With respect -- with respect to Private Manning, you know, I have actually asked the Pentagon whether or not the procedures that have been taken in terms of his confinement are appropriate and are meeting our basic standards. They assure me that they are. I can't go into details about some of their concerns, but some of this has to do with Private Manning's safety as well.
TAPPER: Do you disagree with P.J. Crowley?
PRESIDENT OBAMA: I think I -- I gave you an answer to -- to the substantive issue.
No. I mean yes, in a theoretical sense, but no, not in reality. There would be multiple resignations if the Pentagon decided to go against the President. Not to mention that the officer corps would be having, to put it lightly, a conniption.
When did we start treating a mildly organized group of pubescent hackers with a fetish for destroying the lives of teenage girls who post on youtube and posting bestiality videos as an organized group to be reckoned with?
Today, the New Statesman can reveal the extent of this legal eccentricity as we publish a copy of the draconian and extraordinary legal gag which WikiLeaks imposes on its own staff.
Clause 5 of this "Confidentiality Agreement" (PDF) imposes a penalty of "£12,000,000 - twelve million pounds sterling" on anyone who breaches this legal gag.
This ludicrous -- and undoubtedly unenforceable -- amount is even based on "a typical open market valuation" for the leaked information that WikiLeaks possesses.
Other parts of the legal gag are just as extraordinary. The second recital paragraph "B" provides that -- like a superinjunction -- the fact of the legal gag itself is subject to the gag.
So is "all newsworthy information relating to the workings of Wikileaks". On the face of it even revealing one is under this agreement could result in a £12m penalty, as would sharing information as to how the directors conduct the organisation.
The fifth recital paragraph "E" is as astonishing. It purports to extend what WikiLeaks can sue for beyond any direct loss that it might suffer if the gag is breached. WikiLeaks says it can sue for both "loss of opportunity to sell the information to other news broadcasters and publishers" and "loss of value of the information".
I'm not sure I believe what I'm about to say, but every once in a while the country needs some anarchists.
Anonymous is a curious thing. I hesitate to call it a group, because most of it's a pack of unorganized script kiddies. But inside it, or perhaps behind it, there are some real pros. The HB Gary breach was a work of art. It will probably make it's way into white hat textbooks on internet security. Specifically in the "here's why this shit matters" section.
The extradition hearing is ongoing and I'll probably post more later. Some of the reports have been fairly disturbing. Assange's only real defence is that the warrant is invalid. He is trying to achieve this by making out the allegations are flatly false. Of course, this isn't a question the court is really equipped to answer as the only real evidence they have in this case is the content of the warrant. For Assange's defence team the entire case is now calling the women liars and using legal semantics to claim that what he did was not rape.
Except when he and his organization leak classified military information. I may be flamed for this, but there are some things we just shouldn't know. There are ugly things that may happen out there, but we don't need to know because sometimes bad things must be done for good reasons. Honestly, I'm surprised someone hasn't sent some form of special ops types after him yet
"Anyone interested in the real story of what happened — which is that WikiLeaks decided to release the unredacted cables only after a Guardian reporter negligently released the password to the encrypted file containing the cables in his book, and only after WikiLeaks informed the State Department about the reporter’s actions — might want to read Glenn Greenwald’s post here. Funny how there is no mention of that in this post.
The fact that the Guardian would join a statement condemning WikiLeaks for what one of its reporters set in motion really says about all that needs to be said."
As usual, many of those running around righteously condemning WikiLeaks for the potential, prospective, unintentional harm to innocents caused by this leak will have nothing to say about these actual, deliberate acts of wanton slaughter by the U.S.
There are a lot of personal details I didn't feel comfortable spreading further around the internet (even if it was splashed on Wired), but it's now relevant to his defence. It's a pretty intense read at times.
You know, more and more, I just would love to walk up to Assange and kick him right in balls. That would make me feel a lot better about the world.
Also very strange, I was digging through TvTropes looking for an interesting expy and briefly considered Belarus for a while but ended up going with a Scotland moors feel since I put the region on a coast. Though one of the other nearby regions is basically an expy of St. Petersburg which could make for an interesting "occupational" aspect, but since it's more of a pre-USSR expy it wouldn't really work.
If he were to be extradited on the rape charges, at any point during that prosecution he would technically be under the protection of both the British and Swedish governments. That would mean his further extradition would need clearing through both nation's legal systems. Both of which are signatories of the ECHR, banning extradition when there is the chance of inhumane conditions or treatment, including execution.
If he did somehow get to Ecuador he would be subject to the US-Ecuador extradition treaty. I can't find a full copy of this but I don't believe it has the same protections and guarantees that the ECHR grants people being extradited from the EU. I'd also note that Ecuador is far more dependent on US trade, political and economic support and essentially subject to the whims and influence of the US than either the UK or Sweden are.
Claiming asylum in Ecuador to escape his current situation would be like running into a wooden shack to escape a fire because you found out your current shelter had an asbestos lining.
The takeaway; 1) The allegations are of rape, are robust legally and have been tested extensively through due process. 2) There is no legal manner in which he may be extradited from the UK or Sweden if he were to face the death penalty, torture or any inhumane treatment. 3) The asylum offer means pretty much nothing with regards to the UK, given the British government still have a legal responsibility to deliver him to Sweden and legal means to do so, either by arresting him when he attempts to leave the embassy or by (temporarily most likely) revoking the embassy's status.
Just noticed something fairly ironic. Some Assange supporters suggesting that he be smuggled out of the embassy in a diplomatic bag. Not only is this legally and practically impossible (see also the Dikko affair), but diplomatic bags themselves are there for the purpose of state secrecy. I'd put them in the same category as the secret diplomatic cables Wikileaks leaked.