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Julian Assange: Home Secretary Signs US Extradition Request (bbc.com)
127 points by sudoaza 33 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 149 comments

It's worth keeping in mind that when they say Assange is guilty of violating the espionage act, did illegal hacking etc. what they really means is that he's guilt of publishing video showing US armed forces murdering unarmed journalists and civilians. If people are going to place emphasis on Assange's crimes and make them a high priority then it's hypocrisy of the worst possible kind to ignore the serious war crimes committed by the US armed forces in Baghdad in 2007. The crimes exposed by Assange are far more worthy of attention than any criminality Assange could possibly be found guilty of in exposing those crimes.

> he's guilt of publishing video showing US armed forces murdering unarmed journalists and civilians

Another view is that he published evidence of alleged American war crimes. Then he published a bunch of other stuff of zero public interest, but damaging to innocent people (e.g. medical records of gay Saudis, rape victims, et cetera [1]).

The former should be clearly held as being First Amendment protected. The latter is reasonably questionable. The merit of the former does not automatically absolve the harms of the latter.

[1] https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2016/08/new-report-highl...

> Another view is that he published evidence of alleged American war crimes. Then he published a bunch of other stuff of zero public interest, but damaging to innocent people (e.g. medical records of gay Saudis, rape victims, et cetera [1]).

That's not what he's extradited for.

Strictly speaking, he's been indicted for his part in assisting Chelsea Manning US diplomatic cables leak and not for exposing either the war crimes or gay Saudis.

"The 17 counts were tacked on to a single count accusing Assange of conspiring with Manning to crack a Department of Defense password." [1]

1. https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/wikileaks-founder-julia...

Exactly. If people actually read the initial and subsequent indictments against Assange they'd realise he was actively encouraging and assisting Chelsea Manning to attempt to further compromise DoD databases beyond Chelsea's level of access. This included Assange providing instructions to Chelsea on how to obtain an administrator password hash from said DoD DB server which Chelsea then provided to Assange who attempted to brute force the hash. I don't really consider that journalism; at best Assange is a co-conspirator.

Yeah. It's not a binary where you've done the right or the wrong thing. If they enumerated every disclosure, they could find him not guilty on some of them and guilty on others. And that's how it should work, no?

Basically as I've read it the charge isn't about the disclosures themselves but Assange's assistance in cracking a password to get to the documents.

Very well put. It's not just the war crimes committed (or indirectly caused) by the US, it's the major financial crime of the war spending and the crime of falsifying intelligence information to sell the war.

Assange helped shed light on all of it, and one would think that after such a humiliating series of revelations the US would find it harder to sell the public on new wars and new enemies. Unfortunately that has not been the case.

I'm not in the slightest surprised. Assange pissed off a lot of high level political/power figures in the US by exposing them.

Remember in 2016 when Clinton was accused of getting leaked debate questions? Personally I expected that to be the end of her run. At the very least for everyone to say "wow, she actually did that. A candidate should never be able to do that". Instead, assange was the bad guy. People who believed it were nutjobs. Bernie and trump were the "real" bad guys. No accountability - they just misdirected and anyone in Clinton's camp or even the anti trump camp said "well so?"

So im not surprised now that people are being led to this propaganda like sheep. Our populace has disgraced any sense of intelligence it may have had. We really cant look at our average citizen and think anything positive about their critical thinking.

Edit: Downvote if you can't provide any logical counter to what I've said. Nothing up there is untrue, but there are a lot of butt hurt Clinton fans still lingering I'll say.

What war crimes did Assange expose?

Your question was perfectly reasonable and should not have been downvoted.

That said I'd recommend a quick keyword search on "assange" + "collateral damage" (which was the name of a polished version of the video he helped leak).

Physically sickening.

[Voice 1] Well it's their fault for bringing their kids into a battle.

[Voice 2] That's right.


"Battle" my ass.

The only reason those targets were engaged is because they were thought to be combatants. Do you think the gunner/pilot are happy about it? It's collateral damage in a warzone and horrible but it's not murder or a warcrime.

> Do you think the gunner/pilot are happy about it?

Maybe you haven't seen the whole video -- they were laughing about it during and afterwards, and then blamed the people they just killed for "bringing their kids to a battle" (ignoring the that US was invading the country, so really the US had brought the "battle" to them).

In addition, the reporter's deaths were covered up by the government instead of being honest to Reuters and the reporter's families -- saying they were collateral deaths. In addition, the war logs showed evidence of civilian death and friendly-fire figures being intentionally manipulated by the US government (as well as many other things such as blatant examples of corruption).


> It's also worth remembering that he disseminated information on the behalf of the Russian state in an effort to get Trump elected.

Not sure why you believe that any more than you would believe the claims that Saddam had WMDs.

