Trump’s lawyer differs from Trump administration on persecuting whistleblowers


This 1 January 2019 video from the USA is called Rudy Giuliani, Trump’s Lawyer, Says Julian Assange Should NOT Be Prosecuted.

This blog has noted before that United States President Trump is a broken clock. Wrong nearly all of the time, but right two small moments a day. Like his sometimes rival, sometimes friend, Turkish President Erdogan, a dictator and a warmonger, is right at some small moments.

Trump and Erdogan are not the only two ‘broken clock’ politicians. Take United States President Obama’s Attorney General Eric Holder. Holder deserves lots of criticism for not doing enough to stop police brutality, for undermining civil liberties while persecuting whistleblowers, etc. However, when he was no longer Attorney General, he admitted that the whistleblower on the NSA attacks on liberties, Eric Snowden, was right.

Now, after Obama, another president, Donald Trump. And another broken clock politician, Rudy Giuliani, on civil liberties and on another whistleblower: Julian Assange. Giuliani is notTrump’s Attorney General, but his lawyer. Interestingly, on Assange, Trump’s lawyer differs from the Trump administration on persecuting whistleblowers, threatening media freedom.

By James Cogan in the USA:

Silence follows Trump attorney’s statement that Julian Assange did nothing “wrong”

4 January 2019

During a December 30 interview on the US cable television talk show “Fox and Friends,” Rudy Giuliani, the right-wing Republican former mayor of New York and now attorney for President Donald Trump, blurted out some basic truths about WikiLeaks and its founder and publisher, Julian Assange.

Giuliani said: “Let’s take the Pentagon Papers. The Pentagon Papers were stolen property, weren’t they? It was in the New York Times and the Washington Post. Nobody went to jail at the New York Times and the Washington Post.”

Giuliani was referring to the 1971 publication of a mass of leaked documents that exposed decades of lies and crimes committed by successive American governments throughout the Vietnam War. The Nixon administration went to the US Supreme Court to outlaw the publication but the court ruled that the US Constitution’s First Amendment, guaranteeing free speech, protected the media outlets.

Once leaked information was provided to a “media publication”, Giuliani stated, “they can publish it for the purpose of informing people.”

He continued: “You can’t put Assange in a different position. He was a guy who communicated. We may not like what he communicated, but he was a media facility. He was putting that information out. Every newspaper and station grabbed it and published it.”

Giuliani was discussing, not the 2010 leaks published by WikiLeaks exposing US war crimes and diplomatic intrigues, but the investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller into alleged Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. Lurid and absurd allegations have been made that WikiLeaks was part of a nefarious conspiracy with Russia to assist the Trump campaign.

In July 2016, WikiLeaks published leaked emails revealing that the Democratic National Committee (DNC) had sought to undermine self-styled “democratic socialist” Bernie Sanders and ensure that Hillary Clinton was nominated as the Democratic Party’s presidential candidate.

In October 2016, WikiLeaks published leaked emails from Clinton’s campaign chairman John Podesta, which included transcripts of speeches Clinton had given to corporate audiences during which she pledged support to Wall Street and boasted of her role in organising the murderous US-led war on Libya in 2011.

WikiLeaks has denied that Russia was the source of the leaks and, in November 2016, Assange correctly defended its decision to publish them in the public interest.

Giuliani categorically denied there was ever any relationship or contact between the Trump campaign and WikiLeaks. He stated on “Fox and Friends”: “I was with Donald Trump day in and day out throughout the last four months of the campaign. He was as surprised as I was about the WikiLeaks disclosures, sometimes surprised to the extent of ‘oh my God, did they really say that?’ We were wondering if it was true or not. They never denied it.

“The thing that really got Hillary is not so much that they were revealed, but that they were true… She really did completely screw Bernie Sanders. Every bit of that was absolutely true. Just like the Pentagon Papers put a different view on Vietnam, this put a different view on Hillary Clinton.”

He continued: “No press person or person disseminating that, for the purpose of informing, did anything wrong.”

Nothing Giuliani said is new or can be honestly disputed. Assange is a journalist and editor. WikiLeaks is a media organisation. When it was entrusted by whistleblowers with leaked information, WikiLeaks published it “for the purpose of informing people.” Assange has committed no crime. The attempts under Obama’s administration and now Trump’s to have him extradited to the US to stand trial on charges of espionage or conspiracy constitute a fundamental attack on freedom of speech and an independent and critical media.

