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 NEW INDICTMENT AGAINST J ASSANGE

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PostSubject: Re: NEW INDICTMENT AGAINST J ASSANGE   NEW INDICTMENT AGAINST J ASSANGE - Page 2 I_icon_minitimeTue Sep 15, 2020 7:18 am

Tuesday 15 Sept 2020

@ETheFriend
Judge has entered the courtroom and it seems like everyone but Julian is present, witness included.
First up we will be hearing from Eric Lewis, who was cut off yesterday with technical errors, forcing early adjournment.
#AssangeCase

Witness is again, extremely hard to hear. There is a strange muffling to his words making it hard to follow.

He is picking up where yesterday left off.
#AssangeCase


Witness is discussing a Danish report on the damaging effects of long term isolation.
DoJ is critical of study, quotes report critical of it.
Witness says body of evidence supporting it is wide.
DoJ accuses witness of fishing,
Witness says they are very big fish.
#AssangeCase


Witness is discussing the defense assertion that Assange may wind up placed in ADX, a special prison in the United States where people are known to be vanished to, kept in special conditions, and where it has been repeatedly asserted torture takes place routinely.
#AssangeCase

Prosecution again cites Kromberg (which I politely refer to as the DoJ press release, it is government propaganda for this case specifically)


                             
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PostSubject: Re: NEW INDICTMENT AGAINST J ASSANGE   NEW INDICTMENT AGAINST J ASSANGE - Page 2 I_icon_minitimeTue Sep 15, 2020 7:21 am

DoJ says there are no Covid cases at ADX,
witness responds skeptically and reminds prosecution that Assange may end up elsewhere as well and so the entire prison system must be looked at as a whole.
#AssangeCase

DoJ is arguing with witness over time Julian may spend in prison. 

They claim that the full 175 years is an unlikely outcome
(note* Julian is 49, even a fraction of that time is a life sentence)
#AssangeCase

DoJ is now talking with Judge about how to ask their question in such a way that the witness cannot explain his opinion (this after defense objected to their current line). 

Ridiculous.
#AssangeCase

DoJ discussing Sterling case now in which a CIA operative who passed information to foreign countries only got 30 months despite a maximum sentence of 130 years.


This is a weak argument for them to make about Assange, who is an enemy of the corrupt US alphabet.
#AssangeCase

DoJ is now just rapidly listing and asking about cases where federal offenders didnt get the maximum sentence.

Witness has no time to reply, defense objects but judge overrules.
#AssangeCase

DoJ cites some paper they sent this witness yesterday (in a huge group of 350+ documents, by now we've seen this with every witness) that witness has not read yet.

DoJ now reading it out loud in chaotic fashion.


                             
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PostSubject: Re: NEW INDICTMENT AGAINST J ASSANGE   NEW INDICTMENT AGAINST J ASSANGE - Page 2 I_icon_minitimeTue Sep 15, 2020 7:26 am

DoJ again presses on base sentencing time and whether JA is being charged over TS docs or just S docs (classification effects sentencing times).

(note* JA case sets precedent, this is not just about sentencing but rulings that would effectively end whistleblowing)
#AssangeCase

DoJ remarks that district judges have life tenure to prevent politicizing rulings. 


(Note* Claude Hilton who is in charge of Assange case in U.S., is the same judge that tried to jail Chelsea Manning indefinitely for refusing to testify).
#AssangeCase

DoJ has asked for break. Witness agrees. Court breaks for a bit.


Court has resumed. DoJ is back to hammering away on sentencing. Quotes article from witness where wrong max sentencing time was given, witness has already noted and apogized for this. 

DoJ is following pattern of attempting to discredit each witness
#AssangeCase

Audio feed continues to cut in and out throughout this.

#AssangeCase



DoJ is arguing that National Security interests outweigh Assange's right to free speech.

(Reminder that the Manning case already found Assange's actions did not directly harm National Security beyond exposing egregious war crimes and corruption.)
#AssangeCase

DoJ is ranting a bit. Jumping all over the place... I believe they just claimed it is common sense that they can punish journalists (which is untrue, there has never been a successful prosecution there. ever.)

#AssangeCase

Pentagon Papers leak and Government's decision not to prosecute are being discussed right now.

Precedent is being discussed here.
#AssangeCase

Witness just pointed out that leaks appear nearly every single day in the media and are not prosecuted. He cites multiple examples of this.

#AssangeCase


                             
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PostSubject: Re: NEW INDICTMENT AGAINST J ASSANGE   NEW INDICTMENT AGAINST J ASSANGE - Page 2 I_icon_minitimeTue Sep 15, 2020 7:31 am

The audio is horrifyingly bad
It makes following this case next to impossible today.
#AssangeCase

Judge stops DoJ who is repeating line of questioning. Says she already understood the witness perfectly well.

#AssangeCase

DoJ just questioned Witness integrity as an expert on poltical matters.

Witness cites his degree in public and international affairs.

(DoJ has done this to every witness, standard procedure in trying to discredit them)
#AssangeCase

DoJ pushes further on witness credentials asking him what "peer reviewed articles he has written in political science matters".

Witness replies none.

(it is frustrating to watch how obnoxious the DoJ lawyer has been to each witness.)
#AssangeCase

Apologies, witness is speaking again, but I cannot hear him. The audio is horrifyingly bad.


DoJ is now mischaracterizing what a previous witness said (Feldstein) in terms of decision to prosecute Assange or not (under previous admin) Witness is disagreeing with their assertion.

#AssangeCase

DoJ claims prosecutors are led by their principles & legal guidlines, witness argues that they are more heavily guided by the AG in charge.

DoJ says that political motivation is not allowed.
Witness says their actions and judges comments about them prove otherwise.
#AssangeCase

Witness claims Trump needed to prosecute WL to fix problems to his legitimacy from the 2016 election cycle (DNC leaks). DoJ argues that he is effectively keeping it in the spotlight by prosecuting them.

#AssangeCase

DoJ claims this is pure conjecture and witness is now listing sources close to Trump who made this same assumption saying it is "an informed perspective to take". 

#AssangeCase

Classified evidence is being discussed now.

DoJ claims Gov. cannot withold evidence.
Witness says they absolutely can and do withhold "classified" evidence all the time.

(Witness is correct, classifying something is a great way to hide it, even from a court)
#AssangeCase


                             
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PostSubject: Re: NEW INDICTMENT AGAINST J ASSANGE   NEW INDICTMENT AGAINST J ASSANGE - Page 2 I_icon_minitimeTue Sep 15, 2020 7:49 am

DoJ says that this is true but not intended to create an unfair situation. Witness argues that in effect though, it does.
That it makes obtaining certain evidence and documents next to impossible and causes long delays (and wrongful prosecutions) in many trials.
#AssangeCase 



Witness cites video of Trump saying "Obama did nothing about Julian Assange, but we did".
#AssangeCase 


Discussed again is an old article quoting inside sources from DoJ saying government had basically decided not to prosecute Assange.
#AssangeCase 


Witness quotes Barr saying that decisions are "in the hands of the President". Claims that prosecutions are triggered by POTUS now, and that is why they are moving against Assange.

(I disagree with this assertion)
#AssangeCase 


Witness talking to Defense now, If US Gov considers all Wikileaks releases as classified, the case could take a very very long time to pursue (years possibly) and Julian would be kept in solitary 22 hours a day during that indeterminate period.
#AssangeCase 


Witness tells Defense that prison Assange will likely be kept in in the US (assuming ADX) does not keep records on the mental health of their prisoners.
#AssangeCase 


Witness says in the US justice system, 80% of prisoners with mental health issues go untreated.
#AssangeCase 


Court is breaking for lunch.
When we resume, Defense will finish up with current witness and a new one will be presented for the last three and a half hours of the court day.
#AssangeCase 


                             
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PostSubject: Re: NEW INDICTMENT AGAINST J ASSANGE   NEW INDICTMENT AGAINST J ASSANGE - Page 2 I_icon_minitimeTue Sep 15, 2020 8:38 am

Court is back from lunch, but it looks like there may yet again be tech issues happening.
#AssangeCase 



Witness has been detailing the ways in which the DoJ has changed the nature of this case over time, from their original indictment to the now superceding indictment filed a couple months ago.
#AssangeCase 


Sound on the feed is repeatedly cutting out. Again.
#AssangeCase 



Witness is describing sentencing again, reminding people it is at a judges discretion. Speaks of how Manning could have easily faced a death sentence or life in prison if the judge had been so inclined.
#AssangeCase 



Court breaks for ten minutes to ready next witness. 
Next witness is supposed to be Tom Durkin, a National defense attorney who specializes in civil rights and Domestic Terrorism cases. 
This is Tom Durkin, the defense attorney/ newest witness now appearing by video link..
#AssangeCase

NEW INDICTMENT AGAINST J ASSANGE - Page 2 Eh9agO9WAAUZ4vI


                             
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PostSubject: Re: NEW INDICTMENT AGAINST J ASSANGE   NEW INDICTMENT AGAINST J ASSANGE - Page 2 I_icon_minitimeTue Sep 15, 2020 9:23 am

Witness starts by discussing the problems with classified information in cases, such as the fact that a lawyer cannot even discuss matters with their own client many times, calling it an incredibly difficult handicap.
#AssangeCase

Witness says in his expert opinion, it is likely that Assange faces a sentence of somewhere around 40 years if convicted in US courts, effectively that is a life sentence for 49 year old Julian.

#AssangeCase

Witness is discussing how even things not leveled against Assange can be used against him if he is found guilty through Court practice of Aggrevation- which is basically just adding outside factors to the weight of any crime to increase a sentence against someone.

#AssangeCase

Witness points out that US courts will often massively reduce a sentence if someone pleads guilty, which is an incentive for people to plead it, rather than argue for their own innocence.

#AssangeCase

Witness video link is frozen, Judge has exited courtroom while issue is fixed.

-
These repeat technical errors are an increasingly aggravating circumstance.
Kangaroo Court, all the way.
#AssangeCase

and the feed has returned, court resumes.

#AssangeCase

Witness states that if Assange pled guilty he could then be compelled to reveal sources and information and all manner of things that WL has protected in terms of whistleblowers etc.

#AssangeCase

Witness says it is rather likely that the prosecution of Assange has been politically influenced at this point.

#AssangeCase

Witness feed has cut off again and Judge has left the courtroom.

#AssangeCase

The repeated techincal errors have vastly reduced the amount of work able to be done in a timely manner in this case, and possibly set a resolution back by days or weeks at this point.

What a circus.
#AssangeCase

Witness feed is back, he has changed devices. 

Witness states that Defense (assange) would have no right to make presentations in a Grand Jury trial, which makes them, by nature, totally unfair. That all evidentiary matters are decided by NatSec division of DoJ.
#AssangeCase

DoJ says being unable to see classified documents in this case would merely be an inconvenience for Assange.

Witness states that it would be worse than that because even his lawyer would not be allowed to discuss them with him. A fair trial is not possible.
#AssangeCase 


                             
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PostSubject: Re: NEW INDICTMENT AGAINST J ASSANGE   NEW INDICTMENT AGAINST J ASSANGE - Page 2 I_icon_minitimeTue Sep 15, 2020 9:59 am


DoJ says Assange would be able to review material.
Witness objects to this saying there is no way the government would ever let JA see classified materials in it, and that Assange would never be allowed in a SCIF to view them.

(Witness is, again, correct)
#AssangeCase

Witness remarks that discovery in a case revolving around classified materials can grow increasingly expensive per the amount of materials needed to be accessed.

#AssangeCase

Defense is arguing about secure information settings, saying that because these materials were already leaked by wikileaks that (scif-rules) wouldnt apply.

Witness posits this is incorrect but doesnt have document on hand discussing it.
#AssangeCase.

DoJ is making the assumption that only wikileaks documents would be relevant here but that is not the case. Even if Assange could access already leaked materials with his counsel, there is a host of related, as-of-yet still classified information he could not.

#AssangeCase

DoJ is back onto the previous admin decision not to prosecute JA (they are attempting to discredit previous witnesses by using new witness against earlier testimony if possible). Remember, their goal is to have as much of this testimony thrown out as is possible.

#AssangeCase

Witness says he believes that it is irrelevant that Kromberg asserts that the case was ongoing under previous admin. He says it was still politically motivated and likely declined by DoJ prosecutors at the time.

#AssangeCase



Witness says it was the Attorney General who charged Assange, not the Grand Jury.

#AssangeCase

Defense is now questioning Witness on reliability of media reports to determine previous admin's motives behind decisions.

