Federal Prosecutors Questioned The Assange Prosecution, But Their Concerns Were Ignored By The DOJ

from the gov't-gets-it-man-and-the-citizens-get-a-little-less-free-speech dept

The DOJ spent several years toying with the idea of prosecuting Julian Assange for the publication of leaked documents. It finally pulled the trigger earlier this year, utilizing UK police to pick up the ousted Assange from the Ecuadorian embassy. There was only a single charge related to cracking passwords protecting classified documents. It wasn't much of an indictment, but it initially appeared the DOJ might steer clear of the First Amendment… well, at least as well as it's capable of doing.

That all changed last week. The DOJ brought a new indictment, loaded with charges and First Amendment implications. It was no longer limited to some password-cracking attempts that went further than receiving sensitive files from a source. The new indictment basically turns journalism into treason. Things journalists do every day, like cultivating sources, seeking out leakers/whistleblowers, and publishing the results of these efforts are all treated as Espionage Act violations.

The charges are so broad, they cover more than the day-to-day business of journalism. If all it takes is asking someone to hand over sensitive documents, it's likely Donald Trump himself violated the Espionage Act while still on the campaign trail when he informally asked Russia to dig up 30,000 emails from then-State Department head Hillary Clinton's servers.

This prosecution has the potential to do so much damage to First Amendment press protections, even the DOJ wasn't of a single mind when it came to pushing the new indictment.

Two prosecutors involved in the case against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange argued against the Justice Department’s decision to accuse him of violating the Espionage Act because of fear that such charges posed serious risks for First Amendment protections and other concerns, according to people familiar with the matter.

The Obama Administration began the case against Assange, but ultimately decided to abandon its pursuit of this prosecution because of the very issues we're seeing raised now. Unfortunately, the case was never closed. Incoming Attorney General Jeff Sessions pushed this back into the prosecutorial queue as part of the Trump Administration's efforts to deter whistleblowers and leakers.

That push was met with internal resistance from two DOJ prosecutors who recognized the prosecution being pushed by AG Sessions was highly problematic.

When it came to Assange, [prosecutor] James Trump was concerned about pursuing a prosecution that was so susceptible to First Amendment and other complicated legal and factual challenges, the people familiar with the matter said.

Another prosecutor, Daniel Grooms, also disagreed with charging Assange, according to the people familiar with the matter. At the time, Grooms served as criminal chief in the U.S. Attorney’s office that was handling the case.

By the time the first indictment was issued, James Trump's opinion had been disregarded and Grooms was no longer with the agency. Their protests weren't enough, and now the DOJ is neck deep in Constitutional concerns.

The Assistant AG leading Assange's prosecution said the following during his announcement of the superseding indictment, as if this somehow threaded the needle on the Constitutional side effects of turning journalism into treason:

The Department takes seriously the role of journalists in our democracy and we thank you for it. It is not and has never been the Department’s policy to target them for their reporting.

Julian Assange is no journalist. This made plain by the totality of his conduct as alleged in the indictment—i.e., his conspiring with and assisting a security clearance holder to acquire classified information, and his publishing the names of human sources.

Indeed, no responsible actor—journalist or otherwise—would purposely publish the names of individuals he or she knew to be confidential human sources in war zones, exposing them to the gravest of dangers. And this is just what the superseding indictment charges Julian Assange with doing. The new charges seek to hold him responsible in light of the full breadth of his illegal conduct.

But that is journalism. Journalists encourage sources to acquire classified information. Journalists publish documents that may result in harm to national security. It happens and it's part of the job. It's an integral part of holding the government accountable for its actions. Yes, journalists should take care to prevent foreseeable harm, but they are under no obligation to withhold every bit of information the government feels shouldn't be published.

I supposed we should be happy there was some internal pushback. But the DOJ is engaged in a very dangerous prosecution that, if successful, will lay the groundwork for prosecuting journalists for engaging in journalism.

