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16 Sep, 87 tweets, 26 min read
Day six of the Assange Trial (Wednesday, Sept 16) Live updates will be threaded here for ease of access and sharing.
Today's first witness is John Goetz, who was present during the Guardian interviews and refutes claims that JA said "informants deserve to die". His testimony is expected to be shorter than previous witnesses. Below is his signed affidavit on the matter.
#AssangeCase
Proceedings are ready to start.
Witness is already video linked in, here is hoping all goes well with the feed for once.
#AssangeCase
Goetz opens talking about his background. He is an award winning investigative reporter for Der Spiegal (Germany), who met with Assange in 2010 over information on the Afghanistan war.
#AssangeCase
Together, he and Assange researched the Afghan War Logs, leading to the revelation of a secret US military assassination team.
#AssangeCase
Goetz says Assange forced everyone to use encrypted devices and was extremely concerned about making sure names were properly redacted so no one came to any harm.
#AssangeCase
Through the NYT, they contacted White House admin and redacted over 15,000 documents in order to protect innocent people.
#AssangeCase
Goetz says Der Spiegal published first with other outlets following *before* wikileaks published them, and to his knowledge; no one was able to obtain sensitive names through this process.
#AssangeCase
Goetz says that, so concerned was WL about innocent people being harmed, that they ended up delaying publishing materials on Iraq due to the numerous amount of redactions they made.
#AssangeCase
By the time WL had released the Iraq War Logs, quite a few of their redacted documents had been released in full by the U.S. government, unredacted.
#AssangeCase
Goetz is now discussing his work in 2011 on behalf of Khaled El-Masri, who was kidnapped and tortured by the CIA in Macedonia, although he was innocent of any charge. An estimated 3000 were kidnapped and tortured by the CIA between 2001 and 2005.
#AssangeCase
Goetz tracked down the CIA kidnappers, who admitted to, among other horrors, forcefully sodomizing El-Masri.
#AssangeCase
An arrest warrant was prepared over the matter in Germany. Later on, Leaked US gov cables revealed that the US gov. had forcefully pressured Germany not to arrest the responsible parties, and to bury the issue.
#AssangeCase
Witness again discussing WL redactions process.
Says Initial partners saw everything, *sorry audio is muffled here* they then disseminated it in part to multiple parties all over the world who had strict confidentiality agreements with WL who helped redact portions.
#AssangeCase
Witness says initially, the US Gov would contact them with pages they were concerned about being released, so WL could redact, but that eventually this stopped because the WH felt it was pointing them to interesting stories.
#AssangeCase
Defense has asked about why there were unredacted cables then, and has asked Goetz to comment in the book by David Leigh, which contained an apparent code word to said unredacted cables.
Witness is speaking ...
#AssangeCase
DoJ interupts and says because it is not in the Witness's witness statement, he is not entitled to answer this question, the judge agrees, the question is withdrawn.
(good old DoJ preventing truth from being heard yet again)
#AssangeCase
DoJ now doing cross-ex for Goetz
#AssangeCase
Goetz testifies that although the unredacted cables were published, it was only after they had been put online by a Guardian "Journalist" who had revealed WL secure server password. They were hosted on a site called Cryptome.
#AssangeCase
DoJ and witness are scuffling over timing of unredacted cable release. DoJ pointing to prosecution claims that WL published a week before; witness disagrees with their assertion.
#AssangeCase
Witness (Goetz) asks if DoJ has an actual example of a sensitive name released by WL. DoJ says no, but that they will later on.
#AssangeCase
Goetz is discussing his own frustrations with WL redactions process, that it was time-consuming and expensive, although effective.
#AssangeCase
Documents could be held by WL for over a year in order to protect sources and names and ensure proper redactions were made. Slow rollouts bothered him (Goetz)
#AssangeCase
DoJ asks witness if his employer (Der Spiegel) had approved of the unredacted release. Witness says no that they publicly condemned the unredacted cables published by WL; but he was not working for them at the time.
