All About Assange

After the initial schadenfreude, I think it’s wrong what is going on with Assange. I’m sure there are a host of things for which he probably should face some sort of criminal justice, but aiding Chelsea Manning in exposing American war crimes isn’t one of them.

He’s like the Nazis marching in Skokie, Illinois, tbh. I hate the fuckers but I believe in free speech. Same with Assange- he’s a malignant asshole with a ridiculous ego and delusions of grandeur, he’s allowed Wikileaks to meddle in our elections while pretending to support radical transparency, and let his personal pique dictate their mission in 2016, and well, all that and more. He also is much like Bernie Sanders in that his most ardent supporters are people who are so fucking annoying that were they on fire you wouldn’t piss on ’em.

But there was legitimate news value to what he was doing for what he was charged in the indictment, and he shouldn’t be extradited here for a show trial.






119 replies
  1. 1
    japa21 says:

    Actually no. If the only things that had been released had related to the war crimes, I might agree with you. But this was a blanket dumping of tons of classified info, only 10% of which related to the war crimes you mention.

    Much had to do with how the US was gathering intelligence, communications of basic military plans, etc. I never viewed Manning as a hero. Rather I think she was duped by Assange.

  2. 2
    Jeffro says:

    Oh please…if Al Capone goes to prison for tax evasion instead of murder, it’s still a good thing. Give me a break, Cole.

  3. 3
    Brantl says:

    He’s going to be charged for the stuff he did right. Not the stuff he did wrong. And that blows.

  4. 4
    Mary G says:

    There is a fine line with me and I don’t think I can be that objective about him, just because he’s an asshole who wouldn’t take care of his cat or clean his room. But a real journalist would be objective and careful, and he’s not. They released personal information on a bunch of Turkist women for no apparent reason other than not wanting to go through the data for unrelated information. But at the same time, if we prosecute him and put him away for life, Trump will take the opportunity to declare open season on journalists for any reason he feels like and that is far too dangerous. So I am firmly on the fence.

  5. 5
    B.B.A. says:

    He should be extradited to Sweden for rape. Sadly the Swedes dropped the charges, but that doesn’t make him any less of a rapist.

  6. 6
    Gin & Tonic says:

    Ask the relatives of those poor people in Afghanistan or China or other countries who were imprisoned or worse because that malignant asshole couldn’t be bothered to redact their names out, even though he knew the danger he was putting them in. Fuck him.

  7. 7
    eemom says:

    Not normally a betting woman, but I got $5 sez this thread is going to 300 at least. (Don’t even remember what a tbogg is anymore — 500?)

  8. 8
    Jay says:

    Assange was arrested on a Failure to Appeal and Contempt of Court order from the British Courts.

    The US has not applied for extradition, yet.

    Sweden will probably apply for extradition as well.

    It will be up to British Courts to decide whom has an extraditable case against Assange, I’m gonna bet Sweden.

    Assange/Wikileaks went from hero’s to zero’s pretty damn fast, because they were entitled assholes more interested in ratfucking democracies than “information wants to be free”.

    Fuck em.

  9. 9
    Ohio Mom says:

    Off topic but the example of Nazis marching in Skokie seems quaint now. They marched, counter protesters waved signs, the police were out in force, and then everyone went home, to supper presumably.

    Still a good example of odious but permissible free speech though.

  10. 10
    counterfactual says:

    @B.B.A.: I understand the charges are suspended, not dropped, and the statute of limitations runs out sometime next year.

  11. 11
    hitchhiker says:

    He’s working with Putin, against us.

    It doesn’t matter that trump will go after whoever because trump is always going to do the worst possible thing to the most innocent people, with or without cover. Assange broke laws and hid from law enforcement for 7 years.

    Fuck him.

  12. 12
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @eemom:

    I’ll go for the full 500 tbogg.

    (Sits back, prepares to peer in now and then, and braces for fireworks.)

  13. 13

    But there was legitimate news value to what he was doing for what he was charged in the indictment, and he shouldn’t be extradited here for a show trial.

    Now write a blog post about how GG is misunderstood. Haven’t the last three years taught you anything?

  14. 14
    Reformed Panty Sniffer says:

    Hard disagree. Assange deserves everything that could be coming his way. He’s not a journalist. He’s not even American so our free speech laws do not apply. He’s broken the law time after time and along with Greenwald and others has practiced the broiest white boy activist bullshit propaganda shit that has harmed our social institutions and the fabric of our democracies. He’s mean to cat overlords, an asshole house guest, a rapist, and a smug entitled prick. Fuck him.

  15. 15
    Jay says:

    @B.B.A.:

    Technically, they didn’t drop the charges, because he was not gharged, they withdrew the investigation because the investigation could not proceed as Assange refused to be interviewed and present his side of the “case”.

