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Will alleged CIA misbehavior set Julian Assange free? (thehill.com)
150 points by ycnews 10 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 162 comments





What is more likely to set Assange free is the US State Departments refusal to extradite Anne Sacoolas back to the UK to face justice for the death of Harry Dunne. If the US don't want to send her back then the UK has every right to decide the rather one-sided extradition agreement in place isn't working for them anymore and they can release Assange and send him back home to Australia.

Up until the Sacoolas case, the US hadn't denied any UK extradition requests but the UK had already denied 10 requests, so that would be an interesting position to take.

(Source https://uk.usembassy.gov/our-relationship/policy-history/the...)


A known exemption to extradition laws is the death penalty. Being that it is illegal in Europe, European countries will refuse to extradite people accused of capital crimes to the US unless the US government commits to taking the death penalty of the table.

Old reference, might be out-of-date, but I think it’s still mostly true:

https://deathpenaltyinfo.org/stories/u-s-death-penalty-could...


The UK gov's own website is a good source ;-)

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/extradition-processes-and-review

> Extradition is prohibited by statute if:

> the person could face the death penalty (unless the Secretary of State gets adequate written assurance that the death penalty will not be imposed or, if imposed, will not be carried out)

EDIT: The UK has also denied extraction even though the death penalty is off the table. Example being Gary McKinnon. C+P from Wiki

> On 16 October 2012, then-Home Secretary Theresa May announced to the House of Commons that the extradition had been blocked, saying that:

> 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.


They've been finding interesting ways to soften that policy.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/jul/23/is-the-uk-gove...


Its not policy, its law [0]. Changing that would have to be put past MPs.

What happened in the case you linked was people with dual citizenship who lost their UK citizenship (Which can't happen if you don't have dual citizenship) were captured outside of the UK (not extradited from the UK) and the home secretary said they will not oppose the death penality.

[0] http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2003/41/section/94


They didn't have dual citizenship, only UK citizenship. The UK jumping through this hoop made them stateless, which is against international law. They are UK citizens, and only UK citizens, by birth.

And there's all sorts of ways around the law here. Like tacking on a new charge once he's on US soil that they then seek the death penalty on. Then the state office goes "oh no, how could we have seen this coming", when it was the back room deal the whole time.


El Shafee Elsheikh was born in Sudan who's father was a sudan citizen at the time of his birth, Alexanda Kotey on the other hand was born in the UK but would have dual citizenship in Ghana if his father still held Ghana citizenship.

> A person born on or after 24 September 1979 and before 7 January 1993 is a citizen of Ghana by birth if—

>(a) He/She was born in Ghana and at the date of his/her birth either of his/her parents or one grandparent was a citizen of Ghana; or

>(b) He/She was born outside Ghana and at the date of his/her birth either of his/her parents was a citizen of Ghana.

Even if their British citizenship has been illegally withdrawn (Which Alexanda Kotey appears to be fighting), the law is about the extradition of people from the UK. They were captured outside of the UK (and even the EU were similar extradition laws apply).

My point being the UK Extradition laws arn't being loosened up by the backdoor.


My point is that the UK government is jumping through hoops to avoid the policy in general.

And the law itself only functionally works if you start with the axiom that Boris Johnson's state office wouldn't lie to the British public about the timeline of when they knew and didn't know certain facts about the nature of the extradition. A law is only useful in a discussion of what can and can't happen if there's a meaningful way to enforce it given the people in charge currently.


> Boris Johnson's state office wouldn't lie to the British public about the timeline of when they knew and didn't know certain facts about the nature of the extradition.

The home secretary would have to get assurances from the country they are extraditing to before the extradition request can be completed. It would most likely even be done before a judge signs off on a arrest warrant, even so there is then a preliminary hearing and a extradition hearing before the final decision to extradite by the home secretary is done.

The office of the home secretary (because unless there was special circumstances the HS wouldn't be appearing in person to every extradition hearing, but their would be people there acting on behalf of the office and in turn the HS) wouldn't just be lying to the public but would be lying to a judge in court.

Failure to do so will result in the judge ordering the discharge of the person being sought for extradition.


"I had their assurances and they broke them. Those damn Americans, amirite?"

Like the law is based on the idea that everyone there is working in good faith, and they're pretty clearly not at the moment.


If the US lied they would never have an extradition request approved ever again, the treaty would in effect be null and void. The next case the defendants laywer would bring up this case and the judge would dismiss the extradition case and that not even considering the a huge diplomatic incident it would start.

If the HS lied and forged paperwork relating to this many people getting are going to get dragged into court over it, get found guilty of crimes, get jail time, lawyers for the home office losing their licenses all over a single case over a single extradition...


Or none of that happens, and it ends up looking like when Sweden assisted the US in extralegally black bagging some of their residents, and then blamed it all on someone who could no longer defend themselves with everyone else having plausible deniability.

Was it because death penalty?

Not sure he woule be better in Australia..

Anne Sacoolas has diplomatic immunity. There's zero relation between the two kinds of discussions.

The country sending a person with diplomatic immunity can waive said immunity to allow their diplomat to be prosecuted.

It's actually pretty common to do so, when the alleged crime is serious, unrelated to their diplomatic service, and the ex-diplomat can expect a fair trial. At least between countries with reasonably good relations.

Even where extradition isn't possible, cooperation in prosecution is usually expected.

For example, a couple decades ago, a drunk-driving Russian diplomat killed a pedestrian in Ottawa. While Russia does not extradite their citizens, they did cooperate with the Canadian authorities to prosecute him for the crime in Russia, where he was convicted and imprisoned.


Is there a list of such cases where diplomats were prosecuted?

Not a specific list for that, that I know of. I've seen a good number of such cases over the years in the news though, most often for drunk driving.

Wikipedia's article on diplomatic immunity has a variety of cases: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diplomatic_immunity#Vehicular_...

Some incidents end in waiving of immunity and prosecution in the receiving country. Some end in prosecution by the home country. Some end in the accused getting away with no legal consequences.

Some search engine digging finds other examples.


She may have diolomatic immunity in theory (which is something that should exist and has very good reasons to), however this case shows quite clearly that there are circumstances where it is important to have exceptions. Diplomatic immunity is to protect diplomats from being influenced by their host country, this is about the death of a man and is in no way being used to influence her or her husband. The UK and US should come to some sort of compromise in this case, even if it is her standing trial remotely, via video, with the agreement that any sentence is cared out in the US.

It's also probably not actually true that she was entitled to immunity. Which is why she left. If she was entitled to immunity she wouldn't need to leave, the most a host country can do about actual diplomats is tell them they're not welcome any more ("persona non grata") and then their sponsor will arrange for them to leave. If she was still in the UK they'd have arrested her already because she isn't actually immune.

Her husband was a spook. But spooks aren't diplomats even if they have paperwork which insists otherwise as part of their cover. He didn't work at an embassy, he worked at a US site specifically for spying, a site that exists because it suits the British and American governments to have American spies in Britain doing this sort of thing, no diplomacy involved.


> Anne Sacoolas has diplomatic immunity

Others would beg to differ, I suggest you have a read of:

https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2019/10/jonathan-sac...

https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2019/10/the-foreign-...


Assange didn't kill anyone and then flee the country to escape justice, either.

Numerous well-documented cases of CIA misbehavior in the past has resulted in basically nothing, so my money is on "no".

Yeah, if Iran-Contra, Operation Condor, 28 Mordad, MKUltra, etc have taught us anything it's that they tend to at very best get a slap on the wrist after the fact, and usually less than that.

I mean, the cynic in me says that the US needs a group of morally-compromised people willing to do bad things. But ultimately I don't think the short-term gains from that kind of activity are worth the long-term damage they do to our national conscience.

Edit: To clarify, I am advocating against this behavior -- it's not worth compromising our ethics for the sake of accomplishing goals in the short term. Cynicism is no way to run a country.


> the US needs a group of morally-compromised people willing to do bad things.

It's tempting to think that, but do you have any evidence to support it? Look at the list of examples from the parent comment:

Iran-Contra - We sold a bunch of weapons to a country that we're now apparently enemies with. The funded Contras committed a series of human rights violations and then fizzled out.

Operation Condor - Thousands and thousands of innocent civilians killed, numerous South American countries still unstable and suffering the consequences of it.

28 Mordad - Maybe gave us access to oil we didn't really need. Created long-standing entirely valid resentment of the US and democracy which likely led to the 1979 Iranian Revolution, rise of theocracy in Iran, and today's current trouble with them.

MKUltra - Thousands of US and Canadian citizens, many already marginalized or mentally unwell were unwittingly drugged without their consent. Harrowing accounts like "they administered LSD to a mental patient in Kentucky for 174 days" and drugging deputy U.S. marshal Wayne Ritchie" who ended up having "a bad LSD trip that culminated in his holding up the bar at gunpoint." Afterwards, the CIA admitted the entire project was essentially useless.

It seems to be that any organization allowed to perform morally-compromised acts as a honeypot for the kind of people who want to perform amoral acts, which are exactly the people we should not be letting make any of these kinds of choices.


And there are more incidents where those came from. Helping Contras smuggle cocaine into the US. And the Bay of Pigs Invasion which basically forced Castro into an alliance with Soviet and almost started World War 3 due to the missile crisis.

The CIA has done good things for the US too, but these events show that having a group of people doing bad things might not be good for the US in the short term either.


> Iran-Contra - We sold a bunch of weapons to a country that we're now apparently enemies with. The funded Contras committed a series of human rights violations and then fizzled out.

Our current attorney general was involved in pardoning a bunch of the people behind this.


> Iran-Contra - We sold a bunch of weapons to a country that we're now apparently enemies with

Not just now, but at the time we sold weapons to them they were an enemy; we had imposed an arms embargo on Iran and were backing Iraq’s brutally repressive regime in a war (of naked aggression aimed at territorial aggrandizement) with Iran specifically because Iran was supposedly a critical threat, and within a year of the last Iran-Contra arms transfer our military was actively engaged directly against Iran (the Tanker War.)

> The funded Contras committed a series of human rights violations and then fizzled out.

Funding the Contras, it is also worth noting, was specifically prohibited by Congress.


I totally agree with you. While such unethical behavior may have seemed to solve an immediate problem, they created far more problems down the road than they were worth.

I am not American, and I would agree with you if most of the operations were things like Stuxnet or Bin Laden's killing. But many of the most atrocious things committed by the CIA were totally gratuitous not helping one iota to the safety (perceived or real) of the American populace.

The trick with intelligence agencies is that the general public only ever hears about a small number of operations. A large intelligence apparatus undertakes a great many, most of which succeed or fail in relative silence.

This makes it impossible to generalize fairly about "most of the operations". You're working from a data set so heavily filtered as to be useless for that.


The ones we know about is enough

The corruption of government starts with its secrets. A truly free people keep no secrets.

That is just not in any way practical.

If your government is keeping secrets from you, you are not able to be informed about the actions that government is taking in your name and you therefore cannot inform yourself about your own governments activities - thus it is not enforcing your freedom with secrets, but rather guaranteeing your subjugation.

Ok. So how would you deal with information that would be dangerous if made public? Weapon specifications, names/locations of military or other clandestine operation personnel, the names of intelligence sources, records of ongoing investigations, etc etc etc?

The government derives its powers from the consent of the governed. Consent cannot be given if not informed.

There is no way a government with a million people with Top Secret clearances is operating with the consent of the governed.


So, specifically, you think that literally all information maintained by the government should be public? At som point, your vague philosophical statement has to be turned into real policies.

Information is not maintained by the government. It is maintained by human beings working in a government capacity, and those human beings have no right to secrecy or privacy whilst working in that capacity.

What I said was not vague.


Well, that's one way to avoid answering. So what's your policy on classifying information as secret?

We're pretty sure that stuxnet was NSA and Mossad fwiw.

>many of the most atrocious things committed by the CIA were totally gratuitous not helping one iota to the safety (perceived or real) of the American populace

I'm not entirely sure about that. I believe the CIA has committed atrocities, but I find it difficult to believe that you could not justify every action they took in the name of national security - all the coups of communist / non-Western-aligned nations especially. In fact, almost anything that may harm the federal government (regardless of impact to the general population) can be designated as a matter of national security (perhaps by design).

The point I am making is that it is easy to spin atrocities as necessary undertakings to agents with good intentions, all the way up to the top even (Operation Northwoods for example). Evil people are not necessary to build an evil organization.


> In fact, almost anything that may harm the federal government (regardless of impact to the general population) can be designated as a matter of national security (perhaps by design).

The general population is something that can harm the federal government, are you fine with the CIA ruining your life to ensure that doesn't happen?