#AssangeCase



Current witness, echoing earlier witness, says it is not uncommon for leaks to happen and that the Gov. generally corrects the record if needed. It is fair to assume if they planned on prosecuting assange they would have corrected reports that said otherwise.
#AssangeCase
9:42 AM · Sep 15, 2020·Twitter for Android


DoJ rests on cross-ex, now defense will take a turn with the current witness.

#AssangeCase

Nvm. Court is adjourned until tomorrow


-------------------------------------------------------------------
@MikeD14176254  1h


Replying to @ETheFriend
Where are you watching this?

@ETheFriend  
1h

This is not open to the public.


                             
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PostSubject: Re: NEW INDICTMENT AGAINST J ASSANGE   NEW INDICTMENT AGAINST J ASSANGE - Page 2 I_icon_minitimeTue Sep 15, 2020 10:07 am

E. put this in a great format today; much quicker, easier to work with.

I think I have it all and in order, but when I got up today I looked like this:
NEW INDICTMENT AGAINST J ASSANGE - Page 2 ?u=https%3A%2F%2Ftse1.mm.bing.net%2Fth%3Fid%3DOIP
NO!  I do not normally look like that!  heheh.

Here.  Wanna kiss?
NEW INDICTMENT AGAINST J ASSANGE - Page 2 ?u=https%3A%2F%2Ftse1.mm.bing.net%2Fth%3Fid%3DOIPNO?  LOL.

So, as I wouldn't mind throwing up,  am shivering, and in pain, I will check my copying later!  K? K.  If yiu  see a mistake, post it and I'll get it later.  Tanks!
(U mite remember the tooth I yanked.  It finally found it's revenge. ;0 )


                             
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PostSubject: Re: NEW INDICTMENT AGAINST J ASSANGE   NEW INDICTMENT AGAINST J ASSANGE - Page 2 I_icon_minitimeWed Sep 16, 2020 6:19 am

16 September

Today's first witness is John Goetz, who was present during the Guardian interviews and refutes claims that JA said "informants deserve to die". His testimony is expected to be shorter than previous witnesses. Below is his signed affidavit on the matter.
NEW INDICTMENT AGAINST J ASSANGE - Page 2 EiBmzP3XcAAAsH5?format=jpg&name=small

Proceedings are ready to start.
Witness is already video linked in, here is hoping all goes well with the feed for once.
#AssangeCase

Goetz opens talking about his background. He is an award winning investigative reporter for Der Spiegal (Germany), who met with Assange in 2010 over information on the Afghanistan war.


Together, he and Assange researched the Afghan War Logs, leading to the revelation of a secret US military assassination team.


Goetz says Assange forced everyone to use encrypted devices and was extremely concerned about making sure names were properly redacted so no one came to any harm.


Through the NYT, they contacted White House admin and redacted over 15,000 documents in order to protect innocent people. 


Goetz says Der Spiegal published first with other outlets following *before* wikileaks published them, and to his knowledge; no one was able to obtain sensitive names through this process.


Goetz says that, so concerned was WL about innocent people being harmed, that they ended up delaying publishing materials on Iraq due to the numerous amount of redactions they made.


By the time WL had released the Iraq War Logs, quite a few of their redacted documents had been released in full by the U.S. government, unredacted. 


Goetz is now discussing his work in 2011 on behalf of Khaled El-Masri, who was kidnapped and tortured by the CIA in Macedonia, although he was innocent of any charge. An estimated 3000 were kidnapped and tortured by the CIA between 2001 and 2005.


                             
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PostSubject: Re: NEW INDICTMENT AGAINST J ASSANGE   NEW INDICTMENT AGAINST J ASSANGE - Page 2 I_icon_minitimeWed Sep 16, 2020 6:29 am

Goetz tracked down the CIA kidnappers, who admitted to, among other horrors, forcefully sodomizing El-Masri.
#AssangeCase


An arrest warrant was prepared over the matter in Germany. Later on, Leaked US gov cables revealed that the US gov. had forcefully pressured Germany not to arrest the responsible parties, and to bury the issue


Witness again discussing WL redactions process. 
Says Initial partners saw everything, *sorry audio is muffled here* they then disseminated it in part to multiple parties all over the world who had strict confidentiality agreements with WL who helped redact portions.


Witness says initially, the US Gov would contact them with pages they were concerned about being released, so WL could redact, but that eventually this stopped because the WH felt it was pointing them to interesting stories.


Defense has asked about why there were unredacted cables then, and has asked Goetz to comment in the book by David Leigh, which contained an apparent code word to said unredacted cables.
Witness is speaking ...


DoJ interupts and says because it is not in the Witness's witness statement, he is not entitled to answer this question, the judge agrees, the question is withdrawn.
(good old DoJ preventing truth from being heard yet again)


DoJ now doing cross-ex for Goetz 


Goetz testifies that although the unredacted cables were published, it was only after they had been put online by a Guardian "Journalist" who had revealed WL secure server password. They were hosted on a site called Cryptome.

DoJ and witness are scuffling over timing of unredacted cable release. DoJ pointing to prosecution claims that WL published a week before; witness disagrees with their assertion.

Witness (Goetz) asks if DoJ has an actual example of a sensitive name released by WL. DoJ says no, but that they will later on.

Goetz is discussing his own frustrations with WL redactions process, that it was time-consuming and expensive, although effective.

Documents could be held by WL for over a year in order to protect sources and names and ensure proper redactions were made. Slow rollouts bothered him (Goetz)

DoJ asks witness if his employer (Der Spiegel) had approved of the unredacted release. Witness says no that they publicly condemned the unredacted cables published by WL; but he was not working for them at the time.

DoJ cites a WH email asking WL not to publish the 15,000 documents, but that WL released them unredacted anyways.


                             
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PostSubject: Re: NEW INDICTMENT AGAINST J ASSANGE   NEW INDICTMENT AGAINST J ASSANGE - Page 2 I_icon_minitimeWed Sep 16, 2020 6:40 am


Witness clarifies for DoJ that in fact those were different documents entirely. Unrelated to the Afghan war logs.

DoJ asks about Julians demeanor, if he "has a sense of humor and is likeable". 

Witness replies he is unsure really but would assume so and has heard that yes.

Prosecution rests and we have a short ten-minute break.


Court is back. Defense is now talking to witness Goetz.


Defense questions if any sensitive names were leaked into public from redacted cables WL published in 2010-2011
Witness says not that he is aware of.
Def questions if Witness was present.
Witness says yes.
Def asks if Leigh was present.
Witness says yes.

Documents that had been marked "strictly protect" are being discussed.

Witness says they referred to cables that had a politically sensitive nature for the US Gov.
DoJ objects and says labels were for names contains within, not docs.
Witness disagrees.

Defense is asking witness about Ken Dilanian who was fired for talking to the CIA before reporting on a story about them (he would send them draft stories and mop up for then when needed. mockingbird style).


Witness brings up Manning trial and says that it already showed the releases didnt actually harm anyone specifically.


Defense again asks if WL releases from 2011 were classified or unclassified.
Witness again replies unclassified.

Defense presents to witness an article showing that Cryptome published the unredacted information first, proving the DoJ claim about WL doing it first is unequivocally false.



Witness says wikileaks at the time tried to prevent people from having access to the unredacted materials (for fear of innocent people being hurt), and attempted to prevent publishing a Die Freitag article that pointed to the unredacted information on Cryptome.


Defense and DoJ are arguing over whether El- masri (CIA kidnapping and torture victim) statement by witness can be read aloud to the court.

DoJ relents in a childish manner saying it will waste half an hour to do so but go ahead.

Defense began to read El-Masri statement but then the Judge objected and now DoJ is saying they mlneed to argue over its admissibility.



Judge orders recess for an hour while this is discussed.
Court rises.



                             
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PostSubject: Re: NEW INDICTMENT AGAINST J ASSANGE   NEW INDICTMENT AGAINST J ASSANGE - Page 2 I_icon_minitimeWed Sep 16, 2020 8:05 am

@ETheFriend
1h
Court is back in session.

They are still arguing over the El-Masri testimony.


Audio was cut while they were speaking about the El-Masri CIA torture-victim testimony admissibility.
And they muted it do no one could record what they said. This court is a farce.


Im leaving this here so anyone reading this thread can understand why the DoJ is so against this being read aloud or admitted as part of Goetz' testimony.



The reason DoJ doesn't want El-Masri testimony heard?

He was innocent, but the CIA kidnapped & tortured him.
They forcefully starved & sodomized him, & dumped his body in a ditch.
All done under the supervision of current CIA director Gina Haspel, who oversaw the torture sight.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The Justice CampaignNEW INDICTMENT AGAINST J ASSANGE - Page 2 TJC-Logo9_normal
@thejustcampaign
· 2h

Khaled El-Masri was subjected to Extraordinary rendition by the @cia. El-Masri was beaten, stripped naked, deprived of food and water and sodomized at the CIA run Salt Pit. #Assange @wikileaks #torture
https://twitter.com/thejustcampaign/status/1306185893972041729

George Tenet was cia dr. in 2003 when this occurred. Gina Haspel oversaw the detention of El-Masri. Here link re case against Tenet & c-a for what was done against El-Masri:
https://law.justia.com/cases/federal/appellate-courts/F3/479/296/589424/

Haspel is current c-a dr.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Another 'telling' read:
https://www.aim.org/media-monitor/the-cia-and-the-homosexuals/

------------------------------------------------------------------------
A pardon had been floated by Dana Rohrabacher a few years ago. It did not happen for one reason or another, but may be discussed later today.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


                             
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PostSubject: Re: NEW INDICTMENT AGAINST J ASSANGE   NEW INDICTMENT AGAINST J ASSANGE - Page 2 I_icon_minitimeWed Sep 16, 2020 8:29 am

@ETheFriend
1h


In the event the Judge rules against hearing the El-Masri testimony. I want to make sure you do.
So here is El-Masri, an innocent german citizen, describing a bit of his experience being kidnapped and tortured by the CIA.



https://twitter.com/ETheFriend/status/1306216557975044097 1 min 30 sec.

(Remember-he was innocent)
In this testimony:
- he says he thought of Guantanamo.  (?)  (time of this interview is 2010, so...)
- that he was interrogated by a man with a South Lebanese accent.
- Not so strange perhaps.  It sounds like he was from Lebanon originally.
- I'm just curious why he was grabbed. Who was he, what was his life at
the time. 
- big revelations on Afghanistan here. (Flynn knows?)
In May 2004, the U.S. Ambassador to Germany, Daniel R. Coats, convinced the German interior minister, Otto Schily, not to press charges or to reveal the program.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Khalid_El-Masri

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Hh-877s01U


                             
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PostSubject: Re: NEW INDICTMENT AGAINST J ASSANGE   NEW INDICTMENT AGAINST J ASSANGE - Page 2 I_icon_minitimeWed Sep 16, 2020 9:37 am

@ETheFriend
2h
While the wicked elite remain free.


Quote Tweet

NEW INDICTMENT AGAINST J ASSANGE - Page 2 IH4BdNIT_normal Stella Moris @StellaMoris1
· 3h
Each day Julian is woken at 5am, handcuffed, put in holding cells, stripped naked and x-rayed. He's transported 1.5h each way in what feels like a vertical coffin in a claustrophobic van. He's in a glass box at the back of court from where he can't consult his lawyers properly.


(E. This is being done to him by the same people who wanted to drone him. It is all the US gov.)
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Currently arguments over admitting the El-Masri testimony are still being had. Because it is absolutely damning to the DoJ; they are fighting against it any way that can. Claiming it is irrelevant to any charge in Assange indictment.

The judge has asked the defense and prosecution to come to an agreement on the el-masri testimony (not sure how that helps). Next witness is ready.


Up on video link as a witness is Daniel Ellsberg, who released the Pentagon Papers in 1971 that showed the Johnson admin (LBJ) had systematically lied to the public and congress about their involvement in Vietnam, including several bombings and military engagements.


Technical difficulties with Witness video link.
Court is paused while this is fixed.

Audio is good so court is proceeding with that, witness was just sworn in



itness requests people speak slowly because he cannot hear well in general. (he is 89)


Ellsberg explains he was a marine who later worked for US Gov during Vietnam.
He discovered wrongdoing and a coverup by admin, and copied classified documents that he gave to NYT. These were the pentagon papers.

He was prosecuted under espionage act but charges were dismissed due to Gov Misconduct.



Witness says he sympathizes with Assange and was impressed at Manning's courage in facing a possible death sentence to get important information to the public.