#AssangeCase
DoJ cites a WH email asking WL not to publish the 15,000 documents, but that WL released them unredacted anyways.
#AssangeCase
Witness clarifies for DoJ that in fact those were different documents entirely. Unrelated to the Afghan war logs.
#AssangeCase
DoJ asks about Julians demeanor, if he "has a sense of humor and is likeable".
Witness replies he is unsure really but would assume so and has heard that yes.
#AssangeCase
Prosecution rests and we have a short ten-minute break.
#AssangeCase
Court is back. Defense is now talking to witness Goetz.
Defense questions if any sensitive names were leaked into public from redacted cables WL published in 2010-2011
Witness says not that he is aware of.
Def questions if Witness was present.
Witness says yes.
Def asks if Leigh was present.
Witness says yes.
#AssangeCase
Documents that had been marked "strictly protect" are being discussed.
Witness says they referred to cables that had a politically sensitive nature for the US Gov.
DoJ objects and says labels were for names contains within, not docs.
Witness disagrees.
#AssangeCase
Defense is asking witness about Ken Dilanian who was fired for talking to the CIA before reporting on a story about them (he would send them draft stories and mop up for then when needed. mockingbird style).
#AssangeCase
Witness brings up Manning trial and says that it already showed the releases didnt actually harm anyone specifically.
#AssangeCase
Defense again asks if WL releases from 2011 were classified or unclassified.
Witness again replies unclassified.
#AssangeCase
Defense presents to witness an article showing that Cryptome published the unredacted information first, proving the DoJ claim about WL doing it first is unequivocally false.
#AssangeCase
Witness says wikileaks at the time tried to prevent people from having access to the unredacted materials (for fear of innocent people being hurt), and attempted to prevent publishing a Die Freitag article that pointed to the unredacted information on Cryptome.
#AssangeCase
Defense and DoJ are arguing over whether El- masri (CIA kidnapping and torture victim) statement by witness can be read aloud to the court.
#AssangeCase
DoJ relents in a childish manner saying it will waste half an hour to do so but go ahead.
#AssangeCase
Defense began to read El-Masri statement but then the Judge objected and now DoJ is saying they mlneed to argue over its admissibility.
#AssangeCase
Judge orders recess for an hour while this is discussed.
Court rises.
#AssangeCase
Court is back in session.
They are still arguing over the El-Masri testimony.
#AssangeCase
Im leaving this here so anyone reading this thread can understand why the DoJ is so against this being read aloud or admitted as part of Goetz' testimony.
#AssangeCase
Court again adjourns for a few minutes so Assange can confer with his lawyers.
#AssangeCase
We resume with Defense asking judge for more time to consider the El-Masri testimony, she gives them until 2; an hour from now.
#AssangeCase.
Court has adjourned for lunch.
Currently arguments over admitting the El-Masri testimony are still being had. Because it is absolutely damning to the DoJ; they are fighting against it any way that can. Claiming it is irrelevant to any charge in Assange indictment.
#AssangeCase
The judge has asked the defense and prosecution to come to an agreement on the el-masri testimony (not sure how that helps). Next witness is ready.
#AssangeCase
Up on video link as a witness is Daniel Ellsberg, who released the Pentagon Papers in 1971 that showed the Johnson admin (LBJ) had systematically lied to the public and congress about their involvement in Vietnam, including several bombings and military engagements.
#AssangeCase
Technical difficulties with Witness video link.
Court is paused while this is fixed.
#AssangeCase
Audio is good so court is proceeding with that, witness was just sworn in
#AssangeCase
Witness requests people speak slowly because he cannot hear well in general. (he is 89)
#AssangeCase
Ellsberg explains he was a marine who later worked for US Gov during Vietnam.
He discovered wrongdoing and a coverup by admin, and copied classified documents that he gave to NYT. These were the pentagon papers.
#AssangeCase
He was prosecuted under espionage act but charges were dismissed due to Gov Misconduct.
#AssangeCase
Witness says he sympathizes with Assange and was impressed at Manning's courage in facing a possible death sentence to get important information to the public.

