Julian Assange, the founder of Wikileaks, was charged Thursday by the Justice Department under the Espionage Act. The charges are certain to set up a fierce debate on First Amendment rights.
The stunning move by the DOJ marks the first time a publisher has ever been charged under the Espionage Act, which was considered by the Obama administration but ultimately abandoned over fears the case would pose a threat to press freedoms.
Assange was indicted, according to reports, on 17 counts of receiving or publishing military and diplomatic documents he received in 2010 from former Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning. Manning was convicted in 2013 and sentenced to 35 years in prison before her sentence was commuted by President Barack Obama.
The Wikileaks founder was arrested in London in April by U.K. authorities after he was evicted from the Ecuadorian embassy. He is currently fighting extradition from the Continue reading "BREAKING: Wikileaks Founder Assange Charged With Violating Espionage Act"
After more than two months in jail, former U.S. Army soldier and privacy activist Chelsea Manning has been released. But her freedom might not last for long.
According to Gizmodo, Manning was released after the Eastern District of Virginia grand jury empaneled for an investigation into Wikileaks saw its term expire on Thursday.
Back on March 8, Manning was incarcerated on a contempt charge after refusing to testify before the grand jury or answer any questions about her role, or that of Julian Assange’s, in the 2010 leak of classified U.S. war logs from Iraq. However, her lawyers have already been served with another subpoena demanding that Manning appear before a new grand jury next week.
In a statement, Manning’s lawyers reiterated their client’s steadfast position that she will not cooperate: “Chelsea will continue to refuse to answer questions, and will use every available legal defense to Continue reading "After Two Months, Chelsea Manning Has Been Released From Jail"
Ecuador only agreed to revoke Julian Assange‘s asylum after the United States agreed not to seek the death penalty, according to an ABC report.
Citing multiple sources, ABC reports that Assange had become a nuisance to his hosts costing over $30,000 a month to keep him there.
He was also taking up too much room in the small diplomatic space. So, they wanted him out.
“They were over him, he was a big nuisance,” one senior U.S. official was quoted as saying by ABC News. “They were saying ‘This is too much. How do we get him out?’”
However, they wanted to make sure that he wouldn’t be extradited to a country where he may face the death penalty first.
Back in March 2018, Ecuador made its first contact with UK officials to make sure Assange’s would not face execution. Six months ago, they reached out for Continue reading "U.S. Reportedly Gave Ecuador ’Verbal Pledge’ to Not Seek Death Penalty for Assange"
Add John Oliver to the list of people who are backing — albeit reluctantly — Wikileaks founder Julian Assange.
As part of his opening segment on Last Week Tonight Sunday, Oliver stated it’s “easy to dislike Julian Assange for a number of reasons” — which he proceeded to tick off.
“He first fled to the embassy to escape extradition to Sweden on rape charges — charges he denied,” Oliver said. “Alongside the valuable information that WikiLeaks has helped release, they’ve also recklessly published the sensitive personal data of hundreds of ordinary people, potentially putting lives at risk. And that’s not even getting into the fact that WikiLeaks’ publication of hacked emails in 2016 helped elect Trump president.”
But should any of that stand in the way of someone being opposed to Julian Assange’s extradition? No, as far as Oliver is concerned.
“You are allowed not to like him,” Oliver Continue reading "John Oliver Defends Assange: This Story is ‘Worrying For a Number of Reasons’"
Sean Hannity Thursday night offered a defense of Julian Assange by comparing his track record to the “fake news media.”
Hannity noted the mixed responses to Assange’s arrest and how Assange himself says he was “acting as a journalist.”
“As a matter of fact, if you look at Wikileaks’ record,” Hannity said, “they’ve never printed a single thing proven untrue in like 12 years. Not one. Whether you like their work or you don’t. That’s a much better track record than the fake news media mob right here in America that’s been doing nothing but lying and peddling you conspiracy theories for 2 1/2 years.”
He brought up the interview he conducted with Assange in 2017 in which Assange denied that their source was not the Russian government.
In the case of both Assange and Chelsea Manning, Hannity said it “all happened on Obama’s watch, not Continue reading "Sean Hannity: Assange and Wikileaks Have Better Track Record Than ‘The Fake News Media Mob’"
Fox News’ Geraldo Rivera tore into Julian Assange this morning following the arrest of the Wikileaks founder.
Brian Kilmeade asked, “Is he a hero or a villain?”
Rivera went off in response:
“He is an anti-American slimeball whose every action was designed to hurt the United States of America. He did it with Chelsea Manning in 2010, 2011, when he released those videos of civilian casualties from American airstrikes. Tried to undermine our efforts in Iraq and in Afghanistan. Julian Assange then chose the Trump side in the 2016 election. But he did that more to be disruptive, because he thought Hillary Clinton was going to win, tried to undermine her, tried to undermine the whole fabric of our democracy. I have nothing but contempt for Julian Assange and I hope that justice finally comes calling.”