Filed Under: 1st amendment, daniel grooms, doj, espionage act, james trump, journalism, julian assange
Companies: wikileaks


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    identicon
    Harry Plank-Walker, 28 May 2019 @ 10:55am

    Yeah, we know. Fully covered while Techdirt dormant over weekend

    Say. Where did Assange come from, anyway? Australia, huh? But I mean where educated and so on, not just the cardboard cutout which popped up out of the blue with money (millions!), a way to hide identity (spy craft that has to be good for people risking jail!), and an organization to take care of matters while he's out of the loop (who are now apparently all dead). Quite an anomaly in every aspect.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 29 May 2019 @ 12:30am

      Re:

      There once was an out of the blue
      Who hated the process of due
      Each film that he'd paid
      Was DMCAed
      And shoved up his ass with a screw

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  • identicon
    David, 28 May 2019 @ 11:22am

    "no journalist"

    To quote the First Amendment:

    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

    The juxtaposition of "speech" and "press" makes it clear that we are talking about the freedom of spoken and printed matter; there is no implication of any profession connected with it.

    Saying that only government-recognised journalists are to enjoy freedom of the press is about the same as stating that only government-recognised speakers are to enjoy freedom of speech.

    We are not really talking about "highly problematic First Amendment implications here", the First Amendment is just considered non-existent.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 28 May 2019 @ 11:24am

      Re: "no journalist"

      Clearly, the first amendment is applicable to all citizens and probably visitors too - idk. State sponsored news is a joke that is not funny.

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      • identicon
        Tin-Foil-Hat, 28 May 2019 @ 11:40am

        Re: Re: "no journalist"

        Assuming he is extradited, once in the US he has the same constitutional rights as every citizen, aside from the right to vote and sit on a jury.

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        • identicon
          Rekrul, 28 May 2019 @ 12:26pm

          Re: Re: Re: "no journalist"

          Including the right to be blackmailed and railroaded into prison by corrupt prosecutors.

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        • icon
          That One Guy (profile), 28 May 2019 @ 4:43pm

          And if you believe that I've got a bridge to sell you

          Given they're charging him under the Espionage Act, where motive is not an allowable defense, no, he would not, and that's not even mentioning how many government agencies/employees consider 'constitutional rights' to be entirely at their discretion these days.

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          • identicon
            David, 29 May 2019 @ 7:42am

            Re: And if you believe that I've got a bridge to sell you

            You know, if "motive" should not be an allowable defense but just "I didn't do it", then it shouldn't be an allowable accusation either.

            "This endangered the life of service men" is incidental and should not be an allowed statement for the prosecution. Any mention of consequences need to be stricken since consequences are not allowed for the defense either.

            Treason, defined as lending comfort and support to the enemies of the U.S., should be completely off the table since its definition is entirely incidental.

            It's well worth noting that Daniel Ellsberg, someone accused under the Espionage Act for passing on the Pentagon Papers to journalists, only left court as a free man because the government was not content with the completely tilted table of the Espionage Act accusation (which made the case go really badly for Ellsberg) but burglared his psychiatrist and wiretapped his defense lawyer and so the judge threw the whole case out of court because he did not see himself able to provide even the mockery of justice left under an Espionage Act accusation.

            If the government had not thoroughly sabotaged its own case outside of the court, it would have had Ellsberg in the bag.

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        • identicon
          R,og S/, 29 May 2019 @ 9:21am

          Re: Re: Re: "no journalist"

          Good humor.

          A guy in a tinfoil hat, rambling on about "rights " in the USA.

          LULZ

          Most citizens havent had those since the era of Mothers Against Drunk Driving, and VAWA. It was these two mivements that brought cops into our sacred private spaces: our cars, and our homes, without warrants.

          Oh, and into our bodies, of course, with breathalyzers, syringes, bullets.... .

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 28 May 2019 @ 4:36pm

        Re: Re: "no journalist"

        1. Assange is not a US citizen; he is Australian.

        2. Assange is not in the US; he is in the UK.

        Non citizens, not in the US are not entitled to US Constitution protection. More simpy said Assang has NO First Amendment rights.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 28 May 2019 @ 10:29pm

          Re: Re: Re: "no journalist"

          No, because the constitution does not say "rights do not apply overseas." Instead, it limits what the US government can do. Therefore, Assange still has 1st amendment rights, as protection from what the US government can do to him.

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          • icon
            That One Guy (profile), 29 May 2019 @ 2:23am

            On paper vs in practice

            Therefore, Assange still has 1st amendment rights, as protection from what the US government can do to him.

            Well, theoretically he does/would anyway...

