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Julian Assange wins right to appeal extradition to US, remains in UK prison for now

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Julian Assange, Embassy Of Ecuador on May 19, 2017 in London, England.

From LifeSiteNews

By Frank Wright

On Monday Julian Assange won the right to appeal his extradition to the United States, where he would face espionage charges, on the grounds that he could not be guaranteed a defense under the First Amendment.

In a hearing at the Royal Courts of Justice to decide his fate, imprisoned journalist Julian Assange has won the right to appeal his extradition to the United States.

The May 20 ruling means his transfer to the U.S. to face charges under the Espionage Act is delayed. He was granted the right to appeal, in his absence, on the grounds that he could not be guaranteed a defense under the First Amendment in the United States.

The move came despite assurances from U.S. lawyers and could see Assange face months more imprisonment whilst an appeal is prepared.

Leave to appeal welcomed

Assange’s lawyers have questioned assurances that he will not face the death penalty if extradited to the U.S. to face 18 charges claiming his publications through WikiLeaks damaged U.S. national security and endangered the lives of U.S. agents.

No agent has been harmed as a result of Assange’s disclosures.

The U.K.’s National Union of Journalists welcomed the move.

READ: Julian Assange’s show trial could determine the future of press freedom in the West

At this crucial juncture, this judgment serves as a positive step forward for Assange and for every journalist seeking to reveal truths through their reporting… We welcome today’s judgment and hope it is the first step in victory for Assange.

Michelle Stanistreet, NUJ general secretary, appealed for Assange’s immediate release:

President Biden should do the right thing now and clear the way for Assange’s release.

Five years and counting

“The U.K. and U.S. are happy to talk about political prisoners abroad,” said Stella Assange, in a moving video account of Assange’s ordeal published on the morning of the hearing. “But they have created a political prisoner of their own.”

She points out that whilst war criminals such as former U.K. Prime Minister Tony Blair are free and very prosperous, Assange has been denied the right to appear at his own trials since 2021. What is more, she says, “Julian did nothing wrong. He exposed war crimes.”

She explained why he was imprisoned – as a punishment for revealing war crimes through his organization, WikiLeaks.

Julian is in prison because WikiLeaks is a publisher which specializes in the secrets that states keep the most hidden.

She went on:

Julian revealed war crimes committed by the superpower, the United States. That superpower has punished him.

She argues that the case extends the right of states to suppress press freedom beyond its own borders. This, she says, provides a precedent for critics of any regime worldwide to be targeted and silenced in the same way.

Stella Assange, a human rights lawyer, says evidence held by WikiLeaks shows that 30 former intelligence agents have said there was a plot to assassinate Assange by the CIA.

The plot was revealed in October 2021 and documented in a piece from the same month by Patrick Cockburn titled “The CIA plot to kidnap or kill Julian Assange in London is a story that is being mistakenly ignored.”

The beginning of the end?

The current head of WikiLeaks, the outlet formerly headed by Assange, branded the court’s decision as a win, according to Consortium News.

‘This was a watershed moment in this very long battle,’ said WikiLeaks Editor-in-Chief Kristinn at an event following the hearing. ‘Today marked the beginning of the end of the persecution. The signaling from the courts here in London was clear to the U.S. government: We don’t believe your guarantees, we don’t believe in your assurances.’

Keeping Assange ‘caged’

Yet independent journalist Glenn Greenwald saw a darker motive in the long, drawn-out process of Assange’s continuing confinement.

His post on X (formerly Twitter) referred to the initial removal of Assange from the London Embassy of Ecuador, in which he had taken refuge in 2012.

Following accusations now withdrawn, an arrest warrant had been issued for Assange in 2010. His retreat into the Ecuadorian embassy saw him confined there for seven years.

However, 24 hours after WikiLeaks published details of high-level corruption in Ecuador, he was handed over to British police on April 11, 2019. He has been in custody or prison ever since.

Greenwald added:

The real purpose of pressuring Ecuador to remove its asylum protection for Assange, and now Biden’s relentless extradition demands, is not to bring Assange to the US for trial – the [White House] does not want that – but to keep Assange caged and destroyed.

