Sunday 16th of May 2021

free assange today, mr biden...

assange

ASSANGE SHOULD BE FREED but pardon him if you must, Mr Biden…

If Biden does not drop charges against Julian Assange, he will show that he is an arsehole, possibly worse than Donald Trump. Gus Leonisky.

 

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Wikileaks said Julian Assange scrubbed all his computers before getting arrested, and claimed the US could plant false evidence on them

 

Julian Assange cleared his computers as he predicted he would be evicted and arrested from London's Ecuadorian embassy, Wikileaks' editor said.
  • Wikileaks founder Julian Assange scrubbed his computers before he was arrested after spending seven years in London's Ecuadorian embassy, the organization said.
  • Wikileaks editor-in-chief Kristinn Hrafnsson told The Associated Press that because Assange cleared the computers, any information found on them will be put there by the US or Ecuadorian authorities. 
  • "If anything surfaces, I can assure you it would've been planted," he said.
  • Ecuadorian authorities took an inventory of what Assange left at the embassy and said they were doing so at the request of the US, which is seeking to extradite him on hacking charges.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange cleared his computers before he was arrested at London's Ecuadorian embassy, the organization said as it pre-emptively said that the US may plant false evidence on him.

Kristinn Hrafnsson, the editor-in-chief of Wikileaks, told The Associated Press in an interview that Assange scrubbed his computers and hard drives of all data, including information about Wikileaks' future plans, as he predicted that he would be evicted and arrested after spending seven years in the embassy.

Ecuadorian officials catalogued what Assange left at the embassy in an operation on Monday, and said that they were acting at the request of US prosecutors, the AP reported.



https://www.businessinsider.fr/us/julian-assange-cleared-computers-before-arrested-wikileaks-says-accuses-planting-evidence-2019-5


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With the Democrat Joe Biden set to take over as the next US president on 20 January 2021, it is high time for Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison to make contact with him and discuss the matter of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange if Canberra is, as it claims, serious about providing assistance to the man and helping him go free.

Assange is currently held in a high-security prison in Belmarsh in the UK, after a hearing to decide whether he would be extradited to the US ended last month. A decision is expected to be announced in January 2021.

He faces criminal charges for publishing classified information that was leaked to WikiLeaks by an American soldier, then known as Bradley Manning, but now, after gender reassignment surgery, known as Chelsea Manning.

Until now, Australia has done the bare minimum to help Assange because it did not want to annoy its American protector. But Barack Obama, while president, had decided that he could not sue Assange without also suing some of the world's major newspapers, and hence abandoned the idea. Biden was Obama's vice-president at the time.

As American journalist Glenn Greenwald wrote: "...the Obama DoJ concluded such a prosecution would pose a severe threat to press freedom because there would be no way to prosecute Assange for publishing classified documents without also prosecuting The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Guardian and others for doing exactly the same thing."

Assange, one of Australia's best known hackers, was involved in attacks on several American government organisations in the 1980s, at a time when he went by the moniker Mendax.

WikiLeaks exposed the cynicism and savagery that Washington displays in combat areas, when it released a video titled Collateral Murder that showed unarmed Iraqi civilians being gunned down by an American helicopter in Iraq.

Assange was arrested by British police on 11 April 2019 and removed from the Ecuador embassy where he had taken refuge. His asylum was withdrawn shortly before he was arrested and he appeared in court shortly thereafter. The US made a formal request for his extradition on 6 June 2019.

Whenever Australian authorities have been asked about Assange, their stock response has been that he is being provided the same consular assistance as any other citizen would be. Now, given the circumstances, it is time for Canberra to stir itself and push for saving his life.

He has done nothing more than any journalist would and no journalist has been imprisoned in Australia for publishing stories based on leaked information. The same applies in the US.

The last time Australia approached the US seeking clemency for someone, it was in the case of David Hicks who had been arrested in Afghanistan on alleged charges of terrorism. John Howard made a personal appeal to Dick Cheney, telling the then US vice-president that Hicks had become an election issue for him.

Cheney pushed for a plea bargain and Hicks was sent back to Australia within a few months.

