Housekeeping note: If you go to and sign up, you can receive my daily written reports in your email inbox each day of #AssangeTrial.
On Day 6, court heard from US defense attorney Eric Lewis about "substantial pressure" Assange will face to "plead guilty to lesser charges that result in a lower sentence." US has system where few defendants exercise right to trial.

John Goetz, investigative journalist who was with Der Spiegel and worked on publications in 2010-2011, takes the proverbial witness stand. #Assange
In 2010, Goetz went to London to meet with Guardian and Julian Assange because there was prospect of us working together on project about the Afghan War Logs.
Goetz: After White House consultation, "15,000 documents would not be published because of the harm minimization process and that’s also what happened." #Assange
Summers, defense attorney: Are you aware of any name that got through the harm minimization net [for Afghan War Logs]?

Goetz: I'm not aware of it. #Assange
Regarding Iraq War Logs, Goetz says WikiLeaks ended up redacting more material from documents than the Defense Department did for Freedom of Information Act requests of similar material #Assange
Goetz shared details of State Department meeting where officials passed on numbers of cables they were concerned about. "They were not pointing us to names in this. They were pointing out things that were politically sensitive." #Assange
Former State Department spokesperson PJ Crowley was involved, and as Goetz recalled journalists were quickly looking up the cables. "It interested us what they were concerned about because possibly there was a story we were interested in." #Assange
Goetz: when the uncensored cache of diplomatic cables was compromised due to David Leigh publishing password, WikiLeaks was frustrated. They invested a lot of time, money, personnel, and staff into another year of country-specific partnerships on cables. #Assange
Regarding Afghan War Logs, Goetz testified Assange was "very concerned with the technical aspect of trying to figure out how to find the names in this massive collection of documents."
Goetz indicated Guardian editor David Leigh was at one point frustrated with delays in publication process of Iraq War Logs because WikiLeaks was taking so long to redact "bad stuff." #Assange
Goetz went into detail about the journalism he did on Khaled el-Masri's case before he accessed US diplomatic cables. El-Masri was kidnapped, tortured, and renditioned by CIA to Salt Pit in Afghanistan. #Assange
Goetz was baffled by Munich state prosecutor when arrest warrant for 13 CIA people involved in El-Masri's kidnapping was issued. It was never issued to United States, where perpetrators lived. Cables revealed why that happened—US had pressured Germany #Assange
From his time working on diplomatic cables, Goetz said "very important part of agreement with WikiLeaks was always keeping material very secure" and "using secure methods of communication." #Assange
James Lewis' cross-examination was difficult to follow, and he seemed very confused about the timeline of publications. He was focused on unredacted cable cache that was compromised and then released on to the internet. #Assange
Goetz made it clear that a statement signed by former WikiLeaks media partners and published September 2, 2011, was put out before chain of events involving David Leigh's book and the password were fully understood. #Assange
Lead prosecutor James Lewis abandoned cross-examining Goetz. Recognizing Goetz is so knowledgeable about what happened with the releases, he chose to spend far less time with him than other witnesses. #Assange
As part of defense re-exam, Goetz said for Afghan War Logs, Iraq War Logs, and US State Embassy cables there was "very rigorous redaction process, and as far as i know, no names came out of that period." #Assange
James Lewis insisted that names in the cables had a "strictly protect" label. Goetz told defense he had no recollection of that. He recalled it was a label for entire contents of a cable. #Assange
This from @kendilanianNBC was referred to in court:…

Goetz was asked if knew Dilanian. He said he didn't know him personally, but if memory served, he was "fired from Los Angeles Times for having discussed his stories with CIA in advance." #Assange
Goetz was very clear on the fact that Cryptome published the unredacted cables first. WikiLeaks published after. #Assange
Assange's legal team has a statement from Khaled el-Masri, who survived CIA kidnapping, torture, and rendition. Information related to these acts appeared in diplomatic cables WikiLeaks published. Prosecutor objected. "El-Masri's got nothing to do with the charges."
Court tried to resume after about hour-long break. We're having technical difficulties with video link - again. #Assange
I learn by way of video link host that court will resume at 2:30 pm. We expect Daniel Ellsberg, Pentagon Papers whistleblower, to be called as a witness. #Assange
Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg takes the proverbial witness stand during extradition proceedings #AssangeTrial
We can't see Ellsberg on the video link, but we hear his voice clearly. It's better quality than previous witnesses. #Assange
Ellsberg recalls releasing 7,000 pages of top secret documents on the conduct of the war in Vietnam that was known as the Pentagon Papers. It showed President Lyndon B. Johnson and his administration lied to Congress and the public. #Assange
Ellsberg notes he was charged under the Espionage Act in 1971 and then charges were dismissed with prejudice due to governmental misconduct #Assange
Ellsberg on WikiLeaks revelations: "Like the Pentagon Papers, had the capability of informing the public that they had been seriously misled about the nature of the war, the progress of the war, and the likelihood that it would end successfully, if at all." #Assange
I'm keeping up with the prosecution's cross exam and will go back to fill in testimony, but Assange has spoken up in court again after judge declined to allow Ellsberg to answer a prosecutor's question.
About to wrap but there is a 5-minute break to see if Assange has a question for Ellsberg that was not worked into questioning already
On political opinions of Assange, Ellsberg said during defense cross-exam that he had "great affinity" when he met him in London. Both resented lack of transparency in government decision-making, especially on foreign and military affairs.
Defense asked Ellsberg about Assange as critic of Iraq and Afghan Wars.

