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Missouri Bill to honour nuclear veterans


Bob Bromley Bill seeks to honor veterans of the Nuclear Age,  
https://www.fourstateshomepage.com/news/local-news/bob-bromley-bill-seeks-to-honor-veterans-of-the-nuclear-age/ by: Gretchen Bolander Jan 17, 2022   JASPER COUNTY, Mo. — It’s been decades since the US entered the Nuclear Age, but a southwest Missouri lawmaker says it’s never too late to recognize the sacrifice made through the Atomic Program.

State Representative Bob Bromley of Carl Junction is part of an effort that’s underway to recognize the military veterans associated with the US Atomic Program.

“I think every time we get the opportunity to thank them we should. Because once they’re gone, they’re gone,” said Jim Beeler, military supporter.

Jim Beeler says it’s important to thank any vet for their service, and today, especially those who were a part of the US Atomic Program.

“It’s nice to see someone recognize that.”

State Rep. Bob Bromley is sponsoring House Bill 1652 which would designate a section of Highway 171 as “Atomic Veterans Memorial Highway.” Bromley says it’s important to recognize the role these veterans played in the 1940s, 50s, and 60s, and the potential toll to their health after being exposed to radiation.

“There were 23 different types of cancers that develop with a lot of these veterans. And they were not eligible with their medical records and everything to get compensation,” said MO Rep. Bob Bromley, R.

Often tied to the top secret nature of the work. It took decades to change that.

“Some of them did not get compensated for their cancers and different things that was caused by this exposure to radiation ’til the mid 90s. And so it’s just very important to understand the sacrifice and the contribution that all these veterans made.”

The bill has already gone before the Veterans Committee and is expected to see an initial vote this week. Missouri is just one of a list of states considering this measure to recognize Atomic Veterans.

January 18, 2022 Posted by | health, Legal, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Is US extradition inevitable for Julian Assange? | The Stream

Aljazeera English, 14 January 2022, It’s been more than a decade since the website WikiLeaks released hundreds of thousands of classified documents and videos – some of which revealed possible US war crimes. Now WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has one more chance to appeal a UK ruling that would allow him to be extradited to the US.

Last month, a UK High Court ruled that Assange could be extradited to the US to face charges of hacking and violating the US Espionage Act. The ruling goes against a lower court that previously said harsh US prison conditions would endanger Assange given his worsening mental and physical health.

Assange’s legal team has since filed an appeal to Britain’s Supreme Court, but in order for the appeal to be considered, it must be deemed of “general public importance”.

n 2019, the Trump administration indicted Assange for violating the US Espionage Act on counts related to the WikiLeaks release of secret US military documents and diplomatic cables. The US argues the release of classified information put the lives of American allies in danger.

Twenty-four civil liberties and press freedom groups, including the ACLU, Human Rights Watch, PEN America and Reporters Without Borders have called on the Biden administration to stop its prosecution against Assange. In a joint letter to the US Justice Department, they argue that Assange’s prosecution could set a precedent that would harm press freedom and the safety of journalists reporting on national security issues.

Assange spent seven years in refuge at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London and was eventually arrested in 2019. Last week, Assange’s supporters marked his 1,000th day of imprisonment at London’s Belmarsh high security prison.

In this episode of The Stream, we’ll discuss the outlook for Assange’s case and its broader implications for press freedom worldwide.

January 14, 2022 Posted by | civil liberties, Legal, media | Leave a comment

Claim that EDF contract for nuclear emergency generators was rigged.

The contract for nuclear emergency generators was rigged, according to a former EDF top executive. This is what he told the judge of the financial investigations division who is investigating the matter. GRAND SLAM for EDF!

Not only do the emergency generators installed last year on some of the nuclear power plants catch fire when they are started, and not only has the national group had to compensate its supplier, Westinghouse, in secret, to the tune of 110 million euros (“Le Canard”, 8/12 and 15/12), but the contract is also said to have been rigged!

Be that as it may, this is what a former member of EDF’s procurement staff told the French National Financial Division in a statement. The latter is investigating the complaint for favouritism filed by an unsuccessful bidder, which has been joined by Greenpeace. Contacted on Monday, EDF’s management had not responded at the time the “Le Canard” went to press.

Le Canard Enchaine 22nd Dec 2021

https://www.lecanardenchaine.fr/

January 13, 2022 Posted by | France, Legal, secrets,lies and civil liberties | Leave a comment

Texas ‘downwinders’ should be eligible for nuclear radiation compensation, advocates say

Texas ‘downwinders’ should be eligible for nuclear radiation compensation, advocates say, TEXAS STANDARD,  By Michael Marks. January 12, 2022

Congress is considering a bill to pay more people who were harmed by nuclear development, but the legislation still excludes some Texans who saw fallout firsthand.

A bill to compensate more people who were harmed by U.S. nuclear development is moving through Congress. But advocates say that it still leaves out people who were affected by nuclear radiation.

Under proposed amendments to the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act, eligible people would get $150,000 from the federal government. That includes uranium miners from Texas, but not “downwinders”: people who lived down wind from nuclear test sites.

Istra Fuhrmann is a nuclear policy advocate for the Friends Committee on National Legislation. She spoke to the Texas Standard about the bill and its provisions…………………….  https://www.texasstandard.org/stories/texas-downwinders-should-be-eligible-for-nuclear-radiation-compensation-advocates-say/

January 13, 2022 Posted by | health, Legal, USA | Leave a comment

Legal case over compensation for workers in ”uniquely dangerous” nuclear sites

High Court Takes Up Nuclear Site Workers’ Compensation Case (1)  https://news.bloomberglaw.com/daily-labor-report/high-court-takes-up-washington-workers-compensation-challenge
Jan. 11, 202  

  • 9th Cir. upheld change to state workers’ compensation law
  • U.S. government warns of costly consequences for contracts

The U.S. Supreme Court will consider the federal government’s challenge to a Washington state workers’ compensation law in a case that could have costly consequences for U.S. government contracts involving hazardous work on federal property.

The justices agreed Monday to review a U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit decision upholding a Washington law that presumes certain worker health conditions linked to cleanup work at the Hanford Site, a decommissioned federal nuclear production complex, are occupational diseases that can trigger workers’ compensation benefits.

The Department of Energy since 1989 has overseen cleanup at the Hanford Site, which produced weapons-grade plutonium for use in the U.S. nuclear program during World War II and the Cold War. The cleanup of the Hanford site is expected to continue over the next six decades and involve roughly 400 department employees and 10,000 contractors and subcontractors.

In 2018, Washington lawmakers passed legislation, HB 1723, that amended the state’s workers’ compensation law exclusive to the Hanford site, covering at least 100,000 current and former federal contract workers who performed services there over the past 80 years. The law states that presumed occupational diseases stemming from work at Hanford should trigger benefits eligibility, including cancers and other respiratory diseases.

The federal government argued the law exposes government contractors, and by extension the United States, to “massive new costs” that similarly situated state and private employers don’t incur

‘Uniquely Dangerous Workplace’

The Justice Department had asked the Supreme Court to take up the case, arguing the 2018 law discriminated against the United States and that state law shouldn’t apply to federal contract workers at Hanford. The government warned that the logic applied by a panel of Ninth Circuit judges opened the door to other states passing legislation targeting work at federal facilities.

“Congress did not permit States to adopt laws that impose unique burdens on the United States and the firms that it engages to carry out federal functions,” Justice Department attorneys argued. “The practical consequences of the panel’s mistake are far-reaching. Even if the Hanford site is considered in isolation, the decision is likely to cost the United States tens of millions of dollars annually for the remainder of the 21st century.”

Attorneys for Washington state, however, responded that courts have allowed states to regulate workers’ compensation for injuries or illnesses suffered during work on federal land. They argued Washington state has “long tailored its workers’ compensation laws to the dangers faced by particular employees,” noting statutes that protect firefighters and other workers facing special hazards.


