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Oh, the irony. (Page 2)
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BLAZE_MkIV
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Dec 14, 2010, 10:15 PM
 
It just says the person you give it to has to be entitled to receive it, doesn't say if it's a agent of an intelligence org or a law enforcement. You could also make a copy, redacted it an give the original back and the redacted one to law enforcement so they have probable cause.
     
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Dec 15, 2010, 02:16 AM
 
Originally Posted by Macrobat View Post
Maybe you might want to familiarize yourself with the Espionage Act.
Yes, everyone, learn about the atrocity that is the Espionage Act. Learn how it is used only to silence the speech of dissenters, and has no other value of any kind.
     
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Dec 15, 2010, 02:42 AM
 
Since many, many governments appear to have breached the bounds of legality in respect of possessing and not returning information liable to damage the US, I look forward to the US taking China, Russia and the EU to court.

Assange ain't Amerikan and ain't on Amerikan soil. The Espionage Act doesn't apply to him. Period. End of story. Get used to it.

Right, I'm off to watch Team Amerika. F Yeah!
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Dec 15, 2010, 07:53 AM
 
Originally Posted by BLAZE_MkIV View Post
It just says the person you give it to has to be entitled to receive it, doesn't say if it's a agent of an intelligence org or a law enforcement. You could also make a copy, redacted it an give the original back and the redacted one to law enforcement so they have probable cause.
The person who has the classified information has to have authority to release the information-redacted or not-or he/she is in violation of the National Security Act. Period. Nobody at the rank or position Bradley Manning held (a PFC "intel analyst") has the authority to copy secret data, let alone decide what could be redacted and what could not.

Originally Posted by lpkmckenna View Post
Yes, everyone, learn about the atrocity that is the Espionage Act. Learn how it is used only to silence the speech of dissenters, and has no other value of any kind.
Only? Sure about that? There are a number of people who have been convicted over the last 25 years of both violating the National Security Act and the Espionage Act-some of both for the same act. Being around 100 years old, the Espionage Act is in need of serious revision, but mostly because it lacks specifics, and it's always been noted to be pretty ambiguous. But it is not "only" a tool to stifle dissent.

Originally Posted by Doofy View Post
Since many, many governments appear to have breached the bounds of legality in respect of possessing and not returning information liable to damage the US, I look forward to the US taking China, Russia and the EU to court.

Assange ain't Amerikan and ain't on Amerikan soil. The Espionage Act doesn't apply to him. Period. End of story. Get used to it.

Right, I'm off to watch Team Amerika. F Yeah!
Conspiring with an American to violate US national security interests puts Assange in what can at best (for him) be called a gray area on this. He can be charged, and can be extradited to the States to face charges. The key here is whether or not Assange actually intended for the released information to harm the US. Considering his track record, it'll be an uphill fight for him to show otherwise.

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Dec 15, 2010, 12:50 PM
 
So Assange broke the law, but what about the U.S. government abusing the "interests of national security" to protect corporations from litigation because they just happen to be some of the biggest lobbyists to your campaign? I'm referring to Bayer Crop Science and the Bush Administration.
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Dec 15, 2010, 02:53 PM
 
Originally Posted by ghporter View Post
Conspiring with an American to violate US national security interests puts Assange in what can at best (for him) be called a gray area on this.
No, no grey area. Assange isn't under the jurisdiction of US law. US law doesn't apply to him unless he's on US soil, in the same way that US law doesn't apply to me unless I'm on US soil and French law doesn't apply to you unless you're on French soil.
Which is a good thing, since you probably wouldn't want to be facing an extradition request from Saudi for cracking open a bottle of Jack in Texas.
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Dec 15, 2010, 02:56 PM
 
That is, unless, your country has an extradition treaty.
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Dec 15, 2010, 03:03 PM
 
