Australian senator calls on govt to bring Assange home as journalist faces ‘death’ if extradited to US


12-02-20 07:48:00,

The Australian government has been implored to urgently intervene in Julian Assange’s extradition plight and to bring its citizen home, by a senator who warned that the WikiLeaks founder faces death in a US prison.

Assange is currently in jail in the UK and fighting extradition from there to the US, where he has been charged with espionage for publishing sensitive leaked documents detailing potential American war crimes in both Afghanistan and Iraq.

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Australian Greens Senator Peter Whish-Wilson is a member of the ‘Bring Assange Home Parliamentary Group’ campaigning for the journalist’s safe return to the country and voicing their alarm over his deteriorating health while in detention. In November, Whish-Wilson presented a petition to the Senate with 200,000 signatures backing the repatriation of Assange and, on Tuesday, he renewed his calls for the government to take action to protect Assange.

“This Australian journalist faces 175 years – that is, death – in a US jail,” Whish-Wilson said. 

And for what? For publishing truthful information in 2010 that embarrassed the US government about their wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and what they thought they could get away with in Guantanamo Bay.

Assange’s mother, Christine, tweeted a message of thanks to Whish-Wilson for his support, saying her son has already “endured nearly a decade of abuse of legal process and brutal persecution” by foreign governments in retribution for revealing evidence of US war crimes.

She has repeatedly called on the Australian government to help secure his release.

Thank you Mr Wish-WilsonMy Australian son is in dire need of his Govts protectionHes endured nearly a decade of abuse of legal process & brutal persecution by foreign govts in retribution for multi-award winning journalism revealing evidence of US war crimes & corruption

— Mrs Christine Assange (@MrsC_Assange) February 12, 2020

Part of the journalist’s extradition challenge is being heard this month, with the second half scheduled for May.

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Opposition senator declares herself ‘interim president’ of Bolivia without quorum or vote


13-11-19 09:27:00,

Opposition politician Jeanine Añez has declared herself “interim president” of Bolivia without a vote, but the party of ousted President Evo Morales said that the Senate had no quorum and the legislature’s session was not legal.

Añez’s actions echo those of Juan Guaido in Venezuela, who declared himself “interim president” in January with the backing of Washington and the Organization of American States (OAS). While Guaido has repeatedly failed to oust President Nicolas Maduro, however, the opposition in Bolivia – also backed by the US and OAS – has been able to force the resignation of Morales after the military defected to their side.

While opposition activists claimed that Añez’s declaration was in line with the Bolivian constitution, lawmakers from the ousted president’s Movement for Socialism called the assembly session illegal. They have refused to attend the proceedings, saying that armed groups loyal to the opposition controlled the roads and could not guarantee their safety.

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Morales’s party has had the majority in both the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies, and its boycott leaves both bodies without a quorum. Vice-President Alvaro Garcia Linera also “resigned” along with Morales on November 10, leaving the country in legal limbo. Their supporters have called the forced resignations a “coup” and vowed to resist by force if necessary.

Washington hastened to hail Morales’s ouster as a “significant moment for democracy in the Western Hemisphere” and accused the socialist president of seeking to subvert the will of the people by running for a fourth term, even though the Bolivian courts had allowed it.

Morales was one of the few Latin American leaders bucking the US line on Venezuela and supporting Maduro. Landing in Mexico, where he was granted asylum, on Tuesday he vowed to continue to fight “as long as I live.”

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Ousted Bolivian President Evo Morales thanks Mexico for saving HIS LIFE, pledges to carry on fight despite coup

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Lone US senator decries use of Espionage Act against Assange as establishment keeps mum


24-05-19 07:23:00,

Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Oregon) has become a rare voice among the US politicians to denounce the new US indictment of WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange as an encroachment on First Amendment rights.

In a statement on Thursday, hours after Assange was hit with 17 additional charges under the Espionage Act that carry a maximum total sentence of 170 years, Wyden warned that using the draconian legislation to effectively punish Assange for journalistic work might have dangerous implications on the freedom of press in the US.

“This is not about Julian Assange. This is about the use of the Espionage Act to charge a recipient and publisher of classified information. I am extremely concerned about the precedent this may set and potential dangers to the work of journalists and the First Amendment,” Wyden said.

