Sandra Finley

May 142020
 

Mr. Stone, a longtime friend of President Trump, had denied such a relationship,

but newly revealed court documents unveiled private exchanges.

 

By Sharon LaFraniere

 

WASHINGTON — One of the enduring mysteries left unsolved by the Mueller inquiry was whether Roger J. Stone Jr., President Trump’s longtime friend and political adviser, ever communicated during the 2016 presidential campaign with Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks.

 

Federal investigators chased the question for months to figure out who, if anyone, in Mr. Trump’s world knew that WikiLeaks was going to release a trove of damaging Democratic emails in an effort to bolster his chances of winning.

 

Now hundreds of pages of court documents from the federal investigation of Mr. Stone, released late Monday, show that at least after the election, the two men had maintained a personal relationship. Mr. Stone had repeatedly denied that fact after federal and congressional inquiries got underway.

 

Records show he exchanged messages with Mr. Assange in June 2017, seven months after Mr. Trump’s election victory. The men discussed a different federal inquiry into the release by WikiLeaks in 2010 of classified American documents, a decade-long saga that resulted in criminal charges against Mr. Assange.

 

“If the US government moves on you I will bring down the entire house of cards,” Mr. Stone wrote in a private Twitter message to Mr. Assange. In another message, Mr. Stone said that he was trying to intercede “at the highest level of government” on Mr. Assange’s behalf. “Fed treatment of you and WikiLeaks is an outrage,” he wrote.

 

Mr. Assange is now in a London prison, fighting extradition to the United States.

 

The records shed no new light on whether Mr. Stone, 67, directly communicated with Mr. Assange before the election. Investigators for the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, failed to resolve that question at least in part because both Mr. Stone and Mr. Assange refused to cooperate. The team found insufficient evidence to charge anyone associated with the Trump campaign of conspiring with Russia to influence the results of the election.

 

Questioned by a congressional committee about his contacts with WikiLeaks in September 2017, Mr. Stone lied repeatedly under oath. He was convicted last year of obstructing a congressional inquiry, lying to federal authorities and witness tampering and was later sentenced to 40 months in prison. He has yet to begin serving his prison term, and has repeatedly and publicly implored Mr. Trump to pardon him.

 

In a statement, Mr. Stone reiterated his protests that he was wrongly prosecuted and said that the documents showed “the baseless overreach of the Mueller witch hunt and exonerate me from the crazed left-wing media charges of Russian collusion, WikiLeaks collaboration and the receipt and dissemination of stolen emails, false narratives that ruined my life for the last three years.”

 

The hundreds of pages of search warrants and affidavits were released in response to a lawsuit filed by The New York Times and other news media organizations.

 

Prosecutors said that Mr. Stone lied to the House Intelligence Committee about his efforts to contact WikiLeaks before the 2016 election because the truth would have embarrassed Mr. Trump and his campaign.

 

Earlier this month, Judge Amy Berman Jackson of United States District Court for the District of Columbia, who oversaw Mr. Stone’s case, rejected his request for a new trial. Federal authorities are expected to order him to begin serving his sentence soon.

 

Mr. Stone’s explanations of his relationship with Mr. Assange have varied widely. Before the 2016 election, he first said he was in direct touch with Mr. Assange, then said he was communicating with him through an intermediary. Later, when those claims became a political liability for Mr. Trump, he said he was only bluffing.

 

“I have never met with, nor spoken to Julian Assange, either in person, by telephone or email or any other means,” he said on his website in April 2018. “Assange himself has repeatedly and publicly said the same thing.”

 

The June 2017 exchange of messages shows that Mr. Stone tried to reassure Mr. Assange that he would escape criminal prosecution. “With the trumped-up sexual assault charges dropped, I don’t know of any crime you need to be pardoned for,” he wrote. He was apparently referring to a decision by Swedish authorities to drop a sexual assault investigation that focused on Mr. Assange.

 

Mr. Assange replied: “Between CIA and DoJ they’re doing quite a lot. On the DoJ side that’s coming most strongly from those obsessed with taking down Trump trying to squeeze us into a deal.”

 

Six days later, Mr. Stone wrote: “I am doing everything possible to address the issues at the highest level of Government,” adding that he had to be circumspect because his communications were monitored.

 

The records also reveal that before the 2016 election, Mr. Stone created hundreds of fake Facebook accounts. One of his assistants told investigators that he created “a couple hundred” Facebook accounts for Mr. Stone and that aides helped Mr. Stone shape them to appear real.

 

Mr. Stone apparently wanted fake accounts so he could call greater attention to stolen emails, released by WikiLeaks, that proved damaging to Hillary Clinton’s campaign. Facebook requires users to provide their real names and information, but it is not a crime to create fake accounts

 

Kitty Bennett contributed research.

