Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
News

Assange Could Face Execution Or Guantanamo Bay 973 973

An anonymous reader writes "WikiLeaker-in-chief Julian Assange faces the real danger of being executed or languishing in the US prison camp at Guantánamo Bay if, as a result of his extradition to Sweden, he ends up in the hands of the Americans, his lawyers argue. In a skeleton summary of Assange's defence, posted online, Assange's lawyers argue that it is likely that the US would seek his extradition 'and/or illegal rendition' from Sweden. In the United States 'there will be a real risk of him being detained at Guantánamo Bay or elsewhere,' his lawyers write."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Assange Could Face Execution Or Guantanamo Bay

Comments Filter:
  • attorneys (Score:5, Insightful)

    by I8TheWorm (645702) * on Tuesday January 11, 2011 @05:00PM (#34839792) Journal

    Of course his attorneys are doing whatever they can to prevent him shipping out. Is this news?

  • by Deathnerd (1734374) on Tuesday January 11, 2011 @05:03PM (#34839830)
    Yup, it's 2011. So why does feel so much like 1984?
  • Re:attorneys (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Monkeedude1212 (1560403) on Tuesday January 11, 2011 @05:03PM (#34839840) Journal

    Is this news?

    It's news that the lawyers have caught up to what everyone on the internet was thinking when they first encountered Wikileaks. Usually they're multiple years behind on this sort of thing.

  • Re:What grounds? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by imamac (1083405) on Tuesday January 11, 2011 @05:03PM (#34839844)
    If he's dubbed a terrorist by the US government...
  • Good! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DoofusOfDeath (636671) on Tuesday January 11, 2011 @05:03PM (#34839846)

    I'm not saying it's good that America does these things. I have a tremendous sense of schadenfreude about the American government feeling some pain for its indefinite detention and torturing. As an American, I'm disgusted that my government has betrayed our ideals, but I also know that as one person I'm very unlikely to effect change. Maybe Assange can take our government to task more effecitively than any normal American citizen could.

  • by swb (14022) on Tuesday January 11, 2011 @05:06PM (#34839888)

    That's pretty funny. If the US wanted him "renditioned", they would have had him already from the UK. He's much more likely to be safe from US rendition in Sweden.

    However, in Sweden, he will have to get up on the stand and answer for his sexual behavior, and that's what he's really worried about.

    It's not entirely clear from what I've read that he's an actual rapist, but it sure sounds like he's a real jerk.

  • Re:What grounds? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by akgooseman (632715) on Tuesday January 11, 2011 @05:06PM (#34839894) Homepage
    Actually, the USG not liking someone is exactly why that person might end up in Gitmo. Circumventing the legal system is what makes Gitmo useful to the government.
  • Re:Riot (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Haedrian (1676506) on Tuesday January 11, 2011 @05:07PM (#34839910)

    I'll believe that when I see it.

    Its more likely that nobody will open their mouths, then a bunch of senators will get pizzas delivered to them that they didn't order.

  • Re:Oh really? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by pe1rxq (141710) on Tuesday January 11, 2011 @05:08PM (#34839920) Homepage Journal

    Yeah, because it is impossible that the US would keep someone locked up at gitmo for years without any chance of ever getting a proper trial or even hearing what the hell you are accused of.

    That would never happen.

  • by TheL0ser (1955440) on Tuesday January 11, 2011 @05:08PM (#34839924)

    Because the publishers felt they didn't need to put "THIS IS NOT AN INSTRUCTION MANUAL" on the front cover of the book.

    They're regretting that decision now.

  • by moxley (895517) on Tuesday January 11, 2011 @05:08PM (#34839926)

    While I believe that Wikileaks is likely some form of an intel operation/possible manipulation in and of itself to some degree, I still support the concept behind Wikileaks.

    Unfortunately I think that this statement by his lawyers may be correct. It's sad, but America is no longer the beacon of hope and freedom for the world that it once was - it's a bloated, corrupted, fading superpower. In a way we're the world's largest banana republic. It makes me very sad, because I love my country - but loving your country doesn't mean shying away from criticizing the government or exposing it's misdeeds - in fact, it means the opposite. This nation was supposedly founded on dissent and the rights of man, and to hear those in power try spin the law (including the Constitution) to suit their twisted needs is sickening.

  • Re:What grounds? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 11, 2011 @05:08PM (#34839928)

    Maybe I'm missing something, but last I knew "We don't like him" wasn't a valid reason for shipping to Gitmo or executions

    For executions, you're right. For shipping to Gitmo, everyone currently there is there solely based on the fact that the US doesn't "like them."

    So while I doubt the US would be able to get away with just executing Assange outright, I wouldn't be at all surprised if they shipped him to Gitmo and then an "accident" happened while he was in custody and he managed to get shot, in the heart, multiple times, from close range, during a prison riot that somehow included no other prisoners.

  • by Bemopolis (698691) on Tuesday January 11, 2011 @05:09PM (#34839932)
    The fact that this argument cannot be dismissed as ridiculous, hyperbolic poppycock is testament to how far the United States has fallen in the world's estimation.
  • Re:What grounds? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by mrxak (727974) on Tuesday January 11, 2011 @05:10PM (#34839960)

    The grounds are "hey, we're lawyers, we can charge our client by the word in our legal arguments before the judge!"

    The more ridiculous grounds they can come up with, the more money they make, and the more attention Assange gets. It's win-win.

