Julian Assange Arrested in London After Ecuador Withdraws Asylum
Ecuador ended asylum since Assange will “not be extradited to a country where he would face the death penalty.”
Officials arrested Wikileaks founder Julian Assange in London at the Ecuadorean Embassy after Ecuador withdrew the asylum it granted him in 2012. As police took him out, Assange screamed, “Resist this attempt by the Trump administration. The UK must resist.”
Ecuadorian President Lenín Moreno said the country withdrew asylum over Assange’s “repeated violations to international conventions and daily-life protocols.”
Sweden wants Assange “for questioning on allegations of sexual assault made by two women in 2010 but sought refuge in the embassy in July 2012 after exhausting every legal avenue in his opposition to extradition.” The case in Sweden has dropped, but the lawyers involved said it has not gone away and can resume.
More from The London Times:
President Moreno of Ecuador, who was elected in 2017, said today that Britain had given a guarantee that Mr Assange would not be extradited to a country where he would face the death penalty, and that as a result he had been stripped of his asylum.
The news of Mr Assange’s arrest came after Wikileaks revealed the scale of surveillance within the embassy and claimed that blackmailers had obtained documents and video and audio footage.
Moreno slammed the accusations from Wikileaks. He also “singled out the recent release by WikiLeaks of information about the Vatican as evidence that Mr. Assange had continued to work with WikiLeaks to violate ‘the rule of nonintervention in the internal affairs of other states.'”
Rafael Correa, the Ecuadorian president when Assange received asylum, called Moreno the “greatest traitor in Ecuadorian and Latin American history.”
America requested Assange’s extradition after police arrested him, but British police said they made the arrest “on behalf of US authorities.” Assange claimed for years that he faced “extradition to the US for leaking classified military and diplomatic communications, where he believes he will be tortured or face the death penalty.”
The Justice Department confirmed the extradition request “in connection with a federal charge of conspiracy to commit computer intrusion for agreeing to break a password to a classified US government computer.” The Guardian has the official statement:
The indictment alleges that in March 2010, Assange engaged in a conspiracy with Chelsea Manning, a former intelligence analyst in the US 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 allowed Manning to log on to the computers under a username that did not belong to her. Such a deceptive measure would have made it more difficult for investigators to determine the source of the illegal disclosures.
During the conspiracy, Manning and Assange engaged in real-time discussions regarding Manning’s transmission of classified records to Assange. The discussions also reflect Assange actively encouraging Manning to provide more information. During an exchange, Manning told Assange that “after this upload, that’s all I really have got left.” To which Assange replied, “curious eyes never run dry in my experience.”
Assange is charged with conspiracy to commit computer intrusion and is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. He faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison if convicted. Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after taking into account the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
The extradition will be handled by the Department of Justice’s Office of International Affairs.
An indictment contains allegations that a defendant has committed a crime. Every defendant is presumed to be innocent until and unless proven guilty in court.
Assange will “appear at Westminster magistrates court later on Thursday.” He also faces a charge for jumping bail by the British courts.
The UK government applauded the arrest with Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt stating that “Julian Assange is no hero and no one is above the law. He has hidden from the truth for years.”
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This is terrible news. Wikileaks is a priceless asset against government corruption everywhere.
He is guilty of practicing journalism. What he does is no different than what the NYT did by publishing the Pentagon Papers. Unless it can be proven that he hacked Hillary’s illegal servers, all he is guilty of is publishing them. That is what journalists do.
Hopefully, how those files became publicly available will be revealed during the various investigations that have been going on as well as the new ones. My bet is that Marc Rich downloaded them into a thumb drive and provided them to Wikileaks.
Yes, I know the indictment did not mention the e-mail issue. But you know that is what this is really about. Assange can prove whether or not Marc Rich was the guy who “hacked” Hillary’s servers. He certainly released the evidence to others for safekeeping. I expect we will be a factor during Assange’s fight against the extradition.
For the fans of 4D chess theory, I note that the indictment is for exposing CIA rendition and torture. Those are leftist causes.
So the indictment simultaneously brings up the CIA as a bad guy, Obama’s commuting the sentence of Manning, and the claim that Assange colluded with Russia over emails.
What, exactly, are the optics here?
Just my opinion but I think the game plan is to take Assange out before the trail gets hot regarding Hillary’s e-mails. Nothing that is cited in the indictment is illegal…. unless standard journalistic practice has been criminalized. Keep in mind that many believe that the Russia hoax deeply implicates involvement by the British MI services. Another sticky wicket.
This isn’t a simple story. Trump has a lot of guts being willing to risk everything while soldiering through the process methodically. We will probably start getting answers to our speculative questions soon.
I assume you mean Seth Rich. Marc Rich was a notorious tax cheat pardoned by Bill Clinton, no doubt in exchange for a lot of money and favors.
Correction noted. Thanks.
no doubt in exchange for a lot of . . . favors.
Particularly from Denise Rich.
Maybe Juli and Chelsea can have some quality time.
Actually, if the governments want revenge, let him go free quickly. That way he realizes he sent himself to prison for seven years over nothing.
Has he been in there that long?
Wow, he looks horrible. He’s only 47, but that video . . . omg. What happened to him?
No vitamin D for 7 years will do that to you.
LOL, I guess so. What a shock, though! He looks like he’s thirty years older than he really is.
Not a bad disguise. Quick shave and a haircut, and no one on the street would recognize him in the future.
Looks like Rob Reiner. Can we put him in prison also, just because?
He will be exchanging being in one prison for another. The statement about resisting this attempt by the Trump Administration seems a bit odd given all the countries aligned against him.
I have very mixed views on Wikileaks. It isn’t as altruistic as they portray themselves to be. It had uncovered some very bad things that go in governments and politicians, but the actions of some who have stolen government secrets are treason. No government can be fully transparent, as it opens that government to dangers from other countries who are enemies or frienemies. It is a double edged sword.
I am surprised it took this long, frankly, as his status there has been weak for a couple of years. I find it highly unlikely that he would face the death penalty in the US given that Chelsea was given a short sentence and sex change operation, then was able to run for office.
I think it will be interesting to see what comes of this. He will be facing a lot of charges from a lot of different countries. There are grumbles about how Ecuador handled this coming from the UN.
Maybe we’ll finally find out who really hacked Hillary’s email server and the DNC, and who killed Seth Rich. Assange is a mixed bag of goods as the Ecuadorians found it. On the one hand he does provide a way to help get the truth into the public’s hands, and on the other he is technically breaking the law by encouraging whistleblowers to steal info, often times classified. But overall the knowing the truth is a good thing, no matter how how bad it may make individuals or agencies look.
He is now in jeopardy for what he knows of for what someone thinks he knows. His “Seth Rich” moment is closer. Mixed feelings about him…but there are too many bad secrets that need outting. I am tired of the code of silence both parties use to keep the lid on their games.
I think if you scratch a bit at it, you’ll find that just about all ‘classified’ gov information these days is only classified to spare bureaucrats and government from embarrassment. Transparency is never a bad thing.
I don’t doubt that stuff gets classified to avoid embarrassing folks who displayed incompetence or stupidity. But some stuff is classified that by all rights should be. For example – info that helps identify Iraqis who were cooperating with allied forces. Mr. A revealed that sort of things as well. Other example – forthright descriptions of foreign officials. President TR famously said the art of diplomacy is learning how to say “nice doggie” while reaching for a stick. Mr A. leaked diplo cables describing Ghadafi for one frankly. Other than poking diplomacy in the eye, no good purpose was served by leaking that the US officially thought Ghadafi was nutzoid.
But interesting enuf, the indictments sidestep Mr A.s “I’m a journalist” defense by not charging for the leaks, but instead for being active in the hacking. Reporters printed the Pentagon Papers, they didn’t burglarize them.
The timing is velly interesting.
Major distraction from Barr’s comments yesterday.
Supposedly, Assange has a trove of info ready to release upon his arrest.
Seems to me I recall some such threat. Be great if true.
Timing is interesting because it coincides with the Mueller report.
What might he have to say about the emails?
He saved us from the D’Rats and the Deep State. May the ghost of Seth Rich finally see justice and revenge.
“Resist this attempt by the Trump administration. The UK must resist.” I don’t get it… a briar patch reference?
Some people have speculated that his may be tied to a European visit by a certain x potus.
As already noted, the timing is curious.
The timing would always “be curious” to some people.
If you don’t see what is happening here you’re a fool. The deep state is back in charge. They may not have removed Trump but they’ve neutered him. We’ve had our first real coup attempt, probably successful. The Dems will keep up screeching like the bird house at the zoo, the cucks will puff and harumph like overfed pigeons and we’ll be South American country called, United States in fifty years.
I see no evidence of this…was it meant to be satire?
As in..”we’ll now finally see the collusion narrative we’ve been wet dreaming of here on the left”
Bury your head ostrich. The collision isn’t with the Russians. Trump just survived a coup attempt. It’s not over, the deep state is still firmly in charge. The corrupt FBI sank Flynn, they’ve tried for more. Assange is too dangerous. He’ll be silenced one way or another.
