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back to article Assange bailed again

Julian Assange has been bailed again by a London magistrate ahead of a full extradition hearing next month. The WikiLeaks founder walked free from Belmarsh Magistrates' Court this morning following a brief hearing, in which only minor changes were made to his bail conditions. Assange, who is wanted by Swedish authorities over …

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Am I alone in thinking of...

.... Stieg Larssons Millennium trilogy when I hear about Swedish authorities pursuing someone who has caused embarrassment to the US.

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Happy

No, you're not alone...

There's loads of paranoid fantasists out there, just like you.

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Coat

If this is the case

Then surely we can easily establish Assange's guilt or innocence by determining what type of computer he uses and to what level of detail he likes to describe it?

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Boffin

Huh?

You're implying that there is a conspiracy when in reality there is none.

Look quite simply put, Assange is a sociopath. He probably associates himself with the main character of 'Crime and Punishment'. Assange also has a lot of baggage due to his childhood and had mommy and daddy issues. (Note: If you read any of the research on Assange you'd find out that he moved around alot due to his mother's fear of his biological father 'stalking' her/them.)

This experience along with his mother's background in theatrics had probably shaped his psyche. There's definitely more to this and I don't want to rehash his biography. The point is that Assange's personality is the type where he could be involved in both the mess in Sweden and the US.

So its not coincidence that he faces charges in Sweden and possible charges in connection with the US. (IMHO I believe he did cross the line and did break the law.) But there is no conspiracy.

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Troll

Can we have a face-palm icon please?

"I guess you should be a poster child for why Meth is bad."

You know that does nothing to strengthen your argument, right?

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FAIL

So...

"Look quite simply put, Assange is a sociopath."

Does that count as libel, or slander, I can't remember which is which...

Also, I'd suggest reading the wikipedia page on logical fallacies:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fallacy

Right there, under the third item (Irrelevant conclusion), you'll find the special case of 'argumentum ad hominem'. Read this entry, then go away and learn how to structure a logical argument.

BTW, if you think you can tell anything about the personality of an adult who you have not met by speculation surrounding their childhood circumstances, may I suggest some other discredited ideas you may be interested in, such as phrenology, anthropometry, intelligent design and phlogiston theory.

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WTF?

@ Loyal ...

My post is neither slander or libelous.

Would you care to challenge this definition of a sociopath?

sociopathic - Having the characteristics of a sociopath; Unconcerned about the adverse consequences for others of one's actions

http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/sociopathic

Based on the known actions attributed to and admitted actions taken by Assange and wikileaks, the definition fits.

Perhaps you should learn the definition of the words I use before making outlandish claims which my comments are actionable.

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(Written by Reg staff)

Re: @ Loyal ...

Half the commentards here are unconcerned as to the potential consequences of their commentarding. You don't seem that bothered yourself.

So, your point is?

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Re: Re: @ Loyal ...

You can't *state* that he's a sociopath, because you don't know. If he has never been formally diagnosed as such, well, you're out of luck.

Sociopathy is the new autism, apparently - we're all somewhere on the scale, according to the legions of highly qualified armchair psychologists, several of whom grace these threads with their presence on a daily basis.

To summarise then - hush your mouth. Thanks.

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Sociopath

The Diagnostic & Statistical Manual of mental disorders is generally regarded as "the bible" when it comes to mental disorders, to have a diagnosis of sociopath you need to have at least 3 of the following traits;

A. Repeated acts that could lead to arrest.

No (and yes) - He has always believed that the leaks are legal

B. Conning for pleasure or profit, repeated lying, or the use of aliases.

No

C. Failure to plan ahead or being impulsive.

No - The releasing of an encrypted bundle of documents as "insurance" is definitely well planned

D. Repeated assaults on others.

No

E. Reckless when it comes to their or others safety.

Yes - A matter of opinion perhaps

F. Poor work behavior or failure to honor financial obligations.

No

G. Rationalizing the pain they inflict on others.

Yes - I'm sure he does

So, if DSM is to be trusted and assuming you agree with the above then he is not a sociopath, however, lets say for arguments sake that we could stretch a couple more into "yes", well actually I probably meet at least three (and I'm sure that most "normal" people meet some).

