December 2, 2010

"The government has never brought an Espionage Act prosecution that would look remotely like this one."

"I suspect that has a lot to do with why nothing has happened yet," says lawprof Stephen I. Vladeck, puzzling over why the U.S. Justice Department has yet to bring charges against Julian Assange.

97 comments:

former law student said...

You don't prosecute a fence for theft. Assange merely handled stolen information; he did not steal it.

Further, prosecuting him for rape would be much easier. Rapists are not sympathetic figures, and most if not all countries can agree that rape is a crime, even if publishing confidential information may not be.

garage mahal said...

Allegedly.

rhhardin said...

Assange isn't in America and isn't an American, as I understand it.

He's free to be on anybody's side.

If he's particularly dangerous and at large in a country letting him run free, then a drone may be appropriate, but not a charge of espionage.

The guy who gave him the data is the proper criminal.

Coketown said...

Someone should arrest him for that hair-do. Yech.

Quasimodo said...

Further, prosecuting him for rape would be much easier. Rapists are not sympathetic figures, and most if not all countries can agree that rape is a crime, even if publishing confidential information may not be.

Like they did with Polanski?

rhhardin said...

I don't even think you can get theft to stick; since data is non-rivalrous.

That he has it doesn't deprive you of having it.

The Crack Emcee said...

Um, he's not American? He's not here? He's a fence?

A better question is why the CIA hasn't snatched his candy ass yet? That's an embarrassment, a sign of weakness, and another example of what government can't do any longer. The guy's a NewAger. Are you kidding me?

He shoulda been talking, at an undisclosed location, yesterday.

AllenS said...

PFC Manning who stole the information needs to be executed. But he won't because he's a homosexual.

Coketown said...

And I agree with FLS. Assange merely founded the network that posted the information and acts as the organization's spokeswoman. Is hosting the material illegal? Is being a shit-eating douchebag a crime? It should be, but isn't. Was Youtube guilty for hosting Viacom's intellectual property? Can we lock up Chris Matthews? So many nuanced questions. But yeah, let someone prosecute him for rape. That seems easiest.

garage mahal said...

A better question is why the CIA hasn't snatched his candy ass yet?

There is an arrest warrant out on Interpol for Dick Cheney as well. Should the CIA snatch Cheney as well? Wouldn't that be ironic? Maybe some little innocent water games....?

Big Mike said...

The target can't be Julian Assange. We can, however, discover the people who are the sources of the documents (e.g., private Manning) and hang them.

Marshal said...

"Assange isn't in America and isn't an American, as I understand it.

He's free to be on anybody's side."

This explains why he cannot be charged with treason. Espionage doesn't include a breach of loyalty element.

The Drill SGT said...

I'd just arrange for him to be put into a locked room with 10 afghan widows, who's husband's are dead because Assange provided their names to the Taliban, knowing the likely outcome of doing so, on the "omelet theory of journalism"

When you're wounded and left on Afghanistan's plains, and the women come out to cut up what remains, jest roll to your rifle and blow out your brains

AllenS said...

garage,

I don't think that it's been through Interpol. Wasn't some African country that was going to try and go through Interpol? If you have a cite proving otherwise, I'd like to see it.

traditionalguy said...

I nominate Assange as Time Magazine's man of the year...but keep him the heck away from everybody's computer memories. Exposure is generally healthy...unless you are at war. This is like Bill Belichick stealing another team's signals plus sharing them with all the other teams.

Robert Cook said...

We wouldn't need Assange or Wikileaks to do the work they're doing if our media were actually doing their proper jobs as adversaries of and watchdogs over the government.

Instead, they've been domesticated and are now the watchdogs of and for the government, protecting rather than exposing the government's lies and crimes.

Robert Cook said...

"Exposure is generally healthy...unless you are at war."

If our press had done their work and had exposed the lies and propaganda that led us to war, we might not be involved in this criminal campaign of murder.

The Drill SGT said...

AllenS said...
PFC Manning who stole the information needs to be executed...


On the other hand, if he is sent to Ft Leavenworth for the "long course" and ends up with Tyrone for a cellmate, he might wish he were dead...

