AND SO IT BEGINS . . . ASSANGE ARRESTED

On Thursday, British authorities arrested WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange at the Ecuadorian embassy in London after Ecuador abandoned its long-standing commitment to protect Assange from a coordinated effort of the United States and a variety of other countries as intelligence organizations. American intelligence has long demanded the prosecution of Assange who disclosed controversial military operations in the United States. The arrest will now trigger litigation over the status of Assange. Was he acting as a journalist, a whistleblower, a spy, or a dupe?

It has been seven years of confinement for Assange in the embassy — a relationship that turn sour over the years with embassy staff complaining about Assange’s attitude, activities, and even his hygiene.

Ecuador’s president, Lenin Moreno, announced that his “sovereign decision” was based on “repeated violations to international conventions and daily-life”:

“Today I announce that that the discourteous and aggressive behavior of Mr. Julian Assange, the hostile and threatening declarations of its allied organization, against Ecuador, and especially the transgression of international treaties, have led the situation to a point where the asylum of Mr. Assange is unsustainable and no longer viable.”

American nation decided to revoke the political asylum that had given him sanctuary for almost seven years.

London police said they were invited into the embassy by Ecuador’s ambassador. Assange took refuge in the embassy in 2012 after he was released on bail while facing extradition to Sweden on sexual assault allegations that have since been dropped.

Assange has been under U.S. Justice Department scrutiny for years for Wikileaks’ role in publishing thousands of government secrets and was an important figure in the special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe as investigators examined how WikiLeaks obtained emails stolen from Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign and Democratic groups.

Ecuador’s president, Lenin Moreno, said his government made a “sovereign decision” to revoke Assange’s political asylum due to “repeated violations to international conventions and daily-life.”

“Today I announce that that the discourteous and aggressive behavior of Mr. Julian Assange, the hostile and threatening declarations of its allied organization, against Ecuador, and especially the transgression of international treaties, have led the situation to a point where the asylum of Mr. Assange is unsustainable and no longer viable,” Moreno said in a video released on Twitter.

In a colossal blunder in 2018, the Justice Department previously revealed that it had a sealed indictment against Assange who faces a U.S. extradition request.

While Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has labeled Assange a “fraud,” “coward,” and “enemy,” a strong argument can be made that he was acting as either a whistleblower or journalist. However, whistleblower defenses are quite limited in national security cases. The status as a journalist has been contested by some and federal law actually does not contain an exemption for the possession or distribution of classified information. However, there is a strong gravitational pull for constitutional protection. This would set up a serious first amendment fight. Putting aside the issue of journalistic defenses, an indictment under the Espionage Act would be quite challenging for the government absent some new evidence establishing a nexus and intent.

I have handled first amendment and national security cases and I would call the Assange arrest the most anticipated case of my generation in defining the outside boundaries of those areas. Ironically, I just spoke in Utah on the changing role and realities of the U.S. media. This could prove one of the most important cases in history.

And so it begins.

298 thoughts on “AND SO IT BEGINS . . . ASSANGE ARRESTED”

  1. “Was he acting as a journalist, a whistleblower, a spy, or a dupe?”

    How can Assange be considered a whistleblower? He didn’t have direct access to the documents being published. In all cases, WikiLeaks functioned as the publisher of documents that were acquired from whistleblowers, such as Chelsea Manning. They published information of public interest acquired from various sources. That’s the very definition of journalism.

  2. TRUMP ADMININSTRATION SOUGHT ASSANGE

    NEW ECUADORIAN GOVERNMENT EAGER TO EVICT

    WikiLeaks confirmed Assange’s arrested and used the occasion as a fundraising opportunity on Twitter.

    “This man is a son, a father, a brother,” the group said in a tweet, above a headshot of Assange. “He has won dozens of journalism awards. He’s been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize every year since 2010. Powerful actors, including CIA, are engaged in a sophisticated effort to dehumanise, delegitimize and imprison him.”

