#JulianAssange hearings Part 2 - Day 7 (Thread)

Court is scheduled to sit at 10:00 am.

Next 2 defence witnesses due to be called:

1) John Goetz (German investigative journo, morning)
2) Daniel Elsberg (Pentagon Papers whistleblower, late afternoon)

via @SputnikInt
“Now it is far more common but at the time it was very unique”

– John Goetz tells court about working with competing news outlets in the “bunker” with WikiLeaks on the Afghanistan Diaries/War Logs
“At that time I remember being very, very irritated of the constant unending reminders by Assange that we needed to be secure, that we needed to encrypt things, that we needed to encrypt chats…”

- John Goetz
“The amount of precautions around the safety of the material …[I thought was] paranoid and crazy”… though it has since “become journalistic practice”

[non-verbatim] Of course, there was sensitivity [over the material] and was one of the things we talked about time after time
Mr Assange’s approach to the sensitivity: “He was very concerned with the technical aspect of trying to find the names in this massive collection of documents. This was the first time anyone was dealing with this massive[…] it was tens of thousands of documents.
... I remember he and everyone were discussing [ways to find] these sensitive names.”

Mark Summers QC: Why?

"Well so that we could redact them. So that we could take measures to ensure that they weren’t published so that they would not be harmed" - John Goetz
"I remember we interviewed Julian Assange about the harm minimisation.. shortly before the publication, we were down in the ground floor restaurant of The Guardian and we published the results where he described the harm minimisation process and he described how we sought...
... to protect innocents from being harmed" - John Goetz

It was agreed that the NYT [would contact the White House as part of the "harm minimisation" process:

"because the team we were working with were based in Washington… they also had connections… they sent a delegation
to the White House [for] their concerns about the publication, we let them know what we were doing"

The result being:
"Eric Shmid (sp?) when he got out of the meeting said the White House was asking for redactions and they passed on the message to the White House that...
...WikiLeaks would redact 15,000 documents & also said that WikiLeaks would be open to receiving suggestions regarding names It was communicated to the White House that 15,000 would not be published [for the harm minimisation process] and that is also what happened" - John Goetz
Q. It may be suggested to you that redaction process wasn’t robust enough and that names got through the net..

A. I have not seen an example… I don’t know of that
"The redaction process developed over time because it was the first time this kind of thing was done" John Goetz says adding that:
"With the Iraq War logs WikiLeaks kind of overshot and deleted even more things than the Defence Department
... [themselves did via Freedom of Information requests]

"I do also remember about the Iraq War Logs I got an email from David Leigh who said the publication was being delayed […] because WikiLeaks was taking [so long] to remove [redact] ‘bad stuff’ " - John Goetz
A similar process was followed with the Diplomatic Cables, says John Goetz.

He notes at the end that:

"David Leigh and Luke Harding who published the book where the password gets mentioned"
*CROSS-EXAMINATION HAS BEGUN*
Asked about WikiLeaks publishing previously redacted documents John Goetz says, "... WikiLeaks re-published what was already on Cryptome"

James Lewis QC: "It is the governments case that before Cryptome published manyunredacted cables themselves were published by WikiLeaks"
Cross went back and forth on when, how & why the full diplomatic cables were published.

Then cross ended with some odd questions about Mr Assange's personality. 10-minute break has been declared. Re-examination will recommence at 11:11.
Re-examination will commence NOT re-commence at 11:10. It hasn't begun. Cross-examination is completed.
Re-exaimination recovered clarified the issues discussed above with John Goetz ended making clear:

"Cryptome published the unredacted cables first I don’t think there is any dispute about that. So WikiLeaks did was republish."

*John Goetz testimony is over*
Now there is discussion about reading publicly a statement from CIA torture and rendition victim Mr El Masri and other potential statements.

Mr Lewis thinks it is inappropriate.

Judge says the USG didn't contest the statement.

