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World & Current Events > Breaking news: Assange's arrested

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message 1: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 13109 comments After 7 years in the embassy, he was forced out of the Ecuadorian embassy & arrested by London police to be possibly further extradited to the US.
The world's reaction is controversial - some regret, others welcome.
What's your attitude? And will we now know more about his sources ?


message 2: by Graeme (last edited Apr 11, 2019 03:30PM) (new)

Graeme Rodaughan | 7093 comments The Principle:

The whole Assange story goes to 'what do we, the citizens and taxpayers, who ultimately authorize through democracy and pay for with the fruits of our labour have the right to know about what is done in our name?'

The Reality:

Look there's Kim Khardashian! (... the principle gets obscured by the trivialities of the modern world - did Huxley win?)

However:

[1] From the ACLU: REF: https://www.aclu.org/news/aclu-commen...

"Any prosecution by the United States of Mr. Assange for Wikileaks’ publishing operations would be unprecedented and unconstitutional, and would open the door to criminal investigations of other news organizations. Moreover, prosecuting a foreign publisher for violating U.S. secrecy laws would set an especially dangerous precedent for U.S. journalists, who routinely violate foreign secrecy laws to deliver information vital to the public's interest."


[2] The main warrant (at this time) is for 'conspiring with Chelsea Manning,' to do with what Manning released in 2010.

From the BBC/Twitter: REF: https://twitter.com/BBCNews/status/11...

[3] Then there is the actual footage that by Manning's account motivated her to do what she did. The Guardian (Graphic Video) REF: https://www.theguardian.com/world/201...

Back to the Principle - do we have a right to know?


message 3: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 9250 comments Graeme, if you want to know, the best method is to drop the prosecution of Assange. I am sure he will tell all. Can't see the enthusiastic prosecutors doing that, though.

I can see that opening the door to criminal investigations of other news organizations would be interesting. Only Fox news would probably be immune right now, which would not be a high point of US journalism. Another point is does "national security" requirements for secrecy cover illegal activities. Can you be prosecuted for reporting violations of international law? As far as I know, laws are not enforceable if you are trying to enforce them in favour of illegal activities. It should b interesting. Of course there is also the question of whether the UK will extradite. It is not a given, cause English courts do tend to try to enforce justice and if the law is unclear, Assange would get the benefit.


message 4: by Graeme (new)

Graeme Rodaughan | 7093 comments The indictment has been posted in scribd and is here.

https://www.scribd.com/document/40593...

It's very specifically targeted.


message 5: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 9250 comments Graeme wrote: "The indictment has been posted in scribd and is here.

https://www.scribd.com/document/40593...

It's very specifically targeted."


It seems he conspired to publish classified material. The basis is he was given it by Manning and he published it, but strangely it is the conspiring that seems to be the main part.

He seems to be accused of actually procuring the information directly, which as far as we can see, he did not. Manning did. Most of that information is n exposing of US war crimes, or violations of the Geneva convention, but stop - the US CANNOT do that so it must be a crime to show it did.

He also conspired to crack a password and failed. Arch criminal there.

Not that that will save him if he goes to Virginia.


message 6: by J.J. (new)

J.J. Mainor | 2108 comments What's being reported here is that he pressured Manning into stealing the information...if you're comparing Assange to the mainstream media, CNN doesn't go around asking their sources to dig into classified material to leak it...their role is somewhat more passive.

As for Assange, I can't believe he was so stupid. Relations with his host were souring, but what did he seriously expect would happen when he released material on Ecuador's President? He was just asking to be handed over to British authorities.

And Ian mentioned Fox News. Democrats have been claiming Trump's attacks on the media are an attempt to silence the press, but Trump never subpoenaed a media organization to answer for their reporting or lack of...

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/op...