Correction needed by the Guardian…Manning is an “it” , not a “she”.
I still have a hard time understanding exactley what crime he committed. Bradley manning committed the crime. Assange just published it the same as any journalist. The thing is he isn’t an American citizen. There can be no treason unless he released info on Australia. (I believe he’s Australian) he’s been self exiled at a luxury resort for years avoiding prosecution for doing something legal.
I doubt it was a luxury resort. Second, he has been dumping State secrets, sensitive military installation info, ip addresses and all sorts of information that should not be shared. You really have to understand what that information is and how long Wikileaks have been doing it.
Even so, if you use journalist standards, they have a weak case against him.
The crime seems to be assisting Manning to crack a password he needed to access material on a DoD computer. That’s all US officialdom mentioned, and that may be all there is, at least as far as the US is concerned.
Actually, it is a criminal act to publicly disclose US government material which you know to be classified. Journalists get a little leeway from the 1st Amendment, but Assange and Wikileaks will have a hard time making effective use of that. The charge of assisting Manning to hack the US computer system makes Assange an active party to the crimes committed by Manning.
You realize that Hillary wanted to take him out with a Drone strike. Interesting how this happen so quickly after the Report was released. I bet the chatter on the net will expose a lot of interesting characters including some deep state types.
He might be safer now that he was before.
That caveat of ‘not releasing him to any nation where he may face the death penalty’ is bizarre. Are any nations threatening him with that?
The arrest of Assange was not unexpected. The only thing in doubt was when it would happen. Several things happened in the last two years, that made this attractive to the Ecuadorian government.
The first was the economic decline of China and the economic rise of the USA. The second was the recent attacks on the Papacy and the Vatican. And the third was the the seeming release of restraint on the actions of the Trump administration by the release of findings of no collusion and a lack of evidence of obstruction, in the Mueller report.
Wikileaks was supported, to some degree, when it was being used, mainly, to attack US interests. But, when it began attacking some of its supporters it began to lose its cover. Now that the US is back and acting like a bada**, Wikileaks and Assange are almost devoid of cover from international states.
Why not just admit that no one here knows what the motives are?
Assange has lots to trade for leniency. For one thing, he claims to have lots of Vault 7 stuff in reserve. Remember that?
But the thing I find interesting is he claims he can prove that the DNC email leaks were done by an insider.
A new running gag has been “Is there anything Trump can’t do?” since among other things, Obama never could quite get his hands on Asange…. however, I could see a timely arrival of Asange in the US with all his backup treasure trove to make a deal for a safe stay in Club Fed and make one hell of a deal with Barr with docs related to Clinton and the election. I’m sure he was getting as tired of the Embassy as they were of him.
I hope he releases enough stuff to send a bunch of these deep state bastards to the gallows. Or firing squads. I’ll volunteer with relish.
For a moment I thought they might have had Tom Hanks there. Ha. Was listening to a pentagon legal scholar on the radio and he say that they would have to expose too much intel in a court case, so he will likely walk with a plea. Will never go to court.
This is probably the best thing that could happen to him.
Did Ecuador recently receive a large IMF loan?
Assange is no hero and he’s not a victim. Wikileaks is the “good guy” when they reveal dirt about people and countries we don’t like but they do so with zero accountability for people who are actually harmed by their actions. They’ve published the names of two teen rape victims and they’ve published medical files, not of government officials but of ordinary citizens. Wikileaks isn’t practicing “journalism”, they’re merely dumping massive amount of data illegally obtained by others. Names, addresses, phone numbers and credit card numbers have been “published” by wikileaks in the name of “transparency”. Sorry, but that’s bullshit. They’re not going after government secrecy with targeted strikes, they’re sending out nukes and causing collateral damage. They have no moral high ground, they’re not much more than a fence for stolen data.
He seems to have lost his mind. When someone confined starts smearing feces on the walls, he’s gone off the edge. How obama seem so normal after 8 years of smearing feces all over the Constitution is quite unusual.
In any event, interesting reading:
“Differential Diagnosis The assessment of fecal smearing depends upon the clinical circumstances of the individual. Fecal smearing is not a typical behavior in persons with mild retardation or borderline intellect (1). Fecal smearing in this intellectual group suggests manipulative behavior, attention-seeking behavior or delirium….”
Assange and Snowden raise conflicting emotions. On the one hand, we’re better off with their disclosures than without them: we did benefit, and their motives seem pure.
On the other hand, Bradley Manning was a malignant traitor, who should have been hanged by his balls – along with obama, who pardoned the fellow traitor. It’s not too late.
IMF give 5 billion to Ecuador…timing velly interesting.