Dear Home Secretary Patel,
My name is Hope Williamson, I'm writing to you to ask you to please deny the US extradition request for Julian Assange. I'm a US citizen myself, I know what my country is capable of. I've watched since 9/11 as we tortured detainees at Guantanamo Bay, and CIA black sites. I have read documents and reports that tell the horrific stories. I was following Chelsea then Bradley Manning's case, as she was held in solitary and on special administrative measures. She was also on prevention of injury watch back then. This is something that amounted to crewel and degrading treatment, according to the UN special rapporteur on torture.
I do not believe for one second any assurances a prosecutor gives. They are worthless, and you should regard them as such. Let's take Daniel Hale's case, for instance. He's currently being held in one of our communication management units. Not supermax , but a step down, if you could call it that. He was supposed to be transferred to Federal Medical Center Butner in North Carolina to receive care for post traumatic stress disorder, or at least that was the assurance given, if he pled guilty. I would urge you to look at this article by Kevin Gosztola: [https://thedissenter.org/imprisoning-drone-whistleblower-in-cmu-jeopardize-us-appeal-assange-extradi...] the Assange assurances have major loopholes. If he says anything wrong, they can put him in supermax or apply special administrative measures. If he's convicted they can transfer him to a CMU. Assurances like this don't mean anything at all. Not only that, but they were given in the middle of the case. Most of the time, diplomatic assurances are given at the very beginning of the extradition process.
Permit me to discuss the case itself. Madam Secretary, if you or I were charged with anything here in the US, (outside the Eastern district of Virginia,) and if our private conversations with doctors and lawyers were surveilled for years on end, without a warrant or court order. The case would be immediately dismissed. This actually happened in Daniel Ellsberg's case. The case was ultimately dismissed, because of a break-in at his psychiatrist's office, and evidence of illegal wire tapping. [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daniel_Ellsberg#Trial_and_dismissal] In the Eastern District of Virginia, as it says in that particular article, there isn't an opportunity for a public interest defense. If you're charged under the espionage act, you can't get up on the stand and say, here's why I did it. That applied to Manning during his case, and it would apply to Assange during his.
Let me also mention something about the Judge assigned to the Assange case here in the US. His name is Claude Hilton, and he has a reputation over here already. He presided over the Lavabit case back in 2013. [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lavabit] You probably aren't aware of Lavabit or what that is or was, but I can give you a fairly quick explanation. Lavabit provided email services for about 400000 people before it was shut down by it's founder back in August of 2013. It also happened to be Edward Snowden's email service. The FBI targeted it's founder, Ladar Levison. They asked for private encryption keys. These are the keys that you and I use when we look at a shopping site, when we go to an https:// secure site. Levison initially refused to comply with the order to turn over private SSL keys, then turned them over on paper. He was held in contempt by Hilton, and fined $10000. The case went up to an appellate court and was lost. Rand Paul mentioned Lavabit on the Senate floor on May 20th, 2015, when he was speaking about the expiration of the Patriot act: [https://irp.fas.org/congress/2015_cr/paul-patriot.html] " Edward Snowden was using an encrypted email server, and the company
that was housing him--that was specifically the genre of their
business. They had a business that was encrypted because some people
want to be private for a lot of different reasons, many of them
legitimate--business, legal, personal reasons. But, anyway, when they
came to get Edward Snowden's email, they didn't ask just to get his
email; they said they wanted the encryption keys for the entire
business." Hilton also served on the ultra-secret FISA, (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act,) court.)
As someone who followed the Manning trial, I also know that the Assange trial would never be allowed to be open to the public. This would effectively deny him a fair trial. Everyone deserves to have a public, non-secret trial. They basically close off the courtroom, it effectively becomes an SCIF, (sensitive compartmented information facility,) while the trial is taking place. A select few reporters are allowed in, but definitely not the number of press that have covered the case in the past. If they have to have a classified session, the press has to leave.
I would like to also point out why District Judge Baraitser denied the extradition request in the first place. Julian Assange is a major risk for suicide. We know this, because evidence was presented back in the 2020 hearings at Westminster, Not only that, but it's a confirmed fact that he had a stroke back in October during the high court hearing. There definitely is not adequate health care at the Alexandria detention center where he would be held, It's true that if you have a stroke you're at risk for having another, more major one. these things have to be monitored and overseen by a doctor. Assange is also about to marry his fiance Stella Morris on Wednesday. The fact that he would be unable to have contact visits with her and his children here, I believe would put him at further risk for Suicide.
Secretary Patel, you have the chance to make history. You have the chance to do something that would cause you to be well known and remembered throughout the generations, to create a legacy that would last much longer than those of us living today. I'm respectfully asking that before you make a decision in this case, you take the time to consider all the submissions before you. In the end, I'm asking that you deny the US extradition request, and release Julian Assange from Belmarsh Prison, so that he can return to his family, and recover from his health issues.
P. S. I do not require a response.