The Julian Assange Indictment, by Robert Gore

Posted by  $  straightlinelogic 3 months, 3 weeks ago to Government
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This is the full text of the article I published on Straight Line Logic, minus a picture of Julian Assange.

The death of the First Amendment

The US Department of Justice has brought an 18-charge indictment against Julian Assange. Seventeen of the counts are for violations of the Espionage Act. To much scorn and derision Wikileaks and Assange have been warning for years that this is exactly what the US government would do. They have been vindicated. Obama Justice Department lawyers, examining the exact same evidence as the Trump Justice Department lawyers, declined to press charges against Assange because they believed it would criminalize essential elements of journalism, one of which is disclosure of secrets the government would rather not have disclosed, and obliterate the First Amendment. The Obama lawyers were right.

The Trump administration is attempting to silence a journalist and organization that have acted as a clearinghouse for whistleblowers outside and inside governments who have courageously sought to reveal their governments' depredations and crimes. In this country, Assange and Wikileaks have embarrassed and infuriated both the left and right, Democrats and Republicans, and so they have no friends or protectors within the powers that be. An important point is that they have done their job mostly with documents and other materials produced by the perpetrators themselves. Telling the truth has indeed become a revolutionary act, which is always a hallmark of tyranny.

Once upon a time some of us hoped that voting for Donald Trump was a revolutionary act, but like most stories that begin with, "Once upon a time," that has proven a fairy tale. Unless Trump issues a full and unconditional pardon for Assange before he has to undergo years of legal proceedings fighting extradition in Europe and Britain, and then this indictment in the US, never again will I support Donald Trump. Nor will I support any other politician who either supports the indictment or refuses to make his or her opinion known about the matter. At this time, only Tulsi Gabbard has publicly supported Julian Assange, and if she continues to do so she has my vote in 2020, regardless of my complete disagreement with many of her other positions. She would be the first Democrat for whom I've ever voted.

That makes me a one-issue voter. I'm a writer and speaker, often writing and speaking about government and politics. I cherish my freedom and the threat to it is the issue most important to me. To all those who regard the First Amendment as subsidiary to other issues—foreign policy, the economy, immigration, the stock market, or the other headline grabbers—or who feel that the US can still be a "great" nation without the First Amendment I say this: you are fools, you fully deserve what's coming, and don't you dare bewail your fate or that of  your country when what remains of the greatness of America is gone and it has become the tyrannical hellhole that appears to be its destiny.
SOURCE URL: https://straightlinelogic.com/2019/05/24/the-julian-assange-indictment-by-robert-gore/


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  • Posted by freedomforall 3 months, 3 weeks ago
    Assange should be pardoned immediately (unless there are some machinations behind the scenes that benefit him, and he is fully aware of them and is a willing participant.)
    Use rational thought before you vote for a socialist who opposes everything else that you believe in. Based on your own postings about politicians, you should realize that Gabbard's position on this is likely only to criticize the administration, garner attention, and if there was a Democrat in the White House she would be in full support. Even if she is actually be honest about this, do you really want a self admitted socialist to control the executive branch?
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    • Posted by  $  3 months, 3 weeks ago
      Freedomforall,