Guccifer 2.0 was a Russian intelligence hacker group that hacked the Democratic National Committee emails and delivered to Assange and Wikileaks to publicly release. [1] Wikileaks then dropped the emails in parcels - behavior they had never done before - in order to manipulate news headlines leading up to the 2016 federal elections. [2]

This is confirmed by numerous, independent security firms, such as CrowdStrike, Fidelis Cybersecurity, Fireeye's Mandiant, SecureWorks, ThreatConnect, and others - making it not the same as the WMDs in Iraq smokescreen.

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guccifer_2.0 [2] https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/wikileaks-hillary-clint...

I am bit confused, did the hackers falsify/forge anything? Or did they reveal some accurate information about the candidate(s)? If the latter, then what's the problem? Didn't they make American voters more informed? Would this be somehow different (e.g. less evil) had the same thing been done by American journalists?

GP claimed that Wikileaks and Russian promotion of the Trump campaign was on par with the WMD intelligent in Iraq - i.e. the Russian involvement is just a "smokescreen" - which it is not.

It’s not true that WikiLeaks never slowly released information before. That was entirely consistent with how they had been doing things.

No, it wasn't. Read the cited article if you disagree. Assange and wikileaks also reached out to the Trump campaign to coordinate the email leaks.

None of this definitively means it was done 'on behalf of', nor 'for the benefit of'. 'to the benefit of', perhaps, but an unwitting puppet is not necessarily an accomplice.

Per the Mueller Report, Assange attempted to coordinate the leaks with the Trump campaign.

Well, he picked the wrong allies.

Assange working with Russians is a conclusion reached by all US intelligence agencies. Saddam having WMDs was only the conclusion of a stovepiped intelligence team that reported directly to Dick Cheney and created by him (the office of special plans).


'with' and 'for' are two quite different words. which was it?

Both. He had a show on state-sponsored Russian Television.

> war crimes and killing journalists.

and yet, the saudi's are our allies and noone cares when prince so-and-so donates to XYZPQ election via some proxy organization..

i have no doubt russia attempted to influence the election.

the question is: which government really doesnt, and why is russia singled out here?

with a follow up of:

how is foreign policy really decided?

and what happens in the land of entrenched beurocrats and technocrats and their allies when someone is elected who threatens a major shift in FP?

He published evidence of political corruption. It's a good thing he did it too so that US voters could make a fully informed decision about the candidates.

He published altered and forged documents alleging corruption, where said documents were provided by the Russian intelligence agencies for the sole purpose of influencing the US presidential election.

And Assange, knowing this, attempted to coordinate the release of these falsified documents with the Trump administration. While also prohibiting Wikileaks from publishing any negative documents about Trump.

There is no evidence that those emails were falsified or forged. Even the participants didn't dispute their validity.

The story is that Hillary was colluding with the DNC and the mainstream media, not that someone you don't like let everyone know about it.

>It's also worth remembering that he disseminated information on the behalf of the Russian state in an effort to get Trump elected.

And how can you define this as espionage ? Publishing thins you don't like or even publishing false accusations is not espionage.

Published factual information that was damaging to a political candidate because it exposed their wrongdoing.

I believe the findings of the Mueller report, that Trump did not collude with the Russians to sway the election. I'm rather relieved about it. The possibility of Russia hacking our elections was a very serious matter and I'm glad the case is closed. Still, I'm very very distressed about Trump being President. At least the Russians aren't involved. Now, regarding war crimes and killing journalists, Soviet Russia had a long history of that. It's very disturbing the US is going down that path.

The Mueller investigation did not find evidence of collusion, but that is not the same as evidence of no collusion. There was plenty of evidence that Wikileaks and the Russian State were influencing the election in favor of Trump: https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/clinton-blames-putin...

I don't disagree but how much influence did they have? The biggest culprits for swaying the election is none other than the US media by giving Trump billions of dollars worth of free election coverage for profits. They knew the negative coverage was energizing his base but they did it anyone because money. Blaming the US media however is as useless as blaming Wikileaks or Russia. At some point we need to admit we have our own self inflicted problems and quit blaming everyone else for them. Trump is a symptom we have been going down the wrong path for a very long time. I'm not optimistic about the US ever being introspective about its actions but it's the only way forward. The problem is US, not somebody else.

"What about the US Media" is whataboutism - a deflection. Russian intelligence hacked U.S. political parties and used the illegally obtained information to influence the election for one candidate. The case is not closed as you say because the political party that benefitted from the foreign influence is blocking legislation to fix the problem.

Trump not colliding with the Russians doesn't mean the Russians were not involved in the election. It just means he did not work with them. They could (and probably did) worked on their own because it's their own best interest to see Trump elected.