The United Nations has long condemned his treatment, saying the British government was “arbitrarily detaining” him without charge.

Responding to one X user who said the courts were simply “kicking the can” by postponing a judgement, Greenwald replied again:

Yes, but Assange quite reasonably views extradition to the US as the worst of all options, because if that happens, he will be disappeared into a dungeon, tried in E. Virginia with national security judges who convict everyone, and then will die in a US cage.

Appeals and hope for release

With this grim fate in mind, the Defend Assange Campaign released the following appeal for his immediate release on X:

Julian Assange will remain isolated, in a cell in the UK’s harshest prison for the foreseeable future, following today’s granting of an appeal by the UK high court[.]

For over 13 years detained in one form or another – it is time to bring this charade to an end…

Hopes that President Biden, seeking to reconcile his tarnished image with younger voters, would drop the charges against Assange seem to be fading.

What remains in this box is not hope, as with that of Pandora, but a man who dared expose the crimes of the rulers to the ruled.

His treatment is an example to us all, and it is one which speaks a dark truth about those who remain in power.

Former U.K. ambassador Craig Murray, a longtime supporter of Assange, spoke outside the courtroom following the news:

“We haven’t got Julian out just yet… But we are on the way… to victory in this battle,” he said.

Murray, who recalled the 12 years he has spent in supporting Assange, gave the crowd a resoundingly confident message:

And we are seeing at last an acknowledgement of the crucial importance of freedom of speech, freedom of information, and of the public’s right to know.

And those are the grounds on which we will win this case.

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COVID-19

Kansas AG sues Pfizer for misrepresenting COVID shot as ‘safe and effective’

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Kansas Attorney General Kris Kobach sues Pfizer for falsely claiming COVID shot is ‘safe and effective’

From LifeSiteNews

By Calvin Freiburger

Kansas’s approach of attempting to penalize Pfizer for misrepresenting the shots’ risks, rather than the risks themselves, could help get around the PREP Act, and if successful would establish a model for other states to follow.

Kansas Republican Attorney General Kris Kobach announced on Monday that he is suing pharmaceutical giant Pfizer over “multiple misleading statements” about the health risks and ineffectiveness of its mRNA-based COVID-19 shot, in a case that if successful could mark a turning point in the ongoing battle against the controversial injections.

“Pfizer misled Kansans about the vaccines’ risks, including to pregnant women and for myocarditis,” the complaint states, according to a press release from the attorney general’s office. “Additionally, Pfizer claimed its vaccine protected against COVID variants, despite data showing otherwise. The pharmaceutical giant also suggested its vaccine prevented COVID transmission, but later admitted it had never studied whether its vaccine stopped transmission.”

“The complaint also alleges that Pfizer coordinated with social media officials to censor speech critical of COVID-19 vaccines and declined to participate in the federal government’s vaccine development program, Operation Warp Speed, to avoid government oversight,” Kobach’s office further says.

READ: The Telegraph admits COVID shots may have helped cause over 3 million excess deaths

Among its attempts to deceive the public, Pfizer maintained its own adverse event database, which included cases not reported to the federal Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS), but “did not publicly release adverse events data from its database.” It also “did not disclose that its trial included only healthy individuals and excluded unhealthy individuals” and therefore “did not possess a reasonable basis to represent that it was safe for individuals who had been diagnosed with COVID-19, who were immunocompromised, or who were pregnant or breastfeeding,” according to the lawsuit.

The complaint maintains that Pfizer’s misrepresentations, which helped the company earn $75 billion in two years, constitute violations of the Kansas Consumer Protection Act, “regardless of whether any individual consumer ultimately received Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine.”

In a statement to Fox Business, Pfizer responded that its claims “have been accurate and science-based. The Company believes that the state’s case has no merit and will respond to the suit in due course.”

