A new indictment was released by the State Department recently which only proves that the U.S. is seeking death for Assange. As the indictment list grows, the death penalty is looming over the horizon. Trump was quoted as saying he wanted Assange’s head on a “pike” in recent times and in 2010 was quoted as calling Wikileaks disgraceful and stated, “there should be a death penalty or something.” (Quote from CNN article seen here). It definitely looks as though they want to martyr Assange for exposing the lies of the U.S. government.
In the latest indictment, the star witness is a diagnosed sociopath and a convicted child molester. The FBI seems to have a taste for this type of person. According to the site WSWS.org, in article you can view here:
The new indictment does not contain any charges additional to those filed in May 2019. The 17 Espionage Act counts over WikiLeaks’ publication of documents leaked by Chelsea Manning exposing historic war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan and illegal global diplomatic intrigues remain. These represent the greatest attack on press freedom and the First Amendment of the US Constitution in decades, directly targeting the right of all journalists to publish “national security” material.
The indictment also contains one charge of conspiracy to commit computer intrusion. It was the first US count unveiled against Assange after he was dragged by British police from Ecuador’s London embassy in April 2019.
The additional material added to the introductory section of the new indictment is a desperate attempt to bolster that count, and the broader narrative that Assange is a “hacker,” not a publisher or journalist.
It is now almost universally acknowledged that the hash value was never hacked. Manning, moreover, had by that point already gathered the material that she would provide to WikiLeaks. The purpose of her request, apparently made half in jest, was to browse the internet and download music anonymously.
The Trump administration knows no boundaries concerning destroying our rights to a free press and free speech. This has become evident as more journalists are being attacked and arrested under this administration. Though Trump continually claims not knowing anything about Wikileaks and his former statement that he loved Wikileaks was a “joke,” his DOJ continues to attack the first amendment.
More on the indictment is seen on WSWS as well:
In June 2019, WikiLeaks issued a statement reporting that the US government could be preparing a new indictment against Assange, based on testimony from Thordarson. The Icelandic man had made it known on social media that he was being ferried to the US for discussions with American government agencies. In subsequent press interviews, he revealed that Monsegur was also involved. WikiLeaks’ warning has now come to pass.
The indictment alleges that in early 2010, “Teenager” provided Assange with information stolen from a bank. It claims that the WikiLeaks founder “asked Teenager to commit computer intrusion and steal additional information, including audio recordings of phone conversations between officials in NATO Country-1, including members of parliament…”
The country being referenced is Iceland. The allegation that WikiLeaks attempted to surreptitiously record parliamentary conversations there has been in circulation for years. The story was only publicly promulgated after Thordarson began secretly working with the FBI. Its transparent purpose was to jeopardise WikiLeaks’ activities in a relatively liberal country where it enjoyed high levels of popular support.
Assange, moreover, has never been accused, let alone charged with a crime by any Icelandic agency. Senior government officials, however, including then Interior Minister Ögmundur Jonasson, have stated that FBI dirty-tricks operations were afoot against WikiLeaks.
Jonasson has testified that in June 2011, he blocked a plane load of FBI agents who had been sent to seek “our cooperation in what I understood as an operation to set up, to frame Julian Assange and WikiLeaks.” The frame had been accompanied by warnings of a plot to hack Icelandic government infrastructure.
The related new strand of the indictment asserts ties between WikiLeaks and computer hackers. The first set of alleged contacts, from December 2010 until the end of 2011, all involved “Teenager,” i.e., Thordarson, who claims to have been acting under the direction of Assange.
The most significant of those, beginning in June 2011, was with Lulzsec, a loose affiliation of US hackers. The supposed contact between WikiLeaks and the group was again brokered by Thordarson. The indictment alleges that Assange encouraged Lulzsec to hack into private security companies, including Intelligence Consulting Company, and provided them with scripts to search material gathered. It does not claim that Assange was involved in the computer intrusion.
That WikiLeaks published material obtained by Lulzsec has been known for years. In 2012, one of the hackers Jeremy Hammond was arrested and convicted for hacking into Stratfor, a private company dubbed a shadow CIA. WikiLeaks released emails from the firm showing that it had spied on activists and revealing its close relations to US government agencies.
The threadbare character of the allegations, however, is overshadowed by the fact that when Thordarson first made contact with Lolzsec, it was already effectively controlled by the FBI. Monsegur (“Sabu”), its leader, had been arrested on June 7, 2011, and had immediately agreed to collaborate with the US government.
A Justice Department press release accompanying the indictment coyly states: “In 2012, Assange communicated directly with a leader of the hacking group LulzSec (who by then was cooperating with the FBI)…” This is a gross understatement. By that stage, Monsegur had been frantically burning associates for over six months, to avoid decades in prison, and had agreed to transform Lulzsec into a US government entrapment service.
It is not yet known whether Thordarson (“Teenager”) was already cooperating with the FBI when he made contact with Lulzsec. If he was, the conversations were between two FBI assets seeking to frame Assange.
Thordarson had insinuated himself into WikiLeaks as a 17-year-old volunteer in early 2010. In August 2011, Thordarson claims that he contacted the US embassy in Reykjavik, offering to assist in the “ongoing criminal investigation in the United States” against Assange.
By his own admission, Thordarson met with FBI agents multiple times in Reykjavik between 2011 and 2012. During that period, US authorities flew him to Denmark three times and to the US on one occasion, for secret meetings about WikiLeaks. He handed over WikiLeaks hard-drives and received thousands of dollars.
Some WikiLeaks collaborators who encountered him have stated that Thordarson’s behaviour was strange from the beginning, raising the possibility that he was sent into WikiLeaks as a plant.
Sigurdur “Siggi” Thordarson pictured last year (Credit: Facebook)
Either way, Thordarson is an individual who could never be deemed a credible witness. WikiLeaks has alleged that he stole at least $50,000 from the organisation.
In 2014, he pled guilty in an Icelandic court to 18 counts of fraud, embezzlement and theft, some of them relating to his missapropriations from WikiLeaks. The combined offenses carried a dollar value estimated at $US240,000. Thordarson was also convicted of impersonating Assange.
The following year he pled guilty to a raft of sexual offences, after admitting that he had coerced underage boys into performing sexual acts on him. A court-appointed psychologist found that he was a sociopath suffering from a “severe anti-social personality disorder.”
In Thordarson, a convicted paedophile and conman, and Monsegur, a former petty criminal turned stool pigeon, the US government has found the fitting representatives of its campaign against Assange. The reliance on testimony from both men demonstrates that the US extradition request should be dismissed as a criminal operation, involving individuals who themselves should be in prison.
The question being raised is whether a known convict and sociopath can be classified as a dependable witness. This man clearly will lie. He also is certifiably incompetent. The FBI using such a witness only makes them look unprofessional and inefficient. The U.S. government is viewed as a joke worldwide because of such bungles.
However, it is indisputable that the DOJ wants Assange dead whether by death in Britain’s Gitmo or by execution here in the United States. Efforts to free him must be escalated soon or his martyrdom is inevitable.