Thursday, 12 July 2012

El Telégrafo: "Bradley Manning case used by U.S. to put Assange on trial for espionage"

“With the aim of preparing the trial against the founder of WikiLeaks, in charges of espionage, Washington has kept Bradley Manning in prison for two years. He was locked in a windowless cell in solitary confinement, and forced to sleep naked to prevent him of committing suicide.”  

The leading Ecuador's newspaper El Telégrafo published the  article "Manning, el soldado que EEUU quiere usar para juzgar a Assange" ["Manning, the soldier U.S. want to use to put Assange on trial"] 10-07-2012. El Telégrafo's journalist Mishelle Macías asked Professors blogg the publication in English

Article signed by Redacción Actualidad
Translation by Professors blogg

When Julian Assange explains the risk of being extradited to the United States he always refers the case of Bradley Manning. Assange says it can go with him just as it has happened with this American soldier.

Manning has been two years and two months in prison, facing 22 charges. He was arrested by the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command while he was serving in Iraq, accused of uploading confidential information to the Internet.

Among the archives that he managed to declassify there is a video showing a U.S. Army helicopter killing a group of civilians in Iraq, including two Iraqi journalists working for Reuters -- which in turn caused worldwide outrage.

Presumably, Manning is also [accused] of being responsible for the leaking of secret documents about the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, texts Diaries christened the Afghanistan War. And of course, he is also accused of spreading thousands of diplomatic cables sent from U.S. embassies.

Since May 2010, Manning was locked in a windowless cell; cut off from the outside world, and prevented of reading newspapers or receive emails; not allowed going outside to walk and forced to sleep naked every day, for seven hours, on the pretext of preventing an attempt to suicide.

"Manning's trial is conducted in secret. The limited access by the press is controlled by the Military District of Washington, which means the coverage is superficial or non-existent," says Alexa O'Brien, American journalist that has followed the trial-sessions of "United States versus Manning" since December 2011.

O'Brien admits that the degrading treatment that Manning received - at least during the first 10 months since he was jailed in Kuwait until he came to the military prison at Quantico - was aimed to break him down and get his confession on that he would have consciously helped Assange [Alexa O'Brien to @professors blogg: "Manning was transfered from Kuwait on July 29, 2010 and spent around 9-10 months at Quantico, where he was tortured. He was moved to Fort Leavenworth on April 20, 2011] [1]. That would give the prosecution sufficient grounds to prosecute the founder of WikiLeaks for the crime of espionage. Currently no charges have been filed against Australian, but there is an open investigation against him.

This is corroborated by one of the representatives of the General Council Human Rights Watch, Dinah PoKempner. The goal, she says, is to seek an indictment against Assange.

PoKempner says that U.S. still has no incriminating evidence against Assange. "The nasty calls for “pay-back” by U.S. public figures, including some members of government, certainly give Mr Assange reasons for to be concerned, as well as the abusive treatment that Bradley Manning has received while been under military custody until this moment" said the activist.

Currently, several movements have been formed to support the young soldier. One of them is "I am Manning" where one of its leading figures is Daniel Ellsberg. Back in the 70’s, he exposed the Pentagon's classified files, and won the case in court, because it was discovered the infringements of the government of Richard Nixon by illegally wiretapping conversations, in what later became known as Watergate.

But what is the difference between what happened with Ellsberg and what happens with Manning and Assange?
O'Brien believes that the press during the 70’s was more independent than it is now, while Billy Navarrete - of the Permanent Committee for the Defence of Human Rights (CHR) - considers that there is no difference.

"States cannot hide their dirty deeds when they affect people's fundamental principles. The principle of “treason” is overcome when the action has meant the protection of human rights in all circumstances, including in armed conflicts,” said Navarrete.

According to Navarrete "U.S. extended-power means that countries like Sweden does not represent guarantee for Assange’s safety. He is currently the number one enemy of the greatest world power. "