      Your point is well taken. I regard the First Amendment as foundational, like the Second Amendment. If you don't have either one, you don't have a country worth living in. From what I've heard about Gabbard and the Second Amendment, that may sink any incipient support I might have for her. Every other politician's lack of support for Assange and the First Amendment has already sunk any potential for supporting them, and that includes Trump. As for socialism, that ship sailed in 1913. Every politician elected since then, with the exception of Ron Paul, has been a socialist, judging them by their actions rather than their words. It's just a question of whether they admit it, like many of the Democrats, or just implement it while hypocritically denouncing it, like the Republicans. From that perspective, I'm better off not supporting any politician, including Gabbard or Trump, who's actual actions promote my own destruction.
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      • Posted by freedomforall 3 months, 3 weeks ago
        "If you don't have either one, you don't have a country worth living in. "
        That makes this the only one (barely) in existence at present, as bad as it is.
        I agree that the Republicans have been hardly better than the Democrats, and more dishonest about their actual intentions in recent years.
        If you looked back at my postings leading up to the 2016 elections you'd know that I didn't support either major party, and I wasn't particularly impressed with the Libertarian Johnson-NELooter ticket either. My opinions of politicians are even lower now than then. Trump is doing about as well as I expected, and although I am pretty certain that Hitlery would have been worse, we won't get the rights back that we are supposedly born with by supporting someone who doesn't protect what is stated in the Bill of Rights. I don't see a single member of con-gress, the court, or the president that is doing that- and they swear an oath to do exactly that.
        I think Goldwater had the best chance to be a non-socialist, had he been elected, but he would have had to be opposed to every bill in con-gress except those that repealed previous socialist bills; that would probably have been impossible. Even the best of them compromise and concede our rights, and according to the constitution, they should not have that power.
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        • Posted by lrshultis 3 months, 3 weeks ago
          While the representative constitutional republic that we still somewhat have has been generally good for promoting liberty, a voter has in most cases the choice of voting for a little bit of less freedom, thus continuing to vote against liberty, or to vote for none of the above by not voting. The introduction of a little collectivism at a time throughout USA history has produced the mess that we have today.

          I know the following is off topic but it comes because of government making rules which are made outside, secretly until unveiled to the public, the public discussion.
          On the local level where I live, there was far more freedom in 1955 with 750 population than today than today with near 2000 population. Though guns are legal I have not ever seen an open carry, air rifles and bow and arrows are not openly useable. I have a pellet gun but am not allowed to shoot it even in my basement because the projectile will land within village limits. The police said if I bought one, I should not let anyone know. Besides recreational use, I consider it more humane to euthanize dying pets myself rather than putting them through the ordeal of getting them to a vet, that is, into a carrier, driving to the vet, place on a table, and other frightening stuff to be poisoned to death. I have been told that the instant death by a pellet in the brain is very inhumane.

          Today there is too much government secrecy.
          I would like to see that only military secrecy where harm could come to citizens if not secret be instituted. All other government business should be open book.

          Here in the village, the board of trusties have secret meetings that end in more taxation. We have had to get an ordinance passed that any expenditure over one million dollars had to be approved by referendum. They still seem to get away without using the referendum.

          Wiki leak like organizations should become common and not made illegal. It should not be hard to determine whether a leak will harm the USA only and not just harm politicians.
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          • Posted by ewv 3 months, 3 weeks ago
            This case is about harming the country by illegally obtaining and publicizing classified military information on sources of intelligence concerning a war, as described on this same page https://www.galtsgulchonline.com/post... It is not about secret government policy, the First Amendment or freedom of speech to discuss government policy.
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  • Posted by term2 3 months, 3 weeks ago
    I am very disappointed with trump going after Assange and Snowden. Both of them only provided the truth that the politicians wanted to hide.

    I am also disappointed that trump is waging this stupid tariff war with China- that WE HAVE TO PAY FOR (not the Chinese)

    Trump can’t do the things that really need to be done( like immigration reform and trade with Mexico and Canada and getting rid of Obamacare). Because the worthless establishment congress just obstructs. Pretty pathetic
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    • Posted by ewv 3 months, 3 weeks ago
      Assange is accused of conspiring with Manning to encourage and help Manning steal classified military documents. That is not "only provided the truth that the politicians wanted to hide". The article misrepresented the indictment.
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      • Posted by term2 3 months, 3 weeks ago
        Government claims are not facts. Whistleblowers are hated because they bring out truths that show the evils people are doing, but trying to hide. Manning and Assange arms many others are doing good by exposing things like how crooked Hillary is and how the military is using “classified” excuse to hide its evils. If the powers that be don’t want to be embarrassed by revelations of their bad behavior, maybe they shouldn’t engage in bad behavior
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        • Posted by ewv 3 months, 3 weeks ago
          I said that Assange is "accused of conspiring with Manning to encourage and help Manning steal classified military documents", which is ignored in the article in irrelevant emotional appeals to the First Amendment and freedom of speech accompanied by grandstanding demands for an immediate full pardon.

