By Thomas Neuburger
It looks like the U.S. government's case against Julian Assange is falling apart. One of its most important witnesses has now confessed to lying. Via the late Robert Parry's site, Consortium News (emphasis mine throughout):
Key Witness in US Case Against Assange Changes His Story
An FBI informant on Julian Assange upon whose information the U.S. based a key part of its computer intrusion charge against Assange has now admitted that he lied.
An FBI informant upon whose information the United States based aspects of an indictment against imprisoned WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange has now admitted that he fabricated the evidence.
Sigudur “Sigi” Ingi Thordarson has told an Icelandic publication in an article that appeared on Saturday that he made up the allegation that Assange asked him to hack a government computer. That testimony played a key part in the indictment against Assange for conspiracy to commit computer intrusion.
Thordarson, 28, is referred to as “Teenager” in the part of the indictment that focuses on events in Iceland, where Assange was working in 2010. The indictment alleges that, “In early 2010, ASSANGE asked Teenager to commit computer intrusions and steal additional information, including audio recordings of phone conversations between high-ranking officials of the government of NATO Country-I, [Iceland] including members of the Parliament of NATO Country-I.”
Thordarson has now told the publication Stundin that this is a lie.
Since the lie is also on the record and it's key to the charge underlying the extradition, this should mean Assange will be freed. That's certainly one of the possibilities.
The other possibility is that Assange's release will continue to be delayed — he should have been let go already — in the hope he succumbs to one of the many ailments his years-long confinement and current incarceration has inflicted on him.
It's a safe bet that at least three of the English-speaking "Five Eyes" governments — the U.S., the U.K and Australia — want him dead, have wanted him dead ever since the release of Collateral Murder, the horrific U.S. war-crimes video you're not supposed to know or care about.
Will the U.K. release him or continue to hold him? My guess: They'll do whatever the U.S. wants them to try to get away with.
Treated like an Enemy of the State
To get a sense of the illegal lengths to which the U.S. has gone to defame and destroy Assange — and also the kind of person Sigi Thordarson is — consider the following from this 2020 Intercept piece on Assange's extradition trial:
The first recorded “black op” against Assange occurred on September 27, 2010, when a suitcase containing three laptops, hard drives, and clothing vanished from the aircraft carrying him from Sweden to Germany. Efforts to retrieve his belongings, which included privileged communications with his legal counsel, elicited vague excuses from the airline that it knew nothing. The fate of the purloined items became public knowledge in 2013 when information from his [stolen] laptops appeared in prosecution briefs against U.S. Army whistleblower Chelsea Manning.
In 2011, FBI agents went to Iceland to employ an 18-year-old informant, Sigurdur “Siggi” Thordarson, to spy on WikiLeaks. When Iceland’s authorities discovered the FBI’s illegal activities, it deported the FBI agents. Tho[r]darson, whom the FBI had paid $5,000 and flown around the world, later confessed to stealing money from WikiLeaks and was convicted for sexually abusing underage boys.
The "black ops" against Assange have continued to this day and include such acts as these:
The extreme measures taken against Assange reached their all-time low when Lenín Boltaire Moreno Garcés replaced the pro-Assange Rafael Correa as president of Ecuador on May 24, 2017. Former employees of a private Spanish firm, Undercover Global SL, which was employed to provide security at the London embassy, testified on the final day of the Assange hearing that they installed more cameras and microphones, tampered with the mobile phones of visitors, stole the diapers of one of Assange’s babies to take his DNA, and discussed kidnapping and murdering him.
The Guardian has written that "Julian Assange's health is so bad he could die in prison." Here's what awaits him if the U.S. were to succeed in its extradition (from the Intercept again):
An American former public defender, Yancey Ellis, described for the London hearing the conditions in Virginia’s Alexandria Detention Center, which would house Assange before and during his trial. Assange, he said, would be confined “at least 22 hours in a cell” that was “about the size of a parking space” with only a mat on a concrete shelf for a bed. Joel Stickler, an American prisoner advocate, testified that if Assange were convicted, his treatment at the “Alcatraz of the Rockies,” otherwise known as the U.S. Penitentiary Administrative Facility in Florence, Colorado, would be worse. Assange would be housed alone amid inmates like Unabomber Ted Kaczynski, Boston Marathon terrorist Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, FBI agent-turned-Russian spy Robert Hanssen, Mexican drug baron Joaquín “El Chapo” Archivaldo Guzmán Loera, and Oklahoma City co-bomber Terry McNichols. The prison’s regime is as ruthless as its prisoners: twenty-three-hour daily confinement in a concrete box cell with one window four inches wide, six bed checks a day with a seventh at weekends, one hour of exercise in an outdoor cage, showers spraying water in one-minute spurts, and “shakedowns” at the discretion of prison staff. There won’t be many other journalists and publishers there.
The ugly response to Julian Assange from all U.S. elites and their media enablers exactly mimics the ugliness he exposed by releasing Collateral Murder.
(If you're seeing an age-restricted warning from YouTube, it's because this is a U.S. government snuff film and Google knows it.)
Worse, as one of the first soldiers on the scene afterward, Ethan McCord, said a year later, "Things like this happened on an almost daily basis in Iraq."
If you listen through to the end of the video above, note how the Army screwed McCord out of his benefits, claiming that his war-related injuries, for example, his broken spine, were "pre-existing conditions." To repeat a old Star Trek line, these people are without honor. Or conscience.
Mass Murder and the War-Crimes State
As I wrote some years ago about Collateral Murder, the film is brutal to watch, but I challenge you to do it anyway. It shows not just murder, but a special kind of murder — murder from the safety of the air, murder by men with heavy machine guns slowly circling their targets in helicopters like hunters with shotguns who walk the edges of a trout pond, shooting at will, waiting, walking, then shooting again, till all the fish are dead. And again, as Ethan McCord tells us, the shells they're firing are a foot long each. They blow people apart.
The film also shows war crimes that implicate the entire structure of the U.S. military, since everyone involved was acting under orders, seeking permission to fire, waiting, then getting it before once more blasting away. The publication of this video, plus all the Wikileaks publications that followed, comprise the whole reason everyone in the U.S. who matters, everyone with power, wants Julian Assange dead.
We do this every day around the world. This is the state we defend when we defend the state. These are the people we honor when we honor those who continue and defend these deeds. (Looking at you, Mr. Biden, and you, his former boss.)
Will the state still try to murder Julian Assange? It will be fascinating to watch its continued attempts to do so, if indeed they still attempt it.