The third day of proceedings in the trial portion of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange's extradition hearing will begin shortly. I'll have live updates at this thread.
We are now starting 30 minutes later for the rest of extradition hearing so Assange can meet in person with his legal team each day.
On Day 2, human rights attorney Clive Stafford Smith testified in Assange extradition hearing.

Trump administration's retaliation against ICC officials investigating US torture and war crimes in Afghanistan—including by CIA—was highlighted by defense.…
Clive Stafford Smith's testimony on Day 2 specifically detailed how US diplomatic cables published by WikiLeaks helped to convince a court in Pakistan that CIA drone strikes violated human rights and were war crimes. #Assange
Not only did WikiLeaks expose evidence of US torture and war crimes, but the media organization also published documents showing how US officials obstruct investigations into these acts.

Also from Clive Stafford Smith on Day 2 #Assange
Court is in session. The first witness will be Paul Rogers, who is an emeritus professor of peace studies at Bradford University. His testimony will be used by defense to persuade judge Assange is targeted for political opinions.
Rogers: "Quite clear he is someone with strong political views" #Assange
Rogers testified Assange's opinions have resulted in clash with US administrations, including present administration that has moved to prosecute
Rogers: US gave "firm impression" that Afghanistan was under control. Some evidence existed that was not true. Evidence published by WikiLeaks confirmed "success was clearly not the case" #Assange
Rogers said WikiLeaks publication on Iraq "confirmed very strongly what had been apparent to some." Led to re-appraisal of Iraq War and acknowledgment of how it had gone bad and wrong for United States #Assange
Rogers emphasized that the Iraq War Logs "enabled a proper appreciation" for civilian deaths. Iraq Body Count did good work and through the incident reports found additional 15,000 civilian deaths #Assange
In talking about Assange's political views, Rogers referred to involvement in WikiLeaks Party in Australia in 2012.

Views are focus on transparency and accountability. Libertarian. Not limited to government but also includes corporations, trade unions, and NGOs.
Rogers referred to Mike Pompeo, Jeff Sessions, and Bill Barr in the Trump admin and said the Trump administration's hostility to Assange stems from their focus on what they perceive as "fake news."

They view Assange/WikiLeaks as threat to "normal political endeavors.
Rogers: "This does appear to be a political trial." Previous administration considered 8-9 years ago but decided it was not appropriate to take action. #Assange
Rogers consistently emphasizes the political shift that has taken place in the White House which led to pursuing charges. Trump believes he is beset by threats from the press, including by networked Fourth Estate which WikiLeaks is a part #Assange
James Lewis did cross-exam for prosecution. He challenged Rogers' concept of what constitutes political opinion. He attempted to scrutinize statements Assange has made on transparency but Rogers easily demonstrated how they were political
Lewis questioned Rogers about this prior statement by Assange:
Rogers replied to previously mentioned quote that it was interesting assessment suggesting as governments control more and more info, inevitable more info leaks out. Autocratic states hugely concerned with secrecy may be brought down by leaks. #Assange
As with Professor Mark Feldstein on Day 2, Lewis sought to contest whether Rogers was an "unbiased" expert. He objected to the fact that prosecutorial affidavits in the case were left out of his testimony. And questions became rather maddening for Rogers. #Assange
Lewis: Have you seen evidence indicting Mr. Assange?

Rogers replied he's tried to go over material but it is voluminous

Lewis repeated question then said no, Rogers hadn't because grand jury evidence remains under seal. #Assange
Rogers clarified that, of course, he had not seen evidence the United States is "reserving for its own hearing."

And that he didn't know how strong the evidence is, but who does? Because it isn't public. #Assange
Rogers attempted, though futilely, to make it clear his expert opinion was based on public information related to the case, and it is critically important to focus on change in politics in United States. #Assange
Lewis used Assistant US Attorney Gordon Kromberg's statements to insist federal prosecutors are required to act in manner free of political motivation

Rogers replied true in theory. But large portion of officials in US govt from political center (and can influence) #Assange
Lewis asked for evidence that actual prosecutors prosecute due to political bias other than standard criminal evidence

Rogers answered, "The person who directs Department of Justice is essentially a political appointee." #Assange
James Lewis read the rules for federal prosecution like they amounted to proof there is no political bias in the Assange case.

