Prosecutors representing the United States, whether by design or incompetence, refused — in the two-day hearing I attended in London in February — to provide guarantees that Julian Assange would be afforded First Amendment rights and would be spared the death penalty if extradited to the U.S. 

he inability to give these assurances all but guaranteed that the High Court — as it did on Tuesday — would allow Julian’s lawyers to appeal. Was this done to stall for time so that Julian would not be extradited until after the U.S. presidential election? Was it a delaying tactic to work out a plea deal? Julian’s lawyers and U.S. prosecutors are discussing this possibility. Was it careless legal work? Or was it to keep Julian locked in a high security prison until he collapses mentally and physically?

The case against Julian has made a mockery of the British justice system and international law. While in the embassy, the Spanish security firm UC Global provided video recordings of meetings between Julian and his lawyers to the CIA, eviscerating attorney-client privilege.

This ruling, like all of the rulings in this case, is not about justice. It is about vengeance.