13 August, 2020

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Julian Assange’s Full Speech To UN: ‘US Trying To Erect National Secrecy Regime’

Foreign Minister Patino, fellow delegates, ladies and gentlemen.I speak to you today as a free man, because despite having been detained for 659 days without charge, I am free in the most basic and important sense. I am free to speak my mind.This freedom exists because the nation of Ecuador has granted me political asylum and other nations have rallied to support its decision.

And it is because of Article 19 of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights that WikiLeaks is able to “receive and impart information… through any media, and any medium and regardless of frontiers”. And it is because of Article 14.1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which enshrines the right to seek asylum from persecution, and the 1951 Refugee Convention and other conventions produced by the United Nations that I am able to be protected along with others from political persecution.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IjPAmTn0WYA&feature=player_embedded

It is thanks to the United Nations that I am able to exercise my inalienable right to seek protection from the arbitrary and excessive actions taken by governments against me and the staff and supporters of my organisation. It is because of the absolute prohibition on torture enshrined in customary international law and the UN Convention Against Torture that we stand firmly to denounce torture and war crimes, as an organisation, regardless of who the perpetrators are.

I would like to thank the courtesy afforded to me by the Government of Ecuador in providing me with the space here today speak once again at the UN, in circumstances very different to my intervention in the Universal Periodic Review in Geneva.

Almost two years ago today, I spoke there about our work uncovering the torture and killing of over 100,000 Iraqi citizens.

But today I want to tell you an American story.

I want to tell you the story of a young American soldier in Iraq.

The soldier was born in Cresent Oaklahoma to a Welsh mother and US Navy father. His parents fell in love. His father was stationed at a US military base in Wales.

The soldier showed early promise as a boy, winning top prize at science fairs 3 years in a row.

He believed in the truth, and like all of us, hated hypocrisy.

He believed in liberty and the right for all of us to pursue happiness. He believed in the values that founded an independent United States. He believed in Madison, he believed in Jefferson and he believed in Paine. Like many teenagers, he was unsure what to do with his life, but he knew he wanted to defend his country and he knew he wanted to learn about the world. He entered the US military and, like his father, trained as an intelligence analyst.

In late 2009, aged 21, he was deployed to Iraq.

There, it is alleged, he saw a US military that often did not follow the rule of law, and in fact, engaged in murder and supported political corruption.

It is alleged, it was there, in Baghdad, in 2010 that he gave to WikiLeaks, and to the world, details that exposed the torture of Iraqis, the murder of journalists and the detailed records of over 120,000 civilian killings in Iraq and in Afghanistan. He is also alleged to have given WikiLeaks 251,000 US diplomatic cables, which then went on to help trigger the Arab Spring. This young soldier’s name is Bradley Manning.

Allegedly betrayed by an informer, he was then imprisoned in Baghdad, imprisoned in Kuwait, and imprisoned in Virginia, where he was kept for 9 months in isolation and subject to severe abuse. The UN Special Rapporteur for Torture, Juan Mendez, investigated and formally found against the United States.

Hillary Clinton’s spokesman resigned. Bradley Manning, science fair all-star, soldier and patriot was degraded, abused and psychologically tortured by his own government. He was charged with a death penalty offence. These things happened to him, as the US government tried to break him, to force him to testify against WikiLeaks and me.

As of today Bradley Manning has been detained without trial for 856 days.

The legal maximum in the US military is 120 days.

The US administration is trying to erect a national regime of secrecy. A national regime of obfuscation.

A regime where any government employee revealing sensitive information to a media organization can be sentenced to death, life imprisonment or for espionage and journalists from a media organization with them.

We should not underestimate the scale of the investigation which has happened into WikiLeaks. I only wish I could say that Bradley Manning was the only victim of the situation. But the assault on WikiLeaks in relation to that matter and others has produced an investigation that Australian diplomats say is without precedent in its scale and nature. That the US government called a “whole of government investigation.”

Those government agencies identified so far as a matter of public record having been involved in this investigation include: the Department of Defense, Centcom, the Defence Intelligence Agency, the US Army Criminal Investigation Division, the United States Forces in Iraq, the First Army Division, The US Army Computer Crimes Investigative Unit, the CCIU, the Second Army Cyber-Command. And within those three separate intelligence investigations, the Department of Justice, most significantly, and its US Grand Jury in Alexandria Virginia, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, which now has, according to court testimony early this year produced a file of 42,135 pages into WikiLeaks, of which less than 8000 concern Bradley Manning. The Department of State, the Department of State’s Diplomatic Security Services. In addition we have been investigated by the Office of the Director General of National Intelligence, the ODNI, the Director of National Counterintelligence Executive, the Central Intelligence Agency, the House Oversight Committee, the National Security Staff Interagency Committee, and the PIAB – the President’s Intelligence Advisory Board.

