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#15109024
Please read this open letter concerning chief Magistrate Arbuthnot and if you agree with the contents please sign or/and comment in the available comments section below where is says “Leave a reply” . Alternatively, you can send an e-mail to [email protected] asking for your signature (and if you wish, profession and country of residence) to be added to the Open Letter.

Open Letter to the Lord Chancellor and the Lord chief Justice concerning chief Magistrate Arbuthnot

Given this longstanding unacceptable situation, we are signing this Open Letter, because the stultifying bureaucracy and gross negligence (to say the least) with which Mr Assange’s life is being handled has crossed all red lines. We are sounding the loudest alarm bells down History’s corridors. The wrongful actions and omissions of those responsible are on the record. Commodum Ex Injuria Sua Nemo Habere Debet (a wrongdoer should not be enabled by law to take any advantage from his actions).

We seek an immediate investigation of this matter as a matter of urgency and the removal of Chief Magistrate Emma Arbuthnot from office on the ground of misbehaviour.
#15109640
Assange to appear over video link at Monday 27 July hearing

Julian Assange is expected to appear over video link at Westminster Magistrates’ Court’s hearing on Monday (27 July), despite medical advice that he risks contracting COVID-19. A lung infection combined with a pre-existing condition and the risk of exposure to COVID-19 had prevented him from attending recent hearings.

For the past seventeen weeks, Julian Assange has not been able to meet with his lawyers to prepare his extradition case.

Read more at the above link...
#15109765
Disclaimer: This post is not against Assange but probably equally repulsive if not more. Read with discretion.


I thought using video link is exactly a measure to avoid unnecessary personal contact while maintaining the process. Do anyone actually believe the United Kingdom want to have this guy occupying valuable prison space or, worse, allowing him to die in their prison and thus make them look bad?

I can see that some people here want Assange to be released without any hearing, but as the judicial process is in place, the magistrate yielding to public pressure and releasing Assange right away will be a compromise of judiciary independence -- to general public opinion. Judiciary independence should go both ways. Just as much as no one wants governments to abuse their power and meddle the judiciary, it is necessary not to have the judiciary relent to public pressure arbitrarily and open a path to mob rule.
#15109788
Patrickov wrote:
Disclaimer: This post is not against Assange but probably equally repulsive if not more. Read with discretion.


I thought using video link is exactly a measure to avoid unnecessary personal contact while maintaining the process. Do anyone actually believe the United Kingdom want to have this guy occupying valuable prison space or, worse, allowing him to die in their prison and thus make them look bad?

I can see that some people here want Assange to be released without any hearing, but as the judicial process is in place, the magistrate yielding to public pressure and releasing Assange right away will be a compromise of judiciary independence -- to general public opinion. Judiciary independence should go both ways. Just as much as no one wants governments to abuse their power and meddle the judiciary, it is necessary not to have the judiciary relent to public pressure arbitrarily and open a path to mob rule.



What's the charge against Assange?
#15109791
ckaihatsu wrote:What's the charge against Assange?


Espionage.

I disagree to make a platform to disclose diplomatic documents without authorization in the first place, and I actually think there's nothing wrong that someone whose find their positions unnecessarily compromised decide to take legal action against someone having a role on the platform. It has to be done to deter more malicious leakers.

Whether it is right to make Assange bear all the responsibility or price personally is debatable, but I won't agree letting him walk away Scot-free, especially not if the judiciary process has started.
#15109792
Patrickov wrote:
Espionage.

I disagree to make a platform to disclose diplomatic documents without authorization in the first place, and I actually think there's nothing wrong that someone whose find their positions unnecessarily compromised decide to take legal action against someone having a role on the platform. It has to be done to deter more malicious leakers.

Whether it is right to make Assange bear all the responsibility or price personally is debatable, but I won't agree letting him walk away Scot-free, especially not if the judiciary process has started.



There's already a *precedent* regarding the publishing of information about government war crimes:



John Mitchell, Nixon's Attorney General, almost immediately issued a telegram to the Times ordering that it halt publication. The Times refused, and the government brought suit against it.

