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Assange Could Face Execution Or Guantanamo Bay

CmdrTaco posted more than 3 years ago | from the exagerate-much dept.

News 973

An anonymous reader writes "WikiLeaker-in-chief Julian Assange faces the real danger of being executed or languishing in the US prison camp at Guantánamo Bay if, as a result of his extradition to Sweden, he ends up in the hands of the Americans, his lawyers argue. In a skeleton summary of Assange's defence, posted online, Assange's lawyers argue that it is likely that the US would seek his extradition 'and/or illegal rendition' from Sweden. In the United States 'there will be a real risk of him being detained at Guantánamo Bay or elsewhere,' his lawyers write."

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attorneys (5, Insightful)

I8TheWorm (645702) | more than 3 years ago | (#34839792)

Of course his attorneys are doing whatever they can to prevent him shipping out. Is this news?

Re:attorneys (1, Troll)

MichaelKristopeit333 (1966806) | more than 3 years ago | (#34839822)

slashdot = stagnated

Re:attorneys (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34839938)

slashdot = stagnated

You got that right.

It's gotten so bad, I don't even want to troll anymore.

Apple is the gay! ... nah, boring.

F/OSS is for commies! ... *snore*

Android is for ....

I just don't have it anymore! My life has no meaning! Trolling Digg isn't a challenge anymore - they "digging" me up now! Fark?!? please! They think I'm funny!

Trolls don't die or get killed, they bore themselves to death....*gasp* *gasp* *cough* *cough* Fuck there's blood in my hand....

Yes, I'm sober - unfortunately. Can't afford single malt anymore and what's the point then?

Re:attorneys (1)

MichaelKristopeit333 (1966806) | more than 3 years ago | (#34840100)

why do you cower? what are you afraid of?

you're completely pathetic.

Re:attorneys (-1, Troll)

Pence128 (1389345) | more than 3 years ago | (#34840230)

why do you cower? what are you afraid of?
you're completely pathetic.

Re:attorneys (3, Insightful)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 3 years ago | (#34839840)

Is this news?

It's news that the lawyers have caught up to what everyone on the internet was thinking when they first encountered Wikileaks. Usually they're multiple years behind on this sort of thing.

Re:attorneys (-1, Troll)

OeLeWaPpErKe (412765) | more than 3 years ago | (#34839906)

Yes ! The US is evil. After all, just like all those leftist states, the evil, gun-loving, religion-clinging US is executing prisoners at a rate so high they don't need to produce dog food anymore. Rightist economics called this "efficient market-based use of excess meat resources".

Bush and Obama's dogs is are not fans though. They likes the fat prisoners better. Daddy says the sause is lead-based and is good for their bones.

So not it's not news. It's a "hey here's an idiot doing some US-bashing, let's give him free publicity !" story. Half the frontpage stories are these days.

Re:attorneys (5, Insightful)

spun (1352) | more than 3 years ago | (#34840150)

Why do you insist on looking at the US in such absolute, black and white terms? Isn't it possible that we are good in certain areas, but bad in others? Are we so perfect that we need not change anything? Are we so insecure that any criticism is taken as a personal affront? Our country is not a sports team in need of rabid fanatics cheering her on, no matter what. Our country is a Republic in need of thoughtful citizens capable of honest introspection. We are a great nation, we can conquer any problem we set our minds to. But first we have to face it.

I will at least give you points for consistency. You defend Authority no matter what party it currently calls home. Perhaps you suffer from some variant of Stockholm syndrome, and identify with your oppressors?

Re:attorneys (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34839944)

Nope, but it helps the editors with their quota to fill the front page, like the previous "story" about Google's navy.

What grounds? (4, Interesting)

TheL0ser (1955440) | more than 3 years ago | (#34839824)

Maybe I'm missing something, but last I knew "We don't like him" wasn't a valid reason for shipping to Gitmo or executions (not that there always is a valid reason, but still...). Assange isn't a US citizen, so that throws treason out the window, so what's the justification?

Re:What grounds? (5, Insightful)

imamac (1083405) | more than 3 years ago | (#34839844)

If he's dubbed a terrorist by the US government...

Re:What grounds? (4, Insightful)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 3 years ago | (#34840034)

It's bullshit. What about the site admins for Wikileaks, or the dozens (if not hundreds) of media employees around the globe that are sitting on the full cable file and letting it trickle out? What about the security guys in the military, whose job it is to ensure stuff like this doesn't happen?

