Posts Tagged ‘The World Tomorrow’

Julian Assange’s last World Tomorrow broadcast

July 3, 2012

Julian Assange, when under house arrest in Britain, did a weekly TV show for the RT (Russia Today) network, called the World Tomorrow.  He had some programs pre-recorded when he took refuge in the Ecuadorian embassy two weeks ago.  I thought the one broadcast a week ago was the last one, but he had one more ready—this interview with Anwar Ibrahim, the former deputy prime minister of Malaysia and leader of the opposition, which was broadcast today.

Anwar Ibrahim has been imprisoned on politically-motivated charges by the government of Prime Minister Mahathir bin Muhamad, and faces new charges of illegal assembly, which could disqualify him as a candidate in the current Malaysian elections.  Otherwise he is favored to win.  He is running on a program of a crackdown on corruption, freedom of the press, an independent judiciary and “an economic policy that can promote growth and a market economy.”

Click on Digital Journal for background on the program and links to previous episodes of The World Tomorrow.

Click on Anwar Ibrahim – The Voice of Democracy in Malaysia for Anwar Ibrahim’s home page.

Click on Anwar Ibrahim wiki for his Wikipedia article.

The World Tomorrow showed interesting people I never would have got to see watching U.S. network television.  I was impressed by Julian Assange’s wide range of friends and his high spirits despite what is hanging over him.

The Julian Assange file

June 20, 2012

This is a collection of links, videos and comments about Julian Assange and WikiLeaks posted from June through December of 2012I rearranged the links and replaced dead videos on August 2, 2014.  I have to say I was wrong in my comment that the U.S. and U.K. governments had neutralized Assange and WikiLeaks.

Click on In Conversation with Julian Assange Part One and Part Two for an extended interview with Assange on his life and ideas.

Click on Conspiracy as Governance for Assange’s 2006 statement of his political philosophy.

Click on Interesting Question for Julian Assange’s old blog from 2007, which provides insight into his thinking..

Click on WikiLeaks for the WikiLeaks home page.

Click on This Day in Wikileaks for daily news updates concerning Julian Assange, Bradley Manning and WikiLeaks.

Click on Justice for Assange for news from the Julian Assange Defence Fund’s Committee to Defend Julian Assange.

Click on Sex, Lies and Julian Assange for an investigative report by the Four Corners public affairs program of Australian’s ABC broadcasting network.

It shows that there are many questionable things about the sex charges against Julian Assange, and leaves the impression that there are good reasons why he fears being extradited to Sweden. But it doesn’t answer the question of exactly what Assange did or didn’t do to the two women he is accused of abusing.  We may never know the answer to that.  If you view the video, you probably should also view the sidebar showing an interview with Claes Borgstrom, the lawyer for Anna Ardin and Sofia Wilen, the two alleged victims.

Click on Wikileaks: the Forgotten Man for a Four Corners report on Bradley Manning.

Click on The Wikileaks Interviews for Four Corners interviews with key figures in the Bradley Manning Case.


“Pakistan a hired gun to kill US enemies”

June 19, 2012

Julian Assange interviewed Imran Khan, the elected front-runner in Pakistan’s general election to be held later this year, for his The World Tomorrow TV program.  Imran Khan was a cricket star in Pakistan and then a lonely anti-corruption fighter, but now is a leader of the opposition to Pakistan’s government.

He said that, if elected, he will alter Pakistan’s relationship with the United States to a more equal one, in which U.S. forces do not have free rein to launch drone missile attacks in Pakistan.  He said the U.S. “war on terror” is counterproductive, and has inspired more terrorists than it has eliminated.

Although Assange is under house arrest in London, he manages to interview interesting and varied people all over the world, which I would never expect to see on the major U.S. TV stations.  He often, as with Imran Khan, draws on Wikileaks cables as backgrounds for his interviews.

Click on Imran Khan: Next man in? for background on Imran Khan from Al Jazeera English.

Click on Digital Journal for a written summary of Julian Assange’s interview with Imran Khan and links to previous episodes of The World Tomorrow.

The World Tomorrow is broadcast by the RT (Russia Today) network, which was started by the Russian government.  Assange said he has complete freedom to broadcast what he wishes, without checking with RT.

