Greenwald: 1st Amendment in Peril; Johnstone on Dem “Karma”

As the Obama DOJ Concluded, Prosecution of Julian Assange for Publishing Documents Poses Grave Threats to Press Freedom
By Glenn Greenwald, November 16, 2018

The “Resistance” Struggles To Justify Support For Trump’s Prosecution Of Assange
By Caitlin Johnstone, November 19, 2018

Last Tuesday former National Intelligence Director James Clapper was asked why President Obama, two days before he left town, told a press conference that intelligence “conclusions” about “Russian hacking” were “inconclusive.” Clapper said he could not explain that.

(See: ) The reference was to one of the key conclusions of the so-called “Intelligence Community Assessment” authored by “hand-picked” analysts and briefed to Obama on January 5, 2017 (published the following day).

Here’s are the words Obama chose to use, less than two weeks later, at his final news conference (January 18), answering a question from Jeff Mason of Reuters.  Obama:

“ … the conclusions of the intelligence community with respect to the Russian hacking were not conclusive as to whether WikiLeaks was witting or not in being the conduit through which we heard about the DNC e-mails that were leaked.” (emphasis added)

Watching the back and forth in media reporting over the past couple of weeks, it seems a safe bet that Mueller & Associates have finally conjured up enough “evidence” to “prove” WikiLeaks was indeed “witting,” and that this — by some stretch — justifies indicting and prosecuting Julian Assange (the 1st amendment be damned).
So what about us?  Do we stand by as, well, bystanders?  Better to ponder the following warning four decades ago by Hannah Arendt.  It sure looks like time for bystanders to become “winter soldiers?”

“The moment we no longer have a free press, anything can happen. What makes it possible for a totalitarian or any other dictatorship to rule is that people are not informed; how can you have an opinion if you are not informed?

“If everybody always lies to you, the consequence is not that you believe the lies, but rather that nobody believes anything any longer. This is because lies, by their very nature, have to be changed, and a lying government has constantly to rewrite its own history. On the receiving end you get not only one lie—a lie which you could go on for the rest of your days—but you get a great number of lies, depending on how the political wind blows.

“And a people that no longer can believe anything cannot make up its mind. It is deprived not only of its capacity to act but also of its capacity to think and to judge. And with such a people you can then do what you please.”

“Progressives” Rally to Protect Mueller; Prefer to Wait for Godot

By Ray McGovern, November 11, 2018
“Hope springs eternal.”  As MoveOn and other Democratic Party oriented organizations orchestrate pre-emptive demonstrations to protect Saint Robert Mueller and his endless investigation, it seems only fair to ask how much more time they think he needs. Is it not time to wind things up?
After all, it is not as though Mueller was some kind of neophyte when appointed a year and a half ago to investigate collusion, if any, between Russia and the Trump campaign.  Mueller had headed the FBI for 12 full years.  If he didn’t know who might be able to tell him where the bodies are buried, so to speak, could it possibly be that there are no bodies of the kind he is searching for?
So far, the wrong bodies have been inadvertently exhumed — those of former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, lawyer Lisa Page, and lover/sleuth Peter Strzok, for example.  Clearly, they are not the ones for whom Mueller mounted a full-court press to force a turn-over.

A counter-intuitive Guardian report [[[[[ ]]]]] brought to mind relevant reporting in the past on Mueller, under whom former FBI Division Counsel and Special Agent Coleen Rowley worked.  She got to know him in an  immediate way via his reactions to the two memoranda she wrote directly to him (later made public) about his covering up several still-not-satisfactorily-explained FBI screw-ups that helped make the attacks of 9/11 possible, and about his support for the fraudulent “intelligence” on WMD before the war on Iraq.

In a February 2018 article (see link below), Coleen Rowley and Nat Parry found it more than somewhat odd — “nuts,” actually — that “liberals” were going to such inordinate lengths to defend Mueller and his predicate-poor probe.

More recently, another related piece was posted here:
And for those who wish still more detail from former insider Rowley, her latest can be found here:
Last, added below is a link to other Mueller-relevant reporting on Russia-gate:

Thirty-three Trillion More Reasons Why the NYT Gets It Wrong on Russia-gate

By Gareth Porter, November 2, 2018

Linked above is Gareth Porter’s follow-up to the excellent piece he published last month (See:  .)

