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".... The Assange trial looks different when you realize it's really just a collaborative performance by the US and UK governments to explain why it's good to jail journalists for telling the truth...." ....  Caitlin Johnstone-| September 16, 2020 

Vows To My Readers And Patrons
by Caitlin Johnstone

I promise to work in the highest interest, not my self interest.
I promise never to say anything that I don't believe is true.
I promise I will always do my best to learn what is true.
I promise I will always speak the truth as I see it, without dishonestly equivocating or mitigating what I have to say.
I promise I will always speak the truth as I see it regardless of whether it will make me unpopular.
I promise I will always speak the truth as I see it regardless of whether it will make me lose patrons.
I promise I will always speak the truth as I see it even if I'm the only person in the world who sees it that way.
I promise not just to speak the truth, but to speak it as loudly as possible and get it heard by as many people as possible.

I promise to do everything I can to make sure my voice remains an effective weapon against the machine, protecting it as best I can from smears, misunderstanding and misrepresentation.

I promise that as long as I am at this gig I will keep all my online content completely free to read.
I promise that as long as I am at this gig I will keep all my online content completely free to re-publish.
I promise I will never accept money to write about a certain topic or write about a subject a certain way.
I promise that my work will remain uninfluenced by my patrons or by a desire to gain more patrons.

I promise my patronage will remain free of incentives or tiered access; everyone has the same access to all my work regardless of whether or not they support me.
I promise that giving me money for the work I do comes with no strings attached in any direction; if you fund my work you do it solely because you want to support what I'm doing, not because you'll get any material benefits in return.

I promise that if I ever receive a Pulitzer I will livestream myself destroying it.
I promise to always choose courage over silence.
I promise to always keep learning.
I promise to always keep growing as a person.
I promise my views will change.
I promise to remain as dedicated to my inner work as I am to my outer work.
I promise to be truthful not just with you but with myself as well, to the fullest extent that my own degree of consciousness permits.
I promise to be honest and forthcoming about my failures to the fullest extent that my own degree of consciousness at the time permits.
I promise I will always fact check against my cognitive biases, even when I desperately, desperately, desperately want something to be true.
I promise to always dissemble those biases once seen.

I promise to keep honing my craft and striving to ensure that my work is always of a better quality than it was the year before.
I promise to always read and consider feedback from my readers.
I promise that I will do my best to engage people who approach me in good faith as often as I have time to do so.
I promise that I will never become one of those snooty blue-checkmark types who only pays attention to the opinions of the people they want to impress.
I promise that I will always direct my work to the people, never to high-profile individuals who I want to like me.
I promise to punch up and kiss down.
I promise to want for you whatever you want for me.

I promise to always stand on my own and never align my work with any particular faction or clique.
I promise to always do the very best I can with what I have available to me on any given day.
I promise to do everything I can to push toward life and away from death.
I promise to do everything I can to help protect the future of humanity in the most efficacious ways I can think of.
I promise to stick it to the bastards at every opportunity.
I promise to never forgive that which continues, or to forget that which the bastards could do again.
I promise to never stop fighting as long as there's a fight to be fought.
I promise that as long as you're in this thing with me, then I'm in this thing with you.
_________________________
Thanks for reading! The best way to get around the internet censors and make sure you see the stuff I publish is to subscribe to the mailing list for at my website or on Substack, which will get you an email notification for everything I publish. My work is entirely reader-supported, so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, liking me on Facebook, following my antics on Twitter, throwing some money into my tip jar on Patreon or Paypal, purchasing some of my sweet merchandise, buying my books Rogue Nation: Psychonautical Adventures With Caitlin Johnstone and Woke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers. For more info on who I am, where I stand, and what I’m trying to do with this platform, click here. Everyone, racist platforms excluded, has my permission to republish, use or translate any part of this work (or anything else I’ve written) in any way they like free of charge.

Bitcoin donations: 1Ac7PCQXoQoLA9Sh8fhAgiU3PHA2EX5Zm2

 Caitlin Johnstone | September 13, 2020 at 2:32 am | Tags: caitlin johnstone, indie, journalism, truth, vows, writing | Categories: Article | URL: https://wp.me/p9tj6M-2iJ

Manifestation – Excerpt from Pleiadian Manual for Accelerated Evolution & AscensionPosted by clnews September 13, 2020 in Ascension, Channeling & Readings, Manifestation / LOA, Reality's Edge, Uncategorized with 0 Comments

https://consciouslifenews.com/manifestation-excerpt-from-pleiadian-manual-for-accelerated-evolution-ascension/11192876/


Manifestation – Excerpt from Pleiadian Manual for Accelerated Evolution & AscensionPosted by clnews September 13, 2020 in Ascension, Channeling & Readings, Manifestation / LOA, Reality's Edge, Uncategorized


We, Laarkmaa, your Pleiadian star brothers and sisters, are continually evaluating how humanity is resolving your evolutionary challenges. There is no judgment in this type of evaluation; we simply look for the places where you are stuck and may need assistance, and we provide another perspective so that you can move forward with more ease. We do this because we love you.

We have based this book on the principals that are contained in Universal energies, as defined in our earlier book Pleiadian-Earth Energy Astrology- Charting the Spirals of Consciousness. We began with the first Universal energy of Initiating and have lead you through, step by step, to the tenth energy of Manifestation because we wish for you to accelerate the manifestation of your own ascension!

There are thirteen Universal energies in the cosmos that build upon each other as they spiral to completion. We have based the steps in this Manual on the first ten of those thirteen energies. You will fully experience the 11th (Illuminating), the 12th (Understanding), and the 13th (Completing and Integrating) upon manifesting your ascension and becoming Cosmic citizens, although those energies are very present in the evolutionary and ascension process you are undergoing now. Below, we summarize the steps we have taken you through for your review and integration.

We began with First Step (Initiation) discussing the importance of Unity Consciousness. We introduced the idea of living by energy, rather than time by using flexibility and flow. We set the tone for you to aim for abundance for all and true freedom.

The Second Step (Duality) was presented in a way to help you move beyond your limited perspectives of Duality, which are ruled by separation, fear, and judgment. You came to Earth to experience duality and its opposites in order to learn how to harmonize them. That is the purpose of duality. Humanity has done a terrible job with that, but now that you more fully understand, you can use the dynamic tension to grow and to find harmony with each other. With your increased understanding, you can finally engage with duality as it has always been designed and intended. In Step Two, we gave you ways to achieve non-judgment by clearing old traumas and learning to be objective.

The Third Step (Creativity) took you through a deeper understanding of what you must create in order to heal. We discussed the ascension process, your liquid crystalline body, and the formation of your Rainbow body.

In Step Four (Foundation) we told you about the changing structures of your reality and some of the changes you are undergoing physically. We talked about time, space, and energy.

The Fifth Step (Change) offered a chance for you to discover more about your consciousness and make appropriate changes to grow and evolve.

The Sixth Step (Flow) realigned you with the Divine Feminine within you, told you about your approach to androgyny, and gave you suggestions for returning to balance. In a more balanced state, the Divine Masculine takes its place beside the Divine Feminine.

In the Seventh Step (Merging) we prepared you for a different world, explaining the ongoing changes in your third-dimensional reality and offering suggestions of how to prepare yourselves for the world you will be entering. We asked you to step beyond what is familiar to you and understand that different does not mean bad.

In the Eighth Step (Connecting), we talked about becoming Authentic Humans, as you move forward to become your true selves. We explained the purpose of your families as spiritual training grounds. We expanded on the symptoms and process of ascension, talking about your Future Selves. We gave you a definition of what love really is, and we addressed the dark.

The Ninth Step (Harmonizing) we warned you about the killing effects of 5G and gave you ways to work with the effects of the Cosmic Weather. We explained the effects of light on your evolving mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual aspects of yourselves, and we told you how to work with the light provided by the incoming Cosmic Rays and the increasing Schuman Resonance to bring yourselves to higher vibratory states.

And now in the Tenth Step (Manifestation) we are summarizing the most important things you need to truly manifest a higher vibratory version of yourselves!

You have known for a long time that staying in the present with your consciousness is most important and that thinking, planning for, worrying about, or hoping for the future does not create the future. It just wastes your mental energy thinking about something that may or may not occur. Thinking about, worrying about, or dreaming about the past does the same thing. It keeps you in a place where the energy just does not exist. It’s only a mental exercise. In the true reality, there is only the Now moment.

The reason this is so important now is because you are moving into an enhanced experience of Liquid Time. You may notice that many of you are feeling really, really heavy, really, really slow, and very, very tired without any energy, as if you are struggling just to be. This has to do with the heightened Schuman Resonance. As the Schuman Resonance heightens you also are experiencing more of what we call Liquid Time. That is a continual flow of Now moments.

One reason that we created the Pleiadian-Earth Energy Calendar1 was to help you learn how to let go of time and learn how to experience the Now moment as Liquid Time, so you could become accustomed to moving from one energetic moment into the next energetic moment with flow and grace.

Living your lives in this way creates the future by being present in the Now. Now you are beginning to expand into multidimensionality, and you are experiencing yourselves changing more and more rapidly. This is why we are emphasizing the importance of Liquid Time. You must work with the energies that are present in each Now moment to manifest all the beautiful and essential things we have explained to you.

You are experiencing more changes mentally, physically and emotionally at a faster rate than you ever have before. When the Schuman Resonance goes up over 40, over 60, and into the range of a hundred, you are experiencing so much Light that you are changing at a cellular level moment-by-moment, instant-by-instant. Your energy is changing. The essence of you is changing. You are forgetting things because your mind is not working in the same frequency that you are accustomed to. Your minds are beginning to learn to take orders from your hearts through intuitive, energetic knowing. You cannot fully access your energetic knowing without being fully in the Now moment.

It is more important than ever for you not to feel like you are not accomplishing anything when you simply are too tired to do anything physical.  Remember that your only job at this time is simply to be love and send out light in each Now moment. That’s all that’s important. Focus your attention on being in the Now with trust that if you do everything in a higher vibrational rate, you will be led and guided by the light energies that are here on the planet to show you how to achieve what is necessary for your survival and your evolution. Those energies, light and love, are eternal. They exist forever. They cannot be confined to a past or a future. They cannot be confined to any structure of time. They only can be experienced as abundance and expansion, an ever-growing awareness of more and more and more light and love.

You are moving closer and closer into acknowledging, relating to, and connecting with your light body so that you can meld your light body with your physical form and have a clearer blueprint to create the physical that will support your movement into a Rainbow body. This is a very, very auspicious time, Dear Ones! Liquid Time expresses as wave motion. The Now moment requires letting go of the past and the future and putting all your power into being the absolute best you can be, making the absolute highest choices you can make every moment.

That means if you have a bad day, acknowledge it because you are in the Now moment of experiencing it, but don’t go off track by complaining, by questioning, by thinking, “This is awful; when is it going back to normal?” The answer to those questions, Dear One, is that it is never going back to what you have perceived as normal before. It is moving into a new normal. As you start to adjust, accommodate to this reality, in multidimensionality, you become more at ease and more comfortable with the idea that you are transitioning into a wave form rather than staying in the static, physical body with which you are familiar.

Soon you will look at yourself in the mirror and see a change. You will be looking down at your hands and see a change. Your touch will feel a little lighter. Your voice will be a little less vibrant, and yet at times it will carry forth like a crystal bell because you are incorporating the use of tones rather than the sound of the words. We would like for you not to be distressed by what you are feeling physically, mentally or emotionally. Acknowledge the difficulties, acknowledge the challenges, and then congratulate yourself, because if you are sensitive enough to feel these things, then you are doing something right. It takes slowing down from your habitual fast pace to be able to be in harmonic rhythm with what is occurring on the planet.

The energy that you give to the moment defines who you are– by the way you focus your thoughts, by the way you use your voice, by the way you give out gratitude, by the way that you open to your intuition by listening to your heart and allowing all possibilities to become available to you, and the way that you harmonize with one another.

The increased Schuman Resonance can be nothing but good. It is simply higher and higher frequencies pouring into you to change you at a cellular level so that your consciousness can expand so that you can move into your true waveform. It is a wonderful, wonderful thing, and very soon we’ll be congratulating you on achieving your mission and moving on to the next assignment. Practice slowing down and being in this Now moment. Know that we are with you, as are all other being of love and light. We are all with you, around you, supporting you, and loving you through this transition that humanity has never seen before.

About the Authors

Pia Orleane, Ph.D. & Cullen Baird Smith are Ambassadors to the Pleiadian Group Laarkmaa, a loving group of interstellar beings who share wisdom to support human evolution. Co-authors of the Wisdom From the Stars series, which includes the COVR Award winning book for Divination, Pleiadian-Earth Energy Astrology- Charting the Spirals of Consciousness and the timeless classics Conversations With Laarkmaa–A
Pleiadian View of the New Reality and Remembering Who We Are–Laarkmaa's Guidance on Healing the Human Condition, Pia and Cullen are designers and co-creators of the revolutionary new Pleiadian-Earth Energy Calendar, a guide for conscious evolution and spiritual advancement using energy rather than time.
www.laarkmaa.com
Pleiadian Laarkmaa YouTube


New post on Caitlin Johnstone
Capitalism, Assange, And More Notes From The Edge Of The Narrative Matrix

by Caitlin Johnstone


The Assange trial looks different when you realize it's really just a collaborative performance by the US and UK governments to explain why it's good to jail journalists for telling the truth.

Capitalism will keep getting more and more unjust and exploitative until people force its end. You can try making it about elite globalist conspiracies and corrupt governments all you want, but ultimately it's really just capitalism following its natural and inevitable course.

This is why I often avoid making our world's problems about specific individuals; our world's problems are not about specific individuals. You could get rid of all the individuals currently screwing us and if you kept the same systems they'd be replaced almost instantly.

People whose ideology prohibits them from admitting capitalism is responsible for humanity's existential crises need to make up other reasons for those crises. It's the globalists. It's the Jews. It's corrupt politicians. No, it's just capitalism doing what capitalism has to do. There are no specific groups or individuals you could eliminate from the equation to make capitalism move in a healthy way. As long as depravity is profitable and human behavior is driven by profit, humanity will always necessarily follow a depraved trajectory.
This doesn't mean criticisms of individuals are invalid, they're just not striking the root. Get rid of all the elites poisoning the world today and if you leave the same systems in place we'll find ourselves getting screwed by the Whateverski family and some guy named O'Donnell.

So many of the popular theories in today's conspiracy circles ultimately boil down to "Oh no, the elites are ruining the capitalism!"