(I agree, thank you @xychelsea )
----------------



Witness says it is absurd to say Assange has no political leanings. But that Afghan logs showed it was a war of aggression, like vietnam, and wrong.
There was no transparency, many lies being told to the public, & that JA was anything but reckless in releasing them.

Witness explains that Assange exposed egregious war crimes, that today would be highly classified but because torture and assassinations had been so normalized, were accessible to a system used by hundreds of thousands of people.



Witness on "Collateral Murder" Leak: "There was no question to me that what I was witnessing at the time was murder. In fact the problematic word in the title was 'Collateral', implying that it was unintended. This was murder, and a war crime."


A reminder: The Collateral Murder video from WL showed US troops gunning down children and those attempting to rescue them.


DoJ is now questioning witness and begins by clarifying that Assange is being prosecuted for obtaining classified documents, not publishing them. 
Witness says this is a very misleading idea.

Witness (Ellsberg) says that DoJ is wrong. Assange is not only being charged with the three counts of obtaining classified information. There are 15 other unrelated counts charged.

(I hope I am this sharp at 89)

DoJ now quoting Kromberg again on scope of Charges dealing with name redactions.


                             
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PostSubject: Re: NEW INDICTMENT AGAINST J ASSANGE   NEW INDICTMENT AGAINST J ASSANGE - Page 2 I_icon_minitimeWed Sep 16, 2020 9:58 am

DoJ is trying to push differences between the Pentagon Papers release and WL releases in terms of 'getting in the way of diplomacy'.



DoJ questioning witness on Pentagon Papers released.
Witness disussing his unwillingness to provide media with all information he provided to congress because of ongoing peace negotiations at the time & that he feared the Gov would nix the peace agreements over it.


Witness states that the Pentagon Papers proved there was absolutely no justification for the mass murder in the Vietnam War. 


Witness (ellsberg) says press left people unaware of there being two cases over Pentagon Papers. One was the trial over publishing them.
The other was his own criminal Trial.

DoJ is trying to push differences between the Pentagon Papers release and WL releases in terms of 'getting in the way of diplomacy'.



Witness: People say that Julian and Manning just dumped everything with no regard. Julian withheld 15,000 docs (Afghan war logs), engaged in heavy redactions, spoke to the US Gov. on redactions and they (US Gov.) refused to redact a single one.


DoJ again reading through Kromberg about sources and names at a rapid pace.

Witness interupts to ask if he will be able to reply or if they are almost out of time.

Witness again interupts the speed reading DoJ and asks to reply 


DoJ asks quickly: isnt it nonsense that there was no harm?

Witness says no, and if you let me explain...

Witness asks if he is right that none of the people listed actually suffered any physical harm


DoJ says he is not allowed to ask questions.

Witness protests this; Judge says he can answer when defense has their turn with him.


Assange yelled something out in protest, couldnt quite hear it, judge admonishes him and says it is not allowed in the courtroom.

Judge then threatens, again, to remove Assange from her courtroom.



Witness says Assange was trying to end a war that caused 37 million refugees and over a million deaths, and that the context of names redactes needs to be placed within the scope of reality 


DoJ asks Are you saying no one was placed in grave danger?

Witness replies: Not purposefully, not by WikiLeaks.


                             
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PostSubject: Re: NEW INDICTMENT AGAINST J ASSANGE   NEW INDICTMENT AGAINST J ASSANGE - Page 2 I_icon_minitimeWed Sep 16, 2020 10:20 am


DoJ asks about people disappeared in afghanistan iraq syria etc. Says common sense says they were murdered.
-
Witness replies: It doesn't seem obvious to me at all that this small percentage of the many people murdered in these wars can be attributed to Wikileaks.

Defense now has a short time to re-examine witness.



Defense begins to ask witness about what he thinks prosecutions motive is behind charges on obtaining clasified docs.
Kidge interuots says witness is not a lawyer qualified to make those comments.
Defense will rephrase question.

Defense asks if materials leaked by Manning and Assange had value in Public interest.

Witness says that is self-evident. Yes.

Witness says there are really few differences between the Pentagon Papers case and Assange's case, although the computer element didnt exist in the 70's. 


Says government broke into his Psychiatrist's office and it is akin to the illegal wiretapping of Assange at the hands of the CIA.

Witness said his leaks contained thousands of names in them and he was slandered most of his life until the government thought they could use him as a prop against Wikileaks.


He says he was fooled when the US gov discussed WMDs that never existed and said that Wikileaks had blood on their hands.
But ten years later there was still no evidence of any of this.

Witness (Ellsberg): I'd expect the Taliban to say we killed x number of people based on these documents, but they haven't. If so that would change these proceedings. But the government is proceeding as if this is the case, I see no evidence that it is.


                             
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PostSubject: Re: NEW INDICTMENT AGAINST J ASSANGE   NEW INDICTMENT AGAINST J ASSANGE - Page 2 I_icon_minitimeWed Sep 16, 2020 10:33 am


A very small break is taking place while both sides consider if they have any more questions for Ellsberg.

Defence asks if there is any evidence that deaths had occurred because of the WikiLeaks revelations at Chelsea Manning's trial, he says no, he thinks the threat was overplayed.


Judge kindly thanks the witness, and he is dismissed.

That will be all for testimony today. Tomorrow's witness schedule is being worked out and then Court is likely over for the day.



Court is adjourned Until tomorrow when we will pickup again at 10am UK time (5am est).


_____________________________


Me:
Having this in-depth, moment by moment account has got to bring home the reality of what has and is transpiring.
I hope many are touched to relentlessly pursue freedom for Julian.
And then be motivated to seek the necessary changes to ensure these atrocities do not go on into our future.
Humanity does NOT have to accept this.  We CAN let this be the turning point. 
Anyone with a heart has to be moved.
The very least we could do is refuse to let injustice become an expected and therefore acceptable facet of life. How unGodly-unHoly.


                             
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PostSubject: Re: NEW INDICTMENT AGAINST J ASSANGE   NEW INDICTMENT AGAINST J ASSANGE - Page 2 I_icon_minitimeWed Sep 16, 2020 10:53 am

Again, I want to thank the wonderful handful of reporters who are helping cover the Assange Trial. Without you, Julian would be lost.

To all those sharing the court reporting and spreading the news, you are helping us shine a bright light on a great injustice.

Thank you.

-----------------------

E. counts Julian as a friend. You can too. Take it personally; it is. Every person who stands up to bring Truth into the dark places labors with sacrifice not for themselves but for humanity; for God, family and country and you and what you hold dear. Don't allow the devil free range over the world. That's not why we're here.

@ETheFriend
2h
Collateral Murder: the video that WL released showing targeted civilian assassinations, murdering of journalists, and troops laughing as they gunned down children. 

Being discussed today in Assange Trial.

@ETheFriend
2h
Its only a decade old. and those wars are STILL going on.


--------------------------------------------------------------------
me:
Watch here and skip youtube's attempt to have you not go through the steps to watch it:

https://twitter.com/ETheFriend/status/1306232830507261952


                             
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PostSubject: Re: NEW INDICTMENT AGAINST J ASSANGE   NEW INDICTMENT AGAINST J ASSANGE - Page 2 I_icon_minitimeThu Sep 17, 2020 7:25 am

We have an alternate reporter today, https://twitter.com/DefenseAssange/status/1306515556024160257
DefenseAssange
The U.S. Committee to Defend Julian Assange and Civil Liberties is a national coalition fighting to free WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

------------------------------------
Yesterday we heard from Dan Ellsberg, on his experience under the Espionage Act:

"I did not have a fair trial, no one since me had a fair trial on these charges, and Julian Assange cannot remotely get a fair trial under those charges if he were tried.”

---------------------------------------------
We also heard from John Goetz, who spoke about WikiLeaks' harm-minimization process of redactions and who explained that Guardian journalists' publishing of a password in their book was to blame for unredacted cables being released

NEW INDICTMENT AGAINST J ASSANGE - Page 2 QDy1bavl?format=jpg&name=small



First up is John Sloboda, being sworn in now, from Iraq Body Count 
https://www.iraqbodycount.org/


Iraq Body Count is an independent NGO, continuously counting civilian deaths in Iraq. Says killing civilians is a war crime.


Tracking civilian deaths gives dignity to the dead, and it's a fundamental human need to know how one's loved one died.


Sloboda: the public recognition of these deaths, name by name, is what we would all aspire to


Before Iraq War Logs, the body count was based on global media reports. From around 2000, search engines became so powerful that it became easier to source all publicly available information about deaths in Iraq for posterity


The Iraq War Logs was the single largest contribution to knowledge about civilian casualties in Iraq. Revealed approximately 15,000 previously unknown civilian deaths.


The war logs gave meticulous detail, sometimes included names of the dead. Was able to cross-check the Body Count's logs with the WikiLeaks logs to discover uncounted casualties


Mr Assange was "absolutely welcoming" of working together with Iraq Body Count, decided to create media partnership to perform serious analysis before they were released to the public


Impressed upon us that Assange's aim was a very stringent redaction of the logs, to ensure no information that could be damaging to living individuals would be released. Not feasible to do this by hand, so sought a method to do this technically


Saboda's colleague came up with a method to do that: automatically remove all words not in a standard English dictionary (to ensure names were removed). This removed useful acronyms so we had to go back and unredact those.


But then we also went through and redacted occupations, as these could be identifying. This process took weeks, was painstaking. Considerable pressures on Assange and WL to hurry up because partners wanted to publish.


Those pressures were consistently rejected -- they could not be published until the redactions were completed


                             
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PostSubject: Re: NEW INDICTMENT AGAINST J ASSANGE   NEW INDICTMENT AGAINST J ASSANGE - Page 2 I_icon_minitimeThu Sep 17, 2020 7:25 am

Some media partners redacted a few logs by hand and wanted to go ahead and publish those; Assange was clear that the whole set of logs had to go out, so had to wait for redactions

Many people who used them would agree they were *overredacted*, the stance was to be overcautious and then on closer look after, to possibly unredact something if it could be revealed


Importance of Iraq war logs: The Wikileaks release brought this high number of civilian deaths in Iraq to a bigger audience of any release before it, some 40,000 news reports on the war logs alone in the last 10 years


End of defense questioning, now cross-examination. Establishing that Sloboda isn't an expert in classification -- his expertise is in the collation of and cross-checking of statistics


Asks Sloboda if he's aware of 'jigsaw identification' with regard to source protection -- the piecing together of seemingly disparate information to find a source. This is why he was concerned to redact occupations in addition to just names


Talking about the timeline in 2010, prosecution trying to argue that the Iraq war logs were so heavily redacted because of mistakes in Afghan war logs. Sloboda: I believe there was a sense to have a better redaction process


Sloboda confirms there was pressure from other media outlets to hurry up and publish Iraq War Logs


The original publication date had to be pushed back, due to extensive redaction process #AssangeCase


Prosecution only charged Assange with publishing the unredacted cables, so needs to argue that he didn't care about sources named. Sloboda is explaining it was Assange who stalled publication because redactions were more important than speedy release


(Sloboda is talking publication of Iraq war logs not cables, but giving sense of Assange's view on the importance of sources/redactions)


Prosecution going back to Assange's comments at Frontline in August 2010, calling it regrettable that sources were named but some informants are engaged in traitorous actions and the public deserves to know


Sloboda: I never heard anything like this when working on the Iraq war logs. We were of the same mind on redactions


Aware that the Iraq war logs contained unredacted names? No not aware of that


Takes him to statement from Dwyer saying this was the case, Iraq & Afghan sources named. Any explanation how they were published? No this is first I'm seeing of this

Might it be because Mr Assange took a cavalier attitude toward the risk of publishing these names?


Sloboda: no

Well what's the explanation? 


I would think that for some reason, the redaction process allowed those names through, but that's just conjecture, I'd need to look at an example

End of cross-examination. Recess now while defense speaks to Julian to see if anything else should be asked in re-examination


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NEW INDICTMENT AGAINST J ASSANGE - Page 2 Ebb075896d0044468515947e6770d705_normal


Iraq Body Count

@iraqbodycount
· Sep 10
WikiLeaks’ exposure of civilian casualties played “possibly the most important role” in catalysing public opposition to both wars. “The British NGO Iraq Body Count (IBC) had been doing very good work on this, but WikiLeaks added hugely to that.” @ProfPRogers twitter.com/hamourtziadou/…

No further questions from the defense. End of John Sloboda's testimony. #AssangeCase


                             
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PostSubject: Re: NEW INDICTMENT AGAINST J ASSANGE   NEW INDICTMENT AGAINST J ASSANGE - Page 2 I_icon_minitimeThu Sep 17, 2020 10:09 am

Court is back after the break. Carey Shenkman will testify by videolink. Shenkman is a Constitutional scholar and historian, Constitutional and human rights lawyer with a practice in NYC.

