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US Prosecutors Have a Sealed Indictment On Assange, Say Leaked Files

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the protective-layer-of-notoriety dept.

Censorship 328

beaverdownunder writes with news from The Age that "Leaked e-mails from private U.S. intelligence agency Stratfor indicate that American prosecutors have had a sealed, secret indictment drawn up against Julian Assange as early as January, 2011." From the article: "The news that U.S. prosecutors drew up a secret indictment against Mr. Assange more than 12 months ago comes as the WikiLeaks founder awaits a British Supreme Court decision on his appeal against extradition to Sweden to be questioned in relation to sexual assault allegations. Mr. Assange, who has not been charged with any offence in Sweden, fears extradition to Stockholm will open the way for his extradition to the U.S. on possible espionage or conspiracy charges over WikiLeaks' publication of hundreds of thousands of leaked classified U.S. reports."

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Not surprised (4, Insightful)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 2 years ago | (#39185127)

I think the only reason he hasn't been Awlaki'd is that he's staying in built-up first-world areas.

Re:Not surprised (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39185243)

I agree. If I was Assange, I would stick to public places with lots of people around at all times.

Re:Not surprised (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39185369)

Like a wedding. No one ever blows up a wedding.

Re:Not surprised (2)

pjabardo (977600) | more than 2 years ago | (#39185537)

Unless you happen to be in Afghanistan.

Re:Not surprised (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39185383)

Why would he be easier to extradite from Sweden than Great Britain?

Re:Not surprised (4, Informative)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 2 years ago | (#39185427)

This page has a lot of arguments and info on the topic, mind you the source isn't terribly neutral:

http://justice4assange.com/US-Extradition.html [justice4assange.com]

Re:Not surprised (2)

FTWinston (1332785) | more than 2 years ago | (#39185571)

It does seem counter-intuitive. But perhaps we Brits are only eager to hand over our own to the Merrykins.

Re:Not surprised (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39185659)

He wouldn't be easier to extradite from Sweden than Great Britain. The EU has specific rules and regulations regarding extradition to a third-party non-EU state, and there is absolutely nothing (legal) that Sweden can do to extradite Assange to the US without first getting the consent of the UK's justice minister.

The only way that Assange could be extradited to the US is:
1) Sweden and the UK BOTH agree to honor an extradition request, through their justice ministers & courts, and that extradition is held up by the EU central courts;
2) Sweden decides to jeopardize its standing and decades of goodwill in the EU, as well as facing probable legal and economic sanctions, and hands over Assange without obeying the relevant EU laws to which it is a signatory

In case 1, why would the US wait for him to be extradited to Sweden, instead of just requesting extradition from the UK? They have to get the UK justice minister's approval either way, why add Sweden's system to the mix?

In case 2, this is so unlikely to happen that you might as well be worrying about a Martian invasion, as well.

The only people who think the Sweden extradition is some sort of grand conspiracy for the US to get its hands on Assange are... well, Assange, and a like-minded bunch of credulous simpletons (see the link provided by GameboyRMH for examples of like-minded simpletons.)

Re:Not surprised (1, Interesting)

HBI (604924) | more than 2 years ago | (#39185853)

I actually agree. It may be that the Swedish women are doing him a favor here. In fact, I wouldn't doubt that this is all attention seeking behavior from Assange when he knows full well that the Swedish connection might be his only lifeline. It's unlikely that he'd be in any danger in Swedish jail, but he'd be in quite a bit of danger anywhere else. Hiding out in Stockholm for 10 years might be the one thing that could result in him having any future besides a pine box.

The insurance file is a joke. It's already been cracked, assuredly.

Re:Not surprised (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39185569)

Actually, I think it's more likely that the US doesn't want to embarrass its allies to that extent. For better or worse, America is still one of the most talented countries in the world when it comes to killing people. Whether by a small missile that got him in the shower or a sniper who may as well not existed before or after Assange was shot, if the US absolutely wanted him dead, it would take more than a crowded room to save him. It's not like they're limited to drones. I'm not saying it's right or that I would personally be OK with it (frankly, I don't think the whiny brat is worth it but that's another issue entirely) but, if we're talking about ability and not morality, there's not much that would save him if the US absolutely wanted him dead.

Re:Not surprised (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 2 years ago | (#39185701)

True, I'm sure he could be killed with a handshake if the US had zero respect for the UK's sovereignty.

