Best-selling journalist Antony Loewenstein trav­els across Afghanistan, Pakistan, Haiti, Papua New Guinea, the United States, Britain, Greece, and Australia to witness the reality of disaster capitalism. He discovers how companies such as G4S, Serco, and Halliburton cash in on or­ganized misery in a hidden world of privatized detention centers, militarized private security, aid profiteering, and destructive mining.

Disaster has become big business. Talking to immigrants stuck in limbo in Britain or visiting immigration centers in America, Loewenstein maps the secret networks formed to help cor­porations bleed what profits they can from economic crisis. He debates with Western contractors in Afghanistan, meets the locals in post-earthquake Haiti, and in Greece finds a country at the mercy of vulture profiteers. In Papua New Guinea, he sees a local commu­nity forced to rebel against predatory resource companies and NGOs.

What emerges through Loewenstein’s re­porting is a dark history of multinational corpo­rations that, with the aid of media and political elites, have grown more powerful than national governments. In the twenty-first century, the vulnerable have become the world’s most valu­able commodity. Disaster Capitalism is published by Verso in 2015 and in paperback in January 2017.

Profits_of_doom_cover_350Vulture capitalism has seen the corporation become more powerful than the state, and yet its work is often done by stealth, supported by political and media elites. The result is privatised wars and outsourced detention centres, mining companies pillaging precious land in developing countries and struggling nations invaded by NGOs and the corporate dollar. Best-selling journalist Antony Loewenstein travels to Afghanistan, Pakistan, Haiti, Papua New Guinea and across Australia to witness the reality of this largely hidden world of privatised detention centres, outsourced aid, destructive resource wars and militarized private security. Who is involved and why? Can it be stopped? What are the alternatives in a globalised world? Profits of Doom, published in 2013 and released in an updated edition in 2014, challenges the fundamentals of our unsustainable way of life and the money-making imperatives driving it. It is released in an updated edition in 2014.
forgodssakecover Four Australian thinkers come together to ask and answer the big questions, such as: What is the nature of the universe? Doesn't religion cause most of the conflict in the world? And Where do we find hope?   We are introduced to different belief systems – Judaism, Christianity, Islam – and to the argument that atheism, like organised religion, has its own compelling logic. And we gain insight into the life events that led each author to their current position.   Jane Caro flirted briefly with spiritual belief, inspired by 19th century literary heroines such as Elizabeth Gaskell and the Bronte sisters. Antony Loewenstein is proudly culturally, yet unconventionally, Jewish. Simon Smart is firmly and resolutely a Christian, but one who has had some of his most profound spiritual moments while surfing. Rachel Woodlock grew up in the alternative embrace of Baha'i belief but became entranced by its older parent religion, Islam.   Provocative, informative and passionately argued, For God's Sakepublished in 2013, encourages us to accept religious differences, but to also challenge more vigorously the beliefs that create discord.  
After Zionism, published in 2012 and 2013 with co-editor Ahmed Moor, brings together some of the world s leading thinkers on the Middle East question to dissect the century-long conflict between Zionism and the Palestinians, and to explore possible forms of a one-state solution. Time has run out for the two-state solution because of the unending and permanent Jewish colonization of Palestinian land. Although deep mistrust exists on both sides of the conflict, growing numbers of Palestinians and Israelis, Jews and Arabs are working together to forge a different, unified future. Progressive and realist ideas are at last gaining a foothold in the discourse, while those influenced by the colonial era have been discredited or abandoned. Whatever the political solution may be, Palestinian and Israeli lives are intertwined, enmeshed, irrevocably. This daring and timely collection includes essays by Omar Barghouti, Jonathan Cook, Joseph Dana, Jeremiah Haber, Jeff Halper, Ghada Karmi, Antony Loewenstein, Saree Makdisi, John Mearsheimer, Ahmed Moor, Ilan Pappe, Sara Roy and Phil Weiss.
The 2008 financial crisis opened the door for a bold, progressive social movement. But despite widespread revulsion at economic inequity and political opportunism, after the crash very little has changed. Has the Left failed? What agenda should progressives pursue? And what alternatives do they dare to imagine? Left Turn, published by Melbourne University Press in 2012 and co-edited with Jeff Sparrow, is aimed at the many Australians disillusioned with the political process. It includes passionate and challenging contributions by a diverse range of writers, thinkers and politicians, from Larissa Berendht and Christos Tsiolkas to Guy Rundle and Lee Rhiannon. These essays offer perspectives largely excluded from the mainstream. They offer possibilities for resistance and for a renewed struggle for change.
The Blogging Revolution, released by Melbourne University Press in 2008, is a colourful and revelatory account of bloggers around the globe why live and write under repressive regimes - many of them risking their lives in doing so. Antony Loewenstein's travels take him to private parties in Iran and Egypt, internet cafes in Saudi Arabia and Damascus, to the homes of Cuban dissidents and into newspaper offices in Beijing, where he discovers the ways in which the internet is threatening the ruld of governments. Through first-hand investigations, he reveals the complicity of Western multinationals in assisting the restriction of information in these countries and how bloggers are leading the charge for change. The blogging revolution is a superb examination about the nature of repression in the twenty-first century and the power of brave individuals to overcome it. It was released in an updated edition in 2011, post the Arab revolutions, and an updated Indian print version in 2011.
The best-selling book on the Israel/Palestine conflict, My Israel Question - on Jewish identity, the Zionist lobby, reporting from Palestine and future Middle East directions - was released by Melbourne University Press in 2006. A new, updated edition was released in 2007 (and reprinted again in 2008). The book was short-listed for the 2007 NSW Premier's Literary Award. Another fully updated, third edition was published in 2009. It was released in all e-book formats in 2011. An updated and translated edition was published in Arabic in 2012.