          The Grand Jury indictment is the prosecutor's charges, for which there is evidence on which the case is being brought. The outcome of the case after arguing the evidence remains to be seen, but the charges concern a serious violation of legitimate law that the article, and now you, are ignoring.

          This is not about a vague claim that you can dismiss out of hand as "Whistleblowers are hated because they bring out truths" and the unsubstantiated claim that he "only provided the truth that the politicians wanted to hide". That does happen, but is not what this case is based on. The article misrepresented the indictment in a flourish of "libertarian" hyperbole unrelated to the facts.

          Responses pointing out the facts, with links to the actual indictment omitted in the article, are now subjected to another 'downvote' spree as if facts and objectivity are irrelevant on an Ayn Rand forum.
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          • Posted by term2 3 months, 3 weeks ago
            I understand your position. I would mention that my response is more pointed to the validity of the law itself. What Manning and Assange did was just bring out what the military and hillary actually did but tried to hide. I fail to see how that should be a crime.
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            • Posted by ewv 3 months, 3 weeks ago
              The crime is unauthorized access and dissemination of military secrets, in these charges predominantly the identity of people who were sources of intelligence on the enemy. I didn't see anything about Hilary in the description of the charges.

              There are a lot of issues in this worth discussing, but the article suppressed the facts and invoked its own conclusion as the premise. It exploited the expected sympathy here for "freedom of speech", as if that were what the case is about, all to emotionally stampede people in the name of "straight line logic", which you can see through the page is what happened, including emotional rejection of any attempt to describe the facts.
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              • Posted by term2 3 months, 3 weeks ago
                Interestingly enough, I bypassed all the emotional stuff about freedom of speech. I am more interested in making sure that truths come out. The more the government fights this, the more I think they are doing very bad things and hiding them.

                Not sure I believe what the government claims happened, or what the "libertarians" claim about the first amendment. Seems to me that the purpose of the first amendment was to protect us FROM the government in the frist place, just as the second amendment was.
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                • Posted by ewv 3 months, 3 weeks ago
                  If you take you the "emotional stuff" there is nothing left of the article.

                  The First Amendment does not protect anyone who steals proprietary information, let along classified military information on protected, classified devices. The grandstanding, emotional claims to 'freedom of speech' bypass that fact. Protecting military secrets does not imply 'bad things and hiding them'. The charges against Assange are over the military protecting the effectiveness and lives of its sources of intelligence on a war. The claim that Assange can ignore that is an anarchist mentality declaring war on the military. Don't choose to be on that side.
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                  • Posted by term2 3 months, 3 weeks ago
                    But what about what the exposed. Those people get away with it, and the whistleblowers go to jail? I would feel more like u do if they exposed secrets for the benefit of the enemy
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                    • Posted by ewv 3 months, 3 weeks ago
                      Individuals providing military intelligence to our military in a war should not be "exposed". The Manning-Assange dissemination of classified information did benefit the enemy in this case, and the charges against Assange cover only a portion of that. Apparently the indictment is making use of only the most obvious and extreme evidence to avoid having to argue side issues in court (and politically).
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                      • Posted by term2 3 months, 3 weeks ago
                        Our government was embarrassed by the revelations of wrongdoing, and Hillary was embarrassed by revelations of her corruption. This is why they are hate Assange and are going after him. It’s the hidden agenda that’s operational here.

                        Assange was a bad guy because he exposed hillary’s Crookedness and helpid people dump her in favor of their archenemy trump. This “national security” argument is a smokescreen that you are overlooking

                        In today’s world governments and political people almost always have hidden agendas.