Where has it been stated that Assange is being extradited for publishing the 'Collateral Murder' video? So far the only charges I've seen were for his assistance to Manning in cracking a password for an entirely different leak.[1] I suppose one could argue that charges are a pretext, but the diplomatic cable leak was by far more damaging to US interests than the leaked video so that doesn't really make any sense. The only reason I can think of to argue that this is really about 'Collateral Murder' is that it makes the US Government look worse to some people. I'm open to evidence to the contrary, but I haven't seen it.

1. https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/wikileaks-founder-julia...

> he's guilt of publishing video showing US armed forces murdering unarmed journalists and civilians.

I am not aware that Mr. Assange ever published anything 'showing US armed forces murdering unarmed journalists and civilians,' although I have read allegations in the press that he published video of people being killed collareally to lawful military action. Collateral damage is not murder. Yes, innocents get killed in armed conflict. The frequency needs to be minimised, of course.

International law forbids intentionally attacking civilians or attacking an otherwise-legitimate military target when civilian casualties are clearly excessive in relation to the military advantage; it doesn't forbid belligerents from taking a course of action which will result in unintentional civilian casualties.

I am neither a lawyer nor a targeteer, though, so I could have gotten some of the wording or details wrong, but I believe the general principle is true.

This right here.

Murder is the unlawful killing of another human. Unintended civilian casualties or collateral damage in war are a tragedy but they are not murder and are almost never a war crime.

Not taking a stance on what has happened here, but, I just find it weird in this day and age how you can be accused of crimes against a country you aren't in by doing something over the internet.

Was it Turkey (I forget) recently that was trying to accuse people of crimes for writing anti-government pieces online and everyone says how bad it is, but, people seem to be cool when it's the USA doing it.

I don't understand the modern world and the reach of governments/where the crime actually occurs etc.

Going to Assange now - I can understand if he hacked the American government and you could state that the crime took place in America, but, if he passed around information outside of America, surely the offence didn't actually occur where the USA have jurisdiction?

In an international framework, law is whatever a particular country can enforce. In other words, whoever has the biggest stick will ultimately have their way. This has nothing to do with technology, but fundamental political facts of life that are unlikely to change.

The players might change, but the game is the same.

Indeed, in all ages of man, groups took political hostages and traded them. Might makes right.

I don't see how this is complicated. US has a lot of allies and those allies have agreed to this. Turkey does not have a lot of allies (or at least as strong of allies as the US has/had) and thus doesn't have the same agreements in place.

You can't see how it's complicated? Not at all? No historical events pop out as "it's not normal precedence to arrest people in other countries for crimes in your country"?

I mean look at the international outrage when people from country A commit a crime INSIDE country B and country B punishes based on their own laws. The north Korea prisoner who was tortured and died shortly after release stands out, but there are plenty of other examples.

To just say "I don't see how anyone has a problem with this" makes you sound like a shill or someone trying to look enlightened, because it's not hard at all to see how this is complicated.

It's fairly complicated because it is geopolitics and international law. Why? Because that's what the government's have worked out between each other. Usually between representatives who were put there through Democratic means.

I'm hoping that he is extradited and stands trial because I can't think of an alternative. It will settle the issue as best as we humans can.

The US is claiming that he illegally accessed a government system and that is why they have jurisdiction. Whether or not he actually did that is questionable.

There is a difference between posting anti-government opinions, and aiding and abetting the theft of state secrets. Eliding then into one thing is intellectually dishonest.

I think it’s totally reasonable to argue that Assange did not do what he is accused of, but what he is accused of is not journalism or simply the expression of free speech.

Aiding and abetting is a lesser crime than the actual theft crime. Eliding those things into one is intellectually dishonest.

Further, the person who actually committed theft has been pardoned serving less time than Julian spent in the embassy. It makes no sense that he would receive any punishment at this point for the lesser crime.

Who is eliding those things?

It is the current imperialism in the USA.

you can steal money using internet while you’re not in the same country. This case is no different

Where your analogy is mistaken is he didn't steal anything.

As far as I can tell, the case for this basically hinges on the United States ability to prove Julian Assange is some sort of hacker, not a journalist. Assange hasnt written any code, or published/executed any exploits, so this seems like a pretty tenuous charge. You'd have better luck prosecuting someone like Moxie Marlinspike for hacking.

Then again the US has a rather schizophrenic approach to prosecuting 'hackers.' Aaron Schwartz was looking at 35 years prison time for what basically amounted to a wget loop, or he could give the state its prosecutorial pound of flesh and plead guilty for six months house arrest. Faced with this he took his own life in 2013.

Kevin Mitnick was once damned to prison for actual hacking, and was sentenced to a paltry 4 years in jail for hacking some of the largest telecom providers in the world. These days he runs a security company that has the US government as a client.