  • Re:What grounds? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Microlith (54737) on Tuesday January 11, 2011 @05:12PM (#34839986)

    A bunch of people in the US self-identify with the Federal Government, and believe that it and this country are one and the same, so therefore publishing leaked documents embarrasses the Federal Government, thus the US, thus they personally are humiliated.

    So it cuts their IQ by 20 points and makes them angry and cry for blood.

  • Re:What grounds? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 11, 2011 @05:13PM (#34840010)

    Tell that to all the other non US citizens sitting in gitmo for years without a trial or charge.

  • Re:What grounds? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by sumdumass (711423) on Tuesday January 11, 2011 @05:13PM (#34840014) Journal

    He could possibly still be charged on espionage, racketeering and related laws. Treason is actually very limited in the US by the US constitution even if he was a US citizen.

    None of those carry a death penalty unless the violation of the laws directly result in someone's death. However, that still shouldn't be much of a concern because the US often agrees not to pursuit the death penalty as a condition to extradite someone from different countries.

    What is happening here is little more then then stating a defense to guard against extradition out of England in the first place. They are stating every possible scenario including ones muttered by "prominent figures" who a good portion of the US thinks are crazy, ignorant, or bat-shit stupid. They are even arguing that the prosecutor who issued the warrant didn't even have authority to do so.

    There is nothing new or revealing here. His lawyers are simply putting everything possible on the table to show extraditing Assange should not happen. If they don't bring it up in lower courts, they might not be able to in higher ones.

  • Re:What grounds? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by morgan_greywolf (835522) on Tuesday January 11, 2011 @05:14PM (#34840026) Homepage Journal

    On no grounds. U.S. officials have not shown that Assange has committed a single crime in the U.S. He is merely wanted here for questioning, probably to prosecute those who did violate U.S. law, such as any of Bradley Manning's co-conspirators or to find out who leaked the Iraq war logs, the U.S. diplomatic cables, etc.

    Gitmo is a facility of the U.S. Navy; I doubt he'd be held there as he's wanted by the Department of Justice, not the Pentagon.

  • Re:What grounds? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Pojut (1027544) on Tuesday January 11, 2011 @05:14PM (#34840034) Homepage

    It's bullshit. What about the site admins for Wikileaks, or the dozens (if not hundreds) of media employees around the globe that are sitting on the full cable file and letting it trickle out? What about the security guys in the military, whose job it is to ensure stuff like this doesn't happen?

    Assange is nothing but a mouthpiece. The fact that he's the primary target in this whole thing is just as asinine as the US Government's strategy to prevent leaks being leaked [techspot.com].

  • by jbolden (176878) on Tuesday January 11, 2011 @05:15PM (#34840052) Homepage

    Yep. I'm hope people in the US get the message that the rest of the world no longer thinks of us a country of laws.

  • Re:What grounds? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Choad Namath (907723) on Tuesday January 11, 2011 @05:15PM (#34840054)
    This is pure speculation by his attorneys, and Slashdot should avoid using such needlessly inflammatory headlines.
  • Uh (Score:5, Insightful)

    by monoqlith (610041) on Tuesday January 11, 2011 @05:16PM (#34840068)

    This is pretty thin. It's not clear that Assange could be vulnerable to criminal charges of say, treason, in the US since he is not a citizen of, nor loyal to, the US. WikiLeaks does not have servers in the US. Moreover the 'figures' that the lawyers cites as saying Assange should be executed have no actual authority in the US. They cite Sarah Palin and Mike Huckabee, neither of whom hold political office and (I'm guessing - and hoping) will not have any official political power in the near future.

    This is Assange's own lawyers trying to prevent extradition to Sweden, which has actually filed criminal charges against him. I'm all for what Assange does, but this is exceedingly unlikely to come to pass.

  • Re:What grounds? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Chuck Chunder (21021) on Tuesday January 11, 2011 @05:16PM (#34840080) Homepage Journal
    Were the people currently in Guantanamo US citizens or in US jurisdiction at the time of their "arrest"? "We don't like him" seems to be exactly the normal reason for being sent there.

    Let's face it, when was the last time the USA didn't take an opportunity to look as hypocritical as possible on the world stage?
  • Re:What grounds? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by DogDude (805747) on Tuesday January 11, 2011 @05:16PM (#34840082) Homepage
    The US government doesn't need a reason to imprison and kill people. We abandoned the rule of law on 9/12/2001.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 11, 2011 @05:16PM (#34840084)

    The argument can be dismissed as ridiculous, hyperbolic poppycock by anyone with a functioning brain.

  • Re:What grounds? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by dkleinsc (563838) on Tuesday January 11, 2011 @05:19PM (#34840132) Homepage

    "We don't like him" wasn't a valid reason for shipping to Gitmo or executions

    Does it matter whether there's a valid reason or not? The way Gitmo is structured, you get sent there by the executive branch without ever receiving trial, and remain there occasionally getting a kangaroo court to say "yeah, keep him locked up" every year or so. There have been innocent people, including some US citizens, subjected to this sort of treatment in a blatant violation of the US Constitution.

    Assange has been very clear through all of this that the reason he doesn't trust the US government is precisely because they've shown no inclination to follow their own laws.