                        I would suggest that the argument that Assange is a traitor is a smokescreen designed to sway public opinion. The real hidden agenda is this is revenge because he embarrassed the powers that be
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                        • Posted by ewv 3 months, 2 weeks ago
                          That ad hominem is not what the indictment is about and is not why Manning was already convicted of the very serious crimes he committed. Whatever else you like about other acts by Assange, at least acknowledge what the charges in the indictment are. Arbitrarily pronouncing it as a "smokescreen" is an evasion that does not address the actual charges and will not help him in court, where evidence is argued.
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                          • Posted by term2 3 months, 2 weeks ago
                            Unortunately, "charges" are not facts either. The government lies and manipulates so much in areas we will never really get to the bottom of that I have decided for my life I will make up my mind on what I have available to me and go from that until other facts come to light. This usually means I look for ulterior motives on the part of government and politicians and go with what appears to be the real facts. I can be wrong, and would correct my decisions at that time. In the meantime, I move on to more important things and conclude what I can.
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                            • Posted by ewv 3 months, 2 weeks ago
                              The article misrepresented the indictment and pompously demanded an advance pardon based on false premises, ignoring the nature of the Manning case. When the misrepresentation was revealed, with links to the legal documents, the reaction was defensive outbursts of emotional defiance with further evasion and fabricated accusation against the Justice Department. That is not just skepticism of government.

                              Dealing with facts means acknowledging what the case actually is about. One can look for additional pertinent facts, assess the legal arguments while waiting for a court decision, and discuss the nature of the law. But that is not what we got in the emotional stampede.

                              If someone wants to argue from a basis of "libertarian" emotional defiance cynically rejecting whatever government law enforcement and the military does because it is government, then that would at least be an honest anarchistic nihilist mentality that normal people can assess accordingly. Neither that nor the emotional misrepresentations can be expected to remain unchallenged on an Ayn Rand forum.
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                              • Posted by term2 3 months, 2 weeks ago
                                I understand your comment about the article. Government lawyers want to GET Assange for embarrassing the establishment- which should be embarrassed for doing bad things. So the government twists and turns to find something to GET their target. It’s boring and frankly I am not interested in another witch hunt. I think whistleblowers are a good thing. Transparency is a good thing and whistleblowers tend to expose things government should NOT have done.
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                                • Posted by ewv 3 months, 2 weeks ago
                                  Speculating about a conspiracy to "get" Assange does not address the criminal charges against him. Stealing and exposing military secrets is not acceptable. That is not "whistelblowing". Whatever other motives the government has to go after Assange, he has been charged with real crimes on which evidence will be assessed in a court.
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                                  • term2 replied 3 months, 2 weeks ago
  • Posted by CaptainKirk 3 months, 3 weeks ago
    Scott Adams, who I trust, is suggesting an ALTERNATIVE (3D chess) variation.

    That Trump forced the issue to FREE Assange, and allow him to be Charged, and WALK FREE after the trial. Which would SOLIDIFY the 1st Amendment!

    I am hopeful.
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    • Posted by  $  3 months, 3 weeks ago
      The problem with that is that Assange may be convicted of some of the counts, in which case he only walks free if Trump pardons him. That is problematic, because Trump may not be in office then (extradition procedures, pretrial legal maneuvers, and the trial itself may take years) and Assange would have to undergo the ordeal of a trial. As I said in my article, to ensure that Assange goes free, Trump has to issue a preemptive pardon now.
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      • Posted by CaptainKirk 3 months, 3 weeks ago
        The direct pardon does NOT uphold our 1st Amendment. It allows the DOJ to arrest people in the future without a motion to dismiss based on the precedent Assange would receive.