AllenS said...

Drill,

Might be what Manning is looking for. Remember, he stole this information because his boyfriend broke up with him.

madawaskan said...
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JAL said...

Well considering what the Justice Department *has* (or actually *has not*)been doing that is so blamed important:

Giving guilt money to more black, hispanic and native American "farmers" than there are or have been in the last 200 years. {"We'll redistribute your wealth any damn way we feel like when we feel like it."}

Sending the black guy in the military garb smacking a stick around on the steps of a polling place at a national election a note apologizing for the inconvenience of finding him guilty because he forgot how to participate in the US justice system? And giving him a Get Out of Jail Free card.

What do you expect from the DOJ?

Really.

We have become a Mel Brooks banana republic.

(And I think Putin has Assange's number, poor guy. One never knows what might be coming next, so eliminating the threat would be 'reasonable.' The US is easy. Putin/Russia? Not so much. Don't want those guys unhappy with you. JA sure can't come running here for witness protection. Heh.)

madawaskan said...

Here is the illustrative thing about Assange-his very existence right now is proof he doesn't think America is the evil he wants everyone else to believe it is.

How do you know that?

Assange hasn't revealed anything about China or Russia.

Why is that?

Assange knows those countries would have not tolerated any of his wiki-leaks. Assange would have been plugged quite literally on the first instance of his exposing their state secrets.

The greatness of America might well be demonstrated the world over by how we handle this schmuck.

AllenS said...

Since Assange isn't an American citizen, I'm not sure what we can do to him (legally). Afterall, he's not like Dick Cheney or something.

Quaestor said...

The New York Times, the soi disant "newspaper of record" has mispelled nancy-boy Julien Assange name twice.

This isn't a matter for the courts. Julien Assange might believe he's acting on behalf of the greater good (the all-purpose excuse applied to every atrocity and mass murder in history) he's just as deluded as the most ignorant Afghan peasant boy who ever donned an explosive vest. He is a functioning agent of Al-Qaeda, and should be treated as one.

Quaestor said...

Drill Sgt wrote: On the other hand, if he is sent to Ft Leavenworth for the "long course" and ends up with Tyrone for a cellmate, he might wish he were dead..

Nah. More like his dream come true.

madawaskan said...
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madawaskan said...

I have a hard time believing PFC Manning is the single source for all of this material.

He seems like the perfect fall guy.

Maybe that is part of the hold up and there is a way to implicate Assange more directly.

Marshal said...

AllenS said...
Since Assange isn't an American citizen, I'm not sure what we can do to him (legally). Afterall, he's not like Dick Cheney or something.

12/2/10 1:45 PM


Espionage is not limited to citizens so his nationality is irrelevant. Obviously we would have to gain custody to prosecute something, and if all he has is similar to what we've seen we're not going to bother. (His actions may not violate the law anyway.)

But the fact that he isn't American doesn't prevent us from charging him. Don't confuse espionage with treason.

madAsHell said...

Wikileaks tells me two things:

1. Things work pretty much the way I thought they did.

2. World leaders...are really just petty people with too much time and money on their hands.

Of course, this leads me back to 1.

AllenS said...

Marshal,

Go here
and read this from Wikipedia. Espionage seems to have been changed to sedition later on. Tell me what you think.

AllenS said...

I don't think that we have any American laws that Assanged can be charged with. Espionage, treason or sedition laws seem to be about charging American citizens only.

deborah said...

madawaskan:
"The greatness of America might well be demonstrated the world over by how we handle this schmuck."

Please elaborate.

Marshal said...

AllenS:

Here is the wiki summary of the section most relevant to the WikiLeaks case:

"To convey information with intent to interfere with the operation or success of the armed forces of the United States or to promote the success of its enemies. This was punishable by death or by imprisonment for not more than 30 years or both."

There's nothing limiting this law to citizens.

AllenS said...

You know what this blog is missing? Anybody who knows anything about law. This would be a good time for one of them to step up and tell everyone why or why not Assange can or cannot be prosecuted. And actually give us some cites.

