What the U.S. charges against Julian Assange mean for press freedom

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2019/05/23/us-files-17-new-charges-agains.html

Nothing good.


Freedom of the Press I care about, Assange, not so much.


I hope it was worth helping get Trump elected Mr Assange

Narrator: It wasn’t


Something occurred to me…

Does anyone think that this is a way for the Trump administration to spike the extradition?

Does Trump want a lot of Assange testimony, or was the US extradition more a legacy pet project of non-Trumpies in the State Department or wherever?


i agree. can’t i be happy he’s going to get his? my first thought was “good.”

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To establish a legal precedent, it helps to have a thoroughly demonised accused.


Of how much did Assange bring on himself? One could wonder…


Schadenfreude: squashed. Thanks @xeni ;~)


Does anyone really consider him a journalist? I personally consider him an anarchist.


Assange pretended that Seth Rich leaked HRC’s emails knowing it wasn’t true and Faux News covered that ad nauseum which was a fake news Christmas present to Russia / tRump criminal org. and all the Trumpanzies.

Assange is far cry from a hero, and he sure as shit ain’t a journalist.


The hacking charges are plausible. These Espionage Act charges stink like cat poop smeared on an embassy wall.

Wikileaks has indeed published before, though. Not a whistleblower, not exactly a journalist, but I would consider “publisher” a plausible title. Press protections need to extend to publishers, or the whole freedom of the press is pretty worthless.


We’ll all see when it comes out in the end, or not, as is more likely. The end of the road was never going to look anything but ugly for Assange, and as I stated above, most of his demise was brought unwisely on himself by his actions.

BTW: His actions are dubious at best, and at worst cost a good many, that grand total has yet to be seen, and history will not be kind in that regard.


The issue is that a publisher has been indicted for espionage. How one feels about Assange personally is of little importance. How a Fox viewer might feel personally about (choose your favorite investigative journalists) will also be of little importance as they have this precedent applied to them. And the more that progressives cheer this fascist act now, the less we will be able to complain in the future.


Choose your heroes carefully. As for Assange being a publisher / journalist, that remains to be proven fact, it’s all supposition at this point. The only person privy to Assange’s true motives are himself, as to date.

And the more that progressives cheer this fascist act now, the less we will be able to complain in the future.

That’s your opinion, not fact.

P.S. I’ll bet Assange never touches U.S. soil, so all the apoplectic hand wringing is for not.


I’m against the charges, but yeah, did Assange think there was really gping to be any quid for that pro quo? Trump grabs the tit and never offers the tat. He always finds a way to reneg after he gets what he wants.

OR did Assange, like a good portion of the rest of us, never think Trump could win, so was really just needling Hillary to stick it to the future president who would try to extradite him. Perhaps even to set up a narrative that the extradition she would inevitably call for would be politically motivated as revenge for his publishing the leaks…?


Interesting points, I shall ponder on that.


Assange is a shitweasel who belongs in a Swedish court room. And these DOJ charges against are a threat to the freedom of the press. There’s no contradiction in those two things.


This alone way be his savior, the Sweds may have a permanent house guest on their hands, I wish them well, the last place is still cleaning up after him.


Roger that x infinity.

I imagine a worst of all worlds situation where Assange is convicted, Trump pardons him for getting him elected, but the jurisprudence left behind in his wake makes it open season on journalists who won’t be so kindly given the same legal forgiveness.