MEDIA WATCH: Nicky Hager on the Julian Assange case and the NZ media coverage blackout

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Incredibly Nicky Hager’s astounding witness evidence given in the show trail against Assange has been utterly ignored by the NZ media…

Extradition hearing witness questions media portrayal of Julian Assange

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is not the “difficult, awful person” portrayed in the media and “has devoted himself to trying to make the world a better place”, his extradition hearing has been told.

Investigative journalist Nicky Hager said logs from the Afghanistan and Iraq wars, along with embassy cables, published by the organisation in 2010 and 2011 were “exactly the type” of leaked information needed by the public at the time.

Giving evidence at the Old Bailey by video-link on Friday, the New Zealander said he spent a lot of time working with Assange, 49, who is wanted in the US to face 18 charges alleging a plot to hack computers and conspiracy to obtain and disclose national defence information.

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Mr Hager said: “The person I got to know was completely different from the picture my friends and others were getting through the news media.

“I found him to be thoughtful, humorous and energetic.

“I saw nothing of the difficult, awful person he is often portrayed as through the media.

“As a New Zealander, I see him as an Aussie guy who is very principled and trying to find a way to make a difference in the world.

“He has devoted himself to trying to make the world a better place in an era when there is declining freedom of information in most of the world.”

US prosecutors claim Assange and WikiLeaks put the lives of informants around the world in danger by publishing unredacted documents online.

Mr Hager said it was his understanding that the organisation had made efforts to keep the names secret and only published the information in September 2011 once it had already been made public following the publication of a password in a Guardian book.

James Lewis QC, for the US government, suggested 154,000 diplomatic cables containing some names marked “simply protect” had already been published by WikiLeaks a week earlier.

Mr Hager said the evidence is disputed and argued the nine months between initial publication and the unredacted material being made public allowed the US authorities to act to protect sources.

“The precautions taken by Julian Assange at the beginning help to explain why there was not wholesale damage from those unredacted documents finding their way out,” he said.

…New Zealand’s most famous Investigative Journalist gives witness evidence in the journalism trial of the century and all you hear are crickets in NZ?

Most NZ Media rooms are now slavish cowards to the woke social media lynch mob, and the Woke’s denigration of Assange as a rapist means any coverage in NZ must be deplatformed and never spoken of.

It’s astounding watching it up close because normally Hager’s work is championed by the Woke, it’s fascinating seeing him deplatformed by NZ mainstream media’s self censorship for fear of triggering a woke lynch mob.

This type of cowardly journalism’s irony is poignant because of course Assange is one of the most important voices in real journalism.

Without his work the war crimes, the murders, the abuses of power that damage all the people those Woke claim to care about would never have seen the light of day.

What glorious progress. All hail the mighty altar of woke cancellation!

 

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32 COMMENTS

  1. I am so sad for Julian and his whanau at this time, I hope he makes it and that the UK justice system and govt acquits him of these charges….I live in hope that justice will prevail.

  2. Our news media dont even report on Assange, I get all my updates from Democracy Now, Going Underground and RT. its truly fucking disgusting what is happening to Julian I mean he didn’t murder anyone he exposed the US military and their Govt for what they are war mongerers, Hilary Clinton Im sure wants to see Julian back in the US she’s pure evil when it comes to revenge for the US. If Julian Assange is extradited to the US then its all down hill for the rest of us.

    • Craig Murray on Consortium News is a good cover. I am hoping against all appearances that the UK justice system is going through the motions of showing the US that they are doing everything possible to comply with the extradition request but that in the end it won’t be granted because Assange has not committed any crime that justifies it. It would leave it up to the defence to do their part but I am hoping it may be that the apparent medieval bias of the court proceedings are instead of violating the British legal system rather than being a part of that violation.
      D J S

      • Craig Murray, Assange Extradition Hearing, Day 8 18th Sept 2020

        Intro:
        “A less dramatic day, but marked by a brazen and persistent display of this U.S. government’s insistence that it has the right to prosecute any journalist and publication, anywhere in the world, for publication of U.S. classified information. This explicitly underlay the entire line of questioning in the afternoon session.”

        Craig Murray covers the proceedings in remarkable detail. (Thanks, D.S.)

