Assange is a Political Prisoner, Free Him Now

Mish

WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange has been a political prisoner since 2012.

Political Prisoner

Julian Assange took refuge in the Embassy of Ecuador in London in June 2012. On 11 April 2019, Ecuador removed Assange's asylum following a series of disputes. Assange was then arrested and held by the UK.

Wikipedia has these Notes on Julian Assange.

Julian Paul Assange born 3 July 1971, is an Australian editor, publisher, and activist who founded WikiLeaks in 2006. WikiLeaks came to international attention in 2010 when it published a series of leaks provided by U.S. Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning. These leaks included the Baghdad airstrike Collateral Murder video (April 2010), the Afghanistan war logs (July 2010), the Iraq war logs (October 2010), and Cablegate (November 2010). After the 2010 leaks, the United States government launched a criminal investigation into WikiLeaks.

The United States government unsealed an indictment against Assange, related to the leaks provided by Chelsea Manning. On 23 May 2019, the United States government further charged Assange with violating the Espionage Act of 1917. Editors from newspapers including The Washington Post and The New York Times, as well as press freedom organisations, criticised the government's decision to charge Assange under the Espionage Act, characterising it as an attack on the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, which guarantees freedom of the press.

Assange is incarcerated in HM Prison Belmarsh, reportedly in ill health. On 2 May 2019, hearings began into the US government's request to extradite him. On 4 January 2021, District Judge Vanessa Baraitser ruled against the United States' request to extradite him and stated that doing so would be "oppressive" by reason of his mental health; the United States has 14 days to appeal.

A U.K. Judge Denies Extradition to U.S

The Wall Street Journal reports U.K. Judge Denies WikiLeaks Founder Julian Assange’s Extradition to U.S., Citing Suicide Risk

Under British extradition law, as well as European human-rights law that the U.K. is party to, a judge can block extradition on health grounds if it would result in unjust or oppressive treatment.

“I find that the mental condition of Mr. Assange is such that it would be oppressive to extradite him” to the U.S., Judge Baraitser said in a 132-page ruling. “The overall impression is of a depressed and sometimes despairing man who is genuinely fearful about his future,” she said, rejecting the U.S. extradition request.

On Monday, Mexico’s President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said he would ask the U.K. government about the possibility of freeing Mr. Assange, and that Mexico would offer him asylum.  “Therefore, a pardon for Mr. Assange, pardon and asylum,” he said. 

Mr. López Obrador said Mexico was happy that the British court had denied the U.S. extradition request, which he called a “triumph for justice.” He said Mr. Assange is a journalist.

Trump Should Pardon Assange

Trump could have and should have pardoned Assange instead of pardoning a massive parade of political hacks.

He still could, but he won't. 

There's an interesting article on ZeroHedge on this subject: Trump's Last Chance To Snub The Deep State

I am not the only one hoping that Donald Trump will do the right thing with Julian Assange, and Edward Snowden too. The last president, one Trump hates, first put Assange’s key whistleblower in prison, in isolation, under torture. Chelsea Manning was sentenced to 35 years. Obama leaving office with a gesture of “goodwill”, commuted Chelsea’s sentence once she served seven years. She was later jailed for another year for not snitching on Julian.

Tulsi Gabbard, the only Democratic presidential candidate in 2020 who wasn’t a war hawk, is asking Trump for goodwill. She tweeted tagging Trump, “Since you’re giving pardons to people, please consider pardoning those who, at great personal sacrifice, exposed the deception and criminality of those in the deep state,” and named Assange and Snowden for him to drop charges.

If Trump did the honorable thing of halting the persecution of Julian Assange, it would be a blow for freedom and a middle finger to the Deep State including Obama and Clinton. Wasn’t Trump supposed to be the anti-Deep State candidate? Now’s his chance to prove it.

Declassify Documents

Similarly, Trump has threatened on many occasions to declassify documents.

Is Trump anti-deep-state or not? 

We knew the answer to that long ago, and it won't change now even if he did pardon Assange. 

Assange a Hero

No only is Assange a political prisoner, he is a hero in my book for disclosing what he did about US illegal activities.

Hats off to Mexico for offering asylum. But what's needed is a full and complete pardon coupled with an apology. 

Mish

Comments (35)
No. 1-16
Winn
Winn

Whole heartedly agree.
Free Assange. Free Assange. Free Assange.

Jackula
Jackula

Right there with you on this one. Assange is a journalist and in no way belongs in jail. This sets a terrible precedent against freedom of the press.

Tengen
Tengen

The Q crowd claimed for years that Trump would free Assange to "stick it to the deep state" but obviously that didn't happen. It's one of a thousand things that should have tipped them off that Trump was a fraud, but hope springs eternal online.