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            • identicon
              Bruce C., 29 May 2019 @ 8:53am

              Re: On paper vs in practice

              Extradition hearings would be under UK law though.

              Assuming he is extradited to the US, he would be subject to the same constitutional protections as any accused citizen. Assuming he's got a good enough lawyer.

              Personally, I hope they do go after him under the espionage act. Assange and Wikileaks seem to be excellent defendants that can appeal a conviction up to SCOTUS and have a good chance to get the espionage act ruled unconstitutional.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 29 May 2019 @ 2:10am

          Re: Re: Re: "no journalist"

          Non citizens, not in the US are not entitled to US Constitution protection.

          They should not be subject to US law either, but them the US government has become one of the most vindictive should it feel it has been offended. Oh, and its assassinations are less well targetted that the Russians, who get an operative close to their target, rather than raining down missiles.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 28 May 2019 @ 12:07pm

      Re: "no journalist"

      The juxtaposition of "speech" and "press" makes it clear that we are talking about the freedom of spoken and printed matter; there is no implication of any profession connected with it.

      Well, that clears it all right up, then.

      Electronic data is neither spoken nor printed: there's no "freedom of the bits" listed in the amendment, therefore what Assange did isn't protected.

      That technicality down, the next is to figure out a way to twist the word "four" to mean "six" in Article Two, Section One.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 29 May 2019 @ 7:02am

        Re: Re: "no journalist"

        OK, then. Let's continue with this little game of yours:

        You have no right to bare arms. (Because that was for a well regulated militia, of which does not officially exist and you are not a member of.)

        You have no right to a fast and speedy trial. (Because all of the courts are full so take a number and get in line.)

        You have no right to vote. (Because voting machines are electronic we just change them at will.)

        You have no right against self-incrimination. (Because your phone and social media accounts will squeal for you, and we'll just demand you unlock that safe for us.)

        You have no right against taxation without representation. (Because if you're a felon, you are subhuman and therefore exempt. If you're a pleb, you don't have the money required to buy legislation in congress. )

        We could do this all day, but the point is: Just because a new means of doing things is created, doesn't mean all of the prior laws are suddenly invalid. It's people like you that allow corruption to occur because of your explicit interpretations of the law.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 29 May 2019 @ 10:55am

          Re: Re: Re: "no journalist"

          Note to self: stating that you can interpret "four" to mean "six" in the text of a law is no longer a sufficient indicator that the comment is meant to be satirical.

          This truly is the darkest timeline.

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      • identicon
        Bruce C., 29 May 2019 @ 8:55am

        Re: Re: "no journalist"

        I see your technicality, and raise you...
        Electronic data is stored on "printed" circuits.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 29 May 2019 @ 9:45am

          Re: Re: Re: "no journalist"

          Innards of modern integrated circuits are no longer printed, that term refers to the photolithographic methods of yesteryear.

          Ion implantation or laser imaging are later tech.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 29 May 2019 @ 1:14am

      Re: "no journalist"

      Spot on David. First amendment protections are universal. There is no profession involved.

      Who wants the government deciding who is and who is not a journalist anyway?

      Obama used the Espionage act against the leakers. His admin wanted to go after Assange, but that, going after a publisher, was know as the "New York Times" problem.

      Trump's DOJ dont care. Which is pretty stupid, because

      a) this makes the extradition case harder (they're using a never tried in court indictment), and

      b) the case will go all the way to the Supreme Court in which a few judges might just think that the 1st amdt is important.

      Meanwhile, the Qanon people will be saying "Yes, its Trump's plan to protect Assange". Oh dear, here we go again.

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      • identicon
        R,og S/, 29 May 2019 @ 9:28am

        Re: Re: "no journalist"

        ...and one other little problem in your argument: that the fraud that the NYT is would then be revealed to being a tribalist rag with extensive CIA ties, aka “anonymous sources”

        Too bad Assange isnt....tribalist and sectarian, because non racist /tribalist objectivity is what is really being targeted here.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 29 May 2019 @ 9:52am

          Re: Re: Re: "no journalist"

          Are there any examples of this nefarious fraudulent NYT tribalist rag?

          Why pick on only one media outlet as they are all guilty at some level ... some just more than others. Certainly you are not going to tell me that Faux News, ButtBart, and Infowhores are completely free of any and all tribalism, fraud and general mis information.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 28 May 2019 @ 11:23am

    So, telling the truth is now treason ... interesting take on the constitution as what I read did not support such a charge.