      • personally I am waiting to see if the great British Justice system will debase itself further by performing yet another “irregularity”( i.e. illegality) and allowing an extradition to a country that has the death penalty. This w against British/ English law.
        Also Assange is an Australian, where the fuck is the Aussie government??? The man is being tortured and they have done nothing. He is not a U.S. citizen. He is not a rapist. All three male founders of Wikipedia have been smeared as such. They are the target of a CIA psy-ops campaign. The woke is dumb as . They do not read and inform themselves … too hard requires work they just nut off instead
        https://newmatilda.com/2020/09/07/the-stalinist-trial-of-an-australian-hero-john-pilger-on-julian-assange/

  3. I doubt the NZ media is all that concerned about the “woke” or that the “woke” ( those of them that are) are still holding to the belief that he is guilty of rape. But not getting offside with the US deep state is much more likely to be silencing them.
    D J S

  4. Daniel Ellsberg also defended Assange at the trial, last Tuesday. Ellsberg “precipitated a national political controversy in 1971 when he released the Pentagon Papers, a top-secret Pentagon study of the U.S. government decision-making in relation to the Vietnam War, to The New York Times, the Washington Post and other newspapers.

    “On January 3, 1973, Ellsberg was charged under the Espionage Act of 1917 along with other charges of theft and conspiracy, carrying a total maximum sentence of 115 years. Due to governmental misconduct and illegal evidence-gathering, and the defense by Leonard Boudin and Harvard Law School professor Charles Nesson, Judge William Matthew Byrne Jr. dismissed all charges against Ellsberg on May 11, 1973.” That from Wiki

    Excerpt below is from this link: Ellsberg Defends Assange at UK Court

    Critics from both sides of the mainstream political aisle have called Assange’s actions “reckless.”

    At the height of WikiLeaks’ revelations, some leading Republicans and Donald Trump called for his execution.

    However, Ellsberg refuted claims that Assange acted in such a manner, asserting in the court statement that “his approach was the exact opposite of reckless,” and that Assange would not “willfully expose others to harm.”

    Ellsberg also noted that “very frequently the claim for ‘national security’ has been erected to obscure illegality and deceit, often on a major scale,” and argued that the “closest similarities” between his and Assange’s cases include the manner in which “the exposure of illegality and criminal acts institutionally and by individuals was intended to be crushed by the administration carrying out those illegalities.”

    This, Ellsberg argued, is “in part in revenge” for revealing wrongdoing, as well as an attempt “to crush all such future exposure of the truth.” [Full article at the link above]

    Again, Ellsberg noted that “very frequently the claim for ‘national security’ has been erected to obscure illegality and deceit, often on a major scale.”

    • Also, what Ellsberg released with the Pentagon papers was information classified as TOP SECRET by the US Govt & Ellsberg was protected under the US Constitution as a Journalist despite the fact that he could’ve been tried for treason for releasing this information! Assange released redacted information that didn’t reveal any names & it wasn’t classified as TOP SECRET, but Highly Sensitive & whose release would be highly embarrassing to the US Govt if the Public found out, yet Assange is not afforded the same protections that Ellsberg received, as a Journalist? It’s hypocritical & a blatant misuse of the US Espionage Act to charge Assange with spying by a vindictive & evil American Govt who are determined to make a example of Assange as a Human sacrifice & a warning to other whistleblowers? It is George W Bush & Tony Blair that should be in Jail & summoned to the Hague or a International Court & charged with War Crimes against Humanity, not Julian Assange, who exposed these criminals & their mass murder & War crimes!

  5. Only a few years ago a US court determined that the NSA actions exposed by Snowden were in fact illegal.

    No reporting about that here either.

  6. “But not getting offside with the US deep state is much more likely to be silencing them. D J S”

    Exactly. Because NZ is a stooge of US imperialism.

  7. A poignant excerpt from Craig Murray:
    “Although Julian’s days in court are horrible in some ways, with 5am starts, strip searches and shackling for transport in a kind of upright fridge inside an armoured serco van, at least he gets to see us all and after the final session he gave John Pilger and I a raised fist salute as they took him down.

    It has definitely been better for him than effective solitary confinement all this time. Wondering what he is thinking right now back locked in his Belmarsh cell.” https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/ (Link via Spikey – Thanks)

  8. ” Without his work the war crimes, the murders, the abuses of power that damage all the people those Woke claim to care about would never have seen the light of day ”
    Nicky is cut from the same cloth and without his vital work Key and his gangsters corrupt practices would never have been exposed. There are very few brave journalists left that take incredible risk to reveal the truth and it is an indictment on our fourth estate that Assange is ignored and discredited.

