Tuesday, 14 April 2020

Mirror, Mirror On The Wall.....

I find it hard to decide who is the more idiotic and irresponsible - bail-jumper and fugitive-from-justice Julian Assange, or the mother of the two children he fathered during his seven year long stay at the Ecuadorean Embassy in London.

Ironically, the mother of Assange's latest offspring, Stella Morris, grew up in Sweden, the country which kicked this whole saga off when two separate Swedish women made allegations of sexual assault against Assange who jumped bail to escape extradition to Sweden.  

The Wikileaks founder already has two other children to two other women.



Julian Assange fathered two children in embassy refuge

Assange with lawyer Stella Morris - Photo by PA

By Magda Ibrahim - The Sunday Times

Julian Assange secretly fathered two sons while hiding at the Ecuadorean embassy in London, it was reported last night.

The first, Gabriel, is believed to have been born in 2017, when Assange, the founder of Wikileaks, had been in the South Kensington embassy for nearly five years. He had fled there to avoid questioning by Sweden over alleged sex offences.

The second boy, Max, was born in February last year. The mother is thought to be Assange’s lawyer, Stella Morris, 37, who started visiting him to work on a legal bid to halt US extradition proceedings against him.

In an interview with The Mail on Sunday, Morris said the pair had been engaged since 2017 and that Assange was able to see his children being born at London hospitals via video link.

Gabriel was smuggled into the embassy so Assange could meet him. A picture of Assange cradling a baby in one of the embassy rooms was published by The Mail on Sunday.

It is understood the couple kept their relationship and the birth of their children secret from Ecuadorean officials.

Assange, 48, is in Belmarsh prison, south London, where he has been since Ecuador withdrew its support for him in April last year. He has served a 50-week sentence for breaching bail conditions but is still being held because he is wanted by the US on espionage charges over the leaking of classified intelligence documents and is deemed a flight risk.

Morris, a Swedish national who has lived in Britain for almost 20 years, told The Mail on Sunday: “I love Julian deeply and I am looking forward to marrying him. I am now terrified I will not see him alive again.”

She said she had spoken out because she feared Assange was at risk of contracting Covid-19 in jail.

Morris added: “I can see that his life is on the brink. Julian’s poor physical health puts him at serious risk, like many other vulnerable people, and I don’t believe he will survive infection with the coronavirus.”

Once Bitten, Twice Shy (09/04/20)

I can't be the only person to find it incredible that Julian Assange was granted a new bail hearing.

Especially as the Wikileaks founder promised faithfully not to jump bail last time, only to do exactly that by escaping justice and hiding away in the Ecuadorean Embassy in London for several years, to avoid extradition to Sweden where he faced two separate charges of sexual assault. 



Julian Assange extradition: US wanted DNA test on child’s nappy, court told

Julian Assange is being held at HMP Belmarsh in southeast London. He faces a full extradition hearing next month - Photo 

By John Simpson - The Times

US intelligence agencies monitoring Julian Assange wanted DNA tests on a soiled nappy after his chidren visited him at the Ecuadorean embassy, a court has been told.

The claim was made as Assange sought an anonymity order for the mother of his children as part of an attempt to secure bail before a hearing next month in his fight against extradition to America.

The Wikileaks founder is to seek a judicial review of a ruling against granting anonymity to the woman, Westminster magistrates’ court heard. His defence have argued that she has a right to privacy despite submitting a statement to court in the bail proceedings that would normally be made public under the principle of open justice.

His partner’s statement contained reference to leaked materials from a Spanish security company alleging that US intelligence agencies requested a series of surveillance measures.

These allegedly included gathering DNA from the nappy to carry out a paternity test towards the end of Assange’s almost seven-year stay at the Ecuadorean embassy in Knightsbridge, central London. Assange, 48, was dragged out by the police and arrested last April.

A judge found that even if the allegation were true there was no reason to believe that US agencies meant harm to Assange’s young family.

District Judge Vanessa Baraitser referred to the claim as she turned down anonymity Assange’s partner anonymity.

The court heard that the woman wished to live “quietly” with her young children, away from the publicity that Assange attracted.

Edward Fitzgerald, QC, for Assange, had applied for the anonymity order after the woman made a statement in support of Assange’s earlier failed bail application.

