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Julian Assange “slowly dying” and “often sedated” in Belmarsh prison (wsws.org)
378 points by nohope 29 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 300 comments

Wikileaks has a faultless record. They’ve never had to retract a publication. Assange, like him not not, was a reporter, who reported uncomfortable facts about the military and our ruling class.

He is being punished, tortured really for this “crime”.

He has been endlessly and baselessly slandered. All that alleged bad behaviour while he was imprisoned in the embassy ... funny how there’s been no footage of it, despite the fact that he was under 24/7 surveillance!

And these rape charges, clearly also designed to tarnish his name, now finally exposed as a fiasco.

Many newspapers had huge scoops thanks to Wikileaks, but have now turned on them. A particularly striking example is the supposedly liberal Guardian.

Journalists everywhere should be afraid as this sets a dangerous precedent for all of them.

The most detailed, nuanced account of Assange I've seen is this one[0] by Andrew O'Hagan (an author hired to ghostwrite Assange's autobiography who spent a year or so in and out of his orbit). And it's hard to square that account with the image of Assange as a journalist who's being persecuted for the truths he's shared.

Though O'Hagan is sympathetic in many ways he doesn't sugarcoat anything, and I came away with the impression that Assange is the author of a great deal of his own woes. (Among other things, much of the account involves Assange lying pretty incessantly, even to his closest allies about petty dramas, so I now find it hard to take anything he's said at face value.)

[0] https://www.lrb.co.uk/the-paper/v36/n05/andrew-o-hagan/ghost...


Edit to add: there's a quoted exchange in the account, which now springs to mind every time I hear about Assange.

> There are few subjects on which Julian would be reluctant to take what you might call a paternalistic position, but over Snowden, whom he’s never met but has chatted with and feels largely responsible for, he expressed a kind of irritable admiration. "Just how good is he?" I asked.

> "He’s number nine," he said.

> "In the world? Among computer hackers? And where are you?"

> "I’m number three."

We're discussing the torture of a journalist in the west. Adn you bring up a story that you think he lied to often. Now I assume you are right and I think that stains his character.

But, I think this is kind of hard to swallow at this point. I know you respond to someone else comment, and not directly to the story. But in this light i think it is not time to discuss if Assange lied at some point. The man deserves a fair trial, and some nobel prizes for the good stuff he did. Before Wikileaks we were some tin-foil hat /r/conspiracy readers. And now "deep state" a term you find in the MSM. Big progress necessary on the way to fix this mess, yet Assange's life got destroyed in the process.

They great thing about Wikileaks is that the data speaks for itself. I don’t care at all about Assange’s personality but I’m very thankful the information he put out there is available to the public. He’s exposed tons of corruption.

Assange is the luckiest of the many heroes of the journalism where even Guardian, NYT and SZ were left as establishmemt propaganda machines with command chain news.

Indeed, this is essential reading in its entirety. The image that emerges is one of a vain and duplicitous man who treats his projects as vehicles for self-aggrandizement. His poor character and lack of integrity are unbecoming in anyone who claims to speak truth to power.

It's no secret that Assange is vain and an asshole.

That doesn't mean that there hasn't been a coordinated campaign of character attack and punishment for revealing uncomfortable truths against him. Nor does it mean that he is deserving of what has happened

> "I’m number three."

Wow, he has a high opinion of himself! That's just terrible. Horrible. Only the humble and the meek are worthy of support when they're persecuted.

I used to be a fairly strong supporter of our military. Not blanket support (since there are always exceptions to anything), and I wasn't super enthusiastic/patriotic like some are, but in general I had a pretty positive view.

My uncle is a general in the Air Force, all three of my grandfathers fought in WW2 (my Dad's biological father was killed by a drunk driver when he was 7), etc etc. I have pictures of my grandfather standing under the Arc de Triomphe in Paris with the tank squad he commanded.

Wikileaks helped change my mind quite a bit. Among the many things they published, there was one video that really stood out: POV camera from a apache as the pilot releases a missile into a group of civilians that included a number of journalists. Things like this couldn't be ignored, because of Wikileaks record. You couldn't start off down a path of rationalizing, etc. They made you face up to the ground-level reality.

I still support and appreciate the people who serve in our armed forces, but thanks to Wikileaks I have a much more nuanced,skeptical, and (I believe) more appropriate view.

>They made you face up to the ground-level reality.

The news media has consciously hidden and censored the ground level reality of war since Vietnam, where they made the mistake of showing families the graphic ground level realities of war in color while they ate TV dinners in their living rooms. This created what was perhaps the greatest anti war sentiment in US history -- it was not sustainable. Meanwhile Hollywood perpetually pushed out war and action movies glorifying violence while also censoring the disgusting reality of it.

why was anti war sentiment not sustainable for tv news stations?

because "Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media"

Manning's Collateral Murder video was a turning point in my political views.

To see the people responsible for getting that out - something that should never have been kept secret - imprisoned and hunted across the world has only confirmed those views.

I assume you’re talking about this video.


Reading the Wikipedia entry seems to indicate the Apache’s has reason to believe they were hostile forces. Indeed, some of the men with the journalists had weapons and were in the same spot as harassing fire had come from earlier.

Have you watched the video itself?

I have. It seems like a tragedy of war, which unfortunately happens some times.

I didn’t think it was some great revelation about the US military.

If random bombardment of civilians without a positive ID is standard operating procedure for the US military (and then concealing that the people killed were civilians until this information was leaked), then I would say that this was a revelation for me about the US military.

Then firing on the dad who stopped his car to try to help the civilians injured by our strike, killing him and injuring his kids? Yeah, I had no idea that medical assistance was no longer considered protected in war.

I guess it’s the context.

Being in the company of armed men who aren’t friendly forces while US forces are under fire in close proximity seems like a bad idea as well t wouldn’t be unreasonable to assume you are hostile forces.

And as for the ambulance - “The van had no visible markings to suggest it was an ambulance or a protected vehicle”

> US forces are under fire in close proximity

I'd be curious how close the proximity was. What I've read indicated that somewhere in that region, and somewhere earlier in the day, they had been under fire. If US forces were under fire in that area recently, it seems like it'd make sense for the journalists to bring security with them.

> “The van had no visible markings to suggest it was an ambulance or a protected vehicle”

Sure, but you can see that all they were doing was collecting the injured.

Not arguing your perspective isn’t valid, just sharing my own.

From the Wikipedia article it seems to state that the armed men were in an area where shooting had come from before and were in the path of oncoming soldiers.

And in terms of loading injured people, the enemy does pick up their own injured. My understanding is unless you’re clearly marked as medical personnel, you’ll be regarded as hostile.

Can clearly see where the concern comes from, but at least my own perspective is that it’s not that unusual in war.

This https://collateralmurder.wikileaks.org/

It made even one involved soldier to speak out: https://www.wired.com/2011/04/ethan-mccord/

Faultless record? Absolutely not. They will support /r/conspiracy's lunacy at all costs as long as it somehow ties to Hillary Clinton. This one[1] was the most ridiculous claim they supported, but I'm sure someone who cares more could find dozens or even hundreds more claims made by WikiLeaks that are nothing more than deranged Dale Gribble-esque rants.

[1] https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/san-francisco-tech-assange...

Sorry - were the claims that David Soloff was behind T&C actually made by Wikileaks? Your link provides no evidence of that fact that I see, and from a brief perusal of the primary sources, I don't see Wikileaks ever making that claim either.


Would you mind going through the contents of the article I posted from them and finding pieces of inaccuracy?

Disregarding the fact that Snopes is a very disreputable organization (e.g. there's a reason Facebook fired them as fact-checkers), your reference doesn't even back up what you say. Is it possible you're the one engaging in conspiracy theories?

