World Leader Asks US to Drop Julian Assange Charges

World Leader Asks US To Drop Julian Assange Charges

( – Thirteen years after the US began its crackdown on Wikileaks, the whistleblowing website’s founder is still in a British jail while the Justice Department tries to extradite him. Julian Assange has been either behind bars or hiding in a London embassy since 2010; now Australia’s prime minister says, “enough is enough.”

On May 4, Australian premier Anthony Albanese told reporters he’s “frustrated” at the Biden administration’s continuing attempts to have Assange extradited to the US. Since Sweden suspended investigations into rape charges against him, the only charges the 51-year-old Australian journalist faces are linked to his 2010 data dump of leaked US classified documents. He wasn’t even indicted for that until 2017 because the Obama administration allegedly couldn’t find any evidence he’d done anything that violated journalistic ethics.

Albanese says he “has some issues” with Assange’s release of classified documents but feels the legal campaign against him has been “disproportionate.” He said the Biden administration is “very aware” of Australia’s position on this issue and didn’t rule out discussing it with President Biden when he visits Australia this month.

The documents released by Assange were handed to him by PFC Bradley Manning, a US Army intelligence analyst. Manning was arrested and court-martialled on 22 military charges and sentenced to 35 years imprisonment. He then changed his name to Chelsea and announced that he was a woman. In 2017 President Obama had Manning released after serving just seven years in prison.

Albanese pointed out that when Australians look at the fact the person who stole the classified data is now walking around free, “they’ll see that there is a disconnect there.” He says he’s worried about Assange’s health, including his mental health. Can Albanese persuade Biden to drop the US vendetta against Assange, who has now spent more time in a cell than Manning did? It sounds like he’s determined to try.

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