Well, that came out of nowhere.
In a move that surprised a whole lot of people who expected that the United States would throw the book at Wikileaks founder Juliane Assange, they only threw half of a book.
According to POLITICO…
It’s a move that has surprised national security experts and some former officials, given prosecutors’ recent decision to aggressively go after the WikiLeaks founder on more controversial Espionage Act charges that some legal experts said would not hold up in court. The decision also means that Assange will not face punishment for publishing one of the CIA’s most potent arsenals of digital code used to hack devices, dubbed Vault 7. The leak — one of the most devastating in CIA history — not only essentially rendered those tools useless for the CIA, it gave foreign spies and rogue hackers access to them.
Prosecutors were stymied by several factors.
First, the government is facing a ticking clock in its efforts to extradite Assange to the United States from the United Kingdom, where he is being held. Extradition laws require the U.S. to bring any additional charges against Assange within 60 days of the first indictment, which prosecutors filed in March, accusing Assange of helping former Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning hack into military computers.
There is a strategy here.
Assange and his pal Chelsea ( Don’t call me Bradley) Manning released some very damaging stuff to U.S. national security in relation to what is called “Vault 7” material. This type of material is highly classified and generally when it leaks the government will neither confirm or deny it is real. So if they were to prosecute base don those materials they would have to confirm it in court.
Classic catch 22. Damned if you do and damned if you don’t.
So the government will go after Assange for helping Bra errr Chelsea Manning with the release of the classified material that Manning was already convicted on. The U.S. is going through the process for Assange to be transferred here from England in what will be a circus for sure.
In the meantime, we can hope that the United States intelligence operations have tightened up their security nets a bit and hope that they don’t spy on Americans without a warrant.
What a world that would be.
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