Assange is a Political Prisoner, Free Him Now
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.
Similarly, Trump has threatened on many occasions to declassify documents.
- November 28: Trump threatens to declassify ‘devastating’ documents if Democrats ‘want to play tough’
- November 11: Trump allies clash with top intelligence officials in quest to declassify more Russia 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.