I’ve said and will continue to say that behind a mask of democracy informed by independent media, we are ruled by sociopaths, by the criminally insane.
Where Is My Final Assange Report?
Numerous people have contacted me in various ways to ask where is my promised report on the final day of the Assange hearing, to complete the account?
It is difficult to explain this to you. When I was in London it was extremely intense. This was my daily routine. I would attend court at 10am, take 25 to 30 pages of handwritten notes, and leave around 5. In court I was always with Julian’s dad John, and usually for lunch too. After court I would thank supporters outside the courtroom, occasionally do some media and often meet with the Wikileaks crew to discuss developments and tactics. I would then get back to my hotel room, have a bite to eat and go to bed around 6.30pm to 7pm. I would awake between 11pm and midnight, shower and shave, read my notes and do any research needed. About 3am I would start to write. I would finish writing around 8.30am and proofread. Then I would get dressed. About 9.30am I would make any last changes and press publish. Then I would walk to the Old Bailey and start again.
Apart from being exhausting, I was totally immersed in a bubble, and buoyed by the support of others close to Julian, who were also inside that bubble.
But in that courtroom, you were in the presence of evil. With a civilised veneer, a pretence at process, and even displays of bonhommie, the entire destruction of a human being was in process. Julian was being destroyed as a person before my eyes. For the crime of publishing the truth. He had to sit there listening to days of calm discussion as to the incredible torture that would await him in a US supermax prison, deprived of all meaningful human contact for years on end, in solitary in a cell just fifty square feet.
Fifty square feet. Mark that out yourself now. Three paces by two. Of all the terrible things I heard, Warden Baird explaining that the single hour a day allowed out of the cell is alone in another, absolutely identical cell called the “recreation cell” was perhaps the most chilling. That and the foul government “expert” Dr Blackwood describing how Julian might be sufficiently medicated and physically deprived of the means of suicide to keep him alive for years of this.
I encountered evil in Uzbekistan when the mother brought me the photos of her son tortured to death by immersion in boiling liquid. The US government was also implicated in that, through the CIA cooperation with the Uzbek Security Services; it happened just outside the US military base at Karshi-Khanabad. Here was that same evil paraded in the centre of London, under the panoply of Crown justice.
Having left the bubble, my courage keeps failing me to return to the evil and write up the last day. I know that sounds either pathetic or precious. I know the mainstream journalists who revel in portraying me as mentally unstable will delight to mock. But this last few days I can’t even bring myself to look at my notes. I feel physically ill when I try. Of course I will complete the series, but I may need a little time.
… and Caitlin Johnstone today:
Twitter has announced the rollout of even more censorship policies in the lead-up to the November US presidential election.
“Starting next week, when people attempt to Retweet a Tweet with a misleading information label, they will see a prompt directing them to credible information about the topic before they can amplify it,” Twitter informs us, with “credible information” of course meaning information from the same mass media outlets who’ve lied to us about every American war throughout their entire existence.
“We’re taking more steps to encourage thoughtful amplification by preventing Tweets that have been ‘followed by’ and ‘liked by’ accounts you don’t follow from showing up in your timeline,” adds Twitter, as though the social media echo chamber that is turning us all into idiots wasn’t bad enough.
This is just the latest in the stack of additional censorship measures that Silicon Valley tech corporations have been rolling out in open coordination with the US government under the banner of protecting American democracy. We may be certain that none of these measures will be rolled back when the election is over.
As my regular readers are no doubt tired of hearing me repeat by now, when you have monopolistic tech corporations which attract the bulk of online communication coordinating with governments to censor speech, what you have is government censorship. As Matt Taibbi recently wrote after the irrational Facebook purge of QAnon cultists, this censorship regime is continually expanding and this expansion is likely to continue, especially in the direction of those who oppose these same establishment power structures that are promoting this censorship.
It’s just so brazenly authoritarian. The only reason people are putting up with it is because they’ve spent four years being bombarded with horror stories about Russian propaganda and right-wing disinformation by the same plutocratic media institutions that are now being upheld as “authoritative sources”. But the fact that consent has been successfully manufactured doesn’t make it okay.
Imagine if you were at a party and a bunch of guys with clipboards who work for the government were going around from group to group listening to the conversations people were having and forcibly removing anyone who said anything they deemed false or disruptive. Would you be okay with this? Even if the people they dragged out of the social gathering were saying things that were indeed false?
Of course you wouldn’t. Nobody would find such an occurrence acceptable, but because basically the same thing is happening on the relatively unfamiliar conversation forum known as social media, people accept the authoritative voices of the plutocratic punditry who are telling them it’s normal.
Well it’s not normal. How do people think conversations happened back before there were monopolistic tech oligarchs policing their words in coordination with the government to make sure they weren’t hazardous to democracy? Did they forget that this wasn’t something that used to happen? Do they think before online political discourse people used to have to meet at the FBI headquarters to have a fed supervise their conversation if they wanted to debate whether or not a conspiracy theory is true?
No, people just talked to each other. Sometimes what people said was true, sometimes it was false, sometimes it was an idiotic urban legend about a Hollywood celebrity putting rodents in their butt, but at no time did anyone stop and think they needed a team of billionaires and government agents to jump in and police their conversations for them.
It’s abnormal, it’s insane, it serves only the powerful, and it’s being advanced by the powerful. The powerful understand the primacy of narrative control; they understand that they are vastly outnumbered by the rank-and-file public their continued rule is therefore entirely dependent on their ability to control how people are thinking, speaking, acting and voting. These rollouts of corporate and state power collaborating to control speech are not a response to a crisis of democracy, they’re a response to a crisis of narrative control.
From Taibbi’s aforementioned article:
In my mind, this argument became complicated in 2017, when the Senate Intelligence Committee dragged Facebook, Twitter, and Google to the Hill and essentially ordered them to come up with a “mission statement” explaining how they would prevent the “fomenting of discord.”
It’s right there in black and white: censor speech to prevent “discord”. This coordination between corporate and state power to censor speech has gotten more and more egregious ever since, just as it was designed to be. Government power has been threatening online platforms like Google and Facebook with antitrust cases in order to ensure compliance with government power from them, and as long as these platforms bow to the pressure and keep expanding the censorship regime that is designed to protect imperial power structures, they’ll probably be safe.
You can’t reach billionaire levels of influence and wealth control in the current system without collaborating with existing power structures; if your collaboration isn’t trusted you’ll find yourself targeted like TikTok and WeChat. This is why all the libertarians and free market types who say Silicon Valley censorship can be fought by moving to a different platform are false; no platform is going to be allowed to rise to the level of Facebook, Twitter or YouTube unless it aligns itself with the same power structures that are pushing censorship on those platforms. This is why attempts to compete with them keep failing.
These platforms were built with the help of establishment power structures, and they are maintained with the consent of those power structures. A few giant platforms sucking up all human conversation to then censor those conversations in alignment with establishment interests is an extremely valuable asset to the powerful, and they’re not going to let it go easily. It’s an extremely effective weapon against dissident thought.
First the wealthy controlled the newspapers, then they controlled the radio, then they controlled television, now they control online speech. It’s been the same story for centuries, and in each instance they collaborated with existing power structures to protect the status quo upon which their kingdoms were built. They did this because they understood the real secret of power: that whoever controls the narrative controls the world. Humanity will only transition into a healthy collaborative way of functioning on this planet when everyone else awakens to this truth as well.