"House Oversight Chairman Elijah Cummings...is now investigating why Fox News did not publish a story in October 2016 about an alleged 2005 affair between then-candidate Donald Trump and porn star Stormy Daniels."


message 7: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 9250 comments I wouldn't say CNN is that passive. Some of its coverage of Syria, for example, was just plain wrong and cost quite a lot of damage to the Syrian people. However, I agree Assange was stupid. As a first rule, if he really feared the US, he should have gone somewhere less like;y to extradite him. The UK would have been his worst possible choice.


message 8: by Philip (new)

Philip (phenweb) | 2925 comments Just some facts - and I have some knowledge of the process - given my work role.

Ecuador removed his asylum status because he persistently failed to comply with their conditions and a change in Ecuadorian leadership wanted him out (more pro US so currying favour it would appear but I have no evidence)

With no Asylum status the police were invited in to arrest him on the bail jump charges - the US extradition charge then magically appeared at the same time.

Assange was found guilty of jumping bail at Westminster Magistrates' Court and will be sentenced at Southwark Crown Court at a date to be set. He is now in prison pending that sentencing. Waiting for a sentence hearing is not unusual and rarely has anything to do with other charges. He has been told by the judge and by the process that he faces a UK prison term. He is of course entitled to health treatment in the same way as any prisoner. He could not get any treatment except doctor visits in the Embassy. Like many prisoners I expect the health card to be played to its fullest extent. I have no knowledge of whether he is ill or not - I'm not a doctor nor am I his doctor.

This bail jumping is in relation to the Extradition hearings back in 2012. i.e. there is no guilt or even trial of the sexual assault cases in Sweden. Two of these were dropped however, Sweden's prosecutor stated one is suspended and it's statute of limitations does not expire until August 2020.

As far as I know Sweden has not yet resubmitted an extradition warrant for that case. This would have primacy over any other extradition unless the crime was more serious. Especially as it was the reason for the asylum move in the first place i.e avoiding being extradited to Sweden.

He has been only found guilty of jumping bail. Because of the length of potential sentence under UK law, he could not be sentenced in a Magistrate's Court - Westminster - and thus will go to Southwark. His bail sponsors have already lost their money.

In addition, he has been arrested on the Computer misuse charge which the USA has requested extradition. He is due to face that hearing on 2nd May. (Westminster again I believe because that is where most extradition cases are heard) Because of his flight risk on the previous extradition, he was refused bail on that charge. Hence he has been remanded for sentencing and remanded pending a further extradition hearing. The US charges for extradition do not relate to publishing only to hacking. A charge with a maximum sentence if convicted of 5 years according to the published warrants.

Assange remains an Australian citizen (his Ecuadorian status is unclear) and his right to stay in the UK could be revoked under UK immigration law by the Home Secretary. He could then be sent to Australia - if that legal process went through.

For the US to extradite him the extraditing authority must prove that there is a case to answer and meet the relevant standards for legal process. e.g. if a charge with the death penalty was laid by the USA then extradition cannot go ahead. The US/UK extradition treaty is under a lot of scrutiny following a wide variety of cases where charges are laid. This has resulted in numerous legal challenges most recently over another hacker Lori Love whose extradition was refused.

- https://www.theregister.co.uk/2018/02...

Therefore all the chat and media speculation is just that

He will go to prison in the UK for the bail offence - probably the maximum 12 month sentence - Magistrates can only impose 3. In which case he could be out having served half of that for good behaviour.

I expect all the conspiracy theories and speculation will continue. Get the popcorn in

The publishing or otherwise of US misdeeds would also have to include and charge the 3 newspapers around the world that carried the information (just like with Snowden). Wikileaks in this case is a publisher which is why I believe the US prosecutors have not gone down the route. Something about 1st amendment rights. They so far are sticking to a very minor charge of Computer Misuse.

