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Washington Post: Assange 'Unlikely To Be Prosecuted In US'

timothy posted about 9 months ago | from the he-never-calls-he-never-writes-oy dept.

Crime 236

vikingpower writes "The Justice Department has all but concluded it will not bring charges against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange for publishing classified documents because government lawyers said they could not do so without also prosecuting U.S. news organizations and journalists, according to U.S. officials." That "all but" probably wouldn't feel all that comforting if this announcement applied to me.

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Prosecuted? Maybe not. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45526157)

Rot in jail for years before a 'trial'? Oh hell yes we'd do that to him.

Embarassed the powers that be... They got a hardon for him now.

Re:Prosecuted? Maybe not. (2)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | about 9 months ago | (#45526323)

Step in to my parlour,
Said the Spider to the Fly...

Maher Arar was never "prosecuted". Extraordinary rendition is extra-judicial.

An ordinary deportation to UK - which has no republican constitution and is under Crown Justice - that would have him nicely "dealt".

what would the US have to do? (2)

globaljustin (574257) | about 9 months ago | (#45526487)

To communicate the fact that they *really* aren't going to prosecute Assange?

They can't **promise** because US leaders do not know what new information could be revealed. It would be irresponsible and unprofessional for US Attorneys to say otherwise.

They can ***theoretically*** be, you know, actually telling the truth.

What I want to know is, under what conditions would the US be able to communicate this to your satisfaction?

What can the US Attorneys do that wont elicit a "Oh...yeah...SURE...they won't prosecute just indefinite detention" sarcasm

If the answer is nothing, then you have to wonder how much value your comment adds...if you are going to say the same comment no matter what the policy ;)

Re:what would the US have to do? (0)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | about 9 months ago | (#45526761)

The US can not say anything. They are not MY victim, in this. Your implication is that I am being unreasonable.

"I have stopped lying to you, forever - even though I was only discovered through detection and never formally acknowledged the transgression, nor submitted to any redress for my wronging."

Yeah. That's a trustworthy position....

broken record (1)

globaljustin (574257) | about 9 months ago | (#45526861)

so...**no matter what** you view the US government as so untrustworthy that there is absolutely nothing the Obama administration could do for you to thing they are telling the truth?

you want to see Assange, in NYC attending galas, at Harvard lecturing, in DC testifying (freely) before a Senate Judiciary hearing on privacy in the 21st Century...you want that, right? you would have to see it happen?

otherwise, you don't believe a single word the Obama administration says?

Am I accurately representing your position?

Re:broken record (3, Insightful)

geminidomino (614729) | about 9 months ago | (#45527053)

Not the OP, but...

so...**no matter what** you view the US government as so untrustworthy

An extremely reasonable position to hold, even before Wikileaks/Snowden.

that there is absolutely nothing the Obama administration could do for you to thing they are telling the truth?

Grant him complete amnesty, publicly.

Re:broken record (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45527677)

You're accurately representing my position, at any rate. They are my government, and therefore not to be trusted, regardless of whether they are doing things I approve of, or disapprove of.

Why say anything at all, then? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45526917)

If you can't promise "because we don't know the future", then what the hell point is there in saying that you won't prosecute him?

Ali Ackbar has no operating plan to blow up the Whitehouse at this time. Therefore please stop checking him out for links to terrorism!

Re:what would the US have to do? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45527735)

You're just not going to fit in at Slashdot anymore if you don't suffer (and make others suffer) from paranoia. Some days Slashdot posters seem to be the same idiots that post at the far-right-wing propaganda blogs.

Re:Prosecuted? Maybe not. (3, Insightful)

Shakrai (717556) | about 9 months ago | (#45526555)

Put your tinfoil hat away, he was freely walking the streets of the UK, until he exhausted his appeals in the Swedish case. Say what you will about Assange (I've said plenty), he's not a complete moron, the fact that he waited until he ran out of appeals spokes volumes about what he's really worried (Sweden) about. If he was worried about extradition to the United States why didn't he run the embassy sooner? Ditto for concerns about being charged in the UK.

