British High Court dismisses appeal by WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange against extradition

Robert Stevens

Julian Assange speaking out-
side the High Court

On Wednesday, the High Court in London dismissed the appeal by WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange against his extradition to Sweden on frame-up charges of rape and sexual assault.

The hearing took place nearly four months after the two presiding High Court judges, Sir John Thomas and Mr Justice Ouseley, deferred Assange’s appeal against a February 24, 2011, ruling that he could be extradited.

At the February hearing, District Judge Howard Riddle at Belmarsh Magistrates’ Court perversely ruled that extradition would not breech Assange’s human rights and that he would get a fair trial if he were ever charged in Sweden.

Assange’s lawyers have indicated they will appeal the latest decision to the Supreme Court. His legal team have only 14 days to do so and face huge obstacles. They must seek permission from the High Court by applying for a certificate of law of general public importance. Under UK law, Assange’s lawyers must justify their application by arguing that the case concerns a point of law of general importance to the public. Only if the High Court agrees with that can the Supreme Court hear an appeal.

Given that the same court has just rejected Assange’s appeal, permission is highly unlikely. This would mean Assange will be forcibly extradited to Sweden within 10 days of the hearing, even though he has not been charged with any offence.

The case against Assange is aimed at silencing WikiLeaks, which has made public thousands of secret US military documents exposing the criminal character of the invasions and occupations of Afghanistan and Iraq. WikiLeaks has also published hundreds of thousands of US diplomatic cables documenting the conspiracies carried out against the global population by Washington and its allies.

Since Assange’s arrest, the British state has worked hand in glove with the Swedish authorities for his extradition.

Dissing Europe's Failed Bailout Scheme

Stephen Lendman

The horns of the depression are in Spain's rearview
mirror. An aid package is in the works to rescue one
more failed State within the failed European Union.

Heavily indebted Eurozone countries face insolvency. Adding more can't save them. Nonetheless, policy makers repeat past mistakes, compounding failure with more of it.

Banker occupation corrupts Europe and America. They decide what's best for them. Wrecked economies follow. So do mandated austerity measures, including public sector layoffs, wage and benefit cuts, tax hikes on workers, cuts for corporate crooks, and unrestrained economic freedom to pillage.

Selling out to bankers, Eurozone leaders pledged an "ambitious and comprehensive" debt crisis solution. Knee-jerk market euphoria greeted it. Second thoughts perhaps know what's so far revealed falls far short of resolution. In fact, crisis conditions will worsen, whatever short-term gains are achieved.

On October 30, Bloomberg headlined, "Europe Blowing Last Chance to End Crisis: View," saying:

"The euphoria over Europe's latest rescue package faded quickly. Now the question is whether European leaders will ever agree on measures needed to end the sovereign debt crisis, and whether they will get another chance."

Fixing it depends on hoisting bankers on their own petards. Otherwise, economies can't recover. None held hostage to bankers ever do. Resolving that issue is job one. Whether or not it's possible isn't known. So far, it's not even mentioned.

When economic shysters run nations, economies and ordinary people suffer. That condition plagues Europe and America. Instead of addressing dire conditions responsibly, policy measures so far adopted exacerbated them.

Israel Called Biggest Threat to World Peace

Stephen Lendman

Most EU citizens polled consider Israel a threat to
world peace. It is the top regional rogue state.

America easily takes top honors, followed by Israel, Britain, and France, the real axis of evil.

In Israel's case, it's easy to see why. It's been top regional rogue state for decades. No other Middle East nation matches it.

In a survey from 2003[*], the European Commission poll rated 15 countries. Respondents called Israel the biggest threat to world peace. It still is.

New developments provide added reasons for concern. On November 2, the International Middle East Media Center (IMEMC) headlined, "Israeli Government Grants A Green Light to Gaza Offensive," saying:

Air and ground attacks depend on if resistance fighters resume firing rockets. They respond to premeditated Israeli bombing and/or shelling. Israel calls it terrorism. International law calls it self-defense.

Egypt tried brokering peace. On and off ceasefires followed. "Israeli sources stated that no shells were fired into southern Israel Tuesday, and the army decided to postpone what it called 'stepping up its retaliation.' "

Others call it premeditated aggression, bogusly claimed to be self-defense. Further Israeli belligerence depends "on the severity of Palestinian attacks."

Army forces were authorized to strike Gaza "and will not need to wait for another government decision...." However, no action is planned while Egypt negotiates with Gazans.

Hats off to Awn Khasawneh

Khalid Amayreh

It is a good omen that the newly-appointed Prime Minister of Jordan, Mr. Awn Khasawna, has finally admitted publicly that the expulsion of Hamas leaders from Jordan in 1999 was wrong.

Khasawneh, a jurist of impeccable credentials, said deporting the Islamist Palestinian leaders, who were and are still Jordanian citizens, was a legal mistake.

His audacious observation portrays a man who wouldn't be silenced or intimidated by a police-state apparatus or a security machine that sees itself above the people.

Khasawneh probably couldn't have uttered what he said only a few months ago, especially prior to the outbreak of the Arab Spring against autocracies, despotism, and dynastic fiefdoms.

The fact that he has said what he said illustrates the tremendous psychological change hovering over the Arab world, including Jordan.

Indeed, the very appointment of a prime minister that is not automatically at the King's beck and call shows that the regime is beginning to consider and be sensitive to the feelings of the people, which is an auspicious sign.

Fortunately, the Hashemite regime in Jordan , despite its many excesses, is not a nefarious regime as indeed is the case with most other regimes in the region.

Nonetheless, the Kingdom of Jordan still has a long way to go in terms of political reforms which would make the kingdom strong and immune to foreign pressure and interference.

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