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An Anonymous US Law Enforcement Officer Claims US Wouldn't Arrest Julian Assange 399

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the with-crossed-fingers dept.
McGruber writes "The Washington Post reports that 'Federal prosecutors have not filed a sealed indictment against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, despite persistent rumors that a nearly three-year grand jury investigation into him and his organization had secretly led to charges, according to senior law enforcement sources. ... "Nothing has occurred so far," said one law enforcement official with knowledge of the case. "If Assange came to the U.S. today, he would not be arrested. But I can't predict what's going to happen. He might be in six months." The law enforcement official providing this assurance chose to remain anonymous.'"
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An Anonymous US Law Enforcement Officer Claims US Wouldn't Arrest Julian Assange

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  • Sure... (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 18, 2013 @08:37PM (#45459487)

    We believe you.

  • Its A Trap! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Tiger4 (840741) on Monday November 18, 2013 @08:42PM (#45459523)

    Sounds like a tactic to let the Justice Department be able to say, "He is not facing arrest" without lying.

    Plus they problaby have to soften up the journalist community, to get them OK with the idea that Assange is a spy and not a publisher/journalist.

    • Re:Its A Trap! (Score:4, Informative)

      by LifesABeach (234436) on Monday November 18, 2013 @10:10PM (#45459997)
      An unknown source in the DOJ says that most likely the US won't act in its best interests. Was this person talking to some GOTP's? Because I don't know of anyone over the age of 8 that would believe this tripe.
    • Sounds like a tactic to let the Justice Department be able to say, "He is not facing arrest" without lying.

      Plus they problaby have to soften up the journalist community, to get them OK with the idea that Assange is a spy and not a publisher/journalist.

      I bet you it'd take about 2 hours or less for them to serve up a warrant... in face, id wager there's one prepared, unsigned, just waiting for the chance for a 'friendly' judge to sign if the situation calls for it

    • Re:Its A Trap! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Shavano (2541114) on Tuesday November 19, 2013 @12:28AM (#45460673)

      The quoted article doesn't SAY that, not anywhere. It's called "making shit up" otherwise known as writing Slashdot headlines, and there is no such implication in US law. Normally, an arrest happens on suspicion and an indictment follows. Sometimes, they do it the other way around but it's never the case that the police need an indictment to arrest you.

  • by dkleinsc (563838) on Monday November 18, 2013 @08:43PM (#45459533) Homepage

    They might not arrest him. They might just shoot him.

    • by asmkm22 (1902712) on Monday November 18, 2013 @09:54PM (#45459915)

      Or detain him indefinitely. Many of the people in Gitmo haven't actually been "arrested" or charged with anything.

    • They might not arrest him. They might just shoot him.

      Since when is wishful thinking +Insightful?

  • by flyneye (84093) on Monday November 18, 2013 @08:44PM (#45459535) Homepage

    You can't believe a damn thing anyone in law enforcement says.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6wXkI4t7nuc [youtube.com]
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=08fZQWjDVKE [youtube.com]
    Never could, no point in starting any time soon.
    Makes good family viewing. Especially your kids.

    • by s.petry (762400)
      Not true that you never could. It used to be that cops were mostly decent people trying to protect society from bad people. There are still quite a few that are like that. The brainwashing of cops is a relatively new phenomenon, within the last 3 decades or so. The brainwashing and hiring tactics are working, because they are getting worse and worse.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        The brainwashing of cops is a relatively new phenomenon, within the last 3 decades or so.

        People being ignorant of history, that is not a new phenomenon.

        The policing professions have always been attractive and accessible to the worst kinds of human beings. Asshole cops have always existed.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward

          The brainwashing of cops is a relatively new phenomenon, within the last 3 decades or so.

          People being ignorant of history, that is not a new phenomenon.

          The policing professions have always been attractive and accessible to the worst kinds of human beings. Asshole cops have always existed.

          We went from having some asshole cops and mostly good meaning cops to a situation today where most cops are bullies or worse and the few good apples are drowned in the institutional omerta' that reigns in police departments across the country. So hell fucking no, the situation today is nothing like it was 30, 40 or even 50 years ago.
          The Police abdicated their role of "peace officers" the moment they went full paramilitary on us. Today they are just as bad as the real criminals. I wouldn't talk to a police o

      • by flyneye (84093) on Monday November 18, 2013 @10:03PM (#45459969) Homepage

        My mind goes farther and farther back in time.
        When and where are you talking about? They were lying shit in the 70s and I presume the 60s from stories I hear. Beyond that the history books aren't kind either. I guess television always showed fictitious nice cops. I suppose the highway patrolmen touring the elementary school safety circuit are probably nice guys, but, those are the ones they send on tour. I'm fairly loaded with psych case histories and results of the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory battery of tests of cops over the last 30 years or so in my area. They're fairly simple, power hungry and can have some pretty major deviations and will still be hired. That's the profile you get, here and elsewhere. As long as you're no brainiac, have no record and can read and write,you can be a real nut job and still be a cop fresh out of training and believe me, the majority do. The worst of them trickle down to the podunk towns after and if they get fired from urban areas.
        Here in my area of the state, there are 3 separate cases of incarcerating officers sexually assaulting suspects this year alone. There is also a regional rash THIS YEAR of 6 cases of suspects fleeing, jumping in ponds and drowning. Not years previous, just this year.This is a two county area I'm speaking of.
        We have two officers up for murder and one, a police trainer, convicted of murdering his wife and committing arson to cover it up. There aren't even a million people here. This is only the headline stuff too. Soooo much more.
        It ain't 9-11 anymore, the polish wore off and all we have left is punks with badges all the way up to Federal levels.