Re:Prosecuted? Maybe not. (0)

TWiTfan (2887093) | about 9 months ago | (#45526717)

If he was worried about extradition to the United States why didn't he run the embassy sooner?

Maybe because he was hoping that for once the UK government wouldn't be the pathetic lapdogs of their U.S. masters, and see through the transparent attempt to discredit him and bury him in a prison on trumped-up charges? Maybe because he hoped in vain that the UK government might do the right thing FOR ONCE, and only went to the embassy as a last resort?

Re:Prosecuted? Maybe not. (4, Informative)

FriendlyLurker (50431) | about 9 months ago | (#45526881)

Freely walking the streets of the UK - WITH A TRACKING ANKLE DEVICE. Not to mention that he would be held in solitary the moment he lands in Sweden + easier to extradite him from Sweden to the US. Let me preempt those that still think it would be easier to extradite from the UK: The claim: "easier from the UK than Sweden" (FALSE) [justice4assange.com] .

Very sad that someone can be granted political asylum and *still* Sweden refuses to do a simple interview. Speaks volumes for the real intent of Sweden [wikipedia.org] (hint: nothing to do with justice, all about locking people away for embarrassing those in power and bringing some long needed transparency into the public realm.)

Re:Prosecuted? Maybe not. (3, Insightful)

TWiTfan (2887093) | about 9 months ago | (#45526643)

If he or Edward Snowden ever land on American soil again, they'll be thrown in jail before the TSA even has a chance to harass them. If they can't get him them on espionage charges, they'll trump up some other charges (probably along the lines of rape, child molestation, puppy abuse, etc. to discredit them to boot), or just not even bother with charges at all and send them straight down to Cuba for indefinite detention.

They've committed the greatest crime of all, embarrassing the U.S. Government. And that carries a mandatory life sentence with no trial.

Admiral Ackbar disagrees (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45526169)

[You know what goes here.]

Re:Admiral Ackbar disagrees (3, Funny)

Thanshin (1188877) | about 9 months ago | (#45526505)

Of course we do!

Mon Mothma: [to Restaurant waiter] I'll have the calamari.
Admiral Ackbar: Well. I guess I'll have the insensitive bitch. With a side of fuck you!
[Robot Chicken: Star Wars Episode II (2008) (TV)]

They'll say whatever, do whatever else. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45526173)

SOMEONE would find something to secretly charge him on, to be certain. They didn't hound him halfway around the world for nothing.

Well I Guess... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45526177)

Well, I guess the Washington Post can say whatever they like.

Please accept my personal guarantee that if Julian Assange were to arrive in New York on Christmas Day, he would be immediately arrested and charged with all sorts of obscure charges. He would then rot in a cell for several years(~6) before seeing the inside of a court room.

I guarantee it.

- Not George Zimmerman

Re:Well I Guess... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45526267)

At least this is 'tech'?

Re:Well I Guess... (1)

Shakrai (717556) | about 9 months ago | (#45526501)

He would then rot in a cell for several years(~6) before seeing the inside of a court room.

The Sixth Amendment says otherwise. Defendants have the right to a speedy trial. This right isn't always invoked, for various reasons (often defense counsel is the one asking for adjournments, in which case the right doesn't apply because the Defendant has waived it), but it's there. In New York State the People have six months from the filing of felony charges to either move forward with said charges or dismiss them, the only exception being for Murder I cases, which I believe have a 12 month timeline. Don't know what the exact deadlines are in the Federal system, but they're there.

George Zimmerman

George Zimmerman is an asshole, but I would have acquitted him if I had been a Juror. "Beyond a reasonable doubt", and there was plenty of reasonable doubt to go around in that particular case. That's actually an example of our system getting one right, given the disparate interests that all lined up against him, and the cynical attempt by those interests to poison the jury pool.

Re:Well I Guess... (1)

mwvdlee (775178) | about 9 months ago | (#45526595)

He would then rot in a cell for several years(~6) before seeing the inside of a court room.

The Sixth Amendment says otherwise.