Originally Posted by Doofy View Post
No, no grey area. Assange isn't under the jurisdiction of US law. US law doesn't apply to him unless he's on US soil, in the same way that US law doesn't apply to me unless I'm on US soil and French law doesn't apply to you unless you're on French soil.
Which is a good thing, since you probably wouldn't want to be facing an extradition request from Saudi for cracking open a bottle of Jack in Texas.
Doofy, you are conflating different aspects of jurisdiction and overall presenting a very simplistic explanation for how international jurisdictional issues are actually sorted out in the real world. There is a distinction between jurisdiction over the person, and jurisdiction over the subject matter. The United States undeniably has no jurisdiction over Assange as a person, that is true. However, because he was conspiring to violate U.S. law, there is a compelling argument that the United States has jurisdiction over the subject matter (i.e. the U.S. is a party to the dispute). Therefore, if the United States has expressed a desire to actually prosecute Assange (not a given), other countries with jurisdiction over Assange as a person can evaluate the worth of the United States' claims and decide whether or not to in effect cede jurisdiction to the United States (whether because they agree that what he did deserves to be punished or they just want to make nice with us or whatever). Or they can decide, as you have, that there is really no compelling case for him to be tried under U.S. law. It's very gray.

I personally would not fear an extradition request from Saudi Arabia over my drinking because there is no chance in hell that the U.S. government would honor that.

Here is the relevant section of the U.S. Constitution (Article III, Section 2) that makes it clear that U.S. judicial power extends far beyond simply U.S. citizens and U.S. soil:

"The judicial power shall extend to all cases, in law and equity, arising under this Constitution, the laws of the United States, and treaties made, or which shall be made, under their authority;--to all cases affecting ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls;--to all cases of admiralty and maritime jurisdiction;--to controversies to which the United States shall be a party;--to controversies between two or more states;--between a state and citizens of another state;--between citizens of different states;--between citizens of the same state claiming lands under grants of different states, and between a state, or the citizens thereof, and foreign states, citizens or subjects." (emphasis mine)
( Last edited by SpaceMonkey; Dec 15, 2010 at 03:11 PM. )

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Dec 15, 2010, 05:48 PM
 
Originally Posted by SpaceMonkey View Post
Here is the relevant section of the U.S. Constitution (Article III, Section 2) that makes it clear that U.S. judicial power extends far beyond simply U.S. citizens and U.S. soil
The rest of the World doesn't operate under the US Constitution Manifesto.
And you guys would have a lot more credibility in the World if you started to realise that.

F yeah!

(and if you can't get Abu Hamza for extradition, good luck with Assange.)
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Dec 15, 2010, 06:00 PM
 
Originally Posted by Doofy View Post
The rest of the World doesn't operate under the US Constitution Manifesto.
And you guys would have a lot more credibility in the World if you started to realise that.
I'm trying to understand what exactly your belief that Assange could not be subject to U.S. laws is based on. Is it based on a belief that U.S. law only gives jurisdiction to U.S. courts in cases concerning offenses by U.S. citizens or activities on U.S. soil? I've just demonstrated that is not the case. Is it based on a belief that the rest of the world won't recognize this authority? Well obviously that is the messy gray area, where some countries will never agree that we have that authority, but some countries will agree with us in certain cases because they see it in their national interest to do so (most likely, they are hoping for reciprocity if the situation is ever reversed). So you are wrong to say that U.S. law does not apply to Assange, with "no grey area." Frankly, I don't see any credibility issue with asserting that U.S. Courts should have jurisdiction if the United States government is a party to the dispute. It seems obvious. Just as obvious as asserting that in the same situation, the other party's native judicial system should also have jurisdiction. In situations like that where there is competing jurisdiction, hashing out where justice will ultimately take place is part of that whole messy gray area of international negotiation.

(and if you can't get Abu Hamza for extradition, good luck with Assange.)
Point taken. I don't think it's likely that Assange would be extradited to the U.S. (or even necessarily that the U.S. would want to charge him). But I'm just pointing out that it is possible.
( Last edited by SpaceMonkey; Dec 15, 2010 at 06:10 PM. )

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Dec 15, 2010, 07:13 PM
 
Originally Posted by SpaceMonkey View Post
I'm trying to understand what exactly your belief that Assange could not be subject to U.S. laws is based on. Is it based on a belief that U.S. law only gives jurisdiction to U.S. courts in cases concerning offenses by U.S. citizens or activities on U.S. soil?
Yes.

