Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

USA’s secret plan for criminalising Julian Assange

On Monday, WikiLeaks began releasing more than 5 million Stratfor emails which it said showed ”how a private intelligence agency works, and how they target individuals for their corporate and government clients”.

Revealed: US plans to charge AssangeSMH, Philip Dorling, February 29, 2012 UNITED STATES prosecutors have drawn up secret charges against the WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange, according to a confidential email obtained from the private US intelligence company Stratfor.

In an internal email to Stratfor analysts on January 26 last year, the vice-president of intelligence, Fred Burton, responded to a media report concerning US investigations targeting WikiLeaks with the comment: ”We have a sealed indictment on Assange.”

He underlined the sensitivity of the information – apparently obtained from a US government source – with warnings to ”Pls [please]
protect” and ”Not for pub[lication]”.

Mr Burton is well known as an expert on security and counterterrorism
with close ties to the US intelligence and law enforcement agencies.
He is the former deputy chief of the counter-terrorism division of the
US State Department’s diplomatic security service.

Stratfor, whose headquarters are in Austin, Texas, provides
intelligence and analysis to corporate and government subscribers.

On Monday, WikiLeaks began releasing more than 5 million Stratfor emails which it said showed ”how a private intelligence agency works, and how they target individuals for their corporate and government clients”.

The Herald has secured access to the emails through an investigative
partnership with WikiLeaks.

The news that US prosecutors drew up a secret indictment against Mr
Assange more than 12 months ago comes as the Australian awaits a
British Supreme Court decision on his appeal against extradition to
Sweden to be questioned in relation to sexual assault allegations.

Mr Assange, who has not been charged with any offence in Sweden, fears
extradition to Stockholm will open the way for his extradition to the
US on possible espionage or conspiracy charges in retaliation for
WikiLeaks’s publication of thousands of leaked US classified military
and diplomatic reports.

Last week the US Army Private Bradley Manning was committed to face
court martial for 22 alleged offences, including ”aiding the enemy”
by leaking classified government documents to WikiLeaks.

In December the Herald revealed Australian diplomatic cables,
declassified under freedom of information, confirmed WikiLeaks was the
target of a US Justice Department investigation ”unprecedented both
in its scale and nature” and suggested that media reports that a
secret grand jury had been convened in Alexandria, Virginia, were
”likely true”.

The Australian embassy in Washington reported in December 2010 that
the Justice Department was pursuing an ”active and vigorous inquiry
into whether Julian Assange can be charged under US law, most likely
the 1917 Espionage Act”.

In recent answers to written parliamentary questions from the Greens
senator Scott Ludlam, the former foreign affairs minister Kevin Rudd
indicated Australia had sought confirmation that a secret grand jury
inquiry directed against Mr Assange was under way.

Mr Rudd said ”no formal advice” had been received from US
authorities but acknowledged the existence of a ”temporary
surrender” mechanism that could allow Mr Assange to be extradited
from Sweden to the US…..

Stratfor says it will not comment on the emails obtained by WikiLeaks.
The US embassy has also declined to comment.

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/technology/technology-news/revealed-us-plans-to-charge-assange-20120228-1u14o.html#ixzz1o6UtHAZ1

March 3, 2012 - Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, secrets and lies |

1 Comment »


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