The Julian Assange Beard (JAB) Movement: a Suggestion

… on Seeing Julian’s Political Asylum Unceremoniously Withdrawn

Have any of you readers had the trouble Ray has experienced in getting the following photo out his mind?

Ray’s hair/beard grows in dishevelled witness to the uncivilized treatment accorded his admired friend Julian.  Why such treatment? For publishing truthful information highly embarrassing to war criminals and others who dread the possibility that their crimes will come to light.

Could this, or something similar, spark a movement?  Might Justice-for-Julian women adopt some kind of solidarity symbol of their own?

The above photo recalls happier times visiting Julian in Ecuador’s embassy in London, before the Ecuadoran government caved in to U.S. pressure to flaunt international law, end his political asylum, and let the British put him in prison. In late January 2013 Julian hosted a dinner, inviting a dozen friends including members of Sam Adams Associates for Integrity– some of whom are pictured above with Julian (Ann Wright, Ray McGovern, Elizabeth Murray, and Coleen Rowley).  They were on their way to a Sam Adams award ceremony the following evening at the Oxford Union.

Julian, himself the Sam Adams laureate in 2010, was live-streamed into the august precincts of the Oxford Union the next evening and gave a presentation lauding the courage of the 2013 Sam Adams honoree Thomas Fingar. Tom, a former Assistant Secretary of State for Intelligence, was given the Sam Adams award at the traditional annual ceremony*** hosted that year by the Oxford Union.

Most notably, Fingar supervised a National Intelligence Estimate issued in November 2007, in which all agencies of the U.S. intelligence community agreed that Iran had stopped working on nuclear weapon at the end of 2003.  There is lots of evidence, including in George W. Bush’s own memoir, showing that this NIE played a huge role in preventing the attack on Iran that Bush, Cheney, and Israel had been planning for 2008.

As for Julian Assange, in summer 2013 he played a key role in enabling whistleblower Edward Snowden to escape from Hong Kong and avoid the fate that seems likely now for Julian, unless we all put our backs to the wheel to prevent it. (Julian’s deus-ex-machina intervention on behalf of Ed is another HUGE reason Julian sits atop Official Washington’s WANTED list.)

In October 2013, a small delegation of Sam Adams Associates flew to Moscow to present the award to Ed Snowden.

***For additional information on the Sam Adams Award, including the citations accompanying the various annual awards, please click on: samadamsaward.ch .
Also related:  https://raymcgovern.com/2019/05/26/iraq-all-over-again-and-where-is-katharine-gun/

Iraq All Over Again? And Where Is Katharine Gun

A rush to war based on faulty intelligence and a manufactured crisis sounds very familiar.
By Marcia Mitchell
https://www.commondreams.org/views/2019/05/20/iraq-all-over-again-and-where-katharine-gun

Katharine Gun of the UK’s NSA equivalent was the second recipient of the annual Sam Adams Award for Integrity in Intelligence. Coleen Rowley of the FBI was the first.

For more information on the annual Sam Adams Award for Integrity in Intelligence go to samadamsaward.ch.  The award citation for Katharine is included below, but you are invited also to read, below the citation, related articles on her courage — articles posted, appropriately enough, by SAAII award laureate Coleen Rowley.  Here’s the citation:

=================
Katharine GunKnow all ye by these presents that Katharine Gun is hereby awarded The Corner-Brightener Candlestick, presented by Sam Adams Associates for Integrity in Intelligence.

Heeding the dictates of conscience and true patriotism, Ms. Gun put her career and her very liberty at risk trying to prevent the launching of an illegal war. That she is here with us today and not in a prison cell bespeaks a tacit but clear admission by her government that the US/UK attack on Iraq in March 2003 was in defiance of international law.

