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Ecuador will hand over Julian Assange’s entire legal defense to the United States

  1. Ecuador to hand over Assange’s entire legal defense to the United States  20 May 2019  https://wikileaks.org/Ecuador-to-hand-over.html

Three weeks before the U.S. deadline to file its final extradition request for Assange, Ecuadorian officials are travelling to London to allow U.S. prosecutors to help themselves to Assange’s belongings.

Neither Julian Assange nor U.N. officials have been permitted to be present when Ecuadorian officials arrive to Ecuador’s embassy in London on Monday morning.

The chain of custody has already been broken. Assange’s lawyers will not be present at the illegal seizure of his property, which has been “requested by the authorities of the United States of America”.

The material includes two of his manuscripts, as well as his legal papers, medical records and electronic equipment. The seizure of his belongings violates laws that protect medical and legal confidentiality and press protections.

The seizure is formally listed as “International Assistance in Criminal matters 376-2018-WTT requested by the authorities of the United States of America”. The reference number of the legal papers indicates that Ecuador’s formal cooperation with the United States was initiated in 2018.

Since the day of his arrest on 11 April 2019, Mr. Assange’s lawyers and the Australian consul have made dozens of documented demands to the embassy of Ecuador for the release and return of his belongings, without response. Continue reading

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May 23, 2019 Posted by | civil liberties, SOUTH AMERICA, USA | Leave a comment

Sweden Requests Detention of Assange as WikiLeaks Accuses U.S. of Illegally Seizing His Property 

Sweden Requests Detention of Assange as WikiLeaks Accuses U.S. of Illegally Seizing His Property   https://www.democracynow.org/2019/5/20/headlines/sweden_requests_detention_of_assange_as_wikileaks_accuses_us_of_illegally_seizing_his_property

MAY 20, 2019  Swedish authorities issued a request Monday for the detention in absentia of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who is facing rape charges in Sweden and is currently serving jail time in Britain for skipping bail in 2012. Last week, Swedish prosecutors reopened a sexual assault investigation into Assange which was dropped in 2017 because they said the case could not proceed while Assange was holed up at the Ecuadorean Embassy in London, where he lived for seven years before being forcefully removed by British police last month.

Assange has denied the accusation, and his lawyer representing him in Sweden said he has not been able to get hold of his client to discuss the detention order.

WikiLeaks’ Editor-in-Chief Kristinn Hrafnsson has previously said of Sweden’s case, “Since Julian Assange was arrested on 11 April 2019 there has been considerable political pressure on Sweden to reopen their investigation, but there has always been political pressure surrounding this case. Its reopening will give Julian a chance to clear his name. This case has been mishandled throughout.” Assange must reportedly serve 25 weeks of his British prison sentence before he can be released. Assange now faces possible extradition to both Sweden and the United States, where he is wanted for the publication of leaked documents by Army whistleblower Chelsea Manning which showed evidence of U.S. war crimes in Iraq.

In related news, WikiLeaks is reporting that Ecuador will allow U.S. prosecutors to go through and take possession of Assange’s belongings left in their London embassy. Assange reportedly has two manuscripts at his former living quarters; his lawyers have called it an illegal seizure of property.

 

May 21, 2019 Posted by | civil liberties, UK | Leave a comment

Chelsea Manning will not testify against Julian Assange, so it’s back to jail for her

May 18, 2019 Posted by | civil liberties, USA | Leave a comment

UK covering up the records on nuclear bomb testing in Australia and the Pacific. Why?

May 18, 2019 Posted by | AUSTRALIA, history, OCEANIA, politics international, secrets,lies and civil liberties, UK, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Fraud and falsification regarding nuclear safety in France’s EDF reactors?

May 14, 2019 Posted by | France, secrets,lies and civil liberties | Leave a comment

The vulnerability of nuclear weapons systems to cyber threats

May 11, 2019 Posted by | 2 WORLD, safety, secrets,lies and civil liberties, technology, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Chelsea Manning released from gaol, – but this could be only temporary

May 11, 2019 Posted by | civil liberties, USA | Leave a comment

Donald Trump and John Bolton conniving to avoid any effective nuclear arms deal?

