Montag, 18. Juni 2018

PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS: THE PLAIN TRUTH OF JULIAN ASSANGE INNOCENCE



Repost of a recent text by Paul Craig Roberts on the subject of vilification and persecution of Julian Assange and other whistleblowers by Western capitalist establishment, published here: https://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2018/06/10/western-world-truth-endangered-species-come-support/ .
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Paul Craig Roberts:
"Nowhere in the Western world is truth respected. Even universities are imposing censorship and speech control. Governments are shutting down, and will eventually criminalize, all explanations that differ from official ones. The Western world no longer has a print and TV media.
In its place there is a propaganda ministry for the ruling elite.
Whistleblowers are prosecuted and imprisoned despite their protection by federal statue. The US Department of Justice is a Department of Injustice. It has been a long time since any justice flowed from the DOJ.
The total corruption of the print and TV media led to the rise of Internet media such as Wikileaks, led by Julian Assange, a prisoner since 2012.
Assange is an Australian and Ecuadorian citizen. He is not an American citizen. Yet US politicians and media claim that he is guilty of treason because he published official documents leaked to Wikileaks that prove the duplicity and criminality of the US government.
It is strictly impossible for a non-citizen to be guilty of treason. It is strictly impossible under the US Constitution for the reporting of facts to be spying. The function of the media is to expose and to hold accountable the government. This function is no longer performed by the Western print and TV media.
Washington wants revenge and is determined to get it. If Assange were as corrupt at the New York Times, Washington Post, CNN, National Public Radio, MSNBC, etc., he would have reported the leaker to Washington, not published the information, and retired as a multi-millionaire with Washington’s thanks. However, unfortunately for Assange, he had integrity.
Integrity today in the Western world has no value. You cannot find integrity in the government, in the global corporations, in the universities and schools, and most certainly not in the media.
After leaving Assange, an Australian citizen, to Washington’s mercy since 2012, belated pro-Assange protests in Australia forced the US vassal state to come to Assange’s aid before the new corrupt president of Ecuador sells him to Washington for multi-millons of dollars by revoking his asylum.
When the story was printed in the Sydney Morning Herald, the incompetent or brainwashed, or bought-and-paid-for journalist, Nick Miller, wrote:
“Assange entered the embassy on June 19, 2012, after he had exhausted his appeals against an extradition order to go to Sweden to face rape and sexual assault allegations. Swedish authorities have since closed their investigation, saying it couldn’t continue without Assange’s presence in their country.”
Nick Miller has committed libel, whether from his ignorance or from pay.
There was no extradition order from Sweden for Assange to be returned to Sweden “to face rape and sexual assault allegations.” No such charges were issued by the Swedish prosecutorial office, and no such charges were made by the women involved.
The case had already been closed by the Swedish prosecutorial office, and the two women who willingly shared their beds with Assange did not press any charges. The Swedish female prosecutor, who many suspect reopened the closed case at the urging of Washington, wrote in the extradition request that she only wanted Assange for questioning.
Normally, extraditions are not granted for questioning. There has to be actual criminal charges, and there were no such charges against Assange. However, under pressure from Washington, a corrupt UK court granted, perhaps for the first time in history, extradition for questioning.
Assange’s attorneys understood that if Assange left his embassy refuge and travelled to Sweden to be questioned, there was nothing to prevent Sweden from turning him over to Washington to be tortured, as Washington does, into confession of some crime.
Consequently, Assange’s attorneys told the Swedish female prosecutor, a person who seems shortchanged on integrity, that Assange would be available for questioning in his place of refuge. The prosecutor, showing her hand, refused to question Assange in the Ecuadorian embassy in London. After refusing for many months while the presstitutes blackened Assange’s reputation as a “rapist who was escaping justice,” the sort of ignorant nonsense that Nick Miller writes, the prosecutor consented to go to London to interview Assange.
As nothing incriminating emerged from the questioning and as neither of the women claimed that they were raped, the female prosecutor closed the case for the second time. But the corrupt British would not release Assange. They claimed that he was wanted for jumping bail, an argument that made no sense as the charge for his arrest had been dismissed. But Washington insisted, and British “justice” again served Washington instead of justice.
The basis of the political assault on Assange came from the concern of one of his willing sex partners that he had not used a condom. With everyone worried crazy about HIV and Aids, the woman inquired at a Swedish public office if Assange could be required to take a HIV/Aids test. Assange, not realizing his vulnerability, apparently refused the test, and thus opened himself to a controversy that Washington immediately took advantage of. It is safe for rock stars to have groupies, but not for truth-tellers.
If you understand the extreme extent to which the US government has gone, riding roughshod over many laws and traditions, to destroy Assange, perhaps you can understand the threats that the very few of us who have the education, experience, and integrity to tell you the truth live under.
When I write an article, it does not inform me. I already know. When I inform you, I am doing so at my risk. I am not going to take this risk if readers do not support this website. I do this for you. If it is not important to you, I have no need to do it.
You need to support truth-tellers as we are a disappearing breed under constant assault."