Originally Posted by SpaceMonkey View Post
I've just demonstrated that is not the case.
No you haven't. You've cited the US Constitution Manifesto as if it applies World-wide. It doesn't.

Originally Posted by SpaceMonkey View Post
So you are wrong to say that U.S. law does not apply to Assange, with "no grey area."
Nope. Get it in your head: US law does not apply outside the US. Period.
Sure you could get one of your bitches to extradite him, but it wouldn't be a lawful extradition since he's committed no crime inside US jurisdiction.
This is why you have places like Gitmo.

Originally Posted by SpaceMonkey View Post
Frankly, I don't see any credibility issue with asserting that U.S. Courts should have jurisdiction if the United States government is a party to the dispute. It seems obvious.
So, you see no problem with an offended party running the court that the offender is being tried in? You guys in the colonies really don't have any sense of justice, do you?
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Dec 15, 2010, 08:24 PM
 
Originally Posted by Doofy View Post
No you haven't. You've cited the US Constitution Manifesto as if it applies World-wide. It doesn't.
No, I cited where the U.S. Constitution identifies specific situations where it gives U.S. [federal] courts jurisdiction in cases involving foreign actors (i.e. clarifying the federal judiciary role vs. the state judiciary role). Not that the entire U.S. Constitution applies to foreign actors. I make no argument that the U.S. Congress has the power to determine when other countries declare war, for example. But as you said, this declaration of jurisdiction is backed up by virtually nothing if other countries do not agree to cooperate in those situations. And certainly other countries will legitimately claim jurisdiction over their own citizens, as would the United States. Which is where you get into the negotiation.

Nope. Get it in your head: US law does not apply outside the US. Period.
Patently false. It can apply as determined by the Constitution in combination of the text of the specific law in question (As another example, I think I cited the War Crimes Act in one of the other Wikileaks threads), but the United States' powers to enforce it are obviously usually the limiting factor, as you have identified.

So, you see no problem with an offended party running the court that the offender is being tried in? You guys in the colonies really don't have any sense of justice, do you?
Separation of powers. Ideally, the U.S. court system is not beholden to the whim of the U.S. executive (certainly other countries may not see it that way, so they will be reluctant to agree with an extradition request). And I certainly have no problem with the defendant trying to run to their native court system if that country also claims jurisdiction, so why would I have a problem if the injured party does the same? Obviously the countries involved are trying to get the best outcome as they see it in their national interests, which is where you get to that messy negotiation gray area.
( Last edited by SpaceMonkey; Dec 15, 2010 at 08:41 PM. )

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olePigeon  (op)
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Dec 15, 2010, 08:31 PM
 
Doofy, are you religious?
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Dec 15, 2010, 08:48 PM
 
Originally Posted by olePigeon View Post
Doofy, are you religious?
I know where you're going with that. Don't bother.
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Dec 15, 2010, 08:48 PM
 
Originally Posted by Doofy View Post
I know where you're going with that. Don't bother.
Oh yeah? Where?
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Dec 15, 2010, 08:55 PM
 
Originally Posted by SpaceMonkey View Post
No, I cited where the U.S. Constitution identifies specific situations where it gives U.S. [federal] courts jurisdiction in cases involving foreign actors (i.e. clarifying the federal judiciary role vs. the state judiciary role). Not that the entire U.S. Constitution applies to foreign actors. I make no argument that the U.S. Congress has the power to determine when other countries declare war, for example. But as you said, this declaration of jurisdiction is backed up by virtually nothing if other countries do not agree to cooperate in those situations. And certainly other countries will legitimately claim jurisdiction over their own citizens, as would the United States. Which is where you get into the negotiation.
Dude, I can claim jurisdiction over Angelina Jolie's left boob, but it doesn't mean I've got it.

I can't help thinking that most of Amerika's problems in regard to foreign policy are due to your not knowing where your jurisdiction ends. It's the root of everything, isn't it?

