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posted by martyb on Friday May 24 2019, @11:34AM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the One-man-takes-on-US-Government;-who-will-prevail? dept.

Assange Indicted Under Espionage Act, Raising First Amendment Issues

Julian Assange, the WikiLeaks leader, has been indicted on 17 new counts of violating the Espionage Act for his role in publishing classified military and diplomatic documents in 2010, the Justice Department announced on Thursday — a novel case that raises profound First Amendment issues.

The new charges were part of a superseding indictment obtained by the Trump administration that significantly expanded the legal case against Mr. Assange, who is already fighting extradition proceedings in London based on an earlier hacking-related count brought by federal prosecutors in Northern Virginia.

[...] On its face, the Espionage Act could also be used to prosecute reporters who publish government secrets. But many legal scholars believe that prosecuting people for acts related to receiving and publishing information would violate the First Amendment.

That notion has never been tested in court, however, because until now the government has never brought such charges. The closest it came was indicting two lobbyists for a pro-Israel group in 2005 who received classified information about American policy toward Iran and passed it on. But that case fell apart after several skeptical pretrial rulings by a judge, and the charges were dropped.

Though he is not a conventional journalist, much of what Mr. Assange does at WikiLeaks is difficult to distinguish in a legally meaningful way from what traditional news organizations like The New York Times do: seek and publish information that officials want to be secret, including classified national security matters, and take steps to protect the confidentiality of sources.

Related Stories

Inadvertent Court Filing Suggests that the U.S. DoJ is Preparing to Indict Julian Assange 94 comments

Inadvertent Court Filing Suggests that the U.S. DoJ is Preparing to Indict Julian Assange

Prosecutors Have Prepared Indictment of Julian Assange, a Filing Reveals

The Justice Department has prepared an indictment against the WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange, marking a drastic escalation of the government's yearslong battle with him and his anti-secrecy group. It was not clear if prosecutors have filed charges against Mr. Assange. The indictment came to light late Thursday through an unrelated court filing in which prosecutors inadvertently mentioned charges against him. "The court filing was made in error," said Joshua Stueve, a spokesman for the United States attorney's office for the Eastern District of Virginia. "That was not the intended name for this filing."

[...] Seamus Hughes, a terrorism expert at George Washington University who closely tracks court cases, uncovered the filing and posted it on Twitter.

A Justice Department spokesman declined to say on Thursday what led to the inadvertent disclosure. It was made in a recently unsealed filing in an apparently unrelated sex-crimes case charging a man named Seitu Sulayman Kokayi with coercing and enticing an underage person to engage in unlawful sexual activity. Mr. Kokayi was charged in early August, and on Aug. 22, prosecutors filed a three-page document laying out boilerplate arguments for why his case at that time needed to remain sealed.

While the filing started out referencing Mr. Kokayi, federal prosecutors abruptly switched on its second page to discussing the fact that someone named "Assange" had been secretly indicted, and went on to make clear that this person was the subject of significant publicity, lived abroad and would need to be extradited — suggesting that prosecutors had inadvertently pasted text from a similar court filing into the wrong document and then filed it.

"Another procedure short of sealing will not adequately protect the needs of law enforcement at this time because, due to the sophistication of the defendant and the publicity surrounding the case, no other procedure is likely to keep confidential the fact that Assange has been charged," prosecutors wrote. They added, "The complaint, supporting affidavit, and arrest warrant, as well as this motion and the proposed order, would need to remain sealed until Assange is arrested in connection with the charges in the criminal complaint and can therefore no longer evade or avoid arrest and extradition in this matter."

U.S. Ramping Up Probe Against Julian Assange, WikiLeaks Says 20 comments

U.S. ramping up probe against Julian Assange, WikiLeaks says

American federal prosecutors have been pressing witnesses in the U.S. and abroad to testify against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, WikiLeaks says, offering further evidence that the Justice Department is building a criminal case against the man who leaked Democratic emails hacked by the Russians in the 2016 election.

In a new submission to the Inter-American Commission of Human Rights, based in Washington, WikiLeaks is urging the Justice Department to unseal the charges that appear to have been secretly filed against Assange in the Eastern District of Virginia. A mistake in a Justice Department court filing in November inadvertently suggested the existence of those charges.