“Hanford is a uniquely dangerous workplace, filled with radioactive and toxic chemicals, and private contractors operating there have routinely failed to provide employees with protective equipment and to monitor their exposures to toxic substances,” they argued.

Justice Department attorneys also argued the Ninth Circuit ruling clashed with Supreme Court precedent in a 1988 decision, Goodyear Atomic Corp. v. Miller, which described a similar situation of a state workers’ compensation award for an employee injured at a federally owned facility.

The full Ninth Circuit previously declined to take up the case, and said the Washington law fell properly within a part of federal law that authorizes states to apply their workers’ compensation laws to federal projects.

In a dissent to the Ninth Circuit’s denial of a rehearing, Judge Daniel P. Collins wrote that the panel’s decision clashed with high court precedent, calling it an “egregious error” that would have sweeping consequences.

The U.S. Solicitor General’s office represents the federal government. The Washington Attorney General’s office is defending the state law.

The case is U.S. v. Washington, U.S., No. 21-404, cert granted 1/10/22.

To contact the reporter on this story: Erin Mulvaney in Washington at emulvaney@bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Jay-Anne B. Casuga at jcasuga@bloomberglaw.com; John Lauinger at jlauinger@bloomberglaw.com; Andrew Harris at aharris@bloomberglaw.com

January 11, 2022 Posted by | employment, health, Legal, USA | Leave a comment

Dangerous Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant, and incompetent Pacific Gas and Electric Co.

Nuclear energy backers say it’s vital for the fight against global warming. Don’t be so sure, Los Angeles Times,  BY MICHAEL HILTZIKBUSINESS COLUMNIST , JAN. 6, 2022  

”……………………………………. Diablo Canyon, which is on the Pacific shoreline about 250 miles south of San Francisco and 190 miles north of Los Angeles, was the third location chosen by Pacific Gas & Electric Co. for a nuclear generating plant starting in the early 1960s.

The previous choices were abandoned because they were judged too close to active earthquake faults — even though PG&E initially asserted in both cases that no faults were nearby. The company then turned to Diablo Canyon, again asserting that there were no active faults within about 20 miles of the site.

As it eventually emerged, there are at least four major active faults within that range, prompting David Brower, the first executive director of the Sierra Club and the founder of Friends of the Earth, to jokingly describe nuclear reactors as “complex technological devices for locating earthquake faults.” (It was the Sierra Club’s endorsement of Diablo Canyon that prompted Brower to resign and form Friends of the Earth.)

With every discovery of a new fault in Diablo Canyon’s vicinity, PG&E minimized the threat and persuaded the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the federal regulator responsible for licensing nuclear plants, to go along.

The NRC’s decision in 1981 to allow construction to proceed after a fault discovery without reexamining the plant’s seismic engineering provoked two commissioners, Peter A. Bradford and Victor Gilinsky, to issue a blistering dissent.

They described the confidence of two NRC advisory boards in the utility’s reassurances as “almost mystical,” and charged that the boards’ rationales for accepting PG&E’s arguments as evidence that neither board “had any idea what it was talking about.”

Then there’s PG&E’s atrocious safety record, which should curdle the blood at the thought of leaving the plant under its control. The company’s consistent failures include the 2010 pipeline explosion that killed eight and leveled an entire residential neighborhood in San Bruno.

PG&E’s equipment sparked more than 1,500 fires from 2014 through 2017, according to state records. In 2020, it pleaded guilty to 84 counts of criminal manslaughter related to the 2018 wildfire that all but destroyed the town of Paradise and ranks as the deadliest blaze in California history.

In September, the company was charged with 11 felonies and 20 misdemeanor counts related to what Shasta County Dist. Atty. Stephanie Bridgett called its “reckless and criminally negligent” operations, resulting in the deaths of four people. (“My co-workers are not criminals,” PG&E Chief Executive Patti Poppe said after the charges were unveiled. “We welcome our day in court so people can learn just that.”)

As recently as Tuesday, California state investigators concluded that a PG&E power line sparked last year’s massive Dixie fire, which burned more than 960,000 acres in five Northern California counties. The investigators referred the case to local criminal prosecutors.

“PG&E seems to be incapable of operating safely,” says Daniel O. Hirsch, a former environmental faculty member at UC Santa Cruz and president of the Committee to Bridge the Gap, an anti-nuclear group. “You’re mixing an incompetent utility with an unforgiving technology.”……………………..  https://www.latimes.com/business/story/2022-01-06/column-nuclear-energy-backers-say-its-vital-for-the-fight-against-global-warming-dont-believe-them?fbclid=IwAR015ej03ZDoUA2kcNoc_mAqJS3D2N8T

January 8, 2022 Posted by | Legal, Reference, safety, USA | Leave a comment

Julian Assange’s lawyers start process for UK Supreme Court appeal against his extradition to America

Julian Assange’s lawyers start process for Supreme Court appeal to stop WikiLeaks founder being extradited to US and tried on espionage charges

  • Fiancee Stella Moris said application to bring appeal filed after 11am Thursday
  • Judges must now decide whether to hear the case before any appeal takes place
  • He is wanted in the US over alleged conspiracy to disclose national defence information

Daily Mail. By TOM PYMAN FOR MAILONLINE, 24 December.   Julian Assange‘s lawyers have started the process for a Supreme Court appeal to stop the WikiLeaks founder being extradited to the US and tried on espionage charges, his fiancee has said.

Stella Moris said Assange filed an application to bring an appeal shortly after 11am on Thursday.

As his lawyers have applied to take his case to the Supreme Court, the UK’s highest court, judges must now decide whether to hear the case before any appeal takes place.  Ms Moris, a lawyer and the mother of his two children, said in a statement on Thursday the High Court must first ‘certify that at least one of the Supreme Court appeal grounds is a point of law of general public

importance’ before the application has a chance to be considered by the Supreme Court.

A decision is not expected before the third week of January, Ms Moris added.

Birnberg Peirce Solicitors, who are representing Assange, said in a statement: ‘We believe serious and important issues of law of wider public importance are being raised in this application.

They arise from the Court’s judgment and its receipt and reliance on US assurances regarding the prison regimes and treatment Mr Assange is likely to face if extradited.

‘Because this application is now the subject of judicial consideration, his lawyers do not propose to comment further at the moment.

‘We hope and trust the High Court will grant a certificate on the questions raised as well as giving permission to appeal in order that they can thereafter be fully argued before the Supreme Court.’……………….. https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-10341045/Julian-Assanges-lawyers-start-process-Supreme-Court-appeal.html?ito=social-twitter_dailymailUK

December 27, 2021 Posted by | Legal, UK | Leave a comment

Aboriginal ttraditional owners lodge legal challenge to planned South Australian nuclear waste dump.


Traditional owners lodge legal challenge to planned Kimba nuclear waste dump, 
https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-12-21/barngarla-challenge-kimba-radioactive-waste-facility-napandee/100717404?fbclid=IwAR3QiztQ5454cuTfmjLaBaCb_nK4usDM43TObZV5R
ABC North and West SA / By Declan GoochPatrick Martin, and Gillian Aeria  Tue 21 Dec 2021 raditional owners on South Australia’s Eyre Peninsula have formally lodged a legal challenge to the federal government’s plan to build a nuclear waste dump in the region.

Key points:

  • The Barngarla people have begun legal action against a planned radioactive waste dump
  • The federal government wants to build the facility near Kimba
  • Traditional owners have complained they were not consulted properly

The government wants to store low and intermediate-level waste at a property called Napandee, near the town of Kimba.

The Barngarla people say they were not included in the consultation process, which included a ballot of ratepayers.

“We don’t want it to be at Kimba because we were excluded from the vote under white man’s law,” Barngarla Determination Aboriginal Corporation chairman Jason Bilney said.

The group filed for a judicial review of the site selection process in the Federal Court on Tuesday.

The ballot of Kimba ratepayers, which the government has repeatedly cited as evidence of community support, showed about 60 per cent of voters were in favour of the plan.