Did President Putin bend the election toward Trump (as suggested not only by the NY Times but also by formerly sober investigative journalists like Jane Mayer!)?  Readers of the Gray Lady and the New Yorker today are just as convinced that Putin helped Trump win as they were 16 years ago, when the same government-and-media prevaricators assured them that there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.

On “Russia-gate,” the reality that there was probably “no there there,” was clear enough to the late Robert Parry 20 months ago that he led off a piece with those words.  And now we know that, two months after Bob wrote that, FBI sleuth Peter Strzok confided to Lisa Page that there was “no big there there.” See:

What NY Times readers do not know about Robert Mueller is that his has played fast and loose with the Constitution and the law; he is, demonstrably, a white-collar criminal.  The stakes are extremely high for him, his best-friend-forever James Comey and other who indulged in criminal behavior in the full expectation, as Comey has explicitly admitted to Congress, that Hillary Clinton was a shoo-in.  Oops.

In my view, it is unlikely that Mueller will admit that his predicate-impoverished but politically-rich investigation for proof of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia has come up with nothing — aside from non-related indictments, including Russian ham sandwiches, so to speak.

More likely, Mueller will come up with something — something manufactured by the same people he presumably feels an overriding need to protect. Overriding? Well, they, after all, have the book on Mueller, as well.

We should be prepared now for the same kind of manufactured “intelligence” adduced to “prove” the presence of WMD in Iraq.  The only thing that might give Mueller pause is the possibility that there remain one or two lawyers at the Department of Justice who realize their responsibility as officers of the court and defenders of the Constitution and who have the courage to blow the whistle; that she, he, or they would expose the trickery; and that the NY Times would be unable to suppress the story.  All those possibilities are highly subjunctive, of course. Still, they could deter Mueller from repeating the kind of crimes that many — NY Times readers excepted — already know about from his curriculum vitae.

As Consortium News readers are well aware, Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS), specifically “alumni” of NSA (including two former Technical Directors) have written extensively on the technical aspects of the charge that “Russia hacked” into the DNC.  Relevant articles, interviews, speeches, etc. can also be easily found on by simply using the SEARCH widget.

Finally, a comment under one of the articles this year happened to paraphrase VIPS conclusions quite succinctly.  You can take it to the bank:

Subject: ultimate proof of non hack


The NSA captures and stores everything. Sometimes it is only meta data, sometimes entire content. FISA section 702 is the “legal” justification for this big brother practice.

There is one silver lining in this dark cloud. The NSA has in the servers in Bluffdale Utah, the evidence that can conclusively prove Russian or foreign involvement. If the claims of Crowdstrike, Guccifer 2.0 and the Jan 6, Intelligence Community Assessment are true, all of those transmissions are known to the NSA. Only if it were an inside job would the data not be known to the NSA.

Seldom in this world of spin can something so easily be proven beyond doubt.

A tweet from Trump asking the NSA to substantiate the foreign traffic without violating national security would suffice.

Voting Criteria

To Fellow Catholic Voters
From Ray McGovern

Pope Francis: “It’s hypocrisy to call yourself a Christian and chase away a refugee or someone seeking help.” Many bishops have also spoken out strongly against a mentality that sees refugees primarily as a threat or a problem.

Let’s remember that our theology is deeply rooted in Hebrew scripture, which insists time and time again that particular care is owed to those Biblical scholars call the “Deuteronomic triad”—the refugee, the orphan, and the widow. The prophets of Israel spoke passionately about how a truly God-fearing society ought to show concern and love for its most vulnerable.  It is the same in Christian scripture — and Islam, as well.

We don’t need scholarly exegesis to understand the gospel words of Jesus.  They are unambiguous — you might call them the “gospel truth,” hard as it often is to internalize it, shape our views, and let it guide our actions.

I believe something like the following is in store for us at “the end of time.”  Those who will be blessed — whether Jew, Christian, or Muslim — are those to whom God can say “I was a stranger and you welcomed me.”

“What parish bulletin did you get that from,” I hear you asking.  Nope, I plagiarized most of it from Lazar Berman, a former Times of Israel journalist who holds a Masters degree in Security Studies from Georgetown University and has served as a Chaplain-in-Residence at Georgetown.

Whither Russiagate?

By Phil Giraldi, November 5, 2018
Phil begins:

Two years have passed since the 2016 election.  Allegations that foreign interference had influenced the result, perhaps decisively, began to surface even as the last ballots were being counted. Against all odds underdog Donald J. Trump had been elected president and the Establishment … had to find a scapegoat to explain why its preferred candidate lost. The scapegoat turned out to be Russia. …

Menacing Signs Re. Julian Assange: Preparations for Kidnapping?