Although the Times eventually won the case before the Supreme Court, prior to that, an appellate court ordered that the Times temporarily halt further publication. This was the first time the federal government was able to restrain the publication of a major newspaper since the presidency of Abraham Lincoln during the U.S. Civil War. Ellsberg released the Pentagon Papers to seventeen other newspapers in rapid succession.[22] The right of the press to publish the papers was upheld in New York Times Co. v. United States. The Supreme Court ruling has been called one of the "modern pillars" of First Amendment rights with respect to freedom of the press.[23]

In response to the leaks, Nixon White House staffers began a campaign against further leaks and against Ellsberg personally.[24] Aides Egil Krogh and David Young, under the supervision of John Ehrlichman, created the "White House Plumbers", which would later lead to the Watergate burglaries. Richard Holbrooke, a friend of Ellsberg, came to see him as "one of those accidental characters of history who show the pattern of a whole era" and thought that he was the "triggering mechanism for events which would link Vietnam and Watergate in one continuous 1961-to-1975 story."[25]



https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daniel_Ellsberg#Fallout
#15109795
ckaihatsu wrote:There's already a *precedent* regarding the publishing of information about government war crimes:


Establishing Wikileaks is a systematic attempt on a much wider scale than the Ellsberg case, and while the intention may be glorious, the act itself can be misused by malicious parties. It is very dangerous if governments do not prosecute at all (although I understand that anarchists will argue that governments deserve to, should or even need to be undermined).
#15109799
Patrickov wrote:
Establishing Wikileaks is a systematic attempt on a much wider scale than the Ellsberg case, and while the intention may be glorious, the act itself can be misused by malicious parties. It is very dangerous if governments do not prosecute at all (although I understand that anarchists will argue that governments deserve to, should or even need to be undermined).



So then why isn't the U.S. government suing *Wikileaks* as an organization?

The 'act' of releasing evidence of government war crimes would be the same whether the organization was a newspaper (New York Times), an organization (Wikileaks), or an individual (Assange or Manning).

Doesn't the *content* have any bearing at all here? At-issue is the documentation of government *war crimes* in Iraq, when the U.S. military had no reason to invade and occupy Iraq in the first place.

Your entire argument is that sometime in the future others with *malicious* intent may try to use a First-Amendment-type precedent to wrongly publish 'malicious' kinds of information, and so Assange should be persecuted in the present day to prevent that possibility from happening. Am I summarizing your position correctly here?

I'll again note that the First-Amendment-type precedent *already* exists, in the Ellsberg case, so what would be accomplished, exactly, in the continued persecution of Assange?
#15109895
ckaihatsu wrote:So then why isn't the U.S. government suing *Wikileaks* as an organization?


Shutting down the organization wouldn't stop the involved personnel (they could simply make another), besides going down that path would still have Assange persecuted at the end.

ckaihatsu wrote:Doesn't the *content* have any bearing at all here? At-issue is the documentation of government *war crimes* in Iraq, when the U.S. military had no reason to invade and occupy Iraq in the first place.


No. The problem should be the establishment of the platform itself. The release of the said information was merely the ignition point. If the United States do use this as a main justification of persecution they would have no one to blame if the case is eventually thrown out.

ckaihatsu wrote:Your entire argument is that sometime in the future others with *malicious* intent may try to use a First-Amendment-type precedent to wrongly publish 'malicious' kinds of information, and so Assange should be persecuted in the present day to prevent that possibility from happening. Am I summarizing your position correctly here?

I'll again note that the First-Amendment-type precedent *already* exists, in the Ellsberg case, so what would be accomplished, exactly, in the continued persecution of Assange?



A simple answer to the first question is "Yes", but I think some supplementary opinion is required on my part.

I disagree with the Americans using "Assange not being American" as their reason of "not" applying the First Amendment. To me, that Amendment should not be relevant in the first place (it affects how the U.S. make laws). Standing in their shoes, they should claim (and prove) that by establishing Wikileaks, Assange abused the freedom of speech, or opened the possibility for others to commit such abuse, even though he believed (and in some sense, objectively) it's for the greater good.