        BTW, if Assange was HELPING TO HACK into the computers, then he is guilty. It's one thing to be a reporter, and another to help a criminal before the act via skills/tools they do not already have!
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        • Posted by ewv 3 months, 3 weeks ago
          Assange's complicity in stealing the classified data is the basis of the case against him. That was misrepresented in the article demanding an advance pardon. But whatever the outcome of the case, anyone can already be arrested for helping to hack into computers, and hacking classified military information is an even more series charge. There would have to be something specific and new about the Assange decision for it to impact future hacking cases. A pardon for Assange, which properly does not seem likely for this case, would not imply legal precedent.
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    • Posted by ewv 3 months, 3 weeks ago
      Trump's generally emotional thinking and shooting from the hip as he contradicts himself is not 3D chess. It's not a reason to be hopeful that that he has some secret brilliance. People are confused about his meaning because of his confused statements, not because he is so much smarter than everyone else that we can't understand some kind of brilliant subtlety.

      In this case, the Justice Dept., with or without Trump's internal approval, is pursuing a case against Assange for his alleged involvement in stealing and disseminating military secrets.
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  • Posted by coaldigger 3 months, 3 weeks ago
    Secrets from the governed are the beginning of enslavement. Perhaps we would be at a disadvantage if all of our little military secrets were plastered in the media but my fear of foreign enemies is secondary to that of corrupt leaders. How many enemies can afford our tools of death? How many would be obsolete before they could be duplicated? Who are these enemies really? Defectors from Oceania? Eurasia? Eastasia?
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  • Posted by  $  Olduglycarl 3 months, 3 weeks ago
    I agree with the points you make but isn't the tussle over Julian's guidance to Bradly Manning on how to break into the computer system to steal the info he wanted to expose and send it to JA/Wikileaks?

    That is my understanding of the issue anyway.
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    • Posted by  $  3 months, 3 weeks ago
      That was the initial count. Sixteen of seventeen of the new counts allege violations of the Espionage Act.
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      • Posted by  $  Olduglycarl 3 months, 3 weeks ago
        Haven't heard Trump weigh in on the issue yet...maybe he can't till the parties over?

        We'll have to see what happens. The manning thing, I could understand, the rest, as you say, is against free speech.
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        • Posted by ewv 3 months, 3 weeks ago
          Assange is charged with conspiring with Manning to encourage and help him steal the documents, as you said the first time. It is not a matter of "free speech". The article's premise that the Espionage Act is inherently evil is wrong.
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  • Posted by  $  edweaver 3 months, 3 weeks ago
    I agree fully, but either way we are doomed. The cards have been dealt. It's only a matter of when they all get played. But you already know that. I hope Trump pardons but will vote for him either way. I need 4 more years to get my ducks in a row to survive the outcome of what is coming.
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  • Posted by term2 3 months, 2 weeks ago in reply to this comment.
    I guess you dont understand that the government can gin up charges against almost anyone under the plethora of available 'laws". I have to say I dont agree that a large percentage of the laws on the books are moral. You dont seem to understand that when the government wants to "et" you, they look for anything they can that you broke some law. I am sure both you and I broke sseveral "laws" already today, but didnt hurt anyone in the process.
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    • Posted by ewv 3 months, 2 weeks ago
      The laws against stealing and exposing military secrets are proper. Don't tell me what I don't understand. The bureaucracy has imposed all kinds of contradictory rules making it possible to get anyone; the prohibition of stealing military secrets is not one of them. Stealing and exposing military war secrets is not acceptable and is not excused by a n ad hominem conspiracy theory. The Manning attack was not "whistelblowing". If Assange helped with the theft he is a criminal. The validity of the evidence against him will be decided in court.
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      • Posted by term2 3 months, 2 weeks ago
        I am sure the government prosecutors will try whatever they can to get the court to side their way. Until then, I still have my estimates of whats right, based on what I know now. The government can designate almost anything they want as "classified", not to mention things that would embarrass them more than hurt anyone I dont trust our government at all
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        • Posted by ewv 3 months, 2 weeks ago
          Prosecutors always try to win. You wanted him exonerated without a trial, regardless of the facts. Do you support Obama's commuting Manning's sentence too? The Manning-Assange theft and dissemination was about a massive cache of military war time classified documentss, not "almost anything the government wants as classified" that was "embarrassing". Manning was properly convicted for it.