    Sweden has Napoleanic Law.

  16. 16
    Poptartacus says:

    That’s right
    Fuck that guy
    Fuck him in his ear
    Then fuck him in his other ear
    Then fuck him in his goat smelling ass
    I’m glad the cats ok

  17. 17
    Mike in NC says:

    Assange should be sentenced to being Donald Trump’s Chief of Staff.

  18. 18

    aiding Chelsea Manning

    He took advantage of Chelsea Manning.

    Thread should be fun.

  19. 19
    Emma says:

    @Mike in NC: That is brutally vicious. Come sit by me.

  20. 20
    John Cole says:

    Ya know, you don’t have to agree with me. It’s ok.

  21. 21
    MagdaInBlack says:

    @SiubhanDuinne:
    I have a spare pair of safety glasses if you need them ☺️

  22. 22
    Jay says:

    @Brantl:

    The Trump DOJ indicted Assange/Wikileaks on the basis that they did not just receive stolen secrets, ( that’s legal), but they actively aided and abetted the stealing of secrets, ( that’s illegal).

  23. 23
    David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch says:

    I hate Illinois Nazis. But they didn’t try to (and probably succeed) murder poor Iraqis.

    MARTIN SMITH: In their coverage, the papers decided that they would black out the names of any civilian informants working for the U.S. military. But Assange had a different idea for his WikiLeaks’ Web site. One evening, just days before publication, they confronted him over dinner.

    DAVID LEIGH, Investigations Exec. Editor, The Guardian: Julian, whose project was to publish the entire data set, was very reluctant to delete those names, to redact them. And we said, “Julian, we’ve got to do something about these redactions. We really have got to.” And he said, “These people were collaborators, informants. They deserve to die.” And there was a sort of silence fell around the table. (link)

  24. 24
    Jay says:

    Anybody who’s cat has to be rescued by the RSPCA, then go into the RSPCA’s Witness Protection Program to protect the cat from the Assholes cult followers should go to jail.

  25. 25
    John S. says:

    @John Cole:

    Man, I’ve been coming to your blog so long that I remember when it was rare to agree with you…. back when you were a conservative and this place was infested with wingnuts like Darrell and TallDave.

    These days, it’s rare that I disagree with you. But here we are and it’s all good.

  26. 26
    joel hanes says:

    Of all the injustices that have been or will be committed by the Trump DOJ, this one will rank very low in my list of give-a-fsck

  27. 27
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @MagdaInBlack:

    I’m good for now, I think. My solar eclipse glasses from 2017 should suffice. But thanks, if the thread gets too lit, I’ll give a shout.

  28. 28
    Adam L Silverman says:

    Assange is not being charged for anything related to journalism. He is being charged with conspiring with Chelsea Manning to hack classified Department of Defense systems by stealing the log in credentials – hacking them so Manning could use them – of one of Manning’s fellow Soldiers after Manning informed Assange that she thought her repeatedly accessing information from her own workstation using her own access credentials might be drawing attention to what she was doing. Up to that point Manning was unlawfully accessing classified information by misusing her legitimate log in credentials to a system that she had clearance to use in the attempt to access information that she did not have a need to know. When she became concerned she would be caught, Assange suggested stealing one of her colleagues identities and log in credentials, cracking the log in credentials, and using them to continue to get the information. This is not Assange, as a publisher, being sent classified information, vetting it, and determining it should be published once all the personally identifying information was removed to protect the innocent. It is Assange conceiving of a crime and conspiring with Manning to commit the crime in order to further Assange’s agenda.

    Journalists – from publishers to editors to reporters to researchers to producers on the TV sign – are trained not to do this sort of thing. Receiving classified information from a variety of means, then working with their companies legal department to determine what, if anything, can be published is journalism and is protected, for the most part, under the 1st Amendment. Attempting to crack someone else’s log in credentials in order to actually hack into a classified system to steal information so that it can then be published is not journalism. It is a crime. And that is what Assange is being charged with.

    Now do I think the charges will hold up? I’m not sure. I’ve seen former prosecutors, some who are now defense attorneys, as well as national security lawyers who deal with individuals who feel they need to be whistleblowers and are seeking to do so in a legal manner, and they have mixed views on how strong these charges actually are and whether they will hold up once Assange is extradited.

  29. 29
    B.B.A. says:

    To pull some Kremlinology out of my ass, maybe the only way Barr got DOJ staff to go along with his Steele dossier witch hunt was to let them take Assange (who, let’s face it, isn’t of much use to Il Douche anymore).

  30. 30
    eemom says:

    @schrodingers_cat:

    Now write a blog post about how GG is misunderstood. Haven’t the last three years taught you anything?