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Wyden is known as a long-time advocate of privacy and civil liberties in the US legislature. He championed legislation forcing the US government to obtain a warrant before spying on Americans outside the US in 2008 and pushed for a congressional investigation into allegations of abuse and torture of prisoners by the CIA during the Bush administration.

Wyden’s take on Assange’s work is in stark contrast with that of the Department of Justice, which maintains that Assange “is no journalist.” Numerous members of the journalistic community have vented their outrage at the indictment, describing it as an “unprecedented assault” on the First Amendment.

The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has echoed the sentiment, denouncing the charges against the Australian as a “threat to all journalists everywhere.” 

“The indictment of Julian Assange under the Espionage Act for publishing classified information is an attack on the First Amendment and a threat to all journalists everywhere who publish information that governments would like to keep secret.” @Joelcpj

— Committee to Protect Journalists (@pressfreedom) May 23, 2019

While media, civil rights organizations and prominent whistleblowers like Edward Snowden have been sounding the alarm over the new worrying development in Assange’s case,

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Senator buys (and drops) thousands in defense stock after pushing Trump for bigger military budget


14-12-18 08:52:00,

A Republican senator who chairs the Senate Armed Services Committee bought thousands of dollars-worth of stock in arms manufacturer Raytheon after pushing the Trump administration to approve massive hikes in defense spending.

Senator James Inhofe of Oklahoma purchased between $50,000 and $100,000 of Raytheon stock last Tuesday – just days after news broke that US President Donald Trump had decided to back plans to request $750 billion from Congress for defense spending for the fiscal year 2020.

1. Sen. Inhofe pushed for record defense spending
2. Inhofe bought tens of thousands of stock in a defense contractor
3. Inhofe’s office was asked about the purchase
4. Inhofe dumped the stock

— Citizens for Ethics (@CREWcrew) December 13, 2018

It seems that Inhofe was personally involved in the decision to hike the defense budget, too. When Trump suggested last week that he wanted to downsize parts of the US defense budget, Inhofe met with him and Defense Secretary James Mattis – a meeting which seems to have successfully convinced Trump to back increases in defense spending rather than cutbacks.

Inhofe’s communications director, Leacy Burke, told the Daily Beast, which first reported on the senator’s stock buy, that his financial transactions are “handled by a third-party advisor” and that he was not aware of the stock transaction. Burke said Inhofe had told his financial advisor to reverse the transaction when he learned of it. “This means that the transaction was canceled before it was settled; the Senator never took ownership of it,” she said.

The staffer also said Inhofe had written to his financial adviser instructing him not to buy anymore aerospace or defense stocks in future, given his position as the new chairman of the Armed Services Committee – but metadata on the letter provided by Burke showed that the letter was created less than 20 minutes after the Daily Beast contacted Inhofe’s office for comment on the stock purchase.

It appears that this was not the first time Inhofe owned stock in companies “within his direct legislative purview” either, the website reported. When he chaired the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee between 2015 and 2017,

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Senator John McCains Aufruf in Kiev bleibt unvergessen

Senator John McCains Aufruf in Kiev bleibt unvergessen

26-08-18 07:58:00,

John McCaine auf der Rednertribüne auf dem Maidan im Dezember 2013
© Guardian

John McCaine auf der Rednertribüne auf dem Maidan im Dezember 2013

Christian Müller / 26. Aug 2018 –

McCain, ein grosser Politiker der USA, ist tot. Es fehlt nicht an Lobeshymnen. Ein Engel allerdings war McCain nicht. Im Gegenteil.

John McCain, seit 1987 für Arizona im US-Senat, ist eine weltweit bekannte und anerkannte Persönlichkeit. Nicht zuletzt, weil er, obwohl Republikaner, nicht blindlings der Politik von Donald Trump Folge leisten wollte, erntete er in letzter Zeit viel Lob, vor allem von Seite der Demokraten und oft auch aus dem Ausland. In vielen Punkten zu Recht.

