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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 2/9/20

Torturing Assange for Information; Secondary Prosecutions

Author 56661
Message Karen Kwiatkowski

The Vault 7 leaks revealed to Americans an ambitious and venal organization that sees enemies all around it. When the CIA found out about the leak, along with the rest of the world, on March 7th, 2017, it was horrified in part because the leak had occurred a year earlier unbeknownst to the agency, and in part because of the loss of years and billions of US taxpayer dollars invested in the development of secret malware and spytools.

Cyberscoop has some useful articles on the case, just in case no one saw anything in the mainstream media.

Joshua Schulte's trial started this week, and the transcript of the first day is interesting. We learn that the quality of federal government expert witnesses can be hysterically low, and that defense lawyer Sabrina Schroff has a gold standard sense of humor.

We may marvel at the loose security in the CIA as recently as 2016 and its sexist and racist banter behind vault doors, and we may wonder at the strangeness of classification and clearance rules that required the FBI, on behalf of the DoJ, to gather its court evidence about the CIA cyber tools at a Starbuck's, for the reliable wifi among other things.

We may tentatively conclude that it is way more fun to be tried for crimes against the state that you probably did not commit in the US District Court, Southern District of New York, than it is to be tried by the national security state's wholly-owned subsidiary, the US District Court, Eastern District of Virginia.

Joshua Schulte has been incarcerated since his arrest in August 2017, on child pornography charges charges that have since been split out from his current trial.

The US reporting on this case is typical: accusatory Fed-speak and respeak, questionable blogs carrying the torch of righteous patriotism, and a generalized focus on the horrid terribleness of the whole thing from the CIA's point of view, and my goodness, the nasty man is also nuts, trying to sue the government from prison, claiming he's innocent, he's been tortured, and he will work to destroy the US government if he ever gets out of jail.

The situation for Schulte is perilous, whether he is innocent or guilty. He's behaving kind of like an innocent guy, in the sense that since his arrest he has consistently denied all the charges, and accused his former employer of planting the porn on his computer as a means of justifying his arrest. The feds clearly don't have the usable evidence they would actually need to convict Schulte on any of the charges. I'm sure they will convict, through parallel construction or normal fabrication, but the destruction of Schulte's reputation and tainting any potential jury is typical. It's how the CIA and FBI deals with its enemies on any normal day. Of course, the federal government would never put illegal software or distasteful material on your computer.

Julian Assange has been at UK's Belmarsh Prison since last spring, where he has been physically, mentally and chemically tortured by US contractors on US orders. The CIA and its contractors conducted these euphemistically described "interviews" for months, seeking passwords, codes, names and encryption keys that would allow the US DoJ and CIA to track down the donors of material to Wikileaks, and arrest or extradite them. This work was largely complete by the end of the summer, and a number of arrests have been made throughout European countries. Information tortured out of a stubborn Australian by Americans in Britain cloaked, ironed, laundered, and dyed is already being used in a variety of ongoing and upcoming cases. These are kangaroo courts, trials conducted by mad submarine captains obsessed with shirttails and strawberries, proposing an Alice in Wonderland world of evidence, like Lewis Carroll's unicorn, ""if you'll believe in me, I'll believe in you. Is that a bargain?"

We know that we are cannot know the identities of the five CIA lawyers who repeated advised the magistrate during court proceedings in Assange's brief public appearance last November. We know that all ongoing and upcoming trials of suspected Wikileaks's contributors are being prosecuted using information gained through the chemical and physical interrogation of the famous inmate the Belmarsh staff nicknamed "Prisoner Boot sy," a play on the UK's ubiquitous drugstore chain.


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Image by Karen Kwiatkowski)   Details   DMCA
We know that the CIA and FBI have to tread carefully in any trials relating to Wikileaks, in part because of what might be revealed of the US Government's compromise of the tools and methods of potential whistleblowers, like Tor, the maturation of the US surveillance state, and the sophistication of US information warfare against and manipulation of its own citizens. The Democratic wing of the US uniparty is not interested in the Seth Rich leaks to Wikileak s, nor is it interested in discovering if their problematic caucus app is bugged, malwared, and accessible in real-time to certain US government agencies. The GOP wing of the uniparty is likewise uninterested in bringing its celebrated and massive security and surveillance state to heel, as if that devil dog is even on a leash they hold.

Better to destroy their minds, their sanity and their reputations, and lock them away in Supermax.

While the dystopian plain enjoys the soothing release of a national championship, complete with impossibly fit middle-aged pole dancers, and applaud the Blue and Grey Theater of Impeachment, there is another very different world, where puppetmasters meet to drink and dine, discuss and plot.

Our country is not openly wracked with war, violence and disaster yet. But like those who live in war zones, hot zones, and dead zones, Americans must tread carefully, trust sparingly, and keep our eyes wide open.

 

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LRC columnist Karen Kwiatkowski, Ph.D., a retired USAF lieutenant colonel, blogs occasionally at Liberty and Power and The Beacon.
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