The Department of Justice spokesperson Dean Boyd confirmed in July 2012 that the Department of Justice investigation into WikiLeaks is ongoing.

For all Barack Obama’s fine words yesterday, and there were many of them, fine words, it is his administration that boasts on his campaign website of criminalizing more speech that all previous US presidents combined.

I am reminded of the phrase: “the audacity of hope.”

Who can say that the President of the United States is not audacious?

Was it not audacity for the United States government to take credit for the last two years’ avalanche of progress?

Was it not audacious to say, on Tuesday, that the “United States supported the forces of change” in the Arab Spring?

Tunisian history did not begin in December 2010.

And Mohammed Bouazizi did not set himself on fire so that Barack Obama could be reelected.

His death was an emblem of the despair he had to endure under the Ben Ali regime.

The world knew, after reading WikiLeaks publications, that the Ben Ali regime and its government had for long years enjoyed the indifference, if not the support, of the United States – in full knowledge of its excesses and its crimes.

So it must come as a surprise to Tunisians that the United States supported the forces of change in their country.

It must come as a surprise to the Egyptian teenagers who washed American teargas out of their eyes that the US administration supported change in Egypt.

It must come as a surprise to those who heard Hillary Clinton insist that Mubarak’s regime was “stable,” and when it was clear to everyone that it was not, that its hated intelligence chief, Sueilman, who we proved the US knew was a torturer, should take the realm.

It must come as a surprise to all those Egyptians who heard Vice President Joseph Biden declare that Hosni Mubarak was a democrat and that Julian Assange was a high tech terrorist.

It is disrespectful to the dead and incarcerated of the Bahrain uprising to claim that the United States “supported the forces of change.”

This is indeed audacity.

Who can say that it is not audacious that the President – concerned to appear leaderly – looks back on this sea change – the people’s change – and calls it his own?

But we can take heart here too, because it means that the White House has seen that this progress is inevitable.

In this “season of progress” the president has seen which way the wind is blowing.

And he must now pretend that it is his adminstration that made it blow.

Very well. This is better than the alternative – to drift into irrelevance as the world moves on.

We must be clear here.

The United States is not the enemy.

Its government is not uniform. In some cases good people in the United States supported the forces of change. And perhaps Barack Obama personally was one of them.

But in others, and en masse, early on, it actively opposed them.

This is a matter of historical record.

And it is not fair and it is not appropriate for the President to distort that record for political gain, or for the sake of uttering fine words.

Credit should be given where it is due, but it should be withheld where it is not.

And as for the fine words.

They are fine words.

And we commend and agree with these fine words.

We agree when President Obama said yesterday that people can resolve their differences peacefully.

We agree that diplomacy can take the place of war.

And we agree that this is an interdependent world, that all of us have a stake in.

We agree that freedom and self-determination are not merely American or Western values, but universal values.

And we agree with the President when he says that we must speak honestly if we are serious about these ideals.

But fine words languish without commensurate actions.

President Obama spoke out strongly in favour of the freedom of expression.

“Those in power,” he said, “have to resist the temptation to crack down on dissent.”

There are times for words and there are times for action. The time for words has run out.

It is time for the US to cease its persecution of WikiLeaks, to cease its persecution of our people, and to cease its persecution of our alleged sources.

It is time for President Obama do the right thing, and join the forces of change, not in fine words but in fine deeds.

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    Julian Assange has brilliantly contrasted Obama’s political compulsions against his vision and natural inclinations. The dilemma for any leader is to make sure the better inclinations and the higher vision predominate, while responding to political compulsions. A very difficult balancing act!

    Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

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    Exactly correct Asange, I wish to pour honey into your mouth.

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    Not all in life is black or white or digital and discreet. Nature itself is mostly analogeic, non-linear and logarithmic. To most educated and thinking beings it’s obvious that more good has emerged from the works of Wiki leaks even though it would not have been possible for Bradley Manning prior to the 9/11destructions. Hence it’s an ongoing story like the world wars.

    If the US Govts is to lessen its loss of credibility and appear as much humbug and hypocritical like the red block Govts of Russia, China and it’s apparent proxy North Korea like Israeli proxy for the wealthy Jewish lobby of the USA then it should persist in its stupidity like ostensibly trying to prevent Iran from having nukes. The underlying agenda here too seems different as any nuclear device exploded in that region will affect almost all countries in the region dependent on prevailing wind conditions and other fortuitous circumstances.