Dienstag, 15. Mai 2018

SAVE JULIAN ASSANGE FROM THE USA-UK KANGAROO COURT



Repost of the text “Ecuador Hints It May Hand Over Julian Assange to Britain and the US” published here: https://www.globalresearch.ca/ecuador-hints-it-may-hand-over-julian-assange-to-britain-and-the-us/5640357


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“Julian Assange is in immense danger. Remarks made this week by Ecuador’s foreign minister suggest that her government may be preparing to renege on the political asylum it granted to the WikiLeaks editor in 2012 and hand him over to British and then American authorities.
On March 28, under immense pressure from the governments in the US, Britain and other powers, Ecuador imposed a complete ban on Assange having any Internet or phone contact with the outside world, and blocked his friends and supporters from physically visiting him. For 45 days, he has not been heard from.
Ecuadorian Foreign Minister Maria Fernanda Espinosa stated in a Spanish-language interview on Wednesday that her government and Britain “have the intention and the interest that this be resolved.” Moves were underway, she said, to reach a “definite agreement” on Assange.
If Assange falls into the hands of the British state, he faces being turned over to the US. Last year, US Attorney General Jeff Sessions stated that putting Assange on trial for espionage was a “priority.” CIA director Mike Pompeo, now secretary of state, asserted that WikiLeaks was a “non-state hostile intelligence service.”
In 2010, WikiLeaks courageously published information leaked by then Private Bradley [now Chelsea] Manning that exposed war crimes committed by American forces in Iraq and Afghanistan. WikiLeaks also published, in partnership with some of the world’s major newspapers, tens of thousands of secret diplomatic cables, exposing the daily anti-democratic intrigues of US imperialism and numerous other governments.
For that, Assange was relentlessly persecuted by the Obama administration. By November 2010, it had convened a secret grand jury and had a warrant issued for his arrest on charges of espionage—charges that can carry the death sentence. The then Labor Party government in Australia headed by Prime Minister Julia Gillard threw Assange, an Australian citizen, to the wolves. It refused to provide him any defence and declared it would work with the US to have him detained and put on trial.
On June 19, 2012, under conditions in which he faced extradition to Sweden to answer questions over fabricated allegations of sexual assault, and the prospect of rendition to the United States, Assange sought asylum in the Ecuador’s embassy in London.
Since that time, for nearly six years, he has been largely confined to a small room with no direct sunlight. He has been prevented from leaving, even to obtain medical treatment, by the British government’s insistence it will arrest him for breaching bail as soon as he sets foot outside the embassy.
Now, for six weeks and three days, he has been denied even the right to communicate.
Jennifer Robinson, the British-based Australian lawyer who has represented Assange since 2010, told the London Times in an interview this month:
“His health situation is terrible. He’s had a problem with his shoulder for a very long time. It requires an MRI [magnetic resonance imaging scan], which cannot be done within the embassy. He’s got dental issues. And then there’s the long-term impact of not being outside, his visual impairment. He wouldn’t be able to see further than from here to the end of this hallway.”
The effort to haul Assange before a US court is inseparable from the broader campaign underway by the American state and allied governments to impose sweeping censorship on the Internet. Lurid allegations of “Russian meddling” in the 2016 US election and denunciations of “fake news” have been used to demand that Google, Facebook and other conglomerates block users from accessing websites that publish critical commentary and exposures of the ruling class and its agencies—including WikiLeaks and the World Socialist Web Site.
