On 24th Feb, the extradition hearings in the case of #JulianAssange
begin. This week, I will be tweeting out the articles that weren't just great at the time of publication but are worth re-reading now, to get a real handle on the case
's 'The Psychology of Getting Julian Assange' explores the psychological dimensions of the CIA decision of "taking down Wikileaks". Remember, these are the same CIA who use / approve in Guantanamo of the professional psychologists who destroyed people by .....
"rectally force feeding victims with hummus, pasta and nuts; sexually assaulting them with broomsticks; locking them in boxes of insects; threatening to harm their children and slit their mothers throats, or rape their mothers in front of them."
Lissa's article explains how tools of psychological warfare are used by organisations such as the CIA. She also discusses the vilification and isolation of #Assange
in this series https://newmatilda.com/2019/02/23/psychology-getting-julian-assange-part-1-whats-torture-got/
If you are amongst those who read about the CIA modus operandi, yet shrink from referring to the horrific trauma that #JulianAssange
has been put through, as "torture", then read this insightful interview with UN Special Rapporteur @NilsMelzer https://www.republik.ch/2020/01/31/nils-melzer-about-wikileaks-founder-julian-assange
Another excellent article worth reading (particularly by those preparing to attend #JulianAssange
‘s extradition trial tomorrow or to join one of the protests globally), is @CraigMurrayOrg
‘s poignant account of the harrowing October hearing. https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2019/10/assange-in-court/
Some “journalists” have wilfully turned a blind eye to Julian’s torture by hinting that #JulianAssange
is not a “real” journalist or that he doesn’t care about protecting his sources. Watch this from #Assange
himself, as interviewed by John Pilger http://johnpilger.com/videos/julian-assange-in-conversation-with-john-pilger
This insightful discussion between @ChrisLynnHedges
explores matters related to #JulianAssange
‘s arrest and treatment with remarkable clarity & depth https://www.truthdig.com/articles/first-julian-assange-then-us/
Excerpts in pics below #FreeAssangeNOW #AssangeCase
Thread continues today with an article about serious prosecutorial misconduct in the framing of Julian #Assange
using sexual assault allegations. As @LissaKJohnson
points out that survivors’ trauma, pain & plight have been exploited for political gain https://newmatilda.com/2019/09/23/weaponising-rape-myths-and-consent-in-the-hunt-for-julian-assange/
Two recent documentaries about Julian #Assange
come next on my list.
The first by @RT_com
offered me, amongst other things, a perspective on what it takes to raise a child to be a courageous adult
The second doc by Robert Holm & @ElenaKuch
, has a memorable line : “Hillary Clinton once said, cant we just take the guy out with a drone”.
Then there is the visible arrogance of Daniel Benjamin & the belief that the deaths, rapes & displacement of 1000s don’t count. Vile!
In addition to reminding us that Julian was never charged by Sweden and a number of other key facts, the documentary underlines the impunity with which powerful Americans think they can kill, destroy, defame or maim anyone who reveals their crimes
Correction: typo. It should say ‘...the impunity with which CERTAIN powerful Americans...’ in the tweet above
says psychological torture isn't "torture-lite". But what is psychological torture? Why is Julian #Assange
a torture victim? The next few tweets explain this using words (please assume quote marks) from an article by @LissaKJohnson https://concurrentdisorders.ca/2020/04/03/psychological-torture-coronavirus-and-julian-assange/
Psychological torture involves methods, techniques & circumstances which intend/are designed to purposefully inflict severe mental pain / suffering. It involves extreme mental, emotional & physical harm, which over time causes severe damage of critical psychological functions
It’s the psychological equivalent of relentless physical starvation & assault, with irreversible damage. Effects include potentially severe brain damage; decrease in the size of the hippocampus; increased risk of premature death; memory, attention, and concentration deficits
impaired ability to reason, think, & speak; loss of a sense of control, to the extent that the will to live itself can be fatally undermined; extreme helplessness, hopelessness, destabilisation, and despair; persistent trauma, terror; hyper-vigilance to threat; ...
a sense of constant vulnerability and danger; incessant hyper-arousal and fear
The deliberate psychological distress caused can be more debilitating & agonizing than the actual materialization of that fear, & ....even physical torture can be experienced as less traumatizing than the indefinite psychological torment of constant fear and anxiety
Psychological torture can manifest with attacks on dignity and identity as a key torture tactic - through public shaming, defamation, vilification or exposure of intimate details of the victim’s private and family life
It is carried out through the proactive targeting of victims’ sense of self-worth and identity through the systematic and deliberate violation of their dignity… using derogatory or feral treatment, insults, verbal abuse & … humiliation.