My best guess - 12 month sentence - 6 months served. Then sent to Australia on sentence release unless Sweden extradites. Any US extradition will be years in the courts in the UK and probably EHCR (not part of EU) too.


message 9: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 9250 comments I can't see the US succeeding in a hacking charge because he didn't hack. He may have tried to, but the evidence there seems to be merely his statement that he failed, and if this was in an NZ court, I think extradition would fail if that was all there was. But as Philip says, bring out the popcorn.


message 10: by Graeme (new)

Graeme Rodaughan | 7093 comments Interesting points Philip - an excellent summary.


message 11: by Kris (new)

Kris Haliday (krishaliday) | 127 comments Ian wrote: "Graeme wrote: "The indictment has been posted in scribd and is here.

https://www.scribd.com/document/40593...

It's very specifically targeted."

It seems he conspired to pub..."


Ian wrote: "Graeme, if you want to know, the best method is to drop the prosecution of Assange. I am sure he will tell all. Can't see the enthusiastic prosecutors doing that, though.

I can see that opening th..."


It sounds to me like the US gov wants to parse out specific behaviors and render them illegal: not publication, per se, but actively soliciting, providing technical assistance and/or means, and otherwise aiding and abetting in the theft of documents. By parsing out those actions, the US gov would be seeking to criminalize active participation in the act as a way to avoid the more dicey proposition of criminalizing publication per se. The argument would be this: to the extent that Manning's theft was not a fait accompli at the point contact was made with Assange, Assange is responsible for more than being a journalist or a news outlet (or did I totally not get it what the indictment was driving at.). If that's their game plan, what do people think about that?

Is what Assange did fundamentally different from what any news outlet, journalist, or publisher ordinarily does?

That doesn't deal with the ACLU argument that a tit for tat response to the US game plan would endanger US journalists who secure secret information from foreign intelligence services (by any means necessary? Is news gathering at this level something like the wild wild west? whatever works? I just don't know anything about common practice at that level of information gathering).

Kris



Kris


message 12: by Graeme (new)

Graeme Rodaughan | 7093 comments Hi Kris.

Given a context of interstate rivalry and competition. The state has a legitimate need to maintain secrets in the national interest.

However the apparatus of secrecy should not be used to cover up illegal, evil, fraudulent, incompetant, or embarrassing acts by agents of the state.

For citizens in a free society there needs to be effective ways to hold all members of society accountable for their actions including those who operate behind the veil of secrecy.

The publishing of information that leads to accountability is a vital public service regardless of who the publisher is.


message 13: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 9250 comments Of course secrecy should not be used to cover up your own failings, but it is hard not to when those in power got there because the main thing they are good at is rising up the ladder in organisations, and not necessarily through skill in achieving the goals of the organization in the approved way. Further, once you send troops into some area, say, and something goes wrong you want to cover that up in case somehow some of the blame can be attributed to you. Once one starts doing things secretly, it is only too easy to cover up bad stuff


message 14: by Kris (new)

Kris Haliday (krishaliday) | 127 comments Thanks, Graeme, for saying so clearly what I was thinking about legitimate needs for secrecy vs efforts merely to cover up what people should, legitimately, be held accountable for.

Apparently, the US government is going after Assange with an indictment that does not fault him (necessarily) for providing a service, per se, but rather casts him in the unsavory light of someone who did more than publish what he published. Or, unsavory or not (opinions differ), it is an effort to criminalize the behavior of a scrappy outsider for being the scrappy outsider he must be to render the service he does,


message 15: by Kris (new)

Kris Haliday (krishaliday) | 127 comments Ian wrote: "Of course secrecy should not be used to cover up your own failings, but it is hard not to when those in power got there because the main thing they are good at is rising up the ladder in organisati..."

So, Ian, there's no difference, necessarily between legitimate and illegitimate secrets? The actors, themselves, are compromised by the very fact of their being in a position to act?