I believe Wikileaks does have some rules preventing such reason to hold. On this occasion, the leak of the said embarrassing documents could be argued as the evidence that Wikileaks failed to contain such abuse. Echoing what I said above, though, if I were the Americans I would rather find something objectively problematic, i.e. not those which expose American atrocities, but some diplomatic secret that doesn't serve the greater good and only creates unnecessary distrust between nations.

For example, I remember a Chinese diplomat secretly commenting that they would allow South Korea unifying the peninsula because Kim Jong-Il was being unpredictable. I would consider those documents both embarrassing and not actually beneficial, and I am sure a lot more similar documents were leaked against the United States.


I'd say I am a bit drifting off here. What I think is that Assange and his supporters tried to challenge the current order and it's natural or even justified that a martyr is being made out of him. To me, the real aim should be forcing nations to adopt a more open approach in handling their supposedly classified information, and have such system under adequate public scrutiny that people do not need to resort to means like Wikileaks in the foreseeable future.

I somehow have a new thought that Assange's martyrdom would generate enough public uproar and enhance this cause. Having him walk away Scot-free would cause the people forget the event more easily.
#15109952
Patrickov wrote:
Shutting down the organization wouldn't stop the involved personnel (they could simply make another), besides going down that path would still have Assange persecuted at the end.



Okay.


---


ckaihatsu wrote:
Doesn't the *content* have any bearing at all here? At-issue is the documentation of government *war crimes* in Iraq, when the U.S. military had no reason to invade and occupy Iraq in the first place.



Patrickov wrote:
No. The problem should be the establishment of the platform itself. The release of the said information was merely the ignition point. If the United States do use this as a main justification of persecution they would have no one to blame if the case is eventually thrown out.



What 'platform' are you referring to here?

The 'said information' -- regarding U.S. war crimes in Iraq -- is what this is all about, and is why Assange has been imprisoned for all this time.

What are *you* saying is '[the] main justification of persecution [of Assange]'?


Patrickov wrote:
A simple answer to the first question is "Yes", but I think some supplementary opinion is required on my part.

I disagree with the Americans using "Assange not being American" as their reason of "not" applying the First Amendment. To me, that Amendment should not be relevant in the first place (it affects how the U.S. make laws). Standing in their shoes, they should claim (and prove) that by establishing Wikileaks, Assange abused the freedom of speech, or opened the possibility for others to commit such abuse, even though he believed (and in some sense, objectively) it's for the greater good.



What "abuse" are you referring to here -- you're being vague.

Wikileaks / Assange played a 'whistleblower' role, which is perfectly legally acceptable:


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whistlebl ... ection_Act

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whistlebl ... ted_States


Regarding the 'greater good', there's a legal avenue for *that* as well:



In the criminal law of many nations, necessity may be either a possible justification or an exculpation for breaking the law. Defendants seeking to rely on this defense argue that they should not be held liable for their actions as a crime because their conduct was necessary to prevent some greater harm and when that conduct is not excused under some other more specific provision of law such as self defense.



https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Necessity_(criminal_law)



---


Patrickov wrote:
I believe Wikileaks does have some rules preventing such reason to hold. On this occasion, the leak of the said embarrassing documents could be argued as the evidence that Wikileaks failed to contain such abuse. Echoing what I said above, though, if I were the Americans I would rather find something objectively problematic, i.e. not those which expose American atrocities, but some diplomatic secret that doesn't serve the greater good and only creates unnecessary distrust between nations.



You're going off-topic here.


Patrickov wrote:
For example, I remember a Chinese diplomat secretly commenting that they would allow South Korea unifying the peninsula because Kim Jong-Il was being unpredictable. I would consider those documents both embarrassing and not actually beneficial, and I am sure a lot more similar documents were leaked against the United States.



This is a bad example, though, because the context is *geopolitical*, and not *criminal*, as in Assange's case.