The Sixth Amendment doesn't apply to Guantanamo Bay.

Legally it probably does, but who's going to do anything about it?

Re:Well I Guess... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45526869)

The Sixth Amendment says otherwise. Defendants have the right to a speedy trial.

As New York is within 100 miles of a border, coast, airport or child under the age of 19, the Constitution can and is safely ignored [aclu.org] .

Re:Well I Guess... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45527711)

Habeus Corpus doesnt exist in the US anymore. He would never see the inside of a courtroom.

As for the Right to a Speedy Trial, well, we all know how those in power honor the constitution all the time, dont we?

Shows Snowden's Mistake (1)

globaljustin (574257) | about 9 months ago | (#45526569)

Zimmerman?

Try Snowden.

Why are they saying Assange won't be prosecuted:

Because government lawyers said they could not do so without also prosecuting U.S. news organizations and journalists, according to U.S. officials.

If Snowden hadn't been duped by Glenn Greenwald he could have released this info in a way that would let him **be a free man**....because of the US laws for protecting journalists are the strongest in the world.

Freedom of Speech works if you do you homework on how the law is worded.

Snowden could have gotten this same deal but he fucked it all up b/c of his hubris or he was being blackmailed

Re:Shows Snowden's Mistake (1)

Luckyo (1726890) | about 9 months ago | (#45527025)

Because word of law has significant impact on supralegal organizations and their actions...

which supralegal? (1)

globaljustin (574257) | about 9 months ago | (#45527345)

I don't understand what supralegal organization to which you refer:

is it Wikileaks? the military/industrial complex? "Obama"?

What are the odds? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45526179)

That the journalists and news organizations got told to publish this story, or else?

can't trust them (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45526187)

Obama/DoJ also promised they wouldn't go after Cannabis dispensaries and growers in medical states but that was a lie.

Re:can't trust them (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45526425)

Of all the current administration's lies, that is the one you pick? How about the promises to protect whistle-blowers?

You now have to go the the Wayback Machine [archive.org] to even find it.

"Protect Whistleblowers: Often the best source of information about waste, fraud, and abuse in government is an existing government employee committed to public integrity and willing to speak out. Such acts of courage and patriotism, which can sometimes save lives and often save taxpayer dollars, should be encouraged rather than stifled. We need to empower federal employees as watchdogs of wrongdoing and partners in performance. Barack Obama will strengthen whistleblower laws to protect federal workers who expose waste, fraud, and abuse of authority in government. Obama will ensure that federal agencies expedite the process for reviewing whistleblower claims and whistleblowers have full access to courts and due process."

Re:can't trust them (1)

Java Pimp (98454) | about 9 months ago | (#45526497)

Sadly my mod points expired...

Re:can't trust them (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45526771)

No, you don't need Wayback Machine. It's still present on the same website [change.gov] . Not that they've ever tried following whatever they had cooked up some years ago...

Re:can't trust them (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45526867)

The text you quote applies to "federal workers who expose [...] abuse of authority in government". Assange is not a federal worker and did not expose fraud or abuse of authority (that's more like Snowden).

Re:can't trust them (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45527515)

So you can blow the whistle but they arrest the one who hears it? Yeah, that makes sense.

Re:can't trust them (3, Insightful)

gmuslera (3436) | about 9 months ago | (#45526471)

Obama said in the initial campaing that will protect whisteblowers. See how that ended.

bullshit i'm smoking dispensary weed now (0, Troll)

globaljustin (574257) | about 9 months ago | (#45526535)

MOD DOWN

Obama admin has said specifically that it will not prosecute dispensaries that are legal according to the law of the State.

***I'm smoking legal dispensary medicinal cannabis right now***

Maybe one or two DEA divisions were bucking for a promotion...but Obama's policy is not to prosecute...

You can **board airlines** with medicinal marijuana with your proof...the TSA doesn't bother you for small ammounts

Re:can't trust them (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45526587)

Obama/DoJ also promised they wouldn't go after Cannabis dispensaries and growers in medical states but that was a lie.