“The government says broad community support — well what broad community support did you have, let alone with the native title holders of Kimba or on the Eyre Peninsula?” Mr Bilney said.

The ballot of Kimba ratepayers, which the government has repeatedly cited as evidence of community support, showed about 60 per cent of voters were in favour of the plan.

“The government says broad community support — well what broad community support did you have, let alone with the native title holders of Kimba or on the Eyre Peninsula?” Mr Bilney said.

He said South Australian law required a parliamentary inquiry if nuclear waste was to be brought in and stored.

“We are going to see continual opposition emerge over the next five to 10 years, and this has got a long way to run.”

He expected the court to decide in the Barngarla group’s favour.

“They have a clear and strong case. They were excluded from the community ballot, and they do have native title rights, and it’s essential the Federal Court stands up and protects those rights.” 

The government had initially tried to legislate the location of the facility in a way that would have eliminated the possibility of a judicial review.

It later amended the legislation in response to pressure from Labor so it received the support needed to pass both houses of parliament.

In a statement, resources minister Keith Pitt said the declaration of Kimba as the site for the facility was a “significant step”.

He said his facility was a crucial piece of national infrastructure for Australia’s nuclear medicine industry and nuclear research capabilities. 

December 24, 2021 Posted by | AUSTRALIA, indigenous issues, legal, wastes | Leave a comment

Former Westinghouse CEO Danny Roderick now a government witness in South Carolina nuclear fraud case

Records: Ex-CEO won’t face charges in nuclear fraud case, https://apnews.com/article/business-south-carolina-efd7755944eb9f7adff588cc76313df8      December 22, 2021   The former top executive for the contractor hired to build two South Carolina nuclear reactors that were never finished won’t face criminal charges, new court documents show.

Former Westinghouse CEO Danny Roderick was previously a subject of the federal investigation into the failed multibillion project and is now a government witness, according to the records unsealed last week that were first reported by The Post and Courier.

The documents indicate Roderick could testify against his former employee Jeff Benjamin, a fired Westinghouse vice president who is facing multiple federal felony charges tied to the 2017 debacle that cost ratepayers and investors billions and left nearly 6,000 people jobless.

Westinghouse was the lead contractor in the project to build the reactors at the V.C. Summer site in Fairfield County. South Carolina Electric & Gas Co. parent company SCANA Corp. and state-owned utility company Santee Cooper spent nearly $10 billion on the project before halting construction in 2017 following Westinghouse’s bankruptcy.

In the aftermath, prosecutors have targeted top officials at the companies, saying they lied to investors, regulators and ratepayers as they sought rate hikes, insisting the expensive project was on schedule even as it fell hopelessly behind.

Three executives have already pleaded guilty in the multi-year federal fraud investigation so far. Benjamin, the fourth, has maintained his innocence and could go to trial next year. He could face up to 20 years in prison and a $5,000,000 fine if convicted.

Roderick gave the FBI incriminating information about Benjamin in two interviews earlier this year, prosecutors said in court filings. Roderick said Benjamin lied to him about the project schedule and had created a “culture of fear” with an “unbearable” management style.

The documents outlining Roderick’s cooperation are part an effort by prosecutors to disqualify Roderick’s previous attorney from representing Benjamin.

William Sullivan was representing both men at the same time when prosecutors first tried to get him removed last year, arguing it was a conflict of interest as either defendant might turn on the other. Roderick eventually obtained a new lawyer before sitting down with investigators.

Prosecutors still want Sullivan disqualified from the case, noting that Sullivan “cannot properly expect to cross-examine his own former client in defense of his current one,” they wrote.

Sullivan has produced documents showing that both Roderick and Benjamin have approved the arrangement.

Roderick “has explicitly acknowledged that he is unaware of any criminal culpability of Mr. Benjamin,” Sullivan wrote in an emailed statement to The Post and Courier.

Roderick’s new attorney, Whit Ellerman, declined to comment to the newspaper.

The nuclear project failure also spurred multiple lawsuits and a probe by state lawmakers.

December 24, 2021 Posted by | Legal, secrets,lies and civil liberties, USA | Leave a comment

The disgraceful case mounted against Assange by a corrupt U.S. Department of Justice and their hired guns in Britain.

It is this institutional lying and duplicity that Julian Assange brought into the open and in so doing performed perhaps the greatest public service of any journalist in modern times.

JOHN PILGER: U.S. wins extradition appeal against Julian Assange, Independent Australia, By John Pilger | 11 December 2021,  ”…….. Miscarriage of justice is an inadequate term in these circumstances. It took the bewigged courtiers of Britain’s ancien regime just nine minutes on Friday to uphold an American appeal against a District Court judge’s acceptance in January of a cataract of evidence that hell on Earth awaited Assange across the Atlantic: a hell in which, it was expertly predicted, he would find a way to take his own life.

Volumes of witness by people of distinction, who examined and studied Julian and diagnosed his autism and his Asperger’s Syndrome and revealed that he had already come within an ace of killing himself at Belmarsh Prison, Britain’s very own hell, were ignored.

The recent confession of a crucial FBI informant and prosecution stooge, a fraudster and serial liar, that he had fabricated his evidence against Julian was ignored. The revelation that the Spanish-run security firm at the Ecuadorean embassy in London, where Julian had been granted political refuge, was a CIA front that spied on Julian’s lawyers and doctors and confidants (myself included) — that, too, was ignored.

The recent journalistic disclosure, repeated graphically by defence counsel before the High Court in October, that the CIA had planned to murder Julian in London — even that was ignored.

Each of these “matters”, as lawyers like to say, was enough on its own for a judge upholding the law to throw out the disgraceful case mounted against Assange by a corrupt U.S. Department of Justice and their hired guns in Britain. Julian’s state of mind, bellowed James Lewis, QC, America’s man at the Old Bailey last year, was no more than malingering — an archaic Victorian term used to deny the very existence of mental illness. 

To Lewis, almost every defence witness, including those who described from the depth of their experience and knowledge the barbaric American prison system, was to be interrupted, abused, discredited. Sitting behind him, passing him notes, was his American conductor: young, short-haired, clearly an Ivy League man on the rise.

In their nine minutes of dismissal of the fate of journalist Assange, two of the most senior judges in Britain, including the Lord Chief Justice, Lord Burnett (a lifelong buddy of Sir Alan Duncan, Boris Johnson’s former Foreign Minister who arranged the brutal police kidnapping of Assange from the Ecuadorean embassy) referred to not one of a litany of truths aired at previous hearings in the District Court.

These were truths that had struggled to be heard in a lower court presided over by a weirdly hostile judge, Vanessa Baraitser. Her insulting behaviour towards a clearly stricken Assange, struggling through a fog of prison-dispensed medication to remember his name, is unforgettable.

What was truly shocking on Friday was that the High Court Judges – Lord Burnett and Lord Justice Timothy Holroyde, who read out their words – showed no hesitation in sending Julian to his death, living or otherwise. They offered no mitigation, no suggestion that they had agonised over legalities or even basic morality.

Their ruling in favour, if not on behalf of the United States, is based squarely on transparently fraudulent “assurances” scrabbled together by the Biden Administration when it looked in January like justice might prevail.

These “assurances” are that once in American custody, Assange will not be subject to the Orwellian SAMs – Special Administrative Measures – which would make him an un-person; that he will not be imprisoned at ADX Florence, a prison in Colorado long condemned by jurists and human rights groups as illegal: “a pit of punishment and disappearance”; that he can be transferred to an Australian prison to finish his sentence there.

The absurdity lies in what the Judges omitted to say. In offering its “assurances”, the U.S. reserves the right not to guarantee anything should Assange do something that displeases his gaolers. In other words, as Amnesty International has pointed out, it reserves the right to break any promise.

There are abundant examples of the U.S. doing just that. As investigative journalist Richard Medhurst revealed last month, David Mendoza Herrarte was extradited from Spain to the U.S. on the “promise” that he would serve his sentence in Spain. The Spanish courts regarded this as a binding condition.