Audio issues resolved, testimony resumes with Mark Summers questioning Shenkman for the defense. Taking him through his biography and witness statement

Shenkman: the Espionage Act was born in what any serious Constitutional scholar would call one of the most repressive periods in US history

Shenkman talks about the use of the Espionage Act being used against dissidents, including Eugene V Debs

Shenkman: the Espionage Act is "extraordinarily broad" and he gave history of it to show how widely it can be used

Many historians and academics agree with this interpretation, one of the most divisive laws

Prosecutorial discretion is not a good safeguard against its abuse, the law prohibits national security info released to anyone -- so broad that it could make a criminal of anyone who reads that information

Not limited to national security information, 'national defense information' doesn't have to be classified to violate the act 

The law lacks a public interest defense


Attempts but no precedent of a successful prosecution of the press under the Espionage Act

In the 3 grand juries investigating media outlet to prosecute publication under the Espionage Act, none returned indictments


                             
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PostSubject: Re: NEW INDICTMENT AGAINST J ASSANGE   NEW INDICTMENT AGAINST J ASSANGE - Page 2 I_icon_minitimeThu Sep 17, 2020 10:16 am

Each of these cases were highly politicized, involved the president and the attorney general

Why is it that, despite 11 cases investigating the press for publishing classified info, there has never been an indictment?

The First Amendment - outcry from the press, no coherent way to draw a line between the media outlets who published and others, no limiting principle


From Shenkman's statement: "There has never, in the century-long history of the Espionage Act, been an indictment of a U.S. publisher under the law for the publication of secrets."

Pentagon Papers case, the Supreme Court rejected 'prior restraint', could not restrain the NYT from publishing

In US v Morison, Judge Harvie Wilkinson: “press organizations . . . are not being, and probably could not be, prosecuted under the espionage statute." He warned
of the “staggering breadth” of the Act

Political/media climate in 2010. Leaking is encouraged, journalists wouldn't expect to be prosecuted under Esp. Act, belief that the First Amendment protect

In 2013, the position changed, by then there were several prosecutions of leakers under the Act, journalists started to fear it. Search warrant for journalist James Rosen as a co-conspirator of Stephen Kim. But fears were dialed back when Holder talked about his regrets

Shenkman statement: "In Oct. 2014, after Holder announced his intention to resign as Attorney General, he told C-SPAN that the greatest regret of his tenure was his department’s affidavit characterizing James Rosen as a suspected co-conspirator in violation of the Espionage Act."

End of defense questioning. Now Florence Iveson cross-examining Shenkman for the prosecution. #AssangeCase

Correction, Claire Dobbin questioning for the prosecution
--

Establishing that Shenkman worked for Michael Ratner, whose office provided advice to Mr Assange. Shenkman is not working for the defense, is giving his expert testimony independently

Claire Dobbin questioning for the prosecution


Brief recess while they try to ensure Shenkman has the prosecution's bundle -- apparently sent to him at 9am London time today (Shenkman is in the U.S.)

(prosecution has done this with every witness for the defense)


                             
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PostSubject: Re: NEW INDICTMENT AGAINST J ASSANGE   NEW INDICTMENT AGAINST J ASSANGE - Page 2 I_icon_minitimeThu Sep 17, 2020 10:45 am

During recess they will discuss  among other things, Shenkman's co-authored article in The Nation from Feb. 2016:
"It’s Been Two Weeks Since a UN Panel Declared That Julian Assange Should Be Freed. Why Is He Still Detained?"

The Nation byline lists Shenkman as 'a First Amendment and human rights lawyer, and member of Julian Assange's legal team.' -- Shenkman says he didn't write the byline, wouldn't say it's false but would qualify it, he was working for Ratner

Dobbin: So in what scope were you representing Assange? 


I was working for Mr Ratner, not in a criminal proceeding - in this was commenting on the question of detention in the European Court of Human Rights





The article's headline represents your opinion that the UK was arbitrarily detaining Mr Assange?

That was my position with respect to ECHR, I know it was contentious

Believe he was a victim of arbitrary detention?


That's right, I'm a human rights lawyer, UK and US have violated human rights obligations, don't think that's particularly controversial

Prosecution trying to establish Shenkman's opinions on Assange at the time of the article, Shenkman questioning the relevance, says his submission is about a historical and academic analysis, I have an interest in providing an accurate and unbiased analysis


I can talk about that piece but I don't want to waste your time, want to probe your thinking on why you're asking about that


Prosec: that will become clear Mr Shenkman, but want you to be clear that we need to test whether your opinion, even if academic, is balanced & objective


Shenkman: I understand that but in my submission I don't talk about the working group on arbitrary detention, we accept that prosecutors become judges and remain objective. I'm open about my opinion

Prosec: I'm going to test whether you've been objective in your analysis of the Espionage Act



Prosec cites article, "If [Assange left the embassy], he would be arrested and almost certainly extradited to the United States, where he would face persecution and inhumane treatment."

and "As confirmed by the Justice Department in federal court in December, the United States has been pursuing an unprecedented investigation of WikiLeaks—one that press freedom organizations have warned could gut the core of the First Amendment."


                             
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PostSubject: Re: NEW INDICTMENT AGAINST J ASSANGE   NEW INDICTMENT AGAINST J ASSANGE - Page 2 I_icon_minitimeThu Sep 17, 2020 11:36 am

Trying to establish he felt US investigation was ongoing.

Shenkman: In relation to 2010 publications, I took the 2013 WaPo article saying there'd be no charges at face value. It's general MO of DOJ to leave investigations open in case of new evidence

Practicing law since 2013


Have you ever acted for WikiLeaks?

Our representation was for Mr Assange. Not generally for WL, not a general counsel, Ratner worked for CCR which was engaged with Mr Assange

Long exchange over the question of representing WL vs representing Assange, comes down to any work for either ended in 2016


Shenkman is writing a book to provide the most comprehensive historical analysis of the Espionage Act



Prosecution cites this 2015 article, 'US government still hunting WikiLeaks as Obama targets whistleblowers'

https://www.theguardian.com/media/2015/mar/05/us-government-still-hunting-wikileaks-obama-targets-whistleblowers


(Prosecution trying to show the U.S. government's investigation into Assange/WL was ongoing past 2013 WaPo article announcing the U.S. wouldn't bring charges against Assange)

Shenkman: My read of this is that it's separate and distinct from the investigation into and prosecution of Chelsea Manning 


Were you familiar with Rothstein's opinion at the time?

I'd be speculating, was 5 years ago, hesitate to go on record, so much time has passed

Prosec: Well we can be clear that Mr Ratner felt Rothstein's judgement meant that the US investigation into Assange/WL was ongoing? Some objection to the question, he can't comment on what Ratner felt


Discussing this ruling in EPIC vs US Dept of Justice: https://pdfserver.amlaw.com/nlj/wikileaks_FOIA_20150304.pdf



Prosec trying to determine what Shenkman's opinion was at the time regarding what investigations were ongoing at the time

Shenkman: I can see where you're going, to suggest the 2013 article saying no charges would be brought isn't accurate, but that is still how I read that article, take DOJ at face value.


There were court decisions indicating ongoing investigations, oftentimes these things are left to simmer. But ultimately an indictment wasn't brought. If Obama and Holder truly wanted to prosecute, wouldn't they have been eager to do so?


Shenkman: Wouldn't Obama have wanted to put that in his memoirs, I was the one who prosecuted WikiLeaks? 


Prosecution interrupts, asking if he disagrees with Ratner at the time saying USG was coming after WL

There were multiple investigations


If you were confident there wouldn't be prosecution, why was Mr Assange still in the embassy?

I think questions to Assange's state of mind are for him and his attorney, I can only speak to my present opinions

Prosec: no, you can talk about your statements in this article saying he would be prosecuted


I didn't think he would be prosecuted under the Espionage Act of 1917 for publishing

So you thought, what, he might be prosecuted for something else? 


There wasn't anything in public record as to what was investigating, but again the 2013 article took that off the table

Using the Espionage Act like this is extremely contentious, would be an assignment for law school, and I've cited many legal scholars agreeing


                             
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PostSubject: Re: NEW INDICTMENT AGAINST J ASSANGE   NEW INDICTMENT AGAINST J ASSANGE - Page 2 I_icon_minitimeThu Sep 17, 2020 11:59 am

I've never thought we would see something like that. Lots of scholars agree, it's truly extraordinary, the use of the Espionage Act like this

The framing of the charges, the timing really point to a highly politicized prosecution, the fact that the charges on publishing on unredacted


Prosecution interrupts, says we'll go through the indictment later

Prosec: I'm going to put things to you to see if we agree they are not controversial legal decisions


Shenkman: My scope is whether this is politicized, I'm not sure it's worth our time to speculate but will be full of qualifications

Prosec: what you're saying is there are a lot of issues in the case are to be addressed by a US court?


No, no. I'm saying these are hypothetical questions of US law, not sure why you're asking. Scope of my testimony is on the Espionage Act as a political offense

because the Extradition Treaty bars political offenses, this is a matter of UK law


Prosecution basically ignores this, says she's going to take him through US law to determine if he thinks it's not controversial

Do you agree that a govt employee who steals nat. sec. or national defense info is not entitled to use the First Amendment as a shield?


It's a highly fact-specific inquiry, depends on what you mean by 'steal,' very hard to say aspects of this are not a controversial issue

It's a finding by the 4th circuit, it's not hypothetical, are you saying you disagree with the decision?


Shenkman: I think that that's one opinion and just like any opinion you could have disagreements.

Shenkman: Just recently was a 9th circuit opinion on Ed Snowden's NSA disclosures and they credited Mr Snowden with those disclosures even though he was a govt employee accused of stealing these things


I think it's generally agreed there would be criminal liability for a government employee in such a case


Prosec moves on to Bartniki ruling - "First Amendment does not confer immunity ..."

Shenkman says what matters in this ruling is whether the conduct is linked to newsgathering, issues such as source protection, obtaining info, etc, so there's a spectrum


                             
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PostSubject: Re: NEW INDICTMENT AGAINST J ASSANGE   NEW INDICTMENT AGAINST J ASSANGE - Page 2 I_icon_minitimeThu Sep 17, 2020 12:06 pm


Prosecution trying to get Shenkman to simply agree or disagree.

Shenkman: I agree that's what the ruling was but to analyze would require deep dive, exploring how a line in a ruling is used is what lawyers get paid to do, if it wasn't I wouldn't have a job

Prosec asks for simple yes or no on Bransberg v Hayes, did that constitute an agreed principle


Shenkman: I'd have to go back and look at ruling

Are you saying that hacking government databases is protected under the First Amendment?


I'd have to ask what you mean by hacking, the CFAA uses "exceeds authorized access"

I was using everyday speech

But we're in a legal setting, not held to everyday speech standards

OK so are you saying obtaining unauthorized access is protected speech?


It's actually a contentious issue, what is authorized or unauthorized access is a contentious issue, currently a split in the courts, access restriction vs use restriction

What about cracking a password to enter a government database?


I'd have to look at indictment but I believe it is cracking a password to obtain information, so there are other elements to that, scholarship has advanced First Amendment arguments, it hasn't been tested

Shenkman: Certainly think the First Amendment argument could be brought


"Crack a password" sounds scary but there are other elements so yes I think there are ways the First Amendment could be relevant

So you're saying the First Amendment shields illegal activity?


I'm saying it depends, books written about this, highly contentious, subject to great interpretation, I can't tell you as an absolute, there could be different answers in different situations

So isn't all of that that should be worked out in a US court?


No, my testimony is based on the nature and application of these laws and the way this indictment is written, whether it's political

I thought you were giving testimony on the Espionage Act and the ways in which the First Amendment acts upon it


Shenkman: Testimony is on the circumstances and history of the act


Question of timing, whether we need to stop proceedings today and continue tomorrow

Prosecutor Dobbin tried to say her questions invited short answers, starting to complain Shenkman went long, but the judge won't hear it, says she's conducted questions in a way that invites these answers and Shenkman has been nothing but cooperative


End of proceedings for today. Back tomorrow 10am London time, for another witness and then Shenkman will resume at 2pm London time. 


                             
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PostSubject: Re: NEW INDICTMENT AGAINST J ASSANGE   NEW INDICTMENT AGAINST J ASSANGE - Page 2 I_icon_minitimeFri Sep 18, 2020 7:27 am

Friday  18 September 2020

Julian Assange's extradition hearing thread. This morning's witness is Nicholas Hager, a New Zealand journalist with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists.