Previously: Inadvertent Court Filing Suggests that the U.S. DoJ is Preparing to Indict Julian Assange


Original Submission

Breaking News: Wikileaks Co-Founder Julian Assange Arrested at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London 243 comments

Breaking: Met police confirm that Julian Assange has been arrested at the Ecuadorian embassy.

Mr Assange took refuge in the embassy seven years ago to avoid extradition to Sweden over a sexual assault case that has since been dropped.

The Met Police said he was arrested for failing to surrender to the court.

Ecuador's president Lenin Moreno said it withdrew Mr Assange's asylum after his repeated violations to international conventions.

But WikiLeaks tweeted that Ecuador had acted illegally in terminating Mr Assange's political asylum "in violation of international law".

[...] Scotland Yard said it was invited into the embassy by the ambassador, following the Ecuadorian government's withdrawal of asylum.

After his arrest for failing to surrender to the court, police said he had been further arrested on behalf of US authorities under an extradition warrant.

He doesn't look happy, to say the least.

Update: As this is a breaking story, more information is coming out regularly - one source that updates their reports frequently is Zero Hedge - thanks boru!

Previously: New Analysis of Swedish Police Report Confirms Julian Assange's Version in Sweden's Case
Ecuador Reportedly Almost Ready to Hand Julian Assange Over to UK Authorities
UK Said Assange Would Not be Extradited If He Leaves Embassy Refuge
Inadvertent Court Filing Suggests that the U.S. DoJ is Preparing to Indict Julian Assange
U.S. Ramping Up Probe Against Julian Assange, WikiLeaks Says
Ecuador Denies That Julian Assange Will be Evicted From Embassy in London


Original Submission

Julian Assange Sentenced to 50 Weeks in Prison for Bail Breach 30 comments

Submitted via IRC for Runaway1956

Judge blasts Assange for jumping bail, sentences him to almost one year

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has been sentenced to 50 weeks in prison for fleeing to the Ecuadorian embassy in London while on bail in 2012. At the time, he was facing possible extradition to Sweden on sexual assault charges.

Assange remained in the embassy until last month, when he was evicted by his Ecuadorian hosts and re-arrested by British authorities.

Wednesday's sentencing is unlikely to be the end of Assange's legal problems. Shortly after he was re-arrested last month, US authorities unsealed an indictment charging him with conspiring with Chelsea Manning to crack a hashed password belonging to a Pentagon computer in 2010. At the time, Manning was an Army private leaking confidential military documents to WikiLeaks. Assange was unable to learn the password, but the US argues that his attempt is sufficient to charge him with conspiracy.

In a letter to the court, Assange argued that he had fled to the embassy out of fear that he'd be extradited to the United States and wind up being held indefinitely at the US prison camp at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Also at BBC, The Guardian, CNET, and The Register.

Previously: Inadvertent Court Filing Suggests that the U.S. DoJ is Preparing to Indict Julian Assange
U.S. Ramping Up Probe Against Julian Assange, WikiLeaks Says
Ecuador Denies That Julian Assange Will be Evicted From Embassy in London
Wikileaks Co-Founder Julian Assange Arrested at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London
Julian Assange Associate Arrested In Ecuador


Original Submission #1Original Submission #2Original Submission #3

Swedish Prosecutor to Reopen Julian Assange Investigation 40 comments

Swedish prosecutor reopens Assange rape investigation, will seek extradition

Sweden's state prosecutor said on Monday she would reopen an investigation into a rape allegation against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and seek his extradition from Britain.

Prosecutor Eva-Marie Persson told a news conference she would continue and conclude a preliminary investigation that was dropped in 2017 without charges being brought as Assange had taken refuge in the Ecuadorean embassy in London.

[...] The Swedish prosecutor's office said it would shortly request Assange be detained in his absence on probable cause for an allegation of rape and that it would issue a European arrest warrant - the process under which his extradition would be sought.

Please extradite me to Sweden and not the U.S.?

Also at BBC:

Wikileaks said the reopening of the rape case would give Assange "a chance to clear his name". "There has been considerable political pressure on Sweden to reopen their investigation, but there has always been political pressure surrounding this case," its editor-in-chief, Kristinn Hrafnsson, said in a statement.

A lawyer for Assange told Swedish broadcaster SVT that the decision was "embarrassing for Sweden", adding that his client wanted to resolve the case but feared being extradited to the US.


