Is Chelsea Manning’s Senate campaign for real? ‘Im …

When Chelsea Manning leaked hundreds of thousands of military and diplomatic documents to the anti-secrecy site WikiLeaks eight years ago, she said she hoped the decision would provoke a debate about U.S. foreign policy.

Now the 30-year-old transgender woman, running for the Democratic nomination for Senate in Maryland, says there is another urgent discussion voters must face: How a burgeoning military apparatus is gradually creeping into domestic life in places like Baltimore.

Many of the weapons that we were using in Iraq and Afghanistan have found their way to our streets, and many people who are veterans and have military training are bringing this military training to police forces, the former Army intelligence analyst said.

Mannings celebrity has the potential to reshape Marylands Senate race, where incumbent Sen. Ben Cardin remains favored to win a third term. Even Cardin, a Democrat, has acknowledged that Mannings candidacy has sparked a wave of national media attention in the June 26 primary election.

Mannings name is arguably as well known in the state as any politicians. And she has the potential to build a national fundraising network of young, liberal voters who are ascendant in the Democratic Party after President Donald Trumps upset win. Trumps unorthodox campaign, meanwhile, has thrown into question conventional thinking about the viability of first-time candidates.

Still, Manning faces a high hurdle in a state that has traditionally rejected insurgents. In 2016, Maryland heavily favored Hillary Clinton for the Democratic presidential nomination over Bernie Sanders. That same year, Democratic voters picked Chris Van Hollen for Senate over Donna Edwards, a former congresswoman who, like Manning, tried to paint her opponent as an insider whose progressive credentials are shaky.

Its not yet clear whether Manning can overcome those challenges. Asked if she has hired anyone who has worked in a statewide campaign, she said she is interviewing potential staff now. On fundraising, Manning said we dont want to raise millions. She said she has no intention of running television ads, but plans to rely on other methods to reach voters.

I cant stand watching campaign ads, she said. We dont need to go to these old-media methods.

While that approach is undoubtedly appealing to some on an ideological level, campaign veterans say it will make it much harder for her take on an incumbent.

If she was putting together a real campaign team with a real fundraising operation and real professionals, then I think this might be different, said Justin Schall, a Democratic consultant who has worked with several campaigns in Maryland. This feels like someone who really enjoyed her 15 minutes of fame and is looking for some more attention, particularly from the national media.

Cardin a former congressman elected to the Senate in 2006 has raised $3.5 million since early 2017. Forty-five percent of Maryland voters approved of his performance in a Goucher Poll last year. Twenty-one percent disapproved and roughly a third who werent sure.

Manning isnt shy about taking on Cardin directly. She describes his career as unremarkable, and has criticized legislation he authored last year that the ACLU and other groups oppose, arguing it would criminalize boycotts targeting Israel. She said Cardin has not been aggressive enough in restraining immigration enforcement, or in calling for criminal justice reforms.

He’s old hat, Manning said of Cardin, who is 74. He’s kept this establishment going.

Cardins campaign did not respond to a request for comment.

To address crime in Baltimore, Manning favors reducing the police presence. She points to the growing use by police across the country of military-style equipment and tactics.

Police presence creates violence, and it creates a more intense environment in communities, she said.

Like Sanders, she supports free college tuition and health care for all comers which she said she would pay for by scaling back the military. She breaks with Democratic orthodoxy by suggesting the partys historic focus on jobs is overblown, and said she instead favors the idea of a universal basic income, in which everyone receives some level of income from the government.

Manning offers that idea as a contrast to a federal job guarantee, a concept that has reemerged in some liberal circles in which everyone would be entitled to a government job. Both ideas are discussed in the context of an economy that is increasingly moving toward automation.

I think we need to transition away from this idea that everybody needs to have a job, Manning said. I dont think that creating more jobs that are pointless in an automated society is necessarily the solution.

So far, Manning does not appear to have connected with the states progressive leaders. One of those leaders, former state lawmaker and 2014 gubernatorial candidate Heather Mizeur, said she had not heard from Manning.

It feels more like a statement candidacy than an actual campaign, Mizeur said. I dont sense an appetite to find an alternative [to Cardin] in the primary.