May 9, 2019 Posted by | politics international, secrets,lies and civil liberties, USA | Leave a comment

Extradition of Julian Assange Threatens Us All 

May 2, 2019 Posted by | civil liberties, USA | 1 Comment

Exploitation of foreign workers in Japan’s Fukushima nuclear clean-up

Japan needs thousands of foreign workers to decommission Fukushima plant, prompting backlash from anti-nuke campaigners and rights activists, SCMP  Julian Ryall , 26 Apr, 2019

Activists are not convinced working at the site is safe for anyone and they fear foreign workers will feel ‘pressured’ to ignore risks if jobs are at risk
Towns and villages around the plant are still out of bounds because radiation levels are dangerously high

Anti-nuclear campaigners have teamed up with human rights activists in Japan to condemn plans by the operator of the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant to hire foreign workers to help decommission the facility.

Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO) has announced it will take advantage of the government’s new working visa scheme, which was introduced on April 1 and permits thousands of foreign workers to come to Japan to meet soaring demand for labourers. The company has informed subcontractors overseas nationals will be eligible to work cleaning up the site and providing food services.

About 4,000 people work at the plant each day as experts attempt to decommission three reactors that melted down in the aftermath of the March 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and the huge tsunami it triggered. Towns and villages around the plant are still out of bounds because radiation levels are dangerously high.

TEPCO has stated foreign workers employed at the site must have Japanese language skills sufficient for them to understand instructions and the risks they face. Workers will also be required to carry dosimeters to monitor their exposure to radiation.

Activists are far from convinced working at the site is safe for anyone and they fear foreign workers will feel “pressured” to ignore the risks if their jobs are at risk.

“We are strongly opposed to the plan because we have already seen that workers at the plant are being exposed to high levels of radiation and there have been numerous breaches of labour standards regulations,” said Hajime Matsukubo, secretary general of the Tokyo-based Citizens’ Nuclear Information Centre. “Conditions for foreign workers at many companies across Japan are already bad but it will almost certainly be worse if they are required to work decontaminating a nuclear accident site.”

Companies are desperately short of labourers, in part because of the construction work connected to Tokyo hosting the 2020 Olympic Games, while TEPCO is further hampered because any worker who has been exposed to 50 millisieverts of radiation in a single year or 100 millisieverts over five years is not permitted to remain at the plant. Those limits mean the company must find labourers from a shrinking pool.

In February, the Tokyo branch of Human Rights Now submitted a statement to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva demanding action be taken to help and protect people with homes near the plant and workers at the site.

“It has been reported that vulnerable people have been illegally deceived by decontamination contractors into conducting decontamination work without their informed consent, threatening their lives, including asylum seekers under false promises and homeless people working below minimum wage,” the statement said. “Much clean-up depends on inexperienced subcontractors with little scrutiny as the government rushes decontamination for the Olympic Games.”

Cade Moseley, an official of the organisation, said there are “very clear, very definite concerns”.

“There is evidence that foreign workers in Japan have already felt under pressure to do work that is unsafe and where they do not fully understand the risks involved simply because they are worried they will lose their working visas if they refuse,” he said……

https://www.scmp.com/news/asia/east-asia/article/3007772/japan-needs-thousands-foreign-workers-decommission-fukushima

April 30, 2019 Posted by | civil liberties, employment, Japan, politics, wastes | Leave a comment

More evidence that US may seek to prosecute Julian Asssange under the Espionage Act 

https://www.thecanary.co/global/world-analysis/2019/04/28/more-evidence-that-us-may-seek-to-prosecute-julian-asssnge-under-the-espionage-act/  Tom Coburg , 28th April 2019  More evidence has emerged that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange could be prosecuted for offences under the US Espionage Act. Although testimony provided by a digital forensics expert raises questions about the prosecution.

Threat to former WikiLeaks staff/volunteers

A copy of a letter has been released, indicating that charges relating to the US Espionage Act maybe under consideration against one former WikiLeaks staffer, if not more. The letter is from the US Attorney’s Office, Department of Justice (DoJ), to former WikiLeaks employee and spokesperson Daniel Domscheit-Berg.

Here is a translation by Netzpolitik.