He tried to brute force password hack with Chelsea Manning. Worked with her directly -- to me, that's pretty much a clear and cut case of "hacking". Regardless of the attempt was successful or not.

If we're going to base his guilt off of the similarity in his actions to Manning then remember that Manning was pardoned. It would be pretty piss poor precedence to ignore that and charge assange in a different light.

Let's not forget that Manning's sentence was commuted by Obama (which technically isn't a pardon) in part because Assange stated on twitter that if Obama granted Chelsea clemency then he'd submit himself to US extradition. Obama called his bluff and Assange reneged on his offer.

Manning was convicted. Pardons are not a statement of guilt or non-guilt but a political tool. Assange might yet be pardoned, but I'd be surprised.

Mr Mitnick spent eight months of his five year sentence in solitary confinement in case he tried to initiate a nuclear war - seriously. He was also banned from using any computer or phone for three years after release.

Still seems pretty light compared to what Assange may face when convicted (I seriously doubt there is an 'if' in this case).

Basically Julian Assange is screwed. They may make a show of the trial but you can be sure he’ll spend the rest of his life in prison.

I would be absolutely stunned if that was the case. I bet he gets less than a year. He probably won’t even be convicted unless they come up with something better than their current indictment.

The indictment is in the Eastern District of Virginia. This court is a favourite of the DoJ, since IIRC it has never (or maybe only very rarely, I can't remember where I read this) ruled in favour of the defendant in an Espionage Act case. The idea Assange will have a fair trial is a joke -- though I do hope he does.

This is a bit of a weird statement. Criminal courts don't "rule". Judges make rulings (which, if my understanding is correct, are binding and set precedent). Assange will be put in front of a jury. The jury will make a determination of guilt or lack thereof. But such a finding isn't a ruling in the legal sense. It's not precedent setting. It's that a prosecutor managed to convince a group of 12 randomish people that Assange really did whatever bad thing they claim he did, and Assange's own council wasn't able to convince them otherwise.

There are many other clear examples of courts which have a statistical bias towards certain decisions. A very good example is that of Texas, where the vast majority (about 75%) of patent lawsuits are filed because they very often rule in favour of the plaintiff. This is why patent trolls often file suits in Texas.

The reason for that bias might be more complicated (the view of the local community which will be selected for a jury might be influenced through various means -- but that's a secondary question to the primary point that there is a statistical bias regardless of the reason for it).

Judges can and often do, set expectations on scope and consideration the jury should take into consideration. That doesn't mean that jury nullification cannot happen, however no judge will generally let any jury know that they're even allowed to do that.

acquittal is not nullification.

Jury nullification is a specific term[1] referring to when a jury knows that a particular defendant is guilty of a crime but they decide to find them not guilty because they believe the law to be unjust. There are many examples of this occurring in history, and this exists as a unwritten legal concept as a logical consequence of two explicit legal concepts:

* Juries cannot be punished or reprimanded for coming to the "wrong decision". * A defendant who is acquitted cannot be tried again in front of a jury because of the defense of double jeopardy.

[1]: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jury_nullification

When someone technically violated the law, but the jury doesn't convict is.

when somebody technically violated the law, but there's reasonable doubt, it's not nullification

I'm not talking about when there is doubt... I'm literally talking about jury nullification. Why do you keep insisting on setting it up as though I'm saying something else?

Why would the US go to all this trouble just to put him in jail for less than a year?

The point is disrupting wikileaks, not putting him in jail.

Radical idea: to get him out of the Ecuadorian embassy and eventually on with his life

The alternative was him being locked in self-imposed exile forever. By getting him out, extraditing him, and finally sentencing him to a min term sentence, they can say they did something and still let him go in a reasonable amount of time.

I do not see /s tag so I am extremely confused.

Why would USA do this?

Since when has any country acted with benevolence towards those individuals it deems its enemy?

I wouldn't bet on him getting extradited, in the end it'll be a political decision and historically the UK press hasn't exactly been kind on the UK/US extradition treaty.

and even if he doesn't spend life in us prison, he'll be passed around the other allied countries he "attacked" and spend time for whatever crimes they come up with.

Probably with attitudes like this around..


Your misrepresentation of the reasons why Aaron Swartz was being made an example of is gross.

Swartz was never going to get anywhere remotely near 35 years and people need to stop spouting this nonsense as it makes them look completely ignorant of every single fact in the case. The Computer Fraud and Abuse Act is designed to prosecute all computer crime from minor mischief to advanced terrorism. As such its maximum sentences are extremely high and the press just loves to throw around maximum sentences with no regard to the actual cases.

Swartz accessed a system he did not have permission to access. He did so by entering a restricted area he did not have permission to access. While I agree with his general ideal, what he did was an act of civil disobedience.

The single most basic tenet of civil disobedience is that you are willing to go to jail.