Assange is nothing but a mouthpiece. The fact that he's the primary target in this whole thing is just as asinine as the US Government's strategy to prevent leaks being leaked [techspot.com] .

Re:What grounds? (2, Interesting)

Moryath (553296) | more than 3 years ago | (#34840182)

The actual charge is likely to be something along the lines of espionage [findlaw.com] .

That being said, the bigger problem I have is that Assange seems to be doing his level best to make as unsympathetic a defendant of himself as possible. If he had simply put things up with notes to the effect of "This was acquired and is now made public" or even "Look at this which shows what the US government/military does", he'd have an easier time claiming whatever immunities status as a journalist may offer.

Instead, he ruthlessly re-edited video and released only those things he felt like releasing, slanting the story as much as possible. His conduct and behavior - stating goals to "take down" various entities - don't make him sympathetic either.

Besides, when dictatorial, murdering thugs like Hugo Chavez are the primary people taking your side, that ought to be a not-so-subtle hint that you're not quite on the right side.

Re:What grounds? (1)

Dyinobal (1427207) | more than 3 years ago | (#34839880)

I was thinking the same thing myself. Sure he pissed off the entire government but he's got so much press I doubt he can just be disappeared.

Re:What grounds? (3, Insightful)

Pharmboy (216950) | more than 3 years ago | (#34840234)

I was thinking the same thing myself. Sure he pissed off the entire government but he's got so much press I doubt he can just be disappeared.

While I am not paranoid enough to think it will happen, you don't have to disappear someone. You just have a patsy kill him ("he was a mental patient, out of his mind"), then have someone else kill the patsy (a "information wants to be free" nut), so you can't question him. The second guy doesn't know that the first was hired to begin with, and no one knows who did the hiring to begin with. As long as the second guy remains silent, he is compensated (family gets regular $$, or whatever). He "somehow" dies of cancer (or suicide + botched investigation) onr or two years later. Not that different than what is claimed in some circles regarding JFK.

Re:What grounds? (5, Insightful)

akgooseman (632715) | more than 3 years ago | (#34839894)

Actually, the USG not liking someone is exactly why that person might end up in Gitmo. Circumventing the legal system is what makes Gitmo useful to the government.

Re:What grounds? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34839928)

Maybe I'm missing something, but last I knew "We don't like him" wasn't a valid reason for shipping to Gitmo or executions

For executions, you're right. For shipping to Gitmo, everyone currently there is there solely based on the fact that the US doesn't "like them."

So while I doubt the US would be able to get away with just executing Assange outright, I wouldn't be at all surprised if they shipped him to Gitmo and then an "accident" happened while he was in custody and he managed to get shot, in the heart, multiple times, from close range, during a prison riot that somehow included no other prisoners.

Re:What grounds? (0)

Haedrian (1676506) | more than 3 years ago | (#34839946)

"This information can easily help terrorists". Therefore he is 'aiding terrorism' , and therefore needs to be taken to G.Bay to be placed naked in cramped conditions and then waterboarded.

Re:What grounds? (-1, Troll)

Saint Stephen (19450) | more than 3 years ago | (#34839954)

Because, you know, sarah palin, rush limbaugh, fox news, tea party, etc.

Re:What grounds? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34840066)

Welcome to the world of pop politics. All buzzwords and no substance. Thanks for the inept contributions Saint.

Re:What grounds? (0)

Saint Stephen (19450) | more than 3 years ago | (#34840108)

Mods: woosh

Re:What grounds? (3, Insightful)

mrxak (727974) | more than 3 years ago | (#34839960)

The grounds are "hey, we're lawyers, we can charge our client by the word in our legal arguments before the judge!"

The more ridiculous grounds they can come up with, the more money they make, and the more attention Assange gets. It's win-win.

Re:What grounds? (3, Insightful)

Microlith (54737) | more than 3 years ago | (#34839986)

A bunch of people in the US self-identify with the Federal Government, and believe that it and this country are one and the same, so therefore publishing leaked documents embarrasses the Federal Government, thus the US, thus they personally are humiliated.

So it cuts their IQ by 20 points and makes them angry and cry for blood.

Re:What grounds? (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34840118)

"So it cuts their IQ by 20 points"

They can get those points back by simply flipping their ballcaps around, so the brim is in the front.