Still, as long as you're all paying your taxes to help fund child sex slavery, all is well.
(Quick, call in a diversion! Hit BP with a lawsuit!)
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Dec 15, 2010, 08:57 PM
 
Originally Posted by olePigeon View Post
Oh yeah? Where?
Nowhere that wouldn't lead to me acquiring a month off from the Voltaireless mods.
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Dec 15, 2010, 09:23 PM
 
Originally Posted by Doofy View Post
Dude, I can claim jurisdiction over Angelina Jolie's left boob, but it doesn't mean I've got it.
I think you have a fundamental misunderstanding of what "jurisdiction" means. That the U.S. Constitution gives U.S. [federal] courts jurisdiction in cases involving the U.S. government as the plaintiff or defendant against a foreign actor simply describes their practical authority, i.e. their eligibility, to hear the case, as opposed to other areas of the U.S. government. Of course that doesn't mean that they must hear the case if, for example, (a) the U.S. government as plaintiff declines to press the case or (b) the foreign actor refuses to participate. Just as I would assume you are eligible to exercise jurisdiction over Angelina's left boob if she agrees.
( Last edited by SpaceMonkey; Dec 15, 2010 at 09:37 PM. )

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Dec 15, 2010, 09:24 PM
 
Originally Posted by Doofy
This is why you have places like Gitmo.
I want to write about the Gitmo example separately because I think it will illustrate exactly what I am talking about. There are a few jurisdictional issues here.

First, the Justice Department advised the Bush Administration that prisoners held at Gitmo, by virtue of their location and "combatant" status would not be entitled to the protection of the U.S. Constitution. (This view was later challenged)

However, nothing in that judgment itself prevents the U.S. government, if it wanted to, from charging some of these individuals in civilian courts under relevant U.S. laws against planning and carrying out terrorist attacks against U.S. citizens, property, and installations, generally found here (witness the recent Ahmed Ghailani trial). The reason that the U.S. government did not want to was because of the perceived difficulty in prosecuting these cases and the risk that some would be acquitted, thus the attractiveness of being "outside U.S. legal jurisdiction" where, theoretically, the U.S. court system could not force the government to bring them to trial under the Bill of Rights. Certainly not all of the Gitmo detainees violated U.S. law, but because of the same risk of being forced to eventually let them go, the government also did not want to declare them to be POWs. So Gitmo found an unfortunate loophole. But it doesn't contradict my description of U.S. jurisdiction.

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Dec 15, 2010, 09:25 PM
 
Edit: doublepost.

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Dec 15, 2010, 09:38 PM
 
Originally Posted by SpaceMonkey View Post
I think you have a fundamental misunderstanding of what "jurisdiction" means. That the U.S. Constitution gives U.S. [federal] courts jurisdiction in cases involving the U.S. government as the plaintiff or defendant against a foreign actor simply describes its eligibility to hear the case, as opposed to other areas of the U.S. government. Of course that doesn't mean that they must hear the case if, for example, (a) the U.S. government as plaintiff declines to press the case or (b) the foreign actor refuses to participate. Just as I would assume you are eligible to exercise jurisdiction over Angelina's left boob if she agrees.
Yeah, I'm using the dictionary version, not the nest of vipers version.

jurisdiction |ˌjoŏrisˈdik sh ən|
noun
the official power to make legal decisions and judgments

Power, not eligibility.

You realise that you just stated up there that all Assange has to do to trigger condition (b) is say "no, I don't like the idea of that"? You're making it sound like the freemen are right about admiralty law.
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Dec 15, 2010, 09:45 PM
 
Originally Posted by Doofy View Post
Yeah, I'm using the dictionary version, not the nest of vipers version.

jurisdiction |ˌjoŏrisˈdik sh ən|
noun
the official power to make legal decisions and judgments

Power, not eligibility.
Kind of the same thing in this context. The Constitution gives federal courts the power to exercise judgment in the situations I described. Or you could say they have the authority to exercise judgment (in contrast with other, lower courts in the U.S.). The key point, though, is that this power does not make a trial the predetermined outcome. The plaintiff has to decide to submit their complaint to this power, and the defendant has to appear. Obviously in a purely domestic situation, the defendant can be compelled to appear. In an international situation, the defendant usually has more leverage in the fact that often more than one court or system of laws can claim jurisdiction. That doesn't alter the essential question of which court enjoys jurisdiction (even if the right answer is "more than one").