  • Re:attorneys (Score:5, Insightful)

    by spun (1352) <loverevolutionary@@@yahoo...com> on Tuesday January 11, 2011 @05:21PM (#34840150) Journal

    Why do you insist on looking at the US in such absolute, black and white terms? Isn't it possible that we are good in certain areas, but bad in others? Are we so perfect that we need not change anything? Are we so insecure that any criticism is taken as a personal affront? Our country is not a sports team in need of rabid fanatics cheering her on, no matter what. Our country is a Republic in need of thoughtful citizens capable of honest introspection. We are a great nation, we can conquer any problem we set our minds to. But first we have to face it.

    I will at least give you points for consistency. You defend Authority no matter what party it currently calls home. Perhaps you suffer from some variant of Stockholm syndrome, and identify with your oppressors?

  • by Ferzerp (83619) on Tuesday January 11, 2011 @05:22PM (#34840174)

    Not just in the world's estimation, but also in its own citizens' estimation.

  • Tin foil hat (Score:4, Insightful)

    by wjousts (1529427) on Tuesday January 11, 2011 @05:23PM (#34840196)
    Sounds like the rantings of a paranoid schizophrenic. Reminds me of the SNL skits where Assange reminds people that no matter how he dies, even if it's decades from now and peacefully in his sleep, "it was murder!".
  • Bad argument. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) on Tuesday January 11, 2011 @05:24PM (#34840210) Journal

    If you were to take his argument to its logical conclusion, he's saying that any crime he may have committed cannot result in punishment otherwise he might also be punished very harshly for a completely different offence?

    So he may have robbed a bank, shanked the queen of Sweden, and sold half the population of Stockholm into slavery, but you can't extradite him because the Swedish might send him to the united states?

    Obviously a little different from the charges he's facing, but what crime would he have to be charged with to allow him to be extradited to Sweden? Or does his noble actions with Wikileaks cause him to be immune for any other offence he committed?

  • Re:Oh really? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by vux984 (928602) on Tuesday January 11, 2011 @05:25PM (#34840224)

    I'm a bit confused.

    Are you saying we shouldn't be worried about Sweden getting mixed up in "extraordinary rendition" (ie kidnapping) because they were caught doing it?

    Personally I take the opposite lesson...they've demonstrated they will do it. They may have learned their lesson... or perhaps the only lesson learned was to try harder so as not to get caught next time.

  • Re:Oh really? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Hatta (162192) on Tuesday January 11, 2011 @05:25PM (#34840228) Journal

    Your argument is that because Sweden has illegally rendered people before that they will not do so again?

  • Re:What grounds? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Pharmboy (216950) on Tuesday January 11, 2011 @05:26PM (#34840234) Journal

    I was thinking the same thing myself. Sure he pissed off the entire government but he's got so much press I doubt he can just be disappeared.

    While I am not paranoid enough to think it will happen, you don't have to disappear someone. You just have a patsy kill him ("he was a mental patient, out of his mind"), then have someone else kill the patsy (a "information wants to be free" nut), so you can't question him. The second guy doesn't know that the first was hired to begin with, and no one knows who did the hiring to begin with. As long as the second guy remains silent, he is compensated (family gets regular $$, or whatever). He "somehow" dies of cancer (or suicide + botched investigation) onr or two years later. Not that different than what is claimed in some circles regarding JFK.

  • STFU (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Estanislao Martínez (203477) on Tuesday January 11, 2011 @05:29PM (#34840270) Homepage

    Assange is being accused of "sex by surprise" [...]

    No he's not. This "sex by surprise" stuff is some shit his lawyers made up. Do your fucking research before running off your mouth.

  • Re:What grounds? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by mrxak (727974) on Tuesday January 11, 2011 @05:29PM (#34840280)

    It's pretty hilarious, because the prominent figure they're talking about is Huckabee. This is a man who is not a lawyer, not even a government official, and certainly has no bearing on who gets charged with what, or who gets executed. Plus, uh, yeah... Huckabee wasn't talking about Assange either, he was talking about the people who leaked stuff to Assange, at least as far as I can tell from the quote.

    Presumably any judges looking at the arguments would do a modicum of research and find out just how stupid this argument is. But again, the lawyers are just throwing everything out there, and hoping something sticks. I don't know a lot about their legal system over there, but perhaps it will also give them some added grounds for appeal if they lose. IANAL.

  • Re:Oh really? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Psychopath (18031) on Tuesday January 11, 2011 @05:31PM (#34840300) Homepage

    Point, but that's presumably the reason they're doing this.

    It's possible, but it's also possible the Swedes just want to talk to him about the criminal charge in their country. Which is the only crime he's actually been accused of committing.

    Relations being what they are between the US and the UK, if the US wanted him in Gitmo, he'd already be in Gitmo.

  • Re:Back to earth (Score:5, Insightful)

    by zeroshade (1801584) on Tuesday January 11, 2011 @05:32PM (#34840316)

    No offense to those who died. The people rising up violently as a result to finding out about massive corruption in their own government, in my opinion, cannot be the fault of the group who revealed the corruption.

    If massive amounts of corruption that we know exist were finally brought to light in the US and the result was an armed uprising of citizens opposed to that corruption, I could not possibly blame who revealed the corruption as the cause of the violence.

    As a famous saying, don't blame the messenger. This is not a situation of supposedly revealed anonymous sources and putting secret operations in jeopardy or anything of the sort. This is a case of people revolting to massive corruption.