Re:What grounds? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34840010)

Tell that to all the other non US citizens sitting in gitmo for years without a trial or charge.

Re:What grounds? (5, Insightful)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 3 years ago | (#34840014)

He could possibly still be charged on espionage, racketeering and related laws. Treason is actually very limited in the US by the US constitution even if he was a US citizen.

None of those carry a death penalty unless the violation of the laws directly result in someone's death. However, that still shouldn't be much of a concern because the US often agrees not to pursuit the death penalty as a condition to extradite someone from different countries.

What is happening here is little more then then stating a defense to guard against extradition out of England in the first place. They are stating every possible scenario including ones muttered by "prominent figures" who a good portion of the US thinks are crazy, ignorant, or bat-shit stupid. They are even arguing that the prosecutor who issued the warrant didn't even have authority to do so.

There is nothing new or revealing here. His lawyers are simply putting everything possible on the table to show extraditing Assange should not happen. If they don't bring it up in lower courts, they might not be able to in higher ones.

Re:What grounds? (4, Insightful)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 3 years ago | (#34840026)

On no grounds. U.S. officials have not shown that Assange has committed a single crime in the U.S. He is merely wanted here for questioning, probably to prosecute those who did violate U.S. law, such as any of Bradley Manning's co-conspirators or to find out who leaked the Iraq war logs, the U.S. diplomatic cables, etc.

Gitmo is a facility of the U.S. Navy; I doubt he'd be held there as he's wanted by the Department of Justice, not the Pentagon.

Re:What grounds? (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 3 years ago | (#34840072)

Just to clarify: they may try to prosecute Assange, but I'm pretty sure they'd be unable to do so as Assange himself has not violated U.S. laws.

Re:What grounds? (2, Insightful)

Choad Namath (907723) | more than 3 years ago | (#34840054)

This is pure speculation by his attorneys, and Slashdot should avoid using such needlessly inflammatory headlines.

Re:What grounds? (4, Insightful)

Chuck Chunder (21021) | more than 3 years ago | (#34840080)

Were the people currently in Guantanamo US citizens or in US jurisdiction at the time of their "arrest"? "We don't like him" seems to be exactly the normal reason for being sent there.

Let's face it, when was the last time the USA didn't take an opportunity to look as hypocritical as possible on the world stage?

Re:What grounds? (3, Insightful)

DogDude (805747) | more than 3 years ago | (#34840082)

The US government doesn't need a reason to imprison and kill people. We abandoned the rule of law on 9/12/2001.

Re:What grounds? (5, Insightful)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 3 years ago | (#34840132)

"We don't like him" wasn't a valid reason for shipping to Gitmo or executions

Does it matter whether there's a valid reason or not? The way Gitmo is structured, you get sent there by the executive branch without ever receiving trial, and remain there occasionally getting a kangaroo court to say "yeah, keep him locked up" every year or so. There have been innocent people, including some US citizens, subjected to this sort of treatment in a blatant violation of the US Constitution.

Assange has been very clear through all of this that the reason he doesn't trust the US government is precisely because they've shown no inclination to follow their own laws.

Re:What grounds? (2)

Wyatt Earp (1029) | more than 3 years ago | (#34840190)

If the US gets its hands on him, more likely he'll go into a Federal hole like Manning has rather than somewhere open to the Red Cross like Gitmo is.

I can think of a number of more inaccessible holes the Feds are more likely to put him in, most likely a military detention facility in the D.C area or Federal Court house detention.

Lemme check my calendar... (3, Insightful)

Deathnerd (1734374) | more than 3 years ago | (#34839830)

Yup, it's 2011. So why does feel so much like 1984?

Re:Lemme check my calendar... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34839900)

Maybe you have no sense of time?

Re:Lemme check my calendar... (4, Insightful)

TheL0ser (1955440) | more than 3 years ago | (#34839924)

Because the publishers felt they didn't need to put "THIS IS NOT AN INSTRUCTION MANUAL" on the front cover of the book.

They're regretting that decision now.

Re:Lemme check my calendar... (2)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 3 years ago | (#34840096)

There was a "do not insert hand/foot/body part" warning card shoved into the blender we bought last night. I'd say a warning on the front of 1984 wouldn't be all that batty...