          Hatred of the government does not justify crimes. Letting people off based on political status and ideology is how Hillary Clinton got off. It is the invalid notion of "political crimes" that destroys justice in the legal system. Reread Ayn Rand's "Political’ Crimes" in Return of the Primitive: The Anti-Industrial Revolution.
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          • Posted by term2 3 months, 2 weeks ago
            I don’t want exoneration. I just don’t want Assange prosecuted for made up crimes the government asserts
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            • Posted by ewv 3 months, 2 weeks ago
              You said you are "very disappointed with Trump going after Assange" because he "only provided the truth that the politicians wanted to hide". That is not true; it is not what he is charged with and is not what the trial is about. Stealing and disseminating classified military secrets is not a "made up crime" and not "only provididing the truth that the politicians wanted to hide". Manning was already convicted and the indictment indicates the kind of evidence against Assange.
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              • Posted by term2 3 months, 2 weeks ago
                I am surprised that you aren’t more concerned with the pursuit of Manning, Assange, and Snowden from the standpoint that the major effect of what they did was to embarrass the government That’s the underlying purpose of their attacks on these people. The claims and charges are just the excuses they are using to accomplish their goals. This has little to do with any objective harm that came to anyone except the reputation of establishment figures

                As to Assange, he is being attacked primarily in connection with the release of hillary’s Emails. They apparently can’t get him for that directly, so they concoct other claims and charges

                How come any connection with manning only comes up NOW after all these years? How come manning is in jail again because he refused to be questioned about Assange? The government is crooked and just wants to protect itself. Can’t understand why you are having trouble seeing through the smokescreen on this
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                • Posted by ewv 3 months, 2 weeks ago
                  The connection with Manning did not just come up now. Assange's extradition became active again when he lost his protection at the Ecuador embassy in London.

                  Prosecuting the Manning massive theft and dissemination of classified military secrets has not been a "smokescreen" and "excuse" to "protect crooks", which is a conspiracy theory avoiding the obvious. Anyone violating military security is in big trouble (except for Hillary's political exemption continued by the Trump administration).

                  Whatever the degree of Assange's unpopularity with the government, which didn't start with the controversy over Hillary's emails, he has been indicted for a real and serious crime. Exposing the identity of people who are classified sources for military intelligence is not about exposing and embarrassing "establishment figures".
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                  • Posted by term2 3 months, 2 weeks ago
                    What is obvious is that the government has had it in for Assange for a long time and perhaps only now they have figured a way to “get” him. We will c if they succeed in extraditing and jailing or killing him.
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                    • Posted by ewv 3 months, 2 weeks ago
                      The Justice Dept. knew about Assange's role in the Manning theft long ago but he could not be extradited. You can read what he is actually charged with in the indictment. The court decision will be based on the evidence for that, not whatever else the government doesn't like about him. Crime is crime.

                      There is no place in civilization for "political crimes" in which criminality is either invented or excused for political motives.