[1] Text and links below, courtesy of Alexa O'Brien

The day after the F.B.I. partnered with the Defense Department and Department of State's Diplomatic Security Service's joint investigation, Manning was moved from Camp Arifjan, Kuwait to Quantico, Virginia, a 30 minute drive from the Grand Jury empaneled in Alexandria. [LINK]
Maj. Gen. Terry Wolff, the general court-martial convening authority and the former commanding general of the 1st Armored Division/U.S. Division, Center in Iraq, transferred Manning to Quantico, he said, "due to a potentially lengthy pre-trial confinement because of the complexity of charges and an ongoing investigation." [LINK]
But "pre-trial prisoners are not incarcerated at a level one facility for typically more than a couple months," saidU.S. Army's Commander of the Joint Regional Correctional Factiliy at Fort Leavenworth, where Manning was transferred after eight months of punitive pretrial confinement, which U.N. special rapporteur on torture, Juan Ernesto Mendez considered"cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment." The U.S. Government's illegal pre-trial confinement and railroad, Government-wide inter-agency prosecution of Manning - overcharging, denying either witnesses or access to the several millions of pages of evidence, some of which could exonerate him or mitigate his punishment - is an attempt to "strong-arm a plea" and scare Manninginto helping the US Government get Assange. [LINK]
[To view the fact sheet associated with this transcript Go HERE

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

The Guardian anew deleting fact-based comments contradicting their anti-Assange smear

A previous Professor blogg article on the same theme:

The Guardian anew deleting fact-based comments contradicting their anti-Assange smear

Submitted comment

Two of my comments to this James Ball article were deleted

Deleted comment 1

Email to Guardian Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Dear Guardian,

I would like to know why the following comment was deleted from your pages. How does it violate community standards? The comment is more fair and better written than the Cohen article it references.

As a Guardian reader, this comment reflects my observations of Guardian's coverage of Assange and Wikileaks. 

Please reply with an explanation of exactly what the problem is with my comment that you felt the need to delete it.

Thank you,

Article to which comment was sent it is found here


The Guardian has viciously & relentlessly attacked #Wikileaks and conducted character assassination of Julian Assange for years. The Guardian gave space to Nick Cohen just a few weeks ago (and James Ball himself promoted that awful smear as "astute & wise" on social media) for a condescending, vitriol-filled smear of Assange and Assange/Wikileaks supporters ( .

This new positioning via James is reminiscent of tactics often used by right wing political parties, where one party makes completely outrageous claims and strawman arguments, subsequently blames the other party for protesting and defending themselves against those claims then goes on later to say we should "move on", "compromise" and find some non-existent "middle-ground". What middle ground? The mudslinging and disinformation campaign has been carried out by you and directed towards Wikileaks and Assange.

What you need to do, Guardian, is apologise and correct the false narrative you have built through misinformation, disinformation and omission.

Then, we can "move on". You might even get some of your readership back.

In the evening, I wrote a new comment. Comment 2 was also deleted. 

Email to Guardian about Comment 2 Tuesday, July 10, 2012:

Dear Guardian Moderators,

I am at a loss. Please explain to me why the following comment was censored from this article:


Comment (by treisiroon on 10 July 2012 5:39PM):

"It was just 2 weeks ago that James Ball endorsed on Twitter as "astute and wise" the Nick Cohen piece  entitled "Definition of paranoia: supporters of Julian Assange" .

Ball and other Guardian writers have consistently ignored important parts of the Assange and Wikileaks story- including that Sweden has refused to use standard procedures like mutual legal assistance, to bring closure to Assange's case in Sweden (but Ball has lamented that the delay in the case being brought to closure is Assange's fault).

 The repeated mis- and half truths have significantly affected public understanding of facts of the Assange-Sweden case and understanding of the threat of the Wikileaks Grand Jury to Assange's (and others') wellbeing. Guardian has made fun of Assange's legitimate concerns, including death threats and the real risk of extradition to the US. Guardian is one of the many papers that has written countless stories about Assange (most of them negative) while hand-wringing that it is Assange's fault and such a tragedy that Assange, rather than Wikileaks "has become the story".

Repeated articles saying Assange is "charged", steering of public opinion by omission of facts and using leading language have been hallmarks of Guardian's coverage of Assange and Wikileaks.

If you, James Ball and Guardian, have changed your tune on Assange and Wikileaks, that's great. It's also quite a turnaround from 2 weeks ago when you called Nick Cohen's piece "astute and wise"." 

Thank you,

The first Guardian article I ever commented on is this, Chris Elliot article (SundayJuly 1 2012)

The comment was deleted.

I do not have a copy of the comment, but it went something like this -- as I described here in this blog posting put up Garve Scott-Lodge (@g4rve) about another deleted comment:

I wrote a comment stating that the use of the quote "victims make allegations" is either a result of cluelessness or smear. I said that the women in question went to the police, 1 to compel Assange to take an HIV test and the other "for support" and that the policewoman on duty determined that a crime had been committed. I pointed out that, thereafter, the case of Assange was dismissed once by a senior prosecutor and then resurrected by a politician-lawyer. I sadi there are many questions about whether Assange is the perpetrator or victim of a crime. I also said that this use of language indicates that Guardian still had a ways to go in understanding key concepts.”

