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Justice Articles from 2019

Assange Case Is A Political Show Trial

[Justice]
Assange Case Is A Political Show Trial
By Howie Hawkins
Posted December 23, 2019

political show trialsThe prosecution of Assange, Manning, and Hammond is a threat to the First Amendment freedom of the press rights of every news organization and the right of all of us to know what our government is doing. It is intended to intimidate all Americans who oppose US imperialism and the repressive and authoritarian state practices, including excessive state secrecy, mass surveillance, and police infiltration of dissident citizen movements. The case has global ramifications. Assange is not a US citizen, nor is Wikileaks a US organization. The press freedom of every news organization and journalist in the world at risk if the US government is able to convict Assange, who under the Espionage Act could be sentenced to death.

These three political prisoners must be freed. The Espionage Act charges against Assange must be dropped. He should be immediately released from prison in the UK. The contempt of court charges against Chelsea Manning and Jeremy Hammond must also be dropped. The fines against Manning should be forgiven. This whole political show trial must be stopped now. More…

Why The Media Ignores Jeremy Hammond While Praising Edward Snowden

[Media]
Why The Media Ignores Jeremy Hammond While Praising Edward Snowden
by Kit O’Connell
Posted December 22, 2019

Whistle blower Jeremy Hammond ignored by mediaThe mainstream media has devoted hundreds of articles to NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, the subject of the Oscar-winning documentary “Citizenfour,” but it’s not devoted the same level of attention to many other whistleblowers and political prisoners, like Jeremy Hammond, no matter how sensational the facts they revealed.

Jeremy Hammond’s hack of Stratfor, a corporate intelligence agency, created global solidarity by revealing how the 1% targets activists worldwide.

The emails revealed that Stratfor gathers intelligence on behalf of private corporations while also sharing sensitive information with local and federal law enforcement. For example, the company spied on The Yes Men for Dow Chemical, after the activists publicly humiliated Dow on behalf of survivors of the 1984 Bhopal, India, disaster that killed thousands. At the same time, Stratfor collaborated with the Texas State Troopers to infiltrate Occupy Austin during the first months after the group’s formation in October 2011. More…

100+ Doctors Demand Julian Assange Receive Safe Passage to Australian Hospital ‘Before It Is Too Late’

[Justice] [Political]
100+ Doctors Demand Julian Assange Receive Safe Passage to Australian Hospital ‘Before It Is Too Late’
by Andrea Germanos

protest to free Assange“That we, as doctors, feel ethically compelled to hold governments to account on medical grounds speaks volumes about the gravity of the medical, ethical, and human rights travesties that are taking place.”

A group of over 100 doctors on Monday urged the Australian government to end its “refusal to act” in the case of Julian Assange and insist the British government release the WikiLeaks founder from prison so he can be safely sent to an Australian hospital before “it is too late.”

In an open letter addressed to Foreign Minister Marise Payne, the doctors say that “the most fundamental human rights of an Australian citizen are being denied by the British government.” More…

Rogue Agencies Have Been Abusing Their Powers for Decades

[Justice]
Rogue Agencies Have Been Abusing Their Powers for Decades
By John W. Whitehead
Posted December 16, 2019

imperial presidents sideline ConstitutionHas President Trump overstepped his authority and abused his powers? Without a doubt.

Then again, so did Presidents Obama, Bush, Clinton, and almost every president before them.

Trump is not the first president to weaken the system of checks and balances, sidestep the rule of law, and expand the power of the president. He is just the most recent.

If we were being honest and consistent in holding government officials accountable, you’d have to impeach almost every president in recent years for operating “above the law,” unbound by the legislative or judicial branches of the government.

When the government and its agents no longer respect the rule of law—the Constitution—or believe that it applies to them, then the very contract on which this relationship is based becomes invalid. More…

Will Google get away with grabbing 50m Americans’ health records?

[Media]
Will Google get away with grabbing 50m Americans’ health records?
by Julia Carrie Wong
Posted December 8, 2019

has Google over stepped?Google’s reputation has remained relatively unscathed despite behaviors similar to Facebook’s. This could be the tipping point.

Few things are certain in the American healthcare system – except for the paperwork. The tedious ritual of signing forms authorizing new providers to access our medical history is the result of a rarity for Americans: thanks to the first amendment, we have few rights and little expectation of privacy, except when it comes to our medical records. Even doctors who have our best interests at heart must get permission to access our data under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (Hipaa).

So it was truly shocking to learn this week that a business partnership between Google and Ascension, a major hospital chain and health insurer, has resulted in the transfer of 50 million Americans’ most intimate medical records to the Silicon Valley company, without the knowledge or consent of those 50 million patients. Even more alarming, the records are not de-identified, and a whistleblower disclosed to the Guardian serious concerns about the program, including that individual staffers have downloaded patient records. More…

The Facts:
The US HIPPA laws are very specific about privacy protection for medical records.