 

Sharon LaFraniere is an investigative reporter. She was part of a team that won a Pulitzer Prize in 2018 for national reporting on Donald Trump’s connections with Russia. @SharonLNYT

Apr 152020
 

The legislation, which rushed through the legislature in less than 48 hours, gives cabinet ministers new power to write de facto laws and create new penalties without the approval of the legislative assembly

As though following Machiavellian advice to never let a crisis go to waste, the Alberta government has quietly expanded its own powers under the Public Health Act. Bill 10, which was rushed through the legislature in less than 48 hours, gives cabinet ministers new powers to write de facto laws and create new penalties without the approval of the legislative assembly.

Before Bill 10 became law on April 2, Alberta’s Public Health Act already empowered politicians and bureaucrats to take property away from citizens and organizations, to force citizens to render aid, to conscript people to help deal with an emergency and to enter into any building or property without a warrant. The chief medical officer was already empowered to forcibly quarantine any person who is ill, or any person who is caring for a sick family member.

Before Bill 10, cabinet ministers were already empowered to suspend the operation of provincial laws, in whole or in part, once cabinet declared a public health emergency. But now, cabinet ministers have acquired the additional power of creating and implementing new orders and penalties, simply through ministerial order, without them being discussed, scrutinized, debated or approved by the legislative assembly of Alberta.

Alberta Health Minister Tyler Shandro David Bloom Photo

Bill 10 has also increased the maximum penalty for disobeying the Public Health Act from $2,000 to $100,000 for a first offence, and from $5,000 to $500,000 for a subsequent offence.

The only justification provided by Health Minister Tyler Shandro for these new powers was to “strengthen our ability to protect the health and safety of Albertans.” Why ministers need the power to write laws on the fly was not explained.

Without review or approval of the legislature, a minister can now create a new order requiring people to install tracking devices on their cellphones, and requiring them to register their phones with the government. Without any oversight, a minister can create an exclusive list of people who are legally permitted to go outside, or legally authorized to drive a vehicle, and impose a $1,000 fine on those who walk outside or drive “illegally” because they are not on the list. The health minister could unilaterally declare that all sick people must be forcibly removed from their homes, as the World Health Organization has suggested. And an order could be issued for mass vaccination, without any discussion or debate in the legislature.

Calgary police break up a group of kids playing basketball in northwest Calgary on April 8. Darren Makowichuk/Postmedia

Cabinet’s powers to suspend laws and create new laws without input or approval from the legislature will eventually come to an end, after the government decides that the public health emergency has ceased. The Public Health Act refers to a 30-day period for a public health emergency, but nothing in the legislation stops the cabinet from declaring another public health emergency the day after the first one expires. Practically speaking, the provincial cabinet, on the advice of the chief medical officer, could maintain a public health emergency for months or even years.

With courts currently closed, or highly restricted to criminal law and some family law matters, the usual checks and balances on our system of government are limited or non-existent. Thankfully, the ministers’ new ability to write laws and create new offences excludes the power to tax and spend, and newly created offences cannot have a retroactive effect.

However, Bill 10 is still an affront to the rule of law, one of Canada’s foundational principles. “Whereas Canada is founded upon principles that recognize the supremacy of God and the rule of law” are the first words in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The rule of law means being governed by laws, not by the whims of a king or a cabinet minister.

During this pandemic, we should accept reasonable restrictions on our charter freedoms on a temporary basis, with defined time limits and clearly explained justifications. Yet Alberta’s legislation provides no assurance that the violations of our rights will be only temporary, and no specific justification for Bill 10 has been provided.

National Post

Lawyer John Carpay is president of the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms.

Apr 152020
 

By Robert F Kennedy Jr,  Chairperson, Children’s Health Defense

Vaccines, for Bill Gates, are a strategic philanthropy that feed his many vaccine-related businesses (including Microsoft’s ambition to control a global vaccination ID enterprise) and give him dictatorial control of global health policy.

Gates’ obsession with vaccines seems to be fueled by a conviction to save the world with technology.

Promising his share of $450 million of $1.2 billion to eradicate polio, Gates took control of India’s National Technical Advisory Group on Immunization (NTAGI), which mandated up to 50 doses (Table 1) of polio vaccines through overlapping immunization programs to children before the age of five. Indian doctors blame the Gates campaign for a devastating non-polio acute flaccid paralysis (NPAFP) epidemic that paralyzed 490,000 children beyond expected rates between 2000 and 2017. In 2017, the Indian government dialed back Gates’ vaccine regimen and asked Gates and his vaccine policies to leave India. NPAFP rates dropped precipitously.

“The most frightening [polio] epidemics

in Congo, Afghanistan, and the Philippines

are all linked to vaccines.”

In 2017, the World Health Organization (WHO) reluctantly admitted that the global explosion in polio is predominantly vaccine strain. The most frightening epidemics in Congo, Afghanistan, and the Philippines, are all linked to vaccines. In fact, by 2018, 70% of global polio cases were vaccine strain.

In 2014, the Gates Foundation funded tests of experimental HPV vaccines, developed by Glaxo Smith Kline (GSK) and Merck, on 23,000 young girls in remote Indian provinces. Approximately 1,200 suffered severe side effects, including autoimmune and fertility disorders. Seven died. Indian government investigations charged that Gates-funded researchers committed pervasive ethical violations: pressuring vulnerable village girls into the trial, bullying parents, forging consent forms, and refusing medical care to the injured girls. The case is now in the country’s Supreme Court.

