The Queen Mother of all tinfoil pussyhat-wearing Russiagate insanity finds her mind

Professional Assange Smearers Finally Realize His Fate Is Tied To Theirs

Rachel Maddow has aired a segment condemning the new indictment against Julian Assange for 17 alleged violations of the Espionage Act.
Yes, that Rachel Maddow.

MSNBC’s top host began the segment after it was introduced by Chris Hayes, agreeing with her colleague that it’s surprising that more news outlets aren’t giving this story more “wall to wall” coverage, given its immense significance. She recapped Assange’s various legal struggles up until this point, then accurately described Assange’s new Espionage Act charges for publishing secret documents.

“And these new charges are not about stealing classified information or outsmarting computer systems in order to illegally obtain classified information,” Maddow said. “It’s not about that. These new charges are trying to prosecute Assange for publishing that stolen, secret material which was obtained by somebody else. And that is a whole different kettle of fish then what he was initially charged with.”

“By charging Assange for publishing that stuff that was taken by Manning, by issuing these charges today, the Justice Department has just done something you might have otherwise thought was impossible,” Maddow added after explaining the unprecedented nature of this case. “The Justice Department today, the Trump administration today, just put every journalistic institution in this country on Julian Assange’s side of the ledger. On his side of the fight. Which, I know, is unimaginable. But that is because the government is now trying to assert this brand new right to criminally prosecute people for publishing secret stuff, and newspapers and magazines and investigative journalists and all sorts of different entities publish secret stuff all the time. That is the bread and butter of what we do.”

Maddow carefully explained to her audience that these new charges have nothing at all to do with the 2016 election or any of the Russiagate nonsense the MSNBC pundit has been devoting her life to, correctly calling what the Trump administration is doing with Assange “a novel legal effort to punch a huge hole in the First Amendment.” She tied this in with Trump’s common references to the mass media as the “enemy of the people”, finally taking mainstream liberalism into a direct confrontation with Trump’s actual war on the press instead of nonsense about his tweeting mean things about Jim Acosta. She rightly highlighted the dangers of allowing a president with a thick authoritarian streak the ability to prosecute journalists he doesn’t like, and discussed the possibility that the UK may not comply with this new agenda in extradition proceedings."

I think these 17 espionage charges against the WikiLeaks guy are a huge deal, and a very dark development,” Maddow concluded. “Chris Hayes this evening called it a ‘four alarm development’, and I absolutely share that.”

“And, you know, I know you,” Maddow continued, pointing to the camera. “Given everything else that we know about the WikiLeaks guy, I can feel through the television right now your mixed feelings about what I am saying. I can feel what may be, perhaps, a certain lack of concern about Julian Assange’s ultimate fate, given his own gleeful and extensive personal role in trying to help a hostile foreign government interfere in our election in order to install their chosen president with WikiLeaks’ help. Okay? I know. Okay, I feel ya. I got it. But, it is a recurring theme in history, heck, it is a recurring theme in the Bible, that they always pick the least sympathetic figures to try this stuff on first. Despite anyone’s feelings about this spectacularly unsympathetic character at the center of this international drama, you are going to see every journalistic institution in this country, every First Amendment supporter in this country, left, right and center, swallow their feelings about this particular human and denounce what the Trump administration is trying to do here. Because it would fundamentally change the United States of America.”

Wow. Make no mistake, this is a hugely significant development. This isn’t just some columnist for the New York Times or the Guardian, this is Rachel effing Maddow, the Queen Mother of all tinfoil pussyhat-wearing Russiagate insanity. This same pundit was just a couple of months ago not just smearing but outright lying about Assange, deceitfully telling her audience that the new legal rings closing around Assange were about his 2016 publications then instructing viewers not to Google anything about it because they’ll get computer viruses. Now that she’s recognized that this could actually hurt her and her network directly, she’s finally feeding her audience a different narrative out of sheer enlightened self-interest.

The fact that such a hugely influential figure in mainstream liberal media is now pushing back against Assange’s prosecution, and doing so in a way that her mainstream liberal anti-Trump audience can relate to, cannot be over-appreciated. Maddow’s credulous audience would eat live kittens if she told them to, so the way she’s pushing back against a dangerous legal precedent in language they can understand will make a difference in the way American liberals think about Assange’s predicament. It won’t make them like him, it won’t make them value the things he’s done, but it will get them to finally begin resisting something that badly needs to be resisted. And that’s huge.

