yikes

Harrowing footage of 2007 Baghdad killings projected onto
UK parliament wall in protest against Assange’s extradition

RT.com, Feb 20 2020

Campaigners have projected the footage of a Pindo airstrike on Iraqi civilians, originally exposed by WikiLeaks, onto the parliament building in London, to protest against the proposed extradition to Pindostan of Julian Assange. Clips from the infamous 2007 footage were projected onto Westminster Palace, where both houses of parliament are located. The same video was projected on the wall of the Belmarsh maximum security prison in London, where the WikiLeaks co-founder is awaiting his Pindo extradition trial. The images on the buildings’ walls included photos of the activist along with slogans like ‘Don’t extradite Assange’ and ‘Journalism is not a crime.’ The anti-extradition group behind the stunt argues that the prosecution of Assange is unlawful because he did journalistic work, and all information published by WikiLeaks was of public interest. The classified footage, which was published by WikiLeaks in 2010, revealed how the crew of a Pindo AH-64 Apache attack chopper shredded a group of civilians in Baghdad, including two reporters working for Reuters, after (possibly) mistaking them for insurgents. Assange could face up to 175 years in prison if found guilty of all 18 charges that have been brought against him in Pindostan. His extradition hearings are to start next week.

Julian Assange case is the Dreyfus of our age, says John McDonnell
Ben Quinn, Groan, Feb 20 2020

The Pindo attempt to extradite Julian Assange is the “the Dreyfus case of our age”, John McDonnell has said after a two-hour visit to see the WikiLeaks founder in Belmarsh prison. On Wednesday it was claimed in a London court that Donald Trump had offered Assange a pardon if he would say Russia was not involved in leaking Democratic party emails. Likening the plight of Assange to Alfred Dreyfus, McDonnell said Britain’s standing in the world would be severely damaged if the extradition went ahead. He said:

I think this is one of the most important and significant political trials of this generation. In fact, longer. I think it is the Dreyfus case of our age, the way in which a person is being persecuted for political reasons, for simply exposing the truth of what went on in relation to recent wars.

The extraordinary claim about the supposed offer of a pardon from Trump was made at a hearing at Westminster magistrates court on Wednesday before the opening next week of Assange’s legal battle to block attempts to extradite him. Assange faces charges in Pindostan for publishing hacked documents. A former Thug congress crittur named by the Assange legal team as a key witness denied the pardon claim. Assange’s lawyers alleged that during a visit to London in Aug 2017, congressman Dana Rohrabacher told Assange that “on instructions from the president he was offering a pardon or some other way out, if Mr Assange said Russia had nothing to do with the DNC leaks.” Rohrabacher denied the claim, saying he had made the proposal on his own initiative, and that the White House had not endorsed it. McDonnell said he and Assange had discussed the issue of the reported pardon but had not gone into great detail. He said:

We are hoping that in court he is able to defeat the extradition bid. We don’t believe that extradition should be used for political purposes, and all the evidence, even the recent revelations with regard to Trump engagement, demonstrates that this is a political trial and we are hoping that the courts will see it that way. If this extradition takes place it will damage the democratic standing of our own country as well as Pindostan. We have a long-standing tradition in this country of standing up for whistleblowers, journalists. If this extradition takes place, I think it will damage our reputation.

A protest in support of Assange is due to take place on Saturday in Trafalgar Square and will be addressed by political figures and others such as Brian Eno. McDonnell said he and others were calling on people to demonstrate peacefully. He alluded to attempts to build a cross-party alliance to fight any extradition, adding that there were Tory MPs who he believed could come onboard. He also believed there were “deep doubts” in government, based on comments by Johnson to Corbyn about the unbalanced nature of the extradition treaty between Pindostan and the UK. McDonnell said:

The problems we have now is that when the hearings start they will be sub judice, and it will be difficult to raise it in the House of Commons, but we will be looking to see how we can raise it as often as we possibly can, of course within parliamentary rules, but also build cross-party support, and as you know people like David Davis have raised their concerns, so this is across parties in the House of Commons. I am hoping that combination of cross-party support, what has happened in the media, the exposés that have taken place in recent weeks, will ensure that we have a climate of opinion in this country that prevents this extradition taking place.

Media report ‘Trump asked Assange to deny/cover up link with Russia,’ quoting statement showing no such thing
Nebojsa Malic, RT.com, Feb 19 2020

Almost a year since Robert Mueller’s ‘Russiagate’ probe dropped dead from lack of evidence, mainstream media outlets are still pushing ‘Donald Trump-Russia collusion’ as established fact, twisting words to make it seem that way. Case in point are breathless bombshells on Wednesday that Assange’s lawyers confirmed Trump offered the WikiLeaks founder a pardon if he “denied Russia link to hack” of the Demagogs in 2016 (Groon) or “cover up the involvement of Russia in hacking” the DNC (Beast).

Both outlets base their headlines on a revelation from Westminster Magistrates Court, where Assange’s barrister Edward Fitzgerald presented a statement from another attorney, Jennifer Robinson, about Pindo Congressman Dana Rohrabaher “going to see Assange and saying on instructions from the president, he was offering a pardon or some other way out, if Assange said Russia had nothing to do with the DNC leaks.” Though both publications faithfully reproduced Fitzgerald’s quote, they both jumped to the exact same conclusion, presenting Robinson’s statement as proof that Trump sought to “deny” or “cover up” what they treat as the established fact, namely the ‘Russian hack’ of the DNC, and the subsequent publication of internal party emails. Never mind that the ‘Russian hack’ has only been alleged by Mueller’s prosecutors and the Pindo intelligence community, the same one that spied on Trump during and after the 2016 election, the main story around which this malicious misinterpretation resolves isn’t even true. While Rohrabacher did visit Assange in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, he said it was Assange who showed him “definitive proof that Russia was not the source” for the DNC emails, according to a Feb 2018 report in the Intercept.

Furthermore, Rohrabacher said that he was never able to share this with Trump, because he was blocked by the president’s chief of staff at the time, John Kelly. Rohrabacher told the Intercept:

Not only Kelly, but others are worried if I say one word to Trump about Russia, that it would appear to out-of-control prosecutors that that is where the collusion is.

Meanwhile, Assange did not want to release the evidence publicly, so as not to compromise his sources and methods. The timeline of events also goes against the Groon’s and Beast’s interpretation. Months after the meeting with Rohrabacher, in Nov 2018, a secret Pindo indictment against Assange was revealed. Mueller delivered his report, finding no evidence of any Pindos “colluding” with Russia in the 2016 election, on Mar 22 2019. Less than three weeks later, on Apr 11, Assange’s asylum was revoked and he was hauled out of the embassy in handcuffs. The WikiLeaks publisher was thrown into a dungeon in Belmarsh, where he has been ever since. In May, the Pindo government revealed the expanded indictment, threatening him with 175 years behind bars for “attempted hacking,” but in relation to the 2010 Pentagon disclosures, not the 2016 election. Meanwhile, the same media outlets that have spent the past three years screeching about Trump’s “collusion” with Russia are twisting words of Assange’s lawyers to retroactively validate their repeatedly debunked reporting, and see the WikiLeaks journalist imprisoned forever.

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