by Joseph Jankowski
Julian Assange will agree to be extradited to the United States if President Barack Obama grants clemency to whistleblower Chelsea manning who has been jailed for leaking a trove of classified information to WikiLeaks.
“If Obama grants Manning clemency Assange will agree to US extradition despite clear unconstitutionality of DoJ (US Department of Justice) case,” WikiLeaks wrote on Twitter.
If Obama grants Manning clemency Assange will agree to US extradition despite clear unconstitutionality of DoJ case https://t.co/MZU30SlfGK
— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) January 12, 2017
Assange has been bound to the Ecuadoran embassy in London since June 2012 to avoid extradition to Sweden where he is wanted to face sexual assault allegations.
Assange has denied those allegations while holding the belief that Stockholm will extradite him to the US for his involvement in the leak of thousands of US military and diplomatic documents by Private First Class Chelsea Manning.
The massive 700,000 document leak landed Manning a 35-year prison sentence, the longest sentence to be handed down in a case involving a leak of United States government information for the purpose of having the information reported to the public.
The extradition announcement was accompanied with a letter addressed to US Attorney General Loretta Lynch from WikiLeaks lawyer Barry Pollack that argued there is no legitimate basis for continuing the investigation into the WikiLeaks founder.
According to information stemming from Justice Department sources, as reported by NBC, President Obama is considering to reduce Manning’s sentence.
NSA Whistleblower Edward Snowden reached out earlier in the week to the U.S. President, seemingly begging Obama to grant Clemency for Manning.
Mr. President, if you grant only one act of clemency as you exit the White House, please: free Chelsea Manning. You alone can save her life.
— Edward Snowden (@Snowden) January 11, 2017
Indeed, clemency may be life-saving for Manning as the whistleblower attempted suicide for the second time in solitary confinement at the prison barracks at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas in October.
The extradition deal willfully offered by Assange may be a sign that the now world renowned journalist is reaching a breaking point inside the Ecuadoran embassy. Recent interviews, including the most recent one with Sean Hannity, has highlighted the struggle Assange may be going through with his family and overall health. The WikiLeaks founder mentioned to Hannity that his “illegal” imprisonment in the embassy has deprived him of basic needs such as adequate sunlight.
“I have been detained illegally, without charge for six years, without sunlight, lots of spies everywhere. It’s tough,” Assange told Sean Hannity, before adding “but that’s the mission I set myself on. I understand the kind of game that’s being played – big powerful actors will try and take revenge…it’s a different thing for my family – I have young children, under 10 years old, they didn’t sign up for that… and I think that is fundamentally unjust… my family is innocent, they didn’t sign up for that fight.”
The deterioration of Assange’s mental and physical health due to constraints inside the Embassy was also highlighted in a report released by WikiLeaks last year.
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