If the aim is to silence Wikileaks, failure is guaranteed

The utterly shambolic nature of the public case against Julian Assange is revealed here. Political pressure, anybody?

TONY EASTLEY: Lawyers for WikiLeak’s editor and founder, Julian Assange, say he could have a meeting with British authorities to discuss sexual assault charges laid against him by Swedish police, within 24 hours.

Scotland Yard has received a European arrest warrant for Mr Assange. Sweden wants him extradited but that’s something he and his lawyers are fighting. They fear he will be handed over to US authorities.

Since WikiLeaks published thousands of confidential American diplomatic cables, Mr Assange has become one of the world’s most publicised and wanted men. In the US his actions have been described as akin to terrorism.

One of his lawyers, Jennifer Robinson, says her client’s ability to fight the charges have been hampered by the freezing of his bank account.

She told AM that Mr Assange will approach Australia’s High Commission in London for consular assistance.

I asked Jennifer Robinson whether the arrest warrant had been officially issued.

JENNIFER ROBINSON: The arrest warrant has been communicated today and I can confirm that we were contacted by the police this afternoon and are in the process of arranging, negotiating for a meeting with Mr Assange to deal with this matter.

They, Sweden is obviously seeking extradition but again we say it is completely disproportionate because we are offering testimony that they seek. The Swedish prosecutor was on national television just last night saying that all she wants to hear is his side of the story. We find that incredible considering we have offered his side of the story on numerous occasions and she has rejected those offers.

TONY EASTLEY: Alright, well that meeting that you’re talking about is that a face-to-face meeting between Mr Assange and authorities?

JENNIFER ROBINSON: It will be but I’m unable to confirm any further details at this time.

TONY EASTLEY: Why shouldn’t he got to Sweden to answer the charges?

JENNIFER ROBINSON: Well he’s offered on a number of occasions to offer her, the answers to her questions. She said publicly on television last night that all she wants is his side of the story. Now we’ve offered that on numerous occasions. There is no need for him to return to Sweden to do that.

TONY EASTLEY: So he’ll answer the questions but he’d rather not got to Sweden to do it?

JENNIFER ROBINSON: Well first we need the evidence. I mean he needs to be told what the allegations are against him and the evidence against him.

TONY EASTLEY: Is that not in the arrest warrant?

JENNIFER ROBINSON: We haven’t even seen a copy of the arrest warrant. What we know is that an arrest warrant was issued about two weeks ago, communicated to the UK authorities, and it was sent back on the grounds that there was an administrative error. I am still trying to seek confirmation of what that was.

I have been writing to Europol, to Interpol, the British authorities seeking copies of these various arrest warrants that have been communicated and none have been provided. We have not the arrest warrant, we have not the evidence, we have not an allegation in English.

TONY EASTLEY: Is that highly unusual?