AllenS said...

Marshal, that is true, but if you look at any of the links that are provided, they all refer to American citizens. If, Assange had been in this country and publishing this information, even if he was a foreigner, then yes, I think he could be prosecuted. He published this from foreign soil, and I think that will be a problem.

AllenS said...

What if PFC Manning gave this information to Russia or China, and they published it?

garage mahal said...

@AllenS
An arrest warrant for Cheney “will be issued and transmitted through Interpol,” the world’s biggest international police organization, he said..

I didn't know this, but Halliburton already settled for 579 million as part of the same bribery scheme.

The Drill SGT said...

Allen,

You are wrong on this one.

Treason is a crime for citizens and perhaps green card holders. e.g. you must have sworn some level to allegiance to the country to be a traitor to it.

Espionage? We captured lots of Soviet spies. one doesnt have to owe allegiance to spy

spy is to espionage as traitor is to treason

noun and verb

Big Mike said...

Assange could easily argue that he isn't doing anything that the New York Times and Washington Post have been doing for years. And despite my conservative orientation, I would be sympathetic to that argument myself.

We need to identify the sources, and deal with them.

AllenS said...

Thanks, garage, very interesting. I wonder how it will turn out. I'm guessing Cheney will walk.

WV: melon

HDHouse said...

gosh fellas...aren't we holding all kinds of people who are not Americans and were not here and all but a few of them haven't been charged yet either....

AllenS said...

Yes, Drill, we captured lots of Soviet spies, but I don't think that we ever captured them overseas and brought them back to the US. We captured them here.

madawaskan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
madawaskan said...

deborah

My thought process might be a bit convoluted-but in contrast to how Russia or China would handle Assange- our legalistic method-staying within the boundaries of the law (even if that means the Swedes get him on rape charges) would demonstrate that America is a country that believes in the social contract-the letter of the law.

The opposite reaction-Putin Philosophy would say it makes us look weak.

I have plenty of people who tell me Assange should be made an example of so to speak...

I see both sides of the argument.

I prefer the first option.

madawaskan said...

The fact that Assange doesn't fear us at all undermines his whole argument-

The US is evil.

Marshal said...

AllenS

Yes, the most famous cases are Americans. This seems likely because foreigners engaging in activities prohibited by this act while abroad would normally be considered enemy combatants.

I don't see the problem of his location. [I'm not taking a position on his guilt, I'm just assessing whether location is an issue.] If he's guilty of violating this act his nexus to to America is the injury. Yes, we'd have to catch him, or request extradition. But that's a practical issue unrelated to whether this act is restricted to citizens.

I would also think if the Act was limited to citizens the NYT article would make that point. LawProfs make mistakes, but it's hard to believe they'd miss on something that clear.

AllenS said...

I'll agree with you on requesting extradition. Not all countries will honor our request however. Especially if they find this political only.

Robert Cook said...

"I'd just arrange for him to be put into a locked room with 10 afghan widows, who's husband's are dead because Assange provided their names to the Taliban, knowing the likely outcome of doing so, on the 'omelet theory of journalism'"

So far, there's no evidence that anyone has been harmed as a result of these leaks.

On the other hand, what about the countless Afghani widows and widowers and orphans whose spouses or parents are dead as a result of our war-without-a-cause in their land?

Do you think the berieved would be merciful to the politicians in Washington and the generals who are responsible for this ongoing mass slaughter?

Big Mike said...

Good point madawaskan.

How would today's Russia handle Assange if he received and leaked sensitive Russian data?

I think they would let him go.

With weights tied to his ankles.

In the middle of Lake Baikal.

madawaskan said...

Big Mike

I think they would let him go.

With weights tied to his ankles.

In the middle of Lake Baikal.


LOL! I love the timing in your comment-ha!

Robert Cook said...

"On the other hand, if he is sent to Ft Leavenworth for the "long course" and ends up with Tyrone for a cellmate, he might wish he were dead..."

Is this what you would wish for him...that he be raped and tortured by his cellmate or other prisoners, without hope of escape?