I think I sometimes share your lack of enthusiasm for the moral niceties of Infrastructural Sapiens Sapiens. I try not to feel like an idiot for hoping, sometimes, that more principled creatures prevail.


message 16: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 9250 comments There are differences between legit and otherwise. One, for example, is temporal. If you are carrying out a military mission, it is obvious that details of the mission must remain secret at least while the mission is ongoing. If the mission were legit, once all your people are accounted for, it is reasonable to uncover the major details, but it makes sense to keep details of how you did it secret so you can use the method again. I am not against having secrets, and those sort of secrets, if exposed, mount to espionage. However, the exposure of war crimes is a totally different matter. A crime should not be permitted to have protection from law.


message 17: by Kris (new)

Kris Haliday (krishaliday) | 127 comments Secrecy makes sense while the lives of operators, the lives of those they may be protecting, and the desired outcome of the operation are not yet secure. It also makes sense that, mission accomplished, part of the operational end may be public disclosure of the mission's success. But not the means, since, as you say, to have a successful gambit added to one's playbook would be a collateral outcome devoutly to be wished.

I think defining what counts as a "war crime" can be a tricky business. On the one hand, everybody knows a war crime when they hear about it, read about it, see and hear the footage, examine the photos. Nothing is more plain because we are endowed with neuro-biological equipment allowing us not simply to sympathize but to recognize what it would mean to imitate the behavior of a fellow human and to be on the receiving end of it.

The problem is this: military training is typically designed to do an end run around precisely that feature of our biology: otherwise the soldier cannot soldier. How do you hold people accountable when they have been trained to undermine the inborn restraint of human biology when it comes to killing or perpetrating violence against a fellow creature?

I think that that is why "war crimes" is a fungible term. It means what it means only when the crime passes well beyond what can shock the conscience of an ordinary citizen; it must shock the conscience of those who have been trained to override the capacity for shock normally shared with other humans. For that reason there will always be a nether world of true injustice and cruelty that is never acknowledged: "It is just that there are laws, but the law is not just." I believe that that is why violence begets violence and why the pain of that violence is passed on, epigenetically, for generations to come. On both sides. No one comes out of it undamaged--even if people can figure out, somehow, how to come to terms with what they have done to others. One can believe that the violence one has done was absolutely necessary--one can have that salve, if you will--and, still, perpetrating violence does not proceed without cost.

I'm speaking from having read "On Killing," by Dave Grossman. I think it should be required reading for everyone who has the responsibilities of citizenship, so people know what they are asking of their soldiers when they send them to war. Of course: every soldier should know the difference between doing what they must do whether they like doing it or not and doing war crimes. I wish making that discrimination could become as automatic as hitting the ground under fire, but that would be very difficult training wouldn't it? What kind of control would that take? It's wrong, I think, to rely on the "natural moral instinct" of soldiers when soldiers, by definition, have been trained to undermine it. I'm not saying every soldier strays over the line between legitimate combat violence and the criminal. Indeed, most probably don't. I'm simply saying that the line between them has been rendered fungible for the soldier, and combat adrenalin is a powerful force. That would be one reason why commanding officers might understand a cover up to be their unspoken mandate: it would come under the aegis of "take care of--protect--the people you command."

So I think there will be an end to war crimes when there is an end to war. Given that that is the case, one can assume that the machinery of secrecy has always been used and always will be used to cover up war crimes.

International diplomacy and statecraft require such a cover up, obviously, but I think secrecy, in a democracy, has always made ordinary citizens the primary concern. However horrifying their realities may be, war crimes become a piece on the chessboard that defines international politics, but how can the citizen believe in the stewardship of the powers that be if war crimes come to light? The United States still has not fully recovered from what citizens learned about the realities of the Viet Nam War. One might, therefore, take the actions of Edward Snowden and Chelsea Manning as a sign that the idealism destroyed by those realities is under reconstruction. Their actions would be a sign of the returning democratic health of the polity. And the US government's legal gambits are the logical countermove vis a vis the national chessboard (as well as the international) where the rules of that returning health--not justice; the laws are not just--will be newly parsed.