You realise that you just stated up there that all Assange has to do to trigger condition (b) is say "no, I don't like the idea of that"?
Yes. That's kind of my whole point.

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Dec 15, 2010, 09:49 PM
 
Originally Posted by SpaceMonkey View Post
Kind of the same thing in this context. The Constitution gives federal courts the power to exercise judgment in the situations I described. Or you could say they are eligible to exercise judgment. The key point, though, is that this power does not make a trial the predetermined outcome. The plaintiff has to decide to submit their complaint to this power, and the defendant has to appear. Obviously in a purely domestic situation, the defendant can be compelled to appear. In an international situation, the defendant usually has more leverage in the fact that often more than one court or system of laws can claim jurisdiction. That doesn't alter the essential question of which court enjoys jurisdiction (even if the right answer is "more than one").
But my angle is based on "who has the right to determine whether Assange has broken any laws?". Assange is clearly not Amerikan, nor on Amerikan soil, so cannot possibly break Amerikan laws in order to trigger a trial in the first place. For there to be a trial, there has to be a law broken. Unless we're talking a civil suit, of course, which wouldn't trigger an extradition anyway.
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Dec 16, 2010, 12:00 AM
 
Originally Posted by Doofy View Post
But my angle is based on "who has the right to determine whether Assange has broken any laws?". Assange is clearly not Amerikan, nor on Amerikan soil, so cannot possibly break Amerikan laws in order to trigger a trial in the first place. For there to be a trial, there has to be a law broken. Unless we're talking a civil suit, of course, which wouldn't trigger an extradition anyway.
That question is the right one to ask, but you are answering it backwards. No, for there to be a trial, there does not have to be a law broken. You don't determine jurisdiction by first determining whether the accused is guilty. There only has to be a credible accusation that a law has been broken.

The U.S. government can say, "We believe this man has broken our laws and according to our criteria, the U.S. courts have jurisdiction to try him." Ultimately in the case of someone like Assange, the decision on whether or not U.S. courts can exercise the authority to determine whether he has broken any laws rests on how other countries who might be able to deliver him view the credibility of this accusation and their relationships with the United States. There is no sole arbiter in this. The U.S. government, according to its own laws, can claim an authority in certain cases like this. Other governments can disagree. The rest is political, not legal.

You are playing the part of a skeptical foreign state who might say, with their own interests in mind, "'Assange is clearly not American, nor on American soil, so cannot possibly break American laws,' so your accusation is not credible." However, whether or not you choose to believe it, I have provided you with citations of U.S. law and examples to the contrary (specifically, laws where the U.S. government or U.S. nationals are the injured party), so I think your starting assumption is incorrect.
( Last edited by SpaceMonkey; Dec 16, 2010 at 12:36 AM. )

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Dec 16, 2010, 12:41 AM
 
Originally Posted by SpaceMonkey View Post
That question is the right one to ask, but you are answering it backwards. No, for there to be a trial, there does not have to be a law broken. You don't determine jurisdiction by first determining whether the accused is guilty. There only has to be a credible accusation that a law has been broken.
...And since it's impossible for Assange to break US laws without being either a US citizen or on US soil, any trial cannot possibly be valid.

Originally Posted by SpaceMonkey View Post
You are playing the part of a skeptical foreign state who might say, with their own interests in mind, "'Assange is clearly not American, nor on American soil, so cannot possibly break American laws,' so your accusation is not credible." However, whether or not you choose to believe it, I have provided you with citations of U.S. law and examples of people who are "clearly not American, nor on American soil," who have violated American laws and been brought to trial (specifically, laws where the U.S. government or U.S. nationals are the injured party), so I think your starting assumption is incorrect.
You've provided me with examples of how it's been done previously.
However, just because your government has done it it doesn't mean that it's correct. Your scum-sucking government doesn't exactly play fair or even lawfully (now or at any time throughout your history) in order to get the results it wants. Ask the Shawnee. Or the kids who're blowing Afghan coppers on your tax dollar. Or all the active IRA members safely ensconced in NY, not fearing extradition. Or Halliburton, who strangely aren't being hit in this latest lawsuit.