Manning grew up as Bradley Manning in Oklahoma into a family described in court testimony as troubled. As her home life deteriorated, she moved to Chicago, worked odd jobs and wound up sleeping in her car. An aunt in Potomac found Manning in 2006 and invited her to live with her, providing an oasis of stability.

When Manning decided she wanted to run for office, she said, there was never doubt she would do so in Maryland.

This is the place that I have the strongest roots and ties to out of anywhere else, Manning said from the living room of her modern apartment in North Bethesda.

She studied mathematics at Montgomery College in the hope of transferring the credits and earn a degree in physics. Though her life improved, it was still difficult. She worked 70 hours a week in retail jobs as she began to wrestle with her gender identity. Encouraged by her father, a former Navy intelligence analyst, she concluded that the Army would offer a measure of stability.

She enlisted in 2007, and was deployed to Iraq.

It was there that Manning gained access to classified computer networks. In early 2010, she downloaded hundreds of thousands of documents diplomatic cables, war logs and gunsight video of a 2007 U.S. helicopter attack that killed Iraqi civilians. She eventually gave the documents to WikiLeaks.

Manning was tried by court martial at Fort Meade in 2013, convicted of espionage, theft and disobeying orders, and sentenced to 35 years. President Barack Obama commuted the sentence in the final days of his presidency.

She was released in May and is continuing to appeal the conviction.

Manning, who said she now earns a living through speaking engagements, said she doesnt believe her decision then will hurt her chances now, even in a state like Maryland that is heavily tied to the military and federal government. She hopes those who work for federal agencies many of whom she describes as afraid to speak out about internal concerns will applaud the move.

The values that I had whenever I did these things are the same values that I bring to the table now, Manning said. Im willing to put myself out there. Im willing to make tough, hard calls and face the consequences for that.

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Is Chelsea Manning’s Senate campaign for real? ‘Im …

Bitcoin Cash – Wikipedia

Idea formsEdit

On July 20, 2017 at block height 476768 Bitcoin Improvement Proposal (BIP) 91 was locked in (i.e. scheduled to activate at block height 477120).[7][8][9] It was designed to force miners to vote for Segregated Witness.[8][9]

Some members of the bitcoin community felt that adopting BIP 91 without increasing the block-size limit favored people who wanted to treat bitcoin as a digital investment rather than as a transactional currency.[10][11]

The plan to do a hard fork was first announced by Bitmain. The project was originally referred to as UAHF: A contingency plan against UASF (BIP148) by Bitmain on their corporate blog, which the ASIC bitcoin mining hardware manufacturer would launch if BIP 148 (a User Activated Soft Fork) succeeded.[12] Subsequently, some developers took interest in the project.[13] The Bitcoin Cash name was originally proposed by Chinese mining pool ViaBTC.[13][14]

A stated goal of the fork was to increase the number of transactions its ledger can process by increasing the block size limit to eight megabytes.[15][16] CoinDesk said that these motivations might have been behind the development and launch of Bitcoin Cash:[17]

The first implementation of the Bitcoin Cash protocol called Bitcoin ABC was revealed by Amaury “Deadal Nix” Schet at the Future of Bitcoin conference in Arnhem, Netherlands.[13] The Bitcoin Cash hard fork was announced to take place on August 1, 2017.

Upon launch, Bitcoin Cash inherited the transaction history of the bitcoin cryptocurrency on that date, but all later transactions were separate. Block 478558 was the last common block and thus the first Bitcoin Cash block was 478559.[18] Bitcoin Cash cryptocurrency wallet started to reject BTC block and BTC transactions since 13:20 UTC, August 1, 2017 because it used a timer to initiate a fork. It implements a block size increase to 8 MB. One exchange started Bitcoin Cash futures trading at 0.5 BTC on July 23; the futures dropped to 0.1 BTC by July 30. Market cap appeared since 23:15 UTC, August 1, 2017.[11][19]

On August 9, 2017 it was 30% more profitable to mine on the BTC chain.[20] As both chains use the same proof-of-work algorithm, miners can easily move their hashpower between the two. As of August30, 2017[update] around 1,500 more blocks were mined on the Bitcoin Cash chain than on the original one[21] as the high profitability periods[22] attracted a significant proportion of total processing power.[23] Due to the new Emergency Difficulty Adjustment (EDA) algorithm used by Bitcoin Cash,[24] mining difficulty fluctuated rapidly, and the most profitable chain to mine switched repeatedly between Bitcoin Cash and mainline bitcoin.

