Julian Assange's 10th year in prison.

Innula Zenovka

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There's no indication that Assange himself asked for anything, just that his lawyer (who's job it is) and his SO (who clearly loves him) have realised this is the only way he's going to be kept out the clutches of American 'Justice'. I appreciate that you don't approve of him, but I'm a little disappointed that would appear to be letting this dislike colour your judgement in this issue.
What's the only way he's going to be kept out of the clutches of the Americans? I thought District Judge Baraitser's judgment did a pretty good job of that today.

It's bound to go to appeal, and I think there's a lot in it that Assange's side should appeal, but the key finding about Assange's mental health making it impossible to extradite him is going to be difficult for the prosecution to do much about, I would think.

The US can appeal only on the grounds she's got the law wrong on his mental health, which isn't going to be at all easy, to my mind.
 
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danielravennest

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Well... giving back Alaska to Russia would do that, too. But I guess even Trump is not so dumb to actually do pull that kind of stunt.
He doesn't have the power to give away US territory. The people of Alaska would have something to say about it. It would also be really stupid at the moment because it would lose two republican senators.
 

Bartholomew Gallacher

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He doesn't have the power to give away US territory. The people of Alaska would have something to say about it. It would also be really stupid at the moment because it would lose two republican senators.
We know this - but does he know? I mean he believes all things that he can do which he cannot, but he still tried anyway.
 
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Cristalle

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I can explain this.


First I will admit that like you I have to make a careful effort to be fair and objective about Assange because I have a very low opinion of him.

I believe he is a professional grandstander who cares more about personal fame than about government transparency.

I believe the State Department and military files he leaked in fact contain far less and far weaker evidence of genuine criminality that he and his fans like to claim they do.

I believe that, whether or not he colluded with Trump's campaign in the process, he planned and timed his "hacked email" releases with the primary purpose of harming Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign more than any interest in exposing bad activity as a general principle.

I believe it is fairly solidly established by this point that he is a fan and apologist for Putin's government, and that he would almost certainly refuse to publish any leaked Russian government documents sent to him by a hacker.

Of course I might be wrong about any or all of those things in the end; but for now I'm fairly confident in them, so for the sake of transparency I feel I should admit them so that people don't get the impression I'm claiming to be neutral about Assage.



Anyway, so on to your actual question, again:



The reason is because Assange fans are Trump supporters and believers in Trump's rhetoric. They believe the State Department and the DoJ are still secretly controlled by the Hillary Clinton 'Deep State" Trump is always whining about, and of course believe that Hillary Clinton is absolutely hell-bent on not just imprisoning but executing Assange, to the point that they don't believe Trump forcing the DoJ to drop the case now is sufficient protection because once Biden is president they could just start the case right back up again. So the solution is a Trump pardon which protects Assange in perpetuity.

It frankly doesn't matter to them how a pardon would "look" for Assange, any more than Flynn or Stone care about their pardons "look". All that matters is the protection a pardon provides.
Some people support Assange because there needs to be an outlet to expose criminal government wrongdoing. And the thing that he is being charged with is NOT whatever participation he had with the Clinton campaign email leaks but the revelations by Chelsea Manning about the murdering of civilians and the double tap murder of the journalists and first responders that went to the scene of the first set of murders. That's plenty criminal. And no one has been punished for those murders. This is why they put Chelsea Manning back in prison, because she would not testify again to that activity before the grand jury, to substantiate any more charges. She's a stronger person than most.

Press freedom is important, and the US Government's way-too-broad application of the Espionage Act puts all national security journalists at risk of being categorized as accessories to the crime. That is why, regardless of how one personally feels about Assange, he should not have been charged and should not have been extradited.

You don't have to be a Trump supporter to recognize the importance of this case to press freedom and the partisan politicization that comes with the subject being Assange just muddies the discussion on the subject. Liberals loved Assange when he was going after Bush. But by disclosing the TRUE emails of the Clinton campaign, he's been blacklisted and the horrible things said in those emails goes without substantive analysis or discussion.

A pardon would dispose of the case permanently; as for why Trump would do it? Because he's a chaos agent and it would piss off Biden and any other liberals still seeking Assange's scalp for revealing the Clinton campaign's emails. It would be for the wrong reason, but people concerned about press freedom would take it.
 