Ecuador accused WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange of “putting feces” on the walls of the country’s London embassy during his asylum there.
While the “feces” allegation was not the only strike against Assange — he was also accused of meddling in Ecuador’s political affairs to influence the country’s government — but his conduct as a guest at the embassy certainly did not help.
Ecuador’s Interior Minister María Paula Romo said the country’s previous administration, run by former President Rafael Correa, “tolerated things like Assange putting feces on the embassy walls and other behaviors far from the minimum respect that a guest can have.”
During a press conference on why Ecuador finally turned Assange over to authorities, Romo also explained, “For several years now, one of the key members of the WikiLeaks organization and a person close to Assange has lived in Ecuador.”
RicardoPatiño, Ecuador’s former chancellor Continue reading "Ecuador Calls Out Julian Assange for ‘Putting Feces’ on Walls of London Embassy"
If there is one thing pundits on the left and right have agreed on in the hours after the arrest of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, it is that Hillary Clinton is someone who lost a lot to his actions, perhaps an entire election. And tonight she had something to say about it.
It’s long been an argument from Democrats and committed Clintonites that Assange, or Assange and James Comey, or some combination of those two plus Russia and the electoral college and Wisconsin, are the real reason Clinton lost to Trump in 2016, and not the candidate herself. In his opening monologue about Assange on Thursday, Fox News Channel’s Tucker Carlsonalso said that Assange “humiliated” Clinton. Carlson said the real reason the media bash Assange isn’t national security but his “preventing Hillary Clinton from becoming President.”
Julian Assange having finally been arrested on Thursday was the inevitable fate that launched a thousand hot takes and reactions, particularly from pundits and political commentators, and especially particularly those who have been chasing the collusion story or Hillary Clinton‘s loss for the last two-plus years. And on Fox News, Tucker Carlson‘s own take was mainly about those takes.
He opened his show first with a news update delivered by Catherine Herridge, and then dove into the topic for his opening monologue. “If you watch the coverage of this story today on television, you likely came away with the understanding that Julian Assange is some kind of Russian spy who is in trouble tonight because he stole classified documents from the U.S. Government” said Carlson. “That is not true, it’s factually incorrect.”
“Saying so is not a defense of Assange. We’re not here to promote Continue reading "Tucker Carlson: Idi Amin ATE People and Didn’t Face the Scorn Julian Assange Faces From D.C. and Media"
Fox News anchor Shepard Smith countered Donald Trump‘s claim that “I know nothing about Wikileaks” with a devastating package of clips featuring Trump praising the group by name over the years.
On Thursday afternoon’s edition of Fox News’ Shepard Smith Reporting, Smith played a clip of Trump, during an Oval Office photo op, being asked about the arrest of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange.
In the clip, Trump responded by saying “I know nothing about Wikileaks. It’s not my thing,” Trump told reporters in an Oval Office pool spray. “I know nothing really about [Assange]. It’s not my deal in life.”
“He may not know Wikileaks any more than the rest of us know Wikileaks, in that they released a bunch of stuff,” Smith said, adding “It would be hard to forget, but we have recordings, so here.”
Smith then played a montage of six different Continue reading "WATCH: Shepard Smith Counters Trump’s ‘I Know Nothing About Wikileaks’ Claim with Devastating Montage"
With the arrest of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange from the Ecuador embassy in London on Thursday, Jason Johnson, a politics editor for The Root, said that while he does not like the controversial figure, the arrest is “dangerous” for journalists.
“So this is the journalism professor hat thing. This is flimsy and I don’t like Julian Assange. A lot of us don’t like Julian Assange. We have to separate from what he seems like in his videos and his sexism and his hostility toward the United States,” Johnson began.
“At the end of the day, if this is the argument made by this particular administration that he somehow was involved in this hacking information in this very vague way. Unless we find out he directly was involved in hacking into U.S. systems, this is just an excuse to basically threaten and create sort of a chilling effect Continue reading "The Root Politics Editor Defends Julian Assange on MSNBC, Calls Arrest ‘Dangerous’"
NBC News reporter Ken Dilanian referred to imprisoned former army intelligence veteran Chelsea Manning, who is a trans woman, as “he” and “him” during a news report on the arrest of Wikileaks founderJulian Assange.
On Thursday morning’s edition of MSNBC Live With Hallie Jackson, Dilanian was explaining the charges that Assange faces if he is extradited to the United States.
“Assange is not charged with receiving classified information, or anything to do with the leak,” Dilanian said. “He’s charged with conspiring with Chelsea Manning to hack a Defense Department computer.”
“Specifically, Chelsea Manning was an army private stationed in Iraq, he was downloading hundreds of thousands of top secret U.S. government files from the military and from the State Department, and he was sending them to assange and Wikileaks to make public,” Dilanian said, twice referring to Manning as “he.”