    I do not condone the violence, I mourn for those who died. However, even though the violence was a result of the release, I believe it is very important that people know of corruption in their government. If Assange had leaked some document showing corruption being perpetrated by Obama, or proving that he wasn't born in Hawaii and the result was a violent protest or uprising. I believe that Tea Party members would be calling Assange a hero for revealing the information and not blame him for the violence. Food for thought.

  • Re:What grounds? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by IICV (652597) on Tuesday January 11, 2011 @05:36PM (#34840394)

    Yeah, the United States Government never does that sort of thing, not even to American citizens!

    Oh wait... [nytimes.com]

    That kid is an American citizen who was, apparently, detained and beaten in Kuwait because the United States Government thought he might know something. If my government gets its hand on Assange, do you think the result will be much different?

  • Re:What grounds? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Moryath (553296) on Tuesday January 11, 2011 @05:37PM (#34840408)

    it's been proven that there is no charge of espionage, since he never obtained any information in the first place.

    Then what did he have to post?

    It was given to him.

    Ahh. So your assertion is that if it is "given" to him, as opposed to his asking for it, that's not espionage? Likely as not, the charge is going to assert that Assange asked PFC Manning to give him the information, which would make them co-conspirators.

    Whether that is TRUE, or not, I do not make judgement. But that is likely what the charge will be.

    If that were true, that would mean they could charge the newspapers with treason.

    Actually newspaper reporters and editors have been charged with treason in the past, and probably will be again in the future, in nations around the world. Newspaper reporters traveling with the military, for instance, are enjoined and warned about transmitting their locations over broadcast. Geraldo Rivera was kicked out of just such an assignment for drawing a map in the sand [nytimes.com] for the audience.

    quit making shit up, you dumb fucking retard.

    Are you expecting me to respond in kind? I know your type. You're posting "anonymously" so that you can log in and downmod me a few times.

    Please get an education and grow up. The world does not work the way you think it does.

  • Re:This is absurd. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by kevinNCSU (1531307) on Tuesday January 11, 2011 @05:47PM (#34840586)
    Equating "looking into him" with execution IS FUD.
  • Re:What grounds? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by BJ_Covert_Action (1499847) on Tuesday January 11, 2011 @05:49PM (#34840628) Homepage Journal
    I've been following this wikileaks stuff from the get go, and I still haven't seen any evidence to suggest that Assange is the target of anything more than an obsessed media and a lot of public outcry by the same stupid pundits that throw up a public outcry over every other damn thing in the news.

    I'll grant that the circumstances and nuances of Assange's whole sex-offender case were damn strange, meaning all that stuff involving the case getting dropped, then picked up, then Interpol involvement, etc. But considering that large government bureaucracies, in general, don't often operate efficiently, or, for that matter, even sensibly half the damn time, all that crap could very well be little more than the Swedish justice system panicking over a high profile case and responding to such global scrutiny in the same way that many people would under such a lens: completely uselessly and foolishly.

    I'm not saying Assange explicitly is not on some government blacklist somewhere, but I also don't see a lot of convincing evidence that he definitely is the target of anything in particular; other than, you know, some bitter female scorn projected by two young lasses that he fooled about with.
  • Re:What grounds? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by stewbacca (1033764) on Tuesday January 11, 2011 @05:50PM (#34840636)

    Small-yet-critical-detail -- he was beaten and detained by Kuwaiti's in a Kuwaiti jail.

    Kuwaitis are not the United States Government and Kuwati jails aren't policed by Americans.

  • Re:What grounds? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Applekid (993327) on Tuesday January 11, 2011 @05:54PM (#34840698)

    In fact, I'm sort of surprised he hasn't been killed already, one would think the CIA could handle an assassination....

    The last thing they need is to cement his martyrdom.

  • Re:attorneys (Score:5, Insightful)

    by vadim_t (324782) on Tuesday January 11, 2011 @05:56PM (#34840728) Homepage

    I'm perfectly willing to discuss the US' flaws, but only with people who consider things like random killing *bad*. Yes, EVEN when it's "for the people", "for social justice" or "for freedom". People who are less-than-confused about whether it was Saddam or Bush who killed more. People who realize that someone who fired poison gas rockets, then was found "without WMDs", is not innocent, but merely has hidden his weapons well. For everyone else, the US *IS* perfect.

    Here's the way I see it:

    1. Saddam was in no way a nice guy
    2. The US is not the world police, nor should be. Somebody being a dictator isn't an automatic justification for invasion
    3. IMO, the right thing to do would have been to leave Saddam alone, and let the country have a revolution if the citizens decide to have one.
    4. Regardless which one was the most evil, the Iraq war didn't result in anything positive, so starting it was a mistake.

  • Re:What grounds? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by zarthrag (650912) on Tuesday January 11, 2011 @05:59PM (#34840782)
    Treason doesn't mean much. Since the president has the power to order the assassination of US citizens abroad, Assange can just get the label "enemy combatant" and it's open season. Gotta love those loose constructionists.
  • Re:attorneys (Score:5, Insightful)

    by spun (1352) <loverevolutionary@@@yahoo...com> on Tuesday January 11, 2011 @05:59PM (#34840788) Journal

    Why compare us to third world self titled "socialists" and not to, oh I don't know, the socialist democracies of first world Europe? And why try to deflect criticism of the US with comparisons to socialism at all? As I mentioned, our political parties are not sports teams in need of blind boosterism. Black and white thinking does not mean "Non communist thinking." It means that you see thew world in black and white terms, something is either good, or bad, and there are no gray areas. Someone who sees the world in black and white terms will see their country either as wholly good, or totally bad. Seeing their country as wholly good, they will reject all criticism of their country.