This statement of yours sure looks to me like it is the lie. Since I'm sitting in a state with about 700 dispensaries (Colorado), where there have been very, very few raids and closures.

Really, the raids here have been of dispensaries that did not follow the law, you know, things like selling excess inventory in bulk to drug dealers for transport to other states...

Re:can't trust them (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | about 9 months ago | (#45527017)

I remember when Obama said that while running for office. The DOJ on the other hand made no such claim. I'm not defending the DOJ, they still in my opinion gleefully trampled on states rights and individual rights, and over an idiotic law. Just pointing out that I don't think they ever said they wouldn't.

You might also point out that Obama then lied again to try to cover for his first lie. [firedoglake.com] Except he was in office during the more recent lie. With about the same effort of coming up with that lie, he could have changed pot's scheduling status to actually fulfill his campaign promise, yet instead he chose to lie. Given the number of people who mildly support pot legalization, I can't fathom why he would allow the raids to happen.

What about the UK? (4, Informative)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about 9 months ago | (#45526199)

He is still wanted in the UK for skipping bail. Even if the US were not lying he still can't just walk out of the embassy.

Re:What about the UK? (1, Informative)

91degrees (207121) | about 9 months ago | (#45526259)

Plus the whole wanted in Sweden for rape thing.

Re:What about the UK? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45526563)

Wanted for questioning in Sweden in relation to two alleged cases of "sexual misconduct".

Re:What about the UK? (1)

91degrees (207121) | about 9 months ago | (#45526671)

Point taken over "Sexual misconduct". Whether it's alleged or not and why he's wanted isn't really relevant. He's still wanted there and very likely to be charged whether guilty or not.

Re:What about the UK? (1)

Luckyo (1726890) | about 9 months ago | (#45527101)

That's pretty much up in the air, and pointedly that kind sexual misconduct that is in question doesn't even exist in laws... well anywhere outside Sweden really. Certainly not in UK. Heck, even in Sweden prosecutor that wasn't buckling for femnazi publicity dropped the case. Than another one who really wanted it picked the case up and started the shitstorm. Or was asked to by special interests, who thoroughly infiltrated Swedish prosecutors office at that point because of all the IP enforcement pressure.

Re:What about the UK? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45526759)

That's what you get for standing to pee in Sweden.

Re:What about the UK? (5, Insightful)

Xest (935314) | about 9 months ago | (#45526303)

It depends on what's actually going on. If the whole extradition was orchestrated by the US and the rape charges really are a conspiracy then just because the US wouldn't prosecute him there doesn't mean they're going to drop that avenue.

If it isn't a conspiracy by the US then one of two things can happen:

If Sweden drops the charges then he'll probably get a menial punishment for skipping bail, not likely to be excessive (you can kill someone whilst speeding way over the limit and avoid jail in the UK for crying out loud).

If Sweden doesn't drop the charges then Assange will probably stay in the embassy until Ecuador gets fed up of him, until Sweden starts being reasonable and allows questioning to occur within the embassy (something they can do, despite the lies otherwise, because they've done exactly that in the past), until he gives up and let's Sweden's obscure (in)justice system have it's way with him, or until he dies.

So this whole unlikely to be prosecuted thing may just be weasel words for "We're going to pretend we're nice people that believe in justice because we don't believe he's going anywhere for years anyway and say he's safe from prosecution, but we'll use the qualifier 'unlikely' just in case he does somehow get free so that we can change our mind without having lied". I suppose technically it may be a rather weak attempt by the US government to try and add weight to their pretense that there's no conspiracy against him (assuming there even is) so that Sweden and the UK can pretend he's just paranoid for no reason and that he should come out of the embassy and let them have their way with him.

Either way none of it changes Assange's situation in the slightest so I don't know what the point in the statement is. If the US really wants to change the status quo they need to make a more explicit statement along the lines of "Our inquiry has found that we have absolutely no grounds to prosecute Julian Assange, as he has broken no US law, and therefore we will not be seeking his extradition or prosecution under any circumstances related to the files leaked and published by his organisation to date". It wouldn't mean they wouldn't of course, but at least they'd have to face the consequences politically. The fact they wont issue such an explicit statement and are just putting out meaningless sound bites implies to me that they're just trying to muddy the waters on the issue and trying to win some good will without actually doing anything to deserve it.