The official narrative is that they withdrew from the program[1]. If you have contradicting evidence, please provide it when making such a claim. This community doesn't like broad claims without evidence.

[1] https://www.snopes.com/2019/02/01/snopes-fb-partnership-ends...

Wikileaks does not have a faultless record.

For example:


That's an example of "like him or not", it's not a retraction and nothing published was false.

It's a contradiction to the claim he simply acted as a reporter: reporters don't release private information concerning no matter of public concern of people who are in no respect public figures.

That's a very strange definition of "faultless record." Shall we elevate the Ashley Madison password leakers to the same level of folk hero? What about a VPN that spies on its users - they never publish anything false, so any persecution is unfair, right?

We're talking about two different things. The grandparent said that Assange hasn't had to make any retractions and hasn't published any false info. This is undeniably true.

They also said "like him or not". Not everyone likes the outcome of his leaks. Many do. Many like some, but not others. Regardless, he's had a major impact on politics based on very true information Wikileaks has made available to the public.

If the Ashley Madison password leakers were helping expose corruption in the government, I'm sure some would view them as folk heroes too.

The grandparent said Wikileaks has a faultless record, which they don't. The rest is special pleading.

The grandparent very clearly defined what they mean by that. Assange hasn't had to make any retractions.


Can you name another news source that has made no retractions in the past 13 years?

Sure, PR Newswire has never retracted an article in the past 13 years, to my knowledge. They've published corrections given to them by sources, but the original article was accurate to what the source gave to them. They are truly modern-day heroes.

That is impressive. I was unaware. Thanks for sharing.

I mean, the reason is that PR Newswire just reprints things they're given from others. They're not investigatory journalists in the usual sense by any means.

Since when does no retractions mean a faultless record? That just means you stand with all of the bullshit you spew, not that you're a fully truthful source.

Like when Wikileaks was perpetuating the nonsense Seth Rich conspiracy as cover.

I believe what they’re trying to say is that the context clues in the top-level comment tell us that the comment author defines “faultless record” as “no retractions”. You, me, or any other person can have a different definition of “faultless”, but that is just making conversation break down when we’re all replying to one particular definition that seemed (to me at least) clearly spelled out.

Not really - we don’t have to accept a false framing.

If they mean no retractions, they can just say no retractions.

‘Faultless record’ is a deliberate overgeneralization to make it sound like WikiLeaks is more reputable than it actually is.

Consider that Donald Trump has an equally ‘faultless record’ based on this criterion , and yet many people consider this to be sociopathic behavior,

‘No retractions’ is not a measure of journalistic quality or integrity, and certainly not an indicator of faultlessness. Indeed willingness to retract is usually considered a good thing.

We're saying the same thing! A supporter of Trump or any other politician might think "their guy" is faultless, and I would probably disagree, but I wouldn't sit there arguing with them about how and why they _should_ find fault. The original comment framed their personal definition of 'faultless' by following it immediately with their definition (no retractions). You or I don't have to agree with that, and it just derails the entire conversation to sit here and argue (myself included) about the definition of a throwaway word. Nobody in this conversation is trying to convince you that their definition of faultless matches yours or that Wikileaks fit that criteria, whatever it may be.

I know a lot of completely Republican trump supporters. None of them think trump is faultless.

And yes, the poster is trying to have people accept heir framing of of faultless which is why they are meeting resistance.

This is not an equation. It is a conversation.

I think misrepresenting the contents in a dump in such a way as happened here would qualify as something worthy of a retraction.

It is possible to build a false narrative with nothing but true information.

Say I put up a website that every day posted a story about a Jewish person who had been convicted of a financial crime. Say I promoted this site and built up a fan base. If every story was 100% true, nothing but real convictions.

Would you say this is an honest, faultless website?

Not unless you computed percentage of financial crimes committed by Jews as a percentage of total number of financial crimes committed in the United States.

If we saw that this number was appreciably higher than 2%, then we could immediately draw the conclusion that the justice system in this country is biased against Jews, right?

(This would be just like we do in the case of blacks when it comes to "more dangerous" crimes like assault, armed robbery, rape, and murder.)

Your point only reinforces mine -- a website presenting nothing but facts can still offer a false narrative; it takes more work to establish the true narrative.

As for the subtext of your message, you seem to be doubtful that the justice system is biased black people. I have no doubt you are a smart person, so it baffles me why on a post about how complex issues need a broad and nuanced understanding you'd take this simple-minded sarcastic swipe.

You appear to think that the social justice issue was determined simply based on the fact the black people are incarcerated at a higher rate than the general population, and political correctness demands that it be attributed to judicial bias. There is a lot of research supporting this bias; it isn't just a PC justification.

It _is_ possible. Like how you're trying to build the narrative of Wikileaks having built such false narratives - which they haven't, to the best of my knowledge. If you have evidence to suggest otherwise, please link to it.

See what HKers are doing because they wanted to (initially) safe guard their reporters?

See what the west here does to stop rather similar practices of which Assange happens to be at the receiving end? Very little. We let him die, and I include myself into "we". This is just abhorrent. And it seems we dont even know what to point our anger to, the US govt? The UK? The fucking-were-so-enlightended Swedish govt? Any (western) govt that fails to stand up for him?

To stay in xmas spirit: Assange is the modern day Jesus of reporting dying for our freedom and our right te be informed of our sick and twisted govts.

I'm angry now.

> See what HKers are doing because they wanted to (initially) safe guard their reporters?

Psychological projection can be contagious, when used with blame: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/intense-emotions-and...

> funny how there’s been no footage of it, despite the fact that he was under 24/7 surveillance!

There wouldn’t be. It’s an embassy. The met aren’t daft enough to do anything other than watch the front door.

A Spanish company were hired to spy on Assange's meetings - going so far as to install streaming cameras in the ladies room.


> After the installation of new video cameras at the beginning of December 2017, Morales requested that his technicians install an external streaming access point in the same area so that all of the recordings could be accessed instantly by the United States. To do this, he requested three channels for access: “one for Ecuador, another for us and another for X,” according to mails sent at the time to his colleagues. When one of the technicians asked to contact “the Americans” to explain the way that they should access some of the spying systems installed in the embassy, Morales would always be evasive with his answers.

> Morales ordered his workers to install microphones in the embassy’s fire extinguishers and also in the women’s bathroom, where Assange’s lawyers, including the Spaniard Aitor Martínez and his closest collaborators, would meet for fear of being spied on.

> Wikileaks has a faultless record.

How about this bullshit Steve Jobs AIDS diagnosis?


This is disingenuous.


Wikileaks explicitly noted:

> Due to the contradictory dates, possible evidence of forgery, strong motivations for fabrication, and few motivations for a legitimate revelation, the images should not be taken at face value.

Using Wayback machine, I can confirm that this text was associated with these images from the first moment that they were published on Wikileaks.

Also, HIV isn't AIDS and you should keep that in mind.

While investigating, I did find this though: https://compote.slate.com/images/6095c484-0c54-4ba2-9ac2-e87...

This is blatant antisemitism.

This is a bit esoteric but Julian did criticize the NY Times UFO story in 12/15 and then deleted the tweet-


It’s hard to verify he deleted it because his Twitter account has been deactivated. Just found it interesting because I think his original tweet was accurate but it was strange that he backtracked.

Today I learned that publishing numerous documents entirely it partially forged by Russian Intelligence counts as a faultless record.

What was forged by Russian Intelligence?

You do know that Wikileaks was on the verge of releasing damaging info on Putin. Then magically it never happened after Assange was visited by Russian agents.

Sorry they are nothing more than a propaganda machine of Russia at this point.

They went political in the last election choosing to keep GOP documents silenced and release the DNC data.