The danger has always been that this fatal blow to journalism would be meted out with total compliance and support from a population hammered into docility by the ongoing narrative war which has been waged on Assange’s and WikiLeaks’ reputations with the help of the mass media. There was a very real danger that thought leaders like Maddow were going to choose their feelings over reasoning when the foot finally fell and the charges that criminalize journalism as “espionage” were finally put into play. I don’t think anyone would have been surprised if she’d applied that giant intellect of hers into making it possible to ignore it without upsetting her audience and try and figure it out later when it was too late and the legal precedent was set. It would have been so easy to keep feeding into the dominant “Assange is bad so everything bad that happens to him is good” sentiment, but she didn’t. She directly contradicted it.

She actually chose to do the right thing. I’m gobsmacked, and it’s not an exaggeration to say that my hope for humanity sparked up a little today.
....
Finally the Maddow crowd which has been fruitlessly expending all their energy so far on punching at Russian shadows will actually be attacking a real thing.
....
For years mainstream liberals have been fixating on the fake Russiagate psyop and rending their garments about Trump’s rude tweets while commentators like me desperately implored them to pay attention to the actual dangerous agendas that this administration is actually advancing. They’ve been in a holding pattern of adamantly refusing to do that, and now, because it’s threatening them personally, we’re suddenly seeing a sharp deviation from that holding pattern.

Of course there are people who don't hear that the charges against Assange have nothing to do with Russia Gate or they think that he is a rapist and deserves whatever he gets even though he hasn't been proven guilty let alone charged with any crime.

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Centaurea's picture

She actually chose to do the right thing. I’m gobsmacked, and it’s not an exaggeration to say that my hope for humanity sparked up a little today.

I'm glad they're starting to speak up, for the sake of We the People and for Assange himself. Maybe this will help people start to wake up and think.

However, I don't have any illusions about what might be motivating the MSM folks to speak out now. Maddow and her ilk don't give a damn about the American people. They only care about themselves: their money, their narcissistic cravings, and their ability to rub elbows with the "elite" and believe it makes them elite, too.

Maddow, et al have been gaslighting and mind-f#@king the public for the past 3 years. For a lot longer than that, of course, but I'm speaking of the hysteria they've deliberately created and cultivated in their viewers since the 2016 election.

Many Americans were already traumatized by Trump becoming POTUS. Maddow and her cohorts took advantage of that situation to propagandize, manipulate, and generally scare the britches off their viewers. A terrified populace is an easily controlled populace.

The question is, why start pushing back now? What's changed for them?

Yes, the DOJ has now formally announced the charges against Assange under the Espionage Act for practicing journalism. But surely those learned and esteemed journalists in the mainstream news media must have known that was likely to happen. Heck, I knew it. Here at c99 and elsewhere, we've have been discussing it for months. ("It" being charges against Assange under the Espionage Act.) How could people like Rachel Maddow and Chris Hayes and the NY Times editorial board not have known?

And are they so incompetent that they didn't understand the potential consequences to themselves of what was likely to occur? Work a good segment of the American people up into an unthinking paranoid rage against Russia, direct that rage onto a ready-made scapegoat (Assange), train the American public to hate a journalist for doing his job, and not foresee the potential blowback on themselves?

And why are Maddow's and Hayes' bosses at Comcast/MSNBC allowing or directing them to speak up now? What's in it for them?

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"Don't go back to sleep ... Don't go back to sleep ... Don't go back to sleep."
~Rumi

"If you want revolution, be it."
~Caitlin Johnstone

Dawn's Meta's picture

@Centaurea the reason was you won't see the truth is because your income relies on you not seeing what is going on. (Supply the quote and the author...)

Maybe the old drum got worn out...Trying to prevent Trump's reelection in favor of a neo-lib?

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A society grows great when old men plant trees in whose shade they know they shall never sit. Allegedly Greek, but more possibly fairly modern quote.

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Centaurea's picture

@Dawn's Meta @Dawn's Meta the early 20th century muckraking journalist who focused on workers' rights. I remember reading his famous book "The Jungle" in high school, back in the 1960s. I suspect our teachers didn't realize that made him a socialist.

Here's the full quote:

"It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it."

With respect to Maddow, that may account for some of it, but I'm not sure all of it. I don't trust her. Her behavior seems to go beyond willful ignorance, into something more malicious and deliberate. She needs to accept responsibility for the harm she's done to the American people, apologize, and make serious amends. I don't think she will. I'm not sure she can. Not because of the money, but because of something in her psyche.

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"Don't go back to sleep ... Don't go back to sleep ... Don't go back to sleep."
~Rumi

"If you want revolution, be it."
~Caitlin Johnstone

Lily O Lady's picture

@Centaurea @Centaurea

with Eastasia, as in Nineteen Eighty-Four. Abrupt policy changes were just rolled out without comment. Did the clock just strike thirteen?

Edit: added without.

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12 users have voted.

"The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?" ~Orwell, "1984"

@Centaurea yeah I’m extremely skeptical of an alleged change of heart like this. You nailed everything I could think of.

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8 users have voted.

@Centaurea because they can use it to hammer Trump.

That is the sole reason for their "concern."

And as to the people who are supposedly "traumatized" because of Trump's election, they need to grow up.

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dfarrah

Shahryar's picture

@dfarrah

if Obama had done it it'd be ok.

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Centaurea's picture

@dfarrah Anti-Trump. That's how they will package it, for sure, in order for their hysterical viewership to accept the sudden change of direction. I expect there's whiplash going on among the MSM faithful.

And as to the people who are supposedly "traumatized" because of Trump's election, they need to grow up.

I'm not holding my breath waiting for them to grow up. There's a good percentage of the American populace that seem to be psychologically broken. I feel for them, but I don't think we have the time or energy to waste trying to fix them. Hopefully as more of us move forward, some of them will come along.

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4 users have voted.

"Don't go back to sleep ... Don't go back to sleep ... Don't go back to sleep."
~Rumi

"If you want revolution, be it."
~Caitlin Johnstone

@Centaurea
Maybe she is personally scared. Because if they succeed with Assange they can prosecute her personally for what she has said.

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Centaurea's picture

@The Voice In the Wilderness If that's the case, why has it taken this long for her to figure that out? The woman is a Rhodes Scholar, for heaven's sake. One would have thought she had good reasoning skills.

Unless she was so immersed in her sense of "specialness" that she believed it couldn't happen to her.

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6 users have voted.

"Don't go back to sleep ... Don't go back to sleep ... Don't go back to sleep."
~Rumi

"If you want revolution, be it."
~Caitlin Johnstone

@Centaurea
So was Bill Clinton. So was a Chicago Congressman sentenced to prison for sex with a 15 year old girl. I remember his name, Mel Reynolds, famous for being caught on tape, "A Catholic schoolgirl? Did I win the Lotto?" I often wonder what the teach those guys.

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Centaurea's picture

@The Voice In the Wilderness A friend of mine was telling me about the interview Maddow did recently with Buttigieg. Apparently, Maddow was giving Mayor Pete grief about not coming out as early in his life as she did in hers. "I put it on my application for a Rhodes Scholarship. Why didn't you?"

My friend who told me this is gay himself, and he was not pleased with Maddow for saying that.

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3 users have voted.

"Don't go back to sleep ... Don't go back to sleep ... Don't go back to sleep."
~Rumi

"If you want revolution, be it."
~Caitlin Johnstone

@Centaurea @Centaurea
Whether or when to come out is an individual decision. Asking in an interview is like asking what sex position/acts you prefer.

Edited for clarity.

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ovals49's picture

who’s journalistic raison d’etre is still to bash one side and lionize the other. She still doesn’t get that both “sides” work together to preserve their place of privilege at the expense of the vast majority of the world’s population. Or simply chooses not to get it......

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19 users have voted.

“Unthinking respect for authority is the greatest enemy of truth.” Albert Einstein

“And an uncomfortable truth is always superior to a comfortable fantasy.” Caitlin Johnstone

gulfgal98's picture

@ovals49 while expressing her concern over how his being charged under the espionage act could affect her and other journalists. Yes, it was a superficial change of heart for Maddow, but I think Caity gave Maddow far too much credit.

Maddow has seen her own ratings sink precipitously after her two year long Russiangate conspiracy fell apart. And now the possibility of her not grabbing that massive pay check for spewing propaganda is an actual possibility, she suddenly got "religion." In her own religious fervor to save her own skin, she still found time to continue to perpetuate how Julian Assange conspired with Donald Trump to get him elected. I could only watch a portion of that broadcast before I got nauseous and was forced to turn it off for fear of destroying my keyboard with puke.

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"I don't want to run the empire, I want to bring it down!" ~Dr. Cornel West

"There is no instance of a nation benefitting from prolonged warfare." Sun Tzu

"Propaganda is one hell of a drug." Abby Martin

"Politicians are cowards." Mike Gravel

@gulfgal98 anyway.

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15 users have voted.

dfarrah

enhydra lutris's picture

@dfarrah

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4 users have voted.

That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

gulfgal98's picture

@dfarrah I almost put the word journalist in quote marks. Maddow is an actress who spews propaganda.

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6 users have voted.

