[POLITICS] Julian Assange Arrested

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Gergar12:
I think eventually what Assange released would have been released anyways via declassification, and freedom of information requests after it could damage US counter-terrorism efforts.

In practice the release dates on highly classified stuff can be something like 75-100 years: effectively, "everyone involved in this dies before it's made public"

That being said, he's still a prick, because of him we have no Paris Climate Deal.

Yes, I definitely think he's a prick: egotism, paranoia, self-aggrandisement, frequent lies, lack of empathy... Read, for instance, these articles:

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/wikileaks/10655638/Paranoid-vain-and-jealous-the-secret-life-of-WikiLeaks-founder-Julian-Assange.html

https://www.buzzfeed.com/jamesball/heres-what-i-learned-about-julian-assange

Coupled to a rather unpleasant personality, I suspect Assange is exactly the sort of person to pursue his extreme transparency ideology irrespective of whether anyone else agrees and how much damage it might cause other people in the process.

Like I said, assuming Wikileaks can operate without him, it would be better off doing so.

Agema:
Like I said, assuming Wikileaks can operate without him, it would be better off doing so.

Other things being equal, perhaps. But if such a situation comes to be because he's found guilty in the case targeting him in the United States, Wikileaks (and journalists in general) will be far less able to get relevant information to the public.

Seanchaidh:

Other things being equal, perhaps. But if such a situation comes to be because he's found guilty in the case targeting him in the United States, Wikileaks (and journalists in general) will be far less able to get relevant information to the public.

Wikileaks - and indeed anyone else - should not have infinite ability to give information to the public. How much I trust the US justice system aside, there cannot be carte blanche to break the law: protections when revealing illegality merit protections, but not for splurging a lot of other information. I am (as above) quite ambivalent his extradition to the USA to face their charges.

Wikileaks is ways admirable, and in ways not. Primarily, I am concerned it is power and information exercised with insufficient responsibility - for instance acting as "useful idiots" to further the machinations of more malign parties. I have concerns that Assange, as such a major figure, has personal agendas. And there are problems with how Wikileaks handles information which have led to many conventional journalists severing formal links and partnerships with it.

In terms of agendas, I am concerned about the fact that how a government runs is ultimately the business of its citizens. Assange has left all sorts of interesting theses in the past suggesting a desire to comprehensively disrupt how (mostly Western, it seems) governments operate. But in doing so, he is potentially setting himself and his crusade over the democratic rights of citizens to determine their own governance.

topkek, he got kicked out because he leaked stuff on the Ecuadorian President. Ballsy and stupid...

Dude should be protected as a journalist. Same way the US Supreme court ruled in favor of the Washington Post on the Pentagon papers... Journalists shouldn't get jailed because they released leaked content. The people that leaked the content should be arrested. A journalist does his duty to inform the public... That is his creed, to inform.

Assange getting mauled on the public stage by anti-Trump bois is just shameless partisan politics. Have some principles, will ya? Protect a journalist for this kind of stuff... Don't attack him because he released stuff that compromised your favorite people.

TheIronRuler:

Dude should be protected as a journalist. Same way the US Supreme court ruled in favor of the Washington Post on the Pentagon papers... Journalists shouldn't get jailed because they released leaked content. The people that leaked the content should be arrested. A journalist does his duty to inform the public... That is his creed, to inform.

No way. The difference between wikileaks and a journalist, as mentioned in this very thread, is that wikileaks just dumps a ton of classified or secret information with no regards to who might be hurt because said information leaked, while journalists are beholden to press ethics. This is why a lot of actual journalists and journalistic organizations stopped dealing with wikileaks to begin with, because wikileaks released a bunch of ISAF documents without redacting the names of or information about ISAF translators, making them easy targets for the Talibans to kill. A proper journalist or journalistic organization will not only vet sources, but make ethical and practical considerations about who might get hurt if the information they have is released and strive to protect individual integrity and well-being whenever possible. Hence why the Washington Post just didn't file dump the Pentagon papers or why no news organization released the Panama files in their entirety.