Re:Lemme check my calendar... (1)

Moryath (553296) | more than 3 years ago | (#34840218)

Feels more like a brave new world [wikipedia.org] to me.

Now what's the latest on this congresscritter shooting, Britney Spears, and Miley Cyrus's latest tattoo and boyfriend again?

Oh really? (1, Interesting)

Mindjiver (71) | more than 3 years ago | (#34839834)

This is so much hyperbole it is not even funny. He should get some proper representation instead of these loudmouth lawyers.

Re:Oh really? (5, Insightful)

pe1rxq (141710) | more than 3 years ago | (#34839920)

Yeah, because it is impossible that the US would keep someone locked up at gitmo for years without any chance of ever getting a proper trial or even hearing what the hell you are accused of.

That would never happen.

Re:Oh really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34840038)

No he's terrified he will end up in a real American prison and end up as some lifer thugs prison bitch

Re:Oh really? (2)

Mindjiver (71) | more than 3 years ago | (#34840046)

I assume you are not aware of that the previous Swedish government was caught in a shit storm due to an extraordinary rendition of two Egyptians? They where only saved by the boxing day tsunami striking causing a shit in media focus.

So, that the current government should extradite Assange to somewhere where he would face being locked up without a trial is hyperbole, nothing else. The execution argument is so even more stupid as Sweden does not extradite anyone if they face the death penalty.

Re:Oh really? (1)

Mindjiver (71) | more than 3 years ago | (#34840094)

That should of course be a "shift in media focus" :)

Re:Oh really? (2)

wjousts (1529427) | more than 3 years ago | (#34840136)

Personally, I thought "shit" was better.

Re:Oh really? (4, Insightful)

vux984 (928602) | more than 3 years ago | (#34840224)

I'm a bit confused.

Are you saying we shouldn't be worried about Sweden getting mixed up in "extraordinary rendition" (ie kidnapping) because they were caught doing it?

Personally I take the opposite lesson...they've demonstrated they will do it. They may have learned their lesson... or perhaps the only lesson learned was to try harder so as not to get caught next time.

Re:Oh really? (4, Insightful)

Hatta (162192) | more than 3 years ago | (#34840228)

Your argument is that because Sweden has illegally rendered people before that they will not do so again?

Re:Oh really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34840138)

Well, he isn't a Muslim so I think he is safe.

Re:Oh really? (1)

DirePickle (796986) | more than 3 years ago | (#34840140)

If the US government wanted him, though, wouldn't it be easier to get him from the British than from the Swedish?

Re:Oh really? (1)

Tapewolf (1639955) | more than 3 years ago | (#34839950)

IIRC, the UK does not extradite people if they face capital punishment in the country requesting it. Since the US does still practice it, this should ensure that he cannot be sent there unless there is a guarantee from the US that he will not face the death penalty.

That's assuming this rule applies to Assange, of course - it might only be for British citizens, I'm not sure.

Re:Oh really? (1)

Anonymous Psychopath (18031) | more than 3 years ago | (#34840036)

IIRC, the UK does not extradite people if they face capital punishment in the country requesting it. Since the US does still practice it, this should ensure that he cannot be sent there unless there is a guarantee from the US that he will not face the death penalty.

That's assuming this rule applies to Assange, of course - it might only be for British citizens, I'm not sure.

Except they aren't trying to extradite him to the US, but to Sweden. It's pretty thin.

Re:Oh really? (1)

Tapewolf (1639955) | more than 3 years ago | (#34840074)

Point, but that's presumably the reason they're doing this.

Re:Oh really? (1)

Chris Mattern (191822) | more than 3 years ago | (#34840076)

The rule can't apply to Assange in any case, as it isn't the US requesting his extradition--it's Sweden, as stated in the summary. His lawyers are trying to argue that if he's extradited to Sweden, Sweden might render him over to the US.

Bridges (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34839838)

I have the very real possibility of owning the Golden Gate Bridge according to the nice gentleman who just came by!

Good! (5, Insightful)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | more than 3 years ago | (#34839846)

I'm not saying it's good that America does these things. I have a tremendous sense of schadenfreude about the American government feeling some pain for its indefinite detention and torturing. As an American, I'm disgusted that my government has betrayed our ideals, but I also know that as one person I'm very unlikely to effect change. Maybe Assange can take our government to task more effecitively than any normal American citizen could.