I have no issue if Wikileaks wasn’t playing political games. But they are.....

Even if you believe that, it doesn’t answer my question. What information was forged by Russia?

This is not an answer to the question that malvosenior asked.

They did not keep GOP documents silenced.

You do know...

Please, no conspiracy theories.

Oh? What was forged?

>They’ve never had to retract a publication.

Refusing to ever retract anything either means they're literally perfect. Fuck the New York Times, Guardian, BBC, Al Jareeza and every other news organisation that has ever existed.

Or they refuse to retract ever, despite sometimes making mistakes.

Can you point to something non-factual that Wikileaks has published that you think should have been retracted?

Agree with you on all points, except for a slight nitpick: Assange was more of a news publisher than a reporter. That is, he didn't write news stories.

We - informed internet users, not just journalists - should be very worried about his treatment and try to act to support him and Wikileaks. If you can't act yourself, do consider donating:


(there might be other relevant avenues of donating, this is one of them)

> Many newspapers had huge scoops thanks to Wikileaks, but have now turned on them. A particularly striking example is the supposedly liberal Guardian.

There's a Norwegian conservative newspaper who (somehow) got access to all the cable gate documents [1], and benefited tremendously on it - but now won't speak up about how Julian Assange is being treated.

(Sorry about the norwegian news article)

[1] https://finansavisen.no/nyheter/politikk/2010/12/aftenposten...

According to you then, RT also has a “faultless record”...

In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act. - George Orwell

Speaking truth to power is something the corporate-owned fourth estate no longer engages in, and instead discards civil discourse and individuals with integrity because reality is inconvenient compared to fanning the flames with phony-outrage clickbait, replacing it with corporate-led fascism and intolerance masquerading as liberalism. Here are just some of the heroes of freedom:

- Phil Donahue (completely gave up a promising career)

- Jesse Ventura

- Cenk Uyghur *

- Chris Hedges

- Julian Assange

- Chelsea Manning

- Aaron Schwartz

- John Kiriakou *

- Daniel Ellsberg *

- Gary Webb

- Robert Parry *

- Max Blumenthal *

- Aaron Maté *

- Lee Camp *

- Jeremy Scahill *

- Glenn Greenwald *

* The few, lucky ones

All of these have had important positive contributions, but don't idolize any of them. Some of them have adopted problematic positions (IMHO) on various issues or promoted political causes of state establishments. Some are dismissive or even defamatory of people with more radical political views than theirs. Some aren't and I only have good things to say about them, but the point is - we should always judge stories and commentaries by the merit and never fully trust someone even if their record is positive and impressive.

Some humans aren't perfect; film at eleven. I don't think any of the "trust the mainstream narrative" authoritarians ITT are comparing Assange to Aaron Maté. They love the pablum that Rachel Maddow feeds them, and they'll grasp at any irrational straw that could help them keep slurping it down.

Can you tell me more about Jesse Ventura?


> since Mueller this is cemented.

Mueller did not present evidence of Assange having acted on behalf of the Russian government; so I'm not sure what you mean.

Also, let's suppose Assange is a "Russian agent" (which he isn't). Ok, so what? A lot of journalists are state agents: BBC, RT, France 24 etc. You could say it is underhanded for him not to have declared his being a Russian agent (which, again, he isn't); fair enough. That doesn't legitimize his persecution, effective torture, extradition to the US etc. - in the slightest.

Declaring who is and is not a valid journalist is not a path we, or any society, should go down.

Declaring who is and is not a valid journalist is essential to democracy. The failure to distinguish journalism from propaganda is in no small measure responsible for the mess we're currently in.

There is no distinction. Everybody has an agenda. NYT for example openly(!) supported HRC in the last election. (And that is a good thing.)

Well, it wasn't good for the success of her campaign. Perhaps it was good in some other sense...

If we allow a precedent like that it will some day inevitably be turned on somebody you think speaks objective truth. The past few years have shown me there is no such thing.

I didn't say anything about how this distinction is to be made, only that it needs to be made somehow. And yes, I'm aware of the dangers of false positives. That's a smaller risk than doing nothing and allowing misinformation to propagate unfettered and unlabeled.

It is a fools' errand to think we will ever be able to get 100% of humanity to agree on objective truth, because there is no such thing. The only 'truth' is the truth of majority, and the only path forward for us as humans is to build a society that can contain, tolerate, and function in spite of all the icky fringe beliefs out there. Think of how many people there must be who are just as convinced as you are or I am that their version of reality is correct. Now think about what it would take to get you to change your mind on some of your deepest beliefs, if it's even possible. _Then_ multiply that problem hundreds of thousands of times over. We don't have enough time left as a species to sit here and argue until we declare one viewpoint "truth" and all the others "un-truth". It is more important for humanity as a species to come together and survive than it is for any individual viewpoint to be "right".

We need to be very exact in these matters. The problem with the rape charges is that very, very likely he would have been convicted under Swedish law, which is very strict on what counts as rape. (If proof could be produced.) What is a farce is how the case went on and on, and how the plaintiffs didn't even seem to want to hang on the to case, and how a crime which is routinely buried in cold cases by Swedish Police suddenly became the top priority of the state (country, for you US-people) prosecutor. And so on. There is a kernel of truth. Everything else is a farce. If we don't acknowledge the kernel, we risk debating the merits of the case, when there is the political machine around it which merits most interest. (In global politics, not in the personal lives of the plaintiff, I have great respect for them too.)

Going on the record of being a victim of sexual abuse isn't easy and being subject to harassment by the press, WL zealots and other loonies could've just been enough to warrant that the victims no longer cared enough about justice. They've both been on the record saying that they only wanted to pressure Assange to get tested for STDs since he forced himself on them without protection. I assume they didn't want this to blow up the way it did.

It never became a top priority for the Swedish state. But since he fled to the Ecuadorian embassy the investigation just dragged on. This was never a high priority case other than for the press. And as soon as he could be inteterogated the investigation was closed. He is and has been mistreated in may ways, but the accusations of sexual assault in Sweden was not part of some US lead conspiracy against him.

> the accusations of sexual assault in Sweden was not part of some US lead conspiracy against him.

What makes you so sure of this?

The public prosecutor can press charges, which is what happened here. They don't for a boatload of would be cases. With Assange, they did, which is not exactly true to form.

Why is the WikiLeaks foundation responsible for the content posted on their platform, when Google and Facebook aren’t?

I haven’t really been following this a whole lot, but as I understand it, the US wants him extradited because his platform was used to leak sensible information that put American soldiers in danger. But why is that a thing when it isn’t for other platforms? I mean, twitter, Facebook and YouTube have all been used as effective recruitment platforms for various Islamic terror organisations. That would have put American lives in danger as well.

It is alleged that Assange coordinated with Chelsea Manning and the Russian government to obtain information for Wikileaks. This would make him an active conspirator in breaking the law.

Completely different from Facebook, Google, Twitter etc where they merely provide a platform for others to upload content and aren't actively involved in sourcing illegal content.

Sure, but the Barton Gellman, from the Washington Post, coordinated with Ed Snowden to publish his leaks, too. Breaking the law in such a way is just not sufficient to explain why he ends up in prison.

Snowden had already exfiltrated the documents by the time he coordinated with journalists to publish them. Assange allegedly instructed Manning on how to exfiltrate the documents and directed Manning’s exfiltration process. Publishing is protected by the first amendment, stealing classified documents is not and ergo conspiracy to steal documents is not.

Assange broke US laws that he was never subject to, as an Australian living in Europe.

That's not how the entire fabric of international law works though.

Citizenship and postal address are irrelevant. If you break the law in another country and there is an extradition treaty then you will face the consequences.