>(perhaps by design)

That was my point.


The CIA will ever be judged by its failures while its successes will be invisible, classified, and by the nature of their success, known to almost nobody.

Statecraft is messy business. If you don't get your hands dirty you either don't matter or you don't last.

It is hard to judge these things fairly. Acting like we live in a perfect world and everyone who doesn't match that needs to be burned at the stake... well that's not helpful. Acting like the state gets a free pass for everything it does because being a government is hard makes us more and more terrible until something breaks.

Yes, a state in a leading world position needs to have a morally flexible arm to get things done, but that arm also needs to be regularly held in check, even if it's just for show.

The CIA and related agencies need pressure to keep them on their toes and doing the "right thing", but not expectation that everything they do will be entirely honorable. If you want that kind of thing, you have to move to somewhere small without much attention which has the luxury of honest opposition to all disreputable state behavior... because it is not in the position to be obligated to respond. (looking at you, smaller western Europe nations)


>The CIA and related agencies need pressure to keep them on their toes and doing the "right thing"

How is that pressure supposed to happen when the referenced case, Nixon's "plumbers," shows them directly interfering with politics? No matter how vital you view an organization able to control foreign states, what you're building is an organization to control your state.


Develop and hold sacred the idea that organizations like the CIA, DIA, NSA, and the military (et. al) do not operate within national borders. i.e. when your military becomes police, your people become the enemy.

It is a legitimately a difficult problem, perhaps among the most difficult problems in governing. How do you create and maintain a government for centuries which keeps its primary goal of serving the people. The US founders thought about this very much drawing on philosophers modern and ancient and they did a pretty good job setting up checks and balances, or more bluntly, competition.

How do you keep the CIA and its like in check? Create opposing government entities specifically immune to its actions and allow them to compete for prestige. This is why we have three branches of government, two houses of congress with different election strategies, etc. Set up separation of powers, imbue the population to value and cherish that separation, and honestly, hope for the best.


This is why there are committees in both the US House and Senate that have oversight on the US Intelligence Community: the United States House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_House_Permanent_...) and the United States Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Senate_Select_Co...).

>Develop and hold sacred the idea that organizations like the CIA, DIA, NSA, and the military (et. al) do not operate within national borders

Sulla already existed, the idea that "tradition" will keep us safe from ambition has been disproved.

>How do you keep the CIA and its like in check? Create opposing government entities specifically immune to its actions and allow them to compete for prestige

What kind of organization is immune to an intelligence agency?

>honestly, hope for the best

Again, we have conclusive proof that this failed with the Nixon plumbers.


>Sulla already existed, the idea that "tradition" will keep us safe from ambition has been disproved.

There isn't anything else besides tradition. Government in all of its forms ultimate exists and runs in a manner compatible with the consent of the people. Documents, laws, institutions, policy, what have you... they all derive out of that consent, that tradition, that mythology. You have to maintain the mythology as it grows and transforms over time. Tradition can't rule with a dead hand, it is alive with each citizen, each generation. Nothing is forever.

>What kind of organization is immune to an intelligence agency?

Nothing is perfect. Intelligence agencies aren't all-powerful, and the legislators, judges, executives, and population aren't hopeless. An independent judiciary, senators with long election cycles, and a population with freedom of the press are all resistant to the influence an intelligence agency has.

>Again, we have conclusive proof that this failed with the Nixon plumbers.

Did it? Nixon was forced out of office, he didn't win. Checks and balances aren't about preventing misbehavior, they're about fixing it when it happens. How it worked with Nixon was, as far as I can determine, satisfactory.


>There isn't anything else besides tradition.

It takes one person ignoring tradition to make it worthless.

>An independent judiciary, senators with long election cycles, and a population with freedom of the press are all resistant to the influence an intelligence agency has.

Intelligence agencies are made to control countries even if they have all those things. They aren't a meaningful resistance. Plus, the best resistance listed, a free press, is directly under attack in the Assange case.

>Did it? Nixon was forced out of office, he didn't win. Checks and balances aren't about preventing misbehavior, they're about fixing it when it happens. How it worked with Nixon was, as far as I can determine, satisfactory.

The CIA however had one of their own elected vice president in 1980, and the spying they did to get elected then was completely overlooked. Oh, and Nixon was only caught as part of a power struggle in the FBI. If that's "satisfactory" I don't think you care what the CIA does.


If the expectation from intelligence services is that they are there to misbehave so that "the free world can stay free" then I doubt things would change. Distributed (national) conscience has the distinct advantage of not putting any pressure on any particular individual. Look no further from you local corporation where moral people will take immoral actions in the name of the company.

Regular people sharing the burden with many others will not feel it. How do the actual people involved in this deal with it I have no idea. They might be a special breed and either don't see this as a moral failing, or simply can withstand huge pressure from their own conscience.


> it's that they tend to at very best get a slap on the wrist after the fact, and usually less than that.

Unless I'm missing something, that hardly seems relevant in regards to the question presented by the article.


CIA spying on foreign entities is not the CIA misbehaving. The CIA trafficking drug to finance an operation can be called a misbehavior. But the CIA spying on foreign entities is what Congress funds the CIA for.

What about CIA using "Enhanced Interrogation" techniques aka torturing people?

"We tortured some folks."

> What about CIA using "Enhanced Interrogation" techniques aka torturing people?

How many criminal prosecutions have those people have proceeded after the torture? I mean, since we're talking about consequences on extradition for criminal prosecution and criminal prosecution itself, that would seem to be the relevant measure.


The torture was outsourced to Egypt and Syria and Guantanamo Bay contractors. The gig economy!


I reckon the implication is that other countries won't allow extradition because of this behavior. That it would give them plenty of reason to thumb their nose at the US government.

[flagged]


What negative impact do you think "FBI misbehavior" had on the Mueller investigation?

Not sure why you put that in quotes. It's also not what I "think" but a pretty widely shared opinion. I'm not really taking sides here, it's common knowledge that the FBI botched their investigation of Trump/Russia.

1. https://theintercept.com/2019/12/11/fbi-trump-russia-investi...

2. https://www.nytimes.com/2019/12/09/us/politics/fbi-ig-report...


I thought the serious concerns were in reference to how they handled the warrants to wiretap Carter Page, which the NYT article you linked to in your previous comment mentions: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/12/09/us/politics/fbi-ig-report...