I still don't get it (5, Interesting)

zero.kalvin (1231372) | more than 2 years ago | (#39185135)

He did not steal the files! He is not an american citizen! And when he did obtain the files, he was not on American soil! And he is not bound by any law prohibiting the distribution of these files, and certainly not under any NDA. So the question is what kind of justice mokery they came up with ?

Re:I still don't get it (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39185233)

Might makes right.

Re:I still don't get it (1)

del_diablo (1747634) | more than 2 years ago | (#39185263)

And winners write history.

Re:I still don't get it (5, Insightful)

FriendlyLurker (50431) | more than 2 years ago | (#39185247)

Dont let facts, or the law [salon.com] , get in the way of a good revenge hanging.

it is impossible to invent theories to indict them [Assange/Wikileaks] without simultaneously criminalizing much of investigative journalism

The emperor reacts violently when without clothes.

Re:I still don't get it (5, Insightful)

Hatta (162192) | more than 2 years ago | (#39185401)

Criminalizing investigative journalism is exactly what they intend to do.

Re:I still don't get it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39185503)

A lot of traditional "investigative journalism" has been criminal.
The First Amendment is supposed to keep the government from punishing you for what you write, not give you a free pass to commit any and all acts in the name of journalism.

Re:I still don't get it (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39185277)

Making the files accessible is illegal. It's my understanding that there are certain types of content for which you cannot distribute: copyrighted content without owners permission, bomb making and other terrorist information, and files relating to national security.

Re:I still don't get it (1)

zero.kalvin (1231372) | more than 2 years ago | (#39185305)

He is not american, nor lives there. He is not bound by American law! The only thing I can think of is terrorism, but I wonder how would that apply to him ( aiding the enemy perhaps ?).

Re:I still don't get it (4, Insightful)

Americano (920576) | more than 2 years ago | (#39185847)

The term is 'espionage' - e.g., 'spying.'

Whether or not what he's done meets the definition of spying would depend largely on whether he actively solicited these files (e.g., encouraged the leaker, allegedly PFC Manning, to breach security and release the classified information to him), or whether he was the passive recipient, and all of the responsibility for the release of classified information rests with the leaker. If you actively seek out classified information with the intent of passing it on to people who aren't cleared to possess it, that would be considered spying. If you are given information by a leaker, there are still some espionage concerns if you decide to publish, but the US Supreme Court has taken a fairly narrow view of what sort of things the government can forcibly prevent a newspaper from publishing once it has been leaked.

Your argument, however, is nonsensical. Being a US citizen doesn't mean you're allowed to go to Germany and break their laws, and then claim as a defense, "But I'm not German, and I don't live here - I'm not bound by German law!" If you commit a crime in Germany, you can bet that the German authorities will want to prosecute, regardless of what your nationality is.

NB: I'm not arguing that Mr. Assange *has* committed a crime against the US, I'm pointing out that your argument does nothing to exonerate him if he actually has done so. I could certainly agree that his organization handled the leaked documents irresponsibly (a much more thorough redaction to protect named informants would have been preferable), but I'd need to see far more concrete evidence that he actively solicited this information to believe he engaged in anything like espionage.

Re:I still don't get it (2)

liamevo (1358257) | more than 2 years ago | (#39186065)

Huh? As far as I'm aware a he didn't receive the files while on american soil. That was his argument, that american laws are not worldwide.

Re:I still don't get it (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39185395)

Nope [wikipedia.org] .

Re:I still don't get it (1)

wisnoskij (1206448) | more than 2 years ago | (#39185417)

Illegal in the US...
See original comment as to why US law does not apply to him.

Re:I still don't get it (2)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 2 years ago | (#39185419)

Making the files accessible is illegal

Under the laws of which country?

Re:I still don't get it (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39185539)

Doesn't even matter. It's not illegal in the US. Look at the Pentagon Papers case. The Supreme Court ruled that the gov't can't criminalize publication of said files by a 3rd party. They can only criminalize the improper disclosure of the files to non-authorized persons, which is why Bradley Manning is in custody.

That fact, of course, doesn't stop the US Gov from trying to extradite the guy and try him just to make his life hell.

Re:I still don't get it (1)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 2 years ago | (#39185565)

Under the law of every country that has an extradition agreement with the United States. Note that disclosing UK secret files for an American would probably mean him being arrested by American authorities.

Interestingly, the EU countries have extradition agreement with the US but they can't extrade someone who could risk death penalty. Assange case is really a legal minefield.