Ms. Gun’s beacon of light pierced a thick cloud of deception. She set a courageous example for those intelligence analysts of the “Coalition of the Willing” who have first-hand knowledge of how intelligence was corrupted to “justify” war, but who have not yet been able to find their voice.
Presented this 14th day of April 2004 in Copenhagen, Denmark by admirers of the example set by our former colleague, Sam Adams.

=================

Do not miss the film.  And, with respect to Iran at this point, please tell all your insider friends “who have not yet been able to find their voice.”  There must be one or two with the courage of Katharine Gun and Coleen Rowley.

Pretexts for an Attack on Iran

By Ray McGovern, May 15, 2019
https://consortiumnews.com/2019/05/15/pretexts-for-an-attack-on-iran/

Why does no one point to the reality that Israel*** plays THE central role in ANY U.S. policy making toward Iran and the whole region.  Bolton and Pompeo may seem to have wandered a bit off the Trump reservation; but they want war, and so does Netanyahu.

SO fat and skinny will win this race if Trump — like virtually all his predecessors — feels cornered by the Bibis and Adelsons of this world, the more so as a U.S. presidential election approaches.

What are in play are the “passionate attachments” and “entangling alliances” about which George Washington pointedly warned in his Farewell Address. Making more likely another unconscionable war.

*** Oh, I guess we know why.

Glaring Omissions and Misrepresentations in Mueller’s Report

By Larry C Johnson, May 9, 2019
https://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2019/05/the-mueller-report-cites-three-questionable-events-as-the-foundation-for-the-special-counsel-investigation-june-2016-the.html#more
Larry begins: “The travesty that is the Mueller Report is revealed in the recounting of events cited as the foundation for the Special Counsel investigation. … Let me explain simply why Mueller’s description of these events is both troubling and problematic.”

The Real Muellergate Scandal

Ray’s friend Amb. Craig Murry does not beat around the bush — or aroud the “honorable” Robert Mueller.

By Craig Murray, May 9, 2019
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/175887.Craig_Murray/blog

Robert Mueller is either a fool, or deeply corrupt. I do not think he is a fool.

I did not comment instantly on the Mueller Report as I was so shocked by it, I have been waiting to see if any other facts come to light in justification. Nothing has. I limit myself here to that area of which I have personal knowledge – the leak of DNC and Podesta emails to Wikileaks. On the wider question of the corrupt Russian 1% having business dealings with the corrupt Western 1%, all I have to say is that if you believe that is limited in the USA by party political boundaries, you are a fool.

On the DNC leak, Mueller started with the prejudice that it was “the Russians” and he deliberately and systematically excluded from evidence anything that contradicted that view.

Mueller, as a matter of determined policy, omitted key steps which any honest investigator would undertake. He did not commission any forensic examination of the DNC servers. He did not interview Bill Binney. He did not interview Julian Assange. His failure to do any of those obvious things renders his report worthless.

There has never been, by any US law enforcement or security service body, a forensic examination of the DNC servers, despite the fact that the claim those servers were hacked is the very heart of the entire investigation. Instead, the security services simply accepted the “evidence” provided by the DNC’s own IT security consultants, Crowdstrike, a company which is politically aligned to the Clintons.

That is precisely the equivalent of the police receiving a phone call saying:

“Hello? My husband has just been murdered. He had a knife in his back with the initials of the Russian man who lives next door engraved on it in Cyrillic script. I have employed a private detective who will send you photos of the body and the knife. No, you don’t need to see either of them.”

There is no honest policeman in the world who would agree to that proposition, and neither would Mueller were he remotely an honest man. 

Two facts compound this failure. 

The first is the absolutely key word of Bill Binney, former Technical Director of the NSA, the USA’s $14 billion a year surveillance organisation. Bill Binney is an acknowledged world leader in cyber surveillance, and is infinitely more qualified than Crowdstrike. Bill states that the download rates for the “hack” given by Crowdstrike are at a speed – 41 Megabytes per second – that could not even nearly be attained remotely at the location: thus the information must have been downloaded to a local device, eg a memory stick. Binney has further evidence regarding formatting which supports this. 

