Julian Assange

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sTeamTraen
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Julian Assange

Post by sTeamTraen » Sat Sep 26, 2020 11:16 am

Prompted by this ad (pic) --- ostensibly sponsored by Amnesty International --- that popped up asking me to sign a petition on behalf of the "Free Julian Assange" campaign: Can someone give me a reasonably objective summary of the whole Assange thing?

He seems to have fans and opponents right across the political spectrum. But I don't know if that's because people at one end of that spectrum find him generally appealing and those the other end find him presently tactically appealing.

I know the basics of the history of the personal stuff (accusations of rape, smelly apartment in the Ecuadorean embassy, getting his GF pregnant while in there, etc). Clearly he is a complex individual, and we could form any number of opinions about him, like any other person in the news whom we've never met; and of course character is also part of someone's professional activities. But really I'm more interested in the [geo]political questions. For example, I genuinely don't have a feeling about whether WikiLeaks and Assanges's MO generally are a good thing or not. I haven't got much further than "When I read that WL had revealed dirt on people I didn't like, I smiled; when it was on people I did like, I was disappointed".

To a first approximation, I'm starting from a point of complete ignorance, especially since the juiciest leaks were all several years ago now. Feel free to chuck in Edward Snowden and/or Chelsea Manning, if that would help with the explanation.

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Re: Julian Assange

Post by Bird on a Fire » Sat Sep 26, 2020 8:07 pm

I think "mixed bag" is a pretty fair impression to have of Assange's activism.

I think the way Wikileaks compromised the identities of a lot of informers in risky parts of the world could probably have been handled better.

OTOH I also think that extraditing him to the USA would be the wrong thing to do, given the way they have treated other political prisoners (Manning being an obvious example). People shouldn't be extradited to be tortured or executed, even if they are nobs.
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Re: Julian Assange

Post by Squeak » Sat Sep 26, 2020 9:51 pm

There's a bipartisan group of Australian politicians that's formed to advocate for his fair treatment that includes people from both ends of the spectrum and I understand that some of them really, really dislike him but think that he needs medical treatment rather then the sort of treatment the US prison system is likely to deliver.

It's an unusually principled and nuanced cause for politicians to take on and I can't believe that I'm about to write George Christenson approvingly (for reference, he's a hard right clown of a political warrior).
George Christenson wrote: “There are a lot of Australians on the right and left who think that Julian Assange is a rat bag, that I am a rat bag, but that he should be brought home.”
My sense is that Assange took an appallingly cavalier approach to the safety of people named in the documents that he released and that he seemed to move into actual political maneuvering, rather then just straight journalism (e.g. in apparently acting as a conduit between the Russians and the Trump campaign). But even if his work did no good at all and was purely malevolent, I can't see how he can get fair treatment and a fair trial in the US.

From here: https://www.theguardian.com/media/2020/ ... xtradition

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Re: Julian Assange

Post by lpm » Mon Jan 04, 2021 10:26 am

Anybody remember this Assange guy?

He's that alleged rapist who fled justice and hid in a cupboard in an embassy for years.

Well anyway, if you can remember him and still care, he's getting a judgment on an extradiction thing this morning.

It's not going well for him.
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Re: Julian Assange

Post by lpm » Mon Jan 04, 2021 10:32 am

Judge: Assange's actions went beyond the activity of a journalist... took him outside investigative journalism... not protected by free speech
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Re: Julian Assange

Post by El Pollo Diablo » Mon Jan 04, 2021 10:35 am

Is this the extradition case that would likely not be taking place if he had stood trial in Sweden, because of how Swedish to US extradiction works?

It's funny how life works out, isn't it.
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Re: Julian Assange

Post by Woodchopper » Mon Jan 04, 2021 10:41 am


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Re: Julian Assange

Post by Woodchopper » Mon Jan 04, 2021 11:00 am

Woodchopper wrote:
Mon Jan 04, 2021 10:41 am
Thread by legal commentator:
https://twitter.com/JoshuaRozenberg/sta ... 06752?s=20
Assange wins. US has 14 days to appeal.

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Re: Julian Assange

Post by lpm » Mon Jan 04, 2021 11:03 am

He wins because he'll kill himself if he loses? I mean that's the nice thing to do, but it doesn't seem very coherent legally speaking.
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Re: Julian Assange

Post by Woodchopper » Mon Jan 04, 2021 11:32 am


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Re: Julian Assange

Post by Woodchopper » Mon Jan 04, 2021 11:39 am

lpm wrote:
Mon Jan 04, 2021 11:03 am
He wins because he'll kill himself if he loses? I mean that's the nice thing to do, but it doesn't seem very coherent legally speaking.
Seems to be an assessment of his mental health and the conditions he'd likely face in a US jail.