South African newspapers complained,

‘We are guinea pigs for the drug makers.’

In 2010, the Gates Foundation funded a phase 3 trial of GSK’s experimental malaria vaccine, killing 151 African infants and causing serious adverse effects, including paralysis, seizure, and febrile convulsions, to 1,048 of the 5,949 children.

During Gates’ 2002 MenAfriVac campaign in Sub-Saharan Africa, Gates’ operatives forcibly vaccinated thousands of African children against meningitis. Approximately 50 of the 500 children vaccinated developed paralysis. South African newspapers complained, “We are guinea pigs for the drug makers.” Nelson Mandela’s former senior economist, Professor Patrick Bond, describes Gates’ philanthropic practices as “ruthless and immoral.”

In 2010, when Gates committed $10 billion to the WHO, he said  “We must make this the decade of vaccines.” A month later, Gates said in a TED Talk that new vaccines “could reduce population.” And, four years later, in 2014, Kenya’s Catholic Doctors Association accused the WHO of chemically sterilizing millions of unwilling Kenyan women with a  “tetanus” vaccine campaign. Independent labs found a sterility formula in every vaccine tested. After denying the charges, WHO finally admitted it had been developing the sterility vaccines for over a decade.  Similar accusations came from Tanzania, Nicaragua, Mexico, and the Philippines.

A 2017 study (Morgenson et. al. 2017) showed that WHO’s popular DTP vaccine is killing more African children than the diseases it prevents. DTP-vaccinated girls suffered 10x the death rate of children who had not yet received the vaccine. WHO has refused to recall the lethal vaccine, which it forces upon tens of millions of African children annually.

[Global public health officials] say

he has diverted agency resources to serve his personal philosophy

that good health only comes in a syringe.

Global public health advocates around the world accuse Gates of steering WHO’s agenda away from the projects that are proven to curb infectious diseases: clean water, hygiene, nutrition, and economic development. The Gates Foundation spends only about $650 million of its $5 billion dollar budget on these areas. They say he has diverted agency resources to serve his personal philosophy that good health only comes in a syringe.

In addition to using his philanthropy to control WHO, UNICEF, GAVI, and PATH, Gates funds a private pharmaceutical company that manufactures vaccines and is donating $50 million to 12 pharmaceutical companies to speed up development of a coronavirus vaccine. In his recent media appearances, Gates appears confident that the Covid-19 crisis will now give him the opportunity to force his dictatorial vaccine programs on all American children – and adults.

© April 09, 2020, Children’s Health Defense, Inc. This work is reproduced and distributed with the permission of Children’s Health Defense, Inc.

Want to learn more from Children’s Health Defense? Sign up for free news and updates from Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and the Children’s Health Defense. Your donation will help to support us in our efforts.

Mar 272020
 

EVELYN:

Do you remember when you sent me an e-mail that the Cdn Gov`t and the US Gov`t had signed an agreement that they would help each other by doing a troop exchange, if ever needed.  It was many years ago,  . . .  Anyway it could be what they are now considering… I would like to tell Trudeau to be careful re this past agreement . . .  

REPLY: 

The Troop Exchange Agreement  (officially the “Civil Assistance Plan“) was signed on Valentine’s day, 2008:

  1. 2008-03-17 Troop Exchange Agreement: Information sent to the Government
  2. 2008-02-29 View from the USA,  Troop Exchange Agreement, Canada-USA:   (Newly posted, 2020-03-27)  Names the Canadian General at “NorthCom” – – “Northern Command”.  (South of the U.S. is “Southern Command”.  Southcom came up in reference to more recent U.S. displeasure with Ecuador.)
  3. 2008-02-27 Troop Exchange Agreement with U.S.: Brief History of Invasions + Letter-to-Editor
  4. 2008-03-03 Troop Exchange Agreement PLUS Naomi Wolf’s 10 Steps to Fascism
  5. 2008-06-19 “Canada First Defence Strategy” – serious.  The American military-industrial-government-university complex in Canada.

In 2008, my anxiety over the Troop Exchange Agreement (Feb) was heightened when the June ’08 Canada First Defence Strategy became known.

Mar 272020
 

PROTEST FROM THE USA:

“The agreement, defined as a Civil Assistance Plan…”

SOME AMERICANS ARE SAYING:  “New North American Army“.

From:  Pastor Chuck Baldwin

NewsWithViews.com

(Excerpt)

MONEYCHANGERS DESTROYING AMERICA, AND CHRISTIANS DON’T SEE IT

… It is modern moneychangers who bully and bribe our spineless and greedy politicians (from both parties) into passing so-called “free trade” deals such as NAFTA, CAFTA, and the FTAA, which have all but destroyed America’s manufacturing base and have put millions of American workers out of their jobs. It is the moneychangers who are the driving force behind the burgeoning North American Union, which sacrifices America’s national sovereignty and independence.