Mueller’s identification of “DC Leaks” and “Guccifer 2.0” as Russian securityservices is something Mueller attempts to carry off by simple assertion.Mueller shows DNC Leaks to have been the source of other, unclassified emails sent to Wikileaks that had been obtained under a Freedom of Information request and then Mueller simply assumes, with no proof, the same route was used again for the leaked DNC material. His identification of the Guccifer 2.0 persona with Russian agents is so flimsy as to be laughable. Nor is there any evidence of the specific transfer of the leaked DNC emails from Guccifer 2.0 to Wikileaks. Binney asserts that had this happened, the packets would have been instantly identifiable to the NSA. 

Bill Binney is not a “deplorable”. He is the former Technical Director of the NSA. Mike Pompeo met him to hear his expertise on precisely this matter. Binney offered to give evidence to Mueller. Yet did Mueller call him as a witness? No. Binney’s voice is entirely unheard in the report. 

Mueller’s refusal to call Binney and consider his evidence was not the action of an honest man.

The second vital piece of evidence we have is from Wikileaks Vault 7 release of CIA material, in which the CIA themselves outline their capacity to “false flag” hacks, leaving behind misdirecting clues including scraps of foreign script and language. This is precisely what Crowdstrike claim to have found in the “Russian hacking” operation.

So here we have Mueller omitting the key steps of independent forensic examination of the DNC servers and hearing Bill Binney’s evidence. Yet this was not for lack of time. While deliberately omitting to take any steps to obtain evidence that might disprove the “Russian hacking” story, Mueller had boundless time and energy to waste in wild goose chases after totally non-existent links between Wikileaks and the Trump campaign, including the fiasco of interviewing Roger Stone and Randy Credico. 

It is worth remembering that none of the charges against Americans arising from the Mueller inquiry have anything to do with Russian collusion or Trump-Wikileaks collusion, which simply do not exist. The charges all relate to entirely extraneous matters dug up, under the extraordinary US system of “Justice”, to try to blackmail those charged with unrelated crimes turned up by the investigation, into fabricating evidence of Russian collusion. The official term for this process of blackmail is of course “plea-bargaining.”

Mueller has indicted 12 Russians he alleges are the GRU agents responsible for the “hack”. The majority of these turn out to be real people who, ostensibly, have jobs and lives which are nothing to do with the GRU. Mueller was taken aback when, rather than simply being in absentia, a number of them had representation in court to fight the charges. Mueller had to back down and ask for an immediate adjournment as soon as the case opened, while he fought to limit disclosure. His entire energies since on this case have been absorbed in submitting motions to limit disclosure, individual by individual, with the object of ensuring that the accused Russians can be convicted without ever seeing, or being able to reply to, the evidence against them. Which is precisely the same as his attitude to contrary evidence in his Report.

Mueller’s failure to examine the servers or take Binney’s evidence pales into insignificance compared to his attack on Julian Assange. Based on no conclusive evidence, Mueller accuses Assange of receiving the emails from Russia. Most crucially, he did not give Assange any opportunity to answer his accusations. For somebody with Mueller’s background in law enforcement, declaring somebody in effect guilty, without giving them any opportunity to tell their side of the story, is plain evidence of malice. 

Inexplicably, for example, the Mueller Report quotes a media report of Assange stating he had “physical proof” the material did not come from Russia, but Mueller simply dismisses this without having made any attempt at all to ask Assange himself. 

It is also particularly cowardly as Julian was and is held incommunicado with no opportunity to defend himself. Assange has repeatedly declared the material did not come from the Russian state or from any other state. He was very willing to give evidence to Mueller, which could have been done by video-link, by interview in the Embassy or by written communication. But as with Binney and as with the DNC servers, the entirely corrupt Mueller was unwilling to accept any evidence which might contradict his predetermined narrative.

