Court document refers to U.S. charge against Julian Assange; source says prosecution planned


#1

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/11/16/court-document-refers-to-u-s.html


#2

No great surprise here. Maybe this confirmation will inspire him to be less of an arsehole to his Ecuadorian hosts and perhaps re-consider his position that Clinton and the Dems are worse than Il Douche and the GOP.


#3

It is now not just “widely believed” that the US has sealed indictments against Assange: there is actual evidence that there are sealed indictments against Assange–for publishing true information, breaking stories that have been of vast interest to this community in the past. I’ve been in favor of giving Assange a pass to get of his arbitrary detention for a long time because he was detained for his publications, which, in theory, are protected by our First Amendment. I hope Assange can find some free and safe refuge and that we don’t need to learn the rest of the truth about the intentions of the US government from an autopsy or an audio recording from Turkey.


#4

You’re right about there being evidence of indictments, but you’re wrong about what the charges are.


#5

Information is really needed on the nature of the charges. If only because extradition treaties requires that the crime be a crime in both jurisdictions to permit extradition. It also must carry a sentence of at least one year.


#6

Well I guess we can stop speculating now on the “will they, won’t they” and speculate on “what charges”.


#7

He’s not technically been detained. He’s hiding from charges stemming from sexual assault allegations. Specifically the fact that he actually, undeniably jumped bail. His restriction to and presence in the embassy is entirely voluntary, he could have left at any time to deal with those charges (or to not jump bail).

Yeah Wikileaks published some important info. But they also published a lot of bullshit too. And a lot of those releases weren’t exactly aquired or handled ethically. I lost all respect for Wikileaks and and Assange when I read the Manning chat logs. That wasn’t a whistle blower reaching out. That was a frightened and deeply depressed person being manipulated. This also isn’t the first time Wikileaks, and Assange have been accused of cooperating with the Russian Government or acting in Assange’s personal interests, over journalistic ones. An awful lot of people who were directly involved in Wikileaks cut ties long ago for exactly that reason.

And I don’t believe for a minute anyone gets a pass for backing and tying themselves to a draconian government. Just because at some point in the past they did one or two things I believe were good and useful. Between that and all the many reports of his personal behavior Assange has proven himself to be a pretty wretched person, and it’s very clear he doesn’t share the values his defenders ascribe to him.


#8

Yup…publishing true stories that you are simply reporting on is one thing. No one from the AP is going to jail for what they report. Now, when you are acting as an intermediary to someone asking someone to do something illegal and the person that actually does the illegal thing, you are just as complicit. The minute he started passing info from Stone and DonT Jr. to the hacking crews in Russia and coordinating the whole mess, he stepped out of his role as journalist.

Ironically, if he hadn’t gotten involved with this and Hillary would have won, we’d have still hated him…but when folks follow the rule of law and the constitution they’d have nothing to charge him with and the KNEW this. He made is own prison…


#9

I can’t really say that Wikileaks as whole ever really acted as ethical journalists. Take a look at those Manning chat logs I mentioned earlier.

But what’s pretty illustrative is looking at how Wikileaks always handled things vs the Snowden leaks. With Snowden the information was carefully handled by a journalist with editorial over sight. Everything was carefully checked, things were confirmed by additional reporting, investigated further, additional sources were protected. And information that could have potentially put people at risk or blown up legitimate intelligence operations was with held or obscured.

In other words standard journalist ethics were followed.

With Wikileaks the info was just dumped. And souces including Manning thrown under the bus. It’s become clear that they often selectively publish information. They provide no context. And don’t seem to be concerned about the danger it might put people in, or even the veracity of what they publish. If they really were what they claimed to be they would have sought out info from the GOP side of the election. They probably wouldn’t have published emails where Podesta talks about aliens with the guy from Blink 182. And they certainly wouldn’t have tied themselves to a specific campaign. It’s not clear to me at this point if Assange or his principal contributors ever had a real journalistic intent.


#10

So some prosecutor in some jurisdiction has apparently prepared charges of some sort against someone whose last name is “Assange”. I guess it is time to panic.

