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Mon, 19 Nov 2018
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US intel would bring Assange to the US in chains

© Getty Images
"I have given up years of my own liberty for the risks we have taken at WikiLeaks to bring truth to the public."
It appears increasingly likely Wikileaks founder and publisher Julian Assange will wind up in the clutches of the U.S. government.

It's hardly surprising, given that in ten years' time, Wikileaks published more classified information than all other media combined. It exposed human rights abuses, government spying, torture, and war crimes on an unprecedented scale.

WikiLeaks put government, corporations and even the Pentagon, the FBI, the CIA and other intel agencies on notice that they could no longer count on operating in secret.

It created a trove of primary source material that serious journalists and researchers will mine for years to come. Its publications are accessible to readers who prefer primary sources to mostly mediated news.

Wikileaks so infuriates the USA's most violent, corrupt, and criminal institutions that Hillary Clinton half-jokingly suggested drone-bombing Assange. Other U.S. politicians called for his execution by other means.

Comment: It will be a sad, sad day for humanity if these self-serving vultures have their way.


Prosecutor accidentally reveals the US has 'secretly charged' Assange

Assange flyers
© Reuters/Daniel Tapia
Julian Assange has been already charged by the US, but the case will remain sealed until the arrest of the whistleblower, WikiLeaks has revealed citing court filings unrelated to its co-founder.

"...no other procedure is likely to keep confidential the fact that Assange has been charged," assistant US Attorney Kellen S. Dwyer wrote urging a judge to keep the matter sealed. However, the exact nature of the alleged charges against the whistleblower was not immediately revealed and is not to be disclosed until Assange's arrest, according to the document.

WikiLeaks tweeted the document on Thursday, saying it was an "apparent cut-and-paste error."
SCOOP: US Department of Justice "accidentally" reveals existence of sealed charges (or a draft for them) against WikiLeaks' publisher Julian Assange in apparent cut-and-paste error in an unrelated case also at the Eastern District of Virginia.
- WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) November 16, 2018
The same court filings were cited in a Washington Post report. The paper said citing its sources that what Dwyer said was true, but the disclosure was unintentional.

Comment: Here's a closer look at the two mentions of 'Assange' in a similar, but actually unrelated, case:

assange charges extradition
assange charges extradition
See also: Julian Assange willing to testify on alleged Russian hacking


Federal court: Clinton must answer more questions regarding her emails

© Patrick Semansky/AP
A federal court is compelling former secretary of state Hillary Clinton to respond to further questions - under oath - about her notorious emails.

U.S. District Court Judge Emmet Sullivan issued the ruling Wednesday in response to a lawsuit from Judicial Watch, the conservative research and investigative group that has long had its sights on both of the Clintons.

Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton was jubilant about the decision in a Thursday morning tweet:
"Breaking: Court rules late today Hillary Clinton must answer more email questions - including key [questions] about the setting up of her email system. Court denied our request to unseal vid depositions of Clinton aides. Great work by Michael Bekesha!" - Tom Fitton (@TomFitton) November 15, 2018
The decision is the result of a Freedom of Information lawsuit initiated by Judicial Watch that sought to clarify why Clinton's executive assistant, Huma Abedin, was authorized to be both an employee of the State Department and a "special government employee" for outside jobs, according to news release issued Thursday by Judicial Watch.

The group says the judge gave Clinton 30 days to respond to questions about how she set up her private email server while secretary of state and whether the State Department ever issued any orders or instructions regarding the use of that server.

Comment: Nothing has truly pierced the 'protection cloak' around HRC. Will this time prove to be different?


N. Korea tests mysterious new 'high-tech' tactical weaponry

Kim Jong-un,reporters
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and officials oversee the test of a new "ultramodern" weapon.
The race is on to identify a mysterious weapon developed by North Korea after the country announced the successful test - its first in over a year - of a new "high-tech" weapon providing few additional details.

News of this "newly developed high-tech tactical" weapon was announced by Pyongyang's KCNA news agency on Friday along with a picture of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un talking with officials on a beach test-site. However, the weapon in question cannot be seen and details about its capabilities remain shrouded in secrecy.

Overseeing the test, Kim expressed his "great satisfaction" with the weapon that "builds impregnable defenses of our country and strengthens the fighting power of our people's army," KCNA said.

Sparse additional information provided by KCNA said that the weapon had been commissioned "personally" by Kim's late father and predecessor, Kim Jong-il.

South Korean authorities are working to identify and analyze the weapon in question. However, Seoul's Ministry of Unification believes Kim supervised the test of a traditional weapon rather than a nuclear-capable one, citing that the term "strategic weapon" was not used by the KCNA in their report.


US-funded NGO sinks $4.1M into Nicaraguan protests then says it's 'misleading' to report about it

Nicaraguan Protest
© Reuters/Oswaldo Rivas
Protest against Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega's government in Managua.
Just months after boasting about 'laying the groundwork for insurrection' in Nicaragua, a US government-funded think tank has branded as 'misleading' a Redfish documentary that reports exactly that.

Global Americans, a think tank subsidiary of the US government-funded soft power organization National Endowment for Democracy (NED), has published an article accusing Berlin-based Redfish media (styled 'redfish') of "misleading" the viewer by blaming the ongoing unrest in Nicaragua on American influence.

Branding Redfish a "Kremlin-funded media startup," Global Americans attacks the documentary The New Battle For Nicaragua. The GA article features a big blue stamp with the word 'MISLEADING', and - true to the headline - cuts straight to the root of the problem.