Hager reported on New Zealand cables in the WikiLeaks files. Says leaked classified documents are essential to journalism

On every controversial story I've written, governments claim there will be harm as a result. After these accusations, some years pass and I later learn the military are reading my books


Talking about Afghan war files. Read about aid and reconstruction operations that turned out to be psychological operations, e.g., I was able to give a layer by layer explanation of the Afghan war.


It is virtually impossible to write about war without information the government says is sensitive. 


Exactly the sort of information citizens need to know what their governments are doing. Some of the most important material I've ever used in my life

Collateral Murder video - likens to the video of George Floyd. Profound effect on the public. Followed, importantly, by the war logs, the effect was to electrify the world for the first time to the civilian casualties in the war


Talking about the 'deliberately slow' process to prepare files, redacting, very cautious. My main memory is a team of people working hour after hour in silence, I was very pleased to see the level of care that was being taken


I've become so tired of the news I've seen since -- the picture I got of him was completely different than the picture portrayed in the media. My view is that he's very principled, devoted himself to trying to make a difference in the world.


What principle animates his work? 


An inspired idea, his vision, in an era where secrecy was overtaking publics, that the digital age might enable a new kind of whistleblower to inform the public

My view is the war logs and cables, much like the Pentagon Papers 40 years earlier, were the disclosures their era required


End of defense questioning, now James Lewis cross-examining for the prosecution


                             
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PostSubject: Re: NEW INDICTMENT AGAINST J ASSANGE   NEW INDICTMENT AGAINST J ASSANGE - Page 2 I_icon_minitimeFri Sep 18, 2020 7:34 am

Lewis: tell us what you understand is the essence of the offense Assange has been charged with.


If I'm perfectly honest, seems to be a mishmash of charges. There's the publishing charges, but it feels to me various things have been appended onto it


Lewis establishing that Assange isn't charged with publishing the Collateral Murder video. Asks why his statement deals with the video so much.

Hager: The way that information has an effect on the world through news media & public debate is not a neat segmented way as it might in the courtroom. So the war diaries, embassy cables, Guantanamo material, and Apache video affected the world as a whole, not as divisible parts





Lewis: have you ever paid a govt official to steal secrets? 

No

Lewis: ever conspired with a source to hack into a computer?

Well depends what you mean, might be useful to bore down on that

OK have you conspired with a source to crack a password?


No but we're getting close to where I might say yes

So let's draw the line. You passively receive information?


Hager: You might imagine journalists protect themselves from the law by passively receiving, but I have to be honest that is not how it works.

We not only work with our sources, we go out and find our sources, we encourage them to get more, might be a memory stick, USB drive, that is what it means to have sources. To publish important information that affects the world means dealing with people who often break the law


Lewis interrupts him, says it's getting "far away" from his questioning


Lewis asking him about publishing names that would intentionally put someone's life in danger


No, of course not

He wants to talk further but Lewis says no you've answered, move on

Takes Hager to Guardian article on media partners criticizing the unredacted release in Sept 2011


Do you agree with those sentiments?


My understanding is that the information came out before Wikileaks made that decision, WL made strenuous efforts to keep it secret, and it was released elsewhere first

Lewis: we say that you're incorrect, that WL published first. If our version was correct would you agree otherwise?


Hager: I think you know that those facts are disputed, I don't want to answer a hypothetical


                             
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PostSubject: Re: NEW INDICTMENT AGAINST J ASSANGE   NEW INDICTMENT AGAINST J ASSANGE - Page 2 I_icon_minitimeFri Sep 18, 2020 7:40 am

Lewis takes Hager again to alleged statement from Assange on informants at dinner with David Leigh, asks if he agrees

Defense rises:'assuming that's correct, the prosecution stopped John Goetz from talking about that

Hager: I understand there were conflicts between David Leigh and Assange


Lewis: are you trying to help the court or just help Mr Assange?

Hager won't comment in the way Lewis wants him to, Lewis says he could play video of Assange at the Frontline club on this issue (actually can't play it for Hager as they aren't ready to but says he could play it for the court)


Reads same quote he has before from Frontline club, Hager says no he doesn't agree with it, Lewis moves on


Lewis: you wrote your book without needing to name sources?


Yes

Confusing exchange about Hager's book, Hager says it's hilarious that Lewis is citing what turns out to be a footnote from his book. Hager says he didn't get everything right but many abuses he documented were confirmed. Hager isn't sure why this is relevant, Lewis moves on


Asking Hager about his process to redact cables in his own book. Says he took a matter of weeks.


Lewis: Well Mauritzi will testify it took 9 months to do redactions - is that a good yardstick?

All I can say is I was comfortable there weren't risks, and I'm experienced in this

End of cross-examination. Ed Fitzgerald returns for defense re-examination


                             
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PostSubject: Re: NEW INDICTMENT AGAINST J ASSANGE   NEW INDICTMENT AGAINST J ASSANGE - Page 2 I_icon_minitimeFri Sep 18, 2020 7:49 am

Fitzgerald asking Hager about the other charges beyond publishing charges -- Assange charged with obtaining, receiving files not just publishing

Hager: yes I thought so, that's why I was confused when prosecution asked about that

(Prosecution had said Assange isn't charged with *publishing* the war logs and GTMO files, led to Hager's confusion)


Talking about working with a source, Hager confirms journalists have a duty to protect the source.


Regarding Guardian article on unredacted cables:


Hager: I believed WikiLeaks people when they invited me into process of great care and redaction. My personal opinion is I don't believe Assange or others changed their mind and didn't care anymore.

Hager: I think it was very unfortunate, that these big leaks were new and some involved might not know exactly how to handle. But I do want to say I'm glad that the redacted cables were out so long, that there was a 9-month period to warn any informants who could've been named


and that is probably why there were no deaths as a result. So the redactions Assange undertook allowed the process by which the USG notified sources and told them to protect themselves. So they had 9 months before bad luck happened and the cables came out


So because of that work to prepare the documents reduced the harm later


Something allegedly said at the Frontline club - agree it's right to protect people from unjust retribution, as Assange said? yes


If someone is an agent provocateur or wrongly accusing others, journalists frequently uncover that, such as in N. Ireland?

Maybe but these are the questions on the edge of journalistic edges I don't want to take a position on


Nicky Hager on David Leigh's book, “It is unreliable and I wouldn’t use that as a source in my book.”


On slow release process: too much could go wrong if all rushed to release at once -- care taken to go slowly


Hager explains that for the rules of engagement, the claim that publishing them would put troops lives at risk – is “highly questionable”


End of Nicky Hager's testimony. #AssangeCase


Don't Extradite Assange


@DEAcampaign
· 3h
Torture victim el-Masri is the next witness.

US prosecution tried to avoid his testimony over video
#AssangeCase

el-Masri will give live testimony and will require an interpreter -- 30-minute recess as that is being prepared. #AssangeCase


                             
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PostSubject: Re: NEW INDICTMENT AGAINST J ASSANGE   NEW INDICTMENT AGAINST J ASSANGE - Page 2 I_icon_minitimeFri Sep 18, 2020 8:14 am

Court back in session. Defense reading statement of Jen Robinson, attorney for Assange #AssangeCase

Talking about meeting with Dana Roerbacher, and Mr Johnson. Made clear they wanted us to believe they would have an audience with the president when they returned to Washington DC


Roerbacher said he wanted to dispel theories about Russia. Explained information from Mr Assange about the source of the DNC leaks would be of value to Mr Trump


We discussed the clear free speech implications of any indictment for Mr Assange for the publication


Roerbacher raised and acknowledged the free speech implications of such a prosecution. Proposed a 'win-win' situation, Assange get 'get on with his life'. Assange could receive a pardon in exchange for providing information about the source


Roerbacher would go back to Mr Trump to talk about a way to avoid any prosecution


No information about a source was provided by Mr Assange


End of statement




Now getting interpreter for Khaled el-Masri

Apologies, correct spelling of the Congressman's name is Dana Rohrabacher


Recess again, still working out tech issues for el-Masri and his interpreter


Statement of Carey Shenkman, Constitutional/human rights lawyer and historian, on the historical uses of the Espionage Act and the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (PDF): https://defend.wikileaks.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/Carey-Shenkman.pdf


Quote Tweet


@DEAcampaign
· 2h
.@suigenerisjen: Rohrabacher said he came with the knowledge and authorisation of president Trump to offer a deal in which Julian would reveal the DNC source in exchange for a pardon as this was seen to benefit Trump who at the time was the subject of the Mueller investigation

Quote Tweet


@DEAcampaign
· 2h
This shows that there was a political deal. The Trump administration was willing to use the indictment as a political bargaining tool. #AssangeCase twitter.com/deacampaign/st…



Back in court but tech issues with videolink testimony persist. Summers says it would be nice if they could use Zoom or Teams, the court's own video system is much more difficult

Prosec says they'll have very little cross-examination of el-Masri. They don't object to his testifying but they don't want to stipulate that he was tortured and rendered by the US govt


Talking about what defense and prosec can agree on with regard to el-Masri's statements. Particularly objecting to claim that USG placed pressure on the German government regarding the arrest warrant for el-Masri's kidnapping/torture


Defense just wants the judge to acknowledge that this is what the Wikileaks cables reveals, not necessarily whether this is what happened or not, although this is what the Strausberg court acknowledged


Judge: I don't think there's dispute that that is what is in the cables. 


Prosec: We don't agree that that's what the Strasberg court said



(Spelling correction: Strasbourg Court. El-Masri background: https://justiceinitiative.org/litigation/el-masri-v-macedonia)


                             
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PostSubject: Re: NEW INDICTMENT AGAINST J ASSANGE   NEW INDICTMENT AGAINST J ASSANGE - Page 2 I_icon_minitimeFri Sep 18, 2020 8:27 am


Julian speaks up from the dock: "I will not censor a torture victim's statement to this court. I am trying to convey those instructions clearly. I will not accept that."

Judge tells Assange to be quiet again.


Appears they will provide the gist of el-Masri's statement rather than have him testify live. Intepreter had been in courtroom, she's dismissed


Defense lawyer Mark Summers begins talking about el-Masri's statements, stops, says he's been instructed to stop. Brief recess.


-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Charlie Jones  @CharlieDanJones
· 2h

US lawyer: We see no utility whatsoever in having Mr el-Masri in court. None whatsoever.

Julian Assange stands up: Madam I will not accept you sensoring a torture victim’s statement to this court.


Judge: you are represented.

Assange: I have tried to convey those instructions. twitter.com/courtnewsuk/st…

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Court resumes. Mark Summers for the defense is reading from el-Masri's statement. Disturbing details of his kidnapping and torture by the CIA. Sodomized, dressed in a nappy, force-fed through a tube

Statement of Khaled el-Masri: http://defend.wikileaks.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/Khaled-el-Masri.pdf
(me: will be linked in 1st Amend. thread)

Summers still reading from statement. A court ruled his detention and rendition were unjustified, but there has been no justice for the U.S.

Cites ACLU attempting to intervene in his case (https://aclu.org/blog/national-security/torture/new-cia-torture-documents-confirm-chilling-details-khaled-el-masris)
(1st Amend. thread)

Cites Mike Pompeo threatening anyone who cooperates with ICC investigation into US

From March 2020: "Bashing Probe of US War Crimes, Pompeo Threatens Family of ICC Staff With Consequences"

(1st Amend. thread)


Recess now for lunch. Back at 2pm London time, when Carey Shenkman will resume testimony





                             
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PostSubject: Re: NEW INDICTMENT AGAINST J ASSANGE   NEW INDICTMENT AGAINST J ASSANGE - Page 2 I_icon_minitimeFri Sep 18, 2020 10:11 am

Court resuming shortly for continued testimony from Carey Shenkman. #AssangeCase

Clair Dobbin continues cross-examination for the prosecution


Prosec: you're not suggesting are you that there's any law that journalists are protected from prosecution under the Espionage Act for the publication of national defense information?


The Espionage Act is so broad that it allows prosecution

So we agree on this, the law doesn't prevent prosecuting journalists for this?


Well there's no clause preventing it but this is contentious, and there's the US Constitution, and the First Amendment protects publishing

Prosec: I understand you're arguing that, but you can't point to a case where it was precluded?


It hasn't been brought before like this under the Espionage Act

Prosec: do you accept the NYT Pentagon Papers case left the door open for such a prosecution?


