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Julian Assange charged in superseding indictment (justice.gov)
394 points by DyslexicAtheist on June 25, 2020 | hide | past | favorite | 398 comments

> In 2012, Assange communicated directly with a leader of the hacking group LulzSec (who by then was cooperating with the FBI), and provided a list of targets for LulzSec to hack. With respect to one target, Assange asked the LulzSec leader to look for (and provide to WikiLeaks) mail and documents, databases and pdfs. In another communication, Assange told the LulzSec leader that the most impactful release of hacked materials would be from the CIA, NSA, or the New York Times. WikiLeaks obtained and published emails from a data breach committed against an American intelligence consulting company by an “Anonymous” and LulzSec-affiliated hacker. According to that hacker, Assange indirectly asked him to spam that victim company again.

This is almost certainly sabu/Hector Monsegur. [1]

This guy put Jeremy Hammond [2] behind bars, and now he's being used to bring down Julian Freaking Assange. More lives ruined than you can count on one hand.

I hope people don't forget that Wikileaks has never published anything that has been proven false. Not once. Julian Assange is in solitary confinement in a prison on bullshit charges, and this is just another one.

Stand up for journalists. Real journalists.

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

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

edit: as pointed out below, Assange was moved from solitary confinement in February.

I'm generally on Assange's side in all of this. I agree he shouldn't be charged and this is all a disgrace.

Having said that, I once went to wikileaks and found a PDF of Steve Job's supposed STD test which claimed he was HIV positive. That was a surprise to me as my understanding was that he died of cancer. I looked into it and no one could corroborate the story and the general consensus seemed to be that it was faked.

Even if it was real, I struggle to see why it's important to leak the private medical records of someone with a deadly STD, although I'm sure there are multiple perspectives on this.

No reasonable person can believe that leaking this kind of information (regardless of [in]accuracy) is appropriate.

HIPAA (1994) enshrined legally what is one of the few moral absolutes in healthcare - your health issues are nobody else's business with few caveats. HIV is reported to the government. Knowingly infecting someone with HIV is a crime. The reasonable safeguards are there and dumping someone's records does nothing to make anyone safer.

I had not heard of that and I am surprised that they would publish something so tabloidish. For what it's worth, I found this page [1] where they state:

> 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.

And I found this reddit thread/comment from 11 years ago (when Wikileaks released it) that contains the same text, so it's not as though they released the document and then corrected themselves after the fact -- they published it alongside a warning that it's probably bogus. [2]

[1]: https://wikileaks.org/wiki/Steve_Jobs_purported_HIV_medical_...

[2]: https://www.reddit.com/r/reddit.com/comments/7qo8n/steve_job...

I too am shocked that Wikileaks would publish tabloidish material with little public value.

Next thing you know, I'll hear that Wikileaks posted private emails of a government official talking about pizza. Emails which spawned ridiculous conspiracies about satanic child abuse cults headquartered in the basement of a pizza shop that doesn't have a basement.

That would never happen. Not at an august, hard-hitting journalistic outlet like Wikileaks. /s

Yeah, the conspiracy theory is just insane. Almost as insane as the conspiracy theory that one of the world's largest religious organizations was engaging in something similar, except at a scale spanning every continent except Antarctica and having done so for at least as long as living memory.

For another conspiracy theory, what about the idea that if a conspiracy was uncovered, instead of denying it those with something to lose would double down on the most exaggerated parts of the conspiracy to down out the less insane and more likely parts. Get the public to focus on the pizza shop and not on the (since deceased) billionaire.

> Yeah, the conspiracy theory is just insane. Almost as insane as the conspiracy theory that one of the world's largest religious organizations was engaging in something similar, except at a scale spanning every continent except Antarctica and having done so for at least as long as living memory.

One is a conspiracy about a pedophile ring in a pizzaria basement when no such basement exists. The other is a conspiracy that has dozens if not hundreds of convictions and at least a tacit admission from the institution that it's a problem.

> For another conspiracy theory, what about the idea that if a conspiracy was uncovered, instead of denying it those with something to lose would double down on the most exaggerated parts of the conspiracy to down out the less insane and more likely parts. Get the public to focus on the pizza shop and not on the (since deceased) billionaire.

The mastermind (Ailes) behind the news network responsible for pushing the former conspiracy and distracting from the latter admitted to starting the network for the express purpose of running political interference. It's not really a conspiracy when the conspirators are blatantly open about it - at least not in the colloquial sense. Political interference they're running now against SDNY in order to obstruct the investigation.

The difference in circumstance should be apparent - it's the existence of actual evidence and reliable first hand accounts.

Pizzagate != Epstein

Leaking Podesta's email spawned a conspiracy theory that high-ranking Democrats were a part of a satanic child abuse and traffic ring. It was specifically partisan.

Meanwhile there are multiple layers to the Epstein case. Yes, Epstein was a nexus of child abuse. He was a terrible human being who got away with years of child abuse because of his money and powerful connections. Yes, he died under mysterious circumstances. And Epstein's close friends and confidants included both Democrats and Republicans.

Conflating Pizzagate with Epstein is just moving the goalposts to exonerate Wikileak's publishing of private emails. Are some of the people involved in the email dump known associates of Epstein? Yes. But that's not what Pizzagate is, nor was Epstein associated with the email dump.

Don't forget how Epstein had a girlfriend.

Girlfriend's dad was a Big Deal with the Mossad. Like, awarded medals by the Israeli government Big Deal. Like, we can't talk about him in the UK unless we make it an official Parliament discussion -- that is, by law, on the record and can't be sued as libel or slander -- kind of Big Deal.

Imagine if there was something larger than just what that one billionaire was involved in. Kinda like how when stories about the Catholic Church broke there were just a few high level Bishops involved until much more work was done to pull back the curtains.

Now imagine some of that gets leaked in a partisan fashion. Maybe on purpose. Maybe by chance. A cover up could be attempted, but that might bring in more investigation. Maybe it would be better to forcefully corrupt it instead. Go from MK Ultra conspiracy theory to moon landings were faked and the earth is flat conspiracy theory. All you have to do is purposefully 'leak' even crazier stuff while making it hyper partisan so that our existing political divide feeds into it.

Not saying they are equal, but what if they are both views into a larger conspiracy, though one of those views was purposefully corrupted to try to make any similar conspiracy theory be viewed as utter nonsense. Make it so people think moon landings or flat earth instead of MK Ultra or Operation Northwoods.

"I'm not saying it's true, but what if it was true enough?"

You could speculate that about literally anything. It's meaningless conjecture.

It isn't meaningless anymore when we have found that there are multiple national level or greater conspiracies involving some of the most vile things known to mankind. We are 2 for 3 with these three cases and we have seen how corrupted the media and legal system is with handling those two cases (yes, the media eventually did report on them, but go back and look at how the media treated reports on the Catholic abuse before the main story broke and how many individual reports were silenced).

It is like if you catch someone gas lighting you twice, and now this time they are telling you they really didn't do it and are definitely not gas lighting you again. At some point their demand to prove their gas lighting becomes part of the attack itself.

There were 300,000 children stolen by the Catholic church in just Spain alone and sold for adoption.

My favourite conspiracy theory is the Out Of Africa conspiracy theory.

The Petrolonas Cave findings of Thessaloniki debunked it and suggest the Europeans diverged from Africa probably upto a million years ago. Cambridge University verified the findings and they're the most woke campus in town so it must be true.

Still waiting for a valid explanation of what pizza is code for because they certainly aren’t talking about pizza the food in those emails.

Okay, I'll bite. I don't think John Podesta has officially commented on what the emails mean, but I think it's pretty safe to assume it is actually quite literal, and they were indeed talking about a handkerchief, a map, and pizza.


> Subject: You left something at the Field house > Susan & Herb > I just came from checking the Field house and I have a square cloth handkerchief (white w/ black) that was left on the kitchen island. > Happy to send it via the mail if you let me know where I should send it.

> I also meant to inquire yesterday about the pillows you purchased. I can send them as well, if you let me know where they are in the house.

> Safe travels to all > Kate

> Hi John,

> The realtor found a handkerchief (I think it has a map that seems pizza-related. Is it yorus? They can send it if you want. > I know you're busy, so feel free not to respond if it's not yours or you don't want it.

> Susaner

I mean, they're talking about a handkerchief with a pattern of a map, with various food items on it, like pizza. I have never seen such a handkerchief, but this is almost certainly some sort of a novelty handkerchief with a map of Italy, featuring various types of cuisine common to the region. Which kind of makes sense, since it's a napkin.

Why would you assume it is coded? The realtor emails and says, hey, you forgot your handkerchief. Podesta's friend, who was with him, emails him and says, hey, I think that's your handkerchief, the one with the map and pizza and stuff.

And this is supposed to be unusual? This is just how people talk.

I somehow hope they were talking about light drugs. Given the amount of storm it caused, it's beyond me why there was no official examination, to say nothing about explanation.

Official examination of what? I mean, yeah, you're probably right. More likely than not they were talking about weed. Or plausibly sex workers. Something embarassing. Certainly not child trafficking in a literal pizza shop.

> Given the amount of storm it caused

It really didn't. Except for the lunatic who walked into the restaurant with a gun, almost none of this stuff penetrated mainstream media. FOX watchers got their fill, but they weren't swayable votes, by definition. To the eyeballs the Clinton campaign cared about, Pizzagate was a non-issue.

Lefties like me only like to talk about it because it was so crazy insane. This isn't what cost the election.

Why are you certain they aren't talking about pizza?

You may be waiting for a long time. That doesn't really provide any support for the satanic child sex cult thing either though.

I don’t know what they’re talking about. Could literally be anything but they would only codify something they wanted to hide. It’s very weird but I’m not into speculating.

You’re outwardly speculating that it’s coded speech simply because you lack context.

Don't forget the 65K in hot dogs.

Drugs maybe?


I don’t think people’s codes are typically that easy to crack

Cheese pizza is a common euphemism for child pornography online, which I believe originated from 4chan? Not sure on that part, but it's definitely a common slang for it. Now whether that's how they were using it in the emails or not, I have no idea, as I didn't look into the emails. I stopped digging into conspiracy theories around the time the whole Assange "proof-of-life" fiasco was frothing about. I've got better things I can be doing with my time.

according to 4chan, years ago

that a government official is using *chan lingo is a stretch, and lends credence to Bannon's point about trying to appeal to the 4chan demographic aka disaffected male youth, who would get the "cp" connection.

What kind of fucking creep sees “cheese pizza” and immediately thinks of child porn? I’m fairly well convinced that the real conspiracy here is that the whole lot of you pizza-gaters are just projecting.

Has it been proven that those emails were real in the first place?

I too was confused by the use of what appears to be coded language, but then thought to myself: wait, is what I am reading authentic?

The DKIM signatures were valid.

Yes, the emails were real. It was proven and never denied.

Would you even bother trying to confirm or deny emails about pizza? I'd consider it an even bigger waste of time than supplying the long form of a birth certificate after someone decided that the short form wasn’t good enough proof of nationality for someone who was by that point already the elected president.