Since 2010, when the American state apparatus launched its vendetta, every genuine defender of democratic rights has been obliged, as a matter of political principle, to stand behind Assange and WikiLeaks, and the fight for his unconditional protection from US-led persecution.

Indeed, from this standpoint, the most noteworthy aspect of Giuliani’s statements is that they were made by a ruthless representative of the American financial and corporate elite, and on Fox News, the station that in 2010 broadcast calls for Assange

and for Chelsea Manning, WikLeaks’ source for the Iraq war revelations

to be assassinated.

Giuliani, a fervent supporter of Trump’s fascistic “America First” agenda of war with China and the destruction of workers’ rights and civil liberties in the US itself, does not have the slightest concern for freedom of speech or democracy. His only motive in telling the truth about Assange and WikiLeaks is to rebut the claims circulating around the Mueller investigation and the possible use of accusations of collusion with Russia to impeach the president and replace him with Vice President Mike Pence.

A wing of the American ruling class, represented by the Democratic Party, factions of the Republican Party and sections of the military-intelligence apparatus, are outraged by Trump’s seeming lack of concern with confronting Russia. Even before he was inaugurated, that wing of the establishment demanded that Trump escalate a confrontational policy against Moscow, from the standpoint that conflict with China could be best pursued if Beijing were denied any ability to seek assistance from Russia. They believe Pence, a Christian fundamentalist and extreme right-wing ideologue, would be a more malleable figure than the erratic and unstable billionaire real estate speculator.

On a world scale, the allegations of Russian “interference” have been used as the pretext for a massive campaign of censorship, directed by companies such as Google and Facebook against, above all, left-wing, anti-imperialist and anti-war websites and social media postings.

The American state apparatus also has used them to bully the Ecuadorian government, which in 2012 provided Assange with asylum in its London embassy, to turn against the WikiLeaks publisher. In April 2017, Mike Pompeo, then CIA director and now Trump’s secretary of state, declared—after WikiLeaks published the explosive “Vault 7” leaks exposing criminal CIA operations—that the media organisation would be treated as a “non-state hostile intelligence service often abetted by state actors such as Russia.”

In March 2018, on the dictates of Washington, Ecuador cut off Assange’s right to communicate with the outside world and has taken other punitive measures to try and pressure him to leave the embassy and hand himself over to British police to face imprisonment and extradition to the US.

Predictably, not a word about Giuliani’s statements has been said by the political and media establishment in the US, Europe or Australia.

The silence in Australia is of particular significance. Assange is an Australian citizen. In the face of persecution by the governments of other states, he has always been entitled to, but denied, the full diplomatic, legal and political support of the Australian government.

The categorical statement by a figure as repellent as Giuliani, that there are no grounds to prosecute Assange, serves only to expose the perfidy of the current Liberal-National Party Coalition government, … as well as the media … . Their refusal to defend Assange testifies to the utter rot of democracy in the country.

The Socialist Equality Party (SEP) in Australia announced last month that it will organise and seek the broadest support for political demonstrations in Sydney on March 3 and Melbourne on March 10.

The rallies will demand that the Australian government end its collaboration with the US-led persecution of Assange and immediately intervene, using the full scope of its diplomatic and legal powers, to insist that the British government allow the WikiLeaks publisher to leave the Ecuadorian embassy and unconditionally return to Australia, if he chooses to do so. Assange must be given a blanket guarantee that any request by the Trump administration to extradite him from Australia to the US would be rejected out of hand.

Trump attack on Assange, press freedom


This 16 November 2018 video from the USA says about itself:

Possible Indictment Of Wikileaks’ Assange Prompts Press Freedom Concerns

WikiLeaks has been a divisive organization for years, with supporters hailing the group’s commitment to transparency and detractors calling it reckless and biased. Now that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is reportedly facing federal prosecution, that debate is likely to reach a fever pitch. And it raises the question: what is the difference between Wikileaks and the media at large? On this week’s edition of Beat the Press, Emily Rooney was joined by former CNN White House Correspondent Dan Lothian, Tom Fiedler of Boston University, Dan Kennedy of Northeastern University and Callie Crossley of WGBH News.