Reflect On:
It will be very interesting to see if Google (and the Ascension hospital chain) are prosecuted for this blatant violation of patient health records. Or will the system protect Google because it is a member of the “protected class”?

Privacy Rights Group Sues DHS Over ‘Coercive’ DNA Tests at the Border

[Justice]
Privacy Rights Group Sues DHS Over ‘Coercive’ DNA Tests at the Border
by Edward Ongweso Jr
Posted December 5, 2019

invasive DNA tests being run at the borderPrivacy advocates are suing the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to get answers about how the agency is using new technology to collect DNA from migrant families at the border.

In its lawsuit, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) asked for information about how DHS has deployed its Rapid DNA technology, including “the number of individuals whose DNA had been collected, the accuracy of DNA matches, and the exact gene processing used to identify parent-child relationships.” The technology boasts the ability to process DNA samples in 90 minutes or less, and is quickly being adopted by law enforcement agencies. The lawsuit is to compel DHS to release documents under the Freedom of Information Act.

Concerns over federal misuse of DNA come amid recent revelations outing many of Trump’s prominent immigration policy planners and advisors as white nationalists, or well-connected to others pushing that ideology. The EFF has been fighting the widespread implementation of this technology for nearly a decade, warning that widespread adoption would both erode privacy and reinforce racist biases in our legal system. More…

Judge Says Police Can Search Company’s Entire DNA Database

[Justice]
Judge Says Police Can Search Company’s Entire DNA Database
By Sara Boboltz
Posted November 26, 2019

government gaining unlimited access to private DNA databasesThis is exactly what privacy advocates have been afraid of for years. A Florida detective successfully obtained a warrant to search the company GEDmatch’s full database of user-provided genetic information, even if users had opted out of appearing in police search results, HuffPost has confirmed.

The warrant, signed by a judge in Florida’s Ninth Judicial Circuit Court in July, will likely earn praise from law enforcement and criticism from privacy advocates wary of how DNA databases could be abused. More…

The Facts:
The US has been building a DNA database for some time. Now it is expanding its collection to people arrested for even minor traffic violations but not necessarily convicted, and to those stopped at the border.

Reflect On:
Consider how the government always starts controversial programs using people who are not particularly popular, but once it is established, it spreads to everyone else. Consider how DNA profiles are significantly more intrusive and contain far more information that photos, fingerprints, and other means of identification.

Julian Assange’s Extradition Process Is ‘A Charade’

[Justice]
Julian Assange’s Extradition Process Is ‘A Charade’
by Gregory Wilpert
Posted November 20, 2019

Julian Assange in kangaroo courtJulian Assange recently lost a court bid to have his upcoming February 2020 extradition hearing postponed. The hearing about the postponement took place on October 21, and according to observers who were present, he could barely speak in coherent sentences. Reacting to the hearing, UN Human Rights Rapporteur Nils Melzer warned last Friday that Assange continues to show symptoms of psychological torture. Melzer had visited Assange in May when he conducted an extensive review of his physical and psychological condition. In his statement on Friday, Melzer said, “Despite the medical urgency of my first appeal, and the seriousness of the alleged violations, the U.K. has not undertaken any measures of investigation, prevention, and redress required under international law.”

In addition to the concerns about Assange’s treatment at Belmarsh Prison outside of London, many have also raised concerns about the impartiality of the proceedings against him. Assange was jailed last April when the Ecuadorian Embassy, where he had been given political asylum, allowed the police to arrest him. He then received a 50-week sentence for having skipped jail in 2012. The Trump Administration has since then requested Assange’s extradition on 17 charges of espionage for which he could receive a 170-year prison sentence in the United States. More…

 

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same puppet master pulling strings on both sides

Mainstream American liberals think they’re clear-eyed because they can see the propaganda strings being pulled by Fox and Donald Trump, and mainstream American conservatives think they’re clear-eyed because they can see the propaganda strings being pulled by MSNBC and the Democrats, but the propaganda strings on both trace back to the same puppet master. And seeing that is just the beginning.

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discover your infinite worth

You alone are the judge of your worth and your goal is to discover infinite worth in yourself, no matter what anyone else thinks.

Deepak Chopra

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main stream media propaganda

It is obvious that the US government is destroying Assange to signal to journalists the consequences of publishing information. It is therefore also obvious that any journalist who fails to use whatever platform they have to speak out against Assange’s persecution has no intention of ever publishing anything that the US government doesn’t want published. Their silence on or support for what is being done to this man can and should be taken as an admission that they are nothing other than state propagandists.

Caitlin Johnstone

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Britian's Orwellian tactics against Julian Assange

It’s quite fitting that the – imperially pre-determined – judicial fate of Julian Assange is being played out in Britain, the home of George Orwell.

Pepe Escobar

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