The US Charging Assange For Publishing Documents Would Be An Unprecedented Attempt To Chill A Free Press

from the I-guess-we're-'opening-up'-the-First-Amendment-now dept

Obama waged a war on whistleblowers during his eight-year run. Sure, it was done under a sunny facade of "transparency," but the former president set the gold standard for whistleblower prosecutions, performing more than every other president until then… combined.

Punishing whistleblowers is for amateurs. The Trump Administration will show everyone how it's done.

US authorities have prepared charges to seek the arrest of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, US officials familiar with the matter tell CNN.

For what, you may ask? Publication of leaked documents? Well, there's a little more to it than that.

The US view of WikiLeaks and Assange began to change after investigators found what they believe was proof that WikiLeaks played an active role in helping Edward Snowden, a former NSA analyst, disclose a massive cache of classified documents.

Hmm. But the Washington Post, Intercept, Guardian, and New York Times also did this. There's been some online speculation this actually refers to Assange's Russian-host-maneuvering and flight plan assistance -- that brief moment where journalists and g-men packed a plane to Cuba only to find themselves Snowden-less. But Ellen Nakashima's article for the Washington Post digs a little deeper into the proposed charges, citing evidence in Chelsea Manning's trial, where Assange assisted Manning with password cracking to sweep up digital breadcrumbs. (A 2012 DOJ warrant gives a bit more insight into the possible charges, which include espionage, CFAA violations, and "conversion" of stolen documents.)

But, again, this is nothing out of the ordinary for journalists who publish leaked documents. As Nakashima points out, helping sources erase their digital footprints is just something good journalists do. Prosecuting Assange for these efforts would set a terrible precedent.

[J]ournalists routinely employ methods — or tell sources to employ methods — that will help them avoid being identified. Justice Department officials in the previous administration believed that prosecuting Assange or other members of WikiLeaks could open the door to prosecuting news organizations and journalists who published classified information, and so they opted instead to target people, such as Manning, who had clearances to access such information and gave it to reporters.

Obama may have gone after a bunch of whistleblowers, but he was unwilling to cross the First Amendment line by punishing those who published leaked documents. Apparently, Trump and his DOJ have no such qualms.

Prosecutors have struggled with whether the First Amendment precluded the prosecution of Assange, but now believe they have found a way to move forward.

And they may have, without amending the First Amendment. But it will take a whole lot of cooperation to bring Assange in. The Ecuadorian embassy has managed to hold off Sweden for years and the country's government isn't exactly best friends with the US nor is it exactly respectful of US law.

Assange isn't a US citizen, so he's not automatically guaranteed First Amendment protections, even if the distribution of leaked documents is very much a journalistic enterprise. The US government doesn't automatically refuse to extend constitutional protections to foreign citizens, but it might be able to pick and choose which of those it wants to extend to Assange (though if he's charged in the US, he does get the benefit of all Constitutional protections). Even if the current DOJ can find a lawful way to prosecute Assange for still-unnamed charges related to leaked documents, this is an extremely dangerous direction for the federal government to be moving in.

This unofficial announcement by the DOJ is an implicit threat to journalists everywhere. You may hate Assange and/or Wikileaks, but it may be your favorite leak-friendly news sources facing charges next. Distinguishing your favorite source from Wikileaks is not nearly as easy as you might think.


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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Apr 2017 @ 3:40am

    This is shooting the messenger carried to the extreme of seeking all and any means to get the messenger to where you can shoot them.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 21 Apr 2017 @ 6:06am

      Re:

      Yup, the messenger has outlived his usefulness as they now have the white house. Burn those who could rat you out is the SOP.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    ThaumaTechnician (profile), 21 Apr 2017 @ 3:43am

    "The Ecuadorian embassy...isn't...exactly respectful of US law."

    Yeah, well then again, neither is the US Administration, Congress, the US Senate, the CIA, the NSA, the US Military, ...
    Add to that: "nor are they respectful of international law, UN sanctions, ethical considerations, basic human decency..."

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 21 Apr 2017 @ 6:08am

      Re: "The Ecuadorian embassy...isn't...exactly respectful of US law."

      So basically they do not respect anything other than themselves and their ill gotten gains, sort of like a toddler who has not learned to share.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    David, 21 Apr 2017 @ 3:58am

    Par for the course.

    Prosecuting Assange for these efforts would set a terrible precedent.

    That's the kind of agenda Americans elected a terrible president for.