Assange has shown no regard for any of the ethical concerns that makes journalists distinct from some random dudes re-printing classified documents (and one can make a comparison here to Snowden, who wasn't a journalist and still was careful to not release information that could hurt individual people and made sure to release the documents he had to journalists to ensure ethical handling of the information). Simply put, Assange has no claims to being a journalist, he's just some dude who runs an organization that releases classified documents. He should be tried like that too.

Agema:

Wikileaks - and indeed anyone else - should not have infinite ability to give information to the public. How much I trust the US justice system aside, there cannot be carte blanche to break the law: protections when revealing illegality merit protections, but not for splurging a lot of other information. I am (as above) quite ambivalent his extradition to the USA to face their charges.

Sure, as a broader principle, organisations should not be able to release whatever they want.

But the US extradition request specifically relates to the release of the Iraq and Afghan war logs, leaked by Manning. Those were of huge public interest, and exposed international lawbreaking.

If an extradition on that ground is upheld, it's a terrible sign for the freedom of journalists to do the same. It's a bad sign for Rusbridger and The Guardian, who also published material leaked by Manning.

This remains true regardless of broader beliefs about Assange or concerns about Wikileaks' lack of boundaries. The specific basis for the US extradition request is intended to punish the investigation of government malfeasance, and the precedent it sets is abominable.

Gethsemani:
The difference between wikileaks and a journalist, as mentioned in this very thread, is that wikileaks just dumps a ton of classified or secret information with no regards to who might be hurt because said information leaked, while journalists are beholden to press ethics

Journalism is something one can do, not an identity that one is; freedom of the press requires that 'journalists' cannot be a class set apart from the rest of the people: for legal protections of the press to depend on any sort of licensing or credential is already a violation of press freedom.

Assange is being targeted for doing things journalists regularly do when contacted by whistle-blowers. That is the substance of the case against him in the United States.

Silvanus:
If an extradition on that ground is upheld, it's a terrible sign for the freedom of journalists to do the same. It's a bad sign for Rusbridger and The Guardian, who also published material leaked by Manning.

TheIronRuler:
The people that leaked the content should be arrested. A journalist does his duty to inform the public... That is his creed, to inform.

Seanchaidh:
Assange is being targeted for doing things journalists regularly do when contacted by whistle-blowers. That is the substance of the case against him in the United States.

I believe the key accusation against Assange is "conspiracy to commit computer intrusion": that he provided Manning with hacking assistance to acquire the data, which is going a step beyond merely receiving and publishing stolen data.

I'd love to know what evidence they have for this: it sounds unconvincing to me. Potentially of course it is a pretext to get their hands on him when otherwise the extradition case may be too feeble. After all, once they have actually acquired him, it's not like they have to give him back if they drop the key charge that secured the extradition.

But like I said, I'd rather see him punished for absconding by the UK courts, and then extradited to Sweden. However, I suspect the UK government, staring at being cut adrift by Brexit and wanting to suck up to anyone and everyone, will probably prefer to hand him over to the USA.

Silvanus:
...and The Guardian, who also published material leaked by Manning.

Whose offices were also raided by the UK government, and property destroyed under government supervision, in an attempt to kill the Snowden story in its crib and prevent the public from becoming aware of PRISM. Even someone less unforgiving towards opacity and secrecy in government might call that attempted destruction of evidence. Lest anyone forget, or fail to realize what's at stake.

There's no possibility the UK refuses to extradite Assange, and any trial in this regard will be purely for showmanship. The UK wants Assange silenced as well, lest we forget the UK had more than its fair share of humble pie at his table over Afghanistan and the diplomatic cables leak. This is also as sure a line in the sand as we'll see in our lifetimes, especially after the past decade's sustained war on whistleblowing and transparency by Western liberal democracies; remember, as is the case above, this isn't only an American problem.

