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It will be interesting to see if the US tries to extradite him. It's actually not 100% clear that he's broken any US laws in any ways that they aren't also routinely broken by newspapers.

There's a few avenues: 1) Publishing classified information. Easy to show that he did this but a very difficult path to go down when American newspapers do this all the time.

2) Conspiracy to commit espionage. Probably the most likely, this would require showing that he was actively working with someone to extract classified information. Just openly soliciting leaks to an email address wouldn't be enough, he'd really have to be talking to a leaker before/during the extraction of the data. Depending on the nature of his communications with Guccifer (The GRU hackers from 2016) they may be able to make a case on this basis.

3) Al Capone style / collateral attack. The US made it very hard for Wikileaks to operate financially. Maybe he did something that falls under the US' capacious money laundering rules?

Note that this case is fundamentally different from Manning / Snowden / Winner who all had access to classified information legally and misused that access. Due to the first amendment, American espionage laws are quite narrowly written compared to those of many other countries and while it is easy to prosecute people on the "inside" for leaking classified material to the "outside", it is much harder to prosecute someone for what they do with it when it's out.

(Edit: Well that was fast! Interested to see what's in the indictment)






>It will be interesting to see if the US tries to extradite him.

Scotland Yard has confirmed that Assange was arrested on behalf of the US after receiving a request for his extradition.

https://www.theguardian.com/media/live/2019/apr/11/wikileaks...

Edit: Indictment: https://www.justice.gov/usao-edva/pr/wikileaks-founder-charg...


This is why "breaking" news confuses as much as it informs.

Has he been arrested for skipping bail on a UK court warrant? Yes.

Has he been arrested on a US indictment for extradition? Also yes.

These are two separate arrests. It just happens that one was once he was already at a police station. http://news.met.police.uk/news/update-arrest-of-julian-assan...

Edit: apparently the Swedish extradition is spinning up as well.


What confused me most is that he was arrested twice. It seems non-nonsensical to arrest him a second time (rather than simply charge him), given that he was already in police custody.

Does this signify something meaningful, such as a change of which legal basis the arrest is under, and thus a change to the rights he has?


Section 31 of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act:

  Where—

    (a) a person—

      (i) has been arrested for an offence; and

      (ii) is at a police station in consequence of that arrest; and

    (b) it appears to a constable that, if he were released from that arrest, he would be liable to arrest for some other offence,

  he shall be arrested for that other offence.

That's because arresting someone isn't so much a matter of their physical custody as initiation of a legal process involving an assertion of custody. Think of it like process serving in civil cases, where it's easy to imagine multiple lawsuits proceeding in parallel.

It's also used as an unofficial form of punishment.

Or "official" form... see Japan's legal system, where prosecutors interrogate those arrested without legal council, and the right to post bail can be an award for a confession.

see: https://www.cnn.com/2019/04/03/business/carlos-ghosn-nissan-...



The actual indictment:

https://www.justice.gov/usao-edva/press-release/file/1153481...

Snowden: The weakness of the US charge against Assange is shocking. The allegation he tried (and failed?) to help crack a password during their world-famous reporting has been public for nearly a decade: it is the count Obama's DOJ refused to charge, saying it endangered journalism.

https://twitter.com/Snowden/status/1116336550873317377


If Assange gets extradited on a charge that the previous administration wouldn't push but the administration his organization assisted in getting elected is willing to (because they don't care about such a paltry thing as "endangering the protections provided to freedom of the press by the US Constitution"), it will be the highest of ironies.

The US government is not a monolith, it consists of many competing factions.

It's not at all obvious which faction initiated the extradition request, or for what purpose.

It's possible this is to pressure Assange to provide evidence in the investigation into Russian influence on the 2016 election.

It's also possible this is an attempt to sequester him to prevent disclosure of information about those events.

A third possibility is that this is an attack on the press.

Even without a conviction, it will have a chilling effect on journalists publishing classified information, which is not currently a crime.

With a conviction, it will establish a dark new precedent that criminalizes much of the most consequential reporting.

And that would not be irony, it would be tragedy.


The fourth possibility - and this one never ceases to be true in all cases when it comes to the Feds - is that the people seeking his prosecution are spiteful as hell. They are not used to not getting their way. It's extremely fearsome to go up against the US Government when it wants your neck, because they have so many ways to destroy your life all around the world. They have infinite resources for all practical purposes and can just keep coming at you.

One of the few consistencies I've seen in my lifetime across all major US Government agencies is that they seem to hold grudges forever. It doesn't matter whether we're talking about the FBI, CIA, Pentagon, DOJ, IRS or SEC. Assange, out there, is a persistent waving defiance of their perceived power and reach (and worse, right in the US sphere of influence).


Supporting your point are people like Poitras getting extra, random screening after publishing documentaries about US wars. They've often been vindictive given it's power-loving, egotistical, image-conscious politicians running them.

Not sure why you're getting grayed down, but what you say is right on the money.

+1. When I was a Boy Scout, I had confirmation direct from an FBI agent that once somebody is wanted, the Agency has a long memory and a long reach.

The anecdote he shared was a fugitive fled to Saudi Arabia. Over a decade and a half, the fugitive grew a small business empire and was well-connected. In tandem with allies in Saudi Arabia, the FBI arranged a lavish party on a yacht to which their target was invited. The yacht sailed out to international waters and FBI agents apprehended him and put him on a Navy cruiser out at sea.


What I wonder is how those same people in the US would feel if countries like China or Russia did the same thing openly.

I've been involved in enough government stuff to know that resources like that don't get spent unless the target is _really_ bad.

The FBI often refers cases with single digit millions in losses to state and local, because the SAs are busy with bigger cases.


Does it matter if they do the same thing (or worse) openly or covertly?

Russia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poisoning_of_Alexander_Litvine...

China: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Disappearance_of_Yingying_Zhan...


Uh, you sure you linked the right article for China?

It's interesting that it may have been avoidable if he'd accepted rendition to Sweden to stand trial for the sexual assault accusation, given that the previous administration was apparently uninterested in extraditing him for this charge.

He likely made the situation worse by hiding out in the embassy---he became a symbol of something untouchable by American power, and this administration cares more about that sort of perception than the previous one.


Deport to Sweden then deport to the USA was the scheme Assange was afraid of IIRC. Something about Sweden having a stronger deportation treaty than the UK...

As evidenced by the "Cablegate" leak, it's more the fact that when the US government tells the Swedish government to jump, the latter asks "how high?" like a trained fucking poodle.

Regardless of which side is in power.


Link the leak? In this case, extraditing to Sweden on a wholly unrelated charge than to extradite to the US seems like a thing Sweden would not want because it would have hurt their credibility in future extraditions. All speculative now, ofc.

Start here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_diplomatic_cable...

Sweden has pretty much zero credibility when it comes to extraditions requested by the US: https://www.hrw.org/news/2006/11/09/sweden-violated-torture-...


> The US government is not a monolith, it consists of many competing factions.

The original comment said "administration", not "government". The current administration IS largely a monolith, given that nearly every high-level cabinet appointee has either been unqualified for the role or are ideologues who appear to have been hired on the basis of their loyalty to the Pres.

