UN Torture Expert on Julian Assange’s Persecution and the Lies Behind It

From Pushback with Aaron Maté at The Grayzone:

As a UK judge rejects Julian Assange’s extradition but keeps him caged in Belmarsh prison, UN Special Rapporteur on torture Nils Melzer discusses Assange’s persecution and the lies used to wage it.

A UK judge has rejected a US attempt to extradite Julian Assange, citing the Wikileaks founder’s risk of suicide and the poor conditions of US prisons. But Judge Vanessa Baraitser accepted the basis for the US government’s espionage case against Assange and ruled against releasing him on bail.

Nils Melzer, the UN Special Rapporteur on torture, discusses the longstanding persecution of Assange and the lies that have been used to justify it to the public. Melzer, who has visited Assange in prison, has played a critical role in exposing the deception surrounding Assange’s initial Sweden extradition case.

“Based on 20 years of experiences of visiting prisoners, many of whom are being exposed to to extremely severe conditions including ill treatment, it is a miracle that this man is still alive,” Melzer says.

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OPCW Chief Dodges Questions on Syria Coverup After New Leaks, Attacks on Whistleblowers

From Pushback with Aaron Maté at The Grayzone:

For the first time, OPCW chief Fernando Arias was asked a series of direct questions at the United Nations about the cover-up of a Syria chemical weapons probe. He answered none of them.

Russia’s UN ambassador asked Arias about several damning leaks, some revealed by The Grayzone, as well as ongoing deceptive attacks on the veteran scientists who challenged the censorship of their investigation. Arias refused to answer in public session, and gave vague, non-substantive answers in private.

Aaron Maté recaps the unanswered questions to Arias, as well as recent attacks on the OPCW whistleblowers via Western state-funded outlets Bellingcat and the BBC.

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Spooky Western Journalists Regurgitate CIA and Collaborate With Spy Agencies

From The Grayzone:

Max Blumenthal, reporting from Venezuela, discusses with Aaron Maté and Ben Norton how Western corporate media outlets are full of stenographers for spy agencies, how the CIA and MI6 drive reporting on Russia, how the US and UK governments fund regime-change website Bellingcat and its deceptive articles on Syria and the OPCW, and how the British military censors journalism.

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Lawrence Wilkerson on Biden’s Pro-War Cabinet

From The Grayzone:

Col. Lawrence Wilkerson assesses President-elect Joe Biden’s “national security” picks, including Gen. Lloyd Austin for Secretary of Defense and Anthony Blinken for Secretary of State. “I don’t see a different kind of administration being formed,” Wilkerson says. “And it disturbs me because it just means more of the same — a little more calmness, a little more serenity, which lulls everyone into thinking that things are better, when in fact they’re not.”

Guest: Col. Lawrence Wilkerson, former chief of staff to Colin Powell. Currently a distinguished professor at the College of William and Mary.

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After Trump Leaves, US and Israeli Aggression Against Iran Remains

From The Grayzone:

After Israel’s assassination of an Iranian nuclear scientist, former UN Weapons Inspector Scott Ritter debunks the myths about Iran’s nuclear program and discusses the next phase of the US and Israeli campaign against Iran under Biden.

Israel’s assassination of an Iranian nuclear scientist is the latest act of aggression in the Trump-Netanyahu campaign to undermine the Iran nuclear deal. Although President-elect Joe Biden has voiced support for returning to the JCPOA, longstanding US-Israel hostility to Iranian sovereignty will continue under his watch.

Guest: Scott Ritter, former UN Weapons Inspector, former Marine Corps Intelligence Officer, and author of Dealbreaker: Donald Trump and the Unmaking of the Iran Nuclear Deal.