De mortuis nihil nisi bene: über Tote nichts ausser Gutes. So verlangt es die Anstandsregel der Nekrologen-Schreiber. John McCain jetzt allerdings nur zu lobpreisen, wäre die reine Heuchelei, denn der ehemalige US-Kampfbomber-Pilot im Vietnamkrieg blieb sein Leben lang ein Befürworter der militärischen Aufrüstung. Er begrüsste die Bombardierung Belgrads im Jahr 1999 oder auch den Angriff auf den Irak 2003. Und er war einer jener US-Politiker, die sich sogar persönlich engagierten, auch im Ausland, wann immer es eine Gelegenheit gab, gegen Russland zu hetzen.

Am 15. Dezember 2013 betrat der US-Politiker John McCain – man stelle sich vor: einer der einflussreichsten Politiker der Welt – auf dem Maidan in Kiev die Rednertribüne der Demonstranten und hielt – in einem fremden Land! – vor Zehntausenden von Menschen eine kurze, aber mehr als nur eindrückliche Brandrede. Darin wörtlich:

«Ukrainer! Jetzt ist Eure Stunde gekommen! Es betrifft Euch, niemanden sonst! Es geht um Eure Zukunft, um die Zukunft, die Ihr verdient! Die Zukunft in Europa! Die Zukunft in Frieden! Die Zukunft Eurer Nachbarn! Die freie Welt ist mit Euch! Amerika ist mit Euch! Ich bin mit Euch! Die Ukraine wird Europa besser machen, und Europa wird die Ukraine besser machen!»

  • Hier zum Zwei-Minuten-Video dieser Rede.

    Rhetorische Frage: Was würden die US-Amerikaner sagen, wenn anlässlich von Massen-Demonstrationen vor dem Weissen Haus in Washington ein Spitzenpolitiker aus Russland oder auch aus China auf die Redner-Tribüne stiege und die versammelten Massen auffordern würde, sich künftig an Russland oder an China zu orientieren?

    Zwei Monate später der Putsch

    Trotz eines Vermittlungsversuchs des damaligen deutschen Aussenministers und heutigen Bundespräsidenten Frank-Walter Steinmeier und der Aussenminister von Frankreich und Polen kam es am 22.

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    Why Does a Prominent U.S. Senator Think Killing Millions of Koreans Would Be “Worth It”?

    Why Does a Prominent U.S. Senator Think Killing Millions of Koreans Would Be “Worth It”?

    06-03-18 07:19:00,

    Why do so many leading U.S. politicians make mass murder sound like an ad for L’Oréal?

    Go back to May 1996, when Leslie Stahl of “60 Minutes” sat down with Madeleine Albright, the then-U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. “We have heard that a half million children have died,” Stahl said, referring to the reported impact of United Nations sanctions on Iraq. “I mean, that’s more children than died in Hiroshima. And — and you know, is the price worth it?”

    To which the dead-eyed Albright replied: “I think this is a very hard choice, but the price — we think the price is worth it.”

    Half a million dead kids. Worth it. A now-infamous statement, which was much-quoted across the Middle East, yet provoked no public outcry in the United States at the time: no banner headlines, no scathing op-eds, no political fallout whatsoever. In fact, the very next year, the much-lauded Albright was promoted to secretary of state. It would take the former Clinton administration official seven long years to show even an ounce of regret or contrition for her outrageous remark, finally calling it “crazy” and a “terrible mistake” in her 2003 memoir, “Madam Secretary.”

    Now, fast-forward to March 2018.

    “All the damage that would come from a war [with North Korea] would be worth it in terms of long-term stability and national security,” Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham said in an interview with CNN last week.

    What would that “damage” look like? Whether nuclear or non-nuclear, multiple studies and surveys of experts suggest millions of innocent North Koreans, South Koreans, and Japanese could be killed in such a conflict, making the wars in Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan look like minor skirmishes in comparison.

    Top U.S. officials seem to agree. Listen to Defense Secretary James Mattis, speaking to CBS News in May 2017: “A conflict in North Korea … would be probably the worst kind of fighting in most people’s lifetimes.”

    Listen to Gen. Joseph Dunford, the chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, speaking at the Aspen Security Forum in July 2017: “It would be a loss of life unlike any we have experienced in our lifetimes.

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