By Glenn Greenwald, 16 November 2018:

As the Obama DOJ Concluded, Prosecution of Julian Assange for Publishing Documents Poses Grave Threats to Press Freedom

The Trump Justice Department inadvertently revealed in a court filing that it has charged Julian Assange in a sealed indictment. The disclosure occurred through a remarkably amateurish cutting-and-pasting error in which prosecutors unintentionally used secret language from Assange’s sealed charges in a document filed in an unrelated case. Although the document does not specify which charges have been filed against Assange, the Wall Street Journal reported that “they may involve the Espionage Act, which criminalizes the disclosure of national defense-related information.”

Over the last two years, journalists and others have melodramatically claimed that press freedoms were being assaulted by the Trump administration due to trivial acts such as the President spouting adolescent insults on Twitter at Chuck Todd and Wolf Blitzer … . Meanwhile, actual and real threats to press freedoms that began with the Obama DOJ and have escalated with the Trump DOJ – such as aggressive attempts to unearth and prosecute sources – have gone largely ignored if not applauded.

But prosecuting Assange and/or WikiLeaks for publishing classified documents would be in an entirely different universe of press freedom threats. Reporting on the secret acts of government officials or powerful financial actors – including by publishing documents taken without authorization – is at the core of investigative journalism. From the Pentagon Papers to the Panama Papers to the Snowden disclosures to publication of Trump’s tax returns to the Iraq and Afghanistan war logs, some of the most important journalism over the last several decades has occurred because it is legal and constitutional to publish secret documents even if the sources of those documents obtained them through illicit or even illegal means.

The Obama DOJ – despite launching notoriously aggressive attacks on press freedoms – recognized this critical principle when it came to WikiLeaks. It spent years exploring whether it could criminally charge Assange and WikiLeaks for publishing classified information. It ultimately decided it would not do so, and could not do so, consistent with the press freedom guarantee of the First Amendment. After all, the Obama DOJ concluded, such a prosecution would pose a severe threat to press freedom because there would be no way to prosecute Assange for publishing classified documents without also prosecuting the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Guardian and others for doing exactly the same thing.

As the Washington Post put it in 2013 when it explained the Obama DOJ’s decision not to prosecute Assange:

Justice officials said they looked hard at Assange but realized that they have what they described as a “New York Times problem.” If the Justice Department indicted Assange, it would also have to prosecute the New York Times and other news organizations and writers who published classified material, including The Washington Post and Britain’s Guardian newspaper.

Last year, the Trump DOJ under Jeff Sessions, and the CIA under Mike Pompeo, began aggressively vowing to do what the Obama DOJ refused to do – namely, prosecute Assange for publishing classified documents. Pompeo, as CIA Director, delivered one of the creepiest and most anti-press-freedom speeches heard in years, vowing that “we have to recognize that we can no longer allow Assange and his colleagues the latitude to use free speech values against us”, adding that WikiLeaks has “pretended that America’s First Amendment freedoms shield them from justice”, but: “they may have believed that, but they are wrong.”

Remarkably, the speech by Donald Trump’s hand-picked CIA chief and long-time right-wing Congressman sounded like (and still sounds like) the standard Democratic view when they urge the Trump administration to prosecute Assange. But at the time of Pompeo’s speech, Obama DOJ spokesman Matt Miller insisted to me that such promises to prosecute Assange were “hollow”, because the First Amendment would bar such prosecutions:

But the grand irony is that many Democrats will side with the Trump DOJ over the Obama DOJ. Their emotional, personal contempt for Assange – due to their belief that he helped defeat Hillary Clinton: the gravest crime – easily outweighs any concerns about the threats posed to press freedoms by the Trump administration’s attempts to criminalize the publication of documents.

This reflects the broader irony of the Trump era for Democrats. While they claim out of one side of their mouth to find the Trump administration’s authoritarianism and press freedom attacks so repellent, they use the other side of their mouth to parrot the authoritarian mentality of Jeff Sessions and Mike Pompeo that anyone who published documents harmful to Hillary or which have been deemed “classified” by the U.S. Government ought to go to prison.