"Why it's misleading: Most importantly, redfish has been identified funded by the Russian government that regularly airs content on Russian television network RT. "

The New Battle For Nicaragua features interviews with both anti-Ortega protesters and supporters of the government. It also explores headlines in the mainstream US media which have mainly focused on the suppression of the protests and portray the 300 fatalities they have caused as victims of the regime. Out of those 300, about 60 died on either side, and the remaining 180 or so could not be directly linked to the protests, Redfish says.

Comment: NED has disrupted societies all over the globe in the 'name of democracy.'


Trump answered Mueller's questions for the Russia probe, has yet to submit them

Trump and pen
© Reuters/Jonathan Ernst
President Donald Trump, November 16, 2018.
President Trump has said that he has answered questions for Special Counsel Robert Mueller's 'Russiagate' investigation, but has not submitted those answers yet.

"I was asked a series of questions. I've answered them very easily," he told reporters on Friday. "You always have to be careful answering questions with people who probably have bad intentions."

Asked about his comments on Twitter the day before, in which he blasted Mueller and his "gang of Democrat thugs," Trump said nothing in particular had brought that on.

"I'm not agitated," he said. "It's a hoax, the whole thing is a hoax." There should have never been an investigation, he argued, because there had been no wrongdoing by him or his campaign during the 2016 election. "The witch hunt should've never taken place. I imagine it's ending now," Trump added.

The president confirmed he wrote the answers himself, rather than have lawyers do it, but has not submitted the documents to the special counsel yet.

Comment: What is Mueller's intention regarding the president's Q&A if his Russiagate probe is 'ending now'? A last gasp?

Arrow Up

Media prediction: Early general election inevitable; Netanyahu opposes it

© Miriam Alster/Flash90
Education Minister Naftali Bennett • Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
The reports about early general elections started to occur days after Avigdor Lieberman left his position as the country's defence minister in the wake of a controversial cease-fire with Gaza militants. His Yisrael Beytenu party then left the country's ruling coalition, thus leaving Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with a fragile majority.

The meeting between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Education Minister Naftali Bennett earlier in the day resulted in the decision to hold early general elections in Israel, Haaretz reports, citing sources close to Bennett.

However, shortly after Netanyahu's office issued a statement refuting reports about the election, warning of the repetition 1992, when a right-wing party left the coalition, the Labour party won the subsequent election, and then-prime minister Yitzhak Rabin signed the Oslo Accords.

Comment: Manipulating its own government for a change? See also:


Iran: Execution of two men amid currency, corruption crackdown

noose and gavel
© timthumb
Iran hanged two men on Wednesday who were accused of hoarding gold in order to manipulate the market.

The men, Vahid Mazloumin and his assistant Mohammad Esmail Qassemi, were arrested in July and sentenced to death in October.

Mazloumin, nicknamed the "Sultan of Coins," and his team had a two-ton stockpile of gold coins. They were accused of forming a black market for gold with the goal of increasing its price on the traditional market. Mazloumin was arrested for acting as a speculator and Qassemi for "spreading corruption."

Amnesty International condemned the execution, as the men were not accused of lethal crimes, calling it a flagrant violation of international law.

"Use of the death penalty is appalling under any circumstances, but it is even more horrific given that these men were convicted after a grossly unfair show trial that was broadcast on state television," Philip Luther of Amnesty said.

Star of David

"We'll show no restraint!" IDF vows zero-tolerance against Gazans' border violence

© Reuters/Mussa Issa Qawasma
The IDF will no longer show any restraint in cracking down on Palestinian protesters who stir trouble at the Gaza border, an Israeli general has warned following the extreme escalation in violence witnessed this week.

Just days after Hamas unleashed an unprecedented bombardment of southern Israel which saw over 400 rockets and mortars fired from Gaza, Tel Aviv made it clear that it will no longer tolerate any unrest at the border.

"Our patience has broken and we will respond harshly." "We will show no restraint," Maj.-Gen. Kamil Abu Rokon, IDF Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), warned Gazans through his Facebook page.

Stressing that weekly border clashes are nothing short of "terrorist acts" which are well planned and coordinated by Hamas, Rokon issued explicit orders to the Palestinians to stay at least 100 meters clear of the border fence. Anyone who approaches the fence and tries to destroy it "will put himself at risk," the general said. Leniency, Rokon said, will not be shown to anyone who "hurls bombs, grenades and Molotov cocktails" or those who attempt to detonate explosives.
"I offer you the opportunity to wake up and understand that Hamas and the other terrorist organizations are leading you to the edge of the abyss," Rokon said."Understand this before it's too late, you have been warned."

Comment: This was an announcement for the global public, not per se the Palestinians. Israel doesn't require provocation to deliver a lethal message and it is more than capable of escalating petty violence into a war.


US State Department: WH not involved in any Gulen extradition discussions

Fethullah Gulen
© AP/Selahattin Sevi
Fethullah Gulen
The White House has not taken any steps with respect to extraditing US-based Islamic cleric Fethullah Gulen amid the developments in the case of murdered Saudi columnist Jamal Khashoggi, US Department of State spokesperson Heather Nauert said in a press briefing.

NBC News' reported on Thursday President Donald Trump is looking for ways to remove Gulen from the United States to appease Turkey and ease pressure on the government of Saudi Arabia.

"The White House has not been involved in any discussions [with Turkish authorities] related to the extradition of Fethullah Gulen," Nauert said on Thursday.

Nauert added Washington is continuing to evaluate the materials that the Turkish government's request for Gulen's removal.

Nauert said the Gulen and Khashoggi cases are not related and added that the two issues stay separated.

Comment: NBC's presumptions: a form of non-news reporting.