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Friday, May 24, 2019

NPR NEWS: U.S. Brings New Charges Against Julian Assange In War Logs, State Cables Case.

Prosecutors are bringing a slate of new charges against Julian Assange, including alleged violations of the Espionage Act, raising the stakes for his prospective extradition from the United Kingdom.
A grand jury in Northern Virginia has returned a superseding indictment with 17 more charges against the WikiLeaks founder. It follows an earlier case brought against Assange in connection with the alleged help he gave to then-Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning to compromise U.S. government computer networks.
Assange is being charged for what officials call his "alleged complicity in illegal acts" involving Manning and "for agreeing and attempting to obtain" information that compromised national security.
Manning provided Assange with war logs, State Department cables, assessments of Guantanamo detainees and other materials.
Said U.S. Attorney Zach Terwilliger: "The United States has only charged Assange with publishing a narrow set of classified documents" that included the names of innocent people, such as dissidents and human rights activists.
"Assange is not charged simply because he is a publisher," Terwilliger said.
The new charges
The charges announced on Thursday all relate to chapters in the history of WikiLeaks before its involvement in Russia's interference in the 2016 presidential election.
They include allegations that Assange violated the Espionage Act provisions that prohibit a conspiracy to obtain, receive and disclose national defense information; charges related to the attempted cracking of computer passwords; and unlawful receipt of sensitive information such as State Department communications and Defense Department logs.
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Prosecutors also added a charge related to the disclosure of national defense information that included the unredacted names of human sources in places such as China, Syria, Afghanistan and elsewhere.
Court documents described a series of chats between Assange and Manning in March 2010 in which Assange allegedly encourages Manning more than once to obtain documents.
The defense
Assange has long argued that he is a journalist no different from any other reporter protected by press freedom rights in the West or the First Amendment in the United States.
The U.S. criminal case boils down to a reporter — Assange — encouraging a source — Manning — to give him a story, Assange and his attorneys argue. That's not only not against the law, they and supporters say, but also going forward would cause a deep chill in the ability of the press to report on the government.

British police officers stand on duty outside the Embassy of Ecuador in London on May 20. Assange was arrested last month after being pushed out the embassy, where he had been living since 2012.
Adrian Dennis/AFP/Getty Images
"These unprecedented charges demonstrate the gravity of the threat the criminal prosecution of Julian Assange poses to all journalists in their endeavor to inform the public about actions that have [been] taken by the U.S. government," said Assange attorney Barry Pollack.
"This is madness," WikiLeaks wrote on its Twitter account.
Bruce Brown, executive director of the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, reiterated the possible risk to journalists.
"Any government use of the Espionage Act to criminalize the receipt and publication of classified information poses a dire threat to journalists seeking to publish such information in the public interest, irrespective of the Justice Department's assertion that Assange is not a journalist," he said.
Ben Wizner — director of the American Civil Liberties Union's Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project — blamed the president.
"This is an extraordinary escalation of the Trump administration's attacks on journalism, and a direct assault on the First Amendment," he said.
Manning, meanwhile, is in custody in Northern Virginia after apparently refusing to cooperate with the U.S. Attorney's Office in the grand jury proceeding that yielded the indictment unsealed on Thursday.
A judge ordered Manning to be jailed after she said she would not testify against Assange.
The defendant
Assange is in British custody following his ejection earlier this year from his long self-imposed confinement in the Embassy of Ecuador in London. A British judge ordered him to be jailed in connection with bail jumping.
Swedish and American authorities both are asking London to extradite Assange to face criminal charges.
Swedish prosecutors reopened a investigation into rape allegations against Assange once he left the embassy. It isn't clear which capital — Stockholm or Washington — will take priority with British authorities in evaluating whether to extradite him.

I'm calling on Ben Carson to resign. JENNIFER WEXTON.

David, today I called on HUD Secretary Ben Carson to resign.

He lied to me and to the American people during Congressional testimony. He lied about his department’s commitment to protecting the rights of transgender Americans. I’m a former prosecutor, and I take lies seriously.

Ben Carson is attacking our LGBTQ community and lying about it. Please join me in demanding his resignation.
On Tuesday, when Carson appeared before the House Financial Services Committee, I asked him about HUD’s “equal-access” rule -- which protects transgender Americans in HUD programs (including homeless shelters) from discrimination.

I’ve seen what Donald Trump’s administration thinks of LGTBQ rights, and I was worried that HUD may gut the equal-access rule. But Ben Carson said: “I’m not currently anticipating changing the rule.”

This was a lie. The very next day, his department proposed a new rule: to let federally funded shelters deny transgender people access.

Ben Carson made a false statement before Congress because he didn’t want to answer for his administration’s discriminatory policies.

The American people deserve better. Let’s show that we demand accountability by getting 10,000 signatures for Ben Carson’s resignation. Add your name now!

Thank you,


Rep. Jennifer Wexton proudly serves the 10th District of Virginia. She's fighting to create a strong economy, ensure equality for all, and invest in a better future for America.

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Take a moment and add a question: BETO O'ROURKE.