- Michael Flynn as National Security Adviser

- Scott Pruit as head of the EPA

- Ben Carson as Sec of Housing

- Rex Tiller as Sec of State

- Herman Cain and Stephen Moore on the board of the Fed

The list goes on an on.


I chose to say "US government" instead of "administration" because it may or may not have been the "administration" that requested the UK to extradite Assange.

Other factions within the US government are attempting to hold the executive branch in check, and it's possible that one of these factions requested the arrest and extradition.

At this point we do not know.


> I chose to say "US government" instead of "administration" because it may or may not have been the "administration" that requested the UK to extradite Assange.

No one outside of the administration has the authority to request extradition.


Irony seems to be deprecated these days.

> The weakness of the US charge against Assange is shocking. The allegation he tried (and failed?) to help crack a password during their world-famous reporting has been public for nearly a decade: it is the count Obama's DOJ refused to charge, saying it endangered journalism.

That's an argument against the desirability of the charge because of knock on effects (or, rather, because of some other actors past perception of such effects), not an argument supporting the claim that the charge is weak. In fact, were it weak, it would pose little danger even if it was the kind of charge that, considerations of strength aside, would pose danger.


Surely if a previous DOJ refused to prosecute the case it is 'weak' in some sense. Perhaps in the sense that while a crime can be proven, it's not an appropriate use of public resources to prosecute. Or perhaps because there is prima facie evidence of a crime but First Amendment arguments could potentially prevent the government from securing a conviction. I haven't yet found a source for the claim that the DOJ previously declined to prosecute, which might shed some light on this.

> Surely if a previous DOJ refused to prosecute the case it is 'weak' in some sense.

No, prosecutorial decisions are not, even in theory, made based solely on the strength of cases; while that is a factor, evaluation of importance (including cost/benefit considerationa), which are ultimately policy decisions which different decision-makers (and even the same decision-maker at a different time, particularly if facts pertinent to the prioritization but not the strength the of the case change) are likely to see differently even with the same view of strength of the case, are also a factor.

Plus, available evidence and relevant case law can change over time; even if the case was weak during the previous Administration the same case might not be weak now.

> Surely if a previous DOJ refused to prosecute the case it is 'weak' in some sense

That's not a matter of the case being weak, that's a matter of policy on which actors with different policy preferences will differ even with perfect information and judgement regarding application of those preferences.

> Or perhaps because there is prima facie evidence of a crime but First Amendment arguments could potentially prevent the government from securing a conviction.

That would be weakness, but no one has made a coherent First Amendment argument that would bar prosecution for conspiracy to break into a government computer system manifest in an offer to help break a password and actual attempts at that. A lot of emotional appeals lacking a specific argument have been made in that direction, but that's not the same thing.


If your point was that Snowden shouldn't have described the case as 'weak' if what he meant was merely 'the prosecutors shouldn't have filed it,' because some people would insist that 'weak' is a term of art that specifically refers to the strength of the evidence and not the broader merits of the prosecution decision, then point proven.

Interesting, as the current narrative (on thehill.com, a left-center bias news source no less) is that this is all caused by fears from the Obama administration personnel: https://thehill.com/opinion/white-house/394036-How-Comey-int...

Though it is also the narrative on russia propaganda sites https://sputniknews.com/analysis/201806271065837436-comey-as...


> Interesting, as the current narrative (on thehill.com, a left-center bias news source no less)

TheHill is solid right (or maybe center-right if one views the neoliberal faction of the Democratic Party as center-left instead of center-right.) It's not “left-center” in any case.


>Interesting, as the current narrative (on thehill.com, a left-center bias news source no less) is that this is all caused by fears from the Obama administration personnel

The author isn't left-center biased. It's the opposite.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_F._Solomon

>John F. Solomon is an American media executive and columnist. He is currently vice president of digital video and an opinion contributor for The Hill.[1] He is known primarily for his tenure as an executive and editor-in-chief at The Washington Times.[2] He has been accused of biased reporting in favor of conservatives, and of repeatedly manufacturing faux scandals


TheHill is right-center (although it's right-leaning in the old Bush/Romney sense, not the newer Trump sense):

https://www.adfontesmedia.com/product/media-bias-chart-4-0-d...


I think there is a problem in this Matrix as CNN appears very close to the center :) I'm proposing another classification system based on a simple binary checkbox named "Telegraphist of the state department" and I am putting the entirety of mainstream media in it.

Sounds like a pretty useless classification system for the current situation, honestly

In other words "they're all the same".

It’s odd, I just heard Greenwald pinning it on the Trump admin. Not the legacy of of Obama’s DoJ. I guess he’d like to see Trump personally involved to rescind the prev DoJ indictment?

Also international left is still on his side defending him, but thd US left want to see him hung out to dry. Interesting split.


The "left" is too broad a stroke to paint with for this situation. The left in the US is quite split on these issues (and an increasing number of other issues).

The so-called "New Democrats" (think Clinton, Biden, Kamala Harris) are surely who you are referring to; they want him crucified. The "progressive" wing of the left (think Ralph Nader) do NOT fit that description. IMHO as a lifelong Southern California resident in Los Angeles, the progressive left has more support among common people, but the Clinton Democrats have more support from the donor class. Hence, the media narrative of the American left is dominated by the corporatist dems.


I don’t believe the progressive left have more support among common people. They have more support among a small minority of very vocal people on social media which makes their influence seem much larger than it is. I think we’ll see a huge backlash against progressives in the next election cycle.

I suppose we will see. The Republican establishment thought the same thing about Trump in 2016 -- a small but vocal minority.

By and large, people I spoke to during 2016 were not fans of Hillary Clinton, but had resigned to the fact the she would be the candidate by virtue of her wealthy donors.

Identity politics is still a big thing on the left, so the fact that Bernie Sanders, despite being an "old white man", has so much support from the common people speaks volumes about the shift away from the Clinton-era centrism


How come that didn't come to pass in the most recent election?

Odd, that's not my impression. Seems like the center (on both sides) and non-libertarian right want to see him in jail.

Wikileaks is reliably anti-institution, regardless of what that institution is. That implies that anyone seeking political power through control of institutions would be against him, which includes basically all non-libertarians in the U.S, as well as any major corporation, NGO, or nation-state large enough to be a target. His support would come from smaller nations (like Ecuador) or civil-rights organizations that themselves serve as watchdogs for institutionalized power.

"seeking political power through control of institutions" seems entirely subjective. Why is someone on the far left running for office doing this moreso than a libertarian?

On the libertarian-authoritarian axis, "far left" could mean anything and is hence meaningless. If you're using that label to mean left-libertarian, then with respect to institutions they are simply libertarian.

But to the extent they're credibly running for office, they're likely tending towards left-flavored authoritarian because carrying the banner for policies that will benefit some entrenched interests is how elections are won in the US.


Because they have fundamentally different ideas for how much control those institutions should have over individual people. The far left (assuming communism here, which is the historical far left, though "far left" in America today is somewhat more tame) believes that all citizens should have an equitable distribution of resources, and that it's justified to compel people to work to achieve this equality. The libertarian philosophy is that people should not be compelled to do anything. One of these necessarily involves the exercise of more power by institutions.