*Break 'till 12:30*
There were repeated attempts by prosecution lawyers to "obfuscate" what happened in respect of the publication of the unredacted Diplomatic Cables, Kristinn Hrafnsson explains. He notes WikiLeaks re-published the docs only after Cryptome published them.
He also says that the password to the unredacted documents was "incompetently" published by 2 Guardian journalists in their book despite being repeatedly told of the importance that said password should remain secret.
I understand from people inside the court that from 12.30 - 1pm when the Al Masri statement about his rendition and torture by the CIA was due to be read instead the discussion focused on opposition by the prosecution to the evidence being read out. The video link wasn't working.
Hands off Assange written onto the street in chalk.
'Harm Minimisation': #Assange Meticulously Redacted Docs Before Publication, Defence Witness Says

My review of this morning's crucial testimony

sputniknews.com/uk/20200916108…
It is reportedly the case that Jen Robinson will testify today, but not neccessarily Daniel Ellsberg as was originally expected.

Will update once more is known.
Correction it seems that a witness will be speaking over video link. If so then it may well end up being Mr Ellsberg.
Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg has just been sworn in.
Mr Ellsberg graduated from Harvard, served as a marine in the US military, was special assistant to the assitant Secretary of Defence, served in the Embassy in Saigon, Veitnam. He was a member of a McNamara Task Force which produced a 47-volume Top Secret study entitled
"History of U.S. Decision-making in Vietnam 1945-68," later known as the Pentagon Papers. He ultimately made copies and provided them to the New York Times and Washington Post because he belived "these 7,000 pages of top secret documents demonstrated that the...
...conduct of the war in Vietnam had, over more than one administration, been started and continued by the US Government in the knowledge that it could not be won, and that President Johnson and his administration had lied...
... to Congress and to the public in relation to its origins, costs and prospects."

Mr Ellsberg was charged under the Espionage Act and faced 115 years in prison. Though the charges were ultimately dismisssed due to governmental miscounduct, which Mr Ellsberg described in his
witness statement as:

"criminal actions towards me which led in turn to the convictions of several administration officials."
that it would end successfully at all... and had possibility of changes government policy towards the war and a possible negotiated settlement"
"It was clear to me that these revelations [from WikiLeaks] like the Pentagon Papers had the capability of informing the public.. that we had been seriously mislead about the nature of the war, the progress of the war..."
"extraordinary and absurd" that it should be challenged that Julian Assange had political opinions. "I recognised very comparable political opinions". - Daniel Ellsberg
"Afghan War logs consisted of low-level reports of the kind that I had written in Vietnam"

"That’s the difference between the Pentagon Papers which were high level reports and the Afghan and Iraq War logs which were low level field reports" - Daniel Ellsberg
"Despite the great differences in terrain, religion, language, obvious differences" the basic elements of the war namely "endless statlemate” show great similarities between Afghanistan and Veitnam Daniel Ellsberg
"Torture had become so normalised and death squads and assassination that it could be trusted to a secret level... network of hundreds of thousands “a shocking fact”, Mr Ellsberg says such behaviour has become so mundane that it would be available to so many service personnell.
“It was startling to discover” that torture and death squads were no longer considered so sensitive, he says, remarking on the publication of Afghanistan and Iraq War Logs.
"I did not get a fair trial, no one since me has gotten a fair trial, Julian Assange could not get remotely get a fair trial under what he has done... in the United States" - Mr Ellsberg says.
Mr Ellsberg was never permitted to address his motives during his own trial

"It turns out that every single case since then, two before President Obama, 9 under President Obama, has been interpreted as a strict liability law, in which relation to motive or context is irrelevant"
Speaking about "Collateral Murder" video:

“Had we been told by the government that that was an aberrant even which lead to punishment as we watch them laughing... had we learned that was clearly a violation of ROE …
...that would be if anything reassuring that the laws of war were being adequately served. We had been told that there was no punishment had not been violated” - Daniel Ellsberg
Mr Lewis is now telling Mr Ellsberg is that the only charges against Mr Assange are explicitly limited to the publication of classified documents that "contained the unredacted names" of government informants, rather than the collateral murder video or any other docs.
"[Collateral Murder] pays not part in these proceedings" Mr Lewis says.

Q. "It's right, isn't it, that in fact when you published the Pentagon Papers you were very careful about what you provided to the media?"

Ellsberg: A. I did withhold 3/4 volumes out of 47 from the media.
A. I was afraid that the government use the documents as an excuse for the failure of the negotiations or even for them to be terminated.

