Extradition Of Journalist Julian Assange; and Chicago Torture Cases Cost Taxpayers 210 Million

Extradition Of Journalist Julian Assange

On June 17, Priti Patel, the UK Home Secretary, ordered the extradition of journalist Julian Assange to the United States to stand trial on Espionage Act charges that could lead to 175 years in prison. The Obama administration, which prosecuted more whistleblowers than all prior presidents combined, decided not to file criminal charges against Assange. But Donald Trump’s regime indicted Assange for revealing evidence of U.S. war crimes in Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantanamo. And Joe Biden’s government is continuing to pursue the extradition of Assange to the United States.

Assange has been confined in the UK for more than a decade. If he is extradited to the United States, he will be tried in the Eastern District of Virginia, one of the most conservative districts in the country. The judge to whom his case has been assigned jailed Chelsea Manning for refusing to appear before a grand jury investigating Assange.

Assange will appeal Patel’s decision. But if he is ultimately extradited, tried and convicted, it will pose a major threat to investigative journalism. People around the world are supporting Assange but the Biden administration is continuing Trump’s campaign to extradite Assange and try him in the United States.

Guest – Kevin Gosztola, an American journalist who writes about whistleblowers, WikiLeaks, national security and civil liberties. Kevin is managing editor of Shadowproof and he curates The Dissenter. He is producer and host of the weekly podcast Unauthorized Disclosure and co-author of Truth and Consequences: The US vs. Bradley Manning. Kevin has covered the Assange case extensively.


Chicago Torture Cases Cost Taxpayers 210 Million

Sixty years ago, the great social satirist and comedian Lenny Bruce quipped that “Chicago is so corrupt, it is thrilling.“ Today the corruption may not be so transparent but the amount of money spent to protect and defend cops who kill and torture people is staggering.

A few years ago, the city of Chicago sold its parking meters to a private corporation even as it was closing public schools and mental health clinics ostensibly for lack of funding. But as of now and for the last 15 years, Chicago, Cook County and the State of Illinois has spent at least $212 million of taxpayer money for expenses in torture cases involving the infamous Chicago torturing cop, Jon Burge, and his crew. They operated in Chicago’s brutal Area 2 where they extracted false confessions from more than 125 African-American men through the use of torture.

$37.5 million of the $212 million has gone to what has been called “pinstripe patronage lawyers,“ who defended the police torturers. $19-1/2 million has been spent on special prosecutors in Cook County where Chicago is located. At least $38.7 million has been applied to pension payments for the offending cops, $7.9 million has been spent on the state Torture Commission and Court of Claims payouts, and finally, $108.2 million has gone for settlements, verdicts, and reparations. And the cases, and the payments, continue to this day and will continue into the future.

Guest – Chicago civil rights attorney Flint Taylor who led the litigation against Jon Burge and his torture crew. Taylor is a founding partner of the People’s Law Office in Chicago and has represented dozens of clients subjected to torture and other police misconduct. He is the author of The Torture Machine: Racism and Police Violence in Chicago. His most recent case involves the police murder of Joseph Lopez in Greensboro, North Carolina.

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