You could look at it through the lens of positive vs. negative rights. The far left believes in positive rights (eg. the right to health care, the right to education) which require action by another party. If no party is willing to provide those services, the only way to guarantee that right is to force someone. Libertarians believe in negative rights (eg. freedom from violence, freedom from compulsion, freedom from taxation), which just require inaction. If you simply get rid of the institution, you assure the rights that libertarians care about - at least until some other institution crops up that seeks to infringe upon them. (Many libertarians make exceptions to their general anti-institutional bent to assure that no other institution crops up. For example, most support the government's monopoly on physical force simply to prevent some warlord from generating a local monopoly on physical force and using it to take away the freedoms from compulsion or theft, as long as that's the only purpose that it's used for.)


> to compel people to work ...

I'm not aware of any "far-left" party or politician in the US or Europe who says it's justified to compel anyone to work.

Taxing income or redistributing wealth does not compel anyone to work.

Indeed, it's right-libertarian policies that tend to transfer wealth from those at the bottom of the pyramid who work to those at the top of the pyramid who do not work.


> Taxing income or redistributing wealth does not compel anyone to work.

It does compel, as you are essentially taking wealth away from people, therefore they will have work more to compensate.


if you don't work, your income isn't taxed, so it does not compel you to work. You could not work and not be taxed

> it's right-libertarian policies that tend to transfer wealth from those at the bottom of the pyramid who work to those at the top of the pyramid who do not work

Historical experience suggests the opposite.


There are certain branches of communism that do believe in forced work for bad elements (criminals for example) of society. I don't believe any mainstream US or Europe politician approximates communism, even less that branches.

My take with GP is the question of where would the various left wing anarchists fit in his explanation. Also, I would argue that the classical critique against private property that right libertarians reivindicate is that the state is actually equivalent to the warlord on the example and is inevitable of the concept of private property.


[flagged]


I don't know the details, but Wiki leaks did publish leaked material about Russia over the years. For example, the surveillance stuff turned up after a quick search

https://wikileaks.org/spyfiles/russia/


I think we all understand that that one is one to keep at arms length lest you have unusual chemicals delivered in your drink of choice.

I think we all understand that when you're being sheltered in a government's embassy, you should probably not piss that government off.

Unfortunately, 'we all' does not seem to include Mr. Assange.


Looks like Snowden deleted the tweet is he next or url was bad?

"5 years."

Isn't he facing 10 years in UK for fleeing on bail?

Does US extradite him, trial him, (jail him?) and then ship him off to the UK to serve his time there?


> Isn't he facing 10 years in UK for fleeing on bail?

IIRC it's up to 12 months for basically contempt of court / failing to surrender.


It would normally work in the opposite way: first he’s judged in UK, serves his sentence if any, and then he’s extradited.

Plus the 7 years of self-imprisonment in an embassy that he already served.

I'm not sure any judge will treat being on the lam as time served, but yes.

> Eastern District of Virginia

As expected


There is a sealed indictment against him in EDVA which was accidentally released. He has been most certainly accused of breaking United States laws.

Edit: To indict someone, the government has to show the grand jury that there is sufficient evidence. It is very easy to indict someone (hence the phrase “A ham sandwich can be indicted by the grand jury”) but one has to acknowledge the fact that the federal government has very high win rate for the cases that do go to trial (93% in 2012)

Edit2: The above statistic is for the cases that go to trial and plea deals. Only 3% of the cases go to trial.


Grand Juries have a very high indict rate, especially federal ones, but there’s arguments about why that is.

One argument is obviously that grand juries are pushovers and indeed would literally indict a ham sandwich.

The other argument, hinted above, is that prosecutors only move to indict if they think they have a chance to win at trial. Since the evidentiary standards are much higher for conviction, that means they easily clear the requirements for the grand jury indictment the vast majority of the time.


It's not just that they're pushovers, it's a completely one-sided affair. They only hear from the prosecution (the defendant is not present, let alone granted legal representation) and the prosecution is allowed extensive leeway in attempting to gain the indictment including offering evidence that would not be allowed in trial, such as hearsay [1]. And whether a case can be won or not at trial is a secondary consideration for prosecutors. The vast majority of cases end up finishing in plea deals out of court. Above somebody mentioned 3%. The exact number will vary by state, but is invariably well below 10%.

So more important than whether a case can be won at trial is whether or not a defendant can be pressured into conceding. And in many things it's generally not hard. Imagine you think you have an 80% chance of acquittal at court, which would see you set free immediately. Yet losing at court would see you serve up to 10 years. And the prosecutor offers you 2 years + time served, which with early release means you'll be spending about a month in jail. Even though you are innocent and think there's an overwhelmingly good chance of being able to prove as such, you'd be a fool to do anything except accept the plea.

In some ways I wish plea bargains were not a thing. It'd massively reduce our arrest and imprisonment rate simply because we could not fulfill the constitutional requirement of a speedy trial with millions of people in the system for mostly irrelevant crimes, and it would also avoid this sort of 'loophole' of allowing prosecutors to score convictions even when the defendant felt he would have a good chance of defending himself at trial but is unable to do so due to risk:reward considerations.

[1] - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hearsay_in_United_States_law#A...


If you want to reduce the rate of arrests in the United States, we need to change the culture around the fetishization of punishment. The belief that those in jail "deserve" everything they get, including inhumane treatment, drives all that is ill with our criminal justice system. Adjusting how plea bargains work might help and might not, but we need to start changing culture first.

Having been through the federal criminal system, I can vouch the sentence one can receive after loosing a trial can be ten times longer than one plea bargained for.

I also read in the DOJ report that they dismiss not so significant number of cases for the lack of overwhelming evidence or for the lack of criminal intent.

Yes, that is also true. One must always keep in mind the opportunity cost of prosecution, where losing a case means that you might have one a different one with the same resources.

> There is a sealed indictment against him in EDVA which was accidentally released.

No, there was an inadvertent mention in a filing made in another case which strongly suggests that there is an indictment in EDVA, which would have to be sealed because no unsealed indictment exists. The indictment itself was not released.


US has formally requested his extradition so its probably no longer sealed.

Even if it were unsealed (and when it is, that's going to be a separate news storm [0], so I'm relatively certain it wasn't at the moment of the request or arrest), that wouldn't change the historical fact that it was not released, only indirectly referenced.

[0] EDIT: And now it has been and it is.



So they pushed manning to get her arrested again and breach her immunity so that they could get to assange. Clever.

They asked her to talk to them in a way that would in no way incriminate her. She refused, so they locked her up for contempt of court.

If anyone else did the same, they'd get the same result for contempt of court. While I respect her peaceful protest, what did she expect?


I'm certain that she fully expected what happened, given that she could at any time change her mind and talk to them. I have a great deal of respect for her standing up for her principles, even though I'm not so sure about Assange at this point.

I'm entirely with you on both. She thinks the concept of Grand Juries if wrong and should be eliminated. In reality, it would toss the existing US legal system on its head. I don't fault her one bit for sticking to her guns, but actions have consequences. She's super smart and obviously knew she'd get jailed for contempt of court. However, that does sort of play into her "they treat me awful" narrative.