Re:I still don't get it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39185551)

The United States, where any law or rule that originates out the U.S. is a violent rape of sovereignty when applied to U.S. citizens, but whose citizens expect U.S. laws to apply across the universe to everyone and everything.

Re:I still don't get it (1)

S.O.B. (136083) | more than 2 years ago | (#39185279)

So the question is what kind of justice mokery they came up with ?

That would be American justice mockery.

Re:I still don't get it (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 2 years ago | (#39185363)

Did you not get the memo? American laws apply everywhere in the world.

Re:I still don't get it (1)

RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) | more than 2 years ago | (#39185449)

If I hack and break into MI5 or Downing Street, does that mean that my extradition to the UK mean that "British laws apply everywhere in the world" too? Or does it mean that we have an extradition agreement with the UK?

Re:I still don't get it (4, Insightful)

Alranor (472986) | more than 2 years ago | (#39185469)

And what, exactly, did Julian Assange hack, or break into?

Re:I still don't get it (2)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 2 years ago | (#39185507)

That is exactly the point here: Assange did not actively do anything to leak the documents, he only led an effort to make the leaked documents available to the world.

Re:I still don't get it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39185579)

It is if you hacked MI5 from your home in Canada and Germany wants to try you for it

Where Does It Claim to Be Under US Law? (4, Insightful)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 2 years ago | (#39185377)

So the question is what kind of justice mokery they came up with ?

I suppose that the Wikileaks cable leaks were so pervasive that some of the files contained classified information -- maybe even information not only classified by the United States government but also many other governments of the world.

Has it occurred to you that perhaps the US prosecutors have researched the laws that he was supposed to be abiding by when he obtained the files? They're probably not as serious as the US laws but nowhere does it say whether these are charges under US law, Australian laws, US-Ally law or some other foreign law. Here's some reading on said laws from the nation of his citizenship [nationalsecurity.gov.au] . Perhaps the purpose of this indictment is to try to get him tried under those laws in an Australian court with information provided by US prosecutors?

Re:Where Does It Claim to Be Under US Law? (5, Insightful)

zero.kalvin (1231372) | more than 2 years ago | (#39185439)

As far as I remember, Australia did look into this matter and they found out that he can't be prosecuted. Now if what you say is true, then this shit is getting out of hand. I mean how far they are willing to go with this? At one point they will transform him into a living 'martyr' and then they would have accomplished nothing by bringing him down. You do not eliminate your enemies by taking them down this way, you eliminate them by making them irrelevant.

Re:Where Does It Claim to Be Under US Law? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39185481)

I mean how far they are willing to go with this?

Er, that's the whole point ... Australia says we have no reason to [journalism.co.uk] so US collects an indictment that contains the sensitive/classified materials and prepares to see Assange in Australian court. If the US wants to make a martyr out of him, let them ...

Re:Where Does It Claim to Be Under US Law? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39185759)

There is no such thing as an indictment like you propose. It's simply crazy, you're screwing us all by trying to rationalize such ethically and legally unjustified actions.

Re:Where Does It Claim to Be Under US Law? (1)

GSloop (165220) | more than 2 years ago | (#39185889)

Then it would need to be the appropriate law enforcement from THAT country that would have an indictment.

It would be REALLY odd (nay, not within the law) for the US Department of Justice to be holding a sealed indictment for crimes under Australian law or any other country's laws. Ironic huh? That the US Justice Department would be involved in an extra-judicial, not-within-the-law process?!? Not really I guess, but "For Great Justice" - erm, lets lynch the SOB. Trust us, the president says he's an eeeeevilll-dooer, AND a terrorist!

And don't get me started on our great constitutional law scholar who is assassinating American citizens and their minor children without due process.

Summary: If you think pretty much anything the US government does these days is within the law, you aren't paying attention.

-Greg

Re:I still don't get it (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 2 years ago | (#39185381)

What makes you think the rule of law applies in America?

America? We are talking Hillary Clinton's America (0)

Latent Heat (558884) | more than 2 years ago | (#39185691)

Diss Hillary Clinton, pal, and the rule of law is largely irrelevant.

You don't tug on Superman's cape, and you don't cross paths with the current Secretary of State, as a lot of other men as well as women besides Mr. Assange had found out. It may be terribly unjust what is happening to ol' Julian on account of the fun he had with some sista's in Sweden, but certain things are existential, such as the wrath of Secretary Clinton, and poor Mr. Assange is like, so clueless.

Re:I still don't get it (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39185397)

He did not steal the files! He is not an american citizen! And when he did obtain the files, he was not on American soil! And he is not bound by any law prohibiting the distribution of these files

I guess he doesn't have anything to worry about then, eh?