WikiLeaks has been absurdly denounced as “pro-Russia” because it published leaks from the US Democratic Party National Committee that revealed the anti-democratic intrigues the party’s leaders carried out to undermine the campaign of Bernie Sanders in the 2016 presidential primary elections. It also published leaked speeches of presidential candidate Hillary Clinton that further exposed her intimate relations with Wall Street banks and companies.
As part of the justification for Internet censorship, US intelligence agencies allege, without any evidence, that the information was hacked by Russian operatives and supplied to WikiLeaks to undermine Clinton and assist Trump—whom Moscow purportedly considered the “lesser evil.”
In response to the hysterical allegations, WikiLeaks broke its own tradition of not commenting on its sources. It publicly denied that Russia was the source of the leaks. That has not prevented the campaign from continuing, with Assange even being labelled “the Kremlin’s useful idiot” in pro-Democratic Party circles. WikiLeaks is blamed for Clinton’s defeat, not the reality, that tens of millions of American workers were repulsed by her right-wing, pro-war campaign and refused to vote for her.
Under conditions in which the Ecuadorian government has capitulated to great power pressure and is collaborating with British and US agencies to break Julian Assange, there is an almost universal and reprehensible silence on the part of dozens of organisations and hundreds of individuals who once claimed to defend him and WikiLeaks.
The United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, which in February 2016 condemned Assange’s persecution as “a form of arbitrary detention” and called for his release, has issued no statement on his current situation.
In Britain, the Labour Party and its leader Jeremy Corbyn have said nothing on the actions by Ecuador. Nor have they opposed the determination of the Conservative government to arrest Assange if he leaves the embassy.
In Australia, the current Liberal-National government and Labor leadership are just as complicit. The Greens, which claimed to oppose the persecution of Assange, have not made any statement in parliament or issued a press release, let alone called for public protests. Hundreds of editors, journalists, academics, artists and lawyers across the country who publicly defended WikiLeaks in 2010 and 2011 are now mute.
A parallel situation prevails across Europe and in the US. The so-called parties of the “left” and the trade unions are all tacitly endorsing the vicious drive against Assange.
Around the world, the Stalinist and Pabloite pseudo-left organisations, anxious not to disrupt their sordid relations with the parties of the political establishment and the trade union apparatuses, are likewise silent.
The World Socialist Web Site and the International Committee of the Fourth International unconditionally defend Julian Assange and WikiLeaks. If the ruling elite can haul him before a court, it will hold him up as an example of what happens to those who speak out against social inequality, militarism, war and police-state measures. His prosecution would be used to try to intimidate and silence all dissent.
If Assange is imprisoned or worse, and WikiLeaks shut down, it will be a serious blow to the democratic rights of the entire international working class.
Workers and young people should join with the WSWS and ICFI in demanding and fighting for the immediate freedom of Julian Assange.
The original source of this article is World Socialist Web Site
Copyright © James Cogan, World Socialist Web Site, 2018”

Donnerstag, 1. Februar 2018

20 POINT PROGRAM OF MR PAVEL GRUDININ, THE PEOPLES PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE



All capitalist mass-media both in Russia and in the West keep hostile silence of this program which comprises all basic demands of common Russian people. These demands were blatantly ignored by the oligarchic Putin regime all the years of its criminal and antisocial rule. In my opinion this program is the Russian counterpart of the programs of Chilean president Salvador Allende and Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez.