In the letter, the DoJ admits it is also investigating WikiLeaks for the “unauthorized receipt and dissemination of secret information“, which reportedly can be charged under the Espionage Act. The letter offers Domscheit-Berg immunity from prosecution, providing he fully co-operates. However, when Domscheit-Berg’s lawyers requested access to the proceedings, the DoJ prosecutors responded by withdrawing their offer of immunity.

WikiLeaks staffer Jacob Appelbaum was also requested to testify, but he reportedly refused. David House, a computer programmer and campaigner for Chelsea Manning ,was subpoenaed by the Grand Jury in May 2018. According to one media outlet, he’s reportedly co-operating with the DoJ in exchange for immunity.

Faulty indictment

So far, Assange has been formally indicted for offences relating to computer misuse. Basically, he is charged with assisting Manning in the hacking of US government computers. A guilty verdict could mean up to five years imprisonment.

deconstruction of that indictment indicates the validity of the charges listed can be challenged. Indeed, the so-called offences merely equate to practices conducted by journalists worldwide (communicating with a source, respecting a source’s anonymity, etc), though the technologies have changed.

But with regard to the alleged cracking of a password, in an affidavit provided to the WikiLeaks Grand Jury, an FBI agent admitted:

there is no other evidence as to what Assange did, if anything, with respect to the password”.

Espionage charge

There has long been suspicion that once in the US, Assange could face more serious charges under the Espionage Act. That act carries the death penalty. However, under UK law an extradition request can be rejected if the destination country (e.g. the US) uses such a penalty, and offers no assurance it will not be applied. An extradition request can also be rejected if charges raised are seen as ‘political’.

But that means life inside the US gulag would still be on the cards:

23 hour daily confinement in a concrete box cell with one window four inches wide, six bed checks a day with a seventh at weekends, one hour of exercise in an outdoor cage, showers spraying water in one-minute spurts and “shakedowns” at the discretion of prison staff..

The late Michael Ratner, Assange’s US lawyer, was certain such a charge was planned all along:

[T]he Grand Jury’s number is 10, standing for the year it began, GJ which is Grand Jury and then 3793. Three is the Conspiracy Statute in the United States. 793 is the Espionage Statute. So what they’re investigating is 3793: conspiracy to commit espionage.

A December 2010 New York Times article argued that Assange could be prosecuted with offences beyond those under the Espionage Act, if it’s shown he provided technical assistance to Manning.

And journalist Chris Hedges believes that the theft of classified documents may end up as a charge:

f Manning, a former Army private, admits she was instructed by WikiLeaks and Assange in how to obtain and pass on the leaked material, which exposed US war crimes in Afghanistan and Iraq, the publisher could be tried for the theft of classified documents.

Evidence in doubt

However, not all is cut and dry.

At the trial of whistleblower Chelsea ManningMark Johnson, a digital forensics contractor for ManTech International and who also works for the Army’s Computer Crime Investigative Unit, was called to provide testimony. Reportedly, Johnson testified he had not seen any evidence that Nathaniel Frank, also known as ‘@pressassociation’ – both of whom the US authorities believe was Assange – encouraged Manning to seek or provide documents.

The prosecution then reportedly argued that evidence was likely deleted by Manning. That might partly explain why she has been subpoenaed to testify to the WikiLeaks Grand Jury.

And, again, this is why Manning is key to what happens next in the US prosecution of Assange.

April 29, 2019 Posted by | civil liberties, USA | Leave a comment

Secretive Fossil Fuel Lobby Group, “Global Climate Coalition”, Manipulated UN Climate Programs

Global Climate Coalition: Documents Reveal How Secretive Fossil Fuel Lobby Group Manipulated UN Climate Programs,   https://www.desmogblog.com/2019/04/25/global-climate-coalition-documents-secretive-fossil-fuel-lobby-un-programs By Mat Hope and Karen Savage • , April 24, 2019  A fossil fuel–backed industry group was able to influence the process behind the United Nations climate assessments for decades, using lobbyists and industry-funded scientists to manipulate international negotiations, a cache of recently discovered documents reveals.

