NEW: Ecuador is done with Julian Assange, won't help Wikileaks founder hide from British government

Nope. The ‘enemy of my enemy’ may be a useful tool in defeating my enemy… but that doesn’t automatically make him “my friend.”

I have much higher standards than that for friendship.


Like I said, put yourself in his shoes – he’s powerless but can take one shot at keeping his personal enemy who wants to jail him for doing journalism out of power. What would you do?


Exactly. Revealing American war atrocities was a noble thing to do. Being a useful idiot to destroy American democracy because Putin is your buddy and you don’t like Hillary Clinton undoes pretty much all of that nobility. If you actually cared about preventing atrocities, you wouldn’t be acting to put fucking Trump in charge.


Another sitcom?


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But - the most important person releasing gov information in the entire history of the universe.

Many others who risked their lives.


Yes, and the choices he’s made have convinced me that while he was useful for a while, he’s more toxic than he is worth it… the end. I’m done with him, time to face my own hard choices which no one will have compassion for because it’s not like any of us live in a more sympathetic world than him.


Let’s not forget the rapey stuff.


Never that:


I agree that whistleblowers who, say, uncover government atrocities shouldn’t be punished, and that journalists should not be killed in diplomatic facilities (or for that matter anywhere else).

That, however, has nothing to do with the fact that Julian Assange is a sleazy self-serving douchebag. If he avails himself of the hospitality of the state of Ecuador for several years he could at the very least act like a human being of integrity and honesty. Oh, and also clean up after himself like any other house guest would do.


I’m curious, has he at this point been in the embassy longer than the average jail time in Sweden for his alleged crime? Would be darkly funny if so.


I don’t think Assange is responsible for the election of Donald Trump – people give him far too much credit for that. I think the media who gave Trump free publicity played a much larger role. Assange did what he’s always done with secret information that was given to him: he verified it, analysed it, and released it. Any news organization that wasn’t corrupt would have or should have done something along those lines. I was disappointed with what was revealed in those documents, but that lies at the door of my corrupt party. Yes, I’m a Democrat – I’m, in a way, responsible for that corruption. I’m sure that Assange saw this as a way to strike at Clinton, his enemy, but what publisher wouldn’t use such a story that way? And I’m sure that’s why the materials were given to him.

I think the US needs more respect for leakers and those who release their documents, especially right now. How do we encourage that? By showing support, no matter which side of the last political wind he might have been on. Make sure that leakers have a quality of life that’s humane if they must go into exile. Wishing ill of someone like Assange who has done great service in opening the secrets of the powerful to us commoners while he is helpless at the mercy of those whom he’s sought aid from strikes me as particularly immoral and vile. It’s the sort of thing that Trump would do because Assange is “a loser” and he would likely prefer leakers who don’t get caught up in uncomfortable asylum, to paraphrase Trump on McCain.

I’ve tried to engage and encourage sympathy for Assange’s actions against Clinton, without much avail here. Can I put it in terms that some would perhaps better understand? What would Doctor Who do if she were trapped by an evil empire (seen from the outside, dear readers, that’s what the US is – ask Glenn Greenwald about Clinton and the US)? She would warn them of the consequences of crossing her (which Assange did, if you remember, when demanding clemency from Obama and Clinton) and then, if they failed to take heed (which they did), when the time was right, she would strike at that empire and bring it to its knees. Well, again, I can’t say that Assange brought the US to its knees, but he did all he could in, what, to him is a good cause: making the US a less potent threat to the rest of the world. (That’s not how I see – I disagree with Glenn Greenwald about that.)


That’s not how Assange sees it – nor Glenn Greenwald. They see Trump as a bumbling, populist-isolationist compared to what they see as a military-interventionist Clinton. I don’t agree completely – I think Trump could really mess up stuff internationally, much worse than Clinton.


Well, I don’t think as a human being, he should be just thrown away. He’s a human who sought refuge because of his work that had huge benefits to the public, you and me. I guess that I’m disappointed that more people don’t have more compassion for those who seek political asylum.

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Genius move considering that Trump appointees, like Sessions, want him even worse.


The problem with this is that an organisation like WikiLeaks only appears impartial (and hence credible) if it doesn’t let itself be obviously instrumentalised by third parties. Assange may have published the Russia-provided internal DNC documents (a) to get back at Clinton and (b) to get into Putin’s good graces, but by doing that (in effect, indulging in his personal vendetta against Clinton) he basically killed WikiLeaks as a trustworthy, non-partisan organisation that only exists for the sake of transparency. WikiLeaks’ street cred used to be a lot better years ago, in the Manning era, and they’re not getting that back easily (or at all). Assange acting like a spoiled brat towards his years-long hosts also doesn’t exactly help in that department.


Remember that in Trump’s ideal world, journalists go to jail merely for saying not-nice things about Trump. I wouldn’t like to be a US government whistleblower in that world.