Suzie Dawson, November 3, 2018
Suzie, an activist and strong supporter of Julian, summed up the situation — including the attempted break-in at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London very early Monday, October 29 — before our virtual meeting yesterday.
Suzie’s piece follows immediately below:
Christine Assange said that she doesn’t go to sleep and have nightmares, she wakes up to one every day.
Mother to Julian Assange, this generation’s most significant publisher –  now a political prisoner – Christine lives with the daily terror of foreboding anticipation. Only ever moments away from the next piece of terrible news, as she watches her son, born of her body, raised by her hand, die in slow motion from afar.
This week was full of nightmares for Christine.
Ink or blood?
I [Suzie] had intended to write a news bulletin and deliver important and timely tidings. Revelations unbroken by the mainstream, and exclusive to Consortium News. But to Christine, and to anyone with both an empathetic bone in their body and the ability to see through the haze of mainstream lies, Julian Assange is not just news. He is a human being. A human being who felt so strongly for other human beings, that he has laid his head on the chopping block time and again for us. It will likely cost him his life.
[ For photos and additional details, please see:

Given the irreversible damage his doctors warned is being inflicted upon him, it may have already.

His liberty is long gone. His public reputation, excoriated. A twisted caricature crafted by his persecutors, raised in its place. For peasants in the town square to throw rotten tomatoes at, while the puppet-masters who alternately starve them and send them to die in pointless wars, scoff and self-congratulate. Just as the well-to-do toasted themselves with champagne, high above Wall Street, as the Occupy movement marched below.

The Occupy movement who we were told needed showers. Lacked good hygiene. Smelled bad. Behold the language of the ignorant and the complicit: truth-tellers are unclean. The courageous should spend more time on domestic chores, and less on trying to save the lives of the masses exploited by a system that chews humans up and spits them out daily.

Julian who brought the world truthful information on a scale never before seen in human history, is the metaphorical newspaper that circling seagulls from corporate media platforms swoop to deliver their droppings on.

Their screeching crap etched in ink is the dripping of blood in our hourglass. “#EndImpunity!” they declare annually in commemoration of persecuted colleagues, while assassinating the character of a detained journalist on every other day of the year.

Each truth-teller snuffed out is like a droplet depicted in the WikiLeaks logo: with every drip, our collective clock ticks one minute closer to midnight.

This week the clock isn’t just ticking. It is sounding an urgent alarm.

On the 29th of October, at 4:31am Julian Assange awoke to yet another nightmare of his own: a second attempted break-in at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London.

As his legal team confirmed to me:

The timing of the attempted breach was not insignificant. It was the early hours of the very day he was due to testify in Court in Ecuador by teleconference. A testimony that then was then plagued by constant technical interference, preventing Julian from fully imparting to the judge the extent of the human rights violations that he is being subjected to.

This confirmation by Julian’s legal team that a break-in occurred is a very big deal.  But not the last alarming development to be revealed this week.

One would think, that after such an event as an attempted break-in, the Ecuadorian Embassy would have gone on high alert. Extra security might be called in. Every possible consideration would be made to secure the premises, surely.

To the contrary, as Yale University’s Sean O’Brien discovered, and thoroughly documented, that very same day – the Embassy was left quite literally wide open.

Julian Assange has been made a sitting duck.

A Lecturer in Law at Yale Law School, Sean O’Brien is a cybersecurity, privacy and forensics expert. He is the Assistant Director for Technology at Yale Office of International Students & Scholars and founded the Yale Privacy Lab.

I asked him to record his experiences himself, in first person, so that we can retrospectively walk with him through his visit to the Embassy last Monday. Sean’s story is below.

Testimony of Sean O’Brien

(full text and photos at:

for photos of scaffolding, etc.)

I arrived in London last week for Mozilla Festival, to present Yale Privacy Lab’s work on profiles of mobile app trackers.  Mozfest was an amazing conference, but I didn’t get a chance to see the famous buildings and monuments in the city until Monday, Oct. 29, the day I was leaving Britain.  I decided to walk toward the Thames from my hotel room in Soho.