It is so ridiculous to call the emails that WikiLeaks published "tabloid" just because a conspiracy theory sprung up around bizarre language which was used in a subset of them. Taken as a whole, they revealed absolutely rank corruption in the higher ranks of the DNC.


Please follow the site guidelines, regardless of how wrong other commenters are or you feel they are.


Reading this almost instantly modified my opinion of wiki leaks. I can’t believe they published something so sensitive without justification. Is there a wider context that the leak occurred in, maybe via some oversight? I know they used to publish large dumps of email exchanges from large corporations - did this get mixed up in one of those?

I’m honestly upset that this sort of information was released

What does that have to do with Assange being charged?

EDIT: It seems any effort to seek clarification is discouraged here. My apologies.

Sorry you were downvoted. Here's an upvote on me because clarification is good.

The context you are missing is that there are some sibling comments here claiming that wikileaks has never posted info with questionable veracity. I believe the Steve Jobs leak is one such case.

I also was pointing out that sometimes certain types of information don't need to be leaked at all. I personally believe medical info should be very private unless perhaps you are running for the office of the President. But, as I said, there are probably multiple perspectives on the issue (particularly perspectives of people who would want Apple's stock price to go down, or might think of Steve Jobs as evil for the Foxconn scandals, for instance).

Hope that helps.

Thanks for the context--that definitely makes sense. It seems fair to say that legitimate leaks were probably diluted by baseless and largely irrelevant claims such as the Steve Jobs leak. Definitely fair to say if it can be done to Steve Jobs it can be done to Joe Sixpack as well.

It doesn't, it's a response to "I hope people don't forget that Wikileaks has never published anything that has been proven false. Not once."

Correct me if I'm wrong, but it seems like the comment was a response not about proving that claim to be false (as the commenter pointed out there was no evidence either way), but rather the ethics of releasing data protected under HIPAA.

In case the leak is true, this poses an interesting question, to why he received a liver... This cannot be standard ethical practice either?

HIV can cause Kaposi’s sarcoma, so that could have caused his cancer. It’s actually not that far outside the realm of possibility. Condom use was not very common in the 70s and one can live with HIV dormant for many years.

But the relevant question is "Why should a person's private medical history be public knowledge?"

I would argue that it became public knowledge the moment that the would-be leaker (along with any 3rd parties) learned about it, not the moment that it was leaked.

"Why should a person's private medical history"

Well, it depends on which public person we are talking about.

A random nobody? Yeah, privacy is important for them.

Someone running for president, or someone who is a CEO of one of the most valuable companies in the world? I don't really care much about their privacy, in either circumstance.

What grave scandal is uncovered by knowing that Jobs had AIDS?

Who will get justice or recompense by knowing that?

What future benefits or change of course will this bring for you, or me, or society?

Don't get me wrong, I don't care about this guy's privacy either -- plus he's dead, so privacy is mostly moot -- but it's hard to see what anyone stands to gain from airing inconsequential medical history.

As an officer of a public corporation, how much privacy can one expect? I agree that he had a right to privacy, same as anyone else.

> I agree that he had a right to privacy, same as anyone else.


> As an officer of a public corporation, how much privacy can one expect?

So we should violate his rights without repercussion? Lost me.

As a public figure you cannot have any reasonable expectation of privacy. That’s different from saying what should be done with his private medical records.

That makes no sense, he is not a publicly elected official where disclosing health issues is expected. He is a private citizen running a company, the fact that the company is popular and successful should have no bearing at all. Should everyone who starts a company expect to lose all privacy especially health related, or only those that are successful above a set threshold?

People must have their privacy, that is for sure.

If I invest something in your company, and you are sick, should I know it?

Probably not, as if you are a normal everyday investor like me you should not be investing in companies where its success hinges on a single person. I love Tesla but I have not invested in it because Musk could get hit by an electric semi tomorrow and the stock would tank.

It should definitely be on your list of considerations. It's the sad reality.

The only reason public figures don't reasonably have that expectation is because so many people are willing to break the law to leak their personal data. That this happens so often is not a valid justification for it happening.

This seems to fly in the face of the prevailing opinions on this site about Scott Alexander of Slate Star Codex having his full name printed in the NYT.

He’s not an officer of a publicly traded corporation, and has no fiduciary responsibility to shareholders. It’s a completely different case from being doxxed.

That wasn't your distinction, though. You used the term "public figure" and I think it's a bit dramatic to say that he was doxxed when he wrote under his full name until 2013, references those writings frequently and used that full name on the blog as recently as last year.

Either public figures deserve a measure of privacy or they don't.

> Either public figures deserve a measure of privacy or they don't.

The real answer is that it depends. If a public figure is abusing their position, then yes, it is in the public interest to know about this abuse of power.

Imagine for a second if every politician’s financial history for all of their financial accounts were on an immutable ledger. That is something that is desirable, though it violates those individuals’ privacy. In this case we would say the public interest supersedes their right to privacy.

It seems to be a very fluid standard, for sure, but there are other variables that are brought up in these discussions beyond whether or not a public figure is abusing their position. Who is publishing? How well-liked the public figure is and by who?

If the standard boils down to there being a journalistic interest in publishing relevant information about a public figure in relation to their abuse of power then I'm not sure how possibly-faked medical records pass that test.

> Either public figures deserve a measure of privacy or they don't.

Don't put words in the other person's mouth.

Instead, what people are saying is that if someone has a huge amount of power, then we don't really care about their privacy.

Someone running a blog does not have a huge amount of power.

Someone running a trillion dollar company, or running or president, or whatever, does have a huge amount of power.

Thats the difference.

Not sure how I was "putting words in the other person's mouth" by making that statement.

I agree that Steve Jobs is more powerful than even an influential blogger, but they are both public figures. Who exactly is allowed to do the calculus about how much private information is appropriate to publish about someone according to their level of power? To me it seems to be a binary: are they a public figure or not.

When it's a breach of journalistic ethics to publish information about a blogger that's provided on or linked to from said blog (I think it is a breach, he made a specific request not to) it's much more egregious to publish an apparently forged health record of a CEO.

At no point do I think that not caring about someone's privacy means it's acceptable to publish false information about them.

> To me it seems to be a binary

It doesn't have to be binary. Instead, we can say that the more power someone has, the more it is ok to reveal info about them.

You can pick public figure, but I wouldn't do that.

> Who exactly is allowed to do the calculus

Anyone at all times. That's how society works. Everyone has their own opinions.

I don't agree with your binary opinion though.

> Of a CEO

CEOs have lots of power. They don't need to be protected as much as everyone else in the world.

HIV wasn't around in the 1970s (in Western countries at least) and also Jobs wasn't in the more at-risk demographics for the disease.

It very much was around in the 1970s, and you have no idea what his sex life was. But none of this is any of our business.

Given that the first recognised death from AIDS was in the 80s, I'd dispute your saying that it was very much around in the 70s. I don't know what his sex life was like but as far as we know he wasn't a prostitute, a I.V. drug user or gay, so yeah he wasn't in any of the demographics hardest hit.

The AIDS might have been identified by the CDC in 1981 but testing of remains shows that the virus was in the US and killing people well before then.

Right, but my point is that those who grew up in that era did not adopt condom use until much later. Old Steve was known to get around a lot.


"(...) These specimens are significant not only because they are the oldest specimens of the virus known to cause AIDS, but because they show that the virus already had an extensive amount of genetic diversity in 1960.[10] This suggests the virus had either undergone recombination or been circulating for years or perhaps decades in the Kinshasa population. (...)"


Richard Edwin Graves Jr., a 28-year-old World War II veteran who had been stationed in the Solomon Islands, died on 26 July 1952 in Memphis, Tennessee with pneumocystis pneumonia, CMV and what some authors suggest are a sufficient number of opportunistic infections for a clinical course suggestive of an AIDS diagnosis.[8][9]

Sadayo Fujisawa, a sixty-year-old Japanese-Canadian woman, died in Montreal on 28 June 1945 of pneumocystis pneumonia with Human cytomegalovirus (CMV), diarrhea, and wasting, a group of symptoms which some authors conclude would have led to an automatic diagnosis of AIDS in the early 1980s.[6][7]

The virus was already circulating globally in the early 1900s.

This evidence is not very compelling.

The genetic diversity might be indicative of widerspread infection in sub-saharan Africa, and then two immuno-comprimised cases, are not specifically indicative of HIV.

...and then this statement has absolutely no basis in evidence: "The virus was already circulating globally in the early 1900s."

I'm generally against Assange on all of this. Hacking is an illegal activity that results in the disclosure of information that the hacker does not own. This is theft of information and a federal offense. Anyone engaging is nefarious hacking should be jailed, if caught, and never allowed to use technology again. We have very lax laws when it comes to hacking - they need to be stronger.

I’m not against use of hacking to reveal higher crimes.

I am against hacking in general.

I see no good reason for him to have targeted a newspaper.

I do see good reason to target secretive government agencies.

I see good reason for those agencies to have a problem with this and go after anyone who does it.

I am against government agencies having bad enough security that they can be so targeted.

Assange isn’t in prison right now for any of this, he’s in prison because he skipped bail to avoid extradition for a completely different charge to a completely different country to face his accusers for a potential maximum penalty less than the time he spent in the embassy he got kicked out of for breaking their rules, and which he fled to because for some reason that never made sense to me he claimed that going from the UK to Sweden put him in danger of the thing which actually happened in the UK.

> he got kicked out of for breaking their rules

This was not really the reason.

> and which he fled to because for some reason that never made sense to me he claimed that going from the UK to Sweden put him in danger of the thing which actually happened in the UK.

He feared that either the UK or Sweden would send him to the US.

> This was not really the reason.

While I am not naïve enough to ignore the possibility of dishonesty, the official statement was:

“We cannot allow our house, the house that opened its doors, to become a center for spying, … This activity violates asylum conditions. Our decision is not arbitrary but is based on international law.”

and also accusations of blocking security cameras at the embassy.

> He feared that either the UK or Sweden would send him to the US.

And yet, he initially submitted to the UK authorities while trying to deny access to the Swedish ones. That never looked sensible to me.

Don’t get me wrong, I paid attention when the UN accused the UK of torturing him, and the fact that the UK told the US about arresting him at the embassy before it told Sweden even though the latter had an outstanding warrant stinks — but thinking poorly of how governments treat a (very unusual) investigator who showed the world a whole bunch of the skeletons in their closets does not mean I have to think the investigator was doing anything other than fleeing justice in 2011.

Is criminal hacking such a awful crime that the punishment should include a custodial sentence and never having access to technology.

A lifetime ban seems completely inappropriate. Which specific technology did you have in mind?

Consigned to a fate only understood by the Amish

> Hacking is an illegal activity

And it should not be

> that results in the disclosure of information that the hacker does not own

Good thing I do not believe in intellectual property/owning numbers.

> This is theft of information

Copying is not theft.

> Anyone engaging is nefarious hacking should be

...given a monetary reward if they publish how they were able to gain unauthorized access.

And if it exposes war crimes? Crimes against humanity?

Some of what he leaked showed criminal activity at high levels and yet nothing was done about that. There's no point discussing justice and who should be jailed as long as it's selective justice. It means the justice system has become just a blunt instrument to be used for some criminals and against others.