    No country has ever exploded a nuclear device since Hiroshima and Nagasaki due to the potential realisation of Mutually Assured Destruction or MAD principle as amply demonstrated despite there being thousands of such devices in with the five security council permanent members and other members declared or otherwise.

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    Excellent. One man’s fight for justice.

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    It is a Case of Sanity against Insanity in this World. If the Decent, Honest do not stand up the Evil will.

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    Julian Assange is trying to run away from justice. If he is innocent why is he refusing to be extradited to face the charges. Look at Bolivia that has granted him asylum. It does not respects human rights or media freedom.

    Even for argument sake we accept that he may be sent to US to face charges there why is he worried? United States has in place a judicial system that protects the rights of accuseds.

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      Response to pseudonymous or abrevated Naga. Duplicitous Govts and people triumph every day that Julian Assange is kept at bay in Ecuadorian Embassy and people are prevented from contributing to to his fighting fund to expose the duplicitous, corrupt and fraudulent.

      The website on URL http://www.netk.net.au/WhittonHome.au clarifies the many reasons behind our judicial systems for this inequitable and unfair state of affairs which vested powerful interests will not be willing to change.

      Serial liars: how lawyers get the money
      By Evan Whitton – posted Thursday, 17 May 2007

      I started questioning the law only after a unique opportunity to observe at first hand how the West’s two legal systems dealt with the same organised criminal, Sir Terence Lewis, Police Commissioner of Queensland.
      In 1988, the European inquisitorial (investigative) system found a Niagara of evidence against him, but in 1991 the Anglo-American adversary system effectively found none. The judge felt obliged to conceal so much evidence that he had to tell the jury there was no reliable evidence [left], and that it would be dangerous to convict.
      But the jury found Terry guilty, and that gave him entrée to a select club: he is the 14th knight since the 14th century to be stripped of his knighthood. He also got 14 years and served 10½. As for me, trying to find out why two systems of justice are so different condemned me to 14 years of drudgery. What I learned is quite interesting, in its way.
      First, what are lawyers? Harvard ethics professor Arthur Applbaum said in 1995: “Lawyers might accurately be described as serial liars because they repeatedly try to induce others to believe in the truth of propositions, or in the validity of arguments, that they believe to be false.” I assume he meant the 40 per cent who are trial lawyers.
      Second, what is justice? A former Australian Federal Court judge, Russell Fox QC, says in Justice in the 21st Century (Cavendish, 2000) that justice means fairness, fairness requires truth, truth means reality, and the search for truth gives a system a moral face, otherwise the likely winner will merely be the one with the most resources.
      So everything turns on truth. The adversary system does not search for the truth, and trial lawyers control the evidence, and hence the process, and hence the money. Judges control the courtroom, but are untrained, ignorant of the facts and passive. The investigative system is the opposite: it searches for the truth, and trained judges control the process.
      Third, how did it happen? Roman law was based on truth, but in the Dark Ages after the fall of the Roman Empire in AD476, Europe and England reverted to superstition and changed to an anti-truth accusatorial system: A accused B and an inscrutable deity was supposed to deliver the verdict.
      William II (d. 1100) made the English public sector totally corrupt: he put every public office on sale and the buyer in turn extorted bribes from those who dealt with him. When lawyers and judges began to be paid for the first time about 1180, they naturally formed a cartel to maximise their profits.
      In Rome in 1190, the future Pope Innocent III began to reinvent Roman law as a method of finding the truth of allegations against religious. His inquisitorial system was endorsed by an ecumenical council in November 1215 and shortly adopted by European courts.
      In 1219, the English lawyer-judge cartel decided to persist with the accusatorial system, either from bottomless stupidity or because corruption is easier if truth is not on the agenda. An inscrutable jury replaced the inscrutable deity.
      The adversary system is a version of the accusatorial system. It origins go back to 1460, when lawyers began to get control of civil evidence, and began to invent ways of spinning the process out.
      There was then no money in criminal work; lawyers began to appear in criminal courts only in the 18th century, and had control of the criminal process by the first decade of the 19th century. The adversary system was now complete. Most of the system’s 26 anti-truth devices have been invented since then.
      Bonaparte began reforming the investigative system in 1800. That system now affects some 1.6 billion in European countries, their former colonies, and Japan and South Korea. The adversary system affects a similar number in Britain and its former colonies.
      Further differences. A civil hearing in the adversary system can take months or years; the record is 117 years A civil hearing in the investigative system takes a total of about a day. In serious criminal cases, 99 per cent of accused are guilty. The adversary system convicts fewer than 50 per cent; the investigative system puts away 90 per cent.
      The above 700 words is the product of the drudgery and three books, Trial by Voodoo, The Cartel, and now Serial Liars, which some think is quite useful, perhaps because it is mercifully brief primer on the two systems. For example:
      Alex Wade, a British lawyer, wrote in The Times (September 22, 2006). “Serial Liars … should be required reading for all law students … in fact, it should be read by everyone involved in the law … [The] core argument [is]: “The European process is controlled by trained judges and is largely about truth; the Anglo-American process is controlled by trained lawyers and is largely about money.”
      Brett Dawson, former Hong Kong Crown Prosecutor, wrote: “[Serial Liars] provides ordinary members of the public with the proof they need to demand that the adversarial system be abandoned in favour of inquisitorial method. Make no mistake. This is eventually going to have to come. Of course there will be monstrous opposition from the legal profession, backed up by every dishonest argument imaginable, and then some. Serial Liars confronts all the major lawyer arguments, and disposes of them.”
      Phillip Knightley, twice British Journalist of the Year, wrote: “Serial Liars is a masterpiece.”
      The system will change when non-lawyers understand how and why the adversary system is not interested in truth, and express their outrage to lawyers in legislatures. As a small gesture towards that understanding, Serial Liars can be downloaded free from a website in
      A Better Legal System
      • Home
      • Reviews
      • Comments
      • Links
      Download Serial Liars