Mueller’s section headed “The GRU’s Transfer of Stolen Material to Wikileaks” is a ludicrous farrago of internet contacts between Wikileaks and persons not proven to be Russian, transferring material not proven to be the DNC leaks. It too is destroyed by Binney and so pathetic that, having pretended he had proven the case of internet transfer, Mueller then gives the game away by adding “The office cannot rule out that stolen documents were transferred by intermediaries who visited during the summer of 2016”. He names Mr Andrew Muller-Maguhn as a possible courier. Yet again, he did not ask Mr Muller-Maguhn to give evidence. Nor did he ask me, and I might have been able to help him on a few of these points.

To run an “investigation” with a pre-determined idea as to who are the guilty parties, and then to name and condemn those parties in a report, without hearing the testimony of those you are accusing, is a method of proceeding that puts the cowardly and corrupt Mr Mueller beneath contempt.

Mueller gives no evidence whatsoever to back up his simple statement that Seth Rich was not the source of the DNC leak. He accuses Julian Assange of “dissembling” by referring to Seth Rich’s murder. It is an interesting fact that the US security services have shown precisely the same level of interest in examining Seth Rich’s computers that they have shown in examining the DNC servers. It is also interesting that this murder features in a report of historic consequences like that of Mueller, yet has had virtually no serious resource put into finding the killer.

Mueller’s condemnation of Julian Assange for allegedly exploiting the death of Seth Rich, would be infinitely more convincing if the official answer to the question “who murdered Seth Rich?” was not “who cares?”.==============
Craig Murray is on the same wave length as VIPS.  See:

Top UK Journalist Craig Murray Blocked by Facebook After Criticising Israel

Introduction by Eric Zuesse, May 9, 2019

Former UK Ambassador Craig Murray was honored with the 4th annual Sam Adams Award for Integrity in 2005,  [ See samadamsaward.ch ]  He was the first male, the first Scot, and the second Brit (after Katharine Gun) to be so honored.

Below is the award citation:
==================
Know all ye by these presents that Craig Murray is hereby awarded The Corner-Brightener Candlestick, presented by Sam Adams Associates for Integrity in Intelligence.
As UK ambassador to Uzbekistan from 2002 to 2004, Mr. Murray learned that the intelligence authorities of the UK and the US were receiving and using information extracted by the most sadistic methods of torture by Uzbek authorities. He protested strongly to London, to no avail.
Mr. Murray stands out as one who did not forfeit his moral compass to his government or to his career. When his government colleagues referred condescendingly to his “qualms of conscience,” he replied that he would not hide his shame “that I work in an organization where colleagues would resort to casuistry to justify torture.”
Mr. Murray recognized that civilized societies have long recognized torture as an intolerable affront to the inherent human right to physical integrity and personal dignity—and that this is precisely why there are so many laws against torture. He did all he could to persuade his government not to condone it. It is shameful that this strong moral stance should jeopardize his promising career. He was forced out of the British Foreign Office, but has no regrets. There are more important things than career.
Nor will he cease to call attention to torture. We look forward to early publication of his book, Murder in Samarkand, now banned in Britain.
Mr. Murray’s light has pierced a thick cloud of denial and deception. He has set a courageous example for those officials of the “Coalition of the Willing” who have first-hand knowledge of the inhuman practices involved in the so-called “war on terror” but who have not yet been able to find their voice.
Presented this 21st day of January 2006 in New York City by admirers of the example set by our former colleague, Sam Adams.

==============

Full Disclosure: Amb. Murray is a good friend of Ray’s.

