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Assange isn't a great example of someone escaping justice (or "the arm of the law", if you'd prefer).

He spent years in a prison-like environment, and is now in prison for skipping out on bail - he's been in jail-like conditions far longer than the original crime would've incurred. He's likely to wind up in US hands later on, too.


1. His self-imposed sequester was not in prison and had NOTHING to do with justice or serving time. He willingly chose his location and is allowed to leave it at any moment. Can you say that of any prisoner? He had free access to internet and visitors and many many luxuries rightfully denied to criminals serving time

2. Even if you think his "self-imposed punishment" was bad, it categorically by definition is not justice, and as this point, he raped a woman (understood the limits of her consent, and violated that consent to engage in non-consensual sex) and has gotten away with it with literally zero repercussion.

Even from a rehabilitation standpoint, does anyway seriously think Julian learned his lesson and will respect consent after he literally got away with raping someone?


He chose conditions that were arguably worse in most respects but one (access to communication/internet) than a Swedish prison.

Prison sentences in Sweden are hardly ever longer than his stay in the embassy, except for the most heinous crimes.

His claim all along was that he seek refuge in the embassy were because he feared US extradition. Those claims were ridiculed by his opponents. They are now incontrovertibly verified as true.


My understanding (based on reporting [1]) is that the Obama administration was very much on the fence about prosecuting Assange, largely because they were concerned about political blowback and precedent that it might set for prosecuting journalists. The added blowback from using the Swedish rape charge as a "backdoor" extradition would have made the case politically even more charged. So there was a view that, while extradition was possible, it was so politically fraught that Assange had a pretty good chance of walking away from it. This was also a time when Wikileaks/Assange was relatively more popular, since they weren't perceived as taking a partisan interest in an election outcome [2].

Then Donald Trump got elected and Assange was doomed.

[1] https://apnews.com/3d9c190f66cc4e5b8669bcc0b6c1eff9 [2] https://theintercept.com/2018/02/14/julian-assange-wikileaks...


>He chose conditions that were arguably worse in most respects but one (access to communication/internet) than a Swedish prison.

Are Nordic prisoners allowed to walk out the front door wheneever they choose?

Last time I checked, prison required removing freedom. You have to 'escape' prison, not walk out the front door.

Just saying, this bad rationalization only works on people biased towards Julian and looking to excuse his rape and the lack of justice therein.

Here's the killer point: if Nordic prisons are better, why didn't Julian stay there instead?

I bet he wanted internet, unlimited guest visits, London takeout, and the freedom to leave whenever he wanted, as well as being able to avoid a court trial and never have to be declared guilty.

"Justice!" (to the tune of "The Aristocrats!")


> Here's the killer point: if Nordic prisons are better, why didn't Julian stay there instead?

Because he was worried about the US finding some flimsy justification to extradite him (an Australian citizen) and prosecute him locally. Fears which, apparently, were justified.


And I must say, it is bitter to have been called paranoid for years for saying US would extradite him. Or for talking about ECHELON for years and see it go from "you are crazy" to "everyone knows every country does that" after Snowden.


Flimsy justification? He played spy games laundering intelligence from the Russian military to successfully attack US Elections.

Julian Assange literally attacked American soverignity and arguably was a key factor in delivering the American Presidency to Russia.

At this point, I hope he get's Epstein'd.


> Are Nordic prisoners allowed to walk out the front door wheneever they choose?

Swedish prisons are a lot better than Embassy of Ecuador in London, if you have to live recluded, at least chose the best.

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/telegraph-view/11256813/...

> Here's the killer point: if Nordic prisons are better, why didn't Julian stay there instead?

We should ask him.

Maybe because he's paranoid?


If Julian makes it to the US he'll be executed just like Epstein.


His embassy conditions, by all accounts, were pretty similar to a Nordic prison. "Allowed to leave at any moment" is a bit of a disingenuous way of describing "be immediately arrested and taken to real-jail". His freedom of movement was severely restricted for a good part of a decade - that's a significant repercussion, even if not directly inflicted by a court.

