Flinging Spaghetti in the Julian Assange Case: Improvising Indictments based on FBI Lies
If the US throws enough strands of spaghetti at the walls that keep Assange jailed in a maximum security prison, will they stick? The U.S. has been improvising indictments throughout the extradition case as reported by Craig Murray here.
Ever since I heard about Wikileaks in Nov. 2009, when the Canadian government was silencing whistleblowers left and right, I have watched how the US has attempted to *get Assange* using both overt and covert methods. The US has had the most success with its covert methods: Pretending to not be involved in a massive pursuit of Assange, feigning disinterest and denying the existence of Wikileaks war rooms or a sealed indictment against him, also known as “gaslighting”.
Following the sexy summer of 2010 in Sweden, the US relished the reputational damage meted out on Assange and denied any covert involvement in a secret pursuit of him or his organization. It took 10 full years before their prosecution became overt, public and “uncloaked” like a Romulon aircraft on Star Trek.
Following his surrender to British authorities on Dec. 7th, 2010, he was targeted with misinformation campaigns (GaslightingAssange book is on the way), irregular judicial processes which signal political interference and incrementally restricted human rights. He went from being an international reporter on matters of world interest to now being an amoeba of his former self: locked in jail the size of a parking spot for 23 hrs a day, exposed to variants of a killer virus, without internet access, nutritious food, his own legal papers, fresh air, dental and medical treatment and literally disabled from being to defend himself. He does not draw an income from public speaking, writing books or anything he was previously able to do prior to being cut off from the internet (March 2018) then robbed of all his possessions (April 2019), perp-walked to a UK court on May 1, 2019 and wrongfully accused of skipping bail. Things got worse when he learned that the US indictments were finally public and he would be held in not a minimum security holding facility as a remand prisoner, but in a maximum security (think gates, electronic doors, 20 min. walk along corridors to get from the front door or vehicle bay to a designated cell, pat-downs, strip-searches) facility where terrorists, pedophiles, rapists and actual criminals are held for the duration of their lives. Assange is a gentle, mentally tortured intellect who is no danger to society. He’s an intellect.
Since April 11, 2019 the US has set forth 3 sets of indictments against Julian Assange which have served to keep him stuck in the prison (like a beer in a fridge) awaiting extradition to the United States. The last indictment was made public just prior to the final phase of the UK extradition hearings which happened in 2 parts (Sept. 2020 and Jan. 2021). Essentially, every time the US accused Assange of something it would put it in writing, make it public, then revise it in response to media coverage, legal arguments made by the defence team and blog coverage by people like Craig Murray who has astutely educated the public about legal inconsistencies, judicial irregularities and the hostile environment of the court room, including a fish-tank glass box for the “defendant”. Rebecca Vincent of RSF has reported on the lack of media access, excessive technical difficulties during the hearings and the elevated strictness of security during the court process. She gives a summary of the Jan. 2021 court decision here.
Kevin Gosztola has reported extensively on the UK court hearings. I have also contributed to the blog discussion and analysis of the case. The US improvised claims against Assange, making up new charges and offences as the case progressed, even well past deadlines for paperwork submissions, and the UK courts did not dismiss them. The UK catered to the US’s improvisation and permitted the US to conduct itself in ways that were or would have been prohibited if the defence team had attempted the same.
The most recent indictment was presented on day 1 of the September hearing. The lawyers did not have time to review it and requested a postponement of the UK extradition. Here’s the key… even though the latest superceding indictment was an entirely new set of arguments for getting Assange into US custody, the UK accepted them. It’s been like watching someone boil pasta, then throw strands of pasta against the wall to see if anything “sticks”.
The new set of arguments was improvised based on the testimony of a person who had access to Assange and a motive to invent lies for which the US could fabricate into the new indictment. They blackmailed, coerced and likely paid this person for their cooperation in the Assange investigation. The person is/was Siggy Thordarson, a guy from Iceland who has a shady past and diagnosed personality disorder (sociopathy). He served up some tasty lies which the US used in its latest indictment recipe.
Here’s the thing: A couple of weeks ago Thordarson retracted his lies. That means that the most recent superceding indictment has no legs. The US thought that Siggi’s strands of spaghetti would “stick” and the case to *get Assange* would gain traction.
In other words, the US has been eager for a large bowl of pasta with beer. The meat-grinder of UK injustice would provide the meat for the pasta sauce. The beer has been kept cool in Belmarsh maximum security prison for over 2 years. In January 2021 when the extradition trial wrapped up in British courts, the legal arguments for extraditing Assange under the equivalent of Britain’s Official Secrets Act was established; Assange was judged to be barred from extradition based on his mental health alone, not the arguments for press freedom or public disclosure of information through a publisher.
Thordarson retracted his lies. That is good news for Assange but bad news for the US who thought it could get away with improvising new indictments, sticking the middle finger to UK courts on timelines/paperwork deadlines and bullying female judges in minimally visible court proceedings. The US is ticked about the surprising decision to bar Assange’s extradition. It indicated as much this week when the UK granted its application to appeal that decision. It expected to have opportunities to sweet-talk the UK judge during the January 2021 hearing and the ability to persuade her judgement prior to her issuing her final decision. Read this extract from the appeal judgement obtained by the New York Times journalist Charlie Savage.
If UK courts were to hear the case again with the new knowledge about the basis for the US’s latest improvisation attempt at a superceding indictment, I am certain that she would have given both legal teams the opportunity to interrogate the reliability and factual basis of Thordarson’s most recent testimony which retracts his previous testimonies. Thordarson would have been subjected to the rigours of examination and cross examination at the very least. His testimony may have been given more weight by the UK judge and perhaps Assange’s extradition would have been barred (denied) in whole as the facts upon which the charges were/are based are without basis.
If I were a UK judge, I might be quite insulted and fed-up with the US shenanigans in the Assange case. If you re-read the one page summary of the US arguments to appeal the denial of delivering Assange to their cruel and inhuman prison system, you will detect a waft of entitlement and hubris. If the extract had a voice, it would be that of a bossy, bratty child who lost at a board game and is whining about not being able to boss around the judge or bribe her before she “calls the game” in its favour. It’s like the UK is sick of the mafia-esque bullshit of the United States.
To put it simply, the US ordered take-out but hasn’t got delivery as yet. It ordered spaghetti and meatballs with beer. Assange is the beer in the beer fridge. Britain has been holding the beer in a maximum security prison. The spaghetti isn’t ready. The meatballs are no longer on the menu. Sweden dropped the case without ever pressing formal charges.
Biden should cancel the order. DropTheCharges. Cancel the order to deliver Assange from Britain using a stale, base-less and fabricated set of indictments based on the lies of a known sociopath. The US must drop the charges against Assange; for First Amendment principles first and foremost (my blog on that) but also because their prime witness admits to being “bought” (blackmailed, bribed, coerced, given an offer he couldn’t refuse).
I will post links to this blog in due course. For now, it is an analogy worth considering.