Kentucky Fried reference (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34839858)

"Send him to Detroit!"

This is absurd. (2, Informative)

oracleguy01 (1381327) | more than 3 years ago | (#34839866)

They are just using that as an excuse to not let him get extradited. As so many people have pointed out here before, publishing classified information is not a crime in the US. The person that leaked it to the entity publishing the information is the one that broke the law. Just because on Fox News they maintain the narrative that he should be eliminated doesn't mean it is going to happen. This is just FUD.

Granted his lawyers are just doing what lawyers do, they are trying to find some way to win. But I hope it doesn't work.

Re:This is absurd. (2)

Chyeld (713439) | more than 3 years ago | (#34840168)

Despite the fact that several lawmakers are attempting to find something, anything, that they can charge him with solely for the purpose of punishing him for these leaks.

See also: The treatment of PFC Manning, the subpoena by the federal government severed to Twitter for the records of a Swedish legislator known to work with Wikileaks.

Sadly, as much as I had hope that Obama's administration would be beginning mark of when the government would at least play by the rules publicly, it looks as if the folk running the show now are just as willing to subvert the letter of the law to whatever means they consider expedient rather than go the more righteous route of doing it the hard way without cheating.

The way the Swedish 'rape' laws are (5, Funny)

Suki I (1546431) | more than 3 years ago | (#34839870)

With the way Sweden made their rape laws, he is lucky that they don't have a death penalty for men saying hello to women first.

Re:The way the Swedish 'rape' laws are (1)

Virtucon (127420) | more than 3 years ago | (#34839992)

Yes they do. It's the Swedish Bikini team law. "Lookie no Talkie, Touchy!"

Re:The way the Swedish 'rape' laws are (0)

luther349 (645380) | more than 3 years ago | (#34840116)

rape laws are pretty much the same anywhere. but the problem in the usa just being accused of a sex crime is worse then the death penalty. you go on the sex offender list and vala you will never have a job again. get convicted and you probably will be killed in jail. lets not forgot its dam near imposable to prove your not guilty. so i can see his atternys concern of the usa prossing this matter. lets not forget they are out to get him anyways.

Riot (3, Interesting)

DontLickJesus (1141027) | more than 3 years ago | (#34839878)

I hope if that man ends up on American soil that the citizens of this country (US) riot and raise fucking hell. What our government plans to do is wrong, it's illegal, and they know it. So does every citizen and every member of the press.

Re:Riot (5, Insightful)

Haedrian (1676506) | more than 3 years ago | (#34839910)

I'll believe that when I see it.

Its more likely that nobody will open their mouths, then a bunch of senators will get pizzas delivered to them that they didn't order.

Re:Riot (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34840086)

I hope if that man ends up on American soil that the citizens of this country (US) riot and raise fucking hell. What our government plans to do is wrong, it's illegal, and they know it. So does every citizen and every member of the press.

I'm a US citizen and .. detaining a foreign national for publishing secrets whose impact on US foreign relations may take years to assess? Naw, I really don't see the problem here.

If I were in the State Department, I'd ask for him to be handed over too. I wouldn't make a huge fuss, but I'd still ask. If he showed up, I'd detain him-- so he should probably steer clear. If his *own* government wants to give him up and ship him here that really sounds like an issue for him, his countrymen, and *his* government.

Related Coverage (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34839886)

In related news, the Guardian has in-depth coverage of his extradition hearing [guardian.co.uk] , including a list of legal arguments he's making and how the death threats he's received from US politicians are particularly worrying in light of the shooting in Arizona. Also, the right-wing blogger behind JulianAssangeMustDie.com [mediabistro.com] has been exposed. The domain was registered by Melissa Clouthier.

He's worried about the US in Sweden not the *UK*? (2, Insightful)

swb (14022) | more than 3 years ago | (#34839888)

That's pretty funny. If the US wanted him "renditioned", they would have had him already from the UK. He's much more likely to be safe from US rendition in Sweden.

However, in Sweden, he will have to get up on the stand and answer for his sexual behavior, and that's what he's really worried about.

It's not entirely clear from what I've read that he's an actual rapist, but it sure sounds like he's a real jerk.

Re:He's worried about the US in Sweden not the *UK (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34839964)

That is a good point so this works doubly well for him if he does in fact have an anti-US agenda. He gets to spread fear against the USG and not have to go to jail (or whatever the punishment is) for his crimes in Sweden. Double Win.