>>So its not coincidence that he faces charges in Sweden and possible charges in connection with the US. (IMHO I believe he did cross the line and did break the law.) But there is no conspiracy.

I love you assume that anyone without a perfect home-life becomes a sociopath, not that it could make you stronger.

You do understand that a citizen of one country living in another potentially breaking the law of a third doesn't mean anything, after all you have probably broken other countries laws without even knowing (Sharia law for example).

When you say "But there is no conspiracy" you may be right, however it is interesting how there is not another single case of Sweden extraditing a foreign citizen for these charges; and look at the charges, even if he did what is alleged, it's not "rape", certainly not in the english version of the word anyway.

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...And of course

As pointed out by the lovely Moderatrix above, in order to call someone a sociopath without potentially libelling them, they would have to be recognised as such in a legal sense, i.e. pronounced to have a sociopathic disorder by a qualified psychiatrist, who had performed a psychiatric examination. AFAIK, Mr Assange has never been subject to a sectioning under the Mental Health Act and has never been assessed for any mental disorders under said act by a qualified psychiatrist, or the equivalent in any other country.

Making public pronouncements as to a persons character is a risky business...

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@Sarah

Loyal was commenting that my post was actionable as in slander or libelous.

My point is that its neither.

In my follow up, I provided a definition of a sociopath. I challenged Loyal to show me that the definition I used was incorrect.

To your point(s)...

Regardless of a psychiatrist's diagnosis, it is neither libel or slander for me to express an opinion which can be supported by facts already in the public eye. And note that its a psychiatrist's diagnosis of a mental disorder. Not a psychologist.

In one of the articles published about Assange (Vanity Fair but last year... I think) Assange admits in his own writings that he doesn't care about any potential harm he may cause by publishing the leaks. His own writing damns himself and he feels justified in taking an action which he knows can cause harm to others. (You would call his justification 'for the greater good'.)

I'd say google the Vanity Fair article, however there's now a lot of stuff on the Guardian and Vanity Fair author Sarah Ellison.

If you care to read other authors outside of El Reg, Assange's own comments damn him.

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Boffin

@No, I will not fix your computer

Its interesting in how you filled in the questions yourself.

I believe that others less biased would beg to differ with some of your responses.

I also believe you should read the Guardian article concerning the charges Assange faces in Sweden.

Its not my definition of rape or yours that counts. Its what Sweden thinks which is where he is being charged.

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FAIL

I don't understand your post at all.

Nothing I have seen says that he has actually been charged. This is still just allegations. I don't understand why he is having to post bail or have conditions limiting his movements. Now if Sweden actually charges him things would be different.

It is time for Sweden to either fish or cut bait. Either charge him and move forward with extradition proceedings or drop the issue.

Incarcerating a man who has not even been charged with a crime violates the traditions of English Law that date back to the days of the Magna Carta.

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Boffin

@Hud Dunlap

"Nothing I have seen says that he has actually been charged. This is still just allegations. I don't understand why he is having to post bail or have conditions limiting his movements. Now if Sweden actually charges him things would be different."

Since Assange left Sweden they have issued an international warrant for his arrest and extradition to Sweden so that they may question him and then depending on his responses, charge him or release him.

So since there is an international warrant for him, Assange turned himself in to the British authorities and is fighting the extradition request.

That pretty much sums up the situation.

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Boffin

@AC->@Hud

Except it's against the rules to issue an IAW without having already charged someone, and with no intention to prosecute, first.

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Anonymous Coward

Huh indeed.

I call bullshit.

Let's look at your argument in detail, shall we?

P1) Julian Assange's mother's had a weird relationship with his father;

Therefore (by P1)

C1) Julian Assange is weird because his mother's relationship with his father was weird.

P2) Weird people could be involved in bizarre sexual molestation charges where both parties had consenting sex;

P3) Weird people could be involved in stealing and then publishing online large amounts of confidential government information

Therefore (by P2 & P3)

C2) Julian Assange could be involved in bizarre sexual molestation charges where both parties had consenting sex and in stealing and then publishing online large amounts of confidential government information.