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Innula Zenovka

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Some people support Assange because there needs to be an outlet to expose criminal government wrongdoing. And the thing that he is being charged with is NOT whatever participation he had with the Clinton campaign email leaks but the revelations by Chelsea Manning about the murdering of civilians and the double tap murder of the journalists and first responders that went to the scene of the first set of murders. That's plenty criminal. And no one has been punished for those murders. This is why they put Chelsea Manning back in prison, because she would not testify again to that activity before the grand jury, to substantiate any more charges. She's a stronger person than most.

Press freedom is important, and the US Government's way-too-broad application of the Espionage Act puts all national security journalists at risk of being categorized as accessories to the crime. That is why, regardless of how one personally feels about Assange, he should not have been charged and should not have been extradited.

You don't have to be a Trump supporter to recognize the importance of this case to press freedom and the partisan politicization that comes with the subject being Assange just muddies the discussion on the subject. Liberals loved Assange when he was going after Bush. But by disclosing the TRUE emails of the Clinton campaign, he's been blacklisted and the horrible things said in those emails goes without substantive analysis or discussion.

A pardon would dispose of the case permanently; as for why Trump would do it? Because he's a chaos agent and it would piss off Biden and any other liberals still seeking Assange's scalp for revealing the Clinton campaign's emails. It would be for the wrong reason, but people concerned about press freedom would take it.
Since you consider press freedom to be important, why do you not want to allow the courts to uphold it and, instead, make it dependent on the goodwill of the president of the day?

I mean, if Trump were to pardon Assange, that would certainly solve Assange's problems for him, but it wouldn't do anything to remove the threat of prosecution from the next journalist who is charged under this oppressive interpretation of the Espionage Act. The next journalist in Assange's position, whoever that may be, is going to have to rely upon the protection of the First Amendment, after all.

If what the Guardian says is true, though, it looks as if Biden may well drop the charges -- one of the British judge's reasons for not giving as much weight to Assange's ECHR right to free expression as she might have done was that US First Amendment law gives him at least as much protection as does the ECHR, so she could trust the US courts on that particular concern.

Anyway, we will see soon enough what happens. I can't see him being extradited from the UK, though, after the judge's ruling about his being at risk of suicide because of the harsh and inhumane US prison regime. That will be very difficult for the US to appeal, to my mind.
 

bubblesort

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What's the only way he's going to be kept out of the clutches of the Americans? I thought District Judge Baraitser's judgment did a pretty good job of that today.

It's bound to go to appeal, and I think there's a lot in it that Assange's side should appeal, but the key finding about Assange's mental health making it impossible to extradite him is going to be difficult for the prosecution to do much about, I would think.

The US can appeal only on the grounds she's got the law wrong on his mental health, which isn't going to be at all easy, to my mind.
I agree with this, but at the same time it makes me worry this ruling gives bad actors cover for if they want to Epstein him. I mean, he's depressed, so of course he's gonna commit suicide, right?

I know, I'll go check my tin foil hat for leaks, LOL
 

Cristalle

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Since you consider press freedom to be important, why do you not want to allow the courts to uphold it and, instead, make it dependent on the goodwill of the president of the day?

I mean, if Trump were to pardon Assange, that would certainly solve Assange's problems for him, but it wouldn't do anything to remove the threat of prosecution from the next journalist who is charged under this oppressive interpretation of the Espionage Act. The next journalist in Assange's position, whoever that may be, is going to have to rely upon the protection of the First Amendment, after all.

If what the Guardian says is true, though, it looks as if Biden may well drop the charges -- one of the British judge's reasons for not giving as much weight to Assange's ECHR right to free expression as she might have done was that US First Amendment law gives him at least as much protection as does the ECHR, so she could trust the US courts on that particular concern.

Anyway, we will see soon enough what happens. I can't see him being extradited from the UK, though, after the judge's ruling about his being at risk of suicide because of the harsh and inhumane US prison regime. That will be very difficult for the US to appeal, to my mind.
The problem is that the ruling is not on the merits of press freedom but because our prison system is so barbaric that it would violate European human rights laws. If our system was not so barbaric, she would have delivered him over to be tried in front of a kangaroo court. Trump pardoning Assange is a separate issue. I do not want it to be subject to the goodwill of the president of the day, but in this case I will take it, given the torture that he's already gone through. Without a pardon, all it really will take is them conjuring some additional charges and then seeking his extradition again if he leaves the UK. Biden dropping the charges would be good, but again - that's dependent on the good will of the president of the day. A pardon would be better for Assange in that it would settle the issue for him, but not for press freedom. As you said, the next journalist in hot water for receiving leaked files will be put to the test, and hoping that the landmark New York Times v. United States case holds.
 