Sorry to go on at such length. I've just been thinking a lot about this subject lately.


message 18: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 9250 comments What Kris says is a significant part of the reason why the military do not carry out police work in their own country. But the bigger question is, if you are not going to hold your own soldiers accountable for war crimes, but what right do you hold the other side's soldiers? Trying the losers for war crimes now simply becomes "victors' justice".


message 19: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 13109 comments No, it's not victors' justice, in my opinion at least. And usually there is a drastic, manifest, undeniable difference between the conduct and standard of all western armies as opposed to armed terrorist groups like daesh, taliban and the likes. And those within the western armies getting out of line with excessive cruelty risk court martial.


message 20: by Kris (new)

Kris Haliday (krishaliday) | 127 comments Philip wrote: "Just some facts - and I have some knowledge of the process - given my work role.

Ecuador removed his asylum status because he persistently failed to comply with their conditions and a change in Ec..."


Philip, given that extradition could be in the courts for years, do you have any guesses about what the USA hopes to accomplish by releasing an indictment that includes so many activities that people in the news biz, at least, describe as legitimate activities on the part of investigative journalists: protecting a source, for example (attempts to keep Chelsea Manning's identity a secret); using an on-line chat service and Dropbox to conduct their business; encouraging Manning to provide information she might acquire from additional government agencies? Why include those items when it seems that they are normal journalistic activities, while helping Manning, as a hacker, would seem to be a different kettle of fish?

Do you think it's an effort to have precisely the effect first amendment defenders currently point out: to have a chilling effect on efforts to do investigative journalism? (The most obvious answer is the right answer).

I'm wondering if it is an effort to criminalize behaviors--not journalism per se--but the platforms that support journalism, for example--if they can be linked to criminal behavior under the Computer Hacking/Fraud Act. If the Russia probe has succeeded in tarnishing and altering the practices of Facebook, et. al., might the current indictment have a similar purpose?

I have no clue, no opinion, actually. I'm just speculating.


message 21: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 9250 comments Nik wrote: "No, it's not victors' justice, in my opinion at least. And usually there is a drastic, manifest, undeniable difference between the conduct and standard of all western armies as opposed to armed ter..."

Nik, my case example was the example of an Apache helicopter killing a dozen civilians, and a couple of reporters, in an open space in Baghdad and released by Wikileaks. No court-martial there, and the US expressly forbids releasing any of its soldiers for trial by anyone else. In WW 2 I regard the fire bombing of Dresden, where 35,000 civilians died as a war crime because it was obvious there was no military purpose in it.

Obviously the West is not as bad as daesh, but just because someone else is worse does not excuse you, in my book.


message 22: by Graeme (new)

Graeme Rodaughan | 7093 comments If we are going to be 'the light on the hill,' we need to be the light, or else we might as well have an 'anything goes,' attitude, and let the most ruthless bastard win.

Of course that would result in us being ruled by ruthless bastards...

(Pensively taps lip with finger .... hmmmmm...?)


message 23: by Graeme (last edited Apr 19, 2019 04:49PM) (new)

Graeme Rodaughan | 7093 comments The classic unpunished war crimes would have to be Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Would they not be?


message 24: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 9250 comments Graeme wrote: "The classic unpunished war crimes would have to be Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Would they not be?"


Graeme, I can understand that. They were at war and Japan promised to fight to the very last soldier. Invading Japan would have cost a great many American lives. If I were an American soldier then, I would have hoped my government would do whatever it could to bring the war to an end and let me go home alive.


message 25: by Graeme (last edited Apr 19, 2019 08:05PM) (new)

Graeme Rodaughan | 7093 comments Hi Ian,

Precisely. The American invasion plans expected 100% casualties in the first 4 waves ashore. Appalling losses, and more japanese would have died in the final defense than died in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

However there was an alternative.

Imagine if....

[1] Drop leaflets across Japan warning of the 'off-shore,' demonstration of a super weapon - invite surrender.

[2] Drop first bomb five miles off the coast of Tokyo - or somewhere like that.

[3] Repeat leaflet drop, request unconditional surrender in three days, or a 2nd demonstration will be made.