Medhurst wrote:

‘Classified documents reveal the diplomatic assurances given by the U.S. Embassy in Madrid and how the U.S. violated the conditions of the extradition. Mendoza spent over six years in the U.S. trying to return to Spain. Court documents show the United States denied his transfer application multiple times.’

The High Court Judges – who were aware of the Mendoza case and of Washington’s habitual duplicity – describe the “assurances” not to be beastly to Julian Assange as a “solemn undertaking offered by one government to another”. This article would stretch into infinity if I listed the times the rapacious United States has broken “solemn undertakings” to governments, such as treaties that are summarily torn up and civil wars that are fuelled. It is the way Washington has ruled the world, and before it Britain — the way of imperial power, as history teaches us.

It is this institutional lying and duplicity that Julian Assange brought into the open and in so doing performed perhaps the greatest public service of any journalist in modern times.

Julian himself has been a prisoner of lying governments for more than a decade now. During these long years, I have sat in many courts as the United States has sought to manipulate the law to silence him and WikiLeaks………….. https://independentaustralia.net/life/life-display/john-pilger-us-wins-extradition-appeal-against-julian-assange,15842

December 16, 2021 Posted by | legal, secrets,lies and civil liberties | 1 Comment

Federal inspector falsified safety reports at North Anna nuclear plant.

Federal inspector falsified safety reports at North Anna nuclear plant,   https://www.wric.com/news/virginia-news/breaking-federal-inspector-falsified-safety-reports-at-north-anna-nuclear-plant/by: Jakob CordesPosted: Dec 14, 2021  CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WRIC) — A federal inspector who led safety efforts at the North Anna Nuclear Power Plant in Louisa County plead guilty this week to falsifying safety inspection reports.

The charges were filed after Gregory Croon’s retirement from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) in 2020. In a press release, the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) Office of the Inspector General (OIG) said the charges were a result of a joint investigation between the OIG and NRC.

According to court documents obtained by 8News, Croon worked at the power plant for four years and was the senior inspector at the North Anna facility, overseeing safety inspections for the entire plant.

Over three separate quarterly reports in 2017, Croon was found to have lied about on-site inspections of key fire and flood safety systems, describing the completion of inspections that never actually took place. The systems in question included fire suppression mechanisms and flood barriers protecting key equipment.

While only a few specific instances of falsification were described in court documents, a statement of facts signed by Croon stated that for years he “allowed days or even weeks to pass without entering North Anna.”

Court documents go on to say that his immediate supervisor told him on several occasions to conduct physical inspections more frequently, but that Croon continued to avoid the plant.

The North Anna Nuclear Nuclear Generating Station is a 1892 Megawatt plant located on the shores of Lake Anna in Louisa County. It’s situated near major population centers in Central Virginia, about 60 miles from Richmond and 50 miles from Charlottesville.

“The accuracy of NRC inspection reports is critical to the NRC’s oversight of licensees’ safe operation of nuclear power plants around the nation,” said NRC Inspector General Robert J. Feitel. “Croon’s false statements could have jeopardized that safety oversight function.”

At a Dec. 13 hearing before the Hon. Judge Norman K. Moon in the Western District Court of Virginia, Croon submitted a guilty, signing a plea agreement with prosecutors that would allow him to avoid jail time but carries a term of probation and a potential fine of up to $9,500.

Croon was released on bond but will reappear before the court in Charlottesville for a sentencing hearing on March 7, 2022.

December 16, 2021 Posted by | Legal, secrets,lies and civil liberties, USA | Leave a comment

Classified Documents Invalidate United States’ Appeal Against Assange — Richard Medhurst

‘I’m scared that will be Assange. They will make him go nuts.”

“I’m a nobody. If they’re capable of doing this to me, just imagine what they can do to Assange.

The United States Broke Diplomatic Assurances for David Mendoza, It Will Do the Same with Julian Assange Richard Medhurst’s Newsletter 

Richard MedhurstNov 29
Richard Medhurst Nov 29 In 2009, David Mendoza Herrarte was extradited from Spain to the United States, on condition he be allowed to serve his sentence in SpainClassified documents reveal the diplomatic assurances given by the U.S. Embassy in Madrid and how the U.S. violated the conditions of his extraditionMendoza spent over 6 years in the United States trying to return to Spain. Court documents show how the United States denied his transfer application multiple timesWhile in prison, Mendoza sued the United States, and Spain for failing to uphold the conditions of his extradition and violating his human rights. His case was recently taken up by the United Nations
  • Mendoza’s case was raised last month in the English High Court, where the United States is attempting to extradite Julian Assange to the U.S.
  • The United States has offered similar diplomatic assurances that Assange could serve a sentence in Australia
  • Assange’s lawyers cite Mendoza’s case as evidence that these assurances cannot be trusted
  • James Lewis, the lead U.S. prosecutor, said that these assurances are bulletproof. He told the High Court that, “The United States have never broken a diplomatic assurance, ever”. Court documents and diplomatic assurances obtained by Richard Medhurst show this to be untrue

  • David Mendoza Herrarte was born and raised in the United States. His mother being from Spain, he would go there every summer, describing it to me as his second home. He is both an American and Spanish national.

    Mendoza was wanted by the United States for drug trafficking. In the early 2000s, he used helicopters to transport marijuana, known commonly as BC Bud, from Canada across the U.S. border into Seattle. Today, marijuana is legal in Seattle………………………………………………
  • The diplomatic assurance did not specifically state that Mendoza would be sent to Spain to serve his sentence. It only said that the United States “does not object to Mendoza making an application to serve his sentence in Spain”– something the United States cannot object to anyway, as it is every prisoner’s right to apply for a treaty transfer.

Mendoza tells me, “This shows the deviance of these people. They use this ambiguous language on purpose. There’s precedent in federal court that if they don’t specifically agree to the transfer, it’s not valid”.

Recently, the United States offered similar diplomatic assurances to the United Kingdom, namely that Assange could could serve a sentence in his home country of Australia.

Mendoza says for this to be valid, the diplomatic assurances from the U.S. must explicitly state in advance that the U.S. Department of Justice and Australia accept Assange’s transfer— otherwise it’s meaningless.

 “With the Assange thing, I can see it black and white. They [Australia] are not going to do a thing. Under the treaty, all three parties must agree: Julian, Australia, and the United States. But the U.S. can tell Australia behind the scenes: ‘screw this guy, don’t do anything’.”

  • The Convention on the Transfer of Sentenced Persons specifically states under Article 3 (f) that a sentenced person may be transferred “if the sentencing and administering States agree to the transfer.” (The administering state meaning Australia)Being one of the few journalists to cover Assange’s extradition, I can confirm that as of now Australia has not given any indication that it would accept Julian Assange’s request to serve a sentence there, should he apply……….
  • April 2009: David Mendoza Herrarte is extradited to the United States

After signing the Acta de Entrega, Mendoza was officially under U.S. jurisdiction. He recalls being handed over to U.S. authorities: “The first thing they do when they get you, is they strip you naked. The marshals look in your mouth, your ass, your ears, every orifice. They attempt to humiliate you in every fashion: ‘Squat! Now do this…’. They tell you: you’re under US jurisdiction now, and our law is what is going to apply to you.”

June 2009: Once in the United States, Mendoza took part in what is known as an arbitration hearing or settlement conference. This is where plea bargains are hashed out in the presence of the judge, between prosecutors and defendant……………………………………………

  • It now became clear that the United States never intended to send Mendoza back to Spain. They had squeezed him for every last penny, then violated the diplomatic assurances given to Spain………….
  • Mendoza expects the United States government will play the same trick on Assange if they refuse to send him to Australia and he contests it in court.“Within that note, it must specifically state that Julian has a right to contest non-compliance of the United States, even as a non-signatory to the treaty. Because the US will start playing games.”…………….
  • Instead of being sent to Spain immediately to carry out his sentence, Mendoza was told to apply for a treaty transfer. He applied, and the answer from the United States was ‘no’……………

In total, Mendoza applied three times for treaty transfer to Spain. All three applications were denied, violating the conditions of his extradition. Each time he applied, he had to wait 8 months for a decision, and even longer to apply again. The denial states: “There is no administrative appeal from this decision. Unless otherwise noted above, the prisoner may reapply two years after this denial.”
Mendoza told me: “That’s when I realized I’m in the wrong court. I’m going to get nothing here. ……………………..