In front of Parliament were a group of activists singing “We’re not gonna Brexit!” to the tune of Twisted Sister’s “We’re Not Gonna Take It”.  I walked up to a member of the group and asked for directions to the Ecuadorean embassy. “Going to visit Julian are ya?” she said, as she directed me to Knightsbridge and the famous Harrod’s department store.  “I probably won’t be able to get past the sidewalk,” I replied back.  I was quite wrong.

Prior to my visit, I couldn’t find any information online about visiting the Ecuadorean embassy.  I had read that a strict new protocol had been put in place, so I expected high security and police.  When I arrived at No. 3 Hans Crescent, however, I was met with absolutely no security.

There were no vehicles parked outside, no people on the sidewalk out front; nothing that would give a hint that a political prisoner, the world-famous Julian Assange of Wikileaks, was inside.  I actually walked past the embassy more than once, thinking that perhaps my eyes were deceiving me and I had the wrong building.

Even more shocking: the door was wide open.

There was scaffolding around three quarters of the embassy and the flats above, and men in uniforms with bright yellow vests were walking across, seemingly washing the windows.  The scaffolding stopped about halfway across the balcony I’d seen Julian standing on at press conferences, before he was banned from facing the public, sunlight, and the open air.

Near the crest in these photos, you can see what looks like a microphone bolted to a pipe, attached to the scaffolding and with a white wire running across.  I didn’t think much of it until later, worried instead about entering the embassy building as politely and professionally as possible.

As it turns out, I didn’t need to worry.  I walked up the steps, past the “Wet Floor” sign, into the open door, pulled the next door open, and entered a completely empty lobby.  On the left was the door to the Ecuadorean embassy, and on my right was the Colombian embassy with a desk in front and no one manning it.

I stood and waited for someone to come and greet me, seeing that I was on camera in what should be a high-security area, before I realized no one was coming.  I pressed an intercom button at the Ecuadorean door, and spoke to a man briefly who did, eventually, open the embassy door and step out.

The man advised me that there was a strict protocol for visiting Mr. Assange and grabbed a piece of scrap paper, writing a long e-mail address on the back.  I needed to e-mail and request an appointment, I was told, and Mr. Assange would of course have to approve.  Taking the paper, I hurried across the street to Harrod’s, where I knew there would be open wifi, e-mailing as soon as I could.

Almost immediately, I received a bounce-back message that the e-mail address didn’t exist.  I tried another spelling.  Another bounceback.  I entered the open door of No. 3 Hans Crescent again, ringing the bell.  This time, a woman answered, opened the embassy door, and gave me another scrap paper with an address.  This one I could read correctly:

Once again, I hurried over to Harrod’s wifi and e-mailed.  No bounceback.  I waited a few minutes, walked back into the embassy, rang the bell again, and asked the same woman if the embassy had received my e-mail.  She could not check, she said.  Now I was getting on their nerves.

I decided to wait for a few hours and see if the e-mail came in, grabbing dinner around the corner.  No reply came in.

I walked back into the open embassy building, and there were now two men and the Colombian embassy desk.  I rang the Ecuadorean bell, spoke to the woman one last time, who repeated that they couldn’t check for receipt of my e-mail.  Obviously, I wouldn’t be visiting Julian.

I stepped outside once more.  There were men walking back and forth who seemed to take notice of me.  One man , dressed like a stereotypical “man in black”, tried to look intimidating.  He leaned on a black car and glared at me.

On each walk to and from the building that afternoon, I had begun to notice more and more scaffolding going up and more and more devices tied to the structure.  Now that I knew I wasn’t going to get an audience at the embassy, I didn’t need to be polite.  With what looked like plainclothes officer watching me, I walked around and took these photos.

This is the scaffolding where it ended on the Colombian side of the embassy, to the right of the Ecuadorean embassy.  Notice what looks like a speaker/microphone on the right-hand side.

More photos of the same area.  Notice the black devices, affixed to pipes, with wires coming from them.  I’ve never seen devices quite like this, and I take photos of surveillance equipment often.

There were curious plastic tubes with yellow-orange caps, zip-tied to the front.  I have no idea what these are but they seem to have equipment inside them; see the black shadow under the caps.

Another shot (see photos in original article) of the Ecuadorean side of the building, where the scaffolding stops abruptly at the balcony.  Notice the embassy security is actually obstructed by the scaffolding: a camera dome affixed to the embassy is completely blocked.

Just outside the Ecuadorean windows, a hexagonal device that appears to be a wireless router.  All cables lead to this, and an LED light was blinking green in the center of the black cap on the bottom.


