back to article Uncle Sam charges Julian Assange with conspiracy to commit computer intrusion

One-time Aussie cupboard-dweller Julian Assange has been charged with conspiracy to commit computer intrusion by the US government. Shortly after his arrest in London today – which followed the Ecuadorian embassy handing him over to British police – a US indictment dated March 2018 was unsealed. It charges Assange for his …

  1. alain williams Silver badge

    Is this the best that the USA can come up with ?

    We all know that the USA wants to lock Assange up for as long as possible to frighten anyone else who is thinking if lifting the lid on unsavory actions done by (or on behalf of) the USA. This is all about punishing the messenger, not the guilty.

    If they do get their hands on him: he will not get a fair trial - so the UK should refuse to extradite him.

    It will be interesting to see how supine our politicians are ... yes, yes, I know that the judges will supposedly make the decisions, but it is likely that they will be heavily leaned on. I wonder what the deal will be ? Give them Assange and we won't need to take chlorinated chicken in a post Brexit trade deal ?

    BTW: have any of those troops shown shooting up innocent people yet been put on trial ?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Is this the best that the USA can come up with ?

      Give them Assange and we won't need to take chlorinated chicken in a post Brexit trade deal ?

      I agree with your sentiments regarding Assange, but this little Project Fear sound bite cannot go unchallenged. Ready-to-eat bagged salad goes through precisely the same chlorination treatment and it is deemed perfectly safe to consume under EU/UK regulations.

      1. Steve Kerr

        Re: Is this the best that the USA can come up with ?

        There's a difference, the issue with American chicken it that the chlorine wash at the end of production line is to get over the poor hygiene standards earlier in the production line, for example, the abbatoirs and at source.

      2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Is this the best that the USA can come up with ?

        The biological features of lettuce and chicken are very different. There are plenty of internal places for bacteria to hide in a chicken after it's been externally washed. If it needs to be washed externally it's a good indicator that the interior might have problems.

      3. David Webb

        Re: Is this the best that the USA can come up with ?

        As stated above, the reason it's banned in the EU isn't because the practice itself is bad, it's because it may be used as a precursor to a lowering of hygiene standards further back along the line. Why have super effective hygiene methods when at the end you're going to wash the birdie in a swimming pool.

        Because we don't wash the chickens like this, we need to ensure that proper standards are kept through the entire food chain, not just at the end, the BBC did show some statistics on food poisoning and you're much more likely to suffer it in the US than in the UK.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Is this the best that the USA can come up with ?

          Because we don't wash the chickens like this, we need to ensure that proper standards are kept through the entire food chain, not just at the end, the BBC did show some statistics on food poisoning and you're much more likely to suffer it in the US than in the UK.

          Well if it was on the BBC, official mouth piece of Project Fear, then it must be true!

          It's also kind of strange, considering the EU's own analysis of US food safety standards, commissioned during the US-EU TTIP negotiations reached this conclusion:

          Does the US have higher rates of food-borne illnesses (food poisoning) than the EU? Not according to figures put together by Jennifer McEntire of the Acheson Group, which is a food risk consulting group, based on data from EFSA in the EU and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the US for 2012.

          There are, of course, numerous problems in comparing data from two jurisdictions collected under very different circumstances, which are discussed in detail in this follow-up post by Jennifer McEntire. Nonetheless, there is no clear evidence from these data that the EU food safety system is far and away superior to the US one.

          http://capreform.eu/food-safety-in-the-us-eu-ttip-negotiations/

          Of course, every sensible person and his elite globalist backer knows that Brexit is bad/terrible/cataclysmic/<insert negative adjective here> so those conclusions have now conveniently been turned on their head!

          1. David Webb

            Re: Is this the best that the USA can come up with ?

            I'll point you to :

            https://www.sustainweb.org/news/feb18_US_foodpoisoning/

            Lists figures from the cdc and fda etc. to show that if you want to die, eat American food. There we no recorded deaths from Salmonella (that thing that chickens have) in the UK from 06-15, around 360 a year in the US. As for which is superior, uhh, you can draw your own conclusions there.

            1. Ben Tasker Silver badge

              Re: Is this the best that the USA can come up with ?

              To be fair, the increased death rate might be the result of reduced access to health care, septics having to pay and all that.

              Luckily, they wouldn't be planning on getting their mitts on our healthcare provision too would the.... oh.

              1. ds6 Bronze badge

                Re: Is this the best that the USA can come up with ?

                There is a preconcieved notion in the US to not go to the doctor, even if you're sick, due to how prohibitively expensive it and time-consuming it is. Even with insurance, not that many have that after the shitshow launch of the otherwise-good-idea ACA.

            2. Aodhhan Bronze badge

              Re: Is this the best that the USA can come up with ?

              It's amazing. Something comes out, and it appears the educational system in the UK is below standard.

              First, you can't compare numbers at a 1:1 ratio between the UK and the USA because of the population difference. Second, just saying something doesn't make it true--also, because someone you trust says something doesn't make it true.

              If you do some actual fact checking yourself (with CDC and NIAID), you will see per capita--the UK has a far greater problem with salmonella than the USA.

              Also, the overwhelming majority of Salmonella poisoning isn't due to poor processing of the food--but rather with not properly cooking food.

              No matter how much or what methods are used to clean poultry (for example), Salmonella still survives. For those with no common sense, salmonella doesn't just live on the surface or skin. Believe it or not, salmonella does live within the tissue/muscle.

              But what's even more ridiculous, is how poultry processing is brought up when talking about a pedophile, liar, feces smearing, thief. Heh, maybe not!

          2. Bernard M. Orwell Silver badge
            Facepalm

            Re: Is this the best that the USA can come up with ?

            9 out of 10 UK economists state that Brexit is economic disaster waiting to happen.

            [Sample Link, there are many.. https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/eu-referendum-nine-out-of-ten-economists-say-brexit-will-damage-economy-a6898886.html]

            Are you seriously suggesting that all of them are wrong or engaged in your fantasy "Project Fear" like its some sort of organised conspiracy?

            Whats your angle on climate change?

            1. Maverick
              Thumb Down

              Re: Is this the best that the USA can come up with ?

              "The only function of economic forecasting is to make astrology look respectable"

              John Kenneth Galbraith

              1. Archtech Silver badge

                Re: Is this the best that the USA can come up with ?

                "There are two kinds of forecasters: those who don't know and those who don't know they don't know".

                - John Kenneth Galbraith

          3. werdsmith Silver badge

            Re: Is this the best that the USA can come up with ?

            Well if it was on the BBC, official mouth piece of Project Fear, then it must be true!

            Yes, BBC official operators of the Air Loom device!!

            Let it be remembered that project fear is more a Leave campaign device than a remain one. Anyway, that's not what this is about.

          4. MGJ

            Re: Is this the best that the USA can come up with ?

            You've clearly never eaten food in the US; tasteless tomatoes etc. Its no wonder so much salt and sugar gets added to it. Relatives who live there dont eat whole swathes of produce because of how it (doesnt) taste and how safe it is to eat. The US is obsessed with removing 'red tape' so preventative legislation/supervision is repealed but consumers are not stupid once they have the facts. That's why Boeings are falling out of the sky, and Airbus are selling to United Airlines.

          5. Spanners Silver badge
            Flame

            Re: Is this the best that the USA can come up with ?

            BBC, official mouth piece of Project Fear

            The BBC gave huge unfair help to the Brexit campaign,

            How? By famously excessive appearances of Nigel Farage on Question Time for a start. They reported everything coming out od UKIP and the like as if it made sense and was more accurate than information coming from those who actually knew about economics etc.

            "Project Fear" was a brilliant misinformation campaign from the Brexiteers. As the newspapers were often owned by private individuals with a lot of money to be made in the destruction of the UK economy, it is understandable that the Sun, Mirror and Daily Wail had one unalterable viewpoint. The BBC does not have the same excuse. What was it playing at in supporting the xenophobes?

        2. Version 1.0 Silver badge

          Re: Is this the best that the USA can come up with ?

          And what are the chickens eating? Lovely Roundup flavoured beans ... Mmmm, let's have more of those.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Is this the best that the USA can come up with ?

            I love the smell of Roundup in the morning. Smells like... Victory!

            1. Archtech Silver badge

              Re: Is this the best that the USA can come up with ?

              "I love the smell of Roundup in the morning. Smells like... PROFIT!"

              FTFY.

              And a handy gas mask protects you from the smell of all the dead bodies it has created.

        3. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

          Re: Is this the best that the USA can come up with ?

          But, being the BBC they selected the UK rather than the whole EU for comparison knowing that our statistics would make the US look bad.

