back to article Julian Assange will NOT be extradited to the US over WikiLeaks hacking and spy charges, rules British judge

Accused hacker and WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange should not be extradited to the US to stand trial, Westminster Magistrates' Court has ruled. District Judge Vanessa Baraitser told Assange this morning that there was no legal obstacle to his being sent to the US, where he faces multiple criminal charges under America's …

  1. N2

    Place your bets

    An exchange for one of theirs, you know who.

    1. sabroni Silver badge

      Re: you know who.

      The "diplomat" who drove on the wrong side of the road and killed Harry Dunn?

      If that's who you mean, why not say that?

    2. phogan99

      Re: Place your bets

      I am sure she can find a doc to declare her suicidal or autistic. Heck Trump found one to say he has bone spurs to avoid the draft, maybe he can give her a referral.

      1. needmorehare
        Angel

        I'd rather we keep Assange

        Folks like Edward Snowden, Chelsea Manning and Julian Assange are brave heroes who need to be protected. Nothing will bring back the dead but we can at least do our bit to keep the powers that be in check from time to time.

        Besides, what would the diplomat get (at best) for what legal experts will argue as an accidental death caused by ignorance? A 2 year prison sentence and a lifetime UK driving ban perhaps? Fat lot of good that would do, since the ban wouldn't be respected in the US anyway and it's obvious that there'd be very early parole.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: I'd rather we keep Assange

          You shouldn't insult Manning by comparing her to those two. Snowden and Assange were smash-and-grab vandals, both happily exploited by Russian state powers as the useful idiots they are, with no idea what it was they were stealing or publishing, just happy to do it on as grand and a destructive scale as possible, before fleeing like cowards into the night.

          1. This post has been deleted by a moderator

            1. Halfmad

              Re: I'd rather we keep Assange

              When did he do this?

              Sorry not been that interested in him tbh.

            2. DiViDeD Silver badge

              Re: I'd rather we keep Assange

              Assange has confessed to being a violent rapist.

              Really? When did that happen? Do you have a copy of the statement?

              Or are you simply making shit up?

          2. Mr Sceptical
            Black Helicopters

            Re: I'd rather we keep Assange

            Stick to the facts - Snowden released details on activities of the US government that they themselves would be screaming as illegal espionage if it was being done by anyone else.

            Hello, pot & kettle - oh, suprise, you're both the same!

            What would you rather them have done - tried to stand and fight an entire army? They aren't Rambo/Commando/Superman you know!

    3. macjules Silver badge

      Re: Place your bets

      Compared with what the Americans want to do to Mr Assange, a slap on the wrist and a lifetime driving ban for someone driving on the wrong side of the road and subsequently killing another road user does not equate.

      Now, if we were talking about Mark Zuckerberg delivered cuffed, gagged and bagged at Heathrow complete with confession regarding Cambridge Analytica and other nefarious activities then I might reconsider.

  2. Timto

    pft

    Prosecute him in the UK for all the crimes he comitted here, then deport him back to Australia

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: pft

      Is Journalism a crime?

      1. Version 1.0 Silver badge

        Re: pft

        Journalism is not a crime, I don't think that there is any evidence that Assange hacked anything, he simply published documents that were sent to him - certainly he may have been manipulated by the "hackers" on all sides but I don't see how he can be prosecuted by a country that stands up shouting:

        Freedom of speech is a principle that supports the freedom of an individual or a community to articulate their opinions and ideas without fear of retaliation ...

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: pft

          >I don't think that there is any evidence that Assange hacked anything

          Assange attempted to crack hashed password for SIPRNet accounts, with the express intention of procuring more documents than Manning was otherwise allowed to access. He was not simply a passive recipient of the documents. He can claim the intrusion was necessary in pursuit of journalism - and in some jurisdictions (not the UK) that would may even be a valid legal defence - but he was very much engaged in otherwise illegal computer misuse.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Assange attempted to crack hashed password for SIPRNet accounts

            Precisely. Attempted, unusuccessfuly.

            How illegal is opening fire on a market place full of civilians? Is the crime of randomly killing people worse than the crime of exposing that killing?

            I guess you're loving the fact the blackwater contractors were pardoned, eh?

            America, Fuck Yeah!

            Coming again to save the motherfucking day, yeah!

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Assange attempted to crack hashed password for SIPRNet accounts

              I really don't know what Assange tried or didn't but, "Attempted, unusuccessfuly" probably covers 99.9999% of all KNOWN crime.

              On a side note, maybe I should attempt to rob my bank, as they're successfully robbing me :-/

              First World problems == Third World dreams

            2. Snake Silver badge

              Re: Assange attempted to crack hashed password for SIPRNet accounts

              AFAIK, the attempted attack is still a violation of the law, even if unsuccessful, especially against a DoD target. Attempted Assault is still a crime, as is an Attempted Assault on a computer system.

              1. JetSetJim Silver badge

                Re: Assange attempted to crack hashed password for SIPRNet accounts

                Shit, planning a crime is also a crime, isn't it? "Conspiracy to do bad things"-type crime. You don't even have to attempt the crime itself to commit an offense, just make an effort to plan it - e.g. buy a load of fertiliser and hair dye and you'll probably get done for conspiracy to make a big bang somewhere.

                1. Trigonoceps occipitalis Silver badge

                  Re: Assange attempted to crack hashed password for SIPRNet accounts

                  Typically in the UK the range of sentence for "conspiracy" is the same as for the crime itself once found guilty.

            3. Ben Tasker Silver badge
              FAIL

              Re: Assange attempted to crack hashed password for SIPRNet accounts

              > Precisely. Attempted, unusuccessfuly.

              > How illegal is opening fire on a market place full of civilians?

              What if the bullets fail to hit anyone? There was an attempt, but it was unsuccessful.

              As a general rule, anyone who's tried for a crime was somewhat unsuccessful in their commission of that crime - they got caught.

              If you throw a grenade into a crowded marketplace, and it fails to go off, you better believe the law's still going to apply to you. If you try to rob a bank, but accidentally lock yourself in the vault, guess what - the law will still apply.

              > Is the crime of randomly killing people worse than the crime of exposing that killing?