Re:What about the UK? (2)

locofungus (179280) | about 9 months ago | (#45526659)

Skipping bail is criminal contempt of court in the UK

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1976/63 [legislation.gov.uk]

Penalties are severe:

http://www.cps.gov.uk/legal/s_to_u/sentencing_manual/contempt_of_court/ [cps.gov.uk]

An immediate custodial sentence is the only appropriate sentence to impose upon a person who interferes with the administration of justice, unless the circumstances are wholly exceptional

He would have been (was?) allowed to argue his case that he shouldn't be extradited to Sweden due to the subsequent risk of extradition to the US. I cannot see how he could possibly convince a court that this would have happened and simultaneously show that the same arguments wouldn't have held water when extradition proceedings were in effect.

I can see he might possibly avoid jail in the UK only by surrendering and going to Sweden. But I wouldn't bet that the UK wouldn't want to extradite him back for contempt of court proceedings (or maybe they wouldn't extradite him to Sweden until after he was convicted and sentenced.

Re:What about the UK? (1)

Xest (935314) | about 9 months ago | (#45527371)

The site you linked is merely the CPS' information on the issue, that's the Crown Prosecution Service - i.e. the people who advocate primarily for the police, so they're going to overhype the seriousness of laws because they want to deter people from breaking them as it makes their job easier.

But regardless, even the link you posted alone says the maximum penalty for skipping bail is 6 months in jail. That'd likely be applied as a suspended sentence (i.e. no actual jail time) or even just written off altogether as it would be covered under the time he spent under house arrest if Sweden dropped it's extradition request. The advice the judiciary uses is different though, and having just Googled the Bail Act (1976) legislation itself the maximum penalty is apparently actually 12 months. The judiciary's guidelines can be found here:

http://sentencingcouncil.judiciary.gov.uk/docs/web_Fail_to_Surrender_to_Bail.pdf [judiciary.gov.uk]

Note that the case that would apply to Assange, has a starting point of 14 days in custody if you plead not guilty, Assange wouldn't do that as there's no question he's guilty so that would reduce it further, if the extradition request was dropped then that would've meant there was no case he was skipping bail over, which would further reduce the penalty. Realistically it looks like he'd probably only get a community order, if given the exceptional circumstances the judge didn't just let him off outright completely.

As an aside, reading the bail act was interesting though. I can only guess an extradition request places a criminal charge on you in itself because Assange hasn't been charged by Sweden, only wanted for questioning and the bail act explicitly states it applies to criminal charges. If extradition in itself (as opposed to the reason for extradition) doesn't apply a criminal charge against you then this implies he should never have been placed under bail in the first place, but the law is a funny thing and I'm not a lawyer, so despite the fact I can interpret laws as they are written, perhaps laws as their written aren't how lawyers and judges interpret them so who knows. Maybe a lawyer here can explain how extradition for questioning but without charge results in you being placed into the criminal category that is necessary according to the bail act.

But I digress - manslaughter by dangerous driving is serious also, but you don't necessarily end up actually in jail. The judiciary's sentencing guidelines along show that skipping bail is really not taken as seriously as you suggest, and they're the folks who determine the sentences in practice after all.

No charges, just questioning (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45526913)

There are no charges to drop in Sweden. It is just questioning he is wanted for. Don't make up stuff. There is enough disinformation as it is.

Re:What about the UK? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45526983)

The message being conveyed through the media by the US government isn't meant for the public, or even Assange. It's directed to the government of Ecuador. By removing the reason for giving Assange asylum in the first place, the US government is allowing Ecuador to turn over Assange to the British authorities so that he can extradited to Sweden to face rape charges. In fact, a secret deal with Ecuador may already be in place and the media reports are just some kabuki theater that gives the Ecuadorian president political cover for capitulating to the imperial bully in the north. After all, it wouldn't be Ecuador's fault if the US changed their mind after Assange left the embassy. It could simply pretend to protest the US duplicity and then throw up its hands as it has no leverage to compel the US to follow through on its promise. And from the US POV, it'll just say, "Hey, we said we would 'likely not prosecute him', not 'definitely not prosectute him'. Psych!"