Over the weekend, Dr. Jerry Corsi reported that a new North American Army has been created, without the approval of Congress or any mention by the American media. In World Net Daily, Corsi reports,

“In a ceremony that received virtually no attention in the American media, the United States and Canada signed a military agreement Feb. 14 allowing the armed forces from one nation to support the armed forces of the other nation during a domestic civil emergency, even one that does not involve a cross-border crisis.

“The agreement, defined as a Civil Assistance Plan, was not submitted to Congress for approval, nor did Congress pass any law or treaty specifically authorizing this military agreement to combine the operations of the armed forces of the United States and Canada in the event of a wide range of domestic civil disturbances ranging from violent storms, to health epidemics, to civil riots or terrorist attacks.

“In Canada, the agreement paving the way for the militaries of the U.S. and Canada to cross each other’s borders to fight domestic emergencies was not announced either by the Harper government or the Canadian military, prompting sharp protest.”

Corsi further writes,

“The military Civil Assistance Plan can be seen as a further incremental step being taken toward creating a North American armed forces available to be deployed in domestic North American emergency situations.

“The agreement was signed at U.S. Army North headquarters, Fort Sam Houston, Texas, by U.S. Air Force Gen. Gene Renuart, commander of NORAD and U.S. Northern Command, or USNORTHCOM, and by Canadian Air Force Lt. Gen. Marc Dumais, commander of Canada Command.”

For the most part, the American media is blind, mute, and dumb regarding any of the issues relating to the merger of the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. The only notable media personality to give this matter any significant attention is CNN’s Lou Dobbs. Obviously, the same moneychangers who control Congress also largely control the mainstream media.

The last three American Presidents, too, have been willing pawns in the hands of the moneychangers. Remember, it was Bill Clinton and Senate Minority Leader Bob Dole who collaborated to shove NAFTA down our throats.

It was Bush 41 who first publicly promoted a “New World Order.” But it has been George W. Bush who has done more to appease the globalist plans of the moneychangers than any President since Woodrow Wilson.

G.W. Bush has used the rubric of “the war on terrorism” to dismantle not only the personal liberties of the American people (most notably with his Gestapo-like Patriot Act), but also the constitutional principles of national sovereignty and independence. For example, back in 2006, G.W. Bush eviscerated one of America’s most sacred doctrines protecting liberty and independence: the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878, which disallowed U.S. military troops from being used against U.S. citizens. (Of course, this did not stop Bill Clinton and Janet Reno from using U.S. troops against U.S. citizens at Waco, Texas. And thanks to G.W. Bush, the crime was permanently covered up.)

The expunging of Posse Comitatus becomes even more jeopardous when one considers the current merger of U.S. and Canadian military forces. Dr. Corsi explains:

“In an exclusive interview with WND during Vigilant Shield 2008, Gen. Renuart affirmed USNORTHCOM would deploy U.S. troops on U.S. soil should the president declare a domestic emergency in which the Department of Defense ordered US NORTHCOM involvement.

“In May 2007, WND reported President Bush, on his own authority, signed National Security Presidential Directive 51, also known as Homeland Security Presidential Directive 20, authorizing the president to declare a national emergency and take over all functions of federal, state, local, territorial and tribal governments, without necessarily obtaining the approval of Congress to do so.”

See Jerry Corsi’s complete report.

Are readers getting this? George W. Bush, on his own signature, with no approval from Congress and no input from the American people, has seized unlimited power for the Presidency; he has dismantled the constitutional protections of the American people; he has ignored the courts; he has begun creating the merger of the U.S., Canada, and Mexico, including the merger of the U.S. and Canadian militaries; and he has refused to enforce U.S. immigration laws, thus facilitating a borderless North America. And all of this has been done at the behest of David Rockefeller and his cabal of moneychangers at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR).

When Jesus saw the moneychangers in the Temple, He drove them off with violence. Yet, today’s pastors and Christians cannot even seem to see what these same moneychangers are doing to America. They support candidates simply because they have an “R” behind their names, vainly imagining that these candidates are somehow better than the ones with a “D” behind their names. The truth is, however, John McCain and Mike Huckabee are as beholden to the moneychangers as are Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. Why can’t Christians see this? Why are they so blind?

The one man who made it through the Republican Presidential primaries who was not only not beholden to the moneychangers, but who was vehemently opposed to them, was Congressman Ron Paul. But most pastors and leaders of the Religious Right, not seeing or understanding the evil being done by the moneychangers, not only did not support Ron Paul, but they actively supported (and continue to support) the moneychangers’ puppet candidates.

I’m sure if Jesus had taken time to sit down and dialogue with those First Century moneychangers, they could have come up with very nice, flowery speeches as to how they were doing the Jewish people a service; how they were patriotic Romans and/or pious Hebrews. But Jesus did not need to dialogue with them: He knew what they were. And He knew what He needed to do; and He did it.

What Jesus did is exactly what every pastor, Christian, conservative, and every other real American should do: rise up against these moneychangers and drive them out of power! But we cannot accomplish this until we see them for what they really are: power-mad extortionists who seek to enrich themselves at the expense of America’s freedom and independence. Do you think our fellow pastors and Christians will ever see it?