No they're not. They are perfectly embodying it.
~
The Assange case is this generation's Nelson Mandela moment. Get on the right side of it or be forever judged by history.
~
Every news outlet and every journalist who is not speaking out for Assange with urgency and force is admitting they have no intention of ever challenging power in any meaningful way; they're saying this trial poses no threat to them. They are admitting they are propagandists.
~
It's so interesting how all these pedantic little transnational legal quibbles about Assange and WikiLeaks can be stitched together into a prosecution whose end result just so happens to look exactly the same as powerful governments imprisoning a journalist for exposing US war crimes.
~
The Assange trial looks different when you realize it's really just a collaborative performance by the US and UK governments to explain why it's good to jail journalists for telling the truth.
~
If you can't see that the US-centralized empire is the most destructive and oppressive force on this earth, then you won't see any part of the rest of the world clearly either.
~
Prisoner: Let me out of this cell! I've done nothing wrong!
Warden: Okay, here's the key. You're free.
Prisoner: This key is three feet long and made out of foam!
Warden: It'll work, just keep trying.
Prisoner: This is impossible! What the hell is this?
Warden: We call it voting.
~
The outcome of the US election in November will have no meaningful impact whatsoever on humanity's rapidly accelerating trajectory toward extinction, but it'll be great for news media ratings.
~
QAnon is all the dumbest things about Republicans crossed with all the dumbest things about 4chan crossed with all the dumbest things about boomers crossed with the dumbest iteration of conspiracy analysis you could possibly imagine.
~
Believing this new cold war is safe because we survived the last one is as sane as believing Russian roulette is safe because the guy passing you the gun didn't get his head blown off.
~
The position that detente should be sought with China and Russia is not a position that says their governments are wonderful, it's the position that the neoconservative ideology of US unipolar domination at all cost is not worth gambling the life of every terrestrial organism on.
~
The Iraq invasion killed hundreds of times more people than 9/11 and was vastly more evil than 9/11. If they lied to us about Iraq, they'll lie to us about anything.
~
In a remotely sane world, war would be the last thing anyone ever wants and would be turned to only as a very last resort. In a world that's dominated by an empire which seeks total planetary control, wars are planned as an ends in themselves and excuses are invented to get into them.
~
The impulse to control things is why egos exist. The impulse to control things is also why empires exist.
~
Psychology is the tool propagandists use to manipulate us into consenting to the status quo. The more you understand about the workings of your own mind, the easier a time you'll have spotting all manipulations. See how you fool yourself and you'll see how they fool everyone.
_________________________
Thanks for reading! The best way to get around the internet censors and make sure you see the stuff I publish is to subscribe to the mailing list for at my website or on Substack, which will get you an email notification for everything I publish. My work is entirely reader-supported, so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, liking me on Facebook, following my antics on Twitter, throwing some money into my tip jar on Patreon or Paypal, purchasing some of my sweet merchandise, buying my books Rogue Nation: Psychonautical Adventures With Caitlin Johnstone and Woke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers. For more info on who I am, where I stand, and what I’m trying to do with this platform, click here. Everyone, racist platforms excluded, has my permission to republish, use or translate any part of this work (or anything else I’ve written) in any way they like free of charge.

Bitcoin donations:1Ac7PCQXoQoLA9Sh8fhAgiU3PHA2EX5Zm2

Caitlin Johnstone | September 16, 2020 at 1:42 pm | Tags: assange, capitalism, empire, narrative matrix, Politics, war | Categories: Article | URL: https://wp.me/p9tj6M-2j1

How You Can Be 100% Certain That QAnon Is BullshitPublished 1 day ago on September 12, 2020
By Caitlin Johnstone
[This is a May 2019 article from Caitlin, still very relevant today – Ed.]

https://thefreedomarticles.com/how-you-can-be-certain-q-anon-is-bullshit/


​President Trump has yet again

advanced an evil longstanding agenda of America’s depraved intelligence and defense agencies, so as usual the Q-Anon or QAnon cult is out in force telling everyone not to worry because this is all part of the plan. Ever since WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was slammed by Trump’s Justice Department with a mountain of espionage chargescarrying a possible sentence of 175 years in prison, QAnon acolytes have been showing up in my social media mentions with screenshots of a new post from the mysterious 8chan anon assuring us all that Assange is actually being protected by Trump.

The post reads in the typical QAnon cryptic word salad style that its adherents often annoyingly imitate when normal people try to engage them in an adult conversation:

“Under protection.
Threat is real.
Key to DNC ‘source’ ‘hack’ ‘187’.
Q”PROMOTED CONTENT
[Mgid]
10 Ways To Tell Your Man You Love Him Without Actually Saying It
HerBeauty
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HerBeauty

I find this subject very tedious, and my regular readers aren’t generally the types to fall for this sort of toxic propaganda construct, but I’m putting this information out there anyway as a public service since many people are being deluded by it.

If you’re one of those fortunate enough to be unfamiliar with the QAnon phenomenon, in October of 2017 odd posts began appearing on the anonymous message board 4chan, which is wildly popular with trolls, incels and racists. Those posts ceased appearing on 4chan and moved to a related site, 8chan, where they continue appearing to this day. The poster purports to have insider knowledge of a secret, silent and invisible war that President Trump has been waging against the Deep State with the help of the US military and various “white hats” within the US government, and shares snippets about this war with 8chan users in extremely vague and garbled posts.

Here are three reasons you can be absolutely, 100 percent certain that it’s bullshit:
1. The Q-Anon Cult always, always, always excuses Trump’s facilitation of evil deep state agendas.

I don’t generally use the term “deep state” anymore, mainly because its proper meaning has been distorted by right-wingers and Qultists to mean basically “Democrats and Never-Trumpers”, and by mainstream liberals to mean something like “a right-wing conspiracy theory about a secretive cabal of Jews who rule the world”. But originally the term simply referred to a concept used for political analysis to describe the undeniable fact that plutocrats and intelligence/defense agencies tend to form relationships with each other in a way that persists amid the comings and goings of the official elected government.

This alliance has certain agendas that it has consistently pushed for, many of them involving the advancement of wars which financially benefit the plutocrats and which secure geostrategic dominance for the intelligence/defence agencies. Trump has been advancing these longstanding agendas with his administration’s regime change interventionism against Iran and Venezuela, world-threatening new cold war escalations against Russia, military expansionism, continuing and expanding of all of Bushbama’s warmongering and Orwellian surveillance programs, the campaign to destroy WikiLeaks and imprison Julian Assange for life, and many other actions which benefit the agenda of global hegemony and the profit margins of war plutocrats.

Every single time Trump advances one of these depraved agendas and I speak out against it, I begin getting angry social media responses from QAnon cultists telling me to calm down and relax, that this is all part of the plan, and that Trump is actually doing the exact opposite of what he appears to be doing. And when I say “every single time”, I mean exactly that, without a single, solitary exception.

QAnon cultists do this every single time because they have been propagandized into doing so, both by the 8chan anon they follow and by the herd mentality of the community that it has fostered. They begin with the baseless premise that Trump is a righteous warrior against corruption, conclude that everything he does must therefore be a righteous maneuver against Deep State corruption, then apply their hive mind to coming up with reasons to believe this. Then they show up in my mentions telling me I’m crazy for believing Trump is doing the things that he is very plainly and obviously doing.

​You don’t need to take my word for this. As of this writing right now you can go to the Twitter search bar and type in the words “Assange” and “QAnon” and you’ll get a bunch of posts explaining that Assange is “under protection”, and that imprisoning a longtime target of the CIA and the Pentagon is actually a devastating blow to the Deep State. You can continue to repeat this exact same experiment every single time Trump advances a disgusting warmongering deep state agenda, and every single time you’ll get the exact same results.

This to me is reason enough to be absolutely certain that QAnon and the credulous cult which has sprouted up around it is crap. US presidents are reliably corrupt warmongers and CIA cronies, so the current president acting like one is not surprising or extraordinary. Trying to justify a US president doing the sort of thing that all US presidents always do as a total deviation from the norm for US presidents would be a ridiculous thing to do even one time. Doing it every single time is fully discrediting.

If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, you could maybe be excused if you mistook it for a rabbit after one quick glance, but continuing to stare directly at a duck and saying “Yeah that’s definitely a rabbit, look at the long ears” over an extended period of time would mean you’re a bullshitter.

2. The Q-Anon Cult always, always, always refuses to prove the validity of their position.

A year ago I tweeted out that I was thinking of writing an article about QAnon and asked its adherents for their very best links/screenshots proving its legitimacy. Go ahead and have a read of the kinds of responses I got by clicking this hyperlink if you’re curious. No one came remotely close to providing anything like the evidence I’d asked for, with most responses falling along the lines of “You kind of have to just immerse yourself in it over an extended period of time and marinate in it until you believe,” which is the same sort of response you’ll get if you ask a religious proselytizer to prove the legitimacy of their religion. I shared the thread again yesterdayand got the same response, with one QAnon promoter with a fairly large following telling me, “No amount of evidence can be seen by one choosing to stay blind.”

This is completely different from standard conspiracy theories. If you ask a 9/11 truther to prove the legitimacy of their position, they’ll instantly be able to produce clear and concise videos and articles for you, and if they’ve actually done their homework they’ll be able to regale you with information about physics, forensics, architecture, chemistry, and plot holes in the official narrative. If you ask someone who’s got theories about the JFK assassination you’ll get a comparable amount of lucidity. Ask a QAnon cultist for the same level of intellectual transparency and you’ll get a bunch of mealy-mouthed gibberish which will quickly turn into accusations that you are lazy for refusing to do your own research if you keep pressing.

This is because there is no actual, tangible factual basis for the belief system which has sprouted up around QAnon. It begins, just like any other religion, as a premise of faith, and then the adherents to that faith pool their intellectual resources into the task of finding reasons to legitimize that premise. They begin with the premise that Trump is a good and noble savior who is uprooting the source of all of America’s problems with strategic maneuvers which are so brilliant that they look like the exact opposite of what they are, then they let confirmation bias and other cognitive biases do the rest of the work for them.

Again, you don’t need to take my word for this; you can repeat this experiment for yourself. Whenever you encounter a QAnon adherent, either by chance or by seeking them out deliberately, simply ask them to prove the legitimacy of their position. You might get links to sources which attempt to prove that QAnon is connected to the Trump administration (as though that would somehow counter the idea that it’s a pro-Trump propaganda construct), you might get links to the mountain of cryptic word salads that QAnon has posted and told to comb through them yourself, but you won’t ever get anything resembling an attempt to clearly prove that QAnon is the thing that it purports to be. If you keep pushing you’ll encounter nothing but anger as you run into a wall of cognitive dissonance.

This proves that QAnon is not even a proper conspiracy theory, as we’ve come to understand that term. Conspiracy theories, per definition, consist of some sort of concrete theory. QAnon, like Russiagate, consists of nothing other than something that people desperately want to believe and then seek out excuses which allow them to feel comfortable believing it. This makes it far more akin to a religion or a cult than a conspiracy theory.

If QAnon were legitimate, it would be easy for its followers to demonstrate that legitimacy in a clear and simple way. They never can.

3. Q made many bogus claims and inaccurate predictions.

I’m putting this one last instead of first because the appeal of QAnon has very little to do with facts and evidence; if you show these to a Q cultist they’ll typically just say “Oh Q didn’t really mean that” or “That one wasn’t the real Q” or even “Disinformation is necessary” (a John Bolton doctrinewhich QAnon itself has proclaimed on multiple occasions), but for anyone who’s kind of on the fence about the whole thing you should be aware that the QAnon phenomenon has been rife with demonstrable inaccuracies. Personally I prefer to focus on the behaviors of the QAnon cultists themselves, since they’re the ones interpreting the cryptic word salads and circulating those interpretations online. They behave as cheerleaders for their government’s most depraved agendas; it doesn’t really matter what they are being told to believe to get them to behave that way.

This recent Reddit post on r/conspiracy breaks down many of the bogus claims, inaccurate predictions and deceitful manipulations that the QAnon construct has made since its inception. They include claiming in October 2017 that Hillary Clinton had been arrested and to expect mass rioting in response, posting and then deleting a fake Podesta email, posting multiple photoshopped images as though they were real, posting a bogus photo suggesting that the operator of the account was on Airforce One, and posting bogus “codes” that are demonstrably nothing other than gibberish.

I don’t claim to know everything about this QAnon thing or who exactly is behind it, but these three points I just outlined in my opinion kill all doubt that it’s not what it purports to be. For anyone looking at them with intellectual honesty rather than the same way a creationist or cult member might look at something which challenges their faith, anyway.

It is not good that a vocal and enthusiastic part of Trump’s largely anti-interventionist, pro-WikiLeaks base has been propagandized into consistently stumping for longtime agendas of the CIA and the Pentagon. Someone’s benefiting from this, and it isn’t you.

Exposing War Crimes Should Always Be Legal. Committing And Hiding Them Should Not.
by Caitlin Johnstone


The Kafkaesque extradition trial of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange continues, with each frustrating day making it clearer than the day before that what we are watching is nothing other than a staged performance by the US and UK governments to explain why it's okay for powerful governments to jail journalists who expose inconvenient truths about them.

The Assange defense team is performing admirably, making the arguments they need to make to try and prevent an extradition that will set a precedent which will imperil press freedoms and creating a chilling effect on all adversarial national security investigative journalism around the world. These arguments appear to fall on deaf ears before Judge Vanessa Baraitser, who has from the beginning been acting like someone who has already made up her mind and who has been reading from pre-written judgements at the trial regardless of the points presented to her (an unusual behavior made all the more suspicious by her supervision under Chief Magistrate Emma Arbuthnot, who has a massive conflict of interest in this case).

And while it is essential to fight this fight with every intention of winning, I'd also like to issue a friendly reminder that this entire trial is illegitimate at its very foundation.

Amid all the pedantic squabbling over when it is and is not legal under US law for a journalist to expose evidence of US war crimes, we must never lose sight of the fact that (A) it should always be legal to expose US war crimes, (B) it should always be illegal for governments to hide evidence of their war crimes, (C) war crimes should always be punished, (D) people who start criminal wars should always be punished, (E) governments should not be permitted to have a level of secrecy that allows them to start criminal wars, and (F) power and secrecy should always have an inverse relationship to one another.

The Assange case needs to be fought tooth and claw, but we must keep in mind that it is so very, very many clicks back from where we need to be as a civilization. In an ideal situation the public should have governments too afraid of them to keep secrets from them; instead here we are begging the most powerful government in the world to please not imprison a journalist because he arguably did not break the rules that that government made for itself.

Do you see how far that point is from where we need to be?

It's important to remember this. It's important to remember that the amount of evil deeds power structures will commit is directly proportional to the amount of information they are permitted to hide from the public. We will not have a healthy world until power and secrecy have an inverse relationship to each other: privacy for rank-and-file individuals and transparency for governments and their officials.

"But what about military secrets?" one might object. Yes, what about military secrets? What about the fact that virtually all military violence perpetrated by the world's largest power structures is initiated based on lies? What about the utterly indisputable fact that the more secrecy we allow the war machine the more wars it deceives the public into allowing it to initiate?

If wars are started by lies, peace can be started by truth... pic.twitter.com/Kmxw35tITt

— WanderingDuckweed (@candle_finder) September 14, 2020

In a healthy world, the most powerful government on earth wouldn't be trying to squint at its own laws in such a way that permits a prosecution of a journalist for telling the truth.

In a healthy world, the most powerful government on earth wouldn't prosecute anyone for telling the truth at all.
In a healthy world, governments would prosecute their own war crimes instead of those who expose them.
In a healthy world, governments wouldn't commit war crimes at all.
In a healthy world, governments wouldn't start wars at all.
In a healthy world, governments would see truth as something to be desired and actively sought, not something to be repressed and punished.
In a healthy world, governments wouldn't keep secrets from the public, and wouldn't have any cause to want to.
In a healthy world, if governments existed at all, they would exist solely as tools for the people to serve themselves, with full transparency and accountability to the people.

