KEVIN ZEESE—I think this is the beginning of another phase of the defense of Julian Assange. Unfortunately, we knew this day was likely to come, but extradition [to the US] is not guaranteed. People can organize and mobilize, and they started to do that very quickly. This is not the only protest happening today, on this first day of this extradition challenge.We recognize that Julian Assange is a truth teller. His case is the case that determines the future of journalism in the 21st century. It’s equivalent to the John Peter Zenger case. It’s a case that occurred before the United States [existed], in the colonial era, when a publisher published the truth about a corrupt British governor. He told the truth and was arrested. In those days, telling the truth was not a defense. In those days, there was no First Amendment. As a result of that case, truth is a defense, and there is a First Amendment.As a result of Julian’s case, we’re gonna see a democratized media; a media that empowers the people, takes away power from the stranglehold of corporations – the half dozen corporations that control 90 percent of the news. Wikileaks has opened that up. They’ve allowed people who see crime to report crime.”
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The Real News Network’s Sharmini Peries interviews Daniel Ellsberg on the Assange arrest. “The Beginning of the End For Press Freedom.”
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MINTPRESS NEWS—London Judge Michael Snow has found Assange guilty of breaching his bail at Westminster Magistrates’ Court after Assange appeared in a courtroom packed with supporters. Assange faces a sentence of up to one year for the conviction and has serious charges pending in the United States.Assange’s defense hinges on the fact that he cannot expect a fair trial in British courts as the U.K.’s intends to “secure his delivery” to the United States.The U.S. Justice Department charged WikiLeaks founder Assange with conspiring with Chelsea Manning to break into classified government computers on Thursday after Assange was taken into custody in London in connection with a U.S. extradition request, as well as for breaching U.K. bail conditions in 2012. His lawyer has previously said that Assange planned to fight any U.S. charges against him.
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PETER KOENIG—Wars have a cost – a financial, economic and a social cost. [Not to mention ecological costs, which is literally incalculable.] The US official military budget for Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 is US$ 700 billion; for FY 2019 Trump proposes US$ 750. If approved it would be a 40% increase in the last 9 years. But that’s not all. This is just the officially published figure. The real cost for the war, defense and security apparatus to which also the opaque CIA and associated secret services count – is well over a trillion dollars, perhaps as much as US$1.5 trillion – per year.
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American Exceptionalism is at the root of the Fake News Epidemic Attempting to Overthrow Venezuela’s Bolivarian Revolution
DANNY HAIPHONG—Another lie promoted under the guise of American exceptionalism is the notion that Venezuela is ruled by a repressive authoritarian regime. This is a particularly sinister lie steeped in Cold War anti-communist racism. Venezuela has held several elections since the Hugo Chavez was first elected as head of state in 1998. Jimmy Carter declared the Venezuelan electoral system the most democratic in the world in 2012. The opposition has run in every election since 1998 with varying degrees of success. Much of the opposition boycotted the last presidential election in fear that they would lose by legitimate means, thus debunking the myth that the opposition represents a majority in the nation.