IMO, Julian deserves a lot harsher sentence than Manning, but what he's been indicted on thusfar, is pretty week with a max federal sentence of only 5 years. I fully expect the prosecution to use this to bargain with him for a plea (and info on Russian election tampering). Their dangle to him would be a whole slew of superceding indictments they'll almost certainly have him dead to rights on. Guccifer 2 has been proven by Mueller's indictments to be a GRU (Russian Military) intelligence operation. Stone, Julian, and Guccifer 2 were all pals. That's not a good place to be when you're in US custody.


> There is a sealed indictment against him in EDVA which was accidentally released.

Details here:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/julia...


I'm not an expert, is this (93%) by conviction or plea deal? One would assume he doesn't plea guilty.

I just went thought the DOJ website. It included both trial and plea deals. So maybe not that impressive.

I wish Australia would step up and actually defend one of their citizens.

Australia is run by a bunch of corrupt neoliberal oligarchs burning the place to the ground on the way out the door

They have "better" things to do than worry about some "peasant". Like their six figure pensions and lobbying deals


Do you really need to put "neoliberal" in front of oligarch? It imparts on them a commitment to principles that they don't uphold. This is a government that undermines core liberal values like private property rights and privacy rights, with a multitude of financial regulations, surveillance state anti-money-laundering laws, and prohibitions on unrestricted use of encrypted communication.

>This is a government that undermines core liberal values like private property rights and privacy rights, with a multitude of financial regulations, surveillance state anti-money-laundering laws, and prohibitions on unrestricted use of encrypted communication.

That's the "neo" part of "neo-liberal".


But "neoliberalism" is frequently derided as a free-market fundamentalist ideology that was the driving force behind a period of alleged deregulation and government cut-backs extending from the early 1980s to the present. It's really an inaccurate characterization of both the last 40 years and the beliefs of the parties in charge.

But we have to know which team they're on!!

As I understand the term 'neo-liberal' it's kind of a hybrid ideology that strides the two US political parties. Mitt Romney and Hillary Clinton are both neo-liberals, though ostensibly, opposed to each other. It's basically the worst of the political philosophies espoused by the two parties. Basically it means more authoritarian control and the prosecution of wars all over the planet for the sake of establishing a new world order.

Is there a country who's citizens don't think their government is corrupt?

The Nordic countries, New Zealand, Switzerland and Singapore are perceived as least corrupt by experts and in opinion polls. Do the citizens agree?

Norway is doing pretty well for a country with such a large sovereign wealth fund; most places would have had it stolen by now. It seems they just have the ordinary run of scandals: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-45173500

I love Norwegian political scandals. Compared to American scandals, they are just nothing but people are held accountable anyways. I would love to see some American politicians career ended because they took their phone to a country they should not have.

If a married US Democrat took their secret Iranian girlfriend to Iran with their government phone the scandal would last about a decade.

Only if he was Black.

Or democrat

It's worth noting that while the wealth fund is enormous, it is also being spent [1] to cover budget deficits. (More specifically, the returns are being spent.)

The government has historically tried to avoid doing so, but had to dip into the funds in 2016–2018. The rules around spending was formalized in 2001 [2], but the extent to which Norway was dipping into the funds has been controversial the last few years, with economists warning that it puts the country at risk in a future economic downturn.

Norway's wealth fund is actually codified as law, which makes it difficult for a future government to "steal" it.

[1] https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-05-02/norway-st...

[2] https://www.regjeringen.no/no/tema/okonomi-og-budsjett/norsk...


I'm Danish. Prime minister is a drunken buffoon with no apparent shred of personal integrity, and generally I hold all politicians to be only in it for the perks and the power and the sex, but no, I wouldn't call our government corrupt, just institutionally inept, because politicians are not in the business of reasoning, and the administrative apparatus is Pournelle's iron law run amok.

We simply don't do corrupt to any significant degree. Probably the niftiest social trick the Scandinavian societies ever evolved.

Come to think of it, I was offered a bribe today, just a few hours ago. Turned it down without even thinking.


The fact that you were offered a bribe today, and it does not seem like a big deal to you, makes your argument somewhat weaker.

I'm Finnish. Almost everyone I know has lost all confidence in the political system years ago.

Same, it's pretty jarring. This is extremely dangerous to our democracy.

What has caused that? What isn’t working?

This is anecdotal, but I think the common perception is that voting just doesn't matter - politicians make promises to get votes and don't follow through after the elections. And it's the same politicians cycling in and out, year after year. Clearly people are voting for them, but just as clearly there is a large portion of the population that feels like their concerns aren't being addressed. What's interesting is that the people I know personally who've more or less given up on politics can't be clearly identified as belonging to a specific demographic. Some of them are students, some are male knowledge workers in their 20's and 30's, some are female medical professionals and administrators in their 50's and 60's. My father, who is an academic, has the most faith in the political process among the people I know.

One of my Singaporean friends mentioned that the population is quite content with their government, they are enjoying the countries prosperity and the country is peaceful. He said, "Why change a working system?"

I'm Swiss and agree.

As a Canadian I think the government is corrupt, but not dysfunctionally so

As a former resident of BC, I think the former government was dysfunctionally corrupt, in the sense that the corruption was actively leading to dysfunction in the province.

It's one thing when politicians steal for themselves. It's another thing entirely when they steal for their friends.


If true this could be because all governments tend toward corruption.

Many North Koreans hold their leadership in high regard

'Straya would prosecute and send him to jail immediately. They are even more 1984 than USA.

Wikileaks has leaked 10 some-odd documents on Australia, so I don't expect them to go to bat for him.

The problem with being a uniform thorn in everybody's side is you run out of friends.


Assange is anything but a uniform thorn. He has continually supported and looked out for Russian interests.

If he wasn't biased there would be a lot more public support for him.


Wikileaks declining to publish this at a critical moment in time does seem telling. https://foreignpolicy.com/2017/08/17/wikileaks-turned-down-l...

You're basing this on what? St. Mueller has finished his investigation, and precisely no one will be going to prison for "Russian election meddling". If they didn't do this horrible thing (that is entirely protected by 1A), then how could anyone have helped them do this horrible thing?

Ummmm Mueller indicted many Russian nationals.

Which means nada in terms of Assange and also none of them will see a courtroom.

OP said they won’t go to prison because Trump wasn’t found colluding. It’s nonsensical. As though, Trump not telling Russia what to do means it didn’t happen. We know beyond a doubt Russia interfered. We also know Assange was one of their stooges. Read the indictments.

So what? Netanyahu once gave a speech to Congress in the middle of elections. All countries interfere all the time. Some citizens have positive views of the countries those individuals represent some don’t. It doesn’t matter. Countries don’t have friend, they have interests that either align or don’t. Singling out Russia doesn’t in anyway lead to causation on the part of Assange.

They won't go to prison in USA because they'll never go to trial in USA. Hint: they're Russians who live in Russia. Even if they did show up to a USA courthouse, the trial would just be indefinitely postponed, like for instance the trial of Concord Management which was supposed to start a year ago. Mueller didn't give them a day in court, for a year, and now he has retired.