During the Obama years, the notion that Assange could be prosecuted for publishing documents was regarded as so extreme and dangerous that even centrist media outlets that despised him sounded the alarm for how dangerous such a prosecution would be. The pro-national-security-state Washington Post editorial page in 2010, writing under the headline “Don’t Charge WikiLeaks”, warned:

Such prosecutions are a bad idea. The government has no business indicting someone who is not a spy and who is not legally bound to keep its secrets. Doing so would criminalize the exchange of information and put at risk responsible media organizations that vet and verify material and take seriously the protection of sources and methods when lives or national security are endangered.

In contrast to Democrats, Republicans have been quite consistent about their desire to see WikiLeaks prosecuted. As Newsweek noted in 2011: “Sarah Palin urged that Assange be ‘pursued with the same urgency we pursue Al Qaeda and Taliban leaders,’ and The Weekly Standard’s William Kristol wants the U.S. to ‘use our various assets to harass, snatch or neutralize Julian Assange and his collaborators.’” Some Democratic hawks, such as Joe Lieberman and Dianne Feinstein, joined the likes of Palin and Kristol in urging WikiLeaks prosecution, but the broad consensus in Democratica and liberal circles was that doing so was far too dangerous for press freedoms.

In the wake of the 2010 disclosures of the Iraq and Afghanistan war logs, Donald Trump himself told Fox and Friends’ Brian Kilmade that he believed Assange deserved “the death penalty” for having published those documents (a punishment Trump also advocated for Edward Snowden in 2013):

What has changed since that Obama-era consensus? Only one thing: in 2016, WikiLeaks published documents that reflected poorly on Democrats and the Clinton campaign rather than the Bush-era wars, rendering Democrats perfectly willing, indeed eager, to prioritize their personal contempt for Assange over any precepts of basic press freedoms, civil liberties, or Constitutional principles. It’s really just as simple – and as ignoble – as that.

It is this utterly craven and authoritarian mentality that is about to put Democrats of all sorts in bed with the most extremist and dangerous of the Trump faction as they unite to create precedents under which the publication of information – long held sacrosanct by anyone caring about press freedoms – can now be legally punished.

Recall that the DNC itself is currently suing WikiLeaks and Assange for publishing the DNC and Podesta emails they received: emails deemed newsworthy by literally every major media outlet, which relentlessly reported on them. Until this current Trump DOJ criminal prosecution of Assange, that DNC lawsuit had been the greatest Trump-era threat to press freedoms – because it seeks to make the publication of documents, which is the core of journalism, legally punishable. The Trump DOJ’s attempts to criminalize those actions is merely the next logical step in this descent into a full-scale attack on basic press rights.

The arguments justifying the Trump administration’s prosecution of Assange are grounded in a combination of legal ignorance, factual falsehoods, and dangerous authoritarianism.

The most common misconception is that unlike the New York Times and the Washington Post, WikiLeaks can be legitimately prosecuted for publishing classified information because it’s not a “legitimate news outlet”. Democrats who make this argument don’t seem to care that this is exactly the view rejected as untenable by the Obama DOJ.

To begin with, the press freedom guarantee of the First Amendment isn’t confined to “legitimate news outlets” – whatever that might mean. The First Amendment isn’t available only to a certain class of people licensed as “journalists”. It protects not a privileged group of people called “professional journalists” but rather an activity: namely, using the press (which at the time of the First Amendment’s enactment meant the literal printing press) to inform the public about what the government was doing. Everyone is entitled to that constitutional protection equally: there is no cogent way to justify why the Guardian, ex-DOJ-officials-turned-bloggers, or Marcy Wheeler are free to publish classified information but Julian Assange and WikiLeaks are not.

Beyond that, WikiLeaks has long been recognized around the world as a critical journalistic outlet. They have won prestigious journalism awards including the Martha Gellhorn Prize for excellence in journalism as well as Australia’s top journalism award. Beyond that, it has partnered with the planet’s leading newspapers, including the New York Times, the Guardian, El Pais and others, to publish some of the most consequential stories of the last several decades One does not need to be a “legitimate journalism outlet” to enjoy the press freedom protections of the First Amendment, but even if that were the case, WikiLeaks has long possessed all indicia of a news outlet.

Assange wins Gellhorn Prize, from the Guardian

Then there’s the claim that WikiLeaks does more than publish documents: it helps its sources steal them. This was the claim made last night by former CIA agent John Sipher when trying to justify the Trump DOJ’s actions in response to concerns from a journalist about the threats to press freedom this would pose:

What Sipher said there is a complete fabrication. When the Obama DOJ explored the possibility of prosecuting Assange, that was the theory it tested: that perhaps it could prove that WikiLeaks did not merely passively receive the documents from Chelsea Manning but collaborated with her on how to steal them.