Patrickov wrote:
I'd say I am a bit drifting off here. What I think is that Assange and his supporters tried to challenge the current order and it's natural or even justified that a martyr is being made out of him. To me, the real aim should be forcing nations to adopt a more open approach in handling their supposedly classified information, and have such system under adequate public scrutiny that people do not need to resort to means like Wikileaks in the foreseeable future.



If the 'real aim' is purportedly 'a more open approach in handling [national] classified information', then it *wouldn't matter* whether Wikileaks, or any Wikileaks-type organization was used as a clearinghouse for such information.


Patrickov wrote:
I somehow have a new thought that Assange's martyrdom would generate enough public uproar and enhance this cause. Having him walk away Scot-free would cause the people forget the event more easily.



And which outcome do you *favor*?
#15109972
ckaihatsu wrote:What 'platform' are you referring to here?

The 'said information' -- regarding U.S. war crimes in Iraq -- is what this is all about, and is why Assange has been imprisoned for all this time.

What are *you* saying is '[the] main justification of persecution [of Assange]'?


I mean the focus should be establishing Wikileaks itself, and those information should be seen as proof not the action to be charged itself. If the United States said the release of the documents was the crime of espionage itself then they have no one to blame if their case are eventually thrown out.



ckaihatsu wrote:What "abuse" are you referring to here -- you're being vague.

Wikileaks / Assange played a 'whistleblower' role, which is perfectly legally acceptable:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whistlebl ... ection_Act

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whistlebl ... ted_States


An example of "abuse" was further down the post, which you later would denounce as "bad". I will make my reply there.


You're going off-topic here.


Explain please. This accusation was being used by another PoFo member as an excuse of having no argument too frequently that I have some deja vu here.


ckaihatsu wrote:This is a bad example, though, because the context is *geopolitical*, and not *criminal*, as in Assange's case.


What I mean is exactly that Wikileaks opened the opportunity for others to leak information not in the aim of whistle-blowing but just to stir up the situation for whatever might benefit them. This is a no-no to me.


ckaihatsu wrote:If the 'real aim' is purportedly 'a more open approach in handling [national] classified information', then it *wouldn't matter* whether Wikileaks, or any Wikileaks-type organization was used as a clearinghouse for such information.


This is not the United State's real aim. That's what I perceive the protest and struggle should aim for.


ckaihatsu wrote:And which outcome do you *favor*?


I cannot decide. Both Assange walking away scot-free and him dying in custody were not good.
#15110097
Patrickov wrote:
No. The problem should be the establishment of the platform itself. The release of the said information was merely the ignition point. If the United States do use this as a main justification of persecution they would have no one to blame if the case is eventually thrown out.



ckaihatsu wrote:
What 'platform' are you referring to here?

The 'said information' -- regarding U.S. war crimes in Iraq -- is what this is all about, and is why Assange has been imprisoned for all this time.

What are *you* saying is '[the] main justification of persecution [of Assange]'?



Patrickov wrote:
I mean the focus should be establishing Wikileaks itself, and those information should be seen as proof not the action to be charged itself. If the United States said the release of the documents was the crime of espionage itself then they have no one to blame if their case are eventually thrown out.



I'm sorry, but I still don't understand your meaning. You may want to rephrase.


---


Patrickov wrote:
An example of "abuse" was further down the post, which you later would denounce as "bad". I will make my reply there.



---


Patrickov wrote:
I believe Wikileaks does have some rules preventing such reason to hold. On this occasion, the leak of the said embarrassing documents could be argued as the evidence that Wikileaks failed to contain such abuse. Echoing what I said above, though, if I were the Americans I would rather find something objectively problematic, i.e. not those which expose American atrocities, but some diplomatic secret that doesn't serve the greater good and only creates unnecessary distrust between nations.



ckaihatsu wrote:
You're going off-topic here.



Patrickov wrote:
Explain please. This accusation was being used by another PoFo member as an excuse of having no argument too frequently that I have some deja vu here.



