September 23, 2020
Nothing unusual to report before the hearing today. Just my daily reminder that Belmarsh prison puts Assange through a five-hour ordeal every day just to take him to court which includes being handcuffed, strip-searched, and a three-hour round-trip transport. I’m wondering how many journalists and publishers out there that refuse to speak out on his behalf against this extradition request would feel if the U.S. arrested them tomorrow and put them through this punishment for simply practicing journalism. Especially those who used WikiLeaks documents in the past to bolster their work, image, or publications.
Defense Witness #19: Dr. Quinton Deeley
Dr. Deeley is a National Health Service psychiatrist who specializes in autism and believes that Assange meets all the criteria for Asperger’s. He also thinks that Assange suffers from “serious clinical depression” although episodes are “of a fluctuating nature” i.e. severe depression with psychotic symptoms when Deeley first assessed Assange but only moderate depression later. Deeley initially observed an ADOS (autism) test administered to Assange and then he conducted a 6-hour interview with him a few months later. More from Deeley:
- Assange is “an intelligence person characteristic of many high functioning people on the autism spectrum”
- Assange told Deeley extradition would be an “unbearable ordeal”
- Assange would not be able to manage in a U.S. prison
- Half of prison suicides are prisoners in solitary confinement
- If the court decides to extradite Assange “he is likely to try to kill himself”
And I know this is going to seem like a cop out today (maybe it is?) but the entire morning felt like it mainly consisted of the prosecution arguing that Assange wasn’t on the autism spectrum while the defense witness disagreed. The gist of it:
Prosecution: But Assange hosted a TV show, he can speak to groups of people, those close to him say he’s empathetic, he was given custody of his child and…and…he has good eye contact! Surely he doesn’t have Asperger’s!
Witness: Well actually…
Prosecution: You’re biased!
Prosecution Witness #1: Seena Fazel
The first witness for the United States was Professor Seena Fazel, a forensic psychiatrist with a fairly impressive background who specializes in prison suicide. Earlier this week James Lewis (for the prosecution) told the court that medical experts disagreed with the Asperger’s diagnosis so apparently Lewis hauled Fazel into court with grand expectations only to be let down (was that their strategy?). Fazel testified that Assange did have characteristics of Asperger’s and he wouldn’t rule out entirely a diagnosis on the spectrum. Well played, Lewis. More from coourt:
- Fazel seemed surprised Assange’s depression was called “severe depression with psychotic features” when he assessed him in March and June (note: defense witnesses said severity of condition fluctuates and Fazel saw Assange after he was taken out of isolation)
- He said Assange’s suicide risk was high in June
- He said suicide risk changes in relation to circumstances
- He said suicide rates in prisons in Wales and England are higher than in U.S. prisons
- Fazel conceded that isolation, solitary confinement, a long sentence, and SAMs all contribute to higher suicide risk
To be clear, although Fazel’s expertise focuses on mental illness and the mental health of prisoners (among other things), he is not an expert on autism or U.S. prisons. He’s also not an expert on SAMs, he’s never been to ADX Florence, he didn’t know the former ADX prison ward said it was “worse than the death penalty” and not “designed for humanity,” and wasn’t even aware that Chelsea Manning tried to commit suicide in a U.S. federal prison. But here we are.
And then when James Lewis got back up for re-direct perhaps in an effort to salvage his witness’ testimony, this happened:
Lewis reads a statement from AUSA Kromberg, describing ADX “Worse Than Hell” Florence as some kind of summer camp where prisoners are afforded the luxury of communicating through the cell bars, watch TV programmes preselected by staff and participate in arts & crafts.— Richard Medhurst 🇸🇾🇵🇸 (@richimedhurst) September 23, 2020
Lewis added that the not fit for humanity prison also had video games and educational courses like “7 Habits of Highly Effective People,” and yes, apparently this is real life. Of course none of these vastly intriguing selling points would be available to Assange even if he managed to procure a poolside timeshare at ADX because he would be in solitary confinement under SAMs.
So yeah, I think I’m just going to end this summary here because I’m pretty everyone already knew how absurd this dog and pony show is. And frankly, the testimony in the last two days has been fairly depressing but I do think the defense is doing well arguing the mental health/suicide angle which could save Assange based on the Lauri Love case.