The comment was deleted. I wrote another one pointing out the same facts. It was deleted without so much as a mention.

My first letter to Guardian Monday, July 2, 2012

Dear Guardian,

I would like to know why my comment, my first ever to a Guardian article, and which received a relatively large number of recommendations, was removed from your site.

I do not see how it breaches "community standards"..

The comment was on this article 
left 1 July 2012 8:01PM by treisiroon

The comment was certainly critical. It was also a legitimate criticism.

Thank you for a personal response directed exactly to this comment and how it breached community standards to the extent your moderator found it necessary to remove the comment
. Thank you, treisiroon.

Guardian response from 
Thursday, July 5, 2012 12:23 PM


Thanks for your email. Your post was removed because it contained elements which were deemed legally risky. 

Our community standards are clear on this:

6. We will remove any content that may put us in legal jeopardy, such as potentially libellous or defamatory postings, or material posted in potential breach of copyright.


From treisiroon to CIF.moderation Thursday, July 5, 2012

Thank you for your reply. Can you clarify in what way my post might be "legally risky"? I discussed aspects of the case, but they are publicly known facts of the case, based entirely on the publicly available minutes of the police interviews. They were neither libelous nor defamatory.

On review: 

I said that the women in question went to the police, 1 to compel Assange to take an HIV test and the other "for support" and that the policewoman on duty determined that a crime had been committed. 

True or false? Well, the women state these reasons themselves, according to the minutes of police interviews.

I pointed out that the case of Assange was dismissed once by a senior prosecutor and then resurrected by a politician-lawyer. 

True or false? True. Eva Finne, prosecutor for Stockholm district, dismissed the case. and Claes Borgström, who is a politician and lawyer, then complained about that dismissal to Marianne Ny, a more senior prosecutor.

So, please tell me what I said that resulted in the deletion of the comment from your website. If it was not one of these two statements, was it then something else?

With limited experience of the Guardian comments section, I am trying to understand why my comments were censored.

Thanks again for your follow-up,

So far, no response to that email (as of July 10, 2012)

All of this deletion business and the fact that some really “out there” comments about Assange & Wikileaks (that appear to me to be violations of several of the community standards) are up on the Guardian articles prompted me to Tweet:

Instead of answering, James Ball sends this to the owner of the blog I linked

I remind him I’ve sent him something to look at.

URL referenced is

Saturday, 7 July 2012

(Bodström &) Borgström "very, very much upset" about Ecuador’s Foreign Minister Patiño. Assange asylum case

Foreign Affairs Minister Patiño on the accusations in Sweden against Julian Assange: “Personally, I think this is hilarious”. Professors blog has said it all along from the beginning: This is a political case, not other. 
 Ricardo Patiño Aroca, Ecuador's Minister of Foreign Affairs, as pictured in the Aftonbladet article
By Marcello Ferrada de Noli
Bergamo, Italy

All Swedish mainstream media is publishing the above quoted expressions that Ricardo Patiño Aroca declared to AFP, and referred in Sweden in a cable by TT.
Aftonbladet, in the sad article “Det är dråpligt” (5th of July - the title is the translation of “It is hilarious”) tries to counter Patiño’s assertion by simply throwing some misleading characterizations of Julian Assange – however avoiding to comment the “condom evidence” or other flawed procedures hinted in the AFP/TT report. Aftonbladet says for instance that the “crimes-suspect" Julian Assange “fled” to the Ecuadorian Embassy.  The article refers also the WikiLeaks "duo" Jennifer Robinson and Kristinn Hrafnsson, giving some impression as if "Bonnie and Clyde" were in a tour.

When describing circumstances or reasons for Assange seeking asylum, the Swedish media acts without any regard to décor or decency: while they almost invariably refer Assange as “escaping” of “fleeing” to the Ecuador embassy, in the same articles they would instead often refer the celebre case of Jozsef Mindszenty in the terms of "Mindszenty asked for asylum” (sökte asyl) or “taken protection” (tagit skydd) at the U.S. embassy in Budapest . . .
On the other hand, the tabloid was among the very few media referring the Almedalen conference with the main participation of "spokesperson Kristinn Hrafnsson and lawyer Jennifer Robinson", and the only one - to the best of my knowledge - announcing their press conference.  Following, Aftonbladet asked the “objective” opinion of Claes Borgström, of the law firm Bodström & Borgström that represent the nominal accusers of Assange in Sweden. 