Considering the place of this Program in the history of Russia, I would like to express my hope that it will mark the resumption of the democratization process in Russia started in late 1980-ies and abruptly terminated in October 1993 by the military coup which brought to power brutal authoritarian dictatorship of Mr. Yeltsin and his successor Mr. Putin.
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It should be noted that the destruction of Soviet Union and the privatization of its economic assets was one of the major 20th century crimes of global capitalism against humanity. It had more devastating effect on Russia than both World Wars. It was literally a genocide, although not by military means, but by the means of economic plundering and subversion. Privatization heavily damaged the economy of Russia, ripped its infrastructure apart and caused literally millions of deaths from despair and hunger.

Fascist scumbag Yeltsin did exactly what Western imperialists ordered him to do. The Soviet Union was torn to bleeding pieces - fifteen so-called "independent states" - resulting in total economic and administrative chaos everywhere. The majority of population lost their savings and income, as more and more privatized enterprises were ruined by capitalist "efficient managers". Finally, privatization transferred economic assets of Russia into the hands of Western banks and multinational corporations and "Russian" oligarchs.

I repeat: this process of devastation and genocide was misrepresented in Western mass-media as "democratization" and directed by the worst enemies of the Soviet people - the Wall Street banksters, their economic hit-men and CIA bloodhounds. Actually, economic sanctions would have been much more justified in the 1990-ies against the globalist billionaire leeches – Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, BoA, Barclay’s, Citibank etc. (they also devastated the USA and Europe enacting the financial crisis of 2008), and their "Russian" sock puppets - fascist dictator Yeltsin and the gang of Zionist criminal privatizers – Messrs. Chubais, Gaidar, Kirienko, Kudrin, Gref, Berezovski, Gusinski, Deripaska, Abramovich etc., rather than nowadays against the regime of Mr. Putin and his oligarch friends who own only a minor part of privatized assets.

This pro-Western oligarchic puppet regime of Yeltsin and Putin has no future exactly because from the very beginning it was designed this way by its Western imperialist masters - the same way as the pro-Western puppet regimes of Pinochet, Mobutu, Marcos, Duvalier, Somosa, Fujimori, Poroshenko etc. were designed. The initially undeclared function of this regime is to ruin Russia, and this function became obvious now, as weakened Russia has to face vicious slander and aggressive hostility of its "dear Western partners"...
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Considered from the viewpoint of world politics, the 20 Point Program of Mr. Grudinin is a clear Russian challenge to the antidemocratic and antihumanist forces of capitalist globalization. Globalization is quite obviously the capitalist antithesis of socialist and communist internationalism, an attempt to create a global fascist empire as a countermeasure against the failed project of world-wide socialist republic. Being a challenge to Western globalism, this Program is inevitably directed against the treacherous pro-Western comprador oligarchy headed by Mr. Putin and therefore is a curious mix of demands - both socialist and nationalist petty-bourgeois.

Therefore I decided to translate this interesting and important document into English. I made the translation with all due care, but please note that this is not an official translation, i.e. it is not (yet) approved by Mr. Grudinin. I added words in brackets to the translated text as a help for understanding the 20 Point Program of Mr. Grudinin by foreign readers.


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Mr. Grudinin, January 10th, 2018:

"I am confident that with the assistance of the joint electoral team of the Communist Party of Russian Federation (KPRF), the united Left and the National-Patriotic Forces of Russia (NPSR), I can and should win the presidential election. Having achieved that and being inspired by the will of the People and aided by the Supreme State Soviet headed by Mr. G.A. Zyuganov, we together will again make our Fatherland a strong and powerful country, eliminate poverty and ensure well-being of all citizens.