Feature photo: Inside Edition
The Twitter users I followed today that I want to give a special thanks to for covering the hearing and that were used as my source material include (these guys and gals do the heavy lifting so we don’t have to):
A head’s up that @SMaurizi will no longer be covering the hearing (for now). Yesterday, the UK prosecution for the United States took issue with her doing so ⟶ “I am afraid today and in the coming days I won’t be able to follow and cover the Julian #Assange extradition hearing because the lawyers acting for the US government asked I won’t do it as I am a witness of fact in the Julian #Assange extradition hearing.” – Stefania Maurizi
Richard Medhurst’s Day 12 Full Summary (video) HERE
“How Did We Get Here? The Threat of Fascism in U.S.” Davey Heller via ClassConscious.org
“No more appeals to the fascist Trump! The Assange campaign must turn to the working class!” Davey Heller via ClassConscious.org
“The Darkest Corner: Special Administrative Measures and Extreme Isolation in the Federal Bureau of Prisons.” Center For Constitutional Rights
Conditions of Prison in Alexandria, VA via The Justice Campaign (Twitter thread)
“Lockdown Life is Better in Virtual Reality” Madeleine Spence, The Times
“Wikileaks – USA against Julian Assange (english subtitles)” via ardmediathek.de
- Day 1 and 2: Mark Feldstein
- Day 2: Clive Stafford-Smith
- Day 3: Paul Rogers, Trevor Timm
- Day 4: Eric Lewis (cancelled)
- Day 5: Eric Lewis
- Day 6: Eric Lewis (continued), Thomas Durkin
- Day 7: John Goetz, Daniel Ellsberg
- Day 8: John Sloboda, Carey Shenkman
- Day 9:
- Nicky Hager
- Jennifer Robinson (statement read in court, no cross-examination)
- Khaled El-Masri (statement read in court, no cross-examination)
- Carey Shenkman (continuation from day before)
- Dean Yates (statement read in court, no cross-examination)
- Day 10:
- Christian Grotthoff
- Andy Worthington (statement read by judge/unclear)
- Cassandra Fairbanks (statement read in court, no cross-examination)
- Day 11: Dr. Kopelman
- Day 12:
- Dr. Quinton Deeley
- Seena Fazel
- Dr. Catherine Humphries (statement read in court, no cross-examination)
- Edward Fitzgerald QC (Assange defense)
- Mark Summers QC (Assange defense)
- Jennifer Robinson (Assange defense)
- Gareth Peirce (Assange defense)
- Florence Iveson (Assange defense)
- James Lewis QC (prosecutor for the U.S.)
- Joel Smith (prosecutor for the U.S.)
- Claire Dobbin (prosecutor for the U.S.)
Defense Opening Arguments HERE
Prosecution Skeleton Arguments (photos via @MacWBishop) HERE
Prosecution Witness Bundle Including Kromberg Statement (bundle may be subject to change with each witness) HERE
Defense Witness #2 Statement: Clive Stafford-Smith HERE
Defense Witness #3 Statement: Paul Rogers HERE
Defense Witness #4 Statement: Trevor Timm HERE
Defense Witness #5 Statement: Eric Lewis (not released)
Defense Witness #6 Statement: Thomas Durkin (not released)
Defense Witness #7 Statement: John Goetz HERE
Defense Witness #8 Statement: Daniel Ellsberg (not released)
Defense Witness #9 Statement: John Sloboda (not released)
Defense Witness #10 Statement: Carey Shenkman HERE
Defense Witness #11 Statement: Nicky Hager (not released)
Defense Witness Statement #12: Jennifer Robinson (not released)
Defense Witness #13 Statement : Khaled El-Masri HERE
Defense Witness #14 Statement: Dean Yates HERE
Defense Witness #15 Statement: Christian Grotthoff HERE
Defense Witness #16 Statement: Andy Worthington (not released)
Defense Witness #17 Statement: Cassandra Fairbanks HERE
Defense Witness #18 Statement: Dr. Kopelman (not released)
Defense Witness #19 Statement: Dr. Quinton Deeley (not released)
Prosecution Witness #1: Seena Fazel (not released)
Defense Witness #20 Statement: Dr. Catherine Humphries (not released)
Disclaimer: Ten thousand more pages of disclaimers to follow.
If you were mentioned in this article because your associate(s) did or said something stupid/dishonest, that’s not a suggestion that you did or said something stupid/dishonest or that you took part in it. Of course, some may conclude on their own that you associate with stupid/dishonest individuals but that’s called having the right to an opinion. If I’ve questioned something that doesn’t make sense to me, that’s not me spinning the confusing material you’ve put out. That’s me trying to make sense out of something that doesn’t make sense. And if I’ve noted that you failed to back up your allegations that means I either missed where you posted it or you failed to back your shiz up.
If I haven’t specifically stated that I believe (my opinion) someone is associated with someone else or an event, then it means just that. I haven’t reported an association nor is there any inference of association on my part. For example, just because someone is mentioned in this article, it doesn’t mean that they’re involved or associated with everyone and everything else mentioned. If I believe that there’s an association between people and/or events, I’ll specifically report it.
If anyone mentioned in this article wants to claim that I have associated them with someone else or an event because I didn’t disclose every single person and event in the world that they are NOT associated with, that’s called gaslighting an audience and it’s absurd hogwash i.e. “They mentioned that I liked bananas but they didn’t disclose that I don’t like apples. Why are they trying to associate me with apples???” Or something similar to this lovely gem, “I did NOT give Trish the thumb drive!” in order to make their lazy audience believe that it was reported they gave Trish the thumb drive when, in fact, that was never reported, let alone inferred.
That’s some of the BS I’m talking about so try not to act like a psychiatric patient, intelligence agent, or paid cyber mercenary by doing these things. If you would like to share your story, viewpoint, or any evidence that pertains to this article, or feel strongly that something needs to be clarified or corrected (again, that actually pertains to the article), you can reach me at email@example.com with any questions or concerns.
I cannot confirm and am not confirming the legitimacy of any messages or emails in this article. Please see a doctor if sensitivity continues. If anyone asks, feel free to tell them that I work for Schoenberger, Fitzgibbon, Steven Biss, the CIA, or really just about any intelligence agency because your idiocy, ongoing defamation, and failure as a human is truly a sight to behold for the rest of us.
If I described you as a fruit basket or even a mental patient it's because that is my opinion of you, it's not a diagnosis. I'm not a psychiatrist nor should anyone take my personal opinions as some sort of clinical assessment. Contact @BellaMagnani if you want a rundown on the psych profile she ran on you.
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