[4] If no surrender, drop second bomb off-shore just to show that you can...

[5] 3rd leaflet drop - the next bomb will be dropped on a major Japanese population center.

Give 3 days to give unconditional surrender.

[6] If still no surrender - than bomb one city.

[7] More leaflets - this will continue until you surrender or we run out of cities.

Allow another three days.

**************

I figure the Japanese would surrender, before or directly after the first city.

This approach was possible and avoids a great number of civilian dead.


message 26: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 9250 comments Graeme, your plan is a possibility, except for (6). As I understand, they only had two bombs. It would probably have taken a few months to get more.


message 27: by Graeme (last edited Apr 19, 2019 08:03PM) (new)

Graeme Rodaughan | 7093 comments Obviously, it would require three bombs to perform as outlined above.

There was no doubt a strong (and valid) will to win the war as quickly as possible.

The same strategy could have been followed with two bombs...

The point is - a warning shot was never fired.

I think 50K - 100K innocent human lives were worth a warning shot.


message 28: by J. (new)

J. Gowin | 2681 comments Graeme,

Three days passed between Fat Man and Little Boy. The Tojo government did nothing. In fact Japan did not sue for a realistic peace until after the USSR declared war against them.

Fun fact: By 1944 the Pentagon was very good at predicting casualty rates. Everyone has heard how they predicted one million US casualties for the unvasion of Japan, and many have claimed that the number is inflated. What they don't dispute is the order for Purple Hearts that was made for the invasion. In the US military a Purple Heart is the medal awarded to GIs wounded or killed in action. Every Purple Heart awarded in Korea, Vietnam, the Balkans, Desert Storm, and the start of the War on Terror was ordered for the invasion of Japan. Those soldiers would have come from ETO, so they would not have been in Europe for the immediate post war period, when the USSR was busy creating satellite states, and most of Western Europe would have been too weak to stop the Russians if they looked a little further westward.


message 29: by Graeme (new)

Graeme Rodaughan | 7093 comments Hi J.

Do you think that a warning shot - even just one - was unrealistic?


message 30: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 9250 comments I think J.'s point is that the Tojo government did nothing after the first. My personal view is it was the second one that led to the end, and not the USSR. However, the warning bomb has a number of advocates. The other question is, where do you do the demo? If nobody sees it, what's the point? If you invite them, they will try to shoot down your bomber. They did actually have a third bomb - they let that off as a test in New Mexico, so that could have been the demo, but I guess the US wanted to make sure it worked first. My view is the only way it would not have would be some sort of mechanical failure, and if that was the case, it could happen to any of them. I am not sure what they would have done if the first one failed to detonate. Go and examine it? When? I bet anyone going there would be hellishly nervous, especially if the time came to open it up and see what went wrong. A loose connection jiggled, and . . .


message 31: by J. (new)

J. Gowin | 2681 comments The warning shots ended on December 7th 1941. As for a demonstration to bring them to the table, the Tojo regime didn't balk when Tokyo was turned into a giant crematorium, why would they react any differently for a big fireworks show.


message 32: by Graeme (new)

Graeme Rodaughan | 7093 comments You're probably right.


message 33: by Philip (new)

Philip (phenweb) | 2925 comments Kris wrote: "Philip wrote: "Just some facts - and I have some knowledge of the process - given my work role.

Ecuador removed his asylum status because he persistently failed to comply with their conditions and..."


No guesses yet - Courts are in a little recess for Easter as are the politicians. News is focused on Mueller and the horrific shooting of a journalist in NI. Until next court date Assange is off front pages. In the courts the recent climate protests have inundated the police and magistrates


message 34: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 9250 comments A little off topic, but from what I gather from our limited Easter news [deep research, or what they pretend qualifies, has gone on Easter holiday :-) the environmentalists have blocked traffic, thus ensuring more greenhouse gases are emitted by frustrated motorists.