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  • icon
    compujas (profile), 21 Apr 2017 @ 4:11am

    If you assist someone in hacking a government computer, shouldn't you be liable under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act? I'm following the part about journalists helping someone cover their tracks, but this goes beyond that by doing something that is itself illegal, ie. password cracking a government computer, doesn't it? Or am I missing something?

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 21 Apr 2017 @ 4:20am

      Re:

      Yes, this has all the characteristic of a witch hunter trying to prove their case against a chosen target, by making more and more accusations.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Baron von Robber, 21 Apr 2017 @ 6:36am

      Re:

      You are missing that Assange didn't assist in hacking anything.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        compujas (profile), 21 Apr 2017 @ 7:52am

        Re: Re:

        That sounds like a citation is needed. According to the article "citing evidence in Chelsea Manning's trial, where Assange assisted Manning with password cracking to sweep up digital breadcrumbs". Further, from the linked WaPo article, "Manning chatted with Assange about a technique to crack a password so Manning could log on to a computer anonymously, and that conversation, which came up during Manning’s court-martial, could be used as evidence that WikiLeaks went beyond the role of publisher or journalist."

        Now I don't know if explaining a password cracking technique to someone makes you guilty of assisting them when that person then uses the technique, but I also don't know the details of this particular conversation or how involved Assange was.

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        • identicon
          Baron von Robber, 21 Apr 2017 @ 8:01am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Password cracking to see the data that is already been hacked is different than hacking to obtain the data.

          One instance you already have the data, the other you don't.

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        • icon
          JoeCool (profile), 21 Apr 2017 @ 9:56am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Telling someone how to crack a password no more makes you guilty of assisting them then telling someone how to shoot a gun makes you guilty of assisting in a shooting. If teaching people made you guilty by association, virtually every form of learning and information would be shutdown and in prison, from schools to libraries to newspapers.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 21 Apr 2017 @ 6:53am

      Re:

      No, you're not missing anything yet. There is the possibility that Assange provided aid, perhaps even advance funds, that allowed Snowden to plan and take action accordingly. That would be more than just publishing, and subject to anti-espionage laws.

      It's one thing entirely to accept information and publish it and expect First Amendment protection. Actively soliciting information and/or providing payments/rewards takes it a step beyond just being "the press."

      Ignore all the idiots that just automatically assume Assange is innocent without having deep insider knowledge of what really happened. Let the government present its "evidence" before a judge and jury. OJ Simpson got away with murdering his ex-wife and her friend in his trial-by-jury, even with very damning evidence.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 21 Apr 2017 @ 6:59am

        Re: Re:

        Ignore all the idiots that just automatically assume Assange is guilty without having deep insider knowledge of what really happened.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 21 Apr 2017 @ 9:17am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Yea, the asswipe you are responding to is a fuckwit.

          In America the correct assumption is ALWAYS innocent until PROVEN guilty.

          No wonder shit is going to hell with all of the guilty until proven innocent fuckwits running around. We have a government that is breaking its own laws and we are more concerned with bringing the people that uncovered it to justice than injustices uncovered by them! Talk about fucked up priorities!

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 21 Apr 2017 @ 9:15am

        Re: Re:

        So are you intimately familiar with the DOJ's evidence and case. Sounds like a government leaker on TechDirt. :)

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Apr 2017 @ 4:59am

    Can't we just drone this guy?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Nathan F (profile), 21 Apr 2017 @ 5:16am

    Once they nail Wikileaks to the wall they have opened the door to hitting the local (stateside) papers. Remember, Trump's administration was seriously up in arms about all the leaks by local papers.

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  • icon
    Peter (profile), 21 Apr 2017 @ 5:49am

    "Assange isn't a US citizen, so he's not automatically guaranteed First Amendment protections."

    Would that be because not being a US citizen means he doesn't fall under US jurisdiction? The US Government may be upset about things that Wikileaks may have done, they may have the power to bully other countries into surrendering their citizen to the US, and they may have no qualms about doctoring the legal process to fabricate a conviction.

    But lets stop pretending this farce has anything to do with laws, justice or even morality.

    Wikileaks and others have shown that the US government has been - and still is - breaking the laws of other nations on an industrial scale. If the US wants to uphold the laws, then stop doctoring charges against whistleblowers, and start holding your own employees accountable!