Original Submission

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  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by bradley13 on Friday May 24 2019, @12:23PM (13 children)

    by bradley13 (3053) Subscriber Badge on Friday May 24 2019, @12:23PM (#847032) Homepage Journal

    What a farce. But, as has been said before: a grand jury would indict a ham sandwich. It's a shame, because a bit of common sense would see these charges as the farce that they are. However, some federal prosecutors are hoping to make their names, by prosecuting such a high profile case, so there's simply no way they will see reason and drop the charges.

    It's a shame that Assange is such a jerk. Not that being a jerk is a crime, but is surely does make it hard to remember that he's the "good guy" in this case. Fact is, democratic governments shouldn't be allow many secrets. The secrets published by Assange should have seem a number of important people jailed. Of course, that didn't happen, but he did embarrass them, and that is unforgivable.

    --
    Everyone is somebody else's weirdo.
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 24 2019, @12:51PM (12 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 24 2019, @12:51PM (#847042)

      Julian Assange is going to get the Saddam Hussein treatment.

      The justification has already been sold to the american public as an enemy.

      America is great again, following by the playbook again!

      • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Runaway1956 on Friday May 24 2019, @01:43PM (11 children)

        by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Friday May 24 2019, @01:43PM (#847054) Homepage Journal

        Assange won't be hanged, or executed by any other means. He MIGHT suicide. Seriously, he is a candidate for suicide. He's been more-or-less imprisoned already for - what? 7 years? If he's successfully extradited, and dragged to the US, they're going to pile as many charges as possible on him. He'll be facing about ten thousand years in prison, plus ten or more life sentences, all to be served consecutively. Who do we know of who has caved under such bullshit before? One name, at least, should come readily to mind for all nerds/geeks/techs.

        --
        Our first six presidents were educated men. Then, along came a Democrat.
        • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 24 2019, @02:04PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 24 2019, @02:04PM (#847064)

          Compared to Saddam he is a small input bound to return a small output. But the procedure is the same. He is going to be made an example of, and judiciary hates everything that questions system the most - which is what Julian Assange is. Being a non-citizen, his rights are going to be the same as that of a Guantanamo Bay prisoner-for-life, and judges are going to invent new definitions to hang him, ignoring precedences like anything.

          Any pretense of rule of law will be laid bare and nobody will care because it is too depressing to acknowledge. Next morning will still have a sunrise, and there will be bitter fights over rape and rape culture and trans-rights to be fought over. And the correlation between color and culture, and Jesus and Russia.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 24 2019, @03:11PM (9 children)

          by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 24 2019, @03:11PM (#847098)

          What if he has evidence that will hang Trump?

          • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Runaway1956 on Friday May 24 2019, @03:42PM (8 children)

            by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Friday May 24 2019, @03:42PM (#847113) Homepage Journal

            *rolleyes*

            There's no such thing. We all know what Trump is. But, there is no law against being a douche, or a horse's ass, or an unscrupulous businessman, or any of the other things that Trump is. That Trump Derangement Syndrome wants to dream that Trump is something worse, or something greater, or whatever, but, it just ain't so. He is just some rich man's kid, who learned how to lie and cheat, and bend the business world to his will, in the process growing crazy-rich. And, most of America, most of the world, admires him and his peers. Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Elon Musk, and that little wanker at Facefook. Some of them were more honest, some of them less honest, but each of them stayed within the law, and got filthy rich. Which makes the all heroes to the typical American.

            --
            Our first six presidents were educated men. Then, along came a Democrat.
            • (Score: 3, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 24 2019, @03:52PM (7 children)

              by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 24 2019, @03:52PM (#847123)

              Did you read the Mueller Report or are you waiting for the graphic novel version?

              • (Score: 2) by Runaway1956 on Friday May 24 2019, @04:07PM (4 children)

                by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Friday May 24 2019, @04:07PM (#847138) Homepage Journal

                What, exactly, in the Mueller report, are you referring to? I actually read the first few pages. I skimmed much of the rest. I found no "smoking gun".

                Even I can be put off by excessive verbiage that ultimately says nothing.

                --
                Our first six presidents were educated men. Then, along came a Democrat.
                • (Score: 4, Informative) by DeathMonkey on Friday May 24 2019, @06:07PM (3 children)

                  by DeathMonkey (1380) on Friday May 24 2019, @06:07PM (#847243) Journal

                  What, exactly, in the Mueller report, are you referring to?