The documents include hundreds of briefings, meeting minutes, notes, and correspondence from the Global Climate Coalition (GCC). They were released Thursday by the Climate Investigations Center in collaboration with DeSmog and Climate Liability News. The documents date from 1989 and continue through 2002, when the lobbying group disbanded as its fossil fuel industry backers succumbed to public pressure to disavow its tactics.

The documents show how the GCC influenced international negotiations, manipulated the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) process, and undertook a disinformation campaign designed to cast doubt on mainstream climate science.

What was the Global Climate Coalition?

The GCC was initially part of the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), before becoming its own entity in 1995. NAMhas a long history of defending portions of its membership, including tobacco companies that were facing an onslaught of liability litigation, with aggressive tactics that include discrediting science, attacking scientists, and misleading the public.

Founding members of the GCC were mainly fossil fuel producers and utilities, including oil majors Shell, Texaco (now a part of Chevron), and Amoco (now part of BP); oil refiner and retailers ARCO (now a subsidiary of Marathon Petroleum) and Phillips Petroleum; coal miners BHP-Utah International and Peabody; and utilities American Electric Power and Pacific Gas and Electric.

Other companies, including Exxon, joined later — and the international oil giant would go on to be a key player in the group.

Revealed in the documents is a decades-long campaign that continued until 2002, intended to protect its members’ interests by denying and casting doubt on climate science. Internally, the group acknowledged the dangers of climate change and the scientific consensus that it is overwhelmingly driven by the burning of fossil fuels as early as 1995.

Influencing the UN’s Panel of Climate Scientists

The GCC took a particular interest in the operations of the UN’s official scientific advisory body, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which produces the international climate assessments that form the basis for global climate policy and negotiations.

GCC representatives regularly met with IPCC scientists to lobby the panel to accept industry language in its reports, the documents show. Tax returns show hundreds of thousands of dollars spent on an “IPCC Tracker Fund” to monitor and lobby the IPCC’s meetings.

In one instance detailed in the documents, the GCC boasted its suggested language was “accepted almost in its entirety”after intensive lobbying by its representatives and after “assistance from several countries.”

The GCC also publicly questioned the validity of the IPCC’s peer-review process and launched public attacks on its scientists, while simultaneously using the IPCC’s status as a respected scientific body to promote the credentials of its own climate science denial research.

The GCC went beyond targeting climate science. In 1995, Exxon gave a presentation to the GCC on how to counter the evidence linking climate change to human health impacts.

In 1997, the GCC wanted to expand its reach with a network of state and local committees that would educate the public about their views on climate change and serve as liaisons to other business and public interest groups with similar views. This plan was implemented, the documents show, with the help of Koch Industries, the U.S.’s largest private energy company, which is an infamous funder of climate science denial across the globe.

The Collapse of the GCC

By the mid-1990s, however, the GCC’s aggressive tactics and continuing effort to cast doubt on accepted climate science had started to become a problem for some of its members. Nine corporations left the GCC from 1996 to 2000: two automakers, one chemical manufacturer, one utility, and five oil companies.

BP was the first major oil company to leave in 1997, stating that “the time to consider the policy dimensions of climate change is not when the link between greenhouse gases and climate change is conclusively proven, but when the possibility cannot be discounted and is taken seriously by the society of which we are part. We in BP have reached that point.”

The GCC also publicly questioned the validity of the IPCC’s peer-review process and launched public attacks on its scientists, while simultaneously using the IPCC’s status as a respected scientific body to promote the credentials of its own climate science denial research.

The GCC went beyond targeting climate science. In 1995, Exxon gave a presentation to the GCC on how to counter the evidence linking climate change to human health impacts.

In 1997, the GCC wanted to expand its reach with a network of state and local committees that would educate the public about their views on climate change and serve as liaisons to other business and public interest groups with similar views. This plan was implemented, the documents show, with the help of Koch Industries, the U.S.’s largest private energy company, which is an infamous funder of climate science denial across the globe.

Additional Takeaways: Infiltrating UN Climate Negotiations, Embracing Climate Deniers Publicly But Not Privately

The documents published Thursday on the Climate Investigation Center’s Climate Files archive, also show:

  • The GCC stacked UN meetings with its members. Some attended meetings transparently, registering as GCC members, while others registered with other NGOs. Often GCC members outnumbered delegates from developing nations at the annual Conference of the Parties (COP) meetings.