[Later]  Julian Assange has asked for political asylum in Ecuador to avoid being extradited from Britain to Sweden on sexual misconduct charges.  Click on Wikileaks founder seeks asylum in Ecuador for the Al Jazeera report.  Click on Assange asks Ecuador for asylum for Glenn Greenwald’s report.

Julian Assange and the cypherpunks (2)

June 12, 2012

We live in a world in which information about the private lives of individual citizens is becoming increasingly available to powerful organizations and to governments, and in which the activities of powerful organizations and citizens are increasingly hidden from individual citizens.  Julian Assange, the founder of Wikileaks, sought to penetrate the secrecy of powerful organizations and governments.  The cypherpunk movement sought to protect the privacy of individuals through creation and distribution of cryptography.

Assange, on his The World Tomorrow program, interviewed three leading lights of the cypherpunk movement, Andy Muller-Maguhn, a member of the Chaos Computer Club, a German hacker association; Jacob Applebaum, an independent security researcher involved in the Tor project to create an online anonymity system; and Jérémie Zimmerman, co-founder of the French La Quadrature du Net, which advocates free communication on the Internet.

Assange is under house arrest in Britain, facing deportation to Sweden to face charges of sexual misconduct, from which he fears deportation to the United States to faces charges of espionage.  Yet he manages to attract a wide array of fascinating characters to his weekly TV program, people I don’t think I’d get to see otherwise, and he seems to be having a good time doing it.

Click on Digital Journal for summaries, transcripts and commercial-free videos of the latest and previous World Tomorrow broadcasts.

Click on Julian Assange: the Cypherpunk Revolutionary for a long but interesting and sometimes unflattering article by an Australian about Julian Assange’s background

Julian Assange and the cypherpunks

June 5, 2012

In Episode 8 of The World Tomorrow, Julian Assange interviewed activists in the cypherpunk movement, who advocate the use of cryptography as a means to protect individual privacy on the Internet.  Assange and his guests discussed the militarization and corporatization of cyberspace. They talked about how the Internet is both a great potential facilitator of freedom of information and discussion, and a great potential tool of surveillance by Big Brother.   This week’s episode is the first of a two-part series.

Click on Digital Journal for a summary of Episode 8, a version of Episode 8 without a commercial and links to previous episodes.

After the program was recorded, one of Assange’s guests, Jeremie Zimmerman, a French citizen, was stopped at an airport and interrogated by FBI agents about Assange and his broadcasts.  View that story below.

Julian Assange meets the Occupy movement

May 29, 2012

Julian Assange is under house arrest in Britain and can’t get out and about to interview people for his The World Tomorrow TV program, but an interesting array of people come to him.

In Episode 7, he interviewed members of Occupy London and Occupy Wall Street, including David Graeber, an anarchist anthropologist and political theorist, who was one of the original Occupy Wall Street protesters.

Click on Digital Journal for a summary of Episode 7 and links to previous episodes.

Click on David Graeber, the Anti-Leader of Occupy Wall Street for a Business Week article about Graeber.

Click on “Intellectual Roots of Wall St. Protest Lie in Academe” for reasons why David Graeber should not be considered the leader or intellectual mentor of the Occupy Wall Street movement. [Added 6/5/12]

Click on Davod Graeber: anarchist, anthropologist, financial analyst for an article about Graeber and many links to his short writings.

Update [5/30/12]  Julian Assange lost his appeal to Britain’s supreme court against being extradited to Sweden to face chargesallegations of rape and sexual molestationmisconduct.  However, inasmuch as the ruling was based on an interpretation of international law not argued in court, Assange’s lawyers will have until June 13 to make an argument against the ruling.  Assange’s lawyers also are appealing to the European court of human rights in Strasbourg.

If there is good evidence to support the charges, Julian Assange should be put on trial just like anybody else.  The problem is the possibility that Sweden’s current conservative government will hand him over to U.S. authorities, where he could be tried and sent to prison for revealing secret information about U.S. government misconduct.

Click on Julian Assange loses appeal against extradition for a report in Britain’s The Guardian newspaper.

Click on Julian Assange Loses Extradition Appeal for Time magazine’s account.

[Added 5/31/12] Click on Julian Assange: The Rolling Stone Interview for background to the case.