A fix for these difficulty, hashrate, and profitability fluctuations was introduced on November 13, 2017 at 7:06p.m. UTC.[25] The EDA algorithm has been replaced with a new difficulty adjustment algorithm (DAA) that hopes to prevent extreme fluctuations in difficulty while still allowing Bitcoin Cash to adapt to hashrate changes faster than the original bitcoin algorithm adjusting the difficulty every 2016 blocks.[26]

Bitcoin Cash has been broadly adopted by digital currency exchanges. Exchanges such as Coinbase,[27] CEX.IO,[28] Kraken,[29] ShapeShift[14] and many others use the Bitcoin Cash name and the BCH ticker symbol for the cryptocurrency. Bitstamp and Bitfinex temporarily used the name Bcash,[30][31] but after being criticized, they switched the name back to Bitcoin Cash.[32][33]

Bittrex,[34] Binance,[35] and Huobi exchange[36] use BCC as Bitcoin Cash’s ticker symbol instead.

While the alphanumeric address style is the same as mainline bitcoin (BTC), Bitcoin Cash (BCH) should not be sent to a bitcoin (BTC) address. Like mainline bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash addresses can be used more than once, but should not be reused if privacy is a concern. However, there are plans to change the address format.[37]

Cryptocurrency wallets such as the Ledger hardware wallet,[38] KeepKey hardware wallet,[39] Electron Cash software wallet,[40] software wallet[41] and many others use the name Bitcoin Cash for the cryptocurrency, using either BCH or BCC ticker symbol for it.

Trezor hardware wallet supports Bitcoin Cash.[42]

Excerpt from:

Bitcoin Cash – Wikipedia

The Scourging of Julian Assange –

Julian Assanges latest attempt to have his outstanding UK arrest warrant dropped hasfailedin what stands as one of the most blatant and cruel examples of the British legal system being wielded as an instrument of persecution against a man whose only crime is speaking truth to power.

The judge presiding over his case, and who summarily dismissed it, was Lady Arbuthnot of Edrom. Yes, you read that right. In the second decade of the 21stcentury the UK legal system is still dominated by the kind of people whose morning workout consists of flogging the butler. Lady Arbuthnot also happens to be the wife of Tory peer and former junior Defence Minister Lord James Arbuthnot, whose father wasMajor Sir John Sinclair Wemyss Arbuthnot.

By now you should be getting the idea. These ridiculous products of privilege and the British public school system (private education for those unfamiliar with the quixotic and arcane code of the British ruling elite) are the guardians of a status quo of class oppression at home and imperialism abroad. In daring to rip off the mask of civility and moral rectitude behind which they and their masters in the US have long carried out their acts of brutality and barbarity at home and around the world, Assange is on the receiving end of their considerable wrath.

If Julian Assange had been confined to a foreign embassy in Moscow or Beijing for five years, on the same grounds on which he has been confined to the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, his plight would have been a cause celebre, sparking calls for boycotts, sanctions, and action at the UN on the part of free speech and prisoner of conscience liberals in the West who are never done excoriating Russia and China.

As it is the UN has already intervened in the matter of the plight of the Wikileaks founder. In February 2016 the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detentiondeterminedthat thearbitrarydetention of Julian Assange should be brought to an end, that his physical integrity and freedom of movement be respected, and that he should be entitled to an enforceable right to compensation.

Given that the Swedish authorities dropped their investigation into the original charges of rape and sexual molestation made against Assange in 2010 and which he has always denied and claims were politically motivated the outstanding UK arrest warrant for breaching bail conditions in 2012 which relates to those charges is surely now moot. Julian Assange, you may recall, sought refuge in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London fearing not extradition to Sweden but to the US over his role as founder and public face of Wikileaks.