I wouldn't wish that on anyone.

Robert Cook said...

"How would today's Russia handle Assange if he received and leaked sensitive Russian data?"

So we've reached a point where so-called "patriotic Americans" (sic) can praise the tactics of the evil Russians, than whom we've always bragged we're better, because of our greater devotion to justice.

Pathetic.

AllenS said...

I just read the NY Times article that Althouse linked to. It answered a lot of my questions. I should have read it before commenting.

Revenant said...

The reason we aren't prosecuting Assange is that it is highly unlikely we'll be able to get him extradited to the United States. Indicting him and would just give him free publicity, plus credibility with our political enemies abroad.

Our options are to either put up with him or bump him off. Putting up with him is probably the better option.

Revenant said...

So we've reached a point where so-called "patriotic Americans" (sic) can praise the tactics of the evil Russians

Reading comprehension isn't your strong point, eh?

John Lynch said...

I fully expect that the Russians will try to kill him, so this is the least of his problems. They don't seem to have suffered many consequences from previous assassinations.

The internet occupies physical space and the people who use it live in the real world.

Authoritarian regimes have no problem with crossing borders to silence their opponents. There are many, many examples of this. Wikileaks has certainly irritated enough of them to get special attention.

A lot of people seem to think that the internet is protected from consequences somehow, but it's not. There are a lot of bloggers in prison from China to Iran to Russia. Some are dead.

I think Wikileaks has made the mistake of confusing the US and the Western world with real dictatorships that are really willing to use force to silence opposition.

Assange and all his friends should be watched and monitored for their own safety (the US and UK will be blamed if anything happens to him, no matter who does it). I don't have an opinion about the criminal charges, because there's just not enough information. Countries that don't simply have people killed will sometimes resort to bogus charges.

If the man is a spy, prosecute him as a spy. Otherwise, he should be free to go about his business.

Julius said...

The prosecution would be because...

...he published secret documents purportedly given to his organization by a soldier working for the U.S...

...and the NY Times and various other newspapers worldwide published them at the same time too???

Or:

Because the documents are embarassing and make Obama and Clinton look like incomptent fools.

I think it's much more of the latter, dressed up in Espionage clothes. Yesterday Julian Assange was just "a guy with a laptop" who the U.S. officially didn't give a hoot about, and today he's public enemy number one. Me thinks nobody in our esteemed Administration has a fucking clue what they're doing.

Regardless, it seems that Eric Holder is working fervently to find a legal way to end free speech and freedom the the press in America. That ought to concern people.

Keep it up, Julian. Wikileaks has a lot of supporters. You might want to wank to stick to porn or hookers for a while, tho', and avoid tricky Swedish spy-women.

Roger J. said...

I dont think there was anything (thus far) in the material that wikileaks published that was surprising--titillating perhaps but certainly not state secrets.

Exposes the dept of state as a bunch of overpaid gossip columnists, but that is pretty much what they do--give their opinions on foreign leaders.

What is most disturbing to me--and as others have mentioned--is the absolute lack of security in state department communications. That some PFC in Afghanistan can download all that shit is mindboggling--Whoever is in charge of the state department's communication security system should be canned forthwith--oh, wait--that would be Hillary--oops, my bad.

Roger J. said...

As far as the rapist rap goes, we let rapists go all the time without prosecution--the higher up they are the more likely they are to walk; eg, Roman Polanski and Bill Clinton. As long as it isnt rape rape--thanks whoopi

garage mahal said...

Allegedly.

Big Mike said...

So we've reached a point where so-called "patriotic Americans" (sic) can praise the tactics of the evil Russians, than whom we've always bragged we're better, because of our greater devotion to justice.

If you think I approve of the way the Russians would (hypothetically) deal with Assange, then you are a bigger fool than I have taken you for.

And by now I have come to regard you as a major fool.

New "Hussein" Ham said...

" ... why the U.S. Justice Department has yet to bring charges against Julian Assange."

Same reason black gang bangers carrying threatsticks at voting precincts aren't being prosecuted by the Justice Department: Because they are all working together to destroy America.

