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Hey, remember a couple months back when assistant US Attorney Kellen Dwyer accidentally pasted text about a secret indictment of Stinky Cat Lady Julian Assange in a totally unrelated EDVA case?

SMOOOOOOOTH. But it appears that particular bill is coming due for real now, and Mr. Dwyer is spending a lot of quality time with a grand jury in Alexandria discussing Ecuador's most famous horrible houseguest, who may just be about to get evicted.

If Julian Assange was ever a free speech warrior, he sure as hell isn't now. Lie down with Roger Stone, Jerome Corsi, Vladimir Putin and Guccifer, wake up with ... a whole lot fewer defenders at this here liberal mommy and recipe blog. So we might have been queasy about indicting Assange for publishing leaked documents, but we are very LOCK HER UP about a conspiracy to hack the American election and unleash Donald Trump on the world.


Similarly Chelsea Manning, who had a profoundly shitty early life and served seven horrible years for leaking government secrets to Wikileaks in 2010, may have had a strong claim on our sympathy at one point. But when you "stand on your principals" and refuse to testify against the guy responsible for dumping stolen DNC emails with the express purpose of getting Donald Trump elected and destabilizing America, you might wake up with fewer friends. And palling around with Gavin McInnes is not helping.

Yesterday, Manning refused to answer questions before the grand jury in Virginia, even though she had been granted immunity, issuing a statement saying:

I will not comply with this, or any other grand jury. Imprisoning me for my refusal to answer questions only subjects me to an additional punishment for my repeatedly-stated ethical objections to the grand jury system.

The grand jury's questions pertained to disclosures from nine years ago, and took place six years after an in-depth computer forensics case, in which I testified for almost a full day about these events. I stand by my previous public testimony.

I will not participate in a secret process that I morally object to, particularly one that has been historically used to entrap and persecute activists for protected political speech.

Sovereign citizen bullshit is not our first language, but as best we can make out, she can't testify to all the things she already testified to, because sealed testimony is unethical, and we should have a radically transparent justice system. Fairness requires that prosecutors interview witnesses in a glass room where the public can observe them. Which is all very interesting, but that is not law. (It would also put a swift end to all gang and mob prosecutions.)

So, yes, Manning is entirely free to refuse to answer Mr. Dwyer's questions, invoking, as she said, her "First, Fourth, and Sixth Amendment and other statutory rights." If she wants to go to jail because she's too pure to answer questions she has already answered under oath, no one will compel her to speak. (Which is the Fifth Amendment, if she wants to cloak her intransigence in yet another layer of constitutional gobbledygook, since she was already immunized, but whatever.) But it's a really, really stupid thing to do, because she's going to jail for contempt, and she could stay there until the grand jury concludes its work.

And we are just wondering, what kind of free speech absolutist pushes an obviously unstable woman who has attempted suicide on multiple occasions to deliberately get herself thrown in jail for a meaningless gesture.

Yes, we have thoughts. But we are going to give ourselves the banhammer just this once. Let's be kind to each other, because there's no winner here. It's just more horrible shit unleashed on the world by bunch of evil chaos monkeys who were so disgusted with the US they ran right into the arms of Vladimir Putin.

2019 is THE BEST, HUH?

[NYT]

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