"I don't want to run the empire, I want to bring it down!" ~Dr. Cornel West

"There is no instance of a nation benefitting from prolonged warfare." Sun Tzu

"Propaganda is one hell of a drug." Abby Martin

"Politicians are cowards." Mike Gravel

wendy davis's picture

@gulfgal98

amiga. smearing him for everything, then blaming trump? pffft. she's still the old madcow to me.

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wendy davis's picture

@gulfgal98

dreck from the spooky intercept, just more trump McResistance:

“Let me be clear: it is a disturbing attack on the First Amendment for the Trump administration to decide who is or is not a reporter for the purposes of a criminal prosecution,” Sanders wrote in a tweet Friday afternoon after The Intercept contacted his office for comment. “Donald Trump must obey the Constitution, which protects the publication of news about our government.”

Warren distanced herself from Assange but condemned the Justice Department’s move to curtail press freedom. “Assange is a bad actor who has harmed U.S. national security — and he should be held accountable,” Warren said in a statement. “But Trump should not be using this case as a pretext to wage war on the First Amendment and go after the free press who hold the powerful accountable everyday.”

“This is not about Julian Assange,” Wyden said in a statement. “This is about the use of the Espionage Act to charge a recipient and publisher of classified information. I am extremely concerned about the precedent this may set and potential dangers to the work of journalists and the First Amendment.”

nary a peep in julian's defense earlier, and sanders was even mum the day after being dragged out of the ecuadorian embassy and beng sent to belmarsh UK gitmo, according to RT.com.

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gulfgal98's picture

@wendy davis Every one of these politicians, except for Tulsi Gabbard, continues to either ignore Assange as the martyr for a free press or even vilifies him personally while spouting platitudes about a free press. IMO, this is like Pontius Pilate washing his hands.

If you truly support the First Amendment and its provisions, then you cannot vilify someone who was exercising that right for doing so and then say you support the First Amendment. Either you support the First Amendment and everyone who has used it or you do not.

Alex Jones comes to mind for me. I could not stand Alex Jones or anything he stood for, but when he was, in effect, censored, I stood up for his right to be as obnoxious as he wanted to because I believe in free speech. It is no different with Assange. Regardless of what one may think of him as a person, his right to publish under the First Amendment should be vigorously defended.

In the end, if Julian goes down, we all go down. The government does not have the right to decide who is a journalist or a publisher. We are all journalists and C99 is a publisher.

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12 users have voted.

"I don't want to run the empire, I want to bring it down!" ~Dr. Cornel West

"There is no instance of a nation benefitting from prolonged warfare." Sun Tzu

"Propaganda is one hell of a drug." Abby Martin

"Politicians are cowards." Mike Gravel

that as a Democrat gay woman journalist Trump's horde of Troglodytes could easily be coaxed to fixate on her next.

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7 users have voted.

@entrepreneur All of the networks besides Fox report from the same set of talking points when it comes to Trump. All of them.

Assange was criticized on the dem side as well.

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3 users have voted.

dfarrah

Lincoln went after newspapers and editors who criticized his running of the Civil War.

https://www.freedomforuminstitute.org/2009/02/11/civil-war-tested-lincol...

A very good read on this topic is Perilous Times by Geoffrey R. Stone.

Two amusing observations on Maddow... she supposedly is an atheist, and yet she cited the bible as a source for stories about the suffering of the little guy?? Did she ever read the Old Testament? Anyway, it appears she's sure got religion now that she could be a target. She's a mess!

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8 users have voted.

"Without the right to offend, freedom of speech does not exist." Taslima Nasrin

enhydra lutris's picture

Russiagate is old, stale, boring and fading even to those continuing to push and spew it. Syria too, also with the latest blow to the "gas attack" narratives making it slippery ground.
Impeachment and/or collusion is a qwuagmire in the offing and perhaps best left alone for the moment.
And what if a significant fraction of the viewers have some semblance of a memory for things already said and done?

Solution: Noble outrage over the persecurion of the admittedly evil, but still clearly wrongfully persecuted Assange! Pundits to the rescue! Lambaste the orange monster and nobly defend the mizzable bastid Assange even while calling him out in the great tradition of defending the free speech rights of even Satan himself. Huzzah. They can feed for weeks on this.

Whill those slandering Caitlin for her long-running defense of Assange now stop? That could be a key indicator of how long and hard they will beat this shiny new drum.

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14 users have voted.

That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

@enhydra lutris realize that it's all about bashing Trump.

It has nothing to do with any principles at all.