As Rogers said, the rules outline in theory how DOJ should operate. Doesn't mean it truly operates that way, free from politicization. #Assange
Lewis: If this was a political prosecution, wouldn't you expect Assange would be charged for publishing "Collateral Murder" video?

Rogers didn't understand what Lewis was getting at.
Lewis insisted the charges are narrowly limited to publications that named informants.

Rogers: "I understand that is what the prosecution is claiming."

Lewis didn't like the answer #Assange
Rogers [re: prosecutors' interpretation of case]: "That is the case made against him, and we stand to hear that if it does [ever] come to court."

Repeated his focus, which is why is this case being prosecuted by Trump administration #Assange
Lewis: "You don’t doubt or you’re not in position to say otherwise that there is not sufficient evidence to convict?

Rogers: "Since we have not heard the evidence, I can’t give a definitive answer to that." One cannot say "without knowing full evidence." #Assange
At this point in the cross examination, Rogers repeatedly asked to be able to elaborate and have time to fully answer questions put to him by the prosecutor. But Lewis would not allow him to speak fully. #Assange
Lewis moved on to repeating the same exact set of questions around coverage of the Obama administration and the decision to not prosecute Assange, which were put to Feldstein. I won't dwell on since Rogers' answers were close to what Feldstein said.
James Lewis, the prosecutor, seems to believe it is disputable and not a fact that the Obama administration didn't prosecute Assange. That's the only explanation I can come up with to explain why he's pursued these questions - twice. I question Lewis' grip on political realities.
Lewis, noting Assange was in the Ecuador embassy during Obama administration, asked, was it possible to arrest Assange?

Rogers: Is it necessary to actually be in a position to arrest before you actually decide to prosecute somebody? I’m not aware of that.
I'm not aware of this US government position to not charge if they are not able to conduct an arrest. @Snowden was charged under Espionage Act while still in Hong Kong. It's not like they could easily get to him. This makes no sense at all.
Lewis (again): "What would be the point of indicting him when he was not available for trial?"

Rogers: You don’t know when he would be available for arrest. It would put a great deal of pressure on him and the WikiLeaks organization. #Assange
During redirect by Edward Fitzgerald, defense attorney, Rogers said Chelsea Manning's commutation just before Obama left office may have been factor in Trump administration's decision to prosecute Assange.
Court returns from lunch break and—

We can't hear court. So judge quickly goes back to recess to address another tech problem #Assange
Court is back. Trevor Timm, co-founder of Freedom of the Press Foundation, takes the proverbial witness stand via video #Assange
The prosecution is giving defense witnesses 350-page plus bundles 24 hours before they are to testify, and they are expressing disbelief when they are not familiar with the contents. #Assange
I'll cover Lewis' cross-exam with Timm first then go back to highlight defense questions. Timm has been incredibly strong defense witness and formulated his answers in ways that make it impossible for prosecutor to trap him. #Assange
Lewis asked Timm if he feels threatened by prosecution

Timm said not myself personally. But he works on behalf of journalists, their work is under threat. #Assange
Lewis said but you tweeted a request for government employee to leak CIA torture report.

Timm replied, yes, I believe that is protected speech under the Constitution, but anybody who says that may find themselves under criminal liability [if prosecution succeeds] #Assange
Lewis: You appear to have an interest in the outcome?

Timm said most press freedom advocates fear that prosecution will lead to prosecution of other full-time reporters. "I am testifying on this case for that reason." #Assange
Lewis: Prosecution position in this case is Assange is not a journalist.