              Oddly enough, a functioning justice system doesn't work on whatabouttery. There's plenty out there that's worse than many crimes on the books, it doesn't absolve those who commit those crimes.

          2. Andy The Hat Silver badge

            Re: pft

            "It is alleged that ..." not "Assange attempted to ..."

            That is part of the potential US case which is yet to be tried.

            What's interesting to me is it was found that Assange could have been prosecuted under the GB Official Secrets Act for leaking the US cables ... As he was not a signatory (being an officer of the Crown) to the Official Secrets Act, the information released was not GB state owned material or from GB state owned sources and was sourced from a third party overseas that makes an oddly shaped pill to swallow. Is there an 'information belonging to allies or "friends at the time"' clause in the OSA that allows such an interpretation? Obviously the information within the documents themselves cound not be regarded as UK secret as, even if they contained information pertinant to the UK, they were freely shared in some way with a third party which, by definition, means it is not secret to the UK.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: pft

              > As he was not a signatory (being an officer of the Crown) to the Official Secrets Act

              Signing or not signing the OSA is irrelevant - it's an Act of Parliament, not a contract, it applies to you either way.

              The _reason_ you're made to sign it if you work in certain areas is so that there's a paper trail to show you acknowledged you understood the Act and what it applied to, as well as to remind you that you are under obligations.

              > Is there an 'information belonging to allies or "friends at the time"' clause in the OSA that allows such an interpretation?

              There's a section on handling information arising from unauthorised disclosures, as well as sections handling information entrusted in confidence to other states.

              > Obviously the information within the documents themselves cound not be regarded as UK secret as, even if they contained information pertinant to the UK, they were freely shared in some way with a third party which, by definition, means it is not secret to the UK.

              That's.... not how it works, at all. Just because the information has been shared with some 3rd party, they can still consider be considered secrets. In fact - although it would _probably_ never be prosecuted, redistributing something leaked on Wikileaks/Cryptome could still land you in trouble (particularly if you're in a role that's required you to sign the OSA and/or get clearances)

            2. doublelayer Silver badge

              Re: pft

              The OSA is not necessarily considered to cover secrets of other countries, though it could. The point is that it is a crime in the UK to release information of that nature, and thus that extradition is permitted on that basis. In most cases, to extradite a person, the crime of which they're accused must be a crime in the country they're physically in. If country A thinks something I did was illegal but country B does not, country B is unlikely to extradite me. If country B also thinks that's illegal, then I'm more likely to be extradited. That works whether or not country B could charge me for the crime.

              Here's a simple example. Let's say that I go to the UK, rob a bank there, then flee to Germany. The robbery charge should happen in the UK. The Germans probably wouldn't charge me there for it, because the victim was located in the UK and I wasn't in Germany when I robbed it. Technically, my crime wasn't a thing for Germany. However, robbery is still a crime in Germany, so the extradition request would go through quickly, even though the victim wasn't German. In the same sense, the crimes that the U.S. allege are crimes in the UK, so the UK doesn't have to deny extradition for that reason.

        2. sanmigueelbeer Silver badge

          Re: pft

          Freedom of speech is a principle that supports the freedom of an individual or a community to articulate their opinions and ideas without fear of retaliation

          Freedom of Speech is an American right only bestowed upon American citizens (and everybody else is "fair game").

          Julian is an Australian citizen living in the UK -- I'm just sayin'.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: pft

            Totally untrue.

            The 1st Amendment is a restriction on the power of the US government. It does not distinguish based on citizenship status.

            Assange has essentially the same 1A protections from US government actions that any US citizen does.

      2. Timto

        Re: pft

        He's not a journalist, just a data dumper.

        He dumps everything he gets his hands on, regardless of the damage it does

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: pft

          "He's not a journalist, just a data dumper."

          But somebody has to expose, ethically or otherwise. I think just as many hate him as love him and that's not exclusive to journalists. Assange is somewhere between Snowden and The Dread Pirate Roberts... where between I don't know.

          The conflict I have is that illegally exposing the truth is still exposing the truth. If only BAD things were exposed, would you care? Of course, I didn't read AND rationalize 250,000 text documents or have the resources to do so, so I can't say one way or the other.

        2. Cynic_999 Silver badge

          Re: pft

          IIUC he liased with governments to ensure that information that could put lives in danger was redacted.

          1. Timto

            Re: pft

            He liased with Russia, to make sure the data he dumped would cause the maximum damage to Hillary Clinton

        3. onemark03 Bronze badge

          He's not a journalist, just a data dumper.

          I've said this before on El Reg. and I'll say it again: Assange is an anarchist.

          1. Hollerithevo

            Re: He's not a journalist, just a data dumper.

            Define 'anarchist'. Do you mean that he just wants to watch the world burn? Or that he is a Bakunin-style anarchist in wanting existing political structures replaced with a grass-roots-originated system that has no leaders but consensus?

          2. Geoffrey W

            Re: He's not a journalist, just a data dumper.

            He's not an anarchist nor would it matter if he were, whereas the people he exposed were murderers and fucking Trump is now accessory to murder. Which is worse, murder or being a bit of an arse?

        4. rg287 Silver badge

          Re: pft

          He dumps everything he gets his hands on, regardless of the damage it does

          IIRC for the War Logs he partnered with several newspapers (Guardian, Der Spiegel & New York Times) who triaged and redacted material pre-release, getting first dibs on the stories for their efforts, making sure relevant militaries had the opportunity for "live" material to be withheld.

          The guy is an egotistical dick. But if governments are going to cover up war crimes and run torture black sites then sooner or later someone is going to spill the beans. It's a matter of when, not if. Assange just happened to be in the right place at the right time that he ended up enabling Manning's data (amongst others), and our society is better and more accountable for that.

      3. Cynic_999 Silver badge

        Re: pft

        Not of itself, no. But journalists are not permitted to commit a crime in order to discover facts for a news report. Not that I am saying that what Assange did was not justified. Sometimes laws are made for the sole purpose of giving governments an advantage and/or allowing them to commit highly immoral and/or criminal acts without the people who voted for them finding out. Breaking an immoral law is still a crime no matter how much you or I may believe that it should not be. Juries should however be specifically told about jury nullification, and the fact that it is perfectly legal for a jury to find a person "not guilty" even if the evidence makes it 100% certain that they broke the law.

