Leave Assange Alone


Unless Julian Assange personally hacked into, or directed others to hack into classified Defense systems to steal classified information, the U.S. Government should leave him alone. I was privileged to have a great conversation this morning with Alex Marlow during his morning Sirius broadcast to discuss just that.

We discussed how Julian Assange, Lord High Master of Wikileaks, had been arrested and will likely face extradition to the United States. As could be predicted, the leftists press is going bonkers, spiking the football and generally making fools of themselves. Totally opposite of their reaction to Bradley Manning’s arrest and conviction. My good friend Elizabeth Vaughn has a good article here, with all the details.

Another Red Stater and good friend, Sarah Lee points out the likely reason for the Left’s shadenfreude; from her article,

Wikileaks played a huge role in revealing just how and why Hillary Clinton’s emails may have gone missing back in 2015.

Mr Marlow started out his show as almost ambivalent about Assange. By the time he was able to take my call, I believe he had moved a bit in Assange’s direction. I tried to nudge him some more that way. I explained to him that I’m no Assange fan and I’m certainly not of a mind to cut him any slack just because he helped publicize the open and notorious criminal conduct of the Crone from Chappaqua; conduct I’ve previously noted here, here and here. However, like several of the DOJ’s operations lately, their efforts to extradite and ultimately prosecute Assange appear to be politically driven and as my colleague Sarah points out, driven by deep state anger that his actions likely torpedoed the all-but-certain coronation of their Queen.

As a retired Field Grade Army Officer, I have some experience with the requirements to safeguard classified information. Although I’m not a lawyer (and haven’t recently stayed in a Holiday Inn Express) from my foxhole, I can’t see any reason (of substance) why Assange should be prosecuted in a U.S. Courtroom.

First of all, Assange was a foreign national residing outside the United States when he came into possession of and further distributed the classified material he obtained from Private Bradley Manning. Unless the country he was residing in has a mutual intelligence sharing and safeguarding agreement with the United States, then not only is there no legal reason for the U.S. to prosecute him, there is also no legal reason for his country of residence to do so.

Second, there was a similar case back in June, 1971–The Pentagon Papers. There was a Pentagon analyst named Daniel Ellsberg who was disgruntled regarding the U.S. prosecution of the war in Vietnam. He leaked a highly classified study that he (and others) had been working on, to the New York Times. The Times and later the Washington Post published portions of the study over a multi-week period.

The Nixon administration attempted to prosecute Ellsberg and attempted to get an injunction against the Times against further publication. The charges against Ellsberg were eventually dropped, but the action against the Times went all the way to the Supreme Court. In a 6-3 decision, the Supreme Court ruled that the Nixon administration had failed to meet the burden of proof they viewed as required for such an injunction.

Although all nine justices wrote separate opinions, speaking as a Veteran with 6 combat tours, I believe Justice Hugo Black’s is the one on point.

Only a free and unrestrained press can effectively expose deception in government. And paramount among the responsibilities of a free press is the duty to prevent any part of the government from deceiving the people and sending them off to distant lands to die of foreign fevers and foreign shot and shell.

Finally, after pardoning Private Bradley Manning, convicted on several felony counts of actually violating U.S. Law by willfully violating procedures to safeguard classified information, we have no business prosecuting Julian Assange. He is a foreign national in another country, not subject to U.S Law, and has no legal responsibility to safeguard U. S. classified information.

My prediction? The leftist Clinton supporters remaining at the DOJ, will try and prosecute Assange. They will get convictions, but not on the major crime. They will however, as they’ve previously demonstrated, get Assange on one or more “process crimes.” And, we all know what Mike Ford thinks about that.

Mike Ford is a retired Infantry Officer who writes on Military, Foreign Affairs and occasionally dabbles in Political and Economic matters.

Follow him on Twitter: @MikeFor10394583

You can find his other Red State work here.