                  Ten documented cases of Obstruction of Justice. But you know this already...

                  • (Score: 2) by Runaway1956 on Friday May 24 2019, @06:21PM (2 children)

                    by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Friday May 24 2019, @06:21PM (#847265) Homepage Journal

                    Yeah, whatever. You can call it obstruction of justice - I'll call it obstruction of a bunch of busybodies.

                    --
                    Our first six presidents were educated men. Then, along came a Democrat.
                    • (Score: 2, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 24 2019, @08:51PM

                      by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 24 2019, @08:51PM (#847351)

                      Then your argument is a complete load of nonsense.

                      Obstruction is a legal term with a legal definition.

                      What YOU have is an opinion, and an uninformed one at that. And they are worthless.

                      But don't worry. You are protected by your 'I can never be wrong' bubble so its all good.

                    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 24 2019, @10:38PM

                      by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 24 2019, @10:38PM (#847389)

                      lol getting reaaaal dumb these days runaway

              • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 24 2019, @05:43PM (1 child)

                by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 24 2019, @05:43PM (#847210)

                Is the "Mueller Report" the TDS Bible now? The braying for the "unredacted report" sounds mighty like the Birthers back in the day chattering about the "long form birth certificate".
                She lost, he won. Be an adult and quit your whining.

                • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 24 2019, @07:34PM

                  by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 24 2019, @07:34PM (#847305)

                  She hasn't lost. He'll be calmer after she gelds him.

  • (Score: 2, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 24 2019, @12:30PM (6 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 24 2019, @12:30PM (#847035)

    a novel case that raises profound First Amendment issues.

    Not trolling - this is a legitimate question. Why is this considered a "First Amendment" issue? Assange is not a US citizen or resident, and he was not in the US when he allegedly committed these crimes. The US Constitution does not apply outside the US.

    • (Score: 5, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 24 2019, @12:38PM (4 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 24 2019, @12:38PM (#847038)

      The US Constitution applies to the US Government. All actions that government takes must comply with it. Someone does not lose fundamental rights by not being a citizen, they must still be afforded those rights because it is the government's duty to abide by those restrictions.

      • (Score: 4, Informative) by jelizondo on Friday May 24 2019, @02:52PM (3 children)

        by jelizondo (653) Subscriber Badge on Friday May 24 2019, @02:52PM (#847093) Journal

        Tell that to the people in Guantanamo, or U.S. citizens executed [aclu.org] without trial or people tortured [amnesty.org.uk] by CIA operatives.

        Or try asserting your rights in the border [constitutioncenter.org], where apparently the U.S. government is not bound by law.

        • (Score: 4, Insightful) by hemocyanin on Friday May 24 2019, @03:29PM

          by hemocyanin (186) on Friday May 24 2019, @03:29PM (#847102) Journal

          There's philosophy and then there is practice. More and more, the Bill of Rights is just a pleasant bedtime story we tell ourselves to set aside the fears that we are living in a country where power is the only measure of legality.

        • (Score: 2) by All Your Lawn Are Belong To Us on Friday May 24 2019, @04:31PM (1 child)

          by All Your Lawn Are Belong To Us (6553) on Friday May 24 2019, @04:31PM (#847151) Journal

          Mostly true and well written. Except that the U.S. Government is indeed bound by law at the border, only what is and what is not permissible under law changes because there is a legitimate national security interest at the border. Which argument can be rejected if one feels that the Bill of Rights and other amendments are absolutes, although the courts have never agreed with such a notion [learner.org]. One may also make a case also that in time of War other priorities come into play (i.e. innocents killed by drone strikes are collateral damage of battle), although that cannot justify torture. The problem there being no actual War has been declared.

          Overall I hope these charges are pressed to their fullest and that the government loses. The chilling effect that a win would have on journalism cannot be underestimated.

          --
          Keep everyone ignorant of the magical world! KEEP AMERICA OBLIVIATE!
          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 25 2019, @05:49AM

            by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 25 2019, @05:49AM (#847512)

            although the courts have never agreed with such a notion

            The Supreme Court also approved of Japanese internment camps and other blatantly unconstitutional atrocities, though, so forgive me for being skeptical.