The other assurance offered by the United States appears to state that Assange would not be jailed at ADX Florence or placed under oppressive prison conditions known as Special Administrative Measures (SAMs).

Similiar to those offered for Mendoza, the assurances for Assange are ambiguous and vaguely-worded. The United States says he will not be subject to SAMs or imprisoned at ADX unless “in the event that, after entry of this assurance, he was to commit any future act that met the test for the imposition of a SAM pursuant to 28 C.F.R. § 501.2 or § 501.3”

Once in U.S. custody, the United States could simply allege that Assange did something that “met the test for the imposition of a SAM”, place him in isolation, and then claim that it never violated its assurances, because it already gave itself a backdoor to do so.

This is why Mendoza told me that assurances must be explicitly spelled out, with no room for derogation.

Assange’s extradition was blocked by a UK judge in January 2021, on grounds that U.S. prison conditions would be too oppressive, leading him to commit suicide.

While in the U.S., Mendoza was imprisoned at a medium-high security facility in Englewood, Colorado. This is near ADX Florence, where Assange is likely to be sent.

“Believe me, European prisons aren’t nice. But U.S. prisons are much worse. I was in Colorado, one of the biggest s–tholes I’ve ever been to. It was dirty; they let you out of your cell one hour a day– when they decided, not when I wanted.”…….. It’s 3am, for example, they would buzz you and say: do you want your hour of recreation?”. Prisoners who declined would not be able to leave their cell until the next day.

Mendoza explained to me the process of dehumanization and sleep deprivation in prison: “You don’t have a name; you have a number, and you have to repeat it during every count. Counts are every three hours in higher security federal prisons. Another thing guards would do is instead of pointing their flashlight up to the ceiling, they would flash it right in your face.”

“I’m scared that will be Assange. They will make him go nuts. The only thing that kept me sane is this legal work; writing to the judges and the press, going after the United States in civil court.”

What Mendoza went through is a step down from what Assange would be in. Not only is ADX Florence a federal super-maximum prison, but Assange would also be placed under Special Administrative Measures (SAMs), in extreme isolation.

Mendoza tells me that visitation had to be approved by specific people. ……………………

Mendoza’s case is an incredible story on its own merits.

Nevertheless, it must be examined in the context of Assange’s extradition. When James Lewis told High Court judges that “the United States have never broken a diplomatic assurance, ever”— this is simply untrue.

The above documents [on original] make it clear that the United States violated its agreement and broke diplomatic assurances to Spain. Mendoza was to be returned to Spain to carry out his sentence, instead he spent six years and nine months in various U.S. prisons. Only after suing both the United States and Spain— his own countries— for failing to enforce the conditions of his extradition, was he allowed to return. Only after the Spanish Supreme Court ruled in his favor, threatening the U.S.-Spain Extradition Treaty itself, could he compel the United States to enforce the conditions of his extradition and return him to Spain.

Mendoza was fortunate enough to have the Spanish Supreme Court, senior judges and public on his side. Were the United States to violate the assurances of Assange’s extradition, it is extremely unlikely given the “Special Relationship” between the U.K. and U.S., that Assange would be able to successfully lobby the British government into compelling the U.S. to uphold the conditions of his extradition.


James Lewis told the English High Court that diplomatic assurances are “solemn undertakings, given out at the highest order; they are not dished out like smarties”. He is correct. It is therefore incumbent on the Court to consider what happened to Mendoza, for whom the United States did offer diplomatic assurances, and assess whether those offered for Assange are adequate, but more importantly, whether they can be enforced once he is no longer under British jurisdiction.

Mendoza’s experience shows that for Assange, any diplomatic assurances or agreements must be written in explicit language and signed by all parties, including Assange, so that in the eventuality of non-compliance, he may be afforded the opportunity to contest this in court, despite his status as a non-signatory of the United Kingdom-United States Extradition Treaty.

Mendoza’s case offers the Court extraordinary insight into the innerworkings of American diplomacy, legal proceedings, and extradition to the United States. It is a serious warning which High Court Justices should heed, who at their discretion, have the power to prevent gross miscarriages of justice which gravely imperil the respondent, before they arise.

“I’m a nobody. If they’re capable of doing this to me, just imagine what they can do to Assange.”  https://richardmedhurst.substack.com/p/mendoza

December 15, 2021 Posted by | Legal, politics international, secrets,lies and civil liberties | Leave a comment

Chris Hedges on the Execution of Julian Assange

Hedges: The Execution of Julian Assange, SCHEERPOST, By Chris Hedges 14 Dec 21, He committed empire’s greatest sin. He exposed it as a criminal enterprise. He documented its lies, callous disregard for human life, rampant corruption and innumerable war crimes. And empires always kill those who inflict deep and serious wounds.

Let us name Julian Assange’s executioners. Joe Biden. Boris Johnson. Scott Morrison. Theresa May. Lenin Moreno. Donald Trump. Barack Obama. Mike Pompeo. Hillary Clinton. Lord Chief Justice Ian Burnett and Justice Timothy Victor Holroyde. Crown Prosecutors James Lewis, Clair Dobbin and Joel Smith. District Judge Vanessa Baraitser. Assistant US Attorney in the Eastern District of Virginia Gordon Kromberg. William Burns, the director of the CIA. Ken McCallum, the Director General of the UK Security Service or MI5.

Let us acknowledge that the goal of these executioners, who discussed kidnapping and assassinating Assange, has always been his annihilation. That Assange, who is in precarious physical and psychological health and who suffered a stroke during court video proceedings on October 27, has been condemned to death should not come as a surprise. The ten years he has been detained, seven in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London and nearly three in the high security Belmarsh prison, were accompanied with a lack of sunlight and exercise and unrelenting threats, pressure, anxiety and stress.  “His eyes were out of sync, his right eyelid would not close, his memory was blurry,” his fiancé Stella Morris said of the stroke. 

His steady physical and psychological deterioration has led to hallucinations and depression. He takes antidepressant medication and the antipsychotic quetiapine. He has been observed pacing his cell until he collapses, punching himself in the face and banging his head against the wall. He has spent weeks in the medical wing of Belmarsh. Prison authorities found “half of a razor blade” hidden under his socks. He has repeatedly called the suicide hotline run by the Samaritans because he thought about killing himself “hundreds of times a day.” The executioners have not yet completed their grim work. Toussaint L’Ouverture, who led the Haitian independence movement, the only successful slave revolt in human history, was physically destroyed in the same manner, locked by the French in an unheated and cramped prison cell and left to die of exhaustion, malnutrition, apoplexy, pneumonia and probably tuberculosis.  

Assange committed empire’s greatest sin. He exposed it as a criminal enterprise. He documented its lies, callous disregard for human life, rampant corruption and innumerable war crimes. Republican or Democrat. Conservative or Labour. Trump or Biden. It does not matter. The goons who oversee the empire sing from the same Satanic songbook. Empires always kill those who inflict deep and serious wounds. Rome’s long persecution of the Carthaginian general Hannibal, forcing him in the end to commit suicide, and the razing of Carthage repeats itself in epic after epic. Crazy Horse. Patrice Lumumba. Malcolm X. Ernesto “Che” Guevara. Sukarno. Ngo Dinh Diem. Fred Hampton. Salvador Allende. If you cannot be bought off, if you will not be intimidated into silence, you will be killed. 