Timm: "I understand doesn’t matter whether US government considers Assange a journalist." New York Times and other outlets don't need issued press pass to have First Amendment rights
Lewis raised the government talking point that no responsible actor journalist or otherwise would publish names of individuals assisting US forces in war zones. And insisted that the Justice Department has gone out of its way to say they are not targeting journalists #Assange
Lewis asked, would responsible journalist, or in fact, any journalist publish name of third party when it is unnecessary to publish that name, when publishing would put that person's life in danger? #Assange
Timm answered, "Idea of who is or is not responsible journalist is different from what is illegal or legal conduct."

No court has said publication of names is illegal & Timm noted Congress considered law to make illegal after WikiLeaks publications. Didn't become law. #Assange
When pressed on whether he was saying he supported publishing cables with names, Timm said he did not think WikiLeaks had "perfect editorial judgement just like I'm not saying Guardian or NYT have perfect editorial judgement." #Assange
Timm continued, "Certainly do not think US government is entity that should be determining whether editorial judgments of a newspaper [were] sound or not."

Question isn't whether we agree with publication but if was illegal #Assange
Lewis: Why should your opinion be preferred over opinion of courts in United States?

Timm: "My opinion is in line with previous court opinions."

Never been publisher charged in this manner before, and Supreme Court precedent is "almost wholly on the side of Mr. Assange."
Lewis: Perfectly legal to publish to publish names of informants knowing it’s likely to result in their death?

Timm: I don't think anybody knows. In Chelsea Manning's trial, US government couldn't point to specific deaths that resulted. #Assange
Lewis: You say this is a war on journalism. You stand by that?

Timm: "I'm very glad you brought that up."

He went on to outline how Trump has called press "enemies of the people" and disparaged them over 2200 times, particularly with his Twitter account. #Assange
In one spectacular moment, Timm was asked by Lewis—like previous witnesses—about statements from AUSA Kromberg in EDVA. He said he didn't think it was accurate to suggest Assange isn't being criminalized for passively receiving classified information.
Lewis: You said decision to indict was part of war on jouranlism. Wouldn't federal rules of prosecution be contrary to that?

Timm: "Yes, absolutely. This is why I am stating that I don't think this prosecution should go forward." #Assange
Lewis: If this was a decision to indict Assange in war on journalism, would be contrary to federal rules. Them acting in bad faith. That's the consequence of your argument.

Timm: Yes, and if they did breach obligations, hope there would be accountability #Assange
At this point, Summers, defense attorney rose to say Lewis' time was up. One hour had passed. Lewis was extremely upset. #Assange
The judge said she would allow him to continue, and they would reconsider time limits for witnesses. Rather petulantly, Lewis then shared, "Well, in fact, I'm finished." #Assange
I'd say both Timm and Rogers were very strong defense witnesses, especially because they were able to handle the lines of questioning from prosecutor James Lewis and not fall into any traps. #Assange
When defense questioned Timm, he highlighted the half dozen times in the past half century, where various US admins threatened to use Espionage Act against reporters but never made good on threats. #Assange
Summers asked Timm about the AIPAC case brought against Steve Rosen and Keith Weissman under the Espionage Act

They allegedly received information and passed that on to other journalists. #Assange
In regard to the AIPAC case, Timm said, "Journalists were worried it could [lead] to cases against them."

US govt ultimately dropped the case, though one lawyer familiar with it told WaPo govt had wanted precedent as "a weapon that could be turned against media." #Assange
Timm said the indictment makes it seem like having a submission system where whistleblowers can send documents is some "malicious anomaly." Or fact that WL was asking potential sources for info is criminal #Assange
.@FreedomofPress, where Timm is executive director, built a tool called SecureDrop, an open source version of a whistleblower submission system. He told court it is used by over 80 news organizations (Guardian, NYT, WSJ, USA Todya, etc). #Assange
The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), known for Panama Papers investigation, explicitly state on their page that sources should leak to them. They solicit leaks, Timm told the court. This is common news practice in 2020. #Assange
I'll be live with a video report on Day 3 of Assange's extradition hearing in just a moment:


Trump’s “war on journalism” take center stage during Julian Assange’s extradition hearing…

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More from @kgosztola

10 Sep
The fourth day of proceedings in the trial portion of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange's extradition hearing will begin shortly. I'll have live updates at this thread.
Yesterday, the legal team called Paul Rogers, a peace studies professor at Bradford University, to testify on how prosecution has targeted Assange for his political opinions.

