Julian Assange volunteers to be imprisoned in the USA if Obama gives Chelsea Manning clemency

Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2016/09/16/julian-assange-volunteers-be-i.html


Interesting. I would love to see it happen.

1 Like

For what? I’m not actually clear on whether he broke any American laws. He’s not a US national, so he cannot be charged with treason. It’s not at all clear that he committed any violations of the Espionage Act. He didn’t take the information, he was given it in his capacity as a journalist/publisher. I’m not saying that no one in the US government wants to prosecute him, but I sincerely doubt they could.


It is easy to offer things in exchange for events that have zero chance of happening.


Is the wikileaks twitter account actually controlled/influenced by Assange at this point? It’s been awfully strange lately – I assumed that the account was hacked.

Granted, Assange also qualifies as ‘awfully strange’ but he also used to have a modicum of media savvy.


Since it would basically be trading one political prisoner for another, I can’t see a downside for the US government.


There is some small chance of a pardon, as unlikely as it seems. But also clemency =/= pardon, so this wording would be awkward if the US dropped the additional suicide charges. Any voluntary reduction of the burden on Manning is clemency, and Assange would then be looked to to uphold their word.

You answered your own question.

When a non citizen does it is called Espionage.

Whether what he did fits the definition of Espionage and whether it is likely he is convicted is irrelevant if that is what they want to happen.

He also faces rape and molestation charges in Sweden.

1 Like

But he didn’t do it.The information was dropped in his lap. By this standard a lot of reporters at the NYT would have been indicted by now. There’s no legal precedent for this, in fact the reverse seems to be true. The Espionage Act is incredibly badly worded.

Jurisdiction, counselor. He’s not a citizen. We’d extradite, not imprison him.


I know, just added it in there. Personally Id rather serve time in Sweden. I think.

As for using the Espionage act, I am not saying it is a good use - I am saying they will use what ever they have to do what ever they want.

Pretty sure our Peace Prize winning President wouldn’t try to stop extradition. Someone else would be even less likely do anything to stop it.

1 Like

Beats Central or South American jails any day, and don’t get me started on Mexican jails.

1 Like

The Wilson administration imprisoned dissidents, and tolerated death squads. It was probably well-worded for their needs, though it wasn’t the only act they used.


Eh, not exactly. Manning approached Wikileaks but there was a lot of communication back and forth how to exfiltrate the data before it was done. I’m not saying a court would definitely conclude that Assange was guilty as a conspirator, accomplice, whatever, but it’s reasonable to consider charging him with something.

1 Like

It is not like this has ever stopped the US government from trying or from holding people prisoner even without a court decision. Guantanamo still isn’t closed, AFAIK.

Wikileaks got a lot of (deserved) bad press recently and Asange has a share of blame there. However, this takes balls from him, even if it may not amount to much in the end. Hats off.


And that is the reason why the US government wouldn’t bother with this deal. They already have Manning convicted and in prison. Bird in the hand. Why would they exchange for the guy who gave advice on the crime they already convicted someone for? They’d still have to try him, presumably for a lesser crime than Manning’s. 1/2 a bird in the bush.

1 Like

Okay. And I volunteer to serve time in the Phantom Zone if Canada will cede Vancouver to Uruguay.

Actually, I don’t have a desperate need for attention at the moment, so let’s embargo that shocking, newsworthy announcement I just made until I do.


He’s either lying or he’s terminally ill.

1 Like

Isn’t his offer tantamount to volunteering to cop a plea to whatever they care to charge him with? No need for a trial, no risk of acquittal. Just negotiate a plea and a sentence, and done.

(Not that I believe anything will come of this.)

god I hope they actually take him up on it. assange seems like kindof a scumbag (maybe less than id initially thought but still); manning seems like she was trying to do the right thing and will be eternally punished for it.