        • So are you claiming that you have a statistically valid representative sample that you are generalizing from to paint all law enforcement officers across the country as bad? Or are you grinding an axe based on a small sample of aberrant cases and maybe a few unhappy experiences?

        • by Runaway1956 (1322357) on Monday November 18, 2013 @11:17PM (#45460329) Homepage Journal

          Oh, the ponds.

          There was a case in Oklahoma several years back. A young black man eluded police until he ran into a pond and drowned. The autopsy stated quite clearly that he drowned to death. Oddly, that drowned young man had some bullet holes in his back. I didn't view the body, so I can't swear that there were holes in his back - but I did talk to a member of his family who did view the body before it was dressed for the funeral.

          We screwed up badly when fleeing and evading the police was made into a felony. Quite naturally, a police officer is authorized to use deadly force to prevent the commission of a felony. If you've done nothing else wrong, just turning a corner to avoid being seen by a cop is reason to be shot to death.

        • by Pav (4298)
          As soon as law enforcement ceases to be difficult and frustrating job requiring dedication and patience the nature of police power changes. The punks and sociopaths don't get weeded, and that's just as bad for the good cops as it is for the rest of society. I've seen this happen in my home town - police murders, theft, blackmail... never proven, though it was suspected the police station was firebombed to destroy evidence after an investigation . My entire state (Queensland, Australia) was notorious fo
  • Also (Score:5, Funny)

    by SB9876 (723368) on Monday November 18, 2013 @08:44PM (#45459539)

    The official went on to say that he totally heard that the Justice department has a big basket of puppies waiting in the office to give to Julian [Assange] if he just drops by by next week.

  • No need (Score:5, Funny)

    by bob_super (3391281) on Monday November 18, 2013 @08:45PM (#45459549)

    You typically don't arrest people after they jump off the curb in front of a bus while being mauled by a pack of attack dogs with polonium teeth. Especially if they previously committed suicide using the safe two-bullet-in-the-head technique and padlocked themselves in a gym bag.

    It's just poor taste

    • by McGruber (1417641)

      and padlocked themselves in a gym bag.

      In case anyone thinks bob_super is making that up: "The death of MI6 spy Gareth Williams, whose body was found in a padlocked sports bag, was probably an accident, police have said." http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-24927078 [bbc.co.uk]

      • To be perfectly honest - I haven't made my mind up on that one. Williams supposedly had this thing about bondage and discipline. Did they make that history up, or was he into some kinky weird shit? Maybe a boyfriend/girlfriend was supposed to beat on him before releasing him - and they just walked out. I just don't know what to think about him.

    • Re:No need (Score:5, Informative)

      by Ralph Spoilsport (673134) on Tuesday November 19, 2013 @12:04AM (#45460563) Journal
      Don't forget how Allende killed himself - the first world leader to shoot himself in the back with an M16 from 20 paces, pausing only once to reload!
  • by BringsApples (3418089) on Monday November 18, 2013 @08:46PM (#45459553)
    He wouldn't be arrested, they don't have to do that in America anymore - they "detain" you.
  • he'd be arrested.. tomorrow. :-p

  • by srobert (4099) on Monday November 18, 2013 @09:06PM (#45459653)

    ... I heard that Julian Assange has accepted an invitation to speak publicly in New York City's, Central Park on November 30, 2013 at 6:00 PM. I also heard that large numbers of people were going to show up dressed as Julian Assange. Is there any truth to that rumor?

  • I wonder if the lack of an indictment or any sworn statement that he will be arrested is some kind of bargaining status diplomatically. Maybe not a very good one, since it doesn't seem likely that the US would NOT try to persecute, I mean, prosecute him if they could.

    But perhaps by not indicting him or "officially" promising to arrest him, Ecuador will somehow feel pressure to boot him out of their embassy or at least not feel as interested in letting him stay.

    • by AHuxley (892839)
      The US has few options - get the UK to clear to the building - the junta option.
      A CIA/NGO backed colour revolution in Ecuador would be useful.
      As for the trial - if its open the media gets to report. The US is sure of the optics of a show trial.
      A closed trial with cleared lawyers talking in a sealed court room would be bad optics for a person not from the USA without a US security clearance.
      I would say a change of EU and South American politics would be the long term US option.
      Reduce the embassy cov
  • I have some beach front property in West Virgina to sell you. Ocean front view and moonshine...

    There may not be an formal charge to arrest him right *now* but that could change in a blink of an eye should they find him strolling the streets here in the US of A. But at this point, who cares? He's sitting in some embassy on foreign soil and apart from an act of war there is nothing the USA can do but sit and wait. At least legally that's all they can do. Of course, if he was anyplace but the middle of Lond

    • by Livius (318358)

      This "unidentified" law enforcement official is either uninformed, stupid, deluded or all three.