          When you compare the whole of the EU with the whole of the UK, you get pretty much identical figures.

          1. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge
            Facepalm

            Re: Is this the best that the USA can come up with ?

            Downvoted for stating facts.

      4. Mage Silver badge
        Alert

        Re: Is this the best that the USA can come up with ?

        Bagged ready-to-eat salad is easily avoided even if you are a Vegan or vegetarian. It's nasty, not as fresh, higher risk as well as expensive compared to regular salad vegetables. In countries with chlorinated chicken the alternative chicken is more expensive and harder to find. USA also has a much poorer track record over animal conditions and food safety.

        1. Marketing Hack Silver badge

          Re: Is this the best that the USA can come up with ?

          How did this thread go from Julian Assange to chorine-washed chicken?

          However, if we are going to go this route, when was the last time you heard of horsemeat being introduced into the U.S. beef supply? Let's not get too holier-than-thou on the subject of food safety.

          1. Paul Herber

            Re: Is this the best that the USA can come up with ?

            If Julian Assange is going to be hung out to dry then he might as well be subjected to a good chlorine wash first.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Is this the best that the USA can come up with ?

            What wrong with horse meat? Horse is a perfectly fine meat. Just because you think horse is just a pet, so shouldn't be eaten doesn't make it so.

            1. big_D Silver badge

              Re: Is this the best that the USA can come up with ?

              The problem is that non-food horses aren't controlled for meds and get more pumped into them, because they aren't supposed to be consumed. That was the scandal at the time.

              And, having worked in the food industry for around a decade, before and after the scandal, the tightening of controls and the traceability of the supply chain has been beefed up, if you'll excuse the pun, in Europe and, in Germany for example, you can use various apps to scan the QR code on the meat or meat product you are buying and see where the products came from, all the way back to which farm (or farms for mixed products, like sausage or mince).

              In Germany, the data about each animal and the "batch" it was processed in has to be stored in unalterable form and the metadata passed down the line. For EU sourced products, it has become a lot harder (although probably not impossible) to slip unauthorized meat into the supply chain.

              1. werdsmith Silver badge

                Re: Is this the best that the USA can come up with ?

                The problem is that non-food horses aren't controlled for meds and get more pumped into them, because they aren't supposed to be consumed. That was the scandal at the time.

                ----

                No, the knackers won't allow the cheap recycling deal for horses if they have been on medication. Not even for pet food. If your pony's late life was eased with bute then the best it's going to get is to be used for medical or farrier training.

                The difference is that the problem here with the wrong meat types getting into the supply chain was that we got really annoyed about it, people were penalised and it was stamped out. Unlike disinfecting chicken meat, which we are told is OK and like it or lump it.

                1. big_D Silver badge

                  Re: Is this the best that the USA can come up with ?

                  The knackers in Eastern Europe, where the meat was coming from, weren't particularly bothered and lax controls at some meat handlers (or those willingly taking on the meat) led to the problem.

                  What knackers do in more controlled countries is another matter.

              2. tiggity Silver badge

                Re: Is this the best that the USA can come up with ?

                Food chain supply never a meaty issue for me. Local butcher knew which local farm was source of what I buy, long before tracebaility was made more rigorous. Obviously thats totally different from supermarket massive scale .. if you eat meat I would suggest support your local butcher instead of getting supermarket meat, if your butcher is good you will taste the difference in the meat compared to Tesco or wherever.

                I eat meat occasionally (like it too much to go totally veggie, now a rare treat) , and so when I do have some I like it to be low food miles & know its been well treated (in some cases it's an animal I will potentially have seen walking the local footpaths in local framland)

                1. big_D Silver badge

                  Re: Is this the best that the USA can come up with ?

                  Unfortunately, the local butcher isn't very good. The fresh meat (mostly regional) at the butchery counter in the supermarket is much better...

            2. Bert 1
              Thumb Up

              Re: Is this the best that the USA can come up with ?

              There is NOTHING wrong with horsemeat. I bought some during the "scandal" so that I could knowingly try it.

              There is a problem with fraudulently selling it as more expensive meat, and not sourcing it from hygienic sources.

              In a nutshell, if I'm going to eat horse, it should be my choice, and I should pay horsemeat prices.

              1. Wilseus

                Re: Is this the best that the USA can come up with ?

                "There is a problem with fraudulently selling it as more expensive meat, and not sourcing it from hygienic sources.

                In a nutshell, if I'm going to eat horse, it should be my choice, and I should pay horsemeat prices."

                I'd say the really bad part of it wasn't the fact it was horse meat, but the fact that is wasn't what it said on the packaging and therefore could have been absolutely anything.

          3. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Is this the best that the USA can come up with ?

            >However, if we are going to go this route, when was the last time you heard of horsemeat being introduced into the U.S. beef supply?

            It wasn't done legally, though.

          4. strum Silver badge

            Re: Is this the best that the USA can come up with ?

            >when was the last time you heard of horsemeat being introduced into the U.S. beef supply

            When was the last time anyone checked?

      5. Jemma Silver badge

        Re: Is this the best that the USA can come up with ?

        Shouldn't that be "Project Reich" herr kamerad?

      6. macjules Silver badge

        Re: Is this the best that the USA can come up with ?

        Enough!

        This entire thread has been hijacked to detract attention away from the REAL issue: what did the police do with Mr Assange’s poor cat?

        I do hope that the Ecuadoreans are not enjoying a chlorinated cat paella tonight.

        1. Wenlocke

          Re: Is this the best that the USA can come up with ?

          I'm seeing noise that Assange's cat was rehomed some time ago (presumably to a shelter initially)

          1. Wandering Reader

            Re: Is this the best that the USA can come up with ?

            Cat rehomed? Where?

            Everyone is after the USB stick on its collar now.

        2. MGJ

          Re: Is this the best that the USA can come up with ?

          So was it a fiesta cat; who grabbed the carrots and onions (obscure Gilbert Shelton reference)

          1. OnlyMortal

            Re: Is this the best that the USA can come up with ?

            Very obsure. The only Gilbert I know was an alien on tv...

          2. Santa from Exeter

            Re: Is this the best that the USA can come up with ? @MGJ

            So that's why the Ecuadorans were objecting to the cat. It kept shitting in their headphones. (Another FFC reference.)

      7. Wilseus

        Re: Is this the best that the USA can come up with ?

        "I agree with your sentiments regarding Assange, but this little Project Fear sound bite cannot go unchallenged. Ready-to-eat bagged salad goes through precisely the same chlorination treatment and it is deemed perfectly safe to consume under EU/UK regulations."

        That whole argument is completely moot anyway. If we stay a member of the EU we will be subject to TTIP, which if you don't already know is a trade agreement between the EU and US which will have serious implications for food safety, the NHS and many other things.

        Here's what the not-exactly-eurosceptic Independent has to say about that.

        1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

          Re: Is this the best that the USA can come up with ?

          TTIP is dead. At the last US election both Trump and Clinton came out against it. And from the troubles getting the Canada EU deal through - the Europeans weren't that optimistic either.

          1. Wilseus

            Re: Is this the best that the USA can come up with ?

            "TTIP is dead. At the last US election both Trump and Clinton came out against it. And from the troubles getting the Canada EU deal through - the Europeans weren't that optimistic either.

            Yes, if you want to split hairs. But it's very much still on the table in all but name, whatever you want to call it, ever since Trump and the EU resumed talks last summer.

      8. Alan Brown Silver badge

        Re: Is this the best that the USA can come up with ?

        As others have pointed out: A chicken is not a salad.

        For a graphic illustration of this, look at food poisoning rates in the US associated with chicken contaminated at source vs Europe. (Hint: the rate in the US is 10-100 times higher than the European one)

        US chicken farming _and_ slaughterhouse hygiene standards are revoltingly low with fecal matter being a common contaminant on the meat. The "chlorine wash" is supposedly to deal with that but the reality is that it's not strong enough to kill salmonella (common in US flocks) and mostly serves to simply spread any bacteria which remain.

        It was food poisoning incidents that led to it being banned by Germany (and across Europe) in 1963 but the USA has always made it out to be an economic blockade and used the ban as an excuse to impose import taxes on vans and pickups (The chicken tax - aimed mostly at the VW T2), which in turn led to pickups being wildly profitable for US automakers, which in turn led to US car market being uncompetitive and pickups/vans being heavily promoted - which leads us to the current market where pickups are one of the largest market segments.

        It's arguable that the Chicken Tax was a major factor in the decline and destruction of the US car industry based around Detroit.

    2. Ben Tasker Silver badge

      Re: Is this the best that the USA can come up with ?