So if I buy something from a Saudi Arabian e-commerce site am I at risk for extradition from Ireland to Saudi Arabia for the capital offense of being gay?

Clearly I was gay while doing stuff online on a Saudi Arabian server.


Extradition is covered by a patchwork of treaties and laws most of which involve some kind of human judgement as well.

One core concept of extradition is the crime has to be, at least in broad strokes, illegal in both jurisdictions.

The crime in question also has to have some reasonable argument of jurisdiction for the requesting state. You might have been gay while buying things from an SA company, but you weren't doing anything in an interaction with SA that had anything to do with being gay. (The first dual criminality concept protects you way before having to think about this). It is also often the case that countries are reluctant or outright refuse to extradite their own citizens and choose to try them in court locally.

Assange wouldn't be protected by either of these. Conspiring to take classified military secrets with a member of the military in question would be illegal everywhere. As would participating in the taking and the following distribution.

The legal questions for Assange are "did he do those things, guiding, requesting, and helping Manning acquire and send the classified information?" "Do the first amendment protections of free speech and free press cover WikiLeaks model?" and "Would Assange receive a fair trial and just punishment if extradited?"

No, you couldn't be extradited from Ireland for being gay because it's not illegal to be gay in Ireland. It has to be a crime in both countries.

But in general, questions of jurisdiction are complicated. They're settled by courts, not by what people say on the internet.

If it was illegal in both countries, I wouldn’t need to be extradited since I was gay in Ireland too.

Assange isn’t being accused of things that are criminal in the UK.


Whether or not the requirement is met in Assange's case is to be decided by the court. There are certainly laws in the UK that prohibit hacking. Anyway, you are wrong in general about how extradition works. People are often, for example, extradited on murder charges.


While there are certainly laws in UK that prohibit hacking (which should be abolished) they are clearly not enough to perform an extradition.

That's a legal question for the court to decide. I wouldn't say that there's anything "clear" about it.

If you actually read the article on the McKinnon case, you'll see that extradition was ultimately refused by the home secretary - not the courts - on largely compassionate grounds:

"Mr McKinnon is accused of serious crimes. But there is also no doubt that he is seriously ill [...] He has Asperger's syndrome, and suffers from depressive illness. Mr McKinnon's extradition would give rise to such a high risk of him ending his life that a decision to extradite would be incompatible with Mr McKinnon's human rights."

If you really want to follow this thread, it isn't illegal to be gay in Saudi Arabia, it is only illegal to commit homosexual acts.

When I said I was being gay I meant I was both giving and receiving homosexual acts while shopping in Saudi Arabia.

Oddly, being gay is a crime in Saudi Arabia, but only committing homosexual acts is a capital offense. I would make a joke about the type of kangaroo court that would convict me of being gay, but it’s sad because they exist and people are convicted.

Specifically, for your case, I'd say no [1]

> The Justice Minister has, however, told the Dáil that he won’t extradite anyone who may be put to death for their crime.

More generally, you're at risk of extradition if the alleged crime is also a crime in the country you reside in [2].

[2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Double_criminality

If the Irish government has an extradition treaty with SA covering that crime and the Irish government has decided to extradite you, then yes. However, no such treaty exists and the Irish government would never do it.

The key with extradition is that it has more to do with diplomacy, geopolitics, and sovereignty than anything else.

> So if I buy something from a Saudi Arabian e-commerce site am I at risk for extradition from Ireland to Saudi Arabia for the capital offense of being gay?

Probably not, because that's not within the scope of what Ireland would be willing to extradite for.

But that's a question of Saudi Arabia’s practical ability to bring you to trial, not one of whether or not any law they have would apply to you on principle.

That seems a bit simplistic. There's a wide range of crimes you can commit on-line without ever entering the jurisdiction of the victims.

Yes, just ask Kim Dotcom, who has also tried to jump on the "persecuted internet freedom fighter" bandwagon.

> Assange broke US laws that he was never subject to, as an Australian living in Europe.

That's not how laws work. Laws are limited in territorial applicability only to the extent that the sovereign adopting them so limit them, and basically no government would fail to hold foreign coconspirators in a crime occuring within their domestic jurisdiction immune to prosecution (some might not have the practical means to bring such an actor to justice, and some might not choose to apply them in most cases as a matter of policy priorities, but that's a different issue.)

Manning knew how to extract the documents already, Assange attempted to help her do it more anonymously. Trying to protect your source is the duty of the press.

"Assange attempted to help her"

Aiding and abetting.

He coordinated with them to publish the information, not to acquire it in the first place.

The allegations against him (and there is evidence to support this) is that he didn’t just coordinate to publish, but provided instructions and technical training to Manning on how to steal them.

This is not true. The allegations are that he attempted to crack a password on a different Windows account so that the documents would not he tied to Manning. And most of the charges against him are related to publishing.

Manning leaked the info proving US war crimes and lying, including the "collateral damage" video. She got these leaks using her own access, and sent them to wikileaks.

There were additional files she was interested in leaking that she did not have access to.

She then obtained the password hash of an account that did have access and tried to crack the password, but was unsuccessful. She then sent the hash to wikileaks, not something wikileaks asked for, along with a request for help. There was no response.

Later she was in a chat with someone using a known wikileaks chat account. The identity of this person has not been established. She asked if they had been able to crack the password hash and that person said no they had not cracked it. They did not say they tried to crack it or they approved of cracking it. They answered the question factually, no, they had not cracked it.

Manning never hacked the system, but did try to. There's no evidence Assange attempted to hack the system. There's pretty solid evidence someone at wikileaks told Manning that they had not cracked the hash she had sent them, but none that they had attempted to do so. As far as the leaks that were published, none of these involved hacking, they were obtained using Manning's granted access. They were however unauthorized exfiltration of state secrets documenting war crimes.

This is the case alleging he actively assisted a leaker in hacking crimes.

>There were additional files she was interested in leaking that she did not have access to. She then obtained the password hash of an account that did have access

This is where this breaks down. The account in question was a generic local Windows admin account, and she already had the same level of access as the desired account. It was only attempted to hide her identity.

This is clearly laid out as what happened in Assange's indictment.

>It was only attempted to hide her identity.

This makes no difference, legally speaking. Assange was still helping her to gain unauthorized access to a computer system.

This is like giving bank robbers ski masks in full knowledge that they're going to use the ski masks to hide their identities during a robbery. You're still an accessory. It's no defense to say "Oh, I wasn't helping them to gain access to the vault, I was just helping them to hide their identities".

> Assange was still helping her to gain unauthorized access to a computer system.

No, the evidence doesn't show that and it's not been proven. Stop stating it is a fact, that is disingenuous.

Hey foldr, I got a password hash here $1$O3JMY.Tw$AdLnLjQ/5jXF9.MTp3gHv/

Try to crack that for me, it's a password to a system. Did you do it? Did you crack it?

If you say yes: you committed a crime.

According to your legal theory, if you now here say "no", you also committed also a crime since you admitted to helping me gain unauthorized access to a computer system. That is the argument you are making. It's a ridiculous argument and wouldn't stand before a jury, only before a secret national security court with no jury and the judges are all military.

Oh wait it gets worse, we don't even know who foldr is. Turns out that several different people have used this account over time and there's no evidence who was using the account when they said "No."

>According to your legal theory, if you now here say "no", you also committed also a crime since you admitted to helping me gain unauthorized access to a computer system.

Do you mean "no" as in "I won't try to crack it", or "no" as in "I tried to crack it and failed"? In the first case, I'm not helping you at all and there's no analogy with the Assange case. In the second case, it depends on the details of the law. I don't know if unsuccessful attempts to gain unauthorised access to a computer system constitute a crime per se in the USA. (I wouldn't be surprised if they do, given that e.g. attempted burglary is typically a crime.) In any case, if I tried and failed to crack the password as part of a broader effort to help with your (successful) efforts to break into a computer system, then I'd pretty clearly be an accessory to that crime. Intent is really, really important.