There were many issues with the investigation that negatively impacted the outcome. Including misleading warrants and withholding contradicting evidence from the court. Considering nothing happened after the Mueller investigation, I consider the improper handling to be at least partially responsible for the lack of action.

But since I'm going to keep getting downvoted on here for pointing out facts, just because people don't like them, this will be my last comment on the topic.


It's not because "people don't like" what you're saying, it's because what you're saying isn't true and most people would rather downvote than take the time to respond to nonsensical far-right talking points.

> Considering nothing happened after the Mueller investigation, I consider the improper handling to be at least partially responsible for the lack of action.

Nothing happened? I seem to remember a few indictments and jail sentences. Do I need to list them all?


"Botched" is not how I would have described their investigation. The Times is reporting that the FBI illegally wiretapped the Trump campaign:

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/10/us/politics/fbi-fisa-cour...


[flagged]


This is going down a political and/or ideological track that isn't really contributing to the comments in this thread.

[flagged]


Not sure how that's relevant at all? The CIA has often operated far outside the law regardless of who is in office.

The poster you were responding to seemed to be attempting to illustrate an explanation of why the CIA gets away with that regardless of whoever is in office, so your post explains exactly how it's relevant rather than offering a reason to doubt it's relevance.

Ah, that's why I find sarcasm to be a pretty clumsy argumentation tactic -- it confuses the intent of a statement when used without knowledge of the position you're speaking from. Better to just come out and say what you mean.

I don't think it was sarcasm at all; the main bit of rhetorical artistry (beyond merging issues of concern to the same side so that gays and abortion becomes “gay abortions”) is the adoption of first person singular to stand in for third-person plural, which presents the issues distracting the two main factions as affecting a single actor. Replace the second use of “I'm” with “the voters are” and the argument is quite direct.

What's best for you and what will give more financial reward are not always the same thing.

That was actually part of the point I was trying to make.

CIA was spying on Congress as well under Brennan and nothing happened

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jul/31/cia-admits-spy...

> “If I did something wrong,” Brennan continued in March, “I will go to the president, and I will explain to him exactly what I did, and what the findings were. And he is the one who can ask me to stay or to go.”

Notice how brazen they are. "I didn't do anything, but even if I did, I'd have to be the one determining that. And even then, there is nothing you can do about it, since I work for the President and only he can fire me".

That was n 2014 and Brennan was in office till 2017.


Assange is a foreigner in a foreign country. What you referenced is bad, real bad even, but not relevant.

Fair point. I was mainly saying that CIA can engage in all kinds illegal and/or immoral behavior without repercussions. So expecting this to somehow get Assange off the hook so speak is probably not realistic.

Looks like the government has to choose between national security (surveillance of legal discussions) and ability to prosecute in this case. They choose security, whether they like it or not.

No. Uncle Sam will never let him go.

If he does go free, I wouldn't be surprised to see him die within the year under mysterious circumstances.

> Will alleged CIA misbehavior set Julian Assange free?

If CIA misbehavior was setting people free, US jails would be empty by now.

Also, isn't US misbehavior what got Assange in prison in the first place?


> If CIA misbehavior was setting people free, US jails would be empty by now.

The federal government as a whole (and even moreso the CIA specifically) is not actively involved (misbehaving or otherwise) in most US criminal cases.


Not most cases, no - but I imagine they are deeply involved in cases where someone has brought to light illegal actions and atrocities by the US government and the CIA itself.

To be fair, it's the FBI forensics misbehavior that incarcerates most US prisoners.

Given the nature of the original complaint about him and how it was responded to, I suspect it was a combination of his misbehaviour and some part of the US government saying “Ah hah! Put some political pressure on Sweden to change their mind and actually prosecute this!”

In general, based on what I have read, I believe most assault complaints don’t lead to prosecutions due to lack of evidence, and most that do don’t lead to convictions for the same reason — so even if I ignore the milder of the accusations (the ones nobody would use if their goal was any of what has since transpired) and focus only on the most serious ones, I’m still inclined to believe he’s guilty as accused, but also wouldn’t have been prosecuted if he hadn’t been politically problematic.


I think they are making a reference to the video of American soldiers mowing everybody in a street in Irak without the army ever disciplining anyone or making a public apology and a monument.

That's a war crime and the army not really CIA. Waterboarding CIA owns but some soliders still get a chance to take photos and point (if anyone remembers that reference)

"isn't US misbehavior what got Assange in prison in the first place?"

No, the Swedish government would much rather have avoided the whole mess rather than get all that negative publicity.

The problem was he went after somoeone that could afford a lawyer to represent them with the prosecutor, and that he thought he could get away easily by just leaving the country.


> the Swedish government would much rather have avoided the whole mess rather than get all that negative publicity.

Sweden's actions indicate otherwise.

> The problem was he went after somoeone

Assange didn't "go after" anyone.

> he thought he could get away easily by just leaving the country.

1. He had no criminal act to get away with.

2. He was questioned, denying the charges. Later, he asked whether he needs to stay for another interview, and was told he doesn't have to.


Although I have the impression from the arguments he/his lawyers gave that he genuinely believed that what he was accused of didn’t count as a criminal act, judges tend to know more about the law than lay people like either me or Assange.

He was accused of multiple criminal acts, and the UK judge agreed that they would’ve been criminal acts in the UK when ruling on extradition.

It is noteworthy that one of the complainants was upset that the USA was informed of Assange being removed from the embassy before she or her lawyers had a chance to proceed with their efforts to get him back to Sweden.


I am gonna file this under wishful thinking.

[flagged]


That is a rather polemic stance to take

Wikipedia published information it received, would you say the same about any journalistic organization?

If the journalistic organization knew that the information they acquired was from a foreign government (Russia) that wanted to manipulate another countries election, would they still publish here-said information?

If they can confirm a reasonable credibility, then yes, they should. Preferably with as much openness about the source as is safely possible. As far as I know Wikipedia has always maintained that they did not receive the information from russia, but from anonymous internal leaks. While I personally have some doubt about that, I feel it takes more than "personal doubt" to attack a journalistic organization.

If it’s publishing authentic information, and this impacts voter choice, how is that a negative?

This criticism has never made any sense to me, and usually regresses to a non-sequitur comment like, “they didn’t publish any emails from the Republicans or the Russians”.

If people found out what Hillary’s campaign actually did and said, and decided that this didn’t align with their values in a President, that’s not Putin or Assange’s fault. That’s Hillary’s fault.


