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Old April 11th, 2019, 06:21 AM #1
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Julian Assange has been arrested

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-47891737

Wikileaks co-founder Julian Assange has been arrested at the Ecuadorian embassy in London.

Mr Assange took refuge in the embassy seven years ago to avoid extradition to Sweden over a sexual assault case that has since been dropped.

The Met Police said he was arrested for failing to surrender to the court and following a US extradition request.

Ecuador's president said it withdrew his asylum after repeated violations of international conventions.

But Wikileaks tweeted that Ecuador had acted illegally in terminating Mr Assange's political asylum "in violation of international law".

Mr Assange, an Australian national, set up Wikileaks in 2006 with the aim of obtaining and publishing confidential documents and images. The organisation hit the headlines four years later when it released footage of US soldiers killing civilians from a helicopter in Iraq.

Former US intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning was arrested in 2010 for disclosing more than 700,000 confidential documents, videos and diplomatic cables to the anti-secrecy website.

She said she only did so to spark debates about foreign policy, but US officials said the leak put lives at risk.

Mr Assange, 47, had been in the Ecuadorian embassy in London since 2012, after seeking asylum there to avoid extradition to Sweden on a rape allegation - which he denied and was later dropped.

But he still faces a lesser charge of skipping bail in 2012 and he says this could lead to an extradition to the US for publishing US secrets on the Wikileaks website.

Scotland Yard said it was invited into the embassy by the ambassador, following the Ecuadorian government's withdrawal of asylum.

After his arrest for failing to surrender to the court, police said he had been further arrested on behalf of US authorities under an extradition warrant.

The US Department of Justice said in a statement that the extradition was in connection with federal charges of conspiracy to commit computer intrusion, relating to the Chelsea Manning revelations. They carry a maximum penalty of five years in prison.

Mr Assange was initially taken to a central London police station and is due to appear at Westminster Magistrates' Court shortly.
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Old April 11th, 2019, 06:25 AM #2
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I heard this was in the cards over a week ago, it was inevitable after the recent regime changes and the comments made about his stay being a "stone in the shoe"
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Old April 11th, 2019, 07:05 AM #3
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so what Cabinet position will he get after the presidential pardon?
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Old April 11th, 2019, 07:36 AM #4
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I dislike Assange himself but this is a scary precedent for journalism at large.
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Old April 11th, 2019, 07:41 AM #5
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Personally the instant they picked sides in the 2016 election and actively refused to release negative information about Russia they lost all claims of being unbiased.
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Old April 11th, 2019, 07:57 AM #6
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maslego wrote: View Post

Personally the instant they picked sides in the 2016 election and actively refused to release negative information about Russia they lost all claims of being unbiased.
It was a bit more proactive than just "let's not publish about Russia".

Their biggest fans may cry "bias" and "fake news", but Wikileaks quickly became a partisan organization. It closely follows the RT model of death by a million paper cuts.

"It's not pro-Russia, we just hate America tehehehe".
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Old April 11th, 2019, 08:26 AM #7
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Cuchulainn wrote: View Post

I dislike Assange himself but this is a scary precedent for journalism at large.
Hacking government computers is kind of illegal and colluding with foreign governments to influence elections is big illegal. Let's not pretend what he was doing was journalism. I'm more concerned about Trump's constant threats and attempts to delegitimize the press.
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Old April 11th, 2019, 09:19 AM #8
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Xenotome wrote: View Post

Hacking government computers is kind of illegal and colluding with foreign governments to influence elections is big illegal. Let's not pretend what he was doing was journalism. I'm more concerned about Trump's constant threats and attempts to delegitimize the press.
The press delegitimized themselves way before Trump.
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Old April 11th, 2019, 10:29 AM #9
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Xenotome wrote: View Post

Hacking government computers is kind of illegal and colluding with foreign governments to influence elections is big illegal.
WikiLeaks was responsible for leaking plenty of other important documents including files on Guantanamo Bay and the Panama Papers. I don't really care if it's illegal or not. Laws are not a moral barometer.

Assange's personal decision to reach out to foreign governments was a deplorable one, but the current government isn't arresting him on that, since it was used to benefit them. This is about the prior leaks, which I think we had every right to know about.

Xenotome wrote:
Let's not pretend what he was doing was journalism.
I totally consider it journalism. Unbiased journalism? Of course not. But whistleblower journalism, the act itself, not Assange the person, serves an important purpose in modern society. His arrest risks damaging its viability.

Like, yeah, Assange the person is a schmuck and he's hardly a paragon of objective justice, but what's going on here is bigger than just Assange or WikiLeaks. If people allow whistleblowers to be vilified on the basis of leaking information the public has a right to, then other whistleblowers (Chelsea Manning and Edward Snowden, for example) are also more likely to be screwed over, too.

As good as it feels to pocket Assange's arrest as an own because of his own scuzziness, I don't think it's worth it for the precedent it creates at-large. This is representative of something bigger. Not just of a single person.

Xenotome wrote:
I'm more concerned about Trump's constant threats and attempts to delegitimize the press.
Why not both? We can focus on more than one issue.
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Old April 11th, 2019, 11:16 AM #10
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This is already starting to turn into something political, so let's just move along from this.
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