    I endorse this comment.

  31. 31
    Searcher says:

    I had some initial hopes for Wikileaks as a sunshine organization but (1) they don’t really seem to have succeeded at either facilitating leaks or protecting leakers and (2) I prefer reform over revolution, and they definitely want to burn the system down.

    I’d prefer the US not get involved with Assange further, and I think the recently-unsealed indictment is bullshit (and apparently Eric Holder agrees, since he declined to indict Assange and it was due to Mike Pompeo). I’ll be disappointed but not surprised if he ends up extradited to the US (which some reports say is in process, that he was arrested for a second time while in custody on those charges?), and again if he is actually convicted and sentenced to any substantial prison term.

    Of course, a part of that is also pettiness: even if I supported the charges, I think Assange is the sort of egoist who will enjoy being wrongfully imprisoned more than I’ll enjoy him being in jail.

  32. 32
  33. 33
    Jay says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    They need to prove through communications and testimony that Assange aided and abetted to crime, or originated the crime.

    Manning’s probably not going to be a cooperating withness.

  34. 34
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    He took advantage of Chelsea Manning.

  35. 35
    randy khan says:

    @Mike in NC:

    Assange should be sentenced to being Donald Trump’s Chief of Staff.

    Sir, you win the Internet today.

  36. 36
    Richard Guhl says:

    I wonder if Trump has gamed out the possibility here. After all, Assange helped Trump in the election and likely knows a lot of incriminating things. This ought to get interesting.

  37. 37
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @B.B.A.: The indictment has been sealed since sometime between December 2017 and the end of February 2018.

  38. 38
    Jay says:

    @Searcher:

    “ (which some reports say is in process, that he was arrested for a second time while in custody on those charges?)”

    That is utter bullshit and not how the British Extradition System works.

  39. 39
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Jay: My understanding from the reporting is that they have the emails between Assange and Manning.

  40. 40
    Another Scott says:

    Can’t join you, JC. Assange wasn’t “the press” any more than I am (and actually less than I am).

    TheAtlantic from 2017:

    WikiLeaks played a pivotal role in the presidential campaign. In July 2016, on the first day of the Democratic National Convention, WikiLeaks released emails stolen from the Democratic National Committee’s servers that spring. The emails showed DNC officials denigrating Bernie Sanders, renewing tensions on the eve of Clinton’s acceptance of the nomination. On October 7, less than an hour after the Washington Post released the Access Hollywood tape, in which Trump bragged about sexually assaulting women, Wikileaks released emails that hackers had pilfered from the personal email account of Clinton’s campaign manager John Podesta.

    On October 3, 2016, WikiLeaks wrote again. “Hiya, it’d be great if you guys could comment on/push this story,” WikiLeaks suggested, attaching a quote from then-Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton about wanting to “just drone” WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange.

    “Already did that earlier today,” Trump Jr. responded an hour-and-a-half later. “It’s amazing what she can get away with.”

    Two minutes later, Trump Jr. wrote again, asking, “What’s behind this Wednesday leak I keep reading about?” The day before, Roger Stone, an informal advisor to Donald Trump, had tweeted, “Wednesday@HillaryClinton is done. #WikiLeaks.”

    WikiLeaks didn’t respond to that message, but on October 12, 2016, the account again messaged Trump Jr. “Hey Donald, great to see you and your dad talking about our publications,” WikiLeaks wrote. (At a rally on October 10, Donald Trump had proclaimed, “I love WikiLeaks!”)

    “Strongly suggest your dad tweets this link if he mentions us,” WikiLeaks went on, pointing Trump Jr. to the link wlsearch.tk, which it said would help Trump’s followers dig through the trove of stolen documents and find stories. “There’s many great stories the press are missing and we’re sure some of your follows [sic] will find it,” WikiLeaks went on. “Btw we just released Podesta Emails Part 4.”

    Wikileaks servers were hosted in Russia.

    Assange was a Russian agent helping to elect Trump and damage the US.

    He should be extradited to the US, get a fair trial, and (if convicted) serve time in prison.

    My $0.02.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  41. 41
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Richard Guhl: My guesstimate is that the real reason for this is they want him in custody so he can be questioned about a variety of Russian influence operations against the UK, the US, the EU, and NATO. I expect that he is right now enjoying the wry repartee of the skilled interrogators of Special Branch with the FBI liaison officer from Embassy London observing. And, perhaps, the CIA’s Chief of Mission in London as well.

  42. 42
    clay says:

    @schrodingers_cat: Greenwald IS misunderstood. People think he’s a leftist journalist, but really he’s a libertarian racist and misogynist.

  43. 43
    Jay says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    30 years ago, we were taught to never put anything in a email, you didn’t want the whole world to see.