Narratives about people’s motivations and goals seem to hold much more weight than the objective facts, which is that he published information that was true, that the public did not have prior.

Not only that, but it was eye opening for Bernie supporters at the time.

> Wikipedia published information it received

They lost that cover when they decided it would be a good idea to have an "insurance file." They're clearly willing to pick and choose _which_ information they pass on based upon what benefits _them_.

> would you say the same about any journalistic organization?

I would not, but then again, due to the above, I don't see them as a journalistic organization anymore.


I am not sure I understand what you are saying here.

Journalists get imprisoned, killed, etc all the time. Somehow taking steps to mitigate those risks makes you not a journalist?


Hiding major stories to protect yourself seems somewhat antithetical to being a journalist. Hiding major stories when you're journalist cred is "expose all the secrets" is, at a minimum, you not being who you say you are.

Ok, so now we have people claiming Wikileaks is not a journalistic organisation for "just dumping the leaks" and people claiming the exact same thing for the completely opposite reasons.. Damned if you do, damned if you don't I guess..

What on earth makes you think Wikileaks is "Hiding major stories to protect yourself"? Is there a single shred of credible data suggesting that? And even if that's what in the "insurance file" can you fricking blame them for trying to protect their lives?!

I don't know what's in the "insurance file", I doubt you do either. Maybe it's a major story, maybe it's data of no public interest but still extremely inconvenient to the powers that be. Maybe it's nothing -- just an empty threat.

All I know is that I won't condemn Wikileaks solely based on speculations or verifiable smear-campaigns.


"Extremely inconvenient to the powers that be" sounds like "major story" to me. So, to me, the existence of the "insurance file" is exactly "hiding major stories to protect yourself".

Unless it was a bluff. One could speculate that Wikileaks guessed that everybody major has something to hide, and therefore the threatened existence of the "insurance file" would be an effective threat.


> "Extremely inconvenient to the powers that be" sounds like "major story" to me.

Doesn't have to be, it could be already broken stories without potentially dangerous or personally identifiable details redacted. Or any of a number of other things. All we have here is speculation, and speculation is not a very good way to determine the nature of an organization.


Show me WikiLeaks that are critical of Russia in a way in which makes Putin look like he's the problem... Yet, we've got hundreds of anti-US (or other countries) leaks that when you read them help the cause of Russia and Putin. Assange was a Russian operative, willing or unwilling.

An English language website almost entirely run by five eyes citizens would immediately get called out as propaganda by most Russians.

That being said, they do have a Russian section on their website, it's just not a priority for the reason above.


If I criticize the US but do not criticize Russia in the same breath, does that mean I'm a Russian operative? Your logic does not make sense.

If leaked Russian documents surface and Wikileaks refuses to publish them... that's a different story.


Another person in the comments linked to an article mentioning them turning down Russian government leaks: https://foreignpolicy.com/2017/08/17/wikileaks-turned-down-l...

Wikileaks has said that they didn't accept them because they couldn't verify their authenticity.


WikiLeaks chose what to publish to further their agenda

> In the summer of 2016, as WikiLeaks was publishing documents from Democratic operatives allegedly obtained by Kremlin-directed hackers, Julian Assange turned down a large cache of documents related to the Russian government, according to chat messages and a source who provided the records.

> ... Approached later that year by the same source about data from an American security company, WikiLeaks again turned down the leak. “Is there an election angle? We’re not doing anything until after the election unless its [sic] fast or election related,” WikiLeaks wrote. “We don’t have the resources.”

(Note that quotes come from different parts of story, refer to different companies. This in second isn't subj of first.)

https://foreignpolicy.com/2017/08/17/wikileaks-turned-down-l...


Yes, sadly they do have a bias. Equally sadly, so do Fox, The NY Times, etc, etc..

Still, we need journalism. Attacking journalistic organisations just because their bias doesn't fit yours is a slippery slope.


I'm not attacking a journalistic organization for having a bias, because WikiLeaks isn't a journalistic organization.

One piece of evidence for that is that they have moved to focusing on publishing only what will advance the goals of Russian inteigence.

Another is that when journalists receive a leak they work to authenticate it, ensure it's in the public interest, redact unnecessary personal information, work with whoever is being leaked from (eg the US government) to provide advance notice to minimize harms to ongoing operations, and then release commentery on the leak. WikiLeaks doesn't.


Nice talking points, to bad they are verifiable nonsense:

> One piece of evidence for that is that they have moved to focusing on publishing only what will advance the goals of Russian inteigence.

https://wikileaks.org//spyfiles/russia/ You think Russian intel is happy about this?

> Another is that when journalists receive a leak they work to authenticate it, ensure it's in the public interest, redact unnecessary personal information, work with whoever is being leaked from (eg the US government) to provide advance notice to minimize harms to ongoing operations, and then release commentery on the leak. WikiLeaks doesn't.

Wikileaks goes through rigorous protocols to guarantee the authenticity of its material, as far as I know there has been zero claims against the correctness of the materials published. Show me one other journalistic organisation with such a track record. Wikipedia has also made several attempts to coordinate with stakeholders towards responsible disclosure, including with the US government. They were simply stonewalled and would not take "don't publish any of it" as an answer.


Has WikiLeaks ever redacted irrelevant personal information? No, they simply publish everything in a dump, regardless of if it will harm lives and provide no journalistic value.

Moving the goalpost? Yes they have, and sometimes they haven't. Just like most journalistic organizations..

Can you link to a single file WikiLeaks redacted something because of the harms of publishing it.


Can you link to a single piece of evidence backing your accusations?

You know whats' worse for America than Wikileaks? Americas war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Wikileaks IS a journalistic organization, and nothing you can say will change that. Again, just because you don't like their position, doesn't reduce their effectiveness at journalistic endeavours - and they were very, very effective at getting people to pay attention to, and discuss, the heinous conditions of US intelligence agencies and the dire corruption therein which permits further crimes against humanity being committed in the name of the American people.

It is GOOD FOR THE AMERICAN PEOPLE to have had the Wikileaks - and Snowden leaks - saga occur. This was not 'good for Russia' - but it was bad for 'American warmongers who were, literally, getting away with murder'.

The narrative that Wikileaks was 'against America but pro- Russia' is not only specious, but a clear indicator of duding the real nature of the leaks: America's out of control military industrial pharmaceutical complex.

The fact that we're not discussing the contents of the leaks, but rather the nature by which they were exposed to the world, is a classic intelligence-stooge distraction technique.