  • The GCC coordinated to monitor IPCC meetings. After IPCC meetings, GCC notes reveal attendees met to discuss strategies for exploiting scientific uncertainties in IPCC climate models and amplifying scientific differences of opinion. On at least one occasion, a contractor for the Electric Power Research Institute planned to keep tabs on IPCCproceedings.

  • The GCC internally refuted climate deniers, yet continued to publicly cite their work: Exxon scientist Lenny Bernstein, who co-chaired the GCC’s committee on science and technology assessment, called the work of climate deniers Richard Lindzen and Patrick Michaels “not convincing” in a draft document in 1995. The final copy of that document included no mention of Bernstein’s comments and the GCC continued to cite the two — as well as other known deniers — through at least 1998.

  • The GCC aggressively attempted to control media coverage of climate change: Press releases were sent to reporters praising media coverage featuring climate deniers and correcting those that did not. One document encouraged reporters to contact the GCC for “balance in the global climate change debate.”

April 29, 2019 Posted by | climate change, secrets,lies and civil liberties, USA | Leave a comment

Lawmakers and media are being conned, as nuclear industry manipulates climate change rules

 

April 25, 2019 Posted by | climate change, politics, secrets,lies and civil liberties | Leave a comment

Journalist Glenn Greenwald defends Assange

Journalist Glenn Greenwald defends Assange: The Hill,  Julia Manchester 24 Apr 19 ‘Things that journalists do every single day’ Journalist Glenn Greenwald on Monday defended WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange after he was charged by the Justice Department earlier this month for allegedly conspiring to hack a government computer in connection with the organization’s release of sensitive government files in 2010.

“So much of what’s in the indictment, encouraging a source to get more documents, helping a source cover her tracks in order not to be detected, are things that journalists do every single day,” Greenwald, co-founding editor at The Intercept, told hosts Krystal Ball and Buck Sexton in an appearance on Hill.TV.

“You can say journalists don’t typically help a source hack into a password in order to get you know, a better way of hiding her identity, but helping a source avoid detection is definitely something journalists are not just entitled to do, but obligated to do,” he continued. ……https://thehill.com/hilltv/rising/439992-greenwald-defends-assange-these-are-things-that-journalists-do-every-single-day

April 25, 2019 Posted by | 2 WORLD, civil liberties, media | Leave a comment

Chelsea Manning is denied bail, by U.S. appeals court

U.S. appeals court denies Manning’s bail request, upholds contempt finding, Sarah N. Lynch, 24 Apr 19, WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Former U.S. Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning will remain in jail after a federal appeals court on Monday denied her request to be released on bail, and upheld a lower court’s decision to hold Manning in civil contempt for refusing to testify before a grand jury.

The ruling is a blow to Manning, who has been detained since March after she declined to answer questions in connection with the government’s long-running investigation into Wikileaks and its founder Julian Assange.

In a comment released by a spokesman, Manning said that while disappointing, the appeals court ruling will still allow her to “raise issues as the government continues to abuse the grand jury process.”

I don’t have anything to contribute to this, or any other grand jury,” Manning added.

Assange was arrested on April 11 at Ecuador’s Embassy in London, after U.S. prosecutors in the Eastern District of Virginia unsealed a criminal case against him alleging he conspired with Manning to commit computer intrusion.

The Justice Department said Assange was arrested under an extradition treaty between the United States and Britain.

……Manning has tried to fight the grand jury subpoena in the Assange case, citing her First, Fourth and Sixth Amendment rights under the Constitution.

Manning’s lawyer, Moira Meltzer-Cohen, suggested prosecutors were abusing “grand jury power,” and that “the likely purpose of her subpoena is to help the prosecutor preview and undermine her potential testimony as a defense witness for a pending trial.”

Her lawyers have also argued that the courtroom was improperly sealed during substantial portions of the hearing.https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-manning/us-appeals-court-denies-mannings-bail-request-upholds-contempt-finding-idUSKCN1RY14O

April 25, 2019 Posted by | civil liberties, Legal, USA | Leave a comment