  44. 44
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Ruh-roh.

  45. 45
    Jay says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    And he’s probably not smart enough to keep his mouth shut and just say Lawyer, Lawyer, Lawyer.

  46. 46
    piratedan says:

    at least Assange will get a chance to defend himself in someone’s court of law, somewhere… unlike those poor unfortunate folks who lives he ruined/ended by initiating this entire process in the name of “transparency” (selectively applied, ymmv).

  47. 47
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Jay: I’m particularly pleased with the ones where I start:

    Dear (Insert Name Here)

    I am typing this very slowly and using very small words so that you can actually understand what the fuck it is I’m trying to explain to you, unlike the past half dozen fucking emails that your were too fucking stupid to understand, in the hope that you will stop wasting my and everyone else’s fucking time.

  48. 48
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Gin & Tonic: And between Assange and Scooby Doo as well…

    Assange would have gotten away with it too, if it hadn’t been for those meddling kids!

  49. 49
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Jay: He’s a megalomaniac with other serious issues. If the Special Branch investigators and interrogators are as good as their reputation makes them out to be, they’ll have him positioned where he wants to explain his brilliance to them.

  50. 50
    Searcher says:

    @Jay: Linky:

    Julian Assange, 47, (03.07.71) has today, Thursday 11 April, been further arrested on behalf of the United States authorities, at 10:53hrs after his arrival at a central London police station. This is an extradition warrant under Section 73 of the Extradition Act. He will appear in custody at Westminster Magistrates’ Court later today (Thursday, 11 April).

  51. 51
    Mary G says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Do you have thoughts on Reality Winner? I keep seeing tweets saying she was prosecuted for trying to blow the whistle on Russian interference and should be let out of jail.

  52. 52
  53. 53
    Brachiator says:

    but aiding Chelsea Manning in exposing American war crimes isn’t one of them.

    It’s hard to separate the good leaks from the bad. And Assange seemed to work from the idea that only the US and the West was evil and deserving of being exposed.

  54. 54
    Amir Khalid says:

    @B.B.A.:

    He should be extradited to Sweden for rape. Sadly the Swedes dropped the charges, but that doesn’t make him any less of a rapist.

    I’m sorry, but I find this both confused and confusing.

  55. 55
    Brachiator says:

    Oh yeah, to hell with Glenn Greenwald.

  56. 56
    Bobby Thomson says:

    Shitty take, Cole. There’s no journalistic principle to defend in hacking into information systems.

    At least you’re in good company (Charles Pierce).

  57. 57
    Jay says:

    @Searcher:

    Yup, that’s how the system works, arrested on a British Extradition Warrant, not on US Criminal Charges.

    Either somebody knew Assange was going to be arrested today, or the application for extradition on the sealed charges was sitting in someones safe at the US Embassy for a long time.

  58. 58
    B.B.A. says:

    @Amir Khalid: Assange raped two women in Sweden. He was then charged with rape, Sweden sent the extradition request to the UK, and Assange started squatting in the embassy to avoid arrest. Then Sweden dropped the charges, but Assange stayed in the embassy because he’s a shit.

    I may be skipping a few steps. The point is, whatever else of questionable legality he’s done, he’s certainly a rapist, and I haven’t forgiven or forgotten.

  59. 59
    Searcher says:

    @Jay: Yeah, me not lawyer.

    Point in bringing it up, this morning I had hope that the US might keep out of it, which I presume is dashed after that. The UK could still decide not to extradite, but I have no idea if that is likely or unlikely.

  60. 60
    eemom says:

    Perhaps a pardon from the guy who knows nothing about him? Pussy grabber professional courtesy, you know.

  61. 61
    Another Scott says:

    Southpaw thread:

    southpaw @nycsouthpaw

    A lot of Assange take writers are blurring the lines between the indictment’s “means and manner” paragraphs and the core statutory allegations, which is a shame.

    6:42 PM – 11 Apr 2019

    […]

    (via LOLGOP)

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  62. 62
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:

    Yer off the rails, John. Fuck Assange. Fuck Greenwald. Fuck Snowden.

    Fuck’em all.

  63. 63
    mad citizen says:

    I’m not that worried about Trump f-ing with journalists/reporters, because he and his team are so G-D old and incompetent. Also, remember how the Jim Acosta incident went. As bad as the village media is (or whatever the term is here), they do protect their own.

    Plus, still hoping the Orangeness is gone sooner rather than later. This sister-judge thing needs stood up bigly by the Dems.

  64. 64
    eemom says:

    @B.B.A.:

    I may be skipping a few steps. The point is, whatever else of questionable legality he’s done, he’s certainly a rapist, and I haven’t forgiven or forgotten.