I wouldn't say it left the door open because that wasn't the issue before the court, that was an issue of prior restraint

Prosec cites Rosen case, which itself cites Pentagon Papers case, some justices accept such a prosecution could be constitutional


Do you agree a prosecution under the Espionage Act is left open?

Shenkman cites Steve Vladek, is the press doomed after this ruling, but this was not the issue before the court, involved oral transmission of information in AIPAC case


This analysis isn't occurring in a vacuum, must take in context of the First Amendment


Shenkman: If there's an Espionage Act case before the case, I'm sure the US would cite this case because it sounds positive to its case, but this case was dropped

Prosec: so you would say it's debatable, either way?


Shenkman: the issue was prior restraint. You have some SCOTUS judges who expressed some language about this

Shenkman: Would be better to discuss the cases under the Esp Act rather than hypotheticals


Dobbin: so are you saying you're unqualified to comment?

No I'm not saying that, I didn't say that.


Dobbin: Right, moving on.

Do you accept the Esp Act has been challenged on overbreadth and that those challenges have failed?


It's been raised w/r/t govt employees, the set of facts very different from the case at hand, with very different Constitutional concerns here

There's a whole body of cases on Espionage Act that's separate from the set of cases involving the media, so the language used in those cases doesn't necessarily apply here


Dobbin: you're getting afield from the question, do you accept that there have been vagueness challenges that failed?


I'm trying to give context to my answers, if this weren't complicated I wouldn't have written 100,000 words on this


                             
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PostSubject: Re: NEW INDICTMENT AGAINST J ASSANGE   NEW INDICTMENT AGAINST J ASSANGE - Page 2 I_icon_minitimeFri Sep 18, 2020 10:20 am

Dobbin: In your report do you refer to the fact that the Act has been refined due to judicial interpretation?

When you say 'the fact' there's been interpretation but there's dispute in the scholarship as to whether that could be called refinement.


For one thing the term national defense information has been subject to much interpretation. I don't think scholars would say that's been refined in the sense that it's been narrowed, if anything some of these terms have been broadened

Again Carey Shenkman's statement is here: https://defend.wikileaks.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/Carey-Shenkman.pdf

Dobbin goes to case of US v Morison. Assures the govt cannot abuse the statute -- can only be used where there is a case for secrecy

US v Rosen: https://fas.org/sgp/jud/rosen080906.pdf

US v Morison: [size=0]https://opengovva.org/foi-opinions/united-states-v-morison


Prosecution saying these cases show the Esp Act can't be abused, only used for nat'l defense info[/size]

Shenkman: there's lots of scholarship, including Benkler, post-2010, on this

The problem with your citation is it only deals with one phrase in the Act. That has been disputed and isn't agreed but there are overbreadth arguments that deal with many more issues within the Act


Same legal standard is cumbersomely applied to all these different categories, and there hasn't been a case like this one, all these deal with gov't insiders, closest one is oral transmission but they don't address speaking to the media and therefore don't take 1st Amend concerns

Dobbin: I'm not going to go further because your report says the executive decides the scope of info protected and that's obviously wrong

Shenkman: it isn't, various aspects here are result of executive decision.


Law does not prohibit application of this law against mainstream media, as well as individuals sharing that information on social media, even retweeting

Shenkman: I'm talking about the chilling effect that this prosecution has on the media, that's all due to the breadth and overuse of this law

Says the decision to bring this is itself political

Dobbin moves on, do you accept section 793 of the Esp Act provides room to prosecute beyond classical espionage

Shenkman: I don't think any scholar would make a single claim about the original intent of the law when there has been dispute

Shenkman distinguishes between congress in 1917 and 1950 (when the law was amended) vs the court of appeals in Morison, says these are separate questions

Dobbin still trying to get Shenkman to comment on the intent of the Act. Shenkman repeatedly saying these are incredibly contentious issues with 100s of pages of scholarship, not an agreed issue.

Shenkman also reminding court repeatedly that the cases Dobbin is citing don't deal with passing information to the media so can't be considered an unambiguous interpretation to be applied to all cases

Shenkman: I don't think any of the scholars I've referenced here would agree on a yes or no on the questions you're asking.

Shenkman talks about the "significant chilling effect" that these cases have brought about, so no I don't agree they show restraint, if anything the Nixon tapes show these cases were used to send a message

Shenkman: Successful prosecution is not all you need to instill a chilling effect on the press, the attempt is enough in some cases

Shenkman: Not even just about media, this law can be used against anyone

Shenkman citing Pentagon Papers being read into the congressional record (believe by Mike Gravel) as a precursor to WikiLeaks' desire to have full archives on the record


                             
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PostSubject: Re: NEW INDICTMENT AGAINST J ASSANGE   NEW INDICTMENT AGAINST J ASSANGE - Page 2 I_icon_minitimeFri Sep 18, 2020 10:53 am

Final questioning: You also say the CFAA is extremely overbroad? Yes

Cite Professor Orin? Yes


You understand that what Prof Orin says is clear beyond doubt constituting hacking is the same as what's alleged against Mr Assange?

No I don't, and that's not exactly what the professor says


Shenkman cites Prof Orin Kerr's comment on the CFAA charge against Assange from April 11 2019 here, thinks it contradicts what Dobbin said that Kerr believes:


Quote Tweet

NEW INDICTMENT AGAINST J ASSANGE - Page 2 Wih7HWhL_normal  Orin Kerr  @OrinKerr 
Apr 11, 2019
A few quick thoughts on the legal theory of the unsealed Julian Assange indictment, with more to come at @lawfareblog later. (Thread.) http://cdn.cnn.com/cnn/2019/images/04/11/assange_indictment_0_0.pdf
Show this thread



NEW INDICTMENT AGAINST J ASSANGE - Page 2 D34_j2JWsAIs_g0?format=png&name=small


Dobbin: I think it's extremely clear that he'd agree what's alleged against Assange would constitute hacking

Shenkman: well you can take his words in 2010 or in 2019...

End of cross-examination



Defense re-examination, establishes no Top Secret info in this case.

Taking Shenkman back through some cases he cited.



Discussing BARTNICKI v. VOPPER [size=0]https://law.cornell.edu/supct/html/99-1687.ZS.html

Says the press can't engage in separate and distinct illegal activity. Does not deal with newsgathering, i.e. where the conduct was connected to eventual publication[/size]

Grand juries looking into media for Espionage Act violations have never before this case produced an indictment, precisely because of the First Amendment concerns


Never been indictment of the press under 793 -- follows that there's never been an indictment under 793 of a *foreign* press as well

How foreseeable would it have been in 2010 that a foreign publisher could be indicted under the Espionage Act for publishing?

Completely unforeseeable


Common theme among attempts to prosecute? When publishing something contradicting policy of USG

End of live testimony for today. Figuring out who will testify on Monday. #AssangeCase

Issue of transcripts -- 10-minute recess for parties to consider whether they want a ruling on releasing transcripts or whether it's just a matter between defense and prosecution

Shenkman's complete answer on themes of these investigations:


Quote Tweet

NEW INDICTMENT AGAINST J ASSANGE - Page 2 3AEKm3Dr_normal  Mary Kostakidis @MaryKostakidis
· 1h
Carey: common theme for context: they don’t support the administrations policies, are revealing misconduct or revealing information contrary to what the administration is revealing.
Carey finished

Show this thread


Back from recess. Ed Fitzgerald to read witness statement from Dean Yates

Dean Yates was Baghdad bureau chief for Reuters at the time of the incidents depicted in Collateral Murder, in which two Reuters journalists were killed by U.S. gunmen



Dean Yates in June 2020: "'All lies': how the US military covered up gunning down two journalists in Iraq"
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/jun/15/all-lies-how-the-us-military-covered-up-gunning-down-two-journalists-in-iraq




                             
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PostSubject: Re: NEW INDICTMENT AGAINST J ASSANGE   NEW INDICTMENT AGAINST J ASSANGE - Page 2 I_icon_minitimeFri Sep 18, 2020 10:58 am

Judge interrupts to question relevance, Fitzgerald says he's coming to it with the rules of engagement


Judge questions relevance again. Fitzgerald, it's in the context of the US 3 denials of Reuters' attempts to obtain this footage, including denying a FOIA request, that WikiLeaks' release of the video becomes relevant




Fitzgerald: the rules of engagement are in the counts


Judge: I know, but the video isn't

Fitzgerald refers to US Army saying "all you've got to do is pick up a weapon" with regard to rules of engagement

Yates: the US military lied to us. when they met with us I believe it was choreographed to give us a perception of what happened.




Yates: I came to blame Namir (murdered journalist) for peering around the corner and inviting suspicion, and it just erased from my memory the fact that the order to open fire had already been given. the one person who picked up on this was Assange

on the day he released the tapes he said the helicopter opened fire because it sought permission and was given permission. he said something like "if that's based on the rules of engagement then the rules of engagement are wrong."


I was devastated at having failed to protect my staff by uncovering the Rules of Engagement in the US military before they were shot -- and for not disclosing earlier my understanding of the extent to which the US had lied. I was profoundly affected.


Yates: I know Namir and Saeed would have remained forgotten statistics in a war that killed countless human beings, possibly hundreds of thousands of civilians.


Had it not been for Chelsea Manning and Julian Assange the truth of what happened to Namir and Saeed, the truth of what happened on that street in Baghdad on July 12, 2007, would not have been brought to the world.


What Assange did was 100% an act of truth-telling, exposing to the world what the war in Iraq in fact was and how the US military behaved and lied.




End of Dean Yates. On transcripts, it's decided rulings are to be withheld in case judge wishes to amend them, but it's for the parties to decide together what happens with the rest of them. Adjourned for today. Back Monday. #AssangeCase


                             
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PostSubject: Re: NEW INDICTMENT AGAINST J ASSANGE   NEW INDICTMENT AGAINST J ASSANGE - Page 2 I_icon_minitimeMon Sep 21, 2020 6:40 am

MONDAY 21 SEPT 2020

First up today is Prof. Christian Grothoff, testifying by remote video on the publication of the unredacted cables, being sworn in now.

Grothoff is testifying about his research into the publication, using materials publicly available at the time. Mark Summers for the defense taking Grothoff through the timeline, starting with Guardian's David Leigh receiving the encrypted files in summer 2010


Strength of encryption at the time: the files were encrypted by a password -- found in Luke Harding & David Leigh's book -- long enough that computer-automated attempts to crack it by were 'prohibitive'


The encrypted file -- once it was someone else's hands, couldn't change the encryption key to unlock it that'd work on each version


Grothoff discusses the Nov. 2010 DDOS attack on WikiLeaks, unknown hackers made the website more difficult or unable to be accessed. As a result, many mirrors of the site were put online


Grothoff's submissions to the court include many examples of mirrored versions of the site -- not particularly difficult to create a mirror


Some mirrors included the unredacted cables in encrypted forms (inaccessible without the password) though the majority didn't


Timeline: David Leigh [& Luke Harding] publish passcode as a title of a chapter that would unlock the encrypted files, mirrored sites are online


At this point WikiLeaks could not take down the mirrored sites. Could not change the password already out there



Anything they could do to prevent the unredacted cables being published?

Distract, delay

Before August 2011, no one publicly put the encrypted file and password together. Then Aug 25th, Die Freitag published an article online -- didn't publish the password or where to find the cables, but published enough info to put them together to find and decrypt the file


Before that article some may have read the Guardian book and assumed the password wouldn't work, but with this article they may have been "encouraged to try"


WikiLeaks advertised some mirrors of the site - of those advertised, none had the file with unredacted cables able to be discovered. So someone had to use the password via different mirrors


Talking about Cryptome -- well-known leak site, known before WikiLeaks, anyone familiar with these topics would've known about it


Pirate Bay on 31 Aug posted the BitTorrent of the files - not posting the files but making people aware that they exist


On 1 September, the US Government accessed the files via Pirate Bay's torrent


Cryptome is based in the United States, Pirate Bay on a shared international server. Materials are still available on Cryptome. Cryptome has never been prosecuted with publishing the files


WikiLeaks made the unredacted cache available *after* they were available on the other sites, on 2nd September 2011


The materials at that time were already available online "in a way that was virtually impossible to stop"


End of defense questioning. Now Joel Smith cross-examining for the prosecution.


                             
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PostSubject: Re: NEW INDICTMENT AGAINST J ASSANGE   NEW INDICTMENT AGAINST J ASSANGE - Page 2 I_icon_minitimeMon Sep 21, 2020 6:48 am

Grothoff verified any documents given to him by the defense -- which included Die Freitag's article -- on his own


Can you think of any reason why you would be biased in this case?


