Superseding indictment of Julian Assange as of 6/24/2020. Candidates reactions as of Sept 2019.

jim bell jdb10987 at
Thu Jun 25 12:30:01 PDT 2020

 On Thursday, June 25, 2020, 11:58:14 AM PDT, jim bell <jdb10987 at> wrote:
 Superseding Indictment of Julian Assange 6/24/2020
[Jim Bell's comment:  For nearly 20 years, I've wondered why "superseding" isn't spelled "superceding".  ]

[snip]  [note:  this is from 2010]

The US vice-president, Joe Biden, today likened the WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange, to a "hi-tech terrorist", the strongest criticism yet from the Obama administration.

Biden claimed that by leaking diplomatic cables Assange had put lives at risk and made it more difficult for the US to conduct its business around the world.

His description of Assange shows a level of irritation that contrasts with more sanguine comments from other senior figures in the White House, who said the leak had not done serious damage.

Interviewed on NBC's Meet the Press, Biden was asked if the administration could prevent further leaks, as Assange warned last week. "We are looking at that right now. The justice department is taking a look at that," Biden said, without elaborating.

The justice department is struggling to find legislation with which to prosecute Assange. "[end of quote]
>From September 2019:

"Biden, Booker, Harris, Montana Governor Steve Bullock, and former Representative Beto O’Rourke each declined to answer the specific question.

“I won’t speak specifically about the Assange case—it isn’t appropriate for me to offer an opinion on an ongoing criminal prosecution that is now pending in court and about which all the details are not publicly available,” Biden stated.

Biden spoke specifically in 2010 when he was part of President Barack Obama’s administration. He suggested Assange probably “conspired to get these classified documents with a member of the U.S. military” and added “that’s fundamentally different than if someone drops [documents] on your lap” and says “you’re a press person. Here’s classified material.”

He even agreed with Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell that Assange is much more like a “high-tech terrorist” than a journalist.
"Biden wrote, “I’m not assuming in any way that Assange is in fact a journalist,” which indicates he believes he would have the authority to decide who is and is not a journalist.
"Similar to Biden, Bennet said there should be a “distinction” between the press and whistleblowers who serve a public purpose and “those, like Assange, who publish classified information without regard to whether it may put American forces in danger.”


"Williamson deserves credit for an answer that, unlike the other responses, incorporated some of the history of the Espionage Act.

“The Espionage Act is a relic of President Woodrow Wilson’s prosecution of Eugene Debs for opposing his military frolic in the Soviet Union,” Williamson wrote. “The Act violates freedom of speech and press by criminalizing publications without proof that the disclosures were intended to and did cause material harm to the national security of the United States.”

Williamson added, “The First Amendment does not permit a British-style Official Secrets Act for classified information. I would drop the Espionage Act counts against Assange.”
"The Obama administration transformed the Espionage Act into a de facto Official Secrets Act by using it to prosecute more leakers or whistleblowers than all previous presidential administrations combined (something which Biden ignored entirely in his answer).

-------------- next part --------------
A non-text attachment was scrubbed...
Name: not available
Type: text/html
Size: 12049 bytes
Desc: not available
URL: <>

More information about the cypherpunks mailing list