One political opinion highlighted:

"...if wars can be started by lies, peace can be started by truth." Image
Also, on Day 3, defense witness Trevor Timm called attention to what New York Times Washington bureau chief Max Frankel declared about the role of "secrets" in his affidavit to federal court in Pentagon Papers case. #Assange Image
Read 23 tweets
8 Sep
The second day of proceedings in the trial portion of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange's extradition hearing will begin shortly. I'll have live updates at this thread.
Though from yesterday, this is a comprehensive list from Professor Mark Feldstein, witness who testified on Day 1 about frequency of published leaks in journalism.

The list includes over 20 examples from 1844-2018. #Assange
Feldstein declared in conclusion of statement to court, "[Trump] admin has already won partial victory."

And, "An informed public depends on free
& independent press that can serve as check on governmental abuse of power—kinds of abuses that WikiLeaks made public." #Assange
Read 57 tweets
7 Sep
The first day of trial portion of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange’s extradition hearing will begin at the top of the hour. I’ll have live updates at this thread when it begins.
We're still waiting to begin. Apparently, the temperature in Court No. 10 at the Old Bailey is too hot. Wonder if this will be a problem throughout the day that Assange must deal with while trying to follow proceedings.
"Court No. 10 here. Would it be possible to bring up Mr. Assange?"
Read 64 tweets
4 Aug
Bellingcat rips off “intelligence agency of the people” motto WikiLeaks popularized, when in fact it’s far from it. It is faux WikiLeaks funded by national security state grant $$$ and allied think tank projects. Barely a footnote in history compared to impact WikiLeaks has had
Not even the US government which backs Eliot and Bellingcat’s organization believes it is the “intelligence agency of the people.” Otherwise, officials would feel threatened and have a grand jury investigating Bellingcat so they could shut them down.
Bellingcat is the Wormtongue of WikiLeaks wannabe organizations that don’t even want to be WikiLeaks - and aren’t even accepting leaks. But they are deceptively engaged in information operations that are influenced by Western countries’ security apparatuses
Read 5 tweets
26 Jun
US Justice Department issued another superseding indictment against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

While no charges were added, DOJ significantly—and alarmingly—expanded scope of computer crime conspiracy charge.

Let's take a deeper dive and unpack some crucial details.
WLA-2 is Daniel Domscheit-Berg, who was a spokesperson for WikiLeaks.

"The Most Wanted Leaks" list contained documents human rights groups, lawyers, historians, journalists, and activists believed the public deserved to read.

Prosecutors have grossly inflated its significance.
WLA-3 is Jacob Appelbaum, a digital privacy activist who sometimes represented WikiLeaks at conferences.

This is prime example of how prosecutors seized upon statements made by WikiLeaks staff/associates to criminalize any statements that encouraged sources to submit documents.
Read 20 tweets
20 Apr
Democratic Majority For Israel's Super PAC, @DMFIPAC, celebrated their role in stopping Bernie Sanders from becoming Democratic presidential nominee.

Records from January to March 2020 further reveal who is/was behind this AIPAC-front group.

Andrew Viterbi contributed $200,000 to @DMFIPAC on February 11 and March 10. Viterbi is 85 year-old co-founder of Qualcomm. He's given millions to boost electrical engineering for Israeli security companies.
Andrew Viterbi previously was a trustee in "Leadership Circle" for the Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP), a pro-Israel think tank. WINEP's neoconservative Viterbi Program On Iran And US Policy is named after him.
Read 30 tweets

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