Ellsberg: We thought both of those were wrongful wars in their inception and pursuit.
Ellsberg distinguished the classification level of the documents Assange and WikiLeaks published. Pentagon Papers were top secret while the material on Iraq, Afghanistan, Guantanamo, and US diplomacy was no higher than secret.
Ellsberg shared how he was stunned that evidence of torture, deaths squads, and other significant corruption was in material classified below top secret level. Suggested officials no longer regarded these acts as "sensitive." #Assange
Defense had Ellsberg connect the published Iraq Rules of Engagement to the "Collateral Murder" video.

He recalled US military claimed no rules of engagement were violated by soldiers who were shown engaging in violence in the video. #Assange
In regard to Ellsberg's trial and prosecution, the defense asked if he was able to share his intent — why he disclosed the Pentagon Papers — during courtroom proceedings.
Ellsberg answered, in two years since he went public, "I withheld good deal of discussion of what exactly led me to do that in expectation I would be able to testify under oath with sufficient solemnity there and credibility." But when lawyer asked, prosecution objected #Assange
Ellsberg: "I did not get a fair trial despite a very intelligent and conscientious judge." No one since his case has had a fair trial.

"Julian Assange could not get a remotely fair trial under those charges in the United States."
The prosecution's cross-examination largely began with James Lewis insisting Assange is not charged for publishing "Collateral Murder" video. And like prior witnesses, Ellsberg noted there are general charges that criminalize Assange for obtaining and receiving info.
Prosecution focused on four volumes from Pentagon Papers that Ellsberg did not give to the press.

Ellsberg said he did withhold because he was concerned about peace negotiations. Feared publishing might be "used as an excuse for failure of negotiations." #Assange
Lewis believed this reinforced the Good Ellsberg, Bad Assange narrative. However, Ellsberg shared that he was afraid to redact or withhold any details because he didn't want anyone to disingenuously suggest a redaction contained "adequate justification" for Vietnam War.
Ellsberg said he published the name of someone he knew, a clandestine CIA police officer. Their identity was well-known in South Vietnam. The Intelligence Identities Protection Act wouldn't have excused him for putting it out, but he did not want to redact a single word. #Assange
Ellsberg testified on widely held belief by people who want to criticize Snowden, Manning, or Assange. They don't seem to want to criticize me so "they make a distinction which in my view is entirely misleading."
Ellsberg: Assange withheld 15,000 files from Afghan papers. Requested help with redactions from State Dept and Pentagon. Both State Dept and Pentagon could've helped protect names.
Ellsberg said, "I have no doubt that Julian would have removed those names."

State Department and Pentagon, according to Ellsberg, chose to "preserve possibility of charging Mr. Assange with precisely the charges you’ve identified rather than take these steps to protect them."
James Lewis: All fault of American government for letting Assange publish?

Ellsberg said they bear heavy responsibility and then noted fortunately no one was harmed.

He was told there would be blood on his hands. Those critics were wrong.
Lewis read a lengthy passage from Assistant US Attorney Gordon Kromberg's affidavit outlining what the government views as harm and then said to Ellsberg, "How can you say honestly and in an unbiased way that there is no evidence that WikiLeaks put anyone in danger?"
Ellsberg called the assertions of the US govt "highly cynical."

Were any of [alleged exposed individuals] subject to what State Department claimed - death, violent harm or incarceration? "Isn’t the answer no? Did one of them suffer the carrying out of these threats?" #Assange
Lewis basically said the rules are you don't get to ask the questions. Then when Ellsberg tried to give an answer to what Lewis said, rather than challenge him, Judge Baraitser stopped Ellsberg, which led to Assange becoming upset.
Ellsberg: "Government is extremely cynical in pretending its concerned for these people"

"Contempt for Middle Easterners has been demonstrated over the last 19 years" #Assange
Lewis tried to get Ellsberg to answer yes or no and asked were people's lives put in danger by WikiLeaks. When Ellsberg gave more than a one-word answer, Lewis said don't give a speech. #Assange
Lewis: What about people who have disappeared in Iraq Afghanistan and Syria? "Common sense either been murdered or forced to flee" #Assange
This continued, and Ellsberg eventually stated, "I’m sorry sir, but it doesn’t seem to be at all obvious that this small fraction of people that have been murdered in course of both sides of the conflicts can be attributed to WikiLeaks disclosures." #Assange
On re-exam, Edward Fitzgerald, defense attorney, tried to rebut the misinformation about charges against Assange that prosecution continues to fuel. He asked Ellsberg about counts 3, 4, and 5 — and then Judge Baraitser had Fitzgerald stop.
Defense returned to four volumes of Pentagon Papers he did not disclose to press.