      What about plain old-fashioned lying?

  • Assange is charged with rape in Sweden. I know his supporters love to claim that the charges are fake, but it's not like the Swedish Justice system is widely considered to be corrupt. Hell, they have statements from Swedish women saying he did it. I could believe the CIA faked a video of Assange. But faking people is just not technically possible. Believing the CIA found two (not one, but two) women Assange'd take to his bed, and that both would agree to charge him with rape afterwards, and that neither one

    • by sabri (584428) on Monday November 18, 2013 @09:18PM (#45459741)

      but it's not like the Swedish Justice system is widely considered to be corrupt. Hell, they have statements from Swedish women saying he did it

      I'm not an Assange supporter, but:

      The ladies both consented to engage in adult activities. They decided afterwards that Assange allegedly did not agree to their terms and conditions, so they filed charges. It's kind of like a dad borrowing his car to his son saying "you can't go faster than 65mph" and then filing theft charges if he finds out that the kid drove 80mph on the freeway. The Swedish systems allows for this, so while it may not be corrupt, its laws are not the same as in the U.S.

      • And one of the girls had connections with the CIA anyway. Also, Assange is not actually charged with anything. They just want to "question" him but refuse to question him in London but wanted to take him back to Sweden. Also, the Swedish prosecutors didn't go after him, and later did go after him, with the suggestion that they changed their mind after a word in their ears from the U.S. He has good reason to be paranoid.

      • by artor3 (1344997)

        As I recall, one of the ladies had consensual sex while insisting that Assange use a condom, and then woke up later that night to find Assange having sex with her without a condom. She had not consented to unprotected sex, which means it was unconsensual (i.e. rape). That is NOT "deciding afterwards that Assange allegedly did not agree to their terms and conditions".

        The Swedish systems allows for this, so while it may not be corrupt, its laws are not the same as in the U.S.

        Why does that matter? He broke Swedish law while in Sweden. Who gives a shit what the US laws on the topic say?

        • by AK Marc (707885)

          As I recall, one of the ladies had consensual sex while insisting that Assange use a condom, and then woke up later that night to find Assange having sex with her without a condom.

          And I heard it that he had consensual sex without a condom on assurances that he was monogamous, and when it was discovered he wasn't, the consent was retroactively withdrawn. If lying to gain consent is rape, I think 90% or more of the population has committed rape (yes baby, I love you).

        • He is "alleged" to have done this. Nothing has been proven. He is wanted for interviewing. Given that they have pursued this unlike any similar cases, this one is being treated as special. That is enough to tell you that it is not a normal case. What he has been "alleged" to do would have millions upon millions of Americans (and swedes) in jail. You break the law every day, we all do. This gives them the choice to prosecute you... or not.

          What he did was a dick thing but they have come down on him with a

      • so while it may not be corrupt, its laws are not the same as in the U.S.

        And your point would be... what?

        • by sabri (584428)

          And your point would be... what?

          My point is that, contrary to popular belief, US laws do not apply everywhere in the world. So whatever the law defines as rape in your flyover state, can have a whole different meaning in another country.

          Let me give another example: most states consider consensual intercourse between an adult and a sixteen year old "statutory rape". In many countries around the world, it is legal or just a "lower" criminal offense which usually does not carry a long prison sentence.

          Morals differ everywhere and are codi

  • In the unlikely event that Mr Assange gets himself out of the Ecuadoran embassy and to the United States without being arrested by UK police, and the US border authorities did not immediately detain him, and US did not indict him on some charge of their own, then he would still be arrested shortly afterward. The Swedish authorities would have started extradition proceedings with the US the moment they got wind of Assange leaving the UK.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    'Will you walk into my parlour?' said the Spider to the Fly.

  • The Land of the Free does not arrest people. It invites them to a holiday island to play a game of heretics and inquisitors.

    • so, they won't arrest him, but they might put him on a big scale and weigh him against a rather large duck.

      I see.

  • Obama simply refuses to admit on the record Assange or Snowden has been arrested. Refuse to say anything to the press but "No comment" about it.

    Like the US Gov't has handled questions about Israel's nuclear weapon arsenal for 4 decades.

  • by retroworks (652802) on Monday November 18, 2013 @09:31PM (#45459813) Homepage Journal

    Breaking news, here on /.

    Federal officials have anonymously granted immunity to all who confess here (No Anonymous Cowards!) to drunken driving, porn viewing, shoplifting, debauchery, and hacking.

    Dudes, for real, turn yourselves in. Totally cool. Totally. Listen... C'mon. It's cool.

  • Why would he be arrested? He did something that the U.S. government really wished he hadn't done but he is not a U.S. citizen. He was under no legal obligation to not publish any of the documents Bradley Manning passed to him (or anything else). The Brits have different secrecy laws and THEY can arrest him for publishing anything that they regard as secret (Official Secrets Act or something like that) or on the Sweedish rape charge. The U.S. is under no obligation to arrest him in that matter although w

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