Biden’s efforts to have Assange extradited should be called out

Biden’s efforts to have Assange extradited should be called out

An op-ed in the Chicago Tribune by Stephen F. Rhode, who is a constitutional lawyer and past chair of the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California.

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“Can a Lawsuit against the CIA affect the U.S. Attempt to Extradite Julian Assange?”


Plaintiff in CIA Lawsuit will Speak at MKE Unitarian Forum

On November 13, the First Unitarian Society of Milwaukee will host a Forum co-sponsored by Peace Action Wisconsin with lawyer, Deborah Hrbek, and former head of the National Lawyers Guild, Marjorie Cohn titled, “Can a Lawsuit against the CIA affect the U.S. Attempt to Extradite Julian Assange?”

Deborah Hrbek will discuss the lawsuit against the CIA, Mike Pompeo, the security firm, UC Global, and its CEO David Morales filed August 15 by Hrbek, her law partner Margaret Ratner Kunstler, and two American journalists. The plaintiffs allege their constitutional rights as U.S. citizens - to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures by the US government- were violated when they visited Julian Assange at the Ecuadorian embassy in London.

The lawyers and journalists claim that information copied from their electronic devices - such as laptops, smartphones, and tablets - that they were required to surrender upon entering the Embassy, was shared without their knowledge with the CIA, as were their privileged conversations with their client Assange while in the Embassy.

The suit additionally cites the illegal seizure of privileged information from Assange’s visitors who are U.S. citizens, including: his U.S. defense attorneys, “human rights attorneys with active cases defending Guantanamo Bay Detention Center detainees,” “national security journalists whose sources might be in jeopardy if exposed” and physicians.  

Based on evidence revealed in an ongoing Spanish case against defendant, David Morales, the plaintiffs further allege that former CIA Director Mike Pompeo approved this “unreasonable search and seizure” in violation of U.S. citizens’ Fourth Amendment rights.

Hrbek will discuss the implications of that lawsuit on the Assange extradition matter, while Marjorie Cohn will unpack the extradition request and indictment. Both will discuss why press freedom and government accountability is at stake if the Department of Justice continues to prosecute Julian Assange and seek his extradition.


Margaret Ratner Kunstler et al., vs. CIA et al.:

August 20, 2022, in Truthout by Marjorie Cohn, “Mike Pompeo and CIA Sued for Illegal Surveillance of Assange’s Visitors”

August 16, 2022, Interview of Deborah Hrbek on Democracy Now!, “Mike Pompeo and CIA Sued for Spying on Americans who Visited Julian Assange in Ecuadorian Embassy in U.K.”


Deborah Hrbek is a partner at HRBEKKunstler and has represented WikiLeaks reporters and filmmakers since 2015. 

Marjorie Cohn, former president of the National Lawyers Guild, is a retired criminal defense attorney and Professor Emerita at Thomas Jefferson School of Law who writes for Truthout.





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Roger Waters, of Pink Floyd, will be at the Fiserv Center July 28- help us hand out flyers for Assange

Roger Waters, of Pink Floyd, will be at the Fiserv Center July 28 - help us hand out flyers for Assange. 

Waters' concert is as much activism as music. In it he supports Julian Assange and he wants our help.

Source: Paula Iasella video of Waters concert in Boston showing Collateral Murder Video with his commentary. 
A tweet with a clip from Roger's concert is here:

Roger, Peace Action WI, and the national Assange Defense campaign want supporters to leaflet outside.  This would be a very good opportunity to reach thousands of people about defending Julian Assange. We will be handing flyers out before and after the concert.

BEFORE SHIFT 6:30 - 8:00

AFTER SHIFT 10:45 - 11:30

Meet on Thursday, July 28 at 5:30 p.m. at Drink Wisconsibly at 320 W. Highland (across the patio from the Fiserv Center)

or Contact Ann Batiza for information on picking up and distributing flyers. Ann will not be available after 6 p.m.

414-238-3903 | [email protected]

Massachusettt's Peace Action's, Brian Garvey, said of the show in Boston, 
"It was a message that was explicitly anti-war, anti-authoritarian, pro-people, and pro-justice; offering commentary that was not only poignant but also intentionally challenging to a mainstream audience."

For more information about the publisher, Julian Assange, go to:

Please call Senator Tammy Baldwin and your Representative to urge President Biden to stop this extradition.