So what's wrong with the argument?

(P1) is almost certainly true it's far too general to make any specific conclusions from. Everyone's parents and their actions have effects on their personality, but a personality is a combination of genetics and environment where 'environment' is the set of things that includes, but is not limited to, "mother", "actions of mother" nor "mother's relationship with father". Freud's arguments - although they established various fields of endeavour - aren't very scientific. I urge you to avoid relying on them too heavily.

(C1) doesn't follow from P1. For one thing it doesn't establish that Julian Assange is a "bit weird", and even if he is a bit weird it doesn't establish that his mother's actions are entirely responsible for his weirdness. It also doesn't establish the kind of weirdness he's supposed to have.

(P2) and (P3) Both miss the point that although weird people could be involved in these kinds of actions /perfectly normal un-weird people could also be involved in them too/. Thus although JA could be involved because /you believe/ he's weird he could also be discounted because non-weird people could have done the same thing.

Incidentally I'm also 'older and wiser' (whatever the that's supposed to mean - I've known some really stupid old people, for instance) so please don't patronise me in that fashion: It's really quite annoying. Before you try and establish your legitimacy to argue from poor premises to an even worse conclusion please be advised I'm qualified to talk about philosophy (the topic where the science of argument is most closely discussed) so I'm quite sure I know what I'm talking about.

Please do find the /logical/ errors in the above post and let me know what they are. If - OTOH - the best you can do is draw generalised conclusions from limited evidence, including straw-man and ad-hominem arguments along the way I think the best anyone can do is to ignore you because you don't know what 'logic' is.

In the meantime here are some pages listing logical fallacies for you to read and enjoy:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_fallacies

http://www.nizkor.org/features/fallacies/

http://www.logicalfallacies.info/

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Re: Re: Re: @ Loyal ...

Well, he can since there are no musts (Ellis on 'musturbatory' cognitions will explain this perspective), or if there were I'm sure they'd be written in flames in the heavens above, along with a lot of other impenetrable religious guff.

Also, personally I dislike the sociopathy category as it's a tad PC. I prefer psychopathy (Hare has been lobbying for the APA to bring it back in for years now, so watch out for the 2013 DSM), which includes impulsive behaviour, failure to anticipate consequences of behaviour, failure to profit from experience, promiscuity (with no concern for the consequences, of course), inappropriate sexual behaviour, manipulative behaviour including continually setting people or groups up against each other (the late Kremlin 'Man of Steel' would call this 'divide and rule'), continual misrepresentation of reality, aka lying, inability to empathise with the plight of others, no insight into the consequences of their behaviour, if taught skills of empathy they are used as a weapon against others, glib speech and apparent grandiose self belief... ...not that I'm trying to diagnose by modem, and I am opposed to it, but there seems to be an absence of care for others and an absence of ability to to empathise seems strongly present in his lack of concern with the Afghan witnesses whose locations and identities seem to have been given away by the material, and this here http://news.bbc.co.uk/today/hi/today/newsid_9308000/9308216.stm seems to betray a similar lack of insight and concern with others, as well as something that might be described as grandiosity. For more on his glib 'speech' see the Guardian online session (s?).

However, and in keeping with an earlier remark of mine, I think that it is best determined on the basis of a longish assessment admission. Unfortunately these usually take no less than 3 months, and I am sure that both sides would be frustrated by such a procedure, so I recommend the legal equivalent of the commons guillotine be applied. Off with his head. ;-)

Not to be attacking you; if you look up the criteria for psychopathy, and my guess is that Robert Hare's site is the best starting place, you'll find these things and more.

The concordance here is one reason why I question revolutionaries/self appointed representatives of any sort. I prefer accountability to the imposition of will.

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Re: Sociopath

Sadly your post brings to a head all of the reasons why diagnosis by modem rarely works, if ever.

As to the profit motive, we have the planned pay wall, the memoirs, and the rather luxurious salary of some £86,000, while Bradley Manning's defence fund receives a paltry sum in comparison.

