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Breaking News
posted by FatPhil on Thursday April 11 2019, @01:22PM   Printer-friendly
from the shoulda-taken-the-tea-chest-option-years-back dept.

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


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  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Phoenix666 on Thursday April 11 2019, @01:35PM (66 children)

    by Phoenix666 (552) on Thursday April 11 2019, @01:35PM (#827901) Journal

    Assange is an egotist. He has grown a strange beard. But he's been one of the last still doing what journalists used to do, which is to investigate and expose the high and mighty. If any person ever deserved the protection of the world's most powerful democracy, he is it. Trump must pardon him (and pardon Snowden, too, while he's at it). If he really wanted to punch the Deep State in the nuts, that is what he'd do.

    --
    Washington DC delenda est.
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  • (Score: 0, Touché) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 11 2019, @01:41PM (3 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 11 2019, @01:41PM (#827908)

    Assange is an egotist. He has grown a strange beard.

    That is what you care about regarding this situation?

    • (Score: 4, Funny) by DannyB on Thursday April 11 2019, @02:02PM (1 child)

      by DannyB (5839) on Thursday April 11 2019, @02:02PM (#827933) Journal

      It means he is qualified to be employed working on Unix.

      --
      Reminder: March is National Procrastination Week.
      • (Score: 3, Funny) by Bot on Thursday April 11 2019, @09:30PM

        by Bot (3902) on Thursday April 11 2019, @09:30PM (#828287) Journal

        Beard check
        Mastering leaks check

        A blessing for any project written in C actually.

        --
        Account abandoned.
    • (Score: 2) by Phoenix666 on Thursday April 11 2019, @07:36PM

      by Phoenix666 (552) on Thursday April 11 2019, @07:36PM (#828209) Journal

      No. It is what the chattering classes will inevitably focus on. It is what will matter to the small-minded.

      --
      Washington DC delenda est.
  • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 11 2019, @01:47PM (1 child)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 11 2019, @01:47PM (#827915)

    If you want to know what it's like to see people beneath you that you want to govern, head over to Reddit where people are complaining about his 'colluded with Russia to defeat Hillary', 'purposefully disclosed the names of spies to harm the USA' and 'looks like a bum'. Looking like a bum may be the only thing remotely close to the truth for those of us who have been observing him and Wikileaks for these many years, believing in the 'ideals' of western democracy, but Assange is not landing on public support.

    In the last 10 years, freedom of speech, constitution and journalistic integrity have suffered and propaganda has won. While deep state exposed it also made pointing out at deep state look a loony conspiracy theory and nothing more.

    • (Score: 2) by PinkyGigglebrain on Thursday April 11 2019, @07:13PM

      by PinkyGigglebrain (4458) on Thursday April 11 2019, @07:13PM (#828191)

      "In the last 10 years, freedom of speech, constitution and journalistic integrity have suffered ..."

      Its been declining for much longer than just ten years. The Patriot Act in 2001 was only a sign that the "slippery slope" had suddenly become steeper. Even before September 11, 2001 the US government has been slowly eroding the Constitutional and Civil rights of the people, it was just being done more subtly.

      Want some food for thought? Try watching "A Noble Lie" [imdb.com] for starters. Pay attention to the part about the files relating to the Whitewater investigation against the Clintons, and what happened to the TV station and news program that didn't shut up about the additional explosive that had been reported, and what happened to Officer Terrance Yeakey.

      --
      "Beware those who would deny you Knowledge, For in their hearts they dream themselves your Master."
  • (Score: -1, Flamebait) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 11 2019, @01:50PM (14 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 11 2019, @01:50PM (#827920)

    I can only hope Assange ends up at a black site for renditioning and what America doesn't consider "torture" anymore.

    Alas, Assange will turn like the rat that he is and he will start singing like a canary. He'll still do time, but he'll trade his cooperation for safe confinement from the international retribution that awaits him after he turns on everyone.

    • (Score: 4, Insightful) by Runaway1956 on Thursday April 11 2019, @02:49PM (13 children)

      by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Thursday April 11 2019, @02:49PM (#827969) Homepage Journal

      That actually sounds pretty silly. Assange "turned on everyone" years, and years ago. He exposed stuff in the UK, in Russia, in the US, he pissed off many smaller countries with his exposes. Somehow, he missed Ecuador, so they granted asylum. Then, revoked it when he pissed them off.

      Tell us, who does NOT have a reason to go after Assange?

      Like many another would-be-great men, he was brought down by a woman - or in this case three women. Remember that when your little head starts thinking for you.

      --
      Through a Glass, Darkly -George Patton
      • (Score: 0, Disagree) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 11 2019, @03:06PM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 11 2019, @03:06PM (#827991)

        He is a great man, having done, having seen and having the balls to stand for his beliefs. He was brought down by the corrupts. You kept quite because it was through a woman - or in this case three women - because that is who you are.

        Of course, he has made a mistake. It is to try to hold your superiors accountable. I don't. You don't.

        • (Score: 2) by Runaway1956 on Thursday April 11 2019, @03:16PM

          by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Thursday April 11 2019, @03:16PM (#828000) Homepage Journal

          It is to try to hold your superiors accountable. I don't. You don't.

          Maybe you presume a little too much. I'm supplying no details, but I have had superiors who regretted various actions that they shouldn't have taken. Whistle blower hotlines actually work sometimes. And, if there is no hotline, sometimes a direct report to your boss's boss has good results as well.

          As for the "great man" bit - he's a damned good man, but I think he falls short of great. That's cool though - you choose your own heroes, based on your own criteria.

          --
          Through a Glass, Darkly -George Patton
      • (Score: 2) by DeathMonkey on Thursday April 11 2019, @04:06PM

        by DeathMonkey (1380) on Thursday April 11 2019, @04:06PM (#828062) Journal

        That actually sounds pretty silly. Assange "turned on everyone" years, and years ago. He exposed stuff in the UK, in Russia...

        Actually, he declined to release damaging information on Russia. [foreignpolicy.com]

        So the claim that he was an equal opportunity leaker is suspect.

        That said, so long as he didn't participate in the hacking and simply released stuff he was given it's still protected by the first amendment.
        And also, as mentioned up thread, the current allegation is that he DID participate in the hacking.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 11 2019, @04:41PM (9 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 11 2019, @04:41PM (#828101)

        If a woman didn't get him Polonium-210 would. Guys like this have to be thinking YOLO all the time. So if I were in his line of work I'd take all the pussy they threw at me, because tomorrow I may glow.

        • (Score: 3, Informative) by Runaway1956 on Thursday April 11 2019, @05:19PM (8 children)

          by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Thursday April 11 2019, @05:19PM (#828124) Homepage Journal

          I'd take all the pussy they threw at me

          If you remember the details, that's just about what happened. Both of the women involved in this sordid little affair seduced HIM, not the other way around.

          --
          Through a Glass, Darkly -George Patton
          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 11 2019, @07:26PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 11 2019, @07:26PM (#828202)

            I'm still somewhat on the fence as to whether that was a honey trap. It just so happened to happen right after his big leaks in 2010, and Sweden had promised the US to send him there when they were done with him. That strikes me as suspicious.

          • (Score: 3, Flamebait) by Magic Oddball on Thursday April 11 2019, @09:11PM (6 children)

            by Magic Oddball (3847) on Thursday April 11 2019, @09:11PM (#828265) Journal

            No, his supporters claimed that the women seduced him. According to the official police complaint [theguardian.com]:

            One of the women, named in court as Miss A, told police that she had arranged Assange's trip to Sweden, and let him stay in her flat because she was due to be away. She returned early, on Friday 13 August, after which the pair went for a meal and then returned to her flat.

            Her account to police, which Assange disputes, stated that he began stroking her leg as they drank tea, before he pulled off her clothes and snapped a necklace that she was wearing. According to her statement she "tried to put on some articles of clothing as it was going too quickly and uncomfortably but Assange ripped them off again". Miss A told police that she didn't want to go any further "but that it was too late to stop Assange as she had gone along with it so far", and so she allowed him to undress her.

            According to the statement, Miss A then realised he was trying to have unprotected sex with her. She told police that she had tried a number of times to reach for a condom but Assange had stopped her by holding her arms and pinning her legs. The statement records Miss A describing how Assange then released her arms and agreed to use a condom, but she told the police that at some stage Assange had "done something" with the condom that resulted in it becoming ripped, and ejaculated without withdrawing.

            The second woman, "Ms. W", states that while she contacted him with the idea of hooking up, she made it abundantly clear that she never had sex without a condom and refused to do so; her ex-boyfriend told police that they'd never had sex without a condom as she found the idea "unthinkable." Later that night, Assange reluctantly put one on later that night in order to get laid, but upon finding her asleep the next morning, decided to screw her bareback anyway.

            So the first woman didn't seduce him at all, and the second one had a mutual hookup with him before he decided to violate her wishes once she wasn't awake enough to protest.

            Not to mention that even if somebody invites a person to their home, lets them in wearing sexy attire and begins to get intimate, the minute either of them begins clearly objecting to an activity, continuing to do it or waiting for them to be unable to protest isn't acceptable or legal behavior.

            • (Score: 5, Informative) by Pav on Thursday April 11 2019, @11:32PM (5 children)

              by Pav (114) on Thursday April 11 2019, @11:32PM (#828375)

              That's a misleading framing of events. NEITHER of the women had a problem until they found out about eachother, and they approached the police NOT to press charges, but to find a way they could force Assange to take a sexually transmitted disease test, which apparently they couldn't. A prosecutor in a different part of the country caught wind of this, and in a highly irregular way tried to get the women to press charges. One refused outright, and the other withdrew her support years later. A well respected Australian investigative reporter travelled to Sweden at the time to find out exactly what was going on [abc.net.au], and the political intrigue surrounding Wikileaks and the Pirate Party etc...

              • (Score: -1, Redundant) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 11 2019, @11:41PM (4 children)

                by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 11 2019, @11:41PM (#828384)

                That's a misleading framing of events. NEITHER of the women had a problem until they found out about eachother

                And THAT is a misleading framing of events. It can take a while for people to process things that happen to them, especially things they have no frame of reference for. The fact that finding out about each other's experiences prompted them to start re-examining what happened to them doesn't invalidate the conclusions they eventually came too. Smart people change their minds given new information, its pedantry to stubbornly insist that a better understanding doesn't allow you to re-evaluate how you feel about something that happened to you.

                • (Score: 5, Informative) by Pav on Friday April 12 2019, @12:17AM (2 children)

                  by Pav (114) on Friday April 12 2019, @12:17AM (#828398)

                  But there's no evidence to suggest what you're saying... actually quite the contrary. Both were angry at his two-timing, and the younger in particular was afraid of being infected with an STD. That investigative report I posted above says they a) wanted to publicly embarrass him (and presumably warn other women he was a womaniser, but the report doesn't specifically mention that warning others was part of their motivation), and b) force him to take an STD test. Both are on record saying they didn't feel they had been raped. Highly irregularly they were contacted by a prosecutor from another part of the country. Why would something like that happen? Presumably one of them was helped or perhaps even pressured into a different conclusion at a later date, though the other refused that "help".

                  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 12 2019, @01:49AM

                    by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 12 2019, @01:49AM (#828429)

                    Your linked article isn't even close to conclusive. The women don't speak and their lawyer gets about 4 lines in the entire interview, meanwhile pro-assange people are spouting off left and right.

                    For you to claim that it is some kind of straight-up, even-handed analysis reveals that you are crazy biased and nobody should trust a word you say.

                  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by ledow on Friday April 12 2019, @08:26AM

                    by ledow (5567) on Friday April 12 2019, @08:26AM (#828530) Homepage

                    Guess what most rape / sexual assault victims do when the world's press suddenly starts focusing on them, interviewing them, pursuing them, questioning them about their sex life?

                    They drop charges and don't want to discuss it.

                    There's a reason that a prosecutor is able to continue to press charges even if the victims themselves won't proceed.

                    You can no more assume that Assange is telling the truth than the women, so don't pretend you can.

                    Asking a sexual partner for an STD test after they have had sex with you unprotected is a not-unreasonable request. It's not like Assange denies having sex with them at all, in any way, whatsoever. They just want him to get tested.

                    If it had been the other way round and Assange thought he caught something from them, you can be damn sure that he'd want them to get tested, and that would have been aired to the world's press at the time, too.

                • (Score: 2) by Runaway1956 on Friday April 12 2019, @02:46PM

                  by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Friday April 12 2019, @02:46PM (#828615) Homepage Journal

                  #metoo

                  --
                  Through a Glass, Darkly -George Patton
  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by TheFool on Thursday April 11 2019, @01:59PM (7 children)

    by TheFool (7105) on Thursday April 11 2019, @01:59PM (#827929)

    I think we're more likely to see the "Assange is a Russian agent!" narrative spin back up so that it's too inconvenient to pardon the guy. But it will be interesting to see what he does, anyway.

    • (Score: 4, Insightful) by Phoenix666 on Thursday April 11 2019, @03:02PM (5 children)

      by Phoenix666 (552) on Thursday April 11 2019, @03:02PM (#827988) Journal

      They're going to try him secretly, claiming state's secrets, in order to deny him a platform to upbraid the power-elites.

      It would be wonderful, though, if he were given a public trial and his every word was published for months. It would be his double gift to transparency and democracy.

      You know, we ought to crowdfund a Mt. Rushmore-like monument to these heroes of privacy, transparency, and democracy, with Assange, Manning, and Snowden (others?).

      --
      Washington DC delenda est.
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 11 2019, @08:41PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 11 2019, @08:41PM (#828245)

        You know, we ought to crowdfund a Mt. Rushmore-like monument to these heroes of privacy, transparency, and democracy, with Assange, Manning, and Snowden (others?).

        https://hanshowe.files.wordpress.com/2013/08/image001.jpg [wordpress.com]

      • (Score: 3, Insightful) by J053 on Thursday April 11 2019, @10:21PM (3 children)

        by J053 (3532) <{dakine} {at} {shangri-la.cx}> on Thursday April 11 2019, @10:21PM (#828322) Homepage
        OK, that's your guess - here's mine: Assange will be tried in open court in the US based on evidence (testimony) provided by Chelsea Manning that Assange offered to help crack a password to a secured computer, and he'll get 3-to-5.

        $20 on it?
        • (Score: 2) by legont on Friday April 12 2019, @03:07AM (2 children)

          by legont (4179) on Friday April 12 2019, @03:07AM (#828449)

          Will he admit that Hilary leaks were provided by Putin?

          --
          "Wealth is the relentless enemy of understanding" - John Kenneth Galbraith.
          • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 12 2019, @05:05AM

            by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 12 2019, @05:05AM (#828485)

            Will he admit that Hilary leaks were provided by Putin?

            Yes, he will leave a suicide note containing a full admission of it before shooting himself twice in the back of the head.

          • (Score: 2) by J053 on Friday April 12 2019, @11:01PM

            by J053 (3532) <{dakine} {at} {shangri-la.cx}> on Friday April 12 2019, @11:01PM (#828782) Homepage

            He won't even be asked about that in court. It's not relevant to the indictment.

            Look, if Assange had any blockbuster news about HRC or BHO, he's had years to tell it. The US only waited until he was no longer in the Ecuadorian embassy to charge him with the CFAA violation because there was no point in charging him while he was there.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 11 2019, @06:58PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 11 2019, @06:58PM (#828177)

      I think we're more likely to see the "Assange is a Russian agent!" narrative spin back up so that it's too inconvenient to pardon the guy. But it will be interesting to see what he does, anyway.

      In fairness to this, what percentage of Wikileaks things were uncomfortable and/or anti-US, what percentage were anti-western-countries, and what percentage were anti-Russia/anti-China? If there is a teacher in a class who always points out when Sam does something wrong but ignores all the other students, I'd suggest they were anti-Sam.

      Of course, it takes a step further to go from "unwitting convenient tool" to be an outright "agent," but then again, I've not heard any formal charges that accuse him of being such. Moreover, even if he was, I doubt that would be illegal in US law as he wasn't in the US when doing such activities. However, we'll see what develops in the coming months.

  • (Score: 2, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 11 2019, @02:22PM (2 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 11 2019, @02:22PM (#827948)

    He has grown a strange beard.

    Damning indeed. And I'm sure it has nothing to do with a lookalike he prepared with a switcheroo in mind.

    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Runaway1956 on Thursday April 11 2019, @02:51PM

      by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Thursday April 11 2019, @02:51PM (#827973) Homepage Journal

      Yeah, well, he sat on his ass far too long. I'd have gone for that switcheroo long ago. It would have been best to act while the Ecuadoreans were still friendly toward him. At that point in time, they probably wouldn't have helped any, but they wouldn't have raced each other to the phone, to notify the Brits.

      --
      Through a Glass, Darkly -George Patton
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 11 2019, @04:27PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 11 2019, @04:27PM (#828091)

      Maybe Ted Cruz is his hero.

  • (Score: 0, Flamebait) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 11 2019, @02:44PM (24 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 11 2019, @02:44PM (#827962)

    What really ticked me off was the "Collateral Murder" video he released. There were two versions, the short popular one with his narrative and the full uncut original. The short version claimed to show American military recklessly and gleefully slaughtering children and a news reporter, seemingly for the fun of murder. The long version makes the truth clear if you are not an idiot and you imagine yourself there in the battle. There were people running around with rocket launchers, cut from the short video, and the reporter had a ridiculously long camera lens that looked like one. He kept peeking out from around the corner of a building, looking like he was about the fire a rocket at the American military. The children were brought to the battlefield concealed in a minivan that was being used to pick up a fighter. Yes, the minivan was shot at, just as any military would shoot at the equivalent of a JEEP or HMMWV being used to ferry the enemy around the battlefield. Eh, don't bring your kids to a war if you love them. Assange cut and narrated the video to make the American military appear to be enjoying the sport of killing civilians. This of course caused outrage as Assange had planned, and most likely generated more terrorists.

    Given that Assange was totally non-US at the time (not really our jurisdiction) and has self-imprisoned for 7 years, maybe I'd let him off if he'd do one thing: testify that Seth Rich was indeed the DNC leaker. It breaks a promise to leakers, but Assange and his mother have both already hinted that Seth Rich was the leaker. Also, Seth Rich is long dead anyway, suspiciously killed in DC. He was shot for no normal reason; nothing was stolen and he was just walking home. Over 90% of the people with his type of gunshot survive if they make it to the hospital breathing, as he did, but he didn't survive. Normal hospital procedure for DC shootings wasn't followed, with cops keeping the normal nurses out of the room. (something they shouldn't witness?) The one doctor there had ties to the Podestas, one of whom mentioned in a leaked email that the DNC should make examples out of leakers. It's pretty damn ominous.

    As for Snowden, that is a really different situation. He was 100% American, a US citizen on US soil, having signed the secrecy agreements. He didn't just leak the one questionable thing that was later found unconstitutional. That was but a tiny part of the huge pile of secrets he leaked, and he'd like to hide behind it as some sort of shield against prosecution for everything else he leaked. Car analogy: an accountant at Ford disagrees about the legality of a tax strategy and happens to be right. (most of the office thinks it is legal, and others don't want to rock the boat) He leaks this along with all market strategy, union negotiation strategy, payroll data, CAD drawings, studies of combustion, product plans, contracts with vendors, sealed legal settlements, executive security plans, unfilled patents, and more. He dumps everything, claiming that he did the right thing because he was a whistleblower about that tax violation.

    • (Score: 4, Insightful) by Runaway1956 on Thursday April 11 2019, @02:57PM (5 children)

      by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Thursday April 11 2019, @02:57PM (#827981) Homepage Journal

      All true. Yet, Assange only moderately angered me with that narrative thing on the video. Yeah, he was wrong, and he dumped on a lot of good men and women. That was dirty. But - freedom of the press. He doesn't HAVE to print stuff that you and I agree with, to enjoy "freedom" of the press. We have hundreds of "reporters" right here in the US who anger me far more than Snowden did. Treasonous sons of bitches, whose obvious intent is to undermine the US and it's government. At least Assange, not being a US citizen, didn't commit treason in the making of that video and the false narrative.

      Wikileaks has done enough other good work, that I can forgive them for being fuckwits now and then. No one can be right all of the time.

      --
      Through a Glass, Darkly -George Patton
      • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 11 2019, @06:09PM (4 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 11 2019, @06:09PM (#828152)

        Yet, Assange only moderately angered me

        Its hilarious how you always have to make things about YOU. Nobody GAF how "angered" you were. But that's what you bring up first because in your disordered mind your feels are the most important factor of any analysis.

        • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Runaway1956 on Thursday April 11 2019, @06:14PM (2 children)

          by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Thursday April 11 2019, @06:14PM (#828153) Homepage Journal

          Your point? Is there someone in the room with you, holding a gun to your head, forcing you to read my posts? You can tune in, tune out, change the channel, turn the volume down, do whatever you want to do. Or, you can whine about Runaway.

          --
          Through a Glass, Darkly -George Patton
          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 11 2019, @10:16PM (1 child)

            by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 11 2019, @10:16PM (#828314)

            Lollards! Here you are whining about what I wrote and your big argument is that I don't have to read your posts. The hypocrisy of the egotist, its fucking awesome! You degenerate clown.

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 12 2019, @12:56AM

              by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 12 2019, @12:56AM (#828411)

              Lollards! Here you are whining about what I wrote and your big argument is that I don't have to read your posts. The hypocrisy of the egotist, its fucking awesome! You degenerate clown.

              Don't hold back, friend. Tell us how you *really* feel.

        • (Score: 2) by Bot on Thursday April 11 2019, @09:40PM

          by Bot (3902) on Thursday April 11 2019, @09:40PM (#828290) Journal

          Frankly between the opinion of $randomGuyOnTheNet and the infused truth coming from above, wikipedia style, I'd rather have the first. (u c what I did here)

          --
          Account abandoned.
    • (Score: 3, Informative) by DeathMonkey on Thursday April 11 2019, @04:12PM (3 children)

      by DeathMonkey (1380) on Thursday April 11 2019, @04:12PM (#828070) Journal

      testify that Seth Rich was indeed the DNC leaker.

      The guys who started that lie have already admitted it was a lie.

      Roger Stone and Jerome Corsi Pushed Seth Rich Lie After Privately Admitting Hackers Stole DNC Emails [thedailybeast.com]

      • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 11 2019, @05:24PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 11 2019, @05:24PM (#828130)

        She lost. Get over it.
        She is an evil witch and if she runs again she'll lose, again, and Trump will win, again.

      • (Score: 0, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 11 2019, @05:27PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 11 2019, @05:27PM (#828131)

        They wouldn't know one way or the other. Assange is one of very few people who would know.

        Roger Stone and Jerome Corsi are allowed to change their mind, switching from "hackers" to "Seth Rich". At this point the circumstantial evidence is very strong, and we're just waiting for Assange to confirm it.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 11 2019, @06:43PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 11 2019, @06:43PM (#828165)

        As usual, fake news. I explained it here:
        https://soylentnews.org/breakingnews/comments.pl?noupdate=1&sid=31039&page=1&cid=828108#commentwrap [soylentnews.org]

        All that email proves is the Trump campaign had no inside info, they learned about Seth Rich from Assange's interview just like everyone else.

    • (Score: 4, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 11 2019, @05:47PM (13 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 11 2019, @05:47PM (#828140)

      Except that when you strip away all your characterizations what you get is:

      A group of people were walking down a street the way anybody would in a combat zone (don't clump up). We now know at least two of them had things slung which were not weapons. Could others have had weapons? At 3:01, right before the Apache opens up, you see one person on a cell phone and one person with his camera, and all other hands you can see are clearly empty. But let's say for the sake of argument they did - as they were walking up before the photographer peers around the corner a couple of the frames look that way and the military wants to say that they were.

      A civilian journalist was acting with the same caution anyone does who has half a brain, peer around corners before moving. He had the misfortune to be the only person with an object that could be mistaken as a weapon, but now it's pretty clear that it wasn't a weapon. So the aircrew fucked up on that call. Only the photographer had anything that one could judge as a weapon in the same way cops manage to shoot people with cell phones. They were perceived as a threat wrongly. They get shot up. Well, that's the breaks and maybe I can acknowledge that.

      Then, an individual crawling with no demonstrated intent of hositlity and they open up again for no defined reason. Please tell me why that second series of shots is justified?

      Then a van was making pickup on the area.

      The aircrew previously acknowledged the civilian did not have a weapon when he was crawling. "All you gotta do is pick up a weapon." Combatant or not, there was no indications that the van was engaging in combat. There was no picking up of weapons in the video, even though the aircrew says they are picking up weapons when they request engagement and receive it. They shot up people rendering aid and that is the beginning and ending one can make of that. That there were children in the vehicle at most makes it more heinous, it does not absolve the aircraft crew from having fired on an unarmed rescue mission. If the enemy had done that the U.S. would have been swinging it's dick around condemning that full force. Except now we've proven that we cannot be trusted to not fire on unarmed rescue people, so they have no reason to give ours any quarter either, do they?

      The first bit is arguable. The last two are murder, plain and simple.

      Finally, it's just another use where the U.S. position would be all anyone ever knew, except for Wikileaks. Why were all the other requests under FOIA denied? Oh, because that would have embarassed the shit out of the government.

      • (Score: 1, Disagree) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 11 2019, @06:58PM (3 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 11 2019, @06:58PM (#828176)

        How was the helicopter pilot to know that there were "people rendering aid"? (not that I agree that it matters; aiding the enemy makes you an enemy IMHO) For that matter, how is it that you know that there were "people rendering aid"? There was no giant red cross on the roof of the vehicle, or even a goddamn crescent. For context: similar vehicles had been used to move active combatants around the battlefield. It's no different from a JEEP or HMMWV moving our soldiers from point A to point B.

        The "individual crawling with no demonstrated intent of hositlity" had in fact demonstrated hostility. He did that, hid, and then went for the vehicle. He's trying to continue the fight. He isn't waving a white flag. He isn't carried off in a stretcher.

        Now that I think about it, I suspect the kids were brought there to die. People there do some pretty fucked up disgusting things, and they damn well know how to manipulate the American public.

        In any case, both the minivan and the crawling combatant were fully legitimate targets. Had they not been, there is still a lot of room for "oops" between "legit" and "murder".

        • (Score: 2) by MostCynical on Thursday April 11 2019, @10:58PM

          by MostCynical (2589) on Thursday April 11 2019, @10:58PM (#828354) Journal

          This post, with the post-hoc justifications and "narrative-fitting" interpretation, is demonstrative.. Not that other "interpretations" are necessarily correct, either..

          There are two sides.. Those who have pre-conceived opinions, and those with open minds.
          This is true aross the political spectrum; there is no left/right, red/blue, there is just.. interpretation.

          Alas, "truth" is now irrelevant.

          --
          "I guess once you start doubting, there's no end to it." -Batou, Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 15 2019, @03:13PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 15 2019, @03:13PM (#829859)

          Well, let's see. What were they doing in that van that classified them as hostile? Oh, they were picking up people who were shot. If they were picking up weaponry the full video does not show it - that was an assertion of the radio chatter but there is no proof offered of that which I've seen. If you saw that please do let me know, as that would make them a legit target.

          Now, what HOSTILE INTENT was that vehicle displaying? None. It was not a military target.

          Providing medical care to anyone is not aiding that side by long held convention. Oh, wait, I see. You think the prisoners should have been shot by our side. Oh, our side patched up the kids? How is that not aiding the enemy, then? It's OK. Should we ever meet I'll just let you die.

          The "individual crawling" was no longer a hostile. The Apache crew are on tape just begging for him to pick up a weapon so they could take him out. He crawled away and then was being carried by two people to the van. Don't know what video you were watching. In case you've never been educated on the subject one may use force against an enemy only to the extent necessary to stop them from being hostile. Once they cease hostility they are not a target anymore. Shoot someone and if they drop their gun you're not allowed to put a round in their head "just to be sure."

          In any case, the minivan was never a legitimate target. The hostile was not a legitimate target. Targeting them was murder, however you want to try and rationalize it.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 15 2019, @04:32PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 15 2019, @04:32PM (#829918)

          And one more thing while I'm on a roll. How do I know they were "people rendering aid." Well, they stopped. They picked up the wounded man in an extremity carry. They were attempting to load the person and did nothing else until the Apaches opened fire on them. What would you call it, people hunting for dinner?

          If you think the wounded guy (who was the driver for the reporter if you hadn't connected the dots) was still trying to fight by crawling away, well, I'm glad you're not in uniform, dude.

      • (Score: 2) by tibman on Thursday April 11 2019, @11:30PM (1 child)

        by tibman (134) Subscriber Badge on Thursday April 11 2019, @11:30PM (#828373)

        Did you watch the full video? Tell us what happened when the ground troops secured the van?

        --
        SN won't survive on lurkers alone. Write comments.
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 15 2019, @04:14PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 15 2019, @04:14PM (#829907)

          After making multiple radio calls about it they got the two kids out of the van and over to a Humvee. (There's much more that can be said if you Google Ethan McCord for starters...)

          Now you tell me: What actions precipitated the order to shoot up the van with the kids in it?

          And again, I'll reiterate: The only reason you or I saw that full video was... Wikileaks.

      • (Score: 2) by Runaway1956 on Friday April 12 2019, @02:58PM (6 children)

        by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Friday April 12 2019, @02:58PM (#828623) Homepage Journal

        You need to look at the full video again, and actually count weapons. There are rifles in the video. They look remarkably like AK-47's. There aren't enough of them to go around, but most of the people in that video do indeed have weapons. Don't look at the "collateral murder" version, but the full version, with all the helicopter chatter going back and forth. Listen closely, watch closely. If you don't see any rifles (dare I say "assault rifles"?) then either A: you have very bad eyes, or B: you don't WANT TO SEE those weapons. I'll grant that the quality of the video makes it a bit difficult to pick out weapons, but they are there if you look.

        Furthermore, the Apache was called in BECAUSE our ground troops in the area had been fired on by these guys. These guys, not some other random bunch of local yokels. There were no other local yokels to be found in the area. That is in fact what the reporter was there to report on. He was EMBEDDED in an insurgent "unit" for the purpose of recording the war from the insurgent's perspective.

        You have plenty of clues now - let's see what you can do with them.

        --
        Through a Glass, Darkly -George Patton
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 15 2019, @04:24PM (5 children)

          by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 15 2019, @04:24PM (#829912)

          No, you're seeing a bunch of things that look like weapons. Watch in the second half of the video when the Apache crew says the Humvee ran over one of the dead bodies and even the crew couldn't be sure or if that was just an image artifact. So, I'll readily acknowledge that three of the eleven people shown are carrying things that could be interpreted as weapons. And it's more than just AK's: The US asserts there was an RPG plus someone carrying an RPG round. Plus the radio chatter makes clear when the security element reaches the scene one person looks like he's on top of an RPG round.

          Now let's deal with the conclusions you are jumping to:

          "....had been fired on by these guys." No proof it was "these guys" who had fired on them. (And especially if you broaden that just a smidge - I doubt the reporter or his driver were firing on them). Next, please differentiate for me the difference between a "local yokel" and an insurgent. Then for dessert you can suggest how you tell a Viet Cong from a Vietnamese civilian (and for the cherry you can linguistically trace how and why Vietnamese civilians were called gooks by the troops).

          But you need to go back and read my first post. As I said, that the reporter and his driver were hit aren't terribly relevant. What I'm focusing on was that black minivan and why firing on it was justified. (No, "because it was in the area," is not acceptable - see above.) I await your reply.

          • (Score: 2) by Runaway1956 on Monday April 15 2019, @04:53PM (4 children)

            by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Monday April 15 2019, @04:53PM (#829928) Homepage Journal

            I can't really "justify" firing on the van. All that I can offer you is, we are just Monday morning quarterbacks. I can sit here and tell myself that I probably wouldn't have fired on the van. But, we don't second-guess the man at the trigger. He answers to his superiors, and he was told to fire. I think it was wrong to shoot the van up, but even if we all agree that it WAS wrong - there was no war crime committed. The people in the van were rendering aid to a known enemy unit. It's justifiable under the rules of law. It's part of that "fog of war" you read about. That doesn't exactly make it justified in my opinion.

            Now, I ask one thing of you. Put yourself in the gunner's seat. You've just shot up a bunch of known bad guys. Some unknown people show up, attempting to rescue your bad guys. You report it, your superiors order you to fire. No matter at this point, yet, that you do, or do not, want to shoot the van up. You follow orders, unless you can clearly argue that those orders are unlawful. After you've shot the van, ground troops arrive, and inform you that you've shot up a bunch of unarmed dummies, AND THEIR KIDS.

            I can damned near guarantee that gunner lost nights of sleep, and probably had to visit a shrink. He may now be one of those homeless PTSD veterans we read about. It probably had an effect on the rest of the crew, but none so much as that gunner.

            And, it all boils down to "War is hell" and "shit happens" and fucking Murphy.

            THAT is why I was opposed to the invasion of Iraq. I put every bit of responsibility in Bush's and Cheney's laps. The sons of bitches violated a number of laws before, during, and after that war. Worse, they mutilated common sense.

            It would have been an outrage if the Pentagon told Bush they would not comply with his order to invade Iraq. It would have been the biggest scandal in US history. But, I think that would have been better than destroying a country, just to get the top 50 or so leaders.

            --
            Through a Glass, Darkly -George Patton
            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 15 2019, @05:32PM (3 children)

              by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 15 2019, @05:32PM (#829941)

              True. We are criticizing after the fact. And you're correct, we're not there. I'll say that it was both indicative they had a problem with it and also a sign of trying to justify or grow emotional callouses about it when they say on the video, "Ah damn. Oh well." and later, "Well they shouldn't have brought kids into a war zone." They're already beginning the process of living with what they did, and to some degree making excuses for it.

              Now, I will do as you ask and place myself in their shoes - I did while watching it originally. (And yes, I've worn the uniform and carried a rifle).

              First, if unknown people show up rescuing the bad guys, if they are making pickups on wounded the big question is: What's the threat?

              Yes, they're amped up, they just took out what looked like --- and you're right, likely was --- a squad of armed insurgents and they're still thinking in that mindset. Even properly marked and badged medics have been killed in combat "by accident" and as someone else pointed out these people weren't marked as medics.

              But a couple of distinguishing things - these guys are in helicopters. There are no indicators they were ever in any danger at all, at any point.... Now they're up there protecting the ground troops and that's an important and high-adrenaline thing to be doing. In fact, it can be even more nerve wracking than being on the ground. But it was the chopper crew who told the superiors that they were picking up bodies and weapons. If you're the superior officer back at base and you're told people are collecting weapons, that's not a hard call to make to clear the engagement. I'm sure that I would do that and so would you.

              But the reality is that they helicopter crew was given permission to engage, not orders to engage, and that permission came because of the way they described the situation. Which, as far as the video shows, is false. If they had radioed in, "Looks like this black van has two people who are making pickup on one of the wounded down there," does that change how you as the commander would clear them? Me, I'd ask, "What else are they doing that makes them a target?" I'd realize from my protected position back at base that U.S. position has always been that wounded individuals who aren't fighting are always afforded Rule 110 [icrc.org] protection, and that many nations recognize that just because they're not afforded enemy combatant status or the pickups aren't properly credentialed is not an exception to that. What would you do if you were the clearing authority and were given a different picture of what happened?

              I've read some things that did say, though, that the black van did come from a compound that was suspected of being an insurgent stronghold. (And who knows, maybe the van was seen picking up weapons earlier by those crews). But neither of those carries weight to automatically qualify the van as a belligerent force.

              And yes, were I the gunner it would cause me a lot of lost sleep and probably some counseling. (Then we can look at how those who want to get that kind of help in bang-bang units are often pressured into not doing so). But I don't assume that everyone else feels that way (guilt or remorse) because there are a lot of amoral SOB's in the world, too. Some of them wear uniforms. And it doesn't cut them a free pass that it's OK because war, any more than a commander who says, "Yep, if an IED goes off waste everyone you can see." They are paid way too little and have way too much responsibility, but as soldiers it is their job to make the right calls about whom they kill. (Which doesn't mean they should be locked up, either. But discharged without prejudice, or ensured that they'll never be promoted and they're removed from combat duty and will never advance - that I can live with. Maybe the next crew will think, then, before firing.)

              I can empathize with them. But I won't sympathize or say "well, that was OK, then."

              • (Score: 2) by Runaway1956 on Monday April 15 2019, @05:50PM (2 children)

                by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Monday April 15 2019, @05:50PM (#829946) Homepage Journal

                Dayum. I've argued what happened in that video many times. You're the first person who makes me want to go back and check what I saw and heard. Yeah, I think you're right - the chopper crew reported that they were picking up weapons. I want to look, see if they actually picked up anything that looked like a weapon.

                Thanks for the perspective.

                Let me ask one more question before I go looking for the video again, maybe you'll answer before I get back:

                How convinced are you that those erroneous reports that you allude to might constitute a war crime? Like, 1%, or 20%, or 50%?

                BBL

                --
                Through a Glass, Darkly -George Patton
                • (Score: 2) by Runaway1956 on Monday April 15 2019, @06:51PM (1 child)

                  by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Monday April 15 2019, @06:51PM (#829975) Homepage Journal

                  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kelmEZe8whI [youtube.com]

                  Ethan McCord testimony on the incident. He specifically states that when he arrived on scene, he saw an RPG and an AK-47. He does describe pretty graphically how bad it was. As he testifies, the Wikileaks video is played. That report to superiors seems to be accurately transcribed at the bottom of the video:

                  Yeah, Bushmaster, we have a van that's approaching, and picking up the bodies. . . . . Where's that van at? . . . Right down there by the bodies. . . . Okay, yeah. . . . Bushmaster, Crazyhorse. We have individuals going to the scene, looks like possibly uh picking up bodies and weapons . . . Let me engage . . . Can I shoot? . . . Roger. break.

                  It is not clear whether Ethan actually saw an RPG, or he mistook the camera for an RPG. I have absolutely zero doubt that he properly identified an AK lying on the ground among the dead.

                  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=is9sxRfU-ik [youtube.com]
                  The unedited version of the collateral murder video. I see no evidence that any of the four men in the van, or the reporter reached for anything that looked like a weapon. As I've already said, I, personally, cannot justify firing on the van. There were both dismounted and mounted troops very close by to apprehend the people in the van. But, as we've already agreed, neither of us were there. In my mind, still no war crime.

                  And, I will note that "war crime" is a kind of emotional thing. If the chopper crew were put on trial, in Iraq, with a jury consisting of Iraqis, they would probably be found guilty. A trial in Europe, it would depend on the jurists. We could stack the jury with SJW's and convict them, or we could stack the jury with veterans, and they would walk. A trial in the US, very much the same as Europe.

                  I've watched this video too many times now. Bottom line, I'm not 100% in agreement with that final call, but I stand with the troops who were there. I see no wrongdoing, and certainly not a war crime.

                  You may ask, could I, or would I, condemn the troops, if things had been just a little different? Well, yes, I could. Let us speculate that the chopper crew had said something like this: "There are no weapons nearby, all the weapons were dropped at the corner, in the street." "Yeah, well we ought to stop those people trying to rescue our wounded guy." "Yeah, well, screw it, let's light them up."

                  In that case, yes, I would condemn the flight crew.

                  Yes, there were some callous remarks after the fact. Can't condemn them for that. As you stated yourself, they have to cope somehow.

                  I want to thank you for your thoughtful and informed comments. I get so frustrated with people who know nothing, but have all the answers. Salutes, brother.

                  --
                  Through a Glass, Darkly -George Patton
                  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 15 2019, @07:49PM

                    by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 15 2019, @07:49PM (#829991)

                    Yes, and there are people who doubt McCord's version of the events (I'm saying people disputed it defending the troops who were there). And likewise, I've become much more convinced that the group was carrying weapons which justifies the initial burst. One thing we haven't looked at, at all... The vast majority of journalists are in fact just journalists who do a dangerous job. But there's nothing that doesn't say that they embedded with that group and the photographer was doing recon for the insurgents peering around the corner with his camera. (The camera was examined afterwards and they did find digital images of the Humvee that the Apache was concerned about.... That's why I think it was the reporter aiming his camera around the corner that the Apache thought was an RPG.) And I'm actually most convinced by the image that the DoD says was an RPG round and the radio traffic identified as such. Add all that up, and that initial burst of fire could in fact be justified.

                    Do I think this was a "War Crime," akin to Nuremberg or Yugoslavia? No. It's not a War Crime. I do believe it could be a crime that happened in a combat environment. One for which there certainly are mitigating circumstances, but nevertheless a crime. And one that the United States very conveniently swept under the rug until Chelsea Manning supplied Wikileaks with this evidence. And the sort of thing that if you believe the critics does happen frequently. When you get ground commanders who give orders like "an IED goes off shoot everybody in the area," it reveals something. That things like this video pop up and happen and never become news not only degrades ourselves as a nation but also turns people over to the other side. (i.e. Of course the enemy will pop off an IED when 'innocents' are in the area because every mistaken kill becomes another link by which both our government and the one we back becomes the enemy and loses legitimacy to the people there who don't care about the politics). Sorry for the soapbox. TLDR is no, not a war crime but an ordinary crime.

                    I wouldn't even want the flight crew to get a BCD, nor do I think they should have jail time. But administrative punishment for a lapse in judgment (the hosing of the black van) seems very appropriate and never happened. To truly understand whether it was in fact a crime we'd have to have access and spend time analyzing the Rules of Engagement. Wikileaks has published them IIRC, but I won't go to that length. That it is classified information, in my mind, is questionable at best exactly because of situations like this. Yes, there are some security implications (as in the enemy will find and exploit the flaws in the any such plan) - but why exploits should be in such a plan is a good question. The biggest problem is it puts the military beyond civilian review of their actions - something that should never occur in a democracy where the military are in fact subject to the citizenry. And yes, the reporters should have been wearing Press garb.

                    You're right - horrid things happen in war. That doesn't justify everything that happens in warfare, though. (Nor does it means mistakes happen, either).

                    Thanks for being reasonable, yourself!

  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Thexalon on Thursday April 11 2019, @03:21PM (7 children)

    by Thexalon (636) on Thursday April 11 2019, @03:21PM (#828005)

    But he's been one of the last still doing what journalists used to do, which is to investigate and expose the high and mighty. If any person ever deserved the protection of the world's most powerful democracy, he is it.

    Why do you think the high and mighty of the world's most powerful "democracy" have been doing everything in their power to get rid of him for approximately 20 years?

    Also, if you think Trump's going to protect him because he owes Assange one, you obviously haven't been paying attention to what Trump does when he owes people. Like all sorts of high-and-mighty types, loyalty is only expected to flow upwards, not downwards.

    --
    The only thing that stops a bad guy with a compiler is a good guy with a compiler.
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 11 2019, @03:53PM (3 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 11 2019, @03:53PM (#828043)

      Why do you think the high and mighty of the world's most powerful "democracy" have been doing everything in their power to get rid of him for approximately 20 years?

      I like how this logic works - the high and mighty are unstoppable forces of evil and yet with all of their nefarious power they couldn't take out one guy. Dude, we got internet distributed malware on to air-gapped computers deep inside an iranian secret facility and used it to blow up their centrifuges. If the "high and mighty" wanted to "get rid" of assange they could have done it a long time ago.

      Don't fall for his hype. He had a good idea, but his own vindictive personality flaws are his biggest enemy. He's a gnat as far as the ruling elite are concerned.

      • (Score: 2) by Thexalon on Thursday April 11 2019, @04:00PM (1 child)

        by Thexalon (636) on Thursday April 11 2019, @04:00PM (#828055)

        I like how this logic works - the high and mighty are unstoppable forces of evil and yet with all of their nefarious power they couldn't take out one guy.

        I never said they were "unstoppable". Exposing them for the fools that they often are is part of stopping them.

        --
        The only thing that stops a bad guy with a compiler is a good guy with a compiler.
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 11 2019, @06:05PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 11 2019, @06:05PM (#828150)

          Oh please. If your only rebuttal is to quibble about a minor point of hyperbole you didn't have a defensible argument to begin with.

      • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Bot on Thursday April 11 2019, @09:48PM

        by Bot (3902) on Thursday April 11 2019, @09:48PM (#828300) Journal

        Have you ever noticed how the evil ones want you to take responsibility for the bad situation you end up with? "you signed the contract" "you clicked on the EULA" "You didn't listen when we put a horse head in your bed", and so on?
        Have you also ever noticed that vengeance served cold is more powerful?

        I do not imply that this is what is happening to Assange, but you better acknowledge how evil works.

        --
        Account abandoned.
    • (Score: 3, Funny) by Phoenix666 on Thursday April 11 2019, @07:14PM (2 children)

      by Phoenix666 (552) on Thursday April 11 2019, @07:14PM (#828192) Journal

      Also, if you think Trump's going to protect him because he owes Assange one, you obviously haven't been paying attention to what Trump does when he owes people. Like all sorts of high-and-mighty types, loyalty is only expected to flow upwards, not downwards.

      I don't know that I do think that. I did expect Obama to pardon him and Snowden, but he proved he was at least a good measure of the worthless piece of shit the conservatives claimed for 8 years. Directing the three-letter agencies to spy on the Trump presidential campaign because of a DNC-funded dossier has confirmed an additional good measure of the worthless piece of shit the conservatives claimed. (I still don't believe that he was a Manchurian candidate, an Alinsky acolyte, secretly a non-citizen, the central figure in a global pedophile ring, a closet Muslim, married to a dude named Michael, or any of the other whispered claims around crazy campfires, but it's all lagniappe next to what he actually did as President.)

      In other words, I have very low expectations for any president now. On the other hand, Trump pledged he would kill the Trans-Pacific Partnership and instantly did that upon assuming office, so I allow for a non-zero chance that he might do the right thing here.

      I do call for Assange to be pardoned and for the United States to tell the UK and everyone else in the world to back the fuck off because it's the right thing to do, according to the lights of the country I grew up in (and wish still abided). I would hope that regardless of sour grapes, bitter tribalism, or bilious media memes that men and women of good conscience could at least agree on this much: arresting and imprisoning a real journalist based on fabricated bullshit is a direct assault on everyone's freedom.

      --
      Washington DC delenda est.
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 12 2019, @01:34AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 12 2019, @01:34AM (#828422)

        Manchurian candidate: from dictionary.com I get this: "A Manchurian candidate is a person, especially a politician, being used as a puppet by an enemy power. The term is commonly used to indicate disloyalty or corruption, whether intentional or unintentional." Clearly he was disloyal to the USA and was corrupt, so he qualifies both ways by the second definition. That does it, but let's look at the first definition too. I'm not sure where to set the threshold on how metaphorical "puppet" can be. One extreme would be literally a doll with a hand up his ass, and I don't think he qualifies under that definition. (have not seen his ass however) The other extreme would be somebody merely under strong influence, and there I think he does qualify. Consider the hot-microphone comments made to the Russian president, where Obama offers more flexibility after his election. It sure looks like Obama is taking orders but wants a delay.

        Alinsky acolyte: Being a follower of Alinsky should not be surprising. Obama just needs to act the part, as he did, and he qualifies. He would not be alone.

        secretly a non-citizen: This is a fascinating one. When giving a talk at a library in Cambridge as a law student, discussing his book, Obama was introduced as having been born in Kenya. He may have been making the opposite false claim, pretending to be Kenyan for some sort of exotic foreign credibility in leftist circles. The birth certificate uses fonts that didn't exist at the time. It could be a legitimate Hawaii birth certificate that was modified to hide some other issue. In any case, what is our standard of proof? We have three levels ("beyond a reasonable doubt", "clear and compelling", "preponderance of evidence") and two polarities ("he is", "he isn't"), making for six possible standards of proof. In any case, what could we do at this point? He already bombed 7 countries and spied on a political opponent, and just about all of his presidential orders have been undone.

        central figure in a global pedophile ring: He doesn't seem the type, although you never know. John Podesta, Jeffrey Epstein, and Bill Clinton all seem more likely. If anything, I'd suspect Obama of using knowledge of such things as blackmail. The main currency within congress is information for blackmail. This is how they manipulate each other.

        closet Muslim: Obama clearly isn't a practicing Muslim. He did once slip up in an interview though, saying "my Muslim faith". (video on youtube) It is also clear that Obama has a fondness for Islam. He even directed NASA to focus on making Muslims feel proud of stuff. NASA!!! Both of Obama's stepfathers were Muslim, which makes Obama unavoidably a Muslim from the perspective of Muslims. Obama did elementary school in Indonesia with Muslim classmates; the chances that Obama never said the statement of faith (becoming permanently Muslim) are slim.

        married to a dude named Michael: Obama's wife sure does have something down there. I suspect it is just an incontinence pad. Depends... or something like that.

      • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 12 2019, @06:57AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 12 2019, @06:57AM (#828519)

        Trump killed the TPP, but now provisions from the TPP are being inserted into the NAFTA renegotiation.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 11 2019, @08:26PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 11 2019, @08:26PM (#828237)

    If he really wanted to punch the Deep State in the nuts, that is what he'd do.

    That's rich! Trump is a creature of the swamp. He'd sooner cut his own throat than destroy his natural habitat. Get real!