In 2018 not only does the threat of extradition to the US continue to hang over him with this outstanding UK arrest warrant, if anything the threat is even greater, what with the part Wikileaks played in disseminating damning facts about Hillary Clinton, the Clinton Foundation, and the leadership of the DNC in the run up to the 2016 US presidential election. The ensuing Washington liberal establishment rage that has ensued as a result of Clinton losing the election to Donald Trump has been positively volcanic.

Clinton, her supporters, and elements of the Washington establishment claim that the information Wikileaks published came by way of Russian hacking, while Assange and groups such asVeterans Intelligence Professionals for Sanity(VIPS), made up of former US intelligence operatives and officials, maintain that the information came by way of a leak within Washington itself. Meanwhile, up to this point, the investigation into alleged Russian hacking, Russiagate, is yet to produce one scintilla of concrete evidence that any such hacking on the part of Moscow took place.

Again, the real crime Julian Assange committed was not breaching his bail conditions but daring to speak truth to power. Wikileaks under his stewardship has become the bte noire of governments, particularly Western governments, revealing the ugly truth of crimes committed by US forces in Iraq, the Wests role in the destabilization of Ukraine in 2014, the destruction of Libya and this is without the part the whistleblowing outfit played in exposing Hillary Clinton as a politician whose record is amonument to mendacity.

Wikileaks is and continues to be a thorn in their side and must be destroyed. Which means that Julian Assange must be destroyed, a man who teaches us that believing you live in a free society and actually behaving as if you do is not the same thing. The former allows you to exist in a bubble of soporific comfort, while the latter is liable to get you confined to a foreign embassy for five years and counting.

The personal toll on Assanges physical and psychological well being as a result of his confinement should not be overlooked. Indeed the toll it is having was recently confirmed by the medical opinion of two clinicians, who upon examining Assange at the embassy in October 2017 renewed calls for him to be granted safe passage to a London hospital for treatment. In anarticlefor the Guardian, the clinicians write:While the results of the evaluation are protected by doctor-patient confidentiality, it is our professional opinion that his continued confinement is dangerous physically and mentally to him and a clear infringement of his human right to healthcare.

It bears repeating: Julian Assange, as was Chelsea Manning, as will be Edward Snowden if he dares set foot outside Russia, is being punished for removing the veil of freedom, human rights, and civil liberties from the face of an empire of hypocrisy and lies. They lied about Iraq, they lied about Libya, they lied about Syria, and they lie every day about the murky relationships between governments, corporations, and the rich that negates their oft made claims to be governing in the interests of the people.

Until Julian Assange is free none of us are.

Read the rest here:
The Scourging of Julian Assange –

Fugitive Julian Assange ‘considers himself above the law’: judge

A UK judge has dashed Julian Assange’s hopes of throwing out an arrest warrant against him, scolding the Wikileaks editor for considering himself “above the law” and “wanting justice only if it goes in his favour”.

In the Westminster Magistrates Court, Judge Emma Arbuthnot also heavily criticised a 2015 ruling by a United Nations panel that said Assange was under arbitrary detention in Ecuador’s London embassy where he sought asylum in 2012 and has stayed ever since.

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The founder of Wikileaks lost one legal bid to have a UK arrest warrant against him quashed but launched another, to have the British authorities halt any action against him on public interest grounds.

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Bail has been set at $5 million for an 18-year-old student suspected of planning a shooting at his high school. His grandmother has been credited with foiling his alleged plot.

The founder of Wikileaks lost one legal bid to have a UK arrest warrant against him quashed but launched another, to have the British authorities halt any action against him on public interest grounds.

She said Assange had been treated according to the law but has failed to attend court and has thwarted the course of justice by refusing to fully cooperate with a Swedish investigation into rape allegations.

Arbuthnot added Assange was in relatively good health despite a tooth infection, a frozen shoulder and depression.

Defendants on bail up and down the country, and requested persons facing extradition, come to court to face the consequences of their own choices. He should have the courage to do so too, she said.

