(TMU) — Julian Assange’s lawyer claimed this week in court at his extradition hearing that the U.S. wanted to murder the WikiLeaks founder and make it look like an accident.
US wanted to kill WikiLeaks founder and make it look like accident:https://t.co/HsR7DebDxx
— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) February 25, 2020
American spies teamed up with UC Global, a Spanish company contracted by Ecuador to provide security at the embassy, to help plant “intrusive and sophisticated” secret surveillance of Assange, his attorney stated during the court hearing. Assange was even filmed meeting with his legal team and was so paranoid about constant surveillance that he started sleeping in a tent inside his bedroom, the Telegraph reported.
“There were conversations about whether there should be more extreme measures contemplated, such as kidnapping or poisoning Julian Assange in the embassy,” Assange’s attorney, Edward Fitzgerald, told the court, according to the Daily Mail.
UC Global’s owner David Morales, was exposed by a mysterious whistleblower known only as “Witness Two,” the report stated.
Witness Two revealed that Morales “said the Americans were desperate and had even suggested more extreme measures could be applied against the guest to put an end to the situation,” Fitzgerald told the court according to the Mail.
Morales was actively working with “the dark side—in other words, US intelligence agencies,” Fitzgerald claimed, according to the report. Assange was spied on in the Ecuadorian Embassy and the suspects at the time had tried to extort 3,000,000 million euro from the journalism organization for the destruction of the videos and pictures, which included videos of private situations such as doctors visits and lawyers meetings while he was in the embassy, Reuters reported.
Since then, police have made at least one arrest. Ring leader Jose Martin Santos, previously convicted for fraud, was arrested in Alicante for trying to bribe WikiLeaks with millions in exchange for private videos of Assange.
That plot was later tied to the CIA, who hired UC Global S. L. and its founder David Morales to spy on Assange according to court documents that were presented to Spain’s High Court, El Pais reported.
Spanish Judge José de la Mata requested to interview the WikiLeaks founder by video conference as a witness. However, the British judicial system stepped in denying the request, which could affect Assange’s extradition trial, El Pais reported.
Assange’s lawyer told the court that it was suggested that the embassy door be left open to make a kidnapping look like it could have been “an accident.”
Ironically, in 2016 WikiLeaks tweeted that it took UK police two hours to respond to a call after an unidentified man attempted to scale the wall of the Ecuadorian Embassy at 2:47 am. The would-be intruder escaped security and managed to flee to safety while embassy security waited two hours for U.K. police to take the two minute walk from the police station to the embassy. There is no evidence that this attempt was in any way related to UC Global.
UK police took 2h to respond to Assange Embassy intruder despite 24h covert op & police station 2 mins walk away. pic.twitter.com/omaGWDwwuW
— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) August 23, 2016
Before Assange was arrested in April of last year, he stated in a leaked transcript:
“I am an assassination risk. It’s not a joke. It is a serious business. There have been attempts by people to get into this embassy through the windows at night.“
U.S. lawyers have falsely claimed that Assange’s publishing of the Iraq and Afghanistan war diaries endangered lives, a claim that is debunked by the Pentagon’s own admission that there is no evidence that any of WikiLeaks’ actions have caused even a single death,as Glenn Greenwald previously reported for Salon during the court trial of whistleblower Chelsea Manning.
In fact, it was Assange who went to “extreme measures” redacting names and information. According to multi-award winning Australian journalist Mark Davis, it was the Guardian journalists who appeared to care little about redacting names, as a Consortium News video explains. Davis had documented the entire process of the release of the Iraq and Afghanistan war logs in a film called Inside Wikileaks, which showed the former Wikileaks editor-in-chief working alongside journalists from the New York Times, the Guardian, and Der Spiegel.
Assange even attempted to contact the U.S. State Department and then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton warning about the leak of unredacted documents on other websites, Assange’s lawyers have said.
In January 2011, Guardian journalists David Leigh and Luke Harding published a book entitled Julian Assange’s War on Secrecy, which contained the password to the entire database of un-redacted material.
Assange’s lawyers have argued in court that their client would be a “suicide risk” if extradited to the United States. Other court statements that were heard according to 9News, include the fact that Assange was stripped naked and searched twice, handcuffed 11 times, had his case files confiscated, and was placed in 5 different holding cells just this week.
The hearing will be adjourned at the end of this week and continue with three weeks of evidence scheduled in May. A decision on the extradition case is not expected for months. Assange faces 175 years in jail if extradited to the U.S. where he has been charged under 17 accounts of the Espionage Act, with a total of 18 charges.
If extradited, UN Special Rapporteur on Torture Nils Melzer has continuously said Assange could be exposed to “a real risk of serious violations of his human rights, including his freedom of expression, his right to a fair trial, and the prohibition of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.”
Melzer has also stated that Assange has deliberately been exposed “for a period of several years, to progressively severe forms of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, the cumulative effects of which can only be described as psychological torture.”
