Consortium News’ Joe Lauria presents a live report every day the court is in session during the extradition hearing. Watch his recap of the fourteenth day’s events.
Former Congressman Ron Paul suffered a minor stroke during his live podcast this morning. He was immediately taken to the hospital. Dr. Paul walked to the ambulance on his own.
Fox New is now reporting that the good doctor has been “hospitalized for ‘precautionary’ reasons.” “Speaking during her afternoon show on Fox News on Friday, host Harris Faulkner reported that Paul is “lucid and optimistic” at the hospital.”
“I am doing fine,” later in the afternoon Paul wrote in a tweet along with a picture of him in the hospital holding him thumb up. “Thank you for your concern.”
Message from Ron Paul: "I am doing fine. Thank you for your concern." pic.twitter.com/aALmLn8xIj
— Ron Paul (@RonPaul) September 25, 2020
During the hearing of medical evidence the last three days, the British government has been caught twice directly telling important lies about events in Belmarsh prison, each lie proven by documentary evidence. The common factor has been the medical records kept by Dr. Daly, head of the jail’s medical services. There has also been, to put it at its very lightest, one apparent misrepresentation by Dr. Daly. Personally, I am wary of the kind of person who impresses Ross Kemp.
Here is a still of Dr. Daly from Ross Kemp’s documentary on Belmarsh prison.
This is Mr. Kemp’s description of the medical wing at Belmarsh: “Security is on another level here with six times more staff per inmate than the rest of the jail.”
While in the medical wing or “healthcare”, Julian Assange was in effect in solitary confinement, and three psychiatrists and a physician with extensive experience of treating trauma have all testified in court that Assange’s mental and physical condition deteriorated while he was in “healthcare” for several months. They also said he improved after he left “healthcare”. That says something profound about the “healthcare” being provided. The same doctors testified that Assange has a poor relationship with Dr. Daly and will not confide his symptoms or feelings to her, and this has also been asserted by defense council.
The Senate is about to wade neck-deep into a confirmation battle over a Supreme Court nominee. But even as their calendar jams up, they shouldn’t forget another important executive appointment: Will Ruger, nominated by Donald Trump to be the new ambassador to Afghanistan. Ruger is a board member and longtime friend of The American Conservative. A Naval Reserve officer, a realist on foreign policy, a foe of idiotic wars, his elevation was viewed as a statement that the president is committed to bringing the troops home from Afghanistan.
There’s just one problem: the gears of Ruger’s confirmation have ground to a halt. Part of the fault appears to lie with the White House, which waited more than a month to send the nomination to Congress. Another obstacle is that Supreme Court fight, which is set to suck up all of the oxygen on Capitol Hill. But there’s also an ideological angle here, as the Huffington Post noted last weekend:
Ruger’s positions are far less bellicose than those of top lawmakers who will determine his fate, like Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Jim Risch (R-Idaho). Those lawmakers may not want a public fight with the president over the nomination – and they almost certainly blessed Trump’s choice behind closed doors before he sent it to Capitol Hill – but they may also decide the easiest option is to simply never consider the matter at all.
Bear in mind that the Post’s piece was published before Ginsburg passed away; now that she’s gone, Republicans who wanted to duck Ruger’s confirmation have a perfect excuse. McConnell and Senate leadership are usually tacit about breaking ranks with Trump, but in cases of foreign policy, they’ve proven bolder. Recall that McConnell himself denounced Trump’s plan to pull troops out of Syria in 2019 and even introduced a resolution opposing it. The idea that he was going to easily accede to Ruger’s nomination was always farfetched.
Matt Purple is a senior editor at The American Conservative.
On Wednesday the trap sprang shut, as Judge Baraitser insisted the witnesses must finish next week, and that no time would be permitted for preparation of closing arguments, which must be heard the immediate following Monday. This brought the closest the defense have come to a protest, with the defense pointing out they have still not addressed the new superseding indictment, and that the judge refused their request for an adjournment before witness hearings started, to give them time to do so.
Edward Fitzgerald QC for the defense also pointed out that there had been numerous witnesses whose evidence had to be taken into account, and the written closing submissions had to be physically prepared with reference to the transcripts and other supporting evidence from the trial. Baraitser countered that the defense had given her 200 pages of opening argument and she did not see that much more could be needed. Fitzgerald, who is an old fashioned gentleman in the very nicest sense of those words, struggled to express his puzzlement that all of the evidence since opening arguments could be dismissed as unnecessary and of no effect.
I fear that all over London a very hard rain is now falling on those who for a lifetime have worked within institutions of liberal democracy that at least broadly and usually used to operate within the governance of their own professed principles. It has been clear to me from Day 1 that I am watching a charade unfold. It is not in the least a shock to me that Baraitser does not think anything beyond the written opening arguments has any effect. I have again and again reported to you that, where rulings have to be made, she has brought them into court pre-written, before hearing the arguments before her.
Consortium News’ Joe Lauria presents a live 10-20 minute report every days the court is in session during the extradition hearing. Watch his recap of the twelfth day’s events.