Agema:

Silvanus:
If an extradition on that ground is upheld, it's a terrible sign for the freedom of journalists to do the same. It's a bad sign for Rusbridger and The Guardian, who also published material leaked by Manning.

TheIronRuler:
The people that leaked the content should be arrested. A journalist does his duty to inform the public... That is his creed, to inform.

Seanchaidh:
Assange is being targeted for doing things journalists regularly do when contacted by whistle-blowers. That is the substance of the case against him in the United States.

I believe the key accusation against Assange is "conspiracy to commit computer intrusion": that he provided Manning with hacking assistance to acquire the data, which is going a step beyond merely receiving and publishing stolen data.

I'd love to know what evidence they have for this: it sounds unconvincing to me. Potentially of course it is a pretext to get their hands on him when otherwise the extradition case may be too feeble. After all, once they have actually acquired him, it's not like they have to give him back if they drop the key charge that secured the extradition.

But like I said, I'd rather see him punished for absconding by the UK courts, and then extradited to Sweden. However, I suspect the UK government, staring at being cut adrift by Brexit and wanting to suck up to anyone and everyone, will probably prefer to hand him over to the USA.

.
Wrong... The conspiracy was to hack a different account, so they could cover-up Manning's identity as the leak (the log-in details to the information that would lead investigators to her). He tried to help his source protect herself... At the end Manning is rotting in prison. A journalist would attempt to help their source, as long as it doesn't break the law... which is why this is the charges he's facing, and they are pretty trumped up. It's conspiracy to aide Manning to hack a second login so they could protect Manning's identity, but as you can tell this failed and there was no evidence they tried to do it beyond their conversation logs...

TheIronRuler:
Wrong... The conspiracy was to hack a different account, so they could cover-up Manning's identity as the leak (the log-in details to the information that would lead investigators to her). He tried to help his source protect herself... At the end Manning is rotting in prison. A journalist would attempt to help their source, as long as it doesn't break the law... which is why this is the charges he's facing, and they are pretty trumped up. It's conspiracy to aide Manning to hack a second login so they could protect Manning's identity, but as you can tell this failed and there was no evidence they tried to do it beyond their conversation logs...

"Unlawful manipulation and fraud of the government is fine if it's to cover up the crimes of another." That's essentially what you just said right there.

Look, Manning, who has since had her sentence commuted and is now free, committed a very serious offence as someone who was given access to classified information, the kind of offence that could not be ignored even if for legitimate purposes. She was placed in a position of trust and then proceeded to violate that trust. I have no sympathy for her being put in the brig over that, especially since she went to Wikileaks and not an actual press outlet who would have approached it more delicately to minimize damage to the people on the ground. Her effective sentence (after being reduced by Obama's commutation) was just given the graveness of her crime (I do think the original sentence of 35 years was a bit too harsh, 10-15 would have been plenty with motive as a mitigating factor).

Assange assisted with an attempt to cover up her crime, making him an accessory after the fact (similar to someone who assists in burying a body or aiding an escaped convict). That makes him a part of her crimes, and, unlike her, he has refused to answer for them, hence why he was literally being carried out like he's a toddler. And that doesn't even get into his habit of selectively leaking items more damaging to democratic countries and not, say, autocratic ones, effectively, if not knowingly, becoming a tool of intelligence agencies hostile to Western Democracies. Ironic, given he likely played an essential role in putting in a undemocratic administration that was far more willing to go after him than a Democratic one.

Tireseas:

TheIronRuler:
Wrong... The conspiracy was to hack a different account, so they could cover-up Manning's identity as the leak (the log-in details to the information that would lead investigators to her). He tried to help his source protect herself... At the end Manning is rotting in prison. A journalist would attempt to help their source, as long as it doesn't break the law... which is why this is the charges he's facing, and they are pretty trumped up. It's conspiracy to aide Manning to hack a second login so they could protect Manning's identity, but as you can tell this failed and there was no evidence they tried to do it beyond their conversation logs...