Well, you're using the term 'abuse', but you're not *defining* how you're using it, or what you're referring to with it. You seem divided between tackling the legal charge of 'espionage', and dealing with the situation of Assange himself.

As a political person you *should* be able to address the Assange case *politically*.


---


Patrickov wrote:
What I mean is exactly that Wikileaks opened the opportunity for others to leak information not in the aim of whistle-blowing but just to stir up the situation for whatever might benefit them. This is a no-no to me.



So now you're revealing that you're more concerned with a geopolitical precedent regarding *espionage*, than for the person of Assange himself. This concern is off-topic and very *bourgeois*, I might add.


---


Patrickov wrote:
I'd say I am a bit drifting off here. What I think is that Assange and his supporters tried to challenge the current order and it's natural or even justified that a martyr is being made out of him. To me, the real aim should be forcing nations to adopt a more open approach in handling their supposedly classified information, and have such system under adequate public scrutiny that people do not need to resort to means like Wikileaks in the foreseeable future.



ckaihatsu wrote:
If the 'real aim' is purportedly 'a more open approach in handling [national] classified information', then it *wouldn't matter* whether Wikileaks, or any Wikileaks-type organization was used as a clearinghouse for such information.



Patrickov wrote:
This is not the United State's real aim. That's what I perceive the protest and struggle should aim for.



Are you saying that your concern is for 'forcing nations to adopt a more open approach in handling their supposedly classified information' -- ?

If so, then my point stands that this stated stance of yours would legally *empower* and bolster the 'whistleblowing' social function, and it wouldn't matter what the vehicle / organization is for that, whether that's Wikileaks or any other.


Patrickov wrote:
I cannot decide. Both Assange walking away scot-free and him dying in custody were not good.



Okay, this clarifies things.

Let me put *this* way -- which is more important, Assange's liberty and life, or the geopolitical norms of so-called 'espionage', even to the point of covering up nationalist / imperialist war crimes?
#15110114
ckaihatsu wrote:Let me put *this* way -- which is more important, Assange's liberty and life, or the geopolitical norms of so-called 'espionage', even to the point of covering up nationalist / imperialist war crimes?


The question being over-simplified, but I would say the latter. More precisely, if the latter can be changed then the life of an individual is less important.

It might be a hypocritical statement, but Assange's bravery would be in vain if there isn't something that cause enough uproar, and I see his death being one of them. As I said, it's not good, but I somehow think it would wake more people than have him released immediately.

If there is something better ingrain it to more indifferent people without having to resort to this I stand corrected.
#15110120
Patrickov wrote:
The question being over-simplified,



If you think the issue is being oversimplified then what other factors do you think need to be included?


Patrickov wrote:
but I would say the latter. More precisely, if the latter can be changed then the life of an individual is less important.

It might be a hypocritical statement, but Assange's bravery would be in vain if there isn't something that cause enough uproar, and I see his death being one of them. As I said, it's not good, but I somehow think it would wake more people than have him released immediately.

If there is something better ingrain it to more indifferent people without having to resort to this I stand corrected.



Yeah, I don't think human sacrifice / martyrdom is really called-for here.

The issue is about what the *U.S. military* did:



The July 12, 2007, Baghdad airstrikes were a series of air-to-ground attacks conducted by a team of two U.S. AH-64 Apache helicopters in Al-Amin al-Thaniyah, New Baghdad during the Iraqi insurgency which followed the Iraq War. On April 5, 2010, the attacks received worldwide coverage and controversy following the release of 39 minutes of gunsight footage by the Internet whistleblower website WikiLeaks. The footage was portrayed as classified,[7] but its confessed leaker, U.S. Army soldier Chelsea Manning, testified in 2013 that the video was not classified.[8] The video, which WikiLeaks titled Collateral Murder, showed that the crew fired on a group of men and laughed at some of the casualties, some of whom were civilians and reporters. An anonymous U.S. military official confirmed the authenticity of the footage,[9] which provoked global discussion on the legality and morality of the attacks.



https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/July_12,_ ... _airstrike
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