    The group had earlier threatened long-term consequences if Ecuador turned Assange over to the British. “If President Moreno wants to illegally terminate a refu­gee publisher’s asylum to cover up an offshore corruption scandal, history will not be kind,” WikiLeaks said in a statement.

    From Moscow, fugitive American former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden described the scene of Assange’s arrest as a violation of press freedom. “Images of Ecuador’s ambassador inviting the UK’s secret police into the embassy to drag a publisher of — like it or not — award-winning journalism out of the building are going to end up in the history books,” Snowden wrote on Twitter. “Assange’s critics may cheer, but this is a dark moment for press freedom.”

    Assange has been on U.S. prosecutors’ radar since 2010, when WikiLeaks’ publication of 250,000 diplomatic cables and hundreds of thousands of military documents from the Iraq War prompted denunciations by then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and senior Pentagon officials.

    The Army private who had passed the material to WikiLeaks, Manning, was tried, convicted and served seven years of a 35-year prison term before having her sentence commuted by President Barack Obama as he left office. She was jailed again last month for refusing to testify before a grand jury investigating Assange.

    Some federal prosecutors say a case can be made that WikiLeaks is not a journalistic organization. As if to lay the groundwork for such an argument, in April 2017, then-CIA Director Mike Pompeo, now secretary of state, characterized WikiLeaks as a “nonstate hostile intelligence service” and a threat to U.S. national security.

    Pompeo also noted then that the intelligence community’s report concluding Russia interfered in the 2016 election also found that Russia’s primary propaganda outlet, RT, “has actively collaborated with WikiLeaks.”

    Assange’s expulsion from Ecuador’s embassy reflects a shift in the country’s politics since it first extended refuge to him.

    Leftist former president Rafael Correa, now living in Belgium, is wanted for arrest in his homeland over alleged links to a 2012 political kidnapping. Correa was viewed as a member of an anti-Washington gaggle of South American leaders, including Venezuela’s Nicolás Maduro and Bolivia’s Evo Morales. He kicked out the U.S. ambassador in 2011.

    The more moderate Moreno, in sharp contrast, has sought to mend frayed ties with the United States, Ecuador’s largest trading partner, and has dismissed Assange as “a stone in my shoe.”

    In June 2018, Vice President Pence visited Quito, the capital, as part of the most senior U.S. delegation sent to Ecuador in years.

    The Moreno administration had made no secret of its desire to unload the issue. In December 2017, it granted Ecuadoran citizenship to Australian-born Assange and then petitioned Britain to allow him diplomatic immunity. The British government refused, saying the way to resolve the stalemate was for Assange to “face justice.”

    Another hint that Assange was wearing out his welcome came in March 2018, when Ecuador cut off his Internet access, saying he had breached an agreement not to interfere in the affairs of other states. The embassy did not specify what Assange had done, but the move came after he tweeted criticism of Britain’s assessment that Russia was responsible for the poisoning of a Russian former double agent and his daughter in the city of Salisbury.

    Ecuador imposed tighter house rules last fall. Among the demands were that Assange pay for his medical and phone bills and clean up after his cat.

    Edited from: “Assange Accused Of Conspiracy With Chelsea Manning In 2010 Wikileaks Release, Says Unsealed U.S. Indictment”

    Today’s WASHINGTON POST

    1. RE. ABOVE:

      This paragraph stands out:

      “The group had earlier threatened long-term consequences if Ecuador turned Assange over to the British. “If President Moreno wants to illegally terminate a refu­gee publisher’s asylum to cover up an offshore corruption scandal, history will not be kind,” WikiLeaks said in a statement”.

      See that? Assange was actually threatening his hosts! Not too sympathetic.

      In the end Assange became a political version of that old John Belushi character, “The Thing That Wouldn’t Leave!”.

      1. Ecuador chickened out. I guess we can’t blame them too much. They’re weak as hell compared to the US. They don’t even have their own currency for God’s sake, they use the US Dollar. Sovereignty aint what it used to be.