> Even from a rehabilitation standpoint, does anyway seriously think Julian learned his lesson and will respect consent after he literally got away with raping someone?

Oh, not at all, but the same is true for many of those who go through the normal justice system.


I don't care if his voluntary embassy stay was "similar to a Nordic prison" because he was not made to stand trial and face justice for his crimes. Justice isn't "well I did a bad thing and locked myself in a comfy house with internet and takeout food for a few years". Could you even imagine?

His "freedom of movement" is self-restricted by his fear that he will have to face justice for acting as an agent of Russian military intelligence to attack America including laundering Russian intelligence into America to upset elections.

He got away with raping a woman completely. Zero justice, zero rehabilitation, zero punishment.

His voluntary embassy stay is related to his fear of facing justice for playing spy games, not for rape.

EDIT: It's disgusting how many people are justifying his lack of justice for raping a woman by saying that his unrelated embassy stay "makes up" for it. What happened to morality? He raped a woman and did not stand trial for it. He received no punishment.

If you did this, make no mistake, you'd have gone to prison. Because you're not an agent government playing spy games. Because protecting you doesn't advance a nations anti-west ideology. Because you're a regular person so you have to face regular person justice.


>face justice for his crimes

Which crimes exactly? Folloing a link from above:

>Strangely, however, the women themselves never claimed to have been raped, nor did they intend to report a criminal offence. Go figure. Moreover, the forensic examination of a condom submitted as evidence, supposedly worn and torn during intercourse with Assange, revealed no DNA whatsoever — neither his, nor hers, nor anybody else’s. Go figure again. One woman even texted that she only wanted Assange to take an HIV test, but that the police were “keen on getting their hands on him”. Go figure, once more.

https://medium.com/@njmelzer/demasking-the-torture-of-julian...


Really depends on what you mean by 'got away with rape'. He spoke to one judge who questioned him and left him free to go. The case got closed and the reopened by a completely different judge and he was called back. The political ties of the woman he slept with leaves a lot of unknown questions in place.

He had a modicum of interaction with the justice system and offered to be questioned over the phone which they religiously denied.

Nobody should get away with rape, but it's not clear to me that's what the story is in regards to justice.


> He got away with raping a woman completely.

Why are you saying this like it's a undeniable fact?


Especially since the original "victim" retracted the allegations. Sweden simply refused to drop the charges afterwards, apparently for political reasons.


That doesn't appear to be the case.

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/julian-assan...

"The woman who accused Julian Assange of rape has said she is 'shocked' by Sweden’s decision to drop the seven-year investigation."


This is curious, because I definitely remember someone recanting their allegations. It was a big deal. It's hard to find clear information on it now. Was there a second accuser maybe?

Edit: based on some other comments there may have been two accusers. In that case my original comment was misleading, thanks for the correction.


> His "freedom of movement" is self-restricted by his fear that he will have to face justice for acting as an agent of Russian military intelligence to attack America including laundering Russian intelligence into America to upset elections.

Let's assume for a moment that your premise is true, and Assange got the DNC documents from Russian intelligence.

Should he have buried the documents? He had in his possession documents that a huge number of Americans would find politically interesting. They showed, among other things, that DNC operatives were biased against Bernie Sanders and looking for ways to undermine him. They also contained transcripts of speeches to Wall Street firms that Hillary Clinton had refused to publish during the primaries.

Assange has always said that he will publish whatever documents are verifiable and of public interest. If he had decided not to publish the DNC documents, that would have been a violation of his stated principles. It would even look like he's hiding documents in order to help Hillary Clinton win the election.

What you're describing as "acting as an agent of Russian military intelligence" is actually the publication of documents of public interest - something journalists do. If what you're saying is correct, every NY Times journalist who publishes state secrets could be thrown in jail. Imagine if a NY Times journalist got a cache of documents about misdeeds of the Russian government, and the NY Times were to publish those documents. Imagine then that the Russian government claimed those documents came from a foreign intelligence service, and labeled the NY Times journalist a hostile intelligence agent. Would you support the extradition of that journalist to Russia to face charges of espionage?