Capitol Switchboard for Senators and Representatives:  202-224-3121.


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Craig Murray on Assange

Consortium News just published this article by Craig Murray, the person I recommended in Peace Action Wisconsin's newsletter, the Mobilizer, as one of the best sources on Assange's neverending trial.  Murray is the former U.K. ambassador to Uzbekistan who exposed torture there. The new documentary Ithaka, that is the topic of this review, follows Julian's father and brother in their quest to free Julian.  Some of you met them while they were here in Milwaukee while the camera was rolling. Ithaka is expected to reach the U.S. in November. 

 Here's an excerpt: 

Away from the Tory Babel over who will be the top “world-leading” sociopath, I just spent two evenings in the company of decent people. John and Gabriel Shipton, Julian’s father and brother, were in Glasgow and Edinburgh for the screening of Ithaka, the documentary that follows the fight by Julian Assange’s family to have him freed. I was moderating the Q & A. 

The odd pub may also have been visited.

Ithaka is heart-rending, and it has an important message in rehumanizing Julian after over a decade of concerted (I use that word advisedly) propaganda aimed at dehumanizing him.


The link to the entire article is here:


A second piece I would like to bring your attention to is the editorial by the Guardian on June 17 after Julian's lawyers filed their appeals in his case.  Here is an excerpt:

The use of the Espionage Act to prosecute him [Assange] should be seen for what it is: an attack on the freedom of the press. As the Knight First Amendment Institute’s Carrie DeCell wrote in 2019, when the charge sheet was published, “soliciting, obtaining, and then publishing classified information ... [is] what good national security and investigative journalists do every day”.

Here is the link to the entire editorial:

Thank you to those who care to examine whether this case will destroy press freedom.

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Six Reasons Julian Assange Should Be Thanked, Not Punished

Six Reasons Julian Assange Should Be Thanked, Not Punished

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New music video for Julian Assange

Music Video for freedom for Julian Assange

James Oldenburg

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WikiLeaks & War Crimes (w/ Avila, Benjamin, Hedges, & Prashad)!

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Milwaukee Activists Withstand the Cold to Stand for Assange

Milwaukee: On Saturday, April 2, about twenty-five people gathered at noon on the cold, snowy, and very wet corners of the Brady and Farwell intersection to STAND WITH ASSANGE. While this was the latest “Stand for Peace” anti-war protest executed weekly on street corners in Milwaukee over the past twenty years by Peace Action Wisconsin, on April 2 the focus was on Assange in collaboration with Assange Defense MKE. See for the press release announcing the event.

As the busy traffic slowed at times to listen, Milwaukee musician and podcaster jamxs premiered his new song, When That Whistle Blows, in honor of publisher, Julian Assange, and the whistleblowers Ed Snowden and Chelsea Manning.
In their remarks, both James Oldenburg (known as the artist jamxs) and Ann Batiza, organizer with both Peace Action WI and the national and Milwaukee chapters of Assange Defense, referenced an increasingly soggy copy of the new book by Nils Melzer, the U.N. Special Rapporteur on Torture, called The Trial of Julian Assange: A Story of Persecution. Jamxs tweeted out the video below covering some of his remarks:

Speakers also included the Milwaukee peace and justice activist, George Martin, and Milwaukee Veterans for Peace leader, Mark Foreman. Both hailed the need for a free press to provide truth as the basis for democracy, especially in war. They both noted how WikiLeaks’ Collateral Murder video provided that truth. It shows the gunning down of a dozen Iraqis walking in a Baghdad neighborhood, including Reuters photographer, Namir Noor-Eldeen, and Reuters fixer/driver, Saeed Chmagh. This video provided evidence of potential war crimes the U.S. covered up until WikiLeaks exposed its lies.

At least three women from St. Rita’s Retirement Community joined the group, standing in the cold. As the musician jamxs tweeted out, “People coming from a retirement community to freeze in the snow for Assange is more badass than anything most people will ever do.” Much respect “

Much respect, indeed, to them and to all the concerned citizens, including longtime supporters of Peace Action Wisconsin and new members of Assange Defense MKE, who stood up for Assange and press freedom on Saturday.
To learn more about what you can do to help defend Julian Assange, please go to or or contact Ann Batiza at [email protected].

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