Ineptness is not usually an excuse. If I do a poor job of hiding the murder weapon for you, I'm still an accessory. If I stall the getaway car, I'm still going to jail along with all the guys who robbed the bank.

Note that in the Assange case, I don't think anything much hinges on the password hash. He's primarily accused of helping Manning to cover her tracks, independently of the failed attempt to crack the password.

>This makes no difference, legally speaking. Assange was still helping her to gain unauthorized access to a computer system.

Yes, it does. It is the duty of the press to try to protect their sources, and the rights of a free press can not be infringed upon. While the act may be considered illegal by some other law, that law is unconstitutional.

The first amendment cannot be used as an excuse for aiding criminals hacking into computer systems. There is zero historical precedent for this, and it makes zero legal sense.

You are thinking of reporter's privilege, but massively overextending its scope (https://www.mtsu.edu/first-amendment/article/1146/reporter-s...).

Jorunalists are entitled to "protect" their sources in the extremely limited sense that they cannot, necessarily, be compelled to reveal information about them. They're not in any way entitled to shield their sources from law enforcement.

I think you've misread my post. I wasn't talking about Assange.

coordinated != publish.

Authoritarians emphasise the fact he broke laws, everyone else appreciates the moral act.

It's not mutually exclusive.

* Sometimes individuals must break the law for greater good. This is called civil disobedience, or civil resistance.

* Just because one is breaking the law for common good, civil servants can't and should not be expected to stop enforcing the law. If you allow that, it's the end of the rule of law based society. The whole idea of just society is that you restrict what individuals in the government can do.

If you decide that civil disobedience is the way and you break the law, you should not ask to be treated differently under the law. Political pardons exist for a reason.

(I'm not taking position on the legality of actions Assage took, or justification of his actions. I'm arguing general principle.)

Civil disobedience is breaking a law because you believe the law itself is wrong. As invented by Thoreau, and practiced by Gandhi and MLK.

Breaking a law you otherwise believe in, in the service of some broader goal, is called direct action, riot, or terrorism, depending on the severity of the law broken, and/or the sympathies of the person describing it.

Yes, civil disobedience means you believe the specific law itself is wrong, but not the law-making process. The justness of the law-making process is why the classic method of practicing civil disobedience involves accepting the punishment. MLK:

> In no sense do I advocate evading or defying the law, as would the rabid segregationist. That would lead to anarchy. One who breaks an unjust law must do so openly, lovingly, and with a willingness to accept the penalty. I submit that an individual who breaks a law that conscience tells him is unjust, and who willingly accepts the penalty of imprisonment in order to arouse the conscience of the community over its injustice, is in reality expressing the highest respect for law.

> Yes, civil disobedience means you believe the specific law itself is wrong, but not the law-making process.

The US Civil Rights movement generally practiced civil disobedience because the views the laws, the law making process, and the process of selecting who could even participate in the law making process as unacceptable.

The key assumption was that enough of the people who could participate in that process were nevertheless moral enough to reform all of those aspecta given a vivid enough demonstration that they could not turn away from of the top-to-bottom injustice of the system.

I don't think Assange was engaging in civil disobedience, nor do I think he would have been justified if he were, but doing so does not and never has relied on faith in the justice of the existing law-making process any more than it does in the law being violated itself.

> The US Civil Rights movement generally practiced civil disobedience because the views the laws, the law making process, and the process of selecting who could even participate in the law making process as unacceptable.

This is conflating two aspects of the civil rights movement. It's of course true that there were also objections to the law-making process. But the segregationist laws would be unjust (and hence require violating under MLK's civil disobedience) even if the law-making process perfectly reflected the majority will of the people. It's this latter point that is relevant to INGELRII's comment.

> I don't think Assange was engaging in civil disobedience, nor do I think he would have been justified if he were, but doing so does not and never has relied on faith in the justice of the existing law-making process any more than it does in the law being violated itself.

If the law-making process is illegitimate (e.g., if there is a dictator), then no one thinks you have a moral duty (in the deontological sense) to obey the laws, nor to accept the consequences for breaking them. It's only the situation where the law-making process is legitimate -- reflecting the immoral will of the majority -- where the question comes up of whether (1) you can morally violate the unjust law and (2) whether you are duty-bound to accept the resulting punishment.

> Breaking a law you otherwise believe in

You won't consciously break a law that you believe in. "otherwise believe" means that you don't believe in the law.

In both cases, if you believe in society based on laws, what I said stands. Agreed?

I was speaking to your first point, namely:

> Sometimes individuals must break the law for greater good. This is called civil disobedience, or civil resistance.

Which is not a complete description of civil disobedience. It is accurate, but not precise.

Civil disobedience implies the actor wishes the law to be changed. They might expect not just a pardon for themselves, but a pardon for everyone who broke the unjust law. It's a distinction with a difference.

We agree that its effectiveness depends on accepting the punishment, sure.

And this is why there were hundreds of prosecutions in both America and the UK of the perpetrators of America's post-9/11 kidnap, torture and murder program.

Except there weren't. The attachment of authoritarians to the rule of law is merely a posture. They set it aside whenever it suits them to. They could set it aside in this case.

There was an interesting case in Katherine Gun, who was a GCHQ employee that leaked that the US was conspiring to manipulate the US security council vote on the Iraq war by coercing other members. She attempted to use a legal defense that it was necessary to break the law in order to prevent war crimes. The prosecution appears to have stood down in order to prevent memos getting out that would have confirmed that invading Iraq was considered illegal by Downing St. at the time she made the leak.


Civil disobedience, along with civil servants that stopped enforcing an unjust law is the reason that my grandmother was able to escape from Germany in 1938. Saving people by stopping the enforcement of an unjust law is more important than trying to defend the abstract concept of the rule of law. To me this seems like yet another collectivist (where it is ok to sacrifice innocents for the "greater good" - depending on your ruler's definition of greater good) vs individualist (where the rights and freedom of a single person is more important than defending an abstract concept) argument.

> civil servants can't and should not be expected to stop enforcing the law

In general, criminal law permits but does not mandate prosecution and every prosecution is a judgement about not only the law but policy priorities. This argument is almost completely vacuous where it concerns offenses primarily against the state (it has some weight in equal protection terms when there are victims besides the state and the issue is whether the state is discriminating among victims on improper grounds in the manner in which it chooses to prosecute or not prosecute offenses against them.)

Exactly. A judge not too long ago was observed on camera stealing a gold watch from an airport security checkpoint bin at Login Airport in Boston MA and was never charged with the crime.

A group of judges met behind closed doors to discuss the incident involving Judge Patricia Curtin and concluded that she "intended eventually to give it back."

This is apparently part of a much larger pattern of "unequal protection under the law" in Massachusetts:


> Authoritarians emphasise the fact he broke laws, everyone else appreciates the moral act.

It was an immoral act done as far as I can tell, for immoral purposes, which were successfully attained. That it was also illegal is why it can be punished rather than merely pointed to as the kind of thing that must be tolerated despite its immorality.

The argument has, however, been made that the law as it is prohibits some other acts that are not so immoral and it could not effectively address what Assange did without so doing, and so it should be narrowed (or treated as more narrow by the executive) so as to let Assange go free in order to not chill more legitimate acts. This is, IMO, a not entirely unreasonable argument that I can respect, though I am unconvinced by it as yet.

> It was an immoral act done as far as I can tell, for immoral purposes

The immoral purpose of letting the people know of the crimes that the US army has committed?