To achieve this goal, we will implement the following:

1. Transformation of the economic strategy. Priority will be given to the well-being of broad masses of the people and not of a bunch of oligarchs, to the interests of the common man and not to those of the "fat cats". This requires a sharp turn away from the oligarchic capitalism to a social state. We will use Russia's wealth, its natural, industrial and financial resources for the benefit of the people. We will nationalize strategically important and system-forming industries, the networks of electric power, railways and communications, as well as the major banks. The state will regain the monopoly on the production and wholesale of ethyl alcohol. These measures will give impetus to development, will bring the treasury trillions of rubles annually and will enable us to formulate a development-oriented budget instead of the budget of impoverishment and degradation.

2. Restoring the economic sovereignty of Russia. The present government stowed away several trillions of rubles. These immense funds were transferred abroad and entrusted to foreign financial organizations. We will invest these trillions of rubles kept idle in foreign banks and US debt obligations into industries, science and education. Our new government will liberate the economy of Russia from total subordination to the US dollar. We will create a new financial system to serve the interests of our country and its citizens. We will put under control the access of foreign speculative capital to the Russian market. We will withdraw from the WTO, because the 4 years of subordination under its economic tyranny resulted for us in more than one trillion rubles of direct losses and 5 trillion of indirect losses.

3. Using credit resources to rebuild the economy. To this end we will cut banking interest rates. We will stop the illegal transfers of capital abroad. We will bundle all available funds for investment in domestic production and in human development. We will create opportunities for large-scale investments into our economy and support small & medium-sized businesses and people's & collective enterprises. We will stop them being ruined by large transnational corporations. Our monetary system will guarantee them provision of long-term cheap credit.

4. New industrialization, modernization of the economy and putting it on the track of innovations. We will apply science and new technologies to start active development of technologically progressive industries: microelectronics, biotechnology, robotics and machine tools. We will raise the share of manufacturing industry in the GDP of our country from current 15-20% to 70-80%, to keep pace with the most advanced countries of the world.

5. Safeguarding Russia's food autarky and overcoming the present situation of importing a significant portion of food products from abroad. We will start the program of sustainable rural development to revitalize the countryside, large-scale agricultural production and social infrastructure in rural areas. We will apply for this task at least 10 percent of budget expenditures. We will reintroduce the Soviet standards (GOST) and introduce criminal liability for the falsification of food products.

6. Our historic task is to ensure the revival of "provincial" Russia. We will make budget financing of regions equitable. We will provide sufficient coverage of natural gas supplies in our country. We guarantee budgetary help for small towns, villages and rural settlements. We will reopen schools, hospitals and other social infrastructure in the countryside. We will finance from the budget connection of homes in small towns and villages to natural gas, electricity, water and sewage networks.

7. Price controls on basic foods, consumer goods and utility tariffs. We will curb predatory pricing of natural monopolies and stop the extortionate price rises for indispensable consumer goods and services. We will reduce the prices of medicines and tariffs for all types of transportation. The so-called "charges for housing overhaul" will be revoked. The charges of utility and municipal services should not exceed 10 percent of family income.

8. Taxation as the instrument of social justice and development. We will introduce progressive income tax with zero rate for the poor. The tax system will serve as the stimulus for productive investment and innovation.
We will revoke value-added tax, transportation tax and the privatized road toll system "Platon" that suffocate our industry.

9. Restoring guaranteed employment and 8-hour working day, creating jobs and decent wages. The minimum wage will be 25 000-30 000 rubles. Workers will again earn equitable wages and get decent holidays allowing them to regenerate their vitality. We will reintroduce guaranteed employment for youth. Graduates of state universities and colleges will be guaranteed their first employment. We will launch large-scale programs for retraining and advanced training.