Arbuthnot was weighing the public interest in pursuing Assange for refusing to surrender to police while on bail.

It is a criminal offence for someone on bail to refuse to surrender to police without reasonable cause – and Assange refused to leave the embassy despite a court order for his arrest after an extradition order to Sweden was upheld on appeal in 2012.

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But Assanges lawyer Mark Summers QC had argued that the arrest warrant should be dropped because it was not in the interests of justice and proportionality to bring an action against Assange.

He said Assange had already undergone enough punishment as a result of staying in the small embassy for more than five years.

Arbuthnot accepted that Assange has a serious tooth problem and is in need of dental treatment and needs an MRI scan on a shoulder which has been described as frozen, and that he has depression and suffers respiratory infections.

However Mr Assanges health problems could be much worse, she said.

In December 2015, the United Nations Human Rights Council Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (WGAD) ruled that Assange was subject to arbitrary detention, in breach of his human rights.

They held that he had been denied due process and a fair trial while he was in Wandsworth Prison, then during 550 days under house arrest, while he was appealing against his extradition to Sweden. They said the deprivation of his liberty continued while he was in the embassy.

However Arbuthnot said the WGAD had based its conclusions on some misunderstandings and the restrictions on Assanges freedom had been according to law and proportionate.

She said there was a distinction between Wandsworth prison and living in the embassy – he could leave whenever he wishes, he is free to receive it would seem an unlimited number of unsupervised visits, he can choose the food he eatsand the time he sleeps and exercises, he can sit on the balcony to take the air, and he is free to use a computer and mobile phone.

I suspect if one were to ask one of the men incarcerated in Wandsworth Prison whether conditions in the Ecuadorian Embassy were akin to a remand in custody, the prisoner would dispute the Working Groups assertion, Arbuthnot said.

His house arrest had been proposed by his own legal team, including leading human rights specialist Geoffrey Robertson QC.

The court – rightly as it turned out – had a fear Mr Assange would not surrender himself to the court and to ensure his attendance the conditions suggested by his lawyers were put in place.

Assanges lawyers had argued he had good reason to fear rendition – rather than extradition – to the US where some officials were calling for the death penalty.

I do not find that Mr Assanges fears were reasonable, Arbuthnot said. I do not accept that Sweden would have rendered Mr Assange to the United States. If that had happened there would have been a diplomatic crisis.

If, instead, the US had requested Assanges extradition, he could challenge it by arguing that he would not receive a fair trial or proper conditions of detention.

Assanges team also relied on an exchange of emails uncovered by an investigative journalist, in which a lawyer with the Crown Prosecution Service in the UK argued that Sweden should keep trying to arrest Assange.

Arbuthnot said she could not determine whether the lawyer had acted inappropriately, and it was too speculative to argue it had made a difference to the case.

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Fugitive Julian Assange ‘considers himself above the law’: judge

Julian Assange, founder of WikiLeaks, loses court appeal to …

LONDON — A British judge has decide to quash uphold an arrest warrant for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who has spent more than five years evading the law inside Ecuador’s London embassy.

Assange’s lawyers had argued that it’s no longer in the public interest to arrest him for jumping bail in 2012 and seeking shelter in the embassy to avoid extradition to Sweden, where prosecutors were investigating allegations of sexual assault and rape made by two women. He denied the allegations.

Judge Emma Arbuthnot rule against all five of the challenges to the warrant brought by Assange’s lawyers on Tuesday afternoon at London’s Westminster Magistrates’ Court.

Swedish prosecutors dropped their investigation last year, saying there was no prospect of bringing Assange to Sweden in the foreseeable future. But the British warrant for violating bail conditions still stands, and Assange faces arrest if he leaves the embassy.

Assange’s lawyers asked for the warrant to be withdrawn since Sweden no longer wants him extradited, but the same judge rejected their request last week.

Assange’s attorney went on to argue that arresting him is no longer proportionate or in the public interest. Lawyer Mark Summers said that the 5 years Assange has spent inside the embassy were “adequate, if not severe” punishment for his actions, and cited a report by a U.N. committee which said the 46-year-old was being arbitrarily detained.