        1. Mr. Kurtz,
          Fish and houseguests start to stink after 8 years.
          ( The original was 3 days, I think, but I took some liberties with that original saying).
          I don’t think Ecuador “chickened out”; it looks more like they got sick of this horror story, “The Guest who would not Leave”.

  3. Assange is no hero, and like our president, is either a Russian agent or useful idiot. While pontificating about transparency, he targets the US and not the very un-transparent Russia, and is a promoter of what they feed him and their messaging. F….. him.

      1. I think Russia criticized violations of Assange’s human rights.
        And human rights have always been a top priority 😇 in Russia since Putin took over.

    1. “no hero, and like our president, is either a Russian agent or useful idiot.”

      Another ignorant remark from an ignorant individual that generalizes to such an extreme that his words have become meaningless.

        1. Please dont use french when english will suffice. faute de mieux is the expression, anyways,. faux just means false. faute de mieux means for want of anything better. i love french but nobody knows it anymore, it’s painful to hear it anymore, please let it go and so to pass like a lover from one’s youth, the beauty and the pain, alike, oublié. thank you

            1. I’d prefer even French over the Dianese language one individual here uses. I’m too polite😇 to mention any names.

    2. You mean like the Iraq War document dump that was a driving force for the Iraq Body Count Project driving the Iraq War cheerleaders to angrily denounce him?

      1. Assange hasn’t leaked that proof yet. Because Putin hasn’t disseminated that proof to Assange yet. Stay tuned.

    3. Jeff Bezos and his flunkies at Wapo which he owns, and who quote the other flunkies he owns at Foreign Policy on this subject, plus one your comment anon. They thank you for accepting their narrative that they have spun out the past couple years. I think your comment can be found almost word for word in some editorial they wrote a couple years ago and have rehashed many times since.

  4. I just want to know who gave him Podesta’s emails. I always thought it was an inside job at the DNC. And he said it wasn’t Russia. So let’s see who it really was…finally. Chips are starting to fall into place.

      1. It wasn’t a robbery. It was execution style killing of Rich. Also the emails that were stolen were done quickly with flash drive–not by internet which is real slow. And the police don’t seem to want to solve that murder. Was “stand down” order given again?

        1. better off,
          How credible do you think the Rod Wheeler/ Kim.Com/ Hannity version of Seth Rich death is?

  5. This is going to be an interesting case. It shouldn’t depend on what he said or what political side he benfitted but I am sure many will comment based on their political affinities.

    I’m more interested in the law but I am also interested in the security of the United States. That can become problematic.

    1. I’m more interested in the law but I am also interested in the security of the United States. That can become problematic.

      The irony of course is he’s been charged with the publication of classified documents, while US government officials exposed by Wikileaks for effectively doing the same through illegal use of private email accounts remain uncharged.

      Liberty or Safety? Liberty or Safety? Liberty or Safety? Ah nuts, why can’t we have both?

      1. Olly, when we look at the question Liberty or Safety we also have to take into account the weaponization of our justice system along with many misdeeds including classified material on an email server and actions that comprise the strength of the US.

        I think the US can survive any outside interference but we cannot survive with the types of actions we have been seeing. When I say survive I mean survive as a free nation. I believe Clinton did less harm to our security than she did to the fiber of our Republic. Maybe Asange needs to go to jail. Maybe not, but his threat is small compared to the threat of those that weaponized the executive branch.

        1. I think the US can survive any outside interference but we cannot survive with the types of actions we have been seeing.

          I agree Allan. Denouncing the weaponization of the administrative state should be something every citizen would rally around. The fact that we have so many (even on this blog) that find lawfare acceptable in the right hands, is a clear indicator how poorly educated the citizens of this country are.

          1. Olly, our citizenry, with their ignorance and their assistance, will turn our nation over to fascism comfortably giving up the freedoms they never understood.