Facts are facts: It remains impossible for a non-American outside America to break American laws and lawfully be tried for doing so. We're simply not obliged to follow your laws (any more than you're required to take your shoes off in your house because I have a rule stating that they come off in mine). Period. You know it, I know it. Any actual extradition which occurs in this case will be achieved with political reach-arounds rather than the correct application of law.

I'm bored now. You'll not sway me on this, so we'll call it evens.
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Dec 16, 2010, 12:46 AM
 
Originally Posted by Doofy View Post
Facts are facts: It remains impossible for a non-American outside America to break American laws and lawfully be tried for doing so. We're simply not obliged to follow your laws (any more than you're required to take your shoes off in your house because I have a rule stating that they come off in mine). Period. You know it, I know it. Any actual extradition which occurs in this case will be achieved with political reach-arounds rather than the correct application of law.
Your shoe example is not really analogous to what we are talking about (my not taking off my shoes in my house has no damaging effect on your house). There is literally text codified in U.S. law that addresses foreign terrorist activities that are destructive to the United States, so you are literally incorrect. See: United States Code: Title 18,2332b. Acts of terrorism transcending national boundaries | LII / Legal Information Institute
and
http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/ht...2----000-.html

If another government agrees to allow the U.S. to prosecute its citizens under this law, in what way is that not the "correct application of law"? To put it another way, what higher legal authority supersedes this stated law? There is none, only conflicting national priorities. As I said above, the U.S. government, according to its own laws, can claim an authority in certain cases like this. Other governments can disagree. The rest is political, not legal.
( Last edited by SpaceMonkey; Dec 16, 2010 at 12:59 AM. )

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Dec 16, 2010, 01:10 AM
 
Originally Posted by SpaceMonkey View Post
If another government agrees to allow the U.S. to prosecute its citizens under this law, in what way is that not the "correct application of law"? To put it another way, what higher legal authority supersedes this stated law? There is none, only conflicting national priorities. As I said above, the U.S. government, according to its own laws, can claim an authority in certain cases like this. Other governments can disagree. The rest is political, not legal.
Which, is basically what Doofy has been saying. The only way the US can prosecute Assange is by putting political pressure on whichever country has the ability to arrest him. And, it'll be so obvious that the whole world will know exactly what happened (unless the US can find someone on US soil to also claim having been raped by Assange).
     
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Dec 16, 2010, 01:13 AM
 
Originally Posted by Wiskedjak View Post
Which, is basically what Doofy has been saying. The only way the US can prosecute Assange is by putting political pressure on whichever country has the ability to arrest him. And, it'll be so obvious that the whole world will know exactly what happened (unless the US can find someone on US soil to also claim having been raped by Assange).
No, Doofy seems to have taken a harder stance that it is impossible for a non-U.S. citizen outside of the United States to break a U.S. law, which is factually incorrect. The problem is enforcement, as you point out.

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Dec 16, 2010, 01:36 AM
 
Originally Posted by SpaceMonkey View Post
Your shoe example is not really analogous to what we are talking about (my not taking off my shoes in my house has no damaging effect on your house). There is literally text codified in U.S. law that addresses foreign terrorist activities that are destructive to the United States, so you are literally incorrect.
OK, big this time.

Foreign nationals are not under US law unless they're on US soil.

I don't give a toss if there's literally text codified in US law that addresses my refusal to wear underwear on Tuesdays. I am not under US law. US law is no more relevant to me than Ferengi law, and that doesn't actually exist. I cannot break US law because I don't live under US law. No matter how much damage I do to the US, I cannot break US law unless I'm on US soil, because I'm not under that law. You cannot break a law that you're not subject to in the first place.
Are we getting it yet? You are not the boss of the world.

Extradition warrant would have happened by now if it was going to happen.

I guess we're going have to settle for continuing to admire the intelligence of your political types who're calling for treason charges against Assange. :guffaw: :popcorn:
( Last edited by Doofy; Dec 16, 2010 at 01:46 AM. Reason: Disabled smileys)
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Dec 16, 2010, 01:43 AM
 
I understand that is your opinion. And it's certainly a defensible opinion about how you think law should work, but it's not fact. And I'll reiterate: I think chances of Assange actually being charged or the U.S. even seeking his extradition are slim to none. I'm simply pointing out how the law actually works, contrary to your desires.