His interactions on the Guardian web chat, including his dismissive refusal to answer questions from professionals that were well phrased and pertinent betrayed what seems to be a haughtiness that is consistent with grandiosity, to say nothing of his views on bloodless martyrdom.

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Boffin

@RegisterFail

Clearly the education system has failed you.

Placing faith in a sociopath is a sign of a weak mind.

The reason I post here is because there are individuals like yourself who don't understand who or what Assange is or the damage he has done.

He's no hero.

When he posted those classified cables, where's the cover up? What material in those cables showed that the US Government had committed a crime? You do know what a crime is, right? Iran/Contra for example? I don't see how a cable outing Libya's ruler's 'nurse' is evidence of a crime. Logging observations and opinions of consulate staff is a crime?

As I discussed with another poster. There's nothing wrong with Whistle Blowing when you've got something. But there's nothing here and its apparent that your hero has a vendetta against the US Government.

Calling me an eStalker is a hoot. Clearly again you don't know the meaning of the term.

Defending the truth in light of your ignorance is enough reason to be here.

But I guess you're of the ilk mind that if enough members of the hoard say something 1+1=3, then it must be true.

As another poster pointed out... Assange is a convict. One of the many facts you seem to gloss over.

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Straw man

"Placing faith in a sociopath is a sign of a weak mind."

I think that's the one. Unless you have evidence that Assange is a sociopath of course.

Assange and his followers have IMHO been a bit childish at times and they are certainly playing the PR to the max, but unfortunately the world needs Wikileaks, cryptome etc. When one has government hires securing the services of "dancing boys" and covering it up, one has a serious problem. A mature person would, of course, censure the culprits like any other padeo; but instead our masters see no real issue with it and cover it up.

It takes something like Wikileaks to get the truth out.

Then there is undue pressure applied to democracies to implement draconian laws (e.g. USA making outrageous demands on Spain). Once again we (the public) need something like Wikileaks to get the truth out.

Assange may or may not have issues, but that does not detract from the good which has come from Wikileaks.

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Go

So whats your viewpoint on the slaying of the journalist and cameraman?

You seem to ignore the whistleblowing that does take place on wikileaks and focus purely on the cables.

After all, the whistle blowing clearly has something doesnt it?

It does appear that your issue is with Assange the individual as opposed to wikileaks as a whole and your obsession is clearly very strong. Have you considered seeking help? Given your ability to web diagnose perhaps you can google yourself and come up with a diagnosis for your own mental health problems.

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And may

the processes of english justice prevail.

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@Raskolnikov

"Assange is a sociopath. He probably associates himself with the main character of 'Crime and Punishment'"

I bet Assange has read Doestoevsky, which is obviously more than you can claim. I'm no psychologist so I'm not qualified to diagnose someone who quotes stuff they don't understand inappropriately as having a Napeolon Complex and exhibiting projection, but why not post idiotic comments anonymously in future rather than embarrassing yourself publically?

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@Danny 2

Funny, I read 'Crime and Punishment' over 25 years ago for a high school English class.

So while specific parts of the story may be fuzzy, I do grok Doestoevsky as well as Friedrich Nietzsche.

I suggest you do your homework.

Like I said, he's not the hero you claim him to be.

Just ask the reporter from the Guardian. ;-)

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Anonymous Coward

Questions for Grumby

Gumbey wrote "As another poster pointed out... Assange is a convict."

What precisely has he been convicted of? When and in which court?

Gumby also uttered "There's nothing wrong with Whistle Blowing when you've got something. But there's nothing here"

Then why are prominent people in the US calling for his execution? Why is the US DOJ intimidating Twitter to reveal 'evidence' for their phishing expedition? You can't have it both ways.

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re: Why are people in the US calling for his (Assange's) execution?

Probably because his actions are going to get people in Afghanistan who are fighting against the tyranny of the Taliban to be assassinated.

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Anonymous Coward

Errrr.....

Remember he said you should read up? Clearly that's true!

