Assange Can Be Extradited Rules UK Court While Press Freedom Dies A Lingering Death

Julian Assange can be extradited to the United States because that government has given assurances he will be treated humanely. 

So says the court in the UK which has seen Assange, his health broken and mental health in jeopardy, and turned away.

His crime? Revealing the truth about governments. For instance, what the U.S. government was doing in Iraq with our tax dollars in the now infamous “Collateral Murder” video i.e. gunning down Reuters journalists and shooting up a good Samaritan’s van carrying children in Baghdad.

The U.S. government tortured Chelsea Manning at length for allegedly leaking evidence of U.S. war crimes in Iraq.

The UK government tortured Julian Assange by holding him captive in the London embassy of Ecuador for seven years as his health deteriorated.

On what legal grounds? In so-called “free democracies” the publication of truth is a protected right of journalists. Indeed, a free press is considered the cornerstone of democracy.

Trumped up charges of rape (i.e. nonconsensual condomless intercourse) in Sweden was the ostensible reason Assange was targeted for lawfare, but the Assange’s accuser has now retracted his accusation. And the machinations behind getting her to make it in the first place have been revealed as bunk.

How Edward Snowden, NSA whistleblower, escaped the long arm of U.S. imperial power to suppress the truth makes for a thrilling documentary. Snowden remains a guest in Russia, and is now raising a family rather than returning to the U.S. to languish in prison himself.

Assange has a family, too, but his children are not permitted to know their father’s care.

People who dare tell the truth about the most powerful government in history pay a harsh price. 

Their families pay a harsh price.

Meanwhile TwitterYouTube, and Facebook accelerate censorship of dissident views. Sometimes on behalf of convicted pedophiles and their close friends in high place.

We all pay a harsh price as truth and real journalism subside into darkness.

Are Military And Space Programs Victims Of Climate Crisis Or Perpetrators?

Pentagon Planet by Anthony Freda

I’m back from a blogging break during National Novel Writing Month aka nanowrimo in November. I met the challenge of writing a 50,000 word first draft in 30 days; the jury is still out on whether or not it was time well-spent. If you’re interested in being a reader who will provide feedback on Comfy Underpants (working title) depicting the effects on children of grinding poverty in late stage capitalism, leave a comment.

During November I collaborated on a few COP 26 related projects, including a virtual presentation for the People’s Summit on behalf of the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space. I teamed up with Koohan Paik-Mander (GN board member in Hawaii) and Veterans for Peace members in the US (president Adrienne Kinne) and UK (David Collins) plus sponsoring organization the Institute for Policy Studies (Ashik Siddique) to present on US Militarism, Space Tech & Climate Crisis: the role of militarism in climate justice.

My presentation in the 90 minute webinar focused on Information Control and Perception Management Around Climate Impact of Space Programs.

To prepare I learned more about the parallels between US military programs and space programs, and their interconnection. For the TL,DW crowd (too long, didn’t watch) I’ll summarize my key points:

  • The role of military in driving climate crisis has been hidden successfully up to now, but COP 26 was a turning point for climate activists if not for national governments.
  • The role of space programs in harming climate is similarly hidden.
  • Space programs are portrayed as non-military in nature despite the fact that NASA develops technology which is then used by the military.
  • Focus on space programs’ climate harms is confined in the press to private space programs.
  • Both the military and space programs are portrayed as victims of climate crisis in the corporate press and in their own communications to the public.

Koohan’s presentation on the militarization of the ocean around Hawaii including space and with disastrous effects on marine life was powerful and new information for many.

In the runup to COP 26, Peace Action Maine invited David Swanson of World Beyond War and Janet Weil of VFP’s Climate Crisis & Militarism Project to speak on How the Pentagon Fuels Climate Crisis

I did the intro giving the context of the upcoming climate summit in Glasgow and what it might mean for our work, and PAM board member Devon Grayson-Wallace facilitated. Link to video here.

COP 26 was a dismal failure in terms of halting runaway climate crisis.

 The non-binding agreements reached would, even if observed in full (highly unlikely), not keep carbon and other greenhouse gas emissions at safe levels. 

Greta Thunberg mocked the empty promises of elected officials (I can’t bring myself to call them leaders): “Net zero, blah blah blah. Climate neutral, blah blah blah.”

Images source: World Peace Ever TV

Youth and indigenous climate activists staged numerous actions to draw attention to the urgency of the crisis while world leaders went through the motions of taking meaningful action. Wealthy countries will continue to pollute with others bearing the brunt of the dire effects. What else is new?

Here’s a simple direct action you can take right now. Pledge to connect the dots between our real security needs around climate and the enormous military emissions elephant in the room.

Source: research by Prof. Neta Crawford for the Costs of War project