But the Obama DOJ concluded that this theory would not justify prosecution because – contrary to the lie told by Sipher – there was absolutely no evidence that Assange worked with Manning to steal the documents. As the Post put it: “officials said that although Assange published classified documents, he did not leak them, something they said significantly affects their legal analysis.”

The same is true of WikiLeaks’ publication of the DNC and Podesta emails. Nobody has ever presented evidence of any kind that WikiLeaks worked on the hacking of those emails. There is no evidence that WikiLeaks ever did anything other than passively receive pilfered documents from a source and then publish them – exactly as the New York Times did when it received the stolen Pentagon Papers, and exactly as the Guardian and the Washington Post did when it received the Snowden documents.

Moreover, journalists often do more than passively receive information, but instead frequently work with sources before publication of articles: encouraging, cajoling, and persuading them to provide more information. Accepting the theory that a journalist can be prosecuted for doing more than merely passively receiving information – something that nobody has even proved Assange did – would itself gravely threaten to criminalize core aspects of journalism.

Then there’s the claim that WikiLeaks somehow stopped being a real journalism outlet because it acted to help one of the presidential campaigns at the expense of of the other. This is just another version of the false argument that only “Real Journalists” – whatever that might mean, whoever gets to decide that – enjoy the right to use a free press to disseminate information. That claim is pure legal ignorance.

But let’s assume for the sake of argument that it’s true that WikiLeaks acted to help the Trump campaign and therefore should be disqualified from the protections of the First Amendment. To see how pernicious this argument is, look at how it was recently expressed by former Pentagon official Ryan Goodman and Obama WH Counsel Bob Bauer in justifying the prosecution of WikiLeaks:

It is clear from disclosures by an internal WikiLeaks critic and other materials that Julian Assange targeted Hillary Clinton and sought to work with the Trump campaign and the Russians to secure her defeat. This is not a “legitimate press function”, And the conflation of Wikileaks’ plan of campaign attack with standard journalistic activity undermines important distinctions critical to the protection of the free press.

Just ponder the implications of this incredibly restrictive definition of journalism. It would mean that any outlets that favor one candidate over another, or one political party over another, are not engaged in “legitimate press functions” and therefore have no entitlement to First Amendment protections.

Does anyone on the planet doubt that outlets such as MSNBC and Vox favor the Democratic Party over the Republican Party, and the people they employ as journalists spent the last year doing everything they can to help the Democrats win and the Republicans lose? Does anyone doubt that MSNBC and Vox journalists spent 2016 doing everything in their power to help Hillary Clinton win and Donald Trump lose? No person with even the most minimal amount of intellectual honesty could deny that they did so.

Does this mean that Rachel Maddow and Ezra Klein – by virtue of favoring one political party over the other – are not real journalists, that they are not engaged in “legitimate press functions”, and thus do not enjoy the protections of the First Amendment, meaning they can be prosecuted by the Trump DOJ without the ability to claim the rights of a free press? To state that proposition is to illustrate the tyrannical impulses underlying it. As Marcy Wheeler, otherwise sympathetic to the arguments made by the Goodman/Bauer article, put it:

As Dan Froomkin wrote in response to that article, he finds some of Assange’s actions “despicable” and “abhorred the heedless, unedited publication of the non-newsworthy and personally hurtful” emails that were released (I have expressed similar highly critical views about WikiLeaks’ publication decisions). But Froomkin nonetheless recognizes that “Assange remains a journalist” and that “In the Trump era, when the president of the United States is using his office to attack journalists and journalism itself, the First Amendment is a key bulwark of liberty.” That’s how people who actually care about press freedom – rather than pretend to care about it when doing so suits their political interests of the moment – will reason.

But that’s exactly the point. Neither the most authoritarian factions of the Trump administration behind this prosecution, nor their bizarre and equally tyrannical allies in the Democratic Party, care the slightest about press freedoms. They only care about one thing: putting Julian Assange behind bars, because (in the case of Trump officials) he revealed U.S. war crimes and because (in the case of Democrats) he revealed corruption at the highest levels of the DNC that forced the resignation of the top 5 officials of the Democratic Party and harmed the Democrats’ political reputation.