Ellsberg: "4000 pages had hundreds, if not thousands of names, both of Americans, Vietnamese, and North Vietnamese."

Again, didn't redact name of CIA clandestine officer #Assange
Defense revisited Good Ellsberg, Bad Assange narrative.

Ellsberg: With Manning and Assange, he found his name mentioned all the time as very good person. Used me as foil against new revelations, which were supposedly different. Misleading on motive and effect. Totally disagree.
There was great disagreement over whether Ellsberg could comment on the harm WikiLeaks did not cause even though he had been asked about the harm the government claims in their affidavits. Ellsberg eventually was able to generically offer testimony. #Assange
Ellsberg: When US government said WikiLeaks there would be blood on their hands, he was willing to believe that. Surprised to discover there was no evidence. #Assange
I'm about to give a live video report on Day 7 of proceedings in #AssangeTrial
Good Ellsberg, Bad Assange: At extradition trial, Pentagon Papers whistleblower dismantles false narrative that has consistently pit him against the WikiLeaks founder…

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More from @kgosztola

13 Oct
Police stories are all around. They dominate network TV. They drive news coverage. They determine city budgets, with outsized portion going to cops instead of programs that can address basic human needs.

I don't think this takes us "someplace you might not expect to go," NYT. Image
Viewed alongside recurring copaganda in the New York Times, it's not so exceptional. It's establishment journalism following a blueprint for Lifetime movie. The author likely believes it should unite those divided over police cause it gives us the feels.
Just a few weeks ago, the New York Times published a report that promoted police views on crime without disclosing a major conflict of interest by the author, Jeff Asher, who has a background with CIA/Palantir/police/prosecutors, etc.
Read 4 tweets
9 Oct
The final entry in Dave Chappelle’s run of Netflix specials is yet another master class in comedy. He holds that Detroit audience in the palm of his hand, even as he crosses lines and deliberately uses words he knows they won’t like. And that is because they trust him.
The audience trusts there isn’t any malice behind Chappelle’s jokes. Words that have so much power to hurt when uttered by people who hate are disarmed by him. Chappelle isn’t being offensive as much as he is mocking how we might believe he is that offensive of a person.
Most of Chappelle’s act has characters, who he twists into caricatures to illustrate a perspective, which is that as a Black man there’s a certain insufferable whiteness to many of the gripes that seem to define a good number of the issues of our times.
Read 5 tweets
26 Sep
Journalists for Yahoo! News finally confirmed a narrative around Mike Pompeo and the CIA's war on WikiLeaks and its founder Julian Assange, which I outlined back in October 2019. It's an important report.

WikiLeaks' publication of "Vault 7" materials from the CIA was hugely embarrassing. Even though the CIA had increased spying operations against WikiLeaks, they still were surprised the media organization obtained a trove of the agency's extremely sensitive files.
CIA director Mike Pompeo was afraid President Donald Trump would learn about the "Vault 7" materials and think less of him. "Don’t tell him, he doesn’t need to know."

But it was too important. Trump had to be informed.
Read 22 tweets
11 Sep
For all of September, The Dissenter will mark 20th anniversary of #September11 with retrospective series on rise of security state that puts whistleblowers front and center. Because these individuals listened to their conscience & implored us to turn away from the dark side.
FBI whistleblower Coleen Rowley accused FBI Headquarters of failing to urgently respond to intelligence ahead of #September11.

Embarrassed, the FBI became a "preventative crime" agency, concocting terrorism plots they could take credit for thwarting.…
One of most important and best documentaries produced to coincide with the 20th anniversary of #September11.

It reflects how FBI was given immense power and abused it, often by preying on young black and brown men with financial troubles.
Read 8 tweets
10 Sep
Thanks for validating the independent journalism we do at @shadowproofcom!
@shadowproofcom We didn't ask @adfontesmedia to include us in their chart and review our articles for bias and reliability, but they did. Their team gave our posts pretty high scores for reliability. And we don't hide our bias so who cares where they plot us.
One of the posts reviewed is a parody of a Max Boot column that I wrote so I don't know how it could be reliable, and I don't believe bias is all that relevant. (And it's marked so they could've chosen anything else.)
Read 4 tweets
11 Aug
The first hearing before the UK High Court of Justice in the US government's appeal in WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange's extradition case will start shortly. I'm remotely observing.

Thread for updates on the "preliminary" appeal hearing.
This Assange appeal hearing is not the main appeal hearing. That will come later.

Today's hearing is on the two grounds for appeal that the High Court of Justice declined to grant the US government. Prosecutors will try to persuade the High Court they were wrong.
This hearing for the US will be focused on discrediting Professor Michael Kopelman, an experienced neuropsychiatrist who assessed Assange from May-December 2019.

It will also be about the US's view that the district judge gave too much weight to certain suicide risk evidence.
Read 58 tweets

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