    Treason, as defined in the constitution, is very specific and does not allow a whole lot of the typical political bullshitting in order to arrive at the wanted conclusion(s).

    I would like to know what the government recommendation is for someone who has knowledge of a crime and therefore is required by law to divulge same but the nature of the transgression is for whatever reason classified so you are not allowed to disseminate. two laws that make the person a criminal no matter what they do. I guess the first thing to do is get a lawyer.

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    • icon
      Thad (profile), 28 May 2019 @ 12:39pm

      Re:

      Assange is being charged with espionage, not treason.

      There are many, many reasons to criticize the charges, but it helps to start by knowing what the charges actually are.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 28 May 2019 @ 1:28pm

        Re: Re:

        That's cool and I agree.

        I found the following in the main post of this thread, but no big deal.
        "The new indictment basically turns journalism into treason."

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 29 May 2019 @ 6:29am

        Re: Re:

        ...Can a non-US citizen even BE charged with treason (against the US, obviously)?

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

        • identicon
          David, 30 May 2019 @ 5:15am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Under which standard? International legal rules or the evolving phantasmagoria of the U.S. Department of Justice regarding their jurisdiction over the world?

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 28 May 2019 @ 11:32am

    the forgotten rape charges

    Since Sweden has now refiled those old rape charges against Assange, it would seem that he would first have to be handed over to Sweden to face justice there (assuming that Sweden is now actively seeking his extradition) since Assange had already lost that extradition battle in UK courts before requesting sanctuary in a London embassy.

    That's assuming that the "first in line" rule is not overruled by the "800 pound gorilla" rule.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 28 May 2019 @ 2:41pm

      Re: the forgotten rape charges

      There weren't actually charges in the past, right? Sweden kept saying they just wanted him for questioning.

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

      • identicon
        Annonymouse, 28 May 2019 @ 3:16pm

        Re: Re: the forgotten rape charges

        If they just wanted to question him they could have saved a whole lot of money and time by taking the ferry across and talking to the man but we all know that was not the plan.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 28 May 2019 @ 3:24pm

        Re: Re: the forgotten rape charges

        https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2019/05/swedish-authorities-re-open-rape-investigation-against-j ulian-assange/

        If Sweden formally seeks Assange's extradition to Sweden, it will be up to British authorities to decide whether Sweden's request gets precedence over a US extradition request.

        It's of course possible that Assange could be sent to Sweden instead of the USA, and whether he is convicted of rape or not, Sweden could potentially refuse to extradite him to the United States to face such serious charges of a highly political nature. It's almost a certainty that Sweden would have to agree to a future US extradition request if they want to get Assange from UK custody. (of course, promises can easily be broken, as Assange himself found out)

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 29 May 2019 @ 1:19am

      Re: the forgotten rape charges

      There are no "charges". He has never been charged.

      There is an investigation which has already been dropped twice, and there a problems with the evidence (the 'ripped condom' did not have any of Assange's DNA).

      It is, and has always been, political.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 29 May 2019 @ 3:07am

        Re: Re: the forgotten rape charges

        It is, and has always been, political.

        Not according to Anna Ardin, who only "discovered" that she had been raped after finding out that Assange had been two-timing her. For Ardin, it has always been a personal vendetta to make Assange pay for his betrayal.

        " would be very surprised & sad if Julian is handed over to the US. For me this was never about anything else than his misconduct against me/women and his refusal to take responsibility for this."

        www.twitter.com/therealardin/status/1116293000693518338

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        • icon
          Wendy Cockcroft (profile), 29 May 2019 @ 5:12am

          Re: Re: Re: the forgotten rape charges

          [Asserts facts not in evidence]

          That tweet doesn't prove what you say it proves, AC.

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 29 May 2019 @ 9:47am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: the forgotten rape charges

            The assertion regarding Assange's rape charges that "It is, and has always been, political" would certainly appear to be contradicted by rape accuser Anna Ardin's own statement that "For me this was never about anything else than his misconduct against me ..."

            Unless of course, Anna Ardin is lying. Some people have even claimed that Ardin is a CIA asset who was tasked with doing exactly what she did in order to ensnare Assange, but such conspiracy theories, while at least plausible early on, became increasingly less likely as time went by and Anna went public with her story on social media.