Judge Baraitser ruled that the woman’s right to a private family life was outweighed by the need for open justice. However, the judge delayed making her identity public until 4pm on April 14, pending a possible judicial review at the High Court.

Assange is being held on remand in the high-security Belmarsh prison, in southeast London. During the virtual hearing the judge rejected a bid to delay his extradition hearing on May 18 at Belmarsh magistrates’ court because of the coronavirus crisis.

Assange, who the court heard could not attend owing to ill health, is fighting to avoid being sent to the US to face 17 charges under the Espionage Act, and conspiracy to commit computer intrusion, after the publication of hundreds of thousands of classified documents in 2010 and 2011.

Mr Fitzgerald called for an adjournment until September. He told the court by telephone that he had not been able to see Assange in prison and that because of the virus he could see “no viable” way his client could be present in court to hear witnesses.

On his client’s mental state, he told the judge: “There are difficulties of the pandemic with the defendant himself. You are aware, I think that . . . he has well-documented problems of clinical depression.”

His treatment was on hold during the lockdown and he had been unable to see his family. The barrister said: “In those circumstances, in his vulnerable condition, to force him to enter a full evidential hearing in May, we respectfully submit it would be unjust. We respectfully submit it would be oppressive.”

He suggested the lockdown conditions might have to continue for as long as 12 weeks, adding: “This is not a case where second best will do, where we should just try to muddle through. The difficulties are insuperable in the current crisis.”

Ruling against him, Judge Baraitser said the extradition hearing was still five weeks away and that it was expected courts would resume in a fortnight. She said: “I cannot assume the courts will not be operating normally by then. Mr Assange is in custody and there is some urgency of this case being heard to its conclusion.”

If there was a need for a third and final hearing after May 18, it would be in July.

Imaginary Prison (21/06/14)

'If Julian Assange is in a prison, then it's one of his own making' - is the nub of this leader recent article from The Times which I completely agree with I have to say.

I read somewhere the other day that during a press conference in the Ecuadorean Embassy  Mr Assange said that the thing that caused him most grief was being unable to see his children - which encouraged me to do some research.

Apparently, the WikiLeaks founder has fathered at least four children in different parts of the world (presumably to different mothers) but according to this comment from a former WikiLeaks colleague, Daniel Domscheit-Berg, they didn't seem to feature too prominently in his life:

"Often I sat in large groups and listened to Julian boast about how many children he had fathered in various parts of the world. He seemed to enjoy the idea of lots and lots of Julians, one on every continent. Whether he took care of any of these alleged children, or whether they existed at all, was another question."

Now Daniel Domscheit-Berg fell out with Assange over the direction of WikiLeaks which may explain his rather scathing comment, but I know one thing - any parent who really misses their children would do anything to see them again, even if that meant walking out of their own self-imposed prison.   

Assange is shabbily avoiding justice. He deserves no tears

The WikiLeaker is costing this country a fortune and he has no right to complain

By Stephen Pollard - The Times

Yesterday marked the second anniversary of Julian Assange’s incarceration in London. Under 24-hour police guard 365 days a year, the WikiLeaks founder has been prevented from leaving what one friend call his “prison cell”.

As his friend Vaughan Smith puts it: “He craves freedom, he can’t buy his own food and he would love the chance to have a normal walk in the fresh air.”

Who would have thought that this could happen in a democracy? What an outrage! Except, of course, that it is all utter nonsense. Far from preventing Assange from leaving, the British state is desperate for him to depart our shores.

Since he arrived at the Ecuadorean Embassy, he has cost the British taxpayer £6.5 million — an average of £9,000 a day. The police operation outside his “prison” is not designed to keep him in but to make sure if and when he does eventually leave that he never goes back in. And then put him on a plane to Sweden as swiftly as legally possible.

Assange is no prisoner of conscience or victim of despotism. He is nothing more than a fugitive from justice who fled to Ecuadorean soil (albeit in London) to avoid a possible trial in Sweden for rape and sexual assault.

For a while, Assange’s supporters — who should surely win the Gullible Idiots of the Century award — maintained that the Swedish allegations were a red herring; that his enemies were intent on having him extradited to the US, where he would rot for the rest of his life in prison.