The obsessive CIA attempts to assassinate Fidel Castro, which because none succeeded have a Keystone Cop incompetence to them, included contracting Momo Salvatore Giancana, Al Capone’s successor in Chicago, along with Miami mobster Santo Trafficante to kill the Cuban leader, attempting to poison Castro’s cigars with a botulinum toxin, providing Castro with a tubercle bacilli-infected scuba-diving suit, booby-trapping a conch shell on the sea floor where he often dived, slipping botulism-toxin pills in one of Castro’s drinks and using a pen outfitted with a hypodermic needle to poison him. 

The current cabal of assassins hide behind a judicial burlesque overseen in London by portly judges in gowns and white horse-hair wigs mouthing legal Alice-in-Wonderland absurdities. It is a dark reprise of Gilbert and Sullivan’s Mikado with the Lord High Executioner drawing up lists of people “who would not be missed.”

I watched the latest installment of the Assange show trial via video link on Friday. I listened to the reading of the ruling granting the appeal by the United States to extradite Assange. Assange’s lawyers have two weeks to appeal to the Supreme Court, which they are expected to do. I am not optimistic. 

Friday’s ruling was devoid of legal analysis. It fully accepted the conclusions of the lower court judge about increased risk of suicide and inhumane prison conditions in the United States. But the ruling argued that US Diplomatic Note no. 74, given to the court on February 5, 2021, which offered “assurances” that Assange would be well treated, overrode the lower court’s conclusions. It was a remarkable legal non sequitur. The ruling would not have gotten a passing grade in a first-semester law school course. But legal erudition is not the point. The judicial railroading of Assange, which has eviscerated one legal norm after another, has turned, as Franz Kafka wrote, “lying into a universal principle.” 

The decision to grant the extradition was based on four “assurances” given to the court by the US government.  The two-judge appellate panel ruled that the “assurances” “entirely answer the concerns which caused the judge [in the lower court] to discharge Mr. Assange.” The “assurances” promise that Assange will not be subject to Special Administrative Measures (SAMs) which keep prisoners in extreme isolation and allow the government to monitor conversations with lawyers, eviscerating attorney-client privilege; can, if the Australian his government agrees, serve out his sentence there;  will receive adequate clinical and psychological care; and, pre-trial and post trial, will not be held in the Administrative Maximum Facility (ADX) in Florence, Colorado. 

“There is no reason why this court should not accept the assurances as meaning what they say,” the judges wrote. “There is no basis for assuming that the USA has not given the assurances in good faith.”

And with these rhetorical feints the judges signed Assange’s death warrant. 

None of the “assurances” offered by Biden’s Department of Justice are worth the paper they are written on.  All come with escape clauses. None are legally binding. Should Assange do “something subsequent to the offering of these assurances that meets the tests for the imposition of SAMs or designation to ADX” he will be subject to these coercive measures. And you can be assured that any incident, no matter how trivial, will be used, if Assange is extradited, as an excuse to toss him into the mouth of the dragon. 

The decision to grant the extradition was based on four “assurances” given to the court by the US government.  The two-judge appellate panel ruled that the “assurances” “entirely answer the concerns which caused the judge [in the lower court] to discharge Mr. Assange.” The “assurances” promise that Assange will not be subject to Special Administrative Measures (SAMs) which keep prisoners in extreme isolation and allow the government to monitor conversations with lawyers, eviscerating attorney-client privilege; can, if the Australian his government agrees, serve out his sentence there;  will receive adequate clinical and psychological care; and, pre-trial and post trial, will not be held in the Administrative Maximum Facility (ADX) in Florence, Colorado. 

“There is no reason why this court should not accept the assurances as meaning what they say,” the judges wrote. “There is no basis for assuming that the USA has not given the assurances in good faith.”

And with these rhetorical feints the judges signed Assange’s death warrant. 

None of the “assurances” offered by Biden’s Department of Justice are worth the paper they are written on.  All come with escape clauses. None are legally binding. Should Assange do “something subsequent to the offering of these assurances that meets the tests for the imposition of SAMs or designation to ADX” he will be subject to these coercive measures. And you can be assured that any incident, no matter how trivial, will be used, if Assange is extradited, as an excuse to toss him into the mouth of the dragon. 

Should Australia, which has marched in lockstep with the US in the persecution of their citizen not agree to his transfer, he will remain for the rest of his life in a US prison. But so what. If Australia does not request a transfer it “cannot be a cause for criticism of the USA, or a reason for regarding the assurances as inadequate to meet the judge’s concerns,” the ruling read. And even if that were not the case, it would take Assange ten to fifteen years to appeal his sentence up to the Supreme Court, more than enough time for the state assassins to finish him off. I am not sure how to respond to assurance number four, stating that Assange will not be held pre-trial in the ADX in Florence. No one is held pre-trail in ADX Florence. But it sounds reassuring, so I guess those in the Biden DOJ who crafted the diplomatic note added it. ADX Florence, of course, is not the only supermax prison in the United States that might house Assange. Assange can be shipped out to one of our other Guantanamo-like facilities. Daniel Hale, the former US Air Force intelligence analyst currently imprisoned for releasing top-secret documents that exposed widespread civilian casualties caused by US drone strikes, has been held at USP Marion, a federal penitentiary in Marion, Illinois, in a Communications Management Unit (CMU) since October. CMUs are highly restrictive units that replicate the near total isolation imposed by SAMs. 

There is no legal basis to hold Julian in prison. There is no legal basis to try him, a  a foreign national, under the Espionage Act.  The CIA spied on Assange in the Ecuador Embassy through a Spanish company, UC Global, contracted to provide embassy security. This spying included recording the privileged conversations between Assange and his lawyers. This fact alone invalidates any future trial. Assange, who after seven years in a cramped room without sunlight in the embassy, has been held for nearly three years in a high-security prison in London so the state can, as Nils Melzer, the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, has testified, continue the unrelenting abuse and torture it knows will lead to his psychological and physical disintegration.


By Chris Hedges / Original to ScheerPost

Let us name Julian Assange’s executioners. Joe Biden. Boris Johnson. Scott Morrison. Theresa May. Lenin Moreno. Donald Trump. Barack Obama. Mike Pompeo. Hillary Clinton. Lord Chief Justice Ian Burnett and Justice Timothy Victor Holroyde. Crown Prosecutors James Lewis, Clair Dobbin and Joel Smith. District Judge Vanessa Baraitser. Assistant US Attorney in the Eastern District of Virginia Gordon Kromberg. William Burns, the director of the CIA. Ken McCallum, the Director General of the UK Security Service or MI5.

Let us acknowledge that the goal of these executioners, who discussed kidnapping and assassinating Assange, has always been his annihilation. That Assange, who is in precarious physical and psychological health and who suffered a stroke during court video proceedings on October 27, has been condemned to death should not come as a surprise. The ten years he has been detained, seven in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London and nearly three in the high security Belmarsh prison, were accompanied with a lack of sunlight and exercise and unrelenting threats, pressure, anxiety and stress.  “His eyes were out of sync, his right eyelid would not close, his memory was blurry,” his fiancé Stella Morris said of the stroke. 

His steady physical and psychological deterioration has led to hallucinations and depression. He takes antidepressant medication and the antipsychotic quetiapine. He has been observed pacing his cell until he collapses, punching himself in the face and banging his head against the wall. He has spent weeks in the medical wing of Belmarsh. Prison authorities found “half of a razor blade” hidden under his socks. He has repeatedly called the suicide hotline run by the Samaritans because he thought about killing himself “hundreds of times a day.” The executioners have not yet completed their grim work. Toussaint L’Ouverture, who led the Haitian independence movement, the only successful slave revolt in human history, was physically destroyed in the same manner, locked by the French in an unheated and cramped prison cell and left to die of exhaustion, malnutrition, apoplexy, pneumonia and probably tuberculosis.  