Assange was convicted of hacking offences some time ago, give it a quick Google

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Boffin

@ AC ...Hmmmm

Color me silly but wasn't Assange found guilty of hacking US Government computers while in Australia?

He was convicted, wasn't he?

Go ahead and google it.

But wait, you probably don't know how to properly google something so you never find anything.

Here's one article that may help...

http://www.thestar.com/news/world/article/899661--10-things-you-don-t-know-about-wikileaks-mystery-man-julian-assange

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Making him...

a convicted hacker.

The word convict is generally reserved to denote someone who is currently undergoing punishment for a crime in a correctional establishment. Once released, they are reeferred to as an ex-copnvict (or ex-con). The term is rarely used for someone who is serving or has served a non-custodial sentence, and to do so would be considered an archaic usage of the word.

Assange paid a fine for his hacking conviction, which occurred twenty years ago, when he was aged just nineteen. To refer to Assange as a convict would be akin to calling people who have received parking fines convicts.

I won't defend Assange's actions as a teenager, but if you tell me that you never did anything foolish and of dubious legality when you were that age, then forgive me for not believing you.

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Anonymous Coward

Errr no....

Parking is a civil issue (it was once a criminal issue though). Civil proceedings do not convict, they find liable so it's not even close.

Assange was convicted, therefore he is a convict. It doesn't matter what the common parlance is, he _is_ a convict.

I would, however, agree with you if you argued that it's totally irrelevant to the current case.

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FAIL

Errr ... AC one other thing...

The politco who was calling for Assange's execution was in fact a conservative Canadian politician. You do know that Canada was a part of the Commonwealth which is just north of the US border right?

Granted there are some politicians who do believe that they should call Wikileaks a terrorist organization. IMHO that would be a stretch, although I'd like to see what the USDOJ comes up with when they end their investigation.

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Boffin

My Bad...

I said Vanity Fair.

While there are a lot of good articles, the one I thought to be an interesting read was this one...

http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2010/06/07/100607fa_fact_khatchadourian

If you want something recent...

http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/greenslade/2011/jan/06/wikileaks-julian-assange

Just some references...

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FAIL

if you really gave a toss about that

maybe you woudnt have armed and trained them in the fisrt place

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Thumb Down

Could we please put that canard to rest?

Even Mr. Gates is admitting this to be untrue - so perhaps you might refrain from repeating it.

I do have to admit that he claimed a victim in Germany: an american hireling who betrayed confidential conversations to his handlers had his political career terminated.

Won't be for long, though.

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Boffin

@IMG

I don't know if they have the same concept in the US, or Australia, but under UK Law we have the concept of a "spent conviction":

From wikipedia: "The Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 of the UK Parliament enables some criminal convictions to be ignored after a rehabilitation period. Its purpose is that people do not have a lifelong blot on their records because of a relatively minor offence in their past. The rehabilitation period is automatically determined by the sentence, and starts from the date of the conviction. After this period, if there has been no further conviction the conviction is "spent" and, with certain exceptions, need not be disclosed by the ex-offender in any context such as when applying for a job, obtaining insurance, or in civil proceedings.

For adults, the rehabilitation period is 5 years for most non-custodial sentences, 7 years for prison sentences of up to 6 months, and 10 years for prison sentences of between 6 months and 2½ years. For a young offender (under 18) the rehabilitation period is generally half that for adults. Prison sentences of more than 2½ years can never be spent."

Was it 20 years ago that Assange was convicted of hacking? Non-custodial sentence was it?

My personal feeling is that you should get over it and stop hounding him.

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FAIL

Re: Questions for Grumby

"What precisely has he been convicted of? When and in which court?"

Convicted in or around 1991 for;

1) stealing passwords from US Air force 7th Command Group in the Pentagon;

2) for hacking computers at two universities;

3) hacking computers at two telecommunications companies;

4) hacking computers to monitor the Australian Federal Police investigation into *his* criminal activities.