As for Assange, he is off our news also, but again, Easter may contribute, and Mueller easily fills pages, and traffic jams are added to TV


message 35: by Philip (new)

Philip (phenweb) | 2925 comments Sweden has now formally reopened rape investigation and stated they will issue an European Arrest Warrant for him.

The European Arrest Warrant normally avoids long drawn out extradition issues.

At the same time lawyers were quoted as saying that US extradition would take at least 18 months in UK courts


message 36: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 9250 comments Philip wrote: "Sweden has now formally reopened rape investigation and stated they will issue an European Arrest Warrant for him.

The European Arrest Warrant normally avoids long drawn out extradition issues.

A..."


I wonder what deal the US has with Sweden? There must be strong possibility that the US sees its chance of extraditing Assange from the UK is weak and sees an easier option in Sweden.


message 37: by Kris (new)

Kris Haliday (krishaliday) | 127 comments Philip wrote: "Sweden has now formally reopened rape investigation and stated they will issue an European Arrest Warrant for him.

The European Arrest Warrant normally avoids long drawn out extradition issues.

A..."


Hi Philip:

Now that we have a new indictment of Assange on new, more severe charges, and the detention of Chelsea Manning for contempt in the Grand Jury deliberations that have already resulted in the new indictment, I'm wondering how much one might consider these acts as symptomatic of the "Trump era" rather than a typical USA position. Do you have any thoughts on that? It just seems, as Manning suggests, that the law is being used to punish those who are considered "enemies" regardless of the cost to First Amendment rights. The real goal is eroding those protections?

Kris


message 38: by Kris (new)

Kris Haliday (krishaliday) | 127 comments Ian wrote: "What Kris says is a significant part of the reason why the military do not carry out police work in their own country. But the bigger question is, if you are not going to hold your own soldiers acc..."

I continue to think a good deal about this issue--not only because it is significant to understanding what Manning and Snowden did--but because I have been so powerfully changed by Grossman's book. So I've reread what you said, here, Ian, and take you point to be this: the fungible line demarcating legitimate and illegitimate acts of violence a soldier may commit is implicitly acknowledged by the fact that soldiers do not do routine police work in their own country (though paramilitary forces around the globe that have been trained by the US do do that). This somewhat subterranean acknowledgement--not letting soldiers police their own citizens--is part of what Derrida is getting at, I think, when he says "it is just that there are laws; but the laws are not just." Law is never as precise or all inclusive as the commonsense understanding of the law would have it.

All this gloomy thinking makes a counter example particularly welcome on this Memorial Day. Did anyone else see the article about the two US soldiers who said "No" to participating in a sanctioned massacre? https://www.rawstory.com/2019/05/reme...


message 39: by Kris (new)

Kris Haliday (krishaliday) | 127 comments Ian wrote: "Nik wrote: "No, it's not victors' justice, in my opinion at least. And usually there is a drastic, manifest, undeniable difference between the conduct and standard of all western armies as opposed ..."

It was the apache helicopter footage that prompted Chelsea Manning to respond to Assange's call for information, wasn't it? That's what I think about a lot...


message 40: by Philip (new)

Philip (phenweb) | 2925 comments Kris wrote: "Philip wrote: "Sweden has now formally reopened rape investigation and stated they will issue an European Arrest Warrant for him.

The European Arrest Warrant normally avoids long drawn out extradi..."


Whistleblowers appear to have a limited shelf life regardless of what the blow about.
Snowden is paying for his exposure of NSA illegality by permanent exile.
Manning a prison sentence and now more for contempt before more likely for contempt
Assange however I do not put in the category of the other two - he did no blow just publish and took refuge to avoid rape charges whilst claiming it was fear of extradition when no charges were in place in 2012. The emails and other leaks are more publisher issues. The computer hacking appears nonsensical. He did not hack. Was not in the US when Manning did (not that it was a hack) and Manning would have been encouraged bu any publisher to leak more info

As Manning was released as an act of clemency by Obama I'm unclear what she can be punished for. I appreciate Grand Juries (no equivalent in UK) have tough rules. Contempt of court gives judges wide powers.