We are obviously a very, very far cry from the kind of healthy world we would all like to one day find ourselves in. But we should always keep in mind what a healthy world will look like, and hold it as our true north for the direction that we are pushing in.
_____________________________
Thanks for reading! The best way to get around the internet censors and make sure you see the stuff I publish is to subscribe to the mailing list for at my website or on Substack, which will get you an email notification for everything I publish. My work is entirely reader-supported, so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, liking me on Facebook, following my antics on Twitter, throwing some money into my tip jar on Patreon or Paypal, purchasing some of my sweet merchandise, buying my books Rogue Nation: Psychonautical Adventures With Caitlin Johnstone and Woke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers. For more info on who I am, where I stand, and what I’m trying to do with this platform, click here. Everyone, racist platforms excluded, has my permission to republish, use or translate any part of this work (or anything else I’ve written) in any way they like free of charge.
Bitcoin donations:1Ac7PCQXoQoLA9Sh8fhAgiU3PHA2EX5Zm2Caitlin Johnstone | September 18, 2020 at 2:33 am | Tags: assange, case, government, health, Politics, revolution, secrecy, transparency, trial | Categories: Article | URL: https://wp.me/p9tj6M-2j8



Bitcoin donations for Caitlin Johnstone:

1Ac7PCQXoQoLA9Sh8fhAgiU3PHA2EX5Zm2

Australia Suddenly Cares About Its Journalists When They Get In Trouble In China
by Caitlin Johnstone


The government of China has arrested and imprisoned an Australian journalist for his groundbreaking reporting which exposed Chinese war crimes. A farcical show trial is currently underway to present the illusion of justice to the world, and a UN special rapporteur attests that the journalist has been subjected to torture.

Oh sorry, did I say China? My mistake, I meant the US and UK. I get them mixed up sometimes.

No, what China did was attempt to question two reporters, Bill Birtles from the ABC and Michael Smith from the Australian Financial Review, in relation to another Australian journalist named Cheng Lei who is being held by Chinese authorities and facing a six-month detention on unknown charges. Lei was a reporter for Chinese state media outlet CGTN, but her online profiles for the network have since been deleted.

Australian journalists seeking shelter in a diplomatic compound, you say? Will they be accused of fleeing from justice, smeared as paranoid narcissists, dismissed as "not even real journalists"? #FreeASSANGE #auspol https://t.co/D0A2ZFEJq5

— Jaraparilla (@jaraparilla) September 7, 2020

Thanks to a prompt "diplomatic standoff" from the Australian government against Beijing, Birtles and Smith were able to take shelter in diplomatic compounds and have now been successfully returned to Sydney. Two Australian journalists appeared to be at risk of suffering the same fate as Lei, and their government immediately took action to protect their citizens, as governments are supposed to do.

There was no abandonment and proclamation of guilt against those journalists like the one Australian Labor Prime Minister Julia Gillard made against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange in 2010, prior to any conviction, trial or due process of any kind. There was no gibberish about how Birtles, Smith and Lei need to "face the music" in China so that the Chinese legal process can "run its course", like the nonsense spouted about Assange last year by Australia's current LNP Prime Minister Scott Morrison. Canberra saw Australian journalists facing a potential injustice, and they wasted no time leaping to action.

And the Australian commentariat, which has completely abandoned Assange amid his grueling persecution at the hands of the US empire, are currently tweeting huffily about this latest flair-up in Australia's idiotic participation in Washington's cold war escalations against China.

"Yikes. This means there are no journos left in China covering the country for Australian media outlets," tweeted the ABC's Ashlynne McGhee of Smith and Birtles' exit.

"China gets what it wanted - it has forced out or denied visas to Australian correspondents meaning there are now no Aussie accredited journos working in China for the first time since this 70s," tweeted Latika M Bourke of the Sydney Morning Herald.

Australian MP Penny Wong called the event "highly disturbing", saying "the media play a vital role in fostering understanding."

"Given the forced departure of last two Aussie journalists from China, the Australian Govt should review visas of PRC state media representatives @XHNews," tweeted South Australia Senator Rex Patrick. "If Australian journos can't report from China, why should CCP propagandists operate here?"

Where has all this mainstream passion for Australian journalists been hiding for the last decade?

I ask @LisaMillar and @mjrowland68 to explain why a man with a union card for the Australian journalists' union on whose published revelations they have reported deserves their derision. pic.twitter.com/R42SjJdh85

— Berta Free Julian Assange Cáceres, member AUWU (@HelenRazer) April 11, 2019

A statement from Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne on the occurrence reinforced a previous government advisory that Australian citizens who travel to China face the risk of "arbitrary detention". It is funny to see that phrase popularized in relation to Australian journalists today, because arbitrary detention is exactly what a 2016 UN panel found Julian Assange to under in his de facto imprisonment at the Ecuadorian embassy at the time.

"WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has been arbitrarily detained by Sweden and the United Kingdom since his arrest in London on 7 December 2010, as a result of the legal action against him by both Governments," reads a February 2016 statement by the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention.

Where was the concern over arbitrary detention then? Assange is an Australian citizen and is a journalist by any conventional definition of the term--an award-winning journalist at that. Why has his home country abandoned him so outrageously while he faces torture and ailing health for years, yet even the slightest hint of a mainstream reporter potentially suffering a fraction of that injustice sends all the alarm bells ringing?

Statement from Foreign Minister @MarisePayne on the two Australian journalists rushed out of China. She says the consular advice to Australians in China remains "remains appropriate and unchanged." That advice warns Australians they face the risk of "arbitrary detention" pic.twitter.com/fKEe1Xh2Dt

— Stephen Dziedzic (@stephendziedzic) September 7, 2020

The answer to these questions, as with so much else, boils down to power and imperialism. For all the huffy, self-righteous indignation, this is about nothing more noble than imperialism and oligarchic control.

Australia is a part of the US-centralized empire, the tight network of allies which functions more or less as a single entity on international matters, while China is the most powerful of the remaining nations which have successfully resisted absorption into that empire. The UK, Sweden, and Ecuador--the other nations responsible for Assange's persecution--are also a part of this empire.

As a leaked 2017 State Department memo by neocon Brian Hook patiently explained to then-Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, human rights are only ever a concern for the US empire when they can be leveraged against nations like China which are not a part of the power alliance. With regard to US allies (read: member states of the empire), they are to be ignored. Hook's "human rights" guidelines are followed by the member states just as much as they are in Washington.

If you missed it, the first day of the #ASSANGE trial was a total farce. 40 international observers who had been granted remote access - incl. @Amnesty - were denied access by the judge, who also denied a defence request to delay proceedings. Loads of comms problems. A farce. https://t.co/f5ikEHVIIL

— Jaraparilla (@jaraparilla) September 7, 2020
And now Assange is subject to a ridiculous Kafkaesque show trial at the hands of this empire, where he is seeing his attorneys for the first time in six months and watchdog groups are being banned from witnessing the proceedings, facing a 175-year prison sentence if successfully extradited to the United States.
Where is the passion for protecting Australian journalists here?
____________________

Thanks for reading! The best way to get around the internet censors and make sure you see the stuff I publish is to subscribe to the mailing list for at my website or on Substack, which will get you an email notification for everything I publish. My work is entirely reader-supported, so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, liking me on Facebook, following my antics on Twitter, throwing some money into my tip jar on Patreon or Paypal, purchasing some of my sweet merchandise, buying my books Rogue Nation: Psychonautical Adventures With Caitlin Johnstone and Woke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers. For more info on who I am, where I stand, and what I’m trying to do with this platform, click here. Everyone, racist platforms excluded, has my permission to republish, use or translate any part of this work (or anything else I’ve written) in any way they like free of charge.

Bitcoin donations:1Ac7PCQXoQoLA9Sh8fhAgiU3PHA2EX5Zm2Caitlin Johnstone | September 8, 2020 at 3:17 am | Tags: arbitrary detention, assange, Australia, china, imperialism, journalism | Categories: Article, News | URL: https://wp.me/p9tj6M-2ip


'Good to be home': Two Australian journalists dramatically pulled out of China following Cheng Lei detention

By Mark Saunokonoko • Senior Journalist
 Sep 8, 2020


https://www.9news.com.au/national/bill-birtles-michael-smith-two-australian-journalists-pulled-from-china-after-cheng-lei-detention-abc-afr/f9d7e92a-e04a-4866-a08e-68786809e6b9


"It's just good to be home."
Those six words are familiar to most Australians, once their plane lands and they clear passport control.
But ABC reporter Bill Birtles probably meant it more than most.



A relieved Bill Birtles speaks briefly with media at Sydney's international airport after flying out of China. (9News)

The ABC's Bill Birtles faced questioning from Chinese state security officers before he was allowed to leave China. (9News)

Michael Smith from the Australian Financial Review lands back in Sydney, after rushing home from China. (9News)
He and fellow journalist Michael Smith, from The Australian Financial Review, landed in Sydney this morning after the pair were dramatically pulled out of China by their news organisations, over fears they were no longer safe.
Birtles and Smith had endured a daunting last week, facing possible detention in China.
Only high-level diplomatic negotiations had lifted the threat of indefinite detention and secured safe passage home.
"It's very disappointing to have to leave under those circumstances and it is a relief to be back in a country with a genuine rule of law," Birtles said at Sydney Airport.


He called the experience a "whirlwind".
9News political editor Chris Uhlmann said the AFR and ABC decided their journalists faced an "unacceptable risk" of possible arbitrary detention.
"(It's) an extraordinary thing to think that relations are so bad now between China and Australia that journalists would no longer consider themselves to be safe," he said.
[The AFR's Michael Smith moves through the international airport in Sydney.]
The AFR's Michael Smith moves through the international airport in Sydney. (9News)
[Bill Birtles, a reporter with the ABC, pushes his luggage through the airport in Sydney.]
Bill Birtles, a reporter with the ABC, pushes his luggage through the airport in Sydney. (9News)
The AFR said both reporters spent five days under protection in Australian diplomatic missions after Chinese state security officers made unannounced late-night visits to their homes last week.
In simultaneous operations executed after midnight, security officials had demanded the pair come in for questioning and advised they were banned from leaving the country.

Australia in dark with no journalists in ChinaHigh-level diplomatic negotiations took place which saw Beijing allow Birtles and Smith to return, after they had been questioned.
The pair were told they were being investigated in connection with the recent detention of Australian journalist Cheng Lei, who also worked in China.
Speaking on 2GB with Deborah Knight, Foreign Minister Marise Payne said China's moves on Smith and Birtles was "disappointing".
It was worrying, Ms Payne said, that Australia had no journalists based in China to report on the nation's biggest trading partner.
She urged Australians working in China and Hong Kong to pay close attention to the government's Smart Traveller advice to "not travel" to China.
Lei's detention had raised alarm bells, Ms Payne said.
"We became concerned about the uncertainty that that might pose for other journalists and we have been consulting closely through my department with Australian media organisations with representatives in in China."
Ms Payne told Knight she could not "get into the details" of Lei's detention. 
"But I can advise that we did have an opportunity to have a consular visit at the detention centre where (she) is held.
"That was held by video, but that is more to do with COVID-safe practices than anything else."
She said consular officials "at the level of the ambassador" have been in contact with Lei and they continue to ask Chinese authorities the reasons for her detention and progress updates on her case.
It is the first time since the 1970s there have been no Australian reporters based in China.
"This incident targeting two journalists, who were going about their normal reporting duties, is both regrettable and disturbing and is not in the interests of a co-operative relationship between Australia and China," AFR's editor in chief Michael Stutchbury and editor Paul Bailey told 9News in a statement.
Birtles is the ABC's China correspondent and has been based in Beijing since 2015.
His most recent story was published six days ago, about the detention of Lei.
Smith is the AFR's China correspondent and based in Shanghai, according to his publisher.
Australian citizen Lei is a well-known TV anchor at the state broadcaster, CGTN in Beijing.
On August 31 Foreign Minister Marise Payne confirmed Lei was being detained by Chinese authorities.
It is believed Lei was detained some weeks before Ms Payne's statement.
The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade said its "do not travel" advice for China, which was upgraded on July 7, remained intact.
In a statement issued today from Ms Payne, she confirmed the Australian Government provided consular support to Birtles and Smith "to assist their return to Australia".
"Our Embassy in Beijing and Consulate-General in Shanghai engaged with Chinese Government authorities to ensure their wellbeing and return to Australia," Ms Payne said.


Cheng Lei is a high-profile Australian television anchor for the Chinese Government's English news channel, CGTN (CGTN)

'Pawns and hostages'Relations between Canberra and Beijing have deteriorated this year.
Award-winning foreign correspondent Peter Greste, who is also an Alliance for Journalists' Freedom spokesperson, said China had harassed the two Australian journalists to score political and diplomatic points.
"Journalists should never be used as political pawns and hostages," Greste said.
There had been no evidence of any wrongdoing by Birtles or Smith, he said.
It showed "just how intolerant China has become" when it comes to an independent and free press, he claimed.
Contact: msaunoko@nine.com.au


From suburban Melbourne to detention in Beijing: The rise and fall of an Australian TV anchor

Eryk Bagshaw

Sep 01 2020

https://www.stuff.co.nz/world/asia/300097093/from-suburban-melbourne-to-detention-in-beijing-the-rise-and-fall-of-an-australian-tv-anchor


China’s strongman leader, President Xi Jinping, doesn’t tolerate dissent about the country’s handling of the coronavirus outbreak.


Cheng Lei's family believed their daughter would never become a television reporter in Australia.
It was the early 1990s and non-European faces were even rarer on our screens than today. In Melbourne, her father said she should become an accountant.
She took her family's advice, graduated from the University of Queensland and went on to Cadbury Schweppes and ExxonMobil in Melbourne. Busy, but not satisfied, the business analyst took a punt and went for an internship in Beijing well below her pay grade, returning to a country she had left as a 10-year-old to pursue a career she did not think she could have in her adopted home.
“There are only boring people, no boring careers,” she said in 2015. “Doing what you like is possible.”
Her father's advice was pertinent. Accountants make good journalists. Balance sheets often tell more of a story than any press release. “Follow the money” is a news cliche.

​Cheng's gamble landed her an internship at Chinese-state media network CCTV in 2002. Within a year she would be leading the pay-TV network CNBC's business coverage out of Singapore and China.

It was a good time to be a business reporter. China's annual economic growth reached the heady heights of 14 per cent in 2007. The economy was opening up and the Chinese Communist Party tolerated discussion of some liberal ideas. By 2016 she was mixing up interviews with trade ministers at Davos while taking selfies on the red carpet with American rapper will.i.am.

Then the coronavirus hit and those liberal ideas, grounded in her upbringing in Melbourne, education in Queensland and China's own economic growth story, proved difficult to shake.

She now faces six months under surveillance at an undisclosed location, without guaranteed access to legal aid, on charges unknown. Chinese authorities took her into custody on August 14 but her detention was not publicly revealed until Monday night. The Australian Government is yet to be notified of the exact nature of the claims against Cheng.

Up until her detention, Cheng was a public picture of Chinese state media restraint, outlining the country's plans for containment and recovery as she covered flagship political events such as the National People's Congress. But in private, she had doubts about many of the Chinese Communist Party's claims, which has moved to assert total control of the narrative of the coronavirus crisis as soon as it was first detected in Wuhan in December.

​On February 18, she said she had poured over 6000 words of the “Dear Leader’s” latest speech to the politburo standing committee, in a subtle nod to former North Korean dictator Kim Jong Il.

The words “warm tone” and “positive energy” gave her the chills, she said.

By March 10, she was despairing over the Chinese Government's control of the narrative of the crisis.

“The big story today, Dear Leader’s visit, triggered titters in the newsroom – waving to a big TV screen showing the coronavirus hospital in Wuhan apparently equals a visit,” she wrote.

The Chinese and Australian governments have not revealed if Cheng's criticism is linked to her arrest. But at least four high-profile critics of Xi and the Chinese Communist Party have been detained since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic.

Leading civil rights figures Ding Jiaxi and Xu Zhiyong were arrested in June for inciting subversion of state power. Xu Zhangrun, a Tsinghua University professor and former University of Melbourne academic, was detained in July after publishing an essay accusing the Chinese Communist Party of systemic impotence in its handling of the crisis.