    You have some serious problems with the concepts of cause/effect, guilt/innocence, reality/fantasy, and self/other, just to name a few.

  65. 65
    Jay says:

    @Searcher:

    The US has to prove they have a reasonable case, that Assange will get a fair trial, Assange will have lawyers to tear apart the US claims and argue that it’s persecution.

    The US will also have to provide guarantee’s that Assange will not face the death penalty or cruel and unususal punishment.

    Often, US claims for extradition are denied because of US Prison conditions.

  66. 66
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @B.B.A.:

    Assange raped two women in Sweden. He was then charged with rape, Sweden sent the extradition request to the UK, and Assange started squatting in the embassy to avoid arrest. Then Sweden dropped the charges, but Assange stayed in the embassy because he’s a shit.

    That poor cat :-(

  67. 67
    lamh36 says:

    @schrodingers_cat: I see you and I had the same thoughts…so I’ll just agree and edorse your comment!

  68. 68
    Jeffro says:

    60+ comments in and we’re wasting time here. Fuck this guy, however they got him, for whatever he goes down for. Next.

  69. 69
    prob50 says:

    Ecuador should have told Assange he could stay if he cleaned up his room, then jammed him into a dirty cat box on wheels and rolled him over to the UK police anyway once he was done.

  70. 70
    Amir Khalid says:

    @B.B.A.:
    Not to make light of what happened to the women, but the Swedish prosecution service seem to have decided they can’t prove rape to the satisfaction of a court. I admire/sympathise with Assange less than I do any random person; but he is innocent until proven guilty, like anybody else.

  71. 71
    West of the Rockies says:

    @Ohio Mom:

    And they committed no crimes (the Illinois Nazis). Assange STOLE classified material.
    May he rot in a cell.

  72. 72
    eemom says:

    @B.B.A.:

    Assange raped two women in Sweden.

    You know what? You seriously need to shut the fuck up.

    I hate the asshole and wouldn’t be surprised at anything he did. But guilty until proven innocent is something I have NO fucking tolerance for….nor should any decent human being.

  73. 73
    worn says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Thank you for this, Adam. After reading JC’s post, I headed to the comments to make essentially the same point as you about the hacking of U.S. military computers, but with much less eloquence.

    And furthermore, for the reasons you describe, Assange is not a journalist. While he (and Wikileaks) may have engaged in actions that had journalistic merit, their nefarious methods, their utter lack of editorial care, their gleeful purveying of information known to be stolen, etc, clearly puts them outside the profession, from the standpoint of ethics alone. And of course, the callous anecdote contained in David Koch’s link really gives the game away here.

    As I mentioned to you late last night, I was raised by journalists. And my father took his responsibilities at the paper quite seriously. So it pains me when people toss the word around cavalierly in reference to seemingly amoral beings such as Assange.

  74. 74
    Jay says:

    @B.B.A.:

    You are missing a bunch of steps and misrepresenting others.

    Assange was accused of rape.

    The Swedish process is that a Prosecutor investigates the accusations and if sufficient evidence is discovered, the accused is charged and goes to trial.

    The Prosecutor saught to interview Assange, but he fled.

    After many attempts to interview Assange in Britain, all of which Assange ducked, the Prosecutor applied for an extradition to Sweden to “force” Assange to testify on his own behalf,

    Part way through the extradition hearings Assange fled to the Equadorian Embassy.

    Assange fled into asylum not to avoid “charges”, but instead to avoid being questioned.

    That’s super douche.

  75. 75
    Dr. Ronnie James, D.O. says:

    Everything Trump Touches Dies

    thank u next

  76. 76
    Jay says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    See my comment #74.

    The Swedes arn’t saying that they can’t prove rape, they are saying that because Assange refuses to be questioned, the legal process can not be followed.

  77. 77
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Mary G: She was prosecuted for that under the Espionage Act, which is almost never used. Winner is complicated. The headlines everyone saw yesterday about DHS and FBI issuing a report that election systems in all 50 states were hacked in 2016 is actually old news. We know most of that from the material Reality Winner leaked. Winner, like Manning, accessed classified information that she didn’t have a need to know. She was cleared to access the classified system she logged in to. She logged in legally using her legitimate credentials. The crime was in accessing the information as she didn’t have a need to know it. Simply put Access = Clearance Eligibility + A Completed and Signed SF-312 Classified Information NDA + A Need to Know. Winner had clearance eligibility as she had an active Top Secret/Sensitive Compartmented Information with Special Access clearance for her work. And she had completed her SF-312 NDA in order to be issued her credentials. What she didn’t have was the need to know. Therefore she illegally accessed the information. At that point, especially once she knew what she had, she needed to back out and contact a national security lawyer.