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Re: Julian Assange

Post by Bird on a Fire » Mon Jan 04, 2021 1:39 pm

Woodchopper wrote:
Mon Jan 04, 2021 11:39 am
lpm wrote:
Mon Jan 04, 2021 11:03 am
He wins because he'll kill himself if he loses? I mean that's the nice thing to do, but it doesn't seem very coherent legally speaking.
Seems to be an assessment of his mental health and the conditions he'd likely face in a US jail.
They do seem to have issues keeping high-profile intelligence suspects alive.
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Re: Julian Assange

Post by dyqik » Mon Jan 04, 2021 7:21 pm

Bird on a Fire wrote:
Mon Jan 04, 2021 1:39 pm
Woodchopper wrote:
Mon Jan 04, 2021 11:39 am
lpm wrote:
Mon Jan 04, 2021 11:03 am
He wins because he'll kill himself if he loses? I mean that's the nice thing to do, but it doesn't seem very coherent legally speaking.
Seems to be an assessment of his mental health and the conditions he'd likely face in a US jail.
They do seem to have issues keeping high-profile intelligence suspects alive.
Then there's the completely out of control CoVID pandemic in prisons.

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Re: Julian Assange

Post by Bird on a Fire » Tue Jan 05, 2021 1:12 am

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Re: Julian Assange

Post by Herainestold » Tue Jan 05, 2021 5:55 am

Bird on a Fire wrote:
Tue Jan 05, 2021 1:12 am
Mexico will have him.
Good for Mexico. Keep Assange out of the American Gulag.

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Re: Julian Assange

Post by plodder » Wed Jan 06, 2021 8:17 am

lpm wrote:
Mon Jan 04, 2021 10:32 am
Judge: Assange's actions went beyond the activity of a journalist... took him outside investigative journalism... not protected by free speech
Yes, far more radical than journalism. Without Wikileaks we wouldn’t have had the footage of US soldiers cheerfully executing civilians from the safety of their gunship.

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Re: Julian Assange

Post by Woodchopper » Wed Jan 06, 2021 9:54 am

plodder wrote:
Wed Jan 06, 2021 8:17 am
lpm wrote:
Mon Jan 04, 2021 10:32 am
Judge: Assange's actions went beyond the activity of a journalist... took him outside investigative journalism... not protected by free speech
Yes, far more radical than journalism. Without Wikileaks we wouldn’t have had the footage of US soldiers cheerfully executing civilians from the safety of their gunship.
Don’t know whether you’re serious or not. But the accusation is that Assange didn’t just receive information from Manning, but actively tried to help Manning transfer it out of a secure network.

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Re: Julian Assange

Post by Chris Preston » Wed Jan 06, 2021 10:08 am

It is not like it might not have come out anyway. Witness the evidence of Australian soldiers killing prisoners in Afghanistan.

That is not to say that life would be likely to be very unpleasant for Assange in a US prison.

The idea that Assange is some sort of hero protecting the world from oppression is just more nonsense. He reminds me a lot of Donald Trump. Just another manipulative narcissist.
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Re: Julian Assange

Post by plodder » Wed Jan 06, 2021 1:20 pm

Winkling those apache gunship files out was a public good. I don’t understand the “but someone else could have done it instead” argument.

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Re: Julian Assange

Post by headshot » Wed Jan 06, 2021 1:23 pm


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Re: Julian Assange

Post by lpm » Wed Jan 06, 2021 1:32 pm

Why did they deny bail? He's not the sort of person who'd run off and hide in a cupboard for 7 years.
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Re: Julian Assange

Post by Bird on a Fire » Wed Jan 06, 2021 1:49 pm

plodder wrote:
Wed Jan 06, 2021 1:20 pm
Winkling those apache gunship files out was a public good. I don’t understand the “but someone else could have done it instead” argument.
Yeah, I think Assange is probably a narcissistic a..eh.le who's nevertheless done some good stuff. I don't think that's particularly unusual (loads of politicians, scientists, journalists, etc. are narcissistic a..eholes), so I don't really understand why a lot of people seem to want him to be one or the other exclusively.

Similarly, the US prison system (and its justice system for political prisoners) isn't very good. Even if Assange belongs in jail that doesn't mean he should be extradited to a US one.
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Re: Julian Assange

Post by sTeamTraen » Wed Jan 06, 2021 1:56 pm

Bird on a Fire wrote:
Wed Jan 06, 2021 1:49 pm
Yeah, I think Assange is probably a narcissistic a..eh.le who's nevertheless done some good stuff. I don't think that's particularly unusual (loads of politicians, scientists, journalists, etc. are narcissistic a..eholes), so I don't really understand why a lot of people seem to want him to be one or the other exclusively.
See also Glenn Greenwald and Maajid Nawaz. Not sure if the latter identifies as a journalist, but he's certainly turning into an a..eh.le in real time.
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Re: Julian Assange

Post by Bird on a Fire » Wed Jan 06, 2021 1:58 pm

Yep. Or Richard Dawkins seems to be a tw.t, but I don't think "someone else could have written it" is an adequate response to the Selfish Gene.
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Re: Julian Assange

Post by plodder » Wed Jan 06, 2021 2:02 pm

dawkins is different. for starters, he’s defending his scientific discipline against religious fundamentalism.

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