But that fiction was exposed last year when the US Justice Department said that there was almost no possibility he would ever be charged over WikiLeaks. Any action against Assange would also have to include those newspapers that printed the intelligence leaks, and that is simply never going to happen. Far from acting dishourably, the Swedish authorities are merely seeking to speak to Assange about the serious allegations against him.

So don’t fall for the idea that this is some Fidelio-like story of a hero imprisoned for his role in exposing the crimes of an oppressive authority. It is nothing more than a grubby attempt, by a man who appears to have taken narcissism to new heights, to evade justice.

If Julian Assange wants to end his “imprisonment” then all he has to do is turn the door handle. And the rest of us will say good riddance.

Weirdo and Narcissist (5 May 2014)

Hugo Rifkind hit a few nails on the head with this humorous piece about the ongoing saga of Julian Assange, the major league weirdo and narcissist, and founder of WikiLeaks. 

The American authorities would do us all a favour by saying they have better things to do than to try and prosecute Assange which would leave him with no excuse for not jumping on the next flight to Sweden.

A word from America will let Assange out

By Hugo Rifkind - The Times

His two-year embassy stay is costing Britain a fortune. We need to know if his fears of extradition are justified or not

Oh, Julian. How you need a walk in the sunshine. “£6 million spent on 24/7 police surveillance of #Assange inside Ecuadorean Embassy,” tweeted his WikiLeaks organisation last week, perhaps confusing “inside” with “outside” and “surveillance” with “kinda standing there”.

And yet. Six million pounds? Seems a lot. Long ago, remember, the supermodel Linda Evangelista said she wouldn’t get out of bed for less than $10,000. Another six weeks, and the WikiLeaks founder will have been inside Flat 3b, 3 Hans Crescent, SW1X for two whole years, at a cost of £11,000 every day. So possibly the Met Police could have saved quite a lot of money by just employing her.

Obviously, the person best placed to resolve this ludicrous, costly stand-off is the man himself, who remains free to pop out the door and fly to Sweden where he is wanted for questioning on sex offence charges. Had he done so in 2010, and even been convicted, he’d doubtless be out by now. And maybe even missing it, because Swedish prisons look bloody lovely. Last year, according to AFP, an inmate broke out of one to go to the dentist and then went back. True story.

Granted, it may be that Assange does not want to stand trial for rape. This is not, however, his stated reason for remaining in his cupboard. If he did go to Sweden, he claims, the US might seek to extradite him from there. And American prisons aren’t terribly nice at all. Although the dentistry might be better. Not sure.

This is not a wholly reasonable fear, in part for boring legal details about the relative ease of extraditing somebody from Stockholm v one from London, albeit with the obvious proviso in the latter case that they aren’t hiding in the Ecuadorean Embassy. Also, American authorities have never actually said that they want him.

They still could, though, and there’s the rub. Team Assange point to the 2010 disclosure by Eric Holder, the US attorney general, that WikiLeaks was at that time under criminal investigation. Since then the US has consistently denied that any indictment has been brought, both before, during and after the trial of Chelsea Manning, the WikiLeaks source. What the US has never done, however, is rule out the prospect that one could be. And all of our sakes, I think that they should.

It’s not that I am any great WikiLeaks defender. Far from it. Assange is the troubling flaw in the concept of free speech. Believe in it and he is the bit that makes you question your principles. The Manning revelations (of hordes of diplomatic and military cables) today often find themselves lumped together with those of the NSA leaker Edward Snowden (of western intelligence practices). In fact, though, there is a difference. Snowden went to the newspapers. His leaks, as a result, were published by people who agonised over the effects this might have. Warnings were given, names were redacted. This is how journalism is supposed to work.

Manning went to Assange, who blurted all. Witnesses against the Taliban, opposition activists in Belarus, wavering Zimbabwean generals, all saw their names thrust abruptly into the public domain. It was a terrible, terrible thing to do, and I’m happy to see Assange condemned and shamed for doing it. Although that’s not the same thing as saying I’d be happy to see him prosecuted.

If the distinction seems moot, then I’d make the same argument about some of the most vicious sorts of tabloid journalism and why none of them warrant state regulation of the press. Make the practitioners into pariahs, by all means, but not criminals. The former, if it helps, is the action of a moral people, whereas the latter is the act of an oppressive state. In the case of Assange, pariah status should encourage the next Manning to make a better decision, as Snowden (who was the next Manning) in fact did. Ultimately Assange deserves the same protections as any other journalist. And, simultaneously, he deserves disdain for being such an appallingly, dangerously crap one.