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Dec 16, 2010, 01:45 AM
 
Originally Posted by SpaceMonkey View Post
I understand that is your opinion. And it's certainly a defensible opinion, but it's not fact. And I'll reiterate: I think chances of Assange actually being charged or the U.S. even seeking his extradition are slim to none. I'm simply pointing out how the law actually works, contrary to your desires.
No, you're pointing out how your law works. The rest of us aren't subject to your law.
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Dec 16, 2010, 01:46 AM
 
Until your government decides that you are.

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Dec 16, 2010, 01:48 AM
 
Originally Posted by SpaceMonkey View Post
Until your government decides that you are.
Which is why you've got Hamza all safe and sound in a US prison.
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Dec 16, 2010, 01:53 AM
 
And obviously, sometimes governments disagree. But that doesn't eliminate the legal possibility of his being charged under U.S. law, if political circumstances were different.

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Dec 16, 2010, 01:56 AM
 
Originally Posted by SpaceMonkey View Post
And obviously, sometimes governments disagree. But that doesn't eliminate the legal possibility of his being charged under U.S. law, if political circumstances were different.
Unless he declines the offer to contract, of course.
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Dec 16, 2010, 02:03 AM
 
You're not going to see me argue that the U.S. is a moral actor.

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Dec 16, 2010, 02:18 AM
 
.
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Dec 16, 2010, 07:48 AM
 
Originally Posted by Doofy View Post
No, no grey area. Assange isn't under the jurisdiction of US law. US law doesn't apply to him unless he's on US soil, in the same way that US law doesn't apply to me unless I'm on US soil and French law doesn't apply to you unless you're on French soil.
Which is a good thing, since you probably wouldn't want to be facing an extradition request from Saudi for cracking open a bottle of Jack in Texas.
If you go as far out of your way to poke at the US as Assange has, and then do something that is as damaging to US national interests as what Assange has done, you can certainly be charged with violating such laws as the Espionage Act. And the US could easily request that you be apprehended and extradited to the US. On arrival, you're on US soil and subject to prosecution. Lots of precedents for this, including some "extraordinary rendition" episodes that were less than quietly performed. Nobody in Saudi is going to complain about Texans consuming alcohol, but if a Texan were to do something like loudly suggest that the king does immoral things with goats and small children, I think you'd see some pretty loud requests from the kingdom to "do something" about the Texan in question.

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Dec 16, 2010, 09:16 AM
 
Originally Posted by ghporter View Post
If you go as far out of your way to poke at the US as Assange has, and then do something that is as damaging to US national interests as what Assange has done, you can certainly be charged with violating such laws as the Espionage Act.
You'd best have me under the Espionage Act too then - I've seen maps of your naval shipyards on Google Earth.
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Dec 16, 2010, 09:26 AM
 
Originally Posted by SpaceMonkey View Post
Until your government decides that you are.
At which point it ceases to be "law" and becomes "politics".
     
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Dec 16, 2010, 10:30 AM
 
Originally Posted by Wiskedjak View Post
At which point it ceases to be "law" and becomes "politics".
It ceases to be a legal decision. But the distinction I would make with Doofy's explanation is that even though the decision is not a legal one (as in, "of or pertaining to law"), that decision and the resulting prosecution that could occur is not unlawful (as in, "not allowed or sanctioned by law"). Just as in a purely domestic situation, a prosecutor's choice to pursue charges or not pursue them may not be based entirely on the legal question of whether or not they think they can win the case (for example, if they are trying to turn an informant). However, the resulting process is still a lawful one.

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Dec 16, 2010, 03:55 PM
 
Um, Doof, the difference is that the U.S. has extradition treaties with every country involved with Assange. Not so with Hamza - example does not apply. The U.S. DoJ can present a case before the courts in the country(ies) applicable abd - indeed - receive the right to extradite AND prosecute Assange.