    Unfortunately, because she was naive and bought into the bullshit that Glenn Greenwald is a crusader against government secrecy who protects his sources, she sent the material directly to him, rather than getting a national security attorney like Mark Zaid to represent her and get the material to Congress in an appropriate manner. Greenwald burned her by actually sending what she sent him, without any removal of the metadata, to the FBI for comment. They scarfed her up within 48 hours as the metadata provided them with the information needed to track her down. And all the reporting on her, and let’s be honest there really wasn’t all that much, was about how she was young, naive, too trusting and not at all about what she was trying to blow the whistle about. And because Greenwald constantly and vehemently denies the Russians were involved at all in attempting to influence the 2016 elections in general, as well as all the various specifics that we know, he won’t address any of this when he’s asked about it, if he is asked about – he just denies there was/is an ongoing Russian active measures campaign against the US and our EU and NATO allies.

    And whenever anyone brings this stuff up with Greenwald, he just goes into full self righteous obfuscation mode. Winner screwed up in how she did what she did, especially trusting him and the bullshit reputation he created for himself. But she’s in prison for a very long time. And he’s living in a mansion, previously owned by a major narco trafficker, in Rio that overlooks one of the worst favelas in Brazil while running cover for Snowden (who was a planned and directed Russian intelligence operation, Assange (who is an asset of Russian intelligence), and Putin.

  78. 78
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Amir Khalid: Also, the Swedes are considering refiling their charges.

  79. 79
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    Jay seems to have the right of it — Assange’s actions were kind of like the classic scene from Fargo:

    https://youtu.be/CoxRmwaLBOQ

    I freely admit that I doubt the innocence of someone who refuses to even give a statement to police about a crime he’s been accused of, but that’s just me.

  80. 80
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Odie Hugh Manatee: Very nice channeling of efgoldman.

  81. 81
    Jay says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    And they even screwed Snowden. He was supposed to be in asylum when they published, but he was in the air.

  82. 82
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Jay:
    I wouldn’t have let up on Assange if I were the prosecutor; but then in the circumstances it’s possible that they had run out of options for proceeding with the case against him. In which case I would fault Equador for shielding Assange from legal process.

  83. 83
    Another Scott says:

    The Other Wiki:

    Assange and his supporters have expressed concerns that upon his return to Sweden, Assange may be extradited to the United States to face charges related to his professional work, since Wikileaks has been under investigation in the US since at least 2010.[86] On 13 January 2017, Wikileaks announced that Assange would agree to extradition to the United States if the Obama administration granted clemency to Chelsea Manning though he claimed the charges that might be pressed against him there had no merit.[87] The offer followed one made via Assange’s attorney in September 2016 that an extradition waiver would be made conditional on a pardon for Manning.[88] Chelsea Manning’s sentence was commuted on Obama’s last day in office but Assange’s lawyers stated that the 120 day delay in her release did not meet the conditions of their offer.[89] As of May 2017, the United Kingdom is refusing to deny rumours that it has received extradition requests from the United States.[3]

    In other words, they never believed that Obama would do it…

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  84. 84
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Jay: Yep.

  85. 85
    Jay says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Had Swedish prosecutors been able to interview Assange, face to face or even through Skype or Face Time,

    Even if Assange said nothing,

    Charges could have been brought.

    Assange is using a loophole to prevent the Swedish Investigations from going forward, and charges to be brought or dropped.

  86. 86
    Just Chuck says:

    Assange knowingly and callously got people killed by refusing to redact names. He has zero standing to call himself a journalist. Fuck that fucking fascist son of a bitch.

  87. 87
    Jay says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    There was no case against him.

    It was an investigation to see if there was a case, and Assange exploited a loop hole to prevent the investigation from going forward.

  88. 88
    B.B.A. says:

    @Amir Khalid: @eemom: I admit that #MeToo broke me (and Kavanaugh broke me again), and my principles on this trend a bit totalitarian now. But I don’t think anything has changed, so my principles aren’t changing either.

  89. 89
    MisterForkbeard says:

    Eh. I think Assange is a gigantic asshole and an obvious partisan/operative rather than a journalist, but he’s not (so far as I can tell) being arrested for any of that. Instead, he’s going in for assisting the theft of information.

    If the government can prove he directed or assisted with the active theft of the information he received from Chelsea and did not just receive the illegally obtained information, he goes to jail. That’s how it works. If they can’t prove that, he didn’t steal the information and doesn’t get out.

    This works for me.

  90. 90
    jl says:

    I’ve seen some comments that explicitly or implicitly bring up the Capone analogy: so what if he did other stuff, at least we got him on tax evasion. But evidence and law was that Capone actually did break the law by evading taxes. We don’t know how strong a case the US has against Assange yet, or exactly how far they are stretching the letter of the law to cover any alleged assistance in obtaining the information. So, since the case has implications for freedom of the press, I think we need to see more of the government’s case before we decide whether this a good thing or a bad thing.