[I include] photos [I took] of devices outside the Ecuadorean windows.  The devices are clearly pointing inward, not out toward the sidewalk, with wires neatly taped to the piping and leading toward the central, hexagonal device.

After these final shots, I walked back and forth across the sidewalk and peered into the Ecuadorean embassy.  With the sun going down, it was obvious all the lights inside were on and the blinds were wide open.  To say the whole experience was strange is a severe understatement, in light of Julian’s recent treatment.


Sean’s above testimony is vital, as is his expertise and the information he gathered at the Embassy.

Close study of the surveillance devices in the photos reveals no manufacturer branding, serial numbers or visible device information. The metal piping used to secure them appears to have been cut by hand.

The combination of the obscuring of the street-facing surveillance cameras and the installation of surveillance equipment pointed into instead of away from the Embassy, is alarming. Whoever placed the equipment there appears to be focused on gaining the ability to hear and see what happens inside the open blinds, rather than monitoring the foot and street traffic outside the Embassy.

It would be impossible for such surveillance equipment to be installed against the wall of the Embassy without the knowledge of the Ecuadorian government. Ergo, it must have been done, or allowed to remain, with their cooperation.

WikiLeaks has confirmed that Assange has had no visitors, and his legal team have been publicly calling for anyone who has been turned away to step forward.

The long-time WikiLeaks media partner Italian journalist Stefania Maurizi complained of repeated denials of entry.

Until late 2015 there were uniformed officers from Scotland Yard at the door at all times.Previous visitors to the Embassy have told me of their experiences. They describe closed and locked doors. Security guards manning the desk at all times.

Privacy drapes, dark rooms with shuttered blinds.

For such a reversal of position to have occurred, there is only one conclusion: the Ecuadorian Embassy is open for business. Wide open.

But not to Julian Assange’s legal team.

Perhaps the most alarming development of all came on Thursday: even the only people who had been able to visit Julian Assange, have now also been barred.

Remembering Occupy

Once again, I am reminded of Occupy. Immediately prior to the simultaneous raids of the four Occupations in my home city of Auckland, and the mass arrests of media and protesters, malicious actors intervened to deny us access to warnings and advice from our legal counsel.

Is the embassy being staged for an overt – or covert – raid on Julian? Is this why access to his closest advisors has been stripped from him?

Do Ecuador, the US and the UK hope to use the cover of the midterms, or of the Christmas season, to expedite the illegal handover of Assange?

An update from the Ecuadorian side is expected on Monday. Though you could probably put more stock in a chicken soup than in what they have to say, given the double play at hand.

For as Julian is isolated even further than before, the world’s media are being fed lies.

Establishment media across the world are leading people to believe that Julian has had his right to communication restored and that he is able to receive visitors. This couldn’t be further from the truth.

While Ecuador stated in court that their oppressive new protocols for reestablishing Julian’s rights to communication and visitation were effective as of the 5th of October, I have been unable to confirm that anyone close to Julian has heard from him at all, with the exception of his lawyers.

The protocols Ecuador was referring to, which establishment media are hyping as being about cat food and personal hygiene, in fact outrageously include the collection of IMEI/serial numbers for the devices of visitors and social media account information.

The conditions state outright that Ecuador reserves the right to supply UK security agencies with that information. This makes any visitor to Julian not only an intelligence target of those supposedly providing him safe harbour, but of those whom he was granted asylum to protect him from.

It is astounding to think Ecuador may be collaborating with Julian’s persecutors to surveill both the outside and the inside of the Embassy. Especially the UK is in breach of multiple UN decisions that it must allow Julian Assange safe passage to Ecuador, and compensate him.

Christine Assange will today [and tomorrow] wake to the same terrifying nightmare as she did yesterday, and several thousand days before. Except today she has some solace in knowing that people of conscience are rallying to intervene on her son’s behalf, and to protect him.

“When injustice takes place, “few are guilty, but all are responsible.
“Indifference to evil is more insidious than evil itself.” 
                                             Rabbi Abraham Heschel

This Afternoon: Emergency Meeting Re. Physical Safety of Julian Assange


Don’t miss the Emergency Meeting:
Sat. Nov. 3, 2018 @ 3PM EDT

Link: #FreeAssange #WikiLeaks

Relevant background reading:

1 — Presstitutes Bash Julian Assange

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