                      "Reread Ayn Rand's "Political’ Crimes" in Return of the Primitive: The Anti-Industrial Revolution."
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                      • Posted by term2 3 months, 2 weeks ago
                        I agree there is no place for “political crimes”. That said, it is commonplace for government to have adjustably vague “crimes” designed to “get” a political target, and I think that’s behind the Assange hunt
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                        • Posted by ewv 3 months, 2 weeks ago
                          The charges and evidence described in the indictment against Assange are very specific, not vague. When he does not himself distinguish between publishing versus helping to steal military secrets he makes himself susceptible to criminal prosecution for what he does himself, regardless of what else he does that governments don't like.
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                          • Posted by term2 3 months, 2 weeks ago
                            If the government wanted to get you, it would search high and low for something, anything you ever did that is against one of their “laws” and then charge you and cause you to spend all of your money on defense. Look what they did to Flynn and others.
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                            • Posted by ewv 3 months, 2 weeks ago
                              Assange is charged with a real crime, not a pseudo "law" they concocted to "get him". So was Manning. Read the indictment describing why he is charged with helping Manning's theft of military secrets. Making excuses for criminal behavior with vague conspiracy accusations about how they must want to "get him" for something else is evasion of the justice system on behalf of "political crimes". It does not make any difference what other additional motives they have or Assange had; he is charged with a real crime that should be a crime.
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  • Posted by Owlsrayne 3 months, 2 weeks ago
    A few years ago I watched a dramatization about Julian Assange and was cheering him on. I was surprised by the US indictment. I feel the same way as you Robert. Governments around the world despise journalist like Assange because he helps whistleblowers get the truth out.
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    • Posted by ewv 3 months, 2 weeks ago
      How you feel following a "dramatization" is not relevent to the indictment. He is charged with encouraging and helping the treasonous far left political radical Bradley Manning to break into secure military computers to steal and disseminate classified military information that risked the lives of innocent people. Manning was convicted and imprisoned before Obama commuted his sentence. That is what the euphemism "getting the truth out" means for this case, which was misrepresented in the article and continues to be misrepresented by its followers. https://www.galtsgulchonline.com/post...
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  • Posted by ewv 3 months, 3 weeks ago
    The article left out and misrepresented the charges in the grand jury indictment. Assange is charged with conspiring with and aiding Manning to steal and publicize classified military secrets, not for being a "journalist". Illegally acquiring and exposing identification of people as military intelligence sources is not "freedom of speech" over policy discussion. Manning was jailed for that. His co-conspirator Assange is a foreign national who knowingly attacked the US military and endangered innocent people. That is not exempt under "freedom of speech".

    Citing the lack of action by the Obama administration and referring to the Espionage Act as if it were inherently evil as premises is not an argument. The Obama administration also pardoned the traitor Manning, and let Hilary Clinton off the hook for her violations of the Espionage Act in her reckless treatment of classified information and obstruction of justice in destroying evidence under subpoena.

    The actual charges against Assange can be read at
    https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/wikile...
    https://www.justice.gov/opa/press-rel...
    https://www.justice.gov/opa/press-rel...
    https://www.justice.gov/opa/press-rel...

    "Some say that Assange is a journalist and that he should be immune from prosecution for these actions. 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."
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    • Posted by  $  3 months, 3 weeks ago
      Counts 2-14 allege that Assange received various items of classified information from Manning and published it in contravention of the Espionage Act. This is the first time that the Espionage Act has been used against a journalist publishing classified information from the government, whether it was obtained legitimately or illegitimately by the source who divulged it to the journalist.

      The government has never had the power to determine who is a journalist. The New York Times, Washington Post, et. al. published the same information as Wikileaks. Journalism is a function, not whatever the government says it is. Wikileaks, like the NYT and WP, was publishing information, the essential function of journalism. The First Amendment has never been held to not apply to foreign news organizations that publish matters of interest in the US.

      The Justice Department press releases are extremely misleading. Only Counts 15-17 allege that Assange divulged names of intelligence sources. Counts 1 and 18 are essentially rehashes of the former one-count indictment. It is Counts 2-14 that are direct attacks on the First Amendment, essentially criminalizing receipt by a journalist of information the government has decided to classify and subsequent publication by the journalist.

      This criminalization is unprecedented. It would have stopped the Pentagon Papers in its tracks and many other disclosures since of information the government would rather keep secret. By the logic of Counts 2-14, anything the government decides to classify (and spurious classification is rampant) cannot be disclosed and published, no matter how immoral, illegal, illicit, or just plain embarrassing the government actions disclosed may be, and no matter how irrelevant it may be to actual national defense or intelligence. That's the rationale of a police state--the government deciding which of its actions can be disclosed--not a free country.