Having a bigger hammer means nothing as long as it's always selective with criminal interests, protecting some and not others. Just means they have a bigger hammer to use against anyone threatening those interests, criminals or not.

"Never proven false" is an Orwellian turn of phrase, because WL's concern with accuracy is obviously not overriding:


Also: why would I care that Hammond was prosecuted? Hammond was caught dead to rights.

Thanks for chiming in. I would also add that he put aid workers and activists at risk [1] and caused potential harm, torture, and death to dissidents in Afghanistan and Iraq [2].

Indiscriminate doxing to accomplish a radical agenda is not journalism. My view-- which I admit is broader than the point you made-- is that he is a criminal and should be tried and convicted. It makes me sick to my stomach that he cloaks his actions in the hard work and bravery of our free press.

[1] https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-37165230 "Human rights groups have asked Wikileaks many times to do more to censor information found in documents. They fear reprisals against aid workers, activists and civilians named in the leaked data."

[2] https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-51616077 "Mr Lewis said the dissemination of specific classified documents unredacted put dissidents in Afghanistan and Iraq at 'risk of serious harm, torture or even death". The US identified hundreds of "at risk and potentially at risk people' around the world, he said, and made efforts to warn them."

"The burden of proof is on state power to justify itself." It seems very plausible that WL/Assange disclosed information irresponsibly, and if so, he should be held to account. The real concern is that I think we all know he isn't going to get anything resembling a fair trial; The Powers That Be are looking to send a message to any other would-be leakers and journalists with the audacity to challenge unaccountable state violence.

Many of the things he's charged with have nothing to do with whether Assange disclosed information "irresponsibly". On a message board, the entire debate is over whether WL is a good thing or not. But that's not at all the matter that is put before the court.

Your comment is well taken. However, I would point out that with respect to the disclosure counts there is some legal relevance to the frequent message board debate about whether he is a "journalist" or not. The false claim that he is one is made due to the belief it will provide him with a modicum of legal protection against some of the disclosure counts. It wont help him at all when it comes to the computer intrusion count and I also don't think it helps with the conspiracy to obtain NDI (though I am less sure on that one). Either way I would expect to see the journalism issue discussed and ultimately debunked at trail.

There's an awfully tough hill to climb for any argument suggesting that any kind of intentionality, journalistic or humanitarian or otherwise, might immunize someone for literally dispatching Lulzsec with a list of targets. The law will see the winged monkeys and draw the obvious conclusion about what kind of person dispatches those.

Of course, we're working solely from the indictment, and Assange will make his own case rebutting those claims. But if the DOJ's informant holds up, I'm not sure what the persuasive argument is going to be. Maybe he'll hold out for nullification.

I agree, as I mentioned the debate about "journalism" has no relevance when it comes to computer intrusion and some of the other crimes in the indictment. It is a good point that it could bear some relevance on jury nullification or one juror causing a mistrial. In the end though I think we are of the same mind that it holds no water.

By far the most likely outcome is that he will receive a fair trial, be convicted, and then justice will be done.

> he cloaks his actions in the hard work and bravery of our free press.

What specifically are you invoking here as the "free press" ? There is very little free press in the United States. The overwhelming majority of what is called the press consists of mouthpieces for the ruling power structure, analogous to state media in the USSR.

I agree it would have been better for documents to be reviewed before publication rather than dumped. But I just don't see how that was possible given the limited resources of the non-corrupt press, and the tendency of the government to go after anyone in possession of leaks. Assange being considered a journalist has much to do with the rot of the institution itself.

The WSJ, WaPo, and NYT are not analogous to the state media of Russia or the Soviet Union, however fun that might be to say on a message board.

Unsubstantiated rebuttals are fun to say on message boards too, I guess.

It certainly seems like when the de facto government has an agenda (eg attacking Iraq), they all broadcast that message simultaneously. It certainly seems like they choose which presidential candidates are "electable" and then downplay the others (Sanders, Paul, Dean). It certainly seems like they suppress narratives that are unfavorable to the shared business interests of their owners. It certainly seems like they all cooperate with the government to get easy access (embedded reporters, etc) rather than doing the hard work of adversarial investigation.

There are differences of course, like how we get to hear two similar options and pick between them. And how this simple act of choosing makes the population absorb the propaganda better. But I'd call those internal differences in structure, with the overall result being similar.

If you're happy within the Overton window, then of course it looks like Wikileaks is some crazy actor that came out of nowhere. But if you see mainstream media repeatedly acting in concert, then Wikileaks is a predictable reaction.

The bar for how good an argument needs to be before it demands substantiation on HN is low, but it does not in fact touch the ground. Sometimes, it's worth pointing out that a piece of hyperbolic rhetoric is just that, just so we can keep our premises clear. "I don't trust the WSJ or NYT" is a colorable argument we could debate. But "The WSJ and NYT are analogous to state-run media" is not; if you believe that, there's little point in continuing to debate.

You wrote just minutes before this post that wikileaks "literally dispatching Lulzsec". Seems quite hyperbolic to claim that they had any power to control lulzsec and dispatch them as if Lulzsec was their underlings.

So maybe we should all just tone down the colorful language a bit and use a bit less extreme rhetoric to make our points.

This would be a better mic drop if several pages of the indictment weren't dedicated to establishing that fact pattern.

Obviously, you can dispute the indictment --- the veracity of the indictment isn't my point. But I contend: any argument you make about my summary of that portion of the indictment is going to illustrate exactly what I mean by the difference between a colorable argument and the mind 'mindslight made upthread.

"In 2012, Assange communicated directly with a leader of the hacking group LulzSec (who by then was cooperating with the FBI), and provided a list of targets for LulzSec to hack. With respect to one target, Assange asked the LulzSec leader to look for (and provide to WikiLeaks) mail and documents, databases and pdfs. In another communication, Assange told the LulzSec leader that the most impactful release of hacked materials would be from the CIA, NSA, or the New York Times. WikiLeaks obtained and published emails from a data breach committed against an American intelligence consulting company by an “Anonymous” and LulzSec-affiliated hacker. According to that hacker, Assange indirectly asked him to spam that victim company again."

The language used by the justice department uses less harsh rhetoric to describe its own indictment than your summery. The difference between providing a list of targets in a communication with a group leader, and literally dispatching a group against a list of targets, is two different statements. The later is more colorful and implies relationships which is not found. Asking and dispatching also have a very different implied tone, one being a request and the later being an order.

I'm now working from memory on this, and you can correct me and I'll listen, but what I read in that indictment was:

* Assange had direct contact with some Lulzsec members.

* Assange recruited "Teenager" to liaise with the computer underground.

* "Teenager" represented themselves as an agent of Wikileaks reporting directly to Assange.

* "Teenager" arranged for Lulzsec to take target lists from Wikileaks.

* The transactions in which those target lists were communicated were overseen by Julian Assange; in at least one case, there's video evidence of that occurring.

If your argument is that members of Lulzsec were free to disregard Wikileaks directives, that's a distinction without a difference, at least legally. The same fact pattern is true of most criminal conspiracies.

I used the term "winged monkeys" to describe Lulzsec, which might have been part of what set you off, because, like, Topiary was not literally a simian thrall to Assange. My point there was simply that the law, and the DOJ, and, probably, juries will look at Lulzsec as an purely criminal element of the case; there will be no regard to any larger political goals Lulzsec might have had.

I feel at this point like, unless I got the indictment completely, dramatically wrong, my point about "colorable argument" versus "bullshit rhetoric" has been made.

Okay then, your comments have been hyperbolic viewpoint-dismissing rhetoric, along with the one I responded to - "It makes me sick to my stomach that he cloaks his actions in the hard work and bravery of our free press."

Sure, my original comment was too general. I've come to that pattern over many specific occurrences, and it keeps my headspace clear by tying mainstream media to a powerful other. But I understand that stating it head-on won't convince anyone.

Narrowing down that heuristic to what is pertinent here:

The mainstream reporting on Iraq from 2003-2007 by (NYT, WSJ, WaPO, FOX, CNN, etc) all overwhelmingly marketed the war to the population. Referring to an alternative of some noble vibrant "free press" is ridiculous when they all were pushing the same government-friendly narrative. Wikileaks was an inevitable response to the lack of investigative journalism opposing the unilateral war, and thus had to function independently with much fewer resources. If anybody from the traditional institution had been doing their purported job, they would have easily scooped Wikileaks and could have spent effort scrubbing the sources. In fact, we saw a lot less of Wikileaks when the mainstream media actually bothered to report on the Snowden revelations.

I don't know that we even need to reach the question of whether the NYT, WaPo, and CNN uniformly marketed the Iraq war to dispose of this argument. Consider: the NYT, WaPo, and CNN are unanimously pushing the same narrative about combating the pandemic, and, with one very notable exception, that narrative is the same as the public health establishment. The pandemic will kill far more Americans than the Iraq war did; it's a generation-defining story. Is the press "un-free" because they're warmly reporting on lockdown, social distancing, and mask-wearing measures by the government? Or can the press sometimes simply agree organically about things?

If the press needs to function like a series of warring contrarian subreddits to validate itself for you, we're operating from incompatible premises.

You're comparing sensible response to a shared public health issue, with an elective war for economic empire? Mainstream media also agrees that you should brush your teeth every day, but I don't attribute that to business relationships with P&G/Unilever. Continuing your argument, you're implying that invading other countries is just common sense, or at least was at the time. Maybe it seemed that way to you, but most everyone I knew was ardently against the war.

The press certainly can agree organically about things. We generally talk in terms of causality, but feedback cycles mean that things act mutually on each other - including the population being preached to (eg choosing to promote those fucking yellow ribbons). But exploring this way leads us deeper into handwaving territory, which is a lot easier to shoot down with a dismissive blunt response, as you did to my initial comment.

For the Iraq war specifically, I do agree that many journalists were likely in agreement to begin with. But the ones that were not were filtered out by management and ownership (cf Clear Channel's list of songs to censor), resulting in the unified presentation. I'm not claiming grand conspiracy, but rather emergent behavior with the net effect of squashing big-business-inconvenient narratives.

Also, I'd be thankful to anybody who leaked information that punched holes in the COVID-19 narrative. I don't think that will happen, because I think it is a very real crisis, but I would welcome being wrong. That's another huge difference between your points of comparison - COVID-19 analysis survives open discussion, while the pro-war camp relied on silencing dissent.

Where by "filtering out by management", you mean "ran front-page stories condemning their own coverage", as early as 2004, in the cases of both the NYT and WaPo. Just like state-run media from the Soviet Union.

You'll try, of course, to recover the irretrievably bad position of your argument comparing the NYT to Pravda by trying to get me to defend the NYT, WSJ, and WaPo's 2003 Iraq coverage. But of course, I don't have to do that. My case is not that journalism is faultless; it's called the "first draft" of history for a reason. Rather, the burden is on you to support the extraordinary claim that the NYT, WSJ, and WaPo are effectively equivalent to state-run media, the claim you stated plainly upthread.

I already admitted my assertion is a heuristic - I find it more useful than not. The standards I used my preceding comments were "analogous", "overall result being similar" and "overwhelmingly marketed the war".