"Unlawful manipulation and fraud of the government is fine if it's to cover up the crimes of another." That's essentially what you just said right there.

Look, Manning, who has since had her sentence commuted and is now free, committed a very serious offence as someone who was given access to classified information, the kind of offence that could not be ignored even if for legitimate purposes. She was placed in a position of trust and then proceeded to violate that trust. I have no sympathy for her being put in the brig over that, especially since she went to Wikileaks and not an actual press outlet who would have approached it more delicately to minimize damage to the people on the ground. Her effective sentence (after being reduced by Obama's commutation) was just given the graveness of her crime (I do think the original sentence of 35 years was a bit too harsh, 10-15 would have been plenty with motive as a mitigating factor).

Assange assisted with an attempt to cover up her crime, making him an accessory after the fact (similar to someone who assists in burying a body or aiding an escaped convict). That makes him a part of her crimes, and, unlike her, he has refused to answer for them, hence why he was literally being carried out like he's a toddler. And that doesn't even get into his habit of selectively leaking items more damaging to democratic countries and not, say, autocratic ones, effectively, if not knowingly, becoming a tool of intelligence agencies hostile to Western Democracies. Ironic, given he likely played an essential role in putting in a undemocratic administration that was far more willing to go after him than a Democratic one.

.
I didn't say that, ey! Probably misread me, or I was unclear. You can read in my post... " A journalist would attempt to help their source, as long as it doesn't break the law... "

As long as it doesn't break the law.

Assange is accused of conspiring to help her do it, the evidence being the correspondence... Obviously they failed in the attempt to cover it up, and I can further go say there was no wrong-doing on Assange's side.

TheIronRuler:
.
I didn't say that, ey! Probably misread me, or I was unclear. You can read in my post... " A journalist would attempt to help their source, as long as it doesn't break the law... "

As long as it doesn't break the law.

Assange is accused of conspiring to help her do it, the evidence being the correspondence... Obviously they failed in the attempt to cover it up, and I can further go say there was no wrong-doing on Assange's side.

The bar for assistance is very low. Anything substantive would be adequate, especially if he knew that she had engaged in criminal activity (ex. giving an individual a screwdriver you could reasonably know would be used to stab someone). It feels like you're claiming he's not broken the law, when it is very likely he has though that support. I would not say the charge is trumped up.

Tireseas:

TheIronRuler:
.
I didn't say that, ey! Probably misread me, or I was unclear. You can read in my post... " A journalist would attempt to help their source, as long as it doesn't break the law... "

As long as it doesn't break the law.

Assange is accused of conspiring to help her do it, the evidence being the correspondence... Obviously they failed in the attempt to cover it up, and I can further go say there was no wrong-doing on Assange's side.

The bar for assistance is very low. Anything substantive would be adequate, especially if he knew that she had engaged in criminal activity (ex. giving an individual a screwdriver you could reasonably know would be used to stab someone). It feels like you're claiming he's not broken the law, when it is very likely he has though that support. I would not say the charge is trumped up.

.
Eh, it wouldn't get revealed anyhow. The only evidence they have are the conversation transcripts, and that is only for conspiring to hack something... that wasn't hacked at all.

Journalist passing on sensitive, leaked information is something journalists do, to inform the public of the terrible heap of garbage governments do in the dark away from the eyes of their citizens... Whistle-blowers often get the axe, yet journalists don't. We had a case like this four years ago, the person who leaked the military intel was sent to prison for... I think 3 years. The journalists got the court's protection.

The issue here is that Assange touched a nerve... The CIA is very resourceful.