READ: Pfizer reportedly withheld presence of cancer-linked DNA in COVID jabs from FDA, Health Canada

significant body of evidence links significant risks to the COVID shots, which were developed and reviewed in a fraction of the time vaccines usually take under former President Donald Trump’s Operation Warp Speed initiative. Among it, VAERS reports 37,647 deaths, 216,757 hospitalizations, 21,741 heart attacks, and 28,445 myocarditis and pericarditis cases as of May 31, among other ailments. U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) researchers have recognized a “high verification rate of reports of myocarditis to VAERS after mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccination,” leading to the conclusion that “under-reporting is more likely” than over-reporting.

READ: Canadian father files $35 million lawsuit against Pfizer over son’s jab-related death

In Florida, a grand jury impaneled by Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis is currently investigating the manufacture and rollout of the COVID shots. In February, it released its first interim report on the underlying justification for Operation Warp Speed, which determined that lockdowns did more harm than good, that masks were ineffective at stopping COVID transmission, that COVID was “statistically almost harmless” to children and most adults, and that it is “highly likely” that COVID hospitalization numbers were inflated. The grand jury’s report on the jabs themselves is highly anticipated.

One long-standing impediment to holding Big Pharma accountable for the above issues has been the federal Public Readiness & Emergency Preparedness (PREP) Act of 2005, which, according to the Congressional Research Service (CRS), empowers the federal government to “limit legal liability for losses relating to the administration of medical countermeasures such as diagnostics, treatments, and vaccines.” Near the beginning of the COVID outbreak, the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) invoked the act in declaring the virus a “public health emergency.”

READ: 33-year-old father dies of immune disorder linked to Pfizer COVID vaccine, doctors say

Under this “sweeping” immunity, CRS explains, the federal government, state governments, “manufacturers and distributors of covered countermeasures,” and licensed or otherwise-authorized health professionals distributing those countermeasures are shielded from “all claims of loss” stemming from those countermeasures, with the exception of “death or serious physical injury” brought about through “willful misconduct,” a standard that, among other hurdles, requires the offender to have acted “intentionally to achieve a wrongful purpose.”

Kansas’s approach of attempting to penalize Pfizer for misrepresenting the shots’ risks, rather than the risks themselves, could help get around the PREP Act, and if successful would establish a model for other states to follow.

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espionage

EXCLUSIVE: Chinese ‘Cyber Police’ Agent Runs Online Network Helping Illegal Immigrants Flood Into US

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From the Daily Caller News Foundation

By PHILIP LENCZYCKI

 

“We’re allowing an element that is completely beyond our law to be established firmly as a beachhead in the United States of America, and the people of America are going to pay a severe price, much worse than we are paying even now”

A private social network run by a self-identified Chinese government agent provides illegal immigrants with resources to get into the U.S. and evade border authorities, a Daily Caller News Foundation investigation discovered.

The American Self-Guided Tour Channel is a Chinese-language group with over 8,000 members on the encrypted instant messaging platform Telegram that serves as both a forum for discussing Chinese illegal immigration and a hub for documents detailing specific routes to the U.S., a DCNF review of the channel found.

Documents in the Telegram channel translated by the DCNF identify U.S. border wall gaps, instruct Chinese nationals on how to answer questions from Border Patrol agents and provide scripts for requesting asylum.  

Furthermore, the channel is overseen by an individual who spreads Chinese Communist Party (CCP) propaganda, bans  accounts who fail to toe the Party line and identifies himself as a Chinese police officer.

“We’re allowing an element that is completely beyond our law to be established firmly as a beachhead in the United States of America, and the people of America are going to pay a severe price, much worse than we are paying even now,” North Carolina Republican Rep. Dan Bishop said after learning about the findings of the DCNF’s investigation.

Customs and Border Protection data shows that the overwhelming majority of the roughly 48,000 Chinese illegal immigrants encountered by U.S. authorities in 2024 have been single adults — and experts warn that “military-aged males” make up the lion’s share.

Bishop described the 1,100% spike in Chinese illegal immigrants since fiscal year 2022 as “historically unprecedented,” and told the DCNF that the inner workings of China’s human smuggling networks have largely remained a mystery to lawmakers up until now.

“Even people, like me, who’ve seen a lot of it have not yet totally come to grips with the sort of depth that you’ve described,” said Bishop, who chairs the House Homeland Security Committee’s Oversight, Investigations and Accountability subcommittee.