      Serial Liars
      Evan Whitton
      The 1.6 billion people in the English-speaking world could not have a worse legal system. Criminal law is unfair to victims, police and public. Civil law is unfair to some in business and the professions. More than 50% of major criminals get off. Judges are not trained.
      The system will improve when the public, who fund it, understand why and how it is unjust, and insist that legislators make the necessary changes. I believe Serial Liars helps that understanding.
      The Preface (see Preview) notes a unique experience that prompted 14 years of research. I observed at first hand how the West’s two legal systems dealt successively with a corrupt police chief. The European investigative system revealed a Niagara of evidence against him; the Anglo-American adversary system said there was none.
      How could that be? It emerged that the investigative system searches for the truth, and trained judges control the process, whereas the adversary system actively conceals the truth, and trial lawyers control the evidence, and hence the process, and hence the money.
      The Contents (also in Preview) point to much new information, e.g. where the two systems came from; the adversary system’s 26 anti-truth devices; how the investigative system works; how it puts away 90% of the guilty; and how a civil hearing takes about a day in total.
      The new data may be why an English lawyer wrote in The Times: “[Serial Liars] should be required reading for all law students … in fact, it should be read by everyone involved in the law.” (See Reviews)
      Evan’s Archive includes some of my pieces from the legal journal Justinian (www.justinian.com.au). One item shows how Aristotle’s petitio principii fallacy (arguing in a circle) is used to (wrongly) justify adversarial ethics, or lack thereof.

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    recent pix

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    (Draft)
    Not all in life is black or white or digital and discreet. Nature itself is mostly analogeic, non-linear and logarithmic. To most educated and thinking more rational beings it’s obvious that more and mostly good has emerged to most people (though embarrassing to the duplicitous) from the works of Julian Assange and Wikileaks. It would not have been possible for Bradley Manning prior to the 9/11 were it not for interworking of security agencies with almost an almost 10 fold budget these days. Hence it’s all part and parcel and similar to the ongoing story like the two world wars.

    If the US Govts are to lessen their loss of credibility and appear less hypocritical as the red block Govts of Russia, China and it’s apparent proxy North Korea similar to the Israeli proxy of the USA ruled in reality as the truer power behind by the wealthy Jewish upper crust. USA needs to carry on regardless keeping its giant military industrial complex well fed along with the other need for crude oil that mostly contributed to Japan’s entry into the 2nd world war. Hence it would persist in its quest for resources by ostensibly claiming to prevent Iran from having nukes to save Israel.

    The underlying truer agenda is not what is claimed to be as the truer reality is that any nuclear device exploded in that region will affect the exploder as much as the other contiguous countries in the adjacent region dependent on prevailing wind conditions and other unforseen fortuitous circumstances.

    No country has ever exploded a nuclear device since Hiroshima and Nagasaki due being aware of the MAD, Mutually Assured Destruction potential at work as amply demonstrated to-date. There are over 7,000 such devices poised to take-off, with the five Security Council permanent members and other members whether declared to posses or not by any chosen or ordinary and/or master race.

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