Fascism in Plain Sight in the Nation’s Capital

By Ray McGovern

I just got word that Gerry Condon, President of Veterans For Peace, was bloodied and “taken to ground,” as they like to say, for trying to get food to people inside the occupied Venezuelan embassy this evening.  See:
https://twitter.com/RealAlexRubi/status/1126258040221634566?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Ftwitter.com%2Frealalexrubi%2Fstatus%2F1126258040221634566

This link should take you directly to a photo of Gerry Condon on the sidewalk after the attack:
pic.twitter.com/Z6R27pu1Wh

We are at the point Edward Snowden described as “turnkey tyranny.”  Last night the key was turned a bit more, but — at least until now — it has been an almost imperceptibly gradual process, like the proverbial frog in the pan, as the water starts to boil.  And, of course, this has happened before.
What follows is taken from “Creeping Fascism: History’s Lessons,” which I posted on December 27, 2007: [See: https://consortiumnews.com/2007/122707a.html ]]
“There are few things as odd as the calm, superior indifference with which I and those like me watched the beginnings of the Nazi revolution in Germany, as if from a box at the theater. … Perhaps the only comparably odd thing is the way that now, years later….”
The above are the words of Sebastian Haffner (pen name for Raimund Pretzel), who as a young lawyer in Berlin during the 1930s experienced the Nazi takeover and wrote a first-hand account. His children found the manuscript when he died in 1999 and published it the following year as “Geschichte eines Deutschen” (The Story of a German).
The book became an immediate bestseller and has been translated into 20 languages—in English as “Defying Hitler.”
I recently learned from his daughter Sarah, an artist in Berlin, that today is the 100th anniversary of Haffner’s birth. She had seen an earlier article in which I quoted her father and e-mailed to ask me to “write some more about the book and the comparison to Bush’s America. … This is almost unbelievable.” [Emphasis added.]
More about Haffner below. Let’s set the stage first by recapping some of what has been going on here in the U.S. [in late 2007] that may have resonance for readers familiar with the Nazi ascendancy, noting how “odd” it is that the frontal attack on our Constitutional rights is met with such “calm, superior indifference.”  Reflect on the key role played by the media.

Collect on Everyone

After suppressing for two and a half years the explosive story of the Bush/Cheney surveillance of Americans in gross violation of the Fourth Amendment, top New York Times officials decided to let the rest of us in on the fact that the George W. Bush administration had been eavesdropping on American citizens without the court warrants required by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) of 1978.  Not to mention the U.S. Constitution.

The Times had learned of this well before the election in 2004 and acquiesced to White House entreaties to suppress the damaging information.  In late fall 2005 when Times correspondent James Risen’s book, “State of War: the Secret History of the CIA and the Bush Administration,” revealing the warrantless eavesdropping was being printed, Times publisher, Arthur Sulzberger, Jr., recognized that he could procrastinate no longer.
It would simply be too embarrassing to have Risen’s book on the street, with Sulzberger and his associates pretending that this explosive eavesdropping story did not fit Adolph Ochs’s trademark criterion: All The News That’s Fit To Print.
(The Times’ own ombudsman, Public Editor Byron Calame, branded the newspaper’s explanation for the long delay in publishing this story “woefully inadequate.”)
When Sulzberger told his friends in the White House that he could no longer hold off on publishing in the newspaper, he was summoned to the Oval Office for a counseling session with the president on Dec. 5, 2005. Bush tried in vain to talk him out of putting the story in the Times.  The truth would out; part of it, at least. …

What followed struck me as bizarre. The day after the Dec. 16 Times feature article exposing the Fourth-Amendment-trashing program, the president of the United States publicly admitted to a demonstrably impeachable offense.
Authorizing illegal electronic surveillance was a key provision of the second article of impeachment against President Richard Nixon. On July 27, 1974, this and two other articles of impeachment were approved by bipartisan votes in the House Judiciary Committee.
Bush took a frontal approach,  Far from expressing regret, he bragged about having authorized the surveillance “more than 30 times since the September the 11th attacks,” and said he would continue to do so. The president also said:
“Leaders in Congress have been briefed more than a dozen times on this authorization and the activities conducted under it.”
On Dec. 19, 2005, then-Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and then-NSA Director Michael Hayden held a press conference to answer questions about the as yet unnamed surveillance program.  Gonzales was asked why the White House decided to flout FISA rather than attempt to amend it, choosing instead a “backdoor approach.”  He answered:
“We have had discussions with Congress…as to whether or not FISA could be amended to allow us to adequately deal with this kind of threat, and we were advised that that would be difficult, if not impossible.” … 