When the cop on the beat is crooked, there can be no justice.

The Justice Department, as run by Eric Holder at the instruction of Barack Obama for the benefit of black gang bangers and other people trying to destroy the United States ... is crooked.

We have a choice, my fellow Americans. We can let these crooked mother fuckers destroy our nation, or we can stop them.

It's up to every one of us (and that means you!).

Roger J. said...

Both the russians and the chinese appear to have a better handle on their security systems than does the US department of state

edutcher said...

I'm wondering why we don't do to Assange what the Mossad did to Eichmann.

(I know, the Demos would go all wee wee...)

JAL said...

(And I think Putin has Assange's number, poor guy.

Vlad has already sent Spetsnaz abroad to deal with people he doesn't like. I'd love to see Julie try something cute with the Russians.

I'll happily send flowers to his funeral.

Robert Cook said...

So far, there's no evidence that anyone has been harmed as a result of these leaks.

By all means, let's wait until a US Embassy is blown up so Cook finally thinks we should do something.

"On the other hand, if he is sent to Ft Leavenworth for the "long course" and ends up with Tyrone for a cellmate, he might wish he were dead..."

Is this what you would wish for him...that he be raped and tortured by his cellmate or other prisoners, without hope of escape?

I wouldn't wish that on anyone.


Considering Cook is the one who wants everybody in the country tried for war crimes, he's awfully fussy about Manning.

Frankly, five or six 5.56mm rounds in his chest would be enough for me.

Roger J. said...

"Is this what you would wish for him...that he be raped and tortured by his cellmate or other prisoners, without hope of escape?
I wouldn't wish that on anyone."

Actually I would wish that on a lot of people that skate thru our criminal justice system--Something about the wheels of justice and all that. But sensitivity has never been my strong suit

garage mahal said...

It's up to every one of us (and that means you!).

At my keyboard, reporting for duty!

Robert Cook said...

"Julien Assange might believe he's acting on behalf of the greater good (the all-purpose excuse applied to every atrocity and mass murder in history)...."

You mean...like out invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq?

At least Assange's actions have not resulted in any deaths so far. One cannot say the same for our big-dicke--er, big-hearted altruism, (sic).

John Lynch said...

What if Assange's actions did result in death? Would it still be OK?

Robert Cook said...

"But sensitivity has never been my strong suit."

Or humanity, either.

Roger J. said...

I am whole heartedly in favor of the folks like assange and ellsworth and others who sound the alarm--nothing like the white light of publicity to shame the bureaucrats--until the bureaucrats realize they arent smart enough to safeguard their drivel, the assange's of the world will be our bulwark--the downside,l of course, happens when our bureaucrats figure out how to safeguard their ineptness.

deborah said...

Okay, mad, thanks for the clarification.

AllenS said...

I'm interested in what garage thinks about this. No snark, please. What do you think should be done about Assange.

Roger J. said...

"or humanity either"

you know nothing of my humanity, Mr Cook. Now please go diddle yourself.

Robert Cook said...

"What if Assange's actions did result in death? Would it still be OK?"

I don't know. It wouldn't necessarily discredit the project as a whole, but it would certainly raise questions about what information was published and whether there should have been redactions. Let's see if it happens before speculating.

All those who are so concerned about his potential blame for deaths that might result for releasing these documents are equally concerned about the thousands of needless and innocent deaths and injuries we know have been inflicted on Iraqis and Afghanis (and Pakistanis and Yemenis, etc.) as a result of our terror wars, yes?

Robert Cook said...

"you know nothing of my humanity, Mr Cook."

Based on your remarks, I know that you don't have it.

JAL said...

@fls 1:07 PM
You can prosecute for receiving stolen goods.

No?

Especially since he knew they were stolen goods.

Roger J. said...

And based on your remarks Mr Cook, I know you to be a fool

JAL said...

@ RC about the thousands of needless and innocent deaths and injuries we know have been inflicted on Iraqis and Afghanis (and Pakistanis and Yemenis, etc.) as a result of our terror wars, yes?

If you've been following the story there are a couple things about this.

