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Title: The Washington Establishment Seems Pretty Happy About Julian Assange's Arrest
Source: Reason
URL Source: https://reason.com/blog/2019/04/11/ ... gton-political-establishment-s
Published: Apr 11, 2019
Author: Joe Setyon
Post Date: 2019-04-12 06:55:04 by Deckard
Keywords: None
Views: 445
Comments: 20

Victoria Jones/ZUMA Press/Newscom

The bipartisan consensus following WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange's arrest Thursday morning was that justice is finally being served. Few, if any, politicians defended Assange or suggested that it might be wrong to prosecute him.

British police arrested Assange, who had been living in the Ecuadorian embassy in London after Ecuadorian officials reportedly got tired of harboring him. Federal prosecutors in the U.S. are now trying to extradite Assange so he can face a "charge of conspiracy to commit computer intrusion for agreeing to break a password to a classified U.S. government computer," according to a Department of Justice press release.

The response from elected officials in Washington, D.C., was almost universally celebratory. While President Donald Trump simply said he "know[s] nothing about WikiLeaks," plenty of Republican and Democratic members of Congress praised Assange's arrest.

"I'm glad to see the wheels of justice are finally turning when it comes to Julian Assange," tweeted Sen. Lindsey Graham (R–S.C.), chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. "In my book, he has NEVER been a hero."

Lawmakers pointed to Assange's involvement in leaking thousands of Democratic National Committee emails prior to the 2016 presidential election. Assange has been accused of working with the Russian government to release the messages.

"Whatever Julian Assange's intentions were for WikiLeaks, what he's become is a direct participant in Russian efforts to weaken the West and undermine American security," added one of Graham's Democratic colleagues, Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia. "I hope British courts will quickly transfer him to U.S. custody so he can finally get the justice he deserves."

It's worth noting, as Reason's Nick Gillespie did Thursday morning, that there are indeed valid questions about Assange's relationship with the Russian government. However, the charge he's currently facing relates to WikiLeaks' efforts to release hundreds of thousands of classified documents about the U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and has nothing to do with the 2016 election. Back in 2010, prosecutors say Assange helped crack a password stored on government computers in order to access classified information.

"Julian Assange has long been a wicked tool of Vladimir Putin and the Russian intelligence services. He deserves to spend the rest of his life in prison," Sen. Ben Sasse (R–Neb.) wrote on Twitter.

Sen. Cory Gardner (R–Colo.), meanwhile, praised British police for taking Assange into custody and called for Assange to be extradited so he could "answer for aiding & abetting a foreign power to undermine US democracy & laws."

Sen. Joe Manchin (D–W.Va.) put it even more bluntly. "He is our property, and we can get the facts and the truth from him," Manchin said on CNN's New Day.

Republican Sens. Tom Cotton (Ark.) and Richard Burr (N.C.) also criticized Assange. Cotton claimed he "endangered the lives of American troops in a time of war," and said that "since Assange is used to living inside, I'm sure he'll be prepared for federal prison."

Burr, meanwhile, said Assange "engaged in a conspiracy to steal classified information, putting millions of lives at risk all over the world."

Members of the House expressed similar sentiments. Rep. Eliot Engel (D–N.Y.), chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, called Assange "a tool of Vladimir Putin and the Russian intelligence service," and expressed hope that he'll be extradited to the U.S. to "finally face justice."

Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D–Fla.), referred to WikiLeaks as "a menace to American national security" and said Assange's arrest "is an important development and a condition precedent for justice to prevail in this matter.

Perhaps just as notable as the widespread cheering of Assange's arrest was the initial silence from advocates for government transparency and critics of U.S. intervention abroad.

Libertarian-leaning Sen. Rand Paul (R–Ky.), for instance, suggested in August that Assange could be given immunity if he testified before Congress about the DNC leaks. Reason reached out to Paul's office for comment on Assange's arrest, but did not receive a response in time for publication.

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D–Hawaii), a 2020 presidential candidate, said in February that "the information that has been put out [by WikiLeaks] has exposed a lot of things that have been happening that the American people were not aware of and have spurred some necessary change there." A spokesperson for Gabbard did not provide an official response to Assange's arrest prior to publication.

Several hours after publication of this article, Gabbard said on CNN that WikiLeaks and Assange have "informed the American people about actions that were taking place that they should be aware of."

"What's happening here is unfortunately...some form of retaliation coming from the government," she added.

Reason also reached out to the offices of Reps. Justin Amash (R–Mich.) and Thomas Massie (R–Ky.), as well as Sen. Mike Lee (R–Utah). None of them provided a response.

The widespread criticism of Assange and the silence of some lawmakers highlights the bipartisan consensus that Assange is a criminal who deserves to be locked up. This perception can be dangerous because it ignores the fact that the information WikiLeaks has released, particularly in regard to America's actions abroad, has shone a light on important secrets that regular citizens otherwise wouldn't have known about.

It's easy to dunk on Assange, but it's important we remember his actions have, in fact, helped erode government secrecy and shined a bright light on the violent excesses of the American government.

This post has been updated with President Trump's Thursday comments on WikiLeaks, as well as Rep. Gabbard's remarks on CNN. (1 image)

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#1. To: All (#0)

Alternate text if image doesn't

Government is in the last resort the employment of armed men, of policemen, gendarmes, soldiers, prison guards, and hangmen.
The essential feature of government is the enforcement of its decrees by beating, killing, and imprisoning.
Those who are asking for more government interference are asking ultimately for more compulsion and less freedom.

Deckard  posted on  2019-04-12   6:57:17 ET  (1 image) Reply   Trace   Private Reply  

#2. To: Deckard, Pinguinite, A K A Stone (#0)


Finally: Bi-Partisanship!! from Sasse to Cotton to Manchin to Lee....ALL OWNED BY THE SWAMP/Globalists.

Soooo over the top orgasmic reaction should be a red flag.


If so, what about the "danger" and responsibility of MANNING?? (who is free as a bird??)

This is ALL BS.

I found this interesting:

Libertarian-leaning Sen. Rand Paul (R–Ky.), for instance, suggested in August that Assange could be given immunity if he testified before Congress about the DNC leaks.

Kind of ambiguous.

Is Paul suggesting Assange testify about MORE incriminating, illegal plans and info regarding Hitlery-Swamp Inc?? All for that.

Liberator  posted on  2019-04-12   11:03:38 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  

#3. To: Liberator (#2)

If so, what about the "danger" and responsibility of MANNING?? (who is free as a bird??)

AFAIK Manning is still in prison for refusing to testify before congress.

Standing on the Fifth Amendment, in prison. If he/she/it says anything they'll try to prosecute for perjury with previous trial testimony. Not ratting out anybody, including himself is the right thing to do.

To hell with the deep state. RESIST

Hondo68  posted on  2019-04-12   11:14:37 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  

#4. To: hondo68 (#3)

AFAIK Manning is still in prison for refusing to testify before congress.

Not Congress, but a Grand Jury. A judge has ordered Manning to jail until s/he does so.

Pinguinite  posted on  2019-04-12   11:47:51 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  

#5. To: Deckard (#0)

Tulsi Gabbard scores some more points with me in her reaction.

Pinguinite  posted on  2019-04-12   11:48:37 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  

#6. To: hondo68, Pinguinite (#3)

Manning was free, even running for office.

What is seen now is (it "back in prison") is...THEATER.

People must realize the ENTIRE "Judicial System is a farce, a charade, "reported" by a MSM whose Boss IS The Swamp and its critter.

It the reason Dem pols are untouchable no matter how serious the crime. The worse case for Dem/Globalists is "Club Fed."

Oh, the IN-YOUR-FACE!! irony; THIS is "Prison"??

Chelsea Manning, the nation’s
most infamous convicted leaker, is running an unconventional campaign for US

Patrick Semansky/Associated Press
Chelsea Manning, the nation’s most infamous convicted leaker, is running an unconventional campaign for US Senate.

NORTH BETHESDA, Md. — A year after former president Barack Obama commuted Chelsea Manning’s 35-year sentence for revealing government secrets, the Oklahoma native has decided to make a bid for the US Senate in her adopted state of Maryland.

Manning, 30, a transgender woman and Army veteran, filed to run for office in January and has been registered to vote in Maryland since August. She is seeking to unseat Senator Ben Cardin, a 74-year-old Maryland Democrat who is seeking his third Senate term after 10 terms in the House.

Manning says she’s motivated by a desire to fight what she sees as a shadowy surveillance state and a rising tide of nightmarish repression.

‘‘The rise of authoritarianism is encroaching in every aspect of life, whether it’s government or corporate or technological,’’ Manning said in an interview. In her living room hang Obama’s commutation order and photos of anarchist Emma Goldman and playwright Oscar Wilde.

Liberator  posted on  2019-04-12   12:05:41 ET  (1 image) Reply   Trace   Private Reply  

#7. To: Liberator, Deckard, Pinguinite, A K A Stone, hondo68 (#2)

It seems Assange wasn't the nicest house guest. Ecuador spent about a million a year on keeping Assange for 7 years.


Ecuador emerged as a haven for the WikiLeaks founder in 2012 as his legal options to evade extradition to Sweden over sex crime accusations dried up in the United Kingdom. On a June day, he moved into the country's embassy near the upscale Harrods department store for what most thought would be a short stay.