IMHO, since he isn't a US citizen and was not on US soil then he wasn't subject to US jurisdiction. He should be terminated like any other person caught engaging in espionage.
There is a right and wrong way to go about things and he choose poorly. He wasn't the only one involved and punishment should be extended to others in the wikileaks org.
 

Re:I still don't get it (1)

reubenavery (1047008) | more than 2 years ago | (#39185423)

Easy: Throw him in a hole and work it out later. We've long since jumped the "rule of law" rails over here when it comes to anything that annoys the elites.

Guns (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39185523)

When you have guns, and the special "right" to employ them as a business model, you don't need to justify a damn thing.

It astounds me that after thousands of years of organized coercion, the average human being still doesn't realize that coercion doesn't merely describe government, it defines government.

When you have coercion, you certainly don't need persuasion.

Give him a journalism award (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39185563)

Nixon went after the New York Times journalists too, when they unmasked his pattern of election rigging, and abuse of power.

It's the same old same old.

I'm glad he's reporting/publishing these leaks and not helping cover them up. That's what good journalists do, no matter how hot it gets. No matter how much pressure or how many fake honey traps, or lies, or political abuse of the legal system.

Re:Give him a journalism award (5, Informative)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 2 years ago | (#39185719)

I don't think of Watergate when I think of these leaks; instead, this is what comes to mind:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pentagon_papers [wikipedia.org]

We have been in this situation before, only we were less fascist back then.

Re:Give him a journalism award (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39185921)

He is not publishing leaks and exposing corruption. He is releaseing selective raw classified material and only selected materials that he decides for what ever reasons. He is doing absolutely no investigation going on here, there is no verifiable context or paper trail so people can follow the paper trail and get the whole story. There is no references or followup and no story or sequence behind some of these stories and events. There could easily be a paper released that states someone should be killed and a reply that "no way in hell" but are we getting the no way in hell reply? Are we getting the paper prior to this explaining why someone beleives that person should be killed?

To compare these releases to journalism or investigation is way off the mark. This is like a jealous wife going through your phone records and seeing a message from Jill asking if you are still meeting her for lunch. Your wife has no idea that Jill is your account rep and your company is finalizing a deal with her team over lunch. Your wife does not have access to your work email and didn't look for other messages in your phone so she does not see the rest.

Re:I still don't get it (1)

hideouspenguinboy (1342659) | more than 2 years ago | (#39185601)

That doesn't sound very patriotic citizen. Why do you hate America? Do you want the terrorists to win?

Re:I still don't get it (1)

zero.kalvin (1231372) | more than 2 years ago | (#39185663)

Joking aside, I am not American, nor do I live in the US. Shockingly I have an Arabic nationality and lives in Europe.

Re:I still don't get it (1)

hideouspenguinboy (1342659) | more than 2 years ago | (#39185737)

Not living in American is actually punishable under American law. Better watch out.

Re:I still don't get it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39185733)

The terrorists have already won. They manage wall street and the white house.

Re:I still don't get it (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 2 years ago | (#39185875)

What I find interesting is that many of my friends were supportive of Wikileaks for publishing corporate secrets (which damaged the reputations of those businesses), publishing the secrets of other governments (e.g. Nigeria), and even publishing the collateral murder video. When the diplomatic cables were published, suddenly everyone was in an uproar, as if it is OK to leak everything else and to show how the military killed two journalists, but not OK to expose the secret deals that the US government makes with other countries or the assessments made by US diplomats (even though those assessments may have far-reaching implications -- remember the "Long Telegram?").

Re:I still don't get it (1)

MarkvW (1037596) | more than 2 years ago | (#39185617)

You demonstrated Assange's complete innocence in four sentences! Somehow, I think that it is a little more complicated than that.

I'll wait to see the indictment.

Re:I still don't get it (1)

anagama (611277) | more than 2 years ago | (#39185925)

Good luck waiting. The Obama administration, like that of Bush before, sees no need to present indictments or use public fair trials prior to detention, and Obama has extended that policy to execution.

Re:I still don't get it (1)

markass530 (870112) | more than 2 years ago | (#39185619)

yea, but Bradley wasn't just an American citizen, he was a an American service member who took an oath, and Assange was complicit in his treason. I Doubt a "Journalist" Would work with an American service member actively committing treason

Re:I still don't get it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39185779)

How is that different from the Pentagon papers ?