Another technique is depriving victims of their control over as many aspects of their lives as possible, to demonstrate complete dominance over them, and to instil a profound sense of helplessness & hopelessness
Yet another technique is sensory deprivation…producing apathy, disorientation, confusion..(& with more severe and prolonged deprivation) delusional, hallucinatory and psychotic symptoms
It can also be achieved by imposing isolation, social exclusion, mobbing and betrayal. Persons deprived of meaningful social contact and subjected to emotional manipulation can quickly become deeply destabilized and debilitated.
Yet another tactic is to destroy trust
Let's remember this - A victim of psychological torture cannot be adequately medically treated while continuing to be held under the very conditions constituting psychological torture
Now, let's look at the prolonged psychological torture of Julian #Assange
in the light of these points
Julian has been subjected to a sustained campaign of fabrication & distortion. He has been relentless & baselessly branded a terrorist, foreign agent, & rapist on the world stage for many years
Public figures have repeatedly debased and smeared him.
His safety & security have been threatened by being placed on a NationalSecurity Agency (NSA) ‘manhunting’ target list in 2010. Noteworthy figures have called for his assassination. The US Government had entertained plans to kidnap him
He's facing the prospect of lifelong torture & cruel inhuman & degrading treatment in the United States. But first he will be placed under administrative measures - meaning neither he nor his lawyers will be able to talk to the media .
Then, he faces, a trial in the US, - He a non-US citizen will be tried in the US under US laws, without first amendment protections, for action undertaken outside the US, where such actions are lawful. The trial will take place in a court where the US state always wins
Then 175 years in an American prison (if convicted).
So what about the extradition trial in Britain? Isn't that being done in a just manner? Read these accounts highlighting Julian's experiences of the arbitrary detention & torture he experiences at Her Majesty's pleasure
So why is his detention and his treatment in court a continuation of the arbitrariness & cruelty of the psychological torture he's already experienced?
Lets park the facts re his luggage being stolen when he flew to Britain from Sweden & an Interpol red notice being issued when he had permission to leave Sweden. Lets park the conspiring between Paul Close at Starmer's CPS & the Swedes to keep his case in limbo for 10years
Lets park the effects of vitriol in the international media & MPs like AlanDuncan painting him as a demon but denying him the opportunity to fight his legal defence. Lets park the fact that he has chronic health conditions but isn't allowed out to the hospitalfrom the embassy
Lets park the absurd allegations of hurting his cat or smearing faeces on the wall as excuses to ILLEGALLY deny him his Ecuadorian citizenship
Lets park the horror of being dragged out of asylum in a criminal act by the British state. Oh yes, lets park all that psychological torture and just move to what he experiences this time around in court and at Belmarsh high security prison!!
April 2019 : Julian Assange said NOTHING during the whole brief 15 mins proceedings, other than to say “Not guilty” twice, & to ask a one sentence question about why the charges were changed midway through trial. Yet Judge Michael Snow condemned Assange as “narcissistic”.
May 2019 : Judge Deborah Taylor at Southwark Crown Court punished him with a 50 week custodial sentence for breaching bail
Remember bail breach is a relatively minor offence. The UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention condemned Taylor’s sentence https://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=24552&LangID=E
All this while, Julian is interred in a maximum security prison in solitary confinement, alone circa 23 hours a day.
This is John Pilger's gut-wrenching account of visiting his friend Julian in prison. Do read it . Yes, do read it https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2019/11/30/pilg-n30.html
Is this part of a pattern of arbitrary, cruel, demeaning, disempowering, psychologically debilitating treatment ? What do you think so far? https://twitter.com/deepa_driver/status/1247638114857869312?s=20
Tip: mention @twtextapp on a Twitter thread with the keyword “unroll” to get a link to it.