        1. Greybearded old scrote Silver badge

          Re: pft

          Some laws must be defied. Otherwise unjust laws persist.

          1. DoctorNine

            Re: pft

            Yeah. The argument that 'a law was broken' is, morally speaking, a pretty weak justification for the determination of the reasonableness of any given governmental action. The rationale of the law in question, as well as its primary and secondary effects, have to be accounted for, because the only legitimate laws, are those promulgated by the consent of the governed. So if they abrogate that standard, they are, ipso facto, illegitimate. I think in both this case, and even more so in the case of Edward Snowden, the alleged 'crime' was more rubbing the government's nose in its own dirt, than anything else. In my opinion, the general public hasn't been given enough details in either case to assent to their designation as 'criminal' based upon demonstrated damage to that public.

            Of course, I still think Assange is an ass. But that's beside the point.

        2. rg287 Silver badge

          Re: pft

          But journalists are not permitted to commit a crime in order to discover facts for a news report. Not that I am saying that what Assange did was not justified.

          Certainly within the UK there has generally been a view that journalists should not be prosecuted under Official Secrets. If they have access to classified material, then it's because someone gave it to them - in which case the priority is to put your own house in order. If data has been leaked to a journo, it could as easily have been leaked to a foreign state actor. The problem here is not the journalist.

          The Home Secretary was furious when members of the military and Security Services orchestrated Duncan Campbell's 1977 arrest in defiance of his wishes that journalists not be targetted. The subsequent ABC Trial underlined the preference of both the government and the courts not to impose overly on the 4th Estate.

      4. Persona Silver badge

        Re: pft

        In some instances what could be dressed up as journalism could be considered a crime.

        That is not the issue here. He is imprisoned in the UK for jumping bail. At the end of his sentence he should be deported back to Australia unless another country can successfully be granted extradition.

      5. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: pft

        "Is Journalism a crime?"

        It is if you are called Laura Kuenssberg

      6. This post has been deleted by a moderator

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: pft

      The UK probably won't deport him after all this. He has two young children with his (British) fiancee, according to the reporting on the BBC. Their right to a family life will mean that a deportation attempt would be almost certain to fail when challenged in court.

      And we did prosecute him for the crime he committed here - jumping bail. For which he got the standard term (as noted by several commenters at the time). He's currently being held on remand as the courts deem him a flight risk, based on his previous history of fleeing from the control of the courts.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: pft

        She is not British. Per media accounts she was born in South Africa and holds Spanish and Swedish nationality. While the sons are almost certainly British Citizens, that's not enough to prevent a deportation order. In addition the deportation must be deemed to be "unduly harsh". Given the family's means and international makeup there's a fair argument to be made they would tolerate it better than most.

        Remember the Tories spent much of the last 10 years stripping away any and all protections foreigners might have. If Priti wants him gone he's gone.

        1. CountCadaver

          Re: pft

          Actually since 1983 one of your parents have to be British Citizens (and possibly Indefinite leave to remain but I'm not 100% on that) for you to acquire British nationality by birth, UK doesn't have birthright citizenship

          1. DavCrav Silver badge

            Re: pft

            "Actually since 1983 one of your parents have to be British Citizens (and possibly Indefinite leave to remain but I'm not 100% on that) for you to acquire British nationality by birth, UK doesn't have birthright citizenship"

            She is EU and settled in the UK, so as long as that happened for five years before the child was born, the child has British citizenship. I'm not sure of the situation if she is in the UK for five years, but not at the time of birth. Possibly she has right-of-abode, coming from a Commonwealth country, in which case the child has citizenship again. That depends on exact circumstances.

      2. Androgynous Cupboard Silver badge

        Re: pft

        Wow, you haven't been paying attention have you?

        https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2021/jan/03/women-fight-to-help-families-torn-apart-by-racist-deportation-policy

        Automatic extradition for non-british citizens after one year in jail. The above article describes twin brothers, both born in the UK, who will be deported to different countries despite having no close family there nor, I believe, having visited either of them. Even if you are a British citizen, if they think they can weasel out of our obligations as a country to clean up our own trash, they will - google "Shamima Begum" for details.

        1. Cederic Silver badge

          Re: pft

          Erm, that's not automatic extradition.

          The automatic deportation is not automatic, and it is not racist either, as it takes no account of the race of the criminal idiots that are being deported.

          The women complaining about the deportations should perhaps switch their focus to stopping idiots from committing crimes - if you don't spend a year in prison, you won't be up for deportation.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: pft

            "perhaps switch their focus to stopping idiots from committing crimes - if you don't spend a year in prison, you won't be up for deportation."

            Agreed. Convicts like Assange should consider this before committing crimes in the UK.

            1. DavCrav Silver badge

              Re: pft

              "Convicts like Assange"

              51 weeks, I'm afraid.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Suicide

    Take note Mr Lynch, threatening suicide is now clearly the way out of extradition to the US.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Suicide

      It's cheaper than paying for an autism diagnosis.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Suicide

      Hillarious.

      What do you think Assange's mental state is after 10 years of this?

      What would your mental state be after 10 years on the run, knowing the yanks are after you?

      1. Flywheel Silver badge
        Unhappy

        Re: Suicide

        I'd rather have the US after me than the Saudis - Jamal Khashoggi wasn't so lucky. It's dangerous work being a journalist.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Suicide

          and sadly the 100% got away with it. Governments, vigilantes, hackers, rebels, after a few months, the oil and money wash over it like volcanic ash on Pompeii.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Suicide

        What would your mental state be after 10 years on the run, knowing the yanks are after you?

        Probably wishing I'd just owned up in the first place, served my time, and been a free man for 5+ years.

        1. Cynic_999 Silver badge

          Re: Suicide

          "

          ... and been a free man for 5+ years.

          "

          Not in an American court. More likely life in prison - likely to be a short life as well after a conviction that he effectively attacked America.

        2. Greybearded old scrote Silver badge

          Re: Suicide

          The maximum sentence is 175 years. Yes, two entire lifetimes.