      > We all know that the USA wants to lock Assange up for as long as possible to frighten anyone else who is thinking if lifting the lid on unsavory actions done by (or on behalf of) the USA.

      Yes, that's why they've alleged he's committed an offence with a maximum term of 5 years... to send a message and scare people off.

      I don't doubt that the peculiar US brand of justice could find a way to extend that, but opening with a 5 year threat is hardly message sending.

      1. Snowy

        Re: Is this the best that the USA can come up with ?

        I am sure a few more offences can be added on when they get him over there.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Is this the best that the USA can come up with ?

          There are other charges that will be pressed once he is in the USA or Sweden. I guess someone got smart and understood that the UK won't extradite if he faces execution in the US so they brought out this 5 year charge. The other charges I know he will face are under the 18 USC section where the penalty ranges from 18 years to death. How do I know this? My name is on the witness statement.

          1. 404 Silver badge

            Re: Is this the best that the USA can come up with ?

            If they didn't execute Manning, it's highly unlikely Assange will face it - too many political repercussions imo.

          2. macjules Silver badge

            Re: Is this the best that the USA can come up with ?

            Riiiight. Let's extradite someone, guarantee that they won't face the death penalty and then kill them anyway.

            You wouldn't get any country on the planet to extradite someone to the USA again if that happened.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Is this the best that the USA can come up with ?

              See "Red Wedding" - Game of thrones. Walder Frey never recovered after that.

        2. jfm

          Re: Is this the best that the USA can come up with ?

          No. Google "doctrine of speciality" (or specialty for leftpondians). Extradition in international treaties prohibits adding any charges beyond those in the application for extradition.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Is this the best that the USA can come up with ?

        Ben Tasker,

        "I don't doubt that the peculiar US brand of justice could find a way to extend that, but opening with a 5 year threat is hardly message sending."

        We all know that the 'reasonable' 5 year threat is to ensure that there is no reasoned objection to extraditing JA to the US of A.

        Once there, there is a 2nd file containing the charges that will put him away for 150 years at least.

        Just to make sure, if he completes that (???) the US will send him to Sweden to complete whatever charges are outstanding etc :)

        1. Blazde

          Re: Is this the best that the USA can come up with ?

          "We all know that the 'reasonable' 5 year threat is to ensure that there is no reasoned objection to extraditing JA to the US of A."

          This. There's exclusion for political offences in the US-UK extradition treaty, and it needs to pass dual criminality test for a crime with at least 1 year sentence. This charge seems to just minimally check all the boxes even though it looks flimsy as hell. I imagine Assange's defence team will still try to argue it's political.

          A bloke on the radio said they can't just add more charges after extradition is secured, but I can't find any reason why not other than it might create a diplomatic incident in some circumstances. Surely not these circumstances given the lengths the UK government has gone to to get him on behalf of the US - apparently not even bothering to tell Sweden where he faces the greater crime on paper.

          That said, it'd be quite humorous if after:

          7 years holed up in an embassy

          12 months in British prison for skipping bail

          5 more years fighting extradition

          3 years on trial in the US

          .. he just got a 1 year suspended sentence for failing to crack a password hash and was free to go.

          1. Alan Brown Silver badge

            Re: Is this the best that the USA can come up with ?

            "12 months in British prison for skipping bail"

            Skipping bail (first offence) and the nature of the charges means that he _CAN'T_ get 12 months (that's the maximum. The usual punishment for habitual offenders is a slap on the wrist and a telling off by the judge.

            As long as the Swedes have first dibs on him the USA can't extradite him.

            If they don't resume proceedings then the americans can have a go.

            it'd be ironic if he got 48 hours in the clink for the bail skipping after 7 years in a broom closet, only to get hauled back in for the USA charges - and as a proven flight risk he won't be bailed again.

        2. jmch Silver badge

          Re: Is this the best that the USA can come up with ?

          I'm not exactly up to speed with the finer details of extradition law, but surely if Sweden decides to reopen the rape case against Assange, it would have priority over the US claim, rape being a far more serious charge

          1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

            Re: Is this the best that the USA can come up with ?

            I don't know how that works, given I don't remember ever reading about two countries competing for a suspect.

            The USA may get him, as they got their request in first this time. And presumably the Swedish having withdrawn their last attempt, have to resubmit it?

            On the other hand, the Swedish legal stuff is done, it's a European Arrest warrant, so technically should just be enforced - there's no right of appeal if it meets the criteria. Julian's last legal marathon went to the High Court because it was a precedent setting case, nobody having yet tested the new EAW system in court. Now it's old hat, but of course he's been in hiding for seven years... So we could pop him over to Sweden while paperwork for the US one was still going on, and Assange could be lent to Sweden by the UK - to be returned to our custody for whatever sentence he gets for bail jumping - after their process is finished. Or he could be serving his UK sentence while in Sweden?

            Then the septics can have him after that? Also Sweden are on the clock for statute of limitations, which the US aren't.

            1. Blazde

              Re: Is this the best that the USA can come up with ?

              The US-UK extradition treaty does contain provision for competing requests from several countries (Article 15). It simply says it's up to the UK, in this case, which takes precedence after taking in to account all the factors.

              Complicating factors with the EAW are Brexit obviously, and the fact he's presumably not classed as a British resident which might preclude him being returned to UK custody after visiting Sweden.

          2. Archtech Silver badge

            Re: Is this the best that the USA can come up with ?

            Destroying the whole of Sweden and annihilating its entire population would be a far less serious crime than annoying the US government.

            As far as the US government is concerned.

            Which actually brings us back to the reason they are after Assange. Because he revealed to the world their despicable crimes of unprovoked aggressive war (the supreme international crime) and callous mass murder of civilians.

      3. Jens Goerke
        Black Helicopters

        Re: Is this the best that the USA can come up with ?

        I'm guessing they'll discover that it's a maximum of 5 years per document.

    3. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: Is this the best that the USA can come up with ?

      Once the UK is done with him (probably including jail time), he's also looking at next facing the Swedish rape charges. The US is a little bit lower on the food chain in this.

      1. Blazde

        Re: Is this the best that the USA can come up with ?

        Apparently there's a statute of limitation for those charges that only gives them until 2020 so they'd need to somehow get priority over the already lodged US extradition request, and get it done fast.

      2. Archtech Silver badge

        Re: Is this the best that the USA can come up with ?

        There are no "Swedish rape charges" - and there never have been. Just a lot of hot air.

    4. DrXym Silver badge

      Re: Is this the best that the USA can come up with ?

      Even if were all the US could get him on, wouldn't it be funny that Assange has been hiding in a broom cupboard for 7 years to just to avoid a 12 month sentence.

      But I'd suggest it's just a placeholder and more charges will be forthcoming. In fact I think it was his behaviour during the 2016 elections and his attempts to subvert the election that probably drew the spotlight on him and assured his extradition.

    5. mintus55

      Re: Is this the best that the USA can come up with ?

      I think the deal must be - give us Assange and we won't follow up on how the British security services wrote the Steele dossier

  2. Alister Silver badge

    So are the US going to have to wait whilst Assange sits in a UK prison for 6 months, or will they whisk him off as soon as they can?

    1. This post has been deleted by a moderator

      1. Autonomous Cowherds

        The inevitable rape joke.

        Why do people find prison rape culture funny? What is wrong with you?

        1. Suricou Raven

          Re: The inevitable rape joke.

          Because one way in which people prove their moral superiority - to themselves as much to other people - is to cheer on the suffering of those they judge deserving. 'Justice' is often just code for 'acceptable target sadism.'

    2. David Webb

      Not sure, his original arrest was due to a request by Sweden, so wouldn't their extradition order come before the American one? Assuming the Swedish still want him.

      1. Spanners Silver badge
        Black Helicopters

        They don't

        The people, apparently, persuaded to make a complaint have retracted.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: They don't

          That would be irrelevant - the complaint turned criminal the moment Assange refused to have himself tested, and prosecution was then no longer up to the girls, it was the state.

          I find it amusing to see people bandy around this "it was dropped" argument in a similar fashion to Trump stating that the Mueller report "exonerated" him - both seek to bury the actual facts under a mountain of bullshit.

          The fun part wil be when Assange gets shipped to the US of A, gets his due conviction and jail term there, and then Trump's term ends because he needed to obvious a vote rigging to survive and all the investigations that could not happen because he was President hit at once.

          Him and Assange may end up being cellmates :)

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: They don't

            Have to wait, but my bet would be that the Mueller report does indeed find that there was no conspiracy to collude with Russians to influence the 2016 election, and no obstruction of justice. And before you get all semantic, the report cannot prove there was no such "collusion", (proving a negative and all that) it will find that they could find no evidence of same.

