Thursday, April 11, 2019

Jonathan Turley

Jonathan Turley (USA TODAY) reports:

He is our property.” Those celebratory words of Sen. Joe Manchin (D, W.V.) came on CNN soon after the news of the arrest of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange at the Ecuadorian embassy in London. It was a sentiment shared by virtually everyone in Washington from Congress to the intelligence services. Assange committed the unpardonable sins of embarrassing the establishment — from members of Congress to intelligence officials to the media. And he will now be punished for our sins. Despite having significant constitutional arguments to be made, it is likely that he will be stripped of those defenses and even barred from raising the overall context of his actions in federal court. What could be the most important free speech and free press case in our history could well be reduced to the scope and substance of an unauthorized computer access case.
Moreover, he was doing something that is usually heralded in the media. He disclosed a massive and arguably unconstitutional surveillance program by the United States impacting virtually every citizen. He later published emails that showed that the Democratic National Committee and the campaign of Hillary Clinton lied in various statements to the public, including the rigging of the primary for her nomination. No one has argued that any of these emails were false. They were embarrassing. Of course, there is not crime of embarrassing the establishment but that is merely a technicality.

Julian Assange should be free.  Reporting is not a crime.  That is what he did, report.  He is a journalist.  This is an attack on journalism.  If people can't defend Julian, I don't know what's going to happen to journalism.

"Iraq snapshot" (THE COMMON ILLS):
Thursday, April 11, 2019.  Journalist Julian Assange has been arrested this morning in England as part of a continued attack on the press led by the US government.

BBC NEWS reports:

Wikileaks co-founder Julian Assange has been arrested at the Ecuadorian embassy in London.
Mr Assange took refuge in the embassy seven years ago to avoid extradition to Sweden over a sexual assault case that has since been dropped.
The Met Police said he was arrested for failing to surrender to the court and following a US extradition request.

The persecution continues.  This is an attack on the press and an attack on free speech.  Julian Assange is an Australian citizen.  Will the US government next go after Australia ABC's Kathy Bolwen and Robbie Buck?  What is the end point?  What is the drawn line?

The ACLU released the following statement:

APRIL 11, 2019
NEW YORK — London authorities today arrestedWikiLeaks founder Julian Assange in relation to an extradition warrant on behalf of U.S. authorities.
Ben Wizner, director of the American Civil Liberties Union’s Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project, issued the following comment in response:
“Any prosecution by the United States of Mr. Assange for Wikileaks’ publishing operations would be unprecedented and unconstitutional, and would open the door to criminal investigations of other news organizations. Moreover, prosecuting a foreign publisher for violating U.S. secrecy laws would set an especially dangerous precedent for U.S. journalists, who routinely violate foreign secrecy laws to deliver information vital to the public's interest.

Some reaction on Twitter:

Replying to   
The warrant is in regards to his work with Chelsea Manning, and the war crimes exposed. Chelsea was a U.S. Soldier, reporting on U.S. Crimes. How is that stolen by a "foreign advisory" ...? doesn't hack anything- it reports on information given to them.

‘Julian Assange exposed great crimes & now great crime committed against him’ - George Galloway — RT UK News If is holding more truth bombs, let them loose now!!!

The government starts a multi million dollar war based on lies and engages in horrific war crimes and the guy who exposed it is the one in trouble. You’re living under an extremely rigged and corrupt system.

Julian Assange arrested So much 4 . Injustice writ large is a symbol of decline of democracy. Once were heroes. Australia govt did nothing! .

Replying to  
Julian Assange denunció al mundo las violaciones a los derechos humanos realizadas por EE.UU. en su invasión a Iraq y Afganistán de ahí la importancia de garantizar su vida e integridad. El Ecuador de Moreno no lo protegió. Aprendamos de la Historia

I am in shock to see Julian Assange in the condition he is. A honourable man who disclosed the war crimes of the American army in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Assange has been arrested in relation to a US extradition request for "conspiracy with Chelsea Manning" for publishing Iraq War Logs, Cablegate, Afghan War Logs,

Julian Assange: The WikiLeaks Iraq War Logs.Greatest Data Leak in US Military History

didn't just expose a few US war crimes in & Not even dozens. Nor hundreds. It exposed thousands of war crimes committed by the rogue US state. The criminals go free, while is kidnapped

Julian Assange of Wikileaks exposed the war crimes of the occupation in Iraq. The Apache crew shown here murdered the innocent like it's some sort of Playstation game. The helicopter crew and G Bush should be arrested not Assange.

He released the FACT that the US Army was bombing hospitals in Iraq and afterwards the troops laughing about it. If anything the US should arrest the Bush + Cheney gouvernement. But they aren’t for human rights

In Iraq, the flooding continues to be a problem.

Historic water levels at Iraq reservoirs and dams: officials – FRANCE 24

AFP reports:

In Samarra, north of Baghdad, water is being diverted into the natural reservoir at Tharthar Lake in amounts unseen in decades, said dam chief Kareem Hassan.
"Today, the Tharthar barrage is seeing the highest levels of water passing through in its history," Hassan told AFP.
"We haven't seen such levels pass through the structure since it was founded in 1956, so 63 years."
The Dukan dam in the northeast also "had not witnessed water levels this high since 1988," said manager Hama Taher, calling on people living nearby to leave.

Electricity posts in Iraq are made out of metal poles instead of wood, and many people die during floods when approaching them for higher ground. This Iraqi man is better than the government, he spends his own money to wrap every electricity post in his area to prevent deaths.

Flood Displaces 5,000 Families in South of Iraq -

Torrential rain triggers floods in , 21 killed, thousands evacuated


The floods appear to have caught the Iraqi government yet again by surprise.  Even though this is seasonal, even though there were warnings weeks in advance (and we noted those here).  Does Iraq have an acting prime minister?  A functioning one?

Abdul Mahdi still has not filled the security posts in his Cabinet.  He was supposed to have done that in October.  He got a pass -- despite the Iraqi Constitution.  Then it was, 'he'll fill those spots in a few weeks.'  That was six months ago.

THE WASHINGTON EXAMINER's Jamie McIntyre observes:

OPERATIONS CONTINUE TO ELIMINATE ISIS: The ISIS caliphate is history, but the battle to eliminate the terrorist group continues in Iraq and Syria. The U.S.-led coalition, officially named Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve, no longer conducts regular briefings, but it does issue a bi-weekly “strike summary,” which shows plenty of bombing is going on along with ground operations as ISIS continues to pose a threat in both countries.
“Between March 24 - April 6, the U.S. and its coalition partners conducted 52 strikes against nearly 100 targets in Syria and Iraq,” according to the latest CJTF-OIR release.

“In Syria, CJTF-OIR conducted 29 strikes consisting of 53 engagements, engaged 28 [ISIS] tactical units, and destroyed 72 vehicles, 17 fighting positions, 15 supply routes, and three vehicle borne improvised explosive devices,” said the summary. “In Iraq, CJTF-OIR conducted 23 strikes consisting of 45 engagements, engaged three [ISIS] tactical units, and destroyed seven tunnels, four supply routes, two buildings, two caves, one command and control center, and one compound.”

Seems like a Minister of Defense would be necessary right now.  Last time the Ministry of Defense position was empty and the Ministry of Interior position was empty, what happened?  The rise of ISIS.

The following sites updated: