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posted by janrinok on Tuesday December 13 2022, @07:34PM   Printer-friendly

Biden faces a renewed push, domestically and internationally, to drop charges against Assange, who is languishing in a UK jail:

The Biden administration has been saying all the right things lately about respecting a free and vigorous press, after four years of relentless media-bashing and legal assaults under Donald Trump.

The attorney general, Merrick Garland, has even put in place expanded protections for journalists this fall, saying that "a free and independent press is vital to the functioning of our democracy".

But the biggest test of Biden's commitment remains imprisoned in a jail cell in London, where WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has been held since 2019 while facing prosecution in the United States under the Espionage Act, a century-old statute that has never been used before for publishing classified information.

[...] Now Biden is facing a re-energized push, both inside the United States and overseas, to drop Assange's protracted prosecution.

Five major media organizations that relied on his trove of government secrets, including the Guardian and the New York Times, put out an open letter earlier this month saying that his indictment "sets a dangerous precedent" and threatens to undermine the first amendment.


Original Submission

Related Stories

No NGO Has Been Allowed to See Julian Assange Since Four Years Ago 12 comments

Democracy Now has a brief interview with a representative from Reporters Without Borders (RSF) on their latest attempt to meet Julian Assange inside Belmarsh high-security prison in the UK. Despite being granted approval, the RSF secretary-general and executive director Christophe Deloire and the others with him were denied entry. No other non-governmental agency has been able to meet with Assange in the last four years either.

CHRISTOPHE DELOIRE: So, what happened is that in the past years we requested to be able to visit Julian in his jail. We got an approval recently, which was confirmed on March 21st with a number, an official number, for myself and my colleague, Rebecca Vincent, and we were invited to come to the prison.

And when we just arrived, the guy at the desk, when he saw my passport, he suddenly was very stressed, and that taking a paper on his office — on his desk, and that read it, saying, "According to Article" — I do not remember the number of the article, but according to this article, "you are not allowed to visit Julian Assange. This is a decision that has been made by the governor of the Belmarsh prison, based on intelligence that we had" — I quote him — "that you are journalists."

And it doesn't make sense at all, first, because, personally, I've been a journalist since 1996, and we were vetted, so it was never a mystery that I was a journalist, never a secret. Second, my colleague wasn't a journalist herself. And we came here not as journalists, but as representatives of an international NGO with a constitutive status in many international organizations. So it was really as Reporters Without Borders representatives, not as reporters covering the case. So, it doesn't make sense for this second reason. And there is a third reason for which it doesn't make sense, is that already two journalists, at least, have been able to visit him in jail in the past four years. So —

Previously:
(2022) Biden Faces Growing Pressure to Drop Charges Against Julian Assange
(2022) Assange Lawyers Sue CIA for Spying on Them
(2022) Julian Assange's Extradition to the US Approved by UK Home Secretary
(2021) Key Witness in Assange Case Jailed in Iceland After Admitting to Lies and Ongoing Crime Spree
(2019) Top Assange Defense Account Suspended By Twitter
(2019) Wikileaks Co-Founder Julian Assange Arrested at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London
(2015) French Justice Minister Says Snowden and Assange Could Be Offered Asylum

And many more.


Original Submission

Australian Lawmakers Press US Envoy for Julian Assange Release 4 comments

Australian lawmakers press US envoy for Julian Assange release

Australian lawmakers have met United States Ambassador Caroline Kennedy, urging her to help drop the pending extradition case against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and allow him to return to Australia.

The "Bring Julian Assange Home Parliamentary Group" said on Tuesday it informed Kennedy of "the widespread concern in Australia" about the continued detention of Assange, an Australian citizen.

The meeting comes before US President Joe Biden's scheduled visit to Australia this month for the Quad leaders' summit.

"There are a range of views about Assange in the Australian community and the members of the Parliamentary Group reflect that diversity of views. But what is not in dispute in the Group is that Mr Assange is being treated unjustly," the legislators said in a statement after meeting Kennedy in the capital, Canberra.

Assange is battling extradition from the United Kingdom to the US where he is wanted on criminal charges over the release of confidential military records and diplomatic cables in 2010. Washington says the release of the documents had put lives in danger.

Previously:

April 2023: No NGO Has Been Allowed to See Julian Assange Since Four Years Ago
December 2022: Biden Faces Growing Pressure to Drop Charges Against Julian Assange
August 2022: Assange Lawyers Sue CIA for Spying on Them
June 2022: Julian Assange's Extradition to the US Approved by UK Home Secretary


Original Submission

Chris Hedges' Sermon on The Crucifixion of Julian Assange 21 comments

The ScheerPost has published a sermon which Chris Hedges gave on Sunday Aug. 20 in Oslo, Norway at Kulturkirken Jakob (St. James Church of Culture) where the actor and film director Liv Ullmann read the scripture passages. Chris Hedges is a Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist who has worked for many years at the New York Times, NPR, and several other publications. In his sermon he expounds on the long-standing problem of speaking truth to power.

Julian exposed the truth. He exposed it over and over and over until there was no question of the endemic illegality, corruption and mendacity that defines the global ruling class And for these truths they came after Julian, as they have come after all who dared rip back the veil on power. "Red Rosa now has vanished too," Bertolt Brecht wrote after the German socialist Rosa Luxemburg was murdered. "She told the poor what life is about, And so the rich have rubbed her out."

We have undergone a corporate coup, where poor and working men and women are reduced to joblessness and hunger, where war, financial speculation and internal surveillance are the only real business of the state, where even habeas corpus no longer exists, where we, as citizens, are nothing more than commodities to corporate systems of power, ones to be used, fleeced and discarded.

Given the massive quantities of disinformation spread over a longer period of time against Julian Assange, and the media blackout on coverage of his case and how it effects journalism as a whole, this is a difficult case to find a concise and accurate summary to link to. The bottom line is that, regardless of what one thinks (or has been told to think) about Julian Assange, the case hinges on factors which will determine whether or not there is a future for investigative reporting.

Previously:
(2023) Australian Lawmakers Press US Envoy for Julian Assange Release
(2023) No NGO Has Been Allowed to See Julian Assange Since Four Years Ago
(2022) Biden Faces Growing Pressure to Drop Charges Against Julian Assange
(2022) Assange Lawyers Sue CIA for Spying on Them
(2021) Key Witness in Assange Case Jailed in Iceland After Admitting to Lies and Ongoing Crime Spree
...
(2015) French Justice Minister Says Snowden and Assange Could Be Offered Asylum


Original Submission

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  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by GlennC on Tuesday December 13 2022, @07:42PM (15 children)

    by GlennC (3656) on Tuesday December 13 2022, @07:42PM (#1282306)

    Assange has exposed corruption on all sides of the political spectrum and revealed the nature of the Powers That Be.

    Therefore, he will continue to be made an example of, just like Manning.

    I would like to be proved wrong, but I don't think I will be.

    --
    Sorry folks...the world is bigger and more varied than you want it to be. Deal with it.
    • (Score: 2) by corey on Tuesday December 13 2022, @08:26PM (12 children)

      by corey (2202) on Tuesday December 13 2022, @08:26PM (#1282308)

      I’m not so sure any more. I think there’s a chance they will drop the extradition and let the UK keep him. It was a long time ago, and he’s been in jail 3 years plus the years he spent stuck in the embassy. He’s suffering mentally and has done a lot of time basically. Biden is likely in my opinion to see the humanity in this. But I guess we’ll see. Wikileaks has been very quiet the past 5+ years too.

      • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Sjolfr on Tuesday December 13 2022, @09:49PM (11 children)

        by Sjolfr (17977) on Tuesday December 13 2022, @09:49PM (#1282313)

        Government has the longest memory for offences against it than anything else I can think of. Biden will do nothing about Assange and Snowden. Trump had the oportunity to do something and neglected it, I think that tells us something about the long term for those guys.

        • (Score: 4, Interesting) by Mykl on Tuesday December 13 2022, @10:24PM (8 children)

          by Mykl (1112) on Tuesday December 13 2022, @10:24PM (#1282316)

          I must admit that dropping the charges against Assange was the one thing I hoped Trump would actually do. It would fit perfectly for him, as Assange was hated by Hillary Clinton.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 14 2022, @12:59AM (6 children)

            by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 14 2022, @12:59AM (#1282328)

            > It would fit perfectly for him,

            I don't think you understand Trump. The question is, could Trump monetize the release of Assange? Trump's in it for the money, honey. Just look at the scams he ran while in office, even conning Runaway out of a donation "for the wall".
             

            • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 14 2022, @02:17AM (3 children)

              by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 14 2022, @02:17AM (#1282335)

              I think that Trump is a bit more complicated than many of you would like to believe. He did kill that free trade thing - transpacific something or other. He couldn't monetize that, after all. So, why did he kill it? I'm not really sure why, but the treaty was Un-American as hell.

              • (Score: 2, Touché) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 14 2022, @03:00AM (1 child)

                by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 14 2022, @03:00AM (#1282337)

                I think that Trump is a bit more complicated than many of you would like to believe.

                He obviously seems very complicated to you. To the rest of us, he's pretty simple.

                • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 14 2022, @04:06AM

                  by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 14 2022, @04:06AM (#1282340)

                  Oh, my kingdom for a +1 Touche mod point. Good sir, this post will have to suffice.

              • (Score: 2) by Joe Desertrat on Saturday December 17 2022, @01:39AM

                by Joe Desertrat (2454) on Saturday December 17 2022, @01:39AM (#1282801)

                He did kill that free trade thing - transpacific something or other. He couldn't monetize that, after all. So, why did he kill it? I'm not really sure why, but the treaty was Un-American as hell.

                Trump killed it, which was a very good thing, but immediately started talking about rejoining it with something that protects American intellectual property first. Killing it was a win for consumers and advocates of internet freedom, his ideas on replacing it wanted to allow "American" companies to crack down even more on consumers and internet freedom. Fortunately, he's easily distracted, and those ideas haven't come to fruition yet.

            • (Score: 2) by helel on Wednesday December 14 2022, @04:12AM (1 child)

              by helel (2949) on Wednesday December 14 2022, @04:12AM (#1282341)

              You really don't think Trump ever did anything petty just for the sake of being petty? Never took the chance to piss on people without any gain for himself? I feel like you were watching a much more benevolent bovine than I was over the last presidency.

              • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 14 2022, @11:37AM

                by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 14 2022, @11:37AM (#1282360)

                > Never took the chance to piss on people without any gain for himself?

                But pissing on people empties the bladder, surely that has to count as a gain?

          • (Score: 2) by Immerman on Wednesday December 14 2022, @03:41PM

            by Immerman (3985) on Wednesday December 14 2022, @03:41PM (#1282379)

            >It would fit perfectly for him, as Assange was hated by Hillary Clinton.

            Why would that increase the odds? Trump was quite friendly with the Clintons until he decided to run for president, and demonizing Hillary became a way to energize his supporters. He even came out shortly after winning the election and publicly admitted that the whole "Lock her up!" thing was just an empty campaign slogan.

        • (Score: 1) by Runaway1956 on Wednesday December 14 2022, @02:18AM (1 child)

          by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday December 14 2022, @02:18AM (#1282336) Journal

          Odd, isn't it? Government has no memory of the offenses it has committed . . . it really is that simple. Any who oppose the Benevolent Leaders have to die.

          --
          ‘Never trust a man whose uncle was eaten by cannibals’
          • (Score: 2) by Immerman on Wednesday December 14 2022, @03:48PM

            by Immerman (3985) on Wednesday December 14 2022, @03:48PM (#1282380)

            What are you implying? The government never commits offenses - if it did it would lock itself up. It hasn't done so, so obviously it's committed no offense.

            What actually happens is sometimes the peasants take offense at something the government did, but since power and justice flow from above that's obviously a failure in the peasants rather than the government.

            That democracy fad tried to change things, claiming power ultimately flowed from the people and the government should be bound to their will. But here in the US at least we've mostly stamped that bullshit out - we still go through the motions, but it's been decades since a single law has been passed without broad support from the neo-aristocracy, regardless of how popular it is among the peasants. At least at the national level - the cancer of democracy still has some hold at the local level, but they're working on it.

    • (Score: 2, Redundant) by mcgrew on Tuesday December 13 2022, @08:27PM

      by mcgrew (701) <publish@mcgrewbooks.com> on Tuesday December 13 2022, @08:27PM (#1282309) Homepage Journal

      Insightful. I'd mod you up, but they didn't give me any points today.

      --
      mcgrewbooks.com mcgrew.info nooze.org
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 13 2022, @11:59PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 13 2022, @11:59PM (#1282321)

      A very light sort of growing pressure, like a relaxing breeze carrying the sounds of faint screams in the distance.

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