10. We will stop the destruction of social sphere. We will guarantee free high-quality secondary and higher education and health care. We will reintroduce free annual overall clinical examination. We will set high standards for budgetary financing at the minimal level of 7% of GDP for each of: science, education and health care. The budget will finance all the expenses for treatment of seriously ill people, especially children. Gymnastics and sport, being the most important means of keeping the nation healthy, will again become available to the people.

11. Motherhood and childhood will enjoy full protection. We will restore the system of preschool day-care and will guarantee all children places in kindergarten and after-hours care at school. We will make available for children free (activities) in sports, hobby groups and creative studios. We will raise monthly child benefits to fully cover child's subsistence and extend baby care benefits from one and a half to three years. The state will subsidize the production of goods for children.

12. Our citizens will get fair retirement benefits. We will immediately pass the law on (extra) benefits for (the Second World) war-time children. We will not raise the current age of retirement. We will reintroduce inflationary indexation of the retirement benefits of working pensioners. We will cancel the multiplicator of 0.54 currently applied to the retirement benefits of military personnel. We will guarantee an average old-age pension to amount at least 50% of the average salary.

13. We will protect the moral health of our nation, revive our national culture and provide comprehensive (budget) financing of museums, theatres and libraries.

14. We will start mass construction of high-quality affordable housing. We will introduce the provision of apartments and homes for young families as well as the decommissioning of dilapidated and ramshackle housing. We will expand mass construction of housing and provide it to families with children at cost prices in instalments, without usurious mortgage interest rates. Mortgage interest rates will be reduced to 3-4%. Large families and young families will receive interest-free loans for a period of 30 years. We will prohibit development which increases the (existing) density of urbanization.

15. We will curb the greed of usurers. We will declare debt amnesty for the victims of "microfinance organizations". We will provide relief to those who took mortgages denominated in foreign currency. We will introduce criminal liability for those who sell bondage schemes. We will prohibit commercial debt collection and transferring the debt obligations of citizens.

16. We will protect our natural environment. We will ban both privatization and long-term leasing of forest and water areas. The practice of transforming forests and parks into construction plots will be prohibited.

17. We will guarantee defence capability and security of our country as well as a high scientific and technological level of the defence industry. We will significantly increase combat readiness of our Armed Forces and raise the prestige of military service and law enforcement agencies.

18. Judiciary will once again serve the law, the citizens and society as a whole, and not the oligarchy. We will guarantee genuine independence of the courts of law and crime investigation agencies from the executive authorities. We will introduce the election of judges. We will transfer all cases of the so-called "extremism", especially those invoking (infamous Russophobic) 282nd article (
of the criminal code of RF), as well as all corruption trials of senior officials into (the competence of) jurors courts. Innocently convicted patriots of our Fatherland will be released and rehabilitated. The same will apply to convicted ordinary participants of protests, but not to provocateurs, perjurers and organizers of illegal (subversive) activities.

19. We will restore the system of genuine democracy and people's representation. We will reintroduce the right of the people to decide all most important issues by referenda. The parliament will cease being an obedient endorser of the laws proposed by the executive and will become the assembly of the representatives of people's will. Its rights will be expanded. The president will be made controllable by and accountable to the people and the parliament. The impeachment procedure will be simplified. No one will have the right to be the president for more than two 4 years' terms in his entire life. We will establish the Supreme State Soviet, without the approval of which the president will not be allowed to decide any major issue. We will make the elections at all levels genuinely transparent and free, and will harshly persecute violations and frauds of vote counting.

20. We will improve the quality of public administration. We will introduce the accountability of the president for the cabinet of ministers he appointed, and the accountability of the government for its actions. The appointment of government (officials) will require approval by the State Duma (parliament).
All candidates for ministerial posts will require public corroboration by the president. The central bank will function as a controllable and accountable government body executing the task of financing the industries. The Accounting Chamber will be restored as a supreme and genuinely independent government monitoring body. Suppression of corruption not as an empty slogan, but as everyday practice will have positive effect on the economics, politics and morality.

Yours faithfully,
Pavel Grudinin"