Instead, the cramped quarters, where a small office was converted into a bedroom, became a permanent address that some likened to a de facto jail.

As the asylum dragged on, his relations with his hosts soured and his behavior became more erratic. Embassy staff complained of him skateboarding at night, playing loud music and walking around in his underwear with no apparent concern for others in the tiny embassy.

One senior Ecuadorian official described his room as a "sovereign territory within a sovereign territory" that none of the staff at No. 3 Hans Crescent could enter. But the stench from going weeks without a shower, and dental problem born of poor hygiene, was a constant nuisance, according to the official who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he isn't authorized to discuss details of Assange's behavior.

Then there was the issue of Assange's poop, which authorities said he spread across embassy walls on at least one occasion in an act of open defiance showing how little he thought of his hosts.

"When you're given shelter, cared for and provided food, you don't denounce the owner of the house," Moreno said Thursday to applause.

Within months of taking office in 2017, Moreno's government scolded Assange again for meddling in international affairs by voicing his support for Catalan secessionists from the Ecuadorian Embassy.

Relations grew so prickly that last year Ecuador increased its restrictions on his Internet access and required him to clean up after his cat James. The rules said that if the feline wasn't properly fed and cleaned up after, it would be sent to the pound.

Assange tried challenging the restrictions in Ecuadorian court, to no avail.

More recently, as the feuding became more public, he started physically and verbally harassing his caretakers, accusing them of being U.S. spies looking to exchange information on WikiLeaks in exchange for debt relief for Ecuador.

Assange was a Houseguest From Hell.

Tooconservative  posted on  2019-04-12   12:48:42 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  

#8. To: Tooconservative, Liberator, Deckard, Pinguinite, A K A Stone, Team MAGA (#7)

Hondo68  posted on  2019-04-12   12:51:04 ET  (1 image) Reply   Trace   Private Reply  

#9. To: Tooconservative (#7)

That's the Ecuador gov side of story. We don't know Assange's side.

Pinguinite  posted on  2019-04-12   14:08:02 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  

#10. To: Pinguinite (#9)

Some of these disputes were heard in open court in Ecuador. So I give them some credibility. There had been previous reports as well in the British press about what a lousy houseguest Assange was. All in keeping with what Ecuador is saying about Assange now.

Tooconservative  posted on  2019-04-12   14:32:38 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  

#11. To: Tooconservative (#10)

In Ecuador, I believe judges can be removed by the president. Members of Congress can be, at last check. They are not exactly impartial.

And if you (presumably) wouldn't trust what NBC says about Trump, why would you trust them about Assange?

Pinguinite  posted on  2019-04-12   16:14:34 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  

#12. To: Pinguinite (#11)

And if you (presumably) wouldn't trust what NBC says about Trump, why would you trust them about Assange?

Because British press has had these kinds of reports for years. Even the Guardian did.

Tooconservative  posted on  2019-04-12   17:05:07 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  

#13. To: Tooconservative, Liberator (#12)

You don't like Assange. You don't like what he did.

But one man's rebel is another man's freedom fighter.

When I watched the video leaked by Manning and distributed by Wikileaks of a helicopter gunship circling around a group of men who turned out to be guiding a Reuters reporter, callously gunning them down in a horrendous volley of machine gun fire, and later doing the same to a man with his children who stopped to render aid, I witnessed a crime against humanity.

So the coptor crew though they were rebels, mistaking the camera for an AK-47.... to that I say, "who the fuck cares?"

What the hell are we doing going into Iraq, a foreign country and killing citizens of that country for exercising what in the USA would be the right to "to keep and bear arms?" How did this killing make things better and safer for the owners of an ice cream shop in main street America? Do you support the right to "keep and bear arms" TC? This coptor crew didn't witness them shooting anyone up, didn't witness anyone being threatened. None of that. A guy is walking down the street with what they thought was a rifle, and our US military guns them all down, and someone else who later stops to render aid.

It's the deep swamp, lead by W Bush, that pushed for the invasion of Iraq which killed at least hundreds of thousands if not millions, supposedly to arrest its president for killing 5000 people with poison gas. That invasion, carried out by W Bush, was a war crime. And in my book, anyone who exposes any government, including the gov of the USA, for war crimes is going a good thing. I don't know if you believe and object to the Deep Swamp running DC, but I sure do, TC. And I am not going to cheer for the prosecution of a man who helped expose the criminal acts of that swamp, just because it the criminal acts were carried out by the government of my home country. Because I am not one to be so hypocritical as to desire the downfall of regimes in countries like North Korea China, Zimbabwe and so forth because they've committed crimes against humanity and not do the same for the gov of the USA. Because that is just hypocritical bullshit.