            And I'm also prepared to bet that there will be more than a few indictments laid upon those who did conspire to seditiously undermine a duly elected POTUS. If "collusion" is indeed a crime then we know that Christopher Steele (if one can believe the dossier) paid Russian intelligence assets for information on Trump and Trump associates, and Steele was paid via cut outs by the Clinton campaign and other Democrat sources. That's all public knowledge. Of course the dossier could in fact be pure bullshit invention - actually sourced from people such as Sidney Blumenthal and Cody Shearer and passed on to Steele to launder - but I'm not sure that is an improvement. You may be in for some bitter disappointments as Brennan, Clapper, Yates, Comey, McCabe, Powers, Lynch and others all end up in the same pen.

            Oh, and Trump will almost certainly be re-elected - and the Democrats need vote rigging and more to win.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: They don't

              You're off your meds again? Ah yes, they ARE expensive under Trump's approach to healthcare, sorry about that.

              1. MachDiamond Silver badge

                Re: They don't

                "Ah yes, they ARE expensive under Trump's approach to healthcare, sorry about that."

                The US hasn't done "health CARE". The government mandated health INSURANCE which was a complete farce and for many lost them access to proper care.

                I'm hopeful that one of Trumps statements to remove barriers for professional groups being able to band together across state lines to buy insurance will come to pass. There are lots of silly things like that preventing people in smaller industries from being able to collective bargain for good prices on health insurance. For somebody like me, the price of insurance coupled with the high deductibles would mean having to spend $14,000/year before insurance started to kick cover things in a meaningful way. We had that before and called it catastrophic insurance, but it cost much less.

            2. Charlie Clark Silver badge

              Re: They don't

              and no obstruction of justice

              Nope, Barr's summary contained Mueller's statement that obsruction couldn't be ruled out.

              There may not be any more federal investigations but Trump may need to be more worried about what the State of New York finds, because he's got no leverage.

              Oh, and those tax returns. We can all see that Mnuchin's refusal to allow their release is to setup another conspiracy claim, but they will have be to released.

        2. Archtech Silver badge

          Re: They don't

          Neither of the two women concerned "made a complaint". They merely asked police if it was possible to force Assange to take an HIV test.

          The prosecutors took it from there - although they never had any evidence, and so could not bring charges.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      he'll be extradited very soon

      Well, as soon as the right paperwork is filed in accordance with the US-UK treaty.

      May and co in Westminster have enough on their hands at the moment without J-A getting in the way.

      We'll have to give him up or Trump will put a 100% levy on Scotch. Like a spoilt child throwing his toys out of the pram

    4. DrXym Silver badge

      All good things to those who wait.

  3. ITS Retired

    If our governments were not so corrupt and the leaks so embarrassing in proof of this corruption, Julian Assange and Chelsea Manning would never have had any problems being free to do whatever.

    1. werdsmith Silver badge

      If the leaks were illegal then the guy broke the law. Instead of using the blunt object approach of breaking the law, the guys could have campaigned against that particular law without breaking it.

      Probably less money to be made from the latter though.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        But that winds up in a circular situation.

        "We're doing these illegal things"

        "Prove it"

        "We can't because doing so is illegal"

        "Fine, if you can't prove it, we aren't doing anything illegal."

        "We hacked your system and got these documents showing you're doing illegal stuff."

        "THIS GUY ILLEGALLY HACKED US, HE'S EVIL. IGNORE THOSE DOCUMENTS AND FOCUS ON HIM!"

        1. werdsmith Silver badge

          He knew as much as the rest of us that uncle Sam is a fat bully that throws his weight around. He knew he was taking a risk.

      2. Alan Brown Silver badge

        I seem to recall black people not sitting at the back of the bus was illegal in various parts of the USA at one point too.

        And then there's the Pentagon Papers, etc....

        Apartheid was legal. Nazi concentration/death camps were legal. Stalin's death camps were legal.

        Laws are made by the people in control, not all of them of them have anything to do with common sense and some have a lot to do with allowing those in power to STAY in power by any means possible.

  4. Halfmad

    Good

    Honestly I've little sympathy for him despite respecting his initial intentions.

    He ran from the law, having knowingly broken it. He expects to be treated differently from the rest of us when he shouldn't be.

    I personally hope they don't extradite him if he still holds UK citizenship, let him be tried and imprisoned here. Otherwise off he goes to the USA, Australia or Sweden, whoever wants to have him just like any other citizen.

    He probably regrets not being imprisoned earlier when Obama would likely have found a reason to pardon him, which may well happen post Trump anyway. However the bottom line is that he likely has broken the law and like the rest of us if convicted should face consequences.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Good

      "I personally hope they don't extradite him if he still holds UK citizenship"

      Did he ever?

      1. SotarrTheWizard
        Mushroom

        Re: Good

        I was always under the impression that Assange was an Australian national.

        Also, pardon me for demanding historical accuracy, but the files were leaked by BRADLEY Manning, who later transitioned to being CHELSEA. But was still Bradley at the time. . .

        1. localzuk

          Re: Good

          Dead naming someone is not cool. Respect their wishes and call them by the name they wish to be called by.

          Also, you should be aware that someone can have multiple citizenships. Assange is Australian, yes, but he also has Ecuadorian citizenship.

          1. Steve Button

            Re: Dead naming?

            I wondered about that. The article referred to conversations with "her" when at the time she identified as a man and was called Bradley. Do we change the way we refer to someone historically by how they identify in the present time? It's confusing. It would also be confusing if they started referring to conversations with "him", and then I suppose every article would have to explain the background.

            1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

              Re: Dead naming?

              I wondered about that. The article referred to conversations with "her" when at the time she identified as a man and was called Bradley. Do we change the way we refer to someone historically by how they identify in the present time?

              To an extent, yes. I was also a bit curious, especially how the legal system would address that point. And from memory looking at the indictment yesterday, it simply refers to Chelsea Manning, previously known as Bradley. But the legal system has generally dealt with this kind of thing by simply regarding the 'person'. The background then explains why some of the evidence may refer to 'Bradley' or 'he' when he is now she.

              (I think it gets a little more confused in some other cases, eg the famous decathalon battles between Thompson and Jenner.

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Dead naming?

              I wish people would respect my personal preference to assign whatever gender specific pronoun I wish to whomever I wish without regard to their preference.

              I am not prejudiced, I treat you all with equal contempt!

            3. BinkyTheMagicPaperclip Silver badge

              Re: Dead naming?

              The answer is yes, you do change how you refer to the historic actions of the small number of people that have changed their gender to their current gender. You don't dead name them unless not doing so would create confusion, which it doesn't in the case of Chelsea.

              I'd argue that lasts until they're dead, at which point if they're notable enough to be mentioned in the history books (obviously Chelsea Manning is), their biography should include a note that they've changed gender. That's going to be particularly essential if, as mentioned elsewhere, it would otherwise seem to indicate a single sex athletic event was mixed, due to a participant changing their sex later.

              (yes, I'm using gender in the first paragraph, and sex in the second, because how athletic events allocate participants into 'men' or 'women' is largely based on sex, hormone levels etc, but it depends on the sport).

              1. tiggity Silver badge

                Re: Dead naming?

                It *does* create confusion - it made me think my memory was going (a worry at my age!) when I saw Chelsea mentioned when I was thinking I'm sure all this was at the time of Bradley.

                A simple introductory preanble noting that at the time Chelsea was still using the name Bradley and not publicly identiftying as a woman, would have improved the article immensely.

              2. Jellied Eel Silver badge

                Re: Dead naming?

                You don't dead name them unless not doing so would create confusion, which it doesn't in the case of Chelsea.

                But this is the legal system, where accuracy and clarity is an issue. So Manning's military trial simplified things, because the military could simply refer to the person as SPC. Manning, then later Pfc. Manning after demotion. The military is simple like that.

                The indictment against Assange simply opens with "Chelsea Manning, formerly known as Bradley Manning.." and then simply refers to her as "Manning". I guess if there's evidence during trial that contains names, the evidence would have to show the name used at the time in that evidence, but the same principle works. Unless there's multiple Mannings.

                Which I guess is one of those social/legal challenges, ie evidence needs to be unaltered, but the way it's presented can reflect the current reality.

                1. Bill Michaelson

                  Re: Dead naming?

                  "The indictment against Assange simply opens with 'Chelsea Manning, formerly known as Bradley Manning..'"

                  Yes. If the indictment opened with that assertion, perhaps for the sake of legal precision to dispel any potential confusion about identity, then referring to Chelsea Manning in the remainder of the document is sufficient and unambiguous.