It is time for Morrison to use any credits he has in Washington DC and ask for Assange to be released. The man is still an Australian citizen and deserves his freedom.


https://www.itwire.com/open-sauce/time-for-scott-morrison-to-request-biden-to-free-assange.html


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FROM TEN YEARS AGO:



 in Washington


Julian Assange like a hi-tech terrorist, says Joe BidenThis article is more than 10 years oldUS vice-president makes strongest remarks by any White House official over WikiLeaks founder and dipomatic cables

The US vice-president, Joe Biden, today likened the WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange, to a "hi-tech terrorist", the strongest criticism yet from the Obama administration.

Biden claimed that by leaking diplomatic cables Assange had put lives at risk and made it more difficult for the US to conduct its business around the world.

 

His description of Assange shows a level of irritation that contrasts with more sanguine comments from other senior figures in the White House, who said the leak had not done serious damage.

Interviewed on NBC's Meet the Press, Biden was asked if the administration could prevent further leaks, as Assange warned last week. "We are looking at that right now. The justice department is taking a look at that," Biden said, without elaborating.


The justice department is struggling to find legislation with which to prosecute Assange.

Asked if what Assange had done was criminal, Biden seemed to suggest it would be considered criminal if it could be established that the WikiLeaks founder had encouraged or helped Bradley Manning, the US intelligence analyst suspected of being behind the leak. Biden claimed this was different from a journalist receiving leaked material.

"If he conspired to get these classified documents with a member of the US military that is fundamentally different than if someone drops on your lap … you are a press person, here is classified material."

Asked if he saw Assange as closer to a hi-tech terrorist than the whistleblower who released the Pentagon papers in the 1970s, which disclosed the lie on which US involvement in Vietnam was based, Biden replied: "I would argue it is closer to being a hi-tech terrorist than the Pentagon papers. But, look, this guy has done things that have damaged and put in jeopardy the lives and occupations of people in other parts of the world.

"He's made it more difficult for us to conduct our business with our allies and our friends. For example, in my meetings – you know I meet with most of these world leaders – there is a desire now to meet with me alone, rather than have staff in the room. It makes things more cumbersome – so it has done damage."

The interview, though broadcast yesterday, was conducted on Friday. In an interview the previous day, he had been more neutral about WikiLeaks, saying: "I don't think there's any substantive damage."

The US secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, led criticism of the WikiLeaks revelations at the end of November when she accused the website of mounting an "attack" on the world.


https://www.theguardian.com/media/2010/dec/19/assange-high-tech-terrorist-biden

Mon 20 Dec 2010 05.20 AEDT

Note: The Guardian is an anti-Assange agent and Scott Morrison does not shy from being an arsehole and charge journalists and whistleblowers in this country (Australia) for TELLING THE TRUTH by using government documents that reveal the government has been an arsehole...

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The odds are stacked against Julian Assange, the WikiLeaks publisher who faces the grimmest of prospects come January 4.

On that day, the unsympathetic judicial head of District Judge Vanessa Baraitser will reveal her decision on the Old Bailey proceedings that took place between September and October this year. 

Despite Assange’s team being able to marshal an impressive, even astonishing array of sources and witnesses demolishing the prosecution’s case for extradition to the United States, power can be blindly vengeful. 

Such blindness is much in evidence in a co-authored contribution to The Daily Signal from this month. The authors are insipidly predictable: national security and technology types with comic strip names (Charles “Cully” Stimson; Klon Kitchen) and rule of law advocates who seemingly campaign against their own brief (John G. Malcolm). 

Having not bothered to read the evidence submitted at the extradition trial, the authors are obedient to a fictitious record. This includes allegations that WikiLeaks harmed US diplomatic relations; the stubborn libel that Assange’s actions, far from exposing US atrocities, led to a loss of life; and the disruption of essential “intelligence sources and methods”. (Accountability can be expensive.)

The authors fail to appreciate the dangers of the Assange case to the First Amendment, free speech and the publication of national security information. They merely claim to be free speech defenders, only to neatly hive Assange’s activities off from its protections. Free speech is a fine thing as long as it is innocuous and inconsequential. 