    Thanks for commenters to pointing out that Sweden dropped the rape charges because Assange fled, not for lack of evidence. I did not know that. So, if people are eager for some kind of vengeance against Assange, better to send him back to Sweden for a legit case against him, than try him here on what might be a BS charge the is dangerous to first amendment. But maybe the government has a really strong case that Assange materially gave assistance in getting the info. We’ll see.

    That Assange is a raging jerk and asshole, who screwed up his own idea, that might have been an initially promising idea, Wikileaks, is no excuse for setting a dangerous precedent with bogus charges just to get even with him for all the bad he has done in the world. We’ll see what the government’s case really is soon enough.

  91. 91
    plato says:

    He is a nazis enabler. Fuck him and his self important pricks like snowden, gg.

  92. 92
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @worn: You’re welcome and thanks for the kind words.

  93. 93
    eemom says:

    @B.B.A.:

    “Principles”? Seriously??

    Look lady — assuming guilt and shitting on due process are as far from principled as it gets. You’ve got principles like the Salem witch courts and Spanish Inquisition had principles.

  94. 94
    Jay says:

    @B.B.A.:

    Were I to be accused of something, I would want those accusations to be investigated.

    If grounds were found, I would want charges to be laid and take my day in court.

    I would not run away, seek asylum to prevent the accusations from being investigated, and spend 7 years in asylum abusing my hosts and my cats.

    Assange is a rapist.

  95. 95
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Jay:
    They could not make a case against Assange for rape because he evaded questioning. I would have thought the evasion was itself a prosecutable crime.

  96. 96
    Jay says:

    @jl:

    Assange was not charged with rape. Accusations of rape were being investigated, and he fled abroad, then into asylum to prevent the accusations of rape from being investigated.

  97. 97
    eemom says:

    @Jay:

    Assange is a rapist.

    You are a fucking idiot and a hypocrite.

    That does it. The head up the ass wilfull ignorance — or, let’s face it, maybe it really is just flat out stupidity — on display here are too much for me. Imma go beat my head on the wall and unwind.

  98. 98
    B.B.A. says:

    @eemom: More weight.

  99. 99
    Jay says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    Had there been charges, yes, that would be a chargeable crime.

    Fleeing an investigation however is just an extraditable offence, not a criminal one. That’s why he fled from the Extradition Hearing into asylum in the Ecuadorian Embassy,

    And why a British Judge issued an bench warrant for Failure to Appear and Contempt of Court.

  100. 100
    burnspbesq says:

    There are a number of statutes that Assange might have been charged with violating, that would have caused me to agree with Cole.

    The statute under which he was actually indicted—conspiracy to hack? Not so much.

    If at some future time there is a superseding indictment with additional charges, we can talk more.

  101. 101
    Mai Naem mobile says:

    The guy is an asshole and not a journo. I also think he is in cahoots with Putin. He may not have started like that but he turned towards Putin. They also didn’t redact stuff from the hacked stuff that should have been redacted because they were too lazy. Fuck him. Also, I heard something initially(early AM) on the Beeb that Ecuador’s deal with the Brits was that he would not be extradited to a country with the death penalty. I didnt hear any more on that.

  102. 102
    Jay says:

    @Mai Naem mobile:

    Wikileaks also was given a massive hack of Russians.

    They declined to publish it.

    As it had already been published.

    In Russian and in Russia.

  103. 103
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:

    @Adam L Silverman: efg was a good inspiration… :)

    Assange, Greenwald & Snowden are Putin’s three stooges. Again, fuck’em.

  104. 104
    Mnemosyne says:

    @jl:

    Personally, I would be happy if Sweden got the first crack at Assange and was able to get him to make a statement on those rape and assault charges, especially since that was what he went into asylum to avoid.

  105. 105
    Jay says:

    @Mai Naem mobile:

    The deal was that he would not face the death penalty,

    Not that he would not be extradited to a Country with the death penalty.

    And it’s actually an EU law, people cannot be extradited to face the death penalty or cruel and unusual punishment, ( which most EU Countries Courts, consider most US prisons).

    So, the US has to guarentee no Death Penalty and Club Fed.

  106. 106
    West of the Rockies says:

    @Jay:

    So in Sweden, you can commit a crime, refuse to be questioned, and prosecutors just say, “Oh, well… We tried.” Am I missing something?

  107. 107
    Jay says:

    @West of the Rockies:

    If you are in Sweden, you can be arrested and questioned.

    That’s why Assange fled.

    If you flee, Sweden can apply for extradition to face questioning.

    That’s why Assange fled into Asylum in the Equadorian Embassy.