In April, Chinese anti-corruption authorities announced they were investigating high-profile party member and real-estate tycoon Ren Zhiqiang after he described Xi as a “clown with no clothes”.

Australian journalist Peter Greste, who spent more than a year in an Egyptian jail after being accused of damaging national security, said the Alliance for Journalists’ Freedom was deeply troubled by Cheng's unjustified detention.

“Nothing in her life suggests she is a spy, a terrorist or a criminal of any sort,” he said. “In the absence of evidence, the only conclusion we can come to is that she is being used as a hostage in a wider diplomatic spat between Australia and China, or perhaps because of some critical comments she may have made.”
Cheng's family told the ABC on Monday night that it was in close consultation with the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and was doing everything it could to support her.

The 45-year-old has two young children waiting for her in Melbourne. She has not seen them since February.


Australian citizen detained in China amid increasing tensions between Canberra and Beijing
The foreign minister, Marise Payne, says the Australian government was notified in mid-August that Cheng Lei had been detained



https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/aug/31/australian-citizen-detained-in-china-amid-tensions-between-canberra-and-beijing


An Australian citizen who works as a TV anchor for a Chinese state-controlled broadcaster has been detained as tensions between Canberra and Beijing escalate.
The Australian government was notified on 14 August that Cheng Lei, an anchor for a business show on the China Global Television Network, had been detained in Beijing.
In a statement released on Monday night, Australia’s foreign minister, Marise Payne, acknowledged the detention and said a consular visit had been conducted via video link.
“Australian officials had an initial consular visit with Ms Cheng at a detention facility via video link on 27 August and will continue to provide assistance and support to her and her family,” Payne said.

The foreign minister said “further comment will not be provided owing to the government’s privacy obligations”.

It is highly unusual for foreign journalists to be detained in China.

Cheng was born in China but later became an Australian citizen. In 2018, when she was an anchor for BizAsia on China Central Television, she appeared on ABC’s QandA program. She was previously China correspondent for CNBC for nine years.

She last tweeted on 12 August and her profile on CGTN’s website has been taken down. CGTN videos featuring Cheng have been removed from online platforms and social media pages.
Cheng has not been charged but is being held under “residential surveillance at a designated location”, according to an ABC report which states she can be held for up to six months without access to lawyers.



At A Time Of Rapidly Creeping Authoritarianism, Assange’s Freedom Is More Crucial Than Ever
by Caitlin Johnstone


My home state of Victoria has become the center of attention in the anti-lockdown movement for its authoritarian crackdown against not just people who are in violation of lockdown protocol, but people who merely post about staging future anti-lockdown protests on social media.
Police have been breaking into people's homes and arresting them in front of their children under charges of "incitement" for posting about anti-lockdown protests on Facebook, drawing international headlines. This is obviously a major threat to human rights that sets a dangerous precedent and will have many undesirable knock-on effects, and it should be condemned unequivocally.

"This is awful. 'Incitement' is going to be used to crack down on all sorts of protests - including on issues we agree with and think are worth protesting," explained Australian author and analyst Ketan Joshi of one such arrest. "Every time I post about this, I am stunned by the number of people who seem furiously unwilling to draw any connection between what's happening above and the history of climate and anti-racist protest in Australia."
"Those who claim Covid-19 is being exploited by governments to dismantle our diminishing freedoms have just been handed a chilling new piece of evidence to support their case," tweeted journalist Jonathan Cook.

Those who claim Covid-19 is being exploited by governments to dismantle our diminishing freedoms have just been handed a chilling new piece of evidence to support their case.

Nothing about this okay – including the comments justifying her arrest https://t.co/8aJMf5ePQC

— Jonathan Cook (@Jonathan_K_Cook) September 2, 2020

Indeed this ham-fisted approach seems to be a lot more popular among residents of Melbourne and the state of Victoria who are subjected to it than to a large portion of the outside world. Part of this discrepancy is due to Australia having an entire culture built around the phrase "No worries, whatever you reckon's a fair thing," but another part is the fact that people in other self-proclaimed democracies are accustomed to having a bill of rights to protect them against such intrusive overreach.

Many Australians are unaware of this, but we are in fact the only developed democracy that does not have a bill of rights built into its legal infrastructure. An inordinate amount of trust is instead placed upon our legislature and judicial system to always do the right thing on a case-by-case basis, a premise that has been fully discredited by things like the Facebook post arrests, the silencing of sexual assault victims in Victoria, the police raids on two Australian journalists last year, the almost-instituted ban on reporting political corruption in Queensland, and the trial, conviction, sentencing and imprisonment of a man entirely in secret whose very identity itself is classified, just to pick from a few very recent examples.

As we've discussed previously, it's a guarantee that there will be authoritarian agendas rolled out during the Covid-19 pandemic which our rulers have no intention of ever fully rolling back. We know this because that's what always happens; the US Patriot Act was mostly already written prior to 9/11 and the pre-planned Orwellian measures were simply slid in at a time of chaos and confusion when people were less likely to push back on creeping authoritarianism.

They Are Rolling Out The Architecture Of Oppression Now Because They Fear The People

“The escalations in internet censorship and the escalations in surveillance are both directed at a last-ditch effort to control the masses before control is lost forever”https://t.co/buiSaOP4B9
— Caitlin Johnstone [⏳] (@caitoz) April 11, 2020
The trouble is, we can't see it.
For months I've been getting many people telling me every day that I need to be sounding the alarm about this virus giving cover for an authoritarian power grab that will thrust us into a dystopia from which we will never recover. Few of them can agree on exactly what form this power grab is taking, and none can lucidly explain in their own words exactly what they know and how they know it when I ask them to, but they want me to write essays defending their viewpoint.

It's not that they're wrong to be suspicious; again, it's a guarantee that authoritarians and plutocrats are at the very least opportunistically shoring up power and wealth for themselves in a whole host of ways amid the confusing upheavals of 2020. It's just that I can't write essays which I can competently defend about things I cannot see. The level of evidence and argumentation that I apply to the rest of my work simply is not there at this time. I've been looking at this thing from every angle, and a powerful evidence-based argument for any kind of centralized monolithic global power grab in relation to this virus just isn't forthcoming.
This doesn't mean such a power grab doesn't exist, it just means that if it does exist, the bulk of it is happening in secret. And it is a very safe bet that there are at the very least a lot of agendas being planned within establishment power structures around the world which we would object to if they weren't hidden behind thick veils of corporate, financial, and government opacity.
#Assange makes his way to date with destiny he always predicted | Andrew Fowler | Sydney Morning Herald @smh #AssangeCasehttps://t.co/WCqoOpp37G
— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) September 6, 2020
Which brings us to Julian Assange, whose extradition trial of world-shaping importance is set to resume a few hours from this writing.

Assange started a leak publishing outlet on the premise that corrupt power can be fought with the light of truth. Corrupt power responded by smearing, torturing and imprisoning him, thereby proving his thesis unassailably correct. The depravity of the powerful can only operate behind veils of secrecy, because if it happened out in the open our greatly outnumbered rulers would risk finding themselves on the wrong end of a guillotine blade. Assange sought to hold power in check by reducing the amount of hiding spaces it has, which is why he is currently behind bars.

If we had transparency for the powerful as we ought, there wouldn't be any wild theorizing about what they're up to behind the walls of secrecy. Indeed, the various agendas that are doubtless being schemed toward by oligarchs and unaccountable government agencies wouldn't even exist, because people only plot such evils when they are out of the public eye. Whatever's going on with this virus would be clear as day, and the fact that people are paranoid and distrustful of authority figures about the matter is solely the fault of those authority figures' refusal to have transparency and accountability.

The more secrecy the powerful are able to obtain, the more wars they start, the more exploitation, oppression and thievery they can get away with, the more power they can steal from the people and shift to themselves. Which is precisely why they are going after a journalist who made it his vocation to deprive them of secrecy.

As Jonathan Cook recently put it, "Assange had to be made to suffer horribly and in public – to be made an example of – to deter other journalists from ever following in his footsteps. He is the modern equivalent of a severed head on a pike displayed at the city gates."
We must not allow them to get away with this. Especially now, when transparency for the powerful is more important than ever.
Looking at you, Australia.
____________________
Thanks for reading! The best way to get around the internet censors and make sure you see the stuff I publish is to subscribe to the mailing list for at my website or on Substack, which will get you an email notification for everything I publish. My work is entirely reader-supported, so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, liking me on Facebook, following my antics on Twitter, throwing some money into my tip jar on Patreon or Paypal, purchasing some of my sweet merchandise, buying my books Rogue Nation: Psychonautical Adventures With Caitlin Johnstone and Woke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers. For more info on who I am, where I stand, and what I’m trying to do with this platform, click here. Everyone, racist platforms excluded, has my permission to republish, use or translate any part of this work (or anything else I’ve written) in any way they like free of charge.

Bitcoin donations:1Ac7PCQXoQoLA9Sh8fhAgiU3PHA2EX5Zm2

The US Is Doing Far Worse Than What It Accuses China Of Doing To The Uighurs
New post on Caitlin Johnstone

by Caitlin Johnstone

Disney is the subject of controversy in mainstream circles again, not because it is a sprawling monopolistic media megaconglomerate whose giant Mickey head is devouring the world like Galactus, but because parts of its live-action version of Mulan were filmed in Xinjiang province.

Vox reports:
"Some viewers who paid to stream the movie on Disney+ last weekend found something troubling in the credits: Disney thanked eight government bodies in Xinjiang, a western province in China where around 2 million Uighur Muslims have been forced into concentration camps by the Chinese government. It turns out parts of Mulan were filmed in Xinjiang two years ago, well after the world knew about Beijing’s plan to 'reeducate' Uighurs with Communist Party doctrine."

I Don’t Always Believe CIA Narratives. But When I Do, I Believe Them About China.
"China is such a curious anomaly in the narrative matrix. Many who are normally skeptical of claims by western governments immediately swallow anything said about China."https://t.co/1EtQOPOFee
— Caitlin Johnstone  [⏳]  (@caitoz) July 22, 2020

Now it is worth pointing out at this point that there is no reason to accept on faith the claim that two million Uighur Muslims have been forced into concentration camps in Xinjiang. The US-centralized empire is ramping up a propaganda campaign against China to manufacture support for cold war escalations with the goal of preventing the emergence of a true multipolar world, and that empire has an extensive history of lying about these things. There are massive, gaping plot holes in the Xinjiang narrative we're being fed by the State Department stenographers in the mass media, and its key points of evidence always trace back to extremely dubious sources like the odious fanatic Adrian Zenz.

None of this proves the Uighur population isn't being persecuted to some extent in Xinjiang; propaganda campaigns are typically wrapped around some sort of hard factual center and it's entirely possible that there's some degree of truth to them. We just have no reason to believe unproven claims by known liars at this time; there's no proof of their claims that rises to the level required in a post-Iraq invasion world. Doesn't mean you should believe the Chinese government are a bunch of girl scouts, it just means you don't accept claims about them as true and verified when they are not.

But the point I'm actually interested in making today is that even if we were to pretend the establishment claims about what's happening in Xinjiang have been completely authenticated by independently verifiable proof, it still wouldn't be as bad as what the US is doing on the same front.
China's official reason for having had what it calls voluntary "vocational training" camps is to fight extremism to counteract the large number of terrorist attacks that have been happening in Xinjiang, which even if involuntary would be similar to what has been tried by US allies like Saudi Arabia and France. It doesn't matter if you believe China's official argument; that's irrelevant to the comparison I'm about to make because America's official argument for its "war on terror" is bogus anyway.

Tens Of Millions Of People Displaced By The ‘War On Terror’, The Greatest Scam Ever Invented

A new report has found that at least 37 million people (a conservative estimate) have been displaced as a result of America's so-called “war on terror” since 9/11https://t.co/MsFul5zf7L
— Caitlin Johnstone  [⏳]  (@caitoz) September 9, 2020

So that's what China claims it's doing to combat terrorism, and, even if we fully accept the CIA/CNN narrative on the matter as being 100 percent true, the consequences of that effort are that millions of Uighurs are currently imprisoned in cruel concentration camps.
Meanwhile, what does the US claim it is doing to fight terrorism? Launching full-scale ground invasions, toppling regimes, nonstop bombing campaigns, genocidal proxy wars, and illegal occupations.

Researcher Nicolas J S Davies put together a three-part investigation for Consortium News in 2018 to find out how many people had been killed in America's post-9/11 wars. Part one covers Iraq, part two covers Afghanistan and Pakistan, and part three covers Libya, Syria, Yemen and Somalia. At the end of the series, Davies writes the following:
"Altogether, in the three parts of this report, I have estimated that America’s post-9/11 wars have killed about 6 million people.  Maybe the true number is only 5 million. Or maybe it is 7 million. But I am quite certain that it is several millions."

Several millions. Not detained. Not involuntarily subjected to re-education programs. Killed. Five to seven million lives snuffed out, in the name of fighting "terrorism".
That's just people who were killed. It says nothing of the tens of millions of people America's so-called "war on terror" who were forced to flee their homes in desperation. It says nothing of the mass-scale chaos, suffering and trauma that America's response to acts of terrorism have inflicted upon people which will affect them for the rest of their lives.

This is plainly worse than even the very worst things the US is accusing China of doing.
When imperialists yell the word "whataboutism" what they really mean is "Stop pointing out the damning contradictions, inconsistencies and hypocrisy of my position."
— Caitlin Johnstone  [⏳]  (@caitoz) August 6, 2020

I do not bring this up with the intention of committing the unforgivable sin of "whataboutism", but to point out that the governments, politicians, pundits and reporters who are rending their garments about human rights violations in Xinjiang do not actually care about human rights. If they did they would be putting more effort into attacking the depravity of their own government's escalating "war on terror" than they are into unsubstantiated and far less egregious allegations against a nation that their government has targeted for balkanization.

I point this out because all the most prominent voices condemning China for human rights abuses in Xinjiang are not trying to help the Uighurs, they are trying to retain status and esteem in the globe-sprawling empire whose existence depends on continually destroying, undermining and absorbing any power which stands against them. Xinjiang is a geostrategically crucial region on the world stage for the role it's to play in China's Belt and Road Initiative, and both China and the US-centralized empire want it working in their own interests. Only difference is it is actually a Chinese territory.
Ignore the fake garment-rending of people who criticize other governments more than they criticize the far worse behaviors of their own. Stay focused on facts and evidence, be ever mindful of agendas, and remain always unapologetically skeptical of the agendas of power.
___________________
Thanks for reading! The best way to get around the internet censors and make sure you see the stuff I publish is to subscribe to the mailing list for at my website or on Substack, which will get you an email notification for everything I publish. My work is entirely reader-supported, so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, liking me on Facebook, following my antics on Twitter, throwing some money into my tip jar on Patreon or Paypal, purchasing some of my sweet merchandise, buying my books Rogue Nation: Psychonautical Adventures With Caitlin Johnstone and Woke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers. For more info on who I am, where I stand, and what I’m trying to do with this platform, click here. Everyone, racist platforms excluded, has my permission to republish, use or translate any part of this work (or anything else I’ve written) in any way they like free of charge.
Bitcoin donations:1Ac7PCQXoQoLA9Sh8fhAgiU3PHA2EX5Zm2

Caitlin Johnstone | September 11, 2020 at 3:10 am |

Tags: america, china, Disney, terrorism, Uighur, usa, Uyghur, war, Xinjiang | Categories: Article | URL: https://wp.me/p9tj6M-2iA

New post on Caitlin Johnstone
The Assange Trial, And Other Notes From The Edge Of The Narrative Matrix
by Caitlin Johnstone


The most powerful government in the world is currently conducting a prosecution protecting its right to lie to the public about the evil things that it does, and somehow the public isn't shaking the earth with unmitigated rage about this.
~
"Assange isn't a journalist! He has an agenda!"

