Julian Assange Arrested

It’s finally happened, folks.

Julian Assange arrested after U.S. extradition request, charged with hacking government computer

British police invited to Ecuadorian embassy after asylum withdrawn

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was arrested by British police on Thursday in the Ecuadorian Embassy where he’d been holed up since 2012 after the United States requested his extradition, London police say.

London police confirmed Assange was arrested “on behalf of the United States,” which requested Assange’s extradition, as well as for breaching British bail conditions.

U.S. prosecutors said they have charged Assange with conspiracy in trying to access a classified U.S. government computer with former U.S. Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning in 2010.

The U.S. indictment accuses Assange of assisting Manning in cracking a password that helped the former intelligence analyst infiltrate Pentagon computers.

Assange faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison, the U.S. Justice Department said in a statement.

On Thursday, Assange was found guilty at London’s Westminster Magistrates’ Court of skipping bail in 2012 after an extradition order to Sweden over an allegation of rape. Assange, who pleaded not guilty, will be sentenced at a later date when he will face a maximum sentence of 12 months in prison for the offence.

https://www.cbc.ca/news/world/assange-arrested-london-1.5093405

The prick has been arrested. And it’s about fucking time.

My opinion towards Julian Assange has changed a lot in the past 3ish years. Up until late 2016, I didn’t give him all that much thought really. Back in October 2016, I viewed him in a manner that turned out to be borderline delusional.

To quote me:

Which makes me wonder . . . is Assange holding out because he views (as many people of intellectual capacity have in recent months) Trump as genuinely dangorous? Is he holding out because he does not want to interfer with the democratic process of a nation? Or was it all just a bluff after all?

https://mbman.wordpress.com/2016/10/04/is-julian-assange-holding-out-on-us/

I don’t beat myself up too badly for misjudging that one, because pretty much everyone bows at the altar of Julian Assange, Free press advocate for the masses. It would not be until later that I realized how completely wrong I had gotten it. And unlike seemingly 99.9% of his followers, admitted it fully and openly.

Transparency?
Sure, he’s for that. . . for one side.

Hesitant to interfere with the democratic happenings of a sovereign nation?
Not a fucking chance.

And then there are the rape cases in Sweeden, which even many respected femenist journalists like Christopher Hedges like to either ignore or downplay.

Assange took refuge in the embassy to avoid being extradited to Sweden, where authorities wanted to question him as part of a sexual assault investigation. That probe was later dropped, but Sweden’s prosecution authority said Thursday the legal counsel of the alleged victim has requested that the preliminary investigation be reopened. That request has been assigned to a prosecutor who will determine how to proceed.

Assange hadn’t left the embassy since August 2012 for fear that if he steps off Ecuador’s diplomatic soil he will be arrested and extradited to the U.S. for publishing thousands of classified military and diplomatic cables through WikiLeaks.

He was running from a rape charge. But the United States just so happened to come up as a convenient scapegoat to avoid prosecution. Fortunately for Assange, one of the cases has already been closed on account to the statute of limitations running out. The other one times out next year, however. Though that likely won’t matter either, since he will be spending 5 years in prison (apparently the maximum sentence for the crime. Which fits . . .it’s a computer crime).

Speaking of his sentence:

Assange faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison, the U.S. Justice Department said in a statement.

On Thursday, Assange was found guilty at London’s Westminster Magistrates’ Court of skipping bail in 2012 after an extradition order to Sweden over an allegation of rape. Assange, who pleaded not guilty, will be sentenced at a later date when he will face a maximum sentence of 12 months in prison for the offence.

5 years! Really, he fled to avoid a 5-year sentence?!

What a goddamned pussy. Jesus Christ.

But the fun doesn’t stop there, oh no. The reason why the Ecuadorians eventually decided to give him the boot is even more hilarious. Primarily in its exposure of how much of an entitled jackass the man is.

In a statement earlier Thursday, London police said they arrested Assange after being “invited into the embassy by the ambassador, following the Ecuadorian government’s withdrawal of asylum.”

Ecuadorian President Lenin Moreno said Assange’s diplomatic asylum was withdrawn for repeated violations of international conventions. Ecuador received a guarantee from Britain that Assange would not be extradited to a country where he could face the death penalty, Moreno said.

Ecuador’s foreign minister also announced that Assange’s Ecuadorian citizenship was suspended.

And then there was this:

Assange’s relationship with his hosts collapsed after Ecuador accused him of leaking information about Moreno’s personal life. Moreno had previously said Assange has violated the terms of his asylum.

So, not only did he not stop attempting to meddle in the affairs of other soverign nations whilst in their embassy (putting Equador in an extremely diplomatically awkward position), he also directly bit the hand that feeds him. Granted, it was a new administration that wasn’t as friendly to his presence as the previous one.

None the less . . . Jackass.

As reported before, a certified roommate from hell. But also a roommate from hell that actively targeted you and your friend’s personal lives in order to post the goods on facebook and twitter. To any of us, a scumbag worthy of landing on the street without our remorse. To a nation-state granting assylum, a potential risk to national security.

Now, despite all of the barbs in which I have tossed towards Assange, I admit that I am not sure that I agree with why he has become the martyr that he now is.

Should the alleged rapist have to face the music in Sweeden?

Yes.

Should he have to face the music for his part on bringing some transparency to the otherwise opaque entity that is the American military-industrial complex?

I don’t know. Even the way I worded that is quite, slanted. Not untrue . . . just very biased.

Either way, should he (and others involved) be punished for bringing some transparency to the citizens of the United States (and the world)?
Again, I don’t know.
The idealists and the free speech absolutists would likely say that the answer to that question is obvious. Maybe for them. But much like my view of free speech absolutism itself, I need more information before I can make a judgement.
In the case of free speech, are the potential downstream ramifications worth the open and unchecked platforms?
And in the case of Wikileaks and Assange, was the damage done and the doxing of informants worth the release of the information in its entirety?

Of course, the Department of Justice and the US Government are going to stick to one extreme, and the Assange and Wiki followers to the other, with likely no hope in hell of some sort of rational compromise being discussed in the middle. None the less, I live in the middle. Even if it often leads to my stance on a great many issues being very . . . uncommitted.

Either way, if you are one that STILL worships at the altar of Jullian Assange, I implore you to do a little digging. Even aside from matters in his personal life, the man is hardly a non-partisan actor in the worldwide political scene.

He may have once had credibility. But it is now LONG gone.

Some of my previous explorations:

Is Julian Assange Holding Out On Us? – October 10, 2016

“Crucifying Julian Assange” – (Truthdig) – November 12, 2018

Assange Is Going Home – November 27, 2018

“Julian Assange Receives His Passport” – (Counterpunch) – March 6, 2019

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