British High Court Buys Justice Department Lies, Rules To Extradite Julian Assange for Trial in U.S.
Dec. 10, 2021 (EIRNS)—Britain’s High Court on the morning of Dec. 10 overturned the previous denial of the extradition of Julian Assange to the United States. The two-judge appellate panel accepted the proffered guarantees from the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) that Assange: would not be put in the “supermax” prison in Florence, Colorado; would not be put under Special Administrative Measures (SAMs, including solitary confinement), “unless subsequent behavior by Assange justified it”; and, if convicted under the Espionage Act for exposing U.S. torture and war crimes, would be allowed to serve his time in his home country, Australia.
Assange’s fiancée, Stella Moris, asked: “How can it be fair, how can it be right, how can it be possible, to extradite Julian to the very country which plotted to kill him?” Glenn Greenwald found “the High Court’s faith in these guarantees ... particularly striking,” given the revelation that under then-Director Mike Pompeo, the CIA had “plotted to kidnap or even assassinate” Assange. Yet Lord Justice Timothy Holroyde proclaimed that “the court is satisfied that these assurances” from the Justice Department will protect Assange’s physical and mental health. HM’s High Court found that the assurances were “sufficient” and also “solemn undertakings” promised from one government to another.
Assange, detained now nine years and four months, the last 32 months “in the high-security Belmarsh Prison, described in the BBC in 2004 as ‘Britain’s Guantanamo Bay,’ ” wrote Greenwald. One of the first acts of the Biden DOJ was to appeal the January ruling of Judge Vanessa Baraitser, that Assange’s treatment by the U.S. prison system would likely overwhelm his fragile mental health. The DOJ demand that Assange remain in HM Belmarsh Prison while they appeal was granted. Greenwald points out that from 2010 to 2016, liberal advocacy groups were vocal in defense of Assange’s journalistic exposure of torture and war crimes. “One thing and only one thing has changed since then,” which was Assange’s exposure of the Hillary Clinton/DNC corruption in sabotaging Bernie Sanders’ campaign, and that vengeance now drives the Biden DOJ. True enough, but the intelligence community, while both Obama and Trump were Presidents, had Assange in their crosshairs.
Trevor Timm, the executive director of the Freedom of the Press Foundation, and a witness in Assange’s hearings, stated: “These proceedings, and today’s ruling, are a black mark on the history of press freedom. That United States prosecutors continued to push for this outcome is a betrayal of the journalistic principles the Biden administration has taken credit for celebrating. As brave whistleblowers have explained for decades, this kind of abuse of the Espionage Act against sources—and now journalists and publishers—is an embarrassment to basic ideals of justice and to core First Amendment values.”
Maria Zakharova, spokeswoman for Russia’s Foreign Affairs Ministry, observed on her Telegram channel that the ruling was made on International Human Rights Day, concluding: “This shameful verdict in this political case against a journalist and public figure is another manifestation of the cannibalistic worldview of the Anglo-Saxon tandem.”