With Wikileaks the info was just dumped.

Or, in the case of Collateral Murder, carefully edited before dumping to paint a false picture of what actually happened.

That said, I’m not sure you should go to jail in the US for being head of a Russian propaganda organization.


#11

If anyone ever had any doubt of this I challenge them to answer “why hasn’t Wikileaks broken any scandals on the Trump administration despite the fact that this administration is the most scandal-plagued in living memory and apparently comprised almost entirely of leakers?


#12

Were the full chat logs ever published?


#13

Maybe not in total. Because they were released by legitimate journalists with concerns about Manning’s rights and well being. But the bulk of it is out there.

And more importantly if their concerns are lack of transparency and bad/ illegal behavior by powerful governments, then why have they repeatedly tied themselves to governments that are worse than the ones they criticize. And why would they deliberately bolster Donald Trump? A man who openly advocates for the behavior and policies they claim to fear and seek to defeat?


#14

Jesus, this is going to be a mess. Does anyone doubt that this asshole will reach out the GOP and try and make a deal to testify about all manner of things re: HRC if he thinks it will save his neck?

That’s just what we need in the summer of 2020: Senate hearings with Assange testifying about how Seth Rich reached out to him with info on Clinton and was worried about his safety.

Don’t worry, though, I’m sure the media won’t let that stupid narrative overshadow Trump’s corruption. Right?


#15

Well we just have the indication that there are sealed indictments. Not any info on what they are or where they came from. Given his connect the Mueller’s investigation it’s at least possible (though I’d say likely) that those indictments are connected to Russia’s 2016 program. And IIRC Eastern District of VA was one of the offices working with Mueller.

And it’d be *really, really, really" bad for any GOP member to reach out to him in that case.


#16

Maybe, but I’ve heard a lot of conservative bad mouth this guy before now. Maybe they will spin it the other way, though.


#17

I dunno, it’s difficult to imagine a principled member of the GOP or conservative media bending or even disregarding their purported bedrock principles in order to accommodate Donald Trump.

Fair point, but unless and until any of the GOP leadership or Trump himself is held accountable what they’ve done and participated in, I don’t know that they’re wrong to assume there will be no consequences of note.


#18

That’s a fair point. And it’s also another point of confusion with Assange working directly with Trump. The right are for the most part pretty fucking hawkish about charging him for espionage or other wise “getting” him. And generally pretty god damn unfriendly to journalists and whistle blowers. Particularly Trump.


#19

speaking of lamo did they ever release more details on his death?


#20

Which logs?
I know these logs of conversations between Manning and a “Nathaniel Frank” who is presumed to be Assange. I don’t see any manipulation of a scared person there - at this point, Assange already had the data (not released yet, though), and they seemed to be in agreement about what needed to be done. Any manipulation would have come before that - are there any logs I don’t know?

There are also the logs of the chats between Manning and Adrian Lamo. Here, after the leaks have been released, Manning definitely is scared. Lamo exploits that to manipulate her and extract a confession (after promising confidentiality), then rats her out to a draconian government, leading to her capture, torture (well, not the “bad” sort of torture - just half a year of pre-trial solitary confinement with slight sleep deprivation) and sentencing to a ridiculously excessive sentence of 35 years. But that’s Lamo, not Assange.

Oh? They published an edited/editorialized version of the video in addition to the source material (after all, they had been accused of not editorializing before). The consensus among European media, after a lot of debate, was that the edited version did not distort the facts. Now, it wouldn’t surprise me if American media came to a different conclusion; after all, people in some countries seem to have believed at the time that Saddam hat weapons of mass destruction, while to people in other countries the Bush administration’s lies seemed ludicrously transparent.

Because their help isn’t needed there? Plenty of American media perfectly happy to welcome those leakers, no need for an organization like Wikileaks.

Multiply the evilness of a government by their capacity to do harm elsewhere, and it’s not that obvious any more. If the world’s most powerful nation was a transparent democracy, that would be great. But if the world’s most powerful nation is a plutocratic oligarchy claiming to be a democracy, it’s a good thing if its power is limited by another nation also claiming to be a democracy.