“As part of those Continue reading "NBC’s Ken Dilanian Refers to Chelsea Manning as ‘He’ and ‘Him’ in News Report on Assange"
Glenn Greenwald went on the warpath Thursday morning following the arrest of Julian Assange in London.
In a lengthy Twitter rant, Greenwald — founder of The Intercept — blasted those in the media who are not speaking out against the arrest, arguing it is a direct attack on press freedom.
“If you’re a US media star who has spent 2 years claiming to be so concerned about press freedoms over Trump’s mean tweets about your friends, but don’t raise your voice in protest over this grave attack on press freedom, take a hard look in the mirror,” Greenwald wrote.
If you’re a US media star who has spent 2 years claiming to be so concerned about press freedoms over Trump’s mean tweets about your friends, but don’t raise your voice in protest over this grave attack on press freedom, take a hard look in the mirror https://t.co/b32TZ7vatx
CNN’s John Berman and and Alisyn Camerota put WikiLeaks editor Kristinn Hrafnsson under pressure on Thursday as they questioned him on whether Julian Assange‘s arrest in London was connected to the 2016 hack of the DNC’s servers.
Assange was taken into custody earlier Thursday after the Ecuadorian government revoked his asylum status after seven years of him living at their London embassy. The Department of Justice has since announced they’re charging Assange with “conspiracy to commit computer intrusion” over his aiding Chelsea Manning‘s release of classified information from the Department of Defense.
When Hrafnsson joined New Day, he started by calling the arrest “an outrageous thing,” but he wasn’t surprised since “we knew that there was a secret sealed indictment that now has come forth, an indictment for — for basically doing what journalists should be doing, that is publishing truthful information.”
From there, Berman and Continue reading "CNN’s New Day Grills WikiLeaks Editor on Assange: Did You Get DNC Emails From Russia?"
The Department of Justice has charged Wikileaks founder Julian Assange with “conspiracy to commit computer intrusion” for agreeing to assist Chelsea Manning in hacking a Department of Defense computer.
According to a release from the Department of Justice, Assange has been charged with one count, and faces a maximum of five years in prison if convicted.
From the release:
The indictment alleges that in March 2010, Assange engaged in a conspiracy with Chelsea Manning, a former intelligence analyst in the U.S. Army, to assist Manning in cracking a password stored on U.S. Department of Defense computers connected to the Secret Internet Protocol Network (SIPRNet), a U.S. government network used for classified documents and communications. Manning, who had access to the computers in connection with her duties as an intelligence analyst, was using the computers to download classified records to transmit to WikiLeaks. Cracking the password would have Continue reading "BREAKING: DOJ Charges Julian Assange With Conspiracy For Helping Chelsea Manning Hack DoD Computer"
Ecuador’s former President Rafael Correa blasted his successor, Lenin Moreno, as a “traitor” on Thursday for allowing the arrest of Wikileaks co-founder Julian Assange.
“The greatest traitor in Ecuadorian and Latin American history, Lenin Moreno, allowed the British police to enter our embassy in London to arrest Assange,” Correa wrote on Twitter. “Moreno is a corrupt man, but what he has done is a crime that humanity will never forget.”
The greatest traitor in Ecuadorian and Latin American history, Lenin Moreno, allowed the British police to enter our embassy in London to arrest Assange.
Moreno is a corrupt man, but what he has done is a crime that humanity will never forget. https://t.co/XhT51MA6c6
Wikileaks co-founder Julian Assange was dragged out of the Ecuadorian embassy in London and arrested by police, seven years after he first took refuge to avoid extradition to Sweden over an alleged sexual assault.
In the dramatic scene caught on video, Assange appears bearded and dishevelled as he’s dragged down the steps of the embassy and into a waiting police van.
According to U.K. police, Assange was arrested for failing to surrender to the court. Scotland Yard also confirmed that Assange was arrested on behalf of an extradition request from the United States. The opportunity to take Assange into custody came after Ecuador’s President Lenin Moreno said the country withdrew Assange’s asylum for repeatedly violating its terms.
Wikileaks protested the decision on Twitter, declaring it a “violation of international law.”
Watch above, via RT.
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was taken into custody by British authorities today after about seven years of living in political asylum at the Ecuadorian Embassy of London.
Assange has lived at the embassy since 2012 out of fear of being extradited to Sweden over sexual assault accusations. CBS reports that the warrant from the Westminster Magistrates’ Court says Assange is being arrested under criminal charges of skipping bail in the U.K., and he also faces charges in the U.S. for his organization’s repeated publication of stolen, sensitive political documents.
Assange’s arrest may not be a major surprise since Wikileaks has been signaling for the last few days that his embassy expulsion was imminent. Ecuadorian President Lenin Moreno has signaled his growing displeasure with Assange recently, and today, he announced on Twitter that his government is withdrawing the Wikileaks chief’s legal protections for his “repeated violations to international Continue reading "BREAKING: WikiLeaks Founder Julian Assange Arrested by British Police"