Casual_Observer
Casual_Observer

Assange will die if he is freed. As he should. He is simply an arm of the GRU and Russian state as 2016 showed. Next to nothing new was revealed by Wikileaks regarding Iraq and Afghanistan. Assange was never prosecuted for two child molestation charges because of statute of limitations. That isnt exactly a ringing endorsement of justice if you think he should be freed.

Jojo
Jojo

“I find that the mental condition of Mr. Assange is such that it would be oppressive to extradite him” to the U.S., Judge Baraitser said in a 132-page ruling. “The overall impression is of a depressed and sometimes despairing man who is genuinely fearful about his future,” she said, rejecting the U.S. extradition request.

Assange's dump of Clinton's stolen emails from that technical idiot Poesta, who got hacked/phished by a Russian operative is what helped Trump get elected. Assange should rot in prison forever. Clinton may not have been the greatest president ever but she certainly would have been a damn sight better than Trump.

Poor baby Assange is depressed. So sad. When you play with the big boys, you should be prepared to get stepped on.

Assange may kill himself. Who cares? Please go right ahead you piece of crap. Broadcast it on social media so we can all watch.

goldguy
goldguy

Yes Mish I am in total agreement.

FromBrussels
FromBrussels

Mish, I am afraid you are going to get a lot of heartless criticism today... I, for one, do agree with you; Assange's plight is utterly gruesome and inhumane ! How can a modern democratic system justify similar cruelty ? Even in Russia, the country so many of you on this blog despise, this guy would ve received better and fairer treatment !

FromBrussels
FromBrussels

'Everyone lies and cheats'... Speaking for yourself ? Disgusting attitude of yours btw, wishing for someone 'to rot in jail', especially taking into account that the guy merely exposed REAL crimes.... That being said, you seem to be suffering an identity crisis; sometimes you are left, than right, to be left again next day, a peaceful warmonger etc....quite inconsequent.. What really amazes me, or even offends me, is that a intelligent person would be in favour of the Clinton bitch,...but then again, I shouldn t be surprised; she wanted to drone Assange in the very embassy, and she laughed and giggled when Khadaffi was sodomised and murdered by her terrorist friends ! I am sure you voted for her...

Webej
Webej

It isn't Assange who is on trial and this isn't about Assange, who poses no threat to anybody. The imperial state's only interest is to set an example. Everything Assange revealed was published in carefully curated form by the Guardian, WaPo, the NYTimes, etc.

The example that is being set is that anybody who reveals the (war) crimes of the imperial state will be squashed. Anybody means any person anywhere on the globe, since Assange has no relationship with the American state.

» What is on trial is the right to reveal the truth and the rights of journalism «

The outcome is very depressing, since the order to discharge is not germane to the case which is being accepted as valid. And all but a few maverick journalists have retreated from any attempt to defend the principle, including the revered outlets who were only too happy to published it all but abandoned Assange like rats.

Sechel
Sechel

u.s. goverment has been making the case that assange is not a journalist but a hacker. senate report makes the case that assange worked with russia. to me assange is not in the same category as snowden or ellsberg

Webej
Webej

Don't expect anything from Trump. Instead of a pardon for Assange, he decided to pardon a number of Nisour Square war criminals who were indicted on the strength of facts that came to light because of Assange. (For random assassination of civilians, including RPGs into a schoolroom of little girls.) Trump is underscoring the exceptional position of the USA as the only party in the world indemnified in advance of war crimes.

In fact, by delaying extradition on humanitarian grounds (Trump can hardly pardon somebody who has not been indicted or condemned, or can he?), this may be a devious way to circumnavigate any possibility for Trump to actually intervene.

Eddie_T
Eddie_T

Yes, Virginia, there is a Deep State......and guys like Assange and Snowden are the proof. Our Enemies of the State are journalists and whistleblowers.

Assange, in particular is guilty of a most grievous crime.....pissing off the Clintons and their political machine.

Forget the bogus Sweden charges....if screwing Swedish teenagers is such a crime why aren’t there more rock stars in jail? He was targeted because of who he is.

Useful idiot for Russia? Maybe.....useful whistleblower for the US...absolutely.

We (the people) had a need to know a lot of things Wikileaks reported. It made Assange some powerful enemies....but it was casting aspersions on Clinton that got him in the most trouble. Even though it was the real idiot, Comey, who threw the election for Clinton.

And Trump doesn’t give a flying fuck about Assange. Everything Trump ever said about the Deep State was a calculated lie to make him appeal to the people we now refer to as the Trump base. If he were to pardon Assange, that will be why he does it.

I agree that Trump’s pardons so far are all just loyalty rewards for the sleaziest members of the Trump army, fwiw. I’d expect more of the same.

Rocky Raccoon
Rocky Raccoon

Assange and Snowden are both symbols for me that Trump was never committed to draining the swamp.

cudmeister
cudmeister

Free Assange. Dammit!!!!

Jojo
Jojo

Well, let's meet back here on Jan 21 and see if Trump pardoned Assange.


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