  9. Who is to blame for our seemingly talentless bootlicking journalists and the meaningless drivel they excrete every day? Is it the editors and production managers of the news outlets? Their owners, boards and executive? Or do government’s just tell journalists what they can broadcast generally and explicitly? Todays journalism appears to be some information game where all that matters is gaining the narrative and then spinning the fuck out of it to suit some ideological or financial advantage. These losers would rather see actual journalism and publishing go under for their own selfish purposes than fight for truth, integrity, community, human rights, public interest and an informed and vibrant society. Real journalism is on trial here (what is left of it), the actual capacity to know what is going on in the world, and if Julian goes down it is over.

    • I agree with Kheala – well said. The only word you use that I don’t agree with is ‘journalists’ although your description of them is superb. They are not journalists. They are just reporters who report what they hear and fail miserably in the true art of journalism.

      But yes, talentless and everything else you say about them is spot on. Instead of probing and fighting for the truth about things like human rights abuses including what is happening to Julian Assange and the distortion of the truth against Julian that that court case is exhibiting through the theatrics of the lawyer for the US, we have our very own Kate Hawkesby banging on in outrage typical for her level of reporting about Jacinda apparently breaching social distancing during her election campaign.

      https://www.nzherald.co.nz/lifestyle/news/article.cfm?c_id=6&objectid=12366457

      So this is the level of reporting that NZME pitches itself at. Speaks for itself doesn’t it?

  10. Just as importantly where is our governments openly declared outrage over the treatment of an investigative journalist? Given what’s been happening here too I would have thought this was a key concern for Labour and co?

  11. Bomber, ever thought to take a look at who is funding all those “woke” organizations and groups here? Because you’ll find that they are DoD, etc, partners, for the most part. It’s not a coincidence.

  12. The silence in the MSM in the UK and elsewhere is really stunning, coupled with cowardice by almost all political and parliamentary parties – Labour in the UK especially. Where are other “establishment”” figures, even in the judiciary, who are prepared to defend true and proper legal process? It is ironic that one of the few UK MP’s who has criticised the process is a Tory! (David Davis). Following the excellent and detailed blog by Craig Murray is a difficult and anger-inducing process. I hate the idea that the UK and elsewhere are so cowed by the USA and are effectively vassal states – but then again, it suits the purposes of those in power to keep their own knees on the neck of fearless and independent journalism. Good on Nicky Hager for testifying too.

  13. Stuff gave this cover the next day: Stuff 21st Sept 2020, Nicky Hager Gives Evidence for Julian Assange

    Excerpt:
    Giving evidence by video-link, Hager told the hearing at the Old Bailey criminal court he spent “some days’’ in 2010 looking through leaked files while working with Assange and WikiLeaks, The Australian reported.

    He said he redacted “a few hundred” Australian and New Zealand names.

    It was because of the efforts Assange had undertaken to redact names and prevent unredacted publication by warning the US State department and other agencies of the files, that the US authorities had time to warn sensitive sources and protect them, Hager said.

    He suggested the criteria he used in redacting names was based on his own judgment and that Australia and New Zealand were “safe’’ countries and thus were considered in a different light to other countries.

    “In the context of the countries I was looking at there was no threat, there was just political embarrassment factor,” Hager told the court.

    In the time he worked with Assange and WikiLeaks he believed “they were very serious about what they were doing, being truthful and responsible”, The Australian reported him saying. More at the link above, including that recent photo of Assange giving supporters the thumbs up, from the van. What a courageous person.

  14. On 14 September, a group of former presidents, politicians and international lawyers wrote to the UK government “about the violations of Mr Julian Assange’s fundamental human, civil and political rights”. The letter was released on 21 September. Jeremy Corbyn and former Heads of State demand freedom for Julian Assange

    The group added that:

    We write to you as legal practitioners and legal academics to express our collective concerns about the violations of Mr. Julian Assange’s fundamental human, civil and political rights and the precedent his persecution is setting.

    We call on you to act in accordance with national and international law, human rights and the rule of law by bringing an end to the ongoing extradition proceedings and granting Mr. Assange his long overdue freedom – freedom from torture, arbitrary detention and deprivation of liberty, and political persecution.

    Specifically, the group raised concerns about Assange’s right to a fair trial, the politicisation of proceedings, risk of torture, as well as violations of the freedom of the press. (More at the link above.)

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