Stay focused. Have you read the Wikileaks? If you're an American citizen, they are of immense value to you, with regards to knowing the key agents in your society which actually prevent your democracy from functioning.

If it weren't for Wikileaks, we wouldn't have learned of the DNC's dire corruption, for example. This was a very, very positive action for the American people - who have been being duped by their "two party 'system'" for decades, such that they truly believe its a democracy they're involved in.

As we have learned from Wikileaks, nothing could be further from the truth. American citizens should be very grateful for having had these criminals secrets' revealed, and they should be highly alarmed at anyone who says this "hurt America" without giving actual, real evidence.

Because so far, Wikileaks has been positive for America.


Except Paul Manafort is in prison for lying about this "treasure trove" of information to the FBI he was getting from Assange.

I don't understand your point. Can you expand on it? I never used the phrase treasure trove.

Betteridge's law of headlines applies: The answer is probably 'no'.

I would cite Betteridge's Law here:

"Any headline that ends in a question mark can be answered by the word no"

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Betteridge%27s_law_of_headline...


Except that when the CIA was said to be spying on Assange, he was actively trying to escape justice by taking refuge in a country (or rather its embassy) that provided a safe harbour. The CIA seemed to be perfectly in its role, particularly if he was suspected of preparing new leaks.

How is that at all in the purview of an intelligence agency?

To be fair, Assange has been accused of distributing emails that Russian intelligence agencies hacked/acquired during the 2016 election. Conspiring/working with foreign powers outside of the United States seems like something that would be in the ballpark of an intelligence agency.

I think the CIA was after him rather because of the diplomatic cable leaks, which is 100% in their purview.

> How is that at all in the purview of an intelligence agency?

Spying on a hostile intelligence broker sheltering from the justice system of an allied power in a foreign embassy while continuing to run hostile intel and propaganda ops against the nation the intelligence agency works for and its allies?

How is that not in the purview of an intelligence agency? Your question is like asking how frying chicken is in the purview of a KFC.


It is within the purview of an intelligence agency. The big question is will it help/harm the extradition case that is currently going on...

Yea, the CIA is usually not considered a subsidiary of the Swedish prosecutorial authority (Åklagarmyndigheten)... :P

> he was actively trying to escape _in_justice

There, fixed that for you.

> taking refuge in a country (or rather its embassy) that provided a safe harbour.

Political sanctuary is an important tradition - even if's used by people who I or you would like to see punished for things.


Sweden seemed to have a valid legal case that he avoided for multiple years taking refuge in the Ecuadorian embassy.

Which they conspicuously are suddenly no longer interested in pursuing, now that he has lost his asylum. You would almost think the whole case had been a ruse from the start.

I am pretty sure the case was real (the names of the accusers leaked and I have no reason to think they were on the payroll of any government), but I also find it very likely that the case was dragged on to an absurd degree to harass Assange. Sweden wanted to drop the case already in 2013.

https://www.theguardian.com/media/2018/feb/11/sweden-tried-t...


Not so much to harass Assange as to uphold the image of the justice department, do you think any law agency will take a fugitive escaping to a different county and then being very public about their whereabouts quietly?

Especially when they flee from accusations of a serous crime that the government has pretty lousy track record at solving. He flees to the UK, and you expect the prosecution to go "oh well, that's like 2 hours flight away, we'll never get him now"?


Assange did not flee Sweden, and please stop repeating that false claim.

They stopped perusing the case (I believe) partially because of they passed the statue of limitations on the accused crime.

As far as I know the statue of limitations has not been reached yet. The reason he investigation was dropped was that Swedish law requires coercive measures to be proportionate, but I have no idea why they decided that it was too much in 2017 specifically. They had been talking about dropping the investigation since 2013.

Basically the Swedish authorities thought that going after him more than they already had would be too much for the level of suspicion and the crime.


Only the less serious charges had passed the statute of limitations.

Thank you for the clarification. I've honestly not followed all of the ins and outs of all this that closely.

Indeed, although to be fair - the statute of limitation on the fourth offense he was suspected of expires in 2020.

How does that make any sense?

Yes, it's entirely unheard of that cases get dropped. Must have been a ruse.

> Sweden seemed to have a valid legal case that he avoided for multiple years taking refuge in the Ecuadorian embassy.

No, it had not seemed to have such cause.

First, even assuming the complaint against merited an investigation to begin with, the fact that the prosecution did not choose to charge him formally on the basis of the evidence available to it means the charge did not merit an international investigation (especially one which amounts to just questioning the accused).

Second, Sweden asked that Assange be held and/or extradited for questioning or interrogation. It is not clear why an uncharged person (even if not a journalist) should be arrested without even being officially officially charged. I am not well-versed in UK law (especially UK constitutional law, as they don't have a constitution) - but I doubt that's valid.

Third, suppose Sweden did have a legal right to require a questioning/investigation. Assange offered, throughout his time at the embassy, to undergo this at the Ecuadorian Embassy. The Swedish authorities did not accept this offer. Remember, by Swedish law Assange was never considered more than a suspect, and assumed to be innocent; meaning there needed to be a good reason to refuse such an arrangement.

Fourth, the person whose claims opened the investigation against Assange withdrew (most? all?) of those claims; and Swedish authorities eventually closed the case.

and there's more...

but the last point worth mentioning is that as early as 2013, Sweden wanted to _drop_ the extradition request, but the UK authorities _dissuaded_ Swedish representatives from doing so (!)

More reading and references on Wikipedia:

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


> Second, Sweden asked that Assange be held and/or extradited for questioning or interrogation. It is not clear why an uncharged person (even if not a journalist) should be arrested without even being officially officially charged. I am not well-versed in UK law (especially UK constitutional law, as they don't have a constitution) - but I doubt that's valid.

People who are very well versed in UK law heard these arguments from Assange's excellent lawyers and decided otherwise.

[Actually it's quite normal to be arrested on suspicion of something before being charged in the UK, so their arguments were more focused on equivalence for international warrants and extradition purposes...]

> Third, suppose Sweden did have a legal right to require a questioning/investigation. Assange offered, throughout his time at the embassy, to undergo this at the Ecuadorian Embassy. The Swedish authorities did not accept this offer. Remember, by Swedish law Assange was never considered more than a suspect, and assumed to be innocent; meaning there needed to be a good reason to refuse such an arrangement.