            4. Bill Michaelson

              Re: Dead naming?

              It's not confusing. The person from then is now known as Chelsea Manning and she is a woman. We are speaking of her in the present about what she did in the past. She might have had long hair then or had a fondness for pastrami sandwiches that she no longer cares for, but that is of no concern.

              We do not refer to someone as a child when we speak in the present about their actions at the age of ten.

              We say that Mohammad Ali defeated Sonny Liston. If we say that he was then known as Cassius Clay, it is gratuitously unless we do so to make a point about which that fact is directly relevant. For example we may use the name Clay in the context of citing an event because one fight was publicized as Liston versus Clay, but the winner was the current Ali.

              It's not hard.

              1. John Robson Silver badge

                Re: Dead naming?

                "We do not refer to someone as a child when we speak in the present about their actions at the age of ten."

                Really?

                I suspect that depends on the choice of past tense you use...

          2. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge
            Holmes

            Re: Good

            That was his name at the time the offences too place.

            Later he became a she.

            ( I reckon this is all a ruse and it was actually Bernard Manning who dunnit )

    2. Wellyboot Silver badge

      Re: Good

      I'd not place any money on Trump losing next years election, It looks like his campaign will be built around one simple line "I tried to deliver all my election promises but Congress stopped me"

      That's all he needs for the TV & election rallies.

      So it's quite likely that Trump will still be in office when Assange has done the full 5 years.

    3. JJKing Bronze badge
      Flame

      Re: Good

      Broken what law? Treason of a country which he is not a citizen of? How arrogant is your gun nut nation? No, not an Assange fanboi but I have read a lot of the background from the time of the condom break through to USA elected officials calling for his murder (brave men when faced with no danger)? All this because he released video footage of a couple of cowboys in an Apache murdering reporters and civilians and their children. Shouldn't bring your kids to a gunfight if I remember the audio correctly from 9 or 10 years ago plus a shitload of other American military war crimes. Tried under the Treason Act for someone who to my knowledge has never been to the USA!

      Over throw or help to over throw or interfered with the governments (some of them democratically elected by their citizens) of, just to name a few:

      Iran

      Chile

      Argentina

      Viet Nam

      Viet Nam again (and getting 57,000 of your own people killed in the process + millions of Vietnamese)

      Iraq

      Afghanistan

      Multiple African countries

      San Salvador

      Cuba - FAILED

      Guatemala

      Dominican Republic

      Brazil

      DRC

      Panama (to get your friend and former USA trained ally Manuel Noriega)

      Warsaw Pact countries

      [Sourced from CIA released documents]

      So who the fuck do you arrogant motherfuckers think you people are? Let the down votes flow. I shall count them with pride.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Good

        So a reporter goes "undercover" and actually deploys with a group intent on planting an IED to kill others, and gets killed when the plot is detected and stopped. You think they were out for a midnight stroll and not taking children along for cover ? That's a war-crime, using civilians as cover.

      2. Claverhouse Bronze badge

        Re: Good

        Bravo JJKing !

        Incidentally I found the email for the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, and denounced their nation as pitiful Judases, a people without honour.

        eecugranbretania@cancilleria.gob.ec

    4. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: Good

      The best result might actually be for extradition and trial in Sweden over the assault charges. The US case is so obviously political that it will allow Assange to play the martyr card, especially if, were an extradition to be successful, the US introduce additional charges.

      I'm not sure of the merits of the US charge, but if Assange really did assault some women, then he should stand trial for it and do time. Wikileaks did break some important stuff and Assange was pivotal but that wouldn't stop him being a complete aresehole.

      1. Archtech Silver badge

        Re: Good

        "The best result might actually be for extradition and trial in Sweden over the assault charges".

        How many times do you people have to be told? There never were any "assault charges" or "rape charges". Assange has never been charged with a crime by Sweden.

    5. Bernard M. Orwell Silver badge

      Re: Good

      Whilst I believe that aggressive journalism such as wikileaks is important, my opinion of Julian Assange has been massively damaged by his response to the charges in Sweden and then also by breaking the bail conditions that he got his friends and supporters to fund. These are not the actions of a man with nothing to answer for are they?

      That said, I think we can roundly condemn the actions of the US in this regard, as Assange has not commmited a crime in America. The USA needs to stop acting as "world police" and cease trying to hide their mistakes like some tin-pot dictatorship.

      1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

        Re: Good

        That said, I think we can roundly condemn the actions of the US in this regard, as Assange has not commmited a crime in America.

        The argument in the indictment is that he did, or a virtual America. So hacking (or helping hack) US systems, even though that happened in Iraq. The US sometimes has a.. flexible approach to territoriality & jurisdiction.

        That's also I think the important issue from a journalistic PoV. So how far journalists could or should go before actions become illegal. People have been arguing that it's normal and fine for journalists to pump their sources for more info, but is it, when that info is highly illegal, and there can be extremely serious consequences for their source(s).

        1. Bernard M. Orwell Silver badge
          Black Helicopters

          Re: Good

          "The argument in the indictment is that he did, or a virtual America. So hacking (or helping hack) US systems, even though that happened in Iraq. The US sometimes has a.. flexible approach to territoriality & jurisdiction."

          Except he didn't help hack anything, did he? He suggested that someone else might do so though. So, in the interests of being fair, here we go:

          Hey, Manning, it'd just dandy if you'd hack some US government passwords for us so that we can nab their secret files and expose all the dirty, nasty stuff they are up to in the name of exporting democracy. Whatdya think? You in?

          There. I've now committed the same crime as Assange is accused of. I await arrest and extradition.

          Anyone else care to copy and paste my Spartacus statement?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Good

            weird

            "Hey, Manning, it'd just dandy if you'd hack some US government passwords for us so that we can nab their secret files and expose all the dirty, nasty stuff they are up to in the name of exporting democracy. Whatdya think? You in?"

            sounds a bit like what trump publicly asked russia for......so surely Trump should be being arrested?

          2. Jellied Eel Silver badge

            Re: Good .. Journalism?

            Except he didn't help hack anything, did he? He suggested that someone else might do so though. So, in the interests of being fair, here we go:

            The charge in the indictment is that Assange may have assisted in the hacking, creating a charge and possibly conspiracy.. Which is why journalism comes into the equation, along with ethics.

            So Assange and wikileaks published a lot of confidential and classified information. It's illegal to access or possess classified information (ie Official Secrets) unless you're cleared/authorised to do so. If a state does it, it's simple espionage. If a person does it, it's a crime. So the charges and convictions against Manning.

            The big question is should it be ok to publish Official Secrets, if you claim it's public interest and journalism? Wikileaks published extremely sensitive and damaging information. Some of it is I think in the public interest, ie the circumstances around the death of the Reuters journalists, and the official coverup of potential war crimes. Personally I think those deaths were accidental, but killing some of the other participants was highly questionable, and probably illegal.

            But Assange/wikileaks also became political, ie editing 'Collateral Murder' to present a biased POV. Ok, journalists do that. See Daily Mail vs Guardian reporting for more info.. And also the way the Guardian vetted and filtered some of the classified info they came into possession of.. Which is the ethical question. I'd love to see a complete guide to say, what's going on in Area 51, or what's inside the President's nuclear football.. But those are both highly sensitive, I don't need to know, and enemies of the US would probably love to find out. So a lot of stuff needs to remain secret.

            1. Zolko

              Re: Good .. Journalism?

              @Jellied Eel : "It's illegal to access or possess classified information"

              But how are you supposed to know ? May-be if it's in your own country, you could face such charges, but if you were found in possession of classified information from Iran or China, it wouldn't be illegal in UK (and anywhere in Europe) in any way. Julain Assange had never any business in the USA, therefore he cannot be charged with anything by the US justice. Or at least, that's what should be.

              We are here clearly talking about extraterritorial justice, in other words an: Empire.

    6. Alan Brown Silver badge

      Re: Good

      "Honestly I've little sympathy for him despite respecting his initial intentions."

      I think this is most folks position. The idea and intention of Wikileaks is one thing, but it turned into the Julian Asshat Electric Revelation and Travelling Apparition.

  5. Gideon 1
    Facepalm

    7 years or 5

    7 years in a cupboard to avoid a possible 5 year penalty

    1. Wellyboot Silver badge

      Re: 7 years or 5

      7 years in a cupboard to avoid and a possible 5 year penalty

      - After he does several months for bail jumping, I'm sure the DoJ will be happy to wait for that to finish.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: 7 years or 5

        What are the odds of him not completing his incarceration to term or even to trial if he conveniently commits suicide?