Swartz was apparently unable to think beyond the immediate and to the inevitable, obvious, end result of him being charged with a crime that he blatantly and admittedly committed.

Six months house arrest, which given that he had no criminal record, would likely have been halved or reduced even further. This is absolutely in line with the crime that he, again, admitted to committing.

Mitnick's sentence shows exactly what these maximums mean in regards to real-world sentencing.

"Swartz accessed a system he did not have permission to access. He did so by entering a restricted area he did not have permission to access."

These two sentences appear incorrect. I can simply refer you to Wikipedia, where it states that he accessed "JSTOR using a guest user account issued to him by MIT."

If Wikipedia is wrong, please correct them. Certainly, if you know facts about this case that Wikipedia is getting wrong, then the whole world would benefit by the modification.


"Swartz was never going to get anywhere remotely near 35 years and people need to stop spouting this nonsense as it makes them look completely ignorant of every single fact in the case."

Incorrect and inflammatory; again, a simple check of Wikipedia suggests that you don't have your facts right.

From Wikipedia: "Federal prosecutors later charged him with two counts of wire fraud and eleven violations of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, carrying a cumulative maximum penalty of $1 million in fines, 35 years in prison, asset forfeiture, restitution, and supervised release."

Again, if you know something that Wikipedia doesn't, please update them; however, it certainly doesn't make ANY sense to say that others are "spouting nonsense" simply because they've received what may be incorrect information from a source like Wikipedia.

> "Swartz accessed a system he did not have permission to access. He did so by entering a restricted area he did not have permission to access."

> These two sentences appear incorrect. I can simply refer you to Wikipedia, where it states that he accessed "JSTOR using a guest user account issued to him by MIT."

He was not a student at MIT and was initially looked at for trespass, though the Institute declined to prosecute.

If trespassing is _not_ "entering a restricted area he did not have permission to access", what is?

> "Swartz was never going to get anywhere remotely near 35 years and people need to stop spouting this nonsense as it makes them look completely ignorant of every single fact in the case."

> Incorrect and inflammatory; again, a simple check of Wikipedia suggests that you don't have your facts right.

Being theoretically possible to be sentenced to 35 years in jail does not in any way say that it is assured that you will. You willfully ignore context in the posts that discuss the difference between what a realistic sentence is, and how it differs at times from the sensationalist maximum sentence.

Just yesterday, a man was sentenced to 12 years jail for rape, despite there being a maximum sentence possible of 72 years. It is not incorrect or inflammatory to say that it was unlikely that person was ever going to get sentenced to 72 years in prison.

>I can simply refer you to Wikipedia, where it states that he accessed

Accessed a controlled access server room to attach his computer to so he could download from the JSTOR repositories. Learn to read.

>Incorrect and inflammatory; again, a simple check of Wikipedia suggests that you don't have your facts right.

Again, learn to read. "Cumulative maximum" means that if every single crime, which he admitted to committing I remind you, was given the maximum sentence he would have spent 35 years in jail.

Except he was never going to get 35 years or anything even close to it. Its just disingenuous jackoffs such as yourself that propagate this number because you can't fucking read and can't be bothered to learn facts.

Swartz was offered six months. He killed himself instead. Swartz was a fucking privileged pussy that likely never had a hard day in his life and bailed the moment reality hit him.

Again, if you have an argument with Wikipedia, maybe you should tell _them_ instead of going onto HN and spouting incorrect and inflammatory material.

"Learn to read", "disingenuous jackoffs", "can't fucking read", "fucking privileged pussy" -- these are all your words. I call them inflammatory. You seem to disagree, but the consensus will line up with me on this one. Please realize that. Your initial post was modded down by others for a reason.

You appear hypersensitive to people who disagree with you. Dude, this is the sign of emotional problems. You need to calm down and realize there's something wrong in your head or in your life, and when you can begin to write like an emotionally secure adult, you'll be taken seriously.

I implore you, please, to analyze your life, find the things that are harming you, and rectify them. I believe, given this interaction with you, that you would benefit from this kind of introspection.

As an example of your extreme sensitivity, when you say "the maximum sentence he would have spent 35 years in jail", on this issue we are in agreement. Somehow, you turn this into an opposition. You seem to be looking for a fight, and you're trying to do it on the Internet. I will not fight you on the Internet, my friend. That would be counter-productive.

>These two sentences appear incorrect. I can simply refer you to Wikipedia, where it states that he accessed "JSTOR using a guest user account issued to him by MIT."

A reminder/correction: According to the CFAA, if you use perfectly valid and correct credentials to do things you aren't supposed to do, you are "violating your access". IE, if I were to become a teller at a bank, and use the bank's software and my access to steal $100, that is a violation of the CFAA and considered accessing a computer "in excess of authorization" which is the actual terms used in the law

He’s not being charged with publishing classified data. That is broadly protected by the First Amendment and has been tested many times.