Most likely, America never will charge him, anyway. Much as some US lawmakers would clearly like to, the First Amendment gets in the way. Leakers are easy; they have privileged access to material and often break specific laws in sharing it. Plus they tend to be actually American. Assange, as well as being Australian, merely published what he had. How do you prosecute him without also prosecuting all the newspapers who followed him?

You can’t. Also you shouldn’t, and the US seems to accept this. Snowden, after all, has already been charged, whereas the newspapers he leaked to have been merely complained about and glowered at. Yet at the same time, there seems to be a sly satisfaction in leaving WikiLeaks in limbo. No wonder. With minimal expense the US has managed to persuade Assange to lock himself in a room for two years.

Except it costs us a packet. Worse, it’s woolly and vague, and all the things that justice shouldn’t be. The danger with Assange is that his many grim attributes begin to blur. I like neither what he did with WikiLeaks nor what he denies having done with two Swedish women, but I’m increasingly of the view that only the latter should be considered a crime. US justice, which seems to quietly agree, should say so. Then there would be nothing stopping him from going to Sweden and he would doubtless be on the next flight. Right, Julian?

Weirdo and Narcissist (11 February 2014)

I'm not sure how long the ridiculous Julian Assange has been holed up in the Ecuador Embassy in London, but I thought it worthwhile reminding readers that this whole saga goes back a number of years - and that the Wikileaks founder is, in fact, a fugitive from justice in both the UK and Sweden.

To my mind the behaviour of the Ecuador Government is outrageous because Assange is clearly a not a refugee, political or otherwise, so why not suspend diplomatic relations with Ecuador and close its embassy in London?

And as Julian Assange is not a diplomat, but someone who is effectively on the run from the authorities in Sweden and the UK, he would have not alternative but to give himself up or face arrest, but either way he deserves to face his accusers in Sweden and the courts in the UK for breaking his solemn promise not to jump bail.  

As Monty Python might have said - 'He's not the Messiah, you know. He's just a very naughty boy!'. 

WikiWars (9 February 2011)

The WikiWars saga continues.

Julian Assange is back in court trying desperately to prevent his extradition to that widely despised rogue state - with a supposedly weak legal system and poor track record on human rights - more commonly known as Sweden.

The celebrity legal team defending Julian Assange has flown over a retired Swedish judge - Brita Sundberg-Weitman (a woman) - to give evidence against the Swedish prosecutor, Marianne Ny.

The retired judge reportedly criticised the prosecutor for being a "radical feminist" and described her behaviour as "malicious", "peculiar" and displaying a "bias against men".

But when cross-examined - the retired judge admitted that she had no direct knowledge of Ms Ny's (the prosecutor's) conduct.

Confused - because if so, you're in good company?

Instead of this ridiculous legal circus - Mr Assange should do us all a favour and hop on the next plane to Stockholm.

Where he can deal with the case allegations made against him - in a proper manner.

Narcissist and Weirdo

The BBC caused something of a fuss the other day when it handed editorial control of the flagship Today (Radio 4) programme over to a guest editor, PJ Harvey, who is apparently a successful, famous and very left-wing musician - whose work an career I know nothing about, I have to concede.  
Now I don't really care whether PJ Harvey's political views are left-wing, right-wing or a bit AC/DC, if you know what I mean - because as a public service, public funded broadcaster the BBC is supposed to reflect all walks of life. 

But where I'm at odds with PJ Bailey is her decision to give the ridiculous Julian Assange a platform to spout his views - because the man is a wanted fugitive who has escaped justice by sloping off to the Ecuadorean Embassy in London in an effort to evade questioning by the authorities in Sweden for alleged sexual offences against two separate women. 

Not only that Assange gave his word to the courts in this country and various friends and acquaintances in this country that he would abide by the legal process and not jump bail while the judicial process considered a properly made request for his extradition to Sweden.

Yet he lied and jumped bail anyway, so I would say he is a dishonest and scheming little man who is completely lacking in integrity - which is why PJ was daft to allow this weirdo and narcissist to present himself to the world as some kind of martyr.

Anyway, maybe PJ's music is better than her politics - I must find out.