I'd have said the fact that the Swedish prosecutor requested the interview whilst he was in Sweden in order to formally charge him and arrest him, and he responded by leaving the country and insisting on only holding the interview in an environment where the second part wasn't possible seemed like a pretty good reason tbh. Similarly, if you are a fugitive charges from the US, the police are unlikely to accept your gracious offer of allowing them to do the reading Miranda rights bit by telephone video link or on foreign territory without an extradition treaty, which says absolutely nothing about the strength of the case.

> Fourth, the person whose claims opened the investigation against Assange withdrew (most? all?) of those claims; and Swedish authorities eventually closed the case.

The Swedish authorities closed the case and [publicly] reopened it after at the request of the lawyer acting for the women, which is nearly as unhelpful to the argument that Swedish prosecutors were desperate to pin things on Assange for foreign policy reasons as it is to the argument that the women aren't interested. Every time the case gets closed by Swedish prosecutors there's a statement from the women's lawyer that she's working on getting it reopened, and they're on at least their second by now...

Obviously because it involves Assange, the majority of articles covering the case have some sort of slant and assumption about Assange's motivations one way or another, but one of the few things that isn't seriously in dispute is that Swedish prosecutors had already interviewed Assange and the difference between this interview and the ones he turned up as requested for in Sweden was that this one was intended to end with him being detained awaiting trial. That's why Assange turned up multiple times in person to speak with both Swedish and UK law enforcement when they didn't have a valid basis to detain him for any period of time, but didn't attend this particular interview in Sweden and wouldn't go back there to do so.


> People who are very well versed in UK law heard these arguments from Assange's excellent lawyers and decided otherwise.

Well, people who are well-versed in UK and international law have opined that Assange should not have been extradited the Sweden, that his request for political asylum was a worthy one, and that the UK was unjustified in demanding to place him in custody during his time at the embassy. So, I'll want to see the actual argument to change my mind.

> the Swedish prosecutor requested the interview whilst he was in Sweden ... and he responded by leaving the country

Ok, now you seem to be intentionally mis-reprenting the facts.

Assange had already been questioned about the case, denying the allegations. Later, Assange _asked_ to be interviewed by prosecutors before leaving Sweden. He was told (through his lawyer IIANM) that he could just leave, without having been interviewed.

> the Swedish prosecutor requested the interview whilst he was in Sweden in order to formally charge him and arrest him

You realize this does not even make sense, right?. There is no need for a second questioning (and probably not even a first) to be able to charge or arrest a person for suspicion of having committed a crime. If the charge or arrest is contingent on the suspect providing certain information, then - the prosecutor can't know in advance whether or not they will charge or arrest.

> The Swedish authorities closed the case and [publicly] reopened it after at the request of the lawyer acting for the women

I believe you mean the closing and re-opening while Assange was still in Sweden? Or are you talking about the events of 2019?

> the argument that Swedish prosecutors were desperate to pin things on Assange for foreign policy reason

I never made an argument about desperation. However, the Swedish authorities were certainly conflicted. The police officer who first looked at the case decided it didn't merit investigation; the courts at different times denied some prosecutorial elements what they were asking for, and they had to take alternate routes. Add that to the timing of the 2019 actions, the refusal to interview Assange in the UK and the excessive interest by high-ranking officials to pursue what should indeed have been thrown out given the available evidence - and you get a strong suspicion of external pressure. Add the UK authorities _known_ external pressure as far as the extradition request is concerned and the suspicions lead towards joint US-UK interests.


> Ok, now you seem to be intentionally mis-reprenting the facts.

> Assange had already been questioned about the case, denying the allegations. Later, Assange _asked_ to be interviewed by prosecutors before leaving Sweden. He was told (through his lawyer IIANM) that he could just leave, without having been interviewed.

No, it's just that when I'm presented with the well established facts [i] Assange met with Swedish prosecutors in Sweden on more than one occasion and [ii] Assange left the country and refuses to return, going to extreme lengths to do so, I am more inclined to believe the prosecutor's account that they communicated that he should show up to the police to be charged and he left the country instead instead than Assange's insistence that they only wanted a nice cosy chat and he was desperate to see them and leaving the country on the same day was coincidental and we definitely shouldn't read anything into the extreme lengths he's taken to avoid returning since. It doesn't help that Assange's Swedish lawyer was forced to admit in court that he wasn't telling the truth when he said the Swedish prosecutor didn't contact him during the week Assange left the country (and to change his story to 'actually I just couldn't get a message to Assange in time')....

> You realize this does not even make sense, right?. There is no need for a second questioning (and probably not even a first) to be able to charge or arrest a person for suspicion of having committed a crime. If the charge or arrest is contingent on the suspect providing certain information, then - the prosecutor can't know in advance whether or not they will charge or arrest.

See above. I'm afraid that I am more inclined to believe Swedish prosecutors' explanation that under Swedish legal procedure a formal charging procedure is made in person, with an internationally valid arrest warrant being issued if they refuse to show up, than the arguments of a random person on the internet whose grasp of Swedish legal procedure is probably not the best...

> I believe you mean the closing and re-opening while Assange was still in Sweden? Or are you talking about the events of 2019?

Both actually [with different lawyers]

> Add the UK authorities _known_ external pressure as far as the extradition request is concerned and the suspicions lead towards joint US-UK interests.

And the women's interests? Or do they not matter?


Its ok for Assange to hire people to steal information but its not ok for the government.

Do you have any credible information that Assange "hired" people to "steal" information?

And, yes, we "the people" grant far reaching powers to government, and thus have the right to put boundaries on those powers.


They have evidence of Assange offering help to Chelsea Manning to try and hack a government server.

That is the assertion of the extradition request. Whether there is evidence is yet to be determined.

He didn't hire people, to be sure, but he did actively encourage, _and_ _assist_ someone in doing so. The defenses against this ("he didn't _really_ tell him to do stuff, he was just talking" or "he wasn't _really_ helping crack those passwords, because if he wanted to he could") don't stand up to reasonability.

I think if Assange actually did help someone to try to access data that they shouldn't have .. that is a legitimate crime that is beyond what a member of the press does.

Having said that, I've never heard that he "hired" anyone to do any such thing.


A lot of Americans know about Assange, what he has done, how much he has risked to help Americans know the truth about our government.

Yet in spite of this nobody really cares, and most are content to let Assange be extradited and punished. Other than for partisan reasons, few care a whole lot about any of the information Wikileaks published that revealed significant misdeeds and corruption by government officials, none of whom have been brought to justice.