He’s being charged with stealing the information and actively supporting others in doing so. That activity is a crime.

Every US journalist knows if someone secretly gives you some secret document it’s fair game. If you go and steal said document then different story.

I find it really interesting that everyone was so pro wikileaks and supported him until they released the wrong documents: something against hillary.

If you like leaks, you have to accept that it is going both ways.

I supported him until he started releasing information in drips and drabs to interfere with a US election, and willingly accepted stolen documents from an obvious foreign agent.

Same - it became pretty obvious that he was using Wikileaks to manipulate headlines leading up to the 2016 election, rather than just trying to deliver valuable information: https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/wikileaks-hillary-clint...

so, until the truths were convenient? And btw, the question is not if we support his decision to leak things, but whether he deserves to die in jail (or worse) or not.

One is legal, the other isn't.

How about Edward Snowden being housed, clothed and fed by the same Russian government that was interfering with US elections and providing information to Wikileaks?

The US illegally revoked his passport while he was in transit. He thus got stuck during a layover on the way to his original destination (some South American country, I forget which).

AFAIK he's earned his own money by doing talks and receiving donations from supporters, etc not from the Russian government.

And Snowden has never mislead anyone about why he's in Russia. He's said that he would love to come home. And if U.S. whistleblower protections was stronger he could.

Snowden was openly revealing violations of the U.S. constitution.

Assange was covertly acting as an agent of a hostile foreign government with the intention of interfering in U.S. domestic politics.

There is no comparison between these two, at all.

> Assange was covertly acting as an agent of a hostile foreign government with the intention of interfering in U.S. domestic politics.

You're gonna need proof for that, staunch.

Lawyers prosecuting cases need proof.

The rest of us can, with some basic level of objectivity, just look at the preponderance of the evidence and come to a conclusion. I believe that any reasonable person that looks into the publicly available evidence would come to the same conclusion.

On the other hand, if you're one of the rubes that bought the Seth Rich story from Assange you can be 100% sure that you're terrible at objective analysis.

That isn't how "innocent until proven guilty" works, staunch. You cannot claim Assange is guilty without irrefutable evidence, which you still have not provided.

This isn't a courtroom, soulofmischief. My conclusion is based on the preponderance of the evidence, not proof beyond a reasonable doubt.

And I do assert that anyone with an objective point of view would come to the same conclusion.

Innocent until proven guilty is a thing for a reason.

We should presume innocence until more qualified people beholded to a strict investigative and judicial process make their ruling, which will hopefully not be tainted by outside interests.

Innocent until proven guilty does not mean that we get to make premature assumptions and pass them off as fact because "this isn't a courtroom". It is not something just lawyers and judges are beholden to, it's something we as a society are beholden to. Everyone has to play along.

You can have your own thoughts, but you cannot just pass them off as objective fact without hard proof.

So I ask one more time, what evidence have you prepondered to ascertain Assange's guilty status? You're speaking in vague nothings instead of providing real data.

"Assange was covertly acting as an agent of a hostile foreign government with the intention of interfering in U.S. domestic politics." That is quite an accusation, is there any proof of that?

What violations of the Constitution did Snowden reveal?

depending on your interpretation, the routine use of unwarranted searching of United States Citizens, among other things

PRISM requires a FISA warrant on domestic targets.

Snowden’s existence is currently at the pleasure of the Russian government. If he did anything to displease them, we would quickly hear that he has committed suicide by shooting himself twice in the back of the head.

Agreed... I think, for the most part, it should have just been a single dump of information.

I generally vote Libertarian, so realistically this didn't effect me, but I am glad that a lot of people got to see a lot of the dirty deeds that politicians abuse. I've known since Bill Clinton was President that Hillary is not a good person and now the world knows it.

In my experience, this doesn't follow. For the most part, people who were broadly for or against wikileaks remained so after the leaks. The rest of the people judge things on a case by case basis, and taking a look at the facts, those people didn't seem to show very inconsistent application of critique across cases. I know it's easy and satisfying to accuse people you don't like of hypocrisy, especially because there always will be those who make decisions purely based on whatever represents their "side" at any given moment, but painting the broader population with the same strokes is something we should all strive to avoid.

I don't think your second sentence tracks generally.

I can heartily support protests against a policy I consider bad while being less-supportive of protests against a policy I support.

I can support responsible disclosure while not supporting 0-day drops.

In this case, I haven't seen a credible case that Wikileaks endangered anybody, but I can still see a distinction to be made between leaking documents related to national security and leaking documents solely to discredit a political candidate one dislikes.

you mean working with the FSB in order to interfere (successfully i might add) in the US election?

fyi i’ve got no problem with leaking emails or whatnot. but i do have a problem when the FSB uses your org in order to further their interests.