Back to earth (1, Interesting)

onyxruby (118189) | more than 3 years ago | (#34839896)

Wow, I'm surprised they didn't offer up anal probes in area 51 to go along with the rest... This guy needs to get a grip, get off his ego trip and realize that his stunts cause real harm to people the world over.

Of course the US is seeking to extradite him, to put him on trial for spying and other damages. That being said, execution for spies is a legal tradition going back to prehistory, so there's a few thousand plus years of precedent to call on.

Just remember, wikileaks next victim might be someone or something that you support. That's the problem with anarchy groups like wikileaks, they're as likely to turn against you as anything else.

Re:Back to earth (4, Informative)

zeroshade (1801584) | more than 3 years ago | (#34839956)

his stunts cause real harm to people the world over

Really? Last I heard there wasn't a single person they could prove was harmed by the wikileaks releases.

Of course the US is seeking to extradite him, to put him on trial for spying and other damages

None of which they can prove, and releasing the documents isn't illegal under US law. So what reason do they have to extradite him? Not saying it won't happen, just that it's ridiculous.

Re:Back to earth (3, Informative)

onyxruby (118189) | more than 3 years ago | (#34840120)

Why don't we start with his own admission of people getting killed in Kenya because of his actions [rightnetwork.com] ?

Re:Back to earth (1)

Mindjiver (71) | more than 3 years ago | (#34840148)

Well, at least one woman in Sweden was "harmed by his release". :)

Re:Back to earth (1)

RockoTDF (1042780) | more than 3 years ago | (#34840216)

The state department is moving people around who are likely targets. If you really think that say, that "Mohammed _________, our source who owns the pizza joint in south Kabul" is safe because they pulled his name out, you are pretty naive (the pizza analogy is silly, I know). Only a small percentage of the cables have been read by any one source (or everyone combined, for that matter), but once they are, if there is only one pizza place in Kabul, Mohammed ________ is fucked, as is his entire family. People will get hurt as various governments and terrorist groups dig into the releases. Hell, the Taliban doesn't exactly follow due process, if they had been wondering about our hypothetical pizza shop owner and had a hint they'd go kill him. Not to mention the possibility that blanking names out may lead them to the *wrong* people.

Re:Back to earth (1)

pe1rxq (141710) | more than 3 years ago | (#34840008)

Wow... the best argument you can come up with is 'I want to act like a caveman'?

Re:Back to earth (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34840022)

Nothing wikileaks has done and likely ever could do scares me as much as the people who think what he did merits execution.

Re:Back to earth (1)

jbolden (176878) | more than 3 years ago | (#34840088)

1) I don't think he engaged in spying he wasn't on US soil.
2) He was a civilian. Execution of freelancers is not a tradition.
3) I'm not sure that net net he caused harm. A lot of good came from it to.
4) I do support the US state department, This was something I support.

Re:Back to earth (1)

DogDude (805747) | more than 3 years ago | (#34840106)

"That's the problem with anarchy groups like wikileaks, they're as likely to turn against you as anything else."

Transparency is a two way street. Most would argue that transparency is a good thing.

Re:Back to earth (2)

onyxruby (118189) | more than 3 years ago | (#34840208)

Transparency isn't the issue, the issue s an attack on diplomacy itself. When nations don't feel like they can talk they are more likely to resolve their conflicts through non-diplomatic means. I don't think that's in anybodies best interest.

Alarmist rhetoric (1)

JWman (1289510) | more than 3 years ago | (#34839922)

Look, I know the US hasn't had a stellar record of late, but come on. We're not to the point of ruthless dictatorship yet. If anything, I think extradition to the US would generate more much needed light on the fundamental concepts of freedom of speech in this country. "prominent figures have implied... that he should be executed" Uh huh... Since when did Palin start making policy decisions again?

Rep. Giffords got shot after being threatened. (0, Troll)

Xenographic (557057) | more than 3 years ago | (#34840154)

> "prominent figures have implied... that he should be executed" Uh huh... Since when did Palin start making policy decisions again?

One of the people Palin put under the cross-hairs in a political ad, Rep. Giffords, just got shot in Arizona [cnn.com] . And I honestly don't think Palin intended that as a physical threat of violence, but she has tons of crazies as followers and was warned by Rep. Giffords that doing stuff like that is a bad idea for a person with as many crazy followers as her.