Assange should be worried if Ecuador doesn't quickly respond to the US "assurance" against probable prosecution. The US nailed Manning to the cross for the leaks, there's no way they're not going after Assange.

Hahahaha! (4, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 9 months ago | (#45526223)

Hey, guys, isn't "prosecution" some sort of procedural step that we used to have to go through before getting to the indefinite detention and torture phase?

Re: Hahahaha! (1)

Corwyn_123 (828115) | about 9 months ago | (#45526379)

Innocent until proven guilty went out the window years ago.

We still have it (1)

overshoot (39700) | about 9 months ago | (#45526607)

It's the "trial" nonsense that we skip now.

Re:Hahahaha! (1)

DarthVain (724186) | about 9 months ago | (#45527705)

Better than "definite" detention and torture? "Infinite"? :) mind is weird some days.

Re:Hahahaha! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45527777)

Back when Habeus Corpus was a thing, that was true. Now "enhanced interrogation" and indefinite detention are the norm.

Translation (3, Interesting)

overshoot (39700) | about 9 months ago | (#45526229)

So that means he would never appear before a judge. In fact, he might just disappear altogether.

Re:Translation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45526309)

but not before he signs up for affordable health care so we can pay for disposal of the body.

Re:Translation (1)

sjwt (161428) | about 9 months ago | (#45526467)

Silly American your Government only pays to have the body created not disposed of, the contractor has the choice on that.. They do like to keep the Job secret and most will dispose of the evidence for free.

Re:Translation (1)

runeghost (2509522) | about 9 months ago | (#45526315)

Bingo. "Unlikely to be prosecuted" likely translates to "disappeared and tortured" if they ever get their hands on him.

It's a trap! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45526233)

Nice try...

Re:It's a trap! (1)

geogob (569250) | about 9 months ago | (#45527455)

Correction:

It's all but not a trap.

I know how they feel (5, Insightful)

paiute (550198) | about 9 months ago | (#45526247)

I have all but concluded that I will probably not eat that piece of chocolate cake in the fridge.

That sweet chocolatty cake.

That dark moist delicious cake.

Re:I know how they feel (2)

AJH16 (940784) | about 9 months ago | (#45526329)

The cake is a lie!

i lol'd (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45527547)

n/t

kosim (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45526249)

not bad man...
http://goresaninfo.blogspot.com/

Prosecuted - no, Persecuted - yes (1)

Steve_Ussler (2941703) | about 9 months ago | (#45526251)

Sez it all.

No doubt, they are telling the truth. (4, Insightful)

wcrowe (94389) | about 9 months ago | (#45526257)

Just like all those people in GITMO. They haven't been charged with any crimes either.

Re:No doubt, they are telling the truth. (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about 9 months ago | (#45526313)

Warring against the US is not protected behavior. Puishing AKA Freedom of the Press, is.

Re:No doubt, they are telling the truth. (2)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about 9 months ago | (#45526331)

If you want to discuss the propriety of indefinite prisoner detention absent a declared war which, by definition, has no logical endpoint, that's fine. But a blanket comparison is not justified.

Re:No doubt, they are telling the truth. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45526387)

Depends if you're foriegn or domestic...

Re:No doubt, they are telling the truth. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45526447)

And of the 66 detainees that the government has decided should be let go, but just haven't gotten around to releasing yet?

Any year now I'm sure they will get around to it.

Re:No doubt, they are telling the truth. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45526559)

So if you're accused of doing something that isn't "protected behaviour" there is no need to care about things like evidence?

I love hypocrisy in the morning... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45526265)

Hard for me to trust ANYTHING coming out of the DOJ these days, especially when Washington is picking and choosing what laws it wants to obey. Even moreso when they're talking about a foreign national, well expat, and not even a US citizen.