Mar 142020
 

by Paul Gregoire

Lawyer-Journalist Mark Davis

The line up of renowned Australian journalists on the stage at the Martin Place Amphitheatre on 24 February was impressive. Gathered for a rally, they included John Pilger, Mary Kostakidis, Quentin Dempster, Wendy Bacon, Andrew Fowler and Mark Davis.

They were there to speak in support of fellow journalist Julian Assange, on the first day of his appearance at London’s Woolwich Court, in proceedings that will decide whether the Australian citizen will be extradited to the United States to face espionage charges adding up to 175 years.

Not only is the Trump administration fixing to lock Assange up for the rest of his life, but it has recently revealed that it plans to do so under “special administrative measures”, which means he’ll be completely shut off from the outside world.

As each of the rally speakers addressed the crowd, there was a common sentiment expressed. And this was that there’s a grave injustice being perpetrated upon an Australian journalist of stature and there should be much greater public outcry so as to wake the government into action.

“He did redact”

Mark Davis described the publishing of over 700,000 classified US government documents leaked to Wikileaks by Chelsea Manning as “a great act”. And he ought to know, as he was present at the Bunker in London in 2010 as the first major release – the Afghan War Logs – was going to press.

Indeed, Mr Davis gave a speech at a Sydney Politics in the Pub last year, where he used his insider knowledge to refute many of the assertions that had been made about Assange’s level of professionalism during a recent Four Corners documentary.

And he debunked the myth that Julian didn’t redact any of the names that were detailed in the leaked files prior to release, which is “the slur” that Davis asserts is underpinning much of the reasons why Assange now finds himself in such a dangerous position.

The legal trade

Of course, Davis, a multi-award winning journalist, has been known to draw the ire of foreign politicians himself. Indeed, the former SBS Dateline presenter picked up a Gold Walkley for Blood Money, an investigation into Indonesian ministers funding militias in East Timor.

While today, Mr Davis works within the legal profession, where he has a focus on international matters and criminal law. And he’s about to represent long-term refugee and East Timor activist Stephen Langford in court.

Sydney Criminal Lawyers spoke to Mr Davis about the great Australian silence around the current injustices being perpetrated upon a fellow citizen who made one of the greatest contributions to journalism in recent decades, and the myth that’s underpinning his plight.

The first days of Julian’s extradition trial took place last week. His legal team made some of the same points that you made at your Politics in the Pub session last year around leaked passwords.

The US countered this by asserting that proceedings should stick to the laws around extradition. And meanwhile, Julian was made to sit by himself away from his lawyers, behind a glass-enclosed dock. Mr Davis, what do you think about this extradition trial?

It’s pretty chilling. It’s the nature of the charges. I’m surprised it got this far. These charges are patently absurd. If these charges can be applied to Julian, it’s not being too dramatic to say, they can be applied to anyone.

These sorts of espionage laws in America have never been used. But, they’ve been dusted off to be applied to a man who did a great act of journalism, and made a great contribution to world knowledge.

He may have expected some impact – perhaps a travel ban on going to America. He would not have expected a whole new phase of legal precedent, where an intelligence agency of one country can reach into another and pluck someone out of it for a breach of their laws. It’s unparalleled.

If Julian had been arrested at JFK airport, okay, he might have come within American jurisdiction. But, now they can do it across jurisdictions for crimes that they themselves define. This is not murder. It is not paedophilia. It is not someone running from a bank heist.

There has never been anything like it. It is quite literally without precedent. And that’s what surprises me, that people have given it some air of normality, as if it’s a normal thing that this sort of procedure happened.

It is a radically dangerous action – clearly a radically dangerous action for Julian Assange. But, it’s a very dangerous action for all of us.

Israel may wish to reach into Belgium to pull someone out. Indonesia would love to reach into Melbourne or Sydney and pluck people out who they regard as having offended state law in some way.

As a precedent, it’s horrific. And it surprises me that there hasn’t been more reaction on that level, beyond the discomfort or mistreatment of Julian in this current hearing.

Last August, you gave a Politics in the Pub session, where you poked holes in some of the ideas in a recent Four Corners report on Assange. Broadly speaking, what do you think about the way he was portrayed?

When you make an effective slur against somebody – and it’s one that is compounded for many years until it builds – it starts setting into concrete. And the most effective slur against Julian has been that he failed to redact the documents.

In fact, it’s in the indictment. Of the 17 espionage charges against him, probably four or five of them refer to him failing to redact the documents. And essentially, they’re referring to the Afghan documents.

Now, I can say as a matter of fact – as an eyewitness observation – Julian did redact. He’s never been given credit for it. And it absolutely astounds me.

This casual slur is being repeated by journalists ad nauseum around the world, as well as by American officials. And no one has ever bothered to establish whether it’s true or not.

Here’s the force of a lie that a thousand journalists have just casually said. It’s not with any venom. They just google it, and there it is. It says he didn’t redact the documents, and they repeat it. It gets repeated on the ABC Australia, very casually.