    Also, you DO realize where Saddam got that poison gas, right?

  • Re:What grounds? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by cheekyjohnson (1873388) on Tuesday January 11, 2011 @06:05PM (#34840864)

    but I'm pretty sure they'd be unable to do so as Assange himself has not violated U.S. laws.

    Don't be silly! The government doesn't play by their own rules. Everyone knows this.

  • by Xenographic (557057) on Tuesday January 11, 2011 @06:11PM (#34840978) Homepage Journal

    > This is so much hyperbole it is not even funny.

    Right, because we've never executed people for this sort of thing before [wikipedia.org]. And, even though we'd put innocent US citizens in Gitmo [timesonline.co.uk], there's no way we'd do that to someone who isn't even a US national, neatly sidestepping all that "fair trial" nonsense by labeling him as some kind of "enemy combatant" or whatever.

    And, even though we have politicians calling for Julian Assange to be assassinated [newser.com], there's no way that anyone would ever even think of taking them seriously [go.com]. Ever.

    That's total hyperbole, right? Nobody here is that crazy... right?

  • Re:What grounds? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Chuck Chunder (21021) on Tuesday January 11, 2011 @06:15PM (#34841048) Homepage Journal
    The US Government's own report [washingtonpost.com] concludes that the vast majority of people in Guantanamo (either historically or now) have no business being there and were or should be released (if they can find somewhere to send them).

    Of the 779 people held at Guantanamo since January 2002 only 36 are being held for prosecution and 48 are marked for being held "indefinately". A handful of others have been handed over for prosecution in other countries. By my reckoning that makes at least 85% of detainees held without good, legal reason.
  • Re:What grounds? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by bruce_the_loon (856617) on Tuesday January 11, 2011 @06:19PM (#34841110) Homepage

    Except they were prosecuted under the Espionage Act of 1917 which was replaced by the Espionage and Sabotage Act of 1954 which permits the death penalty only when a foreign power identified and killed an individual acting as an agent of the US or where the espionage directly concerns nuclear weaponry, military spacecraft or satellites, early warning systems, or other means of defense or retaliation against large-scale attack; war plans; communications intelligence or cryptographic information; or any other major weapons system or major element of defense strategy. http://codes.lp.findlaw.com/uscode/18/I/37/794 [findlaw.com]

    While the leaked cables and war documents were embarrassing and affected diplomatic efforts, I don't see any direct violations of the requirements for the death penalty. The Rosenbergs did.

  • Re:What grounds? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Moryath (553296) on Tuesday January 11, 2011 @06:19PM (#34841116)

    I'm not saying he's a nice guy or perfect - far from it.

    I'm thinking "about 180 degrees from it" myself.

    But the fact remains that he got a far larger share of the vote than most western leaders

    Sure. What percentage did the current President of China win by again? What percentage did Saddam get in his final "election"? Rigged elections [vcrisis.com] are meaningless.

    and extremely popular with most of the population

    Again, I'm reminded of all the "vocal supporters" of other dictatorial regimes who are only "vocal" because they're afraid of being "disappeared" if someone hears them talking bad about Mr. Dictator-For-Life.

    has ploughed money into education and healthcare, and massively improved the lives of the poor

    Say what again [guardian.co.uk]?

    Again, the US is on dodgy ground to criticise, with elections of presidents on less than half the votes with results determined by dodgy courts

    I take it you have never studied how the US constitution and election system, in particularly the Electoral College [archives.gov] in which the vote is not a "national popular vote" but 50 separate elections apportioning the votes of 538 representatives to the national ballot.

    detention without trial in Cuba

    Sigh. And you seemed so rational prior to this.

    the ever-widening poverty gap

    No, most of us agree this is a problem.

    denial of healthcare to the poor

    All you have to do to have healthcare in the US is to show up to a hospital. The fact is, "health care access" is not an issue: "health insurance", which helps one pay for it, is what is being roundly discussed.

    Neither system is perfect, but it seems that Chavez is at least helping the poor rather than the rich

    With due respect, if you honestly think this, you need to get your head out of the sand and take a better look at conditions in Venezuela.

    And he's not starting wars responsible for the deaths of thousands

    No, he's just busy murdering thousands of the citizens in his own country. As for the rest of your assertions, they're offtopic and can be discussed at another time.

  • Re:What grounds? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by IICV (652597) on Tuesday January 11, 2011 @06:23PM (#34841158)

    Small-yet-critical-detail -- he was beaten and detained by Kuwaiti's in a Kuwaiti jail.

    Kuwaitis are not the United States Government and Kuwati jails aren't policed by Americans.

    You're right, that makes perfect sense because

    A. After the first Gulf War, Kuwait isn't essentially an American protectorate and
    B. The USG is flipping out about this kid, demanding answers, and immediately bringing him home as soon as they're able - like you would expect them to do if any foreign country held and tortured an American citizen of their own accord.

    Oh wait no neither of those things are true.

  • Re:What grounds? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Moryath (553296) on Tuesday January 11, 2011 @06:28PM (#34841202)

    No, Manning was the man who gave the stuff out to Assange.

    Manning also happens to have the misfortune of being in the military, where the rules are different [about.com] from both the civil and criminal courts.