JENNIFER ROBINSON: It is highly irregular. In fact it’s bizarre.

TONY EASTLEY: Has Mr Assange’s accounts been frozen in the meantime?

JENNIFER ROBINSON: This is another one of our complaints. Just today his Swiss bank account, which was in fact the bank account to which we were fundraising for his legal defence fund, was frozen.

So he’s in the incredibly undesirable position of being in a foreign country, without access to funds, looking to post bail and he’s just had his legal defence fund frozen on discriminatory grounds which places into question his ability to raise a defence against these charges here in the UK.

So all stops are being pulled.

TONY EASTLEY: Has he sought Australian consular assistance?

JENNIFER ROBINSON: He has sought Australian consular assistance in Sweden some time ago and nothing was forthcoming. So we are obviously very keen to be in touch with the Australian authorities and seek their assistance.

TONY EASTLEY: So, will you try again?

JENNIFER ROBINSON: Absolutely, and I will be communicating that this evening.

TONY EASTELY: Do you expect to get help from the Australian Government?

JENNIFER ROBINSON: I do. The Attorney-General has, in a fairly big turn-around, come out and said that consular assistance will be available and of course we will be availing ourselves of that assistance.

TONY EASTLEY: A raft of high powered people in different countries are lining up to criticise and condemn Julian Assange, will he get a fair trial, a fair hearing?

JENNIFER ROBINSON: I think he will get a fair hearing here in Britain but I think our, his prospects if he were ever to be returned to the US, which is a real threat, of a fair trial is, in my view, nigh on impossible.

TONY EASTELY: As his lawyer have you come under any pressure?

JENNIFER ROBINSON: We have. Just in the last week both myself and Mark Stephens, his two lawyers here in London, have been under surveillance and I have instructions from his Swedish counsel that he has suffered the same experience.

TONY EASTLEY: What sort of surveillance?

JENNIFER ROBINSON: Being followed, having people sitting outside our homes, certain interferences with telephone calls. A number of issues.

TONY EASTLEY: Do you have any idea who’s behind that?

JENNIFER ROBINSON: It would only be speculation.

TONY EASTLEY: Where is Mr Assange now?

JENNIFER ROBINSON: I cannot confirm his whereabouts, though we are in contact with him and as I said earlier we are in the process of negotiating with police to arrange for a meeting.

TONY EASTLEY: Is it right to assume that he’s somewhere in the UK?

JENNIFER ROBINSON: As I said I can’t confirm his whereabouts.

TONY EASTLEY: If it wasn’t Mr Assange but a large newspaper organisation publishing the leaks do you think governments would be pursuing the case with such force?

JENNIFER ROBINSON: Well what we have to remember is that news organisations are publishing the leaks in the same way that WikiLeaks are. So there are real questions about the way in which he is being isolated and persecuted.

TONY EASTLEY: A report in an Australian newspaper this-morning says Mr Assange’s family in Australia has received threats. Can you confirm that?

JENNIFER ROBINSON: I can confirm that there have been threats in the US on various blog sites calling on people to harm his son. This is obviously part of a broader risk of threat to Mr Assange himself.

We take these threats of assassination incredibly seriously and they are obviously illegal and those individuals who are inciting violence ought to be considered for prosecution.

As we’ve seen in Canada, the former advisor to the prime minister, a university professor, had very publicly called for his assassination. He’s now under police investigation and rightly so in my view.

TONY EASTLEY: If Mr Assange was arrested and faced court would that stop WikiLeaks publishing more leaked documents?

JENNIFER ROBINSON: Absolutely not. I think we’re up to today cable 261 of 250,000. The media organisations that are working with WikiLeaks to publish this material have been working on this for some time and we suspect that the cables will continue to be published in an orderly fashion in accordance with the schedule agreed for the coming months and perhaps longer.

So there is a wealth of material that’s out there and that will not stop with Mr Assange’s arrest.

TONY EASTLEY: Just harking back to that meeting, Jennifer Robinson, the meeting that you’re hoping to set up between Mr Assange and authorities, just explain what you hope to, who will be the players in that meeting and what do you hope to get out of it?

JENNIFER ROBINSON: I’m not in a position to confirm anything about that meeting just yet. But, suffice to say that we are negotiating with the police to arrange a meeting to deal with this arrest warrant and the allegations against him.