Now, that casual lie is then accepted by American prosecutors. They’ve put that in the actual indictment. This is how dangerous it is to get something wrong in a case like this – and to repeat it.

It has been repeated so often, it leaves me speechless. I don’t know what else to say. That is absolutely wrong that he didn’t redact. He did redact.

And he did it alone. It wasn’t any of the journalists that were starting to gravitate around him on the eve of releasing that material.

So, that slur – which is the most common slur that journalists apply to say that he isn’t a journalist – is simply wrong.

At the recent Sydney Assange solidarity rally, you spoke in his support, alongside John Pilger, Mary Kostakidis and Quentin Dempster. Phillip Adams sent a message of support because he couldn’t be there.

So, we’re talking about some of the most respected Australian journalists standing in solidarity with Julian. However, this same level of support is not coming from most of the mainstream media. So, what’s happening here?

Peter Greste said he doesn’t see him as a journalist. It was a very cruel thing to say. And a very dangerous thing to say. But, a lot of journalists agreed with it.

 

The reason why they agree is the idea that he doesn’t redact – he just dumps material. That’s the essence of the journalistic snootiness towards Julian.

Now, he was inclined to publish large amounts of material, undoubtedly. But, it’s not true that he didn’t redact it.

In fact, he went through it. And this is how Wikileaks continues to do it. And I don’t know that from direct observation, but I do know from direct observation that he took out 10,000 names from the Afghan War Logs.

I know from second hand information that all subsequent releases were redacted, when it appeared that naming an individual might endanger their life. They did it, and yet they’re being criticised for it.

In that Four Corners piece, I remember Alan Rusbridger saying the difference between Assange and the other journalists was that Julian was extremely cavalier in his attitude to sources, whereas the Guardian journalists had a far more nuanced approach.

It was that single comment that probably popped my cork more than anything. It’s simply not true.

I think journalists hide behind that distinction: what distinguishes them from Julian Assange is that single difference, that he merely dumped material, while they showed nuance and craft in their work.

What can I say? I and many other journalists – many excellent journalists – disagree with that view. But, it would seem that we are not in the majority.

Mr Davis, you were there with Julian in the Bunker, when the Afghan War Logs were being released. There are those that assert he had no business in releasing them. But, you’ve described it as “a great act”. Why’s that?

It’s one of the most remarkable releases of information in a couple of generations – perhaps more. Between Afghanistan and Iraq, these were murderous – and in the case of Iraq essentially illegal – actions. And to reveal the full scale in its complete detail was an enormous service to the world.

It is what journalists do. We reveal that sort of information. We go looking for that sort of information. We hope to get a snippet or two, in order to gaze behind the curtain and show what’s really happening, especially in wars.

Well, Julian tore the curtain right off. And I certainly appreciate it.

You’ve spoken about the wider implications of Assange’s plight for us all. But, what will it mean for journalism specifically if Assange is sent away for the rest of his life?

Unquestionably, this is the single most ominous threat to journalism that we’ve seen. Much more so than any legislation that’s been passed in Australia that’s been a threat to journalism.

If you don’t want to see Julian as a journalist, you must see him as a publisher. And the fact that another country can now reach across borders and grab a journalist or a publisher and extradite them to their country to face their local intelligence agencies for whatever infringements they’ve dreamt up is frankly terrifying.

I worked almost entirely as a foreign correspondent. If I was breaking a big story, it was always nice to get back to Australia and think that I was okay.

If this becomes an international norm, then any number of those regimes that I reported on, could seek to extradite me, either from Australia, or if I was passing through London. Why not?

It’s a complete gamechanger.

And lastly, if Assange ends up in the US, he’ll appear in court on what you’ve described as “cooked charges”. Pilger said last week that there’s a chance for him to be brought back. But, the Australian government is silent on the matter. Mr Davis, what would you like to see happen here?

I’ve got a bit sympathy for the Australian government, to the degree that to have political bravery you need a bit of a groundswell or a bit of wind in your sails. And there’s not a lot of wind in their sails. It’s strangely quiet on all levels.

Of course, if the media is not pushing for it, I wouldn’t have great confidence in the local members starting to push for it. They will eventually. The sad truth is it will be when the decision is made, and he’s about to be shipped off. Then there will be a hue and cry.

But, I am more disappointed in Australian media and the commentariat, than I am in the Australian government at the moment.

There’s nothing in it for the Australian government. It’s just silence from their electorates. So, there is a lot of work to be done before we start getting too snarky about the Australian government.

But, clearly, they should be demanding that he not face these charges. They are against the spirit of Australian law, which is pro free speech and pro media.

I don’t think there’s any particular animosity from any government minister. No one cheering this on.

It’s more silence from both sides of politics, including the conservative side. No one is wanting this to happen. There is no great hatred for Julian, or being glad to support the Americans.

There’s actually silence, because they’re not too sure yet of what the Australian people think about it. I just think they’re biding their time.