"I wanted to get in the way of the way I did not want to get in the way of the negotiations"
Q. Were the names of persons published in the Pentagon Papers that cause a risk to them or personal harm?

A. In one case, yes.
"I wanted above all to demonstrate a negative... Nowhere in the 4,000 pages I was releasing to the public.. nowhere was there an adequate reason for the killing we were doing"
Mr Ellsberg explains that he was afraid that if he left out information people would think he had left out the “good reason” for all the killing.
The one person whom Mr Ellsberg named was a friend of his "a clandestine CIA case officer who had been involved in the assassination of the [Vietnamese President] Ngo Dinh Diem".
Mr Lewis reads the opinion of the lawyer who represented the New York Times in the Pentagon Papers prior restraint injunction case in which he explains why he thinks WikiLeaks is not the same as the case of the Pentagon Papers.
Floyd Abrams, the lawyer who represented the NYT, made the following argument in relation to Mr Assange and comparisons with Mr Ellsberg.

theatlantic.com/politics/archi…
I would say the Mr Abrams does "not understand my motives very well" and that whilst such people don't criticise me they do so criticise people such as Ed Snowden and Mr Assange. - Mr Ellsberg says
They want to make a distinction "which in my view is entirely misleading" giving a common misconception that Julian believes in dumping information without distinction, Mr Ellsberg says of Mr Assange's critics such as Floyd Abrams.
They want to make a distinction "which in my view is entirely misleading" giving a mis common misconception that Julian believes in dumping information without distinction.
They are now discussing the argument that some informants or sources experienced not only potential harm but actual harm.
Mr Lewis is reading a statement that says gives examples of harm including an Ethiopian journalist who reportedly fled the country after being interrogated following the publication of a WikiLeaks document.
Mr Lewis is reading from many alleged examples of people who were placed in danger by WikiLeaks:

These sourecs included journalists, religious leaders, political dissidents.

Local Afghans and Iraqis who had provided information to US coalition forces, Chinese, Iranians.
People at risk in Iran, identified and outed, two specific individuals, along with many other people who regularly whom Assange named as having provided information to US diplomats. Iranians who spoke to the US without authorisation faced reprisals. Mr Lewis says.
When asked whether the idea that noone was harmed is "complete nonsense" by Mr Lewis.

Mr Ellsberg responded: I find the government highly cynical and I will explain why…
"I have read all those passaged last night. Tell me if I am incorrect it is my understanding that all of these people who felt they were in danger, with reason in many cases, asking for help… to be removed.. am I right in believing that not one of them who were subject to
..threats and interrogation actually suffered physical harm?

Where anyone of the subject to death, violent harm or incarceration?
Isn’t the answer no? Am I mistaken about that?" - Mr Ellsberg Asks.

Mr Lewis says the rules are the witness doesn't get to ask the questions.
Mr Ellsberg asks if he will be able to answer the question then, Judge ultiamtely decides that his questions contained the his answer and the defence will have the opportunity to re-examine.
Mr Assange speaks out from the dock. It sounded like he said he was being defamed. Judge says she doesnt want to have to remove him and that he must speak via his lawyers.

[I HAVE JUST BEEN DISCONNECTED FROM THE CONFERENCE]
Ok so in addition to me being disconnected a bunch of other people were also kicked out. We are have been let back in but the feed to the court itself has yet to be re-established. This is during key cross-examination of Mr Ellsberg
Ok now we are back in and can hear what is said in court. But have lost about 7 minutes or so.
Cross-examination has ended. Re-examination commences
Ed Fitzgerald: Has sought to obtain a response from Mr Ellsberg as to why Mr Assange is being prosecuted as per the other 15 counts which don't relate to alledgedly revealing sources and identities.
Pentagon Papers "had literally hundreds if not thousands of people named in the Pentagon Papers.. of Americans,... North Vietnamese and South Veitnamese", Mr Ellsberg says noting that his decision to withold 4 volumes of the PP had nothing to do with protecting potential sources
"I see no difference between the charges against Assange and the charges made against me and in connection with the illegal acts of surveillance in my cases involved warrantless wiretaps and attempts to incapacitate me", Mr Ellsberg also says.
re-examination over. Mr Ellsberg's testimony has finished. Court adjourned till 10am tomorrow.
John Rees, of WikiLeaks official @DEAcampaign, gives a rundown of what he considered to be key aspects of Daniel Ellsberg's testimony and attempts by the US government to challenge it.

via @SputnikInt
Rebecca Vincent (@rebecca_vincent), of Reporters Without Borders who is monitoring the case, describes why she thinks the witness testimony today was "very strong" and also notes continuing problems for would-be observers such as Amnesty International.

via @SputnikInt

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More from @MElmaazi

18 Sep
#JulianAssange hearings Part 2 - Day 9 (Thread)

Court to sit at 10:00 am.