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  • identicon
    Glenn, 28 May 2019 @ 12:11pm

    The Trump administration--still the most un-American group of people this country has ever seen and getting worse every day.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 28 May 2019 @ 12:32pm

      Re:

      2nd most un-American group. The first is the group trying to overturn a valid election through politically motivated government action. The exact scenario that the left warned the right not to participate in when Trump inevitably lost btw. Obstructionist politics at its best.

      The irony is deafening.

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      • icon
        Thad (profile), 28 May 2019 @ 12:41pm

        Re: Re:

        The first is the group trying to overturn a valid election through politically motivated government action.

        So un-American, it's a right explicitly granted to Congress by the US Constitution.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 28 May 2019 @ 1:32pm

        Re: Re:

        Are you claiming that enforcing the law is now considered "trying to overturn a valid election"?

        Are you claiming that the GOP had not been engaging in "Obstructionist politics" during the Obama administration?

        What is ironic?

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    • icon
      Thad (profile), 28 May 2019 @ 12:44pm

      Re:

      The Trump administration--still the most un-American group of people this country has ever seen

      I dunno, that time those slavers tried to secede was pretty un-American.

      Course, there's quite a lot of overlap between the secessionist states and the states where Trump is popular.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 29 May 2019 @ 1:42am

        Re: Re:

        I dunno, that time those slavers tried to secede was pretty un-American.

        Correct me if I am wrong but George Washington had slaves and seceded from England.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 29 May 2019 @ 6:33am

          Re: Re: Re:

          and?

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

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 29 May 2019 @ 10:22am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            ... and after all the remaining statues of Confederate generals are torn down, the rabid SJW lynch mobs will direct their rage to George Washington monuments.

            Just wait and see how long it takes before George Washington gets memory-holed.

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

            • identicon
              bob, 29 May 2019 @ 11:00am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Keep dreaming.

              Statues for the losing side of a war over an inhumane practice =/= statues to the winning side of a conflict over abuses by a tyrant.

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

              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 29 May 2019 @ 11:42am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                Besides, if Washington is memory-holed, how will the movie explain the climax of the Revolutionary War, where the US and England decide to stop fighting because their fathers are both named George?

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

  • identicon
    Rekrul, 28 May 2019 @ 12:28pm

    But the DOJ is engaged in a very dangerous prosecution that, if successful, will lay the groundwork for prosecuting journalists for engaging in journalism.

    in other words, everything is going according to plan.

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

  • icon
    Peter (profile), 28 May 2019 @ 2:07pm

    Why not charge the New York Times while waiting for Assange?

    They are already in the States, and they committed (or not) exactly the same crimes as Julian Assange.

    If there is a case against Wikileaks, there is one against the New York Times, and there is no reason to treat them differently.

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    • identicon
      Tin-Foil-Hat, 28 May 2019 @ 2:20pm

      Re: Why not charge the New York Times while waiting for Assange?

      Yes there is a reason. It will be easier to prosecute Aassange than the New York Times with their team of lawyers and resources that can drag the case out much longer. If they succeed they'll use the precedent to go after anyone that embarasses, criticizes or exposes the US government just like every other despotic, authoritarian country. Constitutional protections have mostly been eroded. Why stop now?

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 28 May 2019 @ 2:44pm

        Re: Re: Why not charge the New York Times while waiting for Assa

        It will be easier to prosecute Aassange than the New York Times with their team of lawyers and resources that can drag the case out much longer.

        Particularly given that NYT beat a very similar case 48 years ago.

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

        • identicon
          Tin-Foil-Hat, 28 May 2019 @ 3:52pm

          Re: Re: Re: Why not charge the New York Times while waiting for

          I just cited this case to some person who asserted "the law is the law" as though the law reads like the ten commandments and the government is free to do as it pleases. I personally hope this does set a precedent and not the one the government is hoping for.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 29 May 2019 @ 1:38am

        If they ever get Assange in court, there will be a very long line of expert first amendment lawyers offering pro bono representation.

        It would be the biggest 1st amdt case ever.

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

  • icon
    That One Guy (profile), 28 May 2019 @ 4:56pm

    'No REAL journalist would make the government look bad.'