Last night’s CNN town hall reminded me of how we started this journey.

From the early days of our Senate campaign, I remember traveling solo from town to town, just asking to meet with anyone who’d spend some time with me. I had the chance to first introduce myself and learn from mayors, farmers, students, doctors, Uber drivers, musicians, artists, teachers, librarians — people from every walk of life.
Now we want to hear from more of you as we run to serve in the White House. Listening to all of you share your stories and perspectives shapes my thinking on how we move our country forward to solve the serious challenges ahead.

But I know not everyone can come to one of our town halls. And as much as I’d like to personally visit every county in America, as we did in Texas, it may not be possible in the time we have. So we’ve come up with the next best thing.

We just opened up our website, social media, and email inboxes to questions. We’re calling it our Town Hall for America, and you can join in right now.

In every answer, I will strive to be as honest and thorough as possible. And with every question, my team and I will learn more about what’s important to the people we are seeking to serve in the White House.

When I served on El Paso city council, we held bilingual town halls once a week. We did monthly ones when I got elected to Congress. In our Senate run, we put on more than 328 public town meetings, and we did it in every county of Texas. Now we’ve already visited more counties in Iowa than any other candidate in the field. 

We did that because public feedback and input is the heart of our democracy. 
Thank you for giving me the chance to do this. I'm beyond grateful. 

Will you canvass your community for Bernie on Saturday, June 1st? BERNIE SANDERS.

David -
Talking to people about why you support Bernie Sanders sounds simple, but it's vitally important. These conversations can sway undecided voters, get new people involved in our campaign, and grow our movement.

That’s why volunteers across the country are organizing community canvasses using the BERN app — so you can talk Bernie 2020 anywhere and everywhere. And you can attend a community canvass near you soon!

Providence, RI: Bernie's 2020 Policy Discussion - and Bern App
Saturday, June 1st
Meet at 1:30 p.m.
Rochambeau Library
708 Hope Street
Providence, RI 02906

At these community canvasses you'll meet up with other volunteers, do a quick training on how to canvass and use the BERN app, and then start talking to people. You'll be able to keep track of your conversations with the BERN app so that we can follow up with every Bernie supporter to make sure they’re registered to vote, and give undecided voters more information about Bernie and what he stands for.

Having hundreds of thousands of these conversations across the country is how we’ll build the largest grassroots electoral movement in history to win the Democratic nomination for Bernie, state by state, and then take the White House back from Donald Trump.

We'll be reaching out shortly after you sign up to provide you with all of the resources you need to have these meaningful conversations with people in your area.

Talking to the people in our community will take work, but if we're in it together, we can win this election.

Or, you can visit our events map to find more opportunities to volunteer for Bernie.
In solidarity,
Claire Sandberg
National Organizing Director
P.S. Can't join us at a canvass? That's OK. 

Paid for by Bernie 2020

Tuesday, May 21, 2019


Hi David,

We have a nationwide crisis on college campuses: too many of our students are forced to choose between paying for their education or their next meal.

A new nationwide survey shows that 45% of college students across the country said they’d suffered from food insecurity in the last month.

We cannot expect students to learn, to succeed, or to prepare for their futures if they are going hungry because of skyrocketing higher education costs.

Millions of college students need our help. They are living off of insufficient food sources, and we need our legislators to take action and find solutions to this crisis.

Thank you for joining us in this important fight.

- Progressive Majority


Absolutely HUGE crowds in NC, SC, GA, and AL this weekend. BERNIE SANDERS.

In 2020, we aren’t writing off ANYTHING. Not a single state. Not a single delegate. Not a single vote. So last weekend, we went to a few states we didn’t do as well in during the last campaign.


Thousands showed up in Asheville, North Carolina. We even needed an overflow area.

Then there was another extraordinary crowd in Augusta, Georgia on a day where the temperature was well into the 90s.

Then we visited Birmingham, Alabama – yes, Alabama – where thousands showed up to join Bernie.

Now this weekend we are having a homecoming rally in Vermont — one that we hope will be big. 

...we have the people with us; that is clear. And if we keep fighting, we are going to win this race and transform this country.

All my best,
Faiz Shakir
Campaign Manager

Paid for by Bernie 2020
PO BOX 391, Burlington, VT 05402

Things you can do ➡ the Death Penalty + Family Leave. MOLLY KELLY.

Working for NH Families and Children

This year, a bipartisan majority in the New Hampshire legislature voted to repeal our antiquated death penalty law, as well as pass a Paid Family and Medical Leave bill. Both of these important pieces of legislations were met by a veto from the Governor. 

Recently, friends, activists, and concerned citizens have reached out asking me about what they can do right now to make a difference. Here's what I suggest:
  1. The House is voting to override the death penalty veto on Thursday. Click here to find your legislators and call them today. 
  2. Let the Governor know you're very disappointed he voted Paid Family and Medical Leave. Call him today at (603) 271-2121.

Raising our voices and working together we can make a difference for the people of New Hampshire.

My very best,

Molly Kelly