Ecuador’s president versus the U.S. embassy

May 23, 2012

Ecuador’s President Rafael Correa has closed the U.S. base in Ecuador and expelled the U.S. ambassador, while inviting Chinese investment.  According to U.S. embassy cables published by WikiLeaks, he is the most popular president in Ecuador’s history.

He survived a 2010 coup attempt.  Interviewed on Julian Assange’s The World Tomorrow program, he told Assange that the United States is the only country in the world not in danger of a military coup because it doesn’t have a U.S. embassy.  He said the U.S. embassy directly paid units of the Ecuadorian national police force, who reported to the U.S. ambassador and not to him.

He said he would welcome a U.S. base in Ecuador provided that Ecuador could establish a military base on Miami.  And he said Ecuador is actively looking for investment by China, Russia and Brazil.  If the United States depends on Chinese financing of its budget and trade deficit, he said, it can’t be wrong for Ecuador to look for Chinese financing.

The most controversial thing he has done is his crackdown on the Ecuadorian press.  When President Correa was elected in 2007, the government only operated on TV station.  His administration seized two TV stations in 2008, and has sued various journalists for defamation of character.  Journalist Emilio Palacio, along with three owners of his newspaper, El Universo, was sentenced to three years in prison and ordered to pay a $40 million fine early in 2011.  Palacio fled the country and was last reported living in Miami.

This kind of thing is not unique to Ecuador.  Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez also has cracked down on the right-wing adversarial press in his country.

Correa defended his action to Julian Assange by saying that five of the seven newspapers in Ecuador are controlled by the big banks, and are working to undermine his administration.  They don’t tell the truth, he said; by arrangement, none of them published any of the U.S. embassy cables, revealed by WikiLeaks, that related to Ecuador.

Assange said the media companies in the United States, Britain and other countries are equally corrupt.  The solution, he said, is to break up the big media companies and make it easier for independent voices to publish, not to use the power of government to suppress freedom of the press.  I think he’s right.  I also think he could have been tougher in his interview on this issue.

I watch Assange’s The World Tomorrow because he interviews Interesting people who would never appear on American network television.  Assange is not an adversarial interviewer – more like Charlie Rose than the late Mike Wallace – and I sometimes have to do some follow-up to get the complete picture, as I did with this interview.

Click on Digital Journal for links to previous episodes and a summary of the latest episode.

Click on President versus the media in Ecuador for a critical Al Jazeera report on President Correa’s struggle with the Ecuadorian press.


Surviving Guantanamo

May 16, 2012

Julian Assange on the fifth episode of his The World Tomorrow TV program interviewed Moazzam Begg, a British subject who was imprisoned at Guantanamo Bay, and Asim Quereshi, a former British corporate lawyer who organized a human rights organization, Cagedprisoners Ltd., to advocate for prisoners such as Begg.

Begg lived in Kabul, Afghanistan, at the time of the 9/11 attacks, and fled to Pakistan after the U.S. invasion began.  Pakistani police arrested him in 2002 on suspicion of being a member of the Taliban, and turned him over to U.S. authorities, who imprisoned him at the secret facility near Bagram Air Force Base in Afghanistan and then at Guantanamo Bay.

Begg signed a confession saying that he was “armed and prepared to fight alongside the Taliban and al Qaeda against the U.S.”  He told Assange he signed the confession only after he was hog-tied and beaten, and was told that the screams of a woman in the next cell were his wife.  He was released in 2005 after lobbying by the government of the United Kingdom.  He never was charged with any crime.

Although Begg was imprisoned during the Presidency of George W. Bush, he said on the program that President Barack Obama is worse.  Bush claimed the right of “extrajudicial detention” on his own say-so.  Obama claims the right of “extrajudicial killing” on his own say-so.

The two Muslim human rights advocates also gave their views on the Caliphate, which they said would be an Arab equivalent of the European Union; jihad, which they said is merely the right of self-defense; and sharia law, which they said is more humane than is generally portrayed.  They said Osama bin Laden played a positive role in helping to drive the Soviets out of Afghanistan, but bin Laden’s subsequent activities were counter-productive from the standpoint of Muslim liberation.

I don’t think that what they say on these subjects is the last word, and I wonder if they were shading their opinions to make them acceptable to a Western audience.  But their point of view is interesting, and one we Americans rarely hear.   Their arguments for closing Guantanamo Bay are based on fundamental Anglo-Americans concepts of due process of law.