            One may also make a case also that in time of War other priorities come into play

            The government still has to follow the Constitution during times of war.

    • (Score: 2) by DeVilla on Sunday May 26 2019, @02:57AM

      by DeVilla (5354) on Sunday May 26 2019, @02:57AM (#847785)

      I would assume the Constitution would have to apply as much as any other US law the US is trying to enforce on a non-citizen/non-resident for a crime committed outside the US. So the grounds for enforcing the protections of the Constitution would be the same as the grounds for enforcing the laws he's being prosecuted for.

  • (Score: 2, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 24 2019, @12:46PM (2 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 24 2019, @12:46PM (#847040)

    From the publication of record of the ICFI: New charges against Julian Assange under the Espionage Act criminalize journalism [wsws.org]:

    The prosecution of Assange is the spearhead of the drive by the American ruling class to eviscerate the First Amendment and dismantle democratic rights. If Assange is convicted, it will mean that the publication of documents outlining the illegal activities of the US military/intelligence apparatus will be effectively criminalized.

    Notably, several of the charges pertain specifically to obtaining and publishing documents related to the US government's torture at Guantanamo Bay and other sites throughout the world. Assange sought to publish, according to the indictment, "operating and interrogation procedures at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba; documents relating to Guantanamo detainees," and "CIA detainee interrogation videos."

    Those who carried out these crimes have gone unpunished, and in many cases--including that of current CIA Director Gina Haspel--retain posts at the highest levels of the American state.

    The move marks the first time that a journalist has been charged under the 1917 Espionage Act.

    US prosecutors attempted to convict Daniel Ellsberg, a contractor at the RAND Corporation who photocopied internal reports on the Vietnam War and distributed them to the press as the Pentagon Papers, under the act. Based on its claims that Ellsberg violated the law in obtaining the documents, the Nixon White House attempted to stop the New York Times and Washington Post from publishing the papers.

    In its 1971 ruling on the New York Times Co. v. United States, the Supreme Court upheld the right of the Times to publish the stolen secret documents, declaring, "Only a free and unrestrained press can effectively expose deception in government. And paramount among the responsibilities of a free press is the duty to prevent any part of the government from deceiving the people and sending them off to distant lands to die of foreign fevers and foreign shot and shell."

    The prosecution of Assange for publishing "documents relating to the national defense" represents an attempt not only to reverse this ruling, but to make the very dissemination of documents by journalists a crime.

    • (Score: 2) by Runaway1956 on Friday May 24 2019, @01:56PM

      by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Friday May 24 2019, @01:56PM (#847059) Homepage Journal

      Well, dude, you've made a helluva lot of those wswsws..... posts. For once, I have to agree with wsw...... Whatever else Assange may or may not be, he is a journalist, and he is covered under all the same rights, obligations, and freedoms that the publisher of any major newspaper is covered.

      If all of the MSM doesn't come to Assange's defense, and work overtime to build that defense, things are going to get ugly. There really shouldn't be more than a small handful of idiots in Washington who are serious about prosecuting Assange. Unfortunately, we have an overabundance of idiots. "Well, yeah, we have Freedom of the Press! All of the press that we approve of are free to report anything they like - if they know what's good for them, they only like to report stuff we want reported!"

      --
      Our first six presidents were educated men. Then, along came a Democrat.
    • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 24 2019, @08:15PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 24 2019, @08:15PM (#847331)

      fucking pigs

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 24 2019, @01:53PM (3 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 24 2019, @01:53PM (#847057)

    Why do they not indict Putin as well?

    Or Kim? Or various other heads of states and other VIPs who at some point have (tried to) spy on the US?

    • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 24 2019, @03:30PM (2 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 24 2019, @03:30PM (#847103)

      They have guns.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 24 2019, @05:55PM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 24 2019, @05:55PM (#847225)

        Nukes, even.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 24 2019, @06:14PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 24 2019, @06:14PM (#847254)

          And they write him letters; beautiful letters.

  • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 24 2019, @01:54PM (5 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 24 2019, @01:54PM (#847058)

    If they had waited for his extradition, , they could have more easily laid these charges plus ask for the death penalty.