            1. Olly and Allan,
              This issue can be cleared up and summarized very concisely:
              If leaks and intentional exposure of highly classified material damaging to national security have a political benefit I seek, then I’m all for “transparency” and say put it all out there regardless of national security issues.
              But unless there’s some political benefit from doing so, or it these breeches actually work against my political goals, hang ’em high when they spill national security secrets.
              I’m flexible😉on this issue, and political expediency will shape how I view🤔🤓 each major incident of unauthorized exposure of highly classified material.

              1. I’m flexible on this issue, and political expediency will shape how I view,

                I believe the proper term used by the political establishment is evolving. They were for it before they were against it, or something like that.

                1. Olly,
                  I’ll accept “two-faced” as well as “evolving” to describe “my position” on this issue in the comment above.

  6. NEWSFLASH –

    “DEEP THROAT II”

    “Two men drove up to my mailbox late at night and told me that the government had been politically weaponized against candidate Donald Trump.”

    – John Soloman, The Hill

  7. NEWSFLASH –

    “Ex-Obama Counsel Expects to Be Charged Soon in Mueller-Related Case”

    WASHINGTON — Lawyers for Gregory B. Craig, a White House counsel in the Obama administration, expect him to be indicted in the coming days on charges related to his work for the Russia-aligned government of Ukraine.

    The case against Mr. Craig, 74, stemmed from an investigation initiated by the office of the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III.

    An Ivy League-educated lawyer who held prominent positions in the Clinton and Obama administrations, Mr. Craig would become the first person who made his name in Democratic Party politics to be charged in a case linked to the special counsel’s investigation.

    – NY Times

    1. Good point Olly. I wonder if they are going to place him in solitary confinement like they did to Manafort. Hell hath no fury like a military-industrial complex scorned.

      1. Manning was the source. Manning has been in solitary too long already, sick not just mentally but physically now too. Very sad for a mixed up person who probably was just a pawn.

        1. Mr. Kurtz,
          It’s beyond me how a screwed- up Pfc was given clearance and access to ream’s of classified material.

  8. I’m very disappointed in this post. This is not an inert, academic “on the one hand – on the other hand” situation. The whole Wikileaks saga has been bogged down in overly technical legal quodlibets from the beginning, e.g. is Assange a journalist or not (as if that mattered)?, etc., and it doesn’t help to continue them. At any rate, I would have expected from Professor Turley a more full-throated defense of Assange, denouncing the trampling on the freedom of speech and the abuse of legal procedures and substantive law that this brazen subversion of Assange’s rights represents (remember, the UN said he was arbitrarily detained). It seems like Professor Turley expends more energy defending freedom of speech on campus against puerile imbeciles than against powerful government behemoths bringing all of their weight to bear on a single person who simply told the truth about them using their own documents. By even hinting at the possibility that the period of time during which a person possesses classified information before publishing it could constitute a crime, Turley is not only unwarrantedly raising the profile of classified information as if it were somehow intrinsically sacrosanct (it is not – it is a self-interested means of information control, as David Wise pointed out, and a menace to civil liberties), but he is undermining the integrity of the political rights that the First Amendment was supposed to secure not just for journalists (who if Assange is not vindicated could become criminals en masse) but for anyone who would speak freely about issues that are newsworthy and in the public interest.

    Says Turley: “[T]here is a strong gravitational pull for constitutional protection.” Ya think? There is no clearer case in our time of political persecution of an individual by the government because that person has effectively subverted – through speech and publishing only – the ability of the powerful to control the narrative about who they are, what their intentions are, and what they’re really up to. There is also no clearer contemporary proof of how important legal decisions, judgments, consequences, and outcomes are fundamentally political in character and so whose legal considerations and discussions must be primarily informed by the extraordinary political questions at stake in them. Surely there is a credible First Amendment lawyer who understands this and does not feel the need to equivocate about Assange’s rights in the way this post does. This is not inside baseball, it’s time to choose sides. I hope Professor Turley ends up on the right one.