What moral act? Working for Russia and helping them push their agenda - willingly or out of ignorance? You are blind if you thing Assange and Wikileaks was some kind of a knight for truth.

It is possible for multiple things to all be true. I see no contradiction between the following:

1. Assange helped reveal severe wrongdoings by various governments.

2. Assange engaged in unprotected sexual activity with two women that violated the scope of their consent, because they only consented to protected sex, and also because one woman was asleep in one case. This would have also been illegal in the UK.

3. No prosecution would have been attempted if Assange has not already made political enemies.

4. Russia made hay while the sun was shining by using Assange as a conduit to publish dirt they wanted published.

5. Assange definitely and unambiguously broke UK law by fleeing to the Ecuadorean embassy.

6. The fact that the UK would not allow Assange to depart the Ecuadorian embassy was condemned by the UN as indefinite detention without trial.

7. The current condition of Assange is really suspicious and makes the UK look bad.

(Which of these are actually true is for someone more qualified than I am, but they are all compatible.)

Hmm, maybe if our 'fourth estate' actually wasn't the govs bitch, Assange's org wouldn't have looked so moral. But here we are.

Your point and the publication of Snowden’s material by the mainstream media can’t both be true

For some reason I thought that Snowden went to a UK publisher because the US outlets were not interested. Once the Guardian agreed, were the outlets here expected to ignore it?

Snowden went to two US journalists, Glenn Greenwald, and Laura Poitras.

Greenwald and Poitras don't have glowing opinions of USA news media firms either.

It's much more tribal than that. For example, Russian authoritarians are pretty happy with him.

"Russian authoritarians" are happy both that he exists and that Western authoritarians are torturing him to death.

If the Russian government wants to leak information, why do they need WikiLeaks?

Also, I'm curious, where is the line between investigative journalism and criminal disclosure of information?

> "If the Russian government wants to leak information, why do they need WikiLeaks?"

One doesn't always want to be known as the source of information, for a variety of reasons.

> "Also, I'm curious, where is the line between investigative journalism and criminal disclosure of information?"

Can depend on the jurisdiction and one's own perspective. The "ethical dilemmas" section of this Wikipedia article on ethics in journalism provides a taste:


The main issue here is criminal acquisition of information, not disclosure.

I am pretty sure the main issue here is that someone who has not been put on trial yet is being tortured to death.

foldr 29 days ago [flagged]

He has been put on trial, and sentenced to 50 weeks in prison for skipping bail:


Try to keep up!

Typically in the UK he would have been released by now since he was sentenced for under a year. Unsure why the snark is necessary

He's in custody awaiting his extradition hearing, which is perfectly normal. (Do we need to explain why granting Assange bail would probably be a bad idea?)

Perfectly normal is a bit of a stretch here, right? Unless you mean that putting accused people to solitary confinement (while waiting for a trial) for extended periods of time is perfectly normal in UK.

It's not and the vast vast majority of those sentenced to under a year (even for skipping bail) are released in 2/3 time as per sentencing guidelines in the UK.

Unsure why so many people are invested in arguing that this is just the routine functioning of the law when it certainly isn't

>It's not and the vast vast majority of those sentenced to under a year (even for skipping bail) are released in 2/3 time as per sentencing guidelines in the UK.

He's already served his time. He's currently being detained prior to his extradition hearing:


Exactly - so he is in jail for crimes he has not yet been tried for.

That was the exact point that the user sneak above was making.

>Exactly - so he is in jail for crimes he has not yet been tried for.

This is what happens to anyone who isn’t granted bail. Unless you are granted bail, you are kept in custody in the period between being charged with a crime and being tried for it.

As I mentioned above, it’s not difficult to see why Assange has not been granted bail in this instance. In fact, he didn’t even apply for bail.

Just a note that you are doing sterling work here correcting the firehouse of falsehoods being deployed.

It's normal given that they cannot grant him bail, and that it's difficult to keep high profile prisoners in custody together with others.

There is no pleasing Assange supporters, though. If they'd stuck him in with a bunch of other people, you'd probably be complaining about that instead.

He could have walked out of the Ecuador embassy in England and gone to court; instead, he chose to wait for seven years in the hopes of waiting it out.

I have zero sympathies for the guy. His intentions might have been honorable, but when you play with fire, you are bound to get burned.

Seeking asylum in the Ecuadorian embassy justifies torture how?

And what are the proofs about this russian government involvment?

Breaking which law? Assange isn't a US citizen, nor resident. Why and how should US law apply to him?

WikiLeaks is journalistic organization. (Some claim that they are shitty journalistic organization, but that is not a good argument for removing their status as journalistic organization)

The question you should be asking is why Assange and not journalists in NYT, Guardian etc. who published what Assange provided?

The answer is that charges against Assange are not about publishing secret information. Charges are Assange actively helping to get that information. That's illegal. Journalist should never get actively involved getting the secret information.

> Journalist should never get actively involved getting the secret information.

That's a problem given the importance of investigative journalism - which by its very nature may require breaking laws to get the goods. For example, the "ag-gag" laws in states with strong farm lobbies that make it effectively illegal to report on animal welfare issues because any honest attempt at investigating reports will necessarily mean breaking farmers' recent "privacy" laws.

He has not yet been put on trial. He must be presumed innocent of all charges until such time that he is.

Torturing even a guilty person is not acceptable. Torturing an innocent one is presumably less so.

Assange is presumed innocent.

Assange is in jail because his lawyers are challenging the US extradition request and there is legal process going on.

There is no evidence of him being tortured. He seems to have mental problems. People getting mentally ill in jails is very common.

Solitary confinement is, at least, very unethical given its known deleterious impacts on mental health[1][2], and can be considered torture for most purposes[3].

[1]: https://semanticscholar.org/paper/8f8fbb6bd68357311bb82e48a8...

[2]: https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2009/03/30/hellhole

[3]: http://steinhardt.nyu.edu/appsych/opus/issues/2015/spring/co...

Nils Melzer, the UN special rapporteur on torture has said that Assange is not held in solitary confinement at HMP Belmarsh. Melzer objected against the limited ability of Assange to prepare his legal case.

It seems that John Shipton (father of Assange) used therm solitary confinement to describe situation where Assange's access to outside is limited to his lawyers and family.

I thing Assage is currently in the the prison’s medical ward.

Melzer was pretty specific and his concerns are not just about "access to legal counsel".

> «He continues to be detained under oppressive conditions of isolation and surveillance, not justified by his detention status,” said Melzer

Melzer fairly clearly states that he believes there is credible evidence that Assange has been subjected to psychological torture.

"Isolation and detained" refers to his condition being held in jail. He is not in solitary confinement. Melzer arguent opinion that Assagne should should be released and not be detained.

>Although Mr. Assange is not being held in solitary confinement, Mr. Melzer said he was gravely concerned over the limited frequency and duration of lawyers’ visits and lack of access to case files, which make it impossible to prepare and adequate defense.




Why do you think that might be?

He is guilty of breaking his bail conditions.

The only people required to presume him innocent are the jurors in his trial. The rest of us are under no such compulsion for self-delusion.

And who are the jurors? The jurors are you. You should not expect of yourself to magically pause your judgement only in the event of being chosen as a a juror. The pause of judgement should be your default state.

The US is accusing him of being more than just a passive receiving end for previously exfiltrated classified info. The allegation is that he actively encouraged Manning to obtain the diplomatic cables after he sent the helicopter video, and that Manning then downloaded them. That's a whole lot more than just being a leak host.

The only "encouragement" mentioned in the indictment is Assange saying "curious eyes never run dry in my experience" in response to Manning saying that was all she could get for him. Nothing like what you described.