Re:I still don't get it (3, Informative)

Nyder (754090) | more than 2 years ago | (#39185705)

He did not steal the files! He is not an american citizen! And when he did obtain the files, he was not on American soil! And he is not bound by any law prohibiting the distribution of these files, and certainly not under any NDA. So the question is what kind of justice mokery they came up with ?

Ask the MegaUpload people how not being american worked for them.

Re:I still don't get it (1)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 2 years ago | (#39185827)

He did not steal the files! He is not an american citizen! And when he did obtain the files, he was not on American soil! And he is not bound by any law prohibiting the distribution of these files, and certainly not under any NDA.

Given the evidence of interaction between Assange and Manning that the government has said it has, presumably the basis of any charges would be Manning's offenses, Assange's interaction with Manning, and 18 USC Sec. 2:

(a) Whoever commits an offense against the United States or aids, abets, counsels, commands, induces or procures its commission, is punishable as a principal.
(b) Whoever willfully causes an act to be done which if directly performed by him or another would be an offense against the United States, is punishable as a principal.

Though there a range of other possible avenues to liability that aren't foreclosed by the issues you raised besides that one.

Re:I still don't get it (5, Interesting)

Dhalka226 (559740) | more than 2 years ago | (#39185935)

And he is not bound by any law prohibiting the distribution of these files

I don't think that issue is as clear as you do. There's little stopping Congress from passing a law granting themselves some sort of worldwide jurisdiction (assuming the law would be otherwise valid). The better question is whether any of the rest of the world would care. If they refuse to extradite, the point is moot.

In this particular case, I see little reason not to extradite. His actions would be illegal pretty much everywhere, which is one major factor to the extradition process. Prosecutors could simply assure they will not seek the death penalty (assuming it's even possible; it depends what he would be charged under) to defuse another. Though it's debatable on a philosophical level, the vast majority of these nations also recognize our legal system as fair and capable of a fair trial, defusing another. If the US really does have a sealed indictment, it's already declared that he has, in fact, engaged in behavior that can be reasonably construed as breaking US law insofar as being deserving of bringing him to trial. I see no reason for other nations to second guess that declaration as a matter of policy, which means they would be making exceptions for Assange and quite frankly opening themselves up to problems in the future in terms of equal protection within their jurisdictions.

How did they get the indictment? I don't know. We haven't seen it, obviously, assuming it even exists. We don't know what it's for, so it's hard to even speculate. I've seen some interesting theories with regard to the Espionage Act. Quoting a law professor's interpretation of the act, it "prohibits the willful communication, delivery, or transmission to 'any person not entitled to receive it' of 'any document, writing, code book, signal book, sketch, photograph, photographic negative, blueprint, plan, map, model, instrument, appliance, or note relating to the national defense, or information relating to the national defense which information the possessor has reason to believe could be used to the injury of the United States or to the advantage of any foreign nation.'" That certainly seems to apply, at least superficially enough to bring to trial. Assange's propensity for running his mouth and making comments about how he hopes to bring governments down makes it awfully hard to backtrack on his intent as well. You can probably manage jurisdiction pretty easily since the information was originally hosted on, and thus disseminated from, Amazon servers -- Amazon being an American company and the servers likely, at least in part, on American soil. And that's just one way. (The whole article is interesting if you want to read it [msn.com] . You can see each parties' biases shine through, but they all bring up a lot of good points that would be raised at trial.)

I'm not making any judgments about the case itself, by the way. I'm simply saying that whether or not he should be brought to trial or should be extradited is not nearly so simple an issue. In fact he probably should be; I think the burdens on that end have been met. The better questions are whether he should be prosecuted and if he is, if he should be convicted.

If it goes to trial, there are a ton of huge issues. First Amendment protections; the definition of journalists; the requirement of intent; application of not only the law but First Amendment protection itself to foreign nationals (on foreign soil); the very definitions of espionage themselves. I think he has a lot of damn good defenses -- probably more than enough to generate reasonable doubt. I simply believe they should be adjudicated in the United States if you United States makes those allegations. The other burdens to extradition are met in my mind.

Re:I still don't get it (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39186067)

Should Terry Jones be extradited to Afghanistan for burning the Quran?
Any arab would say that burning a Quran should be illegal pretty much everywhere.

Re:I still don't get it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39186079)

Espionage laws apply. Being an American citizen or not has no bearing.

However this is a large caveat. His chances of being extradited to the United States from a foreign country for an espionage charge is highly unlikely. The precedant isn't something most countries would like to set.