    You have to be pretty dedicated and have friends in high places, and work all the loopholes, and be accused of crimes with a statute of limitations, to run out the clock.

    In the US it’s a lot easier to avoid rape charges as most cases are never investigated.

  108. 108
    laura says:

    @Emma: I’m hard pressed to include Assange in the “Top 10 of Pressing Matters of Late” – and despite my deep disappointment that the news cameras didn’t capture the fact he was wearing Kleenex box shoes, the infotainmosphere will be swilling and churning with unreliable reportage and there’s nothing we could say or do to influence the consequences of his eviction.
    Me, I’m planning on Record Day Saturday with a gang of olds, working in the yard and getting the dog’s claws trimmed, listening to baseball and hitting the farmer’s market. Im hoping for a nap, and if breaking Assange news breaks, I can wait till after the weekend.

  109. 109
    burnspbesq says:

    @Mai Naem mobile

    I heard something initially(early AM) on the Beeb that Ecuador’s deal with the Brits was that he would not be extradited to a country with the death penalty.

    The statute under which Assange has been indicted carries a maximum penalty of five years’ imprisonment.

  110. 110
    West of the Rockies says:

    @laura:

    I wonder what his departure was like in the embassy… Was there pointing and laughing, lots of sorrowful// womp-womp trumpeting? I hope the experience was frightening and savory with humiliations galore.

  111. 111
    burnspbesq says:

    I’m not sure I agree with our old pal Shakezula, but his take is interesting.

    http://www.lawyersgunsmoneyblo.....t-hoc-hero

  112. 112
    patroclus says:

    I don’t agree with Cole here. Conspiracy to steal classified information is a crime and if Assange did it, he should be prosecuted for it. Both Ellsberg and Manning famously faced the music; so should others. I don’t see how this is all that complicated. If the government has a case, that’ll be shown in the prosecution. if Assange has any kind of defense, I assume he’ll make his case. The penalty for this sort of crime is not horrendous – something like a max of 5 years in prison. let’s see what happens…

  113. 113
    Jay says:

    @burnspbesq:

    Assange and Wikileaks started out with lofty goals and high ambitions.

    Then kf course, the Horseshoe Theory of Politics took hold and they became just another bunch of Nazi CT Ratfuckers.

    What is really interesting to me is that early in Obama’s first term, almost all of the origional core of Wikileaks had fled, with mouths zipped tight.

  114. 114
    Gvg says:

    Chelsea Manning served jail time. Assange hasn’t. He’ll get a trail.

    I remember trying to understand those rape charges. Sweden’s laws are evidently very different than ours. I would not call what he was accused of, rape. It was much less than what I call rape, and to me seems to trivialize the serious traumas people here describe as rape. It’s been too many years for me to remember how it went accurately, but his actual actions I read about at the time weren’t what I expect when I hear “rape” and I didn’t even understand Sweden’s law.
    The not redacting innocent people information was a much more serious crime.

  115. 115
    Jay says:

    @Gvg:

    In a lot of countries it’s not rape, it’s sexual assault, and there are varying grades of offense, from inappropriate touching, to violent rape.

    Legal standards of consent are also defined.

    Assange was accused of 1 case of sexual coertion, ( using power, influence and alcohol to illegally obtain concent),

    and two counts of sexual mollestation, ( removing a condom midway with out consent).

  116. 116
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Jay:
    Obstructing an investigation, e.g. by flight to evade questionin, is itself a crime in many jurisdictions. I think you’re making a “process crime” distinction here.

  117. 117
    Jay says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    In Sweden, it’s an extradiable civil offense, not a criminal offence.

    It carries penalties of a fine.

    Fleeing after being charged, to prevent a trial, is a criminal offence.

    Nordic Socialism takes careful steps to ensure that the Legal Code doesn’t create “criminals”, where it doesn’t have to.

  118. 118
    Locke says:

    @patroclus:

    I don’t agree with Cole here. Conspiracy to steal classified information is a crime and if Assange did it, he should be prosecuted for it.

    Obama’s DOJ investigated this and found no evidence of it. Do we really trust Trump’s DOJ more than Obama’s now?

  119. 119
    Dmbeaster says:

    Its one thing to publish secret material stolen by someone else. That is Daniel Ellsberg, the Washington Post and the Pentagon Papers.

    It is very different to be the journalist burglar, and participate in the theft. It would be a weird world where being a journalist is a valid defense to that crime.

    The indictment is narrow and alleges that Assange assisted in hacking the computers to get the information. Under normal extradition procedures, the US cannot enlarge the scope of the case unless Britain consents as part of the extradition process. We will see where this goes, but the case that was brought does not attack him for publishing the information. If he did what was alleged, the prosecution is proper.

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