Click on Digital Journal for a summary of Assange’s Episode 5 and links to previous broadcasts.

Click on CagePrisoners for that organization’s home page.

Click on Moazzam Begg wiki for Begg’s Wikipedia biography, which includes allegations about Taliban and al Qaeda activities.

Assange appears on the RT (Russia Today) network, a 24-hour English-language news network established by the government of Vladimir Putin’s Russia.  Assange said RT does not influence the topic or content of his programs.

I made minor revisions to this article a few hours after posting it.

Two Arab fighters for human rights

May 9, 2012

Julian Assange interviewed two important Arab fighters for human rights, whom I’d never heard of, on his latest The World Tomorrow program, which was broadcast yesterday.  One was Alaa Abd El-Fattah of Egypt, who is living abroad, and the other is Bahrain’s Nabeel Rajab, who was arrested May 5 shortly after his interview with Assange was recorded.  El-Fattah also faces charges of damaging military property, stealing weapons and committing murder–acts of violence he said he would have had to be comic book superhero to pull off.

Both have been subject to midnight kidnapings, beatings, imprisonment and harassment of their families, including their small children.  Both are critical of U.S. policy.  Rajab said the U.S. government is trying to thwart revolution in Bahrain, El-Fattah said the U.S. government is trying to channel and restrict the course of revolution in Eygpt.   Rajab said the struggle in Bahrain has been subject to a news blackout by the main Arabic-language news networks, Al Jazeera and al-Arabiya.

El-Fatah is a long-time blogger, programmer and political activist.  His parents were human rights advocates under Anwar Sadat.  He spent 45 days in jail in 2006 under the Mubarak regime, and was released after a worldwide protest.  In 2011, from abroad, he helped protestors route messages around President Mubarak’s Internet blockade.  He noted, however, that although members of the educated Egyptian middle class, who use the electronic social media, played an important role in the overthrow of Mubarak, but it is a mistake to focus exclusively on them.  “You are ignoring the workers,” he said.  “You are ignoring the street battles.  You are ignoring how much we had to use violence.”

He said he is not sure what form democracy will take in Egypt, but “it is certainly not a boring Western representative democracy, where your nation could go to war, like the UK, without the consent of the populace, where electing the President who promised hope is almost the same thing as electing the President who didn’t promise hope, as happened in the US. … The dream is a democracy that doesn’t give rise to Occupy Wall Street and Occupy London and the Greek riots…”

Rajab was a member of a pro-regime family but became a human rights advocate after graduating from college in 1988.  Together with Abdullah al-Khawaja, he established the Bahrain Center for Human Rights in 2002.  After al-Khawaja was arrested, he led protests calling for his release.   He said the protests in Bahrain are subject to a news blackout from al Jazeera, which is based in the neighboring Persian Gulf Sheikdom of Qatar which, like Bahrain, has a Sunni ruling family.   He said the Bahrain government falsely claims that the Bahrain struggle is instigated by the Shiite government of Iran.  Assange said that U.S. diplomats in Bahrain, in cables obtained by WikiLeaks, acknowledged there is no evidence of this.

The United States and other Western governments are aligned with the Saudi Arabian ruling family, Rajab said; that is why the U.S. government is trying to persuade the Russian government to stop arms shipments to Syria, while U.S. arms shipments to Bahrain continue.

He said he wishes he could keep his family out of the struggle, but this is not possible.   He was beaten in his home in the presence of his 14-year-old son and 9-year-old daughter.  But violence in Bahrain is so random, he said, that there would not be any safety in being sildent.

Click on Assange Episode 4 for highlights of the program

Click on Common Dreams for capsule biographies of Alaa Abd El-Fattah and Nabeel Rajab

Click on The World Tomorrow for the TV program’s home page and earlier episodes.

An interview with Tunisia’s new leader

May 2, 2012

Moncef Marzouki, a Tunisian human rights activist who was imprisoned and exiled, is now the head of the Tunisian government.  This video shows him being interviewed by Julian Assange about torture, double standards and the responsibilities of power.

Julian Assange’s new The World Tomorrow program appears on the RT (Russia Today) network each Tuesday, and is generally available on YouTube the following Wednesday.  This is the third show in the series.