What I find the most amusing is that Assange is afraid that the Swedish will extradite him to the United States. I'm not sure he is aware, but the United States and the UK extradition treaties (Extradition Act 2003); make extradition much more easy than going through Sweden. If the United States wanted Assange extradited, they'd go through UK and have him.

And that's not all (4, Funny)

NoNonAlphaCharsHere (2201864) | more than 2 years ago | (#39185157)

He's also on Double Secret Probation.

Re:And that's not all (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39185293)

Wow, only a crazy party that unites every house can save him now!

Re:And that's not all (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39185297)

Too bad the indictment was not on Stratfor's servers. It would have been public knowledge by now.

Re:And that's not all (1)

Moheeheeko (1682914) | more than 2 years ago | (#39185371)

Hopefully I get invited to his Toga party.

Re:And that's not all (1)

NatasRevol (731260) | more than 2 years ago | (#39185649)

Fat, drunk and stupid is no way to avoid the US government.

Who needs facts? Innuendo is so much more fun. (1)

RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) | more than 2 years ago | (#39185173)

Great, Stratfor claims to have a "secret indictment."

Well, where's the indictment? Leak that document.

Re:Who needs facts? Innuendo is so much more fun. (1)

kaizendojo (956951) | more than 2 years ago | (#39185219)

RTFA. Whom do you expect to "leak that document", Stratfor?

Re:Who needs facts? Innuendo is so much more fun. (4, Insightful)

RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) | more than 2 years ago | (#39185359)

Wikileaks. Having that email is interesting, but it is entirely devoid of any context or what the actual document is. Stratfor's an intelligence company. It could be misdirection for all we know.

Conspiracy minded thinking just doesn't jive me. It's pretty obvious the US Government isn't happy with Julian Assange, but, at what point does the conspiracy end? Show me the damn document.

Re:Who needs facts? Innuendo is so much more fun. (1)

Hartree (191324) | more than 2 years ago | (#39185615)

"Stratfor claims to have a "secret indictment.""

I doubt Stratfor has a secret indictment.

From the wording it looks like Burton is using "we" to refer to the US government/country. Burton had heard that there was a secret indictment from some source.

I don't know if it's true, but would anyone really be surprised if it was?

So far, these amazingly revealing internal Stratfor emails have been a damp squib. If these are the selected "smoking guns" we're in for a replay of Geraldo Rivera and Capone's Vault.

They were tracking PETA apparently through newspaper accounts and PETA's own press releases. Ditto The Yes Men.

That's hardly surprising either. Or illegal. I'd be extremely surprised if either PETA or The Yes Men didn't keep up their own watch on press releases and news items on corporations/groups opposed to them. It's called opposition research. ProTip: groups you agree with do it too.

Who knows, maybe they contracted with Stratfor to do it. We won't know until the full email set is dumped, if ever.

And in other news... (2, Insightful)

ColdFury (2040946) | more than 2 years ago | (#39185197)

And in other news that everyone already figured out... OJ Simpson *did* actually kill his ex wife. President Bush lied about WMD in Iraq to make his case for his invasion. Republicans are trying to sabotage the economy to make sure Obama doesn't get re-elected. And Waldo wasn't in the picture at all.

Re:And in other news... (1)

zero.kalvin (1231372) | more than 2 years ago | (#39185215)

And you forgot that we geeks have girlfriends!

Re:And in other news... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39185335)

No, you missed the point. ColdFury gave examples that were true.

Re:And in other news... (1)

anagama (611277) | more than 2 years ago | (#39185969)

I sure hope Obama doesn't get re-elected. I hated GWB's policies when Bush performed them, and I hate them just as much when Obama performs them.

No evidence. (4, Insightful)

the_demiurge (26115) | more than 2 years ago | (#39185209)

Based on the rest of the Strafor emails, there's quite a high possibility that this is just made up.

The only solution (2)

For a Free Internet (1594621) | more than 2 years ago | (#39185267)

The only solution is to smash imperialism with international socialist revolution!!! Workers to power!!!!!

insurance.aes256 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39185273)

Everyone, make sure we have this file (torrent) on our hard drives somewhere. I think that without this file, Julian Assange would have been dead by now.

Re:insurance.aes256 (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 2 years ago | (#39185307)

Some jackass leaked the key to that in a book last year, it affords him no safety now.

Re:insurance.aes256 (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 2 years ago | (#39185351)

And before anyone says "LOL IRONY" the reason that key becoming available was bad is because files inside there were completely unredacted.