Don't waste too much effort defending Mueller. Just like with e.g. Comey who was praised before he was reviled before he was praised, alternate orders on Mueller will soon come through for you. The war pigs are not pleased with his performance.


> We also know Assange was one of their stooges

No we don't. Stop spreading propaganda. Even if they were the source, there's no evidence that Assange knew who the source was.

> Read the indictments.

Indictments != convictions.


Read the indictments. It’s not propaganda. It’s fact. Assange distributed emails stolen by the GRU.

Again, indictments != convictions. There's many things you can indict that you'll not win a case in court on.

> Assange distributed emails stolen by the GRU.

Let's say he did. That does not mean he knew where they came from, or even that he received them from the same/original source.


I never said they were convicted. I said the factual evidence is laid out in the indictments. I said he was their stooge. That doesn't mean he knew he was their stooge.

Indictments contain allegations, not facts. This is Civics 101. An informed commentator could not honestly post multiple attempts to blur this distinction. What does that say about you?

Yep, facts and allegations. Read the indictments.

We know, because we are informed citizens, that indictments contain allegations. Having read an indictment, how could it change that? Is there some special incantation that could have been included, which would have transformed it into some sort of super-indictment that also contains facts? No, there is no such incantation. If an indictment claims that the sun rises in the east, that's still just an allegation. Someone might believe an allegation for whatever idiosyncratic reason might personally obtain, but that's totally subjective. No one else cares.

Once an allegation has been defended against cross-examination in a court, it might make the transition to fact. (Or it might totally fall apart. I doubt the charlatans at Crowdstrike would fare well under cross. "You mean you never actually examined the servers, and just took your clients' word that they had properly imaged the hard drives before destroying them? These were the same clients who had placed similar servers that neither you nor FBI ever examined in a restroom next to a toilet?") You're probably ill-informed enough to think that court proceeding has happened already. To be better informed, you should read more reliable journalism.


Yes, but none of the charges are related to conspiracy with the Russian government.

There are only a handful of conspiracy against the US charges, and they are all related to Ukrainian interests long before the 2016 election (which were related to pro-US Ukrainian interests).

So yes, there are many Mueller indictments, but they do not fit the (now discredited) Russia-Gate narrative. Yes, Trump is surrounded by all kinds of criminals (and almost certainly is one himself) but this should be a shock to nobody -- he hired people directly related to mafias in several countries.



I was referencing indictments of Americans (which is what almost everyone thinks of when you refer to Russia-related conspiracies). None of those were in relation to Russia-related conspiracies and the Mueller Report (or rather the Barr summary) confirms as much.

The Barr summary has been disputed by some of Mueller's team but those disputes are in relation to the obstruction of justice questions.

As for the Russian indictments, I'm not sure if there's much to say. Quite a few of the indictments are related to sockpuppet accounts and Facebook ads (illegal but not to the degree suggested by the tone of the media coverage). The ones related to Russia hacking the DNC were disputed by some research done by Bill Binney and a bunch if other intelligence veterans[1] -- showing some evidence that the information must have been leaked by an insider because the transfer speeds were too fast for exfiltration over the internet. Unfortunately all the people indicted are Russian nationals and thus won't face prosecution in the US, so we won't ever know what the truth of the matter is.

[1]: https://consortiumnews.com/2017/07/24/intel-vets-challenge-r...


Reading is fundamental. Said nationals will never see the inside of USA courtrooms. That being the case, standards for indictment were even lower than their usual ham-sandwich levels. FBI never saw the damn servers. They just believed Crowdstrike when he said "oh yeah those servers were just infested with Russkies. By the way we've melted down all the hard drives. We like to recycle!" Good grief, this wouldn't pass the laugh test even in the pathetic courts we have.

Why did Mueller put on such a goofy show, when he knew all along he would indict no American for "Russian collusion"? He was throwing his friends in the media a bone. They've pushed this long enough to guarantee Trump's reelection, which is all they ever wanted. Ratings gold!


Read the indictments not alt-right media.

Sorry to burst your stereotype, I'm getting this from such "alt-rightists" as Greenwald, Maté, Taibbi, Caitlin Johnstone, Jimmy Dore, etc. We don't want Trump reelected; we didn't want him elected in the first place. Unfortunately the self-interested news media have at this point made that inevitable.

I've already donated to Tulsi. Have you?


Tulsi is another Russia-supported candidate per social media trackers. Odd coincidence.

Your talking points don't stand up to reading the indictments.


What are talking points? I thought the claim was that I am "alt-right", except now I find you don't support the only authentically pacifist candidate? Did you know that our blood and our taxes are being wasted at war in eight nations, right now? Which leaves out the dozens of nations where we have troops or spooks lurking in support of God-knows-what evil CIA plots? With Venezuela scheduled as soon as CNN can stage a convincing attack on a soi-disant humanitarian aid convoy? Meanwhile you're cheering on your best buddy Trump in persecuting Manning and Assange? Meanwhile you cling without evidence to a facially risible conspiracy theory about the Russians changing an election with a couple thousand dollars worth of Facebook ads, while most Trump voters aren't online but watch TV news for the entire 27 hours a day that Trump is on it? You're incoherent.

I am skeptical, and I've always been skeptical. You seem instead to be credulous. The topic of the day is bullshit, so skepticism is more appropriate than credulity.


First Amendment protections are not extended to non-US citizens.

Empirical evidence suggests this is not the case:

https://www.forbes.com/sites/danielfisher/2017/01/30/does-th...


"Congress shall make no law..."

Simple people imagine that "freedom of speech" is primarily good for the speaker. In fact, it's good for everyone in USA to know true facts about their politicians, no matter who publicizes those facts.


> Noncitizens undeniably have a wide range of rights under the Constitution. Indeed, within the borders of the United States, they have most of the same rights as citizens do, and longstanding Supreme Court precedent bans most state laws discriminating against noncitizens. There is little if any serious controversy among experts over this matter.

https://www.learnliberty.org/blog/t-he-constitutional-rights...


[flagged]


Where did he mention Trump?

[flagged]


https://www.vox.com/world/2017/1/6/14179240/wikileaks-russia...

What would you say about this article? I have Little knowledge about Assange


I was actually intending to reply to somebody else (or the parent post has been edited since I posted my reply) that stated Assange and Wikileaks only ever released stuff about the west and its allies.

My accusation of lies was about that, because there have been leaks of all manner of countries (Russia included) through Wikileaks.

As for that article, I have no idea whether Assange is a Russian operative now, or has been in the past. There are interesting links, for sure, and after the threats of drone strike and execution from various US government officials I wouldn't be surprised if he wanted to hurt the US.

So I don't know if he is or isn't. He may very well be.

As I said above though, my initial accusation was intended for another poster that (falsely) claimed Wikileaks never leaked anything about Russia.


Australia is part of 5 eyes. Very unlikely they will do anything.

Australia just released a statement that they will continue to offer general consul services, and that's it.

Too little too late there, Australia.


He is a dual national now, which only complicates any attempt, Australia's connection with Five-eyes and other military and political arrangements aside.