So no, I have not been arguing that the two are "effectively equivalent" or "just like", nor that the government (whatever that may be) has an iron grip on the press - just that the press successfully propagandizes the people with the desires of the ruling power structure. Stating it a different way, one cannot rely on mainstream news outlets and consider themselves informed.

FWIW there is a more direct mechanism of action put forth by Moldbug, but I figure you'll be even less receptive to something of the opposite political flavor.

(Although at this point in our present catastrophe I admit I'm missing the days of competent leadership, even if it was somewhat exploitative of the plebs)

You're right about one thing: I'm not generally going to be receptive to the arguments of people who believe in genetic intellectual superiority of white people over black people, not to mention, for this discussion, people who believe that democracy itself is a mistake, and with it the free press. I'm surprised to see you warmly referencing an authoritarian white supremacist, and won't forget you did. Unlike Yarvin, I don't think you're a white supremacist, not for citing him. Rather, I've concluded that this is all a joke to you.

No doubt Yarvin himself could contribute a pointless 5,000 words to this already pointless thread explaining how I've summarized his beliefs poorly. I'm happy to tie it off here, though.

meh. Truth can be found anywhere, and it's foolish to close your mind based on who is speaking.

FWIW reading Moldbug's analysis of left versus right is what made me return to self-identifying as liberal.

FWIW Zeynep isn’t concerned with accuracy either, WL did not dump private info of almost every woman in Turkey. This is simply a strange misattribution, the dump came via Emma Best of DDoSecrets, http://web.archive.org/web/20160727193612/https://twitter.co...

Why is this being downvoted? It's true and has been explained by Emma Best herself https://archive.is/0VsQR

The parent says

> Zeynep isn’t concerned with accuracy either

But your link says

> Zeynep Tufekci never lied, exaggerated or retracted her article (which was accurate).

So I don't see how one explains the other.

Emma Best isn’t being very clear here. In her tweet she very clearly disagrees with Zeynep Tufekcis claims, but for whatever reason the blog is more forgiving.

In any case it’s quite clear that Zeynep wasn’t correct when she claimed that WL dumped this data. WL only tweeted a link to the dump shared by Emma Best, who now operates a “competitor” to WL, DDoSecrets.

I’m not trying to suggest that WL has an amazing track record. I just think that if Zeynep wanted to do the right thing she’d have retracted her claim that WL dumped this data.

Emma Best published those documents and not WikiLeaks. That's what I thought was the correction.

The Twitter link you provide does not claim that wikileaks spread false information.

In fact following the huffpost link it appears as if wikileaks pointed to private (and not of public interest) information published by a third party:

> WikiLeaks has not taken down its social media links to the now dead link.

If that is all you got, then I have to believe gp that wikileaks doesn’t spread false information.

False. Emma Best (then Michael Best) published the information about turkish women, not WikiLeaks, and was explained by Best here https://archive.is/0VsQR

Not sure I understand your point, he is not being indicted for publishing false information. Assuming he never did, why would that make the charges bullshit?

It’s a common talking point people use to obfuscate and defend wikileaks.

As you note, it’s irrelevant but also, if true, illustrates how selectively showing true info is deceptive.

The better question is whether he’s buried true facts in order to help public figures. There’s strong evidence he’s censored whistleblowers leaking damaging documents about Russia involvement in syria[0], along with his pretty open partnership with the Russian government.


I'm not saying his record means the charges are bullshit, but I'm saying if the charges are bullshit and his record is infallible then the implication is that we live under a government without freedom of the press, where truthful hard-hitting journalism gets you put in prison.

If you don't believe that Assange has done truthful hard-hitting journalism, or you believe that he isn't a journalist at all, then you can maintain the belief that we don't put journalists in prison while sitting idle as he rots in prison, because he is not a True Journalist. "We wouldn't do that to True Journalists. Assange is different."

Freedom of the Press doesn't give you carte blanche to disclose state secrets without repercussions. Just because the information is hard hitting doesn't give you a pass on the crimes you committed to get it.

Freedom of the Press has limitations.

Example, as a journalist you cannot just walk into a US Army base and start reporting.

Gee, that sounds problematic. We give them $750B/yr, they kill innocent people around the world, and they don't submit to public oversight? I wish we lived in a free society...

The Senate Committee on Armed Services is the public government "group" charged with oversight of the US Military.

I don't know if that meets your definition of public oversight.

Congress is infamously bad at overseeing anything. For that reason, from time to time journalists have helped the public to make direct policy recommendations. Of course the bureaucratic state prefers not to accommodate that form of oversight.

To be fair, true journalists don’t host shows on RT.

Assange is not in solitary confinement, please don't spread falsehoods

Thanks for this, I hadn't seen the news that he had been moved out of solitary confinement. I'm happy to be wrong, that's good news. I'll edit the parent comment.

> Jailed WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is no longer being kept in solitary confinement and his health is improving, his spokesman Kristinn Hrafnsson told reporters on Tuesday.

- Feb. 2020 [1]

[1]: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-britain-assange/wikileaks...

I don't believe he was in solitary confinement up until then.

Here is the UN (Nils Melzer) saying he is not, in May 2019 [0]

> "Although Assange is not held in solitary confinement..."

There were photo leaks early on showing Assange interacting with other prisoners, with the leaker saying he was popular.

I believe what Wikileaks refer to as "solitary confinement" is being put on the medical wing, and not in his normal cell. Obviously Wikileaks are interested in making his imprisonment seem as harsh as possible.

[0] https://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?N...

He used to be until end of january this year. While outdated it's not a falsehood per se.

Real journalists don't just publish anything they can get their hands on with no regards for where the data came from, for what purposes it was given to them and whom their publication might harm.

Don’t worry, he doesn’t publish everything he’s given.


True. They first ask their editor what the agenda is that week and then selectively and out of context craft the narrative. Case in point NYT in the past decade. Or WaPo. Or Fox in ages past.

> I hope people don't forget that Wikileaks has never published anything that has been proven false.

That is a very odd misdirection given the context. He's not accused of lying, he's accused of computer crimes.

I mean, your medical records and browsing history may be 100% true and verifiably copied from original sources, but if I steal and distribute them I'm still going to jail.

> Stand up for journalists. Real journalists.

Are you trying to imply that assange is a journalist?

This smells to me just a bit.

If this knowledge was disclosed sooner (Because, lets face it, they've loved to spurt out claims about bad things Assange has done,) I would expect a non-negligible number of Wikileaks supporters to stop.

It's one thing to have leaks fed to you, it's another to actively encourage people to do so and name targets.

So... Why are we only hearing about this -now-?

Wait. Are you taking these accusations at face value and saying that is okay here? Or are you contending that the accusations are false? I think it is a pretty big deal if you ask a hacking group to hack for you.

> Stand up for journalists. Real journalists.

Of which Assange isn't

He was more than happy to support the current administration in the electoral process, with heavy editorializing and biases

So, I guess sorry they renegued on their promises? Oh but he should have guessed it.

> I hope people don't forget that Wikileaks has never published anything that has been proven false.

This talking point is frankly irrelevant. Actually it itself illustrates how only cherry picking info to reveal is as deceptive as out right lies, but even more difficult to combat.

Want a clear example of how showing only true information is deceptive? Google Mormon bubbling. Yes the example is distasteful but it’s a very clear illustration of how easy it is to use selective information to deceive perception and make people appear to be doing something they are not, potentially hurting them.

>> I hope people don't forget that Wikileaks has never published anything that has been proven false.

Not really relevant. Assange was acting directly against the interests of the United States. He was indiscriminately dumping large quantities of classified (or otherwise secret) information on the internet for the world to see.

In which jurisdiction is it illegal for an Australian to publish evidence of American war crimes?

> I hope people don't forget that Wikileaks has never published anything that has been proven false.

You need an edit for that incorrect statement as well, as many comments have already pointed out.

I will give you a upvote and it will clean my conscience, so I don't have to do anything about this anymore.

Wow. I had no idea the guy being HackThisSite was involved in the Stratfor leaks, nor that he was imprisoned for it.

thank you for speaking up - there's a lot of fake noise, don't mind it - the message carries through: glad to know others are out there!

> Stand up for journalists. Real journalists.

Are you trying to claim Assange is a journalist? How many credible journalists do you know that provide lists of targets with the intent to illegally hack?

>I hope people don't forget that Wikileaks has never once published anything that has been proven false.


He has helped launder edited material from Russian state sponsored hackers in the past. That is one instance, should I find more?

A one-off tweet from a wikileaks twitter account about some other organization publishing something questionable is not at all the same as the document dumps that wikileaks publishes and puts their name behind. I'm obviously talking about the latter.

I think it says something that this is the best you can come up with.


Assange censors whistleblowers against the Russian government who he openly collaborated with. Do you think this is ethical behavior?

>I think it says something that this is the best you can come up with.

Hi I can basically see you sneering with a "gotcha" face through that text. Sorry but Assange's history of leak revisionism, favoring Russia specifically, is deep.

When Assange was working with "Anon" who was really an FBI snitch, he accepted files hacked from Syria. When they were released they were missing information about Russia including bank transfers of billions of dollars. Assange's selective leaking based on his biases has been documented for years:


>The court records, placed under seal by a Manhattan federal court and obtained by the Daily Dot through an anonymous source, show in detail how a group of hacktivists breached the Syrian government’s networks on the eve of the country’s civil war and extracted emails about major bank transactions the Syrian regime was hurriedly making amid a host of economic sanctions. In the spring of 2012, most of the emails found their way into a WikiLeaks database.

>But one set of emails in particular didn’t make it into the cache of documents published by WikiLeaks in July 2012 as “The Syria Files,” despite the fact that the hackers themselves were ecstatic at their discovery. The correspondence, which WikiLeaks has denied withholding, describes “more than” €2 billion ($2.4 billion, at current exchange rates) moving from the Central Bank of Syria to Russia’s VTB Bank.

We know this because the courts showed the data that Assange personally held back.

Ugh, don't make me do this:

Selectively releasing documents is not the same as releasing something later proven to be false, which is what the GP asserted.

FWIW you could play devils advocate here and say that wikileaks could not independently verify the omitted things; but I'm not going to go there because it's conjecture. Just as your suggestion that it's collusion with Russia, however likely, is also conjecture.

Selectively releasing everyone else's dirt except for Russia is a strong indicator of non-neutral stance.

Sorry I must have missed where anyone in this thread-chain has asserted that statement at all.

Lies of omission are still lies.

To use an extreme example, if a reporting organization writes a story about one nation launching missile strikes against another, and leaves out that they were retaliatory strikes from a previous attack, that dramatically changes the perception of those events. If this sort of thing is continually done to benefit one entity, it is reasonable to question the honesty of the reporter.

Even if the released documents are all accurate, the previous lies of omission would cause a reasonable person to question whether or not the released documents provide adequate context.

This is the primary reason why every time I read a news article that seems to have a bit "too perfect" narrative about who is good and who is bad, I go and check Wikipedia or other news sites. It usually result in a broader context. Few things tend to be black or white, and never in any political topics.

Out of all news I read there is maybe one small set of investigative journalist that I trust to give me a balanced amount of context to from my own opinion, and as a mark of quality, they are disliked by the government, activists, the left and the right.

