Comment: Julien Assange’s health, well-being, and safety is a subject that has really bothered me. On January 7, 2018, I received links to the following from YOU ARE FREE TV: [at about minute 9:10, Assange’s freedom is addressed — and please consider the many other facts we are also given on this video — are they true?]
As I recall, at about that same time, I also was reading from the whistleblower John Kiriakow that Trump has no love for Julien Assange, etc., while the video above tells us exactly the opposite, and so I’ve watched carefully, knowing that Julien’s health was at best precarious. Without proof, in the last days I also read that Julien was probably free in Switzerland. Yet, until yesterday, there was no more news of his health situation. Why?
I leave you all to judge these statements told to us as truth, and perhaps more importantly, why, without any visible proof from anyone at all, we appear to have believed them?
Are we now about to lose a great human being, one who has served humanity so well — because once more we have been duped by lies, and — while there is still time, are we willing to do anything about it?
“We only live once. So we are obligated to make good use of the time we have and do something that is meaningful and satisfying. This [WikiLeaks] is something that I find meaningful and satisfying. That is my temperament. I enjoy creating systems on a grand scale, and I enjoy helping people who are vulnerable. And I enjoy crushing bastards”
The online Oxford dictionary defines the word ‘siege’ as a “military operation in which enemy forces surround a town or building, cutting off essential supplies, with the aim of compelling those inside to surrender.”
The strategy dates back to medieval times after the proliferation of the castle, where a defending force could hole itself up inside an easily defended fortress against an invading enemy who would be at a major disadvantage in a direct attack. To get around this, an army who wanted to depose the leadership within a castle or other impregnable construct would simply surround it and refuse to allow any food or supplies to be brought in. With enough patience, those inside would be forced to either starve or surrender.
This is precisely the strategy that is being employed against Julian Assange. If you try to talk about Assange being in a state of functional house arrest on any online forum you will be swiftly inundated by accounts asserting in fascinatingly uniform language that Assange is free to leave the Ecuadorian embassy whenever he wants, which just so happens to be the desire of the empire which currently has him under siege.
Doctors who examined Assange earlier this year say that his health is in a “dangerous” state of deterioration. They had to conduct their examination using improvised means in an unsanitary environment because the embassy isn’t set up for medical examinations, much less healthcare. They say he badly needs care, and he can’t get that care from where he’s at.
In her epic breakdown of the way perception of WikiLeaks is being extensively manipulated by the empire titled “Being Julian Assange“, journalist Suzie Dawson thoroughly documents the effects that Assange’s detention are having on his mental and physical wellbeing. Here is a small sample:
“In his most recent live appearance, Assange is insightful, learned and brilliant as ever. But he is visibly suffering the ever exacerbating physical effects of his 7 year confinement.
After more than half a decade without fresh air to breathe, he coughs and clears his throat constantly. He struggles to maintain cognitive flow – breaking and reforming his thoughts, soldiering on in a concerted effort to express his ideas. It is obvious to any viewer that his vision has been affected. Our eyes need regular exposure to both short and long distances, as well as natural light changes, to maintain their health. With only four close walls to look at, Assange faces partial blindness, as well as a host of other negative effects from his unjust confinement.
Although there are countless social media threads and tweets circulating about Julian and WikiLeaks every day, few if any seem to register the serious and grave possibility that, immersed in our collective complacency, we may lose them forever.”
Julian Assange cannot “leave whenever he wants”. A judge with severely corrupt ties ruled in February that his arrest warrant still stands for an absurd bail-jumping charge from 2012 that Assange has already served his sentence for many times over according to the law as it is written. As soon as he sets foot outside the embassy he will most certainly be arrested, and then most certainly extradited to the US where the Trump administration is aggressively pursuing his arrest.
Chelsea Manning was tortured. CIA black sites exist. The hoards of online trolls promulgating the narrative that Assange can “leave whenever he wants” would crack like eggs under the treatment that is inflicted upon individuals who have dared to stand up to the US-centralized empire.
Assange isn’t hiding from justice, he is hiding from injustice. There is no reason to believe that this draconian empire would give him a fair trial and humane treatment. He can no more “leave whenever he wants” than he could if there was a firing squad stationed outside the embassy door. Continue reading
Slavoj Žižek is a cultural philosopher. He’s a senior researcher at the Institute for Sociology and Philosophy at the University of Ljubljana, Global Distinguished Professor of German at New York University, and international director of the Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities of the University of London.