They’re willing to create a precedent that will criminalize the core function of investigative journalism because – even as they spent two years shrilly denouncing that most trivial “attacks on press freedom” – they don’t actually care about that value at all. They want to protect only the journalism that advances their political interests, while putting people behind bars who publish information that undermines their political interests. It is this authoritarian, noxious mentality that has united the worst elements of the Trump administration and the Democratic Party that pretends to find tyrannical actions objectionable but is often the leaders in defending them.

Last week’s sensationalist allegation by the Guardian newspaper, that WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange met with Paul Manafort, American political lobbyist and one-time campaign manager for Donald Trump, has been exposed as a politically-motivated tissue of lies: here.

WikiLeaks today issued a warning that its founder, Julian Assange, faces imminent eviction from Ecuador’s London embassy, where he sought political asylum in 2012. The publishing organisation indicated that he would then be arrested by the British police: here.

UN Special Rapporteur: US extradition of Assange would be violation of international law: here.

U.S. PRESS FREEDOM ‘PROBLEMATIC’ The U.S. has become a “problematic” place for journalists in the face of mounting threats and attacks on their safety, according to a new report about press freedom. “Never before have U.S. journalists been subjected to so many death threats or turned so often to private security firms for protection,” it said. [HuffPost]

Trump administration threatens Assange, world wide press freedom


This 16 November 2018 video from the USA says about itself:

Exclusive: WikiLeaks Lawyer Warns U.S. Charges Against Assange Endanger Press Freedom Worldwide

The Justice Department has inadvertently revealed that it has prepared an indictment against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. In an unusual development, language about the charges against Assange was copied and pasted into an unrelated court filing that was recently unsealed.

In the document, Assistant U.S. Attorney Kellen S. Dwyer wrote, “Due to the sophistication of the defendant and the publicity surrounding the case, no other procedure is likely to keep confidential the fact that Assange has been charged.”

The news broke on Thursday night just hours after The Wall Street Journal reported the Justice Department was planning to prosecute Assange.

Assange has been living since 2012 in the Ecuadorean Embassy in London where he has sought refuge and political asylum. It’s unclear what charges may be brought against Assange; the Justice Department has previously considered prosecuting him over his role in the release of hacked DNC emails during the 2016 presidential campaign, as well as over the release of the so-called Iraq and Afghanistan War Logs, shared by U.S. military whistleblower Chelsea Manning.

The Assange case has been closely followed by advocates for press freedom. Kenneth Roth of Human Rights Watch tweeted, “Deeply troubling if the Trump administration, which has shown little regard for media freedom, would charge Assange for receiving from a government official and publishing classified information—exactly what journalists do all the time.” We speak with human rights attorney Jennifer Robinson, who has been advising Julian Assange and WikiLeaks since 2010.

WikiLeaks’ new CIA revelations


This video says about itself:

Retired US Colonel & former diplomat Ann Wright on WikiLeaks leak of CIA anti-leaking system “Scribbles”

30 April 2017

The CIA’s tool for tracking potential leaks is out in the open, in the latest WikiLeaks release of classified documents under its code name ‘VAULT 7’.

The purported evidence of ties between Russian intelligence, the Trump campaign and WikiLeaks is threadbare to the point of being ludicrous: here.

WikiLeaks announced last Wednesday that Julian Assange has appointed Icelandic investigative journalist Kristinn Hrafnsson as editor-in-chief, taking over one of his roles within the whistle-blowing media organisation: here.

Trump’s CIA boss’ anti-WikiLeaks witchhunt


This 15 April 2017 video from the USA is called [Donald Trump‘s] CIA Head [Mike Pompeo]: WikiLeaks Can’t Use ‘Free Speech Values’ Against Us.

Former CIA Analyst Ray McGovern on the CIA’s History of Disseminating Faulty Intelligence: here.

The indictment of right-wing political operative Roger Stone by special counsel and former FBI director Robert Mueller presented no evidence of “collusion” by WikiLeaks and its publisher Julian Assange with either the Trump campaign or Russian intelligence, after more than 17 months of investigation: here.