Re:insurance.aes256 (1)

3seas (184403) | more than 2 years ago | (#39185415)

There is a error about the leaked KEY.... Fact is it's not to the whole Insurance file. That key has yet to be published

Re:insurance.aes256 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39185315)

Government officials are more worried about someone calling their mum a dirty word than they are about Assange's insurance file.

Re:insurance.aes256 (1)

BitZtream (692029) | more than 2 years ago | (#39185407)

Too bad you don't understand technology.

The .torrent file of this data is useless, it just tells you someplace to go ask who else has data about this file.

You want the actual data, not the torrent file.

Second, if the US actually cared about Assange, he would have been dead before you knew his name. We're rather good at dealing with people like him in advance of public issues and its not like Assange came out of know where and surprised them. Wikileaks wasn't exactly new.

They don't have anything to leak, thats why the don't leak it. Its not because you downloaded some encrypted file (which btw, has been decrypted for a rather long time and contains nothing unknown at this point so your torrent has been worthless for months) from some random website that is keeping him alive.

The fact that he hasn't actually done anything of consequence and doesn't have any information of consequence is why he's still alive. He's made an ass of himself at every turn and the only people that still follow him are delusional. The US has no reason to disappear Assange, he's enough of a douche that they can do it in public and he'll hang himself on public opinion without any effort from them.

You've been duped, you just haven't recognized it yet.

Re:insurance.aes256 (1)

3seas (184403) | more than 2 years ago | (#39185505)

If you had been following the details of the leaked KEY you'd know its not the KEY to the "Insurance.aes256" file but a mush smaller subset encrypted file.

Further more if you understood technology about .torrent files its the file your torrent software (i.e.http://www.bittorrent.com/downloads ) uses to set up and participate in receiving and sharing the files the .torrent file is relevant to.

The insurance.aes256 is not a .torrent file but rather the very large file you want.

Re:insurance.aes256 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39185725)

Don't flatter yourself, it took you ten years to find and kill Bin Laden (assuming he's dead and not currently being water-boarded in Guantanamo or a CIA secret prison).
I figure killing Assange would take at least 5 years.

Re:insurance.aes256 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39185965)

Your overconfidence is astounding given the likelihood of your ignorance on such subjects. 1) You claim to know the efficacy of US black ops assassinations, 2) clearly haven't reviewed the incompleteness of the 'unencrypted' insurance data, 3) draw conclusions from patently absurd presumptions in an impressive feat of circular reasoning 4) declare that anyone who follows 'news on a on person of interest' or another interpretation, "agrees to a thesis of transparent democracy" to be delusional 5) went out of your way to (twice!) issue an irrelevant and pedantic distinction between a torrent file and its data -This part is the most important, because clearly, having demonstrated your superior intelligence (or rather details memorization) of an arcane file transfer protocol, you are free and clear to speculate on all matters, for they are *obviously* within your jurisdiction of your genius.

LOL slashdot has some of the smartest idiots in the world. LOL

Assange (2)

DaMattster (977781) | more than 2 years ago | (#39185287)

Has done the world quite a service by exposing these secrets of what is misbehavior by governments. He hasn't really done anything that could put the lives of anyone in jeopardy. On the other hand, he has put some career politicians and bureaucrats in jeopardy of losing their freedom and they deserve it too. This man should be given a pulitzer or nobel prize for his work. He and his team's work have exposed the lies told by governments and it is high time the public really knows what misdeed their officials are up to. If Obama really didn't want to deliver transparency to the government, Assange will hold him to that campaign promise.

Follow the rules... (2)

3seas (184403) | more than 2 years ago | (#39185361)

Admit nothing, deny everything and make up counter accusations.
Now we know where the US Government gets its ideas to make crap up.

How about the tax payers telling government where it is going to spend tax payers taxes? The system is already there for tax collectors and processors to direct each tax payers tax revenue to where each tax payers instructs. This will solve a great deal of problems with an out of control rouge government.

As a tax payer I do not approve of my taxes being spent by the government funding lies and deceptions that hurt innocent people.
Who are the tax payers who do? Can I get a list?

According to the Declaration of Independence it is the tax payers right and DUTY to put of government not serving the interest of the people and to form a new governance that will. And that is in the works - i.e. http://www.nycga.net/resources/declaration/ [nycga.net]

For those who do not know, you can support Wikileaks, using your credit card or paypal by simply buying sponsor items (see wikileaks site for donations) such as a T-Shirt for $100 where the profits go to funding Wikileaks. And this is called Free Enterprise.....
 