But to call Bodström & Borgström a "political" firm would be also accurate:
Claes Borgström has been during long time official spokesman for gender issues of the social democratic party and also the government-appointed gender-equality Ombudsman. Thomas Bordström is a former minister of Justice under the Bush-docile government of Göran Persson, and that become particularly known after the exposures of collaborating in the secret prisoner-renditions to the CIA. It was about immigrants held in Sweden and referred by the U.S. of being terrorists, for which Sweden secretly facilitated the transport of the prisoners from Sweden to elsewhere, where they were brutally tortured. WikiLeaks cables have denounced numerous episodes of marionette collaboration from the part of Sweden’s Ministry of Justice.
Further, there is a fact the Swedish press – to the best of my knowledge - has never mentioned in reference to the Sweden’s by proxy political case against Assange: Thomas Bodström is a top politician among the social democratic “Brotherhood movement” (Bröderskapsrörelsen), an internal structure within Sweden’s social democratic party formed by a group of   Christian “fundamentalists”. This organization was the one inviting Julian Assange for lecturing in Uppsala. In addition, the political secretary of the said organization “Brotherhood movement” is, according to their Wikipedia article, the same woman that appears as one nominal accuser of Assange --and of course legally represented by Bodström & Borgström.
Claes Borgström have acknowledged in a Guardian article [1] being the instigator of the reopening of the case against Assange after it ha s been dismissed by the first Chef Prosecutor. Whereas Thomas Bodström – as previously reported in Professors blog – has taken pride in acknowledging the accountability of Bordström & Borgström as a whole in representing the plaintiffs against Assange (said by Bordström’s own words in his blog “Bodström’s society” as I have referred in Newsmill. [2]
Aftonbladet, an ideological right-wing tabloid posing from time to time as sympathetic to social-democratic top politicians, has given in the past ample coverage to Bodström & Borgström. For instance when Thomas Bodström defended the plaintiff in a case against political refugee Tito Beltrán (also an international celebrity - a famous opera tenor) and easily managed to get a conviction from the politically appointed judges in spite no evidence was presented against Beltrán. Aftonbladet reported triumphalist on the Court verdict. The verdict stated: 

"According to this court, we found the plaintiff's story credible and that fully meets the requirements to form the basis for a conviction".

The "evidence" mentioned later in the verdict against Beltrán referred to declarations of two friends of the plaintiff which would "have heard" an account from the part of the plaintiff afterthe alleged happenings. Also in this case, it was not the plaintiff who have made a complaint to the police against Beltrán. It was another woman (Monica Dahlström-Lannes, known in Sweden as activist and campaigner  concerning sexual-offence cases) who after her own private investigations and interviews on the case filed the complaint to the police - nine years after!
Dahlström-Lannes was a board-member of the same organization, ECPAC, in which  the social democratic politician and former minister of Justice Thomas Bodström was also a board-member. However, Bodström denied in the court hearings that he knew Dahlström-Lannes.
The above background might explain why Aftonbladet is asking Borgström to provide Swedsh readers with an “objective” opinion in facing international criticism of their flawed legal system. This were the arguments, or absence of arguments, put forward by Borgström in “debating” Minister Patiño’s assertive opinions:
“I become very, very much upset. Most of all, on behalf of these two women (the accusers). It has been very strange comments under the years that passed, but this breaks all the records. He (Patiño) does not know anything about the facts-on-debate, he says” [3]
And Borgström continues, 
“He is a minister in a government, he must think what he says. I just regret that Ecuador has a foreign minister that is considered as a clown”
That said by this Swedish lawyer recently filed upon the Bar Association for alleged infringement on the ethic codex – for implying in declarations published by Aftonbladet that Assange was practically a convict.

[1] Guardian, 8 December 2010
[2] Professor: Assangefallet visar att Karl Marx hade rätt, Newsmill, 28 February 2011
[3] Claes Borgström in Aftonbladet, 5 July 2012:
     – Jag blir väldigt, väldigt upprörd. Framför allt å de här två kvinnornas vägnar. Det har 
        varit mycket konstiga kommentarer under de här åren som har gått, men det här slår 
        alla rekord. Han vet ingenting om sakfrågan, säger han. 
     – Han är minister i en regering, då måste man tänka på vad man säger. Jag kan bara 
        beklaga att Ecuador har en utrikesminister som upplevs som en pajas.