There's this from the top level comment.

> Stand up for journalists. Real journalists.

I wouldn't think that "Real journalists" would selectively choose what to report based on who their friends are.

I want to downvote this for having loaded controversial commentary, but I can't as it's a direct reply.

"who their friends are" is an uncharitable interpretation of the situation. You might not like that they didn't report on some information that was Russian, but to assume it's due to friendly relations and not fear of reprisal is spinning a narrative. Just as asserting the exact inverse is also spinning a narrative.

I don't claim to know everything and people seem really emotive about this so it's common to see people finding things that please their current mindset and presenting it as if its evidence of whatever they believe.

Please attempt removing your emotions and coldly look at the facts, try to consider an alternative theory for what happened or is happening, especially if you're American because Americans seem to be _especially_ heated when it comes to Assange.

Whatever your beliefs on the subject, a lot more has happened due to wikileaks stories; over something like NYT or bloomberg stories, which are highly regarded news outlets. So a charitable interpretation is that they're doing "real journalism" because they're digging in to things in the public interest.

> not fear of reprisal is spinning a narrative

I don't simultaneously fear reprisal _while_ reaching out to Russians for help and assistance.

I don't simultaneously fear reprisal _while_ reaching out to the Trump campaign to coordinate the release of leaks.

I don't simultaneously fear reprisal from a country _while_ seeking asylum in that country.

"fear of reprisal" would be the first time I've heard _that_ particular narrative being spun.

>I wouldn't think that "Real journalists" would selectively choose what to report based on who their friends are.

Then who is a "real" journalist anymore these days? That's is exactly why so many people are abandoning mainstream media (CNN, Foxnews, NBC, BBC, Guardian, Al Jazeera), because those established entities time and time again choose to selectively report on events when it fit their political bias and omit when it isn't possible to put a spin on the story.

WikiLeaks Turned Down Leaks on Russian Government During U.S. Presidential Campaign


>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.

>WikiLeaks declined to publish a wide-ranging trove of documents — at least 68 gigabytes of data — that came from inside the Russian Interior Ministry, according to partial chat logs reviewed by Foreign Policy.

>The logs, which were provided to FP, only included WikiLeaks’s side of the conversation.

>“As far as we recall these are already public,” WikiLeaks wrote at the time.

>“WikiLeaks rejects all submissions that it cannot verify. WikiLeaks rejects submissions that have already been published elsewhere or which are likely to be considered insignificant. WikiLeaks has never rejected a submission due to its country of origin,” the organization wrote in a Twitter direct message when contacted by FP about the Russian cache.

Assange would later go on to propagate and distribute manipulated leaks sent by Guccifer 2.0 and other known Russian fronts like the "CyberBerkut" promotion of his I linked at the thread top.

WikiLeaks published hundreds of thousands documents about Russia[0][1] and there's no evidence for your quoted claim made by ForeignPolicy. Where are those chatlogs?

For matters about Assange you should definitely look for more independent sources than only FP. A lot has happened since 2016/17, and there's been cases which show that certain groups within the US establishment been wrong for alleging Assange of a Russia connection[2].

[0] https://search.wikileaks.org/?q=Russia

[1] https://wikileaks.org/spyfiles/russia/

[2] https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2019/07/31/assa-j31.html

In 2016 the relationship between Julian Assange and the US is about as hostile as possible. He was seeking asylum against this very extradition process that is ongoing. A big part of that drama was also that the US secretary of state under the previous years, ie the U.S. government's minister of foreign affairs, was a candidate for the 2016 presidential campaign and thus is it likely that there is a personal grudge between Assange and her.

And he was given documents that could hurt her. He used them.

It seems pretty clear that neutrality has not been on the tables for Assange ever since he sought political asylum. As pointed out above, this does not mean he has fabricated documents, or knowingly distributed fabricated documents, but since 2012 he has been in an active conflict against the government of the USA and in particular the foreign affairs side of it and thus leaks should be seen in that context.

"since 2012 he has been in an active conflict against the government of the USA and in particular the foreign affairs side of it and thus leaks should be seen in that context."

Thanks, I think this the lense that should be used when viewing all the facts. It's very hard to view Assange as impartial, but it's too soon to tell if he's anyones agent but his own.

Hillary literally asked whether Assange could be killed in a State Department meeting.

I think there's no doubt that there was a personal grudge between the two.


Since they have provided links and supporting evidence for their assertion I would have to say that right now it seems to look like you are the one engaging in blatant propaganda and deception.

With all respect, a leaked chat log from 'foreignpolicy.com' isn't evidence of anything and shouldn't be used as such.

If one clicks through, one discovers that the "leaked chat log" isn't even quoted or linked from that oddly non-sourced article. If it had ever actually been leaked to the public, a journalist would have shown us rather than just implying.

What most people seem to fail to realize is that in of itself is not necessary proof of collusion. There is the "street" theory that publishing records on powerful Russians ends with a bullet in your head( or worse) and not jail or any legal proceedings. Something to think about.

Well, yes, getting to Russia's shit list is a nasty experience even for non-Russians, as well known examples show, such as that of https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jessikka_Aro

Is it really necessary to leak information on Russia? Outside Russia we already know that they have done bad things. Besides was the information he leaked untrue? As an US citizen I am most interested in when is going on inside my own country not only because it affects me but also because I have the ability to push for change.

Assange asking Guccifer 2.0 for Hillary leaks: https://pbs.twimg.com/media/Dt6BBwBXcAEL-Fj?format=jpg&name=...

Assange helping Guccifer 2.0 distribute manipulated Hillary leaks: https://twitter.com/wikileaks/status/764256561539735552

How the leaks were taken from other sources and manipulated: https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/qkjevd/guccifer-2-is-bull...

>Guccifer 2.0 — believed to be a misinformation campaign operated by Russian intelligence — posted an 860-megabyte file on Tuesday afternoon that he claimed was donor information he hacked from Clinton Foundation servers.

>A sampling of the posted documents include a spreadsheet of big bank donations, a list of primarily California donors, an outdated spreadsheet of some Republican House members — and a screenshot of files he claimed to have obtained, one of which was titled “Pay to Play.”

>But there are a number of red flags that suggest the documents are in fact from a previous hack on the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), not a new hack on the Clinton Foundation.

>A spot check of some of the people on the donor list against FEC filings found that they all lined up with DCCC contributions.

This does not alter the claim that info released by Wikileaks was never fake.

It is not worth engaging. I have met powerful people who have an unreasonable bug up their ass about Assange.

These are Americans who state that this Australian is a traitor who should be prosecuted and executed for treason over the collateral murder video. It is the same exact moral and ethical rot that has corrupted our police forces.

Edit: These downvotes are enlightening.

Where there is smoke, there is fire.

Ask yourself this: why is it so important to leak information that is being held in secrecy by a state that is committing war crimes at an alarming rate?

The answer is: because the 5-eyes War Coalition is committing war crimes at an alarming rate. It literally started what it hoped to conflagration into World War 3, by invading Iraq illegally and on false pretences in 2003. And every day since that invasion, the world has been on fire.

The world has not forgotten the victims of these wars. Millions of innocent people have been massacred by the USA and its War Coalition in an utterly dire conflagration. The sheer SCALE of the war, of which the Western public are indeed extremely ignorant, is staggering.

If you had two criminals in the room, one of them was thieving the cutlery and the other was burning a pile of dead bodies in the corner, which would you want to deal with, first?

The USA and its War Coalition has a lot of criminal activity going on. Like, a lot. And every twenty minutes for twenty years, it has been dropping bombs - mostly on innocent people - for its own economic purposes.

That is a fire that the leaks will put out.

(The leaks will continue, because the crimes are huge.)

> And every day since that invasion, the world has been on fire.

Obviously things were peacable around the world beforehand, and every conflict or human rights violation since then can be blamed on the Iraq invasion.

Never mind that civilian casualties by coalition forces are absolutely dwarfed by those by the opposition, or that US in general gets an extremely high degree of scrutiny and commits relatively few war crimes / civilian casualties.

This is a brilliant attempt at distraction from the incredible corruption and human rights violations from other countries such as Russia. Should the US get a free pass? Of course not, but it's rather tiresome to hear Chinese and Russian agitators say "but what about the 10k civilian casualties over 10 years" while asking the world to please ignore the Uighur genocide or the invasions of Ukraine.

The fact is that Wikileaks has a well established bias. They publish things that are true when it harms the US, and often leave out as much exonerating context as possible. Collateral murder for instance specifically tried to downplay the aspects where the gunner provided a rationale for engaging and sought approval, instead using voiceovers and editing to imply a lack of ROE.

>Millions of innocent people have been massacred by the USA and its War Coalition in an utterly dire conflagration.

I'd love to see a source on this. The most critical estimate I've seen (Iraq Body Count) has coalition innocents killed around 30k, Over 15 years. While opposition are over 300k. Please source your facts.

"The world is always at war" is not an excuse for the following illegal military murder and death campaigns waged against innocent people: Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, Pakistan, Yemen.

The bombing must stop. The drones must be denied.

>Body Count:


2 million people lost in one war 'arena' is one thing. Another war arena, is another thing. 12 of them, for 20 years, is shear lunacy.

Iraq lost 5% of its population to US war.

You should probably read the source you provide. Like many of these body counts, they make no attempt to differentiate US-caused, coalition-caused, Russian-caused, or opposition-caused deaths--or even whether the rise in mortality was actually caused by the war!

So, as is reasonable, you are just blaming them all on the US.

I think you didn't read the report. It very definitely does make an attempt to differentiate. If only this task was made more reliable and accurate by way of true facts from the very people dropping the bombs.

Alas, the American military is as terrified of the true statistics as anyone could be. Even General McMaster, an utter war criminal, has made an effort to ensure all his peers know how much danger they are all in, should the true scale of the wars be revealed to the American public.

"Good thing" there is a lot going on right now to distract people from the burning piles of rubble America has left all over the world.

I assure you, the victims and the families of those victims, and the friends of those victims HAVE NOT FORGOTTEN.

...even whether the rise in mortality was actually caused by the war!

You need proof that war causes death? This seems like some sort of nadir of tabula rasa foolishness.

If you're going to choose to misrepresent / misunderstand what I said, there isnt going to be much point in discussion.

But in case there was confusion here, I would like a claim that X deaths were caused by Y war to be backed up by evidence rather than "obviously war causes death, so this war must have caused that death!"

The rise in mortality could be partly caused by war, and partly by changing political factors, and partly by changing responses to vaccinations (relevant in Pakistan re: polio), and partly by a hundred other factors.

When you ask how many deaths in Iraq were caused by "the Russians", you lose any assumption of intent to engage in good-faith discussion. We know you didn't read the 97-page study linked by GP, because it discussed the question of who caused the many deaths in several sections, including one beginning on page 28. Before examining the figures more closely, the Physicians for Social Responsibility observe the following:

A priori, of course, those who started the war also carry the main responsibility for all victims. Since the assault on Iraq unequivocally constituted an aggression in violation of international law, the U.S. and its allies are also responsible for all its consequences.