It's been done before.
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Dec 16, 2010, 10:22 PM
 
Originally Posted by Doofy View Post
You'd best have me under the Espionage Act too then - I've seen maps of your naval shipyards on Google Earth.
I trust, however, that you have not published illegally obtained U.S. classified information. Not at all the same thing. Nor that you oggled the shipyards on Google Earth with the intent to cause harm to the U.S. national defense. Just being exposed to sensitive (if indeed naval shipyards are today sensitive) information is certainly not a violation of anything. But running with obviously illegally obtained documents with the apparent intention of causing damage to U.S. national interests, diplomatic ties, or strategic interests IS a violation in the Espionage Act's purview. A valid defense against such a charge would be to show that one was unaware the information/documents were illegally obtained, or to have published them entirely and exclusively for the purpose of legitimate journalism. As I mentioned earlier, such innocent journalistic purposes would be a hard thing for Assange to suggest with a straight face, and it's doubtful that anyone smart enough not to "purchase" any large national landmark or oceanfront property in Arizona would really believe it.
( Last edited by ghporter; Dec 16, 2010 at 10:28 PM. )

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Dec 16, 2010, 11:29 PM
 
Originally Posted by ghporter View Post
A valid defense against such a charge would be to show that one was unaware the information/documents were illegally obtained, or to have published them entirely and exclusively for the purpose of legitimate journalism. As I mentioned earlier, such innocent journalistic purposes would be a hard thing for Assange to suggest with a straight face
But hasn't he been releasing the documents through legitimate newspapers after being coached by them as to what to release and when? There's five of them involved, IIRC. How is that anything but legitimate journalism?
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Dec 17, 2010, 07:36 AM
 
Originally Posted by Doofy View Post
But hasn't he been releasing the documents through legitimate newspapers after being coached by them as to what to release and when? There's five of them involved, IIRC. How is that anything but legitimate journalism?
I'd call those newspaper releases "secondary" to his other releases. His online releases have been apparently calculated to be as disruptive and damaging as possible, with documents grouped by "how bad can relations with this group of countries get?" qualities. This indicates not a journalistic quality but rather a level of antagonism. And it appears that he's been putting out documents online much more freely and in higher volume than what he's shared with legitimate press organizations.

I'll admit that at one point it looked like he had been using a journalistic lens to determine what to publicize. But that wasn't for very long, and it's been a while since he showed that level of restraint. Since then it appears that his pattern has been one of intentionally prodding the U.S. government.

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Dec 17, 2010, 09:24 AM
 
Originally Posted by ghporter View Post
I'll admit that at one point it looked like he had been using a journalistic lens to determine what to publicize. But that wasn't for very long, and it's been a while since he showed that level of restraint. Since then it appears that his pattern has been one of intentionally prodding the U.S. government.
Agreed. Though, it seems the prodding has been something of a 2-way street.
     
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Dec 19, 2010, 07:20 PM
 
Originally Posted by Doofy View Post
OK, big this time.

Foreign nationals are not under US law unless they're on US soil.
Even more important, when foreign nationals commit espionage on US soil, they're not charged, just deported. Read that again: foreign spies are deported, not prosecuted.

This whole "charge Assange with espionage" nonsense is the babbling of idiots.
     
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Dec 19, 2010, 10:29 PM
 
Originally Posted by lpkmckenna View Post
Even more important, when foreign nationals commit espionage on US soil, they're not charged, just deported. Read that again: foreign spies are deported, not prosecuted.

This whole "charge Assange with espionage" nonsense is the babbling of idiots.
Foreign spies have almost all been covered by some sort of diplomatic immunity. Not all of them though, and many have indeed been charged, though it has been a long time. In fact, during WWII, German agents infiltrated on the East Coast and when apprehended tried to claim POW status (even though they were very much not entitled to that status). They were tried as foreign spies; 6 were executed out of a total of 10 who landed in 3 separate actions. Certainly nobody is thinking that Assange was a saboteur.

Violation of the Espionage Act does not require "acts of espionage" as we usually think of them. It can require only acts that involve misuse of confidential information that is intended to harm the U.S. That does seem to fit what Assange has quite openly done.

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