>Let's assume for a moment that your premise is true, and Assange got the DNC documents from Russian intelligence. Should he have buried the documents?

The idea that Wikileaks took a non-partisan, journalistic attitude towards these leaks is a fantasy. He repeatedly contacted the Trump campaign and told them that he had "damaging leaks" on the way, and made it clear in internal chats that he wanted to use Wikileaks to sway the election outcome.

https://qz.com/1599384/mueller-report-on-trump-campaigns-con...


Journalists aren't required to be non-partisan. You don't seriously believe that journalists working at the NY Times or Washington Post are non-partisan, do you?

What matters is whether the information Assange published was true and in the public interest. Do you believe that it would have been better for Assange to cover up for the DNC and Hillary Clinton and decide not to publish their dirty laundry?


Being partisan is fine for a journalist! But your premise in the OP is that Assange had to choose between burying the documents and publishing them -- because he had a responsibility to inform the public over what were matters of public interest. I don't think he did either of those two things, I think he did a third thing.


What he did was perfectly in line with what he's always said he would do. The only reason people are upset is that they wish he wouldn't publish embarrassing things about politicians they support. If Assange had instead published Trump's dirty laundry, the very same people would be praising him. But as Assange said, it's hard to imagine what he could have published about Trump that would be worse than what was already publicly known.


People are upset because the dream of WikiLeaks was that it would would help to produce a better, more open, just world. This was the thesis that Assange himself put forward [0].

But that didn’t happen. Instead, it seems likely that closed and secretive intelligence agencies were able to effortlessly repurpose WikiLeaks into a weapon for pursuing the foreign policy of an unjust government. That isn’t a crime necessarily. It just completely undermines the core argument that Assange and Wikileaks made for the organization’s existence.

If your argument is that an organization like WikiLeaks fundamentally has no choice but to allow itself to be misused in this way, then I think it’s reasonable to ask why we need such an organization in our world.

[0] http://cryptome.org/0002/ja-conspiracies.pdf


It was only misused in your eyes because you didn't like the leaks. But I think it's obvious that the leaks of DNC and Podesta emails were positive. They uncovered some really unsavory aspects of the American political system that Americans have a right to know about. WikiLeaks wasn't misused: it did a public service.

> I think it’s reasonable to ask why we need such an organization in our world.

So that information like the DNC's bias against Bernie Sanders doesn't get covered up by less ethical journalists who don't want to harm their favorite candidate.


It's crazy that people are so indoctrinated with this kind of propaganda.

Here's the kicker that proves it: There was nothing salacious in the DNC/hillary emails. NOTHING!

But in the alt-right propaganda universe, just like Donald Trump is currently floating several Big Lies by repetition, you've consumed the "Big Clinton Lie" and are repeating here robotically.

As someone who actually read those emails, my favorite was when Hillary Clinton several years after meeting a poor girl in a country without much access to education for women remembered her and inquired about her life, trying to see if they had helped her, and trying to rekindle the interest in helping her.

Truly she was a demon.

And when I look around America today, how Donald Trump just threw his weight behind the demon butcher Eddie Gallagher, a SEAL so murderous that his own brothers in arms disabled his rifle because preventing his indiscriminate slaughter of women and children was preferable to having him be of any use in a firefight, it makes me realize what we lost.

Assange, Wikileaks and Russian intelligence didn't just steal an election, they stole America's soul. They stole our empathy. They stole our ability to be better.

Now, we're a dictator-idolizing, cruelty-is-the-point, concentration camping, murderous and evil people. There's no way around it.

Assange has done more damage to democracy, freedom and empathy in America than any human in history, I could wager. Our press freedoms near all time lows, use of our military to oppress and murder is skyrocketing, the concentration camps are filling up and the next population (homeless) are slated for encampment... Assange did his job, Russia is extremely impressed.




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