        It's known to be a common occurrence in these cases of the government being embarrassed.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: 7 years or 5

      .. with a cat ..

    3. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      The best part of it is : those 7 years don't count and he can still go down for 5.

      I hope he does, the slimy git.

    4. Cameron Colley

      Re: 7 years or 5

      That's 7 years in a cupboard not being beaten and raped as opposed to the 5 he faces now. Read any account of men in the US prison system and you'll understand exactly why he doesn't want to be there.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: 7 years or 5

        We'll get him some soap on a rope so he's less likely to drop it. If you can't do the time, don't do the crime. It's that simple.

        If Assange had not engaged in unprotected sex, he probably would still be in Sweden trying to become a proper journalist (he was rejected) and so get his press pass - he was after the protection that provided. Instead, his ego and d*ck was more important than the rights of the girls he assaulted (that the legal term for unprotected sex without permission), he most likely passed an STD (and, judging by his refusal to test, this could have been knowingly) and then had to run like hell to avoid what was coming to him.

        In that context I'm also convinced that Wikileaks was only dreamt up as a veneer of justification for his hacking, trying to turn earlier crimes into something that pretended to be for the good of society. They pretty much nuked that idea when they went political*. So no, WL doesn't quite pass muster either.

        * It actually went to pot earlier when WL threatened to release everything at once when Assange was under threat. That's just blackmail.

        1. Brangdon

          Re: 7 years or 5

          The legal term for sex without permission is rape, not assault. In this case he's accused of having sex with a woman while she was asleep, knowing she wouldn't have consented had she been awake. He may not be guilty (and she may have been only half-asleep), but the accusation is serious and shouldn't be minimised.

          1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

            Re: 7 years or 5

            Brangdon,

            He's not just accused of that. There are two allegations of rape against him. The lesser charges having timed out. One that he had sex with the woman while she was asleep without a condom, having been refused no condom sex when she was awake. Confirmed by UK judges to also be rape under UK law. And the even more serious one that the other victim alleges she said no and he got on top of her and uses his superior weight and strength to try to force himself on her. There's no allegation of violence, and he eventually stopped, put on his condom and had consensual sex, but that's the more serious charge.

      2. Cameron Colley

        Re: 7 years or 5

        For those still reading...

        https://youtu.be/JqL0BJ4kdt8?t=576

  6. wolfetone Silver badge

    It's worth noting, and I'm surprised it hasn't been noted in the article, that Chelsea Manning is now back in prison because she refused to testify against Wikileaks.

    Just keep that in your head.

    1. This post has been deleted by a moderator

    2. MiguelC Silver badge

      The reason she gave for refusing to testify before a Grand Jury was that she rejects, by principle, the secrecy of the system.

      1. DiViDeD Silver badge

        Re: she rejects, by principle, the secrecy of the system

        To be fair, she also stated that she gave full details of everything at the court martial, and therefore her testimony is already on record. But of course, that's not enough for a democratic, freedom loving grand jury determined to come down hard on any evil criminal type who has been so base as to point out the failings of their government

  7. Mage Silver badge
    Big Brother

    USA

    Certainly no-one should be extradited anywhere for practising Journalism.

    However why did he break bail and refuse to answer the Swedish charges? They would not have extradited him to USA on a dubious charge nor was it anything about journalism.

    He's a coward and narcissist for spending seven years in the Ecuadorian Embassy.

    1. Ben Tasker Silver badge

      Re: USA

      > However why did he break bail and refuse to answer the Swedish charges? They would not have extradited him to USA on a dubious charge

      Well... here's the interesting point. Assange and his followers claimed that the Swedish charges were a pretext to get him back there so Sweden could then extradite him on, despite it actually being easier to extradite to the US from the UK.

      So, if their claims were true, you'd expect that Assange's EAW would get re-instated and he'd get shipped to Sweden, only for the US to then ask for him.

      Except, instead they've asked us directly - taking the easier route.

      If you think about it, the whole "trumped up Swedish charges to get him to the US" is a conspiracy that involves the US deliberately making it harder for them to lay hands on Assange, in order to lay hands on him.

      It was always bollocks. But in the ensuing time, he's helped a hardline administration get into power and they do want him

    2. Alan Johnson

      Re: USA

      However why did he break bail and refuse to answer the Swedish charges? They would not have extradited him to USA on a dubious charge nor was it anything about journalism.

      I lost any respect for him when he broke bail and hid in the embassy condemming himself to to an extra seven years imprisonment, undermining his own credibility and preventing resolution of what appeared thin, artificial charges against him. However it seams that his fears of extradiction to the US were very well justified.

      Just because you are paranoid it doesn't mean that they are not out to get you.

      1. Stevie Silver badge

        Re: Just because you are paranoid it doesn't mean that they are not out to get you.

        And just because you are paranoid and they are out to get you doesn't mean you haven't done anything wrong.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Just because you are paranoid it doesn't mean that they are not out to get you.

        I am forming a support group that IS out to get paranoids, as a gesture of validation.

        Anon, because you never know who is after you.

        1. Jove Bronze badge

          Re: Just because you are paranoid it doesn't mean that they are not out to get you.

          I recommend sitting on damp ground - that's sure to get you Paranoids.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Just because you are paranoid it doesn't mean that they are not out to get you.

            > that's sure to get you Paranoids

            The fear of jumping out of airplanes over hostile nations?

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: USA

      Certainly no-one should be extradited anywhere for practising Journalism.

      If he did, in fact, help Chelsea Manning crack passwords for classified databases, that goes well beyond protected free speech. Per the article, the US charges are for "conspiracy to commit computer intrusion" -- not for publishing the hacked material. Many US news outlets reported and/or republished the WikiLeaks material after it was released, and none of them were prosecuted.

      From what I've read in El Reg and elsewhere, it sounds like the UK actually has stricter laws on that sort of thing than the US.

      1. Remy Redert

        Re: USA

        But why is it being charged in the US? He wasn't there when he committed the crime. Charge him where he was when he committed the crime and we can talk.

        1. Mark 65 Silver badge

          Re: USA

          Same reason every other person who wasn't in the US when they committed X computer crime was charged the same - because they can.

        2. doublelayer Silver badge

          Re: USA

          When a crime is committed, whether that is a crime you agree is a crime or simply a thing that is against the law in some place, it can be tried where the criminal was or where the crime occurred. Usually, these are one and the same, but for computer crimes, this is not necessarily so. If you steal something from a citizen of country X and you live in country Y, you can be tried under the theft laws of either country. If country X requests you be sent there because you committed a crime there, country Y or whatever country you are in can decide to send you there, and then you will face the legal system of country X. They could also decide not to send you there, in which case you do not face that legal system but could still be tried in your home country.

          This is why criminals from countries that refuse to extradite can still end up facing justice if they visit another country that is willing to extradite. It's the way the system is built. If you don't like it, ensure that you don't get a request made against you and/or stay away from countries willing to extradite to those countries that have asked for you. For some countries, the requests are usually for real criminals. For others, it is used as a tool for injustice. Either way it's used, it is the reality of international criminal law.

      2. Charlie Clark Silver badge

        Re: USA

        The conspiracy charge seems to have been crafted specifically for the extradition. Once he's in the US the prosecution can add additional charges.

        But, yes, the case could also be heard in the UK and this is something the judge will consider during the hearing.

    4. Ian Joyner

      Re: USA

      Narcissist. Let's see one 'narcissist' is arrested and USA is trying to extradite him. Another narcissist is president of the USA.

      Shouldn't they get along just fine?

  8. Stevie Silver badge

    Bah!

    Yesyesyes Assange Good America Bad.

    But no-one is asking the important question: What happened to the pussy cat?

    1. fidodogbreath Silver badge

      Re: Bah!

      The cat will be fine as long as s/he refrains from political activity.

    2. DCFusor Silver badge

      Re: Bah!

      At first I was going to ask on what imaginable sane ground the US had any right to charge a citizen of another country with breaking our own laws.....because that was the story right up until the charges were revealed.

      Password cracking isn't just reporting what someone else gave you to leak....it's doing the spying yourself. If true, they have some case. Hope it's not true, but it would explain a lot of behavior on every side of this.

      I mean, there's no proof that leaking a bunch of state dept internal gossip actually hurt anyone, other than showing how stupid they are (and everyone in that biz for any country is mostly incompetent).

      Now, leaking the perverse DNC emails (covering primary rigging and spirit cooking)...that hurt some people, who don't dispute the content at all. Who had powerful friends in the Justice Dept and so-called intelligence community, known to be very left-leaning....And it really doesn't matter whether the Russians or Seth Rich gave them to Wikileaks. Or some random 13 YO hacking an interesting open server with obvious addressing. That one seems to have created much more and longer lasting hysteria than mere "national security" leaks, by either Manning/Assange or Snowden. I'm sure you can notice this if you look yourself.