He also claimed the Australian was justified in seeking refuge in the embassy because he has a legitimate fear that U.S. authorities are seeking to arrest him for WikiLeaks’ publication of secret documents.

Summers also argued that Assange’s actions had not stalled Sweden’s legal case, because Assange had offered to be interviewed by Swedish prosecutors at the embassy. He said emails recently released after a freedom of information request showed that a British state prosecutor had advised Sweden “that it would not be prudent for Sweden to try to interview Mr. Assange in the U.K.”

Some lawyers who have followed the case said the arguments were unlikely to sway the judge.

“The impasse is just going to continue in this case,” said Edward Grange, a partner at law firm Corker Binning.

He said the fact remained that Assange had chosen to enter the embassy to avoid arrest,

“It would be a dangerous precedent to set if the warrant could just be withdrawn on public interest grounds, because that would be seen as a reward for individuals who decide to avoid administrative justice,” he said.

Even if the judge had lifted the British arrest warrant, Assange’s legal problems may not have been over. He suspects there is a secret U.S. grand jury indictment against him for WikiLeaks’ publication of classified documents, and that American authorities will seek his extradition

Another Assange lawyer, Jennifer Robinson, said the WikiLeaks chief was willing to face legal proceedings in Britain — if he receives a guarantee that he will not be sent to the U.S. to face prosecution.

“Mr. Assange remains ready to face British justice and to resolve any outstanding matters related to his seeking protection in the Ecuadorean embassy – but not at the risk of being forced to face American injustice for exercising the freedom to publish,” she said.

2018 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Julian Assange, founder of WikiLeaks, loses court appeal to …

Julian Assange’s arrest warrant stilll stands, says UK judge …

The arrest warrant for Assange still stands.

Julian Assange lost his bid to halt legal action against him in the UK on Tuesday, after a British high court judge knocked down almost every argument put forward by his defense team.

A warrant for the arrest of the WikiLeaks founder still stands, said Senior District Judge Emma Arbuthnot, meaning Assange is unlikely to leave the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, where he has lived for the past six years, anytime soon.

The UK arrest warrant is based on Assange skipping bail in 2012 in order to avoid extradition to Sweden over allegations of rape and sexual assault. To dodge extradition, Assange entered the embassy disguised as a motorcycle courier after Ecuador offered him immunity. Swedish prosecutors have since dropped charges against him, but he could still be arrested if he leaved the embassy for breaching the conditions of his bail in the UK.

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Assange’s lawyers argued that it’s no longer in the the public interest for police to arrest him. He is suffering from ill health and depression and the time he’s spent locked inside the Ecuadorian Embassy is punishment enough for his crimes, they said.

Arbuthnot wasn’t convinced by the arguments, saying the circumstances of his self-imposed stay at the embassy were not comparable to imprisonment. Arrest was a “proportionate response,” said Arbuthnot, according to The Guardian. She added that Assange should have the courage to come to court to face the consequences of his choices.

Assange has not yet commented on the ruling and did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Even if the judge had ruled in his favor on Tuesday, Assange may have decided to remain inside the embassy as he fears the US may seek to have him extradited for activity related to WikiLeaks. The US government has repeatedly neither confirmed not denied the existence of an extradition warrant.

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Julian Assange’s arrest warrant stilll stands, says UK judge …