Dolphin Swims Through Louisiana Neighborhood in Aftermath of Hurricane Ida
A Louisiana family was shocked to find a dolphin swimming through their neighborhood in the aftermath of Hurricane Ida.
Amanda Huling and her family were assessing the damage to their neighborhood in Slidell, Louisiana, when they noticed the dolphin swimming through the inundated suburban landscape.
In video shot by Huling, the marine mammal’s dorsal fin can be seen emerging from the water.
“The dolphin was still there as of last night but I am in contact with an organization who is going to be rescuing it within the next few days if it is still there,” Huling told FOX 35.
Ida slammed into the coast of Louisiana this past weekend. The Category 4 hurricane ravaged the power grid of the region, plunging residents of New Orleans and upwards of 1 million homes and businesses in Louisiana and Mississippi into the dark for an indefinite period of time.
Officials have warned that the damage has been so extensive that it could take weeks to repair the power grid, reports Associated Press.
Also in Slidell, a 71-year-old man was attacked by an alligator over the weekend while he was in his flooded shed. The man went missing and is assumed dead, reports WDSU.
Internet users began growing weary last year about the steady stream of stories belonging to a “nature is healing” genre, as people stayed indoors and stories emerged about animals taking back their environs be it in the sea or in our suburbs.
However, these latest events are the surreal realities of a world in which extreme weather events are fast becoming the new normal – disrupting our lives in sometimes predictable, and occasionally shocking and surreal, ways.
Mom in LA Suburbs Fights Off Mountain Lion With Bare Hands, Rescues 5-Year-Old Son
A mother in Southern California is being hailed as a hero after rescuing her five-year-old son from an attacking mountain lion.
The little boy was playing outside his home in Calabasas, a city lying west of Los Angeles in the Santa Monica Mountains, when the large cat pounced on him.
The 65-pound (30 kg) mountain lion dragged the boy about 45 yards across the front lawn before the mother acted fast, running out and striking the creature with her bare hands and forcing it to free her son.
“The true hero of this story is his mom because she absolutely saved her son’s life,” California Department of Fish and Wildlife spokesman Captain Patrick Foy told Associated Press on Saturday.
“She ran out of the house and started punching and striking the mountain lion with her bare hands and got him off her son,” Foy added.
The boy sustained significant injuries to his head, neck and upper torso, but is now in stable condition at a hospital in Los Angeles, according to authorities.
The mountain lion was later located and killed by an officer with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, who found the big cat crouching in the bushes with its “ears back and hissing” at the officer shortly after he arrived at the property.
“Due to its behavior and proximity to the attack, the warden believed it was likely the attacking lion and to protect public safety shot and killed it on sight,” the wildlife department noted in its statement.
The mountain lion attack is the first such attack on a human in Los Angeles County since 1995, according to Fish and Wildlife.
The Santa Monica Mountains is a biodiverse region teeming with wildlife such as large raptors, mountain lions, bears, coyote, deer, lizards, and snakes. However, their numbers have rapidly faded in recent years, causing local wildlife authorities to find new ways to manage the region’s endemic species.
Video Shows Taliban Taking Joyride in Captured US Blackhawk Helicopter
The rapid fall of Kabul to the Taliban has resulted in a number of surreal sights – from footage of the Islamist group’s fighters exercising at a presidential gym to clips of combatants having a great time on bumper cars at the local fun park.
However, a new video of Taliban members seemingly testing their skills in the cockpit of a commandeered UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter shows the chilling extent to which U.S. wares have fallen into the hands of a group it spent trillions of dollars, and exhaustive resources, to stamp out.
In the new video, shared on Twitter, the front-line utility helicopter can be seen taxiing on the ground at Kandahar Airport in southeastern Afghanistan, moving along the tarmac. It is unclear who exactly was sitting in the cockpit, and the Black Hawk cannot be seen taking off or flying.
It is unlikely that the Taliban have any combatants who are sufficiently trained to fly a UH-60 Black Hawk.
The helicopter, which carries a $6 million price tag, is just a small part of the massive haul that fell into the militant group’s hands after the country’s central government seemingly evaporated on Aug. 14 amid the withdrawal of U.S. and coalition troops.
Some 200,000 firearms, 20,000 Humvees and hundreds of aircraft financed by Washington for the now-defunct Afghan Army are believed to be in the possession of the Taliban.
The firearms include M24 sniper rifles, M18 assault weapons, anti-tank missiles, automatic grenade launchers, rocket-propelled grenades and mortars.
Taliban fighters in the elite Badri 313 Brigade have been seen in propaganda images showing off in uniforms and wielding weaponry meant for the special forces units of the Afghan Army.
The U.S. is known to have purchased 42,000 light tactical vehicles, 9,000 medium tactical vehicles and over 22,000 Humvees between 2003 and 2016.
The White House remains unclear on how much weaponry has fallen into Taliban hands, with National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan admitting last week that the U.S. lacks a “clear picture of just how much missing $83 billion of military inventory” the group has.