Wikileaks is an effective critic of US foreign policy that cannot be controlled by the usual means. YouTube 's executives are much more friendly to US government interests.

I’d think it’s the same reasoning why ISPs aren’t held accountable for piracy.

Looks like this is changing, strangely: https://m.slashdot.org/story/364910

>> Why is the WikiLeaks foundation responsible for the content posted on their platform, when Google and Facebook aren’t?

Governments still have control over Facebook and Google. They don't like WikiLeaks because they cannot control it. But it's still a good point though; I think Google and Facebook do much more harm to American citizens than WikiLeaks ever could.

It's just that with Google and Facebook, it's less obvious because the bad is mixed in with the good.

The Russian government has no problem controlling WikiLeaks.

I was part of a news and current events Facebook group a few years ago, when WikiLeaks was primarily known for leaking evidence of the US Military's abuses in the middle East.

Most of the people in this group were Democrats or otherwise on the Left. They cheered WikiLeaks and loved that it was exposing the abuses of a group they didn't like.

Fast forward to 2016, and WikiLeaks begins publishing damaging information related to Hillary Clinton's campaign. The same people who cheered WikiLeaks as it published very damaging information about the US Military now condemned it because it was targeting someone they actually supported.

This was a major moment of clarity and realization for me. It showed me that those who are quick to use ideals to defend their positions ("freedom of information is good, it exposes the US' crimes!") will just as quickly discard those ideals when they stop working in their own interest ("WikiLeaks should not be publishing damaging information about Clinton!").

I was disgusted, because these people were so quick to use a moralistic position built upon high ideals to attack the US but they were themselves absolutely bereft of a true commitment to ideals. Within a few weeks the group's attitude on WikiLeaks shifted from gratitude and respect to hatred.

When I pointed this out, I was kicked out of the group.

True idealists are not that common. You know, the people that will go against peers and dispassionately explore their own and others behavior, thinking and inclinations out of some weird desire to understand the world around them more completely, or to follow some abstract ideal more consistently.

I think your expectations of some random FB group were a bit too high in the first place.

The reason many people turned on Wikileaks was because he clearly sided with Trump in 2016. He released the info he had on Hillary to damage her campaign, even though it didn't show anything illegal, yet he refused to publish the documents he had on Trump.

People sided with him because they believed he was impartial, and turned away from him when it was clear he wasn't.

Except he was clearly "siding" against the US military throughout his early history. He was never impartial (whatever that means), people just happened to like the side he appeared to be on.

He didn’t refuse to publish anything on Trump.


> Hillary's use of a private email server was extremely illegal

Ever single government entity with the power to rule on this has said otherwise. You are the one spreading "lies, propaganda and misinformation."

Tell me, if Hillary broke so many laws, why wasn't she ever charged? You do realize there were multiple investigations that concluded it did not meet a level of criminality?

There is only a single government entity and it was led by a single person who had the authority to investigate and indict Hillary. That you are suggesting otherwise speaks to either your dishonesty in discussing this or lack of information. I explained why she wasn't charged. I'm done here.

USA federal prosecution is an extremely capricious and unfair process. That HRC is wealthy enough to hire good lawyers is sufficient explanation for the fact that she was not charged. It may not be the only explanation...

because the emails were deleted and there were no proof anymore of how sensitive it was. the deletion is a bigger crime

There were flagrant violations in the handling of classified documents even in the emails that weren't deleted. Violations that would send anyone else to jail.

> People sided with him because they believed he was impartial, and turned away from him when it was clear he wasn't.

He literally provided evidence of mainstream media being highly impartial in favor of Clinton (against Sanders and Trump). If people cared about impartiality, they’d be on Wikileaks side here.

>He literally provided evidence of mainstream media being highly impartial in favor of Clinton (against Sanders and Trump). If people cared about impartiality, they’d be on Wikileaks side here.

Good quality newspapers tend to separate reporting and editorials/opinion fairly clearly, but have always contained both. It is also wholly common for newspapers to endorse candidates for high political office within the editorial context.

It is a matter of record that newspapers and magazines endorsed Clinton over other candidates by a massive margin in the 2016 elections:



I don't know where the idea that the news media is supposed to be a purely-objective fact source comes from, to be honest. This seems to be some kind of straw man.

The charge against Wikileaks, such as it is, is that while the material disclosed might be verbatim, it is obviously still subject to the editorial decisions of its leadership about which material to seek out and to disclose.

What Wikileaks revealed went far beyond endorsing a candidate. For example:


Most of the "news" reported by mainstream newspapers and news stations is almost across the board anti-Trump and anti-conservative. It is extremely biased, but tries to keep up the appearance of being unbiased, which is part of why the unaware masses consider them mainstream and standard bearers of truth.

What WikiLeaks revealed was the extent of this bias. If what the mainstream news networks and their executives are doing is acceptable, then what's the problem with WikiLeaks revealing it? The problem is that opponents of the Right understand how damaging it is to the image of the mainstream news networks - which shape the opinion of tens of millions in America and across the world - for the people to understand just how biased they really are.

What ever happened to all that banking information that Wikileaks said they would release?

"Wikileaks honcho Julian Assange told Andy Greenberg at Forbes that he was in possession of a trove of documents that "could take down a bank or two." The documents wouldn't necessarily show illegality but they would reveal an "ecosystem of corruption" at one of the biggest banks in the United States. Wikileaks would release it "early next year." "


There are a bunch of documents that wikileaks has, at various times, claimed they’d release then have never mentioned again.


TBH, this bit in particular of wikileaks has always felt really scummy/sketchy to me. If you have the docs and have verified them and believe they are journalistically important then release them without delay. In every other scenario, why are you talking about them publicly?

There are legitimate reasons for delayed releases, like fact-checking and cross-referencing, leaker security, Wikileaks operatives' own security, coordinations with establishment press channels and possibly others.

Still, it's certainly better to limit such claims and it does feel a bit sketchy when they don't eventually publish something.

I'm not saying they shouldn't fact check - rather, if they aren't sure about a leak, it's irresponsible of them to talk about it before they're sure! Same goes for security - if delaying a leak helps security, surely it helps even more if you don't speak about it at all until ready to release.

Furthermore, announcing leaks gives the orgs being leaked on time to get their story straight and destroy evidence, so I'm really skeptical that announcing leaks like that is the responsible course of action.

The discussion here is a reminder of how sufficiently competent people can defend to death a narrative that is logically consistent enough and has some form of "majority acknowledgment" for the sources of that narrative.

I want to remind us that rarely do enough credible (according to some formal and stringent definition) evidences exist for a given topic for an observer to make a conclusion with the kind of confidence we often display while remonstrating on these issues.

Specifically: it is naive to adopt a conclusive tone involving a person without liberty for over a decade, and possibly undergoing forms of punishment without due trial. I suspect not one of us here is trained enough in Law and have access to enough TRUE information to come to a judgment. If so, we are guilty of engaging in and spreading careless commentaries made about a case that combines possible human rights violation (its abundance in current time does not make this any less serious of a concern) with possible government interference in defining what constitutes journalism.

I want to leave you with this last thought - in majority cases in history, it has been profitable for the public to challenge the government on its policies, rather than to trust in its foresightedness and integrity.

I thought he would be released from remand when the Swedish charges were dropped.

And then expected the UK gov to keep him at a psychiatric ward as he seems a little unstable which they could embellish.

Did not expect him to still be in Belmarsh.

A morally responsible and ethical individual would do that. A government is no such thing.

He is in jail for the offence of jumping bail. That Sweden dropped the charges doesn’t dismiss that offence.

The UK spent 10s of millions on policing costs monitoring abscondment.

It is entirely right that he is serving a sentence as for reasons of deterrence.