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    • icon
      Bergman (profile), 22 Apr 2017 @ 12:08am

      Re:

      The US Constitution does not grant anyone any rights whatsoever, whether they are a US citizen or not.

      Instead, it protects rights that EVERYONE has from birth, regardless of where they were born, by prohibiting certain actions by the US government. If the government cannot lawfully do certain things, then it doesn't matter who they might do them to, since doing them at all is illegal.

      There's even a federal law on the books (Title 18, Chapter 13, Section 242) that makes it a federal crime for anyone to violate a constitutionally-protected right under color of law. Section 242 has no territorial limit, it applies to anyone who is subject to US federal laws -- which is all US citizens, due to other US federal laws, even if those citizens are in foreign countries and the illegal act isn't illegal in those foreign countries!

      It simply does not matter whether Assange is a US citizen, since you don't need to be a US citizen to have rights.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Jeremy2020 (profile), 21 Apr 2017 @ 5:51am

    ..and yet they didn't spend much effort figuring out how to arrest the people who caused the financial collapse...not worried about putting those guys in jail..

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 21 Apr 2017 @ 6:17am

      Re:

      And the excuses they used to defend their lack of prosecuting clear violations of the law ... were lame to say the least. One might even conclude they were complicit.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 21 Apr 2017 @ 12:09pm

      Re:

      Remember when Loretta Lynch was caught secretly meeting with Bill Clinton just before they announced that there would be no prosecution for Hilary.

      And she gave a preposterous explanation as though it was just an accidental encounter.

      The facade of legitimacy for these criminals is long gone.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Roger Strong (profile), 21 Apr 2017 @ 1:36pm

        Re: Re:

        Oh, spare us. It was only after FBI Director James Comey recommended not pressing charges against Clinton that the Justice Department had opted to not pursue charges.

        Given Comey's later election interference, you could hardly call him pro-Clinton.

        For all the hand-waving about Hillary's server, she was still only doing what the previous two Republican Secretaries of State did, plus the entire Bush II White House, several 2016 Republican candidates and more.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Apr 2017 @ 6:01am

    do you really want put him on trial before the jury?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      David, 21 Apr 2017 @ 6:17am

      Re:

      Why not? Give him an "Espionage Act" accusation and he is not allowed to defend his actions in court, nor is the jury allowed to consider any justification for his actions.

      His only permissable defense then is "I didn't do it" and that would be as patently absurd as with the Snowden prosecution.

      All the "should have his day in court" jokers gloss over the fact that we are talking about a mock trial in a kangaroo court here with hardwired outcome.

      If this bald perversion of justice is good enough to apply on Snowden, why not use it on Assange as well?

      Why bother with the precariousness of justice if you can have mock justice instead?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Apr 2017 @ 6:26am

    This is consistent with Trump's methods

    He's spent a lifetime burning those who've helped him -- unless they're family. Everyone else is living on borrowed time: it's not a question of if he'll turn on them, it's only a question of when.

    Thus: October 10, 2016, in Wilkes-Barre, PA: "I love Wikileaks" has now turned into an attempt to evade the First Amendment in order to prosecute Assange.

    I think the best possible outcome of this would be the mutual destruction of both of them: two rapists going after each other is pretty much my idea of a perfect result.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Apr 2017 @ 6:30am

    I love WikiLeaks - Donald J. Trump, Wilkes-Barre PA

    So is the bromance over?

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Apr 2017 @ 6:45am

    bullshit

    This is NOT unprecedented in the least fuckers!

    Media has always been under assault in various ways... but yea yea... when Trump does what all the rest have done, its obviously unprecedented now huh?

    Look, I don't like Trump but you guys need to get your heads out of your ass and stop acting like every stupid fucking thing he does is unprecedented and extraordinary. It's not, Trump has a long, LONG line of previous administrations to top!

    Can you give the OMG it's TRUMP outrage a rest now? He sucks every bit as bad as Bush, Hillary, and Obama does!

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    • identicon
      Baron von Robber, 21 Apr 2017 @ 6:51am

      Re: bullshit

      Mm, can you provide a link where the US has charged Assange with something before?

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      • icon
        Richard (profile), 21 Apr 2017 @ 7:02am

        Re: Re: bullshit

        Assange certainly believed that once he was in custody in Sweden the US administration would charge him.

        Look - this is not about Trump, Hilary, Obama or Bush. It is like in the Hitch Hikers guide. They are Zaphod Beeblebrox. They are just a distraction from where power really lies.