  • Re:attorneys (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 11, 2011 @06:28PM (#34841206)

    2. The US is not the world police, nor should be. Somebody being a dictator isn't an automatic justification for invasion

    No, the US isn't the world police. It doesn't have any responsibility to maintain order. But honestly, I believe there's no moral or ethical problem with invading a dictatorship. It may not be practical or smart, given the circumstances... but we're under no obligation to just leave tyrannies alone.

    So you see no moral or ethical problems with replacing their homegrown tyranny with your own tyranny? In Iraq, first it was an outright military dictatorship, now it's a puppet government that can do whathever it wants as long as what they want to do does not inconvinience US business interests.

  • Re:Oh really? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Firethorn (177587) on Tuesday January 11, 2011 @06:29PM (#34841218) Homepage Journal

    there were no places to put known terrorists, suspected terrorists

    Yep, reality intervened and messed up Obama fulfilling this campaign pledge.

    Fact is, most of the people remaining at Gitmo are bad, bad, men. There may not be enough evidence for 'beyond a reasonable doubt' at a trial, but a number don't have any real citizenship in a country, or their country of citizenship refuses to take them back.

    If the USA is unwilling to take them itself, where are they to go?

  • Re:Back to earth (Score:5, Insightful)

    by black3d (1648913) on Tuesday January 11, 2011 @06:30PM (#34841230)

    So if you had hard evidence that, for instance, the government did 9/11 (And I don't believe it did at all, just using this as an example), and I mean hard evidence as in tape recordings of the President giving the "go ahead" for the operation - you'd sit on it and say that you have no right to release private information?

    The way democracy works, any efforts by a ruling party to prevent fair, honest elections - ie, election fraud - is the most important kind of public information.

    I don't really like Assange as a person either, but I wholly support the cause. If the governments "win" and manage to shut down WikiLeaks and silence Assange, what does that say about the free world? The problem with corruption is that almost nobody tries to stand up to it - it's why corruption persists. People are weak and easily bought out by money, or killed. Here's a person and an organisation who are saying "We will not be deterred, or bribed, or bullied - and wherever we get information that governments are lying or trying to hide information from its citizens that harms those citizens - we'll make that information public" and you're siding with the corrupt?

    Do you realise how very rare and important it is for people to stand up to corruption? WikiLeaks may not always get it right - they're fallable just like the rest of us - and might release information they shouldn't. But by far they're the lesser of two evils - if you consider their goals an evil at all.

    Don't like Assange? Fine. Don't like particular leaks? Fine. Think WikiLeaks is a bad thing for the world? Wrong - bringing corruption to light is one of the most responsible and important things an organisation can do. Especially when it makes them the enemy of every government in the "free world" because it threatens their own corrupt practices.

  • Re:attorneys (Score:4, Insightful)

    by shutdown -p now (807394) on Tuesday January 11, 2011 @06:35PM (#34841286) Journal

    we're under no obligation to just leave tyrannies alone ... We all paid a big price, though, especially the Iraqi people.

    Except that the Iraqi people didn't consent to paying the price. They weren't even asked if they want to.

  • by jammer170 (895458) on Tuesday January 11, 2011 @06:43PM (#34841366)
    Except that he is a citizen of a foreign country, and not on American soil, therefore no American law applies to him. That is the only defense he needs, and it is ironclad (that isn't to say the American government will care). I don't know that I agree with his actions, but I for damn sure don't agree with my leaders' responses, and I will be giving them an earful if they pursue this.
  • Re:attorneys (Score:5, Insightful)

    by somersault (912633) on Tuesday January 11, 2011 @07:05PM (#34841642) Homepage Journal

    Neither were the rest of us, for that matter.

  • Re:attorneys (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mug funky (910186) on Tuesday January 11, 2011 @07:07PM (#34841672)

    left v right is a false dichotomy. as is black and white.

    if the leaked cables have revealed anything to me, it is that real diplomacy is performed in necessary shades of grey. it's all about pragmatism, harm minimization, all those things that don't make good sound bites.

    and you know what? the message i get from it is the US are not really bad. not even as bad as i thought they were. certainly they're not angels, but in most cases they're on the morally right end of things, if in a slightly machiavellian sense.

  • Re:attorneys (Score:4, Insightful)

    by spun (1352) <loverevolutionary@@@yahoo...com> on Tuesday January 11, 2011 @07:09PM (#34841686) Journal

    Entrepreneurs are not capitalists. They may borrow money from capitalists, but they do not make their money through lending. Entrepreneurs are people who take risks, create things of value, and employ their fellow citizens. Capitalists lend money at no real risk to themselves (too big to fail, don'tchaknow) and profit from other people's hard work. To help understand the difference between capitalists and entrepreneurs, you should try to understand what "usury" is, and why it was considered a sin by almost all major religions.

  • Re:attorneys (Score:4, Insightful)

    by c6gunner (950153) on Tuesday January 11, 2011 @07:09PM (#34841694)

    Yeah, I agree, Saddam should really have asked for their consent before he ass-raped the entire nation.

  • Re:attorneys (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Motard (1553251) on Tuesday January 11, 2011 @07:13PM (#34841734)

    Here's the way I see it:

    1. Saddam was in no way a nice guy

    Agreed.

    2. The US is not the world police, nor should be. Somebody being a dictator isn't an automatic justification for invasion

    Unfortunately we have become the world's police. Even the leaked cables confirm that when you look at the requests from the arab world regarding Iran. I'm not comfortable with that, but can't think of a better nation. But I'll agree. Dictators shouldn't be overthrown just because they're dictators.