The government of the United States of America, the "land of the free" and "home of the brave" is guilty of war crimes. Period, end of story. And anyone that does their part to expose such crimes carried out by *any* governmental body, no matter what color or flag design they carry it out under, is going humanity a positive service. And in this generation, Assange is one of those people doing that good service.

What we are witnessing against Assange is the machinations of a massive international political machine out to protect itself that doesn't give a damn about me, you or any one else. It's only interested in protecting itself and if given the chance it will destroy even you if it has to, to obtain more power in this world, and it won't care one flying fuck that you are one of its defenders.

I don't care about Assange's cat even if it pee'd in every room in that embassy every day for 7 years.

Pinguinite  posted on  2019-04-13   2:46:01 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  

#14. To: Pinguinite (#13)

You don't like Assange. You don't like what he did.

Not true.

I don't care if we extradite Assange and jail him. I'd prefer that we don't. The case we have against him is weak and it is not clear that Britain will even extradite him. Perhaps May will even try to use him as a pawn to getting a major bilateral trade deal from Trump (even though Trump has already offered one to her).

But I would like it very much if we extradited Assange and got new evidence to lock up Tranny Manning for the rest of his life. Manning is the traitor, not Assange.

Tooconservative  posted on  2019-04-13   8:35:00 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  

#15. To: Pinguinite, Tooconservative (#13) (Edited)

I am not going to cheer for the prosecution of a man who helped expose the criminal acts of that swamp, just because it the criminal acts were carried out by the government of my home country...

The government of the United States of America...is guilty of war crimes. Period, end of story.

And anyone that does their part to expose such crimes carried out by *any* governmental body, no matter what color or flag design they carry it out under, is going humanity a positive service....

Assange is one of those people doing that good service.

Amen. Well stated in its entirety.

This entire charade like too many others have NOT been any "righteous" acts of defense of innocent people or even in self-defense; it has been dishonorable, indecent, wanton, evil cold-blooded murder. LIKE A GAME.

I don't know who is responsible for the deception of those who serve, and the lies and trivializing mass murder; and exactly what "power" US military "leadership" actually represent, but the evidence suggest blood is spilled and innocent people murdered PRECISELY as some kind of sick "game." Or even more insidious: A BLOOD RITUAL. Assange's real crime: HE EXPOSED "THEM."

Liberator  posted on  2019-04-13   10:04:28 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  

#16. To: Pinguinite (#11)

If you (presumably) wouldn't trust what NBC says about Trump, why would you trust them about Assange?


Liberator  posted on  2019-04-13   10:07:41 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  

#17. To: Liberator (#15)

Assange's real crime: HE EXPOSED "THEM."

If Assange, a mere publisher, is guilty of something, then why aren't NYSlimes and WaPo and other newspapers who were the actual publishers of his info (from Manning)?

This is why they want to hang him for suggesting to Manning that Manning try to use another user account to login to a secure computer to get more info. Assange's suggestions bore no fruit but they certainly want to try to hang him.

Again, I would approve if they use Assange to find new evidence against Manning. It's Manning I want thrown in a dark hole for life, not Assange.

Tooconservative  posted on  2019-04-13   11:39:15 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  

#18. To: Deckard (#1)

What you posted is the same as he was spewing during the campaign.


excerpt from the video Pres. Trump being questioned about WIKILEAKS C-SPAN is at The White House. 6 hrs · Washington · Q: "Do you still love Wikileaks?"

President Trump: "I know nothing about WikiLeaks. It’s not my thing."

Sure is a huge contradiction !!!

Wonder how the kool aide drinkers will explain / excuse that ??

Si vis pacem, para bellum

Rebellion to tyrants is obedience to God.

Never Pick A Fight With An Old Man He Will Just Shoot You He Can't Afford To Get Hurt

"If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went." (Will Rogers)

"No one ever rescues an old dog. They lay in a cage until they die. PLEASE save one. None of us wants to die cold and alone... --Dennis Olson "

AMERICA! Designed by geniuses. Now run by idiots.

Stoner  posted on  2019-04-13   13:07:10 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  

#19. To: Tooconservative, Pinguinite, Liberator, Deckard (#17)

This is why they want to hang him for suggesting to Manning that Manning try to use another user account to login to a secure computer to get more info.

That's not true. Manning had access to ALL of the info, he wanted to log in under another user-name in order to protect his anonymity.

It's standard procedure for publishers to protect the identity of their sources. NOT a crime on Assange's part.

Hondo68  posted on  2019-04-13   17:16:53 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  

#20. To: hondo68 (#19)

I generally agree. It's Manning that should be in prison, not Assange.

Tooconservative  posted on  2019-04-13   17:21:26 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  

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