      1. That’s not the point. The fact that it is a crime without qualification is precisely the problem. The ability of the government to classify information means that it can conceal information which only may be related to protecting “national security”, such as nuclear secrets, but which frequently is not related to national security but is in the public interest and should not be classified, such as what Wikileaks exposed. Even executive orders on classified information address the fact that it is not legitimate for the government to use classification authority to conceal official incompetence, misconduct, or other violations of law (criminal or otherwise). Government officials get away with classifying information on these spurious grounds all the time, however, and they are not punished for it, partly because of all the awe and sanctimony in the public discourse surrounding classified information, but also because there are no civil or criminal penalties for doing so. At any rate, the only piece of the Constitution that speaks to any degree about the control of information confers secrecy power on Congress only, and only as to matters that it believes should “require secrecy”. This is clearly a limited authority. Otherwise the classification power is entirely a creature of statute, which should not trump the First Amendment in principle, or it is claimed to be an implied power of the executive branch, which is dubious in the first instance, has been been bloated beyond recognition (see Secrecy News of the Federation of American Scientists for details), and also should not trump the First Amendment in principle. This is why we have the First Amendment, which specifically names the press as protected by it. No government should ever be vested with sole authority to decide what information the public is entitled to know. This is a self-evident recipe for tyranny and authoritarianism.

        1. I am symapthetic to Assange under the Pentagon Papers precedent, but I won’t go that far. They need to have the power to classify, or we would get crushed in an information war. The question is abuse and what is proper journalistic privilege.

          There may be no good answers to that quandry in the age of information warfare.

      2. Thay,
        I wonder how similar some of the issues in the Assange case are to the Daniel Ellsberg/ New York Times/ Pentagon Papers issue.
        The Nixon Administration got an injunction against the New York Times to stop publication of those documents.
        I think it was fast-tracked to the Supreme Court, which essentially said to the NY Times “go right ahead and print it”.
        A judge dismissed the charges against Ellsburg. Not on the merits but because of improper conduct on the part of the FBI ( I think they were the ones found to have overstepped in their investigation) and the prosecution.
        I anticipate that some of the issues surrounding the Ellsberg case will be brought up in the Assange case.

        1. FF Sierra,
          It’s pretty clear that both Ellsberg “intended” to leak highly classified information.
          Ellsberg first stoled it from his workplace at the Pentagon, then first offered the material to members of Congress with some strings attached.
          When those offers were turned down, he turned to the NY Times.
          Assange and WikiLeaks evidently received and then published classified and hacked they received.
          They theft of the Pentagon Papers was clearly illegal, the publishing of the illegally obtained material was ruled to be legal by the Supreme Court.
          So you’ve got Ellsberg stealing and trsnsmitting highly classified material, and the NY Times (legally) publishing it.
          In Assange’s case and with WikeLeaks, they seem to be the recipient and publisher of hacked information or inside job job thefts like pfc Manning.
          I haven’t seen where WikiLeaks itself has participated in stealing or hacking the material; they communicate with those doing the actual stealing and hacking, then publish what is turned over to them.
          That’s where Assange’s defense team is likely to press the “Assange as publisher” theme, and point to the 1971 New York Times case a precendent.
          Specifically, on “intent”, Ellsberg clearly “intended” to steal the Pentagon Papers, and clearly decided at some point to have to them published.
          He knew what he was doing was against the law and “intended” to violate the law.
          The argument surfaces that there must also be “intent” in the commission of that theft to will fully harm the U.S.
          I think that the “intent” to steal and disseminate those documents , the Pentagon Papers, is sufficient to demonstrate that a crime has been committed.
          If one adds on the additional condition that the that a defendant had to “intent” to damage to the U.S., that’s a higher hurdle to clear.
          IMO, that’s similar to saying that “I intended to have 15 drinks before I drove away from the tavern, but I did not intend to kill those pedestrians walking with the green light in a crosswalk”.
          That second condition of intent seems really bogus.