Every journalist in the world has an agenda. It just happens that most journalists have fame, wealth and esteem as their agenda while Assange's agenda is, in his own words, "crushing bastards".
It's crazy how there are still people who try to claim Assange isn't a journalist. He is, and it's not even debatable. Publishing information that informs the public about what's going on in the world is exactly the thing that journalism is.
~
The mainstream press have been far, far less critical of immensely powerful world-dominating government agencies than they've been of one thin, frail man locked in a cage who published inconvenient facts about those agencies.
~
The very worst fringe conspiracy theories do far less damage than mainstream, establishment-promoted conspiracy theories.
~
If I died today my one regret would be that I wasn't mean enough to shitty MSM reporters.
~
Step 1: Destroy nations and displace tens of millions of people.
Step 2: Wait for some of those people to hate you and want to fight back.
Step 3: Use their desire to fight back as justification to repeat Step 1.
~
Ask someone how much a dollar bill is worth and they'll tell you a dollar. Put a gun to their head and ask "Are you sure it's not worth 100 dollars?" and they'll say "Ah yes you're right, my mistake."
That's the economy under the US empire.
~
Q: What is Novichok?
A: Novichok is a very gentle poison which the Kremlin uses whenever it wants to ask the world to please smash Russia via economic warfare without actually endangering the life of its target.
~
No US soldier has died for any reason that could be described as heroic, or even justifiable, for generations. We simply do not have a world order where such a thing happens anymore. They only ever die defending the interests of corporations and depraved government agencies.
~
Hi I'm Leftish McPundit. If you leftists actually care about getting things done you need to do the practical, pragmatic, realistic thing and support the party that actively sabotages all your agendas and is openly saying it won't get anything done.
~
Trump supporters who act like they're nonpartisan outsiders that see beyond the two-party system are hilarious. Minus the hysterical narrative spin he's a garden variety Republican with comparable GOP support to other Republican presidents. Trump supporters are the same as MSNBC Democrats.
~
"You can't use THAT outlet to defend your anti-imperialist position!" exclaimed the Smart Internet Person. "They often report things that are inconvenient to the empire! You may only defend anti-imperialism using pro-imperialist sources who never say anti-imperialist things."
~
Three months ago Americans were talking about dismantling the police state. Now they're talking about fighting each other. The crosshairs are always moved off of actual power structures. Who benefits?
~
There's disagreement between America's two mainstream political parties about the exact underlying cause of protests against racism, injustice and police brutality, but they've narrowed it down to either Russia or China.
~
It's so dumb how people babble about relations between China and Australia worsening. No, the US is ramping up its escalations against China to prevent the creation of a multipolar world and Washington's servile basement gimp Australia is along for the ride. That's all this is.
They act like it's just some natural thing that happened all by itself. "Aw yeah we just spontaneously decided we need to spend $270 billion on military posturing against our top business partner and bleat about Wuhan and we all hate TikTok now for some reason." Idiots.
~
I am constantly being lectured that increasing aggressions against China is the only possible option by people who have literally never heard the word detente in their lives.
~
Believing China wants to take over your country so it can have control over a bunch of random white people is as dumb and egocentric as believing space aliens would fly across the galaxy to stick probes in your butt.
~
Ten percent of my social media notifications every day for the last four years:
"Caitlin I've noticed you have opinions about the most powerful and influential government on planet earth. As an American, I find this strange and suspicious."
~
Wisdom will let you see things correctly. Cleverness plus wisdom will let you persuade others that you are seeing things correctly. Cleverness without wisdom will let you persuade others that you are seeing things correctly, even when you are seeing things incorrectly.
~
In a world that is dying and a society that is insane, “It’s always been that way” is never a valid argument.
____________________________
Thanks for reading! The best way to get around the internet censors and make sure you see the stuff I publish is to subscribe to the mailing list for at my website or on Substack, which will get you an email notification for everything I publish. My work is entirely reader-supported, so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, liking me on Facebook, following my antics on Twitter, throwing some money into my tip jar on Patreon or Paypal, purchasing some of my sweet merchandise, buying my books Rogue Nation: Psychonautical Adventures With Caitlin Johnstone and Woke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers. For more info on who I am, where I stand, and what I’m trying to do with this platform, click here. Everyone, racist platforms excluded, has my permission to republish, use or translate any part of this work (or anything else I’ve written) in any way they like free of charge.

Bitcoin donations:1Ac7PCQXoQoLA9Sh8fhAgiU3PHA2EX5Zm2
Caitlin Johnstone | September 11, 2020 at 10:13 pm | Tags: assange, narrative matrix, Politics, propaganda, war | Categories: Article | URL: https://wp.me/p9tj6M-2iE

New post on Caitlin Johnstone
Let’s Be Real: President Biden Would Probably Be More Hawkish Than Trump
by Caitlin Johnstone


People who dislike Trump are often reluctant to talk about this, but it looks likely that a Biden administration would be more warlike than its predecessor.

In a recent interview with US Department of Defense newspaper Stars and Stripes, Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden said it's important to keep troops in the Middle East to fight terrorism, and that it's likely that America's bloated military budget will not only remain at its current size but may actually increase under his presidency due to the need to focus on "near peer" threats like China and Russia.

This is not a deviation in messaging from Biden and his crack team of beltway string-pullers, but a continuation of already established patterns. His campaign has been consistently out-hawking Trump on foreign policy by attacking him for insufficient aggression toward Venezuela, China, North Korea, Syria, Cuba, and of course Russia, as well as criticizing Trump for not acting like a "wartime president".

Biden Says Stay in Mideast, Increase Military Spending
Biden wants refocus on fighting Russia#JoeBiden #Russiahttps://t.co/NtbTqzJFbD pic.twitter.com/4eSUieI1a7

In a July interview with Biden foreign policy advisor Anthony Blinken, The Wall Street Journal's Walter Russell Mead was told of the campaign's plan to "tame China, Russia and woke Democrats" using "Cold War-era Democratic policy", including "a liberal multilateralism—supplemented when absolutely necessary by the American military and a willingness to use it."

"A Biden administration won’t be looking for a reset, a grand bargain, or anything more than a businesslike relationship with Vladimir Putin," Mead wrote after the interview. "Democrats haven’t been this hawkish on Russia since the Kennedy administration."

"While China’s rise and Russia’s turn to the dark side complicate foreign policy, the ideas and institutions of the liberal internationalist order are failing not because the world is fundamentally changing but because the global liberal system has been starved of a critical ingredient in the Trump years: American support," Mead writes.

Again, these are the positions that Biden Incorporated is campaigning on. Because war is a horrific evil which people naturally abhor, US presidents reliably campaign as doves and govern as hawks; Trump did it, Obama did it, even Bush did it. Biden has paid occasional lip service to the need to end the "forever wars", including in the aforementioned Stars and Stripes interview, but overall he's been campaigning for his first term far closer to the militaristic end of the spectrum than any president in recent memory.

This to me spells trouble, and I'm not the only one.

In a Jacobin article titled "Expect More Military 'Liberal Interventionism' Under a Joe Biden Presidency", Derek Davidson and Alex Thurston write that "The liberal establishment is desperate to return a centrist to the White House in November and reestablish the country’s more stable military dominance of the world order, disrupted only briefly by Donald Trump. Joe Biden’s terrible track record on foreign policy — including his championing of war in Iraq — suggests a return to Obama-style strong military interventions abroad."

In a Japan Times article titled "On foreign policy, Biden is worse than Trump", Ted Rall contrasts Trump's relatively dovish campaign trail promises to "stop racing to topple foreign regimes that we know nothing about, that we shouldn’t be involved with" against Biden's consistent attempts to out-hawk the sitting president, noting Biden's horrible track record on Iraq, Afghanistan, Serbia and all Obama's wars.

But overall Biden's extensively documented love of war isn't something people generally want to think about if they despise the current president. Indeed Trump has been a horrible warmonger in his own right, and it's hard to imagine how Biden couldn't be at least a slight improvement in some tense areas like Iran, to say nothing of his spectacular faceplants and authoritarian abuses at home.

Still it's hard to look at all the sabre rattling Biden and his team of ventriloquists have been doing on the campaign trail without getting the distinct impression that some major international escalations are being planned.

The liberal establishment is desperate to return a centrist to the White House in November. And Joe Biden’s terrible track record on foreign policy—including his championing of war in Iraq—suggests a return to Obama-style military interventions abroad. https://t.co/3wsIiaRPiX

— Jacobin (@jacobinmag) June 8, 2020

I don't point this out to tell Americans to vote for Trump in November; Trump is a ghoul and I'm not going to tell people not to do what they think they need to do in response to his presence. Indeed if wars are planned it seems entirely likely that they will happen regardless of what oligarchic puppet happens to be sitting in the Oval Office after January 20th, just like the escalations that were scheduled to begin against Russia under Hillary Clinton ended up getting rolled out anyway under Trump despite his vocal opposition to them. The war pigs are doubtless planning for any contingency, and it's very possible they can get around any inertia Trump's befuddled orneriness might throw in their way.

I mainly point this out to say that wars are planned, and we should plan accordingly. The fact that there's a nominee spouting hawkish vitriol for one of America's two oligarchic parties is more a symptom of these preexisting oligarchic agendas than an organically arising phenomenon, so those who love peace and oppose warmongering and world-threatening nuclear escalations should be ready to stand against something very ugly in the near future.

In an even remotely sane world, war would be something everyone avoids with all their might and uses only as a very last resort. In a world that is dominated by an empire driven by the agenda of unipolar hegemony, wars are sought and planned for as an end in themselves, and excuses are invented to get into them.

War is the single most crazy and self-destructive behavior our species engages in, and the presence of armageddon weapons makes it infinitely more so. Our survival depends on peace finding some way to get a word in edgewise before it is too late.

_____________________________

Thanks for reading! The best way to get around the internet censors and make sure you see the stuff I publish is to subscribe to the mailing list for at my website or on Substack, which will get you an email notification for everything I publish. My work is entirely reader-supported, so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, liking me on Facebook, following my antics on Twitter, throwing some money into my tip jar on Patreon or Paypal, purchasing some of my sweet merchandise, buying my books Rogue Nation: Psychonautical Adventures With Caitlin Johnstone and Woke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers. For more info on who I am, where I stand, and what I’m trying to do with this platform, click here. Everyone, racist platforms excluded, has my permission to republish, use or translate any part of this work (or anything else I’ve written) in any way they like free of charge.

Bitcoin donations:1Ac7PCQXoQoLA9Sh8fhAgiU3PHA2EX5Zm2

Caitlin Johnstone | September 14, 2020 at 2:18 am | Tags: #Trump, biden, election, hawk, Politics, war | Categories: Article | URL: https://wp.me/p9tj6M-2iO

Assange Hearing Day 6: I went to the Old Bailey

From

Conscious Life News

ross@consciouslifenews.com

ConI met Pia Orleane and Cullen Baird Smith at a wonderful event that they held in Mt. Shasta 8-9 years ago. They are Ambassadors to the Pleiadian Group Laarkmaa, a loving group of interstellar beings who share wisdom to support human evolution. Their messages are always incredibly helpful and timely. And they’ve allowed me to publish an awesome excerpt from their brand-new book in which they summarize the entire book in 9 short paragraphs. Plus, there is a terrific message about manifestation. Read all about it out here:

Manifestation – Excerpt from Pleiadian Manual for Accelerated Evolution & Ascension

LATEST POSTS

All of our fabulous articles that were posted since Friday are listed below. Enjoy and please share!

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Former NSA Director Who Oversaw Spying Program Joins Amazon’s Board Of Directors
Our System Is Crumbling Right In Front Of Our Eyes
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Health & Wellness

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Your Horoscope and Astrology Overview for September 14-20, 2020 by Patrick Arundell

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Science and Technology

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USA

Democrats Ignore US Military’s Refutation Of ‘Russian Bounties’ Story
by Caitlin Johnstone

The US military has been unable to find any evidence that the Russian government paid bounties on US troops to Taliban-linked fighters in Afghanistan, confirming what was already obvious to anyone who hasn't had their brain stem hijacked by mass media-induced Russophobia.

NBC News reports the following:

Two months after top Pentagon officials vowed to get to the bottom of whether the Russian government bribed the Taliban to kill American service members, the commander of troops in the region says a detailed review of all available intelligence has not been able to corroborate the existence of such a program.

 

"It just has not been proved to a level of certainty that satisfies me," Gen. Frank McKenzie, commander of the U.S. Central Command, told NBC News. McKenzie oversees U.S. troops in Afghanistan. The U.S. continues to hunt for new information on the matter, he said.

 

"We continue to look for that evidence," the general said. "I just haven't seen it yet. But … it's not a closed issue."

 

McKenzie's comments, reflecting a consensus view among military leaders, underscores the lack of certainty around a narrative that has been accepted as fact by Democrats and other Trump critics, including presidential nominee Joe Biden, who has cited Russian bounties in attacks on President Donald Trump.

2 months after top Pentagon officials vowed to get to the bottom of whether the Russian gov't bribed Taliban to kill US service members, the commander in the region says a review of the intel has not been able to corroborate the existence of such a program https://t.co/RaiUV2XtHr

— NBC News (@NBCNews) September 14, 2020

Like many other critical voices, I said from the beginning that there was no reason to believe the Russian bounties narrative and that the mass publication of baseless and nonsensical claims circulated anonymously by US intelligence operatives constitutes journalistic malpractice. There is no excuse for a reporter to ever present anonymous CIA press releases under the guise of news, especially when they make no sense; the US-centralized coalition in Afghanistan is a hostile occupying force and there are an essentially limitless number of people there who require no financial incentive to attack them.

But this is exactly what happened. Once the news media had reported the unsubstantiated rumor given to them by anonymous spies, spinmeisters like Rachel Maddow began presenting it as an objective fact that had been fully authenticated, and from there the entire Democratic political/media class began months of loudly babbling about how suspicious it is that the US president hadn't confronted Vladimir Putin and sanctioned Russia in response to this verified fact.

And it was never anything of the sort. It was fake. But now aggressions have been ramped up against Russia, Trump has been painted as a Putin puppet who hates the troops, Senate Democrats have introduced a bill mandating sanctions on any Russians involved in this imaginary conspiracy, and legislation has been passed making it harder for Trump to withdraw troops from Afghanistan.

The story did its job, and now that it's proven false the same people who promoted it are uniformly ignoring the new evidence which clearly shows it to have been bogus.

NYT "Russian bounties" report dropped on June 26. Do you think any of those who spent the summer screaming about Russian bounties will comment on, or even acknowledge, the top commander of US forces in Afghanistan saying that, after a lengthy investigation, there's no evidence? pic.twitter.com/0MfuwGEtm7

— Aaron Maté (@aaronjmate) September 14, 2020

This story has been so ubiquitously promoted within the establishment liberal echo chamber that it's impossible to list all the dishonest portrayals it's been given since June, but to pick just a few recent examples:

Here's a recent viral interview by Atlantic's Anne Applebaum with former FBI agent Peter Strzok in which he falsely cites Trump's refusal to strike back at Russia over the Taliban bounties as evidence that the president is "compromised" toward the Kremlin.
Here's Biden falsely attacking Trump for not confronting Putin about the bounties story.
Here's sitting US Senator Richard Blumenthal falsely claiming "Intelligence powerfully shows that the Kremlin offered the Taliban bounties for killing Americans in Afghanistan".
Here's sitting US Senator Tammy Duckworth falsely saying "Donald Trump has gone 80 days without condemning Putin for putting reported bounties on our troops."
Here's sitting US Congressman Ted Lieu falsely claiming "Putin paid money to the Taliban to kill US troops."
Here's MSNBC star Joy Reid falsely asking why the president won't "condemn Russia for putting bounties on our troops."
Here's renowned Harvard professor Laurence Tribe falsely claiming that Putin "offered bounties on American troops killed in Afghanistan."