      On the other hand...it seems pretty selective to go after one guy, when other guys working for state actors doing espionage get a total pass. Are we "reaching out" to the OPM hackers, for example?

      1. doublelayer Silver badge

        Re: Bah!

        I'm not going to jump into the main argument, but they are trying to get the OPM hackers. They don't have specific names (to the best of our knowledge), as they were members of a China-based group (either criminal or military hint: it's military). If they get the names, they will try to get the people involved. I think we all know the likelihood of China turning them over. The U.S. is not happy with the OPM breach, and they've made no bones about it.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Bah!

      Given how he treats them in general I suspect it's busy filing its own compliant now..

  9. Jay Lenovo Silver badge

    But most importantly, his cat ("Embassy Cat") was released and given new sanctuary months before.

    Despite evidence from his previous residences, there are no plans to extradite Assange's former pet for "kitty" leaks.

    1. Marketing Hack Silver badge

      Kitty leaks sounds like something you would hear about in a cat litter commercial.

  10. sisk Silver badge

    Anyone else read this and realize that if he'd just let himself be arrested and charged in the beginning instead of going and hiding in the embassy this would all be over and he'd be free by now? He's spent longer locked up in the Ecuadorian embassy than he could possibly face in prison. And while I'm sure the embassy accommodations were better than prison....well, he'd be free now.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Oh yes, but then he'd be convicted as a rapist, and not have 7 years of press attention and peopel claiming he was all innocent and it was just the bad US that made him have unprotected sex with those girls ..

      I may have mixed things up here because I'm utterly bored of it by now, but let's just say that I'm glad Ecuador booted him out.

      Now we will naturally have herdes of idiots claiming that Assange is innocent, because hiding in embassies abusing the asylum process is what you do when you're innocent. We'll get plenty of "Wikileaks is a force for good" statements again too, utterly ignoring the fact that it turned into a biased political mechanism that assisted Trump.

      Come to think of it, it appears that Wikileaks supporters bring a similar level of critical thinking to their devotion as Trump supporters. Hmmm..

      1. sisk Silver badge

        I thought the girls fessed to making that up and those charges got dropped. Or am I thinking of another case?

        At any rate, Assange is undoubtedly a narcissistic tool and Wikileaks is just a tool to feed his over-inflated ego, a force for neither good nor evil. That said I'm of the opinion that overall it's done more good than harm. And I think you're reaching quite a lot in claiming that that it helped Trump at all. It was pretty much irrelevant by 2016 after all.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          I thought the girls fessed to making that up and those charges got dropped. Or am I thinking of another case?

          You must be, because that never happened in the Assange case. What did happen is that Assange's refusal to have himself tested on request of the girls (something any decent person would have done IMHO) turned it from a fairly civil request to do the decent thing into a criminal prosecution, part of which timed out as he successfully continued to abuse asylum to avoid the due process any of us would have to abide by. Note: aspects timed out - they were never dropped as Assange supporters claim.

          Now he's been arrested it's quite possible that we finally hear from the girl's side what was going on - they only got abuse from Assange supporters, despite being utterly innocent.

    2. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge
      Gimp

      He's spent longer locked up in the Ecuadorian embassy than he could possibly face in prison.

      I very much doubt that once the American Justi^W Revenge System has got its hands on him.

      1. sisk Silver badge

        I very much doubt that once the American Justi^W Revenge System has got its hands on him.

        Nah. The case is too high profile for those kinds of shenanigans. They'll nail him to the full extent that the letter of the law allows and not one day more.

  11. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge

    On the other hand

    Maybe a prison cell will be bigger than the cupboard he was living in for the past 7yrs

    Mind you, if I owed people 1 million quid for skipping bail I'd be demanding to be put in a prison cell....

    1. Mike Moyle Silver badge

      Re: On the other hand

      "Mind you, if I owed people 1 million quid for skipping bail I'd be demanding to be put in a prison cell...."

      Although, wouldn't that rather depend on just which sort of people you owed the million to?

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Bon Voyage

    My guess is that he'll be off to the USA the day that we leave the EU.

    That might be good or bad depending upon your POV about Mr Assange and BREXIT

    1. mark l 2 Silver badge
      Joke

      Re: Bon Voyage

      Well at this rate if he is off to the USA when Britain leaves the EU he will be spending another 7 years here.

  13. Scott 26
    Joke

    Does his 7 years in the broom closest count as time served?

    1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      No. Self-inflicted prison is not part of the judiciary system. It's just the amount of cowardice and ass-hattery that he has to try and avoid a 5-year sentence.

      So let him do both.

  14. BazNav
    WTF?

    Read the indictment

    Because it is funny!

    One of the acts of conspiracy is that 'Manning copied a Linux operating system to a CD' and the US Government classifies Linux as 'special software.'

    Pretty sure we're all going to jail

    1. OssianScotland

      Re: Read the indictment

      About the only reason to use Windows, then.

    2. Jellied Eel Silver badge

      Re: Read the indictment

      One of the acts of conspiracy is that 'Manning copied a Linux operating system to a CD'

      Often things can get a little more.. technical. So that bit seems to relate to trying to obtain a password that Manning couldn't access. Which presumably was a little more complicated than cp /etc/pwd and hoping for the best. Then again, this plus Snowden seemed to show.. certain deficiencies in US IT security.

      But not all Linux distros are created equally, so if this was a DoD special build, then that in itself could be classified and/or contain classified information. Or just prove rather useful to anyone looking to poke holes in US security.

      Hence why nations tend to take this kind of thing seriously, and throw large books at people who don't. Unless they're Clintons, in which case it's fine to have classified data on a server in your basement.

      (Which is also where Assange comes in, like plea bargaining and threats of additional charges unless he co-operates. That could prove problematic given potential espionage charges, especially if foreign states were involved. Or if it was just the unfortunate Seth Rich.)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Read the indictment

        > so if this was a DoD special build

        Likely RHEL 6 or 7, with FIPS settings applied.

  15. cd

    Too bad he isn't sitting on a copy of the Mueller Report.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Wait, wasn't the stuff released by Bradley Manning? Later name and whatnot change, it's hard to follow (perhaps intentionally) this way.

    1. Rich 11 Silver badge

      It may be hard for you to follow but everyone else seems to be coping quite well.

  17. Ian Joyner

    Free Julian Assange

    I don’t believe Julian Assange is an angel. But extradition to the USA is very bad. He has been in reclusion for all this time because all the charges against him have just been a front for extradition. The Australian government should bust a gut to repatriate him – but as usual they are pathetic in helping Australians in trouble overseas (still bogged in penal colony thinking of people are born criminals).

    I’m also horrified by the reaction of Teresa May and the UK Parliament upon Assange’s arrest. Sounds like a lynch mob. Why does this one person instils such fear in governments around the world.

    1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

      Re: Free Julian Assange rather than Trying to Imprison Freedom. There's No Thanks for the Latter

      Why does this one person instils such fear in governments around the world. ..... Ian Joyner

      Because information they share freely is practically impossible to deny reveals that you are systematically fed false intelligence [and there's a prime oxymoron if ever there was one] about expansive serial abuses in order to try to maintain a perverse and corrupted exclusive executive ordering system of mass human administration .... that which is ubiquitously known as a SCADA System.

      It is increasingly extremely dangerous to such systems to have more intelligent inquisitive and more fully informed natives providing alternative narratives and sources.

      And that is why, as surely you must have noticed, you always get the same old staid establishment voices spout the traditional party line on all matters both controversial and vital ..... for perverse and corrupted lives depend upon the Greater Deception in more ways than just evidenced in this holy trinity of prime observations ......

      “The secret of freedom lies in educating people, whereas the secret of tyranny is in keeping them ignorant.” …. Maximilien Robespierre

      "A mind once expanded by a new idea will never go back to its original dimension." -Oliver Wendell Holmes.

      "It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!" - Upton Sinclair

      And such a fear of an alternative truth that challenges a false narrative is a catastrophic systemic zero day exploit vulnerability against which there is no viable long term defence. Such serial defenders are always best recognised and treated as hopelessly mad and practically useless in all Honest Future Remote Command and Virtual Control Operations.

      You might like to think on and accept, for a change rather than delivery of more of the same old conflicting stuff and errant nonsense .... Unauthorized disclosures of secrets are essential for democracy. "Responsible disclosure" is corrupt. and Journalism is writing down what powerful people and institutions do not want written.