        How long did it take for Trump to go back on the promises that got him elected?

        Who made him do it?

        How easy was it for them?

        The same thing (more or less) happened to Obama.

        Personally I doubt that any president since FDR has had the kind of power that people think that the president has.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 21 Apr 2017 @ 8:18am

          Re: Re: Re: bullshit

          "Personally I doubt that any president since FDR has had the kind of power that people think that the president has."

          The president has whatever power the Legislative or Judicial Branches of the Government are prepared to allow him to have. If neither of them stop the President from running amok then they have as much power as they can take.

          This is why the two party system is failing America. Because Party is First and America is second. The democrats lets Obama do what he wants, the the republicans seem to be letting Trump do what he wants.

          If people want to slap the President down, they need to put the people willing to do something about it inside of congress. But we already know how much the citizens enjoy corruption there, we can't get enough of it! Seriously! We love our own corrupted senators but hate everyone elses!

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          • icon
            TruthHurts (profile), 21 Apr 2017 @ 8:31am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: bullshit

            The president has whatever power he thinks he can get away with in their "illegal" executive-orders.

            Most of these are not only illegal, but unconstitutional.

            I recall one executive order that was written and signed after Congress passed a law re-iterating that the government could not open mail without a court order.

            The executive order that was written and signed after the law was signed by the President said the equivelent of "That new law you wrote, restricting my peons from opening mail without a court order? Yeah, it only applies if I feel like letting it."

            The executive branch does not "get to interpret" the law, period!

            That is the sole right of the Judicial branch.

            The Legislative branch writes the laws.
            The Judicial branch interprets the laws.
            The Executive branch executes the people abiding by the laws in ways they don't like. Wait, did I say that out loud?

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 21 Apr 2017 @ 9:11am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: bullshit

              "Most of these are not only illegal, but unconstitutional."

              Shocked, someone finally used "Unconstitutional" in the correct sense around here.

              Any power that any member of Government tries to exercise which has not been granted them by the Constitution is unconstitutional. That said, we have a long train of them, and from a long time ago. People just let them slide because... Party Affiliation.

              As for the REST of your comments, you only said the same thing I said, just in a different way. So it looks like we are in near 100% agreement here.

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            • icon
              The Wanderer (profile), 24 Apr 2017 @ 6:19am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: bullshit

              Almost.

              Everyone gets to interpret the law. The only question is whose interpretations are and are not binding.

              Your interpretation of the law, and mine, is overridden (in practice) by that of the executive branch.

              The executive branch's interpretation is overridden (in theory) by that of the judicial branch.

              The judicial branch's interpretation is overridden by that of the legislative branch, in the form of passing new legislation - except in cases where the judicial branch holds that the legislation in question is in conflict with the terms of the Constitution, in which case the judicial branch's interpretation prevails.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 21 Apr 2017 @ 7:03am

        Re: Re: bullshit

        They still haven't charged him, they're doing exactly what the previous administration did.

        "U.S. Weighs Prosecution of WikiLeaks Founder, but Legal Scholars Warn of Steep Hurdles" - NY Times 2010

        "Justice Department Weighs Charges Against Julian Assange" - NY Times 2017


        http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/02/world/02legal.html
        https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/20/us/politi cs/justice-department-weighs-charges-against-julian-assange.html

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 21 Apr 2017 @ 8:22am

          Re: Re: Re: bullshit

          Baron Von Robber is often a troll.

          I am not even sure he believes in Gravity! Facts don't matter to him, only his "feelings".

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Baron von Robber, 21 Apr 2017 @ 8:56am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: bullshit

            Aw now, don't cry. I was just curious if any previous admin had charged Assange. If Der Groppen Fuhrer does charge Assange, that would be new.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 21 Apr 2017 @ 9:06am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: bullshit

              I am sure Trump would LIKE to charge him. He is on record a few years ago saying that Assange should be assassinated.

              I have no doubt that Trump would kill him if he has the chance. Heck I bet Obama would have as well if given the chance. But I think Obama would be smarter than Trump about it, and that is about the ONLY difference I see between the two.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 21 Apr 2017 @ 8:00am

      Re: bullshit

      Can you give the OMG it's TRUMP outrage a rest now?

      I think you're mistaking the irony with outrage. I'm not outraged Trump is doing this. I just find it funny as fuck that he was endorsing Wikileaks regularly during his campaign. And now his justice department want's Assange's head.