          1. ( It’s been pointed out here that the indictment against Assange accuses him of more than just “publishing” the contents of Manning’s dump of classied documents; if that’s the case, and Assange was actually conspiring with Manning during and/or before Manning released the classified material, then the “Assange as publisher” defense isn’t likely to be effective.

            1. That seems to be the relevant change but they placed everything into the document they could so, if at a later date they see something new they are covered based on our extradition treaty.

              1. Exactly factually wrong. Whatever charges are to be brought against Assange based upon his past conduct, those charges have to be brought before Assange is extradited. After Assange is extradited, the only additional charges would have to be fresh crimes that Assange will have had to have committed while in U. S. custody.

                1. ‘” those charges have to be brought before Assange is extradited. ”

                  Idiot, using different words that is precisely what I was saying.”if at a later date they see something new they are covered based on our extradition treaty.”

  9. Seriously? You felt the need to comment on his attitude, and even hygiene? If you had to escape the extradition charges (secret , of course) and live as Mr. Assange then your tidy habits might wan a bit as well? He is an award winning journalist and trying to redefine him at this point is only serving to make many of us question the motivation of government. I’m truly sorry to see that this column has devolved into commenting on the personal habits via hearsay in order to tarnish his image?

    1. Hey Anymouse, In defense of Jon Turley – Assange did look to be a little on the ripe side as he was being “escorted” from the embassy, just saying.

  10. He isnt the only one being charged with a crime, and this one from Mueller’s investigation against an Obama official

    Gotta love it

    —-
    Ex-Obama counsel expects charges in Mueller-related probe
    https://apnews.com/955eb48cfe954258bfc80f45e9588621

    The scrutiny of Craig stems from an investigation of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and his work on behalf of a pro-Russian political party in Ukraine. If filed, the charges would come about three months after Craig’s former law firm agreed to pay more than $4.6 million and publicly acknowledge that it failed to register with the government for its work for the Ukraine.

    The civil settlement with Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP laid much of the blame for the firm’s conduct on Craig, who was a senior partner.

    Craig’s lawyers did not say why they expect him to be charged. They said federal prosecutors in New York had declined charges, but they expected an indictment to be brought by the U.S. Attorney’s office in Washington at the request of the Justice Department’s national security division.

  11. Mueller finds nothing with Russian collusion, Dums go crazy. New guy in town Barr says let’s get to the bottom of this, Dums go crazy. Suddenly the guy who probably knows all the secrets is Persona non Grata. Some have said the Brits many Mi’s may have involvement with the so called “dossier”. Something stinks and it’s not Assange hygiene. Let’s see how this plays out, hope the guy doesn’t die of Beriberi while in custody.

    1. Great Santini: “Something stinks and it’s not Assange hygiene.” I agree that something other than Assange’s hygiene stinks, but if you look at images of Assange being “escorted” out of embassy you might rethink your assertion that he was fresh as a daisy.

      1. Hey Bill, never wrote “he’s fresh as a daisy” but glad you agree “something other than Assange hygiene stinks”. You keep trying.

        1. “You keep trying” ? Hey Great Santini, Never said you “wrote” “he’s fresh as a daisy”, said you asserted it (with a bit of irony that I either misdirected or went over your head). Anyway “You keep trying” …….to keep it light.

    2. The Great Z.,
      Something tell me me that Barr won’t meet the April1 and April2 deadlines the House Committee set for him. I think the next ultimatum from the House involves and April 15 deadline for delivery of the full, unredacted Mueller report to the House.
      Call it “intuition”, but something tells me that Barr will not fully comply with the date and conditions of that deadline.

  12. Not quite sure where to put Assange along the continuum of spies and whistleblowers. Let the evidence come out. Let’s see where Wiki got their info from (I’m betting not the Russians) and let the chips fall.