What could you possibly be thinking? "Of the million violent combat deaths in Iraq through 2012, we should only blame USA for 600k, not 850k!" Such an argument would be silly, if it weren't completely monstrous.

It is utterly monstrous, and you've successfully pointed out the culturally disastrous moral authority that Americans use to justify their nations heinous crimes against humanity.

For every George Floyd there are a thousand unnamed Iraqi's. The outrage isn't there for those victims. Yet.

But there will be a time when Americans are confronted with their nations horrendous legacy for the last 20 years, and it will erase, entirely, any pretence of moral authority. One hopes that day comes sooner, and with fewer victims, but as we can see the stubborn "might makes right" attitude so many of us are exhibiting in the West, alas makes it more likely that this won't happen until even more innocent bodies are thrown on the pile ..

So few see the connections between slaughter/persecution of non-whites overseas and slaughter/persecution of non-whites here, among those indigenous both to this continent and to Africa. No sooner had we extended our predations to the whole of our territory than we set our sights abroad. The script used in Philippines was a farcical echo of that followed in America over the preceding 150 years, just as numerous massacres there echoed that at Wounded Knee just a decade before. Emilio Aguinaldo would have done better if he had taken notice of previous American treaties and their aftermath. Shortly after he allied with Admiral Dewey against the Spanish, he found the Americans rather wanted to replace the Spanish as imperial overlords, except with more murder. Anywhere from a quarter to a whole million Filipinos were murdered while suffering vicious libel in the USA press. Six decades later, similar numbers of Indonesians suffered the same fate, although in that case CIA was running the show rather than Navy and Army.

Indeed, if there has been any innovation in our racist slaughters, it has been to occasionally keep our fingerprints off the machetes. All the bombs falling in Yemen still say "Made in USA" on the side, though.

The USA political system is a machine that transforms the blood of non-white people into the profits of armaments manufacturers and (sometimes) resource extraction firms. This has been true since before the founding of USA. Even many minorities in USA would rather not acknowledge this awful legacy. Your appeals to the judgment of history will eventually be answered, but I expect that to happen only after this totalitarian polity is replaced by more humane ways to organize life here in North America.

>The USA political system is a machine that transforms the blood of non-white people into the profits of armaments manufacturers and (sometimes) resource extraction firms.

This statement is now incorporated into my own mindset.

Thank you for your courage.

Selective leaking and selective redaction do not correspond to any US crimes and if they did could be leveled against many publishers.

What is the point of raising this in the context of a criminal indictment? I haven’t even examined what you are raising for accuracy, I’m merely asking, what does this have to do with throwing someone in prison?

This is a politically motivated perversion of Justice , you here are implying he is loyal to Russia and therefore deserves it.

You know, even if you were right, you are not helping your case?

Its not just my opinion, its the UN opinion. https://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?N...

>Its not just my opinion, its the UN opinion.

From the article you linked:

Mr Nils Melzer, Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment; is part of what is known as the Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council. Special Procedures, the largest body of independent experts in the UN Human Rights system, is the general name of the Council’s independent fact-finding and monitoring mechanisms that address either specific country situations or thematic issues in all parts of the world. Special Procedures’ experts work on a voluntary basis; they are not UN staff and do not receive a salary for their work. They are independent from any government or organization and serve in their individual capacity.

>they are not UN staff and do not receive a salary for their work. They are independent from any government or organization and serve in their individual capacity.

I see two possible interpretations:

A - This is a special process meant to assure that reports are truly independent and neutral. These conclusions are even more trustworthy.

B - UN Special Rapporteur can't be trusted, it's is a random nobody that can publish untrue allegations and slap UN logo on top.

It appears you are implying B is the correct interpretations. If so, why? Additionally, can you suggest a more trustworthy, unbiased party than the UN?

OK I'll be explicit.

You attempted to spin the opinion of special rapporteur into that of the UN. In every special rapporteur article they have to put the disclaimer I posted because of people like you attempting to frame something in false or malicious ways.

To recap your claim:

>Its not just my opinion, its the UN opinion.

UN's actual position as stated in the article you posted:

>The Special Rapporteurs are part of what is known as the Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council. Special Procedures, the largest body of independent experts in the UN Human Rights system, is the general name of the Council's independent fact-finding and monitoring mechanisms that address either specific country situations or thematic issues in all parts of the world. Special Procedures' experts work on a voluntary basis; they are not UN staff and do not receive a salary for their work. They are independent from any government or organization and serve in their individual capacity.

That line is meant for you:

>they are not UN staff

The UN's own press statements refer to the Special Rapporteurs as "UN Experts"


There is a reason people have to put annoyingly long official titles in when discussing persons and their opinions. "UN Special Rapporteur" does not equal the UN, it specially does not equal an official position of the UN which is what the user tried to do.

You have to be specific. "UN Special Rapporteur" does not equal the UN, which is why that specific language is put onto the footer of all their articles.

> it specially does not equal an official position of the UN

I don't know how you cans ay that, when the UN press briefings literally refer to them as a "UN expert".

Yes it's a financially independent position to remove as much bias as possible, but it is very much an official UN position.

>I don't know how you cans ay that, when the UN press briefings literally refer to them as a "UN expert".

His claim:

>Its not just my opinion, its the UN opinion.

It's not the UN's position, its a position of a Special Rapporteur for the UN. Thats why I can say it. You are arguing a different subject, if he is a UN expert. Notice I'm not debating his affiliation with the UN. A position of the UN would be a decision made by council, not by someone who:

>are not UN staff and do not receive a salary for their work. They are independent from any government or organization and serve in their individual capacity.

According to UN, the body.

See my comment above. This argument is a total red herring.

This paragraph contains neither "UN's actual position" nor a disclaimer, so I don't why you keep posting it.

If you actually understand how the UN works, clarify for the rest of us, who would be the UN authority on the matter. I would humbly accept the enlightenment.

Alternatively, if you don't know, you should not be running around and accusing people of "false or malicious ways" and "spin". You seem to be misinterpreting the statement .

Not everything UN does needs to be a resolution passed passed by 194 countries in the general assembly.

Any proof that WikiLeaks actually had the emails about that particular Russian bank transfer?

The theory you're promoting is that Assange leaked a huge trove of emails on Syria, a Russian ally, including large numbers of emails detailing Syria's relationship to Russia. But then, because Assange is secretly a Russian agent, he removed one particular set of emails.

The obvious question is: why did he publish the emails in the first place?

Was the info false, or do you just object to the sourcing?

Yes the info was false.

>A few hours later, the assessment worsened: a friendly source from CNAIPIC was telling them that some of the documents had been forged. One document number, when checked against CNAIPIC’s system, reportedly corresponded to a wholly unrelated matter. The remaining real documents didn’t seem to have come from CNAIPIC either. Instead, police were apparently investigating “a small IT company that has worked for CNAIPIC in the past and that apparently some of the stolen data were on a machine they took to repair in Rome.” There was an immediate suspicion that it was “a giant op by the police to [discredit] anonymous and to tarnish our reputation and credibility.”

A) The CNAIPIC leaks weren't by wikileaks

B) Why do we trust the CNAIPIC to tell the truth that they weren't their docs?

So I did a brief Google search and it seems that, just like monocasa mentioned, this was not published by Wikileaks.

Are you going to change your stance or are you going to stand by your incorrect, if not slanderous, claim?

This is why they invent new greenbean accounts; they can lie without "consequences".

He also tweeted this, saying the UFO story by the NY Times was a hoax. But then he deleted it-


Despite the Pentagon and Navy’s recent actions, Julian was right — all of this is a sophisticated operation that uses bad actors to perpetuate disinformation. It is probably illegal but concerns national security with China.

And how does that prove the published contents as false?


This is a ridiculously bad faith allegation. Is that really the only conclusion you can raise?

You're right, but your argument would be stronger if you could offer some alternatives. What other conclusions would you suggest?

It is amazing how acidic this topic is.

You can't document Assange's drifting from seemingly neutral leader of a leak network staffed by individuals across the world to a lone operator of a clearly biased outfit, without people throwing their accounts into the fire. Making personal attacks like a fella just did here minutes ago.

I didn't think so many people would be saying "Russia anything is lies!" so vehemently given the activist/journalist/governmental sources documenting Kremlin's role in fostering relations with Wikileaks while spinning up their own personas like Guccifer 2.0 to act as fronts for the distribution of hacked data to Assange.

Hello fellow concerned citizen!

Did you create that throwaway account in anticipation of yesterday's release of this story, or do you keep a stack to pick from?

That crosses into personal attack and breaks HN's guideline against insinuations of astroturfing etc. You can't do those things here, regardless of how strongly you disagree with someone, so please don't.


Considering you only comment on my account age I'm assuming you've seen all my comments on my profile page as well.

That you cannot address any of the comments and only wish to speak of my account age says volumes about where you are coming from.

Would you please stop posting in the flamewar style and using HN for ideological battle? You've done these things repeatedly already, and it's not what this site is for. Indeed it's destructive of what the site is for, so we eventually have to ban accounts for doing it. If you wouldn't mind reviewing https://news.ycombinator.com/newsguidelines.html and sticking to the rules when posting here, we'd be grateful.

There are others in this thread arguing both sides of this debate respectfully and within the guidelines, so you needn't look far for good examples.

The whole Russian story was a scam. We have documents saying that is was told to abuse FISA powers. Not that I like the persons it was employed against, but it is far larger than watergate if we had honest discussion about it.

If you still talk about Russia, you have been fooled immensely and for me it is beyond comprehension how anyone could earnestly believe that story arc.

You are spreading lies.

But it worked. Look at how easily we can be manipulated once we're told we're under attack by a foreign power. Propaganda works.

James Comey knew this just as well as Senator McCarthy did. They didn't even need to change the protagonist.

This time the candidates are going to fight over which is more antagonistic to China. Turns out Russia is a weak country that has very little reach outside of itself other than the activities of its billionaire oligarchs. China is a far more believable big bad.



I edited to include a source after you posted: the founder of BLM refers to herself as a trained Marxist.

The reason people are speaking about it more now is such Marxist groups seized part of one city (Seattle) and staged riots nationally. Generally speaking, when an ideological group uses their network to stage violent riots, people talk about it.

People such as Jordan Peterson or Michael Knowles have been speaking about Marxism in universities and other institutions for a while.

These people have nothing to do with classical Marxism.

The people who seized part of Seattle are anarchists, which, if you read about the history of the labor movement, broke with the Marxists in the 19th Century over some very fundamental issues of how they view society.

Modern identity politics is diametrically opposed to classical Marxism, whatever its proponents choose to call themselves, because it emphasizes identity over class. In those circles, calling someone a "class reductionist" is an insult.


I cited the founder referring to herself as a “trained Marxist” and discussing how Marxism was the ideological underpinning of BLM. (Watch the video.)

BLM staged riots nation wide two weeks ago.

Nationwide, chapters of the John Brown Gun Club have been seen at or involved with the BLM riots.

What of that do you not find factual?

We've banned this account for using HN primarily for ideological flamewar. Please don't create accounts to break HN's rules with.


Your original comment was removed. Here is the video I think you might be referencing. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2EvOyW5vIdg

Where are these antifa affiliates? Who are they? Can you name them specifically?

