister Carl Bildt</a>, Sweden's<A href="<A
> href="http://www.expressen.se/nyheter/darfor-drojer-julian-assange-utredningen/">">Prosecutor-General
> Anders Perklev</a>, investigating prosecutor<a
> href="http://www.swedenversusassange.com/Prosecution.html#QUES">Marianne Ny</a>
> and<A
> href="http://news.yahoo.com/swedish-minister-assange-turn-yourself-20110210-074505-863.html">Justice
> Minister Beatrice Ask</a>.
>
> Justice Minister Ask<A
> href="https://secure.flickr.com/photos/embassyofswedenwashingtondc/6936320891/in/set-72157629105012894/">visited</a>
> US Attorney General Eric Holder in Washington on 27 February 2012 but no
> statements outlining what was discussed have been issued.
>
> IRREGULARITIES IN THE SWEDISH CASE
>
> There are numerous concerns regarding the merits and lawfulness of the Swedish
> case against Assange, including:
>
> • the two complainants to the case went to the police for advice about HIV
> tests. They did not wish to file a complaint. One complainant has stated she
> felt “railroaded” by police. On hearing that police were seeking Julian
> Assange for rape, she became upset and did not sign her statement;
>
> • there have been unlawful and prejudicial disclosures to the media by police
> and the prosecution regarding the investigation. These have generated over 4
> million websearch results linking 'Assange' and 'rape', irreparably harming his
> reputation and diminishing public support for WikiLeaks;
>
> • after reviewing the police file, Senior Prosecutor Eva Finne found the rape
> allegation to be false: “I consider there are no grounds for suspecting he
> has committed rape”;
>
> • there have been breaches of police procedures in the investigation of the
> allegations, in particular: complainant witness statements were not recorded
> and were later revised;
>
> • the failure to disclose details of the allegations and the evidence in
> English;
>
> • the apparent failure of the Prosecutor to consider exculpatory evidence,
> and the withholding of exculpatory evidence from the defense and the UK courts;
>
> • the disproportionate behavior of the Prosecutor Marianne Ny in refusing
> voluntary offers for co-operation and refusing to make use of the normal
> methods of Mutual Legal Assistance for interviewing Assange – insisting
> instead on an international warrant which unduly restricts his liberty. The EAW
> and a public Interpol Red Notice were issued two days prior to WikiLeaks'
> Cablegate publication;
>
> • the pre-trial detention conditions – incommunicado in solitary
> confinement – sought by the Prosecutor prior to any decision whether to
> prosecute, and their lack of a time limit; and
>
> • the prospect of a secret trial, which is customary under Swedish law.
>
> Please consult SwedenVersusAssange's "Prosecution page for comprehensive
> information on the irregularities in the Swedish case.<a
> href="http://www.swedenversusassange.com/Prosecution.html">[Click Here]</a>
>
> Under the EAW system UK courts are unable to take any of the above into
> account. Julian Assange has not been charged with any crime. The Swedish
> extradition is for questioning as part of the preliminary investigation.
> Neither the UK Extradition Act 2003 nor the EU Framework Directive intended
> EAWs to be used in this manner. Julian Assange's extradition under such
> circumstances will set dangerous precedents affecting basic justice across
> Europe, whereby extradition is possible from the UK without charge, without
> evidence, at the behest of any prosecutor anywhere in Europe and without proper
> judicial oversight.
>
>
> FURTHER AGGRESSION AGAINST WIKILEAKS
>
> Other related acts of aggression against WikiLeaks include:
>
> • Leading active US politicians have called for the extrajudicial
> assassination of Julian Assange, including by drone strike. US senators have
> labelled our editor-in-chief a “high-tech terrorist” and “enemy
> combatant” engaged in “cyber warfare”.<a
> href="http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/wikileaks/8172916/WikiLeaks-guilty-parties-should-face-death-penalty.html">[Read
> More]</a>
>
> • The setting up of a 120-strong US Pentagon team dedicated to “taking
> action” against WikiLeaks ahead of WikiLeaks' release of the Iraq War Logs
> and Cablegate. Similar publicly declared FBI, CIA and US State Department Task
> Forces are also still in operation.<a
> href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/12/21/AR2010122104599.html?hpid=topnews&sid=ST2010122105304">[Read
> More]</a>
>
> • Requests from US government figures that American banking corporations
> Visa, Mastercard, Paypal, Western Union and Bank of America impose an illegal
> financial blockade against the organization, blocking the ability of members of
> the public to make donations, thereby shutting off 95% of WikiLeaks' funding.
> In December 2010 Paypal also froze 60,000 euros of WikiLeaks donations held by
> the Wau Holland charitable foundation. Two days later Swiss bank PostFinance
> froze Julian Assange's account, containing 31,000 euros, used for WikiLeaks
> Staff Defence Funds. The WikiLeaks blockade has been condemned by both the UN
> High Commissioner for Human Rights and the UN Rapporteur for Freedom of Opinion
> and Expression. In July 2011 WikiLeaks lodged a complaint about the financial
> blockade with the European Commission for infringement of EU Anti-Trust laws.
> We are still awaiting an answer, due by August 2012.<a
> href="http://www.wikileaks.org/Banking-Blockade.html">[Read More]</a>
>
> • The US government has also pressured internet providers to cease services
> to WikiLeaks.org. On 1 December 2010 Amazon removed WikiLeaks from their
> storage servers, and on 2 December the DNS service pointing to the
> Wikileaks.org domain was disrupted.<a
> href="http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/blog/2010/dec/03/wikileaks-knocked-off-net-dns-everydns">[Read
> More]</a>
>
> • WikiLeaks' volunteers and associates have endured constant harassment,
> being detained at US border points, having their electronic devices seized and
> secret so-called 2703(d) orders issued for their Twitter records. The latter
> only came to light when Twitter challenged the injunction against letting
> individuals know their records were being turned over to federal authorities.
> It is not yet known how many other internet service providers received similar
> 2703(d) orders relating to WikiLeaks – so far, only Google and ISP Sonic.net
> have been confirmed.<a
> href="http://news.cnet.com/8301-31921_3-20117919-281/justice-department-ramps-up-wikileaks-e-mail-probe/">[Read
> More]</a>  <a href="http://www.salon.com/2011/01/08/twitter_2/">[See Also]</a>

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