BREAKING NEWS: U.S. charges Julian Assange with hacking hundreds of thousands of classified documents by egging on Chelsea Manning to hand over America’s secrets in indictment revealed after he is dragged out of Ecuador’s London embassy

Thursday, April 11, 2019
By Paul Martin

Wikileaks founder dragged out of Ecuadorian Embassy in handcuffs by a large group of police officers today
Federal prosecutors unsealed a 2018 indictment charging Assange with conspiring to hack documents
He is charged with reaching a ‘password-cracking agreement’ with Chelsea Manning
He agreed to assist Manning, an Army intelligence analyst, in March 2010
Ecuador said its decision came after ‘repeated violations to international conventions and daily-life protocols’
His lawyer said arrest was ‘not just for breach of bail conditions but also in relation to US extradition request’
He has not left embassy since 2012, when he was offered refuge from allegations of sexual assault in Sweden
Assange has always feared extradition to the US, where he is wanted for leak of highly-classified documents
Was revealed in 2018 Assange had been secretly indicted by the US Justice Department on unknown charges
The 47-year-old currently in custody and set to appear at Westminster Magistrates’ Court ‘as soon as possible’

11 April 2019

Federal prosecutors charged Julian Assange with participating in conspiracy to hack thousands of computer documents in an indictment unsealed after his dramatic arrest in London that brought him into police custody after spending seven years in the Ecuadorian embassy.

The government charged Assange with taking part in one of the largest leaks of classified information in the nation’s history by conspiring with former Army intelligence analyst Chelsea manning.

Assange participated in the hacking in ‘real-time’ and encouraged the act, according to prosecutors – a charge that accuses Assange of taking part in the act, rather than being merely the recipient of classified information, as a journalist might be in a situation that might invite a First Amendment defense.

According to the indictment, on March 8, 2010, Assange ‘agreed to assist Manning gin cracking a password stored on United States Defense Department computers.’

The Justice Department said in a statement: ‘During the conspiracy, Manning and Assange engaged in real-time discussions regarding Manning’s transmission of classified records to Assange. The discussions also reflect Assange actively encouraging Manning to provide more information. During an exchange, Manning told Assange that ‘after this upload, that’s all I really have got left.’ To which Assange replied, ‘curious eyes never run dry in my experience.’

The indictment further claims that Manning, who previously went by Bradley Manning, gave Assange a portion of a password to ‘crack’ in order to obtain access to files for users with ‘administrative-level privileges.’

The government describes the two as reaching an ‘password-cracking agreement’ in order to obtain documents. Manning had already provided WikiLeaks with hundreds of thousands of classified documents – including activities reports from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to the government.

The indictment is dated March 6, 2018, and was filed in the Eastern District of Virginia, a venue for many prominent federal cases with national security implications.

The indictment also describes Assange’s efforts to encourage further removal of classified documents by Manning. On March 8, 2010, Manning told Assange she was ‘throwing everything’ at the effort to secure assessment briefs from detainees being held at the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

After manning said ‘after this upload, that’s all I really have got left,’ Assange encouraged her to do more. ‘Curious eyes never run dry in my experience,’ Assange wrote, according to the government.

Assange was arrested by British police today after being hauled out of the Ecuadorian embassy in London following an extradition request by the US.

The Wikileaks founder, sporting a scruffy beard and unkempt hair, was dragged out of the building head-first in handcuffs by a group of seven men as his stunned supporters watched on as he screamed out ‘the UK must resist’.

Shortly after, British authorities confirmed that the whistleblower was being held on behalf of the US, as well as for breaching bail conditions following rape allegations in Sweden dating back to 2010.

WikiLeaks confirmed Assange had been arrested under a US extradition warrant for conspiracy with American whistleblower Chelsea Manning for publishing classified information revealing war crimes, also in 2010.

It comes after Ecuador dramatically withdrew Assange’s asylum status after seven years, blaming the Australian’s ‘discourteous and aggressive behaviour’ in continuing to work with WikiLeaks while housed at the embassy.

Assange has always feared extradition to the US, where his lawyers have claimed he could face the death penalty for the mass leaking of highly-classified documents through WikiLeaks.

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