Again, that's just a very few very recent examples. Now that their claims have proven false, how many of these highly influential people do you think are using their massive platforms to spread awareness of this fact? Take a wild guess.

If you said zero, you are correct. In fact Democratic Party influencers are even continuing to promote the debunked Russian bounties story many hours after the report debunking it became available on mainstream platforms. Andrew Bates, Director of Rapid Response for the Biden campaign, just tweeted that "Trump is giving Russia a pass for putting bounties on the heads of American service members."

At a time when Trump is giving Russia a pass for putting bounties on the heads of American service members.

Team Trump needs so much reminding: this is A-M-E-R-I-C-A.

"Trump ad asks people to support the troops. But it uses a picture of Russian jets" https://t.co/7CxCWBfXp7

— Andrew Bates (@AndrewBatesNC) September 15, 2020

Again, this is hours after it's been public knowledge that this is a completely false thing to assert.

And we can absolutely expect this to continue. We can absolutely expect establishment Democrats to continue bleating about Russian bounties in Afghanistan for as long as it is politically convenient to do so. They never let the lack of evidence for their position get in the way before, and they won't let it get in the way now. The arguments that they make for their power-serving position are not designed to reflect truth or reality, they are designed to serve power. That's exactly what echo chambers are for.

An email published by WikiLeaks in 2016 was sent by Democratic Party insider John Podesta to billionaires George Soros, Peter Lewis, John Sperling, and Herb and Marion Sandler in 2007 with a detailed and structured overview of material the group had covered during a meeting they’d had in September (to read the email click ‘Attachments’ and then ‘2008 Combined Fundraising, Message and Mobilization Plan’). Among the thing these powerful manipulators discussed was the creation of a "robust echo chamber" to be used in the party's interests.

On page two of the attachment:

“Control the political discourse. So much effort over the past few years has been focused on better coordinating, strengthening, and developing progressive institutions and leaders. Now that this enhanced infrastructure is in place — grassroots organizing; multi-issue advocacy groups; think tanks; youth outreach; faith communities; micro-targeting outfits; the netroots and blogosphere — we need to better utilize these networks to drive the content of politics through a strong “echo chamber” and message delivery system”.

And on page four:

“Create a robust echo chamber with progressive messaging that spans from the opposition campaigns to outside groups, academic experts, and bloggers.”

Usually when you see the names Podesta and Soros presented together it just means you stumbled into a bad corner of the internet pervaded by sloppy thinking and an irrational trust in anonymous 8chan posts, but in this WikiLeaks email we actually get a useful glimpse into the reason people can keep babbling about something that's completely divorced from the truth without being smashed by cognitive dissonance. The fact that echo chambers are actively created by establishment manipulators enables establishment-friendly narratives to remain afloat long after evidence should have sunk them.

Read the comments from liberals on this tweet from July. They were all 100% certain there was proof that Russia had paid bounties on US troops to Taliban-linked fighters, because people like @Maddow told them so. Now the top US commander in Afghanistan says there's no evidence. https://t.co/IJNDq1PPyK

— Caitlin Johnstone [⏳] (@caitoz) September 14, 2020

Several weeks ago I tweeted "It's clear that 'Russia paid bounties to Taliban fighters' is one of those narratives the propagandists decided to ram into mainstream consciousness until they force it to become consensus orthodoxy by repetition and sheer force of will, with zero interest in facts or evidence."
This has indeed happened, and it will continue to happen. The oligarchs who rule over us have so thoroughly divorced the information ecosystem from truth that they can get people to believe just about anything. They do this because they understand that humans are storytelling animals and you control the humans by controlling the stories. We will be unable to fight lies with truth until we collectively understand this fact as well as our oppressors.
_____________________

Thanks for reading! The best way to get around the internet censors and make sure you see the stuff I publish is to subscribe to the mailing list for at my website or on Substack, which will get you an email notification for everything I publish. My work is entirely reader-supported, so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, liking me on Facebook, following my antics on Twitter, throwing some money into my tip jar on Patreon or Paypal, purchasing some of my sweet merchandise, buying my books Rogue Nation: Psychonautical Adventures With Caitlin Johnstone and Woke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers. For more info on who I am, where I stand, and what I’m trying to do with this platform, click here. Everyone, racist platforms excluded, has my permission to republish, use or translate any part of this work (or anything else I’ve written) in any way they like free of charge.

Bitcoin donations:1Ac7PCQXoQoLA9Sh8fhAgiU3PHA2EX5Zm2Caitlin Johnstone | September 15, 2020 at 3:02 am | Tags: #Trump, afghanistan, bounties, democrats, Politics, propaganda, Putin, Russia | Categories: Article, News | URL: https://wp.me/p9tj6M-2iS


New post on Caitlin Johnstone

Tens Of Millions Of People Displaced By The ‘War On Terror’, The Greatest Scam Ever Invented
by Caitlin Johnstone

A new report from Brown University’s Costs of War project has found that at least 37 million people have been displaced as a result of America's so-called "war on terror" since 9/11, a conservative estimate of a number that may actually be somewhere between 48 million to 59 million.

That number, "at least 37 million", happens by pure coincidence to be the exact same number of Americans reported to suffer from food insecurity because their government spends their wealth and resources killing and displacing people overseas.

This inconvenient revelation, which was actually reported on by The New York Times for once, is causing conniptions for all the right people, with The Washington Post's neoconservative war propagandist Josh Rogin ejaculating, "The @nytimes should be ashamed for running this as 'analysis.' Blaming the U.S. for the displacement of 7 million Syrians is crazy and dishonest. Way to launder anti-American propaganda."

The @nytimes should be ashamed for running this as "analysis." Blaming the U.S. for the displacement of 7 million Syrians is crazy and dishonest. Way to launder anti-American propaganda. https://t.co/c2hpAtHAok

— Josh Rogin (@joshrogin) September 8, 2020

Sure Josh, it's not like the extremist forces who flooded Syria with the goal of toppling Damascus were backed by the US and its allies and sprung into existence as a direct result of the regional destabilization caused western interventionism in the name of fighting terror. Oh wait no that's exactly what happened.

“This has been one of the major forms of damage, of course along with the deaths and injuries, that have been caused by these wars,” the lead author of the report David Vine told The New York Times. “It tells us that U.S. involvement in these countries has been horrifically catastrophic, horrifically damaging in ways that I don’t think that most people in the United States, in many ways myself included, have grappled with or reckoned with in even the slightest terms.”

Tens of millions of people forced to flee their homes in desperation as a result of the violence and destabilization caused by US interventions justified by the need to fight "terrorism". How many Americans have indeed grappled with or reckoned with this in the slightest terms? Contemplating the scale and the depth of the suffering those interventions are causing real human beings with the same capacity for anguish as themselves? Asked themselves if the ends really justify the devastating means?

And, perhaps most importantly, asked themselves if they are quite sure who the real terrorists are in this situation?

"At least 37 million people have been displaced as a direct result of the wars fought by the United States since 9/11...does not include the millions of other people who have been displaced in countries with smaller U.S. counterterrorism operations"https://t.co/ztxw8K5wjp

— Mark Ames (@MarkAmesExiled) September 8, 2020

The "war on terrorism" is just high-budget, mass-scale terrorism, and it creates more terrorism of the ordinary variety as well. Suicide bombings have been unequivocally shown to be almost entirely the result of western interventionism; they were simply a non-issue in Iraq and Afghanistan prior to US invasions there for example. The "war on terror" is not only terrorism itself, it is an established fact that it actually creates more of the type of terrorism it purports to eliminate.

And why wouldn't it? Why wouldn't destroying and destabilizing entire nations cause people to want to fight back against you? It is self-evident that it would, just using your own empathy and understanding of human nature. As Jonathan Marshall wrote for Consortium News in 2017:

The most authoritative new study of the sources of terrorism and insurgency on the continent, Journey to Extremism in Africa (September 2017), finds that what triggers many individuals to join violent groups are incidents of government-sponsored violence, such as “killing of a family member or friend” or “arrest of a family member or friend.”

 

“These findings throw into stark relief the question of how counter-terrorism and wider security functions of governments in at-risk environments conduct themselves with regard to human rights and due process,” concludes the report, based on interviews with more than 500 former members of militant organizations.

 

“State security-actor conduct is revealed as a prominent accelerator of recruitment, rather than the reverse. . . These findings suggest that a dramatic reappraisal of state security-focused interventions is urgently required.”

 

Numerous other experts have drawn similar conclusions from conflict zones in the Middle East and Asia. In 2008, a RAND Corporation report on Lessons for Countering al-Qa’ida warned the U.S. military to “resist being drawn into combat operations in Muslim societies, since its presence is likely to increase terrorist recruitment. . . . Military force usually has the opposite effect from what is intended: It is often overused, alienates the local population by its heavy-handed nature, and provides a window of opportunity for terrorist-group recruitment.”

 

Similarly, the Stimson Task Force on U.S. Drone Policy, composed of former senior officials of the CIA, Defense Department and State Department, warned in 2014 that U.S. strikes had strengthened radical Islamic groups in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia.

There is simply no doubt whatsoever that the "war on terror" does the exact opposite of what it purports to do in every conceivable way. This is an utterly and indisputably established fact.

So why does it continue, then? Why is this mass-scale project of intervention and occupation not just continuing but actually escalating, despite the fact that we know beyond a shadow of a doubt that all it does is create more misery, displacement and terrorism?

Easy: because that's exactly what it's designed to do.

Step 1: Destroy nations and displace tens of millions of people.
Step 2: Wait for some of those people to hate you and want to fight back.
Step 3: Use their desire to fight back as justification to repeat Step 1. https://t.co/XVRyEVToZy

— Caitlin Johnstone  [⏳]  (@caitoz) September 9, 2020

Perhaps the single greatest scam ever devised is the way the US-centralized empire found that it can kill and displace people in geostrategically crucial and resource-rich regions under the guise of fighting terrorism, then when violence and extremism inevitably arises out of that mass-scale trauma they can use it to justify even more interventionism under the guise of fighting terrorism. It's an endless self-reinforcing positive feedback loop of violence, and it enables imperialist forces to move ever more troops, bases and war machinery into the areas they need to lock down to help them choke off nations that disobey them.

The more devastating interventionism there is, the more people want to fight the forces that are inflicting that devastating military interventionism. The more people want to fight the forces that are inflicting that devastating military interventionism, the more devastating military interventionism can be justified to an American public that doesn't grapple with or reckon with it in even the slightest terms.

And the oil keeps flowing. And the money keeps stacking. And the beat goes on.
We are ruled by monsters.
_______________
Thanks for reading! The best way to get around the internet censors and make sure you see the stuff I publish is to subscribe to the mailing list for at my website or on Substack, which will get you an email notification for everything I publish. My work is entirely reader-supported, so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, liking me on Facebook, following my antics on Twitter, throwing some money into my tip jar on Patreon or Paypal, purchasing some of my sweet merchandise, buying my books Rogue Nation: Psychonautical Adventures With Caitlin Johnstone and Woke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers. For more info on who I am, where I stand, and what I’m trying to do with this platform, click here. Everyone, racist platforms excluded, has my permission to republish, use or translate any part of this work (or anything else I’ve written) in any way they like free of charge.

Bitcoin donations:1Ac7PCQXoQoLA9Sh8fhAgiU3PHA2EX5Zm2

Caitlin Johnstone | September 9, 2020

From Ego To Empire, All Our Problems Stem From The Impulse To Control
by Caitlin Johnstone


Why are you unhappy/ because 99.9 percent of everything you think. and everything you do, is for yourself.... and there isn't one..... Wei Wu Wei


The human organism arrives in this world squishy, defenseless and easily startled, which it turns out is really starting things off on the wrong foot.

Because of the size of our newly-evolved brains relative to the birth canal, humans have to give birth to what are essentially fetuses, far more helpless for a much longer time than the offspring of our animal cousins. While we are slowly completing our post-natal gestation and learning to move and walk as most mammals can do right out of the womb, we are in a very frightening stage of helplessness which inevitably leaves us scarred with psychological trauma.

Our formative impressions of the world are that it's an unpredictable land of giants who make unexpected loud noises and sudden movements, where we have to scream our heads off to get what we need and where we're incapable of articulating any desires we might have that are more complex than hunger or changing.

We're just flung into this scary environment that we do not understand and cannot control. So it's not surprising that we start forming strategies to exert some degree of control in order to feel safe and secure.

As our little heads get fuller and we begin to use language, we discover that one way we can exert control over this scary world of giants is with a conceptual framework known as "me".

When we were newborns we did not experience a "me", we just experienced raw sensory input and simple being. As our capacity for language and thought develops we learn that it's useful to move thoughts around an imaginary conceptual construct called "me" in order to exert control over our environment using thoughts and words like "Mine!", "I want that," "Stay with me mommy," "Don't do that to me," etc.

In reality there is no hard, solid thing that could be called a "me", either scientifically or experientially. Scientifically the human organism is a loosely collaborative cellular process with no defining boundaries and no real separation from the ecosystem which forms and sustains it, and experientially there's just thoughts, feelings and sense impressions with no hard "me" at the center if you really look closely. But because it's useful for exerting control, the mental story of "me" gets energetically imbued with the power of belief in the organism.

This is what various spiritual traditions are pointing to when they employ the English word "ego". Not to any hard, solid thing, but to a behavioral tendency to energetically contract around an imaginary "me" construct. It's where nearly all of our suffering comes from, and it's why the world is messed up in the way it is.

This impulse to control begins with egoic contraction, and depending on how forceful that contraction is it can lead to the impulse to control loved ones, communities, the environment, and every human being on this planet.

Someone whose egoic impulse to control spills over onto others can become abusive: beating their children, manipulating their family members, terrorizing their significant others, doing whatever it takes to give themselves the feeling of security they get when the people around them are brought under control. There's no respect for the self-sovereignty of those people, because granting them self-sovereignty would be placing them out of your control.

Someone whose egoic impulse to control spills over into their communities might become a bully at school, a tyrant at the office, a malicious gossip, a domineering preacher or cult leader. Again it's all about bringing the people around them under control so that they can feel safe and secure, with no regard for the self-sovereignty of others.

Someone whose egoic impulse to control spills out indiscriminately might try to amass as much control over as much wealth as possible so they'll be able to influence vast collectives of people. They might climb the political or media ladder to gain power in the form of governmental or narrative control. They'll do anything they can to exert as much control as they can over anything that makes them feel insecure, to force a paradigm that ensures they'll always get everything they want and none of it will ever be taken away from them.

And that's why we've got these oligarchs now doing everything they can to amass as much wealth for themselves as possible while keeping it out of the hands of everyone else.

It's why vast fortunes are poured into manipulating the political/media class to control what people think, how they act and how they vote.

It's why we've got wars and regime change operations around the world brutalizing any nation that tries to insist on its own self-sovereignty.

It's why we're destroying the ecosystem in which we evolved by beating it into submission rather than learning to collaborate with it.

It's why we consent to a system of competition against each other as rivals instead of collaboration with one another as comrades.

It's why egocentric dominators are endangering us all by waving armageddon weapons at anyone who doesn't move exactly the way they like.

All ultimately because of our big heads and their relation to the size of the birth canal.