    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by takyon on Friday May 24 2019, @02:15PM (3 children)

      by takyon (881) <{takyon} {at} {soylentnews.org}> on Friday May 24 2019, @02:15PM (#847071) Journal

      https://www.theguardian.com/media/2019/may/24/assange-extradition-could-test-patience-of-australia-and-us-allies-bob-carr-warns [theguardian.com]

      The former Australian foreign minister Bob Carr believes the prison sentence faced by Julian Assange if he were extradited to the US “changes the game” almost as much as a capital punishment charge, and could “test the patience” of its allies including Australia.

      [...] As well as capital punishment, the US-UK extradition treaty also excludes “political offences”. While that definition is not clearly defined, Carr said the charges against Assange could be viewed as “thoroughly political”.

      “Sweden and the UK would not allow extradition were the offence one that would attract capital punishment and they also rule out extradition where the crime was said to be ‘political’,” he said. “It could be that convicting someone for life who exposed war crimes and other abuses is seen as thoroughly political.”

      Incompetence? Looks like Sweden will get first swing at him.

      --
      [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 24 2019, @05:25PM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 24 2019, @05:25PM (#847187)

        You mean he will be convicted of Rape in Sweden? So will he get the mandatory 40 hours of community service?

      • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 24 2019, @08:19PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 24 2019, @08:19PM (#847332)

        good thing trumpy is in office or the state socialist authoritarians wouldn't care about assaange's possible sentence.

    • (Score: 2) by All Your Lawn Are Belong To Us on Friday May 24 2019, @06:19PM

      by All Your Lawn Are Belong To Us (6553) on Friday May 24 2019, @06:19PM (#847263) Journal

      Most likely because the lawyers at DoJ (or the White House, or both) feel like arguing the conspiracy about hacking (of which Assange's lawyers would indeed argue) is too thin a reed to get him into the U.S. clutches.

      From what I've read there's a possibility that Assange was just shining Manning on about being able to help hack the codes. Whether that reaches the threshhold of being an overt act [justia.com] is what could be arguable. Unless there is some proof that Assange then turned stuff over to "his guy" to help crack the codes (which appears to be the only overt act in furtherance of the crime) then I think there's probably grounds to protest that no conspiracy existed. Cops can lie.... so why can't journalists?

      In passing, Donald Trump seems to be an expert at understanding what conspiracy is and isn't now.

      That Assange did what he did quite stupidly, no doubt. But maybe something stronger is needed to force the extradition doors open.

      --
      Keep everyone ignorant of the magical world! KEEP AMERICA OBLIVIATE!
  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 24 2019, @03:53PM (12 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 24 2019, @03:53PM (#847125)

    Remember the context of all this: Trump's constant accusations that a free press is literally the enemy of the people.

    Trump's MO is to say "Do you hate X? I hate X! You should support me and I will hurt X for you!" (and then he robs you blind while you are too busy cheering to notice)

    Remember when he fired Comey and said it was because of how Comey was unfair to Hillary? Like all the democrats would cheer him for it?

    He's doing the same thing here. Lots of people on the left are flaming fucking mad at Assange for the role he played in the attack on the 2016 elections. So he's the perfect guy for trump to go after in his first major attack on the free press. He's hoping that even if you won't defend Assange, you'll shrug and say, "eh, what do I care? That shit head deserves it." (remember Assange has not been charged for anything to do with 2016, this is only about the Manning leaks - charges that Obama's DoJ decided would be over the line)

    And he does fucking deserve it. But the bigger picture here is that after establishing a precedent with Assange, trump's going to go after people who don't deserve it. Good, decent, hard-working Americans that have dedicated their lives to holding the powerful to account. Those people are the real target here.

    We have to defend this shit head's rights in order to defend all those good people. It fucking sucks. But that's the choice we are facing right now.

    • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 24 2019, @05:01PM (2 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 24 2019, @05:01PM (#847171)

      Where are all those imbeciles who were apoplectic that Hillary supposedly made a private joke about droning Assange? Here's ya boy officially threatening Assange's life by charging him with crimes that could include a death sentence.

      • (Score: 2) by realDonaldTrump on Saturday May 25 2019, @12:22AM (1 child)

        by realDonaldTrump (6614) on Saturday May 25 2019, @12:22AM (#847434) Homepage Journal

        Crooked "joked" about Droning him, that's so true. And, she "joked" about Moammar/Libya. About the incredibly brutal way he was murdered (RIP!!). That one happened because of her. By the way, no Due Process there. ZERO.