          The US gov clami' that he would 'most likely' get 4-6 years. I'm once again reminded of the wisdom of M’andee-rice Davis.

          1. Joe Gurman

            Re: Suicide

            I wouldn't count on it being a case of MRDA. Most IT security crimes in the US are underpunished, and even if he were found guilty in a US court, his self-imposed imprisonment in the Ecuadorian embassy could probably be used in a request for time off the sentence.

            1. DavCrav Silver badge

              Re: Suicide

              "his self-imposed imprisonment in the Ecuadorian embassy could probably be used in a request for time off the sentence."

              Amazingly, time spent being on the run from an unrelated crime before an extradition request has been submitted would not be taken into consideration.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Suicide

        "What would your mental state be after 10 years on the run, knowing the yanks are after you?"

        Self inflicted ? And as a convicted bail jumper does Assange even qualify for a UK visa/residency under the new Australian points based system?

      4. Joe Gurman

        Re: Suicide

        His mental state is exactly what it's been all along: sociopathic.

        Cannot understand the widespread sympathy for Assange, who has clearly never given a damn about anyone but himself.

        The Judge's decision is almost certainly correct, but the law is an ass.

        1. Franco Silver badge

          Re: Suicide

          Agreed, Assange cares about nothing but himself. If he were truly a journalist as he claims no one would ever have heard of Chelsea Manning or know how he got the information in the first place.

          This won't end anytime soon either. If the next appeal fails he'll then ask for asylum in the UK, because wherever we deport him to (I don't know if the law is country of origin I.e. Sweden or "home" country I.e. Australia) will immediately be asked to extradite him as well.

          1. onemark03 Bronze badge

            Re: Suicide

            If Assange were extradited to Australia, it wouldn't surprise me if that country handed him over to the US.

            Admittedly, it's unlikely that he would be extradited to Australia but you know what I mean.

        2. tfewster Silver badge
          Joke

          Re: Suicide

          Without prejudice to the man or the accusations: As it's Assanges mental state that seems to be the only remaining barrier to deportation - How about a virtual extradition and trial under COVID lockdown conditions?

          - Deport him to the US Embassy in London, on the condition they don't try to take him out of the country.

          - Allow him to face his accusers via video link, as many trials are performed nowadays.

          - For a fee, Britain can provide trained staff to monitor his health during the trial.

          - IF found guilty then, for a fee, Britain can provide suitable accommodation at HMP Belmarsh.

    3. Lee D

      Re: Suicide

      And a good way to end up being sectioned under the Mental Health Act.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Expectations

    Doesn't this set up an expectation that if Assange were to lose the appeal and then end up being jailed that he would be expected to commit suicide?

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Expectations

      Having effectively jailed himself for several years this seems unlikely.

      AFAIK there were no moves to prosecute him until the outgoing POTUS arrived in office. Perhaps there will be another change in attitude.

      1. Cederic Silver badge

        Re: Expectations

        No, just people in 2010 calling for him to be assassinated. Oh, ok, there were also congressmen demanding his prosecution too.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If the appeal fails

    He'll basically be a prisoner here. If he goes to another jurisdiction then all bets are off and he'll probably find himself on a flight to the USA before he knows it.

    They (the USA) won't stop until he is locked up for several 100 year sentences in a Federal Supermax.

    But... perhaps things will change when the current Tweeter/Traitor in Charger in DC is in prison.

    1. chivo243 Silver badge

      Re: If the appeal fails

      Federal Supermax? I'm doubting his crime would even be considered for a Federal Supermax, He'll end up with the Celebs doing time for cheating their kids into Uni...

      1. Irony Deficient Silver badge

        Re: Federal Supermax?

        I'm doubting his crime would even be considered for a Federal Supermax

        Robert Hanssen is still in a federal Supermax, serving 15 consecutive life sentences for 15 violations of the Espionage Act: 14 counts of espionage * and one count of conspiracy to commit espionage †. All but one of the allegations for which Assange’s extradition is sought are also violations of the Espionage Act ‡. If extradited and found guilty on all counts (including the non-espionage alleged conspiracy to commit computer intrusions), the maximum total consecutive sentence would be 175 years.

        * — 18 U.S.C. § 794(a)

        † — 18 U.S.C. § 794(c)

        ‡ — viz in the second superseding indictment, one count of 18 U.S.C. § 793(g); two counts of 18 U.S.C. §§ 793(b) and 2; four counts of 18 U.S.C. §§ 793(c) and 2; three counts of 18 U.S.C. §§ 793(d) and 2; three counts of 18 U.S.C. §§ 793(e) and 2; three counts of 18 U.S.C. § 793(e).

  6. Ian Johnston Silver badge

    If the appeal fails I strongly suspect that something Eichmann-y will happen to him

    1. onemark03 Bronze badge

      If the appeal fails I strongly suspect that something Eichmann-y will happen to him

      Agreed: quite possible.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Get to live-it-up in South America* for a couple of decades?

      *Probably not Ecuador.

  7. Electronics'R'Us Silver badge
    Headmaster

    This confused me

    Judge Baraitser also dismissed Assange's legal arguments that publishing stolen US government documents on WikiLeaks was not a crime in the UK, ruling that had he been charged in the UK, he would have been guilty of offences under the Official Secrets Acts 1911-1989.

    Having been subject to the official secrets act for many of my years (I have signed the form that I understand my responsibilities etc. etc. more times than I care to recall), I could understand a successful prosecution for publishing UK secrets in the UK, but not US secrets (unless they are shared NATO secrets, but I don't recall any of that being the case).

    I would appreciate if someone might enlighten me here.

    1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

      Re: This confused me

      I could understand a successful prosecution for publishing UK secrets in the UK, but not US secrets (unless they are shared NATO secrets, but I don't recall any of that being the case).

      I think that may be the case, ie stuff that was published would be covered by the UK OSA. Alternatively, I think part of the extradition test is to consider if the alleged crime is one that would also be considered a crime, if committed in the UK.

      But the saga rumbles on. Given all the Clinton stuff Assange published, not convinced the Democrats would be keen on dropping charges. Then again, there may be some potential horse trading given Assange has hinted in the past that he's got more damaging stuff about the Dems.