Mar 142020
 
I have huge respect for Chelsea Manning.  Withstanding the pressure.  Read her words.  … Hats off to Chelsea.  /Sandra
https://www.laprogressive.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/chelsea-manning-freed-720.jpg
Today, March 12, prosecutors in the Eastern District of Virginia ended the grand jury of Julian Assange and Wikileaks in which Chelsea Manning refused to testify. As a result, US District Court Judge Anthony Trenga ordered the immediate release of Chelsea Manning.

A hearing was scheduled this Friday on a motion for release filed in February 2020 by her attorneys. Manning was arguing that her long time in jail had shown she could not be coerced to testify and that her incarceration was a punishment, which is illegal under US law. On Wednesday, her lawyers and Alexandria Sheriff Dana Lawhorne reported she attempted suicide in jail. With the end of the grand jury and Manning’s release, the Friday hearing was canceled.

In May 2019, Manning wrote a letter to Judge Anthony Trenga, the presiding judge regarding her incarceration. The letter examined the history of grand juries and how they no longer serve their original purpose. Manning wrote:

“I am certainly not alone in thinking that the grand jury process, which at one time acted as an independent body of citizens along the lines of a civilian police review board, slowly transitioned into the unbridled arm of the police and prosecution in ways that run contrary to the grand jury’s originally intended purposes.”

She pointed out how grand juries were originally independent of the police and were investigations by citizens without a prosecutor. In fact, grand juries were originally a check on government as Manning wrote, they “nullified unjust laws or their unjust application.” She told the judge that only the US and Liberia continue to use grand juries as many western and developed nations have abandoned the process.

After providing the judge with a “nuanced understanding of my conscientious objection to the grand jury” she wrote:

“Each person must make the world we want to live in around us where we stand… I object to the use of grand juries as tools to tear apart vulnerable communities. I object to this grand jury in particular as an effort to frighten journalists and publishers, who serve a crucial public good. I have had these values since I was a child, and I’ve had years of confinement to reflect on them. For much of that time, I depended for survival on my values, my decisions, and my conscience. I will not abandon them now.

Manning has once again shown courageous political leadership, standing up to an abusive criminal justice system and exposing the corrupt grand jury process that has often been used for political purposes — from indicting anti-slavery activists to members of the Black Panther Party — and now against the political prisoner, Julian Assange for being an editor and publisher who told the truth about US war crimes, violations of international law and how US foreign policy dominated by corporate interests.

Manning has also shown great bravery in advancing trans rights. While imprisoned in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, she fought for her right to treatment. She also struggled for her right to be held in the women’s prison in Alexandria. Her openness about being trans has been an inspiration to others. As Lexi McMenamin wrote: “One in six trans Americans — and one in two black trans Americans — have been to prison, according to Lambda Legal. Incarcerated trans people face higher levels of violence, and experience higher rates of rape and sexual assault. According to the National Center for Transgender Equality, trans people are ‘ten times as likely to be sexually assaulted by their fellow inmates and five times as likely to be sexually assaulted by staff.’”

The injustice against Manning continues. Manning’s attorneys sought to have the fines imposed by Judge Trenga vacated. Manning is facing more than $256,000 in fines, which have been accumulating at a rate of $1,000 a day. The court left those fines in place.

The incarceration of Manning was a violation of US law as the authority to incarcerate a recalcitrant witness was abused by Judge Trenga. Nils Melzer the UN Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment wrote that Manning’s incarceration violated international law focusing on the prohibition against torture.  While we are pleased Manning has been released, she should have not served anytime in jail and the fines against her should be vacated.

Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers

Mar 132020
 

Sent to CBC re interview, Kevin Donovan, investigation into Sherman murders, Apotex

TO: The Current and to author Kevin Donovan,

 

The interview of Kevin Donovan has a blind spot, one commonly accorded to people/institutions of wealth and power.

I learned the blind spot through some episodes of The Current over the last months.

There is INACTION, if action MIGHT bring the REPUTATION of the VENERABLE into question.
Our society venerates power and wealth.
Institutions ruthlessly protect their ability to raise money and to save face.
Reputation is critical. Anything to save reputation, to protect wealth.

You laid out that UNDENIABLE PATTERN. . . . Stick with me a minute to see the pattern repeated in the interview related to the Sherman murders.

Questions that must be asked and answers demanded got short shrift in the following three examples, out of many.
Some kind of silent conditioning creates a blind spot that shields the wrong people.

  • the Ottawa High School that countenanced decades of sexual molestation of students
  • what happened to “Cleo” in the Sixties Scoop
  • Harvey Weinstein’s violations with impunity

The interview with Kevin Donahue was about investigations into murder.
The investigations should be without prejudice, just as the 3 examples above should have been investigated without prejudice.

What about enemies that Barry Sherman might have, people who might have motivation to destroy Sherman and his wife? There was SILENCE on the ethical record of Sherman’s company, Apotex.

It seemed there is an ordained conclusion: a family member is the murderer, no need for hard questions that even MIGHT have repercussions for the WEALTH.

Maybe a family member IS the prime suspect. But silence about other possibilities is a shield that provides unwarranted protection. Unwarranted protection enabled decades of great harm to numerous people, in the above 3 examples.

