TOTAL MEDIA BLACKOUT! Two Court Cases with Major Implications Being Ignored: Schulte & Assange

TOTAL MEDIA BLACKOUT! Two Court Cases with Major Implications Being Ignored: Schulte & Assange

February 25, 2020 – There are two critically important legal cases playing out right now with massive implications for the notion of Freedom of the Press, as well as the line between protecting national security and legitimate secrecy versus the public’s need and right to know. We have seen that the United States Department of “Justice” has targeted whistleblowers to make examples out of them. Likewise, the weaponization of the U.S. Intelligence Community (IC) for political and commercial gain. Without question, we are at a crossroads. Technology has given government unprecedented access into every aspect of our daily lives. This data has been used to monitor journalists and to intimidate potential whistleblowers.

United States vs. Joshua Schulte (Alleged CIA Vault 7 Leaker)

The first case of major import is United States vs. Joshua Schulte, the alleged leaker of a repository of hacking tools the CIA uses that Wikileaks has dubbed “Vault 7.”

According to journalist Oscar Grenfell in an article entitled ‘Alleged Wikileaks Whistleblower Joshua Schulte on Trial in New York,‘ we can expect little or no mainstream media coverage except government approved talking points:

The criminal trial of Joshua Schulte, a former Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) employee accused by the US government of leaking documents exposing illegal global spying operations, began in a New York federal courtroom this month. Hearings are ongoing.

The 31-year-old has pled not guilty to 11 charges. They cover alleged violations of the Espionage Act, including the ‘theft of government property’ and ‘illegal transmission of unlawfully possessed national defense information.’

The proceedings provide a glimpse into the kind of kangaroo court that Julian Assange will face if he is extradited from Britain to the US to face trumped-up Espionage Act charges over separate 2010 and 2011 WikiLeaks publications. If Schulte is convicted, it may also aid the attempts of the US Department of Justice to concoct further charges against Assange, on the grounds that he violated US ‘national security.’

The corporate media is seeking to suppress any public discussion of the Schulte trial. The handful of reports in the New York Times, Washington Post and other prominent publications have said virtually nothing about the assault on whistleblowers revealed in Schulte’s treatment, or the content of the material he is alleged to have leaked. It is as if Edward Snowden, the whistleblower who came to international prominence by exposing US National Security Agency surveillance operations, were on trial in New York and the media did not bother to show up.

The 2017 WikiLeaks publications, based on material Schulte has alleged to have leaked exposing CIA spying, were no less damning than the Snowden revelations. US prosecutors have stated that they constituted the ‘the single biggest leak of classified national defense information in the history of the CIA.’

Dubbed Vault 7, the documents detailed the activities of a secret division within the CIA responsible for offensive hacking operations. They reveal the agency to be the biggest purveyor of malicious computer viruses in the world.

Among the most explosive revelations were documents showing that the CIA division would, after hacking into a computer system, leave tell-tale markers in foreign languages including Iranian and Russian. This pointed to the way in which supposedly forensic evidence of such things as ‘Russian interference’ in the 2016 US election could have been manufactured by the CIA.

The trove demonstrated that the CIA had developed capabilities to hack household appliances, including smart TVs, so that they could be used to spy on their owner. It contained evidence of even more sinister operations. One document showed that the division was seeking to develop the capacity to remotely take control of the computer operating systems of modern cars. Such capabilities could be used for assassination operations.

The illegal character of these activities, which violated the US Constitution and potentially infringed on the right to privacy of millions around the world, has been covered up by the media and the official political parties in the US and around the world. Instead, Schulte and Assange have been viciously targeted.

WikiLeaks’ publication of Vault 7 in early 2017 was followed by a frenzied hunt within the CIA for the whistleblower. It was the trigger for a major intensification of Washington’s pursuit of Assange. This culminated in the increasingly-US aligned Ecuadorian government’s expulsion of Assange from its London embassy last year and his detention in Britain. – Oscar Grenfell

One wonders about journalists who have passed away under suspicious circumstances, like Michael Hastings. In 2012-13 Hastings was allegedly working on a major story on CIA Director John Brennan and his “witch hunts” on investigative journalists. An Associated Press spying scandal at the time that showed the U.S. IC under the Obama Administration had been targeting whistleblowers and setting traps for them as well as journalists. Concerned he was being investigated by the FBI, reportedly Hasting had  just reached out to Wikileaks attorney Jennifer Robinson when the fatal car accident that caused his death occurred.

Emptywheel on Twitter sees the case in a different light:

Schulte’s defense claims that the CIA system was not secure and that the CIA targeted him as a “scapegoat” because of the issues he had with some co-workers.

Jake Hamby reports:

An interesting Bloomberg connection.

For those wanting more information about the Vault 7 leak itself, and some of the major implications of the discoveries:

Reddit comments on the lack of Media coverage for these hearings:

Inner City Press is reporting on all the problems journalists are having trying to cover this case:

Schulte’s lawyers are claiming there has been a Brady Violation, due to the so-called “missing” discovery hard drive that the Metropolitan Police Department in NYC reported.

WikiLeaks Vault 7: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

This case has major implications for national security vs the public right to know. It’s historic in how it exposes the massive surveillance state we are living in as well as the major abuses being undertaken by the Central Intelligence Agency.

United States vs. Julian Assange (Wikileaks)

The second major case that is now underway is the United States vs Julian Assange et al. The U.S. has already admitted in prior court filings that no lives were lost due to Wikileaks. This is about creating a chilling effect to keep others from publishing.

Julian Assange and Wikileaks have long been a target of international intelligence agencies, as well as private actors. His hearing regarding potential extradition to the United States has revealed what appear to be years of intelligence agencies violating his civil liberties and basic human rights in pursuit of a politically motivated agenda.

This article is slightly misleading. Obama was President during July 2016, and Hillary Clinton once famously asked back in 2o12 if the U.S. could just “drone this guy,” in reference to Julian Assange.

According to Natasha Bertrand of Politico:

According to potential CIA apologist EmptyWheel:

Robert Goldstein claims:

Kevin Gosztola of Shadowproof was at Belmarsh for the hearing and this is what he reported:

This is such an egregious abuse of power. It is psychological torture and cruel and unusual punishment. They are trying to make an example out of him that will get journalists and publishers to start self-censoring.

Indeed the U.S. Intel Community has already admitted this. No lives were lost due to any of Assange’s publications and he had gone to great lengths to protect sources and methods.

These two cases are extremely important to our current ability to maintain a Constitutional Republic. The public has an overriding interest in being able to remain informed. We cannot let the United States turn into a communist-style police state. We cannot allow political persecution to be the norm. We must dare to speak truth to power and we must vigorously be willing to cover historic cases such was U.S. vs Schulte and U.S. vs Assange.

Our future literally depends on it.

For more information on both cases, see resources below:

~~Both of these cases are still on-going, please check back soon for updates. 

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