And you don't seriously think that someone, somewhere is crazy enough that they would shoot him when they pretty much have the support of the Republican party? Heck, they have the support of half the Democrats, too, it seems.

Re:Alarmist rhetoric (2)

denis-The-menace (471988) | more than 3 years ago | (#34840176)

Look, I We're not to the point of ruthless dictatorship yet.

Are you aware of the "constitutional free zone" in your country?

They may be right... (3, Insightful)

moxley (895517) | more than 3 years ago | (#34839926)

While I believe that Wikileaks is likely some form of an intel operation/possible manipulation in and of itself to some degree, I still support the concept behind Wikileaks.

Unfortunately I think that this statement by his lawyers may be correct. It's sad, but America is no longer the beacon of hope and freedom for the world that it once was - it's a bloated, corrupted, fading superpower. In a way we're the world's largest banana republic. It makes me very sad, because I love my country - but loving your country doesn't mean shying away from criticizing the government or exposing it's misdeeds - in fact, it means the opposite. This nation was supposedly founded on dissent and the rights of man, and to hear those in power try spin the law (including the Constitution) to suit their twisted needs is sickening.

Thank You Dubya and Cheney (Obama for the assist) (5, Insightful)

Bemopolis (698691) | more than 3 years ago | (#34839932)

The fact that this argument cannot be dismissed as ridiculous, hyperbolic poppycock is testament to how far the United States has fallen in the world's estimation.

Re:Thank You Dubya and Cheney (Obama for the assis (3, Insightful)

jbolden (176878) | more than 3 years ago | (#34840052)

Yep. I'm hope people in the US get the message that the rest of the world no longer thinks of us a country of laws.

Re:Thank You Dubya and Cheney (Obama for the assis (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34840084)

The argument can be dismissed as ridiculous, hyperbolic poppycock by anyone with a functioning brain.

Re:Thank You Dubya and Cheney (Obama for the assis (3, Insightful)

Ferzerp (83619) | more than 3 years ago | (#34840174)

Not just in the world's estimation, but also in its own citizens' estimation.

FALSE! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34839942)

Neither of those things will ever happen.

Seriously? (1)

daveschroeder (516195) | more than 3 years ago | (#34839952)

Does anyone believe that the fact he is in UK custody doesn't effectively place him in US custody, more than Swedish custody would?

Assange has said more than once, as if speaking to his supporters in America, that "they" are going to be the ones to stop "the government" from "getting him". So, he and his lawyers use things that will strike a chord, like claiming he'll be sent to Guantanamo Bay (as the current administration is so keen to do) or that he'll be killed, whether by the death penalty or otherwise (when it isn't clear that there is any legal basis on which to prosecute him).

This is just another part of his campaign to influence US public opinion, which is exactly what he does with Wikileaks. This is the real Julian Assange. [vanityfair.com]

Re:Seriously? (1, Interesting)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 3 years ago | (#34840092)

Does anyone believe that the fact he is in UK custody doesn't effectively place him in US custody, more than Swedish custody would?

I do. You see politicians generally are a bit shy about handing over their own citizens to foreign powers for unknown. It tends to get their constituents thinking about what could happen to them, personally, and they vote the bum out pronto. Handing over a foreign national to another foreign power, on the other hand, makes some people upset but does not result in the same level of anger, fear, and motivation. It's not a political death sentence. In this case UK politicians can claim ignorance to some extent, claiming they could not foresee that he'd be handed over to the US. They can even blame the US and Sweden publicly and call for his return to the UK. This may well prevent them from being kicked out of office.

So, he and his lawyers use things that will strike a chord, like claiming he'll be sent to Guantanamo Bay (as the current administration is so keen to do) or that he'll be killed, whether by the death penalty or otherwise (when it isn't clear that there is any legal basis on which to prosecute him).

True enough, and the US handed every foreigner that legal tool when we started having "special" prisons outside the normal court system and with no regard for international human rights standards. Moreover, he was doubly enabled when powerful right wing politicians made public comments about having him killed.

Re:Seriously? (1)

Anonymous Psychopath (18031) | more than 3 years ago | (#34840144)

You do realize that he isn't a UK citizen? Sort of invalidates your theory.