      You are allowed to think on greater things. Surely only a robotic fool and/or ignorant and arrogant tool of the status quo doesn't.

      Which mega or minor meta data base hat do you like to wear? ...... the SMARTR red one or the rinsed blue one?

      1. Cliff Thorburn

        Re: Free Julian Assange rather than Trying to Imprison Freedom. There's No Thanks for the Latter

        Ain’t it wild and wacky times we are in?

        One had to chuckle whilst driving back today at Project Fear in full swing undoubtedly on Red Alert at Corbyn’s Phoenix style ascent in the Sunday Glad Rags.

        Threatening DT (Death Threats) exhibited ‘en mass in Live Operational Virtual Environments ...

        You’d think the fate of the country boiled down to a selection as simple as choosing a competitive mobile deal, or more appropriate ly one which would accept a credit rating destroyed by deliberate destitution, directly omitting alternative choices perh aps more appropriately desired by the pow ers that be.

        Of course the reality direct direction and narrative of Brexit lies with the Politicians and .... well use your imagination for the rest.

        What would Eve say in such predicaments?, “frankly I don’t give Adam?”, or would she be clearly communicated to in righteous and rightful direction by those hissing self interest?

        Would the above enlighten such alternative theories suggested amFM?, in a paradoxical parallel augmented virtual reality exhibited day by day as the clock ticks?

        1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

          Great Britain ...... Once ruled with Almighty Provisional Empires. Changed Days? Crashed 0Days?

          CT, Howdy doody,

          Regarding ..... Of course the reality direct direction and narrative of Brexit lies with the Politicians and .... well use your imagination for the rest.

          What would Eve say in such predicaments?, “frankly I don’t give Adam?”, or would she be clearly communicated to in righteous and rightful direction by those hissing self interest?

          One would have thought, with it being and surely something to be marvelled at and supported, that the Offices and Officers of the House of Windsor/Saxe-Coburg and Gotha ... UKGBNI Elite Executive Right Royal Special Forces ...... would be able to supply the British Prime Minister in her weekly audience with Elizabeth II, with intelligence and information that wouldn't have her currently extraordinarily rendering herself with a sub-prime ineffectual puppet leadership.

          What is their present undeniably accurate excuse for the very evident catastrophic lack of prime premium parliamentary input for remote third party output?

          Have they lost the plot and feeling good to be nobbled and hog tied with deafening silence and light media duties?

          Such is as a dirge whenever truly lamentable. But take heart and never worry, hope and much better plans to right all manner and matter of wrongs always spring eternal, suitably disruptive and crazily creative. It is only natural and fully to be expected.

  18. Phil Kingston Silver badge

    | Assange faces a maximum of five years in prison if convicted of the charge.

    Makes his lengthier asylum choice look even more laughable.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      > Assange faces a maximum of five years in prison if convicted of the charge.

      Sure, if you're excluding the other decades, and potential life sentences the US will additionally attempt.

  19. TheWeddingPhotographer

    Let's even things up

    If the US feel it is fine to demand prosecution for foreign nationals who break thier laws at a distance...

    Maybe it's fine for American companies to pay proper taxes in the countries they operate in when they work at a distance too

  20. Cameron Colley

    So, he was right then.

    He was right that, as soon as he was in custody, the US would want to grab him, Perhaps that really is why he ran in the first place?

    The man does come across as arrogant and, of course, if he's guilty of the crimes accused of in Sweden then he should have stood trial for them.

    But his stated reason for avoiding arrest does appear to be a valid one. He now faces up to 5 years of either solitary confinement or being brutalised. That's assuming that the US won't come up with other charges, terrorism anyone?, and fine reasons to lay down and even heavier sentence.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: So, he was right then.

      Absolute rubbish.

      His story is that he skipped out of Sweden because he was afraid that after being arrested he might get extradited to the US, and that this fear of extradition made him choose to skip to the UK. But the UK is a country who notoriously will extradite to the US anyone, at any time, without requiring anything more than a postit note with "we wannem. Murrica!" written on it in crayon.

      He's dumb, but if he was that dumb we would never have heard of him. If he really was scared of being shipped to the US he would have skipped from Sweden to Russia, Iran or someplace reliably anti-American, not made a beeline for the 51st state.

    2. Brangdon

      Re: So, he was right then.

      He was in custody in the UK for well over a year before he fled to the embassy. From 2010 to 2012. The US could have made an extradition request then, but didn't. That they have now shows there was no need to get him to Sweden first, hence his reason to avoid the European Arrest Warrant was bogus.

  21. I&I

    Assuage

  22. RobertLongshaft

    I love how the US is taking all the flak here when the British government and security services are 100% as culpable.

  23. Mystic Megabyte Silver badge
    WTF?

    Odd?

    Assange asks Manning to crack password. result; 5 years in jail (assuming that he is extradited)

    Trump asks Russia (in public) to crack Clintons emails: result; become president

  24. Sheepykins

    About time the Ecuadorians came to their senses.

    I personally think Assange is guilty of his Swedish crimes and hes definitely guilty of putting peoples lives in danger with his leaks for the sake of freedom of information and the completely impractical dream of an open government.

    If he was willing to become a martyr to his cause, he would have accepted US extradition earlier. But no, he did everything he could to snivel and worm his way out of prison using every loophole imaginable.

    And then when he got his stay of execution, started mugging off the people helping him. Utter scumbag

    1. Aqua Marina

      Utter scumbag

      Sheepykins could we please have your opinions of the pilots that seemed to be celebrating mowing down civilians and children from the safety of their aircraft? Without Assange we would have never seen that little bit of naughtyness brought out into the open.

      1. Sheepykins

        Re: Utter scumbag

        Alright Kathy Newman, did i say government coverups were OK? No.

        But the transparency of government that Assange wants is untenable and puts more people at risk than it exposes for bad.

  25. Hans 1 Silver badge
    Holmes

    Three steps back.

    1. Assange is a journalist.

    2. He has found a source that can provide him with some newsworthy data.

    3. He helps source extract newsworthy data.

    4. He gives newsworthy data to the press.

    5. The source Assange was helping was a whistleblower.

    Nothing, absolutely nothing wrong either way.

    Manning was a whistleblower and thus needed protection, protection that the US has NOT provided.

    Assange is a journalist and needs protection, protection the US seems not to want to provide.

    As for Ecuador, they just secured a $10bn loan from the IMF, captain obvious, where are you ?

    1. Hans 1 Silver badge
      Coat

      War crimes

      One more thing, he published evidence of war crimes committed by US armed forces.

    2. TVU Silver badge

      "As for Ecuador, they just secured a $10bn loan from the IMF, captain obvious, where are you?"

      From what's come out, Wikileaks successfully upset the current Ecuadorian President (look up the Ina Papers scandal) and that helped to seal Assange's fate. There's something ironic going on when it's a Lenin helping to send Assange to the good ol' USA.

    3. DontFeedTheTrolls
      Headmaster

      "2. He has found a source that can provide him with some newsworthy data."

      If that were the case, then I would support the need for protection.

      Somebody (might have been Assange) persuaded Manning dump masses of data from multiple sources, then Wikileaks dumped that data into the wild. 700,000 documents IIRC.

      That they got lucky and it contained the atrocities was sheer luck, not a targeted whistleblowing. If they had released only the critical items, I could support that it was whistleblowing. Dumping everything is only done to piss off the Merkins.

  26. TVU Silver badge

    "He could face up to 12 months in prison"

    ^ That ought perhaps to read ""He could face up to 1200 months in prison" seeing as it's the USA he's going to.

    Other views are available, but he ought to have gone to Sweden, taken the hit and then stayed there.

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Don't expect much from the bloated Orangutan's flunky run DOJ on this.

    The bloated Orangutan's DOJ flunkies will no doubt make a big dog and pony show here which will exonerate them and this creep, and eventually let him off with a minor slap on the wrist.

  28. Mahhn

    The statement "The government said Manning told Assange she was"

    At that time Manning was a man. I hope Assange doesn't leave jail with his gender changed too.

    My government is so full of corruption and lies, I don't think they know what the truth is anymore...

  29. Menasco
    FAIL

    But Venn again , (Assange (( Ingrams - Hislop )) ) make sure you're connected , the writings on the wall , stumble you might fall . The only thing proven to me is that UN membership means nothing in terms of provision for human rights and that the justice system in our country is available only to those who have the money to pay for it , i now spell "democracy" " d e m o n c o c k e r y ". Thankyou Mr Assange , lots of us admire your courage. Whoda thunkit , an Australian shaming those who exported your ancestors as "criminals".

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