Whistleblower Chelsea Manning will be freed


This 16 December 2014 video from the USA is called Chelsea Manning Tortured Using Shamed CIA Techniques?

President Obama of the USA ends his presidency with something good.

By Sebastian Murdock, Reporter, The Huffington Post in the USA:

Chelsea Manning, Jailed Army Leaker, To Be Freed By President Barack Obama

It marks a turn for the Obama administration, long criticized for its hostility to whistleblowers.

01/17/2017 04:20 pm ET | Updated 3 minutes ago

President Barack Obama has commuted the sentence of Chelsea Manning, the U.S. soldier …

The commuted sentence, announced by Obama on Tuesday, will allow Manning to be freed on May 17 of this year. She was originally set to be freed in 2045, according to the New York Times.

Manning has been incarcerated since 2010, after she confessed to sending the secret military and diplomatic documents to the anti-secrecy organization [WikiLeaks]. While she was seen as a traitor by some, many more considered her a whistleblower and hero. In 2013, she was sentenced to 35 years in prison for violating the Espionage Act and other offenses. …

The commutation marks a turn for Obama, whose administration has long been criticized for being openly hostile to whistleblowers ― and the end of a long, and at times devastating, road for Manning.

“I’m relieved and thankful that the president is doing the right thing and commuting Chelsea Manning’s sentence,” Chase Strangio, a staff attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union’s LGBT Project representing Manning, said in a statement. “This move could quite literally save Chelsea’s life, and we are all better off knowing that Chelsea Manning will walk out of prison a free woman, dedicated to making the world a better place and fighting for justice for so many.”

In September, Manning became a hero in the LGBTQ community for her hunger strike to demand gender confirmation treatment. Manning, who was assigned male at birth but identifies as a female, ended her strike after the Army complied with her request.

See also here.

For exposing war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan, Pvt. Chelsea Manning suffered nearly seven years in prison, an ordeal President Obama finally is ending but without acting on the crimes she revealed: here.

WikiLeaks publishes many Turkish regime emails


Erdogan and his AKP party attack democracy in Turkey, cartoon

From Al Jazeera today:

Turkey: WikiLeaks releases thousands of AKP emails

WikiLeaks publishes trove of nearly 300,000 emails allegedly belonging to Turkish President Erdogan‘s ruling party.

Birce Bora

WikiLeaks has published 294,546 emails along with thousands of attached files from 762 mail boxes that allegedly belong to the primary email domain of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan‘s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).

The most recent email in the trove released by the whistle-blowing organisation on Tuesday was sent on July 6, 2016. The oldest dates back to 2010.

“It should be noted that emails associated with the domain are mostly used for dealing with the world, as opposed to the most sensitive internal matters,” WikiLeaks said on its official website.

WikiLeaks said it obtained the emails a week before Friday’s attempted coup.

“WikiLeaks has moved forward its publication schedule in response to the government’s post-coup purges.

We have verified the material and the source, who is not connected, in any way, to the elements behind the attempted coup, or to a rival political party or state,” the organisation said.

WikiLeaks previously claimed that the Turkish government would attempt to censor the distribution of the documents, and urged the Turkish public to be ready to bypass any government attempts at blocking access to the material.

Turks will likely be censored to prevent them reading our pending release of 100k+ docs on politics leading up to the coup,” the organisation said on Monday via Twitter.

“We ask that Turks are ready with censorship bypassing systems such as TorBrowser and uTorrent. And that everyone else is ready to help them bypass censorship and push our links through the censorship to come.”

WikiLeaks later claimed that its infrastructre was “under sustained attack,” following its announcement of the imminent publication of the AKP emails.

“We are unsure of the true origin of the attack. The timing suggests a Turkish state power faction or its allies. We will prevail & publish,” WikiLeaks said on Twitter.

Turkey blocks WikiLeaks over release of AK Party emails: here.

Turkey: Work travel ban on academics after failed coup: here.

Turkey suspends European Convention on Human Rights in wake of coup: here.

Suspected coup supporters in Turkey beaten, raped while detained: Amnesty: here.

In the wake of the 15 July coup attempt, a three-month state of emergency was declared all over Turkey in accordance with “suggestions” from the National Security Council. Declaring a state of emergency following a coup attempt that aimed to completely suspend democracy will solve none of the country’s problems but only serve to realize the system of governance envisioned by the coup plotters: here.