  13. Don’t we have some legal precedent for this with regard to the Pentagon Papers. Daniel Ellsburg was not convicted. And in this situation, Assange isn’t analogous to Ellsburg. He’s analogous to the New York Times who published the papers. All Assange does is take information from sources and publish it after he has confirmed it. Looks like he does a lot better job of publishing accurate information than our beloved media here in the U.S.

      1. Ecerpted from the article linked above:

        Jake Williams, a former NSA hacker who now works at the security firm Rendition InfoSec, said that the code WikiLeaks released on Thursday doesn’t seem that dangerous, because it will just “help forensics professionals and cause CIA to refactor code, but nothing that will enable a cyberattack.”

        But, he added “releasing code for other tools described in Vault 7 could give attackers the ability to exploit and implant new machines.”

        “For instance, the code for Pandemic and Brutal Kangaroo tools could be a game changer,” Williams told me via Twitter direct message, referring to CIA tools that are used create persistent implants on Windows machines and to target closed Windows networks. “There’s still a possibility that an unpatched zero-day exists for USB infection as described in the Brutal Kangaroo documents.”

        1. You know that no one on these forums reads your thousands of words you copy/paste from disreputable leftist sites, so it must be driven by a need to validate yourself. Your children and Husband not like you? or does your employer pay you by the keystroke?

          Trolls Just Want to Have Fun?
          https://psychcentral.com/blog/trolls-just-want-to-have-fun/

          According to a new study, researchers have found that people who troll online often have nasty personalities. And, well, they like doing it. Trolls enjoy trolling.

          Surprised? Not sure anyone would be.

          Nonetheless, the researchers found that trolls scored highly on a number of personality traits examined: Machiavellianism, psychopathy, narcissism, extraversion, disagreeableness and sadism.

          Trolling is, according to the researchers (Buckels et al., 2014), the “practice of behaving in a deceptive, destructive, or disruptive manner in a social setting on the Internet with no apparent instrumental purpose.” People who troll like to post comments to websites or communities online that cause trouble, insult others, and cause general mayhem, just for the sheer pleasure of seeing what happens when they do so.

          The researchers coined their own term for four of the personality variables they studied, which they call the Dark Tetrad of personality: Machiavellianism, psychopathy, narcissism, and sadism. Machiavellianism is a willingness to manipulate and deceive others, while psychopathy is not having any remorse or empathy for others. The researchers thought everyday sadism would be most conducive to trolling behavior online.

          1. Be careful Estovir – Late4Yoga is like the crazy inmate in the prison yard who is too crazy to ever back down – she might be enticing you to troll the troll.

            1. Bill Martin,
              Someone in (then) Cassius Clay’s team later said that Clay knew that Sonny Liston, one of the most powerful punchers in boxing, feared only the crazy ones during his time as an inmate.
              So Clay intentionally displayed increasely manic behavior when he kept getting in Liston’s face prior to his first bout with Liston.
              Liston could have demolished any fellow inmate in an unarmed fight in prison, but he’d probably would have backed down😳 if he ever encountered L4B.

              1. sonny was like every other con that way. that is always an issue in jail. they failed in liston’s day to help the crazies and they fail today.

                it is incarceration 101.

                young turks who want to make a name are also dangerous

                OGs are not the worst dangers, its the young turks and the crazies.

                gangs usually help maintain order, for all their faults and evil methods
                they are like little mini-governments, ha ha

      2. The job of CIA is to do totally illegal things in the interests of national security. The Vault disclosures are consistent with their mission.

        It should be troubling however because they aim their weapons not only at foreigners but also at Americans. And that is what got them in trouble at the Church committee hearings.

        Which reforms went by the wayside after 9/11. And Democrats have been fine with that.

        don’t worry about the Russians so much. They can nuke us and not much else.

        You should worry about what our own government can do to us. That is worth a worry. I remember the old days when Democrats understood that idea. boy times have changed. You guys are bootlicking sycophants of the “intelligence community” now aren’t you? Real suckups

        1. in other words, what I’m saying is, the CIA doesnt just do dirty tricks on foreign entities. It plays tricks on us. TheVault disclosures reveal software tools that can be used on anybody. by design. It reveals that they can and do penetrate American owned and managed information systems.