When has that complicated anything? Being a dual citizen is a huge benefit everywhere on Earth. For anyone with enough resources and time I'd encourage collecting citizenships like they were Pokemon.

Because usually you are treated as being a citizen of the country whose passport you are travelling on. If you flew to China and were arrested of a crime, you are much better off having used your US passport than the Malta passport you purchased, or worse, the Sudanese passport you bribed an official for.

> Because usually you are treated as being a citizen of the country whose passport you are travelling on.

By your host country maybe (though I don't agree it's as cut-and-dry as that), but your home country will still treat you as a citizen regardless of your other citizenship statuses (except in the case you are a citizen of your host country). So they should still give you the same aid they'd give any other citizen -- and in some cases the UK has actually helped UK citizens flee a country even though they are a citizen of said country (examples include forced marriages of dual Iran/UK citizens in Iran).


But it's not much use if your other passport is Chinese.

> For anyone with enough resources and time I'd encourage collecting citizenships like they were Pokemon.

Care to elaborate? What kind of benefits one could get out of it? There's tons of information on topic from biased sources like law firms, but very little otherwise.


Except in most countries you can't have more than 2 or 3 official nationalities

Wrong.

In many countries you can't have two. But as long as "dual citizenship" is recognized, there is no upper limit.


Well, technically any country that accepts a doubly nationality accepts a plurality - you simply don't inform all the other countries of your other nationalities.

Generally being able to customize the terms of your travel, being able to permanently leave your home country, somewhat being able to choose tax jurisdiction, consular support from multiple sources if things go pearshaped.

Older people probably value choosing favourable healthcare systems too. Nations aren't static entities, I'd doubt you'd find many people willing to bet on a single country's circumstance being exactly the same 30 years from now.

For the wealthy gaining dual/multi citizenship is common across the world and plenty of Western nations sell it off willingly.

https://www.scmp.com/news/world/united-states-canada/article...


Be careful about picking up a citizenship in a country with conscription.

The government is on your side.

Pretty sure he is from Austria not Australia which is only close in the dictionary.

Lookup the Queen of Australia.

That was quick

https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=19633234

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 as soon as possible.


Regarding #1, there is no law in the US criminal code against publishing classified information. It's certainly illegal for a journalist to actively steal classified information, or conspire with others to do so, but just publishing is fine.

Under some circumstances a journalist can be forced to appear in court and reveal his sources. And if he refuses to answer he can be held in contempt.


He is being charged with "conspiracy to commit computer intrusion for agreeing to break a password to a classified U.S. government computer", not anything to do with publishing classified information. https://www.justice.gov/usao-edva/pr/wikileaks-founder-charg...

Thanks for the link to actual facts about his legal situation in the US.

looks like they are trying to charge him with computer related offences.

The accusation is that he aided Manning in breaking in to classified computers: https://www.justice.gov/usao-edva/pr/wikileaks-founder-charg...

I had a friend once who did 18 months Federal time for just saying he could get 100 tabs of LSD at a forest rave in central Florida.

Not having it...not getting any...not even showing the undercover agent even one damn tab.

His charge ended up being "Conspiracy Against the United States" or something along those lines.

So I am pretty sure the US government will come up with some rather bogus charge against Assange, considering how he humiliated it.


It's very unlikely that the facts resemble anything like that. What's your friends name? I'll happily pay the Pacer fees to see what the charging document says.

Agreed, sounds like the friend agreed to sell 100 tabs. Whether or not you actually sell them doesn't matter, I think making the offer to an agent is probably illegal in the same way it's illegal to offer to murder someone for money.

I can't imagine that this is a true story. Which country is throwing someone into jail for 1,5 years for offering to sell someone lsd?

Given a long enough criminal history, people go to jail for much longer for much less in the US

But with US incarceration figures it could be real.

At the end of 2016, the Prison Policy Initiative estimated that in the United States, about 2,298,300 people were incarcerated out of a population of 324.2 million. This means that 0.7% of the population was behind bars. About 1,316,000 people were in state prison, 615,000 in local jails, 225,000 in federal prisons.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_incarceration_...


DEAL...you know what...im tired of people here thinking im making things up...hmmm how do you want to start doing this.. I'm serious here...let's do this...how to best initiate what we need to get rolling?

Please...email me at lampdeveloperforhire@yahoo.com and I will HAPPILY let you see it all, because I've already researched it years ago when I didn't believe that was the whole story!


Especially Federal prison (most crime in the US is under state jurisdiction). It doesn't add up at all.

If the forest is a national park or otherwise federal property, it does.

DEAL...you know what...im tired of people here thinking im making things up...hmmm how do you want to start doing this.. I'm serious here...let's do this...how to best initiate what we need to get rolling?

Please...email me at lampdeveloperforhire@yahoo.com and I will HAPPILY let you see it all, because I've already researched it years ago when I didn't believe that was the whole story!


Although he made out of produce the LSD, I assume money changed hands. I may be mistaken, but I think this is the syna qua non of a drug charge.

Not OP, but if it were my friend (and if I was any kind of friend at all) I wouldn't be dropping his name on a publicly accessible forum so a ton of people can violate his privacy.

Might be better to privately exchange the name and then update us with the results without revealing any identity.


Of course, happy to take it via DM and I'd be glad to report back without any identifying information.

Why would OP have any reason to trust you with the information? And for the lowest of stakes, proving a point on a web forum.

What's there to trust? The names of everyone convicted of Federal crimes are public, as are the details of their crimes. If OP claims that someone was convicted of something incredibly implausible, he could prove it by telling everyone the name so they could look it up themselves. Alternatively, he could just tell a single person who could look it up and report back. Or not -- it's just the internet, who really cares?

But until he proves that something resembling his claim actually happened (which he could easily do by telling anyone the name of the convicted), nobody should believe for a second that someone was jailed in Federal prison for "claiming they could get 100 tabs of acid."


I am now ACTIVELY trying to get your attention to get this moving, as I feel you are challenging my integrity and this is very important to me.

HN doesn’t have a DM feature.

If OP was interested, I'd provide a twitter/reddit/signal/messenger or whatever for DMing. Or just an email address. I meant it as more of a euphemism for private communication.

Please...email me at lampdeveloperforhire@yahoo.com and I will HAPPILY let you see it all, because I've already researched it years ago when I didn't believe that was the whole story!

DEAL...you know what...im tired of people here thinking im making things up...hmmm how do you want to start doing this..

I'm serious here...let's do this...how to best initiate what we need to get rolling?

Please...email me at lampdeveloperforhire@yahoo.com and I will HAPPILY let you see it all, because I've already researched it years ago when I didn't believe that was the whole story!

The deal was...the rave scene was really big in Central Florida in the mid 90's, and a Federal Task Force was sent to infiltrate the "scene" and start busting it up..my homeboy Mike was a hustler, pure and simple, and was always ready to make some money in the game.

There was a big outside event in the Ocala National Forest and Mikey was approached by someone who was asking about LSD (100 or 1000 hits I don't remember...probably 1000 now that I think about it)...Mike was like, as in character..."No not now, but I can tomorrow for sure.." and gave the agent his number.