The DCNF discovered the American Self-Guided Tour Channel and several related Telegram groups facilitating Chinese illegal immigration after analyzing a Chinese illegal immigrant’s abandoned cell phone, which was found near the California-Mexico border by a San Diego man in January 2024.

Telegram did not respond to multiple requests for comment.

‘Try Alternate Identities’

Through a months-long review of the American Self-Guided Tour Channel, the DCNF discovered that the group contains documents instructing Chinese nationals on how to navigate the U.S. immigration system, including scripts for claiming asylum and answering questions from Border Patrol agents.

One document translated by the DCNF advises those wishing to apply for a green card in the U.S. to “be sure to prepare a story about your persecution in advance.”

Another document provides responses to questions Border Patrol agents may ask in order to establish whether or not an asylum-seeker has a credible fear of persecution from their home country. Under current law, migrants who claim “credible fear” of persecution can seek asylum in the U.S.

“Even if moving would be inconvenient, can you live safely elsewhere in the country?” reads one of the hypothetical questions.

“No, because the situation I’m facing is nationwide,” the suggested answer states. “Even if I move to another place, I’ll be under threat just as before.”

Another post provides templates on how to craft asylum claims based on political, religious, racial, sexual and even gender persecution, despite women comprising only a small fraction of Chinese illegal immigrants.

“I am [name, ancestral hometown] nationality, I was born on [birthday]. Because I suffered gender-based violence and discrimination in my motherland, I am seeking asylum in [country],” the document’s template on gender persecution states. “My family forced me to marry, they wanted me to marry a man much older than me. When I refused, they beat me and threatened me saying that if I didn’t obey, they’d kill me. After marrying, my husband started physically and mentally abusing me, I was forced to leave my home and live in hiding. I tried seeking help from the local government, but they’re either corrupt or unwilling to help me. If I am forced to return to [motherland], I fear for my life, there I will face more violence and discrimination.”

Documents stored on the channel indicate a relatively sophisticated understanding of the U.S. immigration system, with some featuring intricate flow-charts to map out various potential U.S. immigration pathways.

One such flow-chart suggests that, as a last resort, those who’ve received a deportation order, but lack a passport to return to their countries, may consider starting the immigration process over with a false identity.

“You can try alternate identities, [but] the difficulty is relatively high and Trump may invite you to a meeting with state security agents in the future,” the document states, referring to former President Donald Trump.

‘Crossing Point’

The American Self-Guided Tour Channel also serves as a hub for travel guides facilitating Chinese illegal immigration, some of which identify specific border crossing points between the U.S. and Mexico, the DCNF discovered.

The guides vary in their geographic scope, with some focusing on travel between multiple countries, such as from China to Ecuador, which Rep. Bishop told the DCNF doesn’t require a travel visa for Chinese nationals.

“Essentially without visas, as I understand it, they can fly to Ecuador, and then they have an overland route and come up and come right through the border,” Bishop said.

The Telegram channel’s guides commonly list Quito, Ecuador, and Necocli, Colombia, as the first and last travel locations in South America for Chinese illegal immigrants.

Other guides on the channel provide more detailed advice on how to travel through a single country. One guide for Mexico falls into this category and features a series of Google Map screenshots that chart a path between Tapachula, Mexico and Laredo, Texas.

While most of the guides concern travel through South and Central America, several also focus on where and how to cross the U.S. southern border.

One such document identifies 15 border wall gaps along the southern border, including 12 in California as well as crossing points in Arizona and New Mexico.

This guide also provides Chinese nationals with basic instructions on what to carry and how to make the crossing.

“Take a taxi to a location near the wall crossing point, get out, and head straight in, carrying a few hundred dollars in cash for random contingencies,” the document advises.

The DCNF confirmed the existence of several of the crossing points while visiting the California border in June 2024.

Bill Wells, the mayor of El Cajon, California, told the DCNF that Chinese nationals now constitute a significant portion of crossings near San Diego.