The earlier releases (the ones that were horribly not redacted) showed that the deaths were less than being pushed by that ridiculous faux study published by LANCET trash (which they have since disavowed).

The other point is that some people quit Wikileaks last summer when they realized they were a party to murder by wikileak and Assange had ignored that. I understood that they did start redacting, but not knowing what all is involved with that, I question how well that was done.

Robert Cook said...

"Considering Cook is the one who wants everybody in the country tried for war crimes, he's awfully fussy about Manning."

Nonsequitur.

Manning has caused no deaths. If he is found guilty of espionage or whatever crimes thay will charge him with, he will serve a sentence in prison. That doesn't mean he should be subjected to continual rape or sexual slavery in prison.

Our war criminals--Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rice, Obama, et al.--are guilty of the deaths and grievous injury and torture of many many innocent people, and they should spend their lives in prison. I don't think they should face rape or forced sexual servitude from other prisoners (or guards) either.

All prisoners should serve the sentences we apply; all prisoners should be kept safe from violence inflicted on them by their jailers or other prisoners.

Robert Cook said...

"And based on your remarks Mr Cook, I know you to be a fool"

We're all fools, but some of us keep our humanity. You haven't.

AllenS said...

Mr. Cook, is Hillary a war criminal too? How about Bill Clinton?

Roger J. said...

Mr Cook--only those of us who know what and how we have kept our humanity are privy

comments on mindless blogs are not dispositive--I sleep very soundly in my bed at night. if you wish to make assumptions about my humanity you are free to do so -- but you will be profoundly wrong.

garage mahal said...

I'm interested in what garage thinks about this. No snark, please. What do you think should be done about Assange.

No idea.

Roger J. said...

Garage: fair enough--I dont see Mr Assange as part of the problem so I don't think anything should be done to him as far as relates to legal issues in the US. We need whistleblowers to keep the bureaucracy in check--so in that sense Mr assange serves a valuable function.

garage mahal said...

Honestly I don't mind him blowing the lid of Bank of America, or exposing mass corruption around the world. Leak away. But if he keeps messing with Russia, Assange may be the one leaking.

Cedarford said...

I'd utilize one of our Iranian sources now in safety that dished major dirt to us on Iran's Revolutionary Guard and Supreme Ayatollah - true dirt, highly embarassing dirt - and leak it.

Giving Assage full credit as the man who got the dirt on Iran's leadership and leaked it anonymously to the Jerusalem Post or Annan Jordan Times (with full cooperation of some ME regime that hates Iran and will play along and give Assage the role as the leaker)

Then sit back and watch the fun and make your Dead Pool bets on Assage as agents from Iran fan out to do holy work.

You of course can do the same scam with Russia, or the NORKS.
Or a CHinese source we used that we can set up Assage as getting and then spreading out from a hijacked website - all sorts of delicious dirt on high level Chicommie corruption (the sort that gets Chinese fatcats on the wrong end of an organ donor bank if the old men of the Politburo "green light" decide is embarassing corruption).

Everyone will believe Assage is the culprit.

Saying we can't fuck the guy up because of Sacred Parchment barriers and gaps in "divine US Code" is terribly unimaginative. Lifereally isn't a game of "Oh, Mighty Mother in black robes - may I??"

As for the gay Howdy Doody looking traitor, PFC Bradley Manning - unlike civilian prisons where each prisoner becomes faceless and only deal with on a security threat level classification...at Leavenworth, I understand that guards treat certain prisoners as utter dirt. Not beating them but showing in every interaction their utter hatred and contempt for certain certain prisoners as subhumans. Manning may be in that lot, and unlike Maj Nidal Hasan - not given the special Muslim dispensation the military currently gives Islamoids in uniform to extra special good treatment no matter what they did.

Revenant said...

I dont think there was anything (thus far) in the material that wikileaks published that was surprising--titillating perhaps but certainly not state secrets.

Well, the documents were classified. That makes them state secrets so far as the law is concerned.

Did he do any real harm to the United States? Probably not. He might have made it harder for Muslim nations to help us pressure Iran. He'll probably cause the death of helpful Iraqi and Afghani civilians. But that's about it.