Assange perverted the original intent of Wikileaks, and warped it into a tool to serve his own ego and personal vendettas. He absolutely got what he deserved. The quicker we move on from him and his personality cult, the quicker a replacement emerge that gets the job done better.

> Assange perverted the original intent of Wikileaks, and warped it into a tool to serve his own ego and personal vendettas.

Citation needed.

> He absolutely got what he deserved.

Being egotistical (what you claimed) warrants permanent imprisonment without trial and torture? I find your words hard to take seriously after this claim.


Your point may or may not be true, but it doesn't matter. The kind of person with the courage and ambition to build something like Wikileaks is very rare, and he or she may in fact be a bit egotistical. You could say the same thing about people who become movie stars, presidents, social media influencers, etc.

What your comment is doing is often known as shooting the messenger. While I do not personally believe that Assange is a bad human being in any way, it really doesn't matter. He revealed major fraud relating to the Iraq and Afghan wars, among many other important revelations.

There has been a massively asymmetrical response that has focused on Assange and his character rather than on the major misdeeds by government.

Imagine, for a moment, if there was a janitor who reported Jerry Sandusky's misdeeds, and upon investigation it turned out the janitor was involved in some kind of criminal activity. I would still want Jerry brought to justice and any foibles of the whistleblower would be merely incidental.

What is hard for me to understand is why people such as yourself seem to focus only on Assange and ignore the much more significant crimes.


You're making three assumptions:

1) that anyone who criticizes Assange is automatically an apologist for state-sanctioned crimes;

2) that the good things done by Wikileaks in its early days are entirely thanks to one man, Assange;

3) that without Wikileaks there would have been nobody willing or able to expose state-sanctioned crimes.

All three of these assumptions are false.

1) It's possible to criticize Assange and state-sanctioned crimes at the same time.

2) It took many people to make Wikileaks happen. Those people who made Wikileaks possible were mostly driven away by Assange's reckless and toxic behavior.

3) Wikileaks is far from the only organization exposing state-sanctioned crimes by publishing leaks from whistleblowers. However it is by far the most reckless. Wikileaks does not respect even the most basic rules of journalism; for example they routinely expose personal information that directly endanger the lives of people.

My criticism of Assange is not that he is egotistical. It is that his ego caused him to become a nuisance to the cause of holding states accountable for their crimes. How else do you explain his collaboration with Putin's Russia, who have committed countless state-sponsored crimes, to help manipulate US public opinion with the goal of getting a notorious criminal elected in the US? How exactly does this serve the cause of holding criminal governments accountable?


> You're making three assumptions:

I don't make those assumptions. I'll explain:

> 1) that anyone who criticizes Assange is automatically an apologist for state-sanctioned crimes;

There are perhaps many valid reasons to criticize Assange. To me the test is whether the critic mentions any of the state-sanctioned crimes at all, or just focuses on Assange's character.

> 2) that the good things done by Wikileaks in its early days are entirely thanks to one man, Assange;

Assange took on the burden of being the public face of Wikileaks, and has paid the price via the loss of his freedom.

> 3) that without Wikileaks there would have been nobody willing or able to expose state-sanctioned crimes.

Wikileaks is a platform intended to help more people expose state-sanctioned crimes. The Iraq/Afghan war logs depended on someone submitting them, as did the rest of the information.

> 1) It's possible to criticize Assange and state-sanctioned crimes at the same time.

Of course it is, but few critics of Assange do so. Instead they make Assange's character into the story.

> 2) It took many people to make Wikileaks happen. Those people who made Wikileaks possible were mostly driven away by Assange's reckless and toxic behavior.

This is a rumor, which may or may not be true. I don't think it's all that relevant to the discussion. All small teams end up with some drama, and the reports of Assange being "reckless" should be taken with an appropriate grain of salt.

> 3) Wikileaks is far from the only organization exposing state-sanctioned crimes by publishing leaks from whistleblowers. However it is by far the most reckless. Wikileaks does not respect even the most basic rules of journalism; for example they routinely expose personal information that directly endanger the lives of people.

This point is frequently cited in isolation. But if you recall the series of events, Wikileaks was collaborating with the NYT and various other papers on the release of the Iraq and Afghan war logs. Soon after, the NYT turned on Assange and began publishing stories about the rape accusations while ignoring the substance of the big stories. In effect, the respectable journalists abandoned Wikileaks. Wikileaks had always mentioned that it preferred to partner with other journalists to avoid any accidental release of information that could cause harm. There were some missteps, but the real issue is that the NYT gave up on doing investigative journalism in partnership with Wikileaks.

> My criticism of Assange is not that he is egotistical. It is that his ego caused him to become a nuisance to the cause of holding states accountable for their crimes.

Assange should never have been the story in the first place. Wikileaks needed a public face, and Assange filled that role, but I think it's unfair to claim he is/was a nuisance.

> How else do you explain his collaboration with Putin's Russia, who have committed countless state-sponsored crimes, to help manipulate US public opinion with the goal of getting a notorious criminal elected in the US? How exactly does this serve the cause of holding criminal governments accountable?

You are making a lot of unsubstantiated assumptions in this last bit. Assange stated his strong opposition to both of the 2016 presidential candidates. Of course something like Wikileaks can be weaponized, and according to your point it was weaponized in 2016.

I'm not sure how you can argue that releasing emails sent by a politician is somehow bad if meant to change public opinion. Obviously if there is content in the emails that should change public opinion, then releasing them is a good thing. Only if public opinion was not changed would the exercise have been worthless. While I would have preferred HRC to Trump as president, there was a lot in the emails that should have been disturbing to voters.

In my view, the biggest misstep by HRC's campaign was that it tried to deny and ignore the Wikileaks publications of emails. People generally respect leaders who own up to their past actions, statements, etc. If a politician gives a talk at Goldman and says the opposite of what is being said on the campaign trail, that is a problem (or at least I think it should be).

I think that in order to make the point you intend to make you would have to show that Wikileaks received significant information about Trump but withheld it from publication to benefit Trump. From there it would take even more proof to show that Russia was the beneficiary, and still more to show that Russia was the intentional beneficiary due to Assange's preferences.

If you zoom out, Assange/Wikileaks' work, has been overwhelmingly non-partisan and journalistic. Who knows what other important stories have been suppressed thanks to Assange's confinement.




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