      What's the over/under that Wikileaks has the piss video?

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      • identicon
        Baron von Robber, 21 Apr 2017 @ 8:02am

        Re: Re: bullshit

        Or his tax forms. :)

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 21 Apr 2017 @ 8:11am

          Re: Re: Re: bullshit

          yea, I think all tax forms for all people holding public office should be public record by law.

          It is in the interests of the people to know if their representatives are financially compromised!

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 21 Apr 2017 @ 8:09am

        Re: Re: bullshit

        "I think you're mistaking the irony with outrage."

        Oh I get the Irony alright, but how can you reconcile the usage of the word "unprecedented" in regards to that?

        You are right that it was convenient for Trump to "endorse" Wikileaks when it serves his interests but turn on them when they hurt his interests. That is not something that is a great mystery, neither is it ironic, and neither is it a new and unprecedented situation.

        I saw Trump coming a mile away, and everything he is doing right now is not surprising in the least. From my perspective he has a lot more to go before he can be worse than Bush and his legacy and today the worst ever president being Woodrow Wilson in my opinion. People have astoundingly short and ignorant memories. We once had slavery and also mass rounded up the Japanese not so long ago either.

        Things considered acceptable today were inconceivable yesterday and vice versa.

        Regarding the over/under? I have no idea, would be nice to see it loose in the public if it exists.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 21 Apr 2017 @ 9:31am

          Re: Re: Re: bullshit

          That is not something that is a great mystery, neither is it ironic, and neither is it a new and unprecedented situation.

          When it comes to Trump's endorsement, and the new about-face, it was very ironic.

          Using them to target Hillary was the single biggest piece of irony I had seen in a long time. I'm sure you heard the rallying cries about her emails, and mishandling of classified information.

          Yet he endorsed Wikileaks (he loves them, actually), who on several occasions before, leaked classified information in un-redacted form.

          If he didn't know this yet endorsed them anyways, well, then he's exactly the idiot I think he is.

          If he did know this and endorsed them anyways, well, then he's exactly the hypocritical shitbag I think he is.

          Either way, the situation is truly ironic, especially since one of the primary reasons voters (dumbfucks that they are) voted for him was her emails. As far as unprecedented, the jury's still out - but if anyone can take something bad and make it worse, it's him.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 21 Apr 2017 @ 9:54am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: bullshit

            "When it comes to Trump's endorsement, and the new about-face, it was very ironic."

            In order for it to be an Irony it must be "Poignantly contrary to what was expected or intended". I saw this coming a mile away!

            "Using them to target Hillary was the single biggest piece of irony I had seen in a long time. I'm sure you heard the rallying cries about her emails, and mishandling of classified information."

            O yea, I heard them. I support the prosecution of Hillary too! That said, more than just Hillary should be getting prosecuted, including a few 'hypocritical' repukes. But anyone taking the prosecution of Hillary seriously is a retard. Trump runs his fucking mouth so much you can't believe anything he says, until he finally does it.

            "Yet he endorsed Wikileaks (he loves them, actually), who on several occasions before, leaked classified information in un-redacted form."

            Well yea, but that is not irony, it's hypocrisy. Something I very much expect out of Trump. Saw it with Obama, and Bush as well! And Hillary? ha ha... don't get me started!

            When we all die, we are might look down and see all four of those fuckers reminiscing with each other about the good ole days were they were able to fool the idiot citizens on a bunch of shit trying to top each other's stories of grandeur.

            "Either way, the situation is truly ironic,"

            I am starting to get the picture, you didn't except this outcome? Seriously? I saw it, and baby you ain't seen nothing yet. Lets wait for Trump to ratchet the Police State up a bit more... you will be too concerned to even remember wiki who?

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 21 Apr 2017 @ 10:16am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: bullshit

              In order for it to be an Irony it must be "Poignantly contrary to what was expected or intended".

              Endorse and increase visibility to a site that releases classified information while decrying someone who mishandled classified information.

              It could very well be both.

              I am starting to get the picture, you didn't except this outcome?

              Alas, yes. Even I didn't expect him to be this stupid this early. He has certainly exceeded my expectation with that regard.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 21 Apr 2017 @ 8:22am

      Re: bullshit

      You might want to try writing a second draft.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 21 Apr 2017 @ 8:32am

        Re: Re: bullshit

        Naw, it might not be perfect, but it is good enough.