Narcissist and Weirdo (18 October 2013)

The narcissist and weirdo also known as Julian Assange has had a complete 'hissy fit'  with the actor Benedict Cumberbatch - because he has apparently been portrayed in a not very flattering light in the new film 'The Fifth Estate' which tells the story, so far, of WikiLeaks.

Here's an extract of Julian's angry letter to Benedict Cumberbatch whom he refused to meet, according to news reports, while holed up in the Ecuadorean Embassy to prevent his extradition to Sweden where Assange is wanted on charges of sexual assault. 

Extracts: Assange’s letter

“You will be used, as a hired gun, to assume the appearance of the truth in order to assassinate it. To present me as someone morally compromised and to place me in a falsified history. To create a work, not of fiction, but of debased truth. Not because you want to, of course you don’t, but because, in the end, you are a jobbing actor who gets paid to follow the script, no matter how debauched.

Your skills play into the hands of people who are out to remove me and WikiLeaks from the world. I believe you should reconsider your involvement in this enterprise. Consider the consequences of your cooperation with a project that… marginalises a living political refugee to the benefit of an entrenched, corrupt and dangerous state.”

In other words the only real truth is the truth according to Julian Assange and if that's not a perfect description of a 'narcissist' - then I'm the Foreign Minister of Ecuador.  

Escaping Justice (25 June 2013)

The increasingly ridiculous Julian Assagne - founder of Wikileaks - is still holed up at the Ecuadorean Embassy in London - having fled there a year ago to escape being extradited to Sweden where he faces two separate charges of sexual assault.  

A meeting was held recently between the UK Foreign Secretary - William Hague - and Ecuadorean officials following which Ecuadorean foreign minister - Ricardo Patino - announced that Assange is prepared to stay in his bolt hole for at least five years.

For some reason, Ecuador seems to believe that Assange is entitled to claim asylum when - in fact - he jumped bail in the UK, having lied about his intentions to abide by a court ruling to face the music - if his extradition to Sweden was subsequently found to be lawful and justified. 
Which it duly was, but instead of justice for the two women in Sweden who have complained about Assange - what we have is a complete farce with a supposedly friendly country in Ecuador thumbing its nose, diplomatically speaking, at both Sweden and the UK. 

Offering asylum to people in need of protection has a noble history down the ages - but it was never intended as a safe sanctuary for people suspected of criminal behaviour.

Sweden, of course, has a good track record on upholding human rights that would compare favourably with most countries in the world.

For example I'm pretty sure Sweden would knock Ecuador into a cocked hat over human rights - yet Foreign Minister Patino is prepared to make a fool of himself by arguing that the whole business represents a "total injustice" to Julian Assange.

If I were the UK Government I would let Mr Assange stew in his little hideaway for as long as he likes - because he's bound to get fed up sooner or later.

In the meantime I can't imagine it's a whole lot of fun - and I suspect that in some strange way Ricardo and Julian probably deserve each other.

New Assange Lawsuit (9 October 2011)

The latest edition of Private Eye does a great hatchet job on the notorious narcissist and weirdo - Julian Assange.

The magazine pokes fun at the self-serving comments made by Assange in his auto-biography - in which he suggests that the two Swedish women who acccused him of sexual assault - did so out of spite.

Because he is - or was - a chauvinist pig and not a thoughtful boyfriend.

What a nutter!


by Our Media Correspondent

Jonathan Wikileake

"Julian Assange today announced his determination to sue the author of the new book about him, Julian Assange: The Unauthorised Autobiography.

A spokesman for Assange, who looked very similar to himself, told journalists, "Mr Assange has had enoughof these vile slurs against his charatcer and to say that women accused him of rape because he didn't phone them is clearly the mark of a diseased mind.

"I - by which I mean my client, Mr Assange - will be suing JUlian Assange as aggresivelky as possible, to show that the good name of Assange will not stand for these vile slurs about himself."

The author, Julian Assange, is said to be considering a counter-suit based on his allegations that Assange is part of a Jewish conspiracy.

If found guilty of defamation and bearing false witness, Mr Assange will either have to pay himself £10 million for loss of earnings and emotional damge, or go on a four month journalism course in AMerica, depending on whether he is judged by the Crown or Andreas Whittam-Smith."