People whose impulse to control is especially pernicious seem to labor under the delusion that if they could just control every single atom in the universe, everything would be fine. That anything that goes wrong is due to the fact that they weren't in control of it. So they spend their lives doing everything they can to exert control over as much of the world as possible. This is of course insane, and stems from the early impression they got of the world that bad things happen because the world is out of control.

But the world is always out of control. Necessarily. Even if one particularly powerful ego managed to enslave the whole human race and bend it to its will, an asteroid could hit the earth and end it all in an instant. The path toward peace is not toward control, it's toward allowing it to be forever out of control.

The path out of this mess is the path away from domination and control and toward respect for self-sovereignty. We can begin walking this path ourselves, on our own, away from our own impulse to control and our own egoic contraction.

In the Monterey Bay Aquarium there's a huge circular tank built into the ceiling of one of the rooms where sardines swim around in a circle all day. This creates a whirlpool effect which carries the school with its momentum, but if you watch the linked video you'll notice that there are always a few little fish swimming against the tide. It would be easier for them to swim in the same direction all the other fish are swimming, but for whatever reason a few of them are saying "Screw this, I'm going the other way."

If you think about it, those fish are doing two things with the path they have chosen. First, they are reducing the momentum of the whirlpool by the energy of one fish, simply by not participating in it. Secondly, they are actively pushing the energy of the whirlpool in the opposite direction by the energy of one fish, just by swimming the other way.

That's really the best course of action we ourselves can take in a sardine tank that is spinning in the direction of domination and egoic contraction. We can uproot in ourselves all impulses to bend the world to our will and bring consciousness to the various ways that self-sovereignty is not being respected in our world. We can do deep inner work and pierce through the illusion of self and separation and see through to the nondual reality which exists already here and now beneath the mirage of the labeling, dividing mind.

We do these things as our part in slowing down the egoic whirlpool that is spinning us toward extinction. We do this because maybe other sardines will turn around and join us. But primarily we do this because it is right, and because it is true. Because a life that is devoted to truth is the only kind of life that will truly satisfy.

Let's be the dissenting sardine. Let's turn around from the egoic momentum of our species and each extricate our unique corner of humanity from the energetic contractions of selfing. Free the world from our delusions so we can know true peace. If that does open the door for true peace to pervade our world, then so much the better.
______________________
Thanks for reading! The best way to get around the internet censors and make sure you see the stuff I publish is to subscribe to the mailing list for at my website or on Substack, which will get you an email notification for everything I publish. My work is entirely reader-supported, so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, liking me on Facebook, following my antics on Twitter, throwing some money into my tip jar on Patreon or Paypal, purchasing some of my sweet merchandise, buying my books Rogue Nation: Psychonautical Adventures With Caitlin Johnstone and Woke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers. For more info on who I am, where I stand, and what I’m trying to do with this platform, click here. Everyone, racist platforms excluded, has my permission to republish, use or translate any part of this work (or anything else I’ve written) in any way they like free of charge.

Bitcoin donations:1Ac7PCQXoQoLA9Sh8fhAgiU3PHA2EX5Zm2

Caitlin Johnstone | September 16, 2020 at 2:17 am | Tags: control, delusion, ego, empire, nonduality, Oligarchy, self | Categories: Article | URL: https://wp.me/p9tj6M-2iV

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Capitalism, Assange, And More Notes From The Edge Of The Narrative Matrix
by Caitlin Johnstone

Capitalism will keep getting more and more unjust and exploitative until people force its end. You can try making it about elite globalist conspiracies and corrupt governments all you want, but ultimately it's really just capitalism following its natural and inevitable course.

This is why I often avoid making our world's problems about specific individuals; our world's problems are not about specific individuals. You could get rid of all the individuals currently screwing us and if you kept the same systems they'd be replaced almost instantly.

People whose ideology prohibits them from admitting capitalism is responsible for humanity's existential crises need to make up other reasons for those crises. It's the globalists. It's the Jews. It's corrupt politicians. No, it's just capitalism doing what capitalism has to do. There are no specific groups or individuals you could eliminate from the equation to make capitalism move in a healthy way. As long as depravity is profitable and human behavior is driven by profit, humanity will always necessarily follow a depraved trajectory.

This doesn't mean criticisms of individuals are invalid, they're just not striking the root. Get rid of all the elites poisoning the world today and if you leave the same systems in place we'll find ourselves getting screwed by the Whateverski family and some guy named O'Donnell.

So many of the popular theories in today's conspiracy circles ultimately boil down to "Oh no, the elites are ruining the capitalism!"

No they're not. They are perfectly embodying it.
~
The Assange case is this generation's Nelson Mandela moment. Get on the right side of it or be forever judged by history.
~
Every news outlet and every journalist who is not speaking out for Assange with urgency and force is admitting they have no intention of ever challenging power in any meaningful way; they're saying this trial poses no threat to them. They are admitting they are propagandists.
~
It's so interesting how all these pedantic little transnational legal quibbles about Assange and WikiLeaks can be stitched together into a prosecution whose end result just so happens to look exactly the same as powerful governments imprisoning a journalist for exposing US war crimes.
~
The Assange trial looks different when you realize it's really just a collaborative performance by the US and UK governments to explain why it's good to jail journalists for telling the truth.
~
If you can't see that the US-centralized empire is the most destructive and oppressive force on this earth, then you won't see any part of the rest of the world clearly either.
~
Prisoner: Let me out of this cell! I've done nothing wrong!
Warden: Okay, here's the key. You're free.
Prisoner: This key is three feet long and made out of foam!
Warden: It'll work, just keep trying.
Prisoner: This is impossible! What the hell is this?
Warden: We call it voting.
~
The outcome of the US election in November will have no meaningful impact whatsoever on humanity's rapidly accelerating trajectory toward extinction, but it'll be great for news media ratings.
~

QAnon is all the dumbest things about Republicans crossed with all the dumbest things about 4chan crossed with all the dumbest things about boomers crossed with the dumbest iteration of conspiracy analysis you could possibly imagine.
~
Believing this new cold war is safe because we survived the last one is as sane as believing Russian roulette is safe because the guy passing you the gun didn't get his head blown off.
~
The position that detente should be sought with China and Russia is not a position that says their governments are wonderful, it's the position that the neoconservative ideology of US unipolar domination at all cost is not worth gambling the life of every terrestrial organism on.
~
The Iraq invasion killed hundreds of times more people than 9/11 and was vastly more evil than 9/11. If they lied to us about Iraq, they'll lie to us about anything.
~
In a remotely sane world, war would be the last thing anyone ever wants and would be turned to only as a very last resort. In a world that's dominated by an empire which seeks total planetary control, wars are planned as an ends in themselves and excuses are invented to get into them.
~
The impulse to control things is why egos exist. The impulse to control things is also why empires exist.
~
Psychology is the tool propagandists use to manipulate us into consenting to the status quo. The more you understand about the workings of your own mind, the easier a time you'll have spotting all manipulations. See how you fool yourself and you'll see how they fool everyone.
_________________________
Thanks for reading! The best way to get around the internet censors and make sure you see the stuff I publish is to subscribe to the mailing list for at my website or on Substack, which will get you an email notification for everything I publish. My work is entirely reader-supported, so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, liking me on Facebook, following my antics on Twitter, throwing some money into my tip jar on Patreon or Paypal, purchasing some of my sweet merchandise, buying my books Rogue Nation: Psychonautical Adventures With Caitlin Johnstone and Woke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers. For more info on who I am, where I stand, and what I’m trying to do with this platform, click here. Everyone, racist platforms excluded, has my permission to republish, use or translate any part of this work (or anything else I’ve written) in any way they like free of charge.
Bitcoin donations:1Ac7PCQXoQoLA9Sh8fhAgiU3PHA2EX5Zm2
Caitlin Johnstone | September 16, 2020 at 1:42 pm | Tags: assange, capitalism, empire, narrative matrix, Politics, war | Categories: Article | URL: https://wp.me/p9tj6M-2j1

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Why are you unhappy/ because 99.9 percent of everything you think. and everything you do, is for yourself.... and there isn't one..... Wei Wu Wei

Man In The Gallery Julian Assange 
“And so it is to the printing press – to the recorder of man's deeds ... man's conscience.....

https://thefreedomarticles.com/assange-hearing-day-6/

The Reasonable Man or Woman  Adapts  to the conditions that surround him ...

The Unreasonable Man Woman  adapts surrounding conditions to himself ...
All progress depends on The Unreasonable Man ... and the Unreasonable Woman  
GB Shaw ... Mrs Warren's Profession ... 1893


Your Man in the Public Gallery: The Assange Hearing Day 6Published 
 September 9, 2020 By Craig Murray
TWITTER by Edward Snowden
Description of the Extradition Trial of Julian 
After an adjournment for months, the Assange hearing Day 6 resumes. Judge Baraitser limits all defence witnesses to 30 
After an adjournment for months, the Assange hearing Day 6 resumes. Judge Baraitser limits all defence witnesses to 30 minutes
TWITTER by Edward Snowden
Description of the Extradition Trial of 
Julian Assange
"... Read this and tell me that the Show Trial of Julian Assange does not read like something from Kafka ... the judge permits the charges to be changed so frequently the defense doesn't what they are .. the basic demands are denied ... no one can hear what the defendant says..

Assange Hearing Day 6: I went to the Old Bailey

expecting to be awed by the majesty of the law, and left revolted by the sordid administration of injustice. There is a romance which attaches to the Old Bailey. The name of course means fortified enclosure and it occupies a millennia old footprint on the edge of London’s ancient city wall. It is the site of the medieval Newgate Prison, and formal trials have taken place at the Old Bailey for at least 500 years, numbering in the hundreds of thousands. For the majority of that time, those convicted even of minor offences of theft were taken out and executed in the alleyway outside. It is believed that hundreds, perhaps thousands, lie buried under the pavements.

The reason given that only five of us were allowed in the public gallery of some 40 seats was social distancing; except we were allowed to all sit together in consecutive seats in the front row. The two rows behind us remained completely empty.

To finish scene setting, Julian himself looked tidy and well groomed and dressed, and appeared to have regained a little lost weight, but with a definite unhealthy puffiness about his features. In the morning he appeared disengaged and disoriented rather as he had at Belmarsh, but in the afternoon he perked up and was very much engaged with his defence team, interacting as normally as could be expected in these circumstances.

Proceedings started with formalities related to Julian’s release on the old extradition warrant and re-arrest under the new warrant, which had taken place this morning. Defence and prosecution both agreed that the points they had already argued on the ban on extradition for political offences were not affected by the superseding indictment.

Magistrate Baraitser then made a statement about access to the court by remote hearing, by which she meant online. She stated that a number of access details had been sent out by mistake by the court without her agreement. She had therefore revoked their access permissions.

As she spoke, we in the court had no idea what had happened, but outside some consternation was underway in that the online access of Amnesty International, of Reporters without Borders, of John Pilger and of forty others had been shut down. As these people were neither permitted to attend the court nor observe online, this was causing some consternation.

Baraitser went on to say that it was important that the hearing was public, but she should only agree remote access where it was “in the interests of justice”, and having considered it she had decided it was not. She explained this by stating that the public could normally observe from within the courtroom, where she could control their behaviour. But if they had remote access, she could not control their behaviour and this was not in the “interests of justice”.

Baraitser did not expand on what uncontrolled behaviour she anticipated from those viewing via the internet. It is certainly true that an observer from Amnesty sitting at home might be in their underwear, might be humming the complete soundtrack to Mamma Mia, or might fart loudly. Precisely why this would damage “the interests of justice” we are still left to ponder, with no further help from the magistrate. But evidently the interests of justice were, in her view, best served if almost nobody could examine the “justice” too closely.

The Freedom ArticlesThursday, September 10, 2020WHISTLEBLOWERS & ACTIVISTS

Your Man in the Public Gallery: The Assange Hearing Day 6Published 11 hours ago on September 9, 2020
By Craig Murray
[assange hearing day 6]

After an adjournment for months, the Assange hearing Day 6 resumes. Judge Baraitser limits all defence witnesses to 30 minutes.PROMOTED CONTENT
[Mgid]

Assange Hearing Day 6: I went to the Old Bailey

today expecting to be awed by the majesty of the law, and left revolted by the sordid administration of injustice. There is a romance which attaches to the Old Bailey. The name of course means fortified enclosure and it occupies a millennia old footprint on the edge of London’s ancient city wall. It is the site of the medieval Newgate Prison, and formal trials have taken place at the Old Bailey for at least 500 years, numbering in the hundreds of thousands. For the majority of that time, those convicted even of minor offences of theft were taken out and executed in the alleyway outside. It is believed that hundreds, perhaps thousands, lie buried under the pavements.

The hefty Gothic architecture of the current grand building dates back no further than 1905, and round the back and sides of that is wrapped some horrible cheap utility building from the 1930’s. It was through a tunnelled entrance into this portion that five of us, Julian’s nominated family and friends, made our nervous way this morning. We were shown to Court 10 up many stairs that seemed like the back entrance to a particularly unloved works canteen. Tiles were chipped, walls were filthy and flakes of paint hung down from crumbling ceilings. Only the security cameras watching us were new – so new, in fact, that little piles of plaster and brick dust lay under each.

Court 10 appeared to be a fairly bright and open modern box, with pleasant light woodwork, jammed as a mezzanine inside a great vault of the old building. A massive arch intruded incongruously into the space and was obviously damp, sheets of delaminating white paint drooping down from it like flags of forlorn surrender. The dock in which Julian would be held still had a bulletproof glass screen in front, like Belmarsh, but it was not boxed in. There was no top to the screen, no low ceiling, so sound could flow freely over and Julian seemed much more in the court. It also had many more and wider slits than the notorious Belmarsh Box, and Julian was able to communicate quite readily and freely through them with his lawyers, which this time he was not prevented from doing.

Rather to our surprise, nobody else was allowed into the public gallery of court 10 but us five. Others like John Pilger and Kristin Hrafnsson, editor in chief of Wikileaks, were shunted into the adjacent court 9 where a very small number were permitted to squint at a tiny screen, on which the sound was so inaudible John Pilger simply left. Many others who had expected to attend, such as Amnesty International and Reporters Without Borders, were simply excluded, as were MPs from the German federal parliament (both the German MPs and Reporters Without Borders at least later got access to the inadequate video following strong representations from the German Embassy).PROMOTED CONTENT
[Mgid]

The reason given that only five of us were allowed in the public gallery of some 40 seats was social distancing; except we were allowed to all sit together in consecutive seats in the front row. The two rows behind us remained completely empty.

To finish scene setting, Julian himself looked tidy and well groomed and dressed, and appeared to have regained a little lost weight, but with a definite unhealthy puffiness about his features. In the morning he appeared disengaged and disoriented rather as he had at Belmarsh, but in the afternoon he perked up and was very much engaged with his defence team, interacting as normally as could be expected in these circumstances.

Proceedings started with formalities related to Julian’s release on the old extradition warrant and re-arrest under the new warrant, which had taken place this morning. Defence and prosecution both agreed that the points they had already argued on the ban on extradition for political offences were not affected by the superseding indictment.

Magistrate Baraitser then made a statement about access to the court by remote hearing, by which she meant online. She stated that a number of access details had been sent out by mistake by the court without her agreement. She had therefore revoked their access permissions.

As she spoke, we in the court had no idea what had happened, but outside some consternation was underway in that the online access of Amnesty International, of Reporters without Borders, of John Pilger and of forty others had been shut down. As these people were neither permitted to attend the court nor observe online, this was causing some consternation.