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Anyway, we will see soon enough what happens. I can't see him being extradited from the UK, though, after the judge's ruling about his being at risk of suicide because of the harsh and inhumane US prison regime. That will be very difficult for the US to appeal, to my mind.
It's a shame the stature of limitations for the Swedish case has run out. If it hadn't, they could have extradited him to there instead.
 

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And... back to square one...
Yes but no matter how you look at it, Assagne has actually admitted to some of those allegations. I know there are some cultural issues here - Assagne is from a part of the world where womens' right are less respected than in Sweden - but that's not really an excuse for him or for any other immigrant/visitor to a nation.

Assagne was never aquitted of the rape allegations. They were put aside at first because the Swedish law enforcement authorities couldn't interrogate him, then they were finally dropped because of the statues of limitation. The accusations still stand. A criminal is not innocent just because he manages to evade the law until he's saved by the bell.

I don't really know much about the US cases against him but please do not confuse what he may have done there as a reporter with what he may have done in Sweden as a private person.
 
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Bartholomew Gallacher

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Since you consider press freedom to be important, why do you not want to allow the courts to uphold it and, instead, make it dependent on the goodwill of the president of the day?
Because the courts are staged, that's why. Yes I do know that you do believe otherwise, but that's the plain simple truth.

The ruling of the UK court by the way did not decide about the journalist aspects of Assange, if justified or not. The only reason why he will not be extradited is that even compared to the UK's already medieval standards in their high security prison where Assange is being held, the American prison system is downright ancient and barbaric as per the UK court. That's the only reason why Assange will not be handed over to the USA.
 
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Innula Zenovka

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Because the courts are staged, that's why. Yes I do know that you do believe otherwise, but that's the plain simple truth.

The ruling of the UK court by the way did not decide about the journalist aspects of Assange, if justified or not. The only reason why he will not be extradited is that even compared to the UK's already medieval standards in their high security prison where Assange is being held, the American prison system is downright ancient and barbaric as per the UK court. That's the only reason why Assange will not be handed over to the USA.
I'm sorry, but before I accept the proposition that "the courts are staged" (assuming you mean the English courts in how they've dealt with Assange), I'll need at last as much credible evidence as -- say -- Rudy Giuliani has provided for the proposition that "the election was rigged," and preferably a bit more.

I'm waiting.
 

Innula Zenovka

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Chin Rey

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I thought that back at square one, the British and Swedish governments were supposed to be part of a plot to kidnap him and whisk him off to Gitmo or a CIA black site somewhere.
The most ridiculous version I've heard of that is that the Swedish charges were deliberately cooked up to lure Assagne to Sweden where he could easily be extradited to USA. I really, really hope I don't have to explain to anybody here why that idea is flat earth level conspiracy theory lunacy.
 

Arkady Arkright

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I thought that back at square one, the British and Swedish governments were supposed to be part of a plot to kidnap him and whisk him off to Gitmo or a CIA black site somewhere.
I simply meant that it all started with an attempt to extradite him to Sweden (as the result of an accusation by someone known to be associated with the CIA). The fact that the CIA had not long before kidnapped someone off the streets of a european city (Milan IIRC) doesn't help your attempt to ridicule the possibility of a 'plot'.

ETA
"All those who made an error of judgement in the past will be punished for it forever."

I still think the whole thing is political revenge for embarrassing the powers that be. You would appear to disagree.
 

Arkady Arkright

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The most ridiculous version I've heard of that is that the Swedish charges were deliberately cooked up to lure Assagne to Sweden where he could easily be extradited to USA. I really, really hope I don't have to explain to anybody here why that idea is flat earth level conspiracy theory lunacy.
In the light of the CIA kidnap in Milan Assange's fears had a much firmer basis than your ridiculous 'flat-earth' analogy.