      It'll be interesting to see what happens next with the bail hearing, which will no doubt play on the IT angle and risk that the agent becomes a self-terminating process. Kinda tricky given he's absconded once before, and I think it must be tempting to grant bail & not look too hard if his supporters whisk him out of the country. Oops, sorry America..

      1. CountCadaver

        Re: This confused me

        Attempting to blackmail the US govt is NOT a bright idea, makes it more likely they find a hole to bury you in than less....

        I can see him being declared "persona non grata" in the UK and deported back to Australia, who will likely happily stick on a plane to the USA (thats if he's not put on the flight that goes via the USA)

        1. A.P. Veening Silver badge

          Re: This confused me

          There is only one way of blackmail possible with any government: "Leave me alone or it gets published" and convincing that government it is on a dead man switch.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: This confused me

      The full judgement walks through this in some detail - page 33 onwards. What's less well known is that there's a whole "other" side to the OSA dealing with people what are not servants of her majesty attempting to gain documents through nefarious means, and that side applies to "national security documents which might be directly or indirectly useful to an enemy" whether or not they are explicitly marked and indeed whether or not they are specifically British.

      However it's also important to stress the purpose of looking at British law isn't to establish criminality - neither Assange nor Manning are British and none of the offences happened in the UK - but to meet a test of "dual criminality". This essentially transposes the actors and offences to British law and tests whether we also have the same crime on the books, to stop the US unilaterally criminalising offences for extradition purposes. Therefore the whole point of the comparison is to pretend, for the moment, that the actions were happening in the UK and with UK secrets, to allow us to compare the consequences of US and UK law to make sure the request is fair.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: This confused me

      The leaks included some UK originating data due to joint operations from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. I believe most of the British data was about civilian casualties and torture allegations if I remember correctly.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: This confused me

      Having been subject to the official secrets act for many of my years (I have signed the form that I understand my responsibilities etc. etc.

      Doesn't matter if you signed the form or not, you're still subject to the provisions of the Act.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: This confused me

        >Doesn't matter if you signed the form or not, you're still subject to the provisions of the Act.

        This is mostly true. The act as most people encounter it applies to three groups of people. The first are the crown servants - government employees and contractor staff who are directly working for the government. The second group are "government contractors", who are engaged indirectly (e.g. BAE staff building a tank). If you fall outside those first two groups the bulk of the OSA does not apply to you. The third category is why you're made to sign the paper - and it is any person who is notified in writing that they are subject to the terms of the act. Your signature is your acknowledgement that you have been notified so that even if you're not a crown servant or a contractor you are still subject to the act in the same way.

        The bits of the OSA in question for this Assange judgement are the "other" bits of the OSA that very much do apply to everyone.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: This confused me

          Your signature is your acknowledgement that you have been notified so that even if you're not a crown servant or a contractor you are still subject to the act in the same way.

          It's a law, it applies whether or not you sign a bit of paper saying you were notified. Being notified is largely a courtesy.

          "Do you have to sign the Official Secrets Act to be bound by it?

          It is not necessary for a person to have signed the Official Secrets Act in order to be bound by it. The 1989 Act states that a person can be “notified” that he or she is bound by it; and Government employees will usually be informed via their contract of employment if they must observe the Act."

          https://commonslibrary.parliament.uk/research-briefings/cbp-7422/

      2. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

        Is this designed to confuse and terrorise?

        Doesn't matter if you signed the form or not, you're still subject to the provisions of the Act. ...... Anonymous Coward

        Oh, really? Now there's a novelty.

        1. tfewster Silver badge

          Re: Is this designed to confuse and terrorise?

          "Ignorance of the law is no excuse"

          1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

            Re: Is this designed to confuse and terrorise?

            "Ignorance of the law is no excuse" ........ tfewster

            Quite so, .... however, how about ignorance of a fact or a fiction being a secret, tfewster? Is there a law designed to allow one to be prosecuted or persecuted for sharing one of those which practically hardly anyone knows and which might be, or might later be classified COSMIC Top Secret?

            Any sort of cogent guidance on that very particular and peculiar matter would be much appreciated, such is the extreme nature of certain emerging virtual fields of investigation and experimentation nowadays that might entertain and warrant such a premium primary security classification.

            I can't help thinking such classifications will only be recognised and needed to be heeded by those expert in the field[s] of concern/especial certain interest for no one else will realise that there be colossal dangers readily available.

      3. Electronics'R'Us Silver badge
        Holmes

        Re: This confused me

        Indeed so; the key here is that people who are expected to need access to classified information see it all spelled out in gruesome detail and that was my point.

        I never saw a clause in the (admittedly short) forms where secret information from another state was necessarily a UK secret. There are occasions when that is true and I have seen such specific occasions but in general the OSA protects UK secrets.

        1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

          Re: This confused me

          I never saw a clause in the (admittedly short) forms where secret information from another state was necessarily a UK secret. There are occasions when that is true and I have seen such specific occasions but in general the OSA protects UK secrets.

          I think it can be pretty common, ie some secrets are shared on the basis that we'll keep a foreigner's secrets secret as well. Which can be odd sometimes, eg training manuals might be openly published in the US, but still classified in the UK. Or situations where not everything is shared, so you might have a thing, but how that thing works is kept in a room only for say, US personnel because those secrets are US-NOFORN.

        2. doublelayer Silver badge

          Re: This confused me

          "I never saw a clause in the (admittedly short) forms where secret information from another state was necessarily a UK secret."

          That doesn't matter. The question that the judge needs to answer in this case is rather simple. Basically, if all this happened in or to the UK, would it be a crime. In full detail, if a guy broke into Ministry of Defense systems or published UK classified documents, would the UK consider it a crime? In that hypothetical case, the OSA would indicate that it was a crime. Since the action would have been criminal had the UK been the victim, the crime is worthy of extradition on the basis of dual criminality. It's not the only test that needs to pass before extradition succeeds, but it virtually always has to pass in order to do so. Just because it did pass doesn't mean that the real person could be charged under the OSA; only the hypothetical person who acted against a UK victim needs to be culpable for the test to pass.