    3. IMO, the right thing to do would have been to leave Saddam alone, and let the country have a revolution if the citizens decide to have one.

    We'd taken several approaches with Saddam. But that changed when he invaded Kuwait. And that war never really ended. Even after surrender he was still firing missiles at our air patrols.

    4. Regardless which one was the most evil, the Iraq war didn't result in anything positive, so starting it was a mistake.

    It will still be 20-30 years before we know the true effects. In the short term, we can point to some positives like no Saddam, Uday, or Qusay, and free elections instead.

    During the conflict I was actively searching out Iraqi bloggers on both sides, as well as those in between. I occasionally check back and most of those blogs just sort of petered out or turned into facebook type blogs. I think that's a good sign, but we'll have to see.

    We're leaving a lot more up to the Iraqis than we did with, say, Japan after WWII. Japan is actually a very respectable part of the world community today, despite the kind of atrocities they were committing during WWII. We used a heavy hand in the aftermath. We're using a much lighter hand in post-war Iraq.

    We'll have to see if that pays off.

  • Re:attorneys (Score:5, Insightful)

    by c6gunner (950153) on Tuesday January 11, 2011 @07:18PM (#34841804)

    Since the US seems to have so many problems at home, why don't you try this for a generation - recall all your troops, close fucking Guantanamo Bay ( you are in violation of the "agreement" that was forced upon Cuba way back), stop meddling in other countries politics and try to find ways to teach geography to your citizens that don't involve bombings and troop deployments.

    Sounds good. Boot out the UN, stop giving out foreign aid, don't bother trying to control the price of oil. Ignore the North Koreans and hang the South out to dry. Let China kick the shit out of anyone they don't like. Then kick back, crack a beer, and watch the world disintegrate. I'm with ya. Being Canadian, I'll probably get to watch most of the ICBM's go by. Should be a kickass light-show, eh?

  • by mickwd (196449) on Tuesday January 11, 2011 @07:19PM (#34841818)

    "...since anything negative said about the USA is automatically believed and embraced..."

    Perhaps your government (amongst others) should start a process of thinking long and hard about why this might be.

  • Re:What grounds? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Motard (1553251) on Tuesday January 11, 2011 @07:22PM (#34841852)

    No, Manning was the man who gave the stuff out to Assange.

    Manning also happens to have the misfortune of being in the military, where the rules are different [about.com] from both the civil and criminal courts.

    Misfortune? It's a voluntary force. He voluntarily and actively joined it.

  • Re:attorneys (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Yakasha (42321) on Tuesday January 11, 2011 @07:43PM (#34842036) Homepage

    2. The US is not the world police, nor should be. Somebody being a dictator isn't an automatic justification for invasion

    Possibly. Then there is the analogy of watching a woman getting raped... I'm not the local police, but I'm going to step in. Doesn't that apply to larger situations as well?

    3. IMO, the right thing to do would have been to leave Saddam alone, and let the country have a revolution if the citizens decide to have one.

    Well, see, they tried that several times. Each time it resulted in several thousand deaths. When one side has mustard gas, and the other side has AKs... who wins? google Chemical Ali if you need help there.

    4. Regardless which one was the most evil, the Iraq war didn't result in anything positive, so starting it was a mistake.

    How, exactly, are you measuring that? I'm just curious how you could so easily discount:

    • Saddam's 600,000+ kill streak
    • Free elections with 62% turnout with people literally dieing to vote.

    I'm willing to bet that 62% of the population thinks a free election is a pretty big, good change.

  • Re:What grounds? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by dachshund (300733) on Tuesday January 11, 2011 @08:43PM (#34842644)

    I was going to congratulate you on a reasonable post until the bits where you (a) ridiculed the notion that the US was detaining people without trial in cuba, and (b) claimed that all you need to do to get healthcare in the US is show up to a hospital. Unfortunately, this nonsense puts you in exactly the same nut-boat as the lunatic you were trying to shut down.

    For the record:

    The United States has and currently holds individuals without trial in Cuba [voanews.com].

    Here's [cancercare.org] a patchwork discussion of how to get assistance if you're uninsured and have cancer. Note that hospitals are not required [answerbag.com] to provide more than stabilization, though many underfunded county hospitals do provide "indigent care". The uninsured have roughly half [msn.com] the five-year survival rate of people who have insurance. Even Medicaid isn't always enough --- several people have been recently been denied organ transplants recently because of state and local budget cuts.

    Lesson: respond vigorously to cranks but do not treat it as an opportunity to push your own broken worldview.

  • Re:attorneys (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Motard (1553251) on Tuesday January 11, 2011 @09:08PM (#34842932)

    That's far more than I've seen reported.

    But let's use it as a hypothetical. What if a suspect in Sweden, who was involved in publishing U.S. government leaks online, brutally attacked and raped (by all nations' definitions) a Swedish woman and fled to the U.K.?

    Could the UK not extradite him to Sweden, based the possibility that the U.S. might file charges in the future which may or may not involve the death penalty?

    Wouldn't this create a huge loophole?

    Why wouldn't the U.K. simply extradite him and trust that Sweden would do the right thing?

  • Re:attorneys (Score:5, Insightful)

    by sik0fewl (561285) <xxdigitalhellxxNO@SPAMhotmail.com> on Tuesday January 11, 2011 @09:47PM (#34843282) Homepage

    Don't pretend that getting rid of Saddam was a good thing when you put him there in the first place.