Julian Assange has been silenced again, and the timing is most suspicious. With the Cambridge Analytica story dominating the news, it seems some powerful people have reasons to keep the brave WikiLeaks boss quiet right now.
Ecuador is a small country, and one can only imagine the brutal behind-the-scenes pressure exerted on it by Western powers to increase the isolation of Julian Assange from the public space. Now, his internet access has been cut off and many of his visitors are refused access, thus rendering a slow social death to a person who’s spent almost six years confined to an apartment at the Ecuadorian embassy in London.
This happened before, for a short period around the time of the US elections, but back then it was a reaction to WikiLeaks publishing documents which could have affected the outcome of the Trump/Clinton race, while there is no such excuse now. Because, currently, Assange’s “meddling” in international relations consists only of publishing on the web his opinions about the Catalonia crisis and the Skripal poisoning scandal. So why such brutal action now, and why did it cause so little uproar in the public opinion?
Noam Chomsky and John Pilger join calls demanding Ecuador stop ‘gagging’ Assange
As for the second question, it is not enough to claim that people simply got tired of Assange. Rather, a key role has been played by the long and well-orchestrated slow campaign of character assassination which reached the lowest level imaginable two months ago with the unverified rumors alleging how the Ecuadorians want to get rid of him because of his bad smell and dirty clothes.
In the first stage of attacks on Assange, his ex-friends and collaborators went public with claims that WikiLeaks began well but then it got bogged down with Assange’s political bias (his anti-Hillary obsession, his suspicious ties with Russia, etc.). This was followed by more direct personal defamation: for instance, he is paranoiac and arrogant, obsessed by power and control. But now we have reached the direct bodily level of smells and stains. Continue reading . . .
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Paul Craig Roberts, for whom I have the greatest respect, also expresses a similar view.
But I question if these people, who seem to see the world from a traditional viewpoint understand Putin’s viewpoint, and if they are willing to examine it and begin to see its value — and if my thoughts regarding it are valid.
Here is what my long observation tells me: Putin wants to live in a world run by international law, a world in which we are all responsible for ‘keeping the peace’. He does not want Russia/China to by the world’s policemen, upholding the law by strong-arming countries to keep them in line. He has said so many times, but that idea is new to many of us, and we may not have ‘heard’ it. In my recent posts — since I have returned to publishing, this is what I have been trying to say. Putin wants to live in a world that reflects the willingness of humanity — as represented by nation states — to cooperate with one another in order to maintain international peace. He wants to be free to help his own country to grow and prosper.
Many are still willing — for whatever reason — to allow corrupt leaders to enrich themselves, while they sell us their citizens up the river. At this moment in time, therefore, I believe it behooves those leaders and citizens of countries who understand this new idea to STAND UP FOR PEACE, and to stop the likely upcoming war. (Remember how they kept hammering until they got their war in Iraq.) I believe it will not be long until other citizens of other countries will begin to understand this new way forward, will ‘get it’, and will follow their lead and demand to join them. Always, though, someone has to find the courage to go first.
Obviously, this Israeli Intel Boss has no understanding of these ideas, and neither does the Russian who in this video responds with such passion. As I see it, Putin is playing a waiting game, and the longer he waits, the more is being exposed about the reality of our lives — and its unceasing chaos, destruction, and war, and he hopes that all humanity will be willing to come together and help to realize a far better world.
If we don’t do something about our situation, it looks like we are heading towards a remake of what we have right now.
Suddenly, Great Britain creates the Skripal Case, it would appear as a means to go to war against Russia, and what is exposed? All about the US Bio-weapons lab/s, and particularly the one near Salisbury that can only have the deepest, darkest purpose: Salisbury Nerve Agent Attack Uncovers $70 Million Pentagon Bioweapons Program at Porton Down. This is only one example of the many truths we are learning in what appears to be a sickness that entails a kind of vomiting that exposes the truth.
In the meantime, Putin is waiting for us to wake up, I say waiting, because I think he believes we are going to wake up.
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More on China: The article below presents what appears to be a not-so-good view of China, and while we may not agree with the way in which China is proceeding with their efforts to stamp out corruption — and remember, from the viewpoint of Sovereignty, what China does is none of our business unless it affects our own sovereignty — I believe you will see that, indeed, stamping out corruption is what their efforts are all about. When we all finally realize how rampant is the corruption embedded in, for instance, the governments of every single village an hamlet, we may come to agree that this kind of effort makes some sense.