        As others here have already pointed out, Obummer did the same, but TD did not call it unprecedented at the time. For TD, it is only because Trump is doing it.

        I am not complaining that TD is reporting on it if that is your angle. Just they WAY they are reporting on it.

        So if Obama did it, they are "considering"
        if Trump does it, OMFG the sky is falling!

        The is the difference I am trying to point out. The constant and manufactured outrage only damages your own position.

        I want you clowns to collect your brains and act like sane humans. There is no shortage of crap Trump is going to do, lets have some levity and discuss this stuff like adults!

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 21 Apr 2017 @ 9:17am

          Re: Re: Re: bullshit

          So if Obama did it, they are "considering" if Trump does it, OMFG the sky is falling!

          It all boils down to calculus.

          Where if I was told "Obama is thinking about (x)" I could assume with a reasonable amount of certainty that Obama was thinking about (x). (With thinking being the operative word)

          When it comes to Trump, if I hear "Trump is thinking about (x)" I immediately say to myself "who, if anyone is doing the actual thinking, and what are the odds that they'll fuck this up too?"

          I can't just shut off the clusterfuck that his presidency seems to make out of even the most mundane things. So when I hear this now, I give far more credibility to it because he's a big enough idiot to actually try this.

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  • icon
    TruthHurts (profile), 21 Apr 2017 @ 8:21am

    The U.S. Government needs to learn a child's lesson...

    I taught my children, before they even started kindergarten, that if they don't want someone to "tell on them" or "know they did something they shouldn't have", that they have one and only one option.

    Can you guess what that option is?

    Yup, nailed it in one. "Don't do what you don't want others to know you did." or to put it another way "Don't do something you know is WRONG."

    If my children, at age 5 can understand this, then why in the hell can't the idiots in the government understand this?

    Assange did nothing, abso-fucking-lutely nothing wrong in any way, shape or form.

    It's the fucking retards (aka fucktards) in the alphabet organizations and the mentally-challenged-unable-to-reach-fucktard-status currently running the country, that should have known to start with that what they were doing, and continue to do, was wrong, illegal, unconstitutional, against the Geneva convention, crimes against humanity.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 21 Apr 2017 @ 8:27am

      Re: The U.S. Government needs to learn a child's lesson...

      "If my children, at age 5 can understand this, then why in the hell can't the idiots in the government understand this?"

      Because we PAY them and ASK them to NOT understand this.

      Liberty is a fragile thing and everyone has forgotten that the 1st roll of Government is to protect Liberty, and through that protection, the protect the citizens by proxy.

      Now that we have asked liberty to take a back seat, the government has been asked to protect us Directly! Which means, that liberty must be destroyed to accomplish this task.

      You see where this is going right?

      Now that the "State" has decided that Wikileaks is a danger to your life, regardless of liberty, they now how the "blessings" necessary to act in ways that are fundamentally against the very nature of the principals of liberty! In order to save you, of course!

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Spaceman Spiff (profile), 21 Apr 2017 @ 10:08am

    Ah, Sweden!

    I think Assange may have been wise to face up to the charges in Sweden. Chances are they would not have extradited him to the USA since he is not a US citizen.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Rekrul, 21 Apr 2017 @ 11:00am

    This unofficial announcement by the DOJ is an implicit threat to journalists everywhere.

    "That's not a bug, it's a feature."

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Apr 2017 @ 1:11pm

    So for all those who said Assange was being hysterical and he should stop resisting deportation to Sweden because there was no evidence that the US wanted him enough to try anything, this looks like proof he was right. And I suspect he was right about Sweden being unsafe for precisely the reasons he gave then. I hope Ecuador remains supportive, or he's toast - and without any reasonable morality to justify it. The evil empire trying to achieve that Darth Sidious look.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Apr 2017 @ 1:36pm

    let's just be honest about what's going on here, because obviously Trump and his stooges wont be! all that is happening is another attempt by the most corrupt government (and i mean the USA government, not just the Trump government) and legal system on the Planet to hide who did what to screw over the American people when it was discovered that total surveillance was being carried out on just about everyone, everywhere and how those in the 'everywhere' were well pissed off at what was supposed to be a friendly nation and ally!!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 22 Apr 2017 @ 9:22am

    Just wait till he gets around to the executive order that
    all must have the same haircut as his ....
    you know for unity and all that shit

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 23 Apr 2017 @ 4:30pm

    Assange, Manning, Snowden etc, they have become an idea which cannot be killed.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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