Well we know Mr Assange published evidence of war crimes, makes him a sympathetic figure. But other than that I tested defense claims trying to prove them wrong, to verify

Prosecution reading an open letter to President Trump calling for an end to the prosecution into WikiLeaks, which Christian Grothoff signed


Do you think the prosecution, in America, is a "step into the darkness" (quoting open letter)?


I think it's dangerous for press freedom yes

So do you have an interest in how this case comes out? 


I of course have a view that this prosecution seems unfair. But I tried to look if there was a case for the prosecution, and I did not find that evidence

So you're biased?


No, I believe you're confusing actions WikiLeaks made to hide the documents with publishing them - so I say that you are wrong and did not properly do your homework as to who published them first, so I think it's unfair that you charged him with publishing them

I believed that publishing the redacted cables should not be a crime.


Some of the specific accusations (in the indictment) seem to be wrong. My opinion hasn't changed after looking at the facts again

Do you accept signing this open letter makes you unbiased?


No, as I said I didn't even remember signing this letter, I looked at this material objectively

You looked at cables - did you look at Iraq and Afghan war files?


No

In your research did you download the encrypted files?


Yes

Get them from WikiLeaks?

No, downloaded from Cryptome


                             
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PostSubject: Re: NEW INDICTMENT AGAINST J ASSANGE   NEW INDICTMENT AGAINST J ASSANGE - Page 2 I_icon_minitimeMon Sep 21, 2020 7:12 am

The mirrors were of the WikiLeaks website? 


No some were mirrors of some documents from WikiLeaks, some asked for more info, they were believing to mirror public information Wikileaks had released

The more people you give a passphrase to, the weaker it becomes? 


Not necessarily but when you put it in a book, yes


Prosecution: but also when you give it to many people - they can give it to other people, right?

Grothoff: Like Mr Leigh did, yes


Do you know how many people were given that passphrase?

Well Mr Leigh gave it to maybe hundreds of thousands, I don't know how many books were sold

But how many did WikiLeaks give it to?


I have no idea

Media partners included 50 outlets - fair to say at least 50 were given unredacted cache?


No because they may have been given partial access, may have been given by different means

But 50 orgs were given access. So not just Mr Leigh is that correct?


As far as I can tell Mr Leigh is one of very few given access to the full set. And only Mr Leigh gave the passphrase away, so it may just be that that the other orgs were reliable

Grothoff: From Leigh's book Mr Assange was reluctant to give full access to the cables. Also shows that media partners were given access just to the documents that were relevant to their country


From book: "It had been a struggle to pry these documents" out of Assange


More from Leigh "Assange was keeping the 3 organizations dangling" 


Grothoff: As I said that shows to me he was reluctant. Also shows it was 3 media orgs, not 50

Grothoff: We only know this was the main place that they landed in the public eye. Impossible to say the others didnt so as well but I haven't seen it



Possible that some people at WikiLeaks were aware of Leigh's book & password but they were part of the story, maybe wouldn't find it interesting (as they knew it already), no evidence they knew it was available at the time of publishing (in Feb 2011)

Grothoff: Important part about the WikiLeaks mirroring: these did not include the unredacted archive. "This is WikiLeaks building a haystack", so if they knew unredacted cables were out there, the best way to prevent it being found would be to create many mirrors and hide it


So in Dec 2010 WikiLeaks knew it was out there?


No, not saying this was the intent, I'm saying this was the effect. What they said was it was an attempt to strengthen their website. I'm saying if someone was aware, this would have been a very smart way to hide it

Prosecution - the encrypted file wasn't even on the site yet and the book wasn't out yet right, so we can say that wasn't their intent?


At that time no but the mirroring continued


                             
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PostSubject: Re: NEW INDICTMENT AGAINST J ASSANGE   NEW INDICTMENT AGAINST J ASSANGE - Page 2 I_icon_minitimeMon Sep 21, 2020 7:43 am

Prosecution talking about WikiLeaks 'boasting' about cables published in searchable format.

Discussing cables published in Aug 2011 - Grothoff says they were unclassified

Die Freitag article announcing that with publicly available information ('circulated online') readers could find the unredacted cables:


Going through the timeline. 31 Aug 2011 "http://Cryptome.org and others report on the specific passphrase and which file it decrypts", and "someone else makes a first searchable copy of the cables available"


Back from a recess in which Grothoff found a tweet in which someone else announced full cable archive was published -- depending on timezone, could be said that the tweet was published on 1 Sept 2011


Establishing when Cryptome published - Grothoff believes they posted encrypted form 31 Aug 2011, and unencrypted on 1 Sept 2011


Discussing Nigel Parry discovering that with Guardian-published passphrase and other info, unredacted cables could be found


Nigel Parry, 31 Aug 2011: 'Guardian Investigative Editor David Leigh publishes top secret Cablegate password revealing names of U.S. collaborators and informants... in his book' https://web.archive.org/web/20110925132344/http://nigelparry.com/news/guardian-david-leigh-cablegate.shtml


WikiLeaks editorial from 1 September 2011: 'Guardian journalist negligently disclosed Cablegate passwords' https://wikileaks.org/Guardian-journalist-negligently.html


The earliest time you can say the unredacted cables were put on the internet? 


BitTorrent by yoshimo, about 14 hours before WikiLeaks posted. But we don't know when Cryptome published, could have been before, can definitively say both pre-dated when WikiLeaks published

The prosecution goes back to WikiLeaks 'boasting' about cables being searchable. Would you accept the WikiLeaks posting of the cables was more comprehensive and visible?


Comprehensive implies there was more material, which I don't see, but more visible I would accept

End of cross-examination. Brief recess before defense re-questions Grothoff


Back from recess. Back to timeline. David Leigh was one of the media partners involved in working on redactions of the cables. Aware of any other outlet being given access to the full archive of cables? No. Can't say they weren't but no evidence anyone else outside of WL had them


From Leigh's book, Leigh talked about badgering Assange to give full access. Assange first said he could give 50% of the docs. Grothoff says Assange clearly reluctant to give the full set, was under pressure


Assange wrote down only part of the passphrase for Leigh, would have to add to it. Told Leigh it was for a temporary website.


Putting encrypted files on a temporary website -- this is common, this happens whenever you want to transfer large files to a limited number of people. Medical files, bank files often passed this way. If it's properly encrypted, it's useless unless you have the encryption key


                             
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PostSubject: Re: NEW INDICTMENT AGAINST J ASSANGE   NEW INDICTMENT AGAINST J ASSANGE - Page 2 I_icon_minitimeMon Sep 21, 2020 7:49 am

No evidence of anyone revealing the passphrase without referring to David Leigh. So it would seem access to the files was private prior to Leigh's publishing.

The mirrors that WikiLeaks encouraged, and those most likely the result of WikiLeaks mirroring instructions, did not contain encrypted or unencrypted versions of the unredacted cables


The mirrors that did contain these files were not created according to the instructions WikiLeaks gave for mirroring, used different software. So WikiLeaks instructions would not have mirrored the full set of cables


Those cables were most likely included by accident. Mirroring a site on your own, you could pick up hidden directories


Judge saying that the defense questioning is already covered ground. Defense says it's challenging the prosecution's chronology and the Implication that WikiLeaks' editorial may have first led people to find the unredacted cables


Judge, prosecution, defense trying to work out which parts of the chronology are agreed upon and which parts are contentious


Defense wants to establish that Wikileaks' editorial on Leigh's passphrase publication did not lead anyone to find the files, doesn't include the passphrase or the file name


Defense going back to open letter Grothoff signed calling for end to prosecution of Assange. Includes German MPs, former CIA and military officials, human rights observers.


End of Christian Grothoff testimony.




Jakob Augstein was supposed to testify this morning but we're out of morning time, he's not available in the afternoon. Andy Worthington on schedule to testify today but parts of his testimony may be agreed already, will be worked out over lunch

Working out extradition hearing timeline. Will have medical experts over the next three days. Unclear when we will have defense closing submissions. Testimony may go right up until next Friday.


Recess until 2:10pm. #AssangeCase


                             
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PostSubject: Re: NEW INDICTMENT AGAINST J ASSANGE   NEW INDICTMENT AGAINST J ASSANGE - Page 2 I_icon_minitimeMon Sep 21, 2020 10:16 am

https://threadreaderapp.com/thread/1307964136014385152.html
Our source has switched to a more narrative format.

Back from recess. Jakob Augstein is unavailable at the moment. Defense is prepared to call Andy Worthington, but the prosecution complains that they only heard that he may testify this morning. 


Prosecution says their position is similar to that regarding el-Masri's statement, they don't want to stipulate things like political determinations. Defense explaining Worthington's statement includes that other courts found that Guantanamo detainees have been tortured 

Defense doesn't need this court to determine they were tortured, but wants it to accept that other courts have determined that -- this is linked to the defense's argument that these results were in the public interest 
Prosecution: "our position is that it's completely irrelevant" 

Still debating what the parties can agree to in the statement. Prosecution says the US wasn't a party to the Strausberg quote. Defense notes it's included in the Senate Torture Report too. 

Defense also notes that Worthington's statement includes the fact that the Telegraph published GTMO detainee assessment briefs before WikiLeaks. Prosecution disagrees on the chronology, so Worthington will have to be called. Judge says he can be asked about just that portion. 

Trying to prevent future delays/scheduling issues, we may soon have a recess for the parties to reach agreements about witnesses and the schedule. Defense references a statement from Cassandra Fairbanks, unclear if it's been agreed to yet. 

Prosecutor Lewis: many of these witnesses are very repetitive. If they were all witnesses talking about different things, we'd move faster.

Judge won't comment on a critique of the defense witness list.

Then prosecution says it's unclear what some of them are testifying about 

Lewis then again complains witnesses give "long complex answers."

Half-hour recess now as they try to sort more testimony agreement and witness schedule privately. Fairbanks' statement will likely be read after the break. 

Back from recess, turns out they need more time to discuss and agree on witnesses. So we've adjourned again until 4pm London time. #AssangeCase 


Back from recess. Fairbanks' statement can be read but both parties will make a statement as to its significance. 
Prosecution says the truth of what Arthur Schwartz told her, Fairbanks is not in a position to verify. Also wish to question her impartiality 

Defense says her testimony is evidence of the declared intentions of those at the top who planned the prosecution and eviction from the embassy

Defense accepts that she is a supporter of Assange, but looking at the content makes the point moot, what she says is true regardless


Fairbanks' statement will be summarized


Fairbanks: I'm a journalist in DC, was employed by Gateway Pundit which is generally pro-Trump, I've endorsed his presidency. I'm a strong supporter of Assange & WikiLeaks, my work has involved investigation and promotion of many liberal and libertarian causes


Fairbanks: I was involved in a DM group with people who worked for or were close to Trump, including German Ambassador Richard Grenell and Arthur Schwartz



Schwartz told her that the USG would go after Assange for the Manning leaks, would go after Manning to testify, would go into the embassy to get Assange, would not pursue the death penalty

Fairbanks then went to the Embassy, in Jan and March 2019. Had to try to hide from cameras/mics in the first visit but the latter visit was worse, treated like a prisoner. Then 2 weeks later Assange was arrested


                             
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PostSubject: Re: NEW INDICTMENT AGAINST J ASSANGE   NEW INDICTMENT AGAINST J ASSANGE - Page 2 I_icon_minitimeMon Sep 21, 2020 10:33 am

Schwartz told her that Assange & Manning & all involved with WikiLeaks deserved the death penalty. That Grenell was involved in a deal to get Assange evicted from the embassy

Fairbanks tweeted that Grenell was involved in Assange's arrest - said she got the information from an ABC News article but Schwartz tried to get her to delete the tweet, that he could go to jail


Schwartz informed me that in coordinating for Assange to be removed from the Embassy, Ambassador Grenell had done so on direct “orders from the President”.


Fairbanks: I now consider steps taken at the March 2019 meeting were being taken because of knowledge of the previous meeting I had with Assange during which I had given him valuable information.


"I believe that the contents of that meeting had been fed directly back to the US authorities and, those with close connections, including Arthur Schwartz."