    Indeed, no responsible actor—journalist or otherwise—would purposely publish the names of individuals he or she knew to be confidential human sources in war zones, exposing them to the gravest of dangers.

    Well it's a good thing that he didn't actually do that then, either that or the military employs super-humanly lucky people given that they couldn't find so much as a single person in the field who was actually harmed by his actions.

    Now, if you widen the definition of 'danger' to 'harm to reputation', that certainly seemed to have a number of 'casualties', but surely they wouldn't be so grossly dishonest to conflate 'put troops in danger' with 'made those in power look bad', right?

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 29 May 2019 @ 6:36am

      Re: 'No REAL journalist would make the government look bad.'

      Wait - what?

      "Indeed, no responsible actor—journalist or otherwise—would purposely publish the names of individuals he or she knew to be confidential human sources in war zones, exposing them to the gravest of dangers."

      Yeah right, said Valerie Plame

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 28 May 2019 @ 5:12pm

    So, who is this Assistant A G? Who is pulling his chain? Has the US made Sweden reintroduce the 'akkegations of rape? Has this been done so Assange can be extradited to Sweden, making the UK feel it gas done nothing wrong when Seeden then extradites Assange to the US ti be tortured for life or put to death for making the public aware of the crap the US was up to? That seems like the plan and is gonna set a precedent so no one dares to report on the shit the various, especially the US, governments pull! Dictatorship, Fascism, Communism, and more all rolled into one! Land of the free, home of the brave, never again! Just to please exactly who???

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

    • icon
      Wendy Cockcroft (profile), 29 May 2019 @ 5:15am

      Re:

      The most powerful players in the military-surveillance-prison-industrial complex. Think about it, if the shenanigans were to stop tomorrow and we went all kum-ba-yah with each other, who would buy guns and bullets, etc.?

      Keeping this crap under wraps ensures the continual flow of filthy lucre.

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

  • icon
    ECA (profile), 28 May 2019 @ 6:28pm

    Any news on

    Dotcom?

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

  • identicon
    R,og S/, 29 May 2019 @ 9:15am

    re: Mohammed Warsame, 2004

    I reported on the first Somali " manufactured terrorist ”prosecution in Minnesota in 2003-4 in a little college newspaper.

    By all accounts, no one I interviewed had the slightest fear of the guy, including his classmates, coworkers, etc. One FBI snitch, even said “the worst thing I can say about the guy is that he was a terrible driver...and he has stinky feet. ”

    And, as most of those cases have it, by "coincidence " the snitch was ALSO the guys driving tutor.

    And, I coupled that story with another story about the coming COINTELPRO 2.0, and the FBI "watching us as we surf the web. ”

    Shortly thereafter, I got a flier from the ADL slipped under my. newsroom door, in the form of a press release. I refused to run it.

    Then, my little college newsroom was rifled, without any warrant, ever, and my life became a freeway of nefarious rotten bastards local /state /federal/private contractor capacities, working overt and covert angles, and waging chaos in many forms.

    I dont recall any of the big media taking my complaints seriously, though Trevor Aaronson at the Intercept eventually covered Warsame, and manufactured terrorism some many years later, and that, only after tribal-sectarian interests cockblocked real journalists like me, wringing their hands like Queen Esther, thinking the sky is falling.

    And now, as journalism itself is threatened time and time again, I sort of chuckle, because I know who is threatening it.

    And it aint the Chinese, the Saudis, or Russia - its the Israelification /ADLification of our press.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 29 May 2019 @ 11:17am

    I'm rather tired of the borderline falsehoods from TD...

    "...utilizing UK police to pick up the ousted Assange from the Ecuadorian embassy."

    This is false. The UK police were handed Assange BY THE EMBASY STAFF when his asylum request was revoked by the Equadorian government because he basically wore out his welcome in rather nasty fashion. There was a warrant for his arrest by the UK courts for his arrest on jumping bail so he was handed over to the UK police. If anything Sweden has a far bigger claim on this scumbag than the US does for rape and sexual assault.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 29 May 2019 @ 11:17pm

    this isn't about finding him guilty

    This is about putting together a facade of illegality in order to extradite him ( and keep him in jail during the process) and then to charge him and put him through the legal process of defending himself ( and keep him in jail during the process)

    I forsee Julian being in jail for many years, even if eventualy found not guilty on all charges.

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


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