Assange to Be Tried in US for Espionage?
by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org – Home – Stephen Lendman
There’s no ambiguity about police state injustice in the US, the fate of all politicized enemies of the state — targeted for doing the right thing, for courage above and beyond the call of duty.
The US honors its worst, persecutes its best, the longstanding practice at a fever pitch today, supported by bipartisan hardliners and kangaroo courts, mocking what justice is supposed to be.
Targeting Assange and Chelsea Manning is all about waging war on speech, media, and academic freedoms in the US, UK, and other Western nations — police states masquerading as democracies, a notion their ruling authorities deplore.
It’s about escalating attacks on truth-telling whistleblowers and journalists for exposing government wrongdoing, what ruling authorities want kept secret.
It’s about wanting nothing interfering with imperial rage for dominance, farcical elections pretending to be legitimate, and neoliberal harshness under corporatist rule, serving privileged interests exclusively at the expense of the general welfare.
It’s about tolerating no opposition to the diabolical plot to transform nations worldwide into ruler/serf societies unsafe and unfit to live in.
It’s part of US-led war on humanity threatening everyone everywhere, willing to risk planet earth’s destruction to own it.
It shows higher intelligence when misused is more of a curse than blessing, humans perhaps to be the first species ever to destroy itself one day — and all other life forms with it.
Falsely accusing Assange of conspiracy to commit unauthorized computer access is likely prelude to adding espionage charges.
A virtually certain second politicized indictment no doubt includes these more serious charges, similar to ones against Chelsea Manning, to be unsealed after his extradition to the US.
Trump regime hardliners want him crucified as a lesson to other investigative journalists – not to go where WikiLeaks dares go repeatedly, publishing information from reliable sources it believes to be credible, what’s vital for the public to know, what journalism the way it’s supposed to be is all about, what establishment media long ago abandoned.
WikiLeaks editor Kristinn Hrafnsson explained what almost surely awaits Assange in US hands, saying:
The charge against him “is only the tip of the iceberg. We are absolutely certain that this is only one of the charges that will be brought (against him), and they will be adding on more charges when he arrives” in the US.
“(I)t’s totally impossible to have a fair trial in the United States. If you consider the harsh words from high officials throughout the years, and now from members of the Trump administration, there’s no chance that he’s going to have a fair trial there.”
He’s virtually certain to face spying charges under the long ago outdated 1917 Espionage Act, a WW I relic, solely pertaining to the war, unrelated to anything in its aftermath, used to unjustly sentence Manning to 35 years in prison.
Life imprisonment without the possibility of parole or a death sentence could follow Assange’s conviction — for the “crime” of truth-telling journalism, no matter how his politicized prosecution turns out, rubber-stamp judicial lynching sure to follow once in US hands.
According to WikiLeaks, the “US Department of Justice is attempting to build a case against Julian Assange based on the Espionage Act.”
Former WikiLeaks spokesman Daniel Domscheit-Berg said the DOJ is investigating “possible violations of United States federal criminal law regarding the unauthorized receipt and dissemination of classified information.”
The phony computer hacking charge was used to smooth the way for getting him into US hands, more serious charges to follow.
UK law prohibits extradition on charges carrying a potential death penalty, why Assange was only accused of unauthorized computer access.
Bipartisan US hardliners want him silenced behind bars longterm or eliminated by capital punishment. WikiLeaks has been investigated long before it published damning US war crimes information gotten from Chelsea Manning.
The US long ago abandoned habeas rights, due process, equal protection under law, and judicial fairness when wanting a targeted individual prosecuted and imprisoned for political reasons.
Countless thousands languish unjustly in America’s global gulag, testimony to its contempt for the rule of law and viciousness — how all police states operate, the US worst of all, operating worldwide.
A Final Comment
Netzpolitik.org published a DOJ letter to Domscheit-Berg’s attorney, translated from German into English, stating the following:
“At the request of the United States, the German authorities have requested that your client be voluntarily questioned.”
“This letter sets forth the terms under which your client would be heard about possible violations of United States federal criminal law regarding the unauthorized receipt and dissemination of classified information.”
“First, your client will answer all questions fully and truthfully and will provide all information, documents and records held or controlled by your client or to which your client has access and which are related to the subject of the interrogation.”
“Second, except as noted below, if the United States prosecutes your client, no statements or other information provided by you or your client during the course of the interrogation will be admissible in the government’s taking of evidence in court (case-in-chief) or in the imposition of penalties.”
“Third, the United States is permitted to reuse and pursue any investigative notices, statements or information that your client recommends or provides.”
“Such derivative information may be used against your client at any time in the course of any criminal or civil proceedings.”
“For example, if your client provides the information necessary to gain access to his electronic devices, this Agreement does not prohibit the disclosure of information obtained through a lawful search warrant on such devices.”
“Fourth, the United States may use such statements and information in cross-examination and rebuttal if your client appears as a witness at any stage of a civil or criminal proceeding and makes statements that differ from the statements or information provided by your client during the interrogation.”
“In addition, the United States may use such statements and information to disprove further evidence offered or received or factual evaluations presented by or on behalf of your client that differ from the statements or information provided by your client during the interrogation.”
“Fifth, your client will be subject to prosecution for such violations, including, but not limited to, false testimony and obstruction of justice, if your client intentionally provides the government with false, misleading, or statements and information designed to obstruct justice.”
“Any prosecution could be based on statements or information provided by your client during the interrogation, and the statements and information provided by your client during the interrogation could be used against your client.”
“Sixth, your client and the government agree that there will be no compromise negotiations or discussion of pleas at the interrogation session.”
“However, should the hearing later be construed as a case of compromise or discussion of pleas, your client will willfully and voluntarily waive any rights he may have under Federal Rules of Evidence 408 and 410 and Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 11(f) that would not otherwise permit the use against your client of statements made during such negotiations or discussions.”
“Seventh, neither you nor your client will disclose the existence or manner of this Agreement to anyone other than your client’s family, without prior consultation of the US Attorney’s Office or a court of competent jurisdiction.”
It’s now publicly disclosed, more evidence of US viciousness it wants concealed.
“Finally, the offer (proffer) to your client will be made in accordance with the agreements set forth herein.”
“There are no promises, agreements or understandings between the parties other than those set forth in this Agreement and no amendments to this Agreement shall be effective unless signed in writing by the parties with the same formalities as in this Agreement.”
“If your client wishes to be heard under the conditions set out above, you and your client sign this letter as indicated below and return the original to me.”
It’s unclear what action, if any, Domscheit-Berg or his attorney took in response to the above letter.
Note: Assange’s next hearing before a UK court is scheduled for May 2.
His extradition to the US in the weeks ahead is virtually certain. So is his politicized crucifixion.
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