I like leaks and I still like the concept of Wikileaks. I just wish they were less discriminatory about how and what they posted. Honestly, I'd prefer that there wouldn't be a curation staff at all (or at least not one that blocks posts before they're published) and that anything could be published that they could take down if they found it to be spam/meaningless.

Honestly, I don't even have a problem with the stuff against Hillary either. They were doing bad things and got caught.

I don't know that I agree. By contrast the Snowden leaks were extremely considered and vetted to minimize potential harm. The Wikileaks could have very well cost lives and put people into harms way. While you may disagree with political espionage, that doesn't mean you should potentially dox active agents in the field.

what bad things was Hillary doing? or are you referring to the deaths of US agents by the no-filter leaks of wikileaks?

Edward Snowden released incredible evidence of fourth amendment violations, making him an absolute hero in my book.

Assange, in all his years, never actually released anything on the U.S. government that I found to be damning or evidence of illegality. I don't think he did any good by leaking that Iraq war video, the embassy cables, or CIA tools.

I went from being ambivalent about Assange to thinking he was a terrible person based on his incredible dishonesty regarding the Clinton emails. I had no problem with the leaking of her emails itself.

He, like some kind of weasel lawyer, claimed that he did not receive the emails "from a state actor" and directly implied that they came from Seth Rich. He intentionally mislead a lot of very naive people.

The fact is that they almost certainly came through an intermediary of a Russian state actor and almost certainly did not come from Seth Rich.

So me disliking him has nothing to do with politics. I would have found him just as much of a dishonest weasel had Trump been the target instead of Clinton.

And yet I still think the First Amendment should protect him because I believe American freedoms should remain extremely broad.

Those leaks were in coordination with the Russian government.

Your willful ignorance is astounding. Then again I don't expect any better from Trumpettes.

We have BINGO. WikiLeaks is a GRU agent that's been in business to gain the trust and confidence of the United States citizen.. they did this for years. Then once they got the trust and confidence, they turned into an Anti-US democracy propaganda machine. If you don't believe that. Please show me where the Putin information is to disparage HIS opponent in the elections in Russia? Or better, just find me any WikiLeaks dumps or information that's negative towards the GRU or Putin (in a way in which is as damaging as what happened to our elections).

Assange was a useful idiot that got played OR he was willing and just good at acting. Either way, WikiLeaks is not our friend.

i find the lack of support for assange out of principle from the tech community disheartening. it's alright though, people reap what they sow eventually

This is only the signing of the extradition request. It still needs to pass the UK legal system to become valid and actionable. There are a number of pretty high hurdles they must pass in order to succeed, and they must succeed BOTH in the UK and in the USA:

1. They must successfully argue that he is not a journalist, or was not acting as a journalist at the time.

2. They must successfully argue that the federal crimes he's accused of also constitute an act of terrorism under section 2332b (which gives the test in subsection (g)(5): "is calculated to influence or affect the conduct of government by intimidation or coercion, or to retaliate against government conduct") in order for the indictment to be valid under an 8 year statute of limitations rather than 5 (because they waited 7 years to indict).

This is on top of actually proving he did what he's accused of. It's a big gamble for the DOJ, because if they fail in applying the espionage act in a US court (which would be required in order to prosecute him at all), the result would gut the espionage act with the precedent it sets.

The Obama administration, even with its hardline stance against whistleblowers, didn't touch this case for good reason.

So Assange is going to be sacrificed to further Javid's leadership ambitions. Shameful.

Where is the australian government in all this? Don't they have anything to say about their citizen being possibly unlawfully extradited?

> Many jurisdictions, such as Australia, Canada, Macao, New Zealand, South Africa, and most European nations except Belarus, will not allow extradition if the death penalty may be imposed on the suspect

Hellooo! Oh those pesky americans

Australia didn't receive the extradition request; the UK did. Whilst Assange is an Australian citizen the extradition request from the US to the UK doesn't involve Australia directly.

The death penalty cannot be imposed on a subject if they are tried in a state that has outlawed the death penalty.

That s not reassuring

There is no war without war crimes and civilians victims. And that's the truth that people always forget.

How the media's weapons fetish primes us for war: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cADiZii4X8s

“In the U.S., he faces an 18-count indictment including charges of soliciting and publishing classified information and conspiring with former Army private Chelsea Manning to crack a Defense Department computer password.

Assange has insisted he was 'doing journalism that has won many, many awards and protected many, many people'.”

“If found guilty of all the charges against him, the Wikileaks founder could be jailed for 175 years.”

> "after taking refuge in the Ecuadorian Embassy in a bid to avoid extradition to Sweden to face rape charges in 2012."