He is not currently serving the sentence for jumping bail. Right now he is just being held waiting for a hearing.

Assange doesn't qualify for bail (he is a flight risk/certainty) so he stays in custody until the hearings are done.

Made his bed and now has to lie in it.

Having him 23 h a day in solitary confinement and not allowing him to call his mom seems a bit harsh, if they are concerned that he's a flight risk.

There is no evidence that Assange is being held in solitary confinement, in fact it has been explicitly denied by his UN supporter[0].

> "...although Assange was not being held in solitary confinement at HMP Belmarsh..."


I would think he's in protective custody because he would be in extreme danger in general population. He's a celebrity and would likely be viewed as rapist and traitor (the facts don't matter, what matters is what the other criminals would think).

A good question is whether he needs to be held in a maximum security facility. He's a bail flight risk, but is he an escape risk? I would think he's at most a moderate escape risk (has some capabilities and has shown his contempt for the legal system previously) and would be fine in something less than maximum security (so long as protective custody could be maintained).

I do know Assange has a competent legal team that would fight his being held in maximum security if Assange wanted them too. I wonder why he hasn't instructed them to do so.

Remand prisoners don’t progress through the security categories. You’re Cat C with some extra privileges, and that’s your lot.

HMPS are solely responsible for the conditions in which somebody is held, the legal team can do nothing for him.

> The UK spent 10s of millions on policing costs monitoring abscondment.

They didn't have to. The fact they chose to throw ridiculous amount of money away besieging some guy because US dislikes him, is on them, not on Assange.

If you don't police a bail violation and send the offender to jail, then bail is really just a pinky-swear release. Come to court if you want, type of deal.

How many other bail violations have you seen the UK spend millions of pounds for? As a UK citizen, the government stance in the Assange case disgusts me.

It's obvious what's going on here, nevermind the "see nothing hear nothing" attitude that's on display.

>How many other bail violations have you seen the UK spend millions of pounds for?

How many others were as high profile? The law has to be seen to be enforced.

23 hr solidary confinement with sedation is torture, not a sentence.

> By what authority, or on what pretext, Assange is being tranquilised, and kept isolated, remains unknown

I'm going to go out on a limb and say "ill health".

Which health conditions are improved by solitary confinement?

He was moved to a medical ward. He's not in solitary confinement.


Not that it improves the condition, but psychosis leading to violent outbursts could be used to justify it. Anti-psychotics are also usually sedative in nature, which would explain the rest.

That same justification was used against political dissidents in the Soviet Union


Sure, but Russians are bad [0]. Western governments are good. So it's totally different!

[0] So we're told by noted perjurer (it's OK because he's good) DNI James Clapper!

I'm surprised Julian Assange doesn’t have a kill switch in place, where sensitive info which has been held up to this point will be released upon his death or conviction. At least none that we know of.

I'll read that as "[I'd be] surprised if Julian Assange doesn't have a [dead man's switch] in place".

And indeed he does. Some time ago Wikileaks/Assange distributed an encrypted insurance file. The torrent is about 90GB: https://file.wikileaks.org/torrent/2016-06-03_insurance.aes2...

There was actually multiple versions fo this file, each larger than the previous one. This is the most recent version afaik.

It's likely this particular dead man's switch is actually trusted people though.

I wonder if this could backfire. With the "normal" or old guard politicians, this could have been a credible threat. Nobody wanted a scandal. With the new breed, scandals are just life.

Even worse, they thrive on scandals.

Chaos is a ladder, unless you're a theorist.

To theorists chaos is destruction (of their precious models). To practitioners chaos is a ladder. Those with real Skin In the Game.

Economist vs. Trader.

Precious models like “standards” and “semblance of moral code”. :-:

ugh, I think you're right. It's kind of become like "no publicity is bad publicity"

I believe this version is more recent, perhaps a small update: https://file.wikileaks.org/torrent/2017-01-25_WL-Insurance.a...

Yeah but that could also just as well be random data.

The fact that he's being poisoned to death with sedatives suggests that at least his adversaries believe so.

I'm not remotely convinced of that "fact" at this point.

Sorry, would you clarify? It’s unclear what part of that statement you are questioning.

I thought it would be pretty obvious that I was referring to the part about him being poisoned to death with sedatives.

A kill switch is different than a dead man's switch; the former is a switch to stop the entirety of a process, and the latter is one that is activated when the human operator is incapacitated.

He has claimed he does.

Fairly recent article with background https://heavy.com/news/2019/04/julian-assange-dead-mans-swit...

What makes you believe he has that kind of interesting sensitive information in the first place?

Because reports have him receiving information either directly or indirectly from the Russian government. And they have access to all sorts of sensitive information.

John Podesta and Hillary Clinton's emails allegedly found its way to Wikileaks through this path.

Podesta emails were phished. This doesn't require APT of any sort.

From what I've researched, the Hillary emails were most likely from an internal source.

Correct. Former Ambassador Craig Murray has stated that a disgruntled DNC employee, unhappy with the treatment of Sanders, personally gave him the emails in Washington and he couriered the emails to his friend Assange who then published them.

And as has been pointed out the Podesta emails were taken through a phishing email which was sent to thousands of people (so it wasn't spear phishing) and which he foolishly fell for.

Craig Murray's statements are highly disputed and some of them are just plain ridiculous e.g. you can't transfer data to Russian servers at > 6MB/s.


If this were true, my World of Tanks client would take much longer to update.

There are many VPNs in Russia that support 1000mbps

Murray was citing the findings of a forensics team comprised of veteran members of the intelligence community.

There's two aspects to the time stamps. One is that based on the time stamps, the emails were all copied on Nov 7 2016 at rates of up to 49.1 megabytes per second.* This is fairly high for internet transfers. The other aspect is that the last modified timestamps of all emails and attachments were quantized to a 2 second granularity. This means this was not a hacked internet server to server transfer but was a copy to an intermediary drive that was formatted with the old FAT format.

The forensics show it wasn't a hack. No one competent in security or forensics would honestly come to that conclusion based on what is known. When coupled with Murray's testimony that he personally couriered the emails from a park near American University in DC back to Assange himself, it's curious Murray has not been subpoenaed to name the leaker, also it's curious the FBI had no interest in inspecting the DNC servers or drives.

* The wikipedia article deceptively misrepresents this as 49.1 megabits per second. Both its own sources explicitly say megabytes, and this is confirmable by examining the original data, which anyone competent can easily do themselves if they have doubts.

I retract several of my above claims. The version of the files I analyzed was a much later copy with new time stamps.

The veteran members of the intelligence community, including NSA whistleblower William Binney, analyzed a set of DNC emails released by Guccifer 2.0 which consisted of 1,976 megabytes of data that were downloaded or copied over a period of 87 seconds on July 5 2016.


I don't have that original leak and therefore can not verify their claims.

It's disappointing that even the Hackernews crowd, which is generally more skeptical and intelligent than the general population, has fallen victim to Russiagate hysterics. I get that Donald Trump is vile to many, but that's a sad excuse to let critical thinking go out the window.

The problem is, the chaos and shockwave caused by such an event would a) only induce further chaos as a response, and b) likely be interpreted as an attack. Considering the fairness and justice of current proceedings, the response would not only likely be ugly, it would set a precedent difficult to answer. Many possibilities there.

While I don't know, I would be very surprised if Wikileaks itself wasn't sitting on more than enough information to create such a dent. It seems things are effectively at a cross between stalemate and a Mexican standoff. Poor health is better than death, I guess?

It's very sad. If I was told all the details about the sequence of events, but not told which countries were behind the subsequent response, treatment and current conditions, I would not correctly guess on the first try, and probably not the second, or the third...

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