          They could care less if they break American laws not just foreign ones. That is the value of what the wiki disclosures prove. Wake up.

          The CIA and NSA have been proven to be so much more immensely powerful than we knew. IT was formerly the province of “conspiracy theorists” to make assertions but then Snowden and Manning and wikileaks proved it.

          For that we should be grateful as citizens. At least take this into considerations, that is, unless you a craven bootlicker of the CIA and Defense establishment .

          1. The CIA and NSA have been proven to be so much more immensely powerful than we knew.

            The agency which recruited Aldrich Ames and promoted him several times?

            See Reuel Marc Gerecht on the CIA as he knew it. Ineffective for a reason.

    1. yes in theory it should apply. but probably it won’t work. times have changed.

      read jessalyn radack on this

    2. Steve J.,
      I would be very surprised if the Pentagon Papers/ NY times decision is not brought up and throughly hashed out in the legal proceedings involving Assange. It’s correct that Ellsburg was not convicted….that is be side the point. Assange has not been convicted either.Ellsburg was arrested and charged, as Assange almost certainly will be extradited and arraigned in the U.S.
      One key link with the P.Papers/NYT case is that Assange and WikiLeaks are arguably publishers.
      In the NY Times case, SCOTUS gave enormous leeway to the NYT based on First Amendment rights of publishers.
      That is an important element and likely to be a key part of Assange’s defense.
      This isn’t the Warren Court ( I think Warren himself was no longer Chief Justice in 197 but the Court’s make-up was still ‘Warren Court justice”), and I don’t know how this current Court would decide on the “publisher/First Amendment” issues. But there are enough similarities between the issues faced in the 1971 Pentagon Papers/NYTimes case that the 1971 case will be part of the legal wrangling in the Assange case.

  14. Get your popcorn – lefty loons and lefty media going to endlessly try to spin/infer/insinuate this story into Witch Hunt 2.0 narrative. In last 24 hours it has come to light that first Barr and now Assange are both obviously Trump-Russia agents. Oy ve!

  15. One or another United States Attorney should grant transactional immunity to Assange (or a plea deal) in exchange for Julian’s radical transparency about pretty much everything. Also, no pardon for Assange. And no Ambassadorship, either.

    1. And, for another thing, Assange needs to put an end to the Seth Rich murder leak conspiracy theory at once and for all time. No ifs, ands, nor but, but, buts.

      1. and him and kim dotcom and Bill binney a former technical director at the NSA who all say the same thing. not that it was seth per se, but it must have been a leak not a hack, from somoeone with workstation access at the DNC who downloaded onto magnetic media, since the over-the-wire speeds were impossible to get all that data.

        Do you get that or not? Does that compute? or do you just willfully like ignoring facts?

        https://www.thenation.com/article/a-new-report-raises-big-questions-about-last-years-dnc-hack/

        Of course it was also a former British ambassador who says this. You apparently cant read or remain willfully ignorant.

        1. Binney has fully retracted his egregious error. That has been explained to more than twice already. This has to be at least the fourth time already. Don’t take my owrd for it. Go read Binney, himself. He has fully retracted his claim.

      1. I’m hedging my bets, just in case. You’re assuming that immunization or plea deal is already in force. I’m not. Stay fluid.

    2. They will not. They know the truth and this is all about punishment. And the security state getting even stronger.

      He would not spill the beans anyhow. he’s staked his whole existence on this cause and won’t crack along that dimension. He’s already been locked up for years.

  16. He has precious information on the corrupt Obama presidency, Hillary’s pay for play tour of duty at State Dept, and enough dirt on the Clinton Global FUNDation to hopefully lock up all accomplices in the DOJ, FBI and Obama scum. Perhaps Nadler, Pelosi and Schiff too.

    Now we get to see what Obama and Hillary were doing afterall….

    Lock her up!

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