    And let's not forget the last time you tried to "help" Iran you ousted an elected leader, eventually leading to the current situation in Iran.

    It's the "world policing" that got us here in the first place, so maybe it's finally time to step back and let things run their course.

  • Re:attorneys (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 11, 2011 @11:14PM (#34843954)

    It used to be that way. Or at least it used to look that way. Recent leaks (#09STOCKHOLM141) seem to indicate that Swedish justice is owned by the US.

  • Re:attorneys (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Xyrus (755017) on Tuesday January 11, 2011 @11:49PM (#34844178) Journal

    2. The US is not the world police, nor should be. Somebody being a dictator isn't an automatic justification for invasion

    Possibly. Then there is the analogy of watching a woman getting raped... I'm not the local police, but I'm going to step in. Doesn't that apply to larger situations as well?

    Talk about false equivalency.

    By that logic, that means we should go around and liberate all oppressed nations. There's is one hell of a difference between stepping in and helping someone individually in trouble and putting thousands of soldiers in harms way along with billions and trillions of dollars for the sake of bringing our version of "freedom" with the barrel of a tank.

    We don't do ourselves or anyone else any favors by spending and bleeding ourselves into oblivion.

    3. IMO, the right thing to do would have been to leave Saddam alone, and let the country have a revolution if the citizens decide to have one.

    Well, see, they tried that several times. Each time it resulted in several thousand deaths. When one side has mustard gas, and the other side has AKs... who wins? google Chemical Ali if you need help there.

    Pro tip: Read up on the history of Saddam's reign and who his puppet master was. Yes, that was Rumsfeld shaking Saddam's hand. Saddam got to power and stayed in power because we needed a proxy to fight against Iran when they overthrew OUR duly appointed dictator the Shah. Those fools, how dare they rebuke US power. Then we gave him weapons, including chemical weapons to fight Iran. Countless lives lost and lots of destruction.

    So we put people like the Shah, and Saddam, and Noriega in power to further our interests, and act all surprised when these unstable megalomaniacs think they're big enough to bite the hand that feeds or finally push their people to the point of revolt.

    Our hands are far from clean.

    4. Regardless which one was the most evil, the Iraq war didn't result in anything positive, so starting it was a mistake.

    How, exactly, are you measuring that? I'm just curious how you could so easily discount:

    • Saddam's 600,000+ kill streak
    •  

    • Free elections with 62% turnout with people literally dieing to vote.

    I'm willing to bet that 62% of the population thinks a free election is a pretty big, good change.

    You act as if that blood isn't on our hands as well.

    Those free elections came after nearly 3 decades of war, destruction, oppression and chaos all thanks to our habit of installing and supporting dictators (even overthrowing democracies to do so) to further our goals.

    Yeah, we're swell guys alright.

  • by HungryHobo (1314109) on Wednesday January 12, 2011 @12:05AM (#34844270)

    Yes and after being caught beating some kid to a bloody pulp for no reason can I claim I'm still a good person because I'm far far away from being the worst offender in the country what with some guy who fed bleech to his victims before raping them to death.

    Being able to point to groups that are worse doesn't make your own any better.

    The US is supposed to be a civilized western nation,
    When it tortures people: That there exist countries which torture people more does not make it any better.
    When it interns people without trial: the fact there exist countries which intern people more and for longer doesn't make it ok .
    When it abducts innocent people from around the world for the aforementioned internment and torture it doesn't make it ok just because some other nations have done the same in the past.

    Like it or not the US has got a reputation for torturing people not because of some smoke and mirrors show but simply because it's been torturing people.

  • Re:What grounds? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by asifyoucare (302582) on Wednesday January 12, 2011 @12:52AM (#34844594)

    it's been proven that there is no charge of espionage, since he never obtained any information in the first place.

    Then what did he have to post?

    It was given to him.

    Ahh. So your assertion is that if it is "given" to him, as opposed to his asking for it, that's not espionage? Likely as not, the charge is going to assert that Assange asked PFC Manning to give him the information, which would make them co-conspirators.

    Whether that is TRUE, or not, I do not make judgement. But that is likely what the charge will be.

    If that were true, that would mean they could charge the newspapers with treason.

    Actually newspaper reporters and editors have been charged with treason in the past, and probably will be again in the future, in nations around the world. Newspaper reporters traveling with the military, for instance, are enjoined and warned about transmitting their locations over broadcast. Geraldo Rivera was kicked out of just such an assignment for drawing a map in the sand [nytimes.com] for the audience.

    quit making shit up, you dumb fucking retard.

    Are you expecting me to respond in kind? I know your type. You're posting "anonymously" so that you can log in and downmod me a few times.

    Please get an education and grow up. The world does not work the way you think it does.

    The key difficulty for the prosecutors is to find a crime that Assange is guilty of that dozens of journalists at the Guardian and other papers are not also guilty of. If publication is a crime, many are guilty, and Assange can not be singled out.

  • Re:attorneys (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Nyder (754090) on Wednesday January 12, 2011 @01:50AM (#34844864) Journal

    Yeah, I agree, Saddam should really have asked for their consent before he ass-raped the entire nation.

    sort of like how the USA asks permission before it ass-rapes other countries and currently is in the inappropriate touching stage (TSA) with all it's citizens?

Staff meeting in the conference room in %d minutes.

Working...