It was not difficult to infer that the surveillance program must have been of such scope and intrusiveness that, even amid highly stoked fear, it didn’t have a prayer for passage.  It turns out we didn’t know the half of it. …
Bear in mind that when this illegal surveillance program began, it had nothing to do with terrorism, an issue that did not really appear on the new administration’s radar screen until a week before 9/11. … So this until-recently-unknown pre-9/11 facet of the “Terrorist Surveillance Program” was not related to Osama bin Laden or to whomever he and his associates might be speaking. It had to do with us.
We know that the Democrats briefed on the “Terrorist Surveillance Program” include House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-California, (the one with the longest tenure on the House Intelligence Committee), Rep. Jane Harman, D-California, and former and current chairmen of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Bob Graham, D-Florida, and Jay Rockefeller, D-West Virginia, respectively.  May one interpret their lack of public comment on the news that the snooping began well before 9/11 as a sign they were co-opted and then sworn to secrecy?
It is an important question [with considerable relevance to the situation today]. Were the appropriate leaders in Congress informed that within days of George W. Bush’s first inauguration the NSA electronic vacuum cleaner began to suck up information on you and me, despite the FISA law and the Fourth Amendment?  Are they all complicit?
With respect to Nazis and their enablers: You don’t have to be a Nazi. You can just be, well, a sheep.
In his journal, Sebastian Haffner decries what he calls the “sheepish submissiveness” with which the German people reacted to a 9/11-like event, the burning of the German Parliament (Reichstag) on Feb. 27, 1933.
Haffner finds it quite telling that none of his acquaintances “saw anything out of the ordinary in the fact that, from then on, one’s telephone would be tapped, one’s letters opened, and one’s desk might be broken into.”
But it is for the cowardly politicians that Haffner reserves his most vehement condemnation. Do you see any contemporary parallels here?
In the elections of March 4, 1933, shortly after the Reichstag fire, the Nazi party garnered only 44 percent of the vote. Only the “cowardly treachery” of the Social Democrats and other parties to whom 56 percent of the German people had entrusted their votes made it possible for the Nazis to seize full power. Haffner adds:
“It is in the final analysis only that betrayal that explains the almost inexplicable fact that a great nation, which cannot have consisted entirely of cowards, fell into ignominy without a fight.” [Emphasis added.]

The Social Democratic leaders betrayed their followers—“for the most part decent, unimportant individuals.” In May, the party leaders sang the Nazi anthem; in June the Social Democratic party was dissolved.  The middle-class Catholic party Zentrum folded in less than a month, and in the end supplied the votes necessary for the two-thirds majority that “legalized” Hitler’s dictatorship.
As for the right-wing conservatives and German nationalists: “Oh God,” writes Haffner, “what an infinitely dishonorable and cowardly spectacle their leaders made in 1933 and continued to make afterward. … They went along with everything: the terror, the persecution of Jews. … They were not even bothered when their own party was banned and their own members arrested.” 
In sum: “There was not a single example of energetic defense, of courage or principle. There was only panic, flight, and desertion. In March 1933, millions were ready to fight the Nazis. Overnight they found themselves without leaders. … At the moment of truth, when other nations rise spontaneously to the occasion, the Germans collectively and limply collapsed. They yielded and capitulated, and suffered a nervous breakdown. … The result is today the nightmare of the rest of the world.”
So what about today? This is what can happen when virtually all are intimidated.  Our Founding Fathers were not oblivious to this; thus, James Madison:
“I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations. … The means of defense against foreign danger historically have become the instruments of tyranny at home.”
We cannot say we weren’t warned.