(I agree, thank you @xychelsea)
#AssangeCase
Witness says it is absurd to say Assange has no political leanings. But that Afghan logs showed it was a war of aggression, like vietnam, and wrong.
There was no transparency, many lies being told to the public, & that JA was anything but reckless in releasing them.
#AssangeCase
Witness explains that Assange exposed egregious war crimes, that today would be highly classified but because torture and assassinations had been so normalized, were accessible to a system used by hundreds of thousands of people.
#AssangeCase
Witness on "Collateral Murder" Leak: "There was no question to me that what I was witnessing at the time was murder. In fact the problematic word in the title was 'Collateral', implying that it was unintended. This was murder, and a war crime."
#AssangeCase
A reminder: The Collateral Murder video from WL showed US troops gunning down children and those attempting to rescue them.
#AssangeCase
DoJ is now questioning witness and begins by clarifying that Assange is being prosecuted for obtaining classified documents, not publishing them.
Witness says this is a very misleading idea.
#AssangeCase
Witness (Ellsberg) says that DoJ is wrong. Assange is not only being charged with the three counts of obtaining classified information. There are 15 other unrelated counts charged.
(I hope I am this sharp at 89)

#AssangeCase
DoJ now quoting Kromberg again on scope of Charges dealing with name redactions.
#AssangeCase
DoJ questioning witness on Pentagon Papers released.
Witness disussing his unwillingness to provide media with all information he provided to congress because of ongoing peace negotiations at the time & that he feared the Gov would nix the peace agreements over it.
#AssangeCase
Witness states that the Pentagon Papers proved there was absolutely no justification for the mass murder in the Vietnam War.
#AssangeCase
Witness (ellsberg) says press left people unaware of there being two cases over Pentagon Papers. One was the trial over publishing them.
The other was his own criminal Trial.
#AssangeCase
DoJ is trying to push differences between the Pentagon Papers release and WL releases in terms of 'getting in the way of diplomacy'.
#AssangeCase
Witness: People say that Julian and Manning just dumped everything with no regard. Julian withheld 15,000 docs (Afghan war logs), engaged in heavy redactions, spoke to the US Gov. on redactions and they (US Gov.) refused to redact a single one.
#AssangeCase
DoJ again reading through Kromberg about sources and names at a rapid pace.

Witness interupts to ask if he will be able to reply or if they are almost out of time.
#AssangeCase
Witness again interupts the speed reading DoJ and asks to reply

DoJ asks quickly: isnt it nonsense that there was no harm?

Witness says no, and if you let me explain...
#AssangeCase
Witness asks if he is right that none of the people listed actually suffered any physical harm

DoJ says he is not allowed to ask questions.
#AssangeCase
Witness protests this; Judge says he can answer when defense has their turn with him.

Assange yelled something out in protest, couldnt quite hear it, judge admonishes him and says it is not allowed in the courtroom.
#AssangeCase
Judge then threatens, again, to remove Assange from her courtroom.
#AssangeCase
Witness says Assange was trying to end a war that caused 37 million refugees and over a million deaths, and that the context of names redactes needs to be placed within the scope of reality
#AssangeCase
DoJ asks Are you saying no one was placed in grave danger?

Witness replies: Not purposefully, not by WikiLeaks.

#AssangeCase
DoJ asks about people disappeared in afghanistan iraq syria etc. Says common sense says they were murdered.
-
Witness replies: It doesn't seem obvious to me at all that this small percentage of the many people murdered in these wars can be attributed to Wikileaks.
#AssangeCase
Defense now has a short time to re-examine witness.
Defense begins to ask witness about what he thinks prosecutions motive is behind charges on obtaining clasified docs.
Kidge interuots says witness isnnot a lawyer qualified to make those comments.
Defense will rephrase question.
#AssangeCase
Defense asks if materials leaked by Manning and Assange had value in Public interest.
Witness says that is self-evident. Yes.
#AssangeCase
Judge* interupts*** apologies for typos. things move fast.
Witness says there are really few differences between the Pentagon Papers case and Assange's case, although the computer element didnt exist in the 70's.
#AssangeCase
Says government broke into his Psychiatrist's office and it is akin to the illegal wiretapping of Assange at the hands of the CIA.
#AssangeCase
Witness said his leaks contained thousands of names in them and he was slandered most of his life until the government thought they could use him as a prop against Wikileaks.
#AssangeCase
He says he was fooled when the US gov discussed WMDs that never existed and said that Wikileaks had blood on their hands.
But ten years later there was still no evidence of any of this.
#AssangeCase
Witess (Ellsberg): I'd expect the Taliban to say we killed x number of people based on these documents, but they haven't. If so that would change these proceedings. But the government is proceeding as if this is the case, I see no evidence that it is.
#AssangeCase
A very small break is taking place while both sides consider if they have any more questions for Ellsberg.
Defence asks if there is any evidence that deaths had occurred because of the WikiLeaks revelations at Chelsea Manning's trial, he says no, he thinks the threat was overplayed.

Judge kindly thanks the witness, and he is dismissed.
#AssangeCase
That will be all for testimony today. Tomorrow's witness schedule is being worked out and then Court is likely over for the day.
#AssangeCase
Court is adjourned Until tomorrow when we will pickup again at 10am UK time (5am est).

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#AssangeCase
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#AssangeCase
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