Baraitser went on to say that it was important that the hearing was public, but she should only agree remote access where it was “in the interests of justice”, and having considered it she had decided it was not. She explained this by stating that the public could normally observe from within the courtroom, where she could control their behaviour. But if they had remote access, she could not control their behaviour and this was not in the “interests of justice”.

Baraitser did not expand on what uncontrolled behaviour she anticipated from those viewing via the internet. It is certainly true that an observer from Amnesty sitting at home might be in their underwear, might be humming the complete soundtrack to Mamma Mia, or might fart loudly. Precisely why this would damage “the interests of justice” we are still left to ponder, with no further help from the magistrate. But evidently the interests of justice were, in her view, best served if almost nobody could examine the “justice” too closely.PROMOTED CONTENT
[Mgid]

The next “housekeeping issue” to be addressed was how witnesses should be heard. The defence had called numerous witnesses, and each had lodged a written statement. The prosecution and Baraitser both suggested that, having given their evidence in writing, there was no need for defence witnesses to give that evidence orally in open court. It would be much quicker to go straight to cross-examination by the prosecution.

For the defence, Edward Fitzgerald QC countered that justice should be seen to be done by the public. The public should be able to hear the defence evidence before hearing the cross-examination. It would also enable Julian Assange to hear the evidence summarised, which was important for him to follow the case given his lack of extended access to legal papers while in Belmarsh prison.

Baraitser stated there could not be any need for evidence submitted to her in writing to be repeated orally. For the defence, Mark Summers QC was not prepared to drop it and tension notably rose in the court. Summers stated it was normal practice for there to be “an orderly and rational exposition of the evidence”. For the prosecution, James Lewis QC denied this, saying it was not normal procedure.

Baraitser stated she could not see why witnesses should be scheduled an one hour forty five minutes each, which was too long. Lewis agreed. He also added that the prosecution does not accept that the defence’s expert witnesses are expert witnesses. A Professor of journalism telling about newspaper coverage did not count. An expert witness should only be giving evidence on a technical point the court was otherwise unqualified to consider. Lewis also objected that in giving evidence orally, defence witnesses might state new facts to which the Crown had not had time to react. Baraitser noted that the written defence statements were published online, so they were available to the public.

Edward Fitzgerald QC stood up to speak again, and Baraitser addressed him in a quite extraordinary tone of contempt. What she said exactly was: “I have given you every opportunity. Is there anything else, really, that you want to say”, the word “really” being very heavily emphasised and sarcastic. Fitzgerald refused to be sat down, and he stated that the current case featured “substantial and novel issues going to fundamental questions of human rights.” It was important the evidence was given in public. It also gave the witnesses a chance to emphasise the key points of their evidence and where they placed most weight.

Baraitser called a brief recess while she considered judgement on this issue, and then returned. She found against the defence witnesses giving their evidence in open court, but accepted that each witness should be allowed up to half an hour of being led by the defence lawyers, to enable them to orient themselves and reacquaint with their evidence before cross-examination.

This half hour for each witness represented something of a compromise, in that at least the basic evidence of each defence witness would be heard by the court and the public (insofar as the public was allowed to hear anything). But the idea that a standard half hour guillotine is sensible for all witnesses, whether they are testifying to a single fact or to developments over years, is plainly absurd. What came over most strongly from this question was the desire of both judge and prosecution to railroad through the extradition with as little of the case against it getting a public airing as possible.

As the judge adjourned for a short break we thought these questions had now been addressed and the rest of the day would be calmer. We could not have been more wrong.

The court resumed with a new defence application, led by Mark Summers QC, about the new charges from the US governments new superseding indictment. Summers took the court back over the history of this extradition hearing. The first indictment had been drawn up in March of 2018. In January 2019 a provisional request for extradition had been made, which had been implemented in April of 2019 on Assange’s removal from the Embassy. In June 2019 this was replaced by the full request with a new, second indictment which had been the basis of these proceedings before today. A whole series of hearings had taken place on the basis of that second indictment.

The new superseding indictment dated from 20 June 2020. In February and May 2020 the US government had allowed hearings to go ahead on the basis of the second indictment, giving no warning, even though they must by that stage have known the new superseding indictment was coming. They had given neither explanation nor apology for this.

The defence had not been properly informed of the superseding indictment, and indeed had learnt of its existence only through a US government press release on 20 June. It had not finally been officially served in these proceedings until 29 July, just six weeks ago. At first, it had not been clear how the superseding indictment would affect the charges, as the US government was briefing it made no difference but just gave additional detail. But on 21 August 2020, not before, it finally became clear in new US government submissions that the charges themselves had been changed.

There were now new charges that were standalone and did not depend on the earlier allegations. Even if the 18 Manning related charges were rejected, these new allegations could still form grounds for extradition. These new allegations included encouraging the stealing of data from a bank and from the government of Iceland, passing information on tracking police vehicles, and hacking the computers both of individuals and of a security company.

“How much of this newly alleged material is criminal is anybody’s guess”, stated Summers, going on to explain that it was not at all clear that an Australian giving advice from outwith Iceland to someone in Iceland on how to crack a code, was actually criminal if it occurred in the UK. This was even without considering the test of dual criminality in the US also, which had to be passed before the conduct was subject to extradition.

It was unthinkable that allegations of this magnitude would be the subject of a Part 2 extradition hearing within six weeks if they were submitted as a new case. Plainly that did not give the defence time to prepare, or to line up witnesses to these new charges. Among the issues relating to these new charges the defence would wish to address, were that some were not criminal, some were out of time limitation, some had already been charged in other fora (including Southwark Crown Court and courts in the USA).

There were also important questions to be asked about the origins of some of these charges and the dubious nature of the witnesses. In particular the witness identified as “teenager” was the same person identified as “Iceland 1” in the previous indictment. That indictment had contained a “health warning” over this witness given by the US Department of Justice. This new indictment removed that warning. But the fact was, this witness is Sigurdur Thordarson, who had been convicted in Iceland in relation to these events of fraud, theft, stealing Wikileaks money and material and impersonating Julian Assange.

The indictment did not state that the FBI had been “kicked out of Iceland for trying to use Thordarson to frame Assange”, stated Summers baldly.

Summers said all these matters should be ventilated in these hearings if the new charges were to be heard, but the defence simply did not have time to prepare its answers or its witnesses in the brief six weeks it had since receiving them, even setting aside the extreme problems of contact with Assange in the conditions in which he was being held in Belmarsh prison.

The defence would plainly need time to prepare answers to these new charges, but it would plainly be unfair to keep Assange in jail for the months that would take. The defence therefore suggested that these new charges should be excised from the conduct to be considered by the court, and they should go ahead with the evidence on criminal behaviour confined to what conduct had previously been alleged.

Summers argued it was “entirely unfair” to add what were in law new and separate criminal allegations, at short notice and “entirely without warning and not giving the defence time to respond to it. What is happening here is abnormal, unfair and liable to create real injustice if allowed to continue.”

The arguments submitted by the prosecution now rested on these brand new allegations. For example, the prosecution now countered the arguments on the rights of whistleblowers and the necessity of revealing war crimes by stating that there can have been no such necessity to hack into a bank in Iceland.

Summers concluded that the “case should be confined to that conduct which the American government had seen fit to allege in the eighteen months of the case” before their second new indictment.

Replying to Summers for the prosecution, Joel Smith QC replied that the judge was obliged by the statute to consider the new charges and could not excise them. “If there is nothing proper about the restitution of a new extradition request after a failed request, there is nothing improper in a superseding indictment before the first request had failed.” Under the Extradition Act the court must decide only if the offence is an extraditable offence and the conduct alleged meets the dual criminality test. The court has no other role and no jurisdiction to excise part of the request.

Smith stated that all the authorities (precedents) were of charges being excised from a case to allow extradition to go ahead on the basis of the remaining sound charges, and those charges which had been excised were only on the basis of double jeopardy. There was no example of charges being excised to prevent an extradition. And the decision to excise charges had only ever been taken after the conduct alleged had been examined by the court. There was no example of alleged conduct not being considered by the court. The defendant could seek extra time if needed but the new allegations must be examined.

Summers replied that Smith was “wrong, wrong, wrong, and wrong”. “We are not saying that you can never submit a new indictment, but you cannot do it six weeks before the substantive hearing.” The impact of what Smith had said amounted to no more than “Ha ha this is what we are doing and you can’t stop us.” A substantive last minute change had been made with no explanation and no apology. It could not be the case, as Smith alleged, that a power existed to excise charges in fairness to the prosecution, but no power existed to excise charges in fairness to the defence.

Immediately Summers sat down, Baraitser gave her judgement on this point. As so often in this hearing, it was a pre-written judgement. She read it from a laptop she had brought into the courtroom with her, and she had made no alterations to that document as Summers and Smith had argued the case in front of her.

Baraitser stated that she had been asked as a preliminary move to excise from the case certain conduct alleged. Mr Summers had described the receipt of new allegations as extraordinary. However “I offered the defence the opportunity to adjourn the case” to give them time to prepare against the new allegations. “I considered of course that Mr Assange was in custody. I hear that Mr Summers believes this is fundamental unfairness”. But “the argument that we haven’t got the time, should be remedied by asking for the time.”

Mr Summers had raised issues of dual criminality and abuse of process; there was nothing preventing him for raising these arguments in the context of considering the request as now presented.

Baraitser simply ignored the argument that while there was indeed “nothing to prevent” the defence from answering the new allegations as each was considered, they had been given no time adequately to prepare. Having read out her pre-prepared judgement to proceed on the basis of the new superseding indictment, Baraitser adjourned the court for lunch.

At the end of the day I had the opportunity to speak to an extremely distinguished and well-known lawyer on the subject of Baraitser bringing pre-written judgements into court, prepared before she had heard the lawyers argue the case before her. I understood she already had seen the outline written arguments, but surely this was wrong. What was the point in the lawyers arguing for hours if the judgement was pre-written? What I really wanted to know was how far this was normal practice.

The lawyer replied to me that it absolutely was not normal practice, it was totally outrageous. In a long and distinguished career, this lawyer had very occasionally seen it done, even in the High Court, but there was always some effort to disguise the fact, perhaps by inserting some reference to points made orally in the courtroom. Baraitser was just blatant. The question was, of course, whether it was her own pre-written judgement she was reading out, or something she had been given from on high.

This was a pretty shocking morning. The guillotining of defence witnesses to hustle the case through, indeed the attempt to ensure their evidence was not spoken in court except those parts which the prosecution saw fit to attack in cross-examination, had been breathtaking. The effort by the defence to excise the last minute superseding indictment had been a fundamental point disposed of summarily. Yet again, Baraitser’s demeanour and very language made little attempt to disguise a hostility to the defence.

We were for the second time in the day in a break thinking that events must now calm down and get less dramatic. Again we were wrong.

Court resumed forty minutes late after lunch as various procedural wrangles were addressed behind closed doors. As the court resumed, Mark Summers for the defence stood up with a bombshell.

Summers said that the defence “recognised” the judgement Baraitser had just made – a very careful choice of word, as opposed to “respected” which might seem more natural. As she had ruled that the remedy to lack of time was more time, the defence was applying for an adjournment to enable them to prepare the answers to the new charges. They did not do this lightly, as Mr Assange would continue in prison in very difficult conditions during the adjournment.

Summers said the defence was simply not in a position to gather the evidence to respond to the new charges in a few short weeks, a situation made even worse by Covid restrictions. It was true that on 14 August Baraitser had offered an adjournment and on 21 August they had refused the offer. But in that period of time, Mr Assange had not had access to the new charges and they had not fully realised the extent to which these were a standalone new case. To this date, Assange had still not received the new prosecution Opening Note in prison, which was a crucial document in setting out the significance of the new charges.

Baraitser pointedly asked whether the defence could speak to Assange in prison by telephone. Summers replied yes, but these were extremely short conversations. They could not phone Mr Assange; he could only call out very briefly on the prison payphone to somebody’s mobile, and the rest of the team would have to try to gather round to listen. It was not possible in these very brief discussions adequately to expound complex material. Between 14 and 21 August they had been able to have only two such very short phone calls. The defence could only send documents to Mr Assange through the post to the prison; he was not always given them, or allowed to keep them.

Baraitser asked how long an adjournment was being requested. Summers replied until January.

For the US government, Mark Lewis QC replied that more scrutiny was needed of this request. The new matters in the indictment were purely criminal. They do not affect the arguments about the political nature of the case, or affect most of the witnesses. If more time were granted, “with the history of this case, we will just be presented with a sleigh of other material which will have no bearing on the small expansion of count 2”.

Baraitser adjourned the court “for ten minutes” while she went out to consider her judgement. In fact she took much longer. When she returned she looked peculiarly strained.

Baraitser ruled that on 14 August she had given the defence the opportunity to apply for an adjournment, and given them seven days to decide. On 21 August the defence had replied they did not want an adjournment. They had not replied that they had insufficient time to consider. Even today the defence had not applied to adjourn but rather had applied to excise charges. They “cannot have been surprised by my decision” against that application. Therefore they must have been prepared to proceed with the hearing. Their objections were not based on new circumstance. The conditions of Assange in Belmarsh had not changed since 21 August. They had therefore missed their chance and the motion to adjourn was refused.

The courtroom atmosphere was now highly charged. Having in the morning refused to cut out the superseding indictment on the grounds that the remedy for lack of time should be more time, Baraitser was now refusing to give more time. The defence had called her bluff; the state had apparently been confident that the effective solitary confinement in Belmarsh was so terrible that Assange would not request more time. I rather suspect that Julian was himself bluffing, and made the call at lunchtime to request more time in the full expectation that it would be refused, and the rank hypocrisy of the proceedings exposed.

I previously blogged about how the procedural trickery of the superseding indictment being used to replace the failing second indictment – as Smith said for the prosecution “before it failed” – was something that sickened the soul. Today in the courtroom you could smell the sulphur.

[assange show trial snowden tweet] Well, yet again we were left with the feeling that matters must now get less exciting. This time we were right and they became instead excruciatingly banal. We finally moved on to the first witness, Professor Mark Feldstein, giving evidence to the court by videolink for the USA. It was not Professor Feldstein’s fault the day finished in confused anti-climax. The court was unable to make the video technology work. For ten broken minutes out of about forty Feldstein was briefly able to give evidence, and even this was completely unsatisfactory as he and Mark Summers were repeatedly speaking over each other on the link.

Professor Feldstein’s evidence will resume tomorrow (now in fact today) and I think rather than split it I shall give the full account then. Meantime you can see these excellent summaries from Kevin Gosztola or the morning and afternoon reports from James Doleman. In fact, I should be grateful if you did, so you can see that I am neither inventing nor exaggerating the facts of these startling events.

If you asked me to sum up today in a word, that word would undoubtedly be “railroaded”. it was all about pushing through the hearing as quickly as possible and with as little public exposure as possible to what is happening. Access denied, adjournment denied, exposition of defence evidence denied, removal of superseding indictment charges denied. The prosecution was plainly failing in that week back in Woolwich in February, which seems like an age ago. It has now been given a new boost.

How the defence will deal with the new charges we shall see. It seems impossible that they can do this without calling new witnesses to address the new facts. But the witness lists had already been finalised on the basis of the old charges. That the defence should be forced to proceed with the wrong witnesses seems crazy, but frankly, I am well past being surprised by anything in this fake process.

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TWITTER by Edward Snowden
Description of the Extradition Trial of 
Julian Assange
"... Read this and tell me that the Show Trial of Julian Assange does not read like something from Kafka ... the judge permits the charges to be changed so frequently the defense doesn't what they are .. the basic demands are denied ... no one can hear what the defendant says..