May 3, 2019
The Julian Assange sabotage situation was an interesting case, because you had literally everyone in the entire establishment celebrating it and literally everyone else saying “oh fuck you.”
I’m not sure if there was some kind of miscalculation there and they thought some percentage of the public was anti-Assange, or if they didn’t care and just wanted to make an example of this guy.
It makes sense that they would have thought some of the public disliked him: Republicans were supposed to hate him for allegedly getting troops killed by releasing military documents, and Democrats were supposed to hate him for allegedly helping Trump win the election. But it turns out that the entire public thinks that the guy should be allowed to publish leaked documents.
Anyway, the British were all mad about it too, and no one really knew what to do about it, so the British sentenced him to a year in jail. It’s clear that this was just an excuse not to extradite him. It’s not clear if it was just that Theresa May didn’t want to deal with it, or if the US saw the backlash from their decision to go after him and was just like “uhh, let’s just wait a minute on this.”
United Nations human rights experts have voiced criticism over the UK’s decision to imprison WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange for nearly one year for skipping bail, describing the harsh sentence as excessive.
Comprised of five independent experts, the UN rights group said that Assange’s 50-week internment at the high-security Belmarsh prison made it seem “as if he were convicted for a serious criminal offense.”
Claiming that Assange had received a “disproportionate sentence,” the UN experts argued in a statement that his punishment “appears to contravene principles of necessity and proportionality.” The statement also described the skipping bail charge as a relatively “minor violation.”
A London court ruled on May 1 that Assange was guilty of “violating bail conditions.” The Southwark Crown Court in London said that he had shown disdain for the British justice system by skipping bail.
During the hearing, Assange apologized for not honoring the terms of his temporary release, but insisted that his decision to seek asylum was “the best or perhaps the only thing” that he could have done under the circumstances.
These could just be liberals at the UN trying to look like they care about freedom of the press, or it could be a push to get him extradited.
I would think he’s happy with a year in a UK jail. Because that gives his advocates time to make the case for him not being extradited to the US. Once that happens, it’s over, he’ll be put in prison for decades and maybe for the rest of his life.
That’s what the US does to political dissidents – especially political dissidents who Donald Trump knows nothing about.