          The reason a hypothetical criminality test is used is that one country could pass a law making something illegal which another country hasn't done. Extradition in that scenario is usually refused. For example, consider the U.S.'s slavery legislation in the 1800s. The laws of the U.S. stated that it was legal to enslave people and it was illegal for a person who was enslaved to run away. Canada's laws said that it was not legal to enslave people. A person who managed to escape to Canada could therefore live in freedom because an extradition request would be denied; the act of leaving a position of slavery was not considered criminal in Canada, so they wouldn't be sent. Meanwhile, someone who escaped to Canada after murdering people would be extradited, because murder was considered a crime in both countries. Even if Canada couldn't charge the murderer because the victim was American, Canada would still consider the murder to have been a crime and sent the perpetrator to the location where the trial was allowed.

    5. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

      Re: This confused me

      Judge Baraitser also dismissed Assange's legal arguments that publishing stolen US government documents on WikiLeaks was not a crime in the UK, ruling that had he been charged in the UK, he would have been guilty of offences under the Official Secrets Acts 1911-1989. Had his conduct not been a crime in the UK, that would have been a powerful blow against extradition.

      Can anyone be charged with sharing secrets one might not know are shared secrets if one has not signed the Official Secrets Act 1911-1989? One presumes Julian Assange has never ever signed such an agreement.

      Or even charged with sharing stolen secrets one might know are stolen shared secrets if one has not signed any Official Secrets Act?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: This confused me

        Yes.

        1. TimMaher Silver badge
          Big Brother

          Re: This confused me

          Very definitely.

          I remember, back in the distant past, obscured by the ever thickening mists of time, I was required to “sign a Section 10” to acknowledge my understanding of the OSA. My boss told me that it was completely irrelevant but it was in the rule book. If I didn’t sign then they would probably look at me sideways.

          So I signed.

          It was soon after that that I came up with the concept of being punished by a “departmental frown”, hence the icon.

      2. doublelayer Silver badge

        Re: This confused me

        The OSA is a law. You have to obey it if you're in the UK. Sometimes, you may be asked to sign a document acknowledging that you know this, but if you've never signed it, it doesn't change. For the same reason, you don't have to sign a document saying "I acknowledge that there's a law saying I can't kill people when I want to". If you do kill people, it's illegal whether you've acknowledged it's illegal or not. It's how laws work.

      3. DavCrav Silver badge

        Re: This confused me

        "Or even charged with sharing stolen secrets one might know are stolen shared secrets if one has not signed any Official Secrets Act?"

        Short version: yes.

        Long version: being required to sign the OSA is just to make things easier to prosecute. Assuming actus rea (the act of a crime), for offences that are not strict liability, you have to also prove mens rea (that the crime was knowingly being committed). An easy way to establish mens rea is to have someone sign a piece of paper saying 'I know this is a crime if I do it', but another way would be if it were bloody obvious that the documents are secret.

        1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

          Re: This confused me @DavCrav

          And whenever one shares a secret one doesn't know is a secret and/or, because of the information it releases and which may have been previously unknown, is suddenly classified a Top Secret and Sensitive Compartmented Information?

          Ye Olde Worlde Rumsfeldism .......

          Reports that say that something hasn't happened are always interesting to me, because as we know, there are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns — the ones we don't know we don't know. And if one looks throughout the history of our country and other free countries, it is the latter category that tend to be the difficult ones.

          Is one then routinely rewarded and paid extremely handsomely to keep schtum and/or warned there be consequences if it be shared further with others in the dark without arrogant presumptuous instruction from those newly brought into the light and rendered an overwhelming advantage by such information/intelligence?

          With all that is going on around everything in such a field being programmed today for virtually real presentations in every tomorrow and for 0days, such clarification for some would be surely be more than just helpful and advisable.

    6. Cynic_999 Silver badge

      Re: This confused me

      The judge's remarks are pointing out that publishing UK state secrets is indeed a crime in the UK and so its equivalent in the US is recognised by UK courts as a "valid" crime. As opposed to an extridition request for doing something that would be perfectly legal had the equivalent act been carried out in the UK.

    7. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: This confused me

      >>>I would appreciate if someone might enlighten me here.

      The judge isn't talking about the specific info he leaked. Just saying that under similar circumstances it would be a crime in the UK under the Official Secrets Act.

    8. NonTechnical

      Re: This confused me

      From what I remember the dump included a number of UK classified documents shared with the US agencies. The Official Secrets act applies to everyone. Signing is just to remind you about it, but has no impact on whether it applies to you.

  8. botski@comcast.net

    Why is Trump doing this? He often said he loved Assange and Wikileaks. And Trump hates the DEEP STATE (CIA, Justice Dept, etc.) Plus, Jared Kushner and Roger Stone communicated with Assange a lot of times - BFFS, all of them. But then, why does Trump do anything except lie and cause sickness, death, and debt? And try to override an election. And many other bad things. I wish Trump could be extradited to anywhere but here. (And Bush too, while we're at it.)

    1. Version 1.0 Silver badge

      Maybe Trump will pardon him? Regardless of what you think of Trump, how would many of his haters feel if he were to pardon Assange?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Regardless of what you think of Trump, how would many of his haters feel if he were to pardon Assange?

        That he was every bit as stupid as we think he is?

        1. Joe Gurman

          Erm....

          Trump or Assange?

      2. Cynic_999 Silver badge

        "

        Maybe Trump will pardon him?

        "

        There is no longer enough time for him to do so. By the time he is extridited and convicted, Trump will be long out of office.

        1. Pete B

          He can be pardoned without being convicted - eg Ford pardoned Nixon explaining that "the tranquility to which this nation has been restored by the events of recent weeks could be irreparably lost by the prospects of bringing to trial a former president of the United States," were Nixon to be brought up on charges.

      3. DevOpsTimothyC Bronze badge

        He doesn't need to be extradited to the US to be pardoned. A pardon is essentially an executive order stating that a action (or actions between time periods etc) have no legal consequence.

        In short there is nothing to stop Trump (before he leaves office) from pardoning Assange without it ever going to trial. It would also stop the extradition as there would no need for the extradition.

        Take a look at the Nixon Pardon as an example of how vague the wording can be. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pardon_of_Richard_Nixon

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      You still think our elected officials are in charge of anything more than publicity?