Oh BBC, still with the smearing. Can't you at least pretend to be objective. Assange/Wikileaks have always maintained that he was taking refuge in the Ecuadorian Embassy to avoid extradition to the US for Wikileaks activities. i.e. exactly this thing that is happening right now.

Not taking the beeb at face value, but taking Assange's statements at face value suggests a similar lack of objectiveness.

You don't need to take his statements at face value. It was objective reality in 2012 that he was not facing "rape charges" in Sweden at the time.

And isn't that because Swedish law doesn't allow charges to be laid until after an interview occurs?

assange s statements were not false though. the beeb is lying here [there were no rape charges]

Y'all can make all of the misinformed, disparaging remarks and whataboutisms you want, but don't pretend for a second that this isn't direct retaliation for Collateral Murder and co.


I'm optimistic that US courts will find him not guilty, leaving the first amendment even stronger than it already is. Assange may have pushed the boundaries of journalism but US courts will hopefully err on the side of protecting him.

In Virgina's Eastern District? Good luck with that!


And then they appeal to SCOTUS.

Assange releasing documents manning sends him is fine and first amendment.

Assange "conspiring" with manning to crack a password is not

Given that he failed to actually crack the password it seems like a pretty weak argument that he actually helped.

And IIRC the pentagon papers involved journalists helping to photocopy the documents.

Seems totally fine for a journalist to assist someone that's leaking classified data. They're not the ones committing the crime, the person violating their privileged access is IMO.

Failing at a crime is still a crime. If you try to rob a bank but get no money, you still tried to rob a bank

It depends what you mean by "try".

If you try to rob a bank but your car breaks down before you get there, so you give up, that's not bank robbery.

You may still be guilty of criminal conspiracy or something but not bank robbery. These are legally technical areas that are more complicated than what you're portraying.

Just like they protected Manning?

Manning was a member of the military with access to classified data and she uploaded it to the internet for publication.

And, unlike Snowden, none of what she leaked revealed violations of the U.S. Constitution. Her judgement was terrible and she deserved to spend some time in prison for what she did.

Assange is a journalist, not a member of the military or even a U.S. citizen, and all he did was assist and enable the publishing of this classified data.

The cases are completely different.

no way that will happen. huge media campaign against him. the public is mixed. he gets at least 10. i don't know why he waited in the embassy so long, only to allow the US years to build their case and set the public mood.

There is no chance that Assange isn't sent to Gitmo or a supermax facility. He's a political prisoner who embarrassed the US first by leaking the dirty secrets of important people, and then for years by hiding in an embassy.

He'll be tortured for the rest of his life as a message to anyone else who would dare to oppose the current order in such a flagrant and public way and without the backing of a nuclear state.

Here's a note to Edward Snowden: please illegally access and send me confidential information so that I can perform journalistic reporting on it. You can message me on here. I will provide you tools that are easily found online to find the password to whichever system you need access to.

I guess I can now be arrested and extradited for terrorism.

"First of all I am very pleased the police were able to apprehend him and now he is rightly behind bars because he broke UK law," Javid told BBC Radio 4 on Thursday.

I'll guess that this is a true statement, but which law, and does it support extradition? Oh, it must be 'skipping bail', on what seem to be exaggerated charges. So a kind of 'you broke the law because you didn't admit to the charges' kind of thing. Hmmm.

It appears quite clear to me, whatever you think of Assathat he is now a political prisoner.

Also: https://www.shoutoutuk.org/2019/02/26/sajid-javid-broke-the-...


wikipedia is your friend: “Assange breached bail conditions by staying in the embassy and faced arrest if he left. Assange's supporters, including journalist Jemima Goldsmith, journalist John Pilger, and film-maker Ken Loach, forfeited £293,500 in bail and sureties.[203][204] Goldsmith said she was surprised at his asylum bid and expected him to face the Swedish allegations.”

the guy ran from the law and the law caught up with him. like any one of us, breaching bail put him in prison.

Yup, you can read some of their sorrowful submissions to the court when it came time to collect the money - they were so sure he was a stand up guy who would stand by his word, and of course to him they were just more tools to be used and discarded.

Bail isn't ordinarily an option in the UK. But these people were so certain that their friend Julian would show up that they signed over their money. The judge asks them if it occurred to them to actually supervise him and make sure he showed up, and IIRC they had never even considered it. If you're a con man looking for victims, that list of people who promised a court money for Assange's bail is a good start.

And how exactly does that misdemeanor warrant extradition to the US?

that’s not what the extradition is about.

again, wikipedia is your friend: “Assange was accused of conspiracy to commit computer intrusion in order to help Chelsea Manning gain access to privileged information which he intended to publish on Wikileaks. This is a less serious charge in comparison to those leveled against Manning, and carries a maximum sentence of five years with a possibility of parole.[2]”

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