Assange committed empire’s greatest sin. He exposed it as a criminal enterprise. He documented its lies, callous disregard for human life, rampant corruption and innumerable war crimes. Republican or Democrat. Conservative or Labour. Trump or Biden. It does not matter. The goons who oversee the empire sing from the same Satanic songbook. Empires always kill those who inflict deep and serious wounds. Rome’s long persecution of the Carthaginian general Hannibal, forcing him in the end to commit suicide, and the razing of Carthage repeats itself in epic after epic. Crazy Horse. Patrice Lumumba. Malcolm X. Ernesto “Che” Guevara. Sukarno. Ngo Dinh Diem. Fred Hampton. Salvador Allende. If you cannot be bought off, if you will not be intimidated into silence, you will be killed. 

The obsessive CIA attempts to assassinate Fidel Castro, which because none succeeded have a Keystone Cop incompetence to them, included contracting Momo Salvatore Giancana, Al Capone’s successor in Chicago, along with Miami mobster Santo Trafficante to kill the Cuban leader, attempting to poison Castro’s cigars with a botulinum toxin, providing Castro with a tubercle bacilli-infected scuba-diving suit, booby-trapping a conch shell on the sea floor where he often dived, slipping botulism-toxin pills in one of Castro’s drinks and using a pen outfitted with a hypodermic needle to poison him. 

The current cabal of assassins hide behind a judicial burlesque overseen in London by portly judges in gowns and white horse-hair wigs mouthing legal Alice-in-Wonderland absurdities. It is a dark reprise of Gilbert and Sullivan’s Mikado with the Lord High Executioner drawing up lists of people “who would not be missed.”

I watched the latest installment of the Assange show trial via video link on Friday. I listened to the reading of the ruling granting the appeal by the United States to extradite Assange. Assange’s lawyers have two weeks to appeal to the Supreme Court, which they are expected to do. I am not optimistic. 

Friday’s ruling was devoid of legal analysis. It fully accepted the conclusions of the lower court judge about increased risk of suicide and inhumane prison conditions in the United States. But the ruling argued that US Diplomatic Note no. 74, given to the court on February 5, 2021, which offered “assurances” that Assange would be well treated, overrode the lower court’s conclusions. It was a remarkable legal non sequitur. The ruling would not have gotten a passing grade in a first-semester law school course. But legal erudition is not the point. The judicial railroading of Assange, which has eviscerated one legal norm after another, has turned, as Franz Kafka wrote, “lying into a universal principle.” 

The decision to grant the extradition was based on four “assurances” given to the court by the US government.  The two-judge appellate panel ruled that the “assurances” “entirely answer the concerns which caused the judge [in the lower court] to discharge Mr. Assange.” The “assurances” promise that Assange will not be subject to Special Administrative Measures (SAMs) which keep prisoners in extreme isolation and allow the government to monitor conversations with lawyers, eviscerating attorney-client privilege; can, if the Australian his government agrees, serve out his sentence there;  will receive adequate clinical and psychological care; and, pre-trial and post trial, will not be held in the Administrative Maximum Facility (ADX) in Florence, Colorado. 

“There is no reason why this court should not accept the assurances as meaning what they say,” the judges wrote. “There is no basis for assuming that the USA has not given the assurances in good faith.”

And with these rhetorical feints the judges signed Assange’s death warrant. 

None of the “assurances” offered by Biden’s Department of Justice are worth the paper they are written on.  All come with escape clauses. None are legally binding. Should Assange do “something subsequent to the offering of these assurances that meets the tests for the imposition of SAMs or designation to ADX” he will be subject to these coercive measures. And you can be assured that any incident, no matter how trivial, will be used, if Assange is extradited, as an excuse to toss him into the mouth of the dragon. 

Should Australia, which has marched in lockstep with the US in the persecution of their citizen not agree to his transfer, he will remain for the rest of his life in a US prison. But so what. If Australia does not request a transfer it “cannot be a cause for criticism of the USA, or a reason for regarding the assurances as inadequate to meet the judge’s concerns,” the ruling read. And even if that were not the case, it would take Assange ten to fifteen years to appeal his sentence up to the Supreme Court, more than enough time for the state assassins to finish him off. I am not sure how to respond to assurance number four, stating that Assange will not be held pre-trial in the ADX in Florence. No one is held pre-trail in ADX Florence. But it sounds reassuring, so I guess those in the Biden DOJ who crafted the diplomatic note added it. ADX Florence, of course, is not the only supermax prison in the United States that might house Assange. Assange can be shipped out to one of our other Guantanamo-like facilities. Daniel Hale, the former US Air Force intelligence analyst currently imprisoned for releasing top-secret documents that exposed widespread civilian casualties caused by US drone strikes, has been held at USP Marion, a federal penitentiary in Marion, Illinois, in a Communications Management Unit (CMU) since October. CMUs are highly restrictive units that replicate the near total isolation imposed by SAMs. 

The High Court ruling ironically came as Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced at the virtual Summit for Democracy that the Biden administration will provide new funding to protect reporters targeted because of their work and support independent international journalism. Blinken’s “assurances” that the Biden administration will defend a free press, at the very moment the administration was demanding Assange’s extradition, is a glaring example of the rank hypocrisy and mendacity that makes the Democrats, as Glen Ford used to say, “not the lesser evil, but the more effective evil.” 

Assange is charged in the US under 17 counts of the Espionage Act and one count of hacking into a government computer. The charges could see him sentenced to 175 years in prison, even though he is not a US citizen and WikiLeaks is not a US-based publication. If found guilty it will effectively criminalize the investigative work of all journalists and publishers, anywhere in the world and of any nationality, who possess classified documents to shine a light on the inner workings of power. This mortal assault on the press will have been orchestrated, we must not forget, by a Democratic administration. It will set a legal precedent that will delight other totalitarian regimes and autocrats who, emboldened by the United States, will gleefully seize journalists and publishers, no matter where they are located, who publish inconvenient truths. 

There is no legal basis to hold Julian in prison. There is no legal basis to try him, a  a foreign national, under the Espionage Act.  The CIA spied on Assange in the Ecuador Embassy through a Spanish company, UC Global, contracted to provide embassy security. This spying included recording the privileged conversations between Assange and his lawyers. This fact alone invalidates any future trial. Assange, who after seven years in a cramped room without sunlight in the embassy, has been held for nearly three years in a high-security prison in London so the state can, as Nils Melzer, the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, has testified, continue the unrelenting abuse and torture it knows will lead to his psychological and physical disintegration.

The persecution of Assange is designed to send a message to anyone who might consider exposing the corruption, dishonesty and depravity that defines the black heart of our global elites. 

Dean Yates can tell you what US “assurances” are worth. He was the Reuters bureau chief in Baghdad on the morning of July 12, 2007 when his Iraqi colleagues Namir Noor-Eldeen and Saeed Chmagh were killed, along with nine other men, by US Army Apache gunships. Two children were seriously wounded. The US government spent three years lying to Yates, Reuters and the rest of the world about the killings, although the army had video evidence of the massacre taken by the Apaches during the attack. The video, known as the Collateral Murder video, was leaked in 2010 by Chelsea Manning to Assange. It, for the first time, proved that those killed were not engaged, as the army had repeatedly insisted, in a firefight. It exposed the lies spun by the US that it could not locate the video footage and had never attempted to cover up the killings. 

Watch the full interview I did with Yates

The Spanish courts can tell you what US “assurances” are worth…………….

The people in Afghanistan can tell you what U.S “assurances” are worth………..

The people in Iraq can tell you what US “assurances” are worth. ……..

The people of Iran can tell you what US “assurances” are worth. ………

The thousands of people tortured in US global black sites can tell you what US “assurances” are worth……..

Assange, at tremendous personal cost, warned us. He gave us the truth. The ruling class is crucifying him for this truth. With his crucifixion, the dim lights of our democracy go dark.  