      Come' on man........

  9. Greybearded old scrote Silver badge

    So

    We're not sending him to be tortured, but only on the grounds that we've already tortured him plenty. How very enlightened of us. In the meantime, what has happened to those seen/heard committing war crimes (allegedly) in the documents that Wikileaks published? Right.

    Interesting how many of these extradition cases fail on the 'suicidal' grounds. You might almost think our judiciary has suspicions about the US justice system.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: So

      >We're not sending him to be tortured, but only on the grounds that we've already tortured him plenty

      Give over. He's only been in British custody since April '19. He was a wilful fugitive on the run, not a subject of torture.

      1. Greybearded old scrote Silver badge

        Re: So

        He's been reported to have spent significant time in solitary confinement, which is recognised as torture. Until it's us doing it.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: So

          Solitary confinement is not widely recognised as torture. Even if it were, the only reports I can find describing his torment from the search you have linked all root back to Sputnik news, Wikileaks staffers or immediate family members. Not exactly neutral. Do you have a direct link to materials concerning his treatment at Belmarsh?

          It's my understanding - per the judgement - that his own assessment of his mental health has significantly improved during his incarceration. In fact that's the whole crux of his defence: without the support structures and treatments available to him in the British prison system he was almost certain to end up dead. Is that a system engaged in wholesale torture?

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: So

          I've spent time in solitary at a British prison. I was considered a suicide risk, and the normal practice is to put the prisoner in solitary with regular checks (basically a quick glance through a hole in the door). It's hell, and that was only for five days.

          1. Cynic_999 Silver badge

            Re: So

            I doubt I would last a week in solitary without going insane.

            1. Joe Gurman

              Re: So

              I've pretty much been in solitary since last March, if you consider a fibre optic Internet connection "solitary." I'm not much crazier than I was before.

              </jk>

              Actual solitary, without access to books, news media, communication with others is inhumane. Then again, for some incarcerated persons, it might be a lot safer than integration with the general prison population.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: So

                There was a steel bed frame, bolted to the floor, and a toilet. Bedding was allowed, but nowhere to create a ligature point. And that was it.

                I was eventually bailed when my appeal was lodged, and thankfully the appeal was successful. If you're ever in legal bother, all I can say is make sure to get a bloody good solicitor and barrister.

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: So

          He's been reported to have spent significant time in solitary confinement, which is recognised as torture.

          Still managed to father kids while on the run. The man just can't keep it in his pants.

          1. Greybearded old scrote Silver badge

            Re: So

            Relevant, much?

        4. This post has been deleted by a moderator

    2. IGotOut Silver badge

      Re: So

      Please explain how he was tortured? If you mean skipping bail then deciding to hide from justice in a foreign embassy, then you have a weird idea about torture.

      1. sabroni Silver badge

        Re: deciding to hide from justice

        That's not what he's hiding from.

      2. Ordinary Donkey

        Re: So

        International experts on torture, including the UN Special Rapporteur on torture, say that he was tortured.

        But maybe this time the experts are wrong and you're right, who knows?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: So

          The UN Special Rapporteur in question is less of a Special Rapporteur on torture and more a Special Rapporteur for Julian Assange. His misguided interventions include the particularly distasteful episode where he implied that the woman Assange allegedly raped must have concocted the story because she didn't "behave like a proper rape victim". Melzer might have solid credentials, but his contributions to this sorry saga do not fill him with glory.

          1. Ordinary Donkey

            Re: So

            In other words an anonymous coward wants us to believe him rather than an internationally recognised expert in the field.

            Go home, Michael Gove, you're drunk.

            1. This post has been deleted by a moderator

  10. Robert Grant Silver badge

    "Free speech does not comprise a 'trump card' even where matters of serious public concern are disclosed," said the judge in a passage that will be alien to American readers, whose country's First Amendment reverses that position.

    It does not reverse that position. The US want to prosecute him under US law.

  11. alain williams Silver badge

    Have those who he exposed ...

    as committing war crimes been prosecuted by the USA ? Think of those in the helicopter gunship video.

    If it had been British soldiers who did they they would fave faced a trial.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Have those who he exposed ...

      The US rarely prosecute their own for war crimes, they withdrew from the International Criminal Court and recently placed sanctions on one of its prosecutors. The My Lai massacre only resulted in one token conviction despite 300-500 deaths.

      1. phogan99

        Re: Have those who he exposed ...

        The U.S was never actually part of the ICC, Clinton signed the Rome Statute but the treaty of never ratified and G.W Bush withdrew the signature after assuming office. It's jurisdiction as a court has never been formally recognized by the U.S.

      2. Irony Deficient Silver badge

        Re: [the US] withdrew from the International Criminal Court

        The US have not withdrawn from the ICC because the US have never been a state party to it, since the Rome Statute of the ICC was never submitted by any US administration to the US Senate for “advice and consent” (i.e. treaty ratification).

        The US are in the august company of Israel, Russia, and Sudan, all of which have signed the Rome Statute and subsequently declared that they have no intent to ratify it.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Have those who he exposed ...

      Trump would have pardoned them just like he did with those four who worked for Blackwater.

      Total waste of time. Oh... and the US Military is not subject to being hauled before the ICC in the Hague. Just another international treaty that they won't sign.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Whatever happened to Dmytro Firtash's extradition?

    Dmytro Firtash. The Russian oligarch, accused of bribing officials. The US sought and got approval from the Austrian courts to extradite him..... way back in mid 2019! US sought extradition, then Bill Barr stepped in and they simply never extradited him.

    He's the man in Vienna that Republicans keep visiting on their way to Ukraine.

    https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/justice-department/doj-has-still-not-answered-question-about-firtash-extradition-says-n1066521

    "DOJ has still not answered question about Firtash extradition, says senator's office A U.S. senator's office says after 18 months it has no answer from the DOJ about why an oligarch linked to Paul Manafort hasn't been extradited to the U.S. Sen. Wicker's 2018 letter alleges that prior to 2014, Firtash acted as a "direct agent of the Kremlin" during a separate scheme to skim money from natural gas transfers between Russia's Gazprom and Ukraine."