Edward Snowden –

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&& ! && !Modernizr.tablet) {if (typeof videoPinner !== ‘undefined’ && videoPinner !== null) {videoPinner.setIsPlaying(true);videoPinner.animateDown();}}},onContentReplayRequest: function (containerId, cvpId, contentId) {if (Modernizr && ! && ! && !Modernizr.tablet) {if (typeof videoPinner !== ‘undefined’ && videoPinner !== null) {videoPinner.setIsPlaying(true);var $endSlate = jQuery(document.getElementById(containerId)).parent().find(‘.js-video__end-slate’).eq(0);if ($endSlate.length > 0) {$endSlate.removeClass(‘video__end-slate–active’).addClass(‘video__end-slate–inactive’);}}}},onContentBegin: function (containerId, cvpId, contentId) {CNN.VideoPlayer.mutePlayer(containerId);if (CNN.companion && typeof CNN.companion.updateCompanionLayout === ‘function’) {CNN.companion.updateCompanionLayout(‘removeEpicAds’);}CNN.VideoPlayer.hideSpinner(containerId);clearTimeout(moveToNextTimeout);CNN.VideoSourceUtils.clearSource(containerId);jQuery(document).triggerVideoContentStarted();},onContentComplete: function (containerId, cvpId, contentId) {if (CNN.companion && typeof CNN.companion.updateCompanionLayout === ‘function’) {CNN.companion.updateCompanionLayout(‘restoreFreewheel’);}navigateToNextVideo(contentId, containerId);},onContentEnd: function (containerId, cvpId, contentId) {if (Modernizr && ! && ! && !Modernizr.tablet) {if (typeof videoPinner !== ‘undefined’ && videoPinner !== null) {videoPinner.setIsPlaying(false);}}},onCVPVisibilityChange: function (containerId, cvpId, visible) {CNN.VideoPlayer.handleAdOnCVPVisibilityChange(containerId, visible);}};if (typeof configObj.context !== ‘string’ || configObj.context.length 0) {configObj.adsection = window.ssid;}CNN.autoPlayVideoExist = (CNN.autoPlayVideoExist === true) ? true : false;CNN.VideoPlayer.getLibrary(configObj, callbackObj, isLivePlayer);});/* videodemanddust is a default feature of the injector */CNN.INJECTOR.scriptComplete(‘videodemanddust’);

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Edward Snowden –

Edward Snowden: I got a security clearance faster than half …

Edward Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor who leaked classified intelligence to reporters in 2013, taunted the Trump administration for taking over a year to obtain permanent security clearances for some of the presidents top advisers.

I got a security clearance faster than half of this White House, Mr. Snowden, 34, tweeted Monday.

Mr. Snowdens razzing came in response to recent news reports involving President Trumps administration and its inability so far to obtain permanent security clearances for dozens of White House officials and political appointees, including Jared Kushner, the presidents son-in-law and close adviser, and Rob Porter, the recently terminated White House staff secretary.

More than a year into the Trump administration, upwards of 40 people have relied on temporary security clearances granting them interim access to classified information pending the results of ongoing FBI-conducted background checks, Mr. Kushner and Mr. Porter included, The Washington Post and CNN both reported Friday.

The White House has defended the delayed turnaround in Mr. Kushners case as completely normal. Skeptics have pointed at past reports involving his previously undisclosed conversations with former Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyack, however, as well as other incidents that could potentially complicate his ability to clear any hurdles keeping him from a permanent security clearance.

Mr. Snowden enlisted in the U.S. Army in May 2004, but he broke both of his legs during basic training and was discharged four months later. He took a job the following year as a security guard at a NSA facility, albeit after obtaining a high-level security clearance upon passing a polygraph examination and background check, Wired reported previously. He subsequently worked for the CIA and had been employed as a NSA contractor holding a top-secret security clearance when he began leaking classified intelligence in 2013, including documents exposing the extent of the U.S. intelligence communitys international surveillance operations.

Mr. Snowden was charged with espionage by the Obama administration in connection with leaking classified intelligence, but was granted asylum by Russia in 2013 and has avoided prosecution by residing there ever since.

Mr. Trump was highly critical of Mr. Snowden before taking office, and he previously called him a traitor, a disgrace, a coward, a piece of human garbage, a liar and a fraud and a spy who should be executed, among other unpleasantries.

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Edward Snowden: I got a security clearance faster than half …

Leaked Wikileaks chats reveal pro-GOP stance

Julian knows best. Except when he clearly doesn’t.

Image: Carl Court/Getty Images

No one can know the future, but man did Julian Assange really not have a clue.

The founder and publisher of Wikileaks is a controversial figure, and a series of leaked private chats published by The Intercept demonstrate that his lightning-rod persona is not just for the public’s benefit. Those chats also reveal several truths about the man, including the nugget that he thought we’d be better off if the Republicans won the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

Which, well, yeah. About that.