Anyone live in DC? Does the smell of bullshit go away after a few weeks? Does it ever?

Ask the people in Gitmo (1)

OzPeter (195038) | about 9 months ago | (#45526269)

Ask the people in Gitmo how their prosecution is proceeding. And while you are at it ask all the people grabbed by Special Rendition about their prosecution status.

The US has demonstrated that there is a huge difference between holding someone and prosecuting them. So while the Justice Department may correctly say that prosecution is unlikely to occur, that in no means ensures that someone won't suffer any consequences.

I'm sure Assange has been waiting for this (1)

sl4shd0rk (755837) | about 9 months ago | (#45526277)

I'm sure visiting the US is the only thing He's been able to think about since being holed up in that embassy. Bet he can't wait to experience that fresh Walmart smell and glue his brain to the red ticker on Fox News again. AND, since the US has such a world renown affection for whistleblowers, I'm sure he'd be perfectly safe. He should really take this deal.

Re:I'm sure Assange has been waiting for this (1)

NewWorldDan (899800) | about 9 months ago | (#45527661)

From a legal standpoint, no, the DOJ can't prosecute someone for publishing information. That was covered in the Pentagon Papers cases 40 years ago. But you have to remember the reason he's holed up in an embassy. The government can find an assortment of other bullshit reasons to prosecute you. Any minor discrepancies on your customs forms when you entered the country? Tax problems? Ever pirated an MP3 or movie? If they want to get you, they can and will find a reason. For all the crimes that Al Capone committed, he was convicted of tax evasion.

Riiiiiiight... (1)

meta-monkey (321000) | about 9 months ago | (#45526299)

"Welcome to my parlor," said the spider to the fly...

Re:Riiiiiiight... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45526349)

"We can't get him, so uh... yeah, we didn't really want to anyway."

Why make him a martyr? (1)

Koreantoast (527520) | about 9 months ago | (#45526321)

The American government arresting him for Wikileaks would only solidify him as a martyr. Better to just let him get picked up in a third country and extradited by the Swedes on rape charges to try and discredit him.

Re:Why make him a martyr? (2)

Falconhell (1289630) | about 9 months ago | (#45526965)

There are no rape charges, he is wanted for questioning, which already occurred whilst he was still in Sweden at the time the incidents occurred, then given permission to leave.
The questioning could occur at the Ecuador embassy anytime, Sweden chooses not to do so.

Re:Why make him a martyr? (1)

Luckyo (1726890) | about 9 months ago | (#45527151)

It would also send a good message on "what we do with you fuckers who dare to tell our dirty secrets to the public".

Come into my parlor...... (1)

Dega704 (1454673) | about 9 months ago | (#45526325)

Said the spider to the fly.

Re:Come into my parlor...... (1)

Dega704 (1454673) | about 9 months ago | (#45526389)

Darn. Someone beat me to it.

Oh that's bad (4, Interesting)

meta-monkey (321000) | about 9 months ago | (#45526375)

But he's guilty of the Worst Crime Possible in the United States: embarrassing politicians. They'll never just let him get away with it.

The threat of prosecution is at least a small comfort, because it sort of implies they might actually play by some rule book. But if prosecution is off the table, that leaves drone interdiction, indefinite detention, or torture as the only options.

If I were Mr. Assange, the words "no prosecution" would send a cold shiver down my spine.

Re:Oh that's bad (1)

Richy_T (111409) | about 9 months ago | (#45526499)

Don't forget suicide.

Re:Oh that's bad (3, Insightful)

Richy_T (111409) | about 9 months ago | (#45526503)

Sorry, I mean "suicide"

Unlikely to be prosecuted, and ... (2)

DaveyJJ (1198633) | about 9 months ago | (#45526377)

We have a free pony for him, too!