Revenant said...

Both the russians and the chinese appear to have a better handle on their security systems than does the US department of state

They get a lot more practice, since the primary purpose of their security infrastructure is to monitor and censor their own population.

former law student said...

Well, let's see what Assange could be charged with, not having taken the information from the US government:

18 USC 793,

(e) Whoever having unauthorized possession of, access to, or
control over any document, writing, code book, signal book, sketch,
photograph, photographic negative, blueprint, plan, map, model,
instrument, appliance, or note relating to the national defense, or
information relating to the national defense which information the
possessor has reason to believe could be used to the injury of the
United States or to the advantage of any foreign nation, willfully
communicates, delivers, transmits or causes to be communicated,
delivered, or transmitted, or attempts to communicate, deliver,
transmit or cause to be communicated, delivered, or transmitted the
same to any person not entitled to receive it, or willfully retains
the same and fails to deliver it to the officer or employee of the
United States entitled to receive it; or

This seems to be the crux of the nub: The information has to

1. Relate to the national defense, and
2a. the possessor has to have reason to believe the information could be used to the injury of the United States or
2b. the possessor has to have reason to believe the information could be used to the advantage of a foreign nation.

Is this stuff really national defense material? It's not "the fifth army attacks at dawn" type stuff.

edutcher said...

Robert Cook said...

"What if Assange's actions did result in death? Would it still be OK?"

I don't know. It wouldn't necessarily discredit the project as a whole


So much for Cook's much-trumpeted morality.

Revenant said...

FLS,

The Afghanistan and Iraq documents were definitely:

(a) documents
(b) related to the national defense
(c) which Assange knowingly had unauthorized possession of

He himself said he believed the documents contained evidence of American war crimes, so obviously he had "reason to believe [the documents] could be used to the injury of the United States". Furthermore, the publication of diplomatic cables is obviously "to the advantage of [a] foreign nation" -- e.g., the cables detailing the attempts to organize opposition to Iran give Iran an advantage in counteracting those attempts. Finally, making it all publicly available on the internet obviously qualifies as knowingly "communicating" the documents "to any person not entitled to receive it".

The Drill SGT said...

Robert Cook said...
"How would today's Russia handle Assange if he received and leaked sensitive Russian data?"


I don't know how the Russians would treat Assange today (we'll find out soon), but I know how they operated in Lebanon in 85. 4 Soviet Diplomats were kidnapped by terrorists. One was killed early to send a message. The KGB in turn, snatched family members of the abductors and started returning body parts. The remaining 3 diplomats were released, unharmed.

You don't have to like the Russians to understand that they understand that in order to communicate with some elements, you need to send the correct message.

The Drill SGT said...

FLS said...Is this stuff really national defense material? It's not "the fifth army attacks at dawn" type stuff.

Don't know about this stuff, but publishing A-stan intel reports with the names of our local informants has led to:

- them getting killed
- the other locals not trusting us.

think you'd be able to sell a jury that:

- this harmed the US
- it was provided to a foreign government (e.g. the previous and in their opinion the rightful government of A-stan)
- Assange, knew or should have known that the info would get people killed?

Robert Cook said...

Robert Cook said...
"How would today's Russia handle Assange if he received and leaked sensitive Russian data?"


Actually, no...I didn't say that.

Robert Cook said...

"Mr. Cook, is Hillary a war criminal too? How about Bill Clinton?"

Yes.

Gene said...

I don't know if the US government will ever get Assange for espionage but the Swedish government apparently is intent on prosecuting him for condomless "rape" (consensual sex without a condom). Is that a crime in Sweden? What does a married couple do when they want to have a child--apply for a condom waiver? Do you need a new waiver every time you have conception-oriented sex, I wonder, or is the waiver good till the rabbit dies?

Hoosier Daddy said...

"What if Assange's actions did result in death? Would it still be OK?"

I don't know. It wouldn't necessarily discredit the project as a whole


So what Robert Cook is saying that innocents being killed is acceptable if it damages the US.