Tireseas:

TheIronRuler:
Wrong... The conspiracy was to hack a different account, so they could cover-up Manning's identity as the leak (the log-in details to the information that would lead investigators to her). He tried to help his source protect herself... At the end Manning is rotting in prison. A journalist would attempt to help their source, as long as it doesn't break the law... which is why this is the charges he's facing, and they are pretty trumped up. It's conspiracy to aide Manning to hack a second login so they could protect Manning's identity, but as you can tell this failed and there was no evidence they tried to do it beyond their conversation logs...

"Unlawful manipulation and fraud of the government is fine if it's to cover up the crimes of another." That's essentially what you just said right there.

I suppose, like some other centrists, you're also deeply troubled by the clemency given to Chelsea Manning?

TheIronRuler:

Wrong... The conspiracy was to hack a different account, so they could cover-up Manning's identity as the leak (the log-in details to the information that would lead investigators to her). He tried to help his source protect herself... At the end Manning is rotting in prison. A journalist would attempt to help their source, as long as it doesn't break the law... which is why this is the charges he's facing, and they are pretty trumped up. It's conspiracy to aide Manning to hack a second login so they could protect Manning's identity, but as you can tell this failed and there was no evidence they tried to do it beyond their conversation logs...

Fine, he can't break the law to help his source. But if he's actively helped hack US computer systems, even if just to help his source conceal her identity, then he has broken the law. I happily agree that a conversation log with no apparent material result looks weak - but I have already stated I am skeptical about the case brought against him by the USA.

Tireseas:

Look, Manning, who has since had her sentence commuted and is now free, committed a very serious offence as someone who was given access to classified information, the kind of offence that could not be ignored even if for legitimate purposes. She was placed in a position of trust and then proceeded to violate that trust. I have no sympathy for her being put in the brig over that, especially since she went to Wikileaks and not an actual press outlet who would have approached it more delicately to minimize damage to the people on the ground. Her effective sentence (after being reduced by Obama's commutation) was just given the graveness of her crime (I do think the original sentence of 35 years was a bit too harsh, 10-15 would have been plenty with motive as a mitigating factor).

Firstly, Manning did in fact attempt to contact two national press outlets before going to Wikileaks. They did not take the story, for whatever reason.

Secondly, the accusation that the leak endangered those on the grounds is never accompanied by a convincing scenario in which harm actually comes about. It seems a very ill-defined (and convenient) charge.

Thirdly, the Iraq and Afghan war logs detailed international criminal activity, involving enormous loss of life and defrauding of the public. We're talking about war crimes. So, what is of greater concern? Chelsea Manning's crime in leaking, or the war crimes themselves? We don't find out about the latter without that leak.

He got 50 weeks for breach of bail conditions. He probably could've shaved a few weeks off if he didn't offer a non-apology:

He apologised to those who "consider I've disrespected them", a packed Southwark Crown Court heard.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-48118908

Baffle2:
He got 50 weeks for breach of bail conditions. He probably could've shaved a few weeks off if he didn't offer a non-apology:

He apologised to those who "consider I've disrespected them", a packed Southwark Crown Court heard.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-48118908

So, 2 weeks shy of the maximum, then. Plenty of time to decide if he should get a show trial in the US or just be disappeared. Maybe keep him jailed for years before trial, until the investigation is "finished."

Baffle2:
He got 50 weeks for breach of bail conditions. He probably could've shaved a few weeks off if he didn't offer a non-apology:

He apologised to those who "consider I've disrespected them", a packed Southwark Crown Court heard.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-48118908

I'm happy with that: vindication of the law, justice is done.

Schadrach:
So, 2 weeks shy of the maximum, then. Plenty of time to decide if he should get a show trial in the US or just be disappeared. Maybe keep him jailed for years before trial, until the investigation is "finished."

Neither the UK nor USA can disappear a high profile prisoner like Julian Assange. I suppose if anyone really cares, they might arrange for him to get conveniently shanked, but even that would be probably be more embarrassing than not. The USA can very likely, as you say, drop him in a prison and twiddle their thumbs over his court case for a v-e-r-y long time.

With a bit of luck he'll be passed onto Sweden instead, however.

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