Re:Follow the rules... (3, Insightful)

crawling_chaos (23007) | more than 2 years ago | (#39185493)

an out of control rouge government.

Good thing that people who rant about out of control government are always so reasoned and intellectual about it. They'd never post poorly proofread rants with dubious historical analogies or anything.

Replacing one set of loons with another, even loonier set is not an improvement.

Re:Follow the rules... (5, Insightful)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 2 years ago | (#39185895)

Who are the tax payers who do? Can I get a list?

Well, the sad thing is that when US citizen Anwar Al-Awlaki was killed with a missile without the slightest pretense of judicial due process, most polls suggested that about 65% of Americans approved, including substantial majorities of self-identified Democrats and self-identified Republicans. So by all appearances, US citizens don't actually care about whether the government follows its own rules.

This is obviously a scary fact, but something many totalitarian rulers discovered a long time ago is that the masses are generally fine with government oppression so long as they keep them distracted (with TV, iPhones, etc), target minorities that are small enough that they can't fight back (e.g. Japanese-Americans or German Jews), or create a subset of the population that thinks of themselves as privileged (members of the political party, following an established religion, dominant racial group, etc) and will fight to defend that privilege. Hence this comment from the 1930's: "When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in a flag and carrying a cross."

Re:Follow the rules... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39185945)

This will solve a great deal of problems with an out of control rouge government.

Didn't you get the memo? The Democrats won in 2008! We have an out of control cyan government these days.

(Also: citing the Occupy 'movement' as an example of an attempt at responsible & sensible government? Are you fucking serious?)

In other words... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39185373)

Some assistant prosecutor wrote a draft indictment for Assange and did not finish it, Assange has not been indicted, Assange is not being indicted, and the draft indictment is still in that bureaucrat's drafts folder. It's a secret indictment because it's not being used, by the same standard that every draft legislative proposal that a legislative aide or lobbyist starts work on is a SECRET LAW!!!!11one. So what?

Why secret? (1)

PPH (736903) | more than 2 years ago | (#39185451)

My understanding of such matters is that indictments are kept secret so that the subject doesn't go into hiding or otherwise take steps to avoid arrest. Do you really think Assange isn't aware of the US' desire to get him? Through the court system, extraordinary rendition, or just a sniper.

The fact that he is being indicted should be somewhat of a comfort in that the intent is to give him his day in court rather than in someone's crosshairs.

Grand Jury (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39185453)

Isn't an indictment what you get from a Grand Jury when they look over the prosecution's case and decide if there's enough to go to full trial?

I need new glasses (1)

OzPeter (195038) | more than 2 years ago | (#39185459)

When I glanced at that headline I actually parsed it as

"US persecutors have a sealed indictment .."

Well maybe that's more truthful ;-)

American Government is the Greater Threat (3, Insightful)

Phoenix666 (184391) | more than 2 years ago | (#39185471)

When the American government pulls moves like this, it proves it is the greatest threat to liberty in the world. The bland malevolence of the sociopathic gangsters running the United States right now puts the acute and minor threat of 3rd world terrorists shooting guns to shame. The latter kills scores, the former kills millions. And the former's threat is all the more intractable because of all the sheeple who shut up and do as they're told in the commission of the crimes.

duh (2)

anonieuweling (536832) | more than 2 years ago | (#39185533)

Duh, as if that was a surprise.
Now what do they really think will happen if they would sentence Manning and Assange?
Would their (USA) secrets be more safe due to this?
Nope. Plenty of people that can and will leak.
So it all depends on their (USA) security policy.
Not the theatre stuff we see from DHS, TSA in all types of places but the security policy in IT and on diplomatic levels.
So the USA lost to wikileaks and is pursueing something that will gain them nothing. Not even their honour.

I dunno... (2)

Holammer (1217422) | more than 2 years ago | (#39185597)

I would be more worried about being extradited by the British. Gary McKinnon & Richard O'Dwyer face possible jail time in US prisons and they are British subjects.

Hmmm. That is BS. (2)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 2 years ago | (#39185957)

While I believe that Manning should be tried and executed, Assange is a different matter all together. He is not American and can not be tried for this. Fencing in stolen goods perhaps, but not for other matters.

Leaked where (1)

Curunir_wolf (588405) | more than 2 years ago | (#39185973)

So were the leaked emails about the Wikileaks founder that posted leaked emails posted on email leak site Wikileaks?

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