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9 users have voted.

dfarrah

TheOtherMaven's picture

Some people gotta be personally threatened before they wake up to reality. It's been a long time coming and it may be too late.

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There is no justice. There can be no peace.

enhydra lutris's picture

@TheOtherMaven
Everybody in the newzbiz, from pressmen to copyboys to today's stenographers posing as reporters dreams of some stranger from the street sidling up to them with some Pentagon Papers magnitude blockbuster and saying something like "you work for the clarion, right? here, take this" and winding up with a pulitzer. It doesn't happen, especially not to those who simply regurgitate and editorialize from corporate and government press releases.

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11 users have voted.

That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

Not Henry Kissinger's picture

@enhydra lutris @enhydra lutris

You don't think Trump wants to lock up Maddow just as much or more than he does Assange?

If this precedent stands, Rachel and the rest of her Deep State spokesmodel colleagues will have to think long and hard about whether Gitmo is worth it, the next time DNC oppo dirt from some spooky Fusion GPS-type outfit appears on their teleprompters.

This is where this is all going and Rachel knows it.

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Peace Sells

earthling1's picture

Did each of the 17 intel agencies get to pick one?
Asking for a friend.

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14 users have voted.

@earthling1 the exact same thought occurred to me.

Just like when the cops all empty their guns.

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Not Henry Kissinger's picture

@earthling1

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Peace Sells

Centaurea's picture

@Not Henry Kissinger

Excellent. Let's get to work.

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"Don't go back to sleep ... Don't go back to sleep ... Don't go back to sleep."
~Rumi

"If you want revolution, be it."
~Caitlin Johnstone

on Consortium News because it was too good to stop, even tho several times I started to note the time on the video and come back to it this morning, but like I said I couldn't stop.
Before I say anything further I want to point out a statement by Elizabeth Warren so it isn't lost in the words below and it is no different than the one by Hillary Clinton.

“Assange is a bad actor who has harmed U.S. national security — and he should be held
accountable,” said Warren.” and " Hillary Clinton: Julian Assange must ‘answer for what
he has done’"

There is a lot of discussion on Russia Maddow's sudden defense against the prosecution of Julian Assange, even tho she prefaced that stance with all her usual conspiracy theories re: Russia-tRump-Assange-election, then and only then, like the rest of the usual crowd in the media does the subject of freedom of the Press come up.

Joe Lauria ,the editor of Consortium News,sounds optimistic, George Samzuely expects to go right back on the attack of Assange within a month or two once mainstream media has carved out a safe spot for themselves.
Chris Hedges mentions the repeated smearing of Julian Assange by people that have never met him, John Kiriakou gives very good insight on what the listed charges mean and the situation regarding that Court in particular with it's "hanging Judge" in a Court with a 100% conviction rate in cases such as this, including his own of course.
Margaret Kimberly of Black Agenda Report is always spot on with this subject, and it even has a returning guest who is a Republican and who supported tRump until the embassy extraction and he talks about the large number of Republicans that do support Assange and it seems he can talk about a lot more examples of this than anyone can regarding the Democrats other than Tulsi Gabbard and Bernie Sanders.

"Watch the replay of a webcast discussion about Julian Assange’s indictment under the Espionage Act and the grave implications for the future of American journalism.

See John Kiriakou, Chris Hedges, Margaret Kimberely, Peter B. Collins, and George Samzuely with hosts Elizabeth Vos and Joe Lauria. .

https://consortiumnews.com/2019/05/24/assange-espionage-act-indictment-w...

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Centaurea's picture

@aliasalias why I will never vote for Warren. It's how she would govern as POTUS. A complete failure of integrity. Weaselly, weak, and going whichever way the wind blows.

Assange is a bad actor who has harmed U.S. national security — and he should be held
accountable,” said Warren.  

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6 users have voted.

"Don't go back to sleep ... Don't go back to sleep ... Don't go back to sleep."
~Rumi

"If you want revolution, be it."
~Caitlin Johnstone

@Centaurea do what?
No way I vote for her.

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earthling1's picture

to all the MSM owners, executives, and journalists
that he has already labled "fake news". Whatever happens to Assange could or will happen to them too.
Rupert Murdock would be the only one spared.
Actually, this works for me. Bring it on. Hang them all.
It's another issue the plebes on the left and right agree on, the fake news media.

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WoodsDweller's picture

First they came for the Unions, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not in a Union.

Then they came for the Muslims, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Muslim.

Then they came for the Immigrants, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not an Immigrant.

Then they came for the Journalists—and there was no one left to speak for us.

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"I cannot ignore reality, but I can embrace beauty." -- magiamma