The rest of the details for me are fuzzy at this point, but I do know he never got any drugs and he most DEFINITELY did 18 months cushy Fed Time with a "Conspiracy Against the United States of America" charge that you can STILL see with an inexpensive background check!!

Oh...i can't wait to see your reaction when you learn the facts of this case...in fact, how about a little side wager on it?


2) is interesting because going down this path would involve investigating the motivation behind WikiLeaks communicating with the GRU and what WikiLeaks intended to do with the information they obtained once they did so (just a one-shot dump of everything versus strategically-times leaks). The timing of Assange’s arrest occurring a few weeks after the conclusion of the Mueller investigation seems opportune albeit coincidental. A more sinister and cynical interpretation of this timing would be an attempt to wrap up any perceived loose ends.

Edited a few times after proofreading.


If we're talking coincidences, I can't get over how this is happening right in the middle of Brexit, and immediately after the successful Cooper-Letwin bill to stave it off further.

Obviously Ecuador has no stake in Brexit directly, but of interest is the Farage connection: https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2018/jan/19/trump-russi...


It looks like the US is charging him with conspiracy to hack a government computer.

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.nytimes.com/2019/04/11/worl...


“Assange is charged with conspiracy to commit computer intrusion and is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. If convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison. Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after taking into account the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.”

Whenever the government Al Capones someone, which ought to be a verb, it's a reminder to me that due to a legislative and prosecutorial discretion excesses combined with politics that those of us who aren't 100% squeaky clean are unjustly vulnerable to judicial creativity run amuck. If you've got a Snowden or an Assange you want to lock up with all keys thrown away, stick to charges along the lines of espionage etc; and if you cannot prove those charges, too bad - don't attempt to railroad them for paying a nanny under the table. Not that there's anything forgiveable about nanny tax evasion, but I'm bothered by byproducts of affording too much discretion in the judicial system.

The alternative to prosecutorial discretion is 100% enforcement of all crimes big and small. In either situation, the government would go after these people for their small crimes so the outcome for the targets you're mentioning is the same. Also, Capone was convicted by a jury on evading (in 2019 dollars) millions in taxes, so 'small' is relative only to massive corruption scheme and murdering he wasn't convicted on.

Or, once a bunch of elites go to jail, the laws get changed so that only serious crimes are indeed 'crimes' and the rest get civil penalties in proportion to the means of the offender.

If US drug convictions against the rabble, versus the elite and well-connected (or even just black vs white) are any indication, you would get penalties inversely proportionate to the means of the offender.

If all crimes were enforced then we probably wouldn't have so many possible crimes, because even the politicians are committing them.

Things like "charges" and "due process" are a luxury for the thousands who were kidnapped, imprisoned and tortured by past US administrations.

People like Assange are fortunate to have visibility and nationality that they do. He at least is getting charged for a crime he hasn't really even denied. Thousands of others have lost their freedom and their lives because they were at the wrong place at the wrong time.


It's not directly about leaking or espionage though. The indictment [1] says that he conspired to help crack passwords from classified government databases.

[1] https://www.justice.gov/usao-edva/press-release/file/1153481...


They are in possession of some very specific irrefutable evidence, that's what it's about.

This is ambiguous... Who are "they"? "Evidence" of what?

> The Home Office has confirmed the US request for Assange’s extradition is for an alleged “computer-related offence”. (guardian)

Update

>The US justice department has confirmed that it issued an extradition request for Assange “in connection with a federal charge of conspiracy to commit computer intrusion for agreeing to break a password to a classified US government computer”.


America could have just as easily extradited him from the UK as from Sweden.

Indeed. More easily because the US/UK extradition agreement only requires each country's courts to apply the same tests as they use domestically to allow an arrest. In the US that test is called probable cause, in the UK it's called reasonable suspicion.

(Some people at the time felt that this was not fair as the US test is arguably a tougher one but arguably that just reflects the country's domestic arrest policies being different. In any case, the UK refuses far more US extradition requests than vice versa. If you want to read 400 pages on this, the Baker Extradition review which also covers the European Arrest Warrant and the Prima Facie test is available online.)


More easily. The UK has extradited people to the US on questionable grounds before. I don't think Sweden has.


Sweden have also done this. Sorry for the swedish link but found no better: https://sv.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Egyptenavvisningarna

He wasn't in the UK.

Extraterritoriality of embassies is a myth. Assange was in the UK when he was in the Ecuadorian embassy. However, the UK authorities could not have removed him from the embassy without violating the Vienna Convention.

> Extraterritoriality of embassies is a myth...

Along with the myth of not being "in" country X when you're in airside transit on an international-international itinerary through an airport there.


Both are metaphors that hold in some cases, and break down in others.

Semantics. The host country is prevented from entering, searching, seizing people or persons, or otherwise enforcing its laws in any way. The soil is technically still British, but so long as he had Ecuador's cooperation, he was entirely outside the reach of UK law.

So by the dictionary definition of sovereignty -- "supreme power or authority" the sovereign inside the walls of the embassy is Ecuador, not the UK, since the UK has no de facto authority there. But by the definition of "sovereignty" applied to issues of land ownership, the interior space of the building is technically still British and would revert back to enforceable UK legal jurisdiction when the mission is over.

So really you could argue it either way.


No, the UK is sovereign inside the Ecuadorian embassy. The authorities are prevented from entering by international treaties that they've signed.

If international treaty obligations block sovereignty, then the UK isn't sovereign within the UK either (!), since there are certainly international treaties signed by the UK which prevent the UK authorities doing certain things within the UK. For example, the UK authorities cannot usually arrest diplomats, regardless of whether or not the diplomat is in an embassy.


> If international treaty obligations block sovereignty, then the UK isn't sovereign within the UK either (!)

Yup. International treaties are an exchange of sovereignty for something else. The general public imagine that XIX-century-style nation states still exist, but they haven't for a long time. I suspect the USA's rhetoric of patriotism, especially post-9/11 exacerbates this view. Even the USA shares a lot of its sovereignty with external entities (gasp!).

The only XIX-century-style nation state left might be North Korea, FWIW.


Sovereignty isn't binary, and states and laws are one of many social constructs. Discussing the complexities is interesting. Purely semantic arguments is not.

I was responding to OP's claim that Assange was not "in the UK" when he was in the embassy. That's false on any reasonable understanding of those words. It would only be true if embassies were in fact foreign soil.

Yeah it is pretty much De Jure vs. De Facto. they may have De Jure access, but De Facto they do not.

He was before he ran to the embassy, skipping bail, on the pretext that if the UK extradited him to Sweden, Sweden would extradite him to the U.S.

That's an invalid pretext.


Umm, given that upon his arrest by the UK police the US government requested his extradition before the Swedish government did, I would say that invalid pretext was neither invalid or a pretext.

Scotland Yard just confirmed the validity of that invalid pretext.

Why is that invalid?

He was in the UK for two years after leaving Sweden before he entered the embassy. Had he really been fearful of extradition to the US, why would he choose to run away to the country which (at least at the time) has the strongest ties to the US?