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dmytro_Firtash

    "She accused Firtash, who is a key contributor to Yanukovych, of fraudulently using New York real estate through which to launder money from Ukraine through the United States and then back to Ukraine to support various corrupt political activities and politicians"

    They skimmed off $800 million and used it to install Putin friendly politicians across the world. Laundering it through New York property deals.

    You see why Trump is so desperate. Why he's trying to coerce Republicans to overturn the election and appoint him as President. You can also see why some of them are going along with it.

  13. Mike 137 Silver badge

    Yet again...

    "... succeeded in cracking the encrypted password hash"

    Encrypted or hashed or both?

    Yet another example of the lack of technological literacy among the powers that be.

    1. TimMaher Silver badge
      Happy

      Re: Yet again...

      Yeah, I’d take MAGA2020 with a pinch of salt as well.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Yet again...

      Do we know what the hash was? I'd love to time how long it would take the hackerati to demonstrate that the super-secret password was ... "Password123" or "MAGA2020!".

  14. Cynic_999 Silver badge

    I can't help thinking ...

    ... that the general perception of Assange's actions would be very different if the government wrongdoings that he exposed was China rather than the USA.

    1. Androgynous Cupboard Silver badge

      Re: I can't help thinking ...

      Yes, because we don't have an extradition treaty with China. Any more questions for Captian Obvious?

      1. Cynic_999 Silver badge

        Re: I can't help thinking ...

        I was not talking about extradition, but of the general public's percepton of what Assange did.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Lock him up

    He's a rapist.

    1. Cynic_999 Silver badge

      Re: Lock him up

      I presume you are basing your statement on the "evidence" presented by the media which has never been tested in court - and never will be since charges have been dropped. There have been numerous cases where a person has been vilified by the media and convinced most of the public that the person is guilty of a heinous crime, but then had to back down after the person's innocence was conclusively proven.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Reap what you sow Trump

    You won't give us the killer driver Anne Sacoolas (and before anyone says innocent until proven guilty, she admitted it to the police, then the coward fled the country) hiding being her post event phony diplomatic immunity, so we're not giving you Assange whatever the official reason the judge may have given.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Happy New Year!

    Some good news for a change

  18. vogon00

    Dear Julian - Grow Up

    I think he should cease his whining and accept the consequences of his own actions, as the rest of us generally do. Come to think of it, he hasn't personally been doing much public whinging lately - I think most of the 'Assange-related-noise' recently is coming from his supporters or hand-wringers, who should also cease their moaning.

    Actions have consequences, and generally the larger the target the larger the consequences. In this case, I think he was a damn fool an effing idiot to imagine he could twist the tail of the large tiger, as hard as he did, and expect to walk away unscathed. He really has no-one else to blame apart from himself for his current situation.

    If I am overseas, I obey the local laws *and* take the sensible approach to local behaviour (Don't photograph the local airbase despite my interest in aircraft. Don't snap away at the local Military on exercise despite my interest in tanks [1] ).

    I for one will be glad if/when he does leave these shores - we have spent too much time and money on him already. I say declaring him PNG and shipping him back whence he belongs (i.e. anywhere but here!) is a damn good idea. If the tiger who's tail he twisted still bears a grudge [2]....... well, he should have considered that at the time - especially knowing which particular tiger he was trying to upset. The guy is an effing idiot.

    [1] Don't believe me? Please try this in Turkey or the TRNC.

    [2] Where someone from .za keeps their car.

    1. This post has been deleted by a moderator

      1. Cynic_999 Silver badge

        Re: Dear Julian - Grow Up

        IIUC the rape charges have been dropped - and he has certainly never admitted such a thing.

    2. Cynic_999 Silver badge

      Re: Dear Julian - Grow Up

      "

      I think he should cease his whining and accept the consequences of his own actions, as the rest of us generally do.

      "

      Do we? I certainly don't. How many times have you voluntarily turned yourself into the police and confessed to exceeding the speed limit?

      1. vogon00

        Re: Dear Julian - Grow Up

        Fair point:-)

        I should have written 'as the rest of us generally do when caught or unmasked'.

  19. The commentard formerly known as Mister_C Silver badge
    Coat

    STOP PRESS - ASSANGE TO APPEAL

    +++++++

    Following this evening's announcement by Boris "scarecrow" Johnson, Julian Assange has announced that he would like to appeal against today's extradition hearing. In a press announcement he said "get me the fuck out of this plague ridden country".

    +++++++

    Meanwhile, the rest of the country prepares to enter Tier five. First step, change the light bulb...

    Mine's the one with the Red Dwarf boxed set in the pocket

    1. sanmigueelbeer Silver badge

      Re: STOP PRESS - ASSANGE TO APPEAL

      In a press announcement he said "get me the fuck out of this plague ridden country".

      Julian Assange wants to get extradited from a "plague ridden country" to another (worst)?

  20. _LC_ Silver badge
    Mushroom

    The turds are flying low today

    Whenever we talk about political issues, this forum gets flooded with feces. It's not so funny once you realize that you are paying for those turds to come afloat with your taxes. :-(

    1. Cynic_999 Silver badge

      Re: The turds are flying low today

      Not sure I understand who you are referring to.

  21. This post has been deleted by a moderator

    1. _LC_ Silver badge
      Thumb Down

      ... and they float

      https://shop.drno-effects.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/Dr.No_Turd_uit.png

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Murica

    The country which attacks itself and then uses the attack as a pretext for war, oh that Murica...

    Yeah, uh huh

    Who is it that they want to rape this time?

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Assange hasn't admitted to rape

    I have seen a number of commenters on here stating that Assange has admitted to the rape allegations from Sweden. I don't care for rapist but I cannot find this admission of guilt reported anywhere by a reputable source. From what I can see the Swedes dropped the case at the end of 2019 because of a lack of evidence and he has always maintained his innocence, as has been reported by news outlets such as The Guardian and France24. As recently as Monday the Guardian said "an international arrest warrant had been issued at the request of Swedish authorities who wanted to question Assange about allegations – one of rape and one of molestation – made by two women in Stockholm. He has denied those claims.". Surely if he had confessed to the crime the Swedes would have continued the prosecution.

    I'm not a supporter of Assange but don't say someone has done something without evidence.

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