Suppression of speech, in a free society, is wrong. But Assange is not a free-speech hero.” 

 

By internationalising the reach of the Espionage Act, the indictment against Assange threatens the global documentation and reporting of classified information in the public interest. To put it in elementary terms for the legions of ignorant security hacks, granting the request will legitimise the targeting of US citizens. 

Bruce D. Brown, executive director of the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, summarises the implications


If the UK grants the request to deliver Assange, UK prosecutors could make similar arguments in an effort to extradite a journalist in the US for violations of its Official Secrets Act, which explicitly criminalizes the publication of leaked military or intelligence information.” 

 

Of central importance in the Assange pardon drive is the cultivation of vanity and, it follows, the appeal to posterity. “We write to request that you put a defining stamp to your presidential legacy by pardoning Julian Assange or stopping his tradition,” urge the signatories of yet another letter to Trump on the subject. 

The heavy artillery is impressive, including five Nobel Prize laureates: Northern Irish peace activist Mairead Maguire, human rights activist Adolfo Pérez Esquivel, Iranian political activist and lawyer Shirin Ebadi, feminist campaigner Rigoberta Menchú Tum and Austrian novelist Peter Handke.

Appropriately, the signatories impress upon Trump that the case “threatens the constitutional protections that Americans hold dear” and suggest that history will be kind should he show sound judgment in the case. “By offering a pardon, to put a stop to the prosecution of Assange, your presidency will be remembered for having saved First Amendment protections for all Americans.”

The approach taken by the UN Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment is more expansive and detailed. 

In his appeal to Trump on December 22, Nils Melzer outlines the high price Assange has paid “for the courage to publish true information about government misconduct throughout the world.” The deteriorating health condition of the publisher is noted, including the risks posed to him by the COVID-19 pandemic at Belmarsh prison in London. 

The relevant pointers are there: that Assange is not an enemy of the American people; his work and that of WikiLeaks “fights secrecy and corruption throughout the world and, therefore, acts in the public interest of the American people and of humanity as a whole.” He had not hacked or pilfered the information he published, having “obtained it from authentic documents and sources in the same way as any other serious and independent investigative journalists conduct their work.”

Melzer then seeks to appeal to Trump the man, pleading for Assange’s release as the president had: 


vowed … to pursue an agenda of fighting government corruption and misconduct; and because allowing the prosecution of Mr Assange to continue would mean that, under your legacy, telling the truth about such corruption and misconduct has become a crime.”

 

Finally, the personal touch is being fashioned for the president, spearheaded by Assange’s fiancée Stella Moris. Her appearance on Fox News with host Tucker Carlson was primed for Trump’s hearty consumption, laden with hooks of catchy lingo. This made perfectly good sense; there is still some time to go before the world’s first Fox News president vacates the White House.

“Once he [Assange] gets to the US,” feared Moris, “he will be in the hands of the Deep State. That’s why I pleaded with the President to show the mercy the Deep State will not show Julian if he is extradited.”

Carlson was certainly convinced, taking a position at odds with various national security wonks that pullulate the US airwaves: 

 

Whatever you think of Julian Assange and what he did, he is effectively a journalist. He took information and he put it in a place the public could read it.” 

 

The Australian was spending time in prison for releasing documents “he did not steal,” merely providing a platform for their dissemination, showing that “the US government was illegally spying on me, and everybody else in this country.” 

The seeds for a stinging provocation against the US imperium have been sown. Whether they take firm root and grow in the self-absorbed mind of the commander-in-chief is another matter.

https://off-guardian.org/2021/01/02/the-julian-assange-pardon-drive/

trump might beat biden to the post...

Donald Trump owes a big debt to Assange for having revealed the crookeries of Hillary by relasing her emails. One can hope that before he goes to better (or worse) pastures, Trump will drop the charges against Assange WHICH WERE SET UP BY OBAMA...  Let's not forget Barak's dirty role (and Biden's dirty role) in this sordid affair...