      I suggest you broaden your information sources away from Justice Department press releases and read some of the fine articles that have appeared in the alternative media since the superseding indictment. Some of them are posted on my website, http://straightlinelogic.com. Put "Julian Assange indictment" in the search box and they will be listed and linked. There have even been some decent articles in the mainstream media. They're finally waking up to the danger.
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      • Posted by ewv 3 months, 3 weeks ago
        I suggest you broaden your sources to include the actual indictment and to have the honesty to include it in the article rather than beginning and ending with "libertarian" hyperbole as emotional opinion in the name of "logic". Assange's complicity in stealing the classified documents is all through the counts, not just the first, and his successful unauthorized dissemination as his motive for that is not irrelevant.

        Blatant, open violation of the Espionage Act to steal and disseminate military secrets in wartime is not a matter of the euphemism of what "government would rather not have disclosed", and prosecution of that does not "obliterate the First Amendment". Obama was not "right" to ignore it and was not right to commute the sentence of the treasonous co-conspirator Manning and ignore Hilary Clinton's crimes under the same law. The Obama mentality is not a standard of argument here.
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  • Posted by Russpilot 3 months, 3 weeks ago
    I try not to disparage anyone on here, but that in my opinion would be paramount to saying you are voting for someone based on the color of their skin. Not an appropriate nor a well reasoned decision to make on such an important issue.
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  • Posted by ycandrea 3 months, 3 weeks ago
    I like Trump, but I definitely disagree with him on some issues. This one is a big one for me too. It may decide if and who I vote for in 2020.
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    • Posted by jdg 3 months, 3 weeks ago
      I also would pardon Assange, and Manning, and Snowden. But voting for Trump's Democratic opponent may not help. I doubt he or she will be any better on this issue than Trump. Obama certainly wasn't.
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      • Posted by ewv 3 months, 3 weeks ago
        Protecting military secrets is legitimate, which is why Manning was convicted before Obama let him out. Assange is charged with complicity in Manning's criminality, not publishing information that someone gave him.

        Trump can't pardon Snowden because that would require acknowledging the unconstitutional nature of NSA (and collaborating agencies) mass surveillance of American citizens. Both Obama and Trump have made the surveillance worse since the Snowden document dump. Obama sympathesized with the treasonous radical Manning, but ratcheted up the statist mass surveillance of innocent American citizens.

        A major difference between Snowden and Manning is that Snowden took great efforts to not disclose documents exposing individuals, making it a matter of government secret policy. (Subsequent leakers anonymously put out additional documents under cover of the Snowden dump.) Snowden said he did what he did with such enormous scope because previous whistle blowers attempting to use proper channels, like Binney, had been marginalized and persecuted, and that he realized that he would have to dump on a scope that could not be ignored. Manning in contrast, is a radical hater who sought to harm the military.
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  • Posted by  $  25n56il4 3 months, 3 weeks ago
    I must admit not too many people are telling the truth lately. I keep hearing my mother say, 'Don't believe anything you hear, and only half of what you see!' I, however, am a complete optimist. With all this stuff around, there's got to be a pony someplace.
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  • Posted by CircuitGuy 3 months, 3 weeks ago
    Government using its power to prevent people from finding out what leaders are doing is the default situation. There has never been some pristine time and place where a government respected all rights. That's always a work in progress.
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    • Posted by  $  Solver 3 months, 3 weeks ago
      A government protecting and respecting all individual rights would be a utopian concept. (I’ve never seen a dis-utopian movie or book based on this premise.) Yet this is a mirror image of what the socialists want.
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      • Posted by CircuitGuy 3 months, 3 weeks ago
        "[Gov't respecting all individual rights] is a mirror image of what the socialists want."
        Of course. My point is gov't not respecting rights is normal. Power flowing from the people to the gov't with protections against tyranny of the majority is the exception. So when I see people using gov't to hide things from the people and when I see socialist policies, I never think "how could this happen. It's a harbinger of doom." Instead I think this what we were trying to climb out and we haven't done it yet.
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