End of Fairbanks statement, though the defense may at some point play the recording of the call with Schwartz


End of proceedings for today. Back at tomorrow 10am London time. #AssangeCase

--------------------------------------------------
(me-Grenell?  Great... Rolling Eyes    )


                             
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PostSubject: Re: NEW INDICTMENT AGAINST J ASSANGE   NEW INDICTMENT AGAINST J ASSANGE - Page 2 I_icon_minitimeMon Sep 21, 2020 5:29 pm

THIS tells us what was really going on with Schwartz ~
We assume Schwartz lied about Grenell?  
DS needed a story to cover Julian's removal from the Embassy.
They've had several built up.
Grenell's involvement WOULD implicate Trump 2nd handedly.  The Senator's 'no pardon discussed' pardon is another Trump (not Obama implication).  
JA releasing and publishing -unredacted classified material-
That JA Illegally obtained DOD password?  
Hacking efforts with Chelsea Manning..
I believe Chelsea was cleared of this charge.  Not 100% sure.

She was released and then locked up again for something, and
still locked up, and incurring insurmountable fees. 
She attempted suicide a few months ago. 

Maybe some residual slime will get busted from this.  
--------------------------------------------------------------------
E.
Rich donors make great CIA pawns... Or was it, CIA pawns make great rich donors?
---
E.  
@ETheFriend
3h
ignore narratives, study facts.
Did you know Schwartz used to work for MWWPR, a huge Dem PR firm run by Michael Kempner- a staunch Obama and Clinton crony (he was DNC deputy finance chair, worked in Obama WH, and is on the BBG).
Do you know who else worked there?
Anthony Weiner.

Quote Tweet

NEW INDICTMENT AGAINST J ASSANGE - Page 2 FucAduOX_normalAssange Defense @DefenseAssange
· 7h
Schwartz informed me that in coordinating for Assange to be removed from the Embassy, Ambassador Grenell had done so on direct “orders from the President”.



---------------------
(me: remembering that HRC blurted out in a meeting, "can't we just drone him?" (meaning AJ)  He's always just walking around in the open-(paraphrased)


                             
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PostSubject: Re: NEW INDICTMENT AGAINST J ASSANGE   NEW INDICTMENT AGAINST J ASSANGE - Page 2 I_icon_minitimeTue Sep 22, 2020 7:12 am

Julian Assange's extradition hearing thread. Today we'll hear testimony from Professor Michael Kopelman, who is being sworn in live in court right now. #AssangeCase

Dr Kopelman is Emeritus Professor of Neuropsychiatry at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, King's College London


To protect Assange's privacy, defense lawyer Ed Fitzgerald has requested press use caution when presenting details on his findings. Dr Kopelman has visited Assange multiple times and his testifying about Assange's mental health


Dr Kopelman is reviewing Assange's psychiatric history, monitoring his depression over time, finds there is a high risk of suicide if Assange is extradited



Dr Kopelman: Assange has a genetic disposition for clinical depression, and multiple family members have committed suicide

Dr Kopelman referring to auditory & somatic hallucinations Assange has suffered. Some medications have reduced these. Talking about Assange's suicidal ideation


Dr Kopelman found Assange had traits of Asperger's syndrome, but his warmth and ability to form relationships made Kopelman question that diagnosis, so he asked another doctor to assess. That doctor did diagnose Assange with Asperger's and we'll hear from him this week


Dr Kopelman: an order for extradition alone appears likely to trigger a suicide attempt. Now talking about the high risk of suicide in isolation


Taking his own life would derive from? Would derive form his depression, PTSD, anxiety, and would be carried out due to the single-mindedness of ASD Asperger's. Dr found ASD Asperger's indicates 9 times more likely to commit suicide


Dr Kopelman: Assange has made preparations, including speaking to a Catholic priest, writing letters to family and friends, drawn up a will


Study from Dr Simon Baron-Cohen: "the lifetime experience of suicidal ideation [in those with Asperger's] was more than nine times higher than in the general population in England"


Dr Kopelman: Assange has been found with a large quantity of paracetemol. Has found the suicidal ideation as a result of his psychiatric disorders

End of defense questioning. James Lewis will cross-examine for the prosecution


(Dr Kopelman also testified in the case of Lauri Love, whose extradition to the US was blocked in part due to the risk of suicide in a US prison: https://freelauri.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/lauri-love-v-usa.pdf…)


James Lewis is talking about diagnostic criteria. Dr Kopelman doesn't like psychiatric books ICD and DSM, prefers to make his own observations, but the prosecution wants to run through ICD criteria and see if Kopelman has found them


                             
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PostSubject: Re: NEW INDICTMENT AGAINST J ASSANGE   NEW INDICTMENT AGAINST J ASSANGE - Page 2 I_icon_minitimeTue Sep 22, 2020 7:21 am

Assange Defense @DefenseAssange
3h
Julian's partner Stella Moris:


Quote Tweet NEW INDICTMENT AGAINST J ASSANGE - Page 2 IH4BdNIT_normal Stella Moris
@StellaMoris1
· 4h
The next three days will be very difficult for us. The court will hear medical evidence of Julian's physical and mental condition and his likelihood of survival if he is extradited to face 175 years in a US prison.
Please treat Julian with dignity and humanity.

------------------------------------------------------------------------

Dr Kopelman reading from the introduction to DSM 4, that diagnostic criteria are to be used as guidelines, "not to be used in a cookbook fashion", says it's important to bear that in mind

James Lewis is trying to get Dr Kopelman to define a depressive episode, what constitutes a depressive episode and a recurring depressive episode


Lewis continually asking about a mild depression. Says he is trying to establish a "yardstick" for Kopelman's definition. Lewis asks him to agree someone with mild depression wouldn't cease to function


Lewis now asking about severe depression, which finds the sufferer very unlikely to perform social, work, or other activities


Kopelman has found Assange at the highest level, severe depression with psychotic episodes. Kopelman says Assange doesn't have delusions but the potential hallucinations brought him to this diagnosis


Lewis trying to challenge him by suggesting someone with this depression wouldn't be able to function. Kopelman says, well he hasn't been able to function


Wouldn't say he's been completely unable to function but has had great difficulties


Lewis trying to challenge/undermine Kopelman's expertise -- Kopelman says James Lewis has requested Kopelman's psychiatric services for the case and so it's a bit rich for him to question his qualifications


Lewis suggests Kopelman is "more of an advocate than a psychiatrist" to which Kopelman says he would like to respond to that with an "unparliamentary word"


Lewis asking Kopelman about patients "exaggerating" their symptoms or "malingering" -- Kopelman says he is aware of this possibility in every psychiatric evaluation

At Lewis' challenging, Kopelman says he has taken account of the fact that Assange would have reason to exaggerate because he doesn't want to be extradited. He has made his diagnosis taking this in mind


Ed Fitzgerald rises for the defense to object, says none of the prosecution's witnesses have suggested that Assange is malingering, so why is this relevant


Lewis asking Kopelman to list articles he's read on malingering, Kopelman finds this a bit insulting, lists out some articles


Kopelman: I don't know every article I've read. I didn't think I was coming here for an O-level test.


                             
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PostSubject: Re: NEW INDICTMENT AGAINST J ASSANGE   NEW INDICTMENT AGAINST J ASSANGE - Page 2 I_icon_minitimeTue Sep 22, 2020 7:46 am

udge trying to clarify, Kopelman has said he bears malingering in mind and the prosecution wants to establish his basis for this.

Kopelman reiterates he's well aware and looked out for signs of exaggeration


James Lewis: "let's stick to my script" and reads through definitions of psychosis

Kopelman: "Are you saying I don't have the expertise to diagnose psychosis?"


Lewis: clinical qualifications alone are not sufficient to diagnose malingering, is that right?

Kopelman: difficult to define, it's actually inconsistencies that indicate malingering, but some think there's a test for it, I'm a bit skeptical of that


Lewis trying to insinuate other doctors have disagreed about Assange's hallucinations, Kopelman trying to clarify by Lewis doesn't really allow it, says he can talk more about it when defense re-examines. Kopelman says this is the kind of thing psychiatrists disagree about

Lewis talking about what factors Kopelman "relied on" in his diagnosis, including that Assange was found to have concealed a razor blade and two other instruments for suicide. Lewis: I accept that he told you that

Kopelman: I'd like to point out for the court that there are a lot more factors here, so "relied on" may not be accurate

Long exchange with Lewis trying to challenge/undermine the razor blade incident. Kopelman accepts he should have said it was a self-reported incident but notes that the prison psychologist had discussed it with prison staff

Back from a brief recess. Lewis asking about other incidents that could indicate suicidal ideation

Lewis: if these factors didn't indicate ideation, that would alter your diagnosis?

Kopelman says there are many other factors, his psychiatric condition, history, actions he's taken more recently


Lewis asking why each bit of information wasn't in his report, that he reads medical/scientific journals, again implying Assange is malingering.

Kopelman: not everything goes into the report or it'd be very long, reads medical journals b/c fixated on his own medical condition


                             
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PostSubject: Re: NEW INDICTMENT AGAINST J ASSANGE   NEW INDICTMENT AGAINST J ASSANGE - Page 2 I_icon_minitimeTue Sep 22, 2020 7:55 am

Lewis continues to ask why various factors weren't in his report. Kopelman says his report is already quite long, you could always find things I've left out that you think should be there, I found those to be administrative factors and tried to include psychiatric factors

Lewis trying to undermine Assange's suicidal ideation (but earlier he didn't recognize the word "ideation"). Kopelman pushing back against questions of his expertise and why every comment on his mental state wasn't included. "I don't pretend to have put every single comment in"

(Not including each bit of discussion, for Julian's privacy and because it's redundant of the above, Lewis bringing up a range of stray comments, Kopelman explaining that the report is a summary, not a full record of every possible item)


Kopelman referring to Julian declining to report some ideations for fear of being placed in solitary confinement



Lewis trying to suggest Kopelman might "change his mind about [his] diagnosis", Kopelman suggests they're minor factors, he's not going to change his diagnosis based on them 

Discussion whether Julian fearing conversations being recorded consitute delusions, Kopelman considers the fears to be rational due to Assange's experiences in the Embasy 

Long exchange over Assange's psychiatric history, medical evaluations. Now we break for lunch. Cross-examination continues at 2pm London time. #AssangeCase 


                             
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PostSubject: Re: NEW INDICTMENT AGAINST J ASSANGE   NEW INDICTMENT AGAINST J ASSANGE - Page 2 I_icon_minitimeTue Sep 22, 2020 10:10 am

Section 91 of the 2003 Extradition Act prohibits extradition if "the physical or mental condition of the person is such that it would be unjust or oppressive to extradite him
https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2003/41/section/91


Back from recess. Judge asks why Dr Kopelman's witness statement isn't provided to the press, the defense asks her to hear arguments that it be withheld out of respect for Assange's privacy. She'll hear those arguments later. Lewis continues cross-examination of Dr Kopelman.

Discussion over whether Dr Kopelman should have disclosed that Assange had a partner and 2 children in his first report, prosecution suggests this decreases suicidal risk. Kopelman says he was protecting Julian's privacy, that it's in his 2nd report, and the court knows it


Dr Kopelman read Melzer's comments but didn't include it in his report as he found it more a "political document" than a psychiatric one, he read it but didn't rely heavily on it

Lewis quoting at length from Melzer's reports, his commentary on multiple governments mobbing up against Assange. Kopelman says he doesn't understand why Lewis is reading this, as he didn't quote Melzer in his own report


Seems main point of this exercise was to get Kopelman to agree Melzer's comments are unbalanced. Kopelman won't comment on the political question, says he just took the medical aspects into consideration


Lewis is arguing that Assange's comments in court -- 2 weeks ago he was asked and said he did not want to be extradited and last week made comments during court -- are evidence that Assange can follow proceedings (and therefore, it's implied, isn't severely depressed)


Lewis asking Kopelman why he "relied on" reports from UN torture expert 
@NilsMelzer
. Dr Kopelman says "relied on" is not accurate, one of many factors.

Would you agree that his report is neither unbiased or accurate?

Dr Kopelman: Well, that depends on your perspective


Dr Kopelman read Melzer's comments but didn't include it in his report as he found it more a "political document" than a psychiatric one, he read it but didn't rely heavily on it

Lewis quoting at length from Melzer's reports, his commentary on multiple governments mobbing up against Assange. Kopelman says he doesn't understand why Lewis is reading this, as he didn't quote Melzer in his own report


Seems main point of this exercise was to get Kopelman to agree Melzer's comments are unbalanced. Kopelman won't comment on the political question, says he just took the medical aspects into consideration


Lewis is arguing that Assange's comments in court -- 2 weeks ago he was asked and said he did not want to be extradited and last week made comments during court -- are evidence that Assange can follow proceedings (and therefore, it's implied, isn't severely depressed)


Kopelman says he can't make a medical judgment based on the relaying of these stray comments in court. 


Lewis goes on to cite more comments from Julian speaking from the dock


                             
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