I find your entire narrative hiliarous and non-factual. You jump from one BLM guy being marxist to all BLM being marxist to riots being due to BLM Marxists with antifa affiliates.

Please tell me what led you to these conspiracies? Do you recognize police were executed by right wing extremist groups who have been named by prosecutors?

Do you see antifa when you close your eyes?

We've banned this account for using HN primarily for ideological flamewar. Please don't create accounts to break HN's rules with.


Marxism is a basic methodology for societal analysis. Anyone worth their salt in social science is a "trained Marxist" whether they like it or not, because Marx was one of the fathers of social science, and the tools he developed for the analysis of social systems on the basis of interest, class and material reality are foundational to social science being useful at all.

So yes, she is probably a trained Marxist, in that she knows how to do class analysis and material analysis. So are most social scientists worth their salt, it's just that not all of them know that it came from Marx. Jordan Peterson and Michael Knowles for example, are not trained in such methods of analysis because they are extreme fringe kooks.

As far as riots, read what Durkheim wrote on rioting. When a societal need is not accounted for and there seems to be no avenue for change, then rioting is the natural consequence. This was the case for what happened after the killing of George Floyd, where there seemed to be no realistic avenue to stop racist police violence, and so riots arose, as they did throughout centuries again and again. Crime in general follows a similar pattern.

>The whole Russian story was a scam.

Tell that to Adrian Chen or anyone that has actually investigated Russia's meddling in foreign affairs:


This was reported before the election detailing the agency that would go on to be fingered by the state department and others in their role in US election meddling.

This involved actual reported places, actual employees. Same with with "Guccifer 2.0" and "CyberBerkut" or any of the other Russian fronts Assange worked with.

>You are spreading lies.

You'll be able to find specific things I've said and detail how they are lies right? Because you have factual information about this yes?

Adrian Chen actually complained about how people were exaggerating and misusing his reporting on the Internet Research Agency.[1]

> The thing is, I don't really want to be an expert on the Internet Research Agency and Russian online propaganda. I agree with my colleague Masha Gessen that the whole issue has been blown out of proportion. In the Times Magazine article that supposedly made me an authority, I detailed some of the Agency's disturbing activities, including its attempts to spread false reports of a terrorist attack in Louisiana and to smear me as a neo-Nazi sympathizer. But, if I could do it all over again, I would have highlighted just how inept and haphazard those attempts were.

Adrian Chen also gave an interview with Chris Hayes on the Internet Research Agency, in which he made the point that it was an unsophisticated marketing campaign, staffed by around 90 people with a poor grasp of the English language, American politics and culture.[2]

1. https://www.newyorker.com/tech/annals-of-technology/a-so-cal...

2. https://www.msnbc.com/all-in/watch/inside-the-russian-troll-...

Of course Russia meddles in election, the US does that too. That is not relevant to the FISA abuse wich let to severe surveillance of the current administration to find a straw to attach it to them. They didn't find one btw. which is unusual in politics. Trump may indeed be extremely clean and that is something quite hard to say.

I downvoted this comment because it is dizzying how quickly you moved the goal posts from "the whole Russia thing was a scam" to "of course Russia meddled".

Would admitting that the country of Russia exists be a goalpost move from "the whole Russia thing was a scam"?

The idea that if Russia had an opinion about a US election and utilized its diplomatic powers to encourage its preferred outcome, all of the endless conspiracies about Russian meddling have been verified - it's not good.

It's not as bad as the thing where if a Russian national ever spoke to anyone, "Russia" was involved.

I've got to say, when I hear 'the whole Russia thing' I assume people mean that the Trump administration broke the law to co-operate with Russia. That is a very different question from whether Russia decided to throw it's weight behind a candidate. Doesn't look to me like a shifting of goal posts at all.

A reading of the actual facts seems to be in conflict with "The trump administration did not break the law" https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Impeachment_of_Donald_Trump

There's very little argument about whether trump broke the law (he did) - it was just a matter of whether his corrupt party would vote for impeachment (they didn't.)

The link you posted refers to the Ukraine aid scandal, not 'that whole Russia thing'. Do people honestly not remember that in 2016-2017 the smoking gun was thought to be 'Russian Collusion'?

Interesting. That is not what President Trump means when he talks about "the Russia scam". He still maintains (in conflict with his own intelligence apparatus) that there was no active campaign to meddle in the election at all. If he had been making the argument from the start that yes, there was meddling, but that his campaign was completely uninvolved in it, and that even if it may have benefitted him this time, we should take defensive steps for the future because that is in our nation's best interest, then I would be a lot more sympathetic to your argument here. But that is not what happened; he has maintained that the whole thing is a scam, so I think a more narrow reading of what scam we're talking about is extremely over-charitable.

Russia meddled on both sides of the political aisle in the 2016 election - The Steele dossier was primary evidence used in the FISA surveillance warrant application for Carter Page [1] despite earlier official statements from House Democrats that the dossier did not inform the FISA court [2]. We also have significant evidence in the form of State Dept official communication with Steele (released by FOIA) [3] that two of the sources for the Steele dossier information were Russian government officials, one a former head of Russian intelligence (summarized here [4]). This is not to mention the other malfeasance by the FBI including forging e-mails in order to obtain a FISA renewal. This is serious stuff.

So the one-sided reporting of Russia meddling is indeed a scam. Russia meddled on behalf* (originally said behest - wrong word as far as we know) of both candidates in order to sow discord. The meddling against Clinton is well known, probably the wikileaks emails and a bunch of Facebook ads. The meddling against Trump's campaign resulted in constitutional violations by a court which is only made accountable to the public by the Inspector General report - which the mainstream media has broadly ignored or mischaracterized because it does not support their narrative that Russia meddled only on behalf of Trump. As well as Russia, our own government also meddled against Trump's administration - and they appeared to coordinate to do so. See 18 U.S. Code § 2384.

[1] https://oig.justice.gov/reports/2019/o20012.pdf (pp. vii)

[2] https://intelligence.house.gov/uploadedfiles/redacted_minori...

[3] https://www.scribd.com/document/409446360/CU-FOIA-Document-R...

[4] https://dailycaller.com/2019/05/16/steele-dossier-sources-st...

There is so much to talk about with Russia though.

a) Widespread evidence not just from US but from UK and EU of efforts to interfere in elections and referenda e.g. Brexit.

b) State sponsored propaganda via social networks which even as recent as last week was having to be removed.

c) Continued meetings between Trump and Putin where only translators are present i.e. no State Dept representatives.

d) 20+ years of Trump Organization taking loans from Russian oligarchs via Bayrock.

Yes, if I need an explanation of governance failure, I would blame Russia too. I just don't get why you believe it without any evidence.

Not only was it a scam, it was the first time in US history that a shadowy cabal of unelected federal government officials tried to invalidate the results of an election. It also led to the erosion of rule of law, which will impact the US greatly in the future.

1. Why is your account just 2 weeks old? 2. Apparently the testimony is based on the story told by who are trying hard to get their sentences reduced.


New accounts are welcome on HN. Your comment breaks the site guideline against insinuation of astroturfing, shilling, etc. Please read https://news.ycombinator.com/newsguidelines.html and don't do that. The rest of your comment is fine.

1. Why is your account just 2 weeks old?

Maybe he created his account two weeks ago? How old was your account two weeks after you created it?

> Why is your account just 2 weeks old?

It was made then. This was a very dumb question. One that tells more about where the person asking it is coming from than what could possibly be put into the answer itself.

What did you expect?

"Oh yes I made this account for the purposes of manipulating public opinion about Assange in this specific thread. Muahaha and I would've gotten away with it if it wasn't for someone looking at my profile creation date."


That is not true.

The only valid point you could make here is that the swedish legal system defines a broad range of "non-consentual things related to sex" as rape, where it would get defined as something else in other countries.

If you're going to make such grand accusations against the Swedish police then at least cite a damn source. With all the baseless claims this thread almost reads like /r/conspiracy ffs.

I thought this was well established and obvious for anyone who followed the case. The timeline for this whole ordeal, the motivation for the original complaints, the contact the suppose victims had and the messages they wrote after the fact. Not to mention the breach in anonymity for these cases in Sweden.

As such, I don't think these are "grand accusations", this is more what one should reasonably conclude, if you followed the case from the beginning.

If it's such a "well established and obvious fact" then cite some sources and give some proof that the accusations were faked.

As much as I do think it is a reasonable request, I don't feel like doing it. Or, I did, I googled it, read some articles on the rather suspect circumstances, the rather weak allegations, and the process that was poorly handled at best. It wasn't hard. It might seem like a rather poor way to conduct a discussion, but let me be clearer. I do not care enough to convince you, or anyone else. I meant to say the original comment wasn't as controversial as it was made out to be.

Edit: to those who think what I wrote merited downvotes, I suggest that the effort to find sources should not always need to fall on anyone who claims anything otherwise. To some extent, there is reasonable assumption that someone should be able to figure stuff out and educate themselves. There are plenty of resources found just in this hacker news discussion alone. And there are search engines when if combined with some critical thinking should get you a step further. I've had too many such back and forths, and facts and references rarely have an effect.

> But she said that during sex, Assange had intentionally broken the condom. If that is true, then it is, of course, a sexual offense – so-called «stealthing».

According to Swedish law, stealthing is rape. So even if neither of the women believe that they were raped, if the circumstances they describe would be seen as rape according to Swedish law, then Assange should be investigated.

However, Assange should definitely have retained anonymity during those investigations.

The Swedish police have been pretty incompetent (it certainly wouldn't be the first time [1]), but it is highly misleading to claim that the rape story was completely fabricated.

> A legal representative by the name of Claes Borgström was appointed to the two women at public cost. The man was a law firm partner to the previous justice minister, Thomas Bodström, under whose supervision Swedish security personnel had seized two men who the U.S. found suspicious in the middle of Stockholm. The men were seized without any kind of legal proceedings and then handed over to the CIA, who proceeded to torture them. That shows the trans-Atlantic backdrop to this affair more clearly.

The "Egypt affair" is well-known in Sweden precisely because it's the only such case. It happened shortly after 9/11 in 2001 and the people responsible for it are no longer involved in politics (the Minister for Foreign Affairs who ultimately made the decision to deport Ahmed Agiza and Muhammad Alzery has been dead since 2003 [2]). So to make the claim that Assange would automatically have been extradited to the US had Sweden arrested him is not a fair claim to make imo.

Like I wrote earlier: the police have definitely mishandled the case, but I doubt that there's been any kind of conspiracy involved from the start.

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hans_Holm%C3%A9r

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

Assange is not a journalist of any sort, real or otherwise. Journalists don’t actively participate in espionage, they don’t cozy up to ratfucking crooks like Roger Stone. They don’t withhold potentially damaging information because it might harm that align with most closely with their views. And if you believe nothing Wikileaks has ever published has been proven false, then I have a great opportunity for you to buy some waterfront property in Florida.

He has published numerous falsehoods. Please don’t buy this uncritically.

Please list your sources when discrediting someone

>>I hope people don't forget that Wikileaks has never published anything that has been proven false. Not once.

Assuming what you said is true, don't you think that some things should be secret, at least for a while?