Let me offer this point: While China chooses to use technology to rid itself of corruption, how is the United States choosing to use it? As law abiding citizens, is it being used for us, or against us?
It appears that those who live by the law in China have nothing to fear, and that China is making a huge effort to protect such people — and to rid them of corruption that destroys the State. I invite you to read on in order to digest this info so that you can further use it to ‘test’ the proof of my thinking — and BTW, I’m perfectly willing to change my mind should I find my idea is invalid.~J 🙂
Chinese authorities claim they have banned more than 7 million people deemed “untrustworthy” from boarding flights, and nearly 3 million others from riding on high-speed trains, according to a report by the country’s National Development and Reform Commission.
The announcements offer a glimpse into Beijing’s ambitious attempt to create a Social Credit System (SCS) by 2020 — that is, a proposed national system designed to value and engineer better individual behaviour by establishing the scores of 1.4 billion citizens and “awarding the trustworthy” and “punishing the disobedient”.
Liu Hu, a 43-year-old journalist who lives in China’s Chongqing municipality, told the ABC he was “dumbstruck” to find himself caught up in the system and banned by airlines when he tried to book a flight last year.
Mr Liu is on a “dishonest personnel” list — a pilot scheme of the SCS — because he lost a defamation lawsuit in 2015 and was asked by the court to pay a fine that is still outstanding according to the court record.
“No one ever notified me,” Mr Liu, who claims he paid the fine, said.
“It’s baffling how they just put me on the blacklist and kept me in the dark.”
Like the other 7 million citizens deemed to be “dishonest” and mired in the blacklist, Mr Liu has also been banned from staying in a star-rated hotel, buying a house, taking a holiday, and even sending his nine-year-old daughter to a private school.
And just last Monday, Chinese authorities announced they would also seek to freeze the assets of those deemed “dishonest people”.
Bonus points for donating blood and volunteer work
As the national system is still being fully realised, dozens of pilot social credit systems have already been tested by local governments at provincial and city levels.
For example, Suzhou, a city in eastern China, uses a point system where every resident is rated on a scale between 0 and 200 points — every resident starts from the baseline of 100 points.
One can earn bonus points for benevolent acts and lose points for disobeying laws, regulations, and social norms.
According to a 2016 report by local police, the top-rated Suzhou citizen had 134 points for donating more than one litre of blood and doing more than 500 hours of volunteer work.
In Xiamen, where the development of a local social credit system started as early as 2004, authorities reportedly automatically apply messages to the mobile phone lines of blacklisted citizens.
“The person you’re calling is dishonest,” whoever calls a lowly-rated person will be told before the call is put through.
Could China combine these projects to engineer society?
If the Chinese Government manages to amalgamate the regional pilot projects and the immense amounts of data by 2020, it will be able to exert absolute social and political control and “pre-emptively shape how people behave,” Samantha Hoffman, an independent consultant on Chinese state security, said.
“If you are aware that your behaviour will negatively or positively impact your score, and thus your life and the lives of those you associate with, then you will likely adjust your decision-making accordingly,” Ms Hoffman said.
But the question remains if the Chinese authorities could really “pull it off”, Ms Wang said.
“The Ministry of Public Security runs a number of databases, and then regional authorities also run their databases,” Ms Wang said.
“It is difficult to know how these databases are related together and how they’re structured and how they are updated.
“At the moment, I would say that they [are] updated to some extent but they’re not very well integrated, and the integration is going to be difficult.”
Hu Naihong, a finance professor at Shanghai University of Finance and Economics, who is helping to build the national social credit system, seems to agree.
“The top-level design, the institutional framework, and the key documents are all in place, but there are still many problems to be solved,” the professor said in a 2017 meeting in Zhejiang.
“The most serious problem being that all kinds of platforms are rigorously collecting [data], while having vague legal and conceptual basis and boundaries.”
Many observers fear human rights could be increasingly violated via the social credit system, and — combined with a growing surveillance system and technologies such as facial recognition being rolled out across the country — the Chinese Government could have the ability to turn the system on its citizens.
“China is characterised by a system of ‘rule by law’, rather than true rule of law,” Elsa B Kania, an expert in Chinese defence innovation and emerging technologies at the Centre for a New American Security, said.
“That law [and extra-legal measures] can be used as a weapon to legitimise the targeting of those whom the CCP [Chinese Communist Party] perceives as a threat.
“In such an environment, such a system could be abused to those same ends.”
The question that remains to be answered in coming years, experts say, is where the line between “bettering society” and “controlling society” will be drawn.