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_VzFJ9csons&t=130s      https://scheerpost.com/2021/12/13/hedges-the-execution-of-julian-assange/?fbclid=IwAR1dILpTE-VKbcdBa_gFy3vKLPMvddoBhPf6MKJ1cmuDMf0HrFUyungV-vo

December 14, 2021 Posted by | legal, PERSONAL STORIES, politics international, Reference, secrets,lies and civil liberties, UK, USA | 1 Comment

What’s next for Julian Assange? and for media freedom?

If the United States is able to be successful in the prosecution of Julian Assange, it will set a very dangerous precedent for anybody publishing any material in the public interest that exposes US military secrets.”.

A UK court has cleared Julian Assange’s extradition to the US. Here’s what happens next

The 50-year-old Australian founded the WikiLeaks website in 2006 and has been held in detention since 2019 as a lengthy legal process continues over espionage charges. SBS,  By Alexander Britton, 14 Dec 21

Attempts to see WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange face criminal charges in a United States court moved a step closer after Washington recently won an appeal over his extradition.

But the legal battle is far from over, with the legal wrangling set to continue into 2022 as Assange’s team pledged to have the case heard at the United Kingdom’s highest court.

Who is Julian Assange and why is he wanted by the US?

Julian Assange is a 50-year-old Australian who founded WikiLeaks, a site that publishes leaked materials from a variety of sources.

Set up in 2006, the site is widely known for its release of footage showing a 2007 US airstrike in Baghdad that killed journalists and civilians titled Collateral Murder

He is wanted by the US for alleged violations of the country’s Espionage Act by publishing military and diplomatic files in 2010.

Should he be convicted, the maximum jail term could be 175 years……………………

Why does the case raise media freedom concerns?

Assange’s case has “dangerous implications for the future of journalism”, the secretary-general of Reporters Without Borders Christophe Deloire said.

They believe he has been targeted for his contributions to journalism and is facing “possible life imprisonment for publishing information in the public interest”.

This view is shared by MEAA Media federal president Marcus Strom who told SBS News: “This is an attempt by the United States to set a precedent, to intimidate the coverage of national security journalism.

“If the United States is able to be successful in the prosecution of Julian Assange, it will set a very dangerous precedent for anybody publishing any material in the public interest that exposes US military secrets.”………………………………

How have 11 years in detention impacted his health?

Assange’s legal team have raised concerns that the prolonged legal case has had a highly detrimental impact on his physical and mental health.

His fiancée Stella Moris told the UK’s Mail on Sunday that Assange had a mini-stroke during the October appeal, leaving him with memory loss and signs of neurological damage.

She was quoted by the paper as saying: “I believe this constant chess game, battle after battle, the extreme stress, is what caused Julian’s stroke on October 27.”

Doctors for Assange, a group set up in 2019, referred to Assange’s health as being in a “dire state” due to “his prolonged psychological torture”, while Nils Melzer, the UN’s special rapporteur on torture, said he was “crushed as a person”. 

What has the reaction been in Australia and around the world?

Pressure has been placed on the Australian government to intervene in Assange’s case. Senator Rex Patrick urged Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce to make a case to the US Secretary of State while in isolation in the country, and Independent MP Andrew Wilkie said Prime Minister Scott Morrison needed to pick up the phone and “end this lunacy”.

Newspaper editorials have also made the case for Canberra to discuss the matter with counterparts in Washington and London, and international bodies have pushed for Assange’s release.

The Sydney Morning Herald wrote: “Prime Minister Scott Morrison should encourage Mr Biden to free Mr Assange. There is a strong humanitarian and pragmatic case to look for a way out of this Kafkaesque nightmare”.

Anthony Bellanger, general secretary of the International Federation of Journalists, said the ruling was a “major blow”.

Others calling for his release have included Amnesty International, who said the “indictment poses a grave threat to press freedom both in the United States and abroad”.

What could happen now?

Following the successful appeal from the US, the judges ruled the case should return to Westminster Magistrates’ Court for a district judge to formally send it to UK Home Secretary Priti Patel.

But Ms Moris has said lawyers will push for the case to be referred up to the UK’s highest court, the Supreme Court.

His legal team have also suggested New Zealand act as a peacemaker between the various parties in the case.

The group, including New Zealand-based lawyer Craig Tuck, want Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern to make representations to US President Joe Biden or UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson to end the “politically motivated prosecution”.

“This is something our prime minister could address by picking up the phone to president Biden or prime minister Johnson and saying, ‘Hey, enough’s enough. Let’s bury the hatchet and not in Julian’s head’,” Mr Tuck told Radio NZ.

With additional reporting from AFP and AAP.  https://www.sbs.com.au/news/a-british-court-has-cleared-julian-assange-s-extradition-to-the-us-here-s-what-happens-next/03d8802e-798d-46fd-9359-eb70a052c30b

December 14, 2021 Posted by | Legal, secrets,lies and civil liberties, UK | Leave a comment

Appeal to UK’s Supreme Court will just lengthen Julian Assange’s legal torment

Edward Fitzgerald QC, for Assange, previously told the High Court that Australia had not indicated whether it would accept Assange, who “will most likely be dead before it can have any purchase, if it ever could”……..

Assange lawyers eye UK Supreme Court, The North West Star.Jess Glass and Tom Pilgrim, PA  

11 Dec 21, Julian Assange’s lawyers intend to take his case to the Supreme Court, his fiancee says, after the High Court allowed the WikiLeaks founder’s extradition to the United States.

Assange, 50, is wanted in the US over an alleged conspiracy to obtain and disclose classified information following WikiLeaks’ publication of hundreds of thousands of leaked documents relating to the Afghanistan and Iraq wars

US authorities brought a High Court challenge against a January ruling by then-district judge Vanessa Baraitser that Assange should not be sent to the US, in which she cited a real and “oppressive” risk of suicide.

After a two-day hearing in October, the Lord Chief Justice Lord Burnett, sitting with Lord Justice Holroyde, ruled in favour of the US on Friday………..

The judges ordered that the case must return to Westminster Magistrates’ Court for a district judge to formally send it to UK Home Secretary Priti Patel.

Assange’s fiancee Stella Moris called the ruling “dangerous and misguided” and said his lawyers intended to seek an appeal at the Supreme Court……..

The legal wrangling will go to the Supreme Court, the United Kingdom’s final court of appeal.

“It is highly disturbing that a UK court has overturned a decision not to extradite Julian Assange, accepting vague assurances by the United States government,” Assange’s lawyer Barry Pollack said.

“Mr Assange will seek review of this decision by the UK Supreme Court.”

Supporters of Assange gathered outside of the court after the ruling, chanting “free Julian Assange” and “no extradition”.

They tied hundreds of yellow ribbons to the court’s gates and held up placards saying “journalism is not a crime”.

If Assange’s lawyers do take his case to the Supreme Court, justices will first decide whether to hear the case before any appeal is heard.

During October’s hearing, James Lewis QC for the US said that the “binding” diplomatic assurances made were a “solemn matter” and “are not dished out like Smarties”.

The assurances included that Assange would not be held in a so-called “ADX” maximum security prison in Colorado or submitted to special administrative measures (SAMs) and that he could be transferred to Australia to serve his sentence if convicted.

But lawyers representing Assange had argued that the assurances over the WikiLeaks founder’s potential treatment were “meaningless” and “vague”.

Edward Fitzgerald QC, for Assange, previously told the High Court that Australia had not indicated whether it would accept Assange, who “will most likely be dead before it can have any purchase, if it ever could”……..

The United Nations’ special rapporteur on torture Nils Melzer sharply criticised the verdict.

“This is a shortcoming for the British judiciary,” Melzer told the DPA news agency on Friday.

“You can think what you want about Assange but he is not in a condition to be extradited,” he said, referring to a “politically motivated verdict”.

with reporting from Reuters and DPA  https://www.northweststar.com.au/story/7547237/assange-lawyers-eye-uk-supreme-court/?cs=13136

December 12, 2021 Posted by | Legal, secrets,lies and civil liberties, UK | Leave a comment