So many conflicts of interest in the decisions that shape our understanding of the world. Here's just one more tiny, unremarkable nugget told in passing:

'Google’s parent company, Alphabet, owns 12% of Vaccitech', the biotech firm behind AstraZeneca's jab…
Things like this raise an obvious question we have been ignoring at our peril:

How do we trust an entirely commercially driven world in which a small group of people who constantly enrich themselves also control the information universe the rest of us inhabit?
At a minimum, we either end the system that allows people to enrich themselves like this, or we ensure rigorous, open access to information at all costs. What we actually have is the worst of both worlds

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More from @Jonathan_K_Cook

8 Mar
Horrifying tale of how a public, open-source vaccine was ready in Finland nine months ago but got nowhere because Big Pharma was interested only in a patented vaccine it could make big private profits from…
As the pandemic shows, governments heavily invest public money in research exploited by Big Pharma to patent drugs it then fleeces governments to buy. Those same governments indemnify Big Pharma against any liabilities. ‘Profits are private, risks are socialized’
The mad mantra of proft-driven medicine is: ‘Stopping a disease in its tracks is bad business.’ Corporate drug-makers are incentivised to avoid preventive and prophylactic medicine – and, of course, cures – so that they can keep raking in profits from the chronically ill
Read 5 tweets
10 Feb
The Guardian sacks a columnist – and indicates he should keep quiet – after he comments on US aid to Israel. Nathan J Robinson is surprised by his treatment, but others - myself included - were similarly forced out into the cold after criticising Israel…
This goes back to at least Michael Adams, who got into trouble with the Guardian in 1967 for trying to report on Israel's covert ethnic cleansing of three Palestinian villages during that year's war. No one at the paper wanted those crimes covered…
And in 2014 the Guardian axed Nafeez Ahmed's blog – violating his contract – after he wrote a viral piece about Israeli energy interests related to Gaza, an important but ignored topic. He wasn't accused of errors. He was told he'd strayed off topic…
Read 5 tweets
8 Feb
The Queen has an opaque, little-discussed prior consent power over legislation she secretly abused to give herself a unique right, decades ago, to conceal from the public the scale of her vast private wealth.

Pluocracy still rules in the UK…
And where does the Queen's wealth hidden from the public come from? The public. Lots of Britain's common land has been seized over the centuries to enrich the monarchy. And today, the Queen reaps enormous farming subsidies from UK taxpayers for the farmland she holds
The Queen and Prince Charles have vetted at least eight parliamentary bills relating to their own agricultural interests – the latest only weeks ago. What changes were secretly made to those laws as a result we may not know for many decades…
Read 4 tweets
28 Sep 20
Patrick Eller, a longtime digital forensics investigator for the US army, demolishes US claims that Assange helped Chelsea Manning 'hack' military documents, in the latest report of the extradition hearings from ex-ambassador Craig Murray…
Eller testifies that there is no forensic evidence that Manning's online interlocutor, ‘Nathaniel Frank’, was Assange; and anyway Manning had not needed help from ‘Frank’ either to download the classified documents or to cover her tracks
Further, Eller tells the Assange gearing, there was no way in 2010 to crack the ‘hash key’ Manning sought help cracking.

To top it all, these points were known long ago to US prosecutors because they had come to light earlier in Manning's own trial
Read 5 tweets
25 Sep 20
The Guardian finally breaks its silence to offer a cursory summary of Assange's extradition hearing. It tried to bury the fact it was responsible for disclosing a password that forced the publication of unredacted cables, as I explained in a post this week…
The Guardian's denial is riddled with deceptions. Leigh retrospectively *claims* Assange said the password was temporary. Even in the highly unlikely event that's true, publication very obviously compromised the formula used for all passwords protecting Wikileaks' encrypted files
And the very obvious reason Assange did not – could not – express 'concern' about the Guardian's disclosure was because to do so would have drawn attention to the fact that the password was public. Instead Assange was forced into a behind-the-scenes damage limitation operation
Read 4 tweets
20 Sep 20
When lawyers for the US yet again quote from a book by the Guardian's David Leigh in a desperate bid to bolster their flimsy case against Julian Assange, investigative journalist Nicky Hager replies: 'I would not regard that [book] as a reliable source'…
Nicky Hager is the latest journalist to strenuously deny criticisms of Assange made by David Leigh and Luke Harding in their book. Assange was committed to redacting names before publication, says Hager. He attributes the criticism instead to Guardian 'animosity' towards Assange
Ex-ambassador Craig Murray points out that the ‘bad blood’ between the Guardian and Assange related not to redaction issues, as Leigh claims in his book, but the fact that Assange refused to give the Guardian rights to a biography, which they hoped would be a big money-spinner
Read 4 tweets

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