That questionable assumption comes out of a private Twitter group that included Assange and some of his top online supporters. According to The Intercept, the chat logs run from May 2015 to November 2017, and were sent to the publication by the same person who created the group.

The Intercept got its hands on more than 11,000 messages, and chose to publish 16 pages of them online. A look through them gives us no top-secret bombshells, but does remind the reader that Assange is far from the master strategist.

“We believe it would be much better for GOP to win,” the Wikileaks Twitter account which The Intercept says is “widely understood” to be run by Assange wrote.

“Dems+Media+liberals woudl then form a block to reign in their worst qualities. With Hillary in charge, GOP will be pushing for her worst qualities., dems+media+neoliberals will be mute.”

The GOP, in the form of Donald Trump, did of course end up winning the election. And the Democrats, contrary to Assange’s stated expectations, haven’t really managed to reign in his worst qualities. Which, if he had been paying any attention to the Democrats during the Bush years, could not have come as much of a surprise.

So restrained.

Image: Win McNamee /Getty Images

It seems that Assange was specifically concerned about what he assumed to be Clinton’s “greater freedom to start wars than the GOP,” writing that she “has the will to do so.” While far be it from us to call Clinton a dove, thinking the Republican party isn’t all about starting wars of choice is pretty goddamn rich.

And Trump, while thankfully not kicking off a brand new war since taking office (though he does clearly enjoy bombing Middle Eastern countries), sure does like to threaten the start of global annihilation.

Of course, the questionable comments from Assange are not limited to the 2016 U.S. presidential election. In the leaked discussion he manages to throw around some transphobia, a dash of suggested antisemitism, and for good measure, musings about whether or not Clinton might have a stroke.

The excerpts of conversation are not exactly a fun read, to be clear. But they do help elucidate one key fact: Assange doesn’t exactly know what he’s talking about a fact we will now be reminded of every time the obviously restrained by Democrats Trump threatens to start World War III.

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Leaked Wikileaks chats reveal pro-GOP stance

Judge tells Julian Assange to have ‘courage’ to face court …

Julian Assange should have the “courage” to face court after losing his latest bid to have his UK arrest warrant dropped, a judge has said.

Assange’s legal team had claimed it was no longer in the public interest to pursue him for failing to answer bail as he fought extradition to Sweden in 2012.

But in a ruling at Westminster Magistrates’ Court, Senior District Judge Emma Arbuthnot said Assange believed he was “above the normal rules of law” and arresting him was a “proportionate response”.

“Defendants on bail up and down the country, and requested persons facing extradition, come to court to face the consequences of their own choices,” the judge said.

“He should have the courage to do the same.”

She added: “He appears to consider himself above the normal rules of law and wants justice only if it goes in his favour.”

After the ruling, Assange said he “surprised” at the decision and claimed the judgment contained “factual errors”.

It was Assange’s second failed attempt to have the arrest warrant dropped in a week.

Last week the same judge rejected his lawyers’ claim that the warrant issued in 2012 was no longer valid because an investigation into rape claims had been dropped by Swedish authorities.

Assange has been living inside the Ecuadorian embassy in London for more than five years, fearing extradition to the United States for questioning over the activities of WikiLeaks if he leaves.

He has accused the UK government of a “cover up” to keep him detained and claimed his case had exposed “improper conduct” by the Crown Prosecution Service.

His barrister Mark Summers QC has alleged that emails showed a CPS lawyer apparently persuading the Swedish prosecutor not to drop the case.

He previously told the court that Assange had health problems, including depression, and that his years inside the embassy were more than adequate punishment for his bail offence.

The 46-year-old sought asylum in the embassy because he feared Swedish police would eventually send him to the US over WikiLeaks’ publication of thousands of secret military documents in 2010.

The site released confidential information on the Afghanistan and Iraq wars, provoking fury among US intelligence and defence chiefs.

Assange’s lawyers believe there is a secret US indictment that will end up with him in an American court.

The UK government has not confirmed whether an extradition request exists.

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Judge tells Julian Assange to have ‘courage’ to face court …