TONY EASTLEY: Alright. Thank you very much for joining us this-morning on AM.

JENNIFER ROBINSON: You’re welcome, my pleasure.

TONY EASTLEY: Lawyer Jennifer Robinson who’s acting for Julian Assange, WikiLeaks founder, speaking there from our London studio this morning.

The Attorney-General Robert McClelland says Mr Assange is entitled to the same rights as any other Australian citizen.

This includes the right to return to Australia and also to receive consular assistance while he is overseas if that is requested.

Get ready for a forthcoming legal battle and we’re right there:

Uncertainty surrounded Julian Assange‘s legal future last night as the WikiLeaks founder agreed to meet British police to discuss allegations of sexual assault against him in Sweden. Assange was not arrested last night, but that remains a possibility after the Serious Organised Crime Agency (Soca) received a European arrest warrant (EAW) from Sweden.

Assange’s lawyers said he had not been formally charged in Sweden, where he faces the sex allegations. But under the EAW system, a warrant can only be issued once a charge has been made.

Assange is wanted for questioning by Swedish officials, and could consent to return there to co-operate with their investigation. While the EAW’s legal status is uncertain, once validated by British authorities Assange’s arrest would be inevitable and he would have to brought before a magistrate “as soon as practicable”, or in most cases within 24 hours. If arrested Assange will appear before Westminster magistrates.

A key issue will be whether Assange is released on bail during that period. His lawyers are reported to be putting together a generous package, including a security of at least £100,000 and a surety – where third parties guarantee to pay the court if he absconds. However, the allegations facing Assange are serious in Swedish law and it is often more difficult to secure bail for these.

Assange’s lawyers are disputing the credibility of the allegations and the motive behind Sweden’s decision to investigate the matter further, after prosecutors dropped it earlier this year, and are likely to challenge the grounds for extradition.

But if extradited to Sweden under the EAW, Assange will be vulnerable to other extradition requests from countries including the US. The US has an extradition treaty with Sweden dating back to 1960s, when the two countries agreed to “make more effective the cooperation of the two countries in the repression of crime.” Extradition under the treaty is likely to face a number of obstacles, not least the fact that the likely charges facing Assange in the US – under the Espionage Act or other legislation protecting national security – are not included in the exhaustive list of offences set out in the law. There may also be issues of jurisdiction, since the offences which Assange is accused of did not take place in the US.Even if Assange’s case falls outside the scope of Sweden’s treaty with the US, there would still be scope for the country to agree to his extradition to the US.

Swedish law permits extradition more generally to countries outside Europe, although the process is subject to safeguards, including a ban on extradition for “political offences” or where the suspect has reason to fear persecution on account of their membership of a social group or political beliefs.

Any extradition from Sweden to the US could only take place after the current proceedings were concluded. With Assange’s lawyers intending to dispute those proceedings on all grounds, it seems the prospect of any extradition to the US remains some way away.

one comment ↪
  • Mallee

    What if the aim is not to shut down Wikileaks but to use the 'leaks' as an excuse to shut down what we know have with the internet….useful information and evidence of warmonerging criminality at a 'war crimes' level committeed by 'our' people and assisted by 'our' lying 'corporate' conttrolled mass media.

    Smell the triple cross!!.

    If the net is censored then the following may not be reported.

    Gordon duff over at Veterans today has a report from a Washington insider headed;

    'AIPAC ordered BUSH to attack Iran". The report canvasses the criminality of the US administration from 1999 to 2006. The plan was to have atacked Iran by now, Iraq is a sideshow.

    (Yep, and our lap dog, spineless, anti-democratic Parliament would have gone along with it and had more of our boys killed.)

    For another source, search General Wesley Clark's interview in 2007 wherein he reports that in September 2001 the US was planning to go to war and do '7 counttries in 5 years ending with Iran'. Sought of fits in one would think!

    Duff is essential reading. Forget assange and his scuttlebutt, this is where the real criminality is being reported.

    Just search: 'Gordon-Duff-AIPAC- ordered Bush to attack Iran'.

    Note also the present case between rosen and AIPAC particularly the court papers filed by AIPAC.

    Julia and Tony and company; why don't you lot get your rifle and go die for Israel and leave the rest of us out of it?

    My bet is, that they want to close the net and will use Assange. I smell a set up.