Elaboration on one example:
The Catholic High School and Board in Ottawa that countenance teachers who are sexual predators – – for decades the teachers are allowed to inflict great harm on children. Unconscionable and unfathomable.

My take-away from the CBC radio documentary – – WHY it does not get stopped? . . . in the particular case, the Catholic High School had a very successful music programme that attracted accolades, supporters and students. The head of the Music Programme was no doubt talented, but simultaneously a lead and longtime perpetrator of sexual molestation. Unfortunately for the students he was a célèbre, the acknowledged BENEFACTOR of the School. Without him, the source of the praise for the School and its Administration would not exist. If he is challenged or exposed, the School’s reputation will take a big hit. So the Administration won’t touch the teacher. The first time that they are told about unacceptable behavior by a teacher, they become “knowers”. If they do not act, they entangle themselves with the perpetrator. They join the keepers of secrets.

Students in the Ottawa High School were thereby molested and seriously harmed with impunity. Some of the offenders were shipped “away” where they infected other communities.

The Shermans were multi-billionaires. Apotex was a significant benefactor of the University of Toronto, and other universities.

If I am aware of ONE publicized case of Apotex’s attempt to shut-down a scientist whose research documented the harm done to children who received their new drug, Mr. Sherman’s fortune might have been aided by unethical behavior? Unethical behavior usually creates a few enemies.

Scenarios to make a point: what if a child died because of a drug that got registered for use, through the bribery of officials? Large financial donations are a form of bribery. Could not heart-break and ultimately anger drive a parent to murder, when they know perpetrators get away with murder? Or, what if someone hated the corruption of the institution that comes with “he who funds the piper calls the tune”? Anger begets hate begets hateful actions.

The Blind Spot I learned from The Current: rarely will we ask hard questions and demand answers when reputations of perceived influential people MIGHT be tarnished. It’s not a written or spoken rule; it is the way things are. Once in a while a thinking person of courage takes a stand and puts forth the often thankless effort to put things right.

A terrible legacy all because we have fear of asking the hard questions of people who have power, wealth or celebrity status.

Shield the reputation of the benefactor; simultaneously shield the reputation of the recipient of the largesse. The same lesson over and over again.

Did Sherman have enemies because of the actions of his company Apotex? It is a necessary question in a murder investigation.

 

For your consideration,

Sandra Finley

Feb 202020
 

Two items relevant to the situation in northern BC with the RCMP and Wet’suwet’en.

Sent to CBC radio, The Current,  in response to the Feb 20th programme.

  1. Correspondence with the RCMP when their anti-terrorist squad was deployed to Dawson Creek:

2008-11-09  Encana Dawson Creek: Reply from Supt Lloyde Plante, head of RCMP Anti-Terrorist Squad, BC.  Rule of law?

2.   Canadians forget their history too quickly.

I have heard NO MENTION of the IPPERWASH blockade – – the DUDLEY GEORGE affair and the LINDEN INQUIRY into it (“was also asked to make recommendations that would avoid violence in similar circumstances in the future.”).

Who outside Ipperwash remembers the lesson from Dudley George?  50 years from today will Canadians still be paying for failure to respect rightful claim (sovereignty) over territory?

I skimmed the wikipedia account of Ipperwash.  I don’t see it said that the Stony Plain people had been trying to get their land returned (sovereignty) FOR FIFTY YEARS.  The blockade at Ipperwash was after 50 years of lawyers and mediators and Government officials getting big salaries and perks to resolve the problem. With ZERO accomplishment. An unarmed Dudley George was shot dead by police, with provocation from Ontario Premier Mike Harris.  (Judge Linden believed the racist quote attributed to Harris had been uttered by Harris.)

Linden did not take long to determine that “Ipperwash” belonged to the Chippewa. Something that all those lawyers and politicians and “officials” and mediators could not accomplish in 50 years.  It took a dead man.

/Sandra Finley

Feb 202020
 

NOTE:  I have not watched the video (link at bottom) – – am trusting that it’s a balanced presentation.

I know the story well because I could not believe it happened in Canada.  It was an outrageous injustice to First Nations people.  The matter dragged out over 50 years during which an abundance of government officials, lawyers, and mediators were paid handsome money to resolve the problem.   With zero results.

Ipperwash.  Stony Plain Chippewa.  50 years of trying to regain their land bore no results.

White guys were happy to continue occupation of  land that was not theirs.

Finally a blockade – peaceful, unarmed protest.  Who could blame the Indians?

Premier Mike Harris ordered get the fucking Indians out of Ipperwash.

Dudley George, unarmed protestor was shot dead by police.

Then, another 20 years of petitioning to get an inquiry.  Finally an inquiry.

Judge Linden found that Premier Mike Harris likely said get the fucking Indians out of Ipperwash.

He also found that the land clearly belonged to the Stony Plain people.

After all and all, sovereignty was re-established.  Ipperwash was returned to rightful owners, the Chippewa.  Sovereignty cost Dudley George his life.   It cost Canadians a lot of money; some white guys are still mad because they were evicted from land that was never theirs.

An hour-and-a-half video by CTV    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9qnOiOkboVg

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