Impossible (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34839978)

Obama closed G-To as part of his change campaign.

fuck america (0)

ChunderDownunder (709234) | more than 3 years ago | (#34839984)

i mean, no offence.
But after sticking hicks and habib in that concentration camp for several years, you can tear up that aus-usa bilateral agreement.
Guantanamo is Cuban soil, 'won' by the US empire in some long forgotten 19th century war against the Spanish.

Let's be clear about the accusations against him.. (3, Informative)

StevenMaurer (115071) | more than 3 years ago | (#34840004)

Assange is being accused of "sex by surprise", which is a Swedish law that states that you need explicit permission to engage in consensual relations each time it happens, no matter what happens before or after. In his case, the woman he "attacked" made him breakfast after her "rape", and they continued their relationship for weeks, until she met a different woman who had also slept with him (after acting like a virtual stalker towards him).

It was only after they compared notes, that they approached Assange and asked him to get a STD test. He refused, and they spoke to the police.

Initially prosecutors declined to take this case, but then the whole Wikileaks scandal broke, and a different prosecutor (from a different area of the country) was assigned to the case, and tried to peruse it.

Assange repeatedly tried to speak to this prosecutor, but she apparently did not want to speak to him. Eventually, he was told he was free to leave the country, which he did.

Now we learn that at least one of the women supposedly who accused him of this is not cooperating with the prosecutors.

I'm not sure what to call any of this, and I'm completely torn about whether Wikileaks is good or bad, but this sure as hell isn't any normal kind of rape accusation to me. The whole thing stinks to high heaven.

Re:Let's be clear about the accusations against hi (2)

melikamp (631205) | more than 3 years ago | (#34840166)

Counter-intuitively, what turned out to be kind of a shitcase for Assage personally, is also a good thing for Wikileaks, as it simply draws more popular attention to their releases. Actually, I would not call Assange stupid even if he keeps blowing on this flame, as it would be quite selfless. Remember: just like any news is bad news in a fire department, any news is good news in a newspaper.

Julian and Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay (1)

TVDinner (1067340) | more than 3 years ago | (#34840016)

Awesome movie idea! Wait....

Its still open right .... (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 3 years ago | (#34840032)

that guantanamo bay ... despite who you have elected have PROMISED you that he would shut it up ... and the ones before him, are the ones who opened it in the first place...

maybe it is time you realize that your government & economic system works against you people.

Uh (5, Insightful)

monoqlith (610041) | more than 3 years ago | (#34840068)

This is pretty thin. It's not clear that Assange could be vulnerable to criminal charges of say, treason, in the US since he is not a citizen of, nor loyal to, the US. WikiLeaks does not have servers in the US. Moreover the 'figures' that the lawyers cites as saying Assange should be executed have no actual authority in the US. They cite Sarah Palin and Mike Huckabee, neither of whom hold political office and (I'm guessing - and hoping) will not have any official political power in the near future.

This is Assange's own lawyers trying to prevent extradition to Sweden, which has actually filed criminal charges against him. I'm all for what Assange does, but this is exceedingly unlikely to come to pass.

The US Government and Assange (2)

Kelbin (1787356) | more than 3 years ago | (#34840102)

How is it that people fail to realize that if the US truly wanted him that they would have him? I almost wonder if the Government isn't using him as a diversion from something else.

Re:The US Government and Assange (1)

Gallomimia (1415613) | more than 3 years ago | (#34840238)

Wonder no more. Find out what the something else is. The government uses great public spectacles as media distractions every single day.

Tin foil hat (3, Insightful)

wjousts (1529427) | more than 3 years ago | (#34840196)

Sounds like the rantings of a paranoid schizophrenic. Reminds me of the SNL skits where Assange reminds people that no matter how he dies, even if it's decades from now and peacefully in his sleep, "it was murder!".

Bad argument. (1, Insightful)

Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) | more than 3 years ago | (#34840210)

If you were to take his argument to its logical conclusion, he's saying that any crime he may have committed cannot result in punishment otherwise he might also be punished very harshly for a completely different offence?

So he may have robbed a bank, shanked the queen of Sweden, and sold half the population of Stockholm into slavery, but you can't extradite him because the Swedish might send him to the united states?

Obviously a little different from the charges he's facing, but what crime would he have to be charged with to allow him to be extradited to Sweden? Or does his noble actions with Wikileaks cause him to be immune for any other offence he committed?

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