"unlikely" (1)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | about 9 months ago | (#45526397)

In a land of a million laws, we're all criminals. The most any of us can hope for is that prosecution is "unlikely".

pretending to eat crow all of us together (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45526417)

what thankskilling is really all about no doubt.

rated t for travesty http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gqUvhDG7x2E

Where is he? (1)

Sir_Eptishous (873977) | about 9 months ago | (#45526475)

Is he still holed up in that 800 sq ft. Ecuadoran embassy...?
What does he do besides Yoga, Play WoW, Drink Wine and read Snowdens leaked docs?

I can see Assange in spaaaace... (1)

BringsApples (3418089) | about 9 months ago | (#45526479)

...but why the FUCK would he go to America?

If you can't trust your own Justice Department ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45526481)

.... then who can you trust? After all, they're here to protect your rights.

Yeah right (1)

TWiTfan (2887093) | about 9 months ago | (#45526565)

So come on for a visit, Julian. We promise we probably, maybe won't arrest you the second your plane lands.

Re:Yeah right (1)

Luckyo (1726890) | about 9 months ago | (#45527243)

Indeed. It would take airplane minutes to get to the terminal after landing. That is a lot of seconds!

Unlikely to prosecute, maybe.... (1)

ilsaloving (1534307) | about 9 months ago | (#45526571)

Likely to punish in several other indirect ways? Very much so.

It was ... (1)

PPH (736903) | about 9 months ago | (#45526619)

.... an unfortunate accident. He shot himself five times while cleaning his guns.

Re:It was ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45526841)

No, no, no. He cut his own head off whilst shaving.

Re:It was ... (1)

Luckyo (1726890) | about 9 months ago | (#45527255)

Had an unfortunate mishap during masturbation and hanged himself from his balls on the nearest lamppost. Completely accidental.

Told Ya (2)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | about 9 months ago | (#45526653)

I've said this several times on Slashdot (and have the moderation scars to prove it).

Assange will not be prosecuted by the US.

However I would be very surprised if he were ever to be granted a Visa if he applied. Which I really doubt he would ever do.

It also completely destroys the conspiracy theories that the Swedish extradition would be a short stopover on the way to the US. Aside from the EU laws that this would break, the US really has nothing to gain and a lot to lose from this sort of action.

Re:Told Ya (2)

game kid (805301) | about 9 months ago | (#45527009)

As bunches have already said here, the real issue is not whether the US prosecutes Assange, but whether the US (or any of its territories or non-annexed lackeys) punishes Assange with (or far more likely without) a Speedy And Public Trial.

Also, given that the US clearly has no respect for privacy or whistleblower protection, that statement by DoJ sounds less like a reassurance and much more like a less-than-implicit threat to other journalists. "What happened to Assange could happen to any of you TrueCrypting notepad-hugging bastards...report on Kimye [huffingtonpost.com] like the good serfs you are and don't be that guy."

Charged with what? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45526695)

He's not a US citizen. He never had any legal obligation to withhold the leaks. I suspect the DoJ realized that a trial would likely backfire, and possibly result in further damaging disclosures. Chalk it up to having hundreds of thousands of individuals with a security clearance, and move on.

Words say so much. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45526971)

Read it again. From TFA:
"The Justice Department has all but concluded it will not bring charges against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange for publishing classified documents because government lawyers said they could not do so without also prosecuting U.S. news organizations and journalists, according to U.S. officials. The officials stressed that a formal decision has not been made, and a grand jury investigating WikiLeaks remains impaneled, but they said there is little possibility of bringing a case against Assange, unless he is implicated in criminal activity other than releasing online top-secret military and diplomatic documents." (emphasis mine)

And there's the rub. Even if we take this as sincere, there are plenty of other crimes than simply PUBLISHING the information that the government could choose to prosecute. Conspiracy to commit espionage comes to mind (e.g. inducement of Manning to gather documents). Conspiracy to violate the CFAA (don't laugh - Aaron Swartz was threatened with 10 years on a felony for "using the computer wrong.") Aiding enemies of the US, supporting terrorism, all KINDS of potential charges come to mind.

Oh, and by the way - they won't prosecute Assange on these grounds because they'd also have to prosecute journalists? This administration has actively declared war on the First Amendment and journalists who oppose them. What's to say they WON'T prosecute journalists?

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