First amendment rights seem to be ignored for Assange on the second group of charges (he's not a US Citizen so do they apply) but as I have stated elsewhere, the following applies:
1. Jail for bail jump - 50 weeks inside - now serving. Potential for release after 2/3 or less. He's in Belmarsh prison at the moment.
2. European arrest Warrant for one charge in Sweden - one of the original charges he received when he jumped bail
3. Several US charges for extradition - at least an 18 month fight which will probably go to UK Supreme Court for ruling. Especially as US extradition claims are loosely based on right to publish. the computer hacking charge lacks credibility but I'm not in court to hear argument.
4. Expelled to Australia - i.e. UK right to stay withdrawn.


message 41: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 9250 comments Rapid extradition to Sweden may be complicated by Brexit. Assange's chances improve if he can avoid that.


message 42: by Kris (new)

Kris Haliday (krishaliday) | 127 comments Thanks Philip. Very clear. The issue for people concerned about ramifications for USA legal system/constitution would rest on the question of whether or not Assange had the right to publish what Manning passed to him: "right" being the aegis under which the espionage charges will be parsed.


message 43: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 9250 comments A more interesting variant on this theme comes from our enhanced knowledge of US obstruction of justice law. (Good one, Donald - something useful at last!) If concealing information relating to a crime is in violation of that US Code, why then is the classifying of information relating to a possible war crime not a prosecutable offence? We need a Mueller to look into this habit of classifying the embarrassing.


message 44: by Kris (new)

Kris Haliday (krishaliday) | 127 comments Good one, Ian. I'd like to hear that argument made in the Supreme Court.


message 45: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 9250 comments You need to fire up some skilled lawyers :-) However, my reading of the code says such a case could make quite an impact.


message 46: by Philip (new)

Philip (phenweb) | 2925 comments Assange back in court yesterday arguing his defence needed more time - he did not get it but also very interesting side story going on in Spain - also from The Register

https://www.theregister.co.uk/2019/10...


His defence also wants the court to consider ongoing legal battles in Spain where charges have been brought against the security company responsible for monitoring Assange while he was in the Ecuadorean embassy.

UC Global SL – based in Jerez de Frontera – is accused of spying on him, including snooping on conversations held with his legal representatives and handing information it collected to the US intelligence services.

Spanish police have seized documents and computer hardware from the firm and one of its directors was arrested and released on bail. The director has had his accounts frozen, his passport seized and must report to a local court every two weeks.


message 47: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 13109 comments ... While Snowden at the same time, enjoys Russian hospitality sipping on frozen Stoly:)

Looking forward to February extradition hearings and possible further trial in the US. Don't know what the legal result will be, but in his controversial situ there are strong arguments for acquittal (but similarly for -conviction).
As of the public interest - I guess we need whistleblowers to reveal corruption and encroachment on personal freedoms.
If to compare him to Magnitsky (following which death sanctions were imposed on Russian officials), regarded as a hero in the West, their acts were probably to the benefit of the public interest.
I can understand legal tricks in trying to put mafia bosses behind the bars for tax evasion in the face of difficulties to prove other crimes, but much more divided about Assange, Snowden and similar dudes..


message 48: by Philip (new)

Philip (phenweb) | 2925 comments Sweden drops rape charge and therefore extradition requests

Assange still in Belmarsh prison although sentence for Bail jump complete now being held pending US extradition charges

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-euro...


message 49: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 13109 comments Philip wrote: "...
Assange still in Belmarsh prison ..."


Wonder whether he's got internet access there ...


message 50: by Philip (new)

Philip (phenweb) | 2925 comments Nik wrote: "Philip wrote: "...
Assange still in Belmarsh prison ..."

Wonder whether he's got internet access there ..."


Only controlled and limited time. As he is remanded he has some extra access but not a lot and all monitored


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