Next 2 defence witnesses due to be called:

1) TBC (morning)
2) Carey Shenkmam (lawyer spec. in human rights & constitutional law, afternoon)

via @SputnikInt
John Pilger, John Shipton and Fidel Narvaez arrive at the Old Bailey.
Nicolas Hager, journalist, has just been sworn in via video link.
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17 Sep
#JulianAssange hearings Part 2 - Day 8 (Thread)

Court to sit at 10:00 am.

Next 2 defence witnesses due to be called:

1) Prof John Sloboda (co-founder Iraq Body Count, morning)
2) Carey Shenkmam (lawyer spec. in human rights & constitutional law, afternoon)

via @SputnikInt
Ed Fitzgerald QC, barrister on Julian Assange's defence team, enters the Old Bailey at 9.18AM.
@khrafnsson, @StellaMoris1 and @suigenerisjen enter the Old Baily as people clap for them from across the street.
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9 Sep
#JulianAssange hearings Part 2 - Day 3 (Thread)

Court is expected to sit from 10:30 am rather than 10am to offer #Assange the opportunity to meet with his lawyers due to the defence team's inability to access their client after the end of each day.

via @SputnikInt
John Shipton - #JulianAssange's father - arrives on his birthday to observe the third day of his son's substantive extradition hearings.

He gives @SputnikInt his brief view as to the events of yesterday's hearings.

#Assange
.@suigenerisjen (one of #JulianAssange's lawyers who will testify Trump admin offered a pardon to #Assange via congressman Dana Rohrabacher in exchange for proving that Russia was not the source of the #DNCLeaks sputniknews.com/uk/20200225107…) arrives w/ @StellaMoris1 Assange's partner
Read 125 tweets
8 Sep
#JulianAssange hearings Part 2 - Day 2 (Thread)

Between 2 - 3 defence witnesses are expected to testify today

via @SputnikInt
WikiLeaks editor-in-chief @KHraafnsson explains that he expects witnesses to rebut “absurdities” from prosecutors that #JulianAssange is not a journalist & that his activities – which are the subject the US indictment against him – aren’t journalistic activities

Via @SputnikInt
WikiLeaks editor-in-chief @khrafnsson:

“There will be witnesses called today… probably gonna hear more arguments basically dismissing all these absurdities &the claims that Julian is not a journalist and his activity outlined in this horrendous indictment are not journalistic..
Read 99 tweets
7 Sep
#JulianAssange hearings Part 2 - Day 1 (Thread)

Case starts off w/ formal recognition of the new arrest warrant reflecting superseding indictment. Judge Baraitser then explains that numerous people received right to view the hearing via video link "in error"

via @SputnikInt
She also says that in order to preserve the "integrity of the court" it may be necessary to review the right to view proceedings via video link if pictures or screenshots of the court are circulated (as happened in February).
Judge is currently challenging Ed Fitzgerald QC (defence counsel) as to why it is neccessary for the witnessess to give any summary of thier witness statements which she has already read. The court asked why they shouldn't proceed straight to cross examination.
Read 40 tweets
7 Apr
(THREAD) At Westminster Magistrates' Court for #JulianAssange's last scheduled case management hearing. This is the final hearing listed before the substantive extradition hearings are due to begin again in May. I will tweet from today's court hearing via this thread. @SputnikInt
Court officer explains that there is a delay because they are trying to sort out the audio so journalists can hear properly when submissions are being made. A number of the people making submissions, including lawyers, will be doing so remotely.
Press and public allowed into Court Room 9. No lawyers physically present (they may all end up making. Prison officers told the court #Assange is not being introduced because he is unwell.
Read 32 tweets

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