War crimes?

wikileaks published just vids of war crimes right? At some point they lost it. Maybe going against USA drove them to the arms of Russia but they lost their innocence.

Even if you think that, the charges are all still from the period of the Iraq leaks.

Whatever your opinion of Assange is, make no mistake that actual criminals he released info on are still walking free, including war criminals killing civilians and reporters, because the U.S. government does not want them prosecuted.

I feel nausea...

This and the new anti-encryption bills...

I am happy to know the existence such a lot of great American minds, mathematicians, scientists, visionaries, because, else, with only the kind of ugly news such as above, my image of US would have been tainted for good.

(*) I'm not American. I'm neutral about not being American, thanks to the existence of both plus and minus items. By the way of course you can say the same about pretty much any country.

As someone not from the USA as well I have always chuckled at the "Land of the free" sentiment that is there (how Americans really believe it when it is the complete opposite).

Fortunately there are places like Germany where things like CCC.de can exist and the Chaos Communication Congress can happen.

From my time living in UK, Germany, Mexico (where I am from) and travelling every 3 months to the USA, my [subjective] appreciation is that Germany is "freer" that the USA can ever aspire to be.

While I’ve met some people who truly assert that statement (land of the free,’ I don’t think too many people are fully convinced (or, indeed, even want to be ‘free’)

I may be misunderstanding your comment, but Assange is Australian.

Oh, sorry if it was not very clear, I was saying that US treatment of the Assange case was disgusting me.

By "American great minds", I was thinking about all the American mathematicians and scientists whose books I passionately devour, and the splendid futuristic projects of some tech corps, which bring sci-fi dreams to reality.

Assange case? It's been a very bad idea for decades to get on US governments shit list. The range of options range from financial restraints to summary assassination without a trial.

People should understand this. US is a stabilizing force in the world but they are not about universal human rights or world peace.

Lots of journalists, say, in France for example, hurl shit in the face of US every day, with lots of investigations, and they still are more or less protected and the country where they live abide by the law...

So, that's what personally I would have expected and hoped about Assange too.

The reality is different from what you present: it is not common that journalists opposing to US are (internationally) repressed at all. And, of course, because such repression is illegal, it is not expectable.

What do you think would happen if an <insert nation> journalist started trying to help hackers recover secrets from French Intelligence agencies and then published them for the whole world to see? What if the leaked secrets were mostly true? Do you think the French Government would celebrate the <insert nation> journalist? Or would they do everything in their power to stop them?

That's an easy one, because spying on France industrial or state secrets by foreign powers happens all the time.

For example: https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2019/09/27/business/hacker...

So, to answer your question: they do not try to extradite the foreign operators responsible to the leaks, and they do everything to strengthen their IT security. Also, they possibly build or reinforce their cyber-defense team to cyber-counter or cyber-retaliate.

This kind of response is just how it happens when abiding to the international law. Still, they are far from doing nothing, and they are efficient.

> So, to answer your question: they do not try to extradite the foreign operators responsible to the leaks

Do you think that would change if they had more power?

It's like criticizing the response of a super corporation like Microsoft and saying a smaller company like GitLab handles the same scenario better. Probably true, but also if you scaled GitLab to the size and power of Microsoft, maybe they would've had a different response.

I honestly don't know. It really is very difficult to resist the temptation to misuse power, when a lot of it is concentrated in one's hands.

On the other hand, let's analyse:

- on the "means" side: France certainly has a lot of military power. It does drone-killing of terrorist heads in African Sahel. It launches successful intelligence operations abroad. It also succeeds to counter foreign agents on its own soil (ref the identification in 2018 of a GRU cell in France). It has a very solid cyber-defense.

Also, between strengthening the IT, cyber-army, and intelligence services, and just extraditing journalists after-the-fact (or, imagine, abduct them, drone-kill them, etc), which is most resource-intensive? As an engineer, you know that the part where you develop your own system to be more robust and more capable is harder than just band-aid retaliation around past mistakes.

Guess what, US is doing both, so it's seat-belt and airbag at the same time. Very great, France is doing only seat-belt.

- on the "results" side: France tries (currently) to preserve its image, to appear as "good" (not judging if that's true), by playing by the rules internationally, fighting great causes, etc. Whereas US soft power took a huge tall in its (indirect) handling of Assange case. It is now seen as more "evil" as before. More people, especially a lot of intelligent people, are despising US more.

So, supposing the overflow of power hasn't busted the brains out of the government, they should be weighting means and results, and decide in consequence.

"More people, especially a lot of intelligent people, are despising US more."

If they are more offended by treatment of Assange than innocents kept in Guantanamo Bay 'camp' without a trial and summary drone executions with huge collateral death toll I'm not sure I would call them that intelligent.

I mean really, US government has a huge assassination list whose targets are taken down by bomb raids killing and maiming civilians and one hacker being manhandled pushes you over the edge? Those are some sick values.

They are on your side.

The supporters of Assange are guaranteed to be also revolted by Guantanamo Camp and drone executions.

Assange's supporters like him precisely because, among other things, he (and Wikileaks) is a champion of the cause fighting against the wrongdoings of US army and US extrajudicial penitentiary system:

- Guantanamo Files https://wikileaks.org/gitmo/

- Collateral Murder https://collateralmurder.wikileaks.org/

These are actually precisely the reason why US government is extraditing Assange.

This articles is not about journalists, but it is somewhat related https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sinking_of_the_Rainbow_Warrior

You are saying France did bad shit, and that's true, you forgot Napoleon slaughters throughout Europe, Nazis collaboration and Petain, colonial rule and enslaving of American, African and Asian nations, nuclear tests, and I forgot a lot. Still, you are hardly touching the subject.

We are speaking about the here and now, how we should abide by the international law when responding to cyber threats, in the context of a transparent and globalized world.

This was like 35 year ago [1]. I'd say this was already a "transparent and globalized world".

[1] Suddenly, I'm feeling old.

No, this is just a different topic. What I brought up was an example of good response to a cyber threat. You bring up some bad things, be it old or new it does not matter, it still is a different topic.

My point was to illustrate what I call a good response. The bad ones just illustrate the bad responses, that's all. Good for contrasting, maybe. But the way you bring it does not seem to make clear anything, to the contrary. And it is not even remotely about "cyber" anything, nor about journalism or the right to know the truth about anything. And for contrasting we already have the example at hand, the case of Julian Assange!

So I really don't understand your point.

Sounds like you hate France and you disliked that I used a French example as a good response to a cyber threat. I don't know why you want so much to avoid giving a nice role to France, personally I don't care, but I am a positive person, so I'd like you to find a good response example by an other country (easy, there are plenty) to balance my comment, instead of balancing it trying to find a bad cyber-response from France (which you failed to do).

Also, the world was hardly as transparent as today. No social media, hardly any internet, newspapers in different languages but few people knowing anything else than their mother tongue...

Years after, there was investigation by news agencies in France about the Rainbow Warrior tragedy. The government did not throw them in jail! So that, too, is really different from the Assange case.

It depends on what line is crossed. Obama won a Nobel Peace Prize and still assassinated a US citizen on foreign soil without due process and justified it with a loop hole in the law.


the take away is this, when you're on the US Gov. shit list you're safe until you're not.

Yeah but, 1/ not a journalist, 2/ member of a huge killers club, 3/ propagandist of religious numbness contrary to the diffusing of facts and contrary to the useful understanding of the world's mechanics.

So he was totally not helping people know the truth, as a journalist would be, and instead he was totally trying to kill or help killing people and destroy civilizations.

Also, this was the context of war, on a war field (and with a terrorist organization).

point made, what I cited is an extreme case. However, i think the point stands that push far enough and everything becomes on the table and what "far enough" means isn't clear and always changing.

US seems to be totally fine about opinions expressed from freely available data. They don't like a campaign to leak everything that can be caught hold of. So I would not compare the reaction to Assange to a general reaction to journalism.

How can you form adequate opinions if you know only one part of the truth? The part you know can be easily manipulated so that your opinion corresponds to the wishes of the government in control.

This is why journalism is mainly about publishing information. The part where the writer gives their opinion is actually optional.

Also, this is why good news organizations (Reuters, etc) are doing investigations (this is investigative journalism). They do not just publish already available data, they go seeking the truth where it is.

Btw, the sheer existence of investigative journalism is also what makes difficult to believe all the conspiracy theories. If something fishy that huge was going on, there is an overwhelming likelihood that some news organization (also, some whistle-blower) would have revealed it. (that shows also the importance of the existence of whistle-blowers)

I didn’t say truth seeking was not valuable. I totally agree what you said. I would just not assign the professional title of journalist to Assange. I’m not sure if there even is a proper current term for his professional-like activities.

How has the US mistreated him? He’s not even in US custody and the charges are public information. He he’s done what he’s accused of I think he deserves to be in jail.

I mean ... the US has not even got hands on him yet. He hasn't been in US custody for a second. There is absolutely no case. Yet.

If you want to feel contempt strongly towards someone - the UK, Ecuador and Sweden governments are the ones to blame so far.

Yes, you're right. But the pressure to do so comes from the US all the same...

You're right that what's happening in UK with Assange is very disturbing... I followed Craig Murray's blog posts.

Assange is in prison in the UK because he skipped bail.

That's not what I am upset about.

First of all, why had he to skip this bail at all.

All of his suspicions about the first sex offense case being a pretense to extradite him were confirmed.

And then, the way he is treated in the UK tribunal, like a slaughterer scum of the worst kind, denied all dignity, is revolting.

If you had not seen the Craig Murray reports, I would warmly advise you to give them a look, they are rich in details.


If I understand well, you are essentially saying "well done".

Let us agree to disagree.

No. I mean if you spill Uncle Sam secrets and make a high ranking politician lose face - make sure you are in a country where USA cannot reach you.

UK was supposed to be such a place. At least UK's law was telling that.

Also, smearing shit on the face of prime ministers, presidents, all the highest ranking politicians you can imagine, is just the game of free press in a democracy. You are free to chose your government only because you are free to know what they did wrong (or right). The fact to retaliate violently against that is totally contrary to the fair game supposed by the establishment of democracy, and also it does not restore the lost face of the politician.

You are saying that was predictable. If you could do so, great, your guess was better than most people. Assange himself is quite paranoid yet he could not predict this trap.

There is a United Nations report detailing how Assange is being politically prosecuted. This is no longer merely an opinion of his sympathysers.

He is not politically prosecuted, he is politically persecuted by prosecution that is pulled out of someone's ass.

But once again - he hasn't been touched by US so far. There are numerous governments that could have given him asylum, and the EU court of human rights is suspiciously silent.

To be fair the Equador government helped him a great deal but apparently even them got tired of it.

I think they did what they could given the circumstances.

It's a different government now. The previous leftist one was doing inconvenient things so the USA had to get rid of it. The current one is doing what it is told though, so everything is fine: https://thegrayzone.com/2019/12/12/latin-america-neoliberali...

So you are saying charging a journalist with these things is OK?

Well ... a prosecutor can charge anyone with anything. Winning a case is a whole different matter.

Not a first amendment scholar but Assange is probably pretty safe on disseminating the information.

But they claim he committed felonies obtaining it.

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