He did not run to the UK. The charges in Sweden had been dropped and he was allowed to leave the country. I'll give you that the UK is a bad choice to go, but at the time he was free and clear of any charges. Only after he was in the UK, Sweden reopened their investigation, and at first reported him as a "witness" they'd like to interview, and that's what they based their request for extradition on. He wasn't "accused" at the time Sweden filed.

His "pre-text" wasn't that he feared the UK would extradite him to the US, but that the UK would extradite him to Sweden, which would extradite him to the UK. So he was fearful of Sweden, not the UK. You can say that this is stupid or even claim he cannot genuinely believe that and is therefore disingenuous, but unless a true mindreader shows up, we cannot know what he thought and feared, really.


>He did not run to the UK. The charges in Sweden had been dropped and he was allowed to leave the country.

True - I'd forgotten that part.

In any case - the case was reopened in November 2010, and Assange didn't enter the embassy until June 2012. If this truly was some sort of grand conspiracy to get him extradited to the US, I'd imagine the CIA has more reliable and straightforward methods of arresting/disappearing someone.

In addition to the above, EU law forbids extradition chains (Assange extradited from the UK -> Sweden, and then Sweden -> US) without explicit permissions from all involved countries.


> I'd imagine the CIA has more reliable and straightforward methods of arresting/disappearing someone

Probably, but there are likely extreme hurdles to such "disappearing" of well known persons (especially those who are not universally hated). Having the technical capability is one thing. Effectively acknowledging its use in a mostly friendly, sovereign country is a very different matter.


Yes, they do. It's called extraordinary rendition.

Extraditing from Sweden would probably require the permission of the UK government, who are generally more than willing to bend over backwards for the US on this kind of thing. What it avoids is getting the UK courts involved; how much that matters in practice is an interesting question. Also, I don't think the US was ready to extradite him yet back in 2010.

Edit: yep, arrest warrant supposedly issued in December 2017 over his work with Manning back in 2010.


It wouldn't avoid the UK courts getting involved; consent from the UK for onward extradition from Sweden is subject to judicial review, much like any other extradition request.

The CIA killing him would have created a huge us pr nightmare.

Correct. And would have been entirely unnecessary, because they could just wait him out.

If the goal is deterrence, he works just as well as a symbol rotting in the Ecuadorian embassy as either dead or rotting in jail.


> wasn't that he feared the UK would extradite him to the US, but that the UK would extradite him to Sweden, which would extradite him to the UK

I assume you mean "extradite him to the US"

Why would Sweden extradite him to the U.S. when the UK wouldn't?

Either way, he promised the UK courts he wouldn't flee. Then he fled. Now he's been arrested for skipping bail. Good. Everytime someone skips bail, it makes it harder for innocent people to get bail when they are charged with crimes they didn't commit.


Indeed, "to the US"

I don't know what he was thinking? Maybe he had memories of Pinochet not being extradited from the UK? Maybe he had memories of the Swedes doing the bidding of the US re:thepiratebay?


The Swedes have previously allowed the CIA to just straight up kidnap people, outside of the legal process.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Repatriation_of_Ahmed_Agiza_an...


Yeah, well... using CIA and SOF to abduct people is just US M.O. With or without permission from the "host" country.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mullah_Krekar#CIA,_Pentagon,_a...


People might be interested in the case from 2018 where Assange tries, and fails, to get the arrest warrant for breaching bail to be dropped.

http://www.bailii.org/cgi-bin/format.cgi?doc=/ew/cases/Misc/...


He was obviously free to leave the country, but his lawyer was advised the case had been reopened 5 days before he arrived in the UK

And his pretext was also that he'd face the death penalty in the US, which is a bit absurd. Chelsea Manning was his co-conspirator and look what she got. She didn't get a death sentence, she got government funded gender reassignment surgery, 35 years which Obama commuted down to 7 years, and contempt of court for refusing a direct court order to appear. Not great, but neither is leaking droves of classified information she was sworn to protect.

She was also tortured[1]. So there's that.

[1]: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2012/mar/12/bradley-mannin...


Tortured being defined as solitary confinement and terrible conditions, not like legitimate torture that happened in places like Abu Gharib.

If the UN has defined it as torture, then I feel reasonably confident saying it's "legitimate torture".

Yes, I'm sure many people have been "more tortured" by the US government (or other governments) than Chelsea Manning -- but it doesn't change the fact she was tortured.


I can’t think of a single country where running from a valid warrant claiming fear of extradition doesn’t make you guilty of resisting arrest. Legal systems do not typically respond well when the accused flee.

He is now.

> It will be interesting to see if the US tries to extradite him. It's actually not 100% clear that he's broken any US laws in any ways that they aren't also routinely broken by newspapers.

He has also been arrested on the extradition warrant to the US:

http://news.met.police.uk/news/update-arrest-of-julian-assan...


> Publishing classified information. Easy to show that he did this but a very difficult path to go down when American newspapers do this all the time.

A difficult path, maybe, but also an avenue for setting precedent to go after the press.


It really isn’t when you look at what he’s being charged with.

once he sets foot in US soil he's screwed regardless of the laws specifics, just watch.

> It will be interesting to see if the US tries to extradite him.

Don't worry no such thing exists, it's all conspiracy theories as they said for years...


> Scotland Yard has confirmed that Assange was arrested on behalf of the US after receiving a request for his extradition.

https://www.theguardian.com/media/live/2019/apr/11/wikileaks...


GP was probably sarcastic

They were conspiracy theories when they were first made. This indictment was issued six years after he entered the embassy. If the US had wanted to extradite him at the time, they could've tried at any point in the two years that he was in the UK before skipping bail.

Actually, no, US newspapers don't STEAL information, which is what he's being charged with. If you get it from another source and you weren't part of acquiring it, you cannot be legally responsible for it (it's not like receiving stolen property). But the governments case is that in statements to manning is that he was active in ACQUIRING the information. Therefore he can be held criminally liable. Now whether those statements are really enough to hold up in court are a huge issue, but it won't matter because one they get him here they can add on a ton of charges -- perjury, conspiracy, and whatever national security rules they want. But your point #1 is not valid in that if US newspapers did ever steal information they could be held criminally liable (they don't).

I’m no international law expert, but wouldn’t the UK demand that the US disclose in advance everything they plan to charge him with?

Otherwise, couldn’t he argue in the UK that his rights might be violated by the extradition, in the event that the US charges him with something that isn’t considered a crime in the UK?


Assange, and his lawyers, made all kinds of arguments and appealed his extradition to Sweden all the way to the High Court and lost. He hasn't actually had any court time related to the U.S. extradition because he fled. I would assume that if he had a decent chance of winning on the merits for the U.S. extradition, he wouldn't have spent 7 years hiding in a cupboard.

Looks like the indictment is conspiracy with Manning. Manning was pardoned[1] by the Obama admin. Does that have any bearing on Assange’s case?

[1] I’ve been corrected; her sentence was commuted.


Obama commuted the sentence. Pardon would have wiped the charges. Commuting just shortened the penalty.

Even had Manning been pardoned it would have no bearing whatsoever.

the real question is, will his sentence be less, equal, or more?

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