“When I’ve been out at the border, most of my interactions have been with Chinese people,” Wells said. “I’ve come across groups of Chinese people standing on the side of the road in the middle of the night waiting to be picked up. I’ve come across migrant encampments, where there’s 100 or so Chinese people waiting to move on to the next stage, maybe 30 yards from the fence where they just crossed.”

Despite this, Wells told the DCNF that local officials remain in the dark about how the human smuggling networks operate.

“We have no idea,” Wells said. “You would think that something of such major importance to not only the nation, but to municipalities, you would have somebody from the government calling you and saying, ‘Hey, this is what we know. This is what’s going on. This is how it’s going to affect you or not affect you.’”

Wells told the DCNF that he believes Chinese illegal immigration poses a serious national security threat to the U.S. and pointed to multiple sensitive military and public utility sites close to the U.S.-Mexico border near San Diego.

“There’s just so much to worry about from a committed enemy,” Wells said.

‘Cyber Police’

The DCNF’s review of the American Self-Guided Tour Channel also discovered that its owner — @wjackcn, or “Jack W” — claims to work as a cyber police officer stationed in China.

“Yes, I am cyber police,” Jack W stated on April 30, 2024, after an account in the channel asked him if he was a cyber police officer.

Cyber police serve China’s Ministry of Public Security by monitoring website content and spreading propaganda, according to federal authorities.

After identifying himself as a cyber police officer, Jack W outlined his policing duties in a post in which described himself as being “responsible for national security affairs, fighting reactionaries and foreign hostile forces.”

Later that day, Jack W directed channel members interested in national security work to apply to China’s premier civilian intelligence agency, the Ministry of State Security.

“If you want to work for the Ministry of State Security, please use the method of participating in the National Civil Servant exam,” Jack W told members of the Telegram channel.

Although the DCNF was unable to confirm Jack W’s affiliation with the Ministry of Public Security or Ministry of State Security, a review of the account’s posts found that it promoted Chinese illegal immigration and has banned members for expressing “hurtful opinions towards the motherland.”

In one instance, after a now-deleted account called for the CCP to be overthrown on April 22, 2024, Jack W banned 20 accounts.

The next month, Jack W announced he’d banned multiple accounts who’d criticized Chinese police officers.

“Those who disparaged an Urban Management and Law Enforcement video have already been banned,” Jack W announced on May 20, 2024, referring to a Chinese government agency that the U.S. nonprofit Human Rights Watch has described as a “thuggish para-police” tasked with enforcing non-criminal administrative regulations.

Jack W’s Telegram channel has also promoted CCP propaganda.

On June 4, 2024, the American Self-Guided Tour Channel posted an image of a tank with the caption: “Celebrating the 35th Anniversary of the Defeat of the Western-Backed Colour Revolution,” in reference to the 1989 Tiananmen Square Massacre, during which the Chinese government slaughtered as many as 10,000 pro-democracy protesters, according to the former British ambassador to China.

A DCNF review of the Telegram channel also discovered that, in addition to Jack W, several other members have identified themselves as Chinese police officersmilitary personnel and CCP members.

Rep. Bishop described Chinese illegal immigration as “the most astonishing threat.”

“Chinese nationals presenting at the southern border of the United States were almost unheard of previously,” Bishop told the DCNF.

In May 2024, Bishop chaired the House Homeland Security Committee’s Oversight, Investigations and Accountability subcommittee hearing concerning the approximately 8,000% increase in Chinese illegal immigration the U.S. has experienced since March 2021.

The hearing followed a January 2024 DCNF investigation revealing an internal Customs and Border Protection email showing that the Biden administration dramatically simplified the vetting process for Chinese illegal immigrants in April 2023 by reducing the number of interview questions Border Patrol agents are required to ask from roughly 40 down to just five.

“The experts that testified before the Subcommittee on Oversight that I chaired when we had a hearing on this established fairly persuasively that there is no vetting,” Bishop told the DCNF. “It’s a perfunctory, quick interview, and they move on into the country and are released.”

“China is the foremost adversary of the United States on the world stage,” Bishop warned. “Something’s descending on the United States that we should never have allowed to occur.”

Featured image courtesy of Denice Flores.

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