        My Justice Department, as you know has filed charges against this guy. Who, allegedly is one of the worst leakers, and hackers ever. We think he's been hacking, and leaking all over the place. So we're going through the Due Process with him. Trying to get him into our magnificent Justice System. And that one's the envy of the World. Trust me, we're doing it very fairly. He's going to get one of the fairest "trials" you've seen in you're entire life. Beautiful!!!!

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 25 2019, @12:41AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 25 2019, @12:41AM (#847441)

          Every post you make is a test of Poe's Law.

    • (Score: 2) by All Your Lawn Are Belong To Us on Friday May 24 2019, @06:09PM (2 children)

      by All Your Lawn Are Belong To Us (6553) on Friday May 24 2019, @06:09PM (#847246) Journal

      Nice dichotomy. Either Assange deserves to be prosecuted or he does not. Either what Assange did is espionage or it is not. You're trying to have your cake and eat it too.

      By charging him with a crime which can invoke the death penalty they made it very much harder to get him extradited even by England (which would have to be assured that the death penalty would not be sought nor carried out) let alone Sweden. Given the President's stance on not liking to be pushed around I'm hoping he'd explicitly order that no such assurance be made.

      --
      Keep everyone ignorant of the magical world! KEEP AMERICA OBLIVIATE!
      • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 24 2019, @08:00PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 24 2019, @08:00PM (#847325)

        Either Assange deserves to be prosecuted or he does not. Either what Assange did is espionage or it is not.

        He absolutely deserves to be prosecuted. BUT NOT FOR THE ACTIONS HE'S BEEN CHARGED WITH.
        Capiche?

        Furthermore, he will not be charged for the actions that legitimately deserve prosecution, because shining a spotlight on those actions would be highly embarrassing to the authoritarians currently in power.

      • (Score: 3, Informative) by takyon on Friday May 24 2019, @09:19PM

        by takyon (881) <{takyon} {at} {soylentnews.org}> on Friday May 24 2019, @09:19PM (#847365) Journal

        The latest charges carry 10 years per charge. No death penalty.

        --
        [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
    • (Score: 1, Troll) by ElizabethGreene on Friday May 24 2019, @06:39PM (5 children)

      by ElizabethGreene (6748) on Friday May 24 2019, @06:39PM (#847279)

      Remember the context of all this: Trump's constant accusations that a free press is literally the enemy of the people.

      This is incorrect. His accusation is that large swaths of the free press lie and uses their position of trust to deceive the people. The distinction is a subtle.

      • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 24 2019, @07:57PM (4 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 24 2019, @07:57PM (#847323)

        This is incorrect. His accusation is that large swaths of the free press lie and uses their position of trust to deceive the people.

        No, you are incorrect. While trump started off making statements with enough space for the willfully blind to find the kind of nuance you are attributing to him, he has since escalated to outright accusations that the press in general is the enemy of the people.

        Here's one such tweet where he makes no such distinction, referring to the press at large: [twitter.com]

        The press is doing everything within their power to fight the
        magnificence of the phrase, MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!
        They can’t stand the fact that this Administration has done
        more than virtually any other Administration in its first 2yrs.
        They are truly the ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE!

        You know what's really insane though? The way the press has barely reported on those statements. Its like they are a deer stuck in trump's headlights. They are unequipped to deal with the crisis of authoritarianism.
           

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 24 2019, @08:25PM (3 children)

          by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 24 2019, @08:25PM (#847336)

          by "press" he means the media whores that are controlled by the same deep state scum that are trying to bring the US under complete NWO rule as another slave state and everyone knows who the fuck he's talking about. that's why the media whores don't repeat what he said b/c they are scared of what the people might do when they realize it's not just them that hates these disgusting pieces of shit on tv and at the major papers in california and new york. they're lucky they aren't all being burned alive and stabbed/shot when they go to lunch. free press, my ass

          • (Score: 2, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 24 2019, @08:38PM (2 children)

            by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 24 2019, @08:38PM (#847346)

            You seem like a level-headed guy.

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 25 2019, @01:12AM (1 child)

              by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 25 2019, @01:12AM (#847449)

              Would that be level zero/flattened?

              • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 25 2019, @10:53PM

                by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 25 2019, @10:53PM (#847735)

                says the go along to get along, tax paying, boot licking whore.

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