After sentencing he said to the judge "Your honour, I feel a great misjustice [sic] has been done and I would like to record the fact that you have been misled by the prosecution". (This misspelling caused me to experience déjà vu, as Mike Tyson said he'd been done a 'misjustice'...)

http://www.theage.com.au/national/for-lonely-teenager-assange-a-computer-was-his-only-friend-20110114-19rcq.html

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Anonymous Coward

All in good time

I suspect what goes around will come around and Mr. Assange will turn to dust much sooner than he planned.

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Anonymous Coward

People change...

...true, fact, so why can't Jemima? Besides "social climber" is hardly a big insult, not compared to what you can now legally call Zak Goldsmith:

* http://www.electoralcommission.org.uk/news-and-media/news-releases/electoral-commission-media-centre/news-releases-donations/commission-concludes-review-into-zac-goldsmiths-election-spending

Anyhow, it might be best to keep a check-list running with these reports so we can tell if anything has changed with this bail hearing, e.g., any actual charges named, evidence present, any sign that Swedish authorities will stop thinking that clicking the fingers and shouting "Now!" is proper due process?

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alleged allegations ?

> Assange, who is wanted by Swedish authorities over sex crime allegations, which he denies ..

"No charges have been filed against Assange in Sweden relating to the claims of sexual misconduct, which include an allegation of rape by one of the two women. Nor does he face any charges -- yet -- in the United States or anywhere else relating to his organization's publication of thousands of leaked U.S. diplomatic cables"

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503543_162-20026260-503543.html

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So who are you going to believe?

The British courts that are processing the extradition request Sweden has brought against him (which although I am not even an American lawyer believe necessitate legal charges or they get thrown out on their face), or CBS disinformation?

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Happy

Believe the facts ...

The British courts would be a good place to start - and in this case they agree with CBS:

Julian Assange is not charged with anything here in Sweden. Not yet. The prosecutor wants to hear his side of the story. According to some reports he agreed to come to a hearing, then ignored it; according to some the prosecutor simply didn't call him in before he had already left.

Regardless: the extradition is basically "because we want to talk to him". Depending on the story he gives during that talk, he'll either be charged or not.

References to the case can be found on Swedish government websites, often in English. If not, Swedish isn't a hard language to learn .... in the name of fact checking.

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Pint

Runnind Scared

This planet is on the cusp of major change and believe it or not Julian Assange and his merry band are part of this change. There are too many extremely wealthy and extremely powerful people around who want to squash anything that stands in their way. It is time it all stopped and soon. I for one think Julian Assange with all of his idiosyncracies is a beacon of hope that one day we might find out the real truth and believe me it is going to hurt when we do.

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@Marco

>>"There are too many extremely wealthy and extremely powerful people around who want to squash anything that stands in their way. "

Any Grand Conspiracy (at least, any that wasn't imaginary) could have identified Assange as a Big Threat years ago, and done something about him much earlier.

It's not exactly as if he's weakness-free.

So far, despite all the hype, Wikileaks doesn't seem to have released anything that's done more than cause a slight rise in the average person's cynicism, which is arguably no great threat to a Grand Conspiracy.

If cynicism were a big threat, it'd be strange that the media has been allowed to get away with helping create it for decades.

Sure, it's got a few kids wound up and feeling newly enlightened by making them realise a year or two early that the Real World wasn't actually made by Disney, and pre-existing anarchists and conspiracy theorists have a different thing they can whine about, but apart from that, what has actually changed?

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Pint

What has changed

On the cusp of change I said. The floods have started, the earthquakes too, the dead birds dropping from the skies, the masses of fish found floating in the rivers, the strange phenomena seen in the skies, the riots around the planet, the instability of world economies.... and the list goes on. I suggest you take up remote viewing it will scare the living **** out of you and you might learn something. I for one will be hear in twenty years time but I fear you will not. You have another life after this one so don't beat yourself up about it.

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Alien

@Marco

Nice try, Marco, but for a proper wind up, you could try giving a list of things at least one of which is actually remotely new, or at least quite categorically hatstand-crazy rather than rationally explicable.

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Black Helicopters

crikey

that's some serious tinfoil hattery you've got going on there.

Black Helicopters 'cos ya'know, they're all out to get you and stuff...

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